Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Les deux corps de la Reine et ses substituts

Abstract : We describe how a divinity takes the appearance of a queen and the processes by which her sovereignty is constructed. The dual effects of replication and substitution allow the Virgen del Rocío (Andalusia) to reign over a vast territory. Her transport from one sanctuary to another, dressed as a shepherdess, which is enacted every seven years, transforms this Reina (“Queen”) into a Pastora (“Shepherdess”). This splitting defines the first level of her authority, that of the neighborhood. The annual pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the “Virgen del Rocío” brings together about a hundred fraternities (“hermandades”) from all over Spain. On an ox-driven silver-clad cart, each fraternity carries its simpecado (“devoid of sin”), a banner that is treated like a replica of the goddess. Upon arriving at the sanctuary, after an arduous voyage of several days, these symbolic substitutes express their allegiance to the Queen. The hierarchy of the banners is determined by the age of the fraternities that bear them. In this manner, they embody the second level of sovereignty of the Virgin Queen: traditionally this covered Andalusia, but today it extends to more and more remote areas of Spain. Furthermore, certain objects that have been manipulated during the cult of the Virgin, and other items that have been blessed by contact with her image, convey some of her power to their owners. Finally, through her virtual image broadcasted every year by television on the occasion of her pilgrimage, the “Virgin del Rocío” exercises sovereignty over the entire world. We identify the logical operations (analogy, substitution, identification, equivalence, metaphor, metonymy) that determine different levels of vassalage to the sovereign Virgin. Finally, by comparing the replication of her body to the “King's two bodies” identified by Kantorowicz, we suggest that this royal divinity be considered as a gemina persona.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Administrateur Hal Nanterre <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 6:05:19 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 3:51:10 PM

Links full text



Antoinette Molinié. Les deux corps de la Reine et ses substituts. Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions, Éditions de l’EHESS, 2013, pp.269--291. ⟨10.4000/assr.24980⟩. ⟨hal-01632019⟩



Record views