IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1219: Descriptions of Cities, I: Cities in Medieval Latin Writing - SESSION WITHDRAWN

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Medieval Studies Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison / IZMS (Interdisciplinary Centre for Medieval Studies), Universität Salzburg
Organiser:Maria Elisabeth Dorninger, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Salzburg
Moderator/Chair:Juris G. Lidaka, Department of English, West Virginia State University

This session focuses on the representation and description of cities in medieval Latin writing of several times, places, and literary kinds. William Schipper will consider the Carolingian encyclopaedist Hrabanus Maurus’s chapters on cities and on city-building, with particular attention to their similarities with and differences from the treatment of similar matter in Isidore of Seville as well as to their earliest known illustrations, those in Montecassino, Biblioteca abbaziale, ms. 132. Maria Dorninger will examine the portrayal of cities in the Holy Roman Empire by the later 12th-century Italo-German historian Godfrey of Viterbo, who in addition to being the author of a widely influential universal history is also credited with a descriptive poem on this very topic. John Dillon will analyze literary evocations of the Sicilian city of Catania in writings in a variety of genres (a translation account, hymns and other brief verse, two prose letters, narratives in a formal history and in a chronicle) and spanning the three centuries following its recovery for Christendom in the year 1071. The intent is to illuminate valuations placed at different times on cities either collectively or as individual constructs and in so doing to bring to the fore continuities and changes in their imaginative representation.