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be elevated on the shield at sunrise; that the forepart of the shield was to be supported by the emperor's father, if he were alive, and if not, by his nearest male relation; and that the back part was to be borne by the patriarch of Constantinople, and the principal nobles. In this state the emperor was conveyed to the church of St. Sophia, where he was invested with the ensigns of imperial dignity.
In Navarre, the ceremony of elevating the sovereign on the shield was considered of greater importance than the coronation itself. The arms of the kingdom were painted on a shield, which was placed upon the ground in some public place; the king, led by two of the principal nobles, advanced and stepped upon the shield, when it was raised up by six stout slaves, and the monarch was borne in this fashion into the midst of the assembled multitude.
In an ancient law of Don Pelayo, one of the Gothic kings of Spain, we find the following directions for the creation of their kings: “Let the king be chosen and admitted in the metropolitan city of this kingdom, or at least in some cathedral church, and the night before he is exalted, let him watch all night in the church ; and the next day, when they come to lift him up, let him step upon a shield or buckler, and the principal men there present shall raise him aloft, and when he is so elevated, the people shall cry, Real, Real.”
Among the Jews, the Norwegians, and the Irish, the ceremony of investing the monarch with sovereign power was performed near or at some remarkable stone pillar. Thus Abimelech was made king by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.” (Judges ix. 6.) Jehoash, during his coronation, “stood by a pillar as the manner was,” (2 Kings xi. 14;) and Josiah, when he restored the pure worship of Jehovah, “stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord.” (2 Kings xxiii. 3.)
The Norwegians and Danes used to place twelve stone seats in the form of a circle, for the principal nobles, and one in the centre for the king. The royal stone was of great size, and was rudely shaped into the form of a seat. Three of these circles still exist in Denmark, which was anciently divided into three kingdoms: the most perfect of them is that called Kingstolen (the royal seat), at Leipa in Zealand; the others are at Lunden in Scania, and Viburg in Jutland.
These stone circles for the installation of kings were introduced into the Shetland Isles, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man, by their Norwegian conquerors. They were called Tings, and the hill on which the stone circle in the Isle of Man was erected, is still called Tinwald Hill.
The Germans adopted this custom from the Norwegians: their Königstuhl is near Coblentz upon the Rhine; it consists of seven stone seats ranged in a circle, for the seven electors, and a large stone in the centre for the emperors. In Hungary, the kings took their coronation oath on a stone column. After the monarch had sworn, he mounted a spirited horse, and leaped over a mound of earth prepared for the purpose, after which he ascended the mound, and waved his sword in the form of a cross over the multitude.
The most singular ceremony connected with the stone column was that which took place at the installation of the dukes of Carinthia. A large rock near the city of St. Veit was the place where the installation was performed. On the day appointed for the celebration of the ceremonial, a peasant, who claimed the place by hereditary descent, took up his position on the top of the rock, and had below him, tethered at the base, a black cow, a black calf, and the leanest mare which could be found in the province. A little after sunrise, the duke-elect came out from the city clad in a peasant's dress, a coarse bonnet on his head, buskins of untanned leather on his legs, and a shepherd's crook in his hand; but though thus plainly dressed, he was attended by his senators and nobles in their richest robes. When the procession approached, the peasant called out, “Who is this that cometh hither with so much parade and magnificence ?” The attendants replied, “This is the prince who claims, as rightful heir, the inheritance of the sovereignty over our good land the province of Carinthia." The peasant then inquired, “ Is he just ? Doth he seek the welfare of the Carinthian peasants? Is he of free condition and noble birth? Is he worthy of honour for his past conduct, and doth he desire to win honour by future exploits? Is he obedient to the laws, and attached to the ancient usages of Carinthia? Will he be a defender of the pure and holy Catholic faith?” To this the duke's attendants replied, “Such is he, and such he will be.” After a long pause, the peasant renewed the conversation by asking, “ Has the lord any right to remove me from this my place ? To which question the attendants replied. “ Our lord hath purchased this ground for sixty deniers, and he granteth to thee the animals thou hast with thee, the robes which he wears, and immunity of taxes for thyself and thine house.” The peasant then descended from the rock, and gave the duke a slight slap in the face. The duke then mounted the rock, and brandished a sword in the form of a cross over the multitude; water was then brought to him in the crown of a peasant's cap, which he drank as a symbol both of his moderation and humility. The duke then laid aside his peasant's dress, and having received his ducal robes, went and received the sacrament in the church of St. Veit.
The stone on which the ancient monarchs of Ireland were inaugurated, was at a very early period removed to Scotland, whence it was brought to England by Edward I.: it is now fixed in the seat of the corona
tion-chair, and we shall describe it more particularly in a future chapter.
It only now remains to mention, that the recognition, in the German forms of coronation, was always connected with the semblance of an election, as we find from the speech made by the archbishop of Cologne, when he presented Otho, who was designated emperor during the life-time of his father, to the general assembly of the German princes: “Behold, I bring you here Otho, chosen by God, and appointed by his father, Henry our lord, and now made king by all the princes of the empire. If this election please you, do you signify the same by holding up your hands to heaven.” The people consenting, he was then anointed, and invested with the imperial ensigns.