Seal of Henry VI, affixed to a charter granting the protection of the German emperor to the church of S. Maria la Nova founded by the Norman king William II. The solemnity of the deed, asserting the legitimacy of the new Swabian power, is reinforced by the involvement in the decree of Empress Constance of Hauteville, heiress to the Norman kings, and of witnesses representing the various centres of power: the "old" dignitaries of Norman power in southern Italy and Sicily, who had joined the emperor, including the archbishop of Palermo and the bishop of Capua, and the "new" Germanic conquerors, including the bishop of Worms and the marquess of Montferrat.
The seal depicts the emperor in majesty on the throne with the insignia of power, and the legend marks a total break with the Byzantine tradition of the Norman-Sicilian chancellery. On the obverse, following the Roman tradition it proclaims "Henry, by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans and perpetual Augustus" (Semper Augustus). On the reverse their is a city with the legend "Roma caput mundi …" (Rome, capital of the world ...).
Dimensions of the object
diamètre 5,5 cm.
- "L'età normanna e sveva in Sicilia", catalogo della mostra a Palazzo dei Normanni a Palermo, organizzata dall'Assemblea Regionale Siciliana, Palermo, 1994
Palermo, Tabularium of S. Maria la Nova