Letter from the editor

Dear Readers,

We proudly present the open-themed Spring 2017 issue of Hortulus.

This issue features three articles on a wide range of subjects and disciplines. In “Education and Isolation: The Didactic Methods of Konungs skuggsjá and Hirðskrá” Benjamin Harrison focuses on the education of King Hákon IV Hákonarson’s retinue in thirteenth-century Norway. Harrison describes how the royal hirð was exposed to continental ideas about courtly culture through two didactic texts. Elizabeth Light discusses the visual rhetoric employed by the thirteenth-century chronicler Matthew Paris in his Vie de seint Auban. In her article, “Musterai i mun livre: Monastery History and Practices of Seeing in Matthew Paris’s Vie de seint Auban”, Light emphasizes how the Vie, as a historiophoty, solidifies the identity of the monastery of St. Alban’s as a locus of devotion through visuality. Alexander Johnson traces the origins of scholarly bias in the early historiography of the Byzantine Empire in “Exemplifying Byzantine Otherness: Historiographical Trends in Fourth Crusade Scholarship”. After centuries of conflicting perceptions of the Byzantine presence during the Fourth Crusade, Johnson shows, modern historians are still tasked with disproving common misconceptions, and argues that this process can be facilitated by coming to grips with the origin of the discipline.

The reviews section of this issue features five book reviews: Ana Rita Martins reviews Walter Wadiak’s Savage Economy: The Returns of Middle English Romance (2016); Caroline J. Croasdale reviews The Materiality of Devotion in Late Medieval Northern Europe: Images, Objects and Practices (2016), edited by Henning Laugerud, Salvador Ryan and Laura Katrine Skinnebach. In addition, Sean Tandy reviews A Companion to Ostrogothic Italy (2016) by Jonathan J. Arnold, M. Shane Bjornlie, and Kristina Sessa (eds); Benjamin Harrison discusses David Brégaint’s Vox regis: Royal Communication in High Medieval Norway (2016) and Dallas Alexander Grubb reviews The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe (2015), edited by Clemens Gantner, Rosamond McKitterick, and Sven Meeder.

We are currently accepting submissions for our Fall 2017 themed issue “Interiority and Alterity”— submissions are due September 25. We encourage readers who presented on the topic of otherness at Leeds IMC 2017 to consider sending their papers for review. We are particularly interested in submissions with a methodological focus, but are open to any submissions related to the theme. Hortulus is also pleased to announce that we are hosting a sponsored session at Kalamazoo ICM 2018: “Innovative Technologies: Modern Responses to the Medieval (A Roundtable)”. The Call For Papers can be found here.

As this is my last term serving as Senior Editor of Hortulus I would like to conclude this letter by expressing my thanks to our terrific editorial team. Our reviews editor, Heidi Djuve, has ensured that our reviews section remains a thriving part of the journal. I hope that Hortulus can rely on her critical eye and dedication for several issues to come. Rebecca Straple and Ryan Lawrence have been our assistant editors for this issue, both of whom have shown exemplary skill as contacts between the journal and our authors. They remained flexible throughout our tumultuous publication schedule and did not hesitate to carry out extra work whenever this was necessary. I cannot thank them enough for this. It has been a pleasure share the co-editorship with Gwendolyne Knight during the past year. Gwen has been critical, effective and, most of all, a sheer joy to work with. It is with full confidence that I pass the baton to her and there is no doubt in my mind that she will lead the journal with great professionalism and enthusiasm. I look forward to the new directions Hortulus will doubtlessly take and will continue to follow the journal with great interest.

Nadine Kuipers, Hortulus Senior Editor