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Open Access The Threefold Movement of St. Adalbert’s Head

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Throughout the Middle Ages the head of St. Adalbert – bishop of Prague, martyr, and patron saint of Poland, Bohemia, Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire – was set in motion in three ways. Firstly, no less than three actual human skulls were maneuvered in threedimensional – and, at the same time, in sacred and political – space. Secondly, St. Adalbert’s hagiographers occasionally dabbled in the topos of cephalophoria – miraculous portage of the head by its decollated owner. The third level is the portability of this body part in visual representation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss convergences between these medium-specific practices, which prove far less general and obvious than one might assume.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Until a short time ago, in German speaking countries there has neither been a periodical dealing primarly with interdisciplinary research of the Middle Ages, nor has there been a forum for regular publications in other languages. Wishing to close this gap, the journal «Mediaevistik» therefore pursues two aims: 1. To publish research methods and results which deal with studies within the different categories of the Middle Ages as a subject, and 2. to offer a forum for studies in all other important European languages and thus stressing and furthering the internationality of this particular field of research. The time frame is approx. the 8th to the 16th century, corresponding with the geographical boundaries of Latin Christianity in the High Middle Ages.

    All articles in Mediaevistik are published as full open access articles under a CC-BY Creative Commons license 4.0. There are no submission charges and no Article Processing Charges as these are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched, resulting in no direct charge to authors.

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