IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1720: Justice, Rights, and Trade in Northern Europe

Thursday 5 July 2018, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Paul R. Hyams, Pembroke College, University of Oxford / Department of History, Cornell University
Paper 1720-aRules and Common Practice at the Market: Comparing Medieval Laws in Northern Europe
(Language: English)
Sofia Gustafsson, Institutionen för studier av samhällsutveckling och kultur, Linköpings Universitet
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Economics - Urban, Law
Paper 1720-bThe Yeoman Quest in the Robin Hood Ballads
(Language: English)
Megan Woosley-Goodman, Department of English, Francis Marion University, South Carolina
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Social History

Paper -a:
Trade was often subjected to extensive regulation in medieval towns. Most town laws contained rules about where and when it was allowed to trade, as well as how a purchase was to be carried out. However, comparisons reveal that the regulations were different in all town laws, to a major or minor extent. I wish to illustrate some of the differences and similarities, mainly between Scandinavian and German laws, and discuss their meaning.

Paper -b:
‘Robin Hood and the Monk’ (1450) and ‘Robin Hood and the Potter’ (1500) reject the image of the yeomen memorialized in literature by presenting a more specific yeoman-as-group identity through the appropriation of romance conventions associated with the aristocracy, specifically the quest, and how it is parodied in these ballads. This parody exposes a lack of virtue and selflessness in knighthood paralleling both historical accounts of questing knights and documents of self-aggrandizing adventures of the aristocracy. Simultaneously, it upholds justice for yeomen and enumerates the issues of yeomen social identity that reject the memory of them in popular social imagination.