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12. Adventus, Arrivistes and Rites of Rulership in Byzantium and France in the Tenth and Eleventh Century

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Chapter Summary

Byzantine and western rulers were drawing on a common stock of cults of saints and relics, and they had access to a common foundation-narrative, featuring Constantine as an ideal leader of Christian people. Adventus was rooted in the urban political culture of the eastern Mediterranean world. Adventus ceremonial for greeting bishops, relics, and other persons, such as emperors, deemed praiseworthy is attested in both eastern and western halves of the early Christian Roman Empire. An ancient Roman triumph, in contrast, celebrated conclusively successful violence. Constantine VII had particular political reasons for presenting himself as master of the ceremonies of triumphs. Duke William of Normandy was, in a literal sense, an arriviste in Anglo-Saxon England, and contemporary encomiasts formatted his conquest in such fulsomely classical terms that they seem to have found the lack of any adventus for William in London anomalous, even embarrassing.

Keywords: adventus; ancient ceremonies; Anglo-Saxon England; Byzantine rulers; Constantine VII; Duke William of Normandy; Mediterranean world; Roman Empire



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