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A “Necessary Companion”: The Salian Consort’s Expected Role in Governance

  • Nina Verbanaz
Chapter
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

The Salian empress and queen consorts (1024–1125) maintained power and wielded authority as queen, performing their expected role within the monarchy. This chapter examines chronicles, manuscript images, and charters—well-used sources—in new ways to demonstrate the decidedly “unexceptional” nature of women’s accustomed participation in governing and advancement of their family’s power. The Salian queens participated in the administration of the realm and the promotion of the dynasty, particularly through the memorialization of deceased family members. They operated within and fashioned a set of expectations that while informed by gender ideals were not limited by them. Chronicles attest to the use of gendered language, both masculine and feminine, to praise the queen’s actions. Manuscript images portray the royal couple emphasizing both divine and earthly authority without great concern for gender differences. Charter evidence demonstrates the complementary roles of the king and queen in governance. The Salian queen- and empress-consorts were necessary companions in the Salian monarchy.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Verbanaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Drury UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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