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Difformitas: Invective, Individuality, Identity

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Chapter Summary

Peter's specific use of the metaphor, however, is particularly indicative of the two-tiered problematic which forms the core of this chapter. The first tier involves the referential capacity of seals and the representational nature of seal images. A first focus of the chapter, therefore, will be a consideration of the concepts of person and identity as they were dialectically articulated in twelfth-century discursive and sealing practices. Second, it analyzes the ways in which the formulation of urban identity on city seals challenged preceding traditions for representing both the person and the city. Finally, as the affixation of seals came increasingly to be noted in the final clauses of charters, such diplomatic discourse recorded that the authors had ordered that "their transaction be reinforced with the imprint of their image;" impressio, imago were indeed recurrent standard terms used to designate the seal affixed to documents.

Keywords:metaphor; middle ages; personality; Peter; sealing practice



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