This book examines the character and significance of the adventus ceremonies which were accorded to medieval popes and for which there is much evidence in the twelfth-century sources. The papal adventus, hitherto unstudied in any language, retained the framework and much of the familiar symbolism of the ritual reception performed for the ruler in antiquity. During the twelfth century it was performed for popes with unprecedented frequency, providing, in particular, a vital part of the papal accession ritual. On such occasions adventus represented a demonstration of consent to rule, a sense that was expressed through traditional idioms evoking the triumph of the ruler. But the meaning of the ritual altered towards the end of the century as a result of the breakdown of relations between the papacy and the Romans, and the adventus provided an opportunity for the Romans to express their own agenda wherein consent meant the right of acceptance or veto by the people.
Dr SUSAN TWYMAN teaches in the Faculty of Continuing Education, Birkbeck College, London University.