Rule as En-Actment
On the Lower Court of Justice at Lüneburg Town Hall and the Archetype of Sacral Legitimation of Rulership
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Lüneburg Town Hall is a fascinating treasure trove of sedulously compiled references to the ideals of rulership. Its inclusion in the context and dimensions of world history evolved from a claim to embed the rule and judgements of Lüneburg’s magistracy in the ‘Encyclopaedia’ of idealized rulership for legitimation purposes. The determining factors in placing the Lüneburg city councilors within a ‘salvation-historical’ frame were Judeo-Christian- and Humanist-Antique-oriented references to concepts of sacral rulership and legitimation. In this, ‘Antique’ means primarily (Graeco-)Roman, whose continuation or translatio may be seen in the Holy Roman Empire. Reference was made to Ancient Israelite and Ancient Middle Eastern cultural spheres through pictorial and written Old Testament quotations, for example in the ‘Niedergericht’ (lower court of justice) at Lüneburg Town Hall. In referencing ancient Israelite kingship on the one hand and the heathen Roman empire on the other, in Protestant Lüneburg the connection was made to reception or translationes/imitationes imperii/ideaeIn the Ancient Middle East region a concept of sacral rulership and legitimation of archetypical validity had developed, which is borne out by architectural findings. In the final analysis Lüneburg is incorporated in this trans-denominationally valid tradition of sacral legitimation.