Ordines Coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

Ordines Coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

Ordines Coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

Ordines Coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

Synopsis

The ordines coronationis are essentially the scripts for the coronation of Frankish and French sovereigns. Combining detailed religious, ceremonial, and political material, they are an extraordinarily important source for the study of individual rulers or dynasties, as well as for the study of kingship, queenship, and the evolution of political institutions. Complete in two volumes, Richard A. Jackson's is the first full edition of these texts, including all the ordines from the early thirteenth century through the end of the fifteenth century, a period during which the texts shift from Latin to the vernacular, and the institutions of kingship become distinctively French.

Excerpt

The origin of this edition was quite accidental. During the academic year 1973–74 I went to France to complete my research for a history of the late-medieval and early-modern French coronation ceremony. I had already sought in the medieval coronation ordines the source of a number of practices, but there were many questions that seemed to defy answers. I discussed some of these with Hervé Pinoteau, who, during his many years at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, had looked at the manuscripts and had concluded that the coronation ordines were a tangled skein. Mutual interest in French royal ceremonial developed into friendship, and Pinoteau referred me to diverse manuscripts, sought my opinion regarding particular ordines, or asked me whether I thought that a reading in manuscript X implied this or that Until then I had worked primarily (although not exclusively) from printed editions, unaware, even though I knew the studies of Percy Ernst Schramm, of the number of manuscripts that survive, and little conceiving the inadequacy of the editions with which I had worked.

My enlightenment began when I examined the manuscripts that I knew or that were brought to my attention by Hervé Pinoteau and, eventually, François Avril, and it increased as I worked through Victor Leroquais’s superb volumes on the pontificals. Then a series of journeys around northern France brought me into direct contact with manuscripts unknown to Schramm, and a trip to the British Library in London became a turning point in the undertaking, for it was there that I examined ms Egerton 931, the beautiful pontifical from which Dom Edmond Martène had edited the Last Capetian Ordo (Ordo xxii A) in the eighteenth century. When I collated this manuscript with Martène’s second edition, I discovered over 160 differences between the manuscript and the edition. Collation of other editions with their surviving manuscript sources further proved the degree to which earlier editors had tampered with their texts. It became excruciatingly obvious that a reliable history of the medieval and Renaissance French coronation ceremony, and to some extent even of medieval kingship, could not be written until there was a reliable edition of the coronation texts.

Over half a century ago Percy Ernst Schramm was aware of the need for such an edition, and he issued a call to the French scholarly community to produce it. I also had hoped that an edition would be forthcoming, but when there was none on the horizon by the conclusion of my stay in France in 1974, I decided to undertake the task myself. Several . . .

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