Ermentrude's consecration (866): Queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility

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Ermentrude’s consecration in 866 has long been interpreted as the quintessential example of queen-making as fertility rite. More recent scholarship has illuminated how Carolingian queen-making reflected richer definitions of queenship and wider political roles of queens. This article re-examines the significance of fertility at Ermentrude’s consecration against the backdrop of the 860s. Close analysis of the surviving introductory address as well as the liturgy for anointing and coronation reveals that fertility was an unusually important theme at Ermentrude’s consecration - but not simply the queen's fertility. By modelling royal fertility on biblical templates, the consecration not only communicated hopes of future children but also political messages about divine sanction of dynastic continuity and good kingship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-588
Number of pages22
JournalEarly Medieval Europe
Issue number4
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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