Session 1114: From Birth to Old Age, from Art to Archives
Wednesday 13 July 2005, 11.15-12.45
|Moderator/Chair:||Paul R. Hyams, Department of History, Cornell University / Independent Scholar, Oxford|
|Paper 1114-a||Legal Definitions of Young and Old: Representations in the Saxon Mirror|
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - German, Law
|Paper 1114-b||Differing Life Experiences for Urban and Rural Youth in Late Medieval England|
Index terms: Daily Life, Social History
|Paper 1114-c||The Miracle of the Child Rescued from Drowning: Some Selected Examples|
Abstract paper a) The German Law Book known as the Sachenspeigel was composed in the thirteenth century, but the illustrated manuscripts date between 1300 and 1375. The text serves to define and maintain difference between groups and individuals. Illegitimate children were without legal rights – along with vagabonds and lepers.
Paper b) The experiences and markers that surrounded and shaped the growth of youth in the medieval English countryside, differed in many ways from those in the urban environment. Contractual labor as servants and apprentices, separation from the natal family, opportunities for entertainment, and even access to greater consumer markets made the urban youths’ experience different from that of their rural equivalents. Wtihout the age markers of apprenticeship or separation from the natal family, rural youths experienced more continuity in their progress from childhood to adulthood.
Paper c) In 1171 Pope Alexander III declared that no relics could be venerated or saints canonized without papal approval. As a result, beginning in the late twelfth century, the judicial procedure of inquisitio was applied to the investigation of the life and miracles of candidates for papal canonization. This procedure required the testimony under oath of reliable witnesses to the miracles attributed to the putative saint in the course of an investigation usually conducted by three papally appointed commissioners. A considerable percentage of such miracles concerned the dangers of childbirth, infertility, stillbirths, childhood injuries and diseases. This high percentage of miracles relating to children has been noted by Finucane, Sigal, Vauchez, Krötzl and others. This paper will focus on several cases of the accidental drowning of children reported in such canonization inquiries from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-fourteenth centuries, from Elizabeth of Thuringia (d. 1231) to Yves of Tréguier (d. 1303). The detail provided in these cases, which sheds light on the social history of childhood, increased as the church became more bureaucratized and the standards for achieving canonization became more stringent.