IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1305: Action and the Written Word in the Middle Ages, II

Wednesday 13 July 2005, 16.30-18.00

Organisers:Paul Barnwell, English Heritage, York
Marco Mostert, Onderzoekinstituut voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Moderator/Chair:Paul Barnwell, English Heritage, York
Respondent:Walter Pohl, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Paper 1305-aSymbolizing Grants by Breaking Knives: A Frankish Custom in Norman England
(Language: English)
Michael Clanchy, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Law, Literacy and Orality
Paper 1305-bMaking Court Decisions Known in Medieval Holland
(Language: English)
Marco Mostert, Onderzoekinstituut voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Law, Literacy and Orality
Abstract

The aim of this session (as of Action and the Written Word in the Middle Ages, I) is to examine the relationship between the written word and action (‘ritual’) in medieval legal transactions. Questions which will be addressed include: What is the relationship between the use of ‘rituals’ and literacy? Do cultures which make extensive use of written documents in legal transactions also employ ‘rituals’, or are the two sometimes or often mutually exclusive? What are the respective functions of written documents and legal ‘rituals’? What is the nature of legal ‘rituals’? Are rituals accompanied by roals verbalisation and, if so, how do the words used relate to those of the written instruments?