Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 6951
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Slanicka , Simona.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Male Markings: Unifoms in the Parisian Civil War as a Blurring of the Gender Order (A. D. 1410- 1420)
  • Source: Medieval History Journal 2, 2 (July-December 1999): Pages 209 - 244.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Civil War Devices, Insignia Used as Liveries or Signs of Party Membership Gender Illumination of Manuscripts Masculinity Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Warfare and Warriors
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Six Figures. Figure One Lead insignia of the royal Burgundian party, early 15th century (Paris, Thermes de Cluny, Musée National du Moyen Age, CI. 4838). Figure Two Lead insignia of the royal Burgundian party, early 15th century (Paris, Thermes de Cluny, Musée National du Moyen Age, CI. 4834). Figure Three Illustration for the month of January, Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1410-1416 (Chantilly, Musée Condé, fol. 2r). Figure Four Christ Entering the Praetorium, Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1410-1416 (Chantilly, Musée Condé, fol. 143r.). Figure Five Christ Leaving the Praetorium, Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1410-1416 (Chantilly, Musée Condé, fol.146v.). Figure Six Christ Carrying the Cross, Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1410-1416 (Chantilly, Musée Condé, fol. 147r.).
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  • Abstract: The civil war between the 'Armagnacs' and the 'Burgundians' in Paris saw the proliferation and use of a great number of new party insignia. These signs served as uniforms, distinguishing one party from the other, but they were also charged with far more potent meanings and connotations, reproducing the elementary cognitive and perceptive structures of that society. This essay tries to investigate the basic meanings of such 'signs', which expressed the ideas of legitimate authority and justice exercised in the name of the king—a mental complex that was clearly gendered and attributed to masculinity. The gendered connotations of those party signs can be illustrated through a reading of the miniatures of the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, but they also surfaced indirectly when women wore those signs during the troubles of the civil war. The fact that such women provoked reactions of bewilderment and hostility from the chroniclers, who accused them of debasing the social order and of becoming prostitutes by wearing those signs, points to the aggressive semiotic potential of party signs and to the interpretive operations of inversion they effected. Such mechanisms of inversion were furthered by the binary structure of the semiotic system distin guishing 'enemies' from 'friends'. The procedure of inversion as it operates through insignia during the Parisian Civil War worked towards the constitution of gender difference and can furnish valuable insights into the functioning of masculinity and feminity as its constructed opposite. [Reproduced from the publisher's website: http://mhj.sagepub.com/]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1999.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 09719458
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: