King David in Germany: Royal Traditions at Prüm

King David in Germany:Royal Traditions at Prüm

Marquardt-Cherry, Janet T.

Essays in Medieval Studies, vol. 9 (1992)


Unlike Psalters, Tropers were not commonly furnished with images of King David. This was because the Tropers’ idiosyncratic texts drew from widely varied sources and could claim no such illustrious author. One manuscript, however, Paris B.N. fonds latin MS.9448, from the monastery of Prüm in western Germany, was illustrated with a striking double-image of King David during the Ottonian period, ca. 990-1001 (p. 48). As part of the miniature originally accompanying the third mass of Christmas, folio 4 represents King David as rex in the upper register and as author of the psalms, i.e., within his liturgical venue as sacerdos, in the lower register. Comparable to the Werden Psalter frontispiece, which has a similar two-tier composition, the Prüm scene is justified in a Troper by specific references to King David in the Introit tropes.

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