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Practical and symbolic uses of the medieval horn: from the object of power to ordinary instrument

Abstract : The horn is both a political object and an everyday one insofar as it was long part of the category of ‘objects of distinction,’ which allow elites to mark their status and express their power. The materials used and the quality of manufacture fixed a very clear hierarchy between the different functions and users of horns. At the bottom of the scale, the horns of domestic mammals, which gave their name to the instrument, are generally not preserved in an archaeological context; only texts and images provide information on horns in our sense made from these materials. The horn was also present in all those activities which took the place of war among the pastimes of medieval elites. It was indispensable for hunting in groups over large areas. The horn was not used indiscriminately for all game. The capture of hares was rarely sounded with horns, however, even though they were much valued as game.
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Contributor : Luc Bourgeois Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 11:15:58 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 30, 2022 - 12:34:04 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03658658, version 1

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Luc Bourgeois. Practical and symbolic uses of the medieval horn: from the object of power to ordinary instrument. Fletcher, Christopher. Everyday political objects from the Middle Ages to the Contemporary World, Routledge, pp.30-47, 2021. ⟨hal-03658658⟩

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