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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1001: The Uses and Meanings of Nature

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Thomas Kühtreiber, Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters & der frühen Neuzeit, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Krems
Paper 1001-a'Scent-sations': Medieval Gardens as 'Emotional Spaces'
(Language: English)
Antje M. Schelberg, Independent Scholar, Göttingen
Index terms: Anthropology, Daily Life, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1001-bFlos virginum: The Flower as a Communication Sign
(Language: English)
Sarah Khan, Kunstgeschichtliches Institut, Philipps-Universität, Marburg
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Liturgy, Religious Life
Paper 1001-cThe Memory of Trees in Anglo-Saxon Poetry
(Language: English)
Ilse A. Schweitzer VanDonkelaar, Department of English, Grand Valley State University, Michigan
Index terms: Art History - Sculpture, Language and Literature - Old English, Literacy and Orality, Religious Life

Abstract paper -a: The paper outlines connections between emotions, scents, and space in the later Middle Ages.

It particularly focuses on medieval castle or pleasure gardens and on the nobility as the social 'stratum'.
The guiding questions are:
A) Which scents or substances … among other elements … were employed to create an ‘emotional/emotive space'?
B) How were those elements 'applied'?
C) Which emotions were (supposed) to be evoked within this 'emotional space'?
Glances at aristocratic and church attitudes and practices will complement the findings.

Abstract paper -b: In the Middle Ages, the flower, flos, is developed into a theological concept which enters the spheres of texts and images. This phenomenon has never been seriously investigated. Certain strands of this theological concept can be found in medieval Books of Hours, of which the one owned by Mary of Burgundy gives an outstanding example. Next to pointing out the use of the flower there, my paper furthermore seeks to demonstrate how through the medieval perception of the flos a new understanding of flower signs or symbols in images of the late medieval times can be extracted, and how they became part of worship.

Abstract paper -c: In Anglo-Saxon poetry and inscriptions, trees (both figurative and literal) can receive and exhibit human emotion and memory. Violent spiritual events (such as the Crucifixion and Last Judgment) can startle trees into this sentience, specifically in riddles, religious poetry such as The Dream of the Rood, and the Ruthwell Cross inscription. In the process of composing and reading these texts, Anglo-Saxons could experience a closer communion with Christ by establishing the memory of past and future Christian events - first experienced by the True Cross - in all living trees, as well as in their poetic and monumental representations.