Bearing the title ‘queen’ made a difference. On this point contemporaries of the Middle Ages agreed, but how one became queen and what rank, rights, and political significance came with the title was quite differently understood. This paper explores the ideas surrounding the appellations for a king’s wife with a main focus on the English early to high Middle Ages (c. 9th-12th century). It will discuss the role of female royal titles and the meanings ascribed to them by contemporary chroniclers. In doing so, this paper seeks to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the nature of queenship and its developments in the Middle Ages.
This paper argues for a reconsideration of the role played by honor and its importance for the conception of self within Middle High German epic. With reference to heroic texts such as the Rolandslied, the Nibelungenlied, Kudrun, and the Dietrich epics, it posits that within these fictive worlds, honor must be understood first, as the primary means of valuation of the self and of others. Second, that this honor is comprised of a number of different overlapping and interacting processes both governing and generated by the individual’s interaction with others as well as by the interaction between the constituent parts of the self (gender, status, family, etc.). And third, that honor is encoded in all social interaction, continually renegotiated according to broadly understood conventions.
Genealogical constructions are widely open to different ways of modulation and formation. Often, fictional texts are used as sources, so that they are evidently considered as texts of knowledge. In the 15th and 16th century, chronicles depend on medieval sources. However, this period of time is determined by a sharp theological critique of genealogical forms of thought. Furthermore, an incipient differentiation between history and fiction and between texts of knowledge and literature becomes more distinct. This paper asks about ways of problematisation and reasoning, about processes of assimilation and transformation of sources, texts, and narrative strategies, as well as about the relationship and exchange of scholarly and unscholarly knowledge.