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The renowned Gallic poet Pacatus Drepanius journeyed to Rome in the summer of AD 389 to deliver a speech to the Emperor Theodosius; both men stood for the first time before the Roman Senators. It was a moment of high political charge. The Latin speech survives and is here presented both in the original and with facing English translation; the introduction and commentary capture the groundbreaking character of the work and set it in its historical, rhetorical and literary contexts.
Justinian's triumphal column was the tallest free-standing column of the pre-modern world and was crowned with arguably the largest metal equestrian sculpture created anywhere in the world before 1699. The Byzantine empire's bronze horseman towered over the heart of Constantinople, assumed new identities, spawned conflicting narratives, and acquired widespread international acclaim. Because all traces of Justinian's column were erased from the urban fabric of Istanbul in the sixteenth century, scholars have undervalued its astonishing agency and remarkable longevity. Its impact in visual and verbal culture was arguably among the most extensive of any Mediterranean monument. This book analyzes Byzantine, Islamic, Slavic, Crusader, and Renaissance historical accounts, medieval pilgrimages, geographic, apocalyptic and apocryphal narratives, vernacular poetry, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Italian, French, Latin, and Ottoman illustrated manuscripts, Florentine wedding chests, Venetian paintings, and Russian icons to provide an engrossing and pioneering biography of a contested medieval monument during the millennium of its life.
The Adriatic has long occupied a liminal position between different cultures, languages and faiths. This book offers the first synthesis of its history between the seventh and the mid-fifteenth century, a period coinciding with the existence of the Byzantine Empire which, as heir to the Roman Empire, lay claim to the region. The period also saw the rise of Venice and it is important to understand the conditions which would lead to her dominance in the late Middle Ages. An international team of historians and archaeologists examines trade, administration and cultural exchange between the Adriatic and Byzantium but also within the region itself, and makes more widely known much previously scattered and localised research and the results of archaeological excavations in both Italy and Croatia. Their bold interpretations offer many stimulating ideas for rethinking the entire history of the Mediterranean during the period.
Food-growing gardens first appeared in early medieval cities during a period of major social, economic, and political change in the Italian peninsula, and they quickly took on a critical role in city life. The popularity of urban gardens in the medieval city during this period has conventionally been understood as a sign of decline in the post-Roman world, signalling a move towards a subsistence economy. Caroline Goodson challenges this interpretation, demonstrating how urban gardens came to perform essential roles not only in the economy, but also in cultural, religious, and political developments in the emerging early medieval world. Observing changes in how people interacted with each other and their environments from the level of individual households to their neighbourhoods, and the wider countryside, Goodson draws on documentary, archival, and archaeological evidence to reveal how urban gardening reconfigured Roman ideas and economic structures into new, medieval values.
Iconoclasm was the name given to the stance of that portion of Eastern Christianity that rejected worshipping God through images (eikones) representing Christ, the Virgin or the saints and was the official doctrine of the Byzantine Empire for most of the period between 726 and 843. It was a period marked by violent passions on either side. This is the first comprehensive account of the extant contemporary texts relating to this phenomenon and their impact on society, politics and identity. By examining the literary circles emerging both during the time of persecution and immediately after the restoration of icons in 843, the volume casts new light on the striking (re)construction of Byzantine society, whose iconophile identity was biasedly redefined by the political parties led by Theodoros Stoudites, Gregorios Dekapolites and Empress Theodora or the patriarchs Methodios, Ignatios and Photios. It thereby offers an innovative paradigm for approaching Byzantine literature.
After Charlemagne's death in 814, Italy was ruled by a succession of kings and emperors, all of whom could claim some relation to the Carolingians, some via the female line of succession. This study offers new perspectives on the fascinating but neglected period of Italy in the ninth century and the impact of Carolingian culture. Bringing together some of the foremost scholars on early medieval Italy, After Charlemagne offers the first comprehensive overview of the period, and also presents new research on Italian politics, culture, society and economy, from the death of Charlemagne to the assassination of Berengar I in 924. Revealing Italy as a multifaceted peninsula, the authors address the governance and expansion of Carolingian Italy, examining relations with the other Carolingian kingdoms, as well as those with the Italian South, the Papacy and the Byzantine Empire. Exploring topics on a regional and local level as well as presenting a 'big picture' of the Italian or Lombard kingdom, this volume provides new and exciting answers to the central question: How Carolingian was 'Carolingian Italy'?
Throughout medieval Europe, for hundreds of years, monarchy was the way that politics worked in most countries. This meant power was in the hands of a family - a dynasty; that politics was family politics; and political life was shaped by the births, marriages and deaths of the ruling family. How did the dynastic system cope with female rule, or pretenders to the throne? How did dynasties use names, the numbering of rulers and the visual display of heraldry to express their identity? And why did some royal families survive and thrive, while others did not? Drawing on a rich and memorable body of sources, this engaging and original history of dynastic power in Latin Christendom and Byzantium explores the role played by family dynamics and family consciousness in the politics of the royal and imperial dynasties of Europe. From royal marriages and the birth of sons, to female sovereigns, mistresses and wicked uncles, Robert Bartlett makes enthralling sense of the complex web of internal rivalries and loyalties of the ruling dynasties and casts fresh light on an essential feature of the medieval world.
This book addresses a critical era in the history of the city of Rome, the eighth century CE. This was the moment when the bishops of Rome assumed political and administrative responsibility for the city's infrastructure and the physical welfare of its inhabitants, in the process creating the papal state that still survives today. John Osborne approaches this using the primary lens of 'material culture' (buildings and their decorations, both surviving and known from documents and/or archaeology), while at the same time incorporating extensive information drawn from written sources. Whereas written texts are comparatively few in number, recent decades have witnessed an explosion in new archaeological discoveries and excavations, and these provide a much fuller picture of cultural life in the city. This methodological approach of using buildings and objects as historical documents is embodied in the phrase 'history in art'.
The remarkable, and permanently influential, papal history known as the Liber pontificalis shaped perceptions and the memory of Rome, the popes, and the many-layered past of both city and papacy within western Europe. Rosamond McKitterick offers a new analysis of this extraordinary combination of historical reconstruction, deliberate selection and political use of fiction, to illuminate the history of the early popes and their relationship with Rome. She examines the content, context, and transmission of the text, and the complex relationships between the reality, representation, and reception of authority that it reflects. The Liber pontificalis presented Rome as a holy city of Christian saints and martyrs, as the bishops of Rome established their visible power in buildings, and it articulated the popes' spiritual and ministerial role, accommodated within their Roman imperial inheritance. Drawing on wide-ranging and interdisciplinary international research, Rome and the Invention of the Papacy offers pioneering insights into the evolution of this extraordinary source, and its significance for the history of early medieval Europe.
In the late fourth century, in the absence of formal church councils, bishops from all over the Western Empire wrote to the Pope asking for advice on issues including celibacy, marriage law, penance and heresy, with papal responses to these questions often being incorportated into private collections of canon law. Most papal documents were therefore responses to questions from bishops, and not initiated from Rome. Bringing together these key texts, this volume of accessible translations and critical transcriptions of papal letters is arranged thematically to offer a new understanding of attitudes towards these fundamental issues within canon law. Papal Jurisprudence, c.400 reveals what bishops were asking, and why the replies mattered. It is offered as a companion to the forthcoming volume Papal Jurisprudence: Social Origins and Medieval Reception of Canon Law, 385–1234.
History writing in the Middle Ages did not belong to any particular genre, language or class of texts. Its remit was wide, embracing the events of antiquity; the deeds of saints, rulers and abbots; archival practices; and contemporary reportage. This volume addresses the challenges presented by medieval historiography by using the diverse methodologies of medieval studies: legal and literary history, art history, religious studies, codicology, the history of the emotions, gender studies and critical race theory. Spanning one thousand years of historiography in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, the essays map historical thinking across literary genres and expose the rich veins of national mythmaking tapped into by medieval writers. Additionally, they attend to the ways in which medieval histories crossed linguistic and geographical borders. Together, they trace multiple temporalities and productive anachronisms that fuelled some of the most innovative medieval writing.
The early Middle Ages is not a period traditionally associated with free speech. It is still widely held that free speech declined towards the end of Antiquity, disappearing completely at the beginning of the Middle Ages, and only re-emerging in the Renaissance, when people finally learned to think and speak for themselves again. Challenging this tenacious image, Irene van Renswoude reveals that there was room for political criticism and dissent in this period, as long as critics employed the right rhetoric and adhered to scripted roles. This study of the rhetoric of free speech from c.200 to c.900 AD explores the cultural rules and rhetorical performances that shaped practices of delivering criticism from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, examining the rhetorical strategies of letters and narratives in the late antique and early medieval men, and a few women, who ventured to speak the truth to the powerful.
Flodoard of Rheims (893/4–966) is one of the tenth century's most intriguing but neglected historians. His works are essential sources for the emergence of the West Frankish and Ottonian kingdoms in the tumultuous decades following the collapse of the Carolingian empire in 888. Yet although Flodoard is a crucial narrative voice from this period, his works have seldom been considered in the context of the evolving circumstances of his turbulent career or his literary aims. This important new study is the first to analyse and synthesise Flodoard's entire output, suggesting that his writings about Rheims, contemporary politics and the Christian past have until now been taken at face value without regard for his own intentions or priorities, and therefore have been misunderstood. Edward Roberts' re-evaluation of the relationship between political participation, historical understanding and authorial individuality casts important new light on the political and cultural history of tenth-century Europe.
The Roman Empire traditionally presented itself as the centre of the world, a view sustained by ancient education and conveyed in imperial literature. Historiography in particular tended to be written from an empire-centred perspective. In Late Antiquity, however, that attitude was challenged by the fragmentation of the empire. This book explores how a post-imperial representation of space emerges in the historiography of that period. Minds adapted slowly, long ignoring Constantinople as the new capital and still finding counter-worlds at the edges of the world. Even in Christian literature, often thought of as introducing a new conception of space, the empire continued to influence geographies. Political changes and theological ideas, however, helped to imagine a transferral of empire away from Rome and to substitute ecclesiastical for imperial space. By the end of Late Antiquity, Rome was just one of many centres of the world.
Wala, abbot of Corbie, played a major role in the rebellions against Emperor Louis the Pious, especially in 830, for which he was exiled. Radbert defended his beloved abbot, known to his monks as Arsenius, against accusations of infidelity in an 'epitaph' (funeral oration), composed as a two-book conversation between himself and other monks of Corbie. Whereas the restrained first book of Radbert's Epitaphium Arsenii was written not long after Wala's death in 836, the polemical second book was added some twenty years later. This outspoken sequel covers the early 830s, yet it mostly addresses the political issues of the 850s, as well as Radbert's personal predicament. In Epitaph for an Era, an absorbing study of this fascinating text, Mayke de Jong examines the context of the Epitaphium's two books, the use of hindsight as a rhetorical strategy, and the articulation of notions of the public good in the mid-ninth century.
From their crystallisation in the late fifth century to their ultimate decline in the eighth, the Merovingian kingdoms were a product of a vibrant Mediterranean society with both a cultural past and a dynamic and ongoing dialogue between the member communities. By bringing together the scholarship of historians, archaeologists, art historians, and manuscript researchers, this volume examines the Merovingian world's Mediterranean connections. The Franks' cultural horizons spanned not only the Latin-speaking world, but also the Byzantine Empire, northern Europe, Sassanid Persia, and, after the seventh century, a quickly ascendant Islamic culture. Traces of a constant movement of people and cultural artefacts through this world are ubiquitous. As simultaneous consumers, adapters, and disseminators of culture, the degree to which the Merovingian kingdoms were thought to engage with their neighbours is re-evaluated as this volume analyses written accounts, archaeological findings and artefacts to provide new perspectives on Merovingian wide-ranging relations.
In this book, Marianne Hem Eriksen explores the social organization of Viking Age Scandinavia through a study of domestic architecture, and in particular, the doorway. A highly charged architectural element, the door is not merely a practical, constructional solution. Doors control access, generate movement, and demark boundaries, yet also serve as potent ritual objects. For this study, Eriksen analyzes and interprets the archaeological data of house remains from Viking Age Norway, which are here synthesized for the first time. Using social approaches to architecture, she demonstrates how the domestic space of the Viking household, which could include masters and slaves, wives and mistresses, children and cattle, was not neutral. Quotidian and ritual interactions with, through, and orchestrated by doorways prove to be central to the production of a social world in the Viking Age. Eriksen's book challenges the male-dominated focus of research on the Vikings and expands research questions beyond topics of seaborne warriors, trade, and craft.
Sidonius Apollinaris' letters offer a vivid series of glimpses into an otherwise sparsely documented period. His rich anecdotes feature the events, characters, and moments that defined his life, ranging from the treason trial of Arvandus to the Visigothic raiding of Clermont, from the corrupt and vile Seronatus to the holy widow Eutropia, and the day-to-day incidents that confronted a Gallo-Roman poet, aristocrat, and bishop as the Late Roman West transitioned into the barbarian successor kingdoms. Like any good storyteller, Sidonius exploited a wide array of narratological tools, manipulating temporality for dramatic effect, sketching his heroes and villains in vivid detail, and recreating witty dialogue in a collection that is highly organised and carefully strategised. This book provides a fuller understanding of his contribution to Latin literature, as a careful arranger of his self-image, a perceptive exploiter of narrative dynamics, and an influential figure in Late Antique Gaul.
Drawing on a range of evidence related to royal authority, political events and literate culture, this study traces how kings and emperors involved themselves in the affairs of the Spanish March, and examines how actively people in Catalonia participated in politics centred on the royal court. Rather than setting the political development of the region in terms of Catalonia's future independence as a medieval principality, Cullen J. Chandler addresses it as part of the Carolingian 'experiment'. In doing so, he incorporates an analysis of political events alongside an examination of such cultural issues as the spread of the Rule of Benedict, the Adoptionist controversy, and the educational programme of the Carolingian reforms. This new history of the region offers a robust and absorbing analysis of the nature of the Carolingian legacy in the March, while also revising traditional interpretations of ethnic motivations for political acts and earlier attempts to pinpoint the constitutional birth of Catalonia.
In this book, Muriel Moser investigates the relationship between the emperors Constantine I and his son Constantius II (AD 312–361) and the senators of Constantinople and Rome. She examines and contextualizes the integration of the social elites of Rome and the Eastern provinces into the imperial system and demonstrates their increased importance for the maintenance of imperial rule in response to political fragility and fragmentation. An in-depth analysis of senatorial careers and imperial legislation is combined with a detailed assessment of the political context - shared rule, the suppression of usurpations, Constantius' use of Constantine's memory. Using a wide range of literary, epigraphic, numismatic, and legal sources, some of which are as yet unpublished, this volume produces significant new readings of the history of the senates in Rome and Constantinople, of the construction of imperial rule and of historical change in Late Antiquity.