Tagged: Middle Ages

Some highlights from our blog

Since 2018 we have been publishing articles, reviews, reports and personal reflections on a variety of topics. In most cases they are tied in one way or an other to one of our research areas: South Asia, especially India and Pakistan, the Mediterranean from Antiquity until today, and Europe, especially in the Medieval and Early Modern period. We have picked some of our favourite entried by fellows and core group members of the Religion and Urbanity group in Erfurt.

Animals in/and the City (City Walk 12)

On the 17th of April, we went on our twelfth city walk, which revolved around animals in the city and the animal turn. At three stops in the city of Erfurt we discussed different aspects of how animals are recognisable in the mutual formation of religion and urbanity. Frédéric Vandenberghe, Jörg Rüpke, Aileen Becker, and Heinrich Lang gave short presentations at the Natural History Museum on the Animal Turn in general and animals adapting to urban lifestyles; the St. Crucis Church on animals in biblical stories and displaying them in religious architecture, and finally at the Krämerbrücke (merchants bridge) on animals as resources in urban life.

Water as a symbol of Jewish birth – The Mikvah in Erfurt

A post by our students on the Mikvah in Erfurt. Written sources on the mikvah ion Erfurt date back to the middle of the 13th century. They show that the Jewish community had to pay taxes for the bath and the land, first to the bishop, later to the city of Erfurt. From the medieval tax lists we learn that the area around the Mikvah was densely populated.

Royal Funerals and Saints’ Topography in Merovingian Paris

This case study focuses on the question of how Paris acquired metropolitan significance as early as the 6th and 7th centuries through the presence of rulers and important saints, although the city did not historically occupy a prominent position among the cities of Gaul and was hardly larger than an unfortified suburb of Rome or Constantinople in the Merovingian period. In these two centuries, a close topographical and symbolic connection of residence, royal burial and veneration of saints emerged, which is constitutive for the dynamic development of Paris throughout the Middle Ages…

Erfurt’s Blue – Erfurter Blau

During the late Middle Ages, Erfurt was a prosperous city with a dynamic trade center, and home to one of the first universities in Europe. While its success was a result of many factors, including its geographical location, few people are aware that the colour blue had a significant impact on the development of the city.

City Branding: UrbRel panel at DHT 2023

Susanne Rau, Martin Christ and Sara Keller are convening a panel at this year’s Historikertag which will take place from 19 – 22 September 2023 in Leipzig. The speakers include current and former fellows of the “Religion and Urbanity” research group as well as established reseachers in the field of urban history.

Urban Monasticism Then and Now

Harry O. Maier discusses Mateusz Fafinski and Jakob Riemenscheider’s book, Monasticism and the City in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The book provides readers with a comprehensive exploration of ancient monastic and urban sites and their inhabitants, akin to a Lonely Planet travel guide. The authors examine monasticism from five aspects: as a genre, within and as cities, with respect to monks and nuns in urban settings, in terms of monastic learning, and as a phenomenon in Afroeurasia.

Shifting Paradigms in Black Death Chronologies

After decades of doubt about the nature of the disease that caused the Black Death, the identification in 2011 of Yersinia pestis in a 14th-century London cemetery – and, most importantly, the revelation of its genetic proximity to current forms of the bacterium – closed that (sometimes harsh) debate, and demonstrated beyond all doubt the main role of paleogenomics in the future studies of historical epidemics, especially plague. However, the role of historians has not diminished with the arrival of this new protagonist in the field of disease history. On the contrary, the need for on-going multidisciplinary dialogue has become undeniable and mandatory, if the ultimate goal is effectively to advance knowledge about historical epidemic phenomena…

Urban Ressources (City Walk 10)

At the beginning of the summer term we started with our 10th City Walk which was dedicated to the topic of urban ressources. Three stops in the Old Town of Erfurt gave us the opportunity to  discuss different aspects of the subject: commercialism and different interpretations of poverty in past and present, in religious and more urban environments with the visit of the Second Hand Shop at the Johannesturm in Erfurt, monasticism and the ambivalence of wealth and poverty, production and contemplation at the Augustinian monastery, and, finally, the Collegium Maius and the St Michaelis church as two significant urban institutions of the Christian university life…

Middle Ages today – A look into the newly reopened Musée de Cluny

Our new postdoctoral fellow Mateusz Fafinski takes a look at the newly renovated Musée de Cluny. Its a success in many ways: The objects have gained a chronological context while still being roughly grouped by their medium. Through the clever use of the architectural fabric the museum itself is a critical commentary on what is ‘medieval’ and what are the Middle Ages.

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