session grouped by Walter Pohl (24/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
In his Historia Ecclesiastica, Bede portrays ‘successful’ women in a manner which does not fully characterise them on par with the men. This differing characterisation originates from the discursive space he grants to women: a space which is peripheral to the Christian community, which he portrays as primarily male-centred. This paper will use the narrative theory of Gerard Gennette to provide a useful framework in which to theorise about how women fit into the narrative organisation of this work. By examining the three narrative spaces of place, lineage, and time, we can see how Bede’s marginalisation of his female figures is a necessary component of his creation of history.
Abstract paper -b:
This paper will use the recent work of Anne-Sophie Gräslund and Joem Staecker on the archaeological evidence for the conversion to Christianity in Scandinavia as a point of comparison for the evidence gleaned from furnished female burials of the seventh century in England. It will suggest that such a comparison indicates that women were able to maintain their status as ‘religious’ or ‘ritual’ specialists across the period of conversions. This paper will thus challenge perceived ideas about the negative impact on ‘female’ status’ of the conversions to Christianity.
Abstract paper -c:
This paper is an attempt to understand how Roman legal vocabulary was used, and transformed by the early medieval people of the Iberian peninsula. The subject has been narrowed to an interesting aspect of early medieval slavery, which regarded a particular group of slaves under the direct protection of the king, namely the ‘slaves of the king’, servi regis. In this paper I shall argue that the concept of the servi regis, found in Visigothic and early medieval Spain, was borrowed from the Latin-Roman servi Caesaris, who were part of the Roman imperial phenomenon of the familia Caesaris.