Christian IV
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Christian IV

Rex Splendens and Rex Humilis

Dimensions:8.5" x 11.2"
Publisher:Karwansaray Publishers
Item No. 9789490258221

Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway, was a fascinating political figure of the early seventeenth century, also remembered for his cultural and entrepreneurial activity. He was a great builder, founded several new cities, and had an international reputation as a patron of the arts.As a young king he enjoyed military and political success and acquired a considerable international position. As an old king he was deeply hurt, on a private level, by his wife’s infidelity, and also had to face humiliating defeats that strongly contributed to the decline of Danish power and led to great suffering for his peoples. His wounds received at the naval battle at Kolberger Heide, however, made him a national hero despite the political and military disasters. In his personal letters and in his artistic self-staging we see that the king himself interpreted the transformation from rex splendens to rex humilis as divinely imposed martyrdom – a concept that had an enormous impact: especially in bourgeois circles hostile to the nobility, Christian IV was viewed as a king whose right intentions were thwarted by a selfish nobility who put their own economic and social interests above those of the nation.In this book, historians from six different countries go beyond traditional myths by examining Christian IV’s views and political and cultural activities in a European context; thus underscoring the complexity of a paradoxical and contradictory person whose need for prestige, despite his intelligence and vast knowledge, often created disastrous illusions. His significant buildings and urban structures remain witnesses of his personal ambitions and of the cultural trends of early seventeenth-century Europe in general.