The civic triumph, or royal entry, was one of the great `spectacles of state' that stood at the heart of national and civic life in the Middle Ages. It originated in the late fourteenth century as a vast theatrical ritual that transformed the city into a stage and involved king and people alike as actors in a cosmic drama. It endured until a more neoclassical form replaced it in the late sixteenth century. Enter The King examines the medieval civic triumph
not primarily as a programme of political emblems, but rather as a theatrical ritual designed to inaugurate the sovereign into his reign. As the king entered the city gates, he became the chief actor in an elaborate court spectacle defined by the citizens' pageantry and witnessed by his subjects. This
inaugural purpose, indeed, gave the medieval civic triumph its distinctive form and purpose.
Enter the King examines, for the first time, the ritual purposes and dramatic form of these spectacles. It explores the ways in which these ritualistic shows often draw their central ideas and inspiration from the medieval church's complex Advent liturgy to celebrate and acclaim the king's First Coming and to dramatize the meaning of the king's entry in terms of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The roles which royal and civic actors performed on these occasions served to define the
political, social, and religious ideals that bound them together into a community. Enter the King studies the medieval civic triumph as an international form of drama and as one of the defining rituals of late medieval society in England, France, and the Low Countries.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 410
Weight: 638 g
Dimensions: 225 x 146 x 26 mm
rich and nuanced study * John Charles Arnold, Religious Studies Review *
Gordon Kipling offers a rich and thoughtful contribution to cross-disciplinary studies in this work on late medieval civic rituals. Perhaps its true greatness lies in its insistence upon the intelligence and complexity of these rituals, the men who created them, and the messages deliberately but often subtly communicated to their noble and royal subjects ... his focus on the artistic and especially the liturgical components of the entry rituals is a welcome one ...
provides readers with sufficient background to make sense of the liturgy chosen and imagery presented ... Characterized by deep learning and serious analysis, Enter the King enriches our knowledge of the history, literature, and theology of urban rituals in the closing decades of the Middle Ages. * Lorraine Attreed, The Medieval Review *