There With Him Rode A Gentle Pardoner… A pardoner was an unordained medieval cleric who raised money for the church by the selling of papal indulgences which offered the purchaser redemption from their sins and reduced periods of purgatorial punishment. Not surprisingly where salvation was available for purchase, the Christian doctrine of repentance and forgiveness inevitably grew corrupt. Pardoners were known to exaggerate the efficacy of their indulgences and claimed the authority to promise deliverance not just from purgatory, but from hell itself.
This article is a discussion of European representation of cross cultural contact via the intermediary Friar William of Rubruck, a 13th century traveler to the Mongolian courts of the Great Khans. The focus is primarily to attempt to read the responses of local peoples that Rubruck encountered through his own travel writings, consider the importance of his account and his general role in history. “O the most excellent lord and most Christian Louis, by the grace of God illustrious King of the French, from Friar William of Rubruck, the meanest in the order of Minor Friars, greetings, and may he always triumph in Christ.
How Historically Significant is the Introduction to Boccaccio’s The Decameron? The Decameron is a collection of one hundred allegorical short stories written around 1353CE by Italian author, poet and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio (c.1313 - 1375). Boccaccio was most likely born in Florence or Certaldo and was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Bocacino di Chellino. As a youth he was trained to follow in his father’s business but he eventually chose instead to study canon law and subsequently pursued the arts.
The Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a world wide medieval re-enactment organisation. Within The Society we have a formal system for recognising the achievements and contributions that individuals make to their various local (Baronial) groups and to their larger (Kingdom) groups. These awards are bestowed at the hands of the Crown and Their local representatives (Baron and Baronesses) to recognise excellence in arts and sciences, martial pursuits and services to the various groups and Kingdoms.
A comparison of the thematic treatment of ‘material wealth’ within the Book of Genesis and the poem Beowulf. The concept of economic or material wealth is entirely a construct of societal and culturally agreed conventions. The intrinsic worth imbued to commodities, such as precious metals, jewels, gemstones, treasured arts or land, livestock and agricultural assets are a reflection of an acknowledged value accorded to the items as defined by an individual culture (Levinson, pg 250).
The Clod & the Pebble William Blake (1757 - 1827) “Love seeketh not itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care, But for another gives its ease, And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.” So sung a little clod of clay, Trodden with the cattle’s feet; But a pebble of the brook Warbled out these meters meet: “Love seeketh only Self to please, To bind another to its delight, Joys in another’s loss of ease, And builds a hell in heaven’s despite.” The Clod and the Pebble by William Blake is from a collection of poems called the Songs of Experience.
The Flea by John Donne (1574-1631) MARK but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is ; It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be. Thou know’st that this cannot be said A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ; Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pamper’d swells with one blood made of two ; And this, alas !
“In the global story of human interactions… we return constantly to the ways people make contact with each other: migration, trade, war, imperialism, pilgrimage, gift exchange, diplomacy, travel - and to their social frameworks: the economic and political arenas, the human groups and groupings, the states and civilizations, the sexes and generations, the classes and clusters of identity… We observe the world as it is, imagine it differently and try to fend off our fears and realize our hopes.” Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (pg xxiv) Contact Zones The term ‘contact zone’ was coined in the 1990s to overcome deficiencies inherent in the predominantly linear European expansionist perspective implied in the much used concept of the ‘colonial frontier’.
During the first reign of Nerissa and Alaric in the Kingdom of Lochac, I created some personal standards for their Majesties. In return Countess Nerissa, (now Duchess Nerissa) created this miniature portrait for me as a gift. In the portrait, I am depicted wearing an heraldic sideless surcote that has an ermine bodice and a blue skirt covered in gold bees. The miniatrure is based on the original illumination below that depicts Lady Eloquence.
“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, that to institute a new order of things” Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince What is the Renaissance? Attempting a simple definition of the Renaissance is problematic at best, given the wide use of the term and its interpretation over several hundred years. The term ‘renaissance’, (derived from the French for ’re-birth’) is believed to have been first printed by Italian artist Giorgio Vasari in his work ‘The Lives of Artists’ to describe the cultural resurgence associated with a renewed interest in the classical eras of ancient Rome and Greece during the 14th to 17th centuries (Vasari).