sense the expulsion of the Jews in 1290, and its legal and cultural legacy, simply serve to highlight the existence of more widespread, institutionalised racism in late medieval England.
A more considerable challenge remains around the issue of xenophobia. In recent years, there has been a lively discussion among early modern historians as to whether sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England can properly be described as xenophobic. Given both the uncertainty of the criteria used to define the phenomenon and the necessarily subjective nature
Hincmar, the polyptych of St-Rémi and the slaves of Courtisols
original manuscript of the polyptych of St-Remi of Rheims has been lost since 1774, 4 but at least three copies of it had been made before then. Two these go back to at least the beginning of the seventeenth century: one is in the Bibliothèque Inguimbertine in Carpentras (MS 1779, fols 260–321), the other at the Bodleian Library in Oxford (MS Eng. Hist. c.242, fols 5–60, 66–70). 5 Both of these remained unknown until François Dolbeau and Pierre Desportes revealed their existence in 1986. The third copy is at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris BnF lat. 9903
made for them, if they be unlawfully killed; because they have no kindred who can demand it).64
The fact that Welshmen could be sold as easily as foreign prisoners supports
the existence of ‘a trade in the Welsh interior as well as along the coast in
order to meet the demand’,65 as well as general indifference – unlike the
frequently voiced outrage in Anglo-Saxon England66 – on the part of both
religious and secular leaders at the thought of Welshmen sold into slavery
on foreign shores. While many slaves in early medieval England were certainly Welsh, it is worth
required the study of paleography, languages and codicology and so
offered medieval studies a way to legitimate its own existence as a form
of scientia .
The subordination of interpretation to caritas has
been widely criticised as assuming the reading that is to be produced
before one even approaches the text to be interpreted. The totalising
effects of such a circular hermeneutic have been laid out most
Jordan Fantosme and the biography of William
Marshal. For instance, in 1174, Fantosme has the Norman countess of
Leicester, Petronilla de Grandmesnil, say: ‘the English are great boasters,
but poor fighters; they are better at quaffing great tankards and guzzling’.63
Whether or not this was true for the English aristocracy in general, it
was certainly not the case for the marcher lords, whose very existence
depended on their military acumen. In England and Normandy, the Lacys
adorned themselves with the same symbolic trappings of military might
as their fellow
bodies, more or less gross according to the merits of their former life, and that their abilities as men vary according to the self-same merits, so that some minds are sharper and others more obtuse, and that the grace of God is also dispensed for the liberation of men from their sins according to the deserts of their former existence: – what will they have to say about this man? How will they be able to attribute to him a previous life of so disgraceful a character that he deserved to be born an idiot, and at the same time of so highly meritorious a character as to
. It is mainly from Hincmar’s own writings that Flodoard constructed his history of Rheims.
Our own view of the Carolingian empire is also greatly shaped by Hincmar’s work. Hincmar was born within a decade of Charlemagne’s acceptance of the imperial title in 800; he died in 882, six years before the death of the last undisputed Carolingian emperor, Charles the Fat. His long life therefore encompassed the greater part of the Frankish empire’s existence. But Hincmar was not just a witness to the Carolingian ninth century. As archbishop of Rheims, he was one of its
observation concerning the ancient texts he studied, namely that in marked contrast to our modern society ID is rarely remarked upon, which demonstrates a different kind of conceptual awareness of disability.
Today intellectual or learning disability is considered a special form of existence which calls for particular ways of treating such people. The dividing line is therefore drawn between those people considered to represent the normative and the disabled who are never adequate for the normative. In contrast, the Bible and many pre
The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin
regions unexpectedly, and without having any orders from the pope, led Hincmar, clad in his priestly robes, into the papal presence; and from there, chanting, they brought him away and led him into the church and had him give the sign of blessing over the people. With that, the synod was brought to a close. 54
The blind Hincmar was clothed by his supporters and led to the altar – without any command by the pope, as Hincmar of Rheims emphasises.
Hincmar of Laon thus did have supporters, the existence of whom Hincmar of
, for example, was found begging in Newington in Surrey in 1440, but still paid the non-householder rate towards the alien subsidy. 10 On the Westminster Abbey denization roll of the 1540s, twelve immigrants were branded as poor, two as beggars. The latter included the aptly named John Beca, a man who had begged during sixteen of the forty years he had been in England. 11
The alien subsidy returns and, to a lesser extent, the denization rolls of the 1540s also reveal the existence of countless immigrants working in low-status jobs, who are