Landscape, Tradition and Power critically examines the evidence for socio-political developments in medieval Iceland during the so-called Commonwealth period. The book compares regions in the west and north-east of Iceland because these regions had differing human and physical geographies, and contrasting levels of surviving written evidence. Callow sets out the likely economies and institutional frameworks in which political action took place. He then examines different forms of evidence – the Contemporary sagas,
Landnámabók (The Book of Settlements), and Sagas of Icelanders – considering how each describes different periods of the Commonwealth present political power. Among its conclusions the book emphasises stasis over change and the need to appreciate the nuances and purposes of Iceland’s historicising sagas.
In this volume, Stanisław Rosik focuses on the meaning and significance of Old Slavic religion as presented in three German chronicles (the works of Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold of Bosau) written during the time of the Christianization of the Western Slavs. The source analyses show the ways the chroniclers understood, explained and represented pre-Christian beliefs and cults, which were interpreted as elements of a foreign, “barbarian”, culture and were evaluated from the perspective of Church doctrine. In this study, individual features of the three authors are discussed– including the issue of the credibility of their information on Old Slavic religion– and broader conclusions on medieval thought are also presented.
The Militant Middle Ages, historian Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri delves into common perceptions of the Middle Ages and how these views shape contemporary political contexts. Today more than ever, the medieval era is mined from across the political spectrum for symbols, examples, allegories, and models to represent and interpret the present. From “new crusades” to fantasy literature and cosplay, from Catholic Traditionalism to environmentalism, from neo-Vikings to medieval tourism and festivals, Carpegna Falconieri leads us in an impassioned and often disquieting journey through the “Modern Middle Ages.” The first book-length study dedicated to the broad phenomenon of political medievalism,
The Militant Middle Ages offers a new lens for scrutinizing contemporary society through its instrumentalization of the medieval past.
This study traces the chequered history of
Peter von Danzig, a French caravel which was inadvertently taken over by Gdańsk (Danzig). Beata Możejko charts the fluctuating and often dramatic fortunes of the caravel, from her arrival in Gdańsk as a merchantman in 1462 to her demise near La Rochelle in 1475. The author examines the caravel’s role as a warship during the Anglo-Hanseatic conflict, and her most famous operation, when she was used by Gdańsk privateer Paul Beneke to capture a Burgundian galley with a rich cargo that included Hans Memling’s Last Judgement triptych.
Using literary and archival sources, Możejko provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the information available about the caravel and her colourful career.
This collection forges new ground in the discussion of aristocratic and royal women, their relationships with their objects, and medieval geography. It explores how women’s geographic and familial networks spread well beyond the borders that defined men’s sense of region and how the movement of their belongings can reveal essential information about how women navigated these often-disparate spaces. Beginning in early medieval Scandinavia, ranging from Byzantium to Rus', and multiple lands in Western Europe up to 1500, the essays span a great spatio-temporal range. Moreover, the types of objects extend from traditionally studied works like manuscripts and sculpture to liturgical and secular ceremonial instruments, icons, and articles of personal adornment, such as textiles and jewelry, even including shoes.
Hundreds of rural communities tasted political freedom in the Holy Roman Empire. For shorter or longer periods, villagers managed local affairs without subjection to territorial overlords. In this first book-length study, Beat Kümin focuses on the five case studies of Gochsheim and Sennfeld (in present-day Bavaria), Sulzbach and Soden (Hesse) and Gersau (Switzerland). Adopting a comparative perspective across the late medieval and early modern periods, the analysis of multiple sources reveals distinct extents of rural self-government, the forging of communalized confessions and an enduring attachment to the empire. Negotiating inner tensions as well as mounting centralization pressures,
Reichsdörfer provide privileged insights into rural micro-political cultures while their stories resonate with resurgent desires for greater local autonomy in Europe today.
The Slavic Dossier, Iurie Stamati’s objective is to understand the reasons for the emergence of two different discourses on the place of the Slavs on the territory of Moldova and their role in the genesis of Moldovans and their culture during the medieval period in the Soviet archaeology. His analysis goes beyond the utilitarian perception of Soviet archeology. To achieve this, Stamati not only questions the political contexts in which these discourses emerged, but also looks at the history of the Moldovan archaeological field, personal profiles of archaeologists, their theoretical and ideological attachment, relationships and interactions with each other inside and outside the archaeological field.
Faces of Charisma: Image, Text, Object in Byzantium and the Medieval West, a multi-disciplinary group of scholars advances the theory that charisma may be a quality of art as well as of person. Beginning with the argument that Weberian charisma of person is itself a matter of representation, this volume shows that to study charismatic art is to experiment with a theory of representation that allows for the possibility of nothing less than a breakdown between art and viewer and between art and lived experience. The volume examines charismatic works of literature, visual art, and architecture from England, Northern Europe, Italy, Ancient Greece, and Constantinople and from time periods ranging from antiquity to the beginning of the early modern period.
Contributors are Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Paul Binski, Paroma Chatterjee, Andrey Egorov, Erik Gustafson, Duncan Hardy, Stephen Jaeger, Jacqueline E. Jung, Lynsey McCulloch, Martino Rossi Monti, Gavin Richardson, and Andrew Romig.
Negotiating Violence examines the ways in which ordinary people used a transnational papal court of law for disputing their private local hostilities and for negotiating their social status and identities. Following the career and routine crossovers of runaway friars, the book offers vivid insights into the late medieval culture of violence, honour, emotions, learning and lay-clerical interactions. The story plays itself out in the large composite state of the Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia, which collapses under the Ottomans’ sword in front of the readers’ eyes. The bottom-up approach of the Christian-Muslim military conflict renders visible the rationalities of those commoners who voluntarily crossed the religious boundary, while the multi-tiered story convincingly drives home the argument that the motor of social and religious change was lay society rather than the clergy in this turbulent age.
Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid, a fourteenth-century cookbook, is unique for its variety and comprehensive coverage of contemporary Egyptian cuisine. It includes, in addition to instructions for the cook, a treasure trove of 830 recipes of dishes, digestives, refreshing beverages, and more.
It is the only surviving cookbook from a period when Cairo was a flourishing metropolis and a cultural haven for people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. Now available for the first time in English, it has been meticulously translated and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction, glossary, and 117 color illustrations to initiate readers into the world of the
Kanz al-fawāʾid. The twenty-two modern adaptations of
Kanz recipes will inspire further experimentations. It is a valuable resource for scholars of medieval material culture, and for all lovers of good food and cookbooks.