Saturday, February 20, 2010

Carnivalesque 59 (Ancient/Medieval)

Welcome to the 59th edition of Carnivalesque!!! This is an Ancient/Medieval version. Without further ado, onto the links.....


Duane Smith at Abnormal Interests continues going over Akkadian prayers (on stone tablets) and is in a speculative mood.

N.S. Gill's Ancient History Blog discusses mythological explanations for athletic contests (like the Olympics). Turns out it had to do with memorializing: adversaries, rivals and even a python.

Mike Anderson's Ancient History
looks at the great civilizations of antiquity. Sounds like a topic worthy of debate.

Bill Caraher at the Archaeology of the Mediterranian World has some thoughts on digitized archeological notebooks and their values as (re)sources all their own.

Mary Harrsch at Roman Times wonders whether or not the new Starz series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" will "resurrect old stereotypes."

Phil Harland at Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean looks at an instance where the Ephesian branch of the “Worldwide Dionysiac Performers” guild--an ancient version of the Screen Actors Guild, if you will--honored a benefactor.

LacusCurtius & Livius continues its series on Common Errors About Antiquity with #29 - Roman Chronology.

The Cultivated Classicist (Matthew Rogan) looks at the controversy surrounding ownership of the "Victorious Youth" and asks, "Where do artifacts belong?". "[S]cholarship should have no national boundaries" and institutions shouldn't be punished for the sins of the past. For all the latest controversies, check out Looting matters.


Melissa's Medieval History Blog reports the discovery of the Byzantine road that validates the accuracy of the Madaba map. Medieval News reports on the uncovering of a 1,400 year old Byzantine wine press in Israel. Hmmm. Looks we've now got directions to a great place to party, old-style.

Adrian Murdoch at Bread and Circuses takes a look at some recent books covering Late Antiquity.

Jeff Sypeck at Quid Plura has been obsessed with gargoyles lately.

Muhlberger's Early History summarizes the medieval lawsuit over a coat of arms (Scrope vs. Grosvenor) and discovers Google Books has digitized one of the two volumes required to read up on the case.

Derek Olson at Homiliaria crawled through the e-codices virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland "to find what sort of homilies and homiliaries it had hiding in it", especially those related to St. Gall. Success! (And he made a list).

Jared at Antiquitopia says Saint Augustine has a lot to say about, well, a lot...including the reason for the male nipple.

Richard Nokes at Unlocked Wordhoard directs us to this piece by K.A. Laity explaining that it was Geoffrey Chaucer who got the ball rolling with the whole Valentine's Day thing. Generations of men thank thee, Geoff. (But I still think Hallmark will remain the recipient of the biggest piece of the blame pie!)

'Scripts and Pics

Michael Drout at Wormtalk and Slugspeak updates us on his "Crazy Sheep DNA from Medieval Manuscripts Project". While there was some human contamination, the news ain't all baaaaaaaad and progress is continuing.

I don't know about you, but I rely on others to read and interpret the chicken-scratch on dead animal hides, so paleographers are pretty important. Jonathan Jarrett provides an update on the status of the Paleography Chair at King's College London. He's impressed by the effort to save the seat, but says it's too early to be fist-bumping and slapping hi-fives.

Without paleography, how could people like Carl Pyrdum at Got Medieval ever explain the significance of this manuscript drawing depicting a nun picking some "twigs and berries" (above, right).

Art historians also can provide some valuable insight and Kirsten Ataoguz at Early Medieval Art discusses Art History's mission and importance.

Medieval Geek attended a Rare Books School and took a bunch of pictures. Bibliophile heaven!


Heroic Dreams is always a fun place to stop if you're looking for ancient or medieval themed projects, like making a Spartan shield, a diorama of a castle under siege, or a tennis ball trebuchet. (No guarantees that the latter will help with your game).

Brian Murphy at the Cimmerian continues his series "Blogging the Silmarillion" and explains the links between Tolkien and Heavy Metal.

Finally, Studies of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages is always a good place to go if your looking for a mix of serious and whimsical medieval(ish) entertainment .


Floggings and Flagellations

Now, for something completely different....You see, when I tallied up ALL of the submissions I received for this edition of Carnivalesque--from email, snail mail, phone, tweet, pager, smoke signals, braille--the sheer volume equates to....0, zip, nada. So if you ain't represented, blame yerself.

Back in the day, when I hosted the 10th and 62nd History Carnival (over at my old place), I had actual submissions to go along with my own scavenging. Sure, there was much more excitement in the early days with these new-fangled Carnivals and whatnot, but even ol' #62 saw some self-starters sending me a hint or two!

The thing about these carnivals is that they rely on bloggers with knowledge of the subject to submit posts: relying solely on the host or the Mistresses of Misrule to do all the work (I've been guilty of that too--Pie Jesu Domine. Dona Eis Requiem) can result in a very limited selection. They're only as good as we all make them. I hope I've managed to do my part this time around and I encourage everyone to give this a shot at least once! Finally, as always, thanks to Mistresses for keeping this particular carnival afloat....though, I suppose that could be taken in this context to mean it continues to fail the trial by drowning...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Young Clotilda

Chilperic II’s daughter Clotilda was born at Lyons around A.D. 474. She had a younger sister named Sedeluba, or Chrona, and both were educated as Christians, probably under the guidance their mother, who was most likely Roman Catholic. The court of Chilperic II was probably frequented by many Catholic bishops and other luminaries, including Sidonius, who was a regular visitor, as well as the Catholic bishops Avitus of Vienne and Patiens of Lyons. The girls were also probably familiar with the saints of Lyons, such as the slave martyr Saint Blandina.

That Clotilda was surrounded by such religious personages as Avitus and Patiens lends credence to the theory that she was undoubtedly much influenced by them in the faith. Thus, it is widely accepted that Clotilda’s mother, and perhaps her father, were Catholic. Clotilda’s mother was mentioned by Sidonius who sang her praises (as mentioned previously) and compared her to Tanaquil and Agrippina. As Godefroid Kurth elaborates (Saint Clotilda, 20-21), “each of which recalls the influence exercised by a noble-hearted woman over her husband.” Kurth also explained that while Sidonius was “addicted to hyperbole,” the compliments he gave to the wife of Chilperic II were probably not those of a cloying sycophant. “Sidonius had no affection for the Burgundians, and did not owe allegiance to Chilperic.”

Chilperic II probably died around A.D. 490 and, according to Gregory of Tours, his daughters were supposedly sent to the court of Godegisil in Geneva when Gundobad took the throne at Lyons.* If this is so, it is likely that Chilperic II was the eldest, and when he died, Gundobad assumed the throne as the preeminent king among his remaining brothers.

The death of Chilperic II, as described by Gregory of Tours, has spawned a debate among historians that has filled volumes. According to Gregory, “Gundobad killed his brother Chilperic and drowned Chilperic’s wife after tying a stone round her neck. He drove Chilperic’s two daughters into exile: the elder, whose name was Chroma, became a religious, and the younger was called Clotild[a].” (Some believe that the sisters went to Geneva because Godegisil was Catholic, while Gundobad was an Arian). This is the first example of how Gregory is, as Edward James (The Origins of France, 23) puts it, "on the whole hostile to Gundobad."

In Geneva, we are told that Clotilda became a pious Christian and she and her sister performed charitable deeds. According to Fredegarius, Sedeluba founded the Church of St Victor in the outskirts of Geneva and disappeared from the pages of history. Clotilda was also pious--she was said to have washed the feet of the poor--however, unlike her sister, Clotilda had a still larger role to play in Merovingian history.


* While it's not impossible to imagine Clotilda shuttling between the courts of her uncles in Geneva and Lyons, as will be discussed in the future, Gregory's story of Clotilda's engagement and betrothal to Clovis implies Clotilda is at Gundobad's court (which is in Lyons), not Geneva.**

** Incidentally, I'm not even sure if "court" is the proper term for whatever you called the place from which the Burgundian (and other barbarian) kings managed their holdings.

UP NEXT: Marriage of Clovis and Clotilda


Godefroid Kurth, Saint Clotilda, trans. V.M. Crawford with a preface by G. Tyrell (London: Duckworth & Co., 1898).
Avitus of Vienne, Shanzer and Wood.
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks.
James, The Origins of France.
Fredegarius, Chronicle of Fredegar.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Errata - Carnivalesque (Ancient/Medieval)

Burgundians in the Mist will be hosting the February Carnivalesque (Ancient/Medieval edition) on or about February 20th/21st. Send your submissions for interesting blog posts dealing with ancient or medieval historical topics to me at spinningclio AT gmail DOT com.