An inheritance of violence: Patrimony, vassal service, and conquest in the Charroi de Nîmes
In the epic imaginary of the twelfth-century chanson de geste the Charroi de Nîmes, the political bond between a lord and his vassal reproduces the expectations, tensions, and aggressions of the relationship between aristocratic fathers and sons. The displacement of this negative affect is the ultimate cause of one of the Charroi's more conventional aspects, its depiction of a religiously sanctioned conquest of a rich city in Muslim Spain. My reading of the text is framed by the variable and nuanced history of eleventh- and twelfth-century inheritance practices, and also by critical readings of certain historiographic narratives, such as Georges Duby's famous essay on feudal "youth" and biographical accounts of the contentious relationship between William the Conqueror and his son Robert Curthose. Freud's and Lacan's analyses of Oedipal conflict and the threat of castration as fantasies governing the relations between male generations also illustrate these textual tensions between medieval rulers and their subjects. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.
Jacobs, J. (2012). An inheritance of violence: Patrimony, vassal service, and conquest in the Charroi de Nîmes. Exemplaria, 24 (4), 293-312. https://doi.org/10.1179/1041257312Z.00000000018