Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger
Zecher, Jonathan. (2021). Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger. Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 75, pp. 297-318.
[Extract] In this article, I will offer explanations—rooted in monastic practice, social pressures, and literary taste—for why the tollhouse myth went from almost unknown to widely popular in the ninth and tenth centuries. I explore this rise primarily through George the Monk’s version of the tollhouses and the two patristic florilegia that he appends to his tale, though I will also discuss the Life of Basil the Younger. Scholars have long pointed to George as a witness to the tollhouse myth, and Marinis has noted, albeit briefly, the signal importance of George’s use of florilegium. He writes, “Unique for its time, George’s attempt to establish a narrative of the afterlife based on the collection of relevant sources heralds a mentality that would become prevalent from the eleventh century on.”21 George, I argue, testifies to transitions in both the conceptualization of the postmortem and anthology’s role in the articulation and legitimation of this myth.
|Journal||Dumbarton Oaks Papers|
|Journal citation||75, pp. 297-318|
|PubMed Central ID||https://www.jstor.org/stable/27107159|
|Research or scholarly||Research|
|Page range||22 pages|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||31 May 2022|
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