Archives de catégorie : 2011

Lev KAPITAKIN , ‘The Twelfth-century Paintings of the Ceilings of the Cappella Palatina,

Lev Kapitakin , ‘The Twelfth-century Paintings of the Ceilings of the Cappella Palatina, Palermo’, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. Jeremy Johns, The Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East)

 

[Lien/Link : http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/krc/index.php/en/students ]

Domenico SALAMINO, Dominio, città, cattedrale : Terra d’Otranto tra età bizantina ed età normanna

Domenico Salamino, Dominio, città, cattedrale : Terra d’Otranto tra età bizantina ed età normanna, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. E. Concina, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

 

Résumé/abstract :

 

Lo studio intende delineare il panorama storico-sociale, insediativo e architettonico del Salento (Terra d’Otranto) servendosi dell’approfondimento degli ultimi apporti della ricerca, attraverso la rilettura ed il confronto delle fonti scritte e archeologiche, ed infine della raccolta di informazioni d’archivio poco noti o mai studiati. Il fine è quello di comprendere alcune strategie di affermazione nel dominio della componente italo-greca, di continuità e permanenza della tradizione bizantina e quindi del potenziale culturale autoctono. Lo studio della città e della sua chora si è indirizzato verso la comprensione delle problematiche connesse allo spazio vitale afferente al centro di controllo – ossia la città stessa (e più in generale il feudo e e l’Amministrazione) – intesa come luogo di continuità della cultura bizantina anche in età normanna.

 

The main purpose of this research is the Terra d’Otranto and its settlement seen from an historical, social and architectural point of view throught the study of the latest scientific investigations and the comparison of written sources and archaeological evidences but also on field analysis of unpublished and little known data from archives and in situ investigations. The aim was to understand some strategies for success of the domain of the Italo-Greek component, its continuity and permanence into the Byzantine tradition, and then the indigenous cultural potentiality. The study – aimed to stress the value of urban settlements – has not neglected the chora, here meant as a living space related to the centre of control – « the city » – the feud or more generally the Administration – which was the place of continuity of Byzantine cultur also during the Norman Age.

[Source : http://hdl.handle.net/10579/1105 ]

Marcello RIZZO, La cultura architettonica del periodo normanno e l’influenza bizantina in Sicilia

Marcello Rizzo, La cultura architettonica del periodo normanno e l’influenza bizantina in Sicilia, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. A. R. Carile, Université de Bologne)

 

Résumé/abstract :

 

The arguments of the thesis is the relationship between the Norman domination and the Greek-speaking people living in Sicily and Southern Italy. Particularly the ascendancy of the greek culture on the norman architecture and his role in the construction of the Norman Kingdom.

[Source : http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/4140/]

Ruggero LONGO, L’opus sectile medievale in Sicilia e nel Meridione normanno

Ruggero Longo, L’opus sectile medievale in Sicilia e nel Meridione normanno [Medieval opus sectile in Sicily and in Norman Southern Italy], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Andaloro, U. Santamaria, Università degli studi della Tuscia)

 

Résumé/abstract :

 

The medieval opus sectile has generally raised marginal interest by art criticism. Scholars were mainly concentrated on Roman cosmatesque production. A minor attention was drew to Norman patronage despite a precocious and well documented development of the technique of opus sectile in Sothern Italy and Sicily: in these areas wall and pavement decorations in opus sectile clearly differentiate from the Roman production because of the presence of elements issued from Islamic tradition which contributed to enrich style and renew ornamental language. The goal of the present inquiry is to set up, on reliable basis, the artistic phenomenon related to opus sectile in the Norman South. The first part of the volume deals with the problem of definition of opus sectile; the theoretical question of ornament is then faced through aesthetic observations and historiographical inquiries aiming to measure the appreciation of ornament since the Middle Ages tothe contemporary age. Therefore, deepening the aesthetic and medieval art criticism of ornament reveals to be relevant. Medieval ornament was conceived in order to provide pleasure and to lead to contemplation. Opus sectile responded to both needs. A digression on aesthetic of Islamic ornament allows to single out similarities and contacts with Western medieval aesthetics. Islamic art was specialized in supplying pleasure without a specific meaning. This peculiarity gave to Muslim craftsmen the possibility to answer to the needs of different cultures, including the Norman’s commands. The value attributed to ornament in the middle Ages highlights deficiencies of art criticism, traditionally concentrated on representative arts. The interests on ornament, expanded since the second half of the XIXth century, show a taxonomic mania which very rarely raises to be a real instrument intended for the comprehension of artistic and cultural phenomena. The study of Norman opus sectile demonstrates instead how ornament can provide precious clues and contribute to understand the complex setting from which the Mediterranean koinè spread out during the Middle Ages. The second part of the volume moves toward the art historical inquiry of opus sectile, related both to monumental and cultural contexts. The research has been led through the analytical study of four buildings of Norman kingdom, accurately selected because of their relevance in the framework of Southern architectural production. The churches of Sant’Adriano in San Demetrio Corone (end XIth- beginning XIIth century), San Menna in Sant’Agata dei Goti (1110), the Palatine Chapel in Palermo (1140) and Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio in Palermo (1143) have been examined. In order to face and solve the questions exposed above, unraveling the ‘twine’ of relations and delineating a reliable setting of artistic phenomenon of opus sectile in Norman Southern Italy, the research makes use of two principal tools: the cataloguing of ornamental patterns and the identification of stone materials employed. The analytical study of patterns let us to understand the dynamics that took to their creation and to point out the technical and artistic value of artifacts realized in opus sectile. Ornamental motifs applied to opus sectile have been catalogued for every single building following a chronological order: signs and influences from different cultures are thereby explicitly disclosed, allowing to draw a progression and to formulate hypothesis on links and relations between teams of craftsmen operating in the building sites of the four edifices considered. The identification of materials employed yielded important results, which confirm hypothesis formulated on the basis of ornamental patterns. It was therefore possible to trace a renewed panorama of medieval opus sectile, isolating the teams of stone workers which executed decorations in the Norman building sites and outlining relationships between different groups. Notably, a special lithotype has been identified among white tesserae: it is an artificial product, that we named stracotto, originally employed in opus sectile decoration in the Norman South. Early inquiries revealed the presence of stracotto in the Palatine Chapel in Palermo. Stracotto has afterword been singled out in decoration of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and in the Zisa Palace in Palermo. The value of this ‘new’ material, presumably employed to replace the roman palombino, clearly appeared when the stracotto was found in the opus sectile pavement in the Salerno Cathedral, realized between 1121 and 1136 for the will of archbishop Romualdo. The employing of stracotto in Salerno demonstrates that this special white stone was previously used in this center, and only later in the examined Sicilian architectures. It is thus likely that artisans working at the opus sectile of the Palatine Chapel came from Salerno. The hypothesis of a ‘flow’ of teams between Salerno and Palermo helps both to define a setting of exchanges and influences established under Roger II and to explain how the Islamic taste permeated in Southern Italy through Sicily. The last part of the volume is dedicated to the catalogue: it encompasses the complete survey of opus sectile in the four Norman edifices considered. Pavements and decorations in opus sectile are graphically rendered by tables containing ortophotographic surveys and geometric surveys of ornamental patterns. The catalogue thus offers a ‘wide-angle lens photography’ of the opus sectile production in the regions of the Norman kingdom, from Campania to Sicily, between XIth and XIIth centuries. Results of scientific analysis are lastly exposed in the Appendix; analysis have been executed on a range of stone samples employed in the Norman buildings studied.

[Source : http://dspace.unitus.it/handle/2067/1126]

Rickaby, Caroline, Girard d’Athee and the men from the Touraine: their roles under King John

Rickaby, Caroline, Girard d’Athee and the men from the Touraine: their roles under King John, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (M. Prestwich, C. Liddy, University of Durham)

Clause 50 of Magna Carta 1215 proscribes a group of men who are never again to hold office in England. They are described as Girard d’Athée’s relatives (parentes), and although some of their names appear, no reasons are given for their inclusion in the clause. This thesis traces the lives of Girard d’Athée and his group, from their origins in the Touraine, through their arrival in England, through their responsibilities and influence under John, concluding with a brief resumé of their careers under Henry III. It also analyses the reasons for the inclusion of Clause 50 in the 1215 version of Magna Carta. Were the men proscribed because of their foreign birth or because they abused their positions as servants of the king? Did the barons fear their military might, or merely object to their misdemeanours? Did the established baronage and zealous parvenus covet the rewards bestowed on Athée and his clan or were they simply jealous of the increasingly close friendship these men were forging with John? Or was the clause nothing more than the result of a personal vendetta against members of the clan? By comparing and contrasting the careers of the men from the Touraine with that of another contemporary of theirs from the same area, Peter de Maulay, who was not proscribed in Clause 50, a clear appreciation of their value to the king and country can be determined. A balanced judgement suggests that their actions justified the king’s confidence in them, and that they did not deserve the censure and suspicion of the chroniclers, some influential members of the baronage, and several modern historians.

[Source : http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/901/]

Kapitaikin Lev, The twelfth-century paintings of the ceilings of the Cappella Palatina, Palermo

Kapitaikin, Lev, The twelfth-century paintings of the ceilings of the Cappella Palatina, Palermo, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. J. Johns, University of Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :

The three ‘Islamic’ ceilings of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily, were commissioned by king Roger II around 1143. The grandiose muqarnas (stalactite) ceiling of the nave and the two smaller ceilings of the two aisles were just one part of the opulent, multifaceted decoration of the royal chapel, that included also Byzantine mosaics with Christian scenes and Southern-Italian marble pavements and revetments. As with other medieval chapels of palaces, the Cappella Palatina served concomitantly as a royal audience hall, a thing evidenced by the great throne platform at its west end. The paintings of the three ceilings present ‘Islamic’ figural and ornamental decoration and Arabic inscriptions, the salient subject-matter of which is the Islamic royal banquet, the majlis, centered upon the king. The study presents new stylistic and iconographic evidence to show that the painters of the ceilings came mainly from Fatimid Egypt, and that the paintings could reflect also some impact of the Christian arts of that country, if not the actual participation of Coptic artists in their production. Despite the predominantly Islamic subject-matter of the paintings, their imagery was simultaneously enriched with Christian themes, the models for which were likely provided by Romanesque, Middle-Byzantine, and – to a lesser extent – Coptic artwork. Far from being an alien ‘Oriental’ element incorporated into the otherwise Christian chapel, the designer/s of the chapel actually sought to manipulate the Islamic princely imagery of the ceilings through the insertion of Christian ‘triumphal’ themes and a few crosses in the paintings. The Christian scenes were, moreover, placed in focal programmatic points at the ceilings, and associated spatially with ceremonial and-liturgical features of the chapel, namely: the royal throne platform at the west end, and the entrance to the sanctuary at the east. The ‘Islamicate’ – rather than Islamic – ceilings and their imagery were thus adapted to the Christian setting within the palatine chapel of the Norman monarchs.

[Source : http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=1&uin=uk.bl.ethos.550801]

Ihnat Kati, Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman monastic culture

Ihnat Kati, Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman monastic culture, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Rubin, Queen Mary University)

Résumé/abstract :

Anglo-Norman England saw the development of two parallel and related phenomena: the growth of the cult of the Virgin Mary and increasing engagement with ideas about Jews and Judaism. This thesis looks at the ways in which Benedictine monks contributed to the fashioning of images of Jews in sources related to the Marian cult in the post-Conquest period, 1066-1154. Approaching monastic culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, it examines materials as diverse as sermons, liturgy, theological treatises, and art and architecture for the evolution of the Marian cult after the arrival of the Normans, tracing the reform of liturgical practices that spurred considerable innovation in the cult’s development. It explores these same sources for images of Jews, and finds that Jews were at the centre of reflection on Mary in theological and apocryphal traditions dating back to early Christianity, with Jews acting as prototypical doubters of Mary’s sanctity and virginity. Taken up with renewed interest in Anglo-Norman England, theological consideration of Mary’s place in the Christian narrative was complemented by the first compilation of collections of her miracles, part of an impulse to record the lives and miracles of saints in post-Conquest England. As a fundamental yet little explored element of the Marian cult, the miracles showcase liturgical practices worthy of reward, and contrast her devotees with Jews, portrayed as sacrilegious, blaspheming and violent. Through miracle, sermon, liturgy and theology, English monasteries at the turn of the twelfth century helped to construct images of Jews connected with the burgeoning cult of the Virgin that had a lasting and pervasive legacy.

[Source : http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.545955]

Holmes Matilda Anne, Food, status and complexity in Saxon and Scandinavian England

Holmes Matilda Anne, Food, status and complexity in Saxon and Scandinavian England: an archaeozoological approach, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. R. Thomas, N. Christie, University of Leicester)

Résumé/abstract :

The period between the decline of Roman influence and the Norman Conquest in England (AD 450-1066) is recognised as a time of great change, from a largely subsistence-based economy to one more urban-oriented with growing political and social complexity. Little is understood of the human-animal interactions that existed in Saxon and Scandinavian England, and this thesis will use archaeozoological data with the aim of furthering the knowledge of social, political and economic hierarchies, cultural differences and debates regarding the nature of the urban context through the presence and spatial organisation of status, craft production and trade. To this end, both primary and secondary data were recorded from animal bone assemblages from English Saxon sites, and the subsequent relative species quantities, mortality profiles, carcass part representation, butchery and metrical data analysed. The resultant trends have illustrated the increasing social complexity and widening gap between the farming and elite classes, and evidence for cultural distinctions between the Danelaw and Saxon areas of England in the late Saxon phase. Combined with this is the demonstration of evolving economic pathways using the provisioning networks apparent between producer and consumer sites. This is core to the major changes that take place throughout the Saxon phase, from the largely self-sufficient population of the early phase, through the redistribution of animals and animal products in the middle Saxon phase, towards a fully commoditised market system by the time of the Norman Conquest.

[Source : https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/10126]

Gerrard Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200

Gerrard, Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)

This thesis examines the evidence for the involvement in warfare of clerks and religious in England between the beginning of the tenth century and the end of the twelfth. It focuses on bishops and abbots, whose military activities were recorded more frequently than lesser clergy, though these too are considered where appropriate. From the era of Christian conversion until long after the close of the middle ages, clergy were involved in the prosecution of warfare. In this period, they built fortresses and organised communities of warriors in time of peace and war. Some were slain in battle, while others were given promotion or lands for their martial exploits. A series of canonical pronouncements aimed to forbid or restrict the involvement of Christian clergy in organised bloodshed, and some writers branded militant clergy as corrupted by the lure of earthly power or even as having surrendered their sacerdotal status. This study therefore approaches the military practices of clergy alongside the legal and narrative treatments, and treats the latter as reactions to, not the background of, the former. This requires consideration of a wide range of narrative, diplomatic and legal source material. A broad approach shows that clerics’ military activities cannot be separated from their spiritual powers, that canonical treatment was more fragmented and less influential than has been assumed, and that the condemnations of some authors existed alongside others’ praise for clerics’ valour, loyalty, or commitment to defending their flocks. In consequence, the extended study of clerical participation in warfare is shown to have significant consequences for our conception of the bounds of military history, the construction of the licit and the illicit, and the nature of clerical identity itself.

[Source : http://theses.gla.ac.uk/2671/]

Fradley Michael, The old in the new: urban castle imposition in Anglo-Norman England, AD 1050-1150

Fradley, Michael, The old in the new: urban castle imposition in Anglo-Norman England, AD 1050-1150, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. O. Creighton, University of Exeter)

Résumé/abstract :

In the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of the kingdom of England in the late eleventh century a series of castle structures were imposed on the fabric of a large number of Late Saxon towns. In the late 1980s this specific group of castles were archaeologically termed ‘urban castles’, being perceived as distinct from other forms of such structures encountered in the UK. The interpretation of these castles, whose design is widely accepted as being imported in this period from northern France, is closely entwined with culturally and nationalistically-loaded historical narrative of the Norman Conquest. This interpretive position has had a dominant role in how the urban castle is studied in historical and archaeological discourse, which in turn reinforces the validity and legitimacy of this approach. The present study will seek to question the rationale and evidence behind the present interpretive framework. This will include a historiographical analysis of the development of the study of Late Saxon and Norman England over the last century and how the conditions of research in this period has influenced and often proved divisive in how the urban castle is understood and encapsulated within perceptions of radical change in English history. In turn it will offer an alternative, interdisciplinary approach to the encounter and interpretation of the urban castle. Detailed examinations of the urban castles and settlements of Wallingford (Oxon.) and Huntingdon (Cambs.) will be followed by broader, regional studies of Sussex and the Severn Vale. The castles in these examples will be studied in the wider context of urban development across the period c. AD 900-1150 which will allow them to be considered as one element amongst a hetregenous, fluid process of settlement evolution. This original methodology will be utilised to demonstrate how these sites can be used as a subject for understanding the wider phenomenon of Saxo-Norman urbanism, and that the castle is an integral, if physically distinct, element in this process.

[Source : https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10036/3248]

Gazzoli Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century

Gazzoli, Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. F. Edmonds, University of Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis puts forward a new interpretation of the Anglo-Danish relationship for the period 1042-1103. It is argued that the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of England in the ninth and tenth centuries cannot account for the Danish sympathies visible in northern and eastern England in the later eleventh century and proposes that the Danish identity of these areas was reinvigorated or reinvented following Cnut’s conquest of England as a way for the inhabitants to identify themselves with their new rulers. This revitalisation was most pronounced in Northumbria, where, since Cnut was an absent ruler for much of his reign, the most important figure is argued to have been the highly successful Earl Siward. It is suggested that in this period England took on a central role in the formation of Danish identity, so that men from all over Scandinavia could become Danish by participating in the Danish kings’ campaigns; this inclusiveness was what made it possible for natives of England of Scandinavian descent to opt in to the new, prestigious identity of the conquerors.

After the Norman Conquest, a Danish cultural identity was still politically important to the rule of Siward’s son, Waltheof, and affected the reception of the Danish invasions of 1069 and 1070, both by the locals where the Danes landed and by the writers who described them. Denmark’s history after the loss of England in 1042 is also considered, and it is argued that English influence continued to be of the utmost importance to the Danish kings’ self-image and religious interests: in particular it is argued that Knud the Holy (1080–6) drew inspiration from and modelled himself on William the Conqueror, to whose rule he was exposed during his campaigns in England in 1069, 1070 and 1075 and that Erik Ejegod (1095-1103) built up strong relations to English religious communities beginning during his exile during the reign of Oluf Hunger (1086-95), which he used during his reign to promote Christianity in Denmark, especially in the form of the cult of his martyred brother Knud. In general, the re-conquest of England continued to be one of their highest priorities of the Danish kings until the end of the century, but was often hampered by the increasing importance of relations with the German Empire.

[Source : http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.609267]

Dutton Kathryn, Geoffrey, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy, 1129-51

Dutton Kathryn, Geoffrey, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy, 1129-51, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. S. Marritt, University of Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

Count Geoffrey V of Anjou (1129-51) features in Anglo-French historiography as a peripheral figure in the Anglo-Norman succession crisis which followed the death of his father-in-law, Henry I of England and Normandy (1100-35). The few studies which examine him directly do so primarily in this context, dealing briefly with his conquest and short reign as duke of Normandy (1144-50), with reference to a limited range of evidence, primarily Anglo-Norman chronicles. There has never been a comprehensive analysis of Geoffrey’s comital reign, nor a narrative of his entire career, despite an awareness of his importance as a powerful territorial prince and important political player. This thesis establishes a complete narrative framework for Geoffrey’s life and career, and examines the key aspects of his comital and ducal reigns. It compiles and employs a body of 180 acta relating to his Angevin and Norman administrations to do so, alongside narrative evidence from Greater Anjou, Normandy, England and elsewhere. It argues that rule of Greater Anjou prior to 1150 had more in common with neighbouring principalities such as Brittany, whose rulers had emerged in the tenth and eleventh centuries as primus inter pares, than with Normandy, where ducal powers over the native aristocracy were more wide-ranging, or royal government in England. It explores the count’s territories, the personnel of government, the dispensation of justice, revenue collection, the comital army, and Geoffrey’s ability to carry out ‘traditional’ princely duties such as religious patronage in the context of Angevin elite landed society’s virtual autonomy and tendency to rebel in the first half of the twelfth century. The character of Geoffrey’s power and authority was fundamentally shaped by the region’s tenurial and seigneurial history, and could only be conducted within that framework. This study also addresses Geoffrey’s activities as first conqueror then ruler of Normandy. The process by which the duchy was conquered is shown to be more intricate than the chroniclers’ accounts of Angevin siege warfare suggest, and the ducal reign more complex than merely a regency until Geoffrey’s son, the future Henry II (1150-89), came of age. Through use of a much wider body of evidence than previously considered in connection with Geoffrey’s career, and a charter-based methodology, this thesis provides a new and appropriate treatment of an important non-royal ruler. It situates Geoffrey in his proper context and provides an account of not only how he was presented by commentators who were sometimes geographically and temporally remote, but by his own administration and those over whom he ruled. It provides an in-depth analysis of the explicit and implicit characteristics of princely rulership, and how they were won, maintained and exploited in two different contexts.

[Source : http://theses.gla.ac.uk/3052/]

Creamer Joseph P., In the footsteps of Becket: episcopal sanctity in England, 1170-1270

Creamer, Joseph P., In the footsteps of Becket: episcopal sanctity in England, 1170-1270, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. R. Stacey, University of Washington)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation explains why holy bishops were so common in England while they were rare on the continent in the century after the murder of Thomas Becket by the king’s men in 1170. The Introduction shows how Becket’s sanctity was based on resistance to the king, but also drew on other models of episcopal holiness. Chapter 1 traces the development of the « Becket model » in the revival of episcopal sanctity shortly after Becket’s martyrdom and demonstrates how episcopal sanctity was contested by both English kings and royal opponents during the papal interdict of England. This chapter focuses on the biographies and miracles of bishops Wulfstan (canonized 1203), Hugh of Lincoln, (canonized 1220), William of York (canonized 1226), and Osmund of Salisbury (postulated 1228). Chapter 2 traces Archbishop Stephen Langton’s attempt to reform the English church and his role in the origins of Magna Carta. Chapter 3 on Edmund of Canterbury (canonized 1246) shows how his sanctity was shaped to make him an opponent of the king following in the footsteps of Becket, when Edmund actually had a good, if sometimes strained, relationship with the King. Chapter 4 on Robert Grosseteste (postulated 1256) returns to the development of saintly resistance to royal power, exploring how and why Grosseteste defended the Magna Carta by investing it with religious significance, while he and his fellow bishops were co-opted by the baronial rebellion to bless its violent opposition to the King. Chapter 5 broadens outward from the theme of episcopal opposition to authority in order to discuss how the sanctity of Richard Wich (canonized 1262) was shaped by the development of new forms of religious life in the thirteenth century. These developments helped create a new sanctity for the bishops, based not on royal resistance, but on the concerns of the Fourth Lateran Council-the prelate as pastor and preacher.

[Source : http://gradworks.umi.com/34/72/3472089.html]

Gooch Megan Laura, Money and power in the Viking Kingdom of York, c.895–954

Gooch Megan Laura, Money and power in the Viking Kingdom of York, c.895–954, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. D. W. Rollason, B. Dodds, Université de Durham)

Résumé/abstract :
The aim of this thesis is to use numismatic evidence to help understand the political aims and achievements of the Viking kings of York, c.895-954. A variety of numismatic techniques will be used and tested for their suitability as a means of historical enquiry. Due to the limitations of the documentary sources for this period, coins will be used to provide an insight into the political workings of this kingdom. Firstly, the iconography and epigraphy of coins made in Viking York will be used to investigate how the Viking kings attempted to legitimise their rule. Secondly, it will be asked whether these coins were produced in sufficient quantity to form a usable currency and how the volumes of these currencies compare with other contemporary coinages, such as those issued by the Anglo-Saxons. Thirdly, to understand where the Vikings ruled and how effectively they could impose coin-use upon their kingdom, the economic influence of the Viking Kingdom of York will be examined by studying the distribution of the coins which were made both in York, and in other kingdoms. Finally, the ways in which coins and other forms of money, such as hacksilver, were used within and between Viking kingdoms will be examined to understand how effectively the Viking kings ruled their economy. It is hoped that this will reveal and refine existing knowledge about the ways in which the kings of York gained and maintained political power in York for much of the tenth century.

Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective

Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)

Résumé/abstract :

The history of the Viking invasions in England and what is now France in the ninth and tenth centuries is fairly well documented by medieval chroniclers. The process by which these people adopted Christianity, however, is not. The written and archaeological evidence that we can cobble together indicates that the Scandinavians who settled in England and Normandy converted very quickly. Their conversion was clearly closely associated with settlement on the land. Though Scandinavians in both countries expressed no interest in Christianity as long as they engaged in a Viking lifestyle, characterized by rootless plundering, they almost always accepted Christianity within one or two generations of becoming peasants, even when they lived in heavily Scandinavian, Norse-speaking communities. While the early history of the Vikings in Ireland was similar to that of the Vikings elsewhere, it soon took a different course. While English and French leaders were able to set aside land on which they encouraged the Scandinavians to settle, none of the many petty Irish kings had the wealth or power to do this. The Vikings in Ireland were therefore forced to maintain a lifestyle based on plunder and trade. Over time, they became concentrated into a few port towns from which they travelled inland to conduct raids and then exported what they had stolen from other parts of the Scandinavian diaspora. Having congregated at a few small sites, most prominently Dublin, they remained distinct from the rest of Ireland for centuries. The evidence suggests that they took about four generations to convert. Their conversion differed from that of Scandinavians elsewhere not only in that it was so delayed, but also in that, unlike in England and Normandy, it was not associated with the re-establishment of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rather, when the Scandinavians in Ireland did convert, they did so because they were evangelized by monastic communities, in particular the familia of Colum Cille, who had not fled from foundations close to the Viking ports. These communities were probably driven by political concerns to take an interest in the rising Scandinavian towns.