Matching Items (16)

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The Persecuting Society: Church, Crown, and Jewish Moneylending

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The following text is a re-evaluation of Robert Moore's persecuting society thesis in light of recent criticism. The Persecuting Society asserts that the fundamental condition of Jewish persecution in the 13th century was law and order. In other words, persecution

The following text is a re-evaluation of Robert Moore's persecuting society thesis in light of recent criticism. The Persecuting Society asserts that the fundamental condition of Jewish persecution in the 13th century was law and order. In other words, persecution had become an institutionalized phenomenon through which medieval Christians--particularly, the English and French monarchies--segregated, both geographically and ideologically, Jews in England and France. The character of such persecution was primarily economic, but based in religious roots. The paper thus also discusses the role of the Church in establishing and justifying social and economic controls against Jews within the English and French persecutional state apparatuses. The text affirms Moore's persecuting society thesis on two accounts: First, that the English and French crowns developed institutions which marginalized and persecuted Jews; secondly, that functionaries of the Church, particularly ecclesiastic functionaries and later popes of the 13th century, did so as well.

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2014-05

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The form, aspect, and definition of Anglo-Saxon identity: a study of medieval British words, deeds, and things

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In this dissertation I argue that medieval peoples used a different style of identity from those applied to them by later scholarship and question the relevance of applying modern terms for identity groups (e.g., ethnicity or nationality) to the description

In this dissertation I argue that medieval peoples used a different style of identity from those applied to them by later scholarship and question the relevance of applying modern terms for identity groups (e.g., ethnicity or nationality) to the description of medieval social units. I propose we think of identity as a social construct comprised of three articulating facets, which I call: form, aspect, and definition. The form of identity is its manifestation in behavior and symbolic markers; its aspect is the perception of these forms by people; and its definition is the combination of these perceptions into a social category. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, I examine each facet individually before synthesizing the results. I study the form of identity through an analysis of styles in material culture using a consensus analysis to determine how well objects decorated with the same motif do communicating a shared idea to members of a social group. I explore the aspect of identity through a whole-corpus linguistics approach to Old English, in which I study the co-occurrence of words for "a people" and other semantic fields to refine our understanding of Old English perceptions of social identity. Finally, I investigate the definition of identity by comparing narrations of identity in Old English verse and prose in order to see how authors were able to use vocabulary and imagery to describe the identity of their subjects. In my conclusion I demonstrate that the people of Medieval England had a concept of identity based on the metaphor of a village meeting or a feast, in which smaller, innate groups were thought to aggregate into new heterogeneous wholes. The nature and scale of these groups changed over the course of the Anglo-Saxon period but some of the names used to refer to these units remained constant. Thus, I suggest scholars need to apply a culturally relevant concept of identity when describing the people who lived in Medieval Britain, one that might not match contemporary models, and be cognizant of the fact that medieval groups were not the same as their modern descendants.

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Date Created
2013

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Scratches in the Scrovegni Chapel and inscriptions in Issogne Castle: conversations in post-medieval graffiti

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Graffiti at the Arena Chapel and Issogne Castle engage in conversation with the frescoes and the functions of the spaces. These marks produce discussions of cultural issues. The graffiti found in the chapel and castle can be considered ritual and

Graffiti at the Arena Chapel and Issogne Castle engage in conversation with the frescoes and the functions of the spaces. These marks produce discussions of cultural issues. The graffiti found in the chapel and castle can be considered ritual and performative acts, visually documenting conversations among diverse audiences in the late medieval and early modern periods. Scholars of the Arena Chapel frescoes have studied the intricate painted iconography. Adding graffiti to the analysis of the chapel allows for a different interpretation of one of the most famous fresco programs. Abundant marks appear on figures in the scene of Hell in the Last Judgment, and are analyzed in terms of the medieval concepts of optics and sight, as well as in respect to class. At Issogne Castle, visitors inscribed graffiti on figures and scenes to represent their responses to key social issues. These included questions of class and occupation, along with political and religious concerns. Contextualizing graffiti in this way enables contemporary scholars to uncover a more complex and subtle understanding of the conversations on the wall in the late medieval and early modern periods through case studies of two monuments of art history.

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2012

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Writing Christina at St Albans: a literary history

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Christina of Markyate, a twelfth-century visionary and prioress, has been frequently seen in scholarship as an outsider at her home institution of St Albans, enduring solely under the protection of its abbot, Geoffrey, her spiritual friend and confidant. This characterization

Christina of Markyate, a twelfth-century visionary and prioress, has been frequently seen in scholarship as an outsider at her home institution of St Albans, enduring solely under the protection of its abbot, Geoffrey, her spiritual friend and confidant. This characterization appears incorrect when The Life of Christina of Markyate, St Albans' record of Christina's personal history and religious career, is viewed in its original literary environment. The high volume of extant material from twelfth-century St Albans makes it possible to view Christina's depiction in several original ways: as a textual construction (at least in part) influenced by Bede's narratives of holy women in his widely read Ecclesiastical History; as a portrayal of contemporary devotional prayer in the style of Anselm of Canterbury, a major authority on devotional practices of the time; and as a prominent addition to St Albans' own liturgy, the record of its celebrated saints and local patrons, as an object of devotion herself. The strategy of Christina's endorsement in her Life is also notably different from strategies on display in St Albans materials related to Katherine of Alexandria, an important saint for Abbot Geoffrey, which further suggests he was not her sole promoter at the abbey, if he was involved in the process of her textual production at all. Finally, the historical fact that she was employed as a patron of St Albans before none other than Pope Adrian IV, to whom St Albans was appealing for numerous institutional benefits at the time, shows that the prevailing opinion of Christina at the abbey can not have been entirely negative. Placing the Life within the literary and cultural circumstances of its production thus provides a fresh reading of Christina's institutional and devotional roles at St Albans, medieval views of women's spirituality and its place within the western European Christian tradition, and the compositional process of a major work of medieval hagiographical literature.

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2012

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Negation particles and historical linguistics: what part of "not" do you not understand?

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ABSTRACT There are many parts of speech and morphological items in a linguistic lexicon that may be optional in order to have a cohesive language with a complete range of expression. Negation is not one of them. Negation appears to

ABSTRACT There are many parts of speech and morphological items in a linguistic lexicon that may be optional in order to have a cohesive language with a complete range of expression. Negation is not one of them. Negation appears to be absolutely essential from a linguistic (and indeed, a psychological) point of view within any human language. Humans need to be able to say in some fashion "No" and to express our not doing things in various ways. During the discussions that appear in this thesis, I expound upon the historical changes that can be seen within three different language branches - North Germanic (with Gothic, Old Saxon, Old Norse, Swedish, and Icelandic), West Germanic (with English), and Celtic (with Welsh) - focusing on negation particles in particular and their position within these languages. I also examine how each of these chosen languages has seen negation shift over time in relation to Jespersen's negation cycle. Finally, I compare and contrast the results I see from these languages, demonstrating that they all three do follow a distinct negation cycle. I also explain how these three negation cycles are chronologically not in sync with one another and obviously all changed at different rates. This appears to be the case even within the different branches of the Germanic family.

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2014

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Childbirth and midwifery in the religious rhetoric of England, 1300-1450

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This dissertation focuses on the connections between childbirth and spirituality in fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century England. It argues that scholastic interest in conception and procreation led to a proliferation of texts mentioning obstetrics and gynecology, and that this attention to

This dissertation focuses on the connections between childbirth and spirituality in fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century England. It argues that scholastic interest in conception and procreation led to a proliferation of texts mentioning obstetrics and gynecology, and that this attention to women's medicine and birth spread from the universities to the laity. This dissertation contends that there is interdependence between spiritual and physical health in late medieval English religious culture, correlated with and perhaps caused by an increasing fascination with materialism and women's bodies in religious practices and rhetoric. The first chapter provides an analysis of birth in medical and pastoral texts. Pastoral works were heavily influenced by the ecclesiastical emphasis on baptism, as well as by scholastic medicine's simultaneous disdain for and reluctant integration of folk medicine. The second chapter examines birth descriptions in narratives of saints' miracles and collections of exempla; these representations of childbirth were used in religious rhetoric to teach, motivate, and dissuade audiences. The third chapter turns to the cycle play representations of the nativity as depicting the mysteries of human generation and divine incarnation for public consumption. The fourth chapter analyzes the abstract uses of childbirth in visionary and other religious texts, especially in descriptions of spiritual rebirth and the development of vice and virtue in individuals or institutions. By identifying their roles as analogous with the roles of midwives, visionaries authorized themselves as spiritual caretakers, vital for communal health and necessary for collective spiritual growth. These chapters outline a trajectory of increasing male access to the birthing chamber through textual descriptions and prescriptions about birth and midwifery. At the same time, religious texts acknowledged, sought to regulate, and sometimes even utilized the potential authority of mothers and midwives as physical and spiritual caretakers.

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Date Created
2014

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The unwelcomed traveler: England's Black Death and Hopi's smallpox

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This dissertation analyzes the fourteenth-century English and nineteenth-century Hopi experiences with the unwelcomed traveler of disease, specifically the Black Death and the smallpox outbreak of 1898-1899. By placing both peoples and events beside one another, it becomes possible to

This dissertation analyzes the fourteenth-century English and nineteenth-century Hopi experiences with the unwelcomed traveler of disease, specifically the Black Death and the smallpox outbreak of 1898-1899. By placing both peoples and events beside one another, it becomes possible to move past the death toll inflected by disease and see the role of diseases as a catalyst of historical change. Furthermore, this study places the Hopi experience with smallpox, and disease in general, in context with the human story of disease. The central methodical approach is ethnohistory, using firsthand accounts to reconstruct the cultural frameworks of the Hopi and the English. In analyzing the English and Hopi experiences this study uses the Medicine Way approach of three dimensions. Placing the first dimension approach (the English and the bubonic plague) alongside the third dimension approach (the Hopi and smallpox) demonstrates, not only the common ground of both approaches (second dimension), but the commonalities in the interactions of humans and disease. As my dissertation demonstrates, culture provides the framework, a system for living, for how individuals will interpret and react to events and experiences. This framework provides a means, a measure, to identify and strive for normalcy. There is a universal human drive to restore normalcy after one's world turns upside down, and in seeking to restore what was lost, society undergoes transformation. Disease creates opportunity for change and for balance to be restored. This study concludes disease is a catalyst of change because of how humans respond to it.

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Date Created
2014

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Same-soul desire in late Medieval England

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In this study, I explore to what extent an erotic orientation toward others’ spiritual characteristics, specifically with regard to “clean” souls, was strongly idealized in at least two medieval English locales, the central Midlands and the North Riding of Yorkshire.

In this study, I explore to what extent an erotic orientation toward others’ spiritual characteristics, specifically with regard to “clean” souls, was strongly idealized in at least two medieval English locales, the central Midlands and the North Riding of Yorkshire. Where a hetero-genital orientation was pervasively considered proper with regard to erotic attraction then as today, I propose that, additionally, a desire to associate on a spiritual level with not only those of the same religion but also of like spiritual purity governed desire. As I will argue, this orientation to a spiritual sameness stemmed from a meme of preferred association in life with other Christians with clean souls. I refer to this desire for association with Christian sameness as a homo-spiritual orientation. As I will argue, this homospirituality was the primary basis of erotic desire portrayed and prescribed in the evidence considered in this study. In sum, I argue that fifteenth-century English ways of knowing and feeling desire, reflected in models of desire in romance poetry in these two locales, evidences an erotic orientation based on homospiritual lines of attraction. Moreover, in each area, the models of lay homospiritual erotics were preceded by and coincided with religious writings on the subject that contributed to an overall intellectual current.

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Date Created
2017

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Interdisciplinary Approaches to Forensic Linguistic Analysis and Medieval Manuscript Studies: Developing a Working Framework for Research

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The field of forensic linguistics has burgeoned in the past several decades within a current-day framework of language use, ranging from dialectal analysis to legal language analysis in court cases, to trademark and authorship disputes, and more. When it comes

The field of forensic linguistics has burgeoned in the past several decades within a current-day framework of language use, ranging from dialectal analysis to legal language analysis in court cases, to trademark and authorship disputes, and more. When it comes to utilizing forensic linguistics techniques within a historical framework, however, there is still a great deal of research and work to be done. There is a gap in historical research that needs to be filled, to create a more cohesive whole when examining the past for understanding. Pioneers in historical authorship analysis are now using forensic linguistic methods more frequently in their manuscript analyses and research, and the results of those studies indicate that some linguistic variables can be statistically measured with a relative degree of accuracy for historical documents. What is needed now is a forensic analysis which also comprehensively accounts for the challenges regarding various cultures’ definitions of ‘author’ and ‘authorship’ and translation methods in different time periods. For medieval manuscripts, these analyses must also consider the manuscript culture inherent in that time period. In this dissertation, I discuss the rift apparent in the framework of understanding where forensic linguistic analysis and manuscript analysis are not fully meeting in the middle. I address the need for a general methodology that allows academics in both disciplines to work together in finding variables for forensic testing which include the needs of the manuscript culture behind it, so that future research can more fully enrich the understanding of medieval history as a whole.
During that discussion, I analyze several completed authorship analyses surrounding the tenth century Old English gloss of the Lindisfarne Gospels, examining the methods utilized by each researcher in accomplishing their chosen research goal. Then, I focus on developing a generalized methodology which can provide a framework for handling unique, individual analyses of medieval manuscripts which have questionable authorship attribution. This framework will help to create a more solid foundation for providing more accurate and effective data for historical authorship cases.

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Date Created
2021

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Illuminating the medieval hunt: power and performance in Gaston Fébus' Le livre de chasse

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Vivid illuminations of the aristocratic hunt decorate Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS. fr. 616, an early fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript of Le livre de chasse composed by Gaston Fébus, Count of Foix and Viscount of Béarn (1331-1391 C.E.), in 1389. Gilded

Vivid illuminations of the aristocratic hunt decorate Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS. fr. 616, an early fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript of Le livre de chasse composed by Gaston Fébus, Count of Foix and Viscount of Béarn (1331-1391 C.E.), in 1389. Gilded miniatures visualize the medieval park, an artificial landscape designed to facilitate the ideal noble chase, depicting the various methods to pursue, capture, and kill the prey within as well as the ritual dismemberment of animals. Medieval nobles participated in the social performance of the hunt to demonstrate their inclusion in the collective identity of the aristocracy. The text and illuminations of Le livre de chasse contributed to the codification of the medieval noble hunt and became integral to the formation of cultural memory which served as the foundation for the establishment of the aristocracy as different from other parts of society in the Middle Ages. This study contributes new information through examination of previously ignored sources as well as new analysis through application of critical theoretical frameworks to interpret the manuscript as a meaning-making object within the visual culture of the Middle Ages and analysis of the illuminations reveals the complexities surrounding one of the most important acts of performance for the medieval elite.

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Date Created
2017