The Ball of The Burning Men

Grace Higgins | November 24th, 2019

Known as the Bal Des Ardents, which in English is referred to as the Ball of the Burning Men or the Ball of the Wild Men, it was a masquerade ball held in Paris in 1393 which became famous as the King Charles VI of France nearly died due to a fire while dancing. It is one of the many events that caused problems for Charles VI, who at one point was reported to have suffered an attack of insanity.

wikimedia.org

The dancing and ball were supposed to entertain Charles VI but it all turned into a disaster when his brother Louis, Duke of Orleans, walked in with a flaming torch. By accident, Louis set the whole place on fire, and Charles VI was actually performing a dance with five other members of the French nobility. Immediately four of the dancers were killed in the flames, and Charles narrowly escaped being burnt to death himself. From this point on the young king never really did recover.

The event undermined his whole confidence, and also gave the nobility and wider public immense doubts on his capacity to rule. Parisians consider the disaster to be proof that Charles was incapable of leading the country, and threatened to riot and revolt. They believed the only way they could save the country was by rebelling against the powerful members of the nobility.

Of course, the King did not want this to happen, therefore his brother and himself offered penance to the public for the event. Penance is a sacrament in which a member of the Church will confess his sins to a priest. This was needed to calm to revolt, as Louis was being accused of trying to murder the king and also of being involved in sorcery.

Historians believe the dance was being held by Charles’s wife Isabeau of Bavaria who held the ball to honor the remarriage of one of her ladies in waiting. It is thought that the dancers were performing the traditional charivari dance at the time and that they were disguised as wild men. These are mythical beings that during the medieval ages and especially in Tudor England, were associated with demonology.

This ball even inspired much writing and stories being published around it, such as the illustrated manuscripts of 15th-century painter Master of Anthony of Burgundy or Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Hop-Frog.a

Next Article
  • Ravens Beat Jets On TNF

    The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Jets, 42-21, behind five passing touchdowns from MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. The Ravens did what they’ve done all season; jumping to an early lead and dominating their opponents throughout the whole game. The offense scored two touchdowns in the first quarter from a Mark Ingram six-yard run and...

    Read More
  • Lakers, Rockets And Bucks Roll

    Three of the marquee teams in the league continued their dominance over the league, when the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets all won on Wednesday night. To start the action, the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic, 96-87, to improve to 22-3 on the season. The talk lately has been if the Lakers...

    Read More
  • Bathing Was Actually Popular During The Medieval Ages

    People have the notion that the medieval ages were just dirt, filth, more dirt, disease, and darkness. And we'll there was a lot of dirt and disease, much like the world today, and yes public sanitization did not exist. However, there is one notion that is wrong, the thought that medieval people were simply filthy...

    Read More
  • Tuesday Night NBA Action

    The Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers all picked up important wins that included big time performances from star players and surprising young talent. During the Hornets game, Devonte’ Graham turned in another brilliant performance, scoring 29 points and dishing six assists in the Hornets 114-107 victory against the Washington Wizards....

    Read More
  • The Great Joan of Arc Imposter

    Joan of Arc whose real name was Jehanne d’Arc or could have been Jehanne Tarc, or actually, it may have been Jehanne de Vouthon - well you get the picture nobody really knew her real name as she never used it. She grew up in Domremy a village in northeastern France, she was the daughter...

    Read More
  • Eagles Beat Giants On MNF

    The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants, 23-17, on Monday Night Football in overtime behind Carson Wentz’s 325 passing yards and Zach Ertz’s two receiving touchdowns. The past couple weeks both the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys have been gifted multiple opportunities to take control of the NFC East, but both teams seem uninterested in...

    Read More
  • NFL Week 14 Sunday Recap

    Colts 35, Buccaneers 38 • Another Sunday, another Winston performance with multiple interceptions. He passed for 456 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions to keep the Bucs in the playoff picture. Ravens 24, Bills 17 • This Bills team will put anyone on upset alert in the playoffs. Lamar Jackson was held to 185 total...

    Read More