Voice and Voicelessness in Medieval Europe by Kleiman, Irit Ruth Kleiman

By Kleiman, Irit Ruth Kleiman

Twelve medieval students from a variety of disciplines, together with legislations, literature, and faith tackle the query: What did it suggest to own a voice - or to be with out one - in the course of the heart a long time? This assortment finds how the philosophy, theology, and aesthetics of the voice inhabit probably the most canonical texts of the center a long time.

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5. See Georges Duby, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago, IL and London: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 110–19. 6. Aristotle, Politics, I, 2, 1253a 7–18, trans. C. D. C. Reeve (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1998), 4. 7. The double articulation of phonè/logos and zoè/polis in Aristotle is the starting point of a ref lection on the link between sovereignty and biopolitics in Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans.

4 Spoken sounds, then, are symbols of affections (pathemata) in the soul, but they are in the first place signs (semeia) of those affections. The semeion is a natural sign or symptom and as such is shared by human and animal voices. Vocal sounds become symbols, in an articulated system of relations, only when they are assigned meanings by convention. An animal cannot speak a name (or noun) because names and nouns signify only within a system of language, which is a specifically human institution.

What kind of command or leadership could one need in a city-state where citizens already govern themselves? One cannot rule over a city where the citizens are literally angels. The angelic form of self-government undermines the very logic of government because it blurs the difference between citizen and governor, between the one who is governed and the one who governs. Citizens do not have any governors, and governors do not rule over any citizens. Politics are a supplement to nature that the angelic condition of glory renders absolutely useless, since it makes all magistrates and governors absolutely idle.

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