Rocco Giurato

The Invention of an Emblem. Symbolism and Legitimation of Power in the Reign of Henry VII (1485-1509)

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This article explains the invention of a distinctive dynastic emblem of the English state, the Tudor Rose, linking it to the first legal and political problem that Henry VII successfully dealt with: the legitimacy of his rise to the throne. Henry shrewdly used political communication to claim the legitimacy of both his title and government. Appropriating the two York and Lancaster roses had a strong symbolic impact and gave birth to one of the most fortunate royal emblems.


  • legitimation of power
  • political semiology
  • Tudor constitution
  • state formation
  • Tudor kingship


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