MONARCH'S GESTURE AND THE VISUALISATION OF RITUAL SYMBOLIC ASSOCIATED WITH THE CULT OF RELICS - 'TRANSLATION AND OSTENSIO RELIQUIARUM'
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The author considered the participation of rulers in rituals involved by the mediaeval cult of saints and relics, analyzing cases from mediaeval Byzantium and France, especially these connected with the rituals of the translation of relics (translatio) and their presentation to the faithful (ostensio reliquiarum). Emphasis is placed on the mediaeval rulers' practice of conscious visualising the figurative significance of the ceremonies related to the cult of the relics. The monarch's personal participation in rituals of veneration of the Christ's relics (like Mandylion, relics of the Holy Cross or the Crown of Thorns) and the saints was considered one of the most emphatic acts apt to ensure God's and holy patron's benevolence towards the state. Such activity also enhanced the prestige of the monarchs and persuaded them to be particularly predestined - as princes by the grace of God - to physical contact with the sainthood, and wishing this conviction to be shared by their subjects. The display of special bonds between the monarchs, God and the saints was assured by certain sacral activities publicly perfomed by the monarchs themselves: ceremonial transaltion of the relics, acts of royal kenosis in the face of the sainthood or royal presentation (ostensio) of the relics to their subjects.
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