The identity of the jambs have been a topic of debate for scholars for a long time. Bernard de Montfaucon identified the statues of Saint-Denis as the Merovingian kings and queens. This theory was rejected though by Abbe Lebeuf in 1751.
Instead of Montfaucon’s theory, Abbe suggested that these statues portray figures from the old testament. This idea stood until Ernst Kitzinger proposed that these statues are the antecedents of both the kings of France and Christ. Although there is no proof backing this opinion, it seems to be the most poignant.
Jamb statues on the right hand portal are believed to be patriarchs and early leaders of the Jewish people.
Jamb statues on the left and central portals are representational of royal figures. The church of Saint Denis was chosen as a burial for Merovingian, Carolingian and Capetian dynasties. This church had history with royalty, and this could be the reason why royalty is honored in the jamb statues During the coronation ceremonies, the ordo, directions for the content of office, would call for God to bestow the virtues of old testament leaders upon the newly appointed kings.
These kings would further be compared to figures of the old testament, such as Depin the Short was called a new Moses and a Shining David.
These kings would follow in the footsteps and lead their country in the religious and virtuous ways of the leaders before them. These paradigmatic prayers would provide the kings inspiration. The iconography of kingship is relevant because the church saw that the ideology of the kings was related to those figures before them from the old testament. These figures promoted a high prestige of living.
The kings values were good and pious, much like those preached of in the old testament.Bishop Ivo of the Chartres, took and intermediate position between the radical opponents of the investiture question. He upheld the right of the kings to bestow temporal, but not spiritual, power on newly elected bishops. This gave the bishops worldly possession of the church, but not the insignia of his office.
Due to Bishop Ivo, the conflict of the investiture question comes to an end in France. King Louis VI is the figure that brings harmony between kingship and priesthood in the jamb statues. It was his devotion for the church that accomplished this.He was a man of simple nature who led his country with the same values as preached in the church and the old testament.
His leadership enabled the church to flourish along with his country as well. King Louis VI enabled the church to proceed through the temporal kingdom and the temporal kingdom to become stable through the church. Similar statues decorate Notre-Dame in Etampes. Years after Saint Denis, Notre-Dame in Paris represented the harmony of regnum and salerdotium with Louis VII giving privilege to the virgin Mary, who is patron saint of the cathedral of Notre-Dame.
The bishop of Paris.Maurice of Sully, completely accepts it. Also at Notre-Dame in Paris, statues honoring regnum are represented as a unified group of kings in the gallery which is located under the western rose window. In Amiens, their homogenous series forms the counterpart to the homogenous series on the front of the lower fa? “§ade.
In Reims, the gallery of kings is extended around the flanks of the cathedral. According to this chapter, there is harmony between kingship and priesthood, therefore in the leadership of the kings, there is a reflection of the values promoted by the church and old testament.The two were very closely tied together. The kings led their country much like the figures adorned in the old testament would lead their people.
Churches in France would server as civic buildings in the sense that they were so admired by their countries leaders. Coronation ceremonies for the kings would be held at the churches and special prayers would be recited by the leaders of the church, and in turn the kings themselves. Even the burial grounds of many dynasties would be located at the church. Reassuring the strong ties between bother kingships and priesthoods.
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