2012-03-31

Two Medieval Drawings

I have constructed vector diagrams of the two earliest known charts to describe the ancestry of living people and have converted these to Flash format and published them on the www.piggin.net website. Both of these medieval diagrams use the roundels and lines format which is familiar to us from the Great Stemma.
The first (follow the link) is a remarkable drawing with the shelfmark M 29880(6 in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. The original has been digitized, but my drawing is easier to read. The old MGH transcription has been deprived of the authentic graphic characteristics and converted into a standardized 19th-century stemma instead.
From the content and the script of this manuscript, it appears to have been drawn during the period when Cunigunde of Luxembourg was either queen of Germany or Roman empress, that is to say between 1002 and 1024. It displays her descent from Charlemagne, a fact which was evidently used by her as an argument to claim the office of empress.
The second (below, but follow the link for my zoomable version) was drawn between 1101 and 1111 at the monastery of Pruem and bound into the Liber Aureus, a book of important Pruem documents. It is now in the city library of Trier, Germany, shelfmark 1709, folios 73-74, but is not online. In its left panel, it contains a variation of the first diagram described above. The diagram in the right panel contains a legal argument about consanguinity and has been dated by Nora G├Ądeke to 1043. This right section relates to the Ottonian and Salian dynasties who took control of the Western Roman Empire after the Carolingians, who form the left panel of this composite diagram:

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