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History, Literature, and Music in Scotland, 700-1560

History, Literature, and Music in Scotland, 700-1560

Edited by R. Andrew McDonald
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    History, Literature, and Music in Scotland, 700-1560
    Book Description:

    McDonald brings together contributions from scholars working in different disciplines but with a common interest in this history and society of Scotland between AD 700 and AD 1560.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7579-7
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Edward J. Cowan

    Scottish historiography currently flourishes as never before in Scotland's two-thousand-year history. The past thirty years or so have witnessed a renaissance in history-writing not seen since the heady days of the Scottish Enlightenment. This volume provides ample testimony that the revival has not been confined to the shores of Auld Scotia.

    It is truly a pleasure to welcome this stimulating and timely collection of essays on Scottish medieval history contributed predominantly by Canadians. As might be expected from a collection originating in Canada, all of the contributions have an international dimension. In describing and analysing aspects of their European prehistory,...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Timeline
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Scottish Monarchs, c. 500–1542
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. [Map]
    (pp. xix-2)
  9. Introduction: Medieval Scotland and the New Millennium
    (pp. 3-28)

    At the close of the twentieth century, medieval Scotland fascinates us as never before – a fascination that extends to the interested layperson as well as the academic specialist. Medieval Scottish themes have been glamorized by Hollywood, romanticized in popular novels, simulated in computer games, and, of course, have spawned an array of books, articles, and conference sessions. Indeed, as Professor E.J. Cowan remarked in his Inaugural Lecture as Chair of Scottish History and Literature at the University of Glasgow in 1995, ‘the potential interest in Scottish Studies has never been greater.’¹

    If, however, it is easy to identify the...

  10. 1 The Scottish Gaze
    (pp. 29-59)

    Much has been written on Scottish history in the Middle Ages from different viewpoints. English, Irish, and Scandinavian records have all been surveyed for their remembrances, a search outwith the kingdom so intense that a landmark of Scottish historiography is titledScottish Annals from English Chroniclers.¹As revealing as those foreign views can be, equally informative is a survey of the writing of history by the Scots, not only for events in their own lands, but also those of their neighbours. For a long time there had been little attention given to, or interest in, the writing of history among...

  11. 2 Earls and Saints: Early Christianity in Norse Orkney and the Legend of Magnus Erlendsson
    (pp. 60-92)

    This excerpt fromOrkneyinga Sagaforeshadows the bitter struggle waged for sole title over the Scottish Northern Isles, a conflict ultimately resulting in the death of Earl Magnus Erlendsson. Title to the Orkneys had been hotly contested ever since the earldom’s legendary inception in the ninth century. As a man of God, Magnus was perhaps ill-suited for survival in a hostile environment² longingly romanticized by the Icelandic Sagas. Yet of all the Norse Orcadian earls, the Holy Earl Magnus was among the best remembered, and his legend one of the most enduring. Magnus was the focal point of a miracle...

  12. 3 ‘Soldiers Most Unfortunate’: Gaelic and Scoto-Norse Opponents of the Canmore Dynasty, c. 1100-c. 1230
    (pp. 93-119)

    Guthred MacWilliam, as this passage from the fifteenth-century chronicler Walter Bower so vividly demonstrates, was one of several individuals against whom the Scottish kings of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were forced to flex their military muscle from time to time. Indeed, as one historian has remarked, ‘a recurrent note of hostility can be detected’ throughout the reigns of these kings.² This paper takes up the theme of hostility toward the Scottish monarchs from the peripheral regions of their kingdom, analyses who their enemies were and what motivated them, and reflects on the significance of this hostility for Scottish political...

  13. 4 ‘Off quhat nacioun art thow?’ National Identity in Blind Hary’s Wallace
    (pp. 120-143)

    A recent anthology on medieval nationalism begins by establishing Benedict Anderson as a sort of straw man. Quoting hisImagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism,the editors take issue with Anderson’s position that concepts of national identity were not possible in the Christian Middle Ages.¹ For Anderson, and for several scholars before him, the universal ‘religious community’ of Christendom, bound together by a ‘sacred language’ (i.e., Latin), suppressed any emerging sense of loyalty to, or identity with, a particular nation.² This view has recently been challenged in numerous studies using various peoples and texts as case...

  14. 5 Carnival at Court and Dunbar in the Underworld
    (pp. 144-162)

    During the Middle Ages representations of both purgatory and hell achieved a level of gruesomeness so extreme that, to a modern sensibility at least, they would seem scarcely worthwhile. Punishments described in early texts, before the tenth century, for example, were often just graphic enough to indicate the painful nature of the next life for those who fail to prepare themselves spiritually in this one.¹ By the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, the faithful at all social levels had been well schooled in the elaborately conceived, viscerally intrusive punishments that must be endured by those waiting in purgatory or...

  15. 6 ‘Many Injurious Words’: Defamation and Gender in Late Medieval Scotland
    (pp. 163-186)

    In 1502 Andrew Haliburton, an Edinburgh merchant and the conservator of the Scottish merchants’ privileges in the Netherlands, found himself involved in a trading dispute with his brother-in-law James Homyll. Haliburton had lent Homyll money to finance his trading ventures, but was having trouble gaining reimbursement. Finally Homyll did repay him but with extremely ill grace, or, as Haliburton recorded it in his ledger, ‘with callenzeis [challenges] and eevil wordis and onsuferabyll.’ A few months later, Homyll was in debt again and further ill-feeling ensued, leading Haliburton to write despairingly, ‘God kep all gud men fra sic callandis [from such...

  16. 7 Tudor Family Politics in Early Sixteenth-Century Scotland
    (pp. 187-207)

    In a book review about female rulers in early modern Europe, Pauline Stafford noted that ‘the power of women is a recurring and common phenomenon.’¹ In late medieval and early modern Britain, Mary Tudor (1553–8), Elizabeth I (1558–1603), and Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–67, executed 1587), are cited habitually as examples of prominent female rulers. Far less frequently cited, if at all, are the four women who governed Scotland on behalf of their young sons during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Indeed, most of the current research on medieval and early modern queenship in Britain tends to ignore the period...

  17. 8 Commeationis et affinitatis gratia: Medieval Musical Relations between Scotland and Ireland
    (pp. 208-232)

    In hisTopographia Hibernica(c. 1188), Giraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales, described the instrumental music of Ireland in terms which suggest a high degree of complexity and sophistication, although their precise technical interpretation remains a matter of debate.¹ The passage concludes with a further observation:

    It is to be remarked that Scotland and Wales, the latter by grafting, the former by intercourse and kinship, strive to emulate Ireland in the practice of music. Ireland uses and delights in two instruments: thecithara[?harp] and thetympanum[Irishtimpán];Scotland three: thecithara, tympanum,andchorus[not conclusively identified; see...

  18. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 233-234)