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Enter the KingTheatre, Liturgy, and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph$
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Gordon Kipling

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117612.001.0001

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The Civic Triumph as Royal Epiphany

The Civic Triumph as Royal Epiphany

(p.115) 3 The Civic Triumph as Royal Epiphany
Enter the King

Gordon Kipling

Oxford University Press

On the Continent, material gifts were not, as a rule, presented as an episode in the triumph procession itself, but they nevertheless formed an essential part of the larger celebrations of the monarch's ‘joyous advent’ into each city. Because civic triumphs usually marked the sovereign's first coming to his people, the adventus ceremony necessarily symbolized the formal inauguration of the relationship between sovereign and people. The citizens' presentation of a gift to their sovereign necessarily assumes a particularly solemn ritual significance on such an occasion. This first offering of a gift constitutes a primal act of homage — an epiphany — like that of the Magi. Just as the Magi bestowed gifts on the Christ-child to symbolize their faith in, and their willing submission to, the christus of God, so the gifts of citizens on the occasion of their sovereign's adventus symbolizes both their fealty and their willing submission to ‘the Prince of God among us’.

Keywords:   gifts, civic triumphs, adventus, sovereign, people, epiphany, Magi, christus, God, homage

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