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Clothing Saints in the Carolingian World
March 30, 2009 @ 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Solmsen Fellow (2008-2009)
History, Northern Illinois University
Both religious and laypeople wished to clothe saints appropriately in the Carolingian world. Whether describing the appropriate dress of saints in vitae, making and selecting textiles to support or wrap the relics of saints, or depicting saints’ clothing in pictorial form, conscious choices concerning the dressing of saints and their relics reveal how crucial clothing and textiles were to contemporary perceptions of sanctity and acts of religious devotion. The desire to preserve relics and the memory of saints also provides opportunities to consider early medieval textile trade and production in a new light.
Valerie L. Garver, a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute, is Assistant Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests center upon the social, cultural, and religious history of the Carolingian Empire. Questions concerning women, gender, and family and the historical and interdisciplinary study of material culture lie at the heart of her work. She is the author of Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World (Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2009), and her most recent article is “Learned Women? Liutberga and the Instruction of Carolingian Women,” in Lay Intellectuals in the Carolingian World, ed. Patrick Wormald and Janet L. Nelson (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 121-38.