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Youth in the Middle Ages

Youth in the Middle Ages

P. J. P. Goldberg
Felicity Riddy
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 152
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  • Book Info
    Youth in the Middle Ages
    Book Description:

    Moving on from the legacy of Ariès, these essays address evidence for childhood and youth from the sixth century to the sixteenth, but with particular emphasis on later medieval England. The contents include the idea of childhood in the writing of Gregory of Tours, skaldic verse narratives and their implications for the understanding of kingship, Jewish communities of Northern Europe for whom children represented the continuity of a persecuted faith, children in the records of the northern Italian Humiliati, the meaning of romance narratives centred around the departure of the hero or heroine from the natal hearth, the age at which later medieval English youngsters left home, how far they travelled and where they went, literary sources revealing the politicisation of the idea of the child, and the response of young, affluent females to homiletic literature and the iconography of the virgin martyrs in the later middle ages. Contributors: FRANCES E. ANDREWS, HELEN COOPER, P.J.P.GOLDBERG, SIMCHA GOLDIN, EDWARD F. JAMES, JUDITH JESCH, KIM M. PHILLIPS, MIKE TYLER, ROSALYNN VOADEN.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-279-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Contributors
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Introduction: After Ariès
    (pp. 1-10)
    P. J. P. Goldberg, Felicity Riddy and Mike Tyler

    Childhood as an object of study has been seen as the creation of Philippe Ariès (1914–84), a French agricultural development expert by profession and free-lance historian in his spare time.¹ HisL’Enfant et la vie familiale sous l’Ancien Régime, first published in 1960, was issued two years later in English, under the misleading titleCenturies of Childhood– misleading because to English-speaking readers it appeared to be a study of childhood in isolation, rather than a study of the child in the family. Where other historians of the family have sought to identify the development of affectivity primarily by studying...

  5. Childhood and Youth in the Early Middle Ages
    (pp. 11-24)
    Edward James

    This article was originally entitled ‘Writing the History of Youth in the Early Middle Ages’. My concern was to think about the potentiality of the documentary source material for the study of youth: narrative historical sources, hagiography, the legal material and so on. I found it in practice impossible to write about youth without writing about childhood, and in the end I found myself concentrating on the writings of Gregory of Tours: a proper title for this article is thus either ‘Childhood and Youth in Merovingian Gaul’ or, more honestly, ‘Childhood and Youth in Gregory of Tours’. I concentrate on...

  6. Jewish Society under Pressure: The Concept of Childhood
    (pp. 25-44)
    Simha Goldin

    Social attitudes towards children are an important means towards understanding the past. It is through the procreation of children that a society seeks to perpetuate itself. Securing this continuity is thus one of the most important goals of any society. By examining attitudes towards children and childhood we are presented with a tool which allows us to expose the social values and aspirations, the weight of a society’s fears and pressures and its basic rules and norms. The question of attitudes towards children and childhood was raised by Philippe Ariès’s bookCenturies of Childhood, first published in French in 1960.¹...

  7. Desiring Virgins: Maidens, Martyrs and Femininity in Late Medieval England
    (pp. 45-60)
    Kim M. Phillips

    Imagine the scene. A gentry girl of, shall we say, fifteen, is sitting with her family in their parish church, in a private pew near the chancel.¹ It is during Lent, some time in the middle of the fifteenth century, and the priest has chosen for his sermon the well-worn theme of the seven deadly sins.² He begins with the first mortal sin, pride, and among the admonitions our maiden hears this cautionary tale:

    A countas, chast of body, gret in doing almes-dedys, devowt in prayerys, deyid, & was drawyn wyth feendys to helle-ward, & cryed, ‘alas!’, & aperyd to...

  8. Out of the Mouths of Babes: Authority in Pearl and in Narratives of the Child King Richard
    (pp. 61-72)
    Rosalynn Voaden

    Such is a portrait of authority in contemporary western society painted by John Schaar, a political philosopher of our own day. In marked contrast, the general perception of authority in the late Middle Ages is of an authoritative framework grounded in a commonly accepted, traditional hierarchy: God over king, king over subject, man over woman, parent over child, age over youth, noble over commoner, lord over serf. However, in this essay I shall examine three narratives from the late fourteenth century where it appears that authority based on that traditional hierarchy was being questioned, where the hierarchy itself is represented...

  9. A Safe-Haven for Children? The Early Humiliati and Provision for Children
    (pp. 73-84)
    Frances Andrews

    Some time in the early 1190s a knight, identified only as ‘B’, who had been cured of a severe illness, decided to enter the religious life in the monastery from which he held his land. He also required his under-age son to take the habit as a monk. Unfortunately, the boy did not adapt to the monastic life and, having reached the age of ‘discretion’, after only ten weeks he absconded. With the support of other relatives he then claimed his father’s goods back from the abbot. The relatives swore that the boy had been under age and unwilling when...

  10. Migration, Youth and Gender in Later Medieval England
    (pp. 85-100)
    P. J. P. Goldberg

    In 1301 a series of ordinances was issued for York which was designed to regulate trade in response to the difficulties caused by the residence of the royal court within the city. One of the more remarkable of these was that baldly entitled ‘pigs and prostitutes’. The juxtaposition is a very telling one.¹ Not only were pigs symbolic of lust, but they created problems by wandering the streets. So did prostitutes, whose feet, like the archetypal harlot of the book of Proverbs, ‘will not abide within the house’. Thus when the mother inThe Good Wyfe Wold a Pylgremagewarned...

  11. Good Advice on Leaving Home in the Romances
    (pp. 101-122)
    Helen Cooper

    The topic of ‘youth’ suggests a natural connection with good advice: the older generation seem to find it irresistible to advise the young. In romances, the giving of advice often takes a very specific form. The young person – most often male, and usually the hero too – has just reached the point where he is about to leave his own family, the familiar society in which he has been brought up. At the very moment at which he reaches the threshold, he is stopped and given what sometimes amounts to several pages of good advice on how to conduct himself in...

  12. ‘Youth on the Prow’: Three Young Kings in the Late Viking Age
    (pp. 123-140)
    Judith Jesch

    Youth is not always an advantage, though the appearance of youth may be. Vikings, as fighting-men, should ideally be young and fit. Kings on the other hand, should ideally be older and wiser. But the warrior gains authority from experience, while youthful vigour makes for a more effective ruler. The late Viking Age is generally seen as the period when the Scandinavian countries developed a European style of kingship, under the influence of Christianity and continental political theories.¹ But the most notable Scandinavian kings of the eleventh century began their careers as vikings, as roving fighting-men and as the leaders...

  13. INDEX
    (pp. 141-144)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 145-146)