By Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
Twelfth-century members negotiated own relationships alongside a continuum connecting instead of polarizing immediacy and mediated illustration. Their markers of individuation, symptoms of id and media of communique hence proof functional engagement with modern medieval signal idea and perceptions of fact. during this examine, the relevance of recent concept for the translation of medieval artifacts is proven to rely on the parallel lifestyles of theoretical job via the manufacturers and clients of such artifacts. within the cultural panorama of the vital center a while, the axes of iconicity, semantics and materiality traced by means of charters, seals, and by way of either concrete and metaphorical photographs of the imprint, dynamically formed the bounds during which a feeling of self used to be formulated, modulated, skilled, and enacted.
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Additional resources for When Ego Was Imago (Visualising the Middle Ages)
5 Georges Duby, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined (Chicago, 1980), p. 147. 6 This contradictory argument is Hayden White’s, “The Context in the Text: Method and Ideology in Intellectual History,” in The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore, 1987), pp. 185–213, at pp. 187, 210–211. beyond the text 11 The centrality of documentary sources in the epistemology of medieval history is best exemplified by what was, and still to a very great extent is, a discipline proper to the field of medieval studies: Diplomatics.
I am not suggesting that medieval historians reject written sources merely because they were not central to the medieval mechanics of social action and communication. I do suggest that recovery of medieval charters’ meaning and evidential capacity requires analysis of their operations within the society that produced them, operations that involved being marginal agents, forgeries, lexically imprecise texts, linguistic (Latin) and semiotic (letters) mysteries, ineffective legal tools, distrusted evidence, challenged receptacles of memory, un-consulted archives, ambivalent symbols, ritual objects, or sacred monuments.
It was through land alienation, and no longer through land plundering, that the nobles might enhance their prestige by behaving generously and by controlling the structure of their environment. Inspired by the Peace of God, a notion began to enter noble culture that rights won by arms could no longer provide an absolute and legitimate justification for status and land-holding. It is quite possibly in connection with this reassessment of the place of warfare within the noble ethos that the relevance of documentary modes for rights over the land established its importance within the lay aristocratic mentality.