Based on narrative, iconographical, and liturgical sources, this is the first systematic study to trace the story of the ritual of royal self-coronations from Ancient Persia to the present. Exposing as myth the idea that Napoleon's act of self-coronation in 1804 was the first extraordinary event to break the secular tradition of kings being crowned by bishops, Jaume Aurell vividly demonstrates that self-coronations were not as transgressive or unconventional as has been imagined. Drawing on numerous examples of royal self-coronations, with a particular focus on European Kings of the Middle Ages, including Frederic II of Germany (1229), Alphonse XI of Castile (1328), Peter IV of Aragon (1332) and Charles III of Navarra (1390), Aurell draws on history, anthropology, ritual studies, liturgy and art history to explore royal self-coronations as privileged sites at which the frontiers and limits between the temporal and spiritual, politics and religion, tradition and innovation are encountered.
Gabrielle M. Spiegel - Johns Hopkins University
Björn Weiler - Aberystwyth University
Teofilo F. Ruiz - UCLA