Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Latest Medieval Journals

Here are the list of medieval articles from recent journal issues:

Art History - Volume 32 Issue 2 (April 2009)

Regarding the Spectators of the Bayeux Tapestry: Bishop Odo and his Circle,
by T. A. Heslop
Abstract: The entourage of Bishop Odo of Bayeux contained successful entrepreneurs and talented scholars. There was much to interest both groups in the Bayeux Tapestry which he commissioned. The Norman invasion of England is shown as a major logistical exercise for which the principal model was Caesar's invasion of 54 bce. Like the Romans, the Normans became successful colonists and farmed the land. The Tapestry also has epic qualities, recalling the poetic 'histories' of antiquity, especially Virgil's Aeneid, which provides parallels for episodes and incidents in the Tapestry also found in the written accounts of the Norman invasion. The rhetorical nature of history itself, ideally vivid, allusive and yet truthful, was receiving critical scrutiny at the time as part of a self-conscious revival of classical narrative styles.

Early Medieval Europe - Volume 17 Issue 2 (May 2009)

The magic of early medieval ritual
by Christina Pössel
Abstract: Whether, and how, we ought to study early medieval rituals has been much debated recently, including in the pages of this journal by Geoffrey Koziol and Philippe Buc. This paper is intended as a contribution to this debate, and argues that rituals' written or spoken interpretations are not a simple rendering of the ritualized actions' 'meanings' in words and must therefore be analysed separately, not conflated with the possible effects of performance. Ritualized acts thus had two loci: the short-term experience of the embodied performance, and the long-term struggle over interpretation in speech and writing, both of which need to be explored with appropriate methodologies. Whilst the textuality of our sources thus needs to be taken seriously, it is proposed that we can also say something about the possible or even probable characteristics of early medieval ritualized acts as the medium of bodily postures and gestures used for demonstrative public interations between power holders.

The Vita Columbani in Merovingian Gaul
by Alexander O'Hara
Abstract: This paper considers the evidence for the dissemination of the Vita Columbani. Using a number of seventh-century texts as well as the Vita itself, it proposes that the Vita Columbani had a wider dissemination in Merovingian Gaul than has hitherto been acknowledged. It suggests that the Vita was not merely confined to monastic and ecclesiastical circles, but was also intended for a royal and aristocratic audience closely linked to the Columbanian communities.

Bede on the Britons
by W. Trent Foley and Nicholas J. Higham
Abstract: This paper addresses the many facets of Bede's portrayal of the Britons in the Historia ecclesiastica, first by illustrating his attempts to cast the Britons generally in the role of usually villainous biblical types and then by examining his often more positive portrayal of certain Britons and British groups independently of those types. His recommendation of certain British Christians as saints to be imitated as well as his conviction that God has not abandoned them to perdition exempts him from the charge of being unqualifiedly anti-British. Nevertheless, his singular stereotyping of them among all the peoples of Britain reveals an especial virulence not easily explained by his biblically informed world-view.

The significance of the Carolingian advocate
by Charles West
Abstract: This article argues that ninth-century advocates in the Frankish world deserve more attention than they have received. Exploring some of the wealth of relevant evidence, it reviews and critiques both current historiographical approaches to the issue. Instead of considering Carolingian advocates as largely a by-product of the ecclesiastical immunity, or viewing advocacy as a Trojan horse for a subsequent establishment of lordship over monasteries, the article proposes a reading of ninth-century advocacy as intimately linked with wider Carolingian reform, particularly an interest in promoting formal judicial procedure.

The Economic History Review - Volume 62 Issue 2 (May 2009)

Villeinage in England: a regional case study, c.1250–c.1349
by Mark Bailey
Abstract: Between 1200 and 1349, villeinage was not prominent in Suffolk, and, even in those places where it was locally significant, many of its exactions were lightly enforced. The gap between the theory and practice of villeinage was maintained by custom, although this article emphasizes both the importance of regional custom and its mutability. The relative insignificance of villeinage here has two main implications: first, villeinage cannot have caused any crisis of agrarian productivity before the Black Death; and second, its subsequent dissolution cannot have been the prime mover behind the transformation of the landholding structure and the emergence of agrarian capitalism.

Historical Research - Volume 82 Issue 216 (May 2009)

The earliest Norman writs revisited
by Mark Hagger
Abstract: This article revises the view set out by David Bates in 1985 that writs were seldom used in the duchy of Normandy in the period up to 1135. It reconsiders and re-evaluates how writs, writ-charters and charters should be characterized and provides some definitions for these documents. The article then goes on to consider the method of production of writs and writ-charters in or for Normandy, and what these acts can tell us about the public structures and administration of the duchy in this period.

History: Journal of the Historical Association - Volume 94 Issue 314 (April 2009)

In the Wake of Mantzikert: The First Crusade and the Alexian Reconquest of Western Anatolia
by Jason T. Roche
Abstract: The main aims of this article are threefold. It initially seeks to address two popular misconceptions frequently found in crusade histories and general histories of the Byzantine empire concerning the Turkish invasion and settlement of western Anatolia after the battle of Mantzikert in 1071. The article maintains that blurring the distinctions between the Seljuk Turks of Ransūm and the tribes of pastoral nomads or rather transhumants who came to be known as Türkmens or Turcomans is incorrect. The oft-repeated assumption that the Seljuk Turks of Baghdad oversaw the Turkish conquest of Anatolia is addressed when tracing the unstructured nature of the Turkish migration and the subsequent lack of unity amongst the invaders. After providing the context of the Turkish settlement in western Anatolia, the article throws new light on the relative ease with which the armies of the First Crusade traversed the Anatolian plateau and Byzantine forces compelled the speedy capitulation of Turkish towns and territories along the western coastal plains and river valleys of Anatolia in 1097 and 1098 respectively.

History Compass - Volume 7 Issue 2 (March 2009)

A New Trumpet? The History of Women in Scotland 1300–1700
by Elizabeth Ewan
Abstract: In comparison to the field in many other countries, women's history in Scotland is a relatively new area of research. This is especially true for the history of late medieval and early modern women. Although some work appeared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Scottish women's history did not really develop as a field until the 1980s, with most work on women before 1700 appearing in the last two decades. Several recent studies have taken a biographical approach, but other work has drawn on the insights from research elsewhere to examine such issues as work, family, religion, crime and images of women. Scholars are also uncovering women's voices in their letters, memoirs, poetry and court records. Because of the late development of the field, much recent work has been recuperative, but increasingly the insights of gender history both in other countries and in Scottish history after 1700, are being used to frame the questions which are asked. Future work should contribute both to a reinterpretation of the current narratives of Scottish history, and also to a deepening of the complexity of the history of women in late medieval and early modern Britain and Europe.

Surveying Recent Literature on the Arabic and Persian Mirrors for Princes Genre
by L. Marlow
Abstract: The study of the medieval Arabic and Persian 'mirror for princes' literatures in many respects resembles that of the similarly abundant literatures produced in Byzantium and the Latin West. In earlier scholarship, the predominant approach was that of the history of ideas, and scholars tended to focus on depictions of the ideal ruler and other aspects of the 'political thought' expressed in the mirror literatures. A secondary area of interest concerned textual transmission within and across these literatures. More recent scholarship has continued to develop and refine these established approaches, and has also developed new directions of research. Notably, several scholars have explored the Sitz im Leben of individual mirrors, and have studied their meaning and significance in the historical settings in and for which they were composed. Certain recent publications have highlighted the flexibility of mirrors, the multiple purposes they often served, the range of perspectives represented by their authors, and the importance of authors' choices of language and genre in shaping the composition and reception of their works.

Muslim World - Volume 99 Issue 2 (April 2009)

Enacting Justice, Ensuring Salvation: The Trope of the 'Just Ruler' in Some Medieval Islamic Mirrors for Princes
by Erik Ohlander
No Abstract