Session638
TitleThe Rhetoric of Emotions and the Politics of Debate in the Carolingian World, II: Once More, with Feeling
Date/TimeTuesday 4 July 2017: 11.15-12.45
 
OrganiserRutger Kramer, Departement Geschiedenis, Kunstgeschiedenis en Oudheid, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen / Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht
Irene van Renswoude, Boekwetenschap, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen / Huygens Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam
 
Moderator/ChairLeidulf Melve, Institutt for arkeologi historie kultur- og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Bergen
 
RespondentStuart Airlie, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
 
Paper 638-a And You Shall Never Be Rebuilt: Laus and Vituperatio in the Italian Laudes Civitatum, 8th-9th Centuries
(Language: English)
Giorgia Vocino, UFR Lettres, Langues et Sciences Humaines, Université d'Orléans
Index Terms: Education; Learning (The Classical Inheritance); Manuscripts and Palaeography; Rhetoric
Paper 638-b Crass Insults: Ad hominem Attacks between Marginal Trolling and Rhetorical Conventions
(Language: English)
Irene van Renswoude, Boekwetenschap, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen / Huygens Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Index Terms: Learning (The Classical Inheritance); Manuscripts and Palaeography; Political Thought; Rhetoric
 
AbstractBecoming a player in the political arena of the Carolingian court means being able to navigate not just the tensions and intrigues that haunted the corridors of power, but also to master use of emotions when interacting with fellow courtiers. The skillful manipulation of emotions played a pivotal role in the process of persuasion - dialogues may accomplish what mere unilateral argumentation hardly ever manages to achieve. This session, the second of two panels on the rhetorical use of emotions in political debates in the Carolingian world, will take a new look at the way this use of emotions affected debates taking place at the court. Giorgia Vocino will look at a type of debate that was set in a much wider context, namely that between entire cities. By looking at the way urban communities were represented in the so-called laudes civitatum, she will highlight the communal aspects of emotional repertoires, and show how they could be used to manipulate both the Other and the Self. Finally, Irene van Renswoude asks how rhetorical ethics and Christian morals relate to public character assassinations. Although both Cicero and Boetius dismissed ad hominem attacks as mere fallacies of argument, they were and remain an undeniably effective means to sway the opinion of the audience by blackening the opponent and addressing the audience's emotional judgment. Dealing both with published polemics and 'manuscript trolling' in the margins, Van Renswoude will ask whether - and how - people engaging in the fierce polemics of the 9th century reflected on this apparent contradiction.