IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 649: Disaster Memory in the Middle Ages, II

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Abteilung für Wirtschafts-, Sozial- und Umweltgeschichte, Universität Bern
Organiser:Christian Rohr, Historisches Institut, Universität Bern
Moderator/Chair:Thomas Labbé, Archéologie, Terre, Histoire, Sociétés (ARTEHIS - UMR 6298), Université de Bourgogne
Respondent:Martin Bauch, Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa, Leipzig
Paper 649-aChristopher of Bavaria and Climate-Related Crises in the Light of Memory of Nature
(Language: English)
Heli Huhtamaa, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Computing in Medieval Studies, Economics - General, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 649-bThe Memory of Social Disaster in the Works of a 12th-Century Ibadî Scholar Abu Yaqub Yusuf B. Ibrahim Al-Warjalanî
(Language: English)
Feyza Doğruyol, Faculty of Theology, Sakarya University

Looking at natural disasters from a cultural history point-of-view, the short and long-time memory is an essential aspect for further prevention and preparedness of the affected people. In medieval societies, religious, astrometeorological, and practical memory cultures can be found. However, a critical analysis of some specific rituals of memory connected with natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, or with long-time effects such as droughts and famines, had been constructed much later than someone might expect. The double session sheds light on different types of disaster memory. The examples are taken from northern France, England, Scandinavia, the Holy Roman Empire and the Islamic world.
The approaches are mostly cultural and literary history-bound, but also relate to ‘natural archives’ and methods taken from natural sciences.

Paper -a: King Christopher of Bavaria (1418-1448) remained in the memories of the Nordic people as the ‘Bark King’, because people had to eat bread made from tree bark over his regime. This is due to several crop failures in the 1440s, which people blamed on the King. However, what caused the crop failures and how widespread and frequent they were, have failed from the memory of people. This paper draws additional sources from the natural archives, such as tree rings, ice layers and sediment varves, to assess the climatic causes of the gloomy nickname of the King.

Paper -b: Warjalanî, who lived in Warjalan, between the years 1106-1175 C.E., was one of the scholars of Ibadî school, which is the official sect of Oman today. According to him, disaster should not only a natural one, but social chaos because of having serious results on people should be regarded as ‘disaster’. Furthermore, he produced respectable literature in order to explain social disaster and to warn people as a result of facing a social chaos in his time. Hence, we can find details about the memory of the social disaster and its reasons by means of his works. However, can social chaos or in a well-known name in Islam, the fitnah be regarded as a social disaster in fact? The aim of this work is to understand the term of the social disaster with reference to the works of Al-Warjalani as well as to discuss whether a social chaos can be regarded as a social disaster or not.

The papers will be followed by a comment referring to all papers of this double session.