Frühmittelalterliche Studien

Band 50

Zusammenfassungen der Beiträge in englischer Sprache (abstracts)

Christel Meier, Krise und Conversio. Grenzerfahrungen in der biographischen Literatur des Hochmittelalters, (Taf. I-II, Abb. 1-2), S. 21-44

Conversion as a model of perfectibility does not only mean a linear progress or ascent, but a change in direction, a change of life. The article first analyses three of the few theoretical treatments of conversion in the Middle Ages from Isidore of Seville’s ‛Sententiae’, Caesarius of Heisterbach’s ‛Dialogus Miraculorum’, and Thomas Aquinas’s ‛Summa theologiae’, which all develop a three-step pattern (turning back, progress, state of perfection and reward). The conceptions differ slightly in meaning: namely they aim either at a general pastoral instruction or at a specific monastic rule or emphasize the effect of divine grace on man’s return to God.

While there are hundreds of stories and legends narrating the conversions of holy men and women throughout the Middle Ages, it is only by the late 11th and the 12th century that authors begin to relate their own conversion stories (as Augustine did in Late Antiquity). The present essay deals with four of these authors, who stand for distinct types of crises, self-analyses and conversions in different social and religious contexts: Otloh of St. Emmeram (‛Liber de temptatione cuiusdam monachi’), Abaelard (and Héloïse) (‛Historia calamitatum’ and ‛Epistulae’), as well as Rupert of Deutz and Hildegard of Bingen in their autobiographic statements.

Sebastian Rothe, Konzeptualisierungen heiliger Asketen im transkulturellen Vergleich. Eine Analyse hagiographischer Lebensbeschreibungen des heiligen Antonius und des Ibrāhīm b. Adham, S. 45-98

Pursuing a transcultural approach, the article compares ways in which Anthony the Great (c.?251-356) and Ibrāhīm b. Adham (c. 718-782), two of the earliest figures of ascetic movements in Christendom and Islam respectively, are conceptualized as holy men in Christian and Sufi hagiography. Before the specific historical and cultural contexts are contrasted, their most well-known biographies — the 4th-century ‛Vita Antonii’ written by Athanasius of Alexandria and the 13th-century ‛Taḏkirat al-auliyā’ written by Farīd ad-Dīn ʿAṭṭār — are analysed separately, first, in regard to how asceticism and authority are related to each other and, secondly, to what extent the historical person behind the hagiographical image can be recognized. Heuristically, Max Weber’s ideal type of the charismatic authority serves as tertium comparationis. This comparative perspective shows that both authors present the ascetic authority as increasing and orthodox, although it was unstable and revolutionary. The article argues that such similarities are based on structural analogies and functional equivalents. Thus, the transcultural approach contributes to deconstructing the master narrative of Christian Europe as being the only heir of antiquity and challenges the common dichotomy ‛Christian’/‛Islamic’, while the comparative approach generates new questions concerning an old object of research: Peter Brown’s holy men.

Markus Mülke, Guter König und doch Verfolger? Die Religionspolitik des Westgotenkönigs Leovigild im Urteil der zeitgenössischen Historiker (Johannes Biclarensis und Isidor von Sevilla), S. 99-128

The political measures which Leovigild, the last Arian king of the Visigothic kingdom (569-586), undertook against the Catholic church remain controversial in modern research. The question if he is to be considered as a persecutor of the fides recta has been debated in particular. According to the communis opinio, the most important contemporary — and Catholic — sources, John of Biclar (Chronicle) and Isidore of Seville (Chronicle and ‛De Origine Gothorum’), do not represent Leovigild as such, but as a powerful and successful king who achieved the kingdom's unity by military campaigns as well as by political intelligence. In what follows, this view is challenged by a careful interpretation of these authors. Their intertextual reception of Jerome's Chronicle, especially its entries on the last pagan Roman emperor Julian and on the first Christian emperor Constantine, hints at Leovigild as a heretical persecutor of the church. Thus, the results of latest research on the literary complexity and artfulness of the late antique and first medieval chronicles find further confirmation.

Paweł Figurski, Das sakramentale Herrscherbild in der politischen Kultur des Frühmittelalters, (Taf. III-V, Abb. 3-5), S. 129-161

Medievalists have long debated the function of miniatures of rulers embedded in liturgical manuscripts. This phenomenon begins in the early ninth century and ends in the late eleventh. Many scholars have treated the iconography of medieval rulers as the visual propaganda of kings striving to elevate their power vis-à-vis Empire and Church. Recently, however, scholars have begun to interpret these images according to the liturgical function of the book in which they were included.

I take up this recent approach and show that Ottonian images of rulers should be interpreted in the context of liturgical texts. I analyze the famous ‛Coronation of Henry II’ in the Sacramentary of Regensburg (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4456, fol. 11r) and ‛Coronation of Otto’ in the Warmund Sacramentary (Ivrea, Biblioteca Capitolare, Ms. LXXXVI, fol. 160v). I compare the iconography of these illuminations with liturgical prayers for rulers preserved in the same manuscripts. Moreover, I contextualize the iconography and prayers within the broader symbolic function of liturgical books in the Middle Ages in order to argue that the selected miniatures are not only visualizations of texts, but also performances of prayers for rulers. Thus, the miniatures of rulers had the sacramental function of making present the invisible graces of God.

Wolfram Drews, Der Dortmunder Totenbund Heinrichs II. und die Reform der futuwwa durch den Bagdader Kalifen al-Nāṣir. Überlegungen zu einer vergleichenden Geschichte mittelalterlicher Institutionen, (Taf. III, V-VI, Abb. 3, 5-6), S. 163-230

The article discusses two case studies when subjects as well as officials were drawn together in specific social and/or religious groups on the initiative of rulers with the aim of enhancing and strengthening social ties with political authorities. The German king Henry II was the first monarch in the Latin Middle Ages who became a member of a special religious confraternity. At a diet convened at Dortmund in 1005 he entered into a confraternity together with the duke of Saxony and several bishops from North-Western Germany. This fraternity (Dortmunder Totenbund) included several charitable stipulations, and it was active for at least 100 years. The fraternity was clearly meant to consolidate Henry’s rule in a region that had supported his adversary at the time he was struggling for succession to the German throne a few years earlier. In the Islamic world, the earliest comparable case was the reorganisation of the futuwwa communities by the Abbasid caliph al-Nāṣir of Baghdad at the end of the 12th century, when the ruler took over the existing communities, styling himself after the model of a Sufi sheikh at the top of a futuwwa hierarchy. Also in this case, ethical norms formed part of institutionalised confraternity. Henry II and al-Nāṣir were the very first rulers in the respective traditions who entered into particular relationships with specific religious communities that were institutionally separate from the wider community of all the faithful. King and caliph relied on institutional preconditions and mechanisms present in the respective religious traditions, using theses institutional possibilities to foster their social and political aims.

Brigitte Le Guen, Associations of Artists and Hellenistic Rulers. The Case of the Guild Established in Ptolemaic Egypt and its Cypriot Subsidiary, S. 231-254

The article focuses on the association of Artists of Dionysus (known as Dionysiac τεχνῖται), established in Ptolemaic Egypt in the Hellenistic period, and on its Cypriot subsidiary. Its main aim is to underline the different reasons why the Lagid sovereigns hosted and protected a guild of a totally new kind, as it was both religious and professional (membership was restricted to free males endowed with a certain expertise in the musical and dramatic field). The Ptolemies successively in charge of the kingdom maintained a unique control of them, which is attested by the inscription of the name of the deified couple they formed with their respective sister-wives in the title of the Artists’ association, besides that of Dionysus, the god of theatre. Consequently, the Ptolemies used the Artists of Dionysus not only to serve the royal and dynastic cults, created by them to justify their power, to highlight their moral and political values, and to reassure the Greek and native population, but also to appropriate for themselves the qualities previously attributed to the god Dionysus. The Egyptian guild of Artists of Dionysus and its Cypriot branch were a unique political and religious instrument for the Lagid monarchy, as well as for those of their entourage, who were able to reaffirm their unconditional allegiance to the Ptolemies.

Andreas Janousch, ‛The Aśoka of China’. Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty (r. 502-549) and the Buddhist Monastic Community (saṅgha), S. 255-295

The article analyses the reign of the Chinese Emperor Wu, his religious policies and the changing relationship between imperial institutions and the saṅgha, the Buddhist monastic community, during the first half of the 6th century. The emperor, who is repeatedly compared to the Mauryan king Aśoka, a historical figure from India honoured as both a universal ruler and as a protector of Buddhism, helped creating the notion of imperial Buddhism. Focusing on various measures that were taken in order to enlarge the set of rituals available for and connected to imperial power, this paper argues that Wu’s reign should be regarded as an important turning point in view of the instrumentalization of Buddhist institutions for political aims.

After briefly discussing the body of source material and referring to the state of the empire at the time of the Liang dynasty, the article examines several aspects in which Wu’s religious imperial programme manifests itself most clearly. Whereas earlier negotiations concerning the relationship between imperial institutions and the monastic order resulted in the formation of two separate ritual spheres, Wu’s policies effectively linked the two together and turned the saṅgha into an agent of imperial authority. A central element was the emperor’s ordination as a Bodhisattva in 519 that considerably expanded his authority over the monastic community, Buddhist doctrines and ceremonial procedures. This function as ‛Emperor-Bodhisattva’ played a crucial role in the establishment of a new public and institutionalized state ritual: the Great Assemblies. This significant imperial Buddhist ritual sprang from the older tradition of the maigre feast, an originally private event granting a more active role to Buddhist laypeople, which temporarily erased the line between the two spheres. Emperor Wu’s religious policies also comprised remarkable efforts to construct new monasteries and to enlarge existing ritual places; these activities are analysed with regard to their diversified and differentiated use, their ritual and symbolic relevance as well as their political functions.

Max Deeg, The Order of the dharma and the Order of Rulership. On the Relationship between Monastic Community and Worldly Power in the History of Buddhism, S. 297-314

The article deals with the relation between rulership and the saṅgha, the Buddhist community, by examining four cases from Buddhist history which illustrate the ongoing renegotiation of power and authority between the two sides. Taking into consideration various regions and periods, the study first analyses references to kings and rulership as well as royal symbolism in biographical accounts of the life of the Buddha. The textual tradition describes his role as that of a moral, spiritual advisor of worldly regents, depicting Buddha himself as being of transcendent royal status. This idea already indicates subsequent tensions between worldly power and a religious community that repeatedly arose due to the saṅgha’s claim to ‛extraterritoriality’, a claim hardly compatible with the self-understanding and positioning of an all-powerful ruler. The following examples, accordingly, reveal different strategies that were adopted in order to maintain control over the respective other.

In India, Mauryan ruler Aśoka tried to assume a dominant position regarding the interpretation of the dharma, law and truth of Buddhism, by issuing prescriptive edicts. The relationship between the Buddhist monk Xuanzang and the Tang emperor Taizong in 7th-century China, however, illustrates the opposite case, exemplifying an attempt to influence a ruler in order to gain support for the saṅgha: Xuanzang tried to educate the emperor by means of his literary work, an account of his travels, which pointed out exemplary royal behaviour from a Buddhist perspective. Biographies of Shōtoku Taishi, prince-regent in early imperial Japan, show yet an alternative way of dealing with worldly rulership and religious leadership since they present Shōtoku as a sovereign uniting the different functions — sanctity and political power — in an ideal way in his own person.

Georg Berkemer, Brotherhood, Kinship and Hierarchy. The Priests of Puri and the Kings of the Odishan Empire, S. 315-328

The Western concept of ‛brotherhood’ is generally associated with equality and solidarity. As the South Asian value system, however, is largely based on hierarchy, the understanding of ‛brotherhood’ fundamentally differs from the Indo-European one: the notion is closely connected to rivalry and therefore needs to be considered within the context of status and alliance. Taking into account anthropological aspects, this study analyses the distinct features of the traditional South Asian kinship system and structuring principles of society, where hierarchies are expressed in terms of generational affiliation (elder vs. younger) and the opposition of one’s ‛own’ people related via kinship and ‛others’ related by marriage. Furthermore, the article elaborates on linguistic differences with regard to the term ‛brother’, discussing also cultural implications for the idea of (political) brotherhood.

Against this backdrop, the article examines forms of alliance between the kings of the Indian state of Odisha and the priests of the Jagannatha temple in Puri. The history of the temple from the early 12th century to the beginnings of the Mughal Empire reveals two overall trends: whereas the power of the various Gaṅga kings and their successors gradually decreased, the deity and its cult became more complex and significant in the course of the centuries and, accordingly, the priests became increasingly independent of royal tutelage. Examining the relation between the rulers and the Brahmans as well as the dynamics of competing kin groups in the spiritual environment, this contribution suggests that ‛brotherhood’ is basically an oxymoron in this context since marriage alliances between the royal nobility and priests were unlikely to occur.

Nadeem Khan, Nūr ad-Dīn Zankī and ʿUmar al-Mallāʾ. Awqāf, ǧihād, and Religious Fraternization in the 12th Century, S. 329-359

This article explores the relation of the Muslim ruler Nūr ad-Dīn Maḥmūd b. Zankī (died 1174) to Sunni scholars. Previous works have shown that Nūr ad-Dīn supported Sunni ʿulamāʾ of different religious orientations financially, stressing political benefits gained by the ruler during this process. While acknowledging this reasoning, the present article argues that religion as a motive for Nūr ad-Dīn’s policies — ranging from ǧihād to endowments — needs to be included in the scientific discourse.

The exemplary case of Shaykh ʿUmar al-Mallāʾ of Mosul, mostly found in Abū Šāma’s ‛Kitāb ar-rawḍatayn fī aẖbār ad-dawlatayn an-Nūriyya wa-ṣ-Ṣāliḫiyya’, provides evidence for a nascent Sufi fraternity closely linked to the ruling Zengid dynasty in general, and to Nūr ad-Dīn in particular. Despite the fact that ʿUmar al-Mallāʾ became politically involved during Nūr ad-Dīn’s siege of Mosul in 1171, their interaction does not show any obvious political advantages for the ruler, at least on the basis of the source material.

Their ambiguous relationship involves interchanging roles in the fields of religion and politics alike, while showing a close spiritual connection of mutual support. Eventually, the influence of ʿUmar al-Mallāʾ on Nūr ad-Dīn seems to be stronger than Nūr ad-Dīn’s influence on the scholar.

W. Mark Ormrod, The Foundation and Early Development of the Order of the Garter in England, 1348-1399, S. 361-392

The article examines the origins and early history of the Order of the Garter, a princely order of knighthood founded by the English monarch Edward III in 1348. Considering the interplay of the fraternity’s characteristics such as monarchical patronage, an emphasis on chivalric values and its distinct religious ethos, the study analyses the Order’s impact on both image and power of its first two royal patrons, the sovereigns Edward III and Richard II.

First, the paper concentrates on the role of the monarch as patron of the Order; in this context, it focusses on Edward’s initial motivation underlying the establishment of the confraternity as well as on royal decisions regarding the choice of insignia, motto and headquarters, which accompanied the foundation. Especially under the reign of Edward, the Order’s advancement indicates structural developments in late Medieval English politics as rulership became increasingly corporate and collegial. Still, inclusion into or omission from the Order was largely dependent on the king’s will, being determined by close personal relations to the royal court and the monarch himself. A detailed analysis of the membership therefore provides important clues for understanding the significance of the fraternity as a political tool and for recognizing patterns of interaction between monarch and elites. Similarities and differences in Edward III’s and Richard II’s presidency reveal the adaptiveness of the institution which was, however, only one instrument of power among others. Moreover, the study discusses secular elements of the Order’s ceremonial and ways in which the annual feast on St George’s Day, the use of particular robes and the integration of Arthurian themes added to the prestige of the confraternity and its cultural meaningfulness. Religious establishments at Windsor Castle and practices associated with the Order of the Garter further aimed at promoting Plantagenet monarchy and ideology.

Tobias Hoffmann, Erster oder Gleicher? Über die Rolle des Stifters im Orden vom Goldenen Vlies und im Halbmondorden. Ein Vergleich, (Taf. VII-VIII, Abb. 7-8), S. 393-413

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, so called monarchical orders were founded at many European courts. These orders cultivated a splendid knightly culture, although the great age of chivalry seemed long to be over. By comparing two of these orders, the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Order of the Crescent, this paper examines the role of their founders, Philipp of Burgundy and René of Anjou, and their relationship towards the other members based on the statutes of both institutions. Therefore this paper focusses on the constitutional shaping of the orders as well as on different processes of decision-making and symbolic semantics, which played an essential role at different events. It is argued that while René of Anjou emphasized the aspect of equality by different means, Philipp of Burgundy presented himself as a primus inter pares, being both a brother and a lord.