Treasure in the Medieval West

Treasure in the Medieval West

Language: English

Pages: 188

ISBN: 0952973480

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Treasure is a broad subject, which can be understood in a number of ways, from the economic to the aesthetic, the personal to the political; for the middle ages, it is both a powerful cultural reality and a metaphor. However, despite its importance, this is the first volume to be devoted to the subject. The articles bring together a variety of critical approaches and themes in different periods and contexts throughout the medieval period, covering subjects such as gender, fashion, patronage, ethnicity, death and burial, piety, display and poetics. ELIZABETH M. TYLER teaches at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Contributors: DOMINIC JANES, TIMOTHY REUTER, MARTIN CARVER, LESLIE WEBSTER, PAULINE STAFFORD, ELIZABETH M. TYLER, JENNY STRATFORD, NICOLA F. MCDONALD, JOHN CHERRY

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freely disposed of and landed wealth which could not, it would seem that in practice most of those who controlled large amounts of moveable wealth held it in a sense in trust ± kings and great magnates for their heirs, bishops for their successors and their cathedral chapters. The pull of the Judaeo-Christian condemnation of wealth was felt, but it could only have limited application, because although thesaurized objects were still owned, they had changed from being mere `moveable wealth' to

made from the character of the individual objects and the assemblage they comprise, provided that the basic premise is accepted: that the objects are selected for burial to reify a vision and not to re¯ect everyday life, culture or ethnicity. That is not to say that everyday life is not referred to; but it is not referred to directly. Can we say that the ritual is religious in the sense of a customary religious practice, a liturgy of belief? This seems unlikely; the Sutton Hoo burials are varied,

Versions of Treasure in the Early Anglo-Saxon World and the potent inscription, GLORIA ROMANORUM.6 In 584, when Chilperic's daughter Rigunth was sent off to be married to the Visigothic king, she was provided with an enormous dowry of gold, silver and other precious things, ®lling ®fty carts. Shortly before, Childebert II had received a payment of 50,000 gold solidi from Maurice Tiberius, to secure Frankish intervention against the Lombards.7 As late as 631, we hear how, in order to secure

Bible et la vie politique dans le haut Moyen Age', in Le Moyen Age et La Bible, ed. P. Riche and G. Lobrichon (Paris, 1984), pp. 385±400 (pp. 386, 387, 389±91); A. Scharer, `The Writing of History at King Alfred's Court', Early Medieval Europe 5 (1996), 177±206 (pp. 191±3 and 199); P. E. Schramm, `Das Alte und das Neue Testament in der Staatslehre und Staatssymbolik des Mittelalters', Settimane di Studio del Centro Italiano di Studi Sull'Alto Medioevo 10 (1963), 229±55 (pp. 235±40); J. M.

Christian. People were just slotted in and expected to be respected by virtue of their burial mound as was commonly the case in the early Middle Ages. In this region of late antique Gaul it was clearly thought that the kin should protect the ancestral graves, and that a stone monument was a useful but not an essential addition. All generalizations must admit the basic fact of mortuary variability.45 Personal and family prejudice was an important factor. Nevertheless, I think there is one

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