Changing the Rules of the Game: When Did Regicide Go out of Fashion and Why? (Language: English)
Sverre Bagge, Centre for Medieval Studies, Universitetet i Bergen
Just Follow Christ and the Gospels?: Debates and Confrontations about Rules in the 13th Century (Language: English)
Nicole Bériou, Centre Interuniversitaire d’Histoire et d’Archéologie Médiévale, Université Lumière Lyon II / Institut Universitaire de France
Abstract ‘Changing the Rules of the Game’
Whereas the study of law and justice or ecclesiastical administration normally focuses strongly on rules, the same does not apply to the study of political behaviour. Admittedly, mirrors for princes and similar sources contain numerous admonitions to kings and magnates about how to rule their countries and how to behave in war and conflict, but the practical importance of these texts is open to doubt. Nevertheless, there are rules governing political behaviour, which change over time. A striking example of this is the fact that regicide was a normal phenomenon in the Byzantine and Muslim world as well as in early medieval Europe, but became increasingly rare in Europe in the later centuries of the Middle Ages. The lecture will discuss the emergence of this change and, against this background, attempt to trace the changing rules of medieval politics.
Abstract ‘Just Follow Christ and the Gospels?’
The early decades of the 13th century saw a proliferation of religious orders and quasi-orders. The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 attempted to stop the process by ruling that no further orders could be founded. Nonetheless this process continued and in the end it was in key cases strongly supported by the papacy. At the same time Jacques de Vitry, in his Historia Occidentalis (1219-1226), described Christianitas as a community that recognized the Gospel as its only rule and Christ as its sole shepherd: he was head of the entire body of the Church and an example for every Christian. Yet in the same text, he also approved of the existence of a multiplicity of rules aimed either at the secular clergy, or at various social categories, orders and professions. In their sermons, preachers usually exhorted all the faithful to convert and do penance. The struggle against vice and the cultivation of virtue, however, differed according to one’s condition in society and the consciousness of such a complexity gave birth to the particular genre of the sermones ad status. Unity of the Christian rule or diversity of rules for Christendom? Who agreed with this programme of a regulated life and who resisted it?
Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets for the event. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment (The room will be open 15 minutes before the beginning of the lecture). In addition to the lecture there will be a video relay in the adjacent Headingley Room where the same rules apply.