Early Modern Exchanges


Tenochtitlan Political Propaganda / The Vocabulary of Sacrifice

05 December 2018, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Tenochtitlan Political Propaganda / The Vocabulary of Sacrifice

Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Work In-Progress seminar.

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Early Modern Exchanges


IAS Seminar Room 20, First Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

MREMS are delighted to present two papers by Alessio Pimpinelli and Roland Brennan which will discuss the use of clothing and ornaments in Mexica political propaganda and the vocabulary of sacrifice in the Old English Genesis A.

The papers will be followed by questions and discussion, and accompanied by some drinks and nibbles. It's also a great opportunity to meet fellow researchers working on Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern topics in London.


Clothing and Ornaments: A Strategy of Mexica Political Propaganda
Alessio Pimpinelli, PhD Student - UCL Spanish and Latin American Studies.

In this presentation we will explore how and why the Mexica rulers of Tenochtitlan (1426-1520 AD) exploited dress and insignia to convey specific political messages. After a brief introduction on the topic, we will focus on three particular objects: the royal "xiuhhuitzolli" (turquoise diadem), the intimidating "tzitzimitl" (stellar demon) costume and the "obsidian butterfly" insignia.

The Vocabulary of Sacrifice in the Old English Genesis A
Roland Brennan, PhD student - UCL English

It is widely agreed that the verse rendering of Genesis 1-22, Genesis A, represents one of the earliest vernacular poetic works in the Old English corpus. The likely date and provenance of this poem in a period close to the conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxons in the seventh century means that it provides an ideal extended context in which to investigate the response and reconfiguration of pre-Christian terminology to Christian narratives. Through comparison of the lexical distribution and collocational tendencies of sacrificial vocabulary in Genesis A with its scriptural source, this paper inquires how the vocabulary of sacrifice negotiated the cultural encounter between Germanic and Christian traditions, what the deployment of this vocabulary reveals about this cultural exchange, and the extent to which these words retain the memory of pre-Christian practice in their usage.