Papers on Medieval Prosopography: Session #47 at KZOO 2015

Pieter Brueghel - Kermesse (The Feast of Saint George)

Three fantastic papers on Prosopography from #KZOO2015.

10 Creepy Things to See at the Louvre That Are Better Than the Mona Lisa

Catherine de Medici - Louvre

If you’re an ancient historian, a medievalist, or early modernist, there are so many other amazing pieces and works of art a the Louvre other than these two tourist staples. Here is my list of cool, creepy, unusual and better than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

Petrus Hispanus (circa 1215-1277) and ‘The Treasury of the Poor’

Pope John XXI (Petrus Hispanus)

The identity of Petrus Hispanus is a matter of some controversy. Part of the problem is centred on the fact that ‘Hispanus’ covers the general region of the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in medieval times as ‘las Españas’ (the Spains), incorporating both present day Spain and Portgual.

The Power of Word: Preachers in Medieval Dubrovnik

Franciscan Monastery - Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the pastoral of the Franciscan and Dominican orders preaching became the principal task of their mission. Preaching manuals represented the basis of the new art. The preachers also used sermon collections, Bible concordances and exempla collections.

Narratives of resistance: arguments against the mendicants in the works of Matthew Paris and William of Saint-Amour

The Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule (Cappella Sassetti, Santa Trinità, Florence) - 15th century

The rise of the new mendicant orders, foremost the Franciscans and Dominicans, is one of the great success stories of thirteenth-century Europe. Combining apostolic poverty with sophisticated organization and university learning, they brought much needed improvements to pastoral care in the growing cities.

The Friars Preachers: The First Hundred Years of the Dominican Order


When Dominic of Caleruega began preaching in southern France in the early 1200s, he would have had no idea of the far reaching influence that the band of men he would attract would leave such a broad and enduring influence on medieval history.

Saints’ Cults in Medieval Livonia

Medieval Saints

Saints’ cults played a crucial role in medieval society. Although we know very little about the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of Livonia, either before or after the thirteenth-century conquest, we may assume that the process of Christianization must have caused major changes in their religious practices.

Renaissance attachment to things: material culture in last wills and testaments

Andrea Mantegna -The Court of Mantua

Renaissance attachment to things: material culture in last wills and testaments Samuel Cohn, Jr. Economic History Review: University of Glasgow, 19 October (2012) Abstract  Over the past decade ‘material culture’ has become a sub-discipline of Italian Renaissance studies. This literature, however, has focused on the rich and their objects preserved in museums or reflected in […]

The Calamitous Fourteenth Century in England: All Doom and Gloom?

Medieval Science

This was a fantastic paper given at the Crown and Country in Late medieval England session at KZOO. There were only two papers but both were interesting and enjoyable. This paper delved into the history of science in late medieval England and examined why the fourteenth century, a time that is usually synonymous with doom and gloom, plague and uprising, wasn’t all that bad upon closer observation.

Teaching the Creed and Articles of Faith in England: Lateran IV to Ignorantia sacerdotum

Old books

The broad conclusion of this thesis is that the available evidence shows that the basic principles of Christian doctrine were available both to the lower clergy who would preach and teach the Creed and Articles of Faith and also to the laity who would receive this preaching and instruction.

Reality and Truth in Thomas of York: Study and Text


The investigation is conducted through a study of opposites into which being is divided. These opposites are principally the one and the many, potency and act, truth and falsity.

The Regular Canons and the Use of Food, c. 1200–1350

Refectory - Life of St. Benedict Scene 31 - Benedict Feeds the Monks

We are greatly handicapped by the lack of material available to us for this period. By and large, household accounts which provide gross details of quotidian diet elude us. However, to recover the everyday diet of the canons, one useful approach is to examine corrodies and study the assumptions there, by way of analogy, with what can be inferred as normal consumption by canons.

The Dominican Convents in Medieval Norway


In the Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Norway was larger than it is today, where the former Norwegian districts of Jämtland and Bohus are now parts of Sweden. In 1380, the Norwegian throne was inherited by the Danish king, and for the rest of the Middle Ages, Danish monarchs ruled Norway, but even though the kings often made use of Danes in the administration, the Norwegian kingdom did in fact remain as an independent part of a so-called double monarchy.

Origins of the Medieval Theory That Sensation Is an Immaterial Reception of a Form


Let me begin my own discussion of Aquinas by saying that it seems to me that Cohen adequately proved that it was a mistake to view the sensible form as existing in the soul rather than the organ, and that Aquinas is not denying to the sensible form as received by the sensor a place in the physical world, or indeed physical existence, when he says it exists immaterially or spiritually.

Love and Saint Francis of Assisi: A Performer in the Middle Ages

St. Francis of Assisi

In “spending most of his life out of doors, in all seasons” Francis defies the basis of what we call civilized existence; if history is about progress in terms of making human life secure from nature’s vagaries, Francis rejects such a conception of history, along with its false sense of security, in order to situate human life in and as the natural world.

“The Eucharist and the Negotiation of Orthodoxy in the High Middle Ages”

Waldensians depicted as witches

This paper is part of Adam Hoose’s dissertation. It examined the differences between Waldensians and Franciscans in their treatment of the Eucharist. It also explored why the Waldensians were unsuccessful in their bid to become a legitimate religious order and were eventually marginalized as heretics.

Gerard of Nazareth, John Bale and the origins of the Carmelite Order

Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Haifa

The phenomenon of eremitical monasticism in western Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries has been studied extensively,2 but little material has been found that might shed light on the foundation of eremitical communities by Franks in the Latin East.

Martyrs on the Move: The Spread of the Cults of Thomas of Canterbury and Peter of Verona

Saint Peter of Verona (Saint Peter The Martyr)

No matter how one viewed Peter‟s and Thomas‟s personalities, the glaring fact of their instant and enduring cults forces the conclusion that their contemporaries all over Europe saw in them, and especially in their martyrdoms, desirable and compelling prototypes for Christian perfection. The spread and extent of these cults is the subject of this study.

Charity as the Perfection of Natural Friendship in Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae

Thomas Aquinas 3

Within western civilization, there is a long-running dispute over which authority, the Christian tradition or Greek philosophical tradition, is the more trustworthy and comprehensive. Like other topics written about by Plato and Aristotle, friendship became part of this controversy. During Thomas Aquinas’ time, this struggle was focused on whether the works of Aristotle could be reconciled with Christianity.

William of Ockham’s Early Theory of Property Rights: Sources, Texts, and Contexts


This thesis is nominally about William of Ockham, a theologian who did not care to read potentially damning papal constitutions until tapped to do so by a superior (superiore mandate). Following a suggestion of R. G. Collingwood, a proper first question we should ask, is what was this supposedly unwilling theologian trying to do by composing the longest defense of Franciscan poverty ever written?

A medieval Arabic analysis of motion at an instant : the Avicennan sources to the forma fluens/fluxus formae debate

Albertus Magnus

The first and foremost topic of classical and medieval physics is the concept of motion
(Grk. kine ̄sis, Arb. h ̇ araka, Lat. motio). Within the complex of issues and problems associated with motion, the question ‘in which category does motion itself belong?’ occupied a position of considerable importance in scholastic natural philosophy.

VAGANTES: Between Tradition and Change: Monastic Reform in Three fifteenth-century German Redactions of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt

St. Mary of Egypt 3

Using the life of St. Mary of Egypt, this paper will consider three different Middle High German versions produced by reform communities and will analyze how the reform ideologies and goals manifest in the texts.

Convents, Courts and Colleges: The Prioress and the Second Nun

Canterbury Tales

Pilgrimage, after Whitby, and before Vatican II, was a secular activity, a performance of piety by the laity, not by the clergy; although there were a few exceptions.7 Chaucer’s Monk, Friar, Prioress, Nun, Priest, Summoner, Pardoner and Parson ought not to be here. Their presence is outrageous comedy. Inns were forbidden to the cloistered clergy who, if they had to travel, were enjoined to stay in other monastic establishments along their route.

Martinus Polonus’ Chronicle of the Popes and Emperors: a Medieval Best-seller and its Neglected Influence on Medieval English Chronicler

Martin of Opava/Martin of Poland

In so doing I should like to begin by giving a brief account of Martin’s life and of the structure and contents of his chronicle before examining how widely known it was in late medieval England. Then we will turn to the various ways in which it was ‘adapted’, i.e. translated and extended by continuations. Finally, particular emphasis will be given to Martins hitherto neglected influence on a number of English medieval chroniclers.

HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY: Books on all things Irish! Sláinte!

St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these great reads and some green beer!

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