N&N 1 & N&N 3: Leeds 2013 & 2015



 
Networks and Neighbours 2015
                              Symposium III - Leeds

3 – 4 July 2015

M. Sadler Building, Grant Room, 3rd fl.
School of History
University of Leeds, UK


Organized by the Networks and Neighbours Team.


Welcome all to the third annual Networks and Neighbours Symposium. This year’s limited-space event will be centred on intensive research dialogue with an intimate collection of fellow scholars of earlier medieval history. To this end, each of the speakers will have their own extended discussion time and the number of participants will be limited. We hope that this will provide a fruitful exercise for everyone involved and we encourage all speakers to consider turning their respective talks into papers for publication.

Networks and Neighbours would like to express our especial gratitude to the School of History at the University of Leeds for their continued funding and support for our annual symposia and for making this event possible.




N&N 2015 Symposium Program

Day 1 (3rd July)

9:00am-9:30am: Registration, Coffee and Opening Remarks

9:30am-10:45am: Cultural Memory I
Ioannis Papadopoulos, University of Leeds, UK
‘Future Perfect: Late Roman Attempts of Utopian Establishments’
               
                                  Chair: Alaric Hall, University of Leeds, UK

10:45am-11:00am: Coffee

11:00am-12:15pm: Cultural Memory II
Catalin Taranu, University of Leeds, UK
‘True Franks and Teutons: The Social Life of Germanic Heroic Poetry in Carolingian Francia’

Chair: Alaric Hall

12:15pm-1:45pm: Lunch

1:45pm-3:00pm: Western Knowledge of the East I
Tamar Rotman, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
‘Between Hagiography and Practice: Eastern martyrs in the hagiographical corpus of Gregory of Tours’

Chair: Erin Dailey, Independent Scholar, Leeds

3:00pm-3:15pm: Coffee

3:15pm-4:30pm: Western Knowledge of the East II
Tom MacMaster, University of Edinburgh, UK
‘Justinian’s mistress, Anaulf’s wife: Eastern gossip and knowledge in the Chronicle of Fredegar’

Chair: Erin Dailey

4:30pm-4:45pm: Wine

4:45pm-6:00pm: Keynote Paper
Professor Ian Wood, University of Leeds, UK
‘The Transformation of Late Antiquity, 1971-2015’

Chair: Richard Broome, University of Leeds, UK
7pm: Dinner

Day Two (4th July)

9:30am-10:00am: Coffee

10:00am-11:15am: Non-Human Agents I
Andrea Maraschi, University of Iceland
 ‘Signs in the early Medieval skies. Why, what…and who?’

 Chair: Aleks Pluskowski, University of Reading, UK

11:15am-11:30am: Coffee

11:30am-12:45pm: Non-Human Agents II
Muriel Araujo Lima, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
                                    ‘The Silos Beatus: Angels, Beasts and Men at the End of Time’

                                    Chair: Aleks Pluskowski

12:45pm-2:15pm: Lunch

2:15pm-3:30pm: Circulation and Renewal I
Bruna Bengozi, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Reform and Renewal in Rodulfus Glaber’s Histories: some remarks’

Chair: Ainoa Castro, University of Toronto, Canada
3:30pm-3:45pm: Coffee

3:45pm-5:00pm: Circulation and Renewal II
Francisco Alvarez Lopez, King’s College London, UK
                                  ‘Circulation and Use of Iberian Texts in Anglo-Saxon England’
                                  
                                   Chair: Ainoa Castro

5:00pm: Concluding Remarks

Michael J. Kelly, University of Leeds, UK



---------------

2013 N&N Symposium, Leeds, U.K.
 Get the program in pdf here


  Networks and Neighbours
A Symposium on Early Medieval Correlations
27-28 June 2013


ORGANISED B
Jason R. Berg, Michael J. Kelly, Richard Broome, Tim Barnwell



The Organisers wish to express their gratitude to the following people for their help and support:
Ian N. Wood, Emily Abbey, Casey Baldacchino, Renan Birro, Tommaso Leso, 
N. Kıvılcım Yavuz & Otávio Luiz Vieira Pinto




N&N: A Symposium on Early Medieval Correlations
A message from the organisers:

Welcome to the Networks and Neighbours Symposium! We are extremely happy and excited to have such a varied and exciting group of scholars here in Leeds. We have been genuinely surprised by the overwhelming support and excitement for the project that has been generated in all corners of the globe and we have you to thank for that. We hope that you enjoy your time in Leeds and that the unique format of this symposium will not only be beneficial to you as presenters but will also foster more open and frank discussion on the study of the Early Middle Ages.

As we have said before, the aim of this event is to promote not only the study of how people and communities interacted within and without their own world and localities in the Early Middle Ages, but also to promote the study of Early Medieval networks by an international, multilingual collaboration of scholars. With that in mind, this symposium is also the ribbon-cutting event of a new Open Access Journal conveniently titled ‘Networks and Neighbours’, which published its first volume just last night. We would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the participants here who have already published their research via the N&N journal and openly invite all participants of this symposium to consider publishing expanded versions of these papers in the journal.

Finally, N&N seeks to build upon the excellent work and successes of series such as the ‘Transformation of the Roman World’, ‘HERA: Cultural Memory and the Resources of the Past’ and ‘Texts and Identities’, however, we hope to forge, with your help and input, novel methodologies and critically informed histories of Early Medieval Europe.

-Networks and Neighbours Organizing Committee



N&N: A Symposium on Early Medieval Correlations

27th June

9:00-10:00 – Coffee and Registration

10:00-10:15 – Opening Remarks

10:15-12:15 – Panel 1 ‘Letters’

12:15-1:15 – Lunch

1:15-3:15 – Panel 2 ‘Authority’

3:15-3:45 – Coffee

3:45-5:45 – Panel 3 ‘Stories, and Stories?’

6:30 – Symposium dinner at Veritas

28th June

10:00-10:15 Coffee

10:15-12:15 – Panel 4 ‘Sanctifying, or, Truth Harvesting’

1:15-3:15 – Panel 5 ‘Networks and Neighbours’

3:15-3:30 – Concluding Remarks by Professor Ian Wood

3:30-5:00 Wine Reception



N&N: A Symposium on Early Medieval Correlations

Program
Thursday, 27th June
Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building SR (1.32)
9:00-10:00: Coffee and Registration Parkinson SR 1.08
10:00-10:15: Opening Remarks – ‘Networks and Neighbours: What does it actually mean?’
10:15-12:15: Panel 1 ‘Letters’
Moderator: Jamie Wood, University of Lincoln, UK

André Szczawlinska Muceniecks, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
The Tenth and Eleventh Centuries as a Source for Medieval Scandinavian Historians: Methodological and Theoretical Considerations About the Study of Viking Age Rus´
Paulo Duarte Silva, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bishops and Preaching in Fifth-Century Gaul: The Sermons Ad Episcopos of Caesarius of Arles

Cătălin Ţăranu, University of Leeds, UK
The Elusive Nature of Germanic Heroic Poetry: A Rhizomatic Model
 
12:15-1:15: LUNCH

1:15-3:15: Panel 2 ‘Authority’
Moderator: Luis Garcia Moreno, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Sandro Teixeira Moita, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Building the Kingship: Roman Generals, Warrior Nobility, and the Rise of the Gothic Kings

Paulo Henrique de Carvalho Pachá, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Icariá, Brazil
Relations of Personal Dependence: Social Totality and Historical Dynamic in the Iberian Early Middle Ages

Koen Vanhuele, Universiteit Gent, Belgium
(Re-)Forming a Reformer: The Influence of Abbatial Networks on Monastic Reforms in the Early Eleventh Century
 
3:15-3:45: COFFEE


3:45-5:45: Panel 3 ‘Stories, and Stories?
Moderator: Meritxell Pérez Martinez, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

Tamar Rotman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel 
The Martyrdom of Agathonice and the Transmission of Her Story

Guy Ron-Gilboa, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Brigand Stories in Medieval Arabic Historiography

Javier Martínez Jiménez, Oxford University, UK
The lack of engineers in post-Roman Spain


6:30: DINNER AT VERITAS



Friday, 28th June

10:00-10:15: COFFEE

10:15-12:15: Panel 4 ‘Sanctifying, or, Truth Harvesting’
Moderator: Helena Carr, University of Sheffield, UK

Muriel Araujo Lima Garcia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
            English Bestiaries and their Medieval Precedents

Lucy O’Connor, University of Exeter, UK
The Gathering of Devout Pilgrims throughout the Early Medieval Holy Land

Asya Bereznyak, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Knowledge of their Own: Transmission, Transformation, and Appropriation of Christian Ideas in the Early Middle Ages
 
12:15-1:15: LUNCH

1:15-3:15: Panel 5 ‘Networks and Neighbours’
Moderator: Yaniv Fox, Cambridge University, UK

Dmitri TaratBen-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel
Continuity and Change: The Community of Hamburg-Bremen, c. 831-1076

Hervin Fernández-Aceves, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Networks and Networking in the Royal Court as Seen by Hugo Falcandus

Philipp Dörler, Universität Wien, Austria
The Liber Historiae Francorum – A Model for a New Frankish Self-Confidence

Rodrigo Rainha, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
            Education Outside of School in the Visigothic Kingdom

3:15-3:30: Concluding Remarks by Professor Ian Wood, University of Leeds, UK

3:30-5:00: Wine Reception

 





N&N: A Symposium on Early Medieval Correlations

Abstracts


Panel 1 ‘Letters’
Moderator: Jamie Wood, University of Lincoln, UK

André Szczawlinska Muceniecks, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

The Tenth and Eleventh Centuries as a Source for Medieval Scandinavian Historians: Methodological and Theoretical Considerations About the Study of Viking Age Rus´

The primary objective of this paper is to discuss some theoretical and methodological questions involved in the studies encompassing Scandinavian sources dealing with the East in the Middle Ages. Between several possible approaches, we selected the difficulties more closely related to the historian’s work, particularly in the field of Theory of History.
We start our discussion presenting the terminology - a subject that, by itself, would generate a separate dissertation. Following that, we think about some dualities presented in the question, particularly the temporal duality presented in the Scandinavian sources that, although written in thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, discusses and narrates events occurred in previous centuries, mainly ninth to eleventh.
Another duality it is generated by the last one. The concentration of traditional, written sources in thirteenth to fourteenth centuries followed by the predominant archaeological research dealing with the ninth to eleventh tantalisingly induces the researcher to a simplistic distinction between ´what really happened´, studied by archaeology, and ´what was written about this´, studied by history.
We will avoid entering in a more detailed way in the proper discussion of the meanings of East, the formation of Rus´ and such contextual questions, focusing instead in the methodological and theoretical spheres. We hope not to incur naively in this discussion, leaving to the reader the conclusion whether we treated satisfactorily the question.


Paulo Duarte Silva, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bishops and Preaching in Fifth-Century Gaul: The Sermons Ad Episcopos of Caesarius of Arles

From the fourth-century onwards, as an effect and an expression of the so called Constantinian Revolution, bishops started to conduct not only the major ecclesiastical issues but also the civic affairs. In the West, these affairs included embassy missions, care of the poor and captive, solving judicial contention and even coinage. Apart from the first decades of settlement and from some eventual conflict with the Germanic rulers, one can affirm that the process continued on the early Middle Ages. Some well-known bishops, such as Ambrose, Augustine and Leo of Rome engaged in preaching in order to enhance their civic and religious leadership upon minor clerics and mostly the laymen. Among them is Caesarius, Bishop of Arles in the first half of the fifth-century.
During his bishopric, the city of Arles and its surroundings were occupied in turn by Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Franks, and Caesarius had also to confront some internal clerical dissent. Among many other activities, preaching and promoting sermon collections occupied a significant part of his pastoral program. Caesarius did so not only to reaffirm his leadership but also to try to extend his influence to the rural parishes as well as to other dioceses in southern Gaul and in the West.
In this paper, we examine especially the ad episcopos sermons, those in which the preacher addressed mainly to the bishops or in which the bishop consecration was the main subject. Our main goal is to consider how Caesarius conceives the Episcopal power, as well as its relations with minor clerics and laymen. To this, we will confront the selected sermons (1, 230) with other documents produced by the Bishop of Arles, such as his letters and the records of the councils presided by him.


Cătălin Ţăranu, University of Leeds, UK

The Elusive Nature of Germanic Heroic Poetry: A Rhizomatic Model

One of the great issues in the study of what is conveniently - albeit perhaps uncritically - known as ‘Germanic heroic poetry’ has always been the pretextual evolution of the various narratives belonging to the genre. The main problem is that this requires a complex understanding of 'Germanic heroic' texts as simultaneously belonging to two worlds - the culturally and socially prestigious one of (Latinate) literacy, drawing on Classical models, and the world of (vernacular) orality, rooted in a poetics of anonymous memorial tradition. My paper argues for the relativisation of this sharp dichotomy which is to be replaced by the model of a large spectrum of textual variation. More concretely, I will discuss the earliest attestations of the Sigurd/Siegfried-Brunhilda story, from the historical events related by Gregory of Tours, to the thirteenth-century Nibelungenlied and Völsungasaga. Previous understandings of the evolution of 'Germanic heroic' texts in time have been based on reconstructing various stages of development, from short action-driven lays to lengthy dialogue- and drama-laden epics.
My paper will argue that rather than seeing these narratives as a series of more recent textual variants deriving in linear fashion from the earlier ones, it would be more helpful to envision the nature of Germanic heroic poetry as rhizomatic, consisting of a flux of narratives in a variety of forms (classifiable as ‘heroic lay’, ‘folk-tale’, ‘historical morality tale’, etc.) which interact with one another and with the cultural traditions into which they are adapted. The different narrative strands emerging in different milieus and shaped by them were never separate, reified objects, but rather expressions of these different cultural worlds which continuously communicated with one another. Thus, rather than attempting to reconstruct these different stages, one would gain more by looking at the forces of change - vectors for the flux of narratives and also at the interactions between the texts as such and the different cultural and social encodings of narrative and historical truth.


Panel 2 ‘Authority’
Moderator: Luis Garcia Moreno, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain


Sandro Teixeira Moita, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Building the Kingship: Roman Generals, Warrior Nobility, and the Rise of the Gothic Kings

This presentation intends to contribute to the debate on the formation process of Gothic kingship during the years 382-418, at the time of the Great Migration of the Visigoths. The emergence of figures like Alaric I, Athawulf, Sigeric and Valia represents the validation of such a process in which a network of relationships between Gothic leaders and Roman generals was crucial to the rise of Gothic kingship, including Goth chieftains and princes at military service of the Roman Empire, which achieved high commands and ranks in the Roman Army. Drawing from theoretical considerations from the fields of Military History and Anthropology, the presentation analyses the transformations which were responsible for important changes concerning the figure of the king which occurred during the period in question. At this moment, the figure of the king changed from a purely military nature to a political one, reaching the most prominent position at the top of the Gothic society. As a result of this process, the king acquired the authority to lead the Visigoths in their search for a place, a new “Gothia” like the one of years before the Second Gothic War (376-382). This quest came to a successful ending with the foundation of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, thanks to the advantages of the imperial settlement of 418 in Gaul.


Paulo Henrique de Carvalho Pachá, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Icariá, Brazil

Relations of Personal Dependence: Social Totality and Historical Dynamic in the Iberian Early Middle Ages

This research proposes to address the emergence of a society founded on the centrality of the structural relations of personal dependence, in a context of spreading and rooting of new hegemonic relations of production forms - and, therefore, the exercise of power and resistance opposed to it - in the Iberian Peninsula, between the fourth and seventh centuries. Hence this presentation will focus on the phenomena and structures of social relations connected by relations of personal dependence. This strategy seeks to point out the centrality of these relations and its progressive setting as the core social relation during the early Iberian Middle Ages, which means it plays the major role as the relation that functions as the framework of the social totality and establishes the limits and possibilities of a specific historical dynamics.
Taking into consideration this historically specific social form - the result of the process of synthesis between the roman imperial structure and the Germanic tribal organisation - our central hypothesis is that relations of personal dependence are the core social relations in the process of structuring early-medieval society as a totality. In this context, gift-exchanging system was established as a key point in connecting and expanded reproduction of relations of dependence, combining and joining extremely diverse phenomena such as the Visigothic state organisation, the process of Christianisation in the Peninsula and the development of forms of exchange.
Our paper focuses on this last element, developing a characterisation of the main forms of early medieval exchange (gift-exchange and commerce) through an analysis that frames them as relationships that emerges from a social structure determined by the relations of personal dependence. It is, therefore, an investigation that has as its main objective the analysis of medieval society as a totality.


Koen Vanhuele, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

(Re-)Forming a Reformer: The Influence of Abbatial Networks on Monastic Reforms in the Early Eleventh Century

By the end of the early Middle Ages, Benedictine monasticism in Western Europe went through a series of (trans)formations under the influence of large reform centres such as Gorze and Cluny and their networks of reformed institutions. However, in the margins of these movements developed smaller and more regional-oriented reform movements. One such example is the network of institutions led by Poppo of Stavelot (†1048), a descendant of lower Flemish nobility, who converted to monastic life in his adult years and worked in close conjunction with the German emperors to reform a large number of monasteries on their territories.
Although primary evidence is scarce, several scholars have attempted to construct a cohesive account of his life and accomplishments, focusing either on his role as a political player within the context of the ‘imperial church system’, or on his significance as a proponent of the so-called ‘Lotharingian mixed observance’. However, by largely ignoring his own agency as a reformer and the way in which his own networks played a determinant role in the methodology and outcomes of the reforms, none of these works succeeded in explaining the atypical evolution of his career.
This paper will fill some of this lacuna by proposing an alternative reading of Poppo, focusing on his embeddedness in several complex, constantly changing and often conflicting aristocratic and ecclesiastical networks. Particular attention will be paid to the degree to which these interrelated local and regional networks (re-)formed Poppo as a reformer and to what extent Poppo increasingly succeeded in utilizing his accumulating network-capital to pursue his own goals as a monastic leader. Finally, it will investigate his efforts of creating a network between institutions and try to answer the question whether links between them became institutionalised, or rather stayed personal and ephemeral.


Panel 3 ‘Stories, and Stories?
Moderator: Meritxell Pérez Martinez, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain


Tamar Rotman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, Israel

The Martyrdom of Agathonice and the Transmission of Her Story

In this paper I intend to examine the transmission of the martyrdom of Carpus, Papylus and Agathonice which appears in two accounts: one written in Latin and another written in Greek. Although the transmission of the story hardly changed the description of the martyrdom of Carpus and Papylus, one difference may be noted in the story of Agathonice. According to the Latin account, Agathonice was tried and executed just after Carpus and Papylus. However, in the Greek account she stands in the crowd, and as she watches Carpus and Papylus being burnt to death, she decides to end her life in the same way and become a martyr, and so jumps into the burning flames.
Although modern scholars tend to see the Latin account as more reliable, in my paper I will show that, in fact, it is the Greek version that proves to be more credible. In order to do so I will focus on a small phenomenon known as ‘voluntary martyrdom’. Through examination of similar martyrdom accounts and the writings of early church fathers, such as Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and Cyprian, I will explain this phenomenon and the attitude of the early Church towards it. Understanding why the Greek account is the reliable one will hopefully explain why the Latin writer (or translator) chose to change Agathonice's story, but more importantly it may give us inkling into of the relationships between different Christian communities in different areas of the Roman Empire.


Guy Ron-Gilboa, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Brigand Stories in Medieval Arabic Historiography

Tales of bandits, robbers, and brigands appear common in many literary traditions: consider for example the medieval English ballads on Robin Hood and his Merry Men; the Russian folksongs on Stenka Razin; and tales of the American Wild West (Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy) to name but a few. The taste for these tales of suspense and high adventure is indeed shared by many, and medieval Arab authors are no exception.
Early Arab authors showed a keen interest in the poetry and exploits of Bedouin brigands, especially those of pre-Islamic times, as part of their general interest in Arabian antiquity, tribal genealogies, pre-Islamic poetry and lore, etc. These early authors constructed the notion of the Ǧāhiliyya - the usual Islamic term for the pre-Islamic period, meaning ‘the age of barbarity/savageness’, or the ‘age of ignorance’ - as an ideal past from which virtues such as virility, generosity and courage should be learned, not merely as a savage age of idolatry. In this respect, they held pre-Islamic Arabic poetry (including the poetry composed by the above mentioned brigands) in the highest esteem, seeing that it represented the ideal form of classical Arabic as well as expressing the best virtues of the Ǧāhiliyya, and they sought making it a basis for the shared cultural heritage of the forming Islamic civilisation.


Javier Martínez Jiménez, Oxford University, UK

The lack of engineers in post-Roman Spain

Amidst the debate around the end of the Roman world, in which "decline" and "collapse" are rather seen as "transformation" and "adaptation", Spanish archaeology has been recently confronted a debate of its own, in which most of the churches traditionally considered by art historians as "Visigothic" are being proposed by archaeologists as ninth-century constructions. Without tackling this issue directly, this paper will address the archaeological evidence which surrounds the evolution of Roman public infrastructure (paying particular to aqueducts) in the Visigothic period, paying particular attention to sites such as Barcelona, Tarragona, Seville, Córdoba, and above all, Mérida and Reccopolis, the new sixth-century urban foundation. From the evidence presented it will be clear that even if there does not seem to be much evidence to suggest the continuity of skilled engineers in Spain, there were wider networks of skilled builders available.


Panel 4 ‘Sanctifying, or, Truth Harvesting’
Moderator: Helena Carr, University of Sheffield, UK


Muriel Araujo Lima Garcia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

English Bestiaries and their Medieval Precedents

The Physiologus is a Christian book of animal lore that was probably first compiled in Alexandria, Egypt, between the second and fifth centuries. Originally in Greek, it was later translated into many languages, including Latin, and became one of the sources of the bestiaries produced in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The influence of Physiologus’ text on English bestiaries is well-known, but little has been said about its iconography and its effects on later manuscript production.
If the Physiologus’ text became one of the most important sources for bestiaries, did the same happen to its images? That is, to what extent - if at all - was its iconographic program reused and transformed by a later tradition? We will try to investigate possible points of change and continuity - image-wise - as makers of bestiaries relied on previous content to fashion a new kind of book.
The focus will be on the ninth-century Bern, Burgerbibliothek Cod. 318, the first illustrated Latin Physiologus, but we will also draw some comparisons from Brussels, Bibl.Roy. MS 10074 which, being from the eleventh century closely predates English bestiaries. The search for possible common traits - as well as differences - between the icnography of Physiologus manuscripts and bestiaries may shed light on how the transmission of knowledge took place.


Lucy O’Connor, University of Exeter, UK

The Gathering of Devout Pilgrims throughout the Early Medieval Holy Land

Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Palestine had developed into a phenomenal religious movement by the end of the sixth century. Pilgrims longed to see, touch and worship at the sacred sites described in the Bible.  They were also drawn to places of natural wonder, cult-centres commemorating the bodies of local saints, holy men and women, as well as hermits. Vast numbers of pilgrims from all parts of the Christian world gathered together at the holy sites. One contemporary commentator, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, described the array of Nationalities drawn to Symeon Stylites the Elder: ‘Not only the inhabitants of our part of the world flock together, but also Ishmaelites, Persians, Armenians subject to them, Iberians, Homerites and men even more distant than these; and there came many inhabitants of the extreme west, Spaniards, Britons, and the Gauls.  And of Italy it is superfluous to speak’. The coming together of such a grouping of people must surely have given the opportunity for communication, interaction and the sharing of knowledge amongst them.  Yet, it is a subject that has long been ignored and neglected. 
This paper will offer new analysis and interpretation surrounding the identities of the early medieval pilgrims: who they were in terms of their social ranking and where exactly they had travelled from.  However, this paper ultimately seeks to question whether they communicated and interacted with one another throughout the unfamiliar Holy Land and whether facilities and amenities were available to them to help develop such an interaction.


Asya Bereznyak, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Knowledge of their Own: Transmission, Transformation, and Appropriation of Christian Ideas in the Early Middle Ages

‘The instruction we gather from books is like fire,’ Voltaire noted, and went on to describe the significance of the instruction found in books and its transmission to and from neighbours. Yet although it is not hard to point out the book that shaped the culture of medieval Europe in a long, often forced - and sometimes devastating - process of Christianisation, direct instruction from books was hardly available to the vast majority of medieval Europeans. It is from and to neighbours that ideas were transmitted; and it is only by tracing the evolution and formation of these ideas as they passed from neighbour to neighbour, from people to people, that we can aspire to account for their local shape and impact.
This paper aims to provide a comparative perspective on the transmission, transformation and appropriation of Christian ideas across Europe during its Christianisation. It will be shown that ideas were not merely transmitted as is - much as it happens when ideas are passed between individuals, so also when ideas are passed between peoples - they are being constantly moulded, re-shaped and absorb new cultural meanings. Thus, to unravel the overlapping layers of meaning those ideas accumulated as they passed through several intermediaries, it is essential to consider not only the role of the agent and the reaction of the converted people, but also the unique form the interactions between them assumed in each locality. A careful re-examination of such interactions will show that several distinct strategies of self definition were adopted as a reaction to forced Christianisation and that a better understanding of these strategies can account for the character Christianity assumed in each region.


Panel 5 ‘Networks and Neighbours’
Moderator: Yaniv Fox, Cambridge University, UK

Dmitri Tarat, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel

Continuity and Change: The Community of Hamburg-Bremen, c. 831-1076

This paper will try to define what exactly the community of Hamburg–Bremen was in the times of Anskar and Rimbert and that of the time of Adam of Bremen and will try to compare between the two. In order to do so, I will use the following model, according to which the discussion will be arranged;
1.      Local saints and universal saints.
2.     Definition of local community.
3.     The neighbours and the fields of missionary work; the perception and the practice.


Hervin Fernández-Aceves, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Networks and Networking in the Royal Court as Seen by Hugo Falcandus

The Liber de Regno Sicilie, attributed to ‘Hugo Falcandus’ (pseudo-Falcandus) became, for better or worse, a pillar for the understanding of the Norman kingdom of Sicily in the second half of the twelfth century. The encounters, agreements, bargaining, gossiping, manoeuvring, and plotting described in the Liber’s narrative seem to tell us a story on how friendship and conflict affected the King’s government and, hence, his Kingdom. But to what extent the practice of plotting and manipulating relationships define the personal and social perspective on a medieval royal court?
My study on pseudo-Falcandus’ account is focused on the role of coalitions and interactions as developed through systems of social relations present in the text. Hence, my starting hypothesis is that the relationships of the historical actors are the means by which political action is described in a historical narrative. The two main questions that I expect to answer are: How can we extract and project a system of social relations from a medieval text? And, what does the projected system tell us about the role and flow of secrets in the text’s description of conspiracy and plotting in the royal court?
The first problem to address is the description of Hugo Falcandus’ account in terms of characters and coalitions, and then constructs a map of actors. After that, I shall identify a system of interactions between those actors, connected by events that either oppose or unite them. The central idea of this methodological attempt is that the meaning of individuals and communities in a narrative is conditional on their position in a system of social relation constructed by the author. Hence, a central problem when dealing with the correlation between secrecy and political activity as described by a text is framing and organising the author’s depiction of social and political interactions.


Philipp Dörler, Universität Wien, Austria

The Liber Historiae Francorum – A Model for a New Frankish Self-Confidence

For many historians, such as R. Gerberding, the mostly neglected Liber historiae Francorum (LHF) is a text fundamentally influenced by Germanic traditions. But reducing the LHF to only one tradition is too short-sighted; the text was influenced by a multitude of different traditions. In my paper, I pursue two arguments:  first, I believe that the author of the LHF makes use of different long-standing traditions. He does not only manage to juxtapose and balance these different traditions with ease, but slightly transforms them for his own purposes. This may be seen particularly in two examples, both somewhat neglected in previous research: The author’s use of the legend of Troy - which is different from other post-Roman authors as Jordanes or the so-called Fredegar - and his use of the Bible; the text’s language and narrative structure as well as its typological comparisons indicate the author consciously harks back to the Bible - but in a different way from Gregory of Tours, one of the main sources of the text. The author skilfully combines these traditions to a new identity model for the Frankish people, which results in the author creating something new: the LHF presents us with a new Frankish self-conception in which the Franks have utterly emancipated themselves from the Romans. It defines the Franci not anymore just as one gens among many, but rather conceives them as a populus. They are God’s Chosen People and thus superior to the Romans. Second, by doing so, the text does not only intercommunicate and respond to other texts within a network, but to a certain extent it also represents a competing model of a Frankish identity. These insights present the LHF in a different light.


Rodrigo Rainha, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Education Outside of School in the Visigothic Kingdom

The aim of this paper will be to challenge received wisdom about education in the Visigothic kingdom.  In the pedagogical texts, as well as in ecclesiastical epistles, we can see grand claims of the revival and importance of education in the kingdom.  From this surface reading, traditional historiography has developed the view that there was a wider movement for education.  To the contrary, I will argue that the reality of education was a very individual, hierarchical form of learning that was meant to sustain social-political differences and not expand education in the broader sense.
To develop this argument, I will study four bishops: Isidore of Seville, Braulio of Zaragoza, Eugenius II of Toledo and Taio of Zaragoza.  These men, linked through the continuous exchange of letters and the exercising of episcopal duties, all relied on their predecessors as teacher, using this acquired education to reinforce their positions on the episcopate.
We understand that in the midst of the socio-political gap faced by the Visigoths in the seventh century bishop, who was seen wrapped in political disputes, the question that the church was in the background, some prominent members of the episcopate sought to strengthen the specific discourses of space. Isidore of Seville in particular stressed the master-student/disciple relationship and this type of personal education as a way to regulate and indicate the clergy from society by establishing legitimacy through clear hierarchies of authority.
In turn, the former student of Isidore, Braulio, along with Eugenius (a potential former student of Isidore) and Taio followed the personal tutorship style of Isidore as a way to build authorship for clerical/episcopal leadership.  Thus the legacy of the master/disciple education structure carried on throughout the seventh century and the Visigothic kingdom and in so doing maintained a limited space for learning and educative, contrary to the rhetoric of the pedagogical texts and epistles.