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Medieval Studies.

Perspectives on the Feast of St. Martin from the "Zimmern Chronicle." Martin W. Walsh, University of Michigan

The most important family chronicle from Early Modern Germany is that compiled hy Counts Wilhelm Werner and his nephew Frohen Christoph von Zimmern, the "Zimmerische Chronik" (ca.1559-1566). As well as providing a detailed history of the Swahian lineage based in Messkirch, the chronicle has also been prized as a great repository of quirky anecdotes, comic tales, and folkways. It contains four significiant passages on "das Martinsfest," the important Feast of St. Martin of Tours (Martinmas) celebrated on 11 November. Original translations of all four passages will be analyzed in detail and set in the context of other festivals celebrated by the Zimmern family, notably "Fastnacht" (Carnival). The excerpts reflect the importance of this saint's day to the culture, both in its sacred and secular contexts, as well as affording a window on its actual celebration by the Swabian lower aristocracy. The excerpts range from jocular language in a Martinmas sermon based on Sulpicius Severus's "Vita Martini," to bawdy songs over the Martinmas new-wine, to a paranormal experience of, perhaps, the Saint himself.

Medieval Women in the Literary Imagination: Old Texts and New Interpretations. Tamar Boyadjian, Ethan Segal, and Margot B. Valles, Michigan State University

Women as literary figures--from sacred queens to evil witches, and dancing girls to matronly moneylenders--are fraught with symbolic meaning. This panel exposes some of those meanings at the intersection of gender and religion in three very different medieval contexts. Tamar Boyadjian starts with fanciful accounts of Armenian "eastern" princesses, analyzing their depictions across a range of familiar and less familiar medieval English texts to expose surprisingly high levels of intercultural exchange around the Mediterranean. Margot Valles turns to medieval Jewish Eastern Europe to explore the impact of modern Western gender norms on interpretations of Vidvilt, a Yiddish Arthurian epic that seems to emasculate its hero. Ethan Segal challenges expectations for medieval Japan hy highlighting the prominent roles given to female performers in the great war tale Heike monogatari, revealing that connections between women and Buddhism were, at times, deemed more important than samurai and battles. Together, the three papers offer unique views of material that is less commonly studied in traditional Medievalism and raise questions about how we interpret (or misinterpret) medieval texts, how we project contemporary cultural expectations onto the past, and what we can learn about medieval religious beliefs by examining literary representations of women.

Halleluiah: Using Modern Music to Teach the Causes of the First Crusade. Jonathan Klauke, Waldorf University

It can be difficult to discuss modern politics without someone invoking the Crusades dismissively as simply a religious war wherein one religion attempted to kill the other. Most historians of the Medieval Period know the Crusades to be far more complex than simply a "holy war." This paper provides an example of teaching historical causation models on their own and then applying them to events in history. In this case, two models will be presented, one based on mathematics and the other drawing from modern music, which can then be applied to analyzing the causes of Pope Urban II's call for the First Crusade. Finally several other causation models will be introduced to discuss the effectiveness of introducing students to various models of historical causation.
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Title Annotation:"Zimmern Chronicle" highlights the importance of festivals to the Swahian culture, portrayals of medieval women, teaching the causes of the First Crusade through modern music
Publication:Michigan Academician
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Sep 22, 2018
Words:550
Previous Article:Mathematics.
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