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The start of the eighteenth century witnessed the elevation of Prussia to monarchic status, a reflection of the rising importance of the Hohenzollern dynasty within the Empire as well as in Central Europe. In tandem with this, Berlin came to the fore as the capital city of Brandenburg, with the establishment there of the royal court. This volume makes available for the first time a selection of the diverse printed and visual materials relating to these developments. In their introduction to the documents, the editors explore the historical, political and cultural context of the rise of the Hohenzollerns and the significance of the 1701 coronation of Friedrich III as King in Prussia. The materials provided in the original, as well as in English translation, are wide-ranging. Points of focus include the dynasty's cultivation of the arts and learning, its festive culture, the structure of the court and the nature of Friedrich's reign. Particular attention is given to the ceremonial procedure and festivities surrounding his coronation recorded by the court poet, Johann von Besser. This collection of materials acts as a commentary on Baroque kingship, revealing the manner in which the early eighteenth-century monarch wished to present himself to the outside world and enhance his legitimacy among European rulers. It also offers valuable insights into a key stage in the political and cultural history of Brandenburg-Prussia, the consequences of which exercised a crucial impact on the development of Germany and the history of Europe.
Karin Friedrich is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen, UK and Sara Smart is Senior Lecturer in German at the University of Exeter, UK.