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Chapter Three studies ‘the word’ by merging two fields of association: first, the agglomeration of human labours, social practices, cultural values, and codified grammatical systems that made possible and supported the acquisition of Latin; second, the inhuman order of the ‘verbum Dei’. Each of these fields of association has, as its ultimate aim, the transformation of individual lives. It is under the rubric of this shared objective that I bring them together here. The first half of the chapter explores aspects of the medieval Latin grammatical tradition and its early modern afterlives. My goal is to make some seventh-century wranglings on the subject of the Latin case system serve as a point of entry into later fashions of prose style, and into the pedagogical disciplines of systematic imitation that were developed to teach Ciceronian Latin to schoolboys. The second half of the chapter explores a range of texts associated with St Paul, St Augustine, and Martin Luther in order to characterize the linguistic and spiritual stakes of medieval and early modern Britain’s absorption into Rome.
The transformation of St John Lateran, which started under pope Nicolas IV (1288–92) was the largest building project in high medieval Rome. What motives forced this pope to demolish the apses and to erect new apses, transepts and façades of the Lateran-church and of St Maria Maggiore, whose walls were sanctified by legends? This chapter focuses on the transept of St John Lateran. The form and function of the little transept aisle of Constantinian origin, excavated in the south part, is not very clear and nothing is left of a possible transept of the 12th century. This chapter explores the issue of the northern entrance towards Campus Lateranensis and the city in 1200.
Chapter One studies how Rome figures in the murky processes by which individuals settled their relation to the world. In the process, it establishes something of the range of conditions under which medieval and early modern writers negotiated their own absorption into the matter of Rome. The chapter pursues at length medieval and early modern habits of attending not so much to the wonders of Rome, but rather to all that is most ordinary, obvious (in the word’s etymological reference to that which is encountered ‘in the way’), and ubiquitous in what Rome left in its wake when it relinquished its formal, administrative hold on the provinces of Britannia. These preoccupations open onto a wide span of time: from the middle of the sixth to the middle of the seventeenth century. The texts and problems that dominate the chapter range from Gildas and Bede to Sir Thomas Browne in the late seventeenth century.
Chaucerians seeking financial support for their research endeavors need to be cautious about using the appeal to enduring humanistic values, since they can be used both to deracinate and to trivialize what we do (even by our allies). More particular and specific arguments based on an ongoing and dynamic relation between past and present are both truer to the enterprise and, in the end, more compelling to contemporary audiences.
Several generations of scholarship have identified the medieval development of urban self-government as crucial for European patterns of state formation. However, extant theories, emphasizing structural factors such as initial endowments and warfare, do little to explain the initial emergence of institutions of urban self-government before CE 1200 or why similar institutions did not emerge outside of Europe. We argue that a large-scale collapse of public authority in the ninth and tenth centuries allowed a bottom-up reform movement in West Francia (the Cluniac movement), directed by clergy but with popular backing, to push for ecclesiastical autonomy and asceticism in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. These social realignments, facilitated by new norms about ecclesiastical office holding, stimulated the urban associationalism that led to the initial emergence of autonomous town councils. Using a panel data set of 643 towns in the period between 800 and 1800, we show that medieval towns were substantially more likely to establish autonomous town councils in the period between 1000 and 1200 if they were situated in the vicinity of Cluniac monasteries. These findings are corroborated by regressions that use distance from Cluny—the movement's place of origin—to instrument for proximity to Cluniac monasteries.
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides a means of rapid and highly accurate survey of archaeological excavations and structures at landscape scales, and is particularly valuable for documenting tidal environments. Here, the authors use TLS to record tidal fixed fishing structures and a tide mill within the Léguer Estuary at Le Yaudet, in north-west France. As part of a comprehensive resource-exploitation system, the early medieval (sixth to eighth centuries AD) structures lie within, and exploit different parts of, the tidal frame. The results are used to quantify production within an estuarine landscape associated with seignorial or monastic control of environmental resources.
Excavations of the remains of the medieval church of Santa Maria di Campogrosso (Sicily) were conducted by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences as part of scientific cooperation with Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali ed Ambientali di Palermo. Based on the records of post-medieval historians, the construction of the church was placed in the second half of the 11th century, which contradicts the findings of architectural historians, who dated the building to the 13th-century and even later. As a result of archaeological excavations carried out in 2015–2018, it was possible to locate unknown fragments of the church’s structure and the remains of the cemetery adjacent to it. The 14C dating carried out for samples obtained from the walls of the existing building as well as from bone remains from the churchyard in combination with stratigraphic information from archaeological trenches and the chronology of coins indicates a high probability of the church construction in the second half of the 12th century and confirms the end of the monastery complex existence at the end of the 13th century.
The wedding of Francesco de’Medici and Giovanna of Austria was accompanied by processions and art that celebrated Florence’s history and its cultural and artistic achievements. Vincenzio Borghini and Giorgio Vasari worked with Duke Cosimo on the program. New paintings on Florentine history in the Palazzo Vecchio led Girolamo Mei to write a treatise that challenged Borghini’s assessment of the city’s history, using evidence that included the writings of Annius of Viterbo. They exchanged letters that raised issues about the use of ruins and other non-textual evidence. Borghini went on to write Discorsi on Florence’s history and traditions that also explored methods of studying the past; he wrote on medieval coinage, on families and family crests, the nature of nobility, and more. Borghini argued that traditions and social practices develop and change like languages. Many typically Florentine customs, he suggested, developed in parallel with the formation of the city’s government in the thirteenth century.
The results of a short program of landscape, buildings and materials analysis undertaken at Achanduin Castle, Lismore, Scotland (NM 8043 3927) are presented from the pilot phase of the Scottish Medieval Castles & Chapels C14 Project (SMCCCP). The study presents the first independent chronological evidence relating to the construction of this important medieval building, by radiocarbon analysis of a limited assemblage of Mortar-Entrapped Relict Limekiln Fuel (MERLF) fragments. Informed by a wider investigation of structural phasing and sample taphonomy, these measurements are constrained within a series of different Bayesian models, to generate a range of comparative estimates for the building’s constructional chronology. The precision with which the construction of this building can now be dated, from other evidence associated with the site, makes the Achanduin Castle study a useful point of reference for wider materials research.
This chapter examines modern Kabbalah’s autonomous yet continuous relationship with premodern Kabbalah. Its autonomy is attributed to various external factors such as new technologies, geopolitical and ideological shifts, vernacular developments and dramatic historical events. These factors are evident in the self-consciousness of modern kabbalists and reflected in a shift toward larger fraternal groups, as well as increasingly disseminated personal, exoteric styles of writing. The continuity is presented through a synopsis of medieval Kabbalah, which addresses a few continuous themes: exegesis, which includes a discussion of the commitment to certain sacral texts as well as its theosophy (primarily the sefirotic system), theurgy, gender and magic (albeit with some reservation). This synopsis concludes with a comparative reflection addressing medieval Kabbalah’s relationship to Christianity and Islam. The author closes by stressing that modern kabbalists inherited not a doctrine but a series of complexities and debates, which, fueled by the dynamic processes of modernity, accounts for the richness and vastness that is modern Kabbalah.
Survey and excavation of a medieval fort in central Himalaya has provided evidence for a unique system of defence. Radiocarbon dates provide a chronology for the fort and fortalices (small forts or fortified houses) in the Garhwal region.
The introduction gives an overview of the Rose’s engagement with thirteenth-century thought. It considers how the text’s game with the literal and allegorical senses of its words frustrate attempts to take unambiguous meaning from its poetry. It considers how the poem’s deliberate ambiguity responds to the context of its composition, both to the context of the University of Paris, racked by philosophical controversies in second half of the thirteen century, and to contemporary trends in satirical, philosophical poetry, strongly influenced by Roman poet Ovid, exemplified by the De amore of Andreas Capellanus. After a consideration of the Rose’s influence on later medieval poetry, the introduction gives an overview of the different chapters in the collection.
This article has two main objectives. First, we aim to revisit debates about the structure of Song Dynasty faction lists and the relationship between eleventh- and twelfth century factional politics on the basis of a large-scale network analysis of co-occurrence ties reported in the prose collections of those contemporary to the events. Second, we aim to innovate methodologically by developing a series of approaches to compare historical networks of different sizes with regard to overall network metrics as well as the significance of particular attributes such as native and workplace in their makeup. The probabilistic and sampling methods developed here should be applicable for various kinds of historical network analysis. The corresponding data can be found here: https://doi.org/10.17026/dans-xtf-z3au.
This chapter is centred on what was widely seen as the sale of the nineteenth century- the 1893 dispersal of the Spitzer collections. Austrian-born Frédéric Spitzer in many ways was the inheritor of the salvage crusade begun in earlier generations, building up a brilliant array of medieval and Renaissance artefacts (including some faked and composite pieces created on his commission). This chapter explores the visibility of Spitzer in French print culture in order to interrogate the claims for private collectors as patriots, and the attempt by the Third Republic to make collectors into auxiliaries of national policy. The scandal surrounding his sale exposes the anxieties about the interplay of private interest and public institutions, the sensitivity about curators like Émile Molinier when they operated in the market, as well as the virulence of anti-Semitic hostility to Jewish dealers. Most pervasive was the wider fear that French heritage was increasingly snapped up and repatriated by foreign buyers, so that the 1893 sale could be alternately depicted as a triumph, a swindle or a defeat for French culture.
This paper analyses the evidence relating to the heraldry used by the patriarchs of the de Bohun family (1066–1373) as preserved in seal impressions, rolls of arms, manuscripts, wills, inventories and personal objects held in private collections. It traces the development of the family’s coat of arms, as well as the adoption and use by the de Bohun earls of various heraldic symbols (such as the swan, the trefoil, the leopard and the wyvern) to serve as a reminder of the family’s glorious ancestry and its many royal and noble marital alliances. By analysing the unique heraldry adopted by each de Bohun earl, this paper concludes that the family’s noble identity evolved over several generations and that the choice of heraldic symbols by each earl was highly individual, providing a unique insight into their sense of identity and personal values, as well as their desire to ensure family memory.
The ninth chapter focuses on the practice of self-coronation among medieval Castilian kings and its religious, political and ideological implications. It takes Alfonso XI of Castile’s self-knighting self-coronation (1332) as a central event, establishing its conceptual genealogy, significance and relevance, deploying Visigothic, Asturian, Leonese and Castilian chronicles as the main sources. The case of Alfonso XI deserves particular attention, as it throws some light on the debate on the allegedly secular kingship of Castilian kings. This chapter explores Alfonso XI’s motivations for designing these rituals, whether there were any precedents for this particular gesture in Castile and to what extent he was aware of the different rates at which the anointing and coronation ceremonies were introduced into his own kingdoms. It is actually possible to establish a ritual genealogy from Visigothic, Asturian and Leonese kingdoms to the kingdom of Castile, and from Wamba’s anointing in 672 to Alfonso XI’s self-coronation in 1332, in order to reflect on the precedents for this gesture.
When idols lost their sense of agency, they effectively died. While this could happen at any time, this chapter focuses on the end of idols in the late third century AD through to the early medieval period. It examines three main agents of cult image destruction: Germanic barbarians, Christian iconoclasts, and ‘rituals of closure’ conducted by pagans themselves. For the Germanic tribes who raided Roman territory for plunder starting in the third century AD, the destruction of cult images could intimidate prisoners intended to become slaves. Numerous Christian hagiographies describe the destruction of idols from the fourth to seventh centuries AD. At some sites, destructive attention was focused on specific images and parts of images, affirming a distinction between idols and other cult images. The careful burial of certain monuments, statues, and statue fragments suggest that some cult images were intentionally disposed of by those who venerated them. Similar rituals of closure in other world cultures prevent ritually charged material from being occupied by dangerous spirits, as well as being a fitting way of disposing of holy objects. In each instance, these actions only makes sense if idols are perceived of as possessing real power.
Ceremonies of royal investiture have become a privileged site for historical understanding of medieval symbols and politics since they serve to emphasise the king’s authority, the nature of that power, the use of political symbols, the relationship between the king, nobles and prelates and the sacred idea of monarchy. The words and gestures included in the coronation ceremony (its form) validate its communicated particular message (its content). Based on this reality, this first chapter provides a theoretical exposition of the key theories around the ritual nature of self-coronation and its symbolic implications, focusing on historians and anthropologists’ theoretical perspectives. The intensive debate in the field of symbolic anthropology in the 1970s and 1980s on the meaning and interpretation of the rituals, in which scholars like Clifford Geertz, Victor Turner and Mary Douglas became celebrities, seems to have moved to medieval studies in the past two decades. Scholars such as Philippe Buc, Janet Nelson, Geoffrey Koziol, and Gerd Althoff imported these anthropological theories to medieval studies through their agreements and disagreements around the idea of how the medieval rituals must be interpreted – if they exist at all. Taking into consideration these debates, this chapter questions to what extent or whether self-coronations may be considered ‘medieval rituals’ and what self-crowning reveals about ritual.
Lake sediments are key archives for paleoenvironmental investigation as they provide continuous records of the depositional history of the lake and its watershed. Lake Futalaufquen (42.8°S) is an oligotrophic waterbody located in Los Alerces National Park in the Andes of northern Patagonia, South America. A sedimentary sequence covering 1600 years was recovered to analyze the potential for paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the last millennia. Integration of different geochemical and mineralogical parameters and comparison with climatic reconstructions from other Patagonian records give clues for the identification of a warm period around AD 800–1000, associated with the Medieval Climatic Anomaly. The high frequency of tephra layers beginning in the mid-sixteenth century precludes identification of the Little Ice Age, recorded in northern Patagonia as a cold period from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Furthermore, the parameters analysed do not provide evidence of late-twentieth-century global warming. However, Zn deposition, a long-distance atmospheric transport process of anthropogenic origin, was identified during the last century.
Human emotion is of interest across a wide range of disciplines, but in the field of archaeology it has received attention only very recently. This article contributes to the archaeology of emotion through a focus on later medieval objects in Britain. It identifies ‘emotants’ within the archaeological record, defined as evidence that can communicate, create or intensify emotion(s). By exploring emotants in the form of inscribed later medieval finger rings and brooches, and an iron plough coulter, the author aims to introduce a neologism that can be employed to advance this challenging yet untapped field of study.