Skip to main content

IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 248: Rituals and Spaces of Punishment in Medieval Culture

Monday 3 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Network for Medieval Arts & Rituals (NetMAR) / Zentrum für Mittelalterstudien, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Organisers:Ingrid Bennewitz, Lehrstuhl für Deutsche Philologie des Mittelalters, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Michaela Pölzl, Institut für Germanistik, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Moderator/Chair:Stavroula Constantinou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Paper 248-aThe Ritual of Punishment in Frankish and Venetian Cyprus
(Language: English)
Marina Ilia, Independent Scholar, Nicosia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Daily Life, Law
Paper 248-bThe Space of Punishment in Byzantine Passions and Miracle Tales
(Language: English)
Andria Andreou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Greek
Paper 248-cA Space for Divine Punishment: Babylon in the Visual and Textual Cultures of 13th-Century Castile
(Language: English)
Sara Moure López, Departamento de Historia da Arte, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 248-dLanguages of Shame: The Pillory and Its Impact on Metaphorical Ways of Speaking
(Language: English)
Gerlinde Gangl, Fakultät Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Index terms: Daily Life, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - German

In medieval cultures, both in the East and West, public punishments were common phenomena. Such punishments often had a ritualistic character and functioned as staged performances. While these punishments often focused on physical disfigurements, it was not uncommon that also the wrongdoers' submission to certain humiliating ceremonies led to restoration after a transgression of order. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this session – which is sponsored by the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project 'NetMAR - Network for Medieval Arts and Rituals' – explores medieval rituals of punishments with a particular focus on their spaces and stagings.

The paper of Marina Ilia will explore the law and penalties related to major crimes in medieval Cyprus during the Venetian rule and it will focus on the ritual spaces of punishment. Andria Andreou will discuss public and private forms of punishment in Byzantine hagiography to unearth the narrative significance of the ritual space of punishment and its impact on the audience. Sara Moure López' paper will approach the image of Babylon - the accursed city - in Castilian visual culture, analysing the different visual strategies adopted in its representation. She will also examine how these strategies relate with contemporary literary works nourishing the 13th-century Castilian imaginary on divine punishment. Finally, Gerlinde Gangl's paper will use various European languages to show how the ritual practices surrounding the pillory as a public humiliation device have remained etched in cultural memory until today.