Courtly Life and Chivalry in East and West - Medieval and Modern Constructions

Level: 
Master's
Course Status: 
Elective
Academic year: 
2010/2011
Semester: 
Fall
Start and end dates: 
7 Sep 2010 - 7 Dec 2010
Stream/Track/Specialization/Core Area: 
I—Western, Eastern and Central European History of the Middle Ages
CEU Instructor(s): 
Daniel Ziemann
Full description: 

Courtly Life and Chivalry in East and West - Medieval and Modern Constructions

 

2010-11 Fall Semester, PhD Research Class, Mandatory Elective, 2 credits

 

Instructor: Daniel Ziemann (Room FT 501) Tel: 327-3044

E-mail: ziemannd@ceu.hu

Office Hours: by appointment

 

Description

The topic of courtly life has always been popular. The images of medieval palaces, knights and courtly ladies have always had great influence on modern romantic conceptions of the Middle Ages. They have been adopted in romances, films and computer-games and play the role of the counterpart of the “dark middle ages” that have perhaps had an even stronger impact on modern conceptions.

The course will not follow this complex structure in detail; instead, it aims at analyzing main elements of courtly life, both in the view of the medieval authors and contemporary research. It will follow contemporary debates and focus on the construction and discursive character of the concept of courtly life.

Courtly life was addressed as an entity even by medieval authors and it is still used as a kind of fixed and materialized type of culture, but most aspects of the concept were derived just from literature constructing an ideal world that, of course, had an impact on the real world and vice versa. This world lived as a construction, as a utopia that was copied or followed but never left the sphere of an imaginary world. Nevertheless, it was powerful and compelled empresses and emperors, queens and kings, courtly ladies and noble knights to a certain way of living and behavior that left traces even on the world of today. How far the courtly life really marked an important step in civilization processes is dubious, but the main elements can be found in almost everything that we understand by the complex and indefinable notion of culture.      

 

The course is divided into three sections. In the beginning we will have a general introduction to the concept of court culture by discussing civilization theories and general issues. Second, we will look at the environment and analyze the material culture and the relationship between town and court. The next part of the course will be dedicated to famous figures such as the courtly lady, the knight and the courtier, followed by general concepts like courtly love and violence. Then we will discuss three examples carefully chosen from different parts of Europe – Dijon (Burgundy), Buda (Hungary), Veliko Turnovo (Bulgaria).

 

The goals of the course

The goal of the course is to give an overview of the main patterns of courtly life in the Middle Ages and discuss examples from the Western, Central, and Eastern areas of medieval Latin Christianity. It will start with discussions of more conceptual issues and general theories, role models, and ideas before entering into concrete examples. The topics reflect more the recent discussions and trends than older ones in order to familiarize students with contemporary methods and approaches like gender, cultural history, etc.

At the end the examples will be embedded into the general considerations about medieval and modern concepts and focus on the discursive character of these concepts. One of our questions will be dedicated to regional differences.

 

Learning outcomes

Students should learn to follow the ongoing discussions in the research field of this topic. At the end of the course they should be familiar with the methodological approaches and the different types of source material. They should be able to work in this special interest field at a high scientific level using the necessary methodological and theoretical tools. The outcomes will be assessed through class participation, class presentations, and the short essay. 

 

Assessment:

10% Class participation

40% Presentation of articles or papers

50% A short essay, if possible with a connection to the student’s own MA or – if PhD students participate - PhD projects.

 

General readings

Elias, Norbert, The Court Society. Translation from German (Die höfische Gesellschaft.      Untersuchungen zur Soziologie des Königstums und der höfischen Aristokratie, mit       einer Einleitung: Soziologie und Geschichtswissenschaft. Neuwied: Luchterhand           1969) by Edmund Jephcott (Oxford: Basil Blackwell and New York: Pantheon Books,         1983), 3-85. 

Scaglione, Aldo, Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from Ottonian     Germany to the Italian Renaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991),             7-67.

 

 

Weekly outline

 

I. Definition

 

Week 01. General Introduction

Discussion of the concept and the beginnings of “courtly life” in the middle Ages

 

Mandatory readings:

Jaeger, Stephen, The origins of courtliness. Civilizing trends and the formation of Courtly Ideals 939-1210 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 1985), 127-194.

 

Optional readings:

Karl-Heinz Spieß, Fürsten und Höfe im Mittelalter (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,  2008), 59-118.

 

II. Environment

 

Week 02. The material culture of courtly life

The material background, the economic circumstances, dresses, furniture etc.

 

Mandatory readings:

Bumke, Joachim, Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages, tr. Thomas Dunlap (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), tranlation from Joachim Bumke, Höfische Kultur. Literatur und Gesellschaft im hohen Mittelalter (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986), 103-149.

 

 

III. Figures

 

Week 03. The courtly lady

The construction of the courtly lady as one of the key figures of courtly life, her roles, her behaviour

 

Mandatory reading:

Burns, E. Jane, “Speculum of the Courtly Lady: Women, Love and Clothes,” The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 29 (1999): 253-292.

 

Optional readings.

Philippe Contamine, Espaces féminins, espaces masculins dans quelques demeures aristocratiques françaises, XIVe-XVIe siècle, in: Jan HIRSCHBIEGEL; Werner PARAVICINI (Hgg.), Das Frauenzimmer. Die Frau bei Hofe in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit (Residenzenforschung 11), Stuttgart 2000, 79-90.

Kintzinger, Martin, “Die zwei Frauen des Königs. Zum politischen Handlungsspielraum von Fürstinnen im europäischen Spätmittelalter,” in: Das Frauenzimmer. Die Frau bei Hofe in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit, 6. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen (Residenzenforschung 11), ed. Jan Hirschbiegel and Werner Paravicini (Stuttgart: Jan Thorbecke 2000), 377-398.

Münster, Anna-Manis, “Funktionen der dames et damoiselles d’honneur im Gefolge französischer Königinnen und Herzoginnen (14.-15. Jahrhundert)” In: Das Frauenzimmer. Die Frau bei Hofe in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit, 6. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen (Residenzenforschung 11), ed. Jan Hirschbiegel and Werner Paravicini (Stuttgart: Jan Thorbecke 2000), 339-354.

Somme, Monique, and Bousmar, Eric, “Femmes et espaces feminins à la cour de Bourgogne au temps d’Isabelle de Portugal (1430-1471),” in: Das Frauenzimmer. Die Frau bei Hofe in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit. 6. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen (Residenzenforschung 11), ed. Jan Hirschbiegel and Werner Paravicini (Stuttgart: Jan Thorbecke, 2000), 47-78.

Werner Rösener, “Die höfische Frau im Hochmittelalter” In: Curialitas. Studien zu Grundfragen der höfisch-ritterlichen Kultur, ed. Josef Fleckenstein (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1990), 171-230.

 

 

Week 04. The courtly knight

The construction of a popular figure in art and literature compared with the social phenomenon. We will discuss the differnet notions of “knights” in the Middle Ages.

 

Mandatory readings

Maurice Keen, Chivalry, New Haven and London: Yale University Press 1984, 1-43.

 

Optinal readings:

Fleckenstein, Josef, “Miles und clericus am Königs- und Fürstenhof. Bemerkungen zu den Voraussetzungen, zur Entstehung und zur Trägerschaft der höfisch-ritterlichen Kultur,” in: Curialitas. Studien zu Grundfragen der höfisch-ritterlichen Kultur, ed. Josef Fleckenstein (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1991), 302-325.

Keen, Maurice Hugh, Chivalry and courtly love, Nobles, Knights, and Men-at-arms in the Middle Ages (London: Hambledon Press 1996), 21-42.

Kaeuper, Richard William, Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Pr. 2001), 189-232.

 

 

Week 05. The courtier

We will discuss Castigliones famous work Il cortegiano

 

Mandatory readings:

Burke, Peter, The Fortunes of the Courtier  (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995), 1-38.

 

Optional readings:

Hirschbiegel, Jan, “Zur theoretischen Konstruktion der Figur des Günstlings,” in: Der Fall des Günstlings: Hofparteien in Europa vom 13. bis zum 17. Jahrhundert, 8. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen Neuburg an der Donau, 21. bis 24. September 2002, ed. Jan Hirschbiegel (Ostfildern: Thorbecke 2004), 23-39.

Rabeler, Sven, “Vertrauen und Gunst. Klientelismus am spätmittelalterlichen Hof” In: Hofparteien in Europa vom 13. bis zum 17. Jahrhundert, 8. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen ... Neuburg an der Donau, 21. bis 24. September 2002, ed. Jan Hirschbiegel (Ostfildern: Thorbecke 2004), 41-63.

 

Source material, optional:

Castiglione, Baldassare, Il cortegiano, online edition of the text.

 http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ITA1702/

Castiglione, Baldassarre The book of the courtier, translated from the Italian by Leonard Eckstein Opdyke, New York: Scribner's 1903.

 

 

IV. Concepts

 

Week 06. Courtly love, gender and sexuality

Courtly live has been always linked to courtly love, an ideal image of love in medieval literature

 

Mandatory readings:

Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love, ed. Jan Ziolkowski, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), older translation by John Jay Parry (New York: Columbia University Press, 1941).

 

Optional readings

Schnell, Rüdiger, “Die ‘höfische’ Liebe als ‘höfischer’ Diskurs über die Liebe,” in:          Curialitas. Studien zu Grundfragen der höfisch-ritterlichen Kultur, ed. Josef          Fleckenstein, (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991), 231-301.

 

Source material, optional:

Bernard O’Donoghue, compiler,  The Courtly Love Tradition (Manchester Univ. Pr.  1982), 162-211.

Andreas Capellanus, De amore: libri tres, ed. E. Trojel and Fritz Peter Knapp (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2006).

 

 

Week 07. The court and science

Medieval science appears often in close connection with courts and the ideology of rulership. We will discuss main aspects of this relationship.

 

Mandatory readings:

Williams, Steven J., “Public Stage and Private Space. The Court as a Venue for the Discussion, Display, and Demonstration of Science and Technology in the Later Middle Ages,” In: I saperi nelle corti [Knowledge at the Courts], ed. Clelia Arcelli (Florence: Sismel/ Edizioni del Galluzzo  2008), 459-486.

 

Optional readings:

Chiara Crisciani, Archimia, alchimisti e corti nel tardo medioevo : Documenti e raconti, In: I saperi nelle corti [Knowledge at the Courts], ed. Clelia Arcelli (Florence: Sismel/ Edizioni del Galluzzo  2008), 433-458.

 

V. Examples between East and West – Dijon (Burgundy), Buda, Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria)

 

Week 08. The court of Burgundy

The court of Burgundy was a kind of role model of courtly live with an enormous impact on what we conceive as court culture.

 

Mandatory readings:

Paravicini, Werner, “The Court of the Dukes of Burgundy: a Model for Europe?” in: Menschen am Hof der Herzöge von Burgund. Gesammelte Aufsätze von Werner Paravicini, ed. Klaus Krüger, Holger Kruse, and Andreas Ranft (Stuttgart: Thorbecke, 2002), 507-534, first published in Princes, Patronage and Nobility, ed. R. G. Asch; A. Bircke (London: Oxford University Press 1991), 69-102.

 

Optional readings:

Kruse, Holger, “Der burgundische Hof als soziales Netz,” Francia 29, No. 1 (2002): 229-255.

 

Source material:

Die Hofordnungen der Herzöge von Burgund, Vol. 1: Herzog Philipp der Gute, 1407 – 1467, ed. Holger Kruse and Werner Paravicini (Ostfildern: Thorbecke 2005), 318-327.

 

 

Week 09. The court of Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) in Buda

One of the great models of court culture in Central Europe

 

Mandatory readings:

András Kubinyi, “Courtiers and Court Life in the Time of Matthias Corvinus,” in: Matthias Corvinus the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court, 1458 – 1490, exhibition catalogue, ed. Péter Farbaky and András Végh (Budapest: Budapest History Museum  2008), 21-34.

Magyar, Károly: Towards a Reconstruction of Matthias-Era Residences, in: Matthias Corvinus the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court, 1458 – 1490, exhibition catalogue, ed. Péter Farbaky and András Végh (Budapest: Budapest History Museum  2008), 89-100.

 

Optional Readings:

Kubinyi, András, Der Königshof. In: Matthias Corvinus. Die Regierung eines Königreichs in Ostmitteleuropa 1458-1490 (Herne: Schäfer 1999), 12-19.

Szende, Katalin: "Proud Vienna suffered sore..." Matthias Corvinus and Vienna, 1457-1490, In: Matthias Corvinus the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court, 1458 – 1490, exhibition catalogue, ed. Péter Farbaky and András Végh (Budapest: Budapest History Museum  2008), 381-391.

Suckale, Robert, The Central European Connections of Matthias Corvinus' Patronage of Late Gothic Artin: Matthias Corvinus the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court, 1458 – 1490, exhibition catalogue, ed. Péter Farbaky and András Végh (Budapest: Budapest History Museum  2008), 101-112.

 

 

Week 10. The court of Mary of Hungary (1505-1558)

An interesting example of a female court in Central Europe at the end of the Middle Ages

 

Mandatory readings:

Réthelyi, Orsolya, Mary of Hungary in Court Context (1521–1531), PhD theses in Medieval studies, (Budapest: Central European University 2010), 82-130.

 

Optional readings

Réthelyi, Orsolya, Die Anfänge der Ofener Hofhaltung der Königin Maria von Ungarn, in: Martina Fuchs/ Orsolya Réthelyi, (Ed.) Maria von Ungarn (1505-1558). Eine Renaissancefürstin, Münster: Aschendorff 2007, 221-244.

 

Week 11. Courtly life in late medieval Bulgaria? – The limits of a concept

We will discuss the question whether we can use the term “court culture” for late Medieval Bulgaria in the time of Tsar Ivan Alexander (1331 bis 1371) facing the problem of very limited source material

 

Mandatory readings

Bakalova, Elka, Society and art in Bulgaria in the 14th century, Byzantinobulgarica 8 (1986), 17-72 (53-72).

 

Optional readings:

Gjuzelev, Vasil, “Die Residenzen Tarnovo, Bdin und Kaliakra und ihre höfische Kultur”, in: Höfische Kultur in Südosteuropa. Bericht der Kolloquien der Südosteuropa-Kommission 1988 bis 1990, ed. Lauer, Reinhard; Majer, Hans G., (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1994), 59-73.

Gjuzelev, Vasil, “Hauptstädte, Residenzen und Hofkultur im mittelalterlichen Bulgarien, 7.–14. Jh. (Vom Nomadencampus bis zum Zarenhof)”, Etudes balkaniques 2 (1991), 82-105.

 

 

Week 12 Conclusions

 

Mandatory readings:

Norbert Elias, The Court Society. Translation from German (Die höfische Gesellschaft. Untersuchungen zur Soziologie des Königstums und der höfischen Aristokratie, mit einer Einleitung: Soziologie und Geschichtswissenschaft. Neuwied: Luchterhand 1969) by Edmund Jephcott (Oxford: Basil Blackwell and New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 86-126.

 

 

Further radings concerning some of the seminar’s topics

Benson, Larry Dean, “Courtly Love and Chivalry in the Later Middle Ages,” in: Contradictions: From Beowulf to Chaucer. Selected Studies, ed. Larry Dean Benson, Theodore Murdock Andersson, and Stephen A. Barney, (Aldershot: Scolar Press 1995), pp. 294-313, first printed in: Fifteenth-Century Studies. Recent Essays, ed. Robert F. Yeager (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books 1984), 237-257.

Bitskey, István, “Höfische Repräsentation in Ungarn während der Herrschaft von Sigismund und Matthias Corvinus,” in: Das Zeitalter König Sigmunds in Ungarn und im Deutschen Reich, ed. Tilmann Schmidt and Péter Gunst (Debrecen: Debrecen Univ. Press 2000), 191-208.

Boeck, Elena N., Displacing Byzantium, Disgracing Convention: The Manuscript Patronage of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria, Manuscripta 51, 2 (2007), 181-208.

Burns, E. Jane, Courtly Love Undressed: Reading Through Clothes in Medieval French Culture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), 17-56.

Castiglione, Baldassare, The Book of the Courtier: An Authoritative Text, Criticism, ed. Daniel Javitch (New York: Norton, 2002).

Classen, Albrecht, “Wordly Love - Spiritual Love. The Dialectics of Courtly Love in the Middle Ages,” Studies in Spirituality 11 (2001): 166-186.

Contamine, Philippe, “Charles VII, roi de France, et ses favoris: l’exemple de Pierre, sire de Giac († 1427),” in: Der Fall des Günstlings: Hofparteien in Europa vom 13. bis zum 17. Jahrhundert, 8. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Neuburg an der Donau, 21. bis 24. September 2002, ed. Jan Hirschbiegel and Werner Paravicini (Ostfildern: publisher, 2004), 139-162.

Fleckenstein, Josef, “Zur Entstehung der höfisch-ritterlichen Kultur und ihrer Ausbreitung nach Südosteuropa”, in: Höfische Kultur in Südosteuropa. Bericht der Kolloquien der Südosteuropa-Kommission 1988 bis 1990, ed. Lauer, Reinhard; Majer, Hans G., (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1994), 109-119.

Hoensch, Jörg K., Mathias Corvinus. Diplomat, Feldherr und Mäzen (Graz: Styria 1998).

Kaimakamova, Miliyana, “Turnovo - New Constantinople: the third Rome in the fourteenth-century Bulgarian translation of Constantine Manasses' Synopsis chronike”, The Medieval Chronicle IV, ed. Erik Kooper, (Amsterdam/ New York: Editions Rodopi 2006), 91-104.

Keen, Maurice Hugh Origins of the English Gentleman: Heraldry, Chivalry, and Gentility in Medieval England, c. 1300 - c. 1500 (Stroud: Tempus 2002).

Kubinyi, András. "Der königliche Hof als integrationszentrum Ungarns von der Mitte des 15.

            bis zum ersten Drittel des 16. Jahrhunderts und sein Einfluss auf die städtische

            Entwicklung Budas." In: Metropolen im Wandel. Zentralität in Ostmitteleuropa an der

            Wende vom Mittelalter zur Neuzeit, ed. Evamaria Engel, Karen Lambrecht, and

            Hanna Nogossek (Berlin: Akademie Verlag 1995), 145-162.

Kubinyi, András, "The Court of Queen Mary of Hungary and Politics between 1521 and

            1526." In Mary of Hungary: The Queen and Her Court 1521 - 1531, ed. Orsolya     Réthelyi, Beatrix F. Romhányi, Enikő Spekner, and András Végh. (Budapest:          Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, 2005), 13-25.

Lemaire, Jaques, Le visions de la vie de cour dans la littérature française de la fin du Moyen Age. Paris: Klincksieck 1994, 22-44.

Makowski, Ferdinand, Praga caput regni. Untersuchungen zur Sprach- und Kulturgeschichte des Spätmittelalters (Frankfurt am Main: Lang 1994).

Nicholson, Helen J., Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights: Images of the Military Orders, 1128- 1291 (Leicester: Leicester Univ. Press 1993).

Rosario, Iva, Art and propaganda. Charles IV of Bohemia, 1346-1378 (Woodbridge: Boydell  2000), 71-76.

Rösener, Werner, Leben am Hof. Königs- und Fürstenhöfe im Mittelalter, (Stuttgart: Thorbecke, 2008), 95-154.

Schmidt, Roderich, “Begründung und Bestätigung der Universität Prag durch Karl IV. und die kaiserliche Privilegierung von Generalstudien,” Blätter für deutsche Landesgeschichte 114 (1978): 695-719.

Schultz, James Alfred, Courtly Love, the Love of Courtliness, and the History of Sexuality, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 51-78. 

Smith, Nathaniel B. and Snow, Joseph Thomas, “Courtly Love and Courtly Literature,” in: The Expansion and Transformations of Courtly Literature, ed. Joseph Thomas Snow and Nathaniel B. Smith (Athens, GA: Univ. of Georgia Press  1980), 3-14.

Tabri, Edward A., Political Culture in the Early Northern Renaissance – The Court of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1467–1477) (Lewiston, NY: Mellen  2004).

 

 

MA/ PhD elective