Black King - Roi Noir
The Black King is one of the Three Wise Men - High Priests of the Mazdean (Zoroastrian) religion, referred to as the Kings. Powerful, wise, and learned they were astrologists, guided by their knowledge of the stars, they arrived in Jerusalem just after the birth of Jesus Christ. After being baptised by Saint Thomas, they returned to their own land to spread the Gospel to their people.
In the early Christmas Nativity Play of Provence, Antoine Maurel's Pastorale, the Black King, also known as the King of the Moors, is Melchior (Melchior (also Melichior). A Persian scholar). He clasps a drinking-cup (or ciborium) containing incense. He is sumptuously clad - from whence comes the expression, used when referred to a richly dressed woman, "she's taken the King of the Moor's robes." His robes, like the other two Kings, are royal and decorated with the fleur de lys. Melchior is a symbol of the African races and of youth.
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