The article analyses the significance of ritual activities undertaken by both sides of the strife between Boleslaw the Bald, duke of Legnica, and Tomasz I, bishop of Wroclaw which took place in the mid-13th century. It shows that capturing Tomasz in October 1256 Boleslaw intended not only to enforce the payment of ransom and resignation from privileges received from him earlier, but also wanted to humiliate him in public, carrying him from castle to castle as a criminal, clothed in disgraceful striped coat. As a result, when in 1258 Boleslaw found himself in a difficult condition and was forced to seek alliance with the bishop, Tomasz requested that he also performs the ceremonial act of humbling himself in public by coming to him with a hundred knights, barefooted, clothed in a shirt only. The duke agreed to the church freedoms requested by the bishop but eventually refused the request to humiliate himself in public before Tomasz. The price which he would have to pay for the agreement with the bishop was too high for him. Because his policy aiming at stopping the process through which the Wroclaw Church was gaining independence from ducal power proved to be unsuccessful, Boleslaw could not agree to perform a ceremony which would additionally undermine his prestige as a monarch. At least at the level of ritual the honour and dignity of the duke had to outweight the honour and dignity of the bishop.
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