Dmitrii Nikolaevich Kopelev, doctor in history, professor, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (
Kopelev D. N. Creation of an enemy: Assassinations in Blois and desacralization of Henrich III, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2016, vol. 5, pp. 158–197.
Investigating the situation in France in the period of the Huguenot Wars after the assassination of the leader of the Catholic League of France, Henry I, Duke of Guise, the author analyses mechanisms of information wars’ genesis and discovers different aspects of campaigns aimed to discredit the Royal power. On the one hand, as a result of aggressive visual, virtual and printed attacks against the organizer of this murder King Henry III, the very basement of the French monarchy reeled, and a figure of the ruler obtained the image of the universal evil. On the other hand, public opinion, a new «mystical» force, that was able to threw the earth power and open a rode for a tyrannicide, started to influence on political war. Transformation of the idea of an enemy into the instrument of ideological and political struggle and debunking of political opponents with help of psychological tools became components of the new political reality. Mental explosion happened in Paris in 1589 with its infernality and eschatological fears that turned the first manifestation on the new information reality. The author discloses tendencies of manipulation of public opinion radicalized in that time and led to the grand-scale propagandist campaigns aimed at discreditation and overthrow the Old Régime and the dynasty.
Key words: late Middle ages, the Early Modern time, France, Wars of Religion, Catholics, Huguenots, Court, duke de Guise, Catholic League, propaganda, political image, satire, public opinion, radicalization, infernality, eschatological fears