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Inaudito exemplo

The Abduction of Romsey’s Abbess

Linda D. Brown

Abstract

The abduction in 1160 of Romsey’s abbess Marie, daughter of King Stephen and Queen Matilda of England, attracted considerable attention in England and Northern Europe. Medieval chroniclers theorized about those who had arranged the raptus, empha-sizing that they had targeted a holy bride of Christ. At the scandal’s crux was the altered status of the abbess who had unexpectedly become sole heir to her family’s lands, wealth, and titles. This transformation occurred for Marie when the last of her family died in the waning months of 1159. With astonishing speed, Marie transitioned from her role as a high-status abbess to one of heiress-countess. This article examines the evidence concerning the abduction’s backstory, the resulting marriage, and the aftermath of Marie’s nine years as a married countess. It presents Marie in light of her ability to adapt to and exploit the changing political, social, and cultural landscapes that she inhabited.

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Mirrors for Margraves

Peter Damian’s Models for Male and Female Rulers

Alison Creber

Abstract

In the 1060s Peter Damian wrote “mirrors for margraves” to the rulers of two different Italian marks: Godfrey, margrave of Tuscany, and Adelaide, de facto ruler of the mark of Turin. Although he wrote to them both on the subject of rule and justice, Damian offered Godfrey and Adelaide different models for rule. Godfrey was to mete out harsh punishments; Adelaide was to act with mercy and restraint. Godfrey was presented with images of paternal care, Adelaide with maternal imagery. Godfrey was encouraged to emulate historical figures; Adelaide was to emulate biblical heroines. Through comparing and contrasting the gendered way in which Damian constructs the image of the ideal margrave in each of these letters, this article demonstrates that Damian consciously used different models for Godfrey and Adelaide on the basis of their gender, rather than their status or behavior.

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Objectification, Empowerment, and the Male Gaze in the Lanval Corpus

Elizabeth S. Leet

Abstract

Each tale in the Lanval corpus revolves around fairy women who style their bodies specifically to attract the male gaze. Each fairy uses her body’s visual impact to seduce her lover and resolve the judicial accusations against him. By adapting her body for private audiences, public parades, and even non-noble onlookers, each fairy participates actively in the gaze both to gain her respective lover’s freedom and to win the man of her choosing. The Lanval tales reveal women who submit to be analyzed and objectified in order to satisfy their lover’s wish along with their own goals. Additionally, Sir Landevale and Sir Launfal expand descriptions of the ladies, mirroring the increase in the number of people who assess them at the Arthurian trial. By examining the increasing volume of attire and decreasing interaction with animals across the adaptations, we see these poets problematize the overlap between objectification and empowerment.

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Pueri Sunt Pueri

Machismo, Chivalry, and the Aggressive Pastimes of the Medieval Male Youth

Sean McGlynn

Abstract

This article draws on research into medieval childhood to argue that the violence of male youth activities was not simply a result of their age and hormones—“boys will be boys”—but was positively encouraged by society and the state as training for their potential roles in conflicts, for war was all pervasive and all important. The violent games and pastimes of male youths are discussed in light of their relevance to war, as they progress into sports that served as military training. The focus here is on the chivalric tournament, the apogee of such entertainments and a form of medieval war games within a violent sports spectacle. A primary intention of such training was to foster combat primary group cohesion among the male youths preparing to engage in war with its codes of chivalry.

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“To take a wyf”

Marriage, Status, and Moral Conduct in “The Merchant’s Tale”

Natalie Hanna

Abstract

Across the eighteen Canterbury Tales that deal in some way with marriage, the language of “The Merchant’s Tale” is most concerned with the role of a “wyf” and a concept of “taking” a wife. By contrast, the text appears to show little concern for the status “housbonde,” but the limited use of the term is in fact a means to scrutinize the correlation between these medieval marital roles. Using a corpus of The Canterbury Tales, this article reveals how Chaucer semantically distinguishes Januarie’s position as one who wishes only to be served by his wife, from “housbondes” that are in partnership with their wives. The study shows that, through terminology and phraseology, Januarie’s status is connected to Walter’s of “The Clerk’s Tale,” to highlight the underlying abusive traits of men who treat marriage as an economical transaction for their own gain, rather than as a union of love.

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Wrist Clasps and Patriliny

A Hypothesis

Frank Battaglia

Abstract

Early Anglo-Saxon ethnicities are read primarily from jewelry and other metal grave furnishings of women. After a period of funerary observances incorporating other-than-metal signifiers and with differing gender and religious implications, a characteristic suite of accessories, devised on British soil of Scandinavian antecedents, had attained prominence in Anglian areas. The boundary of use of certain sleeve fasteners corresponds to the later southern border of the kingdom of East Anglia. These female cuff-links appear to have marked patrilineal marriages whose high status in an innovative political network consolidated the displacement of long-standing matrilineal traditions among British and Germanic populations. Matrilineal social organizations had characterized the Neolithic Period, when horticulture began and food animals were domesticated. The growth of East Anglian political organization may be traced in a patronymic place-name practice. The kingdom seems to have found in patrilineal social structures a constitutive mechanism.

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The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror

Trauma, History, and the Great Storm of 1900

Andy Horowitz

This article considers the lurid accounts of looting and lynching that circulated after the 1900 Galveston, Texas, hurricane, the deadliest storm in United States history. Previous accounts of the flood have tended to ignore or subsume these stories in narratives of heroic recovery and progress. But Galvestonians' fantasies of racial violence suggest that the specific catastrophe of the flood was part of the ongoing disaster of racial terror in Texas at the turn of the twentieth century. Understanding disaster as a chronic human process rather than an acute wound from nature reveals that, instead of allowing white Galvestonians to transcend their history of violence against African Americans, the storm seemed to authorize them to further enact and reenact the imposition of suffering.

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From Holocaust Trauma to the Dirty War

Federico Finchelstein

Violence defines the global experience of fascism as an ideology, movement, and regime, as well as its subsequent reception after 1945. This article is part of this a transnational trend in the study of fascism examining such violence, but it also proposes to expand it by way of studying its transatlantic repercussions in the postwar period, especially in terms of what I call a “transcontextual history” of trauma and especially for the case of the so-called Argentine Dirty War. I argue there is a need for understanding these transnational dimensions of fascist violence for victims and perpetrators in light of an equally significant transcontextual emphasis on the traumatic fascist genealogies of the Cold War.

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Miraculous Healing for the Warrior Soul

Transforming Fear, Violence, and Shame in Fourteenth-Century Provence

Nicole Archambeau

This article considers the crises of plague, civil war, and mercenary invasion that Provençal communities faced in the years between 1343 and 1363. Canonization inquest testimony reveals that both combatants and noncombatants prayed to the holy woman, Countess Delphine de Puimichel, to heal the spiritual sickness of violence. In their testimonies, witnesses relived moments of crisis when they had used Delphine's special relationship to God to escape death, fear, and humiliation.

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Noble Ghosts, Empty Graves, and Suppressed Traumas

The Heroic Tale of “Taiyuan's Five Hundred Martyrs” in the Chinese Civil War

Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang

On 19 February 1951, a state-sponsored funeral took place in north Taipei in which a splendid cenotaph to commemorate the “five hundred martyrs of Taiyuan”— heroic individuals who died defending a distant city in northern China against the Chinese Communist encirclement—was revealed. In the four decades that followed, the Nationalist government on Taiwan built a commemorative cult and a pedagogic enterprise centering on these figures. Yet, the martyrs' epic was a complete fiction, one used by Chiang Kai-shek's regime to erase the history of atrocities and mass displacement in the Chinese civil war. Following Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s, the repressed traumas returned in popular narratives; this recovery tore the hidden wounds wide open. By examining the tale of the five hundred martyrs as both history and metaphor, this article illustrates the importance of political forces in both suppressing and shaping traumatic memories in Taiwan.