IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1129: Other than Human, II: Beasts and Animals

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Sunny Harrison, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1129-aConsidering the Dragon of St Margaret of Antioch: Symbols of Otherness - Rituals of Belonging
(Language: English)
Leanne K. Gilbertson, Department of Art, Montana State University Billings
Index terms: Art History - General, Gender Studies, Pagan Religions
Paper 1129-bDragons on the Edge: Discursive Functions of Marginalia - Monstrous Otherness in the Hispanic Codices of Santo Martino, c. 1185-1205
(Language: English)
Nadia Mariana Consiglieri, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) / Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Rhetoric

Paper -a:
The cult of St. Margaret of Antioch flourished in central Italy from the early 10th century through the 16th century, when several sites in the area held her relics and artworks devoted to her and the story of her life. Depicted as a female warrior saint defeating a dragon (often bursting forth from the monster’s belly), the iconography of the saint offers a perfect opportunity to examine how this monster could represent difference or otherness (in terms of gendered experience or background) and how worship of the saint centred around such imagery could serve to incorporate those with visible or perceived otherness into a community of shared belief.

Dragons with anthropomorphous and hybrid features populate the margins of the codices of Santo Martino. Made in the scriptorium of León between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century, this compendium of sermons and treaties was designed to promote the spiritual reading of San Isidoro’s canons. By contrast, a huge dragon repertoire breaks in marginalia and some initial letters. In this paper I will analyse the role of this strange animal otherness, its different compositional modalities, forms and colours and its practical, paratextual, and rhetoric functions in the frame of the written religious speech.