Pippin III and the sandals of Christ
The making and unmaking of an early medieval relic
in Religious Franks
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The sandals of Christ turn out to be associated with one of the Carolingian dynasty's steps towards building the divinely established ecclesia whose nature Mayke de Jong has done so much to elucidate. This chapter follows her example in bringing scriptural exegesis to bear on questions of Carolingian political culture. Doing so reveals the unstable interrelation between textual and material forms of historical evidence for one particular relic, the 'sandals of Christ'. Full technical analysis of the construction, decoration and probable dating of the leatherwork, in due course, elucidates many aspects of the shoes' manufacture, and tells a story of elite craftsmen and women working with costly materials to produce exceptional footwear. The chapter focuses on textual evidence to examine their cultural construction as a relic and to suggest reasons why making a pair of shoes into a relic made sense in the 750s.

Religious Franks

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


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