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Symbols in context: rulers’ inauguration rituals in Byzantium and the west in the early middle ages1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2016

Janet L. Nelson*
University of London, King's College


Hobsbawm recently reminded young historians prone to methodologising that they would be well advised always to begin with a problem. He meant to imply—and very properly—that experimentation with methods becomes vapid and useless unless it is seen clearly for what it is: a means to an end. I propose to experiment with a method, so I want first to emphasise that I do have a problem. It is this: why, within a common framework of Christian theology, belief and practice, did the rituals for the inauguration of rulers, in early Byzantium on the one hand, and in the early medieval western kingdoms on the other, diverge as they did? What has this divergence to tell us about the differences not just between types of political power but between the two societies? These questions relate, of course, to a mere subsection of the whole vast subject of ‘liturgies eastern and western’ which Brightman long ago promised to survey. Unfortunately, even his work was left only half-complete: the further task of systematic comparative analysis seems hardly to have been begun. But that would surely be a lifetime’s work. In this paper, I confine myself to a small though significant area of the field, a single type of ritual; and I cover a limited time-span, the period down to about 1000 AD.

Research Article
Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1976

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I am grateful for their help to my friends and colleagues Averil and Alan Cameron, who kindly let me see work in advance of publication, Johnny Parry, who advised me on the anthropological literature, and John Gillingham, who discussed with me some of the ideas in this paper.


2 In a contribution to the discussion at the conference of the Past and Present Society at University College, London, 2 July 1975.

3 Brightman, F. E., Liturgies [Eastern and Western] (Oxford 1896), a revised version of the work of Hammond, C. E. (1878)Google Scholar. Only volume 1 ever appeared.

4 Compare Leach, E. R., ‘Ritualization in man in relation to conceptual and social development.’, in P[hilosophical] T[ransactions of the] R[oyal] S[ociety of] L[ondon Series B. Biological Sciences], no 772, vol 251 (London 1966) pp 403 seq Google Scholar. Distinguishing the ‘philo-genetic question “how come?” from the functional question “what for?”, ‘ Leach comments (p 404): ‘The enormous complexity of the ritual sequences which anthropologists have to study makes any guesses of the “How come” type more or less absurd.’ To a historian, the anthropologist’s self-limitation appears a result, less of the complexity of his material, than of its usual lack of diachronic depth. Philogenetic questions are the historian’s stock-in-trade: for him, the complexity of ritual sequences must invite rather than preclude historical investigation.

5 For the characteristics of pre-mortem succession, see Goody, J., [Succession to High Office] (Cambridge 1966) pp 8 seq Google Scholar.

6 Between 450 and 1000, there were, on my calculations, thirty-six inaugurations of co-emperors, as against twenty-seven of ‘new’ emperors.

7 The dynastic element of pre-mortem succession was observed by the sixth-century chronicler Malalas, Chronographia, ed Dindorf, L. (Bonn 1831) p 439 Google Scholar: ##‘то τέκνα αύτών έκιταιΒόθΕνΕστεφον.’ For the role of the senior emperor, see the B[ook of] C[eremonies] of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, ed Reiske, J. (Bonn 1829) 1, 94, p 431 Google Scholar. Ont his indispensable source, see Bury, J. B., ‘The Book of Ceremonies’, in EHR, 22 (1907) pp 209 seq, 418 seq CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The role of crowner was sometimes delegated to the patriarch: Sickel, [W.], [‘Das byzantinische Krönungsrecht bis zum 10 Jht.’], in BZ, 7 (1898) pp 511 seq, at 520Google Scholar, and Treitinger, O. in BZ, 39 (1939) p 200 Google Scholar, stressing that in any event the senior emperor always remained ‘der auctor der Krönung.’ See also Classen, P., ‘Karl der Grosse, das Papsttum und Byzanz’, in Karl der Grosse, 1, ed Beumann, H. (Düsseldorf 1965) pp 580, 595Google Scholar. Christophilopoulou, [Ai.], ##[Έκλογή, άναγάρευσι? каі στέψυ τοΰ ßujavnrivou аитократороѕ] (Athens 1956) pp 80 seq Google Scholar, is needlessly over-schematic in insisting that the senior emperor always personally performed the coronation of a colleague. The events of 641 show public opinion preferring this, but equally show the possibility of delegation to the patriarch: Nicephorus, , Historia, ed de Boor, C. (Leipzig 1880) p 30 Google Scholar. For a good instance of delegation, with the senior emperor the subject of the action, see Theophanes, , Chronographia, ed de Boor, C. (Leipzig 1883) p 426 Google Scholar (for the year 748): ##“ΕστεψΕ Κωνσταντΐνοΐ 6 δυσσεβής βασιλεύ; τόν Éau-roO ulòv Λέοντα Ets βασιλέα 61” Άναστασΐου топ .... ττατριάρχου.’ For some further evidence, see now the important and wide-ranging article of Walter, [C.], [‘Raising on a shield in Byzantine iconography’], in REB 33 (1975) pp 133 seq, especially pp 134-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Professor D. M. Nicol very kindly drew my attention to this article.

8 This seems true of the seventh century and later. Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, V, 30, on the accession of Tiberius II (578) seems to imply that an acclamation in the Hippodrome was ‘customary’ then, as it certainly was in the case of a ‘new’ emperor. Averil Cameron, in a forthcoming article, shows that Gregory depended on good Byzantine sources. If he can be trusted here, despite his mistaken reference to Tiberius as Caesar instead of Augustus (this Byzantine distinction may no longer have been appreciated in the west), the two forms of inauguration were not yet as clearly differentiated as they soon became. Since a senior emperor was often forced to appoint a colleague under external pressure, the difference between the political implications of the two forms should not be exaggerated.

9 For these and other public occasions in this setting, Guilland, R., ‘Études sur l’Hippodrome [de Byzance]’, in BS, 28 (1967) pp 262 seq Google Scholar.

10 Full references to the data on which this and subsequent generalizations are based can be found in Christophilopoulou—a very rich collection of material.

11 Christophilopoulou pp 58 seq.

12 Christophilopoulou’s exaggeration of the discreteness of the two phases is most misleading in regard to the early period. Still more misleading is her interpretation of the first phase as secular and constitutive, the second as religious and ancillary. For some criticisms, see below, p 105. The identification of two ritual blocs is useful for analytic purposes, but remains an artificial construct: the variability of practice, especially in the early period, needs to be remembered even when, as in the present paper, a high degree of generality is aimed at.

13 So, Cameron, Alan, ‘Bread and circuses: the Roman emperor and his people’, an inaugural lecture in the chair of Latin language and literature, delivered at King’s College, London, 21 May 1973, p 10 Google Scholar. Compare also Alföldi, A., ‘Die Ausgestaltung des monarchischen Zeremoniells am römischen Kaiserhofe’, in Mitteilungen des deutschen archäologischen Instituts, Röm, Abt 49 (Munich 1934)Google Scholar, and ‘Insignien und Tracht der römischen Kaiser’, ibid 50 (1935), both now reprinted as Die monarchische Repräsentation im römischen Kaiserreiche (Darmstadt 1970) especially pp 25 seq, 45 and 127 seq.

14 Baynes, N. H., ‘Eusebius and the Christian Empire’, in Annuaire de l’Institut de Philologie et d’Histoire orientales, 2 (Brussels 1934) pp 13 seq Google Scholar, reprinted in Baynes, , [Byzantine Studies and Other Essays] (London 1955) pp 168 seq Google Scholar; Dvornik, [F,], [Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy], 2 vols, (Washington, D.C. 1966) 2, pp 706 seq. Google Scholar On the replacement of civilitas by an autocratic ideal by the close of the fifth century, see cap 8 of Alan Cameron, Circus Factions (forthcoming.)

15 It is no coincidence that the first of the series of protocols in BC, that covering Leo I’s inauguration, dates from this period. See Brightman, , ‘[Byzantine imperial] coronations’, in JTS, 2 (1901) pp 359 seq CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Ostrogorsky, G. and Stein, E., ‘Die Krönungsurkunden des Zeremonienbuches’, in B 7 (1932) pp 185 seq Google Scholar, and the important review of this by Dölger, F. in BZ, 36 (1936) pp 145 seq. Google Scholar BC here draws on materials collected in the mid-sixth century by Peter the Patrician. See below, n 18.

16 This is evident already with Leo I: BC I, 91, p 413. See also p 425 (Anastasius) and p 430 (Justin I.)

17 BC I 38, pp 191 seq. For the dating of the two sections of this chapter, see Dölger, in BZ, 36 (1936) pp 149 seq. Google Scholar The originally military rituals of shield-raising and torques-crowning went out of use from the seventh century: Christophilopoulou pp 60 seq. Less convincing is her explanation in terms of a ‘demilitarization’ of ritual corresponding to the seventh-century hellenisation of Byzantine society: so also, following her almost verbatim, Stratos, A. N., Byzantium in the Seventh Century (Amsterdam 1968) 1, pp 7, 49Google Scholar. But a ritual could be ‘demilitarized’, yet survive with other symbolic associations, as had already happened in the case of shield-raising in the sixth century and again, with its revival, in the late Byzantine period: see L’Orange, H. P., Studies on the Iconography of Cosmic Kingship (Oslo 1953) pp 87 seq Google Scholar; Kantorowicz, [E. H.], [‘Oriens Augusti: Lever du Roi’], in DOP, 17 (1963) pp 152 seq Google Scholar; Ostrogorsky, , ‘Zur Kaisersalbung und Schilderhebung [im spätbyzantinischen Krönungszeremoniell]’, in Historia 4 (Wiesbaden 1955) esp pp 254 seq. Google Scholar I prefer to attribute its disappearance less to conscious abandonment than to long disuse: there were no ‘new’ emperors between 610 and 695. For the iconographic tradition, its earliest form dating ‘possibly’ from the sixth century, see Walter, ‘Raising on a shield’, p 167 and passim. As for the torques-crowning, the growing importance of the diadem and the practical need to avoid an awkward ‘double coronation’ sufficiently account for its omission from the inauguration ritual: see Ensslin, [W.], ‘Zur Torqueskrönung [und Schilderhebung bei der Kaiserwahl]’, in klio, 35 (Leipzig 1942) p 292 Google Scholar.

18 In her forthcoming edition of Corippus, , [In laudem Lustini Augusti minoris] (London 1976)Google Scholar, especially in section 7 of her introduction and the notes to II, lines 84 seq and 159 seq. For the increasing interest, in precisely this period, both in ritual and in the imperial ideology behind it, evidence can be found in the work of Peter the Patrician: see Pertusi, [A.], [‘I principi fondamentali della concezione del potere a Bisancio. Per un commento al dialogo “Sulla scienza politica” attributo a Pietro Patrizio (secolo VI)’] in Bulletino del Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, 80 (Rome 1968) pp 1 seq. Google Scholar

19 Corippus, notes to II, lines 308 seq. The forthcoming book of Alan Cameron will reassess the role of the demes in politics and ritual. See however, meanwhile, Maricq, A., ‘La durée du régime des partis populaires à Constantinople’, in Bulletin de l’Académie Royale de Belgique, Cl. des Lettres, 35 (Brussels 1949) pp 64 seq Google Scholar, and Beck, [H.-G.], ‘Konstantinopel. [Zur Sozialgeschichte einer frühmittelalterlichen Hauptstadt’], in BZ, 63 (1965) pp 35 seq. Google Scholar

20 BC I 38 especially section b: ##Άκτολογΐα τών δήμων έπΐ στεψΐμφ βασιλέω5.’

21 For this process, see Treitinger, , [Die oströmische Kaiser- und Reichsidee nach ihrer Gestaltung im höfischen Zeremoniell] (2 ed Darmstadt 1956) pp 27-8Google Scholar. Treitinger presents rich illustrative material, but his analysis of the critical sixth-century development includes an identification of Liturgisierung with Verkirchlichung which, in my view, is mis conceived because it presupposes a radical discontinuity between the categories ‘secular’ and ‘ecclesiastical’. The term ‘ritualization’, accommodating religious action both inside and outside the physical location of a church, seems more apt here: BC is concerned as much with the one as the other. Treitinger’s misconception generated the conclusion that Liturgisierung was operative ‘only’ in the realm of ideas. See p 28, n 84: ‘Trotz alledem bleibt . . . der Gedankengehalt der verkirchlichtcn Riten und Zeremonien nur gedankliche Haltung ...”Verkirchlichung” bedeutet also nicht praktisch und rechtlich grosseren Einfluss der Kirche auf den Kaiser.’ (my stress.)

22 See Beck, , ‘Senat und Volk [von Konstantinopel]’, in SBAW PhK (1966) pp 1819 Google Scholar.

23 See Thompson, E.A., The Early Germans (Oxford 1965) pp 32 seq Google Scholar; Wallace-Hadrill, [J. M.], [Early Germanic Kingship in England and on the Continent] (Oxford 1971) pp 78 Google Scholar. A primitive Indo-European inauguration ritual persisted for Irish kings: see Binchy, D.A., Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Kingship (Oxford 1970) pp 11 seq Google Scholar; Byrne, F. J., Irish Kings and High Kings (London 1973) pp 15 seq. Google Scholar The relative scarcity of Germanic evidence is apparent in Höfler, O., ‘Der Sakralcharakter des germanischen Königtums’, in Das Königtum. [Seine geistigen und rechtlichen Grundlagen,] Vorträge und Forschungen 3 (Lindau-Konstanz 1956) pp 85 seq Google Scholar, and Wenskus, R., Stammesbildung und Verfassung (Colognc/Graz 1961) pp 482 seq. CrossRefGoogle Scholar Compare Baetke, W., ‘Zur Frage des altnordischen Sakralkönigtums’, in Kleine Schriften (Weimar 1973) pp 146-7Google Scholar.

24 ‘Election and inheritance in early Germanic Kingship’, in CHJ, 7 (1941) pp 1-22.

25 Schneider, [R.], [Königswahl und Königserhebung im Frühmittelalter] (Stuttgart 1972) pp 190 seq Google Scholar, deals very fully with this problem, rejecting the extreme view of Hauck, K., ‘Von einer spätantiken Randkultur zum karolingischen Europa’, in Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 1 (Berlin 1967) pp 30 seq Google Scholar, and recognising, p 260, that no fest verbindliche Schema existed, though the merovingians clearly had some kind of Erhebungszeremoniell. Jäschke, [K.-U.], [‘Frühmittelalterliche Festkrönungen?’], in HZ, 211 (1970) pp 580 seq Google Scholar, argues persuasively against merovingian crown-wearing or (by implication, a fortiori) coronation. Enthronement may have been the norm in the seventh century. Schneider, pp 226-7 and 259. discusses possible clerical influence on late merovingian and Lombard Kõnigszeremoniell but the relevance of this to inauguration practices remains problematical.

26 Schlesinger, [W.], ‘Herrschaft und Gefolgschaft’, in HZ, 176 (1953) pp 225-75Google Scholar, and ‘Über germanisches Heerkönigtum’, in Das Königtum, pp 105-41, both now reprinted in Beiträge [zur deutschen Verfassungsgeschichte des Mittelalters] (Göttingen 1963) especially pp 26, 35 and 80-1. On the usefulness and the limitations of the typological distinction between rex and dux, see the sensible remarks of Wallace-Hadrill, pp 14 seq.

27 The Carolingian Lord (Cambridge 1965) especially pp 223 seq, 378 seq. Green does not refer to the work of Graus, F., who, from a diffèrent standpoint, reaches similar conclusions in ‘Über die sogenannte germanische Treue’, in Historica, 1 (Prague 1959) pp 71-121Google Scholar and ‘Herrschaft und Treue’, ibid 12 (1966) pp 5-44.

28 Kern, F., Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht im früheren Mittelalter, rev ed Buchner, R. (Munster 1954) pp 46 seq Google Scholar; Wallace-Hadrill, , ‘The Via Regia of the Carolingian Age’, in Trends in Medieval Political Thought, ed Smalley, B. (Oxford 1965) pp 27 seq Google Scholar; Ullmann, [W.], ‘[Der] Souveränitätsgedanke [in den mittelalterlichen Krönungsordines]’, in Festschrift P. E. Schramm (Wiesbaden 1964) pp 81-2Google Scholar.

29 Müller, E., ‘Die Anfänge der Königssalbung im Mittelalter’, in HJch 58 (1938) pp 322 seq Google Scholar; Bouman, [C. A.], [Sacring and Crowning] (Groningen 1957)Google Scholar; Schneider pp 190 seq, and also pp 52 seq for developments in the Lombard kingdom cut short in the eighth century. I have attempted a comparative survey in ‘National synods, [kingship as office, and royal anointing: an early medieval syndrome]’ in SCH, 7 (1971) pp 41 seq, though I should now take a different view of the English evidence. The best analysis of the structure of these rituals remains Hocart, A.M., Kingship (Oxford 1927) pp 70 seq. Google Scholar See now also the fine paper of Fortes, M., ‘Of Installation Ceremonies’, in Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute for 1967 (London 1968) pp 5 seq. Google Scholar

30 Schramm, P.E., Herrschaftszeichen und Staatssymbolik, 3 vols (Stuttgart 1954-6) 1 pp 30 seq, and passim Google Scholar; Deer, J., ‘Byzanz und die Herrschaftszeichen des Abendlandes’, in BZ, 50 (1957) pp 405 seq, and in BZ, 54 (1961) pp 58 seq Google Scholar; Jãschke, pp 571 seq; Schneider pp 232-3, 260. For Schramm’s fundamental contribution here, see the interesting historiographical survey of Bak, J., ‘Medieval Symbology of the State’, in Viator, 4 (Berkeley 1973) pp 33 seq, especially 59-60Google Scholar.

31 I distinguish the term ‘ritual’ from ‘ceremonial’ along lines suggested by Goody, , ‘Religion and Ritual: the Definitional Problem’, in British Journal of Sociology, 12 (London 1961) pp 142 seq. Google Scholar The behaviour we are presently concerned with has the public and collective characteristics of ceremonial, but it also has the religious and, from the actors’ standpoint, the purposive characteristics of ritual. Compare the careful distinction drawn by MacCormack, S., [‘Change and Continuity in Late Antiquity: the Ceremony of Adventus’], in Historia, 21 (1972) p 722 Google Scholar. Tambiah, [S.], [Buddhism and the Spirit-cults in North-East Thailand] (Cambridge 1970) p 35 Google Scholar and passim, is an exemplary study of ritual as ‘cosmology in action’ in the context of another world-religion.

32 So Treitinger pp 27-8. For similar views, see Sickel pp 524-5; Dölger, Byzanz [und die europäische Staatenwelt] (Ettal 1953) pp 292-3; Michel, [A.], [Die Kaisermacht in der Ostkirche] (Darmstadt 1959) pp 166 seq. Google Scholar

33 Treitinger p 30.

34 Bury, , [The] Constitution [of the Later Roman Empire] (Cambridge 1910) p 12 Google Scholar. Compare Ensslin, , ‘The Emperor and Imperial Administration’, in Byzantium, ed Baynes, and Moss, H. St. L. B. (Oxford 1948) p 270 Google Scholar; ‘The Patriarch officiated... not as representative of the Church but as representative of the electors.’

35 Christophilopoulou pp 61-2. But this view rests on questionable assumptions.

36 For the coronation as in some sense ‘essential’, see Ostrogorsky, , in BZ, 41 (1941) pp 213 seq Google Scholar; Bréhier, L., Les Institutions de l’Empire Byzantin (2 ed Paris 1970) p 17 Google Scholar; Hussey, J.M., The Byzantine World (4 ed London 1970) p 83 Google Scholar. Compare also the cautious remarks of Baynes pp 34-5, and Guilland, , Études Byzantines (Paris 1959) p 210 Google Scholar. Still valuable are the comments of Bury, Constitution, pp 9 seq, 35-6. The extreme argument of Charanis, [P.], ‘Coronation [and its constitutional significance in the later Roman Empire]’, in B 15 (1940/1) pp 49 seq Google Scholar, claiming a ‘constitutive’ role for ‘the Church’, was effectively rebutted by Dòlger, , in BZ, 43 (1950) pp 146-7Google Scholar. Tsirpanlis, C., [‘The Imperial Coronation and Theory in “De Cerimoniis” ’], in ΚληρονομΙα, 4 (Thessaloniki 1972) pp 63 seq Google Scholar, criticises Charanis without using all the recent literature on the subject. He also wrongly asserts that ‘the British’ have followed ‘the German scholars’ in accepting Sickel’s opinion. This is hardly true of Bury, Baynes or Hussey. But Tsirpanlis here cites only A. E. R. Boak—an American !

37 Pertusi pp 12 seq.

38 The ambo of Hagia Sophia (from 563 to 1204) was described in detail by Paul the Silentiary, ##“Εκφρασΐ5 топ “Αμβωνος Tİlç ‘Aylas Σωφΐαΐ ed Friedlander, P. (Leipzig/ Berlin 1912) pp 257 seq Google Scholar, especially 297-8. Kreutzer, J.J., Paulus des Silentiarers Beschreibung der Hagia Sophia (Leipzig 1875) p 71-2Google Scholar, estimates the base-diameter of the ambo at 12 feet. The rather smaller elevated platform had also to accommodate the chamberlains who invested the ‘new’ emperor with the chlamys, and the portable table ##(άντιμΐσιον) on which the insignia were placed: BC 1 38, p 194. Compare the eighth- and twelfth-century ordines printed by Goar, [J.], [Εϋχολόγιον] (2 ed Venice 1730) pp 726 seq. Google Scholar On the manuscripts, see Brightman, Liturgies, pp lxxxvii seq, and ‘Coronations’ p 378, with the interesting conclusion that the rite itself remained constant ‘from at least the end of the eighth century down to the twelfth.’

39 The only other cleric mentioned in the ordines is the deacon, who recited the collect and summoned to prayer. BC 1 38 makes no specific mention of the clergy, but assigns, on the other hand, a major role to the acclaimers: ##‘6 Лаоѕ’ and ‘τά μέρη’.

40 BC I 38, p 194: ##‘ot той κουβουκλείου’ Compare their role at Justin I’s inauguration, BC I 93, p 428; and at Justin II’s, similarly, fidi ministri, Corippus, II, lines 86-7. BC I oo p 466 shows how the insignia were looked after in the ##‘οΐκειακον βασιλικον βεστιάριον’. See Jenkins, [R. J. H.], Commentary (London 1962) pp 64 seq Google ScholarPubMed, [to the De Administrando Imperii of Constantine Porphyrogenitus], ed Jenkins, and Moravcsik, G. (Washington, D.C., 1967)Google Scholar.

41 Leach, E. R., ‘Melchisedech and the emperor: icons of subversion and orthodoxy’, in Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute for 1972 (London 1973) pp 5 seq, especially 12-13Google Scholar.

42 Treitinger pp 139-40; Tsirpanlis p 86, n 8.

43 For the position of the emperor, see Sinogowicz, B., [‘Die Begriffe Reich, Macht und Herrschaft im byzantinischen Kulturbereich’], in Saeculum, 4 (Freiburg 1956) pp 450 seq Google Scholar; Dvornik pp 815 seq; Miller, D. A., ‘Royauté et ambiguité sexuelle: symbolique de la monarchie à Byzance’, in Annales, 26 (1971) pp 639 seq. CrossRefGoogle Scholar The patriarch was of course ineligible for this position. For the role of ineligibles as ‘stand-ins and stake-holders’, see Goody pp 10-2: ‘The stand-in serves as temporary deputy... It is as if the kingship cannot be allowed to lie vacant.’ I am suggesting that the patriarch’s role was analogous to that of the ‘neutrals’ cited by Goody.

44 I cannot agree with the suggestion of Guilland.‘Etudes sur l’Hippodrome’, p 264, that a patriarch would have to hurry away from the Hippodrome embarrassed. For the inauguration of a co-emperor here as late as 776, with the patriarch present, blessing the insignia on a portable altar set up in the kathisma, see Theophanes p 450. For the demes in Hagia Sophia, compare n 20 above. BC offers many examples of rituals flowing naturally from one location to another, all of them, and not only churches, having religious significance.

45 BC 163, p 281, and 168 and 69, pp 303 seq, especially 321-2, show the Hippodrome ritual and acclamations. See Gagé, J., ‘Σταυροΐ νικοποιάς. La victoire impériale dans l’empire chrétien’, in Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses, 13 (Strasbourg 1933) pp 370 seq Google Scholar, esp p 400 on the fusion of ‘deux mystiques triomphales.’ See now Cameron, Alan, Porphyrius the Charioteer (Oxford 1973) pp 250 seq. Google Scholar

46 Compare Douglas, M., Purity and Danger (London 1966) and ed, Rules and Meanings (Harmondsworth 1973)Google Scholar.

47 Ostrogorsky, ‘Zur Kaisersalbung und Schilderhebung’, pp 246-9, has argued that Byzantine imperial anointing was a thirteenth-century import from the west. But this was a Comnenian innovation of the twelfth century: see Christophilopoulou pp 142-4, 210-1; Walter, ‘Raising on a shield’, pp 162, 171. For information on this matter, I am grateful to professor Nicol, D. M., who revises Ostrogorsky’s opinion in a forthcoming article in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 2 (Oxford 1976)Google Scholar.

48 Van Gennep, A., Tlte Rites of Passage, ed and trans Vizedom, M. and Caffee, G. L. (London 1960)Google Scholar.

49 Ullman, ‘Souveränitätsgedanke’, p 77; and [The] Carolingian Renaissance [and the Idea of Kingship] (London 1969) pp 71 seq; Wallace-Hadrill pp 133 seq.

50 Funkenstein, J., ‘Unction of the Ruler’, in Adel und Kirche. Festschrift G. Tellenbach (Freiburg 1968) pp 6 seq. Google Scholar For the gifts conferred through anointing, see the consecratio-prayer of Hincmar’s ordo for Louis the Stammerer in 877, MGH Cap 2, p 461.

51 Ullman, ‘Souveränitätsgedanke’, p 77 n 24.

52 Ritter, H.-W., Diadem und Königsherrschaft (Munich 1965)Google Scholar; Alföldi pp 263 seq; Jäschke pp 572 seq.

53 Guilland, Études Byzantines, pp 207 seq: ‘Le Droit Divin à Byzance’, esp p 221. Compare Goody pp 21-2.

54 ‘Frühdeutsch’ Ordo , ed Erdmann, C., Forschungen zur politischen Ideenwelt des Frühmittelalters (Berlin 1951) pp 83-7Google Scholar; ‘Edgar’ Ordo , ed Schramm, , Kaiser, Könige und Päpste, 4 vols (Stuttgart 1968) 2, pp 233-41Google Scholar. Compare my comments in SCH, 11 (1975) p 46. The idea of rebirth was intimately linked with western conceptions of royal anointing: Oppenheim, P., ‘Die sakralen Momente in der deutschen Herrscherweihe’, in Ephemerides Liturgicae, 58 (Rome 1944) pp 42 seq Google Scholar; Ullmann, Carolingian Renaissance, pp 71 seq.

55 Goar p 727. At the beginning of the ordo, the emperor bows his head in prayer. On the iconographical evidence, see Grabar, A., L’Empereur dans l’art byzantin (Paris 1936) pp 112 seq Google Scholar, and plate XXVII, 2. It is noteworthy that the theme of royal inauguration/ coronation, though not entirely absent from western baptismal liturgies, is particularly stressed in those of the eastern churches: every Christian becomes’royal.’ See Michels, T., ‘Die Akklamation in der Taufliturgie’, in Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft, 8 (1928) pp 76 seq. Google Scholar On the other hand, the Byzantine conception of imperial coronation as a mystic anointing did not essentially involve the idea of rebirth: see A. Michel pp 10 seq.

56 Instinsky, H. U., ‘Kaiser und Ewigkeit’, in Hermes, 77 (Wiesbaden 1942) pp 313 seq. Google Scholar

57 Dölger, and Karayannopoulos, J., Byzantinische Urkundenlehre (Munich 1968) pp 51-2Google Scholar.

58 The contrary view of Charanis, ‘Coronation’, pp 56 seq, must be rejected. Compare Trcitinger p 30, on the Obvious difference’ between eastern and western practices.

59 Heb. 7:7 For the claim that the pope was superior to the emperor whom he anointed, see, for example, Innocent, III, Das Register Papst Innozenz III über den deutschen Thronstreit, ed Holtzmann, W. (Bonn 1947) p 29, n 18 Google Scholar. For a similar claim by Hincmar, see my paper, ‘Kingship, law and liturgy in the political thought of Hincmar of Rheims’ (forthcoming).

60 See the rubrics of the early medieval ordines in Bouman pp 165 seq.

61 Le Goff, J., ‘Note sur société tripartite, idéologie monarchique et renouveau économique dans la chrétienté du IXe au XIIe siècle’, in L’Europe au IXe au XIe Siècle, ed Manteuffel, T. and Gieysztor, A. (Warsaw 1968) pp 63 seq Google Scholar; Loomis, D.B., ‘ Regnum and sacerdotium in the early eleventh century’, in England before the Conquest. Studies presented to D. Whitelock, ed Clemoes, P. and Hughes, K. (Cambridge 1971) pp 129 seq Google Scholar; and, for further references, my paper, ‘National synods’, pp 44-9. See also M. Richter, ‘The Church and the Latin language: problems of communication in the medieval west’ (forthcoming).

62 The sources are discussed by Brühl, [C.-R.], [‘Fränkischer Krönungsbrauch’], in HZ, 194 (1962) pp 276-7Google Scholar.

63 Ensslin, ‘Zur Torqueskrönung’, pp 271 seq, gives evidence on the early cases; for Hypatius (532), see Malalas p 475; for Basil-Tiberius (717), see Nicephorus p 54; for Bardas-Phocas (987), see Skylitzes-Kedrenos, , Historiarum Compendium, ed Bekker, I. (Bonn 1839) 2, p 438 Google Scholar. See also Jenkins, Commentary, p. 66.

64 BC I 91, p 417.

65 Treitinger pp 71 seq; Kantorowicz pp 156 seq.

66 For much of what follows in this paragraph, I have relied on Michel, pp 27 seq, 56 seq, etc, and Beck pp 36 seq, 62 seq. See also Savramis, D., Zur Soziologie des byzantinischen Mönchtums (Leiden 1962) pp 81 seq Google Scholar, for some interesting perspectives, though important aspects of the subject are left untouched.

67 For a clear statement, see the prologue to Justinian’s Nov. lxxiii: ##“Εττειδή τοΐνυν βασιλεΐαν διά τοθτο 6 feos έξ ούρανοθ καβηκεν Ira . . . TOUS νόμοι/s áppójn тгрбѕ τήν της φύσεωξ ποικιλίσν, διά τοΰτο φήθημευ χρήναι καί τοθτον γράψαι του νόμον καΐ Boövai έν κοινφ то1ѕ ύπηκόο^.’

68 There was no translation for auctoritas which conveyed the etymological link with auctor, or the legal-constitutional overtones of the Latin term. It was translated ##άξίωμα (dignity) in the Greek version of the Res Gestae Divi Augusti. In the sixth- century eastern law-schools, auctoritate seems simply to have been transliterated as ##αύκτορΐτατε, etc. See Dain, A., ‘La transcription des mots latins dans les gloses nomiques’, in Revue des Études Latines, 8 (Paris 1930) pp 96, 111Google Scholar.

69 For ##φιλανθρωπΐα, εθεργεσΐα, etc, see now Constantelos, D.J., Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare (New Brunswick 1968) pp 43 seq Google Scholar; Hunger, [H.], Prooimion. [Elemente der byzantinischen Kaiseridee in den Arengen der Urkunden] (Vienna 1964) pp 84 seq, 143 seq. Google Scholar

70 BC II 14, p 565.

71 Beck, ‘Konstantinopel’, pp 24 seq; and ‘Bildung und Theologie im frühmittalelterlichen Byzanz’, in Polychronion. Festschrift F. Dölger (Heidelberg 1966) pp 69 seq, esp p 77.

72 This feature is unusual among the great world-religions: see Tambiah 197-8. Byzantinists hardly seem to have recognised its significance. But for the neglect of Byzantine history by sociologists of religion see the critical remarks of Savramis p 5.

73 For the social position of the lower clergy, see Beck, ‘Konstantinopel’, pp 28-9; and ‘Kirche und Klerus im stattlichen Leben von Byzanz’, in REB, 24 (1966) pp 22-3.

74 Goar p 726: ##‘ό μέλλων σύν θεώ βασιλεύειν.’ For the conception of the emperor as ##‘6eouun ios’, see Treitinger p 37; Guilland Études Byzantines, pp 216 seq; Hunger, Prooimion, p 56.

75 On the integration of the two principles, see Pertusi p 13. See also Guilland, Études Byzantines, pp 207 seq, and the important reassessments of Beck, ‘Senat und Volk’, esp pp 40-2, 51-2, and ‘Res Publica Romana. Vom Staatsdenken der Byzantiner’, in SBAW (1970) pp 7 seq. Compare the parallel duality in linguistic developments perceived by Dagron, G., ‘Aux origines de la civilisation byzantine: langue de culture et langue d’état’, in RH, 241 (1969) pp 23 seq Google Scholar, esp pp 49-50 on two tendencies: ‘l’une conduisant à une Église hierarchisée et hellenophone, l’autre à une Église moins imperiale, plus diversifiée, cosmopolite et polyglotte.’

76 [E.] Eichmann, [Königs-und Bischofsweihe’], in SBAW (1928); Hoffmann, K., Taufsymbolik im mittelalterlichen Herrscherbild (Düsseldorf 1968) pp 9 seq Google Scholar, with rich bibliography. The need for a comprehensive approach had already been suggested by Kantorowicz, , The King’s Two Bodies (Princeton 1957) p 52, n 22 Google Scholar, and by Bouman, , ‘De oorsprong van de rituele zalving der koningen. De stand van een probleem’, in Dancwerc, opstellen aangeboden aan D. T. Enklaar (Groningen 1959) pp 64 seq. Google Scholar

77 But see the valuable, though brief, section, ‘Die Personensalbung’, in Kottje, [R.], [Studien zum Einfluss des Alten Testaments auf Recht und Liturgie des frühen Mittelalters] (Bonn 1964) pp 94 seq. Google Scholar

78 See, for example, the rich material in Hofmeister, [P.], [Die heiligen Öle in der morgenund abendländischen Kirche] (Würzburg 1948)Google Scholar; Mitchell, [L. L.], [Baptismal Anointing] (London 1966)Google Scholar; Ellard, [G.], [Ordination Anointings in the Western Church] (Cambridge, Mass., 1933)Google Scholar; Porter, [H.B.], ‘[The] Origin [of the Medieval Rite for Anointing the Sick or Dying]’ in JTS, ns 7 (1956) pp 211 seq. CrossRefGoogle Scholar Menevizoglou, [P.], ##[To ‘Ayiov Μύρον ív ттј όρθοδόξω άνατολικη έκκλησΐη] (Thessaloniki 1972)Google Scholar, presents useful material on liturgical and doctrinal aspects, but is relatively weak on the early medieval period and neglects nearly all the major work done on this subject by such ‘westerners’ as Hofmeister and Mitchell.

79 ‘The syntax of symbolism in an African religion’, in PTRSL no 772, vol 251 (London 1966) p 295. Turner’s concept should prove useful to all students of symbolism. For insights into ‘the concordance between symbolic and social experience’, see Douglas, M., Naturai Symbols (London 1970) p 64 Google Scholar and passim. Faris, J. C., ‘Validation in ethnographical description’, in Man, ns 3 (London 1968) pp 112 seq Google Scholar, implies that many anthropologists have yet to be converted to a recognition of the need to set symbols in a total cultural context. Faris also pleads for a diachronic approach.

80 Kutsch, E., Delling, G. and Bouman, B. A., art. ‘Salbung’, in RCG 5, cols 1330-6Google Scholar; Pease, [A. S.], [art. ‘Olcum’], in PW, 34, cols 2454 seq, at 2466-8Google Scholar.

81 Mitchell pp 37-8, 44, 53-4, 63-4; Menevizoglou pp 41 seq, 188 seq. Typically, in both eastern and western churches, simple oil was used for the pre-baptismal anointing associated with exorcism, and chrism (μύρον) for the post-baptismal anointing, associated with the gift of the holy spirit: see Weite, B., Die Postbaptismale Salbung (Freiburg 1939)Google Scholar. An exception was the Syrian rite, which probably down to the fifth century had had only one, pre-baptismal, anointing.

82 Tertullian, De Baptismo, 7, in CC 1, p 282. Compare Isidore, Etymologiae, VI, 50 in PL 82, col 256: ‘Chrisma graece, latine unctio nominatur, ex cuius nomine et christus dicitur et homo post lavacrum sanctificatur.’ For other liturgical uses of chrism, see Bernard, [P.], [art. ‘Chrême’], in DTC 2, cols 2395 seq. Google Scholar For its composition, in the west from oil and balsam, in the east from these and a long list of additional ingredients, see Menevizoglou pp 29 seq. A basic recipe appears in Exod. 30: 23-5.

83 Council of Constantinople (381), cap 7, Mansi, 3, cols 563-4; Council in Trullo (692)’ cap 95, Mansi 11, cols 983-4; the Visigothic Liber Ordinum , ed Férotin, M. (Paris 1904) cols 100 seq. Google Scholar

84 Sinogowitz pp 452-3, Beck, Christliche Mission und politische Propaganda im byzantinischen Reich’, in Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 14 (Spoleto 1967) pp 650 seq. Google Scholar

85 [The] Growth [of Papal Government in the Middle Ages] (2 ed London 1962) pp 105 seq. For this equation in an eighth-century Frankish source, see Andrieu, M., Les Ordines Romani du haut Moyen Age, 3 (Louvain 1951) p 187 Google Scholar (Ordo XVII): ‘romani devoti vel boni cristiani.’

86 Baynes pp 19-20; Dölger, Byznz, pp 70 seq.

87 Goar p. 726: ##‘öv εύδόκησα5 καταστησαι βασιλέα ίπΙ τό 16 vos σου то ¿tyiov, б ττεριεττοιήσω τφ тіціср σΐμστι топ uovoyevoOs σου uloö’.

88 For what follows, compare n 45 above. See also Treitinger pp 71-2, 172 seq; Hunger, , Reich [der Neuen Mitte] (Graz/Cologne 1965) pp 184-5Google Scholar; MacCormack pp 746-8.

89 Theodore Lector, cited in PG 86, col 208, describes the practice ##‘то μυστήριον (—μύρον) êv ттј έκκλησΐη ітгі Tfccvròs τοΰ λαοθ άγιά3εσθαι\ attributing its origin to a fifth-century patriarch of Antioch. Theodore wrote in Constantinople in the early sixth century. For this and other evidence, see Menevizoglou pp 45-6.

90 For the following sketch, I have drawn on the works of Guilland and Beck already cited; also Beck, ‘Byzantinisches Gefolgschaftswesen’, in SBAW (1965); and for the critical formative period, Claude, D., Die Byzantinische Stadt im 6 Jht. (Munich 1969) pp 121 seq, 156 seq Google Scholar; Brown, P., The World of Late Antiquity (London 1971) esp cap 14Google Scholar, and ‘The Rise and Function of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity’, in JRS 61 (1971) pp 80 seq. Hunger, Reich, pp 262 seq, gives evidence for the continuing significance of holy men throughout the early Byzantine period. Useful comparative perspectives on aspects of Byzantine society can be found in Eisenstadt, S., The Political Systems of Empires (New York 1967) esp pp 238 seq. Google Scholar

91 Puller, F.W., The Anointing of the Sick in Scripture and Tradition (London 1904)Google Scholar especially appendix II. In these anointings only blessed oil, not chrism, was used.

92 For details, see Hofmeister pp 226 seq.

93 For western baptismal anointings, see Fisher, J. D.C., Christian Initiation: Baptism in the Medieval West (London 1965) pp 18 seq, 64 seq Google Scholar; Mitchell pp 80 seq. For the anointing of the sick, Porter, Origin’; and for the magical properties assigned to chrism by the laity in the west, Bernard col 2413.

94 For ordination anointings, see Ellard; Andrieu, , ‘[Le] Sacre [épiscopale d’après Hincmar de Reims]’ in RHE, 48 (1953) pp 22 seq Google Scholar; Turner, D.H., The Claudius Pontificals, HBS 97 for 1964 (1971) pp xxiv-viGoogle Scholar. For royal anointings, sec the works cited above, n 29, and Kottje pp 94 seq.

95 Ullmann, Growth, pp 67 seq, 143 seq.

96 So, Porter, ‘Origin’; Bouman pp xi-xii; Kottje pp 98-100; Schneider pp 197-8. Earlier upholders of this view were Eichmann, pp 24 seq, and Klauser, T., reviewing Ellard, in JLW, 13 (1933) pp 350-1Google Scholar.

97 So, Brühl, p 304 with n 2, giving details of earlier literature.

98 Andrieu, ‘Sacre’, p 41, n 5.

99 Goar, p 726: ##‘TÒV τπστόν σου δοΰλον . . . χρΐσαι καταξΐωσον τφ έλαΐω τη; άγαλλιάσεω;’. For the influence of the old testament on Byzantine ideology, see Baynes, pp 33 seq, and, especially relevant to the present context, Walter pp 168-72. See also above, n 55, for the Byzantine conception of mystical anointing—in Walter’s terms, an ‘ideological’ rather than a ‘historical’ theme.

100 For this conception in Hinduism, see Van Gennep pp 104-6, and Dumont, L., Homo Hierarchies, English trans (London 1970) pp 106-7Google Scholar. The analogous linkage of the ideas of rebirth and hierarchy in western Christendom would repay further investigation.

101 Council of Tours (461), Mansi 7, col 949.

102 For very perceptive comments on this synthesis, see Löwe, H., ‘Von Theoderich der Grossen zu Karl dem Grossen. Das Werden des Abendlandes im Geschichtsbild des frühen Mittelalters’, in DA, 9 (1952) pp 353 seq Google Scholar, and, from a different standpoint, the fine analysis of Anderson, P., Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism (London 1974) pp 120 seq. Google Scholar

103 For the imperialist interpretation of the anointings of kings and emperors, see MGH, Li, 1, p 467; 1, p 566; 2, p 538. But for sacerdotal anointing as helping to define functional boundaries, compare the argument of cardinal Humbert, ibid 1, p 234, on the workings of the holy spirit: ‘Ipse sanctum chrisma instituit, ipse clericorum vel ministrorum diversos gradus et officia in ecclesia disposuit.

104 For the persistent tension between kingship and nobility, see Hauck, , ‘Die geschichtliche Bedeutung der germanisch Auffassung von Königtum und Adel’, in XI International Congress of Historical Sciences (Stockholm 1960) Rapports 3, pp 96 seq Google Scholar; Schlesinger, Beiträge, pp 28 seq. Hoffmann, H., ‘Französische Fürstenweihen des Hochmittelalters’, in DA, 18 (1962) pp 92 seq Google Scholar, discusses aristocratic imitations of royal insignia and ritual, but stresses that anointing was the one ritual never thus appropriated.

105 Pease, ‘Oleum’, and art. ‘Ölbaum’, in PW 34, cols 1998 seq. Google Scholar King, P. D., Law and Society in the Visigothic Kingdom (Cambridge 1970) pp 212-24Google Scholar, draws attention to the particularly high penalty for damage to olive trees (as compared with other trees) in Visigothic legislation.

106 Duby, G., ‘Le monachisme et l’économie rurale’, in Il monachismo e la riforma ecclesiastica, 1049-1122, Atti della IV Settimana internazionale di Studio, Mendola 1968 (Milan 1971) pp 336 seq Google Scholar, and Guerriers et Paysans (Paris 1973) pp 26-7, on the essential place of the olive also in the new type d’alimentation ‘civilisée’.

107 For the frequent use by geographers of the criterion of olive-cultivation in defining the mediterranean zone, see Braudel, [F.], [La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Époque de Philippe II] (Paris 1949) pp 139-41Google Scholar. See further Grand, R. and Delatouche, R., L’Agriculture au Moyen Age (Paris 1951) pp 315, 365Google Scholar.

108 Fragmentum historicum about the council of Aix-la-Chapelle (816), in MGH Cone, aevi karolini, 1, pp 831-5, at 833: ‘Et quia oleum olivarum non habent Franci, voluerunt episcopi, ut oleo lardivo utantur.’ Compare Ibid, n 2, for the same problem in the eleventh century. In the present context, it is irrelevant whether this passage of the Fragmentum genuinely represents what happened in 816, or belongs with some eleventh-century special pleading: the ecological exigency was constant.

109 Bede, PL 91, col 1097; Gregory VII, Register VII, 1. To natives of the mediterranean world, the use of butter appeared a very salient sign of barbarism’, see Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina XII, 7, and Braudel p 201, with n 4, for similar expressions of disgust in the sixteenth century. The symbolism of ‘inside’ and Outside’ arising from such divergent culinary practices deserves further study: in some ascetic traditions, dairy products are classed with flesh as ‘impure’, while olive-oil belongs unequivocally to the ‘pure’ vegetable category.

110 Doehaerd, R., Le Haut Moyen Age Occidental. Economies et Sociétés (Paris 1971) pp 270-1, 274 with n 7Google Scholar. Compare also the indignant western rebuttals of ninth-century Greek accusations that Latins made chrism with river-water: Nicholas I, writing to the Frankish bishops, in PL 119, col 1155, and Ratramnus of Corbie, in PL 121, col 334. Were the accusations mere Photian canards, or did the Franks protest too much?