Chronicle, an English narrative completed at Leicester by ca. 1400 CE, in the year 1348 a group of about 40-50 women dressed in men’s clothes began to attend tournaments. They supposedly moved from place to place behaving shamefully, baring their bodies in an “inappropriate manner,” spending money, carrying weapons, and apparently performing for the assembled crowds.

God didn’t like that, so according to the Chronicle a storm would suddenly form to disrupt the festivities. Then, shortly afterwards, Knighton recounts that the Black Death arrived in Europe and ravaged the countryside. Left unsaid, but narratively clear, the women’s behavior caused God to punish England for their sins.

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Before I go any further, let me be clear that this group’s behavior – if it even happened – did not cause the Black Death. But Prof. Sonja Drimmer from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst told me over email that this anecdote inadvertently opens a fascinating window onto how gender roles were seen in Europe during the late Middle Ages, and more importantly how those roles were sometimes overthrown.

Medieval tournament, Miniature in the ‘Livre des tournois of Rene d’Anjou’ (1465), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France. (Photo by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images)Getty

Dr. Drimmer, who works on the material objects related to politics in the medieval world, pointed out that it’s interesting in and of itself that Knight decided to write this episode down. Medieval histories are always selective in what they include. Sometimes they can focus primarily on local events, sometimes more universal, but the anecdotes when taken together always reveal a deeper message that the author’s trying to convey. In this case, Dr. Drimmer said:

the chronicler seems to have expected his audience would see women wanting to perform as men (and assert their sexual agency by “displaying their bodies”) as entirely plausible, particularly in a privileged space that was designed to assert rigid gender roles. It’s like no-smoking signs: we only need no-smoking signs (a) because people smoke, and (b) because other people deem it to be a harmful behavior. Of course, smoking is actually a harmful activity; dressing how one wants, is not.

In addition, as a specialist in visual culture, Dr. Drimmer pointed to something else (maybe) going on in this particular episode. She asks us to think about how the scene itself would have looked. She summarizes that “because the author refers to the women as ‘players,’ reports their activity as occurring within the context of tournaments, and describes their attire as ostentatious, it seems to me that simply calling this ‘cross-dressing’ (which has been well studied for the medieval period) fails to capture the performative nature of the events.” This could have been something approaching what we think of today as drag performance.

In other words, Knighton more than likely decided to include this in his Chronicle because this was something that really happened and he was really freaked out about it.

For some time, scholars have talked about how boundaries are often drawn between peoples at moments when assimilation and cultural interactions are at their most fluid. In other words, when some people think the “status quo” is threatened by people doing things they haven’t “traditionally” done, they tend to double-down on what they consider “normal” behavior. This can sometimes lead to violence, or political upheaval. In this particular instance, what really seems to have bothered Knighton here was not just that these women were performing while dressed like men, but that everyone else thought that that was fine. Indeed, there’s evidence that cross-dressing by men and women at medieval tournaments was relatively common.

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Knighton may confirm some of our Game of Thrones-esque expectations about the European Middle Ages, one marked by God’s wrath and a conservative religiosity. But, despite his intentions, Knighton also undermines our expectations by showing us a vibrant Middle Ages filled with color, pageantry, laughter, and performance – one in which people don’t act like we think they’re “supposed to.” In other words, Knighton almost by accident shows us a slice of the real Middle Ages, populated by living, breathing human beings.

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A curious thing occurred in the middle of the14 th century. According to Henry Knighton’s (*** )Chronicle , an English story finished at Leicester by ca. 1400 CE, in the year1348 a group of about40-50 ladies worn guys’s clothing started to participate in competitions. They allegedly moved from location to position acting shamefully, baring their bodies in an “unsuitable way,” investing cash, bring weapons, and obviously carrying out for the put together crowds.(****** )

God didn’t like that, so according to the Chronicle (**** )a storm would unexpectedly form to interrupt the celebrations. Then, soon later on, Knighton states that the Black Death got here in Europe and wrecked the countryside. Left unspoken, however narratively clear, the ladies’s habits triggered God to penalize England for their sins. (****** )

POST CONTINUES AFTER AD

Prior to I go any even more, let me be
clear that

this group’s habits- if it even occurred -did not(************* )trigger the Black Death. However Prof. Sonja Drimmer (***** )from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst informed me over e-mail that this anecdote unintentionally opens a remarkable window onto how gender functions were seen in Europe throughout the late Middle Ages, and more notably how those functions were often toppled.

(*********************

)

Middle ages competition, Mini in the ‘Livre des tournois of Rene d’Anjou’ (1465), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France. (Picture by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images) Getty

Dr. Drimmer, who deals with the product items connected to politics in the middle ages world, mentioned that it’s fascinating in and of itself that Knight chose to compose this episode down. Middle ages histories are constantly selective in what they consist of. Often they can focus mostly on regional occasions, often more universal, however the anecdotes when taken together constantly expose a much deeper message that the author’s attempting to communicate. In this case, Dr. Drimmer stated:

the chronicler appears to have actually anticipated his audience would see ladies wishing to carry out as guys (and assert their sexual firm by ” showing their bodies”) as totally possible, especially in a fortunate area that was created to assert stiff gender functions. It resembles no-smoking indications: we just require no-smoking indications (a) since individuals smoke, and (b) since other individuals consider it to be a hazardous habits. Obviously, smoking cigarettes is really a hazardous activity; dressing how one desires, is not.

In addition, as a professional in visual culture, Dr. Drimmer indicated something else (perhaps) going on in this specific episode. She asks us to consider how the scene itself would have looked. She sums up that “ since the author describes the ladies as ‘gamers,’ reports their activity as happening within the context of competitions, and explains their outfit as over the top, it appears to me that just calling this ‘cross-dressing’ (which has actually been well studied for the middle ages duration) stops working to catch the performative nature of the occasions.” This might have been something approaching what we think about today as drag efficiency.

Simply put, Knighton more than most likely chosen to include this in his Chronicle since this was something that actually occurred and he was actually flipped out about it.

For a long time, scholars have actually spoken about how borders are typically drawn in between individuals at minutes when assimilation and cultural interactions are at their most fluid. Simply put, when some individuals believe the “status quo” is threatened by individuals doing things they have not “typically” done, they tend to double-down on what they think about “typical” habits. This can often cause violence, or political turmoil. In this specific circumstances, what actually appears to have actually troubled Knighton here was not simply that these ladies were carrying out while dressed like guys, however that everybody else believed that that was great. Undoubtedly, there’s proof that cross-dressing by males and females at middle ages competitions was reasonably typical.

POST CONTINUES AFTER AD

Knighton might validate a few of our Video Game of Thrones– esque expectations about the European Middle Ages, one marked by God’s rage and a conservative worship. However, in spite of his intents, Knighton likewise weakens our expectations by revealing us a lively Middle Ages filled with color, pageantry, laughter, and efficiency – one in which individuals do not imitate we believe they’re “expected to.” Simply put, Knighton practically by mishap reveals us a piece of the genuine Middle Ages, occupied by living, breathing people.

” readability =”84
93662285587″ >

A curious thing occurred in the middle of the 14 th century. According to Henry Knighton’s Chronicle , an English story finished at Leicester by ca. 1400 CE, in the year 1348 a group of about 40 – 50 ladies worn guys’s clothing started to participate in competitions. They allegedly moved from location to position acting shamefully, baring their bodies in an “unsuitable way,” investing cash, bring weapons, and obviously carrying out for the put together crowds.

God didn’t like that, so according to the Chronicle a storm would unexpectedly form to interrupt the celebrations. Then, soon later on, Knighton states that the Black Death got here in Europe and wrecked the countryside. Left unspoken, however narratively clear, the ladies’s habits triggered God to penalize England for their sins.

. POST CONTINUES AFTER AD

.

Prior to I go any even more, let me be clear that this group’s habits – if it even occurred – did not trigger the Black Death. However Prof. Sonja Drimmer from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst informed me over e-mail that this anecdote unintentionally opens a remarkable window onto how gender functions were seen in Europe throughout the late Middle Ages, and more notably how those functions were often toppled.

.

.

Middle ages competition, Mini in the ‘Livre des tournois of Rene d’Anjou’ (1465), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France. (Picture by Prisma/UIG/Getty Images) Getty

.

.

Dr. Drimmer, who deals with the product items connected to politics in the middle ages world, mentioned that it’s fascinating in and of itself that Knight chose to compose this episode down. Middle ages histories are constantly selective in what they consist of. Often they can focus mostly on regional occasions, often more universal, however the anecdotes when taken together constantly expose a much deeper message that the author’s attempting to communicate. In this case, Dr. Drimmer stated:

.

the chronicler appears to have actually anticipated his audience would see ladies wishing to carry out as guys (and assert their sexual firm by “showing their bodies”) as totally possible, especially in a fortunate area that was created to assert stiff gender functions. It resembles no-smoking indications: we just require no-smoking indications (a) since individuals smoke, and (b) since other individuals consider it to be a hazardous habits. Obviously, smoking cigarettes is really a hazardous activity; dressing how one desires, is not.

.

In addition, as a professional in visual culture, Dr. Drimmer indicated something else (perhaps) going on in this specific episode. She asks us to consider how the scene itself would have looked. She sums up that” since the author describes the ladies as ‘gamers,’ reports their activity as happening within the context of competitions, and explains their outfit as over the top, it appears to me that just calling this ‘cross-dressing’ (which has actually been well studied for the middle ages duration ) stops working to catch the performative nature of the occasions.” This might have been something approaching what we think about today as drag efficiency.

Simply put, Knighton more than most likely chosen to include this in his Chronicle since this was something that actually occurred and he was actually flipped out about it.

For a long time, scholars have actually spoken about how borders are typically drawn in between individuals at minutes when assimilation and cultural interactions are at their most fluid. Simply put, when some individuals believe the “status quo” is threatened by individuals doing things they have not “typically” done, they tend to double-down on what they think about “typical” habits. This can often cause violence , or political turmoil. In this specific circumstances, what actually appears to have actually troubled Knighton here was not simply that these ladies were carrying out while dressed like guys, however that everybody else believed that that was great. Undoubtedly, there’s proof that cross-dressing by males and females at middle ages competitions was reasonably typical.

. POST CONTINUES AFTER AD

.

Knighton might validate a few of our Video Game of Thrones – esque expectations about the European Middle Ages , one marked by God’s rage and a conservative worship. However, in spite of his intents, Knighton likewise weakens our expectations by revealing us a lively Middle Ages filled with color, pageantry, laughter, and efficiency – one in which individuals do not imitate we believe they’re “expected to.” Simply put, Knighton practically by mishap reveals us a piece of the genuine Middle Ages, occupied by living, breathing people.

.