Title: A Solomonic throne for Salerno Cathedral?
- Šalamounův trůn pro salernskou katedrálu?
Source document: Convivium. 2018, vol. 5, iss. 1, pp. 36-49
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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Solomon's ivory throne in the Bible has been overlooked as a prototype for what was probably an ivory chair for Salerno Cathedral. Within about fifty years the city became an apostolic site as well as the capital of a new monarchy created there in 1130 with the election of Roger ii who may have been the throne's donor. He was compared to Solomon who appears in a crucial place in the Palatine Chapel in Palermo where the mosaics illustrate the same theme present in the Salerno ivories. This ivory throne was probably used as a piece of liturgical furniture either empty or to display the Bible on special occasions, thereby representing the divine presence which lent authority to the proceedings. While the Solomonic throne in the imperial audience hall at Constantinople was echoed by Norman mosaics in Palermo, an ivory throne in Salerno would have been more like Solomon's biblical chair because it was made of ivory, thereby enhancing the prestige of that city as well as the authority of its ruler.
This paper was part of a lecture given at the conference entitled The Normans in the South: Mediterranean Meetings in the Central Middle Ages held at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, 30 June – 2 July 2017.