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For themes of conflict, present in any country, see Studying War.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enger - Sudden Saint Widukind and the Church


Widukind, King or Chieftain or Saint or all of these

or mere Saxon leader arising as needed
to oppose Charlemagne and the Christians invading, 
subduing, and taking over Saxon lands

What was Widukind's relationship to the Church.  He was forced to convert, but was that also "voluntary" in that he had a vision and saw the light? Did it stick either way. Was he banished to a monastery to get him out of the way of Charlemagne once and for all, or did he seek to go in order to be devout?  Is that his body in the Church at Enger. Why is he made a Saint? To absorb, spin and defuse?  He is said to have ridden a dark horse before his conversion and a white horse after.  Why decides if that is so, and what it signifies, if anything.

Germany is as full of whimsy as it is the serious, so some things we will never know, and there is noone to ask.

 A small Widukind in the Town Square.

Click to enlarge any of these.

King of Saxons, or Chieftain, depending on representation of costume, projections of others about their own political systems that necessitated hereditary authority figures.  Some say that the Saxons were decentralized, which drove the Romans crazy.  Leaders appeared as the disparate groups were threatened, then melted back into their own groups when there was a breather.  Who was the leader here? 

Finally, one set of tales tell, Charlemagne asked 4500 of his Saxon prisoners of war, who are your leaders? They would not identify only a few. They all saw themselves as responsible.  Charlemagne had them all beheaded in one day, at Sachsenhain, near Verden, not fat. Is that so?

Legends of Widukind. These grow, morph.  This version also appeared in a children's book for the 10 year age group here in our Library.  Interesting. Even there, Charlemagne's choice was seen as a terrible reflection on him. Widukind:  who would not say he converted, faced with that kind of consequence.  Did he really?  Tooth fairy and rewriting history to suit the winner's dogma.  Is that so?

A body labeled Widukind is on display behind the altarpiece. Walk around. The ambulatory.

Altarpieces were teaching tools as well as objects of devotion.  

It is not at all unusual to see representations of Baptisms as taking place nude, including as to Jesus, in many places in Germany and Scandinavia. 

There have been tests to try to identify these bones, but nothing firm resulted. 

The medallion is behind the glass case is upright, reflecting and obscuring the head area, the Saint representation at top.

The skull and other relics are separate.

Have to look back at notes here. Were there competing bones?

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