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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1733: Materiality of Identities in Capetian France, III

Thursday 4 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Medieval Prosopography / Manchester Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, University of Manchester
Organiser:Alex Hurlow, Department of History, University of Manchester
Moderator/Chair:Laura Gathagan, Department of History, State University of New York, Cortland
Paper 1733-aThe √Čtablissements de Rouen and Urban identities in 13th-Century Normandy
(Language: English)
Alex Hurlow, Department of History, University of Manchester
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Economics - Urban, Genealogy and Prosopography
Paper 1733-bThe Claims of Royal Identity by Leper-Houses in Capetian France
(Language: English)
Katie Phillips, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 1733-cThe Capetians and the True Cross
(Language: English)
Cecilia Gaposchkin, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley
Index terms: Crusades, Ecclesiastical History

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.