|About the Book|
Throughout the medieval period, the popular classes were always reckoned as a potential force in society even though it was usually dangerous for them to articulate divergent social, political and religious opinions. Sources on medieval political and social life seem to show us a world of order, acquiescence and consent. Otherwise, they reveal a picture of bloodshed and violent strife. During times of intense conflict, however, the human tongue was always the most frequently used weapon, much more so than the sword or the dagger. The vox populi, though often difficultly retrievable in the sources, was a ubiquitous one within the realm of later medieval politics. The essays collected in this volume deal with such speech acts of political rebels, with political languages of the popular classes in medieval society but also with the subversive twists to speech situations such as preaching, mockery and insults.