The Medieval Globe provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars of all world areas by focusing on convergence, movement, and interdependence. Contributions to a global understanding of the medieval period (broadly defined) need not encompass the globe in any territorial sense. Rather, TMG advances a new theory and praxis of medieval studies by bringing into view phenomena that have been rendered practically or conceptually invisible by anachronistic boundaries, categories, and expectations. TMG also broadens discussion of the ways that medieval processes inform the global present and shape visions of the future.
For submission guidelines and additional information about The Medieval Globe, please see: http://www.arc-humanities.org/the-medieval-globe.html.
Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
Extensive geographic coverage, including China, South East Asia, Arabia, Sasanian Persia, the Muslim Empire, the Byzantine empire, and Western Europe allows the essays gathered in this volume to offer a well differentiated examination of seals and sealing practices between 400 and 1500 CE. Contributors expose rather than assume the inter-subjective, transnational, and transcultural connectivity at work within the varied processes mediated by seals and sealing – representation, authorization, identification, and transmission. These essays encourage an understanding that seals operated in liminal, transitional situations arising from legal, administrative, martial, mercantile, or diplomatic encounters, creating cross-cultural sealing networks in which adaption and accommodation underlay the force of seals as objects and images that generate sociocultural identification through mutual exchange and visual hybridity.
Law has been a primary locus and vehicle of contact across human history—as a system of ideas embodied in people and enacted on bodies; and also as a material, textual, and sensory "thing." The seven essays gathered here analyze a variety of legal encounters on the medieval globe, ranging from South Asia to South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Contributors uncover the people behind and within legal systems and explore various material expressions of law that reveal the complexity and intensity of cross-cultural contact in this pivotal era. Topics include comparative jurisprudence, sumptuary law, varieties of punishment, forms of documentation and legal knowledge, religious law, and encounters between imperial and indigenous legal systems. A featured source preserves an Ethiopian king's legislation against traffic in Christian slaves, resulting from the intensifying African slave trade of the sixteenth century.
This collection in The Medieval Globe aims to reassess the so-called global turn in medieval art history. Study of the migration of motifs, materials, personnel, and finished objects has a long pedigree within medieval art history, while the broadening attention to material culture has likewise been an integral factor in reshaping the current conception of a more interconnected medieval world. Yet despite these developments, numerous important problems remain to be addressed. In addition to debates concerning the concept of “the global,” these include the challenges to traditional art historical narratives, specializations, and scholarly training posed by the much more complex picture of Eurasian and African cross-cultural connections which has begun to emerge. Moreover, while these challenges affect Byzantine, Islamic, western European, and East Asian art histories alike, there has as yet been little sustained conversation among those working in these fields. Drawing together articles by specialists actively engaged in the reassessment of medieval art and material culture in a global context, this thematic issue features examples of cutting-edge scholarship and offers a starting point for future dialogues and cross-cultural research projects.
Monica H. Green, Carol Symes, Anna Colet, Josep Xavier Muntané i Santiveri, Jordi Ruíz, Oriol Saula, M. Eulàlia Subirà de Galdàcano, Clara Jáuregui, Sharon N. DeWitte, Stuart Borsch, Ann G. Carmichael, Nükhet Varlık, Fabian Crespo, Matt B. Lawrenz, Michelle Ziegler, Robert Hymes, Kathleen Walker-Meikle, and Wolfgang P. Müller
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 book to synthesize the new evidence and research methods that are providing fresh answers to these crucial questions. It was only in 2011, thanks to ancient DNA recovered from remains unearthed in London’s East Smithfield cemetery, that the full genome of the plague pathogen was identified. This single-celled organism probably originated 3000-4000 years ago and has caused three pandemics in recorded history: the Justinianic (or First) Plague Pandemic, around 541-750; the Black Death (Second Plague Pandemic), conventionally dated to the 1340s; and the Third Plague Pandemic, usually dated from around 1894 to the 1930s. This ground-breaking book brings together scholars from the humanities and social and physical sciences to address the question of how recent work in genetics, zoology, and epidemiology can enable a rethinking of the Black Death's global reach and its larger historical significance. It forms the inaugural double issue of The Medieval Globe, a new journal sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This issue of The Medieval Globe is published with the support of the World History Center at the University of Pittsburgh.