This week I got back to the UK from Tübingen to discover that something I was looking forward to receiving very much had arrived! Some of you may remember that several years ago I wrote a blog post about a bit of tenth-century textile work known as the Kriegsfahne of Queen Gerberga. As of this week, that article now exists in the world for you to read in the latest issue of Viator. This makes it the second article I’ve got into print which had its genesis on this here blog, so I’m doubly proud of it.
This article rexamines whom the Kriegsfahne depicts and, having identified that figure as Ragenold of Roucy, the son-in-law of the textile’s patron Queen Gerberga, proceeds to examine changing strategies of aristocratic legitimation as they evolved hand-in-glove with changing strategies of royal legitimation. It’s probably the clearest exposition of the capillary nature of political culture I’ve ever written, which is to say that it looks at how changes in the nature of legitimate authority spread down socio-political networks like an inkblot. Even though it’s about the Ottonians and the West Frankish kingdom, I think it’s worth a read if you work on anything in the earlier Middle Ages.
Sadly it’s not open access, but if you’d like to read it I have a PDF offprint I’d be very happy to send you if you e-mail me on the usual address at ralph [dot] torta [at] gmail [dot] com. The citation in full is:
Fraser McNair, ‘The Kriegsfahne of Queen Gerberga and the Liudolfing ascendancy in the West’, Viator 52 (2022), pp. 115-135.
The gritty details: This one was actually pretty straightforward. I wrote the blog post back in 2019, and wrote up a first draft of the article pretty quickly. I sent it round a couple of beta readers – my thanks to Simon MacLean and Megan Welton, the latter especially for some very focussed suggestions on clarifying the structure – and thence to Viator. One round of relatively minor revisions later*, it was accepted in summer 2021 and came out now in summer 2022.
* and I have to say, my respect for the anonymous reviewer who remembered that Heinrich Löwe had made the identification with Ragenold in an offhand footnote in a piece dedicated to something else has my serious respect for their memory and/or note-taking system…
One more thing: both Sam and I will be at the Leeds International Medieval Congress this coming week. I’m not speaking myself, but Sam will be doing a roundtable on ‘Rethinking the Medieval Frontier’ on the Monday night at 19:00 in the Esther Simpson Building room 3.08, and then giving a paper on the Thursday morning at 11:15 on Stage 2 of Stage@Leeds on ‘Hungry Borders: Escalating Conflict on the Carolingian Frontier’. So do pop along to both of those if you’re interested, and please do come and say hi to either of us if you see us around – we’d love to meet the blog’s audience!