Session Title

Twelve Angry Carolingians II: Not Angry, Just Disappointed

Sponsoring Organization(s)

SFB Visions of Community (VISCOM), FWF F42

Organizer Name

Rutger Kramer, Cullen Chandler

Organizer Affiliation

Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Lycoming College

Presider Name

Martin A. Claussen

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of San Francisco

Paper Title 1

"Not Just Stultitia, but Outright Nequitia!": Theodulf of Orléans and His Contemporaries on Stupidity

Presenter 1 Name

Carine van Rhijn

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. Utrecht

Paper Title 2

Debating Vanity: Alcuin's Chastisements concerning Clothing

Presenter 2 Name

Valerie L. Garver

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Northern Illinois Univ.

Paper Title 3

"For Priests Are Found to Be Insipid": Hildemar of Corbie and the Corporal Punishment of Monastic Priests

Presenter 3 Name

Maximilian McComb

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Cornell Univ.

Start Date

13-5-2017 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1145

Description

While anger, or any emotion for that matter, often appears in the sources as a catalyst for self-reflection, it also served more direct rhetorical – or even educational – purposes. Coming from a teacher to his students, from an abbot to his monks, or simply from anyone in a position of moral authority, to voice displeasure was to teach the recipients of the admonition a lesson. And the angrier one got, the more poignant the message.

This session, the second in a series on the rhetorical uses of anger in the Carolingian era (organized in honor of the 60th anniversary of Sidney Lumet's classic 12 Angry Men), will highlight three cases in which anger, displeasure or simple disappointment appears as a didactic tool, meant to improve the state of the Church. Based on Theodulf of Orléans' episcopal statutes, Carine van Rhijn will explore the theme of stultitia as a driving force behind the efforts for correctio in the early ninth century. A strong term, with undertones of insufficient education and knowledge, stultitia became not just a way to categorise boorish stupidity, but also a painful reminder that efforts to preach and teach sometimes fell short of the ideal. Valerie Garver, drawing on a wide array of source material, will then show how changes in sartorial tastes and customs raised the ire of the courtier Alcuin, who in his letters frequently admonished his recipients, both lay and religious, to refrain from vanity in their clothing and adornment. Shaped by Biblical and late antique authorities, Alcuin’s concern with clothing was intended to communicate his understanding of how garments could mold one’s view of oneself and of others. Finally, Max McComb will look at one of the ways in which educators could actually vent their displeasure with their students, by looking at the treatment of corporal punishment in the Commentary on the Regula Benedicti by Hildemar of Corbie – a treatment that takes the form of a ficticious debate within the text. Reading Hildemar’s text from the perspective of his deployment of sarcasm and affective rhetoric – based on his idea that even priests at times failed to live up to the standards they set – it will be argued that to Hildemar, priests in monasteries must be theoretically liable to physical correction.

Rutger Kramer

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May 13th, 1:30 PM

Twelve Angry Carolingians II: Not Angry, Just Disappointed

Schneider 1145

While anger, or any emotion for that matter, often appears in the sources as a catalyst for self-reflection, it also served more direct rhetorical – or even educational – purposes. Coming from a teacher to his students, from an abbot to his monks, or simply from anyone in a position of moral authority, to voice displeasure was to teach the recipients of the admonition a lesson. And the angrier one got, the more poignant the message.

This session, the second in a series on the rhetorical uses of anger in the Carolingian era (organized in honor of the 60th anniversary of Sidney Lumet's classic 12 Angry Men), will highlight three cases in which anger, displeasure or simple disappointment appears as a didactic tool, meant to improve the state of the Church. Based on Theodulf of Orléans' episcopal statutes, Carine van Rhijn will explore the theme of stultitia as a driving force behind the efforts for correctio in the early ninth century. A strong term, with undertones of insufficient education and knowledge, stultitia became not just a way to categorise boorish stupidity, but also a painful reminder that efforts to preach and teach sometimes fell short of the ideal. Valerie Garver, drawing on a wide array of source material, will then show how changes in sartorial tastes and customs raised the ire of the courtier Alcuin, who in his letters frequently admonished his recipients, both lay and religious, to refrain from vanity in their clothing and adornment. Shaped by Biblical and late antique authorities, Alcuin’s concern with clothing was intended to communicate his understanding of how garments could mold one’s view of oneself and of others. Finally, Max McComb will look at one of the ways in which educators could actually vent their displeasure with their students, by looking at the treatment of corporal punishment in the Commentary on the Regula Benedicti by Hildemar of Corbie – a treatment that takes the form of a ficticious debate within the text. Reading Hildemar’s text from the perspective of his deployment of sarcasm and affective rhetoric – based on his idea that even priests at times failed to live up to the standards they set – it will be argued that to Hildemar, priests in monasteries must be theoretically liable to physical correction.

Rutger Kramer