On the death of Philip III of Spain

200 views
Skip to first unread message

di...@imicom.or.jp

unread,
Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
to

Back when I was an undergrad, I read _The Worldy
Philosphers_, by Robert Heilbroner. In it he has (quoted
by Thorstein Veblen) the story of the king who was sitting
in front of the fire, and in the absence of the appropriate
functionary whose job it was to move the king, suffered
himself to be roasted to death in a show of good form
and attention to royal punctillio.

I don't recall that Heilbroner mentioned the name of the king.

I thought the story hilarious, and filed it away in my
head in order to dazzle intellectual babes at parties.

Recently, I was reading _The March of Folly_, by the rather
redoubtable historian Barbara Tuchman. In the opening
(pg. 8 of the paperback edition), we have:

There was another king of Spain at the beginning
of the 17th century, Philip III, who is said to have
died of a fever he contracted from sitting too long
near a hot brazier, helplessly overheating himself
because the functionary whose duty it was to remove
the brazier, when summoned, could not be found.

Hmm, her story is a little different. For page 8, she has no
references except one Biblical one and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

I tried to local minuscule (spelled right) library, but it had nothing
on this, though one book mentioned his ineffectual rule. Likewise,
Collier's CD-ROM Multimedia Encyclopedia has an entry
commenting on Philip III of Spain, but does not mention this
story.

I hate to toss things to the group with so little personal
research, but can find nothing else.

So: does anybody kow if there is any truth to this, or is it
a silly urban legend?

dino formerly di...@euclid.colorado.edu
still the same old dino


John Sheahan

unread,
Nov 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/2/96
to

In article <32781d90...@news.zippo.com>, <di...@imicom.or.jp> wrote:
>Back when I was an undergrad, I read _The Worldy
>Philosphers_, by Robert Heilbroner. In it he has (quoted
>by Thorstein Veblen) the story of the king who was sitting
>in front of the fire, and in the absence of the appropriate
>functionary whose job it was to move the king, suffered
>himself to be roasted to death in a show of good form
>and attention to royal punctillio.
>
>I don't recall that Heilbroner mentioned the name of the king.
>

Actually, he didn't. The quote is from Veblen's _The Leisure Class_,
(quoted on p. 229 of Heilbroner), and it is told of "a certain king of
France," which sounds like econspeak for "FOAF."

>I thought the story hilarious, and filed it away in my
>head in order to dazzle intellectual babes at parties.
>
>Recently, I was reading _The March of Folly_, by the rather
>redoubtable historian Barbara Tuchman. In the opening
>(pg. 8 of the paperback edition), we have:
>
> There was another king of Spain at the beginning
> of the 17th century, Philip III, who is said to have
> died of a fever he contracted from sitting too long
> near a hot brazier, helplessly overheating himself
> because the functionary whose duty it was to remove
> the brazier, when summoned, could not be found.
>
>Hmm, her story is a little different. For page 8, she has no
>references except one Biblical one and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.
>
>I tried to local minuscule (spelled right) library, but it had nothing
>on this, though one book mentioned his ineffectual rule. Likewise,
>Collier's CD-ROM Multimedia Encyclopedia has an entry
>commenting on Philip III of Spain, but does not mention this
>story.
>

Here is what the Cambridge Modern History, Vol. IV (1907 ed., p. 634, if
anybody cares) says about Phil's death.

"As Philip II had begun, so he ended, upholding still the
arrogant, impossible claim of desolate, ruined Castile to dictate to all
the world the faith it should obey. In the first months of 1621 he fell
gravely ill in Madrid. . . . In an agony of remorse he prayed continually
for mercy and deplored the unahppy results of his two-and-twenty years'
rule; but when he died at last, on March 31, 1621, a cry of grief went up
from all his people..."

Nothing at all about the fireplace, and this from a source that (1)
clearly thought Phillip III was a twit, and (2) loves excessive detail
(trust me on this one).

By the way, another source cites to a 1808 work by R. Watson and W.
Thompson called _History of Philip III_. Unfortunately, it is not in my
library.

>I hate to toss things to the group with so little personal
>research, but can find nothing else.
>
>So: does anybody kow if there is any truth to this, or is it
>a silly urban legend?
>
>dino formerly di...@euclid.colorado.edu
> still the same old dino
>


--

Bob Church

unread,
Nov 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/3/96
to

In article <32781d90...@news.zippo.com>
di...@imicom.or.jp writes:


> There was another king of Spain at the beginning
> of the 17th century, Philip III, who is said to have
> died of a fever he contracted from sitting too long
> near a hot brazier, helplessly overheating himself
> because the functionary whose duty it was to remove
> the brazier, when summoned, could not be found.
>
> Hmm, her story is a little different. For page 8, she has no
> references except one Biblical one and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.
>

> I hate to toss things to the group with so little personal
> research, but can find nothing else.
>
> So: does anybody kow if there is any truth to this, or is it
> a silly urban legend?


It might be based on La Valette's death. He was a contemporary of
Philip II, and died August of 1568. According to the second volume of
Prescott's 'Phillip the Second'...


-------------------------------------------------

"These unpleasant affairs weighed heavily on the grand-master's mind;
and he often sought to relieve his spirits by the diversion of hawking;
of which he was extremely fond. While engaged in this sport, on a hot
day in July, he received a stroke of the sun. He was immediately taken
to Il Borgo. A fever set in; and it soon became apparent that his
frame, enfeebled by his unparalleled fatigues and hardships, was
rapidly sinking under it. Before dying

<snip>

,he expired on the twenty-first of August, 1568."

------------------------------------------------------------

It's a tenuous connection, but all these guys were really, really
hated, and it's been over 400 years, so there's a lot of room for
mutation.

Bob Church

RGanz

unread,
Nov 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/5/96
to

In article <E0843...@midway.uchicago.edu>, jshe...@midway.uchicago.edu
(John Sheahan) wrote:

>
>Here is what the Cambridge Modern History, Vol. IV (1907 ed., p. 634, if
>anybody cares) says about Phil's death.
>
> "As Philip II had begun, so he ended, upholding still the
>arrogant, impossible claim of desolate, ruined Castile to dictate to all
>the world the faith it should obey. In the first months of 1621 he fell
>gravely ill in Madrid. . . . In an agony of remorse he prayed continually
>for mercy and deplored the unahppy results of his two-and-twenty years'
>rule; but when he died at last, on March 31, 1621, a cry of grief went up
>from all his people..."
>
>Nothing at all about the fireplace, and this from a source that (1)
>clearly thought Phillip III was a twit, and (2) loves excessive detail
>(trust me on this one).

Picky, picky. Is there a difference between Philip II (famed for his long
reign,
his marriage to Mary I of England, and his beard) and Philip III - possibly
famed for not having set fire to himself?

Of course, it might be that one was Philip IIIV and the other was Philip
IIV.
ObUL. If you type Philip often enough, it starts looking extremely silly

Rachel 'sig hiding here' Ganz

Daan Sandee

unread,
Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
to

Philip II (the Armada guy) died in 1598, and was succeeded by Philip III,
who allegedly got roasted in 1621.
Just when you thought you got it straight, I will add the following :

Philip II of Spain was also Philip I of Portugal
Philip III of Spain was also Philip II of Portugal
Philip IV of Spain was also Philip III of Portugal

So the guy who got roasted was actually Philip II.5.
I hope this makes everything perfectly clear.

Daan Sandee
Burlington, MA Use this email address: san...@cmns.think.com

Nick Spalding

unread,
Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
to

.sandee@think.com.nospam (Daan Sandee) wrote:
>
> So the guy who got roasted was actually Philip II.5.
>
Surely II.V?
--
Nick Spalding

John Stevens

unread,
Nov 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/8/96
to

Daan Sandee (san...@think.com.nospam) wrote:
[snippage of Philip's history quotes]
: Philip II (the Armada guy) died in 1598, and was succeeded by Philip III,

: who allegedly got roasted in 1621.
: Just when you thought you got it straight, I will add the following :

: Philip II of Spain was also Philip I of Portugal
: Philip III of Spain was also Philip II of Portugal
: Philip IV of Spain was also Philip III of Portugal

: So the guy who got roasted was actually Philip II.5.
: I hope this makes everything perfectly clear.

Shouldn't that be Philip II.V? Or was that II.IIIII?

John "Sorry! The clock thread must've gotten to me!" Stevens


Simon Slavin

unread,
Nov 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/10/96
to

In article <32847a24....@news.iol.ie>,
spal...@iol.ie# (Nick Spalding) wrote:

> san...@think.com.nospam (Daan Sandee) wrote:
> >
> > So the guy who got roasted was actually Philip II.5.
>

> Surely II.V?

There's nothing special about base ten. YM "II/". HTH.

The '/' means 'half', should be smaller and represents a
broken stick. Broken sticks link to fascists one way and
Nazis another way: useful information in case anyone ever
wants to terminate a thread -- not my intention in this
case.

Simon.
--
... or, here's a thought, why don't we talk about SF for a while?
-- Simon van Dongen <sg...@pi.net> on rec.arts.sf.written
Simon Slavin -- Computer Contractor Ordinaire. Junk email not welcome here.
Will administer ISO 9000 and year 2000 certification tests for food.

Nan Elizabeth Jorgensen

unread,
Nov 29, 2020, 9:26:05 PM11/29/20
to
What the heck!?? Taking a class at Berkeley on Spain and Portugal up to the 17th C. Where the h do these
"Surely II.V" and such come from? Even from the explanation of the differences between Spain and Portugal's numbers, I mean––where?

It was SPAIN'S Philip III for god/goddess's sake, folks. He died in 1621, an untimely 43 years old, which considering his long reigning father and grandfather Charles ( Carlos) V was a bit of a shock.
You're damn lucky you didn't have to keep track of the Alfonsos ( Afonsos)!!!!
Peace out ~~~~NJ

Mark Shaw

unread,
Nov 29, 2020, 10:22:30 PM11/29/20
to
Nan Elizabeth Jorgensen <nancybe...@gmail.com> wrote:
> What the heck!?? Taking a class at Berkeley on Spain and Portugal up to the 17th C. Where the h do these
> "Surely II.V" and such come from? Even from the explanation of the differences between Spain and Portugal's numbers, I mean––where?

> It was SPAIN'S Philip III for god/goddess's sake, folks. He died in 1621, an untimely 43 years old, which considering his long reigning father and grandfather Charles ( Carlos) V was a bit of a shock.
> You're damn lucky you didn't have to keep track of the Alfonsos ( Afonsos)!!!!
> Peace out ~~~~NJ

<music note emojis>
Someone needs a hobby, someone needs a hobby!

--
Mark Shaw moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm
========================================================================
"All of my mistakes are giving me ideas." - Natalie Lileks

Julian Macassey

unread,
Nov 30, 2020, 6:31:19 PM11/30/20
to
Dontcha just love how google worked so hard to fuck up
usenet so people could answer 24 year old posts.

Google making the net even Orwell couldn't envision
--
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell

Don Freeman

unread,
Nov 30, 2020, 8:42:16 PM11/30/20
to

On 11/29/2020 7:26 PM, Nan Elizabeth Jorgensen wrote:
> What the heck!?? Taking a class at Berkeley on Spain and Portugal up to the 17th C. Where the h do these
> "Surely II.V" and such come from? Even from the explanation of the differences between Spain and Portugal's numbers, I mean––where?
>
> It was SPAIN'S Philip III for god/goddess's sake, folks. He died in 1621, an untimely 43 years old, which considering his long reigning father and grandfather Charles ( Carlos) V was a bit of a shock.
> You're damn lucky you didn't have to keep track of the Alfonsos ( Afonsos)!!!!
> Peace out ~~~~NJ
>
>
> On Sunday, November 10, 1996 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-8, Simon Slavin wrote:

Congrats! You have just been nominated for the Ed Rice Award for the
longest gap between your reply and the post you were replying to. But
beware there is quite a bit of competition generated by your fellow
google groups members.


--
__
(oO) www.cosmoslair.com
/||\ Cthulhu Saves!!! (In case he needs a midnight snack)

Matija Pa

unread,
Nov 12, 2021, 3:22:04 AM11/12/21
to
Not a historian or anything, but how cool is it to respond to a 25-year old post!
In "Gentleman's Book of Etiquete" by Cecil B. Hartley (published 1860), in Chapter II - Politeness, it says:

“There is no country in the world where the absurdities of etiquette are carried to so great a length as in Spain, because there is no nation where the nobility are so proud. The following anecdote, which illustrates this, would seem incredible were it not a historical fact:

'Philip the Third, king of Spain, was sick, and being able to sit up, was carefully placed in an arm chair which stood opposite to a large fire, when the wood was piled up to an enormous height. The heat soon became intolerable, and the courtiers retired from around the king; but, as the Duke D’Ussede, the fire stirrer for the king, was not present, and as no one else had the right to touch the fire, those present dared not attempt to diminish the heat. The grand chamberlain was also absent, and he alone was authorized to touch the king’s footstool. The poor king, too ill to rise, in vain implored those around him to move his chair, no one dared touch it, and when the grand chamberlain arrived, the king had fainted with the heat, and a few days later he died, literally roasted to death.' ”


I don't know how much of this is true but it's silly that even in 2021 it seems difficult to find the cause of a king's death. For anyone interested, the whole book is here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/39293/39293-h/39293-h.htm

dsh

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 10:59:35 AM12/4/21
to
On Sun, 29 Nov 2020 18:26:04 -0800 (PST)
Nan Elizabeth Jorgensen <nancybe...@gmail.com> wrote:

i think i shouldnt consider portugal and spain's numbers as the same
thing

- dsh

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages