Cannibalism in High Medieval English Literature (The New by H. Blurton

By H. Blurton

This e-book reads the unusually common representations of cannibals and cannibalism in medieval English literature as political metaphors that have been primary to England's on-going strategy of articulating cultural and nationwide id.

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He had cast and wrought in gold statues of the two gods Hercules and Baccus, and set them both up on the eastern edge of the world. Then I wanted to know if the statues were entirely cast as he described. j28 With this gift, Porus does what Alexander refuses to do: he marks the boundaries of the earth. But Alexander is typically dissatisfied with this gesture. He drills holes into the statues in a final effort to assert his supremacy over this last frontier, lest his victory prove, literally, hollow.

The West Saxon kings also used monastic and former monastic lands strategically, to control both territory and supporters-thus reversing the movement of colonization and implicating conversion in the process of colonization. 42 The result was two peoples living in close proximity, both within the Danelaw and across its borders. These borders, moreover, were in continual negotiation, as were cultural forms-articulated through religious conversion, but also through legislation and language. As John Niles writes: The story of the Danes in Britain during this period is largely one of accommodation and acculturation, as the Viking inhabitants of the Danelaw intermarried with the English, accepted the Christian faith, and took on positions of responsibility in both Church and state.

In this curious turn of phrase, the poem's conflation of foreigners with colonizers and the characterization of Mermedonia as a potentially desirable home completely submerge any missionary intentions. The opening of the poem, then, insistently fits Andreas' relationship to the Mermedonians not into the paradigm of Christian/pagan, but rather into a paradigm offoreign/native. Interestingly, however, the right of both sides to possession of Mermedonia is called into question. " Even in prison, awaiting execution and consumption, Matheus describes the Mermedonians, not as pagans or as cannibals, but as elpeodige (63a)-the same word that is used for foreigners when describing non-Mermedonians.

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