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Isaiah Kelly
Isaiah Kelly

Unruly Heroes Update 20190531 CODEX



To close, a few words about the history of research of the Bible in the Codex Aureus. It began with the scholar Hans Redenbach and his book-length study of the Christ von Worms (Munich: Kösel, 1912), and he was followed up by some of the most remarkable research on the Bible in the Codex Aureus, including the works of René Binder, Franz Arnold, Hermann Graf, H. E. Rollins, and Percy Ernst Schramm and Florentine Mtherich (whose book I have referred to above). There was also a great amount of research on the Heptameron by Julian Krämer, as well as later studies of the medieval depiction of Charles the Bald in the Paris Psalter and Book of the Hours of Charlemagne, as well as in the Book of Charles, one of the portraits in Figs. 4 and 5.




Unruly Heroes Update 20190531 CODEX



The double haired man in the 870 manuscript represents Charles for two reasons. First, the haired man in the Codex Aureus is a mirror of Charles regarding his appearance, status, and attributes. 34 The 870 portrayal emphasizes Charles physical attributes and personality traits. His lean, powerful, and well-featured visage recalls the portraits made of Carolingian rulers in the century before the 870 manuscript and those made of Charles by contemporary artists. The 870 rendering of Charles also stylizes him as a powerful ruler, as might be expected for an emperor.35 The portrait presents Charles as the protector of poets and a lover of learning, an expression of his scholarly achievement and devotion. Charles is also depicted in the act of kneeling and offering his assistance to two lesser figures; this expression indicates his devotion to the two figures and his belief that they, like himself, would be rewarded for their piety and service. The 870 portrait emphasizes Charles concern for the poor and protection of the common people. These same attributes are represented in the illustrations depicting the Coenodians and the altar cloth, but the portrait of Charles displays them in a more dramatic and positive manner. A second reason for the depiction of Charles in the Codex Aureus is that it recognizes the monastery of St. Emmeram as the product of the king's patronage. In the Codex Aureus, the identity of the artist of the portrait and his master is also an expression of the monks belief in the divine origin of their monastery.36 This message is important. For these monks, the artistic quality of the Codex Aureus indicates that their monastery was the result of a divine commission; that it was created at the command of the powerful ruler Charles. The portrait of the emperor emphasizes the blessing received by the monastery and its inhabitants. 37 Figure 11. Koenigsmödel, fol. 98, Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram, 870, Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14000. Reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut from a coin-issue of Louis the Pious, on a theme of homage to a German king of 1282, made by John Anthony of Liechtenstein (published by Hans Tietze, Die Wappenrolle von Lösingen, 1965). Reproduction courtesy Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich. The figure of Charles atop the dome of the west facade of the Church of St. Emmeram is visible in the distance. (Photo: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich).


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