medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Rochelle Altman <[log in to unmask]> wrote [with, apparently, an email
program which truncates lines, making them very, very difficult to read, esp.
when vast quantities of previous emails are embedded therein] :
> > my interest is purely stylistic --i'm trying to establish connections
between this very curious style from (apparently) the
second quarter of the 11th century and some mid-12th c. French sculpture, a
full century later.
> You should be interested in the recent works on the OE > French connection
in literary motifs.... I'll dig up some bib for you... I know Howlett has
written on this.
mmmm.... i'm already much farther afield --several afields actually-- than i
ever wanted or expected to be; picking up literary threads might put me over
"literary motifs" correspond, roughly, to "iconography" --there isn't any real
analogy to artistic "style" in the realm of literature, between languages.
otOh, if there is something specific connecting the OE and OF, especially in
the 10th-11th cc., especially via Fleury, i'd have to look at it, i suppose.
kicking and screaming all the while.
> >...the Vector by which the style came to France was in the form of Abbot
Abbo of Fleury, and that from Fleury it spread to some other places --mostly
connected to Fleury-- in France.
anything is possible.
this might have actually happened.
[what follows is partly from Cousin's biography of Abbo and may well be
modified by later research --in which case i would appreciate hearing of it.]
A-S <=> Fleury exchanges date from at least the time of St. Oswald, who was at
Fleury 959-61, learning the ropes of "monastic reform", which skills he took
back home to great effect. Other A-S monks were at Fleury shortly thereafter,
learning the relevant "customs" and taking them back home.
the Fleury monk Abbo spent 985-7 in England (Ramsey), before returning home to
assume the abbacy of Fleury in 988.
counterintuitive as it seems (to me at least), apparently Fleury provided A-S
England with the civilising wherewithall to "revive" monastic life;
and yet, in short order, the Anglo-Sexuns were *vastly* superior to the Frogs
in most all things artisitic, which skills were transferred to the continent,
partly (mainly?) via the vector of Fleury, through its Norman priories as well
as the Mother House and, i believe, to other French sites which it had
this lopsided artistic situation can be most clearly seen in the surviving
manuscripts from Fleury.
ms. decoration there seems to have been somewhat "stuck" in a stylistic
backwater of late Carolingian/"Franco-Saxon School" interlace
there seems to have been not much in the way of coherent figure style work at
however, about the time of Abbot (St.) Abbo, we have some reasonably
*spectacular* evidence of A-S influence at Fleury, either because of mss.
being brought there or (just as probable) of A-S artists working in the
Legerian scriptorium itself
this wonderful drawing style seems to have caught on with the locals, at least
to some extent
--possibly a self-portrait of Abbo himself
*some*thing was clearly going on.
> > hey, History *Began* at Sumer, i heard somewhere.
> The written record began at Sumer, but I kinda doubt that hisroty did.
no, hisroty began somewhere else, for sure.
an obscure literary reference:
i'm of the Old School : no written records, no History.
archeology, maybe, but not History.
and the Sumerians have got that scene covered, at least West of the
> I'm a born and bred Chicagoan <G>
"If the party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that event
never happened - that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture or
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records
told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who
controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls
the present controls the past.'" "Day by day and almost minute by minute the
past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party
could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item
of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the
moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest,
scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."
George Orwell, 1984
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