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The Medieval Space: Early Medieval Documents as Stages

  • Kyle A. Thomas


Peter Brook begins the second chapter of The Empty Space, “The Holy Theatre,” with a lament for the loss of sacred approaches to theatre; approaches that satisfy a community's need to make visible its identity, its hope, and its history. In describing the vacuum within the modern theatre once occupied by ceremony—what he defines as the importance of a noble aim for theatre—Brook critiques hollow and backward attempts to fill new and grand spaces with old and meaningless ritual. In postwar Europe, he saw a need for new spaces that “crie[d] out for a new ceremony, but of course it is the new ceremony that should have come first—it is the ceremony in all its meanings that should have dictated the shape of the place.” Brook's assessment of postwar European bourgeois theatre and its search for new and meaningful agendas is framed by conceptions of space as antecedent to action, requiring only performer and audience in order for theatre to occur, and for a space to be called a theatre. Indeed, theatrical space is always a product of well-established cultural performance conventions—a phenomenon common throughout history. Brook's critique focuses on the conventions of theatrical space that developed from the romantic dramas and spectacle-driven performances of the late nineteenth century and continued well into the twentieth century. Echoing Bertolt Brecht, Brook rejected theatres that predetermined the limits of drama and performance, arguing that it was necessary to strip them of conventional expectations in order to lay bare their potential. Essentially, he asks: When and how does a space become a theatre?

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1. Brook, Peter, The Empty Space (1968; reprint ed., New York: Touchstone, 1996), 42–9, at 45.

2. Ibid., 9.

3. Ibid., 78–9. See Brecht, Bertolt, “Epic Theatre and Its Difficulties,” in Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, ed. and trans. Willett, John (New York: Hill & Wang, 1964), 22–4, at 22–3.

4. See Chambers, E. K., The Mediaeval Stage, 2 vols. (London, UK: Oxford University Press, 1903), and Young, Karl, The Drama of the Medieval Church, 2 vols. (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1933). Hardison, O. B., Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages: Essays in the Origin and Early History of Modern Drama (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1965) improves upon the narrative established by Chambers and Young through a focus on the development of liturgical drama as a natural progression, and perhaps fuller expression, of Christian liturgical rite. See also Wickham, Glynne, The Medieval Theatre (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974), for an exploration of the intersections among liturgical drama, secular plays, and other ludic activities (e.g., mummery).

5. On the appearance of liturgical dramatic tropes beginning only in the tenth century, and supposedly confined to clerical audiences within monastic spaces, see Bevington, David, Medieval Drama, 2d ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2012), 21–4. See also see Normington, Katie, Medieval English Drama (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009), 17, which opens with the chapter “Drama of Enclosure: Convent Drama” (17–33).

6. Gibson, Gail McMurray, The Theater of Devotion: East Anglian Drama and Society in the Late Middle Ages (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), and Enders, Jody, Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), each mark a turning point in the entrenched historiographical approach to drama in the Middle Ages. See also Sponsler, Claire, Drama and Resistance: Bodies, Goods, and Theatricality in Late Medieval England (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). For further references see note 23 below.

7. Symes, Carol, “The Drama of Conflict and Conquest: Medieval Theatre's First Millennium,” ROMARD 51 (2012): 6974 . The same problem exists for designating medieval texts as “liturgical”; see Symes, Carol, “Liturgical Texts and Performance Practices,” in Understanding Medieval Liturgy, ed. Gittos, Helen and Hamilton, Sarah (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2015), 239–67.

8. Enders, Jody, “Medieval Stages,” Theatre Survey 50.2 (November 2009): 317–25.

9. Symes, Carol, A Common Stage: Theater and Public Life in Medieval Arras (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 2. I am indebted to Symes and her approach to medieval documents that “treats all premodern texts as potential participants in a culture of performance” (2; original emphasis).

10. Brown, Giles, “Introduction: The Carolingian Renaissance,” in Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation, ed. McKitterick, Rosamund (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 151 , at 34–44.

11. Brook, 16, states that “the theatre is relativity” to underscore the fluidity of theatre forms throughout history. Though he is referential of a modern theatre, he lays out the historiographical emphasis that undergirds this essay; whereby a fluidity of form allows for permeation and exchange among various media.

12. The frame of performativity in medieval documentary practice has been applied largely to analyses of illuminated manuscripts. See Clark, Robert L. A. and Sheingorn, Pamela, “Performative Reading: The Illustrated Manuscripts of Arnoul Gréban's Mystère de la Passion ,” European Medieval Drama 6 (2002): 129–72; Griffith, Karlyn, “Performative Reading and Receiving a Performance of the Jour du Jugement in MS Besançon 579,” Comparative Drama 45.2 (2011): 99126 ; and Rivera, Isidro J., “Visualizing the Passion in Andrés de Li's Summa de paciencia, Revista Hispánica Moderna 67.1 (2014): 5572 .

13. See Jackson, W. T. H., “Time and Space in the Ludus de Antichristo, Germanic Review 54.1 (1979): 18 . The extant manuscript (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm 19411) contains an instruction for Ecclesia to sing the liturgical Alto consilio (a New Year's liturgy common in the twelfth century), though it is not included in the text of the play; see Chambers, 2: 62–3.

14. Gerhoh of Reichersberg, De investigatione Antichristi 1.5, ed. Sackur, Ernst, Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) Libelli de lite imperatorum et pontificum (Ldl) 3 (Hanover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1897), 315–16.

15. Ibid.: “Quid ergo mirum, si et isti nunc Antichristum vel Herodem in suis ludis simulantes eosdem non, ut eis intentioni est, ludicro mentiuntur, sed in veritate exhibent, utpote quorum vita ab Antichristi laxa conversatione non longe abest? Horum enim locum quidem sanctum et vitam sanctitati contrariam si adtendas, quasi alienigenas in arce et abominationem desolationis videre te suspicaberis in loco sancto stantem… . Et quis scire potest, an et cetera simulata, Antichristi scilicet effigiem, demonum larvas, Herodianam insaniam in veritate non exhibeant? … Exhibent preterea imaginaliter et Salvatoris infantiae cunabula, parvuli vagitum, puerpere virginis matronalem habitum, stelle quasi sidus flammigerum, infantum necem, maternum Rachelis ploratum.”

16. Chambers, 2: 98–9, implicitly connects the two texts in his short examination of Antichrist ludi. Young, 2: 392, on the other hand, believes there is a specific correlation between Gerhoh's treatise and the Tegernsee Ludus de Antichristo. See also in The Play of Antichrist, trans. Wright, John (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1967), 39; Axton, Richard, European Drama of the Early Middle Ages (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1975), 45; and Tydeman, William, The Theatre in the Middle Ages: Western European Stage Conditions, c. 800–1576 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), 61.

17. Clopper, Lawrence M., Drama, Play, and Game: English Festive Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Period (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 43–7. See also Harris, Max, Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011), 42–5, who finds weight in the plausibility of Clopper's argument, although is not wholly convinced, due to a lack of extant corroborating evidence. It is also important to note that Clopper and Harris correctly provide evidence that counters previous scholarship linking Gerhoh's descriptions to the Tegernsee Ludus de Antichristo.

18. Gerhoh uses such examples in order to stress the urgency of clerical reform, an issue he greatly emphasized in his life. See also Gerhoh of Reichersberg, De quarta vigilia noctis, MGH Ldl 3: 503–25, and his letter to Pope Hadrian IV in 1156, Ex libro de novitatibus huius temporis, MGH Ldl 3: 288–304. See also McGinn, Bernard, “Gerhoh of Reichersberg,” in Visions of the End: Apocalyptic Traditions in the Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), 103–7.

19. Symes, Carol, “The Tragedy of the Middle Ages,” in Beyond the Fifth Century: Interactions with Greek Tragedy from the Fourth Century BCE to the Middle Ages, ed. Gildenhard, Ingo and Revermann, Martin (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 335–69. Symes provides an excellent summary of the historiographical approach to early medieval theatre that has so problematically held sway among theatre scholars for decades.

20. See Bisson, Thomas N., The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). For more on the inflamed tensions between the emperor and the papacy during the middle of the twelfth century see Benson, Robert L., “The Clash at Besançon (October 1157),” in Law, Rulership, and Rhetoric: Selected Essays of Robert L. Benson, ed. Weber, Loren J., with Constable, Giles and Rouse, Richard H. (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014), 262–92, at 266–7.

21. For the function of propagandistic discourse within public sphere figuration during and after the Investiture Controversy see Melve, Leidulf, Inventing the Public Sphere: The Public Debate during the Investiture Contest (c. 1030–1122), 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 1: 1722 . Propaganda, widely conceived as public discourse, is understood through embodiments of art, ritual, and other public media; see Thomson, Oliver, Mass Persuasion in History: An Historical Analysis of the Development of Propaganda Techniques (Edinburgh: Paul Harris, 1977), 6775 ; Thum, Bernd, “Öffentlichkeit und Kommunikation im Mittelalter: Zur Herstellung von Öffentlichkeit im Bezugsfeld elementarer Kommunikationsformen im 13. Jahrhundert,” in Höfische Repräsentation: Das Zeremoniell und die Zeichen, ed. Ragotsky, Hedda and Wenzl, Horst (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1990), 6587 , at 78–82; and Taylor, Philip M., Munitions of the Mind: A History of Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Present Day, 3d ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), 5184 .

22. Symes, Common Stage, 135; see especially her n. 28 for references to the consistent negotiation of space in both its meanings and usages.

23. For example: Booker, Courtney M., Past Convictions: The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009); Susannah Crowder, “Performance Culture in Medieval Metz, c. 200–1200,” unpublished Ph.D. diss. (Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2008); Enders, Rhetoric; Innes, Matthew, “Memory, Orality and Literacy in an Early Medieval Society,” Past & Present 158.1 (1998): 336 ; Koziol, Geoffrey, The Politics of Memory and Identity in Carolingian Royal Diplomas: The West Frankish Kingdom (840–987) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012); Novikoff, Alex J., The Medieval Culture of Disputation: Pedagogy, Practice, and Performance (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); The Appearances of Medieval Rituals: The Play of Construction and Modification, ed. Petersen, Nils Holger et al. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004); and Symes, Common Stage.

24. A review of the bibliography for the chapter “European Theatre in the Middle Ages” in one of the most influential textbooks in the field of theatre studies—Oscar Brockett, G. and Hildy, Franklin J., History of the Theatre, 10th ed. (Boston: Pearson, 2008), 644–5—reveals that little influence from early medieval scholarship has shaped the narrative of medieval theatre history. See also The Medieval European Stage, 500–1550, ed. Tydeman, William (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). One of the more promising studies, Dox, Donnalee, The Idea of Theater in Latin Christian Thought: Augustine to the Fourteenth Century (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004), provides needed emphasis on discourse surrounding early medieval conceptions of theatrum, but Dox's argument largely operates within the framework that only historical or theological notions of theatre survive through the early medieval period. See also Bevington.

25. See Carlson, Marvin, “Introduction: How Do Theatres Mean?” in Places of Performance: The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989), 113 .

26. This is at the heart of the scholarship and research toward a new historiographical approach to early medieval theatre pioneered by Symes. In addition to Common Stage, see Symes, , “Knowledge Transmission: Media and Memory,” in A Cultural History of Theatre in the Middle Ages, ed. Enders, Jody (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 199211 ; “Drama of Conflict and Conquest”; and “Tragedy of the Middle Ages.” See also Enders, “Medieval Stages.”

27. Such an approach informs Pensom, Roger, “Theatrical Space in the Jeu d'Adam, French Studies 47.3 (1993): 257–75. Pensom provides insight into the Latin terminology employed by the play, but works from the premise that the existence of the Latin didascaliae function in the fashion of modern stage directions.

28. Brook, 37.

29. Symes, Carol, “The Medieval Archive and the History of Theatre: Assessing the Written and Unwritten Evidence for Premodern Performance,” Theatre Survey 52.1 (2011): 2958 .

30. For an in-depth paleographical study see Plechl, Helmut, “Die Tegernseer Handschrift Clm 19411: Beschreibung und Inhalt,” Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 18.2 (1962): 418501 . Also Ludus de Antichristo, 2 vols., ed. Gisela Vollmann-Profe (Göppingen: Kümmerle, 1981).

31. See Kyle A. Thomas, “The Ludus de Antichristo: Playing Power in the Medieval Public Sphere,” M.A. thesis (Dept. of Theatre, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 2012). For more on the pedagogical functions of the documents contained within the codex see Wolff, Luella M., “A Brief History of the Art of Dictamen: Medieval Origins of Business Letter Writing,” International Journal of Business Communication 16.2 (1979): 311 ; Murphy, James J., Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: A History of Rhetorical Theory from Saint Augustine to the Renaissance (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974); and Dronke, Peter, Medieval Latin and the Rise of European Love-Lyric, vol. 2: Medieval Latin Love-Poetry, 2d ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968).

32. Enders, Rhetoric, 36–9, and Wolff, 4.

33. See Symes, Common Stage, 138.

34. Fol. 39v, Codex 169, Stiftsbibliothek St. Georgenberg-Fiecht. See also Riedmann, Josef, “Ein Neuaufgefundenes Bruchstück des Ludus de Antichristo: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Beziehungen zwischen St. Georgenberg in Tirol und Tegernsee,” Zeitschrift für bayerische Landgeschichte 36.1 (1973): 1638 .

35. Riedmann, 20–3.

36. Ibid., 36–7.

37. See ibid., 34–6, for more on the individual monastic communities of Tegernsee and Fiecht and the development of their relationship despite differing political and spiritual ambitions.

38. See Olson, David R., “What Writing Is,” Pragmatics & Cognition 9.2 (2001): 239–58, for the discourse at work in literacy and its relationship to orality in the development of writing. On the growth of documentation and its increasing growth among more than just courtly or ecclesiastical authorities see Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Brown, Warren C. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

39. Häkkinen, Lotta and Kivinen, Nina, “Writing Spaces—Performativity in Media Work,” in Materiality and Space: Organizations, Artefacts and Practice, ed. de Vaujany, François-Xavier and Mitev, Nathalie (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 135–56, at 137–8, explains that the materiality of objects and their relation to the construction of space is a fundamental element in controlling and contesting social organization through performative means. See also Symes, “Liturgical Texts and Performance Practices,” 241–4.

40. Matthew Innes and Rosamund McKitterick, “The Writing of History,” in Carolingian Culture, ed. McKitterick, 193–220, at 193. See also McKitterick, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). For the importance and functions of documentation to lay individuals see Documentary Culture and the Laity, ed. Brown.

41. Both the Gesta episcoporum mettensium (781) by Paul the Deacon (ca. 720–99) and the anonymous Annales mettenses priores (ca. 805) focus on Carolingian genealogy and succession as a means to legitimize the royal line and position its longstanding authority. See McKitterick, History and Memory, 124–5.

42. Koziol, Geoffrey, “A Father, His Son, Memory, and Hope: The Joint Diploma of Lothar and Louis V (Pentecost Monday, 979) and the Limits of Performativity,” in Geschichtswissenschaft und “performative turn”: Ritual, Inszenierung und Performanz vom Mittelalter bis zur Neuzeit, ed. Martschukat, Jürgen and Patzold, Steffen (Cologne: Böhlau, 2003), 83103, at 92.

43. Lothar II and Louis V, Archives Nationales (Paris) série K 17, Recueil de copies d'actes et de bulles concernant Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

44. Koziol, “Father, His Son,” 91–4, quote at 94.

45. Ibid., 100–2.

46. Bedos-Rezak, Brigitte Miriam, “Seals and Stars: Law, Magic and the Bureaucratic Process (Twelfth-Thirteenth Centuries),” in Seals and Their Context in the Middle Ages, ed. Schofield, Phillip R. (Philadelphia: Oxbow, 2015), 89100 , at 89. On the potential materiality and semiotic implications of wax, including the cultural aspects of wax seals, see Hirsch, Brett D., “Three Wax Images, Two Italian Gentlemen, and One English Queen,” in Magical Transformations on the Early Modern English Stage, ed. Hopkins, Lisa and Ostovich, Helen (Farnham, Surrey, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014), 155–68.

47. Bedos-Rezak, “Seals and Stars,” 92–4, cites two of William of Auvergne's thirteenth-century explorations of the power and efficacy of wax seals in De legibus and De universo.

48. Booker, 162 and 221–2.

49. Ibid., 254.

50. Ibid., 9–10.

51. See Ganz, David, “The Debate on Predestination,” in Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom, ed. Gibson, Margaret and Nelson, Janet, BAR International Series 101 (Oxford: BAR, 1981), 353–73. On Carolingian historiography in the eighth and ninth centuries, specifically as it pertained to the legitimacy of the Carolingian dynasty, see McKitterick, Rosamond, “Political Ideology in Carolingian Historiography,” in The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Hen, Yitzhak and Innes, Matthew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 162–74.

52. See Booker, 129–82 (chap. 4: “Documenting Duty's Demands”).

53. On the ways in which rituals informed early medieval visual imagery captured through some forms of documentation see Hageman, Mariëlle, “ Pictor Iconiam Litterarum: Rituals as Visual Elements in Early Medieval Ruler Portraits in World and Image,” in Reading Images and Texts: Medieval Images and Texts as Forms of Communication, ed. Hageman, Mariëlle and Mostert, Marco (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005), 239–59.

54. Rabanus Maurus, MGH Epistolae (Epp.) 5 (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1899), 481–7: “Item qui dicit, quod quidam homines non ad hoc a Deo creati sunt, ut vitam adipiscerentur aeternam, sed ut habitum tantummodo vite praesentis ornarent, et ad utilitatem nascerentur aliorum, melius loqueretur dicens, quod Deus, qui creator est omnium, non frustra etiam eos condat, quos praevidit vite aeternae participes non futuros, quia etiam in malis hominibus bonum Dei opus est ipsa natura, et laudabilis est in impiorum dampnatione iustitia” (485).

55. Rabanus Maurus, MGH Epp. 5: 485, “Non potest autem merito reprehendi qui dicit, quod etiam talium conditione mundus ornetur, et quod hi, qui sibi sua iniquitate nocituri sunt, ad utilitatem nascantur aliorum.”

56. Hincmar of Reims, MGH Epp. 8 (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1939), 12–23, “Poena autem eis est praedestinata pro malis illorum operibus, in quibus praesciti sunt tantum, non praedestinati perseveraturi, quia praedestinavit Deus, quod divina aequitas redderet, non quod humana iniquitas admisisset” (19, emphasis added). For more on Hincmar's position on Gottschalk and predestination in relation to his role as archbishop of Reims see Nineham, D. E., “Gottschalk of Orbais: Reactionary or Precursor of the Reformation?Journal of Ecclesiastical History 40.1 (1989): 118 .

57. Firey, Abigail, “Continuing Recourse to Roman Law in the Carolingian Period: The Example of MS Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 1062 Helmst.,” in Rechtshandschriften des Deutschen Mittelalters: Produktionsorte und Importwege, ed. Carmassi, Patrizia and Drossbach, Gisela (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015), 211–43, dating provenance at 213.

58. Ibid., 225.

59. Ibid., 223–4.

60. On the purposeful and procedural practices of binding texts into codices during Carolingian period see McKitterick, “Political Ideology in Carolingian Historiography,” 169–71.

61. On Carolingian historiography and the creation and control of memory through performed narrative mediums see McKitterick, “The Reading of History at Lorsch and St Amand,” in History and Memory, 186–217.

62. On the precedent and problems with this historiographical approach, along with contrasting examples and possible new historiographical avenues, see Symes, “Knowledge Transmission”; and Symes, “Drama of Conflict and Conquest.”

63. Dox, 44–9.

64. Ibid., 47.

65. Stuart Airlie, “Private Bodies and the Body Politic in the Divorce Case of Lothar II,” Past & Present 161.1 (November 1998): 3–38, at 12–16. Airlie positions Hincmar's omission of Waldrada in relation to contemporaneous texts, such as the Liber memoralis, where she is included as a member of Lothar's retinue in order to show the political nature of the document and the split opinions on Lothar's annulment, even among Lotharingian clergy.

66. See Hincmar of Rheims, De divortio Lotharii regis et Theutbergae reginae, ed. Böhringer, Letha, MGH Concilia (Conc.) 4, Suppl. 1 (Hanover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1992), 99261 .

67. McKitterick specifically admonishes historiographies of the twelfth century that overlook foundational precedents and formations that occurred earlier, especially in the ninth century; History and Memory, 191.

68. Enders, Rhetoric, 71.

69. Ibid., 38. Since Enders's book there have been significant works published on why performance functions or instructions of texts may have been muted. See Symes, “Knowledge Transmission”; Symes, , “The Performance and Preservation of Medieval Latin Comedy,” European Medieval Drama 7 (2003): 2950 ; and Ward, John O., “Master William of Champeaux and Some Other Early Commentators on the Pseudo-Ciceronian Rhetorica ad Herennium ,” in Public Declamations: Essays on Medieval Rhetoric, Education, and Letters in Honour of Martin Camargo, ed. Donavin, Georgiana and Stodola, Denise (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), 2144 , at 24–30.

70. See Symes, “Liturgical Texts and Performance Practices.” See also Ward, 26, for more information on how the instruction of a text came not from its contents but in its applications. Furthermore, the Ciceronian emphasis on habitus (virtuosity) through a controlled application of affection (emotion), as laid out in De inventione, may have informed the document such that the orator and/or performer showed their skill through their interpretation of proper emotional readings, thus purposefully leaving the document devoid of such information; see also Rita Copeland, “Affectio in the Tradition of De inventione: Philosophy and Pragmatism,” in Public Declamations, ed. Donavin and Stodola, 3–20.

71. See Copeland for more on the emotional aspects (affectio) of well-formed rhetorical delivery that was a prominent part of oratorical education throughout the Middle Ages.

72. Enders, Rhetoric, 71.

73. Ibid., 72.

74. See Karl Ferdinand Werner, “Missus—Marchio—Comes: Entre l'administration centrale et l'administration locale de l'Empire carolingien,” in Histoire comparée de l'administration (IVe–XVIIIe siècles): Actes du XIVe colloque historique Franco-Allemand, ed. Werner Paravicini and Karl Ferdinand Werner (Zurich and Munich: Artemis, 1980), 191–239. See also Parkes, M. B., “Reading, Copying, and Interpreting a Text in the Early Middle Ages,” in A History of Reading in the West, ed. Cavallo, Guglielmo and Chartier, Roger, trans. Cochrane, Lydia G. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), 90102 , for how documents themselves were also contested spaces whereby glosses, annotations, and other structural developments related to meaning, interpretation, and performance (or oration) were consistently revised and repeated throughout western Europe, especially in the ninth and tenth centuries.

75. Brook, 140. Brook uses the term “assistance” rather than “audience” in order to convey the idea that spectators may or may not involve themselves in a performance, and that the energy that an actor may feel from a good audience assists the performance overall. I have chosen to stick to the term “audience,” as Brook's terminology is specifically referential of modern theatre.

76. Symes, “Drama of Conflict,” 70–1; and Symes, “Tragedy of the Middle Ages,” 342–67. Also, Warren C. Brown, “The gesta municipalia and the Public Validation of Documents in Frankish Europe,” in Documentary Culture, ed. Brown, 95–124, describes how early legal and civic transactions under Merovingian and Carolingian Frankish rulers were publicly recorded using documentary formulas derived from the late antique gesta municipalia, records of “municipal deeds” or civic transactions enacted in public spaces and reliant on public ritual and performance for their full authority.

77. Symes, “Drama of Conflict and Conquest,” 70 (original emphasis).


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