IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 108: To Have or Have Not, To Give or Give Not: Social Status and Money Matters

Monday 9 July 2012, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Flocel Sabaté Curull, Grup de Recerca Consolidat en Estudis Medievals 'Espai, poder I cultura', Universitat de Lleida
Paper 108-aSocial and Economical Status Changes Reflected in the Morality and Behaviour of 'Beatrijs'
(Language: English)
Małgorzata Dowlaszewicz, Department of Dutch Studies, University of Wrocław
Index terms: Language and Literature - Dutch, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Paper 108-bUsura Becomes Volpone: To Follow or Not to Follow the Rules in Fixing Prices
(Language: English)
Claude Denjean, France méridionale et Espagne: histoire des sociétés du Moyen-Âge à l'époque contemporaine (FRA.M.ESPA - UMR 5136), Université de Toulouse II - Le Mirail
Index terms: Daily Life, Economics - General, Economics - Trade, Economics - Urban

Paper -a:
In the medieval Dutch text of the nun Beatrijs the main character takes several different ways in her life. She is first a nun, then a wife an mother, then a prostitute, a beggar to finally come back to the starting point and become a nun again. The changes of her social status change her clothes, gestures, and also her moral. I would like to show the link between the different social positions of the character and the norms she has to follow and possibilities she has to choose in the particular turning points of her life.

Paper -b:
Reading 13th-century court records and notarial registers revives the term ‘usury’, (more financial speculation than usurious lending). In spite of suspicion towards usury, witnesses and accused narrate the ins and outs describing the means used quite candidly by one and all to make a profit, including fraudulent bankruptcy. Businessmen had perforce to observe a rule whereby a fair price was determined by collective definition and financial market. Usury was like reputation; it could be good or bad, ranging from stringency to lenience, from injustice to fairness. This depended on the goodness of their word. The monarchy sought to ensure good practice through a system of justice. In this way it consolidated its power by presiding over a dialogue.