The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France
In an examination of eyewitness travel writing in thirteenth- through sixteenth-century France, Andrea Frisch studies the figure of the witness at a historical juncture and in a cultural context in which that figure is generally thought to have begun to assume a recognizably modern form and function.
Whereas most accounts of early modern travel literature tend to read modern presuppositions about witnessing and testimony back into the material, Frisch approaches the early modern witness in terms of the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Through primary readings in law and theology, Frisch documents the tension between the ethical witness (the characteristic witness of premodernity) and the epistemic witness (the modern witness) and explores the impact of that tension on the figure of the witness in pre- and early modern French-language travel literature.
Results 1-3 of 44
bert ' s Practique judiciaire , Pierre Guenois gives an extensive list of legitimate
objections to witness testimony . They turn out to be none other than the old
medieval reproches based on socio - ethical status . Witnesses are disqualifed
Imbert gives descriptions ( and critiques ) of all phases of procedure according to
the norms of the Paris Parlement , with particular reference to the ordinances of
1498 and 1539 . Imbert ' s text has the advantage of incorporating a more ...
In the medieval procedure Beaumanoir describes , the oath constitutes an
evidentiary frontier : before taking the oath , the capacity of the witness to give in
evidence – and thus , his very status as a witness – is in suspension , pending