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.
polemic in studies that take up the themes of identity, the creative deployment
of the language of the Old Testament within Frankish society, law and the
definition of royal authority. They address different instances of the uses of the
resources of the past for contemporary debates. Thus Gerda Heydemann and
Walter Pohl explore early medieval uses of the biblical metaphor of a ‘chosen
people’ in the early Middle Ages and show how the use of ethnic rhetoric in a
Christian context shaped medievalperceptions of community.
Rutger Kramer considers the
letter, which was probably written in the
early second century, was soon ascribed to Peter the Apostle, which lent extra
weight to it. Later, this and similar pieces of rhetoric could be used in arguments about the role of particular communities within the universal Church
in specific historical contexts. This leads to a second line of enquiry, pursued
in the present chapter and so far hardly addressed: How did the often emphatic
use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shape medievalperceptions of
D. Buell, Why This New Race? Ethnic Reasoning in Early
This chapter, by Suzanne Conklin Akbari and Asa Simon Mittman, addresses the subject of cartography and medieval perceptions of geographical space, specifically in relation to Jerusalem. The chapter pays particularly attention to the map of the city in a manuscript from twelfth-century Flanders, doing so in the context of an overview of medieval map-making which stresses the symbolic function of maps within a Christian view of the physical world, with Jerusalem the ideal city at its centre. For the composer of the map examined here, however, Jerusalem is not just an ideal, but a real city. Thus theological understanding is strikingly combined with the practical knowledge.
a matter of context and
narrative practice, for the poet and his audience alike, and that
narrativity requires looking closely at the strategies used in the
text. We, as modern scholars rooted in a literary tradition fundamentally different from medievalperceptions of literature and
its reception, can at least attempt to understand its mechanisms
and functions. We have to learn to read for the discourse rather
than for the story in order to render intelligible what once was
self-evident. Only then can we come to realise and to appreciate that the Scottish
methods and a better understanding of medievalperceptions of time. 33
Rather than claiming an abrupt change from the medieval to the modern,
we might think of a gradual transition. The very fact that the Middle
Ages are so hard to define points in this direction. A tripartite
division of history into three great eras – antiquity, the Middle Ages
and modernity – has been deeply engrained in academic thought since
The perception of religious motives of warfare against non-Christian enemies in ninth-century chronicles
equally to be interpreted as religious warfare, rightly defined by himself as a war where ‘one of the major stated or implied aims of the parties involved is the protection and propagation of their faith’.
However, his five arguments are not convincing from the point of view of medievalperceptions: the fact that the Saracens are recognised and judged as non-Christians
is a precondition of a religious war, but does not testify to religious motives; the fact that
King James version.
Esther Cohen, ‘Animals in medievalperceptions: the image of the ubiquitous other’, in Aubrey
Manning and James Serpell (eds), Animals and Human Society:
Changing Perspectives (London: Routledge, 1994 ), pp. 60–1.
apostles are appropriated and reconceived by Anglo-Saxon writers (including the poet of Andreas , whose reworking of his source is considered in greater detail in the chapter by North).
Suzanne Conklin Akbari and Asa Simon Mittman’s chapter ‘Seeing Jerusalem: schematic views of the Holy City, 1100–1300’ brings us into the realm of cartography and medievalperceptions of geographical space, specifically in relation to Jerusalem. The chapter pays particular attention to the map of the city in a manuscript from twelfth-century Flanders, doing so
London, British Library MS Harley 2253 and the traffic of texts
of this development is slight. It is during this time that disparate
geographical regions in the West begin to fall into sync with each
other, Le Goff points out, building cities, founding universities,
sending soldiers on crusade, and subscribing to a set of ideals,
practices, and rites whose norms might be defined and shared in
writing: chivalry, courtesy, love, marriage, pilgrimage, feudal monarchy, and so on.56
Harley 2253 and multilingual English books like it deserve consideration in the context of this broader cultural trend because