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Imagining the Text

Ekphrasis and Envisioning Courtly Identity in Wirnt von Gravenberg's Wigalois

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James H. Brown

In Imagining the Text, James Brown examines ekphrasis – the verbal representation of a visual representation – in Wirnt von Gravenberg’s thirteenth-century Arthurian romance Wigalois, one of the most popular and enduring stories in the Middle High German literary tradition. Through close reading of the text and examining illustrated Wigalois manuscripts, early print editions, and frescoes, Brown explores how ekphrasis structures the narrative, harmonizes potential conflicts in the text, and contributes to the construction of courtly identity. Imagining the Text demonstrates that the vibrant symbiosis of word and image is crucial to the poem’s sustained popularity for more than six hundred years, and contributes to the history of the book and to the study of medieval and modern modes of perception.

Medieval Jewelry and Burial Assemblages in Croatia

A Study of Graves and Grave Goods, ca. 800 to ca. 1450

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Vladimir Sokol

The Croatian medieval archaeological heritage from the 8th to the 15th century consists mostly of jewelry (earrings) findings from cemeteries. This book uses vertical and horizontal stratigraphy, on the basis of around 20,000 burial assemblages from 16 cemeteries (out of several hundred so far excavated in Croatia), to establish relative and absolute chronology of jewelry and burial architecture divided into three horizons and four phases in comparison with materials from neighboring regions of Europe.

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Edited by Larissa Tracy and Kelly DeVries

The spectacle of the wounded body figured prominently in the Middle Ages, from images of Christ’s wounds on the cross, to the ripped and torn bodies of tortured saints who miraculously heal through divine intervention, to graphic accounts of battlefield and tournament wounds—evidence of which survives in the archaeological record—and literary episodes of fatal (or not so fatal) wounds. This volume offers a comprehensive look at the complexity of wounding and wound repair in medieval literature and culture, bringing together essays from a wide range of sources and disciplines including arms and armaments, military history, medical history, literature, art history, hagiography, and archaeology across medieval and early modern Europe.
Contributors are Stephen Atkinson, Debby Banham, Albrecht Classen, Joshua Easterling, Charlene M. Eska, Carmel Ferragud, M.R. Geldof, Elina Gertsman, Barbara A. Goodman, Máire Johnson, Rachel E. Kellett, Ilana Krug, Virginia Langum, Michael Livingston, Iain A. MacInnes, Timothy May, Vibeke Olson, Salvador Ryan, William Sayers, Patricia Skinner, Alicia Spencer-Hall, Wendy J. Turner, Christine Voth, and Robert C. Woosnam-Savage.

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Carla Keyvanian

In Hospitals and Urbanism in Rome 1200 – 1500, Carla Keyvanian offers a new interpretation of the urban development of Rome during three seminal centuries by focusing on the construction of public hospitals. These monumental charitable institutions were urban expressions of sovereignty. Keyvanian traces the political reasons for their emergence and their architectural type in Europe around 1200. In Rome, hospitals ballasted the corporate image of social elites, aided in settling and garrisoning vital sectors and were the hubs around which strategies aimed at territorial control revolved. When the strategies faltered, the institutions were rapidly abandoned. Hospitals in areas of enduring significance instead still function, bearing testimony to the influence of late medieval urban interventions on modern Rome.

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James H. Brown