The late call for papers advertises vacancies in the IMC programme, giving medievalists the opportunity to propose a paper and present at the Congress.
Below are the sessions which already have vacancies. If you have a paper which you think would fit any of these sessions, email your abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating clearly which session you would like to apply for.
Any proposals accepted before Friday 7 December will appear in the IMC 2019 printed programme. After this date, additional papers may not be included in the programme book but will appear in the Addenda/Corrigenda.
248 Middle English Poets on the Mind
In Passus B XIII (B) of _Piers Plowman_, Patience sets the Doctor of Divinity a riddle relying on the grammatical idea of transitivity (‘ex vi transicionis’). This paper will look at transitivity (the action of a verb upon its object) as both a grammatical and theological idea in _Piers Plowman_. I will focus on Patience’s riddle in Passus B XIII as a moment where the relationship between the act of knowing (verb) and the object of knowledge (object) are re-configured through Langland’s riddling play with the theological possibilities of Patience’s root deponent verb: ‘patior’. The result is a new conception in the poem of the objects of spiritual pursuit.
This paper argues that the _Tale of Beryn_ can be read exemplarily by showing how merchants might recognize criminal intent in their dealings with others. My argument focuses on _chere_, a word semantically sophisticated enough to describe the cognitive and behavioral range of _mens rea_. Through its narrative association with criminal intent, _chere_ ultimately contributes to our cultural understanding of medieval psychology as well as the construction of the medieval subject. Legal records reveal that _mens rea_ was often determined circumstantially. In contrast, the pseudo-aristotelian _Secretum Secretorum_, provides guidelines for reading someone’s intent in physiognomy. To obtain a more nuanced narrative of intent in late Medieval England, new insights can be gained about _mens rea_ by placing literature in dialogue with criminal law and medieval psychology (especially after the rediscovery of Aristotle in the West). When one additionally draws on accounts of vision (e.g. Denery II 2005), performance (e.g. Crane 2002), and body language (e.g. Burrow 2002), one becomes aware of the cultural limitations of reading intent.
618 Building Bridges for Memory and Afterlife: Everyday Objects Buried with the Dead, II
Many things cohere around understanding burial and death in medieval times: among them, funerary items are of particular importance, generating varied ways of analysis and interpretation. This session will draw attention to objects buried with the dead, exploring the habit in different circumstances and from various perspectives, in East-central Europe. Involved papers will discuss artefacts from ordinary or richly furnished graves, trying to understand: the reason of choosing a specific object, object’s significance for the dead, its message for the world of living and its role (if any) for the afterlife. Archaeological and documentary evidence will offer the scientific background.
639 The Sensuality of Things, II: Abilities and Disabilities
Within our second session ‘The Sensuality of Things’, speakers aim at focusing on the impairment of people, things, and transmission. We do not know much about the veneration of medieval reliquaries, for example, but inscriptions may disclose the lost transmission. An almost completely abraded text of Wolkenstein’s calendar poem tells us stories about its use and futility and, in the end, also of the intended structure of the whole manuscript. In the last paper, the speaker focuses on physical disability in Europe and Japan thus offering a comparative examination of the ways people dealt with handicap in pre-modern societies.
752 Power and Money
Ever since Zeumer (1910) scholars have believed that ‘sacrum imperium’ was a term introduced in the German imperial chancery in March 1157 by Rainald von Dassel, archbishop of Cologne, in an attempt to resacralise the Empire after its loss of sacrality in the Investiture Controversy. I will show that ‘sacrum imperium’ appears almost exclusively in documents related to Frederick Barbarossa’s Lombard supporters, who reintroduced parts of late Roman terminology in order to style the current Empire in a more Roman manner. The function of these new terms was to help the Lombards assert their being part of the Roman Empire.
Described by Peter les Vaux-de-Cernay as a ‘novel and unprecedented form of induction into knighthood’, the knighting of Amaury de Montfort on the feast of St John the Baptist 1213 defied convention; rather than being elevated to knighthood by a senior secular lord as custom dictated, Amaury was instead knighted by the bishops of Orleans and Auxerre having been led to the altar by his father on one side, and his mother on the other. The ceremony, therefore, offers not only an intriguing perspective on the nature of knighthood in the early 13th century, but also an insight in to how rituals could be used as a means of elevating one’s family, providing a springboard for dynastic ambitions. Amaury’s father, Simon de Montfort, had been the leader of the Albigensian Crusade since the initial campaign to expunge Cathar heretics from the region in 1209. In the years between the Crusade’s beginning and the knighting of Amaury, Simon and his crusaders had carved a small principality in the Midi, usurping the Trencavel lands around Carcassonne and increasingly encroaching upon the lands of the Count of Toulouse. The knighting of Amaury de Montfort, whilst seldom examined, has often been considered in terms of the crusading ambition that drew his father to the Languedoc in 1209. Maurice Keen especially, has suggested that the use of an episcopal dubbing was intended to reflect Simon’s affiliation with the reform of Christian society and the role that he envisaged chivalry playing in that reform. And yet, Keen’s analysis of the ritual ignores the role of Amaury’s mother, Alice, in an intrinsically male rite of passage, a role that suggests a familial motive behind the atypicality of the ceremony. The act of both of his parents physically leading Amaury to his knighting suggests that the ritual sought to publicly proclaim that the next generation of the Montfort family would continue to be dedicated in their service of Christ, as both Simon and Alice had been. Amaury’s knighting, therefore, conformed to a dynastic identity that his parents were seeking to promote. Indeed, the fact that the Montfort’s sidestepped secular authority by turning to princes of the church to knight their son suggests that they were using the ritual as a means of establishing a dynasty that was independent from senior secular authority. Through turning to the church, the Montfort’s seem to have been trying to make their power in the Languedoc absolute. Even their rivals, the Raymondines of Toulouse owed fealty to both the kings of France and Aragon. Amaury, however, did not kneel in supplication before any secular lord, he only knelt before God. Amaury’s knighting displays, therefore, how a ritual, whilst only having a direct effect upon one person, could have a wider effect on those around them. The ritual not only elevated Amaury’s authority, but also the authority of his entire family, making them accountable to none but God.
814 The Origins of the Military-Religious Orders, IV: Foundation, Re-Foundation, and Recreation
January 2020 will mark the 900th anniversary of the Church Council of Nablūs in January 1120, which was probably the setting for the foundation of the Order of the Temple. Four sessions, organised in commemoration of this event, will explore various aspects of the origins of the Military-Religious Orders, transnational institutions which developed in Latin Christendom in the early twelfth century in the wake of the First Crusade. This final session explores the continuing foundation, re-foundation and recreation of Military-Religious Orders during the thirteenth century and up to the present day.
1027 Materialising Script: Epigraphy and Inscription
The runic script is a primarily epigraphic script carved into objects of various material like wood, stone or metal. It was the dominant writing system in Scandinavia until the end of the 10th century, when it was gradually replaced by the Latin alphabet and manuscript culture. This leads to a new form of runic writing called _Runica manuscripta_, which resulted from the transposition of a formerly epigraphic writing system into the medium manuscript. This paper compares the medieval Bryggen inscriptions on wood with _Runica manuscripta_ and discusses how the change of material and medium affected the runic script.
La communication a pour objectif de nourrir la discussion sur la place des ‘matérialities’ dans l’approche de la culture écrite : si une matière durable compte comme une spécificité de l’écriture épigraphique, que réalise la rencontre écriture-matière au-delà de la seule pérennité d’un message?
Dans l’Espagne médiévale (XIIe-XIVes.), des inscriptions se limitant à une date seule – les datationes – permettent d’approcher au plus près l’articulation écriture-matière-environnement. Traditionnellement, la date accompagne la mention de l’événement, elle précise la commémoration. Pour les datationes, s’il y a date, les conditions d’existence, factuelles, de cette date sont tues. La matière et son contexte deviennent a priori les seuls éléments permettant de donner du sens à cette chrono-graphie. Partant de ces traces épigraphiques réduites à la seule évocation d’un point du temps sans l’identifier, la communication vient questionner les possibilités qu’offre la matière et son contexte face à l’implicite de l’écriture épigraphique : la matière qui est aussi support (chapiteau, mur de l’église) suffit-elle par exemple à unir date et lieu ?
1052 The Role of Trade, Lending, and Consumerism in Late Medieval Urban Development
Demographic estimates indicate that, during the 13th century, the cities of Tuscany, the central-northern region of the Italian Peninsula, had an average growth of about 500%. The formation of a network of cities, in which Florence stands out, was accompanied by the process of ‘commercialization’ of social life; and, in the supply sector of the city, trade has become one of the main circulation regimes for food products. Can we think in a formation of a non-capitalist supply structure? Investigating the Florence wheat market of the first half of the 14th century, from this question, will be our goal.
Religious contemporaries excoriated Italian Franciscan Observants for championing the _Monti di Pietà_, institutions offering interest-bearing loans for small pledges during the 1490s. How did Observants become proponents of what their critics denounced as usury? While scholars have traced a longstanding Franciscan economic ethos, I argue that Italian Observant Franciscans’ thought on canonical restitution of male _ablata_ (ill-gotten gains) stemming from economic sin directly fed their discussions of loans at interest. By actively engineering an internal consensus on related canon law, Observants provided a legal justification for certain loans at interest while retaining the ability to condemn Jewish and Christian moneylenders for the same.
1128 Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic Interaction in South Arabia and the Horn of Africa
The Middle Ages are commonly viewed as a time when Jews lived subordinate to either Christian or Islamic rule, as a segregated group. However, a number of Late Antique and medieval examples demonstrate that Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations in these time periods were much more complex and varied than what is often believed to be the norm. This panel focuses on two neighboring and interconnected regions which feature some of the most unique examples of Jewish interaction with Christians and Muslims – South Arabia and the Horn of Africa. These include the 6th-century Aksumite-Himyarite war, which was portrayed as a war between Christianity and Judaism, and later commemorated in Christian and Islamic compositions, as well as the numerous wars between factions of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) and the Christian Solomonic Kingdom (Ethiopia, 15th-17th centuries). The session seeks to shed new light on Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic interaction in these regions in the Middle Ages.
1208 Collecting and Rearranging Canon Law in Merovingian Gaul: The Codex Remensis (Berlin, Ms. Phill. 1743)
Compared to the canon law collections of Gratian and his precursors, in the Early Middle Ages, the idea of what could be considered as ‘canonic‘ was still in flux. Notwithstanding some attempts to create standardized collections, early medieval canon law books tended to differ considerably from one another, often betraying features of local recension and selection. This session will focus on one such local collection, the so called Codex Remensis, a Merovingian law book probably written in the early 8th century. It transmits Late Antique and Frankish church councils side by side, just as it combines papal decretals with secular law. Given its contents and the arrangement of the material, the manuscript exemplifies the complex and multi-layered creation process of early medieval canon law collections. As the Codex Remensis has hardly been accessible for a long time and only was digitized recently, the session aims to discuss these questions proceeding from of a hitherto neglected source.
1247 Miraculous Traditions in Early Medieval and Byzantine Texts
One of the miracles of the collection _Miracula anachronistic_ (Miracles of St Basil), Miracle of the Peter of Sebase, preserved in Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Arabic testifies to a usage of an ordeal to prove the ascetical purity of the bishop. Despite evident anachronistic form for the 4th century the usage of the ceremony is quite interesting. The ordeal is only partially _per ignem_ and has no links with the Germanic customs, so there is a question, if it is a hapax in the Byzantine tradition. Some parallels from Mesopotamian as well as Greek ordeal ceremonies could point to a special development of the tradition in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire that has lived through Hellenistic epoch. The ordeal used in Cappadocia according to the text seems to be a reflection of the so-called ‘messalian’ controversy.
Medieval saints were frequently the workers of healing miracles and this paper examines a particularly usual kind: the cures effect through physical interaction with the letters of a saint. Using saints’ lives from the early Middle Ages, particularly from Gaul, I explore the antique precedents for these sorts of miracles, examining the way texts were understood to be material objects just as much as they were seen to be literary artefacts. Late antique Christian leaders were repeatedly and vocally suspicious of the treatment of letters as phylacteries, but this paper argues that the continuous use of letters in cures provides new ways to consider the interaction between materiality and textuality in the early Middle Ages.
1305 Inside and Outside the Medieval European Castle
The Grand Master’s Palace, seat of the Teutonic Order 1309-1457, is one of the most outstanding medieval residential buildings. It impresses with its excellent state of preservation and numerous functional features. In addition, historical sources provide detailed information about the way the residence was used, which concerns both the public events (chapter and council meetings, court dinners, trials, reception of guests and envoys) as well as the Grand Master’s private life. The paper will give an overview of these events behind the palace walls and finally describes how particular rooms and building areas were used for the different activities and how they interact with each other.
The ornamentation at the palace of Stirling Castle, Scotland saw the combination of both the mundane and luxuriant to stunning effect. The proposed paper will examine three key questions related to architectural enrichment at the Palace: How were materials used to create decorative elements? Where were the materials sourced?
What remains of the decorative schemes? A key theme of the paper will be how the mundane and the luxuriant were combined, for example local stone coloured with foreign pigments and ironwork being gilded. By answering these questions, evidence will be presented showing that the material culture of medieval Scotland combined a wide range of materials to create decorative schemes.
1504 Religious Devotion and the Art of Late Gothic Manuscripts
In lay practice of saints’ devotion in late medieval Christianity, adherents were directed to employ complex mental and perceptual processes designed to reveal likenesses with their subject of worship. Devotion to a saint who had characteristics that the worshipper could identify with enabled a dialogue and an imagined solidarity, a first step toward self-introspection. Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), queen of France due to her marriage to two regents, commissioned in the first years of the 16th-century a book of hours in which two images of St Ursula are rendered (the Grandes Heures, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 9474). Additionally, she requested to reshape a lavish nef, which she got as a present from the citizens of Tours, into a reliquary of St Ursula. The mental mechanism of selecting a preferred saint, which later on results in commissioning artworks assisting a noble worshipper in his/her devotion, is a less explored subject. In this paper I will outline/trace the similarities between the Saint’s _vita_ and the life narrative of the Queen, and then move to describe the artistic ways in which they have been used, enhanced and accentuated. This kind of analysis can shed light on the way devotees related and responded to religious perceptions and the creative ways by which they demonstrated their devotion.
Between 1405 and 1406, an extraordinary version of the French translation of Augustine’s _City of God_ entered the collection of Duke John of Berry, the uncle of the French king. An original collaboration between scribes, illuminators, decorators, and a supervising _libraire_ (book seller), Collins 1945-65-1 demonstrates the power of visual imagery and page layout and design as instruments of interpretative transformation. This paper will analyze the innovative relationship between the manuscript’s text and visual program, identifying the mechanisms through which this manuscript mediates the text of the _Cité de Dieu_ and prompts an expansion of the reader’s horizon of expectations.
1738 Materialities and Religion in Medieval Armenia and Byzantium
What happens when the pure touches the impure? A chemical reaction. Holy water turns into blood. Miraculous unguents cease to flow. In this paper I discuss how a certain Byzantine official, named Paulinus, was exposed for apostasy during the reign of Maurice (r. 582-602). He was using a silver vessel for divination. Paulinus sold the same vessel to a silversmith, who in turn sold it to a traveling churchman. The corruption of the vessel appeared to the new owners after they installed it in the service of the liturgy. I address the theme of materialities by discussing the substance of the vessel and how the sources represent its corruption.
The paper traces the origin and functions of the material representation of the heroine’s dead husband, as described by a 12th Byzantine century mythographer Ioаnnis Tzetzes in The Chiliades (2.20). The Medieval material representation (‘a wooden image of Protesilaus’ shape’) is traced back to its Classical sources (The Iliad 2. 695-704; Cypria, fr. 1.10; Pausanius IV.2.74; Euripides’ Protesilaus, recorded by Aristides, Lucian, Apollodorus, Eustathius, Hyginus; Ovid’s Heroides XIII; Catullus’ Elegy 68). The paper argues that Tzetzes’ version reflects mythological views on the reanimation of a dead likeness, corresponding to the transformation of a living being into an immobile object, which is deprived of life. In contrast to Classical mythology, in medieval culture a statue receives an ambivalent treatment: on the one hand, as an object of art, designed for the appreciation of the audience which becomes a receiving addressee; and on the other hand, as an object endowed with the functions of play. The conflation of a living subject with a statue (as in the Ancient tradition) or a doll (as in medieval culture) is capable of generating not only a playful but also tragic conceptualization, prefiguring a later mythological image of a threatening (potentially perilous) statue.