Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy, and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph

Hardcover | October 1, 1997

byGordon Kipling

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The civic triumph, or royal entry, was one of the great `spectacles of state' that stood at the heart of national and civic life in the Middle Ages. It originated in the late fourteenth century as a vast theatrical ritual that transformed the city into a stage and involved king and peoplealike as actors in a cosmic drama. It endured until a more neoclassical form replaced it in the late sixteenth century. Enter The King examines the medieval civic triumph not primarily as a programme of political emblems, but rather as a theatrical ritual designed to inaugurate the sovereign intohis reign. As the king entered the city gates, he became the chief actor in an elaborate court spectacle defined by the citizens' pageantry and witnessed by his subjects. This inaugural purpose, indeed, gave the medieval civic triumph its distinctive form and purpose. Enter the King examines, for the first time, the ritual purposes and dramatic form of these spectacles. It explores the ways in which these ritualistic shows often draw their central ideas and inspiration from the medieval church's complex Advent liturgy to celebrate and acclaim the king's FirstComing and to dramatize the meaning of the king's entry in terms of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The roles which royal and civic actors performed on these occasions served to define the political, social, and religious ideals that bound them together into a community. Enter the King studies themedieval civic triumph as an international form of drama and as one of the defining rituals of late medieval society in England, France, and the Low Countries.

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From the Publisher

The civic triumph, or royal entry, was one of the great `spectacles of state' that stood at the heart of national and civic life in the Middle Ages. It originated in the late fourteenth century as a vast theatrical ritual that transformed the city into a stage and involved king and peoplealike as actors in a cosmic drama. It endured un...

Gordon Kipling is at University of California, Los Angeles.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.02 inPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198117612

ISBN - 13:9780198117612

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Idea of the Civic Triumph2. The Christmas King3. The Civic Triumph as Royal Epiphany4. Third Advent: Grace in this Life and Afterward Glory5. Fourth Advent: The Civic Triumph as Royal Apocalypse6. The Queen's AdventBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Gordon Kipling's immensely learned and readable study... Kipling's copious evidence that the civic triumph provided an occasion for collective enjoyment and an assertion of communal identity will pique the interest of all scholars of medieval popular culture, but his book also invitesscholars to regard these events as complicated dramatic spectacles. Thus iconographers, liturgical scholars, and scholars of early European theater will savor Kipling's concise, illuminating, lucid prose and will appreciate the copious illustrations of rare images.'Margaret Rose Jaster, Albion