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Religion and power in the Frankish Kingdoms: studies in honour of Mayke de Jong

This book, written in honour of Mayke De Jong, offers twenty-five essays focused upon the importance of religion to Frankish politics. It deals with religious discourse and political polemic in studies that take up the themes of identity, and the creative deployment of the language of the Old Testament within Frankish society. The book explores how the use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shaped medieval perceptions of community. It shows that the Carolingian way of dealing with the Adoptionist challenge was to allow a conversation between the Spanish bishops and their Frankish opponents to take place. Charlemagne's role in the Vita Alcuini as a guardian of orthodoxy who sought to settle a controversy by organising and supervising a theological debate was striking. The book also discusses the admonition of an abbot of Frankish origin who came from southern France and made his monastic career in southern Italy. It showcases three letter manuscripts that share certain features but are different in other aspects. The first manuscript is a collection of the Moral Letters from Seneca to his pupil Lucilius , Paris , BnF, lat. 8658A. The book demonstrates that the lists of amici, viventes et defuncti reflected how the royal monastery was interacting with ruling elites, at different levels, and how such interactions were an essential part of its identity. It also examines the context of Monte Cassino's fading into the background, in the conviction that both political and religious concerns were at play.

Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

sources at a time when the historical discourse was evolving, owing to broader societal cultural shifts.8 Likewise the complex portrayals of noblewomen and the way that such images present particular views of noblewomen are set into an appreciation of the broader issues of authorial bias and political, social and cultural contexts. This analysis is above all concerned with the difficulty of measuring the power of noblewomen, given the complexities of the sources.9 Noblewomen appear in twelfth-century texts as both active subjects and passive objects, in complex ways

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

be a key route for such dispersal. These themes have been developed in an analysis of private and royal charters as sources for the place of powerful noblewomen as landholders in twelfth-century society. This argued that it is essential to understand the fragmented nature of the discourse on women that charters articulate. In the process of committing land transactions to parchment, élites created a broken narrative which paradoxically both recorded and created custom, practice and procedure. Bloch argued that the twelfth century was one great writing lesson for

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

, maritagium, and female inheritance. However, much that has been written about twelfth-century women has been done to the dictates of an oscillating male-centred historiography about the creation of institutions, or otherwise of male lordship or ‘feudalism’. The dominant historiographical discourse which considers dynamics of power in twelfth-century society is that of the study of the multi-faceted construct that is conventionally called lordship. This book will analyse the roles of noblewomen within lordship and in so doing will clarify important aspects of noblewomen

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

female icon, the Virgin Mary. Thus the fleur-de-lys, when depicted on women’s seals, represented motherhood and fertility, and expressed lineage through the ambivalent forms of motherhood and virginity.95 Its emergence also occurred within the emergence of a wider twelfth-century discourse within medieval grammar: the discourse on family structure and changes in structures concerning marriage and property,96 a discourse which was thus utilising gendered imagery upon seals. The symbolism of the bird of prey is equally ambivalent. The bird is the second most common motif

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Susan M. Johns

place of individuals within kin groups.5 Further White stresses that as land transfers became more like sales by the early thirteenth century, and with the introduction of warranty clauses, the need for laudatio parentum declined because an effective method of cutting off family claims had been achieved.6 This discourse on the meaning of countergifts rightly debates the juridical implications and their symbolisms within social contexts. Little has specifically been written which directly addresses the problem of interpreting countergifts as a guide to the power of

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

trace the developing discourse of twelfth-century female spirituality in the particular context of prescriptive spirituality for the recipient in her public role as queen. The cultivation of a spiritual relationship could yield political dividends and it could thus be used to influence political events of significance.16 Thus spiritual relationships were an expression of aristocratic social cohesiveness and a route whereby women could exert power. An impressive illustration of these themes is provided by Adela of Blois, the daughter of William the Conqueror, and

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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Character depiction and direct discourse
Eva von Contzen

3 Words and deeds: character depiction and direct discourse A defining feature of the Scottish Legendary is its large amount of direct discourse. The compilation uses direct speech much more frequently than its Latin sources:  direct speech is inserted where there is none in the original, and brief passages of direct discourse in the original are elaborated on and turned into full speeches. Of its nearly 33,000 lines, one-third (29%) constitute passages directly spoken by a character.1 Throughout the Scottish Legendary, words and actions go hand in hand

in The Scottish Legendary
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The Scottish Legendary and narrative art
Eva von Contzen

vernacular. For instance, the etymological introductions of the Legenda aurea are for the majority of the legends left out and substituted by the author’s own introductions. In general, one or two summarising sentences in Latin are transformed into an elaborated episode with details, often filled with passages of direct discourse. Although the basic plot does not change, the result is a more vivid and livelier account of the events. The life of Lucy, for instance, which belongs to the group of virgin martyr saints at the very end of the Scottish Legendary, draws on the

in The Scottish Legendary
Chaucer and the regulation of nuisance in post-plague London
Sarah Rees Jones

about which More wrote in Utopia, and that many of the ideas, solutions, language and even jokes he employed made allusions to the civic law books with which he himself, as under-sheriff of the city of London, was very well acquainted. I  now want to expand on that earlier paper to study developing traditions of civic political thought and expression, which paved the way for Utopia. In particular this chapter will explore the emergence of an urban political discourse that focused on domestic economies among men and women on the street, and employed writing about the

in Roadworks