The Corporeality of Clothing in Medieval Literature 9781580443586, 9781580443579

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Table of contents :
1. Clothing and the Fallen Body
2. Graveclothes and Resurrection From Gospel to Stage
3. Coming Forth, Still Bound Raising Lazarus in Theology and Performance
4. Metaphorical Shoes and the Body
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 9781580443586, 9781580443579

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The Corporeality of Clothing in Medieval Literature

EARLY DRAMA, ART, AND MUSIC Series Editors David Bevington University of Chicago Robert Clark Kansas State University Jesse Hurlbut Independent Scholar Alexandra Johnston University of Toronto Veronique B. Plesch Colby College ME

Medieval Institute Publications is a program of The Medieval Institute, College of Arts and Sciences  Western Michigan University

The Corporeality of Clothing in Medieval Literature Cognition, Kinesis, and the Sacred

by Sarah Brazil

Early Drama, Art, and Music MEDIEVAL INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS Western Michigan University Kalamazoo

Copyright © 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available from the Library of Congress

ISBN: 9781580443579 eISBN: 9781580443586 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the written permission of both the copyright owner and the author of the book. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to use all copyrighted illustrations reproduced in this book. Nonetheless, whosoever believes to have rights to this material is advised to contact the publisher.


List of Abbreviations






1 Clothing and the Fallen Body


2 Graveclothes and Resurrection: From Gospel to Stage


3 Coming Forth, Still Bound: Raising Lazarus in Theology and Performance


4 Metaphorical Shoes and the Body









EDAM Early Drama, Art, and Music EETS Early English Text Society CCCM Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCSL Corpus Christianorum Series Latina DMLBS Dictionary of Medieval Latin British Sources MED Middle English Dictionary MHRA Modern Humanities Research Association NPNF Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers PG Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Series Graeca Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Series Latina PL REED Records of Early English Drama RSA Renaissance Society of America



HIS BOOK IS AN extension of my doctoral thesis, and so has been a long time in the making. The list of supporters has grown with the years and far exceeds the scope of these acknowledgments. I thank Pamela King for her generous guidance as commissioning editor, and for making this process so seamless. I also thank the staff at MIP for their help with the preparation of the manuscript. Thanks to Guillemette Bolens for believing in my work, for guiding me intellectually over the years, and for being such a relentless advocate for the value of literature. To those present on the jury of my viva in 2015, Pamela King, Sarah-Grace Heller, and Elizabeth Robertson, your comments have been instrumental to my reshaping of that work into this book. Thanks also to Lukas Erne, for being supportive and critical at the right moments over the years. I am grateful to many of my fantastic colleagues at the University of Geneva, who have provided a well of inspiration over the years—Oliver Morgan, Susie Gebhardt, Ioana Balgradean, Amy Brown, Devani Singh, Mary Flannery, Mark D’Arcy, Juliette Vuille. A second thanks goes to those who have been so kind as to read versions of the chapters. Oliver, Max, Devani, Susie, Mary, Mark, and Yassin, your suggestions have helped me to improve this work both conceptually and editorially. I have also benefitted from support from colleagues in the UK and US, whose work and kindness have been equally influential. I thank particularly Max Harris, Sarah-Grace Heller, Pamela King, and Greg Walker. I am extremely grateful to early English drama studies in its many forms, SITM, MeTh, REED, MRDS, for always welcoming new members warmly. Alexandra Johnston has been exemplary in this regard. Thanks to Charlotte Steenbrugge for her kind support and advice, and to Camille Marshall for sharing her work on the Towneley manuscript. Thanks to the reader of the manuscript, whose comments were insightful and helpful in getting the book ready for publication. Thanks to my brilliant students in Geneva, especially at Masters level, who have humored me by taking classes on medieval clothing and other strange topics.

x  Acknowledgments

The rest of my thanks must go to my family, whose relentless belief in my work has sustained me more than my own. To Michael, Rachel, and Martha, to our mother Helen, who we lost seven years ago, to Breda and John, to Karin, to Ruadhán, and finally, to my endlessly patient and supportive husband, Yassin. This book is for all of you.



N THE ELEVENTH-CENTURY TRANSLATIO Edithe, an otherwise exemplary monk performs a transgressive act upon the corpse of the English saint. In seeking a relic of the holy body, Eadwulf of Glastonbury takes a knife and proceeds to cut off a piece of Edith’s clothing. In the midst of doing so, the blade makes contact with the saint’s breast, causing blood to gush forth. Edith’s white clothes become soaked in blood, which flows as far as the paved floor below. The terrified monk drops the cloth and knife, and quickly performs penance. The blood then recedes, as if by miracle. All is as it was, and the monk is duly chastened against the illicit acquisition of relics.1 In such a narrative, where does Edith’s body begin and end? To what extent can it be said that her clothing, white to signify her status as a bride of Christ, is part of her saintly body schema, both in terms of her spiritual perfection and her corporeality? Looking more closely at Goscelin of Saint Bertin’s (b. 1040?) hagiographic account is a good way to think more about this question, because the writer includes several anomalies in his text. First, the piece of cloth Eadwulf cuts is specified as a fold or crease (ruga). 2 This detail suggests that the cloth does not lie flat against the skin, but is a protrusion. Second, Goscelin writes that the blade (a small knife, cultello)3 has limited contact with the site of the bleeding. The verb degustare means “to taste,”4 but in relation to a weapon suggests a mere grazing of the skin. Such an action is unlikely to result in profuse bleeding. Less likely still is that the graze would cause such a response from a dead body, or a living one for that matter. But physiological norms are not being measured in this translatio. The body of Edith responds to the monk’s transgression in a suitable fashion, and the gushing blood facilitates Eadwulf ’s reflexive faculties, allowing him to recognize his spiritual failures and atone for them. In order to achieve this outcome, body and cloth co-participate in an extreme physiological response. The cutting off of a piece of cloth

2  Introduction

results in excessive bleeding, and in this episode Edith’s body responds to what has happened to its clothing, not to what might be designated “the body” proper. The cloth’s description as a fold—a piece of fabric which is not in direct contact with Edith’s skin—further clarifies the overlap between body and clothing. Even from a minute distance, Edith’s body extends toward her clothing in a unified act of bleeding. The force of gestures is also subject to scrutiny, for although the first is sufficient to cut cloth (precidit, to cut off ),5 the blade’s contact with the body is notably diminished to a graze, insufficient to cause violent bleeding. But again, Goscelin takes pains to clarify that cutting Edith’s clothes is the same as cutting her body, and the response is one not warranted by the physical act but by the extent of the transgression. The question of where Edith’s body ends and her clothing begins is one that Goscelin forces the reader to consider. Embedded within a prospective answer is that no precise boundary between cloth and body can be determined. Such a conclusion underwrites the basic premise of sainthood, which is permeable and, above all, does not limit holiness to the material body of the saint. This functionality guarantees the sanctity of the relic, such as the one Eadwulf was trying to acquire, but it also opens up wider questions about conceptual relationships between the body and its material environment in the medieval period. The idea that artifacts such as clothing can co-participate with the body in profound ways has recently been explored from a variety of methodological perspectives. Numerous critics have issued challenges to accepted delimitations to what might be termed the “body” proper.6 Philosophers, literary critics, anthropologists, and sociologists have moved beyond the strict binaries imposed by object–subject relations and instead have sought to interrogate the place of the human within material culture, rather than as an agent exterior to it.7 The capacity of the body to extend its remit to include artifacts has more recently been approached by the sciences. Neurological findings have proposed that external objects such as jewelry and clothing “can become coextensive with our body.”8 Cognitive archaeologist Lambros Malafouris has taken up this claim in relation to ancient cultures and their experience of artifacts and has conjectured that “objects and tools attached to the body can be seen or treated as parts of ... the biological body itself.”9 Such studies are part of wider reconsiderations of the relationship between sensorimotor processes and cognition, which are increasingly being understood as mutually dependent systems. Malafouris’s research further proposes that external objects, and particularly artifacts of human endeavor, are intrinsic to cognition itself. Peter Meineck, from the perspective

Introduction  3

of ancient Greek drama, contends that critics should be more attuned to “the basic idea that an ancient artifact is not just an aesthetic object or means of dating, but the actual remnant of ancient thought processes.”10 The once clear dividing line between “brains, bodies, and things” has been profoundly disrupted in multiple disciplines—from neuroscience to philosophy of language, archaeology, anthropology, and literature—which instead focus on the extent to which the three overlap and are difficult to separate.11 New approaches to “the body” come in the wake of reappraisals of cognition as “embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended.”12 Andy Clark, a leading advocate for fundamental reconsiderations of cognitive processes, writes that: “Human minds, it can hardly be doubted, are at the very least in deep and critically important contact with human bodies and with the wider world. Human sensing, learning, thought, and feeling are all structured and informed by our body-based interactions with the world around us.”13 Approaching cognition as both embodied and extended offers insights into how one might approach a body as porous as that of a medieval saint. Providing new perspectives, tools, and a critical vocabulary to grapple with religious phenomena opens up the scope of how we might understand the cultural importance of a saint’s relationship to their clothing.

Reading and Embodied Knowledge Although it is doubtful that any critic would dispute that Goscelin of Saint Bertin resists rigid categories in his text, the sacred status of the saint’s body is likely to run counter to recent reconsiderations of how the mind works, and what role the body and the environment play in cognitive processes. The saint’s body is not an average, human body. It is exemplary and as such is held apart from normative physiological processes. Even so, it is not the only medieval body to have clothing (or other artifacts) implicated in its body schema, nor the only instance where a complication of mind–body dualism is tenable.14 Nevertheless, if critics exempt such a body from consideration, one consequence would be to discount the embodied cognitive processes by which the average medieval Christian understands holy bodies, which, in spite of their special status, are bodies nonetheless. A reader of this text can understand Edith’s body not only because she is an inscribed member of a medieval Christian culture, but also because of her knowledge of blood and gestures, as well as her familiarity with artifacts such as clothing, knives, and pavement. Although a critical language has been developed to account for how we

4  Introduction

understand other bodies and our own, writers such as Goscelin have long since relied on exploiting the reader’s capacity to engage with such information. A medieval reader of a saint’s life would not have cause to reflect upon how she understands the dynamic bodies in the text, or how the body (or bodily processes) act on the artifact in question. But she, like a contemporary reader, relies on processes that are elsewhere needed in daily life for much more mundane tasks. In the analysis above, I stated that a reader would understand that inexorable bleeding would be an unlikely corporeal response to a small knife grazing the breast. But how does she know this? Several interrelated things are simultaneously being asked of the reader, who can engage embodied types of knowledge as a necessary part of her comprehension of the narrative. The demands placed on this reader include her capacity to comprehend bodily responses such as bleeding; motoric actions (i.e., gestures) upon the artifact that caused such responses; and the measurability of both gestural force and blood flow. The reader must then put this information to use and, in this case, is also required to understand the spiritual implications of what she has read. A knowledge of bleeding rests on kinesthetic knowledge—knowledge of one’s sensorimotor system, including movement, gesture, and sensation. Kinesthetic memory supports the reader’s sensory knowledge of what it feels like to bleed or be cut, and also conditions her ability to conjecture how much blood is likely to flow from certain points of the body.15 A reader’s capacity to understand Eadwulf ’s gestures—of cutting the cloth, of a knife grazing the skin—meanwhile rests on kinesis, which Guillemette Bolens defines as “the interactional perception of movements performed by oneself or another person.”16 Kinesic intelligence accounts for how we understand the movements and gestures of others, which is based on our own kinesthetic knowledge of such motoric action. 17 The ability of the perceiver to process and visualize the movements of another (in relation to another person or within art and literature) is further underpinned by perceptual simulations, which are dynamic cognitive processes activated by precise types of information, including “sensorial (i.e., derived from sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell), motoric (i.e., kinesic, kinesthetic, proprioceptive), and introspective (e.g., pertaining to emotions and mental states).” To put it more simply, “When people represent an object, they reenact what it looks like visually, what it sounds like auditorily, how they act on it motorically, how they react to it emotionally, and so forth.”18 The cutting of cloth, the grazing of the breast, the extraordinary bleeding, and the terror of the monk all fall under the remit of this type of information.

Introduction  5

A writer chooses specific words to facilitate such processes, resulting in a reader being able to simulate each detail and thus comprehend what is described in the text.19 A final type of knowledge is targeted in this example in order to alert the reader to the fact that something out of the ordinary is happening. Although gestures are not generally measurable, Eadwulf ’s two forms of contact with cloth and body require the reader to compare their respective force and to consider whether the type of contact with the body should cause bleeding of any kind. In such an instance, the reader’s kinetic knowledge is being engaged. “The adjective ‘kinetic’ refers to aspects of movements that may be objectively measured—for example, according to the laws of physics—be it the movement of a pebble tossed by a wave, of a Newtonian apple falling from a tree, or of a human body elevated by a lift.”20 This type of knowledge allows an individual to understand weight, balance, and force and to distinguish a cut that would cause violent bleeding from a graze that at most should result in a light abrasion of the skin. This analysis of the Translatio Edithe has been facilitated by recent critical considerations of literature as an artifact of human endeavor that can shed light on how mind and body are in continuous collaboration with the environment. Guillemette Bolens’s pioneering research on how literature utilizes the capacities of the reader to understand embodied action and its conceptual implications via the collaborative processes discussed before—kinesthetic knowledge, kinesic intelligence, and perceptual simulations—has provided many of the analytical tools that will be deployed throughout this book. Bolens writes that, “Certain literary texts narrate movement and kinesic events that blur the distinction between body and soul, between the corporeal and the mental, as well as between the literal and the figural.”21 This is certainly the case in the Translatio Edithe. All of these categories, which have often been presented in post-Enlightenment discourse as rigidly separable, are shown in this literary text to be eminently traversable. This is unsurprising in many ways, as medieval conceptualizations of body, mind, and soul—not to mention the comprehension of artifacts and objects—do not offer the clean categories that recent critical endeavors have staunchly fought to overturn. To a medieval Christian, her soul and body were reliant on each other for salvation, her mind was not a “brain in a jar,” and the artifacts that were part of her daily life were regularly attributed agency—even in legal contexts.22 Medieval literature is a fertile ground for investigations of “brains, bodies, and things,” and how inextricably linked these are in medieval thought.

6  Introduction

Terence Cave’s 2016 monograph Thinking with Literature is an important critical call to take more seriously what literature can offer to the so-called “cognitive turn.”23 Cave, calling literature a “special manifestation of human thought,” further explains his reasoning for granting the literary a privileged status: “Literature, in the broadest sense of the word, is among the richest of ... cognitive artefacts. Communicative language of all kinds has the function of changing the cognitive environment of the listener; literature extends that function with a power that is in inverse relation to its immediate use-value in the everyday world.”24 Cave’s insistence on the cognitive potential of the literary text is a compelling testimony to the enduring relevance of literature to various societies, from the medieval to the contemporary and well beyond this narrow historical delimitation. The critic explores the capacity of poetry and prose to transform a reader’s cognitive environment, and the same potential he identifies across a wealth of modern literary examples is also evident in the genre of the saint’s vita generally, and in Goscelin’s Translatio of Edith specifically. Such a narrative transports a reader into a sacred space by virtue of the writer’s careful inclusion of minute details related to the bodies of the monk and the saint, the artifacts they wear or carry, the surfaces on which they stand or lie, and the gestures that bring them into contact. In order for the reader to take up this possible extension of her cognitive environment, she is required to activate her capacity to understand movements via perceptual simulation, triggered by the careful choice of action verbs.25 The simulation of each movement written into the narrative, including how Eadwulf acts on the specified artifacts and how those artifacts act on the body of Edith in turn, grants this reader opportunities to detect both physiological abnormalities and their spiritual implications. The translatio’s status as a text affords it the capacity to transmit specific information to the reader, and this text’s generic status as a hagiography further underscores its function as an instrument of Christian faith. It necessitates that the reader makes moral judgments as to why the act of snipping a piece of cloth from the dress of a holy corpse is a transgression, and to value the response of Edith for bringing an otherwise excellent servant of God back into line. The cognitive demands of such a text, then, are far from negligible. Starting with the basic comprehension of a single movement and extending to a profound understanding of conceptual and moral implications, in a few lines of Latin the reader must process information related to the two bodies at the center of the text in order to arrive at a condemnation of Eadwulf ’s actions and a valorization of Edith’s. Bodily actions

Introduction  7

have conceptual implications. Cutting cloth can be sinful, and voluntary bleeding can be salvific. But in order to get to the conceptual, the reader must understand the body, which in this instance also includes clothing. The importance of the interaction between body and cloth on this occasion is by no means unique. As I endeavor to show across the chapters of this book, medieval writers would call on clothing in such conceptual circumstances time and again as a targeted way of engaging the reader’s own cognitive capacities.

Literary Artifacts and Affordances The example of St. Edith’s dress is a starting point in a larger study of clothing in medieval literature (an expansive category that includes theological treatises, drama, devotional tracts, and poetry within its remit) that takes as its central focus the ways that texts use clothing in relation to specific bodies. Reconsiderations of how cloth and body relate to each other in narrative, and how a reader is guided to make sense of this interrelation, are indebted to a much wider scholarly shift that has insisted on the critical need to take the material seriously—and on its own terms. A series of different critical movements, including, but not limited to, thing theory, objectoriented ontology, new materialism, and eco-criticism, have over the last twenty years widened the scope of how critics might think about historical artifacts, and how we might do so when artifacts are vital components of literary texts.26 Scholars of premodern literature have been particularly active in pursing “the cultural work that material objects perform in the realm of practice and of ideas,” which has involved a significant reconsideration of how things might have an agency that has long since been denied to them.27 In Peter Stallybrass and Anne Rosalind Jones’s seminal Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory (2000), the authors urged their readers that, “[t]o understand the significance of clothes in the Renaissance, we need to undo our own social categories, in which subjects are prior to objects, wearers to what is worn. We need to understand the animatedness of clothes, their ability to ‘pick up’ subjects, to mold and shape them both physically and socially, to constitute subjects through their power as material memories.”28 Stallybrass and Jones’s insistence that rigid binaries must be put aside in any conceptualization of the role of the material in premodern England has been taken up by a number of critics. In recent years, an array of publications have appeared that have continued to widen the scope of how critical discourse might respond to the role of the material in all

8  Introduction

aspects of premodern life and culture, with the material extending from the artifact—a product of human endeavor—to include natural features of the environment that human contact has shaped or been shaped by. The acknowledgment of a potential reciprocity in the relationship between humans and their material environment has challenged the long-held historical primacy of the former and led to a greater complexity in how we view the past. Although this present work is undoubtedly indebted to the many advances that the “material turn” has engendered in premodern literary studies, I believe that my treatment of clothing in literary narrative and drama draws on new ways of answering the questions that such critical discourse has been asking. I have already pointed to some of the fundamental aspects of the field of embodied cognition, but one further critical tool that requires discussion is the concept of the “affordance.” Clothing’s status as an artifact, something that is made specifically for the body and for specific bodies, means that it needs to be understood in relation to its use. As Kellie Robertson remarks of the “Flaundryssh bever hat” Chaucer’s Merchant wears in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, such an item “always implies wearers.”29 Clothing is defined by its purpose, whether in terms of its fabric or the cut of its design. It can imply a body of a certain gender, social status, age, or size; delimit the season, time of day, or occasion on which it should be worn; or designate the type of contact that the fabric will have with the skin (from light to heavy, fitted to loose, itchy to comfortable, cooling to warm). All of these factors contribute toward the lived experience of embodiment, and literary texts often capitalize on the capacity of clothing to give access to precise types of information related to the body, whether kinesthetic, kinesic, or conceptual. The concept of use has been treated at length by Cave in relation to “the things that literature can make happen—the ways in which it can change our cognitive environment.”30 He develops this discussion with the aid of the term “affordance,” originally coined in the 1970s by the psychologist James J. Gibson, whose work focused on visual perception as specifically related to ecology. For Gibson, affordances are features of the environment, “what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill.”31 Cave develops this term from the point of view of perception, specifying that, “what we perceive when we look at objects are their affordances, not their qualities.”32 Literary critic Caroline Levine, in a discussion of literary form, defines the affordance as “a term used to describe the potential uses or actions latent in materials and designs.”33 Using the concept in order to “think about form,” which in this context relates to

Introduction  9

literary form, Levine proposes that such an approach allows critics to “ask instead what potentialities lie latent—though not always obvious— in aesthetic and social arrangements.” 34 For the monk Eadwulf, a knife is something with which to cut cloth, but for another monk, its primary use might be to prepare food. But neither, as Gibson would argue, reduces the knife to its material base—it is not a shaped piece of metal, but an artifact that (in this instance) affords the cutting of cloth. As Cave writes of Gibson’s concept, “the successful affordances are the ones that enable us to grasp multiple phenomena as packages, or integrated wholes.”35 This is a helpful way to approach clothing—an artifact that has multiple potential uses even before it enters a literary text. Clothing is not something that simply protects the body from the environment, although it can also do this. It can be worn to make an individual feel powerful, subversive, or comfortable. It can be perceived as fashionable, ecologically friendly, or something to keep one dry. Perception is key in the designation of use. Although how an artifact is used is fundamental to how we might perceive it, Cave goes beyond this dimension to include perceptual experience: “Affordances structure our perceptions of sensorimotor experience and constrain our ways of reimagining those perceptions, whether through concepts, language, or other media.” 36 Thus a pair of tight-fitting jeans might cause a middle-aged man to perceive a particular impact on his genitals, as Umberto Eco wrote in the essay “Lumbar Thought”;37 a Victorian-era corset could cause the young woman who wore the item to recall the stress of constraint and the difficulty of breathing ; and for a mother, the sight, smell, and touch of an infant’s first Babygros might evoke a complex emotional response, ranging from pride to loss, as well as memories of the tiny, vulnerable body that briefly wore them. When an item of clothing is perceived, sensorimotor knowledge is engaged because items of clothing act on the body in relation to these systems. Clothing is part of lived experience, and its use—although often specific to the perceiver—has the potential to be wide-ranging. In the Translatio Edithe, the saint’s white tunic cannot simply be understood as an artifact, but must be considered as an artifact in language that participates in a wider narrative structure. Cave writes that, “Language itself is for humans the key empowering affordance, allowing the development of secondary language affordances, artefacts or instruments made out of language, such as metaphors, literary genres, poetic and narrative forms, and individual literary works.”38 When clothing is invested with metaphoric valence, its primary status as an affordance is combined with a secondary linguistic level.

10  Introduction

Although clothing is not the only affordance that can move up to the level of concept, it is one that has been called on to do so in some of the most important narratives of the Middle Ages. Its proximity to the body means that its use often has physical and conceptual dimensions. The tunics of skin from the biblical Fall can thus operate as material covers for the first parents, indexes of their physical and spiritual degradation, or both simultaneously. The act of putting on a shoe can function as a metaphor for the incarnation, while still necessitating that a reader understand the artifact and gestures involved. Walking with cloth-constrained joints can convey the spiritual release of a habitual sinner, obliging a reader to understand the conceptual link between movement and absolution. And folded graveclothes can articulate the Christian God’s defeat of death, demanding that the kinesic intelligence of the reader is engaged in order to comprehend what it means for a resurrected body to fold cloth. Clothing is an essential part of some of the most important beliefs of medieval Christianity, and its reformulation within sacred narratives across time can tell us much about how various writers, playwrights, or exegetes understood their own embodied condition.

Clothing and the Field This book is about clothing’s role within narratives that are transmitted in many generic forms in the Middle Ages and present specific conceptions of the embodied condition. It comes in the wake of a profusion of scholarly engagement with medieval clothing, both in terms of its status as a material artifact and its recognized importance within literature. Studies on the materiality of clothing have been enriched by scholars across fields including archaeology and anthropology, history of clothing and conservation, and art history. This work is possible because of documentary sources such as inventories of royal houses, preserved ecclesiastical garments and archaeological finds of everyday garments, and portraits of both luxurious and humble clothing.39 Even though clothing is a material artifact, scholars have long since grappled with the multitude of other factors that need to be taken into account, such as production and distribution, social marking, consumption, regulation, not to mention its profound connection to the body.40 As Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale Owen-Crocker remark, “Textiles were an essential and ubiquitous part of medieval life, from the luxurious and decorative to the utilitarian, from coronation robes and episcopal vestments to sanitary towels.”41 Cloth’s extensive range of functions, from the highest parts of society to

Introduction  11

the lowest, from personal hygiene to elaborate display, have required that scholars take account of its pervasive presence in medieval society. For the literary critics who have engaged extensively with clothing and textiles, their focus has not been limited to texts themselves but has led in a variety of directions. From the early 2000s, several publications in early modern dramatic studies interrogated how clothes “permeate the wearer, fashioning him or her within” in relation to historical persons and dramatic characters, or how a prop such as a handkerchief “played fundamental roles in forming masculine and feminine identity” on the Elizabethan stage.42 And three decades before these seminal publications, art historian Anne Hollander presented her influential theory that clothing was integral to how a viewer of art perceives the painted body, whether nude or dressed: “At any time, the unadorned self has more kinship with its own usual dressed aspect that it has with any undressed human selves in other times and places, who have learned a different visual sense of the clothed body. It can be shown that the rendering of the nude in art usually derived from the current form in which the clothed figure is conceived.”43 The study of clothing has led scholars to engage with the mapping of a language and terminology for clothing, to perform extensive research on the history of raw materials and cloth production, as well as interrogating the imaginative link between cloth and body in literature. The Brill Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles44 has made clear the scope of such work and has pointed to some of the ways in which clothing intersects with other facets of historical and literary inquiry. The field has had to respond to a wealth of different demands made by an artifact of tremendous complexity. Economic and cultural dimensions have been indispensable to scholars whose work began with literary texts, but required them to go beyond this remit to encapsulate what clothing means to a specific group of people. In line with the economic aspect of clothing has been the issue of fashion, which both Sarah-Grace Heller and Andrea Denny-Brown have interrogated for different purposes. Heller’s Fashion in Medieval France (2007) challenged the assertion that the concept of a fashion system was largely inapplicable to medieval cultures. Her work on French literature from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries has pointed to a developed terminology that articulates an understanding of fashion and fashion systems—a desire for the new over the old—already present in the Roman de la Rose. Denny-Brown’s 2012 Fashioning Change: The Trope of Clothing in High- and Late-Medieval England traces the long-standing conceptual framework of clothing as trope and focuses on the concept of “change” in relation to wider social issues in late medieval England. Although focusing

12  Introduction

on this remit, her work touches on the pervasive link between language and clothing present in the rhetorical treatises of Cicero and Quintilian, resurfacing in the writings of Martianus Capella, Bede, Geoffrey of Vinsauf, and John Lydgate. Both publications have been influential on this present study and have provided methodologically sophisticated models of how to engage critically with clothing in literature. Over the past twenty years, studies of clothing have engaged with some of the most pertinent theoretical issues in the study of literature, from gender and power to ethnicity, morality, identity, and experience.45 Although the body has not been neglected in many of these investigations, it has not always received the attention that one might expect.46 The present work aims to fill that gap, although, as I have begun to explain in this introduction, the concept of “body” has been subject to significant revision and expansion in recent years. According to such advancements, the embodied condition cannot exclude cognitive processes any more than cognition can marginalize the body. What have been termed the “cognitive” and “material” turns, respectively, have in many instances intersected, focusing on how cognition engages with and relies on materiality, and vice versa. The wealth of publications that take these advancements into account have provided a new basis on which to consider the topic of clothing in literature, as it offers methodological tools to deal with the nexus of issues involved. This study is by no means exhaustive, but my aim is to provide a perspective on the study of clothing as a literary affordance, and to demonstrate its pervasive presence in some of the most fundamental stories about what it is to be human. To that end, contact between body and cloth is often a fundamental prerequisite, although one notable exception explores the power of inference when a body is not wearing the clothes that it should be. The book is divided into four chapters, each of which explores a specific narrative or conceptual use of clothing. Chapter 1 takes as its focus the story of the Fall. In tracing the varying uses of clothing within poetry, exegesis, iconography, and drama, I identify three main traditions where clothing is fundamental to how the body is understood and presented to a prospective audience (of text, image, and performance). The Fall is an account of what it means to be human, to live in a world of pain and death, and to be excluded from the presence of God, which is shared by all religions of the book. Clothing is written into these histories of embodied experience, whether as a garment that is lost through transgression, one that is impossible to live without, or something that skill and endeavor must fashion in the absence of divine protection. Clothing

Introduction  13

vacillates between being presented as a divine gift and the first artifact of human endeavor, but in each instance it facilitates an understanding of a particular body that has irreparably changed from one ontological state into another. Chapter 2 begins with a very different body, the corpse of Jesus Christ, which was wrapped in linen graveclothes as part of its tender preparation for burial. Paying attention to the narrative details of the clothes discarded by the resurrected Christ, this chapter considers the literary techniques in the Gospel of John that establish the body as resurrected via a description of folded cloth. The remainder of the chapter is dedicated to performative uses of clothing, from a tenth-century liturgical Visitatio Sepulchri to its fifteenth- or sixteenth-century appearance on the properties lists of early English Resurrection plays. The artifact we are dealing with in each instance is never the same, nor is its intended use always comparable. What brings all of these pieces of fabric into a conceptual relationship with each other is the inheritance they all claim from the remains found in the Johannine tomb and their varying capacities to act as mediators of Christian truth. Although chapter 3 stays with the subject of resurrection, the body involved and the use of cloth necessitate a different approach. The resurrected body of Lazarus, as narrated in the Gospel of John, is wrapped in graveclothes that have outlived their practical necessity. Both the biblical text and a specific exegetical tradition develop around the striking—and awkward—detail that Lazarus stood up and walked out of his tomb while his hands and feet were bound with strips of cloth. How a reader understands the overlapping of what should be incompatible details is considered in relation to her embodied knowledge and experience of cloth. The chapter then shifts focus to examine whether this biblical detail and exegetical mainstay can be accommodated in dramatic performances, which, unlike a text, must take the practicalities of motion into account. The balancing act of including scriptural truth in a context where it is difficult to manage is examined in both liturgical and secular Lazarus plays, and cloth’s initial role as affordance becomes an obstacle that needs to be traversed with careful consideration. The fourth and final chapter does not take a pervasive biblical narrative as its subject, but a series of metaphors that connect shoes to bodies in a variety of ways. The analogy that Christ wore the human body like a shoe is used in exegesis in order to grapple with a doctrine that has no logical explanation. Whereas other exegetes would use garments in order to make an equivalent comparison, some of the greatest thinkers of the

14  Introduction

early Christian world instead turn to the shoe, its material composition, and the gestures required to wear it, in order to explore a doctrine of which they struggled to conceive. When the body involved is not divine, the shoe metaphors necessarily change. Shoes, and their practical connection to motion and their function as protectors of the feet, are employed as affordances in a variety of medieval texts—exegetical, devotional, and poetic—to stand for the affective movements of the soul, the vulnerability of the fallen body, and what the individual can do keep their feet on the right spiritual path. As this chapter overview has signalled, the focus of this book is an interrogation of a Christian identity, one that, despite its many textures and variations, was especially important in a medieval context. Although the approach I take is by no means limited to a religious perspective, for the stories, images, and artifacts I discuss, the devotional context is paramount. Underlining this investigation into the uses of clothing in each of the chapters is a reader’s practical experience of clothing and her knowledge of what it is to have a body. The interaction of these two facets in texts, plays, and images is fundamental to the articulation of complex ideas about life, faith, and the human condition. To that end, it is impossible to exclude clothing from embodied experience. In many of the fundamental narratives that interrogated the Christian bodies of God and mortal, clothing becomes a central point at which readers, viewers, and audiences were challenged to engage with the most rudimentary and conceptually challenging aspects of their world. This world was one in which artifacts actively participated in the production of meaning and assumed key roles in the imaginative interrogation of what it meant to be human. NOTES Wilmart, “La légend de Ste Edith en prose et en vers par le moine Goscelin,” pp. 270–71. The excerpt reads: “Succedit ingens miraculum, omnium asstipulatione commendatum. Monachus Glastonie, Edulfus nomine (1), notissimus hic sacerdotali deuocione, temeraria fide ambiens reliquias de uestibus sacrati corporis, in supra scripto altari quiescentis, collectam in rugam a uirgineo pectore tunicam cultello precidit, simulque sacrum corpus ferro degustante prestinxit. Extimplo sanguinis unda, acsi de uiua uena elicta, prorupit uestesque niuales ac paumentum rosis suis respersit. Territus presumtor ferrum cum sacra rapina proicit, at quasi reus sanguinis et iuguli innocentis in faciem ruit, culpamque temeritatis lauara fletibus curauit. Hec mirabila firmant mirabiliora. Nam, ubi ille a satisfactione surrexit, iam nullus cruor apparuit; sed, quasi penitentia receptus, 1

Introduction  15

in suum corpus resedit.” For an English translation, see Wright and Loncar, “The Translatio of Edith,” p. 72. 2 In classical Latin, ruga generally designates the wrinkle of a face, but can also be a fold in a cloth. Cassell’s Latin Dictionary; DMLBS. 3 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 4 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, p. 174. This verb coupled with the transgressive act could be allegorically read in relation to the Fall. 5 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 6 Hollander, Seeing Through Clothes; Walker-Bynum, “Why All the Fuss About the Body? A Medievalist’s Perspective”; Jones and Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory; Fisher, Materializing Gender in Early Modern English Literature and Culture; Cohen and Weiss, Thinking the Limits of the Body. 7 Cohen, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics and Objects; Moran and O’Brien, eds., Love Objects: Emotion, Design and Material Culture; Downes, Holloway, Randles, eds., Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions through History; Latour, “The Berlin Key or How to Do Words with Things”; Graves-Brown, ed. Matter, Materiality, and Modern Culture; Denny-Brown and Cooper, eds. The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture. 8 Malafouris cites the example of a study undertaken on a 73-year-old woman, who after a stroke stated that her left hand did not belong to her. When one of two rings she wore was on this hand, she did not claim ownership of the ring, but, when it was moved to the right hand, she did. See Aglioti, Smania, Manfredi, and Berlucchi, “Disownership of left hand and objects related to in a patient with right brain damage,” pp. 293–96, and Malafouris, “Brains, Bodies and Things.” See also Malafouris, “Is It ‘Me’ or Is It ‘Mine’? The Mycenaean Sword as a BodyPart,” pp. 115–23. 9 Malafouris, “Brains, Bodies, and Things.” 10 Meineck, Theatrocracy, p. 6. 11 Some of the most important works on this area of study include Clark, Supersizing the Mind; Gallagher, How the Body Shapes the Mind; Boivin, Material Cultures, Material Minds; Malafouris, How Things Shape the Mind; Anderson, The Renaissance Extended Mind; Lyne, Shakespeare, Rhetoric and Cognition. 12 Meineck, Theatrocracy, p. 6. 13 Clark, Supersizing the Mind, p. xxvi. 14 Harbus’s work on Old English poetry has shown that the mind cannot be rigidly separated from other internal processes such as emotion, in Life of the Mind, and has also considered the cognitive processes involved in the reading of Old English poetry in Cognitive Approaches. Waller discusses the inapplicability of mind–body dualisms in relation to the OE poem the Wanderer in “Metaphorical Space and Enclosure in Old English Poetry,” pp. 27–32. Robertson discusses this issue via the topic of materialism and metaphysical conceptualizations of matter in premodern thought, in “Medieval Materialism,” as does Brantley in “Material

16  Introduction

Culture.” Robertson also discusses the “pre-modern representation of objects” in “Medieval Things.” Crane discusses the relationship clothing has to medieval performances of identity in The Performance of Self, and Cowell asks similar questions with specifically high-status items in mind in “Swords, Clubs, and Relics.” 15 My use of these terms is indebted to Guillemette Bolens, The Style of Gestures. In relation to kinesthetic knowledge, see Bolens, The Style of Gestures, pp. 1–5. 16 Bolens, The Style of Gestures, p. 2. 17 Bolens further specifies that, “Kinesic perception is linked to kinesthetic knowledge,” The Style of Gestures, p. 2. 18 Solomon and Barsalou, “Perceptual Simulation in Property Verification,” p. 244, cited in Bolens, p. 6. 19 Spolsky, “Elaborated Knowledge: Reading Kinesis in Picture,” pp. 157–80. 20 Bolens, The Style of Gestures, p. 10. 21 Bolens, The Style of Gestures, p. 72. 22 For the status of oaths in the fourteenth century, see Firth Green, A Crisis of Truth. 23 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 139. 24 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 1. 25 Bolens, The Style of Gestures, pp. 11–15; 66–99. 26 Brown, “Thing Theory”; Appadurai, The Social Life of Things; Sofer, The Stage Life of Props; Morton, Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World; Joy, “Notes Toward a Speculist Realist Literary Criticism”; Cohen and Yates, eds., Object Oriented Environs; Rudd, Greenery: Ecocritical Readings of Late Medieval English Literature; Robertson, “Medieval Things.” 27 Denny-Brown and Cooper, The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture, p. 1. 28 Jones and Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, p. 2. 29 Robertson, “Medieval Things,” p. 1074. 30 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 47. 31 Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, p. 127. Italics are in the original. 32 Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, p. 134. 33 Levine, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network, p. 6. 34 Levine, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network, pp. 6–7. 35 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 50. 36 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 53. 37 Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, pp. 191–95. 38 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 52. 39 Schimansky, “The Study of Medieval Ecclesiastical Costumes,” p. 313; Owen-Crocker, Dress in Anglo-Saxon England. 40 Andersson Strand and Heller, “Production and Distribution”; Sponsler, “Narrating the Social Order” and Drama and Resistance.

Introduction  17

Coatsworth and Owen-Crocker, “Textiles,” p. 11. Jones and Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, p. 2; Fisher, Materializing Gender in Early Modern English Literature and Culture, p. 3. 43 Hollander, Seeing Through Clothes, p. xii. 44 Owen-Crocker, Coatsworth, and Hayward, eds., Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles. 45 The 2016 A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion, ed. Sarah-Grace Heller, gives the most recent accounts of these various strands of medieval clothing studies. See especially the chapters of E. Jane Burns, “Gender and Sexuality,” and Michèle Hayeur Smith, “Ethnicity.” Cavell’s 2016 Weaving Words offers a thorough study on the interrelation between the material and metaphorical use of clothing in Old English poetry. Smith’s Sartorial Strategies is particularly interested in the literary links forged between fashionable clothing and morality in medieval French and English texts. 46 Bolens and I discuss the body in relation to clothing in “The Body.” 41 42

Chapter 1

Clothing and the Fallen Body


RTIFACTS DID NOT EXIST in the prelapsarian world, according to the fourteenth-century Oxford theologian John Wyclif. In De Statu Innocencie, Wyclif observes a critical distinction between the lost Edenic life and the postlapsarian world he himself inhabited: in the Garden of Eden, making, building, designing, and fashioning were all superfluous activities, for the body had all it required and needed nothing further.1 Clothing, for Wyclif, became a necessary artifact—a creation of human ingenuity—only after the first status of the body had been lost. The Genesis narrative readily supports the theologian’s assertions. Adam and Eve craft their first coverings within the same biblical verse as they perceive their bodies in a new way: “And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.”2 The actions taken in Genesis 3:7 not only include the first parents’ adoption of the fig leaf to suit a different purpose, but also show them fashioning something new to fit an emerging need. In covering their genitals for the first time, Adam and Eve are specifically said to sew the leaves together (the Latin verb in the Vulgate is consuo; the Hebrew tpr also means to sew), the result of which is a completely new creation—the apron, or girdle—with which they then cover themselves. The word for this covering is suitably new in the Latin translation Wyclif would have read.3 In the first instance of its occurrence in the Latin language, perizomata (with the meaning of apron or girdle)4—taken from the Septuagint and transliterated rather than translated by Jerome (347–420)—describes something newly fashioned from existing material, produced through skill and technique.5 It is the first artifact. As such, it is the first occasion that Adam and Eve have had to use knowledge of the world in order to service their needs.6 This chapter is about the clothing of Adam and Eve, and about how garments are used within the Genesis narratives of late medieval England to communicate the implications of the Fall as they relate to the body. 7 The fig-leaf girdle is but one form of clothing from one version of the

20   CHAPTER 1

narrative and is a particular way that clothing might operate. Transitioning from an organic feature of the Edenic environment to an artifact specifically designed to cover genitals, the fig leaf is allocated a place in the book of Genesis based on its perceived usefulness to its designers and the biblical writer(s). But apart from its functionality within the narrative, the fig leaf also conveys meaning to a reader. It signals a change in Adam and Eve’s embodied condition that centers on their genitals. The act of covering a body part that no longer exists without shame affords a glimpse into Adam and Eve’s corporeal experience. Requiring her to infer the difference between the prelapsarian body and the one that is now covered at specific points, the girdle gives this reader access to perceptual, emotional, and spiritual information that accounts for the changes the body undergoes. The capacity of clothing to convey such complexity is at the heart of this study. That the majority of the examples chosen are from textual sources suggests a need to take the status of clothing within language seriously. Taking a lead from Cave’s discussion of the cognitive affordance, this chapter will consider how clothing treads the line between material entity and transmitter of conceptual meaning. The reliance of writers on both of these aspects, often simultaneously, goes a long way to explaining the capacity of clothing to provide access to different facets of the embodied condition. The reception of these narratives, whether as texts or plays (or possibly both), is also integral to this discussion. As pointed to in the example of the fig-leaf girdle, the reader’s engagement with this artifact is as worthy of consideration as the writer’s decision to include it. Although the evidence for reception varies significantly between the exegetical commentary on a biblical verse and the spectatorship of a mystery play, it is nevertheless worthwhile engaging with such questions. Taking into consideration how a text, irrespective of genre, “cues” a response is a vital way of thinking about how it presents its concerns.8 Contextual evidence from iconography also forms an important part of my approach to how the fallen body was both presented and received in late medieval England. Contemporary iconographic conventions open up different avenues for engaging with the Fall episode, but also provide evidence for a diversity of possible interpretations. This chapter will proceed along a tripartite structure, in which I identify the three main paradigms within which clothing is used. The first, which is heavily influenced by Jewish exegesis, involves the instances in which Adam and Eve are stripped of a primordial garment at the moment of transgression. In such circumstances, the first parents are dressed subsequent to their creation, and the lost garment is made synonymous with

Clothing and the Fallen Body   21

their original state. The second part focuses on texts that closely follow the biblical Genesis narrative and feature an Adam and Eve who are clothed in “tunics of skin” subsequent to their transgression. These tunics are surprisingly among the most underrepresented artistic and literary conventions of the Fall, but have a weighty presence in theological commentaries on Genesis. The third part includes the cases in which Adam and Eve remain naked after the Fall, with the first mother often required to make the clothing they require for survival. The continual bareness of Adam and Eve is the most prevalent iconographical interpretation of the Fall and, although it does appear in certain literary texts and plays, its presence in theological commentary is scant. The organization of this chapter is neither exhaustive nor rigid, but it does offer a critical approach for dealing with the many functions of clothing within the Fall story. The three uses of clothing in Fall narratives provide a framework within which this sprawling medieval narrative can be considered. In their treatments of the transition from a glorious body to a fallen one, these images, texts, and plays give access to how this body was thought of within the societies that produced them.

Losing the Robes of Innocence The moment in which Adam and Eve perceive themselves to be fallen is also the moment when a series of narratives choose to have a prelapsarian garment stripped from their bodies. In this section, I will outline the tradition from which Middle English literary and dramatic texts inherited this paradigm and account for the textual and corporeal logic for the inclusion of this detail. Forcibly stripping a body of clothing always has a specific cultural and social relevance. Christ’s stripping was part of a larger sequence of humiliation, culminating in the shameful death of crucifixion. Both the stripping and the Crucifixion, however, had a profoundly spiritual meaning for medieval Christians. The Middle English verbs that denote the removal of clothing, including strepen, despoilen (as well as spoilen), are precariously positioned between a simple description of removing clothing and the shameful associations of having this action performed against one’s will. Priests had long since been excluded from sacramental office by virtue of defrocking, which was intended to shame them as punishment for their misdeeds. As in the case of the priest, the meaning of being stripped is entirely dependent on the significance invested in a garment. The removal of clothing is only meaningful if clothing is placed within a value system. It is notable then that the first clothing of Adam and Eve is regularly named, with titles ranging from “clothing of innocence,” “glory,”

22   CHAPTER 1

“light,” to “immortality.” Precisely what is lost between the pre- and postlapsarian states is clarified by this dress, which goes some way toward explaining what the body is experiencing. The tradition of the first clothing is long and wide-ranging and is necessarily condensed in this investigation, which prioritizes the Middle English treatment of the subject. However, my conjecture is that the longevity of this tradition points to its resonance with artists, poets, and theologians, as well as, no doubt, with the wider contemporary public. Lost clothing is a powerful motif that helps to clarify a difficult and unidirectional ontological transition, offering a narrative strategy to account for the changes that the body experiences. In positioning clothing as something that the body suddenly and violently loses, these narratives rely on the kinesthetic knowledge of what such an event would feel like in sensory terms, and what bodily exposure implies introspectively. The earliest texts to present prelapsarian clothing as a vital feature of the Fall narrative are located in Jewish postbiblical exegesis. Although the extant texts survive in much later forms than the oral tradition they reflect, they give points of access to this earlier tradition, which was instrumental to the development of rabbinic commentaries such as the Midrash and Targum.9 What is common to all of these different strands of Jewish exegesis—which range from ca. 20 bce to the ninth century ce—is a discomfort with Genesis 3:21, particularly the reference to “tunics of skin.” Scholars have accounted for the exegetical presence of prelapsarian clothing in terms of a wider need to reinterpret key details of the verse. One of the problems exegetes encountered in their readings of Genesis 3:21 was that tunics of skin implied dead animals, and death was understood to enter the world only after Cain’s murder of Abel. If clothes were received only subsequent to the Fall, and animals were killed in order to make these garments, then death had entered the biblical narrative earlier than rabbinic theologians wished to account for its presence. The solutions to this interpretative problem are inventive and effective and showcase the oral history of early biblical exegesis. Within this group of texts, the tunics of skin from Genesis 3:21 are often equated with the body, and particularly with the fallen body. Adam and Eve are regularly deprived of “garments of light,” the result of which is the exposure of a secondary clothing of skin. Both garments have figural dimensions that articulate the condition of the body, and are contingent on the Hebrew language, as well as a flexible approach to temporality. First, the words for “skin” (‫ )רוע‬and “light” (‫ )רֹוא‬are homophones in Hebrew, and within oral readings of Genesis 3:21 either substance can be foregrounded over the other. Gary Anderson

Clothing and the Fallen Body   23

explains that the grammatical order of Jewish scripture was not constrained to a single temporality, meaning that the “tunics” of Genesis 3:21 can be understood to be pre- and postlapsarian: “Our peculiar Hebrew phrase [tunics of skin] has been translated in twofold fashion: ‘garments of glory for the skin of their flesh.’”10 As the garment could sustain two chronological associations, a first mention could refer to a garment of light, which subsequently transformed into skin once the first clothing was lost. A host of texts within this exegetical tradition present the moment of the Fall in terms of losing a garment. In the Greek pseudepigraphical Apocalypse of Moses (between 20 bce and 70 ce),11 Eve includes this detail when narrating the story of the Fall to her children: “And in that very hour my eyes were opened, and forthwith I knew that I was naked of the righteousness with which I had been clothed ... and I wept and said to him: ‘Why have you done this that you [have] deprived me of the glory with which I was clothed?’” (20.1)12 Speaking to Satan, Eve recalls the moment in which she knows her first status has been lost. She makes a direct link between a new perception of her body, this realization, and a primordial covering that is no longer there. Eve’s comprehension of loss is articulated by means of a garment that, although conceptual (framed as righteousness or glory), still has the qualities of a material cloth. It is separate from the body and as a consequence can be removed. The detachable nature of the “garment of glory” accounts for the loss of the first mother’s original status. The consequences of loss extend to the sensory experience of bareness with which this text requires a reader to engage. Drawing on the kinesthetic memory of what bare skin feels like, and the emotional implications of being naked (Eve cries at this exact moment), the Apocalypse of Moses makes embodied forms of knowledge essential to the wider understanding of what a lost garment means. Clothing is the central affordance, and it works directly with the body in order to convey the conceptual dimension. Midrash and Targum from the fifth century ce onwards contain similar details. In Genesis Rabbah, produced ca. 450 ce, the Midrash suggests that the condition of Eve’s skin was radically affected by her transgression: “her glorious outer skin, a sheet of light smooth as a fingernail, had fallen away.”13 The Pirqê de Rabbi Eliezer (ca. eighth or ninth century CE) also interprets the event as a stripping, and, like Genesis Rabbah, a “skin of nail” disappears subsequent to Adam’s eating of the fruit: “What was the dress of the first man? A skin of nail, and a cloud of glory covered him. When he ate of the fruits of the tree, the nail-skin was stripped off

24   CHAPTER 1

him, and the cloud of glory departed from him, and he saw himself naked, as it is said, ‘And [God] said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee?’”14 In all of these examples, the corporeal and spiritual repercussions of the Fall are relayed in terms of a loss that impacts the body. The clothing involved is variously an external, if nebulous, substance or a luminescent form of skin, which is forcibly removed from the body at the moment of transgression. Lost clothing is a recurrent device in Jewish exegetical discussions of the Fall, and it is used time and again to explain the consequences of disobedience. It also has the added benefit of avoiding temporally inconvenient details. Although the loss of a primordial cloth was a mainstay of Jewish theology, it would also influence Neoplatonic and Gnostic readings of Genesis, as well as Christian exegesis. It is not the mainstream understanding of Genesis 3:21, but Christian exegetes occasionally equated the tunics of skin with the body. The distinguished Cappadocian theologian Gregory of Nazianzus (329–390), who was significantly influenced by Hellenic philosophy,15 compared the tunics of skin to the mortal body: “This one [Adam] ... at one and the same time was both expelled from the tree of life, paradise, and God because of the evil deed, and put on the garments of skin. The garments of skin probably mean mortal flesh, since it is firm and pliable.”16 Nazianzus’s followers took the tunics of skin to mean the body, as did several other theologians, including Didymus the Blind, Macraius of Magnesia, and Anastasius of Sinas. The ninth-century Irish theologian John Scottus Eriugena (815–877)—an esteemed figure in the court of Charles the Bald—also proposes this reading of the verse.17 Although equating the tunics of skin with the body was not prevalent in Christian exegesis, this did not prevent more mainstream theologians from asserting that Adam and Eve lost a first cloth through their disobedience. Ambrose of Milan (ca. 340–397) writes in De Paradiso of Adam and Eve’s original state: “et ante quidem nudi erant, sed non sine uirtutum integimentis” (They were naked, it is true, before this time, but they were not devoid of the garments of virtue) (13.63), a reading that allows for both the possibility of original nakedness and the loss of a spiritual garment. 18 The stola prima—the first or best robe—is cited in the works of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Anselm of Canterbury, and Bernard of Clairvaux as an item that was lost by Adam after his transgression. In line with these readings, Bede (ca. 673–735) writes: “Stola prima est vestis innocentiae, quam homo bene conditus accepit, sed male persuasus amisit” (The first clothing is a garment of innocence, which man received in his glorious condition,

Clothing and the Fallen Body   25

but, having been persuaded by evil, parted with it).19 This formulation of the prelapsarian garment is routinely found in allegorical readings of the clothing given to the prodigal son in Luke 15:22. It owes its logic, however, to Genesis 3:21’s tunics of skin.20 The border between theological interpretation and literary treatments of the Fall is porous throughout the Middle Ages, as exemplified by the apocryphal Vita Adae et Evae. With clear narrative links to the Apocalypse of Moses, accounts of the post-Fall life of Adam and Eve proliferated across Europe in both Latin and vernacular versions, including English, French, Breton, Cornish, Italian, Irish, and German. Although two distinct Middle English texts are extant, neither one mentions primordial clothing. A lost garment does feature in the tenth-century Middle Irish Saltair na Rann, which accounts for the introspective and sensory experience of the body at this most pertinent of moments: “Because their clothing had fallen from them, they were filled with misery and sorrow, they were sad for the ugliness of their bright bodies without a pure veil protecting them. Each of them saw the colour of his body, since they had been left stark naked; they took the leaves of the fig tree—to cover their nakedness.” (1353–60)21 An original garment also appears in two Middle High German poems, the Wiener Genesis and the Anegenge, where the clothes are said in one case to be angel’s robes and in the other “clothes of innocence.”22 Although the Middle English lives of Adam and Eve do not bear trace of this tradition, other Middle English texts do. The fourteenth-century biblical poem the Cursor Mundi, thought to be written in either northern England or Scotland, includes multiple uses of clothing in its Fall episode, including a reference to the loss of a first garment: Quen þai loked on þer licam Aieþer thoght of oþere scham; ffor quen þai sagh ham self al bare, þat welth and blis had cleþed ar, þai cled þam þan in þat mister Wit leues brad bath o figer. (799–804)23

The text is deliberate in its connection of perception to introspection. In this intricate syntactical construction, the thought of shame—and the simultaneous experience of it—is part of Adam and Eve’s new capacity to see their own body as well as the body of the other (Aieþer thoght of oþere scham) and have the same response. It is a profoundly kinesic moment, underwritten by kinesthetic experiences of their own bodies (sensory and

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introspective). Supporting this perceptual shift is the idea of a lost cloth, which amplifies the visual experience of shame and helps to clarify its instantiation. The first impulse after this event is the adoption of a fig leaf, the conventional action of covering what has been revealed. But in this text, the process is conveyed as an exchange. The verb clethen, used on two occasions to mark the time lapse of before and after the Fall, describes the covering that has been lost (of “welth” and “blis”) and the one now worn (“mister” means “distress” or “peril”). 24 Both coverings are deliberately conceptual and are used to clarify the changes happening on the spiritual and physical levels. Dramatic texts—including the Jeu d’Adam, whose Anglo-Norman provenance has recently been rejected by a number of scholars, the Cornish Creacion of the World, and the Middle English N-Town Fall of Man— also integrate the notion of a lost garment, often in figurative ways.25 It is difficult to establish any firm point of connection between these plays, each of which survives in a unique manuscript with little to no record of performance. The inclusion of a lost garment does link these otherwise distinct play-texts and suggests that stripping (whether implied or staged) was dramatically efficacious in performances of the Fall. The earliest play to incorporate this motif is the Jeu d’Adam, also known as the Ordo representacionis Adae, a twelfth-century play with a complex transmission history.26 Critics have recently conjectured that the play was staged within the church for a clerical audience.27 The extant play-text contains considerable Latin didascalies that, while offering evidence as to how the Jeu may have been staged, must also be treated with caution. Critics have pointed to the redundancy of some of the didascalies, as well as identifying a dislocation between the vernacular dialogue and these directives. 28 Robert Clark helpfully suggests that the “didascalies ... play a role not unlike illuminations in much later manuscripts that flesh out the text and fill in gaps that might otherwise confuse the reader-viewer.”29 One of the Jeu’s most recent editors, Véronique Dominguez, situates the play within the milieu of apocryphal texts such as the Vita Adae et Evae.30 That Adam and Eve enter the play dressed may owe something to this tradition. The prelapsarian Adam is dressed in a red robe (tunica rubea), and Eve wears a white silken dress and wimple (muliebri vestimento albo, peplo serico albo). Lynette Muir has suggested that these costumes may have had a liturgical resonance, though their description lacks the precise technical language that would confirm this possibility. God and the angel do appear to be costumed in liturgical vestments (a dalmatica and an albis, respectively), and, as Muir points out, there is a dramatic

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logic for dressing Adam and Eve in a similar manner: “this would make the reference to sollemnes vestes more logical and also complete the distinction between heavenly and earthly garments—the clothing worn by Adam and Eve in Paradise is a ... symbol of their glorious state.” 31 The loss of clothing, which is signalled in the didiscalies, dramatizes the moment of change. Subsequent to Adam’s eating of the apple, the text reads: Quo comesto cognoscet statim peccatum suum et inclinabit se, [ut] non possit a populo videri. Et exuet sollemnes vestes, et induet vestes pauperes consutas foliis ficus, et maximum simulans dolorem incipiet lamentationem suam. [When he has eaten he will recognize his sin at once, and will bend over so that he cannot be seen by the people. And he will strip off his festive garments, and will put on poor clothes sewn together with fig leaves, and, manifesting exceedingly great sorrow he will begin his lamentation.]32

Stripping off the initial blessed state is a key moment in the play’s action, and it is woven into the perceptual, introspective, and sensory transition that Adam experiences. Whether their costumes have liturgical resonance or not, the stripping that takes place once Adam eats the apple is a visually effective way of separating the first parents from God and the angels. Unusually, there is no mention of a lost cloth in the dialogue, meaning that the dramatic efficacy of these costumes would rest entirely on their visual presence and the gestures required to communicate Adam’s emotional state. The Creacion of the World, one of two early Cornish dramatic survivals, is located in a seventeenth-century manuscript (MS Bodley 219), although Brian Murdoch contends it was written in the previous century.33 Notably, the play includes the apocryphal episode of Adam and Seth, which provides another point of connection between this play and the apocryphal tradition of the Vita Adae et Evae.34 After eating the fruit, the Cornish Adam cries, “Our bodies have gone naked; | all over, look!” (855–56), and, in response to God’s question of why Adam has not come to welcome him, the first man specifies: “Because I am | naked without clothing” (867–68).35 Although this is a subtler articulation than in other examples, the Cornish Adam does construct his naked body in relation to absent clothing, offering the possibility that a figurative prelapsarian dress informed his explanation of nakedness. The N-Town Creation of the World; The Fall of Man—recorded in a manuscript dated ca. 1470 (London, British Library, MS Cotton Vespasian D.8)—offers something

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similar, although more explicit. 36 Unlike the Jeu d’A dam, which clearly integrates costume and gesture into the wider resonance of this moment, both the N-Town and Cornish plays draw primarily on the figurative power of language. The N-Town Adam articulates the deprivation of the Fall by means of a lost garment. After decrying the “fals dede” (165) he has committed, Adam describes the immediate consequences of his actions: “Schameful synne doth us vnhede: | I se vs nakyd before and behynde” (167–68). 37 The change that Adam discerns in both his own and Eve’s body is conveyed by means of a stripping, with the verb “unhiden” (to reveal, expose, or uncover) signalling a sensory response to the removal of a covering.38 Furthermore, sin and shame are compounded to form the subject of the line, and “schameful synne” becomes the active force of this stripping, with sight merely observing—as opposed to discovering—the body’s catastrophic change. Interestingly, only Adam describes his experience of the Fall in terms of a lost garment, and this is also the case in the other two plays. Eve, in a more conventional assertion, declares: “Oure flescly eyn byn al vnlokyn; | Nakyd for synne ouresylf we se” (182–83). For the first mother, only a change to her perception is connected to the realization that she too is naked. Nevertheless, Adam will continue to articulate change in terms of lost clothing, and to this detail the first man will add a change for the worse in his movement: “I walke as worm, withowtyn wede, | Awey is schrowde and sho” (209–10). Adam’s comparison between a new form of movement and the absence of coverings underwrites the link between man and “worm.” His corporeal debasement leads to a movement away from God and toward the animal, although, in choosing the snake as the subject of comparison, the N-Town playwright establishes an uneasy connection between the first man and Satan. In order to understand Adam’s assertion and its conceptual implications, the audience must process the motoric implications of walking like a snake while deprived of clothing and footwear. The difficulty they may experience with a perceptual simulation of the first action may have been aided by the movement of Satan or in how Adam performs this striking simile. The familiar knowledge of bare feet and skin, however, would have provided a ready analogy for the new condition of the fallen body. Although no evidence exists in relation to how this play was staged, it makes dramatic sense for Adam and Eve to be dressed and then stripped over the course of the play. Adam’s exclamation of bareness may have been performed by revealing a costume that simulates the naked body, which is the most likely dramatic strategy based on comparable evidence found in English and continental plays. Performing

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the loss of clothing would not only clarify the meaning of this verse for the audience, but would also offer a visual demonstration of the changing status of the body. A final dramatic example is the Liber Apologeticus de omni statu humanae naturae, written by Thomas Chaundler, ca. 1457–1461 (Trinity College Library, R.14.5). The play is composed in Latin and dedicated to Bishop Bekynton (d. 1465), and, once again, no record of its performance survives. Chaundler’s institutional connections have led Peter Happé to conjecture that the play was likely staged in “a college hall, Chaundler’s familiar academic and social environment.”39 The Liber Apologeticus presents a striking example of a first garment in both the play-text and its accompanying grisaille illustrations. Although the play includes garments that extend beyond the remit of the stripping paradigm, it nevertheless offers one of the most fully developed accounts of this motif in late medieval England. The allegorical treatment of Man in this play-text coalesces with the nature of the garment he is given. The newly created Man is dressed in clothing and accoutrements that correspond to, and articulate, his glorified state. This garment—explicitly called the “mantle of immortality” (immortaliatia pallio)—is given an elaborate description. But most vitally for the purposes of this discussion, God clarifies its function: Sed quoniam nullius rei secura est possessio cuius erit aliquando defectio, primum accipies immortalitatis pallium diuinitatis nostre, quasi subtilissimis quibusdam filis mire contextum, colligatum tamen ligamento et tenui et fragili, uti sic te intelligas immortalem. [But since there is no security in the possession of something which will one day fail, you will first receive the mantle of our divine immortality, wondrously woven as if with the most delicate threads and held together with a thin and fragile tie, in order that thus you may understand that you are immortal.] (N 11)40

God’s explanation works on both the intra- and extradiegetic level. Chaundler positions the garment as the vehicle through which Man can understand his physical and spiritual condition, with this cognitive dimension pointed to by the verb intelligere (to perceive, understand, to come to know).41 The audience’s understanding of the cloth is also an integral part of this speech. Their engagement with the mantle of immortality is dependent on their kinesthetic memory, especially in relation to the cloth’s material composition. The description colligatum tamen ligamento et

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tenui et fragile (held together with a thin and fragile tie) enforces the garment’s delicateness, with the possibility that the tie (ligamento)—the link to the body—might be destroyed if not cared for appropriately. The feel of a delicate fabric against the skin, coupled with the care of movement required to protect it, is part of what aids the reader’s understanding of the precious—albeit precarious—nature of the prelapsarian condition. The Liber Apologeticus joins a host of plays that incorporate a lost first garment into their dramatic design. Although no firm evidence survives to explain how each play went about performing this moment, clothing was likely included because it was a dramatically efficacious way to explain the implications of the Fall to an audience. Stripping a previously dressed Adam and Eve would make costume a vital part of the transitional moment, and would be within the remit of plays that had to grapple with issues such as staging the nakedness of the fallen first parents. Beyond drama, a host of narrative, biblical, and poetic texts prove this first clothing could be used effectively in literary texts to articulate the loss incurred at the moment of transgression. Although artistic depictions are rare, the Liber Apologeticus’s illustrations show that this medium too could put the lost first garment to use. Via the image of a stripped body, with the sensory implications involved in the forceful removal of cloth, a wealth of evidence survives to present this tactic as a vital strategy in the way that writers across various genres came to terms with what it meant for the body to be fallen.

Dressing Adam and Eve: The Skins of Mortality The clothing Adam and Eve receive before God ejects them from paradise has an ambivalent status in the biblical text. It is unclear whether God offers Adam and Eve the tunics of skin as a final act of kindness or to condemn them to mortality. The scant iconographic evidence for this dressing scene does not furnish viewers with clear answers. In an eleventh-century silver reliquary dedicated to Isidore of Seville (Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León), God is shown in the process of dressing Adam (see figure 1). His hands are carefully positioned on Adam’s arms in order to provide stability as he presses a garment down to fit the first man’s body.42 Adam’s left hand, meanwhile, grasps at God’s cloak. The care God takes to put this garment on Adam is evocative of a parental touch, and Adam’s grasping gesture that of a child in need of reassurance. The relationship established via touch and clothing is one of intimacy, and yet Eve is noticeably excluded from the interaction. Standing to the right of God and Adam, the

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first mother is already dressed. Her hands reach to cover her genitals and breasts, even though she is already wearing a garment. Eve’s gestures are suggestive of shame, and her exclusion from the touch of God also serves to omit her from the intimate act occurring to the left. 43 Although the scene is uneven in its treatment of the first man and woman, there is nevertheless a tenderness evident in the act of dressing. And, although Eve’s emotional condition is indicative of her shame, it is notable that her gestures do not suggest grief or despair. The same cannot be said for William de Brailes’s thirteenth-century illumination.44 In a reversed order to the León reliquary, a dressed Adam stands to the right and wrings his hands in a conventional gesture of despair. To the left, Eve is in the process of being dressed by a more authoritarian deity, who towers above her tiny figure. God’s hands are placed on her back and convey a sense of force as the garment is pulled on. Even though Eve’s head is mostly visible, her hands are somewhere within the garment, preventing any reading of her emotional state. The scene conveys only the physical discomfort of the postlapsarian body and the negative emotional states that accompany it. Quite distinct from the León reliquary, which modulates between the gentle care offered

Figure 1. The Robing of Adam, Reliquary of St. Isidore Photo: © Museo San Isidoro de León.

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to Adam and the overt shame of Eve, de Brailes’s illumination offers a more polarized example of what it means to be fallen. Each image offers a different reading of clothing, targeting the kinesic intelligence of the viewer, who must read the gestures and postures in order to arrive at a sense of the moral implications of the garments. Although not the only possible conclusions, the first scene offers the possibility of reading clothing as a protective covering, whereas the second insists on its punitive status. Unlike the stola prima, theologians identified the tunicas pelliceas, or tunics of skin, as artifacts that carried extremely negative associations. The wearing of animal hides suggested that man and woman were now more closely related to the beasts they once mastered, but it also pointed to their newly mortal condition. Such associations dominate the readings of the tunics of skin and complicate—but do not render impossible—considerations of the garments as divine gifts. Although differences exist between the tunics of skin and the stola prima, both garments mark an irrevocable change in the body and are used to make this change visible. The tradition of reading the tunics of skin as signs of the body’s fallen condition was in line with Genesis 3:21, but it was also the dominant Christian reading of the verse. The competing possibility—that the tunics stood for the body—posed serious doctrinal problems for early Christian theologians. This interpretation was prevalent not only in Jewish exegesis (and possibly in Christian readings, too), but also in Neoplatonic readings of the verse such as those of the hellenized Jew Philo of Alexandria (20 bce–50 ce).45 More challenging to the early Christian church, however, were the various factions of Gnostics who used this interpretation to reject the doctrine of corporeal resurrection.46 As Lucas F. Mateo Seco and Giulio Maspero clarify, the tunics were by necessity different to the fallen body. Any synonymity between body and tunic facilitates the argument that the fallen and resurrected bodies were materially different. Just like removing a garment, taking off the fallen condition was integral to the spiritual preparation of the body for redemption.47 An orthodox reading of this verse necessarily distinguishes the tunics of skin from the body itself, clarifying that the fallen and resurrected body were one and the same. This reading of the skins was a mainstay throughout medieval exegesis and appeared in the works of early theologians through to the biblical glosses of the twelfth century, making its way into vernacular biblical paraphrase, drama, and poetry. One of the distinguishing aspects of this interpretative tradition was the consistent modulation between an emphatically material register and what this garment meant on a figurative level. Two of the earliest exegetes to propose such readings were

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Origen of Alexandria (185–254) and Gregory of Nyssa (335–395), the latter a contemporary and friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. Both are careful to distinguish garment from body on a material level, while also developing the symbolic connection between the two. Origen writes: “For with such as these, it was necessary for the sinner to be dressed. It says, ‘with skin tunics,’ which are a symbol of the mortality which he received because of his skin and of his frailty which came from the corruption of the flesh.”48 Whereas meaning in Origen’s commentary relies on the contact between the tunics of skin and the body, Gregory of Nyssa relies on the removal of this garment in order to convey the implications of the Fall: “when we have put off that dead and ugly garment that was made for us from irrational skins (when I hear ‘skins’ I interpret it as the form of the irrational nature that we have put on from our association with disordered passions), we throw off every part of our irrational skin along with the removal of the garment.”49 Gregory is more deliberate in his identification of the tunics with particular faculties of the fallen body. The imaginative removal of the garment allows the theologian to conceptualize an end to the tyranny of this body, although this figurative dimension of cloth is also reliant on its more practical aspects. Specific verbs related to the wearing and removal of clothing require the reader to simulate these actions in order to grasp their conceptual weight. Both the practical and the conceptual work together to give an image of corporeal perfection. Centuries later, the compilers of biblical glosses would have recourse to the same strategies in their readings of Genesis 3:21. The Glossa Ordinaria emphasizes that the tunics are meaningful and focuses on their symbolic connection to death (quibus significatur mors).50 Peter Comester (1100–1178) takes a similar stance in the Historia Scholastica, writing : “id est de pellibus mortuorum animalium, ut signum sue mortalitatis secum ferrent” (it is from the skins of dead animals which they themselves are bearing as signs of their mortality). 51 English biblical paraphrases, which were otherwise influenced by the Historia Scholastica, are surprisingly lacking in symbolic reading of the tunics.52 In the Middle English Genesis and Exodus, angels fashion “two pilches” (377) for Adam and Eve, and the Cursor Mundi emphasizes the practical purpose of clothing: “God mad þam kyrtels þan of hide | And cled þar flexs [flesh] wit for to hide” (935–36). A symbolic reading of the skins can nevertheless be found elsewhere in English accounts of the Fall. Caxton’s Golden Legend (1483) includes this detail in the History of Adam, and the narrative follows theological commentary in its assertion that, “God made to Adam

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and Eve two leathern coats of the skins of dead beasts, to the end that they bear with them the sign of mortality.”53 Another development in this interpretative tradition was the connection of the tunics of skin to the stola prima, based on their oppositional nature. In an articulation of the loss of Edenic privilege, Augustine of Hippo (354–430) refers to both garments in De Trinitate: 54 “Inde est quod nudati stola prima, pelliceas tunicas mortalitate meruerunt” (Whence it is that they, who were stripped of their first garment, deserved by their mortality garments of skin) (12.11.116). 55 By linking the tunics of skin to the stola prima, Augustine sets a trend that numerous other theologians would follow. The Carolingian monk Remigius of Auxerre (ca. 841–908) writes: Pelles mortuis animalibus detrahuntur. Et quid huiuscemodi indumento, nisi mortales eos per peccatum factos insinuat? Et bene dicitur et induit eos, quia profecto nudati erant gloria innocentiae et immortalitatis. (1471–73) [The skins were torn off of dead animals. The reason for this sort of garment was to point out that they had been made mortal through sin. The phrase “and clothed them” is fitting, because they certainly were stripped of the glory of their innocence and immortality.]56

Remigius’s visceral attention to the material condition of the tunics is combined with an insistence on their metaphoric status. By placing two violent acts of stripping beside one another, the theologian forges a connection between the degraded animal corpse and the fallen human body. The reader is thus required to simulate each act of stripping in order to comprehend the magnitude of the first garment’s loss, which extends to the acquisition of the second one. The prolific Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) similarly writes: “Unde etiam Deus pelliceas tunicas primis hominibus, per inobedientiam a claritate, qua vestiti errant, denudates” (And with such tunics of skin He covered those first human beings who, through disobedience, had lost the brightness with which they had been dressed) (292).57 Again positioning the fallen state as a lost garment that is replaced by the biblical tunics of skin, Hildegard overlays the material condition of cloth with its figurative potential. The word claritate evokes a luminescent first dress, and its link to the divine and to moral excellence is combined in the theologian’s complex description of what Adam and Eve lost in their act of transgression.58

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The connection between the tunics of skin and cognitive processes is a notable feature of many of these theological texts, and this emphasis on the meaningfulness of garments is worth pausing over. The tunics are variously referred to as a “symbol” (indicium in the Latin translation of Origen), a “sign” (signum in the Historia), or that which signifies (significatur in the Glossa), but they are also said to function in this way because they are worn. Remigius is perhaps the most obvious when he writes, “The reason for this sort of garment was to point out that they had been made mortal through sin” (my emphasis). The verb insinuare (to make known, tell, inform, teach) elucidates the purpose of these clothes.59 It connects the practicalities of wearing clothes to the cognitive functions of the wearer. They exist, Remigius attests, so that Adam and Eve understand the consequences of their actions. Importantly, the reader also stands to benefit from these clarifications. The complex interpretative history of the tunics of skin would impact their reception in Middle English texts. Walter Hilton’s fourteenthcentury religious treatise The Scale of Perfection exemplifies this complexity. In the following passage, Hilton connects the tunics to morality in a treatment that makes it difficult to differentiate cloth and body from one another: “For alle comen we of Adam and Eve, cloothid with clothis of a beestis hide ... Oure Lord maade to Adam and to his wif clothis of a beestis hide, in tokene that for synne he was forschapen like to a beest; with whiche beestli clothis we alle aren born, and umbilapped and disfigured from oure kyndeli schaap” (2423–27). Hilton’s commentary on the origins of clothing proceeds, as one might expect, with the God-given tunics of skin presented as tokens of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Upon closer reflection, however, it becomes apparent that Hilton complicates the boundary between body and cloth to the extent that it is difficult to separate one from the other. The initial reference to Adam and Eve positions them as the ancestors of humanity, but, in linking the clothed condition of all descendants to their generation, it is unclear whether Hilton is speaking about the fallen body or the necessity that it be clothed. Select verbs maintain this confusion. Forshapen, meaning to change or deform something’s shape or appearance, has overwhelmingly negative connotations related to physical and spiritual degradation.60 Moving from the tunic’s status as a sign of sin to its capacity to physically degrade the body, this verb offers both options. This double register is maintained in the final clause, where clothing is simultaneously the material tunic of animal skin and, via the act of

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wearing this garment (umbelappen), an agent of physical and spiritual distortion.61 The result is the deformation (disfiguren) of the “natural” (kyndeli) human body. Clearly influenced by the equation of the tunics of skin with the fallen body, Hilton’s multifaceted commentary on the origins of clothing exemplifies the various points of influence available in fourteenth-century England. John Mirk’s Festial (ca. 1380) has much in common with Hilton’s treatment of the tunics of skin, although Mirk offers a rare sympathetic interpretation. In a sermon dedicated to marriage (Sermo de Nupcijs), Mirk labels the garments as indicators of God’s compassion for his disobedient creations. The connection to animals serves a similar purpose, but is framed in a positive light reminiscent of the León reliquary’s delicate dressing of Adam: “Ȝette for Adam and Eue weron nakud, God hadd compassion of ham and clothed ham wyth pylches, þat is a cloth makud of dede bestus. So hys þer a clothe holdyn oure þeis, teching hem to haue deth in mynde and þe hylling of hure graue, and so for drede levon þe ele and done þe gode” (“Marriage Sermon,” 82–86).62 Mirk’s “pilches” of skin transition into two other types of garment throughout this passage. Susan Powell notes that the second cloth refers to “the pall (L. pallium) ceremony, where a cloth or canopy was held over the couple’s heads.” The editor suggests that, “The association of the canopy with that carried at a funeral by pall-bearers may explain Mirk’s interpretation of the symbolism.” 63 By setting forth this trajectory, whereby the compassionate garments of God become the garment draped over the grave, Mirk invests clothing with the potential to aid the individual in their spiritual life and preparation for death. The association established between the first garment and the divine is likely the motivating force behind this positive assertion and provides evidence for a different way of thinking about the tunics of skin. Although it is undeniable that the tunics of skin were prevalent in late medieval exegesis, these garments do not appear to have played a major role in dramatic expressions of the Fall. Intriguingly, only two out of the five surviving English plays—the Chester Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel and the Norwich Grocer’s Play (B text)—feature a postlapsarian dressing scene, although a comparable example is found in the Cornish Creacion of the World. More intriguing still, neither of the manuscripts containing these plays predate the sixteenth century, making it difficult to extrapolate what their earlier incarnations may have done. A final example from the St. Laurence parish of Reading is included because of suggestive costume accounts from the early sixteenth century.

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The Chester Adam and Eve play is extant in five manuscripts, all of which postdate its historical performance.64 Although the records are problematic in terms of what they might prove about stage practice, the dialogue of the play and the inclusion of what we might term stage directions suggest that the tunics of skin were a central part of the Chester play’s dramatic action.65 That the pageant was put forth by the Drapers’ guild gives a further sense of the civic and dramatic importance of clothing to the play. Andrea Denny-Brown comments on this link, writing that, “[the guild’s] ability to produce the materials for the play’s costumes overlapped with the ability of their professions to stand as powerful agents of vestimentary creation analogous in many ways to God’s own originary act in Genesis 3:21. From this perspective, to dramatize the scene of the tunicas pelliceas on stage is to accentuate a divine lineage for the cultural authority possessed by Chester’s cloth-makers and clothing industry.”66 In tandem with the directions (in Latin, “Tunc Deus induet Adam et Eva tunicis pelliciis,” and, in Middle English, “Then God, puttynge garmentes of skynnes upon them”),67 the Chester God gives a well-developed account of the tunics of skin. In the process of dressing his fallen creations, God glosses the profound significance of the garments: DEUS. Nowe wee shall parte from this lee. Hilled behoveth you to to bee. Dead beaste skynes, as thinketh mee, ys best you one you beare. For deadly nowe both bine yee And death noe way may you flee. Such clothes are best for your degree and such shall yee weare. (361–68)

God’s speech links place and covering effectively, and Adam and Eve’s exclusion from the former is tied to the necessity of the latter. It is likely that God holds the garments he refers to, dressing his creations in the course of his monologue. The Latin and Middle English directions, preserved in two separate manuscripts, support this conjecture, and God’s role as an authoritarian dresser would be an appropriate clarification of the connection between the “dead beaste skynes” and the “deadly” condition of the body. The centrality of clothing evinced in this speech also gives value to the work of the Drapers’ guild, positioning their craft, as Denny-Brown suggests, alongside the creative powers of God. The Norwich Grocer’s Play (B version, 1565) also includes a dressing scene, but the play’s overtly reformist agendas must be taken into

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account when the dramatic purpose of clothing is considered.68 In this version, God dresses Adam and Eve in “letherin aprons” (94), but unlike Chester no moralistic reading of the garment is offered.69 The description “letherin aprons” is curious, and it seems to be unique to this play. The term is a combination of the fig leaves from Genesis 3:7 and the tunics of skin of Genesis 3:21, but, as Joanna Dutka explains, the term had specific theological import: “the translation of the Vulgate’s tunicas pelliceas by ‘leatheren aprons’ (B. 94) is a conflation of two texts from the Great Bible, one of which is peculiar to that translation: Adam and Eve make the fig-leaves into ‘aprons’ (the term used also in the Coverdale and Matthew translations whereas the Geneva Bible gives ‘breeches’); God gives them ‘lethren garmentes’ with which to clothe themselves. 70 Only the Great Bible, first printed in 1539 and in ecclesiastical use thereafter despite the popularity of the Geneva Bible, translates pelliceas by ‘lethren.’”71 The playwright’s familiarity with Protestant translations of Genesis accounts for this striking garment. But the term also seems to have a pertinent resonance for the wider civic context. Critics have noted a sustained focus on the language of labor in the B text that forges connections between these aprons and artisanal garb, evident in the dressing scene:72 GOD. Thy lyvyng shall thou get with swett unto thy payne, Tyll thou departe unto the earth [wherof ] I dyd the make. Beholde, theis letherin aprons unto yourselves now take. (92–94)

Unlike the Chester play, the Norwich God does not dress his fallen creations. He calls attention to a garment through the uttering of the imperative “Beholde” (94), and the player likely delivers it to Adam and Eve. The division of agency in this dressing scene situates this garment between the worlds of divine and human creation. The apron’s status as an artifact of human endeavor was likely not lost on a Norwich audience, and the active part that Adam and Eve take in the acquisition of clothing creates a special link between the first parents and their audience. Although the result is close to the Chester Drapers’ relationship to cloth making, the apron’s theological particularities could have held special meaning for the Norwich audience, while also supporting a link between divine and human work. Although no play-text exists to corroborate the possibility that a Fall play was staged in the parish of St. Laurence in Reading, early

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sixteenth-century churchwardens’ accounts have led Alexandra Johnston to conclude that this was the case. This conjecture hinges around the costume details evident in the 1506–1507 record.73 The names Adam and Eve are written in the margin beside payment records for specific materials and garments. The first entry states that “j ell quarter of crescloth” was bought to make a “peyr of hosyn” and a “dowblettes” for Adam at a cost of 9 d. For Eve, “ij ells dimidium [half ] off crescloth” would make her a “cote” for 10 d. 74 Above these entries lies the mention of a bag for a “whyȝte suit.” Comparable terms exist for the Fall plays of Toledo, Lucerne, and, more locally, the Cornish Origo Mundi, and all of these plays seem to use a white leather bodysuit to simulate the naked, prelapsarian body.75 The Reading play possibly began with a naked Adam and Eve who, subsequent to the Fall, change from the prelapsarian “whyȝte suit” into a second set of costumes. These costumes, made from a fabric similar to linen, are differentiated along gendered lines. This distinction not only marks the second costume as different from the first, but also succeeds in distancing the first man and woman from each other. That the second clothing is referred to in terms of contemporary garments—a doublet and hose for Adam and a coat (a long tunic) for Eve—could have established direct links between the fallen first parents and the clothing of the audience. Similar to the effect of the leather aprons of the Norwich play, the repercussions of the Fall would have had a deeper resonance for contemporary spectators. The Cornish Creacion of the World, previously cited for its possible reference to a first garment, also features a dressing episode. Similar to the scenes of the Expulsion such as those found in the Queen Mary Psalter (MS Royal 2 B VII; see figure 2), both dialogue and stage directions specify that the angel who expels the first parents is responsible for giving them the garments and tools they require to perform postlapsarian labor: ANGEL: Adam, go out of the land, to live in the middle of the world; You yourself to dig, Your wife to spin. Two garments of hide to be Given to Adam and Eve by the Angel. Adam, here is raiment, And Eve, clothing for you. Hurry, let them be worn. (972–78)76

Eve’s distaff, the instrument of her postlapsarian labor, is not put to use in this episode. Instead, Adam and Eve are dressed just before they are

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ejected from paradise, suggesting that the angel takes the role of preparing them for the world that waits outside. The Liber Apologeticus is the final play to contain evidence for the tunics of skin. Man is dressed in a “calamitous coat of skins” subsequent to losing his garment of immortality, and the grisaille illustrations show that Man will remain in this garment until death. Chaundler’s God is emphatic about the difference between Man’s first and second garment and aligns each cloth to a specific status of the body: Ecce pro pallio immortalitatis, calamitosam hanc sumes tunicam pelliceam, aptissimum, crede, fragilitatis tue induementum e mortalium bestiarum consutum pelliculis. Amodoque cognoscas ita mortalem te effectum, quemadmodum tete mortuorum animalium pellibus indutum agnoueris. Ac eorum re / lictis indumentis necesse habeas operiri quibus aliquando dominabaris, quatenus eciam dehinc intelligere possis, quoniam unus erit hominis et iumentorum interitus et equa utrorumque condicio. [Lo, instead of the mantle of immortality, take this calamitous coat of skins, a garment, believe me, most fitting for your frailty, one sewn together from the pelts of mortal beasts. Henceforth know that you have become mortal, just as you will perceive yourself clothed in the skins of dead animals. And you will have to be clothed in the cast-off garments of those over whom you were wont to rule, in order that you understand from this that there will be one death for man and beast and one equal condition for both.] (N 29)

This passage, which displays Chaundler’s belabored efforts to clarify the garment’s purpose, is keenly focused on the link between Man’s dressed state and his cognitive processes. Man will learn the implications of his new condition through the perception of his new clothing. The Latin verbs cognosco and nosco describe the process of acquiring knowledge, not simply the state of having knowledge, and position clothing as the agent that enables such cognitive processes. The material status of the garment is key to how the body will be perceived both within the play-world and by an audience. The culmination of this process, the imperative that Man must wear clothing eciam dehinc intelligere possis (in order that you might understand), succeeds in making this process of discovery simultaneous with the wearing of the tunicam pelliceam. The Liber Apologeticus uses the tunics of skin in ways comparable with the other plays discussed, but it is much more deliberate in spelling out how the tunics function dramatically. This clarity can appear quite

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cumbersome at times, although it helps to put into perspective the traditions that contemporary playwrights may have been working with, even if their intended audiences were very different. Surprisingly, what might be termed the most erudite Fall play makes its meaning so obvious to readers, whereas vernacular counterparts never commit themselves to such an explanatory stance. Nevertheless, within each play, garments are used to frame the perceptual experience of an audience, guide their conceptualization of the fallen body, and aid their ability to distinguish this new body from the prelapsarian one. Of the extant Fall play-texts from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it is surprising how few feature a scene dedicated to the dressing of Adam and Eve. This dearth, moreover, is matched in relation to iconography. To find the tradition that occupies most of the surviving iconography, and that also makes a marked contribution to literary and dramatic texts, we must turn to the third paradigm: the continual nakedness of Adam and Eve outside Eden. In these narratives and images, the focus is regularly on the ingenuity of the first parents, who must find a solution to the problem of nakedness. Although solutions are not forthcoming in all instances, the positioning of clothing as the first necessity of fallen life is a defining characteristic of this tradition. Clothing’s status as an artifact, with Eve as its maker, is a recurrent feature of these texts and images.

Perpetual Nakedness and Spinning Eve A remarkably well-preserved sequence of wall paintings depicting scenes from Genesis survives in St. Agatha’s church in Easby, North Yorkshire.77 In those dedicated to Adam and Eve, save where Adam delves and Eve spins, the first parents are both completely naked, without as much as a fig leaf to cover their postlapsarian anguish. Clothing makes its first discernible appearance in the labor scene, where Eve is pictured in the process of spinning a garment that only partially covers her semi-naked body. She seems to have already produced Adam’s clothing from her distaff, and he stands fully dressed to her left, spade poised to dig. The sequence implies that the only solution to postlapsarian nakedness lies in Eve’s hands. What may at first seem like an unlikely approach to the Fall quickly emerges as one dimension of the main artistic strategy of late medieval and early modern periods. In the vast majority of church wall paintings, picture Bibles, Books of Hours, psalters, and altarpieces, throughout the eleventh to fifteenth centuries and beyond, a naked Adam and Eve leave Eden in

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disgrace. And on certain occasions, Eve must rectify their nakedness with her instrument of the Fall, the distaff. The prevalence of Adam and Eve’s postlapsarian nakedness in iconography suggests that it is the dominant artistic convention, which is in curious disagreement with the details of Genesis 3:21. But perhaps Adam and Eve are dressed in these images, just not in the way that a modern viewer might expect. If tunics of skin are identified with the fallen body, then Adam and Eve can be understood to leave Eden with their fallen garments. A fourteenth-century moralized Bible (BnF 167) supports this hypothesis. Its rubricated description of the Expulsion scene explicitly mentions the garments of skin in both Latin and Middle French (tunicas pelliceas; cotes de peux), naming God as the dresser of Adam and Eve. 78 Yet, in the pictured scene, Adam and Eve are ejected from Eden with only fig leaves and a well-positioned hand covering their genitals. The only garment possible is the body itself, and the artist and the scribe likely followed the exegetical convention of linking the one to the other. In what follows, I will contextualize this interconnected set of traditions before exploring pertinent literary and dramatic examples that demonstrate the range and breadth of how the Fall was conceptualized in late medieval England. The concept of perpetual nakedness takes us back to the first part of this chapter, to the theological identification between the tunicas pelliceas and the fallen body.79 Outside artistic conventions, the Middle English language also afforded ways of interlinking body and cloth. The nouns “pilche” and “hide,” often used to translate the Latin pelliceas, can also refer to human skin.80 This linguistic overlap between garment and body was exploited by writers such as Walter Hilton, as discussed earlier. The labors of Adam and Eve also played into this association. Eve’s most noteworthy postlapsarian activity was spinning at her distaff, and in texts and images this activity is regularly combined with the problem of perpetual nakedness. Eve is often charged with the task of covering the fallen body and is pictured in the process of doing so at Easby. This tradition places clothing in the hands of female ingenuity both for its inception and its continual production.81 The only independent Middle English lives of Adam and Eve to survive, the Auchinleck Life of Adam (ca. 1330–1340) and the Canticum de Creacione (1375), feature the perpetual nakedness of the first parents. Brian Murdoch writes that it is difficult to ascertain where each text fits into the sprawling European tradition of the Vita Adae et Evae, especially as the poems are quite distinct in content.82 Despite many narrative divergences,

Clothing and the Fallen Body   43

they do share this detail of nakedness. The Auchinleck Life of Adam also bears certain similarities to the Cursor Mundi, where the experience of shame is intimately linked to the perception of the other’s nakedness: þo þai hadde of þe appel bite, Aiþer of oþer aschamed was, And hiled her kinde wiþ more and gras. (108–10)83

Unusually, the Auchinleck Adam’s first covering is made of roots and grass, the materials with which Adam and Eve later fashion their first dwelling, the “loghe,” a detail also found in the Latin Vita: Þo Adam in to erþe cam, bowes, leues, and gras he nam: A loghe he þouȝt to biginne, He and his wiif to crepen inne. And þo þe loghe was ymaked, þai lay þe[r]in al star naked Sex days and sex niȝt, For hunger wel iuel ydiȝt. (139–46) 84

Despite being protected by this shelter, Adam and Eve’s nakedness is made explicit, and these details serve to exacerbate their corporeal vulnerability. Although protected from some external elements, they remain naked and hungry, with the adjectival compound “star naked” making their bareness clear.85 Adam and Eve neither receive nor make garments, but their continual nakedness is highlighted later in the text. When Adam does forty days’ penance in the River Tigris, as he and Eve do in many other apocryphal texts, he is described as standing “al naked” (317). Although presumably they are intended to be fully clothed at some point in their mortal existence, the text does not mention how the first parents might gain clothing, and instead focuses on moments of complete bareness. The Canticum de Creacione is much scanter in detail. There is no mention of any clothing before the Fall, nor any given by God. After the transgression, the text simply reads: “Anon boþe naked þeȝ were” (36). The focus on temporality in this verse—that they are immediately (anon) naked after eating the fruit—could imply a prelapsarian garment, although no firm evidence suggests this is the case. Perhaps this dearth of detail is indicative of a well-known motif, to which a brief allusion is sufficient. It is likely that Adam and Eve are not intended to remain naked for the entirety of their existence, but little evidence exists to dismiss this possibility. The only relevant detail is the unique poetic addition of Eve’s veiling, worn because she is too ashamed to see Adam’s face:

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And for hy ne dorste his face yse, A whyt veyl þo tok she, And heng aforn hire eye. (379–81)

Although neither text explicitly aligns itself with any of the interpretative traditions hitherto discussed, it is important to realize that continual— even possibly perpetual—nakedness is a viable motif in Middle English Fall narratives. The withholding of clothes is part of a specific understanding of the fallen body in which its degraded, mortal state is exemplified through the lack of a covering. Two English plays write perpetual nakedness into their Fall narrative, and a third very likely did so. Intermingled in the majority of these dramatic texts is Eve’s role as cloth maker. The N-Town Fall of Man repeatedly mentions the bareness of Adam and Eve, which follows Adam’s claim that a first covering has been lost. Unusually, nakedness is one of God’s maledictions, in which he curses the first parents to “Goo nakyd, vngry, and barefoot” (247). The play also makes Eve’s labor the solution to their divinely ordained nakedness. In this instance, Adam assigns the roles as they walk toward their new fate: ADAM. But lete vs walke forth into þe londe, With ryth gret labour oure fode to fynde, With delvyng and dyggyng with myn hond, Oure blysse to bale and care to-pynde. And, wyff, to spynne now must þu fonde, Oure nakyd bodyes in cloth to wynde Tyll sum comforth of Godys sonde With grace releve oure careful mynde. (322–29)

Adam’s phrasing of this instruction is significant, as it presumes a lack of knowledge and experience on Eve’s part. Both labors are new, and must be learned and finessed. With the verb fonden (to try or test by experience), Adam clarifies that cloth making is a process Eve must learn by doing.86 This activity is also situated as a condition of the fallen world, which will be remedied by the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. In the meantime, Eve is responsible for making the first artifact. Notably, Adam digs “with myn hond” and is not given a spade or any other instrument to assist his endeavors. On the level of costume, there is no further change mentioned in the text. Unless the clothes that Adam mentions are fashioned on the spot—covering their bodies for the close of the play—Adam and Eve must look forward to a future covering, remaining naked within the scope of the dramatic action.

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The York Expulsion is similar to the N-Town Fall in that there is an explicit mention of nakedness. The differences are stark, however, as there is no mention of clothing in this play or the previous Fall pageant. No clothing is received from God, no lost garment is mentioned, and Eve does not fashion anything from the distaff. In fact, the text is curiously silent about the whole matter. The closest the text comes is Adam’s expression of perpetual nakedness: ADAM. We bothe þat were in blis so brighte, We mon go nakid euery ilke a nyghte And dayes bydene. (130–32)87

The opposition established between nakedness and “bright bliss” may have taken its logic from the loss of a spiritual garment, but there is no evidence to say that the playwright was intentionally drawing on this motif. What is clear is that the writer was following the tradition of expelling a naked Adam and Eve from paradise. Unlike the N-Town play, no solution is offered to this problem, and there is no mention of redemption. It is a rather bleak version of the narrative, which ends with a vague plea from Adam that God might protect them from woe (167–68). Adam and Eve do not appear in the Cain and Abel pageant, meaning that the last appearance of the first parents within the Genesis plays is one of desolate nakedness. For the many audiences of the York plays in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the naked body would have been synonymous with the transgressions of their ill-fated ancestors. However the Coopers and Armorers chose to enact nakedness on the level of costume, the unclothed body carried with it all the negative associations of loss that the Fall and Expulsion plays strove to craft. The Beverley pageant, curiously entitled gravinge and spynnynge, gives evidence for a rare English play dedicated to the postlapsarian labors of Adam and Eve. 88 It is listed as the fifth play in the Great Guild Book, but the dearth of external performance records makes it difficult to build a clear picture of what this pageant involved. The previous episode, the Ropers’ þe brekinge of þe commandements of god, likely included the temptation and Fall. Gravinge and spynnynge could have combined the Expulsion with the labors of Adam and Eve, a typical pairing found in iconography. Interestingly, the seventh pageant, Adam and Seth, points to the influence of apocryphal post-Eden narratives in this cycle. This episode generally involves Seth, the son of Adam, searching for holy oil in order to ease his father’s deathbed pains. It is present in a host of English texts, including the Auckineck

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Adam, the Canticum de Creacione, the Golden Legend, Cursor Mundi, and the Northern Passion. The link to an apocryphal tradition—which is also present in the N-Town Fall play—gives grounds for speculating on the contents of gravinge and spynnynge. This unique focus on the labors of delving and spinning could have been instrumental to the action of this play and may have been used to valorize the importance of each activity in post-Edenic life. Like the Norwich play, there may have been direct links made between the work performed by Adam and Eve and that of local artisans and craftspeople in Beverley. Although these possibilities remain speculative, the unique focus on the labors of Adam and Eve must have given clothing a significant role within the dramatic action. Similar to Beverley, the Middle Cornish Ordinalia (MS Bodley 971) has links to apocryphal traditions and also includes the Seth episode. The play is recorded in a sixteenth-century manuscript, but critics have suggested that it was originally composed in the fourteenth century.89 In the first part of this sprawling play-text, the Origo Mundi, Adam gives an extensive speech on labor after the Expulsion, implicating Eve as the maker of clothing: Alas, that I should see the time when I made the Lord angry and when, acting contrary to his command, I lost my inheritance! Without clothes or shelter, I don’t know where to go ... With not a stitch to our backs, no roof over our heads, we shall all but perish from cold, astray amid terrors and parted from the joy and pleasantness that were ours. In our wretchedness, we have no idea where to turn, whether to field or forest. In dire need of food, our bellies empty, we may starve. Therefore, Eve, take the distaff, spin clothes for us, while with every ounce of my strength I start to work the soil.90

The Cornish Adam distributes the necessary tasks he and Eve must perform, foregrounding the most urgent ones in this speech. Spinning is required to solve the problem of bodily exposure, which may result in death. Clothes are linked to issues of shelter and protection, and the exposure of the body is also related to their emotional experience of the world. Like the plays previously discussed, the Ordinalia likely performs nakedness in order to convey its vision of the Fall. Until Eve dresses herself and her husband, as well as her children to come, the bareness of the body remains as an expression of their corporeal vulnerability. As in the case of the two previous motifs, perpetual nakedness has a specific exegetical history that permeates a wealth of Middle English texts, iconography, and drama. Beyond these interpretative models,

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the problems posed by nakedness would have resonated deeply with the readers and viewers on all of the levels—physical, emotional, and social—that the various works targeted. Likewise, Eve’s sometime role as the maker of garments connects female endeavor to cloth making in a way that would have engaged an audience. The recurrence of this narrative strategy is undoubtedly linked to clothing’s ability to communicate conceptual and physical information relating to corporeal status. But Eve’s role as cloth maker offers an occasional respite to the problem of nakedness in Fall narratives, and a notably human one at that.

Conclusion This chapter has offered a new critical perspective on the multiple uses of clothing in medieval narratives of the Fall. The tripartite chapter division has pointed to the ways in which uses of clothing diverge across the media in which they are found, but it also highlights the often narrow dividing line that exists between the conventions of stripping, dressing, and perpetual nakedness. Considering clothing’s status as an affordance has opened up its narrative and conceptual role in this tradition, and also allows a deeper reflection on the relationship between body and cloth. By foregrounding more fundamental connections between the embodied condition and cloth, and how writers exploit these connections by means of specific corporeal information (sensorimotor, introspective, kinesic), the dividing line between clothing and body is shown to be a porous one. Writers make it difficult to extricate bodies from clothes that exemplify the state of the soul or the mortality of the flesh. And naked bodies become conspicuous by virtue of the absence of clothing. The Fall is a story about origins. In Eric Jager’s words, “it was also an imaginative construct or projection of medieval culture itself, which wrote its own historical reality into the mutable narrative details and symbolic values of this myth.”91 The Fall works to explain the human condition to the successive generations of Genesis readers. And clothing is an integral part of this story because it is part of the body as it changes from elect to fallen. NOTES 1 Wyclif, Tractatus de Mandatis Divinis eccedit Tractatus de Statu Innocencie, pp. 501–2. Wyclif also defends the position that the naked body was without shame, arguing that in heaven the body will be naked, and that sin is the cause of shame. Minnis discusses Wyclif ’s text in relation to the Genesis narrative more widely in From Eden to Eternity.

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All English quotations of the Bible are taken from the Douay–Rheims translation, online edition. Quotations from the Latin Vulgate are taken from the online edition: “Et aperti sunt oculi amborum; cumque cognovissent se esse nudos, consuerunt folia ficus, et fecerunt sibi perizomata.” 3 The Perseus online Latin Word Study Tool’s word frequency statistics cite the Latin Vulgate as the single entry for this word. 4 Liddell and Scott, Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon. 5 Rahlfs, Septuaginta, p. 54. 6 The Wycliffite Genesis verse has a similarly striking word in place of perizomata. Adam and Eve are said to sew fig leaves into “brechis.” It seems an odd word choice, as “breeches” were a recognizably male item of clothing. By the fourteenth century, however, they were at least fitted and short items of underwear, thus making them an equivalent to the apron or girdle elsewhere drawn on in translation. 7 Jager dicusses patristic interpretations of fig leaves and the tunics of skin in his seminal publication on language and the Fall, The Tempter’s Voice. See pp. 69–70; 74–75; 93; 127; 213–15. 8 I am indebted to John McGavin and Greg Walker for the notion of “cueing” an audience, which more specifically can be used in relation to dramatic texts, but also has the flexibility to encompass nondramatic texts. See Imagining Spectatorship, pp. 167–84. 9 Shinan, “The Late Midrashic, Paytanic, and Targumic Literature,” pp. 678–81. 10 Anderson, “The Punishment of Adam and Eve,” p. 65. 11 For a thorough consideration of this text in relation to influence, genre, and questions of dating, see Eldridge, Dying Adam. 12 Anderson, Apocalypse of Moses. For an earlier translation, see Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. For the Greek text, see Tromp, The Life of Adam and Eve. Anderson’s site compares different European versions of this text and notes that that the Armenian version has the closest parallel to the Greek. The Georgian and Slavonic texts are quite similar, but do not explicitly mention the loss of a garment. 13 Ricks, “The Garment of Adam,” p. 204. 14 Friedlander, Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer, p. 98. See also the Targum PseudoJonathan for another similar example, Maher, p. 29. 15 Tzamalikos, The Real Cassian Revisited, p. 294. 16 Anderson, “The Punishment of Adam and Eve,” pp. 70–71. For the Greek text, see Migne, PG 36, p. 324. 17 Petroff writes on Eriugena’s influences, see “Eriugena on the Spiritual Body,” pp. 597–610. 18 Ambrose, Hexameron, Library of Latin Texts A. Translation in Savage, p. 343. 19 Bede, In Evangelium S. Lucae, in Migne, PL 92, p. 525. My translation. 2

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The Corpus Corporum has 116 entries for the word combination stola prima from approximately fifty-eight different authors. The majority of these entries connect this cloth to a first garment, or garment of innocence. 21 Greene and Kelly, The Irish Adam and Eve Story. 22 Murdoch, “Garments of Paradise,” p. 375. 23 Morris, Cursor Mundi, 799–804. All quotations from the Cursor Mundi are from this edition. 24 MED. 25 On the issue of provenance, see Clark, “The Early ‘Anglo-Norman’ and French Tradition,” pp. 48. 26 See Clark for the most recent critical positions on the play’s manuscript(s), dialect, possible performance space, and audience, pp. 42–59. 27 Chaguinian, Jeu d’Adam. 28 Dominguez, Le Jeu d’Adam, pp. 148–49, and Clark, pp. 44–46. 29 Clark, “The Early ‘Anglo-Norman’ and French Tradition,” p. 46. 30 Dominguez, Le Jeu d’Adam, pp. 21–30. 31 Muir, Liturgy and Drama, p. 36. 32 Quotations of the Jeu d’Adam are from the Bevington edition, Medieval Drama. 33 Murdoch, Cornish Literature, p. 75. 34 The N-Town Eve’s request for Adam to kill her subsequent to the Fall is one clear indication of the play’s link to the Vita Adae and Evae tradition. 35 Quotations from the Creacion of the World are from the Neuss edition. 36 On the dating of this manuscript, see Sugano, The N-Town Plays, pp. 7–8. 37 Quotations for all of the N-Town plays are from the Spector edition, The N-Town Play. 38 MED. 39 Happé, “Genre and Fifteenth-Century Drama,” p. 73. 40 All quotations from the Liber Apologeticus taken from the edition of Enright-Clark Shoukri. 41 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 42 This last point is Meyer Schapiro’s observation, Romanesque Architectural Sculpture, p. 182. 43 I am grateful to Mireia Castaño for this observation. 44 Leaf, William de Brailes, ca. 1250. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. 45 For a discussion of Philo of Alexandria’s use of clothing in his philosophic understanding of scripture see Kim, The Significance of Clothing Imagery, pp. 45–52. 46 For more on the doctrine of corporeal resurrection, see Walker-Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body. 47 Mateo Seco and Maspero, The Brill Dictionary of Gregory of Nyssa, p. 769. 48 Origen, Homilies, 6.2.7, p. 120. For the original text, which survives only in Latin, see PG 12, p. 469. 20

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Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul, in The Life and Writings of Gregory of Nyssa, Ch. 10, pp. 464–65. For the Greek text, see PG 46, p. 148. 50 Bibliorum sacrorum cum glossa ordinaria, pp. 105–6. 51 Comester, Scholastica Historia, p. 45. My translation. 52 Morey, Prik of Conscience, p. 133. 53 Quotations from Caxton, The Golden Legend, are from the online Fordham Sourcebook. 54 For more on Augustine’s possible influences, see Pârvan, “Genesis 1–3,” pp. 57–60. 55 Augustine, PL 42, pp. 1006–7. Translation from McKenna, p. 358. For a wider context on Augustine’s influences, see O’ Daly, Augustine’s Philosophy of the Mind. 56 Remigius, Expositio super Genesim. Translation from Schroeder, The Book of Genesis, p. 84. 57 Hildegard, Opera Omnia, PL 197, p. 224. Translation in edition edited by Ehrman, p. 90. I expand the translation of pelliceas tunicas to “tunics of skin.” 58 DMLBS. 59 DMLBS. 60 MED. 61 MED. 62 Quotations from John Mirk’s Festial are taken from the edition edited by Powell. 63 Powell, John Mirk’s Festial, p. 446. 64 Johnston discusses all extant Chester manuscripts in some detail in “The Text of the Chester Plays,” pp. 19–36. The most recent publication on the Chester plays discusses its modern editing, contemporary audience, and theological contexts, Mills, To Chester and Beyond. 65 Butterworth, Staging Conventions, pp. 1–4. 66 Denny-Brown, “Belief,” p. 81. 67 All quotations of the Chester plays are from the edition edited by Lumiansky and Mills. The Latin is located in the H manuscript, with Hm preserving it in Middle English. Each direction’s relationship to performance is difficult to clarify because the manuscripts do not preserve performance texts. However, the existence of the direction in two manuscripts, and its cohesion with the spoken dialogue, is heavily suggestive of possible performance conditions. 68 The A version of the play (ca. 1533) is incomplete and lacks a comparable post-Fall moment, and so it is also difficult to say what the relationship between the A and B texts is on this matter. For more on the relationship between the A and B version, see Mullini, “The Norwich Grocers’ Play(s),” pp. 125–48. 69 All quotations from the Norwich plays are taken from the edition edited by Davis, Non-Cycle Plays and Fragments. 70 The word “apron” is first used in translations of perizomata or chagowr (the Hebrew original) in Tyndale’s English translation, ca. 1530. 49

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Dutka, “The Lost Dramatic Cycle,” pp. 6–7. I am grateful to Jeff Stoyanoff for this suggestion, which was made in a conference paper given at the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, 2017. See forthcoming article, “Dramatic Networks: Marginalized Economics and Labor in the Norwich Grocers’ Play.” 73 Johnston, “Reading St. Laurence 1506–1514.” 74 MED. 75 Muir, The Biblical Drama of Medieval Europe, n. 25, p. 205. 76 Neuss, Creacion of the World. 77 Marshall, Medieval Wall Painting. 78 Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 167, fol. 3v, top right panel. 79 I am grateful to Gary Anderson for sharing his opinion on this matter in an email exchange on November 9, 2013. Anderson elsewhere shows one of the rare pieces of iconography that depicts the “tunics of light/glory” from the Russian Orthodox Stroganov Icons. See Anderson, The Genesis of Perfection, p. 119. 80 MED. Denny-Brown also acknowledges the link between the Genesis tunics and the human body, “Belief,” p. 74. 81 For a discussion of women’s role in the production of cloth in medieval Europe, see Coatsworth and Owen-Crocker, pp. 23–25. 82 Murdoch and Tasioulas, The Apocryphal Lives of Adam and Eve, pp. 13–19. 83 Murdoch and Tasioulas, The Apocryphal Lives of Adam and Eve. All quotations from the Auchinleck Adam and Canticum de Creacione are from this edition. 84 Murdoch and Tasioulas, The Apocryphal Lives of Adam and Eve. 85 MED. Murdoch writes that there is no other textual parallel with this text, but that “a very similar illustration to a later German text by Hans Folz has them naked in their hut,” p. 102. 86 MED. 87 Beadle, The York Plays. All quotations from The York Plays are from this edition. 88 For an excellent discussion of this episode and its hypothetical plot, see Wyatt, “Play Titles without Play Texts,” pp. 68–91. 89 Murdoch, Cornish Literature, p. 41. 90 Harris, The Cornish Ordinalia, pp. 11–12. 91 Jager, The Tempter’s Voice, p. 2. 71 72

Chapter 2

Graveclothes and Resurrection From Gospel to Stage


ESURRECTION IS A PROCESS that transforms a body from one ontological state into another. The word, from the Latin resurgo (to rise again), presupposes a repetitious physical action, but one that brings with it new spiritual repercussions on one occasion. The term implies a reintegration of body and soul after the separation enacted by death and, like other aspects of Christology, is an essential part of belief but difficult to explain.1 Resurrection is a doctrine that theologians have insisted on without necessarily accounting for its practical dimension. This chapter takes this dynamic as a point of interest, and puts into focus how the thinkers who engage with this doctrine work around the fact that the Resurrection went unrecorded in the canonical accounts of Christ’s life. It is the first of two chapters that take resurrection as a focus, and I begin with Christ’s Resurrection, the event that made general resurrection possible. This chapter does not deal with the wider medieval tradition, but rather with one facet that I believe exemplifies the ways in which individuals and groups grappled with the doctrine. This is where clothing comes in. Clothing holds a central role in medieval resurrection narratives because of its intimate connection to Christ’s body. His body is wrapped in specially designed cloths in preparation for burial, but certain Gospel accounts specify that the cloths become separated from Christ’s body during the process of resurrection. Graveclothes are artifacts, the product of human endeavor, and are designed for bodies in a post-death state. Their function is obvious, and yet the majority of the resurrection narratives that include graveclothes do not use them for this purpose. If an affordance can be defined as “the potential uses an object ... offers to a living creature,” then graveclothes can be said to afford burial.2 But, in narratives that take the reverse process as their focus, these artifacts take on a role that is often related to cognitive processes, and afford something else. This chapter will consider three strands of the medieval imaginative engagement with the Resurrection and situate the role of clothing in each instance. For the first and second parts, it is important to bear

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in mind that the Resurrection proper was not recorded in the canonical Gospels and was something of a narrative gap that needed to be worked around. The first part of the discussion begins with the Gospel of John and examines how the Evangelist makes graveclothes part of the reader’s comprehension of the event. I argue that John deploys the narrative techniques of underspecification and inference in verses 20:1–9, which force the reader to counterbalance the scant information the Evangelist offers with absolute prophetic statements. Graveclothes function as cognitive affordances in these verses. They are strategically positioned to help the reader to understand what has happened to Christ, and to believe it is true. This Gospel had a decisive influence on the liturgical performances that spread throughout Europe from around the ninth century onwards, and form the second focal point of this chapter. Even at their earliest recorded instantiation, which was approximately seven centuries later than the Gospel, these performances demonstrate a new use of cloth, shaped by the devotional culture of the day. The Visitatio Sepulchri inherits the empty tomb and its scant remanants from John, and its multiple versions use cloth to draw attention to the absence of Christ’s body in order to insist on the truth of his Resurrection. The way that an audience is cued to use cloth to access the resurrected body changes with time and medium. The artifacts used in these performances cannot be equated with the the Johannine garments, and care must be taken to distinguish the respective artifacts and their purposes. Another shift is evident in the third corpus of texts included. The late medieval vernacular plays of the Resurrection move beyond the model of approaching the event through an absent body and include Christ’s exit from the tomb as instrumental parts of their dramatic shape. In the aftermath of texts such as Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda Aurea (1260), which dared to confront the how, when, and why of what happened in the tomb, new strategies emerged to fill in those missing details.3 Vernacular plays would not only stage the moment when Christ exited his tomb— akin to comparable developments in iconography—but would in certain instances stage the moment of revivification. New witnesses to the event appeared, giving credence to how such information might be accessed. In this changed sacramental environment, where the body of Christ was Eucharistic and thus something that could be encountered in the phenomenal world, it is surprising that graveclothes do not disappear from such texts. Their authorative role in narratives of the Resurrection ensures their continual presence, but the way they function diverges sharply from the Johannine and liturgical practice. Again attuned to the needs of late


medieval devotion, the way clothing operates undergoes a change, but remains important to the medieval vision of the Resurrection. The purpose of graveclothes is rarely the conventional preparation of a corpse for burial, because the Resurrection explodes the category of death. In each of this chapter’s sections, cloth retains an important relationship to the body, and the superfluousness of Christ’s graveclothes participates in their recasting into new roles. What unites the versions of cloth discussed is the resilience of this detail, particularly in performative modes and iconography. Although the cloth’s inclusion in a play can at times be understood as deference to tradition, its manifestation gives insight into the way the Resurrection was understood and celebrated. Even at its most tangential, clothing affords critical insights into medieval devotional practices.

Reading John 20:1–9 Unlike other reading experiences, the intended outcome of reading a Gospel is clearer than most. An ideal reader is required to believe what is written and to hold it as the highest form of truth. The cognitive demands such a text makes are supported by specific narrative strategies, which in the case of John 20:1–9 forces the reader to be continually active in understanding the verses and their implications. In these verses, three figures approach Christ’s tomb on the third day after his death and burial. The text narrates three individualized experiences, the outcome of which is the announcement of Christ’s Resurrection. John’s narrative technique depends to a large degree on underspecification and inference, which requires a prospective reader to participate in the making of meaning. In order to account for the importance of the graveclothes, paying attention to where underspecification is deployed and inference necessary in this pericope will clarify where readers are called on to furnish meaning and make the connections that are essential to belief. I quote the verses in full: And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. | She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. | Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. | And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter,

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and came first to the sepulchre. | And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in. | Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, | And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. | Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. | For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

From even a brief reading of these lines, it should be clear to a reader that the interpretative possibilities of the tomb encounter are variable, yet its meaning is absolute. A gradual narrowing of perspective occurs, leading the reader from outside to inside the tomb, from two garments to one, and from three figures to the Beloved Disciple. This narrowing culminates in the statement, “he saw, and believed.” The tension between potential and absolute meaning is nowhere more apparent than in this verse. The reader is told neither what the disciple sees nor what he believes, which takes the device of underspecification to an extreme. Terence Cave writes of underspecification that it “invites the spectator’s cognitive faculties to supply what it takes to make the storyworld come alive,” and John 20:8 is an amplified example of what is required of readers in most reading experiences.4 The reader must infer what the Beloved Disciple sees and believes. In the latter case, she is aided by verse nine, which furnishes her with an answer to the questions that have been raised over the first eight verses. But what is also revealed in this verse is what the disciple does not possess, which is access to the knowledge with which the reader has just been provided. Belief in resurrection—which at once seems impossible (unclear clues and ignorance of scripture)—is pointed to with circumscription: “he saw, and believed.” It is up to the reader to figure out how these contradictions hang together, and how the gaps this narrative creates might be resolved. Before returning to these issues, it is important to pay attention to the information the text does supply in order to clarify where the reader needs to be most active. Perceptual acts proliferate throughout this passage and demand attention, especially as all three characters have highly idiosyncratic experiences. What Mary Magdalene sees and understands is not the same as the two disciples, but even among two figures who seem to have almost identical perceptual experiences the text forces a distinction. Peter sees, but there is no attribution of belief. Although seeing the same things in the same place (though not at the same time, nor from the same perspective), the Beloved Disciple believes.


If one pays attention to the New Testament Greek, the verbs in question open up the possibility of distinguishing these perceptual experiences. Whereas the Latin Vulgate and its Douay–Rheims English translation both rely on one verb in all instances—vidēre in Latin, “to see” in English—a significant difference is evident in the Koine Greek. Blepō and theōreō are used in relation to Mary’s sight of the stone (blepei), the Beloved Disciple’s initial sighting of the linen clothes (blepei), and Peter’s sighting of both garments (theōrei). But a third verb—eidō, a past tense form of the verb horaō—is used in the phrase “he saw, and he believed” and in verse nine, where it refers to the knowledge the disciples do not possess.5 Stephen Renn writes that blepō has the general meanings of “to see” and “to look”6 in the New Testament, and theōreō means to “see, look, or behold.”7 The verb eidō, which John and the other canonical Evangelists draw on to signal spiritual sight or knowledge, is in this instance employed to allude to the Beloved Disciple’s higher state of understanding, before denying him access to this.8 Even so, John underscores the disciple’s special status by pairing his perceptive act with belief. The verb in question, episteusen (from the infinitive pisteusō), has “the very significant nuance of ‘have faith, put one’s trust in’ the person of Christ” in the New Testament.9 The pairing of these verbs, which signals the correlation of two different mental states than are attributed to the other figures, should alert the reader to a different type of perceptual experience. What has triggered this response, in spite of its limitations, also demands the reader’s attention. The two pieces of cloth, which wrap the body and head of the corpse, respectively, remain in the tomb. The words used in each case also merit, or indeed force the reader to make, an interpretative effort. The noun for the larger cloth, othonia, is found on only two other occasions in the New Testament, including John’s account of Christ’s burial.10 In general, the Synoptic Gospels use sindon, although Luke also uses othonia to refer to the clothes that remain in the tomb. The critical reception of this word points to a wider difficulty in pinning down its relationship to Christ’s body. Its rareness and diminutive form have led biblical scholars to question how it functions as a burial cloth, with speculations including that it is composed of numerous small cloths to claims that it is a large, coffin-like sheet.11 The lack of consensus related to this rare word from experts in biblical language points to an attempt at obfuscation on the part of the Evangelist, who could have used a more conventional term. The word’s function in this instance is underspecified and requires readers to figure out what the cloth is and how it works. Although answers to such questions are not forthcoming, the effect of such an effort is possible to

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deduce. In necessitating an interpretative effort regarding the functionality of these cloths, a reader is required to direct her attention toward the body in question and its particular state. Perhaps unreflectively, a reader infers information about cloth in relation to the dead body of Christ, with the word othonia drawing her attention toward its status as a corpse. Why this is significant rests on the wider context of the passage, and that other garment in the tomb. The second piece of cloth requires a similar interpretative effort, although the results are profoundly different. The noun soudarion occurs only four times in the New Testament, and the two instances in which it refers to a face-covering for the dead are found in John’s resurrection narratives of Lazarus and Christ. 12 The soudarion is a low-value item, something that is used to wipe a sweaty brow or a runny nose. But in this pericope John invests it with extraordinary significance. He does this by describing the soudarion’s positioning within the tomb and then stating that once the Beloved Disciple enters within seeing distance he “believed.” The unlikely importance of the soudarion is established by its description. One of the Evangelist’s strategies for investing this cloth with significance includes the distinction he forces between it and the othonia. Beginning with each cloth’s relationship to Christ’s body, it becomes evident that the soudarion’s is explicitly cited in verse 20:7, whereas the othonia’s is not. This distinction is sustained by the descriptive location of each cloth. Notably, the only piece of information given about the othonia is that it is “lying” (keimena) in the tomb. With the soudarion, care is taken to refuse the same possibility, enforce a physical separation between the cloths, and finish with an unusual verbal detail. Entetyligmenon, from the infinitive entylisso, appears only three times throughout the New Testament. 13 Its verbal form—a perfect passive participle—is unique to John, and its meanings range from “entwined,” “wound up in,” to “wrapped in together.”14 The differing status of the two cloths hinges on this detail, and it becomes apparent that, whereas one has had deliberate acts performed on it, the other has not. The soudarion’s wrapped state forces basic questions: how was the cloth folded, by whom, and for what purpose? Although these questions go unanswered, they force the reader to infer, via her kinesthetic knowledge of cloth folding (or the nearest equivalent motor action), what kind of manual dexterity is required. The demand to infer such information leads the reader toward a very different type of body, and, unlike the case of the othonia, the questions relate not to a corpse but to the motoric actions of a living body. Although the purpose of cloth folding might remain unclear, the important information to glean is that a resurrected body is being implicated. Again through underspecification, in this case


related to the subject of a particular action, the reader is required to infer that Christ’s resurrected body is being written into this passage. Although John never states that the Beloved Disciple sees the soudarion or that he believes in the Resurrection as a consequence, this is the conclusion to which many a reader of 20:1–9 has been led. 15 The soudarion is repeatedly used in a transliterated form in exegetical, literary, and dramatic accounts of the Resurrection, even where John’s Gospel is harmonized with the other canonical versions. Its importance, both underspecified by the Evangelist and inferred by the reader, has become an entrenched part of the exegetical history of the Resurrection, resulting in the soudarion’s consistent integration into celebrations of the resurrected body. Although not all readers would engage with the text in its Greek form, its Latin Vulgate transliteration—sudarium—(notably not done for the othonia, which appears as linteamen, a linen cloth) would account for its continuation in the Latin West. The striking word choices of the cloths would not carry the same impact in Latin as they had in Greek, but the other narrative strategies would remain intact, forcing the reader into the same active stance the original text required. In choosing two pieces of cloth and transforming their basic purpose, John plays with the concept of functionality itself. In his Gospel text, graveclothes are not artifacts that are defined by their relationship to corpses and burials, but agents of spiritual truth. These artifacts are affordances of a different kind, and yet their status as clothes underwrites the mechanisms through which they can function as cognitive tools in this text. It is only because they once acted as graveclothes—items in direct contact with the deceased body—that they can subsequently function in this new way. Resurrection is an event about the body, about its transformation into a new state. Graveclothes, as artifacts designed for precise purposes and a specific corporeal state, are ideally positioned to aid the Evangelist in inverting the status quo. The reader is led to grasp the extent of corporeal change by virtue of two pieces of cloth that no longer do what they were designed to. Via this strategy, cloth affords knowledge of corporeal change first and foremost.

Cloth and the Empty Tomb: Image and Performance in the Tenth Century Although the role allotted to clothing in John began a long-standing convention of utilizing this artifact as a mediator of the Resurrection, how this was achieved was unsurprisingly subject to variation across time and place. This variation was contingent not only on the mediums that dealt with the

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Resurrection but also the wider exegetical engagement with the event. An integral feature of John’s narrative strategy had been to elide all discussions of what happened in the tomb before the arrival of Mary Magdalene. That the event had no witnesses proposed a complication for exegetes, leading to a dearth of commentary in the first few centuries of Christianity. Markus Vincent writes that, before the second century, the Resurrection was not considered among the key tenets of Christology, which instead had been more concerned with Christ’s Passion, birth, and early years.16 By 325, however, the Council of Nicaea had included the Resurrection among its central doctrines, and Paul’s insistence on its importance (“And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain: for you are yet in your sins,” 1 Corinthians 15:17) was widely embraced. Even so, the problem of commenting on an event that had gone unrecorded by scripture would prove to be a major obstacle. Iconography followed in line with the wider exegetical engagement with the Resurrection. Until the fourth century, none of the surviving art contained images of—or even symbolic references to—the event. Felicity HarleyMcGowan argues that early Christian images were closely informed by the Graeco-Roman culture of death, and that when it came to depicting death scenes, “the subjects are portrayed as overtly joyful stories, devoid of direct references to death, dying or even mourning.”17 After the underground religion was legalized and protected under Constantine’s Edict of Milan (313), there was a notable change in the iconographic program, although the necessity that Christ’s death be framed in a positive light remained.18 By the fourth century, symbols related to the Resurrection began to appear in the Roman catacombs. A stone sarcophagus dated to the midfourth century found in the catacombs of St. Domitilla contains episodes from the Passion. These exclude a Crucifixion scene but incorporate the Resurrection via symbols of triumph, among which the cross is numbered. Jeffrey Spier unpacks the details: “The cross of the Crucifixion is surmounted by the chi-rho monogram within a wreath, held in the beak of an eagle with spread wings. The wreath is the traditional Roman symbol of victory, and the eagle, the bird of the almighty god Jupiter. Above are two small busts of the personifications of the sun and moon, denoting the cosmic significance of Christ’s triumph.”19 Other contemporary motifs show a resurrected Christ fused with various elements of Roman symbolism. The Traditio Legis, or “giving of the New Law,” images depicted “Christ transcendent and enthroned or seated on an orb” holding a scroll (a symbol of the New Law), symbols that emphasized his authority and majesty.20


Artists would wait until the fifth century before producing Resurrection iconography that chimed directly with the Gospel narratives. The image that emerged in the fifth century, which would remain dominant until the twelfth century, was the Visit to the Tomb scene.21 The first examples still contained elements of Roman conventions—such as figures of authority holding scrolls—whereas closer to the sixth century images such as the mosaics of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna appeared.22 In this mosaic, two women approach a round cupola tomb (a reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem), the door of which has been dislocated from its hinge. The women stand to the right of the tomb, and an angel sits on the left. The gestures issuing forth from the women and angel evoke a dialogical exchange that is occurring at a precise moment, suggesting that a certain amount of familiarity on the part of the viewer was expected. The artist locates the epistemological and emotional discrepancies occurring on each side of the tomb in the gestures and postures of the three figures. The women point open palms toward the empty tomb, and their entire bodies also move in that direction. The angel, seated and resplendent, makes a conventional gesture of blessing with one hand and holds a staff in the other. This is an image of high emotional tension in which the women are in the process of understanding that Christ has been resurrected. Iconography of the Visit to the Tomb was relatively consistent over the next few centuries, but differences began to appear from the ninth century onwards.23 In certain illuminations, the dialogic exchange between a harmonized group of biblical Maries and angel(s) began to feature liturgical characteristics, suggesting not only an artistic rendering of the Gospel accounts but a direct link to the liturgical performances that were being composed at this time. Both mediums relied on cloth in their announcement of the Resurrection. In several extant Visitatio Sepulchri texts, the raising of a piece (or pieces) of linen coincides with the moment the Resurrection is announced to the congregation.24 In illuminations and ivory carvings, cloth (or cloths) floats in the tomb, either deictically gestured toward by an angel or signalling a future understanding the event. The use of cloth by these interconnected mediums—which on occasion appeared in the same manuscript—is quite far from John’s narrative techniques and, moreover, depends on a different type of artifact. These performance texts and images were produced by cultures in which Christianity was at the center of religious and political systems, at a time when the Resurrection was an incontestable facet of Christology. How cloth functions in such an environment necessarily removes it from the contexts of the Gospel of John, even if it is used for approximate purposes.

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In order to explore this new context further, I would like to draw on two pairs of texts and images, between which there is an established or arguable connection. The first pair is the Visitatio Sepulchri recorded in the Regularis Concordia (ca. 973) and the Visit to the Tomb illumination from the Benedictional of Aethelwold (963–984; see figure 3). Both image and text share the same patron and were produced in close proximity to each other. The illumination’s location in a benedictional already situates it in a liturgical context, but internal details give further evidence for connections to the Visitatio Sepulchri. In the second pairing, a group of images from the Abbey of St. Gall has no obvious connection to their surviving Visitatio Sepulchri texts, yet their common iconographic strategies suggest a relationship between image and performance. To demonstrate what such a relationship might look like, however, Visitatio Sepulchri texts from nearby abbeys will be drawn on in place of the scant records from St. Gall. Each example gives evidence for how cloth was used in a liturgical environment and provides insight into how the event was both conceived of and celebrated in centers of monastic power in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The English Visitatio Sepulchri is not the earliest surviving example, but it is the earliest to contain extensive rubrication. This is a likely outcome of its position within the Regularis Concordia, a proscriptive set of directives for all Benedictine monks and nuns in England. 25 To that end, this text is a useful starting point in critical discussions.26 The rubrics provide information related to performance that would otherwise lie in the realm of conjecture, such as the gestures and movements that accompanied the antiphonal song, the garments worn, and the objects carried.27 Specific to the purposes of this chapter, these details offer insights into the role of cloth in the Visitatio Sepulchri and the liturgical ceremonies that precede the Easter Sunday performance. Linen cloth is used to wrap a crucifix in the Depositio crucis ceremony, which monks then deposit into a space in the altar assimilatio sepulchri (in the likeness of the sepulchre). 28 The following night, before Matins, the cross is removed from the altar during the Elevatio crucis and unwrapped, with only the cloth placed back in the altar space. The culmination of the cloth’s significance is reserved for the Visitatio Sepulchri itself. After singing the verse Non est hic, surrexit sicut praedixerat, the angel draws the visual attention of the Maries to the tomb (Venite et videte locum). The rubrics then intervene and single out the raising of the cloth as the high point of the celebration, placing the artifact at the visual and devotional center of the performance:


Haec vero dicens surgat, et erigat velum, ostendatque eis locum cruce nudatum, sed tantum linteamina posita, quibus crux involuta erat. Quo viso ... sumantque linteum et extendant contra clerum, ac veluti ostendentes, quod surrexerit Dominus et iam non sit illo involutus, hanc canant antiphonam: Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro. (6) [Saying this, let him rise, and lift the veil and show them the place bare of the cross, with nothing other than the shroud in which the cross had been wrapped. Seeing which, let them ... take up the shroud and spread it out before the clergy; and, as if demonstrating that the Lord has risen and is not now wrapped in it, let them sing this antiphon: The Lord has risen from the sepulchre.]

The cloth—referred to by the nouns linteamina and linteum—is certainly not equivalent to John’s graveclothes, even if the congregation is invited to make this link. Linen cloth was a staple of every church, and it performed a multiplicity of liturgical functions. 29 It had a long association with Christ’s graveclothes, particularly when it was used to wrap the Eucharistic wafer or cover the altar.30 In this sense, the Visitatio Sepulchri was drawing on connections already established in the liturgical practices of a church, and it is likely that the congregation would have recognized the item as capable of occupying numerous roles. The cloth integrated into the Visitatio Sepulchri nevertheless took on a particular framing within the scope of the performance. What is especially useful about the rubrics of the Regularis Concordia is that they make evident, and even play on, the discrepancy between what a prospective onlooker would see and what they are expected to perceive. The verb ostendere includes a visual dimension (to expose, view, show) and a cognitive one (to make known, reveal, or disclose), and appears at two key moments in the rubrics.31 This subtle difference is used cumulatively, with the sight of the cloth enabling its perceptible meaning. There is also a hierarchical design in the transmission of knowledge, which proceeds from the angel to the Maries and then to the wider congregation. The final action of the performance is the spreading out of the cloth and celebratory singing of the antiphon Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro. The temporal dissonance between what the cloth shows in the now—evinced by the present subjunctive non sit (is not) and adverb iam (now)—is positioned in relation to what has definitively transpired, indicated by the

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perfect tense surrexerit (has risen). What the congregation witnesses in the present must be linked to past actions, and cloth is the vehicle through which such connections are established. The extended cloth is intended to demonstrate corporeal absence, although the adverb veluti (as if, just as, or like) not only sheds light on the performative status of this text, but also indicates that the congregation must take an active role and interpret what is offered. The cloth provides a focal point around which the congregation can meditate upon a central truth of their faith. Once again, it is an affordance of a different kind. In the near-contemporary Benedictional of Aethelwold (London, British Library, MS Add. 49598, fol. 51v), the Visit to the Tomb illumination also features a cloth, but the inclusion of another artifact suggests a connection between this image and liturgical performance. The first of three Maries holds a thurible, the vessel that the brothers of the Visitatio are required to carry during their procession toward the altar. In placing an item that was the remit of the clergy in the hands of the Maries, the artist has complicated their gendered status. Elizabeth Parker McLachlan writes that deacons carried the thurible in liturgical procession, so that the deliberate inclusion of this detail suggests an intentional overlap of the monkish brethren and biblical Maries. 32 It also affects how an onlooker perceives the event. The thurible impacts the reader’s capacity to read this image solely as a walk toward the tomb and forces her to integrate the act of liturgical procession into the scene. The prominent place of clothing also forges connections between text and image. In Robert Deshman’s discussion of the illumination, he writes that Aethelwold’s image breaks with the established convention of how clothing is used. In the iconography of Metz, argued to be a dominant influence on the Winchester school, a cloth is usually in “a sarcophagus deep inside the tomb.” By contrast, the Benedictional “shows the wrapping prominently suspended in mid-air in the tomb door without a sarcophagus.”33 Deshman attributes this more conspicuous role to “Aethelwold’s personal interests,” which the critic suggests are also apparent in his Visitatio Sepulchri. Notably, the Benedictional of Robert, also in the Winchester style and produced ca. 980, does not feature a cloth. Its presence in Aethelwold’s Benedictional is a deliberate inclusion. The cloth in the illumination plays a similar role to that of the Visitatio, even though the medium has an impact on how it functions. Although the sequence of performed events cannot be exactly rendered in image form, the medieval illuminators nonetheless find ways to infer movement, dialogical exchange, and temporal variation. As in the


Visitatio, the angel is a mediating force between the Maries and the cloth. It sits in a central position, directly in between the tomb door and the processing figures. Deshman suggests that this role is greatly amplified in Aethelwold’s image, noting that the plinth the angel sits on is transformed from a “block into a throne, increasing the angel’s majesty,” and further notes that the detail is “extremely rare.”34 The angel’s right wing partially obscures the cloth, but in doing so secures direct contact with it. The interaction is one of high tension, yet evidence points to a process of resolution that is underway. Attention to gestures gives a sense of this process, particularly as the angel’s are mirrored by two of the Maries. Its benedictional gesture is matched by the hand of the first Mary who carries the thurible, and its other hand is reflected in the second Mary’s, whose hand is turned toward her throat, suggestive of a troubled interior state.35 The care taken with gesture suggests a proximity between this group that is in the process of being achieved.36 This process will move the Maries closer to the angel in both emotional and epistemic terms. The viewer is not given direct access to the joyful moment when the Resurrection is understood, but all of the ingredients are present so that this can be inferred. Although the cloth is not within the visual range of the Maries, the viewer can see it and thus identify its temporal significance. It lies beyond the physical positioning of the Maries, their emotional and epistemological states. They need to advance beyond both in order to reach the cloth, and will do so via the angel. In the Visitatio, the rubrics state that the group must lay down their thuribles and then take up the cloth. If the viewer was familiar with this performance, which the restricted readership of this liturgical book likely was, then this exchange of artifacts would be part of the culminating moment of celebration. The cloth is thus poised to announce the Resurrection as it did in the Visitatio. The St. Gall images include two ivory plaques and one pen-and-ink manuscript illumination and offer a competing view on the use of cloth within liturgically inflected Resurrection scenes. All include thurible and cloth details, but the style of the three images differs from the Winchester school illumination, as does the way the image is constructed.37 The differences are sufficient to alter how the Maries encounter the cloth. In an ivory carving dated to between 900 and 950 (likely a panel of a book cover), cloth takes up a central position in the image, with the angel to the left and three figures to the right (see figure 4).38 The Maries are again subject to an overlap in the gendered roles, and the first of the group swings a thurible that hangs in the air as if poised to return toward its holder.

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Figure 4. Victoria and Albert Museum, The Maries at the Sepulchre, Ivory Panel, St. Gall, ca. 900–950. Museum number 380–1871 Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


The thurible also swings toward the empty tomb, where two pieces of cloth float. Each piece is distinguished in terms of size and detail and cannot but force an informed viewer to make a link to John 20. The cloth’s central position also changes the relationship the processional group has to it, suggesting that they are not as reliant on the angel for access. The other images contain similar features. In a late tenth-century anti­ phonary (St. Gall MS 391), a pen-and-ink drawing by the monk Hartker positions two pieces of cloth at the center of the illumination, and a dark tomb offsets the white cloths floating in the doorway.39 The same manuscript contains a text of the Visitatio Sepulchri, although one without much development or rubrication. And, in a second tenth-century ivory carving—now housed in Budapest—a thurible effusing incense makes direct contact with the cloths floating in the tomb.40 In all scenes, those processing toward the tomb have unobstructed access to the cloth, a detail that is matched in several Visitatio Sepuchri texts. Although no Visitatio Sepulchri from St. Gall aligns with these iconographic details, the separation of the cloth into two distinct pieces is present in other texts that were recorded in relative proximity to the abbey. One such example is an eleventh-century Visitatio Sepulchri (Udine, Bibl. Arcivescovile, MS 234), thought to be from the north Italian Benedictine monastery of Aquileia. The text suggests a display of cloth akin to the Regularis Concordia text, but with a division of the cloth into two pieces. The angels and women are two a piece (rather than three and one), and the former group does not direct the latter to the tomb. Instead, they instruct the Maries to tell Peter and others that Christ has risen. The roles of the Maries and the apostles then overlap, and the choir sings, “Two ran together,” integrating the Johannine race to the tomb into the performance.41 The same brethren that were named in vice mulierum sanctarum (representing the holy women) then display the shroud (seemingly in the roles of John and Peter), which is named as one item in the rubrics (linteamina) but two in the dialogue: “Cernitis, o socii, ecce linteamina et sudarium, et corpus non est in sepulchro inventum” (7) (Behold, O companions, behold the shroud and head-cloth, and the body is not to be found in the sepulchre). Situating the apostles as the finders of the cloths, this Visitatio does not make the angel instrumental to their access. Unlike the English text, there is an explicit connection made between the sight of the cloth and the absence of Christ’s body. The moment of display also chimes with the iconographic strategy of the St. Gall images. In a departure from John, there is no distinction made between how these cloths

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function in relation to Christ’s body. 42 Each piece—which was possibly intended to be a single item in performance—urges onlookers to recall the resurrected body of Christ when they see it displayed. The St. Gall images and “Aquileia” Visitatio are part of a different tradition to the English examples, but each one uses cloth within a liturgical environment to provide the space for meditating on the resurrected body of Christ.43 Taking their lead from the Gospels’ avoidance of the Resurrection proper, which was maintained in early exegesis and iconography, these Easter morning celebrations put the absence of Christ’s body at the center of their articulations of the Resurrection. Discarded cloth was positioned as an artifact that needed to be interpreted or glossed. In all cases where it was used, cloth did not simply reference a Gospel text but participated in contemporary devotional practices. Like the monks who assumed the roles of the Maries or angel(s), this cloth was produced in an environment where it performed a multiplicity of roles, many of which were simultaneously drawn on in liturgical performance. In this way, similar to the Gospel of John, cloth performed roles outside the scope of its quotidian purpose. Whatever its previous role as affordance may have been, these images and performances transform cloth into a powerful vehicle for meditation. The Visitatio Sepulchri would continue to be an enduring part of Easter liturgical celebrations for centuries to come. Even though its strategies of conceptualizing the risen body of Christ would remain relatively consistent, vernacular drama departed from these models in line with changes to sacramental theology that also impacted iconography. In the aftermath of new directives regarding Eucharistic doctrine, identifications between the resurrected and crucified body were made during the consecration of the Host.44 These developments facilitated new artistic and dramatic conceptualizations from the thirteenth century onwards. Images began to show Christ’s body exiting the tomb, and vernacular plays of the Resurrection included this moment or a meditative focus on the wounded, bleeding body that was familiar from Crucifixion scenes. Although not the sole factor for change in celebrations of the Resurrection (and which did not affect the Visitatio Sepulchri’s conventional practices), Eucharistic language exemplified how the laity were conditioned to understand their God. An increasingly bloodied body emerging from the tomb placed new demands on those who looked on, and also recast how cloth might mediate the event. Although cloth did not disappear from the vernacular drama that was produced throughout England from the late fourteenth century, its role as an affordance necessarily adapted to meet new demands.


Enter the Body: The Resurrection in Vernacular Drama In the 1415 Ordo Paginarium, which lists the Corpus Christi pageants and offers a summary of their contents, the York Resurrection play is recorded as follows: Iesus resurgens de sepulchro quatour milites armati et / tres Marie lamentates Pilatus Cayphas ( Jesus rising from the sepulchre; four armed soldiers and the three Maries sorrowing ; Pilate, Cayphas).45 Citing a cast list of sorts and the central action of an earlier incarnation of the play, this brief description proposes another way to perform the Resurrection.46 The York Christ would emerge from the tomb within the dramatic action, preceding the Maries’ Easter morning search.47 In an illumination located in the early fifteenth-century Bolton Hours (York Minster Additional MS 2), also produced in York, a bloodied Jesus is shown with one foot poised on the tomb’s rim, requiring the viewer to infer his past and future movements.48 Although differing in the extensive focus on the suffering of this body—which is perforated by innumerable wounds—the scene itself was not new. Stained glass dated to ca. 1300 in York Minster already showed Christ in the process of leaving the tomb in the presence of an angel and soldiers, and a nineteenth-century replica of the late medieval Resurrection roof boss preserves a near-identical scene. By the time the York Resurrection was recorded in the late fifteenthcentury Register, where a stage direction informs the reader that Christ is to rise from the tomb within the remit of the play, this directive had been a dramatic practice since at least the first quarter of the century. 49 Whereas iconography shows this convention to have been prevalent from the thirteenth century, in terms of drama there is no certainty that this practice was mirrored from such an early date.50 The Ordo Paginarium supplies the earliest testament to the performance of a Resurrection play in the vernacular, although it is notable that the Visitatio Sepulchri continued to be performed into the fifteenth century. In the Wilton (1250–1320) and Barking Abbey (1404) Visitatio Sepulchri texts—two rare English records of the performance—the Maries (played by nuns) encounter the angel in the empty tomb, and Mary Magdalene raises the sudarium to the congregation as proof of the Resurrection. 51 So, although there is a consistency in this liturgical performance’s mode of celebration, at least in the case of these two abbeys, vernacular drama did not follow the Visitatio in its presentation of the event. Not all English plays would have a Christ player stepping out of the tomb, but the overwhelming dramatic presence of Christ’s body in early English drama echoes the iconographic and devotional strategies that had developed much earlier.52

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Whereas the Visitatio Sepulchri had been developed for a fixed date in the liturgical calendar, vernacular Resurrection plays could be staged at different moments in the Christian year. In the case of York, its play formed part of the sizable Corpus Christi cycle, which was to eventually become the city’s principal means of celebrating the feast day. 53 Although not liturgically in line with its proper calendric place, the framing feast of Corpus Christi speaks to how a fifteenth-century parishioner from York was supposed to comprehend the Resurrection. There had been significant changes to Christian culture since the remote and often exclusive monastic practices of the Visitatio Sepulchri in the tenth century. Although the forces of these developments are numerous, their practical implementation is evident in certain outcomes from the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. Demands requiring the clerg y to “increase lay knowledge of Christianity” led to a greater involvement of the congregation in their own salvation.54 The proliferation of meditative and devotional guides in the vernacular from the thirteenth century and the production of secular biblical drama from the late fourteenth century give concrete proof of this engagement.55 Lateran IV also cemented into doctrine the contested matter of real presence, issuing a definitive stance on a debate that had been raging in monasteries since the ninth century.56 In the wake of this doctrinal order, all Christians were required to believe that, upon consecration by the priest, the literal and historical body of Christ was present in the Eucharistic bread and wine. This event had become intimately entwined with the Resurrection, to the extent that, when the priest blessed the Host during the Mass, he was recalling not only Christ’s death but also his rising.57 And that Resurrection, in line with Eucharistic belief, was understood first and foremost via corporeal presence. The presentation of Christ’s body had changed significantly from the early iconographic modes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, where the focus on a triumphant Christ had long been evident. 58 The wounded body of Christ became, from the thirteenth century, the principal body of the Passion, and the sacramental overlap made between Crucifixion and Resurrection established the centrality of the suffering body. When Christ’s Resurrection began to be depicted in iconography, it recalled the bleeding body shown on the cross (see figure 5). The body emerging from the tomb was a testament to that suffering and became increasingly bloody over time. The changes in how the Resurrection was conceived of had an obvious impact on the ways in which drama, iconography, and devotional texts approached the event, and an increasingly corporeal focus


Figure 5. Resurrection of Christ and Visit to the Tomb. Holkham Picture Bible, BL MS Add. 47682, fol. 34v Photo: © The British Library Board.

led to a greater investment in the moment when Christ emerged from the tomb. New witnesses to the Resurrection appeared, creating a solution for the narrative gap that had hitherto existed. Christ’s stepping out of the tomb would be told from the perspective of the soldiers who vocalized the physical onslaught they suffered during his exit. In attempting to address those moments left to the side for centuries, these narratives created answers reflective of the moment in time in which they were constructed. The urge to find answers where the Gospels provided none was not a new impulse, but the scale on which late medieval culture celebrated the Resurrection via Christ’s body was shaped by the cumulative forces of sacramental theolog y, emotion-centered devotional practices, and a greater lay participation in the celebration of Christian beliefs. It is with this multiplicity of factors in mind that one must consider the role of Christ’s graveclothes in early drama. How garments function

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once the body becomes central to the Resurrection narrative is perhaps surprising, particularly as they do not simply disappear from the plays that include the exit from the tomb. Not all of the extant play-texts include the moment of Resurrection itself, although, as I intend to demonstrate, this does not mean that the body of Christ is absent to a prospective audience. Nor is corporeal presence achieved through the same strategies that the Visitatio Sepulchri relied upon. The plays that include the Resurrection proper can be found in the York and Chester cycles and the Towneley manuscript. Resurrection plays from the N-Town and Bodley manuscripts do not suggest that this event was intended to be staged, but these plays include many of the central episodes surrounding it. Dramatic records also provide evidence for other English Resurrection plays. Both the Coventry and Beverley cycles contain Resurrection plays that offer grounds to argue for the inclusion of an exit-from-the-tomb episode.59 Records for the parish of St. Laurence, Reading, give evidence for a church-based vernacular Resurrection play that involved a temporary wooden sepulchre and special lighting effects, and was likely not a unique case.60 For the purposes of this discussion, however, only plays with surviving texts will be discussed.

Body and Cloth in the York, Chester, and Towneley Plays The York Resurrection is the earliest play-text to contain evidence for staging the exit from the tomb. Recorded in the Register, the moment of resurrection is alluded to by the direction Tunc “Jhesu resurgente” (then Jesus being risen).61 The action is further supported by the musical direction later added by the scribe John Clerke, “Tunc angelus cantat ‘Resurgens’” (Then the angel sings [Christ] is arisen), which Clifford Davidson writes “likely represents long-standing practice.”62 The play would make little sense without the resurrected body of Christ emerging from the tomb. It is obsessively concerned with both the containment and evasive power of Christ’s body, and the factions that conspire to prevent its raising—either by force or deception—continue to do so long after the tomb has been evacuated.63 The counterpoint to the lies of Annas, Caiaphas, and Pilate would be the audience’s perception of the event itself. The silent exit of this body (in terms of dialogue, not music) positions the audience as witnesses to the truth of Resurrection, enabling them to view the conspirators


as comically inept and doomed to failure. 64 Without Christ’s physical body, the disruption to the version of events that Pilate orders the soldiers to uphold relies on the audience’s capacity to insert their knowledge of the Resurrection narrative into this play.65 Although this option is not beyond the realms of possibility, it does not seem in line with the sustained focus on truth that permeates the language of the play. While Pilate claims that truth can be “bought and solde” (450) in his final speech, the play’s subversion of this narrative tyranny would be powerfully achieved by the inclusion of Christ’s Resurrection. Critics have noted the York Resurrection’s linguistic echoes of the Visitatio Sepulchri, but have similarly observed the distinct contexts of production and reception that distinguish their respective performative aims.66 Their use of cloth falls under a similar need for contextualization. Whereas the York play’s use of the Christus resurgens antiphon might recall Easter Sunday worship, the presence of Christ’s body within the dramatic framing of Corpus Christi forces a connection to the Eucharist. That his body needs to be appreciated within a Eucharistic framework proposes an important contrast to the mode of worship the earlier Visitatios operated under. The Resurrection occurs before the Maries approach the tomb, but the inclusion of a body at this moment alters the impact of the subsequent exchange between the Maries and the angel. It also affects how cloth functions in the episode. The angel, as it did in the liturgical performances, questions who the women seek at the tomb: “Ȝe mournand women in youre þought, | Here in þis place whome haue ȝe sought?” (235–36), to which they reply: “Jesu, þat to dede is brought, | Oure lorde so free” (237–38). As in the Visitatio, the angel then draws their attention to the empty tomb, pointing to the absence of Christ’s body and the continual presence of the sudary within it: ANGELUS. Women, certayne, here is he noght, Come nere and see. He is noght here, þe soth to saie, þe place is voide þat he in laye, þe sudary here se ȝe may Was on hym laide. (239–44)

Although the transposition of the liturgical Latin of the Visitatio into the Middle English of this civic play retains an equivalent meaning, the perception of the cloth is relegated to an ancillary mode of proof. The repetitious language of the angel might be understood as a reinforcement

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of this Resurrection message, yet it is a far cry from the laconic offerings of the Visitatio angel. The need to reiterate the importance of the empty tomb in a play that is trying to balance bodily presence and absence as mediators of the Resurrection creates an awkward dynamic, which might be explained not by recourse to dramatic efficacy, but by defer­ ence to tradition. The exit from the tomb stands in stark and efficient contrast. The long-standing place of the sudarium as the sensible proof of Resurrection is respected in this play, but the impact of the raising of cloth in the Visitatio Sepulchri and its inclusion subsequent to the moment of resurrection in York cannot be equated. The York audience may have recognized the cloth’s role from this traditional interpretation, but, based on the play alone, cloth’s capacity to convey the truth of Resurrection is greatly diminished. The Chester and Towneley plays use similar strategies to that of the York Resurrection, but they expand significantly on Christ’s role in both instances. Each play contains stage directions that make Christ’s emergence from the tomb explicit—again while the Christus resurgens is sung—but they also feature a speaking Christ who delivers a monologue directly after his exit from the tomb (291–92).67 The introduction of the cloth—specified as the sudarye—into the dramatic action is distinct in each play. Towneley is almost identical to York, and, in language reminiscent of the Visitatio dialogue, the first of two angels draws the Maries’ attention to the cloth left in the tomb. With a resurrecting and speaking Christ, however, the role of cloth is even more displaced than in York, with convention again justifying its inclusion. In the case of Chester, which is clearly not influenced by the Visitatio model, Peter and John race to the tomb after hearing Mary Magdalene’s report that Christ’s body has been stolen. The race episode relies on John 20:5–7, but the playwright includes some surprising variations. Both disciples run to the tomb, with John arriving first and remaining outside.68 It is subsequent to this detail that the playwright departs from the Gospel script. John gives a speech from outside the tomb in which his sight of the “sudarye” leads him to support Mary Magdalene’s conjecture that Christ’s body has been stolen: JOHANNES. A, Peter, brother, in good faye, my lord Jesu is awaye, but his sudarye, sooth to saye, lyenge here I fynd by hitselfe, as thou se maye;


farre from all other clothes yt laye. Nowe Maryes wordes are sooth verey, As we may have in mynd. (385–92)

The coalescence of a careful description of the cloth with the claim that it proves a grave robbery—and from outside rather than inside the tomb—is a departure from both the Gospel account and standard interpretations of the sudarium. 69 The Chester play’s dislocation from the Visitatio tradition might account for this distinct use of the cloth, and it is utilized as a tool to stratify John and Peter along epistemic grounds. This stratification ser ves to reverse the Gospel narrative and place knowledge in the hands of Peter. The disciple’s access to knowledge of the Resurrection is predicated on his memory of Christ’s prophecy, and this memory is shown to be activated by his presence within the tomb: PETRUS. A lord, blessed be tho ever and oo, For as thou towld me and other moo I fynd thou hasse overcome our foo And rysen art in good faye. (397–400)

The verb finden links Peter’s spatial positioning with access to a memory that exceeds the bounds of this faculty. He does not merely recall words uttered, but also understands their cosmic significance. Knowledge of the Resurrection implies an understanding that Christ is now eternal, having defeated all enemies. Notably, the sudarye has no claim to truth in this play, and, as editors Lumiansky and Mills have suggested, the prop is possibly placed outside the tomb rather than inside. 70 John’s interpretation of the cloth from this exterior position, coupled with an acceptance of Mary’s words, leads him to an erroneous conclusion. In this distinct use, the sudarye can only supply the possibility of false interpretation. The connection between Christ’s body and Eucharistic bread in both plays is also worth remarking on. Although neither play-text had overt connections to Corpus Christi, the insistence on the Eucharistic nature of his body is explicit in Christ’s post-Resurrection speeches. In the Towneley Resurrection, Christ refers to his body as “a measse | in brede” (343–44) and then makes reference to the transformation of bread into body through the priest’s consecration:

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That ilk veray brede of lyfe Becommys my fleshe in wordys fyfe: Whoso it resaues in syn or stryfe Bese dede foreuer, And whoso it takys in rightwys lyfe Dy shall he neuer. (345–50)

Unsurprisingly, this passage of the play may have been controversially received by some readers, and it was crossed out by one such reader.71 This Eucharistic link is part of an effort to identify the Resurrection with the Crucifixion, and it is notable that the portions of what is known as the “speeches delivered from the cross” were included in this monologue.72 The Chester Jesus refers to himself as “verey bread of life” (170) and proclaims the Eucharistic bread (171–77) to be integral to the salvation of all Christians. Futher reference is made to the correct spiritual state of the recipient of the Host, and Christ’s speech labors over the strictures that apply to oral reception of the host. The individual must have gone through the correct penitential channels or will face dire spiritual consequences:73 And whosoever eateth that bread in synne and wicked liffe, he receaveth his owne death— I warne both man wiffe; the which bread shalbe seene instead the joye ys aye full ryffe. When hee ys dead, through fooles read then ys he brought to payne and stryffe. (178–85)

Both plays have unquestionable stakes in linking the resurrected body of Christ to the Crucifixion. As part of the phenomenal presence of a Christ player in these plays, it is easy to see why the sudarium assumes a subordinate role. In a more explicit format for which York provides evidence, a walking, talking Christ proves his Resurrection and delimits the way an audience should receive this body in their lives. For the audiences of these plays, the sudary has a dramatic purpose that is never comparable to the role of cloth in the Visitatio. Whereas meditation on the sudarium and its inferred connection to Christ’s body underscores its importance in the liturgical performances, the insertion of a physically present Christ into these three plays disrupts that process. Meditation does not cease to be important to the dramatic enterprise, but it is the raised, bleeding, and occasionally speaking body of Christ that


assumes the position to which devotional efforts must be directed. York and Towneley, with their respective connections to the Visitatio Sepulchri tradition, guarantee a sense of stability in relation to how cloth is positioned, but in doing so undermine its conventional role as a cognitive affordance. Chester, with its inversion of this convention, excludes cloth from its usual role in an effort to bolster Peter’s supremacy over John. With cloth being aligned with the figure of John, neither functions as a vehicle of truth.

The N-Town and Bodley Resurrection plays The plays that do not stage the moment of Resurrection still integrate the body of Christ into proceedings for devotional purposes. The absence of the resurrected body in the N-Town and Bodley Resurrection plays opens up the possibilities for cloth to mediate the event. Both plays are dramatically distinct in their approach to the Resurrection. The N-Town manuscript (MS Cotton Vespasian D.8) divides the Resurrection into several episodes that are split across three pageants.74 Whether these plays were ever intended to be performed in this sequence is, however, a matter of debate.75 The Bodley play, meanwhile, is a rare surviving example of a vernacular Resurrection play written to be staged within a church during the Easter period. Both plays grant cloth a greater role than the other English examples, although in ways that chime with their contempory devotional influences.76 The N-Town play that prioritizes the role of cloth is The Announce­ ment to the Three Marys; Peter and John at the Sepulchre. The speeches of the Maries contain a sustained focus on the wounded body of Christ, and, in Mary Salomé’s quest to anoint Christ’s corpse with ointment, she states that she seeks the body tortured during the Crucifixion. The language of vision positions this body as a focal point upon which an audience should meditate: MARY SALOME. The naylis gun his lemys feyn, And þe spere gan punche and peyn. On þo woundys, we wold haue eyn: þat grace now God graunt vs. (29–32)

Mary Salomé’s discovery of the cloth in the tomb is framed around the evidence it provides. She laments the absence of Christ’s body and her inability to provide comfort to the corpse by dressing the wounds. Although

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the cloth leads Mary to an understanding of bodily absence, it is notable that the possibility of Resurrection is not addressed: MARY SALOME. To myghtfful God, omnypotent I bere a boyst of oynement. I wold han softyd his sore dent, His sydys al abowte. Lombe of Love, withowt loth, I fynde þe not, myn hert is wroth! In þe sepulcre þer lyth a cloth, And jentyl Jesu is owte. (55–62)

The Maries must move beyond this reading of physical evidence and, under the guidance of the angel, must direct themselves away from death and toward Christ’s living body. Notably, the angel relates this body to its previous suffering and, when insisting the women leave the tomb to spread the news, specifies that it “levyth with woundys reed” (78). The angel is the vehicle of truth on this occasion, and cloth functions to misdirect the Maries. Cloth reverts to its traditional role later in the play, where it causes joy in place of “wroth.” The Johannine race to the tomb is closely adhered to in terms of the sequence of actions, but the roles Peter and John assume are altered. Although access to the knowledge of the Resurrection comes through John’s correct interpretation of the sudary (notably named on this occasion), this is achieved through the combined perceptual efforts of the disciples: Hic currunt Johannes et Petrus simul ad sepulcrum, et Johannes prius venis ad monumentum, sed non intrat: JOHANNES. The same shete, here I se þat Crystys body was in wounde. But he is gon! Wheresoever he be, He lyth not here up on þis grownde. Petrus intrat monumentum, et dicit Petrus: PETRUS. In þis cornere, þe shete is fownde; And here we fynde þe sudary In þe whiche his hed was wounde Whan he was take from Calvary. Hic intrat Johannes monumentum dicens: JOHANNES. The same sudary and þe same shete Here with my syth I se both tweyn.


Now may I wele knowe and wete þat he is rysyn to lyve ageyn! Onto oure bretheryn, lete us go seyn þe trewth ryght hevyn as it is: Oure maystyr lyvyth, þe whech was slayn, Allmyghty Lorde and Kynge of Blys. PETRUS. No lengere here wyll we dwelle; To oure bretheryn þe wey we take. The trewth to them whan þat we telle, Grett joye in hert þan wul þei make. (127–46)

Perception of the sudary culminates in recognition of its function, and this passage emphasizes John’s knowledge of the Resurrection and Peter’s agreement. Both disciples play a role in this ideal outcome, unlike their stratified roles in the Gospel narrative and wider exegetical tradition. In a play where the body of Christ is never seen within the tomb, the sudary finally takes up its conventional role as a cognitive affordance, although here it is tweaked in order to unite the interpretative efforts and epistemic achievements of John and Peter. The Bodley Christ’s Resurrection (Bodleian MS e Museo 160) is a rare example of a text that gives evidence for the “presence of vernacular drama inside churches in Holy Week and at Easter.”77 Unlike the N-Town plays, which have an unclear association with the liturgy, the Bodley play is preceded by the directive that it is to be staged on “Pas[c]he Daye at Morn.”78 Such evidence, coupled with the wider structure of the play, has led Peter Meredith to label it under the heading of “late English liturgical drama,” and Clifford Davidson refers to the play as “vernacular drama for liturgical occasions.”79 Davidson also notes that there is evidence for the play’s composition “in the solitude of a Carthusian cell,” boasting as it does “a meditative aim consistent with that of Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.”80 The majority of Christ’s Resurrection is devoted to lengthy articulations of grief by Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea, for which they receive censure from their respective companions. As in the case of N-Town play 36, Christ’s Resurrection centers around the visit to the tomb undertaken by the three Maries and the disciples John and Peter, although in this instance the second group has a third disciple, Andrew. The play also includes two appearances of Christ, first to the Magdalene in the Noli me tangere episode and then to the Maries, who kiss his feet as per Matthew 28:9. Many features of the Bodley play’s use of cloth are dramatically distinctive, although the playwright may have been drawing on established

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devotional conventions. The influence of texts such as Mirror of the Blessed Life of Christ help to account for the play’s overall meditative strategy but do not clarify its use of cloth. Love mentions the sudarium in his account of the Resurrection, but only to deny it the capacity to provide either knowledge of resurrection or emotional consolation.81 There is no obvious English source for Bodley’s take on the sudarium, but it may, as Davidson suggests, have been shaped by Carthusian devotional models.82 The Bodley angel introduces the cloth to the Maries along the lines of the Visitatio Sepulchri, but there is an apparent difference in its description: ANGELUS. Com hidder, and behold with your eye The play where þe body did lye. Be joyeos now of mynd! Loo, here is the cloth droppid blud, Which was put on hym takyn of þe rud, Ose yourself did see. For a remembrance tak it yee, And hy yow fast to Galilee— For ther apper shalle hee! (159–67)

Although it makes sense that this cloth is spotted with blood (a detail also found in iconography), the angel’s description of the sudarium is nevertheless rare.83 The command for the cloth to be taken from the tomb as a “remembrance” is also unusual.84 The angel’s presentation of the cloth interprets the item in light of the Crucifixion, and in this play the figure positions cloth as a prompt to meditate on Christ’s wounds. This link is sustained by the Magdalene, whose sensory experience of the cloth prompts her to recall the torment Christ endured on the cross: MAGDALENE. This cloth with blude þat is so stayned, Of a maydens child so sor constraynid, On cross when he was done! (174–76)

Her own meditative act on the pain Christ endured on the cross is then turned outwards, and in an address to the audience she instructs them in the correct meditative and emotional response: Welle may the teres ron down your cheke! Welle may your hertes relent, Myndinge the payn my Lord and master felte! (181–83)


The Bodley cloth varies in its capacity to stimulate different emotional states depending on the vantage point given. For the Magdalene it leads her further into meditating on the pain of Christ, or rebuking herself for not being present when he resurrected. For the other Maries it is “proue evident” (191) of Resurrection, which is cause enough to cease mourning. But the blood detail, referred to by Davidson as one of the overwhelming objects of devotion in the play, ensures that for the audience the cloth is a vehicle for meditation on Christ’s suffering. Even within the same play, cloth is put to differing and on occasion oppositional uses in early English Resurrection plays. The linguistic echoes evident between the York and Towneley Resurrection and Visitatio Sepulchri may account for the presence of cloth within the dramatic action, but a walking and talking Christ player arguably displaces the role of cloth from its seminal liturgical function. Elsewhere, cloth is a meditational tool intended to lead the viewer to the resurrecting body. The systematic linking of the crucified body with the resurrected one from the thirteenth century onwards changed the way the Resurrection was conceived of and required an audience to meditate on the suffering that had secured their salvation. What these plays deploy is not the same cloth found in the Visitatio Sepulchri tradition, but one that suits the demands of late medieval devotion. It acts as an auxiliary mode of proof in tandem with the body of a player, a prompt to a specific meditative act, or as something to be interpreted, with both success and failure possible. Cloth in these plays is an artifact of its time and place.

Conclusion Cloth has played a seminal role in the articulation and celebration of the Resurrection since its appearance in the Gospel of John. The roles cloth assumes within narrative, image, and performance are not always comparable, but its functionality is continually dependent on its primary status as a piece of fabric and its capacity to imply contact with a body. Whether discarded graveclothes, church linen, or a stage prop covered in blood, the role given to cloth within a specific frame can shift according to the type of body implied. How this cloth is acted upon, whether in the secrecy of a tomb or spread out before a congregation, also needs to be considered when accounting for its capacity to be meaningful. Cloth can be understood as an affordance in each of the examples I have discussed. In some instances its relationship to a specific type of body must be grasped in order to lead to a comprehension of Resurrection; on other occasions it

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operates as a negative affordance, showing an audience how not to understand both it and the body it once wrapped. How that body is conceived of in each instance is integral to the understanding of how clothing can work to explain corporeal concepts. NOTES For an in-depth study of the Resurrection in the first few centuries of Christianity, see Vinzent, Christ’s Resurrection. Sheingorn also gives an overview of the Resurrection in Christianity and cites two early but marginal texts, the Gospel of Peter and a sermon by Ephrem the Syriac, which do fill in the blanks, in “The Moment of Resurrection,” pp. 113–14. 2 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 48. 3 The Legenda Aurea divides its approach to the Resurrection into seven parts, providing answers to why Christ rose on the third day, how this was achieved, and what had happened in the intervening period. The work was immensely popular across medieval Europe, and more than 900 manuscripts survive. 4 Cave, Thinking with Literature, p. 9. 5 “Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst,” John 19:28. 6 Although blepō can signal spiritual understanding, this is clearly not its function in John 20:1. Mary has no access to any spiritual knowledge of what has happened, making the more basic translation of the verb much more appropriate. 7 Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 868. 8 As Renn explains, eidō expresses “the meaning ‘know,’ which is closely related to ‘seeing,’ in the context of mental perception,” Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 868. 9 Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 106. Renn notes that the word occurs around 250 times in the New Testament. 10 John 19:40 and 20:5–7 account for four instances of the word othonia, and Luke 24:12 is the fifth. See Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 601. 11 See Clutterbuck, Another Look at St. John’s Gospel, p. 68, and Carson, The Gospel According to John, p. 630. 12 The word is a Greek transliteration of the Latin sudarium. It is found in Luke 19:20, where it is used as a type of purse. In Acts 19:12, it is a handkerchief that Paul uses to heal the sick. See Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 464. 13 See de Brath, In the Drama of Europe, p. 83, Köstenburger, John, pp. 563–64, and Carson, The Gospel According to John, p. 637. 14 In the two other instances outside John (Matthew 27:59 and Luke 23:53), the verb describes Joseph of Arimathea wrapping the dead Christ in a sindon. Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 1069. 15 Augustine explicitly rejects this reading in Tractate 120 of his exegesis on the Gospel of John, but in order to do so he has to provide an alternate reading 1


that is also based on inference. He writes: “Here some, by not giving due attention, suppose that John believed that Jesus had risen again; but there is no indication of this from the words that follow ... What but this, that he saw the sepulchre empty, and believed what the woman had said, that He had been taken away from the tomb?” in Augustine, Tractates. For the original text, see Iohannis evangelium CXXI, p. 664. 16 Vinzent, Christ’s Resurrection, pp. 1–10. 17 Harley-McGowan, “‘Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory,’” pp. 104, 106. 18 For an overview on early Christian iconography, see Jensen, Understanding Early Christian Art. 19 Spier, Picturing the Bible, p. 219; Jensen, Understanding Early Christian Art, p. 162. 20 Jensen, Understanding Early Christian Art, p. 162. See also Villette, La Résurrection du Christ. 21 The one exception to this statement is the wall painting found in the second-century church at Dura Europas, which lies in modern-day Syria. It shows women moving toward a tomb, and art historians agree that this image is likely connected to the women at the tomb from the Gospels. However, no other contemporary examples exist, and so it is unclear if this image is an exception or is exceptional in its survival. See Jensen, Understanding Early Christian Art, p. 162. 22 The Munich Ivory (ca. 400), now held in Milan (Castello Sforzesco, Civiche Raccolte d’Arte applicate ed Incisioni, Avori 9), features two women in prostrate positions before a seated figure carrying a scroll. A tomb with an open door is in the background and has three resurrection panels carved into both sides of the door. Jensen, Understanding Early Christian Art, p. 163; Kurt Weitzmann, Age of Spirituality, p. 504; Hansen, “Acts of Witnessing.” 23 The Drogo Sacramentary (ca. 850, Paris, Bib. Nat., Ms lat. 9428, fol. 58) contains the first image in Western Europe to place liturgical objects in the hands of the women at the tomb. However, there is an earlier artistic tradition where comparable images are found. A number of sixth-century ampullae from Palestine show the women carrying thuribles, and these items were taken by pilgrims back to monasteries in Italy, such as in Monza. What these objects depict, however, is uncertain and warrants further research. 24 Although the earliest extant texts date to the first quarter of the tenth century, critics have conjectured that the monastic practice likely began during the previous century. See Bjork, “On the Dissemination of Quem quaeritis,” p. 51. For a more up-to-date critical overview, see Nils Holger Petersen, “Liturgical Enactment,” pp. 13–29, and Flanigan, “Quid Quaeritis,” pp. 35–60. 25 The earliest extant texts are from Saint-Martial-de-Limoges, ca. 923–934, found in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS Lat. 1240, fol. 30v. See Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, I, and Bevington, Medieval Drama. A Visitatio Sepulchri from a tropary in St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 484, is dated to the first

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half of the tenth century, in Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, I, and Bevington, Medieval Drama. 26 Symes discusses the wider context of Aethelwold’s Visitatio Sepulchri in “The Medieval Archive,” pp. 29–58. 27 Symes urges caution as to how such rubrics are read, stating that their very survival should alert critics to take care with how to read these instructive texts. Symes considers the possibility that the rubrics can function prescriptively or proscriptively, but not as “transcriptions of events,” in “Liturgical Texts,” p. 244. 28 All quotations from the Regularis Concordia ceremonies are from the edition Medieval Drama, edited by Bevington. Text from MS Cotton Tiberius A, fols. 19v–21v. For a fuller overview of Easter practice in England, and transcripts of the Regularis Concordia’s Depositio and Elevatio crucis, see Sheingorn, The Easter Sepulchre. For a discussion of the importance of the cross, see Larratt Keefer, “The Veneration of the Cross,” pp. 143–84. 29 Bradford Bedingfield accounts for the use of cloth in the Anglo-Saxon church, particularly during the Easter period, The Dramatic Liturgy, pp. 114–70. 30 Grumett writes that church practices in both the East and West associating altar linen with Christ’s graveclothes stem from the Gospel accounts of Christ’s burial, Material Eucharist, pp. 87–89. 31 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 32 Parker McLachlan, “Liturgical Vessels,” p. 409. 33 Deshman, The Benedictional of Æthelwold, p. 58. 34 Deshman, The Benedictional of Æthelwold, p. 58. 35 The earlier Metz image has a swinging thurible, as do all the St. Gall images that will shortly be discussed. It seems that this artist is premising gesture over the act of swinging the vessel as the thurible hangs still in this image. 36 My reading of gestures in this illumination is indebted to Guillemette Bolens. 37 Ogden compares the Hartker illumination with Aethelwold’s, although he notes the many similarities which link the two images, The Staging of Drama, p. 33. For more on the artistic context of these images, see Williamson, Medieval Ivory Carvings, p. 210. 38 This suggestion is made by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, which houses the ivory panel. 39 The E-Codices project in Switzerland dates the manuscript to 990–1000. 40 Williamson conjectures that all images were based on an “influential prototype [that] existed in St Gallen,” Medieval Ivory Carvings, p. 210. 41 Quotations are from the edition by Bevington, Medieval Drama. Text from Udine, Bibl., fol. 1r–1v. 42 Another eleventh-century Visitatio Sepulchri from the Abbey of St. Lambrecht states that two separate pieces of cloth are used to wrap the cross in the Depositio crucis, and the one termed sudarium is placed at the head (crucis caput). Its extensive rubrics clarify that two cloths are placed in a specific


relationship to the cross, even though both are extended in the announcement of the Resurrection. See Bevington, Medieval Drama, pp. 36–38. 43 Young stratified different Visitatio Sepulchri texts along methodological lines that have long since been rejected. More recently, Davril has attempted to account for the origins and differing traditions of the Visitatio, though he uses the title Quem Quaeritis, “L’origine du Quem quaeritis,” pp. 119–36. Symes, however, has issued cautions against taxonomic practices, writing that they “do not help us to understand how such sources came into existence, and whether or not they reflect contemporary performance practices,” “Liturgical Texts,” p. 247. Palazzo also urges a closer attention to the books that contain these texts and writes that these contexts should not be radically separated from each other. See the author’s “Introduction,” in History of Liturgical Books. 44 For further reading on the topic of Eucharistic prayer and its connection to the Resurrection, see Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, pp. 119–20. 45 Text from the York A/Y Memorandum Book, fol. 254r. Translation from Stevens and Dorrell, “The ‘Ordo Paginarium’ Gathering,” p. 53. 46 King writes that, in the Ordo Paginarium, “the synopsis of action commonly doubles as a cast list,” The York Mystery Cycle, p. 161. 47 Sheingorn, “The Moment of Resurrection,” p. 111. 48 King has written on the dating issues of this Book of Hours, but has focused on the possible commissioners of the book. It is generally held that the illuminations were produced in the early fifteenth century, “Corpus Christi plays and the ‘Bolton Hours,’” pp. 46–62. 49 For more on the context of the Ordo Paginarium, and the hypothesized state of the York Cycle in 1415, see Twycross, “The Ordo Paginarium Revistited, with a Digital Camera.” 50 An early thirteenth-century life of St. John of Beverley mentions a resurrection play in which the moment of Christ’s raising is paired with the miraculous resuscitation of a boy who fell from the church roof while trying to see the play. See Badir, “Representations of the Resurrection,” pp. 9–41, and Davidson, “Memory,” pp. 25–26. 51 Plays termed “liturgical” or “secular” can often be easily distinguished in respect to their dramatic aims, but there are cases where decisive features overlap. The Shrewsbury Resurrection play is one such case, as is the Bodley Christ’s Resurrection, which I discuss later in this chapter. So too is the St. Laurence Resurrection play. All three vernacular plays are heavily influenced by the liturgy. Although distinctions are useful and often necessary when discussing the dramatic tradition of the Resurrection, it is worth bearing in mind that such categories are limited. 52 For an in-depth overview of vernacular Resurrection plays, which includes both French and English examples, see Happé, “Dramatizing the Resurrection,” pp. 182–203. 53 See Johnston, “The Procession and Play,” pp. 55–62.

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French discusses the practical implementation of these educational demands, The People of the Parish, pp. 176–82. 55 Scott-Stokes, Women’s Books of Hours, p. 4. 56 I discuss the impact of the doctrinal changes to real presence in relation to drama in “Doctrinal Orthodoxy and the Dramatic,” pp. 17–36. 57 Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, pp. 119–20. French refers to the mass as “the re-enactment of the Last Supper and Christ’s passion and resurrection,” p. 175. 58 Sheingorn discusses this changing context and the necessity that the resurrected Christ performed multiple roles in “The Moment of Resurrection,” pp. 119–21. 59 For a discussion of what evidence remains of the Coventry Resurrection play, see King and Davidson, The Coventry Corpus Christi Plays, pp. 33–41. For more on the Beverley pageant list, see Wyatt, pp. 68–91. 60 Records between 1498 and 1537 show this play to have been staged on Easter Monday. See Johnston, “Performance Traditions” and Sheingorn, The Easter Sepulchre. 61 Beadle, The York Plays, I, pp. 10–11. For an extensive overview of the play, as well as its principal sources, see Beadle’s critical introduction, The York Plays, II, pp. 358–66. For a discussion on the connection between the York Resurrection and the Visitatio Sepulchri, see King, The York Mystery Cycle, pp. 158–64. 62 Beadle, The York Plays, p. 371. Davidson discusses the direction in his edition, p. 481. 63 Horner, “‘Us Must Make Lies,’” pp. 34–96. See also Beckwith, Signifying God, pp. 72–89. 64 Twycross also conjectures that the play has many humorous elements in “Playing the Resurrection,” pp. 285–86. For more on the music of the York play, see Rastell, Minstels Playing, pp. 35–36. 65 This reading is widely supported by critics, including in Twycross, “Playing the Resurrection,” p. 281; Sheingorn, “The Moment of Resurrection,” p. 115, and King, York Mystery Cycle, pp. 160–61. 66 Sheingorn, “The Moment of Resurrection,” p. 111; Twycross, “Playing the Resurrection,” pp. 280–81; Davidson, “Memory, the Resurrection, and Early Drama,” p. 8. 67 Quotations from the Towneley plays are from the edition edited by Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays. The editors note in relation to the Resurrection play, “The monologue of the risen Christ, which is not in the corresponding York play, was apparently inserted into the Towneley play. It belongs to a type of medieval religious lyric known as ‘Appeals to Man from the Cross,’” II, p. 605. 68 Lumiansky and Mills, The Chester Mystery Cycle, I, p. 354. 69 Notably, Augustine suggests such a reading. See note 15 in this chapter. 70 Lumiansky and Mills, The Chester Mystery Cycle, II, p. 289. 54


The second stanza quoted from the Towneley play has been cancelled by one reader; see Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays, II, p. 607. 72 Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays, II, p. 605. 73 For a detailed account of Eucharistic practices in late medieval England, see Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, pp. 91–130. 74 Play 35 (Harrowing of Hell (Part II); Christ’s Appearance to Mary; Pilate and the Soldiers) stages the revivification of Christ. It separates the “Anima Christi” and “Jesus” into different parts, and Christ’s emergence from the tomb is recounted from the perspective of Pilate’s soldiers. 75 The performance history of the plays contained within MS Cotton Vespasian D.8 is very unclear, and, whereas the Passion plays (1 & 2) are clearly intended to be performed sequentially, the same cannot be established with certainty for other groupings of plays. Plays 35 and 36 make logical sense in relation to each other, but were not necessarily performed sequentially. See Sugano, The N-Town Plays, pp. 1–2. 76 For an extensive study of East Anglian drama and devotion, see McMurray Gibson, The Theatre of Devotion, and Granger, The N-Town Play. 77 Davidson, “The Bodley ‘Christ’s Burial,’” p. 52. 78 All quotations are from the edition edited by Baker, Murphy, and Hall, The Late Medieval Religious Plays of Bodleian MSS. 79 Davidson “The Bodley,” p. 52, and Meredith, “‘The Bodley Burial and Resurrection,’” pp. 133–55. 80 Davidson, “The Bodley,” p. 56. 81 Love, The Mirror of the Blessed Life, p. 196: “Bot after þe processe of þe gospel Petre & John entrynge þe graue & not fyndyng þe bodie, bot onely þe cloþes þat he was wrapped inne, & þe sudarie of his hede. with grete heuynes þei turned home aȝeyn.” 82 Davidson, “The Bodley,” pp. 54–57. 83 The Holkham Picture Bible, ca. 1327–1335, has a Visit to the Tomb scene (Add MD 47682, fol. 34v) featuring a cloth covered in spots of blood. This detail is consistent with the cloth Christ is buried with and the wounds that cover his body during the Crucifixion (fol. 32v, 33v). 84 This might be a detail also present in iconography. In Strasbourg Cathedral, panel b.3 of the North Chapel window has one Mary bending into the horizontal tomb and touching the cloth. In the Abbey of Chartres, in the Saint Père window (217, dated to the early fourteenth century), the first Mary grasps the cloth in her hand. In Tours, window 2 of the apse has a single Mary reaching toward the cloth (1250). 71

Figure 2. Expulsion of Adam and Eve, BL Royal 2 B VII, fol. 4r. Photo: © The British Library Board.

Figure 3. The Visit to the Tomb, Benedictional of Aethelwold, BL Add MD 49598, fol. 51v Photo: © The British Library Board.

Figure 6. Giotto, Raising of Lazarus, Scrovegni Chapel, ca. 1305 Photo: copyright Alinari.

Figure 7. Chartres panel Bay 046, Raising of Lazarus (Life of Mary Magdalene) Photo: copyright Stuart Whatling.

Chapter 3

Coming Forth, Still Bound Raising Lazarus in Theology and Performance


N THE “RESURRECTION OF Lazarus” scene from the Scrovegni chapel, Padua (ca. 1303–1305), Giotto di Bondone notably departs from the prevailing iconographic trends of his contemporaries.1 In this image (figure 6), the newly raised man stands outside his tomb, bound from neck to toe in tightly wrapped graveclothes. The bindings painted onto the body prompt certain questions. How does Lazarus stand up in this tomb when all his joints are tightly wrapped in cloth? And how does he walk out of that tomb, still in those wrappings?2 These questions are surely pertinent, but Giotto adds one more detail that potentially frustrates the viewer further. This Lazarus looks distinctly dead. His skin, contrasting with all other faces in the scene, is conspicuously lacking in color. His eyes are closed, and his mouth hangs open. St. Peter’s left hand rests on his shoulder and offers the newly raised man stability while his right hand unties the wrappings.3 Unlike many contemporary scenes, Christ does not make eye contact with Lazarus. His gaze is, however, met by Peter, whose head is turned away from the man he is unwrapping. This scene shows the promise of resurrection, but it is yet to happen. Art historian Ruth Wilkins Sullivan identifies Giotto’s distinctiveness in this image as being one of timing.4 As the critic clarifies, the artist chooses to explore the process of transition from death back to life, one that is mostly complete in iconographic counterparts. Although the image is striking to a modern eye and is full of details not easily reconciled, a contemporary viewer may have had recourse to interpretative strategies that aided her understanding of this scene. Around the same time, in Giotto’s hometown of Florence, the Dominican preacher Giordano da Pisa delivered a sermon in which the “unbinding of Lazarus’s burial shroud signifies liberation from evil pleasures of the world.”5 The unbinding of cloths is key to understanding the exegetical conventions in which Giotto participates. To “unbind” had a pertinent meaning in medieval Christian theology, stemming from Christ’s words to Peter in Matthew 16:19: “Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum. Et quodcumque ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum

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et in caelis: et quodcumque solveris super terram, erit solutum et in caelis” (And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven). Through these verses, church fathers understood that Christ’s words conferred on Peter—and thus the papacy—the power to forgive a sinner or to excommunicate them, and that the decision made on earth would extend to heaven. Notably, the Latin verb ligare (to bind) was one and the same with the verb used in John 11:44 in relation to Lazarus’s wrappings. And the counterpart, solvare (to loose), appears in the imperative form when Christ orders his disciples to remove the ties that bind Lazarus. Although this verbal mirroring may be coincidental (though it was also reflected in the original Greek verbs), certain exegetes would capitalize on the metaphoric potential between these very different senses of binding and loosing.6 Augustine of Hippo would write at length on this verbal overlap, utilizing the literal sense of removing cloth in order to discuss concepts such as sin, contrition, and absolution. Augustine’s commentary on the Tractates on the Gospel of John, even though strikingly original, had been dealing with the odd detail that Lazarus must exit his tomb while still wrapped in graveclothes. Unlike Christ’s resurrection, the specification that cloth binds Lazarus’s feet and hands as he emerges from his tomb complicates a reader’s understanding of the processes of motion in this verse: “Et statim prodiit qui fuerat mortuus, ligatus pedes, et manus institis, et facies illius sudario erat ligata. Dixit eis Jesus: Solvite eum et sinite abire” (And presently he that had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with winding bands; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them: Loose him, and let him go). Within the frame of the miraculous, a reader might not have cause to deliberate over this odd detail. But those readers who spent vast amounts of time grappling with the language of the Bible, which in the case of Augustine was via a Latin translation, most certainly did. Even before Augustine, exegetes had positioned Lazarus as a sinner of some repute. His four-day hiatus in the tomb and its implications regarding corporeal putrefaction gave early thinkers such as Irenaeus and Tertullian suitable grounds on which to argue for Lazarus’s status as a prolific sinner. But Augustine would home in on Lazarus’s graveclothes as the focal point of his interpretative effort, gifting later exegetes the tools with which to discuss the fraught issues of sin, absolution, and who had the power to loose and bind. The bindings of Lazarus became, for Augustine, a device around which to build an exegetical discussion of sin. In particular, they


provided him with a series of corporeal images that involved movements that were conditioned by constraint. The tension between motion and constraint gave Augustine an occasion to discuss the constriction of sin and the liberation of absolution. The material status of the cloths and their direct link to Lazarus’s body are positioned as cognitive affordances within this exegetical framework. They necessitate a reader to ascribe conceptual meaning to the way they impact the body, aiding her understanding of the commentary as a whole. Although the scriptural inheritance of cloths that bind the body would prove to be eminently useful for medieval exegetes, the oddity of the detail was not convenient for all. The dramatists who staged the resurrection of Lazarus from as early as the twelfth century had a very different set of priorities. Constrained, even paradoxical, motion offered conceptual possibilities for some, but drama had to deal with the practical realization of getting a body to exit a tomb. That the detail was scriptural made it difficult for playwrights to ignore, but the practical limitations it imposed upon a player’s body needed to be handled carefully. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the writers of these plays were aware of the “Lazarus the sinner” exegetical strand and, like Giotto, might have had recourse to such an interpretative strategy in other facets of worship. But it is notable that none of the plays under investigation in this chapter include this interpretation in their dramatic works. Overwhelmingly, Lazarus assumes the role of Mary Magdalene’s brother in the Latin and vernacular English plays under discussion. Although this aspect of his characterization points to the enormous popularity of the Magdalene cult, especially from the twelfth century onwards, these are still plays that by and large choose to stage the occasion of resurrection. In spite of Lazarus’s diminishment in the spotlight of the Magdalene, the plays must still deal with the scriptural account of his resurrection and decide how to use clothing in relation to this process. This chapter is about this dual role of bindings in two different forms of imaginative endeavor. The status of a binding as something that constrains the body is taken up to great effect by early and late medieval writers, and a host of texts exemplify the efficacy of this corporeal image in discussions of sin. Bound motion could be dealt with on the level of exegesis precisely because it could be framed as having meaning. Ambrose of Milan could write that Lazarus “makes progress without steps” (inseparabili gressu, separabili progressu) because he could then claim that “nature had no need of its own functions” (natura suum non requirebat officium) in the presence of divinity. 7 How might a player

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in the twelfth or even fifteenth century deal with such a prospect? The tentative answer at this point in the discussion is that they cannot. Although evidence for special effects within drama is available for early plays such as the Jeu d’A dam, an emergence from the tomb while bound in graveclothes had the potential to undercut the seriousness of the event. 8 It could result in the player stumbling or falling, which would have a very different effect than what was desired from a miraculous event. The logistical problems of playing the verse as stated, even if desirable, seem to have been too tricky to get around. Few mentions of Lazarus’s bindings are made in these plays, and no other form of dramatic direction alludes to the staging of constrained motion. This does not make the bindings a non-issue, however. Whereas many plays could transform scriptural details by recourse to other interpretative strategies, as exemplified in relation to the Fall plays discussed in chapter 1, many of the Lazarus plays, by contrast, seem obliged to include the presence of bindings and the moment of Lazarus’s release from them. Delicately positioned between the inclusion and exclusion of John 11:44’s trickier aspects, these plays must find a way to work the verse into performance within the scope of what a body can do.

Loosing and Binding Lazarus in Exegesis Et statim prodiit qui fuerat mortuus, ligatus manus et pedes institis; et facies illius sudario erat ligata. Quomodo processit ligatis pedibus miraris, et non miraris quia surrexit quatriduanus? In utroque potentia Domini erat, non uires mortui. Processit, et adhuc ligatus est: adhuc inuolutus, tamen iam foras processit. Quid significat? Quando contemnis, mortuus iaces; et si tanta quanta dixi contemnis, sepultus iaces: quando confiteris, procedis. (XLIX.24) [“And immediately he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with bandages; and his face was bound with a napkin.” Dost thou wonder how he came forth with his feet bound, and wonderest not at this, that after four days’ interment he rose from the dead? In both events it was the power of the Lord that operated, and not the strength of the dead. He came forth, and as yet is bound. Still in his shroud, he came forth at this time. What does that mean? While thou despiseth Christ, thou liest in the arms of death; and if thy contempt reacheth the lengths I have mentioned, thou art buried as well: but when thou makest confession, thou comest forth.]9


Unlike his mentor Ambrose, one of Augustine’s tactics in the Tractates on the Gospel of John is to refute the efficacy of pausing over the logistical challenges that Lazarus’s resurrection entails. Calling on his reader to dismiss her questions as to how Lazarus left his tomb while bound in graveclothes, Augustine presents her with the bigger issue—how does one dead for four days rise at all? Yet, even in the midst of denying the significance of Lazarus’s bindings, Augustine constructs an exegetical strategy related to sin that is entirely dependent on these cloths and forces the reader to consider not only how Lazarus walks while bound, but what this means in relation to his—and her—spiritual condition. This is also where Augustine targets the kinesic intelligence of the reader. In forcing her to deal with contradictory types of information related to movement, he attempts to explain the concepts of sin, confession, and absolution. One line in particular exemplifies Augustine’s rhetorical and kinesic strategy. The phrase “Processit, et adhuc ligatus est” (He came forth, and as yet is bound) presents the perfect active verb processit with the perfect passive ligatus, while the adverb adhuc insists on the simultaneity of the active and passive modes. Although comparable to the order in which John 11:44 constructs the description of Lazarus’s exit from the tomb, Augustine’s words are sparser, and their effect is quite different. The only piece of information this sentence initially asks the reader to deal with is the verb of motion that describes Lazarus’s raising. He gives her time to process this detail and to envisage Lazarus’s body moving from inside to outside the tomb. But, from adhuc onwards, the reader is forced to combine this information with the specification that Lazarus is bound in cloth as he moves. Although the ways in which an individual would process this conflicting information would vary, contingent on motor memory of constrained motion, the announced presence of clothing adds a modulation to the issue of how Lazarus moved when he emerged from the tomb. What may have initially been envisaged as a stride forward might consequently be revised to a meagre shuffle, or an even less dignified hop, depending on what tied feet and bound arms mean to an individual. No specific qualification as to how Lazarus moves while tied is given by Augustine, possibly to reduce undue indignity on the part of Lazarus, but the reader is left to deal with this uncomfortable set of details nonetheless. The follow-up sentence is important in this regard, as Augustine reverses the order of information. He begins with the cloth that binds Lazarus and continues to the exit from the tomb. The effect of this sentence is to intensify the impossibility of the actions and to compromise the reader’s capacity to successfully process both details. It also relies to a

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greater extent on the kinesthetic knowledge of the reader. The comprehension of movement in this case is conditioned by the presence of cloth, thus calling on a reader’s sensorimotor knowledge of not only being restrained, but, in particular, being restrained by cloth at the joints. How this feels and what type of movement is consequently possible are up to the individual to define, but such conflicting information does not make for easy comprehension. The divine element within Augustine’s exegesis is the underlying facilitator of meaning in this passage. Augustine does not pause over paradoxical motion out of interest in this detail in and of itself, but because it affords a shift into allegorical modes of interpretation, which is the overwhelming focus of the Lazarus episode in the Tractates. As briefly exemplified in this excerpt, each of the details in John 11:44 have conceptual meanings that Augustine takes care to clarify: “While thou despiseth Christ, thou liest in the arms of death; and if thy contempt reacheth the lengths I have mentioned, thou art buried as well: but when thou makest confession, thou comest forth.” The tomb in this exegesis is not simply a space for the dead body, but is also used to help the audience envisage the worst consequences of a sinful life. There is also a sliding scale of intensification at work here: death might be equivalent to sin, but burial is a refusal to desist. And confession, the admission of wrongdoing and plea for forgiveness, is the resuscitating of the body and release from the tomb. However, the presence of the graveclothes and their adjacent complications are still factors. Augustine does not present the problem of sin as something that sinners are capable of resolving by themselves, but insists that absolution rests on the will of an external agent, either divine or divinely sanctioned: “Quod dictum est ad funus Lazari: Soluite illum, et sinite abire. Quomodo? Dictum est ministris apostolis: Quae solueritis in terra, soluta erunt et in caelo” (What was said beside the corpse of Lazarus? “Loose him, and let him go.” How? As it was said to His servants the apostles, “What things ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven”).10 Augustine links the removal of Lazarus’s bindings with absolution by overlapping the Johannine and Matthean senses of “loosing.” According to such a confluence of meaning, until his bindings are untied Lazarus remains both a sinner and a corpse. Going back (or forward) to Giotto, where the raised man nevertheless had the appearance of death, the long-standing impact that Augustine’s exegesis would have on this resurrection narrative becomes clearer. Until Lazarus’s graveclothes are removed, he remains in the grip of death and so sin. But the removal of


these cloths signals his will to confess, and the bestowal of divine grace completes the process. Absolution and resurrection are contingent on the loosening of cloths, which implies freedom in relation to Lazarus’s physical and spiritual condition. The key dialectic established by Augustine vacillates between constrained and free motion, with movement inferred rather than specified in this final example. However, this inference of unrestrained movement is intended to resonate with the audience to the extent that they can equate sin-free life with that type of movement. Corporeal knowledge is essential to Augustine’s rhetorical strategy, and he relies on it throughout this commentary in order to communicate the deprivations of sin and the bliss of a life without it. The categorization of sin briefly alluded to in this excerpt corresponds to a tripartite division within which Augustine positions Lazarus as the most grievous offender. The three resuscitations that Jesus performs across the canonical Gospels—of Jairus’s daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus—are linked in exegesis to sin performed “in the heart, in deed, and in habit.”11 Lazarus, the longest dead, whose body was subject to the greatest decay, is consequently allotted the role of the habitual sinner, the trajectory of which is described aptly as one “who takes pleasure in the suggestion of a deed, consents to the idea, and finally perpetrates.”12 This model of sin progresses along a scale of intensification, and in Lazarus’s case sin is not only consented to and committed, but also subject to repetition. Augustine’s commentary on Lazarus the sinner was extremely influential throughout the Middle Ages. As Susan Kramer outlines: “Augustine’s comparison of Jesus’s resurrection miracles to three kinds of sin was well known in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. An image employed in several of his most popular sermons, it was incorporated into sermon collections and florilegia compiled as early as the sixth century. We find it included in the vast work of biblical exegesis known as the Glossa Ordinaria, in letters, sermons, epigrams, and also in the two most popular teaching-texts of the twelfth century, Gratian’s Decretum and Peter Lombard’s Sentences.”13 Although the “Lazarus the sinner” model became a mainstay in theological discussions of sin after Augustine, by the twelfth century sin and absolution had become fraught issues, especially in relation to who had the power to condemn or absolve the individual. Peter Abelard was especially vehement that the church was not equal to the divine in matters of absolution, and he too relied on Lazarus’s resurrection several times accross his writings in order to rebuff ecclesiastical authority. In particular, Abelard uses the emergence of Lazarus from his tomb to speak allegorically

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about the sinner’s confession and, naming Gregory the Great as his source, he uses this corporeal image to deny an equivalence between church and God in such matters.14 This tactic of using the Lazarus story to support a different doctrinal stance was to become a mainstay in struggles over the issue of sin and absolution, and it also makes an appearance in vernacular texts. Two English writers would also use Lazarus’s resurrection to support their polemical stance on sin. The orthodox position is apparent in Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ (ca. 1400), whereas a directly oppositional one is evident in a fifteenth-century Wycliffite sermon on Lazarus’s raising. The significant changes that had occurred in relation to theories of sin and absolution are also evident in these texts. As Kramer demonstrates, these changes were ushered in with shifting conceptualizations of privacy during the twelfth century, the result of which was the specification that sin needed to be verbally exteriorized in order to be absolved.15 The most pertinent outcome was that all manner of sin—the key distinction being sins of thought as compared with sins of deed— be confessed orally to a priest, a doctrine later cemented in the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. Like Augustine’s Tractates before them, the Middle English texts that use the specificities of Lazarus’s rising also center on the conflicting details of resurrecting while bound, with the Middle English verbs “binden” and “loosen” key to each discussion. For Love and the anonymous Wycliffite author, these verbs carried the same resonance in Middle English as they had done in Greek and Latin and were associated with the tying of cloth as much as with the concepts of sin and absolution. The pairing of the two verbs in forms such as “binden and loose” or “binden and unbinden” shows up consistently in Middle English religious discourse. An example of this usage is found in the fourteenthcentury poem the Prik of Conscience, and in relation to the office of the Pope the text reads: The keyes are nought ellus to se Bot power of his dygnyté By whiche he may by lawe and skil Louse and bynde at his wil. (4.1009–12)16

Notably, the anonymous writer of this poem does not use such language in relation to Lazarus, who is later discussed with regard to his knowledge of hell. In Love’s Mirror, the Carthusian monk proceeds in along the same lines as Augustine’s Tractates. Editor Michael Sargent writes that Love translates Augustine at length and largely diverges from his main source,


the pseudo-Bonaventuran Meditationes vitae Christi. Lazarus and his bindings give Love a set of tools with which he can discuss sin, and in the following extract he insists on the specificities of how Lazarus leaves his tomb: “A lord Jesu crye to alle Þese menne with a gret voice, Þat is to sey, shewe Þi [grete] miht & reise hem to life of grace, puttyng awey Þat heuy stone of wikked custome, as Þou reised Lazare, for after Þi crye & at Þi biddyng he rose vp & went out of his graue, bot ȝit bondon handes & feet til he was lesed & vnbonden by Þi disciples at Þi biddyng.”17 In a discussion of habitual sin, Lazarus seems the ideal choice to bolster the authority of the writer, and Love entreats Christ to forgive sinners as he had forgiven Lazarus. In the same syntactical order as Augustine and also borrowing the allegorical mode of exegesis, Love requires his reader to comprehend the raising of Lazarus before adding in the specification that the man is bound hand and foot. The nuance that Lazarus rose and then moved forward requires the reader to perceptually simulate two separate movements before adopting the same revisionary stance that Augustine’s Tractates demanded, and the binding of hands and feet needs to subsequently be accommodated. The use of the two verbs “lesed and vnbonden”—which might on the face of it look redundant—fits into Love’s wider insistence on the instrumental role of “goddus ministers” in absolution, whose power he is keen to emphasize in the face of Lollard opposition. Both “lessen” and “vnbonden” carry the semantic possibility of being linked to either graveclothes or sin, but the use of both puts this connection beyond doubt. The Lollard sermon that takes John 11:44 as its focus connects the raising of Lazarus to sin, and this writer is also heavily influenced by Augustine’s exegesis. His tactics, however, vary considerably. Although the focus on the constraining nature of the bindings is emphasized to a greater extent than in Love’s text, the order in which the reader needs to process this detail is reversed. The Wycliffite writer instead makes the bindings the subject of the line in which they are first mentioned: And no word of Þis story here wantiÞ sutil gostly witt. Crist cride wiÞ greet uoys to teche Þat soulis in purgatory, be Þey neuere so fer fro hym, comen anoon to his cry. Þes boondis in which Þis man cam forÞ shewen Þe miracle of Crist, hou he mouyd Þis body Þat was deed to come forÞ Þus al boundyn; and it bitokeneÞ also Þat men Þat ben vnbounden of prestis ben bifore quykened of God. And Þus Crist bad his postelis loouse hem; for it is an opyn blasfemye Þat prestis forȝyuen Þis synne in God, but ȝyue God forȝyue it first and seye to prestis Þat Þei shewen it.18

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This writer is insistent on the meaning of constrained motion, which is reinforced by the divine authority of “gostli witt.” The foregrounding of the event’s miraculous nature likely stems from the objective of discrediting the authority of priests. According to this writer, priests are akin to the unwrappers of Lazarus’s bindings. They merely facilitate the work of Christ and do not have the capacity to cause revivification. The act of “loosing” (or “vnbounden”) is not invested with the same conceptual power as in the Mirror, and the bindings emerge as more central to this writer’s purposes. Their presence on the body as it exits the tomb highlights the impossible—and thus miraculous—course of events, and it is clear that Christ is the agent who causes Lazarus’s body to move despite his bound status. Although bindings are as integral to this writer as to Love and Augustine, the purpose is different. Grammatical changes affect the reader’s processing of movement and constraint, resulting in a different interpretative outcome. In each of these texts, bindings are essential to the articulation of a specific position on sin and absolution. Although the obvious gulf in time that separates Augustine from these late medieval opponents means that each concept had undergone significant change by the fifteenth century, nevertheless each writer has recourse to similar tactics in order to persuade their respective audiences of how they can be freed from sin, and who has the power to free them. Bindings are not merely strips of cloth that keep graveclothes in place: they are elevated to the level of concept in order to work as cognitive affordances that facilitate theological discussions on sin and absolution. By intersecting cloth with sensorimotor details, all three writers show that the way fabric acts on the body can be used in highly conceptual discussions.

Rising While Bound in Drama Biblical drama—like any other form—is obliged to deal with bodily movement, its mechanics, and its limitations. Unlike art, which can ignore the demands of physics in its exploration of resurrection, drama does not have the same luxury. Nor can it, like exegetical or literary texts, linger over paradoxical motion and its possible resonances without having to first work out the logistics of getting a bound body moving. The challenges that the Lazarus narrative presents to a dramatist stem from the biblical text, where a key aspect in the episode involves the raised man exiting his tomb while wrapped in graveclothes. This detail, which separates the resurrections of


Christ and Lazarus conclusively in the Gospel of John, is one with enormous spiritual import. It is perhaps no surprise that the graveclothes feature in the majority of the extant Lazarus plays. But including these clothes was not without problems. Regardless of the spiritual dimension, a dramatist must consider the impact the graveclothes would have on a player’s movement. The question of whether the dramatist wants to have a biblical figure of extraordinary import move in a way that might accidently be funny, humiliating, or otherwise is one that cannot be avoided. These issues feed into the larger question that this investigation of the dramatization of Lazarus’s resurrection asks: how does each playwright solve the problem of adjoining two essential narrative details—graveclothes and movement—without encountering problems related to logistics or reception? To that end, I will examine the aspects of resurrection that are included in plays and those that prove to be untenable. The focus on early drama will be divided into two parts, first taking into account three liturgical performance texts dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and second, three English vernacular plays from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.19 Without wishing to narrow the obvious dramatic gulf between plays that belong to a liturgical context and those that do not, the question that is being asked is equally important in spite of the different conventions at play. However, I will consider the specific cultural, temporal, and geographical contexts in each case.

The Latin Plays The Latin plays under discussion include the Fleury Playbook’s Raising of Lazarus (ca. 1200), Hilarius’s Suscitatio Lazari (twelfth century), and the brief Lazarus episode from the Carmina Burana’s Benediktbeuern Passion Play (ca. 1250).20 In these plays, Lazarus is not the prolific figure of sin found in exegesis, though we can assume that this interpretation was likely familiar at least to Hilarius, the disciple of Peter Abelard. In the Fleury and Benediktbeuern plays, the Magdalene assumes this role, although not in relation to the tripartite model found in Augustine’s exegesis. In all three plays she is combined with the biblical Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus, and often with the anonymous sinner who washes Christ’s feet with her tears, as per Gregory the Great’s interpretation.21 The differing significance of Lazarus’s resurrection in each play makes clear why we do not encounter Lazarus the habitual sinner, and in two of the plays the figure of the Magdalene, whose cult was growing in importance at this time,

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almost entirely subsumes the Lazarus figure. Even in Hilarius’s Suscitatio, the grief of the Magdalene and Martha is the main focus of the play, relegating the resurrection to a brief and final episode. All plays nevertheless include the detail of graveclothes in their resurrection episode, necessitating an engagement with the questions posed in this chapter. I intend to prove that none of the extant play-texts attempts to stage a Lazarus that emerges from the tomb while bound, both because of practical necessity and wider cultural influences. Beginning with the Fleury Lazarus play is to begin with an anomaly in the history of liturgical performance, for this text is preserved in a manuscript that exclusively contains dramatic texts.22 Unlike many other Latin performance texts designed for sacred space, these ten plays are not found within the various service books of the liturgy but are located in a compilation dedicated to the collection of performance texts. The manuscript (Orléans, Bibliothèque Municipale MS 201) has internal connections to the Benedictine monastery of Fleury at Saint-Benoît-surLoire, although the sole evidence for this link rests on a later hand than that which copied the plays. The Fleury playbook consequently holds a unique role in the history of sacred drama, being recognizably part of this world while demonstrating an awareness of a distinctive performative quality that prompted the compiler to group these plays together.23 The Lazarus play, the final text recorded in the manuscript, moves from the Magdalene’s contrition in Simon’s house to the tomb of Lazarus, where a protracted exchange between Jesus, Martha, and Mary takes place. Following this episode, Jesus commands Lazarus to rise, and his resurrection constitutes the final action of the play. Although this brief sketch of the play would suggest an alignment with the biblical text, there are subtle changes that clarify the dramatic decisions that have been taken by the anonymous dramatist(s). These changes are evident in the dialogue of Christ as well as in the rubrics, both of which give crucial insight into the movements executed by the Lazarus player. After Christ commands Lazarus to resurrect (“Exi foras” [Go out of the tomb]) (300), the rubric following this speech reads: Iam Lazaro sedente, dicat Ministris (Now Lazarus sitting, [ Jesus] says to the minsters).24 Lazarus’s motion of rising, articulated by the verb exeo (to go out, go forth), is modified by the rubric specifying that his appearance from the tomb is achieved by sitting up. 25 Lynette Muir writes that this choice may have been made “to avoid any risk of humour in the movement of a bound man,” which is a suggestion worth taking seriously.26 A seated Lazarus is far from both


biblical text and the many exegetical commentaries related to Lazarus, all of which presuppose the dual acts of getting up and moving outside the tomb. But sitting is a movement that a player required to appear wrapped in graveclothes can achieve without great difficulty. Subsequent evidence in this text bolsters the argument that this play exhibits concerns related to the practical possibilities of Lazarus’s movement. In the final speech, Jesus orders his disciples to remove Lazarus’s graveclothes immediately in order to free him from constraint: Suscitatum confestum soluite, Et solutum abire sinite. (305–6) [Immediately loose the raised one, And permit him to depart unhindered.]27

Although this speech in itself does not differentiate the movements of Lazarus from those in other texts, combined with the rubric it makes clear that no walking can happen before the graveclothes are removed. Indeed, the staggering of key actions in this play (sitting, unbinding, walking ) implies Lazarus never walks while bound. The sitting detail furnishes the critic with key insights into how resurrection might have been performed in this play, but it also provides other logistical insights into dramatic movement. It indicates that the Lazarus player was lying down during his death, and also suggests that the structure of the tomb was horizontal. His rising from a position of lying down is unusual in many iconographic conventions of Lazarus’s resurrection, including the Byzantine and Italian traditions. It was, according to Wilkins Sullivan, frequently found in northern European iconography. Wilkins Sullivan notes that, “Lazarus in the act of rising from his horizontal sarcophagus was amply anticipated in Ottonion art ... and Northern Romanesque art, from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, whence it passed into the Gothic repertory.”28 An excellent example that pairs nicely with the Fleury play is the sequence of early thirteenthcentury stained glass from Chartres Cathedral. Six panels within the window dedicated to the life of the Magdalene give an “exceptionally full” account of the Lazarus episode—including his death, funeral, and resurrection. 29 In line with the play, there is a scene in which the Magdalene washes the feet of Christ at the house of Simon, and further on two Jewish figures console Martha and Mary after Lazarus’s death.30 The glass, which Stuart Whatling dates to between 1200 and 1215, is

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sufficiently close to the 1200 date of compilation that scholars apply to the Fleury playbook. 31 Importantly, Lazarus sits in his tomb just after his resurrection and remains in his graveclothes (see figure 7). A similar group of scenes can be found in Bourges Cathedral. Again, Lazarus’s raising is contained within the Magdalene panel, and Whatling dates the glass to about 1215. 32 The Jewish characters are also present, and Lazarus once again sits up while totally bound in cloth. A figure appears to be in the process of unwrapping him, but this is yet to begin. Le Mans Cathedral and its mid-thirteenth-century glass similarly has a Lazarus sitting up in his tomb, also within a Magdalene window, although this Lazarus moves his hands and makes a gesture of supplication toward Christ.33 These three cathedrals, which are in relative proximity to the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, all contain remarkably similar narrative structures to the Fleury play and were created at relatively similar moments in time. The conclusions that might be reached from this contextual evidence are difficult to ascertain. Whereas, on the one hand, they possibly undermine an argument that would link sitting and dramatically efficacious movement, on the other hand, the stained-glass panels give evidence for a common strategy between drama and art, on what would by no means be a unique occurrence. 34 When put into relation with contemporary artistic traditions of Lazarus’s resurrection, the French stained glass takes a different route from the vertical Lazarus evident in early Christian iconography and contemporary Italian conventions.35 What can definitively be said is that neither the Fleury play nor these stained-glass windows have any connection to the Lazarus the sinner model. Lazarus is placed within the Magdalene narrative in both the play and these windows. The similarities between the narrative of both dramatic text and image suggest that they have an intimate link, whatever that might be. Although Hilarius’s Suscitatio Lazari likely predates the Fleury play, it is a more difficult one with which to begin discussions concerning stage action. The play has narrative connections with its Fleury counterpart (excluding the episode of the Magdalene at the house of Simon), giving grounds for hypothesizing how the disciple of Peter Abelard may have dealt with the issue of resurrection.36 David Bevington writes that the extant text “is not [for] an actual production,” and further claims that Hilarius’s interests rested more with “the emotional states of mind of his chief characters” than with “processional movement and theatrical display.”37 Nevertheless, the issue of how Lazarus emerges from the tomb would have been something that Hilarius was forced to consider. Although the text does not


specify that Lazarus emerges from the tomb by sitting up, this possibility cannot be ruled out based on the evidence provided in the text and the iconographic tradition to which Hilarius may have been exposed. The verbs of motion that are found in the sung dialogue and the rubrics do not give specific information about Lazarus’s movement as he exits the tomb. Surgo, resurgo, egredere, and exeo all provide possible grounds to argue for either a seated Lazarus or a standing one, but none of these prescribes a precise action. The trajectory of the play can be considered akin to that of Fleury, for, when the risen Lazarus becomes visible (surrexit, from surgo, is found in the rubrics), Jesus does not describe how this happened, but merely states that Lazarus is alive: “Ecce vivit!” (Behold, he lives) (201).38 Following this claim, Jesus commands his disciples to release Lazarus from his clothes in language that is strikingly reminiscent of the Fleury text: Nunc ipsum solvite, Et solutum abire sinite. (200–1) [Now unbind him, And permit him to depart unfettered.]

This scant account of resurrection does not specify how Lazarus is resurrected, only that his bindings must be removed in order to allow movement. Crucially, no focus is given to the issue of Lazarus moving while bound. Hilarius’s Lazarus does speak subsequent to his resurrection, but the rubrics are careful to state that this happens after the removal of his graveclothes: Lazarus solutus dicet astantibus (Lazarus, having been unbound, will say to those standing by). In a further note, Lazarus is even prescribed a specific movement. He turns from addressing an adjacent crowd to address Jesus: Et conversus ad Jhesum dicet (And, having turned to Jesus, he will say). From the evidence that can be gleaned from this text, it is difficult to say that Lazarus would have walked out of the tomb while bound in his clothes. Although Bevington states categorically that it is not a performance text, the rubrics display concerns about movement that must be taken into account. What is clear is that Lazarus exits his tomb and needs his bindings to be removed before he can perform his subsequent actions. The Fleury play provides critics with a model for how this movement might be achieved in Hilarius’s text. Indeed, both texts have Jesus utter the words exi foras, and one specifies that the movement is a sitting up rather than a walking out. Stained glass and other visual modes can again be called on for contextualization as to how Lazarus might leave his tomb. It therefore remains a strong possibility that Hilarius envisaged

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solving the problem (even if this text was not performed) of how to resurrect Lazarus with a similar strategy to Fleury. The third Latin play to contain a raising-of-Lazarus episode is in many ways the most problematic. Like Fleury, it belongs to the early thirteenth century and has connections to the liturgy—clearer than Fleury’s, in fact. The little critical attention that the Benediktbeuern Passion Play (Munich, Staatsbibl., MS Lat. 4660, Carmina Burana saec. xiii) has received has mostly been negative, leading Sandro Sticca to claim it to be flawed and disorderly.39 The logical sequence of the narrative is hard to discern. Unlike the other two plays, there is not a sustained focus on a group of characters, but a rapid shift between what seem to be disconnected events. The play begins with a foreshadowing of the Passion before moving through episodes such as the healing of the blind man, the entry into Jerusalem, the sinful life and contrition of the Magdalene, the raising of Lazarus, the betrayal of Judas, the Virgin’s planctus, and the trial and crucifixion of Christ. Michael Rudick has claimed that the play needs to be understood in the context of its connection to Palm Sunday, and in relation to the brief Lazarus episode he suggests that liturgical chant offers crucial insights.40 The question of liturgical connections within the Lazarus episode is worth pursuing, especially in relation to the resurrection. If one pays attention to the layout of the Benediktbeuern text, an important detail is that the raising of Lazarus is found only in song. When that song is further investigated, it becomes clear that the verses describing Lazarus’s resurrection are themselves familiar liturgical chants. Seemingly unaware of this connection, both Young and Bevington transcribe and amend the passage as follows: Et Jesus cantet: Lazare, veni foras! Et clerus cantet: Et prodiit ligatus m[anus] et p[edes], qui f[uerat] q[uasi] m[ortuus].41 [And let Jesus sing: Lazarus come forth! And let the clergy sing: And he that had been as dead came forth, bound at the hand and foot with graveclothes.]

An error on the part of Young, maintained in Bevington’s edition, makes the sung verse of Lazarus’s raising look more akin to a description of dramatic action than it is upon closer inspection. The Latin abbreviation is erroneously expanded to read q[uasi].42 If the word quadriduanus takes its place, however, this verse and the two preceding ones form part of a


liturgical office chant beginning Videns Dominus flentes sorores Lazari.43 Quasi, the “as if ” direction so regularly found in the Latin rubrics that relate to movement in a given performance, makes this line appear to describe Lazarus emerging from the tomb. Quadriduanus, however, clearly puts this verse in the realm of liturgical chant. The implications of these observations are clear when the total absence of a Lazarus figure becomes apparent. No movement is ascribed to Lazarus in the rubrics, nor does he take a sung part of his own. There is no order to loose Lazarus after he has risen, a factor that separates Benediktbeuern from the other plays. The brevity of this section, a mere seven lines out of 294, suggests that there is no need for a fully fleshed out resurrection scene. My contention is that within these brief lines there is no attempt to stage the resurrection of Lazarus. Instead, it forms part of the sequence of actions solely contained in song, meaning that the pragmatics of movement do not need to be taken into account. With these three Latin plays, it is already clear that the nature of the Lazarus character is different from his exegetical counterpart. He is most notable as the sibling of Mary Magdalene rather than in his own right, and this has profound consequences for the staging of his resurrection. Although each play includes the detail of bindings that prohibit movement, only the Fleury play and Hilarius’s Suscitatio clearly envisage a staging of this moment. Benediktbeuern’s eliding of the event could signal a reticence to take on this moment in performance, but it is also evident that the play integrates liturgical chants that resonate with the play as a whole. The following section requires a leap of two or three centuries forward, and entirely different devotional and iconographical contexts. As yet there has not been a single play-text that has preserved the paradoxical motion found in exegetical texts. It remains to be seen if vernacular English drama has other strategies to offer.

The English Lazarus Plays The critic Kathleen Ashley makes a salient point about the Lazarus plays in late medieval English and French drama when she writes: “the fifteenth-century raising of Lazarus scenes, although constructed on the same biblical framework, dramatized the episode in remarkably different ways precisely because no one ‘meaning’ was dominant.”44 The different conditions of dramatic production that shaped the N-Town, Digby, and Towneley plays should make clear that, although the English language might connect these plays, there are multiple factors that separate them.

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Each manuscript that contains a Lazarus play is problematic in its own right.45 None can be definitively linked to a place of performance, although all have connections to certain parts of England: N-Town and Digby to East Anglia, Towneley to Yorkshire. All plays are found in compilations, two of which are entirely dramatic (N-Town and Towneley), and one of which is mixed with other material, including alchemical tracts (Digby). The Digby play is found in MS Digby 133, which scholars have dated to between 1616 and 1634, although the Mary Magdalene play has been dated to ca. 1515–1525 according to its paper watermarks and scribal hand.46 The Towneley manuscript (Huntington MS HM I) is a more troublesome case and is still being debated by scholars. Malcolm Parkes has dated the manuscript to the mid-sixteenth century, and there is a growing scholarly consensus that the content of the plays further supports this late dating. The N-Town manuscript (British Library MS Cotton Vespasian D.8) is likely the earliest. The date written at the end of the Purification play-text of 1468 is thought to be “consistent with the dating and dialects found in the manuscript.”47 It should come as no surprise to those with even a cursory knowledge of early English drama that identical biblical episodes can find very different dramatic expressions—even in plays with relative geographical or temporal proximity to each other—because there are many other factors at work. And from the brief investigation into Latin Lazarus plays, it should be evident that this is not a feature specific to later vernacular drama. Although Ashley’s statement was written as a reaction to the assumptions of V. A. Kolve, David Bevington, and Peter Happé, who contended that a Lazarus play was necessary because of its function as a prefiguration of Christ’s resurrection, the discussions thus far have shown the multilayered functions of the Lazarus character. By not taking into account the multiple significances that the single figure of Lazarus could carry, including his links to Mary Magdalene in the Digby and N-Town plays and his eschatological purpose in the Towneley play, these critics ignore contemporary contexts in order to follow an exclusively biblical logic.48 I begin this discussion of the English plays with the presupposition that multiple factors alongside the biblical narrative contributed to the dramatic action in each of these plays, and I am by no means the first critic to suggest this line of inquiry.49 To engage with the N-Town Raising of Lazarus (play 25) means to do much more than simply map the episode onto a biblical archetype. The play features Mary Magdalene once more as the sister of Lazarus, but in this play she assumes the role of chief mourner rather than contrite


sinner—akin to her role in Hilarius’s play. Four Consolatores appear, although there is no overt Jewish connection in this case. These figures censure grief throughout the play, to the extent that even the dying Lazarus is admonished for his grim cheer. The play might fruitfully be considered in relation to the Office of the Dead, one of the best-known and prevalent liturgical rituals in late medieval England.50 Roger S. Wieck notes that this office would have been familiar to the lay population not only because it was recited during the funeral mass, but also because it was included in its entirety in Books of Hours. 51 Lazarus was used in this office to demonstrate Christ’s power over death, and his resurrection provided hope to medieval Christians that they too might share in his fate: “You who raised Lazarus fetid from the tomb, You, Lord, give them rest, and a place of pardon. You who are to come to judge the living and the dead, to judge the world by fire, You, Lord.”52 Miniatures of Lazarus’s resurrection were also found in Books of Hours that included the office. In these illuminations, Lazarus is often shown either climbing out of his grave with his clothes loosely attached or sitting in the grave, still wrapped.53 Visually, the N-Town Raising of Lazarus might have recalled the preparation of the body and soul for death as described in the Office of the Dead and shown in illuminations. The steps included extreme unction at the bedside, preparing the body for burial (including wrapping it in graveclothes), processing toward the tomb, and burial. The play features most of these stages, with the exception of the sacrament.54 The link to this office would also explain the extended focus on death and the possibility of evading it. The Consolatores, who act as figures of doubt that must be overcome, consistently speak about the inescapability of death, only to announce their error subsequent to Christ’s resurrection of Lazarus: OMNES CONSOLATORES. For aȝens deth us helpyht not to stryve. But aȝen ȝoure myght is no resistens: Oure deth ȝe may aslake and kepe vs stylle on lyve. (446–48)

Although the resurrection proceeds along biblical lines to a large degree, there are some surprising divergences. The first is the gap between the removal of the stone from Lazarus’s tomb and his resurrection, highlighted in the speech of the Nuncius. Quite unusually, the speaker describes seeing the dead body in the tomb:

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NUNCIUS. Here may men se a rewly sygth Of Þis ded body Þat lyth here graue, Wrappyd in a petéfful plyght. (410–12)

It is difficult to establish whether this wrapped body would have been visible to a prospective audience. But, through the writing of the wrapped corpse into the play at this moment, which is visible to at least the Nuncius figure, an audience would be encouraged to visualize this body in such a condition. Subsequent to this speech, Jesus commands Lazarus to rise: JESUS. Lazare, Lazare, my frend so fre, From Þat depe pitt come out anon! Be Þe grett myght of Þe hygȝ magesté, Alyve Þu shalt on erth ageyn gon. (421–24)

The “depe pitt” detail, mentioned frequently before and after Lazarus’s burial,55 implies a horizontal structure into which Lazarus’s body would be placed. It might have evoked the pit grave shown in the numerous Office of the Dead illuminations or the stone sarcophagus shown in others.56 It is likely that Lazarus was intended to be horizontal for the majority of the play, moving from his deathbed directly into his grave. The exit from this grave is also another unusual feature of the play, as instead of rising during the command of Christ, Lazarus seems to emerge from the tomb while speaking: LAZARUS. At ȝoure comaundement, I ryse up ful ryght. Hevyn, helle, and erth ȝoure byddyng must obeye. For ȝe be God and man, and Lord of most might. Of lyff and of deth ȝe have both lok and keye. (425–28)

A stage direction that is located after Lazarus’s speech adds further weight to this timeline: “Hic resurget Lazarus ligatis manibus et pedibus ad modum sepult[i], et dicit Jesus” (Here Lazarus rises with his hands and feet bound for burial, and Jesus says).57 The direction does echo some parts of John 11:44, but it also gives valuable insight into how resurrection was envisaged in this play. The verb resurgo, as previously discussed, does not specify a particular movement. That the bindings at the hands and feet are mentioned in relation to burial practice, however, makes it unlikely that the movement in question would include standing up. As with the liturgical plays, there is no implicit or explicit evidence to suggest that Lazarus walks at this point. But, in Jesus’s command to “vntey” (429) Lazarus and


“all his bondys, losyth hem asundyr” (430), he specifies that doing so will permit the raised man to “walke hom with ȝow in Þe wey” (431). This play is not without reference to the “loosing and binding” metaphors of Augustine, and this connection is evident in Peter’s confirmation of the command “At ȝoure byddynge, his bondys we unbynde” (433). This statement is a continuation of Christ’s language, which mentions the loosing of bonds, and it is notable that Peter is chosen to untie Lazarus. Further verbal echoes are present in Lazarus’s speech, in which he declares Christ the “lok and keye” (428), although the metaphor is linked to death on this occasion. Although the Augustinian metaphor of loosing and binding Lazarus might be deliberately highlighted on the part of the playwright, sin is not the overt focus of the play. It is therefore likely that the references to binding might be available to an informed spectator, but that this interpretation of Lazarus’s resurrection was not intended to be conveyed to the wider audience.

The Digby Mary Magdalene Play When we turn to the comparable episode in the Digby Magdalene play, it is manifestly clear that the raising of Lazarus episode is but one brief detail in the life of the noble lady turned sinner and penitent turned saint. Theresa Coletti notes that, “no other medieval English play stages more deaths than the Digby saint play,” and links this focus to the play’s concern with “physiological, spiritual, and ritual processes [of ] death and dying.” 58 Joanne Findon argues that the death and resurrection of Lazarus is part of a sustained “contrast between enclosure and liberation—being ‘inside’ and ‘outside’” that permeates the play.59 The critic links the spatial breaching of the tomb to the almost directly adjacent (but unstaged) resurrection of Christ and the allegorical vices’ breaching of and expulsion from Magdalene castle, which doubles for Mary’s body. The episode of Lazarus’s death, which several critics have pointed out resembles the death of the holy siblings’ father Cyrus, includes a brief but painful illness, details of an elaborate funeral, and the resurrection.60 Belief in Christ is consistently mentioned by all—including Christ himself—and, once Lazarus is raised, those present (including the figures specifically identified as Jews) are called on to vocalize their belief in a unified expression recorded in the form of a stage direction. This statement is to be performed “in on woys ... ‘We beleve in yow, Savyowr, Jhesus, Jhesus, Jhesus!’”61 Resurrection is integral to the proof of Christ’s power

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in the Digby Mary Magdalene, putting this episode more in line with the biblical narrative than the two other English plays discussed. In relation to the mechanics of Lazarus’s resurrection, certain aspects are described in careful detail whereas other basic ones are not dealt with at all. Following Mary and Martha’s entreaties to Christ regarding their deceased brother, Martha is the one to remove the gravestone.62 Directly after Christ’s petition to God the Father, he summons Lazarus from the grave: “Lazer, Lazer! Com hethyr to me!” (910). The stage direction that follows this line gives information related to the appearance of Lazarus emerging from the tomb, but does not specify the movements that should be performed: “Here xall Lazar aryse, trossyd wyth towellys, in a shete.” The play-text is more detailed in its description of Lazarus’s graveclothes than most others, and there is care taken to describe not only a covering of some sort but also the constraining nature of those clothes. Trussen, with meanings including to “tie up,” “bind,” or “fasten,” is the linking point between the two types of fabric mentioned: the shete, or general burial cloth, and the towellys, the smaller pieces of cloth that are likely found at the feet and hands. 63 The verb “arisen,” meanwhile, gives no specific detail of how Lazarus emerges from the tomb. Lazarus’s speech focuses on the reconstitution of a body that had been subject to decay and fragmentation, and in terms of practical details he simply states, “now is aloft þat late was ondyr!” (917), which Findon connects to the “spatial semantics of burial and resurrection.”64 This line at the very least suggests the necessity of moving from horizontal to vertical, which could take the form of sitting or standing. The text is unfortunately silent on these matters. In Lazarus’s speech, it is notable that the raised man uses the verb “onbynd,” which might give evidence for how his raising was intended to happen: LAZAR. The goodnesse of God hath don for me here, For he is bote of all balys to onbynd, That blyssed Lord þat here ded apere! (918–20)

Given that this play does not include any order to unloose Lazarus from his graveclothes, this verbal choice might be crucial to understanding the processes involved in Lazarus’s resurrection. There is no evidence in the dialogue to indicate how Lazarus moves, although a stage direction states that, “Mary and Martha and Lazare gon hom to þe castell.” One can presuppose that after his resurrection Lazarus is intended to walk with his sisters to this location. This detail forces the question of when Lazarus emerges


from his sheet and towels in order to walk with his sisters. Although no overt link to the Office of the Dead can be made in the case of the Digby play, the miniatures of Lazarus from Books of Hours are interesting to take into account. Such images regularly depict Lazarus emerging from the grave with his graveclothes loosely draping his body. No specific focus is given in the dialogue to a continued presence of graveclothes outside the tomb, and the only evidence for their presence is found in a stage direction. In the absence of instructive stage directions, the dialogue needs to be considered more carefully in order to glean potentially implicit details. The verb “onbynd” does deserve attention, and, with its figurative connection to a release from “bale,” a coordinated stage action of Lazarus’s release from his graveclothes would make dramatic sense. No external agent is assigned the role of unwrapping these clothes, and yet the play clearly necessitates that Lazarus leaves the tomb completely in order to resume his place at Magdalene castle. At the very least, it is possible to conjecture that Lazarus’s graveclothes are not made to be a long-standing force of constraint, nor is there the necessity that he moves in a particular way while still dressed in them. The play does not treat the clothes in an entirely pragmatic way, but neither do the clothes take on the figurative potential that they hold in exegesis. Nevertheless, this play includes this detail as part of its dramatic design, implying that clothes hold meaning that warrants inclusion.

The Towneley Lazarus Play The Towneley Lazarus play provides yet another significant departure from the biblical narrative and grants the eponymous character the most stage time and spoken dialogue of any premodern English performance. It also provides one of the clearest examples of how the resurrection might have been staged, which, I will argue, is intricately linked to the specificity of the Lazarus part. Before getting to the moment of resurrection itself, it is worth considering the wider context of the play, which contributes to a greater understanding of why the Towneley Lazarus is such a dramatic outlier. Of all the Towneley Lazarus’s anomalies, its placement as the second to last play in Huntington MS HM I, just before the Hanging of Judas, has caused critics more than a few headaches. Those willing to stake a claim for this codicological quirk have been divided into opposing camps, either arguing that the play is totally out of place or that it is rightfully situated at this penultimate point. Editors Martin Stevens and

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A. C. Cawley summarize these arguments without imposing any firm conclusions. Taking the content of the other plays into account, they note that the Towneley Lazarus would be ill suited to an earlier position, as it would be “the sole episode in the cycle from the ministry of Christ.” Furthermore, the play’s eschatological emphasis, exemplified in the long monologue delivered by the newly resurrected Lazarus, would make the play look even further out of joint with its fellow pre-Passion plays. 65 Indeed, there is no narrative cohesion between the Towneley Lazarus plays and the pre-Passion episodes. Even N-Town, which has the same issue of being a compilation rather than a coherent cycle such as we find in York, still has narrative links between its Lazarus play, ministry plays, and Christ’s Passion. Suggesting that the Lazarus play is a misplaced insertion does not simplify matters either. Stevens and Cawley note the Towneley scribe took care to highlight errors elsewhere in the manuscript “to explain misplacements or departures from chronology.”66 The editors thus conclude that, “In light of this practice, it may seem unlikely that he would not have noted the misplacement of the Lazarus play, either in its position or at its correct chronological place in the manuscript.”67 The character of Lazarus has more in common with his counterpart in the Prik of Conscience than his other dramatic incarnations. In this poem, he is a spokesperson for hell and shares his memories of torturous pains with his siblings: Thenne tolde he of the peynes hydouse, Bot durste he not for Criste alle telle The peynes that he say in helle. He lyved aftur fyftene yeere Bot lowghe he never ny maad glad chere For drede that he deth shuld dryghe And for tho peynes that he say with yghe, For dethes bitturnes may noon wyte Bot he only that feled hath hyte Tho peynes of helle noon wol wene Bot he that hem hath felte or sene. (6.91–101)

The isolation of the Lazarus figure is evident in the Prik of Conscience, and he is forever separated from his fellow man by virtue of what he has seen in the afterlife. Eamon Duff y writes that the account of Lazarus’s hellish visions was also recorded in a popular text called the Visio Lazari, which in turn could be found within the “best-selling devotional and practical almanac, the Kalender of the Shepherds.” Duffy


adds that the work had “great popular appeal” because of “its pseudoscriptural claim to provide information on the afterlife straight from the horse’s mouth.” 68 Undoubtedly, the resurrection of Lazarus takes a distinctive dramatic form in the Towneley compilation. Lazarus’s stage presence, as already mentioned, is of far greater import in this play than elsewhere, and his 133–line speech suggests that he needs to command the audience’s attention for well over half of the play. He is not a marginal character, and his lengthy speaking role presents him as a dynamic character that, if not mobile, was likely expressive at least on the level of gesture. With these points observed, Christ’s efficiency in raising him while also ordering his graveclothes to be removed is dramatically coherent with what follows: IESUS. Com furth, Lazare, and stande vs by; In erthe shall thou no langere ly. Take and lawse hym foote and hande, And from his throte take the bande, And the sudary take hym fro And all that gere, and let hym go. (96–102)

Again unlike the other plays, Christ’s first line in this speech makes it apparent that the spatial reintegration of Lazarus into the wider group will be achieved by his moving out of the grave to stand among them. To that end, both standing and walking are alluded to via this implicit direction. The realization of these movements necessitates the removal of graveclothes, which are also implicated in a series of implied directions. In what might be the most complete wrapping of any dramatic Lazarus, the text clarifies that he is covered from toe to head. Indeed, the dialogue urges the reader to follow this trajectory, and he is unwrapped from foot, hand, throat, to head, facilitating Lazarus’s subsequent movement and speech. This play is the only one to include the biblical soudarion, and it makes dramatic sense to do so, given the extensive speech that is to come. With Lazarus’s joints and mouth having been blocked with graveclothes, the freeing of each of these parts enables his future role in the play. Although the Towneley Lazarus is by no means the only one to exit the tomb fully in a play, he is unique in terms of the role that he will subsequently take. In this sense, the clarity of detail related not only to his exit but also to his unwrapping—two facets that are integrally linked in Christ’s speech—make sense for this play. The graveclothes function as dramatic obstacles to life, as remnants of death, and must be completely elided in order to grant Lazarus the authority to speak about the afterlife.

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It also works the other way. Lazarus’s authority as a witness to hell and the corporeal consequences of death are linked to his death and resurrection, and the power of his speech is dependent on his first-hand experience. Although the graveclothes do not have the metaphoric power of exegesis, they are nonetheless intrinsic to the dramatic power and characterization of this Lazarus. Throughout this discussion of Lazarus’s resurrection in early English plays, it is evident that neither the biblical text nor exegetical models are entirely suitable to dramatic performance. Although Lazarus’s graveclothes are allocated a meaningful role in the plays discussed, they also provide challenges to each dramatic vision. It is possible to maintain the argument related to the Latin plays that there is no clear evidence for a Lazarus who walks while bound in drama, and even possible to argue that no play ever intends this to be the case. This conclusion is not necessarily a revolutionary one, and it is in line with dramatic logistics and the contemporary iconographic and textual conventions with which these plays engage. Nevertheless, the omission of this biblical and exegetical detail also speaks to the huge range of possible influences that affect a single character in biblical drama and should warn the critic against complacency in this regard. And, as the variety of Lazarus characters and plays makes clear, this is a role that can oscillate according to the particular demands of the dramatic vision.

Conclusion The bindings of Lazarus held a place of prominence in the medieval narratives that dealt with the resurrection episode. As I have intended to show, this detail splinters into an opportunity for exegetes and a logistical nightmare for dramatists. The continual inclusion of the detail— regardless of its status as helper or hindrance—positions the cloth as an unavoidably important element of this episode, regardless of the role attributed to Lazarus. Whereas art and text did not need to deal with the question of how Lazarus moved when he evacuated his tomb, the specificities of movement are a vital consideration in dramatic contexts. And, although cloth’s relationship to a bound body can be positioned as having conceptual import in certain instances, it is notable that none of the plays discussed in this chapter had recourse to this exegetical model. How one moves can have conceptual implications in drama, and chapter 1 proves this point. But overwhelmingly, drama must foreground the possible over the conceptual, as the Lazarus story demonstrates.


NOTES 1 Wilkins Sullivan discusses Giotto’s innovation especially in relation to famed contemporaries such as Duccio, whose own raising of Lazarus was much more traditional and influenced by the Byzantine artistic style, “Duccio’s Raising of Lazarus Reexamined,” p. 377. 2 Giotto is not the only artist to suggest a type of motion that looks distinctly unrealizable. One remarkable twelfth-century fresco from the church of San Baudelio de Berlanga, León, has Lazarus almost levitating out of the tomb in a movement parallel with the lifting of the gravestone, while Christ points a crosstopped staff at the rising man. The tight bands on Lazarus, which even cover his head in its entirety, suggest that divine power causes him to rise in a motorically impossible fashion. 3 Derbes and Sandona, The Usurer’s Heart, p. 132. 4 Wilkins Sullivan, “Duccio’s Raising of Lazarus Reexamined,” p. 377. 5 Giraud, “Mary between Voice and Voicelessness,” p. 207. Giordano da Pisa, Quaresimale fiorentino 1305–1306, pp. 294–95. 6 Renn discusses the biblical resonances of the verbs deō, “to bind or tie,” and lyō, “to loose” or “untie,” and notes in particular the ranges of literal and metaphoric senses related to both words, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 111; 801. 7 Ambrose, Funeral Orations, pp. 231–32. The full passage reads: “Imagine, if you can, how he picks his way with eyes closed, moves forward with his feet tied, and makes progress without taking steps. Although the bands remained, they did not hold him back ... For, where the power of the divine command was operating, nature had no needs of its own functions, and, as in in a kind of trance, no longer followed its own course, but obeyed the divine will. The bonds of death were broken before those of the tomb. Walking was practiced before it was prepared for.” For the Latin text, see De excessu fratris Satyri, 2.78, p. 292. 8 Tydman makes note of the Jeu d’Adam’s use of kettles and cauldrons for lighting special effects, The Theatre in the Middle Ages, p. 180. For a discussion of more elaborate effects, see Butterworth, Theatre of Fire and Magic on the Early English Stage. 9 Augustine, In Iohannis Evangelium, p. 431. Translation from Gibb. I amend the two lines under discussion in this translation. 10 Augustine, XXII.7, p. 147. Translation in Gibb. 11 Kramer, Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood, p. 28. 12 Kramer, Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood, p. 29. 13 Kramer, Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood, p. 37. 14 See Abelard, Ethical Writings, p. 53. Abelard also mentions the raising of Lazarus in relation to the power of absolution in one of his sermons at the Paraclete. See Allen Smith and Wells, Negotiating Community, p. 159. 15 Kramer, Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood, pp. 19–21.

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Morey, Prik of Conscience. All quotations are from the Morey edition. Love, The Mirror of the Blessed Life, p. 132. 18 Hudson, English Wycliffite Sermons, pp. 143–44. 19 I do not include the Lucerne Passion Play. See Evans, The Passion Play, for a critical discussion. 20 Bevington suggests that the Benediktbeuern Passion Play might have been written as early as 1160, Medieval Drama, p. 178. Loewen dates the play in line with the Carmina Burana manuscript, 1250, “The Conversion of Mary Magdalene,” pp. 235–36. The Fleury manuscript was compiled ca. 1200, making it likely that the plays within this compilation predate their gathering by some time. What we know about Hilarius is scant. He was a disciple of Peter Abelard at the Benedictine Oratory of the Paraclete (Ferreux-Quincey). Abelard was active there between 1121 and 1125, and so Hilarius can be placed there too within this timeframe. His subsequent movements are extremely difficult to ascertain. 21 For a discussion of the numerous condensed roles attributed to Mary Magdalene throughout the Middle Ages, see Coletti, Mary Magdalene, p. 1. 22 For a critique of this term, which is absolutely problematic in many ways, see Holger Petersen, “Liturgical Enactment,” pp. 13–29. 23 For more on this unique manuscript, see Campbell and Davidson, Fleury Playbook. 24 Translations for this play, unless otherwise indicated, are mine. All quotations from this play are from Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, II. 25 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 26 Muir, The Biblical Drama, p. 121. 27 Fletcher Collins translates the lines: “The rescued one speedily unbind, | And unfettered let him go,” Medieval Church Music-Dramas, p. 239. 28 Wilkins Sullivan, “Duccio’s Raising of Lazarus Reexamined,” pp. 374–87. 29 Whatling, The Corpus of Medieval Narrative Art. This image is found in Bay 46 among the lower windows. 30 The conical hats identify these figures as Jewish, and their gestures—hands open towards their interlocutors—differ significantly from the clearly griefstricken sisters. Martha holds one hand to her cheek, while Mary presses her hands against her chest. Both heads are cast down, and their facial expressions also indicate sadness. Chartres, Bay 46, panel 5, Whatling. 31 In a discussion of Bourges, Whatling states that the program of glazing both cathedrals overlapped. 32 Image is found in Bay 17 among the ambulatory windows. 33 Whatling. Image found in Light B, Bay 109, ambulatory glass, middle storey (triforium) windows. A similar image found in Clermont-Ferrand is dated to between 1275 and 1285. 34 Many scholars have observed the links between contemporary iconographic traditions and drama. See Sheingorn, “On Using Medieval Art,” pp. 101–9; 16 17


Weigert, French Visual Culture; Plesch, “Word and Image”; Twycross, “Beyond the Picture Theory,” pp. 589–617; and, more recently, Twycross, The Materials of Early Theatre. See chapter 2 for a discussion of the connection between liturgical performance and imagery. 35 Wilkins Sullivan, “Duccio’s Raising of Lazarus Reexamined,” p. 379. 36 A key similarity is the appearance of the Jewish figures, who attempt to console the grief-stricken sisters. 37 Bevington, Medieval Drama, p. 155. 38 Quotations for this play are taken from the edition edited by Bevington. See also Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, II. 39 See Rudick, “Theme, Structure, and Sacred Context,” pp. 267–86, and, quoting Sticco, p. 267. 40 Rudick, “Theme, Structure, and Sacred Context,” p. 269. 41 All quotations for this play are taken from the edition edited by Bevington. See also Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church, II. 42 Rudick also notes this error, although he does this rather discreetly in “Theme, Structure, and Sacred Context,” fn. 11. He cites Bischoff ’s reading “quadriduum” in the same note. It is all the more surprising that, in spite of acknowledging this error, Rudick does not put the three sung verses together as components of one liturgical chant. 43 In full, this chant reads: “Videns dominus flentes sorores Lazari ad monumentum lacrimatus est coram Judaeis et clamabat Lazare veni foras et prodiit ligatis manibus et pedibus qui fuerat quatriduanus mortuus.” The Cantus database cites sixteen manuscripts that contain this chant in this exact form, all but two of which are linked to Fer 6. Hebd. 4 Quad, the fourth Friday of Lent. 44 Ashley, “The Resurrection of Lazarus,” p. 228. 45 I omit discussions of the York and Chester plays because both are very scant on descriptions related to Lazarus’s resurrection. 46 For discussions relating to the dating of the Mary Magdalene play, see Baker, Murphy, and Hall, The Late Medieval Religious Plays of Bodleian MSS pp. xii, xxx. 47 Sugano, The N-Town Plays, pp. 7–8. 48 King has shown such an approach to be both problematic and reductive in her study of the liturgical connections that contribute to the sequencing of the York plays, in The York Mystery Cycle. 49 Goodland writes that the overt differences between the English Lazarus plays “are no doubt related to the regional development of each cycle,” Female Mourning, p. 40. Much earlier, Woolf observed the importance of grief and the Ars moriendi tradition in the Towneley plays, English Mystery Play, pp. 227–28. 50 Duffy, Marking the Hours; Schell, “The Office of the Dead,” p. 12. 51 Wieck, Time Sanctified, p. 124. 52 Cited from Wieck, Time Sanctified, p. 132.

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Schell gives a description of three English manuscripts that contain Lazarus images, “The Office of the Dead,” pp. 147–49, and Wieck, Time Sanctified, p. 133, shows a late fifteenth-century image from Bruges. 54 See Wieck, Time Sanctified, p. 130, for a sequence of miniatures that show the preparation of the body as well as the funeral procession and burial. 55 Goodland remarks that the “pitt” might be intended to evoke Hell, which was often referred to as a pit, Female Mourning, p. 43. 56 Schell discusses this image in some detail, “The Office of the Dead,” pp. 147–49. The critic argues that the English examples were possibly influenced by French fashions, although she notes that it is difficult to completely reconcile place of production with place of consumption, p. 32. See also Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, p. 212, and Armstrong, “English Purchases,” p. 278. 57 Translation by Sugano, The N-Town Plays, p. 204. 58 Coletti, Mary Magdalene, p. 41. 59 Findon, “Now is aloft,” p. 252. 60 See Coletti, Mary Magdalene, p. 41. 61 All quotations from this play are from the edition edited by Baker, Murphy, and Hall, The Late Medieval Religious Plays of Bodleian MSS. 62 As critics have noted, the Digby playwright pays no attention to the usual division between Mary and Martha and the active and contemplative lives. 63 MED. 64 Findon, “Now is aloft,” p. 252. 65 Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays, II, p. 646. 66 Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays, II, p. 646. 67 Stevens and Cawley, The Towneley Plays, II, p. 647. 68 Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, p. 341. 53

Chapter 4

Metaphorical Shoes and the Body


HE SHOE IS ONE of the most ubiquitously worn artifacts in the clothed life of an individual. The foot’s place inside this entity, which is fashioned to fit its shape, puts the foot into contact with the shoe’s material composition in a way that impacts both. Shoes change the posture and gait of a person by virtue of their presence on the foot. Feet equally impact the shape and condition of the shoe. Hilary Davidson makes the point that premodern shoes were in constant need of replacement and repair, so great was the impact of being worn.1 The shoe’s function in the medieval period ranged from the practical to the ostentatious, with ease of movement either prioritized or forsaken based on what the shoe was intended to do. Although critical studies have considered the impact of the shoe on the body, the social function of shoes, and their economic status, there is little work to date that has focused on how shoes are used in a literary context. The texts included in this chapter display an interest in the functionality of the shoe, especially when this functionality offers figurative potential. In the examples that follow, a recurrent feature is a focus on the most basic aspects of the shoe and what this can articulate about the bodies in contact with it. Putting on a shoe, taking one off, or untying a strap are all possible figures that are used to articulate concepts related to specific bodies. Shoes appear in medieval texts that consider some of the most complex aspects of Christian belief, providing images and metaphors that are facilitated by an artifact of which a reader has substantial knowledge. This chapter is divided into two sections. The first will focus exclusively on theological discourse, and the second will move between such texts and popular, vernacular mediums. Although the first section may, as a consequence, appear more detached from a wider audience context, this is not necessarily the case. Some of the most lauded Christian thinkers would find in the shoe a tool that afforded them the possibility of explaining the incarnation, as far as this doctrine could be explained. The figure allowed for the utmost clarity and simplicity, something that Gregory the Great would exploit, or could be subject to greater subtlety, as in the commentaries

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of Origen and Pseudo Chrysostom. The shoe, and particularly the gesture of putting it on the foot, is used time and again to explain how the Christian god took on a body. Relying on the audience’s knowledge of shoes and how to wear them, eminent theologians used this artifact in the interrogation of a doctrine that had no logical explanation. This latter point is not neglected in these discussions, and the sandal strap is put forward in order to clarify the limitations of the human mind. Drawing on key Gospel verses in which John the Baptist insists on his unworthiness beside Christ, the same thinkers who use the wearing of the shoe to discuss incarnation propose that a failure to undo its strap exemplifies the constraints of human cognition. Attribution of conceptual meanings to common gestures and artifacts is a cohesive strategy in the texts considered and remains consistent across the different generic boundaries encountered. Similar tactics are found in the second part of this chapter, even though the bodies under discussion—and the aims of the writers—are profoundly different. Both shoes and feet are recurrent in discussions of the fallen body. The danger of bare feet is touched on in the N-Town Fall of Man play, which engages with an extensive metaphorical past in which the absence of shoes exemplifies the dangers of living in a mortal world. Late medieval texts feature a combination of separate metaphorical traditions, but in each case shoes and their relationship to feet have meaning for the bodies under discussion. The basic functionality of a shoe is positioned in relation to concepts that are essential to how the writers understand the embodied condition of themselves and their audiences. Whatever the exact context, shoes recur in discussions of the body because they are useful to such discussions. They offer writers an artifact that is in direct contact with the body and that an individual must act on in particular ways.2

Sandals, Ties, and Incarnation Quis enim nesciat quod calceamenta ex mortuis animalibus fiunt? Incarnatus vero Dominus veniens quasi calceatus apparuit, quia in divinitate sua morticina nostrae corruptionis assumpsit. (VII.3) [We all know that sandals are made from dead animals. The Lord came in flesh; he appeared as if shod in sandals because he assumed in his divinity the dead flesh of our corrupt condition.]3

Thus writes Gregory the Great (540–604) in one of his homilies to the faithful in the late sixth century. In this sermon on incarnation, Christ’s

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sandal is one of Gregory’s most important tools for explaining the doctrine, offering him an artifact with which his audience had a wealth of practical experience. Whereas many an exegete would compare Christ’s assumption of a human body to the wearing of a garment, Gregory instead opts for the sandal. He was not the first to do so. Origen of Alexandria had made the comparison more than three centuries earlier, although his aim was certainly not as clear as Gregory’s in his respective discussion. Each theologian’s use of the sandal varies according to their intended audience, but both find in this artifact an ideal vehicle to explain how a god takes on a body. Gregory’s reputation for clarifying dense theological references and for striving to teach his flock is palpably evident in the first line of this homily, “We all know that sandals are made from dead animals.” Establishing a basis of common knowledge and experience, Gregory quickly departs to the level of figure, but he takes care to begin with an inclusive statement. This common knowledge assumes two different aspects of the sandal: first, its raw material and, second, the process through which this material is transformed into a shoe. The transition to the figurative level is made possible by the first, declarative statement. The raw material in question is not a neutral one, and, for readers of chapter 1 of this book and the contemporary audience of the homily, the allusion should be obvious. The specification that the shoe is made from dead animal skins forces the audience to recall the tunics of skin from Genesis 3:21 and the theological link established between the mortal animal and the fallen human. The tunics tread the line between physicality and figurativeness, being both the literal skins of animals and indicative of the embodied condition of Adam, Eve, and their descendants. The requirement that the Christian god wears such skins clarifies to the audience that taking on a human body means taking on their mortal condition, too. But the shoe, which might be taken off as well as put on, exemplifies the detachability that is a vital component of incarnation. This shoe stands for Christ’s embodied condition, which is as temporary and removable as a sandal. The image of incarnation as a god wearing shoes is part of a much wider theological strategy to explain the doctrine and account for its inexplicability. But, departing slightly from Gregory’s initial shoe metaphor, both he and Origen before him would single out the strap of this sandal in order to convey the intellectual impossibility of grasping the complexity of the event. Drawing upon the Gospel verses in which John the Baptist explains his subordinate position in relation to Christ by means of a shoe, Origen explores the wider implications of the verses by expanding on the metaphoric potential of sandal straps:

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And because he [the Baptist] understood the preeminence of the Christ which surpassed his own nature, a subject that some were in doubt about since they asked if he might be the Christ, wishing to show how far he fell short of Christ’s greatness so that no one should think more about him than what he sees in him or hears from him he adds, “the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose.” He is hinting that he is not sufficient to loose and explain the word about his incarnation which has been bound, as it were, and hidden to those who do not understand, so as to say anything worthy of so great a sojourn which was compressed into so short a time.4

Drawing on Luke 3:16, John 1:27, and Mark 1:7, Origen extends the Baptist’s claims to be unworthy of untying the latchets of Christ’s sandals in order to dispute the possibility that he can even execute such an action. This gestural “insufficiency” is then extended to the metaphorical and includes the intellectual failure of the Baptist. The loosing of the strap is made equivalent to the mental effort required to understand a doctrine, but both remain unavailable to the Baptist in Origen’s discussion. Gregory, too, approaches the intellectual limitations of his congregation via the sandal tie and the Baptist’s efforts in relation to untying it. Again connecting a failure of intellect with a failure to execute the correct actions, Gregory is emphatic about the sharp limitations one will experience during an attempt to understand what is simply beyond the reach of the human mind: “Corrigia ergo calceamenti est ligatura mysterii. Joannes itaque solvere corrigiam calceamenti ejus non valet, quia incarnationis ejus mysterium nec ipse investigare sufficit, qui hanc per prophetiae spiritum agnovit” (The sandal strap is the bond of mystery. John is not able to undo the strap of his sandal because not even he who recognized the mystery of the Lord’s incarnation through the spirit of prophecy can subject it to investigation).5 As with Origen, Gregory draws on the case of the Baptist to demonstrate the finite capacity of the human mind. Even he with prophetic insight, Gregory claims, falls short of fully understanding the complexity of the event. The sandal strap would appear throughout the works of the most illustrious medieval exegetes, and this interpretation of the Baptist’s words would be recorded in numerous variations in Thomas Aquinas’s (1225–1274) great anthology of biblical commentary on the Gospels, the Catena Aurea. Preserved in the Catena is one final example worth including, as it plays on the link between shoe ties and intellectual capacity to great effect. The writer is one Pseudo Chrysostom, thought to have been an Arian bishop in the fifth or sixth century, whose Opus Imperfectum in

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Matthaeum also has recourse to the sandal-strap metaphor. Later discredited as the work of John Chrysostom by Erasmus, this Gospel commentary had held a place of inordinate value in the medieval period, exemplified by Aquinas’s inclusion of the work in the Catena. Pseudo Chrysostom, likely drawing on Origen either directly or indirectly, focuses in this excerpt on Mark 1:7, in which the Baptist specifies his unworthiness via both a bend toward the shoe as well as its untying: corrigiam enim vocant ligamen calceamentorum. Ad excellentiam igitur potestatis Christi, et divinitatis magnitudinem extollendam hoc dicit, ac si diceret: neque in ministri ordine deputari sufficiens sum. Magnum enim est in his quae sunt corporis Christi quasi procumbendo inferius attendere, et imaginem supernorum inferius videre, et solvere unumquodque inexplicabilium quae sunt circa mysterium incarnationis. (1. l.4) [For he means by the latchet, the tie of the shoe. He says this therefore to extol the excellence of the power of Christ, and the greatness of His divinity; as if he said, Not even in the station of his servant am I worthy to be reckoned. For it is a great thing to contemplate, as it were stooping down, those things which belong to the body of Christ, and to see from below the image of things above, and to untie each of those mysteries, about the Incarnation of Christ, which cannot be unraveled.]6

The strategy of this anonymous exegete is very much in line with Gregory and Origen, but he adds clarifications that suggest a concern to take his audience with him in this commentary. The stoop is given pertinent value in relation to intellectual processes, and it forms part of a trajectory toward the shoe strap that corresponds to the intellectual effort required of the individual. The association between such a posture and specific mental acts is not unique to this author, however, and Mary Carruthers writes that prophets, theologians, and philosophers alike “fell prostrate as a posture of readiness to see and remember.”7 In playing on this conventional posture of mental activity, Pseudo Chrysostom aligns it with the Baptist’s claims of unworthiness in Mark 1:7, allowing the exegete grounds on which to develop the link between shoe straps and the comprehension of this doctrine. The stooped position is used to suggest both physical proximity to the shoe strap and the intellectual possibility of approaching an understanding of incarnation. The untying of both is proposed in this passage, but only for this possibility to be immediately rejected. These are ties that cannot be undone. Pseudo Chrysostom uses a most appropriate descriptor in this refusal.

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Inexplicabilium holds the double meaning of “that [which] cannot be untied” and that which is “inexplicable, beyond explanation.”8 The adjective works by overlaying a physical structure that is inseparable with a concept that cannot be understood. The tied sandals are the culmination of intellectual endeavor that nevertheless falls short. Each of the three exegetes considered in this brief discussion finds in the humble sandal grounds on which to develop complex discussions around the most challenging of Christian doctrines. Calling on the kinesic intelligence of the reader via references to specific gestures and postures—and the difficulty the Baptist has in executing them—requires her to understand these (attempted) movements in relation to a concept. As part of this effort, the sandal and its straps are essential components in the process of understanding the body’s actions in relation to the meaning ascribed to it. Shoe straps are positioned as cognitive affordances that facilitate a reader’s capacity to link body to meaning. Yet the understanding of the failures on the level of both physical and mental actions is also contingent on their comprehensibility. An audience needs to understand what it means to untie a shoe strap in order to understand what failure in such a task implies. And they need to follow authorities such as Gregory or Origen into the level of allegory in order for that failure to exemplify their own incapacity to grapple with the incarnation. This interplay between an action that should be possible and an intellectual endeavor that is beyond the bounds of both exegete and prophet is indicative of how such high-level discourse works. Incarnation is discussed via the commonest of artifacts and actions of no great difficulty. Although shoes reappear elsewhere in theological discourse for different purposes, their consistent presence in the lived experience of the individual would offer theologians, dramatists, and poets much metaphoric possibility to exploit in relation to embodiment.

Protective Shoes and Emotional Feet When the N-Town Adam utters the line “Awey is shrowde and sho” (210) in the midst of his post-Fall despair, he is articulating the embodied experience of his new, debased condition. It is a condition in which protection from environmental elements no longer exists, a condition in which the body is now subject to pain, and in which hunger poses a mortal threat. The approach of the N-Town playwright is nonetheless striking in its specificity. The bareness of Adam and Eve after their disobedience is nothing new—it is one of the most evocative parts of the Fall narrative. The

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particularities of this bareness, and its wider relation to embodied experience, however, urge a more careful consideration of what the first man implies in this fifteenth-century play. Adam’s attempt to articulate his new state in all its horror draws upon exegetical models in which Adam and Eve are stripped at the moment of the Fall. Remarkably, the playwright includes shoes in Adam’s response to this moment of deprivation. As chapter 1 demonstrates, stripping the first parents of an original garment was a prevalent medieval interpretation of the Fall, but the inclusion of shoes is a feature that is not found elsewhere. For the ramifications of this addition to be fully appreciated, a wider sense of context is needed. The longer version of Adam’s exclamation reads: “I walke as worm withoutyn wede, | Awey is schrowde and sho” (209–10). The changes to the first man’s body are conveyed on the level of motion as well as bareness, with the one connected to the other. The figurative nature of this statement means that the connection between these facets of bodily experience needs further consideration. First, to walk “as a worm” relates the body of Adam to that of the snake, who, according to Genesis 3:14, must walk on his belly as punishment for his diabolical role in the first parents’ loss of paradise. In linking himself to the creature through this simile, Adam articulates his corporeal degradation as something that impacts his posture and motion. That he is bare within this figurative scenario aligns Adam with the animals from which he and Eve were previously separated. The combination of both details has the effect of linking Adam to the lowliest (both physically and spiritually) creature of all—the snake. In begging the question of what it means to walk without shoes in a world where pain, suffering, and extensive mobility are necessary parts of embodied experience, the N-Town playwright is drawing on a tradition in which shoes provide metaphorical protection to equally metaphorical feet. Although each component of this figurative statement needs unpacking, it also needs to be considered in relation to a wealth of exegetical commentary that used shoes and feet for conceptual purposes. Initially, feet and shoes had separate metaphorical histories, but these figures are combined from the thirteenth century in an exegetical strategy that may have influenced writers such as those from the N-Town corpus. The example from the N-Town Fall of Man is nevertheless a striking variation. The degraded state of the body is the overwhelming concern of this play, which makes the loss of shoes a valuable articulator of the extent of corporeal and spiritual loss. For the other writers who engage with similar metaphors, the addition of the shoe to the foot is a far more inviting strategy.

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The Doctrine of the Hert, an anonymous fifteenth-century adaptation of the popular devotional guide De Doctrina Cordis, features the more common use of feet and shoes. This writer urges his readership to cultivate an ideal emotional state through the wearing of an elaborately crafted pair of shoes and does so by drawing on the same tradition as the N-Town Fall of Man. The shoes, fashioned from an ethereal substance, are to fit a particular type of foot, which is as intangible as the shoe itself. A foot of “goostly affeccioun” should, this writer urges, be shod in shoes “of hevenly desire.”9 This directive forms part of an elaborate set of gifts that God is said to bestow on the reader, specified throughout as a nun. The shoes are the fourth of thirteen ornaments of the soul that a bride of Christ should posses and follow on from dyed wool, precious oil, and cloths of many colors. With each ornament comes a specific attribute that the bride must take care to cultivate. When it comes to the shoes, the reader is first told these are a gift, but is soon urged to make this heavenly item fit her foot of “affection.” For a reader inscribed within the devotional discourse that the Doctrine of the Hert constructs, the meaning of shoe and foot—and how they should relate to each other—should be available. To the uninitiated, however, there might be cause for confusion. What are shoes of heavenly desires one might ask, and how does such a shoe fit on a foot of spiritual affection? The English writer of this text was using metaphors related to both shoes and feet that were subject to significant variation over time. In order to account for such a figurative use of shoes and feet in Middle English literature, two separate metaphoric traditions need to be outlined. Although the references are brief in the given examples, their implications open up wide-ranging insights into how the body was considered, both physically and spiritually, in texts such as the Doctrine of the Hert and the N-Town Fall of Man. And the strategies these texts use exemplify clothing’s capacity to operate as a cognitive affordance, facilitating the reader or spectator’s engagement with aspects of the embodied condition.

Motion and Emotion Beginning this discussion with the foot means beginning with the faculty of the affectus (or affectio), because the foot was one of the most prevalent metaphorical tools used to discuss specific movements of the soul. 10 Alongside the “passions” (passio), the affectus is the term most regularly found in premodern discussions of emotion. In classical and medieval theories, specific emotions fell under its remit. The metaphorical link between foot and affectus was based on theories of motion that made a

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comparison between the foot’s role in moving the body and the affectus’s capacity to cause movements within the soul. The figure had been used in Neoplatonic treatises on the soul and emotion and found a powerful Christian advocate in Augustine of Hippo.11 In his engagement with theories of the affectus, Augustine not only carried forth earlier conceptions but also proposed refinements that had an enormous influence on the understanding of this faculty. Like his classical precursors, Augustine located the affectus within the soul. One of the Bishop of Hippo’s most significant contributions to medieval theories was his proposal that this faculty was governed by the will (from the upper, rational part of the soul), which was therefore in charge of the forms of emotion under its remit (in the lower, appetitive part of the soul).12 In naming these forms, Augustine follows the fourfold division developed in the Ciceronian classification of the passions, although the connotations were different in each context: “Affectiones nostrae motus animorum sunt. Laetitia, animi diffusio; tristitia, animi contractio; cupiditas, animi progressio; timor, animi fuga est” ( Joy is a relaxation of the soul; sorrow, a contraction; desire, a progression; fear, a flight).13 Thomas Dixon notes that Augustine’s innovation was to unite “all four [emotions] under the single principle of love (amor),” the term by which Augustine often refers to the affectus. Dixon further unpacks the spiritual capacities of the affectus, which, according to Augustine, had the potential to be beneficial or destructive, depending on its trajectory: “There were both appropriate and inappropriate forms of anger, love, desire, hate, jealousy, hope and fear. The proper object for each was an incorporeal ideal (injustice, God, sin, eternal life, damnation) and were aspects of a love for and movement toward God. The improper objects of these passions and affections were worldly and ephemeral (people, bodies, sex, money, ambition, pleasure, pain).”14 Augustine’s understanding of the affectus saw it as indicative of the fallen nature of humanity and irrevocably tied to the split will (carnal and spiritual), which was the source of all problems for the postlapsarian human.15 Owing to this split nature, the affectus had the ability to exert a positive influence over the fallen creation if it was directed toward God, or had the potential to lead them toward sin if its goal was the ephemeral. The foot is continually connected to the affectus in Augustine’s theological discourse and is metaphorically linked to those problematic facets of human nature that remain susceptible to corruption. For Augustine, the affectus is the faculty through which one can reach God—it is the means by which such a journey can be successfully completed—but its corrupt

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postlapsarian condition makes motion in this direction extremely difficult. The divided will is the cause of sin in Augustinian thought, and consequently the affectus—controlled by the will—is no longer capable of constantly seeking what is good, which was its role prior to the Fall.16 The “foot of the soul,” as Augustine calls it, is his metaphor of choice in discussions of the affectus, and it offers the Bishop of Hippo a basis to develop various bodily images that convey moral implications. Such strategies are used repeatedly in his commentary on the Psalms (Enarrationes in Psalmos). The overall effect of such discussions is to locate significant moral failures in the foot, marking the postlapsarian appendage as one that is especially prone to corruption. I want to pause over two particular examples that demonstrate how Augustine utilizes the foot, posture, and motion in relation to the affectus. In a discussion of Psalm 9:15 (“I will rejoice in thy salvation: the Gentiles have stuck fast in the destruction which they have prepared. Their foot hath been taken in the very snare which they hid”), Augustine deliberates over the metaphorical link between foot and affectus and outlines the wider impact this faculty has on the spiritual condition of the individual: “Pes animae recte intellegitur amor; qui cum prauus est, uocatur cupiditas aut libido; cum autem rectus, dilectio uel caritas” (The foot of the soul is well understood to be its love: which, when depraved, is called coveting or lust; but when upright, love or charity).17 In this example, Augustine interweaves the implications of posture and stance with the moral condition of the affectus and relates the impact this foot can have upon the body, to its spiritual failures or successes. He plays upon the multiple meanings of the adjectives pravus and rectus, skillfully using each one to link bodily postures to conceptual meanings. Rectus and its link to verticality imply an ideal affectus, whereas pravus (meaning crooked and distorted as well as depraved) suggests the contrary. As Dixon previously outlined, amor unites the differing emotive elements of the faculty and accounts for the corrupt or idealized manifestations that are offered as possible outcomes. Augustine’s phrasing suggests that the foot–affectus link is one that is pervasively known. What he deliberates on is his own addition of amor to the long-standing metaphor. The sentence “Pes animae recte intellegitur amor” presents the foot as an attribute of the soul, pressing the reader to envisage the faculty as something with feet. But Augustine also expects the addition of love to be one that is readily apparent, and the passive form intellegitur is modified by the adverb recte (meaning straightly, undeviatingly, but also well, rightly, or correctly), suggesting that the pairing is straightforward. 18 Recte is an interesting choice and it echoes the

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subsequent adjectival form that circumscribes the erect, morally superior body. All of these factors culminate in putting forth a profoundly corporeal image of the affectus, which is either distorted or rendered gloriously upright by the type of amor that exudes from it. Augustine’s reliance on the embodied knowledge of the reader of this commentary is apparent. He continually targets kinesic intelligence and, in connecting specific postures to particular moral implications, necessitates that an audience follows him in distinguishing a righteous affectus from a corrupted one.19 The potential links between the foot, sin, and affectus are made more explicit in a later commentary where Augustine draws motricity into the corrupt body schema. The pride of the first parents is cited as the reason for the Fall, which progresses logically from a distortion of the body to a movement away from God. Movement and its direction take on the conceptual work that posture did in the previous example, and the foot and its link to the affectus lie at the center of the passage’s meaning: “Radicem peccati, et caput peccati timuit qui dixit: Non ueniat mihi pes superbiae. Quare illem pedem dixit? Quia superbiendo Deum deseruit, et discessit; pedem ipsius affectum ipsius dixit” (The root of sin, and the head of sin feared he who said, “Let not the foot of pride come against me.” Wherefore said he, “the foot?” Because by being prideful, he abandoned God, and departed from Him. His foot, called he his affection).20 The link between pride and foot serves to connect the motoric potential of the body with the cardinal mortal sin. Through the reference to Psalm 35:18, Augustine makes pride the locomotive force behind the movement away from the godhead. He presents the biblical pes as the affectus, connecting this particular transgression to the foot. The logic of this passage is complex, however, and there are two movements that need to be acknowledged. Initially, foot and pride are external to the body in question, and yet acquiescence to this sin has the consequence of causing a movement within the affectus, with ramifications for the body as a whole. The issue of will therefore needs to be brought in to discussions of how such movements can occur within the affectus, and how external temptation can work its way into the inner emotional movements of the soul. There are many more instances in Augustine’s corpus in which he links the foot to the affectus, but these two examples give insight into how he uses this metaphor. The foot is a starting point, a site of potential, and is inseparably linked to the rest of the body. The actions executed by that foot are never to be considered in isolation, and Augustine draws on the integrity of the body when emphasizing the impact the foot continually has on body and soul.

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Augustine’s discussion of the affectus via the corporeal image of the foot is central to the Bishop of Hippo’s anthropology, and fellow church fathers such as Gregory the Great would follow suit. When the foot–affectus metaphor appeared in theological, devotional, and literary Middle English texts, it was not always owing to Augustine’s interventions on the subject. Although there were no significant advancements in the West on theories of the affectus between Augustine and the twelfth century, from about 1100 onwards there was a proliferation of new thinking on the subject.21 Scholastic theorizing is often the link between Augustine and later Middle English texts, although some would still draw on Augustine directly. Although many elements of Augustine’s theory of the affectus remained constant in the scholastic period, variations on his metaphor are also evident. In place of the singular “foot of the soul,” scholastics would discuss the affectus in terms of feet plural, with a deliberate emphasis on bipedal motion. The affectus is often just one of these feet (pes affectus), and the faculty of the intellect predominantly assumes the role of the other one (pes intellectus). 22 These developments need to be understood in the context of new theories of motion instantiated by the intense engagements with Aristotle in the twelfth century.23 John Freccero observes that the Aristotelian theory that motion always begins from the right side altered scholastic conceptions of how the body moved. This reassessment of corporeal movement also had an impact on theories of the soul and prompted discussions on the complementary or divisive role of pes intellectus and pes affectus in terms of interior movements. 24 Variations in how spiritual motion could be achieved and what its moral implications were can be found in the writings of Jacques de Vitry in the twelfth century and Bonaventure in the thirteenth. For de Vitry (ca. 1160–1240), a French canon regular educated in Paris, the pes affectus and pes intellectus must work together in order to effect spiritual motion: Spiritus siquidem duos habet pedes, pedem, scilicet, intellectus & pedem affectus, pedem cognitionis & pedem dilectionis. Vtrunque mouere debemus ut recte ambulare valeamus. Qui enim intellectum habet sine affectione vel affectionem sine vertitatis cognitione non ambulare dicitur sed magis claudicare. [Our spirit has two feet—one foot of the intellect and the other foot of the affection, or a foot of cognition and a foot of love—and we must move both so that we may walk the right way. In fact he who

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has intellect without affection or else affection without knowledge of truth does not walk, it is said, but on the contrary limps.]25

Although the intellect takes prime position in this schema, it is important to note that the affectus is cited as co-mover of the body. This relationship becomes ever more clear when de Vitry states that each faculty is continually dependent on the other, and that any discord between the feet results in the limping man (homo claudus). This corrupted form of motion is not quite the dragging of the pes affectus that Vincent Gillespie cites as being the dominant corporeal image of the feet in scholastic theology, where the affectus is consistently preventing movement.26 The pes affectus in de Vitry’s sermon is capable of playing a positive role in the salvation of the soul, but it is reliant on the pes intellectus and vice versa. Ideal motion can only be achieved when both work together. The Franciscan intellectual Bonaventure’s (1221–1274) intervention on this subject more clearly aligns bipedal motion with the conventional right and left, as outlined in Aristotelian theories of motion. Although less direct in the naming of the affectus and intellect than de Vitry had been, the feet of the soul correspond to the apprehensive and appetitive faculties with which the pes affectus and pes intellectus are aligned: Unus pes animae est motus apprehensivus, alter motus appetitivus; apprehensivus dexter, appetitivus sinster; quoniam pes dexter movetur prius, sinister posterius, et secundum philosophum “apprehensio praecedit appetitum.” Primus itaque passus pedis dextri est peccati cognitio; secundus, scilicet pedis sinistri, delectatio; tertius, pedis dextri, deliberatio; quartus, pedis sinistri, electio. [One foot is the movement of reason, the other the movement of appetite; the first is on the right, the second on the left, since the right foot is moved first, and the left afterward, for “apprehension precedes appetite,” according to the Philosopher [Aristotle]. The first step of the right foot is awareness of the sin, the second, that of the left foot, is desire, the third, of the right foot, deliberation, and the fourth, of the left foot, choice.]27

What is distinct in this particular discussion is that agency is allotted to the apprehensive faculty, which is responsible for leading the appetitive one into sin. Similar to Augustine’s positioning of the will, the intellect is the instigator of sinful acts, and yet such acts are further contingent on the appetitive faculty’s participation. The analogy of feet in bipedal motion clarifies that sin is a process that has many stages (which participate in the

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overall outcome). But the initial step is nevertheless taken by the intellective powers, compelling the other foot to follow. The complex relationship between the pes affectus and pes intellectus is not something that can be reduced to a simplistic binary. Its emergence into literary environments further reinforces the variable forms that the feet metaphors could assume in the wake of scholastic theorizing on both affectus and intellect. Although no explicit mention of either foot is made by Dante in the Inferno (1308–1320), modern critics and near-contemporary commentators have read such references into line 30, Canto I. The verse refers to a spiritual crisis, and wayward movement—particularly the struggle between moving forwards and backwards—has already been linked to a movement within the soul. 28 After recovering from this frustrated attempt, the pilgrim starts his ascent of the hill, but will be prevented from continuing once more. While preparing to move, he describes motion in relation to the differing roles each foot plays: Poi ch’èi posato un poco il corpo lasso, ripresi via per la piaggia diserta, sì che ’l piè fermo sempre era ’l più basso. (28–30) [After I rested my wearied flesh a while, I took my way again along the desert slope, my firm foot always lower than the other.]

Scholars have linked Dante’s piè fermo (or “firm foot”) to the pes affectus of the scholastics, seeing in this expression an explicit distinction between the foot that instigates motion and the one that consistently frustrates it. Freccero suggests that the term fermo implies “a quality of firmness or fixity [that] is a characteristic of the left” and connects the term to the figure of the homo claudus. Fourteenth-century commentators did not always divide the feet on these lines, although they generally do note a distinction between each foot. Filippo Villani (1405) and Guido da Pisa (1327–1328) link the “piè fermo” to the affectus, and often to specific emotions (fear and/or humility), implicating this foot in spiritual motion.29 Boccaccio, meanwhile, simply names the foot as the steady foot necessary to ascend a hill.30 Interestingly, Benvenuto da Imola (1375–1380) cites Augustine as Dante’s source for this verse, even though the separation of the feet should clearly evoke a scholastic terminology for a theologically adept reader.31 Authority may have been more important in this instance. Dante’s splitting of the feet in relation to spiritual and physical motion places him within the scholastic and Augustinian frameworks

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on the affectus, but in a vernacular language. This was also the case for English counterparts such as Walter Hilton (ca. 1343–1396). 32 The Augustinian canon’s hugely popular Scale of Perfection contains a more overt reference to the affectus and the intellect, culminating in the image of the homo claudus: 33 “For he that that cannot renne lightli bi goostli praier, for his feet of knowynge and lovynge aren syke for synne, hym nedeth for to have a siker staaf for to holde him bi. This staaf is special praier of speche ordayned of God and of Holi Chirche in help of mennys soulis, bi the whiche praier a soule of a fleischli man that is alwei fallynge dounward into worldli thoughtis and fleschli affeccions schal be liftid up from hem, and holden bi hem as bi a staaf ” (1.27, 705–10). The Scale, which is a guide to perfecting the meditative life, presents the contemplative value of prayer as a staff supporting the corrupted postlapsarian body, which is lamed in both feet as a consequence of the Fall. Unlike Dante’s piè fermo, these feet and their correlative faculties suffer wounds that forever interfere with any attempt at spiritual perfection. The few who can move beyond the imperfections of the postlapsarian intellect and affectus are envisaged as “running lightly,” with their spiritual perfection apparent in their swift and fluid motion. The intellect–affectus dialectic also makes its way into less overtly spiritual contexts when it appears in Book 8 of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis. The terminology employed is similar to that of Hilton, and the framing of the work with a confessor–penitent model gives the text a structure that can accommodate the issues at play. Even so, there is a flexibility evident here that is not present in the theological works that inform this text, and God is by contrast curiously absent from Gower’s poem. In the discussion between the Confessor and Amans, the Confessor begins his “final counsel” with the following advice on love: Lo thus, mi sone, myht thou liere What is to love in good manere, And what to love in other wise. ... Bot certes it is for to rewe To se love agein kinde falle, For that makth sore a man to falle, As thou myht of tofore rede. Forthi, my sone, I wolde rede To lete al other love aweie, Bot if it be thurgh such a weie As love and reson wolde acorde. (2009–11, 2016–23)34

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Love and feet find a metaphoric relation to one another in this passage.35 In the lead-up to the advice to follow a course whereby the intellect and affectus “acorde,” the rhyme scheme reinforces the need for feet to mirror each other’s actions. The three couplets that precede this final sentence feature identical rhyme, or rime riche, allowing Gower to reflect the moral message of the Confessor through metrically rhyming feet. Robert F. Yeager notes Gower’s tendency to use this poetic device in the Confessio Amantis and elsewhere in his Latin and French verse, and writes that such examples are usually “learned, didactic and, for the most part, heavily ironic.”36 Yeager remarks that these rime riche couplets generally feature puns that distinguish the identical rhyme words, as we find here in the varying meanings between “falle” (to happen) and “falle” (to fall); “rede” (read) and “rede” (advise); “aweie” (go) and “a weie” (a route). Gower not only distinguishes the pes affectus from the pes intellectus in the midst of explaining an ideal form of love, but enacts this separation on the level of poetry. This dialectic continues throughout the final confession, and yet undergoes a series of modifications in order to cohere with the message of warning issued by the Confessor to Amans: The more that a stock is fyred, The rathere into aisshe it torneth; The fot which in the weie sporneth Ful ofte his heved hath overthrowe. Thus love is blind and can noght knowe Wher that he goth, til he be falle. (2100–5)

The meaning of the stumbling body is made clear in the consumptive power of fire: perverse love is destructive. In this example, the wayward affectus not only slows progress in the correct direction, which it is incapable of recog­ nizing, but also renders the body immobile through a catastrophic fall. The opposition between head and foot is paralleled with the affectus–reason dialectic, and the fall marks the affectus’s defeat of reason through its favoring of degraded forms of desire, elsewhere referred to by the Confessor as “a sinne” (2088). In this instance, Gower shifts the division between affectus and intellect from feet plural to foot versus head. The distance created on a bodily level is then enacted when the foot causes the body to fall. The fall occurs as a result of a trip, recalling the image of the homo claudus.

The Wounded Foot and Spiritual Shoes Although the foot and the affectus have a long-standing relationship in theological discourse and literary texts, I do not have the scope to consider

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more than a few examples to illustrate this prevalence. The equivalent tradition in relation to the shoe also needs time to be expanded on, before these figures can be considered in relation to one another. The shoe was frequently used to articulate how the Christian might protect herself from the dangers of sin. In using the shoe as a metaphor for how scripture can guard the individual from harm, Ambrose of Milan identifies the foot as the point of the body that was most vulnerable. Unlike his protégé Augustine, Ambrose externalizes the threat of sin and offers the shoe as a metaphor to explain how the foot and—by extension—the fallen individual can protect themselves from sin.37 The other important difference is that the affectus does not assume a central role in this discussion of feet and sin. In De fuga saeculi, the “Flight from the world,” Ambrose warns against the prevalence of sin and urges his reader to cover her feet to avoid danger: Denique servatum est serpenti, ut calcaneum mulieris et seminis ejus observet, quo noceat, et venenum suum infundat. Non ergo ambulemus in terrenis, et serpens nobis nocere non poterit. Sumamus Evangelicum calceamentum quo venenum serpentis excluditur, morsus ejus hebetatur, ut simus calceati pedes in Evangelium. (7.43) [Evil is at the base of discord; thus evil has not been taken away. Indeed, it has been reserved for the serpent, that he might watch for the woman’s heel and the heel of her seed, so as to do harm and infuse his poison. Therefore, let us not walk in earthly things, and the serpent will not be able to harm us. Let us take up the sandals of the Gospel that shut out the serpent’s poison and blunt his bites, that we may be provided with covering on our feet unto the Gospel.]38

Ambrose’s serpent is not the rhetorically seductive figure from Eden, but a malevolent creature that will bite any foot left exposed. Sin is configured in both this animal and its capacity to do harm, with the foot premised as the point in the body most prone to attack. Ambrose’s solution to this problem comes in the form of a shoe metaphor that presents scripture as a protective entity capable of blocking malignant forces. Ambrose’s source for this metaphor is likely Ephesians 6:15, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” although what he does with the figure has some key differences.39 Ephesians does not use the shoe as a metaphor for the Gospel, but positions it as an agent of bodily stability (hetoimasia can be translated as both “preparation” and “firmess”).40 Ambrose grants scripture a commensurate role in his treatise and, like the Pauline verse, he presents the holy word as having the power to “neutralise the enmity of the hostile powers.”41

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Contemporaries of Ambrose similarly employed the shoe as a protective force for an exposed foot, and yet differences emerge in the writings of Jerome in a letter to Pope Damasus (305–384). Having been asked to compose a commentary on the parable of the prodigal son by the pope himself, the great translator of the Bible constructs his commentary out of other scriptural verses, building layers of meaning onto each facet of the parable. In relation to the shoeing of the destitute boy, Jerome’s commentary not only demonstrates the prevalence of this shoe metaphor among the most influential theologians of the day, but also gives insights into the later medieval merging of foot and shoe metaphors: Haec sunt calceamenta de quibus Dominus ait: “Et calceavi te hiacyntho. Et calceamenta in pedibus eius”; nec ubi coluber insidians, plantam ingredientis invaderet: et super scorpiones et serpentes securius ambularet; ut praepararetur ad Evangelium pacis: jam non gradiens secundum carnem, sed secundum spiritum; et dictum ei Propheticum conveniret: “Quam speciosi pedes evangelizantium pacem, evangelizantium bona.” (21.25) [These are the shoes of which the Lord says: And I shod thee with jacinth-coloured shoes. (Ez. 16:10) And shoes on his feet, lest anywhere a lurking snake might attack the sole of his foot as he walked (Gen. 3:15), and that he might tread upon serpents and scorpions (Lk. 19:10), that he might be prepared for the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), no longer walking according to the flesh but according to the spirit (Gal. 5:16), and that the prophetic saying might be applicable to him: How beautiful are the feet of those that preach peace and that bring good tidings. (Is. 52:7)]42

Jerome’s commentary is built on the strategic arrangement of Old and New Testament verses that begin with shoes and end with preaching. The feet are sites of vulnerability once more, and the snake is the embodiment of sin. The verses are cleverly plotted in order to logically follow each other. Wearing these shoes becomes integral to moving spiritually and avoiding the snares of sin, facilitating the spreading of the Word. Although Jerome’s and Ambrose’s overall strategies differ significantly, their employment of metaphorical shoes is a decisive linking point for both of these exegetes. A comparable example from Gregory the Great offers a discussion that is more explanatory in style. The pope’s twenty-second homily on the Gospels begins with an exposition on the empty tomb pericope from John and then switches its focus to Christ the sacrificial lamb. This

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trajectory leads Gregory to Exodus 12:11, where the commandment to “have shoes on your feet” during the feast of Passover is explained by the Pope as follows: Calceamenta habebitis in pedibus. Quid sunt enim pedes nostri, nisi opera? Quid vero calceamenta, nisi pelles mortuorum animalium? Calceamenta autem pedes muniunt. Quae vero sunt mortua animalia, ex quorum pellibus nostri muniuntur pedes, nisi antiqui patres, qui nos ad aeternam patriam praecesserunt? Quorum dum exempla conspicimus, nostri operis pedes munimus. Calceamenta ergo in pedibus habere est mortuorum vitam conspicere, et nostra vestigia a peccati vulnere custodire. (22.9) [You shall have sandals on your feet. What are our feet, in the spiritual sense, if not our actions? And what are shoes made of, if not the skins of dead animals? Now shoes protect the feet. Therefore, what are these dead animals whose skins protect our feet, if not our ancient fathers in the faith, who have gone before us into the eternal homeland? So by observing their example, we protect the feet of our actions. To have shoes on one’s feet, therefore, is to observe the life of those who have died, and thus to protect our feet, as we walk along, from being wounded by sin.]43

Gregory creates a tension between a materialist focus on shoes and a metaphorical (or, in the interpretative sense, allegorical) reading of feet, which he combines once the basic role of the shoe has been established. Gregory’s homily enacts what previous commentaries gesture toward, and the shoe transitions from an earthly to a spiritual entity in order to fit the meaning of the foot. What is notable about Gregory’s approach is the care taken to establish the aspect of the shoes’ functionality that will support the metaphor and explain the figurative meaning of protection before bringing these elements together. The message of the homily is realized via the corporeal image of wearing shoes, which is conceptually linked to protection from sin. Although the referents to the shoe metaphor are different from Ambrose’s (good works protect the individual and not scripture in this instance), both theologians rely on established authoritative models to suggest how the individual can protect herself from sin. The scriptural shoe metaphor appeared in exegetical commentaries on the Old Testament, and the most significant variation of the figure took place in the great biblical commentaries of the thirteenth century, including the Glossa Ordinaria (ca. 1220) and Hugh of St. Cher’s Postillae super totam Bibliam (1233–1236). Heavily influenced by Jerome’s reading

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of Ezekiel 16:10, the Glossa Ordinaria’s commentary on the verse advocates the wearing of spiritual shoes, and the descriptor “jacinth shoe” (hyacintho calciati) appears with the specificity that it is an ethereal substance (qui est aerie colorus).44 Although closer in content to the Doctrine of the Hert, there is no mention of the pes affectus. The same verse receives attention in Hugh of St. Cher’s later gloss on Ezekiel 16:10: “Et calcaui te hiacyntho, id est spei soliditate, uel desiderio coelestis beatitudinus” (And I have shoed you with jacinth that is, with the solidity of hope, or with desire for heavenly happiness).45 But as the text continues, there is a reference to the affectus that connects it to the foot: “Calciamentum haeret pedi, sic et aeterna beatitudo debet haerere affectibus nostris” (A shoe sticks to the foot, so eternal happiness must adhere to our affections). 46 For the first time, an explicit link is made between protective shoes and the foot of the affectus. The language of Hugh’s commentary, somewhat akin to Gregory’s own style, is notable for its fusion of functionality and spiritual meaning. The verb haereo (to stick, adhere to) is the prime example of this functional focus, for, although the shoe is immaterial (jacinth, as in the Glossa, is identified as an ethereal substance) and metaphorical (it stands for “eternal happiness”), the description of how these elements work together depends upon the reader’s knowledge of how shoes operate.47 The commentor draws on the ideal condition of the shoe— which he identifies as its attachment to the foot—in order to convey the spiritual benefits that this jacinth shoe has to offer. The consequence of combining two separate metaphors is that both are subject to change. As is already evident from the Postillae’s example, neither the foot nor the shoe retains the role it previously held, and both foot and shoe are now positioned in a direct figural relationship to each other. Motion is not mentioned as the purview of the affectus, and the shoe is not simply a protector of the foot from sin. Although aeterna beatitudo may not be one of the most conventional emotive dimensions of the affectus, it is the ideal state of this faculty. The role of this shoe lies in its capacity to shape the foot (and thus affectus) and guide it in a perfect spiritual trajectory. This new focus implicitly positions the shoe as a facilitator of motion and a protective entity, but the specificity of Hugh’s commentary means that different facets of the artifact are used for a new metaphoric purpose. It is perhaps no surprise that Hugh’s commentaries appear in works that have been attributed to his hand, such as De Doctrina Cordis. This link also gives a sense of how the new metaphor finds its way into Middle

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English texts, although it is not the only way that the affectus and footwear might be put together metaphorically. It is fitting, nonetheless, to begin with the example that most clearly develops from the commentary found in the Postillae, in order to see such an example at work in a Middle English text. A likely stopping point is the English text that has been termed by its most recent editors as an adaptation of De Doctrina Cordis. The approximately fifteenth-century Doctrine of the Hert adapts the earlier Latin work to offer a devotional guide to nuns. 48 Whether Hugh wrote it or not, the Doctrina and the later Doctrine certainly bear the influence of his commentaries. 49 The passage in question, briefly referenced at the beginning of this discussion, is located in the Primum Capitulum and begins with the fourth of the thirteen ornaments of the soul that are necessary for a bride of Christ to possess. 50 These attributes are taken from the gifts mentioned in Ezekiel 16, with the interpretative sense indebted to Jerome’s exegesis. The fourth gift is specified as a pair of jacinth shoes, designed for the foot of the spiritual affectus: The fourth arayment þat oure lord hath yive þe, is þis: he haþe yive þe to þi feet shoes of jacincte. Bi þis jacincte, þe wich is like to a clere colourid firmament, þou shalt undirstonde hevenly desire, whereafter thi foote, the wiche is þi gostly affeccioun, shuld be arayed. Therfor, sister, make to thi foote of thi gostly affeccioun a shoo of al heven, as þou I might seygh þus to þe: aray al þine affeccioun with hevenly desires, þat holy chirche may seye of þe, as Salomon seyth of þe kynges doughter of heven: Quam pulcri sunt pedes tui in calciamentis, filia principis! That is, “A! How faire, kynges doughter, ben þi feet of gostly affeccioun in shoes of hevenly desires.”51

The older shoe metaphor relied on holy texts in order to explain how the vulnerable Christian might protect herself from sin. Integral to this figure was an understanding that motion might be better facilitated by this protective entity. But, in line with Hugh’s Postillae, the Doctrine’s shoes are valorized because of their adherence to the foot. Unlike sin, which in these older models is conceived as an exterior force attacking the body, the terms called on within this new metaphor are contained within the remit of the affectus. “Desire” is not external to the affectus as might at a first glance be supposed, but is integral to how it operates. As in Augustine’s classification of the affectus, which saw desire named as one of its four movements (specifically, a “progression”), later scholastic thinkers would offer similar conceptualizations. Thomas Aquinas defined desire as follows:

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Our appetite for things we perceive as good originates in love (amor), which gives rise to a movement of the soul towards the object in question, which is desire (desiderium). When we get what we want, we feel a kind of pleasure, namely joy (gaudium).52

Desire, which in the Doctrine is specified as “hevenly desires” (celeste desiderium in the Doctrina and aeterna beatitudo in the Postillae), is the driving force towards a specific object, the attainment of which causes joy.53 It is part of how the affectus works. And just as the “spiritual affectus” and “heavenly desires” belong together, so do feet and shoes.54 Moreover, the one helps the other to function in an optimal capacity.55 Although there are differences between this metaphor and the traditions from which it emerged, there are also similarities in terms of how they work. The transmission of intricate theological messages related to sin, the soul, and emotional faculties had for centuries relied on references to corporeality—the foot and its role in motricity and artifacts connected to the body—in order to be meaningful. In this process, the constructors of these figures rely on the kinesic intelligence of the reader as well as her cultural knowledge of artifacts that are worn in daily life. Both facets have been called on throughout the metaphors related to shoes and feet and are necessary for the reader of the Doctrine. But there is a shift in what the reader needs to do with this shoe metaphor, as exemplified in the following directive: “Therfor, sister, make to thi foote of thi gostly affeccioun a shoo of al heven, as þou I might seygh þus to þe: aray al þine affeccioun with hevenly desires.”56 First, the order to “make” shoes refers to knowledge that the reader may not possess herself—drawing as it does on language more aptly suited to the craft of shoemaking—but that she has the capacity to infer on the basis of her familiarity with shoes and her knowledge of the gestures involved in their construction. The appeal for the reader to “make” this shoe “to thi foote” specifies that this creation is to be made to fit her foot (and thus affectus) and requires knowledge of that foot in order to fashion an adequate shoe. This plea for what the reader must actively do herself suggests that the shoe is to be constructed by her; she must devise it, even though it has been named as a gift from God. The wearing of shoes, meanwhile, pointed to through the verb “arraien,” draws on the kinesthetic memory of having this material artifact in direct contact with the foot, which is likely to be knowledge the reader possesses. It also implies the act of putting on such an item, further calling on the reader’s knowledge of the gestures involved. This verbal choice suggests that the marrying of the spiritual affectus with desire for heaven is to be

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done in a dynamic capacity by the reader, who must possess the skill and knowledge of what such a process implies. Although the text is extremely obvious about what this metaphor is supposed to refer to, explaining how exactly one puts such a directive into practice—beyond the crucial act of reading the text—is a burden that is not assumed by the writer. The reader needs to take on this responsibility and must engage with her knowledge of shoes and feet in order to access their metaphorical import. Just after the cited passage, the line between body and artifact becomes difficult to discern. In offering advice to the nun related to the correct practice of wearing the jacinth shoes, the texts reads: “Trewly, sister, it is right unsemly þat þou shuldist go barfoote fro such schoes, because þou art a kynges doughter.”57 Akin to Hugh of St. Cher’s remarks that the shoe should stick to the foot, and drawing on the biblical authority of the Song of Solomon with the reference to the “kynges doughter,” the writer of the Doctrine cautions the reader not to cease wearing these shoes. 58 If the foot stands for the affectus, and the shoe for its capacity to aid the faculty in functioning perfectly, then the dividing line between the one and the other is avoided in the text. The reader risks the perils of spiritual failure without these shoes, which are part of her body in its ultimate form. Three other Middle English texts dated between the late fourteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries feature similar uses of the shoe to that of the Doctrine. Dives and Pauper, A Tretyse of Gostly Batayle and Poore Caitif take authority from the Pauline book of Ephesians and advocate the need for the body to be clothed in spiritual armour. A Tretyse of Gostly Batayle (ca. 1474–1524) likely takes its source material from Dives and Pauper and the late fourteenth-century Poore Caitif. As the texts are so similar, only Dives and Pauper will be quoted from at length. 59 This Middle English commentary on the Ten Commandments takes the form of a dialogue between a rich, educated man (Dives) and a poor, theologically adept friar (Pauper). It was probably composed around 1405 by a Franciscan friar, although the author remains anonymous. 60 The dialogue of particular interest to this discussion is found in the “Tenth Precept,” which warns against the coveting of others’ goods.61 In chapter 6, Pauper discusses the need to “Abstynyth ... from flechly desyrys þat fyȝtyn aȝenys þe soule” and compares earthly life to a knight battling against an enemy. In relation to the foot and footwear integral to that battle, Pauper says: Also he byddyth us armyn our feet and our leggis with leg harneys þat is gostly pouert þat we withdrawyn our hertys & our affeccionys from erdely þingis & nout settyn our loue to mychil in erdely þingis

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ne in wardly goodys—nout to stryuyn, nout to pletyn for no worldly good, but þe mor nede compelle us þerto, but sekyn to lyuyn in pes with alle men ȝif it mon ben—þus armyn with gostly pouert our leggis & our feet, þat is to seye our loue and our affeccionys, aȝenys þe temptacionys of fals couetyse. And þerfor he byddit us schoyȝyn our feet into þe dyȝtynge of þe gospel of pes.62

Opposition underscores the logic of this passage and links it to Ephesians 6:15. Although Pauper is urging the Christian to arm herself against worldly temptation, the logical next step that should follow this process is forbidden. Instead, Pauper admonishes those who would fight in physical terms (striven here clearly implies combat) or in linguistic ones (pleten is generally a legal term for pleading or arguing one’s case).63 He instead names Peace as the ideal outcome of spiritual protection, which takes the form of foot armour but extends upwards to encompass the leg. The armour that protects the foot and leg is composed of “gostly pouert,” and the feet are explicitly named as the affectus. The artifact in this case is the leg harness, which widens the bodily area in need of protection and the metaphoric association, extending outward from the foot of the affectus to include either the heart or love. The purpose, however, is similar to the Doctrine, and Pauper urges the faithful to wear this armour to direct their emotional faculties away from earthly desires and toward spiritual ones. The next example takes us back to where we started in this section, and back to Adam’s lost shoe in the N-Town Fall of Man. Having put both feet and shoes into some of their most prevalent figurative contexts, the absence of a shoe can now be understood to a greater degree. Many facets of the foot and shoe metaphors are present in the N-Town Fall. Corrupt motion possibly signals the corruption of the affectus, although the faculty is not directly addressed. Most overtly, the loss of a shoe that previously protected the foot aligns this dramatic verse with exegetical metaphors of the shoe. The foot as a site vulnerable to sin now looks especially dangerous for the fallen first parents. Eve’s lamentations also resonate more clearly. The experience of corporeal motion, and more specifically bipedal motion, is explained as follows by the first mother: “Now stomble we on stalk and ston. | My wyt awey is fro me gon!” (305–6). The phrase “stalk and ston” means “frequently, at every turn,” and also describes the matter over which the fallen pair are to trip.64 This perpetually corrupt movement and the exposure of the foot evoke the corporeal metaphor of the homo claudus, who fails to move both feet correctly in order to ensure fluid motion. Eve’s further explanation of this phenomenon connects perpetual tripping to a failure of reason (the loss of “wit”), which taps into the pes

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affectus–pes intellectus dialectic. This failure, resulting in sin, can be read in light of scholastic treatments of motion. The stumbling detail locates Eve’s speech within this tradition. That such allusions are made within the remit of vernacular drama suggests that shoe metaphors had a resonance with an audience that cannot be easily delimited in terms of age, gender, economic situation, or educational background. Even though the playwright may have been informed in terms of the higher exegetical significance of shoes, there needs to be a dramatic logic for their inclusion within a play such as the N-Town Fall of Man. The bareness of Adam and the corrupt motion of both first parents articulate a severe denigration of the body’s state. Although it is impossible to prove that Adam and Eve are stripped of a garment at the moment of the Fall in the vein of the Jeu d’Adam, or perform their new state through physical falls or tripping actions, the language of the play suggests that such stage action could have accompanied the dialogue. 65 In and of itself, such a metaphor provides a way for an audience to conceptualize ontological changes to the body, drawing on movements they would have experienced and artifacts that were part of daily life. If, as is likely, this language was translated into specific actions, then the ramifications of the Fall would have been rendered all the clearer to those present in the audience. Vernacular poetry, plays, and devotional texts engaged—with varying degrees of clarity—with the types of figural meaning that theological texts applied to feet and shoes from the patristic era onwards. Although it is often difficult to trace this influence to a specific text or authority, the variety of Middle English examples demonstrates that shoes and feet had powerful metaphoric valence in late medieval texts. The dramatic examples are perhaps the most difficult to form the fullest picture of, and may have been intended to be fleshed out by stage action, gesture, vocal delivery, and costume. In the texts that demand a rigorous intellectual engagement from a reader, recourse to the use of specific actions, movements, or protective coverings in order to expound on spiritual messages brings into focus the status of worn artifacts as affordances that articulate the medieval Christian’s embodied condition. And, on occasion, the metaphors serve to make artifacts part of the body. Their absence in these instances points to a deficiency in the body and also blurs the line between bodies and things.

Conclusion This chapter has endeavored to open up the tremendous figurative potential that shoes offered throughout the medieval period and has

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focused on two literary traditions in order to show the extensive use of shoes in a variety of textual forms. Often drawing on the artifact’s most basic functions, writers position the shoe in relation to how it is acted on. Using specific gestures and movements, writers target their reader’s embodied forms of knowledge, especially kinesis and kinesthesia, and in the process make the conceptual implications of the shoe accessible. Shoe and body are contingent on each other in the examples I have drawn on throughout this chapter. The shoe’s relationship to the foot and to motion—how it protects the former and facilitates the latter— offers fertile ground on which metaphors can be developed and, as a cognitive affordance, can succeed in communicating conceptual notions of what it means to have a body in a fallen world. In a final example of how interconnected body and clothing are in the medieval imagination, the shoe encompasses aspects of the body that are as fundamental to human life as the shoe itself. NOTES 1

p. 75.

Davidson, “Holding the Sole: Shoes, Emotions, and the Supernatural,”

For readers interested in metaphors of walking related to lay devotional practices, I direct them to Rentz’s Imagining the Parish, which devotes a chapter to this subject and draws on sermons as well as literary texts such as Piers Plowman, pp. 64–90. This subject will not be touched on in this present work. 3 Gregory, PL 76, p. 1101. Translation by Hurst, in Forty Gospel Homilies, pp. 24–25. 4 Origen, Commentary on the Gospel According to John, 6.15, p. 213. For original text, see PG 14, p. 253. 5 Gregory, PL 76, pp. 1102. Translation by Hurst, pp. 24–25. 6 Aquinas, Catena Aurea. Translation by Newman, p. 13. 7 Carruthers, The Craft of Thought, p. 175. 8 Latin Dictionary, p. 302. 9 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouran, The Doctrine of the Hert, p. 39. 10 The terms affectio and affectus have a long and complex history, one that cannot be traced within the scope of this work. Most historians of emotion argue that, although they are not always interchangeable terms, there has been little attempt by the majority of authors who employ them to implement a system that would allow them to be clearly distinguished from one another. See Boquet, L’ordre de l’affect au Moyen Âge. 11 For an excellent history of the will, see Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind, p. 319. 2

Metaphorical Shoes and the Body   145

For more on Augustine’s theory of the affect as will, see Balgradean, “The Poet’s Grasp at Emotion,” pp. 168–72, and Boquet, L’ordre de l’affect au Moyen Âge, pp. 85–91. 13 Augustine, In Iohannes Evangelium, p. 403. Translation mine. 14 Dixon, From Passions to Emotions, p. 56. 15 Boquet, L’ordre de l’affect au Moyen Âge, p. 89; Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind, pp. 315–16. 16 For a detailed discussion of Augustine’s concept of the will and how this relates to emotion and the soul, see Knuuttila, Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, p. 171. 17 Augustine, Enarrationes, IX.15, p. 66. Translation by Tweed. 18 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 19 For a discussion of Augustine’s treatment of love, see May, Love, pp. 90–92. 20 Augustine, Enarrationes, XXXV.18, p. 335. I have made alterations to Tweed’s translation to render it closer to Augustine’s Latin text. 21 See Morris’s outlining of significant developments to theories of the affect, The Discovery of the Individual, pp. 76–77. See also Boquet, L’ordre de l’affect au Moyen Âge, pp. 93–94. 22 For a discussion on the affect as a preventative force in spiritual movement, see Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth, pp. 64–65. 23 Freccero, “Dante’s Firm Foot,” p. 253. 24 Gillespie, Looking in Holy Books, p. 249. 25 Jacobus (de Vitriaco), Sermones, p. 792. Translation from Wenzel, p. 108. I have altered Wenzel’s translation of affectus from “affect” to “affection.” 26 Gillespie, Looking in Holy Books, p. 249. 27 Bonaventure, Opera Omnia, p. 255. Translation cited in Freccero, “Dante’s Firm Foot,” p. 42. 28 All quotations from the Inferno from the Hollander edition, Dante, Inferno. See lines 26–27: “So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward, | Turn itself back to re-behold the pass.” 29 See the commentaries of Guido da Pisa, Expositiones, and Fillipo Villani, Espositio, to I.28–30. 30 See Boccaccio‘s commentary to Inferno, Tutte le opere, I.28–30. 31 Benvenuto da Imola, commentary to Inferno, Comentum, I.28–30. 32 Gillespie, Looking in Holy Books, pp. 250–51. 33 Hilton, The Scale of Perfection, edited by Bestul, p. 7. 34 Gower, Confessio Amantis. All quotations from the Confessio Amantis are from the edition edited by Peck. 35 Incest is likely the perverse form of love referred to as it is an integral part of the tale that precedes this passage, Apollonius of Tyre. 36 Yeager, John Gower’s Poetic, p. 42. 37 Freccero, “Dante’s Firm Foot,” p. 259. 38 Ambrose, PL 14, p. 589. Translation by McHugh in Seven Exegetical Works, p. 314. 12

146   Chapter 4

Best, The International Critical Commentary, p. 599. Greek–English Lexicon. See also Slater, Ephesians, pp. 174–75. 41 Best, The International Critical Commentary, p. 600. 42 Jerome, PL 22, p. 388. Translation by Mierow, in The Letters of St. Jerome, p. 122. I have emended the translation of hiacyntho from “violet” to “jacinth.” 43 Gregory, PL 76, pp. 1180–81. Translation by Bhattacharji in Reading the Gospels, p. 50. 44 Bibliorum sacrorum, p. 1186. 45 Hugh of St. Cher, Postilla, p. 58. Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouran make this link, The Doctrine of the Hert, p. 131. I here use their translation. 46 Hugh of St. Cher, Postilla, p. 58. 47 Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. 48 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, pp. xx–xi. 49 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, p. xvi. 50 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, p. xxii. 51 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, pp. 39–40. 52 James, Passion and Action, p. 57. 53 Doctrina Cordis, h.i verso. 54 For a discussion on the spiritual affect, see Boquet, L’ordre de l’affect au Moyen Âge, p. 242. 55 The more significant focus on the fit of the foot to the shoe is also evident in the deliberate changes made to the cited biblical verse, Song of Solomon 7:1: “Quam pulcri sunt pedes tui in calciamentis, filia principis!” The verse, “Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui in calceamentis, filia principis!” (How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince’s daughter!), emphasizes the beauty of the movement of the feet when wearing sandals. The Doctrine, however, replaces gressus (steps) with pedes (feet), focusing on the impact of the shoes upon the feet, but sidelining their relationship to motion. 56 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, pp. 39–40. 57 Whitehead, Renevey, and Mouron, The Doctrine of the Hert, p. 40. 58 The reference to the king’s daughter is a reference to verse 7:1 from the Song of Solomon. It appears in a fuller, though modified, form, in the previous citation from the Doctrine of the Hert. 59 Barnum, Dives and Pauper, pp. 315–16. 60 Barnum, Dives and Pauper, p. xx. 61 Barnum, Dives and Pauper, p. 313. 62 Barnum, Dives and Pauper, pp. 307–9. 63 MED. 64 MED. 65 See chapter 1 for a more extensive discussion of the N-Town Fall of Man. 39 40



OING BACK TO EDITH lying in repose, the saint had a second need to impose decorum on the residents of Wilton Abbey. On this occasion, a nun approaches her body in the hope of leaving with a cloth relic. But this nun fails to get as far as the monk Eadwulf did and, in her preparation to cut off a piece of Edith’s headband, she provokes another extraordinary reaction from the holy body. As the nun approaches, the head of Edith lifts in response to the potential contact. Without specifying what she does, the text reads: “illud uitale caput se contra erexisse ac presumtricem minaci indignatione absterruisse, ut sciret uidelicet quanto timore et reuerentia sanctiorum cum Deo regnancium sancta sint tractanda” (that living head lifted itself against her and terrified the presumptuous woman with threatening anger, so that she might indeed know with what fear and reverence the holy remains of the saints who reign with God should be treated).1 The logic of Edith’s response is linked to the previous episode of contact. Now acting in an anticipatory manner, Edith can prevent any breach of decorum before it happens. This response is based on the embodied memory of the saint, which furnishes her with the capacity to anticipate similar experiences. The threat to Edith is again manifested as a threat to her clothing, and the saint perceives the one to be synonymous with the other. How this nun intends to act on the clothing of Edith cannot be dissociated from how she acts on Edith’s body or her sanctified condition. The text shows these three things to be identical. The head covering is also an important detail, and it is responsible for the sensorimotor response Edith makes. The nun’s attempt to cut a piece of this headcloth (capitis) requires a targeted response from the saint. Likewise, her breast bled because Eadwulf targeted that part of her body in his attempt to cut her tunic. To a modern reader acquainted even vaguely with the horror movie genre, this episode seems to epitomize what has been termed the “jump scare,” a moment of unpredictable change intended to elicit an extreme

148  Conclusion

response from an audience. A reader of this text might have (or have had) a similar experience, especially as she was not prepared (or cued) for Edith to react before contact had been made with her clothing. The narrative also requires its reader to be actively involved in simulating the precise action by Edith that led to the nun’s emotional reaction. The description given is underspecified. Edith’s facial expressions, speech, and possibly sounds are included under the umbrella description “threatening anger” (minaci indignatione). But, as in the case of Eadwulf, the reader is given enough information to take over from where Goscelin leaves off. Goscelin specifies the initial movement of the head, adding the nuance that it is “living.” This detail facilitates the reader’s ability to consider Edith’s movement in line with what a living body would make in a comparable situation. The result of this action is also included. The head succeeds in terrifying the nun and teaches her how to treat a holy corpse. What the reader needs to do is bridge the gap left by the writer and infer how Edith achieves her desired outcome via head movement and facial expression. The body–cloth overlap in the Translatio Edithe fits into the wider agenda of this book, which is to show the imaginative importance of clothing in relation to medieval bodies. My readings of the interaction between body and cloth have been facilitated by scholarship that falls under the wider headings of the “material” and “cognitive” turns. Such scholarship has come from fields of inquiry as diverse as neuroscience and philosophy, but, through the efforts of anthropologists, linguists, archaeologists, historians, literary critics, and beyond, bridges have been forged in relation to questions about body and mind, and the place of the human within the material environment. Scholarly attention to the agency of material things has supported the present work’s reconsideration of clothing as capable of acting as a cognitive affordance in literature, positioning it as something that enables readers and spectators to understand an embodied condition. The disruption to the categorization of “brains, bodies, and things” has given this work a grounding on which to recast the interaction between body and clothing in the production of conceptual meaning, and to argue for the intentional blurring of these lines on the part of medieval poets, theologians, and playwrights. In narrative and conceptual senses, it has been difficult to separate cloth from body in the examples discussed. When the perfect Edenic body loses garments in the moment of transgression, the fallen body is positioned in corporeal and spiritual degradation by virtue of absent clothing. Inversely, its original state is contingent on the presence of garments, making those garments part of that state. That the emotional faculty of the

Conclusion  149

affectus needs to be understood as functioning in a spiritually perfect manner via the metaphor of a foot that should always be shod situates footwear as part of this embodied condition. Other chapters have shown how the resurrected body of Christ can only be read into the gospel narrative by virtue of its motoric action on a handkerchief, and that Lazarus’s bound movements within his graveclothes provide the basis for understanding his spiritual status as a habitual sinner. Clothing on each occasion has been fundamental to shaping the embodied condition of each figure. Probing the body–cloth link, this work has demonstrated how an audience engages with material details, and how it understands the dynamic bodies in the texts, plays, and images under discussion. To that end, work on embodied knowledge, especially with regard to kinesis and kinesthesia, has provided the tools with which I analyze medieval texts such as the Translatio Edithe. The example of Edith’s headband, of the attempted actions on it and the physiological response of the saint, has been in line with discussions elsewhere in this book. Although the details might change, and the response of readers alters, as one should expect, it too shows how clothing can draw on a reader’s experience of clothing and her knowledge of having a body when reading a text. That clothing is instrumental to the cognitive engagement of the reader in their envisioning of a body and understanding of its status shows that, for many medieval writers and readers, clothing could indeed be corporeal. NOTE Wilmart, “La légend de Ste Edith,” p. 271. Translation in Wright and Loncar, “The Translatio of Edith,” p. 72. 1


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abbeys: Aquileia, 67–68; Barking, 69; Chartres, 87 n. 84; St. Gall, 62, 65–68, 83 n. 25, 84 n. 35; St. Lambrecht, 84 n. 42; Wilton, 69, 147 Abelard, Peter, 95, 99, 102, 115 n. 14, 116 n. 20 See also Hilarius absolution, 10, 90–98, 115 n. 14 Adam, 19–51, 121, 124–25, 142–43 Aethelwold of Winchester, bishop, 62, 64–65, 84 n. 37; Benedictional of Aethelwold, 62, 64; Regularis Concordia, 62–63, 67 affectus (affectio) 126–46; See also emotion desire, 126–27, 131, 134, 138–40, 142; fear, 127, 132, 147; humility, 127; joy, 46, 76, 78–80, 127, 140; love, 127–28, 130, 133–34, 140, 142, 145 n. 35; metaphors of, 126–34, 138–41; movements, 14, 126–43; pes affectus, 130–32, 134, 138; sorrow, 25, 27, 69, 127; soul, 126–34, 137–41; spiritual, 126–28, 138–40; will, 127–28, 131

affordance, 7–10, 12–14, 23, 47, 53, 68, 81–82, 143; cognitive affordance, 20, 77, 79, 91, 98, 124, 126, 144, 148 Ambrose of Milan, bishop, 24, 91, 93, 135–37; De fuga saeculi, 135; De Paradiso, 24; Funeral Orations, 91, 115 n.7 angel(s), 25–27, 33, 39–40, 61–63, 65, 67–69, 72–74, 78, 80 Apocalypse of Moses, 23, 25, 48 n. 12 apocrypha, 25–27, 43, 45–46, 48 n. 12 Aquinas, Saint Thomas, 122–23, 139–40; Catena Aurea, 122–23 artifact, 2–11, 13–14, 19–20, 32, 38, 41, 44, 53–54, 59, 61–62, 64–65, 68, 81, 119–21, 124, 138, 140–44 Auchinleck Life of Adam, 42–43 audience, 12, 14, 26, 28–30, 38–41, 45, 47, 48 n. 8, 54, 72–74, 76–77, 80–82, 94–95, 98, 108–9, 113, 119–21, 123–24, 129, 143, 148–49 Augustine of Hippo, bishop, Saint, 34, 82–83 n. 15, 86 n. 69, 90–91, 93–99, 109, 127–132, 135, 139; De Trinitate, 34; Enarrationes in Psalmos, 128–29; In Evangelium Iohannis Tractatus, 82–83 n. 15, 90, 93–94, 96

168  Index

Bede, Venerable, Saint, 12, 24 Beloved Disciple, 56–59 Benediktbeuern Passion Play, 99, 104–5, 116 n. 20 Benvenuto da Imola, 132 See also Dante Alighieri Beverley plays, 45–46, 72; gravinge and spynnynge, 45–46; The Resurrection, 72 binding and unbinding, 89, 90–94, 109 See also graveclothes blood, bleeding, 1–5, 7, 68, 70, 76, 80–81, 87 n. 83 Boccaccio, Giovanni, 132 See also Dante Alighieri Bodley Christ’s Resurrection, 72, 77, 79–81, 85 n. 51 body schema, 1, 3, 129 Bolens, Guillemette, 4–5 Bonaventure, cardinal bishop, Saint, 130–31 books of hours, 41, 107, 111 Cain and Abel, 22, 36, 45 Canticum de Creacione, 42–43, 46 Carmina Burana, 99, 104, 116 n. 20 catacombs, St. Domitilla, Rome, 60 Cave, Terence, 6, 8–9, 20, 56 Caxton, John, 33 Golden Legend, 33, 46 Chartres cathedral, 101, 116 n. 30 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 8 Chaundler, Thomas, 29, 40; Liber Apologeticus, 29, 30, 40–41 Chester plays, 36–38, 72, 74–77; Adam and Eve, 36–38; Draper’s guild, 37–38; Resurrection, 72, 74–77 chi-rho monogram, 60 Christus resurgens, 73–74 Chrysostom, Saint John, 123 Clerke, John, 72 clothing, 1–3, 7–16, 17 n. 45, 19–55, 59, 64, 82, 91, 93, 144, 147–149;

See also shoes apron, 19, 38–39, 48 n. 6, 50 n. 70; fig leaves, 19–20, 26–27, 38, 42, 48 n. 6; See also girdle girdle, 19–20, 48 n. 6; of glory, 21, 23–24, 34, 51 n. 79; graveclothes, 13, 53–55, 59, 63, 71, 81, 84 n. 30, 89–90, 92–94, 97–102, 104, 107, 110–11, 113–14, 149; headband, 147, 149; hide, 32–33, 35, 39, 42; leather, 34, 38, 39; of immortality, 22, 29, 34, 40; of innocence, 21, 24–25, 34, 49 n. 20; of light, 22–23, 51 n. 79; linen, 13, 39, 56–57, 59, 61–63, 81, 84 n. 30; of mortality, 30–41; napkin, 56, 90, 92; pilche, 33, 36, 42; stola prima, 24, 32, 34, 49 n. 20; tunics of skin, 10, 21–25, 30, 32–37, 40, 42, 121 cognition, 2–8, 12, 15 n. 14, 29, 35, 40, 53–56, 59, 120, 130–31, 148–49; embodied, 3, 8, 95; extended, 3 Comester, Peter: Historia Scholastica, 33, 35 confession, 92–94, 96, 134 Constantine, Emperor, 60 Cornish plays: Creacion of the World, 26–27, 36, 39; Ordinalia, 46; Origo Mundi, 39, 46 corporeality, 1, 4–5, 20–21, 24, 28, 33, 59, 70, 72, 125, 130, 140, 142, 148–49 Corpus Christi, feast of, 70, 73, 75; plays, 69

Index  169

Council of Nicaea, 60 Coventry Resurrection play, 72 crucifixion, 21, 76, 77, 80, 104; in images, 60, 68, 70, 87 n. 83 Cursor Mundi, 25, 33, 43, 46 Damasus, pope, 136 Dante Alighieri, 132 De Brailes, William, 31–32 didiscalie, 27 Digby Mary Magdalene play, 105–6, 109–11 distaff, 39, 41–42, 45–46 See also spinning Dives and Pauper, 141–42 Doctrine of the Hert, 126, 139–41 Duccio, 115 n. 1 Eco, Umberto, 9 Edict of Milan, 60 Edith of Wilton, Saint, 1–2, 5–7, 9, 14 n. 1, 147–49 emotion, 4, 9, 15 n. 14, 20, 23, 31, 46–47, 61, 65, 71, 80–81, 102, 124–134, 140, 142, 148; See also affectus anger, 127, 147–48; compassion, 36; despair, 31, 124; grief, 31, 79, 100, 107, 116 n. 30, 117 n. 49; humility, 132; love, 55, 127–28, 130, 133–34, 140, 142, 145 n. 35; pride, 9, 129; shame, 20–21, 25–26, 28, 31–32, 43, 47 n. 1 empty tomb, 54, 59, 69, 136; in images, 61, 64–67 eucharist, 54, 63, 68, 70, 73, 75–76 Eve, 19–51, 121, 124–25, 142–43 expulsion, 39, 42, 45, 46

facial expression, 89, 116 n. 30, 147–48 fall of humanity, 10, 12, 14, 19–51 fashion, 9, 11 Fillipo Villani. See Dante Alighieri Fleury Playbook, Raising of Lazarus, 99–102 foot: See also shoes bare, 28, 44, 120, 124–25, 143; bound, 92, 97, 104, 113; emotion, 126–34; metaphor, 126–44; motion, 126–44; pes affectus, 130–32, 134, 138, 142–43; pes intellectus, 130–32, 134, 143 Fourth Lateran Council, 70, 96 Genesis. See Old Testament Geneva Bible, 38 gesture, 3–6, 10, 14, 27–28, 30–32, 61–62, 65, 84 n. 35, 102, 113, 116 n. 30, 120, 124, 137, 140, 143–44; despair, 31; grief, 31, 65, 116 n. 30; shame, 20, 31–32, 43–44; sorrow, 25, 27 Gibson, John J., 8–9 See also affordance Giordano da Pisa, 89 Giotto di Bondone, 89, 91, 94, 115 n. 1 Glossa Ordinaria, 33, 35, 95, 137–38 gnostic, 24, 32 Goscelin of Saint Bertin, 1–4, 6, 148; Translatio Edithe, 1, 5–6, 9, 148–49 Gospels: See also New Testament John, 13, 54–61, 63, 67–68, 74, 78, 81, 82 n. 5, n. 6, n. 10, n. 14, 82–83 n. 15, 90, 92–94, 97, 99, 108, 122;

170  Index

Luke, 25, 57, 82 n. 10, n. 12, n. 14, 122, 136; Mark, 122–23; Matthew, 79, 82 n. 14, 89, 94 Gower, John: Confessio Amantis, 133–34 graveclothes. See clothes affordance, 13, 53, 59, 68, 77, 81–82; artifacts, 13; bindings, 13, 89–94, 98, 103–4, 108, 113–14, 149; bloodied, 80–81; burial practices, 13, 53, 55–57, 59, 107–8, 110–11; cognitive affordance, 54, 59, 79, 91, 98; linen, 13, 56–57, 59, 63, 81, 84 n. 30; othonia, 57–59, 82 n. 10; soudarion, 58–59, 82 n. 12; sudarium, 59, 67, 69, 74–76, 80, 82 n. 12, 84 n. 42 Great Bible, 38 Gregory the Great, pope, 24, 96, 99, 119–24, 130, 136–38; homilies, 120–21, 136–37 Gregory of Nazianzus, archbishop, 24, 33 Gregory of Nyssa, bishop, Saint, 33 Guido da Pisa. See Dante Alighieri Hilarius, 99, 102–3, 116 n. 20; See also Peter Abelard Suscitatio Lazarus, 99–100, 102–3, 105, 107 Hildegard of Bingen, abbess, Saint, 34 Hilton, Walter, 35–36, 42, 133; Scale of Perfection, 35–36, 133 Holkham Picture Bible, 71, 87 n. 83 Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, church, 61 homo claudus, 131–34

Hugh of St. Cher, 137–39, 141; Postillae super totam Bibliam, 137–40 illumination, 31–32, 61–62, 64–65, 67, 69, 107–8 incarnation, 10, 119–24 See also shoes inference, 12, 54–56, 58–59, 64, 69, 81, 82–83 n. 15, 95, 140, 148 Inferno. See Dante Alighieri intellect, 121–24, 130–34, 143 See also feet introspection, 4, 22, 25–27, 47 Irenaeus of Lyons, 90 Isidore of Seville, Saint, 30 See also Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León ivory carvings, 61, 65–67, 83 n. 22 Jacobus de Voragine: Legenda Aurea, 54 Jacques de Vitry, 130–31 Jerome, Saint, 19, 136–37, 139; letters, 136; translations, 19 Jesus Christ: burial, 13, 53, 55, 57, 59, 84 n. 30; crucifixion, 21, 60, 68, 70, 76–77, 80, 104; death, 10, 13, 21, 53, 55, 60, 70, 78; incarnation, 10, 119–24; passion, 60, 70, 104, 112; raising of Lazarus, 90, 95, 100–1, 103–4, 108; redemption, 44; resurrection, 13, 53–87, 90, 95, 106; wounds, 68–70, 77–78, 80, 87 n. 83 Jeu d’Adam, 26, 28, 92, 115 n. 8, 143 John, Saint, 67, 74–75, 77–79, 87 n. 81 John Scottus Eriugena, 24 John the Baptist, 120–24

Index  171

Kalender of the Shepherds, 112 kinesis, 4–5, 8, 10, 25, 32, 47, 93, 124, 129, 140, 144, 149 kinesthesia, 4–5, 8, 22–23, 25, 29, 58, 94, 140, 144, 149 kinetics, 5 knowledge, 3–5, 19–20, 28, 40, 44, 56–57, 59, 63, 70, 73, 75, 78–80, 96, 119–21, 131, 138, 140–41; embodied, 3–5, 9, 13, 22–23, 28, 58, 94–95, 119–20, 129, 138, 140–41, 144, 149 lay devotion, 54–55, 68, 70–71, 77, 80–81, 105, 112, 126, 130, 139, 143, 144 n. 2 Lazarus: bindings, 89–98, 103, 105, 108–11, 113–14, 149; brother of Mary Magdalene, 91, 100–2, 104, 105–6, 109–11; in images, 89, 101–2, 111, 116 n. 30; resurrection, 13, 58, 89–118; sinner, 10, 89–91, 94–99, 102, 149; Visio Lazari, 112 Liber de Doctrina Cordis, 126, 138–40 See also Hugh of St. Cher literal, 5, 70, 90, 115 n. 6, 121 liturgical drama, 13, 54, 61–62, 64, 68–69, 73, 76, 79, 85 n. 51, 100; Depositio crucis, 62, 84 n. 42; Elevatio crucis, 62; Visitatio Sepulchri, 54, 61–65, 67–70, 72–77, 80–81, 83 n. 25, 84 n. 42, 85 n. 43 liturgy, 26–27, 54, 61, 62–65, 68, 70, 79, 81, 83 n. 23, 85 n. 51, 99–100, 104–5, 107 loosing, 90, 92–98, 109, 122 See also graveclothes Love, Nicholas, 79–80, 96–98;

Mirror of the Blessed Love of Jesus Christ, 79–80, 87 n. 81, 96–97 Lydgate, John, 12 Magdalene, Mary, 56–57, 60, 69, 74, 79–80, 91, 99, 100–2, 104–6, 109, 111; See also Mary of Bethany See also Digby Mary Magdalene Gospel of John, 56–57, 60; sister of Lazarus, 91, 99–102, 105–6, 109, 111 manuscripts: London, British Library MS Add. 47682, 71, 87 n. 83; MS Add. 49598, 64; MS Cotton Tiberius A, 84 n. 28; MS Cotton Vespasian D.8, 27, 77, 87 n. 75, 106; MS Royal 2 B VII, 39 Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek MS Lat. 4660, 104 Orléans, Biblothèque municipale MS 201, 100 Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodley 219, 27; MS Bodley 971, 46; MS Digby 133, 106; MS e Museo 160, 79 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale Français 167, 42; MS Lat. 1240, 83 n. 25; MS Lat. 9428, 83 n. 23 San Marino, Huntington MS HM I, 106 St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek MS 391, 67; MS 484, 83 n. 25 Udine, Bibloteca Arcivescovile MS 234, 67 York Minster Add. MS 2

172  Index

York, North Yorkshire County Library E 20, 85 n. 45 Martha of Bethany, 100–1, 110, 116 n. 30, 118 n. 62 Mary of Bethany, 99–101, 110, 116 n. 30, 118 n. 62 See also Mary Magdalene Mary Salomé, 77–78 Mary, Virgin, mother of Christ, 104 materiality, 2, 7–12, 14–15 n. 14, 17 n. 45, 19–20, 23, 29, 32–35, 37, 40, 91, 121, 137, 148–49 Meditationes vitae Christi, 97 memory, 4, 23, 29, 75, 93, 140, 147 metaphor, 9–10, 13–14, 17 n. 45, 34, 90, 109, 114, 119–46, 149 midrash, 22–23; Genesis Rabbah, 23; Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer, 23 Mirk, John: Festial, 36 movement, 4–7, 10, 28, 30, 62, 64, 69, 91, 93–95, 97–103, 105, 108, 110, 113–14, 115 n. 2, 119, 124, 127, 129–32, 139, 142–44, 146 n. 56, 148–49; See also gesture fall, 133–34, 143; of the soul. See affectus; tripping, stumbling, 92, 134, 142–43; walking, 10, 13, 28, 44, 64, 76, 81, 89, 93, 101, 103, 108–11, 113–14, 115 n. 7, 125, 130–31, 135–37, 144 n. 2

Norwich Grocer’s Play (B), 36–39, 46, 50 n. 68 N-Town plays, 49 n. 34, 79, 106, 112; Announcement to the Marys; Peter and John at the Sepulcher, 72, 77–79; Fall of Man, 26–28, 44–46, 120, 124–26, 142–43; Raising of Lazarus, 105–7

neoplatonism, 24, 32, 127 New Testament, 57–58, 136; See also Gospels Corinthians, 60; Ephesians, 135, 141–42; Galatians, 136

race to the tomb, 67, 74, 78 Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León, reliquary, 30–31 See also Isidore of Seville real presence, 70 Regularis Concordia, 62–63, 67

Office of the Dead, 107, 111 Old Testament, 136–37; Exodus, 33, 137; Ezekiel, 136, 138–39; Genesis, 19–25, 32–33, 37–38, 41–42, 45, 47 n. 1, 48 n. 6, 121, 125, 136; Isaiah, 136; Song of Solomon, 141, 146 n. 59 Origen of Alexandria, 32–33, 35, 120–24 perception, 4, 8–9, 20, 23, 25–28, 40, 43, 56–57, 63, 72–73, 78–79 perceptual simulation, 4–6, 28, 33–34, 41, 97 Peter, Saint, 55–57, 67, 74–75, 77–79, 89–90, 109 Philo of Alexandria, 32 Poore Caitif, 141 posture, 32, 61, 119, 123–25, 128–29 Prik of Conscience, 96, 112 Pseudo Chrysostom, 120, 122–23 See also Catena Aurea

Index  173

relics, 1–2, 147–48 Remigius of Auxerre, 34–35 resurrection, 13, 32, 53–82, 89–114; in images, 60–62, 64–71, 89 101–2, 111; See also Jesus Christ See also Lazarus Roman de la Rose, 11 rubrication, 42, 62–63, 65, 67, 84 n. 27, n. 42, 100–1, 103, 105 Saint Agatha’s church, Easby, wall paintings, 41–42 Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, monastery, 100, 102 Saltair na Rann, 25 Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, mosaics, 61 Scrovegni chapel, Padua, 89 See also Giotto di Bondone sensorimotricity, 2, 4, 9, 47, 94, 98, 147 Septuagint, 19 shoes, 10, 13–14, 119–44, 149; absence of, 28, 124–26, 142–43; affectus, 124–34, 138; of heavenly desires, 126, 138, 140; incarnation, 10, 120–24; jacinth, 136, 138–39, 141; metaphor, 13–14, 119–44; protection from sin, 124–26, 134–43; sandal, 120–24, 137, 146 n. 56; strap, 119–24; walking in, 136–39, 146 n. 56 sight, faculty of, 4, 9, 28, 57, 63, 67, 74 sin, 7, 10, 27–28, 33–35, 47 n. 1, 60, 90–91, 93–99, 102, 104, 107, 109, 127–29, 131,134–40, 142–43, 149

soul, 5, 14, 47, 53, 97, 107, 126–27, 129–30, 133, 139, 140–41; faculties of, 127; foot of the soul, 128, 130–31; See also affectus movements of, 14, 126–27, 129–30, 132–33, 140 See also affectus spinning, 39, 41–42, 46 See also distaff, stage directions, 37, 39, 74, 111, 113 See also rubrication stained glass, 69, 101–3, 87 n. 84, 116 n. 32, n. 33 St. Laurence parish, Reading, 36, 38–39, 72; Adam and Eve play, 38–39; Resurrection play, 72, 85 n. 51 targum, 22–23 Tertullian, 90 three Maries, 61–69, 73–74, 77–81 thurible, 64–65, 67, 83 n. 23, 84 n. 35 Towneley plays, 72, 106; Lazarus, 105–6, 111–14; The Resurrection, 72–77, 81 Traditio Legis, 60 Tretyse of Gostly Batayle, 141 Tyndale, William, 50 n. 70 underspecification, 54–59, 148 vernacular drama, 26–29, 32, 36–41, 44–47, 54, 68–81, 85 n. 51, 91, 99, 105–14, 143 Visitatio sepulchri. See liturgical drama

174  Index

visit to the tomb, 61–62, 64, 71, 79, 87 n. 83 See also empty tomb Vita Adae et Evae, 25–27, 42 Vulgate Bible, 19, 38, 57, 59 Wycliffites, 48 n. 6, 96–97 Wyclif, John:

Tractatus de Statu Innocencie, 19, 47 n. 1 York Minster, 69 York plays, 45, 69–70, 81, 112; Expulsion from the Garden, 45; Fall, 45; Resurrection, 69–70, 72–74, 76–77, 81