Michael P. Speidel, Burgundian Gods on Sixth-Century Belt Buckles. Part 1. The Buckles from Saint-Maur and Saint-Quentin (Taf. I-VI, Abb. 1-26), S. 1-36
Two sixth-century belt buckles from Burgundia, of high-quality workmanship and complex imagery, represent Germanic myth. The buckle from Saint-Maur depicts Balder's way to Hel, where he is expected by the goddess of the netherworld, but blocked by devilish Loki and his devouring beasts. His heroic fight against the beasts gave rise to the epics of Beowulf and Sigurd/Siegfried. The other buckle, from Saint-Quentin, shows the gods at Balder's funeral, bringing gifts. Woden, named by a runic inscription, brings the ring Draupnir. The image is based on that of Christ in Majesty, but Balder relies on his sexual prowess, egged on by the goddess Idun. Together, the two buckles prove that ancestral beliefs survived among the Burgundians of the sixth century. They are our first known authentic monuments of Burgundian religion.
Galit Noga-Banai, The Sarcophagus of Louis the Pious at Metz. A Roman Memory Reused (Taf. VII-IX, Abb. 27-34), S. 37-50
The paper concerns the fourth century Crossing of the Red Sea Sarcophagus that was reused for the burial of Louis the Pious. The discussion aims to outline the disparity, or congruity, between the presumed original intention of the sarcophagus decoration and reuse for the imperial burial, assuming the selection was not arbitrary, but rather a deliberate choice. The Crossing of the Red Sea represents a glorious and eternal victory, relevant to a funerary context. Whether in the late antique or the early medieval period, it implies a political ideology. It is argued that the Crossing was first used to figure forth the decisive event of Constantine's triumph at the Milvian Bridge. The sarcophagus decoration may have been composed to promote this Roman past memory as against a powerful new Jerusalemite tradition. The Carolingians adopted the earlier identification with crucial circumstances, but called upon their own political agenda and formation of history.
Henry Mayr-Harting, Augustine of Hippo, Chelles, and the Carolingian Renaissance: Cologne Cathedral Manuscript 63, S. 51-75
Around 800 Archbishop Hildebald of Cologne commissioned the text of Augustine's Enarrationes in Psalmos in three handsome volumes, and since that time they have been in the possession of the Cologne Cathedral Library. Famously, these volumes were copied by ten nuns of the royal nunnery of Chelles, each signing her name to her own scribal stint. In the margins of the second of these ten stints, written by a nun called Gislildis and covering Augustine's text on Psalms 31 to 38 are about 25 signs peculiar to this stint, contemporary with the text, and appearing to be signs marking passages of interest, analogous to nota signs. Every possible explanation for these signs would seemingly be excluded other than that they were written by the scribe herself.
The great majority of these signs relate to passages about front-line themes in Augustine's writings, particularly the interiority of religion, love of God and neighbour, and sin and confession. Thus the signs were made by someone with a sensitive understanding of Augustine's thought. Each of these three themes was also a front-line preoccupation of Charlemagne and his advisors (especially Alcuin) in his rule and his Christianizing of society. And Chelles, though westerly in his dominions, was manifestly close to Charlemagne, to Alcuin, and to the court circle. The psalms themselves played a significant role in the ethic of Carolingian rule. Here, then, we have a brush stroke in the picture of how Augustine came to be 'domiciled' to the Carolingian Renaissance.
Gerd Althoff, Das hochmittelalterliche Königtum. Akzente einer unabgeschlossenen Neubewertung, S. 77-98
For a long time medieval kingship has played an important role in the foundation of modern Germany's national identity. Since the early 19th century the power of the Ottonian, Salian and Staufen emperors has dominated the German view on their 'Golden Past' in the High Middle Ages. The Holy Roman Empire was seen as the dominating power (Ordnungsmacht) and the Germans dreamed of getting back this power.
After the Second World War this image of a splendid national past lost its influence, but it spend time to develop new perspectives on medieval kingship. The article describes, how since the 80th international and interdisciplinary connections helped to bring up new questions and topics, which changed the view of a powerful kingship in the early centuries and the idea of the loss of king's power by attacks of church and nobility. Church and nobility are now presented as participating in the political process by counseling, admonishing and in a certain sense controlling the rulers. Rituals and acts of symbolic communication are seen as acts of establishing order by obligating participants and spectators to rights and duties, they symbolically expressed in symbolic acts. Conduct and resolution of conflicts are now seen in the light of negotiating and mediating processes, which were overlooked in the old master narratives. The key word for understanding the functioning of order in the High Middle Ages is now consensus. To understand the difficult ways to establish it in a competitive society are main goals of modern research.
Verena Epp, Discretio — Unterscheidung — Abgeschiedenheit. Zur Cassian-Rezeption in den 'Reden der Unterscheidung' Meister Eckharts, S. 99-113
Around 420-429 the monastic theorist Johannes Cassianus wrote his 'Collationes', fictitious dialogues with the Egyptian desert fathers. In these 'Conferences' he described the ability of differentiation (discretio) as the most important virtue of the monk. The influence of these texts on the spirituality of the Dominicans will be demonstrated through the analysis of Meister Eckhart's 'Discourses of distinction', which are his most popular writings. Similarities in content as well as in expression will be shown, but also Eckhart's originality in important aspects. Joint features can be seen in the conversational form and the overall structure of the text, in the stress on discretion as the major monastic value, the description of sin as a deliberate consent to doing evil, the intentional ethics, the internalization of repentance, penance and asceticism, and finally in the idea of the mortification of the personal needs to be vitally important in the attempt to follow Christ. For this virtue Eckhart coined the term 'Gelassenheit' (lit. composure). The original aspect of Eckhart's writings is above all the vernacular approach to the laity. This was an effect of pastoral offensive carried into the cities by the Dominicans.
Thomas Haye, Hieronymus Rotenpeck und Papst Pius II. (1458-1464). Deutscher Frühhumanismus zwischen Rebdorf und Rom, S. 115-141
Hieronymus Rotenpeck (d. 1473/74), canon regular in the monastery of Rebdorf near Eichstätt in Bavaria, is known as one of the most important representatives of early German humanism. When Johann von Eych, then Bishop of Eichstätt (1445-1464), aimed at reforming the monastery, Rotenpeck fled to Italy where he later tried to win the favour of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, the aspiring cardinal who was to become Pope Pius II. In trying to lay the foundations for his successful return to Germany, Rotenpeck established and maintained communication with Hermann Schedel, Sigismund Meisterlin, Sigismund Gossembrot, Johann Hinderbach and Bartolomeo Roverella. Among the tools which Rotenpeck used to achieve his aims was Latin poetry after the manner of the Italian humanists. The most important document of his literary activity is the 'Epigrammata' , addressed to Pius II, in which Rotenpeck expresses his thanks for the concession of a benefice at Augsburg. The present paper offers a detailed analysis of this text and addresses the question of Rotenpeck's profile as a humanist.
Martin Büchsel, Die Grenzen der Historischen Emotionsforschung. Im Wirrwarr der Zeichen — oder: Was wissen wir von der kulturellen Konditionierung von Emotionen? (Taf. X-XIII, Abb. 35-49), S. 143-168
At the centre of deliberation stands the question of whether the historical study of emotions can only describe and analyze the rhetorically calculated expression of emotions or whether it can determine the cultural conditioning of the emotions themselves. Expressions of emotions, which recently have been studied expressly by historians and literary scholars, are politically or literarily constructed and communicate messages. The developed class relations were based on this. A new basis for the historical study of emotions was created particularly in opposition to Norbert Elias. Meanwhile, the position of the problem changed when some literary scholars no longer sought only the rhetorical education in controllable codes of communication, but rather posed directly the question of the cultural conditioning of emotion. The goal is to substantiate in the available research that in this context the prominently recommended concept of the conditioning of emotion through codes must fail because it rests on insufficient premises. Based on two art historical models, it will be argued that the exploration of the cultural conditioning of emotions is in fact ongoing. A few basic theoretical considerations will be employed for this analysis.
Andrea Scheithauer, Urbanitas im Spiegel der lateinischen Literatur der ausgehenden Republik und des frühen Prinzipates, S. 181-192
Latin urbanitas being a notion which, during the Middle Ages, is based on the term's pivotal components as conceived of in classical antiquity, the present study's aim is to investigate into the origins, the development and, above all, the different manifestations of this phenomenon within the Roman Empire and to illustrate them on the basis of seminal and representative texts of the late Republic and early Empire. During the latter mentioned periods, all of the term in question's acceptations can be encountered. From the fact that the term is being derived from lat. urbs (city) or urbanus (urban; elegant), further local manifestations of the phenomenon ensue on the one hand, a particular kind of polarisation on the other: This is due to the fact that certain population groups had started to adopt their own way of speaking and of behaviour, thus distinguishing themselves from other population groups, particularly from the rural population. After its local meaning had become restricted to Rome, the term urbanitas was applied to the domains of speech, sophisticated, civilized manners and to rhetoric theory, i. e. wit and the fine sense of humour.
Carolina Cupane, Στήλη τῆς ἀστειότητоς. Byzantinische Vorstellungen weltlicher Vollkommenheit in Realität und Fiktion, S. 193-209
The city of Constantinople occupied a very special position in the Byzantine world of ideas. The imperial court there, its way of life and splendour was the model to imitate for everyone who wished to gain prestige in society. The writings of Michael Psellos and Nicetas Choniates, a courtier and a high civil officer of the 11th/12th centuries respectively, allow us an insight in upper class standards and values. Cultivated language and refined rhetorical skills were indispensable prerequisites for social success, well-groomed appearance and fashionable look were not less important. Although court culture played a pivotal role in Byzantium, courtly way of life was never idealised and poetically elevated, as it happened in the medieval West. Byzantium had a court literature but never a courtly one. The art of love, which in chivalric literature was part of the secular virtues the perfect knight had to possess, appears only in late Byzantine romances and gained never ground in Byzantine culture.
Michael Grünbart, Euglottia — Sprechen als Statusindikator in der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit, S. 211-231
It goes without saying that the spoken word played an essential role in both Byzantine daily life and courtly ceremonies. The setting of performances changed in the course of the centuries, but the need of sound and speech never faded. According to various sources speeches, homilies, acclamations, songs and declamations accompanied many liturgical and official occasions. Reading Byzantine historiographical and rhetorical texts it becomes evident that authors - most of them originating from the influential and learned stratum of society (e. g. Anna Comnena, Nicetas Choniates, Eustathios of Thessalonica) - emphasized on descriptions of voice and aural impressions as well. Similar to other societies the tongue indicates the social background of a person.
Well-trained and clear speaking was essential for military leaders, but its cultivation was highly recommended in order to create an image of learnedness and urbanitas as well. Patronage of poets increased the status and reputation of influential families in Constantinople. In Byzantine sources the word asteiotes (the opposite of agroikia, 'rusticity') can be found, it seems to correspond with urbanitas including ready wit and snobbism. The so called 'Strategicon' compiled by Kekaumenos living outside Constantinople (11th century) adds to the understanding of urban behaviour, because the author advises his off springs how to cultivate their social life adding guidelines of small talk.
Euglottia (eloquence) reflects two main aspects of asteiotes: The rhetorical gifted or trained person convinces his/her auditorium by a splendid oral presentation and he/she meets the listeners' expectation of entertainment.
Markéta Kulhánková, Das Eindringen der Volkssprache in die byzantinische Literatur als eines der Elemente der ἀστειότης, S. 233-243
The paper deals with experiments with vernacular language in Byzantine poetry of the 12th century and their common characteristics which - as we try to prove - are one of the expressions of contemporary aristocratic and urban culture and thereby fit into the concept of urbanitas/asteiotes. Three examples are subjected to analysis: 1st begging poetry, specifically Theodore Prodromos's works and poems connected with his name (Ptochoprodromika and so called Manganeios Prodromos's poems), 2nd the anonymous welcoming poem (εἰσιτήριοι) for Agnes of France, Alexios II. Komnenos's bride, and 3rd Constantine Manasse's versified chronicle. Using these experimental works, we are trying to present typical features of cultivated Byzantine literature associated with court culture which, exactly in that period, finds parallels with the contemporary Western literature. One of these analogies is vernacular (or rather living) language spreading into literature.
Sergei Mariev, Παιδεία und ἀστειότης im Dialog 'Phlorentios' des Nikephoros Gregoras, S. 245-258
The paper examines the satirical dialogue 'Phlorentios' by Nikephoros Gregoras (1291/1295-1358/1361). Written by a prominent intellectual figure of the 14th century and staged in the milieu of the learned of the Byzantine capital, this dialogue is an attempt to discredit another prominent intellectual figure of the day, the monk Barlaam from Calabria. This aim is achieved by Nikephoros not so much by evidencing the deficiency of Barlaam's learning but rather by pointing out that he lacks a number of urban characteristics and does not share the essential values of the learned part of the Byzantine society of the day. For this reason, the dialogue can be read as a catalogue of the qualities and values which were apparently shared by the majority of the Byzantine 'Humanists' of the time which makes it an important document for the reconstruction of the concept urbanitas in this particular segment of the Byzantine society.
Alexander Riehle, Rhetorik, Ritual und Repräsentation. Zur Briefliteratur gebildeter Eliten im spätbyzantinischen Konstantinopel (1261-1328), S. 259-276
This article stresses the importance of epistolography (exchange, performance, compilation and publication of letters) within the aristocracy that re-established itself in Constantinople after the re-conquest of the city in 1261 as a means of reinforcing shared values and codes of behaviour, and of defending its status against outsiders. The ability to participate in this highly elaborate discourse enhanced chances for individuals (erudite laymen, low-ranking officials and monks) to connect with the close-knit group of aristocrats and to benefit as protégés from their power and wealth. As it is argued, vital to understanding these dynamics are the closely tied notions of ritualized communication, epistolary rhetoric and self-representation.
Andreas Bihrer, Gefährliche Urbanitas bei Michael Marullus. Griechische Exilanten als Konstrukteure und Vermittler urbaner Ideale in der italienischen Renaissance, S. 277-293
The precarious situation of Greek expatriates in Renaissance Italy forms the basis of the study. Michael Marullus, however, was one of the exiles who managed their reception into the new society. This can be shown by contemporary references which do not only focus on his virtues and competences, but also on the elegance of his poetry and its wit. Still, his origin is only marginally addressed. Whereas in his self-presentation, his role as a Greek of high descent and an exile who successfully integrated himself into the community of Italian cities, humanist circles and networks of aegis were central. With reference to his own descriptions, this was only possible due to the virtuousness, education and religion he brought from Greece to the west. Among these virtues, there were ideals linked to the urbanitas as one can easily see when looking at the mirror for princes or his love poetry. Still, these ideals harbour dangers if not closely connected to the value system of pietas.
Being a Greek expatriate, Marullus understood his role as a constructor and mediator of urbanitas within the Italian Renaissance. He both designed and literalized his canon of values using different poetic forms. This canon was not defined by academic circles, the court or the town, but by family, homeland and religion. From his point of view, any other ideals had to be linked to these virtues. At the same time, Marullus considered himself as a mediator of the principles mentioned: The exiles were carriers, preservers, mediators and deliverers of poetry, religion and virtues. In Marullus' self-understanding, tasks and achievements of the exiles were the conservation and passing on of virtues.
Thomas Zotz, Urbanitas in der Kultur des westlichen Mittelalters. Eine höfische Wertvorstellung im Umfeld von elegantia morum und elegantia corporis, S. 295-308
In Roman Antiquity, some authors (Cicero, Quintilian) have shaped the conception of urbanitas as expression of excellent manners formed by the urban life in contrast to rusticitas. Elements of urbanitas were the polished way of talking and the refined joke. In this meaning, urbanitas became part of the medieval culture, but detached from the combination with the city which means in the Antiquity first of all Rome. Moreover, the Christian authors kept their distance to the superficial elegance of 'urbanitas' and preferred the humble simplicity of rusticitas. Nevertheless, you can observe that, in the milieu of court since Charlemagne's times, elegance of language, physical harmony and refined manners were considered as desiderable ideals. In other words: urbanitas found a new home at the court. Since, in the late 11th century, the notion of curialitas has been created for indicating courtly behaviour in a positive and negative meaning, there were overlapping in the semantic fields of the two concepts, but sometime fine distinctions, e. g. in the work of Andreas Capellanus. Here, curialitas occurs in ethical context, whereas urbanitas concerns the courtly manners. In the late middle ages, urbanitas got once again a contact to the town and the urban culture; a latin-german dictionary from the beginning 16th century translated urbanus by hubsch nach der stett sytten.
C. Stephen Jaeger, Urbs ohne Urbanitas. Die Londoner Stadtbeschreibung von William Fitzstephen, eine Adelsutopie, S. 309-327
William Fitzstephen prefaces his Vita of the recently martyred Archbishop Thomas Becket with a lengthy description of the city of London. The praise of the city goes well beyond the conventional encomium urbis to detail many and varied activities of the citizens. While his purpose remains unclear, his accomplishment is a vividly described utopia of the nobility whose values are those of an agonal, charismatic culture. In studies, sports, pastimes, and in the creation of a fictional past, competition, fame and victory are the dominant perspectives, while urbanity, civility and courtliness play next to no role.
Katrin Beyer, Kultureller Wettstreit um Urbanitas im 12. Jahrhundert. Giraldus Cambrensis und Saxo Grammaticus, S. 329-348
The works of two writers around the year 1200 illustrate the intensive reflection on the ancient ethical and social ideal of urbanitas and its deep entrenchment in medieval life and thought: the 'Descriptio Kambriae' of Gerald of Wales (1146-1223) and the 'Gesta Danorum' of Saxo Grammaticus (around 1140-1220). While Gerald depicts himself as vir urbanus and the Welsh noblemen as participants in courtly behaviour, in order to demonstrate that courtly culture has found its way into Wales as well, Saxo makes no pretence of his ambiguous attitude towards urbanitas. Depending on the acting person and its estimation by Saxo, the chronicler sometimes appreciates the behaviour as a manifestation of refinement and sometimes rejects it as a token of effeminacy. On the whole, the tradition of written documents testifying to a contest in cultural supremacy in border regions of Western Europe such as Wales and Denmark does not seem to be coincidental, especially with regard to the fact that we are dealing with two regions customarily threatened by conquest and foreign rulership. Consequently, the current political elites were seeking cultural equality by orienting themselves towards luminous examples: the Roman heritage and the high cultural standard of the continental realms. Especially France was regarded as origin of nobility in mind and action but one can find just as well evidence that the contemporaries ascribed the same to the 'English' or the 'Saxons'. The culturally conveyed moral value of urbanitas seems to have been a very adjustable intellectual concept with a high tendency towards interchangeable elements and varying evaluation by the historiographers.
Bernd Roling, Heroische Askese und aristokratische Inszenierung. Überlegungen zur Tugend der magnanimitas in der Philosophie des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, S. 349-370
Many early modern philosophers were blaming the Aristotelian virtue of magnanimity, the latin magnanimitas, as an unchristian vice. The magnanimous was a master of honours, as Aristotle has stated, but nevertheless, according to Faber Stapulensis or Lodovico Vives, a magnanimus in fact behaved in an arrogant, self-centred and fastidious way. In contrast, almost every medieval king was praised as magnanimous, or even was able to add the title magnanimus to his name like Philipp II. of France. What happened toward this virtue in Christian ethics in the meantime? The study tries to reconstruct the development which finally leads to the extinguishment of a former aristocratic ideal.
As it is shown in the first part, early medieval philosophers in fact had defined magnanimity in a different way than Aristotle. Like a stoic saint, according to a mind of the eleventh century, the magnanimous was able to refuse honours and had no interest in using his gifts in behalf of the society, as Aristotle once had claimed. Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas were the first to change the content of the virtue. After reading the 'Ethics' extensively, both thinkers felt the need to transform the stoic magnanimity into an Aristotelian ideal; as a result honours lost their danger and became a necessary ingredient of social life, suitable to kings and the high aristocracy, although according to Thomas they should open a path to the Divine.
Two centuries later a Renaissance philosopher of ethics, Giovanni Pontano, very easily was able to leave out the theological impact, to recreate magnanimity as a virtue of an Italian podesta. The tools Pontano found in the writings of the scholastics but the consequence was a virtue that lost its attractiveness for Christian ethics completely. It became the worldly kind of ideal, protestant philosophers could attack in the 16th century.
Philipp Stenzig, Zu Gast in Rom. Bankett und Patronage um 1500, S. 371-389
In his treatises on what he defined as the prime 'social virtues' - liberalitas, beneficentia, magnificentia and splendor - the renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pontano (Naples, † 1503) draws the conclusion that by all means the 'convivium', the banquet, had to be regarded as a most excellent opportunity to manifest all of them; so the princely advisor introduced a fifth social virtue, the 'convivencia', or inclination to spend a lot of money on festive meals, and dedicated the rest of his considerations to detailed instructions on the elaborate representation of good taste, wealth and liberality by organising abundant dinners. What exactly did the result look like? In a long letter home to the Senate of their republic the Venetian delegation , which came to Rome in order to pronounce a solemn declaration of obedience to Pope Julius II, described most accurately their reception by Cardinal Domenico Grimani who had arranged a sumptuous feast to honor his compatriots once the official part of their diplomatic obligations was over. This splendid banquet in the Palazzo Venezia on the 5th of May 1505 consisted of twenty separate courses, mostly meat, often prepared with a lot of sugar or exotic spices, accompanied by various musical and theatrical performances. The event was arranged according to a subtle choreography which made use of the architectonic setting, the recently rebuilt home of the prelate, as well as ephemeral elements of decoration with preponderant allusions to classical antiquity; hence all the aspects that Pontano could have had in mind can be found in the venetian record.