Living Stones: The House as Actor in Early Modern Europe

Daniel Juette

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    This article investigates the metaphor of the "living house" and its concrete ramifications on everyday life in late medieval and early modern Europe. For premodern Europeans, the house was an actor that occupied an important and natural role in their social life and in the urban space in which they lived. Human attributes were explicitly assigned to the house: it had a name and life story, displayed bodily features, and was invested with a specific individuality. This article examines the historical origins of this metaphor and why it became particularly powerful in the early modern period. The author then surveys the various expressions of the anthropomorphic understanding of the house, as reflected both in the architectural theory and the popular discourse of the time. The final part addresses the question of why and when this notion of the house as actor began to decline.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)659-687
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of Urban History
    Volume42
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

    Fingerprint

    Medieval
    metaphor
    individuality
    everyday life
    discourse
    Europe
    stone
    attribute
    Early Modern Europe
    time
    Premodern
    Late Medieval Period
    Names
    Social Life
    Discourse
    Architectural Theory
    Urban Space
    Individuality
    Life Story
    Everyday Life

    Keywords

    • cultural history
    • early modern history
    • urban history

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Urban Studies

    Cite this

    Living Stones : The House as Actor in Early Modern Europe. / Juette, Daniel.

    In: Journal of Urban History, Vol. 42, No. 4, 01.07.2016, p. 659-687.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Juette, Daniel. / Living Stones : The House as Actor in Early Modern Europe. In: Journal of Urban History. 2016 ; Vol. 42, No. 4. pp. 659-687.
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