IMC 2011: Sessions

Session 717: Between Palatium and Court: Political and Symbolic Spaces throughout the Middle Ages

Tuesday 12 July 2011, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée
Organiser:Jens Schneider, Laboratoire 'Analyse Comparée des Pouvoirs', Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée
Moderator/Chair:Stuart Airlie, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Paper 717-aBuilt on Expectation and Remembrance: The Visitation of Kings as the Symbolic Foundation of Palaces in Carolingian West Francia
(Language: English)
Martin Gravel, Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis
Index terms: Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 717-bRoyal Court and Capitals of the Kingdom of Aragon in the 14th Century
(Language: English)
Alexandra Beauchamp, Centre de Recherche Historique (CERHILIM), Université de Limoges
Index terms: Administration, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 717-cContestation, Networks, and Places of Power in Grenoble during the Gregorian Reform: The Ascent of the Counts of Albon
(Language: English)
Aurélien Le Coq, Laboratoire 'Analyse Comparée des Pouvoirs', Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée
Index terms: Local History, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History

Spatial turn suggests new perspectives on the function and the performance of space. In this section, several examples ‘between palatium and Court’ shall be presented to discuss the problem how, from early medieval palace to late medieval court, political places become symbolic, institutional and administrative spaces.

Paper -a:
It seems reasonable to assume that since palaces are built of wood and stone, their architectural qualities make them what they are: sites characterized by a particular and powerful symbolic radiance. The materiality of the palace does convey a political message. However, the memory and the eventuality of events which have taken or could take place in the palatial premises are the fundamental materials which give meaning to the buildings themselves.

Structured on the reconsideration of capitularies through which Charles the Bald ascertained his authority against the manœuvering of Louis the German, this comparative study of certain important and not-so-important palaces of 9th-century Western Francia will shed some light on the relationship between the king’s visitation and the symbolic charge of palatial sites.

Paper -b:
During the 14th century, the kings of Aragon were still itinerant kings and seemed to rule in accordance with certain of the usages of the itinerant governments of the Early Middle Ages. From this perspective, through a specific study of the cases of Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, and Perpignan, this paper will determine if the composition of the kings’ court and entourage depended on the capital they were staying in.

Paper -c:
Looking at Guigues of Albon’s itinerary is a good way to understand the ascent of a noble family during the 11th century – at the time of the Gregorian reform and the development of the Dauphiné – in an area where the sovereignty of the Burgundian kings had not been given since the end of the 10th century.
The paper analyses the evolution and strategy of ascent of this family by studying their social and political network (bishops, lords, local elites), with a special interest to the spatial implementation of their rule, e. g. places of power.
Knowing that the counts did not have any ‘palatium’ or real court, it is essential to understand the spatial aspects of exercising their power in the conflict between the Counts Guigues II, III, and IV and bishop Hugh of Grenoble.