By Lynda L. Coon

In Dark Age Bodies Lynda L. Coon reconstructs the gender ideology of monastic masculinity via an research of early medieval readings of the physique. concentrating on the Carolingian period, Coon evaluates the ritual and liturgical performances of monastic our bodies in the inventive landscapes of same-sex ascetic groups in northern Europe. She demonstrates how the priestly physique performs an important function in shaping significant elements of Carolingian heritage, reminiscent of the revival of classicism, routine for clerical reform, and church-state kinfolk. within the political realm, Carolingian churchmen continuously exploited monastic buildings of gender to say the facility of the monastery. Stressing the very best characteristics of priestly virility, clerical elites solid a version of gender that sought to feminize lay male our bodies via numerous textual, ritual, and spatial means.

Focusing on 3 valuable themes—the physique, structure, and formality practice—the booklet attracts from numerous visible and textual fabrics, together with poetry, grammar manuals, rhetorical treatises, biblical exegesis, monastic rules, hagiographies, illuminated manuscripts, development plans, and cloister layout. Interdisciplinary in scope, Dark Age Bodies brings jointly scholarship in architectural heritage and cultural anthropology with fresh works in faith, classics, and gender to offer an important reconsideration of Carolingian culture.

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818–22), and later as abbot (ca. 60 Hrabanus’s lifelong love of the Fulda library led him to address an enthusiastic poem to the priest Gerhoh, his ‘‘beloved brother’’ 24 c h a p t e r 1 (frater amate), who safeguarded the key to the monastery’s impressive tomes. The library, the poet informs Gerhoh, enables the untiring scholars who cross its threshold to access both heaven and earth: Am I able to praise sufficiently the books You hold under your lock and key, O beloved brother? 61 In these verses, Hrabanus spells out that Fulda’s library is a place in the monastery where a young scholar could delve into the mysteries of the universe and do so through the art of biblical interpretation.

He beseeches the reader to meditate on his life’s labor in order to understand better the passing of mortal time. Hrabanus then provides a poetic rendering of his life. The gentle reader of Hrabanus’s epitaph learns of the deceased man’s birth at Mainz and his rebirth at the baptismal font of that same city. The viewer of the epitaph then follows the ‘‘Hrabanus Is My Name’’ 41 holy man from his early education at Fulda to his humble submission to senior monks and to the authority of the Rule.

154 In the dedicatory epistle to the Daniel commentary, Hrabanus offers the Hebrew prophet to Louis the German as a model for emulation. ’’ The hermit of the Petersberg cautions the king, however, that these desires were in no way carnal, but purely spiritual, because the delights of this world are soft and true desire lies only in the heavenly realm. Hrabanus’s words here remind Louis that grand office always lay to one side of the salvific path, a road best entered into through the hard life of self-abnegation.

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