Order and Chivalry: Knighthood and Citizenship in Late Medieval Castile

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

CHAPTER THREE
The Presence of the Confraternity

The poetics of the ordo requires the production of its presence and its location. It must create itself as a phenomenon for the construction of a social class. More than a legal or constitutional entity, a social class is the aesthetic and localizable manifestation of a group, the physical expression of its existence. The ordo reinvents itself to create rules that will render it perceptible. The goal is to create a distinct space, to define the structures in which the ordo can be manifested. I refer to this production of presence as the urbs.

Urbs here is a physical manifestation; the entire strategic system conceived by a social group to manifest its theory of power. The production of presence and localization is a crucial element of the poetics of the chivalric ordo—not as a network, but as a place one must reach, and in which the social class is present. If the fraternity was a consolidation of the ordo through the formation of a network of power that encompassed the cities around which it was displaced, in the function of the nomadic nature of the institution of the Cortes, I will now survey how certain inhabitants of a city (Burgos, in this case) organized their chivalric confraternities to create this ordo in a close relationship with the intramural space. The production of presence as a form of the poetics of the ordo is, in this case, the creation of institutions that are not displaced toward the exterior but blend both civil and urban life in a given space.

This localization is, in essence, a way to redefine the space in which all power relations take place. Unlike the network of cities of the Hermandad of 1315 and its heterotopic political industry, urban confraternities proposed a definite space in which the monarchy could reside.

Two closely related media will be the focus of my analysis of these issues. The first are the manuscripts that make up the text and image of the constitution of the group; the second is the ordination of urban space.

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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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