Session605
TitleLadies and Lords in 10th and 11th-Century Iberia: Rivalries, Factions, and Networks
Date/TimeTuesday 4 July 2017: 11.15-12.45
 
OrganiserJeffrey A. Bowman, Department of History, Kenyon College, Ohio
 
Moderator/ChairGraham Barrett, School of History & Heritage, University of Lincoln
 
Paper 605-a The Queen, the Abbess, and the Saint's Body: Faction and Network in 10th-Century Galicia
(Language: English)
Lucy Pick, Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies, University of Oxford
Index Terms: Hagiography; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 605-b Writing Aristocratic Rivalry in 10th-Century Galicia
(Language: English)
Robert Portass, School of History & Heritage, University of Lincoln
Index Terms: Charters and Diplomatics; Daily Life
Paper 605-c Countesses in Castles: Elite Women and Fortifications in Catalonia
(Language: English)
Jeffrey A. Bowman, Department of History, Kenyon College, Ohio
Index Terms: Charters and Diplomatics; Gender Studies; Politics and Diplomacy
 
AbstractThis session explores contours of lordship in Christian Iberia during the 10th and 11th centuries. Lucy Pick argues that the significance of the relics of Saint Pelayo is best understood through exploration the factional politics of 10th-century Galicia, particularly in rivalries between local noble families and between branches of the Asturo-Leonese royal family. She focuses on Abbess Gontroda Gutiérrez and her relationship with daughters of the royal house. Rob Portass examines aristocratic rivalries in Galicia, asking whether the portrayal of these rivalries in charter evidence reveals something about the strategies that aristocrats used in order to establish primacy over rivals. This paper considers whether the recording of episodes and anecdotes of rivalry, discord, and violence was primarily designed not to memorialise family, humiliate foes, and exalt patrons, but rather to address a more mundane concern: namely, to allow individuals and families to set a public seal on their written claims to title - in spite of the essentially private nature of such disputes - in what was, after all, a densely proprietorial society. Jeff Bowman draws attention to the participation of elite women in the management of castles. In Catalonia and elsewhere, lordship was one of the key features of political order and the control of castles became one of the defining features of lordship. The particular richness of the surviving evidence from Catalonia - from simple records of sale to complex convenientiae - allows us to trace the sinews of power with more precision than we might in other parts of contemporary Europe. This evidence affords vivid glimpses of countesses, viscountess, and women of the castellan class controlling these vital political, economic, and military resources in collaboration and in competition with their husbands, brothers, and sons.