IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 838: Relationships between Peasants and Lords

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Balázs Nagy, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 838-aBetween Memory and Written Record: Land Management and Peasant Obligations in Medieval Tuscany, 12th and 13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Lorenzo Tabarrini, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Literacy and Orality, Local History, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 838-bPeasant Food and High Cuisine in Italy, 14th and 15th Centuries
(Language: English)
Filippo Ribani, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
Index terms: Language and Literature - Italian, Literacy and Orality, Mentalities, Social History

Paper -a:
The studies concerning the forms of land management in medieval Italy have focused, for the most part, on specific typologies of sources: lease charters, lists of rents, notarial registers and detailed accounts on single estates. In recent years, the research in this field has been enriched by a good number of works which regard the process of recording in itself. Actually, there were only some kinds of peasant obligations which had to be written down; other types of duties, instead, were supposed to be transmitted orally and to remain purely customary. Starting from the Tuscan documentation of the 12th and 13th centuries, this paper aims to examine how orality and written culture intertwined, with specific regard to peasant-landlord relations and to the forms of land management in this part of central Italy.

Paper -b:
Italian literature and dietetic treatises of the late Middle Ages agree on separating the food setting of the peasantry (vegetables, roots, legumes, poor grain) from that of the upper classes (winged game, goat, fruit, spices). It’s the food hierarchy well described by Allen J. Grieco in many of his works. This paper aims to analyse the presence of peasant products in high cuisine expressed by the Italian recipe books of the late Middle Ages. These products may have three different roles in the recipe: secondary, fundamental together with noble ingredients, fundamental without any noble ingredient. This last category is less common, but brings clear evidence that the literary commonplace – supported by the dietetic thought – doesn’t perfectly match with the upper classes’ food habits.