The political funeral of Isabella the Catholic in Rome (1505): Liturgical hybridity and succession tension in a celebration misere a la Italiana et eeremoniose a la Spagnola
Keywords: 
Habsburgs
Hispanic monarchy
Isabella and Ferdinand
Julius II
Papacy
 Propaganda
Renaissance
Royal funerals
Succession crisis
Issue Date: 
2022
Publisher: 
MDPI
ISSN: 
2077-1444
Editorial note: 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Citation: 
Fernández de Córdova, Álvaro. 2022. "The Political Funeral of Isabella the Catholic in Rome (1505): Liturgical Hybridity and Succession Tension in a Celebration Misere a la Italiana et Ceremoniose a la Spagnola" Religions 13, no. 3: 228.
Abstract
Based on the interest aroused by royal funerals at the end of the Middle Ages, this paper analyses the obsequies held in the Eternal City on the occasion of the death of Isabella the Catholic (1474–1504)—Queen of Castile and Aragon—in a context of international tension and succession unrest. The papal diaries, diplomatic documentation and Ludovico Bruno’s sermo funebris allow us to reconstruct the liturgical, scenographic and rhetorical display of a ceremony that seduced with its solemnity and elegance, the fruit of a hybridism that combined Spanish and Italian funerary traditions in the Rome of Julius II. The creativity of the Spanish community is thus evident in its ability to convert the Isabelline funeral ceremony into an expression of dynastic power in the context of Spanish–French competition and incipient tensions between the Habsburg and Fernandine courts over the Castilian succession. Only by starting from this intertwining of the political and the liturgical will we be able to understand the transformations undergone by the funeral ceremonial in its passage—still little explored—from late medieval customs to modern scenographies.

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