IN MODERN TIMES much of the medieval purpose of a church design seems to be understood in terms such as a display or symbol of political or perhaps spiritual power. Thus, Georges Duby: 1

The first aim of the incredibly costly episcopal initiatives [the rebuilding of their cathedrals]…was to assert and celebrate the prelate’s power, [and] magnify his glory… A rebuilt episcopal church signified something else as well: the alliance between Melchizedek and Saul, 2 between pastoral and royal power… Lastly, the new cathedral was a eulogy to the entire urban settlement… It also embodied the townspeople’s pride, as its plenitude of spires, gables and pinnacles thrust up towards the heavens a dream city, an idealization of the city of God which magnified the urban landscape.