Rossignol (2013 Congress)

Sébastien Rossignol
(Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
“Ducal Charters and the Transformations of the Written Word in Silesia, 1200-1327”

Abstract of Paper at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, 2013)

Session on “Medieval Writing Materials:  Texts, Transmission, and the Manifestation of Authority”
Sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence
Organized by Mildred Budny (RGME)
2013 Congress

[First published on our first website on 17 May 2013]

The thirteenth century was a period of unprecedented diffusion of charter writing in East Central Europe.  Charters were used to document matters of legal significance, transactions of properties, donations, and exchanges.  Written documents were also, moreover, utilized by the rulers to demonstrate their position and authority; chanceries were built by the dukes to obtain control of charter production and the developing tradition.  Charter writing, at the same time, indicates a growing social concern for the written word, the spreading of the usage of written documents beyond the circles of the clerics and learned, and the groundbreaking cultural shift which Michael Clanchy described as “trust in writing.”