The Black St Maurice of Magdeburg and the African Christian Kingdoms in Nubia and Ethiopia in the Thirteenth Century

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Date
2015
Authors
Zacharopoulou, Effrosyni
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Publisher
The Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (SASMARS)
Abstract
This study examines the connections between the Black Saint Maurice of Magdeburg and the Christian kingdoms in Nubia and Ethiopia. The depiction of Saint Maurice signifies a new approach to the concept of blackness in medieval imagery. The question is this is related to the familiarity that started developing between the Latins and the Eastern Christians in the 13th century. By analysing the relations between Papacy and Nubia’s church, the legends of Prester John, and the struggle between Pope and Frederick of Hohenstaufen, the study concludes that Saint Maurice of Magdeburg is indirectly associated with Christian Nubia. The Black Saint Maurice evidently underlined Frederick’s aspirations to present himself as the only protector of the Christian world. The Eastern Christians were integrated in this world without the stigma of heresy that Pope had imputed on them. The same stigma was attributed to Frederick as well. Therefore the Black Saint Maurice was his provocative response to the papal see.
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Keywords
Middle Ages -- Periodicals. , Renaissance -- Periodicals. , Middle Ages. , Renaissance.
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