Medieval society was a society of collectivities in which identity came from membership in particular groups. 1 Many of these groups-knights, monks, apprentices, guildspeople-underwent particular initiation ceremonies that marked their selection or separation from the rest of society. 2 In knighthood, for example, the ritual of dubbing admitted one into a military elite. For men of the aristocracy, it also marked a coming of age, the attainment of manhood. The entrance into a university, into the elite intellectual world, also marked the acceptance into a masculine subculture. The ritual process of initiation into that subculture reveals a great deal about medieval ideas of what it meant to be a man-as distinguished from a boy, from a woman and also from a beast.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Conflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities|
|Subtitle of host publication||Men in the Medieval West|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||25|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|