The late call for papers advertises vacancies in the IMC programme, giving medievalists the opportunity to propose a paper and present at the Congress.
Below are the sessions which already have vacancies. If you have a paper which you think would fit any of these sessions, email your abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating clearly which session you would like to apply for.
Additional papers will appear in the Addenda/Corrigenda you will receive in your registration pack on arrival.
147 Perceptions of Health, Hygiene, and Remedies in the Late Middle Ages
In the 12th-century Arthurian romances Erec et Enide and The Knight with the Lion, first written down by Chretien de Troyes in French and retold in other languages, medicines created by Morgan le Faye play a role at crucial points in the stories. Even in the absence of the skilled physician, these things transmit miraculous healing through a physical medium. This paper compares the text of the romances with recipes in medical manuscripts in an attempt to construe what medieval storytellers and audiences imagined these marvelous medicaments to be.
In the Middle Ages, the marshes of England posed both risks and opportunities for their visitors and inhabitants. This paper examines the medieval perception of wetlands through a wide variety of sources. Medical literature, religious texts and imagery, and legends and folklore all provide evidence for medieval understandings of marshes as places of danger and ill-health. However, this did not stop people from settling in wetlands. This paper will consider the uses of wetlands in medieval Sussex and Kent, and the ways in which their inhabitants were able to survive, and thrive, in these regions.
148 Marsilius of Padua in Context
This session connects Marsilius of Padua’s political, philosophical, and ecclesiological thought with his time and life. Thomas Turley explores the different approaches to argument in the tracts de potestate papae of the Dominican theologians Hervaeus Natalis, Peter of Palude, and William Peter Godin, and their potential influence on Marsilius. Frank Godthardt reviews the unique and remarkably detailed imperial charter of John of Jandun’s appointment as bishop particularly with regard to Marsilius of Padua’s Defensor pacis and his ecclesiology.
246 Games for Teaching, Impact, and Research, II: Creating Games about the Middle Ages
As games have become more firmly embedded as historical educational tools, substantial developments in custom educational physical and digital games have occurred. These games, built by academics and students, take important steps away from traditional ‘edutainment’ games and harness the mechanical and visual structures of the media form to provide introductions to new periods and themes and support for classroom learning. They can provide different learning experience from commercial games. This session considers the development of various such games and their utility in the classroom.
509 National Identity and Medieval History Writing, I: Landscape and Climate
This series of four sessions examines the relationship between concepts of ethnic and national identity in the historical literature of the Middle Ages. Papers in this session engage with how national identities were imagined through the landscape and climate. The first paper examines how chroniclers constructed identity in Owain Glyndwr’s revolt through landscapes. The second paper considers how both national and regional identities were imagined through theories of climate, suggesting that the disparities between local and national characteristics complicate the conception of the relationship between the environment and the body. The third paper explores the construction of national identities through the symbolism of the landscape and the contradictions which are intrinsically part of the imagination of nations as envisaged through the environment.
516 Cities and Scholars in the Islamic World
Cities and the scholars who worked in them were memorialised in several different genres. This session will present examples of three of them. The first paper presents Islamic writing on cities through the work of two 10th-century CE geographers. The second speaker analyses the work of three scholars active in the Iraqi city of Kufa in the second century of Islam who disseminated a particular Prophetic narration. The third speaker introduced an anthology of Andalusian poets and their works whose underlying narrative may have been very different from that of the previous two, influenced by the Berber dynasty who now ruled al-Andalus.
605 Form, Function, and Meetings with God: Transforming Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity
It presents an important rupestrian group – unpublished until now – made up of more than one hundred hermitages located in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula. They are linked to the arrival and installation of a monastic community of seventy monks headed by Abbot Donato at the end of the 5th century, coming from North Africa and arriving in Spain fleeing the Vandals. This fact is known thanks to Saint Ildefonso, which also highlights the eremitical formation of the religious Cuiusdam eremitae fertur in Africa extitisse discipulus. The hermitages discovered are concentrated in a specific area located in the NE of the province of Cuenca (Spain). This area counts on a great archaeological diversity, with evidences in all the chronological periods. Nevertheless the works of investigation are scarce and focused in Roman time. The evidence of rock building have gone unnoticed by scholars.
The American Journal of Archaeology published two articles examining horseshoe arches in Spain from the Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages: ‘The Origin of the Horseshoe Arch in Northern Spain’, by Leicester B. Holland in 1918, and ‘The Appearance of the
Horseshoe Arch in Western Europe’, by Ernest T. Dewald in 1922, both showing the problematic research on this type of arch.
This paper makes no attempt to argue which architectural antecedents gave rise to the horseshoe arch used in Spain, mainly in Visigothic architecture. My research questions are: which aspects of the horseshoe arch are the most important for understanding its architectural development? Is it possible to establish a relationship between the horseshoe arch of early Christian architecture in Hispania and the rest of the Mediterranean basin (mainly with Byzantium)? The architectural function and bas-relief iconography, together with both archaeological and written evidence, form the basis for studying this type of arch. I also consider the use of the horseshoe arch in objects like epigraphical documents with an engraved horseshoe arch and the Canon Tables of the Rabbula Gospels.
814 The Origins of the Military-Religious Orders, IV: Foundation, Re-Foundation, and Recreation
January 2020 will mark the 900th anniversary of the Church Council of Nablūs in January 1120, which was probably the setting for the foundation of the Order of the Temple. Four sessions, organised in commemoration of this event, will explore various aspects of the origins of the Military-Religious Orders, transnational institutions which developed in Latin Christendom in the early twelfth century in the wake of the First Crusade. This final session explores the continuing foundation, re-foundation and recreation of Military-Religious Orders during the thirteenth century and up to the present day.
819 Politics and Culture: Mamluk and Mongol Histories
Marino Sanudo Torsello (c. 1270-1343), a Venetian merchant and diplomat, drew up a complex plan of the crusade against the Mamluk Sultanate (‘Sultan of Babylonia’) in his _Liber secretorum fidelium Crucis_ (1306-1321). Sanudo proposed to engage the Iranian Ilkhanate and the Christian kingdom of Nubia (Makuria) in this expedition. Sanudo saw Egypt as ‘the Saracens’ Heart and Life’; for him, the fall of the Mamluks might be the fall of the Islam. The diplomat described the vast trade of Egypt and its diplomatic connections with Byzantium and the Golden Horde in detail, he stated, that the allied trade blockade could ruin the sultanate’s power before its conquest by the crusaders. In general, the Venetian intellectual regarded the Mamluk Sultanate as a leader of the Muslim world; it was a constitutive Other for the Venetian author and his audience.
Material objects in all its forms shaped the culture of exchange and consumption of human history. With the increase of maritime trade, military and diplomatic presence, the influx of goods from the Islamic lands to Europe spread widely. These goods and artifacts resulted in close knowledge of the culture and customs of Islamic lands, specifically between the 15th and 16th century. The European appreciation to goods produced in Islamic lands accelerated demand and trade, and increased rivalry mainly with the Mamluk rulers (1250-1517) and the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922). This article studies the art of objects during the Mamluk period, and focuses on the significance of glass objects created and exchanged during the rule of the Mamluks. It analyzes the vital role of glass objects, despite their fragility, during the Middle Ages as luxurious trade, diplomatic gifts, political symbols, and a recyclable element. It argues that glass objects formed valuable articles among rulers and the wealthy that also connected influential and ordinary people, and encouraged a widespread appreciation of the artistic forms of Islamic art. To understand the value of the Islamic glass produced during the Mamluk period, this paper explores the characteristics of the period and interactions between peoples that created highly valued objects, with different shapes and techniques, exchanged across continents. As a result, the glasswork during the Mamluk period produced not only an artistic language that stimulated new forms in Europe during the 19th century but also a unifying link across cultures.
826 Unlikely Stories of Monastic Book Production
This paper will explore the concept of book production in a monastery without a scriptorium. How is the process of monastic book production affected by the printing press or moveable type? How does a monastery that never systematically produced manuscripts create a system of printed book production that Mary Erler calls a ‘factory for books’? This paper will explore the materialism of early printing at Syon Abbey, and how the scholarly community at Syon partnered with printers like Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson to create a model for a monastic print production.
Irish Dominican sisters settled in Spain during the 1490s and established a permanent mission. Central to their mission was the production of Irish material culture. Irish books and manuscripts included an Irish catechism which was produced in and by convents. This paper will analyse the reverse acculturation stimulated by Irish Dominican sisters which led to the widespread use of and Irish catechism in Spanish convents.
1002 Selves, Others, Strangers: Reading Identities in Old English Poetry
A major feature in the Old English poem Exodus and its biblical source is the antagonism between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The Israelites face foes whose inter-cultural alterity threatens the very existence of the Jewish community until this threat is neutralized with the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. However, the Anglo-Saxon poem can hardly be regarded as a close rendering of the Old Testament narrative. I will argue that the Anglo-Saxon poet did not only take creative liberties in the portrayal of the conflict and its participants, but that he also introduced both culture-specific and radical concepts of Otherness, which ultimately define the identities of the Israelites and their persecutors.
In Cynewulf’s Juliana, Juliana’s suitor Heliseus, called ‘the guardian of treasure’, represents secular material culture, in which women are weakened by the male control of materiality. The material culture of the heroic world reproduces the masculine body politic, reducing women to objects of exchange in contractual relationships between men. The present paper makes a case that from the poem emerges a contrast between a perception of materially constituted masculinity, aligning manhood with wealth and status, and a more inclusive spiritual manhood, available to both sexes. Juliana achieves spiritual manhood as a miles Christi. Feminine holiness empowers women; Juliana’s emasculation of the devil is a challenge to the secular patriarchal order in which they are the currency of exchange.
1027 Materialising Script: Epigraphy and Inscription
The runic script is a primarily epigraphic script carved into objects of various material like wood, stone or metal. It was the dominant writing system in Scandinavia until the end of the 10th century, when it was gradually replaced by the Latin alphabet and manuscript culture. This leads to a new form of runic writing called Runica manuscripta, which resulted from the transposition of a formerly epigraphic writing system into the medium manuscript. This paper compares the medieval Bryggen inscriptions on wood with Runica manuscripta and discusses how the change of material and medium affected the runic script.
La communication a pour objectif de nourrir la discussion sur la place des ‘matérialities’ dans l’approche de la culture écrite : si une matière durable compte comme une spécificité de l’écriture épigraphique, que réalise la rencontre écriture-matière au-delà de la seule pérennité d’un message?
Dans l’Espagne médiévale (XIIe-XIVes.), des inscriptions se limitant à une date seule – les datationes – permettent d’approcher au plus près l’articulation écriture-matière-environnement. Traditionnellement, la date accompagne la mention de l’événement, elle précise la commémoration. Pour les datationes, s’il y a date, les conditions d’existence, factuelles, de cette date sont tues. La matière et son contexte deviennent a priori les seuls éléments permettant de donner du sens à cette chrono-graphie. Partant de ces traces épigraphiques réduites à la seule évocation d’un point du temps sans l’identifier, la communication vient questionner les possibilités qu’offre la matière et son contexte face à l’implicite de l’écriture épigraphique : la matière qui est aussi support (chapiteau, mur de l’église) suffit-elle par exemple à unir date et lieu ?
1051 Innovations in the Waging of War
In September 1190, King Richard I of England arrived in Sicily, where he spent winter together with King Philip II of France. During Richard’s stay, a serious clash between him and the citizens of Messina occured, culminating in the capture of the city by the king of England and forcing King Tancred of Sicily to sign a peace treaty. During this fight, Richard built a mobile castle, which he later used during the siege of Acre. We have only few information about this structure in contemporary narrative sources. This paper will examine these texts and present what we can say about Richard’s fortress.
While extant medieval western European references to horsemanship are challengingly sparse, the Islamic Golden Age (8th century to 14th century) provides a wealth of _Furusiyah_ (equestrian) literature. Only a few have been partially translated to English, including _Nihāyat al-su’l wa-‘l-‘umniya fī ta’līm ‘a’māl al-furūsīya_ (An end to the questioning and desire of teaching the works of horsemanship, c. 1348). This paper provides a basic background for understanding _Furusiyah_ texts and deconstructs several _bunūd_ and _al-manāsib al-harbīyah_ maneuvers, or lance exercises on horseback. It also compares these exercises to those found in late medieval/early Renaissance western European horsemanship manuals.
1128 Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic Interaction in South Arabia and the Horn of Africa
The Middle Ages are commonly viewed as a time when Jews lived subordinate to either Christian or Islamic rule, as a segregated group. However, a number of Late Antique and medieval examples demonstrate that Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations in these time periods were much more complex and varied than what is often believed to be the norm. This panel focuses on two neighboring and interconnected regions which feature some of the most unique examples of Jewish interaction with Christians and Muslims – South Arabia and the Horn of Africa. These include the 6th-century Aksumite-Himyarite war, which was portrayed as a war between Christianity and Judaism, and later commemorated in Christian and Islamic compositions, as well as the numerous wars between factions of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) and the Christian Solomonic Kingdom (Ethiopia, 15th-17th centuries). The session seeks to shed new light on Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic interaction in these regions in the Middle Ages.
1147 Forging Memory: False Documents and Historical Consciousness in the Middle Ages, II
Over the last two decades, scholars have shown great interest in how group and institutional identities were constructed and contested within (and beyond) the Middle Ages. Much attention has been given to the role of narrative histories of peoples, regions, and religious houses in this context. Only relatively recently, however, has the contribution of more ‘documentary’ sources come to be appreciated. In recent years, we have learned that cartularies and cartulary-chronicles are not merely repositories of texts, but powerful statements about local and institutional identity. These sessions seek to develop these lines of investigation further by examining the contribution of forgery to these processes. They aim to bridge the gap between the study of historical memory (which until recently has taken written narratives as its starting point) and documentary forgery (which tends to focus on the legal implications of such texts), offering new vantage points on old problems regarding uses of the past in the Middle Ages.
1305 Inside and Outside the Medieval European Castle
The Grand Master’s Palace, seat of the Teutonic Order 1309-1457, is one of the most outstanding medieval residential buildings. It impresses with its excellent state of preservation and numerous functional features. In addition, historical sources provide detailed information about the way the residence was used, which concerns both the public events (chapter and council meetings, court dinners, trials, reception of guests and envoys) as well as the Grand Master’s private life. The paper will give an overview of these events behind the palace walls and finally describes how particular rooms and building areas were used for the different activities and how they interact with each other.
The ornamentation at the palace of Stirling Castle, Scotland saw the combination of both the mundane and luxuriant to stunning effect. The proposed paper will examine three key questions related to architectural enrichment at the Palace: How were materials used to create decorative elements? Where were the materials sourced?
What remains of the decorative schemes? A key theme of the paper will be how the mundane and the luxuriant were combined, for example local stone coloured with foreign pigments and ironwork being gilded. By answering these questions, evidence will be presented showing that the material culture of medieval Scotland combined a wide range of materials to create decorative schemes.
1339 Musical Materiality in Song and Liturgy
Although most trouvère songs are voiced by a human protagonist, there are a handful of songs in which parts of the body sing. Through a discussion of three dialogue songs in which the heart has a singing voice, this paper explores the trope of the singing heart and its division from the rest of the musical body. The moral and aesthetic aspects of bodily division will be considered, shedding light on how trouvères might have configured their own musical bodies. Drawing on the ‘voice-body gap’ (Novak 2016), the paper asks what the relationship between the imagined musical body and the material performing body might have been. This paper will include live performances.
1647 Translating the Bible, Reading, and Salvation, II: The Austrian Translator of the Bible and His Oeuvre – From the Manuscript into the World Wide Web
The first half of the 14th century was a time of deep spiritual disturbance and concern within central Europe. The three sessions ‘Translating the Bible’ will explore various impacts of this discomposure that found its expression in new approaches to the Holy Scripture. One session will focus on the oeuvre of the Austrian Translator of the Bible, an anonymous layman in today’s Austria, who translated large parts of the Bible into the vernacular in order to secure correct understanding for lay readers. His widely unedited work represents maybe the central stage of the German Bible before Luther. This oeuvre is now in the center of the interacademic long-term project ‘The Austrian Bible Translator – The Word of God in German’, which will provide an hybrid edition. Another session explores translations of the Passion and possibilities of guiding the audience via explanations and illuminations. The third session will concentrate on the materiality of the sources and introduce methods of research such as analysis of watermarks, research databases, and tools to trace back provenances.
1734 Matters of Mind
I shall address the topic of ‘materiality’ from the philosophico-theological viewpoint in late antique Christian Platonists: Origen, his follower Gregory Nyssen, and Evagrius, who was inspired by both (and by Plotinus). Origen argued philosophically for the creation of matter ex nihilo, which I shall connect with his view of the soul-body relation and his theory of ensomatosis (as opposed to metensomatosis and his purported theory of the preexistence of disembodied souls). I shall then point out how Nyssen’s ingenious theory of the creation of matter from immaterial Ideas in the mind of God relies on Origen, as does also Evagrius’ teaching of the unfolding of matter from nous and soul, and its subsumption into soul and nous in the end.
This paper will attempt to analyse the strategies used to define spiritual or religious notions (such as the concepts of patrono or crisma) in the Portuguese version of Alphonse X’s Primeyra Partida. This definition is achieved by linking new information and concepts to well-known objects/substances (and their associated properties) through use of comparative structures. The apprehension of the new information depends upon the identification of the material properties of the objects/substances invoked. Examples of this process will be analysed, as will the strategy which depends upon a common understanding of the physical characteristics of these objects.
1738 Materialities and Religion in Medieval Armenia and Byzantium
The paper traces the origin and functions of the material representation of the heroine’s dead husband, as described by a 12th-century Byzantine mythographer Ioаnnis Tzetzes in The Chiliades (2.20). The Medieval material representation (‘a wooden image of Protesilaus’ shape’) is traced back to its Classical sources (The Iliad 2. 695-704; Cypria, fr. 1.10; Pausanius IV.2.74; Euripides’ Protesilaus, recorded by Aristides, Lucian, Apollodorus, Eustathius, Hyginus; Ovid’s Heroides XIII; Catullus’ Elegy 68). The paper argues that Tzetzes’ version reflects mythological views on the reanimation of a dead likeness, corresponding to the transformation of a living being into an immobile object, which is deprived of life. In contrast to Classical mythology, in medieval culture a statue receives an ambivalent treatment: on the one hand, as an object of art, designed for the appreciation of the audience which becomes a receiving addressee; and on the other hand, as an object endowed with the functions of play. The conflation of a living subject with a statue (as in the Ancient tradition) or a doll (as in medieval culture) is capable of generating not only a playful but also tragic conceptualization, prefiguring a later mythological image of a threatening (potentially perilous) statue.
Anania Sanahnetsi (d. c. 1070) is one of the leading theologians of the Armenian Church who has left considerable theological heritage on different aspects of its theology. One of his main dogmatic works was the ‘Controversy against diophysits’. The issue of icons, as material carriers of veneration was one of the points in the ‘Controversy’, since different interpretation of the approach towards icons in the Armenian and Byzantine Churches was evident at that historical period. In this paper the full text (2 pages) of the chapter concerning iconodulism is presented in my English translation, and then it is analyzed in the broader context of the attitude of the Armenian Church towards icons. Particularly the comparison with the ideas expressed by 7th-century Armenian author Vrtanes Kertol is discussed, which the latter brought forward in his work ‘About iconoclasts’. In some sense these two works mark the boundaries of the theological attitude of the Armenian Church towards veneration of icons.