During the 5th and 6th centuries, lay people from diverse cultural backgrounds assembled and established associations as the platform for their periodical collaborations such as the erection of stone stelae for religious purposes. By studying both verbal and visual sources, this paper explores the ideological approach that united them. It aspires to unveil that their unification attributed to the creation of a communal identity related to their associations through the embodiment of a pair of twin sages. Such an exploration should contribute to an interdisciplinary discussion of removing or designing borders of identity through religious practices.
The Migration Period in Central Europe lasted from 375 AD to the end of the 9th century, and it changed the established ethnolinguistic image of the continent for good. Towards the end of this period the newly created kingdoms were trying to consolidate their borders. This process was accompanied by permanent conflict among neighbouring states attempting to gain as much territory as possible. A particularly illustrative example is the south-eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire, facing the Kingdom of Hungary. After the initial territorial losses in the early 10th century, the imperial regional powers slowly expanded the border eastward until its final consolidation in the Late Middle Ages.
Based upon archival research, this paper argues Cheshire’s Sword of Dignity was a more powerful and enduring border force than previously recognized. From 1077, the earl’s sword marked the borders of a distinct and separate polity, dividing the Palatinate from England and Wales, setting Cheshire’s inhabitants apart. From its vantage-point, ensconced in Chester’s castle, so powerful were borders the sword created that possession supported distinct and separate laws and taxes and invoked Cheshire’s own parliamentary authority in negotiations with the Crown and English Parliament. The sword’s influence remained until it was finally removed to London by forces of Parliament in 1647. And, although a sword was returned to Chester during the Interregnum, I conclude that it was not the Sword of Dignity.