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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2021

The prince and his coffer: the Material functions and symbolic power of an everyday political object

Résumé

Treasure was more abstract, not always referring to a place or an object but also invoking a hazier complex of ideas held together by the coffer’s function: safeguarding what was worth ‘saving,’ on a continuum running from jewels to relics to charters. Treasure also had a theological referent, the ‘treasure in heaven’ linked to the economy of grace, as well as a ‘scientific’ or moral meaning, since treasure might be comprised of virtues, like the Treasure of the City of Ladies. Chests or coffers provide a way of approaching treasure on an everyday level, although without this implying something commonplace, ordinary or banal. Chests or coffers were very complex objects, and a key element in the life of the court. In material terms, chests built to contain money were similar to other types of chest. The profusion of chests and coffers suggests people should curb the historian’s natural tendency to overestimate the role of paper and parchment in financial management.
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Dates et versions

hal-04015633 , version 1 (06-03-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04015633 , version 1

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Jean-Baptiste Santamaria. The prince and his coffer: the Material functions and symbolic power of an everyday political object. Everyday Political Objects from the Middle Ages to the Present Day, IRHIS, Nov 2018, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. ⟨hal-04015633⟩
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