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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 820: Reforming Urban Society, III

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Clemens Gantner, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Paper 820-aTraces of Western European Influences on Danish Trade Organization as Part of a Renewal at the End of the 12th Century
(Language: English)
Eva Trein Nielsen, Independent Scholar, Kokkedal
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Economics - Trade, Economics - Urban
Paper 820-bA Strategy of Continuity: The Permanence of the Venetian Community in Constantinople, 1454-1455
(Language: English)
Pauline Guéna, Département d'histoire, Université Paris IV - Sorbonne
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Language and Literature - Italian, Law, Mentalities
Paper 820-cMadrasas in the Medieval Near East: Religious Scholarship and Political Subversion
(Language: English)
Fozia Bora, School of Languages, Cultures & Societies - Arabic, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Education, Historiography - Medieval, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Social History

Paper -a:
Scholars studying trade in Denmark in the 12th and the 13th century usually concentrate their efforts on the connections with England and the Baltic area. Only a few have paid attention to the rest of Western Europe. Studying some key Danish sources as The Schleswig charter, the stipulations of the guilde St Canute of Flensburg, the letter of Valdemar the Great to the Gotland Faring Company of 1177, the letter of protection of King Canute VI and comparing them with source material from the Netherlands and the Rhine, Maas, and Schelde area some striking and interesting similitudes occur suggesting a direct inspiration.

Paper -b:
The conquest of Constantinople in 1453 triggered global as well as local changes: In the Christian world it echoed as a call for political and moral reformation, while on the ground Sultan Mehmed II was immediately beginning to renew the population and laws of his city. Nontheless, as early as 1454, the Venetian community had partly resettled in Constantinople, hence creating the illusion of a stability. But the Venetian diplomatic sources of 1454-1455 actually show a discrepancy between genuine legal transformations and what appears to have been a rhetorical pledge for continuity with both Venetian-Byzantine and Venetian-Ottoman treaties. Meanwhile, literary sources provide evidence that the strategy of continuity was also one of the Maritime Republic's answers to rising European criticism.

The permanence of the Venetian community in Constantinople is therefore a case which encompasses both the positive connotations of institutional continuity and the difficulties of a hurried adaptation in the midst of turmoil.

Paper -c:
I examine the role of the madrasa, the premier educational institution in medieval Islamic society, in promoting the independence of scholars of the Mamluk realm (1250-1517), particularly chroniclers, and in facilitating the production of narratives of political critique. A summary of six case studies of patron-scholar relationships will elucidate the question of whether or not the waqf-endowed, financially-autonomous madrasa played a significant role in shaping the content and approach of historiographical narratives produced in Mamluk lands, and delineate the intersections between scholarly activity, especially history-writing, and the institutional locus of production, namely the madrasa and parallel institutions of learning.