IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 1201: The Single and the Many: Worrying about Authority in the Making of Manuscripts

Wednesday 16 July 2003, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:International Max Planck Research School, Göttingen
Organiser:Frank Rexroth, Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen
Moderator/Chair:Frank Rexroth, Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen
Paper 1201-aThe Authority of Revelation: On the Formation of Female Mystical Texts
(Language: English)
Caroline Emmelius, International Max Planck Research School, Göttingen
Paper 1201-bDouble Past: Interpreting Incoherencies in the Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis
(Language: English)
Evgeni Savitskiy, International Max Planck Research School, Göttingen / Institute for Foreign History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Paper 1201-cCreating Authority: The Problem of 'coniuratio' for the Swiss Confederation in the 15th Century
(Language: English)
Kai-Henrik Günther, International Max Planck Research School, Göttingen
Paper 1201-dStrategies of Appropriation in the Illustrated Copies of the Liber Floridus: A Case-Study of the Encyclopaedia's Tradition
(Language: English)
Hanna Josephine Vorholt, International Max Planck Research School, Göttingen

This section is run by graduate students from the International Max Planck Research School for the history and transformation of political and cultural values in Göttingen, Germany. The formation and reproduction of texts and images implies its own strategies of power that are indicative for an understanding of Medieval culture. The papers try to highlight the singularity of a situation in which someone is confronted with “copying” an existent text or with the “writing” of a new one. That singularity consists in the necessity to both follow authoritative sources and to give it a new form. It could be elucidated through investigating the incoherences of medieval texts and through the attempt of disclosing in which ways they tell us about the “Making of Authority”. Considering that situation of writing does also mean to be aware of medievalists’ own historical setting when searching for individuality in a medieval authoritative (common and normative) narrative or imagery. The papers in this section shall approach this field from three different perspectives: Caroline Emmelius (Medieval German) will talk about texts by female mystics that tell about the struggle of the mystic and her scribe to transform mystical experience into language in order to establish an authoritative version of God’s word as well as about the problems of creating an officially accepted ‘person of religious authority’ via this text. Evgeni Savitski (History) will speak on the strange contradictions within the “Ecclesiastical history” of Orderic Vitalis and will try to understand if they can be explained by the changing perception of the old monastical legends in the circumstances of the second decade of the twelfth century or whether it was due to a very different way of thinking about the past that now appears to be strange. At the example of a miniature from the Liber Floridus (c. 1120) and its adaption in the encyclopaedia’s illustrated copies, Hanna Vorholt (History of Art) will examine to what extent the respective settings of manuscript re-production (particularly the role of the Jews) conditioned diverse attitudes towards the authority of the respective exemplar. Kai-Henrik Günther will investigate at the example of the “”Weissen Buch von Sarnen”” in which way the Swiss historiography in the 15th century tried to produce legitimation for the Swiss ‘coniuratio’.