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Document Details :
Title: Exaltio Crucis
Subtitle: De Byzantijnse keizer Heraclius (610-641) en het middeleeuwse Westen - The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610-641) and the Medieval West
Author(s): BAERT, Barbara
Volume: 60 Issue: 2 Date: 1999
The impact of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius (610-641) on western arthistory has been neglected so far. We elaborate here that this figure, besides his historical and liturgical identity as restorer of the holy cross relic to Jerusalem, became also an important catalyst for eschatological models. Heraclius has been personified as the eschatological emperor and was described as the conqueror of Chosroës, the Antichrist. This image-making of the Byzantine emperor in the West was not only adopted by the crusaders, but became also exemplified by important high-medieval dynasties (f.i. Louis IX and Henry the Lion). The franciscans attend the memory of Heraclius to the later Middle Ages by means of their special devotion to the cross and the holy sepulchre (custodesof the holy land). In this context Heraclius became depicted in 14th- and 15th-century franciscan wallpaintings in Tuscanian churches as a part of the so-called legend of the True Cross.