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Open Access Women, Courtly Display and Gifts in the Rolandslied and the Chanson de Roland

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Thus far it has gone unnoticed that the twelfth-century Middle High German Rolandslied has more to say about women than its famous French counterpart, the Chanson de Roland. In the former the female protagonists are not merely wives and widows, but also advisors, mediators, regents, and rulers. Moreover, these women are expressly connected to the display of wealth and to practices of gift-giving: as givers, receivers, and gifts. While acknowledging that this chanson de geste is a story about honor, lordship, and the triumph of Christianity, the analysis of women through the lens of gift-giving is a plea to open up the Rolandslied to different interpretations. This can contribute to our understanding of social practices and ideas about women, courtly display, and gifts in twelfth-century German society.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Until a short time ago, in German speaking countries there has neither been a periodical dealing primarly with interdisciplinary research of the Middle Ages, nor has there been a forum for regular publications in other languages. Wishing to close this gap, the journal «Mediaevistik» therefore pursues two aims: 1. To publish research methods and results which deal with studies within the different categories of the Middle Ages as a subject, and 2. to offer a forum for studies in all other important European languages and thus stressing and furthering the internationality of this particular field of research. The time frame is approx. the 8th to the 16th century, corresponding with the geographical boundaries of Latin Christianity in the High Middle Ages.

    All articles in Mediaevistik are published as full open access articles under a CC-BY Creative Commons license 4.0. There are no submission charges and no Article Processing Charges as these are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched, resulting in no direct charge to authors.

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