Quand l'histoire fait dates

( Season 2 )
33, 1492, 1789, 1945... How did these dates become part of our collective memory? Who decided that they were memorable? How is an event built up, why, for whom and how do they end up in the history books? The historian Patrick Boucheron provides some answers.


1848, le printemps des peuples/Octobre 1860, le sac du palais d'été de Pékin
The Revolutions of 1848/October 1860, sack of the Summer Palace in Beijing

1848 isn't so much a date as a vintage, a year that concerned the whole of Europe, laying the foundations of its political modernity.
October 1860, English and French troops pillaged and destroyed Qing Xianfeng's summer palace: the Yuánmíng Yuán. The episode marked the climax of the Second Opium War.

Directed by: Pascal Goblot, Juliette Garcias (France, 2019-220)
315, la donation de Constantin/29 mai 1453, la prise de Constantinople
315, the Donation of Constantine/29 May 1453, the capture of Constantinople

The Donation of Constantine, one of the most influential mediaeval texts, legitimised the Popes' temporal power. In 1440, it was refuted by the humanist Lorenzo Valla.
In 1453, the capture of Constantinople marked the fall of the Byzantine Empire, and the end of any understanding between East and West.

Directed by: Denis Van Waerebeke, Benoît Laborde (France, 2019)