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Abstract

In the context of a review of narrative strategies and topoi in saints’ lives, Hahn asserts the status of pictorial hagiography as a separate and important version of any given saint’s life and highlights aspects unique to pictorial narrative. Primary among these are the treatment of time and the potential for images to convey moral and religious “truths” that are accessible, striking and memorable, even to illiterate viewers. The example of the life of St Wandrille (as illustrated in Saint-Omer, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 764) serves to illuminate how differences between text and image demand interpretation and signify a locus of meaning. In this case, the Merovingian text life is updated to reflect concerns c.1000.

In: Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500
In: Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500

Abstract

This contribution makes suggestions for reading late antique and early medieval hagiographical texts “against the grain” by focusing on their internal structures, semantic repertoires, theological content, rhetorical strategies, reception history, réécriture and manuscript context, rather than focusing on the narrative itself and its historical veracity. On the basis of five examples (the Lives of Antony, Martin, the Jura Fathers, Pachomius and Gallus) the chapter elaborates on one way of using hagiographical texts: as narrated monastic rules and programs for monastic reform. Each example elucidates a different textual strategy to convey monastic ideals and guidelines for monastic life: by inserting prescriptive texts into narratives; by describing an exemplary monastic life; by describing conflicts and their resolution or by inscribing specific regulations of a monastic rule into the lives and deeds of a saint. Narrated monastic rules provide, as I argue, a complementary model for establishing monastic discipline: by imitation and example rather than norm, prescription and sanction.

In: Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500

Abstract

The Latin authors of ninth-century Umayyad Córdoba Eulogius, Albarus, and Samson are known for their opposition to acculturation, Arabic learning, and, in the case of Eulogius and Albarus, their defense of the martyrs’ movement of the 850s. One generation later, the first known Christian-Arabic theologian of Hispanic origin appears, Ḥafṣ b. Albar. His adoption of Islamized Arabic has traditionally represented an ideological break from the previous generation of Christian intellectuals in Córdoba. This article questions this discontinuity through analysis of Samson’s Apologeticus contra perfidos (864 CE) and Ḥafṣ’s extant work. The article argues that the Apologeticus engages kalām and proves relevant for its Islamic context. Further, the article argues that Ḥafṣ’s work continues the project laid out by Samson, though with a more polemical eye towards Islam.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

This article seeks to shed light on attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in the Kingdom of Naples during the early fourteenth century by examining references to non-Christians in the quodlibets, disputed questions, and sermons of the Dominican theologian John of Naples (Giovanni Regina, d. ca. 1348). John’s patron, King Robert of Naples (r. 1309–1343) has traditionally been portrayed as a more tolerant monarch than his predecessor Charles II, and John’s views seem to accord well with Robert’s: he does not advocate conversion, but rather allows Jews and Muslims a limited place within Christian society. Treating topics as diverse as biblical exegesis, blasphemy, sorcery, slavery, mercenaries, and medical ethics, John’s writings on Jews and Muslims were inspired both by traditional scholastic questions and contemporary events. While his views on non-Christians are far from positive, John stops short of disseminating the more virulent polemics of his time.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

In the south gallery of the cloister of the Cathedral of Santa María, Girona, we find one capital that is differentiated from the rest because of its formal as well as its iconographic characteristics. The four faces of capital no. 4 contain two repeated and two alternating motifs: the archer on horseback and the lion attacking a bull. Both the dress of these horsemen and their physical traits identify them as Muslim horsemen. This identification creates an interpretive context for the capital as a whole that also conditions the reading of the conquering lion. Both images will be examined within their constructive context in the light of events and legends that surrounded the cathedral of Girona in the twelfth century. Moreover, we will trace the origin of these motifs that have their parallels in ivories of the art of the caliphal and taifa periods as well as in Catalan Romanesque and Sicilian-Norman art. This overview will enable us to interpret the meaning and significance of the capital in its historical-artistic context and enrich our knowledge of the artistic transfers between Andalusian and Romanesque art.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

The Indiculus Luminosus has been discussed for its polemical depiction of Muḥammad, its author’s lament over the loss of Latinity in Umayyad Córdoba, or its relation to the so-called Córdoban Martyrs of the 850s. None of these, however, comprehends the purpose of the work as a whole. A layman, Paulus Alvarus, wrote the Indiculus in 854 CE to galvanize the Córdoban Christian elites to oppose Islam through public preaching and affirmation of their Christian identity without compromise. Asserting prophetic authority and appropriating ecclesiastical modes of discourse to engage and influence the elites of an early medieval society, Alvarus’s Indiculus provides a crucial, if idiosyncratic, witness to a time of profound cultural and religious change.

In: Medieval Encounters
Editor: Jane Beal
In Illuminating Jesus in the Middle Ages, editor Jane Beal and other scholars analyse the reception history of images and ideas about Jesus in medieval cultures (6th–15th c.). They consider representations of Jesus in the liturgy of the medieval church, Psalters and psalm commentaries, bestiaries, the Glossa ordinaria, and Middle English vitae Christi as well as among the English, the Irish, and Europeans, adherents to the cult of the Holy Name, participants in the Feast of Corpus Christi, and medieval contemplatives, including Bede, Theophylact of Ochrid, Saint Francis, Gertrude the Great, Dante, Julian of Norwich, and medieval English and European visionaries, among others.

Contributors are Jane Beal, George Hardin Brown, Aaron Canty, Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, Thomas Cattoi, Andrew Galloway, Julia Bolton Holloway, Michael Kuczynski, Rob Lutton, Vittorio Montemaggi, Paul Patterson, Linda Stone, Lesley Sullivan Marcantonio, Larry Swain, Donna Trembinski, Nancy van Deusen, and Barbara Zimbalist.
Theology, Travel, and Territoriality
In The Holy Land in Observant Franciscan Texts (c. 1480–1650) Marianne Ritsema van Eck analyses the development of the complex Observant Franciscan engagement with the Holy Land during the early modern period. During these eventful centuries friars of the Franciscan establishment in Jerusalem increasingly sought to cultivate strong ideological ties between themselves and the Holy Land, participating actively in contemporary literatures of geographia sacra and Levantine pilgrimage and travel. It becomes clear how the friars constructed a collective memory using the ideological canon of their order – featuring Bonaventurian theology, marvels of the east, cartography, apocalyptic visions of history, calls for Crusade, and finally a pilgrimage- possessio of the Holy Land by Francis.