Premodern Rulership and Contemporary Political Power: The King's Body Never Dies 9789048533282

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Table of contents :
Table of Contents
Part 1 Premodern Rulership
Assembly Politics and Conflicting Discourses in Early Medieval León (10th-11th c.)
The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Veneration of the Emperor’s Body in Twelfth-Century Byzantium
The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia and the Sacralisation of Political Power in the High Middle Ages
‘International’ Christian Society and Its Political Theology in Thirteenth- Century Latin Christendom
The King’s Immature Body
We Were the Trojans
The Life and Afterlife of Pontifical Indiscretions in the Renaissance
The Queen’s Two Faces
Part 2 Contemporary Political Power
Blood, Honour and the Norm
Dual Approaches to Communist Engagement
The Supermen’s Two Bodies
And Then They Were Bodies
List of Figures
General Bibliography
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Premodern Rulership and Contemporary Political Power

Central European Medieval Studies The series focuses on the geographical centre of the European continent, but also a region representing various historically changing meanings and concepts. It challenges simplistic notions of Central Europe as a periphery to the medieval ‘West’, or, equally, a border between barbarity and civilization; an area of a lively convergence of different ethnic groups, and a socially and culturally framed common space; a point where different ‘Others’ met, or an intermediary ‘bridge’ between the Roman Catholicism and Latinity of the West, and the Slavic Orthodoxy and Hellenism of the Byzantine East. Series Editor Dr. Nada Zečević, University of Eastern Sarajevo Editorial Board Dr. Kateřina Horníčková, University of South Bohemia Dr. Cosmin Popa-Gorjanu, 1 December 1918 University Alba Iulia Dr. Zsolt Hunyadi, University of Szeged Dr. Anna Adamska, Utrecht University Dr. Trpimir Vedriš, University of Zagreb

Premodern Rulership and Contemporary Political Power The King’s Body Never Dies

Edited by Karolina Mroziewicz and Aleksander Sroczyński

Amsterdam University Press

This work was financed within the framework of the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities carried out by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, 2014-2016.

Proofread by Jesse Simon Cover illustration: Frontispiece of John Case’s Sphaera Civitatis (Oxoniæ: excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, 1588). The Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 4761. Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Cover design: Coördesign, Leiden Lay-out: Crius Group, Hulshout Amsterdam University Press English-language titles are distributed in the US and Canada by the University of Chicago Press. isbn 978 94 6298 331 1 e-isbn 978 90 4853 328 2 doi 10.5117/9789462983311 nur 685 © Karolina Mroziewicz & Aleksander Sroczyński / Amsterdam University Press B.V., Amsterdam 2017 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the written permission of both the copyright owner and the author of the book. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to use all copyrighted illustrations reproduced in this book. Nonetheless, whosoever believes to have rights to this material is advised to contact the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7 Introduction 9 Paweł Figurski, Karolina Mroziewicz, and Aleksander Sroczyński

Part 1  Premodern Rulership Assembly Politics and Conflicting Discourses in Early Medieval León(10th-11th c.) 21 Álvaro Carvajal Castro

The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Veneration of the Emperor’s Bodyin Twelfth-Century Byzantium Foteini Spingou


The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazoviaand the Sacralisation of Political Power in the High Middle Ages 73 Paweł Figurski

‘International’ Christian Societyand Its Political Theology in Thirteenth-Century Latin Christendom


The King’s Immature Body


We Were the Trojans


Wojciech Kozłowski

Representations of Child Coronations in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia (1382-1530) Karolina Mroziewicz

Rhetoric and Political Community in Medieval and Early Modern Sarmatia and Illyria Aleksander Sroczyński

The Life and Afterlife of Pontifical Indiscretions in the Renaissance 193 Ágnes Máté

The Queen’s Two Faces

The Portraiture of Elizabeth I of England Emilia Olechnowicz


Part 2  Contemporary Political Power Blood, Honour and the Norm


Dual Approaches to Communist Engagement


The Supermen’s Two Bodies


And Then They Were Bodies


List of Figures


General Bibliography


Race Defilement and the Boundaries of Community in Hungary, 1941 Gábor Szegedi

Helena Krajewska and Marek Włodarski Piotr Słodkowski

The Body, the Costume, and the Legitimacy of Power in the DC Universe Narratives Andrzej Probulski

Medieval Royalties, from DNA Analysis to a Nation’s Identity Alexandra Ion

Index 417

Acknowledgements The book is the outcome of a two-year scholarly dialogue between the members of the research group ‘Rex nunquam moritur. Comparative Approaches to Political Theologies from the Middle Ages to the Present.’ The group was supported by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (module 2.1). During the course of the project, two workshops (in September 2014 and November 2015) and an international conference, The Anatomy of Political Bodies (April 2015), were carried out at the Faculty of ‘Artes Liberales’ of the University of Warsaw. The present volume has been shaped to a great extent by the lively discussions on the ambiguous status of political theology, the value of Ernst Kantorowicz’s legacy, and the pertinence of historical inquiries for understanding today’s socio-political reality. The authors would like to express their special gratitude to Anna Adam­ ska (Utrecht), Jerzy Axer (Warsaw), Simon Burton (Warsaw), Zbigniew Dalewski (Warsaw) and Paweł Stępień (Warsaw) for being ideal intellectual sparring-partners during the working meetings of the research group. The authors also wish to thank a number of critical readers, who agreed to evaluate particular chapters of the book, and who were most generous in sharing their knowledge and experience: Isabel Alfonso (CSIC, Madrid), Arda Antonescu (Bucharest), Marco Arnaudo (Bloomington, IN), Jerzy Axer (Warsaw), János Bak (Budapest), Marian Coman (Bucharest), Eric Consigny-de Chassey (Paris), Zbigniew Dalewski (Warsaw), Ewa Domańska (Poznań), Ștefan Dorondel (Bucharest), Yale H. Ferguson (Rutgers), Susannah Fischer (Saint Louis University), György Geréby (Budapest), Piotr S. Górecki (Riverside, CL), Charles Insley (Manchester), Anthony Kaldellis (The Ohio State University), Torrance Kirby (Montreal), Éva Kovács (Vienna), Anita Kurimay (Bryn Mawr, PA), Brad Littlejohn (independent scholar), Marina Loukaki (Athens), Przemysław Marciniak (Katowice), Natalie Mears (Durham), Włodzimierz Olszaniec (Warsaw), Levi Roach (Exeter), Jörg Schulte (Köln) and Wojciech Włodarczyk (Warsaw); without their scholarly support the book would never have reached its present shape. Tomasz Chmielak, the librarian of the Faculty, provided invaluable assistance in dealing with book management. Finally, the editors of this volume would like to thank all of the members of the research group for an inspiring collaboration, the fruits of which extended far beyond the pages of this volume.

Introduction Paweł Figurski, Karolina Mroziewicz, and Aleksander Sroczyński The main objective of the present volume is to investigate the cultural specificity and inner dynamics of premodern rulership and contemporary political power. The initial impulse behind such a broad inquiry came from the work of Ernst Kantorowicz, whose book The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology offers one of the most influential modern theories for the analysis of political order.1 Sixty years after its first publication, a group of twelve authors convened to reassess the dichotomy of the ruler’s two bodies as proposed by Kantorowicz: the perennial dignity of the royal office and the vulnerable body natural of the king. The present survey was intended to examine a variety of literary and visual sources testifying to different representations of political power in both the premodern and contemporary era. The authors represented here are among the most recent generation of scholars inspired by The King’s Two Bodies, a book which was praised as a masterpiece of medieval scholarship almost immediately after its publication,2 and influenced many other works dealing with royal or papal

1 Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957). 2 First reviews after the publication of Kantorowicz’s book might be found in the preface of William Chester Jordan to the second edition of King’s Two Bodies: Ernst Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), IX-XVI. There were many more reviews than quoted by Jordan, such as for instance: Joseph F. Costanzo, ‘The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Book Review),’ Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 321 (1959): 203-204; Ewart Lewis, ‘Kantorowicz Ernst H., The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Book Review),’ Political Science Quarterly 73, no. 3 (1958): 453-455; Peter N. Riesenberg, ‘The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Book Review),’ The American Political Science Review 52, no. 4 (1958): 1139-1140; Morimichi Watanabe, ‘The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Book Review),’ Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 52, no. 2 (1983): 258-259.


Paweł Figurski, K arolina Mroziewicz, and Alek sander Srocz yński

bodies,3 as well as studies exploring the exchange between theological and political ideas in European civilization. 4 Nevertheless, in 2009 Bernhard Jussen pointed out that ‘a serious discussion of [Kantorowicz’s] historical narrative and empirical validity has not taken place.’5 He adds that ‘Kantorowicz’s narrative is still there to be discussed; the curiosity in political semantics predating the “State” is as fresh as it was in his day.’6 How is it that one of the most quoted books of the previous half-century has not yet lost its potential to inspire contemporary debate? By examining the intersection of political and religious realms, Kantorowicz offers an insight into foundations of the European civilisation. The key issue discussed in The King’s Two Bodies is the process of secularisation, which led to the emergence of an early modern state created in the 3 Marie Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession (London: Swift Printers Ltd. for Royal Historical Society, 1977); Alain Boureau, Le simple corps du roi. L’impossible sacralité des souverains français (XVe-XVIIIe siècle) (Paris: Les Editions de Paris, 1988); Sergio Bertelli, The King’s Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, trans. Robert Burr Litchfield (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001 [orig. 1990]); David M. Gallo, The King’s One Body: Chronological Development of Louis XIV’s ‘lever’ and ‘coucher’ and the Theory of the King’s Two Bodies, 1655-1702 (PhD thesis, Boston College, 1992); Gunther Teubner, ‘Des Königs viele Leiber. Die Selbstdekonstruktion der Hierarchie des Rechts,’ in Globalisierung und Demokratie. Wirtschaft, Recht, Medien, eds. Hauke Brunkhorst, Matthias Kettner (Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2000), 240-273; Frank Fehrenbach, Die Goldene Madonna im Essener Münster. Der Körper der Königin (Ostf ildern: Tertium, 1996); Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, The Pope’s Body, trans. David S. Peterson (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2000 [orig. 1994]). 4 Just to mention few examples: Giorgio Agamben, Homo sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998 [orig. 1995]); Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (London: Penguin, 1990), 334; Victoria Ann Kahn, The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2014); Jaroslav Pelikan, Jesus through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 151; Political Theology and Early Modernity, eds. Graham Hammill, Julia Reinhard Lupton (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012); Eric L. Santner, The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Charles Taylor, ‘Modern Social Imaginaries,’ Public Culture 14, no. 1 (2002): 115. More about the influence of Kantorowicz on historiography: Johannes Fried, ‘Ernst H. Kantorowicz and Postwar Historiography: German and European Perspectives,’ in Ernst Kantorowicz. Erträge der Doppeltagung Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, eds. Robert L. Benson, and Johannes Fried (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1997), 180-202. The King’s Two Bodies made also its impact on political philosophers, Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Allen Lane, 1977 [orig. 1975]) being the most famous example. 5 Bernhard Jussen, ‘The King’s Two Bodies Today,’ Representations 106, no. 1 (2009): 105. 6 Ibid., 115.

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image of the Church (corpus Christi mysticum). This process, shaped by the exchange of political and religious ideas and ideologies, proved to be one of the principal issues in the post-war debate regarding the condition of the Western world. However, it is Kantorowicz’s engagement with political theology, and the author’s relationship to the founder of this discipline, that makes The King’s Two Bodies more than just a compelling historical narrative.7 Political theology as a field of academic inquiry found its earliest proponent in Carl Schmitt, a supporter of the Nazi ideology that forced Kantorowicz to emigrate to the USA. Indeed, it was Schmitt who made the famous claim that ‘all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized versions of theological concepts.’8 While Schmitt is never quoted in The King’s Two Bodies, Kantorowicz was undoubtedly acquainted with the thesis posed by the author of Politische Theologie.9 According to Montserrat Herrero, Kantorowicz ‘supports Schmitt’s political theology as a research field consisting of the study of the transferences between the theological and the political,’ and that ‘[his] attempt is perhaps the best example of a theological-political work in Schmitt’s sense.’10 One can certainly claim that Kantorowicz was inspired by Schmitt’s definition of political theology, but at the same time it is necessary to stress the significant differences between these two German scholars.11 7 Alain Boureau, Kantorowicz: Stories of a Historian, trans. Stephen G. Nichols, Gabrielle M. Spiegel (The Baltimore; London: John Hopkins University Press, 2001), 103-107; György Geréby, ‘Political Theology versus Theological Politics: Erik Peterson and Carl Schmitt,’ New German Critique 105, no. 35/3 (2008): 7-11, 30-33; idem, ‘Carl Schmitt and Erik Peterson on the Problem of Political Theology: A Footnote to Kantorowicz,’ in Monotheistic Kingship: The Medieval Variants, eds. Aziz Al-Azmeh, János M. Bak (Budapest; New York: Central European University, Department of Medieval Studies, 2004), 31-61; Jennifer Rust, ‘Political Theologies of the Corpus Mysticum: Schmitt, Kantorowicz, and de Lubac,’ in Political Theology and Early Modernity, 102-123; Montserrat Herrero, ‘On Political Theology: The Hidden Dialogue between C. Schmitt and Ernst H. Kantorowicz in The King’s Two Bodies,’ History of European Ideas 41, no. 8 (2015): 1164-1177. 8 Carl Schmitt, ‘Political Theology,’ in Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans. George Schwab (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985 [orig. 1922]), 36. 9 Boureau, Kantorowicz, 103-107; Geréby, ‘Carl Schmitt and Erik Peterson,’ 33-36; Herrero, ‘On Political Theology,’ 1174. 10 Ibid., 1176-1177. 11 However, Norman F. Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991), 79-118, esp. 112, stresses that Kantorowicz was in fact a supporter of Nazism and, if it were not his birth to a Jewish family, he would have stayed in Nazi Germany and support the regime as did his friend Percy Ernst Schramm. Polemics with Cantor’s view in the reviews of his book


Paweł Figurski, K arolina Mroziewicz, and Alek sander Srocz yński

Kantorowicz does not follow Schmitt’s view regarding the role of the state and the nature of political theology. According to Jennifer Rust, the concept of the Church as the mystical body of Christ – appropriated by Kantorowicz to describe political realms – has sociological implications, since the state could be understood as a horizontally organised collective body. This was meant as an answer to Schmitt for whom authority is concentrated in a single person, the sovereign, who decides in the state of exception, and the body politic, a vertical structure acting on decisions made from above. Kantorowicz, by contrast, proposed that the sovereign was, in fact, the collective institutional body of the state itself. According to Rust, in Kantorowicz’s opinion the society is organized horizontally.12 This is not the only difference between the two scholars. Schmitt perceived political theology as a one-sided process of secularisation, whereas Kantorowicz was more apt to follow the lead of Henri-Xavier Arquillière, whose book L’augustinisme politique was published in the same year as the second edition of Schmitt’s Politische Theologie. Arquillière argued that the sacralised temporal concepts of medieval political theory served to construct a theocratic order out of a secular one. In Arquillière’s view – which is, in effect, the opposite of that proposed by Schmitt – it is the secular concept that is theologised in order to transform a secular society into a supernatural, eschatological one.13 Although Kantorowicz does not cite L’augustinisme politique, his understanding of medieval political theology is not dissimilar to that proposed by Arquillière. The King’s Two Bodies is not only a narrative of secularisation, but also examines the active role of religion in establishing political order. Kantorowicz deepened Schmitt’s definition of political theology and, in doing so, illuminated the different consequences arising from the exchange between political and theological ideas.14 The King’s Two Bodies thus brings together two opposing approaches to political theology: the first formulated by Schmitt and the second hinted written by Bennett D. Hill in The American Historical Review 97 no. 5 (1992): 1499 and by Richard W. Pfaff in Speculum 68, no. 1 (1993): 124. 12 Rust, ‘Political Theologies of the Corpus Mysticum,’ 102-123. 13 Henri-Xavier Arquillière, L’augustinisme politique. Essai sur la formation des théories politiques du Moyen Âge (Paris: Vrin, 1934). Recently on this issue: Michael J. S. Bruno, Political Augustinianism: Modern Interpretations of Augustine’s Political Thought (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014), esp. 35-40. 14 More on the relation between Carl Schmitt and Ernst Kantorowicz could be found also in Anselm Haverkamp, ‘Stranger than Paradise. Dantes irdisches Paradies als Antidot politischer Theologie,’ in Geschichtskörper. Zur Aktualität von Ernst H. Kantorowicz, eds. Wolfgang Ernst, Cornelia Vismann (München: Wilhelm Fink, 1998) 93-105.

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at by Arquillière, although subsequently developed in a different direction by Johann Baptist Metz.15 If Schmitt understood political theology as the metaphysics of the theory of state, the latter approach of Metz was focused more on the potential of the Church to de-privatise religion and act as an agent of justice and peace in modern societies. Kantorowicz presents these two approaches to political theology as having played an active role in the historical processes which led to the formation of modern European societies, and which continue to shape the images of contemporary Western civilisation. Modern liberal democracies are not devoid of political theology – as developed in both directions by Schmitt and Metz. Paul Kahn, in his book Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, proposes that there is a ‘civic religion’ in modern democracies which transcends the logic of secular reason. As an example, he cites the obligation to kill and be killed for one’s country, which resembles more closely the logic of religious sacrifice.16 Kahn’s conclusions recall the dilemma noted by Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, who suggested that contemporary liberal states are unable to guarantee their prerequisites.17 From this, one might conclude that political theology, as envisaged by Schmitt, will continue to endure precisely because it can be used by the state as a substitute for the ideological foundation it lacks on its own. In recent decades, Metz’s understanding of political theology has also been visible in those liberal democracies which seem willing to allow the Church to engage with worldly affairs. In a discussion between Jürgen Habermas and Joseph Ratzinger, the former stated that religious language should be allowed in public debate, and that a religious world-view contains a potential for truth which a priori should not be rejected.18 Ratzinger, in response, suggested that religion and reason should cooperate for their mutual purification; he argued that the primacy of secular reason – and 15 Johann Baptist Metz, ‘Politische Theologie,’ in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, eds. Michael Buchberger, and Walter Kasper, 11 vols. (Freiburg: Herder, 1993-2001), VIII (1999), col. 392-394. See also Political Theology: Contemporary Challenges and Future Directions, ed. Michael Welker (Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), especially the article of Jürgen Moltmann, ‘Political Theology in Ecumenical Contexts,’ in Political Theology: Contemporary Challenges and Future Directions, ed. Michael Welker (Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), 1-11. 16 Paul W. Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011). 17 Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Staat, Gesellschaft, Freiheit. Studien zur Staatstheorie und zum Verfassungsrecht (Frankfurt M.: Suhrkamp, 1976), 60. 18 Jürgen Habermas, Joseph Ratzinger, Dialektik der Säkularisierung. Über Vernunft und Religion, ed. Florian Schuller (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 2005), 36.


Paweł Figurski, K arolina Mroziewicz, and Alek sander Srocz yński

faith devoid of reason – have already led to fatal consequences, whether fundamentalist terrorist attacks or the threat of nuclear war. Neither religion nor secular reason can sustain the world on their own; there must be a balance between them arising from the mutual limitations that each imposes on the other.19 The political theology understood as the active participation of the religious communities in maintaining a just and peaceful social order has thus started to regain acceptance in liberal democracies after a long period of hostility. What brought about this change? The shift may have been caused by the renunciation of the secularisation theory. Proponents of the theory postulated that contemporary societies must become secular in the process of becoming modern. One of the most significant critics of this model is Peter Berger, who was one of the first to propose a secularisation theory, but later renounced his earlier views.20 In sociological and political analyses it appears that religion has not receded from the public sphere, but occupies a place in society similar to that of premodern times. Various forms of religious presence are still well attested in the twenty-first century.21 The comparative perspective employed in the present volume has allowed the authors to draw a complex picture of the way political entities in the Christian world functioned during the medieval and early modern periods, and the changes they underwent in the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries. Christian border regions, such as the Kingdom of León, the Hungarian Kingdom, medieval Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, have been largely neglected in the scholarly discussions inspired by Kantorowicz, and occupy a place of prominence in the present book. This focus offers an opportunity for the study of political cultures and source materials that are often addressed only in national scholarship and are therefore absent from the mainstream of historiographical debate. The broad chronological scope allows the authors to demonstrate that the medieval image of the king’s two bodies provides a means of interpreting the modern cultural practices and political discourses shaping today’s societies. The twelve studies collected in this book offer interpretations of visual or literary artifacts using a variety of methodological approaches ranging 19 Habermas, Ratzinger, Dialektik der Säkularisierung, 57-58. 20 Peter L. Berger, ‘The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview,’ in The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger (Washington: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 2. 21 Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott and Timothy S. Shah, God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (New York; London: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011), 1-12.

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from contextual analysis and close reading to iconographic examination. Each chapter, regardless of its source materials, temporal scope or scholarly approach, attempts to answer some of these fundamental questions: How is the relationship between the ruler and his subjects established and maintained? How is the authority and legitimacy of the power-holder negotiated? What role do performances, visual media and literary materials play in political communication? What was the relationship between religion and politics in the practice of governing? What are the divine aspects of rulers? In what way did the physical body of a ruler influence his body politic? How was an imperfect and gendered body natural made to fit the image of a political super-body? How could the dead body of a king continue to exert influence over national history? And finally, why does the idea of king continue to persist in the political cultures of the present day? The book is arranged chronologically. It opens with ‘The Contested Body of the King: Negotiating Power and Authority at Royal Assemblies in León (10th-11th centuries)’ by Álvaro Carvajal Castro (University of the Basque Country), which investigates accounts of royal assemblies from tenth- and eleventh-century León to show how the negotiation of power and authority was represented. The author identifies the components through which consensus and dissent could be articulated. The subsequent chapter, ‘The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Veneration of the Emperor’s Body in Twelfth-Century Byzantium’ by Foteini Spingou (University of Oxford) concentrates on the relationship between the imperial panoply and the emperor’s physical body as presented in the encomiastic literature composed for Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (r. 11431180). The author examines how different objects, visual arts and literary devices were used to present a series of bridal gifts made for the emperor, and the different meanings conveyed by the objects and the accompanying texts. The third essay, ‘The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia and Sacralisation of Political Power in the High Middle Ages’ by Paweł Figurski (University of Warsaw and University of Notre Dame) also touches on the representation of a medieval ruler. In examining some of the extant fragments of a largely unknown liturgical manuscript produced around 1300 for the duke of Mazovia, it demonstrates that the concept of sacralised political power present in other areas of Europe was appropriated by those who governed on the frontier of medieval Latin Christianity. In ‘Political Theology and “International” Conflict in Thirteenth-Century Latin Christendom’ by Wojciech Kozłowski (The Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw), the author analyses interactions between Christianity


Paweł Figurski, K arolina Mroziewicz, and Alek sander Srocz yński

and the ‘international’ political system through an examination of two different sources: the first, the decisions of the thirteenth-century ecumenical councils, offers the larger perspective of Latin Christendom, while the second, the thirteenth-century annals of Great Poland, exemplifies the local scale of Polish lands. The chapter demonstrates how notions of sovereignty were built, and the ways in which political theology regulated the powerrelationships between rulers. Child rulers form the focus of the subsequent chapter, ‘The King’s Immature Body: Representations of Child Coronations in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia (1382-1530)’ by Karolina Mroziewicz (Jagiellonian University, Cracow). The study explores literary and visual accounts of child coronations in medieval and early modern Central Europe as reflections of attitudes towards the kings and their physical bodies; the author discusses the ways in which the natural limitations of these underage kings were depicted and employed as a strategy to strengthen or contest their authority. Another chapter focused on literary production in Central Europe is Aleksander Sroczyński’s ‘We Were the Trojans: Rhetoric and Political Community in Medieval and Early Modern Sarmatia and Illyria.’ The text examines the various forms in which the Trojan myth was used to express notions about the temporality and fragility of political bodies and the different ways in which this appealed to the elites of early modern Poland and Croatia. ‘Life and Afterlife of the Pontifical Indiscretions in the Renaissance’ by Ágnes Máté (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest) presents critical responses to papal behaviour between the accession of Pope Pius II (1458) and the conclusion of the Council of Trent (1563). The author analyses Italian and neo-Latin histories, poems and pamphlets in order to reflect on the interaction between gossip and rumours regarding papal offspring and the ideal representation of the Pope. The problem of the queen’s visual representations is tackled by Emilia Olechnowicz (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) in ‘The Queen’s Two Faces: The Portraiture of Elizabeth I of England.’ This chapter demonstrates how the realistic portraits from the first years of Elizabeth I’s reign were gradually replaced by a ‘face mask’ image of the ever-beautiful, semi-divine Virgin Queen, and the queen’s individual features dissolved into the sanctity of the Crown. The section of the book devoted to contemporary political power opens with ‘Blood, Honour and the Norm: Race Defilement and the Boundaries of Community in Hungary, 1941’ by Gábor Szegedi (Masaryk University in Brno / Budapest) who studies race defilement court cases in order to analyse how sexual politics contributed to shape a Christian political community in the

Introduc tion


era of Miklós Horthy. The author demonstrates how these past phenomena offer a parallel with the current nationalist trends in Hungary. The following chapter, ‘Dual Approaches to Communist Engagement: Helena Krajewska and Marek Włodarski’ by Piotr Słodkowski (Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw), describes the wide range of tensions between politics, ethics, and modes of artistic representation, using the example of art produced during the communist regime in Poland. The author traces the ambivalent response to social realism and the relationship between art and power in Poland during the mid-twentieth century. The chapter by Andrzej Probulski (Jagiellonian Univeristy, Cracow), ‘The Supermen’s Two Bodies: the Body, the Costume, and the Legitimacy of Power in the DC Universe Narratives’ analyses the ways in which notions of authority and the legitimacy of power are depicted in DC comics. The author focuses on two well-known figures, namely Superman and Batman, in order to explore the relationship between the agency of a superhero and his sense of belonging to a wider political community. In the closing chapter, ‘And Then They Were Bodies: Medieval Royalties, from DNA Analysis to a Nation’s Identity,’ Alexandra Ion (Institute of Anthropology ’Francisc I. Rainer’ of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest) explores the role that the bones of medieval kings play in the construction of collective identities in the contemporary academic disciplines of archaeology and its related sciences. In offering an archaeological perspective, the author considers how new links between science and history change the interpretation of royal remains and lead towards the redefinition of national identities. The chapter shows that kings never die, as their remains offer a constant challenge to the notions of objectivity, and have the power to reshape how modern societies view the Middle Ages. In addition to the chronological itinerary, there are different thematic paths which one may follow in reading this volume. One of these paths encourages an exploration of the multi-faceted nature of political theology, specifically the ways in which the exchange of political and religious ideas has developed between the premodern and contemporary era. Wojciech Kozłowski uses the concept of ‘international political theology’ to discuss relations within the community of lords in the thirteenth century on theoretical level, and to show how those relations played out in practice in GreatPoland; Álvaro Carvajal Castro explores how the power relations between the lay and ecclesiastical elites in early medieval León were articulated; and Paweł Figurski shows how the representation of local dukes in the liturgy was used as a means of underlining the sacrality of ducal power. Yet, the concept of ‘political theology’ also proved useful outside the medieval context. Gábor


Paweł Figurski, K arolina Mroziewicz, and Alek sander Srocz yński

Szegedi, drawing on the works of Carl Schmitt, elucidates the mechanisms of race exclusion in the anti-semitic legislation of Horthy-era Hungary. Another thematic selection offers insights into the function of visual and literary representations and rituals. Foteini Spingou’s chapter is an exploration of how the imperial panoply merged with the emperor’s body in both poetry and Byzantine historiography. Karolina Mroziewicz investigates the ways in which the medieval and early modern rituals of coronation were adapted to support the frail bodies of infant kings. Emilia Olechnowicz, in turn, combines an analysis of queen Elizabeth I’s visual representation with an examination of her ritual appearances in public. Finally, Piotr Słodkowski demonstrates the strategies employed by artists in mid-twentieth century Poland which enabled them to produce visual representations that met the demands of the state without compromising their artistic autonomy. He shows that there was a thin line between ideological orthodoxy and artistic freedom in a totalitarian state which suggests that power relations were far more entangled than it would appear at the first sight. Three chapters in particular focus on the rhetoric of power in greater detail. Karolina Mroziewicz examines how the rhetoric of coronation accounts could be used to strengthen or contest the validity of child coronations. Ágnes Máté’s chapter analyses the conventions, topoi and commonplaces pertaining to papal family life in the Renaissance. Aleksander Sroczyński uses the literary motif of Troy to illustrate the metapolitical function of rhetoric. These chapters all concern the formation of the public sphere and foreshadow the rise of propagandistic devices used in the early modern era. A further thematic thread that runs through the book concerns the legacy of the premodern era in contemporary approaches to political power. This legacy acts as a focal point for the chapters by Andrzej Probulski and Alexandra Ion. The superheroes in Probulski’s chapter use the costume to mark their relationship to the community they defend. In Alexandra Ion’s chapter, connections with the medieval world may be understood literally, namely she maps the link between scientific examination of royal physical remains and the reception of these finds in a contemporary social context. None of these paths follow the disciplinary, geographical or temporal divisions, but rather cross different fields, lands, and periods in order to expose the numerous links between premodern rulership and contemporary political power. The chapters show how old ways of legitimising authority were supplanted by new techniques of exercising power. They also encourage the reader to explore a central political concept as it appears throughout different geographical areas and historical periods.

Part 1 Premodern Rulership

Assembly Politics and Conflicting Discourses in Early Medieval León (10th-11th c.)* Álvaro Carvajal Castro

The year 999 witnessed of one of the most significant events in the political history of the kingdom of Asturias-León: Alfonso V, a child of only a few years of age, became king in León.1 The time was certainly not the most propitious for the royal dynasty, and many could have thought that a child king would have no future. Alfonso V was not the first infant king – Ramiro III was also a child when he came to the throne in 966 – but he arrived at a * Abbreviations: Colección diplomática del monasterio de Celanova (842-1230). eds. Emilio Sáez and Carlos Sáez, 3 vols. to date (Alcalá de Henares: Universidad de Alcalá, 1996-), I (842-942) (1996) = Ci; III (989-1006) (2006) = Ciii; Carlos Sáez and María del Val González de la Peña, La Coruña: fondo antiguo (788-1065) (Alcalá de Henares: Universidad de Alcalá, 2004) = Coruña; José Manuel Ruiz Asencio and Irene Ruiz Albi, Colección documental del Monasterio de San Pedro de Eslonza, 1 vol. to date (912-1300) (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 2007-), I (2007) = E; Colección documental del archivo de la Catedral de León, 19 vols. to date (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 1987-), I (775-952), ed. Emilio Sáez (1987)= Li; II (935-985), eds. Emilio Sáez and Carlos Sáez (1987) = Lii; III (986-1031), eds. José Manuel Ruiz Asencio (1987) = Liii; IV (1032-1109) eds. José Manuel Ruiz Asencio (1990) = Liv; Colección documental del monasterio de Santa María de Otero de las Dueñas, eds. José Antonio Fernández Flórez and Marta Herrero de la Fuente, 2 vols. (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 1999-2005), I(854-1108) = OD; Colección Diplomática del Monasterio de Sahagún , 7 vols. (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 1976-1999), I (siglos IX y XI), ed. José Ma. Mínguez (1976) = Si; II (1000-1073), eds. Marta Herrero de la Fuente, (1988) = Sii; Sampiro: su crónica y la monarquía leonesa en el siglo X, ed. F. Justo Pérez de Urbel (Madrid: CSIC, Escuela de Estudios Medievales, 1952) = Sampiro; La documentación del Tumbo A de la catedral de Santiago de Compostela. Estudio y edición, Manuel Lucas Álvarez (León: Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 1997) = SantA; O tombo de Celanova. Estudio introductorio, edición e índices (ss. IX-XII), eds. José M. Andrade Cernadas, Marta Díaz Tie, and Francisco Javier Pérez Rodríguez, 2 vols. (Santiago de Compostela: Consello da Cultura Galega, 1995), I = TCi. 1 Narrated in TCi (1007.01.01); Liii707 (1012.09.19). Liii589, which is a version of Liii588 (999.10.13) – a charter that was probably issued when Alfonso V was enthroned – says that the king was anointed. Nor other charters, neither the chronicle of Sampiro (Sampiro § 30) refer to the anointment of Alfonso V. The reference in Liii589 could have been interpolated – in fact, Liii589 is thought to be a forgery (Thomas Deswarte, De la destructuration a la restauration. L´idéologie du royaume d´Oviedo-León (VIIIe-XIe siècles) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 189-190). On the coronation of infant kings, see Karolina Mroziewicz, ‘The King’s Immature Body: Representations of Child Coronations in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia (1382-1530)’ elsewhere in this volume.


Álvaro Carva jal Castro

particularly delicate time.2 During the preceding years, political tensions in North-Western Iberia had peaked, partly due to the mounting military pressure from Al-Andalus, partly due to internal struggles between the kings and different aristocratic groups.3 However, the child Alfonso V was backed by some of the main aristocratic leaders in the kingdom who, in spite of their own power – some of them controlled vast tracts of land and were largely autonomous from the king – seem to have been more concerned with advancing their interests within the kingdom than in parting with it. 4 Alfonso V’s accession to the throne thus contains a paradox of power.5 This is precisely what brings this case close to Ernst Kantorowicz’s preoccupations in The King’s Two Bodies, for it poses a ‘problem of continuity,’ specifically the continuity of a political order – the Astur-Leonese monarchy – that was threatened by different forces.6

Royal Authority, Charters and Assemblies in Early Medieval León The paradox begins to unfold when we consider the processes that led to the formation of the Astur-Leonese monarchy. Its origins can be traced to the expansion of the kingdom of Asturias, a small polity that emerged north of the Cantabrian Mountains in the early eighth century, some years after an Arab invasion had caused the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom of Toledo.7 The kingdom would soon integrate other territories along the 2 For an overview of the political history of the kingdom of León, see Amancio Isla Frez, La Alta Edad Media. Siglos VIII-XI (Madrid: Síntesis, 2002). For a synthesis in English: Roger Collins, Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity, 400-1000 (London: Macmillans, 1983). 3 Luis Molina, ‘Las campañas de Almanzor a la luz de un nuevo texto,’ Al-Qantara 2, no. 1 (1981): 209-263; José Manuel Ruiz Asencio, ‘Rebeliones leonesas contra Vermudo II,’ Archivos Leoneses 45-46 (1969): 215-241; Mariel V. Pérez, ‘Rebelles, infideles, traditores. Insumisión política y poder aristocrático en el Reino de León,’ Historia, instituciones, documentos 38 (2011): 361-382. 4 TCi3 (1007.01.01); Liii707 (1012.09.19). See n. 10. 5 See Janet L. Nelson, ‘Charlemagne and the Paradoxes of Power,’ in Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter, ed. Patricia Skinner (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009), 29-50. 6 Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 [1957]), 273. See Bernhard Jussen, ‘The King’s Two Bodies Today,’ Representations 106 (2009), 105-107. See also Amancio Isla Frez, ‘La construcción de la monarquía en León, siglos X y XI: historias y leyes,’ in La construcción medieval de la memoria regia, ed. Pascual Martínez Sopena and Ana Rodríguez (Valencia: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Valencia, 2011), 33. 7 Pablo C. Díaz Martínez, ‘La dinámica del poder y la defensa del territorio: para una comprensión del fin del reino visigodo de Toledo,’ in XXXIX Semana de Estudios Medievales de Estella.

Assembly Politics and Conflic ting Discourses in Early Medieval León


northern fringe of the Iberian Peninsula and would eventually begin to expand towards the south. By the mid-ninth century the kings of Asturias had become active players in the lands of the Duero plateau, south of the Cantabrian Mountains. By the beginning of the tenth century they could already claim sovereignty over vast territories north of the river Duero. Their power, however, was still relatively limited: it was based mainly on their control over a series of central places throughout the area, such as Zamora or Simancas.8 Beyond that they were largely dependent on their capacity to negotiate their position with actors at different levels of society, from local elites to powerful magnates, from monastic communities to bishops.9 They had to compete against other aristocratic groups – such as the counts in Castile, or the Banu Gómez, who controlled the territories of Saldaña and Carrión – which were at that time developing their own autonomous processes of territorial expansion.10 However, even though royal power was felt unequally on the ground, the ultimate authority of the kings was

De Mahoma a Carlomagno: Los primeros tiempos (siglos VIII-IX). Estella (17-20 de julio de 2012) (Estella: Gobierno de Navarra, 2013), 167-206; Luis Ramón Menéndez Bueyes, Reflexiones críticas sobre el origen del reino de Asturias (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2001). 8 Iñaki Martín Viso, Fragmentos del Leviatán: la articulación política del espacio zamorano en la alta Edad Media (Zamora: Instituto de Estudios Zamoranos Florián de Ocampo, 2002), 73. Cf. José Mª. Mínguez, ‘La cristalización del poder político en la época de Alfonso III,’ in La época de Alfonso III y San Salvador de Valdedios, ed. Francisco J. Fernández Conde (Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo, 1994), 55-78. 9 Carlos Estepa Díez, ‘El poder regio y los territorios,’ in La época de la Monarquía Asturiana: actas del simposio celebrado en Covadonga (8-10 de octubre de 2001) (Oviedo: RIDEA, 2002), 451-468; Pascual Martínez Sopena, ‘Reyes, condes e infanzones. Aristocracia y alfetena en el reino de León,’ in Ante El Milenario de Sancho el Mayor. Un rey navarro para España y Europa. XXX Semana de Estudios Medievales. Estella, 14-18 de julio de 2003 (Estella: Gobierno de Navarra, 2004), 109-155; Ermelindo Portela Silva, ‘El rey y los obispos. Poderes locales en el espacio galaico durante el periodo astur,’ in Symposium Internacional: Poder y simbología en Europa. Siglos VIII-X, ed. Franciso Javier Fernández Conde and César García de Castro Valdés (Oviedo: Ediciones Trea, 2009), 215-226; Álvaro Carvajal Castro, ‘The Monarchy and the Elites in Early Medieval León (9th-11th Centuries),’ Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 7, no. 2 (2015): 232-248. 10 Julio Escalona, ‘Aproximación a un análisis comparativo de la territorialidad en los siglos IX-XI: el Territorium legionensis y el Condado de Castilla,’ in Monasterios, espacio y sociedad en la España cristiana medieval, XX Semana de Estudios Medievales, ed. José Ignacio de la Iglesia Duarte (Logroño: Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, 2010), 273-293; Álvaro Carvajal Castro, ‘Superar la frontera: mecanismos de integración territorial entre el Cea y el Pisuerga en el siglo X,’ Anuario de Estudios Medievales 42, no. 2 (2012): 601-628; Robert Portass, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front? Royal Politics in Galicia from c. 800 to c. 950,’ Early Medieval Europe 21, no. 3 (2013): 283-306. On the social and economic processes behind the emergence of these aristocratic groups, see José Mª. Mínguez, La España de los siglos VI al XIII. Guerra, expansión y transformaciones (San Sebastián: Nerea, 2004), 83-193.


Álvaro Carva jal Castro

widely acknowledged throughout north-western Iberia.11 Herein lies the significance of Alfonso V’s accession: it shows that, notwithstanding how fragmented the political landscape was, and despite the political unrest near the end of the tenth century, by 999 the city of León and the royal dynasty stood as symbols of a political order that were acknowledged by many actors and which very powerful magnates – even if with conflicting agendas – were willing to support.12 Map 1 The North-West of the Iberian Peninsula in the tenth century

Map by the author using geographical data by the © Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España and QGIS software (QGIS Development Team, 2016. QGIS Geographic Information System. Open Source Geospatial Foundation Project.

11 For example see, for Cantabria, Robert Portass, ‘The Contours and Contexts of Public Power in the Tenth-Century Liébana,’ Journal of Medieval History 38, no. 4 (2012): 389-407. 12 See Stuart Airlie, ‘The Palace of Memory: The Carolingian Court as Political Centre,’ in Courts and Regions in Medieval Europe, eds. Sarah Rees Jones, Richard Marks, and Alastair J. Minnis (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2000), 1-20. On the emergence of León as the political centre of the monarchy, see Álvaro Carvajal Castro, ‘La construcción de una sede regia: León y la identidad política de los reyes asturleoneses en la crónica de Sampiro y en los documentos,’ e-Spania 18 (2014), (accessed February 26, 2016). See Wojciech Kozłowski, ‘“International” Christian Society and Its Political Theology in the Thirteenth-Century Latin Christendom,’ elsewhere in this volume.

Assembly Politics and Conflic ting Discourses in Early Medieval León


The reasons for this must be partly sought in the way in which conflict within the political realm was articulated.13 Should the numerous uprisings around the year 1000 lead us then to conclude that the Astur-Leonese aristocrats knew no other means of expressing their discontent or can other, alternative ways be ascertained?14 In most cases, the sources for this period do not seem to be of great help to answer this question. We are dependent mostly on charters produced by ecclesiastics, as well as on an early eleventh-century chronicle attributed to the priest Sampiro, who was very close to the kings.15 It has been suggested that, as the pressure from the aristocracy mounted towards the end of the tenth century, clerical circles reacted by reinforcing the authority of the king as guarantor of their rights in an attempt to advance a political model that would both suit their interests and protect their properties.16 At first sight, it does indeed seem that the surviving sources merely reproduce the discourse of royal power as fostered by these high ecclesiastics, but this might be only partly true. On the one hand, as we will later see, the relationships between the kings, the church and the lay aristocrats – the three dominant groups in Leonese society at the time – were far more complicated.17 On the other, given the complexity of the political landscape in tenth-century León and the different origins of the various political actors, we cannot assume that any such discourse would have been imposed unproblematically, nor that all actors would have embraced it equally. Can we hear any dissenting voices in the sources?

13 Pierre Bourdieu, Sur l´État. Course au Collège de France (Paris: Le Seuil, 2012), 15-16 et passim. See Patrick Geary, ‘Vivre en conflit dans une France sans état: Typologie des mécanismes de règlement des conflits (1050-1200),’ Annales, E.S.C. (1986): 1107-1133; Conflict in Medieval Europe: Changing Perspectives on Society and Culture, eds. Warren C. Brown and Piotr Górecki (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003). On the ideological framework of the Astur-Leonese monarchy, see Amancio Isla Frez, Realezas hispánicas del año mil (A Coruña: Edicios do Castro, 1999); Deswarte, De la destructuration a la restauration. 14 See Julia Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication in Later AngloSaxon England,’ Anglo-Saxon England 36 (2007): 127-150. 15 On the production of charters in the Astur-Leonese realm, see José A. Fernández Flórez, La elaboración de los documentos en los reinos hispánicos occidentales (ss. VI-XIII) (Burgos: Diputación Provincial de Burgos, 2002). On Sampiro, see Pérez de Urbel, Sampiro. See also Amancio Isla Frez, ‘La monarquía leonesa según Sampiro,’ in Historia social, pensamiento historiográfico y Edad Media. Homenaje al Prof. Abilio Barbero de Aguilera, ed. María Isabel Loring García (Madrid: Ediciones del Orto, 1997), 33-57. 16 Isla Frez, Realezas hispánicas, 49-59. 17 Julio Escalona Monge, ‘Los nobles contra su rey. Argumentos y motivaciones de la insubordinación nobiliaria de 1272-1273,’ Cahiers de linguistique et de civilisation hispaniques médiévales 25 (2002): 132.


Álvaro Carva jal Castro

One vantage point from which this question may be approached is the study of royal assemblies. These gatherings, presided over by either the king or, in some cases, his delegates, were public fora in which different issues, from judicial disputes to donations, could be addressed – although the differences between the various types of assembly are not always clear – and where power, authority, and political identities were negotiated between different parties.18 The study of these events might open a window on what Stephen White, in reference to court hearings, has called ‘the micro-economies of shifting power relations’ between the different parties that attended them, and might thus offer some insight into the different discourses that were articulated.19 Although most of the sources from the Astur-Leonese period are not very informative in this regard, from the late tenth century onwards we begin to find more elaborate narratives in some royal and non-royal charters.20 These narratives sometimes include information about things which had allegedly happened at royal assemblies. Of course, they are not minutes, but rather accounts that were written with a particular agenda in mind. They are nevertheless a valuable source of information about what might have happened, or at least what was expected to happen at a royal assembly.21 What was it that led scribes at the time to

18 Cf. Stuart Airlie, ‘Talking Heads: Assemblies in Early Medieval Germany,’ in Political Assemblies in the Earlier Middle Ages, eds. Paul S. Barnwell and Marco Mostert (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 29; Isabel Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric and Political Legitimation in Medieval León-Castile,’ in Building Legitimacy: Political Discourses and Forms of Legitimation in Medieval Societies, eds. Isabel Alfonso, Hugh Kennedy, and Julio Escalona (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 51. On assemblies, more generally, see the essays collected in Political Assemblies in the Earlier Middle Ages, eds. Paul S. Barnwell and Marco Mostert (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003); and Assembly Places and Practices in Medieval Europe, eds. Aliki Pantos and Sarah Semple (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2004). A significant earlier contribution was Timothy Reuter, ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century,’ in The Medieval World, eds. Peter Linehan and Janet L. Nelson (London: Routledge, 2001), 432-450. More recently: Levi Roach, Kingship and Consent in Anglo-Saxon England, 871-978: Assemblies and the State in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 19 Stephen D. White, ‘Proposing the Ordeal and Avoiding It: Strategy and Power in Western French Litigation, 1050-1110,’ in Cultures of Power: Lordship, Status, and Process in Twelfth-Century Europe, ed. Thomas N. Bisson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 90. 20 As noted in Manuel Lucas Álvarez, El Reino de León en la Alta Edad Media VIII. Cancillerías reales astur-leonesas (718-1072) (León: Centro de Estudios San Isidoro, 1995), 294. 21 For the methodological implications of these issues, see Charles Insley, ‘Rhetoric and Ritual in Late Anglo-Saxon Charters,’ in Medieval Legal Process: Physical, Spoken and Written Performance in the Middle Ages, eds. Marco Mostert and Paul S. Barnwell (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 109-121.

Assembly Politics and Conflic ting Discourses in Early Medieval León


pay such attention to details?22 Noticing a similar trend in Anglo-Saxon royal diplomas from the late tenth and early eleventh centuries, Pauline Strafford has suggested that such narratives are both a symptom and a consequence of ongoing debates on royal rights over lands, royal inheritance, church endowments, and confiscations which were taking place at a time of acute political stress.23 In that regard, as Sarah Foot has argued, these charters could be interpreted as an attempt to consolidate certain claims over estates by means of fixing the narrative of how a property had been transmitted through time.24 But who were these narratives aimed at, and to whom did the different voices in the debate belong? The answers to these questions are problematic. One possible audience would have been the people who attended the assemblies that the charters describe. The fact that the charters are mainly post factum accounts of what had happened suggests that they were produced after the assembly. However, they could also have been written during or just before the end of the assembly, and issued before the attendees were dismissed so that the beneficiaries could walk away with their charters in hand.25 Although there is little textual evidence for any sort mise en scène in the charters from León, some royal diplomas do specify that they had been read, signed or confirmed at the assembly. Some, in fact, were written on large pieces of parchment in a way that suggests they were intended for display.26 However, 22 On the problems posed by such scribal changes, see Philippe Depreux, ‘Gestures and Comportment at the Carolingian Court: Between Practice and Perception,’ Past & Present 203 (2009): 57-79. 23 Pauline Stafford, ‘Political Ideas in Late Tenth-Century England: Charters as Evidence,’ in Law, Laity, and Solidarities: Essays in Honour of Susan Reynolds, eds. Pauline Stafford, J.L. Nelson, and Jane Martindale (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), 80. See also Charles Insley, ‘Assemblies and Charters in Late Anglo-Saxon England,’ in Political Assemblies, 54; as well as, more generally, Warren C. Brown, Unjust Seizure: Conflict, Interest and Authority in an Early Medieval Society (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001). 24 Sarah Foot, ‘Reading Anglo-Saxon Charters: Memory, Record, or Story?,’ in Narrative and History in the Early Medieval West, eds. Elizabeth M. Tyler and Ross Balzaretti (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), 39-65. 25 For a detailed consideration of the methodological issues concerning the production of charters in relation to royal assemblies, see Simon Keynes, ‘Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas,’ in Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Gale R. Owen-Crocker (Woodbrige: Boydell & Brewer, 2013), 17-182. 26 For example Lii295 (956.05.05); Lii482 (981.01.14); Ciii218 (993.06.17); Liii707 (1012.09.19); Liii748 (1017.03.14); E34 (1032.06.24). On the textual evidence, see Liam Moore, ‘By Hand and by Voice: Performance of Royal Charters in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century León,’ Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, no. 5:1 (2013): 18-32; Fernández Flórez, La elaboración de los documentos, 89-91. For the remark on the appearance of the charters, see Wendy Davies, Windows on Justice in Northern Iberia, 800-1000 (London: Routledge, 2016), 66-67. See also Benoît-Michel Tock, ‘La


Álvaro Carva jal Castro

even if the charters had indeed been issued at a royal assembly, it remains difficult to ascertain who the attendees were. Even if most diplomas have a witness list, this cannot be taken at face value as reliable evidence of who was present.27 To judge from the recurrence of certain names, we can imagine that royal assemblies were attended by a variable group of people that fluctuated over time: some appear only once, others several times. Even magnates who are known to have rebelled against the king would occasionally reappear as witnesses in later diplomas.28 Furthermore, certain topoi appear recurrently throughout these charters. This may be attributed to scribal convention, but may also suggest that the discourses that were articulated at royal assemblies shared a number of themes.29 This could allow us to interpret royal diplomas as representing a wider discourse with which those who had access to royal assemblies – namely clerics and lay aristocrats – could have engaged, or to which they could have been exposed to, in different occasions. We may therefore assume that at least those within the clerical and aristocratic circles did not need to attend all royal assemblies to be aware of the nature of the discourses articulated at the event. Royal charters could also be displayed on other occasions. For example, when a king visited a monastery, the monks could produce the diplomas issued by his predecessors and ask him to confirm them.30 By doing so, the monks were acknowledging the authority of the king, but were at the same time presenting him with the model according to which they expected him to behave – one represented by the idealised image of his ancestors as pious and generous rulers.31 Charters could also be displayed at judicial hearings. At a royal assembly in Zamora, the monks of Sahagún complained before Ramiro III and his mother Teresa that their rights regarding some lands that had been left to the monastery by the late royal steward Ansur mise en scène des actes en France au Haut Moyen Age,’ Frühmittelalterliche Studien 38 (2004): 287-296. I am grateful to Wendy Davies for allowing me to read her work before publication. 27 On the methodological problems in the assessment of witness lists, see Simon Keynes, The Diplomas of King Æthelred ‘The Unready’ (978-1016): A Study in their Use as Historical Evidence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pres, 1980), 28-31. 28 Such as, for example, Gonzalo Vermúdez or Munio Fernández (Liii559 (993.09.30), both of whom are later found as witnesses of later royal diplomas (e.g.: Liii567 (994.12.23); Cel229 (996.09.01); Liii719 (1013.11.22)). 29 Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric.’ 30 Such royal conf irmations are widely attested. To quote but a few in charters that are considered to be originals: Li2 (860.06.28); Li38 (916.01.09); Lii280 (954.11.12). 31 As argued in Marios Costambeys, Power and Patronage in Early Medieval Italy: Local Society, Italian Politics and the Abbey of Farfa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 35.

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had been violated. At first, Ramiro III and Teresa declined to hear their appeal; only after the monks produced the charter did the king and his mother pay attention to their claims. A subsequent examination of the charter ultimately led to the rights of the monks being confirmed.32 In this example, the charter acted both as a symbol of ownership and as a written moral framework to which the monks expected the king to conform.33 A charter – even a forged one – could be interpreted in different ways, for it was but one of the many accounts of that could arise from the same assembly. Moreover, different actors in different contexts could later interpret the information preserved in a particular charter differently.34 At another assembly, the monastery of Santos Justo y Pastor de Ardón disputed the possession of a series of villas by a royal delegate called Eneco Garcés. To support their case, the monks produce a charter that Eneco claimed to be a forgery. Berulfo, a priest from the monastery, was then asked to swear that the charter was authentic, which he did, and these enabled monks to win the case.35 Whether or not the charter was authentic, its meaning within the context of the dispute – at least as it is reported in this narrative account – was constructed throughout the course of the judicial process. It is for this reason that charters can be considered not merely as reflections of political ideas, but as elements that played an active role in the construction and advancement of those ideas.36 As such they could speak in different ways to different people; as we have already seen, royal diplomas had something to say even to the kings themselves.

32 Si284 (976.05.11). 33 Susan Kelly, ‘Anglo-Saxon Lay Society and the Written Word,’ in The Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe, ed. Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 43-44; Anne J. Duggan, ‘The Power of Documents: The Curious Case of Laudabiliter,’ in Aspects of Power and Authority in the Middle Ages, eds. Brenda M. Bolton and Christine E. Meek (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), 251-275. 34 On the different interpretations of an event and its implications, see Simon MacLean, ‘Ritual, Misunderstanding, and the Contest for Meaning: Representations of the Disrupted Royal Assembly at Frankfurt (873),’ in Representations of Power in Medieval Germany: 800-1500, eds. Björn Weiler and Simon MacLean (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), 97-119; building upon the critiques presented in Philippe Buc, The Dangers of Ritual: Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). 35 Lii410 (968.10.04). 36 That is, as performatives. See Geoffrey Koziol, The Politics of Memory and Identity in Carolingian Royal Diplomas: The West Frankish Kingdom (840-987) (Brepols: Turnhout, 2012), 39-52; Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric,’ 52; Moore, ‘By Hand and by Voice,’ 22. On performance and the construction of political theologies, see Paweł Figurski, ‘The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia and the Sacralization of Political Power in the High Middle Ages’ elsewhere in this volume.


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The idea that the clerics, as the authors of the charters, could use the written record to advance their interests by reinforcing the authority of the king is somehow misleading, if anything because royal power could easily turn against them. On the one hand, the relationships between the kings and the different religious institutions were not always good.37 Furthermore, judicial hearings were not always favourable to clerics, which meant that the reinforcement of royal authority could also be beneficial for at least some sectors of the lay aristocracy. In 1008, Jimeno, at the time bishop of Astorga, lost a dispute with Munio Fernández in a hearing held before royal judges.38 At a royal assembly celebrated in 1013, the monks of Sahagún had to give Eodo a mule worth sixty solidi plus another twenty silver solidi, as well as a mule to the king, in order to secure their rights over a property in Manzules.39 Therefore, rather than imagining them as mere instruments in the hands of the clerics, we need to analyse the charters in order to disentangle the multiplicity of agencies and interests they condense. This approach might allow us to identify any conflicting voices and, if we find them, to make sense of what they say.

Hearing Voices: Transcripts of Political Expectations in the Charters There is a small group of charters that stand out among the late tenth- and early eleventh-century accounts of royal assemblies or royal acts: in these charters, direct speech is used to represent the voices of different parties. 40 Although seven of them have been preserved as cartulary copies, six are thought to be originals. We can thus say that they represent contemporary practice, one that some scribes seem to have added to their repertoire of rhetorical devices – direct speech was not used only in charters narrating royal assemblies, nor do all accounts of royal assemblies use direct speech. 41 They cannot be regarded as verbatim records of what was said at 37 For an overview of the changing relationships between the kings and the ecclesiastical institutions, see Carlos de Ayala Martínez, Sacerdocio y Reino en la España Altomedieval. Iglesia y poder político en el Occidente peninsular, siglos VII-XII (Madrid: Sílex, 2008). 38 Liii669 (1008.02.19). 39 Sii401 (1013.11.01). 40 See Appendix for all the excerpts in direct speech from the charters. 41 For non-royal charters in which direct speech is used, see: E30 (988.11.24); OD147 (1022.04.13); OD150 (1022.06.21); Liii856 (1029.11.25); Liv899 (1032.02.04); Liv906 (1032.06.01); Liv924 (1034.01.13); Liv951 (1037.02.25).

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the assemblies – even if, in some instances, some of the words might have been actually uttered – but they might nevertheless provide information about certain expectations regarding social interactions among the AsturLeonese elite. 42 The scribes of these charters are, in most cases, priests who also appear as scribes in other royal and non-royal charters, such as the well-known Sampiro, and the important Fulgencio. The latter appears frequently in non-royal charters recording grants to religious houses located in León, and sales of lands between lay parties in the areas surrounding the city. 43 Pedro might correspond with the scribe to whom other charters issued by Alfonso V are attributed, but this cannot be proved. 44 No affiliation can be proposed for Cipriano.45 As for the charter attributed to Felix, this is slightly peculiar, for it is a record of a sale between the monastery of Sahagún and a lay magnate in which a royal assembly is recalled. 46 It might have been the case that, when drafting the charter, Felix had the original account of the assembly in front of him, and thus that the use of direct speech should not be attributed to him directly, but rather to the unknown scribe of the charter in which the narrative was originally recorded. The scribes of the four remaining charters cannot be identified, although it is worth noting that three are records of disputes that were settled before the king or by royal delegates, while in one case the beneficiary was a monastery in Villa Monna, a locality near León. 47 Overall, it would seem that most of these 42 A similar approach is developed, though for a later source, in Isabel Alfonso Antón, ‘Desheredamiento y desafuero, o la pretendida justificación de una revuelta nobiliaria,’ Cahiers de linguistique et de civilisation hispaniques médiévales 25 (2002): esp. 112-115. 43 Sampiro appears in Liii669 (1008.02.19); Liii707 (1012.09.19); Liii708 (1012.11.12); Sii404 (1018.05.17); Liii754 (1018.05.17). On Sampiro, see above, n. 16. As scribe in royal charters, to mention only those that are considered originals: Liii549 (991.11.26); Liii550 (991.11.26); Liii669 (1008.02.19); Liii707 (1012.09.19); Liii708 (1012.11.12); Liii748 (1017.03.14); Liii754 (1018.05.17); Liii767 (1019.09.23). He appears once in a cartulary copy of a non-royal charter (Liii709 (1012.11.12)). Fulgencio appears in Liii737 (1015.03.13), as well as in another royal charter (OD201 (1032)). Other charters that might have been written by him: Liii661* (1006.03.15); Liii666* (1007.04.01); Liii700 (1011.08.12); Liii705 (1012.03.10); Liii710 (1012); Liii724 (1014.02.05); Liii731* (1014.05.20); Liii732* (1014.10.30); Liii746 (1017.02.03); Liii747 (1017.02.28); Liii759 (1019.03.06); Liii799 (1023.05.15); Liii804 (1024.01.22); Liii815 (1025.02.05). The ones marked with an asterisk are originals in which the editor recognizes the same hand. 44 Liii777 (1021.07.16). For other royal charters: OD101 (1015.04.11); Liii741 (16.06.16); Liii763 (1019.05.08); Liii806 (1024.03.27). 45 Liii560 (994.01.11). 46 Sii386 (1006.03.21). 47 The records of disputes are Ciii223 (995.02.25); SantA58 (999.06.22); Liii822 (1025.06.119). For the monastery in Villa Monna: Liii543 (990.07.03).


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charters were produced by scribes based in León, or who were close to the kings and their delegates. Some of these charters present the reader with what is portrayed as the voice of the king. They mirror the performative clauses of the charters, which are customarily written in the first person and thus resemble direct speech.48 In the charters we are dealing with, however, the voice of the king is always announced by the expression ‘I/he said’ (dixi/dixit): ‘I [Alfonso V] acquiesced in it and said (dixi): “I will do what you have demanded of me.”’49 In another charter it is a sanction clause regarding the rights over a property that is written in direct speech, thus seemingly highlighting the king’s role as guarantor of those rights.50 In both instances these would appear to be scribal adaptations of written formulae rather than a record of the king’s own voice.51 We might nevertheless wonder whether, in the ritualistic setting of gift-giving ceremonies, the kings might have uttered such words. On the one hand, a charter issued by Alfonso V recording an earlier grant made by his father suggests that royal gifts sometimes went unrecorded, as it specifically mentions that Vermudo II had died before a charter could be produced.52 We could hypothesize that, on such occasions, the authority of the donor and the legitimacy of the deed would have rested, at least to some extent, in the use of a certain ritualistic mode of speech in a public forum.53 Interestingly, such formulaic speech is only attributed to persons of royal standing or to people addressing the kings; in all other instances the language is less formal. Even if we cannot be certain that the 48 On performative speech, see J.L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962). 49 Liii707 (1012.09.19). See also Liii708 (1012.11.12); Sii404 (1018.11.19). Interestingly, in two other charters it is the voice of the bishop speaking in very similar terms that is recorded: Liv899 (1032.02.04); Liv951 (1037.02.25). 50 Liii737 (1015.03.13). 51 Cf. David Pratt, ‘Persuasion and Invention at the Court of King Alfred the Great,’ in Court Culture in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Catherine Cubbit (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 189-221; idem, ‘The Voice of the King in “King Edgar’s Establishment of Monasteries,”’ Anglo-Saxon England 41 (2013): 145-204; Levi Roach, ‘Penitential Discourse in the Diplomas of King Æthelred “the Unready,”’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History 64, no. 2 (2013): 258-276; Janet L. Nelson, ‘The Voice of Charlemagne,’ in Belief and Culture in the Middle Ages, eds. Richard Gameson and Henrietta Leyser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 76-88. 52 SantA60 (1011.03.05). 53 See Robin Chapman Stacey, Dark Speech: The Performance of Law in Early Ireland (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 128-129. On the relevance of gift-giving ceremonies for the continuity of the political order, see Foteini Spingou, ‘The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Veneration of the Emperor’s Physical Body in Twelfth-Century Byzantium’ elsewhere in this volume.

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scribes recorded the exact words spoken, it would seem that there was an expectation that speeches uttered by, or addressed to the kings had to be articulated in a peculiar manner, different to the way in which other actors would have engaged in dialogue.54 The words presented in direct speech were sometimes derived from other written formulae, as we can see in a charter recording a grant made by Pelayo cognomento Zuleimán, who acted as a delegate of Queen Teresa managing the lands she held in the regions south of the Cantabrian Mountains. Feeling the proximity of his death, Zuleimán decided to make a pious donation to the monks Crescenti and Iamil. For this he sought the approval of Teresa. The charter tells us that he sent her a letter requesting her permission. Teresa’s answer is then presented by the scribe in direct speech: ‘It pleased me (Placuit mihi) that you, brother Zuleimán, shall make a will of all what you have requested from me.’55 The formula placuit mihi/ nobis appears widely in charters recording both sales and donations, and it was used to express that it was in the actor’s or actors’ will to make the sale or the donation. Its appearance here might suggest that the scribe was copying or paraphrasing another text rather than reproducing the exact words of Teresa. Interestingly, the charter – which is a cartulary copy – bears the confirmations of both Teresa and Zuleimán, although they are portrayed in a slightly different way. While Teresa is said to confirm ‘this carta,’ Zuleimán is said to confirm ‘this series testamenti,’ as if each was referring to a different document.56 We may suggest that what the scribe has presented in direct speech is an excerpt from Teresa’s letter and that the carta is that which Teresa is said to confirm, while the testamentum that Zuleimán confirms corresponds to the charter itself. This document is not the only reference we have to a letter sent by Teresa: Zuleimán had a nephew named Froila who, after the death of his uncle, requested from her the control of a villa that had previously been held by his uncle. To this she agreed. Some years later, Froila wanted to sell the villa and went to Imilo, abbess of the monastery of Santiago de León, in order to negotiate the sale, but Imilo said that she would not buy the villa until she received written permission from Teresa to do so. Froila then went to see Teresa, who granted her permission; he returned to Imilo with a letter in which Teresa 54 Stacey, Dark Speech, 105. See also Pierre Bourdieu, ‘L’économie des échanges linguistiques,’ Langue française 34 (1977): 17-34. 55 Liii543 (990.07.03). 56 ‘Tarasia regina qui et Christi ancilla qui hunc kartula fieri iussi manu mea confirmans. Pelagius cognomento Zuleiman qui hunc series testamenti quos f ieri iussi manu mea ad roborandum tradidi’ (Liii543 (990.07.03)).


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said that if she was willing (si illa placuisset) then she could purchase the property.57 Once again, the use of the verb placeo suggests that the scribe was paraphrasing Teresa’s letter. Interestingly, the scribe also chose to use direct speech to reproduce the words allegedly uttered by Imilo; this, in contrast to Zuleimán’s charter, would seem to highlight Imilo’s role within the narrative rather than Teresa’s – the rationale for this will later be explored. For the moment, these examples will serve to illustrate how flexible the scribes could be in their use of this rhetorical device. Even though the speeches attributed to the kings would seem, at first sight, to reinforce their authority, the narrative contexts in which they are set demand a more nuanced interpretation. In most cases they are presented as responses to petitions. As Geoffrey Koziol has argued, petitions are by their very nature ambiguous, for they condense the initiatives and virtues of both parties: the petitioner’s humilitas and the grantor’s mercy and largesse.58 The same occurs with the gestures accompanying the petitions, which sometimes seem to emphasise the humilitas of the petitioner.59 Nuño Donnitiz, for example, made his request while extending his hands and leaning his head.60 Such gestures, however, were sometimes used to clothe the pressure that was being exerted on the kings to force them to act in a certain way.61 In order to beg for pardon on behalf of Fromarico Sendínez, the count of Castile Sancho García presented himself before Alfonso V – who was his nephew – and, taking the hands of all the magnates of the palace, beseeched the king for mercy.62 Holding hands could be interpreted as symbolising a relationship between equals; in this context, the gesture was used to suggest that Sancho García had obtained the support of the other magnates and that he was leading them in a particular performance in order

57 Liii560 (994.01.11). 58 Geoffrey Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France (Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 1992), 44-54; Mark Mersiowsky, ‘Towards a Reappraisal of Carolingian Sovereign Charters,’ in Charters and the Use of the Written Word in Medieval Society, ed. Karl Heidecker (Brepols: Turnhout, 2000), 15-25. 59 Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor, 59-70. 60 Liii737 (1015.03.13). 61 Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor, 304-311, 316-321. 62 Liii741 (1016.06.16). On this case, see José Mª. Mínguez, ‘Pervivencia y transformaciones de la concepción y práctica del poder en el reino de León (siglos X y XI),’ Studia Historica. Historia Medieval 25 (2007): 30-35. On royal favour, see Gerd Althoff, ‘(Royal) Favor: A Central Concept in Early Medieval Hierarchical Relations,’ in Ordering Medieval Society: Perspectives on Intellectual and Practical Modes of Shaping Social Relations, ed. Bernhard Jussen (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2001), 243-269.

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to force the king to grant his favour to Fromarico.63 In Sancho Garcia’s plea we may observe the pressure that certain members of the royal entourage exerted on the kings.64 Similarly, when a distressed Teodomiro, abbot of Santiago de León, appeared before Alfonso V in 1012 to request confirmation of the rights over a villa that had been endowed to the monastery, but which the king had seized, he was accompanied by none other than the king’s mother, Elvira García, together with a Galician magnate, the duke Sarracino Sílez, and other clients of the palace.65 Interpretations of the speeches could have also differed depending on the location of the assembly, and multiple interpretations would have certainly been possible. When Alfonso V and his wife Elvira Menéndez visited Sahagún in 1018, the monks appeared before the king and fell together at his feet. They requested the confirmation of privileges that had been granted to the monastery in the past by the king’s ancestors, but which had been violated by royal officers. The king, whose words are presented in direct speech, agreed to this.66 The fact that the assembly was celebrated at the monastery could on the one hand be read as an expression of royal power, in as much the presence of the king had turned the place into a forum for royal justice.67 On the other hand, the charter tells us that Alfonso V and his wife had been led by God to the monastery, which at that time was ruled (regebat) by abbot Egilani. The idea that the king had been guided by God to a sacred space suggests that, even if he was still presented as a virtuous, pious, and merciful ruler, his actions were nonetheless constrained by the moral framework represented by the spiritual authority of the abbot. The ambiguity of the dialectical exchanges represented in these charters can also be appreciated by looking at the way in which the kings are addressed. The figure of the king is exalted by referring to him as ‘my/our lord/ king’ (dominus/rex meus/noster) or as a ‘powerful prince/king’ (rex/princeps magnus).68 The sons of Nuño Donnitiz further emphasise the ascendancy 63 John A. Burrow, Gestures and Looks in Medieval Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 14-16, 50. 64 See Sean Gilsdorf, ‘Deēsis Deconstructed: Imagining Intercession in the Medieval West,’ Viator 43, no. 1 (2012): 131-174; Nelson, ‘Paradoxes of Power’, 36. More generally: Sean Gilsdorf, The Favor of Friends: Intercession and Aristocratic Politics in Carolingian and Ottonian Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2014). 65 Liii708 (1012.11.12). 66 Sii404 (1018.11.19). 67 Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric,’ 57. 68 Lii508 (985.11.16); Sii386 (1006.03.21); Liii737 (1015.03.13); Liii754 (1018.05.17); Sii404 (1018.11.19). On the use of these titles, see Amancio Isla Frez, ‘Building Kingship on Words: Magni Reges and Sanctus Rex in the Asturleonese Kingdom,’ Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002): 249-261.


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of the king by presenting themselves as his serfs (servi vestri).69 After these words, the parties appeal to the king, either directly for help – as in the case of the sons of Nuño Donnitiz – or else for attention, so that he should listen to them.70 Guntrodo addresses Alfonso V with the words: ‘Listen to me, lord, my king.’71 The bishop Sabarico addresses Vermudo II with a similar formulation: ‘Oh you, lord, my king, listen to me.’72 As Geoffrey Koziol remarks, listening to petitions was ultimately at the discretion of the king.73 The charters, however, suggest that petitioners could reasonably expect the king to lend a sympathetic ear to their pleas; this is paralleled in a number of charters that express the expectation that God would listen to the prayers that were addressed to him.74 In some charters the kings are presented not only as actively listening, but also as being moved by what they are hearing. It was hearing about Conancio’s crimes that prompted Vermudo II to act against him.75 It was the words of Fáfila Pérez that moved Vermudo III to act against the men that had killed one of Fáfila’s clients.76 The topos ‘hoc audiens rex’ is also attested in the chronicle of Sampiro as a way of introducing royal actions, thus seemingly presenting a model of royal behaviour that portrays the king as someone whose initiatives were not only moved by his will and at his own discretion, but who also listened to others in order to decide on his course of action.77 The moral dimension of listening is presented very clearly in a charter that contrasts Vermudo III’s willingness to listen to the claims of the monks of Sahagún with the earlier refusal of the count García Gómez, portrayed as a rebel, to do so.78 It was not enough to get the king’s attention: he also had to be persuaded to act on the requests presented to him. It was therefore necessary for the speeches to build the moral framework within which the king was expected to behave by means of different rhetorical topoi.79 Some enunciated the 69 Liii737 (1015.03.13). 70 Liii737 (1015.03.13). 71 Sii3886 (1006.03.21). 72 Lii508 (985.11.16). 73 Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor, 48. 74 Coruña29 (929.11.20); Ci69 (941.08.11). 75 Liii541 (990.06.25). 76 OD201 (1032). 77 For example, ‘Rex uero Adefonsus hoc audiens’ (Sampiro § 1); ‘hec audiens rex ad propia remeauit’ (Sampiro § 1). See also Sampiro § 3; Sampiro § 21. 78 Sii444 (1036.01.20). This charter must be handled with care, for it is a copy that could have been altered by the scribe who wrote the cartulary in which it was recorded. See Fernández Flórez, La elaboración de los documentos, 91. 79 See Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric.’

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virtues that were associated with good kingship such as mercy, clemency, and piety.80 Others invoked the past, and portrayed the ancestors of the king as models of rightful behaviour. Teodomiro is said to have asked Alfonso V to confirm his rights over Villa Habibi as an act of piety on behalf of the soul of his late father, Vermudo II.81 In the charter in which Alfonso V restores the privileges of Sahagún, Alfonso III and his wife Jimena, characterised as the quasi-mythical founders of the monastery, are presented as the model to which the king is expected to conform; significantly it is to Sampiro, and not a monastic scribe, that this charter is attributed.82 In a charter dated to 985, the scribe presents Sabarico, bishop of León, recalling the grants that had been made to the cathedral in the times of the king’s ‘grandparents and fathers, the Visigothic kings.’83 Another interesting case is that of a charter dated to 1012 in which Alfonso V, responding to a petition made by Nuño, bishop of León, confirms the rights of the cathedral over the castle of San Salvador de Curueño. The charter recalls that the castle had originally been granted to the cathedral by the king on the day he was enthroned.84 The narrative highlights the participation of Elvira García – the king’s mother – her brother Sancho García, and the Galician magnate Menendo González, and presents the grant as a response to a petition made by Froilán, the bishop of León at the time, who is said to have suggested that the king should make a gift to the church as his father and grandparents had done in the past.85 The petition that Froilán allegedly addressed to the king in 999 – which is not recorded in any other accounts of the enthronement of Alfonso V86 – has a parallel in Nuño’s own petition: by recalling Alfonso’s accession to the throne, the speech both highlights the precariousness of the king’s position, and at the same time provides him with a model of righteous behaviour that had already been embodied by his ancestors and his younger self in the past – and which thus carries the weight of tradition – and to which he was expected to conform in the present. 80 Liii737 (1015.03.13); Lii508 (985.11.16). See also E30 (988.11.24), in which pious motives are also invoked. 81 Liii708 (1012.11.12). 82 For a parallel in the use of the memory of Alfonso III and Jimena: Sii444 (1036.01.20). 83 Lii508 (985.11.16). On the use of the Visigothic past, see Isla Frez, ‘La construcción de la monarquía.’ 84 The royal precept that grants the cathedral rights over the castle of San Salvador de Curueño has actually been preserved (Liii588 (999.10.13)), though it bears no reference to context in which it was issued. 85 Liii707 (1012.09.19). 86 See n. 2.


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Speeches attributed to other actors seem to emphasise the negotiated character of power relationships between different ecclesiastic and lay aristocratic parties. Some of them appear in the context of judicial assemblies presided over by the king or his delegates. A dialogue between Osorio Iohanniz and Odoario Kintalani – in which the former urges the latter to appear before the king so that he might dictate justice – would seem to suggest that royal assemblies were one of the arenas where such negotiations were expected to take place. In another example, Velasco Hanniz and the monks of Abellar went to Simancas, an important royal centre by the river Duero, to settle their dispute, as it was there that they expected to find the king.87 The speeches in judicial hearings normally narrate the history of the disputed property, sometimes even confronting different versions of it. It was expected that, from the arguments presented by each party, the truth (veritas) would arise: ‘Tell me the truth about the issue over which you are contending in this council,’ demands bishop Jimeno to the two contending parties, Froilo and Diego Lubóniz.88 In such cases the truth, as Pascual Martínez Sopena has rightly pointed out, was not only about asserting and negotiating claims, but also about legitimising the power of the king, in as much as the authority of the legal procedure derived from him and was endorsed by the parties in conflict by participating in it.89 The charters sometimes represent the engagement of the parties in the process by reproducing their speeches. Bishop Jimeno’s demand is followed by a long speech in which Froilo narrates the history of the property; this ends up standing as the only version of events, for no similar speech by Diego Lubóniz was recorded in this charter. In a similar example, the abbot Manila of Celanova accuses Teodomiro of violating the grant that had been made to the monastery by bishop Sisnando;90 in the dispute, heard before Vermudo II, the claims made by bishop Pedro are presented in direct speech, while those of the other disputing party, Vela, are written in indirect speech, thus reinforcing the argument made by the bishop.91 In the dispute between Jimeno and Munio Fernández over a villa, the latter 87 Ciii223 (995.02.25); Li256 (952.08.01). 88 Liii822 (1025.06.19). On the rhetoric of truth in the charters from Northern Iberia, see Wendy Davies, ‘Judges and Judging: Truth and Justice in Northern Iberia on the Eve of the Millennium,’ Journal of Medieval History 36, no. 3 (2010): 200-203. In some of the other charters in which direct speech is used it is the ‘truth’ that we hear, for it is the confession of those who are found guilty: OD147 (1022.04.13); OD150 (1022.06.21); Liii856 (1029.11.25); Liv906 (1032.06.21). 89 Martínez Sopena, ‘Reyes, condes e infanzones,’ 152; Alfonso, ‘Judicial Rhetoric,’ 78-85. 90 Liii777 (1021.07.16). 91 SantA58 (999.06.22).

Assembly Politics and Conflic ting Discourses in Early Medieval León


is able to contest the account that was made by the former.92 First, Jimeno argues that Munio Fernández had acquired the villa from Velasquita against her will (sine sua voluntate); Munio then argues that Velasquita actually wanted to sell the villa (uenit ad ea uolumptas), and that she was going to sell it to Munio Hanniz for one hundred solidi, but that he had then offered her two hundred solidi and that she had agreed to this. Munio Fernández then insists that he had obtained the villa neither by force nor by fear, nor any other wrongdoing. Similar negotiations over property also appear in other charters. The king’s stewards, learning that Furakasas wanted to sell a property that was adjacent to a vineyard of the king, went to him and told him: ‘Give us the vineyard that you have next to the property of our lord and we shall give you two other vineyards in exchange.’ To this, Furakasas agreed: ‘I am pleased to give it to you for my lord and king.’93 When the sons of Nuño Donitiz wanted to get the support of the king in order to claim a property back, they suggested that the king should keep half of the property and grant them the other half. Interestingly, the property in question was one that Vermudo II had granted to their father and later confirmed to their mother and to them. The king had warned them that they should not alienate the land, but their mother nonetheless sold it to ‘some Jews.’ However, the speech attributed to the sons of Nuño Donnitiz presents the land as already belonging to the king.94 What emerges from the narrative is that the status of the property was far from clearly defined. Similar issues arise in other charters. The villa that Teodomiro wanted to recover from the king’s hands had been donated to him by Juan Gutínez, to whom it had been left by his father, Gutino Zelim, who had acquired it from Ramiro III.95 As we saw earlier, both Zuleimán Legióniz and his nephew, Froila, requested permission from Teresa in order to make their grants. In fact, Froila was prompted to do so by Imilo, who demanded that he should get the consent of the queen for the transaction: ‘[The sale] will not be made until I see a letter from my lady; if she orders you to sell it, and me to buy it, I will give you for it the price that we agreed upon.’96 Similar requests occur in other charters. When Olalio ran away, Vermudo II confiscated his lands and gave them to Vellito Adorrínez, who then sold them to Domingo, who 92 Liii669 (1008.02.19). 93 Liii737 (1015.03.13). In a similar manner some people approached María Velázquez and offered to sell her a land, as they knew – partly thanks to divine intercession – she desired (Liv924 (1034.01.13)). 94 Liii737 (1015.03.13). 95 Liii708 (1012.11.12) 96 Liii560 (994.01.11).


Álvaro Carva jal Castro

then sold them to Valerio. The land was later seized by a delegate of the queen, who accused Valerio of holding it unlawfully (sine firmitate). Valerio appealed to Alfonso V, presenting himself before the king together with Vellito and Domingo, and produced the charter in which Vermudo II’s grant to Vellito Adorrínez had originally been recorded. Only then could he recover his land.97 Sampiro himself faced a similar situation: one of his properties was seized by Queen Elvira, to whom he had to give two slaves in order to get it back.98 A slightly different situation was that of Ablavel Godesteoz.99 He had been a royal delegate for a time, and one may reasonably suspect that he had benefited from royal grants. After his death, Vermudo II, arguing that Ablavel had died without sons, seized his properties. Then, Ablavel’s wife, Guntrodo, appeared before the king and argued that the villas which Vermudo II had seized had been acquired by her and her husband on their own. She was thus implying that a distinction had to be made between these and other properties, probably referring to those which had been granted to them by Vermudo II and which the king could have claimed back after Ablavel’s death. Interestingly the charter fails to mention that, apart from not having any children, Ablavel and Guntrodo had also at one point risen against the king and fled to Castile, and that because of this Vermudo II had confiscated their properties.100 The distinction between lands enjoyed by virtue of a royal grant and lands acquired while acting as a royal delegate is also made in the case of Fromarico, who, being unable to pay the fines for the crimes that he had committed, offered to compensate for his misdeeds by giving to the king the villas that he had acquired while serving as a royal steward.101 The issue discussed in these charters is the status of lands that the king had granted to lay people, particularly after the original beneficiary had died. Was the king entitled to claim them back in all cases, or could the beneficiary’s heirs enjoy any rights over them? Was a royal confirmation needed? The question is explicitly raised by Froilo, the wife of Sarracino Arias, who, after the death of her husband, asked Alfonso V: ‘Oh, my lord, what shall I do with everything that you gave to us and that we accepted from your hand?’102 While in some cases the kings could take advantage of such situations in order to get their lands back, the charters show that 97 Liii724 (1014.02.05). 98 Liii756 (1018.07.18). 99 Sii386 (1006.03.21). 100 OD90 (1012.04.13). 101 Liii741 (1016.06.16). 102 Liii754 (1018.05.17).

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such royal initiatives could be not only questioned, but also successfully overturned. The politics of land were central to the construction of early medieval polities, not only because they allowed the kings to build links with potential supporters and to reward those who had already served him, but also because they provided him with a way of asserting his authority, an authority that, in as much as it was also an expectation of how a king should behave, needed to be reproduced by means of new gifts.103 By questioning what the king gave and to whom, one could also question the legitimacy of those grants. Ultimately, what these charters reveal is a debate over the authority on which such royal actions rested. In fact, this seems to have been part of a wider debate about royal power, one that was explicitly formulated in the charters for the first time at the end of the tenth century, and which would be echoed in later periods.104 This can also be seen in charters narrating the confiscation of lands by the kings, which are also found more frequently towards the end of the tenth century. As Wendy Davies has argued, confiscations are portrayed not as paramount expression of arbitrary royal power, but rather in a way that emphasises their connection to notions of justice and legitimate royal authority that were shared by a wider political community, and to which the king was expected to conform.105 But within this framework such notions and expectations seem to have been open to interpretation.106 As the charters recalling Guntrodo’s plea and Fromarico’s misdeeds demonstrate, the tenuous line between legitimate confiscation and unjust seizure could not only be easily crossed: it was in itself a matter of negotiation.

103 For the expression ‘politics of land,’ see Chris Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 58-59. See also Paul Fouracre, ‘The Use of the Term Beneficium in Frankish Sources,’ in The Languages of Gift in the Early Middle Ages, eds. Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 65; Maurice Godelier, L´enigme du don (París: Fayard, 1996), 42, 53; and, more generally, Annette B. Weiner, Inalienabe Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping While Giving (Berkeley: University of California, 1992). 104 Alfonso Antón, ‘Desheredamiento y desafuero,’ 115-119. 105 Wendy Davies, ‘Summary Justice and Seigneurial Justice in Northern Iberia on the Eve of the Millennium,’ The Haskins Society Journal. Studies in Medieval History 22 (2010): 55-56. 106 As pointed out in Isabel Alfonso Antón, ‘Introducción. Cultura, lenguaje y prácticas políticas en las sociedades medievales,’ e-Spania 4 (2007), (accessed February 26, 2016).


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Conclusion It is by dwelling on this tenuous line that we might begin to disentangle the significance of these charters. Granting and seizing lands were among the mechanisms with which early medieval kings built and renegotiated the support of other political actors.107 By the late tenth and early eleventh centuries the Astur-Leonese elites, both lay – including the king – and ecclesiastical, were engaged in a struggle for meaning, a struggle for the definition of what was right and what was wrong in the political economy of land, in a context in which the territorial dimensions of the polity itself were being defined. The framework within which such meaning was constructed was not fixed, but rather open to negotiation: this was a consensus in the making. The scribes could resort to a variety of rhetorical tools in order to capture the nuances of such negotiations, with the use of direct speech in itself being open to different uses depending on the aspects they wanted to emphasise: sometimes as an expression of royal authority, other, as in the cases of Teodomiro’s or Sancho Garcia’s appearances before Alfonso V, as an expression of dissent. Imilo’s refusal to buy land without permission from Teresa can, on the other hand, be interpreted as a statement of her adherence to the royal discourse.108 The construction of meaning depended on the balance of power that existed at any given time between different parties, not only because the more powerful could try to impose their decisions, but also because it defined the ways in which consent and dissent were expected to be articulated. Within this context, the king remained a central figure, one whose position was at the same time downplayed and enhanced by the changing balance of power and the struggle for meaning. On the one hand, these charters show that there was an expectation that different political actors could successfully influence and challenge the decisions made by an individual king. At the same time, the king was acknowledged as an arbiter to whom different parties could resort. Royal assemblies – presided over either by the king himself or by his delegates – remained a central political arena for the settlement of disputes and for the construction of meaning. True, we know about this mainly through royal charters produced by clerics who, in most cases, were probably based in León and who would thus have 107 Amancio Isla Frez, La sociedad gallega en la Alta Edad Media (Madrid: CSIC, 1992), 195-197; Martínez Sopena, ‘Reyes, condes e infanzones,’ 144. 108 Just as Flaino Fernández invoking the norms that Alfonso V had issued in a case that was presented to him in 1032 (Liv899 (1032.02.04)).

Assembly Politics and Conflic ting Discourses in Early Medieval León


been very close to the king. Even so, the charters do not always express a wholehearted support for the king. We might instead claim that the scribes behind these charters were engaged in a wider attempt to build a model of political behaviour that would modulate the relationships between conflicting parties, including themselves and the kings, at a time of intense political stress: a framework that would enable the articulation of conflict in ways that would allow for different parties not only to advance or negotiate their claims, but also to legitimise them within the political sphere of the monarchy. In this light, the figure of Alfonso V in 999 – the royal mask of a child king – stands as a symbol for that framework.109 That this should make the elites more ideologically dependent on it and, as a result, that it might have eventually led to the reinforcement of the king’s authority, might appear to be another paradox but, as with Alfonso V’s enthronement, perhaps only at first sight.110 At that time it seems to have been one of the factors that contributed to the perpetuation of the Astur-Leonese monarchy.

109 On the image of ageless monarchs see Emilia Olechnowicz, ‘The Queen’s Two Faces: The Portraiture of Elizabeth I of England’ elsewhere in this volume. 110 Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor, 172-73.

Osorio Iohanniz and Odoario Kintilani

Bishop Sabarico of León

Teresa Ansúrez Imilo, abbess of Santiago de León Bishop Jimeno of Astorga and Munio Fernández



Liii543 Liii560




‘Ad hec Osorius dixit ad fidemiussorem suum nomine Oduario: “Imple michi placitum meum quod expopondisti et redde michi quod in placitum pepegisti.” Ad hec Oduarius: “Uillam ipsam de Albani quam in placitum michi et tibi posuit Erus, adprehende eam pro debito tuo et dimitte me innoxium; abuit causam calumnie.” Ad hec Osorius: “Pergamus ataque ambos in presentia principes nostri et omnia quicquid nobis constituerit ita agere debeamus.”’ ‘Tu domine mi rex, audiat me clementia uestra et adiubante pietas et misericordia uestra eo quod in tempore auuorum et parentum uestrorum, rex gotorum, concesserunt uillas […] secundum eas concesserunt omnes reges et commites pro animabus suis et qui Deum timuerunt post partem Sancte Marie […].’ ‘Placuit mihi ut testare facias illum tu Zuleiman frater omnia quod mihi petisti.’ ‘Non faciam usquequo cognoscam carta domna mea et regina; si ordinauerit tiui ut uendas ea, et mici ut comparem ea, ego dem tiui pro illa precio quantum inter nos bene fuerit.’ ‘[The bishop Jimeno said]: “Uilla qua tenis nominata fuit de iermana mea domna Uelasquita, et prendidisti ea et misisti in custodia, et uedasti ey uittum et oraculum; et saccasti ea ad ipsa mea iermana inuitissime, et fecit tibi carta de illa sine sua uolumtate, et tenes ea contra te fortissime.” Dedit Monnio Fredenandiz responsum: “Uillam quod mihi petis fuit de domna Giluira regina, cuius memorie sit in benedictione, et illa concambiabit alia quos ganabit in reco de Campodani de suas ganantias cum fratres de ipse monasterio nominato Kampodani pro ipsa iam dicta Sancti Pelagii uocitata, discurrente ribulo Hornia, et post hec dedit ea domna Geluira regina, prolis Ranemiri, per kartulam firmitatis ad domna Uelasquita, filia Menendus Didaci, et tenuit ea iuri suo multis temporibus. Ad multis diebus uenit ad ea uolumptas pro uendere ipsa uilla et zomabit ea ad Monnius Hanniz in Cm solidos. Dum uidi ego Munnius quia herat uolumptas in illa eam uendere dedit ad illa in aderato et difinito quod ea placuit numero CCos L solidos; et de ipso pretio penis nos nicil remansit in deuito, sine uim et metum et absque mea malefactoria, et que non misi ea in custodia pro uetare ad illa uictum atque oraculum, et que non feci ad illa nulla arte mala cum cupiditate de ipsa uilla prehendere set ut dedit mici illa domna Uelasquita per carta que in concilio paret et conplibi illa de pretio emto quod desuper resonat, sicut ad ea conplacuit, et teneo ego Munnio Fredenandiz ipsa uilla per meam cartam firmiter in facie domnus Scemenus aepiscopus uel cedero concilio.”’


Appendix: Charters and Excerpts in Direct Speech

44  Álvaro Carva jal Castro

Vita and Citi Xab

The royal stewards and Furakasas

Froilo Muñoz Manilan, abbot of Celanova Bishop Jimeno of Astorga and Froilo



Liii754 Liii777



Alfonso V Alfonso V Alfonso V

Liii707 Liii708 Liii737




‘Ego atquiebi et dixi; “Faciam quod postulatis mici.”’ ‘Ego faciam et adinpleam at domum Sancti Iacobi quod mihi postulatis.’ ‘Si per gente multi inquietarant uos, etsi per dato meo, securi estis. Ite et prehendite eam et abete eam ex meo dato firmiter ad perauendum per secula cuncta.’ ‘Domnus noster et rex magnus. Ecce hereditatem que abemus menus hodie pluris annis quod tenent iudeis super nostra municione, e dedit nobis eam pater uester rex domno Ueremudo, diue memorie, quod nos ipsos nec uindemus nec donamus; nos autem sumus serui uestri; pro mercede, adiuua nos in ueritate eicere ipsa hereditate de manibus ebreis, qui usque hodie nobis malum fecerunt, et medietatem concedite nobis pro uestra mercede, et illa alia medietate sit concessa post uestra parte in dominico palacio.’ ‘Et dum audierunt ipsos maiordomos iam dictos tali causa uenerunt ad Furakasas et dixerunt ei: “Da nobis illo tuo maliolo qui est in termino de domno nostro et daremus tibi alias duas uineas pro eo.” Ille autem dixit: “Bonum est michi dare eum uobis pro ad domno meo et rege quam pro ad alios homines.”’ ‘O domine meus, qui faciam de omnia quod nobis dedisti et de manu tua accepimus?’ ‘Hunc locum quem tu, Feliz, edificasti super fumentum nostrum omnia conposuisti, unde scriptura tenemus quam Sisinandus episcopus fecit ad monasterium Celle Noue.’ ‘[The bishop Jimeno said]: “Veritatem loquimini michi de hanc rem pro quo uos in concilio pulsantur.” Et dixit domna Froilo: “Pater bone, ecce quomodo fuit ipsa uilla de comdado de Astorga et iacebat erema sine tectos et sine homines et erat in disqualido posita usque in fundamentis, et petiuit ea uir meus Sarrazino Arias ad rege domno nostro ut populasset eam, et ille pro eius mercede dedit ei eam per kartula firmitatis, et abiit Sarrazino Arias in seruitio de domno suo rege; sepultus est in ipso monasterio iuxta aulam Sancti Uincenti ubi ipsa domna Salamona abitat. Et mandauit rege dare in ipso loco sancto omnem suam medietatem de ipsa uilla et de alias suas uillas et de omnes homines qui sunt abitantes uel qui uenerint ad habitandum, et ordinauit ipse rex scribere in ipso monasterio kartulam testamenti de ipsa uilla pro sua anima et de ipse Sarrazino Arias qui fundatus est in Legione.”’ ‘Audi me, domine, mi rex: omnes has uillas et hereditates quas prendidisti ego eas ganaui cum uiro meo.’


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‘[The monks of Sahagún] dixerunt: “Domnus noster et princeps magne. Pone aurem ad audiendum et cor ad The monks of Sahagún and Alfonso intelligendum et audi hunc scriptum quem fecerunt aui tui.” Ille, uero, motus misericordia, ordinauit coram omnes magnates palacii legere ipsum testamentum et dum agnouit ueraciter factum dixit coram omni concilio: “Abeat V roborem et firmitatem pactum istum quod ab antiquis temporibus fuit usum.”’ Bishop Pedro of ‘Isti homines in omni giro de XII. milia contestati fuerunt per multos annos a multis regibus parti sancte ecclesie iam Santiago dicte et non oportet expolietur de sua familia, quia testamenta que in tesauro Sancti Iacobi roborata el afirmata sunt, non euacula remanebunt.’





46  Álvaro Carva jal Castro

The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Veneration of the Emperor’s Body in Twelfth-Century Byzantium Foteini Spingou

It’s the Byzantine king supreme All kneel kiss the ring. Into a Elohim […]. Smack emcee’s, watch’em scream, ‘Your Majesty!’ Make them suffer the capacity of tragedy Hold the crown down like gravity.

With these words from his 1998 hit ‘Cross my Heart,’ Killah Priest (née Walter Reed) saw himself as a new Byzantine emperor and demanded that his contemporary MCs submit to the supremacy of his lyrics. In fact, he could not have put in better words the projected image of imperial power in Byzantium and what was considered indisputable sovereignty over the ecumene. A twelfth-century court poet – who could have been improvising verses in a manner similar to Walter Reed – demands that the imperial foes should ‘submit and lick the dust from the emperor’s heel.’1 This verse may not sound surprising to the modern reader who, being accustomed to the image of Byzantium as a military power, would consider the martial virtues of the emperor as a standardised element of imperial laudation. However, after reviewing the surviving sources, Alexander Kazhdan demonstrated that the military ethos, which surpassed the classical idea of the virtue of courage (ἀνδρεία), became an essential and consistent component of the imperial image after the accession of the new imperial clan, the Komnenoi, to the Byzantine throne.2 Of course the militarisation of the imperial image 1 See Appendix, poem I, v. 10. 2 Alexander Kazhdan, ‘The Aristocracy and the Imperial Idea,’ in The Byzantine Aristocracy, IX to XIII Centuries, ed. Michael Angold (Oxford: B.A.R., 1984), 43-57. See also Alexander Kazhdan and Ann Wharton Epstein, Change in Byzantine Culture in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, Transformation of the Classical Heritage, 57 vols. to date (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981-2014, Oakland: University of California Press, 2015- ), VII (1985), 110-116 (especially p. 112, where the military ethos of the emperors Nikephoros Phokas (r. 963-969) and Nikephoros Botaneiates (r. 1078-1081) is discussed). Paul Magdalino, The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos,


Foteini Spingou

is not a coincidence: the Komnenian dynasty emerged out of the military elite of the Empire at a time of turbulence and civil anarchy. The accession to the throne of Alexios I (r. 1081-1118), under whom the Komnenos family came into full power, occurred at a time of constant warfare in Asia Minor and the Western Balkans. Ten years earlier, a Byzantine Emperor had been captured by the enemy after the battle of Manzikert (in eastern Turkey); the years following this disaster were a series of consecutive usurpations and threats against the integrity of imperial territory. In this context, the Komnenoi needed to convey a stance of strong will and an image of iron-fisted rule. The projection of imperial propaganda – essential to the political survival of the Komnenoi – became possible thanks to a rise in the importance of rhetoric, which had occurred during the early eleventh century. Highly educated individuals (‘intellectuals’) and even members of the aristocratic clans were crafting verses to please the tastes of their peers.3 The highly influential role and the monetary or social rewards resulting from the demonstration of one’s eloquence instigated the production of rhetorical texts. Such texts, which often referred to the latest deeds of the Byzantine emperor, functioned in a way similar to modern evening news broadcasts, announcing recent events, airing individual concerns and declaring loyalty to the supreme political leader. The loss of much of the laudatory literature composed for Alexios I and his son and successor John II Komnenos (r. 1118-1143) leaves only glimpses of the process by which the imperial image became militarised. 4 However, the surviving evidence for Alexios’ grandson, Manuel I Komnenos (r. 1143-1180), 1143-1180 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 418-419. For an overview of the dynasty see Paul Magdalino, ‘The Empire of the Komnenoi (1118-1204),’ in The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500-1492, ed. Jonathan Shepard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 657-663, where also a good selection of the previous bibliography. On improvisation in Byzantine poetry see Floris Bernard, Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 1025-1081 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 105-106. Poetic compositions similar to those discussed in this article are frequently signalled as ‘[στίχοι] αὔθωροι’ (‘verses composed on the spot’). The fact however that the same poems later appear on paper and often as part of collections would presuppose at least some editorial process. 3 For a concise introduction on writing and reading poetry in Byzantium see Marc Lauxtermann, Byzantine Poetry from Pisides to Geometres: Texts and Contexts, 1 vol. (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2003- ), I (2003), 34-45. Also see the book of Floris Bernard, Writing and Reading Byzantine Secular Poetry, 167-208, 243-252, 291-333 and his thorough discussion on the mechanisms for the production of poetry. 4 On the surviving corpus of laudatory literature see Magdalino, Manuel, 414, and more recently Dionysios Stathakopoulos, ‘John II Komnenos: A Historiographical Essay’, in John II Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium: In the Shadow of Father and Son, eds. Alessandra Bucossi and Alex Rodriguez Suarez (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 1-10.

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who is recorded as the second most praised man in the course of Byzantine history, allows for a coherent discussion on the manipulation and pursuits of imperial propaganda.5 The present study examines the meaning and symbolism of a unique gift: a sword and a belt presented to Manuel I by his newly wedded foreign bride, Mary of Antioch. The gift came in two parts: in addition to the objects (the sword and a belt),6 there was also a brief rhetorical composition in verse (a set of epigrams).7 The objects have not survived to the present day, but the epigrams have come down to us in a single manuscript.8 The material gifts were unquestionably provocative: both the sword and the belt are prominent military symbols. The epigrams were thus presented in order to negotiate the meaning of the material offering and to provide a layered interpretation addressed to different beholders. In the following pages, I argue that the gifts were comparable to individual offerings to sacred persons, Saints, the Virgin, and Christ; in the same way that versified texts were attached to personal devotional gifts, the two epigrams performed on behalf of Mary were intended to create an unofficial ceremony for the veneration of the emperor. After examining Manuel’s image in the account of an imperial propagandist, John Kinnamos, I conclude that the projected veneration in the epigrams was addressed to Manuel’s body. According to 5 See Dimiter Angelov, Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium, 1204-1330 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 57. 6 The two terms are used interchangeably in this chapter given that it is unclear whether the poet (and his contemporaries) was (were) making any distinction between the two. 7 On Byzantine epigram see Marc Lauxtermann, Byzantine Poetry, 26-34. On the concept of literature as gift see Floris Bernard, ‘Gifts of Words: The Discourse of Gift-Giving in EleventhCentury Byzantine Poetry,’ in Poetry and its Contexts in Eleventh-Century Byzantium, eds. Floris Bernard and Kristoffel Demoen (Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate, 2012), 3-15. 8 On ms Marc. gr. 524 and the poetic anthology see Spyridon Lambros, ‘Ὁ Μαρκιανὸς κώδιξ 524,’ Nέος Ἑλληνομνήμων 8 (1911): 3-59, 123-192; E. Mioni, Bibliothecae Divi Marci Venetiarum Codices Graeci Manuscripti. Thesaurus Antiquus, 3 vols. to date (Roma: Istituto poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Libreria dello Stato, 1981- ), II (1981), 399-407; Paolo Odorico and Charálambos Messis, ‘L’anthologie Comnène du cod. Marc. gr. 524: Problèmes d’évaluation,’ in L’épistolographie et la poésie épigrammatique. Projets actuels et questions de méthodologie. Actes de la 16e table ronde organisée par Wolfram Hörandner et Michael Grünbart dans le cadre du XXe Congrès international des études byzantines. Collège de France-Sorbonne, Paris, 19-25 Août 2001, eds. Wolfram Hörandner and Michael Grünbart (Paris: Centre d’études byzantines, néo-helléniques et sud-est européennes: École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2003), 191-213; Foteini Spingou, ‘The Anonymous Poets of the Anthologia Marciana: Questions of Collection and Authorship,’ in The Author in Middle Byzantine Literature: Modes, Functions, and Identities, ed. Aglae Pizzone (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014), 137-150; eadem, ‘Byzantine Collections and Anthologies of Poetry,’ in A Companion to Byzantine Poetry, eds. Wolfram Hörandner, Andreas Rhoby and Nikolaos Zagklas (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming); eadem, The Anthologia Marciana: Syllogae B and C (forthcoming).


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Kinnamos, the figure of Manuel was always created from a combination of his physical body and his military attire. In other words, Mary did not offer additional parts to his body, but rather adorned existing ones. The ornaments functioned in the same way as a revetment that adorns a saint’s likeness (his/her icons), or a reliquary which holds their presence (his/her relics): they were adornments made of words and materials to the body of the empire – which is incarnated in the body of the emperor himself – and presented in a ceremonial way. Mary’s gift had a twofold purpose. It was intended both to recognise the rulership of the Byzantine emperor in a manner appropriate for a foreign bride who had just assumed the role of empress, while simultaneously underlining the very goal of the wedding: the promise of continuation for the emperor’s body politic (by confirming Antioch’s role as a vassal state) and for his physical body (by offering a much-wanted son).

Text and Context After the death of his first wife, Eirene-Bertha of Sulzbach, in 1159, Manuel Komnenos was still without a male heir. Despite the fact that the continuity of his line was in imminent danger, it took the Byzantine officials and ambassadors more than a year to secure an appropriate match. During the time of the Crusades, the marriage of a ruler – or even a member of the higher aristocracy – was an opportunity for diplomacy, as it could be used to create new allegiances.9 Byzantium at the time was in need of allies in the South East Mediterranean, as the increasing power of Latin principalities was a growing threat to the Byzantine influence. In the same year as Eirene’s death, Manuel had set out against Raynald of Chântillon (r. 1153-1160), the Prince of Antioch, who had also made claims in Cyprus.10 Nearly two years later, Raynald was held in captivity. The act of marrying a princess from Antioch offered a way of cementing the arrangements made with the new ruler of that principality. Mary of Antioch, the beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter of

9 On Mary of Antioch see the excellent entry by Lynda Garland and Andrew Stone, ‘Mary of Antioch,’ De imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, http://www. (accessed February 12, 2016). 10 On the events see Ralph-Johannes Lilie, Byzantium and the Crusader States, 1096-1204 (Revised 1988 ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press: 1993), 176-83.

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Princess Constance and her first husband, Raymond of Poitiers (r. 1136-1149), was an obvious candidate. In September of 1161, Mary and her attendants (and her dowry) set sail from Antioch to Constantinople,11 and three months later she was married to Manuel I who, at the time, was over forty years old. It was either at the wedding or very shortly thereafter that Mary presented her gifts to the emperor. The epigrams, which are appended to this article, do not state clearly that the belt and the sword were presented in connection with the marriage; however, this may be inferred from the expressions of affectionate love to the Emperor, rare in Byzantine sources, on behalf of Mary in both epigrams (I,8 and II,5), by the emphasis on the unification of the two (II,6), and most importantly by the highly unusual reference to the virginity of the princess (II,6-7). In addition, mentions of gold, precious stones, and pearls, used to adorn bridal vestments, are frequent in Comnenian epithalamia (‘wedding songs’).12 During the workshops of the program Rex Numquam Moritur, Ágnes Máté noticed that both texts contain a number of sexual connotations, with the first poem making direct references to the Manuel’s genitalia (I,6) and the second emphasising the encompassing and receptive qualities of the belt to Mary’s sexuality (II,2). The use of words with the preposition ‘συν-’ also recall the words ‘συνουσία’ (‘intercourse’) οr ‘συνοίκησις’ (‘marriage’).13 The successive appearance of the two texts in the manuscript and their complementary content leave little doubt that they were to be read, or performed, together on the same occasion. The first epigram is entitled ‘On the Sword of the Emperor’ and it is divided into two parts. The first part (vv. 1-8) refers to the object: what it is, who is meant to use it, and who is the donor. The second part (vv. 9-12) refers to imperial valour and might in war. The text is distinguished by its visuality and its ekphrastic elements. With more than eight different words, the poet describes the gleaming of the sword and the impact of that gleam on its viewers.14 Movement is also prominent in the text: when the emperor brandishes his sword, his foes rush to protect their eyes from its gleam, and when they submit to the emperor they prostrate themselves before him. 11 William, Archbishop of Tyre, Guillaume de Tyr. Chronique, ed. R. B. C. Huygens, 2 vols. (Turnhout: Brepols, 1986), 18.31; trans. as A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, trans. Emily Atwater Babcock and August C. Krey, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943), 290. 12 See Wolfram Hörandner, Theodoros Prodromos. Historische Gedichte (Vienna: Verlag d. Österr. Akad. d. Wiss., 1974), no. 43b, vv. 13-24, and 43c, v. 14, 400-401. 13 I owe the suggestion of ‘συνοίκησις’ to Przemysław Marciniak. 14 See gleam: ἀνταύγεια (1), ἔστιλψε and λαμπρῷ (6), λάμποντι (8), ἀστραπηβόλῳ (12). Reactions to the gleam: συγχέει κόρας (1), συζοφοῖ (2), ζοφωθῇς (12).


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An impersonal, third-person narrator appears to offer the gift on behalf of the new empress and describe its appearance. The second epigram is written in a very different tone to that of the first. Here, the young empress offers the belt and addresses the emperor with surprisingly affectionate words. In verses 1-4 she presents the material gift to her new husband and directs his attention to the valuable materials, although she adds immediately that the luxury of the materials cannot compare to the ‘adoration’ she will receive from their union. In the following verses (5-8) she details the symbolism of the valuable material with which the belt was made, and emphasises her love, purity, and loyalty to the emperor, her husband. In contrast to the first epigram, she ends the second epigram not by highlighting imperial valour, but by praying that God will enforce the might and territorial expansion of the empire. Even more surprising than the affectionate words of the epigrams are the objects themselves, as they were featured among the Byzantine military symbols. According to the Byzantine Kaiseridee, God had given the sword to the emperor,15 and it was an extremely important military symbol, regardless of whether it was a ceremonial sword or one used in battle; indeed, it was one of the symbols of imperial authority.16 The belt (ζώνη) may initially appear to correspond with a modified version of the loros that is attested as ‘diadem’ in the fourteenth-century handbook on court ceremonies by Pseudo-Kodinos, and could thus be interpreted as a symbol of military power.17 However, the agency of Mary in creating this object makes such an interpretation rather unlikely.18 It is more probable that the ‘belt’ was an actual belt or baldric 15 The outline of a luxurious weapon, that the first epigram offers, is not helpful to determine whether this was a ceremonial sword or the sword the emperor used in battle. Swords were anyhow luxurious objects. On swords see Piotr Grotowski, Arms and Armour of the Warrior Saints: Tradition and Innovation in Byzantine Iconography (843-1261), trans. Richard Brzezinski (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2010), 342-357. Maria Parani, Reconstructing the Reality of Images: Byzantine Material Culture and Religious Iconography (11th-15th centuries) (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 130-136. Eadem, ‘Dressed to Kill: Middle Byzantine Military Ceremonial Attire,’ in The Byzantine Court: Source of Power and Culture, eds. Ayla Ödekan, Nevra Necipoğlu and Engin Akyürek (Istanbul: Koç University Press, 2013), esp. 148-152. 16 See Grotowski, Arm and Armour, 360-367. For a more moderate approach on the role of the sword especially in the ninth and tenth centuries see Parani, ‘Dressed to Kill,’ 148-150. 17 See Ruth Macrides, Joseph Munitiz, and Dimiter Angelov, Pseudo-Kodinos and the Constantinopolitan Court: Offices and Ceremonies (Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate: 2013), 140, l. 3-4 and 137, n. 353. 18 To the best of my knowledge, even if a donor-aristocrat present the emperor with insignia he is always forefeet from the responsibility for the creation of the objects. Take for example an epigram that accompanied a crown given by the despotes Alexios (later Béla III), who had become a protosebastos, to the son of Manuel, Alexios II, when the latter was named co-emperor

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used to hang swords. Depictions of swords suspended by a belt (Greek ζώνη or Latin cingulum) became prominent only in the twelfth century.19 Such belts were heavily ornamented with precious stones, pearls and gold, exactly like the one suggested by the epigram; their ‘scale-shaped’ appearance might give an author the poetic freedom to describe it as ‘woven.’20 Indeed, the twelfth-century court poet, Theodore Prodromos, reports that a ζώνη (‘belt’) was part of the military costume and was to be venerated.21 The peculiarity of the gesture comes from the fact that military symbols were offered in a ceremonial context as a demonstration of the superiority of the giver.22 Traditional diplomatic gifts to the Emperor included plates, bowls, or other vessels;23 Manuel’s first wife Eirene-Bertha, also a foreigner, offered a golden plate as her bridal gift.24 Yet in the accompanying epigram there are no references to her affectionate love for her newly-wedded husband; she lists only her noble family roots and underlines the unification of ‘Old and New Rome’ as a consequence of their wedding. Given the exceptional character of the gifts, the practicalities surrounding the composition of the epigrams are of extreme importance if we are to understand how they were perceived by their contemporary audience. Mary had come to Constantinople three months before the wedding; during this time she was integrated into Byzantine society which, in practical terms, would have involved receiving the anointment (chrisma) allowing her to become Orthodox, learning to dress in the Byzantine fashion, and

in 1171. In the main text, the crown is offered by ‘the hand of God’ and it is adorned by the loyalty, love and servitude of the protosebastos despotes. It is rather the title that attributes to Alexios-Béla’s patronage the very creation of the crown (also among the major regalia). See Lambros, ‘Ὁ Μαρκιανός,’ no. 108 = Spingou, The Anthologia Marciana, B164. 19 On such belts and their representations see Grotowski, Arms and Armour, 356-357. On narrative sources see Phaedon Koukoules, Βυζαντινῶν Βίος καὶ Πολιτισμός, 2 vols. (Athens: [Papazissis], 1949), II, 50-55. 20 V. 2, Grotowski, Arms and Armour, 357. 21 See Hörandner, Theodoros Prodromos, no. 19, vv. 92-99, esp. v. 95. 22 Especially on the symbolism of the sword see Grotowski, Arms and Armour, 360-362. 23 See, for example, the numerous examples cited by Anthony Cutler in ‘Gifts and Gift Exchange as Aspects of the Byzantine, Arab, and Related Economies,’ Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001): 247-278, especially at 250 (note 16), 252 (note 28), 259, 267, 271, and idem, ‘Significant Gifts: Patterns of Exchange in Late Antique, Byzantine, and Early Islamic Diplomacy,’ Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 38/1 (2008): 79-101, at p. 85. For late Antique gifts see Ekaterina Necheava, Embassies – Negotiations – Gifts: Systems of East Roman Diplomacy in Late Antiquity (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2014). 24 Lambros, ‘Ὁ Μαρκιανός,’ no. 233 = Spingou, The Anthologia Marciana, B70.


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becoming acquainted with her new responsibilities at the court.25 The gifts described in the epigrams were received not as part of Mary’s dowry, but as additional gifts.26 Three months seems a rather brief window for the young princess to commission the objects and approve the content of the epigrams. The epigrams were intended as a means of guiding the Byzantine audience through the meaning of the material gifts; indeed, the very choice of literary mode is significant, as the epigram would have had particular socio-political resonances at the Byzantine court.27 There can be little doubt that the anonymous poet was well acquainted with both the imperial propaganda and literary vogues of Constantinople. The phrase ‘purple-blooming emperor’ is adequate proof, a direct reference to the customary birth of the emperor’s children in a purple-decorated structure in the palace.28 The description of the emperor’s power as circumscribing the orbit of the earth was also a popular topos in orations and laudatory poems. In addition, the reference to the imperial heel (I.10) suggests a poet well-initiated to the mysteries of Manuel’s image:29 the imperial heel was added to the bank of metaphors used for Manuel after he was inflicted with a rather painful wound during a fierce battle early in his reign.30 Furthermore, the affectionate literary commonplaces and romantic style of the second poem – as well as the vivacity of the battle-related imagery of the first – would have been pleasing to the ears of an audience familiar with the revival of the Hellenistic romance and the chivalric epic of Digenis Akrites.31 25 Angeliki Panagopoulou, Οι διπλωματικοί γάμοι στο Βυζάντιο (6ος-12ος αιώνας) (Αthens: A.A.Livani, 2006), 315; cf. Cecily Hilsdale, ‘Constructing a Byzantine Augusta: A Greek Book for a French Bride,’ Art Bulletin 87 (2005): 460. 26 The preparations for the departure from Antioch are described by William of Tyre as in n. 12. 27 On gifts and cultural repertoires see Negotiating the Gift: Pre-modern Figurations of Exchange, eds. Gazi Algazi, Valentin Groebner and Bernard Jussen (Göttinger: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2003), esp. Gazi Algazi, ‘Introduction: Doing Things with Gifts,’ 9-28. 28 See Michael McCormick, ‘Porphyrogennetos,’ The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, ed. Alexander Kazhdan, 3 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), III, 1701. See Herbert Hunger, Prooimion. Elemente der byzantinischen Kaiseridee in den Arengen der Urkunden (Wien; Köln: Böhlau, 1964). 29 As Marina Loukaki pointed to me, the particular verse is borrowed from Isaiah 49:23. The same verse has been used in very different contexts throughout the history of Byzantine literature. 30 The corpus of rhetorical references to the imperial heel cries out for further attention. For a survey see Magdalino, Manuel, 442-443. 31 On the revival of romance see Ingela Nilsson, Raconter Byzance. La literature au XIIe siècle, Séminaires Byzantins, 3 vols. to date (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2006-), III (2014), 39-86. On the epic of Digenis as an expression of the Byzantine aristocratic idea see Kazhdan and Wharton

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Thus, the gifts presented by the young princess were produced with the cultural conventions of imperial propaganda in mind. If Mary brought the objects from Antioch – which is not unlikely, as belted swords were most popular in France – the epigrams correspond fully to the topoi and tastes of Constantinople. For a modern reader, the gifts may be understood as coming from Byzantium. For the Byzantine audience however, the presentation of the gifts would have made manifest the transformation of a foreign bride into a Byzantine Empress.32

The Meaning of the Epigram: Social Postures, Imperial Ceremonies, and Production of Verse The two epigrams have survived as part of a poetic anthology, and have thus been completely disassociated from the objects they meant to accompany. This might strike the modern reader as awkward, for it is impossible to miss the multiple references to the actual objects. If the twenty-first century reader is not quite able to visualise in detail the precise form of the sword and the belt, the wording of the epigrams at least allows one to imagine the glint of the sword, its gilded hilt, the luxury of the gold, the brilliance of the white pearls, and the robust presence of the precious stones on the belt.33 The close association of text and image should not suggest necessarily that the epigram was meant to be used as a verse inscription. Although one to four verses are thought to have been employed as verse inscriptions on swords, twelve verses seems too great a number for this particular object.34 To my knowledge, there are no attested inscriptions on belts. The fact that Epstein, Change, 117-119. On Manuel as a new Digenis see Jakov Ljubarskij, ‘John Kinnamos as a Writer,’ in Polypleuros Nous. Miscellanea für Peter Schreiner zu seinem 60 Geburtstag, eds. Cordula Scholz, Georgios Makris, Peter Schreiner, Byzantinisches Archiv, 31 vols. to date (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1898-), XIX (Munich: K.G. Saur 2000), 164-173; also Magdalino, Manuel, 420-421. 32 I discuss this subject in detail in ‘The Bride and the Gift: Bridal Gifts in Twelfth-Century Byzantium and France’ (forthcoming). 33 On the luxury and shine see Iole Kalavrezou, ‘Light and the Precious Object, or Value in the Eyes of the Byzantines,’ in The Construction of Value in the Ancient World, eds. John K. Papadopoulos, Gary Urton (Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press – UCLA, 2012), 354-369. 34 For artistic evidence of blades bearing (pseudo)inscriptions see Parani, Reconstructing, 132, n. 146, and Grotowski, Arms and Armour, 350, n. 160 and p. 356. Epigrams on swords are discussed in Nikolaos Zagklas, ‘On the Sword of Alexios Kontostephanos,’ in Medieval Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics, vol. 3: Visual Arts, Material Culture, and Literature in Later Byzantium, ed. Foteini Spingou, ser. ed. Charles Barber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), where also earlier discussions of the epigrams can be found.


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the preposition ‘ἐπὶ’ (‘on’) in the title of the epigrams can suggest either performative or inscriptional use does not help to clarify how the verses were used. Since the latter use has rather been questioned above, I will focus on the former. The rhythmic structure of the texts leaves little doubt that they were meant to be read aloud. In addition, the multiple references to the marriage, the use of metaphors and modifiers found frequently in acclamatory texts (deme-hymns) for the emperor and his family, and the length of the texts – ten to twelve verses, a number frequently found in acclamations – suggests that the epigrams were intended for public performance.35 The imagery of the first text seems to recall a context similar to that of an imperial celebration. For the Byzantine audience, a kneeling barbarian might bring to mind the ceremony of proskynesis during which the emperor’s subjects would prostrate themselves before him.36 The references to gleaming might suggest the ceremony of prokypsis, which was developed under the Komnenoi and included the solemn sun-like appearance of the emperor and his family on a platform.37 The two texts, however, were not composed to acclaim the emperor, but to express love and devotion to him and to accompany a gift. This particular literary mode, the dedicatory epigram on a work of art, enjoyed a certain popularity in the twelfth century, and donors from the highest to the lowest social classes would commission such texts to accompany a gift.38 This is perhaps to be expected of an age with a high appreciation for education.39 Such dedicatory epigrams could be performed in literary circles, as attested in letters and orations;40 however the surviving corpus of these epigrams refers almost exclusively to acts of devotion to holy persons. Devotional epigrams on works of art include a number of formal structural components that also appear in our epigrams. They are characterised 35 For an introduction to such poems see Wolfram Hörandner, ‘Court Poetry: Questions of Motifs, Structure and Function,’ in Rhetoric in Byzantium, ed. Elizabeth Jeffreys (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 75-85. 36 Cf. the famous depiction of Basil II (r. 976-1025) in his Menologion (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. Vat. gr. 1613, f. 3, c. 1000) see, e.g. Iohannis Spatharakis, The Portrait in Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1976), 20-26, esp. 23-26. 37 See Michael Jeffreys, ‘The Comnenian Prokypsis,’ Parergon 5 (1985): 38-53. 38 See Lauxtermann, Byzantine Poetry, 158-166. 39 On the importance of paideia and logoi under the Komnenoi, see, e.g., Magdalino, Manuel, 325-356 and 382-412. For a more recent overview see Averil Cameron, Arguing It Out: Discussion in Twelfth-Century Byzantium (Budapest: CEU Press, 2016), 19-36. 40 Discussed in detail with references in Ivan Drpić, Epigram, Art and Devotion in Later Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

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by different blocks of content concerning the occasion, the offering, and the donor or the devotee; they also include a final supplication to the dedicatee. 41 These blocks may not appear in the same order, but all of them are nearly always present. Both of our epigrams have been composed using these ‘content blocks.’ They refer to the object (I,1-5 and II,1-2), to the offering and its purpose (I,6 and II,5-8), as well as the donor (I,7-8 and II,3-4). The last epigram, as if it were to conclude the series, offers a final supplication to God. The epigrams thus reflect the devotional practices of the audience they address. This aspect becomes even more evident if we consider the vocabulary. The poet employs the word philtron (φίλτρον, love) which is used often in the composition of religious epigrams as a means of describing the love of the donor for the sacred dedicatee. 42 One can compare Mary’s words to those of another foreign bride, Eirene-Dobrodeja, the wife of Alexios, the first son of John II Komnenos.43 The epigram, which concerns the dedication of a gilded revetment to an icon of St. George, expresses its affection to the martyr with the following words:44 […] the golden ornament that I bring [to you] accept indeed [O St. George] as a sample of my love [philtron] for you. […] χρυσοῦν δὲ κόσμον ὃν φέρω τοῦ πρὸς σὲ φίλτρου δεῖγμα γνησίως δέχου.

If we compare this passage to the epigram on the belt, one cannot miss the parallels in the wording of the texts. Both Mary and Eirene offer an ‘(en) 41 On epigraphic evidence: Andreas Rhoby, ‘The Structure of Inscriptional Dedicatory Epigrams in Byzantium,’ Quaderni 5 (2010): 309-322. On evidence from epigrams surviving in manuscripts see Foteini Spingou, Words and Artworks in the Twelfth-Century and Beyond (DPhil thesis, Oxford University, 2012/13), 185-198. 42 On the ‘Erotics of Devotion’ see Drpić, Epigram. 43 On Eirene-Dobrodeja, daughter of Mstislavna, daughter of the prince of the Ros’ see Panagopoulou, Οι διπλωματικοί γάμοι, 246-247. 44 Spingou, The Anthologia Marciana, B72, vv. 13-14. These verses are not included in the article on the poetic anthology in manuscript Marcianus Graecus 524 by Spyridon Lambros (‘Ὁ Μαρκιανός,’ no. 235). Titos Papamastorakis offers a transcription of these particular verses in his article: ‘The Display of Accumulated Wealth in Luxury Icons: Gift-giving from the Byzantine Aristocracy to God in the Twelfth Century,’ in Byzantine Icons: Art, Technique and Technology. 20-21 February 1998. Gennadius Library – The American School of Classical Studies, ed. Maria Vassilaki (Heraklion: Crete University Press, 2002), 35-47, at p. 42, n. 21. The epigram dates from some point between 1122 (the date of the wedding) and 1131 (when Eirene died).


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deigma philtrou [(ἔν)δειγμα φίλτρου]’ – in a literal translation, ‘a sample of love’ – to express their devotion and veneration to a sacred being. Eirene’s veneration is addressed to St. George: this is indicated not only in the text of the epigram but also by the material offering, which is an adornment (a revetment) to the icon of the Saint. 45 The final supplication to St. George leaves little doubt as to the purpose of the gift. In order to understand the meaning of Mary’s gift, however, it is first necessary to understand the relationship between the imperial military costume (part of which was the belted sword) and the body of the emperor, and also what exactly the princess was offering according to the texts. If we are to explore the relationship, it is necessary to turn to the historiographical work of John Kinnamos. This imperial grammatikos, had accompanied Manuel I on many expeditions and wrote his history shortly after the Emperor’s death in 1180. His narrative is based on both imperial archives and personal experience, and it is addressed to the same audience as the two epigrams, a literary community familiar with theatra and court ceremonies.46 Kinnamos, an imperial encomiast, spends the first five books of his history – there are seven in total – preoccupied with Manuel’s martial deeds; only after the sixth book does he show some interest in other imperial virtues.47 This change coincided with developments in imperial propaganda that occurred concurrently with the events Kinnamos describes in the relevant books. 48 It is therefore safe to assume that Kinnamos’ narrative offers a fair insight into the relationship between the Emperor’s imperial body and his military costume as it was understood around the time that the two epigrams were performed before the emperor.

45 Icons were considered to represent the likeness of the depicted Saint, Mary or Christ, and even inanimated (‘empsychos icon’). The bibliography on the subject is vast. On some latest takes see Paroma Chatterjee, The Living Icon in Byzantium and Italy: the Vita Image, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Cornelia Tsakiridou, Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity: Orthodox Theology and the Aesthetics of the Christian Image (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013). 46 On the Komnenian theatron in particular, see Przemysław Marciniak, ‘Byzantine Theatron – A Place of Performance?’ in Theatron. Rhetorische Kultur in Spätantike und Mittelalter, ed. Michael Grünbart (Berlin-New York: De Gruyter, 2007), 277-285. 47 Ljubarskij, ‘John Kinnamos,’ 166. 48 Cf. Magdalino, Manuel, 437-439.

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Armour or Body? The Account of John Kinnamos In his recent book Arms and Armour of the Warrior Saints in Byzantium, Piotr Grotowski divides military gear into the categories of ‘military attire’ (armour, cloak, close-fitting trousers, boots, officers’ insignia), ‘weapons’ (lances or spears, and edged weapons), and ‘equestrian equipment’ (horse tack, spurs, horse armour). Grotowski’s division offers the modern reader a fair overview of these objects, but it does not represent the reception of the military gear in Byzantine rhetorical texts. Weaponry and panoply are not so clearly distinguished in the medieval sources, and all are considered components of the emperor’s military attire. 49 The relationship between the emperor’s body and his military attire discussed by Kinnamos appears as early as his narration of the events of 1150. The previous year had witnessed the first armed conflict between Byzantium and Hungary after a peace treaty which had lasted for twenty years. Hungary supported the struggle for independence of the Serbian župan of Rascia, which threatened Byzantine suzerainty in the Balkans, and the emperor decided to wage a war against his former allies.50 Kinnamos describes one of the most crucial battles of this war – by the river Tara in the Western Balkans – drawing on vivid details in order to exalt the deeds of the emperor. Byzantine spies reported that the troops of the Serbo-Hungarian alliance (further enlarged by Pechenegs) to be ‘uncountable,’ and to boost the morale of his soldiers the emperor ‘proceeded very eagerly, urging them [the Byzantine soldiers] to follow the standard bearer.’ The fatigue of the standard bearer’s horse forced ‘the emperor himself [to] seize the banner and race onward,’51 and soon afterward Manuel I was standing atop a small hill so that he himself and the banner would be visible to the enemy.52 With this sight, the imperial foes turned to flee.

49 E.g. Hörandner, Theodoros Prodromos, no. 45, vv. 71-74, p. 416. 50 On the campaign see Ferenc Makk, The Árpáds and the Comneni, trans. György Novák, revision of the translation by Maurice Cassidy and István Petrovics (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1989), 50-54. 51 John Kinnamos, Ioannis Cinnami Epitome Rerum ab Ioanne et Manuele Comnenis Gestarum, ed. Augustus Meineke (Bonn: Weber, 1836), 107, 21-22; Engl. trans. as Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus by John Kinnamos, trans. Charles M. Brand, (New York: Columbia University Press 1976), 86. 52 Kinnamos, Epitome, 107, 22-108,1; idem, Deeds, 86.


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It is notable that it was the banner which forced the enemies to retreat, and not the view of the emperor, as one might expect.53 Kinnamos does not say for sure whether the Serbo-Hungarian troops even recognised the emperor, and it is not until a few lines later that the Serbs perceive (‘αἰσθόμενοι’) the imperial presence in the battlefield.54 The Greek verb ‘αἰσθάνομαι’ (from which the participle ‘αἰσθόμενοι’ derives) adds a degree of ambiguity in the narrative, as it can mean both to recognise using one’s senses, or to be informed of something. The uncertainty of whether the opposing troops were able to recognise the emperor is not dispelled until he receives his full military attire. In this sequence of events, ‘the Emperor deemed very important to put on his armor’ for achieving ‘even greater deeds at the rest (of the campaign),’55 so he delayed his departure until the military attire was delivered. He soon resumed his position with the troops, and proceeded to launch a full attack. According to Kinnamos, the enemies were not ashamed to turn their backs, as ‘they recognized [the emperor] by his panoply (for it was abundantly covered in gold) and even more so they were certain for his presence by the height and the shape of his body (for he made the [ancient] heroes to look like amateurs, because he was unusual for his horsemanship and his ambidextrous manipulation of the weapons).’56 The narrative plays with the images of the ‘emperor like a soldier’ and ‘emperor as a soldier.’ The act of dressing becomes a metamorphosis, or rather a revelation of his true identity. The Serbo-Hungarian army ‘perceives’ the imperial presence during the battle but they do not recognise the emperor until he has assumed his military appearance. Although the combination of armour and the attributes of his natural body created Manuel’s fearsome appearance, he is only recognised after putting on the full armour. Among the qualities of the armour that Kinnamos mentions are its gilded appearance and its weight; the latter is obviously intended as praise for a strong, well-trained physical body. Indeed, Kinnamos repeats this point until the armour has become attached to the natural body; even when the emperor’s horse failed to carry his weight, the emperor

53 Kinnamos, Epitome, 108, 3-4, idem, Deeds, 86. 54 Kinnamos, Epitome, 108, 13-15, idem, Deeds, 87. 55 Kinnamos, Epitome, 108, 18-20, idem, Deeds, 87. 56 Ibid.

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continued to throw himself into the battlef ield, as if the armour were weightless. Kinnamos also emphasises the golden appearance of the armour. Gold was one of the most valuable materials, and thus appropriate for an emperor, but it was also closely related to radiance of light; Kinnamos’ description not only reflects the traditional image of the ruler as sun, but might have also reminded his audience of the ‘prokypsis’ ceremony.57 It is the military attire that makes the emperor’s physical body shine and transforms it into an imperial body. Yet the military attire is not merely an additional component of the emperor’s body: in the subsequent paragraph of the history, the two ‘bodies’ – the military attire and the emperor’s physical body – become one. During the same expedition, Manuel became engaged in a fierce closerange fight with the bravest of the Serbian leaders, župan Bágyon. Bágyon brought his sword down on the emperor’s jaw. Despite the force of the strike, Bágyon did not cut ‘the screen [of chain mail] which hung from the helmet over the eyes,’58 but the mail was pressed firmly onto Manuel’s flesh (σάρξ), leaving its imprint on the emperor’s face. Evidence of this blow must have been visible in the years to follow. Niketas Choniates, the second historian of Manuel’s reign, also refers to the imprint of the mail, despite being generally critical of imperial propaganda.59 This unique battle scar may have inspired the traditional praise of the emperor as a ‘helmsman,’ but more importantly the imprint on Manuel’s flesh, rendered his military attire a constant presence on his body; flesh and weaponry had become one. The importance of the imperial panoply returns later in Kinnamos’ narrative. In 1159, Manuel decided to celebrate his success against Mary’s stepfather, Raynald of Chântillon, with a spectacular procession into the city of Antioch. Raynald, the prince of Antioch, had recently recognised imperial suzerainty over the city, but his loyalty was questionable,60 and, according to Kinnamos, a treacherous plan was hatched by the ‘Latins:’61 57 See Magdalino, Manuel, 417-418 for a detailed discussion with further references. 58 Kinnamos, Epitome, 112, 2-3; idem, Deeds, 89. On the imperial helmet see Parani, Reconstructing, 124. 59 Niketas Choniates, Historia, ed. Jan Louis Van Dieten (Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 1975), 92; O City of Byzantium, Annals of Niketas Choniates, trans. Harry J. Magoulias (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1984), 54. 60 Magdalino, Manuel, 67-68; also Lilie, Byzantium and the Crusader States 176-183. 61 Kinnamos, Epitome, 186, 17-187, 15; idem, Deeds, transl. Brand, 142-143. The following translation is an amended version of that by Brand.


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Since the emperor was about to enter the city, the Antiochenes, as it seems, feared lest that the Romans’ forces, once admitted inside, would attempt to drive them out; not knowing how to divert the emperor’s rush (to enter), they presented him with “unhealthy considerations” [σκέψεις οὐχ ὑγιεῖς].62 These were that some rash fellows from among their citizens had plotted that when the emperor entered the city entirely unarmed [ἄνοπλος](for it were not otherwise f itting [οὐ γὰρ ἐπέοικεν]), they would practice some treachery against him. But the emperor understanding the treachery declared this fabricated event [τὸ πλαστευόμενον] would not take place, and in reply to those surrounding him he argued against them as impossible63: among other things and not least because the rex was about to parade unarmed rather far from the imperial body [ἄποθεν τοῦ βασιλείου σώματος].64 Instead Raynald and others stand by the trappings of the horse and be occupied with the cords of the saddle as they proceeded on foot and without any weapon [ὅπλου ἄνευ παντός]. A large company of ax-bearing barbarians, as was customary [ὥσπερ ἔθος ἐστί], would escort the emperor himself. Thus he refuted those pretenses, but when he was about to enter the city, he donned double breastplates, induced thereto by the inexhaustible strength of his body. Over these he put a garment [surcoat / κάνδυν] decorated with precious stones, not inferior in weight to what was underneath, and a crown and other things customary for the emperor [τἆλλα τοῦ βασιλείου ἔθους]. I can wonder at this, that after he had celebrated a triumph in the way in which he usually [εἴωθε] did one at Byzantion, and had reached the church of the apostle Peter, he nimbly dismounted from his horse and, when he was going to remount, he leapt up with a bound, in a way that not even the lightly armed troops or those entire unarmed do [ὥσπερ οὐδὲ τῶν ψιλῶν καὶ ἀνόπλων].65

For Kinnamos, the treachery is justified by the Latin mistrust of the emperor and, most importantly, by fear. This fear led them to have ‘unhealthy’ thoughts and to ask the emperor to lead a triumphal procession entirely unarmed. The plot, however, offers Kinnamos the opportunity to express ideas concerning the relation between the physical body of the emperor 62 63 64 65

Brand: ‘disturbed thoughts.’ Brand does not translate ‘ὅπως ἀδύνατά ἐστι ταῦτα.’ Brand: ‘the emperor’s person.’ Brand: ‘just as if he were entirely unarmed.’

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and his military attire. At first, he finds even the possibility of an unarmed emperor disturbing. As an illustration of imperial superiority, Raynald is forced by the emperor to march unarmed, and to hold the cords of the imperial saddle while surrounded by the most exclusive Byzantine guard.66 In the last part of the passage, Kinnamos mentions some of the most visual components of the military attire – the breastplates, a garment similar to a surcoat, and his crown – and he also notes that the emperor was not affected even a little by the weight of these components. Instead, Manuel ‘nimbly’ (κοῦφα) dismounts his horse and leaps on again as if he was completely unarmed. At this point, the passage comes full circle: the idea of an unarmed emperor was unhealthy, not only because it did not accord with Byzantine custom (as the author emphasises numerous times in his text), but also because the military attire was part of the imperial body. Manuel could not parade unarmed as he was asked to, because his armour was a part of his body. This connection between the armour and the body explains why he was able to leap on and off his horse swiftly, even while wearing artefacts that would have been extraordinarily heavy. This is no mere statement of the emperor’s physical strength. Indeed, Kinnamos states this cleary when referring to Raynald’s position during the planned triumph, using the phrase βασιλείου σώματος (royal body), instead of the expected βασιλέως (of the emperor). Physical body and military attire had become one.

Gifts to the Emperor’s Body The passages from John Kinnamos, quoted above, suggest that the military attire and physical body of the emperor should be considered a single entity. With this in mind, it is worth returning to ‘the gifts of words,’ – the epigrams – in order to examine the nature of the material gifts offered by Mary, and also the way in which the texts were attached to the objects by means of performance and/or inscriptions designed to reveal the meaning of the gifts to their audience. 66 William of Tyre, Chronique, 18.24; idem, A History of Deeds, II, 278 with his ‘Western’ eyes, understands the events quite differently. He states that Raynald parade along with the Byzantine guard not because he was censured, but rather because he was respected as one of the nobles of the Byzantine court. The passage is also discussed in George Ostrogorsky, ‘The Byzantine Emperor and the Hierarchical World Order,’ The Slavonic and East European Review 35, no. 84 (1956): 13-14.


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Although the title of the first epigram refers to ‘the Sword of the Emperor,’ the main text makes it clear that Mary offered only the gilding on the imperial sword (I,6), rather than a completely new weapon; Manuel already owned the sword (I,5), but it ‘was made even brighter’ with the additional ornament (I,2). This is not the only attested instance of a foreigner adorning an imperial sword. A few months before the wedding celebration of Mary and Manuel, Euthymios Malakes, a court rhetorician and later bishop of Neopatras, addressed an oration to the emperor on the occasion of the supplicatory visit of Kilij Arslan II, the Sultan of Iconium, to Constantinople. In this text, he refers to Manuel’s past victories in the course of which he recounts the triumph at Antioch. He then presents Mary’s stepfather to address Manuel with the following words: ‘You see, O Emperor, […] I dare to do terrible things. If you want to take me a captive, in order to hand me over like a toy to those who were injured, let one carry me after having taking hold of the rope; I also carry a sword for the enemies and myself sharpened the sword.’67

Raynald, like his stepdaughter, amplifies the sword that the emperor already possesses to show his submission to him. The title of the second epigram is less deceiving, as Mary does indeed present Manuel with a new belt (II,2). This particular belt however was not considered to be an imperial symbol. The poet Theodore Prodromos, in a poem for Manuel’s father, venerates ‘the helmet, the breastplates [and] the belt.’68 Since this belt was worn on the top of the breastplate, its purpose was similar to the gilding of the sword: it was intended to adorn an extant aspect of the imperial body, not add a new part to it. In this respect, the gifts are similar to reliquary boxes or icon revetments, which were offered to adorn the (likeness of the) dedicatee. The multiple references to the luxury of the objects support such an interpretation of the texts. 67 Λόγος εἰς τὸν αὐτοκράτορα κύριον Μανουὴλ τὸν Κομνηνόν, ἐκφωνηθεὶς ὅτε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Κωνσταντινούπολιν ὁ σουλτᾶνος προσελθὼν αὐτῷ, par. 21; ed. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Noctes Petropolitanae (Saint Petersburg, 1913), 179. Translation by Florin Leonte, ‘Euthymios Malakes: Oration for Manuel I Komnenos when the Sultan came to Constantinople,’ in Medieval Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics, vol. 3: Visual Arts, Material Culture, and Literature in Later Byzantium, ed. Foteini Spingou, ser. ed. Charles Barber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). William of Tyre narrates a very different story with Raynald, who had to plea for clemency, to offering his own sword (William of Tyre, Chronique, 18.23; idem, A History of Deeds, II, 277). 68 See Hörandner, Theodoros Prodromos, no. 19, v. 95.

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Mary’s gifts to the emperor are thus comparable to gifts presented by aristocrats to holy figures: the gilding and the belt are intended to beautify the (sacred) body of the emperor in the same way that a revetment would have beautified an icon. Furthermore, the dedicatory epigrams, as a literary mode, is associated primarily with religious offerings, and the terms with which Mary’s gifts are described would be equally appropriate to this context: the materials, although valuable, cannot measure the fervent love of the dedicatee. In this sense, the imperial sword is not unlike a relic – which was also to be adorned and venerated – nor is the imperial body dissimilar from an icon, which was considered to be animated (empsychos).69 Of the dedicatory epigrams that have survived, the majority were composed to express personal devotion to a saint, the Virgin, or Christ. They were personal prayers, which explained what inspired the gift, its content, and its ultimate purpose as an act of self-aggrandisement and a demonstration of cultural supremacy in Constantinopolitan society. The recitation of these epigrams – either by the new empress herself 70 or by someone in her entourage – would have highlighted the similarities between this secular offering and a religious act familiar to the Byzantine audience; the empress would have presented her gifts to the supreme earthly power in a manner that was equally appropriate for presenting gifts to the divine one. This is not surprising, for the ruler was praised as the ‘anointed one’ (χριστός) and could be represented as bearing a halo;71 it is even less presumptuous when directed toward an emperor praised as a second God, who even bore the name of Christ (Emmanuel/Manuel).72 The connections that result from particular types of representation have been adequately explained by medieval and modern scholars as traditional tenets of the Byzantine Kaiseridee. It is also hard to imagine that the 69 See p. 58, n. 45 above. Swords of military saints were venerated as relics in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. For instance, the encolpion of Constantine IX Monomachos included part of St. George’s sword. The epigram for this amulet has been preserved. Anthologia Marciana, Lambros, ‘Μαρκιανὸς,’ 128 (no. 112) = Spingou (forthcoming): B168. Cf. the canon for St Demetrius by John Mavropous (11th c.) in which the sword of the martyr is ‘forged in heavens’ (‘οὐρανοχάλκευτον’). Francesco D’Aiuto, Tre canoni di Giovanni Mauropode in onore di santi militari (Bollettino dei Classici Suppl. 13.) (Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1994), Can. 2, line 250. 70 Diplomatic Brides are known to have received the appropriate education, see Hilsdale, ‘Constructing,’ 474-477. 71 On the halo see Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 79-81. 72 For example, Lambros, ‘Ὁ Μαρκιανός,’ no. 70 = Spingou, The Anthologia Marciana, B128, v. 41, discussed in Paul Magdalino and Robert Nelson, ‘The Emperor in Byzantine Art of the Twelfth Century,’ Byzantinische Forschungen 8 (1982): 123-183, esp. 135-137.


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connection between an emperor and a saint, which is evident even to a modern audience, would not have been well understood by the Byzantine audience. After all, the emperor was God’s representative on earth and anointed (christos) by Him. In order to make this connection implicit for the official celebration, the author of the epigram included a supplication to God at the end (II,9-10).

Body Politic and the Emperor’s Physical Body Both of the material gifts are exceptional: they were attached to the Emperor’s body, their only purpose is to adorn it, and there is a suggestive parallel with ornaments of religious icons. In order to explain why these gifts were created, one must examine the connection between the emperor’s body and the body of the empire in the context of political developments around the year 1160. One must, in other words, see the emperor’s body as representing his land, and his union with Mary as a metaphor for the legal unification of Antioch and Byzantium. After Manuel’s triumphal entry into Antioch and the suzerainty agreement of 1159, a series of dramatic events occurred.73 Raynald of Chântillon, Mary’s stepfather and Manuel’s unreliable ally, was captured by the prince of Aleppo. Mary’s mother Constance claimed the throne of Antioch for herself, but the nobles, together with Baldwin III of Jerusalem, elevated Bohemond III, Mary’s brother (and Constance’s son) to the throne. The Byzantine marriage proposal came at a time when Bohemond’s influence was becoming increasing prevalent. The wedding would secure Byzantine interests in the region under the status quo of Bohemond III,74 and would also allow the children of Manuel and Mary to claim Antioch’s throne in the event that Bohemond or his brother did not produce a male heir. Mary’s arrival in Constantinople and her marriage to emperor Manuel was not merely an offering to the body of the Emperor (and, by extension, the empire), but served also to secure an existing dominion. In the same way that Mary adorned the body of the Emperor with her gifts, her union with Manuel adorned and enforced the territorial possessions of the Empire. Antioch, which offered secure grounds in the time of the Crusades, was of particular importance to Byzantine plans for expansion. In the words

73 See p. 61-63 above. 74 On the events see Lilie, Byzantium and the Crusader States, 184-187.

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of the epigram, the unification would allow the emperor to ‘secure [his] sovereignty and circumscribe the earth for [his] power.’ Such an interpretation has a solid foundation in twelfth-century rhetoric. The understanding of a province as part of the βασιλείου σώματος (imperial body) also appears in an oration written by Niketas Choniates for the wedding of Emperor Isaac II Angelos (r. 1185-1195 and 1203-04) and Maria/ Margaret, daughter of King Béla III of Hungary, in 1186. In this text Choniates exalts the emperor because he had been ‘pre-occupied with the scattered and broken limbs of the body of the empire, until he brought them into one unity.’75 For Choniates, as for many authors before him, the Empire (βασιλεία) was a body and the emperor was responsible for it.76 Although Choniates notes the presence of the ‘royal body,’ he does not perceive it to be the same as the emperor’s physical body. The equation of the two would only have been possible during a brief period when emphasis on the physical properties of the emperor’s body reached a new high in imperial rhetoric. In the 1150s and 1160s Manuel was portrayed as the ultimate soldier and military leader due to the way he used his natural body. His hands were weapons that could bring about the defeat of his enemies, but they could also enact imperial benevolence; his sweat saves the empire, and his lack of sleep, food and water makes him a new ascetic for the salvation of his kingdom.77 Such levels of corporeality in imperial rhetoric were unprecedented.

75 Iohannes van Dieten, Nicetae Choniatae orationes et epistulae (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1972), Oration 5, p. 37, l. 29. For a detailed commentary see idem, Niketas Choniates, Erläuterungen zu den Reden und Briefen nebst einer Biographie (Berlin-New York: De Gruyter, 1971), 92-95. 76 A well-known topos from at least Late Antiquity, see, e.g., Synesius, ‘Oratio de Regno,’ in Synesii Cyrenensis opuscula, ed. Nicola Terzaghi (Rome: Polygraphica, 1944), sections 13 and 22; Photius, ‘Letter 241, 39,’ in Photii patriarchae Constantinopolitani Epistulae et Amphilochia, ed. Basileios Laourdas and Leendert Gerrit Westerink, 6 vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1984), II. I am grateful to Marina Loukaki for these references. For further references to the work of Michael Psellos see Anthony Kaldellis, The Byzantine Republic: People and Power in New Rome (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2015), 15, 19 (though needs to be treated with caution). Averil Cameron, Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire: The Development of Christian Discourse, Sather Classical Lectures (Berkeley, London: University of California Press 1991), 68-69; Alan Cameron and Jacqueline Longe, Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press, 1993), 96-97. 77 See Grammatiki Karla, ‘Das literarische Porträt Kaiser Manuels I. Komnenos in den Kaiserreden des 12. Jh.,’ Byzantinische Zeitschrift 101 (2008): 669-679. Magdalino, Manuel, 420, 428, 448-450.


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Epilogue: Twists in the Imperial Propaganda Any effort to uncover ‘political theologies’ in Byzantium must deal with the fundamental problem of the sources, specifically the absence of theoretical treatises on political philosophy and the selective survival of rhetorical texts.78 In the present study, I have used a series of encomiastic texts to discuss the relation between the emperor’s physical body and his military attire, as well as to interpret a set of intriguing gifts. From these sources, we may infer that, in the 1160s, there was a tendency for the imperial body to be understood as being a combination of the emperor’s physical body and his military attire. This body could be venerated in a manner befitting the holy. This perception of the imperial body offers an ephemeral twist on the imperial propaganda of Byzantium in general and the Komnenian dynasty in particular. The body of the emperor had not been developed into the ‘combined body’ and the ‘body of the empire’ which appear in laudatory works written for Manuel’s imperial ancestors. The account of the deeds of Alexios I – written by his daughter Anna and supposedly continued by Kinnamos – emphasises the image of the emperor as soldier, but there is no attempt to associate the emperor’s physical body with his panoply.79 The image of Manuel that appears around 1160 was developed as a consequence of the contemporary political situation, specifically a desire for expansion that could lead to the survival of the empire. This twist remarkably coincides with a wider shift in the imperial laudation, as this has been observed in Paul Magdalino’s seminal work on the reign of Manuel I Komnenos. According to Paul Magdalino, Manuel’s ‘early years’ as emperor (1143-1160) strove to emphasise in his legitimation to the Byzantine throne, while the later period (1160-1180) is distinguished by a project of a more ‘humane’ image.80 The scheme ‘military attire + physical body = the body of the emperor = the body of the empire’ was eventually abandoned when it became 78 On the relevant methodological problems see Angelov, Imperial Ideology, 15-25. The term ‘political theology’ has been given various interpretations in the field of Byzantine studies. For an overview see Antonio Carile, ‘Political Theology in Byzantium as Seen by 20th Century Historians,’ Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage 7 (2007): 73-109; and idem, Teologia politica bizantina (Spoleto: Fondazione Centro italiano di studi sull’alto Medioevo, 2008). 79 See for example the recent discussion of Penelope Buckley who discusses in detail the image of Alexios in the Alexiad; The Alexiad of Anna Komnene: Artistic Strategy in the Making of a Myth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 107-167. 80 See Magdalino, Manuel, 434-454 and 454-470 respectively.

The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Vener ation of the Emperor’s Body


apparent that the military strength of the empire needed to be supported by soft diplomacy in the field of religion. The next ‘arsenal’ (ὁπλοθήκη) of the emperor was ‘sacred’ and it was compiled from quotations of the church fathers, sample dialogues and syllogisms, for combat in the field of the Christian dogma.81 For Manuel, an agreement between the Latin, Armenian, and Byzantine churches became more important than a military expedition. The ‘Sacred Arsenal’ was assembled by an imperial officer, Andronikos Kamateros, as a guide for engaging with the Latins and the Armenians on matters of related to faith. Kamateros used the words of the emperor, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit, as a dedicatory epigram for the compilation. Just as the sword was indistinguishable from the imperial body in the late 1150s and early 1160s, the ‘inspired words’ of the emperor became indistinguishable from the imperial persona in the 1170s; and just as military attire had been part of his body before, the role of priest and ‘chief scientific expert of ecclesiastical affairs’ (epistemonarches) were now embedded into the imperial body. Manuel I, according to Kinnamos, assumes the persona of the great emperor in the eyes of the enemies/beholders only after donning his military attire; yet the emperor’s physical body cannot absolve its imperial identity as long as he resides in the Earthly Kingdom. Niketas Choniates describes the moment when Manuel prepares to depart from the world, thus separating the two bodies: after recognising that his death was approaching, he asked those around him to bring him the monastic garment. In assuming the habit, Manuel surrendered ‘the sweet and royal garments’ (τὰ μαλακὰ καὶ ἀρχικὰ ἄμφια) and those around him ‘dressed him in the coarse habit of the life in God, converting him into a spiritual soldier with a more divine helmet and a more holy breastplate, and enrolled him in the army of the Heavenly Rulers.’82 With this transformation into a monk, Manuel’s body ceased to be imperial: his attendants could see his human body, as the garb had left his knees bare and in common view. For the first time, Manuel’s physical body was exposed to human eyes and those around him shuddered in fear as they ‘reflected on human frailty at the end of life and wretchedness of the body.’83 The two bodies were now separated, and although Manuel’s physical body was to die, imperator nunquam moritur. 81 For the text see Alessandra Bucossi, Andronici Camateri Sacrum Armamentarium, Pars Prima (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), esp. 7-10. For a discussion of the Komnenian ‘Sacred Arsenals’ see Cameron, Arguing It Out, 68-74, with further bibliography. 82 Choniates, Historia, 221-22, idem, Annals, 125. 83 Ibid.


Foteini Spingou

Appendix I. Ἐπὶ τῷ ξίφει τοῦ βασιλέως. 5 10

Ξίφους μὲν ἀνταύγεια συγχέει κόρας· ἂν προστεθῇ χρυσός δε, συζοφοῖ πλέον. τίς βάρβαρος γοῦν ἀντιβλεπτεῖν ἰσχύσει, ὅταν Mανουήλ, πορφυρανθὴς αὐτάναξ, ἐναέριον τοῦτο τὸ ξίφος στρέφῃ, οὗ τὴν λαβὴν ἔστιλψε λαμπρῷ χρυσίῳ, βλάστημα ῥηγῶν, συμπάρευνος Μαρία, φίλτρῳ πλέον λάμποντι καὶ τοῦ χρυσίου; πᾶς ἐχθρός, οὐκοῦν, κρύπτε χερσὶ τὰς κόρας, καὶ φρίττε, πίπτε, λεῖχε τῆς πτέρνης κόνιν, οὗ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἀνδρικώτερον σθένος, ὡς μὴ ζοφωθῇς ἀστραπηβόλῳ ξίφει.

10. Is. 49:23

On the sword of the Emperor 5 10

The glint of the sword confuses the eyes; and if gold is added to it, it dazzles even further. So which barbarian will be able to look straight, when Manuel, the purple-blooming Emperor, brandishes this sword, the hilt of which has been made bright with shining gold by his spouse, Mary, the sprout of kings, [motivated by] love even shinier than gold? All enemies, hide your eyes with your hands, shudder with fear, fall on your knees, lick the dust of his heel [of him] whose courage [is] greater than any other man’s, so that you will not be dazzled by his lightening sword.

II. Ἐπὶ χρυσῷ ζωστῆρι.

Ἐκ μαργαριτῶν, ἐκ λίθων, ἐκ χρυσίου σοὶ τήνδε συμπλέξασα τὴν ζώνην νέμω, αὐτοκράτορ μου, τῆς ζωῆς πλουτισμέ μου, συναυτάνασσα ῥηγόβλαστος Mαρία.

The Supreme Power of the Armour and the Vener ation of the Emperor’s Body

5 10

ἔνδειγμα φίλτρου καθαροῦ τὸ χρυσίον, συννεύσεως δὲ τῆς πρὸς ἕν, σὲ καὶ μόνον, τὸ σφαιροειδὲς τῶν φεραυγῶν μαργάρων, τὸ δ᾽ ἀρραγὲς κράζουσιν οἱ στερροὶ λίθοι. εἴη Θεός δε δύναμιν σὲ ζωννύων, κράτει δὲ τῷ σῷ γῆς περιγράφων γύρον

10. Cf. Ps. 17 (18): 33.

On a golden belt 4 2 1 3 5

I, the co-empress, the offspring of the kings, Mary, offer you this belt which I have woven with pearls, precious stones and gold for you, my Emperor, wealth of my life. The gold demonstrates my pure love, and the spherical form of the brilliant pearls my agreement with one person, you and only you, and the solid precious stones proclaim the unbreakable [nature of the marriage-bond]. May God gird you with strength and bring the entire earth under your rule.


The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia and the Sacralisation of Political Power in the High Middle Ages* Paweł Figurski

We are informed by the texts of the Gospels that in this Church and in her power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal. […] However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. […] Therefore whoever resists this [papal, P.F.] power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2]. […] Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.1

These strong views come from the well-known papal bull Unam sanctam of Boniface VIII (d. 1303), which dates to November 18, 1302, and was published and inserted into the Register of the Curia on August 15, 1303. In this document, the Roman Pontiff took up the idea of ‘two swords,’ symbolising the spiritual authority of the clergy and the temporal political power * I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Nanovic Insititute for European Studies (University of Notre Dame) for the grant that enabled me to consult the Płock Pontifical at the f inal stage of the production of this paper. My warmest thanks I would like to give to those professors, who supported me during my research. Zbigniew Dalewski met with me to discuss my thesis. His generosity, both with time and advice exceeded my expectations. I also owe tremendous debts to John van Engen, Susan Rankin and David Ganz who have read the manuscript and provided me with very useful comments and suggestions for further reading. Ideas which are included in this paper I have presented at various conferences and individually with scholars, and I found very helpful the suggestions expressed by Peter Jeffery. I would like to thank Belen Vicens and Anna Siebach-Larsen who proofread a draft of this paper. All remaining errors of fact, interpretation, or English are mine alone. To this long list of scholars whom I owe a special word of thanks I would also like to thank my aunt Elżbieta Mendelska, to whom I dedicate this text as a thanksgiving for received charity. 1 Translation by Paul Halsall in Medieval Sourcebook: Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302, (accessed January 4, 2017). Latin text: Les Registres de Boniface VIII. Recueil des Bulles de ce Pape publiées ou analysées d’après les Manuscrits Originaux des Archives du Vatican, ed. Georges Digard, 4 vols. (Paris: E. De Boccard, 1884-1939), III (1921), no. 5382, cols. 888-890.


Paweł Figurski

of the monarchs.2 The doctrine of the two swords, based on a peculiar understanding of Luke 22:28, was first formulated by Peter Damian (d. 1072), although the concept of dividing the world order into the spiritual authority of the clergy (auctoritas sacrata pontificum) and the temporal power of kings (regalis potestas) has a longer history.3 Nevertheless, after the death of Peter Damian, the idea of the two swords was elaborated by the followers of the German king and Roman emperor Henry IV (d. 1106) in order to legitimise and sustain the sacrality of his office when it was contested by the reformers of the Church. 4 Nearly two centuries later, the doctrine of the two swords is found in the papal document quoted above, in which it was used to claim the superiority of spiritual power over temporal political power in a way that seemed to provide the pope with the kind of sacrality that was once contested by Gregory VII (d. 1086) and his followers. Thus, the so-called ‘Gregorian Reform’ did not fully unclothe the kings of their supernatural aura, and did not prevent the popes from investing

2 Tilmann Schmidt, ‘Unam sanctam,’ in Lexikon des Mittelalters, eds. Robert Auty et al., 9 vols. (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1980-1998), VIII (1997), cols. 1214-1215; Karl Ubl, ‘Die Genese der Bulle Unam Sanctam: Anlaß, Vorlagen, Intention,’ in Politische Reflexion in der Welt des späten Mittelalters. Political Thought in the Age of Scholasticism: Essays in Honour of Jürgen Miethke, ed. Martin von Kaufhold (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004), 129-149; Kathleen Cushing, ‘Papal Authority and Its Limitations,’ in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity, ed. John H. Arnold (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 528. 3 On the relationship between ecclesiastical and royal powers before the High Middle Ages, see among others Hans H. Anton, Fürstenspiegel und Herrscherethos in der Karolingerzeit (Bonn: L. Röhrscheid, 1968), 116-132; 198-245; Walter Ullmann, Gelasius I. (492-496). Das Papstum an der Wende der Spätantike zum Mittelalter (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1981), 198-212; Marc Reydellet, La royauté dans la littérature latine de Sidoine Apollinaire à Isidore de Seville (Rome: Ecole française de Rome, 1981), 462-505; Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Il trono di Pietro. L’universalità del papato da Alessandro III a Bonifacio VIII (Roma: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1996), 165-66; FranzReiner Erkens, Herrschersakralität im Mittelalter. Von den Anfängen bis zum Investiturstreit (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 2006), 190-200; Aloys Suntrup, Studien zur politischen Theologie im frühmittelalterlichen Okzident (Münster: Aschendorff, 2001), esp. 413-429; Mayke de Jong, ‘Ecclesia and the Frankish Polity,’ in Staat in frühen Mittelalter, eds. Walter Pohl, Stuart Airlie and Helmut Reimitz (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2006), 113-132; Francis Oakley, Empty Bottles of Gentilism: Kingship and the Divine in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (to 1050) (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2010); a philosophic view: Martin Rhonheimer, Christentum und säkularer Staat. Geschichte – Gegenwart – Zukunft (Freiburg i.B; Basel; Wien: Herder, 2012), 33-74. 4 On the idea of the two swords, see Wilhelm Levison, ‘Die mittelalterlische Lehre von den beiden Schwertern,’ Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 9 (1952): 28-32; Hartmut Hoffmann, ‘Die beiden Schwerter im hohen Mittelalter,’ Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 20 (1964): 78-79; Werner Goez, ‘Zwei-Schwerter-Lehre,’ in Lexikon des Mittelalters, IX, cols. 725-726.



themselves with royal splendour.5 In the present paper I will examine one of the often-marginalised agents who participated in this struggle, namely the secular rulers who were not anointed kings, and I will focus specifically on the neglected region of Mazovia. This region, which is now located in central Poland, lay on the edge of Christendom during the High Middle Ages and, despite its marginality, belongs to the main narrative of the Middle Ages regarding the sacralisation of political power. I argue that the Polish dukes of Mazovia in the High Middle Ages strove to appropriate the concept of sacralised political power for themselves. One of the evidences for this argument is the hitherto unknown Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia (d. 1311), which I analyse in the context of other contemporary sources from the period between ca. 1175 and ca. 1311 in order to demonstrate that ideas of sacralised political power elaborated in the centres of Latin Christendom appeared also in its borderlands. Although the term ‘sacralisation’ is well established in the German (die Sakralisierung), French (sacralisation), and Polish (sakralizacja) traditions of research, it might be confusing for those acquainted with English 5 The history of sacralisation after the Reform of the eleventh century has been studied in the following classic works (selection): Fritz Kern, Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht im Früheren Mittelalter. Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Monarchie (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1973 [1914]), 98-106, 113-120; Marc Bloch, Les rois thaumaturges. Étude sur le caractère surnaturel attribué à la puissance royale, particulièrement en France et en Angleterre (Strasbourg: Librairie Istra, 1924), 89-409; Ernst H. Kantorowicz, Laudes Regiae: A Study in Liturgical Acclamations and Mediaeval Ruler Worship (Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 1946), 112-125, 129-142; Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957), 87-273; William Ch. Jordan, Louis IX and the Challenge of the Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), esp. 191-195, 210-213; Sergio Bertelli, The King’s Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, trans. Robert Burr Litchfield (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001 [orig. 1990]); Jacques Le Goff, ‘Le roi dans l’occident médiéval caractères originaux,’ in Kings and Kingship in Medieval Europe, ed. Anne J. Duggan (London: King’s College London Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, 1993), 16-18; Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Il corpo del papa (Torino: Giulio Einaudi, 1994), 82-109; Jacques Le Goff, Saint Louis (Paris: Gallimard, 1995), esp. 642-657, 826-858; Bagliani, Il trono di Pietro, 165-180. Recently the problem of medieval sacralisation has been studied by Francis Oakley, The Mortgage of the Past: Reshaping the Ancient Political Inheritance (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2012); Francis Oakley, The Watershed of Modern Politics: Law, Virtue, Kingship, and Consent (1300-1650) (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2015). However, Oakley adopts the traditional narrative on the so-called Investiture Contest as the rupture in the sacralisation of political power that is characteristic mostly of earlier German historiography. A new evaluation of this period is postulated by Maureen C. Miller, ‘The Crisis in the Investiture Crisis Narrative,’ History Compass 7, no. 6 (2009): 1570-1580. More literature on sacralisation of political power in the Middle Ages is available in a bibliography on my website:


Paweł Figurski

historiography and thus requires a precise definition. One particular problem for scholars might be the genesis of the term ‘sacralisation’ which was derived from the concept of ‘sacral kingship’ and has been used to describe the world order in pre-Christian societies, where a ruler served both as king and priest, and where the religious and political spheres were tightly bound if not identical.6 The concept of ‘Germanic sacral kingship’ was central to the analysis of medieval societies and was seen as a take-over from preChristian ideas. It was even utilised as the basis for the already Christianised kingdoms of the Merovingians, Carolingians and Ottonians.7 In recent 6 On sacral kingship in the classical sense (selection): James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions, ed. Robert Fraser (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998 [1890]), 22-26; The Sacral Kingship: Contributions to the Central Theme of the VIIIth International Congress for the History of Religions (Rome, April 1955) = La Regalità Sacra. Contributi al tema dell’ VIII congresso internationale di storia delle religioni (Roma, aprile 1955), ed. collective (Leiden: Brill, 1959) especially the papers by: Edwin Oliver James, ‘The Sacred Kingship and the Priesthood,’ 63-70; Margaret Murray, ‘The Divine King,’ 595-608; Georges Dumézil, Mythes et dieux des Germains. Essai d’interprétation comparative (Paris: E. Leroux, 1939), 17-34; Herwig Wolfram, ‘ Methodische Fragen zur Kritik am “sakralen” Königtum germanischer Stämme,’ in Festschrift für Otto Höfler zum 65. Geburtstag, eds. Helmut Birkhan, Otto Gschwantler, 2 vols. (Wien: Notring, 1968), II, 473- 490; William A. Chaney, The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England: The Transition from Paganism to Christianity (Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970), 7-43; Daniel G. Russo, Sacral Kingship in Early Medieval Europe: the Germanic Tradition (M.A. thesis, University of New Hampshire, 1978), especially see the bibliography on 14-96; David Harry Miller, ‘Sacral Kingship, Biblical Kingship, and the Elevation of Pepin the Short,’ in Religion, Culture, and Society in the Early Middle Ages: Studies in Honor of Richard E. Sullivan, eds. Thomas F.X. Noble, John J. Contreni (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 1987), 131-154; Gábor Klaniczay, ‘From Sacral Kingship to Self-Representation: Hungarian and European Royal Saints,’ in Gábor Klaniczay, The Uses of Supernatural Power: The Transformation of Popular Religion in Medieval and Early-Modern Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), 80-84; Herwig Wolfram, ‘Origo et religio: Ethnic Traditions and Literature in Early Medieval Texts,’ Early Medieval Europe 3, no. 1 (1994): 25, 37-38; Jane Swotchak Ourand, Louis the Pious and Judith Augusta: In Defense of Sacral Kingship in the Imperium Christianum of the Early Ninth Century (PhD thesis, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1998) (in many points rather bizzare work); Régine Le Jan, ‘La sacralité de la royauté mérovingienne,’ Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 58, no. 6 (2003): 1217-1241; Ronald G. Asch, Sacral Kingship between Dissenchantment and Re-enchantment: The French and English Monarchies 1587-1688 (New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014), 3-4, 6, 9. 7 To give just a few examples, the most influential works are Bloch, Les rois thaumaturges, 51-79; Percy E. Schramm, Kaiser, Könige und Päpste. Beiträge zur allgemeinen Geschichte, 4 vols. (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, (1968-1971), IV bk I (1970 [1947]), 57-103, esp. 69-70; Helmut Beumann, ‘I. Die Sakrale Legitimierung des Herrschers im Denken der Ottonischen Zeit,’ Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Germanistische Abteilung 66, no. 1 (1948): 1-45; Karl Hauck, ‘Gelbütsheiligkeit,’ in Liber Floridus. Mittellateinische Studien. Paul Lehman zum 65. Geburtstag, eds. Bernhard Bischoff, Suso Brechter (St. Ottilien: Eos Verlag, 1950),



decades, the idea of ‘sacral kingship’ has been criticised by scholars; sources in which the influence of ‘Germanic sacral kingship’ was once attested have been reinterpreted by historians, who have suggested that the term is often too vague or misleading in assuming pre-Christian ideas instead of a Christian theory of political power.8 By using the term ‘sacralisation’ in this paper, my aim is not to recall pre-Christian heritage or to suggest a continuation of ‘sacral kingship.’ Instead, I refer to the phenomenological structure that existed throughout the Middle Ages, in which medieval rulers tended to take over the roles, symbols, attributes, or duties of the highest members of the Christian clergy; in doing so, rulers or other agents were able to suggest that God’s will was present in the political deeds of monarchs, in

187-240; Otto Höfler, ‘Der Sakralcharakter des germanischen Königtums,’ in Das Königtum. Seine geistigen und rechtlichen Grundlagen, ed. Theodor Mayer (Lindau: J. Thorbecke, 1956), 75-104; John M. Wallace-Hadrill, Early Germanic Kingship in England and on the Continent (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971); Reinhard Wenskus, Stammesbildung und Verfassung. Das Werden der frühmittelalterlischen ‘gentes’ (Köln; Wien: Böhlau, 1977), 576-582; Karl Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony (London: Arnold, 1979), 75-109; Reinhard Wenskus, ‘Religion abâtardie. Materiellen zum Synkretismus in der vorchristlichen politischen Theologie der Franken,’ in Iconologia Sacra. Mythos, Bildkunst und Dichtung in der Religions- und Sozialgeschichte Alteuropas. Festschrift für Karl Hauck zum 75. Geburtstag, eds. Hagen Keller and Nikolaus Staubach (Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1994), 248. 8 Walter Baetke, Yngvi und die Ynglinger. Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung über das nordische Sakralkönigtum (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1964), 173-181; František Graus, Volk, Herrscher und Heiliger im Reich der Merowinger. Studien zur Hagiographie der Merowingerzeit (Praha: Nakladatelství Československé akademie věd, 1965), 313-333; Klaus von See, Kontinuitätstheorie und Sakraltheorie in der Germanenforschung. Antwort an Otto Höfler (Frankfurt/M: Athenäum, 1972), 41-49; Eve Picard, Germanisches Sakralkönigtum? Quellenkritische Studien zur Germania des Tacitus und zur altnordischen Überlieferung (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1991), 11-14, 38, 223-324; Walter Goffart, ‘Two Notes on Germanic Antiquity Today,’ Traditio 50 (1995): 9-19; Alexander Callander Murray, ‘Post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar, Merovech, and sacral kingship,’ in After Rome’s Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Essays Presented to Walter Goffart, ed. Alexander Callander Murray (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 121-152; Jens Ivo Engels, ‘Das “Wesen” der Monarchie? Kritische Anmerkungen zum “Sakralkönigtum” in der Geschichtswissenschaft,’ Majestas 7 (1999): 3-39; Ian N. Wood, ‘Deconstructing the Merovingian Family,’ in The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts, eds. Richard Corradini, Martin Diesenberger, Helmut Reimitz (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003), 149-155, 170-171; Yitzhak Hen, ‘The Christianisation of Kingship,’ in Der Dynastiewechsel von 751. Vorgeschichte, Legitimationsstrategien und Erinnerung, eds. Matthias Becher, Jörg Jarnut (Münster: Scriptorium, 2004), 163-177; Franz-Reiner Erkens, ‘Sakralkönigtum und sakrales Königtum. Anmerkungen und Hinweise,’ in Das frühmittelalterliche Königtum. Ideelle und religiöse Grundlagen, ed. Franz-Reiner Erkens (Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005), 1-8; Erik Goosmann, ‘The Long-Haired Kings of the Franks: “Like so Many Samsons?,”’ Early Medieval Europe 20, no. 3 (2012): 233-259.


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a manner similar to the acts of ordained clergy performing the sacraments.9 The dukes of Mazovia may be counted among these rulers.

Mazovia in the Early and High Middle Ages When Ibrahim ibn Yaqub (Ibrāhīm b. Yaʿḳūb al-Isrāʾīlī al-Ṭurṭūshī), a famous traveler from the Caliphate of Cordoba, was writing his description of Central Europe in the 960s, Mazovia was not mentioned. According to Ibrahim, the general vicinity of Mazovia was the location of the legendary city of women.10 This account reveals how marginal the lands surrounding the 9 Similar views are held by (selection) Stefan Weinfurter, ‘Idee und Funktion des “Sakralkönigtums” bei den ottonischen und salischen Herrschern (10. und 11. Jahrhundert),’ in Legitimation und Funktion des Herrschers. Vom ägyptischen Pharao zum neuzeitlichen Diktator, eds. Rolf Grundlach, Hermann Weber (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1992), 99-127; Stefan Weinfurter, ‘Sakralkönigtum und Herrschaftsbegründung um die Jahrtausendwende. Die Kaiser Otto III. und Heinrich II. in ihren Bildern,’ in Bilder erzählen Geschichte, ed. Helmut Altrichter (Freiburg i. B.: Rombach, 1995), 84-92; Arnold Angenendt, ‘Karl der Große als rex et sacerdos,’ in Liturgie im Mittelalter, eds. Thomas Flammer, Daniel Meyer (Münster: LIT, 2005 [1997]); 311-333; Franz-Reiner Erkens, ‘Sakralkönigtum,’ 6-7; Cecilia Gaposchkin, The Making of Saint Louis: Kingship, Sanctity, and Crusade in the Late Middle Ages (Ithaca; London: Cornell Univeristy Press, 2008), 10-11, 111; Franz-Reiner Erkens, ‘Herrschersakralität – Ein Essai,’ in Sakralität und Sakralisierung. Perspektiven des Heiligen, eds. Andrea Beck, Andreas Berndt (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2013), 25-26. Phenomenological approach is inspired by the work of Gerardus van der Leeuw for whom king was a special mediator between heaven and earth in whose office (not physical person) sacral power was especially present. Leeuw even claimed that the king is one of the most potent figures in the phenomenology of religion: Gerardus van der Leeuw, Phänomenologie der Religion (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1956 [1933]), 114-133. About sacrality of kingship as a political magic: Jan Assmann, ‘Einleitung: Politische Theologie und die monotheistische Wende,’ in Herrscherkult und Heilserwartung, eds. Jan Assmann, Harald Strohm (Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2010), 11-17. 10 Relacja Ibrahima ibn Jakuba do krajów słowiańskich w przekazie al-Bekriego, ed. Tadeusz Kowalski, Monumenta Poloniae Historica, Series Nova, 15 vols. to date [hereafter: MPH, SN] (Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, I-III and XI-XV; Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, IV-X, 1946-), I (1946), 48-50. English translation: Ibrahim ibn Jakub, in Dmitrij Mishin, ‘Ibrahim Ibn-Ya’qub at-Turtushi’s Account of the Slavs from the Middle of the Tenth Century,’ Annual of Medieval Studies at the Central European University (1994/95): 188 and Ibn Fadlān and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North, ed. Paul Lunde, Caroline Stone (London et al: Penguin Classics, 2012), 166. On the account of Ibrahim on the Mieszko’s realm as symbolically peripherical: Andrzej Pleszczyński, The Birth of a Stereotype: Polish Rulers and their Country in German Writings, c. 1000 A.D. (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 14-41. On Ibrahim ibn Yaqub: André Miquel, ‘Ibrāhīm b. Yaʿḳūb,’ in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, eds. Peri J. Bearman, Thierry Bianquis, Clifford E. Bosworth, Emeri van Donzel, Wolfhart P. Heinrichs, Reference Works: Brill Online, (accessed April 5, 2016).



central part of the Vistula River would have been in the mid-tenth century. Even after its inclusion in the realm of the Piast ruling dynasty, which had started by the 950s and was complete by the year 1000, Mazovia remained peripheral.11 Historically the region bordered Prussia, whose inhabitants were perceived by Christianised neighbours as people with the heads of dogs. If there existed a medieval map of this region, one could truly write hic sunt dracones (here be dragons) on its northern and eastern borders.12 However, it was the peripheral character of Mazovia that forced it to confront the central problems of the European Middle Ages. Surrounded by the Baltic pagan tribes of Prussians, Yotvingians, and Lithuanians, Mazovia was open to the concept of holy war, which emerged there at the turn of the eleventh century. After 1095, the idea of holy war merged with the notion of the crusade, and by the twelfth century some Mazovian campaigns against pagan neighbours could be treated as quasi-crusades. In the first half of the thirteenth century, the participants in military campaigns against Baltic pagan tribes received the same spiritual privileges as those who ventured out to liberate Jerusalem.13 Much like the crusades in the East, the campaigns conducted by the Piasts against the Prussians were not fully successful in the long term. The rulers of Mazovia had to ask for help from abroad, which resulted in the arrival of the Teutonic Order in the region in the late 1220s and early 1230s at the behest of the duke of Mazovia, Conrad I. The Teutonic Order proved to be more successful here than in the Holy Land and, by the end of thirteenth century, the knights had defeated the Prussians.14 11 Andrzej Buko, The Archeology of Early Medieval Poland: Discoveries – Hypotheses – Interpretations (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 199-206. 12 Vita Altera Sancti Adalberti (recensio longior), ed. Jadwiga Karwasińska, c. 25, MPH, SN IV bk 2 (1969), 31-32: Circumstant subito cęlicolam uirum longo agmine capita canum. On the motive of people with heads of dogs and the dog-headed (cynocephali) in the hagiography: Miłosz Sosnowski, ‘Prusowie a pszczoły – średniowieczna metaforyzacja ustroju społecznego w tzw. Pasji z Tegernsee,’ Pruthenia. Pismo poświęcone Prusom i ludom bałtyjskim 6 (2011): 208-212; Paweł Nowakowski, ‘Psiogłowi (i) Święci. Topos i przyczyny jego występowania,’ U Schyłku Starożytności. Studia Źródłoznawcze 11 (2012): 83-106. 13 Łucja Okulicz-Kozaryn, Dzieje Prusów (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Leopoldinum, 1997), 239-267; Mikołaj Gładysz, The Forgotten Crusaders: Poland and the Crusader Movement in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2012), esp. 15-38, 89-95, 175-211; Darius von Güttner-Sporzyński, Poland, Holy War, and the Piast Monarchy, 1100-1230 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), esp. 51-76. 14 Eric Christiansen, The Northern Crusades: The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier, 1100-1525 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980), 100-105; Okulicz-Kozaryn, Dzieje Prusów, 337-417; Błażej Śliwiński, ‘The Christianisation of Prussia: The Polish Contribution until the Introduction of the Teutonic Order,’ in Christianization of the Baltic Region, ed. Jerzy Gąssowski


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The Prussians were not the sole pagan tribe on the borders of Mazovia. Yotvingians and especially Lithuanians were the main concern for local rulers in the thirteenth century, and the region was continually ravaged by their raids. Although Lithuanians were influenced by Christianity, they mostly remained pagan. The campaigns against them were thus framed as crusades, and it is not accidental that Siemowit I (1215-1262), duke of Mazovia, put a knight fighting with a beast resembling a lion or dragon on one of his seals; the image symbolised his fight against devilish forces. He ventured out against the Yotvingians and Lithuanians, and some of his military campaigns received papal support. Siemowit I presumably also took part in the attempt to christianise Lithuanians as Wit, the future bishop of Lithuania, had been ordained in Siemowit’s land. Although his efforts met with some success – most notably, he may have contributed to the baptism of the Lithuanian ruler Mendog ca. 1251 – Siemowit’s achievements were not long-lasting. Mendog renounced his baptism soon after and, in 1262, Lithuanians destroyed Płock, the central city of Mazovia and the seat of the bishopric, killing Siemowit I and capturing his son Conrad II.15 Some of Siemowit’s efforts against Yotvingians and Lithuanians were undertaken in alliance with his father-in-law Daniel, the ruler of Ruthenia, as well as with the Teutonic Order; such alliances demonstrate his engagement in interregional politics. Moreover, in 1253, Siemowit participated in the coronation of Daniel as king of Ruthenia. The ceremony was performed by Opizo, a legate sent by Pope Innocent IV (d. 1254), and was part of a larger project aimed at bringing Ruthenia into a union with Rome, to which Daniel had, at first, agreed. The legate’s other goal was to launch a crusade against the Mongols, who had just invaded Europe in 1241 and still posed a threat (Pułtusk: Bałtycki Ośrodek Badawczy, Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczna, 2004), 39-65; Ane Bysted, Carsten Selch Jensen, Kurt Villads Jensen, John H. Lind, Jerusalem in the North: Denmark and the Baltic Crusades (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012 [2004]), 243-269; Bronisław Włodarski, Polityczne plany Konrada I mazowieckiego (Toruń: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1971), 10-26, 29-32; Henryk Samsonowicz, Konrad Mazowiecki (1187/88-31 VIII 1247) (Kraków: Avalon, 2008), 53-73. Analysis of the earliest charters for Teutonic Order: Tomasz Jasiński, Kruschwitz, Rimini und die Grundlagen des Preussischen Ordenslandes. Urkundenstudien zur Frühzeit des Deutschen Ordens im Ostseeraum (Marburg: N. G. Elwert, 2008), 21-71. 15 Grzegorz Błaszczyk, Dzieje stosunków polsko-litewskich. Od czasów najdawniejszych do współczesności (Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 1998), 41-43, 80, 88-89; Gładysz, The Forgotten Crusaders, 297-301; Janusz Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich. Studia nad dziejami politycznymi Mazowsza, intytulacją i genealogią książąt (Warszawa: Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych, 2012), 40-44; Agnieszka Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki. Na szlakach ku jedności (ok. 1253/58-24 IV 1313) (Kraków: Avalon, 2015), 18-21. About the seal of the prince: Zenon Piech, Ikonografia pieczęci Piastów (Kraków: Towarzystwo Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych ‘Universitas,’ 1993), 28, 42, 81, 91-93, 95-96, 106.



to Christian kingdoms. In May of 1254, Innocent IV issued a call for such a crusade. However, neither the union of Ruthenia with Rome, nor the effort against the Mongols were realized.16 Although unsuccessful, the engagement of the dukes of Mazovia in the crusading movement, the attempts to bring Ruthenia (which belonged to the Eastern Church) to a union with Rome, the formulation of the Christian response to the Mongol invasions, and the interregional politics (including the papacy) illustrate Mazovia’s path from a forgotten borderland of the civilised world into a region of Christianitas Romana. Through their contact with other political rulers there occurred a transfer of ideas, not only about military campaigns as crusades, but also about sacrality of political power as I will discuss in the next section when I analyse the Mazovian liturgical sources. However, before we can comprehend the significance of this liturgical material, it is necessary to look further briefly at the political situation within the Piast realm during the Middle Ages. The papal legate Opizo, while on the mission mentioned above, also participated in the assembly of Piast dukes in Cracow, held in 1254 to celebrate the canonisation of Saint Stanislaus, the eleventh century bishop of Cracow.17 Stanislaus was the Polish version of Thomas Becket. In the 1250s-1260s new hagiographic texts about the bishop Stanislaus were written, in which the body of the saint represented the body politic of the Piast realm. The division of his body during his martyrdom symbolised the split of the once unified kingdom of Piast. In the middle of the twelfth century the realm of Piast was divided into many duchies, each with a local Piast ruler; the split led to many conflicts over supremacy between regional Piast dukes, among them the rulers of Mazovia. In the hagiography, however, the body of Stanislaus was restored miraculously to its integrity, expressing the hope that Poland too would be reunified by God’s command.18 Siemowit I was 16 The source-witness of the alliance between Siemowit I, Daniel and the Teutonic Order: Codex diplomaticus Masoviae novus, 3 vols. (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Tow. Naukowego Warszawskiego, I; Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, II; Warszawa: DiG, III, 1919-2000), II: Annorum 1248-1355, eds. Irena Sułkowska-Kuraś, Stanisław Kuraś, Kazimierz Pacuski, Hubert Wajs , charter no. 20, 21-22; Kazimierz Gołąb, ‘Opat Obizo i jego legacje,’ Nasza Przeszłość 10 (1959): 122-137; Błaszczyk, Dzieje stosunków polsko-litewskich, 80; Gładysz, The Forgotten Crusaders, 302-303. 17 Gołąb, ‘Opat Obizo,’ 136-137. 18 Vita sancti Stanislai Cracoviensis episcopi (Vita maior), ed. Wojciech Kętrzyński, in Monumenta Poloniae Historica, 6 vols. [Hereafter MPH] (Lwów: w drukarni Zakładu Narodowego im. Ossolińskich, 1864-1893) IV (1884), 391-392; Vita sancti Stanislai episcopi Cracoviensis (Vita minor), ed. Wojciech Kętrzyński, in MPH IV (1884), 283-285 (without the hope of the kingdom’s restoration). On hagiography of St. Stanislaus see Agnieszka Rożnowska-Sadrei, Pater patriae. The


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present at the Cracow celebrations and participated in a way that was more than symbolic.19 Siemowit I was of Mazovian Piast lineage, which held a claim to Cracow, the thirteenth-century symbolic centre of the former kingdom of Poland. It was Siemowit’s father, Conrad I, who strove for the throne of Cracow and, although his reign was brief, he achieved domination over Lesser Poland along with its capital.20 Conrad I’s grandfather, Casimir II the Just, had also ruled the capital, and his legitimisation was provided by the narrative of Vincent Kadłubek.21 It is little wonder that the Mazovian Piasts believed themselves eligible to take over Cracow.22 Although there is no evidence to suggest that Siemowit I intended to obtain dominion over Lesser Poland, the same cannot be said of Siemowit’s sons, Conrad II and especially Bolesław II for whom Exultet was produced. When Conrad II was released by the Lithuanians in the 1260s, the government of Mazovia was in hands of the regency, which led to a later division of the duchy of Mazovia into two parts. Conrad was granted the eastern part when he became ruler in 1271, while the smaller western region (including Płock) went to Bolesław II and his mother, Perejesława, who served as regent. Conrad participated in the fight over the symbolic capital of the Piasts. In 1285 he was called to the throne of Cracow by some of the nobles, but his campaign was not successful, like the previous campaign of 1282.23 The Cult of Saint Stanislaus and the Patronage of Polish Kings 1200-1455 (Kraków: UNUM Publishing House, 2008), 5-6, 15-31, 55-73; Stanislava Kuzmová, ‘Preaching on Martyr-Bishops in the Later Middle Ages: St. Stanislaus of Kraków and St. Thomas Becket,’ in Britain and Poland-Lithuania: Contact and Comparison from the Middle Ages to 1795, eds. Richard Unger and Jakub Basista (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 67-71; Wojciech Drelicharz, Idea zjednoczenia królestwa w średniowiecznym dziejopisarstwie polskim (Kraków: Towarzystwo Naukowe Societas Vistulana, 2012), 112-129, 150-199. 19 Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 22-23. 20 Włodarski, Polityczne plany Konrada I mazowieckiego, 27-29; 32-60; Samsonowicz, Konrad Mazowiecki, 73-75, 77-81, 83-84. 21 Magistri Vincentii Chronica Polonorum, ed. Marian Plezia, in MPH, SN, XI (1994), Prologvs, c. 4 (p. 5); l. 4, c. 5-6 (pp. 138-145). See Onus Athlanteum. Studia nad Kroniką biskupa Wincentego, eds. Andrzej Dąbrówka, Witold Wojtowicz (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IBL PAN, 2009); Thomas N. Bisson, ‘Witness to Crisis? Power and Resonance in the Chronicle of the Poles by Wincenty Kadłubek,’ in Gallus Anonymous and his Chronicle in the Context of Twelfth-Century Historiography from the Perspective of the Latest Research, ed. Krzysztof Stopka (Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 2010), 208-213. 22 The recent overview of the Mazovian efforts to take over Lesser Poland: Agnieszka TeteryczPuzio, Na rozstajnych drogach. Mazowsze a Małopolska w latach 1138-1313 (Słupsk: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Pomorskiej, 2012), 159-275. 23 Ewa Suchodolska, Dzieje polityczne (połowa XIII-połowa XIV w.), in Dzieje Mazowsza do 1526 r., ed. Henryk Samsonowicz (Pułtusk: Akademia Humanistyczna im. A. Gieysztora, 2006



struggle for the Cracow throne was visualised in the seal of the duke, which depicts a standing knight with a pennant in his right hand, and a shield with an eagle in the left. It was the first time that a Mazovian Piast included the eagle, a symbol of royalty, on the shield of his ducal seal. Although the seal can be interpreted in various ways, it certainly could have meant that Conrad II’s ambitions went beyond the horizon of his Mazovian duchy.24 Conrad’s adversaries were not only other Piast dukes, but also counted among them his brother Bolesław II, with whom he fought until 1289. Bolesław was not satisfied with the small part of Mazovia which he had received as an inheritance after the death of Siemowit I. The 1280s were a decade of constant war between the two brothers. With the help of various alliances – including Piasts, foreigners, and even pagans – Conrad and Bolesław were raiding throughout Mazovia destroying the region, which they inherited from their father. When Conrad launched a campaign to conquer Lesser Poland in 1282, it was Bolesław who raided Conrad’s duchy. The fraternal war was ended in 1289, when a new political context appeared. After death of Leszek the Black, the duke of Cracow, in 1288, knights from Lesser Poland – in alliance with Paweł of Przemanków, the bishop of Cracow, and Sułek of Niedźwiedź, the castellanus of Cracow – called for Bolesław II to rule over Lesser Poland. After Bolesław agreed to grant parts of Lesser Poland to his older brother, Conrad supported him in his efforts to take over Cracow. This arrangement caused anxiety among the elites of Lesser Poland, whose support was divided between various candidates. Bolesław II was ultimately unable to defend the city and to navigate the delicate political situation of Lesser Poland, and was soon replaced by Henry IV Probus (d. 1290), who became the duke of Lesser Poland, though only for a short period. Although the Mazovian dukes did not win the throne of Cracow, the brothers remained in allegiance until the death of Conrad II in 1294, after which the Mazovian region was reunited under Bolesław II.25 After the failure of 1288-1289, the Mazovian Piasts gave up on their idea of ruling Cracow, but they continued to play an important role in the politics [1994]), 222-228; Teterycz-Puzio, Na rozstajnych drogach, 250-258; Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich, 45-50; Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 35-42. 24 Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 49-51; Piech, Ikonografia, 26, 77-82. 25 Tomasz Nowakowski, Małopolska elita władzy wobec rywalizacji o tron krakowski w latach 1288-1306 (Bydgoszcz: Wydawnictwo Uczelniane WSP, 1992), 15-18, 24-26; Suchodolska, Dzieje polityczne, 226-229; Jan Baszkiewicz, Odnowienie Królestwa polskiego, 1295-1320 (Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 2008), 85, 102; Teterycz-Puzio, Na rozstajnych drogach, 250-265; Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich, 45-53; Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 53-76, 80-82, 85.


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of Poland and Central Europe. After the death of the Lithuanian princess Sophie-Gaudemunda in 1288, whom Bolesław II had married in order to stop the raids of the pagan Baltic tribe, he was offered the hand of Kunegunda, the daughter of Premysl Ottokar II. Their marriage in 1291 confirmed Bolesław’s alliance with Wenceslaus II, a mighty king of Bohemia, and Kunegunda’s brother. The dowry which had been promised to Bolesław (and partly paid) helped the duke to rebuild Mazovia after decades of wars, and construct new walls around Płock. The alliance with Wenceslaus II, however, did not last long. It was dissolved as early as 1294, and by 1300 Bolesław II had dismissed Kunegunda to Bohemia. That same year Wenceslaus II was crowned king of Poland, invaded Mazovia and destroyed its western parts, but did not conquer Płock. After unifying the duchy of Mazovia in 1294, Bolesław’s policies are marked by an effort to rebuild the economy of the region and to seek a balance between the most potent candidates to the throne of the newly restored Polish kingdom: Przemysł (crowned in 1295), Wenceslaus II (crowned in 1300), and Władysław Łokietek (who was not crowned until 1320, although he had been an important figure before 1300). The dream recorded in the new hagiography of Saint Stanislaus did come true, but it would not be Bolesław II who would unite the Piast duchies and restore the Polish kingdom. Instead, he was focused on manoeuvring between candidates who had worn the crown.26 The political failure of Bolesław II in taking over Cracow might provide a hint for the analysis of the Exultet.

26 Antoni Barciak, Czechy a ziemie południowej Polski w XIII oraz w początkach XIV wieku. Polityczno-ideologiczne problemy ekspansji czeskiej na ziemie południowej Polski (Katowice: Uniwersytet Śląśki, 1992), 78-82; Suchodolska, Dzieje polityczne, 229-233; Błaszczyk, Dzieje stosunków polsko-litewskich, 89-90, 107-109; Zbigniew Dalewski, Władza – przestrzeń – ceremoniał. Miejsce i uroczystość inauguracji władcy w Polsce średniowiecznej do końca XIV w. (Warszawa: Neriton; Instytut Historii PAN, 1996), 133-142, 199-200; Baszkiewicz, Odnowienie Królestwa polskiego, 114, 122-123, 160; Tomasz Jurek, ‘Polska droga do korony królewskiej 1295-1300-1320,’ in Proměna středovýchodní Evropy raného a vrcholného středověku: mocenské souvislosti a paralely, eds. Martin Wihoda, Lukáš Reitinger (Brno: Matice moravská pro Výzkumné středisko pro dějiny střední Evropy, 2010), 165-191; Tomasz Jurek, ‘Der Einfluß Böhmens auf das geteilte Polen im 13. Jahrhundert,’ in Böhmen und seine Nachbarn in der Premyslidenzeit, eds. Ivan Hlavácek, Alexander Patschovsky (Ostfildern: Jan Thorbecke, 2011), 190-197; Teterycz-Puzio, Na rozstajnych drogach, 265-269; Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich, 53-55; Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 76-102.



The Exultet of Bolesław II: An Attempt to Sacralise Political Power of the Duke of Mazovia? The Princes Czartoryski Museum in Cracow is in possession of nineteen fragments (leaves and fragments of leaves) from the time of Bolesław II. They provide an insight into the liturgy of authority and suggest ways in which Bolesław might have attempted to sacralise his political power.27 The state in which these nineteen fragments survive, with the evidence of medieval pagination,28 renders it clear that they came from a substantial liturgical book. The fragments preserve musical notation in square notes on four lines of the mostly Proper chants of the Mass. These are fragments of chants for different feasts throughout the liturgical year.29 The codex was lavishly decorated, as can be seen in a surviving miniature depicting the descent of Jesus into hell.30 Decorated initials are missing in some leaves, presumably cut out by collectors of medieval art. Some leaves were also used as binding covers for other manuscripts.31 This may have happened in the late Middle Ages or the early modern period, possibly after the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent.

27 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, Princes Czartoryski Museum, Cracow, Graphic Art Room, Rr. 4922-4940 (olim: KrM MNK/XV/rys/2271-89). During the work on this book, on December 29, 2016, the collection of the Princes Czartoryski Museum was purchased by the Polish State and will be incorporated into the collection of the National Museum in Cracow. Therefore, the shelf-mark number of the Gradual fragments might be changed. 28 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4924; R. 4933. 29 The feasts are as follows: Christmas Eve, Christmas (First Mass and Second Mass), St. Stephen, St. John Evangelist, Epiphany, Holy Saturday, Easter Day, Vigil of the Ascension, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Saturday of the Quatuor Temporum Pentecostes, Trinity Sunday, First Sunday after Pentecost, Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost, Dedication of Church, Vigil of St. John the Baptist, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Vigil of St. Peter and Paul, Feast of Saint Peter and Paul. 30 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4923. Surprisingly enough this miniature caught the attention of Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA – a special service created to combat corruption), which included the image into a bizarre publication: [no author], Korupcja na przestrzeni wieków (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Centrum Szkolenia Policji w Legionowie, 2012), 11, and was commented as follows: Należy jednak wspomnieć, że na długo przed Lutrem, bo na przełomie XIII i XIV wieku powstał w Polsce Graduał Bolesława II, zawierający satyryczny rysunek, na którym przedstawiciele stanu duchownego smażą się w piekle. [It is worth mentioning that long before Luther, namely at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, the Gradual of Bolesław II was created, which contained a satirical drawing depicting members of the clergy burning in hell]. 31 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4925; R. 4939.


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The fragments have been studied by Tadeusz Maciejewski.32 Based on the analysis of the fragments of the text and music, he identified the genre of the liturgical book from which the nineteen fragments come. Barring one leaf, this was a type of a book with chants that served during celebrations of the Mass throughout the liturgical year – a gradual. There are full texts or fragments of 12 introits, 7 graduals, 7 alleluia verses, 6 offertories, 6 chants for communion, 5 sequences and 4 other chants. Moreover, there are three settings of the Kyrie and one Credo from the Ordinary of the Mass. Although Maciejewski provided reconstruction of the Gradual based on the fragments from the Princes Czartoryski Museum, his edition of the text was based in many cases on just a few words, and sometimes even on only a handful of letters. His meticulous work needs to be acknowledged, but the textual variants, which he accepted, were not explained. Therefore, in further analyses, one can take into account only the words preserved in the fragments, but not necessarily those presented in Maciejewski’s edition. Moreover, Maciejewski’s search for the archetype of the manuscript was based on only seven music variants related to the tune studied by the Benedictines of Solesmes, editors of Le Graduel romain.33 Maciejewski was aware of the fragility of his material and the possible weaknesses of his conclusions. He nonetheless proposed that the archetype of the Mazovian Gradual was written abroad in the circles of Benedictine and Dominican monophony and adapted to local usage in Mazovia. He suggested that the Benedictines from Płock, with their connections to the court of Mazovia, could have been responsible for importing the Gradual from abroad.34 While the link to the Benedictines was based on musical evidence, the hypothesis for ducal patronage of the book and its dating to sometime around the year 1300 is based on the fact that the Exultet names bishop Jan, duke Bolesław and his two sons (fig. 1). One passage from the Exultet which is of especial interest to our present study runs as follows:35 32 Tadeusz Maciejewski, ‘Graduał Bolesława II Mazowieckiego,’ Musica Medii Aevi 6 (1977): 7-35. 33 Le graduel romain. Édition critique par les moines de Solesmes, 3 vols. (Solesmes: Abbaye Saint-Pierre, 1957-1962). 34 Maciejewski, ‘Graduał.’ 35 Quoted text belongs to the reconstructed edition of the liturgical book by Maciejewski, ‘Graduał,’ 11. The quotations in bold represent in the Maciejewski’s edition the text found in the following parchment leaves: Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4922; 4925; 4930. The simple, not italicized quotations represent the text to which music notation was preserved. The italicized text is a reconstruction of the editor. Maciejewski did not provide a bibliographic reference to the text on which he based his reconstruction of the Exultet.

© Princes Czartoryski Museum, Graphic Art Room, Cracow, Rr. 4922 (olim: KrM MNK/XV/rys/2271)

Figure 1  A Fragment of the Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia




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9 10

Sabbato Sancto Exsultet jam Angelica turba coelorum; exultent divina mysteria: et pro tanti Regis victoria, tuba insonet salutaris. Gaudeat et tellus tantis irradiata fulgoribus: et aeterni Regis splendore illustrata, totius orbis se sentiat amisisse calignem. Laetetur et mater Ecclesia, tanti luminis adornata fulgoribus: et magnis populorum vocibus haec aula resultet. Quapropter astantes vos, fratres karissimi ad tam miram sancti huius luminis claritatem, una mecum quaeso Dei omnipotentis misericordiam invocate. Ut qui me non meis meritis intra Levitarum numerum dignatus est aggregare

11 12

perseveret. Ut in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur. Flammas ejus lucifer matutinus inveniet. Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum. Ille, qui regressus ab inferis humano generi serenus illuxit. Precamur ergo, te Domine: ut nos famulos tuos, omnemque clerum et devotissimum populum una cum beatissimo Papa nostro N., et Antistite nostro Iohanne et gloriosissimo du ce nosro [sic] BOLESLAO cum liberis suis Semouito et Wancone quiete temporum concessa, in his paschalibus gaudiis conservare digneris

The prayer for the bishop of Płock, the duke, and his sons is a subject of considerable scholarly interest. Indeed, it was due to this prayer, mentioned by Alfred von Sallet,36 that the Princes Czartoryski Museum started to search for the rest of the manuscript and bought the leaves from Pauline von

36 Alfred von Sallet, ‘Ein Missale aus der Zeit des Herzog Boleslaus II. von Mazovien. 1261-1313,’ Schlesiens Vorzeit in Bild und Schrift 14 (1885): 251.



Sallet, Alfred’s widow.37 However, the Gradual has been described mostly by musicologists, including Hieronim Feicht, Adam Sutkowski and Tadeusz Maciejewski.38 Its liturgy has been mentioned by Antoni Julian Nowowiejski, and its artistic value by Michał Walicki and Maria Pietrusińska.39 With the exception of Zbigniew Dalewski, 40 no one has tried to analyse the liturgical book in the context of political culture. Dalewski has argued that the prayer from the Exultet should be interpreted as a manifestation of the sacrality of ducal power in medieval Poland shaped on the royal model; unfortunately, he treats the Exultet prayer as part of the laudes regiae, a specific litany performed during the most solemn celebrations, in which salutations of ecclesiastical and political rulers, mostly kings and emperors, were sung. 41 Although the link between the prayer and the sacralisation of political power is convincing, the analysis of the prayer as one of the salutations from the laudes regiae litany is misleading, as it confuses two very different genres of text. It is therefore necessary to analyse the prayer in the wider context of the liturgical tradition in order to discover how the performance of the Exultet could have fostered the sacralisation of political power in Mazovia. 37 Marian Kwieciński, ‘Pertraktacje w sprawie zakupu fragmentów Graduału Bolesława II Mazowieckiego,’ Musica Medii Aevi 6 (1977): 36-41. 38 Hieronim Feicht, ‘Płockie średniowieczne rękopisy muzyczne (próba charakterystyki),’ Notatki Płockie 19, no. 6 (1961): 7-11; Adam Sutkowski, ‘Cechy paleograficzne notacji muzycznych w polskich rękopisach średniowiecznych,’ Musica medii aevi 1 (1965): 63-64; Maciejewski, ‘Graduał,’ 7-35. 39 Antoni Julian Nowowiejski, Płock – monografia historyczna (Płock: Bracia Detrychowie, 1931), 14; Michał Walicki, ‘Wyposażenie artystyczne dworu i kościoła,’ in Aleksander Gieysztor, Michał Walicki, Jan Zachwatowicz, and Maria Pietrusińska, Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska do schyłku XIII wieku (Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1968), 274; Maria Pietrusińska, ‘Katalog i bibliografia zabytków. Graduale tzw. Graduał Bolesława II Mazowieckiego,’ in Gieysztor, Walicki, Zachwatowicz, Pietrusińska, Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska, 747. 40 Zbigniew Dalewski, ‘Vivat Princeps in Eternum! Sacrality of Ducal Power in Poland in the Earlier Middle Ages,’ in Monotheistic Kingship: The Medieval Experience, eds. János M. Bak, Aziz Al-Azmeh (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2004), 229. 41 On this genre of liturgical prayer still most extensively Kantorowicz, Laudes Regiae. Recently Nancy van Deusen, ‘Laudes regiae: In Praise of Kings: Medieval Acclamations, Liturgy, and the Ritualization of Power,’ in Procession, Performance, Liturgy, and Ritual: Essays in Honor of Bryan R. Gillingham, ed. Nancy van Deusen (Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 2007), 112-118; Meta Niederkorn-Bruck, ‘Musica imperialis – Imperiale Musik. Musik zwischen Laudes regiae und Laudes Maximiliani,’ in Fürstenhof und Sakralkultur im Spätmittelalter, eds. Werner Rösener, Carola Fey (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2008), 300-303; Jerome F. Weber, ‘Laudes regiae on records,’ in Cantus planus: Papers Read at the 13th Meeting of the IMS Study Group, ed. Barbara Haggh (Budapest: Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2009), 667-682.


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The Exultet preserved in the Gradual of Bolesław II is representative of the Frankish version used for the blessing of the Easter candle during the liturgy of Paschal Vigil. However, the history of prayers for the blessing of the Easter candle dates back at least to the fourth century. The text of the Exultet was not standardized until the High Middle Ages, when the Frankish version started to predominate in the Latin liturgies. In fact, this version was probably of Gallican origin, as it first appears in eighth-century liturgical books preserving the Gallican liturgy (Missale Gallicanum vetus, Bobbio Missale, Missale Gothicum), 42 though in a slightly different wording than that found in the Mazovian chant. The Exultet was probably well-known by the sixth century, but it did not belong to the liturgy of Rome in Antiquity, and was only incorporated into the papal liturgy in the High Middle Ages. Therefore, a Gregorian sacramentary, received by Charlemagne from Pope Hadrian I, was enriched with the text of Exultet already performed in the Frankish realm, among other additions. The Carolingian program of renewal propagated the Frankish Exultet, although serious corrections were made to the text. Corrected versions can be found in the later Roman-German Pontifical (PRG). The PRG was a highly influential type of book which made an impact on both the papal liturgy in Rome, and on other liturgies performed throughout the post-Carolingian kingdoms, as well as in England and Poland. However, until the Late Middle Ages, slight textual variants of the Frankish Exultet are known to have existed. 43 Before the political theology of the Mazovian Exultet can be studied, we must first discuss the theology represented by the Frankish text, stressing 42 Missale Gallicanum Vetus, eds. Leo Cunibert Mohlberg, Leo Eizenhöfer, Petrus Siffrin (Rome: Herder, 1958), 35-36; The Bobbio Missal: A Gallican Mass-Book, ed. Elias Avery Lowe (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1920), 69-70; Missale Gothicum (Vat. Reg. lat. 317), ed. Leo Cunibert Mohlberg (Roma: Herder, 1961), 59-61; New edition: Missale Gothicvm e codice Vaticano Reginensi latino 317 editum, ed. Els Rose (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005), 437-439. 43 Georges Benoit-Castelli, ‘Le Praeconium paschale,’ Ephemerides liturgicae 67 (1953): 310; Michel Huglo, ‘L’auteur de l’Exultet pascal,’ Vigiliae christianae 7 (1953): 80, 83; Bruno Stäblei, ‘Ex(s)ultet,’ in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. Friedrich Blume, 20 vols. (Kassel; Basel: Bärenreiter, 1949-1986), III (1954), col. 1673-1676; Katarina Livljanic, ‘Exultet,’ in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Sachteil 3, ed. Ludwig Finscher, 26 vols. (Kassel et al.: Bärenreiter, 1994-2007), III (1995), col. 253; Thomas Forrest Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 30-79, esp. 59-63; Thomas Forrest Kelly, ‘Candle, Text, Ceremony: The Exultet at Rome,’ in Thomas Forrest Kelly, The Practice of Medieval Music: Studies in Chant and Performance (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), II: 7-28; Michel Huglo, Thomas Forrest Kelly, ‘Exultet,’ Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, (accessed April 6, 2016). Recently on PRG Henry Parkes, The Making of Liturgy in the Ottonian Church: Books, Music and Ritual in Mainz, 950-1050 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 185-211.



the structure of the chant and its symbolism. In the Frankish version, after the introductory call to share joy coming from the victory of Christ the king, and the apology of the minister who performs the chant, the preface commences. The beginning of the preface is the same as that used during Mass and is followed by the main part of thanksgiving for the redemption. The thanksgiving passage serves as an overture to all the issues raised during the liturgy of the Paschal Vigil, namely the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, serving as a symbol of the exodus from sin and death inherited by the Church. The candle itself symbolises Christ, whose life – which was consumed on the Cross, like the wax of a burning candle – brings light to those who stand close to him. This sacrifice of the Son of God is also stressed in the text: the candle, for example, is called an oblatio, and the act of its burning sacrificium. Another link between the candle and the history of redemption may be found in the use of bees as a metaphor for Mary: the mother of God gave birth without losing her virginity, which is comparable to the parthenogenetic reproduction observed among bees, whose wax is used in the production of the candle (the symbol of Christ). The thanksgiving passage stresses the history of salvation with reference to the symbolism of the candle and its production, invoking the key actors of redemption. However, all the images taken from the Old and New Testament are more than just a recalling of biblical events. The Exultet brings to mind that the night during which the chant is performed is also a part of the history of redemption. Thus, the night sacramentally represents the historical moment of the resurrection, and the people who participate in the liturgy partake in the salvific narrative. For those who listen to the chant, in the thanksgiving passage there is continuity in history from Adam down to their own time.44 In the earliest versions of the Frankish Exultet one finds a prayer for the ecclesiastical authorities after the thanksgiving section, starting with the formula Precamur, which was put at the end of the chant. 45 This oration 44 Benoit-Castelli, ‘Le Praeconium paschale,’ 313-314; Huglo, ‘L’auteur de l’Exultet,’ 82; Guido Fuchs, Hans Martin Weikmann, ‘Exultet,’ in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, eds. Michael Buchberger, and Walter Kasper, 11 vols. (Freiburg: Herder, 1993-2001) III (1995), col. 1134; Livljanic, ‘Exultet,’ 254 (proposes different symbolic of the candle itself); Michel Huglo, Thomas Forrest Kelly, ‘Exultet.’ The edition of the early versions of Frankish Exultet in Kelly, The Exultet in Souther Italy, 289-302. The quotations on pp. 298-299: suscipe sancte Pater incensi huius sacrificium uespertinum quod tibi in hac cerei oblatione sollemni per ministrorum manus de operibus apum sacrosancta reddit ecclesia. 45 Missale Gothicum, ed. Mohlberg, 61: Praecamur ergo, domine, ut nos famulos et famulas tuas, omnemque clerum et deuotissimum populum una cum patre nostro beatissimo uiro ‘illo’ quiete[m] temporum concessa, in his paschalibus gaudiis conseruare digneris: per resurgentem a mortuis dominum nostrum filium tuum; New edition: Missale Gothicvm, ed. Rose,


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begs God to bless the Christian clergy and all the people, and includes the titles of the highest ecclesiastical officials, such as the pope, and sometimes also a local bishop. Because the final formula of the Exultet does not obey the principles of metrical cursus, this suggests that it was added at a later stage of the development of the text. In Carolingian times, the titles of secular rulers started to be added to the list of ecclesiastical dignitaries, which point toward the gradual sacralisation of political power to which we must now turn. 46 The f irst extant liturgical book to include the titles of rulers in the final formula of the Frankish version of the Exultet is the Sacramentarium Rheinaugense.47 This manuscript is representative of the Frankish-Gelasian sacramentaries which circulated widely throughout the Frankish realm due to the royal patronage of Pepin (d. 768), the Carolingian monarch who, with the approval of pope Stephen II (d. 757), became king of the Franks. Thus, even before the time of Charlemagne, the liturgy was used as a means of establishing authority. The goal of a politicised liturgy was also to mark the presence of the ruler in remote places by invoking his name, as well as to foster ideas about the position of the anointed monarch within the Church. Charlemagne did not introduce the phenomenon of the politically-inclined liturgy, rather he adopted an approach which had existed in the time of his father and even, to varying degrees, of his Merovingian predecessors. 48 439: Praecamur ergo, domine, ut nos famulos et famulas tuas, omnem clerum et deuotissimum populum una cum patre nostro beatissimo uiro ‘illo’ quietem temporum concessa, in his paschalibus gaudiis conseruare digneris; Liber Sacramentorum Engolismensis, ed. Patrick Saint-Roch (Turnhout: Brepols, 1987), 110: una cum patre nostro beatissimo uiro illo; Liber Sacramentorum Augustodunensis, ed. Odilo Heiming (Turnhout: Brepols, 1984), 63: una cum patre nostro ‘illo’; Liber Sacramentorum Gellonensis, ed. Antoine Dumas (Turnhout: Brepols, 1981), 95: una cum patre nostro beatissimo uiro papa [nostro] ‘illo’. On the final formula see Benoit-Castelli, ‘Le Praeconium paschale,’ 316; Livljanic, ‘Exultet,’ 255. 46 Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 69-70. 47 Sacramentarium Rhenaugiense. Handschrift Rh 30 der Zentralbibliothek Zürich, eds. Anton Hänggi, Alfons Schönherr (Freiburg: Universitätsverlag, 1970), 131-132: Praecamur ergo te domine: ut nos famulos tuos, omnem clerum et deuotissimum populum: una cum patre nostro beatissimo (63v) uiro illo, necnon et clementissimo rege nostro illo coniugeque eius ac filiis cunctuque exercitu francorum, quiete temporum concessa in his paschalibus conseruare dignetur. per dominum. See Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 302. Datation of the manuscript Sacramentarium Rhenaugiense, 63-68. 48 Yitzhak Hen, The Royal Patronage of Liturgy in Frankish Gaul: To the Death of Charles the Bald (877) (London: Boydell & Brewer Incorporated, 2001), 57-62, 64. About Frankish-Gelasian liturgy see Cyrille Vogel et al., Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources (Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1986), 70-79; Marcel Metzger, Les Sacramentaires (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994), 107-113. On the liturgy of authority before Charlemagne see Gerd Tellenbach, Römischer und christlicher Reichsgedanke in der Liturgie des frühen Mittelalters (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1934), 16-19; Ludwig



However, it was the Carolingians who developed the liturgy of authority. The first ruler commemorated in an Exultet prayer was presumably Charlemagne, as the Sacramentarium Rheinaugense dates from his reign. The addition of a prayer for a ruler in the Exultet was just one of the many examples of a sacralising liturgy performed in the Carolingian Empire. 49 The sacralising meaning of the Carolingian addition to the Exultet could be confirmed by the fact that there were many versions of praying for a political power in the final formula of the Easter chant. The prayer for the ruler in the Frankish version, preserved in the Sacramentarium Rheinaugense, includes a reference to the incumbent monarch alongside the pope, which was a liturgical innovation in the eighth century. However, there were other versions of the Exultet, which divided the prayer for civil power from intercession for the ecclesiastical hierarchy. In most of the south Italian prayers of Exultet (Frankish as well as Beneventan version) there was a clear distinction between the formula for a ruler composed in the form of Memento/Memorare/Respice and the preceding prayer for popes and bishops phrased as una cum papa nostro.50 Thus, the Carolingian liturgical Biehl, Das liturgische Gebet für Kaiser und Reich. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Verhältnisses von Kirche und Staat (Paderborn: F. Schöningh, 1937), 42, 73-76, 84, 97; Arnold Angenendt, ‘Mensa Pippini Regis. Zur liturgischen Präsenz der Karolinger in Sankt Peter,’ in Liturgie im Mittelalter, 89-109; Eugen Ewig, ‘La prière pour le roi et le royaume dans les privilèges épiscopaux de l’époque mérovingienne,’ in Mélanges offerts à Jean Dauvillier, ed. collective (Toulouse: Centre d‘histoire juridique méridionale, 1979), 255-267; Michael McCormick, Eternal Victory: Triumphal Rulership in Late Antiquity, Byzantium and the Early Medieval West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 342-347; Mary Garrisson, ‘The ‘Missa pro principe’ in the Bobbio Missal,’ in The Bobbio Missal: Liturgy and Religious Culture in Merovingian Gaul, eds. Yitzak Hen, Robert Meens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 187-200; Ildar H. Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language of Authority in the Carolingian World (c. 751-877) (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 58-61. On the goals of politicized liturgy see Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language, 43-53; 96-100. Based on the later examples: Wolfgang E. Wagner, Die liturgische Gegenwart des abwesenden Königs: Gebetsverbrüderung und Herrscherbild im frühen Mittelalter (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 301-311. 49 On the Carolingian system of liturgy of authority: Tellenbach, ‘Römischer,’ 24-29; Kantorowicz, Laudes regiae, 21-101, esp. 53-64; Michael McCormick, ‘The Liturgy of War in the Early Middle Ages: Crisis, Litanies, and the Carolingian Monarchy,’ Viator 15 (1984): 1-23; Walter Pohl, ‘Liturgie di guerra nei regni altomedievali,’ Rivista di Storia del Cristianesimo 5 (2008): 29-45; McCormick, Eternal Victory, 362-384; Hans Hubert Anton, ‘Verfassungspolitik und Liturgie. Studien zu Westfranken und Lotharingien im 9. und 10. Jahrhundert,’ in Geschichtliche Landeskunde der Rheinlande. Regionale Befunde und raumübergreifende Perspektiven. Georg Droege zum Gedenken, eds. Marlene Nikolay-Panter, Wilhelm Janssen, Wolfgang Herborn (Köln; Weimar; Wien: Böhlau, 1994), 73-74, 94-101; Hen, The Royal Patronage, 66-146, esp. 89-94, 148-154; Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language, 43-101. 50 Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 71-73. A list of the concrete manuscripts could be found in the editions of the Exultet from Southern Italy, 271-272 (Beneventan version), 286-288 (Frankish version in South Italy).


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innovation in the Frankish version was envisioned to sacralise political power and create an idea of equality between political and ecclesiastical offices. It was not meant to be a statement of equation of the rulers, popes, and bishops, but in a society where rituals and hierarchy played such an important role,51 one could receive the impression that the ecclesiastical and civil powers carried similar importance. Another argument for the sacralising meaning of the prayer for the ruler in the Frankish formula of the Exultet (phrased as una cum) during the Carolingian and post-Carolingian periods is its structure, which resembles the form of the prayer for rulers in the Canon of the Mass. This Eucharistic prayer, the most venerated liturgical text of medieval Latin Christianity, also included prayers for political powers. First, the prayer for civil power was present in or phrased as the Memento of the Roman Canon.52 However, this part has no sacralising meaning: the Memento was envisioned for all the needs of the Church and every member of the Body of Christ. Although the first prayers for rulers using the Memento formulation date from the period c. 750-800, and correspond to a Carolingian interest in creating a liturgy of authority, they retain the character of a general intercession and did not yet provide the king with a sacral aura. Rather they provided a means of commemorating a political leader during the Eucharist.53 A second version of the prayer for a ruler in the Canon appears much later, during the reign 51 About the rituality of early and high medieval culture: Geoffrey Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France (Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 1992); Gerd Althoff, Die Macht der Rituale: Symbolik und Herrschaft im Mittelalter (Darmstadt: Primus, 2003); Hagen Keller, ‘Ritual, Symbolik und Visualisierung in der Kultur des ottonischen Reiches,’ Frühmittelatlerliche Studien 35 (2001): 23-59. Even one of the greatest critics of the modern interpretations of rituals did not put into doubt their relevance for medieval culture: Philippe Buc, The Dangers of Ritual: Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). On the significance of hierarchy in the medieval art representing rulers: Robert Louis Benson, ‘The Politics of Symmetry: Sacerdotium and Regnum in the Mirror of Medieval Art (800-1200),’ in Law, Rulership, and Rhetoric: Selected Essays of Robert L. Benson, ed. Loren J. Weber (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014), 95-131. 52 Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Aeclesiae Ordinis Anni Circuli (Cod. Vat. Reg. lat. 316/Paris Bibl. Nat. 7193, 41/56), ed. Leo Cunibert Mohlberg (Roma: Herder, 1960), 184: Superscribenda: Et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholici fide cultoribus. Memento, deus, rege nostro cum omne populo (written in Trionian notes); Liber Sacramentorum Engolismensis, ed. Saint-Roch, 256: Memento Domine famulo tuo rege nostro illo. 53 Josef Andreas Jungmann, Missarum Sollemnia. Eine Genetische Erklärung der Römischen Messe, 2 vols. (Freiburg: Herder, 1962), II, 199-213; Enrico Mazza, The Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite, trans. Matthew J. O’Connel (New York: Pueblo, 1973), 64-65; Thomas O’Loughlin, ‘The commemoratio pro vivis of the Roman Canon: A Textual Witness to the Evolution of Western Eucharistic Theologies?,’ Studia Patristica 70 (2014): 69-91.



of Charles the Bald (d. 877), and was phrased as una cum. The prayer was placed not in the Memento but in the opening section of the Roman Canon, Te igitur, which was reserved for the highest ecclesiastical hierarchy. This liturgical innovation intended not only to remind worshippers of the ruler during liturgy, but also to invoke the ruler as the guardian of the unity of the Church. The invocations in the Te igitur thus had deep theological meaning, and the inclusion of a king’s title in this prayer had serious consequences for the perception of a ruler as a member of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, especially after the innovation had spread throughout Europe.54 Besides the analogous structure between the prayers for the rulers included in the Exultet and the Roman Canon of the Mass, there are more similarities between the Roman Eucharistic prayer and the Exultet that relate to its performance and text. The chant was sung only by members of ordained clergy, and not by the laity.55 Moreover, one of the Ordines Romani advises that the chant should be performed in the same manner as the Roman Canon.56 There are also textual similarities with the Eucharistic prayer: it features the same preface, similar usage of the sacrificial language, and the inclusion of a thanksgiving for the redemption. However, there were also differences in the senses of the una cum prayers for rulers within the Exultet and the Roman Canon of the Mass. These differences should be explained. Although both liturgical texts shared already-mentioned similarities, the meaning and significance of the Exultet cannot be seen as equal to that of the Roman Canon of the Mass – the most venerated liturgical text of Latin Christianity. The Exultet was performed during the one of the most solemn of rituals of Christianity, the Easter Vigil, but this happened only once a year; the Roman Canon, however, was repeated every day in every cathedral, monastery, and wherever Mass was celebrated in Carolingian and post-Carolingian medieval Latin Christianity (except Spain). Moreover, the prayer for the rulers in the Te igitur of the Roman Canon stresses the role of the ruler as the guardian of the 54 These issues are raised in my dissertation, which I defended at the University of Warsaw on December 20, 2016: Paweł Figurski, Modlitwy za króla w kanonie rzymskim Mszy. Studium z dziejów teologii politycznej wczesnego średniowiecza w łacińskim chrześcijaństwie (Warszawa: PhD dissertation), 67-117, 191-221. The older literature on these issues, although not stressing the sacralising impact of the prayer for civil power in the Te igitur: Biehl, Das liturgische Gebet, 48-64; Jungmann, Missarum Sollemnia,197-199; Garipzanov, The Symbolic Language, 93-96. 55 Stäblei, ‘Ex(s)ultet,’ 1673; Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 3-4; 7; 9. 56 Ordo XXVIII, ed. Michel Andrieu, in Michel Andrieu, Les ordines romani du haut moyen âge, 5 vols. (Louvain: Spicilegium sacrum lovaniense, 1931-1985), III (1951), 404: Inde vero accedit in consecrationem cerei, decantando quasi canonem.


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unity of the Church. Thus, the Te igitur prayer is a petition to God, asking Him to accept the gifts of a local Church that are offered in union with an orthodox pope and a local bishop. It is not only a commemoration of the ecclesiastical hierarchy but also a means of legitimising the Mass, and in doing so it stresses the importance of the episcopal leaders of the Church, and her unity.57 The addition of a ruler to this section would thus have represented a significant upheaval in the Christian tradition of prayer and an attempt at an intense sacralisation of political power. The prayers for rulers in the Exultet were not performed every day, and they lacked the significant political theology provided by the prayers for rulers that were included in the Te igitur section. There can be no doubt that the una cum prayer for the ruler in the Exultet was intended to sacralise the royal office, but it would have done so to a lesser degree than the una cum prayer in the Roman Canon of the Mass. The insertion of the king alongside the pope and the local bishop within the una cum formula of the Exultet would have created the impression that the rulers shared, at least to some extent, an importance equal to the highest ecclesiastical offices; the prayer however lacked a precise political theology. Nevertheless, the sacralising impression of the prayer for rulers in the Exultet is confirmed by some examples of its medieval practice. Ernst H. Kantorowicz pointed out that the final section of the Easter chant in the Norman version was inspired by the litany laudes regiae: ‘laudes regiae represented an integral part of the liturgical homage to the ruler in that period. The same is true in respect to the praeconium.’58 In Southern Italy, many Exultet rolls were enriched not only with the invocation of rulers but also with images of political officials.59 Gerhard B. Ladner examined 57 Johannes Pinsk, ‘… una cum famulo papa nostro Pio,’ Liturgisches Leben 6 (1939): 1-4; Leo Eizenhöfer, ‘Te igitur und Communicantes im römischen Messkanon,’ Sacris Erudiri Jaarboek voor Godsdienstwetenschappen 8, no. 1 (1956): 43-59; Theodor Maas-Ewerd, ‘Fürbitten im Eucharistischen Hochgebet? Fürbitten als Abschlüsse des Wortgottesdienstes und Fürbitte im Hochgebet – Eine Doppelung?,’ Heiliger Dienst 26, no. 2 (1972): 67-77; Mazza, The Eucharistic Prayers, 59-64. 58 Ernst H. Kantorowicz, ‘A Norman Finale of the Exultet and the Rite of Sarum,’ Harvard Theological Review 34 (1941): 136-137. The Norman f inal section runs as follows: Qui semper vivis, regnas, imperas necnon et gloriaris solus Deus solus altissimus, Jhesu Christe, cum sancto spiritu in gloria Dei patris. Amen. 59 Carlo Bertelli ‘Ciclo f igurativo,’ in Guglielmo Cavallo, Giulia Orof ino, Oronzo Pecere, Exultet. Rotoli liturgici del medioevo meridionale (Rome: Libreria dello stato, 1994), 63, 65, 67, 70; Valentino Pace, ‘Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 9820, Exultet,’ in ibid., 105-106; Francesco Magistrale, ‘Bari, Archivio del Capitolo Metropolitano, Exultet 1,’ in ibid., 133-134; Anna Rosa Calderoni Masetti, ‘Pisa, Museu dell’Opera del Duomo, Exultet 2,’ in ibid., 156-157; Francesco Magistrale, ‘Troia, Archivio Capitolare, Exultet 1,’ in ibid., 181;



these visual and textual commemorations during the whole medieval period and concluded that they represent a fading idea of Empire, whereas those of the Carolingian and Ottonian period were much more personal. In these sources, one finds not only general invocations of rulers, but also their names, sometimes inscribed in gold; this led Ladner to the conclusion that, for the Carolingians and Ottonians, the liturgy would have played a significant role in the formation and development of the idea of Empire.60 If we take into account the observations of Kantorowicz and Ladner, it is possible to conclude that the prayers for rulers in the Exultet could have fostered the image of a ruler who occupied a special place in the world order normally reserved for the highest ecclesiastical hierarchy. Can we also apply this meaning to the Mazovian rulers of the fourteenth century? In order to provide an answer if Exultet of Bolesław II sacralised his political power, many issues should be taken into consideration, as the prayer for a ruler added to the formula una cum spread extensively throughout Europe by the end of the High Middle Ages. The inclusion of the prayer for the rulers formulated as una cum in the PRG contributed to its wide spread.61 Therefore, this prayer for rulers at the turn of the fourteenth century was not special. Moreover, after the first half of the thirteenth century a local

Franscesco Magistrale, ‘Troia, Archivio Capitolare, Exultet 2,’ in ibid., 192; Lucinia Speciale, ‘Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. lat. 592, Exultet,’ in ibid., 238; Beat Brenk, ‘Roma, Biblioteca Casanatense, Cas. 724 (B I 13), Exultet,’ in ibid., 324; Valentino Pace, ‘Gaeta, Museo Diocesano, Exultet 1,’ in ibid., 342-343; Valentino Pace, ‘Gaeta, Museo Diocesano, Exultet 3,’ in ibid., 364; Giulia Orofino, ‘Montecassino, Archivio Dell’Abbazia, Exultet 2,’ in ibid., 380; Antonia d’Aniello, ‘Salerno, Museo Diocesano, Exultet,’ in ibid., 395-396; Francesco Magistrale, ‘Troia, Archivio Capitolare, Exultet 3,’ in ibid., 429; Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 121. 60 Gerhard Burian Ladner, ‘The “Portraits” of Emperors in Southern Italian Exultet Rolls and the Liturgical Commemoration of the Emperor.’ Speculum 17, no. 2 (Apr., 1942): 181-200. Similarly Hans Hirsch, ‘Der mittelalterliche Kaisergedanke in den liturgischen Gebeten,’ Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 44 (1930): 5-7, 9. On the political reading of the final section of the Exultet see also Tellenbach, ‘Römischer,’ 27-29; Biehl, Das liturgische Gebet, 88-93. 61 Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du dixiéme siècle. Le texte, eds. Cyrille Vogel, Reinhard Elze, 3 vols. (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1963), II, 98-99: Precamur ergo te, domine, ut nos famulos tuos, omnem clerum et devotissimum populum, una cum beatissimo papa nostro N., et antistite nostro N., et gloriossimo imperatore nostro N. eiusque nobilissima prole, quiete temporum concessa, in his paschalibus festis conservare digneris. The Ordo L to which this type of the Exultet belongs could be found in many manuscripts which served to compile the PRG. Actually, they are in all the manuscripts grouped by Henry Parkes in his PRG Database: A Tool for Navigating ‘Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique,’ http://database.prg.mus. (accessed April 10, 2016). The edition of the PRG in regard to the textual variants in the final section of the Exultet: Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy, 302.


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lord could have been included into the Exultet as well.62 Presumably, this prayer was already present in the book which served for the production of the Mazovian chant. This begs the question whether in Mazovia there was an awareness of the possible sacralising implications brought by this prayer or rather whether scribes unconsciously followed the traditional text which served as the basis for the Exultet of Bolesław II. If one analyzes the parchment leaf where the names of Bolesław and his children, preceded by the name of bishop Jan, were inscribed, one has to differentiate the various stages of its production. First, scribes wrote the text in black ink and left space for the words which were ornamented, mostly the names of persons. This means that since the first stage of production, the scribe knew that special characters would be used for the names of the bishop, the duke, and his two sons. One can notice that the scribe left too much space for the names of the duke and the bishop, and too little space for the names of the duke’s sons. In the next stage, the scribe would have placed the golden letters: Iohannes, Semouito, and Wancone, along with the letters o e l o in the name Boleslao. Due to a lack of available space, the golden script is occasionally very narrow. During the same stage, the other letters in Boleslao, B l s a, were inscribed in red. The musical notation may have been added during the first stage: the black of the ink in the text matches the color of the music notation. However, probably during the correction of the whole manuscript, as changes are visible on other parchment leaves as well (Rr. 4923, 4924, 4927, 4928, 4929, 4937), the musical notation was altered after its first placement and corrected where it was possible. For example, above the proper name of the bishop the musical notation was placed below the line, which was not possible to do over the proper name of the duke, which occupied too much space on the notation lines. Similarly there is a mistake in the main text: nosro instead of nostro.63 This confused structure raises many questions. One of the most important scholars to have studied this leaf, Tadeusz Maciejewski, has proposed the following explanation. Changes to the musical notation happened in Płock, when the Gradual produced and imported from the Meuse region was revised to include the Mazovian personal names. Before the names were added in Płock, a scribe from the Meuse region was to include a standard notation, which usually corresponded in manuscripts 62 Biehl, Das liturgische Gebet, 91. 63 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4922: Iohanne et gloriosissimo duce nosro [sic] + BOLESLAO cum liberis suis Semouito et Wancone quiete. Here it is clear that for the four syllables of BOLESLAO only two musical ligatures, for two syllables, have been provided. See Fig. 1.



to the two-syllable words nomen or ille, both of which were used in place of personal names. Thus, it was the one who performed the chant during the liturgy who would supply the proper names in those places marked by the abbreviations: N. or il. The scribes in Płock would have also corrected the notation corresponding to the names.64 Maciejewski’s explanation raises many doubts. First, the style of the script of the golden and black letters is very similar, if not identical. Second, corrections to the musical notation are also found on other fragments, not only on the leaf with the Exultet.65 Third, the pen flourishing of the name BOLESLAO is very similar to the ornamentation of the word Vidimus on another fragment.66 In order to accept Maciejewski’s hypothesis one needs to assume that the scribes in Płock would have been able to correct musical notation (although not entirely accurately), to draw golden letters in a script very similar to that used in the main text, and to decorate the duke’s name in a way that matched initials elsewhere in the Gradual. If the scribes in Płock had the skills to imitate not only the script and pen flourishing of the Meuse scribes, but also the ability to correct musical notation, why then should we not assume that the manuscript was produced in Płock?67 We may, however, propose a different solution. The scribes responsible for the golden and the black text (if they were not the work of a single person), and the musical notation, all worked in the same scriptorium. They rewrote the text and notation based on an earlier manuscript in which no proper names of political or ecclesiastical officials had been inserted. The incorrect music notation was thus copied and spaces for the ornamented names were left blank. On the second stage, the names were inserted, and in a subsequent phase, the musical notation was improved in those instances where the space above the text allowed for corrections (in this case, above the word gloriosissimo and Iohanne). It is also possible that the musical notation was corrected in the final stage of the production, as there are changes to be found throughout the parchment leaves. Whether the manuscript originated in the Meuse region or in Płock, it seems reasonable to suggest that the insertion of proper names occurred in the same scriptorium where the other leaves of the manuscript were produced.

64 Maciejewski, ‘Graduał,’ 32. 65 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4923; 4924; 4927; 4928; 4929; 4937. 66 Gradual of Bolesław II of Mazovia, R. 4926. 67 The same suggestion was proposed by Walicki, ‘Wyposażenie artystyczne dworu i kościoła,’ 274.


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Even if we suppose that the manuscript was produced in Płock, this would not exclude the possibility that the Gradual had some connection with the Meuse region, as suggested by Maciejewski’s musicological evidence. However, it is worth mentioning that the region’s strongest influence over the Płock bishopric occurred in the twelfth century, when the bronze doors of Płock were cast, the cathedral was rebuilt, and new liturgical books were imported.68 It may be that the influence of the Meuse region, visible in the Gradual produced around 1300, came from one of these imported liturgical books. This would explain why the melody resembles Benedictine monophony from northern France, and also why the paleographic evidence suggests that the manuscript was produced in one place. It is certainly possible that the Gradual was produced in the scriptorium of Płock. The city was the cultural and intellectual centre of Mazovia, and literary texts and some manuscripts are known to have been produced there much earlier.69 The fact that the pen flourishing in the Exultet is not as refined as those found in the major centers of manuscripts production may also suggest a local origin.70 However, this issue would require further discussion. Whether it was the scribes of Płock or the scribes in the Meuse region who annotated the prayer with the names of the religious and political officials, we cannot conclude that the prayer for the Mazovian ruler was merely unconscious repetition of an already established tradition. Although there are some instances where the Exultet contains the actual names of the officials,71 it was far more common to find the abbreviations N. or il. (for 68 Krzysztof Skwierczyński, ‘The Beginnings of the Cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Poland in the Light of the Plock Accounts of Miracles from 1148,’ Studi medievali Ser. 3, 53 (2012): 117-121, 128-129, 133-135, 145-146, 159-161; Ryszard Knapiński, ‘Die romanische Tür von Plock in Welikij Nowgorod in Russland als Glaubensbekenntnis in der Kunst,’ Anuario de Historia de la Iglesia 22 (2013): 191-201; Adam Sutkowski, ‘Cechy paleograf iczne notacji muzycznych w polskich rękopisach średniowiecznych,’ Musica medii aevi 1 (1965): 55-56. 69 Adam Vetulani, ‘Średniowieczne rękopisy płockiej biblioteki katedralnej,’ Roczniki biblioteczne 7, no. 3-4 (1963): 358-359; Sutkowski, ‘Cechy paleograficzne,’ 55-57; Skwierczyński, ‘The Beginnings of the Cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary,’ 145-146, 148. 70 Sonia Patterson, ‘Comparison of Minor Initial Decoration: a Possible Method of Showing the Place of Origin of Thirteenth-century Manuscripts,’ Library 27, no. 1 (1972): 23-30; eadem, ‘The flourished initials,’ Journal of the Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society 4 (1981): 59-66; Patricia Stirnemann, ‘Fils de la vierge. L’initiale à filigranes parisiennes: 1140-1314,’ Revue de l’Art 90 (1990): 58-73. 71 Just to name few examples: Sacramentary of Bernward (d. 1022), Hildesheim, DomschatzDom-Museum, Ms. 19, fol. 78r-v: Precamur ergo te domine ut nos famulus tuos et omnem clerum et deuotissimum populum | una cum papa nostro . ill . et gloriosissimo imperatore nostro heinrico . nec non et uenerabili episcopo nostro Bernuuardo . quiete temporum concessa . in his festi paschalis diebus conseruare digneris; Sacramentary, c. 890-1000, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale,



nomine or illo) written in the manuscripts.72 The performer of the Easter chant would have included the proper names during the liturgy, but the book itself contained only the anonymous abbreviation. Thus, a liturgical book was produced to serve for a longer period than the government of one pope, bishop or ruler. But if this was the case, why did the scribes decide to include the names in this Mazovian Gradual? Medieval liturgical books were more than mere carriers of text. They were venerated as sacred objects, and in the High Middle Ages they were perceived as a new means for the incarnation of the Logos. In some commentaries, liturgical texts, mostly containing the Gospel, were treated as representations of the Body of Christ, which was sacramentally made present on the altar. Missals and sacramentaries received the same attention and devotion. The liturgical books used during the most holy celebrations were empowered with sacrality and protected from ritual pollution.73 For this reason, the inclusion of a specific name in the book would have had significant consequences. Hartmut Hoffmann suggested that the names written in these sacral objects would have possessed quasi magical functions: they were intended to include the person into the heavenly book of those who will be saved, a visual representation of the book of life (liber vitae) mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This was the case regardless of whether the name or image of a person was included in manuscripts belonging to the liber vitae genre, which existed throughout the Middle Ages, or in other types of liturgical codices.74 Thus, the manuscript used during the holy service anticipated eschatological reality, just as did the liturgy itself. The insertion of the names of bishop Jan, Bolesław II, and his two sons Siemowit and Wańko, was an act of great significance. It included the ecclesiastical and political hierarchy in a sacred object used during one of the most solemn festivities of Christianity. The community, which would have gathered to hear the Exultet, would have also heard the names of Latin 2812, fol. 98r: et (&) serenissimo ugo regi nostro (later addition). More different examples could be found in Biehl, Liturgisches Gebet, 91 and Ladner, ‘The “Portraits” of Emperors,’ 187-188; 195. 72 Ladner, ‘The ‘Portraits’ of Emperors,’ 192. Having examined hundreds of liturgical manuscripts with Exultet, I could only confirm Ladner’s thesis. Quite differently about the frequency of the names in the Exultet see Livljanic, ‘Exultet,’ col. 255. 73 Thomas Lentes, ‘Materialität und Inszenierung des textus in der Liturgie,’ in ‘Textus’ im Mittelalter. Komponenten und Situationen des Wortgebrauchs im schriftsemantischen Feld, eds. Ludolf Kuchenbuch, Uta Kleine (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 133-141. 74 Hartmut Hoffmann, Buchkunst und Königtum im ottonischen und frühsalischen Reich, 2 vols. (Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 1986), I, 20.


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their spiritual and temporal authorities. However, the prayer transmitted more than just the names. The bishop and the ruling family was included in the chant that praised the history of redemption. The contemporary figures mentioned in the intercessions joined the ranks of those who had participated the history of salvation from the beginning of time. Adam, the Israelites, Mary, Jesus, bishop Jan, Bolesław II and his two sons were all part of the same narrative, for which the praise was raised to heaven. The appearance of the duke’s name alongside those of the bishop and ducal sons in the Mazovian Gradual, however, had an even greater meaning. The scribes drew special attention to the figures of authority, inscribing their names with layers of gold or with red ink (minium). While this eternal commemoration would have contradicted the practical goals of medieval manuscripts, the names nonetheless provide us with a clue to the interpretation of the Gradual and suggest that the book may have been the result of ducal patronage. The golden layers were added to the parchment for each name, but only BOLESLAO was written in majuscule script, and with the use of red ink. The golden majuscule script used in the liturgical books usually served to mark the royal patronage of the manuscript. Such objects were called codices aurei and in the Ottonian-Salian political culture were signs of majesty. The last manuscript written in golden majuscule script was produced in the second half of the twelfth century by Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, who aspired to the German throne. The codices aurei were a form of imitatio imperii for ambitious rulers. Although we should not equate the use of the golden majuscule script in the Gradual with the phenomenon of the codices aurei – the script was used only for the names of the officials – it nonetheless suggests a similar ideology.75 Moreover, the use of red ink in Bolesław’s name alone suggests that the scribes were trying to convey the symbolism of rulers. The specific type of handwriting for BOLESLAO with pen flourishing seems to be another example of the aspirations of the ambitious Mazovian duke. Bolesław, as we have already mentioned, until ca. 1290 had his eye on the throne in Cracow, and later became an important partner of the monarchs who unified the Polish kingdom. The paleographical choices in the Exultet may well have been inspired by this political context. 75 Roman Michałowski, Princeps fundator. Studium z dziejów kultury politycznej w Polsce X-XIII wieku (Warszawa: Ośrodek Wydawniczy Zamku Królewskiego w Warszawie, 1993), 97-106. On the royal symbolism of codices aurei in the Carolingian period: David Ganz, ‘The Preconditions for Caroline Minuscule,’ in The History of the Book in the West, 5 vols. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), I: 400 A.D.-1455, eds. Jane Roberts, Pamela Robinson, Alexis Weedon (2010), 208-209.



It seems that another demonstration of the political reading of the Exultet provides no commemoration of Bolesław’s second oldest son – Trojden. There are no sources that might explain the exclusion of Trojden, who along with Siemowit, was born of Bolesław’s first wife, Sophie-Gaudemunda, the Lithuanian princess.76 The sources record no conflict between the father and the son; on the contrary, diplomatic material bears witness to their successful cooperation.77 The only possible explanation for Trojden’s exclusion was his position: between February 22, 1310 and February 28, 1311 Trojden was named duke of Czersk, part of the historic region of Mazovia,78 whereas neither Siemowit nor Wańko were made dukes until 1313.79 As an independent duke, Trojden might not have been included in a prayer in the duchy of Mazovia (stricto sensu), which was under the rule of Bolesław and his two other children. If this explanation is correct, then we could place the production of the Mazovian Exultet between Trojden’s elevation in 1310 and Bolesław’s death in 1313. This date corresponds with the absence of Bolesław’s second wife (Wańko’s mother), who was sent back to Bohemia before the attack on Mazovia launched in 1300 by her brother, the newly-crowned king of Poland Wenceslaus.80 These dates also correspond to the pontificate of bishop Jan.81 The liturgical text thus reflects the political situation of Mazovia after the coronations of Przemysł in 1295 and Wenceslaus in 1300. In sum, the method of inserting the word BOLESLAO could suggest royal resentments, elements of imitatio imperii, or just bold manifestations of power. It could have been a reaction to the fact that Bolesław, who was once called to the throne of Cracow, lost to other candidates and was unable to fulfill the prophecy of Saint Stanislaus. It was Przemysł and Wenceslaus who had worn the Polish crown and restored the kingdom. Last but not least, it is also possible that Bolesław wished to create the perception that 76 Kazimierz Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów mazowieckich, ed. Marek Górny (Poznań; Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Historyczne, 1998), 19-23; Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich, 55. 77 Codex diplomaticus Masoviae novus, II, no. 117: damus et conferimus […] una cum nostro dilecto duce Troydeno. 78 The charter with the ducal title of Trojden: Codex diplomaticus Masoviae novus, II, no. 126: dux Chyrnensis et dominus Secechouiensis. 79 On the titulatures of the Bolesław’s sons see Grabowski, Dynastia Piastów mazowieckich, 56-63. 80 Ibid., 54; Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 93. 81 There were two bishops with the name Jan at the turn of the fourteenth century: Bishop John II the High (1296/1297-1310) as well as Jan III (1310-1318). See Jacek Maciejewski, Episkopat polski doby dzielnicowej, 1180-1320 (Kraków; Bydgoszcz: Towarszystko Naukowe Societas Vistulana, 2003), 251.


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rulers were surrounded with a supernatural aura; the Exultet is rooted in the tradition of the sacrality of ducal power in Mazovia, to which I would now like to turn.

Sacrality of Ducal Power in High Medieval Mazovia In addition to the Gradual, there are other sources from the time of Bolesław II which provide insight into the position of the ruler as more than just a political leader. One of these, Mors et miracula beati Verneri, records the death and miracles of Werner, a bishop of Płock murdered around 1170 at the behest of Bolesta, an official (castellanus) of Bolesław the Curly (a Mazovian duke who also held Cracow). Bolesta was subsequently burnt at stake in Gniezno on the orders of Bolesław the Curly. Although the hagiographic tradition of Werner had already started by the end of the twelfth century, the extant version of Mors et miracula beati Verneri was not finally composed before the year 1275. In another publication, I have argued that the text served to visualise the alliance between the dukes of Mazovia and the bishop of Płock.82 This idea would align with the position of the duke Bolesław II who is placed alongside bishop Jan in the Exultet. The second surviving source is one of Bolesław’s seals. Its iconography – a knight with a shield wearing full armor is kneeling in front of Mary, who blesses the warrior and bows her head in his direction – is unique. The scene is not typical among earlier seals of Piast dukes and could be an adaptation of an homage paid to a woman which appears in secular iconography. Regardless of its iconographic origin, the seal embodies a powerful meaning: it is Mary whose favour Bolesław enjoys, and her blessing is given to the duke, who is preparing for a military campaign. In a deeper sense, it suggests that Mary’s power is made manifest through the martial deeds of Bolesław.83 Both this seal and the Exultet can be seen as evidence of the sacrality of ducal power in Mazovia. The supernatural character of ducal power in Poland has been argued convincingly by Zbigniew Dalewski, who demonstrated that it was developed by the Piast dynasty when they lost their royal title at the end of the eleventh century. Based on an analysis of the so-called Cracow Pontifical from the late eleventh century, preserved in the Jagiellonian Library, Dalewski stated 82 Paweł Figurski, ‘Przekaz ideowy i datacja Mors et miracula beati Verneri,’ Studia Źródłoznawcze. Commentationes 48 (2010): 25-43. 83 Teterycz-Puzio, Bolesław II Mazowiecki, 51-53; Piech, Ikonografia, 26, 72, 101-102, 120.



that the formularies for benedictio super vexillum, benedictio armorum, and benedictio principis, which are included in the manuscript,84 were part of the liturgical inauguration rite of the Piast dukes. The ceremony proceeded as follows: the elect would receive a spear, a sword, and a helmet from the bishop; the bishop would then bless the new ruler in order to grant him God’s protection. The significance of the ritual was described by Dalewski as follows: ‘the liturgical ceremony of ducal inauguration as foreseen in the Cracow Pontifical was to provide a ritual basis for the sacral concepts of Piast lordship and to allow them to appear as rulers equal to the kings, despite their loss of royal rank.’85 The same concept can be found in the first official narrative of Piasts, Gesta principium Polonorum, written by the Anonymous in the second decade of the twelfth century. The work was commissioned when the Polish duchy was engulfed in political crisis. After Bolesław the Wrymouth caused the death of his brother Zbigniew by ordering that he be blinded, Bolesław was forced to re-legitimise his political power; the Gesta represents a part of those efforts.86 According to the text, the first representative of the Piast dynasty, Siemowit, took power because he was appointed by God: rex regum et dux ducum eum Poloniae ducem concorditer ordinavit.87 In this passage, the author did not use the standard biblical wording rex regum et dominus dominatium (1 Tm. 6:15; Rev. 19:16) describing Christ, but changed it to the phrase rex regum et dux ducum. According to the author of the Gesta, Christ 84 Pontyfikał biskupów krakowskich, Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellońska, Ms. BJ 2057, fol. 35 v-37 v. Edition: Zdzisław Obertyński, The Cracow Pontifical (Pontificale Cracoviense Saeculi XI) Cracow, Jagiellonian Library, Ms. 2057 (Manchester: The Philips Park Press, 1977), 57-59. 85 Dalewski, ‘Vivat princeps in eternum!,’ 224. Analysis of the Pontifical: 217-224. 86 The literature on Anonymous is enormous and every year brings new books. Recently a whole conference was devoted to the newest research on Gallus (4-6.06.2014 in Warsaw ‘What’s new in the research on Gallus’). The last texts gather the bibliography: Witold Wojtowicz, ‘Tarda loquendi facultas – tożsamość tzw. Galla Anonima w kontekście listów i epilogów Gestów,’ Pamiętnik Literacki 104, no. 3 (2013): 5-38; Jarosław Wenta, Kronika tzw. Galla Anonima. Historyczne (monastyczne i genealogiczne) oraz geograficzne konteksty powstania (Toruń: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, 2011); Tadeusz Jasiński, ‘Szesnastozgłoskowiec trocheiczny w Kronice polskiej Galla Anonima,’ in Ecclesia, regnum, fontes. Studia z dziejów średniowiecza, eds. Sławomir Gawlas et al. (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2014), 315-334. For the English reader, the most comprehensive account is: Zbigniew Dalewski, Ritual and Politics: Writing the History of a Dynastic Conflict in Medieval Poland (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008) and for the German reader 43 volume (2009) of Frühmittelalterliche Studien which gathers many texts after the conference on Anonymous organized in Münster. 87 Galli Anonymi Cronica et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum, 1.1., c. 3, ed. Karol Maleczyński, MPH, SN, II (1952), 12.


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is not only the King, but also the Duke. Therefore, according to Dalewski: ‘if earthly kings had a right to participate in the royal dignity of Christ, then, according to the author of the Gesta, the Piast dukes had a right to participate in the heavenly dignity of the Duke of Dukes, who entrusted to them the ducal rule on earth.’88 After losing the royal title, the Piasts had to develop another means of sacralising their power. They modeled it on the figure of Christ the Duke. The idea of a supernatural aura surrounding the Piast dukes survived even after the partition of the Polish kingdom during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The sacrality of ducal power is well illustrated in the case of Mazovia. One example of this phenomenon is the chalice and paten on which the images and names of the ducal family of Conrad I of Mazovia (d. 1247) were placed.89 These objects were expiatory donations from the duke, who had ordered the death of John Czapla, a scholasticus from Płock, and was subsequently sentenced with an anathema. In response, the duke committed himself to penance by ordering the golden chalice and paten.90 Although this interpretation is convincing to some extent, it does not explain the bold deed of the duke or his descendants in placing their portraits and names on the objects used during the Eucharistic liturgy. The Body and Blood of Christ, sacramentally present during the Mass, touched the names and images of the ruling family and in such a way sought symbolically to bring salvation to the depicted figures. As with the example of the Gesta principium Polonorum, also produced during a time of political crisis, the expiatory aim of the artefact does not exclude its sacralising goal. The next example of the sacralisation of Mazovian ducal power is a PRG (c. 1175-c. 1250) presumably produced for the Płock bishopric. The manuscript might have been produced just before Bolesław’s reign, although the

88 Dalewski, ‘Vivat princeps in eternum!,’ 226. Analysis of the account: 224-226. 89 The chalice and the paten of Konrad Mazowiecki, Płock, Diocesan Treasury. 90 Ryszard Knapiński, ‘Rewindykowany kielich z pateną ufundowany dla katedry płockiej w 1238 r. przez księcia Konrada Mazowieckiego,’ Studia Płockie 10 (1982): 243-47; Kazimierz Jasiński, ‘Kielich płocki z pateną – dar księcia mazowieckiego Konrada I,’ in Człowiek w społeczeństwie średniowiecznym, ed. Roman Michałowski (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG, 1997), 283-299; Pietrusińska, ‘Katalog i bibliografia zabytków. Kielich z pateną tzw. Konrada Mazowieckiego,’ in Gieysztor, Walicki, Zachwatowicz, Pietrusińska, Sztuka polska przedromańska i romańska, 744; Piotr Skubiszewski, ‘Programy obrazowe kielichów i paten romańskich,’ Roczniki Historii Sztuki 13 (1981): 41, 53-55, 91; Samsonowicz, Konrad Mazowiecki, 93. On the names inscribed on the liturgical objects: Victor H. Elbern, Der eucharistische Kelch im frühen Mittelatler (Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1964), 83-88.



dating of the manuscript remains disputable.91 In the codex one can find the famous tenth-century Ottonian text, the Ordo ad regem benedicendum quando novus a clero et populo sublimatur in regnum,92 but the manuscript preserves only some of the texts belonging to the PRG tradition.93 Why did the scribes copy the Ordo ad regem benedicendum, which could not have 91 In the pontifical there are 1) an oath of the elect-bishop to the archbishop of Gniezno (in the main text) and 2) the name of the local church in Płock (a not much later addition) which both conf irm that the book was produced at ordering for the Polish bishopric and used in Płock: Pontifical, Płock, Library of the Diocesan Library, Ms. 29, fol. 3v: Ego N. sancte illi ęcclesie […] promitto deo et sanctę romane ęcclesie et domino papę et spacialiter sancte gneznensi ecclesie et beato petro et sancto adalberto et tibi domino archiepiscopo meo et successoribus tuis ueram obedienciam et f idelem subiectionem; fol. 48r: Ad titulum sancte plocensis ecclesie; Edition (although with errors): Antoni Podleś, Pontyfikał Płocki z XII wieku. [Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München Clm 28938; Biblioteka Seminarium Duchownego Płock Mspł. 29]. Studium Liturgiczno-źródłoznawcze. Edycja Tekstu (Płock: Płockie Wydawnictwo Diecezjalne, 1986), 49 (fol. 3v); 88 (fol. 48r). The analysis of the provenance of the manuscript: 35-42. The editor opted for the twelfth-century dating of the codex, but the paleographical evidence suggests a later period of its production – from the late twelfth to the middle of the thirteenth century. I would like to thank David Gura for this information, who in personal meetings on October 18, 2016 and March 22, 2017 shared his expertise with me. Quite similar dating (ca. 1175-1225) in Weronika Liszewska, Jacek Tomaszewski ‘Wstępna analiza kodykologiczna, technologiczna i konserwatorska Pontyfikału Płockiego,’ in Pontyfikał. Odzyskana perła płockiego średniowiecza, ed. Dariusz Majewski (Płock: Płocki Instytut Wydawniczy, 2016), 43-47. However, the Płock PRG requires more careful examination. 92 Pontif ical, Płock, Library of the Diocesan Library, Ms. 29, fol. 80 v-89v. Edition Podleś, Pontyfikał Płocki, 111-116. Recently Parkes, The Making of Liturgy, 185-211 put into doubt that PRG as the famous compilation was produced already in the tenth century. Nevertheless, the Ordo ad regem benedicendum is Ottonian since it is found already in the late tenth century manuscript: Lucca, Biblioteca Capitolare Feliniana, Cod. 607, fol. 86v-90r, and presumably from the tenth or the eleventh century: Pistoia, Archivio Capitolare, Ms. C. 141, fol. 69v-72v. Information about those manuscripts according to the database of Henry Parkes, http://database. (accessed April 13, 2016) and the edition of Ordo ad regem benedicendum, in Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique, 1: 246; and Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique, 3: 9. Recently on the sacralising ideas of ordo ad regem benedicendum: Giovanni Isabella, ‘Comparing Models of Kingship: The Royal Ordo coronationis of Mainz and the Royal Coronation of Otto I by Widukind of Corvey,’ in Gnieźnieńskie koronacje królewskie i ich środkowoeuropejskie konteksty, eds. Józef Dobosz, Marzena Matla, Leszek Wetesko (Gniezno: Urząd Miejski w Gnieźnie, Instytut Kultury Europejskiej UAM w Gnieźnie, Instytut Historii UAM w Poznaniu, 2011), 91-103 and Giovanni Isabella, ‘Das Sakralkönigtum in Quellen aus ottonischer Zeit: unmittelbarer Bezug zu Gott oder Vermittlung durch die Bischöfe?,’ Frühmittelalterliche Studien 44 (2010): 137-152. 93 Detailed study of the selections from PRG in Podleś, Pontyfikał, 32-34. One of the popular texts in the PRG (Ordo processionis, si quando episcopus festivis diebus missam celebrare voluerit, no. XCVIII in the Elze and Vogel edition) is missing in the Płock Pontifical. On the frequency of the Ordo processionis, si quando episcopus festivis diebus missam celebrare voluerit see the Henry Parkes database: (accessed April 12, 2016).


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been used in Mazovia, and not other texts? Kantorowicz suggests that the Ordo ad regem benedicendum was performed occasionally during festival coronations when a king visited various bishoprics, and is thus preserved in places where no inauguration of power took place.94 This cannot be true in regard to Mazovia, where in the time of the manuscript’s production it could not have been performed during festival coronations since there was no king. The liturgical texts, however, may have served another function. They provided not only material for religious celebrations, but also transmitted ideas of the nature of political power. Their function may thus have been similar to the speculum principis or to treatises on royal power, for instance in the political culture of the Ottonian period, speculum principis as a genre was less popular and frequently replaced with more symbolic accounts, such as miniatures with images of rulers embedded in liturgical books, and this could have been the case in the dutchy of Mazovia as well.95 The text of the Ordo ad regem benedicendum sets the norms for rulers and could have inspired the Mazovian dukes, including Bolesław II, in their efforts to sacralise ducal power. In the ordo, the ruler participates in the ministry of bishops and is even a vicar of Christ!96 The sacrality of ducal power in Mazovia was not unique among contemporary European duchies. In Normandy, the dukes strove to emulate royal sacrality97 and in Bohemia the ruling dynasty of Premyslids employed 94 Kantorowicz, Laudes regiae, 96-97. 95 Hagen Keller, ‘Ritual, Symbolik und Visualisierung in der Kultur des ottonischen Reiches,’ Frühmittelalterliche Studien 35 (2001): 23-59; Hagen Keller, ‘Herrscherbild und Herrschaftslegitimation. Zur Deutung der ottonischen Denkmäler,’ Frühmittelalterliche Studien 19 (1985): 290-311; Ludger Körntgen, ‘König und Priester. Das sakrale Königtum der Ottonen zwischen Herrschaftstheologie, Herrschaftspraxis und Heilssorge,’ in Die Ottonen. Kunst – Architektur – Geschichte, ed. Klaus G. Beuckers et al. (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2002), 54; Egon Boshof, Königtum und Königsherrschaft im 10. und 11. Jahrhundert (München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1993), 120-122. 96 Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du dixiéme siècle, 1: 257: Postea metropolitanus verenter coronam capiti regis imponat, dicens: Accipe coronam regni […] et per hanc te participem ministerii nostri non ignores, ita ut, sicut nos in interioribus pastores rectoresque animarum intellegimur, tu quoque in exterioribus verus Dei cultor strenuusque contra omnes adversitates aecclesiae Christi defensor […] cum redemptore ac salvatore Iesu Christo, cuius nomen vicemque gestare crederis […]. 97 John Le Patourel, ‘Norman Kings or Norman ‘king-dukes’?,’ in Droit privé et institutions régionales. Etudes historiques offertes à Jean Yver, professeur honoraire à la Faculté de droit et de sciences politiques de Caen, ed. collective (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1976), 476-479; Karl Ferdinand Werner, ‘Quelques observations au sujet des débuts du “duché” de Normandie,’ in Karl Ferdinand Werner, Structures politiques du monde Franc (VIe-XIIe siècles). Etudes sur les origines de la France et de l’Allemagne (London: Variorum Reprints, 1979), 709; Raymonde Foreville, ‘Le sacre des rois anglo-normands et angevins (XIe-XIIe siècle) et le serment du sacre,’



similar tactics to elevate ducal power into the supernatural order.98 The dukes of Mazovia demonstrated the sacrality of their ducal power based on the model created by the Piast dynasty. They used their interregional connections for the production of sources and artefacts which contained ideas characteristic of the royal office. This is another facet of the phenomenon discussed by Björn Weiler in his study of narratives written for various dukes in the Middle Ages: ‘they [dukes – P.F.] acquired status partly because they performed king-like functions in a king-like manner.’99 This statement is also valid with regard to the rulers of Mazovia.

Conclusion Presumably between 1310 and 1313, scribes produced a manuscript for Bolesław II of Mazovia, which contained a prayer for the ruler. The intercession was formulated as una cum papa, et episcopo, et duce, which suggested that ducal power and ecclesiastical authority, while not explicitly equal, shared a similar importance. In a world dominated by rituals, this had quite an important meaning, especially in light of the fact that the chant was performed during the most solemn liturgy of the year, the Easter Vigil, which is meant to represent the deeds of redemption. The text itself suggested that those who participated in the solemnities were a part of the history of salvation. The invocation of the political and ecclesiastical elite marked the path from Adam to the heavenly Jerusalem, where bishop John, duke Bolesław and his sons Siemowit and Wańko should be present. The insertion of their names in gold was meant to grant them eternal presence with God. However, the name of the duke was written in gold majuscule script with the use of red ink, suggesting that the prayer was meant to reinforce political majesty of Bolesław II even after the restoration of the Polish kingdom by in Le sacre des rois. Actes du colloque international d’histoire sur les sacres et couronnements royaux (Reims, 1975) (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1985), 101-117; Samantha Kahn Herrick, ‘Heirs to the Apostles: Saintly Power and Ducal Authority in Hagiography of Early Normandy,’ in The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350, eds. Robert F. Berkhofer, Alan Cooper and Adam J. Kosto (Burlington: Ashgate, 2005), 22-24; Ilya Afanasyev, ‘An Unrealized Cult? Hagiography and Norman Ducal Genealogy in Twelfth-Century England,’ Historical Research 88 (2015): 194-195. 98 Vratislav Vanícek, ‘Sakralita české panovnické hodnosti, dynastie Přemyslovců a Vyšehradu v proměnách christianizace a středověké modernizace,’ in Královský Vyšehrad III. Sborník příspěvků ze semináře Vyšehrad a Přemyslovci, ed. collective (Praha: Karmelitánské nakladatelství, 2007), 17-59 although still in a rather misleading hermeneutic of sacral kingship. 99 Björn Weiler, ‘Kingship and Lordship: Views of Kingship in Dynastic Chronicles,’ in Gallus Anonymous and His Chronicle, 115.


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other rulers. The prayer was also a part of the phenomenon of sacrality of ducal power in Mazovia which had a longer tradition. This phenomenon was modeled on the approaches used by Piast dynasty after the loss of their royal title in the second half of the eleventh century. The sacrality of ducal power in Mazovia, however, is not very different from that of other contemporary European duchies. Mazovia may have been located on the edge of the Christian world, but the course of its history in the Middle Ages – marked by crusades against Baltic pagans, preparations for campaigns against the Mongols, attempts at the unification of the kingdom of Ruthenia with Rome, and diplomatic relations with both the papacy and the most important rulers of Central Europe – demonstrates that it should not be marginalised in scholarship, especially in regard to the phenomenon of sacralised political power.

‘International’ Christian Societyand Its Political Theology in ThirteenthCentury Latin Christendom Wojciech Kozłowski

No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road. Pius XI, Encyclical Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, 45, 23.12.1922

This paper offers a cursory discussion of a particular historical manifestation of international society. It focuses primarily on identifying the most common members of this society, and on determining its predominant cultural-political discourse, in order to make sense of the course of international affairs in the thirteenth century. What follows is an attempt to suggest something about the nature of international society during this period. The geographical and chronological scope of this study must necessarily be limited to source materials produced throughout the thirteenth century in Latin Christendom; the political entities of Eastern Christianity and of the Muslim world, and their unique modes of bonding and interacting are not treated here. Rather, the goal of the present paper is to offer a few observations regarding the fundamental elements of international society in the thirteenth-century Latin West, and about the political and theological forces that governed the course and outcome of international conflict. Before we put forth any arguments it is essential that we provide a detailed definition of the term ‘international society;’ it may become particularly confusing if the term is applied to the international Christian society of the thirteenth-century. The concept of ‘international society’ employed here is borrowed from the English School of International Relations (IR) theory; indeed it is one of its key terms. It may be explained as follows:

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International society […], or sometimes states-system, or interstate society, or society of states, is about the institutionalization of mutual interest and identity among states and puts the creation and maintenance of shared norms, rules and institutions at the center of IR theory. The basic idea of international society is quite simple: just as human beings as individuals live in societies which they both shape and are shaped by, so also states live in an international society which they shape and are shaped by.1

The term ‘international Christian society’ – used extensively throughout this study – thus operates as a distinct historical manifestation of ‘international society’ per se, and perhaps also as a chronological precursor to the ‘Christian society of states’ that supposedly existed during the modern period, and which underwent a gradual process of secularisation, transforming itself into a ‘society of states’ or ‘international society’ founded on international law. It is important to emphasise that, in the present study, we have assumed the existence of a thirteenth-century ‘international Christian society’ based on the following two premises: a) a common conviction among scholars and non-scholars alike that medieval Latin Christendom – culturally, socially and politically – represented, broadly speaking, some form of unity (extreme examples of such opinions are listed in the first section below); b) this common view finds solid grounding in the extant source material, which – while debating papal and imperial claims to universal power over the entire world, particularly throughout the thirteenth and early fourteenth century – devotedly refers to the imagined (or postulated) respublica Christiana or societas Christiana (again, see below). It is right to point out that a desire to restore the ‘ecumenical empire,’ a form of unified Christian polity that would secure the welfare of the Christian community (societas), had been present already among Carolingian clerics and, as I explain shortly, developed further after Pope Gregory VII initiated his ecclesiastical reforms. In the eleventh century a new doctrine was introduced into canon law that fused the preservation and unity of the Church with obedience to the pope, and thus required appropriate submission to the pontiff from both the clergy and the entire societas Christiana.2 Towards 1 Barry Buzan, An Introduction to the English School of International Relations: The Societal Approach (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014), 12-13. 2 The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought C. 350-C. 1450, ed. J. H. Burns (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 275.

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the late twelfth century, and throughout the thirteenth century, medieval intellectuals conceptualised a model for societas Christiana composed of rulers, nobility, clergy and people,3 and they interpreted societies against this political-theological paradigm, striving to introduce a number of normative solutions. To avoid any unnecessary confusion, it is essential to distinguish this all-encompassing idea of Christian community from the more limited concept of an ‘international Christian society.’ The argument of the present paper does not refer to the medieval idea; of course, the following analysis originates in an assumption based on this idea, however the ‘international Christian society’ discussed in this paper draws upon the theoretical framework of IR and pertains to a society of ‘international’ units which populated Latin Christendom at a particular time. Within the powerful cultural idea of a unified Latin Christendom, one might expect to find the presence of a society of political units – perhaps a society of rulers – which share identities, interests, and values, and seek a form of institutionalised interaction. Any international society needs members. Humans form human societies, but what are the constituent parts of an international society? In contemporary IR, the term society of states determines an explicit set of rules by which a state may enter the club. It is thus worth inquiring who or what would have been eligible to join the ‘international club’ of the thirteenth century: was it states, kingdoms, duchies, principalities, city-states, military orders, towns or other associations? In the second section of this article, it is argued that the ‘international’ Christian society comprised individual figures, notably individuals of power and dominance, unlike the contemporary international world which is mostly formed of institutions and abstract entities such as states, international organisations, global corporations, and so forth. However, it should be noted that the powerful individuals of the thirteenth century, the lords, were firmly attached to the portions of lands (lordships), in which they exercised their authority to dominate those of lesser rank. In order to identify the members of the thirteenth-century Christian society, I have examined the acts of three general councils – Lateran IV (1215), Lyons I (1245), and Lyons II (1274) – which functioned as assemblies for the entire Christian 3 See ibid., 443. The outcome of these intellectual investigations can be neatly summarized as follows: ‘By the high middle ages there had emerged the idea of a concrete Christian society: the spiritually defined, ecclesiastically organized, and geographically delimited Christendom:’ International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War, eds. Chris Brown, Terry Nardin, and Nicholas Rengger (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 177.

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community. By analysing their resolutions, I have searched for the ways in which this community envisaged itself with regard to its position within the international realm. I am particularly interested in determining the elements of ‘international’ discourse, which may in turn shed some light on who or what played active or passive roles on the ‘international’ stage. The point is illustrated with selected references to resolutions made by the United Nations. As our source material from the medieval world is limited, the present study is more in the nature of a cursory investigation, and my conclusions are propositions intended to invite further analysis and discussion. It is, however, necessary to define the basic ‘international’ unit in the Latin West before we can propose any theories that might explain the medieval ‘international’ system. If we are to make sense of ‘international’ medieval politics, we need to understand what constitutes a member of an international society; a knowledge of the unit types will allow us to determine the identity of the society as well as its political interests, its motivations to cooperate or wage wars, and the modes of its international demeanour. In the final section of this article I have drawn upon the idea of political theology to describe specific features of the political discourse that pertain to what we would now consider international politics. My goal is to examine how medieval authors interpreted the course and outcome of international conflicts in order to illustrate how the mechanisms of international affairs were perceived. The investigation is centred around what educated people made of international conflict and how they established the rules that governed its politics. To this end, I have examined accounts of conflicts between ‘international’ units found in two sources from Great Poland: the annals of the Gniezno chapter (Rocznik kapituły gnieźnieńskiej) and the annals of the Poznań chapter (Rocznik kapituły poznańskiej), both produced in the thirteenth century. From these texts it may be argued that the thirteenth-century ‘international’ Christian society developed and adjusted its shared identity by adapting not only Christian values and principles, but also patterns of kingship from the Old Testament. This process of accommodating and interpreting biblical perspectives on the realm of worldly political affairs resulted in a specific political theology that, by influencing and moulding the identities of ‘international’ units, would have affected the entire international society, and distanced it from the international society of states. In discussing these matters, I have employed, somewhat hesitantly, the term ‘international political theology,’ encouraged by the example of

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Vendulka Kubalkova. 4 This perspective, which implies a theologicallymotivated political approach – a politics of faith – parts with Carl Schmitt’s original secularised concept, which presumed a ‘correspondence between the social structure of an epoch and its metaphysical view of the world, especially between the monarchical state and the theistic world view.’5 There is a central thread that links the three major sections of this study. First it will describe the particular shape of an international environment, and then identify the most common creatures that abide in this setting; finally it will reveal ‘international political theology’ as a concept that embraces conventional approaches to international politics. As a consequence, political theology may emerge as a powerful element of a medieval international theory, to be developed in the course of future studies. The study ends with two conclusions: a) that the concept of the thirteenthcentury Christian society requires substantial elaboration and exquisite theoretical grounding as well as a broader usage of source material; and b) that the fundamental achievement of this cursory analysis boils down to an assertion that making sense of thirteenth-century ‘international’ politics requires abandoning widespread and well-established logics of sovereign (nation) states.

From Christian Unity to ‘International’ Christian Society During the course of an informal discussion in 2014 regarding the impact of the First World War on the current world order, one participant put forth the opinion that the conflict in Europe marked the ultimate end of the Christian society. Not only did the cruel and bloody war in the heart of Europe exhaust the fighting parties socially, economically and militarily, but it also shattered a world order that had existed since the time of the Napoleonic wars, and destroyed what was still left of a unified European spirit. This spirit of common cultural grounding was suspended and subsequently ruined in the ferocity of the conflict.

4 To my best knowledge Vendulka Kubalkova was the first to bring this concept into the field of IR theory, and I found it particularly useful for this study. See Vendulka Kubalkova, ‘International Political Theology,’ Brown Journal of World Affairs 12, no. 2 (Winter-Spring 2006): 139-150; eadem, ‘A ‘Turn to Religion’ in International Relations?,’ Perspectives 17, no. 2 (2009): 13-41. 5 See particularly Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans. George Schwab (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985), vi.

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It is difficult to identify this sense of unity or to make adequate claims for its measure before and after the war; however, the story of the so-called Christmas truce of 1914 offers a striking example of its decline. In that year, during the Christmas season, British and German troops along the large sections of the Western front voluntarily and unofficially refrained from fighting, arranging ceasefires that allowed both sides to meet, fraternise, exchange prisoners, and play football. It was a spontaneous, widespread and bottom-up movement that found sympathy among the higher military ranks.6 As the war grew increasingly bitter, however, similar acts of friendly interactions were discouraged, and eventually banned. The atrocities of the First World War and the fragility of world peace alarmed the Western states. In response to the appalling threat of another global conflict, the League of Nations was established at the Paris Peace Conference in January of 1920. It was the first international organisation commissioned with the task of maintaining peace in the world and providing a platform for resolving international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. The attempt, however, proved futile, and the next two decades would witness the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe. Yet the idea of establishing an institution empowered to oversee and mitigate inter-state controversies sparked an interest in its historical precursors and initiated a stirring debate about medieval Christian society and the ways it found of suppressing human conflict. Political Consequences of Christian Unity in Historical Works At the St. Louis meeting of the American Historical Association on December 28, 1921, August C. Krey, a German-born American and prominent historian of the crusades, prompted by recent political developments, discussed the ‘international state’ of the Middle Ages.7 By observing historical parallels in how the West sought to curb conf lict and violence through the 6 For some more details about the phenomenon and a few eye-witness accounts, see Peter Hart, The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 78-80. Hart himself does not take the Christmas Truce as an evidence of humane inclinations of the combatants; instead he calls it ‘an exercise in sentimentality and nothing more’, arguing that there was ‘no real desire for compromise or negotiation.’ 7 See August C. Krey, ‘The International State of the Middle Ages: Some Reasons for Its Failure,’ The American Historical Review 28, no. 1 (October 1922): 12. A few years earlier, facing the direct aftermath of the Great War, Maurice de Wulf expressed a similar interest: de Maurice Wulf, ‘The Society of Nations in the Thirteenth Century,’ International Journal of Ethics 29, no. 2 (January 1919): 210.

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introduction of diplomacy, he came up with a specific vision of a Christian society, although he did not explicitly name it as such: By the time of Innocent the Church with the papacy at its head had become an international state. It had everything that a state has - and more. It could raise funds by direct taxation and raise armies equally directly. It could bring offenders to the courts of justice, and it had the means of executing its judgments. It applied its laws equally to peasant and king and it executed judgments against both. It controlled education, controlled the agencies of publicity, and controlled the courts. The social cares of charity and public health were in its hands. And on top of all this, it wielded the awful power of eternal life or death. Never in history have the moral forces of so vast a society been so thoroughly concentrated and so effective. As an experiment in practical idealism, it is still without equal.8

According to Krey, this endeavour collapsed under the pressure of an emerging national state which ‘built up a moral force opposed to the papacy.’ There were certainly other reasons but, at least in Krey’s view, the advancement of modern statehood throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was a crucial factor in the eventual destruction of the international state.9 Two years earlier, at the beginning of 1919 and certainly not without the effect of the post-war trauma, Maurice de Wulf, a Belgian Thomist philosopher and an expert in medieval philosophy, published ‘The Society of Nations in the Thirteenth Century;’10 the article was a colourful laudation of thirteenth-century European civilisation, a world fascinated with unity and ready to move towards cosmopolitanism as the legists and canonists of the period came to realise that ‘human society is a single association in which order prevails throughout.’11 It is just at this time that the problem of universal peace becomes insistent, and the most distinguished writers, permeated by the sentiment of universal fraternity, strive to organize a kind of Christian republic, a society embracing all human beings.12 8 9 10 11 12

Krey, ‘The International State,’ 7. Ibid., 8-9. Wulf, ‘The Society.’ Ibid., 222. Ibid., 211.

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The prestige of the papacy imposed on Christian nations an internationalism based on Catholic faith and moral teachings.13 The pope himself assumed three roles: the head of the Church, arbitrator of European politics and guardian of international morality. Wulf acknowledged that the medieval society of nations could not presuppose nations in their modern sense; rather he saw the nations in statu nascendi and could therefore claim that: [W]ar is not a contest between two nations, but a struggle between two members of a single family, or two kings, or two vassals, or between the vassal and the lord 14 and a society of states is a grouping of individuals more than a group of governments, a republica humana, a society of individuals [emphasis by the author].15

Pope Pius XI also expressed grave concern about the current state of affairs in international politics. In the encyclical quoted at the beginning of this study, he pointed to the undeniable fact that humankind did not find peace and tranquillity after the Great War; instead he was horrified to find an atmosphere of increasing enmity. As a remedy he proposed that everybody should follow the ‘teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ’ and, in this context, suggested that medieval Christianity could act as a possible blueprint for contemporary international arrangements leading to peace and order.16 The existence of a thirteenth-century Christian society is more than mere conjecture. Beyond a few works that deal explicitly with the issue, there exists a common presumption among scholars (discussed below) about the specif ic arrangements of thirteenth-century ‘international’ politics in Latin Christendom; indeed many scholars are willing to infer the existence of society-like structures.17 IR specialists, for instance, display 13 Ibid., 224. 14 Ibid., 227. 15 Ibid., 228. 16 Cf. Zygmunt Zieliński, Papiestwo i papieże dwóch ostatnich wieków, 2 vols. (I: (1775-1978), II: (1903-1978)) (Poznań: Księgarnia Świętego Wojciecha, 1986), II, 92. By the way, before assuming the papal office, Pius XI was an experienced librarian and a distinguished scholar in medieval paleography, see Eamon Duffy, Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), 334-335. 17 For instance, in his most recent book on the English-Scottish wars of King Edward I, David Santiuste duly observed: ‘One important factor was the pervasive influence of religion in the medieval world, at a time when virtually every person in medieval Europe was a practicing Christian – at least in theory. The structures of the Church ran in parallel to secular institutions, and religion permeated every aspect of medieval life (including warfare, as we have seen).

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little reluctance to depict the entire European Middle Ages (not merely the thirteenth century) as a respublica Christiana, whose goal was to establish a city of God on earth, populated with a single Christian society. Scholars who adopt this approach, however, often find it difficult to treat wars within the Christian society, and are forced to characterise them as either international conflict or domestic strife.18 Nonetheless, the existence of this society remains strongly presupposed.19 The Development of the Concept of Christian Unity in the High Middle Ages Contemporary sources reveal a more intriguingly nuanced picture, and it is worth looking in the f irst instance at the works of Pierre Dubois (1250/55-after 1320), a lawyer and pamphleteer in the service of King Philip IV of France, and a representative to the French assemblies. Between 1305 and 1307 he produced his chief work, a political treatise entitled The Recovery of the Holy Land, in which he proposed ways of restoring sustained peace among Christian lords, and redirecting their energies towards fighting non-Christians. He clearly toyed with a notion of respublica Christiana as a natural outcome of the sense of community shared by European rulers at all levels.20 He, therefore, postulated a set of political arrangements that would build upon the common European-Christian ground and solidify the ideal of unity: In order to recover the Holy Land and defend it […] the earnest prayers of the universal Church will be necessary. […] The whole commonwealth of Christian believers owing allegiance to the Roman Church must be joined together in the bonds of peace. […] Let no Catholic rush to arms against Catholics; let none shed baptized blood. If anyone wishes to make war let him be zealous to make war upon the enemies of the Catholic faith, Moreover, all of the kingdoms of Western Europe could still be perceived as part of a larger whole, known as Christendom. Important figures in the Church – notably, of course, the Pope in Rome – could not be easily ignored, and the lines between secular and spiritual authority could sometimes become blurred:’ David Santiuste, The Hammer of the Scots Edward I and the Scottish Wars of Independence, [ebook] (Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2015), chap. 1. 18 For a recent IR overview of the problem, see Jacek Czaputowicz, Suwerenność (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2013), 60-72. 19 Cf. Robert H. Jackson, The Global Covenant: Human Conduct in a World of States (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 158-159. 20 Cf. Jacek Czaputowicz, Teorie stosunków międzynarodowych. Krytyka i systematyzacja (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2007), 105.

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of the Holy Land, and of the places made sacred by the Lord. Let him not seek an opportunity for bodily and spiritual death by making war upon his brethren in faith.21 Ad hec ergo quod Terra Sancta […] possit recuperari et recuperata servari, neccessarie videntur orationes devote universalis ecclesie […] et nisi vinculo pacis unita tota respublica christicolarum ecclesie romane obedientium taliter uniatur. […] Nullus catholicus contra catholicos currat ad arma, nullus sanguinem baptizatum effundat; quicunque preliare volentes, contra fidei christiane inimicos, Terre Sancte sanctorumque locorum Domini, non contra fratres, occasionem corporalis et spiritualis perditionis querendo, studeat preliare [emphasis by the author].22

The idea of a common Christian society had been conceived and advanced from the middle of the eleventh century onwards. It implied a certain form of unity which transgressed political divisions and promoted collective actions, such as crusades, for the sake of all believers (i.e., members of the society),23 and was not confined to the individual interests of separate lordships that decided to contribute to those actions.24 As Brett Edward Whalen suggested, this new concept of Christendom put forward by the papacy and ‘its network of supporters,’ – claiming the existence of a universal community under papal leadership and pastoral guidance – revolutionised the way the pope ‘viewed the properly ordered, right-believing assembly of

21 Pierre Dubois, The Recovery of the Holy Land, trans. Walther Immanuel Brandt (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), 74-75. 22 Idem, De recuperatione Terre Sancte; traité de politique générale, ed. Charles Victor Langlois (Paris: A. Picard, 1891), 6-7. 23 For instance, in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council, in canon 71, declared that attending to the affairs of the Holy Land to be a common duty of every Christian. Cf. Björn Weiler, ‘The “Negotium Terrae Sanctae” in the Political Discourse of Latin Christendom, 1215-1311,’ The International History Review 25, no. 1 (2003): 6. 24 The same Canon 71 of the Lateran IV imposed the four-year-long peace on all Christian lords in order to establish convenient conditions for the crusade: Quia vero ad hoc negotium exequendum, est permaxime necessarium ut principes populi christiani adinvicem pacem observant, sancta universali synodo suadente statuimus, ut saltem per quadriennium in toto orbe christiano servetur pax generaliter, ita quod per ecclesiarum praelatos discordantes reducantur ad plenam pacem aut firmam treguam inviolabiliter observandam: Dokumenty Soborów Powszechnych. Tekst grecki, łaciński, polski, eds. Arkadiusz Baron and Henryk Pietras, 3 vols. (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM – Księża Jezuici, 2007 [2001-2003]), II (2007), 322.

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peoples, churches and kingdoms that recognized the papacy as governing the norms and practices of their faith, if not their lives.’25 Pope Gregory VII fostered the idea that violent lords had duties toward the Church, and that they should willingly co-operate with God’s plan for the destiny of Christendom,26 a world-wide community supervised by the Roman Church, initiated as a prelude to the end of history.27 It is generally acknowledged that the First Crusade, at the very end of the eleventh century, revealed important aspects of this particular concept, which had begun to overshadow the maturing system of lordships throughout Europe.28 Pope Innocent III was the epitome of this concept of papal monarchy, in which the pope would act as the shepherd of the world. A statement from one of Innocent III’s letters (quoted by Whalen) offers some elucidation: For thus each magnate holds his own province, and every king his own kingdom, but Peter presides over all places in fullness as much as extent, for he is the vicar of the One to whom belongs the earth and its fullness, the entirety of the world and all those who live within it.29

A Few Claims about ‘International’ Christian Society The state of being Christian does not erase social stratification, and it is therefore necessary to ask how the idea of a unified and culturally enforced Christian community would have played out within the various social frameworks of the time, from the peasants and townsmen, to the clergy and the elite. My preliminary assumption, mentioned in the introduction, is that in the case of those who governed lands and wielded power over others, the all-embracing idea of Christian unity was channelled into a specific social structure which we may term an ‘international’ Christian society. Simply put, it worked as an elite club which excluded those of lower standing. This definition is, admittedly, not without its problems. There is, first of all, the terminological issue of how to define the amount and type of power that 25 Brett Edward Whalen, Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009), 12. See also Jehangir Yezdi Malegam, The Sleep of Behemoth: Disputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013), 2-3. 26 Whalen, Dominion of God, 33-34. 27 Ibid., 3. 28 Ibid., 43. 29 Ibid., 126.

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grants the access to the club; there is also the conceptual issue of how the concept of an ‘international’ society – which, by definition pertains to nation-states and, by extension, to larger political units such kingdoms or duchies – may be applied to members of the thirteenth-century elite. Regarding the first dilemma, there is (as yet) no obvious solution, although one may emerge during a later stage of the present research. Nevertheless, I am inclined in the first instance to cite Thomas Bisson’s definition of lordship to identify at least a broad outline of what it takes to be a person of power. Lordship, in his understanding, consisted of ‘personal commands over dependent people who might be peasants in quasi-servile status or knights or vassals having or seeking elite standing.’30 Lordship was hereditary by default, but could be gained through the usurpation of royal prerogatives of protection and command, and derived from the natural human need for security. Bisson observed that ‘the written sources show that people almost everywhere in Christian Europe, from the later ninth century, were seeking or submitting to lords. How and by what rhythms this happened is an unresolved problem of history.’31 For the purposes of the present study, I have used the term ‘lord’ (dominus) to denote such a person of power, and have defined it as an individual with authority over a specific piece of land, and who in turn is accorded some degree of dignity and honour. Regarding the second problem concerning our conventional perspective of the international world and its inhabitants, I offer two explanations. The first is technical: by presupposing a possible discord between modern convention and thirteenth-century circumstance, I have chosen to place the word ‘international’ in inverted commas to make up for this disharmony. The second explanation, arising from the texts of the thirteenth-century general councils, will be elaborated in the following section of this study.

Unit-types in the Thirteenth-Century ‘International’ Christian Society General Councils as the Epitomes of the Christian Unity Over the course of several centuries, the general councils of the Church – assemblies of ecclesiastical elites drawn from throughout the Christian 30 Thomas N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009), 3. 31 Ibid., 24.

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world – varied both in size and content. Scholars have observed that the councils of the medieval period differed from their late antique predecessors32 in so far as the later gatherings tended to confine their scope to Latin Christendom and, at least until the early fourteenth century, underline the central authority of the papacy. These councils evolved from the general synods convoked by the popes in the twelfth century, and had grown to their fullest form in Lateran IV (1215), Lyons I (1245), and Lyons II (1274). Modern scholarship considers all the thirteenth-century councils to have been ‘papal,’ that is, they mostly served as advisory boards to the popes and functioned as ‘general assemblies of Christianity,’ gathering together both lords and prelates, and addressing a range of issues that would now fall into the political category.33 As Brian Tierney pointed out, Lateran IV was ‘not simply a synod of bishops but an “assembly of estates” to which all the constituent elements of the Church were summoned either in person or through representatives.’34 Further development of conciliarist ideas closer to the fifteenth century, and of the intellectual movement which followed, made the councils even more all-embracing. Moreover, the thirteenth-century councils were typically preoccupied with three principal issues: the reform of the Church, the Subsidium Terrae Sanctae, and the establishment of peace and tranquillity throughout Latin Christendom. Political matters, particularly the logistical problems of coordinating and securing ‘international’ peace per force, involved both ecclesiastical and lay powers. The thirteenth-century councils thus functioned not merely as congresses of Christianity, but also epitomised the otherwise intangible idea of a Christian society.35 32 General councils until the eight century played vital role in determining and expanding the orthodoxy of the Christian doctrine. See Norman P. Tanner, Krótka historia Kościoła katolickiego. Nowe spojrzenie, trans. Aleksander Gomola (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2015), 75-86. 33 Klaus Schatz, Sobory powszechne. Punkty zwrotne w historii Kościoła, trans. Jerzy Zakrzewski (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2001), 12-13, 104-105. 34 Brian Tierney, Foundations of the Conciliar Theory; the Contribution of the Medieval Canonists from Gratian to the Great Schism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955), 43. 35 There is some available data about the scale of participation in the thirteenth-century councils. Lateran IV was attended by approx. 1,200 representatives, including 402 bishops. Only Scandinavian kingdoms did not send their delegates. Lyons I was much undersized in comparison with its predecessor. It was mostly because of the ongoing conflict between the papacy and Emperor Frederick II. Without getting into details, there were only 150 bishops (chiefly from England, France, and Spain), besides other religious and lay persons (with the Latin emperor of Constantinople and the envoys of Emperor Frederick II). Lyons II summoned around 500 participants, including c. 250 bishops from all regions of Latin Christendom. Cf. Schatz, Sobory powszechne, 106, 110, 112; Norman P. Tanner, Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, 2 vols. (London; Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward; Georgetown University Press, 1990), I (Nicaea

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One could therefore argue that, by analysing the decrees of Lateran IV, Lyons I and Lyons II, certain essential traits of the ‘international’ Christian society may be determined. The resolutions of the councils in the field of ‘international’ peace reveal more than just a specific political arrangement (even if this arrangement would never be realised); they also offer a considerable insight into the structure of the ‘international’ Christian society – its prevailing unit-types, distribution of power, and preferred unit identities – as well as perspectives on the role of God in orchestrating earthly matters. The councils, notwithstanding their focus on immediate, short-term conflicts, spoke a language that reveals many details about how the thirteenth-century ‘international’ system was conceived and constructed. Units in the ‘International’ Christian Society In order for an international system to function, two essential elements are required: the first is the units, or actors, that populate it; the second is a structure, or an ordering principle based around durable patterns of interaction, that defines relations between the actors. Neither elements are universal or free from historical influences; they are, rather, contingent on context. As many historical investigations recognise change as a central feature of human society, the analysis of past international systems demands a transformation-sensitive approach; one cannot simply project the structures of the present into the societies of the past. International units are subject to change, and the alterations in their internal structures affect the range and mode of their behaviour. As the units construct their identities and define their roles in relation to others, the entire system is modified.36 The very concept of the international society, as proposed by Hedley Bull, recognises the centrality of norms and institutions that are constituted through diverse political practices built around shared, I to Lateran V), 273. About Lyons II, Tanner explained: ‘Probably there were present about 300 bishops, 60 abbots and a large number of other clergy, many of whom apparently were theologians (Thomas Aquinas died while on his journey to Lyons), as well as king James of Aragon and the delegates sent by the rulers of France, Germany, England and Sicily. The Greeks arrived late, on June 24, since they had been shipwrecked. Meanwhile a delegation of Tartars had also arrived. Although the number of participants does not seem to have been especially large, the whole Christian world was present either in person or through representatives, and it was evident that the council, as Gregory X had wished, was universal and ecumenical:’ ibid., 1, 304. 36 Cf. Daniel H. Nexon, The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe: Religious Conflict, Dynastic Empires, and International Change (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009), 37.

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inter-subjective understandings.37 The practice of interaction between units is of fundamental importance to the shaping of a system.38 Modes of behaviour are constantly developed, refined and refashioned by this ongoing interaction. The system, however, remains dependent on the nature of the units, specifically their structure, self-understanding (identity), relative power, effective range of influence, and their diversity from one another. It follows that the identification of prevalent unit-types within a given system may allow us to understand and explain its mechanisms and processes. The preamble of the Charter of the United Nations reads ‘we the peoples of the united nations’ and Articles 3 and 4 clearly identify how a state is eligible to become a member of this international organisation. In the middle of the twentieth century, when the Charter was put into effect, the state was the unit type that dominated the international system. In the thirteenth century, by contrast, the decrees of the councils suggest that there were virtually no states in the ‘international’ Christian society.39 Lateran IV and Lyons I and II (unlike, for instance, Vatican II in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes) did not recognise states in Latin Christendom. They barely noticed empires, kingdoms, duchies, principalities or counties. Instead, the councils understood Christendom as a collection of individual rulers and communities of people. Decree 71 of Lateran IV, dedicated to arrangements for the liberation of the Holy Land, offers the following statement: In order that nothing connected with this business of Jesus Christ be omitted, we will and order patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots and others who have the care of souls to preach the cross zealously to those entrusted to them. Let them beseech kings, dukes, princes, margraves, counts, barons and other magnates, as well as the communities of cities, vills and towns. Ad haec ne quid in negotio Iesu Christi de contingentibus omittatur, volumus et mandamus, ut patriarchae, archiepiscopi, episcopi, abbates 37 Cf. Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), xii. 38 Cf. Alexander Wendt, ‘Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics,’ International Organization 46, no. 2 (Spring 1992): 407. 39 I am leaving aside debates on medieval state as a specific political entity. Cf. Susan Reynolds, ‘The Historiography of the Medieval State,’ in Companion to Historiography, ed. Michael Bentley (London; New York: Routledge, 1997), 109-129.

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et alii, qui curam obtinent animarum, studiose proponant sibi commissis verbum crucis, obsecrantes per Patrem et Filium et Spiritum sanctum, unum solum verum aeternum Deum, reges, duces, principes, marchiones, comites et barones aliosque magnates necnon communiones civitatum, villarum, oppidorum [emphasis by the author]. 40

The somewhat analogous excommunication bull against Frederick II, confirmed at Lyons I by the authority of the council, 41 reads: If he [Frederick II] said that he had harmed the church in nothing unjustly, or that we had harmed him contrary to justice, we were ready to call the kings, prelates and princes, both ecclesiastical and lay, to some safe place where either by themselves or by official representatives they might come together, and that the church was ready on the advice of the council to satisfy him if in anything it had harmed him, and to recall the sentence of excommunication. Et si diceret ipse, quod in nullo contra iustitiam laeserat ecclesiam vel quod nos eum contra iustitiam laesissemus, parati eramus vocare reges, praelatos et principes tam ecclesiasticos quam saeculares ad aliquem tutum locum, ubi per se vel solemnes nuntios convenirent, eratque parata ecclesia de consilio concilii sibi satisfacere, si eum laesisset in aliquo, ac revocare sententiam [emphasis by the author]. 42

This individualistic approach can be seen clearly in another part of the bull. At the beginning of the document, Pope Innocent IV, after being raised to the highest apostolic dignity by the will of God, proclaims his role as the ultimate judge of Christians, commissioned to provide watchful care over his flock and to weigh the merits of individuals in a prudent manner, favouring the worthy and penalising the undeserving. The pope, wishing peace and tranquillity for the church and for all Christians, and being concerned about a prolonged war that affected a large number of Christian lands (nonnullas Christianae provincias), dispatched legates to the distinguished

40 Tanner, Decrees, I, 268. 41 For a historical account about Frederick II’s case at the Council of Lyon, see David Abulafia, Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor (London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1988), 368-374. 42 Tanner, Decrees, I, 278.

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secular ruler (praecipuus princeps saecularis), Frederick II, who was to be held responsible for the dissent. 43 While listing Frederick II’s wrongdoings, the pope mentions specifically the kingdom of Sicily and the empire, but this does not appear to imply an active role for either entity on the ‘international’ stage. Instead, they seem more passive, respectively a cluster of lands (a fief) to govern and a dignity of great authority. Within the papal rhetoric, the kingdom of Sicily (‘the special patrimony of the blessed Peter’) appears as little more than a location, a piece of a populated land in which Frederick II had been authorised to exercise his power, and which he had reduced to ‘a state of utter desolation and servitude.’44 Frederick II, in this instance, is viewed as the actor, while the land is understood to be the recipient of the action. As a result of his transgressions, described by the pope, Frederick II is declared ‘unworthy of the empire and kingdoms and every honour and dignity (qui se imperio et regnis omnique honore ac dignitate reddidit tam indignum),’45 and his title to govern the empire and its kingdoms – that is, territorial units invested with various degrees with honour and dignity – was cancelled. From the papal perspective, as authorised by the consent of the council, the ‘international’ Christian society was inhabited by individuals who held their lordships simply as dignities for as long as their actions made them worthy of such authority. Undeserving individuals, as in the case of Frederick II, should not be treated as kings, emperors or rulers in general; the privileges that came with the status and dignity of a given lordship – obedience, advice, help and favour – would no longer be granted them. 46 A similar relationship between a lord and his domain can be observed in other decrees from the thirteenth-century councils. In the Third Constitution of Lateran IV, ‘On heretics,’ the council provides a set of rules for how the secular authorities (potestates saeculares) should handle dissidents. The potestates are designated as incumbents of whichever office they may be discharging (quibuscumque fungantur officiis), however the constitution is addressed not to a particular institution or body of government, but to individuals.

43 Ibid. 44 Ibid., I, 283. 45 Ibid. 46 Auctoritate apostolica firmiter inhibendo, ne quisquam de cetero sibi tamquam imperatori vel regi pareat vel intendat, et decernendo quoslibet, qui deinceps ei velut imperatori aut regi consilium vel auxilium praestiterint seu favorem, ipso facto excommunicationis vinculo subiacere: ibid.

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This becomes evident from what follows in the text. Whenever anyone is promoted to spiritual or temporal authority (quandocumque quis fuerit in potestatem sive spiritualem sive temporalem assumptus), he is obliged to swear an oath to persecute heretics in the lands subjected to his jurisdiction (terrae suae iurisdictioni subiectis) in order to gain repute and be seen as faithful. 47 These rules, as the text illustrates, are applied to secular lords (domini temporales), regardless of whether or not they have superiors (domini principales); a refusal to comply with the anti-heretic policy will result in the lord being stripped of his lands and bonds of fealty, in order that other Catholics may take over. 48 Lordship, in other words, is chiefly an honour and dignity to which one can be elevated, and it implies authority and jurisdiction over certain lands; however it is the individuals – in this case the secular and ecclesiastical lords – who are able to take oaths and bear responsibilities, and thus it is only these individuals who may be recognised as agents. This person-oriented focus within Latin Christendom is ubiquitous. Constitution 71 of Lateran IV, which calls for a four-year truce throughout the Christian world, commands the rulers of the Christian people (principes populi christiani) to observe it; the constitution somewhat resembles contemporary UN resolutions, although these call on states or ‘parties,’ rather than individuals. 49 Constitution 18 of Lyon I, ‘On homicide,’ speaks against the practice of dispatching assassins against persons of high standing (magnates) and determines serious consequences for any ruler or prelate, or any ecclesiastical or secular person (quicumque princeps, praelatus seu quaelibet alia ecclesiastica seu saecularis persona), who resorts to such practices. The penalty is an automatic excommunication and deposition from dignity, honour, order, office and benefice, all of which may then be transferred to others by authorised individuals.50 Lordships are depicted as passive and inactive, that is, objects rather than subjects of ‘international’ actions. Apart from the examples mentioned above, there are two further illustrations of this perspective, ‘On help for the empire of Constantinople’ and ‘On the Tartars,’ both from Lyons I. The pope and council are deeply concerned with the poor state of the Eastern empire (imperium Constantinopolitani) and, as the first step towards the liberation of the Holy Land, they propose rescuing it from its enemies. The 47 48 49 50

Ibid., I, 233-1, 234. Ibid., I, 234. Ibid., I, 270. Ibid., I, 290-291.

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text explains that the Apostolic See is dedicated to bringing relief to the empire and that, for a long time, ‘Catholics have striven by grievous toils, by burdensome expense, by care, sweat, tears and bloodshed’51 to salvage it from its foes. The decree subsequently asserts: But because the body of the church would be shamefully deformed by the lack of a loved member, namely the aforesaid empire, and be sadly weakened and suffer loss; and because it could rightly be assigned to our sloth and that of the church, if it were deprived of the support of the faithful, and left to be freely oppressed by its enemies; we firmly propose to come to the help of the empire with swift and effective aid. Quia tamen ecclesiae corpus ex membri causa cari, videlicet imperii praefati carentia notam probrosae deformitatis incurreret et sustineret debilitatis dolendae iacturam, possetque digne nostrae ac ipsius ecclesiae desidiae imputari, si fidelium destitueretur suffragio et relinqueretur hostibus libere opprimendum.52

The empire, in this telling, is shown to be a receptive victim of enemy oppression and a passive recipient of help and assistance from Catholics. It is a member of the Church that needs to be helped as it does not have a lord who stands for it and directs its resistance; the empire, being inactive itself, requires effective engagement on the part of concrete individuals. A similar pattern can be observed in the section concerning the Mongol intrusion into Europe. Natio or gens Tartarorum seeks to subjugate or destroy the Christian people, and the faithful are therefore expected to take all necessary measures to prevent this from happening. The call is even more urgent as the Tartars are already at the gates of Europe, having effectively invaded Poland, Ruthenia and Hungary as well as other Christian regions (Poloniam, Rusciam, Ungariam aliasque Christianorum regiones ingressa).53 Again, the text suggests that these regions or countries are merely geographically and conceptually distinctive portions of land, vulnerable to aggression and unable to react. It is the Christians and the Tartars – that is, two identifiable collections of individuals – who are the active forces on the ‘international’ stage, not an organised state which may be viewed as an abstract or legal body politic. 51 Ibid., I, 295. 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid., I, 297.

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A ‘Society of Lords’ The examples presented above suggest that lords were the fundamental unit-type in the ‘international’ Christian society of the thirteenth century. This society, at least as it appears within the decrees of the councils, is not really an association of European monarchies or even lordships, but rather a community of Christian lords. The world of individuals, unlike the world of institutions, seems inherently more vulnerable to instability and unpredictability, and prone to anti-egalitarian hierarchical ordering. The actions of individuals are often driven by emotion, and biased by personal prejudices and convictions; they might therefore be inclined to resist equality and advocate domination/ subordination as a mode of human interaction. Institutions, by contrast, are generally more coherent and predictable in their behaviours, admittedly less agile and energetic, but more reasonable and more attached to the letter of law. States, at least those in the modern Western world, are rarely religious and never pious; yet an individual can be both of these things. The special status of lords as the elite members of the medieval Christian society places their actions within the stateless ‘international’ realm – both belligerent and cooperative – in a category somewhere in between international and interpersonal, and certainly beyond the classification of domestic and foreign. Their political behaviour cannot be viewed as truly international due to the lack of sufficiently developed institutional support, yet referring to their actions as ‘interpersonal’ does not give due credit to the ongoing processes of state-formation. As the ruling elites of a world interpreted through religion, the individual identities of these Christian lords must have been shaped to some extent by Christian concepts and social expectations. Political actions carried out by religious individuals within a divinely-ordered environment cannot be considered secular, even if those actions concern mundane matters. While performing their earthly tasks, the lords established emotional, intellectual, and pious links between ‘here’ and ‘there,’54 thus transforming their political actions into something more theological-political. This transformation becomes even more apparent if one accepts Fr. Józef Tischner’s assertion that a theologian is a person who looks at the world through the eyes of God,

54 Merio Scattola, Teologia polityczna, trans. Paweł Borkowski (Warszawa: Instytut Wydawniczy Pax, 2011), 10.

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and strives to interpret the world from the highlands of divine perspective.55 The majority of thirteenth-century lords were not trained in theology; however, the political world in which they operated was filled with references to Christian theological worldviews. The final section of this study will, therefore, provide some insight into specific features of ‘international’ political theology.

‘International’ Political Theology ‘Internationalising’ Political Theology Political theology is a capacious term, and much has been written about both its scope and content. Here I will limit myself to a handful of observations relevant to the present study. The approach of Ernst Kantorowicz, which in many ways underpins the entire Rex nunquam moritur project, was guided by legal reasoning, asserting that political theology was primarily a theological justification of political authority.56 Marek Cichocki and Dariusz Karłowicz proposed a considerably broader understanding, claiming that political theology involved viewing political matters from the perspective of ultimate goals.57 Scott and Cavanaugh attempted to identify an element that distinguishes ‘all political theology from other types of theology or political discourse;’ they described it as ‘the explicit attempt to relate discourse about God to the organization of bodies in space and time.’58 These different vantage points on political theology all imply, to some extent, that the political ordering of the human world has something to do with God, who appears as the ultimate sovereign, and whose impact goes beyond religious experiences of individuals, stretching as far as the divine eschatological plan for humankind and its history.59 In the present day, political theology offers a specific approach to political theory, which 55 See Zdzisław Józef Kijas, Wprowadzenie do myślenia teologicznego (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2005), 55. 56 Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 [1957]). 57 Dariusz Karłowicz and Marek Cichocki, ‘Teologia polityczna i pan Jourdain,’ Teologia Polityczna 1 (2003-2004): 3-4. 58 The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, eds. Peter Scott and William T. Cavanaugh (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2006), 2. 59 Cf. Johann Baptist Metz, Teologia polityczna, trans. Agnieszka Mosurek (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2000), 118.

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is deeply rooted in religious revelation.60 Nevertheless, as Charles Taylor has observed, in premodern societies – and the thirteenth-century society of lords conventionally falls into this category – political authority was inconceivable without some reference to God.61 In other words, all political thought must be considered to have been theological, at least by modern standards, and to varying degrees revelation-based. Political relations between lords, as we have discussed above, embody both interpersonal and international features, but also suggest the preliminary stages of the transition from an association of persons (Personenverband)62 to a more institutionalised state-like formation. For this reason, the term ‘international political theology,’ may be used to denote matters which, on the one hand, refer to political interactions between the ruling elites in the thirteenth-century Latin Christendom and, on the other hand, reveal expectations about the role of God in determining order within the ‘international’ society of lords. What follows is a brief survey of the roles played by divine forces in conflicts between lords in thirteenth-century Great Poland; the aim of this survey is to identify the theological underpinnings of how interactions within the ‘international’ Christian society were interpreted and explained. Although somewhat limited in its scope, this investigation may nonetheless shed some light on the norms and regulations, as well as the lordly identities, that constituted this society. The Thirteenth-Century Substance of ‘International’ Political Theology It is worth opening the following discussion with two relevant anecdotes. On October 2, 1256, Bolesław Rogatka, the duke of Legnica (Silesia), dispatched a squad to seize Bishop Tomasz I of Wrocław, who was robbed, humiliated and imprisoned. The duke’s motives remain unclear. There are some hints in the sources that Bolesław planned to extort ransom. This violent act, unheard of in Polish lands to that point, stirred outrage among the Polish clerics and spurred Archbishop Pełka of Gniezno to respond with adequate firmness.63 Having consulted with the other bishops, he had the duke excommunicated and commanded that the sentence be solemnly 60 Kubalkova, ‘International Political Theology,’ 143. 61 Charles Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004), 187. 62 Cf. Herrschaft und Staat im Mittelalter, ed. Hellmut Kämpf (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1956). 63 Jacek Osiński, Bolesław Rogatka: książę legnicki, dziedzic monarchii Henryków śląskich (1220/1225-1278) (Kraków: Avalon, 2012), 252-254.

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announced in churches throughout the Polish lands. He also devised a set of prayers to be said during masses before the holy communion, imploring God to avenge the wickedness of the trespasser. The sequence concluded with the following: Heed, Lord, the complaint of your church which not only suffers from the blows of the pagans but is also afflicted by the viciousness of Christians, and allow graciously that the right hand of your majesty will soon overwhelm those who refuse to submit to divine power. Exaudi queso Domine ecclesiam tuam non solum paganorum percussionibus attritam, sed eciam Christianorum pravitatibus afflictam et concede propicius, ut qui divine recusant subdi potestati, dextra tue maiestatis cito deiciantur invite.64

Bishop Tomasz I was released on April 8, 1257, after paying a part of the ransom and arranging for prominent hostages to take his place.65 In the early 1270s, Gdańsk-Pomerania, ruled by Duke Mściwój II, was under considerable pressure from the margraves of Brandenburg, who had managed to capture the town of Gdańsk. The duke, recognizing his limited resources, asked Duke Bolesław the Pious of Great Poland for assistance. Bolesław came quickly to Pomerania and, throughout January of 1271, vanquished the German garrison without even having to deploy any sophisticated siege equipment. A clerical author from Poznań, the capital of Bolesław’s lordship, commented: And it was the working of all-powerful God, who always deigns to support the said lord Bolesław, the duke of Poland; and God always helps him, wherever Bolesław fights for justice. Et non fuit opus nisi Dei omnipotentis, qui semper dignatus est iuvare dictum dominum Boleslaum ducem Polonie et semper iuvit eum, ubicumque pungnavit pro iusticia.66

64 ‘Rocznik Kapituły Poznańskiej,’ [hereafter RKP], ed. Brygida Kürbis, in Annales Poloniae Maioris. Monumenta Poloniae Historica, Series Nova, 15 vols. to date [hereafter : MPH, SN] (Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, I-III and XI-XV; Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, IV-X, 1946-), VI (1962), 42. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid., 50.

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These two anecdotes are preserved in the annals of the Chapter of Poznań, a contemporary source authored by various writers. They were undoubtedly clergymen with an interest in recording the deeds of their duke and praising his accomplishments.67 On several occasions the authors offered the firm view that Bolesław the Pious, as a justice-seeking ruler, had a special bond with God which made him a successful lord. In making these claims, the authors disclosed their perspective, shared among others of their rank, on divine engagement in worldly affairs. In the above examples, the intervention of God in conflicts between lords appears constitutive rather than configurative; the authors have placed the final outcome of the conflict at stake, rather than leaving the outcome to the lords, or supplying one party with helpful advice to outsmart its rival. The prayer directed against Bolesław Rogatka was clearly intended to inspire a direct divine intervention: it asked God to employ the ‘right hand of his majesty’ (in other words, to step into the conflict) to overpower the party that resisted his laws. In this instance, the Church drew upon models from the Old Testament, in which Israel sought assistance and deliverance from God, who would take action against the enemies of the chosen people. According to this rhetoric, the bishops, facing a conflict on the ‘international’ stage, assumed a passive role, urging God to fight for them, much as the children of Israel did on their flight from Egypt. In a similar fashion, Bolesław the Pious’s triumph during his rescue campaign to Gdańsk-Pomerania was interpreted as a divine working because God acknowledged Bolesław’s righteousness and thus gave him an untroubled victory over the unjust party. The account of Bolesław’s intervention in Pomerania resembles, in its conception and formulation, David’s confrontations with the Philistines and King Saul from the Old Testament, in which one outnumbered party vanquished their more powerful and seemingly unbeatable foes. In both cases, the course of events unfolded so well because God chose to submit an enemy force to the man of his favour (David or Bolesław). Bolesław, however, was not David, and the two did not share a comparative degree of intimacy with God. As a result, the instances of direct divine intervention on David’s behalf seem more tangible than those experienced by Bolesław, as recorded in the annals. In the case of Bolesław, divine assistance is presumed and interpreted rather than understood as the result of immediate contact between lord and God. For the authors of the annals, the key to explaining the processes and outcomes of ‘international’ conflict was to be found in the logic of divine authority over the ‘international’ realm. The bishops, 67 See Annales Poloniae Maioris, ed. Brygida Kürbis, in MPH, SN VI (1962), XXXII-XXXIII.

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in devising their prayer against Rogatka, expressed a similar trust in the same authority, an authority which is capable of determining the outcomes of conflicts between lords, and which tends to support the righteous and oppose the unjust. This approach may be illustrated with two further examples. In 1258-1261, Bolesław the Pious entered into conflict with Duke Kazimierz of Cuiavia, his neighbour, over the castellany of Ląd, a piece of land in the border region between Great Poland and Cuiavia.68 In 1259, Kazimierz summoned his troops and led them against Bolesław’s lands. On hearing that Kazimierz was ravaging his lands, Bolesław returned to Kalisz and attempted to gather his army. Although he was unable to muster the necessary forces, he committed himself to God Almighty (committens se Deo omnipotenti), and defeated in battle the more sizable forces of Kazimierz; Bolesław’s victory came about, at least according to the annals, because God, who is justice and the defender of justice (qui est iusticia et defensor iusticie), instilled great courage and fortitude in Bolesław’s ranks. The account concludes: Undoubtedly, it was God Almighty’s assistance (who never deserts those trusting in him) sent from above. Nec dubium, quod auxilium fuit Dei omnipotentis de superius missum, qui numquam sperantes in se deserit [cf.: Jdt 13:17].69

The analogies with the previous account are striking and, once again, seem somewhat reminiscent of David’s achievements against his enemies. The outcomes of this ‘international’ conflict were directly connected to divine judgement about the moral superiority of one of the engaged parties. Bolesław’s faith and dedication to God and justice, that is, to God’s law, had a decisive effect within the ‘international’ realm. On another occasion, in 1256, there was an ongoing conflict between Poles and Pomeranians for the stronghold of Nakło, which sat on the border between Pomerania and Great Poland. Skirmishes were inconclusive and occasionally both sides suffered defeats. The authors of the annals, reporting on the events, mention that the Polish triumphs occurred with the help of God (auxiliante Deo), while the defeats came because of the sins of Christians

68 For more details and literature, see Gerard Kucharski, ‘Rywalizacja kujawsko-wielkopolska o kasztelanię lądzką w połowie XIII wieku,’ Ziemia Kujawska 18 (2005): 5-28. 69 ‘RKP,’ 45.

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(peccatis exigentibus).70 Eventually the Pomeranians were vanquished, for merciful God recognised that the Poles had been fighting for a just cause – in this case, defending their rightful inheritance – and sent them help from the heavens, instilling firmness and vigour to overcome their enemies.71 According to the accounts, which offer some insight into ‘international’ conflicts in central Poland during the middle of the thirteenth century, divine agency in the ‘international’ realm is both essential and constitutive. God scrutinises the actions and behaviours of the lords, and determines the ultimate outcomes of these ‘international’ conflicts either by siding with a morally superior party, or by mysteriously backing the unjust as a warning to those who are near his heart (cf.: Jdt 8:27). Whatever God’s reasons might have been in a particular case, he appears in the annals as the ultimate ruler of all paths that ‘international’ affairs may take. The authors assume his agency (for good or for bad) in a manner similar to that found in the Bible. As illustrated above, these accounts of ‘international’ conflict are the result of interpreting worldly political affairs from a biblical perspective. This interpretive process was carried out by clerical authors who existed with a specific religious-political culture that would have dominated thirteenth-century Christian society. The interpretations themselves seem to have resulted in the development of a particular ‘international’ political theology which explained international relations using the conceptual apparatus provided in biblical texts. ‘International’ conflicts were perceived as a moral competition between individual lords who, from the presumed fear of God and the belief that sinful behaviour would entail divine punishment, strove to conduct themselves in a righteous and legitimate manner; the lords in turn hoped that their ‘international’ engagements would find favour in God’s eyes. It was ultimately up to God, the highest authority of all human affairs, including international ones, to determine the case of a particular lord to be just, and to grant them a happy outcome. In other words, the thirteenth-century ‘international’ order was viewed by educated individuals of the time as a human affair, handled by the elite members of the society, but ultimately governed by a God who imposed his rules and laws on humanity, and judged it accordingly. The ethical dimension of the ‘international’ realm, and the political-religious culture of the time emphasised the personal nature of ‘international’ agency, requiring its actors to be individual agents rather 70 This expression gained currency throughout the twelfth century and was often used to explain the Christian failures in the Holy Land. It was famously employed by St. Bernard, justifying the fiasco of the second crusade. See Palmer A. Throop, ‘Criticism of Papal Crusade Policy in Old French and Provençal,’ Speculum 13, no. 4 (1938): 379. 71 ‘RKP,’ 35-37.

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than impersonal institutions, physical rather than legal bodies. After all, divine judgement could apply only to moral entities and not to abstract legal constructs. As the examples above have demonstrated, the authors of the annals were profoundly inspired by religious thinking in their attempts to make sense of ‘international’ conflict. The foundation of their understanding was deeply biblical, and relations between social elites were thus interpreted in light of standards and laws drawn chiefly from the Old Testament. This approach resulted a form of political awareness grounded in theology. The Bible itself provides no political theory and does not offer a ‘clear conception of an autonomous or distinct political realm, nor of an activity called politics.’72 Instead, it engenders a religious culture that propagates a doctrine of God’s earthly kingdom in which all social strata – including kings, elders, priests and judges – remain subject to the authority of the law, and in which God himself supplies judgement to the people and fights directly on their behalf, thus depriving political entities of their very reason for existence.73 International relations belong ultimately to God and his instruments.74

Concluding Remarks For thirteenth-century authors, ‘international’ political theology was the only available way of approaching and interpreting the interactions and conflicts between lords. In drawing on the Bible as an authoritative guide, this approach set up laws and regulations which all members of the ‘international’ Christian society were supposed to follow, and pointed to God as the engaged and active supervisor and judge of human actions. Biblical examples and Christian political-religious culture certainly did not prevent ‘international’ actors from breaching moral codes and the law of God; the ‘international’ Christian society never became a peaceful community on the 72 Michael Walzer, In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2012), XII. 73 Cf. ibid., 23, 66. Walzer concludes: ‘The reason for this largely missing politics probably lies in the religious culture itself, in the powerful idea of divine sovereignty. In a sense, every political regime was potentially in competition with the rule of God. There can’t be fully sovereign states, or a worked-out theory of popular (or any other) sovereignty, so long as God is an active sovereign. The people consent, but they do not rule. Only when God is conceived to withdraw, to stand at some distance from the world of nations, to give up his political interventions, is there room for human politics:’ ibid., 202. See also Michał Wojciechowski, Biblia o państwie (Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2008), 35, 108, 111, 167. 74 Walzer, In God’s Shadow, 100.

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biblical model of the chosen nation. However, as our analysis of the annals has revealed, God’s intervention in worldly affairs and his ultimate authority was unquestionable. Furthermore, the decrees of the thirteenth-century general councils suggest that the ‘international’ Christian society comprised individual lords rather than states or even lordships. The ‘international’ system was, therefore, an arrangement of interacting members of the social elites who identified themselves culturally and religiously with the Latin Church. Since the Church defined itself as the successor of the chosen nation, it also characterised itself as the mystical community of God and his people. The strong sense of belonging to this community, and to its political-religious culture, allowed the clerical authors of the annals to draw upon biblical patterns in order to explain ‘international’ politics, and encouraged the lords to accept the Christian world order with an active, interventionist God at its head. As a result, thirteenth-century ‘international’ politics was intrinsically political-theological: the identities of its actors were strongly influenced by biblical assertions about divine sovereignty at all levels of human affairs as well as by the concepts of kingship,75 and the actors themselves were persons who believed themselves to be subject to God’s ultimate judgement. It was Christianity that shaped the ‘international’ actors and provided the conceptual tools to promote certain codes of conduct and predict developments and their outcomes on the ‘international’ stage. From this we may draw two practical conclusions. First, we may suggest that thirteenth-century ‘international’ politics was not institutionalised; rather the identities of the actors were guided by Christian political-religious culture. The politics would thus have been significantly different from the modern system of states and its modes of fashioning and pursuing political interests. Second, the idea of an ‘international’ Christian society allows us to reconsider thirteenth-century medieval politics and, therefore, begs for further elaboration and substantiation drawing upon broader source material.

75 To mention only the fundamental work for this project: Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies. Cf. also six axioms identified by Bisson in the high-medieval moral discourse derived from the biblical-patristic inheritance: 1) all power was from God; 2) power was justly wielded on earth to remedy sin and wickedness, and to protect the Church; 3) good and valiant deeds merited fidelity and honor; 4) kingship and prelacy were ministers or offices of God; 5) law was typically a classical restraint on the ruler, and was a ‘gift of God’; 6) a virtual equating of power with dominatio, or lordship, which was the only form of power God was conceived to possess: Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 10.

The King’s Immature Body Representations of Child Coronations in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia (1382-1530) Karolina Mroziewicz

Coronations were acts that sacralised royal power; they acknowledged the king’s political, sacerdotal, military and juridical prerogatives which could, in effect, only be exercised by a mature individual. In these ceremonies the natural body of the king – young or old, strong or sickly – became unified with the everlasting body politic of his kingdom. The present study aims to address the question of whether the immature bodies of child kings posed any difficulty in this process of unification: how could the childish body of a king be made to fit into the perennial body politic? Child coronations constitute an intriguing case study on strategies for strengthening political legitimacy during a crisis of succession. At such moments, when the decisive election of the monarch was essential, it became necessary to employ a rhetoric of heredity. This was especially true when the male lines of the domini naturales of Poland, Hungary and Bohemia became extinct, and the accession required additional sacred, genealogical, legal and political justification corresponding to the expectations of the estates. Yet in the Middle Ages and early modern period, children constituted a group whose agency was significantly limited. The laws transferred the responsibility for children’s actions and properties to adults, and the church in turn did not give them access to all the sacraments. Their accession to the throne gave third parties, mainly regents, protectors, or members of the royal council who reigned on their behalf, opportunities to exercise significant power. Regency was therefore perceived as risky, especially during the times of the Ottoman threat and conflicts between magnate factions in Central Europe; it gave more influence on policy- and decision-making to the mightiest noblemen, who grew in power gradually and significantly from the late fourteenth century onwards in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia. Nonetheless, two underage girls and five boys were successfully crowned kings and queens between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries in Poland, Hungary and Bohemia. The individual coronations represent a diverse group of ceremonies of dissimilar meaning, different ceremonial content and divergent implications for political system. They include: 1) successions of a son (Wladislas in Poland, Ladislas V) or daughter (Mary and

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Jadwiga of Anjou) of a deceased king; 2) coronations of the elected king from a dynasty not ruling before in a particular kingdom (Wladislas and Matthias Corvinus in Hungary) and 3) coronations of minors which took place in the presence of a ruling king (Louis II and Sigismund Augustus). What connects these examples is not only the young age of the coronatus or coronata but, above all, what preceded them: the anxieties about accepting the rule of an underage monarch, and the controversies, public disputes, perplexing negotiations, troublesome diplomatic manoeuvres and even picaresque actions. In visual and literary representations of these coronations one finds similar rhetorical strategies and information about the perception of child coronations in medieval and early modern Central Europe. The literary and visual accounts of coronations discussed in this paper demonstrate the ways in which the authority of young monarchs was either strengthened or contested. The main objective of this chapter is therefore to analyse the representations of child coronations as reflections of attitudes towards these child kings and their physical bodies, and answer such questions as: how were the natural limitations of the child kings perceived and dealt with? How was the immature body of the king made to fit into ceremonies designed for adult monarchs? How was the authority of the child kings strengthened by accounts supporting their accession, and what were the arguments used by those who wished to contest the validity of a child coronation? Finally, what role did references to religion, holy relics and/or God’s providence play in this rhetorical stratagem? The literary accounts, mainly chronicles and first-hand relations, and the sparse visual sources offer detailed answers to these questions. The body of research on child kings and their coronations is focused mainly on the early Middle Ages, and encompasses primarily examples from Germany, France, England and Scotland.1 Child coronations in Central Europe are discussed only in Polish, Hungarian and Czech studies, but these 1 Theo Kölzer, ‘Das Königtum Minderjähriger im fränkisch-deutschen Mittelalter. Eine Skizze,’ Historische Zeitschrift 251 (1990): 291-323; Thilo Offergeld, Reges pueri. Das Königtum Minderjähriger im frühen Mittelalter (Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2001); Thomas Vogtherr, ‘“Weh dir, Land, dessen König ein Kind ist.” Minderjährige Könige um 1200 im europäischen Vergleich,’ Frühmittelalterliche Studien 37 (2003): 291-314; Harriet L. Lightman, Sons and Mothers: Queens and Minor Kings in French Constitutional Law (Ph.D. diss., Bryn Mawr College, 1981); François Olivier-Martin, Les régences et la majorité des rois sous les Capétiens directs et les premiers Valois (1060-1375) (Paris: Recueil Sirey, 1931); Katherine Crawford, Perilous Performances: Gender and Regency in Early Modern France (Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard University Press, 2004); The Royal Minorities of Medieval and Early Modern England, ed. Charles Beem (New York, N.Y.; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Lucinda H. S. Dean, ‘Crowning the Child: Representing Authority in the Inaugurations and Coronations of Minors in Scotland c. 1214 to 1567,’ in The

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tend to lack a broader comparative approach.2 A closer look at the parallels in how these coronations were represented may allow us to highlight a common patterns in the perception of child kings and the accessions to the throne during the Middle Ages and early modern period. This is the objective of the present study. As Charles Beem observes, by studying kingship of these young rulers, one is able to grasp shifts in the perception of kings’ natural and political bodies, their relationships to God, the enforcement of laws and preservation of order.3 According to this view, the body natural of the young monarch, even if subordinated to the body politic, played an important role in granting legitimacy to the ruling parties. According to Beem: Minor kings were always recognized as possessing the estate of kingship, which could be ‘farmed out’ to a regent, protector, or council, and a ‘body natural,’ which, subsumed by the immortal ‘body politic’ of kingship, could be possessed as a legitimizing agent for exercising royal authority. 4

The fiction of the personal involvement of a child king in reigning helped to maintain yet another delusion, namely that the child not only rules his kingdom but also governs it. Still, neither the touch of the Holy Crown of Hungary or other regal quasi-relics, nor anointment, nor even the mystical ritual of coronation could remove the physical limits of a young body natural. The cries and shouts of baby kings caused by discomfort with the ceremony, or outbursts of emotions accompanying the coronations of teenage kings were noted and reported by witnesses. No other coronation accounts so often mention the tears of both the crowned and their subjects. Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, eds. Sean McGlynn, Elena Woodacre (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 254-280. 2 Several aspects concerning the accession of the minor kings in Hungary are discussed in János M. Bak, Königtum und Stände in Ungarn im 14.-16. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1973), esp. 42-53, 68-70. For Poland the most informative is a study by Władysław Sobociński, ‘Historia rządów opiekuńczych w Polsce,’ Czasopismo Prawno-Historyczne 2 (1949): 227-353 focusing on the young rulers up to the second quarter of the fifteenth century (with the notable exception of the Mazovian minors, analysed until the beginning of the sixteenth century). When discussing the legal aspects of regency, Sobociński draws a broader comparative perspective, including Czech and Hungarian laws. For Czech coronations of the Jagiellon child kings, references could be found in Josef Macek, Jagellonský věk v českých zemích (1471-1526). 1. Hospodářská základna a královská moc (Praha: Academia, 1992); Korunovační řád českých králů = Ordo ad coronandum Regem Boemorum, eds. Jiří Kuthan, Miroslav Šmied (V Praze: Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, 2009). 3 Charles Beem, ‘Woe to Thee, O Land! The Introduction,’ in The Royal Minorities, 3. 4 Ibid.

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Coronations in Literary and Visual Representations The representations discussed below have been selected for being records of child coronations focused on the coronatus or coronata and the ceremony (the object of representation), intended to bear resemblance to the actual person and event (to create a literary or visual image), and to evoke a mental image of the represented person or action in the mind of a reader or viewer. The mediated and intentional nature of representations, however, connects them more closely to the expectations, modes of perceptions and cultural conceptions of the time than to the actual objects represented; this makes them a valuable source of information about the collective imagery of power-relationships, social hierarchy and order. The capacity of a representation to bring something distant before one’s eyes is noted in the original meaning of the Latin word repraesentatio, as used by Quintilian in his Institutio oratoria. The Roman rhetorician speaks of representations as a ‘self-evident’ and powerful means of persuasion that are able to draw a suggestive picture of the orator’s words in the minds of his audience.5 The ability of a representation to make something seem more true than it really is makes it a useful political instrument. In the case of our reports on coronations, the representations are generally shaped by political intentions. In fact, as Philippe Buc has shown, representations of ceremonies played important role in ‘political culture of maneuvers and countermaneuvers.’6 Coronation, as discussed here, is a ceremony that includes not only placing a crown on the head of a coronatus or coronata, but also the festive entry to the coronation site, as well as the acclamation, consecration, anointing, vesting, coronation proper, handling of regalia, enthroning, dubbing of knights and passing of judgments, swearing oaths and confirming 5 [V]ivid illustration, or, as some prefer to call it, representation, is something more than mere clearness, since the latter merely lets itself be seen, whereas the former thrusts itself upon our notice. It is a great gift to be able to set forth the facts on which we are speaking clearly and vividly. For oratory fails of its full effect, and does not assert itself as it should, if its appeal is merely to the hearing, and if the judge merely feels that the facts on which he has to give his decision are being narrated to him, and not displayed in their living truth to the eyes of the mind: The Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian, trans. Harold Edgeworth Butler (London: W. Heinemann; New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1921-1922), 8.3.61; Henrik Lagerlund, ‘The Terminological and Conceptual Roots of Representation in the Soul in Late Ancient and Medieval Philosophy,’ in Representation and Objects of Thought in Medieval Philosophy, ed. Henrik Lagerlund (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 14. 6 Philippe Buc, The Dangers of Ritual: Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 64.

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privileges.7 Only rarely do our sources report on all of these elements. More often than not they refer to the consecutive stages of the coronations as having been celebrated ‘according to the tradition’ or ‘duly proceeding’ without offering a detailed description. Royal coronations between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries were described in numerous chronicles, official reports or, occasionally, in personal diaries. The most comprehensive of the sources examined in the present study is the Annales of Jan Długosz (1415-1480),8 written between 1455 and 1480, which mentions the coronation of Jadwiga of Anjou (1374-1399), Ladislas V known as Posthumous (1440-1457) and the two coronations of Wladislas (1424-1444) from the Jagiellon dynasty, known as Wladislas III or Wladislas of Varna in Poland and as Wladislas I in Hungary. Długosz was a supporter of the hereditary principle of succession and agreed that rejecting the kingship of a minor would be a cruel violation of the hereditary right of royal children.9 There are no known descriptions of Jadwiga’s accession from the fourteenth century and the account of Długosz is a projection of fifteenthcentury reality.10 A chronicler contemporary to Jadwiga’s early years, Jan of Czarnków (c. 1320-1387), finishes his narrative shortly before her advent 7 On the components of Polish coronation ceremonies see Stanisław Kutrzeba, Koronacye królów i królowych w Polsce (Warszawa: Nakładem Księgarni F. Hoesicka, 1918); Aleksander Gieysztor, ‘Spektakl i liturgia – Polska koronacja królewska,’ in Kultura elitarna a kultura masowa w Polsce późnego średniowiecza, ed. Bronisław Geremek (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1978), 11-22; Zbigniew Dalewski, ‘Ceremoniał koronacyjny królów polskich w XV i początku XVI wieku,’ Kwartalnik Historyczny 102, no. 3-4 (1995): 37-60; idem, Władza, przestrzeń, ceremoniał. Miejsce i uroczystość inauguracji władzy w Polsce średniowiecznej do końca XIV w. (Warszawa: Neriton; Instytut Historii PAN, 1996), 103-236. On Hungarian coronations see Erik Fügedi, ‘Coronation in Medieval Hungary,’ Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, New Series 3 (1980): 159-189. The comparative Polish-Hungarian approach is presented in Adam Fijałkowski, ‘Średniowieczne koronacje królewskie na Węgrzech i w Polsce,’ Przegląd History­ czny, 87, no. 4 (1996): 713-735. On Bohemian coronations: Josef Cibulka, Český řád korunovační a jeho původ (Praha: nákladem vlastním, 1934); Korunovační řád českých králů; Benita Berning, ‘Nach alltem löblichen Gebrauch.’ Die böhmischen Königskrönungen der Frühen Neuzeit (1526-1743) (Köln; Weimar; Wien: Böhlau, 2008), 34-59. 8 Ioannis Dlugossii Annales seu Cronicae incliti Regni Poloniae [hereafter: Annales] (Varsaviae: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1964-2001; Cracoviae: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 2005). The abridged English translation of the chronicle was prepared by Maurice Michael, The Annals of Jan Długosz = Annales seu Cronicae incliti regni Poloniae (Charlton: IM Publications, 1997). 9 Roman Sobotka, Powoływanie władcy w Rocznikach Jana Długosza (Warszawa: Liber, 2005), 72-74. 10 Jan Dąbrowski, ‘Koronacje andegaweńskie w Polsce,’ in Studia historyczne ku czci Stanisława Kutrzeby, 2 vols. (Kraków: nakładem Komitetu, 1938), II, 157.

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to the Polish Kingdom;11 his account, hostile to the Angevins, nonetheless testifies to the uneasiness of the Polish estates with the rule of a woman. Other contemporary sources famously mention that Jadwiga ‘was crowned the king of Poland.’12 A chronicler one generation younger than Jan Długosz, János Thuróczy (c. 1435-1488), serves as a principal, but less reliable source on the history of Hungarian kingship during the same era. Thuróczy’s Chronica Hungarorum, completed in 1487, supports the political line of the Hunyadis and describes the acclamation of Matthias Corvinus (1443-1490) in flattering terms.13 It presents a biased view of the coronations of Mary of Anjou (1371-1395), Ladislas V and the Polish king Wladislas. Among our written sources, the most detailed is the first-hand account of Helene Kottannerin (c. 1400-c. 1470), a member of the court of Elizabeth of Luxemburg (1409-1442), which presents an anti-Jagiellonian viewpoint.14 Kottannerin’s first-person document was composed around 1450 and records the behind-the-scenes events of the coronation of Ladislas V, in which she personally participated and played an important role.15 Kottannerin’s account is especially informative regarding the subject of child coronations, as she had access to all the private and public spheres of the queen’s court in which the coronation was planned and also partially carried out. The access 11 Jan of Czarnków, Cronicon Polonorum, ed. Jan Szlachtowski, in Monumenta Poloniae Historica, 6 vols. [Hereafter MPH] (Lwów: w drukarni Zakładu Narodowego im. Ossolińskich, 1864-1893), II (1872), 619-756. 12 The phrase ‘in regem Polonie coronata’ is used in the Annales Cracovienses priores cum kalendario = Najdawniejsze roczniki krakowskie i kalendarz, ed. Zof ia Kozłowska-Budkowa Monumenta Poloniae Historica, Series Nova, 15 vols. to date [hereafter: MPH, SN] (Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, I-III and XI-XV; Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, IV-X, 1946-), V (1978), 178; Annales S. Crucis = Rocznik świętokrzyski, in MPH, III (1878), 81; additional sources are listed in Jerzy Wyrozumski, Królowa Jadwiga między epoką piastowską a jagiellońską (Kraków: Towarzystwo Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych ‘Universitas,’ 2006), 84, n. 49. 13 János Thuróczy, Chronica Hungarorum, eds. Erzsébet Galántai, Gyula Kristó (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1985-[1988]), 3 vols: I: Textus; II and III: Commentarii: I Ab initiis usque ad annun 1301; II Ab anno 1301 usque ad annum 1487. English translation of the final part of the chronicle was published as Chronicle of the Hungarians, trans. Frank Mantello (Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 1991). 14 Die Denkwürdigkeiten der Helene Kottannerin, ed. Karl Mollay (Wien: Österr. Bundesverl. f. Unterricht: Wissenschaft u. Kunst, 1971); English translation of the source: The Memoirs of Helene Kottanner (1439-1440), trans. Maya C. Bijvoet Williamson (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1998). 15 It is generally agreed that the text was written after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1442 and before the death of Ladislas V in 1457: Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 72; 90-91; Introduction to The Memoirs of Helene Kottanner, 6; recently also: Jerzy Strzelczyk, ‘Pamiętnik Helene Kottannerin,’ in Ecclesia, regnum, fontes. Studia z dziejów średniowiecza, eds. Sławomir Gawlas et al. (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2014), 391.

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to such information, which might not have been available to a male narrator, allowed her to sketch a fuller view of the event, including its emotional and psychological aspects. A juxtaposition of Kottannerin’s, Dlugosz’s and Thuróczy’s descriptions allow us to create a nuanced and comprehensive picture of the turbulent events of 1440. The Bohemian coronations of the young king Ladislas V and later of Louis II in Prague are only sparsely reported in Hungarian and Bohemian sources.16 Similarly infrequent are records of the Hungarian accession of Louis II, the only first-hand description of which is a report by the Venetian delegate to Hungary, Vincenzo Guidotto, which is included in the diary of Marino Sanuto (1466-1536).17 An account of the election and accession of Matthias Corvinus is provided by his court historiographer János Thuróczy. A report included in the collection of sources known as Acta Tomiciana contains a short description of the coronation of ten-year old Sigismund Augustus.18 The coronations discussed in the present study are even less frequently represented in visual sources. The notable exception is a medal of 1508 commemorating the Hungarian enthronement of Louis II. More common were visual representations of a prince, often including the likeness of the ruling royal father and showing the child with regalia. These depictions, preserved mainly in genealogical treatises, diplomas and family likenesses, anticipated an actual coronation and promoted a child as the legitimate heir and successor of his father. In so doing they attempted to elevate the social and political position of royal children by stressing their blood-ties with other members of the family and/or with reference to saints and national patrons.19 16 Ladislas V’s Prague coronation is described by Antonio Bonfini in Rerum Ungaricarum Decades, 5 vols. (Lipsiae: Teubner, 1936-1976), III, decas VII, line 313-321. Louis II’s Bohemian coronation is reported in Staří letopisové čeští od roku 1378 do 1527, ed. František Palacký (Praha: J. H. Pospíšil, 1829), 299-300; Staré letopisy české z rukopisu Křižovnického, eds. František Šimek, Miloslav Kaňák (Praha: Státní Nakladatelství Krásné literatury, Hudby a Umĕní: 1959), 338. 17 Marino Sanuto, I Diarii, eds. Rinaldo Fulin et al., 59 vols. (Venezia: F. Visentini, 1879-1903), VII (1882), 560-562. 18 Acta Tomiciana, 18 vols. to date (Posnaniae: Sumptibus Bibliothecae Kornicensis, 1852- ), XII, ed. Zygmunt Celichowski (1906), 56, 57. 19 Succession claims are made inter alia in the illumination of János Gersei Pethő’s diploma of 1507, showing Louis II as a child, standing to the right of the enthroned Wladislas II with a royal crown above his head and holding the sceptre (the diploma is held in the collection of the Hungarian National Archive, inv. no DL86051). A woodcut illustrating Decius’ genealogical work (Fig. 1.) has a similar meaning, showing the image of a baby with regalia (sceptre, sword, orb and crown), preceded by the likenesses of his parents. The patronage of saints over the royal family is stressed most clearly in the iconography of Louis II. The patron saint of Hungary and

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Child Coronations from Mary of Anjou to Sigismund Augustus Most accounts of child coronations note the young age of the monarch, who is called puella (Mary of Anjou), rex iuvenis, impubes (Wladislas), infans (twelve-week old Ladislas V) or regulus (two-year old Louis II). They also often present an image of juvenile appearance and childish conduct. The perception of a young person as distinguished from adults by his or her look and behaviour was rooted in the medieval and early modern concept of infancy and puberty as distinct phases of human life.20 Understandings of the notion of legal age (aetas legitima), however, differed according to both the situation and the maturity of a particular individual.21 Ladislas V began his independent rule in Hungary around his thirteenth birthday. The document concerning the Polish coronation of Wladislas, dating back to 1434, states that the king would swear the royal oath and confirm the privileges having reached the age of fifteen.22 Sigismund Augustus was also to begin his independent rule in Poland after his fifteenth birthday,23 while for Louis II of Hungary the age was set at sixteen years. By contrast, Matthias Corvinus, still uncrowned at the age of fifteen, is presented in the chronicles acting as if he possesses all royal prerogatives; so is Jadwiga after her coronation at the age of around twelve. Yet, her sister Mary, crowned at the same age, was perceived as incapable of exercising authority, torn between her vicious mother and conflicting factions of noblemen. In fact, she died never having ruled.24 Wladislas II – Saint Ladislas – is shown interceding to the Virgin Mary (patrona Hungariae) for the king and his children Louis and Anna on a panel painting of c. 1515 by Bernhard Strigel (the painting is held in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, inv. no 7502). Similarly, another painting by Strigel of c. 1516, showing Louis II as a member of the family of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian evokes the image of the Holy Family (The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). An earlier example of linking dynastic meanings with the invocation to a saint is provided by the depiction of Jadwiga with her mother and sisters next to the figure of Saint Simeon on the silver sarcophagus of the saint in Zadar. 20 On the concept of childhood in the Middle Ages see for instance Nicholas Orme, Medieval Children (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) and Shulamith Shahar, Childhood in the Middle Ages, trans. Chaya Galai (London: Routledge, 1989). Both authors begin their reflection from a critique of the seminal contribution of Philippe Ariès to a social history of childhood. 21 Sobociński, ‘Historia rządów opiekuńczych,’ 254. 22 Ibid., 257; Jerzy Wyrozumski, ‘Polska czasów Warneńczyka,’ Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Prace Historyczne 119 (1995): 11. 23 In fact, he swore the oath and confirmed the privileges as a seventeen-year old and began the independent rule after the death of Sigismund I. 24 János M. Bak, ‘Queens as Scapegoats in Medieval Hungary,’ in Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, ed. Anne J. Duggan (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1997), 231.

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In the early 1380s, the accessions of Mary and Jadwiga, the only offspring of Louis of Anjou to reach adolescence, posed a problem for the Hungarian and Polish estates not because of the age of the young queens, but because of their gender. As Pál Engel observes, ‘the very idea that a woman, let alone an under-age girl, could wear the crown of Hungary flew in the face of custom.’25 The situation was similar in Poland, where a woman was not accepted as a queen regnant, but her right to the throne could be claimed by her husband (iure uxoris). In the Buda succession agreements (1355) Casimir III acknowledged that Louis, or his nephew John (1354-1363), and their future sons were to be the rightful successors of the Polish throne.26 The rights of the female line were excluded from this act. The sonless Louis and his mother Elizabeth of Poland (1305-1380) had to agree to further concessions to towns, clergy and noblemen in return for the acceptance of the designation of one of Louis’ daughters.27 An important outcome of this bargaining between the king and the estates were the so-called statutes of Košice (1373 and 1374) that granted the nobility generous privileges and marked the growing participation of the estates in the decision-making concerning the succession of the Polish throne. According to János Thuróczy’s account, Mary’s coronation (on September 17, 1382) was possible due to the impeccable reputation of her father, who was loved and respected by all his subjects. Because of this she was generally accepted by the Hungarian estates: All people agreed to call this young woman a king, they embellished a female with this distinguished name and, placing her on the noble throne of her father, they crowned her female head with the Holy Crown.28 Omnis vulgus concordi animo hanc virginem regem appellat, femineum hoc celebri sexum nomine illustrant, illam alto parentis in solio locantes sacro virgineum caput diademate coronant.29 25 Pál Engel, The Realm of St. Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary 895-1526, trans. Tamás Pálosfalvi (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005), 170. 26 The detailed analysis of the circumstances of Louis’ succession after Casimir III is provided by Janusz Kurtyka, Odrodzone Królestwo. Monarchia Władysława Łokietka i Kazimierza Wielkiego w świetle nowszych badań (Kraków: Societas Vistulana, 2001), 42-47; Stanisław Szczur, ‘W sprawie sukcesji andegaweńskiej w Polsce,’ Roczniki Historyczne 75 (2009): 61-104 [with German summary of the arguments]. 27 Jan Dąbrowski, Ostatnie lata Ludwika Wielkiego 1370-1382 (Kraków: Towarzystwo Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych ‘Universitas,’ 2009 [1918]), 284-298. 28 If not stated otherwise, translations are provided by the author [K.M.]. 29 Thuróczy, Chronica Hungarorum, I, 190.

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This brief account of her coronation shows how weak the authority of Mary must have seemed in the eyes of the chronicler; the perceived weakness appears to have been tied directly to her sex, which is stressed three times in this short fragment. Even though Mary’s female nature ( femineus sexus) was ‘honoured’ with the title of king and coronation with the Holy Crown, it did not suffice to establish her authority as a ruler. In Thuróczy’s account, the principle of heredity (suo iure) and electivity, applied in the case of Mary, was discredited by her supposed unsuitability to rule. No virtues or distinguishing personal features were listed in the description of the young queen. Instead Thuróczy mentions her vicious mother, the regent, whom he makes responsible for the unrest in the kingdom.30 The heading of the section devoted to Mary, ‘Coronation of Queen Mary and the hatred that followed,’ sets the tone for his description of the unfortunate years of Mary’s reign. Jadwiga was crowned king of Poland (October 16, 1384)31 despite prolonged negotiations with her mother and controversies surrounding her engagement to William, duke of Austria (c. 1370-1406). According to Długosz she was greeted warmly by the estates who had little difficulty accepting her as a ruler. Nonetheless, the exceptionality of her case and a sense of unease with her position as queen colours the entire description. The Annales report that Jadwiga was greeted by Polish prelates and barons with an impressive display of good will: So great was the affection of these prelates and nobles of Poland and such was their kindness, that not minding that they were men, they did not find it dishonourable to show obedience to such a distinguished and virtuous woman. Overwhelmed by this affection and kindness, not giving, nor trying to find her a husband, as if she could govern Poland alone, without a husband, they proceeded with her anointment and coronation as the queen of Poland with a queen’s crown in the Cracow cathedral, on October 15, when Poles celebrate the day of St. Jadwiga, in a ceremony performed by the archbishop of Gniezno Bodzęta, and Jan the bishop of Cracow, Jan of Włocławek, Dobrogost of Poznań, in the presence of the Cardinal-bishop of Esztergom and numerous great men and knights of both countries, Poland as well as Hungary, in the Cracow cathedral and

30 Ibid., 190-191. 31 For the summary of the discussion about the exact day of Jadwiga’s coronation and Długosz’s error in dating it see Wyrozumski, Królowa Jadwiga, 83-84.

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granted her complete authority to rule the kingdom until they found her a suitable husband. Tanta autem erat erga illam prelatorum et baronum Polonie affeccio et tam caritas immensa, ut viros se esse obliti, parere tam insigni et virtuose femine putarent non inglorium. Ea insuper caritate et affeccione devicti, non dato, non procurato illi sponso, quasi ipsa sola ad gubernandum Regnum Polonie sino marito sufficeret, ipsam in Cracoviensi ecclesia, die solis quinta decima mensis Octobris, quo aput Polonos sancte He­ dwigis agitur celebritas, per Bodzantham Gneznensem archiepiscopum, Iohannem Cracoviensem, Iohannem Wladislaviensem, Dobrogostium Poznaniensem episcopos, sub prefati Strigoniensis archiepiscopi cardinalis et baronum atque militarium utriusque Regni, Polonici videlicet et Hungarici, copiosa frequencia, procurarunt in Polonie reginam diademate reginali inungi et consecrari, tribute ei plenaria facultate, quatenus Polonie Regnum interim, quo illi sponsus aptatur et queritur, administret.32

In Długosz’s account the personal virtues of Jadwiga justify the suspension of social and political custom. Her suitability to rule strengthens her authority as a ruler, which is recognised by the Polish prelates and the mighty of the kingdom, who show their obedience and agree to grant her the whole power due to the rightful king until they can find her a suitable husband. Her rule is thus perceived by the chronicler as a temporary necessity.33 Whereas the calendar of the Cracow cathedral and the so-called Annales Sancti Crucis note that Jadwiga was crowned king of Poland because her father lacked male offspring,34 Długosz presents Jadwiga as being crowned queen with a queens’ crown, which had been used previously in the coronations of queens consort.35 He also stresses the special date of the coronation, namely the day of Jadwiga’s patron saint. The account of Długosz presents an image of the queen which fits the model of the pious and virtuous woman, who is modest, gentle, temperate, noble and beautiful. He avoids any ambiguities of attaching the role of a male monarch to the body natural 32 Annales, X, 141. 33 Sobotka, Powoływanie władcy, 101. 34 The original phrase reads: in regem Poloniae coronata ob defectum sexus masculinis domini regis Lodovici: Kalendarz katedry krakowskiej, 178. 35 Dąbrowski, ‘Koronacje andegaweńskie,’ 158; Krystyna Turska, Ubiór dworski w Polsce w dobie pierwszych Jagiellonów (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1987), 37.

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of Jadwiga. Even when he praises the wits of the young queen using a puer/ senex figure, he adopts it to the gender of the queen: When she went beyond infancy, she thought so maturely that whatever she said and whatever she did seem to come from the gravity of an old woman. Que infancie annos egressa ita mature et graviter sapere cepit, ut quicquid diceret, quicquid faceret, ex anili gravitate manare videretur.36

In the accounts of both Mary’s and Jadwiga’s coronations, the young age of the rulers is a secondary issue. Both girls are presented as unmarried women who will secure dynastic continuity and the integrity of the kingdom through marriage. Their status is derived from the position of queens in the royal family as daughters of the king and future wives and mothers of kings.37 This role earned them recognition as rulers and gave them access to political authority, even if in Mary’s case it proved short-lived and illusory.38 The age of the two following child kings would end up being used as an argument in a series of political struggles. The increased importance of the principle of electivity, as well as the Ottoman threat, acted as the background to the accessions of Wladislas – who was crowned king of Poland at the age of ten (on July 25, 1434) and king of Hungary at the age of sixteen (July 17, 1440) – and his rival Ladislas V, known as Posthumous, who was crowned king of Hungary as a twelve-week old baby (May 15, 1440) and king of Bohemia as a thirteen-year-old youth (October 28, 1453). Wladislas was the first-born son of the elder Jagiełło (c. 1351-1434), who spared no efforts to secure his accession. Jagiełło tested the pliability of the estates, but soon learned that they were not willing to grant their unconditional acceptance to the successor designated by the ruling monarch. Indeed the estates did not approve the succession of Wladislas until after the appeasements of the Jedlnia and Cracow acts of 1430 and 1433, which granted the nobility the right of personal safety, guaranteed that only noblemen were entitled to the high offices, and acknowledged their influence on military affairs (without their consent the king could not gather nobility at arms and he had to pay for its service abroad). The coronation of Wladislas 36 Annales, X, 142. 37 Theresa Earenfight, Queenship in Medieval Europe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 10. 38 Ibid., 240.

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was nonetheless troubled by a faction of noblemen who, as Długosz narrates, questioned the legitimacy and maturity of a young king, as well as his ability to pass judgement and defend the kingdom.39 Their arguments are worth mentioning as they draw a direct link between the minority of the king and the integrity of the body politic: The power of the king is great, and the habits of this king who they are about to elect are unknown. It may happen that when he reaches maturity, forgetting all the promises which are now taken on his behalf, he will change power into tyranny and the law and freedom into servitude. [R]egalem potenciam validam esse, et eius regis, quem nunc assumerent, mores ignotos; posse fieri, ut in debitam etatem perveniens et omnium sponsionum, que nunc pro eo f ierent, oblitus, potenciam verteret in tirannidem et ius libertatemque in servitutem. 40

These turbulent discussions delayed Wladislas’ coronation, which finally proceeded at a late hour on the day of St. James. According to Długosz: Archbishop of Gniezno and primate Wojciech Jastrzębiec, dressed in the pontifical dress, in the assistance of bishop of Cracow Zbigniew, bishop elect of Włocławek Władysław, bishop of Płock Stanisław and bishop of Chełmno Jan, beginning despite the late hour, with great joy and enthusiasm of the councillors and people, favourably anoint and crown, in front of the great altar of the Cracow cathedral, the king of Poland the aforementioned, firstborn Wladislas, after he personally, despite his young age, swore the oath confirming that he will obey the laws, decrees, documents, freedoms and privileges of the Polish Kingdom […]. After a propitiously held coronation and all due ceremonies, in accordance with the ritual and old Polish custom, king Wladislas invited all the prelates, princes and mightiest for a royal feast […]. In that way the day, despite the opinions of many, passed favourably and quickly with the coronation of Wladislas thanks to God’s grace. Albertus itaque Jastrząmbiecz archiepiscopus Gnesnensis et primas, pontificalibus indutus, assistentibus sibi Sbigneo Cracoviensi, Wladislao 39 The detailed summary of Długosz’s account on the controversies over Wladislas’ succession is provided by Sobotka, Powoływanie władcy, 105-107. 40 Annales, XI, 135.

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electo Wladislaviensi, Stanislao Plocensi, Ioanne Chelmensi episcopis, missam tarda licet hora inchoans, prefatum Wladislaum primogenitum cum magna hilaritate et alacritate consiliariorum et populi […] in regem Polonie ad altare maius ecclesie Cracoviensis feliciter unxit et coronavit, exacto eciam tunc ab eo, quamvis tenere esset etatis, de observandis iuribus, statutis, libertatibus, literis et munimentis Regni Polonie corporali iuramento. […] Quo feliciter consumato, et omnibus ceremoniis iuxta ritum et vetustam observanciam Regni Polonie expletis, Wladislaus rex omnes prelatos, principes et barones suos magnifica et regali mensa excipiens, liberalissime atque iocunde tractavit singulisque pro caritate tum in eum, tum in rempublicam atque patriam gracias egit. Ita dies ille contra opinionem multorum, favore Divino operante, felicem et alacrem habuit in coronacione prefati Wladislai exitum. 41

Długosz stresses that, despite his young age, the king personally took the oath confirming that he would obey all laws and respect freedoms; this detail testifies to his personal maturity, as children were not allowed to take oaths. The chronicler also notes that the coronation proceeded in accordance with the will of people, preserving both Polish traditions and the customs of coronation. ‘Thanks to the grace of God’ and despite the reluctance of a few dissenters, the coronation would be completed on the feast of St. James, a popular saint-defender of Christendom against the Muslims. Wladislas’ kingship was, on the one hand, a test of the integrity of the procedures of decision- and law-making; on the other, it forced changes in the administrative and financial systems of the kingdom. Instead of the traditional guardianship of a boy’s mother or other relatives, ten provisores were appointed, who were responsible to the royal council. In addition, the relationship between the king and his subjects, based on the set of privileges and freedoms, was to be confirmed again by the young king after he reached the age of fifteen. In the event that the king would not swear the oath and confirm the law, the estates had the right to withdraw their obedience. According to Długosz, it was the acceptance of this condition that eventually convinced the opponents to agree to Wladislas’ coronation. Albrecht of Hungary (1397-1439) attempted to secure the succession of his late offspring and decided in advance about the new administration of his kingdom. He ordained that, if a boy was born after his death, a 41 Ibid., 136-137.

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co-regency of his wife Elizabeth of Luxemburg and his brother Frederick III (1415-1493) was to be established, along with the appointment of nine regents, who would govern Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. After his death, all parties found Albrecht’s will to run contrary to their interests and proceeded to take action against it. 42 After the birth of Ladislas, the majority of the Hungarian estates preferred the Polish king Wladislas III, whom they crowned king of Hungary in Székesfehérvar two months after the queen succeeded in crowning her twelve-week old baby with the secretly abducted Holy Crown. A detailed account of the events of 1440 and the struggles between the supporters of the two young kings is provided by Ladislas’ nursemaid Helene Kottannerin, who attempted to show that the only rightful king was Ladislas. To do so, she highlighted the validity of his coronation, and stressed that his dynastic and legal rights were recognised by the majority of his subjects; she also argued for the baby’s exceptional maturity, as well as for God’s providence which favoured the king from his very birth. Even before the coronation Kottannerin speaks of Ladislas as a king (Kung Lassla) and natural sovereign (naturlicher Herr). She enumerates his supporters and their recognitions of his claims followed by oaths of loyalty. Above all, she famously formulates the three principles of Hungarian coronations saying that the king of Hungary has to be crowned: 1) with the Holy Crown; 2) by the archbishop of Esztergom; 3) in Székesfehérvár. This statement, made so decisively and clearly for the first time, was confirmed by Kottannrin in her exceptionally detailed account of Ladislas’ coronation. In her narrative Kottannerin mentions the day of the ceremony (Pentecost) and details its various stages, beginning with the king’s and his retinue’s arrival at the Hungarian coronation site (Székesfehérvár), the morning bath, and the entrance into the church; this is followed by the queen swearing an oath on behalf of her infant son, the king being dubbed a knight, his anointment, his being dressed in St. Stephen’s mantel and his coronation at the altar of St. Stephen, the reading of coronation charters, the dubbing of knights, the entrance to the church of Ss. Peter and Paul, the closing procession from the inside of church with the regalia (which 42 The analysis of the queen’s and the Hungarian, Bohemian and Austrian estates’ motivation is provided by John Jefferson, The Holy Wars of King Wladislas and Sultan Murad: The OttomanChristian Conflict from 1438-1444 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 168; Krzysztof Baczkowski, ‘Stosunek leopoldyńskiej linii Habsburgów do walki o tron węgierski po śmierci Albrechta II,’ in Świat chrześcijański i Turcy Osmańscy w dobie bitwy pod Warną, ed. Danuta Quirini-Popławska (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 1995), 16.

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despite Kottannerin’s claims, were actually not at queen’s disposal)43 and, finally, the act of throwing coins into the crowd. In describing the moment of the coronation proper, Kottannerin refers to Ladislas as ‘the noblest king who ever lived in holy Christendom,’ and ‘a son of King Albert, grandson of Emperor Sigismund.’44 The references to Ladislas’ father, and especially to the Holy Roman Emperor, play an important role in Kottannerin’s legitimising strategies. She notes that before the ceremony the queen gathered all the citizens of Székesfehérvár who had been present at the coronation of the Emperor Sigismund to testify that the ceremony had proceeded according to the old Hungarian custom. The costume fitting the king’s little body, which Kottannerin sewed for the occasion, was prepared from the fabric of Sigismund’s coronation garb, which possessed both the mystical aura of ‘oldness’ and a suggestion of imperial authority. The tints of the cloths, noted twice in the account, corresponded to the colours of Ladislas’ parents, and were to be a token of God’s grace and assistance, ‘a sign that he was meant to rule over the inheritance of both his father and his mother.’45 The supernatural interventions that predestined Ladislas for the Hungarian throne were also intertwined with the fate of the Holy Crown and Ladislas in the prenatal life of the king-to-be: And now take note of the miracle! The king, who was to wear the Holy Crown was still safely enclosed in his mother’s body and he and the crown, which the evil fiend would have liked to destroy with the fire, were hardly two cords removed from one another. 46 Vnd merkcht das wunder: Es war der Kung noch verlossen in mueter leib, der die heilig kron auf solt tragen, vnd die warn kawm zwo klafter von einander, die hiet der pos veint gern gelaidigt mit der prunst. 47

Similarly, the moment of Ladislas’ birth is presented as significant and connected to his destiny as a Hungarian monarch: ‘within the same hour – stresses Kottannerin – in which the Holy Crown arrived from Visegrád to 43 Elizabeth of Luxemburg abducted the Holy Crown without the remaining royal insignia – the orb and sceptre, which were not exhibited during the ceremony. Substitute paraments were most probably used in the coronation of Ladislas. 44 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 27. English quotation after: The Memoirs, 43. 45 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 24. English quotation after: The Memoirs, 40. 46 The Memoirs, 24. 47 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 11.

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Komárom, within that same hour King Ladislas was born.’48 The explanation for this coincidence offered by Kottannerin depicts the struggle over the Hungarian throne as a contest for coronation with St. Stephen’s Crown: The king did not want to wait any longer; he wanted to rush to the Holy Crown before anyone else did, as if he had been told that the King of Poland was after his paternal heritage. And if he had slept one more week in his mother’s body, he would have come to Pozsony [today Bratislava], and they might not have been able to depart from there so soon or in peace, and then the Polish king might have reached Székesfehérvár before his grace did. But if it is true that the Holy Crown was sent to the Holy Saint Stephen by God and meant by God for him, it is also true that it was clearly God’s will that the true heir, King Ladislas, and not the King of Poland, should receive the Holy Crown of Hungary. 49 Der Kung wolt nicht lenger peiten, er wolt eylen zu der heiligen kran, ee daz ain anndrer këm. Wann wer het im das gesagt, daz der von Polan stellat nach seinen vëterlichem erb, vnd hiet er nur ain wochen nach in seiner muetter leib geslaffen, So wër er her auf komen zu Prespurgk, So hiet man nicht pald ain macht mogen zu wegen bringen, daz man mit gwalt wër hin wider ab gezogen, So wër der von Polan villeicht ee gen Weyssenburg komen denn sein gnad, Vnd als das war ist, daz die heilige kron gen vngeren dem heiligen sand Steffan von got gesandt vnd gemaint ist, Als war ist das, daz es got hat scheinperleichen wellen, daz recht erb Kung Lassla die heiligen Kram zu Vngeren solt auf tragen, vnd nich der von Polan.50

The close physical connection between the rightful king and St. Stephen’s Crown is the symbolic axis of Kottannerin’s account. She goes on to demonstrate that this link was sustained even after the coronation, when Ladislas travelled and the crown was wrapped in a cloth and hidden under a layer of straw beneath his cradle. Kottannerin is explicit when discussing the constraints relating to the young age of the king, who is carried in the cradle or held in her own hands during the ceremonies. The ritual of being dubbed a knight and proclaiming the king a defender of the kingdom is especially inconsistent with the nature 48 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 20. English quotation after: The Memoirs, 34. 49 The Memoirs, 35. 50 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 20.

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of an infant and exposes the insufficiency of the king’s immature body. Kottannerin observes this with the sympathetic eye of a mother and notes the lord, in dubbing the baby king, hit him strongly with the sword. This was noticed by the queen as well and she rebuked the lord who reacted with laughter. The length of the tiresome ceremony was, according to Kottannerin, most uncomfortable for the baby king: [T]he noble young king had little joy of his coronation, for he cried so loud that it could be heard throughout the entire church and the common people marvelled and said that it was not the voice of a child of twelve weeks but rather of a one-year-old, which he really was not.51 Der edel Jung Kung der het ain klaine frewd zu seiner krỏnung, Wann er waynat mit lautter stym, daz man es horat als weit die kirchen was, daz sein das gemain volkch wunder nam, vnd sprachen, es wër nich ain stym als ain kind bey zwelf wochen, es wer ainem kind genủg, das bey ainem Jar wër, des er doch nicht was.52

Kottannerin reverses the usual interpretation of baby cries from an expression of helplessness into evidence of strength and power. In playing with such meanings, she attempts to show that the body natural of the twelveweek old king is strong and mature. Yet, for this strategy to be reliable, Kottannerin is forced to remain within the limits of infant physiology. Likewise, when describing the moment when the archbishop of Esztergom lifts the crown above the baby’s head, she compares the strength with which little Ladislas held his head up to ‘a one-year old, and that is rarely seen in children of twelve weeks.’53 Even those critical of Elizabeth’s actions admitted that the ceremony was moving and emotional. Kottannerin notes that the queen was so affected by admiration for Ladislas that she was not able to take an active role in the ceremony: [T]he noble queen felt such awe for her son and was so meek, that I, a humble woman, had priority over her grace that day and was to remain

51 The Memoirs, 44. 52 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 27-28. 53 The Memoirs, 43-44.

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closest to the noble king, because I had held his grace in my arms during his holy anointment and coronation.54 [D]ie edel KungInn die erat Iṙenu must vor iren Sun als hoch Vnd was als diemủtig, daz ich armme fraw desselbigen tags mủst vor iren gnaden gen zu aller nagst bey dem edelen kunig, Darumb daz ich sein gnad zu der heiligen salbung vnd kronung an meinem arm het gehalden.55

Kottannerin’s ability to fashion herself as the main actor and witness of the event is the principal method by which she constructs her authority as a female author. Yet, the participation of a nursemaid in the ceremony would have suspended the customary order of the coronation as much as the cries of the coronatus would have undermined the gravitas of the solemn spectacle, and these details ultimately reveal the fiction of the baby king’s ability to rule. The coronation of a baby may thus be easily mocked and presented as a women’s trifle. Długosz and Thuróczy, neither of whom would have been familiar with Kottannerin’s account, refer to it as laughable and reckless, a misstep driven by the maternal feelings of the queen. The event was generally perceived as a laughing-stock (Długosz), or as an ‘unseasonable coronation’ and an ‘impressive spectacle’ which filled the eyes of participants with tears (Thuróczy). The latter ridicules Ladislas’ coronation by presenting it as a sentimental and maudlin event, during which ‘the king howled long and loudly’ and ‘the queen wept continually, as did the barons assembled there in attendance, profoundly moved by the tears of the queen.’56 Długosz contrasts Ladislas’ farce-accession with the duly proceeded Hungarian coronation of Wladislas, whom he presents as a promising defender of the kingdom and Christendom invited by Hungarian nobility to take up the throne. He quotes the oration of the Polish king, delivered shortly before his Hungarian coronation in the St. John convent in Buda (June 29, 1440), in which the king uses his young age to argue his innocent intentions and lack of false ambitions. His speech is well received by the Hungarian noblemen, who are convinced that Wladislas would serve as an attentive king and an efficient defender of Hungary against the Ottomans. Their spokesman, Lőrinc Hédervári (1413-1447), palatine of Hungary, asserts 54 Ibid., 44. 55 Die Denkwürdigkeiten, 28. 56 Thuróczy, Chronica Hungarorum, I, 236. English quote after: idem, Chronicle of the Hungarians, 107-108.

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that in the face of Ottoman aggression the coronation of an infant would be invalid: It would be a madness not to pay attention to the dangers threatening the kingdom and accept the king in the cradle, and afterwards not blame ourselves for the ruin of the whole kingdom under such a fragile ruler. We cannot be sure that this would not happen before he reaches maturity. We think that when very serious wars imperil our kingdom, it is in vain to expect assistance from a baby. Delirum quoque erat periculo regni attento illum pro rege tenere, quem continebant cune, et tocius regni sub tam fragili rectore pertimescere ruinam; que prius ne accidat, quam ipse viriles annos attingat, incertum habemus, sed et regno nostro gravissimis impendentibus bellis serum in expectacione infantis arbitramur auxilium.57

In his detailed account on Wladislas’ Hungarian coronation, Długosz, who may have participated in the ceremony himself,58 stresses all possible connections between the ceremony and regalia – including the crown taken from St. Stephen’s reliquary – and the first Hungarian king. He also highlights the king’s military duty by mentioning the four strokes ritual, not noted in sources before Długosz. The chronicle reports that, after passing judgements at the church of Ss. Peter and Paul, ‘where the father of St. Stephen, Géza, was buried with his wife Adelaide, who was mother of St. Stephen,’59 the king rode to the church of St. Martin, located outside the walls of Székesfehérvár. There he walked up to its tower and before everyone’s eyes pointed his bare sword at the four points of the compass showing that he would defend Hungary against aggression from all quarters. The death of Wladislas at the battle of Varna on November 10, 1444 did not bring an immediate end to the civil wars. The anarchy ended only in April of 1445, when the Hungarian diet established the regency council and acknowledged the rule of Ladislas. As the young king was still kept by Frederick III in Wiener Neustadt, the diet appointed a regent-governor, János Hunyadi (c. 1395/1400-1456), until the king reached the legal age of fourteen years. Only after the rebellions of 1452 was Ladislas released and 57 Annales, XII, 237. 58 Stanisław Gawęda et al., Rozbiór krytyczny Annalium Jana Długosza z lat 1385-1444 (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1961), 318. 59 Annales, XII, 242.

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put under the protection of Ulrich II, Count of Celje (1406-1456). This time his legitimacy went unchallenged. The instalment of Ladislas on the Bohemian throne, despite his age, also went unquestioned. It was much easier for the estates to accept the authority of a teenage king under the tutelage of a powerful (albeit disliked) lord, such as János Hunyadi or Jiří of Poděbrad (1420-1471), than an infant under the guardianship of a queen. The Czech annals mention that the coronation of ‘young king Ladislas, who was not yet fifteen years old’60 took place in Prague on the feast of Simeon and Jude. The sources also note the exceptional beauty of the young monarch and his wisdom.61 Matthias Corvinus, the successor of Ladislas V, who died unexpectedly in 1457, was considered a minor when he was acclaimed the king of Hungary on January 24, 1458. The event was described flatteringly by Thuróczy, who notes that it was the common consent of the people that urged the opposing nobles to accept Matthias as a king: [T]he entire Hungarian people walking through the broad streets of the city, as well as a crowd of children running about here and there, kept saying and loudly shouting: ‘We want Matthias to be king; God has chosen him for our protection; and he indeed is the one we also choose.’ For all the people participating in this congregation, except for those who were anxious and fearful because of the crime committed against him, were moved by love to want him, so that they wished for his elevation to the royal state more than all delights. Therefore a noble council of lords who were prelates, barons, and leading men of the kingdom was brought together, and it pleased all the Hungarian people that Count Matthias be adorned with the royal dignity and rule the kingdom of Hungary […].62 [Omne] Hungaricum vulgus latas civitatis per plateas deambulans puerorumque cetus hinc inde cursitans loquebatur, et alta voce clamabat: Mathiam volumus esse regem, hunc nostra pro tutela deus elegit, hunc quidem et nos eligamus. Tanto enim cunctus eiusdem congregationis populus preter illos, in quibus commissi in eum criminis timor laborabat, erga ipsum ducebatur amoris desiderio, ut supra omnes delicias ipsum regium ad culmen pervenire optabant. Nobile ergo illud dominorum 60 Ze starych letopisů českých. Ze staročeského originálu převedli Jaroslav Porák a Jaroslav Kašpar (Praha: Svoboda, 1980), 176. 61 Ibid., 176; Bonfini, Rerum Ungaricarum Decades, III, decas VII, l. 322. 62 Thuróczy, Chronicle of the Hungarians, 207.

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prelatorum baronum procerumque regni consilium unitum est, omnique Hungarice genti placuit, ut comes Mathias regia adornatus dignitate regno Hungarie dominetur […].63

As Matthias was still a boy and, as Thuróczy notes, ‘unable to sustain the weight of the troubles of so vast a kingdom, so great were the problems confronting him,’64 his uncle Mihály Szilágyi (c. 1400-1460) was appointed governor of both the kingdom and the young king. The political ambitions of Szilágyi, strong opposition against the Hunya­ dis, the capture of Matthias by Jiří of Poděbrad in Prague, and the Holy Crown being in the possession of Frederick III were among the unfavourable circumstances of Matthias’ accession. Nonetheless, Thuróczy’s narrative presents the first activities of the young ruler, after his release and enthronement on February 14, 1458, as independent, valid and efficient. His authority is shown as stemming from the principle of electivity, as well as from exceptional personal features that made Matthias ‘born to rule.’ As Radu Lupescu observes, it was exceptional that a teenage king would start to reign independently ‘without even the aura of a coronation to back him up.’65 The young king dealt skilfully and energetically with both the opposition and the powerful governor; this, along with a few instances of good luck – notably the death of the main leaders of the opposition – prevented the outbreak of a civil war.66 Negotiations with Friderick III, who had laid his claims to the Hungarian throne after the death of Ladislas V, ended only on July 19, 1463, and the following year Frederick returned the Holy Crown with which Matthias was officially crowned, on March 29, 1464, as a mature twenty-one year old ruler. Matthias’ sole offspring, from an affair with Barbara Edelpöck, was János (1473-1504). He was well-educated and promoted as Matthias’ heir as early as 1481; one year later he was elevated to count.67 Shortly before Matthias’ death, János became one of the richest and most powerful aristocrats 63 Idem, Chronica Hungarorum, I, 283. 64 Ibid., 283. English quotation after: Thuróczy, Chronicle of the Hungarians, 207. 65 Radu Lupescu, ‘The Election and Coronation of King Matthias,’ in Matthias Corvinus the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court, 1458-1490, ed. Péter Farbaky et al. (Budapest: Budapest History Museum, 2008), 193. 66 More on the course of events following the election of Matthias Corvinus: Karl Nehring, Matthias Corvinus, Kaiser Friedrich III und das Reich. Zum hunyadisch-habsburgischen Gegensatz im Donauraum (München: R. Oldenbourg, 1975), 13-23. 67 Enikő Spekner, ‘‟…To Be Judged Worthy of Your Illustrious Father and to Rule over the Hungarians…” Matthias’ Struggle for John Corvinus’ Succession,’ in Matthias Corvinus, the King, 513.

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in Hungary, thanks to the royal donations of castles, manorial houses, market towns and villages.68 The ground for his succession was prepared by diplomatic actions, land grants, matrimonial plans, genealogical myths, historical accounts and likenesses of the boy which followed the models of royal portraits. However the vivente rege coronation of another teenage king was prevented by the opposition of Matthias’ wife Beatrice of Aragon (14571508) and a faction of barons and prelates, along with the weak dynastic claims of the Hunyadis, the fact of János’ illegitimate birth and, above all, a series of powerful counter-candidates originating from the royal families of the Jagiellons and the Habsburgs, who fought for domination in the region. Soon, however, two vivente rege coronations – the first since the thirteenth century – took place, first in Hungary and then in Poland. The earlier of the two was the coronation of Louis, the son of Matthias’ successor Wladislas II (1456-1516) from the house of Jagiellon, who, as an infant, was crowned king of Hungary on June 4, 1508 and king of Bohemia on March 11, 1509. Wladislas II had to seek the consent of the diet, and agreed to concessions to it, in order to secure Louis’ right of succession and to proceed with his coronation. The coronation patent mentions that the vivente rege accession of the young king would assure peace and secure the succession of the Hungarian throne in the event of Wladislas’ death. The guardianship of the young king would be entrusted to the estates.69 The growing participation of lay notables in matters of the kingdom also left its stamp on the proceedings of the coronation. The account of Vicenzo Guidotto notes the significant role of the Hungarian palatine, who asked the gathered people three times whether they accepted Louis as their king. After they agreed and shouted ‘Let him be crowned king of Hungary!,’70 the baby was crowned with a crown that turned out to be too big for the child’s head and had to be held by the archbishop and palatine. Guidotto also found it striking that, because of Louis’ young age, the coronation oath was taken by Wladislas. The relationship of power and the transmission of authority between the two kings is expressed in the Venetian delegate’s account, which refers to Wladislas as rex and to his son as regulus. The close relationship between rex and regulus is also reflected in the medals made in silver and gold by an unknown artist in 1508 commemorating Louis’ Hungarian coronation. The most popular redaction shows a profile portrait of crowned Wladislas on the obverse, and his crowned son 68 Ibid., 515. 69 The coronation patent was reprinted by Bak, Königtum und Stände, 161-163. 70 Sanuto, I Diarii, VII, 561.

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portrayed as a baby sitting on a cushion on the reverse. The inscription introduces Wladislas as the king of Hungary and Bohemia by the grace of God, and Louis as his crowned son; the medal, however, avoids attributing the title of king to the boy,71 suggesting that Louis’ authority comes from the powerful position of his father. What is worth noting is the physiognomy of the two-year old child presented on the medal. Actual depictions of a baby’s body rarely find their way into the official royal iconography, and royal infants are often depicted as older boys; this tendency is exemplified by a medal, executed by Giovanni Maria Padovano (c. 1493-1574), which presents an image of the two-year old Sigismund Augustus.72 In the case of Louis, however, the depiction of the baby king was copied almost two decades after his death and disseminated in numerous silver and golden medals that cherished the good memory of the boy and his efficiency as a defender of the kingdom.73 The accounts of Louis’ Bohemian coronation note the cries of the boy during the ceremony, which took place in the Prague church of St. Vitus on the Sunday before the feast of St. Gregory: The king was crowned by three bishops, one of Olomouc, one of Wrocław and one of Meissen. He was only two-and a half-years old, and when the bishops placed the crown on his head he cried. He hardly understood what was going on. Korunovali ho tři biskupové, olomoucký, vratislavský a míšeňský. Bylo mu teprve dva a půl roku, a když mu biskupom kladli na Havlu korunu, plakal; sotva si asi nĕco z toho uvĕdomoval.74

71 WLADISLAVS D[EI] G[RATIA] R[EX] VNGARIE ET BOHEMIE (obverse) and CORONATVS; LUDOVICUS FILIVS R[EGIS] VNGA[RIE] & BOHEMIE 1508 (reverse): Gumowski, Medale Jagiellonów (Kraków: L. Anczyc i spółka, 1906), 16-17; plate I 3, 4, 7. 72 Ibid., 65; plate XVIII 67. 73 The medal was minted from a new stamp in Kremnica in 1544, in both gold and silver. The averse bears a similar depiction of Louis as the coronation medal, the reverse, however, is changed; the legend informs that, if this boy had still been alive, Buda would have been strong and the people of the Pannonian kingdom would have been valiant as they were: BVDA POTENS ET PANNONY GENS MARTIA REGNI QVOD FVIT ESSET SI VIVERET ISTE PVER: ibid., 37-38; plate IX 35-37. 74 Ze starych letopisů českých, 312.

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Apart from Louis, the childish behaviour of his five-year old sister Anna was also noted during the ceremony; she reportedly cried having hoped to be crowned instead of her brother.75 Wladislas II died in 1516, and only five years later did Louis reach maturity and begin his independent rule; in 1521 he confirmed the oath given by his father. However, the reign of the young king would end both quickly and tragically with his death at the battle of Mohács on August 29, 1526. The only long-lasting reign of a king crowned in his early years was that of Sigismund Augustus. His election came as a surprise for the diet thanks to the energetic action of king Sigismund I (1467-1548) and queen mother Bona Sforza (1494-1557).76 The coronation diet however urged the king to formulate and guarantee the rules of free elections for the future. The king had to declare that the vivente rege coronation was an exception to the normal custom, and that the young king would begin his reign only after Sigismund’s death.77 As in the case of Wladislas, the estates reserved the right to disobey the young king in the event he did not confirm the laws and privileges.78 Nonetheless, protests against the vivente rege coronation were among the reasons for the first rokosz (anti-monarchial rebellion of the gathered noble hosts) of 1537. An indication of the discontent surrounding the coronation of Sigismund Augustus is present in the coronation account of February 20, 1530. It records that the ceremony was conducted by the archbishop of Gniezno, Jan Łaski (1456-1531), with the assistance of the bishop of Cracow, Piotr Tomicki (1464-1535), and the bishop of Płock, Andrzej Krzycki (1482-1537). When the coronation mass was over, the ten-year old king was led to the tomb of St. Stanislaus, greeted by the Polish estates and, after an intonation of Te Deum, escorted to the castle. On the next day Sigismund, dressed in his coronation garb, sat on the throne in the Cracow market. On his right sat his father, and on the left his mother. He accepted acts of fealty and dubbed knights. The coronation account closes with an unfavourable political prognosis for the young monarch: When the king sat on the throne, high above him flew a characteristic bird, which in Polish is called pustułka [English: kestrel]. It captured 75 Václav Vladivoj Tomek, Dějepis města Prahy, 12 vols. (Praha: Řivnáč, 1855-1901), X, 266. 76 Anna Sucheni-Grabowska, Zygmunt August. Król polski i wielki książę litewski 1520-1562 (Kraków: Towarzystwo Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych ‘Universitas,’ 2010), 19. 77 Ibid., 32. 78 Ibid.

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and tormented a mouse. This was understood by people who know such matters as a sign that his rule will not be very glorious. Interea vero dum rex in throno residet, avis quaedam niso similis, pustułka lingua Polona nuncupata, quae mures capit ac infestat, supra thronum in alto volitabat. Quod augurium apud intelligentes homines non satis gloriosi futuri ejus imperii existimatum est.79

This ominous interpretation of the appearance of the kestrel does not follow the usual associations of a raptor with swiftness and the power of nature. Rather it reflects the hierarchy of birds of prey in which kestrels are assigned a lower status. The child, by analogy, is shown to occupy an inferior position in the political hierarchy, and it is implied that his rule cannot be as glorious as that of an adult monarch. In medieval and early modern iconography small birds of prey often accompany young men of high birth. A small predatory bird appears on the woodcut showing the one-year old Sigismund Augustus in the genealogical treatise of Decius. The image presents the prince as the natural heir to Sigismund I, with the regalia held by five putti. It shows the boy as older than he was, a gallant youth who may in the future fit the image of a respected ruler. Likewise, Sigismund Augustus is described as ‘the rightful heir’ (‘prawy dziedzicz’) from a famous family of the Jagiellons in the occasional poem by Stanisław Kleryka (c. 1493-1562), commemorating young king’s accession to Lithuanian and Polish thrones. Kleryka was a chaplain of Sigismund I, closely connected to the royal family. Hence he describes the early coronation of the boy as a sign of God’s grace and future fortune. Interestingly, he also stresses that the coronation of Sigismund Augustus was the initiative of the Polish nobility (inspired by the Holy Spirit) undertaken in order to prevent political difficulties.80 Sigismund Augustus was the last child king in Polish history, yet as an adult he would become an active political player, first in 1544 as grand duke of Lithuania and then, after the death of Sigismund I in 1548, as sole king of Poland. The system of free, viritim elections, introduced after his 79 Acta Tomiciana, XII, 57. 80 Stanisław Kleryka, O powyzszeniu Sigmu[n]ta Augusta krolewicza na Ksiestwo Wielkie Litewske. 1529; item: O powyzszeniu tegoz Sigmunta Augusta krolewicza na Krolewstwo Polské. 1530, Kraków [s.d.]); reprinted in Eugeniusz Barwiński, Ludwik Antoni Birkenmajer, Jan Nepomucen Bonifacy Łoś, Sprawozdanie z poszukiwań w Szwecji dokonanych z ramienia Akademii Umiejętności (Kraków: Akademia Umiejętności, 1914), 302-304.

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Figure 1 Unknown master, Sigismund Augustus

In Jodocus Ludovicus Decius, Contenta: De vetvstatibvs Polonorvm liber I; De Iagellonvm familia liber II; De Sigismvndi regis (Impressum Craccouiae: opera atq[ue] industria Hieronymi Vietoris, XII 1521), The National Library of Poland, SD XVI.F.611 adl., fol. E6r. The National Digital Library Polona – public domain

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death, excluded the possibility of the accession of a child king. In Hungary, some fourteen years after the death of Louis II, the three-month old John Sigismund Zapolya (1540-1571) was proclaimed king. His reign, however, was ephemeral and tragic. His election violated the agreement of Nagyvárad (1538) that granted Ferdinand I of Habsburg (1503-1564) succession to the Hungarian throne. The Habsburg fought for his right and the boy escaped with his mother Isabella (1519-1559), to the newly created ‘Eastern Hungarian Kingdom’ and ruled there until signing the treaty of Speyer (1570), which deprived him of the title of king of Hungary in favour of Maximilian (15271576). John Sigismund remained a prince of Transylvania until his death in 1571. Seventeenth-century Hungary and Bohemia witnessed vivente rege coronations of teenage kings, namely Ferdinand IV (1633-1654), Leopold I (1640-1705) and the nine-year old Joseph I (1678-1711), whose accession was part of the succession politics of the Habsburgs. Yet these young kings did not have to fit into the body politic of their kingdoms, but were rather imposed upon them.

Conclusions The child coronations carried out between the late thirteenth and early sixteenth centuries were a means of managing succession crises in times of constant bargaining between rulers and estates. They occurred either after the death of the previous king or during his lifetime to ensure the integrity of the kingdom, and to bestow the kingship of a minor with symbolic authority. In the case of a vivente rege coronation, especially, the power granted to a little king (regulus) was only nominal and hardly comparable to that of his ruling father (rex). Similarly the coronation of a girl was perceived as an inconvenient necessity that would eventually lead to the transfer of the crown to her future husband and sons. It was easier to justify the regnal suitability of immature kings in the case of male teenage monarchs than in that of infant or female rulers. Literary and visual representations of child coronations were coloured by the descriptions of the physical challenges faced by baby kings during the ceremonies, and by the emotional responses to their accessions. Accounts of the accessions of teenage kings often note the young age of the king, but only rarely present it as discrediting factor. The main strategies employed to strengthen the authority of young rulers in the literary and visual representations of coronations may be divided into three main groups. The first and most common stresses the

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child’s dynastic and legal rights, and presents them as the natural heirs of their parents. Such accounts refer to blood-ties of the children and recall the names of their renowned relatives, especially those who bore royal or imperial titles. The principle of electivity is highlighted most strongly in accounts of coronations of kings belonging to a dynasty which had not previously ruled in a particular kingdom. This was done by claiming that the young monarchs were supported by a majority of their people and listing the names of the most powerful and well-known among their supporters. The second group of strategies is centred around supernatural providence, the special assistance of saints, and auspicious omens that favour the young monarchs as well as prove their special status as an intermediary between God and their subjects. References to patron saints of the kingdom or their relics anchor the inauguration of a king in the history of local cults and the political tradition of a particular polity. The most significant among these were references to St. Stephen, the Holy Crown (Hungarian Kingdom), and St. Stanislaus (Polish Kingdom). The third group revolves around stressing the exceptional maturity of children, their physical strength and extraordinary wisdom, and thus their extraordinary suitability to rule. In order to adapt this strategy successfully, the accounts keep to the natural limitations of a child’s body and use the attributes typical for a particular life phase, otherwise they could all too easily be misinterpreted, contested or even ridiculed. The most common manoeuvre used to challenge the coronation of a child involved presenting the ceremony as an emotional spectacle prepared and conducted by women, and often featuring a suspension of the customary order and tradition. The loud cries of babies detracted from the gravitas of the ceremony. Similarly, every modification of the rituals necessitated by the age of the child monarch could serve to put their validity into question. References to the young age of a monarch were a double-edged weapon. They could be used to expose the king’s inability to protect the kingdom, maintain order and pass judgements, but they could also testify to the innocence of the ruler’s intentions and motivations for bringing prosperity to the kingdom. Depending on the intentions of an author’s account, the coronation of a young ruler could be presented as a serious risk to the decomposition of the body politic or a chance for its revival. Yet regardless of the agendas of the various authors, the immature body of the king was always in a state of dynamic interaction with the corporate body of his kingdom.

We Were the Trojans Rhetoric and Political Community in Medieval and Early Modern Sarmatia and Illyria Aleksander Sroczyński

There exists a fascinating link between the conflicting tendencies toward self-preservation and self-destruction in the state, a link which manifested itself politically and theologically during the Middle Ages and early modern period as visions of falling kingdoms and republics. In the present study, I wish to approach this phenomenon from a comparative perspective, focusing on the regions which early modern writers dubbed Sarmatia and Illyria (with some examples taken also from Pannonia) as well as current academic research regarding national philologies and histories undertaken respectively by departments of Old-Polish and Old-Croatian. From these two geographical areas similar ideologies emerged; not only can we observe the idea of antemurale christianitatis (the bulwark of Christendom) used to describe the ongoing confrontation with the non-Christian world, but also a tendency to include only the noblemen in political representation.1 These shared characteristics should not imply that the idea of the falling polity served the same function in both regions, but rather will highlight specific qualities of these different cultures. It would, of course, be difficult to address all instances in which these cultures evoked the real, fictional and professed ends of political bodies as part of the ideology of power; the present study will instead limit itself to selected instances in which Troy,

1 On the antemurale christianitatis see for instance Joanna Rapacka, Leksykon tradycji chorwackich, sv. ‘Przedmurze’ (Warszawa: Slawistyczny Ośrodek Wydawniczy, 1997), 142-145; Janusz Tazbir, ‘Od antemurale do przedmurza, dzieje terminu,’ Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce 29 (1984): 166-184; Urszula Borkowska, ‘The Ideology of “Antemurale” in the Sphere of Slavic Culture (13th-17th Centuries),’ in The Common Christian Roots of the European Nations: An International Colloquium in the Vatican, 2 vols. (Florence: Le Monnier, 1982), II, 1206-1221; Paul W. Knoll, ‘Poland as antemurale christianitatis in the Late Middle Ages,’ The Catholic Historical Review 60, no. 3 (October 1974): 381-401; Wiktor Weintraub, ‘Renaissance Poland and Antemurale Christianitatis,’ Harvard Ukrainian Studies 3/4, no. 2 (1979-1980): 920-930; More on the noblemen as political representations in Jenő Szűcs, ‘The Three Historical Regions of Europe: An Outline,’ Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 29, no. 2/4 (1983): 131-184.

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the foremost of fallen cities and kingdoms, was used in Latin and Old-Polish2 texts between the Middle Ages and the sixteenth century. The city of Troy, to borrow a phrase from Levi-Strauss, is something good to think with, and it was not uncommon for peoples of the past to consider themselves in relation to the Trojans. As Alan Shepard and Stephen D. Powell put it: Such [Trojan] myths served to legitimate the identities, distinctiveness, and gloriousness of various individuals and groups. But the myths also brought with them their own warning. By linking their pasts to Troy, medieval and early modern Europeans were surely also questioning their own futures. Bluntly, if Troy could fall, so too could they.3

If the story of the falling city could help to establish, consolidate and preserve a polity, the ability to create such narratives was an important asset of a community. In a recent book on political theologies, Victoria Kahn has used the term poiesis in reference to the ability of fiction and art to bind individuals into a political unit; this human ability becomes more pronounced when theological means of legitimisation fail. 4 In the present study, I will examine how poiesis worked in the Middle Ages, and how it became intertwined with Renaissance modes of legitimisation.5 Specifically, it will discuss the presence of the Trojan myth among both Polish nobles and Dalmatian patricians, and how it was used as a metaphor, as an aspect of genealogical discourse, as an exemplum, and finally as a paradigm. In examining the works several key medieval chroniclers and writers from Croatia and Poland – including Marko Marulić’s In epigrammata priscorum commentarius (Commentary on Ancient Inscriptions), Vinko Pribojević’s De origine successibusque Slavorum (On the Origin and the Glory of the Slavs), Stanisław Orzechowski’s Mowa w Sądowej Wiszni and Dialog około 2 Useful overview is provided by Jerzy Mańkowski, ‘Historia trojańska w literaturze i kulturze polskiej wieku XVI,’ Meander 17 (1962): 137-147, 252-268, 360-368. 3 Alan Shepard and Stephen D. Powell, ‘Introduction,’ in Fantasies of Troy: Classical Tales and the Social Imaginary in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, eds. Alan Shepard and Stephen D. Powell (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2004), 1-2. 4 Victoria Kahn, The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts (Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 2014). Cf. Anrzej Probulski’s paper ‘The Supermen’s Two Bodies: the Body, the Costume, and the Legitimacy of Power in the DC Universe Narratives’ elsewhere in this volume. 5 Kahn, The Future of Illusion, 3: this notion of poiesis differs from the more familiar Renaissance notion that human creativity is modeled on the divine creativity of God and authorized by the principle that man is made ‘in the image and likeness of God.’

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egzekucyjej Polskiej Korony (Oration in Sądowa Wisznia and Conversation or Dialogue about the Execution of the Polish Crown), and Jan Kochanowski’s Wróżki and Odprawa posłów greckich (Prophesies and Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys) – I will illustrate how Trojan motifs were employed as a means of legitimising new political communities, as an example for Christian edification, and as a stage on which the relationship between rhetoric and community might be dramatised. Troy as Metaphor Troy was not perceived favourably in the Middle Ages; as Stephen A. Barney notes: Since the Augustinian revision of the value of earthly cities, the genre de excidio, ‘concerning the destruction’ of famous cities, was nearly as widespread as its companion genre de casibus, ‘concerning the falls’ of the famous. Augustine’s Rome declined because it was not the City of God; Troy, too, was a mere city, founded on perjury (City of God 3.2) and demolished in adultery. The Middle Ages typically took Troy as a figure of human pride and the world-shaking consequences of sin.6

For St. Augustine, Troy was first and foremost an example of an earthly city, and thus not highly valued. Other medieval writers, however, drew different conclusions from the archetypal fallen city. The anonymous author of the Gesta principum Polonorum – the first Polish chronicle, written sometime around 1112-1116 – writes: The fame and martial exploits of the Romans or the Gauls would never have been so celebrated throughout the world if they were not preserved in the testimony of writers for posterity to remember and imitate. Troy, too, that greatest of cities, though she lies ruined and deserted, has been enshrined in eternal memory by the writings of the poets. Her walls are levelled, her towers cast down, her broad and pleasant quarters are uninhabited and in the palaces of her kings and princes lurk the hidden lairs and trails of wild beasts; yet writings loudly proclaim the fame of

6 Stephen A. Barney ‘Troy,’ in The Spenser Encyclopedia, ed. Albert Charles Hamilton et al. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 701; James Carscallen, ‘How Troy Came to Spenser,’ in Fantasies of Troy, 15-38.

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Troy and her citadel the world over. Hector and Priam are more sung now that they are in the dust than when they sat on the throne.7 Numquam enim fama vel militia Romanorum vel Gallorum sic celeberrima per mundum haberetur, nisi scriptorum testimoniis memorie posterorum et imitationi servaretur. Maxima quoque Troia, quamvis destructa iacet et deserta, eterne tamen memorie poetarum titulis est inserta. Muri coequati, turres destructe iacent, loca spaciosa et amena habitatore carent, in palatiis regum et principum lustra ferarum et cubilia secreta latent, Troie tamen Pergama ubique terrarum scriptura clamante predicantur. Hector et Priamus plus in pulvere, quam in regni solio recitantur.8

Troy, for the author of the Gesta, becomes a metaphor for any community that transcends its own destruction by virtue of the historiography and poetry that accumulates around it; thanks to the presence of Troy in literature, its fame was able to outlive the physical existence of the city itself. We find a similar argument in the Gesta Hungarorum (probably composed before the 1230s); its author, an anonymous notary of king Béla, claims to have been motivated to write the history of the Hungarians after reading the Trojan history of Dares: When we were together at school reading with common purpose the story of Troy that I had brought most lovingly together into one volume from the books of Dares Phrygius and the other authors, in suitable style, as I was taught by my masters, you asked me that, in the same way as I had written on the history of Troy and on the wars of the Greeks, so to write for you of the genealogy of the kings of Hungary and of their noblemen: how the seven leading persons, who are called Hetumoger, came down from the Scythian land, what that Scythian land was like and how Prince Álmos, from whom the kings of Hungary trace their origin, is called the first prince of Hungary, and how many realms and rulers they conquered and why the people coming forth from the Scythian land are called Hungarians in the speech of foreigners but Magyars in their own.9 7 Gallus Anonymus, Gesta principum Polonorum = The Deeds of the Princes of the Poles, trans. and annot. by Paul W. Knoll and Frank Schaer (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2003), 213. 8 Ibid., 212. 9 Anonymous, notary of King Béla, ‘Gesta Hungarorum = The Deeds of the Hungarians,’ in Anonymus and Master Roger, Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii Gesta Hungarorum = Anonymus, Notary

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Dum olim in scolari studio simul essemus et in hystoria Troiana, quam ego cum summo amore complexus ex libris Darethis Frigii ceterorumque auctorum, sicut a magistris meis audiveram, in unum volumen proprio stilo compilaveram, pari voluntate legeremus, petisti a me, ut, sicut hystoriam Troianam bellaque Grecorum scripseram, ita et genealogiam regum Hungarie et nobilium suorum, qualiter septem principales persone, que Hetumoger vocantur, de terra Scithica descederunt vel qualis sit terra Scithica et qualiter sit generatus dux Almus aut quare vocatur Almus primus dux Hungarie, a quo reges Hungarorum origninem duxerunt, vel quot regna et reges sibi subiugaverunt aut quare populus de terra Scithica egressus per ydioma alienigenarum Hungarii et in sua lingua propria Mogerii vocantur, tibi scriberem.10

As in the first example, Troy is here employed as a metaphor, although the Hungarian author is equally interested in martial stories and origin myths. Both of the anonymous chroniclers found it necessary to invoke Troy as a means of justifying their own gestae, however the focus of each author is slightly different: while the Polish author draws attention to the transcendent power of literary artefacts, the Hungarian notary sees in Troy a model for the origin story of a warlike people. The fifteenth-century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz (1415-1480) also notes, in the preface to his monumental Annales, that Dares and Homer are among the historiographers who participated in the events they described: There was and will be no one and the same reason, for which the historians write and work. Some do it in order to gain the glory and honour among their contemporaries and posterity thanks to embellished style. We know that Titus Livy was among them. […] Others write in order to endear themselves to those whose military virtues they praise. Others undertook this kind of occupation, because they were themselves active during the peace and war in great and momentous events, which can be said or presumed about Homer, Dares, Quintus Curtius, Plutarch.

of King Béla, The Deeds of the Hungarians, edited, translated and annotated by Martyn Rady and László Veszprémy; Magistri Rogerii Epistola in miserabile carmen super destructione regni Hungarie per Tartaros facta = Master Roger’s Epistle to the Sorrowful Lament upon the Destruction of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Tartars, translated and annotated by János M. Bak and Martyn Rady (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2010), 3. 10 Ibid., 2.

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Et quoniam non una et eadem fuit, est et erit hystoriarum conscriptoribus laboris et scribendi causa, cum alii ut gloriam honoremque aput presentes et posteros ex ornatu aucupent (quale aliquid Tito Livio provenisse scimus […]); alii ut graciam referant eorum, quorum virtutes bellicas laudant; alii quod rebus magnis et arduis pace vel bello gestis affuere, genus assumpsere laboris, quod de Homero, Darete, Quinto Curcio, Plutarcho aut credi aut presumi potest […].11

In fact, Długosz denies that he was inspired by any of these purposes, but rather by the greatness of affairs which have not yet been described, along with a love of his homeland and of his fellow humans who may be edified by reading his work. The works of Dares and Homer stand, in this case, for historical writing motivated by an eagerness to transmit eyewitness testimony. The metahistorical use that Długosz makes of Troy is thus different from that found in the earlier chroniclers mentioned above.

Trojan Myth as Genealogy The Trojan myth could also be invoked in the context of genealogy. The Spalatin chronicler Archdeacon Thomas (1200-1268) was eager to employ it in his history of Dalmatia, incorporating the Trojans into the genealogy of the Dalmatians. Thomas, however, does not use Troy in the same way as one might find in French legends, or in the English tale of Brutus the Trojan;12 instead, the Trojans are the adversary: 11 Ioannis Dlugossii Annales seu Cronicae incliti Regni Poloniae, 11 vols. [hereafter: Annales] (Varsaviae: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1964-2001; Cracoviae: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 2005), I, ed. Jan Dąbrowski (1964), 51-52. If not stated otherwise, translation is provided by the author [A.S.]. 12 Paul Cohen, ‘In Search of the Trojan Origins of French: The Uses of History in the Elevation of the Vernacular in Early Modern France,’ in Fantasies of Troy, 63-80; Also Sheila Das, ‘The Disappearance of the Trojan Legend in the Historiography of Venice,’ in Fantasies of Troy, 97-114. Jörg Schulte, ‘Paflagońscy Henetowie. Historia jednego mitu etnogenetycznego w historiografii humanistycznej,’ in Humanizm Polski. Długie trwanie – tradycje – współczesność (studia i materiały), ed. Alina Nowicka-Jeżowa et al. (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Neriton, 2009), 293-313. Regrettably I could not use the latest work on the Trojan myth in Croatian culture as it was published after this article had been completed. See Luka Špoljarić, ‘Illyrian Trojans in a Turkish Storm: Croatian Renaissance Lords and the Politics of Dynastic Origin Myths,’ in Portraying the Prince in the Renaissance. The Humanist Depiction of Rulers in Historiographical and Biographical Texts, eds. Patrick Baker, Ronny Kaiser, Maike Priesterjahn and Johannes Helmrath (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2016), 121-156.

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Antenor the Trojan sailed past this province when fleeing the fall of his city, and engaged in many battles with the Dalmatian people. At last he reached the region of Venice, and, advancing further, he built the city of Patavium, which is now called Padua, on the banks of the River Po, as we read in Vergil.13 Per mare huius provintie transivit Antenor Troyanus, qui sue urbis evadens excidium cum gente Dalmatica prelia multa commisit, ad ultimum pervenit ad partes Venetiarum. Et inde progrediens super oras Padi fluminis edificavit civitatem Patavium, que nunc Padua nuncupatur, sicut in Virgilio legitur.14

Thomas invoked the Trojan myth in order to present a vision of an autonomous, autochthonous and belligerent Dalmatian people, who had already established themselves at a time when important Italian urban centres of Trojan origin (Padua and Rome) had not yet been founded. Sometimes the motif of Trojan genealogy was presented as a model for ethnic origins. Vinko Pribojević (c. 1480-1532), a Dominican friar from Hvar and a former student at the University of Cracow, opened his account of the origin of the Slavs with a passage on the beginnings of peoples: And what do I say about how many people voluntarily or forced by various wars departed from the seats of their fathers and lost not only the land of their ancestors but also their ancient names? Thus, the fire of Troy was a beginning of many famous cities and nations, because the Trojans (as Pliny says) gave new names to the various places, but one of them (as Sabellicus concludes) are called Romans and the others Venetians. Caton indeed (according to Pliny’s testimony) claims that Venetians originated from the Trojan people. There are also Tyri who followed the chaste Dido (as the same Sabellicus says), later were called Carthaginians. And many others whom I deliberately don’t mention, changed their ancient names when were conquered by the enemies or mixed with the newcomers thus obscuring the history. 13 Archdeacon Thomas of Split, Historia Salonitanorum atque Spalatinorum pontificum = History of the Bishops of Salona and Split, eds. Damir Karbić, Mirjana Matijević Sokol and James Ross Sweeney (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2006), 5. For more on Archdeacon’s historiographical strategies see Nenad Ivić, Domišljanje prošlosti. Kako je trinaestoljetni splitski arhidakon Toma napravio svoju salonitansku historiju (Zagreb: Zavod za znanost o književnosti, 1992). 14 Archdeacon Thomas of Split, Historia Salonitanorum atque Spalatinorum pontificum, 4.

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Quid quod multae nationes sponte aut uariis agitatae bellis patrias sedes deserentes non minus antiqua cognomina quam auita loca perdiderunt? Sic Troiae incendium clarissimarum urbium populorumque, Troianis pro locorum diuersitate nouas appellationes sortitis (ut Plinius inquit), origo fuit, ut hi quidem (sicut Sabellico placet) Romani, illi autem Veneti nuncupentur. Nam Venetos (teste Plinio) Troiana stirpe ortos auctor est Cato. Sic et Tyrii pudicissimam Didonem sequuti (ut idem Sabellicus inquit) Carthaginenses in posterum dicti sunt, multique alii, quorum memoriam consulto ommitto, uel ab hostibus oppressi uel suis hospitibus adiuncti uariata prisca nuncupatione historiae ueritatem obumbrauerunt.15

Pribojević is concerned with legitimising the origin myth, and Troy provides a useful example by which the history of his nation may be validated: if Romans and Venetians can claim the Trojan ancestry, the Slavic nation, despite centuries of geographical displacement and changes of names, possesses an equally valid connection to antiquity. In this example, Troy becomes not merely an element of identity, but a paradigm for nationbuilding; a community that experiences trauma together, or one that has been formed through alliances with other peoples, may be considered a legitimate political entity. When Livy speaks about the mythical beginnings of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita I, 1), he also provides two visions of community, one created by means of coercion, the other formed by commingling the autochthonous population with the Trojans, who will ultimately be known as Romans. For Pribojević, the presence of the Troy in origin myths of the Romans and the Venetians suggests that these fictions offered a powerful means of integrating the community. The act of incorporating the image of a fallen polity at the birth of one’s city can help to curb the self-destructive forces within a community, and can unite the people of that community in the face of a common enemy.

Troy as Exemplum In his In epigrammata priscorum commentarius, the Croatian humanist Marko Marulić (1450-1524) prefaces his discussion of the inscriptions in the ruins of Salona, the ancient capital of Roman Dalmatia, with a dedicatory letter to Domnik Papalić, his fellow patrician from Split, a town that claimed 15 Vinko Pribojević, O podrijetlu i slavi Slavena, trans. Veljko Gortan, Pavao Knezović (Zagreb: Golden marketing, Narodne novine, 1997), 55-56.

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to be a successor of Salona. In this letter, the longing of Aeneas for lost Troy is employed as a means of comparing the past glory of Salona to the present-day decline of Split. The imminent Ottoman thread to Dalmatia may have also been on Marulić’s mind: I have so far interpreted for you, dearest Dominik Papalić, foreign monuments, and now I shall bring you closer to written monuments of our ancestors which I observed scattered among the ruins and mosaics of Solin, wandering around together with you. I was thinking about the glory of our ancestors’ soil and, sighing, repeated Vergil’s verses: ‘We were Trojans, there was Ilium and the great glory of Teucrians.’ And now nothing!16 Hactenus externa tibi interpretatus sum, Dominice Papalis charissime, nunc maiorum nostrorum aperiemus monumenta, quę sępe tecum per Salonarum rudera parietinasque uagatus passim iacentia spectaui et interdum, patrii soli nostri quanta quondam gloria fuit mecum animo reuoluens, Vergilianum illud ingemiscendo repetebam: Fuimus Troes, fuit Illium et ingens gloria Teucrorum [Verg. Aen. 2,325-6], nunc nulla.17

The conclusions Marulić drew from his observations of the ruins of Salona are even more interesting. For Salona, as with Troy, there can be no return to past glory. Although there is a strong civic sentiment running through the letter, Marulić’s reasoning, which begins with the Trojan motif, leads him eventually to a very Christian solution: while glorious earthly cities may fall, ‘man must look for happiness outside the earth, outside the paths of year and sun.’18 One may assume that Marulić, following the advice of Erasmus whom Marulić greatly admired, is referring to the practice of Christian virtues in worldly life.19 16 Marko Marulić, The Marulić Reader, ed. Bratislav Lučin (Split: Književni krug: Hrvatski Svjetski Kongres, 2007), 87. 17 Ibid., 86. 18 Extra terram igitur, extra anni Solisque uias quęrenda hominum felicitas est: Marulić, The Marulić Reader, 88-89. 19 For full edition see Bratislav Lučin, Jedan model humanističke recepcije klasične antike: ‘In epigrammata priscorvm commentarivs’ Marka Marulića (PhD thesis, Filozofski fakultet, Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 2011), Jedan_model_humanisticke_recepcije_doktorat.pdf (accessed October 4, 2015). See also Gorana Stepanić, ‘Prvi iza Petrarke: recepcijski i percepcijski putovi Marulićeve zbirke In epigrammata priscorum commentarius,’ Colloquia Maruliana 16 (2007): 239-253.

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Stanisław Orzechowski (1513-1566), a married catholic priest and political polemic writer from Red Ruthenia, employed the very same locus from the Aeneid for very different purposes. Orzechowski’s remarks were confined to the fate of the Polish Kingdom and not the whole of Christendom. In an oration delivered to the seymik (local assembly) of Ruthenia in Sądowa Wisznia, he warns of future political disaster: The ultimate day of Poland and the miserable time have come, We were Poles, there was Poland and the great glory of Poles. We can all rightly say so, dear sirs, after Virgil the poet, whose verses were about the fall of Troy. The last day has come because of the Lublin seym, where if we don’t come to our senses, if we don’t return to the old law and customs, we, the Poles, will surely sing these verses with Virgil: there were Poles, there was Poland! Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus Poloniae, Fuimus Poloni, fuit Polonia et ingens gloria Polonorum. Możemy tak dziś prawdziwie wszyscy mówić, Mości Panowie, z Wergiluszem poetą, którego ta kantyka beła w trojańskiem upadku. Przyszedł dzień ostatni ten przez sjem lubelski, na którym jeśli się nie obaczym, jeśli do prawa i do obyczajów starych nie wrócimy się, i my pewnie, Polacy, tęż kantykę śpiewać z Wergiluszem będziemy: fuimus Poloni, fuit Polonia!20

This passages acts as a prelude to Orzechowski’s explanation that any future destruction will be self-inflicted as it will be the result of abandoning God, leading to universal discord in the kingdom (a direct consequence, in Orzechowski’s view, of the Reformation). Orzechowski goes on to elaborate his political doctrine regarding the Polish constitution, focusing on the role of the priest (especially the Primate, or archbishop, who according to Orzechowski is deprived of his rightful place in the republic) and the senate, both of whom should mediate between the plebeians and the king in order

20 Stanisław Orzechowski, Stanisława Orzechowskiego i Augustyna Rotundusa debata o Rzeczypospolitej, ed. Krzysztof Koehler, trans. Elwira Buszewicz (Kraków: Wyższa Szkoła Filozoficzno-Pedagogiczna ‘Ignatianum’: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2009), 226. For other instances of Orzechowski use of Vergil’s narrative on the destruction of Troy see Claude Backvis, ‘Odprawa posłów greckich’ tragedia klasyczna i dramat polski in idem, Szkice o kulturze staropolskiej, ed. Andrzej Biernacki, trans. Maria Daszkiewicz et al. (Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1975), 120-121.

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to protect the kingdom from becoming a tyranny.21 Finally, Orzechowski speaks of the king: We have a king coming from a pious dynasty, but still a mortal man. He must die, as every one of us. His death will certainly be a death of the Polish Kingdom, lest you sirs timely deliberate on that. Mamy króla, świętobliwego człowieka narodu, ale jednak śmiertelnego człowieka. Umrzeć musi, jako kożdy z nas. Śmierć jego śmiercią Królestwa Polskiego pewnie będzie, jeśliże o tym, panowie, w czas radzić nie będziecie.22

The subject of this passage was ostensibly the broken marriage between the childless king and his queen, who was sent back to her family in Vienna; yet not only does it use the body as a metaphor for the state, but suggests that the temporality of a polity should act as a catalyst for political action. In this instance Orzechowski hopes that the nobility will persuade the king to take back the queen and strive to have an heir. In Orzechowski’s view, it is still possible to avert the fall; however the solution involves not only reinstating the role of Primate and the senate, but must also rely on joint deliberation regarding political action: ‘for it has already come upon us Poles either to remain silent and perish, or deliberate and remain intact.’23 Silence, in this case, is equated with the death of the political community of the Polish Kingdom, and the fate of the state rests with its ability to address its problems in acts of speech. The implication that oratory can hold a country together and secure its existence allows us to understand how Orzechowski viewed his own orations as potential elements of political agency. Rhetoric is also an important subject in Orzechowski’s Rozmowa abo Dialog około egzekucyjej Polskiej Korony (1563). In this text, the link between a prosperous community and ars bene dicendi (the art of speaking well) is 21 For the full analysis of Orzechowski’s political doctrine in 1560s see Krzysztof Koehler, Stanisław Orzechowski i dylematy humanizmu renesansowego (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Arkana, 2004), 377-538, and especially: Steffen Huber, Polifonia tradycji. Filozofia praktyczna i teoretyczna Andrzeja Frycza Modrzewskiego (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Sub Lupa: Wydział ‘Artes Liberales,’ 2014), 179-214. 22 Orzechowski, Stanisława Orzechowskiego i Augustyna Rotundusa debata o Rzeczypospolitej, 232. 23 Gdyż już Polakom nam przyszło albo milczeć a zginąć, albo mówić a całemi zostać: ibid., 228.

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elaborated further. In the sixth dialogue Orzechowski echoes Cicero when he informs us that a republic has only two noble servants: the soldier in times of war, the orator in times of peace. By stressing the divine origin of language and speech – the tools of the orator’s trade – Orzechowski is able to propose a common ground between Christianity and republicanism; he finds a space for positive human engagement in community-building, but does not ignore the godly mandate of human institutions: Vain are arms outside, unless there is council at home; this home council is all conducted thanks to language, which language spoken wisely is the gift of God above all other gifts. This language gathered all the people into one society, erected the republics, gave people the laws, built the cities, taught all the virtues and showed way to valour and finally to spiritual salvation. Frustra enim foris arma, nisi sit consilium domi, które consilium domowe wszytko sie językiem sprawuje; który język mądrze mowny jest dar od Boga nad wszystkie dary. Ten język ludzie w jednę spółeczność zgromadził, rzeczypospolite postawił, prawa ludzióm dał, miasta zbudował, wszytkich cnót ludzi nauczył i drógę im ku dzielności i ku dusznemu zbawieniu na koniec ukazał.24

The passage illustrates how rhetoric and oratory occupy a central place within the state, and suggests that rhetoric cannot be supplanted with pure coercion. Rhetoric, in keeping with the Ciceronian model, is responsible not only for the council but for its fruits, the establishment of states, the provision of laws, the edification of cities and the teaching of morality. While such a lofty ideal might seem unrealistic, Orzechowski reinforces his idea of oratory by presenting a portrait of an ideal orator in contemporary Poland: What to say about Jan Ocieski, the chancelor of the Crown? […] Curious are his speeches: they contain the teaching, love, great excitation of people. That is our Chancellor, what others have only in part in their

24 Stanisław Orzechowski, Wybór pism, ed. Jerzy Starnawski (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1972), 424. Cf. Tadeusz Sinko, Erudycja klasyczna Orzechowskiego (Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 1939), 20; Cicero, De Oratore I 33. See also my article ‘Dylematy Stanisława Orzechowskiego wobec staropolskiej kultury retorycznej,’ in Literatura renesansowa w Polsce i Europie. Studia dedykowane Profesorowi Andrzejowi Borowskiemu, ed. Jakub Niedźwiedź (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 2016), 353-368.

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speeches he has all at his disposal: because he teaches, delights, moves he is a good man who is experienced in talking. Cóż tu rzeczewa o Janie Ocieskim, kanclerzu koronnym? […] Dziwne wóta są jego: jest w nich nauka, jest kochanie, jest też wzbudzenie ludzkie wielkie, owo Kanclerz nasz, co ini po części w mowach swych mają, to on wszytko u siebie ma: nam et docet, et delectat, et movet; owo jest vir bonus et dicendi peritus, którego, Panie Boże, racz nam chować ku dobremu Rzeczypospolitej na czasy długie.25

Jan Ocieski fulfils the three officia of the orator (docere, movere, delectare); and, as in the Mowa w Sądowej Wiszni, the existence and leadership of such men guarantees the survival of republic. Rhetoric, in other words, can dispel the long shadow of burning Troy. Troy as Paradigm Before I turn to the main source for this section – Odprawa posłów greckich of Jan Kochanowski (1530-1584), which presents Troy as the paradigm of a rotten polity – I would first like to draw on the same author’s later work to illustrate the possible causes that might precipitate the fall of a country. In a dialogue entitled Wróżki, first published in 1587,26 Kochanowski offered a critique of the current state of public affairs in Poland, claiming that it was heading towards destruction: Parson: […] All the people, small as well as great, commonly say, that we have died, yet I wouldn’t be able to tell a good reason for that, just that it is a common voice […]. The republics fall, as everything there is, either by internal, or by external cause. External cause is violence or the outside enemy. There seem to be more internal ones, but they all lead, as if streams to main river, to the discord, because of which the republics perish.

25 Stanisław Orzechowski, Wybór pism, 426-427. 26 The work was created between 1570 and 1572. For context see Edmund Kotarski, ‘Wróżki Jana Kochanowskiego,’ Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce 25 (1980): 79-98. First to raise the connection between Wróżki and Odprawa posłów greckich was Bronisław Nadolski: Bronisław Nadolski, ‘W sprawie genezy Odprawy posłów greckich,’ Ruch literacki 6 (1931): 161-166.

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Pleban: […] wszyscyć to ludzie, tak mali, jako i wielcy, wobec mówią, żeśmy zginęli, a bych dobrze żadnej przyczyny na to powiedzieć nie umiał, jedno że tak jest głos pospolity […]. Upadają rzeczypospolite, jako i każda rzecz wszelka, albo prze wnętrzną, albo prze zwierzchnią przyczynę. Zwierz­ chnia przyczyna jest gwałt lubo nieprzyjaciel postronny. Wnętrznych zda się być więcej, ale wszystki niemal jako strumienie do głównej rzeki tak do niezgody się ciągną, za którą rzeczypospolite niszczeją.27

Among many possible reasons for the failure of a state, the problem of ‘new orators’ is given special prominence. We have already observed, in the previous section, the high status accorded to rhetoric and oratory in Orzechowski’s vision of the Polish political order. Kochanowski, however, takes a different approach. Instead of searching for the perfect orator among his contemporaries, he turns to Cicero: Parson: Some verses that Cicero took from one old comedy come to my mind, and they serve our cause, because they speak about the fall of the republic. One person asks: ‘I ask how you lost so fast your republic?’ Another answers: ‘New orators came forth: stupid and very adolescent.’ Nobleman: Is not he speaking about our parliamentarians? Parson: You would interpret oratores as parliamentarians? Nobleman: How else? Is not it truth that in chancellery they write oratori nostro, to our parliamentarian. Pleban: Przychodzą mi na myśl wiersze jedne, które Cicero z jakiejści komedyjej starej przywodzi, a będą nam też służyć ku naszej rzeczy, bo o upadku rzeczypospolitej mówią. Pyta jeden: ‘Quaeso, qui vestram rempublicam tam cito amisistis? Oppowiada mu drugi: Proveniebant oratores novi, stulti, adolescentuli.’ Ziemianin: A nie o naszychże poślech mówi? Pleban: Chybabyś chciał oratores posły wykładać. Ziemianin: A jakoż? Aza nie tak w kancelaryjej piszą: oratori nostro, posłowi naszemu?28

Should ancient orators be equated with members of parliament? Kochanowski’s answer is no, not in this case, despite the convention of the chancellery. 27 Jan Kochanowski, Wróżki in Dzieła polskie, ed. Julian Krzyżanowski (Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1980), 683-684. 28 Ibid., 693.

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The lesson to be learned from the Ciceronian example is that a lack of virtue among counsellors will lead to the rotting of polity. Another problem is that of imitatio antiquorum: do examples from antiquity legitimise political action in the present? And to what extent do the ancient examples constitute a valid political model in the early modern world? For Kochanowski there are no easy answers, although he does retain a belief in the power of rhetoric. At one point he tells the story of bishop Czarnkowski’s residence, in which a series of portraits of Polish kings ends with Sigismund Augustus, and has only one place left for the currently-ruling Stephen Bathory. The lack of space for future kings augurs poorly for the survival of the kingdom. Yet such an inauspicious sign should not be taken as an argument for inaction or the abandonment of hope; quite the contrary, the protagonists of the dialogue agree: Nobleman: We should talk, how to avoid the collapse. Parson: Are not the seyms debating about that? Ziemianin: To by o tym mówić, jakoby temu upadkowi zabiegać. Pleban: Aza nie o tym na sejmach radzą?29

These words confirm the potential of oratory as a tool of self-preservation: when institutions fail and there is no obvious solution, rhetoric is needed.30 Let us now examine how Kochanowski made use of the tragedy of Troy. The role of oratory in his Odprawa posłów greckich has been noted in modern scholarship; the tragedy, however, does more than just employ speeches as a means of conveying a metapolitical message; Kochanowski’s play also dramatises the relationship between community and rhetoric.31 Moreover, his dramatisation reveals the inner mechanisms and limitations of a polity that is dependent on the art of speech for its existence. Here the Trojan myth is used to tackle the issue of temporality and fragility of political bodies.

29 Ibid., 696. 30 Cf. Hans Blumenberg, ‘An Anthropological Approach to the Contemporary Significance of Rhetoric,’ in After Philosophy: End or Transformation?, ed. Kenneth Baynes et al. (Cambridge, Mass.; London: The MIT Press, 1986), 429-458. 31 This is stronger claim than reading as a discursive political treaty proposed by Backvis, ‘Odprawa posłów greckich,’ 114, or as a citizen’s handbook as argued by Janina Abramowska, Ład i fortuna. O tragedii renesansowej w Polsce (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 1974). I agree with Backvis that Kochanowski, at least at one level of reading, had specifically Polish rhetorical culture in mind.

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The staging of Odprawa posłów greckich occurred under unusual circumstances: not only did the drama offer a complex and (for its time) experimental approach to tragedy,32 but its staging, on January 12, 1578, was given at the wedding feast of Jan Zamoyski, the vice-chancellor of the Crown, and Krystyna Radziwiłł.33 The performance featured the most noble youths as the actors and was given in the presences of the highest dignitaries, including the king Stephen Bathory and the queen Anna of Jagiellon;34 it occurred only days before a Seym in Warsaw that was to decide a war with Muscovy. One of the protagonists in the drama is Antenor, an exemplary statesman and orator; two of the other protagonists, Alexander and Iketaon, are Ciceronian oratores novi, stulti, adolescentuli. The play tells the story of the council who must decide whether to give Helen back to Menelaus or to dismiss the envoys with nothing, and looks at the immediate aftermath of the decision. Paris and his party secure their victory in voting by means of bribery and distributing gifts among the counsellors. The play opens with a monologue by Antenor, who analyses the Greek demands, and makes it very clear that keeping Helen will mean war for Troy. However it is Antenor’s relationship with the other orators in the play that is of most interest to our present discussion. Antenor’s opening monologue is followed directly by an encounter with Paris-Alexander; yet their disagreement avoids the subject of whether or not to return Helen, and revolves instead around the subject of friendship. Although their argument appears initially to be a battle of conventional 32 Jerzy Axer, ‘Koń Trojański metryki greckiej na scenie polskiej. Glossa do listu Jana Kochanowskiego poprzedzającego Odprawę posłów greckich,’ in Euterpe, Terpsichore, Erato. Liryka grecka i jej recepcja. Księga Pamiątkowa Alicji Szastyńskiej – Siemion w siedemdziesiątą rocznicę jej urodzin przez przyjaciół, kolegów, uczniów ofiarowana, ed. Małgorzata Wróbel, Classica Wratislaviensia 26 (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 2005), 220-224. Wiktor Weintraub, ‘Odprawa posłów greckich. Forma dramatyczna a dykcja poetycka,’ in idem, Nowe studia o Janie Kochanowskim (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1991), 50-69. 33 Cf. Tadeusz Ulewicz, ‘Wstęp,’ in Odprawa posłów greckich (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1974), III-CI. For the reconstruction of the event leading to the staging of The Dissmisal and the marriage and the forthcoming seym see two complementary articles: Tadeusz Witczak, ‘Wokół pierwszej i ostatniej kwestii Antenora,’ Pamiętnik Teatralny 27, no. 3/107 (1978): 327-364; Jerzy Kowalczyk, ‘Wesele podkanclerzego i prapremiera Odprawy posłów greckich,’ in idem, W kręgu kultury dworu Jana Zamoyskiego (Lublin: Wydawnictwo Lubelskie, 1980), 41-79. 34 Tadeusz Witczak suggested that for the young noblemen who played in the spectacle it was an opportunity for a rhetorical training: Witczak, ‘Wokół pierwszej i ostatniej kwestii.’ Krystyna Płachcińska compared the speeches in the play with prevalent models of parliamentary oratory of that time: Krystyna Płachcińska, ‘Oracje z Odprawy posłów greckich w świetle mów sejmowych z czasów Jana Kochanowskiego,’ Pamiętnik Literacki 97, no. 4 (2006): 203-228.

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wisdom, Radosław Rusnak has noted that Kochanowski’s usage of stychomytia extends beyond the simple exchange of proverbs. In fact, Antenor and Paris are defining the key notions of the drama:35 Paris: Since almost everyone has pledged their backing, Worthy Antenor, I would ask you too To back my cause against the Grecian envoys. Antenor: I’ll be delighted to, my noble prince, So long as the cause you’re speaking of is just And brings some benefit to our Republic. Paris: You won’t refuse when it’s a friend who’s asking. Antenor: That’s true, if what he’s asking for is right. Paris: To wish a stranger more than one would wish One’s own, would seem a tad like jealousy. Antenor: To seek to serve a friend more than the truth Would seem against the rules of decency. Paris: Hand washes hand; foot reinforces foot. A friend is haven to another friend. Antenor: A mighty friend is a decency; to ask To use this friend, is not a friendlike act. Paris: They say a friend in need’s a friend indeed. Antenor: The need’s too great when conscience pays the cost. Paris: Good conscience comes from standing by a friend. Antenor: But even more from standing by the truth. Paris: With you, the truth means helping out the Greeks. Antenor: For me, a Greek is any whose cause is just. Aleksander: Jako mi niemal wszyscy obiecali, Cny Antenorze, proszę, i ty sprawie Mej bądź przychylnym przeciw posłom greckim. Antenor: A ja z chęcią rad, zacny królewicze, Cokolwiek będzie sprawiedliwość niosła I dobre Rzeczypospolitej naszej. Aleksander: Wymówki nie masz, gdy przyjaciel prosi. Antenor: Przyzwalam, kiedy o słuszną rzecz prosi. Aleksander: Obcemu więcej życzyć niżli swemu, Coś niedaleko zda się od zazdrości. 35 Radosław Rusnak, ‘Seneka-Kochanowski, Kochanowski-Seneka,’ Pamiętnik Literacki 99, no. 3 (2008): 42.

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Antenor: Przyjacielowi więcej niżli prawdzie Chcieć służyć, zda się przeciw przystojności. Aleksander: Ręka umywa rękę, noga nogi. Wspiera: przyjaciel port przyjacielowi. Antenor: Wielki przyjaciel przystojność; tą sobie Rozkazać służyć, nie jest przyjacielska. Aleksander: W potrzebie, mówią, doznać przyjaciela. Antenor: I toć potrzeba, gdzie sumnienie płaci. Aleksander: Piękne sumienie – stać przy przyjacielu. Antenor: Jeszcze piękniejsze, zostawać przy prawdzie. Aleksander: Grekom pomagać, to u ciebie prawda. Antenor: Grek u mnie każdy, kto ma sprawiedliwą.36

Paris goes on to suggest that Antenor has been bribed, and Antenor’s response ends the discussion: ‘You quite clearly speak the way you act: / Immoderately. I have no business with you.’37 What is at stake here is not only the moral high ground of public activity. The two antagonists are also struggling to define friendship in political terms, in a way that anticipates the idea of the ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ as it appears in the work of Carl Schmitt. Antenor’s refusal to brand the envoys the enemies of Troy is a political act, while in the figure of Paris it is possible to detect a Schmittian approach avant la lettre. Antenor dismisses Paris’ vision of politics, not only on moral grounds, but also on the grounds that the act of following one’s own urges is destructive for the community.38 The second chorus provides another argument for the poet’s concept of politics. Kochanowski admits that rulers occupy the place of God on Earth, but the conclusions he draws from this are strikingly different to those put forth by Carl Schmitt some four centuries later. It is not the state of exception,39 but rather the obligation to rule justly and humanely that comes from a divine source: You with the Republic under your command, 36 Jan Kochanowski, The Envoys [bilingual edition], trans. by Bill Johnston (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 2007), 10-15. 37 Ty jako żywiesz, tak, widzę, i mówisz / Niepowściągliwie: nie mam z tobą sprawy: ibid., 14-15. 38 Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, trans. George Schwab (Chicago-London: The University of Chicago Press, 2007 [1976, orig. 1932]), 27-29. 39 Idem, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans. George Schwab (Chicago-London: The University of Chicago Press, 2005 [1985, orig. 1922]), 5-6.

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Who carry human justice in your hand – Yes, you to whom the human flock’s consigned, Whose job is to ensure it’s safe and sound – Always remember for all you’re worth: You are God’s representative on earth. You’ve more than your own affairs to keep in mind: You must look after all of humankind. Wy którzy Pospolitą Rzeczą władacie, A ludzką sprawiedliwość w ręku trzymacie, Wy, mówię, którym ludzi paść poruczono I zwirzchności nad stadem Bożym zwierzono – Miejcie to przed oczema zawżdy swojemi, Żeście miejsce zasiedli Boże na ziemi, Z którego macie nie tak swe własne rzeczy, Jako wszytek ludzki mieć rodzaj na pieczy. 40

The chorus concludes with warning that foreshadows the fate of Troy: ‘Our leaders’ crimes, though, bring whole cities down, / And cause great emperor to lose their crown.’41 At the same time, the chorus offers a thematic anticipation of the report delivered to Helen by a messenger in which the proceedings of the council and the important speeches are recounted. The first to speak is Priam, who discusses not only the governmental practice of his rule, but also makes an intriguing remark about the communal body of the Trojan kingdom: I’ve never failed to ask for your advice In all my doings that I can recall. And even if I did, in this one case, That of my son, I need to hear from you, So my paternal love towards my son Should not mislead me. Though the saying’s true 40 Kochanowski, The Envoys, 24-27. 41 Przełożonych występy miasta zgubiły/ I szerokie do gruntu carstwa zniszczyły: ibid., 26-27. On Erasmian parallels of this concept see: Zof ia Szmydtowa, ‘Erazm z Rotterdamu a Kochanowski,’ in eadem, Poeci i poetyka (Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1964), 68-100.

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That blood’s thicker than water, yet my duty To the Republic’s greater. Nie zwykłem nic nigdy Bez rady waszej czynić… A bych też zwykł kiedy (Czego w pamięci nie mam), w tej sprawie koniecznie Syna swego bych nie chciał: aby mię ojcowska Miłość przeciw synowi jako nie uwiodła. Bo aczci to podobno nie darmo rzeczono ‘Krew’ nie woda’, lecz u mnie Pospolitej Rzeczy Powinowactwo więtsze. 42

Priam speaks of duty in the final line, but the Polish word powinowactwo, 43 which can also be understood in terms of kinship, suggests a direct affinity to the republic. This idea, together with an earlier remark that the king does not make decisions without the council, encapsulates the Trojan constitution in Kochanowski’s play and also hints at the theory of the king’s two bodies. Paris is the second to present his case before the council. He insists on the divine origin of the situation – Helen was given to him by the goddess Aphrodite – and the goddess, who once looked favourably on Paris, might assist in keeping Helen in Troy. Paris also argues that the Greeks also do not have a clean conscience: Medea had been kidnapped by Greeks, and there were still marks from the war waged by Heracles to be seen throughout Troy. Antenor, in response, refutes all the previous arguments, pointing out that Paris broke the laws of hospitality. In analysing the possible consequences of the Greek embassy he notes that, by sending envoys with demands, the Greeks have made it clear that they are ready for war. He offers this reprimand: ‘Paris should not have married if the price / Is going to be the downfall of his country / And our spilled blood…’44 For Antenor, the argument involving Medea was irrelevant: she was taken long time ago, and no one had raised the issue since, especially not those more entitled than the 42 Kochanowski, The Envoys, 28-31. Also on importance of Priam’s decision see Jerzy Mańkowski, ‘Decyzja Priama – mythos i fatum w Odprawie posłów greckich Jana Kochanowskiego,’ Terminus 10, no. 2 (2008): 15-28. 43 Alina Linda, Małgorzata Pierzgalska, ‘Powinowactwo’ in Słownik polszczyzny XVI w., 36 vols. to date (Warszawa: Polska Akademia Nauk. Instytut Badań Literackich, 1956-), XXIX, Potylica – pożżon, ed. Maria Renata Mayenowa et al. (2001), 191-195. 44 Niechże się Aleksander tak drogo nie żeni, / Żeby małżeństwo swoje upadkiem ojczyzny / I krwią naszą miał płacić…: Kochanowski, The Envoys, 38-39.

We Were the Trojans


Trojans. However, the differing political approaches of Paris and Antenor are made most clear in Antenor’s rebuttal of Paris’ final point: Antenor is prepared to admit that Heracles’ war was a just one, and suggests that the war damage offers a visible sign of where unjust policies might lead. The final speech is delivered by Iketaon, a war-monger who manages to convince the audience by appealing to the Trojan sense of national pride. He reiterates Paris’ arguments but with a more aggressive tone: Before, the Greeks all bore the title ‘lord,’ While we were labelled all barbaros – servants. It isn’t being born in Greece or Troy, though, That makes a man a lord. A lord is one Whose sharp-edged sword is always at his side. That’s what decides who should bow down to who. Dawnyć to grecki tytuł: pany się mianować, A nas barbaros, sługi. Ale nie toć jest pan, Co się na Peloponezie albo w Troi rodził, Szabla ostra przy boku, to pan: ta rozstrzygnie, Kto komu czołem bić ma. 45

After Iketaon makes his oration, the council do not want to listen to any others, asking ‘Just what’s the point of all these flowery speeches?’46 They vote in favour of Paris with only minimal opposition and, in doing so, they leave rhetoric behind in favour of their ‘sharp-edged swords.’ Towards the end of the tragedy, Antenor becomes a war-advisor; although he had been a constant advocate of peace, with war imminent he advises the king to arm the border strongholds and be on high alert. In Antenor’s view the Trojans must either prepare their defences or flee. In the last four lines of the drama – which have been subject to much debate – he may even suggest a pre-emptive attack on the Greeks. It is worth noting that Antenor is reported – in Virgil and Livy – to have later founded the community of Patavium (modern Padua) in Italy; the corrupt polity of Troy may collapse, but a true statesman like Antenor will prevail. Rhetoric does not disappear from the stage when Cassandra presents her prophecy:

45 Ibid., 42-43. 46 Co po tych krasnych mowach? Ibid., 44-45.

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Oh, why do you torment me to no purpose, Cruel Apollo; you gave prophetic powers But no gift of being understood, So all my auguries fly in the wind – No one will give them credence any more Than empty fairy tales or fleeting dreams! Po co mię, srogi Apollo, trapisz, Której wieszczego ducha dawszy, nie dałeś Wagi w słowiech: ale me wszytki proroctwa Na wiatr idą, nie mając u ludzi więcej Wiary nad baśni prozne i sny znikome!47

Cassandra complains about the persuasive aspects of prophecy, and also about the subjects of prophecies who failed to recognise their situation even when their decline is narrated to them by a seeress. At this point it is worth mentioning Hans Blumenberg’s concept of modern and ancient rhetoric, in which the modern form is understood to be self-reflexive and intended to slow action, while the ancient form is intended to encourage action. Rhetoric deals with internal strife where no institutions are present;48 the concept, as some commentators have noted, emerged as a response to Schmitt’s concept of political theology. 49 In the context of Kochanowski’s play, it is worth asking what type of rhetoric is represented by the different orators. The orations of Paris and his party, with their single-minded defiance, might be considered an example of ancient rhetoric gone bad; the reflective nature of Antenor, on the other hand, exhibits the qualities which, for Blumenberg, constituted modern rhetoric. The principal difference is the focus on community and its wellbeing, rather than on an independent subject. In Antenor’s opening verses, he made it clear that not returning Helen will lead to war, and when war is imminent, it is Antenor alone who insists on energetic war preparation, while the other parties – and even the king himself – seem unconcerned with the Greek threat. If we take into account the prologue to Livy’s Histories, in which Antenor leads a group 47 Ibid., 58-61. On rhetoricity of prophecy see Rusnak, ‘Seneka-Kochanowski,’ 46. 48 Blumenberg, ‘An Anthropological Approach to the Contemporary Significance of Rhetoric,’ 435. 49 Graham Hammill, ‘Blumenberg and Schmitt on the Rhetoric of Political Theology,’ in Political Theology and Early Modernity, eds. Graham Hammill and Julia Reinhard Lupton (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012), 84-101.

We Were the Trojans


of Trojans to establish a new community after the destruction of their homeland, the drama suggests that the capabilities of a true statesman will transcend the existence of a particular community. There is evidence to suggest that Kochanowski’s tragedy was used in the political oratory of the Polish kingdom: recent research by Maria Barłowska has brought to light examples from a speech by Krzysztof Grzymułtowski in which the author, addressing the nobility and senate, quoted the words of Cassandra and Antenor. Not only would this appear to confirm our reading of the tragedy as a state-centred drama,50 but also suggests that Kochanowski’s dramatisation of a community which depended on rhetoric had some parallels in the realm of real-world politics.

Conclusion The medieval examples described in the present study demonstrate that the fall of Troy provided a long-lasting model for the earthly affairs of states and peoples. In the case of Poland and Hungary, the Trojan myth offered a justification for the composition of national histories. The people of Troy could also be incorporated into the genealogical history of a nation, even if (as in the example from Archdeacon Thomas) they appear as adversaries rather than ancestors. The friar Vinko Pribojević used Troy as the starting point for a theory about the origins of peoples; an analysis of the Trojan matrix of origin stories was used to validate his own retelling of the Slavic beginnings. As we move from the medieval period into the early modern, the uses of Troy begin to gather in nuance. For Marko Marulić it was used to represent a division between mundane politics which end in glory but also in ruin, and the promise of real salvation in Christian eschatology. Stanisław Orzechowski – who, like Marulić, was also inspired by Virgil – saw the example of Troy as a wakeup call for a polity on the verge of destruction; he understood, however, that the polity could be saved by the presence of rhetoric in public life delivered by experienced and virtuous orators. Jan Kochanowski, the greatest poet of the Polish Renaissance, shared much with Orzechowski, but addressed the idea of a community dependent on rhetoric in a different way. His Wróżki draw a distinction between good 50 Maria Barłowska, ‘Krzysztof Grzymułtowski i autorytet Jana Kochanowskiego,’ in eadem, ‘Nasz Kochanowski.’ Studia z recepcji poety w wieku XVII (Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2014), 50-56.

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orators and oratores novi, stulti, adolescentuli, a distinction that was also dramatised in Odprawa posłów greckich, in which confrontations between Antenor (the good orator) and both Paris and Iketaon (oratores novi) lead to the downfall of the city. Their speeches not only seal the decision of Priam to not give Helen back to Menelaus, but also define key concepts of politics.

The Life and Afterlife of Pontifical Indiscretions in the Renaissance Ágnes Máté

Among the nepotistic Holy Fathers in Renaissance Rome, Pope Alexander VI is perhaps the most ill-famed. He was responsible for renewing the virginity of his own daughter, Lucrezia Borgia, by papal bull no fewer than three times and, in doing so, associated the fruit of his physical body with the mystical body of the church, of which he had recently become the head. Alexander VI, like many other Renaissance popes, did not reject his earthly life and transform his physical self into the body of an office-holder but rather, with help of his children and other relatives, did everything possible to use the position for his own political advantage. In this paper we will examine the lives of the popes who reigned during the century between the fall of Constantinople (1453) and the end of the Council of Trent (1563). These popes – including Pius II (1458-1464), Paul II (1464-1471), Sixtus IV (1471-1484), Innocent VIII (1484-1492), Alexander VI (1492-1503), Pius III (1503), Julius II (1503-1513), Clemens VII (1523-1534), Paul III (1534-1549), and Gregory XIII (1572-1585) – each acted as spiritual head of the church, but their position was not unlike that of a secular prince. As Ernst Kantorowicz has noted, during the reign of these popes ‘the hierarchical apparatus of the Roman church tended to become the perfect prototype of an absolute and rational monarchy on a mystical basis, while at the same time the State showed increasingly a tendency to become a quasi-church or a mystical corporation on a rational basis.’1 The common goal shared by these Holy Fathers was to transform the Papal State into a feudal principality by: 1) giving high ecclesiastical status – and thus essential political power – to members of their own families, and; 2) making the throne of Saint Peter almost heritable from pope-fathers and/or pope-uncles to cardinal-sons and/or cardinal-nephews.2

1 Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997 [1957]), 195-196. 2 For the analysis of this process see Paolo Prodi, Il sovrano pontefice. Un corpo e due anime: la monarchia papale nella prima età moderna (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013 [1982]) and the further bibliographical references mentioned there.


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During this period, the re-establishment of the pope’s temporary power was accomplished and, in the eyes of certain cardinals and princes, it was even exceeded in a negative way. According to Paolo Prodi, the idea of the synod as ‘advisory board’ to the Holy Father had become politically imponderable by the end of the fifteenth century, having been transformed into an assembly where cardinals were exchanging favours and buying positions from both the pope and from one another.3 After the Council of Trent the only real task left to the cardinals was the election of a new pope. 4 However the first step towards eliminating the synod’s real power occurred a century earlier.5 In the Execrabilis bull of Pius II (1460), the Pope condemned anyone who would appeal papal decisions to the synod.6 With each subsequent Holy Father, the governance of the church became more autocratic, as each pope reenforced the notion that the decisions and acts of the Holy Father were not questionable by any human being or synod; in this way, the popes made themselves untouchable by lay or canonical law. During the papacies of Julius II and Leo X, factions of cardinals attempted to fight against this overbearing style of government. A group wishing to depose Julius II on theological grounds convened the conciliabulum of Pisa (which later moved to Milan); however they did not succeed in deposing the Pope, and Julius II offered them the simple choice of reconciliation and recognition of his full authority as Pope, or excommunication from the church. During the reign of Leo X, the situation was exacerbated to such an extent that a group of cardinals attempted to poison the pope with the help of a doctor. The conspirators failed to achieve their goal and were sentenced to spend the remainder of their lives in the darkest cells of the Castel Sant’Angelo.

The Sources The present study will focus on literary reactions to the policy of ‘papal heritage’ as expressed in private and/or anonymous writings from outside the world of the Vatican. Our investigation will be centred especially around 3 Ibid., 177. 4 Ibid., 185. 5 On the changes of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini’s opinion concerning this question see Thomas Izbicki, ‘Reject Aeneas! Pius II on the Errors of His Youth,’ in Pius II, ‘El Più Expeditivo Pontefice’ Selected Studies on Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464), eds. Zweder von Martels and Arjo Vanderjagt (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 187-203, esp. 202. 6 Prodi, Il sovrano pontefice, 45.

The Life and Af terlife of Pontifical Indiscre tions in the Renaissance


the analysis of critical and satirical poems belonging to the pasquinate or pasquilli genre;7 these verses, written by the people of Rome, used the statue of Pasquino as a mouthpiece for the anonymous expression of public opinion. Our study will also look at several works written by humanists who worked within the church but who were located outside Rome and, in some cases, the Apennine Peninsula. Between the final decades of the fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth, the statue of Pasquino in Rome was used by the papacy to channel the aggression of people living in the city. When in 1522 the newly-elected pope Hardian VI – who had never visited Rome and was thus unaware of this special gossip-management technique – wished to silence the speaking statue by drowning it in the Tiber, he was told that by letting the Romans express their hatred and dissatisfaction through verbal aggression, the papacy had prevented the aggression from taking the physical form of riots. The anonymity granted by Pasquino gave freedom of speech to virtually everyone. Both the anonymous authors of the pasquinate/pasquilli and the humanists – including such figures as Petrarch, Erasmus, Janus Pannonius, Stephanus Brodericus and Stanisław Orzechowski – employed a series of topoi to criticise the current state of Rome, and to urge for the reform of certain rules of canon law (celibacy, for instance) which remained in force, even though they had been disregarded for centuries. They illustrated the moral corruption of the Papal State by depicting the Eternal City as the new Babylon, by invoking the legendary reign of Johanna papissa (Pope Joan), and by accusing various popes of incest with their sisters and daughters. The Holy See may have attempted to portray the Pope as being the source of the world’s spiritual power (plenitudo potestatis), but the popes themselves often failed to live up to this self-imposed image.

The Pope’s Kingly Body Papal power, and the institution of the pope as temporal and spiritual ruler, was represented by a number of objects, each with varying degrees of theological or symbolic meaning: the list of objects included the triple-tiara,

7 The name of this literary genre in Italian is pasquinata, while in Latin it is called pasquillus. For bibliography of this literary genre see the introduction of Celio Secundo Curione’s modern edition quoted below.


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the red mantle, the two swords, the double keys,8 the pallium, the cane and the ring of the Fisherman. The white silk garment was a symbol of personal chastity and purity of faith,9 and by dressing in these robes, the newly-elected pope was expected to reject his own body and to embody the church. When the pope died, however, he was stripped of this symbolic white garment;10 in death the pope’s natural body ceased to be an officeholder, and became a simple human being once again. The white cloth also represented an abolition of the pope’s sexuality, and a rejection of any sexual activity which may have occurred before his election. Due to the demands of celibacy in canonical law, the Pope was prevented from ever founding a dynasty in the manner of an earthly king. Nevertheless, the Holy Fathers who appear in the present article did everything possible to transmit their power to further generations of their family. Ugo Buoncompagni, the future Gregory XIII, was an actual father before becoming a Holy one. Prior to his ecclesiastical career, Buoncompagni sired a son, Giacomo – although he did not marry the boy’s mother, Angela Marescalchi – in order to have a male heir to which his patrimony in Bologna might one day be passed. The act of transmitting one’s wealth and family name was more important than the restrictions of canon law, and it was easy enough to pay the papal Curia to legitimise a child born out of wedlock.11 Buoncompagni’s personal dynastic strategy was similar to that of many other popes.

(Un)Holy Fathers: Adulterers and Babylon According to the Enciclopedia dei Papi,12 there were eight father-popes between the reign of Pius II and Gregory XIII; between them, they fathered eighteen children whose names are known, along with at least five whose existence is doubtful. The paternity of two popes from our period of study – Paul II and Sixtus IV – is not confirmed by the Enciclopedia, but these 8 On the changing quality and meaning of the keys see Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Le chiavi e la tiara. Immagini e simboli del papato medievale (Roma: Viella, 2005), 20-23. 9 Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, The Pope’s Body, trans. David S. Peterson (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2000 [orig. 1994]), 94-95. 10 Ibid., 161-167. 11 Papal dispensations for marriage permissions between relatives and legitimating baseborn children were one of the most important incoming of the papal Curia. 12 I Papi. Da Pietro a Francesco, 3 vols. (Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani, 1999-2014).

The Life and Af terlife of Pontifical Indiscre tions in the Renaissance


cases will be discussed here in order to shed light on the nature of gossip circulation in Rome. Article 23 of Gregory VII’s Dictatus papae states that: ‘The Pope, if elected canonically, becomes Holy Father, for the merits of Saint Peter are transmitted to him.’13 This suggests that only an election by the cardinals in conclave was considered to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. However, the practice of bribing cardinals implied the sin of simony and would thus invalidate the election. Since at least the time of Dante, simony was described with bodily metaphors of marriage and prostitution; the first part of the Divine Comedy places Boniface VIII, author of the bull Unam sanctam, among the simonists in the eighth circle of hell, accusing him of prostituting the church.14 Boniface’s bull borrowed a metaphor from the Canticum canticorum when it stated that Roman church was the only bride (sponsa unica) of Christ in this world. As the vicar of Christ, the Pope would thus have been the groom of the only bride and, in Dante’s view, by committing simony, Boniface VIII disgraced the bride and prostituted her. The relationship between Pope and church has also been compared to that of a couple, with the man as the head and the woman as subject of her lord. The father-popes were often described as adulterers, who spent their time with mortal whores rather than taking care of their heavenly bride. Giulia Farnese, a lover of Alexander VI, was regularly referred to as ‘the bride of Christ’ (sposa di Cristo) in some of the anonymous writings that appeared in Rome.15 Petrarch describing the moral state of the Avignon papacy in sonnets 136-138 of the Canzoniere, compared Avignon to the city of Babylon, ruled by the ‘great whore’ from Revelation 17-18.16 During the first decades of the 13 Original passage reads: Romanus pontifex, si canonice fuerit electus, meritis beati Petri indubitanter efficitur sanctus: Jenő Gergely, A pápaság története (Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 1999), 71-72; Battista Mondin, Pápák enciklopédiája (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 2001), 208-218, esp. 211-212. The importance of the pope’s sanctity in papal funerals was discussed in Paravicini Bagliani, The Pope’s Body, 164. 14 Dante Alighieri, Inferno XIX (52-60), ed. Saverio Bellomo (Torino: Einaudi 2013), 306-307. 15 Will Durant, The Renaissance: A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953), 412. 16 In Petrarca’s sonnet no. 136 Avignon is depicted as a place ‘in cui Luxuria fa l’ultima prova / Per le camere tue fanciulle et vecchi / vanno trescando, et Belzebub in mezzo / co’mantici et col foco et co li specchi’ [there luxury is manifested in its extremities. In your rooms young girls are wandering while dancing the tresca with old vicious cardinals, and between them Belzebub incites with his windbag, his fire and mirrors], 424-425. In sonnet no. 137 it is characterized as ‘L’avara Babilonia’ [avaricious Babylon], 426. Finally in sonnet no. 138 the analogy is fully emphasized ‘Fontana di dolore, albergo d’ira, / scola d’errori et templo d’eresia, / già Roma, or Babilonia falsa et ria, / per cui tanto si piange et si sospira […].’ [Fount of dolor, hostel to the


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sixteenth century – almost 150 years after the papacy had returned to Rome – Petrarch’s metaphor had lost none of its force. Several anonymous pasquinades, written during the conclave that followed the death of Leo X in 1522 – in which Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens was elected and took on the papal name of Hadrian VI – echoed Petrarch’s words: Dialogue. Traveller and Peter Peter: My flight from Rome is evident, because of the sin dominates and surmount nowadays, Rome became worse than Babylon. Dialogus. Viator et Petrus Petr.: Mia fuga è manifesta del vizio che ognor supera e doma: pegio che Babilonia è fatta Roma.17 Sonnet. For the election of a new Pope [Hadrian VI] Grimani is not nominated, because he is honoured only by our Italy, as he just come out of Babylon. Sonetto. In creatione novi pontificis Griman qua non si noma, che questo sol Italia nostra onora, poi che fugì di Babilonia fora.18

It cannot be known whether Stephanus Brodericus, the Hungarian humanist and bishop of Pécs, was aware of these pasquinades; it is possible that he read them in Rome in September of 1522 when, as ambassador to Louis II of rage / school of errors and temple of heresy / once Rome, now it is false and sinful Babylon / for what so many tears dropped and soughs given in waiting for redemption (…)], 428-429. Francesco Petrarca, Canzoniere, edizione aggiornata in occasione del 7. centenario della nascita di Francesco Petrarca, ed. Ugo Dotti (Roma: Donzelli, 2004). 17 Pasquinate Romane del Cinquecento, eds. Valerio Marucci, Antonio Marzo and Angelo Romano, 2 vols. (Roma: Salerno, 1983), I, no. 207, ll. 29-31, 191-192. 18 Pasquinate Romane del Cinquecento, I, no. 325, 327.

The Life and Af terlife of Pontifical Indiscre tions in the Renaissance


Hungary, he travelled to visit the newly elected Pope. In a speech addressed to Hadrian VI, Brodericus stressed that it was more important to take care of the living church by freeing enslaved Christians and by preventing their capture by the infidel, rather than by building and embellishing churches in Rome, as Leo X had done.19 This oration illustrates how the election of a Dutchman was perceived by ecclesiastical dignitaries from outside Italy, as compared with the people of Rome: the anonymous Roman authors of the pasquinades hoped for less nepotism in the Papal State, while the Hungarian bishop wished for greater participation in anti-Ottoman politics. In 1535, Brodericus himself referred to Petrarch’s Babylonian metaphor when writing to his friend Piotr Tomicki, the bishop of Cracow, about the latest successes of the Ottomans in Persia.20 In his letter Brodericus mentions that when the Turks capture the Babylon in Persia, the pope and other Christian kings must be careful not to allow them to capture the ‘Babylon of Europe.’ Brodericus even attached a copy of one of Petrarch’s ‘Babylonian’ sonnets to the letter, although this has been lost.21 Even far from Rome the holiness of the papacy was being questioned.

Father-Popes, Pope Joan and Fertility The first of the father-popes relevant to our present study is Pius II (14581464), born Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus Piccolomini to an impoverished family of Sienese nobles. Piccolomini was still a layman when, at the Council of Basel, he argued for the papal election of Amadeus VIII, the duke of Savoy – who acted as Antipope Felix V between 1439 and 1449 – despite the fact that he had been married in his lay life and was father to several children.22 19 Stephanus Brodericus, Oratio ad Adrianum VI. Pontificem maximum, ed. Csaba Csapodi (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1985). The oration is analyzed by Péter Kasza, Egy korszakváltás szemtanúja. Brodarics István pályaképe (Pécs: Kronosz, 2015), 56-58. 20 Epistula no. 242, in Stephanus Brodericus, Epistulae, edidit, introduxit et commentariis instruxit Petrus Kasza, (Budapest: Argumentum Kiadó-MOL, 2012), 442-444. 21 Brodericus, Epistulae, 443. 22 The episode is discussed in Piccolomini’s own De gestis concilii Basiliensis, as quoted in Prodi, Il sovrano pontefice, 36-37: En quid mali hoc est habere Romanum antistitem potentes filios, qui patrem contra tyrannos iuvare queant? […] Nudumne hominem eligemus, qui nostris principibus magis derisui quam venerationi habeatur? […] Vobis eligendus est gubernator qui non solum consiliis sed etiam viribus navim regat. […] Nunc autem didici quoniam ridiculosa est sine potentia virtus, nec aliud est Romanus pontifex sine patrimonio ecclesie quam regum et principum servus. [So what is wrong in it, if the bishop of Rome has powerful sons, who could help him against the tyrants? […] Is it so, that we will elect a man, who is much more ridiculed


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Piccolomini himself fathered two sons, one to an unknown mother during a visit to Scotland, the other to a Breton woman named Elizabeth during a stay in Strasbourg.23 Although these children are mentioned in his letters, they do not appear in his autobiography, the Commentarii, written during his papacy; indeed, Piccolomini only discusses the episode in Scotland as an example of his own self-restraint.24 Both of his children are thought to have died at a young age.25 A Venetian named Pietro Barbo succeeded Piccolomini as pope under the name Paul II, and for nearly two centuries after Barbo’s death, rumours that he too had been a father continued to circulate within reformist Catholic and Protestant circles. In 1467-1468 Janus Pannonius, a Hungarian humanist and the bishop of Pécs, wrote four epigrams on Paul II.26 Rome, don’t ask me to examine the testimony of Pope Paul; his daughter, who’s in his likeness, proves that he’s a male. Pontificis Pauli testes ne Roma requiras, filia quam similis sat docet esse marem.27 (Ep. I. 52) I cannot bring myself to call you holy, Pope Paul II, whenever I see your daughter.

than honoured by our lords? […] You have to elect a governor who is able to manoeuvre the ship not only with his suggestions but with his own hands. […] And as I said how much ridiculous is the virtue without power, it is not different in the case of the pontiff of Rome who without the patrimony of Saint Peter is just slave to the kings and lords. Translated by Á.M.] 23 Der Briefwechsel des Eneas Sylvius, ed. Rudolf Wolkan, 3 vols. (Wien: Holder, 1909-1918), I bk 1 (1909), 188-191, Ep. 78 to Aneas Silvius’ father. Both children are mentioned in his other letter sent to his father in 1444. Der Briefwechsel, I bk 1 (1909), 448-449, Ep. 162. 24 Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope: The Commentaries of Pius II, ed. Leona C. Gabel, trans. Florence A. Gragg (London: Allen and Unwin, 1960), 35. 25 Enee Silvii Piccolominei postea Pii PP II Carmina, edidit commentarioque instruxit Adrianus van Heck (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1994), VIII. 26 I am following here the reasoning of the article: Ágnes Ritoók Szalay, ‘II. Pál pápa és a gyalázkodó Janus-versek,’ in Kutak. Tanulmányok a XV-XVI. századi magyarországi művelődés köréből, ed. Ágnes Ritoók Szalay (Budapest: Balassi, 2012), 107-120. 27 Janus Pannonius, Epigrammata: The Epigrams, ed. and trans. Anthony A. Barrett (Budapest: Corvina Kiadó, 1985), 86. Iani Pannonii Opera quae manserunt omnia. Volumen I. Epigrammata. Fasciculus I. Textus, edidit, praefatus est et apparatu critico instruxit Iulius Mayer, similia addidit Ladislaus Török (Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2006), 421 (I 52 Tel.).

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Sanctum non possum, patrem te dicere possum, cum video natam, Paule secunde, tuam.28 (Ep. I. 53) You have a daughter, Paul, and you have gold; Rome has seen few pontiffs with as much. So you cannot be called a ‘holy’ father ‒ but a ‘blessed’ one.

[As according to Christian doctrine the child is blessing of God in the family, Á.M.] Cum sit filia, Paule, sit tibi aurum, quantum pontifices habere raros vidit Roma prius, pater vocari sanctus non potes, at potes beatus. (Ep. I. 54)29 A woman once dared to sit on your throne, and proclaimed her laws for the world to obey. If not exposed by giving birth, Peter, she might have escaped detention for all time. Rome for many years defended herself from such a trick, and examined the pontiff’s secret nooks and crannies. None could assume the keys that open heaven, unless his balls were examined. Why has the practice died out in our day? Because everyone proves beforehand that he’s a man. Femina, Petre, tua quondam ausa sedere cathedra orbi terrarum iura verenda dedit. Indeprensa quidem cunctos latuisset in annos, facta foret partu ni manifesta novo. Post haec Roma diu simili sibi cavit ab astu pontificum arcanos quaerere sueta sinus, nec poterat quisquam reserantes aethera claves non exploratis sumere testiculis. Cur igitur nostro mos hic iam tempora cessat? Ante probat quod se quilibet esse marem. (Ep. I. 58)30 28 Pannonius, Epigrammata: The Epigrams, 87; Iani Pannonii Opera, 422 (I 53 Tel.). 29 Pannonius, Epigrammata: The Epigrams, 8; Iani Pannonii Opera, 423 (I 54 Tel). 30 Pannonius, Epigrammata: The Epigrams, 91; Iani Pannonii Opera, 424 (I 58 Tel.).


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Epigrams I. 52 and I. 58 refer to the legend of Pope Joan, a woman who, according to tradition, assumed the papacy in the tenth century. It was reported that she died in childbirth during a procession from the Lateran to the Vatican,31 and that this dramatic discovery of her real sex led to the introduction of a special chair with an opening in the centre; all newly elected Popes were made to sit on this chair and the cardinal in charge of the conclave touched his thigh in order to ensure that he was male. In the epigrams quoted above Janus mocks Paul II by stating that his masculinity had already been proven (testes/testiculis) by the fact that he was the father of a daughter ( filia/natam). Unlike Pope Joan, who hid her real sex, Paul II’s carnal activity attested to his manhood. Ágnes Ritoók Szalay has found it strange that Janus Pannonius accuses Paul II of having a daughter, as this fact is not mentioned in any of the other contemporary sources; the references may be explained to some extent by the fact that several important allusions in Janus’ texts are in fact quotations from the Donatio Constantini by Lorenzo Valla.32 Pannonius thus criticises Paul II for preferring the symbols of secular power to the duties of a Holy Father, and for indulging his physical body while neglecting the mystical body of the church for which he was responsible. The epigrams thus demonstrate that there was a fine line between discussing the nature of papal power and criticising a specific office-holder. There may, however, be a further layer of meaning in Pannonius’ references. Contemporary sources discuss Paul II’s love of gold and jewellery, but they also report the rumours that Paul II was fond of wearing rouge and was never seen in company of women, preferring instead the company of males. It seems probable that Pannonius was aware of these rumours, perhaps hearing them during a journey from Hungary to Rome in 1465, when he acted as the ambassador of King Matthias Corvinus. In the course of his travels he would have stopped in the most important cities and gossip hubs of Italy, in addition to staying in Rome for several months.33 31 A very interesting interpretation of the legend as a metaphor for transmitting the pope’s power is given by Paravicini Bagliani, The Pope’s Body, 233-234. 32 Utinam utinam aliquando videam […] ut papa tantum vicarius Christi sit et non etiam Caesaris. Tunc papa et dicetur et erit pater sanctus, pater omnium, pater ecclesie. [May it be that I could see […] the Pope being vicar of Christ as much as he is now vicar of the Emperor. Then the Pope could not only be called but in fact to be the holy father, the father of all, the father of the Church]: Ritoók Szalay, ‘II. Pál pápa,’ 117. 33 Only traces survived of unofficial reports given to king Matthias Corvinus about the gossips and news spread in Italy during this diplomatic mission of Janus Pannonius, but I cannot prove with written sources that Janus actually knew about Paul II’s alleged homosexuality: Ágnes Ritoók Szalay, ‘More vulgi dicere. Janus Pannonius a nép között Itáliában,’ in Stephanus noster.

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It is therefore possible that the epigrams accuse Paul II not of being a father, but rather of being an effeminate sodomite, and that the references to Pope Joan were intended to depict the pope as a woman in men’s clothing. Pannonius may thus have alluded to Paul II’s fatherhood to disguise his accusations of homosexuality. The epigrams ask if a disguised female sits once again on the papal throne, but are able to dispel this doubt by pointing to the fact that the current pope had fathered a daughter and must therefore be male; yet contemporary Roman readers of these texts would have known that there was no daughter at all. Rumours of homosexuality would follow Paul II even to his death in 1471, which is said to have occurred during intercourse with a stable-boy.34 Pannonius, on the other hand, had a reputation as a virgin bishop, a phenomenon rarely seen in the church at that time. Statements about his chastity are reported by Battista Guarino, Vespasiano da Bisticci and Tito Vespasiano Strozzi, but their basis in reality cannot be confirmed.35 It is possible that these writers simply wanted the image of Pannonius to live up to the standard of Catullus: ‘A poet has to live clean – but not his poems’ (Nam castum esset decet pium poetam impsum, / versiculos nihil necesse est. Poem 16). The erotic poems written by Pannonius in his younger years were already well-known in Ferrara and, to some extent, throughout Italy; only the pious life was missing from the picture. The epigrams against Paul II represent the earliest printed work by Pannonius;36 all four were published in a collection of pasquinate and pasquilli from 1544, edited by Celio Secondo Curione.37 As early as 1547, Stanisław Orzechowski was able to use them as part of his argument for the abolition of celibacy within the Catholic church.38 It would be more honest, said Orzechowski, to let clerics live in matrimony, as almost every Tanulmányok Bartók István 60. születésnapjára, ed. József Jankovics et al. (Budapest: reciti, 2015), 31-39, esp. 37-38. 34 Eric Frattini, I papi e il sesso (Milano: Ponte alle Grazie, 2010), 250; Alexander Lee, The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Disease and Excess in an Age of Beauty (London: Hutchinson Random House, 2013), 342. 35 Their statements are quoted in József Huszti, Janus Pannonius (Pécs: Janus Pannonius Társaság, 1931). 36 Ritoók Szalay, ‘II. Pál pápa,’ 108. 37 Pasquillus esctaticus et Marphorius, Eleutheropolis ([Basel: s.n.], 1544). Now available in modern edition: [Celio Secundo Curione], Pasquillorum tomi duo, eds. Damiano Mevoli and Davide Dalmas, 2 vols. (Manziana: Vecchiarelli, 2013-2015). 38 Stanisław Orzechowski’s oration De lege coelibato contra Syricium in concilio habita oratio. Ad Iulium tertium pont. Max. supplicatio de approbando matrimonio (Basel: Oporinus, 1551) is quoted in Latin by Ritoók Szalay, ‘II. Pál pápa,’ n. 1, 107.


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one of them already had a companion, and forcing them to live in celibacy might lead to even greater sins. Hungarian protestants in the seventeenth century also quoted Pannonius in their arguments for the immorality of papacy. István Gyöngyösi, a student of the Calvinist College of Debrecen, noted four epigrams in his album amicorum, written sometime after 1672;39 István F. Tolnai, a Calvinist theologian from Transylvania, also mentions them in a chapter entitled ‘On the marriage of priests and on celibacy’ (A’ Papok házasságárul és nőtelenségéről) in the book he wrote as a moral guide for his congregation. 40 Public opinion surrounding Giovan Battista Cybo, a Genoan who became Innocent VIII, connects his story to that of Paul II. One of the pasquinades printed in Curione’s edition alludes to his activities: CLXXVII About Innocent VIII, Marullus. Eight, sinning, sons fathered, and daughters of the same number, therefore Rome deservedly could call him a father. CLXXVII De Innocentio VIII Marull. Octo nocens pueros genuit, totidemque puellas, Hunc merito poterit dicere Roma patrem. 41

The epigram, penned by Michael Marullus Tarchaniotes, implies that Innocent VIII is not without sin (innocens), as his name might suggest, but that his eight sons and eight daughters certainly make him qualified to receive the epithet of ‘father.’ Historical sources are not in agreement regarding the number of illegitimate children for which Innocent VIII was responsible, but the figure of sixteen is almost certainly an exaggeration on the part of Tarchaniotes. Only two children – a girl, Teodolina, and a boy, Francesco – can be proven, and both were recognised by Innocent VIII, who allowed them to visit him regularly in the Vatican. These children also visited the children of other cardinals and future popes, notably the Borgia siblings in the household of 39 István M. Ledán, ‘Pannonius, Vitéz János és a pápa heréi,’ Laudator Temporis Acti: Latin Never Dies blog, (accessed September 26, 2015). 40 István F. Tolnai, Igaz keresztyéni és Apostoli Tudomány s’ vallás Utára vezető és az eltévelyedéstől jó Utban hozó KALAUZ (Kolozsvár: Veresegyházi Szentyel Mihály, 1679), (RMK I, 1236). Quoted by Dávid Csorba, ‘A kálvinista Boccaccio: avagy itáliai olvasmányok 17. századi protestáns közegben,’ Italianistica Debreceniensis 20 (2014): 134-150. 41 [Curione], Pasquillorum tomi duo, I (2013), 242.

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Vannozza Cattanei. According to some sources Innocent VIII was also the father of Christopher Columbus, which may explain how the explorer was able to secure financial resources from the Pope for his proposed expeditions to the Indies. 42

Unnoticed Children There are three children of popes who are not mentioned in the pasquinades. The two alleged children of Francesco Todeschini-Piccolomini, who followed in his uncle’s footsteps and chose the name Pius III, went unnoticed perhaps due to the brevity of their father’s reign – Pius III sat on the papal throne for some weeks in 1503. The anonymous authors of the pasquinades discuss the life and deeds of Clemens VII – born Giulio de’ Medici – but they remain silent on the subject of his alleged son, Alessandro. His creative handling of Vatican finances during the reign of his cousin, Leo X, made him the subject of numerous accusations. 43 There were also rumours about his illegitimate birth, 44 a fact which would have ruled him ineligible for both the cardinal’s hat and the Pope’s triple-tiara. Judging by a rancorous pasquinade, which describes Clemens VII as the ‘son of a monk and a little whore’ ( figliuoul d’un frate e d’una puttanazza), it would appear that the people of Rome despised him because of his origins. Although Gregory XIII also had an illegitimate son who was subsequently legitimated, these stories appear not to have been recorded in the pasquinades.

Family Matters: Incest, Sisters and Daughters The Piccolomini family managed to stay close to the papal throne for several generations. In addition to Pius II and Pius III, 45 five other Holy Fathers – Paul II, Alexander VI, Julius II and Paul III – were nephews or relatives of previous popes; the two Medici popes – Clemens VII and Leo X – were cousins. 42 Ibid., no. 40, 296. 43 He was made a cardinal on September 23, 1513 with the title of Santa Maria in Domnica. He was often accused of robbing the money of the Church entrusted to him as papal treasurer. 44 Pasquinate Romane, I, no. 218, 223, 241, 245, 257, 290, 396. 45 The mother of Pius III was Pius II’s sister, Laudamia Piccolomini.


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The act of electing a pope who had papal relatives could lead to accusations of the worst kind: at least four popes were subject to rumours that they had been born of an incestuous relationship between brother and sister. Pius II, having lost both of his sons, adopted the children of his sisters Catherina and Laudamia: when Pius II subsequently promoted these adopted children to positions of importance, the people of Rome were not sure whether to refer to these young men as sons or nephews of the pope. 46 The fact that Alexander VI’s father and mother were cousins, 47 made it easy for malicious tongues to suggest that the pope had in fact been born from the union of Callixtus III and his sister Isabella. Erasmus also alluded to the incestuous origins of a pope – this time Julius II – in his Julius exclusus;48 in addition, an anonymous pasquinade suggested that Paul III had been born from the incest committed by Vannozza Cattanei and her supposed father, Ranuccio Farnese. 49 Father-daughter incest was considered a far greater crime than brothersister incest, and accusations of the former were levelled at both Alexander VI and Paul III. It was known that the two families were close. Giulia Farnese, sister of Alessandro Farnese (who would later become Paul III), had been the lover of Alexander VI for many years, giving birth to his final child one year before his death. One anonymous author called Paul III ‘pope for a pussy,’50 referring to the fact that he had been made a cardinal 46 For the nepotism of Pius II see Ferdinand Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter vom V. bis zum XVI. Jahrhundert, ed. Waldemar Kampf, 4 vols. (München: Beck, 1978), III, 93. There is an anecdote survived from Florentine environment referring to these actions of nepotism of pope Piccolomini: ‘Papa Pio, volendo fare arcivescovo di Firenze il figliuolo o vero nipote, et alleghando che a Roma era stato vescovo sancto Pietro, che fu ebreo et forestiere; Bernardo Gherardi rispuose: E’ ne capitò anche male, ché vi fu morto!’ [Pope Pius, willing to make his son or nephew archbishop of Florence, and arguing that saint Peter was bishop in Rome, he, who was Jewish and a foreigner; Bernardo Gherardi answered to him: And it was less fortunate for him, for he even died there!]: Facezie e motti del secolo 15 e 16: codice inedito magliabechiano (Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1968), no. 113, 79. 47 His parents were Isabella Borja and Jofré Borja: Ferdinand Gregorovius, Lucrezia Borgia: egykorú okiratok és levelezések nyomán, trans. Miklós Márkus and József Feleki (Budapest: Ráth, 1886), 17. 48 Opera omnia Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami, recognita et adnotatione critica instructa notisque illustrata, Ordinis Primi, 8 vols. to date (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 1969-), VIII (2013) ‘Iulius exclusus,’ ll. 130-332 and l. 260, 230 and 242. Hereafter this edition is quoted as ASD I/8. 49 Pasquinate Romane, I, no. 486, l. 25 and n. 527. See also Gregorovius, Lucrezia Borgia, 20-21. The real mother of Alessandro Farnese was Giovanella Caetani. 50 Pasquinate Romane, I, no. 632, l. 40: papa per un conno [pope for a pussy]. Pasquinata no. 486, ll. 15-17: Poi, per furor divino, / fu eletto da Alessandro cardinale, tant’una bella donna in Corte vale! [Later, out of divine rage, he was elevated to be cardinal by Alexander [VI], that much a beautiful lady is worth for in the Court!]. Pasquinata no. 515, ll. 12-15: al cornuto capel

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by Alexander VI due to his relationship with Giulia Farnese. Alessandro Farnese, in turn, had a long relationship with Silvia Ruffini, who bore him four children: Costanza (b. around 1500), Pierluigi (1503), Paolo (1504) and Ranuccio (1509). It was not possible to legitimate Costanza, as Ruffini had still been married when the girl was born; by the time she gave birth to the boys, however, Ruffini had become a widow. Popes Julius II and Leo X legitimated the three sons, stating that their father was Alessandro Farnese, who was a cleric but had not yet been made a cardinal. In later years, the anonymous author of one pasquinade – tradition holds that the author was, in fact, Pietro Aretino – suggested that the relationship between Farnese and Costanza went beyond the normal love between father and daughter: And, in order not to let die out the clan and seeds of lady Rosa [Vannozza Cattanei] he took the one, who is his daughter, as a wife. E, perché non si schiante la stirp’e’l seme di madonna Rosa, pres’ha la moglie, ch’è sua figlia, in sposa.51 [B]rute and luxurious, born form an incest, pope for a pussy, you are of your daughter’s children father and grandfather. [B]ruto lusurioso, nato d’incesto, papa per un conno, a’ figli di tua figlia padre e nonno.52

The fortune of the Farnese family was due mainly to their close bonds with the Borgias. The Borgia family came to prominence when Alfons de Borja became pope Callixtus III (1455-1458). His nephew Rodrigo was made a cardinal in 1456 and, in 1492, became Alexander VI. Rodrigo Borgia had at least ten children who are known by name. He had a son and two daughters – Pedro Luis, Girolama and Isabella53 – by an unnamed woman in Spain; with Vannozza Cattanei he had Giovanni, Cesare, Lucrezia and Goffredo; per quella porca / Giulia sorella tua, che sott’il sesto / Alessandro si giacque sin che ‘l punto / fu di sua vita giunto. [For the cuckold hat of that dirty / Giulia, sister of yours, who is under the sixth / Alexander is lying so much so that he reached the point / last of his life there). 51 Ibid., no. 486, ll. 24-26. 52 Ibid., no. 632, ll. 39-41. 53 Mondin conf irms the existence of the four children born from Vannozza Cattanei, but according to him the second-born daughter’s name was not Girolama but Jeronima. Mondin does


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and with Giulia Farnese he had Laura, Giovanni the infans Romanus, and Rodrigo. Other sources, however, report that the second Giovanni was in fact the offspring of Lucrezia Borgia and a servant; this child was born when Lucrezia, having returned to Rome, was waiting for the annulment of her second marriage, to Alfonso of Aragon,54 count of Bisceglie. Because her father planned to restore her virginity by a papal bull and marry her for a third time, the child had to be legitimated. Yet by recognising Giovanni as his own child, Alexander VI opened the door to slanderous gossip, which suggested that the real parents were Lucrezia and her father.55 Alexander VI made no secret of his intentions to use Lucrezia as a means of forging a political union through marriage.56 When in 1501 a delegation from Ferrara took Lucrezia to her new home, the whole of Italy witnessed the pope’s daughter in procession.57 Alfonso I d’Este, the Duke of Ferrara and Lucrezia’s third and final husband, would have already known tales of his wife’s doubtful morality, which had been recorded in the works of poets such as Jacopo Sannazaro and Giovanni Pontano, and historians such as Matarazzo, Marcus Attalius Alexius, Petrus Martyr, Machiavelli, Guicciardini and Marin Sanudo.58 Indeed, Lucrezia’s bad reputation outlived her by many centuries, even after publication of Maria Bellonci’s ‘biography of solidarity.’59

not confirm, however, the children born from Giulia Farnese: Mondin, Pápák enciklopédiája, 385-386. 54 Gregorovius, Geschichte, 139. 55 It seems that Lucrezia’s first de facto husband, Giovanni Sforza started to spread the gossip that pope Alexander VI wanted to get back his daughter in order to have sex with her again: Gregorovius, Lucrezia Borgia, 136-137. The historiographer Matarazzo even stated that Giovanni Sforza knew about the triple incest of Lucrezia committed with her two brothers Cesare and Giovanni, in addition to that with her father: ibid., 219. 56 In her case the general invocation of ‘Dilecta in Christo filia’ by the pope reserved for the queens and noble ladies of Christendom was understood ad litteram. 57 See the diary of Guaspare Nadi a muratore from Bologna: Diario bolognese di Guaspare Nadi, eds. Corrado Ricci and Alberto Bacchi della Lega (Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1969), 304: adì 3 de settembre 1501 el fiolo del ducha erchole marchesse de ferrara se fe sposso de una fiola del papa alisandro [on September 3, 1501 the son of the duke, Ercole marquis of Ferrara married a daughter of the pope Alexander]. 58 Gregorovius, Lucrezia Borgia, 214-215. 59 Michele Bordin, ‘Per una storia solidale: Lucrezia Borgia di Maria Bellonci e altre psicobiografie al femminile,’ in Lucrezia Borgia. Storia e mito, eds. Michele Bordin and Paolo Trovato (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2006), 345-399.

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In 1519, the year of Lucrezia’s death, an unknown author composed two epigrams suggesting that Alexander VI had had sex with his own daughter:60 In this grave sleeps one who is Lucretia by name, but in reality she is Thaïs: daughter, bride and daughter-in-law of Alexander. Hoc tumulo dormit Lucretia nomine, sed re Thais; Alexandri filia, sponsa, nurus. So does Sextus want you forever, Lucretia? O, horrible destiny of the name: this one [Sextus] is the father. Ergo te semper cupiat, Lucretia, Sextus? O fatum diri nominis: hic pater est.

The insinuations in these two epigrams are fairly harsh. In the first epigram, Lucrezia is compared to Thaïs, famous courtesan of Alexander the Great, thus drawing a connection between Alexander VI and the ancient emperor. The second line alludes to rumours about Lucrezia who, as daughter of Alexander, had had sex with both her brother and father (thus she is filia, nurus and sponsa). The second epigram alludes to Lucretia, wife of Collatinus, and her rapist Sextus Tarquinius, whose praenomen corresponds to the ordinal designation of Pope Alexander.61 While the enemies of the Borgias wrote such unflattering compositions, the court humanists of Ferrara did their best to efface the unpleasant details of Lucrezia’s past. Antonia Tissoni Benvenuti has recently shown that the parallels between the ancient Lucretia and Lucrezia Borgia were important elements in the eulogies for the duchess of Ferrara.62 A sonnet by Marcello Filosseno, for instance, suggests that Ferrara had become the most glorious city in the world by taking Rome’s biggest treasure, and that her death would establish a heavenly court, much as the death of Lucretia helped to establish the Roman Republic.63 60 Some sources identified its author with Pontano see Lee Piepho, ‘Versions by Thomas, Lord Fairfax of Some Poems by Mantuan and Other Neo-Latin Writers,’ Renaissance and Reformation 9 (1984): 114-120. 61 Other epigrams based on this numerical similarity are to be found in Curione’s Pasquillorum tomi duo, I, pasquillus no. C., 120. 62 Antonia Tissoni Benvenuti, ‘L’arrivo di Lucrezia a Ferrara,’ in Lucrezia Borgia. Storia e mito, 3-22. 63 Ibid., 13.


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The poet Antonio Tebaldeo went even further, suggesting that the duchess of Ferrara possessed not only the beauty, serenity and dignity (beltà, honestate, maestà) attributed to the ancient Lucretia but also the capacity to resist Tarquinius (Ma non è alcun Tarquinio che si mova). Tebaldeo’s poem belongs to a long tradition of works which discuss the suicide of Lucretia;64 by mentioning that the duchess of Ferrara cannot be swayed by any Tarquinius, he appears to allude to the opinion, popular since the time of St. Augustine, that Lucretia had killed herself because she had found joy and excitement during her intercourse with Tarquinius. Although Tebaldeo remains respectful,65 one must nonetheless wonder whether the allusion to Tarquinius Sextus would not have called to mind the figure of Alexander VI: Though the Rome is now reduced to her ruins, which once provoked fear in the heaven with her seven hills, it is still able to give birth to heavenly spirits: the empire was taken from her but the virtue not. It will be obvious for those who will turn to you, my Lucretia, of whom the bright and spotless fame overshadows the loud fame of the ancient Lucretia, because your serenity is bigger, even if you do not prove it with your blood, even if you would shed it from wider veins. But there is no Tarquinius to move you, because in your face, shiny and calm, there is that much beauty and dignity, that as much as it spurs the heart so it restrains it. Benché sia Roma in sue ruine involta, che fe’ con sette colli al ciel paura, pur in produrre animi excelsi dura: l’imperio a lei, ma non la virtù fu tolta.

64 The scholarship is summarized in Paul Thoen and Gilbert Tournoy, ‘Lucretia Lovaninesis: The Louvain Humanists and the Motif of Lucretia’s Suicide,’ Humanistica Lovaniensia. Journal of Neo-Latin Studies, 56 (2007): 87-119; Gilbert Tournoy, “Some Newly Discovered Latin Poems by and to Ioannes Dantiscus: the Contentio de duabus Lucretiis,” in Respublica Litteraria in Action. New Sources, ed. Katarzyna Tomaszuk, (Warsaw: IBI AL, Cracow: PAU, 2016), 51-76. 65 Tissoni Benvenuti, L’arrivo di Lucrezia, 22.

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Esser vedrà così chi a voi si volta, Lucretia mia, la cui candida e pura fama il gran grido de l’antica oscura, ché maggior honestate è in voi raccolta, se ben col sangue non mostrate prova, che il spargereste con più larga vena. Ma non è alcun Tarquinio che si mova. Ché ne la fronte vostra, alma e serena, beltà con tanta maestà si trova, che quanto sprona i cor’, tanto gli affrena.66

The official speech by Pellegrino Prisciani, historian of the d’Este family, which welcomed Lucrezia to Ferrara, attempted no such complex allusions. Instead, Prisciani used the position of Alexander VI as the heir of Saint Peter, to draw a parallel between Lucrezia and Peter’s supposed daughter, Saint Petronilla: Over the stone of Peter, the almighty God, incarnated, found his church. And Alexander did the same. Peter had a beautiful daughter, Petronilla; Alexander has a daughter, Lucrezia, shining of beauty and virtues. Oh, infinite mysteries of God almighty! Oh, most lucky men! Super Petri petram Deus omnipotens, humanitate assumpta, ecclesiam suam edificavit. Et hanc tandem Alexandro VI comisit. Habuit Petrus Petronillam filiam pulcherrimam; habet Alexander Lucretiam decore et virtutibus undique resplendentem. O immensa Dei omnipotentis misteria! O beatissimos homines!67

Julius Caesar Secundus Exclusus Alexander VI died at the beginning of summer in 1503, and the d’Este family, having lost papal support, had to start negotiations with the newly elected Pius III to preserve their power in Ferrara. However the reign of Pius III lasted only a few weeks and, after his death, the cardinals elected Giuliano della Rovere, a man of bellicose nature and deadly enemy of the 66 Ibid. 67 Ibid., 17.


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Borgias, who ruled as Julius II. Julius’ dream was to regain those parts of Italy which fell under papal jurisdiction according to the Donatio Constantini; by 1509, he had reconquered Bologna, ordering the damnatio memoriae of the Bentivoglio family who had ruled the city for almost sixty years. After this success he turned his attention towards Ferrara, using against all his spiritual and material resources in order to depose the d’Este family.68 The inglorious deeds of Julius II are preserved in a dialogue known as Julius exclusus ex caelis, attributed for centuries to Erasmus.69 The dialogue involves three protagonists: Saint Peter at the doors of Heaven, the drunk and weary Julius, and his spirit. Peter does not want to let in the doubtful figure who states that he is a pope, and Julius is unable to convince the doorkeeper that he is a Holy Father, no matter how loftily he describes his deeds. The spirit in turn offers a satiric commentary on Julius’ words. In the Julius exclusus Erasmus repeats many of the accusations he had already made in a carmen iamblicum, but augments them with an analysis of various aspects of Julius II’s personality and papacy. According to Erasmus, Julius was a violent, irascible drunkard, who behaved more like a condottiere than the head of Christendom; he had committed simony,70 transformed canonical law according to his own taste, despised the college of cardinals, and had sex with men. Only as a side-note does Erasmus mention that Julius had also been a father.71 The accusation was not unfounded: Julius is known to have had at least one daughter, Felice della Rovere, who moved to Rome in 1504 and married Giovanni Giordano Orsini, lord of Bracciano, on May 24, 1506.72 Other sources suggest the existence of two other daughters as well.73 Perhaps the most damning accusation levelled by Erasmus – and one 68 Julius II issued excommunication against duke Alfonso d’Este in 1510, when Lucrezia Borgia was still a member of the ducal family. On July 18, 1511, he again imposed both excommunication and interdict against Alfonso d’Este and all his supporters, among whom was Louis XII, king of France. After two years of hostilities, on July 4, 1512, duke Alfonso d’Este presented himself at Rome in order to negotiate an agreement with the pope. Julius II granted him absolution from the ecclesiastical censures, but wanted duke Alfonso to renounce Ferrara. At the end, fearing for his life, duke Alfonso fled Rome, thanks to the help of the powerful Roman lord, Fabrizio Colonna: ASD I/8, n. to ll. 91-91, 229 and n. to ll. 167-168, 235. 69 The recent critical edition of the dialogue in Erasmus’ Opera omnia see ASD I/8 quoted above has made a convincing argument the Dutch humanist’s authorship. 70 ASD I/8 ll. 144-145 and n. 232-233. 71 Nam filie maritus sua sorte contentus est [So my daughter’s husband is happy with his life]: ASD I/8, l. 336., 248. 72 ASD I/8, n. to l. 336, 250. 73 Frattini, I papi e il sesso, 278-279. According to Mondin, however, he had three sons already as a cardinal. Mondin, Pápák enciklopédiája, 395.

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which differs from other contemporary commentary – is the insinuation that pope Sixtus IV was the father of Julius II, not his uncle.74 It is hard to determine which aspect of the pope’s lifestyle Erasmus despised the most. Julius’ attempts to obtain exclusive power within the church through the interpretation of canon law,75 and his willingness to command the Vatican army as a means of seizing control throughout Italy both seem to have disgusted the Dutch humanist. Between 1505 and 1512, Julius II fought a series of wars against Bologna and Ferrara that were interrupted only by the conciliabulum of Pisa, convened by a group of rebellious cardinals, and the fifth Lateran Council organised by the Pope himself. Erasmus depicts these events, putting words into the mouth of Julius that suggest both tyrant and a petulant child.76 The dialogue offers brilliant word-play that draws upon the topoi used by Julius himself in his self-representation.77 According to some early sources, the image of the pope as a second Julius Caesar had been transmitted to the people of Italy since the beginning of his reign. A diary entry from 1503 by Gaspare Nadi, a muratore from Bologna, notes that pope Della Rovere had chosen the name Giulio Cesare II.78 Erasmus, in turn, draws parallels between the capacity for warfare shared by the two Julii, as well as to a number of immoral characteristics common to both figures, including: their love for wine,79 their epilepsy (although, in the case of the pope, there is no evidence for this in the historical sources),80 their vow of not cutting their

74 ASD I/8, l. 260, 242. 75 ASD I/8, l. 506. and ll. 520-521., 265 and 267. During the conclave on November 1, 1503 a capitulatio electoralis was edited, sworn by all the cardinals and confirmed by Julius II after his election, stating that, if the pope would not call a general council within two years, the power to convoke the council would devolve upon the College of Cardinals. It seems, that later Julius II considered legitimate to absolve himself (as main and only lawmaker in the Church) in foro conscientiae, form the oath taken when he was elected. 76 See for instance Julius’ exclamation as reaction to Saint Peter’s statement, that he is too much similar to a Julius from hell: ASD I/8, ll. 76-80, 228. 77 Giovanni Francesco Poggio, Egidio Antonini da Viterbo and Giovanni Nagonio are quoted in ASD I/8, 228-229. 78 I quote it in modernized Italian: fu fatto il papa Giulio Cesare secondo [che] fu cardinale di San Pietro in Vincula papa Cesare secondo al dì 2 di novembre 1503 papa Giulio Cesare secondo. [It was elected pope Julius Caesar the second, who was cardinal of San Pietro in Vincoli, pope Caesar the second on the 2nd day of November 1503, pope Julius Caesar the second]: Diario bolognese, 333. Nadi was already dead in 1504 so the information given by him could not be inserted a posteriori in his diary. 79 Mentioned four times in the dialogue: ll. 14, 17, 70-71, 661-663. 80 ASD I/8, n. to l. 135, 232.


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beard until a positive change of fortune in war,81 their homosexuality82 and their perfidy in matters involving power.83 For Erasmus, as Silvia Seidel Menchi points out, Caesar was ‘a prototype of the wicked ruler, the tyrant who gained power by criminal schemes,’84 and any comparisons with the Roman ruler were bound to be unflattering. Giovanni Francesco Poggio, a court humanist of Julius II, summarised the ideology of Julius’ papacy in his Ad Sanctam Dominationem Nostram Iulium Papam II written in 1503.85 He wrote: [A]ll Christians must obey the pontiff as father and pastor. Those who obstinately refuse to do so will be considered infidel and heretic […]. It is irrelevant whether the pontiff is good or evil, because he is subject to the judgment of no one so long as he is tolerated by the church.86

Poggio, referring to decisions made in the times of pope Boniface VIII, went on to state that there was only one exception to this rule: when the pope is proven to be a heretic, he falls under the jurisdiction of the council; however because this was not the case with Julius II, at least according to Poggio, he was entitled to remain on his throne.87 Not only was Julius II successful on the battlefield, but his political shrewdness allowed him to overcome the objections of secessionist cardinals with promises or threats. Only after his papacy did a sense of dissatisfaction with papal deeds emerge, which took the form of outrage against the subsequent pope, Leo X. However, it was the doctrine of Martin Luther and his followers which would lead to a greater crisis in the years to come.

81 ASD I/8, l. 173, 236. 82 ASD I/8, l. 199. and ll. 208-210, 238. Open accusations against Giuliano Della Rovere because of sodomy were made by Virginio Orsini (1485). During his pontificate sonnets and pasquinades alluding to his sexual inclinations were even printed in Romagna, Vencie and Ferrara in 1506 and 1509, exactly when luck of war favored him against Bologna and Ferrara. 83 ASD I/8, l. 353, 252. 84 ASD I/8, n. to l. 76, 229. 85 The parts of it are quoted in ASD I/8, n. to l. 365, 254. 86 ASD I/8, n. to l. 365, 254. 87 ASD I/8, n. to ll. 390-391, 257.

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Changing Gossip Management: Laesa Maiestatis As part of his campaign against Bologna, Julius II accused their political leadership of the crime of lèse-majesté (laesa maiestatis). During the time of the Renaissance popes, cases of laesae maiestatis had been reasonably rare; however their increase in the years following the Council of Trent marks a distinct change in the methods of papal gossip management. In 1643, during the papacy of Urban VIII (1623-1644), Ferrante Pallavicino, an Augustinian author of anti-papal and anti-Jesuit satires, was arrested and condemned to death for crimen laesae maiestatis; he was beheaded in Avignon the following year. Some pasquinades were found among the possessions confiscated from Pallavicino, including one in which Saint Peter refuses to let the pope into heaven.88 The subject of this pasquinade is not unlike that of the Julius exclusus of Erasmus, although several writings of similar character89 may be found in the collection of Pasquinate Romane.90 Other instances in which critical or satirical writing resulted in the penalty of death continued to occur until at least the eighteenth century.91 Between the last decades of the fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth century, the statue of Pasquino in Rome had been used by the papacy to channel the aggression of the people of Rome. The anonymity granted by Pasquino meant that, from a legal standpoint, there was no identifiable author who could be charged with laesa maiestatis. However, it was no accident that Erasmus never openly acknowledged his authorship of the Julius exclusus. If Julius II had been able to identify its author, he would have certainly found a way to punish him. The post-tridentine popes were not so lenient: by silencing the statue of Pasquino, they abolished the hiding place which had once been available to anyone wishing to criticise the papacy. 88 ASD I/8, n. 506, 113. 89 For example Pope Julius II expects pope Leo X in hell as none of them was let into heaven; a traveler talks to Saint Peter who is fleeing Rome because of the pope’s (Leo X) sins and similar. 90 See the kind of the pasquinades as the ‘Viator et Petrus’ quoted above. Silvia Seidel Menchi also quotes the case of Agostino Vanzo, a physicist from the diocese of Vicenza, who was condemned to death as a relapsed heretic in 1580. Vanzo was sympathetic to protestant doctrine and one of his sins was to have written a Dialogo di papa Leon [X] e s[anto] Pietro. In this work the two protagonists meet at the gates of heaven and pope Leo X seeks in vain the assistance of Saint Peter to open the gates with the keys he has at hand. The similarities between the Dialogo and the Julius exclusus are evident: ASD I/8, 120-124. 91 For a case during the times of Innocent X see Prodi, Il sovrano pontefice, 126. Another capital penalty was given to a journalist abbe by Clemens X see Alessandro Ademollo, Le giustizie di Roma dal 1674 al 1739 e dal 1679 al 1840 (Roma: Forzani, 1881), 60-62.


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Conclusions The popes examined above failed to fulfil their task as spiritual leader as soon as they started to act like secular princes. We can assume from the case studies that the world of pre-Reformation Christendom possessed an ideal model of the pope, and that changes to or deviations from this model were greeted with swift and often damning criticism from both the vox populi of Rome, and from wider humanist circles throughout Europe. According to this ideal model, the pope must leave behind all the trappings of his previous lay life in order to become the spiritual father of Christendom. Earthly passions and personal weaknesses – drinking, lying, killing and having sexual relations – did not fit with the image of a pope’s pious life. In addition to these vices and sins, there was also the problem of popes exercising a princely authority over the Vatican. From the reign of pope Pius II onwards, the popes were as concerned with temporal power as with spiritual power, and the task of establishing the primacy of the pope over Italian territories required earthly measures which the public considered more fitting for princes and kings; the practice of nepotism, especially, was a highly visible example. The more that the popes acted like princes, the greater the public criticism: the acts of spending money from the church on jewellery (in the case of Paul II) or art (Leo X), of fighting personally in battles against other Christian kings instead of against heretics or the Ottomans (Julius II), or of organising dynastic marriages for their children (Alexander VI) were all deeds focused more on the physical person of the pope than on the mystical body of the church. If the pope failed to represent the interests of the church as a whole, the public felt justified in criticising his character, not as the head of a spiritual body, but as a flawed human. The case studies examined above all depict the popes as men who, by their personal sins, were staining the mystical body of the church, a deed which rendered them automatically unsuited to their high elected position. Pius II and Gregory XIII were criticised for having been fathers before starting their ecclesiastical career; however this sin was insignificant next to the act of continuing to lead a lay lifestyle, as Rodrigo Borgia did when he was already a cardinal. The fact that he did not cease his sexual relations even after becoming pope was an even more severe transgression. The accusations of incest levelled against Alexander VI, might be understood as an inverse reflection of the dynastic policy practiced by the Borgia family. In these cases, the children of popes were not only a personal embarrassment to the Holy Fathers, but could also be used as evidence in dispute about the state of the church.

The Queen’s Two Faces The Portraiture of Elizabeth I of England Emilia Olechnowicz

Throughout history, the idea of the king having two bodies has been used as a tool to strengthen royal authority. When crowned and anointed with sacred oils, the king was no longer just a mortal ruler, but also the figurative ‘head’ of the mystical body of the commonwealth (and in some cases the church). By granting a sovereign the status of a supernatural being, the body politic effectively allowed a king to transcend his human limitations and frailties.1 However, one should not believe that the king’s two bodies complemented one another harmoniously, creating a firm and stable unity. In fact, their mutual relationship tended to be highly problematic: the political body cannot be separated from the person of the king, yet it is not synonymous with him. The aim of the present paper is to offer a practical analysis of how the theory of the king’s two bodies functioned during the Elizabethan era and, specifically, how it may have influenced artistic practices of the time. The paper will examine how the complexities of this concept was reflected in portraits of Queen Elizabeth I: by using royal portraits from each decade of her reign as examples, we will demonstrate how the naturalistic portraits from the first years of her reign were eventually replaced by her political public image, that of the ever-beautiful, semi-divine Virgin Queen.

Self-Presentation From the beginning of her reign, Elizabeth – a young woman, and daughter of Anne Boleyn – faced the problem of legitimacy. In order to present herself as the heiress of the sacred English royal tradition, she utilised the legal concept of the king’s two bodies as a language to express her royal claim,2 declaring in her accession speech: 1 Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957), 7-41. 2 Susan Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 12.

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As I am but one bodye naturallye Considered though by His permission a bodye politique to governe; so I shall desyre yow all my Lordes […] to bee assistant to me, that I with my Rulinge and yow with your service may make a good accoumpt to Almighty God.3

Elizabeth’s authority was supported by creating a sense of continuity with the English monarchy. 4 If the king and his successor were the same person according to the law, then the qualities of the body natural, such as gender, were irrelevant. The queen was thus trying to convince her subjects that while her body natural was female, her immortal body politic was or could be thought of as male. In her famous Tilbury speech, thought to have been delivered just before the Armada battle of 1588, Elizabeth identified herself as both a feeble woman and a sacred majesty: ‘I know I have y t body butt of a weake and feble woman; butt I have y t harte and Stomach of a kinge, and of a kynge of England, too.’5 Both Carol Levin and Susan Frye assert that Elizabeth’s subjects viewed her as both ‘King and Queen.’ Levin quotes a speech from early in Elizabeth’s reign by Nicholas Heath, the Archbishop of York, in which he described the queen in both male and female terms as ‘our sovaraigne lord and ladie, our kinge and queen, our emperor and empresse.’6 Frye, on the other hand, 3 Queen Elizabeth’s First Speech at Hatf ield, 20 November 1558 in Elizabeth I, Collected Works, ed. Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller and Mary Beth Rose (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 51. The manuscript in The National Archives, London: PRO, State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth SP/12/1, 7. 4 Marie Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession (London: Swift Printers Ltd. for Royal Historical Society, 1977), 27. The queen herself expressed it as follows: thowghe I be a woman yet I have as good a corage answerable to mye place as evere my father hade. I am your anointed Queene. I wyll never be by vyolence constreyned to doo anye thinge ‘Elizabeth’s Response to a Parliamentary Delegation on Her Marriage, 1566,’ in Proceedings in the Parliaments of Elizabeth I, ed. T.E. Hartley, 3 vols. (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1981-1995), I (1981), 44-45. 5 I quote from an undated manuscript at The British Library, Harley 6798, f. 87. The authenticity of this speech is questioned by some historians as it was first recorded circa 1623 by Dr. Leonel Sharp in a letter to Duke Buckingham. However, the existence of the aforementioned manuscript seems to strengthen its credibility. Miller Christy, ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to Tilbury in 1588,’ English Historical Review 34 (1919): 43-61; Felix Barker, ‘If Parma Had Landed,’ History Today 38 (May 1988): 38; Susan Frye, ‘The Myth of Elizabeth of Tilbury,’ Sixteenth Century Journal 23 (1992): 95-114. 6 Hethe, ‘Archebishoppe of Yorke, his oration made in the Parliament House, 1559,’ in An Appendix being a Repository of Faithful Extracts of Various Records and Registers […], ed. John Strype (London: John Wyat, 1708), 7. See also Carol Levin, The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and Power (Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), 121.

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notes that in a speech composed by Elizabeth and her Privy Council in 1569, intended to be read in parish churches, the queen was referred to as ‘the sovereign prince and queen.’7 It is also worth mentioning the queen’s answer to the House of Commons petition of 1563: The weight and greatness of this matter might cause in me, being woman wanting both wit and memory, some fear to speak and bashfulness besides, a thing appropriate to my sex. But yet the princely seat and kingly throne wherein God (though unworthy) hath constituted me, maketh these two causes to seem little in mine eyes.8

According to the queen’s interpretation, the same issue may be viewed as momentous (by a woman) and trivial (by a king); it might indeed be regarded as Elizabeth’s own version of the royal obligation to be both Pater et filius Iustitiae: father and son of Justice. In her female body natural the queen could present herself as intimidated by the burden of state affairs, but her royal (and presumably male) body politic elevated her above such limitations. However, the idea of the king’s two bodies could also be interpreted quite differently. For the jurists of the Inns of Court it was perceived as a means of limiting and controlling the queen. As Marie Axton has convincingly argued, the jurist Edmund Plowden’s famous Reports of 1571, which codified the concept of the king’s two bodies in the early modern period, were designed to ‘minimise the personal impact of the new sovereign and […] emphasise the continuity of the monarchy.’9 The jurists of the Inns of Court were keen to accentuate the impersonal character of the body politic by undermining the importance of the body natural. They determined that when a king acceded to the throne he must renounce his personal privileges and properties, and give up the right to make decisions dictated by personal preference; it was expected that a king would relinquish his life as a private man. If Elizabeth believed that her natural body was protected and reinforced by the body politic, the jurists, on the contrary, claimed that the queen’s person was subordinated to the body politic. Although they drew opposing conclusions, the queen and her jurists used the concept of the two bodies to suggest that the queen’s person had, 7 Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation, 13. 8 PRO, State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth 12/27/36, fol. 143 r-144 r. See Elizabeth I, Collected Works, 70. 9 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 16.

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to some extent, been incorporated into the body politic.10 On the other hand, however, several observers noted a distinction between Elizabeth’s physical and political bodies. The courtier and poet Edward Dyer wrote to Lord Chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton, ‘First of all you must consider with whom you have to deale, & what wee be towards her, who though she does descend uery much in her Sex as a woman, yet wee may not forgett her Place, & the nature of it as our Sovraigne.’11 The jurists of the Inns of Court stressed the dichotomy of the king’s body to point out the discrepancy between Elizabeth’s body politic and body natural.12 Female gender was perceived as weakness, therefore a woman-ruler was supposed to rely on the wisdom of her male counsellors.13 This conviction was expressed clearly in a passage from The Mirror for Magistrates written during the reign of Mary Tudor: As for wysedome and pollicie, seing it consiseth in folowing the counsayl of many godly, learned, & long experienced heades, it were better to have a woman, who cosideringe her owne weaknes and inabilitye, shoulde be ruled thereby, than a man presuming upon his owne brayne, wil heare no advise save his owne.14

It was necessary for the queen to establish that her authority as a ruler was not subjected to feminine weakness. Elizabeth’s political situation, however, was further complicated by her excommunication by Pius V in 1570, by which the pope and catholic bishops absolved her subjects from allegiance to her.15 Cardinal William Allen went so far as to issue the Admonition to the Nobility 10 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 364-383. 11 Edward Dyer to Christopher Hatton, 9 October 1572, The British Library, Add. 12 520, fol. 85b. Quoted in Ralph M. Sargent, At the Court of Queen Elizabeth: The Life and Lyrics of Sir Edward Dyer (New York: Oxford University Press, 1935), 24. 12 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 11-25. 13 Louis Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth: Authority, Gender, and Representation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 45. 14 The Mirror for Magistrates, ed. Lily Campbell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938), 318. See also Katherine Eggert, Showing Like a Queen: Female Authority and Literary Experiment in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 1-21. 15 Pius V, ‘Regnans in excelsis,’ in John Jewel, Works, ed. John Ayre, 4 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1845-50), IV (1850), 1131-1132: This very woman having seazed on the Kingdome, and monstrously usurping the place of supreme head of the Church in all England, and the chiefe authority and jurisdiction thereof, hath againe brought backe the sayd Kingdome into miserable destruction, which was then newly reduced to the Catholike Faith and good fruits […]. We do declare Her to be deprived of her pretended Title to the Kingdome aforesayd, and of all Dominion, Dignity, and Priviledge what soever; and also the Nobility, Subjects, and People

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and People of England and Ireland Concerning the Present Warres in which he urged English Catholics to overthrow the queen. He thundered against a woman being a head of the church: ‘She usurpeth, by Luciferian pride, the title of supreme ecclesiastical government, a thing in a woman unheard of.’16 He also accused her of debauchery, suggesting that she ‘hath abused her bodie against God’s lawes, to the disgrace of princely majestie, and the whole nation reproche, by unspeakable and incredible variety of luste;’17 and by mentioning that she disgraced ‘her princely majestie,’18 he emphasised the clash between the queen’s body natural and her body politic. Although his references are negative, he nonetheless confirmed that the theory of two bodies was an essential element of Elizabethan political discourse.19 However, it was not merely Catholics who were anxious about the fact that a woman sat on the English throne. In 1558, shortly before Elizabeth’s accession, John Knox, a Scottish theologian and a leader of the Protestant Reformation, published the evocatively-titled pamphlet The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstruous Regiment of Women. Inspired by the unfortunate rule of Elizabeth’s step-sister, Mary I, it used religious grounds as the basis for an attack on the rule of women. Knox wrote: ‘To promote a woman to beare rule […] is repugnant to nature, contumelie to God, a thing most contrarious to his reueled will and approued ordinance, and finallie it is the subuersion of good order, of all equitie and iustice.’20 In the margin he added: ‘Common welthes under the rule of women, lacke a

of the sayd Kingdome, and all others which have in any sort sworne unto Her, to be for ever absolved from any such Oath, and all manner of duty of dominion, allegiance, and obedience. 16 An Admonition to the Nobility and People of England and Ireland Concerninge the Present Warres Made for the Execution of his Holines Sentence […] by the Cardinal of Englande [Antwerp: A. Coninncx], A[nn]o. M.D.LXXXVIII. [1588]. See also Anna Whitelock, ‘The Queen’s Two Bodies: The Image and Reality of the Body of Elizabeth I,’ in The Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, eds. Sean McGlynn, Elena Woodacre (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 218. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 The significance of this text was further complicated by the circumstances in which it was issued. Allen, a longtime opponent of the queen and a staunch supporter of the re-conversion of England to Catholicism, was appointed a cardinal at the recommendation of King Philip II of Spain in 1587 and his Admonition was published in 1588, just before the Spanish invasion. Urging Catholics to rise up against Elizabeth, he acted with the intention to facilitate Philip II to conquer England. 20 The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (London: John Day, 1558). Reprinted in The Works of John Knox, ed. David Laing, 6 vols. (Edinburgh: James Thin, 1895), IV, 373.

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laufull heade.’21 Regardless of her faith and birth, Elizabeth’s claim to the throne was inconsistent with divine law simply because she was a woman. The social hierarchy in which woman was subordinated to man was an indispensable part of the ‘natural order’ of the world, itself a reflection of the cosmic order established by God. Knox’s position was not universally accepted. A few months after the succession another protestant theologian, John Aylmer, published a reply to Knox’s pamphlet.22 Aylmer’s An Harborovve for a Faithfull and Trewe Subiectes proclaimed the queen a safe harbour for the English people after the stormy reign of Mary. He refutes the allegation that the rule of women is unnatural by arguing that their authority, like the authority of men, comes ultimately from God: ‘when God chooseth himself by sending to a king, whose succession is ruled by inheritance and lineal descent, no heirs male: it is a plain argument that for some secret purpose he mindeth the female should reign and govern.’23 He further argues that God established rulers to ensure the welfare of the commonwealth, therefore if the reign of a woman is prosperous, it cannot be contrary to the will of God. And yet, he added: ‘It is not she that ruleth, but the laws.’24 Such vacillation continued throughout Elizabeth’s reign. In 1597 a French ambassador noted: ‘Her government is fairly pleasing to the people, who show that they love her, but it is little pleasing to the great men and nobles; and if by any chance she should die, it is certain that the English would never again submit to the rule of woman.’25 The most troubling consequence of having an unmarried women on the throne seemed to be the question of succession, and a considerable part of Elizabeth’s reign was marked by strenuous attempts to persuade her to choose a husband. Yet even though a marriage might have strengthened her political position and secured the succession, the queen decided not to marry. This controversial choice, which may have been a conscious 21 Ibid., 390. 22 Possibly it was inspired by the court, given that his book was dedicated to two members of the Privy Council: Clark Hulse, Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 42. 23 John Aylmer, An Harborovve for a Faithfull and Trevve Subiectes […] (Strasbourg [i.e. London]: John Day, 1559), fol. B3v; A.N. McLaren, Political Culture in the Reign of Elizabeth I: Queen and Commonwealth, 1558-1585 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 59-69. 24 Aylmer, An Harborowe, fol. H3r; McLaren, Political Culture in The Reign of Elizabeth I, 46-74. 25 A Journal of All that Was Accomplished by Monsieur de Maisse, Ambassador in England from King Henry IV to Queen Elizabeth, A. D. 1597, trans. and ed. by G.B. Harrison (London: The Nonesuch Press, 1931), 11-12.

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decision,26 or perhaps the result of ‘Elizabeth’s policy of prolonged nondecision,’27 posed another challenge for her rule. Her decisive approach, however, is noted by the French ambassador in 1566: ‘As for handling the succession, no one of them [queen’s subjects] should do it; she would reserve that for herself […]. Nor had she the slightest wish for their counsel on this subject.’28 Advice, of course, was offered in disguised form. The Spanish ambassador, De Silva, was present at the Gray’s Inn entertainment at Whitehall on March 5, 1565 and noted: ‘we […] descended to where all was prepared for the representation of a comedy in English, of which I understood as much as the Queen told me. The plot was founded on the question of marriage, discussed between Juno and Diana, Juno advocating marriage and Diana chastity. Jupiter gave verdict in favour of matrimony […]. The Queen turned to me and said, “This is all against me.”’29 As the queen grew older and the chances of securing the succession decreased, the public persona of a virgin goddess was reluctantly accepted;30 the perceived weakness of an unmarried woman unable to give the kingdom an heir was transformed into the triumphant image of the Virgin Queen. However, we must bear in mind that this image was fashioned dynamically, as John N. King argues, and was to a certain extent created posthumously, in the Jacobean era, as a leverage against Stuart politics.31 Marie Axton in The Queen’s Two Bodies accurately observed that ‘the land of the realm was vested in the king,’32 while bishop Stephen Gardiner, 26 The queen’s conscious will of remaining a virgin married to her kingdom was expressed in her alleged response to a 1559 petition from the House of Commons: ‘As concerning yours instant perswasion of mee to marriage, I must tell you […] I am already bound unto an Husband, which is the Kingdome of England […]. And reproach mee so no more, that I haue no children: for euery one of you, and as man as are English, are my Children.’ The speech was quoted by Elizabeth’s first historian, William Camden in Annales the True and Royall History of the Famous Empresse Elizabeth Queene of England […] (London: Printed [by George Purslowe, Humphrey Lownes, and Miles Flesher] for Beniamin Fisher, 1625), 27-28. A draft version of the speech preserved in the British Library (MS Lansdowne 94) does not mention the queen married to her realm. John K. King suggests that it might have been added later as a ‘hagiographical’ embellishment: John N. King, ‘Queen Elizabeth I: Representations of the Virgin Queen,’ Renaissance Quarterly 43, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 30-74. 27 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 63. 28 Jean de La Forêt, a letter to Charles IX, 21 October 1566. Quoted in: Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 11. 29 Calendar of State Papers, Spain, 4 vols. (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1892-1899), I: 1558-1567, ed. Martin A.S. Hume (1892), 404-405. Quoted in: Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 49. 30 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 60. 31 King, Queen Elizabeth I: Representations of the Virgin Queen, 30-74. 32 Ibid., 14.

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advisor to Elizabeth’s father Henry VIII, asserted that the king was ‘the ymage of God upon earth.’33 These two statements articulate the nature of kingship: its two essential elements were its corporate character and its sacred nature. In the Tudor era, a ruler – the head of both commonwealth and church – combined secular and religious authority. Elizabeth relied heavily on both, and her public appearances were designed to present her as both godly monarch and an embodiment of her kingdom.34 This triumphant image was popularised by panegyrists. John Awdelay in his poem The Wonders of England (1559) compared the Elizabethan succession with a lamp being lit in the darkness and he suggested that the very voice of God commanded Elizabeth to reign: ‘Up,’ said this God with voice not strange, ‘Elizabeth, thys real newe guyde, My Wyll in thee do not thou hyde.’35

Richard Mulcaster praised the queen in a ballad: The God sent us your noble Grace, as in dede it was highe tyme, Which dothe all Popery cleane deface, and set us forth God’s trewe devine – For whome we are all bound to praye, Lady, Lady. Long life to raigne both night and day, most dere Ladye.36

33 Stephen Gardiner, De vera obedientia. An Oration […] by […] Stepha[n] Bishop of Wi[n]chestre […] Printed at Ha[m]burgh in Latine, in Officina Fra[n]cisci Rhodi Mense Ianuario, 1536. And Now Translated in to Englishe (Rome[?]: 1553). Both Lation’s original and the sixteenth-century translation are reprinted as: Stephen Gardiner, ‘The Oration of True Obedience,’ in Stephen Gardiner, Obedience in Church and State: Three Political Tracts by Stephen Gardiner, trans. and ed. by Pierre Janelle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1930), 97. 34 Foxe’s The Actes and Monuments of the Christian Church was of a great significance in these efforts. Foxe’s book first published in English in 1563 (London: John Day), was very influential and had further expanded editions in 1570, 1576, and 1583, with subsequent editions in 1596, 1610, 1625, and 1632. It included a detailed account of queen’s imprisonment in the Tower granting her status of a religious martyr. Elizabeth Evenden, Thomas S. Freeman, Religion and the Book in Early Modern England: The Making of John Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’ (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011). 35 John Awdelay, The Wonders of England[e] (London: By John Awdeley, 1559). Quoted in Wilson, England’s Eliza (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1938), 8. 36 The Harleian Miscellany: A Collection of […] Pamphlets and Tracts, ed. Thomas Park, 10 vols. (London: Printed for J. White, 1808-1813), X (1813), 263.

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Such praises are sometimes interpreted as evidence of the existence of the cult of Elizabeth, who was described and depicted in a manner reminiscent of the Virgin Mary.37 Scholars such as E.C. Wilson, Frances A. Yates, and Roy Strong, argue in favour of such a hypothesis; more recent work of Sydney Anglo, Susan Doran, and Susan Frye has been more critical.38 Louis A. Montrose has suggested that the cult of Elizabeth was ‘a complex core component of Elizabethan statecraft.’39 The account of Polish envoy Paweł Działyński sheds some light on this intricate problem. Działyński came to England in 1597, sent by the Polish king Sigismund III Vasa with a sharp diplomatic note concerning Baltic maritime trade. He wrote, ‘upon our arrival in England, we carefully and thoroughly observed the condition of the kingdom and the Queen herself, which at first glance propels the greatest delight.’40 But his assessment soon darkens. He states: ‘The Queen is sixty-four, and she rules for forty years with unheard-of despotism in which she hitherto surpassed all the tyrants,’ and he refers to the queen as ‘the Pope hermaphrodite’ and ‘dangerous predator-woman.’41 He praises her for possessing ‘the prudence of Semiramis, forethought of Brutus, astuteness of Odysseus’42 only to emphasise further how truly dangerous she is. He was particularly critical of the court customs, which found blasphemous: The Englishmen […] either intoxicated with the fume of her [the queen] crimes, or apparently compelled by force and cruelty, do not hesitate to bring the adulations to her bedroom and present her with them during the audiences, especially when they kneel and worship their ludicrous 37 See Helen Hackett, Virgin Mother, Maiden Queen: Elizabeth I and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995). 38 E.C. Wilson, England’s Eliza; Frances A. Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975); Roy Strong, The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry (London: Thames and Hudson, 1977); Sydney Anglo, Images of the Tudor Kingship (London: Seaby, 1992); Susan Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power: The Portraits of Elizabeth I,’ in The Myth of Elizabeth, eds. Susan Doran, Thomas S. Freeman (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 171-199; Susan Frye, The Competition for Representation (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); Stephen Hamrick, The Catholic Imaginary and the Cults of Elizabeth, 1558-1582 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009). 39 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 104, 113. 40 Mercurius Sarmaticus ex Belgio Anglicus sive Succincta er circumstantialis narratio ambarum in Belgiam et Angliam legationum […] induit et exuit Paulus Dzialinski Anno Domini M.D.X.C.VII. The master copy of a manuscript in the Kórnik Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences, sig. BK 01541, fol. 28-33v. Translation by E.O. 41 Ibid. 42 Ibid.

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pontiff, when their long-haired priest raises her hand in a salute, when they bow their heads as if to accept the blessing, when they solemnly celebrate the anniversary of queen’s birthday and her coronation day, when they elevate her over Holy Virgin Mary, when they compare her to Christ and (I dread to say) call her Redemptrix, because as Christ redeemed the human race, so she saved His Church through reformation. 43

Działyński’s account is far from objective: during an audience in Greenwich he gave an audacious speech which offended the queen and caused a diplomatic scandal that might have even lead to war. His written account was thus an attempt to justify his mission, and he had no reason to present the queen, nor her court, favourably. He may also have been biased by the hostile opinions proclaimed by the queen’s opponents. It is also doubtful whether he was able to understand fully the customs of the English court after only a month. Yet there may be some truth behind his spiteful criticism, which would support idea that a cult of Elizabeth existed during her reign.

Stagecraft and Statecraft Whether or not there was a genuine ‘cult’ of Elizabeth, the fact remains that the queen presented herself to the public in a theatrical manner, using costumes, jewellery, accessories, make-up, wigs, and suitable scenery.44 Her elaborate mode of dress may have been intended to suggest no mere mortal, but a deity in human form. 45 John Hayward, in his account of the coronation procession of 1559, noted that the queen spared no expense ‘knowing right well that in pompous ceremonies a secret of government doth much consist, for the people are both taken and held with exteriour shewes […]. The rich attire, the ornaments, the beauty of Laydies, did add particular 43 Ibid. 44 Syndey Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969); Mary Hill Cole, The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999); Nadia Thérèse Van Pelt, ‘Enter Queen: Metatheatricality and The Monarch On/Off Stage,’ in The Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, eds. Sean McGlynn and Elena Woodacre (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 298-318; Alice Hunt, Drama of Coronation: Medieval Ceremony in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 1-11. Cassandra Auble, ‘Bejeweled Majesty: Queen Elizabeth I, Precious Stones, and Statecraft,’ in The Emblematic Queen: Extra-Literary Representations of Early Modern Queenship, ed. Debra Barrett-Graves (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 35. 45 See Janet Arnold, Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d (Leeds: W. S. Maney and Son, 1988).

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graces to the solemnity, and held eyes and hearts of men dazeled betweene contentment and admiratione.’46 Such performances were an indispensable element of early modern governance: Elizabeth demonstrated both her own power and the might of kingship by drawing upon the theatricality of court ceremonies. 47 Statecraft could not do without stagecraft. 48 Public ceremonies were intended as a means of building royal authority, as Thomas Elyot notes in The Boke Named the Governour: [C]hristen kynges (all though they by inheritaunce succeeded their progenitours kynges) shulde in an open and stately place before all their subjects, receyue their crowne and other Regalities’ in order to impress the beholders and inspire them with ‘perpetuall reuerence, whiche […] is fountayne of obedience.’49

In other words, the ceremony was designed to make visible the character angelicus of the ruler.50 According to Elyot, this way of presenting the royal image arose from the imperfections of human perception: ‘Lette it be also considered that we be men and nat aungels, wherefore we knowe nothinge but by outwarde signification.’51 As the body politic was invisible, royal subjects could perceive it only through the physical body of the ruler. It was thus necessary to communicate the character angelicus through ‘some exterior signe,’ such as ‘excellencie in vesture, or other thinge semblable.’52 For Elyot, apparel was particularly suited to such purpose, and lavish displays were not an end in themselves, but rather a visible sign of God’s power. When subjects ‘honour the Princes throne, sceptre, seal, swoord, token or Image, [they] honour not the thinges which they see, but

46 John Hayward, Annals of the First Four Years of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, 167 vols. (London: The Camden Society, 1838-1901), VII, ed. John Bruce, (1840), 15. 47 See Paul Raffield, ‘Law and the Equivocal Image: Sacred and Profane in Royal Portraiture,’ in Visualizing Law and Authority: Essays on Legal Aesthetics. Law and Literature, ed. Leif Dahlberg (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), 51-73; and Ronnie Mirkin, ‘Performing Selfhood: The Costumed Body as a Site of Mediation Between Life, Art and the Theatre in the English Renaissance,’ in Body Dressing, eds. Joanne Entwistle and Elizabeth Wilson (Oxford: Berg, 2001), 143-163. 48 See Mirkin, ‘Performing Selfhood.’ 49 Thomas Elyot, The Boke Named the Governour (London: Imprinted in the house of Thomas Berthelet, 1531), 173. The first edition of the treatise was dedicated to Henry VIII. 50 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 8; Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 9. 51 Elyot, The Boke Named the Governour, 173. 52 Ibid.

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the power that sent them.’53 By showing reverence to their kings, subjects were also expressing their devotion to God represented by their sovereign. The notion that Elizabeth’s public appearances were conscious performances is suggested in a speech she gave in 1586: ‘We princes, I tel you, are set on stages, in the sight and viewe of all the world duly observed; the eyes of many behold our actions; a spot is soon spied in our garments; a blemish noted quickly in our doings.’54 She understood that royal power had to be convincingly staged in order to be plausible. The queen proved skilful in arcana imperii, the mysteries of state,55 and soon demonstrated that the illusion of power as staged with costumes and gestures was, in practice, inseparable from actual power.56 Since the body natural of the queen was supposed to represent the body politic, its qualities and appearance became all the more important. Contemporary eyewitness accounts often emphasised exceptional personal qualities of the queen, both those traditionally linked with femininity (beauty) and masculinity (knowledge and intellect), as a means of presenting a gender duality.57 In a number of written accounts, the queen’s alluring appearance was related directly to her ‘princely’ majesty: [S]he was of personage tall, of hair and complexion fair, and therewith well favoured; […] of limbs and feature neat, and, which added to the lustre of those exterior graces, of stately and majestic comportment; participating in this more of her father than her mother, who was of an inferior allay, plausible, or, as the French hath it, more debonaire, and affable, virtues which might suit well with majesty, and which descending, as hereditary to the daughter, did render her of a more sweeter temper 53 Thomas Bilson, The True Difference Betweene Christian Subjection and Unchristian Rebellion (London: Ioseph Barnes, printer to the uniuersitie, 1585), 560. Sydney Anglo interprets Blison’s thought as a way to defend royal images from accusation of idolatry: Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 16. 54 ‘A Report of her Majestie’s most Gratious Answere […] to the first Petitions of the Lords and Commons […] the xii Day of November 1586,’ in A Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts, ed. Walter Scott, 13 vols. (London: T. Cordeil and W. Davies, 1809-1815), I (1809), 220. 55 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 229. 56 Clifford Geertz went so far as to conclude that such a way of establishing royal power demonstrated ‘the very thing that the elaborate mystique of court ceremonial is supposed to conceal – that majesty is made, not born:’ Clifford Geertz, ‘Centers, Kings, and Charisma: Reflections on the Symbolics of Power,’ in Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1983), 124-125. 57 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 316; Paul Johnson, Elizabeth I: A Study in Power and Intellect (London: Weidenfeld&Nicholson, 1974); Linda Shenk, Learned Queen: The Image of Elizabeth I in Politic and Poetry (New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2010).

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and endeared her more to the love and liking of her people, who gave her the name and fame of a most gracious and popular Prince.58

And elsewhere we read: [S]he was a Lady of Great Beauty, of a Decent Stature, and of an Excellent Shape; […] her skin was of pure white, and her hair of a yellow colour; her Eyes were beautiful and lively. In short, her whole Body was well made, and her Face was adorned with a wonderful and sweet Beauty and Majesty.59

The queen’s beauty was not just a personal attribute, but rather an element of the official doctrine of the kingdom; much like her right to rule, her beauty was derived directly from God. The queen’s subjects were thus bound to reverence and admiration, just as they were bound to obedience:60 It is her Beauty onely creates her Queen; this which adds a commanding power to every syllable […]. Her body doth represent those Fields of peace that poets sing of in Elizium […]. Beauty is the Image of the creator, and the Rhetorick of Heaven […] a divinity left on earth, to be known and beloved of mortals.61

Elizabeth’s beauty was God’s blessing, and a visible sign of his protection over her sacred right to rule. It reflected both God’s perfection and her own virtues. Sir Richard Baker reminisced about her being ‘of admirable beauty; but the beauty of her mind was far more admirable […]. She had more Valour in her than was fit for a woman, but that she was Ruler over men; and more Humility in her than was fit for a Prince, but that she meant to be a

58 Robert Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia (Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne for Archibald Constable and John Murray, 1808), 175. 59 The Character of Queen Elizabeth […] by Edmund Bohun (London: Printed for Ric. Chiswell, 1693), 301-302. 60 See also an account of Elizabeth by Sir James Melville, an emissary from the court of Mary Queen of Scots, written in 1564: Memoirs of his own Life by Sir James Melville of Halhill (Edinburgh: The Bannatyne Club, 1827), 123-124. Melville’s evidence in general is sometimes being questioned as not very reliable: Tricia A. McElroy, ‘A “Little Parenthesis” to History: The Memoirs of sir James Melville of Halhill,’ in The Apparelling of Truth: Literature and Literary Culture in the Reign of James I, eds. Kevin J. McGinley, Nicola Royan (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010), 148-161. 61 The Academy of Complements […] (London: Tho[mas] Leach and Tho[mas] Child, 1663) 25-26. See Bertelli, The King’s Body, 169.

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President to women.’62 Her beauty, whose idealised image was established by portraiture, represented ‘the very excess’ of the queen’s ‘sacred life […] isolated in the image.’63 Over time the queen’s imperishable beauty, resistant to the destructive effects of time, became an essential element of her public performance, sustaining the illusion that the body politic overcame the weaknesses of her body natural and granted it immortality. Thomas Platter, a young Swiss traveller who had the opportunity to see the queen in late 1590s, observed that: ‘she was most gorgeously apparelled, and although she was already seventy-four [she was actually sixty-six at the time], was very youthful still in appearance, seeming no more than twenty years of age.’64 The French ambassador echoes these compliments in his account of an audience with the queen in 1597, stating that ‘When anyone speaks of her beauty she says that she was never beautiful, although she had that reputation thirty years ago. Nevertheless she speaks of her beauty as often as she can. As for her natural form and proportion, she is very beautiful,’65 although elsewhere he observed that ‘her face […] appears to be very aged.’66 The queen’s attire and hairstyle accentuated her unmarried state. She preferred styles reserved for young, unmarried women, such as a low neckline and hair worn loose.67 But mainly she chose richly decorated garments and exquisite jewellery hoping they would add to her beauty, or at least distract from her shortcomings, such as wrinkles, smallpox scars or tooth decay. John Clapham noticed in his Certain Observations Concerning the Life and Reign of Queen Elizabeth that ‘in her latter time, when she showed herself in public, she was always magnificent in apparel, supposing haply thereby, that the eyes of her people, being dazzled with the glittering aspect of those accidental ornaments would not so easily discern the marks of age and decay of natural beauty.’68 This observation is echoed by Sir Francis 62 See Sir Richard Baker, A Chronicle of the Kings of England from the Time of the Romans Government unto the Death of King James (London: Printed for George Sawbridge, 1670), 420. 63 Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998 [orig. 1995]), 101. 64 Thomas Platter’s Travels in England, 1599, trans. and ed. Clare Williams (London: Jonathan Cape, 1937), 192. 65 A Journal of All that Was Accomplished by Monsieur de Maisse, 38. 66 Ibid., 25. 67 Maria Hayward, ‘Dressed to Impress,’ in Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, eds. Alice Hunt, Anna Whitelock (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 85. 68 Elizabeth of England: Certain Observations Concerning the Life and Reign of Queen Elizabeth by John Clapham, eds. Evelyn Plummer Read, Conyers Read (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1951), 86. The manuscript in the British Library, Add. MS. 22, 925.

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Bacon who wrote: ‘she imagined that the people, who are much influenced by externals, would be diverted, by the glitter of jewels, from noticing the decay of her personal attractions.’69 They both evoke a theatrical air, suggesting that Elizabeth played the role of a beautiful and magnificent queen even when she was close to death. It would be wrong to think that this was merely vanity. By presenting herself as ageless and ever-beautiful she reassured both her subjects and her enemies that she was still capable of ruling.70 John Clapham in his memoirs written soon after the queen’s death noted: ‘she would often show herself […] at public spectacles (even against her own liking) to no other end but that the people might the better perceive her ability of body and good disposition, which otherwise in respect of her years they might perhaps have doubted.’71 Both Susan Frye and Susan Doran link her strategy of self-representation to concerns about the unresolved matter of succession,72 and it is possible that Elizabeth wanted to distance herself from anything that prompted the thought of her old age and approaching death. There are several court anecdotes about the queen’s alleged aversion to mirrors in her later years.73 Henry Chettle confessed: ‘I have heard it credibly reported […] that shee never could abide to gaze in a mirrour or looking-glasse […] I have seene the Ladies make great shift to hide away their looking-glasses if her Majestie had past by their lodgings.’74 Instead, she surrounded herself with portraits that functioned as magic mirrors reflecting her beautified, 69 William Hickman Smith Aubrey, The National and Domestic History of England, 3 vols. (London: James Hagger: 1879 [1867-1870]), II, 758-759. 70 Louis Montrose suggests that the prosperity and strength of the kingdom seem ‘mystically dependent upon the strength and integrity […] of the Queen’s body natural:’ Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 147. 71 Elizabeth of England: Certain Observations, 86. 72 Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation, 107; Susan Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 189. 73 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 247. 74 Henry Chettle, Englands Mourning Garment […]; in Memorie of their Sacred Mistresse, Elizabeth (London: [E. Short] for Thomas Millington, 1603), 96, sig. Er. John Clapham wrote: ‘not long before her death, [she] had a great […] declination by seeing her face, then lean and full of wrinkles, truly represented to her in a glass.’ This subject is repeated and further developed in the seventeenth-century anecdotes. In The Character of Queen Elizabeth, 301-302, it is noted that: ‘If she hapned by accident to cast her eye upon a true Loooking-glass, she would be strangely transported and offended, because it did not still shew her what she had been.’ Louis Montrose, ‘Elizabeth through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies,’ in The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000, ed. Regina Schulte (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), 78-79; Catherine Loomis, The Death of Elizabeth I: Remembering and Reconstructing the Virgin Queen (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 92-93.

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flawless image. Her self-presentation in the 1590s was intended to create the impression that she ‘is utterly void of […] old Age, and other natural Defects,’75 a queen who never dies. The last decade of her reign, sometimes called ‘the second reign of Elizabeth I,’76 was full of economic discontent and political unrest, reaching its climax with the rebellion and execution of the Earl of Essex in 1601. The queen’s popularity had faded considerably, and while her last years were marked by bitterness, the legend of her glorious reign would survive long after her death.

Representation The first known portrait of Elizabeth I as a queen is probably the Clopton Portrait (c. 1560), painted by an unknown artist of the English school (fig. 1). It depicts the queen in her twenties, soon after coming to power.77 It is a rare example of an early portrait which immortalises her earthly beauty in the brief period before she reinvented herself as a goddess. Although the queen is elaborately dressed in black and white (the colours of the house of Tudor) and bejewelled, she does not resemble the figure found in later portraits; here she is presented not as a powerful ruler but as a privileged young woman. The Gripsholm Portrait (c. 1563), sent to Eric XIV of Sweden as a part of matrimonial negotiations, displays similar features. The anonymous painter here portrayed the queen as a prospective wife, young and charming in her scarlet velvet and cloth of gold.78 The painting offers a glimpse of Elizabeth at a time when she was still considering the idea of marriage, a radiant and modest bride-to-be, miles away from the future sacred majesty. These early portraits are strikingly different from the intricate portraits of her later years. Absent are the mythological allusions, attributes of divinity and elaborate allegories. They represent the queen’s body natural, rather than her body politic.79 The manner of portraying the queen may have changed in or shortly after 1563. Amongst the State Papers there is a draft proclamation from that year relating to the process of royal portraiture, which states: 75 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 7. 76 Montrose, ‘Elizabeth through the Looking Glass,’ 70. 77 Sir Roy Strong, Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (London: Thames & Hudson, 1987), 58-9. 78 See Hayward, ‘Dressed to Impress,’ 84. 79 See Montrose, ‘Elizabeth through the Looking Glass,’ 68-69.

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Figure 1 Unknown English artist, The Clopton Portrait, circa 1560

© The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 4449

Forasmuch as through the national desire that all sorts of subjects and people, both noble and mean, have to procure the Portrait and Picture of the Queen’s Majestie, great nomber of Paynters, and some Printers and

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Gravers, have already, and doe daily attempt to make in divers maners portraictures of hir Majestie […] wherein is evidently shewn that hytherto none hath sufficiently expressed the naturall representation of hir Majesties person, favor, or grace.80

The proclamation deplored ‘the errors and deformities allready committed’ by unskilled artists.81 Given the disappointing state of royal portraiture, the proclamation suggested finding an artist able to create a satisfying portrait of the queen, which would later serve as a model for other painters: [S]ome special person that shall be by hir allowed shall have first finished a pourtraicture thereof, after which fynished, hir Majestie will be content that all other painters, printers, or gravers […] shall and may at their pleasures follow the sayd pattern […] to be participated to others for satisfaction of hir loving subjects.82

Until that time, the proclamation prohibited ‘all manner of other persons to draw, paynt, grave, or pourtray hir Majesties personage or visage for a time, untill by some perfect pattern and example the same may be by others followed.’83 We do not know if this proclamation ever came into effect, but even if it did not, the information concerning ‘the mechanics of Tudor state 80 The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth, ed. John Nichols, 4 vols. (London: John Nichols and Son, 1823), I, XII-XIV. The manuscript in the National Archives, London: P.R.O., State Papers 12/32, no. 25. The draft was corrected by William Cecil himself: Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 116. The fact that the queen’s portraits did not accurately reflect her appearance is confirmed by the anecdote of 1571 when Elizabeth’s portrait was sent to France to the duke of Alençon. Seeing it, Catherine de Medici reportedly said: After what everyone tell me of her beauty, and after the paintings that I have seen, I must declare that she did not have good painters. See Anna Riehl, The Face of Queenship: Early Modern Representations of Elizabeth I (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 48. 81 The proclamation reads: hir Majestie perceiveth that a grete nombre of hir loving subjects are much greved and take great offence with the errors and deformities allready committed […], and in the mean tyme to forbydd and prohibit the shewing or publication of such as are apparently deformed, until they may be reformed which are reformable. The Progresses and Public Processions, XIV-XV. It is not sure whether those disappointing portraits were actually destroyed or some of them are the images that have survived to our times. Elizabeth Pomeroy recall Walter Raleigh’s mention that many were cast to fire in 1596, after the second proclamation concerning images: Elizabeth W. Pomeroy, Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I. (Hamden, Conn: Archon Books, 1989), 17. 82 The Progresses and Public Processions, XIV-XV. 83 Ibid.

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portraiture’84 is most instructive. It also provides evidence that the dissemination of royal likenesses was a matter of serious concern for the queen and her advisers. The proclamation may have been an attempt to develop a mechanism of control governing the creation and circulation of royal images. It seems evident that the queen sought to influence the manner in which she was represented, and, consequently, perceived by her subjects.85 However her efforts to exercise control over portraiture were not carried out systematically and met with limited success.86 The queen did not manage to establish an effective system of production, nor a firm royal patronage, nor even the kind of governmental censorship that existed for drama and printed books.87 There was no ‘official’ court painter responsible for shaping the queen’s public image in the manner that Van Dyck created the image of Charles I. Instead, royal portraits were commissioned by different agents, primarily by the queen, but also by her courtiers or affluent individuals, as well as writers or printers of illustrated books.88 The public image of the queen was communicated through a variety of media accessible to different social classes.89 Among court officials and the aristocracy, the queen’s images were available as life-size oil-paintings or precious, jewelled miniatures. Subjects of lower standing had access to the smaller versions on official court documents, as well as woodcuts and engravings serving as frontispieces and book illustrations, medals, and seals (which due to their ephemeral nature have mostly not survived to the present day). The poorest only saw the face of their queen engraved on coins.90 It is worth repeating the assertion of Louis Montrose that all of 84 Roy C. Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 5. 85 Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 116. Roy Strong links it with the fact that Elizabeth was excommunicated in 1570 and she used the portraits to promote and perpetuate her flattering image among the subjects: Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 8. See also Tarnya Cooper, Jane Eade et al., Elizabeth I and Her People (London: National Portrait Gallery, 2013), 57: The Queen’s portrait could be bought readymade in the form of prints and painted images, and from early in her reign ownership of her likeness can be found in the inventories of households of the clergy and merchant classes as well as the nobility and gentry. 86 Pomeroy, Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 17; Louis A. Montrose, ‘Idols of the Queen: Policy, Gender, and the Picturing of Elizabeth I,’ Representations 68 (Autumn 1999): 108-161. 87 Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 192. 88 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 2-5; Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 172. 89 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 4. 90 However Sydney Anglo soberly notes that ‘the coinage was, beyond comparison, the most far-reaching medium for the display of royal portraiture, dynastic badges and political epigraphy; and it remains the most striking evidence of their limited efficacy. There is no reason to suppose that sixteenth-century folk contemplated the coins in their purses more assiduously than we do.’ Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 118.

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Elizabeth’s subjects produced and reproduced the image of their queen in a variety of ways in the course of daily life.91 While a significant part of the royal iconography was not, as Sydney Anglo and Susan Doran point out, ‘intended for the uncouth gaze of the multitude,’92 the widespread circulation of images mentioned in the draft proclamation of 1563 (‘great nomber […] of portraictures’), as well as the variety of media (‘paynting, graving and pryntyng’) seems significant. Even if we consider it partly rhetorical, the existence of such a proclamation in the first years of Elizabeth’s reign cannot be mere coincidence, even if the details of distribution and the attitudes of viewers must ‘remain obscure.’93 The significance of the proclamation appears to be confirmed by the fact that it coincides with the creation of face patterns, officially approved models for depicting the queen that were presumably reproduced and emulated by other artists.94 We may attribute the existence of these patterns partly to the fact that only a limited number of artists would have had the opportunity to paint Elizabeth from life. She probably sat for seven painters during her lifetime,95 and the only existing account comes from Nicolas Hilliard’s treatise The Arte of Limning. Hilliard recorded the queen’s remark on the shadowless style of the great Italian draughtsmen. She was supposed to have said: ‘the lyne without shadowe showeth all to a good jugment and, the best to showe ones selfe neddeth no shadow of place but rather the oppen light.’96 She also apparently decided to sit for a portrait in the full sunlight of the garden. Hilliard concluded it as follows: ‘beauty and good favor is like cleare truth, which is not shamed with the light, nor need to bee obscured.’97

91 Carole Levin, ‘The Subject of Elizabeth: Authority, Gender, and Representation (review),’ Shakespeare Quarterly 58, no. 2 (2007): 248-249. 92 Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 116. Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 192. 93 Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 98, 112, 116. 94 Roy Strong distinguished several types, among them: 1) Angular frontal image; 2) Barrington Park pattern; 3) the Pelican-Phonenix type; 4) the Darnley Pattern; 5) the Sieve types; 6) Garter; 7) Cambridge; 8) Armada series; 9) Ditchley; 10) the Buccleuch; 11) Hilliard’s mask of youth: Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 8-9. 95 Being Levina Teerlinc (1551), Nicolas Hillard (c. 1572), Federico Zuccaro (1575), an unknown French painter (1581), Cornelius Kertel, the Serjant Painter George Gower and possibly John de Critz: See Strong, Gloriana, 14-15. 96 Nicholas Hilliard’s Art of Limning. A New Edition, eds. Arthur F. Kinney, Linda Bradley Salamon (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1983), 28-29. 97 Ibid.

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The queen must have valued both the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of Hilliard’s shadowless style as she appointed him official court limner;98 and we may presume it was Hilliard who embodied the ideals of the aforementioned royal proclamation. His miniature of 1572 (today in the National Portrait Gallery – fig. 2), along with two panel paintings, the so-called Phoenix and Pelican portraits (c. 1572-1576), seem to have established an influential face pattern, followed by other artists and traceable in many royal portraits. The Hilliard’s pattern gained popularity as a manner of representing the queen that was both truthful and flattering. While his portraits depict the queen in her early forties, she seems more beautiful than in her early likenesses, as though her beauty was a consequence of power. One of the main symbolic functions of royal portraits was to affirm the continuity of kingship.99 Portraits, which according to Elizabeth herself were ‘but the outward shadow of the body,’100 were intended to depict both her body natural and the body politic.101 This duality was often present in the works of Elizabethan panegyrists who praised ‘both priuate and imperiall vertues’102 of the queen and her presence ‘inspiring purest zeal and reverence / Aswell unto the person as the Power.’103 Since ruler and Crown were, as Sir Francis Bacon put it, ‘inseparable, though distinct,’104 the body natural of the king or queen served as a visual equivalent of the body politic. The body politic, as Axton demonstrated, should be contained within the natural body of the ruler.105 Kantorowicz expressed it in the form of a paradox when he said that ‘the Crown was rarely personified but very often bodified.’106 Royal portraits might therefore be viewed as visual representations of the state.107 98 Graham Reynolds, Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1947), 11-18. 99 Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, 99. 100 Elizabeth I, ‘A Letter to King Edward VI Sent with a Present of Her Portrait, 15 May 1549,’ in Elizabeth I, Collected Works, 35. 101 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 69. The legal theory of the king’s two bodies was widely recognised by the 1590’s, which did not necessarily mean that the theory was commonly believed in. 102 Sir Thomas Hughes, The Misfortunes of Artur (Certaine Devises and Shewes Presented to her Majestie …) (London: Robert Robinson, 1587). Quoted in Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 77. 103 Francis Davison, ‘The Masque of Proteus,’ in Gesta Grayorum, ed. W.W. Gregg (Oxford: Malone Society, 1914), vii. The manuscript at the British Library, MS Harley 541. 104 Francis Bacon, ‘Post-nati,’ in The Works of Francis Bacon, 10 vols. (London: W. Baynes and Son 1824), IV, 351. 105 Axton, The Queen’s Two Bodies, 12. 106 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 382. 107 Bilson, The True Difference, 560.

238 Emilia Olechnowicz Figure 2 Nicolas Hilliard, Queen Elizabeth I, 1572

© National Portrait Galley, NPG 108

A compelling example is the Armada Portrait (c. 1588), an allegorical painting by George Gower, Her Majesty’s Serjeant Painter, commemorating the victory over the Spanish Armada (fig. 3). It depicts Elizabeth at the height of her reign, as providential monarch and empress.108 Her power is staged as it was staged during the court pageants. And, like these pageants, 108 Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 145-147.

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Figure 3 Unknown English artist, Elizabeth I (after The Armada Portrait), circa 1588

© The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 541

the portrait comprises part of the complex iconographical system in which the smallest detail was significant and meant to imply her status as a providential monarch and saviour of the country. It is not a likeness of a Tudor princess, but an allegory of triumphant England embodied in

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the figure of the queen,109 her body transformed into an abstract figure of a godly ruler, built up of signs and symbols, with regalia as a visible sign of the continuity of rulership.110 It is worth noting that the symbolic power of the queen’s portraits seems to have no direct relation to their mimetic quality. The Armada Portrait is striking for its flat composition crowded with meticulously presented details, winding contours and a complete lack of chiaroscuro that result in the decorativeness and stiffness of the queen’s figure. Not only is it somewhat awkward but, when compared with the portrait of Queen Mary by Antonis Mor (1554), its austere formalism seems to be about half a century out of date. Yet, as a political instrument the portrait proved to be more powerful. In the same way that icons were sacred representations of religious dogmas, portraits of rulers were symbolic representations of the body politic, and did not need to be realistic because of their inherently symbolic nature. The royal portrait served as an icon of the monarchy, as the visual representation of anthropomorphised power.111 The Mask of Youth112 The officially sanctioned patterns for ‘hir Majesties personage or visage’ dominated the production of royal images. Patterns were not reserved for a single artist or even workshop. Rather, images that had found the queen’s acceptance circulated and inspired imitations. However this manner of dissemination, as Sir Roy Strong points out, was never an effective solution to the problem of controlling royal portraiture.113 For this reason, the court issued another document in 1596 concerning the production of images, this one somewhat sharper in tone than the proclamation of 1563. The existence of this document suggests that the problem of the queen’s visual representation had never been solved satisfactorily. The document in question is a warrant issued in July 1596 by the Privy Council and addressed to:

109 Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 188. 110 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 382. Richard Hooker comments on regal government: ‘Crowned we see they are, and inthronized and annointed. The Crowne a signe of militarie, the Throne of sedentarie or judiciall, the Oyle of religious or sacred power.’ See Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, book VIII, chap. 3.3. 111 See Geertz, ‘Centers, Kings, and Charisma,’ 124. Pomeroy, Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 11. 112 The term was coined by Sir Roy Strong, Gloriana, 147. 113 See Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 7.

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[H]er Majesty’s Serjeant Painter and to all publicke officers to yelde him their assistance touching the abuse committed by divers unskillfull artizans in unseemly and improperly paintinge, gravinge and printing of her Majesty’s person and vysage, to her Majesty’s great offence and disgrace of that beautyfull and magnanimous Majesty wherwith God hathe blessed her, requiring them to cause all suche to be defaced and none to be allowed but suche as her Majesty’s Serjeant Painter shall first have sight of.114

Louis Montrose points out that there is a subtle shift in the language between the warrant and the earlier proclamation. The first puts its emphasis on the suitable representation of the queen’s ‘naturall person, favour, or grace,’ while the second accentuates her body politic: ‘beautyfull and magnanimous Majesty wherwith God hathe blessed her.’115 As the queen’s beauty was an official doctrine of the kingdom and proof of her continued ability to rule, realistic likenesses of the ageing queen would have been considered offensive.116 The subjects had a right to see their queen’s beauty in bloom. Both Elizabethan proclamations concerning portraiture emphasised the queen’s subjects to whom the pictures were addressed and for the sake of whom they had to be magnificent. If the queen was to embody the kingdom, her image had to fill the English onlookers with pride, and in order to satisfy the expectations of those viewers, it was necessary for the queen to recant her body natural. Her individual facial features were replaced over time by fixed mask-like patterns, and the portraits from the end of her reign depict a super-natural body politic immune to the effects of ageing. With the proliferation of the royal images,117 the real face of the queen gradually dissolved into a multiplicity of visual and textual representations; the total public image of the queen was formed by the different, sometimes contradictory, official and informal portraits along with her literary personae and the written accounts of eyewitnesses, all of which came together to form a complex, multifaceted picture. This resulted in the formation of what we might call the queen’s ‘face politic,’ an image defined by its corporate, collective character. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) the variety of sources, we do not know what the queen really looked like, for her representations vary considerably. 114 Acts of the Privy Council of England, 46 vols. (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Off ice, 1890-1964), XXVI: 1596-1597, ed. John Roche Dasent (1902), 69. 115 See Montrose, ‘Elizabeth through the Looking Glass,’ 74. 116 See Susan Frye, ‘Elizabeth When a Princess: Early Self-Representations in a Portrait and a Letter,’ in The Body of the Queen, 43. 117 Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation, 10. Montrose, The Subject of Elizabeth, 5.

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The identification of Elizabeth’s true features is further complicated by the circulation of face patterns among artists and, later, by what Roy Strong calls ‘the policy of rejuvenation.’118 When we compare the queen’s early portraits with her later likenesses, we are struck by how much her image changed over time. During the forty years of her reign, the individual features of her face had transformed themselves into an icon.119 The real face of the ageing queen was ultimately replaced with a fiction of the self-replicating images, in a similar manner to the empire from Borges’ tale, tightly covered with maps.120 The Elizabethan painters, engravers, poets and writers recall, to quote Baudrillard, ‘the cartographers of the Empire that drew up a map so detailed that it ended up exactly covering the entire territory.’121 Interestingly enough, one of the most evocative portraits of Elizabeth, the Ditchley Portrait (c. 1592), depicts the supernatural figure of the queen against a cosmic background, with her head high in the clouds, dressed in virginal white, standing on a globe with her feet planted firmly on a map of England (fig. 4).122 This image, perhaps most of all, illustrates the divine nature of the queen positioned ‘between England and God.’123 The first line of the verse inscribed on the canvas reads ‘The prince of light. The Sonne,’ an allusion to the queen’s male body politic that also indicates her superhuman qualities. Her features are shown quite realistically, revealing the work of time,124 yet it is by no means a portrait of a lady in her sixties; on the contrary, it is an expression of the queen’s quasi-religious role as guarantor of the country’s prosperity.

118 Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 17-18. Pomeroy, Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 13. Pomeroy asks whether royal portraits of Elizabeth actually discover what she looked like or rather did ‘the combination of flattery, vanity, and convention make an impenetrable veil?’ 119 Christopher Haigh argues that ‘the public Elizabeth was not a real person, but a cluster of images.’ He quotes Thomas Dekker’s play Old Fortunatus (1599), in which an old man is travelling to the temple of Eliza: ‘Even to her temple are my feeble limbs travelling. Some call her Pandora, some Gloriana, some Cynthia, some Belphoebe, some Astraea, all by several names to express several loves:’ Christopher Haigh, ‘Introduction,’ in The Reign of Elizabeth I, ed. Christopher Haigh (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1984), 5. 120 Jorge Luis Borges, ‘On Exactitude in Science,’ in Collected Fictions, trans. Andrew Hurley (New York: Viking, 1998), 325. 121 Jean Baudrillard, ‘Simulacra and Simulations,’ in Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster (Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1988), 166. 122 The map has been identified as a cartographic image of Britain, deriving from Christopher Saxton’s collection of printed maps. See Montrose, ‘Elizabeth through the Looking Glass,’ 71. 123 Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation, 114. 124 This was promptly corrected: the picture has a number of copies and in all of them the queen’s face was depicted in an idealised, youthful manner. Riehl, The Face of Queenship, 154-156.

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Figure 4 Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, The Ditchley Portrait, circa 1592

© The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 2561


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The cosmic perspective also serves as a political allegory in a depiction of the queen that appears as the frontispiece to John Case’s Sphaera Civitatis (1588 – fig. 5).125 The book, dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton, an Elizabethan courtier and diplomat, is a commentary on Aristotle’s Politics, in which Case defends monarchy and female rule. He argues that monarchical rule parallels God’s rule of the universe, which is why virtue, not gender, gives a ruler the right to govern, but also why a monarchy should be governed only by a king, standing above his councillors.126 A diagram on the frontispiece is an allegorical illustration of this thesis, and it also is a very peculiar representation of the body politic. The queen’s body is depicted as part of the Ptolemaic universe, consisting of seven spheres, each ruled by one planet and corresponding to an aspect of good governance: Majesty, Prudence, Fortitude, Religion, Mercy, Eloquence and Abundance. At its centre is Immovable Justice. This might be interpreted as an allegorical representation of mystical body politic reimagined as the cosmic order in which the queen is primum mobile, as mentioned in the poem by Richard Latewar’s that opens the book.127 Sergio Bertelli has noted that when the king was in public he was supposed to remain immobile as a statue, thus representing the stability of his rule.128 A similar immobility is found in official portraits, of which the Ditchley Portrait is an excellent example. The queen is portrayed in a white dress that covers her body and almost resembles armour, making the queen seem as motionless as an idol and as radiant as the sun.129 This tendency reached its climax in the queen’s funeral effigy which was, to use the words of Henry Chettle, ‘the lively picture of her Highnesse whole body, crowned in her Parliament robes, lying on the corpse balmed and leaded, covered with velvet, borne on a chariot, drawne by four horses draped in black velvet.’130 Henry Petowe in a lamentation on the death of the queen testified to the effigy: ‘He that knew her, and had Eliza seene, / Would sweare that figure were faire England’s Queene.’131 Thus the Elizabethan royal performance was staged for the last time.

125 John Case, Sphaera Civitatis (Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1588). 126 Doran, ‘Virginity, Divinity and Power,’ 184. Charles B. Schmitt, John Case and Aristotelianism in Renaissance England (Kingston and Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 1983), 87. 127 Strong, Gloriana, 111. 128 Bertelli, The King’s Body, 17. 129 Pomeroy, Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 57-58. 130 Chettle, Englands Mourning Garment, sig. F2. See also Loomis, The Death of Elizabeth, 7-46. 131 Henry Petowe, Elizabetha quasi vivens, Eliza’s Funerall (London: E. Allde for M. Lawe, 1603).

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Figure 5 Frontispiece of John Case’s Sphaera Civitatis (Oxoniæ: excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, 1588)

The Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 4761. Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

To paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir, one is not born a queen, but rather becomes one.132 The process of becoming a queen involved establishing control of military, civil and religious affairs, but also control of oneself. In 132 Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (New York: Vintage Books, 1973), 301. Originally: One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.

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order to occupy her place on the political stage, it was necessary for Queen Elizabeth to control her public performance in order to be perceived as both a woman and a ruler. The queen’s body natural, in particular, had to be subordinated to the ageless and sexless body politic, which, as Kantorowicz characterised it, ‘represents, like the angels, the Immutable within Time.’133 The queen’s motto semper eadem rings proudly, but also bitterly: in order to be ‘always the same’ she had to abandon her right to change, to age and to die. Despite the success of her reign, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the queen’s body natural was held hostage by her body politic. The self-presentation of the queen, as well as the visual and literary representations of her person might be perceived as beautifying mirrors reflecting an invariably perfect image. The aesthetic excellence of her images represented the moral perfection of a queen who was ‘a mirror of cumlie & orderlier lyvinge to all her court.’134 The analysis of the Elizabethan portraiture, however, leads to the paradoxical conclusion that the queen’s face politic, established by her portraiture, was disturbingly similar to a funeral effigy. It is as if the queen had to die to become a Queen: her physical existence replaced by a sacred personification of the continuity of kingship.

133 Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies, 8. 134 Roger Ascham, a draft of The Scholemaster (c. 1562). The manuscript at the British Library, sig. Royal MS 18B.XXIV.2, fol. 70r-v. Quoted in Hunt and Whitelock, Tudor Queenship, 137.

Part 2 Contemporary Political Power

Blood, Honour and the Norm Race Defilement and the Boundaries of Community in Hungary, 1941* Gábor Szegedi

Someone, at Some Point in Time Likewise, it is a historical feature of Hungary and a given – regardless of what anyone may think about it, whether one likes it or not – that it is home to hundreds of thousands of Roma. Someone, at some point in time, decided on this, and this is a situation which we have inherited. This is our situation, this is a given which no one can object to or call into question in any way and which we accept in our life. At the same time, however, we cannot require others – in particular, others to the west of us – to follow suit, and demand that they should also live with a substantial Roma minority. What is more, when members of our Roma minority decide to leave for Canada, we want to make it very clear that we would like them to stay, and that we want to solve the formidable problems involved in our co-existence so that they can stay. We expect the same of others as that which we expect of ourselves. Others, too, must treat us in the same way. On this we must not interfere in their affairs, but likewise they must not interfere in Hungary’s desire or refusal to change its current state, its current cultural-ethnic composition, through any refugee or immigration policy, or any other method.1

The above words, spoken by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in September of 2015, did not set in motion a wave of protests and went relatively * I would like to thank the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute (VWI) for a generous research fellowship that enabled me to do the research that provides the basis of this study. I am also grateful to the anonymous reviewer of the paper, to Éva Kovács of the VWI and to Wiktor Ostasz and Andrzej Probulski, for giving me invaluable feedback concerning this study. 1 Hungary. Prime Minister’s Webpage. ‘Viktor Orbán’s 7 September 2015 speech at the Meeting of the Heads of Hungary’s Diplomatic Missions Abroad,’ in_english_article/prime_minister_viktor_orban_s_speech_at_a_meeting_of_the_heads_of_ hungary_s_diplomatic_missions_abroad and (accessed October 5, 2015). Compare the English and the Hungarian versions.

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unnoticed in the local media. It is worth noting the two key sentences where the official English translation differs from the original Hungarian version: instead of ‘otthon,’ which is ‘home to,’ Orbán used ‘együtt él,’ which translates as ‘lives together.’ In the second example Orbán used ‘rendeznénk a velük való együttélés nagy kérdését,’ which is more accurately rendered as ‘if we solved the formidable problem of living together with them’ and not ‘solve the formidable problems involved in our co-existence.’ This sort of creativity in translations is not atypical of the current Hungarian government. When the highly disputed Media Law was passed in 2010, a number of EU Member States raised serious concerns; but in the English version sent to the European Commission and to foreign representatives in Budapest, the most controversial paragraphs were omitted.2 The recurring problem of doctored translations suggests an agenda that is best hidden from EU institutions. Prime Minister Orbán has rejected the influx of immigrants because he is concerned about the ‘cultural-ethnic composition’ of the country and he sees the Roma as part of this threat. ‘Solving the formidable problem of living with them’ implies that there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ and that ‘they’ constitute a formidable problem in needs of a solution. What kind of solution, one may ask? What are ‘we’ going to do with ‘them;’ where, for that matter, does this sense of ‘us versus them’ come from? One reaction came from Béla Lakatos, the Roma mayor of a small town, who decided to leave the political party Fidesz due to Orbán’s words: ‘The way Fidesz has been doing politics in recent times is unacceptable for my system of values. Especially the speech two days ago, in which the Prime Minister compared refugees and the situation of the Roma, and described the Roma as a group that did not belong to the country, as an obligation that need to be dealt with.’3 Lakatos understood Orbán’s message. He used the word ország (‘country’), perhaps as a direct response to Orbán, who often describes Hungary as a nemzet (‘nation’), an ethnic and cultural unit that includes all Hungarians, but not necessarily the people this unit is forced to ‘live together with.’ The quote from Orbán’s speech was not the first scandalous statement concerning the Roma and the ‘Hungarian nation’ to emerge in the year 2015. Indeed, the first one came on the very first day of the year. The statement 2 ‘Trükközni próbált a kormány a fordításnál,’ Népszava Online, cikk/381105-trukkozni-probalt-a-kormany-a-forditasnal (accessed October 5, 2015). 3 ‘Besokallt Orbán cigányozó beszédétől, kilép a Fideszből Ács polgármestere,’, (accessed October 5, 2015).

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was a reaction to the news that Rikárdó Rácz, the son of a Roma family, had been officially recorded as the first Hungarian child to be born in 2015. On the same day Előd Novák, a Member of Parliament representing the ultra-right wing Jobbik party – Hungary’s second largest political party, polling at 15-20% in 2014/15 – commented on his Facebook page that: ‘the first person to be born in 2015 – as a third child of a 23-year-old mother! – was Rikárdó, but beside this the Hungarians are procreating sometimes, as well.’4 As an illustration he posted a photo of his own family: three small children, the last one (Nimród Nándor) less than half a year old. Novák’s reference to the child’s name – the name Rikárdó is more common among the Roma minority – and the act of contrasting him and his parents with a family of ‘Hungarians,’ sent a message that was none too subtle: the Roma are not Hungarians proper. Novák’s Facebook post was repudiated both by the ‘democratic opposition’ (the splinter groups of liberal and leftist parties) and by members of Fidesz; yet Novák, who refused to apologise, faced no punishment. His fellow Jobbik politicians continued to further this discourse, encountering only feeble protest.5 The popularity of the government has soared, and Orbán has clearly regained a large group of lost voters as a result of his anti-immigration campaign. The speech of September 7, 2015, quoted at the beginning of this chapter, lost him few supporters. In fact, analysts suggested that the popularity of Fidesz could be attributed in part to the fact that it took up a far-right issue and went as far as they could with it. By being as right-wing as Jobbik on the immigration issue, they have put a stop to the rise of Előd Novák and the far right. What then does this say about Hungary today? What do the current political attitudes say about the mentalities regarding Hungarian ethnicity and culture? What do they say about the fears concerning population, unity and multitude? And can we find the source of these attitudes in Hungary’s historical past?

Some Thoughts on Biopolitics The two recent instances discussed above are obvious examples of ethnicbiological racism aimed at a group whose ancestors have been living in 4 Előd Novák’s Facebook page, 95117.40105.112879632128020/762687637147213/?type=1&theater (accessed April 13, 2015). 5 ‘Novák Előd nem kér bocsánatot, sőt!,’, (accessed October 5, 2015).

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Hungary for centuries. The fact that this racism is partly aimed at newborn children may reflect a certain anxiety about the future of the ‘Hungarian nation.’ In practical terms, these attitudes have resulted in both antiimmigration rhetoric, and government efforts to solve the very real problem of depopulation with incentives to facilitate increased childbirth in the white middle class. Such measures suggest a desire to maintain what Orbán referred to as the ‘current cultural-ethnic composition;’ they point toward a biopolitics that revolves around the concept of race. The present paper has chosen to use Michel Foucault’s concept of racism as the starting point for its discussion about the connection between race/ racism and biopolitics. In one of his Lectures at the Collège de France, he made the following statement: What in fact is racism? It is primarily a way of introducing a break into the domain of life that is under power’s control: the break between what must live and what must die. […] On the one hand, racism makes it possible to establish a relationship between my life and the death of the other that is not a military or warlike relationship of confrontation, but a biological-type relationship: ‘The more inferior species die out, the more abnormal individuals are eliminated, the fewer degenerates there will be in the species as a whole, and the more I – as species rather than individual – can live, the stronger I will be, the more vigorous I will be. I will be able to proliferate.’6

According to this understanding, promoting the life of the organic body of the nation necessarily entails ‘killing’ (which can also be understood in the less literal sense of ‘rejecting’) the ‘other,’ a sub-category of the population that may be perceived as a biological threat to the health of the rest. This ‘other’ poses a genuine threat to society, much as an external enemy might; but in this case the enemy exists within the society, constituting a danger to health and hygiene. Foucault also explains that sexuality has been an important aspect of biopolitics since at least the nineteenth century. In another of his lectures, he pointed to two technologies of power, disciplinary and regulatory. The first, he claimed, appeared in the eighteenth century, and was focused on disciplining the individual body through institutions such as schools, 6 Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-76 , ed. Mauro Bertani, Alessandro Fontana et al., trans. David Macey (Picador: New York, 2003 [orig. 1997]), 254-255.

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prisons and hospitals. The second was a product of the nineteenth century and was concerned primarily with the biological processes of the population – including fertility rates, ratio of births and deaths, infant mortality, etc. – and aimed at regulating these through State policies. Foucault claimed, ‘sexuality exists at the point where body and population meet. And so it is a matter for discipline, but also a matter for regularization.’7 Sexuality, which is connected to the production of life, has an effect on population as a whole, and at the same time it is the site for the surveillance of the body in various disciplinary institutions. As Foucault succinctly stated in The History of Sexuality: Volume I, ‘Sex was a means of access both to the life of the body and the life of the species.’8 The title of this section is a reference to two essays, the first, ‘Biopolitics,’ written by Hungarian-born philosophers Ágnes Heller and Ferenc Fehér,9 and the second, ‘Some further thoughts on Biopolitics’ by Heller alone.10 Similarly to Foucault, they see ‘race,’ in the form of ‘group belonging,’ as inherent to the modern form of biologically-grounded politics. Heller and Fehér see modernity as an unfulfilled promise: whereas in the Middle Ages the Soul was in the prison of the Body, the Enlightenment promised a liberation of both. In biopolitics the Body instead became a prisoner of the soul, and many of the trends of the modern period worked against the Body: industry employed machines, and modern armies used technologically advanced armaments that pushed individual strength, skill and expertise to the sideline. The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, an early observer of this process, asked a largely rhetorical question about modern armies in his famous 1849 essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience:’ ‘Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?’11 Today we can answer this question with some certainty: the modern state has indeed attempted to redesign the human body as a series of small, but healthy and easily movable forts. Heller and Fehér, referring to Kantorowicz’s The King’s Two Bodies, claim that the politics of the Body was exiled from history, and that this was 7 Ibid., 250-252. 8 Idem, The History of Sexuality, trans. Robert Hurley, 3 vols. (Pantheon: New York, 1978-1986 [orig. 1976-1984]), I, 146. 9 Ágnes Heller, Ferenc Fehér, Biopolitics (Alderhshot: Avebury, 1994). 10 Ágnes Heller, ‘Some Further Thoughts on Biopolitics,’ in Biopolitics: the Politics of the Body, Race and Nature, eds. Ágnes Heller, Sonja Puntscher Riekmann (Alderhshot: Avebury, 1996). 11 Henry David Thoreau, ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,’ (Auckland, New Zealand: Floating Press, 1849), (accessed October 7, 2015).

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essentially regicide. The State replaced the King as the representative of the ‘Body Politic,’ and this transformation led to a biopolitical State that was then ruled by binary opposition of Friend versus Foe, as described by Carl Schmitt. The world of politics had invaded the private sphere. Heller reaches the conclusion that, in the modern period, the individual loses their individuality in politics and becomes a member of a biologically determined group. An individual cannot return to their originality, and no longer has the capacity to rise above others based on the virtues they have acquired on their own. One thus becomes defined according to biological traits which cannot be changed, including race, gender and health. In this way the political sphere – traditionally a space for argument and counterargument, debate and reason – becomes overtaken by biological reasoning, which demands totality from those engaged in the debate. Facts, findings and intellectual reasoning are no longer taken into consideration; all that counts is the group-belonging which has been defined since birth. Anyone who argues with race risks being judged for the groups to which they belong, and their argument may be accepted or rejected based solely on these biological traits – which can include gender as well as race – rather than on an evaluation of their words. In other words, biopolitics represents a ‘reversed Platonistm’ to Heller and Fehér. It strives to reveal the non-spiritual essence of human utterances, all of which may be viewed as arising from an economic, biological, or sexual foundation. Politically-motivated radical theorists will often summon a group of people to act in accordance with this essence, which stems from race, class or gender, and in such instances there can be only one correct mode of behaviour. If the individual is not inclined to act in this particular way, they become a traitor to their essence. As for racism, Heller has claimed that the appearance of National Socialism in the first half of the twentieth century changed the course of essentialist biopolitics. Class-based and race-based ideologies emerged at more or less at the same time, but for a long time the issue of class proved to be a more efficient means of building a movement. With the appearance of the Nazis, the idea of Communism (effectively a class-based ideology) was marginalised in favour of a biologically-motivated ideology, which has continued to exert an effect on biopolitical discourse even to the present day. What is then biopolitics? The question is perhaps best answered by a description of the process by which a biopolitical entity is formed: the first stage involved the State or Nation replacing the King and, in the process, coming to represent the Body Politic. This new Body, however, needs

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clear-cut borders so that it can foster the life of those who are part of it, and disallow the life of those who are not. The Body thus becomes the prisoner of the Soul and the politeia (public) invades the oikos (the home or the private sphere): citizens are de-individualised and essentialised based on biological characteristics. Biopolitics is therefore a mode of grouping people according to their essence within the larger body of the state: an individual body deemed to come from outside the body of the state is viewed as a threat. Race is at the root of biopolitics because it introduces a convenient means of identifying the other. Sexuality is an important tool in biopolitics because it can be used to discipline individual bodies and regulate the processes of the population. The biopolitics of race, using Foucault, Heller and Fehér as our models, can be applied to contemporary Europe. By examining the anti-immigration rhetoric that identifies internal enemies and focuses on literal and metaphorical hygiene threats, I will attempt to locate the origins of the current anti-Roma (and, by extension, anti-immigration) rhetoric and policies in twentieth-century Hungary. More specifically, I will examine the origins and subsequent intensification of race as an issue applied to the politics of sexuality. In order to discuss these subjects, however, there is another question that first needs to be answered: how do we create this artificial collective of ‘race’? What means do we use to introduce the divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’?

Why Drink Blood and Feast on Flesh? Here they come again, the patriots, the pure, mystagogues, willowboys, straight from the dung heap. How quiet it is. Not a breath. From where dead poets sleep finger bones beckon a nation beyond cure. If only we were free to kill once more, they sigh, Oh to drink blood and feast on flesh again But what’s all the fuss? Is it for Trianon? The stiff dead fingers of streetnames won’t reply.12 Jönnek a dúlt-keblü mélymagyarok megint, füzfapoéták, füzfarajongók, jönnek a szarból, csönd van. Senki se pisszen. Alantról 12 George Szirtes, E-mail message to author, November 22, 2015 (translation of George Szirtes).

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kevéske hűlt költő csontujja int. Ó, ha gyilkolni szabadna újra, csámcsogva, hersegve szívnák a vért miért is? ki tudja. Trianonért? mered pár utcanév pici csontujja.

In a recent article entitled ‘What’s the matter with Hungary?’13 the Hungarian-born English writer George Szirtes referred to an excerpt from Jönnek (They’re Coming) a 1984 sonnet by the eminent Hungarian dramatist György Spiró (quoted above). The poem was written at a time when many believed that racial-ethnic nationalism had been eradicated, as the right-wing politics of the Horthy-era, and the 1944 Arrow Cross rule had been discredited and society had accepted the post-1956 status quo of the Kádár regime. In the 1980s, however, the history and traumas of Hungary in the early twentieth century started to be revisited, and the resulting discussions often revealed new perspectives. Spiró may have foreseen that such national discussions would give way to open racism (which did in fact happen in 1989) and connected the return of these ghosts to the mass murder of Hungarian Jews in 1944. The term mélymagyarok in the first line refers directly to the 1930s although this sense in not preserved in the English version. It was the eminent writer László Németh who used the term most famously in his 1939 essay ‘Kisebbségben’ (‘In minority’). He claimed that a certain Hungarian authenticity had been lost at some point in the eighteenth century when locals (‘true Hungarians’) were confronted with a massive influx of immigrants, and the society of the time lacked the necessary cultural force to assimilate the newcomers. Németh used the nationalist historian Gyula Szekfű’s distinction between profound Hungarians (mélymagyarok for Németh, törzsökös (‘rooted’) for Szekfű), superficial Hungarians (hígmagyarok) and recently-arrived Hungarians ( jöttmagyarok). The latter at the time referred mostly to German and Jewish Hungarians, who were suspected to have not been ‘properly’ assimilated to the Hungarian way of life.14

13 George Szirtes, ‘What’s the Matter with Hungary?,’ (accessed October 7, 2015). 14 The fact that anti-immigrationist rhetoric is so successful in Hungary today can be linked to this nationalistic explanation on Hungary’s 18th and 19th century history. That the territorial losses in 1920 were due to the ‘internal enemies,’ who ended up in Hungary as a result of the immigration forced onto Hungary by external (Habsburg) dictate. The current government can easily tap into this type of knowledge when positioning itself vis-á-vis Brussels.

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Németh may have proved his essential humanity in the darkest days of the war, even going to far as to hide his friend, the Jewish poet Zoltán Zelk, in his apartment.15 Yet it seems probable that Spiró’s strategic use of mélymagyarok was intended as a reference to those who, in the 1930s and 1940s and once again in the eighties (‘here they come again’), worked toward defining the distinction between different types of Hungarian in racial terms. Those who hoped that belonging to the ‘rooted’ group would lead to social and economic benefits did not shy away from the biopolitical stance of letting those who did not belong die. In the sonnet, it is these forces who want to ‘kill once again’ (as they did in Hungary in 1944/45) and to ‘drink blood and feast on flesh’ which, translated literally, would be ‘sucking on blood, munching and biting.’ The allusion is unmistakable in either translation: this is a return of a certain kind of vampire, ready to drink blood. The reference to ‘the stiff dead fingers of streetnames’ may perhaps suggest that the dead poets, with their fingers sticking out (mered) from the grave, are still warning of a coming danger. Indeed, Spiró ends his sonnet with a call to his fellow poets to set an example for the future: We ought to show them, we who should play the man, it’s not just scum who speak Hungarian.16 és nekünk kell jönnünk, pár csenevésznek, hogy bebizonyítsuk: nemcsak a szemetek tudnak magyarul.

Spiró’s metaphor – for profound versus superf icial, rooted versus the recently-arrived, skeletons versus vampires – falls very much into place if we consider it in the light of American historian Gil Anidjar’s complex theory regarding the importance of blood within Christian and post-Christian societies in the West. In Blood: A Critique of Christianity, Anidjar argues that there is a specifically Christian obsession with blood – both figurative and

15 Eszter Laik, ‘Németh Lászlónak mély tisztelettel,’ nuId=222&articleId=4174&action=article (accessed October 10, 2015). In fact, according to an anecdote Zelk was hiding in the attic and he had a lot of time to read Németh’s books. After he read Kisebbségben he told Németh: ‘You know László, if you hadn’t written books like these, you would not need to hide me now.’ See Vilmos Faragó, ‘Hol van Illyés Gyula?’ farago_vilmos;hol_van_illyes_gyula;2010-07-18.html (accessed October 10, 2015). 16 George Szirtes, e-mail message to author, November 22, 2015.

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literal – which brings Christianity way beyond the territory of religion. He paraphrases Carl Schmitt in his introduction: All significant concepts of the history of the modern world are liquidated theological concepts. This is not only because of their historical development – in which they circulated between theology and the operations of the modern world, whereby, for example, the blood of Christ became the flow of capital – but also because of their systematic fluidity, the recognition of which is necessary for a political consideration of these concepts.17

For Anidjar the most important concepts are nation, state and capital, all of which are derived from theology, all of which are in a liquid state, and all of which are connected in one way or another to blood. His argument goes back to the Investiture struggles of the eleventh century. To that point the Catholic church had relied on a system of disciplinary measures for Christians who had killed others in war; if not disciplined, they were at least required to do penance. However, at the ‘peace council’ of Narbonne in 1054 a telling change of wording was introduced: where the church had once ‘prohibited the shedding of human blood,’ the council substituted the word ‘human’ with ‘Christian.’ As quoted by Anidjar: ‘no Christian should kill another Christian, for whoever kills a Christian undoubtedly sheds the blood of Christ.’18 From this moment onward, Christians began to make distinctions between different types of bloods, and the shedding of the blood of others gradually became accepted: The church, which had ‘long considered bloodshed as a source of pollution, now encouraged the shedding of blood – not Christian blood – as a means to purification. When the reformed church established its domination over Christendom, Christendom launched a military offensive to establish its domination over the world.’19

Anidjar makes a connection between capital, state and nation via the idea of ‘circulation’ or ‘flow’, for which blood is the best metaphor. Christianity may thus be seen as responsible for the modern use of these three terms as closed 17 Gil Anidjar, Blood: A Critique of Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), viii. 18 Ibid., 132. 19 Ibid., 134.

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systems that will work properly so long as they remain uncontaminated and suffer no blockage of circulation. For many centuries, Christians in Europe could think of only one enemy that might serve as the source of blockages and impurities: Non-Christians, for their part, became the carriers of impurity, hostile persecutors and defilers of Christian blood. It should therefore come as no surprise that this period, which witnessed an exponential rise of anxiety surrounding Christ’s very blood. A blood that was flowing and overflowing in the chalices of Europe as well as on the walls of its churches and out of the eyes of its saints, its statues and bleeding relics, a blood after which women mystics were vocally hankering – and surrounding Christian blood at large, was the same period that finalized the invention of the economic enemy. In both cases, the figure of this double anxiety – blood and money – was, of course, the Jews.20

Anidjar’s approach to political theology is rooted in the idea of a community which concerns capital, nation and state alike. It is the original community of Christians, founded in the blood of Christ, that formed the basis for communities in the modern period: The vampire state comes into existence with the naturalized institution of a number of plausible and implausible communities of blood: the sexual community of blood, which is also a legal and economic community of blood (kinship and the family; inheritance and property); the social community of blood (the nobility, later the nation); the racial community of blood (the white race, the dark races); and of course the theological community of blood that we explored in the previous chapter. […] Moses Hess and Karl Marx, who were among the first to recognize the vampiric nature of the modern, capitalist state, what I am referring to here as the vampire state.21

The Jews, in this understanding, form the main source of contamination, and the various communities of blood (sexual, social, racial, theological) must be protected and kept pure. This pursuit of purity may require an act of ‘killing,’ in the Foucauldian sense of being eliminated or rejected from the various forms of circulations. In practical terms this may take 20 Ibid., 145. 21 Ibid., 127.

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the form of expulsion and exiling, economic disenfranchisement, a ban on sexual relations, or control of fertility. The goal is to keep the closed system functional, pure, and ‘Christian.’ A critique of Blood, written by Pamela Klassen, claims that ‘Anidjar tells a story of blood along patrilineal, patriarchal, and patricidal lines,’22 and adds that blood should not just be read through killing and death, but also through birth, noting that ‘the blood of menstruation and childbirth is theological-political blood.’23 Klassen points out that women are constantly confronted with questions related to this type of blood: does the period arrive on time? Are there irregularities? What happens in the event of pregnancy, wanted or unwanted? And what about the loss of blood at childbirth? She thus argues that by drawing attention to Christianity’s obsession with the blood of death and murder, and by omitting the blood that flows around female sexuality, Anidjar’s critique re-enforces a type of patriarchy as it ‘re-enacts a story that still has destructive consequences today.’24 In light of Klassen’s comments, the present study will examine ‘communities of blood’ with an emphasis on childbirth and sexuality rather than on murder and elimination. The events and situations discussed in the following sections relate to the question of future generations, to the anxiety regarding ‘Christian’ and ‘non-Christian’ blood, to ‘unruly’ female bodies and to averting sexual threat.25 In making an historical examination, we also aim to hold up a mirror to the year 2015, in which obsessions with cultural-ethnic unity, with bloodlines, and with certain children who were born or have remained unborn, are still very much present.

Communities of Hungarian Blood How did we end up here? First a caveat needs to be added. Szirtes understood Spiró’s sonnet as prophetic not just for post-1989 Hungary but also for the 22 Pamela Klassen, ‘Fertile Blood,’ review of Blood: a critique of Christianity by Gil Anidjar, Marginalia, March 2, 2015, (accessed October 7, 2015). 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 It is to be noted that there is abundant literature on the way female bodies are used in nationalist discourses to represent the body of the Nation and how the patriarchal state needs to extend its protective arm over the actual, fertile bodies of the women belonging to the nation. E.g. Nira Yuval-Davis, Gender, Nation and State (London-Thousand Oaks-New Delhi: SAGE, 1997). For a classic analysis on the ‘foreign,’ sexualized body of the ‘Jew’ see Sander Gilman, The Jew’s Body (London: Routledge, 1991).

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second decade of the twenty-first century. The mélymagyars are indeed here, but their presence seems not as much a return as a continuation of what had already been there between 194426 and 1989. Following Anidjar’s logic, the concept of the ‘Christian blood community’ may undergo transformations, but the policies that stem from a blood-informed discussion on what constitutes the true essence of the nation and who should not belong to it is not exclusively linked to right-wing politics. There are numerous examples of racial-ethnic thought and policies from the time of socialism, both in Hungary27 and in other Socialist bloc countries. The ‘Roma question,’ and concerns about the fertility of the Roma population, appear and reappear in various private and public, expert and bureaucratic contexts;28 there are several stories concerning the forced sterilisation of Roma women.29 The ‘return of the mélymagyars’ should not therefore be seen as a coming-back from exile, but rather as a more lucid and pure expression of what has always been part and parcel of ‘the Christian community’ of Hungary, irrespective of political regimes. In the present essay, however, we are more concerned with how these policies worked in the 1940s, and how issues of blood and race were connected to those of fertility and sexuality in Horthy Hungary. The question of ‘how we ended up here’ must be answered in the context of the number of Hungarians – including the Hungarian State – who contributed to the greatest mass murder of Hungarians in the history of the country. There is one further theory which may be used to connect the Hungary of the 1940s with the state of the present day. Edward Ross Dickinson – an 26 The year 1944 is of importance because it was in spring-summer 1944 that the majority of Hungarian Jews (over 400 thousand people) were deported and murdered in concentration camps. The events that led up to the deportations is a complex story of self-cultivated antiSemitism, Nazi influence and a well-functioning cooperation between Hungarian authorities and Eichmann’s Sondereinsatzkommando. A concise overview of the Hungarian Holocaust in 1944 can be found here: ‘Hungary After the German Occupation,’ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (accessed November 12, 2015). 27 In late Socialist Hungary the concerns about the fertility of the Roma was intertwined with concerns on ‘quality,’ that is, children of lower social background. See Anikó Gregor, From ‘Quantity’ to ‘Quality’: The Politics of Reproduction in State Socialist Hungary (1948-1989) (MA thesis, Central European University in Budapest, 2011), 47-49, 28 See for example Michael Zimmermann, ‘Zigeunerpolitik im Stalinismus, im “realen Sozialismus” und unter dem Nationalsozialismus. Eine Untersuchung in vergleichender Absicht,’ Forschungsschwerpunkt Konflikt- und Kooperationsstrukturen in Osteuropa. Untersuchungen des FKKS 11 (1996): (accessed on October 7, 2015). 29 Éva Judit Kovács, ‘Összeolvasás. Az erőszak elbeszélései,’ Replika 85-86 (2014): 71-83.

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historian of twentieth-century Germany who examined the social and healthcare policies of Weimar, the Third Reich and postwar West Germany – claimed that, although the mass murders and genocide that occured under National Socialism had been embedded in a biopolitical modernity and that a ‘race logic’ had been applied, the Nazis ‘were not driven by “the” logic of eugenics; rather, they pursued “a” logic of eugenics.’30 In other words, the eugenics of Weimar and postwar Germany, as well as that of other liberal democracies, could not be taken to the same extremes as the eugenics of National Socialism on account of their non-totalitarian power configurations: most modern states are kept in check by institutional constraints, the decisions of political actors, the existence of individual rights, and local pockets of resistance. In Dickinson’s analysis it is thus the Nazis themselves who are responsible for acts of mass murder, not modernity or science; the blame cannot, in other words, be placed upon the modern biopolitical state.31 Dickinson argues for a reconsideration of biopolitics, and suggests a stance that is not directly influenced by the Nazi experience. For our discussion of Hungary in the 1940s and in the present day, however, his ‘side argument’ seems more useful: if a country’s institutional powers move towards the elimination of checks and balances and there are diminishing of ‘pockets of resistance,’ then such a State will be better equipped for pursuing not just a blood-based but also a bloodier biopolitics. The premise of our argument thus rests on the idea that nation, state and capital all belong together in the sexual, legal, economic, social, racial and theological community of blood. This idea enables the modern biopolitical state to make a fundamental distinction between different types of blood, some of which should be allowed to live and some not. The State must first find the ‘break’ separating friend from foe, blood carrier from parasite. In interwar Hungary, the double anxiety regarding the Jews (blood and money) was amplified by various factors: ‘Jews’32 made up 6-8% of the country’s population at the time, and many had arrived from Galicia between 1867 and 1914 during the more tolerant and assimilationist ‘Liberal era.’ According to contemporary public opinion, they were over-represented in finance, and also in certain lucrative liberal professions such as medicine, 30 Edward Ross Dickinson, ‘Biopolitics, Fascism, Democracy: Some Ref lections on Our Discourse about Modernity,’ Central European History 37 (2004): 17. 31 Dickinson, ‘Biopolitics,’ 20. 32 I have chosen to use inverted commas as a means of differentiating between my own neutral usage and the floating definitions of ‘the Jew’ employed within the interwar Hungarian state; in doing so, I wish to re-enforce that the present study neither accepts nor condones these historical definitions.

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law and architecture.33 Anti-Semitic propaganda soon became legislation: in 1920, a Numerus Clausus was adopted that limited the university education of Jews. The second wave of anti-Semitic laws came in 1938 and 1939: the first of these laws limited the number of Jews in ‘liberal professions’ and in medium-sized and larger enterprises to 20%; a second law, passed the next year, brought this number down to 6%. Jews were supposed to be ‘less cheeky’ and more modest in their economic aspirations in order to make place for a Christian middle class who were believed to have a more legitimate claim to being doctors, lawyers, businessmen and board-members. These laws were often circumvented by the upper- and upper-middle-class owners of businesses, but tens of thousands of Jews were nonetheless fired from their jobs, and had a hard time finding new employment. How were ‘Jews’ defined in these anti-Semitic legislations? The law of 1938 used religion as a basis, but also added an element of race: those who had converted to Christianity after August 1, 1919 were still considered to be Jewish.34 The law of 1939 moved toward a blood-based definition, specifying that if an individual had one parent or two grandparents belonging to the Jewish religion, they qualified as Jewish. There were some exceptions: if one’s parents had converted to Christianity before marriage and remained Christian, they would not be considered Jewish.35 It should be noted that, in addition to the anxiety that Jews would take financial control of the country, there were very serious concerns regarding the blood of fertility. In contemporary sex-education texts one finds that the Christian-nationalist elite associated the ‘Jewish spirit’ with debauchery and promiscuity, and they were afraid that the otherwise-pure sexual community of Christians would degenerate in the event of spiritual and bodily contact with ‘Jews.’ In light of this, it may come as no surprise to find that the state passed a third anti-Semitic Law in 1941 prohibiting certain types of sexual relations with ‘Jews.’ This law had the most clearly racial definition of all, stating that everyone with at least two Jewish-born grandparents were to be counted as Jews, without exception.36 33 Mária M. Kovács, Liberal Professions and Illiberal Politics: Hungary from the Habsburgs to the Holocaust (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). 34 ‘Az első zsidótörvény (1938),’ A Holokauszt Magyarországon, (accessed November 13, 2015). 35 ‘A második zsidótörvény (1939),’ A Holokauszt Magyarországon, (accessed November 13, 2015). 36 Ibid.

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These three major laws exemplify how a state that defined itself as ‘Christian-nationalist’ attempted to keep both capital and nation pure from bad blood. This state existed within the context of the major European Christian churches (Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran) and the theological community of blood (Christian vs. non-Christian) that existed throughout the interwar era. Yet while such legislations undoubtedly reflected contemporary mentalities, they also provided a dominant and self-defined group – a group which believed itself to be true representatives of the Hungarian Nation – with a framework for realising their goal of ‘blood purification.’ The celebrated writer Sándor Márai gave a shrewd account of this process. The following passage from Hallgatni akartam goes to the level of the individual to illustrate the motivations of the various actors and their ideas of what was at stake in the ‘Jewish question:’ This is what happened first: the boor, by the will of and under the protection of a foreign power, believed that finally he had a right to ‘compensation’ after having been ‘side-lined’. What was this ‘compensation’? The foreman who was not talented and diligent enough believed that the time has come when he could grab a juicy airstrip-construction contract by going around the conditions for a competitive tender, the physician who did not have patients because they did not trust his knowledge and diagnoses, suddenly saw a way to be appointed head doctor in a public hospital, the lawyer, who was until now involved in minor cases, due to the ‘quota Jewish Law’ saw that the time has come for him to walk into the legal adviser’s office of a large bank or industrial corporation. The bad writer, the mediocre or untalented actor thought this was the minute when he could squeeze out, due to the prerogatives of his origins, success and claps. And when the mindless and humiliating racial laws finally nailed sexual life to the shame wall of birth certificates, the disappointed lover believed, the hour of love-making has come, which he can spend with the person who up to now gave her affection to someone else, someone Jewish.37

These examples all relate to winning, to gaining the upper hand, to having access to a limited amount of available resources; they demonstrate how the evolution of public sentiment facilitated the adoption of the three 37 Sándor Márai, Hallgatni akartam (Budapest: Helikon, 2013), 54-55 (my translation). I would like to thank Éva Kovács from the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for drawing my attention to this passage.

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laws discussed above. At the time, there was a great deal of talk about őrségváltás38 – the ‘changing of the guard’ – meaning that key positions of status for the upper and middle classes were to be filled with ‘Christians,’ based not on merit but simply on blood. It is notable that all the archetypes in the passage quoted above are Christian males; they were the ones who believed themselves to be maintaining the Hungarian nation through their actions and possessions, and were thus forced to regain the media, public administration, and the respected professions from their Jewish rivals. It is this sense of material possession that was used to justify the third law from the perspective of őrségváltás. Jews, and particularly Jewish men, were expected to hand over not just their licenses to practice law or medicine, or their keys to the director’s office, but also the women they had ‘obtained.’ Yet how did the Christian majority come to believe that the Jews had taken away their women? And how did they explain the infiltration of Jewish blood into the Hungarian bloodline? These questions are best answered with a brief overview of sex education in interwar Hungary.

Soul-killing: Female Honor and Anti-Semitism in Sex Education In a previous study39 I outlined some major elements of sex education that were common in Hungary during the interwar period; the article pointed to a Foucauldian ‘proliferation of discourse’ in which a great deal of material was published, much of it by authors associated with the Christian churches. Many of these texts included racial passages, and their crusade for purity allowed only limited scope for youths to experiment with sexuality. The texts, many written by older Christian males for younger Christian males, included a high level of self-victimisation: they emphasised external dangers, and believed that it was the temptations of sin that needed to be curbed; the absence of these temptations would make it that much easier for Christians to observe sexual norms. The greatest external threat came from two groups: prostitutes and Jewish men. Both represented seduction 38 There is a chilling, extremely detailed account of the economic aspect of this ‘changing of the guard,’ in which the author, István Hegedűs tried to collect all information on major corporations and important public positions where Jews were pushed aside. See István Hegedűs, Őrségváltás (Budapest: Stádium, 1942), (accessed November 13, 2015). 39 Gábor Szegedi, ‘Stand by Your Man: Honor and Race Def ilement in Hungary, 1941-44,’ Hungarian Historical Review 4 (2015): 577-606, (accessed December 6, 2015).

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and were seen to be responsible for debauchery, pornography, masturbation, extramarital and premarital sex, sex trafficking, and other perversions, referred to under the collective banner of ‘sexual capitalism.’40 Below are presented some examples which illustrate how Christian-nationalists perceived Jewish men as a threat to their life and possessions in a distinctly sexual sense. It is f irst necessary to mention two f igures who overshadowed the Christian approach to sexuality: Béla Bangha and Ottokár Prohászka were two of the most influential Catholic ideologues of the 1920s. 41 As Máté Gárdonyi put it, they were ‘dedicated warriors, moreover, program setters for the politics labeled as ‘Christian national.’’42 Prohászka, the bishop of Székesfehérvár and a member of the pro-Horthy government party after 1919, was one of the key politicians responsible for the Numerus Clausus law in 1920 that limited the acceptance of Jews at universities. 43 The Jesuit Béla Bangha was the editor of the most important Catholic periodical, Magyar Kultúra, founded in 1912;44 he worked towards establishing a strong Catholic-Christian press in order to counterbalance the ‘liberal-Jewish’ press, which he saw as contributing to the ‘judaisation’ of the Hungarian middle class. Among his achievements was the establishment of the ‘Central Press Agency,’ a Catholic publishing house for press and other publications. Bangha and Prohászka did not just become role models for a middle class drunk on anti-Semitism45 and a far right that lauded their racial argumentation; due to their standing within the Catholic church of Hungary, and the respect they enjoyed in Christian-nationalist circles, their texts, which 40 Ibid. 41 Catholic, Calvinist and Lutheran were the three largest Christian religions of the time with Catholics representing about two-thirds of all Christians. Most of the sex education material published was Catholic, which explains why I focus mostly on Catholic material in this paper. 42 Máté Gárdonyi, ‘Az antiszemitizmus funkciója Prohászka Ottokár és Bangha Béla társadalom- és egyházképében,’ in A holokauszt Magyarországon európai perspektívában, ed. Judit Molnár (Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2005), 193. 43 The Numerus Clausus limited the ratio of Hungarian ‘Jews’ (defined partly racially) to be accepted at universities at 6%. It was Prohászka who suggested amending the original motion that was about limiting the number of women at universities. For an excellent overview of the Numerus Clausus Law and its adoption see Mária M Kovács, Törvénytől sújtva (Budapest: Napvilág, 2012). 44 Antal Molnár calls Magyar Kultúra ‘the most important point of reference for the Catholic intelligentsia until 1944’ and puts its circulation at c. 5000 copies: Antal Molnár, ‘Bangha Béla, az engedelmes lázadó,’ História 33 (2011): 43-46. 45 Quoting the author Sándor Márai’s diary, ‘the Hungarian middle class became insane and got drunk from the Jewish question,’ Sándor Márai, Napló, 1943-44 (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1990), 156.

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employed age-old sexual stereotypes on the lewdness of Jews, became a crucial element within Catholic sex education as well. Prohászka, Bangha’s senior by more than twenty years, wrote a pamphlet in 1893 arguing against the emancipation of the Jewish religion;46 he claimed that the ‘rampant, egoistic Jewish spirit usually finds a profession that provides the best income and never asks what moral teachings have to say,’ and that ‘sin, seduction, prostitution, deliberate soul killing and buying are all products of the hotbed of Jewish “morale.”’47 Prohászka also paved the way for the self-victimisation that became so popular in the interwar era among Catholic youth educators when he wrote: ‘if the sons of noble families take a wrong path we are rarely mistaken if we sniff a Jew behind their slip […] the Jew invites them to debauchery and immoral life.’48 Bangha’s Katolicizmus és zsidóság (Catholicism and Jewry), published in 1923, discussed ‘Jewish sexuality’ in even greater detail. One of the book’s chapters contained a sub-section entitled ‘The moral qualities of Jews’ in which the author claimed that the materialism of the Jews (as opposed to the spiritual nature of Christians) was rooted in two phenomena: their lack of altruism, and their ‘exaggerated sexualism,’ which he understood as coming from ancient religious laws – polygamy in the Old Testament – and manifesting itself in the modern world in the publication of pornographic material, in prostitution and trafficking, in contraception (lack of fertility) and in extramarital sex. Regarding the latter, Bangha cited a claim that young Jewish men in Vienna and Budapest were ‘virtually all bragging’ about their ability to defile young Christian girls before marrying a Jewish girl, an act made possible by the wealth of the young men and the naïvety of the girls. 49 In addition to emphasising, often in very abstract and vague terms, that Christian youths needed to remain ‘pure’ until marriage – purity being the keyword of Christian sex education – it was important to provide them with guidance on how this could be achieved, mostly by listing what and who should be avoided. Women and adolescent youths (both male and female) 46 The emancipation of Jews in civil life was introduced in 1867 when Jewish individuals received full citizenship rights in Hungary and the Jewish religion got equal standing with the three main Christian religions in 1895 Law No. XLII of 1895. Interfaith marriages became legally possible with the 1894 marriage law (Law No. XXXI of 1894) that introduced civil marriage. 47 Ottokár Prohászka, ‘A zsidó recepció a morális szempontjából,’ in Prohászka Ottokár összegyűjtött munkái, ed. Antal Schütz, 25 vols. (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1928-1929), XXII (1929), 8. 48 Ibid., 9. 49 Béla Bangha, Katolicizmus és Zsidóság (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1923), 124-126.

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were seen as the two groups that needed to be protected from the degenerative effect of excessive sexuality. Both appeared in sex education material as potential victims; not only did they require personal willpower, but they also needed special, external protection in the form of well-enforced laws and regulations that would fend off potential threats. Sexual dangers took many different forms, including those which came from inside. With regard to pornography, József Koszterszitz (Father Koszter) dedicated four pages to the Jewish question in his book Nos Rector …, written in 1943 for boys of college age. He wrote about the ‘far-visioned idealistic worldview’ of Hungarians that was weakened by the ‘bohemian and heavily egoistic influence and strongly erotic Eastern style’ of Jews, which has ‘seriously loosened the otherwise hard and pure morality of Hungarians.’50 He advised that Christian boys acquire a ‘healthy sense in detecting the style that in literature and in everything represents Jewish influence.’ He recommended that aspect of art and culture which had been tainted by Semitic influence – including cinema, theatre, books, newspapers, songs, or music – should be rejected. Tihamér Tóth’s widely distributed A tiszta férfiúság (Pure Manhood), made a similar request: ‘Boys, if you love our sweet homeland, if you are worried about the future fate of our nation, respect your pure blood, your immaculate youth, and do not take into your hand immoral writings of non-Christian, racially non-Hungarian (just Hungarian language) authors, which aim to weaken the Hungarian race.’51 The ugly face of Jewish sex capitalism is found throughout the books of Péter Olasz, a Jesuit priest and orator from Transylvania. In his 1926 book A mai férfi életútja (The Life Path of Today’s Man), Jews are taken to symbolise the evils of society, especially in the form of the ‘Jewish’ press, communism, and the Freudian ‘sexualization’ of youths. Jews, in this book, are shown to be responsible for the modern dances that were ‘brought in from the home of savages’ (meaning, in this case, Brazil and Argentina), as well as for the ‘moral bashing excesses’ in literature, theatre, cinema, and the other arts.52 His rhetoric is radical enough to suggest that, for the eradication of the Jewish spirit, one might even condone cold-blooded murder. Olasz describes the assassination of the Jewish-Austrian free-thinker and sex educator Hugo Bettauer as follows: ‘Bettauer […] would continue with his destruction even today, had not a swastika-bearing dental technician, who 50 József Koszterszitz, Ádám György et. al., Nos Rector … a magyar főiskolai hallgatók könyve (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1943), 400. 51 Tihamér Tóth, A tiszta férfiúság (Budapest: Stephaneum, 1920), 74. 52 Péter Olasz, A mai férfi életútja (Satu-Mare: Corvin Nyomda, 1926).

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was not selective in his means, fired five bullets last spring into the satanic skull of the grossly soul-killing Jew.’53 Olasz appears to have been relieved that Bettauer’s activities were discontinued; for him, the ‘soul-killing Jew’ a much greater problem than the Nazi, who may have been too rash, but was at least only concerned with killing a soul which, in his view, deserved to die. The texts mentioned above should serve to illustrate the commonly held attitudes toward sexuality in interwar Hungary.54 The dominant voice was that of Christian sexual purity, but it is striking to note how the metaphorical ‘soul-killing’ Jew acts as a prevalent figure. The Jewish threat was understood to come not just from Jewish intellectuals who had occupied prominent public positions, but also from the menacing body that had mixed Jewish blood into the national community via sexual relationships with Christian women.

Thou Shalt Not Covet The texts discussed in the previous section, all written by notable intellectuals from interwar Hungary, connected ‘external’ groups with sexual danger; this crude materialisation of sexuality appealed directly to the concept of őrségváltás, which held that Jews should be restricted not only in economic and social terms, but sexually as well. It is no surprise that such beliefs received considerable support from the Christian-nationalist State. By the time Hungary entered the Second World War, fighting on the side of Nazi Germany, a new anti-semitic legislation was ready in the form of Law No XV of 1941.55 The clauses of this Marriage Law were worded as follows: 9. § Non Jews are not allowed to marry with Jews […]

53 Ibid., 107. 54 It is hard to assess, without concrete data, the circulation of these books, but it is known of Tóth’s Tiszta férfiúság for example, that all high schools in the country had to order an obligatory copy of the book starting in 1924. It had as many as 14 editions between 1924 and 1935 and was printed in tens of thousands of copies. 55 Also known as the ‘Third Antisemitic Law’ in interwar Hungary. It was a general marriage law that replaced the 1894 law, introducing, aside from the anti-Semitic passages, mandatory premarital health checks and marriage loans for eugenically ‘fit’ couples.

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15. § A Jew, who has sexual intercourse with an honourable,56 non-Jewish woman of Hungarian origin or gets or tries to get an honourable, nonJewish woman of Hungarian origin to engage in intercourse with him or with another Jew, is guilty of misdemeanor and can be punished with up to three years imprisonment, loss of office and the suspension of political rights.57

The concept of honour is of particular importance in these passages. In previous papers, I have dealt with honour both in terms of sexual and racial normalisation,58 and also from the perspective of emotional history;59 in the present study, however, our goal is to examine how the idea of a ‘community of blood’ and the concept of őrségváltás were used as a means of creating a ‘break’ with regard to the female blood of fertility, and how that ‘break’ would be used to justify the blood of murder. The f irst striking aspect in the law is the absence of Jewish female sexuality. The absence is all the more remarkable when we consider that the 1935 German Marriage Law, which clearly served as a blueprint for the Hungarian one, also prohibited sexual relations between Christian men and Jewish women; men could, indeed, be punished for bringing disgrace to their ‘race.’60 The Hungarian law, however, suggests that only Christian women could be defiled in this manner. There are various possible reasons for this omission in Hungary; given that the legislators were almost exclusively Christian men, it is possible that they did not want to create any obstacles to their own sexual endeavors. Regardless, it would appear that Jewish women were considered by the Hungarian State to be largely irrelevant, at least from the perspective of race defilement.

56 In Hungarian the phrase tisztességes nő was used, which can also be translated as ‘decent’ or ‘respectable.’ However, for sexual honour ‘becsületes’ and ‘tisztességes’ were used interchangeably. See for example Zoltán Szász, ‘A női becsület,’ A nő és a társadalom, 1 (1907): 5-6, http:// (accessed November 14, 2015). I am using the term ‘honour’ in this paper primarily because in the literature on the history of emotions this is the term that denotes sexual respectability for women. 57 ‘1941. évi XV. tc.a házassági jogról szóló 1894: XXXI. törvénycikk kiegészítéséről és módosításáról, valamint az ezzel kapcsolatban szükséges fajvédelmi rendelkezésekről,’ 1000 év törvényei,¶m=8168 (accessed November 14, 2015). 58 Gábor Szegedi, ‘Tisztesség, tisztaság, fajgyalázás,’ 5 (2015): 57-76, doi: 10.18030/ (accessed November 15, 2015). 59 Gábor Szegedi, ‘Stand by Your Man.’ 60 Alexandra Przyrembel, ‘Rassenschande.’ Reinheitsmythos und Vernichtungslegitimation im Nationalsozialismus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2003).

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However, it is worth noting the only exception to the ban on intermarriage: Jewish women were not forbidden to marry Christian men who were foreigners. Why does the law make these gender distinctions? Why did it permit Jewish women to have extramarital sex with non-Jewish Hungarian men, and to marry non-Jewish men so long as they were not Hungarian? It may have been due to the blood of their fertility, which would mark their sons and daughters as Jewish. The children of Jewish mothers were considered biopolitically inferior, and treated from birth as second-class citizens. It was up to the State to make sure that the legitimate children of Christian Hungarian men came from proper Hungarian women. Jewish women were allowed to have illegitimate children or children by foreigners, as the circumstances of their birth would place them outside the parameters of the national community; furthermore, it was perhaps hoped that Jewish women would not be motivated to bear children, knowing that they would be victims of discrimination (especially if they were illegitimate). At this point, we may wish to mention another work by György Spiró, this one a one-act drama from 2002 called Elsötétités (Dimout). Although it is set in Budapest on the eve of the marriage law of 1941, various critics noticed a resonance with the present day.61 In the drama, a Jewish husband informs his beloved Christian wife that he wants to get divorced so that she can marry a Christian man (whom he has already selected); the man would then adopt their four-year-old child, thus clearing her of her Jewish stigma and allowing them to flee to another country. Two worldviews collide in the drama, that of the unsuspecting woman who does not believe that the law will change their life in any major way, and that of the man who seems to foresee the full scope of the disenfranchisement and deportations of 1944. A similar line of reasoning, closely connected to Foucault’s idea of the biopolitical divide (fostering life and letting die), also appears in the conclusion of historian Krisztián Ungváry’s monograph A Horthy rendszer mérlege (The Balance of the Horthy Regime): When a state decides that it is less preoccupied with the life conditions of Jews than that of non-Jews, this does not immediately result in the annihilation of the former. It can, however, be suspected that in a case of a surmised, artificially created or real crisis the victims of austerities will be those, whose life had been declared less valuable. And from here from a moral point of view there is no unbridgeable distance between 61 Judit Csáki, ‘Színház: Árja párja (Spiró György: Elsötétítés),’ szinhaz_arja_parja_spiro_gyorgy_elsotetites-58199 (accessed November 13, 2015).

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those, whose life is deemed worthless not just passively but actively, as well. History will always ‘supply situations of crisis.’ Creating second class citizens and stripping them of basic rights created the idea that their life was less worth than the life of others. This would not transform into genocide immediately but it created a group that could be sacrificed, if the case arises, and in such cases history sooner or later enters with such an opportunity.62

The crisis may have occurred in 1944 but Spiró’s play, set in 1941, demonstrates how the intervention of the state had an immediate effect on domestic life, love and sexuality. The Jewish husband is ready to sacrifice his marriage and his love for the life of his daughter, and his concerns are not unfounded: the fertility of Jews, both men and women, was becoming restricted. Jewish women were discouraged from giving birth, while Jewish men, even if legally married to a Christian, would be forced to step away in order to protect themselves and their families. Jewish men who were not already in a legal marriage with Christian women were actively prohibited from having sexual relations with Christians. In various court decisions, it is stated that the law was intended to preempt the ‘unwanted mixing of races;’ from this one may infer that Christian female fertility was considered a treasure that needed protecting. This brings us to the second type of fertility-related blood that constituted community: that of Christian women who belonged to the Body Politic. It is not by chance that the law specifically mentions ‘honourable’ women: the construction of citizenship for women was clearly tied to sexuality and sexual honour. Ute Frevert gives a panoramic analysis of honour in Emotions in History: Lost and found?, claiming that this ‘lost emotion’ was an essential element of the social stratification and gender differences that existed in pre-1945 Western cultures. The custom of duels enabled men of the middle and upper classes to save or redeem their honour when it came under threat; men of the lower class however were excluded from this well-organized method of taking revenge on the violators of their honour, often having to resort instead to their bare fists. The honour of women, on the other hand, was deeply sexualized. It was connected to a notion of sexual ‘purity’ which, once lost, was impossible to recover; if, for example, a woman were to lose her virginity before marriage, they might be considered dishonourable forever.63 62 Krisztián Ungváry, A Horthy-rendszer mérlege (Pécs: Jelenkor, 2012), 612. 63 Ute Frevert, Emotions in History: Lost and Found (Budapest: CEU, 2011), 87-149.

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It is perhaps for this reason that the ‘Hungarian race’ could only be defiled through its women: their agency was limited to sexuality, and their belonging was constructed through the blood of fertility. In court cases relating to race defilement, there are numerous examples of the courts, defendants, prosecutors, and witnesses arguing against the mixing of blood; in such cases, it is evident that both the legislators and the courts whose duty it was to uphold the laws understood the legislations as a way of preventing Christian women from being impregnated by Jewish men. It would often work to the benefit of the defendants if they could prove that they posed no threat regarding fertility, for example if they were old or infertile. In 1941, there was a case in Budapest which culminated in the court handing down a prison sentence of one year to a man, even though there had been no intercourse. The court went to great length to explain why they had been forced to intervene in order to protect fertility: […] because according to the general provisions of Law No. XV of 1941 the legal interest protected in the law is Hungarian race purity. Therefore, the aim of the law is maintaining the blood purity of the Hungarian race and protecting it from Jewish intrusion. As a result, although […] the law mentions ‘had sexual intercourse’, the court has the legal opinion that keeping the law’s general objective and the protected legal interest in mind, the proper interpretation of the wording includes all such sexual relations that does not by default exclude the insemination of the woman. Therefore the statement that evolved in relation to rape court cases, that is that intercourse only happened once the man’s penis entered the female vulva, cannot be accepted. It is public knowledge that if male sperm get close to the entrace of the female vulva, to the labia, it might cause insemination as the sperm may move on its own and enter the vulva and there unite with the egg.64

The court was focused on interpreting whether or not a sexual act might lead to insemination. Although there was no actual penetration in this instance, there was still the possibility of the woman getting pregnant, at least according to the court’s understanding, and as such the punishment was more serious.

64 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Case No. 12725/1941.

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In another case, however, the court applied an interpretation of the law that went beyond fertility. Even if there had been no possibility of childbirth, a prison sentence was still given for the following reasons: The Royal Court of Appeals examined the fact that the medical expert asserted, that is, that the uterus of the injured party was removed and thus she cannot get pregnant, and how this would affect the crime mentioned in the charges. Although Paragraph 15 of Law No. XV. of 1941 wants to inhibit the insemination of Christian women by Jewish men, beyond that the law also has the objective that a Jewish man should not start sexual relations with an honorable non-Jewish woman. Otherwise, it would be enough for the defense of the Jewish man that he used condoms during the intercourse and thus insemination did not occur.65

The defendant, in his appeal to the Supreme Court, still used fertility in his argument, claiming that ‘the law protects the race. It is a race protection law. And if the uterus of a woman was removed, this woman is an unsuitable device for harming the race.’66 Fertility clearly occupied a position of central importance in such cases, even though the court of appeals argued that the scope of the law extended beyond fertility and blood. The reasoning presented by the Court of Appeals is similar to those found in Nazi Germany, as documented by Alexandra Przyrembel, in which the question of race defilement was more than merely a sexual matter; the legal punishments resulting from such cases were intended to segregate the Jewish population from regular contact with the rest of the population. This included friendships, neighborly relations, or even simple gestures of compassion. In Germany, according to Przyrembel, this segregation became most evident in the denunciations of those who had ‘previously bought in the Jewish shops, lived together with Jews or were in other business contact with Jews.’67 In a society where Jews were supposed to be the subject of hatred and disgust, any individuals who maintained any type of positive contact with them were, by default, suspect. The constant threat of being denounced for race defilement and reported to the police served as a way of isolating Jews not just sexually but socially as well.68 65 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Case No. 7958/1942. 66 Ibid. 67 Przyrembel, ‘Rassenschande,’ 210. 68 Ibid., 212-227.

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However, in the previous court case, where there was no penetration proper, the court verdict went on to argue as follows: The other action of defendant, that he touched the body of M.R. in a way that could incite sexual excitement while he came to sexual gratification, the court believes, realizes the concept of attempted obtaining as it is obvious that this activity is able to awaken the desire for sexual intercourse in the woman as well – thus, it might push her towards the decision to give consent to intercourse.69

In other words, by the mere act of being close and engaging in nonintercourse sexual activities, the man could ignite the woman’s desire, which could in turn lead to intercourse and insemination. This line of reasoning suggests that, if the court wanted to ban all physical contact between Jewish men and Christian women, it was not only because of social ostracism or a tendency to isolate Jews but rather because, even if there was no penetration proper, it opened up avenues for intercourse and thus posed a fertility-related threat. The idea of the ‘female calling’ or ‘natural female role’ (női feladat/hivatás) was also used in arguments relating to fertility. It appears in several cases and served most often as an aggravating circumstance in court verdicts. The state, in these cases, wished to make sure that honourable Christian women remained available to Christian men; if a woman was involved with a Jewish man, she was understood to be of lesser ‘value’ as she would not have the opportunity to produce good-blooded offspring in the best years of her fertility. One ruling stated that a Jewish defendant: for the sake of a friendship with an honourable Hungarian girl, that is for egoistic reasons, he tried to stop the impending marriage of a young Hungarian couple with all his means and as part of this he tried to stop a wayward girl from finding the right path again.70

Another ruling mentions that ‘defendant committed his act with a married woman and thereby inhibited her from fulfilling her female calling based on her origin, either by making peace with her husband or getting a legal 69 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Case No. 7958/1942. 70 Hungarian National Archives (MOL) Papers of the Kúria (Supreme Court). Item 69, batch 112, K583.

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divorce.’71 A third verdict claimed that the ‘defendant, as it emerges from the behavior of the injured party, irreversibly drew her from being able to fulfill her female calling according to her origins.’72 In a fourth example we find a suggestion of the financial element: the defendant committed the crime over an extended time period, using financial benefits perhaps clad in social forms, to make the jobless and dispossessed E.N. and her family dependent on him. With this deed he seriously impeded the fulfillment of her natural female calling and finding her place in non-Jewish society via marriage.73

This recurring idea of the ‘natural female role’ is strongly connected to the female blood of fertility. If a fertile, honourable Christian woman was in any way attracted to a Jewish man, her value to society would be lowered; her uterus, which would normally be viewed as precious by the state, would no longer be accessible, and consequently the community would suffer. Jews who attempted to have a long-term relationship with a woman, regardless of whether or not it was sexual, would be harming the community by causing the pool of marriageable women – and, specifically, their wombs – to diminish. By introducing the marriage law, the authorities made it very clear that they wanted these women to be returned to their rightful owners; as such it evoked the commandment ‘thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’ with the wife being included, as in the book of Exodus, under the heading of ‘anything that belongs’ to the man. The neighbour in this case was the blood community of the nation, and it was the right of the nation to decide who was eligible to possess its most valuable assets.

Who Is Coming, What Is to Come? If we return to Anijdar’s theory of blood and murder constituting citizenship – and if we accept Klassen’s criticism that this theory applies specifically to male citizenship – one further aspect of racial policies in interwar Hungary becomes striking: Jewish men were not allowed to serve as full soldiers in 71 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Case No. 11196/1942. 72 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Case No. 10992/1942. 73 Budapest Metropolitan Archives (BFL) VII-5-c-, Budapesti Királyi Törvényszék. Box No. 3161, Case No. 10226/1942.

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the Hungarian Army. When Hungary entered the Second World War in 1941, Jews were conscripted as munkaszolgálatos; this meant that they belonged to special forced-labour battalions, in which they were made to serve their homeland as second-rate soldiers, without weapons. In this way, they were pushed away from the national community in a very literal manner: they were not even allowed to participate in the forging of the nation through murder; they could not themselves shed blood. Some of these battalions were valued for their work, but many were considered to be merely ‘Jews’ – that, is disloyal non-Hungarians – and a large number of these men died due to mistreatment by their superiors in the Hungarian Army.74 This anti-Semitic practice is fully in keeping with those discussed in this essay. In the interwar period, Hungary employed a comprehensive programme of racism at the state level to nurture a biopolitical agenda, in this case, the creation of a community of the blood of the nation. This agenda was grounded in the theological distinction between bloods, and especially in the idea that Jewish blood remained distinct even in the case of conversion. This blood affected other types of blood in different ways. Jewish female blood required no legislation as it was already a stigma: it placed a large, yellow Star of David on its offspring, enabling first the disenfranchisement of children born to Jewish women and, a few years later, their mass deportations and annihilation. Jewish male blood, on the other hand, was a dangerous intruder which had to be kept away from ‘honourable’ non-Jewish wombs in order to keep the borders of the nation pure and clear. Jews were not allowed to inseminate the women who produced the offspring of the nation and, at the same time, were forcibly alienated from the economic mainstream under the program of őrségváltás. Moreover, they were not even permitted to shed blood as soldiers of the nation. The laws and attitudes of the time, however, were not only directed at Jewish blood: anxiety over offspring of an undesirable race led to an understanding of women of Christian blood as possessions who should rightly belong to the community of Christian men. These women were valued for their wombs, and this value could increase or decrease based on their age, their conduct, their affiliation with certain men. Female honour and citizenship was inextricably linked to sexuality and to the blood of fertility. 74 András Szécsényi, ‘Fogalomtörténeti vázlat a munkaszolgálatról,’ Betekintő 8 (2014): 1-30, (accessed November 17, 2015); Krisztián Ungváry, ‘A munkaszolgálat embertelen, de túlzó mozgó vesztőhelynek nevezni,’, (accessed November 17, 2015).

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Why have I asked ‘what is to come?’ in the title of this conclusion? In the f irst decades of the twenty-first century, racist conceptualisations of blood and its linkages to female fertility – along with the idea of the mélymagyars – have again become a part of Hungarian public discourse. Yet in the years since 1945, ethnic-nationalistic anxieties have gradually been re-directed towards the Roma. Those who are still concerned about the purity of the blood of fertility in a ‘Christian’ Hungary may have cause for concern. In the interwar period there were around 800,000 Jews living in a country of about 9 million; as of 2015, there were an estimated 800,000 Roma in a country of 10 million. In 1941 there were only about 100,000 Roma in Hungary, many of whom existed on the fringes of society, with no access to healthcare, welfare services, of education; since 1945, they have come to occupy a more prominent position within the nation. The high number of children born to Roma families is described with a comparable anxiety to the high birth rates observed in Jewish families during the interwar period. As in that period, there are presently children whose life is less valued, and there remain racial distinctions within the blood of fertility. The question of ‘what is to come’ is, for now, only a reflection. If Dickinson’s theory of biopolitics and the importance of the legal-institutional system is to be taken seriously, then it would seem that present-day Hungary is floating towards fewer options for accountability (media and public discourse, new constitution, nationalization of various public services, including education) and a diminishing system of checks and balances. These tendencies, combined with the ethnic-racist nationalism that has come to permeate various national policies, suggest that blood might yet regain its old significance. Indeed, when Rikárdó Rácz came to the World on January 1, 2015 he did not anticipate how messy this world would be, and he did not know that this mess would be smeared with the theological-political blood surrounding his birth.

Dual Approaches to Communist Engagement Helena Krajewska and Marek Włodarski Piotr Słodkowski

The present chapter deals with the old artistic fantasy of socio-political engagement and the inescapable tensions between modern art, social(ist) realism, and politics in the Polish People’s Republic around 1949, but rather than providing a comprehensive study of the subject it discusses social realism using a series of case studies. The chapter opens with a close reading of art criticism of the time, and some reflections on social(ist) realism, in which ideological and artistic ideas were juxtaposed. Specifically, I argue that social realism is best understood through ‘the phenomenon of blurring,’ thus challenging the traditional narrative based on the division between the engagement of artists and their strategic retreat. In other words, I refer to research question posed by Wojciech Włodarczyk: ‘How to create a good social-realist painting.’1 In order to demonstrate that there are no simple answers to this question, I will introduce two case studies: that of Helena Krajewska, an art critic, whose writings contain a variety of standpoints on social(ist) art before 1949, and that of Marek Włodarski whose work sheds some light on the ideology of unorthodox artistic representation of power after 1949. Between these two case studies, we may perhaps gain a clearer understanding of the conflicting paths toward a communist utopia.

The Field of Art in the 1940s and Socialist Realism in Poland: Introductory Remarks Socialist realism as an artistic and, above all, ideological doctrine, was first established in the Soviet Union after 1932, when it replaced the constructivist avant-garde – practiced by El Lissitzky, Rodchenko and Tatlin among others – as the official art recognised by the state. The Soviet powers had decided that the simplified, expressive and rational language of geometrical 1 Wojciech Włodarczyk, Socrealizm. Sztuka polska w latach 1950-1954 (Paris: Libella, 1986), 120-129.


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abstraction was a less effective tool of propagandist communication than the kind of realist representations that would be familiar to Russian peasants and workers. Only a few years later, in 1939, Clement Greenberg published his famous article Avant-Garde and Kitsch, in which he made the distinction between high art – characterised as the ‘imitation of imitating,’ and focused primarily on its own artistic innovations – and kitsch as a platform for the ordinary imitation of nature (mimesis). According to Greenberg, some of the most vivid examples of the latter were the works of Ilja Rieplin, and the contemporary art of totalitarian regimes, including both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.2 A similar shift in official attitudes towards art occurred in Poland shortly after 1944, and the process of implementing a new mode of social (although not necessarily ‘socialist’) art took place between 1945 and 1949. After the trauma of the Second World War, it was demanded that art should be used not just for pro-socialist purposes, but should reflect more closely the lives of real people; the art of the 1920s was, in turn, condemned by critics as merely l’art pour l’art. It was necessary to redress the balance between form and subject matter, and the cultural policies of the late 1940s were, as Bożena Kowalska termed it, an ‘epoch of debates’ regarding the implications of ‘humanist’ and ‘social’ art. It is important to note that, during the course of the decade 1945-1955, these discussions affected the various fields of art in different ways. There can be no doubt that painting and architecture (and, to some extent, urban planning) were the most conspicuous art forms and thus, ultimately, subject to the greatest amount of social-realist debate; however, the less obvious disciplines, such as graphic art and industrial design, constituted a space of relative artistic freedom during both the 1940s and the Stalinist period of the early 1950s. The principal focus of my paper is the examples of social realism found in painting. This decision arises not from any disregard for the other fields in which cultural policies were executed, but rather from the conviction that the debates surrounding painting will best illuminate the twofold approach of communist engagement in cultural matters. Discussions concerning the form and subject of paintings were inseparably connected to questions of art as an institutional practice, including issues of state patronage such as exhibitions and competitions, purchase of art by the state, grants and scholarships, and the organisation of higher 2 Clement Greenberg, ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch,’ in Clement Greenberg, The Collected Essays and Criticism, ed. John O’Brian, 4 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986-1993), I (1986), 5-22.

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artistic education. The scale of state intervention within the field of painting was very well received by artists who, in the interwar years, had come to associate the private art market with the commercialisation of artistic practices; after the war, when Warsaw was in ruins, painters who had neither homes nor studios came to rely increasingly on the structural and financial support of the state. Starting as early as 1944, the new ruling power declared ‘guardianship’ over art in general and painting in particular. The involvement of the state allowed for public discussions on the visions, purposes, and form of national/social art. The intensity of the debates increased in 1946, and by 1948 they had expanded to embrace numerous artistic factions, from realists, to colourists (post-impressionists), to modern (cubist and surrealist) painters. However, this plurality of opinions and approved idioms was only temporary: when the ruling party consolidated its position at the end of 1948 the debates ceased and, in June of 1949, socialist realism was declared the official artistic doctrine. The history of this political manoeuvre will be reconstructed in the following pages. It should be noted from the outset that, from a psychological perspective, this decree marked a considerable change in the position of the artists: they were, as Andrzej Turowski observed, no longer subjects of cultural politics, but its objects.3 It is for this reason that Waldemar Baraniewski, in his classic study, suggested that socialist realism must also be viewed as an ethical phenomenon;4 the act of withdrawing from socialist realism in 1949 would have been not merely an artistic decision, but an ethical, existential, and economic one as well. It could not have been predicted that the doctrine would collapse within five years; in other Soviet republics, notably the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, socialist realism endured for decades. Participation in the social-realist project was not merely an ideological declaration, but also a strategy for survival; any painter who did not embrace the doctrine would exclude themselves from all important exhibitions and, by extension, disqualify their works from being purchased by the only existing art collector, the state. An artist, whose work could not be seen and discussed at the National Art Exhibitions, would not be deemed suitable to occupy positions within the Painting and Sculpture Departments of the Academy of Fine Arts. It thus comes as little surprise that artists who 3 Andrzej Turowski, ‘Polska ideoza,’ in Sztuka polska po 1945 roku. Materiały sesji Stowarzyszenia Historyków Sztuki, listopad 1984, ed. Teresa Hrankowska (Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987), 32. 4 Waldemar Baraniewski, ‘Wobec realizmu socjalistycznego,’ in Sztuka polska po 1945 roku, 173-187.


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rejected socialist realism tried to find paid work in fields – notably graphic design, typography, illustration, or theatre scenography – that would have been seen as less politically sensitive.

The Political Frame: Social(ist) Realism as the Phenomenon of Blurring Andrzej Turowski referred to the particularity of Central European art in the interwar period as ‘the phenomenon of blurring.’5 A similar description might also be used to characterise the social(ist) realism of the 1940s and 1950s, even if the underlying political context was considerably different. This new visual language was introduced in Poland shortly after the unification congress of the Polish Workers’ Party and the Polish Socialist Party in December of 1948. In fact, the ‘First Exhibition of Modern Art,’ displayed in Cracow at the turn of 1948-9, is often understood to be the last truly free debate on the shape of postwar visual arts. Several events in 1949 led to the eventual state supervision of artistic production: the first was a conference in Nieborów in February, which was arranged to make a confidential assessment of which artists would be willing to collaborate with the new power. Several months later, in June, the national convention of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers in Katowice (APAD) witnessed the unveiling of socialist realism as the official artistic doctrine; in October, the Inter-School Displays of State Schools for Higher Artistic Education in Poznań was organised as a forum in which theoretical declarations could be transformed into both artistic practices and a modus for education. The efforts of these three events culminated in the first National Art Exhibition, in which the new models of social-realist painting, sculpture and graphics were presented at the National Museum in Warsaw in March and April of 1950. It was during the fourth convention of APAD that Juliusz Krajewski – a well-known advocate of the social-realist doctrine – became the president of the Association; the next year, his wife Helena Krajewska was chosen editor-in-chief of Przegląd Artystyczny, arguably the most influential artistic periodical in Poland at the time.6 5 Andrzej Turowski, ‘The Phenomenon of Blurring,’ in Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, ed. Timothy O. Benson (Cambridge, MA; London: MIT Press; Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2002), 362-373. See also an expanded and changed version of the article: ‘Fenomen nieostrości,’ Artium Quaestiones 5/20 (2009): 75-102. 6 Scholarship on the connections between modern art, social(ist) realism and politics in the forties is very rich. Among the most representative studies are: Aleksander Wojciechowski,

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The events described above suggest that the political processes that led to the implementation of social(ist) realism – a reflection of the consolidation of communist power from 1948 onward – was relatively smooth. However, if socialist realism is to be regarded as an artistic idea concerning the form, its discursive insufficiency seems prevalent. Whereas the negative references to the doctrine were highlighted, the positive program, seeking an answer to Włodarczyk’s question of ‘How to create a good social-realist painting?’7 was merely outlined. A close reading of the art criticism of the time – which has been discussed by Agata Pietrasik and myself in the book Czas debat8 – allows one to return to Włodarczyk’s question. The two texts most representative of socialist realism in 1950 are Kryteria realizmu socjalistycznego (Criteria of Socialist Realism) by Włodzimierz Sokorski, the vice-minister of art and culture, and I Ogólnopolska Wystawa Plastyki (The First Polish National Art Exhibition) by Juliusz Krajewski, the president of APAD.9 Sokorski’s article offers a summary of politically grounded objections to non-social-realist art. It offers profound criticisms not only of naturalism, but also of ‘abstractionism’ and ‘colourism’ in the visual arts. It is worth noting that the former term was used not merely to describe actual abstract art, but was applied to an array of modern figurative paintings, including post-cubist idioms and art inspired by Pablo Picasso or Fernand Léger. The latter term embraced traditions of post-impressionist painting, which had been influential in Poland in the 1930s and mid-1940s. Sokorski thus distances the new art from both the radical visual languages and the conservative modernism popular among at least two generations of artists. Meanwhile, the criteria of socialist realism, promised by the title of the paper, are reduced to pompous political declarations with no reference to actual artistic practice. Krajewski’s article, which has a very similar structure, focuses on the First Polish National Art Młode malarstwo polskie 1944-1974 (Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1975); Andrzej Turowski, ‘Polska ideoza,’ in Sztuka polska po 1945 roku, 101; Baraniewski, Wobec realizmu socjalistycznego, 186-187; Bożena Kowalska, Polska awangarda malarska 1945-1980. Szanse i mity (Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1988 [1975]); Krystyna Czerni, Nie tylko o sztuce. Rozmowy z profesorem Mieczysławem Porębskim (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, 1992); Piotr Piotrowski, Znaczenia modernizmu. W stronę sztuki polskiej po 1945 roku (Poznań: Dom Wydawniczy ‘Rebis,’ 1999). 7 See note 1. 8 Remarks enclosed in the following paragraphs were remarkably expanded in the book Czas debat. Antologia tekstów krytyki artystycznej z lat 1945-1954, eds. Agata Pietrasik, Piotr Słodkowski, 3. vols. (Warszawa: Akademia Sztuk Pięknych, 2016). 9 Włodzimierz Sokorski, ‘Kryteria realizmu socjalistycznego,’ Przegląd Artystyczny 1-2 (1950): 6-7; Juliusz Krajewski, ‘I Ogólnopolska Wystawa Plastyki,’ Przegląd Artystyczny 5-6 (1950): 18-23.


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Exhibition. He employs a twofold rhetoric in his evaluation of the Exhibition: at the ideological level, he proclaims the beginning of new socialist art, which is meant to be comprehensible for the working class; he also explains in detail all of the aberrations, failures and misconceptions of the doctrine without reference to any particular social-realist canvas shown at the Exhibition. Undoubtedly, the four consecutive Polish National Art Exhibitions, organized between 1950 and 1954, can be seen as an unstable platform for the desirable shape of socialist realism. In fact, the Exhibitions demonstrate the history of the doctrine and its implementation, but they also portray the diversity of the resulting works. The ambiguity of the doctrine, which was its ‘original sin,’ eventually detached the postulates advanced by apparatchiks and critics from what the artists made of them. The lack of compatibility between the ideologically approved content and the formal composition of the canvas, was unintentionally demonstrated by Helena Blum, an art critic who, unlike Krajewski, focused mostly on artistic values and formal techniques in her review of the First Exhibition.10 Although these ‘formalist’ criteria seemed to have been omitted from the reviews of the Exhibitions, no general, positive, programme for the artists was created. On the contrary, both Joanna Guze and Mieczysław Porębski concluded that painters, wary of mistakes, would more often than not decide to employ conventional or schematic solutions in their compositions;11 Guze, in her reflections on the Third Exhibition, used the metaphor of a shoal and a ship that had run aground. One year earlier, Janusz Bogucki, in his review of the Second Exhibition, spoke in the same manner of ‘the complex of correctness’ as a timorous attitude toward creating new art.12 The ambiguities and internal uncertainty of socialist realism that precluded its satisfying realisation became most evident when one considered the artistic category of ‘form.’ The orthodox interpretation of socialist realism, which was mandatory around 1950, annulled the difference between the subject matter of a painting and its formal realisation; indeed, these two levels of representation were so inextricably linked that term ‘subjectform’ was coined for the sake of art criticism, to indicate that form in art should not be valued on its own. This issue came to the fore in 1951 when Włodzimierz Sokorski condemned Jerzy Ćwiertnia, a young pro-socialist 10 Helena Blum, ‘I Ogólnopolska Wystawa Plastyki,’ Tygodnik Powszechny 268 (1950): 8-9. 11 Joanna Guze, ‘Refleksje na temat wystawy,’ Przegląd Kulturalny 16 (1952): 3-4; Mieczysław Porębski, ‘Z rozważań nad III Ogólnopolską Wystawą Plastyki,’ Przegląd Artystyczny 1 (1953): 16-44. 12 Janusz Bogucki, ‘Kompleks poprawności,’ Przegląd Artystyczny 2 (1952): 27-29.

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painter, for considering form for its own sake.13 Three years later, Sokorski himself had revised his views on the role of form within the field of socialist realism, and acknowledged that the doctrine should allow for artistic experimentation.14 This one example should suffice to demonstrate that socialist realism, as it existed from its beginnings in 1949 until its collapse after 1954, cannot be perceived as a single monolithic structure, but rather as a concept in a constant state of development which, regardless of political rhetoric, was incapable of elaborating its own artistic programme.

The Actors of Social(ist) Realism While one realises that socialist realism was inwardly incoherent, it becomes necessary to reconsider the art produced under the banner of that movement. Within art criticism of the Polish Thaw, a period of renewed cultural liberalisation that occurred between 1955 and 1962, socialist realism was remembered as an almost traumatic experience; Jacek Bocheński and Aleksander Wat characterised it as an ‘empty space’ or even a ‘non-art.’15 It was more of a rift between two periods of modern art which, according to Andrzej Jakimowicz writing in 1958,16 had dominated between 1945 and 1949 and from 1955 onwards. The creation of a pronounced division between social(ist) realism and modern art was both politically and psychologically understandable in Poland in the late 1950s. Unfortunately, during the 1970s and the 1980s, this narrative also became the dominant mode of approaching this chapter of Polish art history.17 As a consequence, the artists themselves were divided into two substantially different groups: on the one hand, there were the uncompromising modern and avant-garde painters who had never 13 See Jerzy Ćwiertnia, ‘Trzeba życzliwej i twórczej krytyki (artykuł dyskusyjny o wystawie ‟Plastycy w walce o pokój”),’ Po prostu 38 (1950): 6; Włodzimierz Sokorski, ‘Świadomi swych zadań – idźcie naprzód! (Podsumowanie Zjazdu Aktywu Młodzieżowego Szkół Plastycznych),’ Po prostu 5 (1951): 1, 5. 14 Włodzimierz Sokorski, ‘O rzeczywisty zwrot w naszej polityce kulturalnej,’ Przegląd Kulturalny 16 (1954): 1. 15 See excellent analysis of reflection on social realism in Polish art history: Luiza Nader, ‘Co za wstyd! Historiografia polska o socrealizmie w latach 80. (studium przypadku),’ in Odrzucone dziedzictwo. Sztuka lat 80. w Polsce, ed. Karol Sienkiewicz (Warszawa: Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie, 2012), 86-100. 16 Andrzej Jakimowicz, ‘Kronika polskiej awangardy,’ Przegląd Artystyczny 1 (1958): 23. 17 Apart from studies enlisted in note 6 see also Alicja Kępińska, Nowa sztuka, sztuka polska w latach 1945-1978 (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, 1981); Janusz Bogucki, Sztuka Polski Ludowej (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, 1983).


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engaged in socialist realism. This group included, first and foremost, Maria Jarema and Tadeusz Kantor, but also Kantor’s circle of young Cracow artists, including Jerzy Nowosielski, Tadeusz Brzozowski, Kazimierz Mikulski. On the other hand, there were the apparatchiks who regarded social(ist) realism as their own vision of art and, to a certain extent, helped to construct its ideological foundations; this group included Helena and Juliusz Krajewscy, as well as Mieczysław Berman and Włodzimierz Zakrzewski. This division, however, seems too simplistic. One must instead consider the tensions between socialism and modernism that ultimately led to an alternative vision of art in the 1940s and 1950s. It must be stressed that, before 1949, many of the artists who were often considered to be opponents of one another shared many of the same views on a new ‘socialist’ art. This is particularly true of Helena Krajewska, who had much in common with avant-garde art and artists (as we will see below). In order to understand what happened after 1949, one must make a close examination of the artistic practices, which can be labelled neither as orthodox realism, nor pure modernism. This particular approach, interesting for its intrinsic ambivalence, is illustrated in the œuvre of Marek Włodarski.

Before the Division: Helena Krajewska as an Art Critic Helena and Juliusz Krajewski are commonly, and justifiably, regarded among the most important figures responsible for the implementation of socialist realism in visual arts. Not only did Helena present her canvases at the Polish National Art Exhibitions, but she also wrote about the art shown there in her press articles;18 she was such a prominent proponent of the doctrine that her thoughts constituted a point of reference in artistic-political debates at the highest level, most notably at the State Council in 1951.19 When her husband became the president of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, she was the head of its Warsaw branch. More importantly, she acted as editor-in-chief for Przegląd Artystyczny in the years 1950-1954, a publication which became a platform for ideological statements, reprints of commentaries from Moscow critics, and presentations of Soviet art.

18 Helena Krajewska, ‘Zmienne pojęcie piękna. Na marginesie Pierwszej Ogólnopolskiej Wystawy Plastyki,’ Nowa Kultura 2 (1950): 9. 19 ‘Z narady w sprawie twórczości artystycznej: Włodzimierz Sokorski,’ Nowa Kultura 45 (1951): 3.

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There can be no doubt that Helena’s work with Przegląd Artystyczny served to obscure her pre-1949 work, both as an artist and art critic. This is also true, to a certain degree, for her husband Juliusz. Three years before his orthodox review of the First Polish National Art Exhibition, Juliusz had written a significantly different paper titled Realizm i abstrakcja.20 By the end of the 1940s, the ideas of realism and abstractionism (or formalism, as it was known) were ideological opposites. In his 1947 paper, however, Juliusz found no essential dissimilarities between abstract art and Courbet’s painting, since both visual languages were founded on formal values, namely the balance of forms, colours, and light on the canvas. In the concluding paragraphs, he stated: Each epoch has its own realism, but neither a photographic resemblance, nor an automatic legibility of form is the measure of realism. Exposing significant features of reality [or] decoding real connections existing between a man and his environment not the art of the class myth, but the art of real connections creates the realism of its epoch. Każda epoka ma swój realizm, ale nie fotograficzne podobieństwo, nie mechaniczna czytelność form jest miernikiem realizmu. Wyjawienie istotnych cech rzeczywistości, rozszyfrowanie prawdziwych zależności, istniejących między człowiekiem i otoczeniem, nie sztuka mitu klasowego, ale sztuka realnych powiązań stwarza realizm swojej epoki.21

By writing on realism – which is not supposed to depict the shallow appearance of things, but rather their significant features – Juliusz Krajewski can be compared to avant-garde and modern painters such as the constructivist Henryk Stażewski, the proto-surrealist Tadeusz Kantor, and also Mieczysław Porębski.22 The assertion that ‘each epoch has its own realism’ does not differ considerably from the conclusions of Władysław Strzemiński’s Theory of Vision, a book which used the Marxist theory of base and superstructure to argue that realism must be regarded as a dynamic notion since it depends entirely on socio-historical contexts.23 20 Juliusz Krajewski, ‘Realizm i abstrakcja,’ Kuźnica 26 (1947): 6. 21 Ibid. English translation and emphases are mine – P.S. 22 See Tadeusz Kantor, Mieczysław Porębski, ‘Grupa Młodych Plastyków po raz drugi,’ Twórczość 9 (1946): 82-88; Henryk Stażewski, ‘Deformacja w plastyce,’ Kuźnica 7 (1948): 8-9. 23 Władysław Strzemiński, Teoria widzenia (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1974 [3 ed.]). Strzemiński’s book was published for the first time in 1958, although in the late forties it was lively discussed and commonly known as a typescript.


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In 1947 and 1948, Helena Krajewska collaborated with the influential social-literary weekly Kuźnica, which published her cultural reports from France entitled ‘Travelling around Paris Exhibitions.’24 Compared with some of the Polish intellectuals and artists present in Paris at the time, Krajewska’s knowledge in the field of contemporary art was both remarkably wide and versatile; by contrast, Adam Ważyk, in his Paris impressions from the same year, still believed post-impressionism to be the most representative idiom of modern art.25 Nor was Krajewska’s erudition inferior to that of Tadeusz Kantor, who explored this art scene in some depth before shifting his attention to ‘surrealist Paris’ in 1947.26 It is worth emphasising that Krajewska described not only the artists who would become an important reference point for Polish art criticism of the late 1940s – figures such as Braque, Fougeron, Gischia, Léger, Picasso, Pignon – but also the practices which became relevant again after 1955. The art later described as tachism offers a striking example of her interests: an extensive paragraph of Krajewska’s article from June 1947 is devoted to Wols’s exhibition at the Drouin Gallery, in which she interprets his art as a ‘membrane of uncontrollable sub-consciousness.’27 Bearing in mind that Polish art at the time owed much to surrealism – which thanks to Kantor and his followers was considered the most prominent art movement – it is especially interesting to note that, in another paper published at the beginning of 1948, Krajewska reviewed the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme (Maeght Gallery, 1947).28 The Paris surrealists were an enormous inspiration for Kantor’s ‘metaphorical painting’ (c. 1948-1955) and his enthusiastic reception of the movement is justifiable; surrealism had not been a part of Polish interwar avant-garde. This, as Sarah Wilson argues, may account for Kantor’s failure to notice that, in 1947, surrealism was in fact falling into decline. This, however, has been discussed elsewhere. Le Figaro Litteraire entitled its review of the exhibition ‘Mortification du surrealism,’ and the review in Time magazine concluded with the rhetorical question: ‘Observers discounted the big talk. Said one: “After the gas chambers, those heaps of bones and teeth and shoes 24 Helena Krajewska, ‘Wędrówka po wystawach paryskich,’ Kuźnica 31-32 (1947): 9; eadem, ‘Wędrówka po wystawach paryskich,’ Kuźnica 5 (1948): 10. 25 Adam Ważyk, ‘Przechadzka po muzeach paryskich,’ Odrodzenie 46 (1947): 1, 3. 26 Piotr Słodkowski, ‘Partykularne znaczenia nowoczesności. Wizualność I Wystawy Sztuki Nowoczesnej (1948) w świetle Exposition internationale du surréalisme (1947),’ Artium Quaestiones 22 (2011): 237-269. 27 Helena Krajewska, ‘Wędrówka,’ Kuźnica 31-32 (1947): 9. 28 Eadem, ‘Wędrówka,’ Kuźnica 5 (1948): 10.

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and eyeglasses, what is there left for the poor Surrealists to shock us with?” The other critic echoed: “The importance of surrealism is on the decline, perhaps because the macabre of recent years has made imitation terror a bit childish.”’29 Krajewska’s view is closer to this global context, than the Polish one. She wrote: ‘Oneiric ideas of the pre-war exhibition [in 1938] at the present exhibition turned themselves into empty gestures which were rather a failure.’30 Her harsh criticism did not form a conservative position; on the contrary, she accused Breton’s circle of abandoning their original purposes – political engagement – and reducing the surrealist idea to an indifferent ‘pure’ art. Her criticisms, however, do not imply that she rejected surrealism in favour of social(ist) realism, as was understood in 1950. In 1948, Krajewska still belonged to a group of artists who sought a new social art in which modern expression/form could be combined with a socio-political message. On this subject, one can point to at least two important articles, published after 1945, that dealt with modern painting and its contribution to the new art in post-war Poland: Tadeusz Dobrowolski’s article ‘O hermetyzmie i społecznej izolacji dzisiejszego malarstwa’ (‘On Separateness and Social Isolation of Today’s Painting,’ 1946), and Andrzej Banach’s pamphlet ‘Sztuka nieludzka’ (‘Inhuman Art,’ 1948) both sparked lively discussions between conservative and avant-garde artists, theoreticians and critics.31 Many minor artistic proposals were formulated as a result of these well known and comprehensively analysed polemics,32 including two reflections on the relation between art and the working class of Silesia; these were put forth by Stefan Gierowski and Helena Krajewska. Gierowski, who was still a young painter at the time, would go on to become a representative modern artist of the Polish Thaw. In his paper ‘Rozmowa o Śląsku i malarstwie nowoczesnym’ (‘Conversation on Silesia and Modern Painting,’ 1947) he emphasised the strong connection between technological progress and the new language of visual arts.33 Gierowski 29 See ‘Mortification du surréalisme,’ Le Figaro Litteraire 73 (2me Année, Samedi 13 Septembre 1947): 7; ‘Remembrance of Things Past,’ Time (July 21, 1947); A. Green, ‘Paris Letter,’ Town&Country (October 1947). All the reviews of the Exhibition are archived in Österreichische Friedrich und Lilian Kiesler-Privatstiftung in Vienna, Inventar-Nr. LD 5017. 30 Somnambuliczne pomysły przedwojennej wystawy przedzierzgnęły się na lipcowej wystawie w chwyty ‘pewniackie’, które raczej zawiodły [translated by P.S.]. 31 Tadeusz Dobrowolski, ‘O hermetyzmie i społecznej izolacji dzisiejszego malarstwa,’ Odrodzenie 23 (1946): 1-3; Andrzej Banach, ‘Sztuka nieludzka,’ Dziennik Literacki 18 (1948): 1-2. 32 See Kowalska, Polska awangarda malarska. 33 Stefan Gierowski, ‘Rozmowa o Śląsku i malarstwie nowoczesnym,’ Wieś 43 (1947): 3.


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argued that the work of cubists, futurists and surrealists were the only art which provided the public with an accurate representation of the modern world, its civilisation and its human environment. By referring to Hippolyte Taine’s conception of race, milieu et moment (the interpretation of a piece of art through the artist’s socio-historical context), Gierowski stated: The new [art] movements, the avant-garde that is in search [of new form] for 30 years – it all shows what Taine called milieu [influence of environment – P.S.]. When you look at a miner at work […] or at a workman […], when you look at contrasts of shadows and lights, and at unexpected combinations of colours – don’t you think that Picasso [the form of his art – P.S.] is simply justified? […] And what about constructions of workshops, matted pipelines, wires, rails and goods wagons – as a matter of fact purposeful, but meaningless and threatening to a layman. After all, they are elements of cubistic paintings. This is the image of the world that is organized by an artist. Purposefulness becomes the synonym of beauty. Therefore, what today constitutes an essential meaning of a painting and its subject is the composition of colours and forms. Otóż nowe prądy, zresztą już blisko 30 lat liczący chaos poszukiwań awangardy i ich kierunek jasno demaskują to, co Taine nazywa milieu. Czy jeśli patrzysz na górnika pracującego […] lub robotnika […], gdy patrzysz na kontrasty ciemności i świateł i na niespodziewane zestawienia barw, nie wydaje ci się Picasso – usprawiedliwionym? […] A wszelkie konstrukcje hal fabrycznych, splątane zdawałoby się rurociągi, przewody, szyny i wagoniki – w gruncie rzeczy celowe – choć dla laika bezsensowne i groźne. Toż to przecież elementy obrazów kubistów. To jest obraz świata, który malarz porządkuje. Celowość staje się synonimem piękna. Dlatego celowy układ form i barw stanowi dziś istotny sens obrazu i jego treść.34

It is worth noting that the social utility of avant-garde was also advocated by the artists of Cracow, who organised the First Exhibition of Modern Art the following year (1948/1949). A few months after the publication of Gierowski’s article Krajewska provided her own answer to the question on how non-naturalistic art can affect the public. In her article ‘Ludzie pracy oczekują swego Wergiliusza’ (‘People of Work Expect their own Virgil’) Krajewska recalled that, when returning to Warsaw from Paris, she travelled together with repatriate 34 Ibid. Translated by P.S.

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miners and their families and, as a consequence, experienced the difference between the ‘real life’ and ‘the life of Paris galleries.’35 On her arrival in Poland, she was disappointed to note that her colleagues – painters and critics – appeared to be interested only in new artistic fashions and formal innovations. This confession reveals a common fantasy of the time, namely that of abandoning the autonomy of form and turning artistic practice into social praxis. This kind of engagement, which in 1948 could still be shared by Krajewska and modern artists such as Marian Bogusz and Zbigniew Dłubak, postulated a social-oriented art, although not necessarily socialist realism. In fact, Krajewska argued that non-realistic (or non-naturalistic) forms of expressions had a better effect on viewers. Referring to her plein air at steelworks in Łagiewniki Śląskie, she described spontaneous reactions to a piece of art: About workers, I have never faced any demands for [particular] formal values. They never advised me how to paint. Yet their reactions on artistic form are surprising: ‘This piece is painted as if it represented a competition at work.’ I ask astonished: ‘Why do you think that?!’ An embarrassed worker tries to explain his impressions with gestures, finally finding the proper word: ‘Because of the rhythm.’ Nie zdarzyło mi się zetknąć z żądaniami natury formalnej ze strony robotników. Nie doradzano mi nigdy, jak mam malować. Natomiast reakcje na formę bywają zaskakujące: ‘Ten obraz jest tak namalowany, jakby przedstawiać miał współzawodnictwo pracy.’ Pytam ze zdumieniem: po czym tak sądzicie?! Stropiony robotnik próbuje wytłumaczyć swoje wrażenie urywanymi gestami, w końcu znajduje właściwe określenie: ‘Po rytmie.’36

Krajewska here addresses one of the most commonly discussed problems of the 1940s: whether the social/socialist art must simplify itself to be comprehensible for the masses or, on the contrary, if the masses should open themselves to artistic education in order to understand (social/socialist) modern art. It is clear that, at least in 1948, Krajewska opted for the latter; from her own observations, she concluded workers could understand the (ideological) message which is transferred only through the expression of 35 Helena Krajewska, ‘Ludzie pracy oczekują swego Wergiliusza,’ Nowiny Literackie 18 (1948): 7. 36 Ibid. Translations by P.S.


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formal values. ‘Deformation of colour became an enormous attraction [for the viewers],’37 she continued, arguing that the visual language of this new art is still an open question and that it should not be limited to a narrow realist modus. The article is illustrated by reproductions of Krajewska’s own paintings, which cannot be labelled as fully social-realist. In fact, on their basic stylistic level, the canvases are surprisingly similar to Marek Włodarski’s work from the same time. This similarity is perhaps unexpected since Krajewska is normally considered a pure social-realist while Włodarski is thought of as a modern or even avant-garde artist. However, if we accept that social(ist) realism during the period 1949-1954 was an artistically unstable concept, we begin to realise that the artists interested in socially-oriented art before 1949 were not in fact so far from one another, regardless of their strategic positions from 1950 onward.

Modern Art within Social(ist) Realism: Marek Włodarski’s Propagandist Gouaches In order to understand the situation of Polish art during out period of study, we must also examine the ambiguities of socio-political engagement after 1950. The œuvre of Marek Włodarski demonstrates the possibilities of modern artistic form in a social(ist) realist context, and vice versa. On the one hand, Włodarski was one of the most important interwar avant-garde painters: he studied at Fernand Léger’s Academie Moderne, he contacted Andre Breton’s circle in Paris and, at the end of the 1930s, he co-created a local variation of Polish surrealism and became a member of an avant-garde association in Lviv called Artes. After the war, however, Włodarski was remembered as an interwar Communist activist who tried to create a visual language that would be understood by the masses, a so-called ‘realism of facts,’ or fakto-realism. The Party thus deemed him a truly Communist painter, and his canvas was proudly presented at the First Polish National Art Exhibition. At the Exhibition in 1950, Włodarski’s showed a canvas entitled Barricade, which commemorated an interwar episode of workers’ emancipation; thanks mainly to its subject matter, Barricade was awarded one of the Exhibition’s minor prizes. Around the same time, Włodarski was appointed dean of the Painting Department, one of two the main departments at the 37 Ibid.

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Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, and became a member of the editorial team at Przegląd Artystyczny, the publication run by Helena Krajewska that would soon evolve into an instrument of social-realist propaganda. By the end of 1951, however, Włodarski had decided to retire from his official artistic life. He did not participate in the Third or Fourth National Art Exhibitions, and he was moved to the Department of Interior Architecture at the Academy, which exerted far less ideological influence on future painters. Włodarski’s career may resemble a linear narrative in which the artist became engaged in social realism only to lose faith a few years later. But this is not entirely true. In Włodarski’s body of work, one finds propagandist gouaches and sketches dated not only to 1948-1951, but also to 1952 and even 1953. More importantly, his social-realist works never reflected the visual language proposed by ‘socialist’ artists such as Wojciech Fangor, whose painting The Korean Mother mixed the political and the emotional, or Aleksander Kobzdej, responsible for an optimistic representation of workers’ cooperation entitled Pass me a Brick! Although Włodarski cannot be regarded as belonging to the ‘uncompromising’ camp, he was unofficially labelled a ‘formalist’ or an ‘abstractionist’ even in the earliest days of the doctrine; both of these labels placed him on the wrong side of the dominant ideology. The equivocation of Włodarski’s artistic practice is discernible in his gouaches from 1949-1952, such as Construction, Erection of the Radio Station or Glorification of the W-Z [Wschód-Zachód, East-West] Road. These titles are typical of artist’s œuvre at the time, when his paintings were focused on objects under construction, building sites, men at work, and the like. These subjects are social-realist themes par excellence. First and foremost, they touch on the most general vision of communism as a project of civilisation. At this level the idea of ‘building a new world’ may be understood both literally and figuratively. The use of construction as a subject reflects an idealised vision of the emancipation of the working class and the twilight of its oppression in much the same way as propagandist posters such as Battle with Analphabetism. Yet this social progress also had a specific material context which, in the case of construction, took the form of improvements to living conditions. Propaganda films of the time emphasised the fact that communist housing would provide flats with toilets and running water, which had not been common in servants’ and workers’ quarters before 1939; the new architecture – and, by extension its representation in art – thus found itself at the centre of the new ideology. For a Polish audience, images of building and rebuilding would have also recalled the reconstruction of Warsaw, which had been destroyed in 1944. The act of rebuilding the capital


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Figure 1 Marek Włodarski, Glorification of the W-Z Road, c. 1949

© National Museum in Warsaw

city thus reflected both the omnipotence of communist society as well as a statutory optimism; this latter quality would go on to become one of the ideological precepts of social(ist) realism.

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The titles of Włodarski’s gouaches also convey particular political messages. It is no accident that one of them depicts the W-Z Road, one of the largest infrastructure projects undertaken in post-war Poland. Another, featuring the construction of a radio transmission tower, marked the opening of the Wrocław radio station on November 16, 1947, an important political event in which president Bolesław Bierut delivered an influential address on the cultural politics of the Polish state. Bierut’s speech, in the interpretation of Krystyna Czerni, emphasised that new art should reflect a turning point in the history of the nation, and must therefore be optimistic; yet the speech did not specify a particular visual language. Modern art could still be viewed as socialist art. What is particularly intriguing in Włodarski’s works is that he continued to pursue this formal freedom – still acceptable in 1947 – right up to the official condemnation of ‘formalist’/’abstractionist’ idioms (fig. 1). If one analyses his visual language through centre-periphery relations, it could be argued that his figuration represents a continuation of modes explored by Picasso and Léger, two artists who were greatly influential in Central Europe. Thanks to Włodarski’s political engagement and Picasso’s membership in the French Communist Party, Polish state officials continued to accept Picasso’s cubism as a reference point; a reproduction of one of his drawings was even included in issue No. 14 of Po Prostu (Spring 1949).38 As far as Léger’s influence is concerned, Włodarski is known to have studied at the Academie Moderne in the mid-twenties and, in post-war Warsaw, he was commonly considered a connoisseur of Léger’s œuvre. The form of Włodarski’s gouaches offer a very radical depiction of an imaginary space. Although the ideology of social-realism theoretically allowed for a relative diversity of idioms, it was expected that visual representations would be founded on the expression of three-dimensional objects and figures and, by extension, the spatial relationship between them. Włodarski’s approach to composition is considerably different than Alberti’s ‘window on the world;’ his canvases are, in most cases, constructed systematically, but according to the modernist principal of maintaining a relationship with its own surface. This quality is perhaps most visible in Construction of a Radio Station (fig. 2). The painting, which exists at the boundary separating abstraction and figuration, calls for a twofold interpretation: it is organised through a series of visual signs which – referring to Norman Bryson’s theoretical categories – can be seen as both a representation of people and objects (similia bis, the world outside of a painting) and, at the same 38 Lech Emfazy Stefański, ‘Malarstwo jest dla wszystkich,’ Po Prostu 14 (1949): 7.


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Figure 2 Marek Włodarski, Construction of a Radio Station, c. 1949

© National Museum in Warsaw

time, as an expression of the artistic medium (similia, forms and colours). The black vertical lines, almost at the centre of the frame, dominate the composition; these elements represent the radio station – ideologically the most important object – but they also introduce a stable visual structure,

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an axis around which the remaining objects are organised. Without these vertical lines, the painting would have been viewed as a non-geometric, lyrical abstraction; by using the radio station as the focus of the composition, however, the surrounding lines can be interpreted as the ground and the sky. The meaning of the painting comes from the dynamic group of human figures (workers) beneath the station, whose arms – not in a real space, but at the surface of the composition – act as the foundation of the radio structure. This is the most concrete part of the composition; in other parts, the two levels of representation – similia and similia bis – are engaged in a continual process of exchange and transformation. It is in the margins of this radical painting where representation is taken to its limits. Włodarski’s Glorification of the W-Z Road, on the other hand, can be viewed as a work which visualizes the limits of ideology. The composition shows the Road as seen from the Vistula River; in the background one can identify the bell tower of St. Anna’s church and the Old Town of Warsaw, which had been reconstructed to its original plan after 1945. At the very centre of the composition, a group of workers are standing proudly and finishing their work using putty knives. Almost everything about the painting reinforces the political the ideology of (re)building, except for the two angels leaning on clouds and blowing trumpets. This naïve idealisation diverges from the optimistic register of social-realist, drawing instead on the language of monumentality. As a result, a flash of humour – or even (auto)parody39 – finds its way into what is ostensibly a work of political propaganda.

Concluding Remarks Marek Włodarski’s works can be generally understood as occupying a space of relative freedom within the social-realist doctrine. Although he was institutionally engaged in the process of its implementation in 1949-1951, his gouaches display a connection between social-realist messages and postLéger figuration. This visual language – very common in 1946, when great discussions on contemporary realism were taking place – was not so popular among the leading pro-socialist artists from 1949 onward. Włodarski’s works, however, are extremely important today in so far as they demonstrate the plurality of approaches to (social) realism that cannot be linked to its most orthodox wing. Although such practices are scarce in the field of social(ist) 39 I gave some of these remarks in Włodarski’s catalogue note in: Zaraz po wojnie, eds. Joanna Kordjak, Agnieszka Szewczyk (Warszawa: Zachęta National Gallery of Art, 2015), 230-231.


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realism, its epistemological value cannot be overstated. If Helena Krajewska’s early writings show the complexity of future attitudes in social-realism, Włodarski’s œuvre presents the complexity of social-realism itself. This brings us back to the provisional conclusion posed at the end of this paper’s second section: if we accept that social(ist) realism during the period 1949-1954 was an artistically unstable concept, we begin to realise that the artists interested in socially-oriented art before 1949 were not in fact so far from one another, regardless of their strategic positions from 1950 onward. This is illustrated in the case of Helena Krajewska. On the other hand, it is also understandable that within this ‘phenomenon of blurring’ an artist could create a space of personal artistic freedom in which it was possible to subvert, or at least resist the prescribed visual language of social-realism; this was the approach adopted by Marek Włodarski. The cases of Krajewska and Włodarski may also lead us to more general and theoretical conclusions. Specifically, they may allow us to revise long-held perceptions of socialist realism and its artistic practices. Socialist realism continued to have an enormous influence on Polish art up to 1981, or even 1989. Indeed, the so-called ‘revenge of socialist realism’ caused modernist (autonomic) art to eclipse the avant-garde which had been active in sociopolitical praxis. After the period of the Thaw (c. 1955-1962) socialist realism was criticised as ‘non-art,’ and the period in which it was practised was seen to divide two distinct periods of good modern art (1945-1949, and 1955 onward). The material sources assembled in this chapter and, above all, the cases of two artists discussed above allow us to view social(ist) realism from a different angle. According to the ‘grounded’ theory, they encourage us to focus on (social) realism and modern figuration not in terms of conflicting attitudes toward art – as they are often perceived – but rather as two overlapping idioms applied in social art both before and after 1949. This perspective allows us to discuss not only the most exposed or debated pieces of social-realist art, but helps to illuminate the more marginal artistic practices that occurred behind the curtain of the Expositions of Polish National Art. It demonstrates the existence of experimental and unorthodox approaches to the doctrine, and thus allows us to broaden our present-day understanding of social realism. The modern figuration employed in socialist ideology around 1950 represents a crucial stage in the history of Polish art, for it was the last moment when modernism, social(ist) realism, and socio-political activism (the avant-garde) coexisted in Poland. After all, as Wojciech Włodarczyk wrote, what in fact distinguished social realism from the avant-garde was only bad taste.40 40 Wojciech Włodarczyk, Socrealizm. Sztuka polska, passim.

The Supermen’s Two Bodies The Body, the Costume, and the Legitimacy of Power in the DC Universe Narratives Andrzej Probulski

On a Sunday night in October 2011, a group of men was assaulted outside a night club in Seattle. The CCTV footage showed two men wearing masks and costumes attacking a group of four, using cans of pepper spray to incapacitate their victims. The perpetrators, Benjamin Fodor (a.k.a. Phoenix Jones) and his sidekick (nicknamed ‘The Ghost’), were members of a group known as the ‘Rain City Superhero Movement,’ a group of masked vigilantes who patrolled the streets of Seattle at night; they later explained that they had witnessed what appeared to be a fistfight and proceeded to separate those involved.1 After posting the bail of $3,800, Fodor was released from jail and appeared before the court in a gray striped shirt over his superhero armour. When the judge asked him to remove his mask for the hearing he duly complied, although he put it back on before talking to the reporters outside the court.2 While the judge considered Mr Fodor’s actions to be well within the parameters of the law – most US states have provisions for some form of citizen’s arrest – the representatives of the police force were less than sympathetic. Detective Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for the Seattle police, stated: Our message has been the same from the beginning, if you see something that warrants calling 911, call 911. Just because he’s dressed up in costume, it doesn’t mean he’s in special consideration or above the law. You can’t go around pepper spraying people because you think they are fighting.3 1 ‘Seattle ‟Superhero” Phoenix Jones Arrested Following Pepper-Spray Attack,’ CBS News, (accessed February 12, 2016). 2 ‘Unmasked Seattle Superhero Vows to Keep Fighting Crime,’ NBC News, http://www. (accessed February 12, 2016). 3 ‘Citizen Superhero ‘Phoenix Jones’ Arrested in Seattle,’ ABC News, US/citizen-superhero-phoenix-jones-arrested-seattle/story?id=14704985 (accessed February 12, 2016).

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While the actions of Phoenix Jones and other ‘real-life superheroes’ may seem like a caricature of the deeds done by their fictional counterparts, the sentiment expressed by Det. Jamieson echoes what has been a staple of superhero narratives for almost four decades now: the heroes of modern comic books, movies and video games – figures such as Batman, Superman, Captain America or Iron Man – find themselves consistently at odds with local and federal authorities. Indeed, numerous panels and pages have been devoted to discussions of superheroes and their status in relation to the legal system of the worlds they inhabit. Can superheroes operate beyond the rule of law? And if so, what is it that grants legitimacy to their actions? What is the relationship between these costumed vigilantes and the communities they aim to protect and serve? Are they a ‘super powered police force,’ wearing a slightly more flamboyant take on a badge and uniform, or do they represent some kind of foreign authority, not subject to the laws and regulations of men? If one can put on a mask to operate beyond and above the law in the name of their individual interpretation of justice, what would stop the criminals from doing the same for their own purposes? These are questions that have appeared for last several decades in the superhero narratives. The aim of this paper is to analyse the legitimacy of superheroes, their actions, and their relationship with the law and the authorities, as depicted in narratives involving Batman and Superman; the narratives in question are set in different versions of the ‘DC universe,’ a fictional shared universe, in which the figures of Batman, Superman, and other members of the Justice League of America co-exist. There are three principal reasons that this particular corpus of texts – which includes primarily comic books, but also certain movie and video game adaptations – has been chosen as the foundation for this case study (as opposed, for instance, to narratives involving Marvel’s Captain America). Firstly, there is a broad selection of source material: ever since the release of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in 1986, issues concerning the legitimacy of superheroes’ actions and their attitudes toward the law and authority have formed the thematic basis for an especially large number of DC narratives. Secondly, the two aforementioned characters are often juxtaposed in these narratives as opposing models, offering contrasting perspectives on the role of government, the legitimacy of vigilante action, and the sources of that legitimacy within the framework of the fictional DC universe. Finally, these narratives make extensive use of imagery and metaphor that suggest a connection between the character’s body and its means of its adornment – notably the mask or the costume he or she is wearing – and the issues surrounding legitimacy.

The Supermen’s T wo Bodies


The following analysis is divided into three parts. The first presents some of the historical and theoretical background relevant to questions of authority and legitimacy in the DC superhero narratives, and specifically to the role played by the body and costume of the different characters. The second part outlines the various ways in which Superman’s emblem has been depicted over the years, and how those depictions may align the hero with his community, with certain moral ideals, or with the government. The third part discusses how the (apparent) opposition of mask and face is used in certain Batman narratives to present the legitimacy of the hero’s actions as based on a ‘fiction of power.’

Who Watches the Watchmen? In autumn of 1945 an article by Walter Ong appeared in the Arizona Quarterly journal, decrying the popularity of contemporary superhero comic books and the inability of readers to reflect critically upon the ideological biases of the comic books in question. 4 While many of Ong’s remarks can, in retrospect, be dismissed as biased and vitriolic – his claims of caring for the well-being of the youth are little more than a pretext for an elitist attack on pop culture – some of the points he raises foreshadow issues that would not be introduced into mainstream superhero comics until the mid-1980s. According to Ong, superhero comic books may present their protagonists as champions of democracy and American patriotism,5 while simultaneously embodying ideas on power, legitimacy and authority that are, in fact, deeply authoritarian. In considering how violence is used as a means of bringing justice to society, as well as the cult of personality that develops around superhero characters, Ong draws a comparison between Superman comic books and the Nazi and fascist propaganda:

4 Walter Ong, ‘The Comics and the Super State,’ in The Superhero Reader, eds. Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2013), 34-45. While not as influential as Wertham’s remarks in The Seduction of Innocent, which also made comparisons between superhero comic books and ‘Nietzsche-Nazi myth,’ I find Ong’s remarks about ‘blind hero-worship’ more relevant for my further argument: cf. Frederic Wertham, The Seduction of the Innocent (New York: Reinhard, 1954), 97. 5 The famous phrase presenting Superman as the defender of ‘Truth, justice and the American way’ was introduced for the first time in the 1942 Superman radio show, but it wasn’t regularly introduced in the Superman narratives until it became a catchphrase of the TV show running from 1952 to 1958.

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Occasionally, the feelings that make for a strong-arm government within the government (the ‘party’ of the super state) are catered to by means of private ‘justice societies,’ which young readers are encouraged to join. A modest cash outlay provides them with badges and assurance that they are a part of the management. In achieving its success, the Superman strip has patterned itself not only on the blind hero-worship motif developed by Hitler and Mussolini, but also on the pagan Hellenistic values so useful to a super state.6

While the conclusions drawn by Ong appear far-fetched, his criticism closely predicts the direct links between superheroes and totalitarian ideals of power that would appear decades later, not in scholarly works but in the superhero comic books themselves. The light-hearted tone of 1950s and 1960s era superhero comic books does not quite coincide with the themes discussed by Ong, except occasionally in a farcical manner: on the cover of World’s Finest #165 from March 1967,7 for example, we see Batman and Superman wearing royal crowns and discussing how they would share their absolute power over the world. While Superman asks: ‘Is this how you divide the world between us, Batman? You’re taking the lions share!,’ Batman, slicing off a piece of a globe, responds: ‘Holy hemisphere, Superman! I do the carving, so I get the choicest cut!’ It would be another two decades before the themes of authority, the legitimacy of vigilante action, and the totalitarian methods of superheroes were discussed in a much darker tone; but after the release of two revisionist superhero comic books – Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1987) – such themes would become staples of the genre. One of the most prominent issues addressed in Watchmen is the limitations of superheroes’ actions within society; over the course of the narrative, the issue is raised numerous times, often with reference to a quote from Juvenal’s Satire VI: ‘Who watches the watchmen?’ (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?).8 As Jamie A. Hughes points out,9 the characters of Watchmen differ greatly from Batman, Superman, and other heroes conceived in the so-called Golden Age of Comic Books (1938-1949) in that they are not 6 Ong, The Comics and the Super State, 38. 7 Bill Finger (w), Al Plastino (p, i) World’s Finest #1, no. 165 (March 1967). 8 Alan Moore (w), Dave Gibbons (p, i), Watchmen (New York: DC Comics, 1995), passim. 9 Jamie A. Hughes, ‘‟Who Watches the Watchmen?”: Ideology and ‘Real World’ Superheroes,’ The Journal of Popular Culture 39, no. 4 (2006): 548-549.

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outsider champions of justice coming to repair a damaged society, but rather characters whose motivations are influenced by their own political ideologies, and whose actions must be negotiated from within the framework of the justice system, sometimes negating it altogether in the process. One of the characters, Nite Owl I, begins his career as a member of the New York Police Department, only to find himself so powerless in his confrontations with the city’s ‘pimps, pornographers and protection artists’ that he decides to become a vigilante, allowing himself to work beyond the limits of the legal system. Another character, Dr. Manhattan, is engineered as a super soldier able to single-handedly win the Vietnam War in two weeks, but as his powers (and his own realisation of them) grow, he gradually sheds the uniform with which he had been provided; his nakedness at the end of the process symbolises his independence from the authorities who conceived him.10 While the intertwined agendas and ideological motivations of the characters in Watchmen form a spectrum of attitudes toward established authorities, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns provides a much simpler perspective, juxtaposing the characters of Batman and Superman as representatives of opposing attitudes toward authority, the legal system and the issue of vigilantism. The narrative of The Dark Knight Returns opens with Batman in retirement; Superman has become a puppet of the US president, depicted as a caricature of Ronald Reagan, and the remaining members of Justice League of America have dispersed. In one of Superman’s internal monologues, it is revealed that a series of government hearings led to superheroes being blacklisted if they did not agree to operate within the boundaries set by the government:11 You were the one they used against us, Bruce. The one who played it rough. When the noise started from the parents’ groups and the sub-committee called us in for questioning – you were the one who laughed … that scary laugh of yours … ‘sure we’re criminals,’ you said. ‘We’ve always been criminals. We have to be criminals.’12 10 Ibid., 555. 11 Two decades later a similar premise will be used in the Marvel’s Civil War storyline, where the Superhuman Registration Act brings internal strife between the superheroes willing to register with the government and those who consider it an unjustifiable limitation of their freedom. 12 Frank Miller (w, p), Klaus Janson (i), The Dark Knight Returns: Tenth Anniversary Edition (New York: DC Comics, 1996), 135.

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I gave them my obedience and my invisibility. They gave me a license and let us live. No, I don’t like it. But I get to save lives – and the media stay quiet.13

Despite these government regulations, rising crime levels in Gotham prompt Batman to return from his retirement; the subsequent conflict between the two heroes is framed as a confrontation between two attitudes toward ‘superhero authority’ and its sources. When the United States ends up at war with the fictional country of Corto Maltese and a nuclear missile is found heading towards the US, the president, clearly aware that he has harnessed a supernatural power as yet another tool of the Cold War arsenal, addresses the nation with a quotation from Romans 8:31: ‘Don’t you fret … We’ve got God on our side … or the next best thing anyway.’14 He then orders Superman to take on the nuclear missile, effectively forcing the superhero to sacrifice himself. The scene is presented as a mockery of crucifixion, with Superman uttering a monologue reminiscent of Christ’s: ‘You have every reason to be outraged, mother Earth, you have given them … everything. They are tiny and stupid and vicious … but please, listen to them.’15 Superman’s superhuman capabilities put him in a paradoxical position: his power is quite literally out of this world, yet he has allowed it to be harnessed by earthly authorities. ‘We must not remind [the humans] that giants walk the earth’16 muses Superman in one panel, suggesting that a peaceful coexistence between otherworldly powers and the human institutions is only possible if the otherworldliness is obscured – a ‘God on our side’ is not perceived as a threat only if he answers to the President of the United States. Batman, by contrast, is depicted as harbouring a deep disregard for democracy and its institutions, and willing to use violence as the main, if not sole, mean of attaining his goals. In one panel, depicting a talk show discussion concerning Batman’s actions, one of the show’s guests asks angrily: ‘Who gave this thug the right to declare martial law, hm? Last I heard, that takes an act of Congress.’17

13 14 15 16 17

Ibid., 139. Ibid., 119. Ibid., 177. Ibid., 130. Ibid., 144.

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Batman’s modus operandi in The Dark Knight Returns has made some critics consider him a ‘fascist;’18 however the final confrontation between the two superheroes suggests a more nuanced reading. In an internal monologue directed at Superman, Batman accuses his opponent: You sold us out, Clark. You gave them the power that should have been ours. Just like your parents taught you to. My parents taught me a different lesson, lying on the street, shaking in deep shock – dying for no reason at all – they showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to. […] You’ve always known just what to say. ‘Yes’. You always say yes to anyone with a badge or a flag.19

Before the confrontation reaches its conclusion – in which Batman employs a kryptonite arrow to defeat Superman – Batman states that ‘It’s way past time’ for his counterpart to ‘learn what it means to be a man.’20 Read literally, the threat may refer to the Kryptonian hero losing his superhuman powers, but in the context of both the monologue and the larger political threads which wind through Miller’s story, the phrase gains yet another meaning. For Batman, the condition of being a man – as opposed to a Superman – does not necessarily entail recognising and respecting the existing laws and institutions, or saying ‘yes to anyone with a badge or a flag,’ but rather the act of shaping political reality, of ‘forcing the world to make sense’ in a time of crisis, when the established authorities fail to provide the necessary security.21 The conflict is thus depicted not as a clash of two supernatural powers, nor even as an anarchist categorically rejecting any notion of authority and legitimacy. It is rather the conflict between one authority who claims his legitimacy in quasi-theological terms (‘we have God on our side’) and one which presents itself as a product of man’s cunning and fortitude. In terms of modern and early modern political theology, Frank Miller’s Batman represents the principle of poiesis as described by Victoria Kahn: [W]hat the modern critics find in the early modern period is a break with an older form of political theology construed as the theological 18 Geoff Klock, ‘The Revisionary Superhero Narrative,’ in The Superhero Reader, 126-127. 19 Miller, Dark Knight, 191. 20 Ibid. 21 Cf. Tony Spanakos, ‘Governing Gotham,’ in Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul, eds. Mark D. White and Robert Arp (Hoboken, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008), 56-57.

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legitimation of the state, a new emphasis on a secular notion of human agency, and, most important, a new preoccupation with the ways art and fiction reoccupy the terrain of religion. In so doing, they remind us that poiesis is the missing third term in both early modern and contemporary debates about politics and religion. By poiesis I mean the principle […] that we can know only what we make ourselves.22

In the years since The Dark Knight Returns, Superman and Batman have continued to be juxtaposed in a similar fashion. In a famous panel from Kingdom Come (1996), the two are depicted in the same poses and environments that appeared on the now iconic covers of Detective Comics and Action Comics in the 1930s; the former is described as a ‘zenith of human fortitude and ambition’ and the latter as ‘the pinnacle of otherworldly power.’23 In addition, there have been numerous narratives published over the last three decades in which Batman or Superman are placed within an alternative version of their fictional universe as a means of elaborating their views on power and authority; in some of these scenarios, one or the other becomes a tyrannical ruler, or is at least presented with the possibility. Bob Hall’s I, Joker (1998) presents a possible Gotham City of the future, ruled by a cult surrounding a tyrant named The Bruce. Once a year, several citizens are chosen to undergo plastic surgery in order to resemble Batman’s old foes, and must then partake in a Running Man-style TV show where those not hunted down may confront The Bruce and take his mantle. While the complex mutual dependence that defines the relationship between Batman and the Joker has been a theme of many Batman stories (most famously Alan Moore’s Killing Joke, 1988), I, Joker frames this principle in terms of a fiction of power, a founding myth that must be repeated time and again in a ritualistic manner in order to retain its validity and legitimise the existing status quo. The Kingdom Come miniseries by Mark Waid and Alex Ross presents another alternative version of the DC universe, in which Superman is compelled to return from his exile to rein in a new generation of metahumans after several incidents prove that they are not capable of peaceful coexistence with the human population. The narrator is an elderly reverend, Norman McCay, and the story of Superman’s return is framed as a Second Coming that will bring about a society which is compared to the New Jerusalem. 22 Victoria Kahn, The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 2-3. 23 Mark Waid (w), Alex Ross (w, p, i), Kingdom Come (New York: DC Comics, 1997), 76.

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Batman, however, is less than enthusiastic about joining the new Justice League of America: he considers Superman a godlike tyrant, who would rather rule the humans as beings inferior to him than work with them for the common good. When Superman asks him to join the reformed Justice League, he responds: I have allies. Human allies a little more in tune than your friends to humanity’s needs. We don’t want to rule the world. We just want to straighten it out … our way … by ourselves. […] The only thing I wonder about your down and dirty, quick and fast totalitarian ‘solutions’ … is whether I’d be the first to be ‘reformed’ by your new regime.24

The perspective is not dissimilar to the one introduced in The Dark Knight Returns: Superman’s godlike capabilities not only set him apart from humanity (‘for a man who can hear clouds scrape together, you don’t listen very well,’25 remarks Batman), but also make him more likely to want to subdue the humans and ‘reform’ them for the good of the regime. While Kingdom Come presents a hypothetical vision of Superman’s authoritarian regime, there are several stories that actually depict it. The 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us – and the tie-in comic book prequel of the same name – takes place partially within an alternative version of the main DC universe, where the death of Superman’s loved one, Lois Lane, leads him to form an authoritarian world government with himself as the High Councillor. While Superman’s aim is the prevention of further incidents similar to the one in which Lois died, he becomes a tyrannical godlike ruler, whom the resistance movement – led, unsurprising by Batman – attempts to overthrow. In the 2003 Elseworlds story entitled Superman: Red Son, Superman’s capsule crashes in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, rather than in the United States, and the superhero becomes a champion of communism. After the death of Joseph Stalin, Superman is chosen as the new leader of the communist party and he employs his superpowers to turn his country (and, later, most of the world) into a communist utopia. The utopia, however, eventually fails because of the very superhuman abilities that allowed it to come into being: due to Superman’s senses and speed, the hero turns into an ultimate deterrent, a Benthamian invisible guard of sorts. As he states in the opening monologue of the third issue:

24 Ibid., 16. 25 Ibid.

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Crime didn’t exist. Accidents never happened. It didn’t even rain unless Brainiac was absolutely certain everyone was carrying an umbrella. Almost six billion citizens and hardly anyone complained. Even in private.26

According to Geoff Klock, it is this fundamental power differential in superhero narratives that gives rise to the implied threat of large-scale fascistic control.27 In his analysis of The Dark Knight Returns Klock reminds us that, according to Hobbes, the reason men are able to bond in a society and work together for a common goal is that the individual differences in mental or physical capabilities among humans are never so great that a few could not band together to stop one from taking over. In superhero narratives, by contrast, the discrepancy between human and superhuman is so great that the threat of authoritarian rule by a representative of some otherworldly power can never be dismissed. It is worth noting that in all of the storylines discussed above, the conflict between an authoritarian ruler and resistance leader is always framed as a struggle between Superman and Batman, the former a character of supernatural capabilities who sheds his civilian disguise when the situation calls for action, and the latter a human being who hides his civilian identity behind a mask and is able to confront the superpowers of his adversary due to his intelligence and elaborate gadgetry. The notion of a superhero gaining their legitimacy and authority through the act of donning a mask and costume has been recognised in the corpus of criticism surrounding superhero comic books. In his book on the origins of the superhero genre, Peter Coogan comments on the ability of superheroes to operate above and beyond the law: Superheroes are willing and able to violate the civil and legal rights of others because of their code. This willingness and ability derive from a central tenet of the superhero code: the possession of superpowers or extraordinary abilities is enough to qualify one to make and act upon an individualized interpretation of justice. Simply stated the mask (symbol of the superhero’s authority) confers the right usually only accorded, and only partially at that, to the badge (symbol of the policeman’s authority).28 26 Mark Millar (w), Kilian Plunkett (p), Walden Wong (i), Superman: Red Son #3 (New York: DC Comics, 2003), 1. 27 Klock, ‘The Revisionary Narrative,’ 127. 28 Peter Coogan, Superhero: The Secret Origin of the Genre (Austin, TX: MonkeyBrain Books, 2006), 112.

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Coogan’s argument, on first reading, seems entirely valid: superhero comic books have, for several decades, used masks and costumes as far more than convenient means by which the reader can identify his favourite characters. The use of masks and costumes in modern superhero narratives also goes beyond the simple plot devices employed by earlier comic books, which would often centre around consequences arising from the discovery of the hero’s civilian identity. Storylines such as Superman: Birthright or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy use masks, costumes and emblems as central themes, posing numerous important questions in the process: how do the hero’s mask and face relate to one another? If the hero wears an emblem on his costume, does it represent an idea or authority beyond himself? If a hero dies or becomes incapacitated, can another character take the place of the hero simply by donning the same costume? The passage from Coogan’s book, quoted above, seems confused in its answers to these questions. Does the superhero’s ability to operate above the law come from the superpowers themselves, or from the use of certain symbols of authority which allow the hero to perform their particular role? The policeman’s badge, mentioned by Coogan, can hardly be considered a symbol of the inherent physical or mental prowess of its bearer – it is rather, first and foremost, a mean of identifying representatives of the law enforcement apparatus. It is, in other words, not a personal symbol but a symbol of authority, one which can be bestowed upon an individual, but just as easily taken away.

What Does the ‘S’ Stand for? The connection between a superhero’s authority and their costume is especially apparent in the case of Superman – and, in particular, the ‘S’ emblem – which has been subject to numerous redesigns over the years and has also had its iconographic meaning described in different ways. The comparison with a policeman’s badge suggested by Coogan seems particularly apt for the first stories involving Superman, published in the Action Comics magazine in 1938. In its early appearances, the emblem is far removed from the abstract diamond and triangle shapes that will soon follow. While the stories contain no explicit remarks concerning the origin of the emblem and what it represents, the yellow shield shape with its two horizontal protrusions at the top is heavily reminiscent of a policeman’s shield badge. Moreover, in one panels of the first Superman story ever published, the hero is described as a ‘champion of the oppressed […] who

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had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need;’29 such words might remind us more of a street-level policeman than a superpowered alien being. In the first issue of Action Comics Superman’s deeds involve bringing a murder suspect to justice, thus sparing a wrongfully accused individual from the death sentence; preventing an act of domestic abuse; and apprehending a lobbyist who tries to bribe a senator. Throughout the Golden and Silver (1956-1970) Ages of comic books, the meaning of the hero’s emblem was considered quite obvious and did not receive any particular attention in the Superman stories: the ‘S’ stood for Superman, although in More Fun Comics #101 Superboy states that it also means ‘stopping crime, saving lives and giving super-aid wherever it’s needed.’30 This changed in the late 1970s, when Richard Donner’s 1978 film attempted a retelling of Superman’s origin story; for the first time the emblem was placed within a political context that would prove important for the revisionist superhero narratives of the 1980s and beyond. In Donner’s film, the ‘S’ emblem is considered to be not the letter S, but rather a coat of arms used by the Kryptonian House of El; it is worn by Superman’s parents in the film’s opening sequence in which the demise of Krypton is depicted. The duties of Superman (or Kal-El, to give his Kryptonian name), which include protecting the human race and leading them by example, are described by Superman’s father Jor-El as the duties of a nobleman. On Earth, he will be obliged to help and lead the Earthlings, but also to maintain his own sense of superiority – the very trait that will make Bruce Wayne so distrustful of Superman in the Kingdom Come series. In Donner’s film, a holographic projection of Jor-El commands his son: Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. But always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.31

Some of the subsequent retellings of the Superman’s origin take this premise even further. In Elliot S. Maggin’s story The Day the Cheering Stopped – included in the Superman Annual #10 from 1984 – the emblem is shown to be as old as the universe itself, a piece of primeval matter from the Big Bang is forged in the ‘foundry of space and time’ into a sword-like shape 29 Jerry Siegel (w), Joe Shuster (p, i) Action Comics #1 (June 1938): 1. 30 More Fun Comics 101 (January 1945): 14. 31 Superman: The Movie, DVD, directed by Richard Donner (Burbank, CA: Warner Bros., 1978).

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with the iconic ‘S’ emblem on its hilt; Jonathan Kent draws the symbol for his adoptive son after seeing it in a dream. Superman later comes into possession of the sword, finally finding out the truth about his birthright, but as the sword grants him unlimited power, he decides to throw it away and ‘deal with the evil that falls across the vulnerable world in his own way.’32 The final panels of the story show the sword (now reduced to a hilt with the ‘S’ emblem) drifting through space, the narrator stating that it can only be retrieved again by its rightful bearer. While the Arthurian inspiration of Maggin’s story is quite heavy-handed, it nonetheless provides an interesting take on the issue of a godlike hero finding his way among humans without subduing them: if he is to live among men, he must reject his royal and supernatural heritage, even though the emblem on his chest will serve as a constant reminder. Other retellings also suggest that the emblem and costume were an invention of Superman’s human parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent: in the first issue of the Man of Steel storyline (1986). Martha Kent is shown sewing the hero’s costume, while her husband and adopted son work on the ‘S’ emblem (presented here once more as the first letter of Superman’s name). In the twelve issue series The Kents published between 1997 and 1998, the connection between Superman’s costume and his adoptive family is taken even further: in the story, set in the middle of the nineteenth century, Nathaniel Kent is given an Iroquois healing blanket with a symbol reminiscent of Superman’s emblem. As Mary Glenowen, who will later become Nathaniel’s wife, explains: [T]he five lines represent each of the five tribes of the [Iroquois] confederation […]; the symbol inside is a snake … one of the medicine animals. It represents healing and making whole. Deganawidah, the lawgiver and prophet who helped form the Iroquois confederation, spoke of a great hero to come from the sky who would unite East and West into one nation. I believe this was to be his sign.33

In The Kents Superman is presented not as a policeman taking an oath to protect and serve, nor a nobleman whose duties are tied to a particular social class, but as a messianic figure, a metaphorical healer who will restore peace and balance. Once again, however the symbol is depicted not as an 32 Superman Annual v1, #10 (1984): 38. 33 John Ostrander (w), Timothy Truman (p), Tom Mandrake (p, i), Michael Bair (i), The Kents (New York: DC Comics 1999), 92.

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invention, but as symbolising a series of inherent qualities that form a part of his heritage, either earthly or Kryptonian – like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone or Theseus digging up Aegeus’ sword and sandals from under the rock, the emblem is waiting to be discovered by its rightful bearer.34 The ‘family crest’ idea employed in Richard Donner’s movie received an interesting treatment in the Superman: Birthright (2003). Another origin story, Birthright focuses on the first confrontation between Superman and his arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, putting the emblem and it’s symbolism at the very center of the plot. In the story, a tablet with recordings depicting the history of Krypton is placed in the spaceship used by Superman’s parents to send their son to Earth. Years later, when the adult Clark Kent watches the recordings, he notes the repeated use of the ‘S’ symbol throughout the history of the Kryptonian people. Although he is not entirely aware of the symbol’s meaning – specifically, whether it is the crest of his family or a more universal symbol – Kent decides to use it to represent his connection with the civilisation of Krypton. When Superman, already bearing the ‘S’ emblem on his chest, spoils one of the Lex Luthor’s plans, Luthor decides to use the emblem against him: an army composed of mercenaries and holographic projections descends upon the city of Metropolis, each soldier bearing the ‘S’ symbol. Superman is thus believed to be a key figure of invading forces and becomes a fugitive. When Superman later tries to confront the leader of Luther’s invading force, the emblem is torn away from his suit in a gesture reminiscent of the stripping of military rank. To fight back, Superman must reclaim the emblem as his own: the penultimate issue of the series features a splash page depicting Superman protecting a child from an imminent explosion, using a piece of invaders’ vehicle bearing ‘S’ emblem as a shield of enormous proportions. The citizens of Metropolis, on seeing Superman protect one of them in such a manner, unite against the invaders; a later panel features Jimmy Olsen, a reporter, holding the torn piece of Superman’s costume as a banner and growling at the invaders: ‘Back off. He’s with us.’35 It is worth noting that only after the meaning and origin of hero’s emblem stopped being considered an obvious reference to the hero himself did the subsequent storylines start to consider Superman a representative of certain groups or ideas, rather than an autonomous agent. The connection 34 See Marco Arnaudo, The Myth of the Superhero, trans. Jamie Richards (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2013), 25. 35 Mark Waid (w), Leinil Francis Yu (p), Gerry Alanguilan (i), Superman: Birthright 11 (August 2004): 21.

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between the emblem and Superman’s status as representative of an authority beyond himself becomes even more obvious if the alternate versions of the DC universe are taken into account. In the Superman: Red Son storyline, mentioned earlier, the emblem on Kal-El’s chest depicts a hammer and sickle instead of the familiar ‘S.’ In becoming part of the power apparatus, the hero is transformed into an actual embodiment of totalitarian ideology.36 In the 2013 film Man of Steel by Zack Snyder, there is a scene in which journalist Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, asks Superman: ‘What does the “S” stand for?’ The hero responds: ‘It’s not an “S.” On my world it means ‘hope.’’ ‘Well, here it’s an “S,”’ replies Lois, clearly amused by Superman’s explanation.37 The scene, which makes light of the convoluted explanations for the meaning and origin of the Superman’s emblem, suggests that the question of ‘what does the “S” stand for?’ has come full circle in the most recent attempt to bring the DC universe storylines to the big screen. This may, however, not prove to be the case. One of the most prominent scenes in a pre-release trailer for the 2016 film Batman v. Superman, based in part on Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, features a statue of Superman illuminated by lightning, with the words ‘FALSE GOD’ spray-painted over the ‘S’ emblem on his chest.

‘I’m Not Hiding, I’m Becoming’ In many of the Superman stories discussed in the previous section, the hero’s emblem is shown to be a pre-existing symbol that the hero must discover and adapt, and thus a representation of the authority already inherent within him. In the Batman narratives of recent decades, however, it is his mask that has become a focal point for discussions of superhero authority. The authority of Batman is completely different from that of Superman in so far as it is man-made, fictional, and emphasises the link between the hero’s agency and the performative character of his identity. Many stories, furthermore, consider both Batman and Bruce Wayne as personae, neither one more real or less superficial than the other. In the first two panels from of the Cruise to Nightmare story, for instance, the main character declares:

36 A few years after Red Son one of the issues of the 52 series presented a glimpse into an alternate universe where Nazi Germany has won the second World War – the ‘JLA Axis’ version of Superman is shown there wearing a red-and-yellow swastika emblem on his chest. 37 Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder (Burbank, CA: Warner Bros., 2013).

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On goes the mask, the suit, and all the accessories needed to make the illusion complete. That’s me. The one wearing the tuxedo and the forced smile. Bruce Wayne: billionaire, socialite, playboy. Looks like I’ll be needing the other costume.38

This focus on the hero’s mask and his performative identity began in the early 1990s with Dennis O’Neil’s Batman: Shaman published between November 1989 and March 1990 as an origin story for a new series Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.39 The story opens with Bruce Wayne suffering an accident in Alaska and being saved by Inuits. The shaman of the tribe uses a mask of a bat and, in the course of curing the hero, tells the story of how a mouse became a bat. Years later, after Wayne’s unsuccessful first attempts to fight crime as an unmasked vigilante, a bat crashes through his library window, reminding the hero of the shaman’s story. He decides to put on a bat costume and subsequently finds himself much more capable as a crime fighter. At the end, there is a conversation between Wayne and the granddaughter of the shaman who had cured him. When Wayne tells her that making use of his childhood trauma to fight crime would involve ‘wearing a mask,’ she replies: ‘Much more. It means becoming the mask,’40 suggesting that the Batman persona is an autonomous entity called into being by the act of putting on a mask rather than a simple means of keeping the hero’s civilian identity secret. 41 This point is further emphasised in a novelisation, also by O’Neill, of the 1993 Knightfall storyline. The main plot of Knightfall – both the comic book and the novel – involves a supervillain named Bane, who releases Batman’s enemies from the Arkham Asylum where they have been imprisoned; Bane watches as Batman’s fatigue gets the better of him in the course of subsequent confrontations with his foes, and finally defeats the hero, breaking his spine and leaving the city of Gotham without its protector. There are two passages in the Knightfall novel which do not appear in the comic books, but seem especially relevant to the issue at hand. The first 38 Paul Dini (w), Bruce Timm (p, i), ‘Cruise to Nightmare,’ in Paul Dini, Bruce Timm et. al., Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories (New York: DC Comics, 2009), 131. 39 Dennis O’Neil (w), Edward Hannigan (p), John Beatty (i), Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1-5 (November 1989-March 1990). 40 Dennis O’Neil (w), Edward Hannigan (p), John Beatty (i), Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #5 (March 1990): 24. 41 See Arnaudo, Myth of the Superhero, 23-24. Cf. Alex M. Wainer, Soul of the Dark Knight: Batman as Mythic Figure in Comics and Film (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2014), 59-61.

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comes from a conversation between Tim Drake (that is Robin, Batman’s sidekick) and Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler. When asked by Robin about Batman’s strict adherence to the principle of wearing the costume only in the Batcave and civilian clothes in the remaining parts of the house, Alfred explains that the rule derives from the belief of a Native American tribe concerning the shaman’s mask: ‘I don’t get it,’ he had once said to Alfred. ‘What difference do clothes make? Bruce isn’t . . . weird, is he? Some kind of fetishist?’ ‘Not as you mean it,’ Alfred replied. ‘I am by no means certain I have all the details clear in my mind, but I can give you the gist of it. Sometime in his early travels, Bruce encountered a tribe of Native Americans – in Alaska, if memory serves. Like many if not most tribal people, they had rituals involving masks of gods. When they put on the mask and raiment of a god, they became that deity. They donned the mask not to hide, but to reveal something greater than themselves that was within them. The mask was a trigger, if you will. To wear the mask in the wrong context was to cause confusion, perhaps to render the god impotent. To participate in the ritual without the mask was to mock the god, with terrible consequences.’42

Not long afterward, during Batman’s final confrontation with Bane, the significance of the mask is invoked again, this time by Batman himself: ‘Bruce reached over his shoulder and began pulling his mask into place. “You cannot hide,” Bane said. “I’m not hiding. I’m becoming.”’43 The mask is not presented as a means of concealment, hiding the face and the true identity of the character, but rather as a mean of establishing a different identity which is neither inferior nor superficial. In both the novelisation and the comic book the final confrontation between Batman and Bane takes place in Wayne manor, with Bruce Wayne breaking his ‘no costume upstairs’ rule, walking out of the Batcave with just a bathrobe over his suit. This disregard for the strict separation between the two identities, and for the mask as a boundary between Bruce Wayne and Batman, is brought up twice over the course of only a few pages. First Batman points out his own disdain for the rule he established, and Bane later announces that his opponent’s mask no longer serves its purpose; interestingly, Bane considers Bruce Wayne’s identity to be Batman’s mask, and not the other way around. 42 Dennis O’Neill, Batman: Knightfall (New York: Bantam Books, 1994), 20. 43 Ibid., 53.

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The following events offer a poignant conclusion to these episodes. Although Batman’s physical body has been broken, it is still necessary to maintain the belief that the city is protected. Jean-Paul Valley, a character previously known as Azrael, is asked to become a new Batman, and the hero’s cape and cowl are given to him by Tim Drake, the third Robin, in a symbolic gesture of ‘passing the mantle.’ Presented with the Batman’s cowl, Valley asks ‘Then … I would be masquerading as Batman … trying to convince them that I am Batman?’44 revealing that his understanding of what the cowl represents differs greatly from that of Wayne. Later, as Valley becomes more violent, and more focused on revenge, he sheds Batman’s cowl, choosing instead a helmet reminiscent of a machine which covers his face completely with a piece of metal. As the identity established by the gesture of donning the mask changed, the old mask itself had to be shed. Although Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy built partly upon the plot of Knightfall, the emphasis on the relationship between mask and face, and the problem of the superhero’s authority is even greater. 45 According to Slavoj Žižek’s interpretation of The Dark Knight,46 a boundary can be drawn between, on the one side, the great deceivers – that is, the characters of Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the district attorney Harvey Dent – and the character of Joker, who is the ‘man with no mask,’ and thus the ‘only figure of truth in the film.’ While Batman’s dual identity, the staged death of Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent’s lie about him being Batman all serve as elaborate tools of deception necessary for political action – in this case, the passage of a legal act that would allow for a mass operation against organized crime – the Joker’s actions are that of a whistle-blower, unmasking Gotham’s finest and their intricate plots. Žižek’s interpretation seems to hold also for the third part of the trilogy, much of which is centred on the reality behind the so-called Dent act. But can we really reduce the role of masks and faces in Nolan’s trilogy to a simple opposition between hidden truth and superficial deception? 44 Chuck Dixon (w), Doug Moench (w), Alan Grant (w), Graham Nolan (p), Jim Aparo (p, i), Norm Breyfogle (p, i), Jim Balent (p), Klaus Janson (p, i), Bret Blevins (p, i), Eduardo Barretto (i), Scott Hanna (i), Tom Mandrake (i), Bob Wiacek (i), Joe Rubinstein (i), Dick Giordano (i), Rick Burchett (i), Mike Manley (i), Steve George (i), Terry Austin (i), Batman: Knightfall (New York: DC Comics, 2012), 420. 45 Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan (2005; Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2005), DVD. The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan (2008; Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2008), DVD. The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan (2012; Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2012), DVD. 46 Slavoj Žižek, ‘Hollywood Today: Report from an Ideological Frontline,’ (2009), (accessed February 12, 2016).

The Supermen’s T wo Bodies


I would argue against such an interpretation. Indeed Nolan’s films make an elaborate and perhaps more nuanced use of the relationship between Batman’s mask and Bruce Wayne’s face – or should we say, Batman’s face and the mask of ‘Bruce Wayne.’ As early as the first part of the trilogy, Batman Begins, the protagonist declares: ‘It is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.’ The character’s identity is not hidden beneath the mask, but is in fact established by the act of wearing it, and by the actions performed while it is being worn. Later in the same film, the statement is further emphasised when Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend and confidante, tells him that his face is now the mask and his real face is ‘the ones the criminals now fear,’ that is Batman’s mask. The dialectic of surface and depth, 47 of true identity as hidden behind a false mask 48 is inverted, allowing both Batman and Bruce Wayne to be considered as personae. This inversion is brought up several times over the course of the trilogy. After failing to rescue Rachel Dawes, Batman is seen taking off the mask and staring at it in a Hamletesque manner; but nowhere is it more important than in the retelling of Batman’s ill-fated confrontation with Bane from Knightfall. In the comic book Bane’s intention was to cripple the hero’s physical body, creating a situation in which the myth of the superhero could be upheld only if another character was willing to put on the mask; however, in The Dark Knight Rises, the final film of the trilogy, Bane wants to cripple not merely Batman’s body, but his fabricated identity. Bane, who was trained by the League of Shadows – the same organisation who trained Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins – claims to know the power of ‘theatricality and deception,’ and his claims are supported by the ensuing confrontation. The breaking of Batman’s spine was depicted in the comic book on a splash page, presenting the act in all its gruesome details; in the movie, however, the same act takes place almost completely in the shadows, and the act is followed by a close up of Batman’s broken mask held by Bane. The breaking of the Batman’s spine is revealed to be nowhere near as crippling as the symbolic gesture of shattering his mask and the fiction of power it represents. The conclusion of the trilogy is also significant, as it suggests that Batman sacrifices himself by carrying a nuclear device beyond the Gotham city 47 Cf. Alexandra Warwick, Dani Cavallaro, Fashioning the Frame: Boundaries, Dress, and the Body (Oxford; New York: Berg 3PL, 1998), 128. 48 Richard Reynolds, Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1992), 26.

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limits before it goes off. In the final scene, however, it is revealed that the sacrifice was, in fact, a staging of the hero’s own death, allowing him to shed the Batman persona and return to a civilian life. The scene comes across as a delibarate play on the ‘nuclear crucifixion’ episode from The Dark Knight Returns, discussed in the first section; but where Superman actually sacrificed himself, the alleged death of Batman is yet another ruse employed for his own needs, and another ploy designed to uphold the hero’s myth. The relationship between Batman’s body, his costume, and his authority is taken to another level in Grant Morisson’s Batman: Incorporated series. While the storyline includes several references to the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan is, in fact, the name of the crime organisation which Batman and his supporters fight – the titular organisation, Batman, Inc., is worth discussing at some length. After being presumed dead, Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City and announces that he will use his resources to fund Batman: Incorporated, expanding Batman from a single character with a single physical body into an idea and a rallying banner: while there will still be a single the central figure of Batman, the organisation would consist of numerous Bat-men spread around the globe, united in the metaphorical ‘body’ of the corporation. These Bat-men would be able to obtain help from one other, but more importantly they could draw on the symbolic power associated with the figure of Batman. There is a panel in the third issue of Batman: Incorporated that provides an apt summary of our study of Batman’s mask as a figure of ‘fictional’ or ‘performative’ power. When the Mexican vigilante El Gaucho asks Bruce Wayne: ‘Why the hell is Batman masquerading as Bruce Wayne, anyway? I’ve met Wayne and you don’t fool me.’49 This description of the relationship between mask and face recalls the first book of Hobbes’ Leviathan which introduces a theatrical etymology for the legal notion of person and authority: The word Person is latine: instead where of the Greeks have prosopon, which signifies the Face, as Persona in latine signifies the disguise, or outward appearance of a man, counterfeited on the Stage; and sometimes more particularly that part of it, which disguiseth the face, as a Mask or Visard: And from the Stage, hath been translated to any Representer of speech and action, as well in Tribunalls, as Theaters.50 49 Grant Morrison (w), Yanick Paquette (p), Michel Lacombe (i), Batman: Incorporated #3 (March 2011): 16. 50 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 112.

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For Hobbes, as for the different incarnations of Batman that have been discussed, to be in a position of power is to perform on a stage, and to hold authority is to put on a mask; the authority of the superhero is, to some extent, a literal expression of this Hobbesian principle.

Conclusions The numerous narratives set in the DC comics universe draw a connection between the body and costume of a superhero and the larger themes of authority and the legitimacy of vigilante action or political agency. The hypermasculine bodies of Batman and Superman are treated not only as the crude instruments of political power (as when Superman absorbs the blast from a nuclear warhead in the Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns), but as a symbolic space where political authority may be established and negotiated. Broken or sacrificed for the sake of community, hidden behind masks and cowls to ‘turn a man into an idea,’ adorned with emblems and badges that establish the connection between the hero and a source of his authority, the bodies and costumes of superheroes become a focal point for the political themes addressed in the comic books discussed above. Yet, while many of the Batman and Superman storylines from the last several decades revolve around similar themes of authority, agency and the legitimacy of vigilante action, there appear to be two fundamentally different approaches towards the issue of representation that can be connected, respectively, to Batman and Superman. I have alluded to Victoria Kahn’s remarks on poiesis as a crucial term in discussing the separation between premodern and modern ideas of authority, and it is worth offering a brief outline of how the superhero fictions discussed above conform with this notion, as well as how they correspond with the two fundamentally different views on political representation. The deeds of Superman are those of a character who not only possesses godlike capabilities but, more importantly, enjoys an authority grounded in his heritage and in the unanimous approval of the community he wishes to protect. Superman represents an authority bestowed quite literally from above. Much like Schmitt’s discussion of the pope as the Vicar of Christ,51 Superman’s authority is neither personal nor granted by an institution, but rather an authority rooted in the concept of heritage. The character’s 51 Cf. Carl Schmitt, Roman Catholicism and Political Form, trans. G. L. Ulmen (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1996 [orig. 1923]), 14.

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emblem and the iconic image of Clark Kent revealing the ‘S’ hidden beneath his suit are narrative devices which point to this understanding of authority and representation: the legitimacy of his actions is already present; it does not have to be instated or invoked, but merely acknowledged. The stories concerning Batman, specifically those which make reference to his cowl suggest a fundamentally different approach to superhero authority, one which demands a constant repetition of performative ‘theatricals,’ in this case the donning of a mask to conjure the vigilante persona. Batman thus epitomises a modern, post-Hobbesian understanding of representation: a ‘fiction of power,’ created by man alone. Deprived of transcendent legitimacy, Batman’s superhero authority is one that does not have to be agreed upon and can, in fact, be easily contested – there are, indeed, numerous storylines that put the hero at odds with the police force. The gesture of donning the mask or, to put it in O’Neill’s terms, of ‘becoming Batman,’ is an ambiguous one, both establishing the hero’s authority to act beyond the law and, at the same time, questioning it as a product of theatricality. On the other hand, the mask turns Batman into an institution, a ‘disposable hero’ of sorts, who can be replaced if the original person wearing the mask should die or become incapacitated. The most striking difference between these two approaches is perhaps revealed by comparing the scene of Superman’s ‘atomic crucifixion’ from The Dark Knight Returns with the finale of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Batman initially appears to be repeating Superman’s deed from the comic, sacrificing himself in an atomic blast by using his aerial vehicle to carry a nuclear device beyond the limits of Gotham; he is praised for his action, and a statue is erected in Gotham’s City Hall. However it is soon revealed that this sacrifice was just another elaborate fiction, allowing Bruce Wayne to start over with a clean slate. In accordance with Kahn’s remarks on poiesis, the fiction steps up to occupy the place of religion.

And Then They Were Bodies Medieval Royalties, from DNA Analysis to a Nation’s Identity Alexandra Ion

The bodies of kings, princes and political rulers have always represented more than just biological clumps of matter. They have been viewed as the very being and power of the ruler, and such bodies have continued to act as an index of the person even beyond their death. As Katherine Verdery rightly pointed out, the materiality of the body can be linked strongly to ‘its symbolic eff icacy;’1 the corporeality of these bodies ‘makes them important means of localizing a claim,’2 as their very own materiality has embedded in it the values and images associated with these kings. It is for this reason that such bodies can become, in the words of Pierre Nora, lieux de mémoire, places through which memories are enacted and located, flesh and bone gaining symbolic value and political power. It is the goal of this text to explore how the agency of such royal bodies has been framed in the context of the contemporary (osteo)archaeological narratives which have been constructed around them. The bodies of certain rulers experienced disturbing afterlives, with different political regimes or leaders manipulating them in order to make political statements; such was the case of Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin, whose body was turned into an ‘immortal’ body, displayed in the centre of Moscow,3 the ultimate piece of propaganda. Similar examples may be found in the exhumations, wanderings and/or public funerals of several political leaders, such as Eva Perón, Prince Lazăr of Serbia, the Romanovs, or Frederick the Great in Germany. 4 These remains of once-important f igures are still 1 Katherine Verdery, The Political Lives of Dead Bodies: Reburial and Postsocialist Change, The Harriman Lectures (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 27. 2 Ibid. 3 Alexei Yurchak, ‘Bodies of Lenin: The Hidden Science of Communist Sovereignty,’ Representations 129 (Winter 2015): 116-157. 4 For a comprehensive summary see Verdery, Political Lives, Chapter 1; David William Cohen, E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, Burying SM: The Politics of Knowledge and the Sociology of Power in Africa (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann; London: James Curry, 1992); Tomás Eloy Martínez, ‘Tombs of Unrest,’ Transition 80 (1999): 72-84; Antonius C.G.M. Robben, ‘State Terror in the Netherworld: Disappearance and Reburial in Argentina,’ in Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, ed. Jeffrey A. Sluka (Philadelphia, PA.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 91-113; Susan

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half-alive, in so far as they bear post-mortem agency5 and determine the creation of contemporary projects in which they still take centre stage. In the present times, the bodies of these rulers have lost none of their fascination, as several recent exhumation projects reveal. By following research into the afterlives of these contentious human remains and their symbolic power,6 it is the goal of this chapter to explore an original line of inquiry, namely the role which such remains play in redefining identity for the contemporary academic discipline of archaeology and its related sciences. How are these bodies framed at the crossroads of public and scientific debates, integrated in multiple networks of experts and viewed from different ontological perspectives? The claim of this study is that, within the field of archaeology, human remains of important political figures have become important objects of study, and projects designed around them present a series of fascinating issues: they contribute to redefining connections between science, history and the public, they have been used in scientific battles to settle what constitutes stronger and legitimate evidence in writing the past, have been used to redefine notions of objectivity regarding the past and ways of becoming visible in the public eye. In the following study I will highlight the political, religious and academic treatment of such relics. The question of whether or not the identification processes employed by the scientists yield valid results falls beyond the scope of the present analysis; rather it is the understanding of the scientists themselves which forms the focus of our examination. The present research is based on a comparative analysis of five case studies involving important medieval rulers: Vladislav Vlaicu (1364-1377) and Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714)7 of Wallachia, several rulers of Moldova Gal, ‘Bartók’s Funeral: Representations of Europe in Hungarian Political Rhetoric,’ American Ethnologist 18, no. 3 (1991): 440-458; István Rév, ‘Parallel Autopsies,’ Representations 49 (Winter 1995): 15-39. 5 See also John J. Crandall, Debra L. Martin, ‘The Bioarchaeology of Postmortem Agency: Integrating Archaeological Theory with Human Skeletal Remains: Taking the Social Agency of Dead Bodies,’ Cambridge Archaeological Journal 24, no. 3 (2014): 429-435. 6 Graeme Gill, ‘‟Lenin Lives”: Or Does He? Symbols and the Transition from Socialism,’ Europe-Asia Studies 60, no. 2 (2008): 173-196; Bess Lovejoy, Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses (London: Duckworth Overlook, 2014); Nate Maas, ‘Henry IV of France (and the Case of the Missing Head of State),’ Nate’s Nonsense Blog, January 27, 2011, http://www. (accessed February 25, 2016); Martinez, ‘Thombs of Unrest;’ Verdery, Political Lives. 7 Even though from a chronological point of view he seems to fall outside the medieval periodisation, as it was devised for Western Europe, in Romania, however, the caesura for medieval era is the early 19th century.

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(from the 14th century), Richard III of England (1483-1485), and Henry IV of France (1589-1610).8 The resulting study makes no claims to be exhaustive, but rather offers an analysis of the post-mortem destiny of several controversial historical figures, and the passions that have risen around them. One of the selection criteria for the case studies was that the figures studied had to have been the main focus of a multidisciplinary project conducted in the last five years. In each case, the figure in question had been discussed intensely in public media and, more importantly, DNA studies had played a decisive role in the discourse shaping the identity of the ruler’s body. As the case studies show, the scientific debates surrounding these remains feature DNA studies as a key component, illustrative for a truly ‘DNA mystique’9 which permeates the contemporary societies. However, the agency of the bodies, and the echoes of history they bring with them, often demonstrate that while scientists might confront each other over what constitutes stronger evidence in the quest for an objective identification of the remains, for other institutions, and especially for the public, the materiality of the bones deciphered in biological and genetic terms is of lesser importance, and sometimes almost entirely irrelevant. This observation suggests that certain meanings are ascribed to the remains which go far beyond the story of the individual. Should a ruler’s identity be understood in biological or rather cultural terms? What is a legitimate way of writing a nation’s history? What constitutes scientific proof? When it comes to establishing identity, is genetic data preferable to more traditional archaeological investigations? The exploration of these issues allows one to reflect on how the bodies of the rulers have been turned into a political matter. Projects that revolve around the body of a king may unearth concepts such as the foundations of a nation and its identity, ethnicity, and the power of historical accounts, turning them into bones of contention. The research presented here follows several lines of inquiry. It includes an overview of practices that have created ‘political bodies’ in the present – including excavations of the bodies of medieval princes, and the relationship between archaeology and new understandings of identity (e.g. DNA analyses) – as well as the type of body that has been brought into view as such. This is followed by a reflexive analysis of the way in which the body 8 The years in parantheses are the ruling years. 9 Dorothy Nelkin and M. Susan Lindee, The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004 [1995]). I am grateful to Ewa Domańska for suggesting me this term.

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becomes a territory for symbolic competition between disciplines, and the subsequent arguments regarding what constitutes stronger evidence. Lastly, the article concludes with a reflection on the narratives constructed around past historical bodies in present times, addressing such questions as: what do they stand for, which actors get involved in such disputes, what happens to them and why? The interdisciplinary research on royal remains is placed at the intersection of anthropology, osteo(archaeology) and history, and it explores a spectrum of anthropological concepts such as identity, agency and materiality. The different values of the human body, along with its role and constitution in society have been explored in numerous studies within the social sciences.10 The structure of the body has been deconstructed and examined in light of its status at the crossroads of social, political and cultural relations. However there have been few studies focused on the way scientists interact with the body as an object of scientific investigation. For this reason, I intend to follow scientists’ interpretation of these human remains along the lines of studies which explore the constructive nature of the scientific process.11 The goal of this research is ultimately to overcome the distance that the disciplines of osteoarcheology and archeology took from their object of study, namely the human body. The scientific body is often understood only through its materiality: it is transformed into an object that can be fragmented, placed under a microscope, measured, collected, stored, or displayed for the production of scientific knowledge. As the following case studies will show, the interpretation of these bodies is much more complex: they exist at the intersection of several regimes of meaning, in which memory, historical tradition, science and popular culture overlap or collide. Given that the projects discussed below have been covered intensely by the media and, in some cases, scientific evidence was originally presented through mainstream media outlets, the present study is based not only on 10 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Allen Lane, 1977 [orig. 1975]; The Body: Social Process and Cultural Theory, eds. Mike Featherstone, Mike Hepworth, Brian S. Turner (London: Sage Publications, 1991); E. Richard Gold, Body Parts: Property Rights and the Ownership of Human Biological Materials (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1996); Christopher Shilling, The Body and Social Theory (London: Sage Publication, 2003); Cressida Fforde, Collecting the Dead: Archaeology and the Reburial Issue (London: Duckworth, 2004); Corinna Kruse, The Social Life of Forensic Evidence (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015). 11 Karin Knorr Cetina, ‘Producing and Reproducing Knowledge: Descriptive or Constructive? Toward a Model of Research Production,’ Social Science Information 16 (1977): 669-696; Bruno Latour, The Pasteurization of France (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1993).

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the published scientific texts pertaining to the five projects, but on news reports as well. It is precisely this link which makes the cases fascinating, as they present an intertwined relationship between scientists, media and third parties, which sometimes influenced not only the way in which evidence was made public, but also shaped the scientific agendas or discourses.

No Rest for Romanian Medieval Rulers On June 27, 2012, 635 years after the death of Vladislav Vlaicu (1364-1377), one of the f irst rulers of Wallachia,12 his alleged tomb in the Biserica Domnească at Curtea de Argeș was opened by a team of scientists, who removed a left hand phalanx, a molar and a right metatarsal bone.13 The action was part of a multidisciplinary project called GENESIS (Genetic Evolution: New Evidences for the Study of Interconnected Structures. A Biomolecular Journey around the Carpathians from Ancient to Medieval Times, 2013-2015), a thirty-three month project which brought together three academic institutions from Romania: the Institute of Biology in Bucharest, Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, and Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iaşi.14 Their premise, as declared on their project website, is: Today, classic theories and approaches are verified using methodologies involving molecular analyses. Often, the image presented by molecular techniques completely challenges past suppositions. Archaeology and history, two research areas apparently meant to remain in their ‘pure,’ classic form, tend now towards interdisciplinarity. Being concerned with recounting and reconstructing past lives, they involve, at some point, the study of plant, animal and human remains, and thus, are also affected by the molecular revolution that sweeps other biological domains.15 12 A historical region in Romania, situated between the Danube and the Carpathians mountains, was a medieval principality since the 14th century. It is also known as Tara Romaneasca. 13 Raport științific privind rezultatele obținute în cadrul proiectului PCCA_1153b (contract 229/2013). Evolutie Genetica: Dovezi noi în studiul unor structuri interconectate. O calatorie biomoleculara în jurul Carpatilor din Antichitate pâna în Evul Mediu în perioada ianuarie-decembrie 2014, (accessed March 25, 2016). 14 Raport științific, (accessed March 25, 2016). 15 Rezumat proiect, (accessed March 25, 2016). Unless stated otherwise, all quotes are translated from Romanian by the author of this text, A.I.

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What might be implicitly understood from this statement is that DNA studies offer a form of testimony which can supplement or challenge traditional archaeological or historical evidence and, in their absence, fill the subjective discourses regarding the Romanian history. This is the message that one of the primary members of the project, Alexandru Simon, supported in a Hotnews interview: We have major lacunas in respect to classical historical, written and archaeological documentation. We are exposed for long periods of time to subjective interpretation. We cannot fill in this void of information in any other way.16

The body of Vladislav Vlaicu thus becomes very important, similar to other Romanian rulers’ bodies, as it is expected to provide testimony regarding Vlaicu’s genealogical relations and ethnic origin, as suggested by the quest to analyse his alleged Cuman origin.17 A multidisciplinary team was gathered to study and create a genetic profile of the individual in tomb No. 10 at Curtea de Argeș, held by tradition to be either Vladislav I/Vlaicu Voda (1364-1377) or Radu I (c. 1376-c. 1383).18 The goal of opening the tomb was the extraction of several samples – metatarsals, a phalanx and an intact mandibular molar – which could provide data on the genealogical relationships of medieval royalty and thus help to identify the remains, along with verifying the origin of the ruler.19 The bones were subjected to Carbon 14 dating at Miami (Beta Analytic), while the molar was used for DNA extraction. The first objective of the inquiry was ‘an analysis of the control region of the mitochondrial genome to predict the mitochondrial haplogroup.’20 Why this would be important though, has not been explained. The goal, however, made the project interesting for two particular reasons: first, because of the assumption that the materiality of a former ruler’s body might hold 16 Vlad Mixich, video, ‘Istoricul Alexandru Simon: Din ADN-ul vechilor domnitori putem afla compozitia lor etnica. A cunoaste cine au fost inaintasii tai e o forma de respect,’, July 5, 2012, (accessed September 20, 2015). 17 Raport științific, 81-82. 18 Ibid., 82. 19 Beatrice Kelemen: ‘Vom încerca să confirmăm sau infirmăm presupusa origine cumană a personajului îngropat la Curtea de Argeş,’ Codruţa Simina, proiectul-genesis-seful-echipei-de-analiza-adn-vom-incerca-sa-conf irmam-sau-inf irmampresupusa-origine-cumana-a-personajului-ingropat-la-curtea-de-arges#.VgO5dJezmGU (accessed September 1, 2015). 20 Raport științific, 81.

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the secret that can help write an objective history of the beginnings of the Wallachian state; second, because of the premise that techniques such as DNA testing might contribute to a better understanding of history by filling in a number of missing links. The agenda of this investigation was to compare their data with a new analysis of remains from the grave of another ruler, Mircea cel Batran (1386-1418) from Cozia, whose tomb also fell within the chronology of the project.21 One of the goals of the research project, as specified in its objective No. 3,22 was to compare the genetic data with the results from other individuals from international databases, or with that of descendants from the Basarab family, following the study of Martinez-Cruz et al.23 This involved comparing the DNA profile of the individual under study with 29 modern individuals bearing the name Basarab; the researchers were especially interested in examining the presence of the haplogroup Y Ra1a, ‘the oldest haplogroup discovered in modern individuals named Basarab,’ using the research published by Martinez-Cruz et al. as a starting point.24 A study of one of the 11 Y haplogroups, however, led them to the conclusion that the relationship ‘between the studied individual and the three modern individuals with the name Basarab (1 from Hungary, 2 from Ilfov county) and part of this haplogrup’ was not a match.25 Even so, the researchers still concluded that the studied individual belonged to the Basarab family, but simply to a different branch.26 Not only was this result (‘no match’) predictable, but the idea of tracing genealogical relations based on a common surname was, from a scientific perspective, questionable from the outset. As the historian Micea Diaconescu rightly stressed, while a surname might reflect a genealogical affiliation between past and present individuals in

21 Elza Almasi, ‘Proiectul Genesis schimba istoria: defunctul de la Curtea de Arges nu e Vlaicu Voda,’ Ziar de Cluj, September 23, 2013, (accessed September 15, 2015). 22 Ibid., 81. 23 Begoña Martinez-Cruz, Mihai Ioana, Francesc Calafell, Lara R. Arauna, Paula Sanz, Ramona Ionescu, Sandu Boengiu, Luba Kalaydjieva, Horolma Pamjav, Halyna Makukh, Theo Plantinga, Jos W.M. van der Meer, David Comas, Mihai G. Netea, the Genographic Consortium, ‘Y-Chromosome Analysis in Individuals Bearing the Basarab Name of the First Dynasty of Wallachian Kings,’ PLoS ONE 7, no. 7 (2012): 1-6. 24 Raport științific, 82. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid.

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Western Europe, it is irrelevant in Romania due to historical circumstances, and may thus be considered a pointless exercise.27 Furthermore, the report states that ‘other haplogroups discovered, M5a1a and H3v2, have a high frequency in India and German countries.’28 The data was compared with the only known data for a culturally attributed Cuman community, and none of those eleven individuals displayed the M5a1a haplogroup found in the individual from Curtea de Argeș.29 The researchers concluded that: Until the exact identification of the mitochondrial haplogroup/haplotype, any supposition regarding a potential maternal heredity linked to the Asian continent and possible migrators from that area can not be verified.30

The question remains: how would any of the possible results help to arrive at better interpretation of history as long as the very identity of the buried individual is not known with certainty? How, in other words, could proving the Cuman origin of an unknown and unverifiable individual possibly be tied to any wider narrative? On the other hand, what this analysis did was to confront archaeological identities with genetic data, which, the authors proposed, could be linked to ethnic identities or, in their words, ‘what can ethnically be identified in the DNA.’31 Thus, they compared DNA samples of individuals identified as ‘Cuman’ through archaeological inventory. Therefore, implicitly, a cultural identity was interpreted in genetic terms and then compared with the genetic profile of the Curtea de Argeș skeleton. The scientists were careful to make the distinctions between genetic and cultural data clear enough in their reports; at a terminological level they spoke of a ‘culturally attributed Cumin community.’ In practice, however, the very fact that they attempted DNA comparisons would suggest that they tried to match cultural identities 27 Mircea Diaconescu, ‘Incapacitatea interpretării analizei ADN-ului generează falsuri grosolane: Prințul Negru al Țării Românești este pur și simplu o invenție,’, March 13, 2015, (accessed September 15, 2015). 28 Raport științific, 82. 29 Ibid., 81. 30 Ibid., 82. 31 Domnica Macri, ‘Un român la mormântul regelui Richard,’ National Geographic: Romania online, February 11, 2013, (accessed September 20, 2015).

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with genetic ones. This perspective, as stated in an article published in the National Geographic, aimed to redefine history by re-writing it through DNA.32 In this context, the body of a ruler becomes the ultimate piece of historical evidence, more important than any historical documents or archaeological data. It is also worth mentioning some of the other key aspects of their analysis, specifically the hypothesis they tested and the samples they used for comparison. The study was carried out in order to test the hypothesis that some of the first rulers of Wallachia were of Cuman origin, a topic that has remained highly contentious in the Romanian academic community. It is a century old hypothesis, first mentioned by the historian Nicolae Iorga, but which received greater visibility mostly through a book written by the popular-historian, Neagu Djuvara.33 In his book, Djuvara claimed that the emergence of the Romanian medieval states was the indirect result of a migratory invasion of the Cumans, and that Negru Voda – the first ruler of Wallachia, identified with Tichomer, the father of Basarab – was of Cuman origin. The book stirred considerable reaction, although at least part of the scientific community dismissed it as a ‘popular’ work, based only loosely on historical sources, as Matei Cazacu and Dan Ioan Mureșan have demonstrated.34 The present paper does not intend to determine which of the claims is correct, but rather to highlight that the investigation described above took place in a heated atmosphere and was spurred by a hypothesis which had caused sensation in popular media by challenging assumptions regarding the national and territorial continuity of the Romanian elite, for whom identity was understood in terms of ethnicity. Scientists thus deemed it relevant to settle the arguments by going back to the bones, testing them in order to support the assumption that the names ‘Basarab’ or ‘Tichomerius’ were associated with Cumans. It should be mentioned though that the individual from Curtea de Argeș was not believed to have been either Basarab or Tichomerius. Hence, it remains unclear what a maternal genetic profile of the remains from Grave 10 would prove with respect to the Cuman origin of either. This latter skeleton was also subjected to traditional osteoarchaeological analysis and, based on the subpubian angle, the occipital protuberance and the menton, it was determined that the sex 32 Ibid. 33 Neagu Djuvara, Thocomerius – Negru Vodă. Un voivod de origine cumană la începuturile Ţării Româneşti (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2007). 34 Matei Cazacu and Dan Ioan Mureșan, Ioan Basarab, un domn român la începuturile Țării Românești (Chișinău: Cartier, 2013).

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was male.35 Again, even though the inventory and traditional osteological analysis had already suggested that the individual’s sex is male, the language used to present the genetic data suggests that DNA evidence is presented as being the ultimate proof on the matter: ‘the molecular attribution of sex dismisses any possible doubts on this matter.’36 In conclusion, based on archaeological, historical and biological evidence, the authors of this project claimed that the skeleton was neither Vladislav I/ Vlaicu Voda nor Radu I, but maybe one of the sons of Basarab I mentioned in a document from 1335, and that one cannot assume Cuman (cultural) heredity or an Asian genetic origin, but rather a Germanic or north Indian origin on the maternal side.37 The studied individual was a male, from a ruling family, under 40 years of age, around 170 cm tall, with dark eyes, hair and skin, who died sometime between 1340-1350.38 The paraphernalia associated with the skeleton, specifically a ring similar to that of the Black Prince of England and a pafta, would appear to rule out that ‘the skeleton is Negru Voda [Black Prince] […] first ruler of Tara Romaneasca.’39 The body of the king was used, in this case, as the ultimate material proof in supporting historical claims, insofar as his material presence can be subjected to tests that can provide information regarding chronology, as well as ethnic, and social status. In contrast to older historiographical debates, the body of the ruler takes centre stage, becoming even more important than the grave inventory or other evidence. The project, however, leaves the most important assumption unquestioned, namely that it matters who he was. Not only did the project arouse public attention – the initial stages of the investigation were announced through mainstream media channels – but it provoked political reactions as well, notably from Puiu Hașotti, the Ministry of Culture, who opposed the DNA analysis, claiming that:

35 Proiectul Genesis, June 28, 2012. 36 Raport științific, 82. 37 Ibid. 38 Florina Pop, ‘Prinţul Negru al Ţării Româneşti,’, November 14, 2014, http://www., (accessed September 10, 2015). 39 Beatrice Kelemen, Adrian Ioniţă, Alexandru Simon, ‘Mormântul 10 de la Biserica Sf. Nicolae din Curtea de Argeş. Despre geneza Ţării Româneşti,’ webpage of Institutul de Biologie Bucureşti, Academia Română, (accessed May 9, 2016).

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Perhaps for science it might be important extracting DNA, but out of respect for what have represented Wallachia’s rulers, I cannot agree with DNA sampling. It is important that these rulers have marked the national history and with little importance whether or not they had a Cuman descent. As Minister, I gave the necessary dispositions to stop the DNA sampling and to verify the scientific research as a whole. 40

Puiu Hașotti is an archaeologist himself, and his intervention symbolically highlighted an ontological dimension of these relics. In his view, even though the church might be their custodian as they are resting under its guardianship, due to the individual’s biography they are also pieces of national heritage, and for this reason their integrity should not be compromised by scientific sampling.

DNA Sampling as the Final Piece in the Puzzle A project in which archaeology and DNA analysis met in order to shed light on the early history of Moldavia was focused on the human remains discovered at Rădăuți. In this case DNA analysis and archaeological data were employed to identify several graves from the Saint Nicholas Church – the oldest church in Moldova and the final resting place of the first Moldavian rulers – and to establish genealogical relationships between the interred individuals. The excavations took place between 1974 and 1977, due to restorations organised by the Council of Historical and Art Monuments, later the Council of National Cultural Patrimony. 41 The osteological material in the church was discovered in 1975, was stored at the Council of Historical Monuments, then moved to the National History Museum of Romania in 1978. It was studied between 1979 and 1983 by Laurentia Georgescu, then buried in 1988, with each of the packages placed in an oak box labelled with the name of the alleged individual, and interred beneath the corresponding tombstone. 42 Three decades later, in 2005, the bones were re-analysed with 40 Crişan Andreescu, ‘ADN a stabilit: La Curtea de Argeș nu e înmormântat Vlaicu Vodă Crişan Andreescu,’, September 24, 2013, dpuf (accessed September 10, 2015). 41 Lia Bătrâna and Adrian Bătrâna, Biserica ‘Sfântul Nicolae’ din Rădăuţi: Cercetări arheologice şi interpretări istorice asupra începuturilor Ţării Moldovei (Piatra Neamţ: Constantin Matasă, 2012). 42 Ibid., 142.

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a DNA technique: after receiving permission from His Holiness Pimen Suceveanul, they were exhumed and samples were collected at the Institute of Anthropology Francisc I. Rainer in Bucharest by anthropologist Nicolae Mirițoiu and archaeologist Adrian Batrana. The samples were then sent to the paleogenetic laboratory at the Institute of Human Biology of the University of Hamburg. 43 A multidisciplinary team was thus assembled, bringing together archaeologists, physical anthropologists, and geneticians, from the Institute of Anthropology Francisc I. Rainer in Bucharest and from the Institute of Human Biology of University of Hamburg: Nicolae Miriţoiu, Mihai Constantinescu, Georgeta Cardoş, Alexander Rodewald, Adrian and Lia Bătrâna. As part of their project, among others they analysed nine graves in the church. Seven tombstones, commissioned by Prince Stephan the Great, had been found in the naos, but with no graves underneath. It was thus necessary to match the inscriptions with the graves. The paleogenetic study investigated familial relations, as well as the sexes of the deceased. 44 In order to accomplish their project, historical, genetic, archaeological and epigraphic data was combined, and it was concluded that the skeletons and the tombs belonged to six Moldavian rulers: Bogdan I (1363-1367), Laţcu (1368-1373), Costea (1373-1375), Petru I (1375-1391), Roman I (1392-1394), Ştefan I (1394-1399). There were also graves of two other royal family members as well as the tomb of Leontie, the first bishop of Rădăuţi. 45 DNA analysis was used to confirm genealogical relations, and specifically that the first two Moldavian dynasties had been related on the maternal line: the mother of Petru I and Roman I, Margareta-Muşata, was the daughter of Bogdan I and Laţcu’s sister. The publication of this research was financed by the church. In this case, the goal of the investigation has been the proper identification of the bodies in order to dismiss any doubts regarding the correct attribution of the graves. By using DNA to establish genealogical relations, the analysis helped to settle questions arising as the result of competing theories regarding Moldavian genealogy.

43 Ibid. 44 Ibid., 141. 45 Ibid., 188-189.

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Constantin Brâncoveanu: The Body of a Saint Martyr The third Romanian case study involving princely human remains was focused on the tomb of Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714) in New St. George’s church (Romanian: Sfântul Gheorghe Nou) in the heart of Bucharest. Between 12 and 14 May 2014, at the request of the church’s priest, Emil Nedelea Cărămizaru – and after the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared 2014 to be a ‘commemorative year of the Brâncoveni martyr saints’ – the Museum of Bucharest Municipium was brought in to exhume Brâncoveanu’s remains. A multidisicplinary team, led by archaeologist Gheorghe Mănucu-Adameşteanu, was established; their goal was to unearth the remains of Brâncoveanu so that they could be put on display and venerated as relics during religious processions. The role of the anthropologists was to identify these human remains using scientific methods. What differentiated this project from those discussed above was the involvement of the Romanian Orthodox Church, who directed the research agenda. The excavations were undertaken specifically to exhume what was thought to be a prince’s remains, in order that they might play a part during the year of commemoration. But let us first examine the history of Brancovanu’s remains. It has long been assumed that the remains of the prince were interred in New St. George’s Church. According to the legend, on August 15, 1714, after Brâncoveanu had been deposed and killed along with his four sons on the order of sultan Ahmed III, his body was either dragged through the streets of Istanbul, thrown in the sea, or decapitated, after which the heads were placed on poles and then thrown into the Sea of Marmara. 46 His remains were supposedly buried on Halki Island near Istanbul, but then returned to his home country in secrecy by his wife, Maria Brâncoveanu, who brought them to New St. George’s, the church which had been founded by the prince.47 The first historical reference to these events date from 1742, followed by further references in 1832 and 1914. On each occasion a public figure, a bishop, and the historian Nicolae Iorga, claimed that Constantin Brâncoveanu’s remains had been buried at Sfântul Gheorghe Nou. In order to test these claims, an archaeological excavation and anthropological analysis of the remains beneath the church’s floor was carried out 46 Gheorghe Mănucu-Adameşteanu and Raluca Iuliana Popescu, ‘Cercetarile arheologice din anul 2014 de la biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou din Bucuresti,’ in Mărturii Brâncoveneşti, ed. Gheorghe Mănucu-Adameşteanu (Bucureşti: Muzeul Municipiului Bucureşti, 2014), 329. 47 Ibid., 330-331.

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between 9-16 December 1932; the project was led by Virgiliu Draghiceanu, head of the Historical Monuments Comission. 48 As there were two tombstones in the church – an anonymous one, and one bearing the name of Ioan Mavrocordat, who ruled Wallachia for a short time following Brâncoveanu’s death (1716-1719) – Draghiceanu’s goal was to identify which of the remains belonged to Brâncoveanu. A committee of specialists headed by Mina Minovici49 and Francisc Rainer50 performed the osteological investigation. One report mentioned that the skeleton displayed a cut on the fifth cervical vertebra, however Rainer’s report neglects to mention whether the skeleton was identified positively as belonging to Brâncoveanu.51 The whole process took place under the supervision of the Romanian Orthodox Church; indeed the excavation was so important to the church that Miron Cristea, the first Romanian patriarch, was on hand to witness the unearthing of the bones. Moreover, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided that the remains should be reinterred in the same church in 1934, the year in which the church was celebrating the 220th anniversary of the ruler’s martyrdom; the remains were treated as relics and placed in an oak coffin fashioned from a tree found in the courtyard of Brâncoveanu’s palace at Mogoșoaia. The inscription on the coffin read: ‘Here lie the remains of the Brâncoveanu Constantin Basarab Voievod – 1714-1934.’52 On May 21, 1934, the Day of Saints Constantin and Elena, the remains were carried in procession around Bucharest’s city centre, stopping at historical landmarks related to Brâncoveanu. Brâncoveanu’s descendentants, along with the king, the patriarch, priests, and laymen all participated in the procession. This was the first significant moment which shaped the interpretation of Brâncoveanu’s remains. The body provided a means through which memory, oral tradition, religious faith, nationalism and social cohesion could be expressed and enforced; it represented the values for which Brâncoveanu had 48 Ibid., 334. 49 Dr Mina Minovici (1858-1933), the f irst Director of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Bucharest. 50 Dr Francisc I. Rainer (1874-1944), important Romanian anatomist and anthropologist, Director of the Institute of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine and the founding father of the Institute of Anthropology in Bucharest. 51 Mihai Constantinescu and Andrei Soficaru, ‘Raport antropologic privind osemintele umane descoperite in anul 2014 in biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou,’ in Mărturii Brâncoveneşti, 402. 52 Emil Nedelea Cărămizaru, ‘Mormântul cu moaştele Sfântului Martir Constantin Brâncoveanu,’ webpage of the Saint George New church, mormantul-si-moastele-sfintilor-martiri-brancoveni (accessed September 10, 2015).

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been killed. The tradition of the king who refused to abandon his Christian faith in favour of Islam was passed on as the cause of his martyrdom and made him an important symbol for the church. Because he died at the hands of the Ottomans, he was also seen as a national hero. His remains thus offered physical proof of the stories, and their physicality made visible an historical past. The very process of unearthing the remains and presenting them throughout the town created a symbolic bridge between the distant past and the present, as one may infer from the inscription on the coffin, which gives the dates not of Brâncoveanu’s life, but rather of the time which had elapsed since his death: 1714-1934. By 2014, the status of the remains experienced a ‘qualitative’ change. In 1992 Constantin Brâncoveanu was declared a martyr saint by the Romanian Orthodox Church. This decision had the effect of transforming the remains into official relics; for this reason, the anthropologists involved in the 2014 exhumation project had to analyse them in situ. The research resulted in the discovery of three coffins in the crypt south of the naos. The skeletons were thought to belong to Constantin Brâncoveanu and Ioan Vodă Mavrocordat while the third coffin was thought to contain the remains of Bracoveanu’s wife and of two of their daughters and sons.53 The case attracted significant media attention, with the major newspapers and TV stations covering the exhumation and analysis. As in the case of the GENESIS project, the first findings were announced through mainstream media, when the Museum of the Bucharest Municipium organised a press conference on May 16, 2014. The press reported that the newly discovered bones supposedly belonging to Brâncoveanu consisted of a skull and bones placed to form a cross, and that the skull belonged to a male aged 60 years old. To quote anthropologist Mihai Constantinescu:54 It presents traces of a circular perforation on the left parietal bone, caused by a sharp object. Also on the posterior mandibular rami were observed traces of injuries caused by sharp objects […]. Information which corresponds with the known historical facts.55 53 Elvira Gheorghita, ‘Osemintele lui Constantin Brâncoveanu vor f i venerate ca moaşte,’ webpage, May 16, 2014, (accessed September 10, 2015). 54 According to personal information from Dr Mihai Constantinescu, this passage in press copied together 3 different passages from various sources. 55 V.M., ‘Osemintele lui Constantin Brancoveanu vor f i venerate ca moaste – Patriarhie,’, May 16, 2014, (accessed September 10, 2015).

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According to the anthropological analysis published the following year,56 however, the situation was more complicated. If the press conference and the media coverage centred on Brâncoveanu’s remains, the scientific report took a more balanced view of the remains, labelling them: ‘Crypt 1. Human remains from the coffin of Constantin Brâncoveanu,’ ‘Crypt 1. Group of bones deposited in the ceremony coffin in 1934, near the reliquary of bones attributed to Constantin Brâncoveanu,’ ‘Crypt 2A. Ioan Mavrocordat tomb,’ ‘Crypt 2B. Crypt of Brâncoveanu family,’ ‘Crypt 3,’ and each of the individuals as ‘Skeleton A/B/C.’ The report reads very differently than anything that appeared in the mainstream media. The ordering of individuals drew attention away from Brâncoveanu, choosing instead to examine the collection as a record that could offer new information regarding the late medieval population of Bucharest. As the anthropologists concluded, it was the first example of an extensive anthropological analysis of a ruling family from Wallachia.57 There were twelve skeletons identified in total: seven adults, five subadults, five males, one female.58 After the bones were cleaned, the anthropologists identifed the minimum number of individuals and described their various sexes, ages and pathologies. The anthropologists were presented with the ceremonial casket from 1934, which contained the reliquary with the alleged remains of Brâncoveanu. An analysis of bones from the Constantin Brâncoveanu casket (Skeleton A) revealed a male skull, older than 50 years, with a peri-mortem perforated right parietal bone 13mm in diameter, a mandibular ramus bearing marks of beheading, and 5 vertebrae.59 In the same casket, but outside the reliquary, there were remains from at least two other individuals (Skeletons B and C) identified as a teenager and an older individual. Near them, in the same casket, Skeleton D belonged to a male aged 32-42, which was the skeleton analysed by Francisc Rainer in 1932;60 it is unclear why Rainer was given these remains to analyse and identify as Brâncoveanu, as they were not the ones placed in the ‘reliquary’ of 1934. From the other two crypts eight more skeletons and other human remains were unearthed and analysed. Following these excavations, the relics were displayed in a special silver reliquary in New St. George’s for worship. As in 1934, another solemn 56 Mihai Constantinescu and Andrei Soficaru, ‘Raport antropologic privind osemintele umane descoperite în anul 2014 în biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou,’ in Mărturii Brâncoveneşti, 376-402. 57 Ibid., 389. 58 Ibid. 59 Ibid., 377-380. 60 Ibid., 380-381.

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procession took place on May 21, 2014, which followed the same route as it had 80 years earlier. This case is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, the princely remains acted as lieu de mémoire, they were placed at the heart of performances in which they were presented as embodying a sacred and laic history, and they were used as means of creating a symbolic connection between past and present. Secondly, one may note the marked difference between the scientific report and media coverage. For anthropologists, the remains were viewed as a means of gaining knowledge about the social life of late medieval Wallachia; the media and the church, however, focused solely on the remains of Brâncoveanu. It is interesting that the remains of Ioan Vodă Mavrocordat – also a ruler, but with no important mark left in the collective memory – were treated no differently from the other remains in the church, remaining largely overshadowed by Brâncoveanu’s remains. The status of being a former ruler did not automatically make the bones important; rather it was the agenda of the Romanian Church which favoured one particular individual based on what he stood for. In this case anthropology and archaeology were employed to identify the relics in order to provide material support for the commemoration procession, which acted as a vehicle of memory and a reiteration of the message sent by the church in 1934: [W]e believe that it is a sacred duty for the Romanian Orthodox Christian Church and her ministers to take part to this solemnity, to highlight the strength of faith and the warmth of patriotism of this great ruler, whose life and reign is woven with the finest acts of Christian virtue, piety and generosity, not only for the Romanian people and the old church, but also for the whole Christianity in his time.61

The Head in the Attic: The Saga of Henry IV’s Head Four hundred years after the death of King Henry IV, the discovery of what purported to be his mummified head captured the attention of media. On December 14, 2010 the website announced: ‘Mummy Head (and Brain) Identified as Long-Lost French King’. The article went on to state:

61 Webpage of the Saint George New church, (accessed March 29, 2016).

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Researchers […] compared the head with sculptures and portraits of Henry, who had been assassinated in 1610, and digitally reconstructed the face. The result was a dead ringer for the beloved king.62

It was the latest episode in the long post-mortem history of the head, which was thought to have been separated from its body in 1793, and subsequently passed through the hands of several collectors. In this case the head was truly a bone of contention, provoking debates regarding the issue of what constitutes proper scientific evidence in the attribution of identity. It gave rise to a disagreement between the house of Orleans and the house of Bourbon regarding the proper way of dealing with the remains, and created a scientific network spanning several countries and funding bodies. The parties involved came from France, Italy, Denmark and the USA, although the two official faces of the team were Philippe Charlier, a researcher at the Laboratoire d’Éthique Médicale de l’Université Paris 5 and the Service de médecine légale et d’anatomie/cytology pathologiques CHU RaymondPoincaré in Garches, and the journalist Stéphane Gabet, editor-in-chief at Galaxie Presse and former editor-in-chief of the programme Secrets d’Histoire.63 In the opposing camp, several Belgian geneticians from the Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven (Belgium), along with French historian Philippe Delorme, and forensic scientists Xavier Riaud and Geoffroy Lorin de Lagrandmaison of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches64 questioned the identification of the head with King Henry IV.65 The three surviving members of the House of Bourbon were involved in the DNA testing.66 In the words of Xavier Riaud and colleagues, 62 Stephanie Pappas, ‘Mummy Head (and Brain) Identified as Long-Lost French King,’ Live science webpage, December 14, 2010, (accessed September 10, 2015). 63 Other researchers came from Museo di Antropologia ed Etnografia, Università di Torino (Italy), École pratique des hautes études (IVe section), Archives nationales, Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Société Henri IV, Musée national du Château de Pau, Bibliothèque SainteGeneviève, Musée d’histoire de la medicine (Paris), Institut de biologia evolutiva (Barcelona) and others, see Philippe Charlier, Isabelle Huynh-Charlier, Joël Poupon, Christine Keyser, Eloïse Lancelot, Dominique Favier et al., ‘Multidisciplinary Medical Identification of a French King’s Head (Henri IV),’ British Medical Journal 341 (2010):c6805. 64 Xavier Riaud, Philippe Delorme and Geoffroy Lorin de Lagrandmaison, ‘Discussion Surrounding the Identification of Henry IV’s Alleged Skull,’ Journal of Forensic Research 5 (2014): 16. 65 Ibid, 16-22. 66 Maarten H. D. Larmuseau, Philippe Delorme, Patrick Germain, Nancy Vanderheyden, Anja Gilissen, Anneleen Van Geystelen, Jean Jaques Cassiman, Ronin Decorte, ‘Genetic Genealogy

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the goal of the research was to offer ‘a new perspective which showed the seeds of doubt on the showcasing of absolute certainty.’67 It remains outside the scope of the present article to engage with this debate or to take sides with either of the two positions. Our goal here is to examine how these different factions interpreted the human remains, which arguments they deemed valid, and the networks of expertise they created. In this instance, the scientific dispute regarding what constitutes scientific evidence crossed national boundaries and became closely intertwined with politics. Members of the Bourbon family – including Prince LouisAlphonse de Bourbon – and the Orleans family, also became involved, each with a different view on whether or not the head was genuine: Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris and Duke of France, described the book as a ‘pseudo inquiry’ […]. ‘This affair seems closer to a novel than scientific or historic truth,’ he told French journalists. ‘What are we supposed to see from this supposed facial reconstitution – that he had a Bourbon nose?’68

On the other hand, Prince Louis de Bourbon, the Duke of Anjou, saluted the discovery and became actively involved in storing the relic: The moment is very emotional […] to have a head of my ancestor, so close to me physically, the prince said. Now I have a responsibility – familial and moral – to bury this head in the best place for him.69

At the same time, the arguments used to authenticate the head moved from disciplinary disputes – what constitutes a proper interpretation and comparison of genetic profiles – to juridical ones, with the forensic identification being questioned in these terms: Dr Olivier Pascal, president of the French Institute of Genetic Testing, told the newspaper Le Figaro that there was still no conclusive proof that

Reveals True Y Haplogroup of House of Bourbon Contradicting Recent Identification of the Presumed Remains of Two French Kings,’ European Journal of Human Genetics 22 (2014): 681-687. 67 Riaud, Delorme and Lorin de Lagrandmaison, ‘Discussion Surrounding,’ 212. 68 Kim Wilsher, ‘Mystery of Henri IV’s Missing Head Divides France,’ The Guardian online, February 16, 2013, (accessed September 10, 2015). 69 Ibid.

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the head had belonged to Good King Henri. ‘This information wouldn’t stand up in a court of law,’ he added.70

The history of the dead body begins on May 14, 1610, when the 57-year-old king was assassinated in Paris by François Ravaillac. His body remained interred in the Basilica of Saint Denis for many years until 1793 when tombs were opened as part of general revolutionary activity and the body was desecrated. Some stories maintain that the king’s body was beheaded and his head ended up in the hands of private collectors: in 1919 it was purchased for three francs by Joseph-Emile Bourdais, a photographer at Drouot’s who ‘kept the head in a glass case at his photography gallery and charged visitors to look at it.’71 He was not, however, able to convince museums of the head’s authenticity, and after his death, it was sold by his widow in 1955 for 5,000 francs to Jacques Bellanger, a tax collector.72 The journalist Stéphane Gabet found the head in his attic on January 21, 2010 and started a campaign to authenticate it. The multidisciplinary investigation, which gathered 19 researchers led by Philippe Charlier, involved anthropological, paleopathological, radiological, forensic, and genetic techniques. They subjected the head to computed tomography, endoscopic examination, radiocarbon dating, direct olfaction, DNA analysis, digital techniques of facial reconstitution used in forensic anthropology, and so forth.73 Several works were published on the topic.74 The results of the various tests led the researchers to describe it as being of: ‘a brownish colour, with the mouth wide open.’ They went on to note 70 Henry Samuel, ‘Face of France’s “Good King Henri IV” Reconstructed 400 Years After His Death,’ The Telegraph online, February 14, 2013, europe/france/9870454/Face-of-Frances-Good-King-Henri-IV-reconstructed-400-years-afterhis-death.html (accessed September 15, 2015). 71 Maas, ‘Henry IV of France.’ 72 Ibid. 73 Philippe Charlier, Isabelle Huynh-Charlier, Joël Poupon, Christine Keyser, Eloïse Lancelot, Dominique Favier et al., ‘Multidisciplinary Medical Identification of a French King’s Head (Henri IV),’ British Medical Journal 341 (December 14, 2010): c6805. 74 Philippe Charlier, ‘Medical Recollections: The Mummified Head of Henry IV: A Forensic Identification,’ La Revue du Practicien 60, no. 10 (December 20, 2010): 1474-1477; Charlier, HuynhCharlier, Poupon, Keyser, Lancelot, Favier et al., ‘Multidisciplinary Medical Identif ication;’ Philippe Charlier, Inigo Olalde, Neus Solé, Oscar Ramírez, Jean-Pierre Babelon, Bruno Galland, Francesc Calafell, Carles Lalueza-Fox, ‘Genetic Comparison of the Head of Henri IV and the Presumptive Blood from Louis XVI (Both Kings of France),’ Forensic Science International 226 (2013): 38-40; Philippe Charlier and Stephane Gabet, Henri IV, l’énigme du roi sans tête (Paris: Vuibert, 2013).

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that ‘almost all the soft tissue remained,’75 with some preserved brain tissue, bald, but with several hair threads in the moustache, very few teeth left, a cataract in the right eye, and a hole in the right ear lobe.76 The head was embalmed following the Italian method, which explained the preserved brain matter. The report also informs us that ‘The mummy’s mouth was stuffed with plant matter used at the time to absorb odours’77 and that three post-mortem inferior cuts on the cervical vertebrae might support the post-mortem removal of the head in 1793. Radiocarbon dating placed it between 1450 and 1640. At first no DNA was recovered, but a later study from 2013 managed to extract a sample and compare it with samples from a scarf said to contain the dried blood of King Louis XVI from his execution on January 21, 1793.78 A digital reconstruction of the head, assembled from 700 black and white photos of the skull by Philippe Froesch, a craniofacial expert from Barcelona University, was presented to the public in February of 2013.79 Based on more than 20 arguments, the researchers claimed that the evidence proved beyond any doubt that the head belonged to Henry IV. The facial details corresponded, in their opinion, to known visual representations, the DNA testing supported a link with Louis XVI, and the carbon dating placed the head in the correct chronological interval.80 However, not everyone was convinced by this identification. A new DNA study undertaken in 2013 by a team from the University of Leuven led by genetician Maarten Larmuseau, introduced an element of doubt. The study, undertaken in collaboration with French historian Philippe Delorme and published in the European Journal of Human Genetics claimed that the DNA recovered from the head does not match that of Henry IV’s other living descendants.81 In testing the Y chromosomes, they found no match between the DNA found in the head and that found in the three known living descendants of the 75 Kim Wilsher, ‘Mystery of Henri IV’s Missing Head.’ 76 Charlier, Huynh-Charlier, Poupon, Keyser, Lancelot, Favier et al., ‘Multidisciplinary Medical Identification.’ 77 Ibid. 78 Charlier, Olalde, Solé, Ramírez, Babelon, Galland, Calafell, Lalueza-Fox, ‘Genetic Comparison of the Head.’ 79 Charlier, Huynh-Charlier, Poupon, Keyser, Lancelot, Favier et al., ‘Multidisciplinary Medical Identification’; Charlier and Gabet, Henri IV; Samuel, ‘Face of France’s “Good King Henri IV.”’ 80 For their comments and critiques see Riaud, Delorme and Lorin de Lagrandmaison, ‘Discussion Surrounding,’ and Larmuseau, Delorme, Germain, Vanderheyden, Gilissen, Geystelen, Cassiman, Decorte, ‘Genetic genealogy.’ 81 Larmuseau, Delorme, Germain, Vanderheyden, Geystelen, Cassiman, Decorte, ‘Genetic Genealogy.’

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king. What is interesting is the role ascribed by these researchers to the process of genetic analysis: Genetic analysis strongly increases the opportunity to identify skeletal remains or other biological samples from historical figures. However, validation of this identification is essential and should be done by DNA typing of living relatives.82

The identification process and its results were covered intensely by major French and British newspapers, culminating in the broadcast of a documentary on the French public national television channel, France 5, on March 13, 2011. Although the original intention was to inter the head with a solemn ceremony in the Basilica Saint Denis, it ended up in a bank vault protected by King Henri’s descendant Louis de Bourbon, the Duke of Anjou and a banker, until its fate is decided.

Richard III and the Affective Agency of Remains Perhaps the most well-known of our case studies centres around the remains of King Richard III. An article, posted on the University of Sheffield blog, announced: ‘(Dead) Kings and Queens History: Richard III and the Car Park Saga,’83 and the subsequent media coverage involved televised scientific reports, national funerals, and interjections from the Richard III Society. The case was remarkable for several reasons: firstly, it was a project started because an association wanted to dig their hero, especially due to the efforts of one of the members of the Richard III, Society Philippa Langley. Secondly, this case involved different types of evidence – notably traditional osteoarchaeology versus DNA analysis – competing against one another as the most definite ‘proof’ of identity. Finally, the case is interesting to our study because of the role played by the media and the involvement of the scientists in that coverage. The results of the investigation were broadcast on live television and followed by a Channel 4 documentary.

82 Ibid., 681. 83 Catherine Fletcher, ‘(Dead) Kings and Queens History: Richard III and the Car Park Saga History Matters,’ blog of University of Sheffield, February 4, 2013, http://www.historymatters. (accessed March 29, 2016).

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If one followed the media, it looked like from the outset the project was designed as a forensics endeavour directed by external agendas. ‘Leicester University scientists expected to confirm remains are Richard III’s’84 read one headline, while another article from 2013 announced that ‘Miss Langley initially funded the excavation of what is now a Leicester City Council car park because she was ‘99 per cent certain’ that the remains were those of Richard.’85 Richard III (1483-1485) died during the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485, and it is thought that his successor, Henry VII, took his naked body and interred it in the Grey Friars church. When the church was later dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1538, the buildings were demolished. In 2012, a team of archaeologists and other specialists from the University of Leicester set out to locate the remains of the Grey Friars church, now buried beneath Leicester’s city centre. In February of 2013 it was announced that the skeleton of Richard III had indeed been identified. The excavations revealed what researchers called ‘a grave in a high status position beneath the choir’ and based on the lesions and the depositional history of the body they were able to identify him as Richard III.86 The choice of a new final resting place was decided through decision of Ministry of Justice, as it was a subject of some debate: should he be interred in Westminster Abbey as befits a former monarch? Or, given that he was a Plantagenet monarch, should his remains be buried at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, or in the York Minster? It was finally decided that he would be buried in Leicester Cathedral,87 but the debate had stirred strong emotions, both for and against Richard III. Thousands of people gathered in 84 Mario Ledwith and Alex Ward, ‘‟I Absolutely Knew I Was Walking on His Grave’”: Woman Feels a Chill in Car Park Where Human Remains Found Thought to be Richard III,’ The Daily Mail online, February 3, 2013, (accessed September 10, 2015). 85 Ibid. 86 Richard Buckley, Mathew Morrisa, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan and Lin Foxhall, ‘‟The King in the Car Park”: New Light on the Death and Burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars Church, Leicester, in 1485,’ Antiquity 87 (2013): 519-538; Jo Appleby, Piers Mitchell, Claire Robinson, Bruno Morgan, Guy Rutty, Russel Harris, David Thomson, ‘The Scoliosis of Richard III, Last Plantagenet King of England: Diagnosis and Clinical Significance, Lancet 383 (2014): 1944. 87 Daily Mail Reporter, ‘King Richard III to Get Cathedral Burial … After his Skeleton Was Found under the Car Park 500 Years after his Death,’ The Daily Mail online, October 28, 2012, http:// (accessed September 10, 2015); ‘A King’s Final Resting Place: Where Will Richard III Eventually Lie?,’ The Telegraph online, March 13, 2014. http://www.telegraph.

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Leicester for the reinterment of the bones,88 and thousands more watched the proceedings on television. The public funeral was staged as an impressive performance: both Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the actor Benedict Cumberbatch spoke at the ceremony.89 There was a special procession on March 22, 2015 around historical landmarks in Leicester. The historian Mathew Lyons was sceptical of the process: What does it mean, though? Two patrician voices, pure and incantatory in their privilege, orating over the boxed skeleton of a man who reigned for a mere two years and whose claim to the throne was, to put it mildly, dubious?90

There were, from the outset, two different research agendas. Philippa Langley wished to confirm that the remains belonged to Richard III, while the archaeologists from the University of Leicester claimed that they were looking to: ‘find evidence of the buildings, to understand their location in relation to each other in the overall plan, and to discover any traces of the activities carried out on the site of one of Leicester’s medieval urban friaries.’91 For the archaeologists, the grave of Richard III was just one of many discoveries found in Trench 1 in the south-western sector of the choir, which also included a grave with a longer body, with no feet, no shroud and no coffin. The C14 dating placed the remains in the interval ‘AD 1456-1530 (at 95.4% probability).’ The osteoarchaeological analysis identified the remains as a male gracile in his ‘late 20s to late 30s;’ the age estimate was later narrowed to 30-34 years. The body bore signs of ‘severe idiopathic adolescent-onset scoliosis;’ it was above-average in height and displayed eleven peri-mortem wounds examined by conventional CT and micro-CT scanning, ‘eight on the skull and two on the post-cranial skeleton,’ suggesting a fatal sword blow, (accessed March 29, 2016). 88 Maev Kennedy, ‘King Richard III’s Reinterment Carries Pomp and Grandeur of State Funeral,’ The Guardian online, March 26, 2015, king-richard-iii-re-interment-carries-pomp-grandeur-state-funeral (accessed September 10, 2015). 89 Mathew Lyons, ‘Richard III: Is It Something about the Bones Themselves?,’ Emotional Objects: Touching Emotions in History blog, March 26, 2015, https://emotionalobjects.wordpress. com/2015/03/26/richard-iii-is-it-something-about-the-bones-themselves/ (accessed September 18, 2015). 90 Ibid. 91 Buckley, Morrisa, Appleby, King, O’Sullivan and Foxhall, ‘The King in the Car Park.’

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a possible dagger wound, and several ‘humiliating post-mortem wounds.’92 The results of a mitochondrial DNA analysis were interpreted as showing a match between the remains and the two living descendants of his sister, Anne of York, although the ‘Y-chromosome haplotypes from male-line relatives and the remains [did] not match,’ with the DNA-based prediction of hair and eye colour.93 Based on CT scans of the skull, artists at the University of Dundee reconstructed Richard’s head, after which the head was ‘painted and textured with glass eyes and a wig’ so that he resembled the known portraits of Richard III.94 The analysis was compared with a forensic investigation, similar to a missing person case, the only difference being that this was the ‘oldest DNA identification case of a known individual to date.’95 The results were presented as unshakable evidence: ‘Further genetic research will not change these conclusions.’96 However, as with the case of Henry IV’s head, the remains of Richard III stirred disputes, including a battle between Leicester and York over his final resting place,97 a liturgical controversy between Anglicans and Catholics regarding how the reburial ceremony should be held, and an intense scientific debate regarding the identification of the deceased. For example, Dominic Selwood pointed out that the DNA analysis does not necessarily prove his identity, the dating interval is wide enough to invite

92 Jo Appleby, Guy N. Rutty, Sarah V. Hainsworth, Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Bruno Morgan, Alison Brough, Richard W. Earp, Claire Robinson, Turi E. King, Mathew Morris, Richard Buckley, ‘Perimortem Trauma in King Richard III: A Skeletal Analysis,’ Lancet vol. 385, no. 9964 (2014): 253-259; Buckley, Morrisa, Appleby, King, O’Sullivan and Foxhall, ‘The King in the Car Park.’ 93 Turi E. King, Gloria Gonzalez Fortes, Patricia Balaresque, Mark G. Thomas, David Balding, Pierpaolo Maisano Delser, Rita Neumann, Walther Parson, Michael Knapp, Susan Walsh, Laure Tonasso, John Holt, Manfred Kayser, Jo Appleby, Peter Forster, David Ekserdjian, Michael Hofreiter, Kevin Schürer, ‘Identification of the Remains of King Richard III,’ Nature Communications 5 (2014): 5631-5639. 94 Susannah Cullinane, ‘Richard III: Is This the Face that Launched 1000 Myths?,’, February 6, 2013, (accessed March 29, 2016). 95 King, Fortes, Balaresque, Thomas, Balding, Delser, Neumann, Parson, Knapp, Walsh, Tonasso, Holt, Kayser,Appleby, Forster, Ekserdjian, Hofreiter, Schürer, ‘Identif ication of the Remains.’ 96 Buckley, Morrisa, Appleby, King, O’Sullivan and Foxhall, ‘The King in the Car Park,’ 536. 97 James Meikle, ‘Richard III Remains: York v Leicester Legal Battle to be Laid to Rest,’ The Guardian online, November 26, 2013, richard-iii-remains-york-leicester-legal-battle-laid-rest (accessed October 3, 2015).

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doubt, and the skeleton displayed no healed wounds indicative of his past wars.98

Bones of Contention At this point it is worth returning to the question posed by William Duncan and Christopher Stojanowki: why do some bodies matter?99 The case studies discussed above would suggest that medieval kings’ bodies still retain their aura of mystery and symbolic power, and certain aspects make them desirable objects of study for archaeologists and osteoarchaeologists in the present day. What distinguishes the analysis of these remains is their immediate relevance: most of these projects took place in the last five years, and have enjoyed a high visibility. The analysis of these contentious bodies exists at the intersection of the sciences (DNA studies, isotopes) and the humanities (cultural interpretations of religion, political and ethnic identities), and the bodies thus offer an excellent starting point for theoretical reflections on the power of corporeality suggested by the archaeological narratives. The present study has demonstrated some of the different analytical procedures and narrative accounts by which archaeology and osteology have constructed the historicity of royal remains. Our understanding of these bodies and their agentive aspects depends to a great extent on the ways in which archaeologists are able to integrate various types of data.100 How, for example, can they tie the genetic data used to establish identity with extant cultural identities? What assumptions and theoretical tools are they borrowing in the process? In re-evaluating the link between the different types of data employed in understanding these bodies, we may arrive at a better understanding of how human remains can play a role in addressing questions of identity, both past and present. 98 Dominic Selwood, ‘Richard III: We’re Burying the Wrong Body,’ The Telegraph online, March 21, 2015, (accessed September 10, 2015). 99 William Duncan, Christopher M. Stojanowski, ‘Why Some Bodies Matter: Defacement and Narrative in Historical Forensics Cases,’ in Bioarchaeological and Forensic Perspectives on Violence: How Violent Death Is Interpreted from Skeletal Remains, eds. Debra L. Martin, Cheryl Anderson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 148-168. 100 See Zoe Crossland, ‘Epilogue,’ in Necropolitics: Mass Graves and Exhumations in the Age of Human Rights, eds. Francisco Ferrandiz and Antonius C.G.M. Robben (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), 239-252.

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The remains served not only to make visible a contentious past, but also to create the illusion that one might understand the past in a more objective manner by reading correctly the signs inscribed in the body; they were used to construct a narrative about the beginnings of Wallachia in the GENESIS project, or to confirm genealogical relations, in the case of the bodies from Radauti, or martyrdom in the case of Constantin Brâncoveanu. The remains have even been used to rehabilitate the reputation of an individual, and to reconstruct his true physical essence; as Philippa Langley said, regarding the facial reconstruction of Richard III: ‘If I’ve got to portray him on the big screen, I want to show the real him.’101 Furthermore, the projects gave rise to a series of debates regarding the use of remains as a means of legitimising scientific arguments. The bodies of the kings became a competition ground between two different types of knowledge, namely scientific (especially DNA testing) and historical. The researchers involved in these projects often chose to present their data as objective, positive and indubitable, as in the cases of Henry IV, Richard III and the bodies from Radauti. In this quest for unshakable truth, findings at the molecular level were often favoured over traditional archaeological or historical evidence. The archaeologists themselves chose DNA as the definitive measure of their analysis, even if the DNA evidence was not, in practical terms, as objective as they presented it to be;102 a number of analyses, the cases of Vladislav Vlaicu and Henry IV for instance, suffered from the lack of a relevant comparison sample. The scientists nonetheless chose to present genetic data as the most important – and most objective – form of evidence. Thus, such case studies brought forth a specific understanding of the terms in which ‘relevance’ should be framed when presenting and settling among types of data. In part, this problem is due to the interdisciplinary approaches, namely borrowing in the discourse of the two disciplines, of archaeology and osteoarchaeology, of content and concepts from a wide range of other subjects, as it is in these cases from natural sciences, especially genetic data. What is the question they tried to answer? Why? In 101 Bryony Jones, ‘Richard III: The Mystery of the King and the Car Parking Lot,’, February 4, 2013, (accessed October 1, 2015). 102 For a review of the problems of identifying links between past and present individuals see for example Frederika A. Kaestle and K. Ann Horsburgh, ‘Ancient DNA in Anthropology: Methods, Applications and Ethics,’ Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 45 (2002): 92-130; M.N. Mirza and D.B. Dungworth, ‘The Potential Misuse of Genetic Analyses and the Social Construction of “Race” and “Ethnicity,”’ Oxford Journal of Archaeology 14, no. 3 (November 1995): 345-354.

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other words, the definition of human identity was mostly framed in some parameters of genetic determinism. It is a body-sample. In addition, such a narrative then contributed to building a discourse on the foundations of the nation, identity, ethnicity, or possession of a territory in a language which excludes any human agency, any attempt at understanding the specific way of being in the world (as Heidegger would say) of those individuals. In reality, what can be said about these projects is just that ‘it all has to do with putting a face on the past.’103 Striking is the absence of strong historical investigations in the postmortem biography of these bones and an inquiry into ‘bones as historical documents’ that could have shed some light on their provenance and authenticity.104 Paradoxically or not, legends, personal belief and inspiration along with tradition played a greater role in these cases, very similar to the mentalities of the societies in which these monarchs and princes would have lived in. At the same time, the five analysed case studies are good examples for the contemporary reality in which archaeological questions and methods are used for different agendas, from the Romanian Orthodox Church, to Western royal families, and non-specialists. In these contexts, human remains become the means towards reaching various contemporary goals, being implicated in politically engaged contexts as dynamic as if they were still alive. Therefore, the research further contributes to wider debates on the construction of identity, ethnicity and nationhood through the study of human remains, along reflexive considerations into archaeological methods. The complex acts of exhuming and reburying princely bodies, who stand for venerated ancestors, also turned them into pieces of national heritage.105 The remains from Curtea de Argeș were used for testing the ethnic origin of the first rulers of Wallachia, and were subsequently included in wider debates intended to establish or dismiss nationalistic narratives of continuity in Romanian society as defined in ethnic and religious terms. The remains of Constantin Brâncoveanu were unearthed so that they could be venerated as relics of an Orthodox martyr saint. Even the alleged discovery of Richard III reignited debates regarding his character, whether he was 103 Jonathan Jones, ‘Dead Wrong: The Battle over Richard III’s Bones Makes Peasants of Us All,’ The Guardian online, November 26, 2013, jonathanjonesblog/2013/nov/26/richard-iii-bones-relics-battle-history (accessed October 3, 2015). 104 I am grateful to Dr Marian Coman for pointing this observation, and a more in depth analysis of the implication of this argument is needed. 105 See Verdery, Political Lives, 41.

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truly the villain depicted by Shakespeare, or something closer to a victim.106 Not only that in these cases archaeologists and osteoarchaeologists shaped their agendas with such questions in mind, questions born in the wider national intellectual environment, but such concerns are integral part to the history of the disciplines themselves. As Sian Jones has pointed out, the process of trying to interpret objects or remains in terms of ethnic and religious groups has long been a key element of archaeological thought.107 The five cases discussed in this study all involved multidisciplinary teams, composed of archaeologists, historians, geneticians and other specialists, brought together to exhume, identify and study remains of an allegedly royal nature. Why enlist these academics in the first place?108 One explanation resides in the affective power that these royal/princely individuals still hold, a power which determined scientists to pick them as case studies. Through their materiality which makes the past visible in the present, such remains are perfect loci for activating, re-writing or settling historical, nationalistic or religious claims and narratives. Issues pertaining to national identity, the possibility of tracing genealogical relationships between past peoples and present nations,109 or enforcing religious collective identity were all present in these projects. At the same time, the acts of opening graves, unearthing remains, or rescuing artefacts from dusty attics play directly to a key aspect of archaeological imagination. From a different point of view, with the exception of the remains from Radauti, all of the cases benefitted from intense media attention. Scientific information was often first announced via mainstream media channels and, in the case of Richard III, scientists were even forbidden from discussing any results in advance of the press conference on 106 For example Naresh Persaud, ‘King Richard III: Villain, Hero, or Tragic Victim of Identity Theft?,’ Forbes online, February 15, 2013, (accessed October 3, 2015); Melissa Hogenboom, ‘Richard III: The People who Want Everyone to Like the Infamous King,’, September 15, 2012, (accessed September 10, 2015); David Priestland, ‘Leicester Deserves Better Than the Bones of Richard III,’ The Guardian online, March 23, 2015, (accessed October 1, 2015). 107 Sian Jones, The Archaeology of Ethnicity: Constructing Identities in the Past and Present (London; New York: Routledge, 2002), 1. 108 See also Ari Friedlander, ‘Boning Richard III,’ Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, August 12, 2013, (accessed September 1, 2015). 109 See Jones, The Archaeology of Ethnicity, 1; also Linda Hogle, Recovering the Nation’s Body: Cultural Memory, Medicine, and the Politics of Redemption (New Brunswick, N.J.; London: Rutgers University Press, 1999); Verdery, Political Lives.

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February 13, 2013;110 the scientific study by Buckley et al., published in the Antiquity journal, would not appear until June of that same year. This brings up another interesting issue, namely scientific performances were staged in such manner that they were even compared with theatre moments, bringing high notoriety profile for those involved in televised conferences, documentaries with drama and suspense, each scientist acting as a key figure towards the climax of the play in which the true identity of the person in question is revealed; in the words of Alice Dailey: With members of the academic community cast in explicitly scripted roles – Lead Archaeologist, Geneticist, Project Osteologist – the team’s anatomy drama was crafted with meticulous attention to pacing and emotional effect, from its opening promise that ‘What we are about to tell you is truly astonishing’ to its final ‘Ladies and gentlemen.’111

However, in the words of Isaias Rojas-Perez, the bones also bear witness to an ‘unf inished past.’112 In each instance, the case studies have gone beyond the bounds of a simple scientific analysis, and have involved social groups for whom the remains still have a powerful agency. We may observe a fundamental difference between the Romanian cases – in which the main actors were the church, the Romanian people as ‘descendants’ and scientists – and the Western cases in which genealogical descendants and members of associations, became important factors in the disputes.113 This difference may be attributed in part to different historical circumstances – especially to the different values ascribed to genealogy, and to the role played by these figures when they were alive114 – but more importantly it also serves to highlight the different ontological value ascribed to these remains: in the Romanian cases they are viewed as fragments of national heritage, relics to be venerated for their political and religious symbolic 110 Mark Jefferies, ‘Head of State: Experts Ready to Unveil Battle-scarred Skull as Richard III’s,’ Mirror online, February 3, 2013, (accessed October 1, 2015). 111 Alice Dailey, ‘The Art of Recovering Richard III,’ Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, August 12, 2013, (accessed March 29, 2016). 112 Isaias Rojas-Perez, ‘Inhabiting Unfinished Pasts: Law, Transitional Justice, and Mourning in Postwar Peru,’ Humanity 4, no. 1 (2013): 149–170. 113 I am grateful to Marian Coman for suggesting making this distinction explicit. 114 In Romanian medieval principalities there were never kings, and the rulers were elected from descendants of a ruling family.

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power; in the cases of Richard III and Henri IV, the remains are not merely cultural and political figures but also ancestors. It was my goal to challenge the role that past bodies play in discussions of the Middle Ages. Until now, such bodies have only been studied through traditional (osteo)archaeological methods and turned into objects for generating scientific knowledge. It was the purpose of this study to move beyond the surface of these narratives, to delve into their arguments and bring to light the dynamic afterlives of medieval kings’ bodies.

List of Figures

Álvaro Carvajal Castro: Assembly Politics and Conflicting Discourses in Early Medieval León (10th-11th c.) The North-West of the Iberian Peninsula in the tenth century Map 1  Map by the author using geographical data by the © Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España and QGIS software (QGIS Development Team, 2016. QGIS Geographic Information System. Open Source Geospatial Foundation Project. Paweł Figurski: The Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia and the Sacralisation of Political Power in the High Middle Ages Figure 1 A Fragment of the Exultet of Bolesław II of Mazovia  © Princes Czartoryski Museum, Graphic Art Room, Cracow, Rr. 4922 (olim: KrM MNK/XV/rys/2271) Karolina Mroziewicz: The King’s Immature Body Figure 1 Unknown master, Sigismund Augustus  In Jodocus Ludovicus Decius, Contenta: De vetvstatibvs Polonorvm liber I; De Iagellonvm familia liber II; De Sigismvndi regis (Impressum Craccouiae: opera atq[ue] industria Hieronymi Vietoris, XII 1521)  The National Library of Poland, SD XVI.F.611 adl., fol. E6r. The National Digital Library Polona – public domain Emilia Olechnowicz: The Queen’s Two Faces Figure 1 Unknown English artist, The Clopton Portrait, circa 1560  © The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 4449 Figure 2 Nicolas Hilliard, Queen Elizabeth I, 1572  © National Portrait Galley, NPG 108 Figure 3 Unknown English artist, Elizabeth I (after The Armada Portrait), circa 1588  © The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 541 Figure 4 Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, The Ditchley Portrait, circa 1592  © The National Portrait Gallery, NPG 2561 Figure 5 Frontispiece of John Case’s Sphaera Civitatis (Oxoniæ: excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, 1588)


Premodern Rulership and Contempor ary Political Power

 The Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 4761. Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Piotr Słodkowski: Dual Approaches to Communist Engagement Figure 1 Marek Włodarski, Glorification of the W-Z Road, c. 1949  © National Museum in Warsaw Figure 2 Marek Włodarski, Construction of a Radio Station, c. 1949  © National Museum in Warsaw

General Bibliography

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