Saturday, November 29, 2014

Research Dump 4: Post Winter Coronet Researches

Following my being asked to join the court of Queen Violante (West Kingdom) as an artisan, at Winter Coronet (back in January), I went on a research spree.  I spent several days and nights in a row going through and reading various papers I ran across.
By now, I've forgotten exactly what I was looking for.  Personally, I rather doubt I found whatever it was, but I did find the following links.


Early Irish Manuscripts
A brief paper on the handwriting used in the earliest of Irish writings (7th century).


Fascinating article, one you get past the beginning. It discusses pieces of runic notes and letters, often carved on a piece of wood, that show that they weren't too different from us.

 "The belt from Fana makes you still prettier." (p. 6)
Sounds a lot like a text, to me... Brann
Seventh-Century Ireland as a Study Abroad Destination.

A fascinating paper on monastic schooling in Ireland, and the students (often from England) who traveled there to study. In addition to the main subject, there are also hints (or leads) on period descriptions of book satchels. The main sources are Bede, Aldhelm, and the Hisperica Famina.


Viking Age gold and silver from Irish crannogs and other watery places
James Graham-Campbell and John Sheehan

A review of various "hoards" precious metals found in Ireland. There are good photographs of a number of the findings.
Status and Exchange in Early Irish Laws.

Interesting...worth reading.
Flyting and Fighting in the Irish Tain Bo Cuailange
Ingen ríg Ghréic: The Greek king’s daughter
An edition and translation of this Middle Irish story
Marcella van Loon

by Matthew P. Davies

This thesis examines the roles played by craft organisations or 'guilds' in medieval urban society through a case study of the tailors of London in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Using the records of the City and of the guilds themselves, including the important early records of the Tailors, this study seeks to answer important questions about the nature of these organisations and the impact which they had upon urban society. Far from being the mere 'agents' of municipal governments, craft guilds often performed important and constructive functions on behalf of the artisans themselves. The first two chapters examine the extent to which voluntarism characterized the activities of many of these associations: the guild of London tailors, though unusual in the scale and scope of its spiritual and charitable provision, embodied widely shared principles of association which were not articulated solely through parish guilds. Subsequent chapters look at the ways in which the Tailors' guild expressed and articulated other concerns of their members and those outside the ruling guild: in the sphere of City politics, for instance, the Tailors came to represent the aspirations of many poorer citizens through their struggle for civic prominence. Likewise, in the sphere of economic regulation, this thesis demonstrates the ways in which the Tailors' guild, among others, was able to introduce flexible and pragmatic policies of enforcement, based upon the shared interests of those inside and outside the decision-making groups. The final section of the thesis then examines more closely the limitations of impressions of economic structures derived purely from guild statutes. First, the nature of apprenticeship and servanthood in medieval London is examined with particular emphasis upon the differing perceptions of these 'life-cycle institutions' by all concerned. Secondly, a systematic analysis of the structure of the tailoring industry in London is carried out and explores the remarkable diversity of economic life in the capital.
The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding
by L.A. Szirmai

A history of the different forms of binding, in chronological order, including means of construciton. Enjoy, but be is a massive download--a full 30MB.,%20John%20-%20The%20Archaeology%20of%20Medieval%20Bookbinding.pdf

Textiles from Burgos Cathedral in Patrimonio Nacional, Palacio Real
Madrid, Spain

On September 4-6th, 2006, a simple tecniqual analysis of silk bands with frilled edges was undertaken by Marianne Vedeler, under supervision of conservator C...oncha Herrero Carretero. Camilla Luise Dahl and myself were shown 11 textiles from the monastery Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas in Burgos. The bands have most likely been used for head dressing, and secondarily as part of the burial costume. The bands are primarily made of silk, some of them with elements of metalwork. Four of the presented textiles where examined in regard to textile analysis by me: No 653742, No 653737, No 651983 and No 651981.

Interesting--a form of frilled veil, but not (think the conservators) the "goffered" type.

Mary Alexandra MacLeod, PhD Thesis

Consumption and Material Culture in Sixteenth-Century Ireland
Susan Flavin

Wow. An analysis of the various items imported to Ireland throughout the Sixteenth century.

This thesis argues that Irish consumption underwent major changes over the course of the sixteenth century, based primarily on evidence from eleven annual Bristol ‘particular’ accounts and Port Books. The study uses the customs data as a statistical framework on which to establish how, why and to what extent patterns of consumption changed in Ireland. The available qualitative evidence, including wills, archaeological evidence, pictorial evidence, contemporary literature and legislation are considered alongside the quantitative data to examine who was consuming the increasing range and volume of commodities that were imported into Ireland from Bristol and what changing consumption patterns reveal about the nature of Ireland’s economy, society and culture during this period. The thesis also shows how the Exchequer customs accounts can be used to shed light on the changing consumption patterns / material culture of a pre-consumer society, with the intent of revealing the potential value of this source for consumption historians.

This work contributes to the current historiography in a number of important ways. It shifts the chronological focus of consumption studies from the conventional eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the sixteenth century, thus illustrating that marked changes in consumption can occur even in the most unlikely of pre-industrial societies. Also, by focusing on Ireland during this critical period, the lead up to the Elizabethan re-conquest, the thesis shows the extent to which changes in consumption habits map onto major political and social changes, thereby shedding light on the impact of colonisation and conquest on the acquisition, and interpretation of everyday goods. The study also makes a distinctive methodological contribution to consumption historiography, which currently suffers from a distinct lack of quantitative based studies.

English Fifteenth Century Book Structures.
Nicholas Hadgraft

 In discussing fifteenth century book structures the thesis describes those collections from which it's survey (of over three hundred bindings) was drawn. It explores the phys...ical archaeology of the book, and considers the context of book production in the late medieval period. The technical skills of the bookbinder are considered in detail, as are the tools, materials
and technologies used. The demise of the wooden boarded medieval book is compared with the great age of Romanesque bookbinding. In focusing on the collections held by Cambridge libraries, it was inevitable that there should be a strong concentration on the work of bookbinders from that city, but those from Oxford and London are well represented. The work of a number of provincial binders is also given attention.

Many of the books studied were undergoing conservation work whilst being surveyed, and this has provided much information which would otherwise have never been revealed. In particular it was possible to make a detailed study of sewing techniques, and of the changing materials used in the making of sewings.
Utilising a microcomputer with a powerful spreadsheet programme, the survey of three hundred books explores all aspects of English fifteenth century binding in wooden boards. Each book was catalogued in terms of nearly three hundred questions in computerised format, and the results were turned into graphs for percentage interpretation. In addition every  book was recorded on a detailed survey form, supported by photographs, drawings and diagrams to provide as full a set of details as possible. The results were scrutinised to consider the impact of the growing use of paper and of the invention of printing with movable type.

The cultural, social and economic demands of the medieval age are brought together as aspects which influenced the development of the book structure. The way in which books were made and used is considered in depth. The impact of mainstream historical developments in politics, religion and education are also factors which played a vital role in the history of the book during this period. The codex (in original condition) is a "time capsule", to quote Christopher Clarkson, and this research seeks to explore book production in one of the most vital centuries of its history.


A series of excavations from 1897 to 1951 showed the site of Jarlshof in Shetland to have been occupied by proto-Pictish, Pictish, and Viking peoples. These inquiries culminated in J.R.C. Hamilton’s 1956 monograph Excavations at Jarlshof, Shetland. In the years since the writing of the monograph, much new information has come to light that relates to the time periods found at Jarlshof. The concern of this thesis is how the new findings relate to Viking Age Jarlshof and how Viking Age Jarlshof relates to this new information.
In order to set Viking Age Jarlshof into its overall historical context regarding Shetland, a geographic and historical summation of Shetland is given. In order to set Jarlshof broadly within the sphere of Viking movements, the history of, and the reasons for, Viking activity are recounted. Next, specific aspects of Viking Age Shetland are examined. The evidence for the interaction of the Vikings with the native Picts is then reviewed. The relevant details of Jarlshof are then presented, along with the findings of recent studies that have been conducted that specifically relate to Viking Age Jarlshof. Various studies, especially new archaeological finds, are used to set Viking Jarlshof into its social context and to hypothesize about the history of the site itself. The major conclusions of this inquiry are: Vikings raiding was a product of a transitional stage of economy; the Shetland Norse came from an as yet unspecified region of Norway; the replacement of firehouses at Jarlshof by longhouses may be related to a greater reliance on trade and taxation; the clustering of houses at Jarlshof may be evidence of the antiquity of land management of Shetlanders as recorded in more recent centuries; three stages of Viking colonization that were first hypothesized for Orkney, i.e., pioneering, consolidation, and establishment, are also applicable to Shetland; sites in Orkney also demonstrate that Jarlshof is not unique in the ambiguity of evidence for interaction between the Picts and the Norse; Jarlshof may have been subjected to particularly aggressive Norse activities.

North-European trading centres and the Early Medieval craftsman. Craftsmen at Åhus, north-eastern Scania, Sweden ca. AD 750-850+.

There is some good information here on the tools and hints of the processes for working amber, and antler (co...mbs), among others.

The emergence and the further development of wics and trading places in Northern and North-western Europe (late 7th century to the 10th century) cannot be explained as the result of only one social and economic system. This complex background could be studied in the archaeological material from the workshops of craftsmen. In the person of the craftsman different social and economic and possibly also cultural spheres join together. The site of Åhus II (S. Sweden) and its waste material from diverse crafts is presented shortly: amber-working, antler-working, bronze- and silver-casting, glass-working, specialized forging, fine textile-working). The craftsmen were mainly residents of the site although some may have been absent e.g. during the summer months. The number of active craftsmen was high (hundreds of them). The craftsmen at Åhus II to a considerable extent were generalists performing several crafts. Fine dresses and clothes with accessories may have been the most important products. They joined in small-sized work groups forming an important element I n the social system of the site. The relative regularity of plots may hide a considerable variability. Many craftsmen at trading sites in Northern Europe were free men although the community of the site was dependant on the protection of local holders of power. The military potential of a site of this type should however not be played down completely.
Presumably the emergence of more extensive and more complex estates in the 7th and 8th centuries was an important mover for the development of wics and trading centres. The craftsman often worked intimately together with traders and merchants and may even sometimes have been the same person.
Medieval Maritime Law and its Practice in the Towns of Northern Europe: a Comparison by the example of Shipwreck, Jettison and Ship Collision.

 A thesis presented by Edda Barbara Isabella Frankot.
The Material Household and the Politics of Ostentation

A paper detailing the household expenditures of the children of Henry VIII throughout their lives.
Performing Diplomacies: The 1560s Court Entertainments of Mary Queen of Scots
Perfumed Textiles, by Katia Johanson     

 An interesting article, although it does jump quite a bit, chronologically. More of a interest catcher than a definitively informative paper.

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