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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1507: Varieties of Violence

Thursday 16 July 2009, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Gábor Klaniczay, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 1507-aAfter Arundel: Violence Against the Clergy in 15th-Century English Comic Tales
(Language: English)
Ben Parsons, School of English, University of Leicester
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Social History
Paper 1507-bBusiness of Violence: The condottieri as Agents on Markets of Violence between Commerce and State Building in Late Medieval Italy
(Language: English)
Heinrich Lang, Early Modern History, Otto-Friedrichs-Universität Bamberg
Index terms: Economics - General, Military History, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History

Paper -a:
While the small corpus of 15th-century English fabliaux have received some attention from scholars of literary history, the frequent episodes of violence in these poems are not often discussed. However, such outbursts of aggression are interesting, largely because they are often directed against members of the priesthood. This paper argues that such hostility goes beyond simple slapstick, and often succeeds in articulating powerful criticisms of the clergy, in ways that subtly evade the proscriptions against censure laid down by Archbishop Arundel at the beginning of the 15th century.

Paper -b:
I will examine here the function of the condottieri (ital. = mercenaries) in late Medieval Italy. I am interested in defining the economic, social, and cultural dynamics of the phenomenon that led to the development of a 'market of violence', and its impact on the broader context of the Italian Renaissance. By analysing the Italian state system over the 14th and 15th century, my aim is to give a new interpretation of the role of the condottieri as active entrepreneurs in the business of war within a network of merchant bankers, courtiers, and diplomats.