IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1529: Domestic Relationships: Familia and Domus

Thursday 4 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Francesca Tinti, Departamento de Historia Medieval, Moderna y de América, Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria
Paper 1529-aFrom laetus to liege in Six Hundred Years
(Language: English)
Thomas J. MacMaster, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Law, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1529-bParenting through the Life Cycle: Changes in Domestic Authority in the English Family, c. 1450-1600
(Language: English)
Maria Cannon, Department of Humanities, Northumbria University
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Middle English, Literacy and Orality, Social History
Paper 1529-cA Comparison of Rural and Urban Female Testators in 15th-Century East Anglia
(Language: English)
Tze-Yan Woo, Department of History, University of Hong Kong
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Economics - Urban, Women's Studies

Paper -a:
One potentially significant term appears to have been either misunderstood or ignored in many discussions of the end of the Roman world and the emergence of the Medieval West. That word, written by Romans as laetus, by Merovingian and Carolingian scribes as litus or lidus (or other variants), and by Anglo-Saxons as læt, can be demonstrated to have a clearly Germanic origin and to have described a particular type of social relationship between former slaves and masters. These terms can be shown to all be closely related philologically. All describe individuals who, in return for freedom (and sometimes land), owed military service to their manumitters. In time, that term, rooted in the Germanic past, would give rise to a key term, liege, in the feudal period as well as helping to shape the mental landscape that gave rise to that system.

Paper -b:
Scholars have debated the existence and emergence of childhood from the Middle Ages to the present day (Ariès, Pollock), however, the relationship between parents and adult children has received very little attention in comparison to relations between parents and young children. My paper discusses this aspect of parenting in relation to shifts in domestic authority throughout the life cycle. I will focus on points of crisis within the family, such as the death of the father or the separation of family members which may provide deeper insights into the nature of parenting. Focusing on letter collections from c. 1450-1600, I will draw conclusions about changes in the parent-child relationship over the life course.

Paper -c:
This paper attempts to explore the differences between urban and rural female testators in 15th-century East Anglia. It has been argued that women were in an inferior position in both economic and social status in medieval period. However, this paper would like to explore this argument by adding the geographical factor. Hence, bequests items from both rural and urban areas from East Anglian female testators will be compared. It is hoped that from the comparisons of female testators in both urban and rural areas, we will have a boarder view on how geographical factor affected women economics status in late medieval East Anglia.