Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France  book cover
1st Edition

Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France

ISBN 9780754667575
Published August 23, 2010 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Difference in medieval France was not solely a marker for social exclusion, provoking feelings of disgust and disaffection, but it could also create solidarity and sympathy among groups. Contributors to this volume address inclusion and exclusion from a variety of perspectives, ranging from ethnic and linguistic difference in Charlemagne's court, to lewd sculpture in Béarn, to prostitution and destitution in Paris. Arranged thematically, the sections progress from the discussion of tolerance and intolerance, through the clearly defined notion of foreignness, to the complex study of stranger identity in the medieval period. As a whole the volume presents a fresh, intriguing perspective on questions of exclusion and belonging in the medieval world.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Justine Firnhaber-Baker; Part I Marginalization and Persecution: Exclusion and the yearning to belong: evidence from the history of 13th-century France, William Chester Jordan; One other on another: Petrus Monachus' Revelationes and Islam, Richard Matthew Pollard; Sculpted images from the Eastern gallery of the Saint-Trophime cloister in Arles and the Cathar heresy, Einat Segal. Part II Foreigners and Outsiders: Wanders between two worlds: Irish and Anglo-Saxon scholars at the court of Charlemagne, Linda Dohmen; Temporary otherness and homiletic history in the late Carolingian age: a reading of the Bella Parisiacae urbis of Abbo of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Nirmal Dass; Ethnic stereotyping in 12th-century Paris, Claire Weeda. Part III Strangers and Neighbors: Outside the city walls: leprosy, exclusion, and social identity in 12th- and 13th-century Rouen, Elma Brenner; The povres avugles of the Hôpital des Quinze-Vingts: disability and community in medieval Paris, Mark P. O'Tool; Persecution, marginalization, or tolerance: prostitutes in 13th-century Parisian society, Keiko Nowacka; Scoundrels and scurrilitas at St-Pierre de Sévignac, Peter Scott Brown; Afterword, Barbara A. Hanawalt; Index.

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Meredith Cohen, Visiting Scholar, Department of Art History, University of Oxford Justine Firnhaber-Baker, Lecturer in Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews


'It is a rare book where all contributions are equally strong, and this is an exceptionally cohesive collection that offers valuable insights into medieval social relations. Its many authors avoid the usual pitfalls of binary thinking that mark studies on representation, marginalization and alterity. An introduction by Justine Firnhaber-Baker and afterword by Barbara A. Hanawalt highlight the unity and meaning of these diverse contributions. Read together, these chapters bring to the forefront the richness and diversity of the population in Francia and medieval France.' Cultural and Social History 'The volume’s particular strength lies in encouraging the reader to think about difference from the perspective of the excluded and from that of the excluders, as well as reflecting upon the reciprocity between the two... Altogether, this volume holds together very well and provides much food for thought.' English Historical Review 'The editors are to be congratulated on bringing together a group of interesting, original and carefully focused chapters, all of which are pertinent to the overall theme. This is not simply a volume of loosely related conference proceedings. The editors have taken care to frame the collection thematically, theoretically and temporally, in order to offer a significant contribution to the study of medieval France and, more broadly, to the study of ’otherness’ and difference in past societies.' French History