Thursday, June 18, 2009

Journal of Medieval History - June 2009 issue

The June 2009 issue of the Journal of Medieval History (Volume 35, issue 2) has been released. Articles in this issue include:

Learning to be a man: public schooling and apprenticeship in late medieval Manosque
By Steven Bednarski and Andrée Courtemanche

This article looks at teachers' contracts and apprenticeship contracts from the Provençal town of Manosque. It argues that, in late medieval Manosque, education was institutionalised and gendered. Manosquin society implemented formal systems in order to inculcate a particular type of masculine identity. This identity, a function of the growing burgher class of townsmen, was driven by rapid urban expansion, economics, and secularisation. This article demonstrates how gender acquisition took place. It also explores in detail the form and content of secular schooling for young boys and apprenticeship for adolescents.

The Master and Marguerite: Godfrey of Fontaines' praise of The Mirror of Simple Souls
By Sean Field

This article examines the evidence for the intellectual and practical relationship between Marguerite Porete and the secular master of theology Godfrey of Fontaines. It analyses the nature, timing, and importance of Godfrey's response to The Mirror of Simple Souls, and argues that considering the interaction between these two figures has important consequences for our understanding of both of their careers.

Notes on Templar personnel and government at the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
By Alan Forey

The Hospital of St John is thought to have been in various respects in a rather more healthy condition than the order of the Temple in the late thirteenth century, and comparisons and contrasts between the two orders have recently been made, often to the detriment of the Templars. This view is examined with reference to recruiting, the role of sergeants, ignorance among brothers, provincial administration, central government, and roles after the collapse of the crusader states. The argument is advanced that the Temple was not in a noticeably worse state than the Hospital and that on many issues the similarities between the two orders are more marked than the differences.

Storm flooding, coastal defence and land use around the Thames estuary and tidal river c.1250–1450
By James A. Galloway

Climatic deterioration in the later middle ages was associated with an increasing frequency of marine storm surges affecting the coasts of the southern North Sea. This paper investigates the impact of storm surges upon the lands bordering the Thames estuary and tidal river between the mid-thirteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries. Land use in the coastal and riverine marshes is reviewed, and the means and costs of defence against marine flooding explored. The impact of flooding upon human use of the marshlands, upon the suburbs of medieval London and upon the Thames fisheries are all investigated. Stress is placed upon the complex interaction of economic and environmental factors in determining the response to the threat of marine flooding.

Family and familiars. The concentric household in late medieval penitentiary petitions
By Philip Grace

Few studies to date have examined the relational aspects of life within a non-nuclear medieval household. This article aims to show that the affective bonds that were prescribed for members of the nuclear family in the late middle ages were also prescribed for members of the larger household, though to a lesser degree. ‘Familiars’ were expected to develop bonds of loyalty that cut across distinctions of social estate. A series of petitions to the papal penitentiary from German-speaking areas during the fifteenth century shows that both elite and non-elite individuals exhibited such affective bonds of support in violent situations as well as in a wide variety of other circumstances. This indicates that the household formed a major building block of medieval society in relational as well as in logistical terms.

Anti-corruption campaigns in thirteenth-century Europe
By William Chester Jordan

The thirteenth century in France saw the initiation of a series of reforms intended to define, identify and root out corruption in government. The principal architect of the campaign was King Louis IX (1226–70), ably supported by a coterie of special officials. Inspired in part by his desire to purify his kingdom in the long preparation for the crusade of 1270, he also drew on longstanding precedents in French administrative history. The campaign on the whole was quite successful. What is also remarkable is that, generated partly from the unique circumstances of individual polities and partly from circumstances, like crusading fervour, which were widely shared, other anti-corruption campaigns were mounted, also with some success. The slogans and practices of anti-corruption campaigns came to be identified intimately with good government, indeed, with the very right to exercise political authority and power. The thirteenth century thus appears to be a foundational moment in the constitution of the ideology and practices of the state.