“For as ‘tis not the length of the beard, or the coarseness of the habit which makes a philosopher, so neither will those frequent shavings, or the mere wearing [of] a linen vestment constitute a votary of Isis; but he alone is a true servant or follower of this Goddess, who after he has heard, and been made acquainted in a proper manner with the history of the actions of these Gods, searches into the hidden truths which is concealed under them, and examines the whole by the dictates of reason and philosophy.”
A collection of three ancient rings from Bonhams. The top is an ancient Roman jet intaglio of Asclepius with a snake, and the middle is a Roman jasper intaglio of a double headed man. The final ring is Phoenician, made of gold and agate. The Roman rings date to the 2nd to 3rd century CE, though the source gave no date for the Phoenician ring.
The double-headed eagle sits over a metre high, has plumage that is black, gold, or a mixture of the two, and is a creature owned by Empresses, Emperors and other such highest ranking nobilities. The dual nature of this bird results in it being stubborn and incredibly hard to train or break in. Thus, in the wrong hands, it can do great damage. Some nobles keep them as pets, where as others use them as messenger birds for important documents, as none other save the heads of countries could obtain such a creature. Danger to humans: Low
Kept at the Schatzkammer in Vienna, Austria, the Imperial Regalia is the most extensive collection of regalia from the Middle Ages. It actually comprises two sets.
5.1 The Aachen Regalia
The oldest part of the Imperial Regalia, it consists of three pieces.
1. The Coronation Gospel, a manuscript produced at the court of Charlemagne in Aachen in the late 8th century. It was used at his coronation on Christmas Day, 800 AD.
2. St. Stephen’s Purse, an early 9th century reliquary that contains soil from Jerusalem soaked with the blood of St. Stephen Martyr
3. The so-called Sabre of Charlemagne, from the late 9th century (not pictured)
Traditionally kept at Aachen, the Regalia was evacuated to Paderborn and later to Vienna, as the French invaded the Rhineland. The jewels were brought to Nuremberg after the annexation of Austria in 1938, and returned to Vienna in 1943.
After the Napoleonic Wars, both Aachen and Nuremberg asked for their respective jewels to be returned. Their requests were refused.
5.2 The Nuremberg Regalia
The largest part of the Imperial Regalia was kept in the Free Imperial City of Nuremberg, and was only allowed to leave the city for a coronation. The collection includes the Imperial Crown, sceptre, orb and several relics. During the French invasion of Franconia, the jewels were moved to Austria. In 1938, the regalia was returned to Nuremberg, only to be handed back to the Austrians in 1946.
4. Illustration of a part of the Imperial Regalia, 1909 - Depicted here are the Imperial Crown, two swords, sceptres, the Imperial Orb, the Emperor’s gloves and shoes, coronation mantle and a crown part of Charlemagne’s reliquary (actually not a part of the Imperial Regalia)
5. The Imperial Crown, made in the late 10th century
6. The Imperial Orb, made in the late 12th century
7. One of the Gloves for the Emperor, made in Palermo in 1220
8. The Holy Lance (9th century) which contains a 1st century nail, said to be from the True Cross; the Imperial Cross (11th century) and Lignum Crucis reliquary.
9. Illustration of the Ceremonial Sword (Palermo, 1220), Imperial Sceptre (14th century) and Imperial Sword (late 11th century)
10. Coronation dalmatic (early 14th century)
The list is to be continued in future posts. Source for all pictures (x)
Coat of arms (Quaternion Eagle) edited by me, based in this picture by David de Necker (1510)