De rege Henrico – ein Fürstenspiegel im Miniaturformat für den Thronfolger Heinrich d. J. von England (1155 – 1183)?


  • Alexander Schulz



MS Rawl. C 562, MS Rawl. C 568, MS Rawl. C 569, Arundel MS 201, Henry II of England, Henry the Young King, John de Cella, St Albans Abbey, Blanche-Nef, Anarchy, authorship, mirror for princes, virtues of a ruler, panegyric, poetry, elegy, leonine rhyme, hexameter


Alexander Schulz: De rege Henrico – a Condensed Mirror for Princes for Henry the Young King (1155 – 1183)?

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawl. C 568 contains an unedited poem of one hundred leonine hexameters that has previously been read in the light of King Henry II’s death (1133 – 1189). However, it is much more likely that the poem celebrates the birth of the heir apparent, Henry the Young King (1155 – 1183). Probably composed around 1157/1158 at St Albans Abbey, it encourages the future king to rule in justice, obey the church, and lead an exemplary life. Previous speculations that the poem may have been written by John de Cella are not convincing. It is tempting to think that this condensed mirror for princes might reflect England’s hopes for dynastic stability after the years of the Anarchy (1135 – 1153).