IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 525: Reasons for Writing: Latin Literature, 1100-1215

Tuesday 10 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Richard E. Barton, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
Paper 525-aEadmer's Historia Novorum, Books 5 and 6: Eadmer's Theory of History and a speculum Revealing Both Past and Future
(Language: English)
Sally N. Vaughn, Department of History, University of Houston, Texas
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 525-bPhilip the Chancellor and the Third Crusade
(Language: English)
David Angus Traill, Department of Classics, University of California, Davis
Index terms: Crusades, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 525-cWholly Holy Motivation?: Jocelin of Furness’s Purpose for Writing Saints' Lives
(Language: English)
Lindsay Irvin, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Latin

Paper a: Eadmer wrote the first four books of Historia Novorum about 1115 (although he may have written parts of them earlier–as early as 1100). He wrote Books 5 and 6 at some time later. Southern thinks 1119. As he probably died in 1124, he finished before then. He breaks off abruptly at 1122, with no conclusion. I am going to argue that Southern is right, that the original four books were intended to be a complete work. But that far from just being an afterthought, Books 5 and 6 reveal much about Eadmer’s theory of history and the principles behind the original work, Books 1-4. While Archbishop of Anselm’s career was foremost in Eadmer’s mind in 1115, Archbishop Ralph’s career loomed as equally important in expressing a Canterbury tradition that Eadmer saw as originating with Dunstan–or perhaps even earlier with St. Augustine, Canterbury’s founder. It was crucial to Eadmer that Ralph must be seen as emulating this tradition, that the Canterbury tradition must extend beyond Anselm toward endless repetition in posterity. That Canterbury adopted this position in the following centuries is shown in John of Salisbury’s Life of St. Anselm, and in the later Life of St. Edmund (archbishop 1223-1240) by Matthew Paris, a mirror image of Anselm’s career as chronicled by Eadmer.

Paper b: The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to confirm (briefly), on stylistic grounds, Thomas Payne’s recent attribution, on musical grounds, of Carmina Burana 47 (Crucifigat omnes) to Philip the Chancellor (c. 1160-1236); (2) to demonstrate that the poem reflects the circumstances of the Third Crusade (1187-92) rather than, as Payne has argued, the Fifth Crusade (1217-1221). The reference to the loss of the True Cross (1.1-5) confirms the traditional dating of the poem to 1187, for at the Battle of Hattin (July 1187), the True Cross, which the Crusaders carried into battle, was lost to the Saracens. Two months later, Jerusalem itself fell to Saladin. The urgent tone of the poem suggests a date shortly after this.

Paper c: I will examine Jocelin of Furness’s motivations for writing four saints’ lives – those of Helen, Kentiger, Patrick, and Walde – during the last quarter of the 12th century and the first decade of the 13th century, in the hope of reaching a better understanding of how one of the most prominent types of medieval literature was produced. Hagiographers often claim that their purpose in writing is to provide an example for the reader, and in so doing, to glorify God. However, many authors had additional intentions for their work, such as promoting the cult or shrine of a certain saint. Surely Jocelin too had an agenda outside the desire to elucidate his audience.