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The Reign of Terror

I wanted to see how a tyrant was made...

981549. Sold For $595

FRANCE, Premier République. temp. Convention nationale. Maximilien Robespierre & Cécile-Aimée Renault. 1758-1794 and 1774-1794. Æ Cliché Medal (54mm, 5.15 g). The Attempted Assassination of Robespierre and the End of the Reign of Terror. Dated 9 Thermidor L’An 3 (27 July AD 1795). Confronted busts of Robespierre right; MAXEN ROBESPPIERE around, and Renault left, wearing rosary, CECILE RENAUD around, each within beaded medallion divided by liberty cap on pole with the Eye of Providence above; around medallions, MIS HORS LA LOI and LE 9 THERMIDOR AN 3, J’AI VOULU VOIR COMMENT and ETAIT FAIT UN TYRANT (Outlawed 9 Thermidor, year three. I wanted to see how a tyrant was made) / Incuse of obverse. L. Beaumont-Maillet, Images de la Révolution Française: catalogue du videodisque coproduit par La Bibliothèque Nationale et Pergamon Press.Paris. 1990. No. 34110-1. Near EF.

Over the course of a nine-month period between September 1793 and July 1794 known as the Reign of Terror, more than 40000 French citizens met their deaths at the hands of the Revolutionary Tribunal. The Tribunal answered to the Committee of Public Safety, a governing council initially created to combat the Austrian threat. Under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, the committee expanded its power, making public enemies of all who opposed his particular brand of leadership. His tight control of the military and totalitarian persecution of his opponents created many enemies. On 23 May, a monarchist by the name of Cécile-Aimée Renault attempted to assassinate Robespierre outside his home. Yet more powerful adversaries also conspired against him, eventually coalescing the opposition against him and ordering his arrest on 28 July, 9 Thermidor in the Revolutionary calendar. His head fell beneath the guillotine’s blade the following day.

Curiously, this medal is dated one year after the execution of Robespierre.