Speculum

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 2040-8072
Print ISSN: 0038-7134
Publications
Shortly after the Vandals took Carthage in 439, the city's Catholic bishop, Quodvultdeus, and a large number of his clergy were said to have been placed “naked and despoiled on broken ships” and put to sea, banished from Africa. By God's mercy, the exiles made their way safely to Naples, where Quodvultdeus quickly came to be regarded as a saint: a fifth-century mosaic from the catacombs of St. Januarius (San Gennaro) in Capodimonte seems to depict the African bishop, and by the middle of the ninth century his feast day was celebrated in the local liturgical calendar. A similar story could be told of Gaudiosus of Abitina, another fifth-century African bishop who was said to have fled the Vandals and who also achieved sainthood in Campania. The flight of refugees like Quodvultdeus and Gaudiosus from the political turmoil that wracked North Africa between the fifth and the eighth centuries, however, has long been seen as having a far greater significance than the reinvention of exiled African bishops as sout...
 
This essay is a history of an analogy. It charts a perceived relationship between the Trinity and the conjugal family in Anglo-French lay culture in the later Middle Ages. The association had long been known within theological discussions of the Trinity, antedating the works of St. Augustine, but his disapproving assessment was enduringly to inhibit its use. This essay shows the way that the analogy reemerged in the fourteenth century, bleeding through its theological bandages into debates about the ethics of human relationships. Where this interrelationship has been considered before by medievalists, it has been in criticism of William Langland's Piers Plowman. This essay treats that poem, too, but also maintains that the synergy between marriage and the Trinity was not only the preoccupation of an eccentric poet but had a much more widespread cultural relevance. Indeed, I gather here a range of material, both literature and art, from across Europe between roughly the end of the thirteenth to the mid-fifteenth century; within that evidence, I identify a shared interest in reanimating the apparently exhausted topic of Trinitarianism and the family.
 
L'A. traite de l'alchimie medievale developpee sous un double regime: le latin ecrit et la langue vernaculaire parlee, en etablissant une comparaison avec l'utilisation de la langue native par Dante et Lulle. Des exemples d'ecrits alchimiques redigees dans des langues autres que le latin (tels les Sommetta et les Violetta de Christophe de Paris en italien) a partir du XIVeme siecle montrent les motifs d'un tel choix, les alchimistes ne faisant pas partie des ecoles.
 
A pair of early-fourteenth-century texts by a Jewish physician offers an unusual glimpse of Jewish acculturation in medieval Provence. Their fate, moreover, illustrates the complexity of Jewish identity and memory, built on scaffolding assembled and reassembled over years of dislocation. Composed around 1327 in Avignon, Crescas Caslari's two verse narratives recount the biblical story of Esther. One version, in rhymed couplets, is the vernacular used by Provençal Jews, and the other version is in Hebrew. The Romance version survives in two incomplete fragments, enough to demonstrate a lively adaptation of romance narrative conventions and a sure literary hand. Except as a curiosity, it very quickly faded from sight. The Hebrew version, albeit complete, has had only a slightly securer footing in history. One manuscript copy, dated 1402 and now in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, survives in an anthology of Purim parodies and hymns copied in a Provençal hand; another, now in the British Library, is preserved in an eighteenth-century festival prayer book of the Avignon rite. A printed version containing some striking variants appeared in Salonika, on the press of Isaac Jehun, in 1853.
 
ties became obsessed with it. Authors from Iberia to the Low Countries and from Paris to Vienna turned their attention to this topic, and particularly in the first half of the 1400s a wave of tracts and treatises explicitly de superstitionibus issued from their pens.1 For these men, superstition was a serious error, not the typically harmless foolishness that modern use of the term tends to convey.2 In the theology of the age, superstitio meant most basically an excess of religion, literally "religion observed beyond proper measure."3 Since human beings could not possibly offer a superabundance of proper worship beyond what God, in his perfection, deserved, this excess necessarily implied improper religious rites and observances. Superstition meant either performing elements of the divine cult incorrectly or, worse still, offering worship to entities other than the Deity.4 Such sweeping definitions could encompass a multitude of practices, and had done so in the long course of Christian history.5 For the authors of the early This article was largely written during a semester at the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. For providing an unparalleled working environment and access to unmatched resources, I thank the MGH and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. For financial support, I am grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. An early version of the article was presented at the University of Mannheim, and my thanks go to PD Dr. Sabine von Heusinger for the opportunity to speak there. A later version was presented at the Newberry Library Medieval Intellectual History Colloquium, and I thank the organizers and participants for many useful suggestions. Finally, I thank the anonymous readers for Speculum, whose comments greatly improved the clarity and style of this article.
 
Two pillars of medieval English literature, Chaucer and Malory, stand accused by posterity as criminals, yet scholars remain perplexed about the nature of their crimes over five centuries later. Some convict them of the heinous offense of sexually assaulting a woman against her will, while others believe them guilty of no more than seduction or consensual sex. The allegation against Malory has even been reframed to portray him as a knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel (or wife) in distress; thus instead of seizing a woman in order to rape her, this author of Arthurian legends stole Joan Smith away from her abusive husband when Joan departed with Malory consensually. Keen to illuminate the personal lives of the authors whose Canterbury Tales, Morte Darthur, and other works opened up the world of the Middle Ages for posterity, contemporary researchers have seized upon medieval English legal sources to clarify these authors' own stories. The crime in which Chaucer and Malory have been implicated, of seizing a woman, confounds those historians and literary scholars seeking to explore these authors' late-medieval milieu because the word most frequently employed to record the misdeed is one of the most ambiguous legal terms in medieval England, and indeed Europe. When an individual seized (Latin rapuit) a woman or stood accused of her seizure (raptus), the term's multivalent connotations mean that the offense might conform to either or both of our modern legal categories of rape and abduction.
 
This book provides a new interpretation of the English economy between 1066 and 1086 by using methods not previously applied to Economic theory and statistical techniques to reappraise the information recorded in the Domesday book. It is the first major reinterpretation of the Domesday economy since the work of J.H. Round and F.W. Maitland almost one hundred years ago, and its publication in 1986 coincided with the 900th anniversary of Domesday. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/economicsfinance/0198285248/toc.html
 
Discusses the social and economic development of Italy
 
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