Ritual generated a sense of shared identity alignment

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Ritual generated a sense of shared identity. Alignment with the Church became a critical component of kingship by 1300 that was advertised in opulent coronation rituals. These were performances of power and wealth that delivered a strong visual message that rippled out in stories and plays among illiterate subjects. King Otto demonstrated his awareness of this benefit when he chose to rule from Aachen, the center of Charlemagne’s e mpire, and also like Charlemagne, elected to be anointed and crowned by the pope. The spectacle’s effectiveness shines through the words of nun Hroswitha of Gandersheim (ca. 935– ca. 1003) who wrote, “As often as he set out for war, there was not a people, though haughty because of its strength, that could harm or conquer him, supported as he was by the consolation of the heavenly King” ( Weisner-Hanks et al., 2020, p. 246). Yet in reality, as an elected ruler, his empire was really a loose net overlaying different types of local communities. Oath-taking in public rituals infused the ties between monarchs and nobles and between nobles and their knights with a sacred dimension while also stressing consequences for disloyalty. These promises became critical as crusading kings and nobles left behind their wives who increasingly had to oversee the realm. Weisner-Hanks et al., 2020 use the misinterpretation of the lack of medieval toys to make a point. Early historians assumed that their inability to find toys proved that people in that day did not value or look on their children with much affection. Evidence from other sources like tapestries and illuminated texts refutes this assumption. Characterizations of the family ties and organization suffered this same kind of distortion, even when written accounts existed. Historians projected back their own norms as if the nuclear family with complementary roles was unchanging, discounting the roles of wives of masters and lords who ruled in their stead. Using other types of sources, we understand that family organization and responsibilities varied across time and regions. Oaths of loyalty to a realm or family lent some protection to families during the absence of the men. These sacred oaths were part of the chivalric code that established an ideal of masculinity: loyalty, moral strength, compassion, and social graces, and courage and military prowess. Certeau (2000) wrote that imaginary ideas, works, and feeling have real impacts and are, therefore, part of history. This imaginary Satire or mockery could reinforce or undermine the political power of ideas like chivalry as in “The Knight’s Tale” of wounded love in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1387 1400). Lord Byron noted both the actual political power of the Chivalric Code and the antidote when he wrote of Cervantes’ caricature of chivalry in Don Juan : Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away; A single laugh demolish’d the right arm Of his own country; seldom since that day Has Spain had heroes… Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818 24), Canto XIII, Stanza 11 (Lord Byron, 1837/2007) This image is a copy of a miniature,

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