The ruler with the sword in the Utrecht Psalter
in Religious Franks
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As a visual 'mirror of princes' the Utrecht Psalter says much about David as a role-model of royal behaviour. The Utrecht Psalter also depicts David's counterpart, his predecessor and rival Saul, even if he is not mentioned in the Psalm verses. This is notably the case in the illustrations to Psalms 51 and 151, where Saul is shown as a ruler seated with a sword flat on his lap. This chapter discusses this man with the sword on his lap as he appears in the Utrecht Psalter, and discovers what he stands for by comparing him with the same figure in other manuscripts. It argues that the use of this motif in the Utrecht Psalter supports the interpretation that the manuscript functioned as a visual 'mirror of princes'. Of crucial importance are the illustrations to Psalms 13 and 52, which are much alike.

Religious Franks

Religion and power in the Frankish Kingdoms: studies in honour of Mayke de Jong


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