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Wednesday 12 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
P-1 MID01 Actors, Codes and Strategies of Social Mediation in the Iberian Peninsula between the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
E43
Networks: Middle Ages , Social Inequality Chair: Iñaki Martín Viso
Organizers: Raquel Ezquerro Jiménez, Alicia Martín Rodríguez Discussant: Igor Santos Salazar
Moderators: -
Kay Boers : The Trauma of Chindasvinth. Law, Language and ‘Mediation’ in Reccesvinth’s Liber Iudiciorum
This paper presents an attempt at understanding the promulgation, rhetorical structure, and language of Reccesvinth’s Liber Iudiciorum through the methodological lens of social mediation. In order to show the mediating force of the code’s language and structure, this paper will first of all reconstruct the social and political tensions that ... (Show more)
This paper presents an attempt at understanding the promulgation, rhetorical structure, and language of Reccesvinth’s Liber Iudiciorum through the methodological lens of social mediation. In order to show the mediating force of the code’s language and structure, this paper will first of all reconstruct the social and political tensions that preceded the promulgation of the code and proposes the perceived manipulation of law by Reccesvinth’s father Chindasvinth as the main cause for those tensions. Chindasvinth’s use of law to persecute his opponents and expand his control of landed properties had resulted in a general distrust of the law as a neutral and public instrument of mediation. These circumstances resulted in an the intricate process of negotiation, meant to reassure the kingdom’s nobility and Church, that Reccesvinth, unlike his father, was not going manipulate law for his own private benefit.
In order to show how the language and structure of the codex tried to communicate this message of reassurance, this paper will present an in-depth investigation of the rhetoric of the first book in the collection, De Instrumentis Legalibus. By means of this book, this paper will argue that its rhetoric of reassurance valorised a lexicon, or register, that was pulled straight from Roman legal theory and republican philosophy. This register allowed the authors of book I to actively engaged in a process of mediation that enabled a heuristic bridge between the proper exercise of law without any reduction of royal prerogatives, while at the same time presenting a rhetorical message that implicitly critiqued Chindasvith manipulation of the law, but without undermining the legitimacy of his successor’s ascension. This mediating mechanism was dressed in a lexicon that consciously evoked a specific form of romanitas which prioritized the distinction between public and private, prescribed norms regarding the mind-set and legal activities of the lawgiver, and articulated the preconditions and social effects of just law. Within the register of romanitas, the term civis was elevated as the primary social beneficiary of the proper maintenance of the proper distinction between public and private, and privileged object of the king’s justice. The variable state of wellbeing of the king’s subjects was expressed through linguistic signifiers that underlined the social effect of just law and publically-conscious lawgivers. Its message which both critiqued Chindasvinth and elevated Reccesvinth as a just lawgiver, tried to assure that church and aristocracy that (I) law should come to the utilitas of all the cives; (II) instil salus in the citizen community; and (III) functioned to preserve the ontological self-esteem of the civic body.
Last but not least, to contextualize the mediating- and rhetorical force of civis, this paper will postulate that the cives, prioritized as a mediating device in book I, are not dissimilar to the cives encountered in other seventh-century texts, where the social and religious integrity of the civic community and variable sense of citizens’ ‘wellbeing’ were similarly mobilised, not only as a yardstick to evaluate and think about the exercise of episcopal and royal power, but also as a lens through which social and political tensions could be identified, interpreted and addressed. (Show less)

Gonzalo J. Escudero Manzano : Date et dabitur vobis. The Biblical Evocation as Mediation in the Gift Economy during the Hispanic Early Middle Ages
The diplomatic paradigm of the Middle Ages is the documents that allude to assignments or exchanges of properties. Although the ideological justification that involved these transactions was –in most cases– to obtain a redemptorist reward, currently they are interpreted as a mechanism to articulate different client networks between senders and ... (Show more)
The diplomatic paradigm of the Middle Ages is the documents that allude to assignments or exchanges of properties. Although the ideological justification that involved these transactions was –in most cases– to obtain a redemptorist reward, currently they are interpreted as a mechanism to articulate different client networks between senders and receivers. Meanwhile, some of these scriptures have biblical evocations that seem to condition donors to assign their goods to religious institutions. In this way, these allusions could serve as mediation in the gift economy, whose main beneficiary was the own promoters of these speeches. In my intervention, I will try to contextualise these testimonies for establish social or spatial dynamics. (Show less)

Raquel Ezquerro Jiménez : Mediating Actors and Tributary Networks in Visigothic Iberian Peninsula
The radical transmutation of the references based on the idiosyncrasy of classical Romanity, elemental support of the logics of the imperial universe, will bring with it the inclusion of new codes and engines that will define both the vital goals of specific individuals as the character of sociopolitical units that ... (Show more)
The radical transmutation of the references based on the idiosyncrasy of classical Romanity, elemental support of the logics of the imperial universe, will bring with it the inclusion of new codes and engines that will define both the vital goals of specific individuals as the character of sociopolitical units that will emerge in this particular breeding ground.
In this context, various actors will obtain the legitimate capacity to impose a burden or tax on a certain social group, which also implies the materialization and recognition of a condition of domination over a specific geographical space and of the men who already inhabit it. The concept of mediation will allow us to access the analysis of the actors that control these networks of resources at various scales, as well as the premises through which they access control of surplus production and legitimize their activities. The tributary circuits frame networks of sociability, explain the nature of the material and ideological ties between intervening agents and outline the conceptions of the world and knowable horizons of each of its strata.
Thus, the collection and payment of tax charges will be a fundamental component in the articulation and crystallization of dominance forces at all scales, a tax material whose importance lies not only in its hoarding but also in its investment as a means of achieving loyalty and status. (Show less)

Alicia Martín Rodríguez : Boni homines (et bonae muliebris)? Mediating Actors and Gender in Early Medieval Iberian Peninsula
The reference to boni homines taking part at some stage of judicial proceedings is quite common in early medieval Iberian charters. This has given rise to a broad debate on their figure in Spanish historiography, which in recent times has focused on the analysis of their role as mediating agents ... (Show more)
The reference to boni homines taking part at some stage of judicial proceedings is quite common in early medieval Iberian charters. This has given rise to a broad debate on their figure in Spanish historiography, which in recent times has focused on the analysis of their role as mediating agents in disputes. The term boni homines alludes to people with a not always clear social status, but with recognised public prestige because of age, fortune, birth or wisdom, which gives them a prominent position within the local communities and the capacity to actively intervene in judicial assemblies as witnesses or as mediators able to lead the parties in conflict to an agreement. The personal names of the individuals who are part of the boni homines group are not always quoted, but when they are listed, it can be seen that the vast majority of them are men; however, this does not prevent that in some cases women can also be found under that generic masculine plural label. In this respect, the present paper intends to appeal to this gender issue with the final objetive of contribute to the debate on the social status of these mediating actors. By a detailed analysis of the early medieval Iberian charters in which women appear as part of the boni homines, focusing on who these women were, the sources of their prestige and the type of conflicts in which they appear carrying out mediation tasks, we aim to understand more in depth firstly, how the individuals were selected to become part of that group, taking into account possible gender-related constraints. And secondly, how the performance of mediating functions contributes to create social differences within local communities. (Show less)



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