Humour, History and Politics in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Although the topic of humour has been dealt with for other eras, early medieval humour remains largely neglected. These essays go some way towards filling the gap, examining how early medieval writers deliberately employed humour to make their cases. The essays range from the late Roman empire through to the tenth century, and from Byzantium to Anglo-Saxon England. The subject matter is diverse, but a number of themes link them together, notably the use of irony, ridicule and satire as political tools. Two chapters serve as an extended introduction to the topic, while the following six chapters offer varied treatments of humour and politics, looking at different times and places, but at the Carolingian world in particular. Together, they raise important and original issues about how humour was employed to articulate concepts of political power, perceptions of kingship, social relations and the role of particular texts.
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Agnellus Alcuin Altercatio Hadriani Ammianus amusing Antapodosis Athalaric Athaulf attitudes audience Balzaretti barbarian Bayless behaviour Belisarius bishop Byzantine Byzantium Cambridge Carolingian century Charlemagne Christ Christian Cicero classical comic Constantine contemporary context court cultural discussed Disputatio drink drunkenness early medieval early Middle Ages Einhard emperor Eunapius example feast Frankish funny Galerius Gaul gender genre Gesta Karoli Goths Gratiosus Greek Gregory of Tours Gregory’s Haldon Halsall historians imperial incongruity Innes irony joke Kershaw king Lactantius language late antique later Roman Latin laugh laughter literary literature Liutprand Liutprand of Cremona lives London Louis the Pious MGH SRM monastic monks moral narrative ninth-century Notker’s ofhis ofhumour ofthe Oxford Paris parody passage Pippin political Procopius Quid Ravenna relationship rhetorical riddles ridicule ritual Roman Empire Rome royal Sadalberga Saint satire says secular Shanzer Sidonius social society sources stereotypes story Suchier Symphosius Tedbald Thegan Theodahad tradition trans translation Turnhout Vita words writing