Divinus cultus devotissimus. Adrian VI and papal ritual
Number of pages
SourceFragmenta. Journal of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, 4, (2010), pp. 85-104
Article / Letter to editor
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Kunstgeschiedenis (t/m 2018)
Fragmenta. Journal of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome
SubjectMemory: Cultural and Religious Identities
How would Pope Adrian have experienced the ritual system of the Eternal City, a place he had never visited? Although the celebrations of the adventus were of “pompa mediocre”, as the source states, there was enthusiasm among the public for the triumphal arch, the thirty big statues near Porta San Paolo, the tapestries, papal coat of arms, and ephemeral altars with relics along the streets of the city. During Adrian’s pontificate the Sistine Chapel and the splendid Vatican palace halls were also fully functional as the theatre of palatine liturgy. The Pope scrupulously followed the liturgical calendar prescribed in the papal ceremonial, but if necessary he did not hesitate to tone down events because of the financial, political and precarious sanitary situations. Adrian was dedicated to the spiritual power of liturgy. At the same time he was fully aware that he had to play his ritual role as the Roman pontifex maximus.
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