Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance: Epochs, Epistemes, and Cultural-historical Concepts (Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages ... in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 44) 9782503583044, 2503583040

For a long time we have naively talked about the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and other periods, but at closer analysis

359 29 4MB

English Pages 396 [444]

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance: Epochs, Epistemes, and Cultural-historical Concepts (Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages ... in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 44)
 9782503583044, 2503583040

Citation preview

Par adigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Volume 44

General Editor Robert E. Bjork

Par adigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Edited by

Albrecht Classen

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

© 2019, Brepols Publishers n.v., Turnhout, Belgium All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. D/2019/0095/53 ISBN: 978-2-503-58304-4 e-ISBN: 978-2-503-58305-1 DOI: 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.116440 ISSN: 2034-5585 e-ISSN: 2294-8546 Printed on acid-free paper

Table of Contents Introduction vii Albrecht Classen 751 C.E.: Watershed Events in the Carolingian, Byzantine, Abbasid and Tang Empires Ryan Hatch

1

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power Charles W. Connell

17

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual on Crusader Seals Before and After the Fall of Acre in 1291 Laura J. Whatley

43

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative, or What Happens when the Heroine Becomes a Hero Kathy M. Krause

65

Women’s Legal Capacity: Was the Thirteenth Century a Turning Point? Heather J. Tanner

81

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci: Sino-Islamic Knowledge and the European Discovery of Cathay R. Po-Chia Hsia

99

The Baby and the Bath Water: Satirical Laughter by Thomas Murner and Herman Bote as Catalysts for a Paradigm Shift in the Age Prior to the Protestant Reformation: Literary Comedy as a Medium to Undermine all Authorities and to Create a Power Vacuum Albrecht Classen

123

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”: The Birth of Modern Satire in Renaissance France as Agent and Consequence of a Major Paradigm Shift Bernd Renner

151

vi

Contents

From Myth to Matter: Ulrich Molitor’s De Lamiis (1489) and the Construction of Witchcraft William Bradford Smith

177

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon: From Papal Bulls to Celestina to Vernacular Translations Marta Albalá-Pelegrín

203

Middling Women and Economic Continuity: A Paradigm Shift in the Global Renaissance Jeanette M. Fregulia

219

Alchemy and Science: Dr. John Dee, the Reverend Richard Hakluyt, and Paradigm Change in Early English Exploration James Helfers

235

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”: A Wife’s Spiritual Goodness in Francisco de Osuna’s Reformist Dialogue on Marriage, Norte de los Estados Dana Bultman

255

Confusion and Controversy in Spain During the Paradigm Shift of the Protestant Reformation: The Relationship Between Printing, the Council of Trent, and the Inquisitorial Trial of Fray Luis de Léon (1527–1591) J. Michael Fulton

279

Early Modern Pantsuit Politics: Shifting Masculinities in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona Doris Barkin

309

“If a lie may do thee grace”: Shifts of Memory in Shakespeare’s Second Tetralogy Jonathan Baldo

339

Goddess and Guide or Treasury and Machine?: Seventeenth-Century Debate About the Role of Nature Thomas Willard

355

List of Contributors

383

Index 389

Introduction Epochs, Paradigm Shifts, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern Age: Where are we Situated Today? Albrecht Classen

If we trust standard literary or cultural histories, the term epoch proves to be a simple and highly useful concept. After Antiquity came the Middle Ages, which were followed by the Renaissance, the age of the Protestant Reformation, the Baroque, etc. Such global terms, however, are, as we all know, nothing but auxiliary expressions used to create order within a rich chaos of data, names, titles, genres, motifs, topics, ideas, attitudes, worldviews, etc. We establish or refer to epochs since they provide a useful taxonomy, but any critical examination of all those historical categories quickly exposes their constructedness and relativity, as Ludwig Wittgenstein outlined so brilliantly in global terms in his Philosophical Investigations (1953). 1 For Wittgenstein, using words constitutes playing “language-games” by way of giving them significance, which can be changed, of course, depending on the speaker, the context, or the conditions. 2 There is a certain arbitrariness in the use of specific terms and how we might apply them to phenomena. He notes, for instance, “An example of something corresponding to the name, and without which it would

1   https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/; http://www.iep.utm.edu/wittgens/; https: //philosophyforchange.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/meaning-is-use-wittgenstein-on-the-limitsof-language/ (all last accessed on April 15, 2017). 2  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. G.E.M. Anscombe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1963), 5. See also David G. Stern, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction, Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. vii–xlvi.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117189

viii

albrecht classen

have no meaning, is a paradigm that is used in connection with the name in the language-game” (27). Very close to Ferdinand de Saussure, yet uncovering much more the epistemological dimension of human language, Wittgenstein also observes: “Instead of producing something common to all that we call language, I am saying that these Phenomena have no one thing in common which makes us use the same word for all,​  — ​but they are related to one another in many different ways” (51). As David C. Stern informs us in his analysis, “Wittgenstein conceives of both language and activities here in a broad sense, one that includes not just the uttering of words and the movement of limbs, but also covers much of what we might ordinarily consider their surroundings.” 3 However, we cannot help but apply those terms, since we would otherwise not even understand any of the changes that constantly occur and require our critical analysis. Reflecting on epochs and their transitions, at least in the way we define them, makes it possible to comprehend the course of human history. The present volume hence intends to explore the phenomenon of paradigm shifts in the premodern world and beyond and to grasp how fundamental transformations have taken place on a regular basis​ — ​and this irrespective of all attempts by those in power to hold on to their positions and to maintain the status quo. No institution or organization has ever managed to preserve its condition without any changes throughout time, not even the Catholic Church, and the only question that really matters in the long run pertains to the issue of whether the transformations that we can observe historically have been fundamental or gradual, leading to a radical paradigm shift or to a slow change in the global configurations and parameters that continue to observe the traditional framework and values within a new context. This quest is focused on how to identify transitions and transformations, and thus to highlight the old in the new and the new emerging from the old. What constitutes an epoch, and how would we talk about it concretely and with a solid base of evidence? To be sure, this quest constitutes a very old quandary and has been fundamental in much of historical, cultural-historical, social-political, and religious studies over the decades, if not centuries. Intriguingly, the effort to determine what differentiates the Renaissance from the Middle Ages, for instance, ultimately also pertains to our own modern existence, since we regularly question whether we  Stern, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, 89 (see note 2). For recent studies of Wittgenstein’s philosophy and linguistic observations, see also the contributions to Alexander Hieke and Hannes Leitgeb, eds., Reduction​​  — ​​Abstraction​​  — ​​Analysis: Proceedings of the 31th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2008, Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, N.S., 11 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009); and see Claudine Verheggen, ed., Wittgenstein and Davidson on Language, Thought, and Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); and Christian Martin, ed., Language, Form(s) of Life, and Logic: Investigations after Wittgenstein (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2018 [forthcoming]). The relevant literature on Wittgenstein is legion, of course. 3

Introduction

ix

ourselves are still living in modernity, or already in post-modernity, and wonder, naturally, what forces are at play right now bringing about the transformations. Are we in charge of them, or are we actors on a constantly evolving stage, controlled by an intangible puppet-master? 4 Who will decide, at the end, whether we belong to Post-Modernity or already to another epoch? Are we moving forward in a linear, progressive fashion or in a circular, irregular, perhaps even regressive manner? The prevalent discourse both in the past and in the present appears to be the dominant force determining how we are supposed to define cultural, religious, or philosophical periods, but it also appears to be highly volatile and unstable. The negative evaluation of the Middle Ages by the subsequent culture was the result of a changing perception by intellectuals such as Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Poggio Bracciolini of antiquity and the alleged decline of culture in the intervening period until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 5 The term Gothic was simply negatively connoted, at least then, whereas we today regard it with great respect and admiration. 6   See the contributions to Charles Burnett, José Meirinhos, and Jacqueline Hamesse, eds., Continuities and Disruptions Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Proceedings of the Colloquium Held at the Warburg Institute, 15–16 June 2007, Jointly Organized by the Warburg Institute and the Gabinete de Filosofia Medieval, Féderation Internationale des Instituts d’Études Médiévales, Textes et Études du Moyen Age 48 (Louvain-la-Neuve: Féderation Internationale des Instituts d’Études Médiévales, 2008). Unfortunately, there is no one unifying conclusion drawn here; instead, each study exemplifies the difficulties in distinguishing clearly between both historical periods. In most cases, editors have put together volumes that address specific topics as covered both in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, without theorizing specifically where the differences lay, and what triggered a transition in abstract and in practical terms. See, for instance, Ian Moulton, ed., Magic, Marriage, and Midwifery: Eroticism in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 39 (Tempe, AZ, and Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2016). This issue does not even address the global challenge of how to determine the Renaissance and how to situate it within the “early modern age,” if it was not the same period. 5   E.S. de Beer, “Gothic: Origin and Diffusion of the Term; The Idea of Style in Architecture,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 11 (1948): 143–62; Michelle P. Brown, “What Does ‘Gothic’ Mean in the Context of the Medieval Book?: Goths at the Gates,” in Gothic Art & Thought in the Later Medieval Period: Essays in Honor of Willibald Sauerländer, ed. Colum Hourihane ([Princeton, NJ]: Index of Christian Art, Dept. of Art & Archæology, Princeton University; University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011), 205–16. 6   See, for instance, Ovidio Capitani, ed., Sentimento del tempo e periodizzazione della storia nel Medioevo: atti del XXXVI Convegno Storico Internazionale, Todi, 10–12 ottobre 1999, Accademia Tudertina e del Centro di Studi sulla Spiritualità Medievale: Nuova serie 13 (Spoleto: Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 2000); Natalie Fryde, ed., Die Deutung der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft in der Moderne = L’imaginaire et les conceptions modernes de la société médiévale, MaxPlanck-Institut für Geschichte: Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte 217 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006); and see Ingrid Kasten, “Eine europäische Erfindung: Das Mittelalter,” Estudios Filológicos Alemanes 8 (2005): 73–88; and Kelly Roscoe and Meredith Day, eds., The End of the Middle Ages, Power and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Times (Chicago: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2017). 4

x

albrecht classen

We could talk about worldviews, ideologies, a set of values, or pragmatic parameters determined by scientific, medical, or technical concepts in order to grasp the meaning of an epoch and then also the mechanisms that bring about a fundamental shift. Both medieval chroniclers and modern scholars struggle with the question of how to analyze the past and how to come up with meaningful concepts about human life in that historical context. 7 Moreover, much depends on whether we pursue a global or a local perspective, since even within the Middle Ages, a roughly 1000-year-long period, major changes occurred that could be identified as paradigm shifts. For example: the conquest of England in 1066 by William the Conqueror and the radical transformation of the Anglo-Saxon world into one determined by Anglo-Norman culture and politics; or the dramatic evolutionary movements within medieval monasticism, especially the rise of the Cistercians as a new order intent on radically reforming the older Benedictine system. 8 Or consider the gradual rise of a money-based economy that ultimately replaced land-based feudalism and had tremendous implications​ — ​ long before the emergence of the Renaissance, unless we identify this monetary development as indicative of the new epoch by itself. We could also consider profound changes in time measuring, in technology at large, in food production, in clothing styles, etc. Some of those changes were expansive and all-inclusive, while others affected only smaller parts of the population, just as is the case today. The flight to the moon was a monumental paradigm shift for America and the scientific community, but even today there are many people, cultures, organizations, etc. that are either not aware of it or disregard it as fake or irrelevant for them. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 was probably as dramatic to the entire eastern Mediterranean and Western Europe as was the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001; overnight, all military, political, social, cultural, and   See Graeme Dunphy, “Preface,” in The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, ed. id., vol. 1 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010), vii–xii. See also the book series The Medieval Chronicle, ed. Erik Kooper, vol. 7 (Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi, 2011); Gerhard Wolf and Norbert H. Ott, eds., Handbuch Chroniken des Mittelalters. De Gruyter Reference (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2016); and Michele Campopiano and H. Bainton, eds. Universal Chronicles in the High Middle Ages. Writing History in the Middle Ages (York: York Medieval Press, 2017). 8   Raoul Manselli, “Die Zisterzienser in Krise und Umbruch des Mönchtums im 12. Jahrhundert,” in Die Zisterzienser: Ordensleben zwischen Ideal und Wirklichkeit, Aachen, Krönungssaal des Rathauses, 3. Juli–28. September 1980, ed. Kaspar Elm, Schriften des Rheinischen Museumsamtes 12 (Bonn: Habelt, 1980), 29–37; Gert Melville, “Die Zisterzienser und der Umbruch des Mönchtums im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert,” in Norm und Realität. Kontinuität und Wandel der Zisterzienser im Mittelalter, ed. Franz J. Felten and Werner Rösener, Vita regularis. Ordnungen und Deutungen religiosen Lebens im Mittelalter, Abhandlungen 42 (Berlin and Münster: Lit, 2009), 23–43; Gregor Patt, “Un privilège cistercien? Quelques réflexions sur les origines de la conception des moines et chanoines réguliers bénéficiant d’une exonération du paiement des dîmes sur leurs propres cultures au 12e siècle,” Mediaevistik 31 (forthcoming). 7

Introduction

xi

economic factors seem to have changed fundamentally, and all elements defining life or politics need re-definition. However, returning to the Conquest of 1066: as much as the new rulers dominated public life in England since then, setting up a strong paradigm shift in terms of their own power structures and a new building program vividly reflecting those, the need to draw from the ancient Anglo-Saxon texts​ — ​whether legal documents or chronicles, battle poems or epics​ — ​in many quarters indicates the subcutaneous continuity of the previous world in England. The paradigm shift occurred, for sure, and yet it was undermined at the same time and transformed into a new culture clearly distinct from the continental culture. 9 To use a metaphor from the natural world, the situation in England was like a major storm, with many little waves building up energy, which was then picked up and harnessed by a major tsunami for its own purposes before slamming into the land. When the water withdraws, then, it leaves behind many rivulets and much destruction. Whether a tsunami or ordinary waves, the back and forth of the tides can be compared with paradigm shifts in human history. As is often the case in human language, our words describe actual conditions only approximately, and this is the case with epoch as well. Abstracting from a vast plethora of phenomena, literary, cultural, and other historians have tried their best to isolate and lump together specific aspects that would constitute a critical mass and thereby allow us to talk about an epoch. To make sense out of our terminology, we must be able to identify a sum of characteristic features that clearly differentiate the literary works (art works, musical compositions, etc.) from those created in previous and later epochs. There must be sufficient system-endemic components, altogether establishing critical mass, for us to call a certain period by a specific name, even if only for heuristic reasons. 10 Of course, it would be unrealistic to assume that a paradigm shift transformed all and everything at a short time, but a factual shift would affect at least major aspects, ideas, styles, approaches, technologies, medicine, and politics, while it seems quite natural that more minor lines of tradition would continue in an uninterrupted fashion. For instance, while the humanists contributed to an extensive change in the use of language (classical Latin) in the approach to philosophy, the political discourse, ethics, and also religion, the vast majority of ordinary, unlearned people would not have taken much note of all those things and probably did not even pay attention to the paradigm shift as it occurred on a learned, abstract level.

  Sara Harris, The Linguistic Past in Twelfth-Century Britain, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). See my review in Mediaevistik 30 (forthcoming, 2018). 10  See, for instance, Tim William Machan, ed., Imagining Medieval English: Language Structures and Theories, 500–1500, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 95 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 9

xii

albrecht classen

Conceptually, the Middle Ages can be differentiated fairly easily backward from Late Antiquity and forward from the Renaissance, as problematic as such a separation often proves to be in details. An epoch would thus be a “quasi-synchronous system” within a diachronic sequence. However, there are always major issues with overlapping transitional periods, mixed conditions, continuities, and parallel developments. And Europe is a large and very diverse continent, especially if we do not draw too conservative demarcation lines and include many of the neighboring cultures, languages, and religions. Moreover, as we have realized by now, it does not do real justice to study Europe in isolation, as recent attempts at developing Global Medieval Studies have indicated. 11 Cultural and intellectual changes might take place in one part at a certain time, which come to fruition in other parts only much later, or not at all. The Roman world, above all, was extremely dominant in virtually every aspect of human culture, technology, and even science and continued to exert its influence far into the early modern age. Nevertheless, the Germanic kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, in Italy, and north of the Alps increasingly made their own impact felt and constituted their idiosyncratic identity, a remarkable example of a paradigm shift. 12 No one could precisely confirm when Late Antiquity really came to an end and when the Early Middle Ages began, here disregarding the military and political “collapse” of Rome in 476 when the Byzantine general Odoacer deposed the last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, on September 4 and took over the control of the government, although the Roman senate continued to operate and much of the

  Joyce E. Salisbury, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Global Medieval Life and Culture, 3 vols. (Westport, CT, and London: Greenwood Press, 2009); John M. Ganim and Sharyne aaron Legassie, eds., Cosmopolitanism and the Middle Ages, The New Middle Ages (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Anna Kathrin Bleuler, together with Anja-Mareike Klingbeil, eds., Welterfahrung und Welterschließung in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zu Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit 5 (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016); see also the articles by Michael Borgolte in Tillmann Lohse and Benjamin Schell, eds., Mittelalter in der größeren Welt: Essays zur Geschichtsschreibung und Beiträge zur Forschung, Europa im Mittelalter 24 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014). As to the growing globalization since ca. 1500, see Steven G. Marks, The Information Nexus: Global Capitalism from the Renaissance to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). An excellent new example of how a global perspective allows us to gain a better understanding of historical events as being parallel and maybe also mutually influential is provided by Ryan Hatch in his contribution to this volume, focusing on events as they occurred around 751 c.e. in Europe, in the Middle East, and in China. See also the highly illuminating study by R. Po-chia Hsia in this volume. 12   Franz Alto Bauer and Norbert Zimmermann, eds., Epochenwandel? Kunst und Kultur zwischen Antike und Mittelalter, Zaberns Bildbände zur Archäologie (Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 2001). 11

Introduction

xiii

political and economic structures remained unchanged. 13 However, at one point the intellectual, cultural, and conceptual distance between late Western Rome and the rising Germanic kingdoms became so large that we can concretely talk about a definite separation of one world or culture from the other one. When Charlemagne was crowned emperor in 800, he reconnected himself with the Roman world, and yet he was a Germanic ruler sui generis, living in a very distinctly different culture, which offers a unique explanation for his subsequent rise as a pan-European mythical figure. 14 Admiration for the Roman Empire throughout the Middle Ages and the use of Latin as the lingua franca among intellectuals did not mean that these two civilizations approximated each other or shared much in their identity; rather, memory, or myth-making, increasingly replaced actual sharing of cultural components. 15 Literary-historical developments must always be considered within a wider context, including historical, religious, medical, scientific, social, political, and artistic conditions. However, there is no absolute guarantee that a change in worldview   See, for instance, Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe 300–1000, 2nd ed., Palgrave History of Europe (1991; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999); Michael Richter, The Formation of the Medieval West: Studies in the Oral Culture of the Barbarians (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994); the contributions to G. W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar, eds., Interpreting Late Antiquity: Essays on the Postclassical World (Cambridge, MA, and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001); Walter Goffart, Barbarian Tides: The Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire, The Middle Ages Series (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006); Karol Modzelewski, Das barbarische Europa: Zur sozialen Ordnung von Germanen und Slawen im frühen Mittelalter, trans. from Polish into German by Heidemarie Petersen, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau, Klio in Polen 13 (2004; Osnabrück: fibre Verlag, 2011); Kate Cooper and Conrad Leyser, eds., Making Early Medieval Societies: Conflict and Belonging in the Latin West, 300–1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). As to the specific end of Western Rome in 476, see the bibliography online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_the_Western_Roman_Empire (last accessed on Jan. 20, 2018). See also Kyle Harper, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, The Princeton History of the Ancient World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017). 14   Albrecht Classen, “The Myth of Charlemagne: From the Early Middle Ages to the Late Sixteenth Century” (2016), online article at: http://www.charlemagne-icon.ac.uk/further-reading/articles/; or: http://www.charlemagne-icon.ac.uk/wp-content/blogs.dir/332/files/2016/01/ Classen-2016-The-Myth-of-Charlemagne.pdf (last accessed on Jan. 2, 2018). 15   See, for instance, Bastert, Bernd, ed., Karl der Große in den europäischen Literaturen des Mittelalters: Konstruktion eines Mythos (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2004); Dirk Callebaut and Horst van Cuyck, eds., De erfenis van Karel de Grote, 814–2014: bij de international tentoonstelling in het Provinciaal Erfgoedcentrum in Ename van 10 mei tot 30 november 2014 (Gent: Provinciebestuur Oost-Vlaanderen, 2014); Johannes Fried, Karl der Große: Gewalt und Glaube, eine Biographie, 4th ed. (2013; Munich: Beck, 2014); and Franz Fuchs, ed., Karlsbilder in Kunst, Literatur und Wissenschaft: Akten eines interdisziplinären Symposions anlässlich des 1200. Todestages Kaiser Karls des Großen, Rezeptionskulturen in Literatur-und Mediengeschichte 1 (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2015). 13

xiv

albrecht classen

automatically also impacted the history of literature or the arts. Traditions tend to continue for a long time, which also applies to the evolution of literature especially in the Middle Ages and beyond, which certainly did not abruptly come to an end with the discovery of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in ca. 1450, the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the rediscovery of America by Columbus in 1492, or the emergence of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Technology and discoveries, major wars and political collapse have certainly contributed to significant transformations, disruptions, and even revolutions, and this also in the world of literature and religion. 16 The transition from the geocentric to the heliocentric worldview, for instance, can be regarded as monumental, but it took centuries for this paradigm shift to take hold firmly. 17 Weather and climate changes also have to be included in the analysis of what conditions paradigm shifts, but we are still far away from fully understanding those correlations. 18 Critical theory has long recognized the difficulties with all our terms for specific epochs and has explored numerous methodologies to establish convincing and universally acceptable concepts. 19 Hardly anyone would contest the usefulness of 16   See the contribution to this volume by J. Michael Fulton, who illustrates the extent to which the impact of the printing press on the theological debates in Spain deeply undermined the traditional authorities, including the Inquisition, and fundamentally problematized the common approach to the Vulgate. 17   Significantly, Thomas S. Kuhn also contributed to this topic; see his The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957). See also Robert S. Westman, “The Astronomer’s Role in the Sixteenth Century: A Preliminary Survey,” History of Science 18 (1980): 105–47; Peter Harrison, The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Michael Woolfson, The Formation of the Solar System: Theories Old and New (Hackensack, NJ: Distributed by World Scientific Pub. Co.; London: Imperial College Press, 2007); Harry Nussbaumer, Revolution am Himmel: wie die kopernikanische Wende die Astronomie veränderte (Zürich: Vdf Hochschul-Verlag an der ETH, 2011); Hans Reichenbach, Von Kopernikus bis Einstein: der Wandel unseres Weltbildes, Wege zum Wissen 85 (1927; Leipzig and Frankfurt a. M.: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, 2017); and Kaspar von Greyerz, “Das astronomische System des Copernicus und die Reformation (1543–1600),” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 108 (2017): 104–14. The literature on this topic is legion, as is to be expected. 18   John Aberth, An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: The Crucible of Nature (London and New York: Routledge, 2013); Albrecht Classen, “Globalerwärmung im Mittelalter als Grundlage für die Entstehung der höfischen Liebe?” in Wandlungsprozesse der Mentalitätsgeschichte, ed. Peter Dinzelbacher and Friedrich Harrer (Baden-Baden: Deutscher Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2015), 121–46; Peter Dinzelbacher, Structures and Origins of the Twelfth-Century ‘Renaissance, Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters 63 (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 2017), 218–19, 265, 267. 19   Michael Titzmann, “Epoche,” in Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft: Neubearbeitung des Reallexikons der deutschen Literaturgeschichte, ed. Klaus Weimar, vol. 1 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1997), 476–80.

Introduction

xv

the concrete terms for epochs, but there is an enormous range of opinions regarding the unique limitations or separation lines between, say, the Middle Ages and the early modern age. As Hiram Kümper observes, “[t]endencies to prolong the Middle Ages until far into what is commonly perceived as ‘the early modern period,’ though getting louder within the last decades, still rather remain at the margins of historiographic discourse.” 20 The situation in literary history might be somewhat different, especially because so many authors of prose novels composed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries relied heavily on medieval courtly romances and heroic epics and because their own works, in turn, experienced considerable popularity well into the seventeenth century and beyond. With respect to thematic orientations, social conditions, religious and political positions, etc., the medieval world did not simply fade away but instead continued to exert a profound influence on the production of lyric poetry, prose novels, Shrovetide plays, etc. 21 Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1350), which both medievalists and Renaissance scholars claim as their own, exerted continuous appeal throughout the following centuries, even though authors and translators adapted and modified his tales to meet their own interests. 22 Most famously, Geoffrey Chaucer was deeply influenced by Boccaccio when he composed his Canterbury Tales (ca. 1400). 23 Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron (1558/1559) was composed explicitly in competition with 20   Hiram Kümper, “The Term ‘Middle Ages,’” in Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms– Methods–Trends, ed. Albrecht Classen, vol. 2 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 1310–19. 21   See, for example, Eef Overgaauw, “Writing and Reading Manuscripts in Germany in the Sixteenth Century,” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 91 (2016): 190–215. 22   Christa Bertelsmeier-Kierst and Rainer Stillers, eds., 700 Jahre Boccaccio: Traditionslinien vom Trecento bis in die Moderne, Kulturgeschichtliche Beiträge zum Mittelalter und zur frühen Neuzeit 7 (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2015); Ingrid Bennewitz, ed., Giovanni Boccaccio: Italienisch-deutscher Kulturtransfer von der Frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart, Bamberger interdisziplinäre Mittelalterstudien 9 (Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2015). See also Giuseppe Galigani, Il Boccaccio nella cultura inglese e anglo-americana, Ente nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio, Pubblicazioni 2 (Florence: L.S. Olschki, 1974); Guido Almansi, Il ciclo della scommessa: dal Decameron al Cymbeline di Shakespeare, Strumenti di ricerca 9 (Rome: Bulzoni, 1976); and Piero Boitani and Emilia Di Rocco, eds., Boccaccio and the European Literary Tradition (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2014). For a useful though abbreviated translation, see Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron: A New Translation, Contexts, Criticism, trans. and ed. Wayne A. Rebhorn, A Norton Critical Edition (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 2016). 23   Robert M. Correale and Mary Hamel, eds., Sources and Analogues of the Canterbury Tales (Cambridge and Rochester, NY: D.S. Brewer, 2002–2005); Robert R. Edwards, Chaucer and Boccaccio: Antiquity and Modernity (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2002); Carol Falvo Heffernan, Comedy in Chaucer and Boccaccio, Chaucer Studies 40 (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2009); George Edmondson, The Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2011); K.P. Clarke, Chaucer and Italian Textuality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Among the literature on this topic see also Laurel

xvi

albrecht classen

the Decameron, reflecting both very traditional and also modern perspectives. 24 Numerous German contemporaries relied on Boccaccio’s narrative material when they created their own jest narratives. 25 One of the best examples of this phenomenon might be Melusine, a mythical figure who was first mentioned by the two clerical authors Walter Map and Gervasius of Tilbury at the end of the twelfth century. Jean d’Arras created a prose novel about her in 1393, followed by a verse version by Couldrette around 1400 (both in French), and then came a German prose novel by Thüring von Ringoltingen in 1456, which several decades later became one of the most popular bestsellers on the early modern book market well into the seventeenth century. 26 The Romantics later picked up this literary material and disseminated it widely over many decades. Modern feminism has also discovered the great usefulness of the Melusine myth for its own purposes, as countless examples online today confirm. We clearly observe remarkable changes from the fifteenth century to the seventeenth, and Amtower and Jacqueline Vanhoutte, eds., A Companion to Chaucer and His Contemporaries: Texts & Contexts (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2009). 24   John D. Lyons and Mary B. McKinley, eds., Critical Tales: New Studies of the Heptameron and Early Modern Culture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); Jean Bessière and Philippe Daros, eds., La Nouvelle Boccace, Marguerite de Navarre, Cervantès, Collection Unichamp 54 (Paris: H. Champion, 1996); Patricia F. and Rouben C. Cholakian, Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006); Elizabeth Chesney Zegura, Marguerite de Navarre’s Shifting Gaze: Perspectives on Gender, Class, and Politics in the Heptaméron, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World (London and New York: Routledge, 2017). 25   Albrecht Classen, Deutsche Schwankliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts: Studien zu Martin Montanus, Hans Wilhelm Kirchhof und Michael Lindener, Koblenz-Landauer Studien zu Geistes-, Kultur-und Bildungswissenschaften 4 (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2009). 26   See Jan-Dirk Müller, ed., Romane des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, Bibliothek der frühen Neuzeit: Abt. 1, Literatur im Zeitalter des Humanismus und der Reformation 1, Bibliothek deutscher Klassiker 54 (Frankfurt am M.: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, 1990), 11–176; Thüring von Ringoltingen, Melusine (1456), vol. 1: Edition, Übersetzung und Faksimile der Bildseiten, vol. 2: Kommentar und Aufsätze, Nach dem Erstdruck Basel: Richel um 1473/74 (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2006); and Heidrun Stein-Kecks, ed., Die schöne Melusina: Ein Feenroman des 15. Jahrhunderts in der deutschen Übertragung des Thüring von Ringoltingen: Die Bilder im Erstdruck Basel 1473/74 nach dem Exemplar der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstatdt (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2012). For the history of early modern printing of this and the other prose novels, see Bodo Gotzkowsky, “Volksbücher”: Prosaromane, Renaissancenovellen, Versdichtungen und Schwankbücher. Bibliographie der deutschen Drucke, Part I: Drucke des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, Bibliotheca Bibliographica Aureliana 125 (Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1991), 105–25; and see Albrecht Classen, The German Volksbuch: A Critical History of a Late-Medieval Genre, Studies in German Language and Literature 15 (Lewiston, NY; Queenston, Ont.; and Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1995, reissued 1999), 141–62. See also the contributions to Misty Urban, Deva F. Kemmis, and Melissa Ridley Elmes, eds., Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth, Explorations in Medieval Culture 4 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017).

Introduction

xvii

then the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and Melusine herself is increasingly turning into a female sex object. In this regard, the paradigm shift moved in oddly staggering steps, recurring many times to the medieval sources, yet transforming those over and over again. 27 But even the earliest manifestations of the literary account of Melusine can be traced further back to art-historical evidence, such as in the mosaic floor of the cathedral of Otranto (ca. 1163–1165), where this hybrid female appears next to other mythical and biblical figures and creatures. Even though we cannot fully trace them concretely, there must have been very old oral folk traditions of this Melusine account that ultimately transpired into the elite, written culture of the High Middle Ages. And from then on, until the present​ — ​that is, in the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages and then later on in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries​ — ​Melusine continued to occupy the public imagination and fantasy, experiencing a tremendous revival in the age of Romanticism. 28 Could we even apply the terms epoch or paradigm shift in that regard? Certainly there were some adaptations, slight transformations, especially in the visual representation, but in essence the story of Melusine continued to appeal to audiences throughout the ages without significant changes in the basic plot, the characterization of the protagonists, or the social and economic circumstances described in the text. This problematizes the notion of cultural ages or periods considerably, but at the same time it does not make them outdated or irrelevant, especially when older literary material was embedded in and adjusted to new contexts, serving quite different purposes. In other words, we could never consider the Romantic era as similar to the Middle Ages, as much as the latter period exerted a deep influence 27  See, for instance, http://blogs.bl.uk/european/2015/10/the-tale-of-m%C3%A9lusine. html; http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/melusina.html; for a unique list of famous art works with the Melusine motif, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melusine; for a vast listing of other images of Melusine, see https://www.google.com/search?q=Melusine+feminism&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS75 6US757&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFhNjIzcLYAhVLKCYKHa BnCL8QsAQIKA&biw=1266&bih=564 (all last accessed on Jan. 5, 2018). 28   Volker Mertens, “Melusinen, Undinen: Variationen des Mythos vom 12. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert,” in Festschrift Walter Haug und Burghart Wachinger, ed. Johannes Janota (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1992), 201–31; Grazio Gianfreda, Il mosaico di Otranto: anima per l’Europa (Lecce: Edizioni del Grifo, 2003); Grazio Gianfreda, La sapienza e l’infinito: l’albero della vita nel mosaico di Otranto, ed. Marco Rossi (Castel Bolognese: Itaca, 2006); Claudia Steinkämper, Melusine​​  — ​​ vom Schlangweib zur “Beauté mit dem Fischschwanz”: Geschichte einer literarischen Aneignung, Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte 233 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007); Christine Ungruh, Das Bodenmosaik der Kathedrale von Otranto (1163–1165): Normannische Herrscherideologie als Endzeitvision, Studien zur Kunstgeschichte des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit 9 (Affalterbach: Didymos-Verlag, 2013); Gareth Knight, The Book of Melusine of Lusignan in History, Legend and Romance (Cheltenham: Skylight, 2013); Albrecht Classen, Water in Medieval Literature: An Ecocritical Reading, Ecocritical Theory and Practice (Lanham, MD, Boulder, CO, New York, and London: Lexington Books, 2018), 215–36.

xviii

albrecht classen

on the former. 29 However, focusing on the transition from the late medieval verse romances to the prose novels produced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there is sufficient critical mass in literary, aesthetic, and political terms to talk about a paradigm shift in the history of literature, after all. As Stefan Seeber now formulates, “Der Roman als Gattung wird zur sittlichen Anstalt und zum ‘Instrument der moralischen Verbesserung,’ es geht nicht um prodesse und delectare, sondern um die utilitas allein, die die gesamte Romanproduktion idealiter dominieren soll” 30 [The novel as a genre turns into a moral institution and becomes an “instrument for moral reform”; the concern is no longer focused on prodesse and delectare, but on utilitas alone which is ideally supposed to dominate the entire production of novels]. Undoubtedly, the publication of Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses in 1517 had a huge impact on every aspect of sixteenth-century public and private life, so here we can identify a specific marker of a paradigm shift leading to a new epoch. 31 Nevertheless, much of the same popular reading material continued to be created and was published over the next decades without many major changes, especially if we think of the popular jest narratives (Schwänke) or popular songs. 32 Shrovetide plays, religious plays, and of course those prose novels did not fail to appeal to and influence their audiences throughout the ages. The manuscript culture continued well beyond the beginning of the media revolution through Johannes Gutenberg, late medieval religious literature hardly ever declined in popularity, and both in the visual arts and in music old traditions maintained strong positions. 33 The Protestant  See, for instance, Clare A. Simmons, Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain, Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); and Stephanie Downes and Andrew Lynch, eds., Emotions and War: Medieval to Romantic Literature, Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). 30  Stefan Seeber, Diesseits der Epochenschwell: Der Roman als vormoderne Gattung in der deutschen Literatur (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2017), 17. 31   R. Po-chia Hsia, ed., A Companion to the Reformation World, Blackwell Companions to European History (Malden, MA, Oxford, and Victoria: Blackwell, 2004/2006); or to Andrew Pettegree, ed., The Reformation World (London and New York: Routledge, 2000); Volker Leppin, ed., Reformatorische Gestaltungen: Theologie und Kirchenpolitik in Spätmittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, Arbeiten zur Kirchen-und Theologiegeschichte 43 (Leipzig: Evangelische VerlagsAnstalt, 2016). 32  Albrecht Classen, Deutsche Liederbücher des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, Volksliedstudien 1 (Münster: Waxmann, 2001); id., Deutsche Schwankliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts (see note 25); Albrecht Classen (together with Lukas Richter), Lied und Liederbuch in der Frühen Neuzeit, Volksliedstudien 10 (Münster, New York, et al.: Waxmann, 2010). 33  See the contributions to Walter Haug, ed., Mittelalter und frühe Neuzeit: Übergänge, Umbrüche und Neuansätze, Fortuna Vitrea 16 (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1999); and to Günter Frank and Volker Leppin, eds., Die Reformation und ihr Mittelalter: Wertung, Wirkung, Perspektiven, Melanchthon-Schriften der Stadt Bretten 14 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: frommann-holzboog Verlag, 2016); and Peter Wolf, Evamaria Brockhoff, et al., eds., Ritter, Bauern, Lutheraner: 29

Introduction

xix

Reformation was a deep incision, to be sure, but a closer analysis now also reveals that early medieval ideals in a way were re-centered and that a more personal spirituality​ — ​as long practiced by mystics, beguines/beghards, and hermits​ — ​was pursued once again. The radical innovations thus could almost be identified as reform through a return to the past. 34 Here we face a concrete example of a paradigm shift, but upon closer analysis we also recognize the profound roots of the Protestant Reformation in medieval traditions, especially in mysticism. However, there is no denying that the Gothic era gave way to the Renaissance, particularly if we consider the new building style, the manner of painting, the mode of music, fashion, public performances, and the approach to nature; 35 there is no possibility of ignoring that the older political structures ceded to new ones, with the rising national state centered on a capital city, that medicine, philosophy, and the sciences underwent dramatic changes, and that the discoveries of the New World and the sea passage to India around the Cape of New Hope in South Africa created a major paradigm shift after all. 36 While we can easily agree with the argument that the Early Middle Ages already witnessed major travel activities, followed by the Crusades and pilgrimages, and paralleled by the merchant and missionary efforts of Marco Polo or Odoric of Pordenone, the real age of exploration and discovery did not come until the sixteenth century. 37

Katalog zur Bayerischen Landesausstellung 2017, Veste Coburg und Kirche St. Moriz 9. Mai bis 5. November 2017 (Augsburg: Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte, 2017). The extent to which the new social class of the patriciate within urban life strove to imitate traditional aristocratic life style during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries cannot be ignored either; see Stefan Frey, Fromme feste Junker: Neuer Stadtadel im spätmittelalterlichen Zürich, Mitteilungen der Antiquarischen Gesellschaft in Zürich 84 (Zürich: Chronos, 2017). 34   Sari Katajala-Peltomaa and Raisa Maria Toivo, eds., Lived Religion and the Long Reformation in Northern Europe c. 1300–1700, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions 206 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016); Thomas Eser and Stephanie Armer, eds., Luther, Kolumbus und die Folgen: Welt im Wandel 1500–1600 (Nuremberg: Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseums, 2017). 35   Wim Swaan, The Late Middle Ages: Art and Architecture from 1350 to the Advent of the Renaissance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977); Martin Warnke, Spätmittelalter und Frühe Neuzeit 1400–1750, Geschichte der deutschen Kunst 2 (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1999); Carlos M.N. Eire, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450–1650 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016). The research on this large topic is legion, of course. 36   Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); José Manuel Garcia, Vasco da Gama e a Índia, Descobrimentos: 600 anos do início da expansão portuguesa 40 (Vila do Conde: Verso da História, 2016). 37   See the contribution to this volume by James Helfers; also Ian Blanchard, The International Economy in the “Age of the Discoveries,” 1470​​ — ​​1570: Antwerp and the English Merchants’ World, Studien zur Gewerbe- und Handelsgeschichte der vorindustriellen Zeit 29 (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2009); and the contributions to Christina H. Lee, ed., Western Visions of the Far East in

xx

albrecht classen

Nevertheless, continuing with our seesaw approach necessary for such a fundamental issue here at stake, considering the world of literature, and specifically the testimony of William Shakespeare (1564–1616), many medieval concepts, ideals, values, and materials were just as present in seventeenth-century history of mentality as in the fifteenth century. 38 Undoubtedly, we would not do proper justice to this great playwright if we folded him into the medieval world altogether; but to claim straightaway that he composed his famous tragedies and comedies at a new time without having drawn extensively from the Middle Ages would equally be wrong. It would be easier from our perspective today if we contrasted Shakespeare’s plays with narrative accounts from the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries rather than with Baroque and eighteenth-century plays, since only then would the difference become well profiled. 39 However, the issue here is not so much the difference but the sliding transition from one age to another, as expressed in the rapidly changing world of the theater play, moving away from the Church in the High and Late Middle Ages to the public urban stage in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and finally finding its way to the modern theater stage in the seventeenth century. When and how did this paradigm shift occur? What were the parameters for this transformation? How can we identify parallel developments during more or less the same time? Did those developments occur simultaneously, or were they delayed, depending on the location within Europe, or different in Asian countries such as Japan from medieval Italy? What were the motivating factors for that shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and then the Baroque? In terms of the material framework determining the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it might be easier to talk about a specific and clear-cut transition a Transpacific Age: 1522–1657, Transculturalisms, 1400–1700 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). A vast body of literature on this topic exists. 38   See, for instance, Helen Cooper, Shakespeare and the Medieval World (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2010); Ruth Morse, Helen Cooper, and Peter Holland, eds., Medieval Shakespeare: Pasts and Presents (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Kurt A. Schreyer, Shakespeare’s Medieval Craft: Remnants of the Mysteries on the London Stage (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2014). 39  For the history of medieval plays, see Johan Nowé, “War wellen haben ein spil”: Zur Geschichte des Dramas im deutschen Mittelalter: Darstellung und Anthologie (Acco, Leuven, and Amersfoort: Academische Cooperatief, 1997); and Ursula Schulze, Geistliche Spiele im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit: Von der liturgischen Feier zum Schauspiel. Eine Einführung (Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 2012). For broader perspectives, taking us from antiquity to modernity, see Manfred Brauneck, Die Welt als Bühne: Geschichte des europäischen Theaters, vol. 1 (Stuttgart and Weimar: J.B. Metzler, 1993); and see Christine Richardson and Jackie Johnston, Medieval Drama (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1991); and Jane Hwang Degenhardt and Elizabeth Williamson, eds., Religion and Drama in Early Modern England: The Performance of Religion on the Renaissance Stage, Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama (Farnham, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011).

Introduction

xxi

in architecture or politics from one period to another than in the world of literature. After all, literature, a medium of often rather ambivalent properties, refuses simple answers in that regard. A dramatic text such as any of the Tudor plays, for instance, can be easily identified as medieval as well, considering the religious or social content. At the same time, it can also be called a Renaissance play because of the ideological, political, religious, and ethical/moral statements. 40 Shakespeare’s plays might lean more forward than backward, but they certainly straddled two larger periods. 41 The fifteenth century, above all, was such a time in which a profound paradigm shift occurred, gradually but surely. Most importantly, we must always recognize that cultural, technological, scientific, and political transformations occurred in various parts of medieval Europe at various times. While the Renaissance emerged in Italy already in the fourteenth century, it appears to have taken well until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for the modern architectural and literary concepts to enter the broader cultural activities in Spain or Sweden. Much depended on translation processes building bridges over two separate periods. Some medieval texts, for instance, were adapted in the early modern period while others disappeared from view altogether. 42 This also applied to music, painting, and other visual arts, whereas the sciences and medicine moved forward quite dramatically. This now invites us to reflect more deeply on the meaning of a paradigm shift in the first place, that is, on the conceptual transformation leading us from one cultural period to another. The highly acclaimed historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, has presented us with the most fundamental concept regarding this phenomenon, and so his ideas deserve to be examined here centrally, even though he addressed the history of science above all and even though he was strongly criticized by a variety of scholars concerned with how scientific truths are established and known, an issue that does not pertain to us here. 43 The discussion of science in historical terms proves to be particularly useful because the debate about fundamental concepts   Lawrence M. Clopper, Drama, Play, and Game: English Festive Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Period (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2001). 41   See the contributions to this volume by Doris Barkin and Jonathan Baldo. 42   C. Galderisi and J.-J. Vincensini, eds., La traduction entre Moyen Âge et Renaissance: Médiations, auto-traductions et traductions secondes, Bibliothèque de Transmédie 4 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017). 43   Margaret Masterman, “The Nature of a Paradigm,” in Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, ed. Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1970), 59–89; Tom Rockmore, “Kuhn, Different Worlds and Science as Historical,” in History, Historicity and Science, ed. id. and Joseph Margolis (Aldershot, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006), 167–87. See also the excellent critical examination of various concepts of the paradigm shift by Paul Hoyningen-Huene, “Paradigma/Paradigmenwechsel,” in Lexikon der Geisteswissenschaften: Sachbegriffe​​  — ​​Disziplinen​​  — ​​Personen, ed. Helmut Reinalter and Peter J. Brenner (Vienna, Cologne, and Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2011), 602–9. 40

xxii

albrecht classen

concerning how to explain this world illustrates most dramatically the demise of old models and the rise of new ones. The same applies, though in more subtle terms, to historical, cultural, religious, and literary phenomena. Whether science actually changes in the way that Kuhn’s theory outlines or whether this change operates by gradual progress through a continual falsification process, as Karl Popper has suggested, does not need to be considered here, since this poses no challenge to the paradigm shift as the basic operation. 44 After all, we live in a world determined by a set of facts generally accepted as such, and each generation embraces its own set. In the course of time there are changes, and once those changes reach a specific level, a paradigm shift is about to take place. As Kuhn comments: “scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense, again often restricted to a narrow subdivision of the scientific community, that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way.” 45 All paradigm shifts are accompanied or determined by crisis insofar as the old set of explanations no longer helps to cope with the world and its phenomena. A shift is about to occur when the old parameters explaining the world we are living in or allowing us to survive in it no longer work properly and when a new set of concepts is required for a rational explanation of our environment. 46 Anticipating his own

44  Karl R. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (New York and London: Basic Books, 1962); Herberth Keuth, The Philosophy of Karl Popper, trans. from the German (2000; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 45  Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 4th ed. (1962; Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 92–93; Karl Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (1974; La Salle, IL, and London: Open Court, 1982), 78–87. Another notion about the changes in epistemology would be the one developed by Imre Lakatos, according to whom there is no radical paradigm shift but instead a progressive research program. As we can read online by a blogger identified only as John: “The Lakatos view of science lies in between the two views above. The key to his contribution lies in what we understand by a ‘theory’; Lakatos suggested that in science, a ‘theory’ is really a succession of of slightly different theories and experimental techniques developed over time that all share a common hard core; such a collection he named the research programme. Scientists working within a given research programme shield the core from falsification with a protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses. The question of whether a worldview is true or false is replaced by the question of whether a research programme is progressive or degenerating. A progressive research programme is characterized by growth, prediction of novel facts and more precise predictions etc. In contrast, a degenerative program is marked by a lack of growth; its auxiliary belt does not lead to novel predictions that are later verified.” Quoted from https://antimatter.ie/2011/02/11/kuhn-vs-popper-the-philosophy-of-lakatos/ (last accessed on Jan. 20, 2018). See also the insightful comments on Popper’s concept of falsifiability at http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/jn2/science/newLec2.pdf (last accessed on Jan. 20, 2018). 46   See also Wolfgang Schmidt, Struktur, Bedingungen und Funktionen von Paradigmen und Paradigmenwechsel: eine wissenschaftlich-historisch-systematische Untersuchung der Theorie T.S.

Introduction

xxiii

more detailed analysis, Kuhn formulates the basic condition leading to a paradigm shift: The extraordinary episodes in which that shift of professional commitments occurs are the ones known in this essay as scientific revolutions. They are the tradition-shattering complements to the tradition-bound activity of normal science. . . . Each of them necessitated the community’s rejection of one timehonored scientific theory in favor of another incompatible with it. . . . And each transformed the scientific imagination in ways that we shall ultimately need to describe as a transformation of the world within which scientific work was done. Such changes, together with the controversies that almost always accompany them, are the defining characteristics of scientific revolution. (6)

Kuhn emphasizes that the profession of scientists​ — ​we would call it the collective of intellectuals and artists at a given time​ — ​thrives on the smooth transition from one generation of researchers to the next: “That commitment and the apparent consensus it produces are prerequisites for normal science, i.e., for the genesis and continuation of a particular research tradition” (11). No shift occurs, of course, if there is no paradigm available in the first place, the old school, so to speak. In Kuhn’s words, “the paradigm functions by permitting the replication of examples any one of which could in principle serve to replace it” (23). Paradigms are successful because they offer the most convincing answers to general questions about a specific phenomenon or aspect in nature or culture. They solve issues and make them explainable to the satisfaction of the majority of participants (24). Once a paradigm has been established, most issues and particularly problems that might disturb that paradigm by undermining its premises are either not perceived or deliberately ignored (24, 27). This does not mean that the outside world would be absent or non-existent, and at one point it will begin to dawn upon the insiders of the paradigm that there is more out there than they have perceived so far. Once that realization has set in, the strict border around a paradigm begins to break down, and eventually a paradigm shift will occur, this both in the sciences, as outlined by Kuhn, and in culture, religion, literature, politics, and philosophy. But a crisis has to occur first within the episteme, since otherwise neither the rules nor the models will be questioned. Traditional research operates within the parameters of the very same episteme and reaffirms the premises given, without going beyond the framework, which that crisis threatens (61). However, a crisis, even a minor one, is not easily solved, especially not by means of the old concepts, from which they actually arose in the first place. “In science, as in the playing card

Kuhns am Beispiel der empirischen Psychologie, Europäische Hochschulschriften: Reihe 6, Psychologie 80 (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 1981).

xxiv

albrecht classen

experiment, novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation” (64). We can apply this observation very easily to cultural phenomena as well, especially if we think of revolutions throughout the history of mankind. Only when there is critical mass after a long time of unrest does the crisis come to a head and then demand new answers, which represents a paradigm shift. In Kuhn’s words, “a novel theory emerged only after a pronounced failure in the normal problemsolving activity. . . . The novel theory seems a direct response to crisis” (75). The process of science, to be sure, is ever ongoing, and every new step in research opens new perspectives that either solve or create new crises. The next paradigm shift is already waiting at the door of our existence because the issues determining existence at large prove to be changing or are revealing ever new sides that require different responses. Kuhn does not argue that one set of a paradigm is simply replaced by another in response to efforts to come to terms with an epistemological puzzle. Instead, and this profoundly applies to our own investigation here, he clearly recognizes that “even the existence of crisis does not by itself transform a puzzle into a counterinstance. There is no such sharp dividing line. Instead, by proliferating versions of the paradigm, crisis loosens the rules of normal puzzle-solving in ways that ultimately permit a new paradigm to emerge” (80). Of course, as he also hastens to add, there are always some kinds of anomalies, or disagreements, or there is opposition to certain values and ideals. Those are, in the course of time, either integrated into the new paradigm by somewhat adapted modes of explanation, or they are left alone and isolated. Then there are anomalies that grow in proportion and soon begin to threaten the traditional premises of all calculations, theories, and values, requiring a much more thorough re-examination of the paradigm and its rules. If those do not hold up and are helpless in making sense of the new phenomenon, the basis of the old paradigm begins to crumble. In face of the extraordinary crisis, all participants within the scientific or other discourse are then called upon to confront it and to come up with solutions. “Through this proliferation of divergent articulations (more and more frequently they will come to be described as ad hoc adjustments), the rules of normal science become increasingly blurred” (83). There are three possible reactions to this destabilizing condition. Either the scientists find a way to solve the issue even within the parameters of the current paradigm. Or they realize that no solution can be found at the time being, so they isolate the puzzle and set it aside for the future. Or, which is the crux of the matter for Kuhn and us in the present context, “a crisis may end with the emergence of a new candidate for paradigm and with the ensuing battle over its acceptance” (84). Herein we identify the very process of a paradigm shift, necessitated by the onslaught of the unforeseen problem and the pragmatic and theoretical solutions for it.

Introduction

xxv

Kuhn differentiates the new paradigm further, which will be most useful for our reflections on the historical and cultural transformation affecting the late Middle Ages: During the transition period there will be a large but never complete overlap between the problems that can be solved by the old and by the new paradigm. But there will also be a decisive difference in the modes of solution. When the transition is complete, the profession will have changed its view of the field, its methods, and its goals. (85)

There is no way to determine easily the time factor concerning a paradigm shift, since it can run its course for many years and decades without having a major impact or it can take place quite quickly, even in a revolutionary fashion, upending the old paradigm and establishing the new one almost overnight. Most importantly, this paradigm shift proves to be the result of “competing articulations, the willingness to try anything, the expression of explicit discontent, the recourse to philosophy and to debate over fundamentals” (91). For Kuhn, there are only three phenomena that require a theoretical explanation with respect to the established paradigm. First, there are those that easily fit into the established paradigm and its theoretical framework. Second, there are those that are not completely out of the ordinary but that require innovative theoretical articulation. Third, there are those anomalies “whose characteristic feature is their stubborn refusal to be assimilated to existing paradigms. This type alone gives rise to new theories” (97). 47 Anyone involved in the history of time-keeping and in determining cultural periods knows how complex this whole issue proves to be, as shown by the many different calendars developed all over the world at various times, but then also in astronomy, computing, time calculations, and satellite-based time systems. 48 Even some of the most important revolutionary developments, such as the Protestant Reformation, must be seen through the lens of critical theory, considering how much traditions were preserved, revived, adapted, or returned to. As Berndt Hamm informs us about that development: “it was neither medieval nor early modern, nor an independent period sandwiched between medieval and modern periods. Instead,

  Many scholars and scientists have reflected deeply on Kuhn’s theories; see, for instance, Erich von Dietze, Paradigms Explained: Rethinking Thomas Kuhn’s Philosophy of Science (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001); Edwin H.-C. Hung, Beyond Kuhn: Scientific Explanation, Theory Structure, Incommensurability and Physical Necessity, Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy (Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006); Andrea Sakoparnig, ed., Paradigmenwechsel: Wandel in den Künsten und Wissenschaften (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014); and James A. Marcum, Thomas Kuhn’s Revolutions: A Historical and an Evolutionary Philosophy of Science, EBL-Schweitzer (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015). 48   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epoch (March 12, 2018) (last accessed on April 15, 2017). 47

xxvi

albrecht classen

it was a far-reaching reconfiguration of parts of the Western Church between 1520 and 1560 that was both deeply rooted in the past and pointing to the future.” 49 To do justice to the issue at stake here, only a really interdisciplinary and deeply comprehensive approach could accomplish the desired goal. The old debate about when the Roman Empire in the West really came to an end and when the Germanic kingdoms finally freed themselves from the ancient vestiges, as manifested in the far-reaching debate about the Pirenne Theory, is still not solved today. Economic, especially monetary, aspects, but then also religious, cultural, climatic, logistic, military, agricultural, and architectural components need to be taken into account, and even then we face massive disagreements about where to draw a line and how to differentiate between one era and another. The critical transitions from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages and then from the Late Middle Ages to the Renaissance and the Reformation era prove to be particularly fruitful, thorny, challenging, and provocative, demanding that we return to the basic historical and philosophical understanding. 50 In fact, we cannot even talk about an epoch, or a subsequent paradigm shift, if we do not at first acknowledge the chronological entity of the Middle Ages as distinct by itself. Many scholars, probably beginning with the early Renaissance poet Petrarch (1304–1374), specifically endeavored to distance themselves from the recent past and to cast themselves and their works as innovative and more sophisticated. However, already at that early time, the set of categories for such a distinction was rather amorphous, highly subjective, and mostly wishful at best. 51 After all, we are dealing here with ideals, values, concepts, dreams, and projects pertaining to one’s own culture that finds its characteristic identity mostly by rejecting the past and ridiculing all the predecessors. Nevertheless, paradigm shifts occur all the time, and the process of transforming the Middle Ages into the early modern age took place, after all, in very concrete terms, as the long-term efforts by the Basel Church Council from 1431 to 1449 indicate. 52 The questions relevant in that context pertain to the issues of critical mass in the contemporary epistemology, the adaptation to new conditions and understandings, and, above all, the realization that a novel set of values, for 49   Berndt Hamm, “Farewell to Epochs in Reformation History,” Reformation & Renaissance Review: Journal of the Society for Reformation Studies 16.3 (2014): 211–45, here cited from his abstract, 211. 50   Jennifer R. Davis and Michael McCormick, eds., The Long Morning of Medieval Europe: New Directions in Early Medieval Studies (Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008); see also Kümper, “The Term ‘Middle Ages,’” 1313–14 (see note 20). 51   Kümper, “The Term ‘Middle Ages,’” 1318–19 (see note 20). 52   Michiel Decaluwé, Thomas M. Izbicki, and Gerald Christianson, eds., A Companion to the Council of Basel, Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 74 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016). For a very useful review, enriched with helpful references to other research literature, see Ulli Roth, forthcoming in Mediaevistik 30 (2018).

Introduction

xxvii

instance, or concepts about the world appeared to operate more effectively than the previous ones. In that regard, it proves most useful to apply Thomas Kuhn’s reflections pertaining to the history of science to the cultural, religious, literary, philosophical, political, and artistic history in the Late Middle Ages, when that world was about to shift its gears and turn into the Renaissance and the era of the Protestant Reformation. 53 We need to keep in mind, however, that all these efforts could be limited by white male perspectives. The situation for women 54 or Jews may have been quite different, since their struggle for acceptance or their efforts to survive in a hostile world would not necessarily have been subject to philosophical or aesthetic criteria characteristic of a new world following a paradigm shift. 55 And Muslims and other minorities in the East and North perceived their world very differently if they were not subject to Christian teaching. Whether they were hence part of a paradigm shift remains to be evaluated, even though major chroniclers, librarians, or annalists such as Giovanni Andrea Bussi (1417–1475) started to argue vociferously that they lived in a new world clearly removed from the Middle Ages. 56 The subsequent centuries witnessed a growing number of writers such as Costantino Battini (1757–1832) and Saverio Bettinelli (1718–1808) who viewed the medieval past negatively and talked about the “dark ages,” as inappropriate as that would be from our perspective today. 57 Much depends, of course, on the ideological stance modern scholars pursue, whether they are Marxists or Constructionists, Gender scholars, or Ecocritics. But without any doubt, change has always happened, and even the most esoteric approach to the past implies that there were various steps that ultimately led to the rise of the contemporary world. Without paradigm shifts, no transformation and hence no development toward us today;

  Patrick Boucheron, ed., Histoire du monde au XVe siècle (Paris: Fayard, 2009). The contributors stay away from developing or determining markers for periodization and pursue a more global perspective. 54   Albrecht Classen, Reading Medieval European Women Writers: Strong Literary Witnesses from the Past (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2016). 55   Sigrid Hirbodian and Torben Stretz, eds., Juden und ländliche Gesellschaft in Europa zwischen Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit (15.–17. Jahrhundert): Kontinuität und Krise, Inklusion und Exklusion in einer Zeit des Übergangs, Forschungen zur Geschichte der Juden: Schriftenreihe der Gesellschaft zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden e.V. und des Arye Maimon-Instituts für Geschichte der Juden 24 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1995); Linda Clark, ed., The Fifteenth Century XIII: Exploring the Evidence: Commemoration, Administration and the Economy (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2014). See also the now-terminated journal Fifteenth-Century Studies, as well as the contributions to this volume by Kathy M. Krause, Heather J. Tanner, and Jeanette M. Fregulia. 56   Jacques Le Goff, Geschichte ohne Epochen? Ein Essay, trans. from the French into German by Klaus Jöken (2014; Darmstadt: Zabern Verlag, 2016), 30–31. 57   Le Goff, Geschichte ohne Epochen? 33 (see note 56). 53

xxviii

albrecht classen

after all, we ourselves find ourselves in the midst of a paradigm shift, although we cannot quite foresee the results as they will emerge in the future. Since the first half of the nineteenth century, famous historians such as Jules Michelet and Jacob Burckhardt laid out the foundation of the history of the Renaissance and thereby distanced themselves specifically from the Middle Ages as a nearly contemptible age. But they projected much of their own sentiments into this bifurcation and glorified the Renaissance as the shining new age in which rationality, logic, and humanism dominated all intellectual life, which was, as we know today, certainly not exactly the case, at least not always and everywhere​ — ​we only would have to think of the witch craze that emerged. 58 The paradigm shift to the Renaissance thereby served as a springboard for modern scholars hoping that a similar development could transform their own time into a new glorious culture of rebirth. Hope and idealization in the modern era thus deeply colored the historiographical reflections in which the Middle Ages had to serve as the negative foil. But paradigm shifts can also be detected within the medieval centuries, as I have indicated above with the case of the monastic reform movement or if we think of the Renaissance of the twelfth century, which was deeply characterized by the early stirring of individualism and the development of charismatic personalities. 59 Did not many mystics, from famous Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179) to Julian of Norwich (early fifteenth century), for instance, embark on the quest for 58  Richard Kieckhefer, European Witch Trials: Their Foundations in Popular and Learned Culture, 1300–1500 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch-Hunt, Columbus Centre Series, Studies in the Dynamics of Persecution and Extermination (New York: Basic Books, 1975); Christina Larner, Enemies of God: The Witch-Hunt in Scotland (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981); Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press and Oxford University Press, 1997); Walter Stephens, Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002); Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2004); Brian Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, 3rd ed. (1987; Harlow, England, and New York: Pearson Longman, 2006). The literature on this topic is vast, and the present list could be easily expanded. See, however, the insightful contribution to the present volume by William Bradford Smith, which illustrates how the paradigm shift triggered by Heinrich Kramer with his Malleus Maleficarum immediately evoked a backlash and strong opposition by individuals such as Ulrich Molitoris or Johannes Weyer, although the witch craze continued to sweep through Europe for the next several hundred years. 59   Walter Ullmann, The Individual and Society in the Middle Ages (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1966); Gert Melville and Markus Schürer, eds., Das Eigene und das Ganze: zum Individuellen im mittelalterlichen Religiosentum, Vita regularis 16 (Münster: Lit, 2002); C. Stephen Jaeger, Enchantment: On Charisma and the Sublime in the Arts of the West (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). See also the contributions to Charles H. Parker and Jerry H. Bentley, eds., Between the Middle Ages and Modernity: Individual and Community in the Early Modern World (Lanham, MD, Boulder, CO, New York, and London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

Introduction

xxix

new religious experiences through their visions and revelations? 60 Did not some of the autobiographical poets from the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries explore new approaches to their own selves and then also to their social and physical environment? 61 Did not the emergence of innovative poetics of laughter and comedy since the turn of the fifteenth century indicate a resounding transformation in the making? 62 Whatever approach we might pursue in the study of the pre-modern age, we always discover, over and over again, that this past world was not static and that it experienced tremendous dynamics, though the full paradigm shift did not occur until the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. One powerful example of a paradigm shift that began already in the early thirteenth century and came to full fruition only in the early sixteenth century would be the development and growth of anti-clericalism. The poet Walther von der Vogelweide (d. ca. 1220) already voiced severe criticism of the Church in some of his didactic poems, such as in “Nû wachet uns gêt zuo der tac” [Wake up and watch, the day draws near] (L. 21.25; No. 12), where he warned his audience about the imminent Day of Judgment. In that context he also criticized the ecclesiastics for bringing forth nothing but deception: “geistlich orden in kappen triugen” [clerics deceive through their use of scapulars] (12), although their task would have been the clear the path toward paradise for the good souls. 63 But here the criticism is also directed against the secular justice system and society at large where disloyalty looms large everywhere (8–9). In “Künic [Künc?] Constantîn der gap sô vil” [King Constantine gave so much as a gift] (L. 25.11, No. 14), Walther argued severely against the concept of the Constantine Donation, warning the Church about the dangers of holding on to so much worldly power. And in “Ich sach mit mînen ougen” [I’ve seen with my own eyes] (L. 9,16, No. 29) the poet raised strong charges against the papacy for abusing its power and religious authority to influence German politics. He was, however,

  See, for instance, Bernard McGinn, The Flowering of Mysticism: Men and Women in the New Mysticism (1200–1350) (New York: Crossroad, 1998). 61  Albrecht Classen, Autobiographische Lyrik des europäischen Spätmittelalters. Studien zu Hugo von Montfort, Oswald von Wolkenstein, Antonio Pucci, Charles d’Orléans, Thomas Hoccleve, Michel Beheim, Hans Rosenplüt und Alfonso Alvarez de Villasandino, Amsterdamer Publikationen zur Sprache und Literatur 91 (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi, 1991). 62   Albrecht Classen, ed., Laughter in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times: Epistemology of a Fundamental Human Behavior, Its Meaning, and Consequences, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 5 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010); Per Förnegård, Mia Åkestam, and Gunnel Engwall, eds., Tears, Sighs and Laughter: Expressions of Emotions in the Middle Ages, Konferenser 92 (Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2017). 63   Walther von der Vogelweide, The Single-Stanza Lyrics, ed. and trans. with intro. and commentary by Frederick Goldin (New York and London: Routledge, 2002). 60

xxx

albrecht classen

neither the first nor the last to oppose the clergy and to accuse them of failing with regard to their own ideals and values. Many didactic poets throughout the late Middle Ages continued with this criticism, often resorting to irony, satire, and even sarcasm. Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1350) is filled with many examples of how priests, monks, or nuns transgress their vows of celibacy and prove to be miserable representatives of the Church. The same can be said of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (ca. 1400; see esp. “The Prioress’ Tale”), Heinrich Kaufringer’s verse narratives (mæren) (ca. 1400), 64 other contemporary authors of verse narratives, and then subsequent prose tales. Throughout the fifteenth century we hear passionate complaints about the corruption, moral and ethical decline, and failures within the Church, which all built so much momentum that eventually the paradigm shift was virtually inevitable, triggering the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther nailed the ninety-five theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. 65 Both John Wycliff (1320–1384) 66 in England and John Hus (1369–1415) in Bohemia attempted to carry out more radical reforms, but they could not achieve their goals as radically as they had envisioned. 67 In other words, critical mass accumulated throughout the entire Late Middle Ages and finally made possible the explosive events after 1517, leading to the creation of a new Christian​ — ​that is, Protestant​ — ​Church. 68 Many elements had to 64   Albrecht Classen, Love, Life, and Lust in Heinrich Kaufringer’s Verse Narratives, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 467 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2014). 65   See Matthew Wranovix, Priests and Their Books in Late Medieval Eichstätt (Lanham, MD, Boulder, CO, New York, and London: Lexington Books, 2017). In his case studies he observed that late medieval priests certainly increased their level of learning, mirroring the growth of schooling even in small towns, but this had no direct implication for their more careful study of the Bible and its original sources. See also the contributions to Eser and Armer, eds. Luther, Kolumbus und die Folgen (see note 34). 66  J. Patrick Hornbeck II and Michael Van Dussen, eds., Europe after Wyclif, Fordham Series in Medieval Studies (New York: Fordham University Press, 2017). 67   See, for instance, Johann Loserth, Huss und Wiclif: zur Genesis der Hussitischen Lehre, 2nd ed. (Munich and Berlin: Oldenbourg, 1925); Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008); Brad S. Gregory, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012); Andrew Pettegree, Brand Luther: 1517, Printing, and the Making of the Reformation (New York: Penguin Press, 2015); and Thomas A. Fudge, Jan Hus Between Time and Eternity: Reconsidering a Medieval Heretic (Lanham, MD, Boulder, CO, New York, and London: Lexington Books, 2016). 68  Peter A. Dykema and Heiko A. Oberman, eds., Anticlericalism in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 51 (Leiden, New York, and Cologne: E.J. Brill, 1993); Birgit Beine, Der Wolf in der Kutte: Geistliche in den Mären des deutschen Mittelalters, Braunschweiger Beiträge zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur 2 (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, 1999); Günter Frank and Friedrich Niewöhner, eds., Reformer als

Introduction

xxxi

come together to make possible this paradigm shift. Walther von der Vogelweide would certainly not have imagined a splitting up of the Church; he only criticized shortcomings and depravities amongst the clerical authorities, hitting rather harshly at times (see “Hêr bâbest ich mac wol genesen,” [Mr. Pope, I can attain eternal life] L. 11.6, no. 38). Neither Boccaccio nor Chaucer intended to support a major reform movement, but by inviting their audiences to laugh about foolish members of the Church they undermined the entire institution, which ultimately made it collapse in the sixteenth century. 69 Jacques Le Goff, in his recent essay in book form (Geschichte ohne Epochen?; see note 56), adduces a number of other aspects supporting the claim of an imminent paradigm shift occurring in the late fifteenth century, though he then leaves the specific date rather open. He lists the rise of a more rational discourse (92–94); yet we could attribute the emergence of this phenomenon already to Peter Abelard (d. 1142). Spirituality was increasingly pursued on a personal level​ — ​Devotio moderna (97–98)​ — ​and intellectual efforts focused increasingly on the role of human life (99–101), which was also a phenomenon more closely associated with the twelfth century. Subsequently Le Goff refers to the development of a delicately illustrated manuscript culture and a brilliant architecture (104–6), but all these features point more toward the twelfth century than to the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. 70 I cannot quite follow or agree with the arguments of this great scholar any further here because he combines too quickly the emergence of modern music as composed by Ketzer: heterodoxe Bewegungen von Vorreformatoren, Melanchthon-Schriften der Stadt Bretten 8 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2004); Cordelia Heß, “A Common Enemy: Late Medieval Anticlericalism Revisited,” Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 21:1 (2013): 77–96; Albrecht Classen, “Anticlericalism and Criticism of Clerics in Medieval and Early-Modern German Literature,” Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik 72 (2014): 283–306. See also my contribution to the present volume, illustrating the same issue in light of Thomas Murner’s satires. 69   Paul J. Patterson, “All Other Maisters Ben Wicked or Fals: Chaucer, The Plowman’s Tale, and the Pristine English Church,” Milton and Melville Review 1:1 (2006): 10–20; Helen Phillips, ed., Chaucer and Religio (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2010); see also Robert Yusef Rabiee, “Rhetoric of Hypocrisy: The Pardoner’s Reproduction in His Critics,” Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 43 (2012): 79–94. For Boccaccio, see John Finlayson, “Art and Morality in Chaucer’s Friar’s Tale and the Decameron, Day One, Story One,” Neophilologus 89:1 (2005): 139–52; Fabian Alfie, “Parable or Threat? Decameron I.7 and Hugh Primas’ Reputation,” Heliotropia: Forum for Boccaccio Research and Interpretation 11 (2014): 39–53; and Janet Smarr, “Clergy in the Decameron: Another Look,” Heliotropia: Forum for Boccaccio Research and Interpretation 11 (2014): 55–64. 70  C. Stephen Jaeger, The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideals in Medieval Europe, 950–1200, Middle Ages Series (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994); Giles Constable, The Reformation of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Dinzelbacher, Structures and Origins of the Twelfth-Century ‘Renaissance’ (see note 18).

xxxii

albrecht classen

individual artists such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) with the decline of Latin as the universal language spoken in the Late Middle Ages, and then concludes with remarks on the witch craze, which set in by the end of the fifteenth century. This he then couples with technological and agricultural changes since the High Middle Ages (121–23), the development of a new metallurgic industry (123–24), and the emergence of a centralized nation-state (137–41). Moreover, to strengthen the notion of a paradigm shift, he refers to the growing veneration of the Virgin Mary (141–42) and the considerable growth of a monetary economy (143–45). For Le Goff, then, the real transformation of the medieval period into an early modern period was c not completed until the middle of the eighteenth century (148), which establishes an enormous historical arc spanning at least 400 years, which threatens to cast an excessively large shadow on the monumental events in the fifteenth century, blinding us to the many details or specific events that strongly contributed to the creation of a paradigm shift. In short, for Le Goff the Renaissance was nothing but a peculiar aspect of the late Middle Ages (157), and yet he insists, at the end, on the necessity of employing concepts of historical periods (159). Of course, details need not be discussed in the present context, especially because those will come into focus through the case studies by the contributors to this volume, and we can easily fight over the question of when the Middle Ages really came to an end and when the early modern age started. Along with Le Goff and many others, however, we can agree that a profound paradigm shift occurred, a massive, all-encompassing transformation of the old world, from which emerged a new one. As much as we might have to distance ourselves from Le Goff ’s global kaleidoscope, dangerously pairing phenomena of very different kind, date, impact, and meaning, in essence he clearly captured, after all, what historiographical research is really about: namely, to identify the limits, the borders, the frontiers of cultural and human history and to determine when a paradigm shift was in its growing phase and when it had actually occurred. Unfortunately, we really might have to wonder why he mostly ignores the Protestant Reformation and pays attention primarily to technological, economic, religious, and artistic aspects, while leaving out most of the literary and philosophical evidence. The final answer to the question posed here​ — ​why, where, and when the paradigm shift took place transforming the Middle Ages into the early modern period​ — ​ will probably always escape us, but we can approach it from a variety of perspectives. This will do much more historical and philosophical justice to the issue at stake than a straightforward and maybe therefore also simplistic response. We are talking about a “Sattelzeit,” a period during which things were in flux more than at other times because of numerous inventions and discoveries. And we also focus on a most complex world: medieval and early modern Europe deeply impacted by the Gutenberg galaxy. 71 Concomitantly, many other paradigm shifts occurred between   Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy, The Canada 150 Collection (1962; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017). 71

Introduction

xxxiii

the eighth and the seventeenth centuries, which forces us to widen the notion of a “paradigm shift” somewhat, focusing more on individual phenomena within the same time period, while the global transformation was happening simultaneously. To what extent low-level shifts contributed to the high-level shifts remains to be examined in future research. Altogether, to understand the issue by itself requires complex approaches, which can only be achieved by bringing together many different scholars to study the same phenomenon from a variety of perspectives. This is the purpose of the present volume, which is based on papers originally delivered at the Twenty-Third Annual ACMRS Conference, “Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance,” held in Phoenix-Scottsdale, AZ, from February 9–11, 2017. It is my pleasure to express thanks to the Director of the ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), Prof. Robert E. Bjork, and to the members of the Advisory Board for having accepted my proposal for this topic and for entrusting me with editing this volume. Only a small group of papers were chosen for this volume, and I am convinced that their scholarly quality will explain the selection criteria by itself. I am deeply grateful to the contributors for their outstanding papers and also need to thank them for their patience with my rigorous editing process, which required seemingly endless revisions everywhere. Following I will offer brief comments on each paper contained in this volume in order to tie the strings that hold them all together with regard the overarching theme pursued here. As described by Thomas Kuhn, for a paradigm shift to happen, critical mass must be reached, which can also be observed in historical contexts. Ryan Hatch, for instance, identifies the year 751 c.e. as a true watershed in world history because major changes occurred around that year both in the Merovingian Empire, in the Umayyad dynasty in the Middle East, and in China under the Tang dynasty; each time manifested in the removal of an old ruler and the rise to power by a new dynasty, sometimes in rapid succession, at other times over a longer period. Also in 751, the Chinese and Umayyad armies clashed at Talas, with the latter achieving victory and bringing an end to Chinese superiority in that border region. However, while previous scholars assumed that the Arabic forces captured papermakers and thus brought the knowledge of this technology first to Samarkand, then to Baghdad, and finally to the West, this was not necessarily the case, for papermaking had made its way to the West well before 751. Yet, altogether, both the military and the political events, including the spread of paper as a new means to disseminate texts, as they occurred around 751, constituted a major turning point for all powers involved, in Europe, in the Middle East, and in China. The world definitely looked different after that major date in early medieval history. The Crusades also provide an excellent opportunity to investigate a paradigm shift, insofar as the Christian Church had always subscribed to the two-sword theory and refused to embrace violence until the end of the eleventh century, when Pope Urban II finally called for a Crusade in 1095. As Charles W. Connell illustrates,

xxxiv

albrecht classen

from that time on the mostly missionary church turned into a ‘church militant’ that explicitly advocated military violence on behalf of the Christian cause, going far beyond the Augustinian notion of the “just war” in defense of Church property, lands, and the parishioners. Now the Church espoused a form of colonizing warfare for its own sake, as we can call the entire period of the Crusades one determined by such a colonialist attitude. Connell traces the steady move toward such a new ideology within the Church and outlines in painstaking detail how this paradigm shift ultimately occurred, with the First Crusade being launched in 1096. From that time on, however, the Church was no longer only fighting against the Muslim world; it had also, so to speak, tasted blood and began to aspire to major political power, bringing it into direct conflict with the secular rulers in Europe. As much as the First Crusade from 1096 to 1099 can be regarded as a major paradigm shift in the relationship between Christian Europe and the Islamic Middle East, the fall of the last Christian city, Acre, in 1291 through the onslaught of the Mamluks, which represented the end of the entire history of Crusades, was also a major event of great impact, which was paralleled later by the fall of Constantinople in 1453. No religious impetus was strong enough for the Christians to rally enough resources to hold on to the Latin kingdoms in the Holy Land. Laura J. Whatley studies this paradigm shift by looking at the available seals that mirror much of the political and military catastrophe. In fact, sigillography makes it possible to trace the entire development of crusading history because those who sealed documents generally intended to include icons from the sacred sites. Whatley illustrates this especially with the case of Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham since 1283 and Patriarch of Jerusalem since 1306, hence well after the fall of Acre. Consequently his seals are devoid of icons reminiscent of the Holy Land and reflect only his spiritual role. Similarly, Whatley observes the same phenomenon in the case of Peter Pleine-Chassagne, Patriarch since 1311, both dignitaries relying mostly on liturgical imagery for their seals than on concrete elements in the Holy Land. Even though the Holy Sepulcher and other sacred sites could not be rescued for the Christians or transported to the West, the paradigm shift brought about by the fall of Acre initiated a transfer of their imagery in architecture, sculpture, and drama, and then also in seals. Jerusalem thus transformed for the Christians from a physical entity to a concept reminiscent of the failed Crusades and Latin kingdoms. Paradigm shifts are not only the result of major historical, economic, scientific, or political changes; they also occur in our own perception of past events or documents. While previous French scholarship has tended to view medieval literature mostly through the lens of the male protagonists, there is actually a sizeable number of narratives where the female heroine emerges as the dominant figure and decides most of the events, as Kathy M. Krause illuminates in her contribution. Some of the examples she investigates are Philippe de Rémi’s Roman de la Manekine, the epic Chanson de Florence de Rome, or the Chanson de Parise la Duchesse, while she leaves out the “sentimental romances” and short verse narratives (fabliaux), which would complicate the matter unnecessarily. As Krause notes, in many cases the central

Introduction

xxxv

motif is based on a major crisis in which the female figure manages to emerge triumphantly and chastely, as the pan-European novel Apollonius of Tyre also underscores. In many cases, which also applies to non-French material, female heroines travel by themselves and are able to handle their lives effectively and efficiently, at least outside of the chanson de geste tradition where the male protagonist dominates the events also entirely. Of course there are also many problematic cases, but overall, Krause succeeds in outlining how much we ought to revise our traditional paradigm and approach medieval literature much more in light of recent insights resulting from Gender Studies. This perspective would also allow us to understand much better works such as Aucassin et Nicolette, the Middle English King of Tars, or Elisabeth von Nassau-Saarbrücken’s Königin Sibille. Krause’s observations provide new strategies to read medieval literature and to distinguish more carefully between active and passive figures, heroines and victims. If the literary evidence might be a key regarding audience expectations, attitudes, and mind-sets, then this paradigm shift must also be observable in historical conditions, as Heather J. Tanner argues. Whereas previous scholarship mostly viewed married women’s legal and financial situation as rather repressed, a closer look at relevant documents reflecting on women’s coverture demonstrates that we must take a different stance and be more realistic vis-à-vis the concrete conditions on the ground, which granted wives a much higher level of influence over their property and the dowry than hitherto assumed. Instead of following legal-historical notions as developed in nineteenth-century historiography pertaining the Middle Ages, Tanner urges us to use a different lens and to study the conditions for wives more accurately, as the respective sources especially in England and France at least for the twelfth and thirteenth centuries confirm. Tanner can identify a surprisingly large number of noble ladies who were entitled to rule independently, and even on the lower social level we discover many women who had extensive control over their coverture. New marriage laws in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries increasingly favored patriarchal rules and gradually robbed wives of their previous legal privileges. We face here a paradigm shift of sorts that divides women’s history between the High and the Late Middle Ages, although women’s de jure capabilities continued even beyond the thirteenth century. As to the history of women, a paradigm shift does not automatically imply improvement, progress, or a better understanding. Such fundamental shifts can also turn the wheel of history and cast us back into more difficult time with more ignorance, timidity, and male repression of women. In general, as we can conclude with Tanner, women in early modern history fared considerably worse than their predecessors. Irrespective of recent attempts to develop a better understanding of global history in the pre-modern world, we still suffer from a rather binary opposition involving the European West and the Chinese East. As Ryan Hatch already signaled in his contribution to this volume, military and political powers in various parts of the world were not simply isolated entities but in fact experienced significant conflicts, collisions, competitions, or contacts with each other. In order to explore this issue

xxxvi

albrecht classen

further, considering above all the transformative period of the sixteenth century, R. Po-chia Hsia (who was also the keynote speaker at the ACMRS symposium in 2017) investigates the way Jesuit missionary activities facilitated extensive, polycentric, and multi-dimensional networking and information sharing involving Christian Europeans, Chinese, Islamic, and Hindu traders, sailors, explorers, and scholars, as was best expressed by the production of world maps. While Marco Polo has dominated our historical consciousness about the first contacts with the Chinese, numerous Franciscan and other missionaries were working in the East, and they found themselves in the company of a fairly large number of Muslim merchants from the Middle East and also from South and South-East Asia. Moreover, as Po-chia Hsia notes, many Muslims served in high-ranking administrative posts, following a long tradition since the great Mongol conquests and the opening up of the fabled Silk Route. After the Chinese had re-established their own power (Ming dynasty), pushing the Mongols back to their steppe in the mid-fourteenth century, Muslim representatives stayed behind and gained significantly in influence, as mirrored by various travelogues and maps produced by them, such as Gong Zhen. When the European Jesuits arrived in China, foremost among them Matteo Ricci (1582), they encountered a community of multi-nationalists and multi-religionists, a fact that forces us to view world history from a much broader perspective than in the past. Many of those Muslims came from various countries in the Middle East and contributed to Chinese efforts to establish new trading routes with the Muslim world, which ended, however, in 1433 when the Ming dynasty turned to the north to face growing threats by the Mongols. Studying the various maps created in late medieval China, however, Po-chia Hsia notes that Europe hardly ever, if at all, appeared on Chinese maps. The arrival of the Jesuits under Ricci changed much in that regard, as indicated by the production of new world maps suddenly correcting the correlation between China and Europe. However, without the previous development of Arabic and Persian knowledge about the world, which was imparted to the Christian West in the course of the Middle Ages, this would not have been possible. Altogether, here we face a complex model of a paradigm shift that involves both the history of China and the Muslim, Persian, and Hindu worlds, together with the history of Jesuit missionary work in East Asia since the middle of the sixteenth century. At the same time, Pochia Hsia’s research opens new windows to a global approach to our understanding of the contacts between West and East, including the Islamic, Persian, and Hindu worlds. The next step would then be to explore in greater detail how the reports and maps of Jesuit missionaries in China influenced European culture in the early modern age and how this impacted the Ottoman Empire. As we all know, the Protestant Reformation represented a major paradigm shift, as has often been discussed, especially during the Quincentenary of Martin Luther’s publication of his ninety-five theses. However, as I myself argue in this volume, his protests against the encrusted world of the Catholic Church were not really new; they simply hit a raw nerve and were finally​ — ​by means of his

Introduction

xxxvii

translation projects, his treatises, his church hymns, and many other intellectual activities​ — ​successful in dismantling the traditional authority . A paradigm shift like this was based on critical mass, and if we examine satirical literature produced prior to 1517, we come across a large body of relevant texts that began to chip away at the institution of the clergy. Laughter about the corrupt, irresponsible, voluptuous, unlearned, and ignorant clergy quickly proved to be devastating, as the example of Thomas Murner’s Narrenbeschwörung from 1512 powerfully illustrates. Although Murner targeted many shortcomings among the clergy that Luther was to pick up as well, both men soon represented two critically opposed movements, the former adamantly defending the Catholic Church despite its many shortcomings. Nevertheless, here we encounter a major satirical voice that enjoyed great popularity and indirectly contributed to the emerging Protestant thinking. Murner would never have imagined that his verse satires might be instrumental in such a paradigm shift, but his sharp attacks obviously hit their targets, which more or less provided Luther with the very ammunition to challenge the entire Catholic Church. Other satirical literature, such as the tales of Till Eulenspiegel (by Herman Bote?) also hit on the same topic and contributed to an entire culture of laughter that ultimately helped to transform Luther’s scholarly efforts into a veritable paradigm shift. Not quite as directly related to the Protestant Reformation, satire in French literature also gained the upper hand after the middle of the sixteenth century, as Bernd Renner illuminates in his careful examination of the satirical texts by Rabelais. The texts highlighted in numerous ways the fundamental conflict between scholastic and humanist education, especially at the Collège des Lecteurs Royaux. As in other parts of Europe, French writers and other intellectuals were deeply influenced by the emerging process of translatio studii, best demonstrated by the new discovery of texts by Horace and Juvenal, which made the development of satirical writing truly possible. As in Germany, the impact of Erasmus of Rotterdam, particularly on the composition of satires, was strongly felt in France, but the most vivid examples of satire could be found among farces, sotie, and morality plays such as the Christian Satyres of Papal Cooking from 1560, attributed to Theodore of Beza, but especially in Rabelais’s Pantagruel and Gargantua. Satire, as Renner points out, became free from its generic limitations and assumed a protean power, appeared in many different genres, and was used primarily to provide comic relief in political and religious polemics. While the turn of the fifteenth century has regularly been praised as the critical moment of a massive paradigm shift, as I have outlined myself above, with much progress taking place globally (printing press, discovery of America, the Protestant Reformation, etc.), it also witnessed a terrible downturn especially for women, who were increasingly viewed with great suspicion, feared for their sexuality, and quickly branded as witches. With the publication of Heinrich Kramer’s Malleus maleficarum in 1487, we can identify the birth date of the horrible and longlasting witch craze in which maybe up to 50,000 people all over Europe and then also in the New World were tortured and burned at the stake. William Bradford

xxxviii

albrecht classen

Smith focuses, however, more on Ulrich Molitoris’s De lamiis from 1489, the first response to the Malleus, which contained six seminal woodcuts of witches that were to shape the global imagination of those allegedly terrifying women. At the same time, Molitoris, who relied heavily on the tenth-century canon Episcopi by Regino of Prüm because here already serious doubt had been cast on the belief in witchcraft, laid the foundation for the future opposition to Kramer’s powerful treatise and provided arguments for such intellectuals as Johann Geiler von Kaiserswerth, Johann Weyer, and Friedrich von Spee to fight against the continuity of the persecutions of so-called witches. As ambivalent as Molitoris remained throughout his treatise, he rejected the assumption that women could actually perform witchcraft and argued that they were to be charged primarily for deceiving themselves and their contemporaries, thus leading good Christians away from God. Smith indicates the difficulties of properly reading Molitoris’s text within this period that witnessed such revolutionary paradigm shifts: it represents a rather dialectic document, discouraging the belief in witches and at the same time promulgating the craze by means of the illustrations. As much as Kramer had initiated almost single-handedly a paradigm shift with respect to the general notion of witchcraft, so too Molitoris emerged at virtually the same time and developed critical observations to undermine the very ideology disseminated by Kramer. To the same extent as the latter and scores of his followers were firmly convinced of the existence of witches who had to be eliminated by fire, Molitoris and his certainly smaller crew of successors injected doubt about those claims by pointing out, as Regino had done already, that in most cases the alleged witches were simply poor delusional women, victims of their fantasy and that of their male environment. Following, and adapting as well, Horkheimer and Adorno in their seminal study about the eighteenth century (1944), the “dialectics of the paradigm shift” around 1500 was of profound significance, but it did not, unfortunately, save any of the poor victims. After all, those women were still charged with having made a contract with the devil, who was the one ultimately responsible for all the deceptions and illusions but who could not change nature. As much as Kramer with his Malleus had launched a huge witch-craze wave, Molitoris​ — ​and with him scholars such as Weyer and Spee​ — ​urged great caution, identified mental illness as the central cause of the absurd claims by the victims​ — ​here disregarding the horrible consequences of torture​ — ​and thus deeply undermined Kramer’s argument. We could almost postulate that the sixteenth century was such a turbulent time because two, if not more, epistemic paradigms clashed with each other and competed for universal acknowledgment. While we have so far considered paradigm shifts in a variety of contexts, especially history, literature, women’s rights, religion, and cultural exchanges and contacts, we can also note the significant role of languages as indicators of and factors in such shifts. Marta Albalá Pelegrín points out how much in the wake of the fateful year of 1492, when the last Arabic fortress in the Iberian Peninsula, Granada, fell, when the Jews were expelled from Spain, and when Columbus discovered America

Introduction

xxxix

for the Europeans, a new interest emerged to transform Spanish into the official and internationally recognized language. The grammarian Antonio de Nebrija was the first to conceive of the idea that the rise of the Spanish empire should also be accompanied by a new emphasis on the Spanish language; hence his concerted efforts since 1492 to produce grammar books and dictionaries that made Spanish accessible to and acceptable for courtiers in other countries and then spread the use of Spanish also to the Americas. The political triumphs by the Spanish monarchs went hand in hand with the strong push for Castilian as the new standard language in the kingdom, which was supported by many writers and publishers in Spain and abroad, especially in Rome, Venice, and Naples. At all those locations Spanish literature, such as Fernando de Roja’s La Celestina or Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo’s Amadís de Gaula, became the favorite reading material for the elites, who thus spread the fame of Castilian even further, which finally Baldassarre Castiglione formulated most authoritatively in his Cortegiano (1528). As he emphasized, and as it was broadly accepted, Spanish military and political fame from then on were accompanied by their own illustrious language that enjoyed the same reputation as Italian or French. Castilian was no longer just a conversational language in the Iberian Peninsula but a language of culture on the European stage and, of course, also in the Americas and elsewhere. We could also study paradigm shifts in terms of major economic down- or upturns, or radical transformations. In the later half of the sixteenth century and the early seventeenth, Milan and other cities in Northern Italy experienced a rather dramatic decline, first triggered by the onset of the Black Death once again in 1576​ — ​and this at a time when early forms of globalization had entered the picture especially for Italian merchants, despite the new role of the Spanish traders and merchants operating also in the Americas and in the trans-Atlantic traffic. By the turn of the century, the situation for many global companies had become rather gloomy, especially because of the rise of new markets far away and the massive influx of unskilled laborers from the countryside to the city. That was the very moment in which women in those major cities undertook a kind of paradigm shift of their own. As in the case studies by Tanner and Krause, Jeanette M. Fregulia is also able to outline how much middling women in Milan and elsewhere freely resorted to their dowries and family properties and started to invest them in support of their husbands’ ailing businesses, especially if those women had become widows and had to operate on their own, most notably between 1610 and 1630. Increasingly, as we have to realize, our notion of pre-modern women’s economic and political status has to be re-evaluated thoroughly, which by itself constitutes a paradigm shift in our perspective toward the medieval and early modern gender history. At the same time, sixteenth-century Europe experienced a deep sense of excitement about the new discoveries opening vistas toward the other continents and blazing paths for new markets and resources. The cradle of modern imperialism and colonialism can be traced to that early paradigm shift, as James Helfers

xl

albrecht classen

illustrates in his contribution. However, he focuses, above all, on two monumental figures, Reverend Richard Hakluyt and Dr. John Dee, compilers and editors of major voyage reports, primarily dealing with the experiences of Martin Frobisher from 1576 to 1578. The paradigm shift mirrored here was predicated on a new rational approach to world exploration, which no longer relied on royal patronage and no longer viewed the world through an occult lens but instead embraced a mechanistic framework. This became the basis for a major paradigm shift in the search for the Northwest Passage, which no longer was pursued by means of deductive and theoretical reflections on ancient cosmology and cartography but through exploration and practical, inductive analysis. However, as Helfers also indicates, Frobisher’s voyages quickly changed their ultimate purpose because the financiers wanted him primarily to prospect for gold in that distant region. Commercial and scientific interests oddly paired up and promoted the ongoing paradigm shift. While Hakluyt increasingly gained respect because of the validity of his arguments based on Frobisher’s eye-witness reports, Dee lost out because he held on to ancient and medieval concepts composed of Pythagoreanism, mathematics, and Kabbalistic mysticism. Paradigm shifts also take place within the basic mental-historical structure of society, especially with regard to gender relationships and marriage. As we have already observed regarding the studies by Tanner and Krause, more sensitive approaches to historical, legal, and economic documents can allow us to gain a much better understanding of women’s lives in the past. Apparently, women often enjoyed a much higher public status than previous scholarship has assumed. 72 Dana Bultman goes one step further in the analysis of Norte de los estados by Francisco de Osuna from 1531, an astoundingly popular author who deeply influenced Teresa of Ávila and Juan de la Cruz and thus the entire Carmelite community especially in Spain, and then also the wider reading audiences. Osuna strongly advocated for wives’ spiritual equality with their husbands and strengthened their general position within marriage, which did not particularly please the orthodox Inquisition and the Church, which, by the end of the sixteenth century, mostly succeeded in muting Osuna and removing his books from the market. Nevertheless, his new perspective on spirituality in marriage, which placed both partners on an equal footing, exerted a tremendous influence all over Europe and far beyond, wherever Franciscan missionaries traveled. In this regard we find here an extraordinary example of a paradigm shift concerning wives who are treated with greatest respect and are accorded a high level of acknowledgment. In fact, almost like in Dante’s Divina Commedia (ca. 1320), where Beatrice serves as Dante’s guide to Paradise, Osuna identifies good wives as their husbands’ spiritual guides and ideal role models, which the conservative Catholic Church treated with great suspicion, probably because it also recognized here obvious influences from 72

  See also Classen, Reading Medieval European Women Writers (see note 54).

Introduction

xli

early modern Humanism and even the Protestant Reformation, which he tried to counter with his own reflections on the proper form of marital life. Contrary to all traditions, Osuna advocated marriage, that is, he mostly rejected celibacy for lay people and promoted solid spiritual friendship between husband and wife predicated on the ideal of virtues. 73 As conservative as, from our perspective today, Spain appears to have been in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Osuna’s narrative underscores that the global paradigm shift in the gender relationship had also a major impact on the Iberian population. While the Protestant Reformation seems to have been most effective north of the Alps, its implications were also felt in the Mediterranean region, for example, in Spain. The inquisitorial trial of Fray Luis de León (1572–1576), which is the topic of J. Michael Fulton’s paper, clearly mirrored the deep troubles that the Reformation brought about in the Iberian Peninsula. After all, by means of the printing press, many of Luther’s sermons, not to mention his ninety-five theses, were disseminated, translated, and printed throughout Europe, including Spain. When the Council of Trent opened in 1545, printing of the Bible either in Latin or in a vernacular immediately became a hotly debated issue, which was actually never fully solved, especially because virtually no biblical text, whether in manuscript or in print, was exactly the same. The Catholic Church was in danger of losing itself over the issue of how to approach the Vulgate, and in Spain the particular focus rested on how to deal with any vernacular translation, almost all of which were actually banned. It was pretty much unclear where the lines were to be drawn between Holy Scriptures, commentaries, excerpts, sermons, glosses, and the like as permissible objects of study or not. But when Fray Luis created an exegesis of the Song of Solomon in 1561, there was enough material available to file charges against him and to try him at the Inquisition. At issue was the question of whether he had translated the text or written a commentary, and also whether the original Hebrew and Greek text could be used to suggest alternative readings that were not conveyed in the Latin Vulgate. Those who opposed Fray Luis were fanatical devotees of the Vulgate and considered it blasphemous to suggest that Saint Jerome’s translation might be improved by reference to Greek and Hebrew editions. While Luther resolutely resorted to the original Greek text and thereby created a paradigm shift, Fray Luis, even as a theology professor, was implicated for having dared to examine the Bible in the first place. Paradigm shifts take different routes in different cultural contexts, and the speed with which they come differs as well.

  For a more literary-historical perspective on the marriage discourse in the pre-modern era, see Albrecht Classen, Der Liebes-und Ehediskurs vom hohen Mittelalter bis zum frühen 17. Jahrhundert, Volksliedstudien 5 (Münster, New York, Munich, and Berlin: Waxmann, 2005). The present study on Osuna, however, productively widens this perspective and now includes the world of the Iberian Peninsula as well. 73

xlii

albrecht classen

Very similar to Peter Abelard’s theological arguments in the twelfth century, Fray Luis was able to point out considerable inconsistencies in the various print editions of the Vulgate, not to mention any translated version. At issue, then, as Fulton alerts us, was not only his critical assessment of the biblical text in whatever form but also, ultimately, the role of Humanism, as represented by Erasmus of Rotterdam, which the Inquisition tried to stem altogether. Paradigm shifts bring to the floor not only promoters of the change but also vehement critics who want to hold on to traditions by all means. For Fray Luis’s critics, it was a sacrilege that he even dared to claim that the Vulgate could include errors and mistakes. Almost as today with some literalists holding every word in the Scriptures as divinely inspired and hence infallible, they fought against him with all their might, obviously because their by-then obviously antiquated paradigm was clearly in danger of collapsing under their own feet as both humanistic efforts in textual philology and the impact of the printing press made the literalist position ultimately insupportable; the authority and power of the Inquisition was then required to stem the flood. Fray Luis became a victim of his critics’ small minds, fear of the paradigm shift, and ideological conflicts over the basic meaning of any biblical text. For him, all were open to commentary and criticism, while his opponents condemned him for touching even one word in the Vulgate. He was imprisoned on March 27, 1572, and remained in captivity until December of 1576, when he was released and returned triumphantly to Salamanca. In a way, the paradigm shift had occurred, and he was its major proponent in Spanish theological circles. Quite unexpectedly, sartorial customs, rules, regulations, and their transgressions can powerfully mirror paradigm shifts with regard to gender power relationships, as Doris Barkin illuminates with regard to Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. Here the female character Julia’s putting on male clothing, especially the codpiece, demonstrates that women already then, even if only in fictional projection on the stage, rattled the fences of male authority and clamored for their own power. Once again, as in the case of the studies by Krause, Tanner, and Fregulia, the paradigm shift here pertains to the conflict between the genders. Clothing statements are political in nature, and Shakespeare was more than aware about it when he composed his play. The extent to which he and other playwrights provoked their contemporaries in that regard can be best understood in light of numerous sumptuary laws and respective treatises on gender-appropriate clothing in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, which underscored the considerable insecurity felt by male society, seemingly under threat by feisty women who dared to cross the gender line by dressing in men’s clothing and thereby challenge the very masculinity that determined patriarchal rule. As Barkin finally suggests, the deliberate transvestism on the stage both mirrored men’s fear of women who could even take on men’s roles and at the same time created this fear through the theatrical performance. This, in turn, revealed the constructive nature of masculinity and patriarchal authority and also the ambivalence and frailty that many men might

Introduction

xliii

have felt about their own gendered role, torn between heterosexual love and homosocial bonds. In Shakespeare’s play, even the female characters feel attracted to each other, which signals how much the poet aimed at dismantling all traditional concepts of gender and experimenting with alternatives in a rather fluid manner. Paradigm shifts also find their expression in the way memory is handled, that is, the historical past, as mirrored in some of Shakespeare’s historical plays (Richard II, 1 and 2 Henry IV, and Henry V), which Jonathan Baldo examines in his contribution, highlighting the often rather ambivalent approach to history. The two phenomena of forgetting and specific remembering play out against each other on the stage, reflecting the difficult times in England after the Reformation that had resulted in much political and economic turmoil. Shakespeare’s plays served as a stage to re-enact the national efforts of reconciliation, which required oblivion and memory at the same time, certainly critical components of any paradigm shift in its Janus-like approach of gazing into the future by means of looking backwards into the past and leaving it behind almost at the same moment, depending on the historical circumstances favoring England as a nation or not. The double-dealing with the past made it possible to overcome historical trauma and to build a new sense of political identity that was to become the product of a sweeping paradigm shift after the instabilities of the Reformation years. We observe nostalgia for the past and its own criticism, depending on the plot of the individual plays, but it becomes clear, as Baldo emphasizes, that there was great discomfort about the disruptions within England’s relationship to its medieval past following the Reformation. As Shakespeare’s history plays indicate, it was a very hard job for the English audiences to come to terms with the fundamental paradigm shift in sixteenth-century English history. Finally, Thomas Willard reviews and evaluates the relevant debates within the field of early modern science about progress and change in nature, which ultimately addressed, avant la lettre, Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shift as it set during the sixteenth century, but particularly the seventeenth. In 1605, Francis Bacon formulated most explicitly the need for university students to learn the laws of nature, not deductively from ancient sources (Aristotle) but inductively based on experiments and observations, as the new explorers of the Northwest passage were doing (Martin Frobisher et al.), as we have already seen in James Helfers’s paper. The subsequent paradigm shift in advanced schooling met much resistance, as was to be expected, but this is rather typical of all such shifts because they erode traditional authorities and creates new ones. Ultimately, however, at least in England, with the help of the Royal Society, the traditional canon was replaced in Cambridge and elsewhere by new rational explanations of nature since the 1660s, under the leadership of the don Henry More, who was in serious and at times bitter competition with the Oxford scholar and alchemist Thomas Vaughan. While More applied a purely physical worldview, which he called “mechanical,” hermetists like Vaughan defended their Platonic,

xliv

albrecht classen

or esoteric, concept of the world as having a soul, but they could not defend their analogic thinking against the imminent paradigm shift pushed by the new sciences. Willard also traces a parallel and reverse aspect with regard to the paradigm shift in the efforts by the Harvard psychologist William James (1842–1910) to expand on the insights by the German physicist Gustav Fechner (1801–1887) and to project a pluralist universe in contrast to traditional Christian teachings, strongly opposed to the overly mechanistic interpretation of nature by the modern scientists. He concludes with reflections on the contributions by Robert Boyle (1621–1691) and many other intellectuals and writers until the present time concerning the notion of “Mother Nature.” Willard emphasizes that here we probably face the next phase of the universal paradigm shift leading us from the canonical study of nature to a holistic approach aiming for an astro-biologism in our day and age of the Anthropocene. After all, this “Mother Earth” is now under severe threat by human actions and activities endangering our own existence as a human race. In other words, paradigm shifts are not at all automatically positive developments; instead, they are fundamental movements that transition one cultural, historical, or scientific phase/epoch into another one. Moral, ethical, or aesthetic value judgments are not involved in our study of paradigm shifts, because we observe and analyze them from an objective, rational, and scholarly perspective. Thus the transformation of one worldview into another, the shift in perspectives that really revolutionizes human existence, always proves to be most crucial. The global topic pursued here is, at first sight, primarily of historical, literary, religio-political significance, but the implications for us today are tremendous. Understanding past paradigm shifts in the Middle Ages and the early modern age constitutes a fundamental procedure to grasp what is going on today and how we are moving into the imminent future. We live, after all, in rather dazzling times, if we think of the invention of the computer, then of the internet, or the World Wide Web. Technology is developing at an amazing pace, and the latest inventions, such as the metal laser printer, promise to revolutionize global industrial production. 74 This will most likely lead to profound changes in global industrial structures, employment, and hence also in most social systems, but again, here we face a paradigm shift that has had many parallels in the past. 75   Horst Wildemann, “3D-METALLDRUCK: Eine Revolution in der Fabrik,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Jan. 2, 2017; online at: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/diginomics/3dmetalldruck-eine-revolution-in-der-fabrik-15356892-p2.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIn dex_1; this process is also called “direct metal laser sintering”; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Direct_metal_laser_sintering (both last accessed on Jan. 2, 2017). See also Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (New York: Basic Books, 2015). 75   William Hardy McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society Since a.d. 1000 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); Max Boot, War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (New York: Gotham Books, 2006). For a truly exhaustive and comprehensive study of the Industrial Revolution, see online at: https:// 74

Introduction

xlv

Of course, all this pertains to our own present and future, even though there seems to be, at first sight, little that would connect this to the early eighth, fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth centuries. Nevertheless, the various case studies assembled here allow us to identify and analyze the fundamental processes behind all paradigm shifts and to recognize how much they impact all of human society. 76 Again the past promises to be a pilot light in the obscurity of the future world. By investigating paradigm shifts in the Middle Ages and the early modern age we are empowered, by analogy, to comprehend the paradigm shifts as they involve us today and tomorrow, that is, by sensitizing us to issues of great significance for society at large, such as the gender relationship, racism, war and peace, technology, scientific explorations, medicine, and the arts. Ultimately, the question remains who gains the public attention and who dominates the discourse. Until today, leading theoreticians can be associated with paradigm shifts, both in the science field and in religion, in philosophy, and in music. Yet often, once the giants have gone, the ordinary people return, and life continues in traditional and surprising manners. This can have positive and negative consequences: positive insofar as progress happens, for instance, in terms of knowledge that is finally transformed and corresponds with our reality on a broad level​ — ​no serious person would still believe today that the earth is flat. They can also be negative, as the fight against racism, for example, might be fading away​ — ​the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., might dim in the present discourse or he might turn into nothing but an admired icon. His deep influence is still widely felt today, but race relationships seem to be worsening again in our day and age, not because there are fewer causes to fight for but because people have become co-opted and diverted from what really matters in the struggle for equality. Ultimately, however, paradigm shifts can only be slowed down, never blocked from occurring. Unfortunately, such shifts are not automatically associated with progress for all. The resurgence of fascism, neo-religious fanaticism, opposition to modern science and learning (even in the classroom), and renewed misogyny, for example, could also constitute new paradigms. Our task here, of course, is not to make political, religious, or moral judgment calls but to observe, analyze, and dissect how past cultures, individuals, and communities have developed and faced their own futures, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution, and for the digital revolution, see online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Revolution#2010s (both last accessed on Jan. 5, 2018). 76   See Doris Medick, Cultural Turns: New Orientations in the Study of Culture, trans. Adam Blauhut, De Gruyter Graduate (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2016); Bernd Roeck, Der Morgen der Welt: Geschichte der Renaissance, Historische Bibliothek der Gerda Henkel Stiftung (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2017); see also the contributions to Andrea Sakorparnig, Andreas Wolfsteiner, and Jürgen Bohm, eds., Paradigmenwechsel: Wandel in den Künsten und Wissenschaften (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014). The term paradigm shift is now almost ubiquitous and finds fertile application in many different fields, from political theory to disability studies, from medical research to theology.

xlvi

albrecht classen

which all can serve as a foundation for a critical assessment of our own world and our developments forward or backward. The studies assembled here all push for a critical investigation of the reasons for major changes in the past and in the way in which we view that past today, particularly vis-à-vis gender relationships. In short, the realization of how paradigm shifts have worked reveals to us the constantly changing development of human history and directly reconnects our present and also our future with the past. Our technological revolutions might occur at a faster pace than in the Middle Ages, but people experience similar excitement, fear, loss of meaning, and a sensation of either being part of the march toward the future or a victim left behind. For instance, there are still millions of people even in the Western world who are not yet connected to the internet, just as millions of people in the sixteenth century ardently adhered to the Catholic Church, did not read any printed books, and did not believe that Columbus had discovered a new continent. Could we even claim that today some of the myths about the medieval world, such as the concept of the flat earth, the use of the chastity belt, or the utter lack of hygiene, have been entirely overcome? To some extent and in some corners of human society, the paradigm shift still has not yet fully arrived and might never do so. 77 But deliberate ignorance of the changes around us do not prevent them from happening. The many examples from the Middle Ages and the early modern age discussed in the present volume promise to shed powerful light on this phenomenon.

77   Albrecht Classen, The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process, The New Middle Ages (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

751 c.e.: Watershed Events in the Carolingian, Byzantine, Abbasid, and Tang Empires Ryan Hatch

The year 751 c.e. saw many events, large and small, that would have major ramifications for early medieval politics and culture for the next centuries and would bring about a profound paradigm shift. This chapter will examine three major events within the four major Eurasian empires and the surrounding states, assessing their impact, both long and short term. The conflicts and intrigues that occurred in this year established cultural and political divides between East and West and changed the course of history. Their ramifications are still being felt up to the present day. Starting on the far western end of the spectrum, the first major event of 751 saw the beginning of a new regime in the collection of Germanic kingdoms in Western Europe. The Lombards had launched an invasion of northern Italy. This last vestige of Byzantine authority in the northern peninsula included Rome and its surrounding territory. The worried pope wrote to the Lombards’ strongest neighbor, the Franks, for aid. Pepin the Short, mayor of the palace and the true power behind the impotent Merovingian throne, replied by asking the pope’s permission to remove Childeric III from the throne, which inspired the second critical event. A similar regime change halfway across the world occurred when Abu al-‘Abbas al Saffah succeeded in overthrowing the Umayyad dynasty, establishing a new caliphate in 750 and sending an expeditionary force eastward. Their encounter with an army from Tang China, the third major event, would have lasting impacts on both empires and would lead to a cultural exchange that would change the world. This chapter aims both to draw greater attention to and to reassess generally held views of the Early Middle Ages. The events occurring in 751 and the following years would see the cultural and political delineation between East and West develop, in Europe as well as in Asia. With the short-lived unification of the Lombard kingdom, a clear break between Rome and Constantinople would turn Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 1–16.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117190

2

ryan hatch

the pope’s sphere of influence westward as Byzantine interests remained in the East, laying the groundwork for both the Carolingian Empire and the Papal State. Meanwhile, one military engagement in Central Asia would mark the continental border between political Islam and imperial China and would herald the decline of the Tang Dynasty. Despite the violence and political intrigue of the major events examined in this study, the years following the events of 751 might be best characterized as periods of religious and artistic revival as well as cultural and technological innovation. This was a time of great cultural interaction and exchange, one to rival the Italian Renaissance and the early modern period. That is not to say, however, that these three were the only major events of that year, nor that events occurring exclusively in Europe and Asia held more significance.

Event 1: The Lombard Sack of Byzantine Ravenna and the Isolation of Rome The first major event of this year would see the remnants of an old regime crumble, the unification of a kingdom, and the foundation of a powerful new dynasty. Aistulf, king of the Lombards, marched his army into northern Italy and besieged Ravenna. Originally a small tribe from southern Scandinavia, the Lombards had migrated southwards after other Germanic tribes had overrun most of the Western Roman Empire. 1 The Eastern Roman Empire had clung to both the northern and southernmost regions of the peninsula since the early sixth century, with Ravenna acting as the capital of the Byzantine Exarchate and with Rome as the spiritual figurehead. The Islamic conquests of the Middle East and North Africa in the eighth century, combined with the original Lombard incursions into Italy the century before, caused the empire’s sphere of influence to retract to the Adriatic, the Balkans, and Anatolia. The frayed ties between Rome and Constantinople, however, had already begun to snap. Pope Gregory III’s condemnation of Emperor Leo III and the iconoclasm movement in 731 2 hastened the rift between the Tiber and the Bosphorus. As a result, by the mid-eighth century, any military aid Rome might expect from the East was virtually nonexistent. This lack of support put Rome and the papacy in a dangerous position, especially as the Lombards penetrated Ravenna’s walls. 3 Aistulf, formerly Duke of Friuli, was driven by one goal: a unified Lombard kingdom covering Italia. The   Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, vol. 5: The Lombard Invasion, 553–600 (New York: Russell & Russel, 1967), 89–90. 2  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, vol. 6: The Lombard Kingdom 600–744 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1967), 462. 3  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, vol. 7: Frankish Invasions, 744–774 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1967), 163. 1

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

3

Lombards moved on, sacking the Byzantine cities between Ravenna and Perugia, and uniting with the southern Lombardic holdings centered on Spoletium and Maleventum (Benevento). 4 With his newly unified kingdom, Aistulf prepared his forces to threaten the Ducatus Romanus, the Duchy of Rome. Despite the Lombard aristocracy having been predominantly Catholic since at least 652, 5 Aisulf held no qualms about the prospect of sacking Rome. With the looming presence of the Lombards on their borders, the population surrounding the ancient capital looked to the papacy for protection. Emperor Constantine V, whose iconoclasm and anti-monasticism had forged a rift between himself and the Isaurian Greek pontiff Zacharias I (679–752), 6 chose instead to focus his resources on appointing his son Leo IV as co-emperor and on launching raids against the fledgling Abbasid Caliphate. Aware that any help from the East was a moot point, Zacharias looked instead to the Germanic West for salvation. The Franks, the Lombards’ increasingly powerful neighbors, had converted to Catholicism under Clovis I in the fifth century; 7 much of Frankia, however, had either reverted to pagan practices or fallen outside of the Catholic sphere with the further collapse of the Western empire. Thanks to the evangelical work of the English missionary Boniface, new dioceses and bishoprics arose throughout the Frankish territories, 8 and the Merovingian rulers took advantage of Boniface’s missionary work in their wars against the pagan Saxon tribes. Zacharias had courted Merovingian favor since 749, when Aistulf had assumed the Langobardic crown from his father. 9 The pope’s Frankish diplomatic efforts proved timely, for with the fall of Ravenna, Rome reached a point of no return. It is at this moment that, while the divide between the Latin West and the Greek East had been slowly developing, Rome itself ceased to exist within the sphere of “Eastern Roman” or Greek influence and became a permanent fixture of the Germanic West. With the loss of Rome, and with Zacharias being the last elected Greek pope, one could argue that, at this point, the Eastern Roman Empire finally ceased to be “Roman,” becoming exclusively “Byzantine” or “Greek.”

  Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome (New York: Viking Press, 2009), 143–44.   Pierre Riché, The Carolingians, trans. Michael Idomir Allen (1983; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), 47. 6  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, 7:93–94 (see note 3). 7  Riché, The Carolingians, 5 (see note 5). 8   Paul Edward Dutton, ed., Carolingian Civilization: A Reader (Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press, 2004), 4–11. 9  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–81, 7:119 (see note 3). 4 5

4

ryan hatch

Event 2: The Foundation of the Carolingian Dynasty The sack of Ravenna generated ripples throughout history that would not only impact Rome and Italia but also would set the stage for massive changes throughout Western Europe. The Merovingian dynasty had ruled the ever-growing Kingdom of Frankia (roughly the area of modern France, Belgium, and western Germany) since the reign of Clovis I (481–511). By the time of Childeric III, however, the successive Merovingian kings had deteriorated into impotent symbols of royal power, with many Frankish chieftains only nominally acknowledging their authority. Power rested with the office of the maior domus (mayor of the palace), held by the sons of Charles Martel. Charles earned his moniker “the Hammer” from his military victories against incoming Islamic armies from Umayyad-held Hispania, most notably near Tours in 732. 10 He achieved his victories through a combination of his own military experience, a restructuring of the Frankish social and military systems so that nobles and warriors were bound by oath and land grants to the king, and by training new units of cavalry to match and counter the Islamic horsemen. 11 This success was also due to Frankish alliances with the neighboring Germanic kingdoms, specifically the Bavarians and Lombards. Pope Gregory III ensured that Charles Martel’s efforts in preserving Christendom were recognized. Charles Martel passed the title of maior domus to his sons, Carloman and Pepin, the latter remembered today as Pepin le Bref (Pepin the Short or, more accurately, Pepin the Younger). While Carloman acted as mayor of Austrasia, Pepin governed in Neustria. Their joint rule faced challenges early on, particularly from their half-brother Grifo, whom they imprisoned for a time in a monastery. 12 To establish at least nominal dominance over the other Frankish nobles, the brothers maintained Childeric as the king to whom all owed homage. As long as a Merovingian sat on the throne, the sons of Charles Martel remained the true power. Evidently a very pious man, Carloman’s patronage of Boniface proved particularly crucial to the English missionary’s Catholic reforms in Frankia. Carloman eventually forsook all earthly power, however, choosing to become a monk in 747. 13 Pepin acted as sole mayor of the palace and appeared much less supportive of the growing influence of both Boniface and the Church. With Childeric III no more than a puppet king and a turbulent relationship with Pepin, the aid Pope Zacharias sought from the Franks seemed a faint hope. Thankfully, Pepin saw Zacharias’s dire situation as an opportunity to centralize further the authority of the Frankish crown, while making his own power supreme.  Paul Fouracre, The Age of Charles Martel (Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited, 2000), 148–49. 11  Fouracre, Charles Martel, 147 (see note 10). 12  Riché, The Carolingians, 51 (see note 5). 13  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, 7:111 (see note 3). 10

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

5

Per the Annals of Lorsch (ca. 835), Pepin sent two priests, Chaplain Fulrad and Archbishop Burchard of Würzburg, to Rome “to ask his [Pope Zacharias’s] advice in regard to the kings who were then ruling in France, who had the title of king but no real royal authority.” 14 Pepin tacitly made his intentions clear: in exchange for his help, he wanted the support of Rome in seizing the Frankish throne. Zacharias diplomatically replied that “he who actually had the power should be called king.” 15 For the first time, the Holy See played a direct role in influencing Latin European dynastic affairs. It would not be the last. What steps Pepin took over the next two years are unknown. By 751, however, he was ready to make his bid for power. In March of that year, as Aistulf ’s army was sacking Ravenna, Pepin had the long locks of hair that had characterized Merovingian authority shaven away from Childeric’s head, forcing him into a monastery with a tonsure, where he would die four years later. 16 With the throne vacant, the Clausula de unctione Pippini (767) states that Pepin, backed by a sizeable army, met with the Frankish nobility at Soissons, where he was crowned rex Francorum in November of 751. 17 The Annals of Lorsch maintain that Pepin was anointed “by the hands of Bonifacc [sic],” 18 then Archbishop of Mainz; though none of Boniface’s letters mention the event and Gunther Wolf now postulates this to be false. 19 Whoever put the holy oil on Pepin’s head, Pepin had reached a point of no return. He would be the de facto ruler of a unified regnum Francorum, backed by his army and the blessing of God. The coronation of 751, while certainly a watershed moment, would only be the first phase of legitimizing Pepin’s new dynasty. Despite the papal consent, Pepin still faced multiple challenges to his authority. These threats included Duke Waifer of Aquitaine, 20 the ever-unruly Saxons, his half-brother Grifo who had escaped the monastery and allied with the Bavarians, and the Al-Andalus forces occupying Septimania. 21 Pepin would spend the next year campaigning in the south, isolating the Andalusians in Narbonne in 752 while keeping Duke Waifer at bay. With Grifo’s death in battle in 753, Pepin felt that the time was right to reinforce his position. The following year, Pope Stephen II, Zacharias’ successor, obtained safe passage from King Aistulf to cross the Alps into Frankia, meeting Pepin’s son  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 12 (see note 8).  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 12 (see note 8). 16  Riché, The Carolingians, 67–68 (see note 5). 17   Rosamond McKitterick, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 140. 18  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 12 (see note 8). 19   Gunther Wolf, “Die Peripetie in des Bonifatius Wirksamkeit und die Resignation Karlmanns d. Ä. 745–47,” Archiv für Diplomatik: Schriftgeschichte, Siegel, und Wappenkunde 45 (1999): 1–5. 20  Riché, The Carolingians, 74 (see note 5). 21  Riché, The Carolingians, 74–79 (see note 5). 14

15

6

ryan hatch

Charles on the road to Kiersey. Arriving in Paris, Stephen personally consecrated Pepin, recognizing him as the undisputed rex Francorum. 22 After urging the king to defend Rome against the Lombard threat, the Holy Father also bestowed Pepin and his sons with the title of Patricii Romanorum. 23 With the pope’s blessing and his opponents subdued, Pepin finally found a position secure enough to assist Rome’s desperate position. The king of the Franks demanded that Aistulf relinquish the towns and regions of the former Exarchate that he had annexed three years prior. Aistulf, perhaps feeling that the newly united Lombard kingdom could withstand a Frankish incursion, refused. In response, Pepin marched his experienced army into northern Italy, defeating the Lombards near Pavia in the Susa Valley. 24 After his victory, Pepin ceded the lands of the former Byzantine Exarchate to Rome. 25 It was this grant that allowed Papal Rome to become an independent secular power in the Italian peninsula. Pepin repulsed another Lombard invasion of Italy in 756 26 and confirmed the Donatio Pippini that same year, officially adding the recovered duchies to the Patrimonium Sancti Petri. This gift of land and title also led to the appearance of another legal claim. The Donation of Pepin gave Rome both secular and spiritual authority, making the pope both prince and archbishop of the most important see in Christendom. In answer to the question of who held the rights to these territories, Rome in the following centuries would claim to draw its authority from both the Donation of Pepin and the Constitutum Constantini (“Donation of Constantine”). This latter document claims that, in return for curing his leprosy, Emperor Constantine invested Pope Sylvester I and the See of Peter with authority over the sees of Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople, and Alexandria, as well as over every church. Constantine supposedly bestowed the pontifical diadem on the pope, and authorized that the clergy of the Roman church be decorated “[i]n order that the pontifical splendor may gleam most brilliantly.” 27 The donation theoretically gave the papacy power over all churches, bishoprics, and Western Christendom. The earliest mention of the Donation of Constantine dates from 778, in a letter from Pope Adrian I urging Emperor Charlemagne to concede certain territories to the papacy as Constantine had, citing as precedence for such transactions “the documents in our Lateran archives.” 28 The earliest surviving copy, however, dates  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 12 (see note 8).  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, 7:190–93 (see note 3). 24  Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders 376–814, 7:204 (see note 3). 25  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 13 (see note 8). 26  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 30 (see note 8). 27  Lorenzo Valla, On the Donation of Constantine, trans. G.W. Bowersock (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 91. 28   Walter Ullman, The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages (New York: Routledge, 2013), 92. 22 23

7

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

from the ninth century and exists as part of the False Decretals. 29 The authenticity of the donation has come into question several times, first being challenged by Otto III in 1001. 30 It was the careful study of scholar and priest Lorenzo Valla in 1440, however, which proved the document beyond all doubt to be a forgery. In his De falso credita et ementita Constantini Donatione declamation [Discourse on the Forgery of the Alleged Donation of Constantine], Valla’s analysis demonstrated that the document’s Latin grammar was more in line with that of the mid-eighth century than that of the fourth. The absence of the document or any mention of it in the Acts of Sylvester also raised suspicion for Valla. Finally, the use of the term satrapi, indicating a Persian (and later Byzantine) provincial jurisdiction, suggests a date much later than the fourth century. 31 More current findings indicate that the text of the Donation was probably written in the years surrounding or immediately after 750. 32 The Constitutum Constantini, therefore, was likely conceived or written sometime during the tumultuous events between 750 and 756, to legitimize the authority of the pope in secular matters within the emerging Germanic kingdoms. Legends of Pope Sylvester’s healing of Constantine, the basis for the forged donation, date back to at least the fifth century. 33 The political break with Constantinople, however, combined with Pepin’s desire for papal approval in his coup, likely offered a combination of precedence and impetus for the forgery in the years surrounding 751. Whether it was created that same year or not, this forgery nevertheless survives as a testament to the tremendous events of that year and the effects it had on Christendom in the years to come. Just as the Byzantine emperor’s decision to leave Ravenna and Rome to their own devices signaled a political break with the West, so did the papacy’s role in the Frankish coup of 751 and the forgery of the Donation establish Rome as a political and ecclesiastic power independent from the East.

Event 3: The Battle of Talas While military conquests, a dynastic coup, and the birth of a politically independent papacy shaped the course of history in Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, a clash between two of the largest empires halfway across the world would have a potentially world-changing impact. The two great powers in Asia, the Islamic  Ullman, Papal Government, 191 (see note 28).  Ullman, Papal Government, 239–45 (see note 28). 31   Valla and Bowersock, On the Donation, 34 (see note 27). 32   Johannes Fried, “Donation of Constantine” and “Constitutum Constantini”: The Misinterpretation of a Fiction and its Original Meaning. With a contribution by Wolfram Brandes: “The Satraps of Constantine,” Millennium-Studien 3 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2007), 84–85. 33  Ullmann, Papal Government, 75 (see note 28). 29

30

8

ryan hatch

Abbasid Caliphate and the Tang Dynasty of China, confronted each other near a river in Central Asia in 751. The exchange of blows would mark the extent of each empire’s frontier and would arguably lead to one of the most important cultural exchanges in history. Three men laid the groundwork for this major event. The Prophet Muhammed and Li Shimin, known to history as Emperor Taizong, were the two most influential figures in the Middle East and Asia during the seventh century. These contemporaries were born within twenty years of one other. Li Shimin began his career by proving his mettle during the rescue of the future Sui Emperor Yang from the Tujue (Gokturks); 34 at that approximate time, Muhammed and his burgeoning following were beginning to face persecution in Mecca. 35 As Muhammed was preparing to defend the city of Medina in 626 from a Meccan attack in the coming year, 36 Li Shimin was awarded the title of Taizong and would spend the next year putting down rebellions. 37 Muhammed’s capture of Mecca 38 and Taizong’s successful campaign against the Gokturks occurred at roughly the same time. 39 Taizong even received royal Sassanid fugitives and Byzantine envoys fleeing the Islamic conquests. 40 Older than both Islam and the Tang Dynasty, and just as important, was the Chinese method of producing and printing paper. While an early form of paper was discovered in a Han era tomb from approximately 168 b.c.e., 41 the papermaking method was refined and standardized by the court eunuch Cai Lun around 105 c.e. 42 By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618–907), papermaking had spread to Korea and Japan, and block printing was a standardized profession. 43 By 751, the legacies forged by Muhammed, Taizong, and Cai Lun would collide in Central Asia. From 747 to 750, the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate, stretching   Hing Ming Hung, Li Shi Min, Founding the Tang Dynasty: The Strategies that Made China the Greatest Empire in Asia (New York: Algora Publishing, 2013), 16. 35  Wilson B. Bishai, Islamic History of the Middle East (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1968), 107. 36  Bishai, Islamic History, 112–13 (see note 35). 37  Jonathan Karam Skaff, Sui-Tang China and Its Turko-Mongol Neighbors (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 32. 38  Bishai, Islamic History, 121–22 (see note 35). 39  Skaff, Sui-Tang China, 121 (see note 37). 40   Friedrich Hirth, China and the Roman Orient: Researches into their Ancient and Mediaeval Relations as Represented in Old Chinese Research Records (Leipzig and Munich: Georg Hirth; Shanghai and Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, 1885; repr. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 35–96. 41   Youhe Zeng, A History of Chinese Calligraphy (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1993), 119. 42   Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016), 29–32. 43  Kurlansky, Paper, 40–49 (see note 42). 34

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

9

from the Pyrenees to Transoxania, fell into civil unrest between the elitist Arabs ruling the Umayyad dynasty and the descendants of Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, the Prophet’s youngest uncle. These Abbasids, under the leadership of Ibrahim the Imam, Abu Muslim, and Abu al-Abbas, launched their revolution from Khorasan, with the aid of Khorasani, Shi’a, and largely non-Arab military forces. 44 This outbreak of violence stemmed from the Umayyad Dynasty’s treatment of the non-Arab Muslim Malawi. The Malawi felt resentment toward the Arab elite that separated themselves from the common folk inside their fortified palaces. 45 Worse, the Umayyads demanded that the Muslim Malawi pay the jizya, a tax meant to be levied only against non-Muslims inside the Dar al-Islam. 46 The Abbasids, although technically part of the elite, took advantage of this resentment, promising greater equality among members of the faith in exchange for overthrowing the current regime. In January of 750, Abbasid forces under Abu Muslim met the Umayyad army of Caliph Marwan II at the banks of the River Zab. 47 The Abbasids proved victorious, and Marwan was forced to flee. Marwan was assassinated in Egypt, and all but one of his family members were killed. The head of the Banu Hashim Quryash tribe, Abu al-‘Abbas al Shaffa, was proclaimed caliph in the city of Kufa that same year. 48 Meanwhile the Tang Dynasty reached the peak of its power and influence, recorded as the Tianbao period, under the Emperor Xuanzong (705–761). Military victories in the west, combined with imperial dominance over the Gokturks, pushed the imperial frontier as far as the Aral Sea and allowed for the Silk Road to be reopened. Under the Tang, poetry and art also flourished. This was the period of Li Bo, Du Fu, Gao Shi, and many other important poets. The Da Ming Palace outside Chang’an, of which only the foundations remain today, once stood as the greatest example of Tang artistry and craftsmanship. The Tang emperors welcomed foreign merchants, ambassadors, craftsmen, and refugees to Chang’an, and nonHan Chinese were made high-ranking officials within both the imperial court and the army. Tang emperors tended to marry foreign brides, and women in Tang culture enjoyed a high level of freedom and opportunity during this period. 49 The long reign of Empress Wu Zetian 50 stands as a testament to this time of gender freedom. However, this golden age depended on a strong central bureaucracy, as well as Tang

 Bishai, Islamic History, 206–8 (see note 35).   Hugh Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate (Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble Books, 1981),

44 45

36.

 Bishai, Islamic History, 146 (see note 35).  Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate, 46–47 (see note 45). 48  Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate, 44–45 (see note 45). 49   S.A.M. Adshead, T’ang China (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), 115. 50  Skaff, Sui-Tang China, 32 (see note 37). 46 47

10

ryan hatch

control of the Silk Road. This meant either directly ruling over or establishing good relations with the kingdoms and tribes along the Silk Road. Tang China competed for control of Central Asia with several empires and kingdoms — namely, the Tufan (Tibetan) Empire 51 and the Abbasid Caliphate. During the Tianbao period, Emperor Xuanzong entrusted the control and defense of the frontier to Gao Xianzhi, a general of Goguryeo (Korean) descent, and appointed him acting Anxi jiedushi (military governor of the Silk Road) of the four cities of Quici, Shule, Yanqi, and Khotan. Gao represented Tang China in the rivalry between the three major powers, which centered around the kingdom of Lesser Bölu in northern Pakistan. Gao managed to secure the small kingdom from the Tufan Empire in 747. 52 A second campaign, however, was needed to solidify control over the frontier. According to the Jiou Tan Shu (“Old Book of Tang,” 941), during a second expedition to the region in 750 Gao Xianzhi attacked the Sogdian-Turkish kingdom of Shiguo, centered around Modern Tashkent. 53 After Gao Xianzhi surrounded the Shiguo capital, the king made terms “that allowed for peace.” 54 The Xin Tang Shu (“New Book of Tang,” 1044–1054), however, records that Gao sent word to Emperor Xuanzong that the Shiguo king no longer wished to pay tribute. 55 The Jiou Tan Shu states that Gao and his lieutenant Li Siye then broke the treaty and attacked the unprepared kingdom. Gao Xianzhi “led the army to ransack the country, kill their old and weak, and capture their strong men as conscripts. They captured the gold, jade . . . and horses.” 56 The Shiguo king was delivered to Chang’an for execution. Most of the Chinese sources blame Gao for this atrocity and label him a greedy man. 57 This greed and ruthlessness would have major consequence for Tang China and the neighboring states. Outrage from Xianzhi’s betrayal spread like wildfire over the next year. The prince of Shiguo, per the Zi Shi Tong Jian (“Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance,” 1071–1086), “ran to the western countries, and told them that

51   Marie-Paule Hille, Muslims in Ambdo Tibetan Society: Multidisciplinary Approaches, ed. Bianca Horlemann and Paul K. Nietupski (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), 244. 52  Skaff, Sui-Tang China, 89 (see note 37). 53   Liu Xun, Jiu Tangshu, trans. Xiaorong Yuan and Ryan Hatch (Shanghai: Zhonghuashuju Press, 1975), 3298. 54  “初,仙芝绐石国王约为和好.” Ouyang Xiu and Song Qi, Xin Tangshu, trans. Xiaorong Yuan and Ryan Hatch (Shanghai: Zhonghuashuju Press, 1975), 4578. 55  Liu, Jiu Tangshu, 3298 (see note 53). 56  “杀其老弱,虏其丁壮,取金宝瑟瑟驼马等,国人号哭,因掠石国王东,献之于阙下。其子逃 难奔走,告于诸胡国.” Ouyang and Song, Xin Tangshu, 4578 (see note 54). 57   Ouyang and Song, Xin Tangshu, 4578 (see note 54).

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

11

Gao Xianzhi was greedy, that he had betrayed his father, and ransacked the city.” 58 After enraging the nearby kingdoms, the prince continued to flee westward, seeking asylum and aid from the “Da Shi,” 59 or Arabs, of the Abbasid Caliphate. Abu Muslim, the acting military governor of Khorasan, dispatched an expedition under Ziyad ibn Salih, the governor of Samarkand, to secure Shiguo. Upon hearing of the oncoming military force, Emperor Xuanzong commanded Gao Xianzhi to return his army to the Tarim Basin and meet the Abbasids head-on. In Hijra 134, 60 July of 751, the armies of the two great empires would clash in the Ferghana Valley. Ziyad ibn Salih, commanding a combined Arabic and Khorasani force of unknown size, secured an alliance with the Tufan Empire, thus bolstering his army’s size with large contingents of Tibetan warriors. Gao Xianzhi and his lieutenant Li Siye likewise incorporated various Turkish units — namely, the Geluolu (Karluk Turks) — into their army. While the near-contemporary Tongdian (“Comprehensive Institutions,” 766–801) puts the Tang force at 70,000, 61 the Xin Tangshu states that the Anxi jiedushi commanded only 24,000 soldiers. 62 The exact number of forces on both sides, as well as the exact location of the battle, remain unknown. However, the sources do identify the nearby river and city as the Talas, or “Aulie Ata.” 63 The fighting lasted five days, with the first four days ending in stalemates and the Abbasid army sustaining heavy losses. The final day of battle saw a change of fortune, when the Karluk Turks suddenly switched sides, striking Gao’s army from the rear as Ziyad ibn Salih pressed their front. 64 Why the Karluks changed sides remains unclear. They could have easily been bribed, or perhaps they had lost faith in Gao Xianzhi after his sack of Shiguo. Whatever the reason, Xianzhi’s army was badly beaten. Almost all of his soldiers died; he only had over 1,000 left. Li Siye, his right hand commander, advised Gao to escape first. However, the road was a narrow valley called Baishi Ling (White Rock

58  “高仙芝之虏石国王也,石国王子逃诣诸胡,具告仙芝欺诱贪暴之状。诸胡皆怒 潜引大食欲共攻四.” Sima Guang, Zi Zhi Tong Jian, trans. Xiaorong Yuan and Ryan Hatch (Shanghai: Zhonghuashuju Press, 2007), 6907–8. 59   Ouyang and Song, Xin Tangshu, 4578 (see note 54); Liu, Jiu Tangshu, 3298 (see note 53). 60   G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville, The Islamic and Christian Calendars ad 622–2222 (ah 1–1650) (Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing, 1995), 22. 61  Du You, ed., Tongdian, trans. Xiaorong Yuan and Ryan Hatch (Shanghai: Zhonghuashuju Press, 1988), 4981. 62   Ouyang and Song, Xin Tangshu, 1759–95 (see note 54). 63   Chen Ming-guang and Wang Min, “Tangchao Kaiyuan Tianbao Shiqi Jiedushi Quanli Zhuang Kuang Fenxi,” Journal of Xiamen University 3 (2006): 34–41. 64  Sima, Zi Zhi Tong Jian, 6908 (see note 58).

12

ryan hatch hill), and the enemy’s Bahanna troops were ahead of them. Meanwhile, their animals and people were blocking the path. 65

When the general’s path was blocked by his own men, Li cut a bloody path through them to allow Xianzhi to escape the battlefield and retreat to Chang’an. The first and last battle between the Abbasid Caliphate and Tang Dynasty ended in treachery and bloodbath. While the victory at Talas made Islam and the Abbasids a powerful presence in the region, the Tang Dynasty did not immediately lose its dominance on the frontier. The immediate threat of the Anshi Rebellion, launched by the jiedushi An Lushan in 755, 66 would both close the Chinese western frontier and end the Tang golden age, although the dynasty would limp on until 907. The battle at Talas marked the extent of the Abbasid Caliphate’s borders, though Islam as a faith would continue to spread eastward. With raids from Byzantium taking advantage of the recent political upheaval that same year, and an independent emirate established by the last Umayyad in Cordoba in 756, 67 Abbasid attention was suddenly drawn westward. Aside from marking the single moment of open warfare between two of the most important empires in history that established a culturally accepted border between East and West in Asia, the modern fame of the Battle of Talas stems from the tradition that the conflict inadvertently introduced paper to the world outside China. This tradition has its origins in the Lata’if al-Ma’arif (The Book of Curious and Entertaining Information) of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammed al Tha’alibi. Published in the eleventh century, the Lata’if al-Ma’arif describes in its tenth chapter the specialties of various regions and cities, in particular Samarkand: Its specialties include paper, which has driven out of use the Egyptian papyrus and the parchment which previous generations employed; this is because it looks better, is more supple, is more easily handled and is more convenient for writing on. It is only made in Samarqand and China. The author of the Khitab al-masalik wa’l-mamalik “Book of roads and provinces” relates that amongst the Chinese prisoners-of-war captured by Ziyad b. Salih and brought to Samarkand were some artisans who manufactured paper in Samarqand; then it was manufactured on a wide scale and passed into general use, until 65  “’将军深入胡地,后绝救兵。今大食战胜,诸胡知,必乘胜而并力事汉。若全军没,嗣业与 将军俱为贼所虏,则何人归报主?不如驰守白石岭,早图奔逸之计。’仙芝曰:’尔,战将也。吾欲收 合余烬,明日复战,期一胜耳。”嗣业曰:“愚者千虑,或有一得,势危若此,不可胶柱。’固请行,乃 从之。路隘,人马鱼贯而奔。会跋汗那兵众先奔,人及驼马塞路,不克过.” Liu, Jiu Tangshu, 3299 (see note 53). 66  Skaff, Sui-Tang China, 44–48 (see note 37). 67  Evgenie Aleksandrovich Belyaev, Arabs, Islam and the Arab Caliphate, trans. Adolphe Gourevitch (New York: Praeger, 1969), 197.

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

13

it became an important export commodity for the people of Samarkand. Its value was universally recognized and people everywhere use it. 68

It appears from this Arabic source that after the battle of Talas, captured papermakers brought the secret of their trade to Samarkand, which profited from their production, and then spread it westward. The Tongdian appears to support this, as the author Du You quotes his nephew Du Huan’s Jingxing ji (ca. 762), a now-lost book describing the author’s travels after the Battle of Talas, as mentioning several Chinese craftsmen operating in Samarkand. In this lost record, of which only 1,510 characters survive in the Tongdian, Du Huan mentions how he “saw in Da Shi (Arabia) Chinese silk makers, gold and silver smiths, and painters, were already there.” 69 As the Chinese painters, whom Du Huan names as Fan Shu and Liu Ci, 70 would have required fine Chinese paper for their delicate paintings, scholars have concluded by implication that captured Chinese papermakers were practicing their trade within Islam after the Battle of Talas. While this would fit nicely into al Tha’alibi’s narrative, both the sources and modern researchers argue otherwise. Du Huan never mentions Chinese papermakers among the captured Chinese craftsmen in Da Shi. Hungarian-British archaeologist Marc Aurel Stein discovered a fragment of paper in Tuyok, Xinjiang, dating from the fourth century in 1907, 71 and another sample from ca.  594 in 1913. 72 Jonathan Bloom also points out that paper production existed in Transoxania as early as 721. 73 The evidence suggests papermaking began making its way across the Silk Road before 751. That said, the first paper mill opened in Baghdad in 795, followed by another in Cairo five years later. 74 Moorish Spain would open its own in 1145, followed by Fabriano, Italy, in 1264 and Nuremberg, Germany, in 1389, bringing paper to the European continent. John Tate opened England’s first paper mill in 1495. 75

  ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammed al-Tha’alibi, The Lata’if al-ma’arif of Tha’alibi: The Book of Curious and Entertaining Information, trans. C.E. Bosworth (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 1968), 140. 69  “绫绢机杼,金银匠、画匠、汉匠起作画者,京兆人樊淑、刘泚,织络者,河东人乐環、吕 礼” Du Huan, “Jingxingji,” in Tongdian, ed. Du You, trans. Xiaorong Yuan and Ryan Hatch (Shanghai: Zhonghuashuju Press, 1988), 3280. 70   Du, “Jingxingji,” 3280 (see note 69). 71  Kurlansky, Paper, 49 (see note 42). 72   Annabel Walker, Aurel Stein: Pioneer of the Silk Road (London: John Murray Ltd., 1995), 169. 73   Jonathan Bloom, Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 43–45. 74  Kurlansky, Paper, 56 (see note 42). 75  Kurlansky, Paper, 179 (see note 42). 68

14

ryan hatch

This innovation would lead to great cultural, religious, and literary revolutions within each region in which it arrived, particularly in Europe and the Abbasid Caliphate. Despite the political splintering within the caliphate at the end of the ninth century, the period after 751 marked a high level of learning, philosophy, art, and scientific discovery, which became the defining characteristics of the Abbasids. Therefore, while papermaking apparently made its way into Dar al-Islam before the date of 751, its spread became more rapid in the following years.

Conclusion The cultural awakening and innovation enjoyed by the Tang Dynasty prior to 751 and the Abbasid Caliphate immediately after was not limited to these two empires. By establishing a stabilized central authority, Pepin succeeded in cementing the Frankish kingdom as the political and military power in Europe. This in turn would allow his son Charles, Carolus Magnus or Charlemagne, both to expand Frankish borders across the continent and to spark an unprecedented cultural flourishing. Charles, who had witnessed his father’s papal-endorsed coup in 751, understood the benefit of Rome’s continued support. As a result, the Lombard kingdom, which had dominated the Italian peninsula in 751, was finally subjugated by the Franks in 774. 76 To reform Frankish society and assert authority over recently conquered tribes, revitalized education systems and uniform religious practices proved crucial to Carolingian dominance. The emperor’s Epistola de litteris colendis, written to Bagulf of Fulda, bears out his academic ambitions. 77 Charlemagne’s desire to mimic antiquity also led to a revival of classical art, which characterized the period from 780 to 900. The Roman Church, which thrived in the absence of Lombardic threat, would become a leading political power after the Clunaic and Gregorian Reforms of the tenth and eleventh centuries and in time would also become a patron of the arts. The Carolingian court proved to be as cosmopolitan and multicultural as any in the world of Islam or in Tang China. Pepin and Charlemagne welcomed envoys and merchants from England, Rome, the Avars, Constantinople, and the new Abbasid capital of Baghdad. While Charlemagne worked closely with Alcuin of York to create a new ecclesiastic curriculum, 78 he received an elephant as a gift from the caliph Harun al-Rashid, 79 who sought both trade and a military alliance against Umayyad Spain. Al-Rashid, himself a vital patron of the arts, also maintained  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 30–31 (see note 8).   Charles M. Atkinson, “Some Thoughts on Musical Pedagogy in the Middle Ages,” in Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. Susan Weis, Russell Murray, Jr., and Cynthia Cyrus (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2010), 38–39. 78  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 120–23 (see note 8). 79  Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 37 (see note 8). 76

77

751 C.E.: Watershed Events

15

mutual positive relations with Tang dynasty, 80 while both he and the Franks quarreled with the crumbling Byzantine Empire. In summary, the events of 751 made that year one of the most important dates in history. The fall of Byzantine Ravenna, the first coronation of Pepin, and the battle at Talas sowed the seeds for an autonomous Papal State and the Carolingian Renaissance in Western Europe; while the Byzantine Empire became a permanent Eastern fixture along with the domination of the Abbasid Dynasty in western Asia; and the Tang golden age reached its climax in the Far East. While the role of this date as a marker for the westward movement of papermaking remains dubious at best, the establishment of paper mills in the Middle East relatively soon after suggests that more in-depth study is required. At the very least, the year 751 should become as familiar to both academics and students as 1066, 1492, 1776, or 1945.

80

 Belyaev, Arabs, Islam and the Arab Caliphate, 217 (see note 67).

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power Charles W. Connell

In the context of the shifting balance of power that began to take dramatic turns in eleventh-century Europe, there are several aspects associated with the crusade that might be considered paradigm shifts. Here I cite, for example, the ironic concepts of “warrior monks” and the ecclesiastical blessing of killing in “holy” war. In this analysis, however, I will focus on the struggle between kings, emperors, and popes that had been defined for centuries by the so-called doctrine of the Two Swords. The essence of this dogma is summed up in the words of Pope Gelasius I (r. 492– 496), who wrote to Emperor Anastasius I Dicorus in 494 that There are two powers . . . by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power. Of these, that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment. 1

Likely drawing upon St. Augustine’s two-fold division of humanity as delineated in his City of God, Gelasius expanded on the relationship between the two to assert that the Church, as the earthly manifestation of the City of God, could choose to

1

  Gelasius I, Epistola 12 [Duo sunt], Epistolae Romanorum pontificum genuinae I, ed. A. Thiel (Braunsberg: Peter, 1868), English in Readings in European History, trans. J. H. Robinson, 2 vols. (Boston: Ginn, 1904 and 1906), 1:72–73. See the discussion in I. S. Robinson, The Papacy 1073– 1198: Continuity and Innovation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 296–99; and Bronwen Neil and Pauline Allen, The Letters of Gelasius I (492–496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Adnotations I (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 17–42.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117191

18

charles w. connell

delegate management of earthly concerns to some other party. 2 However, he made it clear that the “other party” must be subordinate to the leader of the Church. 3 The evolving concept of the crusade that first germinated in the mind of Gregory VII offered a way for the popes to provide a pragmatic focus to a developing paradigm of power that in effect changed the Two Swords theorem from one that theoretically balanced the spiritual and temporal powers on this earth to one that clearly delineated superior power in both realms to the head of the Church. By seizing the initiative to embark on armed violence against a common enemy of the Church, and thus all Christians in Europe, the popes provided practical leadership for a spiritual mission that placed the initiative in the hands of the chief spiritual authorities and planted the foundation for real temporal power to back up the theoretical claims of popes as outlined in Gregory VII’s Dictatus Papae of 1075. This paradigm shift could not have been realized without the opportunity presented by a military expedition to the Holy Land. Papal actions under the reigns of Gregory VII, Urban II, and Innocent III provided the best illustration of how this paradigm shift was imagined and theoretically carried out.

2

  The term swords in this construct, however, did not appear until the mid-twelfth century, as Bernard of Clairvaux (De consideratione IV.3.7, Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina (PL), 221 vols. (Paris: Migne, 1844–1891), 182:777) wrote to Pope Eugenius III to expound on a passage in Luke 22:38: “the lord, when the apostles said, ‘Behold, here are two swords,’ would have answered not ‘it is enough,’ but ‘it is too much.’ Therefore both swords, the spiritual and the material, belong to the church; the former is to be drawn by the church, the latter on behalf of the church; the former by the hand of the priest, the latter by the hand of the warrior, though, indeed, at the indication of the priest and the order of the emperor.” English translation by Ewart Lewis, Medieval Political Ideas, vol. 2 (New York: Knopf, 1954), 520–21. 3  Regarding early medieval thoughts on “State” and “Church,” see Gerhart B. Ladner, “Aspects of Medieval Thought on Church and State,” Review of Politics 9 (1947): 403–22. What constituted “the Church” in the Middle Ages is a thorny issue. The modern dispute often centers on the question to what extent the institution can be seen as monolithic. In his analysis of the issues, Gary Macy ultimately focused on the authority of the hierarchical institution. For the greatest number in society, however, “the Church” was likely the local bishops and priests. Among the medieval bishops within that hierarchy there was much debate, even to the point of disputing supreme papal authority. In this study, however, we are focused on the dispute between the ecclesiastical and secular authorities external to the hierarchical institution. Thus the term Church is used to represent the ecclesiastical side of the argument as developed by the popes and their theoretical supporters in general. See Gary Macy, “Demythologizing ‘the Church’ in the Middle Ages,” in Treasures from the Storeroom: Medieval Religion and the Eucharist, ed. id. (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1999), 121–41; and Gary Macy, “Was There a ‘the Church’ in the Middle Ages?” in Unity and Diversity in the Church, ed. R. N. Swanson, The Ecclesiastical History Society (London: Blackwell, 1996), 107–16. Also see Charles W. Connell, Popular Opinion in the Middle Ages: Channeling Pubic Ideas and Attitudes, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 18 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2016), xii–xv.

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

19

The medieval world was confronted with the age-old dilemma of violence in human societies, which challenged the Christian ideals of pacifism. 4 James Brundage has maintained that the post-millennial violence in the West led Christian moralists to alter the way they treated war. Indeed, under the leadership of the canonist Gratian, who included material in his Decretum (ca. 1140) borrowed directly from the correspondence of Gregory VII, the concept of war was transformed from a moral and theological problem to one of law. 5 Theologians and canon lawyers differed both on how they approached the issues and on what aspects were essential in addressing the nature and outcomes of war. For example, they agreed that the first principle of war was that a legitimate authority must declare it, but they had difficulty deciding whether the pope and bishops were public authorities and thus entitled to declare war. Early pupils of Gratian said “no” to this proposition, but they did think that the clergy could urge secular princes to take up arms in defense of Church properties or to resist God’s enemies. Rolandus Bandonelli (later Pope Alexander III from 1159 to 1181) held that clerics were prohibited from either fighting in or declaring wars. By the late twelfth century, well after the first two crusades, Huguccio wrote around 1188 that there might be some situations where ecclesiastical judges might declare war. 6 Eventually they came to agree that war could be rationalized as both and spiritually beneficial to participants in the form of “holy war.” 7 This outcome had been informed by the recognition that internal warfare had become a way of life in medieval society. Since the mid-tenth century, aggression by lay milites against Church lands spawned the reactionary Peace of God movement that attempted to curb violence against non-combatants and Church property, as well as its corollary, the Truce of God, to limit the number of days in each week when fighting could occur. 8 Reforms begun by Cluny in the 4

 On the overall conditions of violence in medieval society, see Richard W. Kaeuper, Violence in Medieval Society (Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2000). Also, for a focus on literary sources, see Albrecht Classen, ed., Violence in Medieval Courtly Literature: A Casebook (London and New York: Routledge, 2004). 5   James A. Brundage, “Holy War and the Medieval Lawyers,” in The Holy War, ed. Thomas Patrick Murphy (Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 1976), 99–140, here 99–100, 108– 9; Brundage, “Crusades, Clerics and Violence: Reflections on a Canonical Theme,” in The Experience of Crusading: I. Western Approaches, ed. Marcus Bull and Norman Housley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 147–56; H. E. J. Cowdrey, “Christianity and the Morality of Warfare during the First Century of Crusading,” in The Experience of Crusading: I. Western Approaches, ed. Marcus Bull and Norman Housley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 175–93; and Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 299 (see note 1). 6   Brundage, “Holy War,” 110 (see note 5); also see Albrecht Classen and Nadia Margolis, eds., War and Peace: Critical Issues in European Societies and Literature 800–1800, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 8 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2011). 7   Brundage, “Holy War,” 100 (see note 5). 8   On the correlation between violence and the power of lay princes in relationship to the “toiling masses,” see the dispute between Thomas N. Bisson, “The ‘Feudal Revolution,’” Past &

20

charles w. connell

tenth century to free Church officials from lay interference were accelerated by the popes in the eleventh, and they culminated in attempts by Leo IX and Gregory VII to arouse secular armies in defense of Church lands in Italy and Sicily. In this context there occurred a more significant transformation in the clerical attitude toward war. Prior to the eleventh century, the popes and lawyers who gave any thought at all to this issue relied on Augustine’s just war theory, that is, a war in defense of the Church. 9 The debate among the canonists regarding wars of aggression did not unfold until the mid-twelfth century and thus offered no guidance to Gregory VII in considering the initiation of force to liberate the Eastern Christians or Urban II in calling for an armed expedition to free the Holy Land in 1095. The quest for internal reform also led to conflict with the lay lords over issues of jurisdiction over Church lands and appointments to high Church offices that controlled Church properties. Historians have labeled this conflict a fight for freedom from secular control or, more colorfully, a struggle for “right order.” 10 It is this aspect of the Present 142 (1994): 6–42; and his respondents, Dominique Barthélemy and Stephen D. White, “The ‘Feudal Revolution,’” Past & Present 152 (1996): 196–223; and Timothy Reuter and Chris Wickham, “The ‘Feudal Revolution,’” Past & Present 155 (1997): 177–208. Essentially, this dispute centered on the nature of the transformation of medieval society after the breakup of the Carolingian Empire following the millennium. What was the relationship between power and government? Was there a total breakdown in public order, followed by a new rulership of a militant lordship that imposed itself on peasant society in a violent manner such that the transformation could be considered a “revolution,” or were the changes that occurred over the next two centuries more of a “mutation” in a continuum of experience? Bisson argues the former, his respondents the latter. 9   For a more recent brief overview of the transformation of the Church’s attitude toward war, see Tomaž Mastnak, Crusading Peace: Christendom, the Muslim World, and Western Political Order (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002), 74–90; and John Gilchrist, “The Papacy and War against the ‘Saracens,’ 795–1216,” The International History Review 10 (1988): 174–97. Also see the discussion of the way the Church wavered over the relationship between war and law in James Muldoon, “Crusading and Canon Law,” in Palgrave Advances in the Crusades, ed. Helen J. Nicholson (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 37–57. On the just war theory, the fundamental study remains Frederick H. Russell, The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975). On the canon law regarding “war-making,” see James Brundage, “The Limits of the War-Making Power: The Contribution of Medieval Canonists,” in Peace in a Nuclear Age: The Bishops’ Pastoral Letter in Perspective, ed. Charles J. Reid, Jr. (Washington, DC: The Catholic University Press, 1986), 69–85; and Brundage, “Holy War” (see note 5). 10  This classic statement of this framing of the struggle is found in Gerd Tellenbach’s opening sentence to his Church, State, and Christian Society at the Time of the Investiture Contest (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1940; a translation of the 1936 German original: Libertas: Kirche und Weltordnung im Zeitalter des Investiturstreits). Among the many studies of the Investiture Contest, one of the more insightful ones regarding issues of the papal struggle for power remains Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 398–441 (see note 1).

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

21

struggle that brings us to the issues of real power and how the various popes conceived that order, and how the call to a war against “pagans” everywhere, including those in the East known only as Saracens, might enable them to achieve the upper hand in that struggle and dominate the secular as well as the spiritual realms of Europe. Previously, scholars have focused more on the paradigm shifts in the notion of war and justification of armed violence and killing in warfare but have tended to pay less attention to the shift in power that the popes likely sought to achieve by linking the issue of reform and spiritual enthusiasm to a particular idea of justifiable holy war, the crusade.

Gregory VII Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073–1085) is credited with having played a major role in energizing a break with the traditional ecclesiastical attitude toward war, and some have even argued that Gregory “revolutionized the Christian view of warfare and that he was the principal inventor of the holy war idea in medieval Christendom.” 11 He believed that he had the duty to use both the material and spiritual swords in defense of the Church, and he referred to the faithful as members of the militia S. Petri who had the obligation to fight wherever and whenever there was need. He meant this literally and not figuratively, that is, to defend with arms as well as words. 12 Moreover, Gregory made it clear in his letters to various counts and kings that those secular lords, in defending the Church, would be performing “military service for the papal court.” 13 The material sword was thus to be wielded at the pope’s command; he was not carrying the sword in his own hands, but he was declaring the “right to authorize armed action.” 14 This was a significant step in his

11

  Brundage, “Holy War,” 104–5 (see note 5), who cites the German edition of Carl Erdmann, Die Enstehung des Kreuzzugsgedankens, Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Geistesgeschichte, vol. 6 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 1935), 134–65; I. S. Robinson, “Gregory VII and the Soldiers of Christ,” History 58 (1973): 190–92. More recently, see Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 78–80 (see note 9). 12  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 28–29 (see note 9). See also H. E .J. Cowdrey, “Pope Gregory VII and the Bearing of Arms,” in Montjoie: Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer, ed. B. Z. Kedar, Jonathan Riley-Smith, and Rudolf Hiestand (Aldershot, Hampshire, and Brookfield, VT: Variorum, 1997), 21–35. 13   See, for example, the letter to King Sweyn of Denmark, Jan. 25. 1075, Register II, 51 (p. 194), quoted in Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 29 (see note 9). 14  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 29 (see note 9); see also the supporting literature and discussion in note 162 on p. 29.

22

charles w. connell

quest for real power that was based on his beliefs and his personal attraction to the use of armed mercenaries. 15 Gregory drew some theoretical support in his quest from Anselm of Lucca (1036–1086), a canonist who argued that the Church had coercive power independent of that of the secular realm. Ordinarily, coercive power would be delegated to the secular princes as servants of God, but the Church retained its jurisdictional rights. An admirer of Anselm, Bonizo of Sutri (1045–ca. 1095) focused his attention on internal enemies of the Church​ — ​namely, heretics and schismatics. 16 He further postulated that the Church had the right to persecutio and could enlist the secular “order of fighters” to assist in restoring internal peace. It has been contended that with the work of these two, the “Church had finally arrived at a new attitude toward war,” 17 with some qualifications. Anselm seemed to emphasize “benevolent aspects of coercion,” meaning that war should be waged out of love not hate, inspired by the effort to integrate or reintegrate those who somehow were out of the faith. 18 Bonizo even included in his treatise on the Vita christiana a code of behavior for soldiers, essentially based on Roman and German traditions but with Christianized ethics, including the commandment that they not thirst for booty. Regardless, now fighting and killing were deemed not only allowable but also conditionally meritorious. 19 In 1074 Gregory attempted to take several military actions to enhance his power in the secular realm. First was the aborted attempt to control Robert Guiscard and the Normans in southern Italy and Sicily; then he moved against Philip I of France wherein he acted to “establish his own power in place of the king’s, though of course only for a while.” 20 His actions in these cases indicate how clearly, when the need determined, he was ready to “personally bear both swords, spiritual and temporal.” 21 Yet these changes in theory, and even Gregory’s activities to control secular leaders, did not immediately bring about the overall transformation of papal power wherein the spiritual power was clearly accepted as superior to the secular in practice. These were declarations of desires, goals, and aims of the popes as later detailed more fully in the Dictatus papae of 1075 by Gregory, but they did not achieve the 15   See the English translation of Carl Erdmann, Die Entstehung, by Marshall W. Baldwin and Walter Goffart, The Origin of the Idea of Crusade, with a Foreword and additional notes by Baldwin (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), 159, where he refers to Gregory’s use of mercenaries even before he became pope. 16  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 31 (see note 9). 17  Hans Eberhard Mayer, The Crusades, trans. J. Gillingham, 2nd ed. (1965; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 19. 18  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 33 (see note 9). 19  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 31 and 33 (see note 9). 20  Erdmann, Origin, 163 (see note 15). 21  Erdmann, Origin, 163 (see note 15).

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

23

reality of a new paradigm. 22 Perhaps this was why he turned to a third venture in 1074: namely, a call to take up arms to defend the Eastern Roman Empire. In launching his campaign to bring military aid to Christians in the Eastern Empire, Gregory indicated that he would personally lead the expedition. 23 H. E. J. Cowdrey has argued that his attempt to appeal to the military classes to wage a religiously motivated war, both for the liberation of Eastern Christians and to promote Christian unity, “marked a significant state in the development of the idea of crusade” and that it likely influenced Pope Urban II when he later preached the crusade at Clermont in 1095. 24 But Gregory’s call faced several obstacles. In southern Italy, Guiscard was opposed to the pope, and those militia from northern Italy who had fought in the losing campaign against Guiscard had lost respect for the pope. 25 William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine (ca.  1025–1086), who had fought in the successful Barbestro campaign (1064) organized by Pope Alexander II (r. 1159–1181) to support the Aragonese against the Muslims in Spain, had in effect already gained “crusade” experience and was ready to join Gregory in this effort, but his support was undermined by a competing call for his loyalty from Philip I. Furthermore, as Carl Erdmann pointed out long ago, Gregory then needed French support more for his efforts to force Philip I to submit to papal power than for an expedition to the East. 26 Thus by January 1075, Gregory’s crusade to free the Eastern Christians had not found favor, and the prospect was abandoned because of the competing demands placed on prospective warriors by the various European conflicts over power, succession, and investiture. But the potential power of ecclesiastical violence was not entirely lost. As Gregory stepped up his campaign against Henry IV from 1076 to 1078, he apparently began to consider how to take “further steps to propagate 22

 For discussion of the implications of power found in the Dictatus and the actions of Gregory and the papacy, see Thomas N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 87–95. 23  Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 166–67 (see note 22). Also see H. E. J. Cowdrey, “Pope Gregory VII’s ‘Crusading’ Plans of 1074,” in Outremer: Studies in the History of Crusading Kingdom of Jerusalem Presented to Joshua Prawer, ed. B. Z. Kedar, H. E. Mayer, and R. C. Smail (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Institute, 1982), 27–40. Regarding papal influence on crusades, see Paul Chevedden, “Pope Urban II and the Ideology of the Crusades,” in The Crusader World, ed. Adrian J. Boas (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2016), 7–53, here 20–34, who traces the gradual evolution of papal involvement in campaigns against the Saracens in Sicily and Iberia prior to Clermont in 1095. 24   Cowdrey, “Pope Gregory VII’s ‘Crusading’ Plans,” 40 (see note 23). On the ongoing controversy over whether to consider Gregory’s efforts to organize a crusade, or at least a protocrusade, see the overview of the historiography on the issues going back to the nineteenth century in Tomaž Mastnak, “Gregory VII,” in Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, ed. David Thomas, vol. 3 (1050–1200) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011), 182–203, here 193–95. 25  Erdmann, Origin, 165–66 (see note 15). 26  Erdmann, Origin, 166 (see note 15).

24

charles w. connell

among the knighthood the idea of a holy war in the service of church reform.” 27 Based on a close reading of the papal letters, the argument has been advanced that Gregory was “reform minded” until the Lenten synod of 1076, when he excommunicated and deposed Henry IV, but after that he began to use a “language of revolution” with Henry. 28 Thus, going forward, he demanded obedience and papal pre-eminence that extended even into secular affairs. By 1078 there was discussion in two papal synods about the proper use of violence. The autumn synod of that year made another exception to the traditional prohibition against the use of arms. Previously, only war against heathens was permitted, but now a provision of the synod allowed arms to be used “in defense of righteousness, on the advice of pious bishops.” 29 It was in this context that Gregory even considered a military campaign against Henry or Rudolph of Saxony, his rival for the German throne, finally deciding in 1080 to sanction a war against Henry that arguably constituted a remission of penance comparable to later crusading indulgences. 30 This political exploitation of the ecclesiastical forgiveness of sins was part of the unique power of the pope to use leverage in an attempt to overturn the balance defined by the doctrine of the Two Swords. Perhaps this “moment of transition,” as Ken Grant describes it, marked the beginning of a paradigm shift. It is clear that Gregory VII struggled throughout his pontificate with how to exercise power in the secular realm in order to maintain the thrust of ecclesiastical reform and control over Church offices as defined in the Investiture Controversy. 31 The overlap of jurisdictions and the protection of Church property demanded force. He came to see that somehow the papal use of violence might be necessary to gain the respect of the militant class in an era marked by violence of Christians against fellow Christians. Gregory seemed also to recognize that a new paradigm of papal power would demand a shift in the direction of warfare itself. This required a common external enemy that could unite Christians in a new kind of holy war, what 27

 Erdmann, Origin, 171 (see note 15).   Ken A. Grant, “From Reformation to Revolution​ — ​Prophetic and Coercive Voices in the Register of Pope Gregory VII” (Ph.D. diss., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2009), 5. 29  Grant, “From Reformation to Revolution,” 171 (see note 28), who cites Das Register Gregors VII, VI, 5b, ed. Erich Caspar, MGH, Epistolae selectae (1920–1923; Munich: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1990), p. 505: “arma deponat ulteriusque non ferat nisi consilio religosorum episcoporum pro defendenda iustitia.” 30  Erdmann, Origin, 172 (see note 15). 31   Gerd Tellenbach, The Church in Western Europe from the Tenth to the Early Twelfth Century, trans. Timothy Reuter, Cambridge Medieval Textbooks (1988; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 270. Tellenbach has advanced the idea that the popes upset the medieval world with their drive to centralize, which he maintains was a “novelty” (305). In support of this effort were such measures as those of the Gregorian canon lawyers who developed a theory of “righteous persecution,” which became a predecessor to both crusade and the use of coercion against heretics. See Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 318 (see note 1). 28

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

25

we have come to call the crusade. In the 1070s the specter of Islam was too weakly defined in European circles of power and was in conflict with more immediate local papal needs, but by 1095 political and spiritual conditions had changed sufficiently for the new paradigm to take a step forward.

Urban II Although it is not clear exactly what Urban II had in mind when he called together the ecclesiastical and lay hierarchy at Clermont in November of 1095, accounts of the council indicate that his purpose was multifold in nature. First, to maintain peace in the West among the knights; second, somehow to aid the Byzantine emperor in response to his call for support against the Turks who were plundering and killing Christians in the Eastern Empire; and, third, to liberate Christendom in the Holy Land. The debate by modern historians over the nature and purpose of a crusade in general or especially the goals of Urban II has not abated significantly. Witness, for example, the extensive bibliography cited by Paul Chevedden in two recent articles wherein he argues, in contrast to those who see the goal as either to relieve Byzantium or liberate Jerusalem, that Urban saw the crusade in mega terms: namely, as part of the Christian Church’s Mediterranean-wide effort to rid the world of Islam. 32 His rise to the papal throne helped prepare him better to respond uniquely to the call for aid from Christians in the East. Urban had grown up and been educated at the cathedral school of Reims amidst the violence among Christian knights in the West. For several years he served as the primary prior of Cluny during its attempts to maintain independence from local controls. 33 Later, while in the capacity of papal legate in Germany trying to build and maintain papal support, he played a key role in the struggles of Gregory VII with Henry IV over the pope’s claims to full power. All of these must have honed his sensitivity to the need for a strong, independent clergy led by a pope who could assert and maintain real power to accomplish reform and protect the Church from both internal and external enemies. 34 32   Paul Chevedden, “Pope Urban II and the Ideology of the Crusades,” 7–53 (see note 23); id., “Crusade Creationism versus Pope Urban II’s Conceptualization of the Crusades,” The Historian 75 (2013): 1–46. It is not my goal herein to engage with that debate fully. However, my point that crusades play a key role in how the popes began to see their power defined cannot ignore parts of that discussion. For a more recent historiographical overview of crusade studies, see Andrew Holt, “Crusades Historiography,” in Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms, Methods, Trends, ed. Albrecht Classen, 3 vols. (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 1:379–92. 33   For further discussion of the importance of this background in shaping Urban’s views, see Erdmann, Origin, 306–14 (see note 15). 34   See the summary discussion by Edward Peters in his introduction to id., ed., The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials, 2nd ed., The Middle Ages

26

charles w. connell

Very early in his papacy (r. March 1088–July 1099) Urban exhibited a sense of militancy. In a letter of 1088 to the people of Salzburg he wrote that they should be consoled by the power of God in order to rise up against their enemies and be “godly warriors” in these “dangerous times.” 35 Yet he had learned lessons from the failure of Gregory VII to engage with and personally lead any active military force. So, instead, he often used bribes to win over his local enemies throughout his term as pope, while continuing to praise those who fought in support of the Church’s attempt to gain freedom from Saracen oppression, particularly in Spain and Sicily. 36 In 1090 he recommended the rebuilding and ongoing support of the frontier fortress of Terragona as a bulwark against the Iberian Muslims. Later, in 1093, Urban wrote to Count Roger of Sicily (d. 1101) praising the recapture of Sicily from the Saracens, thus ending 300 years of Christian servitude to the “gentiles.” 37 In his letter to Roger, Urban cited Daniel 2:21 referring to how God was “changing the time and transforming the kingdom.” 38 He drew upon a tradition dating back first to Gregory the Great (r. 590–604), who used this passage from the Old Testament to explain how the papacy could serve as God’s agents in governing the conduct of kings. In the Investiture Contest, Peter Damian (d. 1072) and Manegold of Lautenbach (ca. 1030–ca. 1103) both quoted from Gregory I while arguing in support of Gregory VII’s claims to power. 39 In contrast, Saint Jerome had seen the passage in Daniel as foretelling doom for Christians or explaining why evil men ruled. Haimo of Auxerre, a monk who flourished in the 860s and an exegete who followed Jerome, valued the latter’s opinion but modified it into the broader context of the succession of earthly kingdoms. For Haimo, Daniel’s text should be amplified to show that good men are tested by evil rulers, but they can emerge as better men, ones “steeled” and “ready to do God’s will.” 40 It was in this latter sense that Urban adopted and referred explicitly to Daniel 2:21 in three

Series (1971; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998), 17–22. Also, for analysis of the influence of Pope Gregory VII on Urban regarding the bearing of arms, see Cowdrey, “Pope Gregory VII and the Bearing of Arms,” 24–25 (see note 12), who argues that “Gregory’s insistence upon penance for all sins may be reflected in Urban’s crusading canon” (25). 35   Matthew Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete: Pope Urban II, the Weight of Tradition, and Christian Reconquest,” Church History 81 (2012): 796–814, here 798. 36   For an overview of this approach, see Erdmann, Origin, 308–23 (see note 15). 37   Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete,” 804 (see note 35): “et sanguinis effusione regionem praedicatam a servitude gentilium opitulante Domino liberavit” (Latin text from PL 151:370–71 in n. 32). Gabriele compares the language of this and related letters of Urban II to that of his predecessor and model, Gregory VII. 38   Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete,” 804 (see note 35): “Dominator autem rerum omnium Deus, cujus sapientia et fortitudo, quando vult, regnum transfert, et mutat tempora [Dan. 2:21].” 39   Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete,” 805 (see note 35). 40   Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete,” 808 (see note 35).

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

27

letters giving specific positive agency to the Christian people. Although their sins had allowed pagan conquerors to prevail in certain lands, Christians would redeem themselves in the reconquest. 41 Such was the tone in a letter of 1088 to Archbishop Bernard of Toledo, a city recently retaken in 1085 from the Saracens, liberated by the populus christianus, and now restored to its former glory. Gabriele’s study of Urban’s correspondence indicates great concern for the Christian people whose sins had led to their punishment by the pagan peoples who had desecrated their lands. Urban, who was raised in the Cluniac tradition of exegesis of the Old Testament prophets, saw the remedy being self-purification and a Frankish army fighting back. A purified, unified Christian people, a “new chosen people” if you will, could transform the Mediterranean kingdom and restore it to its rightful owners in God’s eyes as foretold by the prophets. 42 Thus Urban seemed well prepared to bring these views and experiences to bear upon the occasion of Clermont in 1095. The message preached, as best we know it, at least renounced fratricidal wars among Christians. As Mastnak framed it: “Peace commended the Christian brotherhood . . . to go to war against those who were not of the Christian family. Thus Christian society became conscious of itself through mobilization for holy war.” 43 The crusading propaganda of Urban envisioned a stronger Christian community, a unified body fighting against a common pagan enemy in order to liberate the whole of Christendom. Contemporary sources that discuss this new war “abound with the words libertas and liberatio, and liberatio was the word most frequently used by Pope Urban when he preached the crusade.” 44 Only the pope could make such a broad appeal for the liberation of the whole of Christianity. The association of crusade with liberty under papal authorization raises troublesome questions regarding both justification and motivation. As asked by Penny Cole, for example, did Urban preach the crusade as a war of both liberation and purgation, the latter of which connotes violence? She concludes that the accounts of the Clermont speech do not justify such a view, yet his letters of 1095 and 1096, as he traveled France to propagandize a crusade, expressed concern over the threats to the liberty of the French churches. These were likely designed to establish guilt over the violence against Church property that led to the Peace of God, thus hoping 41

  On the idea that the Holy Land had become polluted by the Saracens, see Penny J. Cole, “‘O God the heathen have come into your inheritance’ (Ps. 78:1): The Theme of Religious Pollution in Crusade Documents, 1095–1188,” in Crusaders and Muslims in Twelfth-Century Syria, ed. Maya Shatzmiller (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993), 84–111. 42   Gabriele, “The Last Carolingian Exegete,” 813–14 (see note 35). 43  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 95 (see note 9). 44  Mastnak, Crusading Peace, 96 (see note 9). Also see Penny J. Cole, “Christians, Muslims, and the ‘Liberation’ of the Holy Land,” The Catholic Historical Review 84 (1988): 1–10; Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London: Athlone Press, 1993), 17–18; and Erdmann, Origin, 330–33 (see note 15).

28

charles w. connell

to redirect the violence toward the common enemy in the Holy Land and motivate more warriors to take the cross. Later letters of 1098 and 1099 coming from participants and proponents of the crusade express thanks and celebrate the achievement of the liberation of first Antioch and then Jerusalem. 45 It is difficult to test the hypothesis that Urban saw this challenge as an opportunity to enhance papal power in a practical way such that the possession of the temporal sword would be obvious, yet these words in his letters citing Daniel, as well as his letters post-Clermont, seem to support the idea that papal power was on his mind. In a letter to the Flemish in early 1096, Urban wrote: “At a council held in Clermont, we solemnly ordered them, for the remission of all their sins, to take part in this expedition.” 46 In other letters of December 1095 and September 1096 to both the Flemish and the Bolognese, Urban promoted the expedition as one to liberate the Church. 47 The rewards for participation in this dangerous expedition following the papal command were made more clear in canon nine of the council, which states that “If anyone prompted by piety alone and not to earn honor or money, will set on the road to Jerusalem in order to liberate God’s church, that journey will suffice for all penance.” 48 What better way to reward the use of the temporal sword than the ultimate spiritual reward? The crusade brought the two together under papal leadership in 1095. It is also worthwhile to note how the success of the First Crusade led to amplification of the notion of papal power. Guibert of Nogent, for example, viewed it as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Proverbs 30:27: “The locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank.” 49 This was in reference to the humiliation of Stephen of Blois and Hugh of Vermandois, who he argued had falsely claimed leadership and been punished by God because He wished that His people be solely under 45

  Cole, “Christians, Muslims, and the ‘Liberation’ of the Holy Land,” 6–9 (see note 44).   Jean Flori, “Ideology and Motivations in the First Crusade,” in Palgrave Advances in the Crusades, ed. Helen J. Nicholson (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 20, quoting from Urban II, “Letter to all the Faithful in Flanders,” in Heinrich Hagenmeyer, ed., Epistulae et chartae ad historiam primi belli sacri spectantesquae supersunt aevo aequales ac genuinae: Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren 1088–1100. Eine Quellensammlung zur Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges (Innsbruck: Wagner’sche Universitäts-Buchhandlung, 1901), 136–37. 47  Hagenmeyer, Epistulae et chartae ad historiam primi belli sacri, Ep. III, 137–38 (see note 46); and Ep. II, 136, as cited in Cole, “Christians, Muslims, and the ‘Liberation’ of the Holy Land,” 7 (see note 44). 48  Flori, “Ideology and Motivations,” 20 (see note 46), citing the text found in Robert Somerville, The Councils of Urban II, vol. 1: Decreta Claramontensia (Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1972), 71–81. On the idea of the First Crusade as penitential warfare, see Janus Møller Jensen, “War, Penance and the First Crusade: Dealing with a ‘Tyrannical Construct,’” in Medieval History Writing and Crusading Ideology, ed. Tuomas Lehtonen and Kurt Villads Jensen (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2005), 51–63. 49   Guibert of Nogent, Gesta Dei I.I, VII.31, pp. 123–24, 250, cited in Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 350 (see note 1). 46

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

29

the direction of the Church. Raymond of Aguilers, an eyewitness and chronicler of the First Crusade, recorded that there was no secular leader of the crusaders; instead, they placed their trust in a bishop. 50 He was referring to Adhémar of Le Puy (d. 1098), who had been at Clermont in 1095 and in his role as vicar of the pope was appointed “leader” of the expedition. The bishop himself wrote that he had “received from Pope Urban the care (cura) of the Christian army.” 51 The actual role of Adhémar is in dispute among modern historians, some preferring a spiritual role, others a secular leadership role, with some contemporary evidence suggesting that he was both statesman and military commander. Robinson concluded from all of this that it is “unlikely that he consistently dominated the crusade,” especially because he was not the only papal legate present. 52 Urban had appointed others to lead divisions of the army, apparently due to pressure from northern French princes, thus undermining Urban’s original “conception of the expedition​ — ​of a single army led by the pope’s vicar.” Yet what may have been Urban’s ultimate objective of the crusade​ — ​namely, the creation of “an ecclesiastical state under the patriarch of Jerusalem, a second patrimony of St. Peter, subject to the pope” 53​ — ​was actually achieved for a brief period. The evidence for this is found in such actions as the insistence by the clergy that the election of a patriarch precede that of the secular ruler immediately following the capture of Jerusalem; the fact that the secular ruler, Godfrey of Bouillon, assumed the title “Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre,” not that of king; and the fact that the patriarch was the one who invested Godfrey with his lordship of Jerusalem. 54 Was this an attempt to create a theocratic state in the Holy Land? Was this part of a new paradigm of papal power that included papal control of warfare that sought to liberate Christendom throughout the Mediterranean and claim the high moral ground for the control of secular rulers? The first question has been at issue for some time now. As early as 1928, Johannes Hansen’s dissertation made a case for it, to which J.G. Rowe responded with a refutation in 1957. 55 Steven Runciman, Matthew Spinka, and Hans Eberhard Mayer have all contributed to the discussion

50   Raymond of Aguillers, Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades Occidentaux 3 (Paris: Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1886), 256. 51   Letter of Simeon, patriarch of Jerusalem, and Adhémar of Le Puy, as cited by Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 350 n. 150 (see note 1). 52  Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 351 (see note 1). 53  Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 352 (see note 1). 54  Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 352 (see note 1). 55  Johannes Hansen, “Das Problem eines Kirchenstaates in Jerusalem” (Ph.D. diss., Freiburg i. Br., 1928); J.G. Rowe, “Paschal II and Relations between the Spiritual and Temporal Powers in the Kingdom of Jerusalem,” Speculum 32 (1957): 470–501.

30

charles w. connell

over the years, 56 and the actions of subsequent popes and papal legates after the death of Urban II have validated a continuing intervention in the Latin churches. But “[d]emonstrations of papal supremacy had often to take second place to considerations of defence and strategy,” 57 which in several ways makes the second question moot, especially with the somewhat premature death of Urban II in the same year as the capture of Jerusalem in 1099.

Innocent III By 1198, visions of papal power reached new heights as Innocent III ascended the throne. As Jessalyn Bird more recently observed, “much of the research on Innocent emphasizes his high estimate of papal power.” 58 It is not clear whether the pope would have been familiar with the pragmatic ideas of Bernard of Clairvaux defining the use of the Two Swords 59 or those more theoretical concepts of John of Salisbury in the Policraticus as completed in 1159. Modern scholars have debated the nature of John’s thinking on the relationship between popes and secular rulers since the mid-nineteenth century following the publication of Carl Schaarschmidt’s study of his life and work. 60 A more recent re-examination of the scholarship and the Policraticus concludes that John developed a model that “resists any sort of institutional subjection of the secular government to the visible church,” and therefore the Church cannot “compel or command any king to act as it deems fit.” 61 John was an idealist who counseled moderation and hoped for “good” kings and churchmen who would establish an understanding relationship wherein the submission of kings to priests would be voluntary. Moreover, his letters suggest that he would oppose “zealotry and fanaticism as dangers to the soul” and would not have likely advised any “sweeping spiritual reform in church and earthly government, akin

56

 Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951–1954), 1:289, 305–7; 2:310; Matthew Spinka, “The Latin Church of the Early Crusades,” Church History 8 (1939): 113–31; Hans Eberhard Mayer, Bistümer, Klöster und Stifte im Königreich Jerusalem, Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica 26 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1977), 15–43; Mayer, The Crusades, 61–62, 66–67 (see note 17). 57  Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198, 358 (see note 1). 58   Jessalyn Bird, “Reform or Crusade? Anti-Usury and Crusade Preaching during the Pontificate of Innocent III,” in Pope Innocent III and His World, ed. John Moore (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 165–85, here 165. 59   See note 2 above. 60   Carl Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresberiensis nach Leben und Studien, Schriften und Philosphie (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1862). 61   Cary J. Nederman and Catherine Campbell, “Priests, Kings, and Tyrants: Spiritual and Temporal Power in John of Salisbury’s Policraticus,” Speculum 66 (1991): 572–90, here 580.

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

31

to the program of the Hildebrandine party.” 62 Regardless, in his own coronation ceremony in 1198, Innocent took note of the distinction between auctoritas [sacred authority of the priesthood] and potestas [royal power] and declared that whereas the emperor “should be anointed on the right arm, indicating that as the arm obeys the head, so the emperor, and other secular rulers, should obey the head of the church.” 63 His use of this perceived power included strengthening the administrative and legal clout of the pope, maintaining the quest for spiritual reform, and launching three major crusades that were aimed at both external enemies and heretics from within. Bird raised the question as to whether Innocent was a reformer or a pragmatist in the matter of crusading, and she concluded with the argument that he understood better than his predecessors Gregory VII and Urban II that in order for the crusades to succeed one needed to complete the moral reform program that had begun in the eleventh century. By consciously expanding the nature of his power and enhancing its use and visibility, it would appear that Innocent had fully endorsed the pragmatic paradigm shift that had begun in Gregory’s era and was linked most clearly to the crusade by Urban II. 64 Historians maintain that Innocent not only took a more active role than previous popes in promoting the crusade but also clearly wanted to keep crusading a more exclusively papal enterprise. 65

62

  Nederman and Campbell, “Priests, Kings, and Tyrants,” 581 (see note 61).   Fritz Kern, Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages, trans. S. B. Chrimes, Studies in Mediaeval History 4 (1914; New York: Praeger, 1956), 55 n. 34. 64   On Innocent’s debt to the development of the ideals of the vita apostolica and “imitatio Christi” to his formulation of the crusade idea, see Mayer, The Crusades, 205 (see note 17); and Helmut Roscher, Papst Innocenz III. und die Kreuzzüge. Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte 21 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1969). Both rely on Paul Alphandéry and Alphonse Dupront, La Chrétienté et la idée de croisade (1954; Paris: Albin Michel, 2014); and Etienne Delaruelle, L’idée de croisade au moyen age [collection of articles published from 1941 to 1970] (Turin: Bottega d’Erasmo, 1980). The historiography on reform and spiritual motivation as related to popular enthusiasm for the crusades has grown enormously in the past twenty-five years. See, for example, Jean Flori, La Guerre sainte: la formation de l’idée de croisade dans l’Occident Chrétien (Paris: Aubier, 2001). 65   For a brief overview of all of Innocent’s crusade efforts, see James M. Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213–1221 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986), 2–10. John Gilchrist, “The Lord’s War as the Proving Ground of Faith: Innocent III and the Propagation of Violence (1198–1216),” in Crusaders and Muslims in Twelfth-Century Syria, ed. Maya Shatzmiller, Medieval Mediterranean 1 (Leiden and New York: Brill, 1993), 65–83, contends, contrary to those historians who consider popes prior to the eleventh century as “averse to the profession of arms,” that the papacy consistently resorted to arms prior to the time of Gregory VII and Urban II” (65). Therefore, Gilchrist continues, given the long-term tradition in his background, it is not surprising that Innocent III considered warfare and reform as a necessary “part of the relentless struggle of the Church militant against the power of the demon” (71). 63

32

charles w. connell

Urban had found a way to broaden papal authority by identifying internal Christian violence as the evil to be eradicated and by linking the peace movement to the call for crusade. By mandating universal peace in Christendom as necessary for success in the crusade against a common external enemy, he opened the way for Christian knights to fulfill their needs for both fighting and eternal salvation. Innocent, in Bird’s view, operated similarly in using usury as the whipping boy in crusade preaching. Crusaders could be forgiven interest on usurious loans if they took the crusading vow. 66 This was a significant issue in the burgeoning merchant economy of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, and the debt incurred could undermine the ability of a potential crusader to fund his journey. Citing examples from crusade preachers, Bird noted that Jacques de Vitry, following the model set by the Paris circle of reformers led by Peter the Chanter, “presented voluntary poverty and almsgiving as the cure for usury.” 67 In Quia maior and other bulls, Innocent offered the crusade indulgence to those who gave money or other forms of aid to crusaders, such as building ships; they did not have to go to the Holy Land in arms. Linking the crusade to the economic mainstream and to the need for reform strengthened the paradigm of papal power even further. Innocent was thorough in his attempts to tie crusading to all elements of Christian practice. After 1187, both the secular and lay clergy had thought it necessary to provide liturgical support for crusading by offering Masses commemorating dead crusaders. Perhaps following the example of Gregory VII, who in response to the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert had ordered lavish penitential processions, Innocent organized processional liturgical events in Rome in 1212 in support of the crusade in Spain led by Alfonso of Castile. Apparently the Christian defeat at Salvatierra caused much consternation in Europe, and Innocent even felt the need to preach personally a sermon as part of the events in Rome. 68 The subsequent significant victory of the Christians at Las Navas de Tolosa in July of 1212 reinforced the pope’s belief in the value of his use of the liturgy, and it may have also enhanced his charismatic reputation. Thus in 1213, in announcing the call for another crusade to the Holy Land, Quia maior ordered that processions should be held each month throughout Europe in which everybody should take part. What had begun as a liturgical event in times of crisis now became an ongoing element of the crusade. 69 The practice was continued under Innocent’s successors as well. Monastic communities, along with the secular clergy and the laity, performed elaborate liturgies in this era. During the time of Louis IX’s first crusade, the Cistercians offered 66

  Bird, “Reform or Crusade?” 172–73, 176 (see note 58).   Bird, “Reform or Crusade?” 173 (see note 58). 68   Christoph T. Maier, “Crisis, Liturgy and the Crusade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries,” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48 (1997): 628–57, here 632–33. For a broader overview of political preaching, see Beverly Mayne Kienzle, “Preaching the Cross: Liturgy and Crusade Propaganda,” Medieval Sermon Studies 53 (2009): 11–32. 69   Maier, “Crisis, Liturgy and the Crusade,” 634 (see note 68). 67

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

33

a special Mass each week and instituted a special prayer for the king, as well as a weekly procession to be performed in all Cistercian communities throughout France while performing the common crusade liturgy. In the words of Christoph Maier, “The idea of the involvement of the whole of Christian society in the crusade movement was nowhere expressed as forcefully as in those liturgical instructions.” 70 Operating within this paradigm of inclusive papal power linked to the crusade, Innocent extended his use of it and began to see the “crusade as a means not an end” as he tried to insert himself into secular politics. For Innocent, the goal was to defend or liberate the Holy Land, and he cited the Old Testament to draw upon “aggressive language that must appeal to the feudal audience.” 71 In his letter Post miserabile (August 15, 1198), addressed to various prelates and the lay nobility, Innocent used the metaphor of feudal obligations to try to incite them to crusade: “Christ is our lord and we his men must avenge the insult to Him crucified.” 72 As Bjorn Weiler has argued, in preparing for his attempt at a crusade in 1200, Innocent wrote to various German princes who continued to dispute over the outcomes of the German double election of 1199, noting that their discord contributed greatly to the ongoing loss of the Holy Land to the Saracens. 73 By the time of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, Innocent attempted to create a totally unified system for organizing and advancing a crusade, a negotium fidei et crucis​  — ​“the business of the Cross​ — ​which touched every aspect of Christian life at every level. 74 The decrees of the Council attest to the thoroughness of his conceptualization of papal power, touching on matters as wide-ranging as the theology of Joachim of Fiore, the clothes that both Saracens and Jews were to wear in the company of Christians, and the binding obligation of annual confession for all the faithful. 75 Various measures, such as those in Canon 71 of the council, dealt with matters of peace in the West. Since they were deemed detrimental to the crusade effort, tournaments among the knights were prohibited under pain of excommunication for three years from 1215. 76 For Innocent, as for his predecessors in spirit, Gregory VII and Urban II, crusade and reform were bound together​ — ​“the moral and doctrinal purification of Latin Christendom aided the liberation of the Holy Land,” and a liberated Holy Land aided in the regeneration of Christian belief, thus creating a “truly Christian 70

  Maier, “Crisis, Liturgy and the Crusade,” 635 (see note 68).   Reg. I.12. Examples are Macc. 3:19; Sam. 17:50–51, as cited in Gilchrist, “The Lord’s War,” 73 (see note 65). 72   Gilchrist, “The Lord’s War,” 73 (see note 65). Jonathan Riley-Smith, “Crusading as an Act of Love,” History 65 (1980): 177–92, here 181, called attention to Innocent’s use of feudal similes such as “pro servitio Jesu Christi” (Reg. I.300). 73   Björn Weiler, “The ‘Negotium Terrae Sanctae’ in the Political Discourse of Latin Christendom, 1215–1311,” The International History Review 25 (2003): 1–36, here 4. 74   Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 5 (see note 73). 75   Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 5 (see note 73). 76   Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 6 (see note 73). 71

34

charles w. connell

society” under papal overlordship in both the secular and spiritual realms. 77 The severity of the punishments for violation of various dictates of Lateran IV were justified by reference to the upcoming crusade. The negotium Terrae Sanctae [the business of the Holy Land] was declared an “abstract moral good which should guide the thoughts and actions of every member of the Church.” 78 Jane Sayers made perhaps the strongest case that Innocent, more than any other pope, was truly interested in real political power. 79 He made Rome both the geographic center and the ideal of the Papal State of central Italy, into which he sent anti-imperial troops to seize control. In 1198 he spent six months in papal towns forcing imperial governors in Spoleto, Tuscany, and Sicily to flee their posts. The heir to the title of Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II (1194–1250; r. 1198 –1250), became the pope’s ward in the same year, thus bringing southern Italy and Sicily into the pope’s overlordship. He greatly enhanced the finances of the Church with revenues from patrimonial estates, tributes from both secular rulers and religious houses, gifts to the pope in order to secure key ecclesiastical positions, and the more systematic collection of Peter’s Pence. 80 Armies of mercenaries were employed to subject Roman factions, resist the Hohenstaufen, guard papal palaces, and control the Papal State. And then there was his pursuit of the “liberation of the Holy Land,” which employed Innocent’s greatest strength: the moral force of religion with excommunication and interdict to back it up. As an ecclesiastical official, Innocent governed abstractions (“faith” and “the dignity” as Stein describes them), 81 but he wanted to extend that power in concrete terms. Innocent understood the role of propaganda in maintaining power. There were more than 6,000 letters issued as the “trumpets of power” to all parts of Europe during his reign. 82 Papal legates were dispatched strategically as well, to represent the pope’s view that he was the sole source of power; a strong Holy Roman Emperor was needed, but one he controlled. An examination of one of Innocent’s own sermons by Shannon Williamson is also telling. In Qui putas est fidelis, the pope portrayed himself as the servant of the family in such a way that he was in turn transformed “into a greater person by way of the heavy burdens of taking care of

77

  Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 5 (see note 73).   Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 6 (see note 73). 79   Jane E. Sayers, Innocent III: Leader of Europe, 1198–1216 (London and New York: Longman, 1994). 80  Sayers, Innocent III, 67–69 (see note 79). 81   Robert M. Stein, Reality Fictions: Romance, History, and Governmental Authority, 1025–1180 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), 184. 82  Stein, Reality Fictions, 87–89 (see note 81). It is likely that Innocent had observed how writing could be used for purposes well beyond those of the liturgy: namely, as a political instrument of secular power. The secular world had already begun to realize how writing could be used to effect a “new efficiency” in central administration to their territories in the twelfth century. 78

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

35

the family.” 83 In discussing the duties of the pope, Innocent appears to incorporate all of society, including the traditional tripartite orders, as well as all the nations: But each and every one who are the household of the lord are placed under his [the pope’s] care, for He has not distinguished between this and that household, nor is it said in plural over the households, as if many. But is said in singular, over the household, as if one so that there may be one fold and one shepherd. (John 10:16) 84

In Williamson’s view, despite the possibilities of meaning for the term household, it seems clear that for the pope it included “all the orders of society.” 85 Claiming the high moral ground, Innocent upheld the view of the papacy as “a power to be reckoned with in diplomatic and monarchical terms​ — ​a power, what is more, that claimed to be able to decide between states on their moral actions, ratione peccati.” 86 Many disputed these claims. The Middle High German poet Walther von der Vogelweide, one of the pope’s greatest critics, advanced the view that the papacy should not be involved in temporal matters at all. But most contemporaries found it hard to argue that the pope should not be involved in politics, since it was the overarching Christian mission to preach and spread Christianity throughout the world. The crusade was deemed a key factor in that mission by the late twelfth century. 87 As Robert Bartlett observed, the “crusade integrated Christendom.” 88 It operated as a symbol and a practical vehicle, not only to extend and defend Christian influence but also to offer a rationalization for the extension of papal power as the head of Christendom.

83

  Shannon M.O. Williamson, “Pseudo-Dionysius, Gilbert of Limerick and Innocent III: Order, Power and Constitutional Construction,” in Plenitude of Power. The Doctrines and Exercise of Authority in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Robert Louis Benson, ed. Robert C. Figueira (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 47–71, here 66. 84   Williamson, “Pseudo-Dionysius,” 69 (see note 83), quoting from PL 217:658: “Ad omnes omnino qui sunt de familia Domini, sub ejus cura constituti sunt; non enim distinguit inter hanc atque illam familiam, nec pluraliter dicitur: Super familias, tanquam multas: sed singulariter dicitur: Super familiam tanquam unam, ut sit ‘unum ovile et unus pastor’” (John 10:16; cf. John 10:1–11, 2:1677). English translation above in text is that of Williamson. 85   Williamson, “Pseudo-Dionysius,” 70 (see note 83). 86  Sayers, Innocent III, 92 (see note 79). 87  Sayers, Innocent III, 93 (see note 79). 88   Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950– 1350 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 267.

36

charles w. connell

Conclusions The hypothesis that, beginning with Gregory VII, the ideal of papal power encompassing both secular and spiritual dimensions seized on the crusade as the means to bring an ideal closer to reality appears to have merit. Yet we should consider more carefully the nature of paradigm shifts, as well as the issues surrounding the nature of power, in order to better determine whether a paradigm shift occurred in this era. The study of power in the medieval context has reached new heights of interest in recent years with the publication of numerous accounts of the breakdown of central authority following the collapse of the Carolingian Empire in the ninth century. Early on the debate focused on issues of the nature of the so-called “feudal revolution” and the role of secular feudal lords in relation to the masses of peasants over whom they exercised control. Examination of issues of property surrounding the Peace of God movement beginning in the late tenth century brought to witness the conflict between secular and ecclesiastical lords. Most recently the connection between power and violence has come to the fore again, highlighted by Thomas Bisson’s The Crisis of the Twelfth Century. 89 Bisson displays power as order, as celebrated in “processions, assemblies, councils.” While many thought of spiritual power as “intrinsically superior to secular, everyone could see that the church depended on the support and protection of laymen for its survival.” 90 The “order” in this society was conceived in three categories ideally: those who fight, those who pray, and those who work. 91 The order was accepted and maintained via violence that was experienced personally and physically. To be more specific, the power of the lords was: realized in submission, alliance, paternity, friendship, and ceremony . . . in one lord’s presence, in his castles . . . It was felt mysteriously in the priested rituals of promise, bonding, festivity, consecration, ordeal and rejection. It was felt as violence, seizure, rape, intimidation, extortion, arson, murder; felt Painfully, that is, in the prevailing weakness of protection and justice. Power was not felt . . . as government. 92

But it was to face challenges. As Bisson notes, “The Investiture Conflict was the first and most celebrated incident of a prolonged crisis of power,” . . . and it resulted 89

 Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century (2009) (see note 22). It has been so popular that a paperback edition was released by Princeton University Press in 2015. 90  Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 4–5 (see note 22). 91   Georges Duby, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined, trans. Arthur Goldhammer, A Phoenix Book (1978; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). 92  Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 12 (see note 22); emphasis his.

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

37

in the “organizing of ecclesiastical government.” 93 The struggle for power in the twelfth century resulted in change in the experience of power. The Church led the way, with the papacy building a bureaucracy of government that resorted to law and legates to exercise power. As well, he goes on to argue, as the title of his book implies, the beginnings of lay government can be traced to this era. Rodney Hall also faced the nature of power politics in the medieval world square on and argued that “moral authority was employed as a power resource to construct and define the rules of a hieratic, feudal-theocratic social order.” 94 Moreover, he avers that it was used by the medieval papacy first to assert supremacy of the Church over temporal rulership in the Investiture Contest and to launch the military invasion of the Holy Land in the crusades. This is not a new idea to medieval historians, but Hall tests his thesis more fully by examining the essence and processes of power. He draws upon studies of modern states wherein the nature of power resources, especially military and economic, play key roles, and he then proceeds to posit that moral authority, “like money, or the credible threat of military force . . .​ — ​acquires utility as power resource to the extent that it is institutionalized as a convention.” 95 A careful reading of both Hall and Bisson cautions us to consider the complexities of power in the medieval context and to shy away from the modern connotations of power relations as all being political and institutional in nature. The boundaries between secular and religious, for example, were fuzzy, with bishops and abbots finding themselves preoccupied with court and military service on behalf of secular lords. As well, the secular lords imposed themselves upon the process of selecting those to hold episcopal office. Relationships were personal in nature. All, it would seem, sought order, protection of person and property, and the prestige associated with the holding of title and office. As the soldier became a chivalrous knight, and oaths became ecclesiastically administered and more binding, the price of symbolism and power became more dear. Because the study of power has blossomed so much, some fear that it has become like kudzu on the highway of history that chokes any meaningful discourse. Most historians agree that modern theorists (e.g., Weber, Foucault) who have studied power did so in the context of rising national states and did not examine the medieval world​ — ​and so offer little value as “organizing principles.” 96 Medieval historians of today, as in the case of Bisson, seek to study the “experience” of power by those who held it, as well those who felt its exploitation and domination of them.

93

 Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 8–9 (see note 22).   Rodney Bruce Hall, “Moral Authority as a Power Resource,” International Organization 51 (1997): 591–622, here 592. 95   Hall, “Moral Authority,” 594 (see note 94). 96   Robert F. Berkhofer III, Alan Cooper, and Adam J. Kosto, eds., The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950–1350 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), 2. 94

38

charles w. connell

When we come to establishing the power paradigm of the eleventh century, we see better what was at stake as the Church challenged the balance contained in the maxim of the Two Swords, the paradigm or model of power distribution was that presented by Gelasius. It upheld that there were two powers ruling in the world, the secular and religious. No one doubted that all power came from God, but they came to dispute the route it took to reach these earthly holders of power and whether one took precedence over the other. In this study we have raised the questions as to whether a shift in this paradigm occurred and whether there was a new paradigm to replace it. Thomas Kuhn’s theory regarding paradigm shifts, first published in 1962, originated within the scientific community but has been widely adopted in nonscientific contexts. 97 In Kuhn’s presentation of the idea there is a certain muddiness that undermines a simple definition of “revolution” conceived of as a rapid or sudden transformation. For Kuhn, revolution is a long-term process that begins when scientists begin to discover anomalies in a current theory that eventually throw the holders of that theory into a crisis that demands resolution. A paradigm shift occurs when there is a significant change that leads to the replacement of the “usual way of thinking.” In other words, there has to be a crisis regarding a current way of thinking in order for a paradigm shift to occur. Then a new theory is proposed, and for the shift to be completed, there must be consensus about the new way of thinking. In the medieval context, it appears that the Investiture Contest was the crisis. The paradigm of the Two Swords was challenged and debated in that process, and the debate continued during the reign of Urban II and even into that of Innocent III, with the secular princes upholding their views as stubbornly as the priestly. More and more in that process, the ideals of the crusade played a key role in the way the papacy perceived that it might complete an acceptable shift in the paradigm. Gregory may have seen the idea of leading a crusade to aid Eastern Christians as a pragmatic way to escape his difficulties with Henry IV by diverting attention to a broader spiritual cause. Urban II, fortunately not so hampered by the political conditions facing Gregory, was able to take advantage of the same conditions and actually launch an expedition whose success both enhanced his power and brought the papacy into the foreground of crusading leadership for the next century. But the entry into Jerusalem came at the end of his life, and so he was not able to extend the paradigm of papal power very broadly. Crusading defeats in the twelfth century weakened the prestige of the papacy, but Innocent III still clearly saw the value of the paradigm of linking many aspects of papal spiritual leadership to a political military campaign under papal leadership. The crusades offered something for everyone​ — ​some got land, some got cash, some got status, but all who participated, 97   Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 4th ed. (1962; Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012). For analysis regarding the applicability to medieval studies, see Albrecht Classen’s introduction to the current volume.

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

39

even those who did not bear arms, could gain salvation. Power was also an outcome for the papacy, and its model in this paradigm was most clearly achieved in the reign of Innocent III. Like his secular counterparts, he exercised the judicial, fiscal, coercive, and paternal powers of lordship. 98 In the medieval context, as Bisson has underlined in his studies of power, power attached to persons. Gregory had made bold claims to power and came to see the potential of crusade, but circumstances prevented him from taking full advantage of it. The idea of crusade emerged through the reign of Gregory to the time of Urban to become “a distinctive religious exercise, which was in the same terms acceptable to both ecclesiastical opinion as a normal function of papal government . . . and to lay society as an appropriate social obligation.” 99 Urban II realized the value of and implemented the crusade, but he did not have time to enhance the paradigmatic model in its various dimensions of practical power. Both of these men had charisma and could have built a strong relationship between internal Church reform and the crusade. Both saw the value of the unifying model and knew how to persuade all Christians of the value of liberating the Church from its enemies, internal and external. But it was Innocent who was able to use their vision to take the paradigm to its highest possible levels of practical implementation. Innocent became the model of personal lordship. He clearly recognized the significance of the papal role with respect to its secular jurisdiction as well as its religious when he declared “Christ left to Peter not only the whole church, but the whole world to govern.” 100 The degree to which this ideal was realized by Innocent III is illustrated in ways other than his ongoing crusades. Innocent considered himself above kings and emperors since his jurisdiction “encompassed the whole globe, while an emperor’s

98

  For discussion of these attributes of power in the secular world, see Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, 3–4 (see note 22). 99   E. O. Blake, “The Formation of the ‘Crusade’ Idea,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 21 (1970): 11–31, here 31. 100   Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250, The Oxford History of the Christian Church 7 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), opened with this quote. Morris considered the pontificate of Innocent III so significant that he devoted an entire chapter (17) of this study to him. Robert Chazan reminded us of this in “Pope Innocent III and the Jews,” in Pope Innocent III and his World, ed. John Moore (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 187–204; here 187. For Edward Synan, The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages (New York: Macmillan, 1965), Innocent was “the incarnation of medieval papacy at its zenith” (83). More recent scholarship of how much the success of both crusade and reform relied on the efforts of local bishops and clergy presents a more nuanced and sanguine view of Innocent’s power but does not doubt his efforts to achieve and maintain it. See, for example, the articles debating whether Innocent’s motivations were religious or political in James M. Powell, ed., Innocent III: Vicar of Christ or Lord of the World?, 2nd expanded ed. (1963; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1994).

40

charles w. connell

was much more limited.” 101 Within the political boundaries, for example, Innocent was the mediator of kingship disputes in Germany, became the feudal overlord of Sicily, and asserted control over central Italy. Elsewhere, England became his fief, as well as the kingdom of Aragon. Though not his goal, Byzantium came under his authority as a result of the abortive Fourth Crusade. This exercise of power left no doubt regarding in whose hands the balance of power defined by the doctrine of the Two Swords should reside. Since there was no clear distinction in the medieval world between “secular” and “ecclesiastical” responsibilities, however, the battle between the pope and the secular lords grew more intense as a result of Innocent’s actions. 102 Indeed, Tierney has contended that Innocent’s advancement of papal power created a “destructive tension in medieval Catholicism.” 103 Some argue, for example, that his interference in German affairs weakened German kingship while not making Germany more religious. 104 The reform decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) are alleged to have had little impact on the German dioceses because of the ongoing political unrest, and the Papal States founded in central Italy by Innocent did not advance the spiritual mission. 105 The exercise of papal power had many dimensions, but the paradigm linking reform to crusade was not readily accepted by secular or ecclesiastical leaders. Jessalyn Bird, for example, has argued that Innocent’s appointment of Paris reformers to preach the crusade after Lateran IV actually led to the alienation of both powerful ecclesiastical prelates and secular rulers, including Philip Augustus, while at the same time the stipulation against usurious contracts actually prevented some crusaders from obtaining the funds needed for their journey to the Holy Land. 106 Similarly, Innocent’s attempt to control the conduct of the Albigensian Crusade

101   Brian A. Pavlac, “Emperor Henry VI and the Papacy,” in Pope Innocent III and his World, ed. John Moore (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 255–70; here 266, citing Friedrich Kempf, Papsttum und Kaisertum bei Innocenz III.: Die geistigen und rechtlichen Grundlagen seiner Thronstreitpolitik, Miscellanea historia pontificiae 19 (Rome: Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1954), 317. 102   Pavlac, “Emperor Henry VI and the Papacy,” 266–67 (see note 101). 103   Brian Tierney, “Innocent as Judge,” in Innocent III: Vicar of Christ or Lord of the World?, ed. James M. Powell, 2nd expanded ed. (1963; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1994), 95–104; here 100–101. 104   Pavlac, “Emperor Henry VI and the Papacy,” 268 (see note 101). Also see Kempf, Papsttum und Kaisertum, 324–25 (see note 101). 105   Pavlac, “Emperor Henry VI and the Papacy,” 268 (see note 101). See also Paul B. Pixton, The German Episcopacy and the Implementation of the Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council, 1216– 1245: Watchmen on the Tower (Leiden and New York: Brill, 1995); and Morris, Papal Monarchy, 422 and 426 (see note 100). 106   Bird, “Reform or Crusade?,” 182 (see note 58).

The Role of the Crusades in a Paradigm Shift of the Papal Concept of Power

41

was undermined by legates who defied him by redefining its scope and goals and even ignoring the papal mandate to rehabilitate Raymond of Toulouse. 107 This conflict of ideals and reality of the paradigm plagued not only Innocent but also his successors. It is clear that “the polemics issued by the imperial as well as the papal chancery after 1245 often focused on the affairs of the Holy Land.” As Weiler has pointed out, the contest begun in the Gregorian era had not abated, and kings and ecclesiastical princes alike continued to be conditioned by both pragmatism and idealism in their use of the institutions of the crusade. 108 They operated within a framework that allowed them to “conduct diplomatic relations, cement alliances, settle disputes, and stake claims. As they adopted the papal terminology of peacemaking to legitimize their actions, kings and princes made use of the institutions of the crusade regardless of the affairs of the Holy Land.” 109 This new paradigm in effect guided not only the popes but also the secular rulers. The popes had led the way, but, as in many other cases, a paradigm that combined pragmatism and idealism ironically offered a two-edged sword in the battle of the two swords waged between kings and popes over the primacy of power.

107   Jessalyn Bird, “Paris Masters and the Justification of the Albigensian Crusade,” Crusades 6 (2007): 117–55, here 120. 108   Weiler, “NegotiumTerrae Sanctae,” 18 (see note 73). 109   Weiler, “Negotium Terrae Sanctae,” 18 (see note 73).

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual on Crusader Seals Before and After the Fall of Acre in 1291* Laura J. Whatley

Introduction The history of the crusader states in the Latin East, from the First Crusade (1095– 1099) to the fall of Acre in 1291, can be organized as a series of paradigm shifts, both conceptual and geographic. The crown jewel of the Latin East was, of course, the newly established Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The crusader’s capture of Jerusalem from Islamic forces certainly should be classified as one of the most substantial paradigm shifts of the Western Middle Ages. 1 The city of Jerusalem was, after all, the center of the medieval world, the umbilicus mundi, and the desire to possess, to control, the holy city was a decisive inspiration for the First Crusade. The success of this bloody campaign shifted the city from Muslim occupation to Christian control for the first time since the holy city was part of the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century. In the Western medieval mentality, then, this paradigm shift from Islam to Christianity was corrective: it liberated Jerusalem, making Christendom   Aspects of this article were also presented at the annual meeting of the Alabama Medieval Society (ALMS) in October 2016, and the author would like to thank the participants for their helpful feedback, especially Kate Craig, Jennifer Feltman, Michael Burger, Jan Bulman, and Shannon Godlove. The author also thanks Sarah Guérin for providing insightful commentary on an early draft. Likewise, the Muslims’ loss of Jerusalem in 1098 would represent a paradigm shift in their conception of cultural and religious identity in relation to both Western Christendom and the holy places, a topic beyond the scope of this article. See Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, trans. Jon Rothschild (New York: Schocken Books, Inc., 1984); and Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2000). 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 43–64.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117192

44

laura j. whatley

whole once again. It also created a renewed, tangible bond between Europe and the Holy Land​ — ​Jerusalem became the capital of a European principality. 2 The subsequent losses of Jerusalem in 1187 (briefly regained by the crusaders in 1240) and 1244, and the loss of the last crusader stronghold at Acre in 1291 mark the remaining paradigmatic shifts in the Latin East in terms of geography and power. It is the last military loss in 1291 that concerns this study. By the end of the thirteenth century, the Mamluks were engaged in a series of military assaults against the remaining crusader states in the Levant. In 1287 they captured Tripoli, and in April of 1291 they began their final attack on Acre, a bustling port city that had made Christian control of the Holy Land possible for nearly 200 years. Upon the arrival of the Mamluks, the Latin king and many nobles fled to Cyprus (a Latin kingdom since Richard I’s conquest in 1191), which would become the new base of the Crusader Kingdom. 3 Although not as much of an ideological loss as Jerusalem, Acre had allowed the Christian crusaders to maintain an economic and strategic stronghold in the East, keeping hope alive for the reconquest of Jerusalem. 4 As Jonathan Philips notes, Acre was the last territory that the Latin Christians held that had ever been occupied by Muslims. 5 The loss of Acre in 1291 therefore represents a decisive rupture between the Holy Land and the Christian West. This study seeks to understand better this rupture through the close examination of crusader seals, suggesting the ways in which the seals were both reflections and communicative agents of the political, ideological, and geographic shifts that occurred after 1291. The phrase “crusader seals” is being used here broadly to indicate seals used by leaders and religious foundations of the Latin Kingdom regardless of ethnicity, although primarily Frankish. 6 The iconography of medieval seals often has been analyzed as an expression or signification of identity, status, and legal personhood.

2   For an overview of these connections, see Jay Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Question for Apocalypse (New York: Basic Books, 2011), xi–xii. See also Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders: 1095–1131 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 3   On Cyprus and the crusades, see Peter Edbury, The Kingdom of Cyprus and the Crusades 1191–1374 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 4   Jonathan Riley-Smith acknowledged the trauma of the loss of Acre for the Knights Hospitaller, for example, and he noted the general loss of crusader morale after the 1291 removal to Cyprus. See Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Knights Hospitaller in the Levant, ca. 1070–1307 (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 215–24. 5   Jonathan Phillips, “The Latin East 1098–1291,” in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, ed. Jonathan Riley-Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 112–40, here 140. 6   For crusader seals, see Hans Eberhard Mayer, Das Siegelwesen in den Kreuzfahrerstaaten, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse: Abhandlungen/Neue Folge 83 (Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1978); Gustave L. Schlumberger, Sigillographie de l’Orient Latin, Bibliothèque archéologique et historique 37 (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1943).

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

45

The seal (both the unique matrix and its multiple impressions in lead or wax) embodied and represented the sealer, whether an individual or corporation. Significantly, a large number of extant medieval seals make strong visual or symbolic reference to place. Indeed, seals traversed great geographic expanses to negotiate authority while still remaining inextricably linked to their place of origin, of manufacture. This link to place was perhaps nowhere more forcefully articulated on seals than on seals of the Latin East, especially those used by individuals or officers directly associated with the kingdom of Jerusalem. Of course Jerusalem was an important center for Christian pilgrimage and an image-object for veneration throughout medieval Christendom. From Late Antiquity onwards, visitors and pilgrims to Jerusalem testified to the importance of worshipping where Christ’s feet had stood; the Holy Places provided a direct link between the ritual of veneration and the biblical record, heightening the spiritual experience. 7 For the crusaders, the stakes were high. It is important to note that the goal of the First Crusade was not simply the liberation of the Holy Places but also the restoration of the buildings that frame or enclose them​ — ​that is, their monumental settings. Pope Urban II, in his speech at Clermont in 1095, declared the importance of recapturing and purifying the “shrines that mark the Holy Places,” especially the Holy Sepulcher. 8 As Robert Ousterhout has noted, “In the imaginations of the faithful, the architectural frame became identified with and thus inter-changeable with the site itself.” 9 Indeed, this conflation of event, place, and architecture was visually expressed on Holy Land pilgrimage souvenirs, such as metal and clay objects for pilgrims created with a matrix​ — ​for example, tokens, medallions, and ampullae. The visual repertoire of these pilgrimage souvenirs was then consistently incorporated on seals produced in the newly formed Latin Kingdom following the conquest of Jerusalem in 1098. Like pilgrimage souvenirs, medieval seals were also physical, tactile objects that changed

7   This was expressed, for example, in St. Jerome’s writings. See St. Jerome, Epistula 46.5, Patrologia cursus completus, series latina, ed. Jaques-Paul Migne (Paris: Excudebat Migne, 1844–1902), vol. 22; St. Jerome, On the Pilgrimage of Paula, trans. William H. Fremantle, in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, 14 vols. (Oxford: Parker, 1890– 1900), 6:198–202. 8   For instance, Guibert of Nogent emphasized Pope Urban’s anxiety about the buildings in his account of the speech. See August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1921), 36–40. For analysis of the relationship between Jerusalem architecture and the First Crusade, see Colin Morris, The Sepulcher of Christ and the Medieval West, From the Beginning to 1600 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 172–200. 9   Robert Ousterhout, “Architecture as Relic and the Construction of Sanctity: The Stones of the Holy Sepulcher,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 62, no. 1 (2003), 4–23. See also Jonathan Z. Smith, To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

46

laura j. whatley

the authority of a document when appended, much like an ampulla worn around the neck of a pilgrim redefined his or her sacred status and offered protection. This study briefly outlines some of the key iconographic and symbolic features of pilgrimage souvenirs in order to establish a meaningful connection between these objects of personal veneration and devotion and the content of seals in the Latin Kingdom. It then presents evidence for trends in crusader-period seals before the fall of Acre in 1291, considering seals of the kings of Jerusalem, the Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem, and the Military Orders. It finally takes a close, analytical look at seals of the Latin Patriarchs after 1291, when Christian possession of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was increasingly consigned to memory, and the patriarch’s authority over the Holy Places was more symbolic and titular than physical. Indeed, the last patriarch to hold residence in the Levant was Nicholas Hanapes (1288– 1291), who was recorded as having drowned fleeing Acre in 1291. 10 After the fall of Acre, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was established in Cyprus (along with the rest of the Latin Kingdom), and so the iconography of seals provided one way for a patriarch to communicate his official relationship to Jerusalem and his authority over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Here I will present two case studies: the seal of Anthony Beck, Bishop of Durham (1284–1311), Patriarch of Jerusalem (1306–1311); and the seal of Peter Pleine-Chassagne, Bishop of Rodez (1302–1318), Patriarch of Jerusalem (1311–1318). These seals suggest, as this study outlines, the enduring power of an iconographic program that concurrently conveys the power of the sealer in relation to the Jerusalem and the activation of the representation of the Holy Places (the loca sancta) through reference to pilgrimage and place. Importantly, however, the seals also convey the realities of the physical rupture between the Latin Kingdom and the holy city of Jerusalem, especially when the patriarch in question was living far removed from the Holy Land, even the Mediterranean in the case of Anthony Bek. I will argue that these seals, designed directly in the wake of the loss of Acre, visually convey and define the paradigm shift through the transformation of traditional crusader seal iconography and its juxtaposition with more localized imagery of place and ritual.

Pilgrimage Souvenirs in the Holy Land: A Brief Overview Pilgrimage souvenirs manufactured in Palestine were referred to as “blessings” (eulogia). Through contact with a holy site, person, or relic they were infused with miracle-working properties and were material, amuletic reminders of a pilgrim’s   See Denys Pringle, Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 1187–1291, 2nd ed. (2012; New York: Routledge, 2016), 55 and notes. 10

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

47

Figure 1. Women at the Tomb, Pilgrim’s Ampulla, Jerusalem, ca. 600, d. 4.6 cm, lead. Washington, D.C., Dumbarton Oaks Collection, BZ.1948.18. Reproduced by permission of Dumbarton Oaks.

actual experience. 11 Pilgrimage souvenirs would then protect the pilgrim on the homeward journey as well as enhance devotions at home. 12 Some locus sanctus objects, such as flasks, were given to pilgrims at holy sites and contained relics like oil from the lamps, or earth or water that had come into contact with a particular holy site. Many objects, including flasks as well as tokens, also bear inscriptions and schematic or symbolic representations of place, person, or building that evoke their origin, context or a specific ritual. 13 One of the most frequently rendered images is that of the Maries visit to the tomb of Christ and their dialogue with the angel, which is a popular medieval iconographic formula that heightens the resurrection miracle in relation to ocular and auditory witness of the event. This is found, for instance, on a lead Byzantine-period ampulla produced in Jerusalem ca.  600 now in the Dumbarton Oaks collection (Fig.  1) and a small terra-cotta

  Gary Vikan, “Byzantine Pilgrims’ Art,” in Heaven on Earth: Art and the Church in Byzantium, ed. Linda Safran (University Park: Pennsylvania State Press, 1998), 235–35; also Gary Vikan, “Art, Medicine, and Magic in Early Byzantium,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 38 (1984): 65–86. 12   Karl Sandin, “Liturgy, Pilgrimage, and Devotion in Byzantine Objects,” Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 67, no. 4 (1993): 46–56, here 49. 13   Kurz Weitzmann suggested that these miniature representations on loca sancta objects perhaps reflected monumental works of art (a “monumental archetype”) at the holy site. See Kurt Weitzmann, “Loca Sancta and the Representational Arts of Palestine,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 28 (1974): 31–55; and Dimitri V. Ainalov, The Hellenistic Origins of Byzantine Art (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1961). Other scholars, most notably André Grabar, were against such a relationship between the ampullae and monumental decoration in the Holy Places. See Grabar, Ampoules de Terre Sainte (Monza–Bobbio) (Paris: C. Klincksieck, 1958), 47–50. 11

48

laura j. whatley

token of approximately the same date in the British Museum. 14 On both the token and ampulla, the tomb of Christ is represented as the aedicula or “little house” that had enclosed the rock-cut chamber since the time of Constantine. 15 The token, however, conveys the miracle with only the tomb and angel while the ampulla includes two women approaching the tomb and the angel’s declaration in Greek, “The Lord is risen” (ANESTE O KURIOS). The popularity of this vignette on pilgrimage objects is clear: it embodied the pilgrim’s experience of approaching the tomb of Christ and beholding proof of his resurrection. 16 In some examples, the artists have provided even more detailed information about the architectural setting of the holy site. On the Byzantine ampulla, for example, the columns and dome of the Anastasis Rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have been indicated, creating an even stronger visual connection between the pilgrim and his or her real encounter with the tomb. 17 Notably, the two women on this flask are holding censers, even further anchoring the scene in contemporary liturgy and veneration by invoking the “sweet smell” of incense that would fill the church during ritual. 18 Also of importance to this study are souvenirs with symbolic representations of the Crucifixion and/or the veneration of the True Cross, which are likewise found on Early Byzantine pilgrimage ampullae. On the flask in the Dumbarton Oaks collection, the cross is presented as a seemingly portable devotional object on a stand, with supplicants to either side venerating the cross through physical contact or prayer rather than as a to-scale, historical monument on Golgotha (Fig. 2). The cross has the appearance of a liturgical implement or True Cross reliquary that would have been displayed behind or on top of an altar in the church. The cross thus could recall two ideas or identifications at once; it performed a “doublethink,”

  For London, British Museum 1973,0501.52: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/ collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=62989&partId=1&searchText=Byza ntine&page=73 (last accessed on Dec. 19, 2017) 15   Martin Biddle, The Tomb of Christ (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1999). 16   This is testified to in the accounts of numerous Jerusalem pilgrims (Egeria, Paula, Piacenza). See John Wilkinson, Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, 2nd ed. (1977; Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 2002); and John Wilkinson, Joyce Hill, and William F. Ryan, eds., Jerusalem Pilgrimage, 1099–1185, Works Issued by the Hakluyt Society, 2nd series 167 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1988). See also Robert Ousterhout, “The Memory of Jerusalem: Text, Architecture, and the Craft of Thought,” in Jerusalem as Narrative Space, ed. Annette Hoffmann and Gerhard Wolf, Visualizing the Middle Ages 6 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012), 139–54. 17   For further analysis of this flask, see Georgia Frank, “Loca Sancta Souvenirs and the Art of Memory,” in Pèlerinages et lieux saints dans l’antiquité et le moyen âge: mélanges offerts à Pierre Maraval, ed. Béatrice Caseau, Jean-Claude Cheynet, and Vincent Déroche, Monographies 23 (Paris: Travaux et Mémoires. Association des amis du Centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2006), 193–201. 18   Ousterhout, “The Memory of Jerusalem,” 140 (see note 16). 14

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

49

Figure 2. Crucifixion, Pilgrim’s Ampulla, Jerusalem, ca. 600, d. 4.6 cm, lead. Washington, D.C., Dumbarton Oaks Collection, BZ.1948.18. Reproduced by permission of Dumbarton Oaks.

to borrow Sabine MacCormack’s term. 19 It embodied the Crucifixion of Christ and also expressed contemporary ritual practices, whether liturgical procession or relic veneration. Indeed, it could represent the jeweled “replacement” cross that was erected on Mount Calvary during the time of Constantine, which was equally a liturgical and devotional locus. 20 During the early crusader period there was a revival of Byzantine-period pilgrimage flasks, no doubt as part of the Latin revival of pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the twelfth century. Although the general shapes of the vessels and the style of the reliefs are different from the above examples, the artists had recovered an important class of object. The manufacture of objects associated with both Byzantine sanctity and a golden age of Jerusalem pilgrimage perhaps reflects the crusaders’ desire to establish continuity between past and present, in some way diminishing the turbulent periods of Muslim conquest and control in Palestine beginning in the seventh century. There is certainly a notable reduction in the number of pilgrimage souvenirs of Palestine manufacture such as flasks and tokens that survive from the seventh to twelfth centuries. 21 Like the Byzantines, the Latin artists used a similar visual repertoire of architecture and liturgical fittings, such as lamps and censers, to orient the owner in the holy place​ — ​again, with an emphasis on liturgical ritual.   On the notion of “doublethink” in a pilgrimage context, see Sabine MacCormack, “Loca Sancta: The Organization of Sacred Topography in Late Antiquity,” in The Blessings of Pilgrimage, ed. Robert Ousterhout (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1990), 7–40. 20  Egeria mentions standing before the cross on several occasions during the Jerusalem liturgy. See John Wilkinson, trans., Egeria’s Travels (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1999); and Kenneth John Conant, “The Original Buildings at the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem,” Speculum 31, no. 1 (1956): 1–48. 21   Paul Brazinski notes a complete end to production after the Persian conquest of Palestine in 614 in “Late Antique Pilgrimage and Ampullae: History, Classification, Chronology” (M.Phil. thesis, University of Cambridge, 2012), 41. 19

50

laura j. whatley

Figure 3. Women at the Tomb, Pilgrim’s Ampulla, Jerusalem, 12th century, d. 4.6 cm, lead. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin​ — ​Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ident. Nr 25/73. Reproduced by permission of Staatliche Museen zu Berlin​ — ​Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin.

Granted, as extant flasks from the twelfth century indicate, the depiction of the Tomb of Christ was dramatically reimagined on the crusader-period flasks and the narrative elements, such as the Women at the Tomb, were either relocated or stripped away. 22 In two nicely preserved lead examples, one in the British Museum and the other in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Fig. 3), the grand domed edifice of the Holy Sepulcher was made both the focus and locus of the visual program. 23 This is certainly a departure from the depiction of the exterior of the aedicula on the Byzantine-period souvenirs, feasibly inspired by the new crusader arrangement of the church. The imagery likely reflects the crusaders’ rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which began around 1114. The crusaders’ major contribution to the church was, as William of Tyre declared, the complete enclosure and thus integration of the Holy Places​ — ​namely, the Tomb of Christ and the rock of Calvary​ — ​w ith the construction of the crusader transept. 24 Notably, the shrouded and haloed body of Christ also was included in this interior space. Thus the imagery   For more on the production and iconography of crusader flasks, see Lieselotte Kötzsche, “Zwei Jerusalemer Pilgerampullen aus der Kreuzfahrerzeit,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 51, no. 1 (1988): 13–32. 23  For London, British Museum 1876,1214.18: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/ collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?partid=1&assetid=1 613337106&objectid=59492 (last accessed on Dec. 19, 2017). 24   William Archbishop of Tyre, A History of Deeds Done beyond the Sea, trans. Emily Atwater Babcock and August C. Krey (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943), 244; Jaroslav Folda, Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098–1187 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 175–245 and 503 n. 121. 22

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

51

required the pilgrim to engage in a bit of devotional gymnastics, meditating on both the body of the dead Christ and the miracle of the resurrection while standing in the temporal space of the Holy Sepulcher. 25 According to St. Jerome, this was ultimately the spiritual goal, the reward for worship in the Holy Places. He wrote: “Whenever we enter [the Tomb of the Lord], we see the Savior lying in the shroud. And lingering a little we see again the angel sitting at his feet and the handkerchief wound up at his head.” 26 In other words, Jerusalem pilgrimage was about experiencing “real presence,” and the crusader flask truly attempted to visualize this desired experience. The early twelfth-century flask from Jerusalem, now in Berlin, does feature the Byzantine mainstay image of the Women at the Tomb, but on the opposite side of the vessel. The angel announcing the resurrection is gesturing toward a small opening, a doorway, as if encouraging the women to pass through and witness the miracle directly. Again the pilgrim-viewer easily would have been able to link his or her own experience of venerating the Tomb of Christ with those of the holy women before the empty tomb as portrayed on the souvenir flask. 27

Seals in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem before 1291 Key Jerusalemite architectural features were a common occurrence on seals created for officials in the Latin Kingdom. The Tower of David, Templum Domini and Anastasis rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher appeared together on the reverse of the seals of the kings of Jerusalem, such as the seal of Baldwin I (r. 1100– 1118). The seal emphasized the Jerusalem skyline of towers and domes, perhaps in order to visually establish the new, sacred domain of the Latin kings in relation to their political authority. The Patriarchs of Jerusalem Warmund (1118–1128) and William I (1130–1145) both included an image of the tomb of Christ on the reverse of their seals. The sigillographic image includes the approach of the Maries on one side of the tomb and the angel of the Resurrection on the other, certainly a nod to both Jerusalem liturgy and pilgrimage art. 28 Indeed the small impression even includes swinging censors to add those elements of ritual and sensory experience.

  For other cases of art and temporality in devotional experience, see Robert Ousterhout, “Temporal Structuring in the Chora Parekklesion,” Gesta 34, no. 1 (1995): 63–75; and Matthew M. Reeve, Thirteenth-Century Wall Paintings of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy and Reform (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2008). 26  Jerome, Ep. 46.5, in Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina (PL), 221 vols. (Paris: Migne, 1844–1891), 22:426, quoted in Ousterhout, “Memory of Jerusalem,” 139 (see note 16). 27   The flask also includes Greek inscriptions identifying the tomb of Christ on one side and the ointment bearers on the other; the use of Greek could indicate Byzantine participation in the manufacture of the flask or could be a nod to the Byzantine tradition. 28   For analysis of the seal, see Folda, Art of the Crusaders, 46 (see note 24). 25

52

laura j. whatley

The representation of the tomb itself, however, follows a different prototype for saints’ shrines. The tomb is not portrayed in the form of the aedicula found on Byzantine representations of the scene; rather, the tomb is represented as a stone base (the burial couch) with three small, distinct round “port holes” or foramina (from the Latin for hole, foramen) along its side. The Byzantine aedicula structure (i.e., the “little house”) around the Tomb of Christ was destroyed long before the arrival of the crusaders in 1009 under the order of the Fatimid caliph of Egypt, Al-Hakim, and so this port-holed tomb shrine could either be an eleventh-century Byzantine feature or an early twelfth-century crusader addition. 29 First mention of this new configuration for the Tomb of Christ comes from the Russian pilgrim Abbot Daniel during his ca. 1106–1107 visit to Jerusalem. “On the side,” he recorded, “three small windows have been cut in order to see the holy stone and all the Christians go there to kiss it.” 30 The presence of the foramina tomb shrine is confirmed by the pilgrim Theodoric in 1169–1174, who observed “three round holes through which travellers give the kisses they have for so long desired to give to the stones on which the Lord lay.” 31 As John Crook notes, the “port holes” were likely not cut into the Tomb of Christ itself but were a feature of a slab or transenna that was placed in front of or around the rock-cut tomb shelf to protect it by limiting pilgrim access. 32 A good extant example of this shrine type​ — ​tomb protected by three port-holed transenna​ — ​in the Holy Land is the Tomb of the Virgin at Gethsemane, which has been dated to the twelfth century. 33 Whether Byzantine or crusader in design, the depiction on the patriarchal seals of the Tomb of Christ with “port-holes” certainly reflected the experiences of twelfth-century pilgrims visiting the sacred place, couching the Resurrection iconography on the seal in contemporary terms and, indeed, rituals. Just behind the angel there is tree, perhaps a palm to allude to the Palm Sunday procession that marks the beginning of Holy Week and culminates at the empty Tomb of Christ precisely one week later; the palm, like the Maries, symbolizes the triumphal miracle of the resurrection, and it simultaneously recalls Jerusalem ritual and liturgy for   See Marius Canard, “La destruction de l’église de la Résurrection par le Calife Hakim et l’historie de la descente du feu sacre,” Byzantion 35 (1965): 16–43; Robert Ousterhout, “Rebuilding the Temple: Constantine Monomachus and the Holy Sepulcher,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 48, no. 1 (March 1989): 66–78; and Stephen Lamia, “Souvenir, Synaesthesia, and the sepulcrum Domini: Sensory Stimuli as Memory Stratagems,” in Memory and the Medieval Tomb, ed. Elizabeth Valdez Del Alamao and Carol Stamatis Pendergast (Aldershot, and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 2000), 19–41. 30   Wilkinson, Hill, and Ryan, Jerusalem Pilgrimage, 128 (see note 16). 31   Wilkinson, Hill, and Ryan, Jerusalem Pilgrimage, 279 (see note 16). 32   John Crook, English Medieval Shrines (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2011), 191–93. 33   Bellarmino Bagatti, Michele Piccirillo, and A. Prodomo, New Discoveries at the Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Gethsemane, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum 17 (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1975), 42–43. 29

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

53

Figure 4. Cast of the Master’s bulla of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, from rule of Geoffrey de Donjon, 1193, plaster cast. Paris, Archives nationales D 9880. Courtesy of the Archives nationales. Author’s photograph.

the Day of Palms. 34 Thus the seal conflates sacred place and time by depicting the Tomb of Christ in its twelfth-century form in relation to the traditional pictorial narrative of Christian witness​ — ​the Maries’ visit to the tomb on Easter morning. The seals of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem perhaps best represent this relationship between loca sancta, pilgrimage art, and ritual. The Hospital of Saint John was founded around the year 1070 to administer medical care to pilgrims in the Holy Land and developed a military role in the turbulent years after the foundation of the Latin Kingdom, when few of the Frankish crusaders remained in the Holy Land to protect the Holy Places. It was perhaps this relationship to Jerusalem pilgrims that prompted the order to employ a visual language of pilgrimage on their seals. The hospital’s first seal was the Master’s bulla, a two-sided lead seal similar to those used by the papacy (Fig. 4). 35 The obverse of the bulla depicts the Master kneeling in prayer before a patriarchal cross accompanied by the sacred letters a (alpha) and w (omega), and the reverse shows the body of a man on a dais swathed in a shroud with a cross at his head and another at his feet as well as a hanging lamp and a flying censer. The body is displayed beneath an architectural framework or canopy comprised of three domes topped with crosses, certainly evoking the domed cross-section of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Like the pilgrim’s flasks, the hospital’s bulla strongly suggests place, space, and, quite notably, ritual in Jerusalem. The iconography of the reverse

34  Wilkinson, Egeria’s Travels, 75, 151–52 (see note 20); see also Iris Shagrir, “Adventus in Jerusalem: The Palm Sunday Celebration in Latin Jerusalem,” Journal of Medieval History 41, no. 1 (2015): 1–20. 35   Paris, Archives nationales D 9880.

54

laura j. whatley

has been interpreted in different ways: as the body of Christ in the Holy Sepulcher, as a patient in the hospital, and as a brother of the order receiving Last Rights. 36 Likely, meaning was intended to be flexible but ultimately Christological: the shrouded body, of course, invoked an image of the entombed Christ but could concurrently represent a pilgrim or a member of the military order. Pilgrims and crusaders both were understood as Christ-like in their spiritual pursuits, often enduring great physical hardships and even death for salvation. The image certainly shares common features with the earlier pilgrimage flasks​ — ​in particular, the way in which the architecture has been cut away to reveal the interior of the Holy Sepulcher and the inclusion of important liturgical objects within the microarchitectural frame​ — ​namely, lamps and censers. Like the twelfth-century pilgrim’s flask, the seal seems to represent the enlarged crusader church and features a similar hanging lamp. It is possible that the presence of lamps directly relate to real liturgical ritual, symbolizing the Miracle of the Holy Fire. In the fourth century, both Eusebius and the pilgrim Egeria mention a miraculous burning lamp at the tomb of Christ, and in the ninth century the monk Bernard records the dramatic lighting of lamps above the sepulcher during the Easter vigil to signify the angel of the resurrection. 37   The Hospitallers’ inventory of seals from the mid-thirteenth century, Ci dit des bulles que le maistre et les autre baillis del hospital, recorded that the reverse of the Master’s seal should feature “the body of a dead man before a tabernacle,” failing to identify either the figure or the location depicted on the seal. See Edwin J. King, The Seals of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (London: Methuen, 1932), Appendix A, 127. This document was included in a manuscript of the Statues of the Order dated to the end of the thirteenth century. The text in the original Old French was published in J. Delaville Le Roulx, “Note sur les sceaux de l’ordre de Saint Jean de Jérusalem,” Mémoires de la Société nationale des Antiquaires de France, 5th series, 1 (1880), reprinted in J. Delaville Le Roux, Mélanges sur l’ordre de S. Jean de Jérusalem (Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1910), IV.31–65. The British Museum catalogue refers to the figure as the Lord; see Walter de Gray Birch, Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols. (London: British Museum, 1887–1900), 6:848–57. For reference to the figure as a patient, see Jonathan Riley-Smith, Hospitallers: The History of the Order of St. John (London: Hambledon, 1999), 25; and Brigitte Bedos-Rezak, “Medieval Seals and the Structure of Chivalric Society,” in The Study of Chivalry: Resources and Approaches, ed. Howell Chickering and Thomas H. Seiler (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1988), 313–72, here 324. On the imagery in relation to vigils for Hospitallers, see Laura J. Whatley, “Visual Self-Fashioning and the Seals of the Knights Hospitaller in England,” in Remembering the Crusades: Myth, Image, and Identity, ed. Nicholas Paul and Suzanne Yeager (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), 256–57; Jonathan Riley-Smith, Knights of St. John in Jerusalem and Cyprus c. 1050–1310 (London and New York: Macmillan, 1967), 251; and Edwin J. King, The Rule, Statutes and Customs of the Hospitallers 1099–1310 (London: Methuen, 1934), 182, 199. 37   See Otto Meinardus, “The Ceremony of the Holy Fire in the Middle Ages,” Bulletin de la Société d’Archéologie Copte 16 (1961–1962): 242–53; Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, 24–25 (see note 2); and The Monk Bernard, “The Monk Bernard’s Journey to Jerusalem,” in Pilgrimage 36

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

55

By the twelfth century, the oil lamps were a focal point of pilgrimage during Easter week and could serve as pilgrimage souvenirs. In his pilgrimage account, the Russian Abbot Daniel records not only leaving behind a burning oil lamp at the tomb but also returning three days later to retrieve it. 38 Thus the lamp more economically relayed the miracle of the resurrection through a pilgrim’s experience, eliminating the need to fit the iconography of the angel and holy women on such a small object. The designer of the seal also included a swinging censor, which anchors the scene in contemporary liturgy and veneration at the Holy Places. The figure holding the censor is, however, implied rather than depicted. On the obverse, the Master of the Hospital is portrayed in a kneeling pose before a cross with hands clasped up toward the sacred monument, much like supplicants also found on pilgrimage flasks and tokens. The shape of the cross, however, was adapted to the context: rather than a Greek cross, the Master kneels before the patriarchal or Latin cross. In keeping with the Christological theme of the seal, as noted above, this doublebeam cross represented the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and also embodied the Crucifixion; Christ’s body was affixed to the lower crossbeam, and the upper crossbeam bore the plaque with the initials. Notably, the cross on the seals has a round knob or ornamental foot for the base, which gives it the appearance of an altar, processional, or reliquary cross​ — ​a liturgical object. Like a pilgrim, the Master was identified as having a particularly close, physical relationship to the divine through his contact with and direct veneration of the Holy Places. Like pilgrimage souvenirs, crusader seals reflected the sensory aspects of visiting the Holy Places, from the sweet smell of incense circulated with censors, the flickering light of hanging oil lamps, and the performative experience of visiting the Tomb of Christ. Cynthia Hahn used the concept of sealing to describe the relationship between pilgrims and ampullas, suggesting that an ampulla served as a “visible simulacrum” of the impression or mark of the pilgrimage experience. For Hahn, the imprint of the blessing should be understood as a spiritual seal, like the unction that sealed the baptismal rite, and marked the bearer as a member of the Elect. 39 In the context of seals, then, the crusaders were clearly making a concerted effort not only to utilize symbols of pilgrimage but also to harness and deploy them in the Middle Ages: A Reader, ed. Brett Edward Whalen (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 126–32, here 129. 38   Wilkinson, Hill, and Ryan, Jerusalem Pilgrimage, 128 (see note 16). See also Brigitte Pitarakis, “New Evidence on Lead Flasks and Devotional Patterns: From Crusader Jerusalem to Byzantium,” in Byzantine Religious Culture: Studies in Honor of Alice-Mary Talbot, ed. Denis Sullivan, Elizabeth Fisher, and Stratis Papaioannou (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012), 239–65, here 251. 39   Cynthia Hahn, “Loca Sancta Souvenirs: Sealing the Pilgrim’s Experience,” in Ousterhout, Blessings of Pilgrimage, 85–96 (see note 19).

56

laura j. whatley

in new political and spiritual ways. The spiritual connotations are perhaps most important in relation to seals, which have not often been considered objects that could inspire devotions or offer blessings. These pilgrimage-inspired seals did not simply signify real authorship, then, they signified real presence of both the sealer and the Holy Places; the seals were powerful and authoritative blessings from the new post-Crusade Jerusalem.

Seals of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem after 1291: Two Case Studies The notion of sanctity through the representation of ritual is also found on seals of the Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem that were produced after the fall of Acre in 1291. For example, the portrayal of the visit of the Maries to Christ’s tomb was the centerpiece of the seals used by both Anthony Bek and Peter Pleine-Chassagne. 40 Notably, however, the emphasis on specific architectural forms, such as dome or tower, to represent the holy places was replaced by a Gothic framework (pointed arches, trefoils, crocketed gables, etc.), dividing and enclosing single figures and narrative scenes. On both seals there also is a multiplication of imagery, making both the format and meaning more complex than the crusader seals discussed above. This is in part because both Bek and Pleine-Chassagne devised iconographic programs that blended their identities as titular Latin patriarchs of Jerusalem with their positions as Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Rodez, respectively. In other words, their patriarchal appointments to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem were portrayed on their patriarchal seals as ancillary or composite to the offices that they held at home. Indeed, the seal legends include both of their titles of office. The close analysis of these seals that follows suggests the ways in which these important religio-political figures negotiated their dual identities through a redefinition of patriarchal authority on seals and also highlights those shifting perceptions of Jerusalem after 1291 in regards to sanctity, ritual and power. An Oxford educated cleric, Anthony Bek already had a long political career in the orbit of Edward I of England (r. 1272–1307) before his election to Bishop of Durham in 1283. 41 In both text and image, his seal as titular patriarch of Jerusalem reflects his English origin as well as his authority over the see of Durham. It is important to note that Bek had an official seal of dignity as Bishop of Durham (Fig. 5a–b). The seal is an oval that represents, on the obverse, Bek enthroned with the attire and attributes of his office: he is vested in alb, dalmatic, and chasuble,   Raoul of Granville (d. 1304) served as Patriarch of Jerusalem directly after the fall of Acre and before the appointment of Anthony Bek, but I have not been able to locate an extant impression or description of his seal. 41   See C.M. Fraser, A History of Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham 1283–1311 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957). 40

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

57

Figure 5a–b. Seal of Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, 1284–1311, 83 × 60 mm, wax. Durham Cathedral Muniments, Medieval Seal G&B, no. 3125. Reproduced by permission of Durham University Library.

whose front is embroidered a sizable cross moline (certainly Bek’s arms of Gules, a cross moline Ermine). 42 He also wears a jeweled mitre and holds a crozier in his left hand and offers a blessing with his right hand. On the middle finger of his right hand he displays his episcopal ring. An architectural frame and two crocketed gabled niches containing standing figures surround the enthroned bishop. On his right stands St. Oswald, king and martyr, crowned and holding a scepter to signify his royal power. On his left, St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of Durham Cathedral, is portrayed in episcopal vestments and mitre, blessing with his right hand and holding the head of St. Oswald in his left hand. These two figures convey the sacred history and authority of Durham Cathedral. The regal, enthroned image of Bek and the remaining images signify his princely or temporal power as well as his royal connections. Due to Durham’s political and strategic importance in northern England, the bishops of Durham held the status of prince-bishops from the 1070s on, with the rights to raise an army, mint coins, and levy taxes. It was rare on episcopal seals of Durham for the bishop to appear on his throne in a manner similar to the 42  For more, see the online catalogue of medieval seals in the Durham Cathedral Muniments: http://reed.dur.ac.uk/xtf/view?docId=ark/32150_s1vh53wv76d.xml (last accessed on Dec. 19, 2017).

58

laura j. whatley

Figure 6. Seal of Anthony Bek, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Bishop of Durham, after 1306, d. 101 mm, plaster cast. London, British Library cast liv.6. Reproduced by permission of the British Library Board.

king on royal seals. To the right side of the base of his throne is a three-towered castle​ — ​perhaps an allusion to his newly fortified manor at Auckland or his position as constable of the tower of London​ — ​and to the left is another image of the Bek coat of arms. Above Bek’s head hovers a heraldic lion (passant guardant), certainly a pointed reference to the Plantagenet arms of England. In the 1270s, Bek accompanied Edward I (then prince) on his crusade to the Holy Land and, after Edward’s coronation, was briefly appointed his keeper of the wardrobe. His election as Bishop of Durham was certainly an outcome of his loyalty and service to the king of England. 43 In February 1306, Pope Clement V appointed Bek titular patriarch of Jerusalem. Bek would never be required to reside or even visit what remained of the Latin Kingdom to fulfill his appointment. His only physical connection to the Holy Land was firmly in the past, viz., his participation in Edward’s crusade of 1270. He was expected, however, to have a new seal engraved to conduct business as patriarch. His patriarchal seal is impressively large with a diameter greater than 100 millimeters (Fig. 6). A delicate Gothic framework comprised of a large central elevation and two gabled side niches organize the seal’s figural content, both iconic and narrative. The left niche features a full-length standing image of the Virgin and Child. The Virgin is in a graceful S-curve pose and wears the Crown of Heaven. Christ 43   For a basic timeline of Bek’s relationship with Edward I, see Michael Prestwich, Edward I (New Haven: Yale University Press). Bek fell out of royal favor between 1300 and 1307​ — ​the year of Edward I’s death.

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

59

turns and looks at the Virgin, holding an object (an orb or piece of fruit) in his left hand and resting his right hand on her chest. The central elevation is divided into three registers. The top register contains a Crucifixion scene with Mary and St. John the Evangelist. Their gestures elicit an emotional response in the viewer. With her left hand, the Virgin gestures up to the crucified body of Christ, the path to salvation, and her right hand is placed over her heart. John holds a book in his left hand and has his right hand pressed to his cheek. The middle register depicts the visit of the Maries to the tomb of Christ on Easter morning. From the left, the three Maries, holding small vessels, approach the Angel sitting on the tomb. The angel is gesturing to the tomb, from which emerges a piece of draped cloth​ — ​v isual proof that Christ has risen. The base of the tomb has three arched niches, with a sleeping soldier in full armor in each. The soldier on the left holds an axe, the middle one a shield, and the one on the right a sword and shield. In the bottom register, a suppliant figure in bishop’s robe and mitre kneels beneath a trefoil arch, raising his hands in prayer between two patriarchal crosses symbolizing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the fields on either side of the praying figure are roundels that contain the arms of Bek (Gules, a cross moline Ermine). Indeed, on close inspection one can see the little ermines emblazoned on the cross. The praying figure is certainly Bek himself. In some regards, the three Christological scenes (Virgin and Child, Crucifixion, and Maries at the tomb) offer a comprehensive meditation on the life of Christ, from infancy to resurrection. They speak to the narrative power of the Holy Land as well as Bek’s authority over the places where Christ was crucified and entombed. They do so, however, without those pictorial references to architectural setting found on earlier seals by way of pilgrimage souvenirs. Indeed, the seal then locates Bek and his devotions firmly back in Durham. In the final niche on the right, St. Cuthbert stands wearing full bishop’s attire of robe, mitre, and crozier. He holds the head of King Oswald in one hand, and he offers a gesture of blessing with the other. Bek’s seal thus conflates his two prestigious appointments, one no doubt enhancing the other. It is certainly the seal’s clear reference to both offices that indicates an acute awareness of the troubled state of the Latin Kingdom and the physical loss of the Holy Land in relation to patriarchal identity and power. On April 17, 1317, Peter Pleine-Chassagne attached his large patriarchal seal to a charter at Rodez in France. 44 Peter, Bishop of Rodez, was appointed Apostolic Legate to the East in 1308 and was elevated to Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1311 until his death in 1318. Unlike Bek, Pleine-Chassagne had close geographic ties with the Latin East; as patriarch, he spent time in Cyprus, where he made moves to reform

  Paris, Archives nationales D 6283. See Louis Douët d’Arcq, Collection de sceaux, 3 vols. (Paris: Plon, 1863), 2:455. 44

60

laura j. whatley

Figure 7. Seal of Peter Pleine-Chassagne, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Bishop of Rhodes, 1317, d. 83mm, lead. Paris, Archives nationales D 6283, image after Schlumberger. Reproduced by permission of the Archives nationales.

the Latin Church. 45 His seal, as Patriarch of Jerusalem, features a complex design of full-length figures contained within discrete architectonic frameworks (Fig. 7). Overall it has much in common with the seal of Anthony Bek. At the center, the core of the seal, a roundel contains the scene of the visit of the three Maries to the tomb of Christ. Like spokes on a wheel, the remaining figural imagery surrounds this keystone vignette. Following the iconography of Bek’s seal, Pleine-Chassagne’s seal includes a stripped-down Crucifixion scene with the Virgin and St. John above the central roundel. The scene is set within a church interior comprised of a vaulted ceiling and two flanking towers. Notably, in the fields beside each tower there are censing angels, enhancing the seal’s ritual character. In the architectural niche to the right of the roundel there is an ambiguous narrative scene with two figures, one kneeling and the other standing and holding a staff or cross. In his Catalogue of Seals, Birch identified the standing figure as John the Baptist and the kneeling figure as Christ​ — ​thus, suggesting that the scene represents the Baptism of Christ. 46 Considering the location of the scene next to the Maries at the tomb, it is quite possible that the figure in the short tunic holding a triumphal cross is the resurrected Christ standing before a kneeling Mary Magdalene; the arrangement of the two figures certainly suggests the Noli me Tangere. The pictorial 45   Cf. Thomas Devaney, “Spectacle, Community and Holy War in Fourteenth-Century Cyprus,” Medieval Encounters 19 (2013): 300–341. 46  Birch, Catalogue of Seals, 6:702 (see note 36).

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

61

program also features three iconic images: a standing Virgin and Child beneath an architectural canopy (left); a standing St. Peter, holding a censor, beside the crossed keys (St. Peter being both Pleine-Chassagne’s name saint and a sign of his papal connections); and a standing sainted figure beside a fleur-de-lis opposite. Birch suggested that this figure represents one of the early sainted bishops of Rodez, such as St. Amans, St. Quintianus, or St. Dalmatius, no doubt based upon the image of St. Cuthbert on Bek’s seal and supported by the fleur-de-lis. 47 Although precise identification is not possible, it is safe to say that the figure is indeed a saint local to Rodez and thus a signifier of Pleine-Chassagne’s episcopal office in France. Beneath these standing figures are two heraldic shields, one with a visible blazoned tree. On the central axis, just below the roundel and beneath a triple arch, is an image of Peter Pleine-Chassagne, kneeling with hands clasped in prayer before two patriarchal crosses. Many aspects of the patriarchal seals of both Bek and Pleine-Chassagne, then, acknowledge a long and meaningful iconographic tradition of signification in the Latin Kingdom. Just like the Master of the Hospital of St. John, for instance, both men were portrayed on their seals as eternal supplicants, kneeling with hands clasped in prayer before patriarchal crosses. The patriarchal cross was, as noted, a powerful emblem of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and an important visual testament to their authority over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Likewise, in both cases, the depiction of the three Maries visiting the Tomb of Christ was the focal point​ — ​that persistent narrative image of presence and witness that dominated souvenirs and seals manufactured in the Holy Land for most of the medieval period. The scene is large in scale and certainly more immediate than the rest of the pictorial program on both seals. It fills their centers and has a more dramatic cropping, giving the scene a strong, narrative presence. In both cases the three Maries stand just behind the tomb of Christ, half-figures with halos. They face the angel, who appears perched atop the tomb with a hand pointing down to the empty tomb and declares that Christ has risen. The tomb monument is a large slab that features a colonnade of round arches across its base; overall, the tomb appears more like an altar on these seals than on the twelfth-century examples. The arches frame the three armed sleeping Roman soldiers who were meant to be guarding the tomb. Indeed, the arches and sleeping soldiers replaced the portholed transenna tomb depicted on the crusader-era patriarchal seals, such as the seal of William I. Interestingly, the addition of the soldiers on the seal seems to follow Western artistic convention: namely, the sculptural tomb of Christ configurations popular in Germany and England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 48  Birch, Catalogue of Seals, 6:702 (see note 36).   See Pamela Sheingorn, “The Sepulchrum Domini: A Study in Art and Liturgy,” Studies in Iconography 4 (1978): 37–60; Neil C. Brooks, The Sepulchre of Christ in Art and Liturgy: With Special Reference to the Liturgic Drama, University of Illinois Studies in Language and Literature 7.2 (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1921); Justin E.A. Kroesen, The Sepulchrum Domini 47

48

62

laura j. whatley

One such copy of the Tomb of Christ was installed in the choir at Lincoln Cathedral ca. 1300. 49 Against the base of the tomb-chest were sculptural representations of the three sleeping soldiers in full armor and holding shields. The presence of the soldiers indicates that the monument likely was used as an Easter Sepulcher​ — ​a structure used for staging the paraliturgical performances of Holy Week. As such, the scene of the three Maries on the seals could easily recall the Visitatio Sepulchri ceremony that took place on Easter morning, following the Saturday night vigil embodied by the slumbering soldiers. In other words, the scene is more about liturgy than visiting the real Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem, which presents a clear paradigm shift in the construct of Jerusalem on seals from real presence to performance. Notably, in its most developed form, the Easter drama also included a postResurrection sequence between Christ and Mary Magdalene just outside the tomb, the Noli me Tangere, which provides support for the interpretation of the standing and kneeling figure in the right niche on Pleine-Chassagne’s patriarchal seal as Christ and Mary Magdalene. 50 It is important to underscore that the Visitatio Sepulchri was a Western liturgical ritual. The earliest textual source for the Easter drama in England is the Regularis Concordia, written during the monastic revival of the tenth century, and the earliest extant manuscript containing the rites in Europe is the twelfth-century Fleury Playbook. 51 The Visitatio Sepulchri was introduced into the liturgy of Jerusalem by the Franks in the twelfth century and was performed in the newly built crusader Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 52 It is therefore possible to understand the imagery on the seals of Bek and Plein-Chassagne as commemorating liturgical rituals in though the Ages: Its Forms and Functions, trans. Margaret Kofod, Liturgia condenda 10 (Leuven: Peeters, 2000); and D. Gustav Dalman, Das Grab Christi in Deutschland (Leipzig: Dieterich, 1922). 49  See Veronica Sekules, “The Tomb of Christ at Lincoln and the Development of the Sacrament Shrine: Easter Sepulchres Reconsidered,” in Medieval Art and Architecture at Lincoln Cathedral, ed. T.A. Heslop and Veronica Sekules (Leeds: W. S. Maney and Sons, 1986), 118–31. 50   The sequence first appears in Europe in the late twelfth century. See Susan K. Rankin, “The Mary Magdalene Scene in the ‘Visitatio sepulchri’ Ceremonies,” Early Music History 1 (1981): 227–55; and Edmund K. Chambers, The Medieval Stage, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963), 1–40. 51   Dom Thomas Symons, trans., The Monastic Agreement of the Monks and Nuns of the English Nation (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., 1953), 44–52; Thomas P. Campbell and Clifford Davidson, eds., The Fleury Playbook (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1985). 52   Iris Shagrir, “The Visitatio Sepulchri in the Latin Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem,” Al-Masāq 22, no. 1 (April, 2010): 57–77. For the liturgical drama, see Karl Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, 2 vols. (1933; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967); and Dunbar H. Ogden, The Staging of Drama in the Medieval Church (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2002).

Shifting Paradigms of Place and Ritual of Crusader Seals

63

Jerusalem while simultaneously (re)locating them in a local, Western European context. Indeed, although the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was not fully transferable to Cyprus, England, or France, its liturgy and rituals ultimately were​ — ​through architecture, sculpture, and drama. In those supplicant portraits on the seals, the men do not gaze at the patriarchal crosses; rather, they look up toward the narrative scenes hovering above them, to the crucified Christ and the Angel’s announcement of his resurrection. Like the three Maries (and many devout pilgrims thereafter), Bek and Pleine-Chassagne were placed in the privileged position of active witness, but their witness was through the mediation of liturgical dramatization at significant remove from the actual loca sancta and their architectural settings in Jerusalem. 53

Conclusion The paradigm shift considered in this essay may not be as monumental as the shift from, say, the Middle Ages to the early modern period. Nevertheless, the loss of the Holy Land after the fall of Acre in 1291 represents a major shift in the medieval worldview of Christendom. Seals, such as those of Bek and Pleine-Chassagne, provide key insights into the ways in which individuals with explicit ties to Jerusalem adapted to this shift in geography and identity. Indeed, after 1291 there would be no more Crusades to liberate Jerusalem (only a few crusading efforts to counter the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries). Western Europe never again would have a stronghold in the Holy Land, in the place where Christ was crucified, entombed, and resurrected. The office of the Patriarch of Jerusalem was titular rather than physical and was often held far removed from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. As the seals engraved for Bek and Pleine-Chassagne clearly suggest, the pictorial and textual (e.g., the legends) content of patriarchal seals after 1290 drew from earlier traditions, both in terms of pilgrimage souvenirs and Crusade-era seals, but were ultimately localized to reflect other aspects of the sealer’s ecclesiastical affiliation and place of residence. Additionally, the iconography that was specific to the Holy Land moved away from direct architectural quotations in favor of imagery based on liturgical ritual and drama performed in the Latin Kingdom before 1291 but ultimately developed in Western Europe. The emphasis thus was no longer on the real Jerusalem but, rather, on an imagined Jerusalem witnessed through a lens of Western sanctity, rituals, and drama.

53   Philippe de Cabassole, who was declared titular Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1361, used a seal with a very similar design (although from a new matrix). He remained in Cavaillon, France, where he was bishop. See Schlumberger, Sigilligraphie de l’Orient Latin, 85 (see note 6).

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative, or What Happens when the Heroine Becomes a Hero Kathy M. Krause

Introduction Medieval chivalric fictional narratives  —  romances and epics  —  are generally assumed to have a male protagonist. Indeed, modern definitions of the genres are built around the masculine exploits of a heroic figure. For example, the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines chivalric romance as, “describing [. . .] the adventures of legendary knights [.  .  .] The emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates.” 1 With one definition, both romance and epic are characterized as exclusively male-centered; women are not even mentioned, although they are implied as objects of male heterosexual desire. Yet, in fact, we have a not-negligible number of examples of both romances and chansons de geste in Old French with female protagonists. The disconnect between the above definition (as well as more general assumptions) and literary reality arises from modern canonization of a relatively small subset of the literary production of the French Middle Ages but also from the underlying structure of medieval fictional narratives, many of which build on heroic narrative paradigms, such as those identified by Otto Rank or Vladimir Propp and popularized by Joseph Campbell, among others. Joseph Campbell summarized the paradigmatic plot as: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural 1  “Chivalric Romance,” in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, ed. Chris Baldick (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 54; see also http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/ 10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095608946 (last accessed on Dec. 15, 2017).

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 65–80.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117193

66

kathy m. krause

wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” 2 The question this essay then addresses is what changes are effected in the narrative paradigm, as laid out by the theorists of heroic narratives, in order to accommodate a female protagonist; and vice-versa, how is a female protagonist fashioned in such a way as to “fit” within certain aspects of those paradigms? Rather than focusing on a particular text, or texts, I deliberately take the broad view in this analysis, attempting to tease out general tendencies gleaned from my many years of reading and thinking about female protagonists in Old French romance and epic texts. 3 Given this broad perspective, it would seem useful to start with a list of Old French chivalric narratives that feature a female protagonist. However, creating such a list very quickly runs into the issue of how to define the corpus: should it only include texts that are clearly focused on a single female character, such as Philippe de Rémi’s Roman de la Manekine or the epic Chanson de Florence de Rome? What then about those narratives named for a main female character but which devote significant time to a male character, such as the Chanson de Parise la Duchesse, where Parise’s son not only receives at least an equal share of the narrative limelight but also is the “hero” who effectuates his mother’s return to her rightful position in the last episodes of the chanson? 4 Or vice-versa, what about a romance like Galeran de Bretagne, where it is the heroine who shares the central role with the eponymous hero? Where should one draw the line? 5 Although the question remains open, we find similar elements in all these different possibilities of female main characters, and so defining a precise corpus is not necessary to our discussion at this time. Nevertheless, I will consider here only those pre-1300 (see below) Old French romances and chansons de geste with female characters who are either the sole protagonist or

  Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd ed. (1949; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), 30. See also Otto Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Exploration of Myth, trans. Gregory C. Richter and E. James Lieberman (1914; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004). 3   I will not consider shorter fictional narratives, whether “courtly” (such as the lays) or not (i.e., fabliaux), as their narrative paradigms differ significantly from those of the longer romances and chansons de geste. 4   Perhaps the most flagrant example is that of the Chanson d’Aye d’Avignon, where the eponymous heroine plays a very limited role herself in the complicated plot, although her marriages (to Garnier de Nanteuil and to the sultan Ganor) are the catalyst for much of the poem’s conflict. 5   One runs into similar issues when trying to define a single male protagonist in a number of medieval narratives, for example, in Chrétien’s Conte du Graal and its continuations, where Perceval is clearly “the” protagonist but where Gauvain plays a protagonist’s role in a number of episodes, including the majority of the Second Continuation. 2

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

67

nearly so, as a means to demonstrate, if imperfectly, the extent and variety of these narratives. 6 (See Appendix I for a list of all the works examined.) Two last comments are in order about the corpus of texts. First, medieval literary tastes and mores encouraged authors to rework existing narratives into new works. For example, the folktale of the “maiden with the cut-off hand” 7 provides the primary plot for the thirteenth-century Roman de la Manekine and the fourteenth-century Roman du comte d’Anjou. However, since what interests us here is how a heroine becomes a protagonist or how narratives adapt to a female protagonist, I primarily reference only the earliest textual version of a particular tale or plot, given that later works could draw upon the earlier one, and so need no adapting of the paradigm. Thus I discuss Philippe de Beaumanoir’s Manekine but not the later Roman du comte d’Anjou, as its anonymous author clearly knew, and drew upon, the earlier Old French romance. 8 The exceptions here are the Roman du Roi Flore et la bielle Jehanne and Jean Renart’s Roman de la Rose, both of which base their plot on the so-called “wager tale” but which otherwise tell notably different stories. 9 Second, I have not included the so-called idyllic romances (such as Floire et Blanchefleur), which focus on the trials experienced by a young couple of differing social status who have grown up together; although some of these works accord the female half of the couple a significant amount of narrative attention, I will only mention them in passing, due primarily to space constraints.

  In addition, an argument of the type developed in this article must confront the question of how much detail to provide about the plots of the works used as examples, given that the works in question are not well known even by many scholars of Old French literature. A proposed appendix with plot summaries and other details quickly bogged down, becoming simply too unwieldy to be useful. As a result, I ask the reader’s forbearance as this essay tries to toe the thin line between too much and too little detail. 7   For a discussion of a number of the adaptations of this particular tale, see Thelma S. Fenster, “Joïe Mêlée de Tristouse: The Maiden with the Cut-Off Hand in Epic and Adaptation,” Neophilologus 65, no. 3 (1981): 345–57. See also the relevant chapter in Nancy B. Black, Medieval Narratives of Accused Queens (Gainesville, Tallahassee, et al.: University Press of Florida, 2003), 37–65. 8   As such, the list of texts in Appendix A only includes works written pre-1300, which excludes not only later “rewritings” of earlier texts but also Belle Hélène de Constantinople, which has come down to us only in a mid-fourteenth century epic version; this version served as the basis for the fifteenth-century Burgundian prosification by Jean Wauquelin. 9   For a discussion of the many and varied medieval works that utilize the “wager tale” for their main plot structure, see, in particular, Gaston Paris, “Le Cycle de la Gageure,” Romania 32 (1903): 481–551. 6

68

kathy m. krause

Protagonists Leave “Home” All romance and epic protagonists — albeit for quite different reasons — leave “home,” whether that means their actual home or the home represented by a king’s or other nobleman’s court. In chivalric romances, both Arthurian and not, the protagonist leaves court seeking “adventures” that will prove his knightly mettle, whether he leaves on a specific quest or as a knight errant. Indeed, in several of Chrétien de Troyes’s romances the hero leaves repeatedly, from multiple “homes.” In the Chevalier au Lion, Yvain first leaves Arthur’s court to attempt the adventure of the perilous fountain, and then leaves his home with Laudine in order to seek knightly renown on the tourney circuit with Gauvain. In the Conte du Graal, Perceval first leaves his mother’s home in the gaste forêt in order to learn how to become a knight, and he then leaves Arthur’s court twice, the first time to obtain arms and a second time in order to quest for the Grail castle. The same pattern holds in non-Arthurian romance, even those whose narrative schema diverge considerably from the pattern established by Chrétien, such as Gautier d’Arras’s Ille et Galeron, where the hero, Ille, flees home after losing an eye in a tournament only to achieve military glory helping to defend Rome from the invading Greeks. In the socalled idyllic romances, the young couple departs, or is forced to leave, because their unequal social status precludes their marriage; the departure (usually) provides the young male protagonist with the opportunity to demonstrate his worth (not always through chivalric exploits) and so gain the hand of his beloved. Even an epic text such as Raoul de Cambrai, which hardly conforms to the standard “heroic” schema, 10 begins the heart of Raoul’s story with his departure from Louis’s court to conquer his new domain (the Vermandois). More generally in epic, the protagonist leaves to fight against either the kingdom’s enemies, e.g., the Saracens of the Chanson de Roland or the Chanson d’Antioche, or the enemies of his family or clan, as in the conflicts between Charlemagne and the clan of Garin de Monglane in Girart de Vienne and related epics. We should also note that even nonchivalric texts with a hero-figure tend to conform to the same pattern, demonstrating just how ubiquitous it was in medieval narrative texts of all types. For example, male saints’ lives almost always involve the future saint going out into the wider world to preach, to live a life of self-abnegation or suffering imposed by others, etc. Interestingly, many female saints’ lives follow suit: the repentant prostitutes, the women who cross-dress to join monasteries, and so on. Only the virgin martyr tales do not include as a matter of course a period of time “outside” or “away from home,” which permits the protagonists to be tested and to develop and/or display their heroic saintliness. 11   See note 2 above.   Studies of the interplay of hagiography and romance have generally focused on hagiographical narratives and their deployment of romance tropes and structures. The influence of the hagiography on female protagonists in romance and epic has received considerably less 10 11

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

69

None of this is truly newsworthy; anthropologists, folklorists, and psychologists have long identified the apparently universal motifs of heroic stories, and literary scholars have long noted that medieval European fictional texts conform, in very large part, to this “ur-narrative” of departure, testing, and finally return. In our present context, however, the very ubiquity of the paradigm means that the first major element that needed to shift in order for a medieval chivalric narrative to feature a female protagonist was that of the departure: how to motivate her departure from “home”; how to get her into the wider world where “adventures” could happen. Given its primacy, and the need to provide at least a modicum of specificity and examples, the departure is where I will focus the majority of this essay. It is intriguing that, to my knowledge, only one Old French chivalric narrative takes advantage of what must have been the most common reason for a young woman to leave her home — to marry. In Adenet le Roi’s Berthe aus grans pieds, the protagonist leaves her home in Hungary in order to marry King Pepin of France; however, en route the evil servant Margiste substitutes her daughter for Berte (their resemblance is notable), abandoning Berte in the forest. 12 This unique narrative opening demonstrates the historical norm: under typical circumstances a noble young woman always would be accompanied by at least a servant and more often, like Berte, by a full retinue; she would never leave home, or travel, alone. Neither, of course, would a noble young man normally, but at least it was imaginable that he might do so, as he could and did travel armed and so was able to protect himself. As a result, the ways in which medieval chivalric texts motivated their female protagonist’s departure from home are a testament to narrative inventiveness: maidens flee their father’s incestuous desire (the Roman de la Manekine and other similar tales); they are exiled from their home due to a false accusation of adultery (as in Belle Hélène de Constantinople) or of murder (in Parise la Duchesse); they are kidnapped by a frustrated suitor and then abandoned in the forest (Florence de Rome); etc. In each case, as even these short descriptions reveal, the female protagonist’s departure is motivated by a familial crisis, often although not exclusively of a sexual nature. It is initially tempting to draw a distinction between these narratives and those with male protagonists, which open at the court of a king who is usually not related to the protagonist — whether it be Arthur, Louis, Charlemagne, etc. — and to attribute the difference to women’s exclusion from the “public sphere” or, to put it the other direction, their restriction to the private sphere of family. A closer look, however, troubles this too facile division. In most of these narratives, the family and the court are co-terminus, and the crisis that forces the female protagonist’s departure critical interest. For one example of the possibilities, see my article on Florence de Rome: Kathy M. Krause, “Generic Space-Off and the Construction of the Female Protagonist: The Chanson de Florence de Rome,” Exemplaria 18, no. 1 (2006): 93–136. 12   Adenet le Roi, Berte as grans piés, ed. Albert Henry, Textes littéraires français (Geneva: Droz, 1982).

70

kathy m. krause

is a political, as well as familial, one. For example, in Philippe de Remi’s Roman de la Manekine, the heroine flees her father’s incestuous desire — a more familial problem would seem hard to find! However, her father is the widowed king of Hungary, who is being pressured by his barons to remarry and provide a male heir, for, as they state: “en briquetoize Ert li roialmes de Hongrie, Se feme l’avoit en baillie. Pour c’est il bon que nous alons Au roi, et de cuer li prions Qu’il pregne feme a nostre los.” (ll. 212–217) [the kingdom of Hungary will be in peril if a woman has it in her control. Therefore, it is good that we go to the king and beg him earnestly to take a wife with our counsel] 13

Unfortunately, the king promised his wife on her deathbed that he would, in his words, only remarry someone equal to her in beauty, behavior, and elegance (“son pareil / De biauté, de fait, d’apareil,” ll. 231–232). 14 As a result, all the barons’ efforts to find a suitable second wife fail, until one of the barons notices that the daughter, Joie, resembles her mother perfectly. The assembled barons argue fiercely, but in the end all agree to propose the union, including the kingdom’s clergy (who will get the pope to approve). The king resists the idea, but the seed they have planted causes him to see his daughter with new eyes and to fall in love/lust with her. Joie 13   All citations of the Roman de la Manekine are from Philippe de Remi, sire de Beaumanoir, Œuvres Poétiques de Philippe de Remi, sire de Beaumanoir, ed. H. Suchier, vol. 1, Sociétié des Anciens Textes Français (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1884). All translations from Old French are my own. In the case of the Manekine, I have also consulted the translation by Barbara SargentBauer: Philippe de Remi, sire de Beaumanoir, Le Roman de la Manekine, ed. and trans. Barbara Sargent-Bauer, Faux titre 159 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 1999). Studies of Manekine that address questions related to a female heroic figure include Carol J. Harvey, “From Incest to Redemption in La Manekine,” Romance Quarterly 44, no. 1 (1997): 3–11; and Chapter 2 in Black, Medieval Narratives of Accused Queens (see note 7), 37–65. 14   The king’s wife anticipated that the barons would not accept a female heir (“Et se li prince et li contour / De ce païs ne voelent mie / Que li roialmes de Hongrie / Demeurt a ma fille après vous, / Anchois vous requierent que vous / Vous mariés pour fil avoir . . .” (ll. 132–137) [If the princes and counts of this country do not want the Kingdom of Hungary to pass to my daughter after you, but require that you marry in order to have a son . . .]. The anxiety produced by a female heir is a topic that deserves further study, including but not limited to its deployment in a significant number of the narratives with female protagonists discussed here. Unfortunately, space restraints do not permit that to happen in this essay. (It is also interesting to note that the promise the queen extracts from her husband is that he marry someone who has her “sanblant” (l. 139), which is simultaneously more and less restrictive that what the king tells his barons.)

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

71

recoils in horror from her father’s desire, and when she cannot put off the marriage any longer, cuts off her own hand in order to render her unfit to be queen (and no longer as beautiful as her mother), thereby leading to her exile. In the Manekine, the heroine’s departure from home (and her self-mutilation) are motivated by her father’s incestuous desire, but that desire has its direct origin in the political crisis (or at least what the king’s barons believe to be a crisis) occasioned by a female heir to the throne. Turning to an epic example, we can observe a similar dynamic between the familial and the political in the Chanson de Florence de Rome, where the heroine is also an heiress. In the eponymous Chanson, however, Florence inherits the Roman Empire from her father without any problems from her barons, and on her own initiative marries in order to provide a strong military leader for her empire. She is later abducted by her brother-in-law, Milon, in revenge for her preferring his brother over him. When she asks Milon what he plans to do with her, he claims that “De vostre cors ferai quan qu’a mon cuer agree, / car c’est la riens ou siècle que plus ai desirree” (ll. 3734–3735) [I will do with your body whatever I want, for it is the thing I have most desired in the world], 15 which suggests that we are dealing with another domestic sexual crisis. However, by this point in the narrative the audience knows well that Milon’s real desire is to supplant his brother, Esmeré, and become emperor by right of marriage; he has already attempted to do so twice, once politically (by feigning Esmeré’s death in battle) and once domestically, by falsely claiming that Florence tried to seduce him (ll. 3414–3428) The familial conflict clearly is primarily a political one. Indeed, Florence’s initial response to her brotherin-law’s machinations is to lock him in prison, and he only has the opportunity to abduct her because she frees him in an act of imperial clemency, in joy that her husband is returning from successfully defending her empire from the evil Greek king. As these examples demonstrate, in Old French chivalric narratives, the private is the public and vice versa; the female protagonist’s home is a court, and her domestic life is very much part of the public sphere. Nonetheless, we do observe a definite distinction between female and male protagonists; it is not the anachronistic public/private dichotomy but, rather, the direction of the protagonist’s trajectory: where 15  Citations from the Chanson de Florence de Rome are from the SATF edition by Wallensköld, and all translations are my own. See A. Wallensköld, ed., Florence de Rome. Chanson d’aventure du premier quart du XIIIe siècle, vol. 1, Société des Anciens Textes Français (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1907). There has been little scholarly study of the text; even Nancy Black does not discuss the Chanson in her chapters on the Empress of Rome but instead examines the miracle tale by Gautier de Coinci and its fourteenth-century dramatization (Medieval Narratives of Accused Queens [see note 7]). Relevant exceptions include Claude Roussel, “Berthe, Florence, Hélène: trois variations épiques sur le thème de l’épouse persécutée,” Littérales 22 (1998): 39–60, who also discusses Berte and Belle Hélène de Constantinople; and my article on the construction of the heroine: Krause, “Generic Space-Off and the Construction of the Female Protagonist” (see note 11).

72

kathy m. krause

female protagonists are, for the most part (but again, not absolutely always), departing from their home, 16 male protagonists are moving toward something, whether that is romance adventure or epic battle. 17

Alone in the Wilderness The heroic paradigm also requires that the protagonist be more or less alone as he or she leaves home or the court. I say “more or less” because, although the hero’s exploits need to be individual, there can be room for companions who do not threaten the protagonist’s heroic, which is to say “singular,” status. This is particularly true in the chansons de geste, where the male protagonist often is accompanied by other members of his family or household. One obvious example, to give just one, is Roland, who is accompanied by Olivier and the twelve peers as well as the entire rear guard of Charlemagne’s army, none of whom impinge, however, upon his heroic martyrdom alone on the field of battle. Conversely, in narratives with female protagonists, there is a strong tendency for the protagonist to be not just alone but also abandoned and without resources. Thus in several cases, as in Philippe de Rémi’s Manekine, the protagonist is condemned to die and is taken out into the forest to be executed; however, those tasked with carrying out the sentence have pity and abandon her instead. In similar fashion, although Adenet le Roi’s heroine leaves her home accompanied by a large retinue, en route to France the heroine is accused of being the “false Berthe,” whereupon she too is supposed to be killed in the forest but is abandoned instead when her executioners are moved to remorse. Other female protagonists are also condemned but are otherwise rescued: for example, the unnamed protagonist of the Fille du comte de Pontieu is thrown overboard in a barrel but saved by a passing merchant ship. In Parise la duchesse, Parise is falsely accused of murder and is condemned, but to exile not to death; she is then abandoned in the forest by mischance when her newborn son is abducted and her entourage rushes to find the baby. 18 In Florence de Rome, as noted above, the protagonist is abducted by her brother-in-law and then beaten and abandoned by her captor when he is incapable of raping her (she wears a magic protective brooch that makes him impotent). I have gone into some detail here about how the women end up alone, often in the forest, that typical locus of (romance) adventure, because it demonstrates the 16   For example, in the case cited earlier of Berte aux grans pieds, Berthe is traveling, at least initially, toward the French court and her promised spouse, King Pepin. 17   This is another area where the inclusion of the idyllic romances would complicate things in interesting ways, as in these romances, the initial trajectory of both members of the couple is away from home. 18   May Plouzeau, ed., Parise la Duchesse: Chanson de geste du 13e siècle, 2 vols., Senefiance 17–18 (Aix-en-Provence: Centre Universitaire d’études et de recherches médiévales d’Aix, 1986).

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

73

lengths to which the authors of these texts go to motivate not only the protagonist’s departure but also her position alone in the world. 19 We cannot but be reminded of the subset of heroic narratives involving abandoned infants (e.g., Moses or Oedipus, or to cite a medieval example of the foundling tale, Havelock) and thereby recognize that most of the female protagonists are presented in the same situation: alone, without transportation, food, or other resources, they are as vulnerable as a baby in the wilderness. Here the shift in the gender of the protagonist causes what we might see as a paradigmatic overcompensation: the need to have the female protagonist alone in the world outside her home leads, it would appear inexorably, to her being put in a position of extreme vulnerability. However, we need also to note that there are numerous Old French romance examples of women traveling apparently alone and without either angst or difficulty. 20 The most obvious subset are the women who travel to Arthur’s court demanding justice or seeking a champion, as we find in Meraugis de Portlesguez or L’Âtre périlleux. In the romances of Chrétien de Troyes, a number of secondary female characters are not only decidedly mobile; they are also involved in a quest. For example, the younger Noirespine sister and the maiden who replaces her are on a quest to find Yvain in the Chevalier au Lion, and in the Charrette, Meleagant’s sister searches for Lancelot (and rescues him) when he has been imprisoned by her brother. We can suggest that the rules of the fictional romance world, particularly the Arthurian one, are different, allowing somehow for positive unaccompanied female travel that cannot occur in less “fabulous” chansons de geste and romances. 21 Nevertheless, the differences also highlight the artificiality of the “abandoned heroine” trope: it was possible in medieval fictional, chivalric narrative to conceive of maidens traveling alone, over long distances, not only safely but also voluntarily. In this context it is enlightening to examine the three texts I have elided up until now: the exceptions, those works where the female protagonist is not forced from her home but leaves, at least nominally, of her own free will. Jeanne, heroine of the Conte du Roi Flore et la bielle Jehanne, cross-dresses as a squire in order to follow

19   The forest as locus of adventure, in opposition to “civilized” space, in a wide range of European texts is explored by Robert Pogue Harrison, Forests: The Shadow of Civilization (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), and, with a focus on German medieval literature, by Albrecht Classen, The Forest in Medieval German Literature: Ecocritical Readings from a Historical Perspective, Ecocritical Theory and Practice (Lanham, MD, Boulder, CO, New York, and London: Lexington Books, 2015). 20   I know of no examples in the chansons de geste; even the most active of epic heroines, such as Guillaume’s wife Guiborc or Florence de Rome herself, do not travel alone by choice, and they primarily demonstrate their agency and strength of character within four walls. 21   A conclusion supported by the lack of women traveling alone in the chansons de geste, with their generally much less “fabulous” landscape (Huon de Bordeaux and other late “fairy” epics excluded, of course).

74

kathy m. krause

her husband, who has lost all his lands. 22 (He wagered on Jeanne’s fidelity and was tricked into believing that she had been unfaithful.) In the Roman de Silence, the protagonist runs away from home to become a jongleur (due to what we would today call adolescent angst); however, at the moment of departure she is already (and has been since birth) cross-dressed as a boy. 23 In Jean Renart’s Roman de la Rose, the heroine Lienor leaves home in order to defend her honor against a false accusation of sexual misbehavior. She travels to court (not alone, rather with two squires as escort) and appears there anonymously, cloaked and hooded although not truly disguised. 24 Finally, the heroine of Galeran de Bretagne disguises herself as a jongleur (but does not cross-dress) in order to travel alone to her beloved’s side and stop him from marrying another woman (who turns out to be her lost twin sister). 25 As this litany demonstrates, the few female protagonists who leave home voluntarily do so incognito, usually in disguise as someone of lower status, either male or female. Only Lienor in Jean Renart’s Rose travels as herself, but she is incognito when she arrives at court. She is the exception who proves the rule, given that she does not travel alone but is accompanied by two squires. 26 All of the heroines’ options provide the opportunity to travel freely: the choices made by these narratives (by their authors) are eminently practical ones (thereby highlighting the unreality of the mobile maidens in the Arthurian romances mentioned above). We should also note that these four female protagonists travel safely; they get where they are going without any interference or notable problems. In this they contrast quite remarkably with the larger group of female protagonists who do not depart voluntarily. The female protagonists who are forced from their homes and abandoned in the forest or at sea all find themselves at the mercy of the next passing male figure. In some cases that works out well: Joie is brought before the king of   “Li Contes dou Roi Flore et de la Bielle Jehane,” in L. Moland and C. D’Héricault, ed., Nouvelles Françoises en prose du XIIIe siècle publiées d’après les manuscrits avec une introduction et des notes (Paris: P. Jannet, 1856). 23   Sarah Roche-Mahdi, ed., Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance, Medieval Texts and Studies (East Lansing, MI: Colleagues Press, 1992). 24   Jean Renart, Le Roman de la Rose ou de Guillaume de Dole, ed. Félix Lecoy, Classiques Français du Moyen Âge (Paris: Champion, 1979). 25   The romance utilizes the same basic plot as Marie de France’s Lai de Fresne, and indeed the heroine is named Fresne in the romance as well as the lai. We should also note that Fresne is forced from her home earlier in the romance: she has been raised as a foundling in a convent, and when she talks back to the abbess (her love for Galeran has been discovered) she is sent packing. She wanders to Rouen, where she finds refuge with a bourgeoise, to whose daughter she teaches fine needlework. See Renaut, Galeran de Bretagne. Édition bilingue, ed. Jean Dufournet, Champion Classiques Moyen Âge 29 (Paris: Champion, 2009). 26   Lienor is also accompanied, perhaps, by a maidservant. The presence of a female companion is not explicitly mentioned, but when Lienor dresses to appear at court, she definitely has assistance, although it could be from female servants supplied by the inn where she has taken rooms. 22

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

75

Scotland, who falls in love and asks her to marry him; Parise receives shelter with the Count of Cologne, becoming wet nurse to his son. However, more often than not, the result is another victimization, even if the initial meeting is positive. For example, Florence is taken in by a hospitable baron, but in his household she is sexually importuned, attacked, and then when she successfully defends herself against the attack, falsely accused of murder . . . leading to yet another flight and several more incidents of victimization. Joie’s happy situation in Scotland is destroyed by her evil mother-in-law, who accuses her of giving birth to a monster (while her husband is away on a pilgrimage) and forces her to flee once again in a rudderless ship. The daughter of the Comte de Ponthieu is rescued from drowning by a merchant ship, but the merchants then sell her to the sultan of Almeria. Only Parise is left in peace in her new setting. Conversely, Berte is endangered both by a bear and then by two robbers while she is in the forest but ends up taking shelter with a pious hermit, in whose company she lives anonymously, modestly, and safely until finally she is discovered by chance by King Pepin. 27 The difference between these two subsets of narratives with female protagonists (voluntary vs. involuntary initial departure) are paralleled by three other distinctions. The first, and least significant, is generic: the voluntary departures from home all occur in romances, whereas the involuntary ones appear primarily in chansons de geste (as defined by their formal characteristics — assonanced or rhyming stanzas). The two exceptions are the Roman de la Manekine and the Conte de la Fille du comte de Pontieu, and of the two the latter occupies a somewhat liminal space between “fiction” and chronicle. There are two slightly different versions of the text: one is intercalated within the chronicle of the Crusades known as the Estoires d’Outremer, while the other occurs independently, albeit in only one manuscript. Although the anonymous author of the text utilizes a number of romance conventions, many elements of the plot, as well as its overall brevity and lack of details (e.g., the heroine has no name), distinguish the text narratively from romance. 28 The second distinction grows out of, or perhaps even is part of, the initial characterization of the protagonist’s departure from “home”: the protagonists who leave involuntarily are not only subject to victimization; they also are generally more passive as characters. For example, Parise does not do much of anything in her eponymous chanson, although she does get the opportunity to voice epic prayers on several occasions. For her part, Joie does little more than accept prayerfully what fate deals 27   Similarly, Parise is “discovered” by chance by her son as he is traveling on a quest to discover who his parents might have been. 28   I examined the text and manuscripts of the Fille du Comte de Pontieu in an earlier article and concluded that although the tale had an origin independent of the Estoires d’Outremer, the version found on its own in one manuscript was not that source text and was likely in fact derived from the version intercalated in the chronicle. See Kathy M. Krause, “Genealogy and Codicology: The Manuscript Contexts of the Fille du Comte de Pontieu,” Romance Philology 59 (2007): 323–42.

76

kathy m. krause

her in the Manekine once she has left home, whether good (the king of Scotland falling in love and wanting to marry her) or bad (her mother-in-law accusing her of giving birth to a monster, etc.). Likewise, while Berthe receives considerably more narrative space than Parise, she is nearly as passive as Joie, although she prays to God and to the saints even more frequently. When she is attacked by a bear in the forest, she survives because she faints and God causes the bear to go the other way. When two robbers come upon her and want to rape her, she does not fight back but flees while they fight among themselves over which of the two will have her. Eventually she ends up living modestly in the forest with a forester who takes her in, active only in her refusal to tell anyone her real name. 29 The correlation is not perfect, however; Florence in particular is repeatedly victimized but not particularly passive; indeed, she breaks one male attacker’s jaw with a stone goblet. Similarly, although the daughter of the Comte de Pontieu primarily suffers the consequences of other’s actions, she is by no means a passive victim. For example, when the sultan of Almeria proposes to marry her if she will convert to Islam, the narrative shows her very deliberately choosing apostasy over rape: “Ele vit bien que mix li valoit faire par amours que par force, se li manda qu’ele le feroit” [She understood well that it was better to do it by love than by force, and so she sent him the message that she would [marry him]. 30 The third distinction between these two sets of works with female protagonists concerns how they relate to a “source” narrative. The majority of the texts with female protagonists are, as I mentioned above, retellings of well-documented folktales or motifs involving falsely accused women (see Appendix II for details of which folktales or folk motifs appear in which Old French narratives); however, the narratives demonstrate varying levels of conformity to the folk material.” 31 Overall, the closer the narrative hews to the folktale, or folk motifs, the more passive the female protagonist. Thus, for example, Philippe de Rémi’s Manekine parallels the other versions of the story of the “maiden with the cut off hand” in almost all the particulars, and although his protagonist, Joie, begins by cutting off her own hand 29   The actual Griselda legend does not appear in medieval literature until Boccaccio’s final tale of the Decameron, completed ca. 1351 (story no. 10 on the tenth day). 30   Clovis Brunel, ed., La Fille du comte de Pontieu: Conte en Prose. Versions du XIIIe et du XVe siècle, Société des Anciens Textes Français 70 (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1923), 23. 31   The genre of “innocent persecuted heroine” tales was first proposed by Aleksandr Isaakovich Nikiforov in 1927. A good survey is provided by the articles found in the special issue of Western Folklore (52, no. 1, Jan. 1993) devoted to the topic. It should be noted as well that since all the medieval texts predate any written “folk” source of these tales, we can only judge the relative closeness or distance from an inferred “source” from how closely a particular medieval text conforms to the plot and details of other versions of the same tale. This is why the table found in Appendix II does not include Stith-Thompson or other folktale classification numbers and instead uses the titles most commonly given these tale types in studies of the medieval texts.

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

77

in order to defy her father’s desire, after that point, as noted above, events happen to her: the rudderless boat in which she travels twice is a good metaphor for her life. On the other end of the spectrum, Jean Renart’s Roman de la Rose eliminates the wager from the “wager tale” entirely and instead has the accusation of sexual misconduct be the result of a seneschal jealous of his position at court, who does not want to see the emperor marry the heroine Lienor. In between these two extremes, the three chansons de geste tend generally toward both female passivity and narrative fidelity to the folk motifs used in their construction, with Florence de Rome again being somewhat of an outlier. Both Berthe and Parise are, as discussed above, basically passive characters, and their narratives offer few changes from the corresponding folk motifs. In addition, Berthe’s refusal to tell anyone her name after she has been rescued by the forester conforms to a well-known folk motif (often associated with the “innocent persecuted heroine”) of a heroine’s loss of identity and subsequent renaming. (The same occurs in Philippe de Rémi’s romance, for example, where Joie “loses” her name along with her hand, becoming known only as “La Manekine.”) In other words, those Old French narratives where the author has (it would seem) exercised the most artistic license are those where the female protagonist displays the greatest “agency.” Thus in Jean Renart’s radical reworking of the wager tale, Lienor not only travels from home to court to defend her honor but also turns the tables on her accuser by planting love tokens on him (he thinks they are from his amie) and then uses them to substantiate a (false) claim of rape. In a very different fashion, although the Conte du Roi Flore keeps the initial wager, Jeanne reacts to her false accusation of adultery by disguising herself as a boy to become her husband’s squire. And then there is Silence, which uses no “persecuted heroine” material at all and where our transvestite protagonist runs away from home, becomes a successful jongleur, then becomes an equally successful knight at Arthur’s court, before being caught by the evil queen’s lust in a Potiphar’s wife motif.

Conclusion In sum, medieval romance authors (other than Philippe de Rémi) tended to create female protagonists who conformed to the initial elements of the “heroic paradigm” operative in male-centered stories but who bent, or even broke, the folkloric paradigms of the innocent persecuted heroine that were used to construct them. Conversely, the chansons de geste tend to feature female protagonists who look much more like their folktale versions, and so are more passive, and this not only in the case of anonymous chansons de geste, where we might expect to find a style that reflects the conservative nature of the genre, but also in a single-author text such as Adenet le Roi’s Berthe aux grands pieds. Here the Chanson de Florence de Rome goes somewhat against the grain, given its strong, active (although repeatedly victimized) heroine,

78

kathy m. krause

despite its otherwise relatively close conformity to other versions of the “Empress of Rome tale.” As the narrative paradigms of Old French fictional texts shifted to make space for a female protagonist, romance and chansons de geste would seem to have taken two contrary paths. Romance tended to shift the folkloric paradigm of the persecuted heroine in the direction of heroic narrative, thereby giving the female protagonist increased agency, whereas the chansons de geste remained closer to the folkloric paradigm and as a result shifted the heroic paradigm in ways that allowed for greater passivity. This conclusion leaves open quite a few questions about both the role of genre and that of folktales in the construction of a female protagonist in Old French narrative. Nevertheless it also suggests quite strongly that the medieval audience’s and/or authors’ expectations of women’s literary roles in the early thirteenth century, when most of the romances were penned, did not conform to the vulnerable and victimized heroine of folklore. Perhaps we should return to the old arguments about the influence of female patrons and/or a female audience on romance, versus the chansons de geste, 32 focusing not on the inclusion of love and courtly behavior (as was the argument in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) but instead on the narrative opportunities provided the heroine?

32   For a more modern, and scholarly, take on the subject, see Joan M. Ferrante, To the Glory of her Sex: Women’s Roles in the Composition of Medieval Texts (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997), chap. 4.

Gender and Paradigm Shift in Old French Narrative

Appendix I: Pre-1300 Old French Romances & Chansons de geste with a Female Protagonist One protagonist Philippe de Rémi, Le roman de la Manekine Heldris de Cornuailles, Le roman de Silence La Fille du comte de Pontieu Adenet le Roi, La chanson de Berthe as grans piés La chanson de Florence de Rome

Two+ protagonists Jean Renart, Le roman de la Rose Jean Renart, Le roman de Galeran de Bretagne Le conte du Roi Flore et de la Bielle Jehanne La chanson de Parise la Duchesse

Appendix II: Folktales or Folk Motif Sources of Works Discussed Medieval French Text

Folktale or Folk Motif “Source”

Philippe de Rémi, La Manekine

Father’s incestuous love; Maiden with the cut-off hand tale

Adenet le Roi, Berthe aux grands pieds

Substitute bride motif

La chanson de Florence de Rome

Empress of Rome tale (variant of the innocent persecuted heroine)

La chanson de Parise la duchesse

Innocent persecuted heroine; stolen infant motif

Jean Renart, Le Roman de la rose

Wager tale

Conte du Roi Flore et la bielle Jehanne

Wager tale, transvestite fiancée motif

Jean Renart, Galeran de Bretagne

Twin birth/slander motif

Heldris de Cornuailles, Le roman de Silence

Capture of Merlin motif

La fille du comte de Pontieu

No (known) folk material

79

Women’s Legal Capacity: Was the Thirteenth Century a Turning Point? Heather J. Tanner

The prevailing interpretation of medieval women’s legal capability is that it existed when women were young and unmarriedand as widows. 1 Therefore, in the historiography, married women in England and northwest Europe are hidden from view, obscured by the legal principle of coverture. 2 Coverture was based on the 1   For the medieval Low Countries, John Gilissen argues that unmarried women of age and widows were effectively as legally capable as men; married women were subsumed legally into their husband’s identity. See Gilissen, “La Femme dans l’ancien Droit Belge,” La Femme, pt. 2: Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin 12 (Brussels: Éditions de la librairie éncyclopedique 1962), 255–321, here 255–56. There are some exceptions to the legal incapability of married women: inheritance and the quasi-equality of mothers and fathers as guardians, joint disposition of goods, and equal access to the common goods of the couple at the dissolution of a marriage. See Gilissen, “La femme,” 256–57. In England, debts incurred prior to marriage were pursued by women and their husbands. See Matthew Frank Stevens, “Married Women, Debt Litigation, and Coverture in the Court of Common Pleas,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 115–32; and Penny Schine Gold, The Lady and the Virgin: Image, Attitude and Experience in Twelfth-Century France, Women in Culture and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 124–30. For a summary of the central and late medieval position of women in European law, see Marty Williams and Anne Echols, Between Pit and Pedestal: Women in the Middle Ages (Princeton: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 1994), chap. 11. 2   F. Pollock and F.W. Maitland, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I, 2 vols., 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1911), 2:405–6; Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank, “Introduction: Uncovering Medieval Women,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 1–10; B. W. Gastle, “‘As if she were single’: Working Wives and the Late Medieval English Femme Sole,” in The Middle Ages at Work, ed. Kellie Robertson and Michael Uebel, The New Middle Ages 6 (New York and London: Palgrave

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 81–98.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117194

82

heather j. tanner

idea of the unity of person created by the sacrament of marriage. 3 It designated the husband as his wife’s legal representative with usufruct but not ownership of her property (dowry, inherited or designated dower lands); and thus wives were effectively minors during marriage. 4 Hence, a husband managed a wife’s property but needed to maintain its value for her use as a widow. Transactions that changed the value of her property — e.g., a sale or exchange — needed a wife’s consent; nor could a husband diminish his wife’s dower. 5 This view of medieval coverture and married women’s legal capacity is rooted within the modern constructs of law and the presumption that late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century laws and legal theory were routinely implemented and functioned as they did in the modern period. Increasingly, legal historians are exposing the limitations of the prevailing interpretation and are focusing more on the cultural and social experience of law. They are also examining married women and the law, rather than just maidens and widows. The new legal history, however, still tends to assess medieval law and government from nineteenth-century practices, concerns, and beliefs (in Kuhn’s terms, a paradigm). Thus, modern practices of coverture have been, largely, projected back onto the medieval period, MacMillan, 2004), 41–64; Shulamith Shahar, The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages (London: Methuen, 1983), 90–96. 3   For England, see G.D.G. Hall, ed. and trans., The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England commonly called Glanville (Holmes Beach, FL: W.W. Gaunt, 1983), 60, 174; and Henry Bracton, De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae, ed. George E Woodbine, trans. Samuel E. Thorne, 4 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), 4:166, 335. The Treatise was written in the late twelfth century, and Bracton wrote in the mid-thirteenth century. As Maitland argues, the unity of person was not a “consistently operative principle”. See Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, 2:405–6 (see note 2). Maitland posits that the consistent principle was the guardianship “mund” that the husband had over the wife and her property; see Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, 1:485. 4   In northern France and Belgium, movables and property acquired during marriage were communal property of the married couple; the property each spouse brought to the marriage (heritage/propres) was treated separately for testamentary and inheritance purposes. See Monique Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation and Marital Property in Late Medieval England and the Franco-Belgian Region,” in Regional Variations in Matrimonial Law and Custom, ed. Mia Korpiola, Medieval Law and Its Practice 12 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011), 77–98, here 84. In England, common law did not recognize community of property — the husband owned all property acquired in the marriage but only managed his wife’s real property. See VleeschouwersVan Melkebeek, “Separation,” 77–98, here 79–80. For the view of married women as effectively minors, see Shahar, The Fourth Estate, 28 (see note 2). 5   R.M. Smith, “Women’s Property Rights under Customary Law: Some Developments in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 36 (1986): 165–94, here 180. For a specific example of a wife’s consent for the sale/alienation of her inherited property, see Louis M. de Gryse, “Some Observations on the Origins of the Flemish Bailiff (Bailli),” Viator 7 (1976): 243–94, here 269.

Women’s Legal Capacity

83

particularly the central Middle Ages. What I would like to posit is a new prism, or paradigm, through which to understand married women’s legal capacity, one that is rooted in the late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century mentalité and customary practices rather than modern ones. My argument focuses on the medieval practice of tying power and authority to land 6 and on the premise that the shift from customary to written and theorized law meant that litigants and judges would approach them as guides, not non-negotiable rules (or the modern understanding of law). In this new paradigm, as landowners, medieval women, not just in the period ca. 1150–1250 but also into the late medieval period, were legally capable. They could and did make legally valid transactions, represent themselves and their husbands in court and were held legally responsible for their actions. Thus, as practiced in thirteenth-century England and France, coverture allowed husbands to act as their wives’ administrators or judicial representatives. 7 The administrative role played by husbands stemmed from the contemporary understanding of marriage and gender and the centrality of the conjugal unit in the exercise of power rather than the belief that women were to be considered legal minors, as has been previously argued. By abandoning the modern paradigm of how law, government, and gender “work,” scholars will be better able to assess women’s control of property and legal rights in the thirteenth century. The shifting gender system, literacy, and customary governance of the thirteenth century meant that coverture was an administrative function, not a loss of legal rights (as was the case in the modern practice of coverture). By the fourteenth century, the literate mentality, centralized government, and the new gender model were more fully established, and it is at this point when coverture began transforming into the restriction of married women’s legal rights. The continued importance of customary practices in the late medieval period does suggest that scholars should be wary of assuming that legal terminology denotes modern meanings and should remember that legal treatises were prescriptive, not descriptive of actual practice. Thus the paradigm shift I am arguing for, and which pertains to our critical assessment of the conditions of women’s lives in the Middle Ages, is two-fold: first, 6   Michel Bur, “The Seigneuries,” in The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 4: 1024– c.1198, ed. David Luscombe and Jonathan Riley-Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 533, points out: “These were regalian prerogatives concentrated in the hands of the great lords and unequally distributed among the lesser.” The nobility in France, by 1179, was divided into three ranks — twelve peers formally distinguished at Philip II’s coronation (archbishop of Rheims, bishops of Beauvais, Noyon, Laon, Châlons-sur-Marne, and Langres; dukes of Burgundy, Aquitaine & Normandy; and the counts of Flanders, Toulouse and Troyes/Champagne); second-rank nobles based upon the Carolingian counties (e.g., Boulogne, Guines, Dreux) and baronies (several castles); and the third rank, simple castellanies. 7   For the connections between English Common Law and French law in the central Middle Ages, see Paul Hyams, “The Common Law and the French Connection,” Anglo-Norman Studies 4 (1981): 77–92.

84

heather j. tanner

drop the nineteenth-/twentieth-century understanding of law and the concomitant value system; and second, recognize that the decline in women’s access to and exercise of power occurred over the course of the fourteenth century, not the thirteenth century. This new paradigm puts to the forefront more recent scholarly concerns of gender and literacy and re-emphasizes the need to read the evidence from the contemporary rather than modern perspective. As Jo Ann McNamara’s later work explicates, women’s power through the family came from their position as wives (and later widows), and the Church’s imposition of the indissolubility of marriage strengthened the corporate couple. 8 This meant that women acted as partners and surrogates for their husbands; and, I would argue, vice-versa. Within the modified Aristotelian gender continuum, women of the fifth through twelfth centuries were enabled to act in masculine capacities (although inherently inferior). 9 This was because the Aristotelian system posited a single set of gendered elements — anatomical features and intangible character traits — that were distributed in varying proportions to individuals through sexual reproduction. Thus, women could fulfill the office or duties of men 8   Jo Ann McNamara, “Women and Power through the Family Revisited,” in Gendering the Master Narrative, ed. Mary C. Erler and Maryanne Kowaleski (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), 17–30, here 23. 9   Thus, there was a single gender (masculine) upon which every person was allotted greater or lesser virility; the majority (male and female) failed to achieve a high degree of potency. Therefore some women, whose aristocratic descent helped them overcome the deficiencies of their sex, could be more manly than some males. See McNamara, “Women and Power,” 24 (see note 7). See also Jo Ann McNamara, “The Herrenfrage: The Restructuring of the Gender System, 1050–1150,” in Medieval Masculinities, ed. Clare A. Lees, Medieval Cultures (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 3–29; Kimberly LoPrete, “Gendering Viragos: Medieval Perceptions of Powerful Women,” in Viragos or Victims? ed. Christine Meek and Catherine Lawless, Studies on Medieval and Early Modern Women (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005), 17–38, 24–25, and 28; and Leah Bradshaw, “Political Rule, Prudence, and the ‘Woman Question’ in Aristotle,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 24 (1991): 557–73. Aristotle distinguishes between the biological differences of men and women, where women are inferior in every category, and innate characteristics or traits. Men and women differ very little in innate traits — deliberative function, moral virtue, intelligence. Men’s greater physical strength gives them, generally, more endurance, which is key to restraining the will/appetites that overthrow an individual’s ability to act on what they know to be the right action. As a general rule, men should wield political and marital power; however, certain women may have the necessary endurance to control their appetites and attain prudence. To have prudence, according to Aristotle, one needs intelligence, good character (habituation in morality), and practical experience (the authority to issue commands). See Bradshaw, “Political Rule” (above), 560–61. While Greek women were not given an opportunity to gain practical experience, medieval elite women did. Thus, for Aristotle, the body was either male or female; but gender (constructions of masculine and feminine) was built upon innate human characteristics and socially constructed practices. See also Paul Schollmeier, “Aristotle and Women: Household and Political Roles,” Polis 20 (2003): 22–42.

Women’s Legal Capacity

85

(counsel, justice, governance, public works, and battle), vigorously and intelligently, without disrupting contemporary notions of gender (i.e., behaving “unnaturally”). 10 Over the course of the thirteenth century, a complementarity gender system gained ascendancy, which disqualified women from masculinity and, hence, from potentas [dominion or rule] and potestas [power]. 11 In this gender system, men and women form two different genders (and sexual genitalia), which are complementary and in which the male is superior to the female. As such, women were incapable of virility/masculinity (unless by miraculous intervention) and therefore were excluded from the exercise of power. Thus, by the late thirteenth century, laws were enacted that restricted women’s rights of inheritance and legal capacity over property and, thereby, their access to direct power. These new laws, like the thirteenth-century concept of a femme covert, reflected the medieval preference that men exercise power and conduct public affairs; however, they were not routinely invoked or utilized and so did not remove married women’s legal capability. This variability as reflected in the records of practice indicates the continued practice of customary law throughout the thirteenth century rather than a failure on the part of the state to enforce written law. Thirteenth-century judges and lawyers used written law as a means to address torts (personal injuries or wrongs) rather than crimes (offenses against the state or society). As such, the laws and statues were guides rather than universally applied rules enforced by the state. The routine use and application of these written statutes and law (as practiced in modern legal systems) depends on a “literate mentality,” which, as Michael Clanchy has shown, was a process that had only taken significant hold by the fourteenth century. 12 By custom and in written law, medieval women, elite and non-elite, were property owners. For poor women, this property was primarily moveable wealth. For women from wealthier urban families and the elite, their property included land.

  LoPrete, “Gendering Viragos,” 24–25 and 28 (see note 8).   Prudence Allen, “Two Medieval Views on Women’s Identity: Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Aquinas,” Studies in Religion 16 (1987): 21–36, here 21. Gender polarity, as argued by Thomas Aquinas, posited significant differences between the sexes and male superiority for all things secular, and a gender complementarity in spiritual matters. Gender complementarity, as developed and argued by Hildegard of Bingen, posits a fundamental equality and dignity of men and women whose sexual differences and roles complement one another. 12   Michael T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record 1066–1307, 3rd ed. (1979; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), chaps. 6–7. While Clanchy’s work focuses on England, the same developments were occurring in France. See Hendrik Teunis, “Afsprak, schrift en gezag: het begin van verschriftelijking in West-Frankrijk (1050–1125),” in Oraliteit en Schriftcultuur, ed. René Stuip and Cornelis Vellekoop (Hilversum: Verloren, 1993), 145–54; and Marco Mostert “‘What Happened to Literacy in the Middle Ages?’ Scriptural Evidence for the History of Western Literate Mentality,” Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 108 (1995): 323–35, here 323–24. For the blend of literacy and orality, see Marco Mostert and P. S. Barnwell, eds., Medieval Legal Process, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 22 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011). 10 11

86

heather j. tanner

In the period between 1000 and 1200, the inheritance practices of elite families sought to maximize their children’s status and the family’s status through deploying their resources wisely. In practice, this meant that the eldest male often received a greater share of his parents’ land and wealth, but younger brothers and sisters were endowed with a share (the proportions varied by region). In addition, the medieval preference for direct heirs rather than more distant relatives meant that women inherited lands (allods and fiefs) routinely. 13 It appears, from my own research and that of others, 14 that elite women inherited between 10 and 30 percent of baronies 13   Jean Gilissen, “Le privilege de masculinite dans le droit coutumier de la Belgique et du Nord de la France,” Revue du Nord 43 (1961): 201–16; Philippe Godding, “Le droit au service du patrimonine familial: Le Pays-Bas meridionaux (12e–18e siècles),” in Marriage, Property and Succession, ed. Lloyd Banfield, Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History 10 (Berlin: Duncker & Humbolt, 1992), 15–35; Jacques Yver, “Les deux groupes de coutumes du Nord, partie I: Le Groupe Picard Wallon,” Revue du Nord 30 (1953): 197–220; id., “Les deux groupes de coutumes du Nord, partie II: Le Groupe Flamingant,” Revue du Nord 31 (1954): 5–36; S.F. Milsom, “Inheritance by Women in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries,” in On the Laws and Customs of England: Essays in Honor of Samuel E. Thorne, ed. Morris S. Arnold, Thomas A. Green, Sally A. Scully, and Stephen D. White, Studies in Medieval History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981), 60–89; J. C. Holt, “Feudal Society and the Family in Early Medieval England IV: The Heiress and the Alien,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 35 (1985): 1–28. 14   There were at least nineteen female heirs to French counties during the twelfth century: Agnes of Ponthieu, Elisabeth of Vermandois, Eleanor of Vermandois, Beatrice of Guines, Matilda II of Boulogne, Marie II of Boulogne, Ida II of Boulogne, Marguerite of Flanders, Agnes of Nevers, Matilda of Nevers, Hawise of Aumale, Alix of Eu, Agnes of Evreux, Petronilla of Brienne/Bar-sur-Seine, Matilda of Rethel, and sister of Renaud III of Soissons, Bertha of Brittany, Constance of Brittany, Alix of Brittany, Eremburga of Maine, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Marquese of Astarac, Breatix of Astarac, Beatrix of Bigorre, Beatrix II of Bigorre, StephanieBeatrix III of Bigorre, Beatrix of Melgueil, and Ermessende of Melgueil. For Flanders-Hainaut, see Erin Jordan, Women, Power and Religious Patronage in the Middle Ages, The New Middle Ages 8 (New York and London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006); for Boulogne, see Heather J. Tanner, Families, Friends and Allies, The Northern World (Leiden: Brill, 2004); for Vermandois, see Heather J. Tanner, “Elisabeth and Eleanor of Vermandois and Succession, Governance, and Gender in the county of Vermandois,” Medieval Prosopography 34 (forthcoming); and for Ponthieu, see Kathy M. Krause, “The Charters of the Thirteenth-Century Inheriting Countesses of Ponthieu,” Haskins Society Journal 25 (2013): 223–43. Blois, Chartres, Brittany, and Auxerre/ Tonnerre/Nevers were also inherited by women: for Blois, Chartres, and Auxerre/Tonnere/Nevers, see Constance Berman and Miriam Shadis, “A Taste of the Feast: Reconsidering Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Female Descendants,” in Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, ed. Bonnie Wheeler and John Carmi Parson, The New Middle Ages 29 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003), 177–211; and Constance B. Bouchard, “Three Counties, One Lineage, and Eight Heiresses: Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries,” Medieval Prosopography 31 (2016): 25–46; for Brittany, see Yannick Hillion, “La Bretagne et la rivalite Capetiens-Plantagenets: Un exemple: La duchesse Constance (1186–1202),” Annals de Bretagne et du pays de l’Ouest

Women’s Legal Capacity

87

and counties between ca. 1000 and ca. 1250 in England and France, and this pattern continued in the period between 1250 and 1500. 15 Thus, a consistent and significant minority of polities were ruled by women who inherited their power and authority. In addition to women who inherited the whole of their families’ property, women continued to be dowried, to inherit property from their parents, and to manage dower lands assigned to them by their husbands into the sixteenth century (and beyond). In northern France and Belgium, movables and property acquired during marriage were communal property of the married couple; the property each spouse brought to the marriage (heritage/propres) was treated separately for testamentary and inheritance purposes. 16 In England, common law did not recognize community of property — the husband owned all property acquired in the marriage and only managed his wife’s real property. 17 Women’s legal ability to own property is not contested; however, the significance attached by contemporaries to ownership, I think, has been under-appreciated. 18 My analysis of acta of inheriting countesses demonstrates that these women governed their lands on their own and with the aid of their husbands. These married women issued acta, which recorded their judicial resolutions, collection of taxes, confirmations of vassals’ grants and sales of property, and their own gifts to religious houses and individuals. These acts rarely reference their spouse’s consent nor was a second act issued by the husband confirming the wife’s actions. Their husbands, when they issued acta concerning their wives’ property, routinely did so with their wives’ explicit consent (either as a joint donor, witness, affirmation clause, or joint seal). 19 Thus these countesses, while married, exercised power 92 (1985): 111–44. St. Pol and Champagne were inherited by daughters in 1205 and 1284 respectively. Scott Waugh’s study of thirteenth-century England suggests that female inheritance was a significant characteristic of this region as well. See Scott Waugh, The Lordship of England: Royal Wardships and Marriages in English Society and Politics 1217–1327 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), 19, Table 1.1. Of 192 baronies, forty-three were inherited at least once by a single female heir; sixty-seven by multiple female heirs, as compared to thirty-six from father to son and twenty-five to collateral heirs. 15   Smith, “Women’s Property,” 165–66 (see note 5). 16   Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation,” 84 (see note 4). 17  Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation,” 79–80 (see note 4). See also Smith, “Women’s Property,” 167 (see note 5). 18   Based upon published studies, Penny Schine Gold demonstrates that women accounted for 4.9% to 21.2% of alienations of properties in the eleventh through fifteenth centuries, with an average of 15% over the four centuries; women were included in nearly half of all transactions, 44.5%, as either a co-alienor or consentor. Gold, The Lady and the Virgin, 121–2 (see note 1). Thus, women participated in 52.8% of the medieval acta which have survived. 19   Tanner, “Elisabeth and Eleanor” (see note 13); Krause, “The Charters,” 223–43 (see note 13); Jordan, Women, Power, and Religious Patronage in the Middle Ages (see note 13). The pattern for the countesses of Boulogne, Flanders, Vermandois, Ponthieu, and St. Pol is that when an act concerns the woman’s property, half the time the couple jointly issues the charter. Of the

88

heather j. tanner

and had legal capacity. In addition, their husbands, following custom and later written law, ensured that any alienations of their wives’ property were legally validated. Women’s titles were used in almost all of these acts; this was not formulaic but, rather, an essential element to substantiate legal ownership. The validity of property transactions depended on the legal owner to certify the agreement, which women clearly had the capacity to do. The routine use of women’s titles indicates that medieval scribes took pains to note the owner’s permission and to substantiate the ownership through use of the title. It also indicates that married women had the capacity to validate legally a transaction. Women’s use of seals provides further evidence of legal personhood. As Cynthia Neville has argued: As donors, women expressed their distinct status as legal persons not merely by the act of granting land or privilege, but equally tangibly in waxen seals, which at once authenticated their gifts and provided all who subsequently looked at their written deeds with a symbolic representation of their legal personhood. Charters and, where they survive, their seals, collectively reveal that while legal theory closely circumscribed women’s actions, legal practice allowed them opportunities to act as important agents in the transmission of property. 20

The use of seals, as Brigitte Bedos Rezak states, “implied legal capacity linked to rights of property ownership and disposition.” 21 Noblewomen, married and unmarried, began sealing by the twelfth century, and women from non-noble landowning families were sealing documents to authenticate them by the early thirteenth century. 22 Thus, women’s legal capacity is substantiated by the use of seals, titles, and disposition of their property. The evidence for elite women is not exceptional; non-noble women with property can also be seen exercising their legal capacity. Shennan Hutton’s analysis of married women in fourteenth-century Ghent also emphasizes that women’s property ownership made them de facto legally capable, despite the de jure coverture of Ghent’s customary law. “Their legal capability in actual practice derived from the remaining half, approximately 20% were issued by the countess herself (with her title and seal) and 30% were issued by the count, but the countess’s consent, title, or seal was included 50–60% of the time. In acta concerning the husband’s properties (inherited or granted), the countess’s title was less frequently used (30–40% of the time), and the countess’s consent, seal, or signature was less frequently included (also about 30% of the surviving acta). 20   Cynthia J. Neville, “Women, Charters and Land Ownership in Scotland, 1150–1350,” Journal of Legal History 26, no. 1 (2005): 21–45, here 31. 21   Brigitte Bedos Rezak, “Women, Seals, and Power in Medieval France, 1150–1350,” in Women and Power in the Middle Ages, ed. Mary Erler and Maryanne Kowaleski (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988), 61–82, here 61. 22   Bedos Rezak, “Women, Seals,” 65 (see note 20).

Women’s Legal Capacity

89

property they inherited from their families of origin, Ghent’s marital communal property custom, and widespread acceptance of women’s public performance of property management both with and without their husbands.” 23 While more legal transactions were being recorded in fourteenth-century Ghent, it was the public performance (swearing before authorities) that made an act legally binding, and married women carried this out. While Hutton argues for a de facto legal capability, I would argue that married women had de jure legal capability far into the late medieval period. Miriam Müller’s study of married English peasant women (mid-thirteenth to late fourteenth century) substantiates the importance of land ownership/tenancy and women’s agency and presence in manorial courts. 24 By the late fifteenth century, English fathers could establish trusts by which their married daughters could control their dowry and inherited properties; a practice that would make no sense if women were not able to exercise legal agency. 25 In both England and France, married women who had separated from their husbands (but whose marriage was not annulled) were granted property by the courts and were free to utilize and manage the property without male guardianship. 26 The records of these separations make no formal stipulation that these married women were femmes soles; the presumption was that as adults these women were able to enter into contracts and conduct their affairs just as men did. In other words, there was no need to stipulate that they were femme soles. This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that women, during marriage, made legally valid gifts, bought and sold property, and invested in business deals in which there is no evidence of male guardian or spousal approval. Scholars have long catalogued and discussed elite women’s acta without acknowledging the challenge it poses to the interpretation that married women became legally incapable in the thirteenth century. Similarly, married women who inherited their families’ lands also routinely swore homage to the lord; this homage was separate from that of her 23   Shennan Hutton, “Married Women and Legal Capability in Ghent,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 155–72, here 157. 24   Miriam Müller, “Peasant Women, Agency and Status in mid-Thirteenth- to Late Fourteenth-Century England: Some Reconsiderations,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 91–113, claims that the type of court (“leet more women or halimot fewer women,” 96–97), tenurial structure, and inheritance practices (108–12) strongly influenced the amount of agency and presence in the court records. 25   Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation,” 80 (see note 4). While I have not found a comparable practice in France, the work of Monique Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, Charles Donahue Jr., Anne Lefebvre-Teillard, and Juliette Turlan on separated spouses in France indicates that these women were granted property by the courts and acted as femmes soles after their separation. See Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation,” 86 (see note 4). 26   Vleeschouwers-Van Melkebeek, “Separation,” 86 (see note 4).

90

heather j. tanner

husband. 27 If married women were subsumed into their husband’s legal identity, there would have been no reason to have them swear homage. The act was not symbolic — Ida, Countess of Boulogne, as well as Marie, Countess of Ponthieu and Isabel, Countess of Buchan, along with other elite women were punished as traitors by their lords if they or their husband rebelled. Cynthia Neville’s analysis of Edward I’s wars in Scotland reveals his practice of punishing and rewarding women for their own and their husbands’ acts. 28 Married women also made wills through the fourteenth century in England, which indicates that, despite the English legal theory that a woman’s property became her husband’s upon marriage, this practice was not routinely enforced for two centuries. 29 Married women were also able to defend their husband’s and their family’s interests in court, usually when the husband was absent. While husbands were crusading, campaigning, or attending court, married women not only acted as the feudal and manorial lord but also represented the family’s interest in the courts. 30   Henri Malo, Un Grand Feudataire Renaud de Dammartin et la Coalition de Bouvines (Paris: H. Champion, 1898), no. 23; Alexandre Teulet et al., Layettes du Tresor des chartes (Paris: H. Plon, 1863–1909), 1:167–68, no. 392: “Nos Reginaldum de Domno-martino hominem nostrum ligium de comitisa Bolonie recepimus, assensu uxoris sue Ida, comitisse Bolonie, et comitissa similiter fecit nobis de hoc eodem homainagium”; Teulet, Layettes, vol. 2, nos. 2333, 2266, and 2267. Similarly Marie, Countess of Ponthieu, had to recognize the French king’s right to confiscate her inheritance, grant the king rights in numerous towns within Ponthieu, render her castles when requested, give up her claim on the county of Alençon, and prevent her husband (Simon de Dammartin) from entering her lands upon her inheritance. In return, Louis VIII did not charge her a relief, gave her 2000 marcs, and recognized her children’s succession by right of maternal succession (materne succesioni jure). See Claude Brunel, Recueil des Actes des Comtes de Ponthieu (1026–1279) (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1930), no. 278. In 1231, when Louis IX rescinded his exile, Simon confirmed the treaty Marie had made with Louis VIII, restoring Ponthieu to her authority. See Brunel, Recueil, no. 287. Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, also had to promise not to marry her daughter and heir without royal permission. See Teulet, Layettes, vol. 2, no. 2387. Additional examples of women swearing liege homage include Alix duchess of Burgundy; Beatrice, countess of Châlon, Marie countess of Ponthieu, Margaret, vicountess of Thouars, Isabella Countess of Marchiae; and Eleanor, Countess of Dreux. See Teulet, Layettes, vol. 2, nos. 1593, 1596, 1713, 1963, 2065, and 2607. 28   Cynthia J. Neville, “Widows of War: Edward I and Women of Scotland during the War of Independence,” in Wife and Widow in Medieval England, ed. Sue Sheridan Walker, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Civilization (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), 109–39, here 112. Seventy women on Ragman roll (out of 2,000 freeholders); Comyn women were granted land while husbands were imprisoned (117). 29   R. H. Helmholz, “Married Women’s Wills in Later Medieval England,” in Wife and Widow in Medieval England, ed. Sue Sheridan Walker, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Civilization (Ann Arbor: University Michigan Press, 1993), 165–82. 30   To give a few examples: Marguerite, Countess of Hainaut, gathered an army to attack Jacques d’Avesnes in 1173 while her husband, Baldwin V, was traveling to England to join Henry II’s forces. See Gislebert of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, trans. Laura Napran (Woodbridge, UK: 27

Women’s Legal Capacity

91

Margaret Paston’s efforts may be the best known, but this type of activity may be more routine than scholars have noticed. 31 Sara Butler has argued that the courts viewed a woman in these circumstances acting as “her husband’s attorney” rather than as legal person with a vested interest. 32 However, the unity of person theory would imply that a married woman did have a vested interest in her husband’s property, as a defender of their children’s interests. Also, a married woman was performing a legal valid and binding act and, therefore, exercising legal agency. Sue Sheridan Walker has argued that women, not just widows, needed to know the law as “part of a broad group of property holders for whom recourse to the law courts was a familiar part of life.” 33 Women’s standing in law may also be reflected Boydell, 2005), 65–66. Marie of Champagne governed while her husband was away on crusade 1179–1180. See Theodore Evergates, Henry the Liberal Count of Champagne, 1127–1181, The Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 156–60. When Philip of Flanders went to the Holy Land, on each occasion his wife governed in his absence — Elisabeth, Countess of Flanders (1177–1178), and her successor Matilda-Theresa (1189–1191). See Karen Nicholas, “Countesses as Rulers,” in Aristocratic Women in Medieval France, ed. Theodore Evergates, The Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 111–37, here 124–29. Ida, Countess of Nevers, governed while her husband went on the Second Crusade; and she and her daughter-in-law, Eleanor of Valois, did so when her son William IV went to Jerusalem in 1168. See René de Lespinasse, Le Nivernais et les comtes de Nevers, 3 vols. (Paris: H. Champion, 1909–1914), 1:315–27; and Elizabeth Siberry, “The Crusading Counts of Nevers,” Nottingham Medieval Studies 34 (1990): 64–70, here 65–66. 31   Alison Spedding, “‘I shalle send word in writing’: Lexical Choices and Legal Acumen in the Letters of Margaret Paston,” Medium Aevum 77, no. 2 (2008): 241–59. As Spedding indicates in her conclusion, Margaret Paston was not atypical of her contemporaries in her knowledge and active administration of her family’s properties and concerns. I have just begun searching English and French legal cases of the thirteenth century to identify instances of married women, with or without professional lawyers, who represented themselves or their families’ interests in court. One difficulty is to determine whether a named woman is unmarried, married, or widowed, given the medieval practice of identifying women by male family members. In addition, surviving records do not always reveal the date of an individual’s death. In addition, the presumption has been that if a woman is named in a court record she must be either widowed or unmarried; Müller, “Peasant Women,” 92 (see note 23). 32   Sara M. Butler, Divorce in Medieval England, Routledge Research in Medieval Studies 4 (New York: Routledge, 2013), 10. This formulation stems from Blackstone and reflects the early modern and modern view of coverture; William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765–1769), 1:430. 33   Sue Sheridan Walker, “Litigation as a Personal Quest,” in Wife and Widow in Medieval England, ed. Sue Sheridan Walker, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Civilization (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), 81–108, here 99. See also Henri Dubois, “Noble dames et damoiselles de Normandie en cour d’appel (1374–1403),” in Au clôitre et dans le monde: femmes, hommes et sociétés (IXe –XVe siècle; mélanges en l’ honneur de Paulette L’Hermite-Leclercq, ed. Patrick Henriet and Anne-Marie Legra, Cultures et civilisations médiévales 23 (Paris: Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2000), 301–9.

92

heather j. tanner

in Patricia Orr’s finding that the Common Law courts routinely heard appeals filed by women (most, it is true, by widows), which they were actually not allowed, by law, to do. “The result was that the appeals a woman could not bring were brought, heard, adjudicated on their merits, usually without recourse to, and sometimes in defiance of the rule [only cases of rape or murder of a women’s husband] and its restriction.” 34 These cases reveal not only the pursuit of equity or justice but also that the application of law was flexible. Written law was not being applied as expected by modern norms. So if women did have standing as legally capable adults throughout the High Middle Ages, what are we to do with the introduction of legislation about coverture, particularly during the thirteenth century, when legislation in England and France was stipulating greater restrictions on women’s rights to alienate property during marriage? 35 The language in the earliest English legal treatises clearly explicates the standard view of coverture. This may stem from the adoption of Roman law terminology with its emphasis on absolute ownership of property, although English property ownership did not share this feature. 36 In The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England Commonly called Glanvill (written ca.  1190), the author states, “For since legally a woman is completely in the power of her husband, it is not surprising that her dower and all her other property are clearly deemed to be at his disposal.” 37 Writing ca.  1235, Henry de Bracton states that “the thing is the property of the wife, and the husband its custodian, since he rules his wife, in which case no answer will be made by the husband without his wife

34  Patricia R. Orr, “Non Potest appellum Facere: Criminal Charges Women Could Not — but did — bring in Thirteenth-Century English Royal Courts of Justice,” in The Final Argument: the Imprint of Violence on Society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Donald J. Kagay and L. J. Andrews Villalon (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1998), 141–60, here 142. Orr suggests that the disappearance of trial by battle in the thirteenth century was partially responsible for allowing women to bring these common law cases. Defendants could chose trial by jury or trial by battle in the royal courts. See Paul Brand, “The Formation of the English Law System,” in Legislation and Justice, ed. Antonio Padoa-Schioppa, Origins of the Modern State in Europe (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1997), 103–22, here 106. 35  Neville, “Women, Charters,” 36–38 (see note 19). Neville also observes that in later twelfth- and thirteenth-century England, a husband gained legal control over his wife’s property, but there are some indications that he would not sell or grant it without wife’s consent (36); by the early thirteenth century, married women’s rights to alienate without husband’s consent were beginning to be curtailed (38); however, they had greater rights in widowhood over the dower (37–39). 36   David J. Seip, “Bracton, the Year Books and the ‘Transformation of Elementary Legal Ideas’ in the Early Common Law,” Law and History Review 7, no. 1 (1989): 175–217, here 178–80. 37   Glanvill, 60 (see note 3): “Quia cum ipsa mulier plene in potestate viri sui de iure sit, non est mirum si tam dos ipsius mulieris quam cetere res ipsius viri.”

Women’s Legal Capacity

93

or conversely.” 38 While Glanvill’s statement indicates that married women were subsumed into their husbands’ legal persona, Bracton’s position elucidates a more nuanced position. Bracton used the term custos to describe the husband’s role — a word that means both guardian and keeper/defender (of the king’s seal, or the king’s work). A husband’s position as head of household (caput) made him defender of his wife and her property; however, both are legally responsible for her property. Husband and wife must answer a case concerning her property, and if a wife appears without her husband she can cure her default by wager of law or in some other way. 39 Married women therefore retained legal status, despite the unity of person and property stated in De Legibus, and therefore I would argue that the term custos presents a dual meaning of defender/legal agent and guardian/keeper. The English law of agency is a broad concept “under which one man gave another individual the authority to act on his behalf without gaining any rights or benefits.” 40 In thirteenth-century northern French custumals, only minors were provided with guardians. 41 The Jostice et Plet (ca. 1260), issued by Louis IX, refers to the husband

38  Bracton, De Legibus, 4:335 (see note 3): “Res tamen propria uxoris sed vir eius custos cum sit caput mulieris, et in quo casu non respondebitur viro sine uxore nec e converso.” 39  Bracton, De Legibus, 4:166 (see note 3): “Item esto quod uxor antequam comparuerit primo die defaltam fecerit et vir comparuerit capiatur terra in manus domini regis per magnum cape et ipsa summoneatur quod sit ad alium diem, et vit habebit eundem diem ad quem die si vir defaltam fecerit et uxor venerit, tunc primo videndum an uxor sanare possit defaltam per legem vel alio modo.” 40   Cordelia Beattie, “Married Women, Contracts and Couverture in Late Medieval England,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 133–54, here 134. Elizabeth Fowler argues that women, like monks and serfs, undergo a “civil death” upon marriage; that wives’ agency and ability to act are transferred to their husbands upon marriage. See Elizabeth Fowler, “Civil Death and the Maiden: Agency and the Conception of Contract in Piers Plowman,” Speculum 70, no. 4 (1995): 766–74. 41   Philippe de Beaumanoir, in Les coutumes de Beauvoisis (1283), distinguishes between bail and garde of minor heirs; bail is a trustee/custodian, for a fief who swears homage for a minor heirs fief; garde is guardianship of minor heirs. A bail is usually a relative of the parent from whom the fief is inherited. See Philippe de Beaumanoir, Les coutumes de Beauvoisis, ed. Arthur Beugnot, 2 vols., Société de l’histoire de France 27 (Paris: J. Renouard et cie, 1842), 1:244, 249, and 260. Philippe never uses the term garde for women, only for minor children. The first chapter of his work discusses the qualities and duties of a bailli, who serves as a judge/mediator and administrator who sells rents paid in kind. See also M. A. J. Marinier, ed., Le conseil de Pierre de Fontaines (Paris: Durand, 1846), 87–88, and 135; and Raymond Monier, ed., Li livre Roisin, coutumier lilois de la find du XIIIe siècle (Paris: Domat-Montchrestien; Lille: Raoust, 1932), §30, 40, 43, 44. These sections set out rules for women that give no indication that husbands must perform these duties instead of their wives. In the dialect of Lille, bail is used for a guardian of a minor’s fief (§ 195, 202); bailli is used for bailiff (§ 2, 3, 5, 20, 21, 48, 65, 72, 127, 158, 168, 178, 195, 196, 205, 212, and 215).

94

heather j. tanner

as the “bail de sa femme” with the reservation that he could alienate nothing without her consent. 42 This has been read as a transfer of full control of the property to a husband; in other words, that married women were under the guardianship of their husbands. However, the term bail [bailli or bailiff] designates a delegated subordinate for the lord, thus, an administrator, not a guardian (tutor). 43 As such, husbands served as their wives’ judicial representative, not as their guardian. A husband’s procuratorship was similar to a nobleman’s steward or bailiff who had a legal and administrative capacity over his lord’s property; this legal representative did not limit the noblewoman’s legal capacity, authority, or power. My reading of bail follows Ellen Kittell’s analysis of secular women in the Flemish towns of Bruges, Douai, Ghent, Lille, and Ypres, which argues that women were not under the guardianship of their husbands. Customals and law codes reveal that children had guardians (tutor, voodg, tuteur) but that women did not. 44 Kittell argues that scholars have conflated procurators and guardians; men and women had procurators who represented them in property transactions. As the dowry was the property of the wife and her children, the procurator represented her and their interests in the court. Therefore a procurator was not a guardian but a legal representative of the wife and her lineage. 45 As Kittell notes, men routinely had stewards and other officials who acted for them in court, and yet we do not attribute a loss of agency or legal capability when they did so. Kittell also demonstrates that women were legally responsible for household expenses, capable of making a will, and culpable under penal law — all of which presupposes legal capability. Despite the codification and refining of the law that specified the rights of married women in England and France (but also in the Low Countries) in the later twelfth century, as Cordelia Beattie remarks, “lawmakers, jurists, and courts constantly renegotiated or ignored [the elaborate but sometimes impractical] — systems

42   Pierre Petot, “Le statut de la femme dans les pays coutumiers français du XIIe au XVII siècle,” La Femme, pt. 2, Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin 12 (Brussels: Éditions de la librairie éncyclopedique, 1962), 243–54, here 245. 43   de Gryse, “Some Observations,” 270–71 (see note 5). Bailli served as judicial representatives and collectors of judicially related revenues. The earliest instances of bailli are in Normandy, Flanders, the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, and the French royal domain (de Gryse, “Some Observations,” 243 and 288–94). 44   Ellen Kittell, “Guardianship over Women in Medieval Flanders: A Reappraisal,” Journal of Social History 31 (1998): 897–930, here 903, suggests that scholars have confused procurators (advoe, advocatus, landvoodg) with guardians. Men and women appointed procurators to represent them in property transactions. Gilissen’s evidence for tutela, mainpléve, bail, momborie, and voodgij is from fourteenth- to sixteenth-century Flemish customals. See Jean Gilissen, “Le statut de la femme dans l’ancien droit belge,” La Femme, pt. 2, Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin 12 (Brussels: Éditions de la librairie éncyclopedique, 1962), 255–321, here 286–87. 45   Kittell, “Guardianship,” 903 (see note 43).

Women’s Legal Capacity

95

of law with respect to married women.” 46 Sara Butler also notes that “The flexibility of the medieval approach in applying coverture is evident in the fact that when coverture was inconvenient for men, the courts ignored it.” 47 The inconsistent application of written law reflects the transition from a system of customary law to a legal system enforced by the state. Lawyers and judges sought to address torts (injuries and damage), which slowly morphed into crimes. In England and France, the thirteenth century was a period in which law and the legal profession were being established. 48 As such, not only was there a mixture of custom, Roman, and written law, which led to a flexible approach by judges, but also there was a gradual development of legal professionals. In England, the courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas developed in the thirteenth century and gradually developed standardized writs and processes. By the fourteenth century, the Chancery Court afforded remedies where the strict procedures of the common law provided no redress for a deserving plaintiff. Women’s legal rights and capabilities differed in these particular courts. In the common law courts, English married women, by the late medieval period, rarely brought suits by themselves; however, they brought more suits in the chancery courts (although still a minority). 49 In France in the thirteenth century, the differing property regimes in marriage meant that married women brought  Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, “Introduction: Uncovering Married Women,” in Married Women and the Law in Premodern Northwest Europe, ed. Cordelia Beattie and Matthew Frank Stevens, Gender in the Middle Ages 8 (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2013), 1–10, here 5. 47  Butler, Divorce, 10 (see note 31). Butler follows this with the evidence that married men were not punished for their wives’ felonies. She also states that justices allowed appeals by women in Common Law courts, citing Orr’s article, if it was “the sole means of prosecuting a known criminal” (ibid.). As Tim Stretton sums up, “[w]hat had begun as a limited fiction applied in specific circumstance had grown to become a metaphor that helped describe the marital state, then a doctrine that at first explained coverture and finally justified coverture.” See Stretton, “Coverture and Unity of Person in Blackstone’s Commentaries,” in Blackstone and His Commentaries, ed. Wilfrid Prest (Oxford and Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2009), 111–28, here 127. 48   Seip, “Bracton” (see note 35); and Brand, “The Formation” (see note 33). André Gouron, “La coutume en France au Moyen Age,” in La Coutume II, ed. Jacques Vanderlinden, Receuils de la Société Jean Bodin 52 (Brussels: De Boeck University Press, 1990), 193–218, argues that customary law was written down in the later twelfth century in response to the diffusion of canon and Roman law; it was not originally geographical in nature but, rather, was family law, with the exception of the communal charters (a separate tract) that were issued beginning in the first quarter of the twelfth century (199, 203–7). 49   Emma Hawkes, “‘She will protect and defend her rights boldly by law and reason . . .’: Women’s Knowledge of Common Law and Equity Courts in Late-Medieval England,” in Medieval Women and the Law, ed. Noël James Menuge (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2000), 145–62, here 146–47. Hawkes demonstrates that women made up 5% of the common law litigants and 15% of the equity litigants from the Yorkshire and Lancashire Trinity court terms between 1479 and 1520 (148–53). 46

96

heather j. tanner

suits concerning their own property but that the married couple needed to act in concert concerning the common marital property. 50 While the French kings began instituting laws for the whole realm by the early thirteenth century, there was no attempt to create a common law. 51 Customary law continued to determine matters of individual right, property, and obligations. 52 By the early fifteenth century, French women, like their English counterparts, had more restricted access to the courts while married. For example, Charles VI abolished the Vermandois custom against women’s testimony in 1394. 53 The activity of thirteenth-century women, married or not, in judicial courts reflects the customary practices of the preceding centuries. The differences between the high and late medieval rights and capabilities of married women reflect the increasing centralization of the state and the judiciary as well as the establishment of a literate mentality. As a result, the English and French (and Dutch) systems of law were losing their customary characteristics. The proliferation of legal registers and Year Books in the fourteenth century are witness to the establishment of a more centralized state, formal legal profession, and literate mentality. 54 With respect to 50   Linda Guzzetti, “Women’s Inheritance and Testamentary Practices in Late Fourteenthand Early Fifteenth-Century Venice and Ghent,” in The Texture of Society: Medieval Women in the Southern Low Countries, ed. Ellen E. Kittell and Mary A. Suydam, New Middle Ages (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), 79–108, here 84–86. Similarly, women in Ghent are sometimes mentioned as being present with their legal husband and tutor (haeren wetteliken man ende vocht) and other times as being their own tutor (haers selves wiif siinde). See Guzzetti, “Women’s,” 85. 51   André Gouron, “Royal Ordonnances in Medieval France,” in Legislation and Justice, ed. Antonio Padoa-Schioppa, Origins of the Modern State in Europe (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1997), 57–72, here 62, 65. 52  Albert Rigaudière, “Issues at Stake in the Development of the State: Devising and Drafting the Law in Fourteenth-Century France,” in Legislation and Justice, ed. Antonio PadoaSchioppa, 73–102, here 73 (see note 50). 53   Gouron, “Royal ordonnances,” 67 (see note 50). See also Gouron, “La coutume,” 211–17 (see note 47). 54  Sara Butler, “Discourse on Coverture in the Late Medieval Courtroom,” in Married Women and the Law, ed. Timothy Stretton and Krista Kesserling (Montréal, Kingston, Canada, Ithaca, NY, and London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013), 24–44. Butler’s analysis focuses on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Year Books. For the proliferation of records and establishment of legal establishment, see also Daniel Lord Smail, The Consumption of Justice, Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013), 36. Smail argues that women participated in 27% of the cases in fourteenth- to fifteenthcentury Marseilles, which reflects women’s property ownership (43). Kathryn Reyerson’s analysis of women witnesses in fourteenth-century Montpellier reveals a similar pattern of female witnesses. See Kathryn L. Reyerson, “Le témoignage des femmes d’après quelque enquêtes montpelliéraines du XIVe siècle,” in L’Enquête au Moyen Âge, ed. Claude Gauvard, Collection de l’ École Française de Rome 399 (Rome: École Française de Rome, 2008), 153–68, here 153–55.

Women’s Legal Capacity

97

coverture, the restrictions increasingly placed upon married women in the fourteenth were aided by the diffusion of a new gender model that saw men and women as complementary and different, rather than on a single Aristotelian scale of virility, which removed the possibility that women could act like men (with potency, agency, and power). 55 The recent work of legal scholars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries makes clear that while women’s rights were being restricted in the early modern period, well into the fourteenth century married women were de facto legally capable in certain circumstances, and I would argue de jure through the thirteenth century. 56 My preliminary reading of the evidence is that property was not only a source of power in the medieval period; it also conferred legal capacity upon its adult owner. While contemporaries preferred that men own property, exercise power, and conduct public affairs, female owners of property were allowed to utilize the rights and powers associated with property ownership, regardless of what the written codes stipulated. Contemporary litigants, judges, and jurists apparently used written law very differently from the way it is used in the modern period. All law is prescriptive, but the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century records of litigation that have survived reveal that adherence to the letter of the law (and legal theory) varied, particularly as it relates to married women property owners. Modern scholars who have focused on the thirteenth-century institution of written law start from the premise that contemporaries sought to make it function, with varied success, like modern legal systems. By shifting the paradigm to the medieval view of law, I would suggest that the haphazard implementation of written law in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was not primarily a reflection of weak rulers, power dynamics, or other types of failures but, rather, the continued practice of customary law with new administrative structures and tools that very

55   McNamara, “The Herrenfrage,” 3–29 (see note 8); and LoPrete, “Gendering Viragos,” 24–25 and 28 (see note 8). 56   Reyerson, “Le témoinage,” 155 (see note 53): “Bien que le paradigme selon lequel les femmes auraient une compétence juridique limitée persiste pour le Moyen Âge, la capacité des femmes en matière de droit est maintenant bien admise, et la pratique de l’enquête nous offre un exemple du Midi de la France où les femmes apparaissent aux côtés des hommes dans les cas civils” [Although the paradigm according to which women had limited legal competence persists for the Middle Ages, the legal capacity of women is now well accepted, and the practice of the inquest offers us an example from the Midi of France where women appear alongside men in civil cases].” Reyerson argues that there was no difference in the type of questions asked of male and female witnesses, nor were different weights given to their testimony (166, 168). Judith Everard, “Sworn Testimony and Memory of the Past in Brittany c. 1100–1250,” in Medieval Memories: Men, Women, and the Past, 700–1300, ed. Elisabeth van Houts, Women and Men in History (Harlow, UK, and New York: Longman, 2001), 72–91, here 79, demonstrates that in Brittany, women were less frequently asked for their sworn testimony (3 of the 29 cases that included testimonium patriae).

98

heather j. tanner

slowly transformed into a legal system by the early fifteenth century. This shift was aided by the development of a literate culture and mentality, as well as ascendancy of a new gender system that disqualified women from masculinity and, thus, from power and agency. Therefore, during the thirteenth century, women — wed or unwed — continued to wield power and to enjoy legal agency as property owners.

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci: SinoIslamic Knowledge and the European Discovery of Cathay R. Po-chia Hsia

During the Quincentennial of the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, mounted a major exhibition: “Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration.” 1 Visitors entered the exhibit marveling at the objects of art and material culture from around the world — Oceania, Mesoamerica, Africa, and Asia — beautifully arranged in a static pattern in separate rooms, before stepping into a vast rotunda where Europe is represented as a dynamic, striving, and contentious civilization that “discovered” global cultures. Since 1992, scholarship on global history has shifted the ground under that Eurocentric perspective. The voyages of “European discoveries” followed chronologically upon the voyages of Arab, Persian, and Chinese sailors, who plied the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. And the European encounter with China occurred not at all in the framework of “East meets West” but in the larger and deeper context of a profound and long-term Eurasian movement that connected Islamic, Hindu, and Chinese civilizations. In this essay I analyze the cartographic knowledge and travel literature that lay behind the Jesuit mission to China at the end of the sixteenth century. Between Marco Polo and Matteo Ricci, two Italian travelers to the Celestial Empire, lies a far more complex picture of cultural transmission in which Europeans were only the latest arrivals. There has been a paradigm shift from older notions of the “Rise of the West” or the encounters between two civilizations to the concept of “global   See the exhibition catalogue, ed. Jay A. Levenson: Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1991). 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 99–122.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117195

100

r. po-chia hsia

history.” This essay uses one case study to explore the polycentric and multi-dimensional nature of early modern global history. In his letters and memoirs, the Storia dell’introduzione del Cristianeisimo in Cina, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci invoked Marco Polo either by name or in reference to his book more than a dozen times. The first was in a letter dated October 13, 1596, written in Nanchang to the General of the Society, Claudio Acquaviva, in Rome. After fifteen months, Ricci was well established in the provincial capital of Jiangxi province. In fact, unbeknownst to him at this juncture, his three years’ sojourn in Nanchang (June 1595–June 1598) would represent the turning point in his career. Yet the memory of his unsuccessful attempt to settle in Nanjing (May 1595) still stung: he had been unceremoniously thrown out of the southern capital of the Greater Ming by the Mandarin Xu Dayin, whom Ricci had counted as a friend during his twelve years of missionary work in Guangdong province (1583–1595). 2 Still, Ricci remembered the grandeur of the city. In the letter he wrote: Finally I would like to write about a curiosity that I think would gladden Your Paternity and the others: it is a conjecture that I have made that the city of Nanjing, where I was last year, an ancient metropolis and imperial capital of China, could well for various reasons presumed to be the Cathay of Marco Polo. For one, in these regions there is no information of any city comparable in size in neighboring kingdoms; for another, there are grand and numerous bridges. Even though I have not counted the thousands of bridges that Marco Polo described, but since the river and canals surround such a large city twice around and pass through so many circuits, I am not eager to contradict anyone who says there are thousands of bridges. 3

By “Cathay” Ricci meant Nanjing, which must have been the Cambaluc (Qan Baliq or Khanbaliq in Mongol) described by Polo, the central capital of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, Dadu, today Beijing. 4 He was, of course, wrong, a mistake he came to realize after the Jesuits had succeeded in establishing themselves in Beijing after 1600. Writing on March 8, 1608, twelve years after the initial letter mentioning Marco Polo, Ricci revised the information in another letter to Acquaviva: I had spent twelve years in the province of Guandong before leaving it and found myself in the city and the ancient capital of this empire named Nanjing. 2   For this episode, see my A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci 1552–1610 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 144–46. 3   Matteo Ricci Lettere (1580–1609), ed. Francesco D’Arelli (Macerata: Quodlibet, 2001), 399. 4   For the new capital of the Yuan and Polo’s description of it, see Stephen G. Haw, Marco Polo’s China: A Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), 68–75.

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

101

And having gotten to these more northernly parts of China and knowing something of the Great Cathay and the court of the Great Khan, which our cosmographers say are in these regions, I came to strong convictions that China is none other than the Cathay described by Marco Polo, and it seemed to me that Nanjing was Cambalu because there were many bridges inside the city. But four years ago, when I first arrived at this court of Beijing, I was informed by some Muslims, who had dealings with the Chinese, that there is no other Cathay in the world than China, for this is the only name given to it by the Persians. Confronting all the evidence and seeing that there is no doubt about the name and size of this city, I write to Your Paternity and all of ours that we are in Cathay!” 5

Cathay, a fabulous land of great riches and beautiful cities, ruled over by a great Mongol Khan. Such was the fable that captivated European readers in the story that Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa collaborated on in Genoese captivity. In addition to the 119 extant manuscripts, the Travels of Marco Polo — or il Milione, its Italian title — was translated into Latin and many vernacular languages. 6 The Latin version, translated by the Dominican Francesco Pipino, was the one that inspired Christopher Columbus, who made 181 annotations in the copy that he owned. 7 The most famous writer on China, Marco Polo was not the only one. Among the many Franciscans sent by the medieval papacy to the Mongol courts, two would also compose descriptions of their journeys. In his Historia Mongaiorum [History of the Mongols], Friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpine wrote about the customs of the Steppe Mongols, which he witnessed during the 1240s; his fellow Franciscan William of Rubruck’s travelogue reached an even wider readership. 8 Both men (and  Ricci Lettere (see note 3), Letter to Claudio Acquaviva, March 8, 1608, Beijing, Lettere, 473–74: “Dodici anni sono che, uscendo io dalla provincia di Cantone, fui alla città e corte antica di questo regno detta Nanchino. Et procurando per quelle parti più settentrionali della Cina di sapere qualche nova del Gran Cataio e corte del Gran Can, che i nostri cosmografi dicevano stare n queste parti, venni ad avere grande indicio che la Cina non era altro regno che il Cataio per gli inditij che Marco Polo dava, e mi parve che la città di Nanchino sarebbe il Cambalù, per i molti ponti che vi erano dentro della città. Ma da il a quattro anni, la prima volta che venni a questa corte di Pachino, ritrovai per informationi de’ Mori, che trattano con questi Cinesi, non vi essere nel mondo altro Cataio che la Cina, perché i Persiani non danno altro nome alla Laonde, confrontando tutti gli inditij, e vedendo non vi essere nessun dubbio così nel nome nel numero delle città, costumi et altre cose, scrissi a V.P. et a tutti i nostri che stavamo nel Cataio. 6   A.C. Moule and Paul Pelliot, The Description of the World (London: Routledge, 1938), 509–16. 7   Edwin G. Beal, “Concerning Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus: The Pipino Version,” in Journal of East Asian Libraries 101 (December 1993): 151–60, here 156. 8   The critical edition of these reports is Anatasius van den Wyngaert, Sinica Franciscana, vol. 1: Itinera et relations Fratrum Minorum saeculi XIII et XIV (Florence: Collegium S. Bonaventurae, 1929). For an English translation of Rubruck, see William W. Rockhill, ed. and trans., 5

102

r. po-chia hsia

Marco Polo) remarked on the religious openness of the Mongols, who allowed Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist worship in their midst while adhering to their ancestral naturalistic and animistic worship. The Catholic visitors from Europe found fellow Christians — Nestorians (Syriac) and Armenian — in the realm of the Mongols, who became objects of evangelization. Scoring limited success in their mission, the Franciscans were present in Beijing, Yangzhou, Hangzhou, and Quanzhou — namely, the political capital and the most important commercial centers of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. During their travels, the friars encountered French, German, Hungarian, and Russian captives of the Mongols in Central Asia. At the height of the Pax Mongolica, the Polos were far from being the only Italians in China; there was, in fact, a small but lively community of Italian merchants in China, as documented by notarial records in Genoa and a few archaeological artifacts. 9 Particularly poignant is a tombstone, excavated in 1950 in Yangzhou, a major city on the Grand Canal, with a Latin inscription bearing the memory of Caterina de Vilioni, the wife of a Genoese merchant, who died in 1342. The presence of Europeans in Mongol China, however remarkable, was dwarfed by that of Muslims. China and the Islamic world were engaged since the mid-eighth century, and a lively trade developed between the ninth and thirteenth centuries; large communities of Persians and Arabs existed in Tang dynasty (618–907) Changan and Guangzhou and in Song dynasty (960–1279) Quanzhou. They came as merchants from the Dar-al-Islam and from the Muslim diaspora in South and Southeast Asia, testifying to the importance of the silk route, especially the maritime route from the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf to the southeastern Chinese coast. 10 When the Mongols ruled the Eurasian steppes, later adding China, Persia, and Mesopotamia to their conquests, they created new land routes, with one leading from the Crimea to Central Asia and China and the other linking the Islamic heartland via Persia and Central Asia to China. For the first time, China was linked to the Islamic world and beyond both by land and by sea. The itineraries of the two most famous medieval travelers followed them: in the

The Journey of William of Rubruck to the Eastern Parts of the World, 1253–55 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1900). 9   See the articles by Robert S. Lopez: “Nuove luci sugli Italiani in Estremo Oriente prima di Colombo,” “L’extrême frontière du commerce de l’Europe medieval,” and “Trafegando in partibus Catagii: altri genovesi in Cina nel Trecento,” collected in his volume of essays, Su e giù per la storia di Genova (Genoa: Università di Genova, Istituto di paleografia e storia medievale, 1975), passim; and “Nouveaux documents sur les marchands italiens en Chine à l’ époque Mongole,” in Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 121, no. 2 (1977): 445–56. 10   See Hyun Hee Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

103

thirteenth century, Marco Polo journeyed overland to China and returned by sea to Italy; a century later, the Moroccan Ibn Baṭṭūṭa sailed from India to Quanzhou. 11 Muslims served in large numbers in the Mongol administration. The Yuan emperors employed them as financiers, administrators, and soldiers, using them as a buffer between their rule and the resentful and restive Chinese subjects. 12 A prominent example, mentioned by Marco Polo, was a Turco-Iranian native of Tashkent named Ahmad, a high financial official under Kubilai Khan, who was one of the most powerful men in Kubilai’s administration before his assassination in 1282. His biography, written by the Persian Rashīd al-Dīn (1247–1318) in his Compendium of Chronicles and by compilers of the Yuan Shi [History of the Yuan Dynasty], represented him variously as an able man undermined by jealousy or as a corrupt newcomer who got his just deserts. 13 In Mongol service, Muslims spread all over China, especially in the colonization of the southwest. After the conquest of Yunnan, Kubilai appointed a Central Asian Muslim, Saiyid Ajall Shams al-Din, as governor. 14 A large number of Sayid’s compatriots from Bukhara settled in that province, including the ancestors of Zheng He, who would, as we shall see, come to prominence in the Ming dynasty as “Admiral of the Chinese fleets.” In the mid-fourteenth century, Han Chinese rebellions in the south drove the Mongols to retreat to their steppe homeland, leaving China proper to the new Ming dynasty (1368–1644), with its capital initially established in Nanjing. The first decades of Ming rule represented a strong reaction against the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural character of the Mongol Empire. The Dynastic History of the Yuan, (Yuan Shi), hastily compiled during the early years of the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming, does not mention Marco Polo, Franciscan friars, or any Europeans. It does, however, contain biographies of Muslims, including that of Ahmad, but he is listed under the category of “Evil Officials” ( juan 55). The section on “Foreign Countries” ( juan 95) contains brief descriptions of only Korea, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka, although Mongol China had certain geographical knowledge of the Daral-Islam. 15 Zhu Yuanzhang’s regime, aiming to restore traditional Han Chinese values, established neo-Confucianism as the orthodox teaching of the state and put religious establishments firmly under state control, requiring the state licensing of   H. A. R. Gibb, trans. and ed., The Travels of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, a.d. 1325–1354, 3 vols. (London: Hakluyt Society, 1958–1571). 12   See Morris Rossabi, “The Muslims in the Early Yüan Dynasty,” in China under Mongol Rule, ed. John D. Langlois (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), 257–95. 13   See Herbert Franke, “Aḥmad,” in In the Service of the Khan. Eminent Personalities of the Early Mongol-Yüan Period (1200–1300), ed. Igor de Rachewiltz et al., Asiatische Forschungen 121 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1993), 539–57; and Rossabi, “The Muslims,” 278–82 (see note 12). 14   Rossabi, “The Muslims,” 287–91 (see note 12). 15  Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, chap. 3 (see note 9). 11

104

r. po-chia hsia

all Buddhist and Daoist clergy. The Islamic, Christian, and Jewish communities had no state recognition. Reversing the expansionist worldview of the Mongols, the Ming regime turned inward. Nevertheless, the non-Han communities, some established well before the Mongol conquest — such as the Jewish community in Kaifeng — were well settled in the realm of the Great Ming. Under the command of Zhu Di, the Prince of Yan, the fourth son of Zhu Yuanzhang, Muslim generals and soldiers served in the Ming garrison guarding the northern frontier against the Mongols. In 1402, Zhu Di rebelled against the Jianwen emperor, his nephew, who had succeeded to the throne as the second emperor of the Ming. The victorious Zhu Di, known as the Emperor Yongle (1402–1424), eventually moved the capital to Beijing in the north, his base of power and designated Nanjing as the auxiliary southern capital. To consolidate his rule and increase his prestige, Yongle commissioned a series of sea voyages to revive the Sino-Islamic maritime trade that had flourished since the mid-ninth century. These voyages, seven in total between 1402 and 1433, under the overall command of the eunuch Zheng He, a native of Yunnan and a Muslim, as we have seen, extended the Chinese encounter with Islam beyond the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea and the Islamic trading ports of East Africa. 16 As Hyunhee Park has argued in her fine book, the navigators in Zheng He’s fleets most likely used Islamic sea charts and techniques for their navigation. 17 Many Muslims accompanied Zheng He on his voyage. Significantly, the most important of the three accounts written about the voyages was by a Muslim interpreter, Ma Quan. This was the Yingyai Shenglan [Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores]. 18 Another description was composed by Fei Xin, the Xingcha Shenglan [Overall Survey of the Star Raft]; 19 and the third was by Gong Zhen, An Account of the Foreign Nations of the Western Ocean. 20 All three men were recorded as travelers on Zheng He’s voyages. Of the three works, the Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores and the Overall Survey of the Star Raft have several Ming editions and were widely known by the literati, in contrast to the faint reception of Gong Zhen’s book. This was most likely due to the fact that Gong Zhen was a plagiarist. His descriptions of Hormuz and 16  There is a long bibliography of Chinese scholarship; for an English-language monograph, see Edward Dreyer, Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty 1405–1438 (New York: Pearson Longman, 2007). 17  Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, 169–80 (see note 9). 18   Ma Huan馬歡, Yingyai Shenglan瀛涯勝覽. I used the 1955 edition, ed. Feng Chengjun (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju). For an English translation, see Ying-Yai Sheng lan. Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores 1438 by Ma Huan, trans. J.V.G. Mills (London: Hakluyt Society, 1970). 19   Fei Xin 費信, Xingcha Shenglan 星槎勝覽, ed. Feng Chengjun (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1954). 20   Gong Zhen鞏珍 Xiyang Fanguo zi西洋番国志, ed. Xiang Da (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1954).

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

105

Mecca are lifted almost word for word from Ma Quan, differing only in the use of conjunctions and minor modes of expressions. We shall discount this work in the following analysis. For the sake of brevity we shall refer to the other two as Overall Survey and Star Raft. In terms of the places visited, Fei Xin describes forty-five places in Star Raft, while Ma Huan records twenty in Overall Survey. Aside from the smaller places and islands ignored by Ma Huan, Fei Xin also mentions Mindoro, Surabaya, Brunei, and Sulu. The fact that the two men participated in some but not the same voyages may account for this difference. The following are the list of countries and places common to the two texts and reflect the main route of the Ming voyages: Champa, Siam, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Sumatra (Aceh), Battak, Sri Lanka, Quilon, Cochin, Calicut, Hormuz, Bengal, Aden, Dhofar, Maldives Islands, Mecca, Aru, Litai, and Lambri. The general east-west direction of the sailing mirrored the well-established routes plied by Muslim sailors since the ninth century from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to South and Southeast Asia and finally to Guangzhou or Quanzhou on the Chinese coast. The appointment of Zheng He and his team of Chinese Muslim interpreters was, of course, no accident. All of these men were descendants of the Islamic traders and officials who had settled in inland and coastal China between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. Were they practicing Muslims? The epitaph of Zheng He’s father named him as Ma Hazi (Ma being the family name of Zheng He, a surname that signifies Muslim heritage, Zheng being the surname bestowed by the emperor), a native of Qunyang in Yunnan. 21 In 1416, Zheng He prayed for success at the start of his fifth voyage while visiting the Islamic cemetery at Quanzhou during an anchor stop. 22 However, Zheng He seemed to have participated in the cult honoring Mazu, a Song dynasty woman from southern Fujian who was deified after her death for her miracles and was worshipped as a goddess by all Chinese seamen, the great majority of whom were southern Fujianese themselves. Thanks to her miraculous intercession, the seventh and last voyage was saved from a violent storm in the Indian Ocean — so read the petition submitted by Zheng He and his commanders to the emperor asking to have her cult recognized and honored by the imperial state as the Consort of Heaven. 23   Epitaph by Li Zhigang on the father of Zheng He, Ma Hazi, appendix 2 in Xiyang Fangguo ji, ed. Xiang Da, 49–50 (see note 20). 22   See stone inscription in Appendix 3 in Xiyang Fangguo ji, ed. Xiang Da, 50–51 (see note 20). 23  See stone inscription dedicated to the Temple of the Consort of Heaven at Liudong Liujiagang, Appendix 4 in Xiyang Fangguo ji, ed. Xiang Da, 51–53 (see note 20); and my “Goddesses of the Seas: Ritual in Sino-Portuguese Maritime History,” in Rituals of Politics and Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Edward Muir, ed. Mark Jurdjevic and Rolf StrømOlsen, Essays and Studies 39 (Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2016), 413–36, especially 416. 21

106

r. po-chia hsia

If Zheng He had become Sinicized in the sense that he accepted the diversity of rituals and beliefs so typical of Chinese religious life, Ma Quan, the author of Overall Survey, strongly reveals his Muslim identity in his descriptions of the Islamic heartland. Many of the places named in the Overall Survey would become Islamicized in the following centuries, but the first Muslim community mentioned by Ma Quan was Cochin, where Muslims still ranked behind Hindus, unlike Calicut, further up the Malabar Coast, where they constituted more than half of a mixed population of Muslims, Hindus, and Jews. Interestingly, Ma Quan did not mention Muslim communities in Malacca and Aceh. The first entirely Muslim country encountered by Ma Quan was the Maldives Islands: “The Maldive king, chief, and commoners are all Muslims. Their customs are simple and good, and they adhere to religious rules. They make a living from fishing and planting coconut trees.” 24 In Dhofar, Ma Quan observes the Islamic ritual of ablutions on feast days; 25 in Aden, he describes the Adenese Muslims as prosperous, strong, and speaking Arabic. 26 In Hormuz, Ma Quan witnessed the five daily prayers, ablutions, and fasting, and he explained Islamic weddings officiated by a kadi. There is a long description of Islamic burials, with the body wrapped in white cloth and laid down to earth without a coffin. Our Chinese Muslim interpreter had nothing but praise for Islamic charity: all would donate to help a family who met with ill fortune. This, in his view, was a prosperous and well-ordered country. For Ma Huan, the voyage to Arabia fulfilled his wish to go on hajj, the pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina prescribed for every Muslim. From Calicut it was three-months of sailing before the Ming fleet reached Arabia. Ma Quan was deeply impressed: The royal city, named Mecca, worships Islam. The Holy Man (seng ren, i.e., Muhammed) first propagated the religion here and until now the inhabitants follow all rules and dare not in the least infringe these commandments. The people are tall and strong, with purplish red faces. The men wrap their heads, wear long robes and leather shoes. The women cover their heads and their faces are invisible. They speak Arabic. The country’s laws forbid alcohol; the customs are harmonious and virtuous; and there are no poor families. All obey the law and there are few who infringe them. This is truly a realm of the highest happiness. 27

There is a detailed description of the dimensions and appearance of the Kaaba (alKa’bah), the cube shrine that is at the center of the most sacred mosque in Islam, the Al-Masjid al-Haram.   Xingcha shenglan, 51 (see note 19).   Xingcha shenglan, 53 (see note 19). 26   Xingcha shenglan, 55 (see note 19). 27   Xingcha shenglan, 69 (see note 19). 24 25

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

107

During the hajj, Ma Quan narrates further, the pilgrims from all the Muslim countries would slice off a small piece of the silk canopy covering the Kaaba as proof of their pilgrimage. Every year the ruler of Medina would replace it. Next Ma Quan describes in detail the tomb of Ismael in the courtyard of the mosque, as well as rooms and minarets of the complex. 28 One day’s travel to the west of Mecca lies Medina and the tomb of Muhammed: “To this date,” Ma Quan marveled: the bright day rises up to the clouds day and night. Behind the tomb is a well with sweet, clean water with the name of Zamzam. Foreign pilgrims would draw water from it to store in their ships. When they encounter storms they would sprinkle this water on the waves to still the seas. 29

Presumably, Ma Quan also drew water from this spring, as the Ming Treasure fleet returned safely to China, blessed with the holy waters of Islam and the protection of the Consort of Heaven. The Treasure fleets stopped in 1433. In a major reversal of his father’s policy, Emperor Xuande (1425–1435) ordered the ships and maritime archives destroyed. Ming China turned away from the sea to face a renewed Mongol threat from the north. Even with the cessation of Ming maritime explorations, the achievements of Zheng He’s voyages were considerable, and they rested on Islamic nautical and cartographic knowledge. While the first Ming emperor, Hongwu (personal name Zhu Yuanzhang) (1328–1398), might have rejected the multi-ethnic character of the Mongol Empire upon toppling the Yuan dynasty, he had valued the cultural transmission from the Islamic world. In 1378 Zhu Yuanzhang had ordered officials from the Hanlin Academy and four Muslim chiefs of the Islamic Astronomical Bureau to begin collecting and translating Islamic astronomical and astrological works, a project completed in 1383. The use of latitude and longitude coordinates in Islamic astronomy and cartography was thus known in the early Ming. 30 Nevertheless, the knowledge of Europe, as represented in medieval Islamic maps, seemed not to have been transmitted in Chinese cartography. The first cartographic representation of a European power was a notation at the margin of the map drawn by the Chinese Buddhist monk Zhipan in his General Records of the Founders of Buddhism (ca. 1270). In this map, three-quarters   Xingcha shenglan, 70 (see note 19).   Xingcha shenglan, 71 (see note 19). 30   See Kam Wing Fung, “Issues in the History of Cartography of East Asia from the Late Sixteenth Century to the Early Seventeenth Century: The Selden Map and Sinarum Regni aliorumq. Renorum et insularum illi adiacentium descripti[o],” in New Research into the Maritime Trades, Seafaring and Underwater Archaeology of the Ming Dynasty. Hong Kong Maritime Museum International Symposium Proceedings, ed. Tianlong Jiao (Hong Kong: Zhonghua shuju, 2015) (hereafter cited as New Research), 64–87, here 73–74. 28 29

108

r. po-chia hsia

Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana of Al-Idrisi (1100–1165).

Figure 2. World Map of Hamd Allah Mustawfī (1281–1345).

of the space is devoted to China, whereas India, the homeland of the Buddha, is given one-quarter. In a tiny space in the lower left-hand corner, the Muslim world with Rum (Byzantium) and Baghdad is notated. 31 The disinterest in the Islamic world and beyond reflected Zhipan’s Buddhist focus, but the more detailed representation of Europe in tenth- and eleventh-century Islamic maps is absent in any Ming dynastic maps. The tenth-century World Map from Al-Istakhri’s book shows the Mediterranean and the land of the Franks (Fig. 3), while Al-Idrisi’s World Map from his Pleasure of He Who Longs to Cross the Horizons (1154) represents China, North Africa, Arabia, the Mediterranean, and even Greece, Italy, and Britain (Fig. 1). 32 In the time of the Mongol world empire, Ḥamdallāh Mustawfī’s (1281–1345) World Map marks the Maghreb, Africa, Egypt, Syria, Oman, India, Khorasan, Khara Khorum, India, and Chin (northern China) and Machin (southern China) as well as Constantinople and the realm of the Franks (Fig. 2). 33   See Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, 39 (see note 9).   See Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, 74, 85 (see note 9). 33   See Park, Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds, 145 (see note 9). 31

32

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

109

Figure 3. World Map of Persian geographer Al-Istakhri (957).

Figure 4. Daming hunyi tu (late fourteenth century).

In contrast, Europe and the Mediterranean simply did not appear on the horizon in Ming cartography. Let us examine two well-known maps of the Ming. The first is the Daming hunyi tu, Comprehensive Map of the Great Ming, drawn in the early decades of the Ming dynasty (Fig. 4). The fact that it is housed today at the National Palace Museum in Beijing suggests strongly that it was an imperial commission. This version of Ming official cartography represents the hundreds of administrative-urban centers and the garrisons of the realm; it depicts, in reasonable accuracy, Korea and parts of Japan; ample space is given to Central Asia, but the Arabian Peninsula is painted as a narrow and tiny strip of land running north

110

r. po-chia hsia

Figure 5. Details from the Selden Map, showing Calicut and directions of sailing to Aden, Hormuz, and points west.

to south into the ocean; Africa, equally miniscule in scale, is drawn with the Nile, whereas the Mediterranean is represented as a large inland lake. While the Daming hunyi tu was drawn in the early Ming dynasty and most likely as an imperial commission, the second map, the so-called Selden Map, was a private enterprise created in the mid-to-late Ming (Fig. 6). 34 Scholars disagree about the dating of the map, but internal evidence suggests that it was created during the reign of the Emperor Wanli (1572–1620). 35 The Chinese worldview was even more restricted in this second map. While East and Southeast Asia are quite accurately drawn on the Selden Map — Japan, Korea, the Philippines, the Indonesian islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma all being represented — the regions beyond, both to the north and west, show far less cartographic information. A significant symbol is the Great Wall, constructed during the early Ming, demarcating the world of Chinese civilization from the vast lands of the barbarians to the north and northwest. While India is indicated on the Selden Map,

  This map is named after John Selden, who bequeathed it to the Bodleian Library, Oxford University in 1659. It is now on permanent display at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. For the provenance of the Selden Map, see Robert Minte and Marinita Stiglitz, “The Conservation of the Selden Map and its Display at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum,” in New Research, 421–37 (see note 30). 35   Chen Jiarong postulates 1624 as the year of the map’s composition; Chan Wing Cheong estimates that the map could not have been drawn before the middle of Wanli’s reign, thus sometime in the 1590s; while Fung Kam Wing also supports a late sixteenth- rather than an early seventeenth-century date of composition. See New Research, articles by Fung, Chen, and Chan (see note 30). 34

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

111

its main feature is a circle next to Calicut that describes the sea routes from there to Hormuz and Aden. The Islamic lands are absent (Fig. 5). The Yuan-Ming transition was a paradigm shift. In commanding the voyages of Zheng He, Emperor Yongle had projected Ming power and Chinese prestige far beyond the shores of China. He had continued a policy first initiated by Emperor Hongwu at the founding of the dynasty. But instead of conquests, the Ming created a system of tribute-bearing, combining commerce and diplomacy. These tribute missions from Southeast Asia and Dar-al-Islam greatly increased during the years of Zheng He’s voyages, as we can see from the following graph:

邱炫煜, “明初與南海諸蕃國之朝貢貿易, Qiu Xuanyu, “Ming chu yu nanhai zhu fanguo zhi chaogong maoyi,” in 張彬村、劉石吉, 中國海洋發展史(第五輯, Essays in Chinese Maritime History), vol. 5, ed. Pin-tsun Chang, Shih-chi Liu, 中央研究院人文 社會科學研究中心 (Taipei: Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, 1993).

In the first period, between 1368 and 1402, excluding the regular missions from Korea and the Ryukyu Islands, there were 123 tribute missions to China, of which 39 came from Siam, 26 from Annan (Vietnam), 23 from Champa, 12 from Cambodia, and 11 from Java; coming from the furthest west was one mission from Cochin. Between 1403 and 1435 (contemporaneous with Zheng He’s voyages) 238 tribute missions visited China, with Java (34), Champa (31), Siam (26), Malacca (20), Sumatra, i.e., Aceh (16), Brunei (9), and Calicut (9) leading the list; significantly, Hormuz, Mogadishu, Dhofar, Aden, and Mecca are recorded as having sent between 5 and 1 missions. In the second period, 1436–1449, 57 missions visited the Ming, with Champa (16), Annan (15), Java (13), Siam (7), and Malacca (3) comprising almost the entire list. In terms of annual tribute missions, the first period, from the founding of the dynasty until the eve of Zheng He’s voyages, saw ca. 3.5 missions per year to China. None came from the Islamic heartland. In the second period, contemporaneous with Zheng He’s voyages, 7 tribute missions visited China every year, on average. Countries from the Islamic heartland and Islamic East Africa were represented only in the second period, when merchant-diplomats from Mecca, Aden, and Mogadishu traveled on ships of the Treasure Fleet to and from China. In the

112

r. po-chia hsia

Figure 6. Selden Map.

third period (1436–1449), between the cessation of Ming maritime voyages and the disastrous Ming military defeat by the Mongols at Tumu Fortress (leading to the eight-year captivity of the Chengtong Emperor), the number of annual tribute missions dropped to 3.8, roughly equal to the frequency during the first three decades of the dynasty. These figures illustrate a dramatic rise in Chinese maritime activity and Sinoforeign contacts between 1405 and 1433, followed by a significant and steady decline to the mid-fifteenth century and after. The voyages of Zheng He represented a huge political intervention and financial investment by the Ming Imperial state. After 1450, the state was either unable or unwilling to sustain a similar effort. While occasional state missions were dispatched from China to Southeast Asia and to the Ryukyu Islands after the mid-fifteenth and into the next century, and tribute missions from the Ryukyu Islands, Korea, and Siam continued at a fairly regular interval, the nexus between Island Southeast Asia and Ming China was disrupted

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

113

in the first two decades of the sixteenth century by the arrival of the Portuguese and their use of naval violence in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. 36 The first attempt at diplomatic ties between Portugal and China floundered because of the Europeans’ conquest of Malacca in 1511, a recognized tribute-bearing state of the Ming. While the Ming Imperial State withdrew from its enterprise, maritime trade was taken up by private traders who came overwhelmingly from southern Fujian province. These Hokkien seamen plied the trade with Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, the Philippines, Java, Malacca, and Sumatra. A few sailed as far as Cochin and Calicut, but no further to the west. 37 Sometime in late fourteenth century, after the collapse of the Mongol world empire, Islamic and Chinese merchants divided the maritime routes between China and Arabia, with the mid-way points on the Malabar coast and Malacca. Almost no Chinese ships would sail to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea after the 1430s, while Arabic and Persian ships vanished from Chinese harbors. The two Chinese maps discussed above, the Daming hunyi tu and the Shelden Map, marked the two chronological ends of this development. They reflect a world in which practical Chinese interests, whether be it the imperial state or private maritime merchants, extended only to the Malabar coast of India in the West while maintaining a strong attention in the East and South China Seas. They also express a worldview in which China proper was no longer connected to Islamic Central Asia and Persia through the land silk routes, unlike the close connections between Mongol Yuan China and the Mongol Illkhanate in Persia between the mid-thirteenth and mid-fourteenth centuries. Ming China was in a defensive posture, as expressed by the prominent depiction of the Great Wall in the Selden Map, at first against a hostile Timur, the Turco-Mongol heir to the Empire of Ghengis Khan who expanded his empire from Samarkand to Syria and Asia Minor and who died while preparing for a military expedition to conquer India, and subsequently against resurgent Mongol power. The Islamic world itself had also undergone another upheaval and reconfiguration, after having absorbed the shock of the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate in the mid-thirteenth century. After 1400, the Islamic world fragmented into different power centers. Safavid Persia, Ottoman Turkey, and Mamluk Egypt were frequently at war; the heirs of Timur, meanwhile, had turned their gaze from China to India and established their own dynasty of conquest, the Mughal. Into this lull in the history of Sino-Islamic cultural encounter appeared the Portuguese, emboldened and confident from their eighty-year explorations of the Atlantic. By 1498, when Vasco da Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to land in   On Portuguese maritime violence and hostility to Islam, see Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 109–21, 178–84. 37   See James K. Chin, “The Selden Map and the Hokkien Maritime Trade in late Ming,” New Research, 2–21 (see note 30). 36

114

r. po-chia hsia

Calicut, with the navigational help of a Muslim pilot, the Portuguese had mastered the treacherous currents of the Atlantic and secreted away their precious knowledge of the maritime routes in nautical charts and maps. 38 The resulting sense of confidence was expressed in Luis de Camões’s The Lusiads, which represented Lusitania, in the person of Da Gama, as a strong youth beating down Old Men Indus and Ganges after sailing around the fierce Cape of Storms (later renamed the Cape of Good Hope) like some Argonaut of modern times. For all that, the Cape was the watery grave of many a Portuguese carrack, but not the one that carried Matteo Ricci to India. On March 24, 1578, Ricci embarked on the São Luis in Lisbon; on the 13th of September he and his fellow Jesuit missionaries landed in Goa in the Portuguese Estado da India. After spending four years in that mission, Ricci was reassigned to China and sailed on another Portuguese carrack from Goa to Cochin and Malacca, arriving August 7, 1582, in Macao, the Portuguese enclave on the Chinese coast. 39 Without Portuguese navigation there would have been no Jesuit missions. Ricci acknowledged the part of the Portuguese in the China enterprise: This last Oriental realm came to the notice of us European under different names. The oldest, at the time of Ptolemy, was Sina. Afterwards, at the time of Timur . . . and the information given by Marco Polo, the name was Cathay. However, the best known name of these times is China, made popular by the Portuguese, who arrived there after long and dangerous maritime voyages to trade in the southern province of Guangdong. 40

The twelve years Ricci spent in Guangdong were mostly a time of frustration and loneliness. Dressed as Buddhist monks by order of their first mandarin patron, Wang Pan, the Jesuits presented themselves as “Indian monks,” with shaven heads and faces. Rising from the general low social esteem attached to the Buddhist clergy, Ricci and his first companion, Michele Ruggieri, succeeded in attracting the attention of the Chinese elites by their very exoticism and by their connections to the Portuguese in Macao, from whom many provincial officials derived profits from trade and bribes. Granted a residence in Zhaoqing, where the Supreme Commander (zongdu) of Guangdong and Guanxi provinces had his office, the Jesuits constructed a house that became an obligatory site to visit for mandarins traveling on official business, in order to converse with these exotic “western monks” and to see their Venetian prism, self-winding clock, Western books, the picture of the   On Da Gama’s reliance on Muslim pilots, and the controversy about their identity, see Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama, 121–28 (see note 36). 39  Hsia, A Jesuit in the Forbidden City, chap. 2 (see note 2). 40   Pasquale D’Elia, ed., Fonti Ricciane: Matteo Ricci, Storia dell’introduzione del Cristianesimo in Cina 3 vols. (Rome: La Liberia dello Stato, 1942–1949), 1:00, nn. 4, 7–8. 38

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

115

Virgin Mary and Child, and, in Ricci’s words, the other “stupid things.” 41 But it was a map, first exhibited in 1584, that really awed the visitors. Ricci described its effect: The fathers hung on the wall [of their residence] a map of the world (mappamundo) in European letters. And since the Chinese have never seen or thought about such a thing, all the better sorts wanted to see it [the explanations] rendered into Chinese characters so that they could better understand its contents. Therefore the magistrate [Wang Pan] ordered Father Matteo, who already knows something of Chinese characters, to change all the annotations of the map into Chinese because he wanted to print it and communicate it to all of China, for which the Chinese would be very grateful. Since the Father knew some mathematics because he had been the disciple of Father Christopher Clavius when he was in Rome, he took on the task with the help of a scholar friend. In a short time [October 1584] he had made a world map larger than the original one in the residence, with annotations and explanations more appropriate for China. 42 It was the best and most useful work that we could have done in China at that time to give credit to our holy faith in China. It is because the Chinese have already printed many world maps with the titles such as “Description of the Whole World,” all of which focus on the fifteen provinces of China, around which they paint a bit of ocean in which they make some unaccustomed areas with names of all the other realms they know about, which, altogether, do not take up more space than a small province in China. And since they imagine their realm is so grand and the rest of the world so small, they are so proud that they think the rest of the world is barbarous and unlearned by comparison. There is also not much hope to suggest there might be foreign scholars. When they see the world is so grand and China, in her corner, seems so small to them, the more ignorant ones began to ridicule it, but the more learned, seeing the beautiful order of the longitudes and latitudes, the lines of the Equator, the tropics, and the five zones, and the various customs of the countries, and the whole earth full of different names translated from the first map, printed moreover, believed in this novelty, and could not cease to believe that all this is real. 43

  Fonti Ricciane, 1:188, n. 239 (see note 40).   The editor of the Fonti Ricciane (see note 40), Pasquale D’Elia, deduced that the map was completed in October 1584 by comparing notices in other documents. It is impossible, however, to guess the approximate size of the original printed map or the Chinese adaptation, except that they were definitely much smaller than the extant maps that we have, the earliest being that of the 1603 Vatican version, which measures 4.14 by 1.79 meters or 13 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 9. See Fonti Ricciane, 1:207, N262, note 1 (see note 40). 43   Fonti Ricciane, 1:209–11, N262 (see note 40). 41

42

116

r. po-chia hsia

European cartography had become an instrument of evangelization, just as the Travels of Marco Polo later convinced Ricci that he indeed was in the land of Cathay, where Christian communities once flourished. Compared to Islamic and Chinese cartography, European geographical knowledge and mapmaking made giant leaps between the mid-fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries. We shall examine five European maps drawn between 1375 and 1502 to measure this progress. The first was a world map made by Abraham Cresques in 1375. A Majorca Jew, Cresques (1325–1387) made this beautiful cartographic and cosmographic work for the Aragonese king. The manuscript that accompanies the map has a beautiful drawing of the Ptolemaic cosmos, with the earth enclosed by the nine planetary spheres and framed by detailed stellar coordinates and the twelve zodiac signs. The map itself is centered on the Mediterranean. All the countries around it are accurately depicted, as are the British Isles, the Crimea, and the Black Sea. Africa is represented only by Egypt, Libya, and the Maghreb, while the Americas are of course absent. North and east of Germany, and to the east of Asia Minor, Eurasia is represented as a little-differentiated land mass. While the Persian Gulf is outlined not very accurately, and Cathay is situated at the extreme eastern edge of the map, Japan, mentioned by Marco Polo, is absent. Its geographic knowledge is comparable to a contemporary Islamic map, Ḥamdallāh Mustawfī’s world map (ca. 1330): whereas the Catalan map shows much greater accuracy for Europe and the Black Sea (an area of commercial activity for Italian merchants), Mustawfī’s map depicts all of Africa, India, Central Asia, and notates the existence of two states in China — Chin (the Qin and later Mongols) and Machin (the Song) to the south. The second is the famous world map made by Fra Mauro (ca.  1400–1464) (Fig. 7). A Venetian monk who had traveled to the Middle East in his youth as a merchant and soldier, Fra Mauro oversaw the cartographic workshop of his monastery. Drawing on his extensive geographic experience and information gathered from Venetian merchants who ventured to the Middle East and beyond, Fra Mauro executed this map as a commission given by King Alfonso of Portugal on behalf of his brother (?), Henry the Navigator. The ninety years between Cresques and Mauro saw some cartographic advances. Notably, Africa is represented now as an entire continent. In addition to the Mediterranean, the Black, Caspian, and Baltic Seas are quite well represented. Still, beyond the Arabian peninsula, Fra Mauro and his workshop relied more on fancy than information to represent the land mass of Eurasia and the Asian coastline. An island off the coast of China suggests that Japan is added. The third and fourth maps were completed at about the same time; both were made by German artisans: the 1489/91 world map of Henricus Martellus (Heinrich Hammer), a native of Nuremberg active in Florence between 1480 and 1496; and the Erdapfel (The Earth Apple) of 1492, a spherical globe made by Martin Behaim. There are many similarities between Martellus and Behaim: neither one shows the Americas; instead, they show a sea passage south of Africa; they depict

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

117

Figure 7. World Map, Fra Mauro, ca. 1450.

the Eurasian land mass, although information becomes inaccurate beyond the Germanic lands. In fact, they paint a phantom peninsula east of India in what might be the location of Indochina; and the information on East Asia seem to come from Marco Polo, with Cathay as the name for China and Cipango for Japan. These maps show the Atlantic connected to the Indian Ocean around the southern tip of Africa, although that passage, and the eastern coast of the continent, are highly inaccurate in contrast to the representation of the West African coast. The notation on Martellus’s map of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Ganges indicate progress in cartographic knowledge, while the names of Tartary and Cathay suggest that knowledge of East Asia had not expanded since the time of Marco Polo. Drawn on the eve of Vasco da Gama’s voyage around the Cape of Good Hope, these two German maps seem completely outdated in only a decade when we compare them to the 1502 Cantino Planisphere (Fig. 8). Named after Alberto Cantino, who smuggled this map out of Portugal at the behest of the Duke of Ferrara, the Cantino Planisphere is the earliest Portuguese map that incorporates the recent discoveries of Vasco da Gama (1498) and Pedro Alvares Cabral (1500). This is the earliest map that shows the partial coastline of Brazil as well as the islands of the Caribbean. Its depiction of Africa is remarkably accurate, both for the west coast,

118

r. po-chia hsia

Figure 8. 1502 Cantino Planisphere, Portuguese Map.

the outline of which was known for some decades to Portuguese sailors and the eastern coast, recently explored by Vasco da Gama. Thanks to da Gama, more details also were represented for India, notably the location of Calicut, one of the most important entrepôts in the Sino-Islamic, east-west maritime trade. Notice also the rendition of the Persian Gulf, which would become important to Portuguese maritime domination in the early sixteenth century as well. However, regarding East Asia, the drawers of the Cantino Planisphere showed little interest. The geographical sketches are similar to those in Martellus and Behaim a dozen years earlier, only with fewer annotations. The name “Cathay” is not even indicated. The Portuguese, for sure, would soon make up for their neglect of East Asia. In just a dozen years, they would conquer another major entrepôt in the Sino-Islamic trade, the city of Malacca, and would appear on the southeastern China coast as raiders and pirates. The predatory violence of the Portuguese undermined their first diplomatic endeavor, the 1520 visit of Tomé Pires, on the commission of the governor in Goa. The death of Emperor Wuzong (r. 1505–1521), who was favorable to Pires, and a petition against the Portuguese from the deposed sultan of Malacca, a recognized vassal of the Ming, doomed Pires’s mission. Dismissed and returned to Guangzhong, where he had landed, Pires languished in jail, waiting for the restoration of Malacca to its rightful ruler, and he died in 1524. Over the next three decades, while the Portuguese refrained from challenging the Ming state, they turned to smuggling and piracy in Chinese waters, joining bands of Chinese and Japanese pirates. 44 After the 1550s, when Ming officials in Guangdong conceded Macao to them as a land base, the Portuguese bought Chinese silk, tea, and porcelain to trade   On the earliest encounter between Ming China and Portugal, see Wan Ming万明, Zhong Pu zaoqi guanxi shi 中葡早期关系史 (Beijing: shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2001). 44

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

119

for Japanese silver, highly desirable in silver-starved Ming China; to the Chinese they also sold spices, sandalwood, and other tropical products in semi-annual fairs in Guangzhou; and they carried in their ships Chinese porcelain and silk to all parts of Southeast and South Asia and beyond. In the second half of the sixteenth century, profits from this triangular trade between Malacca, Guangzhou/Macao and Nagasaki helped finance the Jesuit missions in Japan and China. Our man in China, Matteo Ricci, had benefited from the knowledge and expertise of the Italians, Germans, and Portuguese. A native of Italy, he had read the fabled tales of Marco Polo; a student at the Roman College of the Jesuits, he had studied with the German mathematician Clavius, a leading astronomer in late sixteenth-century Europe; a passenger on a Portuguese carrack, he had studied the stars and measured the latitude and longitude of places he visited, using methods developed by Islamic and Portuguese seaman from centuries ago. The rest he achieved with his own genius: his prodigious memory, his classical education, his devotion to the Confucian canon, and the charisma of his personality. These personal gifts and serendipity brought Ricci first to the southern capital of the Ming, Nanjing, which he first mistook for the Cambalu of the Great Khan narrated by Marco Polo. Only after his second visit to Beijing in 1601, when he was lodged provisionally in the Hostel for Foreigners, the siyi guan, maintained by the imperial state, did Ricci see the light. It came after several conversations with two of his fellow Muslim lodgers, who had traveled from Central Asia, presumably Turks or Persians. In a letter dated August 24, 1608, to his brother, Antonio Maria Ricci, canon at the cathedral in Macerata, their home town, Ricci repeated his own discovery: It has become clear this past year that China is the great realm that the ancients called the Great Cathay, and that the King of China is the Great Khan, and the city of Beijing is Cambalu, court of the Great Khan because the Muslims and the Mongols call them as such, from whom in the past we received information of this kingdom. 45

For Ricci, it was a paradigm change, to use the expression of Thomas Kuhn in his book on the Scientific Revolution. In his letter to Acquaviva, written earlier in 1608, on March 8, he lays out his reasoning in detail. 46 First, China is Cathay because the Muslims call it so. Second, everything is wrong which our cosmographers had painted showing Cathay above China [as in the Genoese map, Figs. 9 and 10], painting other places and names that I, in inquiry, was unable to get information, knowing

45

  Lettere, 505–6 (see note 3).   Lettere, 479–80 (see note 3).

46

120

r. po-chia hsia

Figures 9 and 10. Genoese Map 1457, below, and details showing Cathay and China, above. very well that such a grand realm could not exist next to China without any news of it, knowing very well that from their books and maps it would have been north of the Great Wall.

Third, Ricci invokes the account of Marco Polo, who visited China after the Mongol conquest. Fourth, he deduces from the names of countries he had read from maps situated to the north of Persia, such as Kashgar and Kara Katai, all located about latitude 40 degrees north, which also matched the latitude of Beijing. So, there was no Cathay other than China. Furthermore, Ricci argued, it was demonstrated by the route undertaken by the Jesuit brother Bento Goís. The Jesuits in Goa, when they first received news from Ricci about Beijing, were skeptical about his speculation that Ming China

From Marco Polo to Matteo Ricci

121

Figure 11. Abraham Ortellius, World Map, 1570.

was the Great Cathay. In 1602 they sent Goís to retrace the route of Marco Polo. Accompanied by Isaac, an Armenian merchant who was fluent in Turkish and Persian, Goís started their epic journey from Agra, the capital of Mughal India, traveling on to Kabul before joining the caravans on the silk route. Only three years later did the pair reach the westernmost stretch of the Great Wall in Gansu province, where they were marooned, being exhausted physically and financially. They did manage to send notice to Ricci in Beijing, but Goís died before help arrived. The heroic tale of this epic journey confirmed Ricci even more in his speculation that the Cambalu in The Travels of Marco Polo was none other than Ming China. In Beijing, Ricci and his companion, the Spanish Jesuit Diego Pantoja, petitioned to bring gifts of tribute to Emperor Wanli. They would be the first Westerners permitted to visit the Forbidden City after Marco Polo. On January 24, the eve of the Lunar New Year, the gifts were presented to the court, among which was a copy of Abraham Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbi, which had served as the basis for Ricci’s first Chinese World Map in 1584 (see figure 11). The emperor took a keen interest in the Western clock and clavichord presented by the Jesuits, and since nobody at court knew how to service the time-piece or play Western music, Ricci and Pantoja were ordered to spend a month teaching the eunuchs Western technical and musical arts. Secluded for years and absent from daily audience, Wanli was nonetheless curious about these foreigners. But he was not to emerge from his restricted world of consorts and eunuchs. Two court painters were ordered to paint portraits of the Jesuits. The results were less than satisfactory, at least for the two Europeans. “But in truth, neither me myself nor my companion could be recognized in these portraits,

122

r. po-chia hsia

Figure 12. Western Barbarian presenting Lion 1483. Presented by the Timurid ruler Ahmed, Sultan of Samarkand (reign 1469–1494) to Emperor Chenghua.

but that was how they wanted to represent us,” complained Diego de Pantoja. 47 Ricci was more matter-of-fact in reporting the emperor’s reaction: Seeing these portraits, which they presented to him, [The Emperor, Wanli] said: “These are hui hui,” who are the Muslims of Persia who traffic with China, with beards and faces sufficiently resembling Europeans. A eunuch who was standing to the side responded: “No, they are not because they eat pork.” (see Fig. 12) 48

Perhaps that was poetic justice. Muslims had preceded Christians and Europeans in their travels to China; Persian and Arab geographers transmitted knowledge of Cathay to the lands of the Franks; and Islamic merchants, coming from land and sea, had accustomed the Chinese to the presence of bearded, long-nosed foreigners with deeply set and colored eyes. To Muslims from Central Asia, be they Turks or Persians, Ricci also owed the confirmation of his speculation that he, indeed, had made his way to that former capital of the Mongols, once called Cambalu of Cathay, now Beijing, capital of the Realm of Great Brightness. 49 47   “Pero en la verdad, ni a mi, ni a mi companero conocia en aquel retrato, mas como quiera que era le llevaron.” See Diego de Pantoja, letter to the Provincial of Toledo, Beijing, March 9, 1602, in Antonio Colaço, Relación annual de las cosas que han hecho los Padres de la Compañía de Jesús en la India Oriental y Japón en los años de 600 y 601 y del progresso de la conversion y christiandad de aquellas partes (Valladolid: L. Sanchez, 1604), 539–682, here 578. 48   “Riferittero quei che glielo portorno che, vedendo questi ritratti, disse: ‘Sono questi hoeihoei [hui hui],’ che sono i saraceni della Persia che communicano con la Cina, che hanno le barbe et il viso assai simili agli Europei. Rispose un eunuco che stava al lato: ‘Non sono, perchè mangiano carne di porco.’” Fonti Ricciane, 2:130, N597. 49   For further discussions of the changing paradigm concerning the world viewed in modern scientific terms and based on practical experiences of sea voyages, see the contribution to the present volume by James Helfers.

The Baby and the Bath Water: Satirical Laughter by Thomas Murner and Herman Bote as Catalysts for a Paradigm Shift in the Age Prior to the Protestant Reformation: Literary Comedy as a Medium to Undermine all Authorities and to Create a Power Vacuum Albrecht Classen

Laughter peals throughout history, but hardly ever more loudly, satirically, and sarcastically than in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. There are many good reasons to explain the emergence of the Protestant Reformation, but one of those, probably an important one, has not yet been fully recognized: laughter. Laughter, or comedy, perniciously undermines all authorities and can deconstruct pretenses in political, scientific, and religious terms; expose hypocrisy; and destroy traditional claims to power. It can also mirror facetiously the desperate attempts to maintain an old paradigm against new critics, or reveal deeply seated forms of selfcriticism, reflecting a sense of having outlived one’s time or having failed to sustain the norms and ideals of a previous age. While irony and satire tend to address weaknesses in human life in an entertaining and relatively light fashion, sarcasm specifically tries to hit harder and is more or less based on the assumption that bad conditions can hardly be improved or reformed unless a sharp medicine is applied. Sarcastic laughter almost reflects desperation and is a bitter expression of exasperation because there is no constructive change or improvement in sight. 1   Ralph Lerner, Playing the Fool: Subversive Laughter in Troubled Times (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2009). 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 123–150.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117196

124

albrecht classen

This laughter, this growing disrespect for the worldly, especially the clerical authorities, turned into the rallying cry for a paradigm shift and triggered the beginning of a new age determined by the Protestant Reformation. There were many critics of the Catholic Church in the fifteenth century, such as Felix Hemmerli and Sebastian Brant, 2 but one of the most outspoken and rasping voices was that of the Franciscan Thomas Murner (1475–ca. 1537), who can be regarded as an important catalyst for the pending paradigm shift. 3 While Barbara Könneker still grouped this famous German humanist among his contemporary satirists, especially Sebastian Brant, it might be more appropriate to recognize in Murner’s works the outpouring of a sarcastic mind that no longer holds back and swings hard at his contemporaries for their profound shortcomings and failures. 4 Murner might be famous even today, though not necessarily by his own name​ — ​which is mostly forgotten outside of sixteenth-century literary history​ — ​since he coined the famous statement, “Ein narr der meint, es sy nit schad, / Das kindt vß schitten mit dem bad” (no. 81, 1–2) [Only a fool believes that it would not be hurtful to throw the baby out with the bath], 5 which has transformed into the apothegm, “Do not throw the baby out with the bath water.” 6 He created many biting, bitter, and trenchant humorous narratives directed at virtually all authorities   Ferdinand Seibt and Winfried Eberhard, eds., Europa 1500: Integrationsprozesse im Widerstreit: Staaten, Regionen, Personenverbände, Christenheit (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1987); Wendy Scase, Piers Plowman and the New Anticlericalism, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Thomas A. Brady, Jr., Communities, Politics, and Reformation in Early Modern Europe, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 68 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 1998); Cordelia Heß, “A Common Enemy: Late Medieval Anticlericalism Revisited,” Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 21, no. 1 (2013): 77–96. 3   For a discussion of the meaning of a paradigm shift, especially in the Late Middle Ages, see my Introduction to this volume. But see here the contributions to John Drendel, ed., Crisis in the Later Middle Ages: Beyond the Postan-Duby Paradigm, The Medieval Countryside 13 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015). 4   Barbara Könneker, Satire im 16. Jahrhundert: Epoche–Werk–Wirkung, Arbeitsbücher zur Literaturgeschichte (Munich: Beck, 1991), 68–86; see also Dirk Jarosch, Thomas Murners satirische Schreibart: Studien aus thematischer, formaler und stilistischer Perspektive, Schriftenreihe zur Mediävistik 9 (Hamburg: Kovač, 2006). See also the contribution to the present volume by Bernd Renner. 5   Thomas Murner, Narrenbeschwörung (Text und Bilder der ersten Ausgabe), mit Einleitung, Anmerkungen und Glossar von M. Spanier, Neudrucke deutscher Litteraturwerke des XVI. und XVII. Jahrhunderts 119–24 (Halle a. d. Saale: Max Niemeyer, 1894), 243. 6   Wolfgang Mieder, “‘(Don’t) Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water’: The Americanization of a German Proverb and Proverbial Expression,” Western Folklore 50, no. 4 (1991, published 1992): 361‒400; see also Wolfgang Mieder, ed., A Dictionary of American Proverbs (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 33; Paul Heacock, ed., Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 14; and David Wilton, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 66–67. 2

The Baby and the Bath Water

125

and people from all social statuses and classes. It might come as a surprise, but he was an ardent opponent of the Protestant Reformation and especially of Martin Luther, yet his satires, or rather sarcastic tales in verse, certainly added fuel to the fire that threatened to engulf the early modern age. The Reformers hated him to the extreme, and he was depicted in woodcuts as a devil here on earth. 7 Even though he was a stout Catholic, we can recognize in Murner a major voice from the pre-Reformation age who through his hefty sarcasm indirectly contributed, perhaps even against his own intentions, to the collapse of the Church and thus paved the way toward Luther’s great accomplishments. 8 Murner enjoyed tremendous popularity, both because of his sharp wit and his serious concern with the spirituality and order within the Church, but he never would have wanted to see the Church destroyed. If we want to understand the global conditions leading to the paradigm shift in the early sixteenth century, we must widen our perspective and include also Luther’s predecessors, such as Murner, and take into consideration how the criticism against the Catholic Church emerged and grew throughout the late Middle Ages. 9 7   As to sarcasm at large, see Andrea Bowes and Albert Katz, “When Sarcasm Stings,” Discourse Processes 48, no. 4 (2011): 215–36, DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2010.532757; John Haiman, Talk is Cheap: Sarcasm, Alienation, and the Evolution of Language (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); Patricia Ann Rockwell, Sarcasm and Other Mixed Messages: The Ambiguous Ways People Use Language (Lewiston, NY; Queenston, Ont.; and Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006); and B[urkhard] Meyer-Sickendiek, “Sarkasmus,” in Historische Wörterbuch der Rhetorik, ed. Gert Ueding, vol. 8 (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2007), 436–47. See also Alan Baragona and Elizabeth L. Rambo, eds., Words that Tear the Flesh: Essays on Sarcasm in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Cultures, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 21 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2018). For a copy of a notorious woodcut showing Murner as a devil, see http://www.wikiwand.com/de/Martin_Luther_und_die_Juden (last accessed on Dec. 29, 2017). 8   See the contributions to Christoph Auffarth, ed., Glaubensstreit und Gelächter: Reformation und Lachkultur im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit, Religionen in der pluralen Welt 6 (Berlin and Münster: LIT-Verlag, 2008). However, neither Sebastian Brant nor Thomas Murner are mentioned here or in any other significant satirical literature from the sixteenth century. Preceding and then accompanying the entire Protestant Reformation, the new print technology made it possible to produce highly satirical broadsheets; see Georg Piltz, ed., Ein Sack voll Ablaß: Bildsatiren der Reformationszeit (Berlin: Eulenspiegel-Verlag, 1983). Renaissance scholars often tend to ignore the major contributions to satirical literature, perhaps because most satirical authors appear to address the common people and do not write in a particularly learned style; see, for instance, Brian Cummings and James Simpson, eds., Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Neither Sebastian Brant nor Thomas Murner are mentioned. 9   Another interesting critic of the Church who never wanted it to collapse but worked hard to reform it from within was Felix Hemmerli (1388–1458); as a result of his harsh criticism of the Franciscan Order and many other aspects of the Catholic Church, including the institution

126

albrecht classen

Writers on both sides of the politico-religious divide, such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, Caspar Scheidt, Niklaus Manuel, Thomas More, and the anonymous author (Herman Bote?) of the stories dealing with Till Eulenspiegel, tried to undermine their enemies’ position through many types of humor. 10 The Protestant Reformation cut through the entire German, and soon European, population as the wealth of critical and also comical comments from the first half of the sixteenth century clearly indicates. Sebastian Coxon has studied the genre of German comic tales from that time period (2008); 11 I myself have made various efforts to explore the meaning of laughter in the Middle Ages and early modern age, especially in my book Laughter in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times (2010); 12 others have investigated the topic of laughter seen in late medieval visual arts such as the paintings of Breughel. 13 However, the topic of laughter as a major catalyst of the paradigm shift in the early sixteenth century still awaits its critical examination. 14 My of celibacy, he was taken prisoner in Zurich and imprisoned in the Lucerne house of the Franciscans in 1454, where he died four years later. He was hated not only by the clergy but also by the citizens of Zürich because he rejected the peasants, and hence the Swiss Confederation, and argued in favor of the Habsburg dynasty. His satires and sarcastic texts make him a predecessor of Murner and a contributor to the imminent paradigm shift. See Colette Halter-Pernet, Felix Hemmerli: Zürichs streitbarer Gelehrter im Spätmittelalter, Mit Übersetzungen aus dem Lateinischen von Helena Müller und Erika Egner Eid (Zürich: Chronos, 2017). 10   Paul Aron, Histoire du pastiche: le Pastich littéraire français, de la Renaissance à nos jours (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2008). 11   Sebastian Coxon, Laughter and Narrative in the Later Middle Ages: German Comic Tales 1350–1525, Legenda (Leeds: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing, 2008). 12   Albrecht Classen, ed., Laughter in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times: Epistemology of a Fundamental Human Behavior, Its Meaning, and Consequences, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 5 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010). See also Dominique Bertrand, Dire le rire à l’âge classique: représenter pour mieux contrôler (Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence, 1995); for a broad historical overview of humor in religion, see Ingvild Sælid Gilhus, Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the History of Religion (London and New York: Routledge, 1997). Laughter is also discussed within the framework of the history of emotions, though we often face the danger that this might then result in a hodgepodge of issues; see, for instance, Per Förnegård, Erika Kihlmann, Mia Åkestam, and Gunnel Engwall, eds., Tears, Sighs and Laughter: Expressions of Emotions in the Middle Ages, Konferenser 92 (Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2017). 13   Walter S. Gibson, Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Laughter (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Stefan Fischer, Im Irrgarten der Bilder: Die Welt des Hieronymus Bosch (Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam jun., 2016); Hans Rudolf Velten, Scurrilitas: Das Lachen, die Komik und der Körper in Literatur und Kultur des Spätmittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit, Bibliotheca Germanica 63 (Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto Verlag, 2017). None of them, however, considers laughter in the context of the paradigm shift, and not even in light of the nascent anti-clericalism. 14   See, for instance, the excellent contributions to R. Po-chia Hsia, ed., A Companion to the Reformation World, Blackwell Companions to European History (Malden, MA; Oxford; and

The Baby and the Bath Water

127

concern is not focused on the early modern Shrovetide play, the carnival, and texts related to that culture, such as the works by Rabelais, which Mikhail Bakhtin has studied already in depth, changing our approaches to that world considerably. 15 Comedy itself, however, is a highly complex phenomenon and cannot be easily pigeon-holed, since much depends on the context, intention, generic framework, the use of language, and the target. 16 Consequently, in literary terms we differentiate between irony, 17 satire, parody, cynicism, and sarcasm, and each category has its own history and textual background. 18 While we accept that laughter and comedy were common features of life in the pre-modern world, since the evidence for both has proven to be overwhelming, 19 here I would like to probe the extent Victoria: Blackwell, 2004/2006); or to Andrew Pettegree, ed., The Reformation World (London and New York: Routledge, 2000). 15  Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press [1968]). See Stephen M. Carey, “Bakthinian Discourse Theory, Heteroglossia,” in Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends, ed. Albrecht Classen, vol. 1 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 131–37. 16   For the development of anti-Jesuit satires in words and images since the mid-sixteenth century, see Ursula Paintner, ‘Des Papsts neue Creatur’: Antijesuitische Publizistik im Deutschsprachigen Raum (1555–1618), Chloe, Beihefte zum Daphnis 44 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2011). 17  Gerd Althoff and Christel Meier, Ironie im Mittelalter: Hermeneutik–Dichtung–Politik (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2011); Albrecht Classen, “Irony in Medieval and Early Modern German Literature (Nibelungenlied, Mauritius von Craûn, Johannes von Tepl’s Ackermann): The Encounter of the Menschlich-Allzumenschlich in a Medieval Context,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 113, no. 2 (2014): 184–205. 18  See, for instance, Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg, eds., A Cultural History of Humour: From Antiquity to the Present Day (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press; Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997); and Werner Röcke and Helga Neumann, eds., Komische Gegenwelten: Lachen und Literatur in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit (Paderborn, Munich, et al.: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1999), which has valuable contributions but no consistent focus. The same applies to Katja Gvozdeva and Werner Röcke, eds., “risus sacer​ — ​sacrum risibile”: Interaktionsfelder von Sakralität und Gelächter im kulturellen und historischen Wandel, Publikationen zur Zeitschrift für Germanistik, Neue Folge 20 (Bern, Berlin, et al.: Peter Lang, 2009); and to Christian Kuhn and Stefan Bießenecker, eds., Valenzen des Lachens in der Vormoderne (1250–1750), Bamberger Historische Studien 8 (Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2012). Stefan Seeber, Poetik des Lachens: Untersuchungen zum mittelhochdeutschen Roman um 1200, Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters 140 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), limits himself to German literature from the High Middle Ages. For art-historical perspectives, see Winfried Wilhelmy, ed., Seliges Lächeln und höllisches Gelächter: Das Lachen in Kunst und Kultur des Mittelalters, Publikationen des Bischöflichen Dom-und Diözesanmuseums Mainz 1 (Mainz: Bischöfliches Dom-und Diözesanmuseums, 2012). 19  See, for instance, Klaus Kipf, “Lachte das Mittelalter anders? Relative Alterität und kognitive Kontinuität komischer Strukturen in Schwankerzählungen des 13.–15. Jahrhunderts,” in Wie anders war das Mittelalter? Fragen an das Konzept der Alterität, ed. Manuel Braun,

128

albrecht classen

to which satirical (or sarcastic) literature from the turn of the fifteenth century to the sixteenth might have laid the foundation for the subsequent paradigm shift, undermined the traditional authorities, and opened cracks in the social fabric of that time. Even though the contributors to the volume Glaubensstreit und Gelächter (2008) seem to move already into that direction, they mostly limit themselves to specialized investigations of comic literature in the sixteenth century without taking into account the specific topics that determined the public discourse at that time. 20 In other words, they do not understand laughter as a heuristic element that brought about a paradigm shift. Laughter, as noted above, can be self-destructive or reformist, but it certainly has a deep impact on society, especially when it is triggered by a popular media and has extensive affects on people at many different social levels and in all age groups. Murner’s Narrenbeschwörung [Exorcism of Fools], which was first printed in Strasbourg in 1512 and appeared in print throughout the sixteenth century (Strasbourg 1518, 1522, 1556, 1558, and Frankfurt a. M. 1565), provides an intriguing lens onto the history of mentality in the pre-Reformation decades and the following years, allowing us to understand what people found hilarious, deeply wrong, objectionable, and simply foolish, if not idiotic. 21 Previous scholars have identified in him a powerful voice who was singularly competent to express his concerns with the many shortcomings and vices of his time and could uniquely match the emerging Protestant intellectuals, but we still need to analyze at much greater length to what extent he actually contributed to paving the way toward the Reformation itself. 22 Intriguingly, already in the middle of the fifteenth century the famous and notorious anthology of outrageous tales, the Facetiae (completed in 1452) by the famous papal secretary Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459), had started to exert considerable influence on the intellectuals and writers of his epoch because of its frank tone, the deftness of its motifs, its sexual and at times pornographic and scatological

Aventiuren  9 (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2013), 233–63. His study is marred by three problems. Even though he focuses, according to the title, on late medieval jest narratives, he is really addressing mæren (verse narratives) and not Schwänke. Then he does not reflect sufficiently on the current research on laughter (see above); and finally, instead of taking the specific conditions in the Late Middle Ages into account, he simply offers an interpretation of laughter as it emerges in various verse narratives. 20   Auffarth and Kerth, Glaubensstreit und Gelächter (see note 8). 21   Fritz Schmidt-Clausing, Zwinglis Humor (Frankfurt a. M.: Lembeck, 1968); Hans-Jürgen Bachorski, “Wie im 16. Jahrhundert das Lachen ins Bild gesetzt wird: eine kleine Galerie,” in Gestalt, Funktion, Bedeutung: Festschrift für Friedrich Möbius zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. Franz Jäger and Helga Sciurie (Jena: Glaux, 1999), 142–60. 22   Arnold E. Berger, ed., Satirische Feldzüge wider die Reformation: Thomas Murner / Daniel von Soest, Deutsche Literatur, Reihe Reformation 3 (Leipzig: Philipp Reclam jun. 1933), 5–7.

The Baby and the Bath Water

129

themes, and the sharp and biting nature of his satirical criticism of the entire clergy and other people. 23 Poggio’s Facetiae were certainly neither the first (see Boccaccio’s Decameron from ca. 1350 and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from ca. 1400) nor the last (see the Cent nouvelles nouvelles from ca. 1460 or Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron from 1558/1559) in the long series of entertaining tales dominating the Late Middle Ages and the early modern age, many of which drew their inspiration from the miserable conditions among the clergy at large, in the monasteries, and in the Holy See. In fact, as Birgit Beine has outlined at great length, the history of anticlerical criticism can be traced well back to the High Middle Ages, and it did not lose much of its political influence for centuries to come; on the contrary, it gained in strength especially because of the Protestant Reformation. 24 As we will observe, Murner represents a major step forward in this tradition, especially because of his particularly aggressive method in ridiculing people’s shortcomings everywhere, which was well received, as confirmed by the publication records. All these parodists, satirists, and sarcastic humorists contributed in their own way to the establishment of a critical mass and ultimately led to the fundamental paradigm shift of the Protestant Reformation that operated with a different methodology and rhetorical strategies. Countless historians and religious scholars have already examined the huge wave that ultimately led to the crackdown of the Catholic Church and the rise of the Protestant Church. The sixteenth century witnessed monumental movements in how the world was perceived, both internally and externally, and it was also a time of further explorations of the Americas and the passage to India. Much more important, however, than the geographical discoveries and technological inventions, the rise of a mining industry, and the transformation of the political system, especially in the Holy Roman Empire, was that the religious perspective witnessed a deep challenge that ultimately led to the breakup of the Church. Martin Luther, above all, knew how to utilize and take advantage of the new printing press, marketing strategies, and the innovative approaches to philological research in the field of the humanities, especially in Bible Studies. But how was all that really possible, apart from the growing criticism of the institution of indulgence letters, the increasing objections to a morally debased clergy, and the politicization of the Church itself? Here I am suggesting that the new culture of laughter, comedy, and humor began to reach political potency; that is, a growing number of scholars in the early sixteenth century pursued criticism from many different perspectives, which

 http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/poggio-bracciolini_(Dizionario-Biografico)/.  Birgit Beine, Der Wolf in der Kutte: Geistliche in den Mären des deutschen Mittelalters, Braunschweiger Beiträge zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur 2 (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, 1999). 23

24

130

albrecht classen

undermined all authorities and created free spaces for debate, inquiry, and questioning. Even though the theological debate erupted only after Luther had posted his theses, the full damage to the Catholic institution had already occurred decades earlier, as the examples of satirical and sarcastic literature confirm and as the evidence from Luther’s own life supports as well. 25 I will focus in this essay on Murner’s satires above all, but I will buttress the analysis with a study of the large corpus of histori [sic] dealing with Till Eulenspiegel in order to identify more specifically how defenders of traditional Catholicism and new Protestantism labored hard and drew on the modern media opportunities (broadsheets, printed material) to defeat their opponents. The purpose will be to turn our attention away from theological issues and to examine instead the dimension of laughter as, perhaps, a more important communicative strategy than rhetorical and logical operations. 26 After all, when people begin to laugh, they clearly signal that their opponent is potentially no longer worth serious thought and has turned into a caricature. Of course, people laugh for many different reasons, and there are numerous intentions hidden in their laughter, but we can be certain that in the sixteenth century, laughing culture gained in significance and contributed to the global paradigm shift within the religious sphere, as the growth of jest narratives in Germany indicates (Johannes Pauli, Hans Wilhelm Kirchhoff, Georg Wickram, Michael Lindener, etc.). 27 While scholars have already discussed the phenomenon of satirical literature in the Late Middle Ages and beyond, it remains to be seen how this new emphasis on laughter with all of its shades of meaning contributed to the fundamental transformation of the Christian Church. 28 My main witness is Thomas Murner, who was a strong defender of Catholicism but whose satirical texts enjoyed a tremendous popularity. He is well known to us today, as I have noted above already, because he coined the phrase this study is titled with: do not throw the baby out with the bath water. He was born, as far as we can tell on the basis of an untrustworthy source, in 1475 not too far away   Johann Anselm Steiger, “Das Lachen Gottes und des Menschen: die Narretei Gottes, der Vernunft und des Glaubens in der Theologie Martin Luthers,” in Anthropologie und Medialität des Komischen im 17. Jahrhundert (1580 – 1730), ed. Stefanie Arend, Chloe 40 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008), 403–27; Auffarth and Kerth, Glaubensstreit und Gelächter (see note 8); Anselm Schubert, “Das Lachen der Ketzer: zur Selbstinszenierung der frühen Reformation,” Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 108, no. 4 (2011): 405–30. 26   Alison Williams, Tricksters and Pranksters: Roguery in French and German Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft 49 (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2000). 27   Albrecht Classen, Deutsche Schwankliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts: Studien zu Martin Montanus, Hans Wilhelm Kirchhof und Michael Lindener, Koblenz-Landauer Studien zu Geistes-, Kultur-und Bildungswissenschaften 4 (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2009). 28   See Berger, Satirische Feldzüge, 5–36 (see note 20). 25

The Baby and the Bath Water

131

from Strasbourg. He appears to have died in 1537. He grew up in Strasbourg and decided, upon his father’s urging due to his weak constitution since his early childhood​ — ​maybe a form of poliomyelitis​ — ​to join a monastery. In 1490, at the age of twenty-five, he became a Franciscan. This was the ideal situation for him, since he was quickly recognized as a brilliant man who deserved all the support he could get to study and to preach. From 1494 to 1498 he studied in Freiburg i. Br., in 1498 in Cologne, from 1498 to 1499 in Paris, in 1499 in Rostock, from 1499 to 1500 in Cracow, in 1500 in Prague, and in 1501 in Vienna. Having graduated with a Master’s degree, he returned to Strasbourg in 1501 where he began to work as a preacher and teacher of philosophy at the monastic school. He immediately got into a major ideological battle with the humanist Jacob Wimpfeling over the national orientation of Alsace, which led to the confiscation of one of his publications, Germania nova (1502). Nevertheless, the Order sent him on many different teaching and political missions all over Germany and abroad, which allowed him to witness the critical issues being publicly debated at that time. Murner was entrusted with numerous different teaching assignments (theology, logic, philosophy, etc.), and he himself aimed for ever new challenges, gaining a degree in law in 1519 after just one year of university studies in Basel. Most impressively, Emperor Maximilian I crowned him as a poeta laureatus in 1505, giving him full public recognition for his poetic abilities. However, the rise of the Protestant Reformation, which soon reached Strasbourg, made him a public enemy of prime rank, so he fled to Lucerne in Switzerland, then to Heidelberg before returning finally to his birthplace, Oberehnheim​ — ​today Obernai, north of Colmar and south of Strasbourg​ — ​where he found a position as preacher in 1533. 29 He published almost seventy independent texts, many of which are forgotten today because his harsh criticism of Luther and the Reformation attracted vehement opposition that often proved to be successful in casting Murner in a negative light. 30

  Hedwig Heger, “Thomas Murner,” in Deutsche Dichter der frühen Neuzeit (1450–1600): Ihr Leben und Werk, ed. Stephan Füssel (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1993), 296–310. See also the contributions to Ruth Chavasse, ed., Thomas Murner: humaniste et théologien alsacien (1475– 1537): exposition de la Bibliothèque Nationale et Université de Strasbourg et de la Badische Landesbibliothek de Karlsruhe; catalogue d’exposition (Karlsruhe: Badische Landesbibliothek, 1987). 30   Thomas Murner, Deutsche Schriften mit den Holzschnitten der Erstdrucke, ed. Franz Schultz and G. Lebermeyer, 9 vols., Kritische Gesamtausgaben Elsässischer Schriftsteller des Mittelalters und der Reformationszeit (1918–1931; Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1980). For an excellent biographical and bibliographical overview, see the German-language wikipedia page at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Murner. The most reliable biographical sketch, however, is now provided by Franz Josef Worstbrock, “Murner, Thomas,” in Deutscher Humanismus: Verfasserlexikon, ed. id., 2 vols. (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2013), 2:299–368. Worstbrock does not discuss in detail the content of Murner’s satires or the purposes behind his sarcasm. 29

132

albrecht classen

We can already draw from this thin biographical scaffold some important insights for our subsequent analysis. Here we see a leading intellectual of his time, a man who commanded a tremendously broad range of education, who had a combative personality, was a sharp-witted individual, a highly gifted writer and poet, and an influential teacher and publicist. He foresaw the coming of the Protestant Reformation and warned his fellow brothers in the Franciscan Order about it, but he could not prevent the paradigm shift. But Murner also enjoyed, throughout his life, tremendous popularity, especially with his satires, and he can be regarded as a major voice of his time. He allows us well to reflect on the cultural, religious, social, and political changes occurring during his life time, and he is a true witness of that paradigm shift, which he tried to prevent, though he was not strong enough to stem the flood of criticism leading to critical mass that ultimately granted Martin Luther the necessary authority to bring about change in his world. My goal here is not to pursue Murner’s biography in further detail or to probe how the Franciscan Order operated in Strasbourg and elsewhere at the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. Instead, I want to look at some of his satires through which he made his contemporaries laugh, and this at a time when religious strife increasingly gained in acrimony and ultimately destroyed the foundation of the Catholic Church. In 1494 the Basel humanist Sebastian Brant had published his Narrenschiff [The Ship of Fools], one of the “bestsellers” of his time. Murner followed his model when he published his Doctor murners narren bschwerung [Dr. Murner’s Incantation of the Fools] in 1512, casting a wide net with his satire, making fun of virtually everyone in his society because they behave foolishly and cannot be taken seriously because of their stupidity. This was followed by the even more successful verse satire, Der schelmen zunfft [The Guild of Rogues] (also from 1512), identifying mankind as a guild of fools and calling people everywhere “masters of foolery.” As much as he was trying to expose all those shortcomings, he also pursued his usual goal of converting and teaching people and bringing them back to God by rescuing them from their loss of mind​ — ​hence their foolishness. 31 Unfortunately, all his best intentions, which might undermine our claim that he was sarcastically oriented, were redirected by Luther and scores of his disciples, who massively attacked Murner and tried to malign him with all means available to them. This then led Murner to compose his other major satirical work, Von dem grossen Lutherischen Narren wie in doctor Murner beschworen hat [On the Great Lutheran Fool as Doctor Murner Conjured Him] (1522), which today is identified as one of the great anti-Protestant narratives, driven by Murner’s ardent desire to maintain the unity of the Catholic Church and to resist all attempts by the other side to break away. 32 He also composed, prior to the emergence of Luther, the equally popular   Heger, “Thomas Murner,” 301 (see note 29).   Jürgen Schutte, “‘schympff vnd ernst vermischet schon’: Die Rechtfertigung der Satire bei Thomas Murner,” Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik 3 (1971): 42–62; id., “‘Schympf red’: 31

32

The Baby and the Bath Water

133

Schelmenzunfft [Guild of Rogues] (1512 and many times thereafter), Ein andechtig geistliche Badenfart [A Pious and Spiritual Journey to a Spa] (1514), Die Mülle von Schwyndelszheym vnd Gredt Müllerin Jarzit [The Mill of Schwyndelszheym and the Time of Gredt Müllerin] (1515), and Die geuchmat [The Cuckoo’s Meadow] (1519). A key concept developed by Murner was the global inclusion of all people, since he regarded everyone as foolish, including himself​ — ​a lesson that he had obviously learned from Brant​ — ​formulating: “Ist er ein narr, als er das schrybt, / So weiß ich nit, wer wyß belybt” (no. 1, 29–30) [If he is a fool, as he writes, then I do not know who will remain a wise person]. 33 It is no particular art to turn into a fool, since it is rather characteristic of all people to act foolishly, as Murner’s other source, King Solomon in the Old Testament, also confirmed (47–48). Nevertheless, despite all of his harsh criticism, there is still hope for Murner, since he has turned to writing this satirical verse narrative in order to turn people away from their own foolishness (54–56). He does not intend to hurt people; instead, he wants to employ his sharp-witted words for instruction and reform (59–60), driving all foolishness out of Germany back to France or Italy (58). We have to be mindful that Murner composed his Narrenbeschwerung well before the emergence of Luther as the new intellectual leader of his time and as the sharpest critic of the Church. But he contributed, in an almost paradoxical fashion, to Luther’s own success later by undermining the authority of the leading social classes, charging “Fürsten, herren” (67) [Princes, lords] as being fools, then the members of monasteries as well (68), and all other people. All over Germany, Murner emphasizes, people have become foolish, which ultimately would be a grave danger for the entire country: “nerrsche gest sint nit on schaden” (74) [foolish guests are not unthreatening]. While in the past there had been enough individuals competent enough to recognize and to expel the fools, this would no longer be the case. Once again he points out the great threat for all of society if foolishness spreads further: “Den narrheit ist ein schedlich dingk” (89) [foolishness causes much damage], similar to weeds that develop roots and soon enough cannot be removed. For him, foolishness could be a deadly disease: “Vnd muost der narrheyt sterben dot” (95) [And you will have to suffer death from foolishness]. 34 Criticizing fools, however, would be a most difficult task that no philosopher had ever accomplished successfully and that even King Solomon did not dare to tackle in ancient times. A fellow monk asks Murner how he would try to accomplish this goal, which would be really impossible, considering that Christ never made a wise man out of a fool (no. 2, 10). The monk urges Murner to withdraw back into the monastery and to avoid getting soiled by the fools: “Laß dich mit Frühformen bürgerlicher Agitation in Thomas Murners ‘Großem Lutherischen Narren,’” Germanistische Abhandlungen 41 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1973). 33   I will quote using the text number the first time, together with the verse, and subsequently refer only to the verse/s in the respective section. Here it is the prologue, so no. 1, 29–30. 34   To avoid typographical errors in the print version, I have written out all superscripta.

134

albrecht classen

narren vnbeschissen!” (19) [do not let shit get on you because of the fools]. It would be much easier to make a wise person into a fool (22–24). In his response Murner admits to his fictional respondent that it would indeed be a terrible idea to talk to a foolish person in a wise manner (56–57), which he also learned from Solomon, especially because the fools would quickly become arrogant and believe that they have the same intelligence as the wise people. However, Murner then admits being himself a fool like everyone else (67) and worries that this foolishness might never abandon him until his death (84–85). Hence, he realizes that he has to pursue truth, teach God’s lessons, and preach about Holy Scriptures, which would represent his global duties as a human being (106). The preacher and teacher here comes to the fore, as Murner emphasizes that, on the one hand, he does not want to hurt anyone’s feelings (109) and that, on the other, his facetious comments would serve their purposes to address the right people: “So weiß ich, das ich troffen hab” (112) [then I will know that I have hit my goal]. In other words, the poet accepts his responsibilities to eradicate foolishness, and yet he knows, as he emphasizes subsequently, that all his efforts will be met with much criticism, since people do not like to be confronted with their own weaknesses and shortcomings: “Ich kan nit yeder muotter kindt / Ziehen wol . . .” (121–22); [I cannot educate every mother’s child well]. Even Christ could not accomplish that task, so Murner demonstrates his contention, “Ich thuo, so vil mir müglich ist” (125) [I do as much as it is possible for me], hoping for God’s reward (128). Murner criticizes himself and his colleagues for being too intellectual and for being ignorant of reality. Even though he would claim to be an expert on the Bible, he would not even know the price of turnips, a staple food at that time (no. 3, 11–14). He and his fellows are proud of Holy Scriptures but ignore divine law (19–21). They preach about the eternal life but fail to follow the path toward it themselves (25–26). They claim that the Bible contains the full truth and yet do not believe in it (27–30). In their sermons they outline the proper path toward salvation, and yet they pursue a monkey’s passage themselves (39–40). Even though they hold the key for the lock in the door to heaven, God has changed the lock; hence the door is hardly opened again by any of the clergy (50). In fact, Murner goes so far as to ridicule himself, pointing out that he is relying more on his doctor title than would be good for him, implying that he has lost the sense of God’s truth over all his learnedness: “das hat mir offt vnd dick geschadt” (74) [that has hurt me often and badly]. Their task would be to provide teaching for the ignorant people, to bring the innocent sheep home to the pastor, but in reality “So bringen wirs den woelffen all, / Von gott dem tüfel in syn huß” (84–85) [we are taking it to all the wolves, from God to the devil’s house]. He intensifies this self-criticism at the end and outlines the danger waiting for the ordinary people in his parish. He transcends his satirical mode of speech and turns to sarcasm by reflecting on the terrible shortcomings of the clergy’s failures. The woodcut accompanying this section (Fig. 1) is the same as was used by Sebastian Brant for his Narrenschiff (1494), showing a scholar wearing thick glasses

The Baby and the Bath Water

135

Figure 1. Sebastian Brant, Narrenschiff woodcut (1494). Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons (last accessed on Dec. 29, 2017).

sitting in his study and reading a book entitled “Von vnnutzen buchern” [Of useless books]. 35 Here, however, the target of his criticism is not the learned person in general but the members of the Preaching Order, hence also himself. Murner thus paves the way for a global questioning of the authorities and warns his audience about trusting preachers, teachers, and scholars too much. Foolishness proves to be, as he insinuates, a pervasive danger in all of society and seems to have undermined its foundation to a large extent. As facetious as Murner might sound, in reality he expresses a rather sarcastic perspective, casting serious doubt about the well-being of his world in which even the most educated members can no longer be trusted. Even though God’s creation was good, mankind has grown since then, which has resulted, as Murner argues, in an enormous proliferation of fools everywhere (no. 4). Resorting to the image of planting and fertilizing, the poet warns the audience that people utter so much nonsense everywhere and produce so much “mist” (24) [manure] that the number of fools is becoming infinite. In fact, for Murner, the issue has become an existential threat, so his efforts at depicting the world in satirical and sarcastic terms are deeply grounded and concern the well-being of his entire

35   Sebastian Brant, Das Narrenschiff, Nach der Erstausgabe (Basel 1494) mit den Zusätzen der Ausgaben von 1495 und 1499 wie den Holzschnitten der deutschen Originalausgaben, ed. Manfred Lemmer, 3rd expanded ed., Neudrucke deutscher Literaturwerke, Neue Folge 5 (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1986), 7.

136

albrecht classen

world. People ought to pay attention to the way Adam, the first man, repented his sinfulness during his 900-year lifespan and should reform as well (65–68). As much as the poet aimed at entertaining his audience, he was serious about his direct appeal to turn away from sinful behavior and return to God. Foolishness thus emerges as a symbolic expression of global decline in morality and ethics, which threatens, as Murner indicates many times through various means in his satirical texts, the survival of mankind at large. However, the broad theological reflections are quickly replaced by concrete criticism of wrongdoings wherever Murner observes them. Already in this section he reprimands young mothers to nurse their own children because the milk of wet-nurses could change the infant’s character and make a fool out of him: “Für edel kind wirt dir ein pur” (114) [Instead of a noble child you will have a boorish one]. Irrespective of the rather spurious theory behind this concept, the subsequent verses point to how to raise children properly, which would involve discipline, rules, teaching, and punishment, and instilling in them piety and devotion (125–128). Allowing children to enjoy full freedom and indulge in rascal behavior while failing to instruct them in the proper attitude toward God and ignoring all vows that the parents might have sworn at the baptism would eventually bring about the development of a whole generation of fools. However, Murner includes his own group of clergy as partial culprits in this vein if they preach and then do not live up to their own words, which “ergert manchen frummen man” (145) [irritates many virtuous people]. In other words, he has a global perspective that includes all aspects from earliest childhood to adulthood and sees grave dangers everywhere because ethics and morality are no longer upheld. Murner, similar to Brant but much more detail oriented, takes into account many different social and age groups​ — ​women and men, old and young​ — ​and rebukes them harshly for their wrongdoing and foolishness, which altogether endangers the well-being of his society. In narrative no. 5, “Gelerte narren schinden,” he challenges the intellectuals and ridicules their presumptiveness, based on their university degrees, and then hits them hard by accusing them of pretending to know Holy Scriptures and then not demonstrating through their deeds and behavior that they have fully understood the meaning: “Wes handlent ir nit mit der that, / Als nun das selb geschriben stat?” (102–103) [Why do you not act in conformity with what is written [in the Bible]?]. Intelligence and education thus prove to be rather dubious in achieving true piety and wisdom, and by the same token, though not fully developed, Murner also claims that neither emperors, kings, or counts would be exempt from his charge of foolishness (191–192). Whatever he might try to achieve through his sharp criticism, people would always fall back into their old bad habits (195–196). More down to earth, Murner has only harsh words for people drinking heavily in the taverns, bragging about foolish things, and lying outright (no. 6). He makes fun of all those who do not pay for their drinks, who pretend to be mighty knights and fighters, who brag about their abilities as alchemists, who claim to be

The Baby and the Bath Water

137

the wisest philosophers, and others. He also refers to those who, in their alcoholic stupor, assume that they are like the famous Tannhäuser and have just come from the Venus mountain (51–57). 36 Even though Murner at the end apologizes to the learned scholars for involving them in his sarcastic criticism (152), he still specifically targets those who spend their time in the tavern drinking wine, condemning them harshly for their foolishness. Satirically he encourages the young people to keep drinking and eating as much as they can because their fathers will pay the bill in the end (162) while their ability to learn Latin will fade away, which will imply that their way toward the gallows lies ahead of them (170). In the narrative no. 8, “Löffel schnyden,” Murner identifies all fools with spoons and addresses the relationship between the genders, such as men’s tendency to marry women only if they are rich and bring a great dowry with them (7–8). Those men who believe that they can control their wives would quickly have to learn how much they are actually controlled by them (15–17). Many men turn into fools when they reach old age (22), disregarding their wrinkled faces and hoping for new luck in love: “Wer heßlich ist vnd acht sich stoltz, / Der ist nit wyt vom loeffel holtz” (33–34) [He who is ugly and regards himself in a prideful manner is not far away from the wood of spoons]. 37 This is then followed by a whole litany of foolish people, who might believe that they are rich and are not (36), who pretend to be of aristocratic birth and are not because everyone in the family originated from the village (37–38), and who claim to be wise and smart (39) yet have only recently fled the work of a farmer (40). Finally Murner also criticizes harshly those young people who quickly squander all their inheritance in one year after their father has worked for forty to amass all those goods, which then leads to painful poverty: “bettel standt” (66) [life of a pauper]. However, the poet finally makes an exception and addresses the truly wise individuals who would know what people he had in mind with his satire (74–75).

  Murner thus proves to be a late yet significant testimony of the ongoing Tannhäuser legend; see Dietz-Rüdiger Moser, Die Tannhäuser-Legende: Eine Studie über Intentionalität und Rezeption katechetischer Volkserzählungen zum Buß-Sakrament (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1977); and Karin Tebben, Tannhäuser: Biographie einer Legende (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010). 37   Undoubtedly, Murner here draws from a rich repertoire of tropes and topoi especially about old men, which were richly complemented by the same for old women; see the contributions to Albrecht Classen, ed., Old Age in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Neglected Topic, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 2 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2007); and Albrecht Classen, “Lachen mit den und über die Alten: Kulturhistorische Reflexionen über den frühneuzeitlichen Diskurs zum Alter mit Schwerpunkt auf der deutschen Schwankliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts,” in Methoden der Alter(n)sforschung: Disziplinäre Positionen und transdisziplinäre Perspektiven, ed. Andrea von Hülsen-Esch, Miriam Seidler, and Christian Tagsold (Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2013), 167–88. 36

138

albrecht classen

At the same time, Murner severely attacks women as foolish people and strongly advises his audience not to spare the rod with them: “Wer an in die bengel spart / Vnd schlecht nit druff als in ein mist, / Das im kein dester hoelder ist” (no. 9, 8–10) [He who spares the rod and does not hit upon them like on manure, [will experience] that none of them will like him more]. Of course he also blames men who so foolishly fall prey to simple female attractiveness and comply with women’s wishes without fail, such as buying them any piece of clothing that they might desire. Murner’s strong misogyny is paired with his contempt of the boorish men who can be so easily seduced, while they should, in reality, use a strong stick of oak wood and beat reason into women (93–95). In no. 11 Murner criticizes people who pretend that they could disregard God or would have enough influence and power to manipulate Him, which is expressed with the image of applying a fake beard out of straw to His face. Members of the clergy, in particular, tend more to discuss political issues and world affairs (wars and peace) than to turn to God (27–29). The canons, for instance, would enter the church to perform their service, but they would only think of the news and share it with each other instead of considering what is necessary for mass (36). The priests should keep their mouths shut and demonstrate a worthy behavior according to their status. Murner even reflects on Christ and laments: “Wen christus lebt, wie not wer das, / Das er üch eren lernet baß / Vnd etlich narren trib hinuß” (51–53) [If Christ were alive [back here on earth] it would be so necessary for him to teach you better how to act honorably and to chase away so many fools]. People would abuse the church as a space to walk and chat with each other (56–57), and everyone among the clergy would only look for possibilities to gain more income and wealth (69). While Christ led a life of poverty without any money or material goods in his possession, the Church leaders at the present time have risen to high-ranking positions and contradict all traditional rules: “Die geistlicheit hat kriegen glert / Vmb das yppich zytlich gelt, / Darumb es vast in aeschen felt” (76–78) [The clergy has learned to fight for the big, worldly money, and therefore it collapses into ashes]. Murner does not spare his own colleagues and actually charges them even more sharply than all the other fools around him. Prelates, as he observes, would make every effort to secure Church property for their own children and relatives. He calls all those clerical frauds “schmeicheler” (87) [flatterers] who pretend to know how much property Christ really owned and how much they themselves should be entitled to it. Fools are those, he observes, who only assume the appearance of piety and devotion but do not feel anything in their heart: “Das heißt die narren kap erfochten” (109) [that means to have fought for the fool’s cap]. Long before the rise of Martin Luther, we encounter here a strong and obviously successful voice targeting the multitude of shortcomings in the Church, including nepotism, simony, and the global loss of true spirituality, insofar as many members could no longer speak from their heart and simply followed rituals. They are fools and worthy of condemnation: “Wer zuo kirchen stat vnd bett, / Das er doch nit im hertzen hett” (97–98) [Who is standing in the church and prays and yet does not

The Baby and the Bath Water

139

have it in his heart]. 38 Of course, after Luther had appeared on the public stage in 1517 with his ninety-five theses, a strong opposition opened up between him and Murner, but in the present context we can only acknowledge that the satirist was right on target and apparently addressed burning issues both within and outside the Church. 39 Most hilariously, Murner refers to the specific case of a foolish woman who was entirely illiterate and yet constantly used the prayers in a book written in Hebrew, German, and Latin. She only knew how to turn pages, and the rest remained entirely incomprehensible for her (111–18). For him, this constituted some of the worst shortcomings among the Christians, and he describes it with the unusual image: “Hinderm ofen ist es warm!” (119) [it is warm behind the stove]. The poet mercilessly attacks priests, monks, and nuns for their ignorance and lack of true piety (121–124), but he does not formulate strong hope for real reform (133–134) and thus allows, once again, his sarcasm to enter the picture. This undermines his satirical stance because, as we also learn from the next narrative, there are just too many dreamers (“Fantasten,” no. 12, 5) and deceivers everywhere who cannot be brought to reason by means of Murner’s facetious and biting chastisement for they drown out with their loud voices all rational comments. The children of the urban elites are especially lacking in discipline (13) and have never learned manners in foreign countries (14). The poet here unleashes a torrent of sharp criticism directed at this age group among the socially well-to-do in late medieval cities and blames the parents for being too lax and irresponsible regarding their offspring (35). For Murner, their elegant outfits, general behavior, and attitude constitute an egregious break of tradition and endanger the future health of society at large. Also, the young people at schools and universities do not please the poet at all, who warns his readers that those students would attend church service, for instance, only in order to present themselves in public and to satisfy their own vanity (65–78). From here Murner turns his attention to many other people who deserve his mockery because of their foolish and immoral behavior, whether wives who commit adultery (no. 13), individuals who pay attention only to acquiring money and cheat each other (no. 14), monks who betray their own values and ideals (no. 15), thieves and liars (no. 16), and many other people whom he collectively identifies as

  See the contributions to Peter A. Dykema and Heiko A. Oberman, eds., Anticlericalism in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 51 (Leiden, New York, and Cologne: E.J. Brill, 1993); Murner, however, is mentioned only once, and then only fleetingly. See also Silke Tammen, Manifestationen von Antiklerikalismus in der Kunst des Mittelalters, AFRA akademische Schriften: Kunstwissenschaften (Frankfurt a. M. and Griedel: AFRA-Verlag, 1993); and Albrecht Classen, “Anticlericalism and Criticism of Clerics in Medieval and Early-Modern German Literature,” Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik 72 (2014): 283–306. 39   Heger, “Thomas Murner,” 300–301 (see note 29). 38

140

albrecht classen

individuals who have turned into geese (no. 17) as a symbolic expression of their wrongdoing and foolishness. In comparison with Sebastian Brant, Murner attacks his contemporaries with even stronger ammunition and decries the entire world for the widespread utter ignorance and vices. We do not need to comb through the many different tales in verse in which a wide spectrum of different people is ridiculed for their shortcomings and foolishness, although Murner can be credited with having coined numerous phrases and images that were to become the basis for modern proverbs and apothegms (see our title). 40 Instead, considering our major concern regarding pre-Reformation criticism, or the crisis of the Catholic Church, 41 the focus can remain on what he had to say about the Church and the institution of the monastery. So, suffice it here to conclude with a discussion of his verse narrative “Der christen glouben vff steltzen” (no. 20), according to which the Christian faith is walking on stilts and has become unsteady and unreliable. Trying to turn to Rome​ — ​the Holy See​ — ​would be futile and foolish, whereas the place to begin a serious reform would simply be at home. Papal bans would only hurt local parishes where the priest would be forced to forgo reading the regular Mass so that he could read the papal bull (19–21). Too many people would suffer from Church bans for alleged shortcomings, and particularly the poor people would become victims of this official policy: “Ir brennendt genuog vnd leschendt nüt, / Darzuo verderbendt arme lüt” (27–28) [You make many fires and do not extinguish them, thus the poor people are suffering]. Most poignantly, Murner, almost anticipating Luther, himself warns of the foolish preachers who fail to talk about the true faith and focus instead on ways to make money for themselves. The parishioners are thus in danger of losing their own faith: “Vergessendt irer selen heil” (39) [They forget the salvation of their soul]. Although Murner does not address the issue of indulgence letters, his wording indicates that he is indeed targeting the terrible misuse of such ecclesiastical instruments: “Der mißbruch ist so manigfalt, / Das man yetz in   Andreas Bässler, Sprichwortbild und Sprichwortschwank: Zum illustrativen und narrativen Potential von Metaphern in der deutschsprachigen Literatur um 1500, Quellen und Forschungen zur Literatur-und Kulturgeschichte 27 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2003), 121–24. 41   It needs no particular mention that the crisis affecting the entire Church had grown considerably around 1500; see, for instance, Alexander Clarence Flick, The Decline of the Medieval Church, 2 vols., Bibliography & Reference Series 133 (1930; repr. New York: Burt Franklin, 1967); Peter F. Barton, ed., Sozialrevolution und Reformation: Aufsätze zur Vorreformation, Reformation und zu den “Bauernkriegen” in Südmitteleuropa, Studien und Texte zur Kirchengeschichte und Geschichte, Reihe 2:2 (Vienna: Böhlau, 1975); Caroline M. Barron and Christopher Harper-Bill, eds., The Church in Pre-Reformation Society: Essays in Honour of F.R.H. Du Boulay (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1985); and Günter Frank and Friedrich Niewöhner, eds., Reformer als Ketzer: heterodoxe Bewegungen von Vorreformatoren, Melanchthon-Schriften der Stadt Bretten 8 (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2004). As is to be expected, the literature on this topic is legion. 40

The Baby and the Bath Water

141

manchem landt, / Den ban halt für ein lürlis thandt” (44–46) [The abuse is now so manifold that people in many countries regard the church ban as a foolish matter]. The clergy has fallen into such terrible shape that no one grants them any authority (48). The priests and monks have become alcoholics (49) and gluttons (50), and every service by a member of the Church would have to be paid for (52–53). Even worse, they engage in financial services and take high interest while cooperating with Jewish usurers (55–58). For Murner, then, the clergy has become a danger to the well-being of the entire community, lamenting bitterly: “Also trybt ir vns armen vmb” (60) [Thus you manipulate us poor people]. He, as the critic, places himself on the other side and assumes a highly sarcastic position vis-à-vis the entire Church organization and hierarchy, casting them all as fools (64), lamenting that the greatest fools amongst the clergy would not even recognize what they truly are (65–66). Similarly, in the narrative “Ein loch durch ein brieff reden” (no. 21), Murner sarcastically complains about the loss of justice and faith in the legal system of his time since the authority figures have figured out how to deceive everyone with their political, theological, and legal directives. They know how to appeal to Rome and thus win their case (45–47). Judges can no longer be trusted, and the name of God is badly abused by those who pursue their own political and financial agendas (51). More specifically, Murner charges the lawyers for their misdeeds, asking them: “In woelchem buoch, an welchem blat / Findt ir, das ir sollendt liegen / Vnd mit gschwetz den richter btriegen?” (54–56) [In which book, on what page do you find it that you are supposed to lie and the deceive the judge with your blabber?]. While the poet here focuses on the world of lawyers, he is really charging the entire intellectual elite, including the clergy, with creating deception and falsities everywhere, “Vns armen by der nasen fieren” (66) [you give us poor people only the run around]. 42 He concludes with the severe warning that those responsible for all the wrongdoing would eventually suffer badly when they are punished (74–75)​ — ​w ithout giving specifics, of course. 43 Murner apparently enjoyed such great public appeal because he rose to become a spokesperson for the ordinary people by challenging both the Church authorities and the entire legal system and reflecting on deeply seated frustration and anxiety everywhere. Through his popular satires, or actually sarcastic narratives, as we have noticed increasingly, he became a literary force that deconstructed the old world around him and opened, willy-nilly, new spaces for opposing voices. This opening provided a great opportunity for Martin Luther and his followers to criticize the Church, so in this regard we can identify Murner as a major contributor to the impending paradigm shift, which soon reached critical mass during the 1520s with

42   Friedrich von Bezold, “Die ‘armen Leute’ und die deutsche Literatur des späteren Mittelalters,” in id., Aus Mittelalter und Renaissance: kulturgeschichtliche Studien (1897; repr. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1918), 49–81. 43   He formulates similar criticism of the lawyers in his narrrative “Fuoß halten” (no. 30).

142

albrecht classen

the emergence of the Protestant Reformation. Ironically, at the same time, Murner’s sarcasm backfired at him as he became diametrically opposed to the reformers, although he felt the same discomfort with and disappointment about the spiritual, intellectual, legal, and political conditions of his time. Worst for him, perhaps, was how the Church enforced regular payments by the lay people for any kind of service requested without giving them back true consolation or spiritual help (nos. 25, 55–63). In fact, Murner goes one step further and criticizes many members of the monasteries as being illiterate, lazy, and even criminal: “Wann sy nit weren in dem orden, / Sy weren lengst erhencket worden” (72–73) [If they were not members of the Order, they would long have been hanged at the gallows]. On top of that he condemns simony in most explicit terms in his narrative “Der heiligen guot” (no. 35) when he formulates: “Sagt mir an, wa ist das recht, / das die weltlich herrschafft fecht / Nach der frummen kirchen guot?” (29–31) [Tell me, what is the right for the worldly rulers to strive to gain property/offices from the pious Church?]. For him, even the highest ranking members of the clergy have turned into ferocious wolves instead of being good pastors (61–68). Very specifically, there is no alternative for Murner, so he exclaims: “Es sol kein fürst ein pfarrer syn” (88) [A prince should not be a priest]. Similarly, he radically rejects the usual practice of members of the nobility to send to a monastery their daughters whom they cannot marry off because they lack a sufficient dowry. As he clearly observes, those women would rather be married to a poor man than serve as a nun and participate in regular masses. Once they have grown into adults and have felt a desire to enjoy sexuality, they would disregard all monastic orders and pursue their own pleasures. The result would then be that the one nun who would have delivered the most children would be selected as the abbess (no. 39, 87–88). Consequently, as Murner advises the aristocrats among his audience, “Vil besser ist, sy bring vil kindt, / Was sy für ein eeman findt, / Dann das sy in dem closter lere / Weder gots, noch zytlich ere” (93–96) [It is much better if she delivers many children if she can find a husband than that she lives in the monastery, where she would not earn God’s love or worldly honor]. If we did not know that Murner was a devout Catholic and a pious and devoted member of the Franciscan Order, we could easily recognize him as a precursor of Luther. Murner never abandoned his order, and he actually turned into an ardent opponent of Luther, but in essence, here seen through the satirical and sarcastic lens of his narratives, he took on much the same position as the famous reformer would do just a few years later. The polarity between both men was, so it seems, more a matter of political positions and not really a matter of religious content. 44

• 44   Heger, “Thomas Murner,” 305 (see note 27), notes that Murner’s major conflict was that he struggled hard to maintain the old Church, and yet he could have easily adapted to the reform movement, which would easily have integrated him and used him for his great publishing skills.

The Baby and the Bath Water

143

Let us also take a look at the famous and highly popular tales of Till Eulenspiegel, which might have been composed by the Brunswick toll official Hermen Bote around 1500, though the first publication appeared in 1511. 45 This work was one of the great early modern bestsellers, enjoying tremendous popularity, as reflected by a long series of print editions from 1515, 1519, 1531, 1532, 1533, 1533/1538, 1539, 1540, 1541, 1543, 1544, 1545, and so on, with the last one in the sixteenth century appearing in 1590 46 and many editions printed thereafter as well. 47 The collection consists of ninety-six histori, or short prose narratives (at least according to the print edition from 1515), and almost every one is accompanied by a full-page woodcut. 48 In a way, the poet outlined a biographical sketch of his title figure Eulenspiegel, but it would be more accurate to call the entire work a loosely woven tapestry of individual sketches illustrating the rogue Till doing something to irritate his contemporaries while he is, in reality, exposing their foolishness and many different moral and ethical shortcomings. Many times we find him working for a craftsman, which always results in an egregious conflict between them because Till takes all orders literally and thereby reveals profound problems with communication, but he also shows through his actions what appears to be wrong in the world of the craftsmen. Many times he pokes fun at ordinary farmers, at princes, and   Herbert Blume, Hermann Bote: Braunschweiger Stadtschreiber und Literat. Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, Braunschweiger Beiträge zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur 15 (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, 2009). 46  Bodo Gotzkowsky, “Volksbücher”: Prosaromane, Renaissancenovellen, Versdichtungen und Schwankbücher. Bibliographie der deutschen Drucke, Part I: Drucke des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, Bibliotheca Bibliographica Aureliana 125 (Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1991), 468–88; for a review of the relevant research literature, see Albrecht Classen, The German Volksbuch: A Critical History of a Late-Medieval Genre, Studies in German Language and Literature 15 (Lewiston, NY; Queenston, Ont.; and Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1995), 185–212; see also the contributions to Catherine Drittenbass and André Schnyder, eds., Eulenspiegel trifft Melusine: Der frühneuhochdeutsche Prosaroman im Licht neuer Forschungen und Methoden. Akten der Lausanner Tagung vom 2. bis 4. Oktober 2008, Chloe 42 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2010). I have repeatedly published on Till Eulenspiegel; see, most recently, “Laughter as the Ultimate Epistemological Vehicle in the Hands of Till Eulenspiegel,” Neophilologus 92 (2008): 417–89; id., “Angst vor dem Tod: Jämmerliche Männerfiguren in der deutschen Literatur des Spätmittelalters (von Mauritius von Craûn zu Heinrich Kaufringer und Till Eulenspiegel),” in Jenseits: Eine mittelalterliche und mediävistische Imagination: Interdisziplinäre Ansätze zur Analyse des Unerklärlichen, ed. Christa Agnes Tuczay, Beihefte zur Mediävistik 21 (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2016), 213–31. 47   According to the online catalogue VD17, which contains a nearly complete set of all publications from the seventeenth century: http://gso.gbv.de//DB=1.28/SET=1/TTL=1/NXT? FRST=1/SHRTST=20. 48   Wolfgang Lindow, ed., Ein kurtzweilig Lesen von Dil Ulenspiegel. Nach dem Druck von 1515 mit 87 Holzschnitten, rev. and bibliographically expanded ed. (1968; Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam jun., 1978). 45

144

albrecht classen

especially university professors, thereby ridiculing the intellectual elite. At other times he pretends that he knows how to fly, which attracts a huge crowd of people whom he then mocks for their gullibility and lust for sensationalism. Neither the owners of taverns nor women at large fare well in any of the tales, but Eulenspiegel never engages in any erotic relationships and seems to be predicated on sexual neutrality. However, he constantly engages with human feces, which mirrors the apparently great fascination with scatology in the early modern age. 49 Even Martin Luther, like many other contemporaries, was not exempt from this bizarre interest in feces, and he did not reject the collection of tales about Eulenspiegel altogether. 50 As is to be expected, some of the stories are specifically with anti-Judaism, while others address the world of hygiene, such as bath houses, where Eulenspiegel leaves, of course, his excrement behind because he needed to clean himself both inside and out. Innkeepers, but also apothecaries and hospital owners, become victims of Eulenspiegel’s roguery, and they all have to face the realization that he had exposed a true shortcoming in their behavior or their value system. Whereas Murner targeted his contemporaries not only with satire but also with painful sarcasm, which reflected the author’s deep concern for the well-being of his society, in Till Eulenspiegel we are dealing with a lighter form of humor. The comedy presented here falls more into satire and is mostly based on the protagonist’s own transgressions, by which he can demonstrate what might be wrong in his world, at least from some perspectives. Till made everyone laugh, until today, and it is not an acerbic laughter, because the victims and bystanders are invited to learn and to reform, even though hardly anyone involved can be criticized for serious errors in his or her behavior, religious and moral makeup, or social framework. The university professors of Erfurt, for instance, have to face a protagonist who defies them in all their efforts to prove their intellectual superiority, but not by   See, for instance, the contributions to Jeff Persels and Russell Ganim, eds., Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in Scatology, Studies in European Cultural Transition 21 (Aldershot, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004); Valerie Allen, On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages, The New Middle Ages (New York and Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); and Susan Signe Morrison, Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer’s Fecopoetics, The New Middle Ages (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). 50   Heiko Oberman, “Teufelsdreck: Eschatology and Scatology in the ‘old’ Luther,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 19 (1988): 435–50. See Luther’s treatise Der Barfusser Münche Eulenspiegel und Alcoran, Mit einer Vorrede Martini Luther (1542; BIIv), who admitted that he himself once in his youth had enjoyed such stories, though he abhorred them in his old age and referred to them as evil distraction, as was still the case among the members of the Franciscan Order. Here quoted from the original as digitized and available online at https://books.google.com. See also Rainer Stollmann, “Die rätselhafte Stimme des Volkes,” in Glaubensstreit und Gelächter, 107–30 (see note 23). However, he is hardly aware of the relevant research literature and mostly ignores the actual topic of this volume, limiting himself to a generic discussion of the implied criticism in the tales. 49

The Baby and the Bath Water

145

demonstrating his true intelligence, which would far supersede theirs (no. 29). Even though he resorts to resourceful language and responds in a smart manner to their questions, they really expose themselves in their foolishness by asking him about things not even they would have the answer for. 51 Not one of the craftsmen Eulenspiegel is working for can be identified as truly evil, mean-spirited, or vicious, but in their interactions with the protagonist they quickly prove to be ordinary people with many different shortcomings and thus fail to live up to their own expectations. The way Eulenspiegel communicates with farmers, women from various social statuses, Jews, children, or apothecaries does not destroy them as individuals, workers, or members of their society. But he reveals their foolishness, their weaknesses, their own lack of understanding, which allows the audience to laugh at everyone presented here. This creates a kind of a social vacuum, which removes the traditional authorities without replacing them with something else. This finds its best expression in those narratives where Eulenspiegel deals with members of the clergy. In narrative no. 12, the protagonist works as a sacristan for a priest whom he asks one day whether he would consider himself the complete master over his church. This question springs from the fact that the priest had made a loud wind while Eulenspiegel helped him put on his vestment. For the protagonist, this is the ideal opportunity to inquire whether the priest would intend to dedicate his illsmelling fart to God in place of incense. The priest is deeply irritated, fast to action, and retorts that he can do whatever he wants in this church since it belongs to him: “Ich hab die Macht wol, das ich möcht mitten in die Kirchen scheissen” (28) [I certainly have the power/authority to shit in the middle of the church]). Eulenspiegel immediately seizes this opportunity to challenge the priest and makes a wager with him about this claim. The ignorant priest does not understand how much his fake sacristan is misleading him through the clever formulation of words. After he has performed the terrible deed, leaving his excrement right then and there and assuming he has proven his point, Eulenspiegel turns it around and insists on measuring the distance to both sides of the church. Of course, he quickly finds out that the priest was wrong, who has to pay barrel of beer as his punishment because for him ”middle of the church” meant something very different​ — ​that is, generally somewhere “within”​ — ​than for Eulenspiegel, who, true to form, interprets “middle” as an exact measurement and thus can prove his point. As hilarious and entertaining this narrative might be, it carries a devastating message about the situation within the late medieval Church, since the protagonist   Albrecht Classen, “Transgression and Laughter, the Scatological and the Epistemological: New Insights into the Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel,” Medievalia et Humanistica 33 (2007): 41–61; see also Witold Wojtowicz, Studien zur “ bürgerlichen Literatur” um die Wende vom 16. zum 17. Jahrhundert, trans. from Polish to German by Karin Ritthaler, Sprach-und Kulturkontakte in Europas Mitte: Studien zur Slawistik und Germanistik 4 (Frankfurt a. M., Bern, et al.: Peter Lang, [2015]). 51

146

albrecht classen

can easily manipulate the priest,​ — ​who proves to be highly emotional, ignorant, and foolish​ — ​into accepting the wager and daring to shit in the middle of the building, thus desacralizing it. The following tale also takes place in a church where Eulenspiegel is charged, being the sacristan as well, to organize the Easter Play that is to be performed by the village population. 52 The priest assumes the role of Christ who will rise from the grave; his female cook, who has lost one eye, is assigned the role of the angel at the grave who is supposed to inform the three Maries of the miracle, while the latter three are played by peasants. The cook appears to have played her role before because she knows her text by heart, whereas Eulenspiegel needs to teach the peasants their phrases, a mix of Latin and German. However, he does not follow tradition and intends to cause an uproar on the church stage, making the ignorant peasant say the absurd line: “Wir suchen ein alte einäugige Pfaffenhur” (40) [We are looking for a one-eyed priest concubine]. The cook immediately realizes that she is supposed to be mocked thereby, so she rushes out of her place to attack Eulenspiegel, who was one of the three Marys and whom she correctly identifies as the culprit behind this mean-spirited formulation. Very quickly a brawl develops, involving both the priest and all the other peasants, whereas Eulenspiegel manages to escape in time, having achieved his goal of causing chaos and mayhem in the church. The narrator presents this story in a satirical fashion, though he concludes with the prayer to God: “geb, wa sie ein andern Sigristen namen” (41) [grant that they could find another sacristan]. In other words, there is a dialectical contradiction between the actual account and the purpose behind the narrative, which is otherwise hardly revealed by the storyteller. Undoubtedly, as the laughter on the part of the audience reveals, the real fools prove to be the priest, his cook, and the peasants. They try to perform this religious play without really understanding its spiritual intention and the purpose behind such a theatrical staging. Eulenspiegel operates strategically behind the stage by instructing the one peasant to use this nasty answer, which naturally provokes the poor cook. The brawl, however, tears off any pretenses of true religious devotion, signaling that neither the priest nor his parishioners have a good idea what a Christian church was supposed to be and why they enjoy the mass and the play together. Eulenspiegel basically confirms what the audience must have expected: that the representatives of the clergy are ordinary citizens with no particular degree of learning and certainly no degree of inner piety and devotion. 52   Lindow in his commentary (Ein kurtzweilig Lesen von Dil Ulenspiegel, see note 46) rightly remarks that this text proves that such plays were performed not only by members of the clergy or in urban centers but also in the villages. Normally we observe peasants on the stage who are regularly made to be the butt of the jokes. In a way, we notice this in this tale as well, but here the peasants assume an active role, which scholarship has otherwise not commented on much. See, for instance, Edelgard E. DuBruck, Aspects of Fifteenth-Century Society in the German Carnival Comedies, Studies in Russian and German 8 (Lewiston, NY; Queenston, Ont.; and Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993), 1–21.

The Baby and the Bath Water

147

In story no. 31, Eulenspiegel faces economic hardships, since his roguery has made him widely known and rather unpopular. Finally he hits upon a new idea and turns to Pommerania where, as the narrator emphasizes, “die Priester me an daz Suffen halten dann an daz Predigen” (93) [the priests think more of drinking alcohol than to give their sermons”]. Relying on a skull that he has a smith cast in silver, Eulenspiegel pretends that it is the skull of Saint Brendan (6th–7th century). Only those women free of the sin of having committed adultery would be allowed to touch and kiss it. Naturally, every woman in the church tries to prove her honor publicly, particularly those who are actually guilty, and donates either money or rings, making Eulenspiegel very rich: “Und welche geopffert, die meint, sie hätt ihr Eer bestätigt und ihr böß Geschrei damit genumen” (94) [And those who had donated believed that they thus had confirmed their reputation and quieted evil rumors]. 53 Eulenspiegel urges them all to abstain from sinfulness and emphasizes that he had not accepted the donation of some women whose guilt he was aware of. In reality, of course, the entire setup proves to be a grand scheme of deception that enriches the protagonist and yet profiles the real wrongdoing by the Church abusing its authority to collect money from the laity. The story does not directly target the practice of indulgence letters, but the direction of the criticism is the same. As we learn at the end: “Und wa Ulenspiegel hinkam, da prediget er. Und dadurch ward er reich, und Lüt hielten ihn für ein frumen Prediger, so wol kund er die Büberei verhellen” (94) [And wherever Eulenspiegel came, he preached. Thus he became rich and people considered him a pious preacher since he could keep his deception so well a secret]. The author criticizes the universal belief in miracles, relics, and the authority of migrant preachers and thus challenges many of the major features characterizing the Catholic Church in the early sixteenth century. We also encounter Eulenspiegel once in Rome (no. 34), where he utilizes the pope most skillfully to earn money. His host, a high-ranking lady and native of the Holy City, has never been able to have a conversation with the pope and agrees to pay a large sum of money if her guest would facilitate this. Eulenspiegel then attends a Mass performed by the pope, but he consistently turns his back to the altar each time the pope handles the sacrament and gives the blessing. The cardinals observe this curious behavior and suspect the foreigner is a heretic, so they summon him and question him about his faith. He insists he is a good Christian and has the same belief as his host lady, which triggers the cardinals to summon her to the pope. Thereby she has the long-awaited chance to talk with the holy father, but she is only allowed to answer his question about her “Glouben” (103). Eulenspiegel then interjects that he follows the same faith and explains his strange

53   This pertains to an old tradition often mentioned already in Arthurian literature; see Christine Kasper, Von miesen Rittern und sündhaften Frauen und solchen, die besser waren: Tugendund Keuschheitsproben in der mittelalterlichen Literatur vornehmlich des deutschen Sprachraums, Göppinger Arbeiten zur Germanistik 547 (Göppingen: Kümmerle, 1995).

148

albrecht classen

behavior with a reference to his great sinfulness, which he needs to repent fully before he can face the altar again. This helps the protagonist to receive the promised money while the entire narrative framework actually casts the pope in a rather dubious light. However, the narrator does not fully criticize him and only makes his audience chuckle about the hilarious situation with the pope being so brilliantly duped by the foreigner who has absolutely no interest in the Church or in his sinfulness. The more Eulenspiegel insists to the pope that he is a good Christian and is carrying out all of his duties to safeguard his soul, the more he actually confirms how easily even the highest members of the clergy can be deceived by an ordinary trickster like himself. In a number of other cases we observe Eulenspiegel fooling various priests and monks, and at the end of his life, already on his deathbed, he makes a mockery out of the last rites. He succeeds, even in these last moments, in exposing the priest’s greed and purely monetary interests by pretending to have a container full of money, which he would like to share with him (no. 92). In reality, it is filled with his feces and only thinly covered by coins. When he encourages the priest to put his hand into it​ — ​but not too deeply​ — ​and take the money, the poor man quickly finds himself badly soiled and leaves the room, abandoning the dying Eulenspiegel. Finally, when he is close to his death, the protagonist offers one-third of his remaining treasure to his friends, to the city council of Mölln, and to the clerics (no. 93). Four weeks later, when Eulenspiegel is already buried, they open the chest but find only rocks inside. Suspicious of each other, all claim that the money must have been stolen, but the case cannot be solved peacefully, so they leave in a bitter conflict. The priest and the city council then even want to throw Eulenspiegel’s corpse out of the cemetery, but when they open the grave they encounter such a bad smell that they have to close it again quickly. In conclusion, then, the author of Till Eulenspiegel, who may be Hermen Bote, pulled the leg of everyone in his society, laughing about all​ — ​young and old, rich and poor, men and women​ — ​and destroying all authority wherever he found it. Consequently, his laughter deconstructed the entire Church, exposing its members in their foolishness, greed, lack of virtue, hunger for power and showing them to be ordinary people who lack all the religious piety and devotion that they commonly claimed. While Murner subsequently intensified his comic criticism by several notches, virtually turning to biting sarcasm, Bote (?) pursued a softer form of laughter, satirically viewing all members of his society through his protagonist’s lens. Both Murner and Bote(?) thus contributed to the deconstruction of the Church altogether and laid the foundation for the rise of the Protestant Reformation. They were not the only ones, of course, as we have seen already above, but both enjoyed extraordinary popularity and achieved their goal of making people laugh​ — ​and thus also to cry​ — ​about the wrongdoings everywhere in their society and especially in the Church. •

The Baby and the Bath Water

149

To conclude, whereas previous research (Könneker) focused primarily on the phenomenon of satire and its impact on the Reformation, here we have observed the huge influence of satirical and sarcastic literature on the late medieval Church and the destructive consequences for the laity, which was strongly encouraged to withdraw its support and to reject the clergy’s authority. Luther, in other words, entered a ready-made field when he nailed up his ninety-five theses. It would not be correct to dismiss concepts of specific cultural-historical periods as markers separating the Middle Ages from the early modern age. 54 Both Murner and Bote (?) contributed to a major paradigm shift by making their audiences laugh so hard about the traditional society that they basically destroyed the ideological foundations of it and left an ideological vacuum that Luther then only had to fill with his own ideas.

54   This was famously propounded by Jacques Le Goff, Geschichte ohne Epochen? Ein Essay, trans. from the French into German by Klaus Jöken (2016; Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2016). But at the end Le Goff wavers, accepting both the “histoire de longue durée” (Braudel) and the concept of historical periods. However, he is only considering the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, whereas the real paradigm shift occurred primarily with the arrival of the Protestant Reformation. For more reflections on this issue, see my introductory essay to this volume.

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”: The Birth of Modern Satire in Renaissance France as Agent and Consequence of a Major Paradigm Shift Bernd Renner Now all branches of learning are reestablished, languages restored. 1

Paradigm shifts leading to the beginning of new epochs are a widely used tool of periodization that seems indispensable for imposing some order on the chaos of human civilization. At the same time, these phenomena are extremely complex and virtually impossible to pinpoint, as human history, achievements, and progress are embedded in a constant flux of intertwined events, developments, and upheavals whose exact beginnings and indebtedness to previous occurrences can rarely be determined with certainty, as Albrecht Classen’s introduction to this volume illustrates in convincing fashion. As for the problematic divide between the Middle Ages and Early Modernity, one is tempted to accept Eugene F. Rice’s very general criteria putting emphasis “on printing, on the expansion of the European world, on the return to classical authorities in scholarship and literature, and on the crisis of religious authority,” adding, as Anthony Grafton argues, the relatively recent focus on economic and social history. 2 While “no slice of historical time is self-contained,” the so-called “long Renaissance” provides undoubtedly the most complex and the most fruitful case

1   Donald M. Frame, ed., The Complete Works of François Rabelais (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1991), 160. 2   Eugene F. Rice, Jr., and A. Grafton, The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460–1559, 2nd ed. (1970; New York and London: Norton, 1994), xi.

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 151–176.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117197

152

bernd renner

study for the notion of the paradigm shift. 3 Such basic and very general criteria will then have to be refined and adapted to the specific field, concept, or geographical area in order to better define our understanding of the concept of a paradigm shift as it pertains to a specific set of conditions. In the pages that follow, I will attempt to show that vernacular French satire provides an ideal case study for establishing some concrete markers for this elusive notion and its repercussions. The main target of early modern satire was religion and its all-encompassing influence, notably on educational curricula and through censorship of literature. In his playfully polemical style, François Rabelais wages one of his most developed attacks against outdated educational models in the first two books, Pantagruel (1532) and Gargantua (1535), charging ecclesiastical incompetence, ignorance, and the clergy’s obsession to preserve its absolute secular power. As early as in Pantagruel 8, Gargantua’s letter to his son, Pantagruel, details the new educational model with a great deal of hyperbole and satirical verve. The old king outlines the parameters of a veritable paradigm shift, illustrating the topic of the present volume from a contemporary viewpoint: The time was still dark and smacking of the infelicity and calamity of the Goths, who had brought all good literature to destruction; but, by God’s goodness, in my day light and dignity has been restored to letters, and I see such improvement of these that at present I would hardly be accepted into the lowest class of little grammar-school boys, I who in my prime was reputed (not wrongly) the most learned man of the said century, which I do not say out of vain boastfulness [. . .] but to instill in you the desire to aim still higher. Now all branches of learning are reestablished, languages restored: [Greek, Hebrew, Chaldean, Latin]. The whole world is full of erudites, of very learned teachers, of very ample libraries. 4

3   John Hale, The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), xix. He continues: “But what has usefully come to be referred to as the ‘long’ sixteenth century does have a coherence of its own. It was the first age in which the words ‘Europe’ and ‘European’ acquired a widely understood significance. It saw the emergence of a new and pervasive attitude to what were considered the most valued aspects of civilized life. It witnessed the most concentrated wave of intellectual and creative energy that had yet passed over the continent [. . .]. It was also a period in which there were such dramatic changes of fortune for better or worse​ — ​religious, political, economic and [. . .] global​ — ​that more people than ever before saw their time as unique.” In the present context, see especially his chaps. 5 (“Transformations”) and 6 (“Transmissions”). See also Johan Huizinga, The Autumn of the Middle Ages, trans. Rodney J. Payton and Ulrich Mammitzsch (1919; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997). 4   Pantagruel, 160 (see note 1). See Edwin M. Duval, “The Medieval Curriculum: The Scholastic University, and Gargantua’s Program of Studies (Pantagruel, 8),” in Rabelais’s Incomparable Book: Essays On His Art, ed. Raymond C. La Charité, French Forum Monographs 62 (Lexington, KY: French Forum Publishers, 1986), 30–44.

153

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

In the wake of the foundation of the Collège des Lecteurs Royaux, the present-day Collège de France, the conflict between scholastic and humanist education constituted a chief concern for satirical attacks, satire having itself profited immensely from the restoration of ancient letters. The designation of the sixteenth century as the golden age of satire attests to its role as a major agent and a significant illustration of the early modern paradigm shift. 5

Traditions of Satire Quintilian’s famous phrase “Satura quidem tota nostra est” (Institutio oratoria, X.1.93) [satire is totally ours] underlines the paradoxical status of satire in the early modern period. As a genre, it derives from Lucilian satura and, in Early Modernity, particularly from its main representatives Horace and Juvenal, even though this restrictive view has been loosened to include other forms and genres of Roman satire (Seneca, Boethius, Varro), a widening that goes back to the characteristically mixed nature that became dominant in the sixteenth century. 6 It was then that programmatic overviews of the history of satirical writing came to include almost systematically Greek Old Comedy, the Greek Satyr-play, the epigram, Lucianic Menippean satire, late medieval farce, sotie, and morality plays, or contemporary non sequitur poetry, illustrating the henceforth characteristically satirical mixture that marks the paradigm shift under discussion on the epistemological level. Satire became a frame of mind rather than a fixed poetic genre, which enabled it to infiltrate all literary forms and genres on a large scale. 7 While heavily indebted to the classical tradition, satire therefore constitutes an ideal illustration of the early modern theories of creative imitation and digestion of   Among the plethora of sources, see above all Barbara Könneker, Satire im 16. Jahrhundert: Epoche​  — ​Werke​  — ​Wirkung, Arbeitsbücher zur Literaturgeschichte (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1991); Olga Rossettini, Les Influences anciennes et italiennes sur la satire en France au XVIe siècle (Florence: Sansoni, 1958); and the studies listed in note 7. 6   See Kirk Freudenburg, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire, Cambridge Companions to Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 7   For a concise overview over this phenomenon, see Bernd Renner, “Difficile est saturam non scribere”: L’ herméneutique de la satire rabelaisienne, Études rabelaisiennes 45 (Geneva: Droz, 2007); and id., “From Satura to Satyre: François Rabelais and the Renaissance Appropriation of a Genre,” Renaissance Quarterly 67, no. 2 (2014): 377–424. See also Colin Burrow, “Roman Satire in the Sixteenth Century,” in Cambridge Companion, 243–60 (see note 6); and for the specifically French context, see Pascal Debailly, “La poétique de la satire classique en vers au XVIe siècle et au début du XVIIe,” L’Information littéraire 5 (1993): 20–25; id., “Juvénal en France au XVIe et au XVIIe siècle,” Littératures Classiques 24 (1995): 29–47; and id., “Le Lyrisme satirique d’Horace à la Renaissance et à l’âge classique” in La Satire dans tous ses états. Le ‘meslange satyrique’ à la Renaissance française, ed. Bernd Renner, Cahiers d’Humanisme et Renaissance 92 (Geneva: Droz, 2009), 25–48. 5

154

bernd renner

venerated literary models, and the Renaissance can rightfully claim it as “its own.” On the one hand, Fernand Fleuret and Louis Perceau’s monumental two-volume collection, Les Satires françaises du seizième siècle, attests to the dominance of Roman verse satire in the official canon, as the tendency to perceive satire predominantly as a genre still has a large number of proponents. 8 On the other hand, it is impossible to deny that a fundamental change in satirical epistemology, combined with a continuing veneration of the rhetoric and genre of satura, can be observed in most European countries in the early modern period. 9 Such different approaches and theories largely account for much confusion and the uneasiness that prevail when it comes to defining satire to this day. 10 The prestigious Latin model was evidently welcome at a time when translatio studii and the promotion of the fledgling national literatures were at the forefront of many humanists’ and politicians’ cultural concerns. Indicators of a retraceable paradigm shift in this context include first and foremost the recent availability of reliable editions of Horace, published at the end of the fifteenth century (Landino, 1482; Jakob Locher, 1498; Badius Ascensius, 1500, to be followed by numerous editions by prestigious printers throughout the sixteenth century). This partially explains the supremacy of Horatian satire, at least in most theoretical discourses on satire, until the final third of the sixteenth century, when Juvenalian indignatio became increasingly prevalent. This is due to three main factors: 1) favorable readings of the poet by Jules-César Scaliger and Justus Lipsius in the 1560s; 2) a first reliable edition by Pierre Pithou in 1585; 11 and 3) the fact that the pronounced tragic element of Juvenalian satire is closer to the classical ideal of the tragic sublime and corresponded better to the problematic situation in France, which was suffering from a prolonged brutal civil war (1562–1598), elevating, in the process, the Horatian concept of musa pedestris. Inevitably this period also favored polemical writing and straightforward invective, radical forms that stretch satire to its limits, favoring destructive power of the verb instead of its

  Fernand Fleuret and Louis Perceau, eds., Les Satires françaises du seizième siècle, 2 vols. (Paris: Garnier, 1922). 9   See Sophie Duval and Marc Martinez, La satire (littératures française et anglaise), Collection U, série Lettres (Paris: Armand Colin, 2000); and Ruben Quintero, ed., A Companion to Satire: Ancient and Modern, Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture 46 (Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007). 10   See the exploration of the “satiric frame of mind” in Charles Knight, The Literature of Satire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 1–8, especially his insistence on seemingly mutually exclusive “alternatives” with which each attempt at defining satire must cope. See also Pascal Debailly, “Playdoyer pour la satirologie,” XVIIe Siècle 205 (1999): 765–74. 11   For the early modern editions of Roman satirists, see Pascal Debailly, La Muse indignée, vol. 1: La satire en France au XVIe siècle, Bibliothèque de la Renaissance 7 (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2012), 188–91. 8

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

155

potential to correct. 12 The dominance of militant writing that marks the final third of the sixteenth century in France underlines the pervasiveness of the paradigm shift illustrated by this type of literature, whose very nature and evolution mirrors the aforementioned monumental changes in all spheres of life that occurred during the early modern period. After all, satire is undoubtedly the form of literary expression most closely linked to extraliterary reality, due to its ambitious main objective to cure or to eradicate the ills of society. The opposition between Horace and Juvenal can also be seen on the level of the texts’ pedagogical effectiveness, conveyed by gentle, constructive chiding or by blunt, destructive criticism. 13 One other element that needs to be considered at this point is the massive impact of newly “rediscovered” narrative irony, a staple of what could be called divina satyra, surpassing in many respects the dichotomy satyra ludens/satyra illudens symbolized by the opposition between Horace and Juvenal and representing the ultimate satirical mixture ever since its brilliant use in Erasmus’s Praise of Folly (1511). 14 Erasmus’s programmatic announcement in his preface addressed to Thomas More set the tone: “unless I’m completely misled by ‘self-love,’ my praise of folly hasn’t been performed altogether foolishly.” 15 A comparison to Sebastian Brant’s conventionally didactic and moralizing Ship of Fools (1494), possibly the first full-fledged early modern satire, would show the refinement of Erasmus’s masterpiece, strongly influenced by Lucian of Samosatus’s Menippean bent, and the impact that it had on the epistemology of early modern satire by allowing for ambiguity and ambivalence and therefore triggering a satirical “lesson” that requires the  Albrecht Classen’s discussion of Thomas Murner’s and Herman Bote’s problematic laughter in his contribution to this volume illustrates the difficulty in distinguishing between constructive and destructive satire. While Murner’s satire aimed at an internal reform of the clergy and other social classes, Bote’s satire and criticism, similarly to Luther’s, brought about a revolutionary rupture from the Church. See the comment of Daniel Ménager, La Renaissance et le rire, Perspectives littéraires (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1995), 176–77: “In the Renaissance, invective constitutes an ever-present threat that weighs on the satirical genre.” See also Le Pamphlet en France au XVIe siècle, Cahiers V.L. Saulnier 1 (Paris: École Normale Supérieure de Jeunes Filles, 1983); Traditions polémiques, Cahiers V.L. Saulnier 2 (Paris: École Normale Supérieure de Jeunes Filles, 1984); and Marc Angenot, La parole pamphlétaire. Typologie des discours modernes, Langages et Sociétés (Paris: Payot, 1982). 13   Both satirists define their respective projects in their first satires: Horace, Satires, Epistles, Ars poetica, trans. H. R. Fairclough, Loeb Classical Library 194 (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1929), 6–7: “quamquam ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?” (vv. 24–25) [and yet what is to prevent one from telling truth as he laughs]; Juvenal and Persius, trans. G. G. Ramsay, Loeb Classical Library 91 (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1940), 8–9: “si natura negat, facit indignatio versum qualemcumque potest” (vv. 79–80) [Though nature say me nay, indignation will prompt my verse, of whatever kind it be]. 14   For the “divina satyra,” see Könneker, Satire im 16. Jahrhundert, 54–57 (see note 5). 15   Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly and Other Writings, ed. Robert M. Adams (New York: Norton, 1989), 5. 12

156

bernd renner

diligent and emancipated reader’s contribution to the interpretative endeavor. 16 The Greek cynic’s influence is especially pronounced in the inordinate popularity of mock encomia that marks early modern satire, thanks to its focus on “the persuasive power of rhetoric” and the possibility for polysemic irony that it opens up; yet again, appeals to reader involvement are the key, as Erasmus’s masterpiece shows. 17 Easily decodable antithetical irony will thus be replaced by an approach that designates not simply the opposite of what it expresses but, more vaguely, something else, thus opening the floodgates for semantic plurality, closer to the concept of irony as dissimulation (dissimulatio being the original Latin translation of Greek eirôneia), defended in Cicero’s De oratore and Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria. 18 This important shift, also reflected in a less rigid conception of allegory, 19 is part of a major development in satirical hermeneutics that indicates that the clear boundaries between the binary oppositions that traditionally inform satirical discourse will henceforth be much harder to uphold (with the exception of pure polemics that tends to fall outside of the satirical spectrum). In addition to Horatian gentleness vs. Juvenalian indignation, one could cite binary pairs such as praise/blame, construction/destruction, emulation/dissuasion, or ideal/real. This is how antithesis gives way to synthesis, frequently at the expense of clear-cut, easily accessible pedagogical lessons. The diligent readers are no longer mere disciples but are equals in this brave new world of satire. They are in charge of making sense of the text, with all the benefits and risks that this freedom entails. Classical dissimulation thus also fulfilled a protective purpose for the author, officially shunning responsibility for dangerous interpretations.

16   See Bernd Renner, “From Satura to Satyre,” 378–84 (see note 7); and Deborah N. Losse, Volery and Venery and the French Wars of Religion (New York: Peter Lang, 2018), chap. 2: “Foolish Quarry: Erasmus and Brant.” For Lucian, see especially Christiane Lauvergnat-Gagnière, Lucien de Samosate et le lucianisme en France au XVIe siècle. Athéisme et polémique, Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 227 (Geneva: Droz, 1988); and Romain Menini, Rabelais altérateur. “Græciser en François,” Les Mondes de Rabelais 2 (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014), 391–99. 17  Among the numerous studies on the topic, see Rosalie Colie, Paradoxia Epidemica: The Renaissance Tradition of Paradox (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966); Annette Tomarken, The Smile of Truth: The French Satirical Eulogy and Its Antecedents (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), from whom I borrowed the quote (ix); and Patrick Dandrey, L’éloge paradoxal de Gorgias à Molière, Collection Écriture (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997). 18  See Pierre Schoentjes, Poétique de l’ironie, Points Essais Série “Lettres” (Paris: Seuil, 2001), 75–90, for a succinct summary of these developments. 19   See Michael Murrin, Veil of Allegory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969); Brigitte Pérez-Jean and Patricia Eichel-Lojkine, eds., L’Allégorie de l’Antiquité à la Renaissance, Colloques, congrès et conférences sur la Renaissance européenne 43 (Paris: Champion, 2004); and Daniel Martin, Pierre Servet, and André Tournon, eds., L’énigmatique à la Renaissance: formes, significations, esthétiques, Colloques, congrès et conférences sur la Renaissance européenne 59 (Paris: Champion, 2008).

157

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

The more elegant, general, and ambiguous the satire is, the more important is the readers’ collaboration in the process of interpretation; the aforementioned less rigid sense of terms such as irony and allegory plays into this intentional ambivalence or ambiguity that complicates satirical discourse, a pronounced contrast to the stern monological moralizing that clearly dominated mainstream satire up to and including Brant’s Narrenschiff 20; hence also the focus on dialogical exchange between the author or narrator and the reader or between main characters who hold conflicting viewpoints in many of the best satires, such as the enigmatic Cymbalum mundi, the Rabelaisian chronicles (notably in the programmatic prologues), Clément Marot’s variations on verse satire (non sequitur epistles; imitations of Martial’s epigrams), epistolary exchanges (Jean Bouchet, Hélisenne de Crenne), or the controversial interpretations in the frame narrative of the Heptaméron. Thomas Nashe’s Jack Wilton, from the Unfortunate Traveler, or Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Sancho Panza would be examples for this dominant satirical attitude from other major European satires. At the same time, it is worth repeating that the less obvious such a satire’s concrete targets and didactic purpose prove to be, the less powerful will be its potential immediate efficiency, even though such a universal “divine satire” will more likely prove timeless and keep producing meaning and relevance for later generations. The fine line between ad hominem satire and a more general condemnation of vice and crime, between a strictly historical and a more general satire, is thus one of the difficulties facing the satirist in his pursuit of rhetorical varietas. Erasmus himself demonstrated the dilemma not only in the Praise of Folly but also in more straightforward satires such as the anonymous Julius exclusus, a witty yet fairly blunt take-down of Pope Jules II that straddles the fine line between satire and invective. 21

The Functions of Folly As the opposition between moralizing seriousness and biting playfulness in Brant’s and Erasmus’s respective masterpieces indicates, the concept of “folly” is the main thread linking the earliest satirical attacks in our period. Brant’s utter contempt for   One should obviously not proclaim a clear division between monological “medieval” and dialogical “renascent” satire, of course, as here too the transitions are fluid; one can only discern tendencies that mark the paradigm shift. Chaucer, the Roman de Renart, Villon, or Boccaccio are quite refined and complex examples of pre-sixteenth century satirical writing. 21   Monological satire hardly disappeared, of course. After finding refuge in anonymous publications and neo-Latin publications, it will resurface vehemently in the polemical writings of the Wars of Religion, as mentioned above. See also Philip Ford, “Comparative Obscenity: Some French and Latin Examples,” in EMF: Studies in Early Modern France, vol. 14: “Obscenity,” ed. Hugh. G. A. Roberts (Charlottesville, VA: Rookwood Press, 2010), 1–14. 20

158

bernd renner

what he conceives as a flaw 22 and Erasmus’s ambivalent attitude toward foolishness provide a powerful illustration of the epistemological shift of this key concept at the disposal of satirical discourse. 23 We observe the same tendency in the realm of popular theater, essentially farces, sotie, and morality plays. The inherent ambiguity of trickery as a social corrective as well as of foolishness and dishonesty in a corrupt world turn the famous Farce de Maistre Pathelin (ca. 1464) into an early harbinger of discursive satirical strategies to be fully developed in the following 200 years or so, culminating in Molière’s comedies. The problematic status of the notion of foolishness is not restricted to this masterpiece of late medieval French comical theater, however. Lesser known texts such as La Folie des Gorriers, the “gorriers” being a type of late medieval dandy, illustrate its pervasiveness: Le Premier [Gorrier]: Le Second [Gorrier]: [Dame] Folie:

Dea! il y a folies maintes, Folies plaisantes et faintes. Tout procede de la cervelle. Je suis Folie naturelle Plaisant Folie lunatique, Folie en folie authentique. N’en ayez ja plus de mesaise, Car plus grans, ne vous en desplaise, Que vous ont eu par mon service Et prelature et benefice. Et mariage en grans maisons.

[The first: Ho! There are follies a-many / Follies pleasant or feigned. The second: Everything derives from the mind. / Folly: I am natural folly / Pleasant and lunatic folly, / Authentically foolish folly. / do not feel uneasy any longer, / As greater ones, whether you like it or not, / Than you have obtained through my services / Both prelacy and benefit. / And marriage into great families.]

Whereas natural and artificial folly are equally condemned in Brant’s moralizing approach, the process is more refined here, as Dame Folie uses the prestige of natural, i.e., divine, folly to satirize the foolish dandies and their visions of “elegance, 22   See the opening lines of Brant’s prologue in Joachim Knape, ed., Das Narrenschiff (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005), 107: “Zu nutz vnd heylsamer ler / vermanung vnd ervolgung der wyßheit / vernunfft vnd guter sytten: Ouch zu verachtung vnd straff der narheyt / blintheyt yrrsal vnd dorheit / aller staet / vnd geschlecht der menschen: mit besunderem flyß ernst vnd arbeyt / gesamlet zu Basell.” 23   In addition to Michel Foucault’s classic study, Histoire de la Folie à l’âge classique (Paris: Gallimard, 1972), see especially Walter Kaiser, Praisers of Folly: Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature (London: Victor Gollancz, 1964); Olga Anna Duhl, Folie et rhétorique dans la sottie, Publications romanes et françaises 210 (Geneva: Droz, 1994); and Joël Lefebvre, Les fols et la folie: Le comique dans la littérature allemande de la Renaissance, Germanistique 4 (Paris: Klincksieck, 2003).

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

159

luxury and pleasures” 24 while indicating her own dubious motives and secular benefits in the example above. This nascent paradoxical status announces the complex role of Erasmus’s Folly, the ideal illustration of the ambiguous, polysemic satire that will renew the form in the sixteenth century. 25 Mirroring the satirical paradigm shift, folly is transformed from a tool of antithetical confrontation, subscribing either to gentler farcical (Horatian) treatments of fairly innocuous stupidity or foolishness (as in Pathelin or the Gorriers) or to the severe punishment of a vice or crime (as in Brant’s severe attitude) into a marker of ambivalence acting at the same time as an agent of parrhesia and the object of criticism. 26 The transformation of the concept of folly underscores to what extent the impact of irony, from straightforward conventional antithesis to more subtle dissimulatio, seems a major element in the more complex forms of militant writing, as might be seen in Erasmus’s multifaceted criticism of Pope Julius II in, respectively, the ironic The Praise of Folly and the blunt Julius exclusus. 27  See François Cornilliat, “Or ne mens.” Couleurs de l’Éloge et du Blâme chez les “Grands Rhétoriqueurs,” Bibliothèque Littéraire de la Renaissance, Série 3​ — ​Tome 30 (Paris: Champion, 1994), 297–308, here 297–98. 25   See Michael West, “Skelton and the Renaissance Theme of Folly,” Philological Quarterly 50 (1971): 23–35. Paraphrasing Erwin Panofsky, “Renaissance and Renascences,” Kenyon Review 6 (1944): 234–35, West underscores that “the discovery of ironic value in that formerly despised figure the fool, most strikingly exemplified in Erasmus’ Encomium Moriae (1512) in contrast to Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff (1494), is one of the hallmarks distinguishing the Renaissance from the Middle Ages.” 26   See Jürgen Brummack, “Zu Begriff und Theorie der Satire,” Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 45, Special Issue (1971): 275–377, here 315: “Die scherzende Satire behandelt das Harmlosere: Torheit und Torheiten, Verletzung der Geschmacksregeln und des äußeren Anstands; die ernste Satire das Gefährlichere: eigentliche Laster und Verbrechen, Unsittlichkeit, alle Gefährdung des Zusammenlebens.” For the notion of parrhesia, see Michel Foucault, Le Courage de la vérité, Collection Hautes Études (Paris: Gallimard, 2009). His last lecture series before passing away only came out in 2009. 27   Praise of Folly, 72–73 (see note 15): “[In war] you see doddering old men who display the audacity of youth, indifferent to expense, undaunted by difficulties, and not caring a rap if laws, religion, and all the decencies of human society are turned upside down by their passions. Nor is there any shortage of learned flatterers to call this midday madness by the names of zeal, piety, and fighting spirit​ — ​having contrived a formula by which a man can draw a yard of cold steel and plunge it into his brother’s guts while still preserving that supreme charity which, by Christ’s own precepts, every Christian should maintain toward his neighbor. [. . .] But it’s no part of my present business to arraign the lives of popes and priests, lest I seem to be composing a satire rather than an encomium; and I don’t want anyone to suppose I’m casting blame on good princes when I praise bad ones.” The lack of explicit naming of the targets, the irony of the closing preterition, and the complex structure of the paradoxical praise constitute essential markers of the renewal of satire. The contrast with Saint Peter’s blunt criticism of a pope entirely devoted to “worldly concerns” (168) in Julius exclusus could not be more pronounced; see the reaction to Julius’s belligerence: “Oh, enough of your triumphs, you braggart soldier! You surpass in hatefulness even those 24

160

bernd renner

The anonymous 1560 Christian Satyres of Papal Cooking, attributed to Calvin’s disciple Theodore of Beza, set the tone for this return of univocal satire from the very preface on: “I await His grace to valiantly set out to ruin everything, kitchen and edifice.” 28 The difference from Erasmus’s or Rabelais’s treatment of religious satire lies not only in the contrast between polemic violence, on the one hand, and a more optimistic belief in the healing potential of a more elegant satire, on the other, but especially in the diametrically opposed perspective: whereas Pope Julius II’s (as well as Bishop Homenaz’s of the Papimaniacs in Rabelais’s Fourth Book, see infra) promotion of relentless violence is the target of the text’s satire, the ill to be cured, the same violence constitutes the sole, inevitable method of satirical destruction, the agent of satire, in the Satyres chrestiennes.

Irony and Ambiguity in Rabelais’s Fourth Book There is a gap of some twelve years between the publication of Rabelais’s first two books, Pantagruel (1532) and Gargantua (1534/35), and the Third (1546) and Fourth Books (1552). With regard to a satirical paradigm shift and along the lines sketched out above, we notice that the earlier chronicles privilege the more openly didactic, univocal, and farcical variant whereas in the later books the focus shifts to a more ambiguous and allusive approach, soliciting the diligent readers’ collaboration to a much larger extent. The shift is especially apparent in the programmatic prologues that move from a comically authoritarian voice directed toward obedient disciples in the Pantagruel to a dialogical open-ended exchange with old friends in the Fourth Book. 29 A striking example of the solicitation of dialogic exchange through irony and ambiguity is the aforementioned Papimaniacs episode in the

pagans​ — ​you who, while claiming to be the most holy father in Christ, have caused thousands of Christian soldiers to be killed for your own personal advantage, who have created only new legions of the dead, and who never by words or deeds brought one single soul to Christ! By the bowels of the Father! Oh you worthy vicar of that Christ who sacrificed himself for the good of all mankind! You, to preserve your accursed skin, have driven to their deaths entire populations!” 28   [Théodore de Bèze], Satyres chrestiennes de la cuisine papale, ed. Ch.-A. Chamay, Textes Littéraires Français 576 (Geneva: Droz, 2005), 7 (my translation). 29   Compare the respective endings to the prologues of Pantagruel, 135 (ed. cit.[see note 1]): “And, like Sodom and Gomorrah, may you fall into sulfur, fire, and the abyss, in case you do not firmly believe all I will relate to you in this present Chronicle!” and of the Fourth Book, 435 (see note 1): “Now, in good health cough one good cough, drink three drinks, give your ears a cheery shake, and you shall hear wonders about the good and noble Pantagruel.” For the shift in satirical direction, see Renner, “Difficile est saturam non scribere,” especially 62–86 on the prologues (see note 7); see also Dorothy Coleman, Rabelais: A Critical Study in Prose Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 25–44.

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

161

Fourth Book. 30 It seems surprising that the tyrannical bishop Homenaz’s parting gift of pears made to the Pantagruelists is described as “Good-Christian pears” by Pantagruel, 31 without any further authorial comment and despite the unequivocal description of the ill effects of the Papimaniacs’ abuse of power, their exploitation of naïve believers, and their intolerance that are at the center of the episode. As interpreted by the fanatical bishop, the tyranny of Catholic dogma, personified by the Decretals, papal ordonnances that the Papimaniacs consider more authoritative than Scripture, negates independent critical thinking, the main concern of Rabelaisian satire. Its proponents reveal their true motivation behind their hypocrisy, the pursuit of wealth and glory in this world, through the device of prosopopoeia, which enhances the satirical construct, as in Homenaz’s incriminating speech in favor of brutal and utter extermination of all “heretics,” i.e., those who refuse to submit to orthodox Catholic tyranny unconditionally: These heretic devils will not learn and know [the Decretals]. Burn them, tear them with pincers, cut with shears, drown, hang, impale, break their shoulders, disembowel, chop to bits, fricassee, grill, slice up, crucify, boil, crush, quarter, smash to bits, unhinge, charcoal-broil these wicked heretics, decretalifuges, decretalicides, worse than homicides, worse than parricides, decretalictones of the devil. Now you worthy people, if you want to be called and reputed true Christians, I beseech you with clasped hands not to believe anything else, not to think anything else, not to say, undertake, or do anything, except what is contained in our holy Decretals and their commentaries [.  .  .]. O what deific books! Thus you will be revered by everyone in this world in glory, honor, exaltation, riches, dignities, preferments, dreaded by each and every one, preferred to all, elected and chosen over all. 32

Vicious, even criminal, folly at its most extreme is exposed by the perpetrator himself and constitutes an indictment of vice, not an endorsement as in polemical and invective writings such as the Satyres chrestiennes. Combined with the Pantagruelists’ reactions to Homenaz’s ridiculous interpretations of the Decretals, the irony of Pantagruel’s paradoxical praise begins to crystallize: Epistemon’s diarrhea, playing on the culinary and the figurative senses of the term farce during the banquet, underlines the episode’s more elegant satirical aspirations (“At these words, 30   For the satire in the Fourth Book, see especially Gérard Defaux, Rabelais agonistès. Du rieur au prophète, Études rabelaisiennes 32 (Geneva: Droz, 1997), 455–559; Claude La Charité, “La satire et l’odyssée des erreurs du XVIe siècle,” in Rabelais, aux confins des mondes possibles. Quart Livre, ed. Myriam Marrache-Gouraud, Série XVIe siècle français (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2011), 65–89; and Renner, “From Satura to Satyre,” 409–17 (see note 7). 31   Fourth Book, 555 (see note 1). 32   Fourth Book, 552 (see note 1).

162

bernd renner

Epistémon got up and said quite candidly to Panurge: ‘The lack of a close-stool forces me to get out of here. This stuffing [farce] has unstopped my bumgut.’” 33). And it is again Epistemon, as well as Friar John and Panurge, who mock Homenaz’s orations with a farcical display of their own: “Epistémon, Frère Jan, and Panurge, seeing this doleful conclusion [fascheuse catastrophe], under cover of their napkins began to call out: ‘Meow, meow, meow!’ meanwhile pretending to wipe their eyes as if they had been crying.” 34 The irony of the would-be “Good-Christian pears” is further enhanced by the giant’s assuring his hosts that he had “never seen better Christians than these good Papimaniacs,” 35 an assessment that, moreover, had already been made to characterize Quaresmeprenant, the monstrous incarnation of orthodox Catholicism. 36 Pantagruel’s ironic comment therefore conveys the satire of Church-sanctioned “Christian” behavior, far removed from the ideals of charity and dialogism that the text has been promoting, and Rabelais counts on the reader to connect the dots and decode this paradoxical praise. Rabelais goes a step further than Erasmus, the prosopopoeia of the Julius exclusus being very straightforward, with Saint Peter commenting to guide the reader even more firmly, and the Praise of Folly lacking such surprising, seemingly contradictory final points, a rhetorical device that likely was borrowed from Lucian via Marot, as we will see. The occurrences of laughter in the episode cover the three main versions linked to satirical discourse​ — ​benevolent, gratuitous, and acerbic​ — ​and support the oscillation between eirôneia and its main epistemological adversaries, bômolochia [buffoonery] and alazôneia [boastfulness, bragging] that define critical discourse in most theoretical discussions. 37 All these approaches are illustrated in the Papimaniac episode via the characters Homenaz (alazôn), the buffoons Panurge et alii, and Pantagruel (eirôn). We also see that the episode combines theater-style discourse and vocabulary with the overall prose structure of the Rabelaisian Chronicles, confirming the dissociation of satire from its generic roots as well as its fruitful varietas.

  Fourth Book, 547 (see note 1).   Fourth Book, 554 (see note 1). 35   Fourth Book, 555 (see note 1). See Michael A. Screech, Rabelais (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979), 401–10. 36   Fourth Book, 499 (see note 1). 37   For satirical laughter, see Pascal Debailly, “Le rire satirique,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 56 (1994): 695–717. For the interplay of irony, buffoonery, and boastfulness, see Schoentjes, Poétique de l’ironie, 31–47 (see note 18). It is the function of the eirôn that is missing in Julius exclusus. 33

34

163

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

Theories of Satire At this juncture, it might be appropriate to provide some more theoretical background to the evolution of early modern satirical writing, building on tendencies and traditions that have been touched upon so far. What is important in our current perspective is the fact that even for Horace and Juvenal, satire seemed to be defined​ — ​at least initially, as we saw in their first satires​ — ​less by its genre than by its attitude, objectives, and methods; and early modern satirists were not shy about using this creative liberty to transform satire from a fixed albeit prestigious genre, Roman satura, into a “parasite” form prone to infiltrating all genres, while calling on different classical models and finally integrating the vernacular tradition. In his Epistres morales et familieres du traverseur (1545), Jean Bouchet actually deems satire superior to comedy and tragedy, thanks to its use of the rhetoric of praise and blame as well as the authors’ outspokenness: “Ne craignans rien, mais de tout parlent franc / Louans vertuz et detestans tout vice” [Do not fear anything, but speak frankly about all, praising virtue and detesting all vice]. 38 The mixed character of satire is quite clear in the famous printer’s discourse of the 1594 Satyre Menippee that denies the exclusive link to satura and associates Roman satura, Greek satyr-play, Lucian, and Rabelais in its attempt to explain the pamphlet’s title. 39 Such confusion actually goes back to at least the fifth century c.e. 38   Jean Bouchet, Epistres morales et familieres du Traverseur (Poitiers: Jacques Bouchet, 1545), fol. 32 vo. 39   [Thomas Wilcox, trans.], A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie: Wherein is discovered the Catholicon of Spayne, and the chiefe leaders of the League: Finelie fetcht over, and laide open in their colours: Newly turned out of French into English (London: Thomas Man, 1595), 202–4: “[T]his word Satyre, doth not only signifie a poesie, containing evil speech in it, for the reproofe, either of publike vices, or of particular faults of some certaine persons, of which sort are those of Lucilius, Horace, Juvenal, and Persius: but also all sortes of writings, replenished with sundry matters, and divers arguments, having prose and verse intermixed or mingled therewithal, as if it were powdred [beef] tongues interlarded. Varro saith, that in ancient times, men called by this name, a certaine sorte of pie or of pudding, into which men put divers kindes of hearbes, and of meates. But I suppose that the word cometh from the Græcians, who at their publike and solemne feastes, did bring in upon their stages or scaffolds, certaine persons disguised, like unto Satyres, whom the people supposed to be halfe Gods, full of [lascives], & wantonnes in the woods [. . .]. And these men disguised after this manner, being naked and tattered, took a certaine kind of libertie unto themselves, to nippe and to floute at all the worlde, without punishment. In olde time, some made them to rehearse their injurious verses all alone, without any other matter in them, then railing and speaking evill of everyone, afterwards men mingled them with comedie players, who brought them into their acts, to make people laugh: at the last, the more grave and serious Romanes chased them altogether out of their Theaters [.  .  .] But the more wise and wittie Poets used them, to content therewithal, their owne bad spirit of evill speaking [. . .] And there are great numbers of them found in our countrie of Parresie, who love rather to lose a good friend, then a good word or a merrie jest, applied well to the purpose. Wherfore it is not without cause, that

164

bernd renner

and the grammarian Diomedes’s comments in his Artis Grammaticae. It was most likely intentional in the sixteenth century, however, as humanists recognized the creative potential of a “syncretic” satire, a process to which Sebastian Brant’s disciple and translator of Horace, Jakob Locher, had contributed immensely through the introductory texts added to his Latin translation of the Ship of Fools, especially his own prologue, which developed a similar history of satire ranging from Old Greek comedy to Brant’s masterpiece. As the subsequent translations and adaptations into other vernacular languages were based on this Latin version, Locher’s paratext enjoyed wide distribution. 40 But even in the middle of the century, the various poetic treatises showed the two sides of the coin, pitting, for example, Joachim Du Bellay’s more traditional approach against Thomas Sébillet’s or Jacques Peletier’s less restrictive notions of satire. In his Art Poétique Français (1548), Sébillet promotes recent French poetic accomplishments, notably of Clément Marot and his disciples, and therefore considers Marot’s non sequitur poetry as the French heir to Roman satura: “Car à la vérité les Satires de Juvénal, Perse, et Horace, sont Coq-à-l’âne Latins: ou à mieux dire, les Coq-à-l’âne de Marot sont pures Satires Françaises” [For in truth, the Satires of Juvenal, Perse, and Horace are non sequiturs in Latin: or, to put it in they have intituled this little discourse, by the name Satyre, though that it be written in prose, being yet notwithstanding stuffed and stored with gallant Ironies, pricking notwithstanding and biting the very bottome of the consciences of them, that feele themselves nipped therewithall, concerning whom it speaketh nothing but trueth: but on the other side, making those to burst with laughter, that have innocent hearts [. . .] As concerning the adjective Menippized, it is not new or unusuall, for it is more then sixteene hundred yeares agoe, that Varro [. . .] made Satyres of this name also, which Macrobius sayth were called Cyniquized, and Menippized: to which he gave that name because of Menippus the Cynicall Philosopher, who also had made the like before him, al ful of salted jestings, & poudred merie conceits of good words, to make men to laugh and to discover the vicious men of his time. And Varro imitating him, did the like in prose, as since his time there hath done the like [. . .] Lucian in the Greek tongue [. . .] and in our age that good fellow Rabelaiz, who has passed all other men in contradicting others, and pleasant conceits, if he would cut off from them some quodlibetarie speeches in taverns, and his salt and biting words in alehouses.” See Pauline M. Smith, “A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie: Wherein is discovered the Catholicon of Spayne, and the chiefe leaders of the League (1595), The English Translation of the Satyre Menippée: Provenance and Purpose,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 71 (2009): 113–27. 40   For the intentional character of the mixture, see Françoise Lavocat, La Syrinx au bûcher: Pan et les satyres à la Renaissance et à l’âge baroque, Travaux d’humanisme et renaissance 397 (Geneva: Droz, 2005), 234–90. For Locher’s prologue, see Nina Hartl, Die “Stultifera Navis.” Jakob Lochers Übertragung von Sebastian Brants “Narrenschiff,” Studien und Texte zum Mittelalter und zur frühen Neuzeit 1 (Münster, New York, Munich, and Berlin: Waxmann, 2001), vol. 1.2, 36–41. See also Anne-Laure Metzger-Rambach, “Le texte emprunté.” Étude comparée du Narrenschiff de Sebastian Brant et de ses adaptations (1494–1509), Études et essais sur la Renaissance 76 (Paris: Champion); and Bernd Renner, “Juvénal et les Nefs des folz: Rhétorique et translatio studii,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 72 (2010): 283–300.

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

165

better terms, Marot’s non sequiturs are pure French Satires]. 41 Peletier is not concerned with etymological details either, linking it to the Greek Satyr-Play (due to a common misreading of two lines from Horace’s Ars poetica) and privileging the attitude and objectives of the form, therefore also allowing for the inclusion of French variants: La Satire est un genre de Poème mordant. Quant à l’Étymologie du mot, je ne m’en travaillerai pas beaucoup. [. . .] À l’opinion d’Horace, elle semble avoir été dite des Satyres: qui était un genre d’animaux Lybiques, ayant figure humaine, excepté qu’ils étaient cornus. Et parce qu’ils étaient pétulents et lascifs: on les introduisait en cette façon de Poème: pour autant qu’au commencement les Poètes qui reprenaient publiquement les vices, se couvrirent de ces personnages: comme quasi voulant dire que ce n’était qu’une risée. Ainsi que de notre temps a fait Clément Marot par son Coq-à-l’Âne, vraie espèce de satire. [. . .] Car comme dit le Satirique, Qui empêche qu’on ne dise vrai tout en riant? 42 [Satire is a type of biting poem. I do not worry much about the etymology of the term. According to Horace, it seems to have been used for Satyrs, who were a type of Lybbic animal with a human face, except for the horns. And as they were petulant and lascivious, they were put into this kind of poem; moreover, in the beginnings, poets who reprimanded vices publicly did it under cover of these characters, almost as if they tried to say that it was just in jest. In our times, Clément Marot has proceeded of the sort in his non sequitur poems, a veritable satirical genre. As the satirist claims: who prevents you from telling the truth while laughing?]

Du Bellay, partially due to his agenda of promoting the poets of the future Pléiade as the true innovators of French vernacular letters, takes the opposite viewpoint, insisting on traditional criteria, decorum, and strict adherence to classical models: As for the epistle, it is not a poem that can greatly enrich our vernacular, since it willingly treats familiar and domestic subjects, unless you write them in imitation of elegies, as in Ovid, or sententious and sober, as in Horace. The same applies to satires, which the French, for some unknown reason, call cock-and-bull stories. I advise you to practice these infrequently, just as I would have you shun slander, unless you write them as the ancients did, in heroic verse (that is in lines of ten or eleven syllables, and not simply eight or nine), and under the name of satire, rather than this inept misnomer of cockand-bull. Moderately criticize the vices of your time and omit the names of

41   In Francis Goyet, ed., Traités de poétique et de rhétorique de la Renaissance (Paris: Librairie Générale Française, 1990), 135. 42  Goyet, Traités de poétique et de rhétorique, 300–301 (see note 41).

166

bernd renner the perpetrators. Your model for this is Horace, who, according to Quintilian, ranks first among satirists. 43

In his polemical attack of Du Bellay’s treatise, Le Quintil horacien, the Lyonnais scholar and principal of the Collège de la Trinité, Barthélemy Aneau, forcefully defends the new, larger definition of satire, focusing on attitude and objective rather than on genre: Par quoi pour leurs propos ne s’entresuivant, sont bien nommés du Coq à l’Ane tels Énigmes Satirés, et non Satires. Car Satire est autre chose. Mais ils sont satirés non pour la forme de leur facture, mais pour la sentence redarguant à la manière des satires Latines. 44 [It is for their disconnected remarks that they are well named non sequitur, as satirized enigmas, not as satires. Since satire is something different. But they are satirized not for their form and construction but for their reprimands, following the model of Latin satire.]

It is the criticism that counts, not the narrow genre. Being thus dissociated from generic considerations, satire seems better suited than most literary forms to investigate the notion of cultural transmission. Not only is it heavily dependent on extraliterary circumstances, more so than any other literary form, as it proclaims to heal the ills of society; satire also straddles the fine line between historia and fabula, 45 pitting an elusive “ideal” against an imperfect “reality” to use Friedrich Schiller’s famous dichotomy. 46 And while satire infiltrates all literary and artistic genres to an unprecedented degree in the early modern period, it presents a curious and unique synthesis between the valorization of traditional forms and genres, on the one hand, and, on the other, a type of “creative imitation” that aims at producing new ideas and points 43   J. Du Bellay, The Defence and Illustration of the French Language, in Poetry and Language in 16th-Century France: Du Bellay, Ronsard, Sébillet, trans. Laura Willett, Renaissance and Reformation Texts in Translation 11 (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2003), 71. 44   B. Aneau, Le Quintil horacien, in Goyet, Traités de poétique et de rhétorique de la Renaissance, 214 (see note 41). In addition to defending the vernacular tradition embodied by Marot, Aneau had his own agenda and ambitions in the realm of satire, further underlining the flexibility of satire in the midst of its epistemological paradigm shift; see Brigitte Biot, Barthélemy Aneau, regent de la Renaissance Lyonnaise, Bibliothèque Littéraire de la Renaissance, Série 3, Tome 33 (Paris: Champion, 1996); and Bernd Renner, “‘Car Satire est autre chose’: Lyon Marchant, Satyre Francoise de Barthélemy Aneau et le mélange satirique,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 77 (2015): 537–58. 45   See Aristotle, Poetics, 1451a–b, and Ad Herennium, I.12. 46  Friedrich Schiller, Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung, ed. Klaus L. Berghahn (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2002), 39–40.

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

167

of view, thus fighting against received truths and dogmatic thinking or, alternatively, struggling for the preservation of the status quo against new and harmful tendencies. The conflict between Catholics and Protestants provides a powerful illustration of the clash of conservative orthodox and reform-minded transgressive satirical attitudes. In general, this renascent satire corresponded well with Du Bellay’s famous demands of imitation and renewal. 47 It is this theoretical liberty nourished by the aforementioned (re)discoveries, innovations, and advances as well as the disparate classical and medieval literary models that transforms satire into a privileged illustration and agent of the early modern paradigm shift. The example from Rabelais provided a fine illustration of the incorporation of the theatrical components into the satirical mixture dominated increasingly by more accessible prose texts, combining the two most efficient genres to heighten the impact on as large a potential audience as possible: the simpler style of prose (in public readings, for instance) and the visual entertainment of popular theater offered to a largely illiterate public are the assets of these genres conducive to the success of the satirical lesson.

Early Modern Variants of the Satura: Clément Marot The continuing focus on Roman verse satire did not exempt this variant from partaking in the digestive process that led to the early modern satirical mixture sketched out so far. As the most prestigious satirical model, it remained the official benchmark, notably for the Pléiade poets, as was made clear in Du Bellay’s comments. In his two most famous collections, Les Regrets and Les Antiquitez de Rome, the Angevin poet filled his theoretical claims with life. In his version of translatio   See Du Bellay, The Defence and Illustration of the French Language, bk. 1, chaps. 7–8, 50–52 (see note 43). In his imitation of the The Ship of Fools, Jehan Drouyn, La Nef des folz du monde (Lyon: G. Balsarin, 1498), a ii r, justifies the versatility of satire in the following terms: “Jay considere que les ungz se delectent au latin / les aultres au francoys / les ungz en rime / les aultres en prose a ceste cause ay ce fait. Comme dit Virgile oultreplus. [. . .] La voulente des hommes est incongnue / pource ceulx qui vouldront le latin le prendront: le francoys / rime ou prose ou lalemant: qui vouldra le sens moral le prendra / qui vouldra le sens litteral le prendra / comme dit Esopet / qui veult la fleur sy la preigne / qui veult le fruict sy le preigne / et qui veult le noyau sy le preigne / et qui veult les hystoires comme gens non litterez les pregnent: et qui veult tout pregne tout.” [I considered that some are delighted by Latin, others by French, some by verse, others by prose, which is why I did this. As Vergil says moreover: Man’s will is unknown, as those who like Latin will be served, as will those who prefer French, verse or prose or German. Whoever prefers the moral meaning can take it, whoever prefers the literal meaning can take it, as Aesop puts it: whoever wants the flower may take it, whoever wants the fruit may take it, and whoever wants the pit may take it, and whoever wants the stories appealing to simple people may take them; and whoever wants it all may take it all.] 47

168

bernd renner

studii, he balanced imitation of the classics and creative digestion by fitting verse satire into the mold of the sonnet. He further developed his satire in the often neglected Divers Jeux rustiques, a collection of mostly longer poems that imitated the rhetorical subtlety and frequently blunt criticism of the Roman models with the tradition of the mock encomium derived from Lucian and the ad hominem attacks borrowed from Martial. 48 However, one should not neglect Clément Marot’s contribution to this development, as the Pléiade would certainly like us to do. Not only did the Quercinois create a typically French verse satire, the non sequitur poem in epistle form, but he also contributed considerably to the imitation of the Latin masters by launching the concours des blasons anatomiques or by composing masterful verse satires such as L’Enfer, where he completes a fusion between form and subject matter that would characterize satire henceforth. 49 Most critics have focused on the monotony and tediousness of this long poem, especially the first 302 lines that provide a detailed description of the operation of the Palais de Justice, while failing to notice that the schematic language, via a brilliant prosopopeia, is meant to mirror the shortcomings of the rigid and corrupt system it describes. This intention becomes quite clear when the poet officially finds his voice in his attempt to defend himself in the last third of the poem, marked by creativity, lyricism, and rhetorical brilliance exploiting the poet’s close connections to the royal family. 50

  For Du Bellay’s satire, see above all Floyd Gray, La Poétique de Du Bellay (Paris: Nizet, 1993), 111–59; Josiane Rieu, L’Esthétique de Du Bellay, Collection Esthétique (Paris: SEDES, 1995), 109–57; Jean-Claude Carron, “Stratégies de la satire du pétrarquisme chez Du Bellay et Ronsard,” in La Satire dans tous ses états, 221–44 (see note 7); A. Tomarken, The Smile of Truth, 117–28, 182–87 (see note 17); and P. Debailly, La Muse indignée, 1:357–400 (see note 11). I am leaving out the best examples of the Juvenalian, tragic approach, Ronsard’s Discours des Misères de ce temps and d’Aubigné’s Tragiques, as they do not seem essential to the topic, especially within the constraints of a short article; see Véronique Duché, ed., Ronsard, poète militant, CNEDPUF, Série XVIe siècle français (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2009); Véronique Ferrer, Frank Lestringant, and Alexandre Tarrête, Sur les Discours des Misères de ce temps, L’atelier de la Renaissance 14 (Orléans: Paradigme, 2009); Olivier Pot, ed., Poétiques d’Aubigné, Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 333 (Geneva: Droz, 1999); and Frank Lestringant, Lire Les Tragiques d’Agrippa d’Aubigné, Études et Essais sur la Renaissance 102 (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013). 49   Julien Goeury, ed., Blasons anatomiques du corps féminin (Paris: Flammarion, 2016). 50   See two representative examples for this twofold approach in L’Enfer, first the accusation of a corrupt world, reflected in schematic anaphora; and second, the rhetorical and literal liberation of the imprisoned poet. Clément Marot, Œuvres poétiques complètes, ed. Gérard Defaux, 2 vols. (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 1993), 2:436–44, vv. 51–62: “Là les plus grands les plus petitz destruisent: / Là les petitz peu, ou poinct, aux grands nuisent: / Là trouve l’on façon de prolonger / Ce, qui se doibt, se peult abreger: / Là sans argent paouvreté n’a raison: / Là se destruict maincte bonne maison: / Là biens sans cause en causes se despendent: / Là les causeurs les causes 48

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

169

Clearly indebted to Erasmus’s Praise of Folly, such implicit criticism of the mechanisms of linguistic manipulation via an uncommented mise-en-scène of the rhetorical attack on rhetoric and a subsequent demonstration of strategies for a cure shows not only the subtlety of Renaissance satire but also a facet of its potential for timelessness and continued relevance. What is more, however, is that Marot was also instrumental in the incorporation of the epigram into satirical discourse, thanks to his translations and imitations of Martial, thus anticipating Du Bellay’s main demand. We actually see here one of the most significant differences between creative imitation in the realm of satire before and after the beginning of the Wars of Religion. Let us look at Martial’s Ad Fabullam, sui laudatricem [To Fabulla, who praises herself]: “Bella es, nouimus, et puella, uerum est, / Et diues, quis enim potest negare? / Sed cum te nimium, Fabulla, laudas, / Nec diues neque bella nec puella es.” 51 And here is how Marot transforms this vicious attack (D’une qui se vante): “Vous estes belle, en bonne foy. / Ceulx qui disent que non sont bestes. / Vous estes riche, je le voy, / Qu’est-il besoin d’en faire enquestes? / Vous estes bien des plus honnestes / Et qui le nye est bien rebelle. / Mais quand vous vous louez, vous n’estes / Honneste, ne riche, ne belle.” 52 s’entrevendent: / Là en public on manifeste, & dict / La maulvaistié de ce monde mauldict, / Qui ne sçauroit soubs bonne conscience / Vivre deux jours en paix, & patience.” [. . .] “Elle [Marguerite] va veoir ung plus grand prisonnier / Sa noble mere ores elle accompaigne / Pour retirer nostre Roy hors d’Espaigne, / Que je souhaitte en ceste compaignie / Avec ta layde & obscure mesgnie / Car ta prison liberté luy [François Ier] seroit / Et comme CHRIST, les Ames poulseroit / Hors des Enfers, sans t’en laisser une Umbre: / En ton advis, seroys je pas du nombre?” [“There the big fish eat the small: / There the small hardly, or not at all, harm the big: / There they find a way to extend / What must, what can be shortened: / There without money poverty is never in the right: / There many good families are brought down: / There goods are wasted on causes without a cause: / There talkers are selling each other talking points: / There in public is shown off and named / all the bad in this cursed world, / which cannot in good conscience / live for two days in peace and patience. [. . .] “She will go and see a more important prisoner / She will accompany her noble mother / To bring back our King from Spain, / whom I would like to see in the company / Of your ugly and obscure brood / For your prison will be freedom for him / And like CHRIST, he will push the souls / Out of hell, without leaving you a shred; / In your opinion, will I not be included?”] For Marot’s satire, see above all Charles Kinch, La Poésie satirique de Clément Marot (Paris: Boivin, 1940). For a more detailed analysis of this stylistic liberation in L’Enfer, see Bernd Renner, “Poetic Liberation from Hell: Clément Marot’s L’Enfer,” in La Satire dans tous ses états (see note 7). 51  Martial, Épigrammes, ed. J. Malaplate (Paris: Gallimard, 1992), 32 (bk. 1.64): “You are beautiful, as everyone knows, and a virgin, Fabulla, and rich: there is no disagreement on that. But if you praise yourself for that, you’ll end up less beautiful, or less rich, or less of a virgin.” 52   Clément Marot, Œuvres complètes, vol. 2, ed. François Rigolot (Paris: GF Flammarion, 2009), 354: “You are beautiful, in good faith. Those you claim the opposite are imbecile. You

170

bernd renner

Marot’s longer development eliminates the direct link between the vice and its punishment, somewhat weakening one of the epigram’s two main assets according to Jules-César Scaliger: brevitas, the second being argutia (wit). The Quercinois seems more interested in the pedagogical effect of constructive criticism, however, as opposed to the destruction intended by Martial; hence the additions devoted to the lady’s qualities, whose confirmation is spread out over three lines (1, 3, 5), which underlines their importance. Moreover, they alternate with a rhetorical question (4) and criticism of her possible adversaries (2, 6) as if to underscore more forcefully the lady’s status. The final reversal, characteristic of Martial, seems therefore less abrupt, less violent, and better integrated into the pedagogical enterprise, the satirical “cure” that precedes it. Marot thus anticipates Du Bellay’s call for a more modest type of criticism in rendering the epigram in a more Horatian style, prominently featuring the utile dulci mixtum and omitting the perpetrator’s name. 53 When it comes to his own polemical conflicts, however, Marot will preserve more of Martial’s biting irony and violent ad hominem style, as we see in his attacks of his nemesis, the arch-conservative Catholic François Sagon, using onomatopoeia to convey literal punishment and comparing his adversary to an ape (sagouyn) via a near homophony: Zon dessus l’œil, zon sur le groin, Zon sur le dos du Sagouyn, Zon sus l’Asne de Balaan. Ha, villain, vous petez d’ahan, Le feu sainct Anthoine vous arde! Çà, ce nez, que je le nazarde Pour t’apprendre, avecques deux doigts, A porter honneur où tu doibs.

are rich, I can see. Why enquire any further? You are well amongst the most honest ladies and whoever denies it is stubborn. But when you praise yourself, you are neither honest nor rich nor beautiful.” See also the recent edition of the “Manuscrit de Chantilly”: Clément Marot, Recueil inédit offert au connétable de Montmorency, ed. François Rigolot, Textes Littéraires Français 604 (Geneva: Droz, 2010), where the epigrams occurred for the first time. 53   For Martial, see Étienne Wolf, Martial ou l’apogée de l’épigramme, Collection Interférences (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2008). For Martial’s impact on early modern French satire, see Karl Heinz Mehnert, Sal romanus und esprit français: Studien zur Martial-Rezeption im Frankreich des sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhunderts (Bonn: Romanisches Seminar der Universität Bonn, 1970); and Bernd Renner, “Satire et cynisme chez Juvénal et Martial. Aspects stylistiques de la satire renaissante,” in Les Interférences des écoles de pensée antiques dans la littérature de la Renaissance, ed. Edward Tilson, Études et Essais sur la Renaissance 100 (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013), 181–201.

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

171

Enflez, villain, que je me joue. Sus après, tournez l’aultre joue. 54 [Thump on the eye, thump on the groin, / Thump on the back of the slob, / Thump on the ass of Balaan. / Ho, villain, you fart fire, / May Saint Anthony’s fire burn you! / Ha, this nose, let me thump it / To teach you with two fingers, / to honor whom you must. / Swell up, villain, so I continue my pleasure. / And then, turn the other cheek.]

The final order to turn the other cheek ironically takes advantage of Sagon’s faith to complete and consent to the punishment. The debt to Martial is especially obvious in the following example, when the poet’s mastery of his art is attacked. Marot reacts in a more violent fashion than his model: Au reste de tes escriptures, Il ne fault vingt ne cent ratures Pour les corriger. Combien doncq? Seullement une tout du long. 55 [As for the rest of your writing, / No need for twenty or a hundred erasures / To correct it. How many then? / Only one from beginning to end.]

There is still a long way from this type of polemical confrontation to the tone, style, and content of most pamphlets that informed satirical discourse in the last third of the century. Even the infamous Théophile de Viau does not automatically fall prey to open obscenity when imitating Martial, but prefers to rely on the readers’ decoding of his insinuations, as obvious as they might be: Ceste femme a fait comme Troye; De braves gens sans aucun fruict Furent dix ans à ceste proye, Un cheval ne fut qu’une nuict. 56 [This woman followed the example of Troy: / Valiant people without gain / labored ten years toward their goal. / A horse only took one night.]

54   Marot, “Le Valet de Marot contre Sagon,” vv. 211–20, in Œuvres complètes, 2:280 (see note 52. 55   Marot, “Le Valet de Marot contre Sagon,” vv. 65–68, in Œuvres complètes, 2:276 (see note 52). Here is a comparable epigram from Martial, Épigrammes, 34 (see note 51) (bk. 1.110): Ad Velocem. “Scribere me quereris, Velox, epigrammata longa. / Ipse nihil scribis: tu breuiora facis” [My epigrams are too long, you say, Velox. / As you write nothing, yours are obviously shorter]. 56   Théophile de Viau, Œuvres poétiques I, ed. Jeanne Streicher, Textes Littéraires Français 42 (Geneva: Droz, 1967), 25.

172

bernd renner

The Satyres chrestiennes de la cuisine papale, however, had set the new, more brutal tone as early as in 1560, as was briefly insinuated earlier. The promise of utter destruction of the papal edifice in the preface will be fulfilled in the most violent and graphic manner: Curez (mortelles moqueries) Es doux sons de leurs chalemeaux, Escorchent tous vifs leurs aigneaux, Et les font languir sur la paille. Vicaire (farouche canaille) Tost après en font boucherie. Yci faut que ma boucherie Puis que je voy tirer farines De ces images tant divines, Et les morts payer les tributs. A table, à table. Chantez tous Benedicite, Dominus. Tantost nous irons dormir nuds Au lict de fornication. C’est la sanctification Des plats, des services, et mets Que vous dressez, ô vrays gourmets, Et vrays gourmans à gorge forte! 57 [Priests (deadly mockery) / With the sweet sounds of their pipes / Flay alive their lambs / And make them languish on the straw. / Vicars (fierce bastards) / Then lead them to the butcher’s block. / Here I can’t help to laugh and mock / Then I see them draw benefits / From such highly divine images, / And the dead pay the price. / Let’s eat, let’s eat. All are singing / Benedicite, Dominus. / Soon we’ll go sleep naked / In the bed of fornication. / That is the sanctification / Of meals, of services, and dishes / That you offer, oh true gourmets, / And true gourmands of the avid throat!]

Satirical laughter rimes with butchery now (“bouche rie​ — ​boucherie”), and ecclesiastical banquets are merely a pretext for sexual debauchery of the crudest kind. An extreme radicalization of Juvenalian indignation has come to dominate satirical expression in the face of the looming national catastrophe caused by a mortally ill adversary. Consequently, the only possible remedy consists in utter annihilation, a perversion of the curative principle of satire and an extreme illustration of the paradigm shift, due to the absence of the constructive element that is instrumental in traditional satire. The line between satire, invective, and polemic, tenuous at best before the Wars of Religion, becomes almost impossible to uphold post-1560, which, next to   Satyres chrestiennes, 44, 86 (see note 28).

57

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

173

what Marc Angenot aptly calls the “parole pamphlétaire,” does not prevent the winning combination of the tragic sublime that we encounter in Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Tragiques, even though this approach remains the exception during this difficult period. In a way this national catastrophe amended and profited from the paradigm shift that satire illustrated and underwent, and it caused a short-lived return to classical verse satire in the seventeenth century (Mathurin Régnier, Nicolas Boileau), an attempt at purifying the form by linking it more closely, once again, to prestigious Roman satura. The force of the paradigm shift proved too powerful, however, as satire remained a parasite of all genres (Sorel, Scarron, Molière, Bussy-Rabutin) and even created its own subgenre in the graphic satirical collections of the early seventeenth century. 58 This split from the mainstream of what could be termed libertine writing and what was then called “satyre” to distinguish it from accepted versions of satire was codified in the process of Théophile de Viau in 1623. This split was favored by the fact that the erroneous etymological link between satyr-play and satura would finally be rectified explicitly in Isaac Casaubon’s edition of Persius’s Works in 1605. The prestigious Greek link came in handy for expansion of the satirical paradigm in the sixteenth century but had shown its destructive potential in the extreme interpretations of militant writing during the Wars of Religion. As we observed earlier, obscenity and vulgarity, at least pre-civil wars, were far more pronounced in neo-Latin texts than in the vernacular, doubtless due to the very restricted public of the former, and Marot’s imitation of Martial confirms these observations. The use of invective, and crude language in general, seems therefore one of the main criteria that define pre- and post-1560 French satire. 59

  This rapid overview runs the risk of generalizing a bit too much, of course, but the grand tendencies sketched out derive clearly from the paradigm shift of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Among the plethora of critical material for the seventeenth century, for which an exhaustive study of satire is still lacking, see Dominique Bertrand, Dire le rire à l’âge classique (Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l’Université de Provence, 1995), whose subtitle, Représenter pour mieux contrôler, supports the overall direction of my overview. Also see Ingrid A.R. de Smet, Menippean Satire and the Republic of Letters, 1581–1655, Travaux du Grand Siècle 2 (Geneva: Droz, 1996); Howard Weinbrot, Menippean Satire Reconsidered: From Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005); Emily Butterworth, Poisoned Words: Slander and Satire in Early Modern France (London: Legenda, 2006); and a forthcoming special issue on satire of the journal XVIIe siècle, directed by Nicolas Corréard. 59  See, for instance, Hélisenne de Crenne, whose Epistres familieres et invectives (1543) would hardly merit their title some twenty years later, as the author actually deplores the dominance of indignation and a lack of discretion in her elegantly worded epistles: “O combien je doibs detester fortune: puis qu’à l’heure mon infelicité permist que l’ire parlast: et que la discretion se teust” [Oh, how much must I detest Fortune: since just now my misfortune allowed that rage speak up and that discretion remain silent.] (ed. Jerry C. Nash, Textes de la Renaissance 8 [Paris: Champion, 1996], 127). 58

174

bernd renner

Conclusion The complexity of the role of satire in the early modern paradigm shift could only be outlined in these pages. More than any other literary form, satire is at the heart of this fascinating development as it reacts to a changing world and at the same time profits from new developments, especially in the realm of letters, to widen its appeal and surpass the narrow limits of Roman satura. Diverse sources and models enable satire to develop numerous variants, usually characterized by a mixture of tones, registers, and attitudes. Satire is no longer predominantly a genre but a frame of mind. A heavy focus on irony, ambivalence, and ambiguity stresses the importance of reader involvement in the exegetic process. One of the main objectives of the resulting divina satyra is to go beyond the cure of concrete social ills by having an impact on the readers’ minds. This would be a cure that is more difficult to administer, but, if done successfully, the result would be more powerful, as the remedy affects the roots of most ills, human judgment, instead of the mere symptoms, the harmful consequences of bad or reckless judgment. 60 The examples from numerous early modern writers illustrate these developments. Martial’s unexpected but characteristic final reversal, for instance, is a stylistic trait that considerably enhances Renaissance satire in this respect, as it plays into the latter’s bent for irony, ambiguity, and the paradox resulting from conflicting viewpoints and “manipulative” uses of language that call for an interpretative effort on the readers’ part, as implicit as it may be, to achieve a coincidentia oppositorum. The Papimaniacs episode, for its part, makes brilliant use of this approach at a time when the genre of the paradox was flourishing in the wake of publications such as the anonymous Paradoxe contre les lettres 61 or Ortensio Lando’s Paradossi (1543) and its subsequent translation-adaptation into French, most likely by Charles Estienne (1553). 62 These forms embody the focus on complex rhetorical strategies, on a dissociation from generic preoccupations in favor of a satirical frame of mind as well

  An investigation of the growing importance of early modern skepticism and cynicism, major elements of satire, would be welcome in this context, but it exceeds the scope of this article. For Montaigne, its most prominent French proponent, see Marie-Luce Demonet, À Plaisir. Sémiotique et scepticisme chez Montaigne, L’Atelier de la Renaissance (Orléans: Paradigme, 2002); and Marie-Luce Demonet and Alain Legros, eds., L’écriture du scepticisme chez Montaigne, Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 385 (Geneva: Droz, 2004). For a larger focus in the present context, see M. Clément, Le cynisme à la Renaissance: d’Érasme à Montaigne, Cahiers d’Humanisme et Renaissance 72 (Geneva: Droz, 2005); and Hugh Roberts, Dogs’ Tales: Representations of Ancient Cynicism in French Renaissance Texts (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2006). 61   See Michèle Clément, “Maurice Scève et le Paradoxe contre les lettres,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 65 (2003): 97–124. 62   [Charles Estienne], Paradoxes, ed. Trevor Peach, Textes Littéraires Français 498 (Geneva: Droz, 1998). 60

“Satura Tota Nostra Est”

175

as on the varietas of style and content that are characteristic of early modern satire and illustrate the paradigm shift. 63 It is precisely the perplexed reader whose judgment and exegetical abilities are put to the test by such strategies and whose active involvement is instrumental for the effectiveness of the satirical lesson, especially in the more general and usually more abstract divina satyra, that will make use of the new possibilities opened up by more flexible concepts of irony and allegory​ — ​or more complex treatments of phenomena such as folly, to limit myself to issues sketched out in these pages. The rhetorical and aesthetic possibilities that derive from such developments and from the combination of the various literary traditions illustrate a paradigm shift that marks the beginning of modern satirical discourse. It is henceforth dominated by protean prose writing in the vein of the prose adaptations of the Ship of Fools-corpus, the Rabelaisian chronicles, dialogic exchanges such as the Heptaméron, or the polemic Satyre Menippee.

  See Colie, Paradoxia Epidemica, 5 (see note 17): “The rhetorical paradox as a literary form has duplicity built into it [. . .]. [It] has no set style, no steady, reliable, fixed decorum.” 63

From Myth to Matter: Ulrich Molitor’s De L amiis (1489) and the Construction of Witchcraft William Bradford Smith

Ulrich Molitor’s De Lamiis (1489) holds a curious position in the history of witchcraft. 1 This short treatise is the first comprehensive critique of the elaborated theory of witchcraft that developed in the early fifteenth century and was subsequently codified in the Malleus Maleficarum (1487). Written in the form of a dialogue, the text expresses “considerable skepticism.” 2 In his study of late medieval critiques of witch-hunting, Wolfgang Ziegeler declared that Molitor “denied practically without exception not only the reality of traditional magic but also the ingredients of the new conception of witchcraft.” 3 Wolfgang Behringer states that Molitor’s use of the tenth-century canon Episcopi in his critique makes his work a crucial link between medieval tradition and later Catholic condemnations of witch hunting. 4 By contrast, Erik Midelfort argued that “Molitor’s views were not the first glimmerings of   Ulrich Molitor, De Lamiis, et phitonicis mulieribus (Strasbourg: Prüss, 1489); id., Von den unholden oder hexen (Augsburg: Hanssen Otmar, 1508); Wolfgang Ziegeler, Möglichkeiten der Kritik am Hexen-und Zauberwesen im ausgehenden Mittelalter (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 1973), 111– 36; Charles Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft (London: Routledge, 2007), 17–27. Editor’s note: For a modern German edition, see Ulrich Molitoris, Von Unholden und Hexen, in an edition by Nicolaus Equiamicus (Diedorf: Ubooks-Verlag, 2008). For an English translation, see Hazards of the Dark Arts: Advice for Medieval Princes on Witchcraft and Magic: Johannes Hartlieb’s Book of All Forbidden Arts (1456) and Ulrich Molitoris’s On Witches and Pythonesse (1489), trans. Richard Kieckhefer, Magic in History (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017). 2  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 18 (see note 1). 3  Ziegeler, Kritik am Hexen-und Zauberwesen, 122 (see note 1). 4   Wolfgang Behringer, Witchcraft Persecutions in Bavaria, trans. J. C. Grayson and David Lederer (1987; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 217. 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 177–202.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117198

178

william bradford smith

an enlightened mentality, but the echoes of a well-known and respected medieval tradition.” Far from encouraging dissent against the opinions expressed in the Malleus, the revival of Episcopi provided demonologists with evidence of the demonic character of witchcraft. In that regard, the work gave more support to witch hunters than their foes. 5 Molitor’s legacy is further complicated by the set of six woodcuts that appear in the twenty illustrated editions of the text published between 1489 and 1510 (see Figures at the end of this article). It has been claimed that these images were instrumental in spreading the new ideas about witchcraft, in particular the ideas concerning night-flight, the demonic pact, and the witches’ Sabbath. As Charles Zika recently observed, “it would be difficult to exaggerate the impact that the Molitor images had on contemporary representations and perceptions of witchcraft.” 6 The plates were widely copied and played a key role in creating the visual vocabulary of witchcraft in the sixteenth century. Yet the images themselves pose more questions than they answer. The relationship between image and text is difficult to establish, and the source of the ideas represented in the woodcuts is uncertain. Do they represent traditional conceptions or are they products of the artist’s imagination? Were they inspired by the text or do they exist independently from it? Ultimately the illustrations are an enigma and have defied the best efforts of scholars to decode them. Here I will examine the dual legacy of Molitor’s work. My investigation will consist of two parts. First, I will consider the place of Molitor in arguments for and against the persecution of witches. Second, I will examine the images themselves. On the one hand, his critique of witch trials presages some of the more important arguments voiced in the seventeenth century, notwithstanding the ambiguous legacy of his use of the Canon Episcopi. As numerous other scholars before her, Gerhild Scholz Williams has argued that the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum marked the crucial paradigm shift in the histories of demonology and persecution: “the metamorphosis of the witchcraft phenomenon can be divided into pre- and post-Malleus periods.” 7 Molitor’s work, the first major treatise of the post-Malleus era, reflects the shifting conceptions of demonic witchcraft but also reveals the broader implications of the paradigm shift represented in the Malleus. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the ambiguities in his treatise, Molitor fixed the terms of the debate for the next four generations. Meanwhile, the images represent a major shift   Erik H.C. Midelfort, Witchhunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562–1684 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972), 24. 6  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 17–18 (see note 1); see also Linda Hults, The Witch as Muse (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); Margaret Sullivan, “The Witches of Dürer and Hans Baldung Grien,” Renaissance Quarterly 53 (2000): 377–78; Jane P. Davidson, The Witch in Northern European Art 1470–1750, Science and Research 2 (Freren: Luca-Verlag, 1987). 7   Gerhild Scholz Williams, Defining Dominion: The Discourses of Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern France and Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 1–2. 5

From Myth to Matter

179

in conceptions of witchcraft, the move from medieval beliefs concerning the land of faerie to more modern constructions of witchcraft and magic. Indeed, one can argue that De Lamiis was of greater significance than the Malleus in shifting the visual culture of witchcraft. Both as a work of demonology and a treatise on law, Molitor’s De Lamiis stands at the threshold between an older epistemological regime and a newer empirical and materialist world. It clearly summarized the new paradigm of demonic witchcraft while simultaneously presenting what would become the standard critique. Moreover, through its wide dissemination, De Lamiis had a far more direct impact on demonology and the popular imagination than the Malleus Maleficarum. Although there had certainly been alleged witches for a very long time, it was only in the fifteenth century that a comprehensive definition of demonic witchcraft was worked out by scholars. The basic outlines of the consensus view were first articulated around 1430 in a series of works written in the course of trials in France and Switzerland directed against adherents of the “heresy of the modern Waldensians” (heresim illorum hereticorum modernorum Valdensium). Five more or less contemporary treatises​  — ​the Formicarius of Johann Nider (1438), the Basel chronicle of Hans Fründ (ca.  1431), the anonymous Errores Gaziorum (ca.  1435), Claude Tholosan’s Ut magorum et maleficarum errores (1436/37), and Martin le Franc’s Le Champon des Dames (ca. 1440)​ — ​provided the foundation for an inclusive definition of the demonic sect of witches. 8 At the end of the fifteenth century, the elaborated definition was codified by Heinrich Kramer (Institoris) in his Malleus Maleficarum, published in 1487. 9 De Lamiis et Pythonicis Mulieribus [Of Witches and Diviner Women], the first published response to the Malleus, was composed in the aftermath of a set of witch trials conducted in Innsbruck. Heinrich Kramer, the author of the Malleus Maleficarum, 8   Martine Ostorero, et al., L’imaginaire du sabbat. Edition critique des textes les plus anciens (1430c–1440c) (Lausanne: Université Lausanne, 1999); Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993); Andreas Blauert, Frühe Hexenverfolgungen. Ketzer-Zauberei-und Hexenprzesse des 15. Jahrhunderts (Hamburg: Junius Verlag, 1989); id., “Die Erforschung der Anfänge europäischen Hexenverfolgungen,” in Ketzer, Zauberer, Hexen. Die Anfänge der europäischen Hexenverfolgungen, ed. id. (Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1990), 11–42; Martine Ostorero, ‘Folâtrer avec les demons,’ Sabbat et chasse aux sorciers á Vevey (1448) (Lausanne: Cahiers Lausaunnois d’Histoire Médiévale, 1995); id., “The Concept of the Witches Sabbath in the Albine Region (1430–1440): Text and Context,” in Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions, ed. Gábor Klanisczy and Éva Pócs, Demons, Spirits, Witches 3 (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2008), 15–34; Michael Bailey, Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy, and Reform in the Late Middle Ages (University Park: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003); Rainer Decker, Witchcraft and the Papacy (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003), 40–49. 9   Heinrich Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum ([Speyer:] Drach, 1487); English translation: The Hammer of Witches, trans. Christopher S. Mackay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

180

william bradford smith

had presided over a series of trials in 1485 but faced serious opposition from Bishop Georg Goslar of Brixen. Pope Innocent VIII sent letters to both Archduke Sigismund and Abbot Johann von Weingut seeking support for the Inquisition. 10 Sigismund preferred that the bishop would conduct his own investigation. For his part, Bishop Georg thought that Kramer was not right in the head and probably senile. He wanted Kramer sent back to his monastery, in part because of the intense “division and aggravation” (Zwistigkeiten and Aergernisse) that the Inquisition had stirred up. Georg even suggested that Kramer’s life might be threatened by the husbands and other relatives of women who had been arrested. Eventually the panic extended even as far as Archduke Sigismund’s second wife, Catherine of Saxony, accused of having poisoned her predecessor. In 1486, with the support of the archduke, Bishop Georg was able to expel Kramer from his diocese. 11 The text of De Lamiis is presented in the form of a dialogue among three individuals: Archduke Sigismund of the Tirol; Konrad Schatz, mayor of Constance; and Molitor himself. The treatise is divided into three sections. Throughout the first section, the archduke takes the role of the skeptical inquirer. Schatz is outspoken in his support for the proposition that witches are real and are capable of the various actions of which they are commonly accused. Molitor’s own position in this section is ambiguous. At times he agrees with the archduke, at other times he seems to support Schatz’s arguments. At the end of this section, Sigmund expresses his confusion over the matter. The middle portion involves an extended discussion between Molitor and the archduke in which the former attempts to clarify matters. It is here that Molitor reveals himself to be something of a skeptic. In the final section, Molitor summarizes the arguments presented earlier in the text. In the introduction, Molitor asks whether certain wicked, perverted women “who were called witches (Hexen) or Unholden,” having been found guilty of the “heretical crime” of witchcraft, deserve death. The matter is difficult to comprehend, Molitor says, having led to doubts even among the very wise. Some argue that indeed such women should be burnt; others dispute whether such a crime is even possible. The goal of the treatise is to correct many errors and show the truth. 12 Molitor identifies eight questions to be addressed: (1) whether witches can cause hailstorms and thereby harm the fruits in the fields; (2) if with the assistance of evil spirits they can cause illness; (3) if through magical means they may inhibit the marital act; (4) if they can change shapes and turn into animals; (5) if they can 10   Joseph Hansen, Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Hexenwahns und der Hexenverfolgung im Mittelalter: Mit einer Untersuchung der Geschichte des Wortes Hexe (Bonn: Carl Georgi, 1901), no. 38, pp. 28–29; no. 39, p. 29. 11  Ziegeler, Kritik am Hexen-und Zauberwesen, 82–110 (see note 1); McKay, The Hammer of Witches, 4–5 (see note 9); Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 18 (see note 1); Behringer, Witchcraft Persecution, 71–73 (see note 5); Ludwig Rapp, Die Hexenprozesse und ihre Gegner aus Tirol: ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte (Innsbruck: Wagner, 1874), 8–13. 12  Molitor, De Lamiis, A2r–v (see note 1).

From Myth to Matter

181

ride, either on greased sticks or wild animals, through the air to their nocturnal meetings; (6) if they are able to have sexual relations with the devil in human form; (7) whether they can predict future events; (8) whether they may be condemned and executed according to Imperial Law. 13 The dialogue begins with Schatz noting how “it is well known” that witches can cause storms and can damage crops. We know this, he insists, because in jail witches have openly confessed to causing hailstorms. Sigismund responds, saying, “I give little credence to such awful accusations,” because “under the pain and pressure of torture” even the most innocent will confess to anything. 14 Schatz cites the examples of Egyptian magicians in the book of Exodus, and further refers to the book of Job and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In all of these cases, God had granted permission to the devil to wreak havoc on humankind. 15 Many “old people who are sick and lame and crippled” insist that they had been made that way by witches. Sigismund asks what Scripture has to say in these cases. It is telling that Schatz replies with a host of examples from saints’ lives, being unable to provide scriptural support for his claim. 16 In response to the claim that witches are able to cause impotence in newly married men, Sigismund declares that people will believe many foolish things. Just because something is thought to be true by many people, we ought not to trust their judgment. 17 Molitor cites a passage in St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Thomas gives a list of examples illustrating how demons could impede the sexual act. Some of these involve impediments of movement, such as creating barriers between husband and wife or preventing the movement of blood to the member. Others have to do with influencing the state of mind of the man. The demon might tell him things that will cool his ardor for his wife, or make him believe his wife is ugly. 18 Sigismund responds that, in such cases, it is more likely that natural causes are at work. Molitor replies with a story of a doctor in Constance who was employed by the court to investigate claims of impotence. The doctor, who had eighteen years of experience, had seen only one case where he was certain natural causes were not to blame and admitted the possibility of a supernatural cause. The suggestion seems clear: the causes cited in St. Thomas might just as well have natural causes rather than supernatural causes. And while the testimony of the doctor of Constance suggested demonic causes might be possible, they were rare and probably unprovable by medical means. 19  Molitor, De Lamiis, A3r (see note 1).  Molitor, De Lamiis, A3v (see note 1). 15  Molitor, De Lamiis, A4r-v (see note 1). 16  Molitor, De Lamiis, A6r (see note 1). 17  Molitor, De Lamiis, A6v (see note 1). 18  Molitor, De Lamiis, A6v (see note 1); Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV, Distinction 34. This same passage is quoted in the Malleus Maleficarum, 53A–C (see note 9). 19  Molitor, De Lamiis, A7r (see note 1). 13 14

182

william bradford smith

When Schatz attempts to prove that witches are able of changing into the forms of animals, Sigismund asks for proof. Schatz provides a range of examples, mostly from classical mythology. Circe, for instance, was able to make Ulysses’s men into pigs and change herself into a wolf. Sigismund dismisses these examples, saying that we are not obliged to believe things spoken by the poets, no matter their reputation. When Schatz counters with a reference to Apuleius, Sigismund again asks why he should believe heathen fables. Schatz replies by citing a story from the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions. Simon Magus was able to transform himself so that he took on the appearance of St. Clement’s father. 20 Faced with evidence drawn from Scripture and history, Sigismund wonders whether the changes described are real or merely illusions. Molitor argues on the authority of St. Augustine that the devil is able to fool people into seeing whatever he wishes. But these are illusions, not genuine transformations of matter, since the devil cannot make a new creation. 21 Molitor cites a story of a witch who turned a man into a donkey and then forced him to work for her. The man did the work required of him but never lost his consciousness that he was a human. Molitor leaves open the possibility that it was a case of delusion​ — ​the man had not truly become a donkey but had been convinced that he was one. To the question of whether women can have children through intercourse with demons, Schatz begins by noting that no one doubts that the devil can appear in human form. The lives of the saints, starting with the tales of St. Anthony and St. Martin, provide ample evidence on this account. Sigismund then asks how it would be possible for a spirit to have intercourse with a woman. Schatz again responds that the women who had been interrogated in witch trials all admitted to having had sex with demons. “The madness of women,” Sigismund replies, “says many things that are false.” It is simply not believable that a spiritual being can engage in carnal acts. Where are the children born of such unions? Sigismund asks. Schatz first calls up the story of Melusine, then the birth of Merlin, as recounted by Vincent of Beauvais. He also gives an example from the time of King Roger of Sicily, of a man who was seduced by a mermaid and had a son with her. 22 Sigismund asks again​ — ​are these real people or merely spirits with the form of humans? In both cases, Schatz, this time with support from Molitor, insists that these were real men. 23 Schatz next points to the fact that witches are able to predict the future with the help of demons. Sigismund replies that only God has genuine knowledge of  Molitor, De Lamiis, A9v–Br (see note 1).  Molitor, De Lamiis, B5v (see note 1). 22  Molitor, De Lamiis, B6v; B7v–8r (see note 1). 23  Molitor, De Lamiis, B8r–v (see note 1); on the uses of the legend of Roger of Sicily, see Bruce Gordon, “God Killed Saul: Heinrich Bullinger and Jacob Ruef on the Power of the Devil,” in Werewolves, Witches and Wandering Spirits: Traditional Belief and Folklore in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kathryn Edwards, Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies 62 (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2002), 155–79. 20 21

From Myth to Matter

183

future events. Molitor agrees, but notes that there are many possible means of prognostication available, including astronomy. Demons can predict future events, not because they have genuine foresight but because age and experience make it easier for them to guess what will occur in future. This information they pass along to witches, who believe that the devils have given them the genuine power of prophecy. 24 The same logic applies to weather magic. Through his knowledge and ability to be at many places at once, the devil is able to see when storms are brewing and predict their paths. He then goes to the witches and encourages them to hatred and envy of their enemies. The devil instructs them in “silly and foolish” rites that they duly administer. When the storm comes and causes damage, the witches congratulate themselves on their work, but in fact there was nothing magical about it. It was merely an act of nature. But by believing in the devil’s power and their own to cause storms, the witches were guilty of heresy and apostasy. It did not matter whether they caused the storm or not: it was their misbelief, along with the envy and hatred, that inspired them; that was their crime. 25 By this point in the dialogue, Schatz no longer has anything to offer​ — ​his departure is neither noted nor explained. Molitor now begins to offer his own explanations for the various phenomena discussed earlier. To the question of whether witches can transform themselves into animals, Molitor insists that it is only a matter of appearances, but even then the viewer may simply be deluded. From the life of St. Machario we have the story of a man who wished to seduce a woman and so, with the help of a magician, transformed her into a horse in order to bring her in and out of his house without suspicion. The saint saw through the disguise and could discern clearly that he was leading not a horse but a woman. The devil can create false images, but these may also proceed from natural causes such as high fever or head injuries. 26 In the case of the witches’ Sabbath, Molitor notes how many people experience things in dreams that are so realistic that they often believe they actually occurred. He recounts the tale of spiritual doubling taken from the life of St. Germanus. The saint stopped at an inn and while getting ready for bed heard a noise downstairs. He came down and saw the innkeeper’s wife setting a table with bread and wine. Germanus asked whom it was for. The woman replied that the food was for their “friends” who would stop by in the night. The holy bishop was suspicious and decided to stay up to see who came. About midnight a woman arrived, sat down, and began eating. Germanus asked the innkeeper’s wife if she recognized the woman. She did, saying it was her next-door neighbor. The saint then used a prayer to detain the apparition and told the innkeeper to run

 Molitor, De Lamiis, B8v–Cv (see note 1).  Molitor, De Lamiis, C2r–C3r (see note 1). 26  Molitor, De Lamiis, D2r–D4v (see note 1). 24 25

184

william bradford smith

next door and see if the woman was there. Indeed, she was, asleep in her bed even though her doppelgänger was feasting at the inn. 27 So who was at the table? Molitor suggests that they may have been demons or some other kind of spirits. This was also the opinion of Johann Nider, who had previously used this story in his treatise on witchcraft. Nider coupled this story with one he had heard of a woman who claimed to fly with Diana in her sleep. The latter was clearly a dream, since the woman had not left her bed. 28 Molitor, possibly following Nider, likewise turns to the question of night flight. Archduke Sigismund asks if women can actually fly through the air. Molitor is adamant. No. Perhaps they go to meetings riding on horses or donkeys or other animals. Perhaps they think that they are flying or being transported on fantastic beasts. They may travel a few miles but, in their deluded state, they think they have covered ten or twenty miles in only an hour. Regardless of what they say, the witches are either deluded or lying. Their crime is not that they fly and consort with Diana and Herodis but that they try to convince people that such things do in fact occur. They are proselytes of a false and pernicious belief that undermines peoples’ faith in God and turns them to the devil. It is for this that they deserve death as intransigent heretics. 29 Throughout the dialogue, three arguments are deployed, principally by Archduke Sigismund, against the elaborated theory of witchcraft. The first strategy is to impeach the sources. In the interchanges between Schatz and the archduke, the former offers up four kinds of documentary evidence: accounts from trials, literary evidence, sacred history, and profane history. The first sort is dismissed out of hand: evidence obtained from torture is doubtful in the absence of solid proof; meanwhile, one ought not to trust the foolishness of women. Sigismund is likewise deeply skeptical of literary evidence, particularly works by pagan poets. The poets are not known for their truthfulness, and even if they were telling the truth, by the grace of God Christians are spared the sort of travails suffered by heathens of old. The same logic applies, albeit in a more limited form, to Old Testament examples: the death of Christ on the Cross offered salvation to men that was not permitted before. 30 Of other forms of sacred history, the archduke has a mixed opinion. While not dismissing such tales out of hand, it seems noteworthy that some of Schatz’s strongest arguments derive from apocryphal works, most notably the Recognitions of Pseudo-Clementine. The arguments from profane history derive almost exclusively from Vincent of Beauvais. The archduke at times seems convinced by such

 Molitor, De Lamiis, D5r–v (see note 1).   Johann Nider, Formicarius (Strasbourg, 1516), fols. 23v–24r; see also Johann Geiler von Keisersberg, Die Emeis: dis ist das Buch von der Omeissen unnd auch Herr der Künnig ich diente gern. Und sagt von Eigenschafft der Omeissen. Und gibt Underweisung von den Unholden und Hexen, und von Gespenst der Geist . . . (Strasbourg: Johannes Grüninger, 1517), fol. 38r. 29  Molitor, De Lamiis, D6r, E4r (see note 1). 30  Molitor, De Lamiis, A4r–v (see note 1). 27

28

From Myth to Matter

185

evidence, but at other points states that they leave him confused and uncertain. 31 Nevertheless, there is a clear hierarchy of sources presented here. Evidence from trials and literature rank behind historical sources. In the sections where only Molitor and the archduke are quoted, the latter tends to defer to the former’s authority, both as an eyewitness to trials and as a jurist. The second critique is to argue that phenomena with supposed supernatural origins might just as likely be attributed to natural causes. In the case of impotence, Sigismund notes that the conjugal act is “a work of nature and derives from nature.” The devil is bound by the laws of nature and cannot alter them in any way. 32 Dreams are likewise natural phenomena, and many fantasies of the witches result from them mistaking things that happen in dreams for real occurrences. 33 Nevertheless, there is room for demonic activity in these cases. The passage cited from St. Thomas Aquinas on impotence is telling in this regard. All the explanations could proceed naturally, but in all cases demons could play a role. Molitor’s text on this point seems to aim to save the phenomenon. In a similar way, he admits that the women seen by St. Germanus were in fact demons. At the same time, Merlin’s birth was simply the result of an indiscretion; his mother obviously became pregnant by another man and blamed a demon. Demonic explanations, in other words, may be employed, but only if natural ones have been ruled out. The third argument is the application of the canon Episcopi. This Carolingian text had its origins in a catalogue of heretical practices compiled in the early tenth century by Regino of Prüm. Regino describes the construction of altars to pagan gods, the recitation of “diabolical songs” over bread or herbs, or over the bodies of the dead, as well as a range of forbidden forms of divination. 34 The most famous passage in his compilation is the canon Episcopi, which condemned as a “demonic illusion and fantasy” the belief that certain women fly through the air to take part in nocturnal meetings involving the worship of Diana. 35 The key passage in the text reads as follows: It is also not to be omitted that some unconstrained women, perverted by Satan, seduced by illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and openly profess that, in the dead of night, they ride upon certain beasts with the pagan goddess Diana, with a countless horde of women, and in the silence of the dead of the night to fly over vast tracts of country, and to obey her commands as their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on other nights.

 Molitor, De Lamiis, B2v (see note 1).  Molitor, De Lamiis, A7r (see note 1). 33  Molitor, De Lamiis, d5r (see note 1). 34   Regino of Prüm, De Ecclesiasticis Disciplinis, cols. 193, 284–85, 349–52, in id., Opera Omnia, ed. J.-P. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina (PL), 221 vols.; here vol. 132 (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1844–1891). 35  Regino, De Ecclesiasticis Disciplinis, cols. 349–52 (see note 34). 31

32

186

william bradford smith

Regino describes similarly false beliefs that women could assume the forms of animals, or ride animals to their nocturnal rituals. 36 The same stories were repeated, with minor differences, a century later by Burckhard of Worms in his compilation of canon law. 37 Archduke Sigismund makes a reference to the canon three times during the dialogue in regard to shape-shifting, night flight, and the witches’ Sabbath. In all three cases, the canon is used in the same way. The belief that some women can fly through the air or transform themselves into animals is a false belief. Perhaps they think it happened, but these are merely false illusions produced by the devil. So in the case of riding to the Sabbath on wolves or other animals, Molitor explains that what actually happens is that they ride on donkeys or other common animals. The devil tricks them, however, into seeing a wolf where there is simply an ass. Likewise, even though they only travel a short distance, the devil fools them into thinking they have traveled great distances. Everything they experience at the Sabbath is a demonic illusion. The crime, the heresy, lies in the fact that these deluded women convince others of the truth of their claims. It is this false belief that is the hallmark of the demonic heresy, and by seducing others into similar beliefs they become not simply heretics but intransigent heretics of the worst kind. 38 It is for this reason they must be punished. Molitor’s work left a lasting legacy for the field of demonology in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One of the first authors who likely had read De Lamiis was Johann Geiler von Kaiserswerth, whose Die Emeis [The Ants] repeats several of Molitor’s key arguments. Geiler was very critical of the elaborated theory of witchcraft. He rejected outright the notions that witches could fly or transform themselves into animals. 39 Such things occur only in the mind, either in dreams or delusions. Demons can play a role, but only in creating the deception. Following Molitor, Geiler insists that the devil has no power to change nature, and whatever is not possible according to nature, the devil cannot accomplish. 40 Similarly, Geiler repeats the argument used by Molitor in the case of weather magic. On account of the speed with which they can move and the broadness of their experience, demons are able to predict the path a storm will take. They then give this information to the witches, tricking them into thinking that they brought on the storm through their ridiculous rites. 41 The part of Molitor’s treatise that had the most enduring impact was his use of the Canon Episcopi. His emphasis on the guilt of individuals who claimed to fly through the air in the company of Diana and Herodis was to have serious  Regino, De Ecclesiasticis Disciplinis, col. 284 (see note 34).   Burkhard of Worms, Decretorum, Libri XX, in id., Opera Omnia, PL 140:831–39. 38  Molitor, De Lamiis, D6r–v (see note 1); see also A7r, B4v. 39   Geiler von Kaiserwerth, Die Emeis, 37–42. 40   Geiler von Kaiserwerth, Die Emeis, 43. 41   Geiler von Kaiserswerth, Die Emeis, 45. 36 37

From Myth to Matter

187

implications. By reviving the tradition of Episcopi, anyone who made any kind of pact with the devil, regardless of the effects, was guilty of a capital crime. This erased the distinction between “good” and “bad” and between effective and ineffective magic. All magic was demonic, hence all practitioners were apostates and heretics. 42 Johann Weyer was deeply critical of Molitor on this point. Although he accepted Molitor’s reading of Episcopi that insisted that night flight was simply a delusion, he rejected the argument that belief was worthy of punishment. How can women who have been deluded into a false belief by demons be held accountable for that belief? Criminality rests on intent and there can be no intent when the accused is lured into actions through fraud. And in any event, since, as Molitor insists, there is no real act, then the women are being condemned merely for a mistaken opinion. He concludes that the women are in truth the victims of this delusion: “these women are deserving of commiseration rather than monstrous punishment​ — ​they rather deserve every assistance that is either due by law or accord in keeping with the dictates of reason to victims of trickery, force or fear.” Their affliction is its own punishment. 43 Here and elsewhere, Weyer places himself in opposition to Molitor. 44 Yet there are points where their substantive arguments appear to converge. Weyer viewed witchcraft as sex-specific and age-specific. Consequently, witchcraft “could be explained away in terms of the pathology of female senility and the tricks of the devils.” 45 Weyer identified two possible explanations for Maleficia: direct action by demons or non-demonic natural causes. True maleficia, he argued, proceeded from the “immediate work of devils.” As for the poor unfortunate women accused of the crime, their confessions proceeded from physical conditions, mental illness, the suggestions of demons, or some combination of the three. 46

42  Midelfort, Witch-Hunting, 34 (see note 5); Willhelm Gottlieb Soldan and Heinrich Heppe, Geschichte der Hexenprozesse, ed. Max Bauer, 2 vols., 3rd ed. (1843; Cologne: Parkland Verlag, 1999), 1:467. 43   Johann Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum, et incantationibus ac veneficiis Libri sex, 6th ed. (Basel: Oporiniana, 1583), 6.27, cols. 775–86; Johann Weyer, Witches, Devils, and Doctors in the Renaissance, trans. John Shea (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1991), 566–71. 44   Another place is in response to Molitor’s analysis of the birth of Merlin and the story of the mermaid’s son from Sicily. Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum, 3.30, cols. 355–58; English trans., 257. 45  Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 198; Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1583), 3.6, 253– 56; English trans., 181–83. 46  Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1583), preface, 8; Clark, Thinking with Demons, 198– 99 (see note 45).

188

william bradford smith

Stuart Clark has noted that Weyer’s approach “was marked by naturalism, by a commitment to what could and could not be performed in the natural world known to him as a physician.” His observations derived, first and foremost, from his clinical experience. 47 We can see similar logic at work in Molitor as well. Like Weyer, Molitor frequently identifies witch beliefs as delusions and links those directly to female pathology. 48 Whenever possible, Molitor likewise sought out natural, nondemonic causes for various phenomena. 49 Weyer laid particular stress on the susceptibility of melancholics to demonic deceptions, illusions, or fraud. 50 Though with considerably less clinical precision, Molitor also seems to suggest that women are far more prone to madness or delusion, and it is this quality that makes them vulnerable. 51 What is particularly striking when one compares Molitor’s and Weyer’s arguments is that similarities far outweigh the specific differences that Weyer was so keen to point out. Both are ultimately dependent on traditional demonology for their definition of the phenomena, but this debt to authority is tempered by naturalism and a preference for direct observations and for natural over supernatural explanations. 52 This does not mean that they completely reject demonic causation. Rather, in both works, psychological explanations leave the door open for demonic activity. Demons work on the weak-minded and convince them of many things that are either insane or impossible. The physician takes the argument much further than the judge, but to a large extent Weyer’s central proposition linking beliefs about witchcraft to mental illness appears to be an elaboration on Molitor’s observation, with one very significant difference. Whereas Weyer insists on the innocence of the women accused of witchcraft, introducing an early form of the insanity defense, 53 Molitor insists that regardless of their state of mind, the women taken for the crime deserve to be punished. Later authors interpreted Molitor’s work in a rather different way. Martin Del Rio (1551–1608) cites Molitor with approval on most points. Molitor had “wisely observed” that the devil is able to make things appear other than they are. He is  Clark, Thinking with Demons, 200 (see note 45).  Molitor, De Lamiis, C8r, D4r. 49  Molitor, De Lamiis, B3v–B4v, C7v–C8r, D3v, Er–v; see also C6r. 50  Weyer, De Paraestigiis Daemonum (1583), 3.5, 252–53, 3.7–9, 256–65; English, 10–81, 183–89. 51  Molitor, De Lamiis, B6r, C8r, E4r. 52   Compare Clark, Thinking with Demons, 200 (see note 45). 53   Erik H.C. Midelfort, “Johann Weyer and the Transformation of the Insanity Defense,” in The German People in the Reformation, ed. Ronnie P-Chia Hsia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988), 234–61; see also Midelfort, “Sin, Melancholy, Obsession: Insanity and Culture in Sixteenth-Century Germany,” in Understanding Popular Culture: Europe from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century, ed. Steven L. Kaplan, New Babylon 40 (Berlin, New York, and Amsterdam: Mouton, 1984), 113–45. 47

48

From Myth to Matter

189

“the master of jokes,” as well as supremely subtle. 54 At the same time, Del Rio refutes Molitor’s claim that it is impossible for women to become pregnant through demonic intercourse. Ample evidence has been provided subsequently to prove Molitor wrong on this point. 55 On the interpretation of Episcopi, Del Rio rejects Weyer’s effort to excuse witches of their crimes on account that night flight could not occur and is merely an illusion. Del Rio follows Molitor’s reasoning: it is the sin of apostasy that makes witches guilty before man and God and for which they are rightly condemned. 56 Following Molitor, Pierre de Lancre declared that the canon Episcopi did not deny the reality of the witches’ claims but only meant that one does not always have to believe them. Sometimes their claims of night flight were merely illusions; other times, however, they were expressions of reality. Drawing on Caspar Schatz’s comments in the early parts of De Lamiis, de Lancre declares that Molitor “concluded that the local flight of the witches to the Sabbath really did occur.” Moreover, this was consistent with the witches’ own confessions. 57 This is clearly a very selective reading of Molitor’s text. De Lancre not only takes no notice of the various counter-arguments in the work but also states that the book comprised a debate held before the Emperor Sigismund rather than Archduke Sigismund of Austria. Even so, in his conclusions as to why the crime is worthy of punishment, even if the witches themselves might simply be deluded, de Lancre follows closely Molitor’s logic. “Ecstasy,” de Lancre notes, “is no small part of their apostasy.” 58 (283). The essential question in Episcopi​  — ​and, by extension, Molitor’s dialogue​  — ​is not whether or not what occurs is an illusion but, rather, the infidelity of the women who have thus given over their minds to demons. 59 And even if some authors in the past​ — ​Molitor included​ — ​had doubts, de Lancre insists that on account of the witch trials that had been conducted in the late sixteenth century, we now had sufficient evidence to state with certainty things that Molitor was unable to confirm. 60 The treatment of the problem in De Lancre and Del Rio points to a general pattern of argumentation in De Lamiis. All demonologists, medieval as well as modern, recognized that there was a range of possible opinions and that evidence 54   Martin Del Rio, Disquisitionum Magicarum Libri Sex (Mainz: Peter Henning, 1617), 1.4, 32; Martin Del Rio, Investigations into Magic, trans. P.G. Maxwell-Stuart (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 53; compare Molitor, De Lamiis, Cv. 55   Del Rio, Disquisitionum Magicarum, 2, q. 15, 160–62; English, 91 (paraphrase). 56   Del Rio, Disquisitionum Magicarum, 5.16, 803–7; English, 236–37 (paraphrase). 57   Pierre de Lancre, On the Inconsistency of Witches, trans. Gerhild Scholz Williams, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 16 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), 4, Discourse 3, part 2, 284. 58   de Lancre, On the Inconsistency of Witches (see note 57), 283. 59   De Lancre, On the Inconstancy of Witches, 283. 60  De Lancre, On the Inconstancy of Witches 6.1, 530–31; Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons, 191 (see note 45).

190

william bradford smith

could be interpreted from several different points of view. Common opinion is not to be trusted. This is the sentiment behind Molitor’s suspicion of evidence obtained through torture. It is noteworthy that seventeenth-century critics of judicial torture such as Prospero Farinacci, Adam Tanner, Paul Laymann, and Friedrich von Spee treated the matter as a subset of the larger problem of testimony given by unworthy persons. 61 Molitor’s rejection of the authority of pagan poets operates along similar lines: pagans and heathens are less trustworthy than Christians. By the same logic, Old Testament authors may be trusted on the whole, but they clearly lack the authority of New Testament authors. If the book of Job figures so prominently it is because there is no work in the New Testament that provides the same level of detail on the power of the devil. It is telling that the witness of Job, in most cases, had to be supported by those passages in the New Testament that provide descriptions of specific actions by the devil. Most convincing are proofs come from history​ — ​sacred, secular, and political. Saints tend to be somewhere between pagan literature and “history” proper. And the more contemporary the history, the more it is to be believed. In other words, empirical proof is the standard demanded in De Lamiis. And the more and varied the sorts of empirical evidence, the more trustworthy the results. The epistemic revolution that transformed European thought between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries drew greater distinction between imagination and reality, between fiction and fact. 62 As scientific reasoning insisted upon the untrustworthiness of sense and intuition, common opinion​ — ​that is to say, popular belief​ — ​was increasingly assigned to the realm of fiction. Alexandre Koyré famously distinguished pre-modern and modern science on the following grounds. Pre-modern scientific thought, on account of its Aristotelian metaphysics, was qualitative and essentialist. 63 Modern science is quantitative and materialist. The   William Bradford Smith, “The Persecution of Witches and the Discourse on Toleration in Early Modern Germany,” in Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance: Reponses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe, ed. Victoria Christman and Marjorie Plummer (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018), chap. 3. 62   Harry Berger, Jr., “The Renaissance Imagination: Second World and Green World,” in Second World and Green World: Studies in Renaissance Fiction Making, ed. id. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 3–40, here 11; Joseph M. Levine, Humanism and History: Origins of Modern English Historiography (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 19–20; see also, with reference to the implications of the change for graphic arts, Robert W. Scribner, “From the Sacred Image to the Sensual Gaze: Sense Perceptions and the Visual in the Objectification of the Female Body in Sixteenth-Century Germany,” in id., Religion and Culture in Germany (1400–1800), ed. Lyndal Roper, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 81 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2001), 129–45. 63   Alexander Koyre, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1957); A. Mark Smith, “Knowing Things Inside Out: The Scientific Revolution from a Medieval Perspective,” American Historical Review 95 (1990): 726–44. See also Peter Dear, “What is the History of Science the History Of? Early Modern Roots of the Ideology 61

From Myth to Matter

191

old epistemology rested on the proposition of a “necessary correspondence between objective reality and our conception of it.” Modern science begins by questioning that correspondence, suggesting the correspondence was “just a delusion.” 64 Far from being able to grasp the essence of phenomena, “all mathematical explanations of Nature were bound to be at best provisional.” 65 The provisional nature of all observed phenomena is omnipresent in De Lamiis. A critical aspect of Molitor’s skepticism derives from the fact that he is writing as a jurist, rather than as a demonologist or natural philosopher. His concerns are practical rather than contemplative. The problem with witchcraft was that, from a juridical standpoint, while certainly possible, it was extremely difficult to prove. 66 Molitor and his later commentators, Geiler and Weyer, argued that most of what witches are accused of doing is mere illusion. Such illusions are of either psychological or demonic origin. Molitor does, to a degree, save the phenomena by leaving the door open to demonic causation. Geiler and Weyer go perhaps further than Molitor in assigning psychological causes to the phenomena, yet we are left here with something of an epistemological dead-end. If the crime is belief in demonic delusions, then is there no crime if demons are not somehow involved? More important, how can one know? Ultimately, as Molitor admits, a great deal of the “proof ” regarding witchcraft derives from the confessions of the witches themselves. But he does not trust their testimony. As Adam Tanner and Friedrich von Spee would argue in the early seventeenth century, if the essence of witchcraft is the demonic pact, why should we assume that anyone who has sworn a pact with the devil would tell the truth? 67 The question was complicated by the nature of the testimony itself. The medieval cosmology assumed a system in which multiple worlds were superimposed, one upon another, that interacted but remained in tension. “Magic” had its origins in the unsanctioned transgression of those boundaries, prescribed as they were by God of Modern Science,” Isis 96 (2005): 390–406, here 393–94; and Harry Berger, Jr., “Ecology of the Mind: The Concept of Period Imagination – An Outline Sketch,” in Second World and Green World, 41–62 (see note 62). 64   Smith, “Knowing Things,” 731–72 (see note 63). 65   Smith, “Knowing Things,” 735 (see note 63); for a display of the difference between the two epistemic regimes in action, see Koyre, “Galileo and the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century,” The Philosophical Review 52 (1943): 333–48. 66   Malcolm Gaskill, “Witchcraft and Evidence in Early Modern England,” Past and Present 198 (2008): 33–70, here 61; Jonathan Pearl, “French Catholic Demonologists and their Enemies in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries,” Church History 52 (1983): 457–67. 67   Adam Tanner, Theologiae Scholastica Tomus Tertius (Ingolstadt: Wilhelm Eder, 1627), cols. 987–91; Friedrich von Spee, Cautio Criminalis, seu de Processibus contra Sagas, 2nd ed. (Frankfurt a. M.: Johannes Groen, 1632); translation: Friedrich von Spee, Cautio Criminalis, or a Book on Witch Trials, trans. Marcus Hellyer (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003), 83, 89.

192

william bradford smith

and nature. 68 This was a system of parallel worlds “linked by complex networks of correspondence and powers.” 69 Through the growing body of testimonies provided by the jurists in witch trials, demonologists became increasingly aware of a body of popular beliefs that confirmed and inflated many traditional notions about witchcraft. 70 Demonology in the sixteenth century had assumed the position of a kind of experimental science; the work of figures such as Del Rio and de Lancre might be described, in part, as ethnography. They strengthen their case for the reality of witchcraft (largely against Weyer) by piling up testimonies not only from European witch trials but also from similar accounts around the world. Accepting current evidence as provisional, as Molitor seems to do, opened the door for shifting opinions once better evidence came along. It was the weight of evidence, not simply the extent to which it conformed to reason, that came to matter. Molitor’s establishment of a hierarchy of sources, combined with his emphasis on the provisional nature of all explanation, opened the door to commentators such as Del Rio and de Lancre for whom the weight of evidence, considered quantitatively, should relieve their readers of the doubts that Molitor expresses. At the same time, later critics, by following Molitor in doubting the validity of evidence derived from torture, undermined and ultimately invalidated the arguments of Del Rio and de Lancre. In this sense, the skepticism voiced by Molitor about evidence derived from witness testimony seems to prefigure that expressed by later critics of witch hunting on the Continent and in England. 71 Either way, Molitor’s critique could be used as a starting point both by supporters and opponents of witch hunting. To some extent, it is possible, if not likely, that the conclusions drawn by Weyer, Del Rio, de Lancre, and later authors reflect a subtle shift in folk culture in the later Middle Ages. It has been noted that many of the characteristics assigned to witches in both the popular imagination and learned treatises of the fifteenth

68   William Bradford Smith, “Crossing the Boundaries of the Civic, the Natural, and the Supernatural in Medieval and Early Modern Europe,” in The Book of Nature and Humanity in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. David Hawkes and Richard G. Newhauser, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 29 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), 133–56. As to magic in the pre-modern world, see the contributions to Albrecht Classen, ed., Magic and Magicians in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time: The Occult in Pre-Modern Sciences, Medicine, Literature, Religion, and Astrology, Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 20 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2017), 57–70. However, the debate between Kramer and Molitoris is not reflected there because witchcraft and magic are really two separate issues. 69   Robin Briggs, “‘By the Strength of Fancie’: Witchcraft and the Early Modern Imagination,” Folklore 15 (2004): 259–72, here 264; cf. Clark, Thinking with Demons, 43–79 (see note 45). 70   Briggs, “By the Strength of Fancie,” 265–68 (see note 69); Gaskill, “Witchcraft and Evidence,” 69 (see note 66), following Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2004), 52. 71  Smith, “The Persecution of Witches and the Discourse on Toleration” (see note 61); Gaskill, “Witchcraft and Evidence,” 61–69 (see note 66).

From Myth to Matter

193

and sixteenth centuries were formerly associated with fairy beings. 72 In the course of the later Middle Ages, the fairies, part of the common stock of Indo-European nature deities, begin to merge with demons and ultimately with witches. Based on East-Central European examples, Eva Pócs has described the resulting transformation​ — ​a “secondary amalgamation” to use her term​ — ​and its implications for conceptions of witchcraft. 73 Fairy beliefs properly belong to what she calls “prewitchcraft” beliefs. “Witches,” by contrast, represent a humanization of older pagan deities. In the final stage of humanization, fairies become witches: While fairies gave a supernatural explanation for the evils striking man, after their integration into the institution of witchcraft, any unexpected misfortunes were associated with a human being having supernatural powers; everyday life was no longer regulated by a supernatural standard system but by the rules of human coexistence, and supernatural punishment gave place to human malevolence. 74

In the process, the equilibrium that once existed between the two realms​ — ​human and fairy​ — ​was disrupted, and the positive aspects of fairies within the older mythological system was lost as both were recast as humans operating within a single unified world. 75 The humanization of demonic beings, in other words, is matched by a demonization of certain human beings who become attached to the functions formerly assigned to non-human actors. 76   Eva Pócs, Fairies and Witches at the Boundary of South-Eastern and Central Europe, FF Communications 243 (Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 1989); Claude Lecouteux, Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages, trans. Clare Frock (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1992); Emma Wilby, Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2005); Gábor Klaniczay and Éva Pócs, eds., Witchcraft Mythologies and Persecutions (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2008); Williams, Defining Dominion, chap. 2 (see note 7): “Witchcraft and Evidence”; Smith, “Crossing the Boundaries” (see note 68); Erik H.C. Midelfort, “The Devil and the German People: Reflections on the Popularity of Demon Possession in Sixteenth-Century Germany,” in Religion and Culture in the Renaissance and Reformation, ed. Steven Ozment, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies 11 (Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1989), 99–120; Peter Dinzelbacher, “Der Liber de nymphis, sylphis, pygmaeis et salamandris, et de caeteris spiritibus,” in Paracelsus im Kontext der Wissenschaften seiner Zeit: Kultur-und mentalitätsgeschichtliche Annäherungen, ed. Albrecht Classen, Theophrastus Paracelsus Studies 2 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 21–46. 73  Pócs, Fairies and Witches, 9–19 (see note 72). 74  Pócs, Fairies and Witches, 8 (see note 72); Lecouteux, Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies, 64–66 (see note 72). 75  Pócs, Fairies and Witches, 36–37 (see note 72); cf. Dinzelbacher, “Liber de Nymphis,” 38–45 (see note 72). 76   Ulrike Junk, “‘So müssen Weiber sein,’ Zur Analyse eines Deutungsmusters von Weiblichkeit am Beispiel der ‘Melusine’ des Thüring von Ringoltingen,” in Der frauwen buoch: Versuche 72

194

william bradford smith

We can see this transformation most clearly in the collection of anonymous images that accompanied Molitor’s work. De Lamiis is the earliest illustrated book about witchcraft to appear in print. Charles Zika has described the six woodcuts as a “fourth voice” in Molitor’s dialogue, presenting a viewpoint that differs in key points from that presented by the other three speakers. 77 The illustrations themselves, particularly those from the earliest edition, do not rank among the best expressions of the printer’s art. Rather, they have been uniformly described as “crude.” 78 Nevertheless, the images had a profound influence on later artistic conceptions of witchcraft, in part because the book was relatively cheap and widely available. 79 The six plates accompanying Molitor’s text illustrate various aspects of witchcraft: malificium, weather-making, transformation into animals, night flight, demonic intercourse, and participation in the Sabbath. The background to the two plates illustrating magical practice is unclear. The first plate shows a witch making a man lame by “shooting” him with an arrow. It is unclear what tradition, if any, the artist may have been trying to depict, and later versions of the image differ on a number of details. There is evidence of twigs being used to cause injury through sympathetic magic, which may be connected with the specific form illustrated here. 80 The fifth plate shows two witches causing a storm by cooking up dead animals in a pot. Before the publication of De Lamiis there are no graphic depictions of the practice. The first mention of witches “cooking up” storms in this manner appears in Nider’s Formicarius, in a passage later taken up in the Malleus Maleficarum. 81 After the publication of De Lamiis, the cooking pot becomes a fixed feature of the iconography of witchcraft, appearing in the works of Hans Baldung Grien and in one of the plates from Geiler von Kaiserswerth’s Die Emies. The second, third, and fourth plates are the ones that most clearly allude to demonic influence. The second image shows a group of part human, part animal zu einer feministischen Mediävistik, ed. Ingrid Bennewitz, Göppinger Arbeiten zur Germanistik 517 (Göppingen: Kümmerle Verlag, 1989), 327–52, here 329–30; cf. Dinzelbacher, “Liber de Nymphis,” 44–45 (see note 72), where the author notes the reverse among some Renaissance Neoplatonists who, while eliminating the older division between human and non-human/fairy/ demon, emphasize the positive or neutral aspects of such beings, a process Dinzelbacher refers to as a “de-demonization of elemental spirits” (Entdiabolisierung der Elementargeister) . 77  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 18 (see note 1). 78  Hults, Witch as Muse, 60 (see note 6); Linda Hults, “Baldung and the Witches of Freiburg: The Evidence of Images,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18 (1987): 249–76, here 250; Davidson, The Witch in Northern European Art, 14–15 (see note 6). 79  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 16–18 (see note 1); Davidson, The Witch in Northern European Art, 16–17 (see note 6); Sullivan, “The Witches of Dürer,” 352 (see note 6). 80  Zika, Appearance of Witchcraft, 20–21 (see note 1); cf. Hults, Witch as Muse, 82 (see note 6). 81  Nider, Formicarius, 5.4; Malleus Maleficarum, 2.15, 145B–C, English, 381; Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 18–19 (see note 1).

From Myth to Matter

195

creatures flying through the air on a stick. The third, showing a man riding a wolf, accompanies the section of the text dealing with the mode of conveyance of witches to the witches’ Sabbath. Both images have been linked to the older tradition of the “Wild Hunt” and may mark the grafting of older folk traditions onto demonic theories of the Sabbath. 82 The fourth plate, depicting a woman in the embrace of a demon with a donkey’s tail and a claw on one leg, is the one unequivocal representation of witchcraft as demonic. 83 The last image, generally identified as three women at the witches’ Sabbath, is, by contrast, the most ambiguous. While clearly a depiction of female sociability, there is little if anything in the original prints to identify the women as witches or participants in any kind of demonic ritual. If we consider the six images together, several things stand out. First of all, only one of the participants in witchcraft is clearly depicted as male; of the eleven “witches” shown, seven are unquestionably female. 84 All the witches are clothed, and, judging by their headdress, all but one of the women would appear to be married. Moreover, the actions of the witches are shown as occurring in the ordinary world. It has been suggested that in medieval fairy stories, the plot generally hinges on a violation of a “seeing taboo”; the protagonist sees an alternative reality that ought to be hidden from human eyes. 85 But in the revised cosmology that emerges in the Renaissance, there is no taboo to be violated: one either sees what is physically present or one sees a likeness created to obscure or deceive, but both operate in the same reality. The images depict the actions of the witches “not as diabolical illusions but as producing real effects in the everyday world.” 86 It is worth comparing the Molitor images with other contemporary works on these points. Hans Vintler’s Buch der Tugend, composed in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century and first published in 1486, contains a number of depictions of witches and witchcraft. Most of the “magic” shown is fairly commonplace. Some scenes, such as those showing the theft of milk and wine by witches, has parallels in traditions concerning fairies. Fifty-five percent of the witches depicted are female, rather a lower proportion than in De Lamiis. More important, there is hardly any indication of the magical practices being “demonic.” As in De Lamiis, the operations of witchcraft are depicted as “very much part of the elemental world of nature.” 87

 Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 23–25 (see note 1); see Pócs, Fairies and Witches (see note 72), 9, 11. 83  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 22–23 (see note 1). 84   Linda Hults, The Witch as Muse, 67 (see note 6), nevertheless insists on the “ungendered character” of Molitor’s illustrations. 85   Junk, “So müssen Weiber sein,” 334–36 (see note 76). 86  Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft, 18 (see note 1). 87   Hans Vintler, Das Buoch der Tuogent (Augsburg: Johann Blaubirer, 1486), Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2. Inc. ca. a. 1852; Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft (see note 1), 39–41. 82

196

william bradford smith

The images in Molitor and Vintler stand in stark contrast with the depictions of witches produced only a few decades later by Albrecht Dürer and Hans Baldung Grien. Both artists frequently showed witches in the nude and often young and attractive. 88 The settings, especially in Baldung’s work, are frequently fantastic. As one art historian notes, “Baldung creates appropriately supernatural settings for supernatural events.” 89 Margaret Sullivan has argued strongly that the witches of Dürer and Baldung derive not from folk tradition but, rather, from the works of classical antiquity. A good example from the latter’s work is his 1523 painting of two nude witches. The standing figure, with her rear displayed to the viewer, differs markedly from the images in either Vintler or Molitor. The beautiful, young, naked witch is largely without precedent, even in Baldung’s previous graphics. Her form seems to recall the image of the goddess described in Lucian’s Affairs of the Heart. 90 Likewise the face of the seated witch, meanwhile, matches Petronius’s description of Circe. 91 The jar she holds aloft recalls a story told by Trimalchio while he was trying to impress his guests: “Yes, and I myself with my own eyes saw the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a flask.” 92 Linda Hults has expressed skepticism over the claims that classical antiquity provided the main source for the witches of the Renaissance. Rather, she suggests that one finds in these images, even if they do draw on classical models, a projection of deep-seated anxieties about magic and about female sexuality. 93 Regardless of the source, however, it is clear that the witches of Dürer and Baldung are essentially creations of the imagination rather than depictions of the actual practitioners of the sort of kitchen magic depicted in Vintler. In significant ways, they mark an elaboration on the central theme found in both the text and images of Molitor’s treatise. The “crime” of witchcraft is not maleficium but, rather, demonolatria, the worship of demons and participation in the Sabbath. In the text and the images we find the classic definition of the witch as it was described by Joseph Hansen: Wicked people [Menschen], and indeed primarily those belonging to the female sex, who had subsequently made a pact with the devil in order, with his

88   Sullivan, “The Witches of Dürer,” 352–53 (see note 6); Briggs, “By the Strength of Fancie,” 266 (see note 69). 89   Joseph Leo Koerner, “The Mortification of the Image: Death as a Hermeneutic in Hans Baldung Grien,” Representations 10 (1985): 52–101, here 67. 90  Lucian, Erotes, 13, in Lucian, Soloecista. Lucius or The Ass. Amores. Halcyon. Demosthenes. Podagra. Ocypus. Cyniscus. Philopatris. Charidemus. Nero, trans. M.D. MacLeod, Loeb Classical Library 432 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967). 91  Petronius, Satyricon, 126, in Petronius, Seneca, Satyricon. Apocolocyntosis, trans. Michael Heseltine and W. H. D. Rouse; rev. E. H. Warmington, Loeb Classical Library 15 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1913); Sullivan, “The Witches of Dürer,” 377–78 (see note 6). 92  Petronius, Satyricon, 48 (see note 91). 93  Hults, Witch as Muse, 28, 37, 62–64 (see note 6).

From Myth to Matter

197

aid and through application of a variety of magical means, to inflict injuries of every kind on their fellow men with regard to their life and limb, property, domestic animals, goods and produce; people who furthermore participated in nocturnal Sabbaths under the leadership of the devil, involving worship of the devil in physical form, in which denials and insults were directed against Christ, the Church and the Sacraments; people who betook themselves to the Sabbaths and the places where they practiced their crimes through quick flight through the air with the devil’s help, who with one another and with the devil were guilty of the most scandalous sexual perversions and who formed a great heretical sect; finally, people for whom it was a simple matter to transform themselves into animals​ — ​namely: wolves, cats, or mice​ — ​and appear in this form to their confederates. 94

For the next century and a half after the publication of Molitor’s treatise, this is the crime for which thousands would be arrested, tortured, condemned, and executed. By extension, if the worship of demons and participation in the Sabbath were the fundamental crimes of the witches, then the question necessarily would focus on the reality of the Sabbath and night flights. This fixed the debate squarely on the interpretation of the Canon Episcopii, which ultimately assumed a central point in subsequent debates over witchcraft. Friedrich von Spee opened his critique of witch trials with a discussion of Episcopi. 95 Had Spee written in the early fifteenth century, he would likely not have felt the need to address Episcopi; after Molitor, it was a text no author could avoid. 96 In the introduction to his translation of the Malleus Maleficarum, Christoph McKay argues that the Malleus marks a “shift in paradigm” in precisely the sense used by Thomas Kuhn. 97 Prior to the publication of the Malleus, the idea of a demonic conspiracy of witches existed, but in a rather inchoate form. Kramer, by harnessing the newly developed theories to the genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, provided a powerful theoretical demonstration that witchcraft was more than merely an odious practice; it was a heresy and a weapon of Satan directed against the whole of humanity. “The full formulation,” McKay states, “of the diabolic interpretation of sorcery in terms of Thomistic scholastic demonstration created a new paradigm​ — ​one that had very menacing implications for those who accepted it.” 98   Joseph Hansen, Zauberwahn: Inquisition und Hexenprozeβ im Mittelalter und die Entstehung der groβen Hexenverfolgung, Historische Bibliothek 12 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1900), 7–8. 95  Spee, Cautio Criminalis, 15 (see note 67). 96   Edward Peters notes that the Canon was rarely cited in high and late medieval texts, and when it was, it was uniformly used to describe the belief in night flight and the transformation into animals as superstition. Peters, The Magician, the Witch and the Law (Hassocks, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1978). 97  McKay, The Hammer of Witches, 33 (see note 9); after Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). 98  McKay, The Hammer of Witches, 35 (see note 9). 94

198

william bradford smith

And as Kuhn said, “when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them.” 99 The theory that witches were part of a grand satanic conspiracy of individuals who flew through the air to distant locales to conduct sordid nocturnal rituals dominated demonological thought for a century and a half after the publication of the Malleus. It was only in the early seventeenth century that the paradigm “collapsed under the weight of its own inherent implausibility.” 100 If the Malleus articulated the new paradigm, De Lamiis defined the terms of the subsequent debate over the paradigm. It did so through both the text and the images. In a way the Malleus did not, Molitor made it clear that any subsequent discussion of witch hunting would have to address the question of how Episcopi was to be interpreted. And any interpretation would depend upon the quantity and quality of evidence. For authors such as Del Rio and de Lancre, the sheer volume of confessions that had been extracted from accused witches, taken alongside ethnological data demonstrating the universality of witchcraft, provided ample proof of Schatz’s arguments for the reality of witchcraft. Meanwhile, the rejection of evidence obtained through torture​ — ​deriving from the work of Farinacci and his German followers, Tanner, Laymann, and Spee​ — ​ultimately demonstrated the wisdom of Archduke Sigismund’s skepticism. Molitor’s statements about the madness of women provided a foundation from which Weyer could develop his psychological explanation of the phenomenon of witchcraft. All three strains of argument may be found in Molitor’s work, pregnant but unproven. Until the matter could be proven, any conclusions would remain provisional. So long as torture was accepted as a legitimate means of determining truth, the paradigm was secure, but as Molitor himself noted throughout the text, if evidence obtained by torture were to prove faulty, the paradigm would fail. 101 The images, meanwhile, provide a graphic depiction of what witchcraft looked like​ — ​ they provide a clear, this-worldly, materialist interpretation of the phenomenon. If later artists, in their elaboration on the themes, created a wildly imaginative visual representation of witchcraft largely at odds with the mundane reality of ordinary kitchen magic, their works were largely variations on a theme, and that theme was composed by the anonymous artist who produced the six crude woodcuts accompanying Molitor’s text. Text and image combined in De Lamiis to take the theory of the Malleus and demonstrate how it would appear in the world. Whereas the formulations of Kramer were couched in terms of the essentialist and qualitative metaphysics of scholasticism, De Lamiis presents the idea in quantitative and materialist terms. When Spee raises the question of the reality of witchcraft, he points back at unnamed authors who had raised doubts in many people’s minds on this subject. It seems likely that  Kuhn, Structure, 11, quoted by McKay, The Hammer of Witches, 35 (see note 9).  McKay, The Hammer of Witches, 36 (see note 9). 101   See Smith, “Witches and Toleration” (see note 61). 99

100

From Myth to Matter

199

he is referring to Weyer, but one cannot help but wonder whether Molitor lurks in the distance. If the old paradigm collapsed because of its implausibility, it was Molitor who determined the lines of argument that would ultimately determine whether demonic witchcraft was plausible or not.

Figure 1. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, A3v: Witch making man lame through arrow magic.

Figure 2. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, A5v: Witches’ flight to the Sabbath.

200

william bradford smith

Figure 3. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, B2r: Man riding a wolf to the Witches’ Sabbath.

Figure 4. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, B3v: Witch with her demonic lover.

From Myth to Matter

201

Figure 5. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, C1r: Witches cooking up a hailstorm.

Figure 6. Molitoris, Ulrich: De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus, D3r: Meal at the Witches’ Sabbath.

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon: From Papal Bulls to Celestina to Vernacular Translations Marta Albalá-Pelegrín

The year 1492 has been often called by continental historians with equal enthusiasm “annus mirabilis” [the year of wonders] or “annus terribilis” [a terrible year]. The rapid series of events taking place within the boundaries of Iberian soil​ — ​namely, the capitulation of Granada at the very beginning of the year and the expulsion of the Jews by the 31st of July​ — ​reconfigured dramatically the internal politics of the Iberian Peninsula. 1 Furthermore, the encounter with the Americas gave rise to what historian Serge Gruzinski has called the beginning of a new era. All these events were accompanied by an empire of paper and, as Álvaro Fernández de Córdova Miralles has studied, a highly designed program of exaltation and propaganda of the Spanish monarchy in key political centers such as the Roman Curia. 2 Right after the expulsion of the Jews, the grammarian Antonio de Nebrija saw the opportunity to pair language and empire. The rising career of the Spanish monarchs supported his famous coinage, “que siempre la lengua fue compañera del imperio” [language has always been the companion of empires]. 3 And thus, his Gramática de la lengua castellana accounted for what oftentimes has been understood as a paradigm shift in the appreciation of the Spanish vernacular. No longer subordinated to Latin, Nebrija saw in the Castilian language, and most precisely   The deadline was extended until the 10 August because of logistical reasons.  Álvaro Fernández de Córdova Miralles, Álvaro, Alejandro VI y los Reyes Católicos: Relaciones político-eclesiásticas (1492–1503) (Rome: Edizioni Università della Santa Croce, 2005); and Álvaro Fernández de Córdova Miralles, “Imagen de los Reyes Católicos en la Roma pontificia,” En la España medieval 28 (2005): 259–354. 3   Antonio de Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, ed. Carmen Lozano (Madrid: Real Academia Española, 2011), 3. 1 2

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 203–218.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117199

204

marta albalá-pelegrín

in the Castilian of Seville, the language that would accompany the increasing pre-eminence of the Spanish monarchy and that would eventually replace Latin as a language of culture. “This language,” as noted in his dedicatory epistle, “will either rise or perish depending on the political and military success or failure of the monarchs.” As history has shown, the language rose rather than perish, yet it took a tortuous path. Nebrija’s Grammar was received with only mild enthusiasm. If his previous book on Latin grammar, the Introductiones Latinae (1481), was extensively reworked in subsequent editions by the author and resulted in numerous reprints, his Castilian Grammar, in contrast, was printed only once. 4 In fact, the Grammar failed to address a subject taught in the school curriculum and therefore lacked a practical use. Moreover, Nebrija presented a variant of the Spanish language that many failed to recognize as the standard one. His Introductiones Latinae, in contrast, was a manual tailored for school instruction. Its aim was to present a new pedagogical method that might take into account the particularities of the students’ young age at a time when Castilian, and other vernaculars, had not yet entered the textbook market created by the printing press. 5 As Miguel Martínez reminds us, it is important to consider the circulation and printing success or failure of early modern texts, and manuscripts​ — ​to echo Fernando Bouza’s claims​ — ​in order to assess their influence, which in the case of Nebrija’s Grammar was tepid at best. 6 The first attempts at learning conversational Spanish in Italy did not come directly from Nebrija’s Castilian Grammar or from his Introductiones Latinae but, rather, as Luisa Chierichetti has noted, from the memorization of lists of words taken from dictionaries that often used Latin as a lingua franca, such as Alfonso Fernández de Palencia’s Universal vocabulario en latín y en romance (1490), Nebrija’s own Vocabulario latino-castellano (1492), and his Vocabulario castellano-latino (1495).   Carmen Lozano, “Presentación,” in Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, ix (see note 3). 5   The Introductiones Latinae were first dedicated to Cardinal Mendoza, who has been informally called the “third king of Spain” after the Catholic Monarchs themselves due to his power and influence by the end of the fifteenth century. See Antonio de Nebrija, Introductiones Latinae (Salamanca: Alonso de Porras y Diego Sánchez de Cantalapiedra, 1481), av. One year after its publication, Queen Isabella encouraged Nebrija to undertake another innovative pedagogical endeavor, that of translating the book into Castilian for a quite different audience: that of nuns and pious women who, by reading it, would be able to learn Latin​ — ​most likely self-taught. See Antonio de Nebrija, Introducciones latinas, contrapuesto el romance al latín (Madrid: Joachim Ibarra, 1773), a. This edition was conceived for the empowerment of self-taught women. See Encarnación García Dini, “Introducción,” in Antología en defensa de la lengua y la literatura españolas (siglos XVI y XVII), ed. id. (Madrid: Cátedra, 2006), 15–71, here 20. 6   Miguel Martínez, “Language, Nation, and Empire in Early Modern Iberia,” in A Political History of Spanish: The Making of a Language, ed. José del Valle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 44–60, here 44–46; Fernando J. Bouza Álvarez, Corre manuscrito: una historia cultural del Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2001). 4

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

205

In particular, Nebrija’s Lexicons latino-castellano and castellano-latino were translated into Sicilian in 1519–1520 by his disciple Lucio Cristoforo Scobar, as Vocabularium Nebrissense: ex latino sermone in Siciliensem et hispaniensem denuo traductum, and the Vocabularium Nebrissense ex Siciliensi sermone in latinum L. Christophoro Schobare Bethico interprete traductum. 7 This was not a unique case but was, rather, one of the multiple offsprings of Nebrija’s vocabulary. As Byron E. Hamann has noted, Nebrija’s Vocabulario castellano-latino, first published in Salamanca in 1495, was an extremely influential work within the domains of the Iberian Peninsula and around the world, in places such as Rome, London, Mexico City, Lima, and even the Sultanate of Java. Only five years after its publication, the Vocabulario had been reprinted at least thirty-four times in nine European cities and had been translated and adapted into bilingual or trilingual dictionaries (Castilian to Arabic, Tuscan, Mayan, or French, or Castilian-Latin-Nahuatl). 8 In addition to Nebrija’s dictionary, other early modern Castilian learning methodologies included the use of pictorial texts, primers, literary works, and translations that operated as a multifarious resource for those wanting to deepen their knowledge of the language. 9 Even though Castilian was not taught at the university, by 1492 it had already started its long path toward its current status as one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe, overpowering in number speakers the other languages of the Peninsula. Given that languages, according to Nebrija’s vernacular grammar, accompanied empires in their flourishing and downfall, Castilian would most probably endure a fate such as that of the ancient empires. 10 Following Saint Augustine, Nebrija locates among these, in the first place, those that extend from East Africa to Asia, placing the Assyrians together with the Indians and the Egyptians, to which he paired the Semitic languages, with a brief mention of Aramaic and, most pre-eminently, Hebrew. 11 Next he goes on to consider the Greek language during the times of Alexander the Great. And finally, he considers the Roman Empire   Luisa Chierichetti, “Los ejemplos en las dos primeras gramáticas de español para italianos: algunas consideraciones sobre las fuentes literarias,” Culture et Histoire dans l’Espace Roman 5 (2010): 47–62; Lucio Cristophoro Scobar, Vocabularium Nebrissense ex Siciliensi sermone in latinum L. Christophoro Schobare Bethico interprete traductum ([Venice]: Bernardinum Benalium, 1519); Cristophoro Scobar, Vocabularium Nebrissense: Ex latino sermone in Siciliensem et hispaniensem denuo traductum ([Venice]: Bernardinum Benalium, 1520). 8   Byron E. Hamann, The Translations of Nebrija: Language, Culture, and Circulation in the Early Modern World (Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015), 1–3. 9   For the use of primers, see Victor Infantes, De las primeras letras: cartillas españolas para enseñar a leer de los siglos XV y XVI (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 1998). 10  Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, 3 (see note 3). 11  Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, 4 (see note 3). By Indians, Nebrija means those living beyond the Indus River. In this list Nebrija also considers the Sicionians, who seem to have been native to the Peloponnese. Nebrija takes these locations from Saint Augustine, De 7

206

marta albalá-pelegrín

and the Latin language. Nebrija’s vision of linguistic prestige, then, was limited to those languages in which the Bible had been written and which would be featured in the 1514–1517 Biblia Políglota Complutense, that is, Chaldean, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. After a brief account of the flourishing, and yet gone, golden years of the Roman Empire and its classical literary sources, Nebrija proceeds to retell the birth of Castilian, which by then he considered as far removed from Latin as it was from Arabic. 12 In his brief story of the language, he recalls the importance of Alfonso X the Wise and of Castilian’s expansion from a nucleus in Castile and Leon to the Kingdoms of Aragon and Navarre, and then to Italy, in a reference to the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, which then belonged to the Kingdom of Aragon. There is a sense of urgency in Nebrija, as he notes that the very publication of his grammar took place on a key day for Iberia, August 18, 1492, a moment he conceived of as triumphant for Christianity, after the Fall of Granada and the Expulsion of the Jews. 13 Nebrija’s remarks on language were not isolated utterances but part of a complex web of discourses that affected even the margins of the yet-to-be empire. This was, in fact, a translatio imperii in which Spain was considered heir to the Roman Empire, the “most Roman” province outside the Latium. Its foundational myths and its power structures were now seen through the eyes of the rising pre-eminence of “las Españas,” or the Spanish territories, in European international politics. And thus the international projection of the emergent empire was carefully monitored, so that a conscious attempt was made by the Spanish monarchy to celebrate its deeds in strategic European enclaves, such as the Roman Curia, from where they could resonate all around Europe. This, however​ — ​and this has been often neglected​ — ​was carried out mainly in Latin, then considered to be a language of prestige and necessary for learned men, while Castilian still bore the mark of a language of conversation. Although it took some time for Castilian to be seen as a pre-eminent tool for diplomatic and political affairs, by 1492 the fame of the monarchs was increasing internationally and, with it, the possibilities for the expansion of Castilian. Hardly one year after Christopher Columbus’s first encounter with the Americas, and just a few weeks after his return to Europe, his first description of the New Indies was published in Rome. A rushed but poorly crafted edition of Columbus’ letter had preceded, released from the workshop of Pere Ponce in Barcelona. 14 However, it Civitate Dei, 18, 2ss, therefore committing an error common during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 12  Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, 7 (see note 3). 13  Nebrija, Gramática sobre la lengua castellana, 3 (see note 3). 14   Anthony Payne, ed., The Spanish Letter of Columbus: A Facsimile of the Original Edition Published by Bernard Quaritch in 1891 (London: Quaritch, 2006). Quaritch and Kerney determined that the sheets for this edition appear to have been produced in Barcelona by Johann

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

207

was the Latin translation printed in Rome by Stephano Plannck on April 29, 1493 that might be considered the earliest attempt to publicize the deed internationally throughout Europe. 15 The letter was an immediate success in Roman circles. It was widely reprinted, and within the following months the prominent printer Eucharius Silber would issue a new vernacular Italian edition. Columbus’s letter was then translated as an Italian poem by Giuliano Dati (1445–1523) and reprinted accompanied by different woodcuts. 16 New editions accounting for the new discovery would follow in other Italian cities. The new-found lands were regarded as a potential enlargement of the Christian Church, and the editions glorified Ferdinand of Aragon for having been ultimately responsible for this success. In Dati’s words, “God himself should not do anything else but thank the [monarch], and celebrate all these new baptisms.” 17 The notion of Ferdinand of Aragon as the one who had guided Columbus’s discovery was central to Dati’s text and to the iconographic program of some of its editions. One of its woodcuts depicted the monarch sitting on his throne and holding a scepter, with his extended left hand showing Columbus’s caravels on the way toward the newly discovered Islands. 18 These pieces of literature would help with the negotiation of papal bulls under Alexander VI. The papacy conceded four bulls to the Spanish monarchs: Inter Caetera I & II (dated May 3 and 4), Eximii devotionis, and Dudum Siquidem, granted between May and September of 1493. 19 The bulls legitimated the Spanish expansion over the new territories and presented both Ferdinand and Isabella as triumphant Christian monarchs. The bulls gave the monarchs possession of the islands discovered (and to be discovered), thus dividing all newly found lands between Spain and Portugal, and it allowed

Rosenbach, a Catalan-speaking printer. They also concluded that Columbus was the author and that Luis de Santángel was the anonymous officer of the Exchequer to whom the letter was addressed. 15   Columbus arrived at Lisbon on March 4, 1493. For a description of the Plannck and Silber editions of his letter, see Renato Lefevre, “La ‘stampa’ romana nel 1493 e le prime notizie sulla scoperta del ‘nuovo mondo,’” Strenna dei romanisti 53 (1992): 325–38, here 326. 16   Eucharius Silber’s edition was known as “Lettera dell’isole che ha trovato nouvamente il Re di Spagna.” See Lefevre, “La ‘stampa‘romana nel 1493,” 328–32 (see note 15); for a reproduction of the illustration, see 333. 17   Lefevre, “La ‘stampa’romana nel 1493,” 337–38 (see note 15). Giuliano Dati, Lettere delle isole nuovamente trovate (Florence: Lorenzo Morgiani and Johann Petri, 1495), a4v. The translation is mine. 18   For the context of the image, see Álvaro Fernández de Córdova Miralles, “Imagen de los Reyes Católicos en la Roma pontificia (1474–1516),” En la España Medieval 28 (2005): 259–354, here 313. 19   J. Goni Gaztambide, “Bernardino de Carvajal y las bulas alejandrinas,” Anuario de Historia de la Iglesia 1 (1992): 93–112, here 106–7; Fernández de Córdova Miralles, “Imagen de los Reyes Católicos,” 311–12.

208

marta albalá-pelegrín

them to freely conquer the Americas and convert its people to Catholicism. The Castilian language was thus set to take root in the Americas. 20 From the concession of the bulls onwards, the deeds and reputation of the monarchs would acquire progressive leverage on an international scale. By 1496, and after arduous negotiations carried out by Spanish diplomats, the Spanish sovereigns would receive the title of “Catholic Monarchs,” openly rivaling the title of “Most Christian” held by the French kings. This new designation also had the outcome of unifying the titles of Ferdinand and Isabel, and to enable them to be called “Monarchs of Hispania, de Las Españas.” Ferdinand and Isabella’s hegemony and their cultural investment in Italy would only rise with Charles V’s ascension to the throne and with the presence in the Italian peninsula of writers such as Bartolomé de Torres Naharro, Juan Boscán, Garcilaso de la Vega, Cristobal de Castillejo, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, or Juan de Valdés. Editors, prelates, men of fortune, and diplomats linked with Spain​ — ​such as Bernardino de Carvajal, Francisco Delicado, or Alfonso de Ulloa​ — ​also established agendas of their own, which allowed for a patronage of Spanish letters in the borders of the empire, in cities such as Rome, Naples, and Venice. 21 The mobility within the confines of Iberia also encouraged the emergence of polygraphs and international scholars, who accounted for a “material production, distribution and reception of early modern metalinguistic discourse on Spanish” not related to the Iberian Peninsula but, rather to a “network of European cities, mainly Italian and Flemish, associated with the geography of Habsburg imperial power.” 22 The strong presence of Spanish humanists, scholars, curials, and men and women of fortune in the early sixteenth century in Italian centers such as Rome, Naples, or Venice allowed for several printing presses to print consistently for a Spanish and Italian clientele both in Latin and Spanish, in printing workshops such as that of Antonio de Salamanca or Eucharius Silber in Rome or of Giovanni Antonio Niccolini da Sabbio in Venice. In the bustling Roman piazza of Campo de’ Fiori, near Pozzo Bianco, an area frequented by Spanish soldiers and courtesans, Antonio Martínez de Salamanca published the avidly read chivalric romances 20   For the methodologies used to carry out the evangelization in New Spain, see Gloria Bravo Ahuja, Los materiales didácticos para la enseñanza del español a los indígenas Mexicanos, vol. 1: De la conquista a la revolución (México D.F.: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1976), 30–33. Of special interest are the first Catholic manuals drafted by Franciscans in the early sixteenth century, which used visual icons for the evangelization, such as Pedro de Gante’s Catecismo de la doctrina Cristiana, ca. 1525–1528, MS Vitr/26/9 Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE). Of equal importance was the human archive made up by interpreters, often children trained by missionaries, who played a paramount role in linguistic transmission. 21  Marta Abalá-Pelegrín, “Humanism and Spanish Literary Patronage at the Roman Curia: The Role of the Cardinal of Santa Croce, Bernardino López de Carvajal (1456–1523),” Royal Studies Journal 4, no. 2 (2017): 11–37. 22   Martínez, “Language Nation and Empire,” 49 (see note 6).

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

209

Amadís de Gaula (1519) and Esplandian (1525), as well as an edition of Celestina, following a list of numerous editions already printed in Salamanca, Toledo, Seville, Zaragoza, and Venice, among other places. 23 The patronage of Spanish poets and the printing of Spanish works, as Encarnación Sánchez García has studied, would also become a trademark of Naples. Families such as the Pescara-Colonna took the lead as patrons of the arts and as role models in the use of the Spanish vernacular: according to Paolo Giovio, the Marquis of Pescara, Fernando Francesco d’Ávalos, one of the most active captains under Charles V, spoke Spanish with his wife, the famous poet Vittoria Colonna, his Italian compatriots, and his soldiers. 24 It was probably at the bequest of the Marquis, who wanted to take Spanish works to the Imperial court in Flanders, or perhaps of Vittoria Colonna, that the Neapolitan print shop of Joan Pasqueto de Sallo issued the princeps edition of Bartolomé Torres Naharro’s Propalladia (1517). This compilation of Naharro’s comedies, capitulos, epistles, and poetic works written during the papacy of Leo X in Rome for patrons such as Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici (the future Clement VII), Benardino de Carvajal, and most plausibly Isabella d’Este, catered to both Italian and Spanish audiences and would soon become a bestseller. 25 A few years after the publication of the Propalladia’s princeps edition, by 1525, Mario Equicola noted in his book on the Nature of Love (Libro de natura de amore) the familiarity of Neapolitan authors with Castilian ones: “The Spanish [poets] 23   Folke Gernert, “Antonio Martínez de Salamanca, impresor, y Francisco Delicado, corrector. Libros españoles en la imprenta italiana a través de sus ilustraciones,” in Roma–Nápoles 1504. Cultura y literatura española y portuguesa en Italia en el quinto centenario de la muerte de Isabel la Católica, ed. Javier Gómez-Montero and Folke Gernert (Salamanca: SEMYR, 2005), 205–42, here 207. Celestina has been notoriously linked with the curia because the earliest extant version of the work in 21 acts, the Tragicomedia, is that of the Italian translation, or Tragicocomedia de Calisto and Melibea (1506) by Alfonso Ordoñez. It is also likely that the work was translated into Hebrew by Joseph ben Samuel Sarfati, a familiaris of Pope Julius II. 24   Encarnación Sánchez García, “Sobre la princeps de la Propalladia (Naples: Ioan Pasqueto de Sallo, 1517): Los mecenas (Fernando D’Avalos, Vittoria y Fabrizio Colonna, Belisario Acquaviva) y la epístola latina de Mesinerius I. Barberius,” in Lingua spagnola e cultura ispanica a Napoli fra Rinascimento e Barocco: testimonianze a stampa, ed. id. (Naples: Tullio Pironti Editore, 2013), i–xxxii, here iv; Paolo Giovio, La Vita del signor Don Ferrando Davalo Marchese di Pescara, trans. M. Lodovico Domenichi (Venice: Giovanni de’ Rossi, 1557), 14r. 25   Bartolomé de Torres Naharro’s Propalladia was addressed precisely to the Marquis of Pescara and his wife, the poet Vittoria Colonna. See Bartolomé Torres Naharro, Propalladia (Naples: Ioan pasqueto de Sallo, 1517), ar. Bartolomé de Torres Naharro dedicated his comedia Jacinta to Isabella d’Este and probably represented the comedia Calamita in her honor. Isabella owned in her personal library some works by Torres Naharro, among them the comedias Aquilana, Soldadescha, and maybe Tinellaria. See Juan Oleza, “En torno a los últimos años de Bartolomé de Torres Naharro,” in Un ‘Hombre de bien.’ Saggi di lingue e letterature iberiche in onore di Rinaldo Froldi, ed. Patrizia Garelli and Giovanni Marchetti (Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso. 2004), 233–48.

210

marta albalá-pelegrín

(. . .) do not need an introduction such as the one we have devoted to the French and Provençal ones, for the esparsas, coplas, glosas, villancicos, canciones and romances of many troubadours are publicly known to everyone.” 26 It is precisely in the vice royal Naples that Juan de Valdés wrote his Diálogo de la lengua by 1535. 27 Most likely a minor work in Valdés career, it has been often considered the first attempt at giving a historical, grammatical, and phonetic context of use for the Spanish language. 28 Much like Nebrija’s Gramatica sobre la lengua castellana, Valdés’s text circulated only scarcely during the sixteenth century, yet it is an invaluable record of how Spanish was learned​ — ​or was imagined to be learned​ — ​in Naples, one of the Hispanic centers of the Italian peninsula. Its interlocutors​ — ​t wo Italians, Marcio and Coriolano, and a Spaniard, Torres​ — ​are seeking Valdés’s opinions on how to write Castilian. As the dialogue progresses, their interest in recording Valdés’s ideas becomes apparent, and they decide to place a scribe, messer Aurelio, in a secret spot to write down their conversation. 29 They tell Valdés, in a quite humanistic fashion (that is, through the collation of Valdés’s letters with other Spanish texts), that they have noted his unique linguistic utterances, especially regarding his spelling, his vocabulary, and his style. Marcio and Coriolano have a different command of the Spanish language. While Marcio is already versed in Castilian and aims to improve his knowledge, Coriolano is interested in learning “as a good courtier should try to perfect his knowledge, since (. . .) in Italy, whether among ladies or among gentlemen, knowing Spanish is considered gallant and charming.” 30 Torres, in contrast, does not have the appropriate skills to be able to teach his mother tongue, due to his lack of grammatical training and the level 26  Camillo Pascal Merlino, “References to Spanish Literature in Equicola’s ‘Natura de Amore,’” Modern Philology 31, no. 4 (1934): 337–47, here 338. 27   Juan de Valdés, Diálogo de la Lengua, ed. Cristina Barbolani (Madrid: Cátedra, 1982). It is worth noting that Vittoria Colonna frequented the Neapolitan circle of Juan Valdés and was a friend of one of its members, Bernardino Ochino. Valdés’s theology can be traced in Colonna’s writings. See Abigail Brundin, Vittoria Colonna and the Spiritual Poetics of the Italian Reformation (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008), 42–44. About Colonna’s period in Viterbo and her contact with Valdés’s writings, see Massimo Firpo, “Valdesianesimo ed evangelismo: alle origini dell’Ecclesia Viterbiensis (1541),” in Libri, idee e sentimenti religiosi nel Cinquecento italiano (Ferrara, 3–5 aprile 1986) (Modena: Panini, 1987), 53–71; and Massimo Firpo, Juan de Valdés e la Riforma nell’Italia del Cinquecento (Rome: Laterza, 2016). 28   Martínez, “Language Nation and Empire,” 49 (see note 6). 29  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 130–31 (see note 27). 30  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 119 (see note 27): “Porque, como véis, ya en Italia así entre damas como caballeros se tiene por gentileza y galanía saber hablar castellano.” As Vicente LledóGuillem has noted, it is Marcio who has traditionally been viewed as Juan de Valdés’s alter ego. Notably, his discourse is well set into a context of re-evaluation of the romance languages that emphasizes the power of speakers in making that vernacular worthy of attention. See Vicente Lledó-Guillem, “Sevilla juzga a Garcilaso. La lengua castellana en manos andaluzas,” eHumanista 7 (2006):147–71, here 148.

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

211

of abstraction that is required for language instruction. Although he speaks the language, he cannot communicate his learning, nor has he carefully thought about its use. As Ignacio Navarrete puts it, he serves to communicate to the audience the dangers​ — ​and, I would add, the limitations​ — ​of “an untutored aristocracy.” 31 Through the Dialogue, Valdés answers to questions on the origin of the languages spoken in Iberia and their differences, as well as on Castilian grammar, orthography, morphology, lexical use, and style. Lastly, he surveys Castilian literature. 32 The dialogue clearly prioritizes, and defends, the Castilian norm of Toledo, criticizing at various reprises Nebrija’s Vocabulario on the basis of its orthographical and lexical choices because it records the norm of Andalucía, different from the one used at the court of Toledo. 33 Valdés notes that he appreciates the hablar llano, or the clarity of a conversational Castilian that lacks affectation. When prompted to give lexical and morphological examples, he often resorts to proverbs and coplas [stanzas], as he finds in them an archive of conversational Castilian, which also circulated in Naples, as noted by Marcio in the dialogue. 34 The text goes beyond the exploration of grammatical, orthographical, and lexical varieties, noting, in Marcio’s voice, that, in order to become a good writer, it is important to properly select what to read, whether in verse, prose or in translation. Regarding the verse, he praises those Castilian poets and playwrights whose language is clear and lacks affectation. He then censures the illustrious fifteenthcentury poet Juan de Mena’s Trescientas, while praising his shorter love poems or   Ignacio Navarrete, “Juan de Valdés, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, and the Imperial Style in Spanish Poetry,” Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 28, no. 3 (2004): 3–25, here 6. 32  Martínez, “Language Nation and Empire,” 51–53 (see note 6). As Miguel Martínez notes, a question that is often neglected by scholars is the nature of Castilian as only one of the languages that formed part of the complex network of conversational skills​ — ​or ability to understand different dialects​ — ​that operated in the early modern world. 33   Navarrete, “Juan de Valdés,” 7 (see note 31). This eclectic language, as Navarrete points out, resembles the ideas drafted earlier by Castiglione. See Juan de Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 124 (see note 27). Valdés’s notes need to be contextualized within the sixteenth-century debate over the pre-eminence of the Castilian norm of Andalucía against that of Toledo. For examples of the different orthographic choices of both dialects within Valdés’s work, see Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 124–25, 160–61, 165, 168, 190, 201, and 207 (see note 27). We must be careful, however, when considering that all these varieties followed Nebrija’s personal and dialectal choices. As noted by Hamann, The Translations of Nebrija, 16–17 (see note 8), Nebrija’s Vocabulario enjoyed a tremendous popularity that made its entries extremely fluid.  Orthographical changes are recorded between the publication of the 1492 Lexicon and the 1495 Vocabulary in Salamanca, and the 1503 and 1506 the Crombergers editions in Seville. “The use of y is preferred over i in the Castilian entries, and u over v so that the entry for Cabezcaido (‘crestfallen’) in 1495 becomes Cabezcaydo in 1503 and 1506.” 34  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 231–32 (see note 27). 31

212

marta albalá-pelegrín

coplas de amores, collected in the Cancionero General, as well as the stanzas of Garci Sánchez Badajoz, the Bachiller de la Torre, Guevara, the Marqués de Astorga, and Jorge Manrique. He also commends Juan del Encina’s Eclogue of Placida and Victoriano and the style of Bartolomé de Torres Naharro’s Propaladia, both of them bestsellers of the sixteenth-century printing market written in Rome by Castilian authors. 35 Regarding the prose, Valdés has an ambiguous position toward Amadís, Palmerín, and Primaleón, while he condemns other chivalric romances. Above all, he considers Celestina the most elegant Spanish book, putting aside its accumulation of words and Latinisms, and appreciates Diego de San Pedro’s Carcel de Amor and Question de amor. 36 All these books were bestsellers in early modern Spain and Italy and were effectively used as resources for learning Castilian. 37 A significant place in the dialogue is also occupied by the mention of vernacular Castilian translations from classical and Latin texts, which Valdés considers another resource for learning the language. This interest in learning Spanish in the Italian peninsula noted by Valdés’s Italian interlocutors was not an isolated example. Other treatises, such as Alessandri d’Urbino’s Il paragone della ingua toscana e castigiana (Naples, 1560) also took Castilian onto the stage, while grammars such as Giovanni Miranda’s Osservationi della lingua castigliana (Venice, 1566) constituted full-reference texts for those Italians who wanted to gain some linguistic knowledge. 38 Furthermore, the interest in the internationalization of the language is recorded in several texts that precede Valdés’s dialogue, one of them being Baldassarre Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano (1528), the most famous handbook for courtiers. Castiglione’s book recalls the splendid days of early sixteenth-century Urbino, during the times of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro. With a first version dating back to  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 240 (see note 27).   Gregory Peter Andrachuk has attributed the Question de amor to Alonso de Cardona; see specially his “‘Aunque perlado . . .’: Cardinal Luis de Borja, Dechado de amor and Qüestión de amor,” eHumanista 23 (2013): 353–70, here 354–60. 37  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 142 (see note 27). Valdés’s famous comparison and questioning, namely, whether Tuscan is as elegant as Castilian, places the questione della lingua on stage, not only to compare the prestige of these two languages, which seem to be set apart only by the prestigious existence of prestigious models in Tuscan (Boccaccio and Petrarch), but also to highlight the idea that both Castilian and Tuscan are varieties of a language, thus making clear their inscription in an heteroglossic system. 38   Martínez, “Language Nation and Empire,” 49 (see note 6); María Carreras i Goicoechea, “El papel de las Osservationi della lingua castigliana de Giovanni Miranda (1566) en la historia de la enseñanza del español para italianos,” Quaderni del CIRSIL 1 (2002): 9–23; Luisa Chierichetti, “Grammatiche cinquecentesche di spagnolo per italiani: ‘Il paragone della lingua toscana et castigliana’ di Giovanni Mario Alessandri e le ‘Osservationi della Lingua Castigliana’ di Giovanni Miranda,” in Spagnolo/Italiano: Riflessioni interlinguistiche, ed. Luisa Chierichetti, René Lenarduzzi, and Maria del Rosario Uribe Mallarino (Milan: Cuem, 1997), 5–38. 35

36

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

213

1513–1514, his last revision goes back to 1528, when Castiglione was residing in Toledo. 39 Castiglione’s views on the role of Castilian were in line with Nebrija’s idea that the Castilian language would accompany Spain’s military and political power, as Il Cortegiano openly expressed the importance of learning Spanish as a second language, while also noting, as Coriolano does in Valdés’s text, how Spanish was appreciated as a language of culture, so that a few words could be dropped here and there even when speaking Italian. Thus, in Chapter 37 of The Second Book, when discussing the good manners of the courtiers, Federico Fregoso praises the command of several languages, more specifically that of Spanish and French: knowing many languages (. . .) is something I very much approve of in the Courtier, especially Spanish and French, because intercourse with both these nations is very frequent in Italy, and they have more in common with us than any of the others; (. . .) being powerful in war and most magnificent in peace, always have their courts full of noble cavaliers, who are then spread around the world; and we do indeed have occasion to converse with them. 40

As noted by Castiglione, Spanish territorial power and its army, as well as its global reach, made Castilian or Spanish​ — ​as well as French​ — ​both desirable and commendable languages to learn, thus being more suitable for conversation than other languages of culture, such as Latin. 41 The point up to which Spanish had become fashionable in Urbino and other courts of the Italian Peninsula can be grasped from the discussion in Chapter 34 of The First Book, on how courtiers should speak with elegance and gravity:

  W.R. Albury, Castiglione’s Allegory. Veiled Policy in the “Book of the Courtier” (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), 33. It is important to note that, in 1528, when publishing Il Cortegiano, Castiglione was in Spain and rushed his publication, fearing that Vittoria Colonna had distributed his manuscript without his consent. 40   Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, trans. Charles Singleton (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002), 98. Federico, however, notes that he preferred Spanish cavaliers: “generally speaking, it strikes me that the customs of the Spaniards suit the Italian better.” This commentary is especially interesting when we consider the connections of the Fregoso family with Spanish literary works, as Feltria de Campo-Fregoso, Federico’s mother, was instrumental in the publication of the Tragicocomedia de Calisto y Melibea in Rome, 1506. See Devid Paolini, “Madonna Gentile Feltria de Campofregoso, Alphonso Hordognez y la traducción italiana de La Celestina,” ehumanista 19 (2011): 260–95. 41   Albrecht Classen, ed., Multilingualism in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age: Communication and Miscommunication in the Premodern World. Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture, 17 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2016); see also Oliver M. Traxel “Languages,” in Handbook of Medieval Culture: Fundamental Aspects and Conditions of the European Middle Ages, ed. Albrecht Classen, 3 vols. (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2015), 2:794–835. 39

214

marta albalá-pelegrín and let [have our Courtier] not only choose fine and elegant words from every part of Italy [when speaking and writing], but I should praise him as well if sometimes he used some of those French or Spanish terms that are already current with us. Thus, should the need arise, I should not be displeased if he used primor (excellence); or used accertare (to succeed); aventurare (to hazard) (.  .  .) and other like terms, provided he has reason to think he will be understood. 42

The wealth of printing presses established in Italian principalities that printed in Spanish, a social practice more effective than the multifarious “defenses of the language,” prove the expansionist attempt of Castilian and its reach. The conception of these places as “barns” for Spanish books has inhibited us from seeing them as innovative cultural spaces that not only nourished Spain in the early years of the printing press but also encompassed individual endeavors at maintaining and creating a Spanish readership within the Italian Peninsula. Pre-eminent editors and correctors working from Venice, such as the already mentioned Francisco Delicado and Alfonso de Ulloa, dedicated their efforts to publishing a representative sample of Spanish literature in the Italian peninsula, being as they were highly concerned with the limitations and needs of their readers. 43 It is not surprising that the books mentioned by Valdés in his Dialogo de la lengua, such as Celestina or Amadís de Gaula, had been regularly printed in the Italian peninsula, in what seems to be a recommendation about books available in the Italian market targeted to the educated Italian reader. Given the scarcity of manuals available for learning Castilian during the early sixteenth century, Lexicons or Vocabularies such as those of Nebrija, as well as Castilian literary texts, took the lead in the globalization of the language. There is agreement among scholars that certain books, such as Celestina, were used as a model of language during the early sixteenth century, printed and reprinted at the borders of the empire as a way to foster linguistic knowledge. Moreover, printers usually ventured to print those titles that they thought would likely succeed in the editorial market​ — ​and that could bring economic benefits. Celestina is indeed one of the most paradigmatic examples. It is a text that was used as a model of Castilian language, was distributed and printed all over Europe, and was shipped also to the Americas. Throughout the Italian peninsula, a phonetic treatise by Francisco Delicado accompanied many of its numerous reprints. It focused on explaining the correspondences between letters and sounds in Italian and Castilian, so that gentlemen in Italy might be able to correctly pronounce the  Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, 41 (see note 40).   Daniela Capra, “Francisco Delicado, Alonso de Ulloa y la Introduction a la lengua española,” Artifara. Revista de lenguas y literaturas ibéricas y latino-americanas 7 (2007); online at: http://www.contrastiva.it/baul_contrastivo/dati/barbero/Capra_Francisco_Delicado.pdf (last accessed on Jan. 16, 2018). 42 43

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

215

Spanish letters and sounds. The 1534 Venetian reprint of the treatise by Stephano da Sabio, printer of Greek, Latin, and Spanish books, bears a note explaining that the edition was printed “a petición y ruego de muchos señores de esta prudentisima señoría y de muchos otros forasteros” [by the demand of many Venetians as well as by many people of other principalities and states]. 44 The reason behind its commission was the delight that Celestina produced in readers, and especially its Castilian language, “that they call Spanish, and just very few of them are ignorant of it.” 45 A further reason to print the comedy in its original language built upon the idea that it is best to read literary works in their original language. As Lucia Binotti has noted, Celestina had found in Venice a “niche for the consumption of the work in his original language.” And yet, copies of Celestina circulated in the Venetian market in both Italian and Castilian. 46 The text operated as well as a substrate of other works, such as La Lozana Andaluza by Francisco Delicado, which was advertised as being written “en lengua española muy clarísima” [in a clear Spanish language] and “contiene más cosas que la Celestina” [containing more things than Celestina]. 47 Delicado used Celestina to measure the clarity of his Castilian, a concern that accompanied his work as an editor and corrector in Venice. 48 The reception of Celestina in Italy ended up producing editions with extensive editorial apparati, such as the one that Alfonso de Ulloa prepared for Gabrielle Giolito de Ferraris also in Venice in 1553, which aimed at “conferring upon Castilian a status comparable to that of Trecento Tuscan after Bembo.” 49

  Francisco Delicado, ed., Celestina (Venice: Stephano da Sabio, 1534), o4r.  Delicado, Celestina, o4r (see note 44). 46   Lucia Binotti, “La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea and the ‘Questione della Lingua’ after Bembo’s Prose,” in Actas del Simposio Internacional 1502–2002: Five Hundred Years of Fernando de Rojas’ Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, ed. Juan Carlos Conte, Spanish Series 137 (New York: Hispanic Seminar of Medieval Studies, 2007), 311–39, here 311. 47   Francisco Delicado, La Lozana Andaluza, ed. Jacques Joset and Folke Gernert (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2007), 3. 48   Tatiana Valdéz Bubovna, “Delicado editor: lo propio y lo ajeno,” in Actas del XIV Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas: New York, 16–21 de Julio de 2001, vol. 2, ed. Isaías Lerner, Roberto Nival, and Alejandro Alonso (Newark, NJ: Juan de La Cuesta, 2004), 51–58; Tatiana Valdéz Bubovna, “Delicado editor: el texto de Primaleón,” in Memoria de la palabra: Actas del VI Congreso de la Asociación Internacional Siglo de Oro, ed. Francisco Domínguez Matito and María Luisa Lobato López (Madrid and Frankfurt a. M.: Iberoamericana Vervuert 2004), 373–83; Gernert, “Antonio Martínez de Salamanca, impresor, y Francisco Delicado, corrector,” 205–42 (see note 23). 49   Binotti, “La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea,” 312–14 (see note 46). Binotti notes that Ulloa’s “prologues placed great importance on his mission of spreading to Italy the best of the Spanish language through the best of its authors; he explicitly insisted on this point in the Dedication to the translated Diálogo de la dignidad del hombre by Fernán Pérez de Oliva,” 317. 44 45

216

marta albalá-pelegrín

The use of fragments of Celestina to learn Spanish could be attested outside of Italy, as it is recorded in the second extant edition in sixteen acts of the Comedia de Calisto y Melibea (1501), printed in Seville by Stanislao Polono. A copy of the edition now preserved at the Bibliothèque national de France (BnF) is accompanied by the owners’ marks, notably indicating female ownership and reading. This copy is bound with a series of French rondeaux and attests to a readership of the work in France by French readers during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 50 Celestina would cross borders and would continue to be part of vocabularies and treatises until the eighteenth century, paired again with the phonetic concern for being able to reproduce Spanish sounds correctly. These concerns appear almost verbatim in the works of the eighteenth-century Hispanist and translator Captain John Stevens, who by 1706 reproduced in his Spanish to English and English to Spanish Dictionary a dialogue excerpted and adapted from Celestina for the use and practice of the Spanish language. 51 Comedies reflected the authentic heteroglossic point of encounter of Spanish dialects in the axis of international politics. 52 In fact, this use of comedy as a tool for learning a language was rooted in the Latin curricula, as comedies​ — ​or excerpts of them​ — ​were used to learn the basics of Latin. This was especially the case with the texts of Plautus and Terence, of which Celestina declares to be itself a continuator, a “Terenciana obra.” 53 Comedies were deemed appropriate for students, who oftentimes practiced their Latin skills by composing comic texts in turn. In 1577, the humanist Pedro Simón Abril dedicated his Latin-Castilian bilingual edition of Las seis comedias de Terencio to the then six-year-old Ferdinand of Austria (1571–1578), prince of Asturias and ill-fated son of Philip II, so that he might improve his understanding of Latin and foster his knowledge of the world. 54

50   Marta Albalá-Pelegrín, “Un códice misceláneo: la Comedia de Calisto y Melibea, Sevilla 1501, Rès Yg. 63, BNF,” Bulletin of Spanish Studies 86, no. 4 (June 2009): 435–58. 51   John Stevens, A New Spanish and English Dictionary: collected from the best Spanish authors, both ancient and modern . . . to which is added, a copious English and Spanish dictionary, likewise a spanish grammar . . . wherein the Spanish dialogues that have been publish’d are put into proper English (London: George Sawbridge, 1706). Stevens was interested in Celestina and has produced a highly adapted translation entitled The Bawd of Madrid, which was published in his collection of translated novels, The Spanish Libertines (London: J. How, 1707). 52  Valdés, Diálogo de la lengua, 126–31 (see note 27), also contemplates the idea of learning a language thanks to proverbs. 53   Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina. Comedia o Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, ed. Peter E. Russell (Madrid: Castalia, 1991), 192. 54   Pedro Simón Abril, Las seis comedias de Terencio escritas en Latín y traducidas en vulgar castellano (Zaragoza: Juan Soler, 1577), fol. Vr–v. According to the dedicatory epistle, Abril takes as an example the bilingual work of Juan Fabrino Florentino for the Duke of Florence, in Tuscan and Latin, and that of Nebrija for the Catholic Monarchs.

The Rise of the Spanish Vernacular and the Castilian Literary Canon

217

This mechanism worked both ways, to the point of using translated comedies to perfect the Castilian language. And so, Fernán Pérez de Oliva​ — ​a Spanish polygraph and a professor at the University of Salamanca who had studied in Salamanca, Alcalá, Paris, and Rome​ — ​conceived of comedies as part of a humanistic program to vindicate the Castilian as a language of culture. 55 His translation of Plautus’s Amphitryon bears witness to the importance that classical comedies had acquired for learning Latin, now turned, in translation, into a tool for learning the vernacular and for polishing it. 56 In the prologue to his translation, Fernán Pérez de Oliva notes to his nephew that it was through comedies that Cicero became eloquent, since he was very fond of Terence and of those who wrote in a similar style. Pérez de Oliva goes on to state that, if the authority of Cicero were not enough to convince someone, another argument would be the great diversity of human passions appearing in comedies, for comedy is able to contain hate and love, solemnity and humor, historical discourse and rhetorical argument, and also colloquial language. “So that in all matters, comedies exercise the language with such a delicacy that it is a distasteful thing and a reprehensible one to criticize them (. . .).” 57 Thus, from bulls to primers, from visual icons to Latin dictionaries to the establishment of a literary canon and the “suitability of Spanish as a vehicle for philosophic discourse,” as Pérez de Oliva puts it, the Castilian language changed its status. The paradigm shift from conversational Castilian to a language of culture in some Italian principalities, as well as in Flanders, responded to the pre-eminent sociopolitical and military Spanish presence and to the new scholarly and editorial enterprises that contributed as multifarious resources available to those who wanted to learn Castilian. After the printing, in the sixteenth century, of dictionaries and literary bestsellers for second-language learners, a wealth of grammars and pedagogical materials, such as those by the hispanists, translators and lexicographers César Oudin, 55   Elena Pellús Pérez, Entre el Renacimiento y el Nuevo Mundo. Vida y obras de Hernán Pérez de Oliva (¿1494?-1531) (Madrid and Frankfurt a. M.: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2015), 26–27. 56   An international humanistic formation and study abroad made Fernán Pérez de Oliva aware of the importance of literary texts and translations as a way of building the prestige of a language. “I am confident,” he stated in his translation of Plautus’s Amphitryon, “that this language will not let itself be defeated.” See Fernán Pérez de Oliva, Las Obras Del Maestro F. Perez De Oliva, ed. Ambrosio de Morales (Córdoba: Gabriel Ramos Bejarano, 1586), 39: “Porque tengo yo en nuestra castellana confianza que no se dejara vencer.” Peréz de Oliva firmly noted there that his translation was a “muestra de la lengua castellana,” a showcase of Castilian language. His nephew, to whom the translation is addressed, should read it “with diligence, since comedies were a source of eloquence for Cicero, “leelo con diligencia que las comedias fueron fuente de elocuencia para Marco Tulio,” since prudence and knowing “su lengua natural,” one’s native or “natural language,” is the task of a discrete men, 39. 57   Pérez de Oliva, Las Obras, 39 (see note 55). The translation is mine.

218

marta albalá-pelegrín

Girolamo Vittori, and Lorenzo Franciosini, followed suit. And thus, a variety of materials, including reading manuals for second-language speakers, books of proverbs, grammars, dictionaries, and translations would foster the consolidation of Castilian as language of culture on a global scale. In this respect, we observe here a paradigm shift concerning the rise of one of the languages of the Iberian Peninsula closely coupled with the intellectual and geopolitical reach of the Spanish empire.

Middling Women and Economic Continuity: A Paradigm Shift in the Global Renaissance Jeanette M. Fregulia

Introduction Death while traveling for business, a wave of plague, or just the frailty of old age might render a wife a widow and any children fatherless, abandoned to the mercy of extended kin or the caprices of charity. Equally destabilizing events in the lives of pre-modern urban dwellers included periods of economic upheaval and political instability that left men and women from all strata of society scrambling to secure their financial well-being. Rural inhabitants regularly faced the challenges of unfavorable weather conditions, poor harvests, and the demands of those for whom they worked. Given all of these uncertainties, it might seem as if the lives of families and the prosperity of communities during the Renaissance were in near constant states of peril, or at least personal and financial unease. An examination of the lives of merchants in late Renaissance Milan, specifically the years between 1576 and 1625, suggests that such was not always the case. Indeed, it is posited here that when personal or civic crises exposed the city and its mercantile families to economic distress, it was middling wives and widows who stepped into the breach. Devoting their money and property, as well as experience gained as helpers in family businesses, these ordinary women were essential to the economic survival of their families, and they also played a pivotal role in restructuring the city’s long-prosperous economy in response to tenuous times. In support of a paradigm shift in the place of women in the economic and social worlds of the late Renaissance, I will argue in this essay that the value of women’s resources and expertise, as well as the flexibility they enjoyed in the deployment of the same, protected families and communities from possible devastation, whether Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 219–234.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117200

220

jeanette m. fregulia

after a husband’s death or during times so precarious that male kin went in search of new opportunities to make a living. Not necessarily newcomers to the economic sphere by the late sixteenth and into the first decades of the seventeenth century​ — ​the importance of women’s work and resources are observable throughout the ages of Italian history​ — ​women as significant participants in commercial ventures took on new meaning by 1600, when cities such as Milan seemed vulnerable to new internal and external pressures. In a story of adaption and change, women emerge as central players at a time when economic conditions demanded that Milan’s merchants move to ameliorate threats to their incomes and to the businesses that were their familial livelihoods. With an increased reliance on the resources, both monetary and practical, of middling women, the city’s merchants succeeded in turning potential collapse into an opportunity for reorganization and transformation. 1 By looking to new sources of wealth in an attempt to mitigate pressures ranging from a rising population of unskilled labor, declining jobs in manufacturing, and the increased availability of less expensive products, particularly textiles, from other parts of continental Europe and England, the women of this city gained recognition as skilled managers of their limited wealth, and as strategic financial partners. 2 In particular, I want to examine the changes women experienced between the last quarter of the sixteenth century and the first three decades of the seventeenth century, as it was during this time that the economy of Milan benefited from the wealth and expertise of women in ways not observable in earlier ages. In addition, although during this approximately fifty-year period economic changes were taking place across the Italian peninsula, the case of Milan illustrates how one commercial center was able to maintain, at least for a time, its economic stability by turning to the resources owned and managed by women. 3 In approaching the matter of a new role for women in the economic transformation of late Renaissance Milan, this essay is predicated upon three main theoretical considerations. The first of these underpinnings is the assertion that the Renaissance was a time of economic globalization. Increased demand for a range of products, as well as greater access to wealth, meant that merchants in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Milan were enjoying a prosperity that had begun at least two centuries earlier. Second, this essay relies on more recent interpretations regarding the economic situation, particularly as regards the nature and scope of the economic changes that took place in Milan, and indeed throughout Italy, by the last part of the sixteenth century. In this fresh look, the late Renaissance emerges less as a time   Stefano D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation: Economic Organization and Social Structures in Milan, 1570–1610,” Social History 25, no. 1 (2000): 1–21, here 13. 2   D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 13 (see note 1). 3   An initial consideration of the role of women as sources of economic importance during times of stress is taken up by Judith C. Brown and Jordan Goodman in “Women and Industry in Florence,” The Journal of Economic History 40 (1980): 73–80. 1

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

221

of near financial collapse and more as a period of restructuring. Finally, this essay relies on the evidence that women enjoyed important, if limited, legal rights that allowed them increased control over their resources and without which they would have been unable to contribute to the prosperity of Milan in the ways they did.

The Theoretical Context In the late Renaissance Milanese world illuminated here, both men and women enjoyed the fruits of material and non-material encounters across cultures that had begun centuries prior to this time. While the assertion that the array of products available in the Renaissance was millennia in the making may hardly seem surprising, the moment when contact between Europe and the regions far beyond its borders gave birth to a world discernibly global has fostered lively debate among scholars. 4 Anne McCants pointed out in her 2007 article “Exotic Goods, Popular Consumption, and the Standard of Living: Thinking about Globalization in the Early Modern World” that silks, porcelain, and spices from Arabia and further east had been part of the markets of Europe long before the time associated with the height of the Renaissance. 5 Evidence for McCants’s position regarding the availability of foreign products in Europe might be found as far back as the first century of the Common Era, as the writings of the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder (23–79) illustrate. In his Natural History, Pliny praised the vibrancy of trade with the far ends of Rome’s eastern expanse, describing Arabia as “famous for its perfumes and its wealth” 6 and a place where desert emporiums were filled with goods, from frankincense to spices, awaiting export to avid consumers on the western side of the Mediterranean. 7 Access to, and demand for, the merchandise described by Pliny, all of which had had traveled long distances, leads to a pondering of whether a case could be made for the “globalization of antiquity.” 8 If dating a global economy to the heyday of the Roman Empire is a stretch by the account of some historians, though not by that of others, an argument in favor of the Middle Ages as the starting point for a discernible rise of international economic connections has merit, particularly given evidence that by this time there

  See, for example, the contribution to the present volume by R. Po-chia Hsia.   Anne E.C. McCants, “Exotic Goods, Popular Consumption, and the Standard of Living: Thinking About Globalization in the Early Modern World,” Journal of World History 18, no. 4 (2007): 433–62, here 435. 6  Pliny, Natural History, trans. W. H. S Jones and D. E. Eichholz, and H. Rackham (10 vols. London: William Heinemann, 1949), 2:121. 7  Pliny, Natural History, 2:147 (see note 6) 8   McCants, “Exotic Goods,” 435 (see note 5). 4 5

222

jeanette m. fregulia

was a noticeable expansion in the multi-directional reach of luxury goods. 9 The strongest argument, however, favors the rise of commercial globalization as one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance. Indeed, a number of works, on a range of topics, speaks directly to this idea. For example, Rosamund Mack, in Bazaar to Piazza, Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300–1600, examines how the demands for art and for novel forms of artistic expression were integral to cultural exchanges between East and West. 10 Evidence of a global Renaissance also has a place in the history of consumption and consumerism, as observed by Richard Goldthwaite, a historian who was among the first to describe the Renaissance in light not just of the rebirth that gave rise to famous art and new ideas about the human person but also of the expansion of human acquisitiveness, a time in which increasing access to a “world of goods” 11 stirred in people a desire to fill their homes with treasures from distant shores. Similar observations of the Renaissance as a pivotal time in the rise of consumer society have been elaborated on by Ina McCabe Baghdiantz in her 2014 book The History of Global Consumption: 1500–1800, 12 Evelyn Welch in her work on shopping during this age, 13 by the contributors to Frank Trentmann’s edited collection The History of Consumption, 14 and most recently in his 2016 book Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, From the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First. 15 Reflecting on the diverse array of food products available in Renaissance markets, Joanne Ferraro observes that consumers in Venice enjoyed something of “an international food court.” 16   McCants, “Exotic Goods,” 435 (see note 5).   Rosamond E Mack, Bazaar to Piazza, Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300–1600 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). 11   Richard A. Goldthwaite, Wealth and the Demand for Art in Italy, 1300–1600 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 155. 12   Ina McCabe Baghdiantz, A History of Global Consumption: 1500–1800 (New York: Routledge, 2014). 13   Evelyn Welch, Shopping in the Renaissance: Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400–1600 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). 14   Frank Trentmann, ed., The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 15   Frank Trentmann, Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First (New York: HarperCollins, 2016). 16  Joanne M. Ferraro, Venice, History of a Floating City (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 41. See also Genevieve Carlton, Worldly Consumers: The Demand for Maps in Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), for a discussion on the rise of maps as products of consumption. For a consideration of the scholarship that addresses food as part of Renaissance exchanges, see Christine A. Jones, “Exotic Edibles: Coffee, Chocolate, and the Early Modern French How-To,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 43, no. 3 (2013): 623–53; see also the contributions to Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari, eds., Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, English edition by Albert Sonnenfeld (New York: Penguin Books, 2000); and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and Benjamin Sacks, “The Global 9

10

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

223

Not all scholars agree, however, that the rise of globalization can be dated as early as the Renaissance. Those who oppose the ideas described above argue that the mere availability of foreign objects was not enough to constitute the rise of a globally connected world. Among those who find the latter perspective more convincing is Immanuel Wallerstein. Although Wallerstein concedes that commercial contact among various peoples prior to the fifteenth century did exist, he goes on to assert that it was not of sufficient quantity to signal the appearance of globalization. Central to Wallerstein’s argument is the notion that international trade was confined exclusively to luxury items, not necessities, 17 and therefore could not be said to represent a truly worldwide exchange of commodities. Joel Mokyr shared this perspective, 18 as did Kevin O’Rourke and Jeffry Williamson, who maintained that it was not until the 1820s that there was true globalization of markets. 19 The argument of this essay is predicated on the idea that global interactions as an indispensable part of human history long predates the Renaissance. Indeed, millennia of commercial and cultural contacts, whether led by sea-faring Phoenicians, fostered by the imperial ambitions of an expanding Roman Empire, or revived in the wake of the Crusades in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, demonstrate that the story of people in search of novel products and diverse ideas begins long before the fifteenth century, although it did reach something of an apex in the consumerism of the Renaissance and early modern eras. 20 The wealth that circulated through Renaissance Italian towns such as Milan not only increased purchasing power but also would, as the sixteenth century came to an end, be responsible for the economic upheaval and need for reordering that faced a number of Italian economies, including Milan, by the start of the seventeenth century. This was also a time when a greater number of Renaissance Italians Exchange of Food and Drugs,” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption, ed. Frank Trentmann (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). Eric R. Dursteler takes up a discussion of the communities of foreign, specifically Venetian, merchants in the Ottoman world who were responsible for importing the goods people demanded in his book Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean, The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science 124 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). 17   Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1974), 438–39. 18   Joel Mokyr, “Is There Still Life in the Pessimistic Case? Consumption During the Industrial Revolution, 1790–1850,” The Journal of Economic History 48, no. 1 (1988): 69–92, here 69–71. 19   Kevin H. O’Rourke and Jeffrey G. Williamson, “When Did Globalisation Begin?” European Review of Economic History 6 (2002): 23–50, here 23. 20   For a consideration of the major developments that marked the medieval era, see Joyce Salisbury, ed., Global Medieval Life and Culture (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2008); and John M. Ganim and Shayne Aaron Legassi, eds., Cosmopolitanism in the Middle Ages, The New Middle Ages (New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

224

jeanette m. fregulia

had gained the purchasing power necessary to acquire goods that had long been available exclusively to the wealthy. While it does seem that economic changes were approaching in the waning years of the sixteenth century, only to become clearly visible by the first part of the seventeenth century, just what happened to Italy’s long-enjoyed prosperity has invited vigorous scholarly conversations. For some, most notably Carlo Cipolla, the years from the 1600s 21 onward brought to Italy catastrophic economic collapse, a complete breakdown that upended centuries of prosperity and growth. More recently, arguments have come forward from historians such as Stefano D’Amico that early seventeenth-century Italian economic slowing was less disastrous than noted by Cipolla. In this new interpretation, the changes that took place within Milan’s economic structure represent not a downward spiral but, rather, opportunities for stabilization, reshaping, and reorganization, 22 much of which was made possible, as argued here, by an expansion in the role of women. The final important consideration for this essay is the matter of women’s legal capacity. Often portrayed as victims, subject to the wishes of fathers and other male relatives, more recent studies have demonstrated that women as early as the Middle Ages had significant legal latitude in the management of their resources, a matter that would prove essential to their new economic role by 1600. In Milan, as elsewhere in Italy, the main source on which the legal status of women rested was an adaptation of the Roman law of antiquity and later expanded upon in the Corpus Iurus Civilis of Emperor Justinian (482–565). 23 Under this system, as practiced in  Carlo M. Cipolla, “The Decline of Italy: The Case for a Fully Matured Economy,” The Economic History Review 5, no. 2 (1952): 178–87, here 178. Those who concur with Cipolla include Ruggiero Romano, “L’italia Nella Crisi Del Secolo Xvii,” Studi Storici 9, no. 3/4 (1968): 723–41; as well as Romano, Tra Due Crisi: L’italia Del Rinascimento (Milan: Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, 1980). See also Gigliola Pagano de Divitiis, English Merchants in Seventeenth Century Italy, Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Domenico Sella offers a more nuanced look in his book Crisis and Continuity: The Economy of Spanish Lombardy in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979). 22  D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 13 (see note 1); Francesco Ammannati and Angela Nuovo, “Investigating Book Prices in Early Modern Europe: Questions and Sources,” Italian Journal of Library, Archive, and Information Science 8, no. 3 (2017): 3–25, here 7. See also Richard Tilden Rapp, Industry and Economic Decline in Seventeenth-Century Venice, Harvard Historical Monographs 69 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976). 23   A paradigm shift in women’s legal capacity in thirteenth-century England and northern Europe, particularly France, is the subject of one of the essays in this volume. Heather J. Tanner, “Women’s Legal Capacity: Was the Thirteenth-Century a Turning Point?” argues that far into the Late Middle Ages, women had considerable legal latitude, not just as the legal owners of their dotal wealth but also in a number of other legal transactions. This situation for women in England and France, Tanner notes, did not begin to decline until the fourteenth century, later than previously believed by legal scholars. As Tanner’s essay helps illustrate, the question of women’s 21

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

225

late Renaissance Milan and also such cities as Venice, women were endowed not with the same rights as men but, rather, with what Thomas Kuehn has described as the legal personhood 24 necessary to accumulate wealth, often nominal but not always, and property as part of dowries and inheritances. Under Roman law, these rights came with specific guarantees for the protection of a wife’s dowry, the source of much of the wealth that Milanese women would use for their ventures. Not simply a legal statement regarding a woman’s right to a share of her natal families’ wealth, the dowry was also her primary means of support in the event of widowhood, a not altogether unlikely event given the age differences that existed between older, financially secure men and their often much younger wives. This meant that women across all social strata, save for the most destitute, sought the protections necessary to ensure the restoration of their dowries or the equivalent in goods and property should their husband predecease them. Additionally, in instances of extreme husbandly mismanagement that might lead to insolvency, women under Roman law were allowed to seek the return of their dotal wealth during the marriage. 25 To this end, the Roman jurist Tryphoninus (d. ca.  375) stated, “Although the dowry is counted among the husband’s goods, it nevertheless belongs to the wife.” 26

legal capacity during both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance requires careful attention to both written legal statutes and the latitude allowed women in the conduct of their legal affairs. 24   Thomas Kuehn, “Person and Gender in the Laws,” in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, ed. Judith Brown and Robert C. Davis, Women and Men in History (New York: Longman, 1998), 103–5. 25   Diane Owen Hughes, “From Brideprice to Dowry in Mediterranean Europe,” in The Marriage Bargain: Women and Dowries in European History, ed. Marian A Kaplan, Women and History 10 (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1984), 35–36. 26  Justinian, Digesta, ed. Paul Krueger, vol. 1 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1698), 3–75 as quoted in Julius Kirshner, “Wives Claims against Insolvent Husbands in Late Medieval Italy,” in Women of the Medieval World: Essays in Honor John H. Mundy, ed. Julius Kirshner and Suzanne F. Wemple (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985), 258. For more information on dowries, see Julius Kirshner and Anthony Molho, “The Dowry Fund and the Marriage Market in Early Quattrocento Florence,” The Journal of Modern History 50, no. 3 (1978): 403–38; Maristella Botticini and Aloysius Siow, “Why Dowries?” The American Economic Review 93, no. 4 (2003): 1385–98; Monica Chojnacka, Working Women in Early Modern Venice, The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science 118 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 134–35; Margaret L. King, Women of the Renaissance, Women in Culture and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 26–29; Anthony Molho, Marriage Alliance in Late Medieval Florence, Harvard Historical Studies 114 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 221–23; and Eleanor S. Riemer, “Women, Dowries, and Capital Investment in Thirteenth-Century Siena,” in The Marriage Bargain: Women and Dowries in European History, ed. Marian A Kaplan, Women and History 10 (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1984), 59–68.

226

jeanette m. fregulia

In one example, in 1618 Barbara Curioni of Milan sold a piece of property originally belonging to her husband worth at least the partial value of her dowry. 27 Married to a man who had been imprisoned since 1608, Barbara defended her decision to sell her husband’s property based on a claim that she needed to protect the wealth she had brought to her marriage in order to support her family while her husband remained incarcerated. 28 As Barbara’s case suggests, while wives were guaranteed ownership over their dowries, as well as any other monies or property left to them in an inheritance, husbands were entitled to use the treasure of their spouses in investments and other ventures in their efforts to support their families. Husbands were also, however, admonished not to squander it, so that if a husband died before his wife she could expect its full restitution. 29 Justinian’s Corpus would prove useful in other ways as well to women in late Renaissance Milan, particularly those who sought greater autonomy in their personal affairs. The most important of these was the official removal of virtually all traces of male guardianship over women. In upholding limited autonomy for women, it is likely that legal scholars in the Renaissance drew on a number of past legal works in reaching their decisions regarding male oversight. Among these was the writing of a twelfth-century jurist named Ronaldino Passaggieri (d. 1300), who wrote that (S)he can regularly celebrate all contracts in her own name . . . nor by reason of her gender is she prohibited from entering contracts . . . with a third party and she does not need her husband’s consent for she has nothing to do with the husband when it comes to making obligations and contracts. 30

To be sure, across the Italian Peninsula by the time of the Renaissance there were variations as to how Roman law was applied in the lives of women. For example, while the city of Florence held rather tenaciously to male supervision over the female members of the city’s families, in the maritime republics there were relatively few restrictions on a woman’s use of the property she owned. In addition, in these republics women do not seem to have needed male consent to seek employment. The story is similar in medieval Siena, where the revival of Roman law meant that women were free to acquire, use, and alienate property generally unimpeded by 27   This may have been only the partial value of the dowry, since L.600 would have been a small dowry even for middling women in 1618. 28   ASMi, not. Giovanni Antonio Zerbi, 3 October 1627, fol. 25251. This information is part of a document located inside the confessio itself, and it basically offers a summary of the start of the sale in 1618. 29   In the event that a wife died before her husband, her dotal wealth devolved to her children. 30   Thomas Kuehn, Law, Family and Women: Toward a Legal Anthropology of the Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 213–16.

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

227

the wishes of their male kin. 31 Milan appears to have taken a middle ground insofar as it was a city where women were neither as constrained in their legal transactions as those of Florence nor as free to act as those in the republics and Siena. In all cases, however, the privileges accorded women were meant to protect them in the event that they should find themselves alone, ensuring that they had the resources they needed for their own survival and that of their family. In the case of Milan, this access to dowries and inheritances, and the legal capacity to determine how they used their wealth, meant that women assumed a new place of importance in the changing fortunes of their city. 32

Women and a Paradigm Shift in the Milan of the Late Renaissance The middling women of Milan studied here, whose centrality to the success of the merchant families to which they belonged, were acting against the backdrop of Milan as a city with a long history as an important commercial center. Their success as business partners also rested on an iteration of a partnership contract that first emerged, in Italy, in the republic of Genoa and in which women appear in significant numbers by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Thus it is worth a brief look at the wives and widows of Genoa’s merchant community before considering those of late Renaissance Milan. In control of wealth and the limited legal rights described in the previous section, women in medieval Genoa were poised to play more than minor supporting roles in the ambitions of their seafaring merchant husbands and fathers, while at the same time fulfilling their own economic goals, not the least of which was the protection of their families. With the risk trade that arose between Genoese, and also Venetian, merchants and their counterparts on the eastern side of the Mediterranean as early as the tenth century, 33 Genoese men seeking their fortunes in transoceanic trade found themselves reliant on a specific type of sea loan known as the commenda (pl. commende). Designed to limit the potential for disaster in longdistance Mediterranean trade, the commenda may have had its origins in the Islamic world as the mudaraba and then was later adopted by merchants from Genoa as a result of their encounters with traders from the Levant and further east. Whether or not this is the case, it is worth noting that the commenda, like the mudaraba, delineated the fair division of labor between parties, with one half of the partnership assuming the risks of overseas travel and the other party gambling with his, and sometimes her, capital. 31  Riemer, “Women, Dowries, and Capital Investment in Thirteenth-Century Siena,” 59–68 (see note 25). 32   Kuehn, “Person and Gender in the Law,” 88–89 (see note 24). 33  Ferraro, Venice, 32–33 (see note 16).

228

jeanette m. fregulia

Beginning in the mid-twelfth century and continuing through the first part the thirteenth century, Genoese women appear in not insignificant numbers as parties to the commenda contracts of their husbands. 34 This suggests that women had resources of sufficient value to be worthy of protecting. It also alludes to the possibility that women were knowledgeable enough to exercise their right to take direct action in the preservation of their assets. Well aware that in an uncertain profession a single storm, act of piracy, or inland raid could decimate a family’s fortunes, women moved to contractually protect their assets not only for the immediate benefit of themselves and their children but also as a way to preserve the family business for the next generation. For example, Mark Angelos discovered that in medieval Genoa, with a woman’s resources, particularly her dowry, at stake, “nearly three-quarters of all women named in commenda contracts were investing their own property.” 35 In the case of the remaining one-quarter, Angelos’s research reveals instances of women investing on behalf of “someone else.” 36 Finally, women in merchant families also appear in the notarial documents associated with maritime loans, documents that commonly include a careful accounting of a woman’s contributions, particularly the value of her dowry but also any money she may have received as an inheritance, in the event that a claim for restitution needed to be made. 37 Moving inland, the women and men of Milan would come to depend on very similar types of agreements. It is to Milan that this article now turns its attention. The early fortunes of Milan, the capital of the Lombard region of northern Italy, rested with geography. Part of the fertile Po plain and at the crossroads of several important trade routes, the city stood out as one of the most important urban centers in Europe long before the late seventeenth century, renowned most notably for its manufacture of silk but also for wool, armaments, and a small but vibrant book trade. 38 By the latter part of the 1500s, however, a number of important events occurred that would change the landscape within which the lives of the city’s men and women unfolded. The first of these was another round of domination by a foreign power, this time Spain, although in earlier eras the French had fulfilled this role. In both instances, however, daily administration was left to ruling families 34  Mark Angelos, “Women in Genoese Commenda Contracts, 1155–1216,” Journal of Medieval History 20 (1994): 299–31, here 302. 35   Angelos, “Women in Genoese Commenda Contracts,” 299–300 (see note 34). 36   Angelos, “Women in Genoese Commenda Contracts,” 299–300 (see note 34). 37   Angelos, “Women in Genoese Commenda Contracts,” 299–300 (see note 34). 38   D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 4 (see note 1). Milan did not, however, rival Venice as a center for the production and sale of books. For more information on Milan’s book industry during this time, see articles by Kevin M. Stevens, including “New Light on Andrea Calvo and the Book Trade in Sixteenth-Century Milan,” La Bibliofilia 103, no. 1 (2001): 25–54, and “Sibling Rivalry, Honor, Ambition and Identity in the Printing Trade in Early Modern Milan,” Melanges de l’ecole francaise de Rome, Italie et Mediterranee 115 (2003): 7–122.

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

229

such as the Visconti, and then the Sforza, and therefore factors more important than foreign rule directly influenced the city’s fortunes. The first of these, and the least devastating, was the arrival of a wave of plague in 1576, one in a series of episodes that afflicted not just Milan but also Italy​ — ​and Europe as well, at varying intervals. While any visit by the plague delivered misery on the communities involved, that of 1576 in Milan did not deal as major a setback to the city’s considerable economic prestige as would happen when the sickness returned just over fifty years later, and thus the wheels of the economy remained generally strong. The relative lack of severity of the 1576 plague did not mean that significant challenges were not on the horizon, waiting to enter just after the disease exited. The first of these, looming just in the future, was a significant migration of unskilled labor from the countryside to Milan. The second major event was the emergence of new markets around 1610 that, combined with an influx of poor laborers, threatened to deliver serious blows to the city’s prominence. There was one more element that influenced the social milieu, and thus the marketplace, of Milan: the upheaval that accompanied the reforms of the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent response of the Catholic Church. Home to Archbishop, later Cardinal, Charles Borromeo (1538–1584), one of the best-known defenders of Catholicism, the residents of Milan found themselves enmeshed in the fervor of the Church’s efforts to retain its place in the lives of the faithful. While the religious changes that took place in Milan are outside the scope of this paper, Borromeo’s religious leadership yielded a series documents that aid in understanding the economic changes that were taking place during this time. The effort to monitor and strengthen Milan’s religious institutions, and also the general piety of the those in the city, led to a number of initiatives meant to strengthen religious institutions, among them Borromeo’s order that priests compile household information about the men and women who resided in the neighborhoods of their parishes. This information included not just the names of household members but also their occupations and wealth. 39 While not as detailed as notarial records, these lists, known as the Status Animarum, help illuminate the economic restructuring that occurred after the 1576 plague and later in 1610–1620. 40 For example, during the plague year of 1576, the status records for the parish of San Carpoforo reveal that approximately 96 percent of households had at least one widow living in residence 41 and that many of these widows worked menial jobs in the textile industry. By 1610, documents from the parishes of Santa Eufemia and San Michele alla Chiusa illustrate the increased presence of women in the economy of the city, and not just in

  D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 4 (see note 1).   D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 4 (see note 1). 41  Milan, Italy, Archivio della Curia Arcivescovile (ACAM), Status Animarum, Santa Maria del Carmine VIII, 1576. 39

40

230

jeanette m. fregulia

unskilled jobs. 42 It is within this economic and social setting that Milan’s middling women took on new importance within their families, and also within the urban economy. As briefly mentioned earlier, the long-enjoyed prosperity of Milan had seemingly begun to falter by the waning years of the sixteenth century, beginning with troubles in the countryside that surrounded the city. Several poor harvests resulted in famine during the 1580s and again in the 1590s. 43 Unable to sustain themselves, rural laborers, both male and female, left their homes in search of low-skilled jobs in the city. By the start of the seventeenth century, this rural-urban migration collided with the contraction of opportunities for such workers, a situation caused mainly by the arrival of less expensive, albeit inferior quality, goods from northern Europe and England. 44 This led residents to fear that the demise of the city as a commercial powerhouse was at hand. Instead, the response seems to have resulted in efforts at stabilization, reshaping, and reorganization that would last until 1630, when a return of the plague came to the city and resulted in hardship far greater than that of the previous century. 45 At the center of the city’s success at transforming itself was a new recognition regarding the importance of the wealth of women and a subsequent shift in the commercial relationships between the genders. During the years between 1600 and 1630, notarial records indicate that women took on a number of economic roles, including those of shop-owner (as was the case with Antonia Merulia, who took over her husband’s meat-selling business upon the latter’s death around 1605) 46 and landlord (as was the case with Claudia Fossani in 1620, when she found herself a widow). 47 One of the best places to look for a paradigm shift in the role of women, however, is with the inland counterpart of the commenda used for martime trade, called the società. Also a type of business partnership, the società, unlike the commenda, was concluded not for sea trade but, rather, for a variety of local business partnerships and/or for ventures that required travel overland in the procurement of items such as textiles or books. Differences in the title of the agreement and its use for inland commerce notwithstanding, the terms and requirements expected of each party in the commenda and the società are noticeably similar. In the case of the latter, one partner agreed to provide the financial resources while the other was tasked with carrying out the business of the partnership, which might include daily management of an existing enterprise, travel to acquire products, or taking on the education of a son whose father was deceased in 42   ACAM, for the parish of Santa Eufemia see Status Animarum, Santa Eufemia XIII, 1576, and for San Michele alla Chiusa, see Status Animarum San Lorenzo X. 43   D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 8–9 (see note 1). 44   D’Amico, “Crisis and Transformation,” 13 (see note 1). 45   Ammannati and Nuovo, “Investigating Book Prices in Early Modern Europe: Questions and Sources,” 7 (see note 22). 46   Archivio di Stato, Milano (ASMi), not. Paolo Pusterla, March 17, 1605 fol. 23541. 47   ASMi, not. Giovanni Antonio Zerbi, February 6, 1620, fol. 25246.

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

231

those instances when the investing party was a widow. At the conclusion, both parties were entitled to the return of their investment and a pre-determined percentage of the profits. Prior to the early decades of the seventeenth century, società were generally concluded between male partners. While women, particularly widows, appear occasionally in partnership agreements in the second half of the sixteenth century, they become far more noticeable as signatories starting in the early decades of the seventeenth century, as the boom years of the 1500s gave way to the turbulence of the next century. More specifically, even though Milan’s middling women were involved in economic pursuits before this time, from approximately 1610 to 1630 the notarial records reveal a striking uptick in their commercial ventures during those years considered to be the height of the reorganization of the Lombard economy. Men who experienced a decline in their disposable wealth first responded to the situation after 1600 by entering partnerships called accomandita. These arrangements involved two men, one a silent partner, such as a wealthy merchant or banker who provided money and capital, and another who lacked financial means but was willing to assume responsibility for managing the operations of the business, including such tasks as supervising any employees and engaging in travel to acquire new inventory. At the end of the partnership, the inactive partner received back his initial investment and also a share of the profits. The first sign that changes were occurring in Milan’s economy is evidenced by the increase in the number of these agreements between 1594 and 1607. Growth in the number of such contracts suggests that more and more men lacked the necessary capital to act independently in business matters and therefore sought to combine their wealth with that of others so as to avoid disruptions to their careers. 48 As it turned out, wealthy men were not the only source of investment capital, particularly since a decline in male fortunes likely made them less able to assist one another. More in line with the argument of this paper, from 1600 onward women appear in increasing numbers as parties in the società already described. During the pivotal years of 1610 to 1630, the increase is even more dramatic, with the evidence revealing an almost 76 percent rise in the rate of partnerships involving at least one woman. 49 Generally silent partners due to the constraints that existed for women, including their exclusion from Milan’s guilds as well as prohibitions on their ability to witness contracts, women were nevertheless vitally important, as it was their money and/or capital that was being invested. Further, it is clear that women took their monetary contributions seriously, as all such contracts in which they were named included three specific pieces of information: a careful reckoning of her 48   Stefano D’Amico, Le Contrade E Le Città, Sistema Produttivo E Spazio Urbano a Milano Fra Cinque E Seicento (Milan: FrancoAngeli, 1994), 74–75. 49   The remaining contracts are primarily final testaments from the plague of 1630.

232

jeanette m. fregulia

contributions, the expectations of the male associate, and what the female investor was owed when the partnership ended. The story of Barbara Litta is but one example. Born in Milan, in the parish of San Martino in Nosigia, the records of Barbara Litta’s activities as an investment partner in Milan’s thriving textile industry, a sector of the economy that employed between 22 and 24 percent of Milan’s population, 50 span the years between 1610–1619. The sole inheritor of the estate of her elder sister Lavinia, whose death in August 1598 left Barbara alone to raise her two younger sisters, 51 in 1610 Barbara used part of the modest sum of money left to her in the first of her commercial ventures, a one-year società with a man named Lucio Ganzolo from Trivulzio in the Duchy of Milan. In the partnership with Ganzolo, Barbara provided L.300 for the acquisition and sale of textile products. When the year was over, Ganzolo promised to restore Barbara’s initial investment plus her share of the profits, 52 which Ganzolo paid in January 1611. Barbara’s subsequent investments suggest that with each undertaking she was able to grow her wealth. For example, in 1615 Barbara entered a two-year società with Bartolomeo Borri for manufacturing and selling silk, and this time she had considerably more to contribute, L.1,000. As with previous agreements, Barbara was to receive the return of her initial investment and a share of the profits, in this instance an amount not exceeding 7 percent per year. 53 The widow Caterina Azzio from the parish of San Michele al Duomo experienced a similar story. Widowed sometime before 1623, Caterina entered a società with Augustino Legnano for the sale of textiles. In this instance, it appears that Caterina took over the shop of her husband upon his death and entered a partnership with Legnano to manage the shop, including the sale of textiles currently in Caterina’s possession, and for the acquisition of new inventory. 54 The examples of Barbara Litta and Caterina Azzio provide valuable insight into the ways women and men worked together for mutual gain in the urban marketplace. These stories, and others like them, also suggest that ordinary Milanese women possessed enough wealth to invest in a commerce at a time when a sizeable number of men were not similarly fortunate, creating a situation that demanded cooperation across the gender divide. Further, evidence of a reliance on the resources of women seems to indicate action on the part of Milan’s merchants to adapt successfully to realities of a changing economic climate, a goal that may not have been achievable were men and women not willing to act together.

 D’Amico, Le Contrade E Le Città, 77 (see note 48).   ASMi not. Francesco Crivelli, February 19, 1601, fol. 24278. 52   ASMi not. Francesco Crivelli, February 10, 1610, fol. 24281. 53   ASMi not. Francesco Crivelli, December 1, 1615, fol. 24283. 54   ASMi not. Francesco Banfi, September 9, 1623, fol. 28144. 50 51

Middling Women and Economic Continuity

233

A New Perspective Commonalities such as access to wealth and limited legal protections over their resources serve to illuminate the dynamic nature of the lives of ordinary women, particularly in times when economic turmoil demanded creative restructuring, as was the case in early seventeenth-century Milan. They also demonstrate that as time and circumstances necessitated, women were willing to use their assets in new and inventive ways. Indeed, the active participation of Milan’s middling women in financial arrangements signals a change in how the importance of their contributions to economic survival might be understood. Further, female pursuits in the marketplace undermine the notion that because men, at least officially, controlled a family’s financial resources and enjoyed formal places in both guilds and in city governance, they also must have retained sole responsibility for the stability and prosperity of family and city. While it is true, as noted earlier, that men, for the duration of their marriages, benefitted from a wife’s dowry and, at times, the money and land she received in the form of an inheritance, women were not necessarily disempowered economically, which was good news when the fortunes of a family or a city faltered due to very real periods of personal and urban misfortune. In this story of change, middling women in Milan emerge as agents of a paradigm shift within the framework of a global economy that appeared as early as Antiquity, expanded throughout the Middle Ages, and reached a culmination during the Renaissance. In this interconnected world where times of healthy economic growth were slowed by moments of contraction and reorganization, the evidence that ordinary women were an essential force in the ability of Milan to reorganize in the face of a number of competing pressures reveals the changing importance of women in the city’s drive to contend with change. This retelling of women’s work and resources by the late Renaissance reveals them as a centrally stabilizing force. It also illustrates that the survival of family fortunes owes a significant debt to a change in which men accepted women as appropriate partners in their commercial aspirations, as well as how women’s resources and labor made it possible for men to effectively reshape themselves in the midst of downward pressures on their prosperity. Always present, it was to women that fathers, brothers, husbands, and sometimes strangers looked, and thus women emerged not as static, ever-present, and little-understood figures but, rather, as agents of resilience. Too often unnoticed, or disregarded due to the constraints placed upon them, it is time to bring Renaissance women in from the margins and place them at the center of their own stories​ — ​and as important participants in the accounts of their families and their communities.

Alchemy and Science: Dr. John Dee, the Reverend Richard Hakluyt, and Paradigm Change in Early English Exploration James Helfers

Comparing and contrasting the careers of the Reverend Richard Hakluyt (compiler of the great voyage collection in two editions, The Principal Navigation) and Dr. John Dee (mathematician, Queen’s astrologer, Aristotelian cosmographer, courtier, and occult mystic) illustrates three paradigm shifts crucial to British early modern exploratory and colonial efforts. These are, first, the shift from a cosmography and geography that was largely deductive and tradition-laden to a new inductive geography based on participant narratives of voyages and measured geographical information; second, a shift from an exploratory policy primarily driven by royal patronage and individual courtly aggrandizement to a mercantile-based and profit-motivated corporate endeavor; and third, the shift from primarily occult understandings of the physical universe to a mechanistic paradigm, driven first by astronomy but also by the nascent physical sciences and their inductive methodology. These paradigm shifts are exemplified best in the circumstances surrounding the three exploratory voyages of Martin Frobisher from 1576 to 1578, an enterprise in which both Hakluyt and Dee participated. As well, the subsequent voyage to Newfoundland of Humphrey Gilbert in 1583 illustrates the ascendant career trajectory of Hakluyt, as it illustrates the beginning of Dee’s career decline. A number of historians of geography have pointed out the shift from a geography based on the writings of the second-century astronomer and geographer Ptolemy, supplemented by information from medieval travel narratives, to a geography based primarily on observation and observer accounts. 1 However, there have been   The classic overview of cartographic history is Leo Bagrow, History of Cartography, trans. D. L. Paisey, rev. and enlarged by R. A. Skelton (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 235–254.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117201

236

james helfers

no comprehensive studies to date that have highlighted the concept of “paradigm shift” in geography, and none that have chronicled the way such a transition might have worked in the historical process of particular historical exploratory and colonial endeavors. The voluminous primary and secondary literature on early modern English exploration, concentrating on their expression in Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations collections, has chronicled at length the motivations of early explorers connected to Hakluyt’s editorial activities. A simplified expression of the original paradigm comes from George Bruner Parks, early in the twentieth century. “[T]reasure-hunting,” he says, “effectually wrecked the early [English] colonies.” 2 Other writers have pointed out specific changes that occurred in the way mercantilist commoners participated in exploration and colonization and have described the biographical details of particular figures, but hardly anyone has attempted a comprehensive study on these early modern paradigm changes. It is obvious that the development of the mechanistic scientific model has had large-scale and obvious effects on human culture; one might argue that it is the single most important historical human invention. Though the discipline of the history of science is replete with discussions of the structure and development of scientific paradigms, the shift from pre-scientific ones to the new model has not been comprehensively covered, perhaps because this shift ultimately works itself out in historical context, driven by individual actors and subcultural groups. This essay follows in miniature the way changes in these three paradigms worked themselves out in British exploratory history, following two major colonial theorists and expert consultants most closely but also glancing at other important characters, most notably the courtly explorers and colonial backers as well as the mercantile City-Company connected commoners and gentry who also mounted expeditions.

The Frobisher Voyages: Cosmography and Exploratory Policy As Hakluyt the clergyman was finishing his undergraduate and early graduate study, Dee was at the height of his multifaceted career, connected to all the groups that participated in the exploratory movement of the second half of the sixteenth century in England. Dee, born in London in 1527, was a polymath scholar of mathematics, an original fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, an authority on 1964). Mary B. Campbell, in her The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing 400–1600 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1991), discusses the impact of travelers’ narratives on medieval and early modern geographic views of the world. 2  George Bruner Parks, Richard Hakluyt and the English Voyages, Special Publication 10 (New York: American Geographical Society, 1928), 51.

Alchemy and Science

237

astrology and geography, one of Elizabeth’s courtiers, and ultimately a victim of his own advocacy of Platonic and occult approaches to chemistry and physics. Dee connected his interest in mathematics to geography through the influence of one of his teachers at the University of Louvain, Gemma Frisius (1508–1555). Frisius, an important Flemish geographer, instrument maker, and cartographer, crafted some of the most important globes of the early sixteenth century. As cosmographer to the Holy Roman Emperor, Frisius had access to both the German and Flemish academic theories of his university training and the practical experience of the Spanish explorers. 3 Both Humphrey Gilbert and Martin Frobisher used information that could have only come from Frisius’s globe to bolster their arguments for the Northwest Passage; such information would have come through John Dee, who introduced Gemma’s globes, instruments, and other sources of geographical information into England. 4 Dee, along with other continental authorities, theorized that the Northwest Passage would be found somewhere south of the Arctic Circle, using a deductive methodology derived from knowledge of the southern passages of Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, as well as Platonic ideas of natural symmetry. The difference between early modern cosmography and the contemporary discipline of geography is complex and significant. Most contemporary definitions of “cosmography” allow that the discipline still exists, though they comment that its studies are not supposed to encroach upon the sciences of geography and astronomy. If disciplines are classified in terms of three things​ — ​what is deemed to count as knowledge, what constitutes allowed methodology in creating this knowledge, and a body of data that is uniquely studied, then cosmology can be distinguished from geography in the following way. Cosmography as practiced during the early modern period was based on various ancient philosophical, geographical, and astronomical traditions, most notably the Platonic (philosophically) and Ptolemaic (geographically and astronomically). The early modern cosmographical tradition made general statements about the overall structure of the universe (and the earth in particular) and deduced from them what would be found by explorers. The method of deductive arguments based on observation had worked for astronomy since the late classical period, and it formed the basis for the Ptolemaic geocentric theory of the solar system. The relatively precise astronomical calculations that provided the basis for Ptolemaic theory also underlay the practice of celestial navigation. Early modern cosmography, furthermore, had adopted a cartographic representation of its general conclusions about the structure of the earth and heavens, based on Ptolemy’s Geographica and Almagest. Ptolemy had articulated the concepts of latitude and longitude (as an imaginary grid allowing the description of 3  Eva Germaine Rimington Taylor, Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography 1583–1650 (London: Methuen, 1934), 78. 4  Taylor, Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography, 78–79 (see note 3).

238

james helfers

geographical location) and postulated climaterics or tropics, bands of latitude with specific geographic and climate characteristics. Specifically, Ptolemy had asserted that the equatorial latitudes constituted a torrid zone, in which humans could not live and through which ships could not navigate. The geographer Peter Apian’s (Petrus Apianus) Cosmographiae Introductio in 1529 explained Ptolemy’s concepts, illustrating them with maps. Practically speaking, the academic, deductive, and abstract bent of cosmography led to some conflict among the practitioners of exploration. The approach of the cosmographers discounted the primary way that working mariners made their way around the world: using dead reckoning navigation and the compass, relying on experienced coastal pilots, and consulting written ruttiers [coastal descriptions]. The cosmographers, in contrast, advocated a method of navigation using the astrolabe and other astronomical instruments in conjunction with tables of celestial observation. Dee favored celestial navigation, as did most of the continental cartographers and cosmographers with whom he and Hakluyt were acquainted. With his wide contacts among the continental theoretical geographers, Dee became a cosmographical authority for a number of courtiers, including Sir Philip Sidney, the Earl of Leicester, and Edward Dyer. Along with Richard Hakluyt the lawyer, Dee also had contacts among both London and Bristol merchants. One of the most important of these was Cyprian Lucar, son of Emmanuel Lucar, a prominent London merchant and sometime Master of the Merchant Tailor’s Company. Cyprian was apprenticed to Robert Thorne, an English merchant based at Seville. Before Henry VIII’s reformation, Spain was one of the most important English trading partners, and Thorne was in a unique position to gather information on the early Spanish explorations and information about America. 5 Upon Thorne’s death, Cyprian became the older merchant’s executor and passed on to Dee Thorne’s map and his theoretical treatise on geography. 6 The map and excerpts of the treatise would be printed by the clergyman Hakluyt in 1582, in his first voyage collection, Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America (the map is extant in approximately one-third of the surviving twenty-one copies). 7 The theoretical “proofs” of Northern Passages attracted the London and Bristol merchants who had formed the Merchant Adventurers in the 1550s to explore northward for purposes of commerce. In the initial debate over passages to the Far East not controlled by either Spain or Portugal, the Northeast Passage won out, and the Muscovy Company was chartered (in 1554) with a monopoly of all the northward discoveries. The merchants involved in the Muscovy Company were practicing a nascent kind of corporate capitalism by forming what were basically

 Taylor, Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography, 48 (see note 3).  Taylor, Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography, 37 (see note 3). 7   David Beers Quinn, ed., The Hakluyt Handbook, 2 vols. (London: Hakluyt Society, 1974), 2:464–67. 5 6

Alchemy and Science

239

limited liability exploratory companies. 8 At this point, one might describe the English economy as mercantile, though the theory itself would not be articulated by English economic philosophers until the 1620s. That is, the court believed that trade, properly controlled by the government, increased the country’s total capital wealth. Given Spanish restrictions on trade to its own possessions, and Spanish/ Portuguese control of the southeastern and southwestern routes to the East, the Merchant Adventurers initially concentrated on the Northeast Passage. When the search for that route became complex, they fell back on developing their incidentally discovered sea trade routes to Russia and overland routes to Central Asia. This meant that Northwestern discovery of any kind was neglected. In the 1560s, Humphrey Gilbert revived the Northwest Passage debate at court: the limited success of the Muscovy Company had convinced the London merchants that overseas trade was feasible, and the lawyer Hakluyt had begun developing a theory of colonization that saw planted settlements as providers of raw materials and markets for England’s nascent trading capacity in finished goods. But the Muscovy Company refused Gilbert’s request for a license to explore to the northwest. 9 It was these merchants to whom Hakluyt’s lawyer cousin (also named Richard Hakluyt) and the clergyman (during his early career) were most closely attached. Though Hakluyt had most likely used Billingley’s translation of Euclid’s Geometry, with a preface by Dee (published in 1570), in his studies and lectures at Oxford, he was already beginning to gravitate toward the practical geography of his lawyer cousin and the associated merchants instead of the academic cosmographers and cartographers. By the time Hakluyt published his first edition of the Principall Navigations collection, he was already inveighing against “titles of universall Cosmographie . . . being in deed most untruly and unprofitablie rammassed and hurled together,” preferring instead that “every man might answere for himselfe, justifie his reports, and stand accountable for his owne doings,” assigning the responsibility for the accuracy of descriptions to the explorers themselves. 10 The disastrous outcome of   The discussion on the corporate enterprise that follows is based in part on the work of Harry S. Turner: “Toward an Analysis of the Corporate Ego: The Case of Richard Hakluyt,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 20, no. 2–3 (2009): 103–47, esp. 121–38; and “Toward an Analysis of the Early Modern Corporate Ego: The Case of Richard Hakluyt,” a lecture given at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, April 7, 2005. The information on the genesis of the Muscovy Company is taken from Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, 12 vols. (Glasgow: MacLehose, 1903–1905), 2:195–425 (hereafter, Hakluyt, PN). 9   James McDermott, Martin Frobisher, Elizabethan Privateer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 99, 103. 10  Hakluyt, PN, 1:xxiii–xxiv. Readers might note the title of the first edition: this essay uses the spelling “Principall/Principal” to distinguish between the editions and their unique content. The second edition (The Principal Navigations, 1598–1600) is greatly expanded but excludes 8

240

james helfers

the Frobisher exploratory voyages was one of the first major indications that ultimately the inductive gathering of data about discoveries would produce more useful knowledge than deductive and theoretical speculations. Though the Frobisher voyages also illustrated the emergence of a new paradigm, away from an exploratory effort based primarily on royal authority and courtiers’ desire for wealth and personal aggrandizement and toward a more tradeoriented and mercantile understanding of both the exploratory and colonial enterprises, the transition was not a smooth one. The rights to northward exploratory voyages had been, by the 1570s, granted to the Muscovy Company, the descendent of the original Merchant Adventurers. The merchant Michael Lok, a supporter of the theory of a usable Northwest Passage and a colleague of the Reverend Richard Hakluyt and Dr. John Dee, was also a shareholder in the Muscovy Company, to which Richard Hakluyt the lawyer had been an independent consultant. The Frobisher voyages were a direct result of these debates over routes to the East, though it is difficult to tell why and how Martin Frobisher himself (described at this point in his life as a “failed Guinea trader, over-zealous privateer, and ambiguous consort of traitors”) became involved. 11 In 1574, Frobisher was the public face of an appeal to the Muscovy Company for a license to explore to the northwest. The company, of which Lok was a supervising member, at first refused, then two months later granted a license that effectively handed over its rights of exploration to Frobisher and Lok, along with unnamed potential sharers. The rights were sold (for a symbolic single pound) probably due to pressure from the Privy Council, some of whose members had previously been irritated by the company’s disinclination to explore to the northwest. 12 Though some who wrote about the Frobisher voyages assert that Frobisher himself had a long-standing passion to explore for the Northwest Passage, it is most likely Michael Lok who promoted the idea and the strategies for carrying it out, using Frobisher as his experienced seafaring captain (though Frobisher was really more of a pirate and slaver than an explorer at this point). For his part, Frobisher was probably most on the lookout to become “famous and fortunate” at this time in his life; Lok’s prosecution of the search for a Northwest Passage provided just such an opportunity. 13 Lok himself, as the blame placed on him later suggests, was the true intellectual and practical spearhead of the adventure. He was a member of both the Muscovy and Mercers Companies, some of whose members, as individuals, invested in Frobisher’s first voyage. 14 As such, he was also closely connected with some material from the first edition. The first edition (The Principall Navigations, 1589) also includes unique introductory material. 11  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 103 (see note 9). 12  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 104, 107, 113–15 (see note 9). 13  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 108 (see note 9). 14  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 116 (see note 9).

Alchemy and Science

241

Hakluyt the lawyer, and well known to Hakluyt the chronicler and clergyman. Lok’s unpublished narrative of the Frobisher voyages explains that “the matters that chiefly moved me to enterprise and advance this new voyage and to venture my Mony therin so largely [were] . . . First the great hope to fy(nde) o(u)r English seas open into the Seas of East India by that way . . . Whereby we might have passage by Sea to those rich Cuntries for Traffik of Merchandise, which was the thing I chiefly desired.” 15 Lok’s further sense that, if the Cathay passage failed, trade could be established with America, anticipates the younger Hakluyt’s arguments (advanced in the Discourse of Western Planting and Diverse Voyages, both editions of the Principal Navigations, and in his translation of Hugo Grotius) in favor of free trade with America and other countries as a foundation for colonial policy. For Lok especially, the steps through which he moved to reach his point of collaboration with Frobisher might be seen as ethically ambiguous. As the London factor for the Muscovy Company, it was his responsibility to protect the company’s trade privileges against interlopers. He had protected these privileges in the past. Now he joined with members of the Privy Council and Frobisher to circumvent the legal privileges of his company. Lok was himself alive to this issue, rendered especially visible because he had been one of the company appointees who had considered Frobisher’s first proposal in 1574. At that time, the company’s appointees had refused to give up their rights. In his narrative of the expeditions, Lok felt obliged to defend his turnabout; he cited the ethical quandary of conflicting duties: to company and country. According to Lok, patriotism won out. 16 All this would have put the lawyer Hakluyt, and more indirectly his clergyman cousin, in a peculiar position. The lawyer had never been a shareholder in the Muscovy Company, so his legal responsibilities were less clear than Lok’s, but he had advised the company on most of its exploratory ventures. 17 However, the lawyer penned a set of instructions for Frobisher’s Northwest Passage explorers that his younger cousin was later to publish in the Principal Navigations. 18 The young clergyman was moving primarily in mercantile circles at the start of his career; the Skinner’s Company, among others, had supported his education. 19 This would have, at least in theory, predisposed the younger man to side with the merchants. Along with the lawyer, John Dee was involved in the planning and execution of the expedition. Both Frobisher and one of his ships’ masters, Christopher Hall, were tutored in navigation by Dee. 20 Only Hall’s training by Dee seems to have taken; Frobisher’s navigational abilities remained questionable at best, as demonstrated by  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 110 (see note 9).  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 112–14 (see note 9). 17   Eva Germaine Rimington Taylor, intro. and notes, The Original Writings and Correspondence of the Two Richard Hakluyts (1935; Nendeln/Liechtenstein: Kraus Rpt. Ltd., 1967), 6. 18  Hakluyt, PN, 7:244–50. 19  Quinn, Hakluyt Handbook, 1:266. 20  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 132 (see note 9). 15 16

242

james helfers

his insistent foray, against Hall’s advice, into Mistaken (later, Hudson) Strait on his third voyage. 21 But the Frobisher voyages stand as poster children for various problems that arose early on in English exploratory and colonization efforts. Frobisher and Lok, the promoters of the expedition, originally agreed on the reason for the first voyage: to find a Northwest Passage to Cathay. 22 However, the first voyage was sparsely supported financially, allowing only two relatively small ships and accompanying coastal craft to be outfitted. 23 With these vessels, Frobisher penetrated a long way into the bay on South Baffin Island that still bears his name, thinking that it was the entry to the passage he sought. In fact, the expedition travelled so far into the bay that Frobisher must have realized that it was, in fact, a bay and not a strait leading to the South Sea. He also lost five men, captured by the Inuit. It is doubtful that Lok or Frobisher would have gathered enough support for a second expedition, except for an apparently chance incident. As far as one can tell, one of the sailors, unbeknownst to Frobisher, picked up a black stone while ashore on a small island in the bay. Upon the expedition’s return, the stone was given to Michael Lok; what happened next remains mired in conflicting rationalizations by the interested parties. It seems clear that Lok immediately took his souvenir to assayers, though he denied that he initially believed it to be valuable. The first two assayers to whom Lok took his samples declared them worthless, but finally a Venetian goldsmith, Giovanni Baptista Agnello, claimed to have found gold in the ore. Lok could not have kept these (ambiguously hard-won) results secret even if he had wanted to; in the end, the promise of gold lured the Queen and members of the Privy Council to invest in a further expedition. 24 This new backing substantially changed the purpose of the subsequent voyages. Instead of continuing to search for a Northwest Passage, Frobisher was now charged with the task of prospecting during the second voyage. It also effectively wrested control of the subsequent expeditions from the hands of Lok and Frobisher. The dynamics of investment shifted as well; the first expedition had been largely merchant-funded. The second and third expeditions, though continuing to call on the resources of the original investors and attracting a few more commercial members, attracted more court participation. It is clear from the financial records that the merchant communities of Bristol and London were more interested in the search for markets than the search for gold: they declined in significant numbers to participate in funding the second and third expeditions. It was

 Hakluyt, PN, 7:339.   The narrative that follows is based on James McDermott’s analysis of the Frobisher voyages in Part 2 (pp. 93–256) of Martin Frobisher: Elizabethan Privateer and on the narratives and other documents found in Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations, 7:204–367 (see note 8). 23  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 124 (see note 9). 24  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 142, 153–56 (see note 9). 21

22

Alchemy and Science

243

apparently the heavy pressure of the Queen’s and Privy Councilors’ investments that drove the subsequent trips. 25 The second voyage, with a complement of three significantly sized vessels, included miners from the Forest of Dean. The expedition prospected some supposedly promising veins of ore, filling the holds of the ships. The English also took captives, apparently feeling justified by the capture and probable deaths on the previous voyage of five English mariners. But Frobisher had made no sustained attempt to explore further for the Northwest Passage; it was clear that, whatever the stated aims of the second voyage (which was supposed to both prospect and explore), the lure of gold had taken the motivating position. Between the voyages of 1577 and 1578 came a complex series of proceedings related to the supposed gold ore. The fame of Frobisher’s voyages had grown in continental Europe. All of this foreign attention spurred the machinations of the various assayers and refiners. The new assayer/refiner, Jonas Schutz, who had accompanied the second voyage, built two furnaces to test the ore; the results of the tests showed an ominous decline in the declared yield of the ore. By this time, financial pressures had grown acute. It had required all of Michael Lok’s accounting skill, and some financial arm-twisting, simply to discharge the mariners, soldiers, and miners from the second voyage and pay for the assaying operations and equipment. Only the expectation of yield from the ore would allow the investors to see any return on their investment. By this time, Lok himself (though not Frobisher) was financially implicated to the personal hilt and also had involved various of his relatives to a large extent. 26 The intervening months between the second and third voyages saw a steadily declining estimation of the richness of the ore, a conflict between two of the assayers, and a request to build a larger smelting furnace to extract the gold from the ore more efficiently. The declining estimates of the ore’s richness had made one thing clear: a further voyage would be necessary, one that made mining and returning the ore a top priority. The investors were now desperate; they still believed in the possibility of a return from the ore, yet they needed to invest even more to realize it. In the event, the investors formulated a plan that involved, among other things, planting a mining colony in Frobisher Bay. If successful, this colony would have been the first English settlement in America. 27 At the end of May 1578, Frobisher left England, commanding a fleet of more than ten major vessels, bound for Frobisher Bay to prospect and work the mines. After many harrowing experiences, the fleet managed to get itself home to the investors’ new refinery works in Dartford by the end of September with 1250 tons of ore, 50 percent more than planned. Because of the overwhelming problems that  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 158–62 (see note 9).  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 191–97 (see note 9). 27  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 204–10 (see note 9). 25

26

244

james helfers

faced planting a colony, the expedition had prudently left no men behind. This proved to be especially wise, since the motivations for the expedition had continued to unravel while the sailors were gone. Subsequent assays of the ore had cast further doubt upon its richness, though some of the tryers at the new Dartford works would hold out hope until 1581. As early as 1578, the Spanish Ambassador (who had a spy aboard the third expedition) had remarkably detailed and correct information about the last voyage, as well as a reliable assay of the ore, which found it worthless. 28 The mounting costs and the huge outlay had completely demoralized all the backers, so that it was impossible to raise even the amount necessary to discharge the debts to the participants in the third voyage when they had returned. In the end, all the voyages’ backers, including the Queen, lost out. Michael Lok, in his role as treasurer, became the scapegoat for these losses. Lok lost his reputation among his peers, the London and Bristol merchants, who had borne some of the most substantial losses. Some of the expedition’s court backers, most notably the Earl of Oxford, lost significant sums, but many of these court investors, especially members of the Privy Council, had neglected to pay the further charges assessed upon the original backers of the first and second voyages. When Frobisher returned home, he was deputed to oversee the final assays; the record shows that he functioned more as a strong-arm enforcer than as an accountant. Accounting was a serious problem for many of the noble and mercantile participants in the voyage. But much of this financial ambiguity had come about through the Queen’s attempt to take personal charge of the operation when gold was supposedly found, and her consequent refusal to officially charter a Cathay Company on the order of the Muscovy Company. In the absence of a corporate entity to absorb the financial liabilities, the brunt of the obligation fell, unfairly, on Lok, who had impoverished himself already. Lok even spent time in prison over the venture’s debts. 29 Hakluyt the lawyer and Hakluyt the clergyman, as well as Dr. John Dee, were eyewitnesses to these events​ — ​and they were not at this point unbiased witnesses either. The lawyer had worked for the Muscovy Company over the years and probably sided largely with the merchants in this protracted struggle. The clergyman, just beginning his career, had relationships with the Northern European geographers who had theorized the existence of a Northwest passage; with John Dee, who contributed his deductive geographical speculations, his actual knowledge of navigation, and his apparent knowledge of metallurgy (though apparently, not much of his money) to the enterprise; with a number of London merchants and City Companies; and, most significantly in terms of the change in paradigm, with Michael Lok.

 McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 246 (see note 9).  McDermott, Martin Frobisher, 251 (see note 9).

28 29

Alchemy and Science

245

As a collector of narratives and an apprentice geographical consultant, the clergyman Hakluyt read early the published narratives of the voyage by the participants​ — ​George Best, Christopher Hall, Dionyse Settle, Thomas Ellis, and Thomas Wiars​ — ​and may have interviewed them all as well. Hakluyt would later republish these participants’ narratives in the Principal Navigations. He would almost certainly have heard from the mouth of Michael Lok and would have read Lok’s unpublished version of the events later. The accounts of the expedition, either directly or indirectly, brought home the way that the exploratory and more farseeing mercantile aims of the new paradigm could be subverted by the lure of easy money (in the form of gold ore). They also pointed up the difficulties that could face a group of commoners who found their exploratory aims usurped by the governmental power of the nobility, who wanted to emulate the discovery of metallic riches that they believed had catapulted Spain to its present position of European dominance in the old paradigm.

Hakluyt, Dee, and the New Exploratory Context The Reverend Richard Hakluyt’s career-long relationship with the new paradigm in colonial backing is complex. After the Frobisher expeditions, the clergyman’s next project, in which Dee also took a hand, was Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s attempt to colonize Newfoundland. In this instance, Gilbert was one of several court-connected entrepreneurs who were taking advantage of economic and social changes in Elizabethan culture, including the rise of mercantilism among the new middle class and the rise of imperialism in English political thought and policy. Hakluyt’s specific involvement in Gilbert’s scheme was also complex: he acted as intermediary between the Bristol city merchant companies and Gilbert; under the auspices of Sir Francis Walsingham, he collected and printed the Divers Voyages to drum up support for the expedition; he sponsored and collaborated with several translators and narrators to disseminate further news about other voyages connected with the venture; he attempted to join the expedition; and he experienced the loss of at least one close personal friend in the wreck of the Delight during Gilbert’s ill-fated voyage. For example, the clergyman played an active but ambiguous part in the complex financial arrangements for Gilbert’s voyage. Hakluyt was already well known to Sir Francis Walsingham previous to this point, because of the clergyman’s knowledge of geographical literature and his interest in promoting the science of navigation. On March 11, 1583, Walsingham sent a letter to Thomas Aldworth, the mayor of Bristol, in support of Hakluyt and one Thomas Steventon, who were attempting to interest the town corporation in supporting Gilbert’s voyage. 30  Taylor, Writings and Correspondence, 196–97 (see note 17).

30

246

james helfers

This letter was in answer to an offer of the Bristol merchants in November 1582, of two barks to be contributed to Gilbert’s voyage. It is possible that Hakluyt was involved in the 1582 negotiations that produced the offer, but no documentary evidence exists. Why Walsingham delayed until March 1583 to answer the letter becomes an interesting question. Gilbert’s expedition was originally expected to leave at the end of March, so any offer of ships coming at or near that time would have been useless. But it is possible that Walsingham had plans to engineer a side deal with Bristol, one that would allow an expedition led by his step-son, Christopher Carleill, to follow Gilbert. Thus Hakluyt might have been a part of a scheme to undermine Gilbert’s expedition, in favor of Carleill. 31 The financial issues were these: Gilbert had negotiated a large-scale monopoly of rights to North American land and trade, effectively cutting out the Muscovy Company’s historic rights, just as Frobisher had done in 1575. Gilbert had also agreed with the city of Southampton to an exclusive right of the city to be the sole port of entry for trade goods arising from his Northwest venture. These deals would thus cut out the city of Bristol, a more important port than Southampton, as well as the Muscovy Company. Carleill, meanwhile, had projected a voyage to America that would open up the French possessions in Canada to English commerce, independent of Gilbert’s. The most likely explanation for Walsingham’s delay in writing the letter then, would be that he hoped to use the proposed contribution of the Bristol merchants (which would not have been forthcoming under Gilbert’s arrangement) for some sort of project. Other evidence suggests that Walsingham had also arranged for support by the Muscovy Company, which had been specifically excluded from Gilbert’s project. Probably in the expectation that Gilbert’s voyage would be underway by the end of March, he sent Hakluyt and Steventon to Bristol, to cement a deal for ships to accompany Carleill. Mayor Aldworth’s reply to Walsingham not only reiterates the offer of money and ships but also clarifies the respective roles that Hakluyt and Steventon undertook in the negotiations. According to Aldworth, Hakluyt’s role was to give “some good light . . . unto them that were ignorant of the Countrey and enterprise, and were desirous to be resolved.” 32 Steventon was to captain one of the ships. In the event, however, Gilbert’s fleet did not sail until the end of June 1583, so he was available to defend his patent rights against these possible interlopers. That Hakluyt was neck-deep in all these machinations is undeniable. He had certainly worked with Gilbert since 1582 and was perhaps in his employ during the publication process of the Divers Voyages. 33 His close friend and collaborator

 Parks, Richard Hakluyt and the English Voyages, 82–84 (see note 2).  Hakluyt, PN, 8:133. 33   David Beers Quinn, intro. and notes, The Voyages and Colonising Enterprises of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, vol. 1 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1940), 62. 31

32

Alchemy and Science

247

on the volume, the Hungarian Stephen Parmenius, would embark with Gilbert on the voyage and die in the wreck of the Delight. But Hakluyt had other, potentially conflicting, connections and loyalties. His lawyer cousin, though he penned instructions for one of Gilbert’s colonizing voyages, also consulted with the Muscovy Company. The younger Hakluyt had connections both with the company, and with John Dee, who immersed himself in Gilbert’s project to discover the Northwest passage. Hakluyt had conversed with Walsingham, Alderman George Barne of the Muscovy Company, and Francis Drake at least, but possibly also with Dee, about establishing a navigation lectureship in London, to train aspiring pilots. This episode can triangulate just how Hakluyt was situating himself in the tumultuous commercial context of the time. Clearly, joint-stock companies of merchant adventurers had developed as a major economic engine to trade and exploration. These corporate entities were connected to the government in two ways: the City Companies and analogous merchant companies made up the Corporation government of London and other towns in England, giving them a direct entré into government and commercial support on the local level. At the same time, particular projects and rights were licensed by the Crown, giving governmental entities such as the Privy Council both direct and indirect influence. Further, there were three distinct, though not completely separable, groups of (primarily) men who had the resources to venture in the corporate structures: nobles who were members of the Crown government; landed courtiers (who financed their own ships, which they sent out on piratical/privateering voyages or military expeditions); and merchants. As one might expect, the interests of the Crown government, the landed courtiers, and the merchants did not entirely coincide. A good deal of government effort, for example, was required to rein in the piracy of some of the landed gentry. Merchants, naturally, saw these piratical activities as a danger to their own commercial enterprises. As well, land was one of the two loci of power (the other being money), and this created tensions. One of Gilbert’s innovations in the colonial enterprise was his recognition that territory could be a foundation for relatively independent governmental power in a colony (thus his request for rights to immense portions of American land and his assignments of portions of land to other investors in his projects). Yet colonial ventures did not return immediate benefits to the merchant class, whose primary power lay in the immediate monetary capital that they amassed and accumulated. Over all this, the agents of the Crown government, themselves often landed courtiers, maneuvered to craft courses of policy and entrepreneurship that benefited the Crown (and thus, they believed, the country at large). This was the context in which Richard Hakluyt the clergyman found himself. Poor in resources, he would have to consider how to obtain means of support. Though the roots of his interest in geography appear primarily academic, he early (probably through his cousin’s tutelage or example) realized that a purely academic interest could not sustain him. He had followed in the paths set by his London early upbringing and education, moving toward a career in the Church or the university.

248

james helfers

From all appearances, he had a successful university career and could have remained at Oxford or waited patiently for some clerical appointment. But probably before 1576, his connections to the city companies, his study of and lectures on geography, and his relationship to his cousin had opened up another possibility. The key point seems to have been his introduction to Francis Walsingham, which occurred sometime around 1580, probably because of the gradually increasing involvement he had had with the enterprise of exploration, starting in 1575 or 1576. In any case, the Gilbert episode makes it clear that Hakluyt had cast his lot with Walsingham instead of any other, more insecure, courtier. That he was a willing partner in Walsingham’s scheme to (at least partially) subvert Gilbert’s contractual rights in American colonization is clear. Hakluyt was now in a position to take advantage of the informal patronage of one of Elizabeth’s highest officials. From late 1581 to the Spring of 1582, Hakluyt was compiling narratives and other material for the Divers Voyages. Its dedication to Phillip Sidney strongly suggests that the audience was relatively restricted​ — ​it was addressed especially to Sidney as an intellectual court liaison, but it was also probably addressed to the now extremely broad group of backers of the Gilbert expedition. Its size (a quarto volume) also suggests that it was meant as “a handbook for encouraging and justifying English colonizing ventures to North America.” The relatively few volumes that have survived may suggest a relatively small print run but may also be a result of the higher mortality rate for smaller books. 34 The volume had several purposes: an initial marshalling of arguments for colonization; a compiling of narratives and treatises concerning the area that Gilbert wanted to colonize; promotion of not only colonization but also the search for a Northwest Passage; a systematic gathering of theoretical geographical arguments and evidence for the passage; a manifesto of ideal English motivations for exploration and colonization; and a plea for an educational program in the art of navigation. The disparate purposes of the volume mirror the disparate projects and focuses of Hakluyt’s life at that moment; in terms of his emotional enthusiasm for exploration and colonization, it may have been the high point. The disaster of Gilbert’s expedition apparently modified Hakluyt’s purposes and career trajectory. Sir Walter Raleigh took over a portion of his cousin Humphrey Gilbert’s patent and began to plan an American colonial venture. To marshal the theoretical arguments and propose a practical structure for colonization, Raleigh worked with Hakluyt as the clergyman authored a long memo on colonization for Queen Elizabeth. Hakluyt presented this memo, commonly known as the Discourse of Western Planting or the Particuler Discourse, to the queen in an audience in 1584.   Anthony Payne, Richard Hakluyt and His Books, Annual Talk 1996 (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1997), 8. 34

Alchemy and Science

249

In the meantime, Hakluyt began to reap the fruit of his close association with Walsingham. In August 1583, Richard Hakluyt was appointed chaplain and secretary to Sir Edward Stafford, newly appointed as ambassador to France. In the event, this appointment constituted Hakluyt’s farewell to the academic life he had led before his work with Gilbert’s venture. In the intervening years before the publication of the first edition of the Principall Navigations, Hakluyt would parley his court connections into an opportunity for research into the exploratory ventures of other European countries and into multiple clerical appointments at Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, Bristol, and Westminster. With his income and connections assured through these appointments, Hakluyt turned his attention and energy to collecting and publishing, as well as translating, encouraging translations and publishing by others, and, finally, participating in the business of colonial expansion through his participation in the Virginia Company as a sharer. Dee, in contrast, traced many of his most desirable connections to the court and relied on the court almost exclusively for his status. Dee had many admirers and correspondents among the courtiers who both prosecuted and backed exploratory expeditions. Edward Dyer, poet and courtier, was Dee’s closest personal friend. 35 Dee continued to give authoritative help to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, not just in the theoretical debates over the Northwest Passage in 1566 but also in 1582 as Gilbert prepared his ill-fated Newfoundland voyage. However, the courtiers were attracted by more than Dee’s geographical knowledge; the geographer’s spiritualism and Neoplatonic mysticism pulled in such diverse admirers as Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Philip Sidney. During the Frobisher voyages, Dee seems to have primarily supported the problematic court backers who helped to plunge the second and third of Frobisher’s voyages into the treasure-hunting financial debacles that they became. In sum, Dr. John Dee focused his involvement in exploration and colonization at the theoretical level, primarily to the queen and her courtiers. Beginning around 1576, Dee presented arguments to the queen on pivotal concepts germane to the British exploratory movement. His possible coining of the term British Empire 36 and his manuscript writing about English explorations and exploratory history laid the groundwork for the empire’s creation by positing two things: first, the pre-existence of English claims to the New World 37 from antiquarian sources; and second, that new-found lands, to be fully claimed as portions of empire, needed to be “taken” as well as discovered. 38 Dee based the assertions about discovery and possession on  Taylor, Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography, 77 (see note 3).   Dee coins the term in his General and rare memorials pertayning to the perfect arte of nauigation annexed to the paradoxal cumpas in playne (London: John Day, 1577), 3. (The electronic document was retrieved from http://name.umdl.umich.edu/a20020.0001.001, the Early Modern Books Text Creation Partnership; last accessed on Dec. 31, 2017.) 37   Ken MacMillan, “Discourse on History, Geography, and Law: John Dee and the Limits of the British Empire 1576–80,” Canadian Journal of History 36 (2001): 1–25, here 8. 38   MacMillan, “Discourse on History,” 7 (see note 37). 35

36

250

james helfers

what one might consider nascent concepts of international law regarding freedom of the seas rather than on English common law, referencing, among other sources, Justinian’s Institutes. 39 Dee also continued to contribute his cartographic knowledge. During the run-up to Gilbert’s 1583 expedition to Newfoundland, Dee contributed personal cartography in support of Gilbert’s colonial venture. 40 Nate Probosco argues that Dee’s manuscript maps anticipated the development of a specifically British print cartographic tradition, as well as production of maps with specific tactical and nationalistic purposes. 41 The contrast between Dee’s and Hakluyt’s views of exploration and colonization can be condensed into a pair of phrases taken from their writings: Dee’s sense of a nascent “British Empire,” a colonial and hegemonic power, governmentally controlled, versus Hakluyt’s “English Nation,” a less aggressive exploratory, voyaging, and “traffiquing” entity, more closely allied with England’s new mercantile ethos. Though the initial results of mercantilist backing were not initially any more successful than the attempts by the nobility to found colonies (Humphrey Gilbert would be lost at sea, Raleigh’s Roanoke would vanish, and Frobisher’s mining colony in northern Canada could not even be planted), the first successful English North American colony, Jamestown, finally had its survival assured by the entrepreneurial cultivation of a cash crop (tobacco), which allowed the investors of the Virginia Company (of whom Hakluyt was one) to begin to recoup their investments. Interestingly, the mercantilist paradigm in exploration ultimately could be said to have brought to birth the British Empire of the nineteenth century, in the close interaction between the merchant companies and the perceived economic interests of the government.

Dee and the New Science John Dee’s ultimate marginalization from the English court was not directly connected to Hakluyt personally or to exploration. But one could contend that the wealth of new physical data obtained about the world from exploration, as well as the astronomical observations and calculations necessary for open-ocean celestial navigation, accelerated the paradigm shift from primarily occult understandings of the physical universe to the mechanistic paradigm of modern science. This new paradigm was originally driven by astronomy but also by the hypotheses and failed experiments of alchemy. During Dee’s and Hakluyt’s lifetimes, contemporary   MacMillan, “Discourse on History,” 6–7 (see note 37).   Nate Probosco, “Cartography as a Tool of Colonization: Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s 1583 Voyage to North America,” Renaissance Quarterly 67 (2014): 425–72, here 428. 41   Probosco, “Cartography as a Tool,” 427–32, 433–34 (see note 40). 39

40

Alchemy and Science

251

science had yet to be “invented”; it would take not only the controlled observations of experimenters but also an underlying theoretical paradigm to contextualize the experimental results. 42 The exploratory movement of the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries contributed indirectly to the rise of modern science by the coordinated effort to gather observational data about hydrography, geography, and astronomy, accelerating the rise of those disciplines. Hakluyt personally contributed to the expansion of this knowledge by gathering, publishing, translating, and encouraging the publication of first-person observational accounts. John Dee, in contrast, was the most visible figure in England of an intermixture of animistic metaphysics, mysticism, and mathematics that competed with more orthodox Aristotelian metaphysics as a grounding for a nascent science. Though it is a commonplace to say that alchemy and astrology were forerunners of chemistry and astronomy, respectively, there were crucial tensions. 43 Certainly the older “magical arts” aimed at the same goals as the modern sciences: to understand, to explain coherently, and ultimately to use or control natural processes. The difference lies in the kind of entities with which the magical arts purported to work, the nature of the knowledge practitioners thought could be obtained, and the kinds of interactions that were thought to produce the desired effects. The linked philosophies of Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism, Hermetic mysticism, and Kabbalistic mysticism that underlay Dee’s erudition all shared one perspective on the ultimate nature of reality: that the universe was imbued with soul. All objects, whether animate or inanimate, shared some occult (that is, not available to the physical senses) essence that could best be described as spirit. Matter was seen as a principle of chaos that must be acted upon by form or spirit to have any structure at all. Thus all the structure seen in the cosmos is the result of form or spirit; all the decay that is too readily apparent can be explained by the influence of matter.

  The prototypical example of this interaction is astronomy: the observations of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler confirmed the elliptical orbits of planets, but though Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion explained the observations, it took Newton’s theory of gravitation to explain why orbits were elliptical instead of circular. 43   Nicholas Clulee, in “The Monas Hieroglyphica and the Alchemical Thread of John Dee’s Career,” Ambix 52 (2005): 197–215, traces the alchemical ideas expressed in this particular work of Dee’s, while Wayne Shumaker’s Natural Magic and Modern Science: Four Treatises 1590–1657, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 63 (Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1989), provides a more general overview of John Dee as a practitioner of natural magic. See the contributions to Albrecht Classen, ed., Magic and Magicians in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time: The Occult in Pre-Modern Sciences, Medicine, Literature, Religion, and Astrology, ed. Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture 20 (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2017). 42

252

james helfers

The basic problem for most philosophies of this type was the absolute difference between the worlds of spirit and matter: how could two such dissimilar substances interact? The Neoplatonists solved this problem by theorizing various intermediate levels of spiritual entity between the world of matter observed with the senses and the occult world of the spirit. Pythagoreans identified these spiritual entities with mathematics, and Kabbalistic mysticism with specific numbers. However, spiritual entities are incapable of being directly perceived; therefore, any knowledge of how spiritual entities work must be some kind of gnosis [mystical knowledge], available only to a few initiates. From this theoretical perspective, science and natural magic are indistinguishable. The practitioner of such an art as astrology, from this point of view, makes celestial observations and understands the mathematics of the interactions of heavenly bodies but believes that the virtues of the heavenly bodies (believed in literally as quasi-personalities) correspond to terrestrial virtues and that these virtues directly affect the same spiritual components in the individual whose horoscope is being cast. In the same way, alchemy posits specific virtues for particular elements and personifies the reactions between elements in terms of human emotions and volitions such as love and hate, activity and passivity. The results of this metaphysical perspective are twofold: first, the perspective holds out the possibility of direct effects on physical objects using purely spiritual means. In fact, the difference between natural magic, which is allowed, and forbidden magic, which is disallowed, lies in the entity that is appealed to: the allowed magician uses the natural properties of substances to induce results; while the forbidden magician appeals directly to intermediate semiconscious spiritual entities to work voluntarily on physical substances. It would be impossible for the uninitiated to tell the difference between natural magic and forbidden arts. Second, the position of the practitioner of magic of is different from that of a scientific expert. Dee, for example, is described as having a passionate desire to win admiration as “an illuminé, a master of hidden knowledge,” 44 and as someone who cultivated a priestly demeanor and an imposing presence. 45 This stands in contrast to the scientific expert “whose primary commitments were to truth and clear exposition and who readily admitted ignorance.” 46 Dee often exhibited a complex knowledge, but he was willing to withhold that knowledge from all but his initiate followers, as can be seen in his writings. In his conflation of Neoplatonic and other kinds of mysticism with the nascent science of astronomy, Dee was not alone. Astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler both cast horoscopes to finance their scientific pursuits; as well, Kepler’s early work was designed to support the Aristotelian theory of circular orbits. As a  Shumaker, Natural Magic and Modern Science, 67 (see note 43).  Shumaker, Natural Magic and Modern Science, 57 (see note 43). 46  Shumaker, Natural Magic and Modern Science, 67 (see note 43). 44 45

Alchemy and Science

253

scientist, however, Kepler abandoned this theory when the observations he inherited from Tycho Brahe indicated elliptical orbits. Herein lies the essential difference between those thought of as primarily astronomers, like Brahe and Kepler, and those considered astrologers, like Dee. Someone like Kepler is willing to abandon a theoretical perspective unsupported by observation, whereas, someone like Dee primarily theorizes deductively, using principles derived from his metaphysical perspective. There is little evidence that Dee changed his theoretical perspective at all based on any new data he received from explorers. Dee’s perspectives were ultimately his undoing: his later years witnessed a disintegration of the synthesis that his earlier life had built between his mathematical and proto-scientific pursuits and his philosophical and spiritual concerns. In the early 1580s, disenchanted with the progress of his attempts to master nature through mathematics and Aristotelian science, Dee turned to spiritualism and divination. Between the years 1582 and 1589 (when he returned to England after a six-year sojourn on the continent), his association with the medium Edward Kelley gave him the reputation of an evil magician. He returned from Europe to find his library burned and his laboratory wrecked; he was effectively marginalized for the rest of his life. In a number of ways, the younger Hakluyt ascended to the position that Dee vacated in the early 1580s; the young clergyman became the nexus around which communication took place between the royal court and its courtier-warriorexplorers, the merchant financial backers of Bristol and London, the academic geographers, and the cartographers of continental Europe. At the apex of his career, Dee was more influential on queen and courtiers but had fewer close mercantile contacts. Historically considered, however, it is clearly the clergyman whose ideas, writings, and activities are more influential and whose new paradigms survived to influence the next centuries of exploration and colonization.

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”: A Wife’s Spiritual Goodness in Francisco de Osuna’s Reformist Dialogue on Marriage, Norte de los Estados Dana Bultman

Francisco de Osuna (ca. 1492–ca. 1540) was a rising authority on the practice of meditative recollection when he wrote his innovative dialogue on marriage, Norte de los estados, published in Seville by Bartolomé Pérez in 1531. 1 The full title of this understudied work, North of statuses in which rules for life are given to the young, married, widowed, and all virtuous people, makes clear its purpose as a reference book and guide for those considering marriage or already of wedded status. 2 When Norte  The form of meditative contemplation known as recollection, or recogimiento, was an affective and mystical meditative practice that emphasized harmonizing the will and the intellect. The bibliography on the texts and tradition of recollection is wide ranging. For summaries of the practice in English in relation to Osuna’s works, see Mary E. Giles, Introduction, The Third Spiritual Alphabet, by Francisco de Osuna (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), 1–37; and Alastair Hamilton, Heresy and Mysticism in Sixteenth-Century Spain: The Alumbrados (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 14–16. 2   Norte de los estados en que se da regla de biuir a los mancebos, y a los casados, y a los biudos, y a todos los continentes is a quarto with 188 folios. I am currently preparing the first modern critical edition. Scholarship on Norte de los estados has been intermittent, without extensive interpretation of the text based on close readings. It began with Fidèle de Ros, who viewed the book as an interesting adaptation of medieval marriage theories for a broad 1530s audience and saw it as a testimony to the cultural environment in which Osuna wrote, worthy of note for its attention to education, especially of children by their parents. See Fidèle de Ros, “Le ‘Norte de los estados’ du P. Francisco de Osuna,” Bulletin Hispanique 37 (1935): 460–72. See also the chapter dedicated to Norte de los estados in his Un maître de sainte Thérèse: le père François d’Osuna, sa vie, son oeuvre, sa doctrine spirituelle (Paris: Beauchesne, 1936), 239–78. Subsequent scholars have found 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 255–278.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117202

256

dana bultman

de los estados first appeared in print, Osuna, a Franciscan friar of the Observants, had already published five other works in Spanish. These were the first four parts of his Abecedario espiritual ([Spiritual Alphabet] part III 1527; part I 1528; part II 1530; part IV 1530) and his book on the Eucharist, Gracioso convite [Gracious Banquet] (1530). Norte de los estados would later have two subsequent editions in 1541 and 1550, both published in Burgos. At the height of his influence, Osuna was among the most popular spiritual writers of the sixteenth century and a strong voice for reform. His total of eight books in Spanish appeared in twenty-eight editions across Spain in Toledo, Seville, Burgos, Valladolid, Medina del Campo, and Zaragoza; some of these were translated and published in Europe in Italian, German, and Latin. 3 Osuna also authored five books in Latin, which first appeared in Toulouse, Paris, and Antwerp when he traveled and resided in France and the Netherlands from 1532 to 1536. These differing degrees of originality and value in the work. Jesús Gutiérrez argues that Osuna was an astute observer of social stratification and an admirable critic of concepts of honor and prestige. Osuna’s social descriptions and utopian moral vision, Gutiérrez argues, laid the ground for later sixteenth-century fiction writers to satirize social types that embodied dubious values. See Jesús Gutiérrez, “Espiritualidad y estamento social en Francisco de Osuna,” in Santa Teresa y la literatura mística hispánica: Actas del I Congreso internacional, dir. Manuel Criado de Val (Madrid: EDI–6, 1984), 527–33, here 532–33. Asunción Rallo Gruss, in her study of Norte de los estados as an example of the dialogue genre in Spain, makes clear that its simple form and catechistic style require us to differentiate the work from more sophisticated Renaissance dialogues. She argues that Osuna’s primary innovation is his engagement of inexpert readers with direct, concrete lessons that can be applied to daily life. See Asunción Rallo Gruss, “El Norte de los Estados como diálogo: la catequesis, función primaria del género,” Analecta Malacitana: Revista de la Sección de Filología de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras 15, n. 1–2 (1992): 239–55, here 239–41. María Jesús Mancho Duque finds a modest worth in Osuna’s insights into customs and culture in Norte de los estados, remarking that the candor of his voice is attractive despite the book’s rudimentary literary form. See María Jesús Mancho Duque, “Diálogos Franciscanos del quinientos: el deslizamiento al tratado,” Analecta Malacitana: Revista de la Sección de Filología de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras 33, no. 1 (2000): 57–84, here 83. 3   In addition to Norte de los estados, these included Osuna’s book on the Eucharist, Gracioso convite (1530), which was the sole work of Osuna’s that was placed on the 1559 Index of Prohibited Books, and Osuna’s six-part spiritual alphabet. For a detailed treatment of all known editions of Osuna’s works, including early modern translations of the first part of the Abecedario espiritual (Italian, 1583), the fifth part of the Abecedario espiritual (German, 1602; 1603), the sixth part of Abecedario espiritual (Latin 1616), and Gracioso convite (Italian, 1599), see Mariano Quirós García, Francisco de Osuna y la imprenta (Catálogo biobibliográfico), Obras de referencia, 27 (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2010), 51–110, as well as the chronological table of editions he provides, 193–97. Norte de los estados has never been translated. Osuna’s most famous work, the third part of the Abecedario spiritual, has modern translations in English, French, German, and Italian. For further clarification, see also Rafael Pérez García, La imprenta y la literatura espiritual castellana en la España del Renacimiento, 1470–1560 (Gijón: Ediciones Trea, 2006), 310–14.

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

257

were reprinted in at least sixteen editions in the early modern era. 4 Most famously, Osuna’s Tercer abecedario espiritual [Third Spiritual Alphabet] (1527) was admired by Teresa of Ávila. Through her mystical practices and writings Osuna’s work also influenced Juan de la Cruz and subsequent Carmelite spirituality. 5 Nevertheless, while Osuna’s works were well known and went with Spanish Franciscans where they traveled and worked in Europe and in the Spanish colonies, his popularity as an author waned dramatically after Counter-Reformation orthodoxy repressed reformist works in the latter half of the sixteenth century. His book on the Eucharist, Gracioso convite, appeared on the 1559 Index of Prohibited Books. Then, with the publication of the Roman Catechism in 1566, Osuna’s frank discussion of marital relationships and open style of pastoral care in Norte de los estados became taboo for Catholic clergy. I contend that Norte de los estados exemplified a significant attempt from within Spain at a reformist paradigm shift meant to define the intimate relationship between spouses as principally a spiritual bond rather than a practical or economic one. The work illustrates how Observant Franciscans intended to exert influence within the Catholic Church and among the laity through their use of the printing press and popular publications during the period before the Council of Trent. In particular, Osuna’s guide to marriage demonstrates how medieval theology continued to shape definitions of spousal roles and relationships as these were adapted and reconsidered during the ascendance of humanist literary practices. In an age when conduct manuals proliferated, Osuna’s estimation of women’s spiritual equality with men and of wives’ potential for exceeding their husbands in practicing virtue​ — ​which he places above the duty to produce offspring in Norte de los estados​  — ​ did not become mainstream in the field of Catholic moral theology. However, the work’s concept of marriage and definition of the responsibilities of husbands and wives contributed to an oppositional discourse in subsequent Baroque literary production in Spain. While Osuna was rooted in his scholastic formation as a Franciscan friar, he was aware of contemporary humanist texts and was responding to the Protestant

4  Quirós, Francisco de Osuna y la imprenta, 93–110 (see note 3). Osuna’s Pars occidentalis appeared in nine editions and his Pars meridionalis in four editions. In Western Europe and Spain’s colonies, Osuna’s Latin sermons were popular reading among priests, who used them to compose their own texts for preaching. We can surmise that his mystical theology and language were transmitted orally from the pulpit by these readers, making a significant cultural impact that is difficult to trace today due to the ephemeral nature of sermons. 5   Teresa of Ávila’s personal copy of Osuna’s first book, Tercer abecedario espiritual (1527), with her marginalia, is conserved at the Convent of San José in Avila, Spain. For an English translation, see Francisco de Osuna, The Third Spiritual Alphabet, trans. Mary E. Giles (New York: Paulist Press, 1981). In chapter 4 of her autobiographical Libro de la vida, Teresa states that she never found a better theological teacher than Osuna’s book.

258

dana bultman

Reformation. 6 When he composed his marriage guide, a re-evaluation of human sensorial and material experiences in natural philosophy was overlapping with anxieties over religious authority, hierarchical power relations, and the relative values of celibate and married life. These mixed conditions appear in Norte de los estados, although, after the 1560s, Osuna’s most liberatory affirmations about marriage were rejected in dominant Catholic moral discourse. After this point in time, as religious morality narrowed and the Inquisition repressed unorthodox views in Spain, print culture nonetheless continued to provide a pathway for these affirmations to migrate and to develop in literary production, as can be witnessed in the narrative works of Miguel de Cervantes and María de Zayas. 7 These authors’ seventeenth-century examinations of married life and spousal equality continued to develop Pre-Tridentine conceptualizations, such as those found in Osuna’s Norte de los estados, of wives’ superior virtue and roles as spiritual or social protectors of their husbands. Osuna uses analogies and metaphorical language in Norte de los estados to implicitly identify wives as moral models for their husbands. Before his marriage, the fictional character of Villaseñor, Osuna’s spiritual advisee in the work, goes into raptures over the qualities of his own future wife. Villaseñor describes her to Osuna near the beginning of the dialogue, claiming the young woman possesses all of the virtues exemplified by the allegorical Lady Virginity they discussed the previous day. 8 “Father Osuna”, Villaseñor’s spiritual advisor, had presented Lady Virginity as the “madre del saber” [mother of knowledge], an awe-inspiring figure of wisdom and understanding, to attract him to a life of celibacy. 9 Despite Osuna’s positive depiction of taking religious vows and virginity, Villaseñor rejects this path. Instead, he declares fervently that, since his own love for God is imperfect, he prefers to marry and will be saved through the faith and goodness of his wife  In the 1520s Osuna likely studied at the University in Alcalá de Henares, a center for humanist activity in Spain after its expansion by Franciscan reformer Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros. At Alcalá, at the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de la Salceda where he later resided, and at the palace of his patron the Duke of Escalona, Osuna would have had contact with humanist practices and with enthusiasts of the writings of Erasmus of Rotterdam. See Mariano Quirós García, “Estudio introductorio” a Francisco de Osuna Abecedario espiritual V y VI partes, 3 vols. (Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 2002), 1:27–41. For additional biographical information, see Quirós, Francisco de Osuna y la imprenta, 11–20 (see note 3). 7   These literary authors, as well as Marguerite de Navarre, are referenced again later in this essay. 8   Osuna lists and explains in detail the principle excellent qualities symbolized by each of the twelve stars in the crown of Lady Virginity: freedom, ease, treasure, sacrifice, martyrdom, subtle fragrance, sovereign representation, eternal beauty, divine enterprise, insurmountable victory, added reward, and universal reverence. See Francisco de Osuna, Norte de los estados en que se da regla de biuir a los mancebos, y a los casados, y a los biudos, y a todos los continentes (Seville: Bartolomé Perez, 1531), fol. 16r–v. 9  Osuna, Norte, fol. 27r (see note 8). 6

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

259

to-be: “tus clapines me serán escalera del cielo” [your clogs will be my stairway to heaven]. 10 Villaseñor’s recognition of Lady Virginity as comparable to his future wife​ — ​ to whom he is clearly sensually attracted​ — ​indicates a shift in the moral focus of the text. Although Villaseñor cannot chastely dedicate himself to Lady Virginity, he can at least achieve a virtuous marriage by relying on his wife’s analogous goodness. With this realization and admission, Norte de los estados abandons its insistence on celibacy and turns its attention to Villaseñor’s interest in marriage. The dynamic of this shift includes a clear association between an idealized, allegorical female figure and a flesh and blood woman. It provides an example of how paradigm change took place on a granular level in reformist confessional practices and spiritual publications. Rather than seamless and linear progress for laywomen, conceptualizations of wives’ social equality and full humanity were worked out in conversational reflections on doctrine and in the practices of daily domestic life. As William Bouwsma explains, in the sixteenth century “change is varied, complex, multi-directional, and even contradictory.” 11 This is certainly true in the history of the reception of Norte de los estados as well as in the representations of women and femininity within the work. For instance, Osuna sometimes draws parallels between idealized female figures, such as Lady Virginity or the Virgin Mary, and real women, while at other times he marks divisions between them and echoes traditional negative stereotypes of feminine vices. He also sometimes forges links between women across class strata, while at other times he differentiates between wives’ behaviors according to the three social stations he names​ — ​nobles, villagers, and people of middle station​ — ​observing differences between women’s roles and rights across these ranks. For example, Osuna uses the merit of exemplary Spanish noblewomen to argue for extending the legal rights of all women. To do this he unites his praise of the Duchess Luisa de Cabrera y Boabdilla wife of the 3rd Duke of Escalona Diego López Pacheco, to whom Norte de los estados is dedicated, with a defense of women’s right to inherit. 12 Meanwhile, to Villaseñor’s question about the legitimacy of physical punishment by husbands of indomitable wives, Osuna responds that no woman of any rank is subject to her husband in the same manner that his children are, “en quanto al castigo no está ni deue estar tan subjecta la muger al marido, como el hijo al padre” [regarding punishments wives are not, nor should they be as subordinate to their husbands, as is a son to a father], but goes on to enumerate the sort of physical punishments that are acceptable among social ranks. 13 To lend his  Osuna, Norte, fol. 44r (see note 8).   William J. Bouwsma, The Waning of the Renaissance 1550–1640 (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2000), 259. See also the contribution to this volume by Bernd Renner on the use of satire in French Renaissance literature. 12  Osuna, Norte, fols. 3v–4r (see note 8). 13  Osuna, Norte, fol. 155r (see note 8). 10 11

260

dana bultman

voice authority, and to shore up these potentially contentious affirmations, he cites the Italian Benedictine expert in canon law, Nicolò Tedeschi (1386–1445). Thus Norte de los estados negotiates the era’s tensions in power relations based on gender and class. Villaseñor represents “todo mancebo cristiano” [all Christian young men] in Norte de los estados. 14 His class status and that of his wife is never explicitly mentioned, nor are they ever made analogous to the duke and duchess, whom Osuna sets up as an exemplary married couple in his prologue. Osuna states in the prologue that his original intention was to write a book on marriage because it is the most universal state, but that he later decided to make the work more comprehensive by including the states of virginity and widowhood. Norte de los estados, he says, is meant for Spaniards, does not pertain to any foreign sects, transmits correct doctrine, contains useful and necessary detail, and is appropriately familiar in tone: En este libro hallarán los casados españoles toda la doctrina que pertenece a la corregida forma de biuir que se guarda en España, donde no quise poner cosa que fuesse de otra nación, ni secta alguna, sino el grano que a nos pertenesce, y las cosas a que son tenidos los buenos casados, y el remedio de todos los principales desastres que acaescen al matrimonio. Los otros libros que hablan desto me parescieron faltos, porque no descienden a cosas particulares, ni son tan caseros como el matrimonio requiere. 15 [In this book Spanish married people will find all the doctrine that pertains to the corrected form of life kept in Spain, in which I did not wish to include anything from another nation, or any other sect, except the kernel that belongs to us, and the things that good married people believe, and the remedy for all the foremost disasters that occur in marriage. The other books that speak of this seemed lacking to me, because they do not descend into particulars, nor are they as plainspoken as marriage requires.]

He then claims to use the dialogue form to increase his readers’ enjoyment and to offer them examples of questions and responses they might employ in conversations with their own confessors and with others. 16 At the time Norte de los estados was published, Erasmus of Rotterdam’s Latin works were circulating in Spain and had an enthusiastic following. 17 However, dialogues in the vernacular for a general readership on issues of moral conduct were  Osuna, Norte, fol. 7r (see note 8).  Osuna, Norte, fol. 6r–v (see note 8). The English translation are my own. 16  Osuna, Norte, fol. 5v (see note 8). 17  For a comprehensive and foundational account of Erasmus’s reception and impact at Alcalá and in Spain that includes references to Osuna’s presence and activities, see Marcel Bataillon, Erasmo y España: Estudios sobre la historia espiritual del siglo XVI, trans. Antonio Alatorre, 2nd Spanish ed. (1937; México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1966). 14

15

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

261

not yet common. Norte de los estados is Osuna’s only foray into the genre. Inspired by his dedication to pastoral care, and quite possibly due to his interest in humanist textual practices, Osuna wrote his work in an accessible dialogue form, not just for clergy but also for lay readers who lacked knowledge of Latin. 18 The structure of Norte de los estados has three conventional thematic parts: how to live life as an unmarried virgin; as a married person; and as a widow or widower. However, the bulk of it, about three-quarters of the text, is devoted to married life. As we have seen, this emphasis is due to Villaseñor’s admission early on in the work that he rejects the celibate life. Although Osuna maintains that virginity is a superior state to matrimony, Villaseñor is not interested in it. Villaseñor states that, in fact, it is already too late for him, to which Osuna indulgingly responds that there are not many actual virgins anyway: “Y si dizes que es tarde porque ya la perdiste, no pienses que hize esta regla para solos aquellos que de hecho son vírgines, pues que son tan pocos que no an menester regla” [And if you say that it is late because you have already lost it, do not think that I made this rulebook only for those who are in fact virgins, because there are so few of them that they do not require a guide]. 19 Osuna turns from advocating celibacy to defining a spiritualized concept of marriage. This shift is marked by the recognition of a strong feminine capacity for virtue that continues throughout the text. The virtues of Lady Virginity are subtly present in the subsequent actions of Villaseñor’s wife, but not in his own, and Osuna depicts wives as capable of contributing greatly to their husbands’ salvation. Villaseñor’s experiences of marriage in Norte de los estados cover many years of conventional challenges and conflicts. The issues he faces are common ones long discussed in medieval moral theology, but Osuna reinterprets them for a contemporary lay readership. His generically eclectic text includes three sermons and three rulebooks for virgins, married couples, and widows. 20 In the early decades of the 1500s, confessors involved in pastoral care relied on Latin doctrinal resources for guiding Christian conduct in marriage. As authoritative support they used a variety of summas of moral behavior based on biblical passages and theological tradition, important works by the early Church Fathers, and papal decretals. Norte de los estados is informed by these sorts of sources, as well as by Osuna’s readings in mystical theology. 21 As one of the earliest examples of dialogue in Spanish, the unusual   For a clarifying discussion of these crosscurrents, see Eugenio Asensio, El erasmismo y las corrientes espirituales afines: conversos, franciscanos, italianizantes (Salamanca: Sociedad de Estudios Medievales y Renacentistas, 2000). 19  Osuna, Norte, fol. 36v (see note 8). 20  For Norte de los estados’ form, aesthetics, and relationship to contemporaneous and more rhetorically sophisticated dialogues by humanist authors, see Gruss, “El Norte de los Estados como diálogo,” 239–55 (see note 2). 21   Osuna uses Augustine as a foundation for this effort, citing him more than any other author in Norte de los estados. He also relies on the texts of Cyprian, Jerome, Dionysius the Areopagite, Gregory the Great, Richard of St. Victor, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, and Jean 18

262

dana bultman

form and mixed theological and practical content of Norte de los estados does not clearly separate religious and spiritual culture from natural philosophy and experiences in the material world. It is pre-modern in the sense that Osuna presents his advice analogically in material-conceptual mixtures of signs, metaphors, and everyday things that point to the prospect of transcending divisions​ — ​particularly the division between flesh and spirit, which was important to the mystical practice of meditative recollection which he advocated. 22 While Villaseñor’s wife never participates in the dialogue, or even has a name, from her husband’s reports and Osuna’s observations readers can note that she consistently equals or exceeds Villaseñor in the practice of their wedding vows. These three vows were based on the familiar three goods of marriage, traditionally presented as proles, fides, and sacramentum, which Osuna places in a slightly different order of importance than was standard, shifting offspring to second place after fidelity and maintaining the meaning of the sacred bond in third place. As a relatively marginalized character the wife speaks directly only once, through a letter to her husband. 23 Nevertheless, in the closing section of the book her central importance and significance is clear. When she eventually dies and Villaseñor becomes a grief-stricken widower, Osuna ends Norte de los estados with a cliffhanger: after a long life together which has produced three children, will Villaseñor channel his Gerson, all of whom are also important sources for his six-part spiritual alphabet. For Norte de los estados in particular, Osuna uses texts by Ambrose, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, Antoninus of Florence, Durandus of St. Pourçain, and the famed Franciscan preacher and Observant leader Bernardino of Siena, to conceptualize Catholic marriage. 22   I use the term pre-modern in the sense given to it by Bruno Latour: a nondualistic mode of thought that can coexist with modern paradigms and that does not include the fundamentally modern concept of a divide between nature and society. See Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, trans. Catherine Porter (1991; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). 23   For a discussion of the limited agency Osuna affords Villaseñor’s wife in Norte de los estados and the marginalization of female voices as a characteristic of the enforced silence imposed on women by authors of conduct dialogues during the period, see Carol D. Harlee, “Neither Seen nor Heard: Women in the Spanish Sixteenth-Century Conduct Dialogue,” eHumanista 12 (2009): 202–30, here 215. Scholars have varying opinions on the gender dynamics of the work. Fernando de la Flor calls Osuna a “pioneer” due to his treatment of women and sexual morality in Norte de los estados. See Fernando R. de la Flor, “Eros barroco. Placer. Matrimonio y censura en el ordenamiento contrarreformista,” in Iconografía y creación artística: Estudios sobre la identidad femenina desde las relaciones de poder, ed. Rosario Camacho Martínez and Aurora Miró Domínguez (Málaga, Spain: Diputación Provincial de Málaga [CEDMA], 2001), 107–60, here 135–37. Nancy van Deusen also sees Osuna’s representation of women in Norte de los estados as one that “attempted to ameliorate the misogynist portrayal of women of different social classes or conditions” and made the development of interiority through recollection a virtue any woman could practice whether she was physically enclosed in a convent or living outside. See Nancy E. van Deusen, Between the Sacred and the Worldly: The Institutional and Cultural Practice of Recogimiento in Colonial Lima (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 18–22.

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

263

love and vow of conjugal fidelity to his wife into a stronger devotion to God, as Osuna advises, or will he remarry instead? The work ends without a clear resolution to this question. Villaseñor’s justifications for his desire to remarry are trivial in Osuna’s opinion. These include Villaseñor’s claim to need a wife’s labor in the home, his reluctance to practice celibacy, and his fear of the potential gossip of neighbors regarding any female servant he might hire. 24 While Osuna does not explicitly remind Villaseñor of his youthful aspiration to use his loving and faithful wife’s clogs as his “stairway to heaven,” he makes clear that a great opportunity for spiritual progress will be lost if he takes another spouse. After declaring that married people can act as their own chaplains, Osuna reaffirms his position that everyone, rich or poor, is equally vulnerable to the desires of the body and should learn to practice self-control and sexual continence. 25 He advises Villaseñor that it is a mistake to think that doctrine does not apply to him. He should be happy he had a fortunate marriage to a good woman and should now follow the model of famous female widows, such as Angela of Foligno and Elizabeth of Hungary, whom Osuna considers to be exemplary for sublimating their fidelity to a deceased spouse into a desire for spiritual union with God. 26 Because Villaseñor has asked him for instruction repeatedly throughout his life, at the end of Norte de los estados Osuna is exasperated that he does not act on his patiently offered teachings. Osuna testily insinuates that Villaseñor intends to do whatever he wishes after the death of his wife, with the belief that he can repent later. In his final exhortations to Villaseñor, Osuna employs the conventional metaphor of life as a nautical journey, harshly warning that it is one thing to arrive at port in good health with his ship’s virtues intact and yet another to arrive wrecked and naked, battered by the waves, clinging to a fragment of his broken vessel. 27 Finally, when Osuna sees that Villaseñor is leaning toward remarriage despite recognizing how it may potentially compromise his children’s inheritance, the work abruptly ends. The annoyed friar dismisses his longtime advisee and requests that he never seek him out for advice again. The arc of the work’s content, from youthful sensual desire to illness, loss, and sublimation, shows that Osuna conceived of marriage in relation to spiritual health. He systematically sought to deepen its conventional status from a remedy for sensual lust to a path for perfecting the union of body and soul. To do so, Osuna had to raise the status of wives and establish spiritual equality between genders. In Norte de los estados he alternately references lists of virtuous women familiar from querelle

 Osuna, Norte, fols. 177v–182r (see note 8).  Osuna, Norte, fols. 170v, 187r–v (see note 8). 26  Osuna, Norte, fols. 185v–186r (see note 8). 27  Osuna, Norte, fol. 181v (see note 8). 24 25

264

dana bultman

des femmes discourse and contemporary debates on women, while he subtly lauds Villaseñor’s wife’s choices and behavior in comparison to those of her husband. 28 Osuna also clearly recognized the wide appeal Luther’s ideas held for the laity and responded to them. 29 Aspects of Norte de los estados show that, at times, Osuna parallels Martin Luther’s controversial opinions on marriage and celibacy, while at other times he counters them. Osuna criticizes hypocritical monastics and rails against clerical corruption, even as he continues to hold celibate life in the highest esteem and rejects divorce. He attempts to counter Luther’s appeal by detailing a spiritual model of marriage in which the institution’s prestige is linked to its status as a sacrament. Meanwhile, he re-evaluates wives’ roles positively and does not avoid discussing issues of the body and sensuality in earthy detail. In so doing, Osuna draws explicitly only from Church doctrine and his scholastic education. Although he may have had other inspirations, he is at pains to show that the spiritual concept of marriage he constructs is firmly based on traditionally accepted Catholic sources. Augustine’s treatise on marriage, De bono coniugali, provided one important point of reference and source of authority for Osuna. He reinterprets this treatise in Norte de los estados for a sixteenth-century audience. In De bono coniugali Augustine exemplifies a frankness and willingness to descend into gritty particulars, the same qualities Osuna lends his own pastoral voice. 30 The dialogues in Norte de los 28  For a comprehensive study of the querelle des femmes discourses during this period in Spain, see Julio Vélez-Sainz, La defensa de la mujer en la literatura hispánica: Siglos XV–XVII (Madrid: Cátedra, 2015). Osuna selects his examples from biblical figures and saints, with a few examples of women from classical source material. It is also noteworthy that Jean Gerson, a major influence on Osuna’s works, sided with Christine de Pizan in the debate over Jean de Meun’s Roman de la rose. See Earl Jeffrey Richards, “Christine de Pizan and Jean Gerson: An Intellectual Friendship,” in  Christine de Pizan 2000: Studies of Christine de Pizan in Honour of Angus J. Kennedy, ed. John Campbell and Nadia Margolis (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2000), 197–208. 29   For a discussion of the Inquisition’s persecution of the Spanish illuminists of Toledo, who were associated with Lutheranism and with whom Osuna had contact when he resided at the monastery of Nuestra Señora de la Salceda in the region of Guadalajara, see Hamilton, Heresy and Mysticism in Sixteenth-Century Spain (see note 1). 30  Augustine’s defense, The Good of Marriage, was a foundational text for all Christian authors who took up the subject. Augustine discusses sexual morality in this treatise, as well as in his On Holy Virginity, in the clear and familiar terms appropriate to the openness of his age, directly addressing men, women, married couples, and virgins regarding the moral polemics of their fifth-century context. Osuna refers frequently to both works in Norte de los estados, applying Augustine’s arguments to sixteenth-century controversies. P. G. Walsh, in his bilingual edition of these treatises, addresses the discomfort of nineteenth-century scholars with Augustine’s openness and the resultant lack of scholarly attention to these works, despite their key importance to Catholic moral theology after the Council of Trent. A similar phenomenon seems to have contributed to the marginalization of Norte de los estados. See P. G. Walsh, Foreword and

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

265

estados openly treat the most material aspects of conjugal life, some of which​ — ​ intercourse, impotence, menstruation​ — ​were topics considered shameful in texts by other authors of the time. In Osuna’s openness regarding such issues, he follows Catholic thinkers whose more lenient views on moral questions did not become dominant in their era. These include the fifteenth-century Nicolas d’Orbelles and Martin Le Maistre, whose works gave weight to empirical observation and experience over speculative theology. Osuna cites D’Orbelles, a Franciscan natural philosopher, and shows Villaseñor to be a keen reader of Le Maistre’s Quaestiones morales (1490) in his first address to Osuna as their dialogue begins. 31 Le Maistre’s work contended that marital sex was not sinful, even when it was not intended for procreation. 32 After publishing Norte de los estados, Osuna went to Toulouse in 1532 to attend the General Chapter meeting of the Franciscan Order. There he received permission to publish his Latin works in Europe from Matthias Weynsen, warden of the Franciscan monastery in Antwerp and advocate for the use of the printing press to counter Luther’s influence. 33 The use of the press during the period before the Council of Trent for popular publications in the vernacular was risky in Spain because it could be seen to empower women and commoners, as well as to approach aspects of Lutheranism. Traveling to Europe to publish in Latin for several years allowed Osuna to reach a wider audience with perhaps lesser risk, until his eventual return to Spain in 1536 or 1537 and death sometime in 1540 or 1541. As a friar committed to pastoral care who wrote in contact with humanist thinkers around the University of Alcalá, Osuna had to adjust to changing realities during his lifetime. The most significant was the ongoing impact of the Protestant Reformation. In this atmosphere he worked to transmit his interpretations of medieval theology to a sixteenth-century Catholic public amid controversy, both within the Church and outside it, in Spanish and in Latin. From a common background himself, and unconcerned with issues of governance or intellectual prestige that engaged humanist writers, Osuna was critical of the wealthy classes, even while being impressed with the new economy of commerce he witnessed during his years Introduction to De bono coniugali and De sancta uirginitate, by Augustine, ed. and trans. P. G. Walsh (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001), v, ix–xxxiv. 31  Osuna, Norte, fol. 8v (see note 8). 32   As John Noonan explains, “With Le Maistre the Aristotelian concept of virtue as a mean is central and ‘conjugal chastity’ is defined as a mean between immodesty and insensibility. With this virtue as the norm by which to measure subjective intention, Le Maistre advances this humble thesis: ‘Not every copulation of spouses not performed to generate offspring is an act opposed to conjugal chastity’ (‘Seventh Conclusion,’ Quaestiones morales II, fol. 48v).” See John Noonan, Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1986), 307. 33   See Quirós, Francisco de Osuna y la imprenta, 18. Osuna traveled to Paris in 1533 and then resided in Antwerp from 1534 to 1536.

266

dana bultman

in Antwerp. Marriage was a theme that never ceased to interest him, and near the end of his life he considered writing a second part to Norte de los estados, never completed, in which he thought to treat the difficulties of marriage at greater length. 34 His view of marriage is both practical and utopian​ — ​an attempt by a Franciscan Observant to cultivate a married laity operating within the social and economic values of his order. When Villaseñor requests a regla, or rulebook, for married couples after his wedding, Osuna provides him with a text that parallels the rule of the Franciscan order. Its twelve chapters are included in Norte de los estados: “pues la regla de sant Francisco que según dizen fue dada por dios, tiene doze capítulos, tantos deue tener la regla matrimonial dada por dios, y diuulgada por los apóstoles” [since the rule of Saint Francis, which they say was given by God, has twelve chapters, the rule of matrimony, given by God and spread by the Apostles, should have the same number]. 35 Just like friars read their rule together every Friday, Osuna exhorts Villaseñor and his wife to read theirs together every Sunday. 36 The first of the twelve chapters treats the three principle vows of marriage. Franciscans take vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity. Likewise, married couples according to Osuna should take three vows. These are loyalty to each other, the intention to have children, and their inseparable union as a couple. Being loyal entails the Pauline doctrine of husband and wife exclusively possessing the body their spouse​ — ​and each equally possessing the other. 37 The intention to have children is important for the sake of the Church for Osuna, who does not make a case for the importance of children for the health of the state or for military or economic purposes. 38 Inseparable union is the promise not to abandon one another without exceptional circumstances. There is much in the rulebook to suggest a wife’s burden is greater in marriage than her spouse’s and that, while her husband’s authority is superior to hers, she is   Quirós, “Estudio Introductorio,” 41 (see note 6).  Osuna, Norte, fol. 88r (see note 8). 36  Osuna, Norte, fol. 100r (see note 8). 37   This traditional Church doctrine is based on 1 Cor. 7. All biblical citations are from the Douay version. 38   This serves as an interesting point of contrast with humanist attitudes. For example, while both Erasmus and Osuna agree on the joys of family, Osuna never discusses children as a matter of couples’ production of sons destined to be soldiers. In his In Praise of Marriage (1518), Erasmus writes that the function of marriage is to produce children and that sons have always been needed for the sake of military protection: “The state is in danger unless there are those to protect it by force of arms, but its destruction is assured unless there are those who through benefit of wedlock make up for the loss of young manhood diminished by death.” See Desiderius Erasmus, In Praise of Marriage, in Erasmus on Women, ed. Erika Rummel, trans. Charles Fantazzi (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 57–77, here 61. While Erasmus claimed the opinions in this letter could not be ascribed to him since it was simply a rhetorical exercise, this was likely to shield himself from criticism by other clergy about the attack on celibacy the text contained. 34 35

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

267

spiritually responsible for him. The rulebook’s content suggests a man deserves to be protected by his wife’s goodness while controlling the limits of her autonomy. The chapters go back and forth between the duties of a husband and the duties of a wife: how a man must love his wife; how a woman must love her husband; how a man must rule his wife; how a woman must correct her husband; how a man must maintain his wife; how a woman must serve her husband; how a man must provide for his household; how a woman must care for her household; how a man must be kind to his wife; how a woman should bring much honor to her husband no matter who he is; and finally, how neither one should make the other jealous. Osuna never uses language in the rulebook to suggest that wives are the possession or property of their husbands, since both equally possess the body of the other. He also admonishes husbands and advises them to control their anger, portrays drunk and angry men negatively, and emphasizes the responsibilities of men. 39 While the rulebook subjects wives firmly to the authority of their husbands, nevertheless Osuna claims, humorously, to shorten his discussion of this particularity so that nuns do not protest he is making their lives look easy in comparison. 40 The contents of the chapters suggest that wives’ sacrifices can prolong men’s lives, women’s mercy for their husbands gains God’s favor, and wives’ virtue and self-control​ — ​if highly developed​ — ​w ill protect their husbands both socially and spiritually from the difficulties of gaining worldly honor and wealth. Meanwhile, husbands are reminded that if they consent to rule a household, they are ultimately culpable for all that happens there. Wives in Norte de los estados have the potential to be spiritually equal, or superior, to their husbands. For example, in the rulebook for married couples, wives who love God through their husbands are like chariots of Elijah that carry their husbands to heaven: “Pues la muger que xpistianamente ama a su marido no para en él sino en dios, lleuándolo de camino a dios, de manera que el amor de la muger sea como carro de fuego en que él suba a dios a manera de Helías” [Thus the wife that loves her husband does not end in him but in God, taking him in the direction of God, in such a way that the love of a wife is like a chariot of fire in which he rises up to God in the manner of Elijah]. 41 Osuna also represents the wife as superior to Villaseñor in virtue in the practices of their daily lives. When Osuna eagerly inquires about how she liked the contents of the rulebook for married couples, Villaseñor reports that his wife received it with great enthusiasm and piety. But then he goes on, incongruously, to request a sermon on adultery to ensure her faithfulness, explaining he will feel more at ease knowing she has heard Osuna preach on it. The friar then chides Villaseñor for  Osuna, Norte, fol. 96r–v (see note 8).  Osuna, Norte, fol. 92r (see note 8). 41  Osuna, Norte, fol. 90v (see note 8). He references 4 Kgs. 2:11. The Vulgate and Douay versions of the Bible divide Kings into four books, rather than two as in other versions of the Bible. 39

40

268

dana bultman

his mistrust of his wife and suggests praising her would be a better way to ensure her loyalty: “No te quiero preguntar si della tienes alguna sospecha, porque el buen marido, ni en público, ni en secreto deue dezir menos bien de su muger, sino alaballa mucho, porque en las mugeres cuerdas, la virtud loada cresce” [I do not want to ask if you suspect her of anything, because a good husband, neither in public nor in secret ought to speak ill of his wife, rather he ought to praise her much, because virtue grows in prudent women when it is lauded]. 42 After this, Osuna does go on to offer the requested sermon, but he focuses mainly on admonishing male adulterers rather than on the faithfulness of wives. Later in the text, when Villaseñor suspects his wife of adultery again, because he has seen her with another man, and then asks Osuna if he could licitly murder her, Osuna responds that even though the law allows him to kill her, he most definitely should not. 43 Citing the golden rule, the friar reminds Villaseñor of the adulteress about whom Jesus said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” 44 Men instead should reflect on their own sins against God: “Deue pues el marido cristiano quando en esto hallare culpada su muger, y la quisiere acusar boluer sobre sí, y pensar los pecados que él ha cometido contra dios” [The Christian husband, when his wife has been so blamed, and he wishes to accuse her, ought to turn toward himself, and think about the sins he has committed against God]. 45 When Villaseñor later discovers that the man he suspected was just a family member of his wife’s, and not a lover, he thanks Osuna for the prudent advice and admits he is deeply ashamed. In another of the dialogues in Norte de los estados Osuna takes up the theme of spousal absence and abandonment. Here the work features the full text of a letter from Villaseñor’s wife, in which she is given a direct voice. Labeled in a marginal note as “carta que a de escriuir la muger a su marido que la dexa por algún tiempo y se va a alguna parte” [letter that a wife should write to her husband who leaves her for a time and goes somewhere else], it is the sole letter included in the book. It provided an example for female readers who may have required help convincing their husbands to return to them or encouragement to go looking for their husbands. Villaseñor brings the letter to Osuna in awe at his wife’s expressive arguments. In full it reads:

 Osuna, Norte, fol. 100v (see note 8).   While Osuna states in his sermon on adultery that adulterers deserve death, he does not openly advocate for a civil penalty, as does Luther when he suggests that civil authorities could put adulterers to death. See Martin Luther, “The Estate of Marriage (1522),” in The Christian in Society II, ed. and trans. Walther I. Brandt, vol. 45 of Luther’s Works, ed. Helmut Lehmann (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1962), 17–49, here 32. 44   John 8:1–11. 45  Osuna, Norte, fol. 156v (see note 8). 42 43

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

Amor mío ¿qué es de tu acostumbrada clemencia? ¿dónde está el espejo de mis ojos, quien cortó la tela de mi coraçón, quién te me tiene señor y marido, por qué te fuyste y lleuaste mi alma en tu seno? O que maligna esperança la mía pues a durado tanto sin yrme yo a ti, para qué te escriuo, pues el amor no suffre tardança sin muerte, acabada la carta espero morir y pensando que auré de esperar su respuesta, pero no podré dar lugar a esto sino yrme tras ella. Sin ti mis amores no puedo morir ni biuir, porque avn la muerte se duele de mí, y no me osa tomar en tu ausencia por no me ser más cruel, y esto creo, porque si pudiera morir sino en tus braços, ya fuera muerta según lo que la soledad me a causado, y no me tengo por biua pues me faltas tú que eres vida de mi vida. Ven y descuelga la que más pena por ti que por sí, piensas amores que busco mi bien en querer tu venida, de tu alma me pesa que pena por mí, y sino señal es que padesce mayor agrauio, que amor te detiene nunca pensé que todo el mundo bastara para te apartar de mí, y pues otro poder mayor a venido fuerça padesce el prisionero de mi coraçón. Do está mi señor su juyzio, quién te saca los ojos, no miras a dios, no miras el primer capítulo de nuestra regla matrimonial que tantas vezes solías leer, no te trae siquiera el hijo que me dexaste que tan desseado tenías, no sabes que tu cuerpo no es tuyo sino mío a quien as dado la mejor de mis possessiones, destruydo me as en tanta manera que no me podrás satisfazer con todo el mundo pues que el mundo menor vale más que el mundo mayor. Es tanta mi pérdida que ya no puedo ser por entero satisfecha, avnque boluiesses mañana, pero esto fuesse, y costáseme el coraçón que assí como assí tuyo se es. Ven amores que yo te perdono si me as pecado, y te prometo el perdón de dios, avnque es muy injuriado en los desleales, pero yo diré que tengo la culpa, porque no te seguí. Sea sobre mí esta maldición, y ven luego, que por entero reconoscerás los primeros amores de la que te dio no el demonio sino dios. Puede ser mi señor que te detenga la enfermedad que a desdicha mía puede auer sobrevenido, o otro qualquier impedimento legítimo, y por tanto más culpo a mí en no auer ydo a ti, que a ti en no auer venido a mí. Escreuirte quisiera señor que ésta no es carta sino minuta de lo que queda en el coraçón que más está contigo que comigo. No sé como paresco acá estando mi alma tan del todo allá contigo, avnque todos me veen yo mesma no me hallo, y desque con gran reflexión y cuydado bueluo sobre mí paresce que te tengo presente, y más hallo a ti que no a mí de donde concluyo que estamos trocados y con mucha razón, avnque esto no me consuela antes me da mayor tormento desseándote, porque mi ánima es como cántaro que vazío nada sobre el agua sin beuer gota della. En ti señor y marido anda siempre nauegando mi coraçón, y paresce que te hallo presente más desque estiendo las manos no te hallan los braços en que dormir solías, y assí velando tengo dos mill sueños que contino me afligen. Partir de ti me hazes cada hora y dos mil juyzios passan sobre ésta más sola que la tortolilla biuda juzgo de mi señor a las vezes lo que nunca vi en él, mas la ráuia del amor nunca descansa. Si diesse lugar a lo que me administra el pensamiento de las cosas que passan por mi bien creo que podría hazer libro en que leyesses tu muerte y la mía, empero avn con pena cesso de más escreuir avnque no de notar cada día dos mill cartas que te lleua el solo sospirar por ti, dexándolas impressas en las telas de mi coraçón. Hecha

269

270

dana bultman en Oluera a. xij. de Octubre de mil y d. y xxviij. años. La más desconsolada de las mugeres, indigna muger tuya cuya letra bien conosce mi señor. 46 [My love, what has happened to your customary clemency? Where is the mirror of my eyes who cut the fabric of my heart? Who keeps you from me lord and husband? Why did you leave and take away my soul in your breast? Oh, how evil this hope of mine is, since it has endured so long without me going to you. Why do I write to you, if love does not suffer delay without death? I expect to die after finishing this, thinking I will have to await your response, but I will not be able to let that happen without following my letter. Without you my love I cannot die nor live, because even death pities me, and does not dare take me in your absence, so as not to be more cruel to me, and this I believe because if I could only die in your arms, I would already be dead from the loneliness caused me, and I do not consider myself alive since you, life of my life, are absent. Come and release her who grieves more for you than for herself. You think, my love, that I look out for my well-being in wanting your return; your soul’s grief weighs upon me, and rather this is a sign that it suffers a greater offense. If it is love that detains you, I never thought the whole world would be enough to separate you from me, but since another greater power has come, the prisoner of my heart suffers the blow. Where is your good sense my lord? Who has removed your eyes? Do you not look at God; do you not look at the first chapter of our marriage rule that you used to read so much; does the son you left with me and who you desired so much not bring you; do you not know that your body is not yours but belongs to me, to whom you have given the best of my possessions? You have destroyed me in such a manner that you will not be able to satisfy me with the whole world, since the lesser world is worth more than the larger world. My loss is so great that I cannot be entirely satisfied, even if you were to return tomorrow, but if this were to come true, and it cost me my heart, just like that it is yours. Come love, for I forgive you if you have sinned against me, and I promise you the forgiveness of God, although he is greatly wronged by those who are disloyal, for I will say that I am at fault, because I did not follow you. Let this curse be upon me, and come then, for you will recognize completely the first love of she who brought you not the devil, but God. It could be, my lord, that illness detains you, which to my misfortune may have overcome you, or some other legitimate impediment, and for this reason I blame myself more for not having gone to you, than you for not having come to me. I wish to write to you, sir, that this is not a letter, but rather a copy of what is in my heart, which is more with you than with me. I am not sure how I appear here, since my soul is so completely there with you. Although everyone sees me, I cannot find myself, and when with great reflection and care I turn inwards, it seems I have you present, and I find you more than myself, from which I conclude that we have been interchanged, and rightly so, even though this does not console me but torments me all the more with desire for you because my soul is like an empty pitcher that floats on  Osuna, Norte, fols. 146v–147r (see note 8).

46

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

271

the water without drinking a drop of it. In you lord and husband my heart is always sailing, and it seems that I find you present more when, extending my hands, the arms in which you used to sleep do not find you and so, sleepless, I have two thousand dreams that never stop afflicting me. Each hour you tear me from you and two thousand judgments occur to me, more alone than the widowed turtledove. Sometimes I judge of my lord what I never saw in him, but the fury of love never rests. If I gave room to what my thoughts govern regarding the things that are happening, for my sake I believe I could produce a book in which you would read of your death and mine, yet still with sorrow I will cease writing more, but will not stop feeling every day the two thousand letters that are sent to you only by my sighing for you, leaving behind imprints on the fabric of my heart. Done in Olvera on October 12 of the year 1528. The most disconsolate of women, unworthy wife of yours whose handwriting my lord well knows.]

After reading his wife’s persuasive request to be reunited, Osuna is harshly critical of Villaseñor and calls him unfaithful. Of the two marriage partners in Norte de los estados, the wife holds the leading spiritual and teaching role in their relationship. She is the one who recalls the lessons of the rulebook for married couples, quotes them back to her husband, urges him to remember his vows, and reminds him that according to Church doctrine his body belongs to her. She refers to their son, and not only offers her husband her forgiveness, but also authoritatively promises him the forgiveness of God. The language of Villaseñor’s wife includes metaphors of longing and mutual exchange used by Osuna in his books on meditative recollection. These were familiar in the spiritual marriage tradition of mystical theology: she writes that her husband carries her soul in his breast, he is the mirror of her eyes, the life of her life. Her heart navigates toward him like an empty vessel floating on the water, and she grieves for his presence like the widowed turtledove. In a reversal of standard gender roles, the wife’s language serves to identify her as a teacher of virtue to her husband and aligns her with her husband’s spiritual advisor. As Osuna discusses his wife’s letter with Villaseñor, the friar goes so far as to suggest that men who live apart from their wives for no justifiable reason should be whipped if they write every year asking permission to stay away, because these husbands have most likely abandoned their wives with no intention to return. For his part, Villaseñor expresses regret for his actions upon hearing Osuna’s instruction and plans to reunite with his wife. But before he can do so, she takes action and comes after him rather than waiting longer, just as she implies she will do in her letter. In comparison with his wife’s spiritualized language, Villaseñor uses a very different quality of expression in his lament over her death near the end of the text. When she dies after an illness, Villaseñor says he has been cut and that Osuna has only heard the sound, rather than felt it: “O padre que no soys herido con vn mesmo cuchillo, no os ha tocado sino el sonido de mi cuchillada” [Oh father you have not been wounded by such a knife, you have been touched only by the sound

272

dana bultman

of the slash]. 47 Villaseñor then likens himself to an ox under the yoke of marriage that searches for the pious braying of its lost partner. He recognizes that his wife worked harder at their material existence than he did: “yo era menor en los trabajos avnque ygual en el amor, pero porque de su trabajo diga si quiera vna palabra, ella se acostaua más tarde, despertador era de todos al madrugar, nunca en mi casa se compró vara de lienço, porque todo salía de sus manos, multiplicadoras de todo lo que tocauan” [I was lesser in labors although equal in love, but just to say a word about her work, she used to go to bed later and wake earlier than everyone else. Never in my house was a roll of linen purchased because it was all produced by her hands, which multiplied everything they touched]. 48 According to Villaseñor, with her death he has lost his house, fortune, treasure, family, rest, happiness, honor, and defense. Without her advice and her constant listening ear, all is empty and silent, like a “caxcauel sin pelotilla, o como cuerpo sin alma” [bell without a clapper, or like a body without a soul]. 49 Villaseñor uses metaphors of sound and silence to communicate his lost material and emotional well-being. His long complaint shows that he senses and feels his need for his deceased wife. Yet his lament, together with his description of his wife as the soul of his life, shows Villaseñor to be a more materially oriented character who does not share his wife’s capacity for the heights of spiritualized love. Villaseñor’s grief continues as he remembers the times she treated him with patience, guided him with prudence, made up for his faults, brought him honor through her humility, and took industrious care of their household. His declaration recalls and responds to an earlier section of the book when Osuna instructs Villaseñor on how a married man should confess. According to Osuna a man should begin with his sins against his own soul and then continue with a consideration of his mistreatment of his wife: te as de acusar de todos los agrauios que as hecho a tu muger, que no la tratas como a ygual compañera, sino como a moça de casa, aste de acusar aún de toda palabra menos onesta que le ayas dicho, y de todo mal gesto que le ayas mostrado, y si le as estoruado algún bien que facilmente pudiera hazer, si le as negado el deudo con enojo, que cada vez es pecado mortal, si as apartado cama, o mesa por hazerle desplazer, o si as dexado de castigar a los de tu casa quando no la tienen en la reuerencia que deuen, si le as dado alguna pena maliciosamente, si le as dado ocasión de justa sospecha, si te vas de noche a jugar, y la dexas congoxada en casa esperándote, si a su pesar fuiste largo camino, y no la consolaste con cartas. 50

 Osuna, Norte, fol. 171v (see note 8).  Osuna, Norte, fols. 171v–172r (see note 8). 49  Osuna, Norte, fol. 172r (see note 8). 50  Osuna, Norte, fols. 77v–78r (see note 8). 47

48

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

273

[you should accuse yourself of all the offenses you have committed against your wife, that you do not treat her like an equal companion, but rather like a servant girl, you even have to accuse yourself of all dishonest words that you have said to her, and all the bad faces you have made, and if you have hindered some good she easily could have done, if you have denied her the marriage debt with anger, for each time it is a mortal sin, if you have slept or eaten apart to displease her, or if you have neglected to punish those of your household when they do not show her the reverence she is due, if you have maliciously shamed her, if you have given her occasion for just suspicion, if you go out at night to gamble and you leave her worried at home waiting for you, if against her will you left for a long time and did not console her with letters.]

With these instructions Osuna makes clear Villaseñor’s responsibilities as a husband early in his marriage: he must treat his wife as an equal, not as a servant, and ensure that everyone in the home respects her. However, the reader has seen Villaseñor falter in these obligations to his wife in many instances by the time she dies while she has shown model behavior toward him. Her last will and testament is a final example of this. She advises Villaseñor that if their estate includes any ill-gotten gains, he should give this portion away and not pass on the sin to their children by allowing them to inherit it. 51 Osuna’s abrupt dismissal of Villaseñor at the end of Norte de los estados brings to culmination a tension between the friar and his male spiritual advisee that is represented intermittently over the course of the dialogue. This tension is characterized by Villaseñor’s sense of freedom to reject Osuna’s teachings, as well as his growing sense of superiority over women as he ages. In the final section of the work, Villaseñor tells Osuna that the friar’s advice on widowhood is more pertinent to women than to men, since there are more widows than widowers, and women are generally more devout. He then requests that Osuna write his last rulebook for the widowed for women only, since men who wish to follow it can take from it what they deem useful: “los biudos que la quisieren seguir, bien sabrán tomar della lo que les conuiene” [the widowers who wish to follow it will know well to take from it whatever suits them]. 52 Here Osuna’s representation of Villaseñor is imbued with sarcasm. Underlying his negative representation of Villaseñor are three presuppositions: that achieving control of the appetites and continence should be an important objective for all Christians; that husbands in particular need to be reminded of their responsibilities to their wives and to God; and that the sacrament of marriage is a principle means for healing the divide between flesh and spirit. All three of these inform Osuna’s instructions on how to harmonize disparate internal forces and achieve

51

 Osuna, Norte, fol. 177r–v (see note 8).  Osuna, Norte, fol. 187v (see note 8).

52

274

dana bultman

balance between worldly and spiritual life, yet the work’s end focuses with particular emphasis on husbands’ need for self-correction. Osuna’s description of the role of husbands as heads of households and worldly authorities over their families is reminiscent of the contents of Juan Luis Vives’s works De institutione feminae christianae (1524) and De officio mariti (1529). However, while Osuna covers much of the same ground as Vives on marriage and the roles of husbands and wives, he is exceptional in that he does so in Spanish in his Norte de los estados, not in Latin, and directs his advice to commoners and local nobles rather than aristocrats. And, while Osuna displays some shared views with his humanist contemporary and could have been influenced by Vives’s works (for example, both insist on the ideal of husbands’ presence in the domestic sphere as companions and responsible caretakers of their wives), Osuna treats the concepts of flesh and spirit, as well as their associations with gender, in more flexible ways. The friar, unlike Vives, insistently affirms women’s equal capacity to exercise spiritual virtue as well as men’s equal obligation to practice sexual continence. Osuna’s Norte de los estados interestingly prefigures, along with other texts of his time, the rise of women’s writing that began in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Villaseñor, for example, complains that Osuna favors women. The layman also imagines how much women would write if they engaged in their own defense: “Mucho a fauorescido vuestra caridad las mugeres, buelto a por ellas, porque ellas no escriuen para boluer por sí, que si escriuiessen todo el mundo estaría lleno de libros que ellas harían en su fauor” [Your charity has favored the side of women much, because they do not write in their own defense, for if they did write the whole world would be full of books they would produce in their favor]. 53 This passage parallels a similar passage from Henricus Cornelius Agrippa’s defense of women published in 1529: “If it had been permitted to women to make laws and write historical accounts, imagine the number of tragedies they would have been able to write about the enormous wickedness of men.” 54 Luther also comments at the time on the possibility of women responding in writing to male authors’ depiction of them as evil: “I imagine that if women were to write books they would say exactly the same thing about men. What they have failed to set down in writing however, they express with their grumbling and complaining whenever they get together.” 55 Osuna was engaged in this conversation on women’s potential for selfrepresentation and defense. As Mar Martínez-Góngora has shown in her reading of sixteenth-century Spanish works that treat concepts of women and marriage, binary divisions based on gender were being reformulated in the theological, intellectual, and courtly

 Osuna, Norte, fols. 154v–155r (see note 8).   Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex, ed. and trans. Albert Rabil, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 75–76. 55   Luther, “The Estate of Marriage (1522),” 36 (see note 43). 53

54

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

275

struggles for power in this era. In this process, some writers, including humanists, were reaffirming women’s subordination across social strata as they shaped a concept of masculinity for an emergent class of educated, urban men and strengthened their own political voices. 56 For this class of learned men, the definition of marriage ultimately adopted by representatives of their ranks continued to subject wives and their productive labor to a husband’s control. It included a version of Augustine’s spousal companionship that encouraged wives to work diligently at domestic labors and to channel the fruits of their allegedly inferior capacities into their husbands’ careers and well-being. 57 For a few decades Osuna’s Norte de los estados offered an alternative representation of wives as more spiritually virtuous and of husbands as being in greater need of self-discipline. In 1566 the Roman Catechism’s definitive statements on how clergy should instruct the laity in the sacrament of marriage were published and disseminated. After this it would have been undeniable to Catholic readers that Osuna’s unembarrassed, sometimes humorous and angry discussions of conjugal sensuality, wives’ rights, and husbands’ failings from 1531 were now clearly outside of permissible bounds. With the conclusion of the Council of Trent, the Roman Catechism became the official guide for clergy on how to carry out their pastoral duties. Under its section on matrimony, it placed authoritative limits on how preachers and confessors were allowed to discuss marital sex with the laity: Finally, the use of marriage is a subject which pastors should so treat as to avoid any expression that may be unfit to meet the ears of the faithful, that may be calculated to offend the piety of some, or excite the laughter of others. The words of the Lord are chaste words (Ps. 11:7); and the teacher of a Christian people should use the same kind of language, one that is characterized by singular gravity and purity of soul. 58

Osuna’s familiar style and openness in Norte de los estados were now prohibited to the Catholic clergy. While the Catechism shared many of the orthodox views recommended by Osuna, such as the permanence of the marriage bond until death and the importance of continence, it negated his primary liberatory innovations. Osuna emphasized mutual loyalty between spouses and raised the value of the marriage bond relative to its traditional purpose to produce offspring. The Catechism, in contrast, opened its section on the sacrament of marriage by re-emphasizing that the primary duty of wives was procreation: “The word matrimony is derived from   Mar Martínez-Góngora, Discursos sobre la mujer en el Humanismo renacentista español. Los casos de Antonio de Guevara, Alfonso y Juan de Valdés y Luis de León (York, SC: Spanish Literature Publications Company, 1999), 207–15. 57  Martínez-Góngora, Discursos sobre la mujer, 213 (see note 57). 58   Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests, trans. and ed. John A. McHugh and Charles J. Callan (New York: Joseph F. Wagner, 1947), 354. 56

276

dana bultman

the fact that the principal object which a female should propose to herself in marriage is to become a mother.” 59 As for Osuna’s attempt to balance roles and esteem between the marriage partners, the Catechism defined wives’ duties as love and obedience: “Let wives never forget that next to God they are to love their husbands, to esteem them above all others.” 60 In contrast, it defined husbands’ duties as treating their wives generously and honorably, with no requirement that they love or esteem them next to God​ — ​ or even at all. And, while Osuna encouraged wives to correct their husbands, the Catechism’s definition of spousal duties left the correction of one’s spouse to the husband alone. It was the husband’s responsibility “to keep all his family in order, to correct their morals, and see that they faithfully discharge their duties.” 61 Clergy were now supposed to speak vaguely and solemnly about conjugal sexuality and to promote asymmetry in the power and responsibilities of husbands and wives. This imposed paradigm regarding marital roles in the Catholic world was not a question of coping with phenomena from an objective perspective. It was a response by members of an institution that wished to continue exercising control. Its acceptance was enhanced by the fact that the interests of learned urban men, who formed a new political and economic class, were also served by reinforcing unequal gender expectations based on women’s supposedly weaker rational capacity. As Bouwsma states of the latter sixteenth century: basic to the Renaissance culture of liberation was a conception of the self quite different from the traditional model of a hierarchy of discrete faculties governed by reason. But increasingly the growing pressure for order aimed to reestablish the old hierarchy. It had, of course, never entirely disappeared; and now it was recovering much of earlier authority. 62

As noted by Albrecht Classen in the introduction to this volume, Thomas Kuhn explains that once a paradigm has been established, issues that might disturb that paradigm by undermining its premises are either not perceived or deliberately ignored. 63 Before the early modern Catholic paradigm of marriage emerged, in the context of intense reformist questioning Osuna made an effort to redefine marriage. While his ideas did not become dominant in Catholic moral theology, and were subsequently ignored, they were echoed in later literary texts.

  Catechism of the Council of Trent, 339 (see note 59).   Catechism of the Council of Trent, 352 (see note 59). 61  Osuna, Norte, fols. 92v–93r (see note 8); Catechism of the Council of Trent, 351–52 (see note 59). 62  Bouwsma, The Waning of the Renaissance, 165 (see note 11). 63   Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 4th ed. (1962; Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 24, 27. 59

60

“Your Clogs will be My Stairway to Heaven”

277

In the last decades of the sixteenth century, when the hierarchy of genders was reaffirmed within Counter-Reformation theology, concerns over the rights of wives could no longer be addressed effectively in religious treatises. Influential moral treatises in Spain such as La perfecta casada ([The Perfect Wife] 1583) by the humanist theologian Fray Luis de León began to transmit, albeit sarcastically, a stark depiction of the ideal wife’s silence, subjection, and enclosure. Meanwhile, like other repressed voices, those of women were finding their way into the freer spaces of literary fiction. Their literary works questioned men’s supposed greater capacity for reason as a justification for their superiority, and comically mocked men’s lust and greed. In the tradition of Boccaccio, Osuna’s French contemporary Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549) in her L’Heptaméron (1558/1559) portrayed women as narrators and wrote from their perspectives. As a Protestant and reformist author, she also portrayed Franciscan characters negatively as liars, murderers, and rapists. 64 While these literary representations in her narratives leave an overall impression of Franciscans as villains, she interestingly does offer sympathetic portraits of two Spanish Franciscans. In her nouvelle XXXV a husband in Pamplona disguises himself as a friar and beats his wife in order to cure her of carnal love for a Franciscan who is innocent and ignorant of the whole affair. Her nouvelle LXIV recounts the true love of a broken-hearted man in Valencia who takes the habit with sincerity after cruel treatment by his young mistress. These literary representations suggest that, in Europe, Franciscans were imaginatively associated with conjugal sensuality and the body across a range of potentially negative, as well as positive, constructions of them as characters. Osuna’s own emphases of the value of conjugal sensuality and of wives’ spiritual goodness appear in later Spanish literary works, without specific links to Franciscan characters or to Church doctrine. We know, for example, that Miguel de Cervantes was aware of Norte de los estados, since one of Sancho’s judgments as the governor of Barataria comes from Osuna’s book on marriage. 65 Cervantes’s representations of marriage, spousal equality, and female characters’ autonomy and use of reason likewise encouraged authors in his wake. Women writers such as María de Zayas were among them. 66 In the sev64   Marguerite de Navarre, L’Heptaméron, ed. Renja Salminen (Geneva: Droz, 1999). For her portrayal of Franciscans, see Christian Desplat, “Rangos y estados: Las representaciones sociales de la obra de Margarita de Navarra,” Príncipe de Viana 56, no.  204 (1995): 251–68. See also Patricia F. Cholakian and Rouben C. Cholakian, Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). 65   This is the case of alleged rape in the second part of the Quixote, chap. 27. Scholars have long noted that Norte de los estados was Cervantes’s source. See Osuna, Norte, fols. 23v–24r (see note 8). 66   María de Zayas (1590–ca. 1661) was the author of two collections of framed novellas, Novelas Amorosas y ejemplares (1637) and Desengaños Amorosos (1647). See Marina Brownlee, The Cultural Labyrinth of María de Zayas (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000); and

278

dana bultman

enteenth century, Zayas and other female authors successfully devised ways in their literary texts to conceptually and aesthetically recover the ground lost to a misogyny that was resurgent in the religious and educational institutions of the early modern Spanish world. In Zayas’s case she postulated that laywomen could respond by banding together and rejecting the subjugation of married domestic life. To conclude, Osuna’s Norte de los estados was a didactic dialogue for a broad readership seeking knowledge of Church doctrine on how to live daily life as a layperson. When read in close conjunction with subsequent literary production, the innovative conceptual qualities of this work from 1531 become visible. Its positive vision of ordinary married life draws from and combines theology and mysticism with threads of natural philosophy, defenses of women, and a humanist affirmation of education and reading. Osuna’s best-known legacy is his works’ influence on Teresa of Ávila’s mysticism and Carmelite spirituality. Another of his important contributions is his transmission of a model of marriage for the common reader that provided a Catholic reformist alternative to Counter-Reformation orthodoxy. This model defended the social status and material rights of wives while insisting on the spiritual nature of the marital bond.

Margaret Rich Greer, María de Zayas Tells Baroque Tales of Love and the Cruelty of Men (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000). For more on Zayas’s treatment of love as illness and her characters’ rejection of marriage see, Dana Bultman, “Jealousy in María de Zayas’s Intercalated Poetry: Lyric Illness and Narrative Cure,” in Golden Age Poetry in Motion, ed. Jean Andrews and Isabel Torres (Woodbridge, UK: Tamesis, 2014), 145–63.

Confusion and Controversy in Spain During the Paradigm Shift of the Protestant Reformation: The Relationship between Printing, the Council of Trent, and the Inquisitorial Trial of Fray Luis de León (1527–1591) J. Michael Fulton

In his groundbreaking history of scientific revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn uses the notion of a scientific “paradigm” to describe “the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community.” 1 His aim in this work is to analyze how such paradigms evolve over time and what circumstances cause a new paradigm to arise and replace an old one. According to Kuhn, every paradigm change in the past “produced a consequent shift in the problems available for scientific scrutiny and in the standards by which the profession determined what should count as an admissible problem or as a legitimate problemsolution.” 2 However, since commitment to a paradigm “and the apparent consensus it produces are prerequisites for normal science,” 3 paradigm shifts are often not accepted initially, and “a generation is sometimes required to effect the change.” 4 Hans Küng argues that, while Kuhn focused on scientific revolutions, the principles described in his text can be applied to many other scholarly fields, including theology. In the first place, this is because a shift in theological beliefs and practices   Thomas S. Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962; Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 175. 2  Kuhn, Structure, 6 (see note 1). 3  Kuhn, Structure, 11 (see note 1). 4  Kuhn, Structure, 152 (see note 1). 1

Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Albrecht Classen, ASMAR 44 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 279–308.

FHG DOI 10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.5.117203

280

j. michael fulton

has so much in common with variations in approaches to science: “fixed and familiar concepts are changed; laws and criteria controlling the admissibility of certain problems and solutions are shifted; theories and methods are upset.” 5 Also, in both contexts we can observe “resistance to everything that might result in a changing or replacement of the established paradigms.” 6 Küng also highlights Kuhn’s contention that “the replacement of an explanatory model is generally preceded by a transitional period of uncertainty,” during which old and new paradigms compete for supremacy. 7 One of the most significant paradigm shifts of the early modern period was the Protestant Reformation. In considering its ramifications, it is important to keep in mind Kuhn’s warning against the tendency “to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education.” 8 Kuhn is referring primarily to scientific attempts to catalog and analyze observable phenomena, but the admonition is equally relevant to historians. Indeed, Brad S. Gregory has argued that the Reformation has had significant impacts even down to the twenty-first century, which complicates our efforts to trace related theological paradigms to a specific event or date. 9 However, Kuhn also points out that such efforts are indispensable to critical inquiry. In historical analysis, no less than in the hard sciences, scholars acknowledge Kuhn’s conclusion that, though boundaries between scientific fields are to some degree artificial, as are such categories as “Renaissance” and “Reformation,” “we shall wonder whether research could proceed without such boxes, whatever the element of arbitrariness in their historic origins, and occasionally, in their subsequent development.” 10 In the introduction to this volume, Albrecht Classen explores this topic in more depth. As he points out, despite the difficulties inherent in distinguishing different historical periods, there is a broad consensus among scholars that it is indeed valid to point to events such as the Protestant Reformation as milestones in what Classen calls “the sliding transition from one age to another.” 11 G. R. Evans delineates the importance of the Reformation in the same vein; although it was indeed “an episode 5   Hans Küng, “Paradigm Change in Theology: A Proposal for Discussion,” in Paradigm Change in Theology, ed. Hans Küng and David Tracy, trans. Margaret Köhl (1989; New York: Crossroad, 1991), 3–33, here 21. 6   Küng, “Paradigm Change,” 14 (see note 5). 7   Küng, “Paradigm Change,” 19 (see note 5). 8  Kuhn, Structure, 5 (see note 1). 9  Brad S. Gregory, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), particularly 1–3, 129–79. 10  Kuhn, Structure, 5 (see note 1). 11   Albrecht Classen, “Epochs, Paradigm Shifts, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern Age: Where are we Situated Today?” (in this volume).

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

281

in a much longer story,” and connected to centuries of doctrinal disputations and inquiries, she argues that it was nonetheless “an unprecedented event,” 12 a watershed in the development of the Christian Church. After all, the 1520s represented the first time since the patristic period that there was no unified governing body for the Christian Church in Western Europe. Luther’s rejection of Rome’s claim to ecclesiastical authority led to a proliferation of competing denominations. In conceptualizing the Protestant Reformation, it is natural to think first of what Küng calls macro-paradigms, that is, “major paradigms or fundamental models characteristic of whole epochs.” 13 Thus it is common to associate this period with the central theological issues that Martin Luther debated with Rome, such as papal authority, the relationship between Scripture and tradition, and the value of the sacraments. 14 However, it is important to point out that these overarching theological disputes were also intimately connected to changes in micro-paradigms, the “many individual questions with which the various theologies have to do.” 15 One notable example was the connection between the printing press and Luther’s split with Rome. The invention of moveable type was closely related to the spread of Reformation ideas and also produced a micro-paradigm shift in theology that had important implications for the whole early modern period. The printing press produced changes in intellectual practice that revealed shortcomings in the previous theological model. In fact, the historical changes Kuhn documents in scientific practice also characterize the impact of this technological innovation in the theological realm, as typography forced sixteenth-century intellectuals to re-evaluate their own investigative methods and confront questions that had never been considered previously. In light of the above, this essay will explore how the invention of moveable type caused a paradigm shift in the European theological community in the sixteenth century, specifically in Spain. First we will briefly note the impact of printing on the theological realm. This introductory section will document that in the first half of the sixteenth century, as the Catholic Church strove to address the proliferation of Protestant ideas, the burgeoning print industry presented dilemmas Rome had never pondered before. Two such challenges will receive special attention here: the explosion of vernacular biblical literature; and variant editions of the Latin Vulgate Bible. In the second section we will consider how, at the Council of Trent   G. R. Evans, The Roots of the Reformation: Tradition, Emergence, and Rupture (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012), 9. 13   Hans Küng, “What does a Change of Paradigm Mean?” in Paradigm Change in Theology, ed. Hans Küng and David Tracy, trans. Margaret Köhl (1989; New York: Crossroad, 1991), 212–19, here 214. 14   Hans J. Hillerbrand, The Division of Christendom: Christianity in the Sixteenth Century (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 13–14, 37–39, 47–54; Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York: Viking, 2003), 123–28. 15   Küng, “What does a Change of Paradigm Mean?” 214 (see note 13). 12

282

j. michael fulton

(1545–1563), the Church formulated its responses to these two issues. In Iberia, the Spanish Inquisition sought to address both matters via censorship of printing and several Indices of Prohibited Books. These details will be presented in the third and fourth sections as a background to the primary focus of this essay, which is the inquisitorial trial of Fray Luis de León (1572–1576) that comprises the fifth section. Indeed, León’s arrest and prosecution cannot be fully understood if we ignore the issues of vernacular devotional literature and the accuracy of the Vulgate. As an author and professor of theology at Spain’s flagship college, the University of Salamanca, Fray Luis had written a controversial devotional treatise in Spanish, and his opinions on printing errors in the Vulgate were hotly debated as well. Although these two concerns were not the only reasons for his arrest, an analysis of how they were addressed during his trial demonstrates that the “transitional period of uncertainty” 16 associated with the paradigm shift of printing continued into the late sixteenth century. The trial also confirms Kuhn’s contention that such developments are generally accompanied by confusion and debate. 17 In fact, the confusion extended even to the Inquisition’s own theologians who spent years wrangling with Fray Luis, and even among themselves, in an effort to identify and articulate his alleged offenses. When he was released in December of 1576, after nearly five years in the Holy Office’s cells in Valladolid, prison officials seem to have been no closer to rendering a verdict than when they had started, and the accused was only freed due to an intervention by the Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Madrid. More than a century after the invention of print, Church-appointed theologians in Spain still had not reached an agreement on how to respond to the paradigm shift.

The Paradigm Shift: Moveable Type Johann Gutenberg is credited with inventing movable type, and the first known book to be printed with this method was his Bible, printed ca. 1455. 18 By the end of the century, printing houses could be found in more than 250 cities throughout Europe, and they were producing thousands of books per year. 19 In fact, Steven

  Küng, “Paradigm Change,” 19 (see note 5).  Kuhn, Structure, 6 (see note 1). 18   Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform 1250–1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), 201; Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011), 21–29. There is, of course, a vast corpus of relevant research on this topic in German, English, French, Italian, and other languages. 19   Peter Burke, The European Renaissance (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 60. 16 17

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

283

Ozment estimates that more books were printed in Europe from 1460 to 1500 than were produced by copyists through the entire Middle Ages. 20 The impact of printing on the European intellectual community is nearly impossible to exaggerate. It could reasonably be argued that no innovation of the Renaissance had a more significant and lasting impact on more people. In the realm of theology in particular, the effect of print was monumental. One of the most notable accomplishments in this area was Francisco Ximénez de Cisneros’s oversight of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, printed with the original text and the Latin translation in parallel columns. John Elliot has called this one of the Cardinal’s “two great achievements,” 21 and M. H. Black considers it “the great triumph of pre-Reformation scholarship.” 22 Although other editions of Scripture appeared around the same time, many did not have official sponsorship like that which the Polyglot enjoyed. Thus they came under scrutiny for a variety of reasons. In the first place, many new Latin Bibles emended the Vulgate, the Latin version most commonly used at that time. For instance, Erasmus’s New Testament, with Greek and Latin texts in parallel columns, drew considerable attention, in large measure because of the corrections he introduced. 23 Other editions offered unsanctioned grammar and vocabulary notes or, even more alarming to Rome, heterodox commentary in the margins. 24 In fact, decades later, as the Catholic Church’s reaction to such texts began to take shape, the Spanish Inquisition would initially name several editions of the Bible that could be kept by their owners, provided censors expurgated the questionable marginalia. 25

 Ozment, The Age of Reform, 199 (see note 18).   John Elliot, Imperial Spain: 1469–1716 (1963; London: Penguin, 2002), 105. 22   M. H. Black, “The Printed Bible,” in Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. Peter Ackroyd, C.F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1963; rpt. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, 1976–1978), 3:408–75, here 422. 23   The Latin text his edition provided was not the Vulgate but his own entirely new translation, as noted by Basil Hall, “Biblical Scholarship: Editions and Commentaries,” in Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. Peter Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1963; rpt. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, 1976–1978), 3:38–93, here 59–61. Erasmus’s New Testament had other significant innovations, according to David Parker, “The New Testament,” in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, ed. John Rogerson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 110–33, here 112–15. 24   Hall, “Biblical Scholarship,” 3:64–72, 76–84 (see note 23). 25  The Inquisition’s 1551 Index of Prohibited Books was the source of the first partial prohibition. See E.M. Wilson, “Spanish Editions,” in Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. Peter Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1963–1970; rpt. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, 1976–78), 3:125–29, here 125. See also Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 108–9; and José Ignacio Tellechea Idígoras, “La censura inquisitorial de Biblias de 1554,” Anthologica Annua 10 (1962): 89–142, here 90. 20 21

284

j. michael fulton

Printing was also central to the impact of Bibles and exegetical works produced in commonly spoken languages, which contributed to the spread of innovative theology throughout Europe. To begin with, Martin Luther’s German Bible generated unprecedented interest; his New Testament was reprinted multiple times during his life. 26 Novel translations also appeared in other languages as, throughout Europe, “Protestants eagerly multiplied vernacular Bibles.” 27 The influence of religious tracts may have been even greater than that of vernacular Scriptures. Thousands of copies of Luther’s ninety-five theses, and of his many tracts and pamphlets, were distributed, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. Luther authored eighteen such works in 1518 alone, and his “Sermons on Grace and Indulgences” went through fourteen editions in its first year. 28 The result was a “massive public interest in Luther’s writings,” which German printers were quick to satisfy. 29 Luther himself wrote approximately thirty different tracts from 1517 to 1520, of which some 300,000 copies were printed. 30 Other theologians eagerly joined the discussion, and in total, “The best estimates suggest that between six and seven million evangelical pamphlets were placed on the market during the first decade of the Reformation.” 31

The Council of Trent The above evidence demonstrates that the printing press was indeed producing a paradigm shift in sixteenth-century Europe. The explosion of printed material changed the way theological debates were conducted and shifted the locus of control away from the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Indeed, access to printing presses was one of the main reasons that news of Luther’s disagreement with Rome spread so quickly and gained such a popular following. De Lamar Jensen has argued that, after Luther posted his famous theses,

  Luther’s New Testament first went to press in 1522; the Old Testament was not completed until eleven years later. Evans, The Roots of the Reformation, 298–99 (see note 12); Hillerbrand, The Division of Christendom, 75–77 (see note 14); MacCullough, The Reformation, 128–30 (see note 14); Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance, 98–102 (see note 18); David Wright, “The Reformation to 1700,” in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, ed. John Rogerson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 192–217, here 200–201. 27  Evans, The Roots of the Reformation, 326–30, 379–80, 447–48 (see note 12); Hillerbrand, The Division of Christendom, 216–17, 237–38 (see note 14); MacCullough, The Reformation, 70–71 (see note 14); Ozment, The Age of Reform, 202 (see note 18). 28  Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance, 94–95 (see note 18). 29  Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance, 96 (see note 18). 30  Ozment, The Age of Reform, 199 (see note 18). 31  Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance, 102 (see note 18). 26

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

285

The controversy might have ended there [. . .] had it not been for the transformation that had taken place in mass communications during the preceding fifty years. [. . .] In a very real sense it could be said that the Reformation was a result of the invention of printing. 32

By the middle of the sixteenth century, the dramatic proliferation of Bibles and religious literature documented above convinced the Catholic Church of the need to buttress its role as guardian of orthodoxy. In the opening sessions of the Council of Trent in 1545, then, it is not surprising that the delegates would address issues related to printing. In particular, their debates included two topics that will be key to our discussion: vernacular translations of the Bible; and variant editions of the Latin Vulgate text. Regarding translations of the Bible into spoken languages, the Tridentine delegates had widely divergent views, which led to strident debate. Representatives from Germany, Italy, and Poland were ardent supporters of vernacular translations, while those from England, France, and Spain were equally vehement that such texts should be categorically banned. 33 So acrimonious was the discussion that the Council never reached a consensus, and each respective country’s previous policy remained unchanged. 34 The complicated history of Saint Jerome’s Bible came to play a prominent role in the deliberations at Trent and led to debate not only among the delegates but also for decades afterward. Responding to a commission from Pope Damasus in approximately 383 c.e. to revise the Latin translation of the Gospels, Jerome ended up revising the text of the whole Bible, a project that took him about twenty years. Consulting a variety of original sources and translations, he created completely new versions for some books based on Hebrew or Greek manuscripts, while others he revised lightly or even copied entirely from existing Latin editions. 35 By about the eighth century c.e., the text of the Vulgate, as Jerome’s edition came to be called, was fixed. Concerns about copyists’ errors led to some efforts to produce a corrected edition, but in the thirteenth century, Francis Bacon would write that these efforts had only muddied the waters. 36 From Bacon to the time of Erasmus,   De Lamar Jensen, Reformation Europe (Lexington, MA: Heath, 1981), 48.   Hubert Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, trans. Dom Ernest Graf, 2 vols. (1982; Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1961), 2:67–84. 34  Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, 2:92 (see note 33). 35   H.F.D. Sparks, “Jerome as Biblical Scholar,” in Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. Peter Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1963–1970; repr. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, 1976–1978), 1:510–41, here 513–20. 36   Sparks, “Jerome as Biblical Scholar,” 1:522 (see note 35); Ralph Loewe, “The Medieval History of the Latin Vulgate,” in Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. Peter Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1963; repr. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press, 1976–1978), 2:102–54, here 140–48. 32

33

286

j. michael fulton

doubts persisted about whether the Church possessed the same Latin translation that Jerome had penned. 37 After the invention of typography, the preservation of the biblical text became considerably more complicated, owing to the way books were produced at that time. To begin with, when a print shop set out to publish a certain book, the first copy of a single page was proofread while other copies thereof were being made. Since paper and time were precious commodities, errant pages were only destroyed when very serious errors were detected. Further, different pages were often edited by different individuals, who had varying standards regarding spelling or punctuation. The result was that, in any shop, there might be multiple textual variations in different copies of a single volume produced in one run of a given book. In other words, two consecutive copies of a book printed in the same shop and on the same day might have multiple differences. 38 Even when lists of errata were included, “it was a natural consequence of the process of proofing and correction that some of the errors listed were already corrected in certain copies; that some errors were not noted; and that the list itself contained errors.” 39 Charlton Hinman’s collation of the First Folio of Shakespeare offers a glimpse of how abundant these textual discrepancies were: of seventy-nine extant copies of the Folio, all of which were printed in 1623 in the same print shop, no two were identical on every page. 40 If there were so many variations in a single print run of a single text, it boggles the mind to consider the difficulty of tracking variants in the more than 100 different printed editions of the Latin Vulgate that appeared by 1500. 41 Naturally, “The result was a proliferation of errors and variants, from printing to printing, and a steady debasing of the [biblical] text.” 42 How could the Church address this unexpected conundrum? The sanctity of Holy Scripture had to be preserved, but the paradigm shift triggered by printing could not be ignored. Once again the discussions in Trent of this matter in 1545 were acrimonious and did little to resolve the issue. Many delegates recognized the problems resulting from different printed editions of the Vulgate and advocated an entirely new, authoritative Latin translation based on the most trustworthy original sources. Others, however, were adamantly opposed to any such endeavor, arguing that Jerome’s text was divinely inspired and that correcting the Vulgate by consulting extant Hebrew and Greek manuscripts would introduce errors, since the latter were irredeemably corrupted. 43 With such divisions among the delegates, it is not   Hall, “Biblical Scholarship,” 3:39 (see note 23).   Black, “The Printed Bible,” 3:409–14 (see note 22). 39   Black, “The Printed Bible,” 3:414 (see note 22). 40  Charlton Hinman, “Variant Readings in the First Folio of Shakespeare,” Shakespeare Quarterly 4 (July 1953): 279–88, here 280–83. 41   Black, “The Printed Bible,” 3:417 (see note 22). 42   Black, “The Printed Bible,” 3:414 (see note 22). 43  Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, 2:68–71, 76–77, 84–92 (see note 33). 37

38

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

287

surprising that the resulting “compromise” statement was ambiguous: the Latin Vulgate was endorsed because of long use — not because of accuracy or fidelity to original texts — and was declared “authentic.” 44 That nebulous pronouncement alarmed many in the Vatican. The pope was reported to have commented that “the result of the Session had been extremely meagre,” while others in Rome were rankled that the decree omitted any reference to the need for a new edition of the Vulgate and “seemed in the end to create the impression that it was regarded as free from error.” 45 The confusion over how to interpret Trent’s pronouncement would become a central factor in Fray Luis’s arrest in 1572.

The Spanish Inquisition Responds In Spain, vernacular translations of the Bible and the issue of the Vulgate became hot-button topics, particularly after the Council failed to rule on the one and issued an enigmatic statement on the other. In terms of Bibles in Spanish, Ferdinand and Isabel had prohibited the reading thereof, 46 although several psalters, liturgical works, and copies of individual New Testament books were printed in Spanish or Portuguese in the early 1500s. 47 As of 1502, all books printed in Spain had to have a royal license, 48 yet numerous devotional works and even some New Testaments were printed in Spanish abroad. 49 The Inquisitorial Indices of Prohibited Books, compiled in the years following Trent, reveal stages in the Holy Office’s reaction to printing, but their contents are more nuanced than many historians have been willing to acknowledge. The 1551 Index prohibited the entire Bible in vernacular languages and also prohibited vernacular New Testaments and biblical excerpts that contained heretical prologues or marginalia; however, it was not a blanket ban on any portion of Scripture in vernacular languages. 50 The Index of 1559 has been described by some scholars as prohibiting the publication of any portion of Scripture in commonly spoken languages, but here again we find the Index somewhat imprecise. It certainly forbade  Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, 2:92 (see note 33).  Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, 2:94–95 (see note 33). 46   Ángel Alcalá, Literatura y Ciencia ante la Inquisición Española (Madrid: Laberinto, 2001), 44 45

61.

  Wilson, “Spanish Editions,” 3:126 (see note 25).   J.H. Elliott, Imperial Spain, 225 (see note 21); Antonio Fernández Luzón, “El legado cultural,” in Historia de España siglos XVI y XVII: La España de los Austrias, ed. Ricardo Garciá Cárcel, José Luis Betrán, Manuel Peña et al. (Madrid: Cátedra, 2003), 515–87, here 579. 49   Wilson, “Spanish Editions,” 3:127 (see note 25). 50  Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition, 108 (see note 25); Virgilio Pinto Crespo, “Nuevas perspectivas sobre el contenido de los índices inquisitoriales hispanos del siglo XVI,” Hispania sacra 33, no. 68 (1981): 593–641, here 601; Wilson, “Spanish Editions,” 3:125 (see note 25). 47

48

288

j. michael fulton

vernacular translations of the whole Bible or of either Testament. However, biblical commentaries and books that contained portions of Scripture were not categorically banned. 51 For instance, Books of Hours were banned only if specifically named or if they contained “supersticiones o errores, o occasiones para errar y engañar a los simples” [superstitions or errors or ideas that might deceive the simple]. 52 The 1559 Index also suppressed todos y qualesquier Sermones, Cartas, Tractados, Oraciones, o otra qualquier escriptura escripta d mano, q hable, o tracte de la sagrada escriptura o de los Sacramentos de la sancta madre iglesia, y religion Christiana. [any and all sermons, letters, treatises, prayers, or any other handwritten texts, which speak on or deal with Holy Scripture or the Sacraments of the Holy Mother Church and the Christian religion.] 53

Nonetheless, it is absurd to suppose that this statement was applied as worded — did inquisitors really mean to censure sermon notes, letters from one theologian to another regarding expository topics, and unpublished manuscripts? In addition, it has been well documented that numerous works of piety in the mid-sixteenth century were authorized for publication by the Inquisition, despite containing portions of Scripture in Spanish. For instance, Juan de Valdés’s Diálogo de doctrina cristiana (1529) included a Spanish translation of the Sermon on the Mount, yet was not banned until the 1551 Index. 54 Additionally, numerous Castilian translations/meditations on the Psalms received official approbation, 55 and Fray Luis de Granada’s Libro de la oración (1554) and Guía de pecadores (1556–1557) contained numerous verses of the Bible in Spanish. 56 These works demonstrate that while Spanish Bibles were clearly banned, particularly after the 1551 and 1559 Indices, works containing only portions of scripture were not. The exact line of demarcation was not spelled out, however, and the question of whether the bans

  Pinto Crespo, “Nuevas perspectivas” (see note 50), 609–11; Wilson, “Spanish Editions,” 3:128 (see note 25). 52   Cathalogus libroru, qui prohibetur mandato Illustrisimi & Reverend. D.D. Ferndinandi de Valdes Hispalen. Archiepi, Inquisitoris Generalis Hispaniae (Valladolid: Sebastián Martínez, 1559), 55. Here quoted from the online digitized version, available at https://play.google.com/store/ books/details/Ferdinandus_de_Archiepiscopus_Hispalensis_Valdes_C?id=9w5QAAAAcAAJ (last accessed on Aug. 14, 2017). 53   Cathalogus, 64 (see note 52). 54  Alcalá, Literatura y Ciencia (see note 46), 38–39. 55   Marcel Bataillon, Erasmo y España, 2nd ed., trans. Antonio Alatorre (1937; Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1966), 556–57. 56   Granada’s works were banned by the 1559 Index, but the author published revised editions with the Inquisition’s approval in 1567. Alcalá, Literatura y Ciencia (see note 46), 52–53. 51

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

289

applied to Fray Luis’s 1561 exposition on the Song of Solomon was one of the main issues in his trial, as we will demonstrate shortly. Regarding the Vulgate, in Spain the same sort of debate played out that we have already documented at Trent. For Renaissance humanists, like Fray Luis, while the Vulgate was the best available Latin translation and should be used for all doctrinal discussions, nonetheless, a better text was hypothetically possible, and the Church needed to address errors that had been introduced by printing. Others, however, believed that Jerome’s every word and syllable were guided by divine inspiration; further, this group maintained that surviving Hebrew and Greek biblical manuscripts were untrustworthy, so privileging them over the Vulgate would corrupt Scripture and undermine the authority of the Church. Trent’s endorsement of the Vulgate did nothing to pacify the two camps, because “The decree did not say what ‘authentic’ meant, and was silent about many issues raised during the debates — the existence of copyists’ and printers’ errors, the correction of the Vulgate by reference to the originals, and the value of other Latin translations.” 57 Consequently, as historian Salvador Muñoz Iglesias points out, “La misma vaguedad del concepto ‘auténtica’ dió pie a las diversas interpretaciones” (The very vagueness of the concept ‘authentic’ led to varying interpretations). 58 In the decades after Trent, theological debate in Spain hardened along these lines. One side continued to insist that scrutiny of the Vulgate and comparison to original manuscripts was part and parcel of biblical scholarship, and did not violate Trent’s edict; the other deemed any suggestion of modifying Jerome’s version tantamount to blasphemy. As Muñoz Iglesias states, Los que admitían la posibilidad de corregir la Vulgata por otras ediciones, y especialmente por el recurso a los originales, argüían del hecho de que éstos no son rechazados por el decreto. Los que negaban la posibilidad de tal corrección, se aferraban a la letra del decreto “nemo illa rejicere quovis praetextu audeat vel praesumat,” y afirmaban que dar una versión distinta de la de la Vulgata era rechazar a ésta. [Those who recognized the possibility of correcting the Vulgate by other editions, and especially by recourse to the original [texts], contended that the latter are not rejected by the decree. Those who denied the possibility of such a correction clung to the wording of the decree, “let no one dare or presume to reject it on any pretext,” and insisted that offering a translation different from the Vulgate was the same as rejecting it.] 59

  Colin Thompson, The Strife of Tongues: Fray Luis de León and the Golden Age of Spain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 40. 58   Salvador Muñoz Iglesias, “El decreto tridentino sobre la Vulgata y su interpretación por los teólogos del siglo XVI,” Estudios bíblicos 5 (1946): 137–69, here 163. 59   Muñoz Iglesias, “El decreto tridentino,” 145 (see note 58). 57

290

j. michael fulton

Ultimately, then, Trent’s “respuesta equívoca” 60 [ambiguous answer] intensified the debate in Spain, rather than resolving it.

Vernacular Biblical Literature and Fray Luis’s Trial Fray Luis de León began his teaching career at his alma mater, the University of Salamanca, in 1561, when Trent’s decree was being hotly contested. The Spanish Inquisition’s evolving response to the paradigm shift of printing admitted debate over the fine print regarding vernacular translations and biblical exposition. The Inquisition’s imprecise stance on works of piety that contained verses or biblical passages, and the ongoing wrangling about the Vulgate, were central to Fray Luis’s arrest in 1572 and were analyzed at length throughout his nearly five-year trial. The issue of devotional works in Spanish pertained to Fray Luis’s manuscript on the Song of Solomon. The text was composed in 1561, at the same time Fray Luis assumed his professorship, when a cousin who was a nun in Salamanca asked him for an exegesis of the Song of Solomon. He provided one to her, and after she returned it, the monk who cleaned Fray Luis’s cell surreptitiously made a copy and began circulating it without the author’s knowledge. Copies reached as far as Portugal and Peru before Fray Luis found out. 61 The work is somewhat difficult to classify: for each of the Song’s eight chapters, Fray Luis provided a complete translation, followed by an exhaustive word-byword commentary. Should the text, then, be considered a translation or an exposition? This question was no trivial matter of semantics, and it has engaged historians today as much as it exercised Fray Luis’s colleagues and detractors. During the trial, it is clear that both his accusers and the inquisitorial prosecutor considered the work a translation. In the accusations against Fray Luis, four witnesses focused on the act of rendering the Song in Spanish. The first to denounce Fray Luis was a fellow professor at the University of Salamanca, Bartolomé de Medina, who in his opening statement to the Holy Office reported that “anda en lengua vulgar el libro de los Canticos de Salomon compuestos por [. . .] frai Luys de Leon” [the book on the Song of Solomon composed by Fray Luis de León is circulating in Spanish]. 62 Two other witnesses repeated this charge, 63 while Vicente   Ángel Alcalá, “Peculiaridad de las acusaciones a fray Luis en el marco del proceso a sus colegas salmantinos,” in Fray Luis de León: Historia, humanismo y letras, ed. Víctor García de la Concha and Javier San José Lera (Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1996): 65–80, here 66. 61   Ángel Alcalá, Proceso inquisitorial de Fray Luis de León: Edición paleográfica, anotada y crítica (Salamanca: Junta de Castilla y de León, 1991), 26–27, 78, 331, 596. These details are also documented by Aubrey F.G. Bell, Luis de León: A Study of the Spanish Renaissance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1925), 146; and Thompson, The Strife of Tongues 26 (see note 57). 62  Alcalá, Proceso, 6 (see note 61). 63  Alcalá, Proceso, 9, 11 (see note 61). 60

Confusion and Controversy in Spain

291

Hernández pointedly commented that “no se devía de permitir que este [texto] anduviese en romance” [the text should not be allowed to circulate in Spanish]. 64 These accusations clearly struck a chord with Diego de Haedo, the inquisitorial prosecutor; the official charges lodged against León included the accusation that el dicho fray Luys de Leon [. . .] profanando los dichos Cantares los traduxo en lengua vulgar y estan y andan en poder de muchas personas, de quien el los dio y de otras, en la dicha lengua de romançe. [the aforementioned Fray Luis de León, profaning the said Song, translated it into the vernacular, and it is in the possession of many people to whom he gave it, and others as well, in the aforementioned Spanish language.] 65

This perspective has been echoed by some modern scholars, who conclude that Fray Luis purposefully flouted the Indices. For instance, Luis Girón Negrón calls the work “a deliberate transgression against the blanket prohibition of such romanceamientos in the Spanish inquisitorial indexes since 1551.” 66 Likewise, Antonio Márquez asserts that “Fray Luis sabía perfectamente que era un serio delito [. . .], como claras eran las prohibiciones de los Índices de 1551 y 1559” [Fray Luis knew perfectly well that it was a serious offense, [. . .] since the prohibitions in the Indices of 1551 and 1559 were clear]. 67 Jorge Aladro Font states flatly, “el reciente Índice de 1559 no dejaba lugar a dudas” [the recent Index of 1559 left no room for doubt], 68 and Manuel Fernández Álvarez refers to León’s “atrevimiento” [daring] in producing t