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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 699: Special Lecture: Magnificence, I (Language: English)

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 13.15-14.00

Sponsor:Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge
Organiser:Caroline Palmer, Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge
Moderator/Chair:Caroline Palmer, Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge
Speaker:Richard Barber, Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge / Department of History, University of York

Princely magnificence, the physical manifestation of power and wealth, was an essential element of the mystique of the ruler in the Middle Ages. This paper looks at the medieval concept of magnificence, reinterpreted from Aristotle in the 13th century. It then offers a survey of the varied means which the princes of western Christendom employed to impress both their subjects and their enemies with their personal charisma. Magnificence was present in most aspects of princely life, from their clothes and jewels, their palaces and castles, and the courtiers who surrounded them, to the great feasts and festivals which they held.