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Editor's Introduction To "Legal Worlds And Legal Encounters" -- Open Access, Elizabeth Lambourn Dec 2016

Editor's Introduction To "Legal Worlds And Legal Encounters" -- Open Access, Elizabeth Lambourn

The Medieval Globe

This introduction presents and draws together the articles and themes featured in this special issue of The Medieval Globe, “Legal Worlds and Legal Encounters.”


The Medieval Globe 2.2 (2016) Dec 2016

The Medieval Globe 2.2 (2016)

The Medieval Globe

No abstract provided.


The Future Of Aztec Law, Jerome A. Offner Dec 2016

The Future Of Aztec Law, Jerome A. Offner

The Medieval Globe

This article models a methodology for recovering the substance and nature of the Aztec legal tradition by interrogating reports of precontact indigenous behavior in the works of early colonial ethnographers, as well as in pictorial manuscripts and their accompanying oral performances. It calls for a new, richly recontextualized approach to the study of a medieval civilization whose sophisticated legal and jurisprudential practices have been fundamentally obscured by a long process of decontextualization and the anachronistic applications of modern Western paradigms.


Land And Tenure In Early Colonial Peru: Individualizing The Sapci, "That Which Is Common To All", Susan E. Ramirez Dec 2016

Land And Tenure In Early Colonial Peru: Individualizing The Sapci, "That Which Is Common To All", Susan E. Ramirez

The Medieval Globe

This article compares and contrasts pre-Columbian indigenous customary law regarding land possession and use with the legal norms and concepts gradually imposed and implemented by the Spanish colonial state in the Viceroyalty of Peru in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Natives accepted oral histories of possession going back as many as ten generations as proof of a claim to land. Indigenous custom also provided that a family could claim as much land as it could use for as long as it could use it: labor established rights of possession and use. The Spanish introduced the concept of private property ...


The Edict Of King Gälawdéwos Against The Illegal Slave Trade In Christians: Ethiopia, 1548 -- Featured Source, Habtamu M. Tegegne Dec 2016

The Edict Of King Gälawdéwos Against The Illegal Slave Trade In Christians: Ethiopia, 1548 -- Featured Source, Habtamu M. Tegegne

The Medieval Globe

This study explores the relationship between documentary-legal prescriptions of slavery and actual practice in late medieval Ethiopia. It does so in light of a newly discovered edict against the enslavement of freeborn Christians and the commercial sale of Christians to non-Christian owners, issued in 1548 by King Gälawdéwos. It demonstrates that this edict emerged from a dramatic and violent encounter between the neighboring Sultanate of Adal, which was supported by Muslim powers, and the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, which had the support of expanding European powers in the region. The edict was therefore issued to reaffirm and clarify the principles ...


Common Threads: A Reappraisal Of Medieval European Sumptuary Law, Laurel Wilson Dec 2016

Common Threads: A Reappraisal Of Medieval European Sumptuary Law, Laurel Wilson

The Medieval Globe

Medieval sumptuary law has been receiving renewed scholarly attention in recent decades. But sumptuary laws, despite their ubiquity, have rarely been considered comprehensively and comparatively. This essay calls attention to this problem and suggests a number of topics for investigation, with specific reference to the first phase of European sumptuary legislation in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It argues that comparative study demonstrates that this chronology closely parallels the development of the so-called “Western fashion system” and that the ubiquity of sketchy or nonexistent enforcement is evidence for the symbolic importance of sumptuary legislation, rather than its instrumentality. Comparison across ...


Toward A History Of Documents In Medieval India: The Encounter Of Scholasticism And Regional Law In The Smṛticandrikā, Donald R. Davis Jr. Dec 2016

Toward A History Of Documents In Medieval India: The Encounter Of Scholasticism And Regional Law In The Smṛticandrikā, Donald R. Davis Jr.

The Medieval Globe

In order to understand the legal use and significance of documents in medieval India, we need to start from the contemporaneous legal categories found in the Sanskrit scholastic corpus called dharmaśāstra. By comparing these categories with actual historical documents and inscriptions, we gain better insight into the encounter of pan-Indian legal discourse in Sanskrit and regional laws in vernacular languages. The points of congruence and transgression in this encounter will facilitate a nuanced history of documents and their use beyond unhelpfully broad categories of written and oral. A new translation of one major scholastic discussion of documents is presented as ...


Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman Dec 2016

Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman

The Medieval Globe

This article focuses on a set of legal questions about ṣīnī vessels (literally, “Chinese” vessels) sent from the Jewish community in Aden to Fustat (Old Cairo) in the mid-1130s CE and now preserved among the Cairo Geniza holdings in Cambridge University Library. This is the earliest dated and localized query about the status of ṣīnī vessels with respect to the Jewish law of vessels used for food consumption. Our analysis of these queries suggests that their phrasing and timing can be linked to the contemporaneous appearance in the Yemen of a new type of Chinese ceramic ware, qingbai, which confounded ...


Mutilation And The Law In Early Medieval Europe And India: A Comparative Study -- Open Access, Patricia E. Skinner Dec 2016

Mutilation And The Law In Early Medieval Europe And India: A Comparative Study -- Open Access, Patricia E. Skinner

The Medieval Globe

This essay examines the similarities and differences between legal and other precepts outlining corporal punishment in ancient and medieval Indian and early medieval European laws. Responding to Susan Reynolds’s call for such comparisons, it begins by outlining the challenges in doing so. Primarily, the fragmented political landscape of both regions, where multiple rulers and spheres of authority existed side-by-side, make a direct comparison complex. Moreover, the time slippage between what scholarship understands to be the “early medieval” period in each region needs to be taken into account, particularly given the persistence of some provisions and the adapatation or abandonment ...


Tilting Toward The Light: Translating The Medieval World On The Ming-Mongolian Frontier, Carla Nappi Dec 2015

Tilting Toward The Light: Translating The Medieval World On The Ming-Mongolian Frontier, Carla Nappi

The Medieval Globe

Ming China maintained relationships with neighboring peoples such as the Mongols by educating bureaucrats trained to translate many different foreign languages. While the reference works these men used were designed to facilitate their work, they also conveyed a specific vision of the past and a taxonomy of cultural differences that constitute valuable historical sources in their own right, illuminating the worldview of the Chinese-Mongolian frontier.


Japan On The Medieval Globe: The Wakan Rōeishū And Imagined Landscapes In Early Medieval Texts, Elizabeth Oyler Dec 2015

Japan On The Medieval Globe: The Wakan Rōeishū And Imagined Landscapes In Early Medieval Texts, Elizabeth Oyler

The Medieval Globe

This essay explores how the poetry collection Wakan rōeishū becomes an important allusive referent for two medieval Japanese works, the travelogue Kaidōki and the nō play Tsunemasa. In particular, it focuses on how Chinese poems from the collection become the means for describing Japanese spaces and their links to power, in the context of a changing political landscape.


The Painter, The Warrior, And The Sultan: The World Of Marco Polo In Three Portraits, Sharon Kinoshita Dec 2015

The Painter, The Warrior, And The Sultan: The World Of Marco Polo In Three Portraits, Sharon Kinoshita

The Medieval Globe

In the wake of Edward Said’s Orientalism and postcolonial theory, Marco Polo is often cast as a quintessentially Western observer of Asian cultures. This essay seeks to break his text out of the binaries in which it is frequently understood. Returning the text to its original title, “The Description of the World,” it reconstructs the diversity of late thirteenth-century Asia through the portraits of three figures who were Marco’s contemporaries.


Towards A Connected History Of Equine Cultures In South Asia: Bahrī (Sea) Horses And “Horsemania” In Thirteenth-Century South India, Elizabeth Lambourn Dec 2015

Towards A Connected History Of Equine Cultures In South Asia: Bahrī (Sea) Horses And “Horsemania” In Thirteenth-Century South India, Elizabeth Lambourn

The Medieval Globe

This article explores ways that the concept of equine cultures, developed thus far principally in European and/or early modern and colonial contexts, might translate to premodern South Asia. As a first contribution to a history of equine matters in South Asia, it focuses on the maritime circulation of horses from the Middle East to Peninsular India in the thirteenth century, examining the different ways that this phenomenon is recorded in textual and material sources and exploring their potential for writing a new, more connected history of South Asia and the Indian Ocean world.


The Geographic And Social Mobility Of Slaves: The Rise Of Shajar Al’Durr, A Slave-Concubine In Thirteenth-Century Egypt, D. Fairchild Ruggles Dec 2015

The Geographic And Social Mobility Of Slaves: The Rise Of Shajar Al’Durr, A Slave-Concubine In Thirteenth-Century Egypt, D. Fairchild Ruggles

The Medieval Globe

Large numbers of outsiders were integrated into premodern Islamic society through the institution of slavery. Many were boys of non-Muslim parents drafted into the army, and some rose to become powerful political figures; in Egypt, after the death of Ayyubid sultan al-Salih (r. 1240–49), they formed a dynasty known as the Mamluks. For slave concubines, the route to power was different: Shajar al-Durr, the concubine of al-Salih, gained enormous status when she gave birth to his son and later governed as regent in her son’s name, converting to Islam after her husband’s death and then reigning as ...


Identity In Flux: Finding Boris Kolomanovich In The Interstices Of Medieval European History, Christian Raffensperger Dec 2015

Identity In Flux: Finding Boris Kolomanovich In The Interstices Of Medieval European History, Christian Raffensperger

The Medieval Globe

The politics of kinship and of monarchy in medieval eastern Europe are typically constructed within the framework of the modern nation-state, read back into the past. The example of Boris Kolomanovich, instead, highlights the horizontal interconnectivity of medieval Europe and its neighbors and demonstrates the malleability of individual identity within kinship webs, as well as the creation of situational kinship networks to advance individuals’ goals.


Periodization And “The Medieval Globe”: A Conversation, Kathleen Davis, Michael Puett Dec 2015

Periodization And “The Medieval Globe”: A Conversation, Kathleen Davis, Michael Puett

The Medieval Globe

The period categories “medieval” and “modern” emerged with—and have long served to define and legitimate—the projects of western European imperialism and colonialism. The idea of “the medieval globe” is therefore double edged. On the one hand, it runs the risk of reconfirming the terms of the colonial, Orientalist history through which the “medieval” emerged, thus homogenizing the plural temporalities of global cultures and effacing the material effects of the becoming of the Middle Ages and its relationship to conditions of globalization. On the other hand, “the medieval globe” brings to bear a comparative focus that does not ask ...


Editor’S Preface, Carol Symes Dec 2015

Editor’S Preface, Carol Symes

The Medieval Globe

No abstract provided.


The Medieval Globe 2.1 (2016), Carol Symes Dec 2015

The Medieval Globe 2.1 (2016), Carol Symes

The Medieval Globe

No abstract provided.


The Medieval Globe 1 (2014) - Pandemic Disease In The Medieval World: Rethinking The Black Death, Monica H. Green, Carol Symes Jan 2014

The Medieval Globe 1 (2014) - Pandemic Disease In The Medieval World: Rethinking The Black Death, Monica H. Green, Carol Symes

The Medieval Globe

The plague organism (Yersinia pestis) killed an estimated 40% to 60% of all people when it spread rapidly through the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe in the fourteenth century: an event known as the Black Death. Previous research has shown, especially for Western Europe, how population losses then led to structural economic, political, and social changes. But why and how did the pandemic happen in the first place? When and where did it begin? How was it sustained? What was its full geographic extent? And when did it really end?

Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World is the first ...


Diagnosis Of A "Plague" Image: A Digital Cautionary Tale, Monica H. Green, Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Wolfgang P. Müller Jan 2014

Diagnosis Of A "Plague" Image: A Digital Cautionary Tale, Monica H. Green, Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Wolfgang P. Müller

The Medieval Globe

This brief study examines the genesis of the “misdiagnosis” of a fourteenth- century image that has become a frequently used representation of the Black Death on the Internet and in popular publications. The image in fact depicts another common disease in medieval Europe, leprosy, but was misinterpreted as “plague” because of a labeling error. The error was then magnified because of digital dissemination. This mistake is a reminder that interpretation of cultural products continues to demand the skills and expertise of humanists. Included is a full transcription and translation of the text which the image was originally meant to illustrate ...


Introducing The Medieval Globe, Carol Symes Jan 2014

Introducing The Medieval Globe, Carol Symes

The Medieval Globe

The concept of “the medieval” has long been essential to global imperial ventures, national ideologies, and the discourse of modernity. And yet the projects enabled by this powerful construct have essentially hindered investigation of the world’s interconnected territories during a millennium of movement and exchange. The mission of The Medieval Globe is to reclaim this “middle age” and to place it at the center of global studies.


Epilogue: A Hypothesis On The East Asian Beginnings Of The Yersinia Pestis Polytomy, Robert Hymes Jan 2014

Epilogue: A Hypothesis On The East Asian Beginnings Of The Yersinia Pestis Polytomy, Robert Hymes

The Medieval Globe

The work of Cui et al. (2013)—in both dating the polytomy that produced most existing strains of Yersinia pestis and locating its original home to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau—offers a genetically derived specific historical proposition for historians of East and Central Asia to investigate from their own sources. The present article offers the hypothesis that the polytomy manifests itself in the Mongol invasion of the Xia state in the Gansu corridor in the early thirteenth century and continues in the Mongols’ expansion into China and other parts of Eurasia. The hypothesis relies to a considerable extent on work of ...


Editor's Introduction To Pandemic Disease In The Medieval World: Rethinking The Black Death, Monica H. Green Jan 2014

Editor's Introduction To Pandemic Disease In The Medieval World: Rethinking The Black Death, Monica H. Green

The Medieval Globe

Extraction of the genetic material of the causative organism of plague, Yersinia pestis, from the remains of persons who died during the Black Death has confirmed that pathogen’s role in one of the largest pandemics of human history. This then opens up historical research to investigations based on modern science, which has studied Yersinia pestis from a variety of perspectives, most importantly its evolutionary history and its complex ecology of transmission. The contributors to this special issue argue for the benefits of a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to the many remaining mysteries associated with the plague’s geographical extent ...


Taking "Pandemic" Seriously: Making The Black Death Global, Monica H. Green Jan 2014

Taking "Pandemic" Seriously: Making The Black Death Global, Monica H. Green

The Medieval Globe

This essay introduces the inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe, “Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death”. It suggests that the history of the pathogen Yersinia pestis, as it has now been reconstructed by molecular biology, allows for an expanded definition of the Second Plague Pandemic. Historiography of the Black Death has hitherto focused on a limited number of vector and host species, and on Western Europe and those parts of the Islamicate world touching the Mediterranean littoral. Biological considerations suggest the value of a broadened framework, one that encompasses an enlarged range of host species and ...


The Black Death And Its Consequences For The Jewish Community In Tàrrega: Lessons From History And Archeology, Anna Colet, Josep Xavier Muntané I Santiveri, Jordi Ruíz Ventura, Oriol Saula, M. Eulàlia Subirà De Galdàcano, Clara Jáuregui Jan 2014

The Black Death And Its Consequences For The Jewish Community In Tàrrega: Lessons From History And Archeology, Anna Colet, Josep Xavier Muntané I Santiveri, Jordi Ruíz Ventura, Oriol Saula, M. Eulàlia Subirà De Galdàcano, Clara Jáuregui

The Medieval Globe

In 2007, excavations in a suburb of the Catalan town of Tàrrega identified the possible location of the medieval Jewish cemetery. Subsequent excavations confirmed that multiple individuals buried in six communal graves had suffered violent deaths. The present study argues that these communal graves can be connected to a well-documented assault on the Jews of Tàrrega that occurred in 1348: long known as one of the earliest episodes of anti-Jewish violence related to the Black Death, but never before corroborated by physical remains. This study places textual sources, both Christian and Jewish, alongside the recently discovered archeological evidence of the ...


The Anthropology Of Plague: Insights From Bioarcheological Analyses Of Epidemic Cemeteries, Sharon N. Dewitte Jan 2014

The Anthropology Of Plague: Insights From Bioarcheological Analyses Of Epidemic Cemeteries, Sharon N. Dewitte

The Medieval Globe

Most research on historic plague has relied on documentary evidence, but recently researchers have examined the remains of plague victims to produce a deeper understanding of the disease. Bioarcheological analysis allows the skeletal remains of epidemic victims to bear witness to the contexts of their deaths. This is important for our understanding of the experiences of the vast majority of people who lived in the past, who are not typically included in the historical record. This paper summarizes bioarcheological research on plague, primarily investigations of the Black Death in London (1349–50), emphasizing what anthropology uniquely contributes to plague studies.


Plague Depopulation And Irrigation Decay In Medieval Egypt, Stuart Borsch Jan 2014

Plague Depopulation And Irrigation Decay In Medieval Egypt, Stuart Borsch

The Medieval Globe

Starting with the Black Death, and continuing over the century and a half that followed, plague depopulation brought about the ruin of Egypt’s irrigation system, the motor of its economy. For many generations, the Egyptians who survived the plague therefore faced a tragic new reality: a transformed landscape and way of life significantly worsened by plague, a situation very different from that of plague survivors in Europe. This article looks at the ways in which this transformation took place. It measures the scale and scope of rural depopulation and explains why it had such a significant impact on the ...


Plague Persistence In Western Europe: A Hypothesis, Ann G. Carmichael Jan 2014

Plague Persistence In Western Europe: A Hypothesis, Ann G. Carmichael

The Medieval Globe

Historical sources documenting recurrent plagues of the “Second Pandemic” usually focus on urban epidemic mortality. Instead, plague persists in remote, rural hinterlands: areas less visible in the written sources of late medieval Europe. Plague spreads as fleas move from relatively resistant rodents, which serve as “maintenance hosts,” to an array of more susceptible rural mammals, now called “amplifying hosts.” Using sources relevant to plague in thinly populated Central and Western Alpine regions, this paper postulates that Alpine Europe could have been a region of plague persistence via its population of wild rodents, particularly the Alpine marmot.


New Science And Old Sources: Why The Ottoman Experience Of Plague Matters, Nükhet Varlık Jan 2014

New Science And Old Sources: Why The Ottoman Experience Of Plague Matters, Nükhet Varlık

The Medieval Globe

Reconstructing the Ottoman plague experience is vital to understanding the larger Afro-Eurasian disease zone during the Second Pandemic. This essay deals with two different aspects of this experience. On the one hand, it discusses the historical and historiographical problems that rendered this epidemiological experience mostly invisible to previous scholars of plague. On the other, it reconstructs the empire’s plague ecologies, with particular attention to plague’s persistence, focalization, and transmission. Further, it uses this epidemiological experience to offer new insights and complicate some commonly held assumptions about plague history and its relationship to plague science.


Heterogeneous Immunological Landscapes And Medieval Plague: An Invitation To A New Dialogue Between Historians And Immunologists, Fabian Crespo, Matt B. Lawrenz Jan 2014

Heterogeneous Immunological Landscapes And Medieval Plague: An Invitation To A New Dialogue Between Historians And Immunologists, Fabian Crespo, Matt B. Lawrenz

The Medieval Globe

Efforts to understand the differential mortality caused by plague must account for many factors, including human immune responses. In this essay we are particularly interested in those people who were exposed to the Yersinia pestis pathogen during the Black Death, but who had differing fates—survival or death—that could depend on which individuals (once infected) were able to mount an appropriate immune response as a result of biological, environmental, and social factors. The proposed model suggests that historians of the medieval world could make a significant contribution to the study of human health, and especially the role of human ...