Childhood in Medieval Poland (1050-1300)

Constructions and Realities in a European Context


Author: Matthew Koval
This volume analyses the constructions and realities of childhood in Poland, c. 1050-1300 CE, by examining a range of texts and considering the ways in which children fit within textual frameworks and genres. These texts include two major chronicles, monastic sources, and hagiography related to five major saints. The textual sources are put into conversation with findings from archaeology. The author argues that certain common themes, such as assumed care for children, the need for education, and the puer senex trope do feature through most texts of any genre, and the book also explores how Poland was similar to and different from the situation in western Europe.

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Matthew Koval, Ph.D. (2019), University of Florida, is currently employed at Valencia College, Orlando as a Professor of Humanities. His work focuses on the archaeology and history of childhood.
List of Figures and Tables

1 Introduction
 1 Historiographical Context
 2 Description of Contents

2 Child and Hero: The Use of Childhood in the Narrative of Gallus Anonymus
 1 Who Was Gallus? New Approaches to the Deeds of the Princes of the Poles
 2 Childhood as a Time of Development and Prophecy
 3 Age Terminology and Dynastic Status: When Is a Man a Man?
 4 Vulnerability and Care: From Parents and the Community
 5 Motherly Care and Female Children
 6 Comparisons: Cosmas of Prague
 7 Conclusion

3 Vincent Kadłubek and Thinking with Children
 1 Vincent’s Overlap with Gallus
 2 Parental Love of Children … and the Virtue of Violating It
 3 Filial and Familial Piety
 4 Childishness, a Negative Stereotype Applied to Rulers
 5 Prophecy and Children
 6 Child(hood) as a Rhetorical Device
 7 Conclusions

4 The Henryków Book: The Weight of Future Children and the Threat of Youth
 1 The Text and Its Purpose
 2 Youth as Part of Dynasty and Potential Threat
 3 How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down: What Is a Responsible Age?
 4 “Kids These Days”: Disappointment in the Next Generation
 5 Memory and Youth, a New Kind of Remembrance in Poland
 6 The Care for Children
 7 Conclusion

5 Children and Childhood in Hagiography
 1 Are Good Children Serious Children?
 2 Education Issues: Nature vs. Nurture, God as Teacher, Male vs. Female
 3 Precious or Burdensome? Children Three Years and Younger
 4 Children, Childhood, and Descendants in the Canonization Story of St. Stanisław
 5 The Miracles
 6 Latin Words Relating to Children in the Miracula: Exceptions and Rules
 7 Conclusions

6 The Child in the Community of the Dead
 1 Incidence of Child Burials
 2 The Problem of Grave Goods in Child Burials
 3 Multiple Burials
 4 Spatial Features of Child Burials
 5 In Search of Pattern: Micro vs Macro Comparisons
 6 Age, Sex, and Grave Goods
 7 Final Thoughts

7 Conclusions and Comparisons
 1 The Child as Symbol of the Future, Prophecy
 2 Born Great or Achieving Greatness?
 3 Age and Social Categories
 4 Special Care for Children
 5 Children and Emotion
 6 Good Kid, Bad Kid
 7 Thinking with Children
 8 Children in a Wider Context
All those interested in medieval history, the history of childhood, the history of central Europe, and the confluence of archaeology and history.