Session 1633: Materiality of Identities in Capetian France, II
Thursday 4 July 2019, 11.15-12.45
|Sponsor:||Medieval Prosopography / Manchester Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, University of Manchester|
|Organiser:||Alex Hurlow, Department of History, University of Manchester|
|Moderator/Chair:||Sophie Ambler, Independent Scholar, London|
|Paper 1633-a||Ermengarde of Brittany's Life in Four Objects|
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Gender Studies, Social History, Women's Studies
|Paper 1633-b||Chivalric Self-Fashioning and the Jeu-parti: Reports from Capetian France|
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Literacy and Orality, Performance Arts - General, Social History
|Paper 1633-c||A Knightly Identity in the Capetian Kingdom: Jean, Lord of Joinville|
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Genealogy and Prosopography, Politics and Diplomacy
As Robert Fawtier remarked ‘the French nation grew up within the bounds of space, authority and government created by the Capetian kings’. From a weak position in the 11th century to their apogee in the mid-13th century, the Capetian kings engineered the development of a centralised kingdom with a distinct Frankish identity that formed the heartland of courtly society and was the driving force behind the crusades. The developments allowed the Capetian kings to realise more easily their theoretical power over unruly barons through military, administrative and cultural means. While the Capetian achievement can hardly be disputed, such triumphant narratives feed into a teleological understanding of French national history which sees the French ‘nation’ and its identity emerging seamlessly from Capetian centralisation.
Yet French national identity remains a contested concept which still competes with regional identities to this day. This session seeks to explore how people, places and institutions expressed their own distinct identities within the context of growing Capetian centralisation from the 11th into the 13th century and the extent to which these identities intersected and interacted with a growing sense of French ‘national’ identity and Capetian royal ideology.