Provenance and function of the theory of cosmological consequences of unjust kingship in the mirror of Jonas of Orléans (born about 780)


The aim of this article is to present the idea, which was popular with Carolingian moralists of the VIII and IX century, about cosmological consequences which refer to the kingship. The belief that the king's sins could threaten the whole community was particularly emphasised in literary activity of hortative model. Therefore this model can be easily found in numerous letters to rulers which were created during the reign of Charlemagne (747-814) and Louis the Pious (778-840). The analysis mainly discusses is based on mirror of princes which about 831 the bishop of Orlean wrote to the son of the emperor Pepin I, the king of Aquitaine (797-838). In the third chapter of this work, cosmological rule of power was included which explains a strict correlation between the condition of vertues belonging to the king and the condition of his world and people. Unjust  king destroyed the balance in universe. He brought natural disasters, illnesses and death upon his people. The author concentrates on analysing the provenance of the cosmological idea describing the interdependence between the king's justice and the order of the universe. He also refers to the role in the rethorical discurse which was used by Jonas of Orleans. In the article – to make a comparison – other kinds of Carolingian mirrors will be presented which discuss cosmological consequences of kingship.



speculum principis; Jonas of Orléans; De institutione regia; Carolingian literature; cosmological consequences

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Published : 2021-09-15

Chudzikowska-Wołoszyn, M. (2021). Provenance and function of the theory of cosmological consequences of unjust kingship in the mirror of Jonas of Orléans (born about 780). Vox Patrum, 79, 67-82.

Małgorzata Chudzikowska-Wołoszyn
Instytut Historii i Stosunków Międzynarodowych Uniwersytetu Warmińsko-Mazurskiego  Poland

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