Tag Archives: horses

New Book: Practical Horsemanship in Medieval Arthurian Romance

practicalhorsemanshipThe figure of a knight on horseback is the emblem of medieval chivalry. Much has been written on the ideology and practicalities of knighthood as portrayed in medieval romance, especially Arthurian romance, and it is surprising that so little attention was hitherto granted to the knight’s closest companion, the horse. This study examines the horse as a social indicator, as the knight’s animal alter ego in his spiritual peregrinations and earthly adventures, the ups and downs of chivalric adventure, as well as the relations between the lady and her palfrey in romance. Both medieval authors and their audiences knew more about the symbolism and practice of horsemanship than most readers do today. By providing the background to the descriptions of horses and horsemanship in Arthurian romance, this study deepens the readers’ appreciation of these texts. At the same time, critical reading of romance supplies information about the ideology and daily practice of horsemanship in the Middle Ages that is otherwise impossible to obtain from other sources, be it archaeology, chronicles or administrative documentation.

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Call for papers: Horse History Sessions at the International Medieval Congress

chretien's perceval‘…the most impressive thing in the world [is] an armoured knight on horseback’ wrote Luis Zapata de Chaves in his late 16th-century treatise Del Justador. Recent flourishing of studies in horse history proves that horses not only at the core of pre-modern society but that they make an important part of medieval studies today.

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Call for papers for session papers on medieval equestrian history at IMC Leeds 2019

Your horse won’t eat any oats, nor will he be bled until I get my revenge’ threatens his lady Orgeuilleux de la Lande, making his displeasure evident by abusing the lady’s horse. Horses were vital agents in daily life throughout the medieval period, but with the advent of technology in the twentieth century, they have been somehow marginalized in academic studies. Recently, interest in equine history has surged, but there are still many issues waiting to be tackled by scholars.

chretien's perceval

In this fourth year of thematic horse sessions at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, we invite papers on the following themes:

  • Breeding, training, feeding and curing horses
  • Osteological study of horse remains
  • Equipment for ridden and working horses
  • Horse-related buildings and infrastructure (stables, roads, hyppodromes, markets, etc.)
  • Horses in the East and West – regional peculiarities
  • Imaginary, fantastic and magical horses and equids, including unicorns, centaurs and grotesques, and their relation to real horses
  • Other equids and ridden animals (donkeys, mules, zebras, etc.)

If you would like to propose a theme that does not fit in the above categories, please contact the organizers.

Paper abstracts (up to 500 words) and short biographies (up to 100 words) are to be sent to Dr Anastasija Ropa (Anastasija.Ropa@lspa.lv) and Dr Timothy Dawson (levantia@hotmail.com) by 31 August 2018.

Publication of selected papers is planned.

If you would like to be involved in organizing the sessions or editing or reviewing the publication, please contact the organizers (Anastasija.Ropa@lspa.lv, levantia@hotmail.com).chretien's perceval.png

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.

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Horse History and Art History:  A Potential for Multidisciplinary Research

The horses, a major factor in medieval life, its way into medieval art in its various manifestations: in manuscript illuminations and sculptures, in tapestries and frescoes, in metalwork and household objects, horses, real and imaginary, ridden and free, are ubiquitous. Moreover, art was also an integral part of equestrian culture – although horse harness and equipment were usually plain and functional, some of the surviving objects are lavishly decorated. Finally, at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Early Modern period, riding itself became an art, performed and orchestrated, so that it evolved into a spectacle known today as dressage.

Can we ignore this wealth of evidence when approaching horse history? Can we ignore the presence of horses when studying medieval art?

1330-Harrowing-l

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CFP For the sessions on THE MEDIEVAL HORSE at the International Medieval Congress 2018 at Leeds, 2-5 July 2018

courtly hawkingPalfreys 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.

We welcome submissions on any aspect of medieval equestrianism and engagement with horses and similar beasts of burdens, whether in military, civilian, industrial or agricultural context, from a variety of disciplines as well as papers that approach the subject using experimental and reconstruction methodologies.

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CFP: Horses in Art: The Familiar and the Alien Session at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 4 July 2017: 11.15-12.45

Gentile da Fabriano, 15c, detail

Gentile da Fabriano, 15c, detail

IMC 2017: Last minute call for papers

Below is a list of two-paper sessions which still require a third paper.If you would like to propose a paper for any of the sessions please send your paper to us via email noting the session you have applied for at the top of your message. If we have included contact details for the organiser, please contact them first to discuss your paper.

Session 603

Horses in Art: The Familiar and the Alien

Tuesday 4 July 2017: 11.15-12.45

Organiser: Edgar Rops, Faculty of Law, University of Latvia, Riga

Moderator: Anastasija Ropa, Department of Management & Communication Science, LASE, Riga (Anastasija.Ropa@lspa.lv)

Horses, omnipresent in the medieval life, make a frequent appearance in medieval art in a variety of forms and guises, referring the viewer to the familiar realities or carrying him or her to the realms of fantasy and alterity. Likewise, the connotations of equines and equestrians differs: from the metaphoric and symbolic to the purely practical, the interaction between horses and humans in visual media channels a variety of meanings. The papers presented in this thematic session on horses in medieval art study the representation of equines in various physical contexts: on tapestries and frescoes, as well as manuscripts.

 

For other sessions still seeking papers at IMC Leeds 2017, see the conference website.