The term ‘le roi soleil’ is not a term I use. ‘ the young pretender’ doesn’t convey the appropriate historical meaning. Here is an explanation.

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He was known as Louis the Great (in French Louis le Grand “the Great Monarch”), because, following his initial success in the Franco-Dutch War and the Treaty of Nijmegen, the Parlement de Paris decreed that all public inscriptions and statues of the king should carry that epithet attached to his name.

He is also popularly known as The Sun King (in French le Roi Soleil) because of the idea that, just as the planets revolve around the Sun, so too should France and the court revolve around him. As a result, he was commonly associated with Apollo Helios, the Greco-Roman god of the Sun. As a patron of the arts, this association was fitting because Louis was, like Apollo Musagetes, the “leader of the Muses”. Being the reported third richest person in Italy Berlusconi
‘le roi soleil’ or sun king can still pull a lot of strings with fingers in so many pies. So much ‘evolves’ around him.


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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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