Order and Chivalry: Knighthood and Citizenship in Late Medieval Castile

By Jesûs D. Rodríguez-Velasco; Eunice Rodríguez Ferguson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
Poetics of Fraternity

This chapter focuses on the rarely studied political space where citizen groups advance their own forms of incorporation and governance to secure participation in a network of power structures. These urban groups sought to express themselves as a constituent part of a social class, or ordo, and operate within the framework of a social category that was hitherto reserved for the creation of nobility. These groups aim to interfere in the construction of the ordo known as chivalry. The intervention of these urban groups within the sphere of chivalry offers a new perspective on the poetics of order and valuable insight on how this social class is reconfigured by the individuals and groups who wish to belong to it.

For its inquiry on this social dynamic, this chapter relies on entirely different data from those in the previous chapter: transcripts of citizens’ petitions in Cortes meetings. These transcripts reveal voices—or the collective voice of a social group in formation—in an inchoate moment and reveal not only what these voices say and how they express it but the difficulties in articulating themselves in public, in finding resonance within the political sphere that secures sovereignty. While considering this testimony, it is important to notice the developmental process and the motivations underlying these voices. Throughout this learning process, urban knights, who belong in large measure to the bourgeoisie, although nobles also participated to a lesser extent, as they transform themselves into a collective voice. Throughout this process, which manifests itself as a kind of chivalric apprenticeship, urban knights found themselves pitted against the empire of an official system of expression that was held together by the same clerics who were in charge of transcribing, on most occasions, the testimony given by urban knights. The objective of the clerical transcription of a citizen knight’s official petition was to present an accurate account, but it also adapted the petition to the hieratical forms of

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Order and Chivalry: Knighthood and Citizenship in Late Medieval Castile
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Middle Ages Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction - Poetics of the Ordo 1
  • Chapter One - Ritual as a Strategy for Chivalric Creation 15
  • Chapter Two - Poetics of Fraternity 46
  • Chapter Three - The Presence of the Confraternity 84
  • Chapter Four - The Order of the Sash 118
  • Chapter Five - Rewriting the Order 160
  • Chapter Six - Poetics of the Chivalric Emblem 199
  • Conclusions 228
  • Notes 234
  • Bibliography 267
  • Index 287
  • Acknowledgments 291
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