As was discussed above, in royal liturgies the king is first, in some rites, anointed on the hands, before being anointed on the head, breast, shoulders and elbows. Anointing of hands is not found in the imperial liturgy, which includes anointing of the right arm and between the shoulders. That Peter does not mention anointing of the head is perhaps evidence that he knew it had no place in the imperial ceremony, although his knowledge does not seem to stretch to the fact that the emperor was anointed by the bishop of Ostia rather than by the pope himself.
Both word and image stress the use of chrism. The newly consecrated pope and his cardinals would surely not have permitted the use of holy chrism in However, in a partisan account of the inauguration it is of little surprise that we find the claim that the emperor was anointed by God as Christus domini and that chrism was used.
Hohenstaufen rulers were not content with their liturgical demotion in the imperial rite. The choice of language is also important.
Changes to the laudes and to the ritual of anointing in the imperial inauguration ceremony are certainly indicative of papal attempts to diminish the position of the emperor. They are but two examples. A close study of the texts for imperial inauguration, which has been beyond the scope of this paper, uncovers a plethora of other developments, which, when taken together, are demonstrably all driven by the same impulse: to exalt papal authority at the expense of that of the German emperors.
However, what liturgical evidence we do have for royal inauguration does not indicate an extension of this downgrading to the royal liturgy in the Hohenstaufen Empire. Indeed, the scraps of narrative, visual and material evidence speak actively against this. It should be noted that there is an ecclesiastical dimension to royal liturgical ceremonial that it has not been possible to address in this essay in which, for convenience, sole agency has been assigned to the Hohenstaufen kings themselves. By contrast, imperial inauguration was a theatrical production in which two main actors shared the stage and competed for the limelight.
From the time of Gregory VII the script was rewritten.
The pope secured the leading role and the emperor was forced to accept a supporting part. In Aachen, however, the spotlight continued to fall on the new king, who made the most of this opportunity to radiate his sacrality. This is made manifest in the words inscribed on the guard of the so-called sword of St Maurice: Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands.
We need to recognize the play on words here. The Christ in question is the German king, handed the sword directly after he had been anointed as Christus domini , almost certainly on the head and with holy chrism. For Hohenstaufen and Welf kings did not pass up the opportunity to exploit the resonances of the liturgy in the construction of their authority. Like that of their Plantagenet and Capetian counterparts, theirs remained a liturgical kingship. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.
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Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History | Studies in the Early Middle Ages
Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. I: Introduction. V: Conclusion. Inauguration and political liturgy in the Hohenstaufen Empire, — Johanna Dale.
L’image au service des stratégies emblématiques: Corps urbains
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Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract The Gregorian reform movement in general, and events at Canossa in in particular, have been credited with tarnishing the lustre of sacral kingship within the Empire. View large Download slide. The Reichsschwert so-called Sword of St. Table View Large.
I am also indebted to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the studentship that funded the doctoral research from which this essay subsequently developed.
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Bisson ed. Ralph de Diceto, The Historical Works , ed. Stubbs, 2 vols. As Matthew Paris imparts this information in a rubric it is not included in the Rolls Series edition of the Chronica Majora.
On the iron crown see R. Schramm ed. Delaborde ed. This idea is forcefully expressed in S. For the influence of ritual studies on German medieval studies see F.
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Goez and J. Jarnut ed. Among other important contributions see T. Nelson ed. Medieval Polities , pp. Duggan ed. For example, see M. Steinicke and S. Weinfurter ed. Althoff, J. Fried and P. Geary ed. The imperial texts are contained in R. Elze ed. Vogel and R. Vatican, — Imperatoris , ed. Germanistische Abteilung , , pp. Imperatoris , p. Mierow New York, , p.
Schnith and R. Pauler ed.