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King Pedro IV of Aragon, royal propaganda and the tradition of royal speechwriting
Cawsey, Suzanne F. (Department of Medieval History, School of Historical Studies, University of Birmingham)
Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 357–372 (1999)
In the medieval Crown of Aragon it was customary for the corts to begin with a proposicio or opening speech made by the king. These Aragonese royal speeches were not merely confined to a brief summary of the political situation or a series of points to be considered but were elaborately constructed political sermons, in which affairs of state were portrayed in terms of Christian morality and nationalist pride, with the aid of exempla drawn from the Bible and other religious and classical works. An example is the speech made by Pedro IV ‘the Ceremonious’ of Aragon against the rebellion of the Judge of Arborea in Sardinia. A copy of this speech survives written in the king’s own hand which raises the interesting question of whether the kings of Aragon were themselves responsible for the ideas expressed in these speeches and for composing them or whether their efforts were confined to reading out propaganda which was primarily the creation of royal officials.