Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Royal Scepter Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Patrick J.





Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 7:26 pm    Post subject: Royal Scepter         Reply with quote

I am looking for any information, links, pictures of the type of scepter that a king would have. Does anybody have tidbits of information? If fact say so and if conjecture, also say so. I heard (conjecture) that the royal scepter was a glorified mace. Just something I heard and I don't know if there is any truth to it.

Thanks.
View user's profile Send private message
Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
A dull sword is better than an empty gun


The only things you should be doing if your gun is empty is filling out a sworn statement or pushing up daisies.
A properly executed tactical reload and room to back up is better than a sharp sword Laughing Out Loud
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Randolph Howard




Location: Bath, England.
Joined: 09 Aug 2005

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 2:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick,

The sceptre has been in use as a symbol of kingship since at least the Greek Bronze age. Homer's kings carry sceptres- eg; Odysseus strikes Thersites with his (Iliad, book 2)- but not as maces. Herodotus suggests that they are in fact decended from the old (ergo wise) man's staff (Greek sceptres of the 5thC were still long I think). Long story short: the Greek kings, Etruscan kings, Roman Consuls... people in authority have carrried a sceptre for a very long time. The Roman and Byzantine emperors held a sceptre, the sceptrum Augusti, and an orb as the symbols of their authority: both objects were directly inherited by the Medieval Kings, with the attached symbols being changed as appropriate (Roman Eagle to French Fleur de Lys for example). It appears that the Greek tradition has a direct decendant in the modern royal sceptre, and that the mace doesn't come into it at all.

Don't ask me about the history of the mace, though. Happy

"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
-Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agree completely with Randolph's post above except that Roman official sceptres were probably derived from the fasces, a bundle of rods and an axe dating from Republican times. Originally the rods were carried to represent the power of magistrates i.e. a wrongdoer could be beaten on the spot but they were adapted to many other forms over the period. Where Homeric Greek sceptres come from I have never read a conclusive account but I think Randolph is correct in the staff derivation at least in as much as the mace to my knowledge was never a weapon of the age, though clubs may have been.
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick J.





Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks so far. Just fixing my spelling of sceptre has revealed some information on Wikipedia. Not the most trusted source (or so I'm told), but some interesting information. Like before christianity, the sceptre had an eagle on top. Afterwards, it had a cross or a dove or a Fleur de Lys.

Here is a picture of coronation regalia. There are several sceptres. If anyone wants to post the picture, go for it. I never did figure out how.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:EnglishCoronationRegalia.jpg

Queen Elizabeth II with sceptre and orb.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Insight_ma..._large.jpg

Any other information?
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the pre-Christian eagle and the post Christian cross is a bit of an over-simplification. Surely after the influx of christianity into western Europe crosses would become more common. Eagles were probably associated with the Roman Empire or it's remnants. If (and it's a big 'if') a sceptre was required as some part of regalia of a king or potentate, then a lot of the symbols of their family and the lands they governed would come into play in the feudal era in Europe. If there's someone out there good on heraldry, they could give better examples. But not all kings of all eras in Europe used sceptres.

The imported imagery of symbols of government are also interesting. I would be very interested if someone could answer the following : the lions rampant on English heraldry. Lions as far as I know have not been present in Northern Europe for thousands of years. So where do the lions come from ? An imported eastern symbol or a biblical reference ? Be most interested to know.

Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Randolph Howard




Location: Bath, England.
Joined: 09 Aug 2005

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Parry wrote:
Agree completely with Randolph's post above except that Roman official sceptres were probably derived from the fasces, a bundle of rods and an axe dating from Republican times.


Daniel,

The sceptre was carried by the kings of Rome at the same time as the fasces were in use rather than as a result of their use. Indeed, later the two were still independent of each other with regards to consuls- the sceptre was born by the consul himself, while the fasces were carried before the consul by lictors during a procession. In terms of evolution, both insignia have survived pretty unmolested/unmerged to modern times, as can be seen in Elizabeth R's nice photo of her sceptre, and in Mussolini's use of the image of the fasces in promoting fascism (the former word being the origin of the latter). Seeing as the sceptre was in use by kings of the Greeks, in Italy by the Etruscans (heavily influenced by Greek culture), then by the Roman Kings, then by the consuls and then by the emperors; and that the fasces coexisted with the sceptre and served different ceremonial functions (the fasces appears almost to act more as a standard or banner than a badge of office such as the sceptre), I think it is safe to suggest a link between the sceptres of Greece with those of Rome.

Here's a handy link, with some references, that I stumbled upon which maintains that both the sceptre and fasces were passed on to Rome by the Etruscans: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/T...url][/url]

"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
-Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message
Randolph Howard




Location: Bath, England.
Joined: 09 Aug 2005

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With regard to Lions, I'd guess that the lion rampant is just a symbol concerned with virtue. Creatures used as symbols don't have to ever have been seen (dragons anyone?), and the lion is a pretty obvious choice for a symbol of, say strength, courage etc: Aesop used lions for example, and I don't think there were many Lions in Greece even back then! I'm pretty sure that they only came to England with the Plantaganets, but more than that and I'm at a loss.
"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
-Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randolph

Interesting point. You are suggesting that the sceptre and fasces co-existed in the Roman empire despite anything associated with 'REX' being fairly taboo in the republican era, but that there was such a symbol and it continued through the republican period to the emperors and was definitely separate from the fasces. I don't doubt you at all but would like to see the primary and secondary sources you are basing that on: that pre-republican Roman kings held sceptres; that these were continued in the republican era; and yet were separate from fasces and not influenced by them.

Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Randolph Howard




Location: Bath, England.
Joined: 09 Aug 2005

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, sorry Daniel... Hello!

The reason I immediately doubted the 'evolutionary' relationship from fasces to sceptre is that they existed at the same time. Triumphs in the Late Republic featured lectors with laurel- covered fasces, while the imperator (victor) held a sceptre in one hand;* AND they just appear to be recognisably different items: only the imperator carries the sceptre compared to the many fasces carried by lectors- there just doesn't seem to be a close relationship. The fasces, with its tightly bunched rods and axe, just seems like a less likely source for the consular and imperial sceptre than the Greek/Etruscan sceptre itself. I realise that the Romans were VERY iffy about kings, and about the effeminate, perfidious Greeks too, but that didn't stop some symbols being borrowed heavily from Greek tradition. The sign of authority offered by Marc Antony to Julius Caesar was the Hellenic diadem: feared by the Repuplicans then, and yet still embraced by the Roman emperors as the sign of their power after Augustus. We don't get a new Roman version of the crown invented for the purpose- they draw from their cultural heritage. The continuing use of the sceptre in Rome fits this picture- why invent a new sceptre from the fasces when everyone already recognises, in general terms, what a sceptre is?

Sorry I havn't got any references- this slots into the general knowledge section of my brain- but the 1st link I gave, if not the second, definitely has some textual references.

* http://www.unrv.com/culture/roman-triumph.php

"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
-Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Randolph

Unfortunately I can't access the links you provided as my computer is playing up (but not on this site strangely). Convincing point of view and ,as I said before, I wasn't at all doubting you, just interested to see the sources. I see your point that if the fasces and a sceptre were used at the same time by different officials within the Roman governmental system the natural evolution from one to the other would be less likely - you would suppose that one would supercede the other not run side by side. Fair point there. Still looking for a few sources though - some weekend reading for me perhaps.

On Antony's Greek diadem to Octavian (I was not aware of that), do you not think that may have been a one-off implied threat (however I accept that as you say it may have influenced symbols of power later in the empire) i.e. my armies are in the east of the empire - Alexandria - grain supply that could starve you- Ptolemy's legacy - hence the Hellenic symbol - and I wouldn't put it past Antony to suggest a subliminal association with Alexander, he was that arrogant (plus his girlfriend's family history may have had something to do with it).

I totally agree that not all symbols have to have been seen - which was exactly why I asked the question - the artistic depiction must have come from somewhere - through some chain or other, and it interests me to know what path they took. I would be interested to know where the lion concept in English heraldry came from. On the Greek point, Mycenae's lion gates are an earlier example than Aesop. Though I've heard (and I will fall into your trap of not coming up with the source) that Greece in the bronze age was not only more verdent than now but may have had lions. Who knows.

Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick J.





Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randolph Howard accidentally added [url] [/url] to the end of the link. Just remove them and it works. It talks about Triumphs.

http://www.unrv.com/culture/roman-triumph.php

I saw nothing about sceptres. Except this -
Quote:
The procession then proceeded in the following order:

1. The Senate, headed by the magistrates. 2. Trumpeters to announce the arrival. 3. Carts laden with the spoils of war, at times vast fortunes. 4. More musicians. 5. White bulls and oxen for sacrifice. 6. Elephants and rare animals or exotic flora from the conquered countries. 7. The arms and insignia of the leaders of the conquered enemy. 8. The enemy leaders themselves, with their relatives and other captives. 9. The lictors of the Imperator in single file, their fasces wreathed with laurel. 10. The Imperator himself, in a circular chariot drawn by four horses. He was attired in a gold-embroidered robe, and a flowered tunic; he held a laurel bough in his right hand,
a sceptre in his left, and wore a laurel wreath on his head. 11. The adult sons and officers of the Imperator. 12. The entire body of infantry, with laurel adorned spears.
View user's profile Send private message
Randolph Howard




Location: Bath, England.
Joined: 09 Aug 2005

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2005 2:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Patrick! Confused The textual references are in the first link I gave, again with lots of urls.


Daniel Parry wrote:
On Antony's Greek diadem to Octavian


Hi Daniel,

Antony offered the diadem to Julius Caesar when he was dictator of Rome- Antony was firmly subordinate and in his camp at that stage, so there was no threat involved! It was a show supposed to suggest to the Roman public that Caesar didn't want to be an autocrat, but no-one really bought it!

"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
-Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Royal Scepter
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum