IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1622: Is a Pagan always 'a Pagan'?

Thursday 15 July 2004, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Andrea E. Oliver, School of Literature & Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
Moderator/Chair:Frances J. Foster, School of Literature & Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
Paper 1622-aSaracens, The Sege of Melayne and 1390s England
(Language: English)
Andrea E. Oliver, School of Literature & Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
Index terms: Crusades, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1622-bIceland and the Sagas
(Language: English)
Emily Archer, School of History, University of East Anglia
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 1622-cSaints and Pagans
(Language: English)
Sarah Salih, School of Literature & Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English
Abstract

This session gives consideration to the idea that ‘pagan’ is not always as Other as it may seem through an exploration of a variety of historical and literary sources. Oliver studies The Sege of Melayne against the background of 1390s Ricardian England, to argue that anxieties about Saracens are used to discuss contemporary concerns about Christendom. Salih reads Osbern Bokenham’s Legends of Holy Women to determine how far the ‘pagan’ operates as a hagiographic role model. Archer uses the perspective of the Icelandic Sagas to reconstruct daily life in an (apparently) Christianised country.