Rights and Obligations: Conceptions of Social Relations viewed through the Treatment of Possessions in the Biblical Poems of Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Junius XI
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Creative Commons Licence
Reason for embargo
I plan on publishing parts of the dissertation in the form of journal articles.
My thesis examines social conceptions framing rights and obligations by reviewing how possessions are used and exchanged in the poems of MS Junius XI. I identify several major additions to the scriptural source material of the poetic narrative where the poems present a unique treatment of possessions in a social environment. These poetic additions often feature novel combinations of events and even entirely new sub-stories. In reviewing these departures I focus specifically on possessions and examine how they frame the rights and obligations within social interactions. Focusing on objects of social exchange enables the discussion of the literary narrative to relate to secondary historical literature on possessions as well as social conceptions. This has not yet been done for the poems of Junius XI. This thesis is divided into four thematic chapters ordered from the most tangible to the most abstract: moveable objects, landed possessions, degrees of possession of people, and abstract notions of authority framing social interactions tied to holding and exchanging possessions. In chapter two moveable possessions will be discussed in relation to social status, cultural identity, exchange and hierarchy. The third chapter will examine the interplay between the allegorical and practical notions of land possession. The fourth chapter will discuss social hierarchy framed as a range of rights and obligations discussing to what degree people are themselves treated as possessions. The discussion will examine what types and levels of relative personal freedom is detectable in the Junius XI poems. The final chapter will amalgamate findings and issues of the previous chapters by examining how the exchange and treatment of possessions impact various types of authority which frame social interactions, hierarchies and values.
Ad-Futura, Javni sklad Republike Slovenije za razvoj kadrov in štipendije, Dunajska cesta 22, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
PhD in History