Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Take it and Leave It: Medieval Castration, Part I


Here's an old-fashioned blog post, a bit of an essay - the first half of a chapter for, of all things, an anthology largely focused on classical studies - but one that I can frame as also newly crucial in these awful times for America. Stories that enweird the Middle Ages, rendering it unsuitable for White Supremacist and Christian Dominionist nostalgia; stories that enweird masculinity: that's what I'm doing below, and although it's not as direct an action even as simply phoning one's representative - which I trust all of you in America are doing - it still might count for something.

BnF, fr. 174 57v, Marriage of Adam and Eve
The seventh-century Visigothic Code called for sodomites to be castrated.[1] Norman nobles were infamous for inflicting this outrage on their noble prisoners, instead of granting them the expected, civilized quietus of execution.[2] Abelard famously suffered the same treatment when he ran afoul of Heloise’s uncle. It numbers among the civic punishments luridly illustrated in the bas-de-page of a thirteenth-century manuscript of the Coutemes de Toulouse.[3] And the surprisingly few medieval fabliaux that feature castration treat it as a grotesque joke: “Le prestre ki perdi les colles” [The Priest who loses his Balls] ends with “two dogs fighting over the roasted testicles in the ruins of the blacksmith's shop.”[4]
This is all, I trust, distressing, but none of it is particularly surprising, especially if we approach these cases, as is almost inevitable, under the influence of psychoanalytic storytelling.[5] Psychoanalytic models typically understand castration anxiety as the psychic origin of gender hierarchy and, by extension, idealizations of social dominance in general. When the male-identified child is taught that his mother has no phallus, he fears losing his too; bullied by this fear out of his claim to the mother, he invests the father with the phallus and imagines that he has let the child keep his own, lesser one, so long as he allies himself with this paternal tyrant against socially "castrated" women. With this, the child's primary family relationship shifts from one of care (between child and mother) to one of submission and obedience (between child and father). The child’s reward is being installed advantageously within prevailing social hierarchies. There is no need to take this narrative literally to recognize its operations across a host of relations in which castration, or symbolically analogous harms, become, as they are in my first paragraph, the sign of the ultimate humiliation, and its threat and practice what bonds dominant groups.[6]
Standard scholarly approaches to castration have therefore followed Jean de Meun in believing that its result is to rob someone “not just of his testicles” but “of the boldness in human ways that should exist in valiant men.”[7] Particularly with Abelard, they have tended to examine how castrates sought to reconstruct themselves as men despite the injury.[8] That “despite” is the problem: any approach to castration that preserves the supposedly natural fit between genitalia and gender is as prone to stumble as any other culturally specific “natural fit” when it encounters alien cultural material. For at least with the celibate Christian clergy of the Middle Ages, the promotion of chastity and bodily mortification meant that the possession of the male genitalia, not their loss, was the dilemma.[9] To be sure, this clergy did not seek castration, psychoanalytically speaking; they still wanted all the illusions of mastery necessary for the masculine theater of power. But they could participate in this power through gaining what we might call a “higher” phallus by losing the one below. If acquiring castration anxiety means giving up on one’s desire (for the mother, and so on) in exchange for two things—a phallus and social identity borrowed from the father, and a shifting set of always inadequate substitutes for a lost primary object—then clerical castration desire just follows this logic out to its end by giving up entirely on the false consolations of every faulty object. Excepting, of course, only the supposedly less faulty object of masculinity itself. Abelard drew on this very notion to make sense of his injury. To counter his contemporaries’ jokes—in 1118, Roscelin of Compiègne mocked Abelard as an “imperfecti hominis” (imperfect man), no longer deserving to be called “Petrus,” because of the name’s masculine grammatical ending, and as having two heads “unum viri, alterum mulieris” (one a man’s, and the other a woman’s)[10]—Abelard reframed his castration as a “just judgment” and “an act of divine mercy” that “me…mundavit potius quam privavit” (cleansed rather than deprived me).[11] Here, Abelard preserve his masculinity not despite but because of his castration. He has been purified, rendered coherent, and, we might imagine, been granted an immunity to any further castration, for, as Bonnie Wheeler observes, “this lack…makes the castrated Abelard whole.”[12] Roscelin and the other bullies simply did not understand the gift Abelard has been given. They mistook the mere penis for a phallus. At least here Abelard had come to know better.
My chapter explores this peculiar strain of medieval castration thinking, summed up by Jacqueline Murray – the leading scholar on the topic – with “the whole problem of the body was perceived to be located in the male genitals. Once they were removed, it was believed that the problem of lack of control of the flesh would simply disappear.”[13] This, however, is not the only story it will tell. Its second half considers an account of a tortured knight from Peter of Cornwall's Book of Revelations. The knight's nonsacrificial, meaningless genital injury, in which he gives up nothing and learns nothing, offers a route past the cultural significance of the phallus, preserved in both castration and penis anxiety, and ultimately past the outsized cultural significance which dominant social orders bestow on male pain. For the solution to the problem of the phallus is to lose it entirely.
The problem of the genitals is a problem of being stuck with the embarrassing insistence of a desire that is neither our own nor quite not our own. The problem of desire, in short, inflicted upon us by the Fall, which meant that Eden offers a site for imagining our lost, mythical coherence. As with so much else in medieval thought, Augustine provides. Given his commitment to combating the quite literal demonization of the flesh by dualist heresies, Augustine had to argue that Adam and Eve could have had sinless sex, which required trying to imagine how we might have done it before sexual desire undignified us. Tellingly, his solution concentrates only on Adam's penis. Adam once would have been able move it "without lust,”[14] just as we can move our feet and hands by our own will. Augustine heaps up evidence to prove that such a thing could have been possible: even in this frustrating fallen world, where none can “live as he wishes,”[15] some people can wiggle their ears, some farters can “produce the effect of singing,” and one, at least, is a “man accustomed to sweat whenever he wished.”[16] Augustine seeks succor for what the apostle Paul complained of in Romans 7:23 as “another law in my members,” or what Freud called the “it,” in his famous promise to his patients “wo Es war, soll Ich werden.” All demonstrate that we could have once had the “ich,” in an Eden of deliberate farters, sweaters, and willed erections, in which no member would have been shameful, in which no part of us would have been a rebellious “slave,”[17] when we would not have needed mastery, because there would have been perfect consonance between the self and its obedience, so that mastery and the self were one.
GKS 1633 4º, 8v. The Beaver gives the Hunter what it wants.
Absent a return to Paradise, castration seems a straightforward solution to this world’s siren song. Effectively, the goal would be to become human beavers, the animal most famous in the Middle Ages for its neat solution to the problem of desire. Knowing that hunters wanted nothing from them but their testicles, beavers – castores in Latin – would bite them off, fling them in the face of their pursuers, and then scurry away with at least their life intact. The moralized natural history catalogs that flourished in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries tended to explain that the hunter represents the devil, testicles the vices, and the beaver the holy man, who, to become fully himself, needed only to lose the organ that drew the devil on.[18] It is therefore unsurprising, if perhaps still somewhat shocking, that two sixteenth-century Italian humanists, Paolo Giovio and Giovanni Bernardino, used self-castrating beavers as their personal emblems.[19] Here we have the fantasy of mastery divested of the unbalancing perturbations of desire, excepting, again, only the indispensable desire for masculine perfection.
The beaver shows how at least the sexual perturbations might be cured; castration shows this desire as demonstrably resolved, because the absence of the male genitalia is evident to anyone who cares to check; and finally, castration retroactively presents the problem as having been solvable. That is, castration takes something away while also furnishing the myth that the genitalia really were to blame for desire’s disordering. For in losing the genitalia the castrate lost what Gerald of Wales called a “shameful part of the body.”[20] This can be taken further, for if the male genitalia are shameful, there to be mastered, then they must be recognized as the most female part of the male body. This only apparently paradoxical point is obvious once we recall the truism that medieval misogyny, namely, that the female body is disordered desire incarnated; in an example that here stands for the whole of this tradition, Osbert of Clare hectored the nun Ida of Barking with the following, “conquer the woman; conquer the flesh; conquer desire.”[21] Furthermore, sexuality, with whatever partner, could effeminize men; another example from the same century, an anonymous twelfth-century Christian commentator on Leviticus 22:24, who observes that animals with damaged or missing testicles symbolize those who are “effeminantur” not by the loss of their genitals, but rather by “turpitudinis.”[22] Given all this, for the celibate cleric, and for their imitators, castration can masculate. It becomes one of the surest routes to bestowing on men the illusory gift of the phallus, male power’s mythical thing, which should never be confused with the actual, always inadequate genitalia.
Origen in the Roman de la Rose, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 195 122v
But getting the phallus means submitting to the phallus. Recognizing this explains the last, peculiar aspect of this peculiar clerical desire for castration, namely, that castration was desired and forbidden all at once. Castration would have seemed to have had Christ’s own blessing: in Matthew 19:12, Jesus explains “sunt enim eunuchi, qui de matris utero sic nati sunt: et sunt eunuchi, qui facti sunt ab hominibus: et sunt eunuchi, qui seipsos castraverunt propter regnum caelorum. Qui potest capere capiat” [For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it]. The original context of this sentiment, which appears only in Matthew, concerns the eschatological hopes of early followers of Jesus, and constitute an argument with contemporary rabbinic texts; the “eunuch” represents those who deliberately choose childlessness, because they know the world will soon be ending.[23] This radical hope would be lost with the verse’s first audience, but the verse itself would persist, circulating through the Latin Middle Ages uncensored and unemended, with only minimal differences between the Vulgate and other Latin translations, like the use of the synonyms “spandones” instead of “eunuchi” and “eunucizaverunt” instead of “castraverunt.”[24] What became mainstream Christians had other ways of neglecting or deflecting it.[25] The fourth century saw a new enthusiasm among Christians for the mortification of the flesh and, with it, a brief fashion for auto-castration. In response, Basil of Ancyra condemned it as a “perversion” that stirred up rather than quelled desire; the twenty canons of the First Council of Nicea lead off by prohibiting it; and exegetes threw up an interpretative cordon sanitaire around Matthew 19:12, which until then had received virtually no attention. Eusebius’s History of the Church (before 324) looks back a century to the theologian Origen’s auto-castration, mainly to sneer at it as an “absurdly literal” interpretation of Jesus’s words.[26] Some three centuries later, Isidore of Seville’s seventh-century Etymologies derives the word castus, chaste, from castratio, and then further overwrites any Christian history of castration by insisting that since the “veteribus” (ancients), castus means only anyone “who would promise perpetual abstinence from sexual intercourse.” With Matthew 19:12 tamed through a “spiritual” interpretation, mainstream, male-identified Christians had to find other methods to master themselves, and had to do so within the context of a “promise,” an institutional setting of oaths of submission to the authority of another. In the twelfth century, the English hermit Godric thus sought to tame his sexual desires by throwing himself repeatedly into brier patches. For all his efforts, still troubled, he sought numbness by lowering himself into a basin of icy water that he, like his contemporary Aelred of Rievaulx, had installed in the floor of his cell.[27] In all this, castration could be desired; it could be an ideal; it could be praised by Jesus himself; but no one could act on it himself, because the phallus itself still belonged to God.
The narrative result of this clerical double consciousness is predictable: a set of castration miracles in which God himself, or some other miraculous agent, provides some lucky cleric with the grace of castration or its equivalent. On the one hand, Guibert of Nogent’s twelfth-century memoirs provide one of several versions of a story of a Santiago de Compestella pilgrim overwhelmed with self-loathing because of his irrepressible sexual desire. Prompted by a demon in angelic garb, the pilgrim first castrates and then kills himself. Soon thereafter, he is miraculously resurrected, his wounds turned into mere scars, but, as Guibert puts it, “where his penis had been cut off [God] left a little perforation, if I may put it that way, for passing urine.”[28] The only partial repair of the cleric’s self-injury suggests that God had kept the genitals for himself, so transforming a forbidden auto-castration into a divine gift. The other, most angelic half of the tradition is thicker with examples. These flow from the account of the monk Elias in the Greek of Palladius’s early fourth-century Lausiac History, and especially through a similar story in the Latin of Gregory the Great’s sixth-century Dialogues.[29] There Equitius prays that his “carnis incentiva” [carnal temptation] might be tamed; at night, in a vision, “assistente angelo eunuchizari se vidit” [he sees himself castrated while an angel attends him]. From that point onward, all genital movement of his members was severed, “ac si sexum non haberet in corpore”[30] [as if he had no genitals {or gender} in his body]. In the eighth century, the layman Walfred, dismayed by the sexual desire that had given him five sons, was likewise blessed with mystical castration.[31] Gerald of Wales’ twelfth-century Gemma ecclesiastica has Hugh of Avalon (also known as Hugh of Lincoln) cured of his sexual desire through a similar remedy,[32] while in the thirteenth, William of Tocco provides this solution for Aquinas himself, who is miraculously visited by angels, who bind his genitals so he abhors and avoids women.[33] Not everyone received this treatment so calmly or gently: Caesarius of Heisterbach recalls a monk unable to live without women’s company; his prior convinces him to spend one more night in the cloister, whereupon:
Vix tenuiter obdormierat, et ecce! conspexit eminus virum horribilem in effigie carnificis ad se venientem, cultellum longum tenentem in manu, et sequebatur eum canis magnus et niger....Ille vero multum impetuose arreptis eius genitalibus abscidit canique proiecit, que ille mox devoravit.[34]
Scarcely had he fallen into a light sleep, when Behold! He saw at a distance a horrible man, in the likeness of a butcher [or executioner] coming towards him, carrying a long knife in his hands, and following him, there was a great, black dog … this man, with great fury, snatched his genitals, cut them off, and threw them to the dog, which quickly devoured them.
When he wakes up thinking that he had been “eunuchizatum,” he delights in finding himself whole, and settles into remaining a monk. In this mostly angelic side of the tradition, in which the happy castrate just watches approvingly as the offending part is tamed, we have a perpetuation of dynamics of submission, trust in authority, and idealizations of self-mastery on behalf of an unimpeachable father figure. Not that this is different than the usual model of castration. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the clerical castration fantasy, then, is that it gets us back to the same old story. It does not circumvent, but rather extends, the regime of the phallus, demonstrating, yet again, how the ideal of the phallus can persist even in the absence of the penis.
Circumvention needs to be sought elsewhere, through the path of indifference.

[1] Karl Zeumer, ed. Liber iudiciorum, sive Lex Visigothorum, MGH Leges nationum Germanicarum I (Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1902) III, 5, 7, p. 165; Samuel Parsons Scott, trans., The Visigothic Code (Boston: Boston Book Company, 1910), 111, is a standard English translation.
[2] Klaus van Eickels, “Gendered Violence: Castration and Blinding as Punishment for Treason in Normandy and Anglo-Norman England,” Gender & History 16.3 (2004): 588–602.
[3] Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 9187 32v, readily available online through the Gallica website. For discussion of the images, see Barbara Morel, Une iconographie de la répression judiciaire: le châtiment dans l’enluminure en France du XIIIe au XVe siècle (Paris: Éd. du Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, 2007).
[4] Mary E. Leech “The Castrating of the Shrew: The Performance of Masculinity and Masculine Identity in La dame escolliee,” in Larissa Tracy, ed., Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2013), 219.
[5] Cultural studies of medieval castration can be found in Tracy, Castration, and Laurence Moulinier-Brogi, “La Castration dans l’occident médiéval,” in Corps Outragés, Corps Ravagés de l’Antiquité Au Moyen Âge, ed. Lydie Bodiou and Véronique Mehl (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 189–216; for a global framework, Kathryn M. Ringrose, “Eunuchs in Historical Perspective,” History Compass 5, no. 2 (2007): 495–506; for early modern and Enlightenment Europe, Katherine Crawford, “Desiring Castrates, or How to Create Disabled Social Subjects,” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 16, no. 2 (2016): 59–90. My chapter uses “castration” to refer either to the removal of the testicles or the penis. For more nuanced treatments of terminology, see Mathew Kuefler, “Castration and Eunuchism in the Middle Ages,” in Handbook of Medieval Sexuality, ed. Vern Bullough and James A. Brundage (New York: Garland, 1996), 285-6, and Robert L. A. Clarke, “Culture Loves a Void: Eunuchry in De Vetula and Jean Le Fèvre's La Vieille,” in Tracy, Castration, 290.
[6] Forced tonsuring, for example, was a key form of “castration” for the long-haired nobles of the Merovingian kingdoms; Robert Mills, “The Signification of Tonsure,” in Holiness and Masculinity in the Middle Ages, ed. P. H. Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 109–26. Representation psychoanalytic frameworks include Julia Reinhard Lupton and Kenneth Reinhard, After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis (Cornell University Press, 1993), 57 -- "the melancholic relation to the phallus is...the only relation to the phallus, which is defined precisely by the inability any subject, male or female, to possess it without being dis-possessed by it" – or, similarly, Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1993), 85.
[7] Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose, trans. Charles Dahlberg, 3rd ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 329.
[8] For example, Juanita Feros Ruys, “‘Ut Sexu Sic Animo’: The Resolution of Sex and Gender in the ‘Planctus’ of Abelard,” Medium Aevum 75, no. 1 (2006): 6, which reaffirms Martin Irvine, “Abelard and (Re)Writing the Male Body: Castration, Identity, and Remasculization,” in Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler, eds., Becoming Male in the Middle Ages (New York: Garland, 1997), 87–106. In the same volume, see as well Bonnie Wheeler, “Origenary Fantasies: Abelard’s Castration and Confession,” 107-28. Also see Tracy, "Introduction: A History of Calamities: The Culture of Castration," in Tracy, Castration, 12-19.
[9] The last twenty years have produced many studies of the masculinity of medieval celibate Christian clergy. In the introduction to her anthology Medieval Masculinities: Regarding Men in the Middle Ages (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), Claire Lees established the field’s methodology by emphasizing the “multifaceted dynamic of male experience” that operated dialectically, rather than as a static hierarchy, in relationship to femininity (xx). More recently, Ruth Mazo Karras, “Thomas Aquinas’s Chastity Belt: Clerical Masculinity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives,” in Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe, ed. Lisa Bitel and Felice Lifshitz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 52–67, argues that the “heroic chastity” (57) of clerics was a genre of masculinity rather than, as R. W. Swanson claims, a third gender; the same volume, Jacqueline Murray extends this discussion of the clerical sex/gender continuum in “One Flesh, Two Sexes, Three Genders?”, 34-51. For specific attention to the twelfth century and castration, see Jennifer D. Thibodeaux, The Manly Priest: Clerical Celibacy, Masculinity, and Reform in England and Normandy, 1066-1300 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), 33–35.
[10] Jacques Paul Migne, ed., Patrilogiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina, 217 vols. (Paris, 1844) [hereafter PL] 178:372B.
[11] PL 178:207A. For the English, Betty Radice, trans., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (New York: Penguin, 1974), 148.
[12] Wheeler, “Castration and Confession,” in Cohen and Wheeler, Becoming Male, 111.
[13] Jacqueline Murray, “‘The Law of Sin That Is in My Members’: The Problem of Male Embodiment,” in Gender and Holiness: Men, Women, and Saints in Late Medieval Europe, ed. Samantha J. E. Riches and Sarah Salih (New York: Routledge, 2005), 17. Murray discusses this aspect with particular attention to Abelard in “Mystical Castration: Some Reflections on Peter Abelard, Hugh of Lincoln, and Sexual Control,” in Conflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities: Men in the Medieval West, ed. Jacqueline Murray (New York: Garland, 1999), 76-80.
[14] Augustine, The City of God, trans. Marcus Dods (New York: Modern Library, 1950), XIV.23, 470.
[15] Ibid., XIV.24, 473.
[16] Ibid., XIV.24, 473.
[17] Ibid., XIV.23, 471.
[18] Aberdeen University Library MS 24, f. 11r provides a representative example, easily accessible through the Aberdeen Bestiary website. For an extended discussion of medieval beaver lore, see Ellen Lorraine Friedrich, “Insinuating Indeterminate Gender: A Castration Motif in Guillaume de Lorris’s Romans de la rose,” in Tracy, Castration, 264-74.
[19] Kenneth Gouwens, “Emasculation as Empowerment: Lessons of Beaver Lore for Two Italian Humanists,” European Review of History/Revue Européene d’histoire 22, no. 4 (2015): 536–62.
[20] From his Gemma Ecclesiastica, quoted in Thibodeaux, The Manly Priest, 1, and discussed at more length in 36-37.
[21] Quoted in Murray, “One Flesh,” 43.
[22] PL 175:669A, cited in Sean Eisen Murphy, “The Letter of the Law: Abelard, Moses, and the Problem of Being a Eunuch,” Journal of Medieval History 30 (2004): 177.
[23] Jack Collins, "Appropriation and Development of Castration as Symbol and Practice in Early Christianity," in Tracy, Castration and Culture, 73-86.
[24] See the Vetus Latina Database, available through Brepols.
[25] For the history of the exegesis of this verse and canon law on castration, Collins, “Castration as Symbol and Practice,” Daniel F. Caner, “The Practice and Prohibition of Self-Castration in Early Christianity,” Vigiliae Christianae 51, no. 4 (1997): 396–415, and Murphy, “Problem of Being a Eunuch,” 168–69.
[26] Eusebius, The History of the Church, trans. Andrew Louth and G. A. Williamson (London: Penguin, 1989), 186.
[27] For these stories, see Murray, “Male Embodiment,” 15.
[28] Guibert of Nogent, A Monk’s Confession, trans. Paul J. Archambault (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996), 204. For further context, Ryan D. Giles, “The Miracle of Gerald the Pilgrim: Hagiographic Visions of Castration in the Liber Sancti Jacobi and Milagros de Nuestra Señora,” Neophilologus 94 (2010): 439–50.
[29] Caner, “Self-Castration,” 411; Giles, “Miracle of Gerald the Pilgrim,” 443.
[30] PL 77:165C.
[31] Ross Balzaretti, “Sexuality in Late Lombard Italy, C. 700-800 AD,” in Medieval Sexuality: A Casebook, ed. April Harper and Caroline Proctor (New York: Routledge, 2010), 23.
[32] Cited in Giles, “Miracle of Gerald the Pilgrim,” 444.
[33] Murray, “Mystical Castration,” 84.
[34] Die Wundergeschichten des Caesarius von Heisterbach, ed. Alfons Hilka (Bonn: Hanstein, 1933), 75.


flacius1551 said...

Wondering about relevance of canon law here: both requirement that candidates for the priesthood have intact male genitals and prohibition on deliberate unnecessary amputations.

Karl Steel said...

Hi Flacius,
Thanks for the comment. Sort of relevant and not. Note 25 directs to info on this. Here's a footnote from Sean Eisen Murphy, for example, on Ivo of Chartres:

"Ivo of Chartres, Decretum, Patrologia Latina (hereafter abbreviated as PL) 161:523D-524A and Panormia, PL 161:1143C. ‘Si quis per aegritudinem naturalia a medicis habuerit secta, similiter et qui a barbaris, aut dominis fuerint castrati, et moribus digni fuerint, hos canon admittit ad clericatus officium promoveri. Si quis autem sanus, non per disciplinam religionis et abstinentiae, sed per abscissionem plasmati a Deo corporis, existimans posse a se carnales concupiscentias amputari, castraverit se, non eum admitti decernimus ad aliquod clericatus officium. Quod si jam ante fuerat promotus ad clerum, prohibitus a suo ministerio deponatur’. Gratian cites the same canon in his Decretum, adding also the canon specifying that a worthy eunuch can likewise be made a bishop. Gratian, Decretum, ed. A. Friedberg, Corpus Iuris Canonici, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1879), 55.8, col. 217. Though not precisely relevant to the status of the castrate in canon law, there is a remarkable case in which Ivo himself had to determine the appropriate penance for a lord responsible for the castration of a monk. For an analysis of the case and Ivo’s judgment, see Bruce C. Brasington, ‘Crusader, castration, canon law: Ivo of Chartres’ Letter 135’, Catholic Historical Review 85 (1999), 367–382."

I'm sure you know this however! The main reason I don't discuss this above is reasons of space [I have only 7000 words for this chapter, and am currently at 7500, which means I need to start finding paragraphs to cut - probably, and sadly, the beaver bit], and because later canon law doesn't really do much more than restate the first canon of the 1st Nicean Council, at least for the purposes of my argument.

Karl Steel said...

...thinking just in terms of word count, probably the thing to do is to put in a fn that just links to PL 161:523D-524A and PL 161:1143C without quoting.