Strategies of Correction: Corporal Punishment in the Carolingian Empire, 742-900

Maximilian Peter McComb
My dissertation is a political and cultural history of corporal punishment in the Carolingian empire. I examine the shape and significance of discourses and representations of corporal punishment across various modes of ecclesiastical, royal, and monastic governance. I contextualize these discourses within contemporary understandings of power as a shared moral ministry as explored by scholars like Mayke De Jong. Within this concept of political power as a shared ministry, I argue that
more » ... n corporal punishment was a communicative, symbolic that use the body of the condemned to express authority in a concrete sense. Physical punishment both materialized abstract discourses abstract about the responsibilities and prerogatives of official authority and provided ruling elites with a means to make this power visible to and felt by non-elites. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Maximilian McComb completed his BA in history at the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. At Berkeley, he completed an undergraduate honors thesis in early medieval history under the supervision of Professor Geoffrey Koziol. He earned an MA in medieval history from Cornell university in 2014. In 2016, funded by the Theodor Ernst Mommsen fellowship, McComb worked as a visiting PhD researcher at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands. v "Every visible, outward use of powereach command, each list and ranking, each ceremonial order, each public punishment, each use of an honorific or a term of derogationis a symbolic gesture of domination that serves to manifest and reinforce a hierarchical order." James Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance "Do you know, Alexander Petrovitch, when I dream at night, I always dream that I am being flogged. I dream of nothing else." Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the House of the Dead vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project has benefitted greatly from the support, advice, suggestions, and criticisms of many people along the way. I would like to especially thank my advisor, Professor Oren Falk, in whose seminar on medieval violence the seeds of my dissertation began to grow. I also owe thanks to the other members of my committee, Professors Éric Rebillard and Benjamin Anderson, for incisive and invaluable criticisms and suggestions. All three of them have been consistently supportive, have known when to apply the lash, so to speak, and the project simply would not be without their support.
doi:10.7298/x4988572 fatcat:w62rz3r6xreqxppssmkszkgzzq