Read PDF Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated?

Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? book. Happy reading Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? Pocket Guide.


  1. History of theatre
  2. Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? - eBook -
  3. 4.1. Types of Societies

So moralists railed against public bath-houses as sinks of iniquity. To conclude this meant people therefore did not use the bath-houses is as silly as concluding they also did not visit the adjoining brothels. The fact that Medieval literature celebrates the joys of a hot bath, the Medieval knighting ceremony includes a scented bath for the initiatory squire, ascetic hermits prided themselves on not bathing just as they prided themselves on not enjoying other common pleasures and soap makers and bath-house keepers did a roaring trade shows that Medieval people liked to keep clean.

The idea that they had rotten teeth has also been shown to be nonsense by archaeology. In a period in which sugar was an expensive luxury and in which the average person's diet was rich in vegetables, seasonal fruit and calcium, Medieval teeth were actually excellent. It was only in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century that cheaper sugar from the West Indies flooded Europe and caused an epidemic of cavities and foul breath. A Medieval French saying shows how fundamental washing was to the pleasures of a good life in the period:.

Venari, ludere, lavari, bibere! Hoc est vivere! To hunt, to play, to bathe, to drink! This is to live! The Medieval period was a technological 'dark age' and there were few to no advances in technology until the Renaissance. The Medieval period actually saw many advances in technology, several of which were amongst the most significant in human history. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the Fifth Century the effect on material culture and technology in Europe was devastating. Without the Empire to fund major engineering projects and large scale infrastructure, many of the skills and techniques involved in monumental buildings and complex technologies were forgotten and lost.

The break down of long distance trade meant people became increasingly self-sufficient and produced what they needed locally. But this actually had a stimulating effect on the adoption and development of technology in the longer run. Technical advances that helped self-sufficient farming communities to be more productive became more widely adopted across Europe and this led to the development of the horse-collar, allowing more efficient haulage and plowing, the horse shoe, the mouldboard plough, allowing the cultivation of heavier northern European soils and a widespread adoption of water power in the form of water mills and tidal mills.

The result of these developments was wide areas of Europe that had never been farmed in Roman times came under production for the first time and Europe became vastly more productive and, ultimately, richer than it had ever been. The widespread adoption of water mills on a scale never seen in Roman times led not only to a wider range of uses for water power, but an increase in other forms of mechanisation.

The windmill was a Medieval European innovation and both wind and water mills were not just used for grinding flour but also fuilling cloth, making leather and driving bellows and trip-hammers. These last two innovations led to the production of steel on a semi-industrial scale and, along with the Medieval invention of the blast furnace and development of cast iron, advanced Medieval metal technology well beyond that of the Romans By the second half of the Middle Ages AD the wind and water-powered agarian revolution of the previous few centuries made Christian Europe into a rich, populous and expanding power.

Medieval people began to experiment with other uses of mechanisation. Noting that warm air moved up a chimney which were another Medieval innovation , larger Medieval kitchens had fans installed in the chimney to automatically turn spits by use of a gearing system. Medieval monks noted that using a similar gearing system driven by a descending weight might be used to measure out an hour of time mechanically. In the Thirteenth Century the first mechanical clocks began to appear across Europe, a Medieval innovation that would revolutionise how humans saw time.

Medieval clocks developed rapidly, with miniaturised table clocks appearing within a few decades of the instrument's invention. Medieval clocks could be vastly complex calculating devices. The immensely complicated astronomical clock built by Richard of Wallingford, abbot of St Albans, was so complex it took eight years to run through its full cycle of calculations and was the most intricate machine ever built up to that point.

The rise of universities in the Middle Ages also stimulated several technical innovations. Scholars studying works on optics by Greek and Arabic scientists did experiments on the nature of light using lenses and invented eye glasses in the process. Universities also provided a large market for books and encouraged methods of producing books more cheaply.

Experiments with block printing eventually led to the invention of moveable type and finally another highly significant Medieval innovation: the printing press. Medieval maritime technology meant that Europeans were able to sail to the Americas for the first time. Long distance maritime trade led to the development of increasingly larger vessels. In the later Twelth Century Medieval shipwrights invented the stern-mounted "pintle and gudgeon" rudder which allowed far larger ships to be developed and steered more effectively.

The later Age of Exploration was made possible by this Medieval innovation.

History of theatre

So far from being a technological dark age, the Medieval period actually saw many important innovations in technology and several of them - eye glasses, the mechanical clock and the printing press - are amongst the most important inventions of all time. Medieval warfare consisted of unorganised knights in massively heavy armour leading rabbles of peasants armed with pitchforks into battles that were chaotic brawls.

This is why Europeans were usually beaten by their tactically superior Muslim enemies in the Crusades. The Hollywood image of Medieval warfare as unskilled, disorganised chaos where knights bent on individual glory led armies of peasant levies has its origin largely in one book - Sir Charles Oman's The Art of Warfare in the Middle Ages This book began life as an undergraduate essay at Oxford but was later expanded and published as Oman's first book. It then became the most widely read book in English on the subject of Medieval warfare, largely because there really were not any others until several decades into the Twentieth Century, when more systematic modern study of the period began.

Oman's research suffered from many of the disadvantages of the time in which he wrote: a general prejudice against the Medieval period as "backward" and "inferior" to the Classical era, a lack of many sources which were yet to be published and a tendency to take sources at face value. As a result, Oman presented Medieval warfare as unskilled and without tactics or strategy and focused mainly on a quest for individual glory by the knights and nobles. But by the s more modern historical methods and a wider range of sources and interpretations were being brought to bear on the subject, initially by European historians like Philippe Contamine and J.

These newer works revolutionised our understanding of Medieval warfare, showing that while many of our sources emphasised individual actions by knights and nobles, use of other sources painted a very different picture to Oman's.

In fact, the rise of the knightly elite in the Tenth Century meant Medieval Europe had a professional class of warriors who dedicated their lives to the arts of war. While individual glory and prowess was prized, this elite trained from early childhood and knew well that battles were won by organisation and tactics.

Knights trained in group maneuvers and aristocrats trained in how to co-ordinate a number of these groups often called conrois or "lances" into "battles" or "battalions". This was done through combinations of trumpet signals, flag signals or visual and verbal commands. The key to Medieval battlefield tactics was to position the core of the enemy's army - his infantry - so that its ranks were disrupted enough to be vulnerable to a killing blow: a charge by the knightly heavy infantry. This had to be timed precisely and done while maintaining your own army and not allowing your opponent's heavy cavalry a similar opportunity.

Contrary to popular belief, Medieval armies were substantially infantry-based, with cavalry, including the elite knightly heavy cavalry, forming a sizeable minority. When he completed his education, Hasan was sent to Cairo. The golden century of Fatimid rule had long ended, and rifts were growing within Ismailism.

As the Seljuk grip tightened, the fortunes of Sunni Islam were rising. After three years, Hasan left Cairo and went to work as a missionary in Persia. His work there extended throughout the land: He gathered Ismaili converts and began to organize them against the hated Seljuks. To fight against the powerful Seljuks, Hasan had to outsmart them. In he captured Alamut Castle from the Sunni Seljuks. Using infiltration, bribery, and violence, Hasan occupied other fortresses in mountainous regions of Persia and established a Nizari state with imposing defenses. Hasan knew that battle was out of the question, so he turned to other tactics: guerrilla warfare, spying, espionage, and targeted killings.

His special corps, the fedayeen, proved highly effective against carefully selected targets. In the Assassins made a notable killing, the vizier Nizam al-Mulk, a powerful member of the Seljuk Sultanate. Records say that a Nizari disguised himself as a Sufi mystic and stabbed him. Soon after, the Seljuk sultan, Malik Shah, was also killed. Nonetheless, the murders had a domino effect, and the Seljuks were thrown into turmoil.

Has the role of rituals in medieval politics been exaggerated? - eBook -

A series of Nizari attacks followed on rulers, generals, governors, and clerics. The Nizari seemed to be everywhere and nowhere. Their adversaries began to take extra measures to protect themselves: hiring bodyguards and wearing chain mail under their clothing. In the early s he decided to expand the reach of his sect, sending missionaries to Syria and Palestine. The Nizari believed that they alone possessed the truth, and that an imam—a true descendant of Ali—would one day reveal himself. To their Sunni enemies whose disdainful chroniclers recorded their deeds, they were delinquents; to the Nizari themselves, they were holy warriors.

The Nizari expansion coincided with the arrival of European crusaders in Syria, who settled there after conquering Jerusalem in Sometimes the Nizari killed Christians, as was the case with Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem, but at other times, they were open to forming alliances with them. To the Nizari, the Christian presence was a minor irritant in their declared goal to await the revelation of the imam. Hasan-e Sabbah died in , and the sect continued without him. But Nizari fortunes remained buoyant, and the murders of high-ranking Sunni figures continued.

In the s leadership fell to Hasan II, who took the branch in a different theological direction. Hasan proclaimed he had received instructions from a hidden imam. True believers, he said, were now relieved from moral customs, such as praying in the direction of Mecca, and could even do things regarded as sinful. This period probably influenced the lurid tales that were later collected by Marco Polo and other Europeans, even though the sect later reverted to a more austere interpretation of Islam. It was Sinan who was known as the Old Man of the Mountain. Hisstruggle brought him into conflict with another central figure in the Crusades, the sultan Saladin, who set out to expel the Christian foe, and unite Islam—a goal the Nizari did not share.

Fedayeen were twice sent to kill him, but Saladin escaped. In response, he besieged Masyaf Castle but then unexpectedly withdrew. The Nizari survived that attack, but their undoing would not come at Muslim hands. As not really Islamic but modern? As neither modern nor Islamic? This is not due to accident, or to some eternal human vice. Many of the reasons for such transformation are intrinsic to its liberal character—most importantly, its commitment to securing the life and property of its citizens, to making them fully safe.

Popular struggle to oppose that erosion is extremely difficult because it is not simply a matter of the restoration of rights but of confronting an elaborate structure of state protection, control and secrecy that is almost impossible to dislodge. This gives cause for worry about liberty to some citizens while offering to others an opportunity for extending state security and state power—for the sake of property if not always of life. The crucial point about the modern nation-state is precisely its mobile and contradictory character: on the one hand its commitment to defending the citizen and securing general welfare and progress, on the other hand to defending the state so that it can fulfill this commitment.

Because the latter task takes priority over the former, it calls for the accumulation of secret information about the entire subject population in order to preempt any possibility of subversion by a minority within it. In societies heavily dependent on information technology like the US this can be done by sophisticated techniques such as the National Security Agency uses.

But in all revolutionary societies this has been done by recruiting as many of the ordinary population as possible into becoming secret informers on neighbors, colleagues, friends, and relatives. In order to do so one would need to draw on older ideas that have been pushed out by the narrative of secular progress since premodern times, such as the absence of rigid territorial boundaries and the presence of overlapping authorities.

The primary question is how far rights and duties attaching to civil status can be negotiated just as they now are in international law without an overarching authority. In the absence of sovereignty there would be no distinction between international and domestic law. Some parties would be subsidiary to others for narrowly defined purposes and times but none would have the comprehensiveness, the final authority, and unchanging continuity claimed by the sovereign territorial state. I stress that my concern is not with democratic relations between international units, [93] still less with a decentralized utopia in which all power is held locally.

Autonomous local groups can be almost as cruel as the state, but my point is that one might try to think of ways in which no sovereign center of power, whatever its scale, can actually exist.

Origins of the idea

The idea of numerous nonhierarchical domains of normativity opens up the possibility of a very different kind of politics—and policies—that would always have to address numerous overlapping bodies and territories. Procedures to deal with differences and disagreements would include civil pressure directed against authorities, such as civil disobedience, to make office holders accountable. This sharing would be the outcome of continuous work between friends or lovers, not an expression of accomplished cultural fact. The risk of a military force being formed to create an exclusive territorial body would have to be met not merely by constitutional barriers but also by the work of tradition in the formation, maintenance, and repair of selves who are bonded to one another. The late Neil MacCormick, legal philosopher and a Scottish member of the European Parliament, has published an interesting exploration of how aspects of such an arrangement might be made to work in the context of the European Union, [94] although the European Union remains a bounded territorial unit containing states and their subdivisions, overridden by a power center consisting primarily of the European Central Bank and the Brussels bureaucracy.

In a stateless order it would be impossible to aim at capturing state power or to impose a single identity and a single destiny. Of course, even in a world where political sovereignty no longer exists, the past would continue to be necessary to a coherent form of life, or to a life aspiring to coherence. However, whenever people quarrel about whether or not they can continue to live essentially as they do now because the world is or is no longer the way it is claimed to be, we have a more complicated relationship between tradition, time, and place.

Whether the present in Egypt is still in some significant sense part of the time of January when an attempt was made to establish a new political tradition or that time now belongs to an irretrievable past is perhaps too early to say. But certainly the project of doing away with sovereignty of state and subject is part of unfinished time—although to identify time as unfinished is not to say that there is still time enough.

Finally: One may gesture at what one thinks of as a possible solution to the intolerable cruelties and injustices of the sovereign state but applying that solution successfully is quite another matter. The sentiment of national loyalty and pride may be fluid, unevenly distributed, and indeterminate but it is still powerful.

Given the world we live in, the mere suggestion that sovereignty be dismantled therefore borders on fantasy. Today no state accepts the violation of its sovereign right—although that is precisely what happens to weak states that are unable to do much about it. For in practice there are rights overriding the principle of sovereignty that powerful sovereign states can exercise. All modern sovereign states, including Egypt, are invested in the continuous search for global markets and investment capital, as well as dependence on military security and access to the most sophisticated weaponry.

They are driven by an ever-present desire for increasing profit, consumption, and power, all under the auspices of financial and industrial corporations. The results, with which virtually everyone is familiar, include accelerating climate change, systematic environmental degradation, impending nuclear disasters and financial collapse, developments that cannot, so it seems, be stopped. It is this excess, expressed by continuous desire and willfulness, that traditional forms of life have sought to control—even if often they have failed to do so.

But in our world the morally sovereign individual and the politically sovereign state, each reflecting the other, neither able to change this world for the better, are both trapped, gridlocked. That is the tragedy not merely of Egypt but of our time. During the months of March, April, and May , while I was teaching in New York, Mohammed Tabishat carried out interviews for me in Cairo with a number of Egyptians, only some of whom I know personally; I thank him for this work.

It is not seeking to make possible a metaphysics that has finally become a science; it is seeking to give new impetus, as far and wide as possible, to the undefined work of freedom.

4.1. Types of Societies

The Ancients were not totally rejected by Moderns but re-situated: they were criticized, historicized, and used for new purposes. Formal speech and behavior—whether in religious ritual or in political oratory—should be seen for what it really was: the denial of choice and therefore blind submission to authority.

The book that has had the greatest impact on anthropological thinking on tradition is The Invention of Tradition edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, Cambridge University Press, My approach to tradition is quite different, and draws on the work of MacIntyre. But contrary to the simple way this famous essay has usually been read, we should note that it actually articulates a problem that was quite apparent to its author. Here is the problem: Since the Benjaminian notion of aura spells uniqueness and authenticity, the destruction of aura undermines tradition.

The difficulty with this is that tradition not only guards the uniqueness of authentic things, it also conveys historical knowledge of them. Since the historical testimony rests on [its] authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when material duration ceases to matter.

And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object. A humanly-made object—say an old dagger—has aura by virtue of the fact that it displays its uniqueness in its shape and materials, as well as in its scratches and discolorations, all signs of its ancient history.

An old document that embodies specific traces of the past, similarly has an aura. The time employed in the work of tradition is not simply the homogeneous time of modern progressive history. It is the complex time of everyday experience, remembrance, and practice. Thus memory, too, may be authentic or inauthentic, just like any physical object.

The distinctive question for Benjamin is whether it inhabits more than one time. MacIntyre, who has done most to rehabilitate the idea of tradition in Anglophone philosophy, proposes how such a rational choice can be made. For among those resources. If that move occurs it may be closer to a conversion than to a deductive conclusion, because the truthfulness of a tradition is essentially a matter not of propositions but of a form of obligation carried out over time, achieved not by theoretical proof but by persuasion through conversation and demonstration in and appeal to the solidities of everyday life.

There is, of course, no special virtue in persuasion: one can be persuaded to commit serious intellectual mistakes and crimes. On the duties and correct ways of advising and instructing friends, see especially pp. His book, Before and After Muhammad: The First Millenium Refocused Princeton, , is primarily an intellectual history, but it constitutes an important new challenge to the writing of quite separate histories of what is now called Europe and the Middle East. In making this claim, however, she ignores the constitution of the United States as an expanding political power based on violence—expanding geographically and socially—from the very beginning: Indian massacres and forced removals, slavery, the civil war, institutionalized racism, the US-Mexican war, and the extension of Federal state power and authority, all of which have helped to constitute the United States.

In other words, apart from the many verbal emendations that were made to the text of the constitution, the republic was constituted—often very violently—both before and after In The Two Faces of American Freedom Aziz Rana convincingly shows how the contemporary US drive for global hegemony is part of its complex political tradition in which the continuous continental expansion, the transformation of an agrarian into an industrial economy, and the waves of always useful but not always welcome immigration, were reflected in the often violent reconstitution of state authority and power.

But Benjamin had a more conflicted view of tradition as something at once inconsistent with and yet essential to modernity.

See note 11 above. Its hesitation in joining the uprising for which they were repeatedly criticized by secular liberals and leftists may partly be explained by a fear of repression. They also mobilized their own protests demanding political reform. These protests collapsed without any positive results, and were followed by further severe penalization of the organization. Many middle-class workshops, Muslim and Christian, have been held on this topic, especially in Cairo. One answer often given by liberals is that the masses are ignorant and the Islamists provide a reactionary leadership that renders violence against them necessary in the cause of progress.

This is not an explanation, of course, but a claim. What Egypt has become three years after its once inspiring revolt is a police state more vigorous than anything we have seen since Nasser. As in the dark years of the s, the enemy is everywhere, and any effort to expose and eradicate him is given popular assent. Whether the entire leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood was utterly devious or merely obtuse is a minor question: it was certainly a fatal mistake for it to make a bid for the presidency—despite earlier assurances that they would not do so.

Kandil does not consider whether the orchestrated movement of protest at the end of June that eventuated in and supported the military coup compromised the attempts, however limited, to build a democratic tradition. It will take some time to make reasonable assessments of how many and who were involved.

The British journalist Robert Fisk visited Egypt before as well as after the coup, and reported on massacres and popular demonstrations with considerable perspicacity. Some of the Tahrir demonstrators, who were truly revolutionaries against Mubarak in , trooped over the Nile bridges waving posters of General al-Sisi. And one has to say, painful as it is to do so, that the sight of well-heeled people holding aloft the photograph of a general in sunglasses — albeit a wonderful and very democratic general — was profoundly depressing.

What really happened to the 25 January revolution? On the one hand, the military arrests and massacres Islamists; on the other, churches are conspicuously left unguarded to face vengeful Muslim Brotherhood supporters. It should be noted, however, that rights activists have raised serious questions about the degree to which the ministry of the interior has been actively involved in incidents aimed at increasing sectarian hostility and general alarm.

See, e. General Sisi sought support from both Saudi Arabia and Israel shortly before the coup, the former promising money and the latter military coordination against Hamas in Gaza. I am, dear lady, that Other. It is common knowledge that this aspect of secularism emerged in Europe out of the theological polemics and wars, thus helping to form the early modern state that had to administer mutually hostile Christian churches.

The ruptures in their respective traditions were different but the concept of sovereignty as the organizing principle of the modern state was shared. Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests , Princeton, They have even become real needs for many people, whose minds are no longer fed. We can no longer bear anything that lasts. We no longer know how to make boredom bear fruit.