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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 854: Quick! Hurry! Late!: Urgency in the Medieval World

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Exeter / Traveler's Lab, Wesleyan University
Organiser:Helen Birkett, Department of History, University of Exeter
Moderator/Chair:Justine Firnhaber-Baker, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Paper 854-aManaging Time: Making and Breaking Appointments in Medieval England
(Language: English)
David Gary Shaw, Department of History, Wesleyan University
Index terms: Administration, Archives and Sources, Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History
Paper 854-bExpectations and Failures of Urgent Communication in the Crown of Aragon, 14th Century
(Language: English)
Adam Franklin-Lyons, Department of History, Marlboro College, Vermont
Index terms: Administration, Archives and Sources, Daily Life, Language and Literature - Spanish or Portuguese
Paper 854-c'Hurry and do not delay': Sending and Receiving Urgent News in the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Helen Birkett, Department of History, University of Exeter
Index terms: Administration, Archives and Sources, Language and Literature - Latin, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 854-dThe Diffusion of Foreign News in the 11th Century: Did the Speed Matter?
(Language: English)
Vasilina Sidorova, Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences / State Academic University for the Humanities, Moscow
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy

Medieval people operated within condensed, high-pressure timeframes in similar ways to people today. However, the logistics of mobility and communications in the Middle Ages meant that it took far longer to travel and to exchange messages. This session investigates the concept of urgency in the context of these slower journey times and more convoluted communication systems. Speakers will explore the following questions: How is urgency expressed in our sources? What was deemed urgent and in what circumstances? At what point did a delay become unacceptable? And what does this tell us about the experience of time in the medieval world?