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Antiquarian attitudes: crossed legs, crusaders and the evolution of an idea.

Harris, OD; (2010) Antiquarian attitudes: crossed legs, crusaders and the evolution of an idea. Antiquaries Journal , 90 401 - 440.

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Abstract

Since the sixteenth century, both scholarly and popular readings of tomb monuments have assigned a series of interpretations to medieval effigies with crossed legs. These have included the beliefs that the effigies dated from before the Norman Conquest; that they commemorated crusaders, or those who had taken crusading vows; and that they commemorated Knights Templar. The ‘crusader’theory has proved particularly tenacious, and, although largely discredited by scholars, continues to flourish in folk wisdom. This paper charts the emergence and dissemination of these several ideas and the debates they engendered. It argues that the early modern identification of the cross-legged attitude as a noteworthy feature was, despite its mistaken associations, a landmark in the story of the formulation of techniques for the typological diagnosis of antiquities.

Type:Article
Title:Antiquarian attitudes: crossed legs, crusaders and the evolution of an idea.
Location:UK
Publisher version:http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7884801&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0003581510000053
Language:English
Keywords:antiquarianism, tomb monuments, crusades, crusaders, Knights Templar
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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