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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 640: Royal and Imperial Identities

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Francesca Petrizzo, School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 640-aSubversion in Perino del Vaga's Fall of the Giants, Villa Andrea Doria, Genoa
(Language: English)
Nurit Golan, The Cohn Institute, Tel Aviv University
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Gender Studies, Sexuality
Paper 640-bCharles d'Orléans' Social Networks
(Language: English)
Holly Barbaccia, Department of English, Georgetown College, Kentucky
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 640-cEntangled Identities: Queen Amalesuintha and the Education of Athalaric
(Language: English)
Anna Akselevich Obibok, Department of History Philosophy & Judaic Studies, Open University of Israel
Index terms: Education, Social History, Women's Studies

Paper -a:
The identities of Count Roger I of Sicily's sons and the succession crisis that threatened to envelop the state he had worked for some 40 years to build have not yet been fully understood. This paper will offer a solution to the question of the identities of his two sons named Geoffrey. Long confused on account of their names, it will disentangle the two, using Roger's administrative documents and Geoffrey of Malaterra's The Deeds of Count Roger of Calabria and Sicily and of his Brother Duke Robert Guiscard to demonstrate that one was an illegitimate older son while the younger Geoffrey, who was probably the product of the count's second marriage, was the intended heir.

Paper -b:
The Fall of the Giants is a ceiling fresco (9.20 by 6.40 metres) created by Perino del Vaga between 1530 and 1533. While it had always been understood as an allegory glorifying the powerful Emperor Charles V (1500-1556) defeating his enemies, be they Turkish pirates or Protestants, I argue that it may also be read as an expression of a rather unorthodox criticism of that same ruler. Although any criticism of the emperor, who was Doria's sovereign and patron, was not to be expected here, the painting nonetheless can be interpreted according to two contrasting political ideologies: one celebrating the victories of the emperor (and his admiral) and the other pointing at the disastrous consequences of the emperor's wars. e.g. the sack of Rome in 1527. The paper explores Perino's methods used to achieve this double meaning in this particular location.

Paper -c:
Charles d'Orléans occupied an unusual social position. A displaced prince and imprisoned 'guest' who became a poetic patron and 'host', his English and French writings meditate on and memorialise his shifting social networks. This paper focuses on continuity in Charles' œuvre between the English and French phases. His English lyric poems fixate on the literary guest-host relationship as well as on the concept of literary competition and collaboration. In his post-captivity French poetry, Charles finally literally becomes a literary sponsor, hosting writing contests and providing others a literal and figurative 'house' in his personal manuscript, a work of many hands.

Paper -d:
Amalasuintha, daughter of King Theodoric the Great, ruled Ostrogothic Italy from 526 till 534 as regent in the name of her minor son Athalaric. By virtue of her upbringing and status, she embodied in her rule the identities and education of both the Goths and the Romans. Her attempts at passing on those entangled identities and education to her son Athalaric are documented in Cassiodorus' works, the Chronica and the Variae. This paper will discuss Amalasuintha's worldview, especially her attempts to raise Athalaric as a worthy heir to the Ostrogothic throne. Through Cassiodorus' works, I shall discuss Amalesuintha's complex identity, and then explore the ways in which this identity is reflected in her program to her son.