1st Edition

Dynastic Change Legitimacy and Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Monarchy

    304 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Dynastic Change: Legitimacy and Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Monarchy examines the strategies for change and legitimacy in monarchies in the medieval and early modern eras.

    Taking a broadly comparative approach, Dynastic Change explores the mechanisms employed as well as theoretical and practical approaches to monarchical legitimisation. The book answers the question of how monarchical families reacted, adjusted or strategised when faced with dynastic crises of various kinds, such as a lack of a male heir or unfitness of a reigning monarch for rule, through the consideration of such themes as the role of royal women, the uses of the arts for representational and propaganda purposes and the impact of religion or popular will. Broad in both chronological and geographical scope, chapters discuss examples from the 9th to the 18th centuries across such places as Morocco, Byzantium, Portugal, Russia and Western Europe, showing readers how cultural, religious and political differences across countries and time periods affected dynastic relations.

    Bringing together gender, monarchy and dynasticism, the book highlights parallels across time and place, encouraging a new approach to monarchy studies. It is the perfect collection for students and researchers of medieval and early modern monarchy and gender.


    Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues, Manuela Santos Silva and Jonathan Spangler

    Part 1: Dynastic Change

    1 "The very next blood of the King": the rules governing female succession to the throne in English history

    Lynsey Wood

    2 Portugal, 1385: a people’s choice or coup d’état?

    Isabel de Pina Baleiras

    3 From election to consolidation: the strategies of legitimacy of the Trastámara dynasty in the Crown of Aragon

    Lledó Ruiz Domingo

    4 Sigismund of Sweden as foreigner in his own kingdom: how the king of Sweden was made an alien

    Cathleen Sarti

    5 Free election, divine providence and constitution: legitimacy of royal power in the early modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

    Jolanta Choińska-Mika and Katarzyna Kuras

    6 Legitimacy through family traditions? The Hanoverians represented as successors to the throne of Great Britain

    Charlotte Backerra

    7 "The reversal of dynasties" during the Bourbon era in the Kingdom of Naples

    Cinzia Recca

    Part 2: Legitimising Royal Authority

    8 Purple dreams of the Macedonian dynasty of Byzantium in manuscript illuminations: legitimising the usurping emperor, Basil I (867-886)

    Alexandra Karagianni

    9 "King by fact, not by law": legitimacy and exequies in medieval England

    Anna Duch

    10 The exaltation of the "holiness" of the Bragança dynasty as a legitimating strategy in the seventeenth century

    Paula Almeida Mendes

    11 Consolidating authority in seventeenth-century Morocco: Sultan Moulay Ismail’s strategies for legitimacy

    Fatima Rhorchi

    12 Dominae imperiales: Ottonian women and dynastic stability, strength and legitimacy in tenth-century Germany

    Penelope Nash

    13 Legitimacy represented through court entertainment: La estatua de Prometeo and the power struggle between Queen Regent Mariana and Don Juan José of Austria

    Caitlin Brady Carter

    14 Catherine the Great: how the question of legitimacy influenced her politics

    Elena Teibenbacher


    Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues is a specialist in Medieval Queenship. She has recently edited, with M. Santos Silva and A. Leal de Faria, four volumes on the marriages of the Portuguese Royal House (Casamentos da Família Real Portuguesa, Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores, 2017-2018). She is Associate Professor at the University of Lisbon.

    Manuela Santos Silva is Adjunct-Professor at the University of Lisbon and specialist in Western Medieval Monarchy and Gender. She has recently edited, with Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues and A. Leal de Faria, four volumes on the marriages of the Portuguese Royal House and before that, with Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues and​ Isabel dos Guimarães Sá,18 volumes on the Queens of Portugal.

    Jonathan W. Spangler is a specialist in the history of monarchy, particularly of France. His previous monographs include The Society of Princes (2009), and he is currently completing a survey of the lives of second sons in the French monarchy. He is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Senior Editor of The Court Historian.