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Performance, Ritual and Messaging in Encomium Emmae reginae



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Smythe, Ross 


ABSTRACT Performance, Ritual and Messaging in Encomium Emmae reginae This thesis examines the Encomium Emmae reginae primarily through the lens of demonstrative behaviour, which covers the gamut of actions from formal ceremonies to social rituals to individual acts of verbal and non-verbal communication. Chapter 1 establishes the need for a re-examination of the Encomium in light of the 2008 rediscovery of the Edwardian recension as well as advances in scholarship, particularly the emergence of demonstrative behaviour as a sub-field of history. A brief historiography of demonstrative behaviour ensues, concluding with how I use demonstrative behaviour to contextualise and glean insights into the Encomium. Chapter 2 contains discussions of the historical context of the Encomium; the Encomiast and his literary sources; the manuscripts of the Encomium relevant to this thesis; and the historiography concerning the Encomium, including especially Elizabeth Tyler’s recent work on the Encomium and its use of fiction. Chapter 3 focuses on the reception of the Encomium, including discussions of the Latinity required for audiences to understand the Encomium, the literary context of the Encomium, and evidence suggesting that the Encomium was performed/recited for a live audience. Chapters 4 through 7 are the main chapters of analysis. In narrative order, the demonstrative behaviours in the Encomium are identified and explicated. Patterns, performance cues and messages are identified and interpreted. Chapter 4 focuses on the Argument and Prologue, chapter 5 on Book I, chapter 6 on Book II, and chapter 7 on Book III. Chapter 8 gathers together the numerous messages from the narrative and identifies overarching messages regarding major and minor characters, identifies specific (and general) audiences, and examines the Encomium as a queenly project.





Keynes, Simon
Naismith, Rory


Encomium, Emma, Cnut, Harthacnut, Harold Harefoot, Anglo-Saxon literature, eleventh century English history, Edward the Confessor, Queen Emma, Medieval Latin literature, Queenship, Anglo-Latin literature, ritual, demonstrative behaviour, Performance


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge