Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Art, Material Culture, Language and Literature of the Early Medieval World [Hardback]

Eric Cambridge(Editor); Jane Hawkes(Editor)

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ISBN: 9781785703072 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2017 | 1st | Language: English 320p, H11 x W8.5, b/w and color
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Crossing Boundaries


Interdisciplinary studies are increasingly widely recognised as being among the most fruitful approaches to generating original perspectives on the medieval past. In this major collection of 27 papers, contributors transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries to offer new approaches to a number of themes ranging in time from late antiquity to the high Middle Ages. The main focus is on material culture, but also includes insights into the compositional techniques of Bede and the Beowulf-poet, and the strategies adopted by anonymous scribes to record information in unfamiliar languages. Contributors offer fresh insights into some of the most iconic survivals from the period, from the wooden doors of Sta Sabina in Rome to the Ruthwell Cross, and from St Cuthbert’s coffin to the design of its final resting place, the Romanesque cathedral at Durham. Important thematic surveys reveal early medieval Welsh and Pictish carvers interacting with the political and intellectual concerns of the wider Insular and continental world. Other contributors consider what it is to be Viking, revealing how radically present perceptions shape our understanding of the past, how recent archaeological work reveals the inadequacy of the traditional categorisation of the Vikings as ‘incomers’, and how recontextualising Viking material culture can lead to unexpected insights into famous historical episodes such as King Edgar’s boat trip on the Dee. Recent landmark finds, notably the runic-inscribed Saltfleetby spindle whorl and the sword pommel from Beckley, are also published here for the first time in comprehensive analyses which will remain the fundamental discussions of these spectacular objects for many years to come.This book will be indispensable reading for everyone interested in medieval culture.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Crossing Boundaries

I. New Perspectives on Insular Sculpture and Art
1. Clare Stancliffe:
The Riddle of the Ruthwell Cross: Audience, Intention and Originator Reconsidered
2. Rosemary Cramp:
Heads you Lose
3. Elizabeth Coatsworth:
Depiction of Martyrdom in Anglo-Saxon Art and Literature: Contexts and Contrasts
4. Nancy Edwards:
Crucifixion Iconography on Early Medieval Sculpture in Wales
5. George Henderson:
Pictish Relief Sculpture: Some Problems of Interpretation
6. Isabel Henderson:
Reviewing the Relationship between Pictish and Mercian Art Fifty Years on

II. Objects and Meanings
7. Éamonn Ó Carragáin:
The Santa Sabina Crucifixion Panel: ‘Between Two Living Creatures you will be Known’ on Good Friday, at ‘Hierusalem’ in Fifth-century Rome
8. Jane Hawkes:
The Body in the Box: the Iconography of the Cuthbert Coffin
9. Catherine Karkov:
Reading the Trinity in the Harley Psalter
10. Leslie Webster:
Wundorsmiþa geweorc: a Mercian Sword-pommel from the Beckley Area, Oxfordshire
11. James Graham-Campbell:
A Scandinavian gold brooch from Norfolk
12. John Hines:
A Glimpse of the Heathen Norse in Lincolnshire
13. Helen Gittos:
Archaeological Evidence for Local Liturgical Practices: the Lead Plaques from Bury St Edmunds

Reviews & Quotes

""[…] a collection of excellent essays that make a significant contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies.""

Parergon ()

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