IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 503: Birds, Beasts, and Monsters

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Timothy Bourns, St John's College, University of Oxford
Paper 503-aOther Sinners?: Animals and the Papal Penitentiary
(Language: English)
Herwig Weigl, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life
Paper 503-bSpace Invaders in the John Rylands Library's Books of Hours
(Language: English)
Anne Kirkham, Department of Art History & Visual Studies, University of Manchester
Index terms: Art History - General, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life

Paper -a:
In the 15th-century registers of the Papal Penitentiary, granting dispenses, absolutions and other papal indulgences and clearing petitioners from guilt and its consequences, animals are frequently mentioned. The paper examines, why and in which roles they do so, and what the Penitentiary made of it.

Paper -b:
Books of hours, like some other genres of medieval texts, have decorated page borders that may be inhabited by birds, beasts, humans, and composite or creative fantastical creatures, many with some human characteristics. The relationships between whimsical marginalia and the religious texts and images of these books are perplexing, not least when marginalia interact directly with the principal content of a page. This paper suggests the roles that may be played by the human hybrids invading the borders that mimic or engage with the figures in the miniatures and historiated initials of both manuscript and printed books of hours in the John Rylands Library, Manchester.