chapter  2
36 Pages

The Coronation of the King

On 9 November 1204, King Peter docked his five galleys at an island between Porto and Ostia on the Tiber. Kings were not crowned in Rome and therefore there was no ordo for the coronation of a king. In the central act of the coronation rite, King Peter would have been anointed on the arms or the shoulders but not on the head. The Ordo coronationis declares that Peter came to Rome to receive from the pope the belt of knighthood and the royal diadem. The dispute between Otto of Brunswick and Philip of Swabia for the imperial coronation was of longstanding and notorious. The coronation could exalt Peter's position before the southern French lords. The coronation of a king at Rome, in a manner similar to the imperial coronation, suggested that there were others who could challenge the exalted status of the emperor, a view English and Hispanic canonists in particular were already keen to express.