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Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century
In The Garden of Delights, Fiona J. Griffiths offers the first major study of the Hortus deliciarum, a magnificently illuminated manuscript of theology, biblical history, and canon law written both by and explicitly for women at the end of the twelfth century. In so doing she provides a brilliantly persuasive new reading of female monastic culture. Through careful analysis of the contents, structure, and organization of the Hortus, Griffiths argues for women's profound engagement with the spiritual and intellectual vitality of the period on a level previously thought unimaginable, overturning the assumption that women were largely excluded from the "renaissance" and "reform" of this period. As a work of scholarship that drew from a wide range of sources, both monastic and scholastic, the Hortus provides a witness to the richness of women's reading practices within the cloister, demonstrating that it was possible, even late into the twelfth century, for communities of religious women to pursue an educational program that rivaled that available to men. At the same time, the manuscript's reformist agenda reveals how women engaged the pressing spiritual questions of the day, even going so far as to criticize priests and other churchmen who fell short of their reformist ideals.
Through her wide-ranging examination of the texts and images of the Hortus, their sources, composition, and function, Griffiths offers an integrated understanding of the whole manuscript, one which highlights women's Latin learning and orthodox spirituality. The Garden of Delights contributes to some of the most urgent questions concerning medieval religious women, the interplay of gender, spirituality, and intellectual engagement, to discussions concerning women scribes and writers, women readers, female authorship and authority, and the visual culture of female communities. It will be of interest to art historians, scholars of women's and gender studies, historians of medieval religion, education, and theology, and literary scholars studying questions of female authorship and models of women's reading.
Private Water Rights in Roman Italy
Gardens and Neighbors will provide an important building block in the growing body of literature on the ways that Roman law, Roman society, and the economic concerns of the Romans jointly functioned in the real world. ---Michael Peachin, New York University As is increasingly true today, fresh water in ancient Italy was a limited resource, made all the more precious by the Roman world's reliance on agriculture as its primary source of wealth. From estate to estate, the availability of water varied, in many cases forcing farmers in need of access to resort to the law. In Gardens and Neighbors: Private Water Rights in Roman Italy, Cynthia Bannon explores the uses of the law in controlling local water supplies. She investigates numerous issues critical to rural communities and the Roman economy. Her examination of the relationship between farmers and the land helps draw out an understanding of Roman attitudes toward the exploitation and conservation of natural resources and builds an understanding of law in daily Roman life. An editor of the series Law and Society in the Ancient World, Cynthia Jordan Bannon is also Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her previous book was The Brothers of Romulus: Fraternal Pietas in Roman Law, Literature, and Society (1997). Visit the author's website: http://www.iub.edu/~classics/faculty/bannon.shtml. Jacket illustration: Barren Tuscan Fields in Winter © 2009 Scott Gilchrist. Image from stock.archivision.com.
Marcel Proust and the Fugitive Sublime
The Gardens of Desire is at once a model of literary interpretation and a groundbreaking psychocritical reading of a literary masterpiece, Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). Shedding new light on the origins of the creative impulse in general, and on the psychological origins of the Recherche in particular, the book illuminates the hidden associations between matricidal, suicidal, sadistic, masochistic, homoerotic, and creative impulses as manifested in Proust’s work. The book moves beyond traditional Freudian readings of Proust to consider the theories of Otto Rank, Jacques Derrida, and others, and provides provocative readings of the “privileged moments” that comprise many of the work’s “critical cruxes,” as well as a thought-provoking rereading of the novel’s ending. Both elegant and accessible, this book boldly explores the violence of desire as it relates not only to Proust’s narrator, but also to Proustian criticism itself, with its own violent desire to appropriate the essence of Proust’s masterpiece.
The Archaeology of Settlement Agriculture in Greater Mesoamerica
The prehistoric agricultural systems of the New World provided the foundations for a diverse set of complex social developments ranging from the puebloan societies of the American Southwest to the archaic state polities of Mesoamerica and the Andean region. From the tropical forests of Central America to the arid environments or northern New Mexico, Native American farmers made use of a distinctive set of cultigens and cropping systems that supported—with varying degrees of success—growing populations and expanding economies. Lacking most domesticated animals, so important to the mixed agricultural systems of the Old World, Precolumbian farmers developed intensive and resilient systems of agricultural production. These systems supported large societies of people who altered the landscapes they inhabited and generated a unique archaeological record of the evolution of farming in the New World.
A Changing Landscape
Pleasure gardens, or horti, offered elite citizens of ancient Rome a retreat from the noise and grime of the city, where they could take their leisure and even conduct business amid lovely landscaping, architecture, and sculpture. One of the most important and beautiful of these gardens was the Horti Sallustiani, originally developed by the Roman historian Sallust at the end of the first century B.C. and later possessed and perfected by a series of Roman emperors. Though now irrevocably altered by two millennia of human history, the Gardens of Sallust endure as a memory of beauty and as a significant archaeological site, where fragments of sculpture and ruins of architecture are still being discovered. In this ambitious work, Kim Hartswick undertakes the first comprehensive history of the Gardens of Sallust from Roman times to the present, as well as its influence on generations of scholars, intellectuals, and archaeologists. He draws from an astonishing array of sources to reconstruct the original dimensions and appearance of the gardens and the changes they have undergone at specific points in history. Hartswick thoroughly discusses the architectural features of the garden and analyzes their remains. He also studies the sculptures excavated from the gardens and discusses the subjects and uses of many outstanding examples.
A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates
An Anthology of Connecticut Poetry Since 1776
Connecticut may be a small state, but it is large indeed in its contribution to the nation's literature. Garnet Poems features forty-two poets whose work has a strong connection to Connecticut. The first major anthology of Connecticut poetry to appear since the mid-nineteenth century, it includes the work of such notable poets as Wallace Stevens, Lydia Sigourney, Mark Van Doren, Richard Wilbur,
Susan Howe, and Elizabeth Alexander. Distinguished writer-scholar Dennis Barone has supplemented the poems with an editor's preface, notes that illuminate the poet's (or poem's) relation to the state, and informative biographies. The book also features a foreword by Dick Allen, the current Connecticut state poet laureate.