The magnificent scabbard of this sword was probably produced around 1084 in Italy for the coronation of Emperor Henry IV. Each side depicts seven crowned figures, thus creating a series of fourteen kings and emperors. This was apparently done to illustrate the continuous sequence of rulers from Charlemagne to Henry III, which would be in keeping with the tradition of the Salian emperors. However, the number fourteen, i.e., twice the sacred number seven, could also have symbolic meaning. In any case, the arrangement and orientation of these rulers, chased in gold foil, clearly indicates that at festive occasions the Imperial Sword was meant to be carried ahead of the ruler with its tip pointing upwards. On both sides the cross-guard of the sword bears Latin inscriptions, which are taken from the laudes, hymns of praise sung after the coronation. The pommel of the sword shows a coat of arms with the imperial eagle and the coat of arms of Emperor Otto IV (reigned 1198-1218). The design of the sword and the details of the inscriptions suggest that the weapon was created when he was count of Poitou and duke of Aquitaine in France. Thus the sword might have already been used when he was crowned Roman king in Aachen in 1198. For the scabbard, however, the magnificent golden sheath from Salian times was used. From the 14th century onwards, the weapon was regarded as the sword of the imperial patron saint Maurice (Latin: Mauritius), the great prototype of all warriors.
Italien (?) (Scheide), Frankreich (?)
Scheide: 2.Hälfte 11.Jahrhundert, Schwert: 1198/1218
Olivenholz, Goldblech, Emailplatten, Granate, Perlen (verloren). Klinge: Stahl, Knauf und Parierstange: schwach vergoldet, Griff: mit Silberdraht umwickelt
L. 110 cm
Gewicht Schwert: 1300 g
Gewicht Scheide: 990 g
Knauf: "BENEDICTVS DO(MINV)S DE(V)S . QVI . DOCET MANVS";Parierstange: "+ C(H)RISTVS : VINCIT : C(H)RISTVS REINAT und "+ C(H)RISTVS . VINCIT . C(H)RISTVS . REIGNAT . CHRIST.(VS) INPERAT"
Kruckenkreuz mit Kreis (Klinge)
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Weltliche Schatzkammer
Schatzkammer, WS XIII 17
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