Jamb-Statues: Harmony between Kingship and Priesthood

Topics: Christianity, Old Testament, Louis XIV of France Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: April 21, 2007
The identity of the jambs have been a topic of debate for scholars for a long time. Bernard de Montfaucon identified the statues of Saint-Denis as the Merovingian kings and queens. This theory was rejected though by Abbe Lebeuf in 1751. Instead of Montfaucon's theory, Abbe suggested that these statues portray figures from the old testament. This idea stood until Ernst Kitzinger proposed that these statues are the antecedents of both the kings of France and Christ. Although there is no proof backing this opinion, it seems to be the most poignant. Jamb statues on the right hand portal are believed to be patriarchs and early leaders of the Jewish people. Jamb statues on the left and central portals are representational of royal figures. The church of Saint Denis was chosen as a burial for Merovingian, Carolingian and Capetian dynasties. This church had history with royalty, and this could be the reason why royalty is honored in the jamb statues

During the coronation ceremonies, the ordo, directions for the content of office, would call for God to bestow the virtues of old testament leaders upon the newly appointed kings. These kings would further be compared to figures of the old testament, such as Depin the Short was called a new Moses and a Shining David. These kings would follow in the footsteps and lead their country in the religious and virtuous ways of the leaders before them. These paradigmatic prayers would provide the kings inspiration.

The iconography of kingship is relevant because the church saw that the ideology of the kings was related to those figures before them from the old testament. These figures promoted a high prestige of living. The kings values were good and pious, much like those preached of in the old testament.

Bishop Ivo of the Chartres, took and intermediate position between the radical opponents of the investiture question. He upheld the right of the kings to bestow temporal, but not spiritual, power on newly...
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