Rollmaker Analysis

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“to commemorate such great nuptial ceremonies, [Claudius] built the city which he called Claudiocester”: Unity and Harmony

The roll-maker used women to prove a political point that peace, harmony and greatness could be expected from a king if he had a loving and supportive wife. Women were carefully selected by the roll-maker to exhibit this idea in a variety of differing scenarios. If women inspired their husbands to do great things, created successful lineages, had a useful heritage, or were just generally wives to successful kings, select examples were included. This suggests that the roll-maker wished to demonstrate how a Queen should both be and act in order to support the peace and harmony of the nation, and to demonstrate that a woman’s
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The roll-maker notes that, according to some chroniclers, Marcia, the wife of King Guthelin, reigned for twelve years. Despite this, the text mainly focuses on the fact that Guthelin named the first laws of the Britons, Martian law, after her. As Higden states that Marcia did rule, the roll-maker obviously consulted further texts. Geoffrey of Monmouth instead suggests that it may have been Marcia who devised the law. Therefore, if the roll-maker consulted Geoffrey of Monmouth for this part of the text, he consciously overlooked this information. If so, he sought to retain the image of a dynasty-establishing king, transferring the power from the Queen to the King. The nation-building aspect can also be seen through the inclusion of Gewysia, the wife of Claudius. The roll-maker mentions that Claudius, in celebration of his marriage to the daughter of a King, established of the city of Gloucester. It therefore appears that women were included if they were a source of inspiration to their husbands. This can also be seen by Frealaf, the wife of the Anglo-Saxon god Woden, who is mentioned in the marginal history as being the inspiration behind the name for ‘Friday’. Through showing the establishing of a secure heritage, the roll-maker established the unity and security of England. In each of these cases, the establishing of heritage …show more content…
This is the reason behind the inclusion of the first women on the roll. Electra and Maia, the daughters of the King of Atlas, are only mentioned due to the fact that they both bore the sons of Jupiter. Dardanus, the son of Electra and the next to succeed, is noted by the roll-maker as having established the city where Trojas built Troy. By including Electra, the roll-maker is acknowledging her role in establishing the successful lineage. Elena, the mother of Constantinus, is another example of this aim. Higden writes about how she journeyed to Jerusalem, bringing back with her holy relics, including a piece of the holy cross and nails. Geoffrey of Monmouth, on the other hand, mentions her intelligence, stating that she was trained to be able to rule in her own right as her father bore no sons. However, despite the fact that these texts were consulted by the roll-maker when he constructed the roll’s text, he ignores this information, and Elena is solely referred to as being the wife of Constantanius the Roman, and the mother of Constantinus the Great. Constantinus is written about favourably in the base texts, with, for

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