Parliamentary Medievalism: The Australian Magna Carta as Secular Relic


'This essay explores the ongoing importance of this medieval text, Magna Carta, as a powerful legimitating symbol of parliamentary democracy, and an example of institutional medievalism in the Australian federal parliament. The manuscript itself is presented and venerated as a secular relic of a distant past, its dark organic surface and almost indecipherable script offering a dramatic contrast with the modern light and airy spaces of Mitchell, Giurgula and Thorpe's Parliament House. But the relationship between modern parliaments and their medieval antecedents is not always a stable one, not always reducible either to dramatic contrasts or easy continuities.'

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Published 1 November 2011 in Volume 26 No. 3-4. Subjects: Australian politics, Medievalism.

Cite as: Trigg, Stephanie. ‘Parliamentary Medievalism: The Australian Magna Carta as Secular Relic.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 26, no. 3-4, 2011, doi: 10.20314/als.65cfd92aaa.