Recognizing that a work of art is the product of a particular time and place as much as it is the creation of an individual, Duby provides a sweeping survey of the changing mentalities of the Middle Ages as reflected in the art and architecture of the period.
"If Age of the Cathedrals has a fault, it is that Professor Duby knows too much, has too many new ideas and takes such a delight in setting them out. . . insights whiz to and fro like meteorites."—John Russell, New York Times Book Review
"Here is the first full translation into English of one of the 20th century's few undoubted classics of history." —Washington Post Book World
The Autumn of the Middle Ages is Johan Huizinga's classic portrait of life, thought, and art in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France and the Netherlands. Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible will all other European-language translations.
For Huizinga, the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century marked not the birth of a dramatically new era in history—the Renaissance—but the fullest, ripest phase of medieval life and thought. However, his work was criticized both at home and in Europe for being "old-fashioned" and "too literary" when The Waning of the Middle Ages was first published in 1919. In the 1924 translation, Fritz Hopman adapted, reduced and altered the Dutch edition—softening Huizinga's passionate arguments, dulling his nuances, and eliminating theoretical passages. He dropped many passages Huizinga had quoted in their original old French. Additionally, chapters were rearranged, all references were dropped, and mistranslations were introduced.
This translation corrects such errors, recreating the second Dutch edition which represents Huizinga's thinking at its most important stage. Everything that was dropped or rearranged has been restored. Prose quotations appear in French, with translations preprinted at the bottom of the page, mistranslations have been corrected.
"The advantages of the new translation are so many. . . . It is one of the greatest, as well as one of the most enthralling, historical classics of the twentieth century, and everyone will surely want to read it in the form that was obviously intended by the author." —Francis Haskell, New York Review of Books
"A once pathbreaking piece of historical interpretation. . . . This new translation will no doubt bring Huizinga and his pioneering work back into the discussion of historical interpretation." —Rosamond McKitterick, New York Times Book Review
Looking beyond the view of the plague as unmitigated catastrophe, Herlihy finds evidence for its role in the advent of new population controls, the establishment of universities, the spread of Christianity, the dissemination of vernacular cultures, and even the rise of nationalism. This book, which displays a distinguished scholar's masterly synthesis of diverse materials, reveals that the Black Death can be considered the cornerstone of the transformation of Europe.
The Low Countries were at the heart of innovation in Europe in the fifteenth century. Throughout this period, the flourishing cultures of the Low Countries were also wrestling with time itself. The Fullness of Time explores that struggle, and the changing conceptions of temporality that it represented and embodied showing how they continue to influence historical narratives about the emergence of modernity today.
The Fullness of Time asks how the passage of time in the Low Countries was ordered by the rhythms of human action, from the musical life of a cathedral to the measurement of time by clocks and calendars, the work habits of a guildsman to the devotional practices of the laity and religious orders. Through a series of transdisciplinary case studies, it explores the multiple ways that objects, texts and music might themselves be said to engage with, imply, and unsettle time, shaping and forming the lives of the inhabitants of the fifteenth-century Low Countries. Champion reframes the ways historians have traditionally told the history of time, allowing us for the first time to understand the rich and varied interplay of temporalities in the period.
In Getting Medieval Carolyn Dinshaw examines communities—dissident and orthodox—in late-fourteenth and early-fifteenth-century England to create a new sense of queer history. Reaching beyond both medieval and queer studies, Dinshaw demonstrates in this challenging work how intellectual inquiry into pre-modern societies can contribute invaluably to current issues in cultural studies. In the process, she makes important connections between past and present cultures that until now have not been realized. In her pursuit of historical analyses that embrace the heterogeneity and indeterminacy of sex and sexuality, Dinshaw examines canonical Middle English texts such as the Canterbury Tales and TheBook of Margery Kempe. She examines polemics around the religious dissidents known as the Lollards as well as accounts of prostitutes in London to address questions of how particular sexual practices and identifications were normalized while others were proscribed. By exploring contemporary (mis)appropriations of medieval tropes in texts ranging from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction to recent Congressional debates on U.S. cultural production, Dinshaw demonstrates how such modern media can serve to reinforce constrictive heteronormative values and deny the multifarious nature of history. Finally, she works with and against the theories of Michel Foucault, Homi K. Bhabha, Roland Barthes, and John Boswell to show how deconstructionist impulses as well as historical perspectives can further an understanding of community in both pre- and postmodern societies. This long-anticipated volume will be indispensible to medieval and queer scholars and will be welcomed by a larger cultural studies audience.
Aaron Gurevich has long been considered one of the world's leading medievalists and a pioneer in the field of historical anthropology. This book brings together eleven of his most important essays—many difficult to find and some never before available in English.
Gurevich's writing, while informed by the history of mentalities as practiced by the French school of Le Goff and Duby, reflects a broader view of European culture outside France. He rejects reductionist concepts and operates with a total view of culture, using a wide range of sources—legal as well as ecclesiastical, popular as well as learned, oral and visual as well as literary.
This collection amply demonstrates this breadth of Gurevich's work and highlights his ability to synthesize historical, anthropological, and semiotic approaches to culture. Especially valuable are pieces such as Gurevich's essay Wealth and Gift-Bestowal Among the Ancient Scandinavians, about the importance of gift exchange in the medieval world. One of the first studies for this practice, this classic essay has for years been unavailable. Other pieces range from the deities and heroes of Germanic poetry to the image of the Beyond in the Middle Ages.
Few events in the history of Spain have provoked as much controversy as the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. Conflicts within the Catholic Church, suspicions within the newly unified Spain, and the claims of Spanish merchants combined to make the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella intolerant and inquisitorial. Yet the roots of Spanish anti-Semitism went deeper. In this concise survey of the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews, Joseph Pérez studies the evolution of the Jewish community in Spain from the time of the Visigoths to the reign of the Catholic kings. He explores the Jewish community’s role in creating and sustaining the vibrant cultural, political, and economic world of medieval Spain, and how growing religious intolerance, a pervasive resentment of the “others,” and a string of escalating encroachments culminated in expulsion.
In Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam, Jacob Lassner examines the triangular relationship that during the Middle Ages defined—and continues to define today—the political and cultural interaction among the three Abrahamic faiths. Lassner looks closely at the debates occasioned by modern Western scholarship on Islam to throw new light on the social and political status of medieval Jews and Christians in various Islamic lands from the seventh to the thirteenth century. Utilizing a vast array of primary sources, Lassner balances the rhetoric of literary and legal texts from the Middle Ages with other, newly discovered medieval sources that describe life as it was actually lived among the three faith communities. Lassner shows just what medieval Muslims meant when they spoke of tolerance, and how that abstract concept played out at different times and places in the real world of Christian and Jewish communities under Islamic rule. Finally, he considers what a more informed picture of the relationship among the Abrahamic faiths in the medieval Islamic world might mean for modern scholarship on medieval Islamic civilization and, not the least, for the highly contentious global environment of today.
This collection of essays argues that any valid theory of the modern should—indeed must—reckon with the medieval. Offering a much-needed correction to theorists such as Hans Blumenberg, who in his Legitimacy of the Modern Age describes the "modern age" as a complete departure from the Middle Ages, these essays forcefully show that thinkers from Adorno to Žižek have repeatedly drawn from medieval sources to theorize modernity. To forget the medieval, or to discount its continued effect on contemporary thought, is to neglect the responsibilities of periodization.
In The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages, modernists and medievalists, as well as scholars specializing in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century comparative literature, offer a new history of theory and philosophy through essays on secularization and periodization, Marx’s (medieval) theory of commodity fetishism, Heidegger’s scholasticism, and Adorno’s nominalist aesthetics. One essay illustrates the workings of medieval mysticism in the writing of Freud’s most famous patient, Daniel Paul Schreber, author of Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903). Another looks at Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire, a theoretical synthesis whose conscientious medievalism was the subject of much polemic in the post-9/11 era, a time in which premodernity itself was perceived as a threat to western values. The collection concludes with an afterword by Fredric Jameson, a theorist of postmodernism who has engaged with the medieval throughout his career.
Contributors: Charles D. Blanton, Andrew Cole, Kathleen Davis, Michael Hardt, Bruce Holsinger, Fredric Jameson, Ethan Knapp, Erin Labbie, Jed Rasula, D. Vance Smith, Michael Uebel
Lust for Liberty
Samuel Kline COHN Harvard University Press, 2006 Library of Congress HN373.C73 2006 | Dewey Decimal 303.640940902
Lust for Liberty challenges long-standing views of popular medieval revolts. Comparing rebellions in northern and southern Europe over two centuries, Samuel Cohn analyzes their causes and forms, their leadership, the role of women, and the suppression or success of these revolts.
Popular revolts were remarkably common--not the last resort of desperate people. Leaders were largely workers, artisans, and peasants. Over 90 percent of the uprisings pitted ordinary people against the state and were fought over political rights--regarding citizenship, governmental offices, the barriers of ancient hierarchies--rather than rents, food prices, or working conditions. After the Black Death, the connection of the word "liberty" with revolts increased fivefold, and its meaning became more closely tied with notions of equality instead of privilege.
The book offers a new interpretation of the Black Death and the increase of and change in popular revolt from the mid-1350s to the early fifteenth century. Instead of structural explanations based on economic, demographic, and political models, this book turns to the actors themselves--peasants, artisans, and bourgeois--finding that the plagues wrought a new urgency for social and political change and a new self- and class-confidence in the efficacy of collective action.
Edited by Jacques Le Goff University of Chicago Press, 1990 Library of Congress CB351.U5913 1990 | Dewey Decimal 909.07
These essays by eleven internationally renowned historians present nuanced profiles of the major social and professional groups—the callings-of the Middle Ages.
The contributors focus on attitudes of medieval men and women toward their own society. Through a variety of techniques, from a reading of the Song of Roland to a reading of administrative records, they identify characteristic viewpoints of members of the fighting class, the clergy, and the peasantry. Along with vivid descriptions of what life was like for warrior knights, monks, high churchmen, criminals, lepers, shepherds, and prostitutes, this innovative approach offers a valuable new perspective on the complex social dynamics of feudal Europe.
"Very useful discussions of texts, both learned and literary."—Christopher Dyer, Times Literary Supplement
Contributors: Mariateresa Fumagalli Beonio Brocchieri, Franco Cardini, Enrico Castelnuovo, Giovanni Cherubini, Bronislaw Geremek, Aron Ja. Gurevich, Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Jacques Le Goff, Giovanni Miccoli, Jacques Rossiaud, and André Vauchez.
Medieval Cityscapes Today
Catherine A. M. Clarke Arc Humanities Press, 2019 Library of Congress D134.C59 2019 | Dewey Decimal 307.760902
This book explores medieval cityscapes within the modern urban environment, using place as a catalyst to forge connections between past and present, and investigating timely questions concerning theoretical approaches to medieval urban heritage, as well as the presentation and interpretation of that heritage for public audiences. Written by a specialist in literary and cultural history with substantial experience of multi-disciplinary research into medieval towns, <i>Medieval Cityscapes Today</i> teases out stories and strata of meaning from the urban landscape, bringing techniques of close reading to the material fabric of the city, as well as textual artefacts associated with it.
K. P. Harrington's Mediaeval Latin, the standard medieval Latin anthology used in the United States since its initial publication in 1925, has now been completely revised and updated for today's students and teachers by Joseph Pucci. This new edition of the classic anthology retains its breadth of coverage, but increases its depth by adding fourteen new selections, doubling the coverage of women writers, and expanding a quarter of the original selections. The new edition also includes a substantive grammatical introduction by Alison Goddard Elliott.
To help place the selections within their wider historical, social, and political contexts, Pucci has written extensive introductory essays for each of the new edition's five parts. Headnotes to individual selections have been recast as interpretive essays, and the original bibliographic paragraphs have been expanded. Reprinted from the best modern editions, the selections have been extensively glossed with grammatical notes geared toward students of classical Latin who may be reading medieval Latin for the first time.
Includes thirty-two full-page plates (with accompanying captions) depicting medieval manuscript and book production.
In Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics, and Artists, medieval historian Arno Borst offers at once an imaginatively narrated tour of medieval society. Issues of language, power, and cultural change come to life as he examines how knights, witches and heretics, monks and kings, women poets, and disputatious university professors existed in the medieval world.
Clearly interested in the forms of medieval behavior which gave rise to the seeds of modern society, Borst focuses on three in particular that gave momentum to medieval religious, social, and intellectual movements: the barbaric, heretical, and artistic. Borst concludes by reflecting on his own life as a scholar and draws out lessons for us from the turbulence of the Middle Ages.
Medievalism: A Manifesto
Richard Utz Arc Humanities Press, 2017 Library of Congress CB351.U84 2017 | Dewey Decimal 909.07
This book is called a manifesto because it has an unapologetically political objective. Richard Utz wants to help reform the way we think about and practise our academic engagement with medieval culture, and he uses his own observations as a medievalist and medievalism-ist over the last twenty-five years to offer ways in which we might reconnect with the general public that has allowed us to become, since the late nineteenth century, a rather exclusive clan of specialists who communicate mostly with each other.The traditional academic study of the Middle Ages, after more than a century of growing and plateauing, is now on the decline. While, at least over the next five to ten years, we will still be basking in the reassuring proximity (at conferences) of thousands of others who are involved in what we do ourselves, there is a manifest discrepancy between the large number of students who request that we address their love of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and medieval-themed video and computer games, and the decreasing number of actual medievalists hired to replace retiring colleagues. We should pursue more lasting partnerships with so-called amateurs and enthusiasts for the sake of a sustainable future engagement with medieval culture. Richard Utz suggests some ways we might do this, and looks forward to “a more truly co-disciplinary, inclusive, democratic, and humanistic engagement with what we call, for better or worse, the Middle Ages”.
The Middle Ages
Johannes Fried Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress D117.F8513 2015 | Dewey Decimal 909.07
Johannes Fried gives us a Middle Ages full of people encountering the unfamiliar, grappling with new ideas, redefining power, and interacting with different societies—an era characterized by continuities and discontinuities, the vibrant expansion of knowledge, and an understanding of the growing complexity of the world.
"This is the third edition of a near standard survey of the intellectual life of the age of faith. Artz on the arts, as on philosophy, politics and other aspects of culture, makes lively and informative reading."—The Washington Post
In 1462 Pope Pius II performed the only reverse canonization in history, damning a living man to an afterlife of torment. What had Sigismondo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini and a patron of the arts, done to merit this fate? Anthony D’Elia shows how the recovery of classical literature and art during the Italian Renaissance led to a revival of paganism.
The culture of the Middle Ages was as complex, if not as various, as our own, as the essays in this volume ably demonstrate. The essays cover a wide range of tipics, from church sculpture as "advertisement" to tricks and illusions as "homeeconomics."
This volume--a collection of essays dedicated to one of this century's most distinguished medieval historians, David Herlihy--introduces the general reader to the new social history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The essays address three themes: sex and the family, power and patronage in local history, and society in town and countryside. The authors use current research to illustrate how Herlihy's ideas continue to shape work about the lives of powerful and ordinary people in this long and important period of Western history.
Portraits of Medieval and Renaissance Living opens with Herlihy's final summary of his views on family history, followed by a reminiscence by his most important collaborator, Christiane Klapisch-Zuber. The first group of essays takes us inside specific familial settings, using recent methods in anthropological, legal, and women's studies to uncover new dimensions of medieval and Renaissance family life. A second group of studies focuses on the question of authority in medieval society and advances new theses about politics and society in Florence and other local settings. The final group of authors considers the special circumstances of town and countryside in Italy, England, and Spain and draws insightful generalizations across territorial and national boundaries.
Like Herlihy's own work, these essays present innovative and challenging hypotheses about significant problems in the history of medieval and Renaissance Europe. Important new material on Florence, family history, religion, the Inquisition, and taxation is presented for the first time, but the essays are not simply technical exercises focused on small or isolated pieces of research. Thus the volume will go beyond the interest of specialists in medieval and Renaissance social history and will attract a wide audience of students and scholars.
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., is Professor of History, Brandeis University. Steven Epstein is Professor of History, University of Colorado.
Of the major figures in medieval studies, there are few whose influence is greater and for whom admiration is more widespread than Friedrich Ohly (1914-96). This book represents the long-awaited English-language edition of Ohly's most important writings.
Drawn from the entire career of this great medievalist, who, more clearly and in greater detail than anyone before him, articulated the singularly allegorical mentality of the Middle Ages, the essays in this collection show the tendency of medieval thinkers and writers to see nature as a diaphanous screen held against God's sacred mysteries, simultaneously illuminating and obscuring. Ohly's work on the hermeneutics of word and image, meanwhile, traces the way his thinking opened philology to new possibilities through the dual interpretation of textual and visual media.
Including penetrating essays on poetic inspiration, the nature of beauty, sacred and profane exegesis, history as typology, and art as both object and text, this volume will be of enormous value to scholars of comparative literature, the history of art, and religion during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Shock of Medievalism
Kathleen Biddick Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress CB353.B5 1998 | Dewey Decimal 909.07
In The Shock of Medievalism Kathleen Biddick explores the nineteenth-century foundations of medieval studies as an academic discipline as well as certain unexamined contemporary consequences of these origins. By pairing debates over current academic trends and issues with innovative readings of medieval texts, Biddick exposes the presuppositions of the field of medieval studies and significantly shifts the objects of its historical inquiry. Biddick describes how the discipline of medieval studies was defined by a process of isolation and exclusion—a process that not only ignored significant political and cultural issues of the nineteenth century but also removed the period from the forces of history itself. Wanting to separate themselves from popular studies of medieval culture, and valuing their own studies as scientific, nineteenth-century academics created an exclusive discipline whose structure is consistently practiced today, despite the denials of most contemporary medieval scholars. Biddick supports her argument by discussing the unavowed melancholy that medieval Christians felt for Jews and by revealing the unintentional irony of nineteenth-century medievalists’ fabrication of sentimental objects of longing (such as the “gothic peasant”). The subsequent historical distortions of this century-old sentimentality, the relevance of worker dislocation during the industrial revolution, and other topics lead to a conclusion in which Biddick considers the impact of an array of factors on current medieval studies. Simultaneously displacing disciplinary stereotypes and altering an angle of historical inquiry, The Shock of Medievalism challenges accepted thinking even as it produces a new direction for medieval studies. This book will provoke scholars in this field and appeal to readers who are interested in how historicizing processes can affect the development of academic disciplines.
When Marsellus in the film PulpFiction asserts, "I'm gonna git medieval on your ass," we know that he is about to bring down a fierce and exacting punishment. Yet is the violence of the Middle Ages that far removed from our modern society? Suspended Animation argues that not only is the stereotype of uncontrolled violence in the Middle Ages historically misleading, the gulf between modern society and the medieval era is not as immense as we might think. In fact, both medievals and moderns live within a social tension of "suspended animation" engendered by images and acts of violence.
Just as in medieval times, Robert Mills argues, it is the threat of violence—not the reality—that continues to structure our lives. To illustrate this "aesthetics of suspense," Mills draws on extensive and disturbing examples from medieval iconography, contemporary philosophy, and even pornography, ranging from the vivid depictions of Hell in Tuscan frescoes to Billie Holiday's famously wrenching song "Strange Fruit". Mills reveals how these uncomfortable images and texts expose a modern self-deception, and he further explores how medieval images evoked a pleasure revealingly close to that found in modern depictions of sexuality. Suspended Animation also makes a fresh contribution to theoretical debates on pre-modern gender and sexuality. Mills's comprehensive analysis demonstrates that—as wartime prisoner abuse incidents at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay have recently indicated—our notions of ourselves as not-medieval (that is, civilized) not only fail to prepare us for modern torture and warfare but also lead us into complicity with self-proclaimed moral and civic leaders.
Whether considering a medieval painting of a Christian martyr or the immense popularity of grotesque historical tourist attractions such as the London Dungeons, Suspended Animation argues that images of death and violence are as pervasive today as they were in the Middle Ages, serving as potent reminders of the link between the modern and the medieval era.
Jacques Le Goff is a prominent figure in the tradition of French medieval scholarship, profoundly influenced by the Annales school, notably, Bloch, Febvre, and Braudel, and by the ethnographers and anthropologists Mauss, Dumézil, and Lévi-Strauss. In building his argument for "another Middle Ages" (un autre moyen âge), Le Goff documents the emergence of the collective mentalité from many sources with scholarship both imaginative and exact.
In the medieval period, as in the media culture of the present, learned and popular forms of talk were intermingled everywhere. They were also highly mobile, circulating in speech, writing, and symbol, as performances as well as in material objects. The communication through and between different media we all negotiate in daily life did not develop from a previous separation of orality and writing, but from a communications network not unlike our own, if slower, and similarly shaped by disparities of access. Truth and Tales: Cultural Mobility and Medieval Media, edited by Fiona Somerset and Nicholas Watson, develops a variety of approaches to the labor of imaginatively reconstructing this network from its extant artifacts.
Truth and Tales includes fourteen essays by medieval literary scholars and historians. Some essays focus on written artifacts that convey high or popular learning in unexpected ways. Others address a social problem of concern to all, demonstrating the genres and media through which it was negotiated. Still others are centered on one or more texts, detailing their investments in popular as well as learned knowledge, in performance as well as writing. This collective archaeology of medieval media provides fresh insight for medieval scholars and media theorists alike.
Why did capitalism and colonialism arise in Europe and not elsewhere? Why were parliamentarian and democratic forms of government founded there? What factors led to Europe’s unique position in shaping the world? Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Why Europe? tackles these classic questions with illuminating results.
Michael Mitterauer traces the roots of Europe’s singularity to the medieval era, specifically to developments in agriculture. While most historians have located the beginning of Europe’s special path in the rise of state power in the modern era, Mitterauer establishes its origins in rye and oats. These new crops played a decisive role in remaking the European family, he contends, spurring the rise of individualism and softening the constraints of patriarchy. Mitterauer reaches these conclusions by comparing Europe with other cultures, especially China and the Islamic world, while surveying the most important characteristics of European society as they took shape from the decline of the Roman empire to the invention of the printing press. Along the way, Why Europe? offers up a dazzling series of novel hypotheses to explain the unique evolution of European culture.