Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Medieval people who had authority acquired it through lineage and success in battle; they symbolized their social positions by display of costume, jewellery, gold and silver plate, weapons, buildings, and funeral monuments. Some of these represented portable wealth that could be used as gifts to create and confirm alliances, and as pledges against loans. Royal power was bestowed at coronations, for which appropriate regalia were needed. Heraldry and coats of arms became increasingly important for those high in the social structure or aspiring to it. Those of lower status might own things made in base metal, pottery, and stone, but whether any of those expressed symbols of resistance to the power of authority is debatable. The need to exercise that authority through the permanency of written documents led to increased use of seals for authentication.

Keywords: authority, power, costume, gold, coronations, seals, plate

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.