Archive for the ‘Getting Medieval, Miscellaneous’ Category

Glimpses From Old Welsh Law

Ancient Germanic and Celtic law had this in common, that their primary sanction for an offence against the person was not coercive unpleasantness but the payment of pecuniary compensation. The Anglo-Saxon and Norse wergild is familiar to readers of fantasy literature, while the Welsh equivalent was called galanas, payable for the sarhad, the insult. As […]

Affirmative Action In The 12th Century?

The white man’s sense of grievance at the governmental preference shown to the black man – or the preference that that the poor loser falsely imagines is so shown – actually predates the twentieth century, its affirmative action programmes and alt-right. In evidence I call a Damascene satirist of the age of Saladin, Ibn ‘Unain, […]

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 10:49 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Getting Medieval, Miscellaneous

Mirror-Reading The Alexiad

Reading Anna Comnena’s history of her father’s reign, I am struck by the apologetic tone. It is no secret that she is partisan, nor would she herself claim otherwise; but I seem to sense some very specific accusations which she is determined to rebut. And of course these accusations have long since been lost in […]

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 12:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Getting Medieval, Miscellaneous

Why Cranach’s Eve Does Not Look Like a Rubens

It is easy to convince people that clothes are all about class markers. That, for example, the purpose of lace at the sleeves was to show, not only that you could afford the stuff, but also that you did not work with your hands and get dirty. It may be a little less obvious that […]

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:19 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Getting Medieval, Miscellaneous

Sinz Meanz Sexz?

One of the things that “everybody knows but just ain’t so” is that the medieval doctrine of Original Sin was about sex and only about sex. With the corollary that the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a doctrine defined only in 1854, means that Mary was conceived otherwise than through sexual intercourse. In other words, a […]

The Qina and the Nakhba

It is no new observation that Arabs, who tend to know much more history than Americans, draw a parallel between two overseas occupations of what they call Palestine. In the Nakhba, the establishment of the State of Israel, they find echoes of the Qina, which from our side we call the First Crusade. If neither […]

The Isabel Capet Syndrome

Another of the things that “everyone knows that just ain’t so” is the paucity of female rulers in history. In fact there were quite a lot. Of course, they are found primarily where women become rulers by marriage or inheritance, so that they are plentiful only in hereditary systems. Women were not, for example, elected […]

A Very Strange Idea

We tend to think that inculcating guilt in children over masturbation is something that Western culture has done since forever. In fact it was once a new idea whose time and authorship we know. Jean Gerson of the University of Paris dreamt it up in the early thirteenth century. The motive was to teach penitence. […]

Posted on September 27, 2014 at 12:09 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Getting Medieval, Miscellaneous

Getting Medieval, Fortune Cookies

Wanted: a rewriting of all of history in accordance with the superstitions of globalising neoliberalism. What we have been provincial and backward enough to call “conquest,” from the fall of the Roman Empire to 1066 And All That, ought now to be portrayed more sympathetically in terms of “competitive outsourcing” of government. After all, in […]