An Ottonian Illumination
Depicting a Reliquary Procession

This Ottonian illumination (from the Pericopes of Emperor Henry III) depicts a
ceremonial procession of a reliquary shrine.

The reliquary box is being carried on a bier by an indeterminate number of
tonsured clerics, accompanied by several others who carry two crosses (in front)
and two books and a thurible (along the sides).

In the zone below are a number of lay supplicants,
at least one of whom is using a "hand crutch."

It may be significant that the reliquary itself appears to be covered
by some sort of fabric(?), and that the rails
of the bier seem to be bejewelled(?).

[The photo of this manuscript (Bruxelles B.R. ms 9428),
apparently the work of the scriptorium of Echternach,
is taken from the erudite article of Anton Legner,
"Zur Präsenz der groszen Reliquienschreine
in der Austellung RHEIN UND MAAS,"
Rhein und Maas, Kunst und Kultur 800-1400,
vol. 2: Berichte, Beiträge und Forschungen zum
Themenkreis der Ausstellung und des Katalogs,

Schnütgen-Museum Köln, 1973, pp. 65-94.]