Horse sessions at IMC 2018

horse lungedA series of four horse sessions and a Round Table, organised by Anastasija Ropa and Timothy Dawson, will take place during the International Medieval Congress 2018.

Palfreys and rounceys, hackneys and packhorses, warhorses and coursers, not to mention the mysterious ‘dung mare’ – they were all part of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Every cleric and monk, no matter how immersed in his devotional routine and books he would be, every nun, no matter how reclusive her life, every peasant, no matter how poor his household, would have some experience of horses. To the medieval people, horses were as habitual as cars in the modern times. Besides, there was the daily co-existence with horses to which many representatives of the gentry and nobility – both male and female – were exposed, which far exceeds the experience of most amateur riders today. We cannot reconstruct or re-experience the familiar and casual communication between humans and equids of the Middle Ages – or can we? At our sessions on the Medieval Horse, we will try to deduce, describe and debate the place of the horse in medieval society.

Session 508Horses across Europe

Tue. 03 July – 09.00-10.30

Loïs Forster, The typology of horses in Burgundian chronicles of the 15th century

Rebecca Henderson, “Hrafn ok Sleipnir, hestar ágætir,”: Horses of the Medieval North

Jürg Gassmann, Remembering Vegetius and Arrian – Cavalry Tactics and Training in the Early Middle Ages

Jack Gassmann, Horses as military force multipliers in medieval Europe


Session 608: Equestrian Equipment

Tue. 03 July – 11.15-12.45

Marina Viallon, Horsing Around at the Angevin Court of Naples: Study of Two Fourteenth-century Enameled Horse Bits Preserved in New York and Turin

Adeline Dumont, La selle de Senonches, histoire d’une renaissance

Toby Capwell, Elevation: The Key Issue in Understanding Medieval Knightly Riding Styles

Session 808Horses in Courtly Literature 

 Tue. 03 July – 16.30-18.00

Gloria Allaire, Horse Descriptions in the Unedited Prose Rinaldo da Montalbano

(Florence, Biblioteca Laurenziana MS Pluteus 42, codex 37)

Luise Borek, Dead horses in Arthurian Romance (and beyond)

Gavina Cherchi, Unbridled horses and Knights errant


Session 908Reconstructing the Medieval Horse: A Round Table Discussion

Tue. 03 July – 19.00-20.00

Participants: Adeline Dumont (Dresser pour chercher); Jack Gassmann (On practicalities of medieval equitation); Gloria Allaire (Horses in medieval texts and manuscript illuminations); John C. Ford (“Ful nobelelike upon a stede or Overþwert upon an asse: Significance of Equid Mounts and Other Quadrupeds in the Middle English Verse Romances”); Edgars Rops (Reconstructing the horse culture from legal texts: an impossible endeavor?); Loïs Forster (Reconstructing the Medieval Knightly Combat)


Session 1502Horses in the Orient

Thu. 05 July – 09.00-10.30

Romain Lefebvre, The role of the horse in Tangut society

Alexia-Foteini Stamouli, Information of Middle Byzantine hagiographical texts about horses

Gail Brownrigg, Was the Horse Collar Invented in China?


For more information about the sessions, including the session abstracts, please see the IMC programme

Published by thegrailquest

Anastasija Ropa holds a doctoral degree from Bangor University (North Wales), for a study in medieval and modern Arthurian literature. She has published a number of articles on medieval and modern Arthurian literature, focusing on its historical and artistic aspects. She is currently employed as guest lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education. Anastasija’s most recent research explores medieval equestrianism in English and French literary art and literature, and she is also engaged as part-time volunteer horse-trainer. In a nutshell: Lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education Graduate of the School of English, University of Wales, Bangor. Graduate of the University of Latvia Passionate about history, particularly the Middle Ages A horse-lover and horse-owner

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