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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 522: Latin Letters and Letter Collections, II: Early Middle Ages

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:John B. Dillon, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderator/Chair:John B. Dillon, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paper 522-aThe Letters of Count Bulgar
(Language: English)
Ana B. Sánchez-Prieto, Department of Palaeography & Diplomatics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Social History
Paper 522-bBoniface's Correspondence and the Literary Gifts of Women
(Language: English)
Valerie Susan Heuchan, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Education, Language and Literature - Latin, Literacy and Orality, Women’s Studies
Paper 522-cGenre in Frankish Formularies: Charters, Letters, and Emotional Content
(Language: English)
Alice Rio, New College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Language and Literature - Latin, Manuscripts and Palaeography

This is the second of three sequential sessions devoted to an important form of Latin writing from classical antiquity onward, the letter, and to collections of letters either subsequently published or at least archivally maintained. Ana B. Sanchez Prieto examines from cultural and political perspectives the letters of count Bulgar, whose obscure and complicated Latin conveys important information about the Visigothic kingdom in the early 7th century. Valerie Heuchan finds evidence in the letters of St Boniface that many women in his circle were highly learned and participated in the same Latin-based educational process as the men, memorising curriculum authors and composing prose letters and verses based upon these; she also comments on expressions of the value of letters as gifts and as sources of comfort in isolation. Finally, Alice Rio, questioning the view that charters are impersonal, objective witnesses while letters are subjective and emotionally charged, argues that the ambivalent way in which editors have tried to deal with the presence of letters in Frankish formularies reflects a problem with our conception of the formulary genre in general.