Food, Feast and Famine – The #IMC2016

The International Medieval Congress 2016 is held from 4-7 July at the University of Leeds. The special thematic strand of this year’s IMC is “Food, Feast & Famine”. For the next four days we want to regularly report from the IMC and offer reviews of interesting papers and sessions. It’s a collaborative and steady growing blogpost, so check back for updates regularly! We are: Stefanie Neidhardt (SN), Tabea Scheuble (TS), Johannes WaIMG_4873ldschütz (JW), Elizabeth Goodwin (EG), Rutger Kramer (RK) and Nina Kühnle (NK). So let’s lay the tables and start to feast!

„Medievalisms in 21st-Century Fantasy“ (Session 231)

Speakers: Molly Brown, Helen Young

Die von der „Tales  After Tolkien Society“ finanzierte Nachmittagssektion beschäftigte sich mit der Mittelalter-Rezeption in der zeitgenössischen phantastischen Literatur und dass diese Verbindung offenbar nicht wenige Mediävisten bewegt, bewies der mit mehr als 60 Personen gut gefüllte Saal. Zwar musste das angekündigte dritte Paper entfallen, doch dies eröffnete noch mehr Raum für eine lebhafte Diskussion, zu der die beiden Referentinnen in hohem Maße anregten. Im ersten Vortrag ging die Literaturwissenschaftlerin Molly Brown der Frage nach, inwiefern der 2015 verstorbene Schriftsteller Terry Pratchett in seiner 5-bändigen Buchreihe um die Heldin Tiffany Aching von den bislang üblichen Hexendarstellungen abweicht. Brown ging in einer kurzen Einleitung zunächst darauf ein, dass junge Frauen im Fantasy-Genre zumeist als Verführerinnen in Erscheinung treten, und führte die Transformation dieses Motivs bis hin zu den populären „teen witches“ der 1990er- und 2000er-Jahre vor. Anhand von Pratchetts coming of age-Geschichte rund um die junge Hexe Tiffany Aching zeigte sie sodann den „(re)visionären“ Charakter dieser Darstellung auf. Tiffany sei nämlich eine Protagonistin, die weder feministisch geprägt sei noch als „female boy“ geschildert werde, sondern eine Welt hinter den ersten (auch körperlichen) Eindrücken entdecke, in der Bedeutungen erst ausgehandelt werden müssten. Sowohl der Heldin als auch dem Leser biete sich somit eine Chance auf die „ability to change master narratives of our lives“. Im zweiten Paper setzte sich Helen Young, zugleich die Organisatorin der Session, mit mittelalterlichen Elementen im Subgenre der Urban Fantasy auseinander. Am Beispiel der TV-Serien „Buffy“, „Lost Girl“ und „Grimm“ steckte sie die Rahmenbedingungen dieser phantastischen Spielart ab, bei der „das“ Mittelalter überraschend häufig eine Rolle spielt – sei es durch den Einsatz mittelalterlicher Schwerter als bevorzugte Waffen der Protagonisten, durch mittelalterlich anmutende Strukturen der jeweiligen übernatürlichen Welt (in Form von Höfen, Häusern oder Bruderschaften) oder durch eine allgemeine „pastness of the supernatural world“, in der sowohl Gefahren als auch Gegenmittel häufig aus einer weit zurückliegenden Vergangenheit herrühren. In allen drei Serien lasse sich aber beobachten, dass die Hauptpersonen stets von den an ihre Rolle gerichteten und aus der Vergangenheit überlieferten Erwartungen abweichen und stattdessen einen eigenen, modernen Weg einschlagen. Young bezeichnete dies als „triumph of the present over the past“. Die anschließende lange Diskussion griff immer wieder Genderaspekte auf, berührte daneben u. a. aber auch, passend zum Motto des IMC, das Thema Konsum sowie die Funktion der Fantasy als „safe place“. (NK)

 

„New Directions in Medieval Animal Studies: A Round Table Discussion“ (Session 437)

Speakers: Liam Lewis, Harriet Jean Evans, Alice Choyke

Im Mittelpunkt dieser einstündigen Abendsession standen neue Perspektiven aus dem Bereich der mediävistischen Animal Studies, die nach einer kurzen Einführung durch die Vorstellung dreier Projekte skizziert wurden. Liam Lewis, der die Session auch organisiert hatte, ging auf sein Promotionsprojekt ein, bei dem er sich mit der Umschreibung von Tiergeräuschen in lateinischen Quellen auseinandersetzt. Er widmet sich dabei dem Überschneidungsbereich von „animality“ und „sound“ und möchte auf interdisziplinäre Weise „new ways of reading and hearing of medieval literature“ beschreiten. Die zweite Rednerin Harriet Jean Evans forscht zu Tieren und Tiererfahrungen („experiencing animals“) im mittelalterlichen Island. Als Quellenbasis dienen ihr die Sagas, die sowohl Rückschlüsse auf Tiere als biologische Wesen als auch auf Tiere als kulturell geprägte Konstruktionen zulassen – wie sie an Textstellen über Schweine vorführte, die zur Ausdeutung von Tier-Mensch- und Tier-Land-Beziehungen einladen. Gleichzeitig zieht sie aber auch archäologische Befunde heran und erklärte, dass dieser interdisziplinäre Zugang zwar aufwändig sei, aber ganz neue Einsichten eröffne. Tiere seien ein Untersuchungsobjekt, das von einer einzelnen Disziplin nur unzureichend abgebildet werden könne. Das Trio wurde komplettiert durch die Archäologin Alice Choyke, die die derzeit im Aufbau befindliche Datenbank MAD (Medieval Animal Data-network) vorstellte. Diese Datenbank hat sich das Ziel gesetzt, beim Umgang mit „cross-disciplinary data“ zu helfen, da Interdisziplinarität im eigentlichen Sinn für die in der Regel in einem Spezialgebiet ausgebildeten Forschenden kaum machbar sei. Die Bandbreite möglicher Deutungsperspektiven veranschaulichte sie anschließend am Beispiel des Bibers und der Katze und ging dann auf den Aufbau der Datenbank ein, die Einträge in den Kategorien „built space“, „visual“, „textual“, „material culture connected to animals“ und „zooarchaeology“ anbiete. Begleitet wird die Datenbank durch einen Blog auf http://mad.hypotheses.org/, wo begleitende Artikel veröffentlicht werden. Den Abschluss der Session bildete eine kurze Diskussion zu den vorgestellten Projekten. (NK)

 

Women Religious: Written Norm and Lived Practice (133)

Moderator: Kimm Curran (University of Glasgow)

Speakers: Araceli Rosillo-Luque (Universitat de Barcelona), Jennifer de Vries (Georgetown University)

The first of three sessions on “Women Religious” (133,233,333) focused on “Written Norm and Lived Practice”. It sought to broaden the chronological scope of the discussion and aspired to bring together papers looking a) at the precise circumstances of the introduction and putative application of normative texts, b) the study of normative texts in female religious contexts, and c) the role of written norms in organizing life within female monasteries generally.

As one of the three papers was cancelled, Araceli Rosillo-Luque (Universitat de Barcelona) iniciated with an insight into “More Than Meets the Eye: Female Religious Settlements in Central Catalonia, 13th-16th Centuries”.

Visualizing it on maps, she showed the settlements of different religious communities in Central Catalonia. The mulieres religiosae, women religious, begin to spread in the georgraphical center of the region, but at the end of the 15th century they disappear, whereas Poor Clares appear. What has happened? As a reason for the semi-religious communities’ disappearance, Araceli Rosillo-Luque’s put on debate, that there are significant differences within the communities’ rules and the way they lived in Central Catalonia:

The mulieres religiosae were clearly connected with city centers as Manresa, which means they were in close contact with apostolic life, albeit living in the countryside.

When forced to accept the Augustinian rule, some of them moved from one community to not renounce their religiosity. Araceli Rosillo-Luque pointed out, that the communities, like Santa Magdalena de Conangle, did not disappear out of financial problems as they were rich in donations. Something seemed to have happened in the mind of the women, to not live as mulieres religiosae anymore. The opportunity to life a monastic life was attractive to them. As announced in the title of her paper, there is more than meets the eye: Clerical actions towards the women were not openly violent, but there were subtle actions by the bishop, to make them transform to Canon Augustinians. Aiming on control, it seems that the clerics wanted uniformity in the religious womens’ landscape. Therefore women should be enclosed and in the cities, which ment for the mulieres religiosae: adapt or disappear.

Afterwards, Jennifer de Vries (Georgetown University) focused on “High Walls, Open Gates: Partial Enclosure in Beguine Life Rules”. Geographically limiting herself to the communities in Leiden, Netherlands, she raised the challenging question of how to define a beguine lifestyle. One remarkable characteristic she showed was the fact, that they were not allowed to stay out of the beguine house during the night. The partial enclosure represents that these beguines looked for pious but still active lifestyle. Therefore, gates and walls are often referred to in their rules. The gates mark the boundaries between the inside and outside world by closing them in the evening. Physical boundaries need to be considered: the communities’ walls remained a permanent structure, but gates could be opened: Their rules permitted visitors, they only limited the length of the visits. So, even men could enter during the day! Nevertheless, the consent of the mistress was indispensable. In conclusion, space and its limitation are of great importance analyzing Beguine life rules. (TS)

 

New Directions in the Study of Women Religious, I: Staging the Identities of Women Religious (233)

Moderator: Kimm Curran (University of Glasgow)

Speakers: Jirki Thibaut (Universiteit Gent / KU Leuven), Abigail G. Robertson (University of New Mexico)

The second of three sessions on “Women Religious” (133,233,333) focused on “New Directions in the Study of Women Religious, I: Staging the Identities of Women Religious”.  Giving space to two innovative approaches, the session sought to use performativity as a methodological framework to explore the identities of female religious women.

First, Jirki Thibaut (Universiteit Gent / KU Leuven) analyzed in a Gandersheim case-study „Representations of Female Abbatial Leadership in 9th- to 11th-Century Saxony”. The Vita Hathumodae shows some Benedictine features, as the common life, strict enclosure, as well as abbatial features of Hathumoda herself. Jirki Thibaut implements a bottom-up approach in contrast to the classical reading of Agius’ vita of Hathumoda.  She points out the way of Agius to bind Gandersheim to the Benedictine movement in the aftermath of the Aachen council. The focus on male authorship is too short-sighted. Instead, the Vita Hathumodae should be treated as something brought forward by the women themselves. There has been a close relation between the sanctimoniales and Agius.

The hard competition in the religious institutional context of the time had a strong influence on the women. It created a necessity to maintain societal relevance. Therefore, the Benedictine features in the Vita Hathumodae are part of a discourse of distinction.

The session was closed with Abigail G. Robertson’s (University of New Mexico) paper on “Embodying Faith: Eugenia and Æthelthryth in the Monastery”. She highlights the importance of materiality these Anglo-Saxon saints’ lives.

The female saints’ body was considered as a material representation: “faith and body behavior”, which created actions and responses. As to the vita of vita of saint Eugenia, she explored her as an example Christianity acting in behalf of her faith. According tho the vita, Eugenias physical changes into an abbot were described, focusing on the vulnerability of her body and especially on her virginity and the physical effect of baptism. As way of communicating orthodox faith, the performative hiding and unrevealing of her body to make sure she did not commit a crime reveal important gender aspects.

Under different circumstances, the case of Aehelthryth also gives insight to performative use of the female body.  Even 16 years after Aehelthryth ‘s death, her body, the coffin as well as her body appear flawless. Although she had died of a visible tumor as a punishment of God, her body has healed the wounds and shows itself as a holy body: the saint’s body performs holiness in death. (TS)

 

New Directions in the Study of Women Religious, II: Organising Female Religious in the 10th to the 12th Centuries (333)

Moderator: Steven Vanderputten (Universiteit Gent)

Speakers: Cristina Andenna (Technische Universität Dresden), Anne Wagner ((CRUHL) / Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon),  Guido Cariboni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

The final session on “Women Religious” (133,233, 333) asked about “New Directions in the Study of Women Religious, II: Organising Female Religious in the 10th to the 12th Centuries”.

First, Cristina Andenna (Technische Universität Dresden) pays attention to “Female Order?: Forms of Female Networking and Their Strategies in the 12th Century between France and Southern Italy”. She states, that women in 12th century Italy and France needed strategic partners. They were important to introduce and sustainably integrate them into the ecclesiastical institutions to integrate them. In a surrounding of hierarchical male networks, legitimacy was of main interest. Therefore female success depended on the intensity of their ties to their strategic partners. Nevertheless, the “institutional experiments”, entrusting women religious with administrative tasks and functions, was an essential change in 12th century, when women became active in forging strategically those networks.

The second paper of  Anne Wagner ((CRUHL) / Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon)  on “Bishops and Nuns in 10th-Century Lotharingia: The Examples of Metz, Toul, and Verdun” analyzes by means of three dimensions the conditions of foundation in abbeys located within the dioceses of Metz, Verdun, and Toul. First, as an answer to a social and spiritual demand, when bishops found monasteries as St. Glossinde, St. Peter or St. Marie, even if they had difficulties to persist due to the hard competition. Second, as a holy place, which for instance brought forward the episcopally intended local pilgrimage to Verdun. Using architectonic footprints on the access to chapels or a representation of the niece in Sainte-Glossinde tympan of Lemoncourt, she links foundation and the bishop. Third, as a territorial affirmation, where Adelphe’s “invention et translation” illustrates the consolidation of the dioceses.

Finally Guido Cariboni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano) read on “Prostitutes and Religious Life: Some Observations on Vitalis of Savigny, Henry of Lausanne, and Ivo of Chartres”. Stating that prostitutes had occupied a unchanging difficult social position, 11th century saw various experiments on redemption and both spiritual and corporal care for them.

By means of two examples, Guido Cariboni analyzes the canonistic debates about their identity as fallen women. First, Robert of Arbrissel, preacher and founder of communities in north western France took women out of a brothel into a place of God, a hermitage in the desert. In a different and second way, Ivo de Chartres’ letters represent his thoughts of the transformation of prostitutes into virgin. Marriage did not convert the husband into a sinner, but contrary, the former bad women into a good one. Later, this transformation from meretrix to virgin found entry in some innovations in canonic law. (TS)

 

The Separation of Church and Church in the Carolingian Era, 8th-10th Centuries, I: Initiative and Impact (Session 111)

Speakers: Sören Kaschke (Köln), Stephen Ling (Leicester), Johanna Jebe (Tübingen)

Moderator: Charles West (Sheffield)

The papers in this panel, the first of a strand of three, took a fresh look the Carolingian Church reforms in the 8th and 9th centuries – specifically with the question how those people responsible for correctio figured out how to distinguish monks and canons from each other, and from the rest of the clergy. This is a topic that has long interested scholars of the Carolingian age. New impetus has been given by recent insights that the old assumption that the Carolingians were attemtping to impose uniformity across the board should be nuanced, and replaced with a more flexible approach to correctio that favoured channelling diversity over enforcing unity.

To that end, Sören Kaschke (Episcopal Guidance Recommended: Correcting the Church in the Reign of Lothar I) examined the interaction and interdependence between Lothar, his bishops, and his imperial forebears. Dealing, on the one hand, with the legacy of correctio left by his father and grandfather, and on the other hand with the political realities of the 830s and 840s (including his own role in the upheaval of the early 830s), Lothar’s imperial policy in Italy shows a keen awareness of the significance of episcopal power and their role in the upkeep of the Carolingian “system”. Paradoxically, for all Lothar’s innovations, he did not assail the ecclesiastical discipline and the role of bishops in it – which meant that he was as dependent on the groundwork laid by his predecessors as he was reacting against it.

Stephen Ling (‘Superior to the canonical, but inferior to the monastic’: Monks, Canons, and Alcuin’s Third Order – The Problem of Defining Canons and Monks in the 8th and 9th Centuries) then presented his thought on Alcuin – politician, courtier, reformer – and how he treated the essentially binary nature of the enclosed life. Under the authority of bishops, Alcuin identified two  main orders, the monastic and the canonical, one governed by “regular life” and one by episcopal authority, but also struggled with an elusive “third order” which defied definition. Going over the writing of Alcuin, Angilramn and Chrodegang, it was argued that the persistence of this “third order” (which, as the title suggests, was “superior to the canonical, but inferior to the monastic”) shows the ambiguities inherent in the attempt to establish a binary division. This was especially when it came to the status of monastic or clerical properties, which was both a cause for conflict and a ground for distinguishing one from the other.

Finally, Johanna Jebe (Good Monks, Bad Monks / Good Pastors, Bad Pastors: Carolingian Communities and the Impact of Reform) looked at correctio on a ground level, focusing on the impacts of reform (or lack thereof) in the monasteries of Fulda and especially also Sankt-Gallen. Arguing that studying corectio was akin to studying the tensions between normativity and practice, she showed how the famous manuscript Cod Sang 914 (allegedly containing a copy of the court-sanctioned copy of the Regula Benedicti) already betrays a flexibility vis à vis rules, rather than a search for the purest version of an unassailable regula. This was further highlighted with reference to the large amount of rules that persisted parallel to the Regula Benedicti. The wide range of ascetic and monastic ideals available to the monks displays the wide range of options offered to those with a stake in the monastic life. (RK)

 

The Separation of Church and Church in the Carolingian Era, 8th-10th Centuries, II: Reactions and Responses (Session 211)

Speakers: Graeme Ward (Vienna), Ingrid Rembold (Oxford), Alexandra Jordan (Durham)

Moderator: Steffen Patzold (Tübingen)

Continuing the discussion started in session 111, his second session on Carolingian ecclesiastical reforms and re-organisation looked at various ways in which contemporary actors reacted to the initiatives taken in the name of correctio, and how their responses in turn affected the formulation of new initiatives.

First, Graeme Ward (Amalarius of Metz, the Secular Office and Carolingian Liturgical Reform) highlighted the (often surprisingly under-appreciated) importance of liturgy within the discussions on correctio, and how this might be used to distiguish between the various groups of clerics and monks. Taken the work and the Nachleben of the controversial author Amalarius of Metz as a point of departure, he re-emphasised that the importance of liturgical thinking laid in the idea that a shared cultus divinus was the glue that held the ecclesia together. However, once again there were many options available within the acceptable Carolingian “bandwidth”, and it is difficult to discern a singularly monastic, canonical or episcopal liturgy; in the end, it may have been more of a statement to adhere to Roman, Frankish or other standards, than it was to adapt given liturgical ideas to the requirements of a community.

Ingrid Rembold (The ‘Apostates’ of St-Denis: Monks, Canons, and the Limits of Carolingian Reform) then introduced the highly complex conflict surrounding the conversion of Saint-Denis from a (supposedly) canonical community into a (more acceptable) monastery. Highlighting the importance of Saint Denis, as well as Saint Martin and Saint Maurice, for the Carolingian self-image, it was shown how this essentially localised conversion became a matter of political importance, as it not only involved many of the “movers and shakers” behind the Carolingian reform movement (most notably abbot Hilduin), but also became an exemplary case that was thought to affect similar cases in the future; the “apostasy” of the monks became a rallying cry for self-determination vs. adhering to an imposed regular lifestyle.

Similarly local, but much less controversial was the case presented by Alexandra Jordan (A Reformed Cult in Carolingian Brittany: The Two Lives of St Melanius of Rennes), who showed the arrival of Carolingian ideas about order in the Church by looking at the process of réécriture between the early- and late-ninth-century iterations of the Breton Vita Melanii (Life of Melanius of Rennes). Focusing on the changes made to the descriptions of Melanius’ entourage (moving from generic socii to more variegated monks, priests, and others) and the places and buildings where his life took place, it was suggested that the episcopal audience in Rennes became more susceptible to the sensitivity to categorisations as developed by Carolingian reformers. (RK)

 

The Separation of Church and Church in the Carolingian Era, 8th-10th Centuries, III: Adaptation and Exaptation (Session 311)

Speakers: Cinzia Grifoni (Vienna), Veronika Wieser (Vienna), Molly Lester (Princeton)

Moderator: Mayke de Jong (Utrecht)

For the final session in this strand, the sources for the reforms were scrutinised, as well as the way these texts were adapted to suit the needs of the Carolingian ecclesiastical elites. Given its pivotal place in the Carolingian correctio-movement, all papers in this session ended up revolving around the monumental Institutio Canonicorum (816), a combination of a speculum episcoporum, a rule for the canonical life, and a moral treatise aimed at all Christians.

Cinzia Grifoni (Sententia legis?: Bishops Teaching and Bishops Taught in Hrabanus Maurus’s De institutione clericorum) kicked off the proceedings by looking at the treatise De Institutione Clericorum by the (then still) monk Hrabanus Maurus. Long seen as either a reaction against the Institutio Canonicorum, or a practical adaptation of it, it was argued that Hrabanus’ use of the same sources showed how he was less concerned with prescribing moral conduct per se (presumably because he expected his audience to know this already), but rather to highlight the importance of education in order to acquire the skills necessary to be a good cleric – and mutatis mutandis, a good Christian.

Veronika Wieser (‘No one comes to the Father except through me’: Church Fathers in the Institutio Canonicorum and Beyond) focused on the sources used to compose the Institutio Canonicorum itself. Looking at the use and reworking of the letters of Jerome and the sermons of Augustine, she demonstrated how the compilers of the IC were very sensitive to the context within which their sources had been written, and managed to adopt the message while simultaneously adapting the text to early ninth-century circumstances. In doing so, the text they were compiling emphasised the multi-faceted nature of clerical, monastic and canonical life, presenting various options given by Church Fathers rather than fitting it all into the same narrative

Rounding off the proceedings, Molly Lester (On the Shoulders of Goths: Visigothic Sources for Carolingian Reforms) discussed the use of Gregory the Great within the IC – an author who appears exclusively through the filter of the Sententiae of Taio of Zaragoza. Explaining Taio’s compilatory strategies in a seventh-century context, she convincingly argued that Taio’s adaptation of Gregory’s works may have been more attractive to the Carolingians precisely because it was more overtly concerned with practical issues rather than Gregory’s more “theoretical” (or actually, “pastoral”) approach.

All in all, these three sessions nicely and convincingly illustrated how church reforms and correctio were exceedingly complex issues that required a lot of self-reflection from those formulating reforms and those on the receiving end of their initiatives – an observation made even more complex by the fact that these two groups often overlapped to a large extent. (RK)

 

Poor and Rich in Frankish Christianity (Session 539)

Speakers: Bastiaan Waagmeester (Utrecht), Jelle Wassenaar (Utrecht/Vienna).

Organised by the Onderzoeksschool Medievistiek of Utrecht University, this session gave MA-students a first taste of presenting a paper in an international environment – and the large turnout showed that there is a definite willingness by the participants of the IMC to listen to what the “next generation” of scholars has to offer. Which was, in this case, a series of interesting insights in the ideals and realities of social life in the Carolingian era.

First, Bastiaan Waagmeester presented his work on a single manuscript (BSB MS Clm 14508), a priest’s handbook from around ninth-century Reims. Based around several episcopal statutes as well as the so-called Collectio Sangallensis, it was shown how the compiler’s strategy may have reflected a local priest’s (or his bishop’s) concern for his community and his (pastoral) duties there, instead of the moral and theological directives given in his sources.

Then, Jelle Wassenaar showed how pseudo-Cyprian’s famous De Duodecim Abusivis was more than a Fürstenspiegel to its Carolingian audience. Due to its Irish background, which the Carolingians considered to reflect the thoughts of Cyprian of Carthage, it presented a view of social justice, social mobility and social relations that provided an alternative to pre-existing ideas at the time. By connecting pseudo-Cyprian’s ideas on the pauper superbus with his more widespread reflections on the rex iniquus, he argued that the royal duty of almsgiving became more than simply caring for the bodily needs of the populace – it was also about caring for their souls. (RK)

 

„‚Schützenfest‘ Meets ‚Hochzeitsbrauch‘: Medieval (South) German Feasts and Their Modern Adaptations“ (Session 522)

Speakers: Christian Chandon, Matthias Herrn, Ingrid Bennewitz

Mit Schützenfesten und Hochzeitsfeiern standen zwei besondere Formen von Festivität im Mittelpunkt dieser Morgensektion, die ereignis- und rezeptionsgeschichtlich einen Bogen vom Spätmittelalter bis in das 21. Jahrhundert hinein schlug. Im ersten Vortrag führte Christian Chandon in die funktionale Bandbreite von Schützenfesten ein und gewährte damit zugleich einen Einblick in sein laufendes Promotionsprojekt. Zwar räumte er zu Beginn ein, dass Schützenfeste kein populärer Forschungsgegenstand seien und noch dazu eine regionale Spezialität des süddeutschen Raums darstellten, namentlich Bayerns, Schwabens, Hessens und Frankens. Doch seine weiteren Ausführungen unterstrichen die hohe Relevanz dieser auf das 14. Jahrhundert zurückgehenden Zusammenkünfte, die nicht nur militärische Übungen waren, sondern maßgeblich zur städtischen Außendarstellung und bürgerlichen Identität beitrugen sowie den Wettkampf mit all seinen politischen Implikationen zwischen zwei oder mehreren Städte ermöglichten. Im frühen 16. Jahrhundert habe sich das Schützenfest dann endgültig zum regelmäßig stattfindenden Volksfest der Superlative gewandelt, in dessen Realisierung sich die süddeutschen Städte, allen voran Augsburg, beständig gegenseitig zu übertreffen versuchten. Der zweite Referent Matthias Herrn befasste sich mit der Rezeption spätmittelalterlicher Fürstenhochzeiten. Zunächst ging er auf zeitgenössische Verarbeitungen des 15. Jahrhunderts ein und stellte hier vor allem die Gattung der Festbücher vor, die auf das Manuskriptzeitalter zurückgehen, sich mit dem aufkommenden Buchdruck parallel aber auch als Inkunabeln ausbildeten. Im 16. Jahrhundert habe man sodann älteres, im Umfeld der Fürstenhochzeiten entstandenes Material sowohl als Vorlage für künftige Feiern als auch zur Memoria der schon verstorbenen Amtsvorgänger zusammengetragen, wie Herrn am Beispiel einer württembergischen Sammlung von 1552 belegte. Abschließend widmete er sich am Beispiel der Brügger Gouden Boom-Prozession und der Landshuter Hochzeit der zeitgenössischen Re-Enactment-Bewegung, die sich mal wie in Brügge in einem riesigen Volksfest niederschlage, die in Landshut hingegen als wichtiger Baustein für die städtische Identität gelten müsse. Als letzte Rednerin spürte die Germanistin Ingrid Bennewitz (zugleich Organisatorin der Sektion) dem beliebten literarischen Motiv des gefährlichen Gastmahls nach, in dessen Verlauf die Spannungen zwischen den Teilnehmern derartig zunehmen, dass eine gewaltsame Eskalation unausweichlich ist. Die Gefährlichkeit komme dabei nicht nur durch sein böses Ende zum Ausdruck, sondern auch durch das fragile Zusammenspiel sozialer Regeln (z. B. Gastgeberpflichten, höfische Etikette, Sitzordnung, Geschlechterkonventionen), die es – nicht immer mit Erfolg – einzuhalten galt. Bennewitz beschloss ihr Paper mit einem Blick auf die zeitgenössische Rezeption des Gastmahlmotivs und insbesondere der Rolle der Frau und zeigte Ausschnitte aus John Boormans „Excalibur“ und Quentin Tarantinos „Django Unchained“; in beiden Fällen folgte die Darstellung klar erkennbar den schon in den mittelalterlichen Literatur zu beobachtenden Gesetzmäßigkeiten. (NK)

 

Excursion: Pontefract Castle and All Saints Church

IMG_4908

Die All Saints Church in Pontefract

Die Dienstagnachmittag-Exkursion führte ca. 30 Teilnehmer zusammen mit den beiden erfahrenen Führern Kelly DeVries und Michael Linvingston in die kleine Stadt Pontefract, wo zunächst die Ruinen des Pontefract Castle auf dem Programm standen. Gemäß dem Leitmotto von DeVries „Read the Rocks!“ und mit der Unterstützung einiger Mitglieder der ehrenamtlichen Vereinigung „Friends of Pontefract Castle“ erhielt die Gruppe Einblicke in das weitläufige Gelände, dessen Befunde immer wieder mit der Vergangenheit des Ortes verknüpft wurden. Schon während der Anreise hatte DeVries auf die Geschichtsträchtigkeit der auf das 11. Jahrhundert zurückgehenden Burg verwiesen, die im 13. Jahrhundert in den Besitz der Lancasters kam, die mit dem innerhalb der Mauern inhaftierten und in der Folge verstorbenen Richard II. sowie mit dem in der Nähe der Burg hingerichteten Thomas von Lancaster prominente Opfer aufweist und deren Mauern schließlich im 17. Jahrhundert endgültig geschleift wurden. Zwar waren aufgrund von konservatorischen Maßnahmen und archäologischen Untersuchungen nicht alle Schlüsselpunkte erreichbar, doch tat dies der Atmosphäre und der Wirkmächtigkeit des Ortes keinen Abbruch. Beispielsweise konnte der bis auf normannische Zeit zurückreichende Keller, der zugleich als Kerker diente und in dessen Mauern die Namen der einstigen Gefangenen eingeritzt sind, besichtigt werden.

Die letzte Stunde der Exkursion widmete sich der nahe gelegenen aus dem 11. Jahrhundert stammenden und im 17. Jahrhundert zerstörten All Saints Church, die nach Außen hin aus eindrucksvollen Ruinen besteht, deren Innenraum im 19. Jahrhundert jedoch wiederhergestellt wurde und die daher bis heute als Kirche genutzt wird. Als absolutes Highlight weist diese Kirche eine erst im 20. Jahrhundert entdeckte Wendeltreppe in Form einer Doppelhelix auf, wovon weltweit nur drei Exemplare bekannt sind! Pontefract Castle und die All Saints Church können daher auch künftigen IMC-Besuchern als Exkursionsziele wärmstens empfohlen werden. (NK)

 

Feast and Folly in Arthurian Epic: Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein

Der Dienstagabend hielt für die IMC-Besucher noch einen ganz besonderen Leckerbissen bereit: Im Banham Theatre des Michael Sadler-Building war die dreiköpfige „Bayreuth Medieval Drama Group“, bestehend aus Silvan Wagner, Nadine Hufnagel und Susanne Knaeble, zu Gast und bot eine ca. 70-minütige Aufführung dar, bei der die Anfangssequenz des „Iwein“ mit zwei Liebesliedern Hartmanns von Aue verwoIMG_4952ben wurde. Als Bühnenbild dienten Nachbildungen der Iwein-Fresken, die bis heute auf der in Südtirol gelegenen Burg Rodenegg zu sehen sind – eine Burg, die sich heute übrigens im Besitz der Nachkommen Oswalds von Wolkenstein befindet. Entsprechend war es auch die Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, die das einzigartige Erlebnis organisiert hatte. Die Darbietung folgte dem Muster, dass eine der Schauspielerinnen in englischer Sprache kurz wiedergab, um was es in der folgenden Sequenz gehen würde, woraufhin der durch Musik begleitete und mit außerordentlichem Schauspieltalent in Szene gesetzte mittelhochdeutsche Originaltext zum Einsatz kam. Auf diese Weise wurden die zahlreichen Zuschauer im Laufe des Abends durch den Prolog des „Iwein“ mit seiner Kalogreant-Episode geführt – Kalogreant, der am Artushof der Königin und anderen Rittern von einer zehn Jahre zurückliegenden Aventiure berichtet, bei der er, dem Hinweis eines wilden Mannes folgend, zu einer magischen Quelle gelangte und das Quellwasser über einen Stein laufen ließ, gegen den dadurch herbeigerufenen Ritter jedoch eine Niederlage einstecken musste. Das Stück endet mit dem Entschluss Iweins, diese Aventiure zu bestehen, und folglich mit dem Beginn seiner Geschichte. Die großartige Inszenierung, die ein Stück mittelalterliche Literatur in genialer Weise zum Leben erweckte, wurde vom begeisterten Publikum mit großem Applaus belohnt. (NK)

 

The Dominican Order, I: Innovations of the Dominican Order (Session 538)

Speakers: Nikolaus Weichselbaumer, Julian Vesty

Das von Sabine von Heusiner und Elias H. Füllenbach organisierte Cluster begann am frühen Morgen mit der gut besuchten Sektion „Innovations of the Dominican Order“. Insgesamt feierten die Sektionen das 800jährige Bestehen des Dominikanerordens und wollten aus diesem Anlass Innovationen im Orden, Identität, den weiblichen Zweig des Ordens sowie Reform und Erneuerung neu untersuchen.

Nikolaus Weichselbaumer vom Institut für Buchwissenschaft der Universität Mainz referierte über den Zusammenhang zwischen den Dominikanern und dem Buch an frühen Universitäten. Er zeigte, dass die Scholastik und mit ihr auch die Dominikaner eine neue Form des Lesens verfolgten: Die Lektüre wurde nicht mehr nur zur Rettung der Seele, sondern vor allem als Pflicht für jeden Bruder verstanden. Die Dominikaner an den Universitäten regten die Diskussion unter ihren studierenden Mitbrüdern an, Veröffentlichungen von eigenen Schriften wurden jedoch vom Provinzial kontrolliert.

Im zweiten Vortrag ging Julian Vesty der Frage nach der besonderen Sicht der Dominikaner auf die Eucharistie in ihren Schriften nach. Mit dominikanischen Schriften, der Legenda Aurea und architektonischen Quellen wie der Erfurter Dominikanerkirche zeigte Vesty verstärkte Visualisierung der Kreuzigung und eine verstärkte Frömmigkeit in Bezug auf die Eucharistie. Ein neuer Fokus wurde auf die Kreuzigung Christi und sein Leiden gelegt, Objekte sollten nun nicht mehr nur als Beweis für Wunder gelten, sondern wurden zu persönlichen Devotionalien um Christi Leiden nachzuempfinden. Vesty schloss seinen Vortrag mit der Beobachtung, dass die Dominikaner diese Form der Darstellung in Schrift und Bildern wählten, um der Transsubstantiation mehr Raum zu geben und gleichzeitig auf die Bedürfnisse der Laien einzugehen. (SN)

 

The Dominican Order II: Inquisition in Context (Session 638)

Speakers: Christine Caldwell Ames, Robin Vose, Klaus-Bernward Springer

Die Sektion beschäftigte sich mit neuen Forschungsansätzen zur Inqusition im Mittelalter. Dabei wurde von allen drei Vortragenden festgehalten, dass es „die Inqusition“ so nicht gab und die Dominikaner nicht alleine verantwortlich für dieses Phänomen waren, wie es die Historiographie suggerierte.

Im ersten Paper der Sektion zeigte Christine Caldwell Ames anschaulich, dass die Inquisition ein kollaborativer Prozess war, in dem ein Rat bestehend aus Mendikanten, Laien und Juristen dem Inquisitor zur Seite stand. Er war durch Eid zu Geheimhaltung und Entscheidung nach dem eigenen Gewissen verpflichtet. Caldwell Ames konnte zeigen, dass nicht selten Mitglieder des Rates entsprechend ihrer politischen oder theologischen Vorbildung und Überzeugung entschieden, die aus der Institution oder Gemeinschaft der sie angehörten entstanden war. Dieser Ratsprozess führte zu gemeinsamer Entscheidungsfindung, die die Richter in ihren Pflichten entlastete. Inquisition und Häresie führten zu Unsicherheit in einer Region und resultierten im Anfordern von Experten. Caldwell Ames zeigte, dass besonders die Laienrolle mit der Zeit wuchs, während die Dominikaner nicht nur Verurteiler, sondern auch Zweifler an ablaufenden Prozesses wurden.

Robin Vose untersuchte in seinem Paper die Historiographie der Inquisition. Er zeigte anhand von Viten bedeutender Ordensangehörigen, dass die Inquisition im 13. Jahrhundert kein Thema in der Erinnerungskultur der Dominikaner war. Die Predigt gegen Häretiker war relevant, nicht aber deren Verfolgung. Auch im 14. Jahrhundert war die Inquisition in den Lebensläufen der Dominikaner kein Hauptthema, die Aufgaben des Inquisitors wurden als eines von vielen Ämtern gesehen. Robin Vose konnte zeigen, dass die Autoren dieser memorialen Einträge selbst Inquisitoren waren. Erst im Spanien des 16. Jahrhunderts veränderte sich die Wahrnehmung im Dominikanerorden. Vermehrt fanden Dominikaner, deren Hauptaufgabe die Inquisition war, Aufnahme in Vitensammlungen und wurden für ihre Arbeit gelobt. Bei der anschließenden Diskussion spielte die Frage, wie es zu dieser Entwicklung kam eine große Rolle. Dabei wurde einerseits die besondere Rolle der Dominikaner als Inquisitoren in Spanien, andererseits die enge Verbindung von Observanz und Inquisition herausgearbeitet.

Das dritte Paper dieser Sektion präsentierte Klaus-Bernward Springer, indem er die Diversität der dominikanischen Inquisition in der deutschen Provinz aufzeigte. Durch genaue Untersuchung der Ordensstrukturen konnte er feststellen, dass sowohl vom Papst direkt, als auch über die Hierarchien des Ordens auf regionaler Ebene Inquisitoren eingestellt wurden, die sich gegenseitig ihre Aufgaben strittig machen konnten. Der Provinzial einer Provinz konnte in Konkurrenz zu einem vom Papst auserwählten Inquisitor treten. So kam es zu regionalen Unterschieden und Springer zeigte anschaulich, dass die Inquisition ständigem Wandel unterworfen war und von „der“ Inquisition keine Rede sein kann. (NS)

 

Dominican Order III: the Identity of Dominican nuns (Session 738)

Speakers: Steven Watts, Sylvie Duval, Anne Winston-Allen

Diese Sektion stand unter der Fragestellung der Identität der Frauen innerhalb des Dominikanerordens. Dabei gingen die Sprecher mit Briefen, Statuten, dem Abfassen von Büchern und Miniaturen der Frage nach der Beziehung der Dominikaner zu den Schwestern und damit auch der Fremd- und Selbstwahrnehmung der geistlichen Frauen auf den Grund.

Steven Watts bestritt in seinem ersten Paper die Suche nach Identität der Frauen im 13. Jahrhundert. Er bewies, dass eine Inkorporierung in den Orden für Frauenkonvente nicht einfach und immer abhängig von den persönlichen Beziehungen der Gemeinschaft war. St. Agnes in Italien gelang dank der engen Beziehungen Diane d’Angelos zu dem Provinzial Jordan von Sachsen die Aufnahme in den Dominikanerorden. Steven Watts konnte anschaulich beweisen, dass Jordan von Sachsens persönliche Initiative hinter der Aufnahme von Frauengemeinschaften in den Orden steckte und verwies damit auch auf die Problematik von persönlicher und institutioneller Autorität innerhalb des sich etablierenden Ordens und der Cura Monialium.

Das zweite Paper knüpfte an die Frage der Beziehung der Dominikaner zu den Schwestern an. Sylvie Duval zeigte anhand der Beschlüsse des Dominikanerordens von 1267 und 1405 den Umgang der Dominikaner mit der Cura Monialium der Schwestern. Sie zeichnete anschaulich für das 13. Jahrhundert auf, dass die Dominikaner möglichst wenig rechtliche Pflichten und wenig Kontrolle für die Schwesternkonvente durchsetzten. So entstand eine breite Landschaft an unterschiedlichen Formen von betreuten Dominikanerinnenkonventen – je nach Konzept der Cura Monialium in der Gemeinschaft. Sylvie Duval stellte eine mit der Einführung der Observanz eine veränderte Sachlage fest. Dies zeigte der Beschluss von 1405. Die Dominikaner übernahmen verstärkt Verantwortung für die Konvente. Von ihnen vorher lose betreute Beginengemeinschaften und Klausnerinnen verschwanden, Gemeinschaften, die die Observanz ablehnten wechselten den Orden. Sylvie Duval schloss ihren interessanten und mit spannenden Beispielen belegten Vortrag mit ihren Beobachtungen zur Identität der Schwestern. Die geistlichen Frauen sahen sich selbst als Dominikanerinnen und waren stolz darauf, Mitglied des Ordens zu sein. Identität bezeichnete Sylvie Duval in diesem Zusammenhang als ein mehrschichtiges Modell, das aus Fremd- und Eigenwahrnehmung zusammengesetzt wurde.

Anne Winston-Allen schloss diese Sektion mit ihren Beobachtungen zur Herstellung von Manuskripten innerhalb der Observanzbewegung ab. Dabei konnte sie anhand der Untersuchung zahlreicher Manuskripte aus dem Klarissenkloster in Freiburg, St. Agnes und St. Maria Magdalena (Reuerinnen)  veranschaulichen, wie die Dominikanerinnen Bücher ausliehen, kopierten und weitergaben. Sie zeigte, dass der für manche observante Handschriften typische Stil, durch das Abschreiben älterer Manuskripte entstand. Anne Winston-Allen schloss mit ihrer Beobachtung, dass observante Konvente unterschiedlicher Orden bei der Herstellung von Büchern zusammenarbeiteten, besonders häufig, wenn die Klöster sich in einer Stadt in unmittelbarer Nähe zueinander befanden, wie im Fall des Franziskanerinnenkonvents Gnadenthal und des Dominikanerinnenklosters St. Maria Magdalena in Basel. (SN)

 

 

The Dominican Oder, IV: Renewal and Reform in the 15th century (S 838)

Speakers: Stefanie Neidhardt, Mihaela Sanda Salontai, Sarah Glenn DeMaris

Die letzte Sektion des von den Dominikanern zum 800 jährigen Bestehen organisierten Tages beschäftigte sich mit Reform und Erneuerung im Spätmittelalter.

Mihaela Sanda Salontai (Department de Istorua Artei, Institutul de Arheologie si Istoria Artei, Cluj-Napoca) beschäftigte sich mit dem spannenden Thema der observanten Reform in Transsilvanien. Sie konnte anhand der heute noch erhaltenen Quellen mehrere Reformwellen aufzeigen, die von Papst Eugen IV. initiiert waren. Während die erste Reformwelle von Basel als Wissenszentrum ausging und Reformer wie Jakobus Richter ausschickte, war die zweite Phase mit ihrem  Ausgangspunkt in Wien und dem Reformer Leonhard Huntpichler in den 1450er Jahren erfolgreicher. Salontai schloss ihren Vortrag mit der Suche nach typischen Charakteristika observanter Umbauten in Sibio, Cluj, Brasov und Sighisoara.

Sarah Glenn DeMaris wies mit ihrer Untersuchung des von Elisabeth Kempf übersetzten Schwesternbuches von Unterlinden und Johannes Meyers Ouevre eine gegenseitige Bekannschaft der observanten Dominikanerpriorin und des Reformers nach. Sie konnte zeigen, dass beide Schreiber Kontakt zueinander hatten und ihre Werke sich beeinflussten. DeMaris bewies anschaulich, dass Johannes Meyer Zugang zu Elisabeth Kempfs Arbeit gehabt haben muss und ein Traktakt mit der Beschreibung der Beichtväter von Unterlinden für Elisabeth Kempf verfasste. Sie schloss ihre Ausführungen mit der These, dass beide Autoren “partners in spirits” waren, die sich Impulse zum gegenseitigen Schreiben für die Observanz gaben. (SN)

 

 

Rethinking Cartularies, 900-1200: Cartularies as History, History in Cartularies, I – Early Texts (Session 227)

Speakers: Robert Berkhofer (Western Michigan University), Thomas Roche (Rouen), Charlie Rozier (Durham)

Documenting sessions on cartularies is not without irony since it were cartularies themselves that documented the written records of an institution. While cartularies have long been seen as diplomatic sources four sessions organized by Charles Insley (Manchester) und Charlie Rozier (St. Andrews) tried to stress their value as histories of the respective institutions.

Robert Berkhofer (Reading the Dossier of Saint-Denis as history) presented a small booklet written in the 1060s at Saint Denis supposedly containing charters from merovingian, carolingian and „recent times“. In the first part of his paper Berkhofer retold the story of the abbey following the example of the documents contained in the dossier and thus proving that through the arrangement of the documents the dossier does indeed tell a history. In the second part of his contribution Berkhofer again looked at the dossier but this time as a critical historian. He showed that almost all of the documents are forgeries that were composed with a certain purpose in mind. Berkhofer stressed that in the 1060s the monks of Saint Denis tried to move vom royal to papal protection and that the dossier was a critical part of this endeavour, since all the pseudo-carolingian and younger documents contained in it were in deed forged or interpolated papal and synodal privileges. The dossier was successful insofar as pope Alexander II confirmed the privileges of the monastery, Saint Denis failed however failed – a central aspect of the the dossier – to be exempted from the diocese of Paris which only succeded at the end of the 12th century.

Thomas Roche (The Pancarte of Jumièges and Beyond: Parallel Histories and Authority) presented a large pancartes from Jumièges finished after 1087, which contains information relevant to more than 100 places. The Pancarte contains a charter by duke richard from 1027, in which the name of the duke was replaced by that of King William, as well as gifts and transactions from the 11th century. Especially in the last part of the pancarte these are interwoven with narrative parts on the dukal family, its genealogy and history. According to Roche these parts are related to successions in the ducal family but stressed that cultivating the ducal families history was also cultivating the history of the own monastery in order to strengthen the legitimacy of the monastery itsself. Because Jumièges at the same time also produced charters that bound the monastery to the french kings Roche stressed that by these different „memorial adjustment“ the monks were able to switch back and forth between different reconstructed histories of the own monastery. It is for this reason that the Pancarte did not became part of a 13th century cartulary that especially stressed the papal ties of the monastery.

Charlie Rozier (The First Durham History: Property and the Past in the Anonymous Historia de Sancto Cuthberto) looked at a small text containing St. Cuthberts live as well as 22 donations. Transmitted in three copies from the late 11th, mid 12th and 15th century, which do not all preserve the whole text, Rozier stressed that while some of the sources are known others seem to be local traditions. The first part contains Cuthberts life and by including a vision of King Alfred, in which Cuthbert tells him how to defeat the Wikings, attributes the surviving of England to St. Cuthbert. The second part records gifts of lands, relics, church items and books. The narrative form of these donations however varies. While the historia is thus definetely about property, Rozier describes her as an historic account rather as an administrative record. Since the original manuscript has not come among us the surviving12th century copy – now in Cambridge – containing a list of relics and other historical material tells us more about how 12th century communities looked ath their past than about the time of the creation of the text, which must have been in the late 10th or early 11th century. (JW)

 

Rethinking Cartularies, 900-1200: Cartularies as History, History in Cartularies, II – Anglo-Norman Cartularies (session 327)

Speakers: Laura Cleaver (Dublin), Kate Wiles (London), Francesca Tinti (Universidad del País Vasco)

Laura Cleaver looked at how cartularies were illuminated and what purposes these illuminations served. While graphic elements from (papal) privileges such as monograms and rotae were often included in a cartulary and were intended to imitate the documents and thus to authenticate its record, seals were included only rarely, but seem to have served a similar purpose. Images of donors or donations were also included as in the cartulary of Mont S. Michel. It seems that especially important donations were marked by images, that might have served as an encouragement to donors, and especially to kings that visited the monastery. In concluding Cleaver stressed that the uniqueness of each cartulary also concerns the illuminations so that interpretations are only valid for each individual case.

Kate Wiles looked at the training of scribes in old english and their practices of copying the texts using the examples of the Liber Wigorniensis from the early 11th century and the so-called Nero Middleton (1070s or 1080s). According to Wiles especially the practices of punctuation show how deeply scribes understood the meaning of the text and engaged with the text. Concerning abbreviation Wiles observed especially in the liber Wigorniensis that abbreviations are concetrated in the formulaic sections of the texts. Wiles concluded that there was very little regularity in copying, but scribes have been taking care and the changes they made usually preserved the function of the text.

Francesca Tinti compared two cartularies from Worcester and Canterbury produced in the late 11th century. While in Canterbury an Italian was installed as bishop in 1077 and the convent subsequently became more continental, in Worcester the „english element“ continued to be strong, especially since the Anglo-Saxon Wulfstan remained bishop until his death in 1095. This difference is also reflected in the cartularies as the Codicellus possesionum of Worcester makes use of a lot of old english texts. It was intended for the new norman bishop of Worcester and praises Wulfstan for having recovered territories, which the french had invaded. In the Canterbury cartulary (1070 or 1090-1120) old english texts were either not included or reformulated so that the documents were completely in latin. Tinti did however refute the notion that the dorsual notes on the original charters that assessed them as utile or inutile and thus were significant for the inclusion in the cartulary correlated with their language but rather saw them based on the relevance of the charter. (JW)

 

„Old Norse Historiography, Knowledge, and Lore: Transformation in Transmission and Translation“ (Session 1110)

Speakers: Anja Ute Blode, Regina Jucknies, Michael Irlenbusch-Reynard

In der mit ca. 15 Teilnehmern kleinen, aber feinen Sektion 1110 standen die Überlieferung und Rezeption altnordischer Texte im Mittelpunkt. Welche weitreichenden Pfade sich dabei ergeben können, führte die erste Rednerin Anja Ute Blode eindrucksvoll am Beispiel einer kleinen Episode aus dem „Chronicon Lethrense“ vor. Die aus der 2. Hälfte des 12. Jahrhunderts stammende, anonym verfasste altdänische Chronik weist mit der Geschichte um den Hundskönig Rakki und den klugen Schäfer Snyo einen Textteil auf, der sich auf keine ältere Vorlage zurückführen lässt, sich in der weiteren historiographischen Rezeption aber großer Beliebtheit erfreute. Anhand zahlreicher Beispiele vom 13. bis zum 16. Jahrhundert konnte Blode nachweisen, wie die Episode mal gekürzt und mal mit leicht veränderten Namen, mal dramatisch und mal in Reimform weiter tradiert und dabei einer kontinuierlichen „translation“ unterzogen wurde, die Blode als „rewriting and adaptation“ verstanden wissen wollte. Die Adaptionen durchliefen dabei verschiedene Sprachen wie Altdänisch, Latein und Altschwedisch und tauchten sowohl in klerikalen, höfischen als auch akademischen Kontexten auf. Regina Jucknies widmete sich altdänischen und altschwedischen medizinischen Texten und ging, ausgehend von der Beobachtung, dass diese Gattung des „non-fictional writing“ häufig in Sammelhandschriften enthalten ist, vor allem der Frage nach den Formen und Kontexten der Überlieferung nach. Hier stellte sie fest, dass die auf Volksglauben, empirischen Beschreibungen und fachlichen Studien basierenden heilkundlichen Schriften gemeinsam mit Kochbüchern, religiösen Texten oder Gesetzessammlungen tradiert werden. Mit dem besonderen Fokus auf Lapidarien präsentierte sie am Ende eine heute in Stockholm befindliche Sammelhandschrift aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, die ein weites inhaltliches Spektrum erkennen lässt (sogar ein Iwein-Fragment ist hier enthalten), und konstatierte, dass sich das ursprünglich medizinische Interesse an der Überlieferung in ein enzyklopädisches Interesse gewandelt habe. Den Abschluss der Sektion bildete Michael Irlenbusch-Reynard, zugleich Organisator, der am Beispiel der Jómsvíkinga Saga das Phänomen einer „steered reception“ vorführte. In den deutschen Übersetzungen aus dem späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert werde nämlich durch Kürzung, Abwandlung oder gar Erfindung eine übermäßige Betonung paganer Elemente ersichtlich, wohingegen die Saga durchaus auch christliche Elemente enthalte, die für die Handlung von z. T. entscheidender Bedeutung seien. Auf diese Weise werde in den Übersetzungen eine „heroic past“ heraufbeschworen, bei der der Paganismus ein konstitutives Element sei. Irlenbusch-Reynard kam abschließend zu dem Ergebnis, dass man in den frühen Übersetzungen vorrangig an einer ideologisch verwässerten Darlegung des „old Germanic heroic life“ interessiert gewesen sei. (NK)

 

„Equids: A Round Table Discussion“ (Session 1407)

Speakers: Alice Choyke, László Bartosiewicz, Irina Metzler, Kathleen Walker-Meikle

Die vom „Medieval Animal Data-Network“ (MAD) organisierte einstüdige Abendsession, die jedes Jahr ein anderes Tier in den Blick nimmt, beschäftigte sich dieses Mal mit Einhufern („equids“) wie Pferden, Eseln und Mulis. In vier Kurzvorträgen wurden einzelne Aspekte vorgestellt, woran sich eine Diskussion anschloss. Den Anfang machte die Archäologin Alice Choyke, die über Pferde als „Powerful Companion Animals in Ritual and Magic“ sprach und dabei auf spätantike und frühmittelalterliche Pferdebegräbnisse sowie die aus vorchristlicher Zeit herrührende Tradition, Behausungen durch im Boden vergrabene Pferdeschädel zu schützen, einging. Danach folgte László Bartosiewicz, der Überlegungen zu den biologischen Gegebenheiten mittelalterlicher Pferde vorstellte. So ging er auf die unterschiedliche Fellfarbe der Tiere ein, die z. B. auf dem Teppich von Bayeux angedeutet wird und heute mit Hilfe moderner Genomsequenzierung von Knochenfunden untersucht werden kann. Weiterhin sprach er die Größe der Pferde an, die wahrscheinlich geringer war als gemeinhin angenommen, und machte darauf aufmerksam, dass Einhufer „more than horses“ seien, dass eine genaue Identifikation aber nicht durch Quellenlektüre, sondern nur durch DNA-Untersuchungen gewährleistet werden könne. Irina Metzler widmete sich den unterschiedlichen Deutungssphären von Pferden. So unterschied sie das „biosocial horse“, das in engem Zusammenhang mit dem Menschen stehe und einen wichtigen Wirtschaftsfaktor darstelle, das „etymological horse“ mit seinen indogermanischen Wurzeln und das „ritual horse“, das sich in Phänomenen wie Pferdegöttern, Pferdebestattungen und der Vorstellung von Pferden als „divine messengers“ widerspiegele. Als Vierte sprach Kathleen Walker-Meikle über „Equids in astrology and pharmacology“ und konnte anhand einer veterinärmedizinischen Handschrift aus dem späten 15. oder frühen 16. Jahrhundert zeigen, dass humoralpathologische Überlegungen auch auf Pferde angewendet wurden und hierfür (wie beim Menschen) auch astrologische Kenntnisse und Annahmen zum Einsatz kamen. Die aus dem späten 11. Jahrhundert stammende Handschrift „Antidotarium magnum“ und ähnliche Texte lassen außerdem erkennen, dass in der Arzneikunde neben Pferden auch Esel, Mulis und sogar Onager eine Rolle spielten. Nach dieser bunten Vielfalt von Themen und einer Abschlussdiskussion entschieden die Redner gemeinsam mit dem Plenum, dass sich der Round Table im nächsten Jahr mit Eulen befasst. (NK)

 

Eat, Drink and Teach the Middle Ages (S 1008)

Speakers: Charmae Cottom, Melissa Filbeck, Andrew Elliott

The first paper by Charmae Cottom (Department of English, Kent State University) focused on unplugging the technology obsessed student. Cottom argued that the so called “Millenials” meaning the students of today, are in need of different teaching than generations before them. Lack of critical thinking, unrealistic expectations, less time on a task, and the need to reach success quicker characterizes this generation and thus needs the teacher to stop lecturing and think about reliance and relevance of the topic he wants to teach. With Beowulf, Cottom showed how she “hooks” the students before even starting to read the old poem. She’s doing that by encouraging them to follow their daily interests through the teaching session by assigning them tasks in cooking, weaponry and medicine. Encouraging the students to craft and do outside reading helped her teaching to learn about the Middle Ages, but also structures of culture, society and leadership. She concluded that the role of the teacher needs to change to collaboration with the students and a tuition based on searching for answers.

Melissa Filbeck (Department of English, Texas A&M University, College Station) argued in her paper on “Medievalism on the Menu: Food as Adaption in A Feast of Ice and Fire” that the literary cookbook should be a genre of its own. She shows that these cooking books should not be seen as imperfect adaptions but should be freed from the idea on how close to the original they should be. Adaptions have to be appreciated on how they tell the story and can retell the same tale in different ways. They enable the reader to hold, smell and taste the medieval world and create a different, new entry to the medieval sources.

With the last paper Andrew Elliott (Lincol School of Film & Media, University of Lincoln) contributed to the connection between video games and teaching the middle ages. He argued that no empirical evidence shows that students learn more by playing games than in “technical impoverished schools”, thus formal teaching should not be replaced. Elliott points out that students probably spend more time with digital reality than history, though. With his case study of the playing of the game of the battle of Gettysburg he shows, that there are students playing the video game who ask historical questions and do their own research inspired by the game. It also engages to get into hypothetical history and gives them the possibility to solve historical problems as a real actor navigating historical space. In addition, it puts the student in the position to research from other historical areas. All in all he concludes that video games give students the possibility not only to have history revealed to them but also to experience one construction of history thus giving a different approach to history. (SN)

 

Monk and the Mundus: Concerns about the Material World in Spiritual Houses (S 1106)

Speakers: Lorenzo Livorsi, Seb Falk, Zachary Matus

The first paper dealt with the poet Venantius Fortunatus and his communication with St. Radegund in the abbey of the Holy Cross in Poitiers. Lorenzo Livorsi (Classe di Scienze Umane, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) pointed out that Fortunatus was a poet who had to gain patronage which was quite difficult in the 6th century. But the poet coming probably from a wealthy family was successful and gained episcopal protection. His letters to Radegunde in Poitiers show the spiritual relationship with the nun, who had been forced to marry the Frankish king Lothar and founded her own monastery after having run away. Livorsi’s research shows Fortunatus’ dependence on other Roman poets such as Sulpicia in his work. He uses classical motives such as being the poor poet who can’t approach the spiritual sister as she is living within the enclosure. Livorsi’ emphasized that the letters were supposedly written for the whole convent as the strict enclosure forbade private letters.

Seb Falk (Department of History & Philosophy of Science, Univesity of Cambridge) gave a paper on monastic astrology and the monks writing didactic works for the convent. In a first step, he defined monastic astronomy, focusing on rich Benedictine houses in connection with universities, especially Oxford. His next steps included the motivation, textural practices, instruments, readers and audiences of the books written by these monks. All in all, he came to the conclusion that the monks composed didactic books composed in Middle English with a high emphasis on practical teaching. These books were read by a broad community of readers who came into communication with these monks by commenting on their works in the same books. The monks characterized their fascination with instruments as well as their links to universities where they had probably gained this knowledge.

The third paper by Zachary Matus (Department of History, Boston College) discussed the subjunctive language of medieval alchemy. He chose the examples of the Franciscans Roger Bacon and John of Rupescissa to define alchemy and the alchemist’s motives to find the “mixture of life”. He made a case to take the two alchemists’ aims seriously as they sought to express conditional truths. They wanted to focus on the natural world and manipulate it. With St. Francis’ office of passion he shows his use of subjunctive language: Alchemy was seen as something that God could do, finding a product that should exist and therefore they were looking for it. (SN)

 

Queens and Queenship between the Early and Central Middle Ages I: the 10th and 11th Centuries (S 1233)

Speakers: Levi Roach, Megan Welton, Gzegorz Pac

In the first paper of this session Levi Roach (Department of History, University of Exeter) discussed the widely researched topic of Henry II and Kunigunde. His emphasis lay on the couple’s concept of marriage as Kunigunde was one of the first empresses to be anointed and crowned. He focused on Kunigunde’s exceptional position as a queen as she was not of foreign nobility and was never a queen mother. He adds to Weinfurter’s reasons for her special position that the Ottonians took their vows seriously and shows with Ubl’s latest article that Henry II built on this tradition. As Henry was criticizing incest marriage of the nobility at the time, he needed to give a positive example with his own marriage, as well. Roach tries to prove this by diplomas which showed the union publicly and the king and queen working together.

The second paper dealt with queens, empresses and the politics of food in the 10th and 11th centuries. Megan Welton (Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame) showed that queens and empresses had to be moderate to prove the court that they were able to rule. The ability to control themselves reflected on their royal skills. Using the example of empress Mathilda, she showed moderation: She did not eat a single morsel until the food had been shared with the whole community. All in all, Welton argues that food was used as a reward to let the wider court see the generosity of the queens and empresses. Thus the meal became not just a physical, but also a political repast.

Gregorz Pac (Institute of History, Uniwersytet Warszawski) presented aspects of Richezza of Poland’s political life in the third paper of this session. In a first step, he focused on Richezza’s descent from Ottonian roots, giving her children the Ottonian names of Casimir-Charles and Gertrude to stress their imperial origin. Pac was able to show that she probably also brought the Ottonian cult of St. Nicolaus with her to Poland. As her husband Mieszko II was seen as an usurper, her title as queen was more than routine but chosen carefully and was a right which she had to defend when she returned as a widow to the Rhineland. Pac was able to introduce an Ezzonien woman who married into the family of the Piasts, who not only stressed her royal descent when married, but tried to keep her royal status after her husband’s death. (SN)

 

 

Queens and Queenship between the Early and Central Middle Ages II: The 12th and 13th Centuries  (S1333)

Speakers: Lorena Fierro Diaz, Emily J. Ward, Amalue Fößel

Lorena Fierro Diaz (Department of History, University of Exeter) presented the concept of infantazgo, where royal princesses got access to “institutions”, properties and status within the royal family. Her research dealt with the 58 daughters of ruling monarchs in Leon, Castile and Portugal who either became queens themselves, enjoyed high status marriages, remained unmarried dominae or became religious women. By the examples of Alfonso VI’s daughters Teresa and Urraca whom bequeathed Alfonso Portugal and Galicia, Diaz shows that their Burgundy husbands gained power through their wives. Diaz concluded that women were important for political succession, but it is still unknown what agency they had in that.

 

Emily J. Ward ‘s (Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge) paper dealt with the myth of abandonment concerning queen mothers and child kings (1150-c. 1250). With the examples of Marie de Coucy and Isabella of Angouleme, she proved that the queen mothers returned to their native country because their position within the royal court was not strong enough or they were needed by their native families. They never left immediately, though, but supported their sons by making truces and settled them in their positions. Ward argues that the queens’ behavior was never an abandonment but a retreat. The one-dimensional discussion of the queens as mothers should be given up and these queens should be researched in the complex structures of social networks and family roles.

Amalie Fößel completed this section with her conclusion. She summarized the presentations and concluded that there is still much to be done concerning the research of queens and queenship. The following discussion was concerned about the terms “female power”, “power” in general as well as the “power” of a queen. It was agreed on the idea that women have different sources from men to gain power, this making the difference on how to approach research on queenship. (SN)

 

 

Embracing the #Femfog: A Round Table Discussion (session 1198)

Moderator: Diane Watt

Speakers: David Bowe, Liz Herbert McAvoy, Jonathan Hsy, Dorothy Kim, Christina Lee, Robert Stanton, Elaine Treharne and Helen Young

This late but very welcome addition to the lunchtime sessions at the IMC was a round table discussion aimed at moving forward the very public conversation relating to the misogynistic invention ‘femfog’ and it’s many related issues to how we, as Medievalists, can combat aspects of misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ablism in academia. Through impassioned and engaged conversation, speakers addressed how these wide-ranging issues of exploitation, harassment and exclusivity can be fought against through the dismantling and resistance to institutional structures and institutionalised acceptance of such behaviours.

Robert Stanton discussed how these highlighted problems were not merely related to Anglo Saxon studies, the discipline of History or even the Humanities as a whole, suggesting that as Medievalists who often cross these boundaries, we must demonstrate awareness of these issues by not seperating our personal views from the public contributions of our work. Additionally, in a theme that would be furthered by nearly all speakers as the round table continued, he urged the challenging of inherited, power-related assumptions within institutions, raising the huge importance of mentoring and visibility to colleagues and students.

Dorothy Kim engaged with how the credentials of academics are so frequently (and in this case, dangerously) used to lend legitimacy and authority to claims within the public sphere, and that in this case, the #femfog blog post was by no means the extent of the the author’s intended work. She further highlighted the connections between academic and wider popular culture, suggesting consciousness of of this wider dissemination was vital in combating problematic and offensive assumptions and behaviours.

Helen Young addressed the importance of teaching and researching in presenting an inclusive, diverse and encompassing curriculum for students at all levels, drawing attention to the work of http://pastidentities.org/, as a place where conversations of multiplicity can take place, where injustice and inequality can be aired as a community and as a safe space that offers ideas and inspiration in the combating of these pertinent and wide-ranging issues.

Liz Herbert McAvoy addressed forms and frequent examples of ‘micro aggression’ faced by scholars every day, as well as the frustration felt at being told to ‘suck it up’ by others in academia. She went onto to passionately call for institutions like the IMC and Kalamazoo to call out such bigoted behaviour or examples of harassment, starting with public mission statements online that state commitment to supporting those vulnerable.

David Bowe asserted the importance of widening participation at Universities from pre-undergraduate levels, suggesting that as Medievalists and academics more generally, supporting and actively engaging with school outreach programs and recruitment for pupils of diverse and under-represented backgrounds can build the future we wish to see throughout our institutions.

Christina Lee discussed the particular problems with Anglo Saxon studies in being inclusive; she drew attention to the traditional scholarly focus so heavily on white, able-bodied, fighting men in texts which create an image that seems so irrelevant and alienating to  students that perhaps don’t fit within these brackets.  She further suggested a commitment to challenging conservative structures like peer-review when doing innovative and exciting scholarship of this kind.

Jonathan Hsy urged the audience to keep on fighting, underlining the importance of the positive vision and legacy we want to create and how we might go about doing that. He went on to point out how important it was to see statements of intent from institutions the beginning, not the end, of struggles against inequality and injustice, and to be wary of the appropriation of work done for diversity by institutions that might be less than committed to these aims.

Elaine Treharne asserted the need for the fight against institutionalised bigotry and harassment to be cross-generational, in order to challenge the climate of fear so often incorporated and accepted within academies. Her passionate call to those that can speak to speak up against formal bodies, using senior female academics in the audience as brilliant examples of people who have done exactly this, concluded the individual aspects of the round table.

In drawing the threads together from the conversation, and foreshadowing many of the issues and concerns that came out of the questions from a predominately young academic audience, Diane Watt highlighted the importance of mentoring, the creation and dissemination of online resources, the public nature of statements of inclusivity and the importance of diversity within teaching, staff and students as positive responses and potential answers to the many deeply negative issues highlighted and uncovered by the #femfog controversy. (EG)

 

A Feast of Names, II: Contact of Cultures and the Evolution of Given Names (session 1338)

Moderator: Drew Shiel

Speakers: James Chetwood, Mariann Sliz and Serena Martinolich

In a session sponsored by the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, scholars from across disciplines came together to offer complex linguistic analysis of personal names in three very different historical and cultural contexts. All, however, expertly explored themes of communities undergoing long processes of change, adopted and inherited heritages and, most importantly, the ability to trace complicated and multi-layered identities through ‘listening’ to the ‘voices’ within the texts.

James Chetwood (with a little help from the lyrical genius of Paul Simon) explored, through Anglo Saxon and Anglo Norman data spanning centuries, the growth in concentration of homogeneous patterns of personal names historically attributed to the seemingly seismic cultural impacts of the Conquest of 1066. Using statistical analysis and in comparison with corresponding trends across Europe, he argued convincingly that the transformation in these naming patterns was more a result of wider, pre-existing Continental shifts, rather than English exceptionalism, and concluded by focusing on the environmental relocation of dynamics within communities.

Mariann Sliz began her paper regarding the typology of contact phenomena in personal names with outlining the methodological problems of sources where identifying the ethnicity and cultural background of the writers cannot be determined, as well as the difficulties in trying to determine the variants of names when written by clerks (often with Latinicised variants). She went on to assert the fascinating ability to ‘hear’ the different national identity of scribes through the text, by analysing the orthographic and morphological details within spellings and pronunciations of material in texts.

Serena Martinolich continued this linguistic analysis with an in-depth look at the complex compounds within Anglo Saxon masculine and feminine names. Her comparisons between these compounds of names with  modern European equivalents was particularly illuminating in addressing the thorough preservation and wide-reaching nature of names across divergent Continental languages, building an understanding of names as crossing not only national boundaries, but religious ones too – she pointed out that Christian saint names, far from being ideal models of piety, were inherited from a Pagan past. (EG)

 

„Festive Space: Preparing and Decorating the Extraordinary in the Middle Ages“ (Session 1525)

Speakers: Michael Brauer, Simon Edlmayr

Die Donnerstagmorgen-Session 1525 stand ganz im Zeichen des (höfischen) Festes und warf Fragen zum mittelalterlichen Eventmanagement auf – standesgemäß wurde die Session vom 2008 gegründeten Salzburger Zentrum für Gastrosophie organisiert, das sich mit Grundlagenforschung zum Thema Ernährung beschäftigt. Im ersten Vortrag nahm Michael Brauer einen Besuch Kaiser Karls IV. bei seinem Neffen, dem König von Frankreich, im Jahr 1378 zum Anlass, über den Ablauf der damit verbundenen Festlichkeiten sowie die genutzten tatsächlichen und konstruierten Räume nachzudenken. Brauer verwies einführend nämlich zunächst auf die im Zuge des spatial turn entstandene zweifache Bedeutung von „Raum“ und ging anschließend auf den Großen Saal des Palais de la Cité in Paris ein, der zu einem der wichtigsten „festive spaces“ während des Herrschertreffens wurde. Durch eine Analyse der einzelnen Bankette konnte auf der Grundlage der „Grandes Chroniques“ Brauer im dritten Schritt vorführen, dass die Bewirtung der Gäste in der ihnen zugewiesenen Kammer, in der „Chambre de Parlement“ und im Großen Saal vor aller Augen stattfanden und dass sich hierbei sowohl eine „gradual progression in space“ als auch „eine gradual progression in personnel“ feststellen lasse: Der Höhepunkt sei ohne Zweifel das Festbankett im Großen Saal am 6. Januar 1378 gewesen, als – dem Heiligentag entsprechend – alle drei Herrscher (Karl V. von Frankreich, Karl IV. und sein Sohn Wenzel) in der Großen Halle zusammenkamen. Die Herstellung des Festraumes sei unter anderem durch die Beleuchtung, die Dekoration mit Tapisserien und die Aufführung der Eroberung Jerusalems durch Gottfried von Bouillon bewerkstelligt worden. Das zweite Paper von Simon Edlmayr thematisierte die Küchenorganisation höfischer Feste anhand von süddeutschen Beispielen. Nach einer kurzen Einführung in die wirtschaftlichen Aspekte von Festivitäten ging der Referent auf die drei Hochzeiten in Landshut 1452, Amberg 1474 und nochmals Landshut 1475 ein und stellte jeweils den Umfang der Feste, das beteiligte Personal und die genutzten Küchenräumlichkeiten dar. Als letztes Beispiel diente ihm Salzburg, das zugleich der Schwerpunkt seines Dissertationsprojekts ist. Hier fanden zwar keine Hochzeiten statt, jedoch andere Bankette, über die Reiserechnungen Aufschluss geben. Insgesamt kam Edlmayr zu dem Schluss, dass sich die Organisation von regelmäßigen stattfindenden, alltäglichen Festen und außergewöhnlichen Festen nicht grundlegend unterschieden habe. Das Paper von Martina Rauchenzauner musste leider entfallen. (NK)

 

Excursion: Great Halls of York. Merchant Adventurers‘, Merchant Taylors‘, and Barley Halls

IMG_4976

Die Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York

Am Donnerstagnachmittag fand eine Exkursion nach York statt, die sich dieses Mal schwerpunktmäßig mit den Gildenhallen befasste und von der Stadtarchäologin Kate Giles begleitet wurde. Erwartungsgemäß (aufgrund des Abreisetags) hatte sich eine eher kleine Gruppe von knapp 15 Teilnehmern zusammengefunden, die nach einer 45-minütigen Anreise in York aus dem Bus stieg. Gemeinsam mit Kate Giles ging es dann als Erstes zu der im Jahr 1357 erbauten Merchant Adventurers‘ Hall, die nach Giles‘ Meinung Sitz der bedeutendsten Yorker Gilde sei und bis heute von ebenjener Gilde genutzt wird. Sie führte die Gruppe zunächst in die eigentliche, ob ihrer Größe und ihres Fachwerks beeindruckende Halle, dann ins Untergeschoss, wo gerade eine Trauerfeier zu Ehren eines jüngst verstorbenen Gildenmitglieds stattfand und abschließend in die Kapelle. Das zweite Ausflugsziel war Barley Hall, wo im 15. Jahrhundert der reiche Goldschmied William Snawsell, zugleich Mitglied in der Merchant Adventurers‘ Guild, lebte. Benannt ist Barley Hall nach dem ersten Vorsitzenden des „York Archeological Trust“, der die Restaurierung des geschichtsträchtigen Ortes und heutigen Museums initiierte. Hier erhielt man einen Eindruck, wie die Yorker Oberschicht im späten Mittelalter gelebt hat, und konnte nebenbei noch die derzeit im Museum stattfindende Ausstellung zu Heinrichs VIII. Besuch in York im Jahr 1541 besichtigen. Als Letztes steuerte die Gruppe die 1415 erbaute Merchant Taylors‘ Hall an, die im Vergleich zur Merchant Adventurers‘ Hall zwar kleiner wesentlich kleiner und nur einstöckig ist, nichtsdestoweniger aber ein Schmuckstück darstellt. Hier durften die Teilnehmer sogar die „Master Chamber“ betreten. Abschließend führte Kate Giles die Gruppe noch über die Yorker Stadtmauer, wo alle die wunderbare Aussicht auf die Yorker Kathedrale genießen konnten. (NK)

Rethinking Cartularies, 900-1200: Cartularies as History, History in Cartularies, IV – The 12th and 13th centuries (Session 627)

Speakers: David Peterson (Burgos), Kathryn A. Lowe (Glasgow), Joanna Tucker (Glasgow)

David Peterson (The Votos of San Millán: A ‘historical’ Justification of San Millán’s Domain) spoke on a text, that scholars long have neglected. The Votos is a narrative text describing the live of San Millán. Even though written by the same hand it was not considered to be a part of the cartulary (Becerro Galicano) of St. Millan written in 1195 by most researches. Peterson showed that the Votos in fact was supposed to be part of the cartulary from the beginning. Stressing the link with the legendary figure, the votos contributed to the justification of the property of the abbey of San Millán in the time of the the neighbouring kingdoms’ border fights.

Kathryn Lowe (Presenting, Representing, and Misrepresenting the Past: Cartulary Texts from Bury St Edmunds.) presented an exceptional charter issued by King Knut. The bilingual charter was copied 30 times until the end of the 15th century. These copies provide a snapshot of the state of the archive and makes clear how charters were used. Knut’s charter was included in the earliest cartulary of Bury St. Edmunds, which is dating from the early 13th century. There it was noted that, the charter was used in a conflict. Further copies in cartularies and especially a summary in registers of the 14th century made the aging charter useful again. In the 15th century the charters were indexed and finally in the 1430s the charter was translated and thus again available in a readable version.

Joanna Tucker (Investigating Complex Cartularies: The earliest examples from Scotland) presented two of the earliest scottish cartularies, the cartularies of Glasgow and Lidores abbey. Both were started by an initial scribe and are comprised of a section consisting of papal privileges and other sectios with mixt texts, royal charters and lay grants. Later scribes added (Glasgow 58, Lindores 36) added further texts. These additions are neither systematic and were often copied only more then a decade after their creation. Since many scribes only added one text to the cartulary, Tucker described the cartulary neither as an administrative tool, nor as a history. He stressed instead its function as a working manuscript. Because the whole monastic community was involved in the extension of the cartulary it furthered an institutional self-consciousness and functioned as a shared space for each and every member of the monastery. (JW)

Organising Daily Life: Benedictine Monasticism between ideal and Practice, 11th–13th centuries (session 806)

Speakers: Petra Seckinger (Tübingen), Marco Krätschmer (Tübingen), Johan Belaen (Gent)

Petra Seckinger (Eating and drinking in the monastic community of Hirsau: Benedictine Monasticism between Asceticism and Physical Needs) stressed in the first part of her paper that according to the rule of saint Benedict the consumption of food and drink should be subject to the right measure (mensura). While ebriety and gluttony should be avoided, all monks should get what they need according to their age, health and labor. These needs should be taken into consideration by the about who through his discretio was supposed to grant exception. In the second part of her paper Seckinger explained how customaries such as the ‘Constitutiones Hirsaugiensis” by about William of Hirsau fullfilled the task of completing the rule and therefore avoiding conflicts within the community. Especially issues concerning the control of the monk’s bodies were regulated in every single detail, enabling them to wholly concentrate on the religious sphere. Monks were thus supposed to abandon their own will, while their bodies were subject to a kind of choreography.

Marco Krätschmer (Spirituality and Economy. A permanent challenge to abbatial leadership) looked at the relationship between spirituality. For Krätschmer abbatial discretio was the key principle that governed the organisation of economy and spirituality and acted as a corrective of imbalances between inside and outside. Abbatial discretio focussed less on the contradiction of “ideal” and “reality” but lead to a form of adaption. In concluding Krätschmer pleaded not to speak of “uniform reform movements” anymore but instead focus on the achievement of the abbots as leaders of the communities and their relationship with the monks. Abbatial discretio as well as looking at the inner and outer sphere could thus contribute to a better understanding of the worldly and individual character of Benedictine monastic institutions in the 11th and 12th century.

Johan Belaen (Benedictine Monasticism and the Papacy: A Bottom-Up Perspective from the low countries) wanted to give a new perspective on the question of how benedictine monasteries reacted to the 4th Lateran Council requiring them to form chapter assemblies. In answering this question Belaen turned to efforts by benedictine monasteries in the 12th century. By establishing institishing confraternities – both between individual houses as well as between groups of houses – benedictine monasteries created “ad hoc institutions” that nonetheless often had long-lasting effects. Belaen stressed that these confraternities filled an institutional vacuum and can be described as congregational organisation. They were not only used by benedictine monasteries, but also – as a prestage of the later order – by Cistercians. After the 4th Lateran Council monasteries in the diocese of Reims still used the links and organisational means established through 121 confraternities of the 12th century. While in England general chapters were established, in Reims decentral confraternities stayed the mean of organisation, a system that only collapsed after the reforms of pope Gregory IX.  (JW)

 

 

Network Science and Medieval Sources: A Round Table Discussion (S1437)

Speakers: Julia Hillner (University of Sheffield), Judith Jesch (University of Nottingham), Ralph Kenna (Coventry University), Helen Lawson (University of Edinburgh), Pádraig Mac Carron (University of Oxford), Francesca Tinti (Universidad del País Vasco)

This round table discussion dealt with network sciences and medieval sources and had gathered historians as well as a statistical physicist who talked about their experiences. They all argued that social network analyzes helps to read texts differently and to take people’s names into a grid, each belonging to the algorithm. (“This is my democracy”)

Possible work fields these historians proposed were medieval literature – to see how authors transferred a society in their literature, exile and movement, to trace insular manuscripts thus creating an intellectual network or to see how the members of the nobility were linked to each other as well as to certain spaces. All in all, this was a very interesting discussion showing the possibilities of working with network analysis. (SN)

 

Visions of Community, I: What’s in a Name? – Ethnonyms and Identity in Early Medieval Eurasia (Session 1037)

Speakers: Salvatore Liccardo (Vienna), Robert Flierman (Nijmegen), Zsuzsanna Zsidai (Budapest)

Moderator: Helmut Reimitz (Princeton)

This session was the first of a longer strand organised through the SFB Visions of Community (FWF F42), in cooperation with the Vienna DOC-Team Ethnonyme im Vergleich. The speakers each focused on various aspects of naming conventions for the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’, especially concerning ethnic markers and stereotypes.

First, Salvatore Liccardo (Setting Boundaries: ‘Barbaric’ Ethnonyms between Geography and Imperial Ideology) looked at the way people perceived as non-Roman were presented in Late Antique source material. Going beyond textual analysis (specifically the Descriptio Omnes Gentium), he also touched upon the cartography of the Tabula Peutingeriana as well as epigraphy and reliefs to show how ethnonyms were a tool for Romans to both delimit their empire and to the impose a measure of control on the areas beyond it. Their world was one of urban “civilisation”. The barbarian world was one of peoples. The clash between the two, especially in the depictions of imperial triumphs, became a pretext for creative yet educational name-calling.

Robert Flierman (Label or Libel?: The Ethnonym ‘Saxo’ in the Latin Textual Record, 300-900) then treated the use of the label “Saxon” in the works of Salvian, the Liber Historiae Francorum and Einhard’s Vita Karoli. Starting as generic agents of divine punishment or pagan mirrors for the sinful Roman Christians, the Saxons gradually became more ethnically and geographically defined. In the LHF and eventually in Einhard, they become integrated into the Frankish world, first as rebels, then as (potential) converts, and finally – after Einhard – as part of the Christian populus.

Finally, Zsuzsanna Zsidai (Turks as Eurasian Nomads in Medieval Islamic Sources) took an interesting approach to Islamic narrative sources dealing with the nomads on the steppes peripheral to the Fatimid world. Focusing on descriptions of “Turks” specifically, she showed how these sources are not solely depictions of Oherness – dealing mostly with the nomadic lifestyle of the Turks, similar to Roman treatments of non-urban barbarians – but also provide valuable anthropological information about these same peoples: a hitherto underappreciated aspect of these texts. (RK)

 

Visions of Community, II: Perceptions of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ in Medieval Iberia and Yemen (Session 1137)

Speakers: Patrick Marschner (Vienna); Odile Kommer (Vienna); Andrea Nowak (Vienna)

Moderator: Walter Pohl (Vienna).

This session similarly focused on perceptions of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ through the discussion of early medieval ethnic terminologies and narratives. Taking into account Latin and Arabic sources, the speakers highlighted how categories of inclusion and exclusion shaped and modified the narrative strategies employed by comtemporary observers.

Patrick Marschner (‘Nomen est adimpletio’: The Typological Meaning of Ethnic Naming in Post-Visigothic Historical Writing) examined the terminology used in Iberian chronicles written after the Ummayyad conquest of 711 to describe the Islamic invaders, whose appearance was interpreted according to Biblical precedents. Drawing on genealogies (Ishmaelites, Saracens, Agarenes) or prophetic texts (esp. Ezekiel’s depictions of Gog and Magog), these Visigothic chroniclers used their understanding of the Christian world to redefine their place under their new overlords.

Odile Kommer then presented an analysis of 10th century sources from South Arabia, which nurtured a sense of belonging and otherness in medieval Yemen. Looking at the treatment of Persians in narrative and legislative sources, she demonstrated how the definition of various minorities along linguistic, religious or ethnic lines served not only to separate them from the general populace, but also to provide grounds for special (protected) status under the rule of the imams.

Finally, Andrea Nowak presented stereotypes emerging from anecdotes and side-notes in the 13th-century travelogue of Ibn al-Mujawir. A Persian travelling through the Arabian Peninsula, his work contains many ethnic stereotypes that he applied to the populations he encountered. Interestingly, in spite of his Persian background, the author did not seem to identify with the Persian migrants he encountered: instead, they also became a separate part of the world he lived in. (RK)

 

The Art of Succession, I: Ideals in the Carolingian Empire (Session 1534)

Speakers: Rutger Kramer (Vienna)(also reporter); Frances Murray (St. Andrews); Zubin Mistry (Edinburgh)

Moderator: Mayke de Jong (Utrecht)

In this panel, as well as its successor, moments of royal or imperial succession were being scrutinised and re-assessed. By focusing on the message the sources wanted to convey as much as on what the rulers involved actually wanted to do, this panel will show the complex interactions between power brokers whenever transfers of authority took place.

First, Rutger Kramer (PG-813: Charlemagne’s ius regni and the Empire of Louis the Pious) presented a close reading of two of the sources presenting Charlemagne’s coronation of Louis the Pious as co-emperor in 813. Juxtaposing the Annales Regni Francorum and the Chronicle of Moissac, he argued that the former source emphasised dynastic continuity as a guarantor for correctio, whereas the latter source tried to show how ecclesiastical history and divine providence were the reason for Carolingian dynastic stability. Both sources thus show the various options at the disposal of contemporary observers to combine Christian, Roman and Frankish ideals into a credible justification for succession.

Frances Murray then took over to show how Thegan and Ermoldus Nigellus used representations of tears cried by Louis the Pious to emphasise the loyalty of those witnessing the tears. The sadness of rulers thus becomes a political commentary, intended to show the audience how political relations were shaped during the events described, and thus affected the socio-political logic of the narratives themselves.

The last speaker in the session, Zubin Mistry (With Priestly Sanction: Childlessness at the Carolingian Court), tackled not only the issue of royal marriages that remained childless, but also those that had failed to produce a suitable heir. Focusing on the issue of queenly fertility, he argued that the discourse surrounding fertility (in ordines for the coronation of a queen, or the texts surrounding the divorce of Lothar and Theutberga) went beyond producing suitable heirs, and (through Biblical typology and exegetical references) also turned into a reflection on the political acumen of these pivotal figures in any royal family. (RK)

 

The Art of Succession, II: Carolingian and Post-Carolingian Realities (Session 1634)

Speakers: Eric Goldberg (MIT); Joanna Thornborough (St. Andrews); Sarah Greer (St. Andrews)

Moderator: Stuart Airlie (Glasgow)

This panel follows up from the observations in Session 1534 and looks more closely at the way rituals regulating royal/imperial succession played out.

Eric Goldberg (Carloman the Goat?: Charlemagne’s Succession and the Forest at Yvelines) started with a re-assessment of the succession of Charlemagne and Carloman in 768, and especially the circumstances surrounding Carloman’s death in 771. By showing the various ways in which the main actors in this drama (i.e. Pippin, Carloman and Charlemagne) treated the Forest of Yvelines – and the hunting rights involved – in their donation charters to Saint-Denis, it was argued that Charlemagne used this forest to to de-emphasise the memory of Carloman in 771, so as to assert authority over his family as the sole ruler of the Frankish realm.

Joanna Thornborough (The Power behind the Throne: Coronations, Anointing (and Feasting) in the 10th Century) then took us to the tenth century, comparing Ottonian and Anglo-Saxon sources for their representations of coronation rituals. Calling to mind the “danger of rituals”, she showed that narratives frequently referred to tropes and topoi in order to make sense of the politics and the actors involved, but that these descriptions nonetheless provide enough incidental detail to show how each of these happenings was in fact unique in its own way, and reflected the development of the political systems within which they (and the sources describing them) emerged.

Closing off this highly interesting diptych of panels, Sarah Greer (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: The Stolen Feast at Werla and the Succession Dispute of 1002) discussed the possible thoughts and motivations of Eckard and Henry, but especially also Sophia and Adelaide during the feast at Werla, where Eckard made a surprise appearance in a last-ditch effort to try and secure his election to the throne. Through a close reading of the sources, she argued that this unwanted guest was not thought to have insulted the two women and their retinue, but that he had tried (and failed) to assert his authority as part of the still-ongoing negotiations about the succession of Otto III. (RK)

 

Session 1703: Castles as Cultural, Social, and Economic Centres of Medieval Society, II

(photo by Tabea Scheuble)Moderator: Luise Nöllemeyer

Speakers: Christian Kübler, Sebastian Klaß,  Michael Weidenbacher (all Universität Tübingen)

The last timeslot at this years IMC, Thursday afternoon, was the one of three Tübingen investigators, who presented their interdisciplinary projects on (early) medieval castle landscapes in the southern part of Germany.

At first, archaeologist Sebastian Klaß gave an interesting insight into the investigative creativity needed when to deal with the very few resources available on castles: „Castles and Their Landscapes: Are There Possibilities to Reconstruct the Past?“.

Starting point was the fact, that in Germany there are 11630 known castles, but just 1% is examined. Why so? Sebastian Klaß pointed out the differing interests between political interests, “Denkmalschutz”, the protectionist laws of historical buildings and scientific excavation desire. Therefore research approaches on castles have to be interdisciplinary, combining archeological, historical, geographical and others sources to deal with the few evidence accessible. In a case study of the powerful family of Bodmann in the administrative district of Lindsgau, northern of Lake Konstanz, the audience was taken into world of the castle of Hohenbodman and its surroundings. As expected, few written sources of the castle remain, but due to the proximity to the Cistercian monastery Salem, evidence can be drawn of their interaction in sales and also of the conflictive history between both of them.  A stunning part on archeological possibilities followed: Hohenbodman was situated in proximity to five other castles, but there are no traces of them anymore, neither to connections to Hohenbodman. Sebastian Klaß uses GIS-information on villages, traffic routes and – if available – pottery findings to recreate the area in which the Bodman family was living. LIDAR-Scans of the ground around the castle revealed some first hints on possible fishing ponds, as well as visibility analyses (what could you have seen from top of an imagined tower in the Hohenbodman castle?) onto the connection of the castles. It was mainly in those blindspots to Hohenbodman where the smaller castles as the “Kätzlesberg” were located: Maybe a way of dealing with dangerous blind spots?

 Michael Weidenbacher’s paper on „Castles in the Hinterland. Reconstruction of a Castle Landscape at the Swabian Jura“ followed this line of argumentation. The concept of “Castle landscapes” has become an innovative and useful approach to castle investigation. Therefore his aim is to reconstruct the castle landscape, and its 20 castles of interest, in the county of Helfenstein (South of Germany) with all sources of all types. The analyses of the origins of ceramic vessels gives reference on trade connections around the Swabian Jura, as well as Iron Ore, which the counts of Helfenstein were allowed to exploit since 1365, are part of the “Grundlagenforschung”, basic investigation on castles, that still has to be done. Michael Weindenbacher’s first findings include two main points: First, castles in the area seem to be constructed earlier than the traditional state of the art in history has supposed. Second, castles were built in strategic locations, on the one hand to push back other powerful nobleman, on the other to protect valuable resources.

 The third paper of Christian Kübler on “Origin of Hill Castles in Southwest Germany, Using the Example of the Swabian Alb” was dedicated to the historiographic aspect of castle research in Germany. Even if hilltop castle investigation seems to be clear since the fundamental publication of Maurer in 1996, there is still much to do: This was shown in a chronological overview on castle research beginning in the 19th century till today. Two main aspects were highlighted: first, investigation by nobleman and ingenious in the past centuries was biased. A military point of view was inherent in their castle studies in times of emerging nationalism. As well, romanticism was deeply rooted in the imagination of the people and affected the castle investigation. Christian Kübler also pointed out the guiding interests of Art History and Archeology in “big buildings”, such as Troya or majestic cathedrals. Castles on the contrary were in those times mostly seen as functional buildings of minor interest. Second, a methodological implication: most of the research in the afterwards of National Socialism was done by local amateur investigators, which lead to heavy generalizations. As an answer to the bad reputation of castle research new studies came up in the last decades, but still, Christian Kübler states, archeology has not dealt enough with castles, which could provide more reliable data. This statement was underlined by the latest findings of archeologist Ettel in respect to the earlier dating and the heterogeneity of hilltop castles. Here, the historiographic focus of the paper got linked to the other two papers of the session. Two examples (Hohenstaufen and Hohenurach) served to illustrate Christian Küblers aim: to evaluate these new archeological findings at the Swabian Alb. Why was hilltop castle ”Runder Berg”, destroyed in the 11th century, not rebuilt in the same place, but instead Hohenurach in visible proximity?

The case studies and the helpful cartographic visualizations led directly into a lively discussion of all three investigators with the small but highly interested audience, also connecting it to findings and research challenges in Great Britain. (TS)

 

 


IMC reporter

This account is used conjointly by several medievalists to report news from the IMC, post reviews of papers and sessions and comment on the congress.

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