Session Title

Seal the Real: Documentary Records, Seals, and Authentications I

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Organizer Name

Mildred Budny

Organizer Affiliation

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Presider Name

Mildred Budny

Paper Title 1

Sealing the Historical Record in Matthew Paris's Chronica majora

Presenter 1 Name

Laura J. Whatley

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Auburn Univ.-Montgomery

Paper Title 2

Antiquity Revisited: Ancient Gems in Medieval English Seals

Presenter 2 Name

John McEwan

Presenter 2 Affiliation

St. Louis Univ.

Paper Title 3

Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Hoccleve's Ambiguous Seal Poetics

Presenter 3 Name

James Eric Ensley

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Yale Univ.

Start Date

7-5-2020 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 2040

Description

This pair of sessions explores the presentation and attestation of documentary records in the medieval and early modern periods, in the long transition to the modern custom of signatures as autographs. Methods of attestation include names written by the person, as well as ‘signatures’ or identifiers made by proxy, whether by cross-signs, names inscribed by others on behalf of the signatory, personal or official seals, or other forms. Mildred Budny

The time-honored human determination to establish recognized — that is, effective — modes of authenticating intentions and actions by individuals and institutions alike underpins the historical transmission (or disruption, willful and otherwise) of formal records of agreements, sales, transfers, decisions over grievances and feuds, and other impactful official arrangements across the centuries.

Examining case studies for these sessions, we adopt multiple approaches, subject matters, and methodologies for analyzing the strategies adopted (successfully or otherwise) in the pursuit of such a quest for authentication. Case-studies include the seals in Matthew Paris's Chronica Maiora, antique gems in medieval English seals, Thomas Hoccleve's ambiguous 'Seal Poetics, and a puzzling seal, apparently exhibiting cranial deformation, from 14th-century Toulouse.

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May 7th, 10:00 AM

Seal the Real: Documentary Records, Seals, and Authentications I

Fetzer 2040

This pair of sessions explores the presentation and attestation of documentary records in the medieval and early modern periods, in the long transition to the modern custom of signatures as autographs. Methods of attestation include names written by the person, as well as ‘signatures’ or identifiers made by proxy, whether by cross-signs, names inscribed by others on behalf of the signatory, personal or official seals, or other forms. Mildred Budny

The time-honored human determination to establish recognized — that is, effective — modes of authenticating intentions and actions by individuals and institutions alike underpins the historical transmission (or disruption, willful and otherwise) of formal records of agreements, sales, transfers, decisions over grievances and feuds, and other impactful official arrangements across the centuries.

Examining case studies for these sessions, we adopt multiple approaches, subject matters, and methodologies for analyzing the strategies adopted (successfully or otherwise) in the pursuit of such a quest for authentication. Case-studies include the seals in Matthew Paris's Chronica Maiora, antique gems in medieval English seals, Thomas Hoccleve's ambiguous 'Seal Poetics, and a puzzling seal, apparently exhibiting cranial deformation, from 14th-century Toulouse.