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Premodern ScotlandLiterature and Governance 1420-1587$
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Joanna Martin and Emily Wingfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198787525.001.0001

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Royal Devotion and Cultic Promotion

Royal Devotion and Cultic Promotion

James IV’s Dedications to Saints

(p.112) 8 Royal Devotion and Cultic Promotion
Premodern Scotland

Melissa Coll-Smith

Oxford University Press

This essay explores the relationship of James IV of Scotland to the holy dead who were venerated in his kingdom and beyond. It examines evidence of the King’s contributions to the promotion of saints’ cults and considers the extent to which his dedications are indicative of his private and religious life, but also the ways in which they demonstrate a political initiative through the provision of a public platform for the performance of kingship. In particular, the prominence of Scottish saints in this agenda—both in his devotional practices and more obviously in his commission of the Breviarium aberdonense—shows that James envisaged a kingdom that could be legitimated through the holy reputations of Scotland’s saints.

Keywords:   James IV, Scottish saints, Breviarium aberdonense, St Margaret, St Ninian

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