Event details

23.11.2017 - 24.11.2017

Preserving – appropriating – destroying. Handling the Old and the Foreign in premodern Europe

24. Annual Conference of the Brackweder Arbeitskreis für Mittelalterforschung

The destruction and plundering of parts of the antique town of Palmyra by troops of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015 has given rise to discussions on the possibilities of reconstruction, as has already been the case after the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyian by Taliban forces in 2001. The hatred for the cultural and religious differences of the one group is faced by the appreciation of the historical and technical legacy of past societies of the other group – and maybe even by their denial to accept the loss of unique historic artefacts.
The handling of the ‘old’ and ‘foreign’ is determined by cultural settings and, at least partially, by pragmatics. Hence, the phenomenon as such is difficult to determine. Furthermore, ‘old’ and ‘foreign’ cannot always be defined easily. The real age of an object may differ from the estimated or perceived one; and even more, the appreciation shown towards the ‘old’ depends on social and temporal parameters and may thus change over time. The same holds true for the ‘foreign’. Both, ‘old’ and ‘foreign’ are forms of description that may best be understood as social constructs, serving to determine objects or ideas in a specific historical situation. As ascriptions, they depend first and foremost on the labelling by individuals that afterwards are either accepted or rejected by others. Thus, the question is what was under which circumstances described as ‘old’ or ‘foreign’ in the first place. To what extent was, for example, the ancient knowledge on cosmology seen as ‘old’? The same could be asked about spoils in medieval buildings. Moreover, was the Cufic inscription on the coronation robe of the German-roman kings perceived as ‘foreign’, and was it identified as an inscription at all?
These questions refer less to specific artefacts, bodies of knowledge or other abstract ideas, but rather to concrete ascriptions and practices associated with it, that vary from reverential museumisation or pragmatic use to purposeful destruction. With the three headwords preserve, appropriate and destroy three practices of dealing with what is perceived as old or foreign can be exemplified. Thus, actions form the centre of our interest, not artefacts, objects or ideas, but rather the way people dealt with them. Did preservation rules exist for specific objects or buildings? How was the handling of ancient pagan knowledge discussed by Christian authors in the early Middle Ages, or the adaption of Arab science in the High Middle Ages? In how far were books systematically destroyed, buildings torn down or used as a quarry? Based on case studies, the conference seeks to reflect on the contemporary ascriptions as well as the different forms of handling with objects, ideas and abstract sources.


Thursday, November, 23, 2017

14:00 h  Tanja Michalsky (Rom): Begrüßung
              Christoph Mauntel (Tübingen): Einführung
Moderation: Christoph Mauntel (Tübingen)
14:30 h  Roland Scheel (Göttingen): Chrysobulls, Relics, Garments: Biographies of Foreign Objects in Medieval Scandinavian Literature
15:30 h  Kaffeepause
16:00 h  Matthias Hardt (Leipzig): Vom Reichtumsanzeiger über die Visualisierung gentiler Überlieferung zum Hacksilber. Über den Umgang mit spätantiken Edelmetallobjekten im frühen Mittelalter
17:00 h  Christiane Elster (Rom): Zum Umgang mit päpstlichen Textilgaben – die Paramente aus Schenkungen Papst Bonifaz‘ VIII. an die Kathedrale von Anagni nach dem Tridentinum

Friday, November, 24, 2017

Moderation: Tanja Michalsky (Rom)
09:00 h  Michael Schonhardt (Freiburg): Von Toledo nach Regensburg – zur Rezeption arabischen Wissens über den Kosmos im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert
10:00 h  Kaffeepause
10:30 h  Simona Slanicka (Bern): Kopernikus’ Revolutionen im Kirchenstaat: Padua und Ferrara als Geburtsorte der heliozentrischen Astrologie
11:30 h  Lukas-Daniel Barwitzki (Zürich): Status bewahren – Ordensregel aneignen – Idee zerstören? Agnes von Ungarn und das Doppelkloster Königsfelden
12:30 h  Mittagspause
Moderation: Philipp Winterhager (Berlin)
13:30 h  Maree Shirota (Heidelberg): Old and Foreign Relations: England’s Neighbours in   Late Medieval Genealogies
14:30 h  Theresa Jäckh (Heidelberg): The old and the new capital: Conquering and incorporating Islamic Palermo
15:30 h  Kaffeepause
16:00 h  Jan Stellmann (Tübingen): Sol kvnst sin verdorben? Das Verhältnis zwischen Albrechts ‚Jüngerem Titurel‘ und Wolfram von Eschenbach
17:00 h  Resümee und Abschlussdiskussion 

Veranstaltungsort /Address/Indirizzo

Villino Stroganoff
Via Gregoriana 22
00187 Rome

Christoph Mauntel (christoph.mauntel(at)uni-tuebingen.de)
Christiane Elster (elster(at)biblhertz.it)

Event details

November, 23 –24, 2017