Roman Emperor

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Synonyms for Roman Emperor

sovereign of the Roman Empire

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Gautier's empress of Rome presents an ideal of the "good woman" that fits closely with the Benedictine ideals of his day.
There can be little doubt that Gautier regarded his miracle of "The Empress of Rome" as inspiration for nuns at two French monasteries: Soissons and Fontevrault.
In his tract Gautier expands on the virtue of chastity as defined at the end of "The Empress of Rome," which is synonymous with sexual abstinence (or, as the rubric of two manuscripts states it, "De castitate sanctimoniallum").
"The Empress of Rome" dramatically expands on the concept of chastity, presents a model of a married, holy woman, and actively promotes a retreat from the world to a contemplative life.
Within the rich manuscript tradition of Gautier's Miracles, we can find additional evidence of how later readers might have understood the story of "The Empress of Rome." Recently, a number of scholars interested in the relationship of narrative and illustrations have argued that programs of illustration can sometimes constitute a "reading" of a narrative by their artists/compilers.(32) The illustrations and other decorative devices found in thirteenthand fourteenth-century manuscripts of Gautier's Miracles suggest that the female spiritual authority of Gautier's empress was appreciated by later readers.
In general, the more ornately decorated the manuscript, the more obvious becomes the structural and thematic importance of "The Empress of Rome." However, even in the least ornate manuscripts, rubrics and initials decorated in blue and red ink announce the beginning of new sections, most notably the beginning of the prologues to Parts I and II and the beginning of each miracle.(33) Among the heavily illustrated manuscripts, an historiated initial or miniature is added at the start of each miracle and at the start of the prologues to Parts I and II.
When we turn to a consideration of the illustrations themselves, we see that the illustrations and other decorative features highlight the analogous relationship between the empress of Rome and the mother of God, already observed as a feature of the narrative.
The healing of the lepers by the empress of Rome is another popular subject for illustrators.
24541), which was illustrated by Jean Pucelle.(39) Here, the narrative of "The Empress of Rome" is found in two separate illuminations instead of a single two-compartment miniature, as in the preceding manuscript.
Although the usual pattern in illustrated manuscripts of Gautier's Miracles is to depict only one or two scenes from "The Empress of Rome," there is evidence of more extensive illustration.
These thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century illustrated manuscripts provide ample evidence that later readers associated the story of the empress of Rome with chastity and healing, two important aspects of female spiritual authority.
In summary, it is interesting to note that in the late twelfth century, when Chretien de Troyes was writing his Arthurian romances, the empress of Rome was a commonplace that suggested an image of secular happiness and wealth acquired through a good marriage.
See also her useful summary of "The Empress of Rome" in "Appendix II," 169-71 and her comments on that story, 51-52, 71, 75-78, 109-11, 150-51, and 153-54.
22928, assigned siglum L by Ducrot-Granderye 63-66, is the primary copytext for Koenig's edition of "The Empress of Rome."
(20.) It is not entirely clear what Gautier means by his "book." Does he mean the entire anthology consisting of Part I plus the new story of the empress of Rome? Or does he refer only to "The Empress of Rome," a new miracle he has written after finishing Part I?