Session Title

Liturgy and Politics in the Ottonian Empire

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Paweł Figurski

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. Warszawski/Univ. of Notre Dame

Presider Name

Margot E. Fassler

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Notre Dame

Paper Title 1

Tenth-Century Queens and Empresses in the Liturgy

Presenter 1 Name

Megan Welton

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Notre Dame

Paper Title 2

The Ideal of "Rex et Sacerdos" in the Ottonian Liturgical Books: A Reconsideration

Presenter 2 Name

Paweł Figurski

Paper Title 3

"Do not perform the episcopal benediction and the rites of the mass in my diocese!": The Usage of Liturgy for Wielding Authority in the Border Region of Cambrai/Arras

Presenter 3 Name

Julia Exarchos

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. Gent/Univ. of California-Berkeley

Start Date

14-5-2016 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1360

Description

The Ottonian Empire was the predominant political realm in the post-Carolingian world. Yet, this vast empire remains largely understudied in American academia. This past year not a single session was organized on the Ottonians at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo. However, Ottonian culture proved a crucial impetus for the religious and political development of medieval Europe. Since Ernst Kantorowicz formulated a characteristic of "liturgical kingship," the key role of liturgy in the Ottonian civilization has been acknowledged by European scholars. Henry Mayr-Harting has called for this period to be termed as the "age of liturgy," while Gerd Althoff has stressed the role of liturgically-based political rituals in the Ottonian government. The proposed session is meant to bring to mind the impact of Ottonian culture for European civilization and provide a deep analysis of the intersection of politics and liturgy, which was crucial for the culture at the turn of the first millennium.

The first speaker, Henry Parkes (Yale University), will discuss the phenomenon of Pontificale Romano-Germanique (PRG). As a loose collection of texts pertaining to the performance, interpretation, and history of Christian liturgy, this textual tradition remains extant in over thirty manuscripts from tenth- to twelfth-century Europe, with a concentration in early eleventh-century Germany. Scholars have been attracted to the PRG tradition by texts too many to list – among them explanations of holy orders, the Mass, and church dedication, extensive lists of chants, blessings, and readings, and rituals for coronation and for the ordination of women – yet the manuscripts bear no title. Indeed, the title ‘PRG’ is a recent invention. This collection of texts conforms to no other book type, and they are extraordinarily varied in their content and appearance. With particular attention to scribal practice, this paper presents new findings on the PRG phenomenon, shedding light on the different ecclesiastical and intellectual contexts in which its manuscripts may have been cultivated. Along the way, several untenable theories will be laid to rest.

The second speaker, Megan Welton (University of Notre Dame) explores the presence of Ottonian empresses in the liturgy. As a genre, the ceremonies and mass surrounding the king’s coronation have received a great deal of attention. Scholars from the nineteenth century onwards have analyzed these documents in conjunction with their interest in kingship and in the political culture of the medieval world. With the burgeoning interest in queens and queenship, coronation ordines that included queens, or that were made for queens, have received renewed attention in recent decades. Welton’s paper seeks to underscore that that the queen’s ordines must be studied in conjunction with their involvement in medieval liturgies throughout their careers. Kings frequently ordered the recital of their own, their queens’, their progenies’, and their ancestors’ names during a certain number of prayers and liturgies intended to ensure the "gratia Dei" and health of their kingdoms. Queens followed suit. They collaborated with their consorts in the designation of specific masses and prayers. They also commissioned prayers in connection with their own gifts to religious communities. Ultimately, Welton argues that empresses, as well as emperors, utilized the liturgical space and language to reinforce their political position and their ability to rule.

The third speaker, Paweł Figurski (University of Warsaw/University of Notre Dame), will describe the impact of liturgical prayers for the spread of a phenomenon of sacral kingship of Ottonians. Based on the research of episcopal and monastic manuscript traditions, he will argue, that the hitherto held view of Ottonian ecclesiastical centers as the advocates of sacral kingship is far from being true. Based on his research of hundreds of liturgical manuscripts, Figurski will argue that ecclesiastical hierarchs were instead sharing the views on political power, which later characterized the followers of the Gregorian reform movement.

The last speaker, Julia Exarchos (Ghent University) will examine the meaning and use of liturgy and its scripted versions for wielding and strengthening authority in the tenth and eleventh centuries. By focusing on examples from a border region of the Ottonian Empire and the West Frankish Kingdom, namely the region of Cambrai/Arras, Julia Exarchos will show how bishops and other clerical institutions in Cambrai/Arras used the performance of liturgy and its scripting to shape and wield authority over others and to promote imperial ideology in their diocese. Further, the paper will address the question of possible reactions, or even resistance, to those attempts of using liturgy as a performance and display of authority and power. In so doing, it will contribute to a better understanding of how liturgy was used by various parties to shape, wield, and enforce authority and leadership in a border diocese of the Ottonian Empire.

All four speakers will contribute to the research on Ottonian Empire, since the papers will contribute original theses and reconsiderations of current historiography. Moreover, all four speakers will share to some extent the same source material, which will trigger debate between panelists and the audience.

Pawel Figurski

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May 14th, 10:00 AM

Liturgy and Politics in the Ottonian Empire

Schneider 1360

The Ottonian Empire was the predominant political realm in the post-Carolingian world. Yet, this vast empire remains largely understudied in American academia. This past year not a single session was organized on the Ottonians at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo. However, Ottonian culture proved a crucial impetus for the religious and political development of medieval Europe. Since Ernst Kantorowicz formulated a characteristic of "liturgical kingship," the key role of liturgy in the Ottonian civilization has been acknowledged by European scholars. Henry Mayr-Harting has called for this period to be termed as the "age of liturgy," while Gerd Althoff has stressed the role of liturgically-based political rituals in the Ottonian government. The proposed session is meant to bring to mind the impact of Ottonian culture for European civilization and provide a deep analysis of the intersection of politics and liturgy, which was crucial for the culture at the turn of the first millennium.

The first speaker, Henry Parkes (Yale University), will discuss the phenomenon of Pontificale Romano-Germanique (PRG). As a loose collection of texts pertaining to the performance, interpretation, and history of Christian liturgy, this textual tradition remains extant in over thirty manuscripts from tenth- to twelfth-century Europe, with a concentration in early eleventh-century Germany. Scholars have been attracted to the PRG tradition by texts too many to list – among them explanations of holy orders, the Mass, and church dedication, extensive lists of chants, blessings, and readings, and rituals for coronation and for the ordination of women – yet the manuscripts bear no title. Indeed, the title ‘PRG’ is a recent invention. This collection of texts conforms to no other book type, and they are extraordinarily varied in their content and appearance. With particular attention to scribal practice, this paper presents new findings on the PRG phenomenon, shedding light on the different ecclesiastical and intellectual contexts in which its manuscripts may have been cultivated. Along the way, several untenable theories will be laid to rest.

The second speaker, Megan Welton (University of Notre Dame) explores the presence of Ottonian empresses in the liturgy. As a genre, the ceremonies and mass surrounding the king’s coronation have received a great deal of attention. Scholars from the nineteenth century onwards have analyzed these documents in conjunction with their interest in kingship and in the political culture of the medieval world. With the burgeoning interest in queens and queenship, coronation ordines that included queens, or that were made for queens, have received renewed attention in recent decades. Welton’s paper seeks to underscore that that the queen’s ordines must be studied in conjunction with their involvement in medieval liturgies throughout their careers. Kings frequently ordered the recital of their own, their queens’, their progenies’, and their ancestors’ names during a certain number of prayers and liturgies intended to ensure the "gratia Dei" and health of their kingdoms. Queens followed suit. They collaborated with their consorts in the designation of specific masses and prayers. They also commissioned prayers in connection with their own gifts to religious communities. Ultimately, Welton argues that empresses, as well as emperors, utilized the liturgical space and language to reinforce their political position and their ability to rule.

The third speaker, Paweł Figurski (University of Warsaw/University of Notre Dame), will describe the impact of liturgical prayers for the spread of a phenomenon of sacral kingship of Ottonians. Based on the research of episcopal and monastic manuscript traditions, he will argue, that the hitherto held view of Ottonian ecclesiastical centers as the advocates of sacral kingship is far from being true. Based on his research of hundreds of liturgical manuscripts, Figurski will argue that ecclesiastical hierarchs were instead sharing the views on political power, which later characterized the followers of the Gregorian reform movement.

The last speaker, Julia Exarchos (Ghent University) will examine the meaning and use of liturgy and its scripted versions for wielding and strengthening authority in the tenth and eleventh centuries. By focusing on examples from a border region of the Ottonian Empire and the West Frankish Kingdom, namely the region of Cambrai/Arras, Julia Exarchos will show how bishops and other clerical institutions in Cambrai/Arras used the performance of liturgy and its scripting to shape and wield authority over others and to promote imperial ideology in their diocese. Further, the paper will address the question of possible reactions, or even resistance, to those attempts of using liturgy as a performance and display of authority and power. In so doing, it will contribute to a better understanding of how liturgy was used by various parties to shape, wield, and enforce authority and leadership in a border diocese of the Ottonian Empire.

All four speakers will contribute to the research on Ottonian Empire, since the papers will contribute original theses and reconsiderations of current historiography. Moreover, all four speakers will share to some extent the same source material, which will trigger debate between panelists and the audience.

Pawel Figurski