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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns Boleslaw's penance. It demonstrates how the richness and complexity of meanings attributed to gestures of penance in the Middle Ages enabled Gallus to efface in his story the connection between the penance carried out by the duke, and the sin he had committed against Zbigniew. The richness and complexity enabled the transformation of penance into a multi-leveled spectacle serving to demonstrate Boleslaw's glory, and, at the same time, to restore the social order which has been disrupted by the bloody disposal of the problem of Zbigniew. It is worth observing that the chronicler did not limit himself to merely noting the fact of the monarch's penance. According to Gallus, the entire career of the ducal dynasty reigning Poland is based on the humility of its founder, Piast. It is worth noting that the phrase satisfactio appears in his Chronicle, beside the story of Boleslaw's penance, only twice.

Keywords: Boleslaw's penance; chronicler; ducal dynasty; Gallus; medieval Poland; Piast duke; royal humility; satisfactio; Zbigniew

10.1163/ej.9789004166578.i-218.9
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004166578.i-218.9
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