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Chronicling the Iberian Palace: Written Sources and the Meanings of Medieval Christian Rulers' Residences

AuthorsMartin, Therese
Twelfth century
Issue Date2010
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationJournal of Medieval Iberian Studies 2/1: 109-139 (2010)
AbstractContemporaneous written evidence makes it clear that medieval rulers were aware of the impression that their dwellings caused and, indeed, that they took deliberate steps to reinforce the visual impact on the viewers. In this study, I will focus on some of the more extensive twelfth‐century descriptions of two palaces from Christian lands of Iberia – one episcopal (Santiago de Compostela), one royal (León) – within an examination of the roles that these buildings played in buttressing their patrons’ power. Two chronicles, the Historia Compostellana (c. 1100–40) and the Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris (c. 1145) present the rulers’ palaces as an essential setting for their authority; these accounts are rounded out by hagiographical and literary sources, along with an archaeological analysis of some of the elements of the standing architecture. In addition to aiding in the study of a building through its multiple uses – both practical and symbolic – written descriptions allow us a glimpse of the meanings that medieval palaces had for their patrons and the viewing public.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17546551003619654
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos
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