IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1505: Margins and the Marginalised in Medieval Manuscripts

Thursday 5 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Annemarieke Willemsen, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden
Paper 1505-aMarginal Deer in the 'forest adventurous' of the Manuscript Border
(Language: English)
Anna Milon, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1505-bThe Marginal Space as an Intimate Diary: Murchadh Ó Cuindlis's Marginalia in the Yellow Book of Lecan and Leabhar Breac
(Language: English)
Vojtěch Bažant, Centre for Medieval Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences, Praha
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1505-cMadrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS Vitrina 24/3 and the Textual Tradition of the Parisian 'Danse Macabre'
(Language: English)
Alina Zvonareva, Institut für Romanistik, Alpen-Adria-Universität, Klagenfurt
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Manuscripts and Palaeography

Paper -a:
Deer enjoy an unusual reputation in European literature of the Late Middle Ages. They are liminal creatures that have positive symbolic associations. This reputation pervades visual representation of deer in manuscripts. This paper examines deer as Freeman Sandler’s ’embedded marginalia’ and the vegetative border as an equivalent of the ‘forest adventurous’, and proposes that these beasts accentuate the subversive content of the text next to which they occur.

Paper -b:
Murchadh Ó Cuindlis was an Irish scribe who penned a manuscript which now forms part of a famous 15th-century codex Yellow Book of Lecan (Trinity College Dublin, MS 1318, cols. 281-344), and single-handedly wrote the Leabhar Breac (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 16). The first of these manuscripts contains historical materials, and the second one is almost purely religious in its contents. The main interest of this paper, however, lies in the fact how effectively Murchadh used the margins of his manuscripts: apart from identifying himself, which is not always the case for medieval scribes, he provides important information of contemporary historical events, and copies innumerable poems which are sometimes related to the main body of the text, and are aimed at elucidating it. In my paper, I will try to demonstrate how these marginal notes open for us the world of the 15th-century Ireland and function as a textual self-portrait of a scribe.

Paper -c:
This paper will address the textual version of the French ‘Danse Macabre’ (1424-1425) transmitted in MS Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, Vitrina 24/3. Its peculiarity consists in placing the images and text of a Dance of Death entirely in the margins of a lavishly illuminated book of hours. I will analyse microtextual and macrotextual evidence proving that this version derives from the same archetypal source as the other fourteen extant manuscripts of the Parisian ‘Danse Macabre’. On the other hand, I will analyse how and why the text was significantly modified. Iconographic and codicological evidence will be taken into account as well.