Institute for Medieval Studies
IMC 2022 Session
|Title||Cultural Crossover in Francophone Flanders|
|Date/Time||Wednesday 6 July 2022: 16.30-18.00|
|Organiser||IMC Programming Committee|
|Moderator/Chair||Victoria Turner, Department of French / St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews|
|Paper 1305-a||Baudouin II of Guînes: The Cultural Aspirations of an Illiterate Count in 12th-Century Flanders
Emma-Catherine Wilson, Department of English, University of Ottawa
Index Terms: Lay Piety; Literacy and Orality; Local History; Social History
|Paper 1305-b||Palestinian Kings of Britain: Kingship across Borders in Perceforest
Brooke Heidenreich Findley, Division of Arts & Humanities, Pennsylvania State University
Index Terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Politics and Diplomacy
|Paper 1305-c||The 'Crossing Characters' in Narrative Sources: A Way to Speak about the Muslim World?
Nissaf Sghaïer, Centre de recherches en histoire du droit, des institutions et de la société, Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles
Index Terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies; Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Mentalities
Neighbouring the renowned patron Count Philip of Alsace, the largely forgotten Count Baudouin II of Guînes (1169-1206) cultivated his own cultural centre. As the Historia comitum Ghisnensium records, though Baudouin was illiterate, he housed an atelier of scholars who debated theological questions with him, translated texts such as the Song of Songs, and copied works to stock his library. The count was also especially fond of vernacular romances and merrymaking. As I will explore, Baudouin's range of interests sheds invaluable light on the reading habits and cultural aspirations, both chivalric and intellectual, of the 12th-century Flemish nobility.
The late medieval French prose romance Perceforest imagines a fictional world in which Palestinian kings rule over England and Scotland: Batis and Gadiffer, placed on their thrones by Alexander the Great. This paper will look at the potential ironies of the romance's opening scenes, in which Alexander atones for the accidental killing of a Palestinian leader by bestowing kingdoms on his two sons. It will also examine the possible parallels between Alexander's actions and those of the romance's apparent patron, Count William I of Hainaut, known for his role in helping depose King Edward II of England and placing Edward III on the throne.
The Orient and the Muslim world are addressed in several narrative sources preserved in the libraries of the Burgundian Netherlands. Whether travellers (e.g. Bertrand de la Broquière) or fictional characters in novels (e.g. Saladin or La Fille du Comte de Ponthieu), it is not uncommon to read about the adventures of protagonists who, in one way or another, join a foreign group, crossing the border and experiencing the otherness. The aim of the paper is to present, on the basis of a specific corpus of sources, the various characteristics of these 'crossing characters' and their role in terms of representing the Muslim otherness.