IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1617: Cities and Myth

Thursday 12 July 2007, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Marianne O'Doherty, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1617-aThe City of Emmaus
(Language: English)
Claire Bonnotte, Institut National d'histoire de l'Art / Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Art History - General, Crusades, Performance Arts - Drama
Paper 1617-bRepresentation of Florentine History and Creation of Communal Myths in the Illustrated Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani (Bib. Apost. Vat., Chigi L.VIII.296)
(Language: English)
Verena Gebhard, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Roma
Index terms: Art History - General, Historiography - Medieval, Local History, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1617-cLondon Stone: The Stone of Brutus, the Luck of London?
(Language: English)
John Clark, Museum of London
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Folk Studies, Local History, Medievalism and Antiquarianism

Paper a: The mythic city mentioned in Luke’s Gospel, where Jesus appeared to two disciples, near by Jerusalem, had a very strange history during the Middle Ages. Where was the city mentioned in the Gospels really located? The city of Emmaus was a place of pilgrimage itself, and its description appears in many stories. The study of medieval maps, and particularly pilgrims’ maps, constitutes an important area of research. It is also interesting to compare historical descriptions with the iconography. Moreover, the importance of this topic is highlighted by the importance of the medieval drama called Peregrinus.
Paper b: The mid-14th-century manuscript of Giovanni Villani’s “Chronicle of Florentine History” (Bib. Apost. Vaticana, Chigi L.VIII.296) provides the largest number of images of the history of Florence in the Middle Ages: the 253 miniatures illustrate the legendary Roman foundation and re-foundation of the city by Carlo Magno, the Florentine Baptistery as a pagan temple dedicated to Mars, the origins of the Guelf-Ghibelline conflict and other events of the communal past up to the 14th century. This paper will deal with the representation of the city’s own history and the creation of communal myths in the text and images of the Nuova Cronica.
Paper c: According to many modern writers there exists an ancient tradition that the fate of London itself is bound up with that of ‘London Stone’, the last remnant of which is set behind a grille in Cannon Street. This paper looks at the archaeological evidence and the few medieval references to the stone and questions the nature of its ‘special’ status. It traces the development of interpretations of the stone by early London antiquaries and 19th-century folklorists. It argues that the ‘tradition’ of London Stone’s role as a palladium or talisman is largely an invention of the last 150 years.