This “Encyclopedia Book of Medieval Royal Iconography” sets out to do the first extensive collection of information on royal iconography covering the whole Middles Ages (476–1492). In particular, this book would like to collect entries about every medieval kingdom from Portugal to the Caucasus and from Iceland to North Africa following the different dynasties and with a particular emphasis on the most important kings who ruled during this period (please see an example list here below). Every entry (main body of 3000–5000 words and approximately five figures) should focus on the official iconography of every ruler and answer the following questions:

1)  Did the kings make use of royal images? Was it them, some members of their court, or other subjects that commissioned them?

2)  Which medium did the kings preferably use for their images (seals, coins, manuscripts, mosaics, frescoes, paintings, and sculptures)?

3)  In which context did the kings preferably place their images (in religious places as churches or monasteries or in lay places as palace, squares, or city-gates)?

4)  Which visibility did these images have? Who were they addressed to?

5)  Which iconographic themes did these images use?

6)  In which way did the royal images render symbols of power, attire, and the physical appearance of the king? Did they follow specific patterns or create new iconographies?

In order to explain better the structure of the work, below we list the entries related to the Kingdoms of Sicily and Naples:

  • Kingdom of Sicily. Norman dynasty (1130–1194);
  • Kingdom of Sicily. Swabian dynasty (1194–1266);
  • Kingdom of Sicily. Angevin dynasty (1266–1282);
  • Kingdom of Sicily. Aragonese dynasty (1282–1410);
  • Kingdom of Naples. Angevin dynasty (1282–1382);
  • Kingdom of Naples. Angevin-Durazzo dynasty (1382–1435);
  • Kingdom of Naples. Angevin-Valois dynasty (1382–1442);
  • Kingdom of Naples. Trastámara dynasty (1442–1494).

Published Entries

Louis XI of Valois (1461–1483)
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Louis XI (1461–1483) was the sixth king of the Valois branch of the Capetian dynasty in France; he ruled from 1463 until his death in 1483. Louis was the son of Charles VII (1403–1461) and Marie of Anjou (1404–1463). While Dauphin, he married first Mar [...] Read more
Louis XI (1461–1483) was the sixth king of the Valois branch of the Capetian dynasty in France; he ruled from 1463 until his death in 1483. Louis was the son of Charles VII (1403–1461) and Marie of Anjou (1404–1463). While Dauphin, he married first Margaret of Scotland (1424–1445) and then Charlotte of Savoie (c.1441–1483), who bore him four surviving children: Anne de France, Jeanne de France, François de France, and the future Charles VIII. Louis’ key challenge as monarch was to pick up the pieces of a kingdom ravaged by the Hundred Years War between England and France (1337–1453). His legacy was to have repaired the kingdom’s depleted coffers through a combination of frugality and territorial expansion. His historiography paints him as a paranoid, manipulative, and obsessively pious ruler, a simplistic portrait that is undermined by a close examination of his artistic patronage. This entry will focus on the iconography he employed across a variety of media to promote the sacred legitimacy of his rule and to unify the peoples of France’s newly acquired territories. 
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Khosrow II (590–628 CE)
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Khosrow II (r. 590–628 CE) was the last great Sasanian king who took the throne with the help of the Romans and broke with dynastic religious preferences as he became married to a Christian empress. It was under his rule that the Sasanian Empire reached its greate [...] Read more
Khosrow II (r. 590–628 CE) was the last great Sasanian king who took the throne with the help of the Romans and broke with dynastic religious preferences as he became married to a Christian empress. It was under his rule that the Sasanian Empire reached its greatest expansion. From the standpoint of iconographic studies, Khosrow II is among the most influential Persian kings. Although he was literally occupied by rebels and wars within the borders of the Sasanian territories and beyond, Khosrow managed to create a powerful image of himself that emphasized the legitimacy of his monarchy. Indeed, Khosrow Parviz (the Victorious) drew upon royal iconography as a propaganda tool on a wide range of materials such as rock and stucco reliefs, coins, seals, and metal plates. His image (created both visually and verbally) not only revived the traditional iconography of the Persian kings but also evolved it in a way that transcended his time and was passed on to the early Islamic Caliphates after him. Khosrow II imitated and manipulated the traditional royal iconography of his predecessors in order to display his legitimacy, piety, and valor. 
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John II Komnenos (1118–1143)
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John II Komnenos was the son of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Eirene Doukaina, and brother of Princess Anna Komnene, the author of the Alexiad. Born in 1087, he was crowned soon after his fifth birthday as co-emperor with his father, and in 1105, he was married to Piro [...] Read more
John II Komnenos was the son of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Eirene Doukaina, and brother of Princess Anna Komnene, the author of the Alexiad. Born in 1087, he was crowned soon after his fifth birthday as co-emperor with his father, and in 1105, he was married to Piroska Árpád, daughter of King Ladislaus I of Hungary and Adelaide of Rheinfelden. He is principally known for continuing his father’s work of stabilising Byzantium after the crises of the eleventh century. This included major wars of defence and conquest in both the Balkans and Anatolia, and especially a major eastern expedition in 1137–1139. During this campaign, he conquered Cilicia, but he was recalled to defend his borders against the Turks before he could make further conquests in Syria and bring the crusader states under his aegis. He died in a hunting accident just before he returned to Syria, with intentions to go to Jerusalem as well. His best-known iconographic representation is a mosaic of him and his wife in the Great Church of Sophia. Whilst there is also an image of him in a contemporary ornate gospel book, his most common representations are found on his many coin issues and seals. 
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Mirko Vagnoni

Institution: Department of History, Human Sciences and Education, University of Sassari, I-07100 Sassari, Italy

Interests: royal iconography; royal sacrality; meanings and functions of royal portraits; representation of power; royal kingship; political use of royal body; cultural transfers in the Mediterranean; Kingdom of Sicily in Norman–Swabian and Angevin–Aragonese period