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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

The Palace Complex: real medieval palaces in conceptual landscapes

11th February 2014, 17:30, Pemberton Lecture Room, PG21, Dr Stuart Airlie, University of Glasgow

to be followed by a drinks reception at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre 

This event part of the IMEMS Power of Place seminar series for 2014. It is free and open to all, but attendees are asked to book a place at:

Abstract: Much scholarship on central places of power focuses on such places as courts. A focus on palaces may bring some other distinctive characteristics of places of power into view. The fabric and shape of the palace repays scrutiny from a variety of angles. How far can we see palaces as 'total institutions', as disembedded capitals? How did visitors cope with the layout and location of palaces, were they always over-awed by what they encountered? Rulers might come and go, but palaces remained in the landscape; how did their objective existence and permanence actually work to convey messages about authority? This paper will pose such questions, though may not always answer them, by considering a variety of examples, mainly, but not exclusively, from the Carolingian and Ottonian world

Stuart Airlie's research focuses on the political culture of early medieval western Europe, particularly the Carolingian world (c.700-c.900), examining such topics as dynastic legitimacy, sites of authority and conflict, as well as communication. He is a member of the Madrid-based research group Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom. He was co-editor (with W. Pohl and H. Reimitz) of Staat im Fruhen Mittelalter (Vienna, 2006) and has recently published a collection of his papers, Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe (Ashgate, 2012). He is Senior Lecturer in History, University of Glasgow.

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