IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1515: Young Ones Waiting for Power

Thursday 14 July 2005, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Klaus van Eickels, Lehrstuhl für Geschichte des Spätmittelalters, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken
Paper 1515-aRites of Passage and Chivalric Ceremonies in the Histories of the Dukes of Normandy, 1000-1200
(Language: English)
Max Lieberman, Faculty of Modern History, University of Oxford
Index terms: Anthropology, Mentalities, Military History, Social History
Paper 1515-bProdigal Sons?: Young Men, Traitors, and Treachery in Norman and Anglo-Norman Historical Writing
(Language: English)
Karen Elizabeth Bosnos, Department of History, Emory University
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Social History
Paper 1515-c'Childhood', 'Adolescence', and 'Maturity' in the Medieval Russian Prince's Family, 12th-13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Dariusz Dabrowski, Institute of History, Pedagogical University, Bydgoszcz
Index terms: Daily Life, Genealogy and Prosopography, Mentalities

Abstract paper a) Jean Flori has argued that the ceremony of dubbing to knighthood evolved from the presentation of arms to kings’ sons. The latter ritual was a rite of passage, as it marked royal heirs’ coming of age. Studying the early history of the dubbing ceremony is therefore illuminating in two ways. Firstly, it illustrates the development of chivalry; secondly, it is a way of investigating whether dubbing to knighthood was seen as symbolizing the transition of young noblemen from boyhood to manhood. I propose to discuss this by comparing Dudo of St Quentin’s history of the first Norman dukes (ca. 1000) with its twelfth-century adaptations by Wace and Benoît.

Paper b) In his article on the juvenes of north-western France, Georges Duby described youth (juventus) as ‘the instrument of aggression and tumult in knightly society’. In Norman and Anglo-Norman historical writing, youth also epitomizes a man’s entire identity: by definition, juvenes are impatient, reckless, brave, and, frequently, disloyal to their lords. Yet unlike other types of noble traitors, young men were also more easily forgiven. Why? By examining young traitors both as individuals and as a group, this paper addresses how representations of youth in eleventh and twelfth-century historical writing complicate our understanding of loyalty, treachery, and masculinity in this period.

Paper c) The royal family of the Asenides was troubled, in the beginning of its rule, by a war between the supporters of the principle of succession from father to son and the opposition by brothers and cousins who claimed power in the name of seniorate or popular acclamation. The paper will also analyse and compare the situation in Hungary and Serbia, plagued at the same time by the same opposition between the deceased king’s brothers and young sons, trying to understand and determine the concept of ‘the right age to rule’ in the medieval Balkans.

Paper d) This paper is devoted to understanding the terms: ‘childhood’, ‘adolescence’ and ‘maturity’ in the Medieval Russian Prince’s family in the 12th and 13th Centuries. Till this time, this problem has not been completely investigated, though the literature concerning the separate elements of this subject exists. In the text both juridical and practical aspects of presenting these age groups have been mentioned. I discuss the characteristic phenomena for those periods in the life of a representative of a prince’s family (baptism, giving a name, forms of receiving independence etc). This paper is based on rich sources, especially – Russian.