In Light of Another's Word: European Ethnography in the by Shirin A. Khanmohamadi
By Shirin A. Khanmohamadi
Challenging the normal perception of medieval Europe as insular or even xenophobic, Shirin A. Khanmohamadi's In gentle of Another's Word appears to be like to early ethnographic writers who have been unusually conscious of their very own otherness, specifically while confronted with the far-flung peoples and cultures they intended to explain. those authors—William of Rubruck one of the Mongols, "John Mandeville" cataloguing the world's different wonders, Geraldus Cambrensis describing the manners of the twelfth-century Welsh, and Jean de Joinville in his account of some of the Saracens encountered at the 7th Crusade—display an uncanny skill to determine and comprehend from the viewpoint of the very strangers who're their subjects.
Khanmohamadi elaborates on a particular past due medieval ethnographic poetics marked via either a profound openness to replacement views and voices and a feeling of the ambitious chance of such openness to Europe's governing spiritual and cultural orthodoxies. That we will be able to pay attention the voices of medieval Europe's others in those narratives despite such orthodoxies permits us to take complete degree of the efficient forces of disorientation and destabilization at paintings on those early ethnographic writers.
Poised on the intersection of medieval reports, anthropology, and visible tradition, In gentle of Another's Word is an leading edge departure from every one, extending latest reviews of medieval commute writing into the world of poetics, of ethnographic shape into the premodern realm, and of early visible tradition into the area of ethnographic encounter.
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Extra resources for In Light of Another's Word: European Ethnography in the Middle Ages
Gerald wrote his four Celtic works in the span of less than a decade, from the Topographia Hibernica (The topography of Ireland) and the Expugnatio Hibernica (The conquest of Ireland) in 1188 to the Itinerarium Kambriae (The journey through Wales) in 1191, to the Descriptio Kambriae (The description of Wales) in 1194. While Gerald called these his “minor works,” and felt the need to defend his choice to expend “the flowers of my rhetoric” on “those rugged countries, Ireland, Wales and Britain,”1 his Celtic works have in fact attracted more scholarly attention than any of his other writings.
The monstrous races of Pliny’s Natural History, whom he terms gentes monstri and homines or gentes silvestres, appear in book 7 immediately after Pliny considers the innumerable “ritus moresque”— customs and manners—of all the world’s gentes that he could not include in his cosmography. The relation between these monsters and the human becomes clear soon thereafter: the “monstrous” is that which stretches, twists, or turns inside out the norms of the human form, life cycle, and social habits of Pliny’s antique day.
It is not their habit to build great palaces, or vast and towering structures of stone and cement. 17). According to this description, the twelfth-century Welsh are an antisocial, solitary people content to live in the woods, a seminomadic existence implied in the description of their huts as usibus annuis sufficientia (strong enough to last a year or so). non palatial magna, non sumptuosas”— suggests the extent to which Gerald is enacting an implicit comparison with contemporary Anglo-Norman life, which as we know from abundant contemporary evidence was indeed town oriented, and built around stone palaces and castles, those symbols of Norman conquest throughout England and Wales.