IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1722: Medieval Historiography: Pleasure, Rumour, and Suffering

Thursday 4 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Julia Steuart Barrow, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1722-a'Aliquid male incurrat et moriatur': Death in Ten Books of Histories by Gregory of Tours
(Language: English)
Longguo Li, Department of History, Peking University
Index terms: Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought
Paper 1722-bFamae instar: Public Opinion and the Depiction of Julian in Ammianus Marcellinus
(Language: English)
Angela Zielinski Kinney, Institut für Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein, Universität Wien
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Pagan Religions, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1722-cPleasure in the 11th-Century Millenarist Historiography
(Language: English)
Israel Sanmartín, Departamento de Historia Medieval e Moderna, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Philosophy

Paper -a:
With physical sufferance of those historical figures in mind, Gregory of Tours fills his narration with a huge number of descriptions about humans’ death. Those dying scenes are generally depicted with such a detail that they seem to be considerably harsh, even unbearable, especially with referring to the prevailed pattern of historiography in the ancient world when the authors much more focused on the achievements of the various ‘heroes’. From the perspective of this great transformation of historiography, we do some statistical analysis of those passages in Gregory.

Paper -b:
In his Res Gestae, Ammianus Marcellinus makes no secret of his strong support for Julian the Apostate, even in his depictions of somewhat controversial events, such as the Gallic insurrection at Paris. But how does the historian navigate the difficulties associated with Julian’s accession to the throne – namely, the question of whether Constantius II on his deathbed appointed Julian as his legitimate successor, or whether Julian should be considered a usurper? This paper will examine the role of public opinion and the prominence of Fama – the Roman goddess of rumor – in Ammianus’s depiction of Julian. The paper shall argue that Ammianus employs the goddess Fama and specific physical characteristics associated with her in order to lend authority to public opinion and displays of support for Julian, as well as to Julian’s ultimate assumption of full imperial power.

Paper -c:
This paper will discuss the pleasure as beneficial to society as something that manages to satisfy our spiritual and intellectual needs and something that brings aesthetic pleasure. We will focus on five 11th-century historians (Liutprand, Glaber, Chabannes, Adalberon and Helgaud). They will see how their treatment of year 1000 reflect the heavenly city, the earthly paradise, salvation and the relationship between spiritual and terrenal power. With all this we wonder whether the year 1000 is a joyous time, if the atonement step to forgiveness, from misfortune to happiness or the renewal of the world.