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L'esprit de Numance : mythes obsidionaux et constructions nationales en Espagne, 1808-1958

Abstract : Military sieges play a significant role in the Spanish national narrative. If the antique sieges of Numance and Sagonte are undoubtedly founding moments, the exploitation of the obsidional myths considerably increases from the Peninsular War and onwards. The double siege of Zaragoza (1808-1809) by the French troops is celebrated to a point that it becomes an insight to the Iberian identity: through this glorious defeat, the Spanish are said to have proved their devotion to freedom and an innate sense of sacrifice. This discourse, which was designed by the elites during the siege as a way to ease consent in the acceptance of the deaths of the besieged also proved effective later on: it is at the heart of the national narrative which was imposed under the Isabelline rule and, in the second half of the 19th century, this example is used both by the Liberals, the Republicans and the Conservative. It is also reinvested at different levels, be they local, regional or national. All in all, the Zaragozan myth is at the origin of a true obsidional mythology: the celebration of the 1714 siege by the Catalan nationalists or that of Bilbaoan Liberals commemorating their victories against the Carlists (1835-1836 and 1874) can be considered as “variations on a theme” of obsidional resistance. Based on a corpus of varied sources (press articles, literature, paintings, municipal archives, private resources), this thesis will try to retrace the evolution of the Zaragozan sieges between 1808 and 1958 but also that of their “variations». It will aim at establishing obsidional mythology as an observatory of communitarian developments in Spain.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 2, 2022 - 3:24:57 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 3:46:24 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-03656997, version 1



Hervé Siou. L'esprit de Numance : mythes obsidionaux et constructions nationales en Espagne, 1808-1958. Histoire. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019IEPP0045⟩. ⟨tel-03656997⟩



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