Frühmittelalterliche Studien

Band 42

Zusammenfassungen der Beiträge in englischer Sprache (abstracts)


Michail A. Bojcov, Der Heilige Kranz und der Heilige Pferdezaum des Kaisers Konstantin und des Bischofs Ambrosius (Tafel I-VII, Abb. 1-25), S. 1-69.

The story of the Helena's discovery of the True Cross was culmination of the funeral oration De obitu Theodosii of Ambrose of Milan. The Helena episode of Ambrose seems to be closely related not to the genuine 'Jerusalem tradition' of Gelasius and Rufinus but to the Judas Cyriacus legend. The texts of this alternative tradition all referred to Zechariah (14, 20) and went back to a local (Syrian? Antioch?) cult of two relics: Constantine's helmet and bridle reinterpreted as receptacles for the Nails of the Holy Cross. De obitu Theodosii was neither a theological nor a didactic composition; its main aim was utterly pragmatic: persuade the army to support Honorius as the Theodosius' heir, whereas the relics of Nails were instrumentalized by Ambrose for the same purpose. Thus Ambrose invented a new type of sacred object and political argument, the holy crown. Both the wreath and the bridle of Ambrose disappeared soon after 394, but a new independent cult of the Holy Bridle was initiated in the sixth century, this time in Constantinople. A Byzantine reliquary for this relic appeared in Milan after 1204. None of the diverse 'crowns of Constantine' mentioned by medieval authors descended from the diadem Ambrose talked about, also the crown of Monza has nothing in common with it. The idea of how the first holy crown might have looked like can possibly suggest the Rothschild cameo alone.


Ueli Zahnd, Novus David   —   Νεος Δαυιδ. Zur Frage nach byzantinischen Vorläufern eines abendländischen Topos, S. 71-87.

Throughout the Middle Ages, western rulers used the comparison with the biblical King David in a widespread and fairly elaborate manner for the representation and justification of their position. Motivated by the promising remarks of several specialists in byzantine history, modern scholars tend to see this tradition - especially regarding Charlemagne - preceded (if not inspired) by a presumed David-mimesis by some late-antique/early-byzantine emperors. The present article however re-evaluates the sources, alleged by modern scholars to substantiate such an early byzantine davidisation, showing that there is, in pre-ninth-century Byzantium, no clear evidence for a David-mimesis even by such emperors as Theodosius I, Justinian or Heraclius. It is only after the resurgence of the western empire under Charlemagne - and maybe even in response to it - that byzantine emperors rely (though still in a less explicit and elaborate way than occidental rulers) on the biblical ante-type as a part of their imperial representation.


Michael Grünbart, Der Kaiser weint. Anmerkungen zur imperialen Inszenierung von Emotionen in Byzanz, S. 89-108.

The act of weeping is not recorded in Byzantine imperial ceremonial literature, but according to historiographical sources the emperor was able to employ his tears at various occasions. Byzantine sources dating to different times reflect upon these requirements. Like Western rulers the Byzantine sovereign wept (and was expected to weep) as a result of grief, repentance, compassion, emotion and pretence. Imperial tears were not connected to real feelings in most cases, but they were part of the emperor's image and performance in public. Therefore they demanded an audience for reactions and responses. The argument between Leo VI and Nicholas Mystikos in 906/907 on matrimonial matters allows the reconstruction of rules of imperial and patriarchal power. The emperor acted in imperial manner, but his tears did not solve the tensions between him and Nicholas.


Bernard S. Bachrach - David S. Bachrach, Continuity of written administration in the Late Carolingian East c. 887-911. The Royal Fisc, S. 109-146.

Traditionally, the government of Francia orientalis has been seen by scholars as less dependent on the written word than the governments of Francia occidentalis and Francia media. This study challenges this view, arguing that the late Carolingian rulers of the eastern kingdom relied very heavily on documents to manage the royal fisc. The study begins with an overview of the use of written documents in the Carolingian empire under Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. The focus then turns to an examination of the numerous ways in which written texts played a crucial role in the management of the royal fisc, and in the maintenance of royal control over properties that had been granted out as benefices to royal fideles.


Wojtek Jezierski, Paranoia sangallensis. A Micro-Study in the Etiquette of Monastic Persecution, S. 147-168.

Can we use contemporary sociological models of exclusion of paranoiacs to account for the miscarried visitation of a monastic reformer in the tenth century? This article, by offering a thick description of an incident from Ekkehard IV's 'Casus sancti Galli', explores early medieval mechanisms of social control and the collective 'manufacturing' of scapegoats and deviants in the monastic milieu.


Wojciech Fa?kowski, Double Meaning in Ritual Communication, S. 169-187.

The paper is about ambiguity of rituals used in untypical situations or implemented badly, without sufficient knowledge of their meanings and roles they played in social events or in ceremonies. Author examines several examples of misunderstanding connected with the well-known gesture of clasping or kissing somebody's legs. Some examples are taken from the Chronicle of Gall Anonim, especially of the queen who attempted to gain clemency for condemned persons and fell to her husband's feet. Another example is from the Chronicle of Adhemar of Chabannes when the bishop Wojciech kissed the legs of emperor Otto III to thank for his decision to undertake the mission to convert the Slavs. The meaning of this gesture is dissimilar to the ceremony of submission of the Normans to the king Charles the Simple. The scene of triumph was transformed in the pages of the chronicle of Dudo of Saint-Quentin into a grotesque sneer. Raoul Glaber reports how Herbert of Vermandois publicly reprimanded his son that he did not want to bow and show his humility. Other examples showed the Polish prince who did not know how to use the ritual of exchange of kisses, which brought to him infamy, against his intentions and the basic sense of the ritual. The content of the communication sometimes considerably diverged from the fundamental meaning of the ceremony.


Annelies Amberger, Insignienverlust - Insignienbesitz. Krone und Ring als Funeralinsignien im Grab Kaiser Heinrichs IV. und Herodesbilder in Lambach (Taf. VIII-X, Abb. 26-40), S. 189-228.

In the sarcophagus of the emperor Heinrich IV (died 1106) at Speyer a lily-crown and a ring with the inscription of the name of a bishop Adalbero were found. The regalia bear a particular meaning against the background of the 1105 enforced abdication of the emperor, which is specified by Herod scenes in Lambach. They show the attempted suicide of Herod the Great plus the dethronement and the loss of the regalia of Herod Agrippa I after Josephus Flavius and the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Christian exegesis Herod's suicide attempt was successful. Bernold von St. Blasien reports on a failed suicide attempt of Heinrich IV, which he wanted to commit, after depositing his regalia, which are prominent in the suicide scene. Also for the Agrippa scene a parallel to the Salian emperor can be determined. The owner of the abbey Lambach was bishop Adalbero from Würzburg. As the rival of Heinrich IV in the 'Investiturstreit' Adalbero also was deposed and had to give the episcopal ring back to the emperor. The formula of the coronation ordo made crown and ring signs of the emperor's reign of justice and his union with the church. The emperor got both within his grave, because of his right to investiture and the virtues which are symbolized in them. So he could show his faith in God against the gregorians' recriminations and he could request the eternal crown of life. The funeral regalia of Heinrich IV symbolize, comparable to the coronation regalia, the legality of his reign and virtue conception.


Claudia Garnier, Die Legitimierung von Gewalt durch die hoch- und spätmittelalterliche Friedensbewegung, S. 229-251.

The essay analyzes the value of violence in medieval society and pursues the goal of deriving statements on the specific structures of pre-modern rule. If we understand conflict and violence on the one hand and peace on the other as complementary situations, we may assume that the specific features and problems of violence will become obvious wherever someone tried to avoid them: by the medieval peace movement. The analysis of the Peace and Truce of God of the early Middle Ages and the King´s Peace of the high and late Middle Ages shows that it was possible to secure medieval society by the help of normed ways of waging conflict as long as the balance between controlled violentia and blind, uncontrolled violence could be maintained. This was successful particularly because the ways of the legitimate use of violence in the form of the feud were restricted to the bearers of the political order, the nobility, and thus were a matter within one group. That is why the regulations of the Peace and Truce of God and of King´s Peace allowed the use of physical force under certain conditions. However, due to the rise of new social classes, since the late Middle Ages the armed encounters overcame class limits. Towards opponents of a lower social status, the group-stabilizing functions of the use of violence by the nobility lost effect. Precisely at the moment when the processes of social change affected the order of society, the attitude towards violence was re-adjusted. Hence the use of violence turned into endangering law and order, and the medieval use of violence had lost its stabilizing potential. For this reason, the peace movement was not able to further legitimate the use of physical violence in the form of the feud.


Antonie Wlosok, Rollen Vergils im Mittelalter (Tafel XI-XX, Abb. 41-58), S. 253-269

Antoine Wlosok's essay offers an overview of the role played by Vergil in Medieval culture. In the first section of the essay, the author outlines the main trends in the development of Virgil's iconography by pointing to the presence of a double image of him as author and poet on one side, and as prophet, philosopher, astrologer, magician, and dramatic character on the other, and by listing the cultural factors that lead to the development of such iconographic trends. In the second section of the essays, the author focuses particularly upon Vergil's image as prophet, wise man, and astrologer by discussing ten selected examples, such as the representation of Virgil included in a representation of the Tree of Jesse preserved in a Wolfenbüttel manuscript, a portrait of him and of the Sybilla Erithraea, sculpted on the portal of the Laon cathedral or of the poet together with the astrologer Abu-Mashr within an altarpiece, once belonging to the Cistercian monastery of Wormeln, Westphalia.


Petra Korte, Christlicher Hades und vergilisches Fegefeuer - die antike Unterwelt in der mittelalterlichen Rezeption, S. 271-306

Mediated mainly by the sixth book of the Aeneid, the mythological underworld of Hades and especially the descent there formed a hub of the medieval reception of ancient mythology. In critical exegesis the katábasis became the allegory of human life, with the topography, the inhabitants and the penitents in Tartarus representing human traits and vices and the epic hero trying to make his way through this landscape and back to the upper world. The commentators of late antiquity, Servius and Macrobius, passed this interpretation on to the Middle Ages. The Vergilian tradition influenced Christian images of hell and purgatory and challenged the skills of medieval poets, while the continuous literary exegesis helped to shape the theory of integumentum as the specific medieval treatment of myth as a form of expression appropriate to theologically problematic subjects. Since scholarly research in the fortleben of the mythological underworld in the Middle Ages almost exclusively concentrated on the alliance of Vergil and Dante, the present study focuses on the medieval commentary tradition and the adoption of its conclusions by twelfth-century epicists Bernardus Silvestris, Walter of Châtillon and Alan of Lille.


Kerstin Seidel, Vorzeigen und nachschlagen. Zur Medialität und Materialität mittelalterlicher Rechtsbücher, S. 307-328.

In the year 1401 the council of Lüneburg reorganized the city's law system by establishing a fixed order of privileges and rights and acquiring several law books, among others the Sachsenspiegel and the Schwabenspiegel. The article examines ways of using and editing law books as material objects and media of legal rules. For Lüneburg's council the simple fact of owning the law books was more important than applying the rules of Sachsenspiegel and Schwabenspiegel in court. The law books which were construed and presented as 'Kaiserrecht' were media of demonstrating the city's power. In the first half of the 15th century the council of Lüneburg began to use the law books in legal practice. New law books acquired by the council were edited with innovative techniques that have been adopted from Roman and canon law and from the religious sphere. These techniques aimed at increasing both the efficiency in the city's administration and the status of the council as a user of these techniques.


Ulrich Töns, 'Fundamentum scholarium'. Die Grammatik des Johannes Kerckmeister (1486) als Zeugnis des Humanismus in Münster, S. 329-397.

Johannes Kerckmeister, rector scholarium of the cathedral-school in Münster (Westphalia), is especially known for his school-comedy 'Codrus', printed in 1485, whereas his Latin grammar, published in Münster in 1486, has found little attention until now. The present study analyses the different parts of Kerckmeister's 'Fundamentum Latinitatis' and examines their function in the curriculum of grammar-teaching. The 'Fundamentum' was a very successful book, often reprinted up to the first decade of the sixteenth century and one of the leading school-grammars in Westphalia and the region between Cologne, Deventer and Zwolle. It was equally known in other parts of Germany and even in Denmark and France. Close examination of local historical sources allows to give detailed biographical information on Kerckmeister and his printer Johannes Limburg and to locate the author within the context of the humanist movement in the Low Countries and especially in the city of Münster. Finally the article describes Kerckmeister's influence on the transformation of Münster's cathedral-school into a humanist grammar school (Gymnasium) and defines his role in the development of grammar-teaching at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century as an example of the transition from medieval to humanist grammar.


Klaus Schreiner, Von der Geliebten zur himmlischen Schutz- und Siegesfrau. Zur semantischen Umbesetzung einer biblischen Frau in der Hohenliedauslegung des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit (Tafel XX-XXII, Abb. 59-65), S. 399-423.

The essay is concerned with the interpretation of the Song of Songs in the Middle Ages and early modern period. The original subject of the Song of Songs was love between bride and bridegroom. The collection of the Hebrew love and wedding songs was integrated by the Judaic synagogue and Christian church into the canon of their holy writings. An epoch-making change in the interpretation of the Song of Songs was produced by Christian theologians in the twelfth century. They interpreted the statements about the bride of the Song of Songs as metaphors of Virgin Mary. The metaphors tower of David, wall und well-ordered army gave Mary the profile of a fighting and protecting woman, who as a goddess of war (bellona) interfered with the conflicts of her devoted clients, to help them to victory. To believe, that Mary's power is comparable with the defensive power of a tower, of a wall and of a well-ordered army enforced Christians of the Middle Ages and early modern period in their confidence in Mary's victorious protection.