The play has long been assumed to have spoken powerfully to early-modern Scottish audiences about their sense of individual and national identity, and their engagement with the political process in a period of dramatic political and religious uncertainty. But what might it say to modern spectators when performed in its entirety at a moment when such issues were once again under intense scrutiny? The project offered the academics and actors a unique opportunity to test their hypotheses about the Satire’s enduring capacity to move and challenge spectators and embody a political message as relevant to modern audiences as to their Stuart forebears.
The Three Estates speaks powerfully not only to lovers of Renaissance theatre, but also to a wider spectrum of Scottish society. It stages social and religious reform, and its strident, vulgar advocacy of the rights of the poor, and of women, has made it an icon of an alternative, popular Scottish history. It inspired John McGrath’s ground-breaking 1970’s drama, The Cheviot, The Stage, and the Black, Black Oil and his critique of the newly globalised media, A Satire of the Fourth Estate. And its influence can be seen in the strong tradition of ‘alternative’ Scottish popular theatre.
‘What is ane king?’, the play asks at one point, answering, ‘nought but ane officer’, appointed by God to serve the people: a potentially radical view of the divine right of kings. It also condemns an over-powerful established church, and speaks memorably of the sufferings of the labouring poor. But at the same time it condemns all those who will not work, the shirkers of all social classes, in ways that suggest the agenda of the modern political right. And it widens its attack to include jugglers, poets and minstrels – hinting at post-Reformation Kirk suspicions of music, dance and the Arts that inform stereotypical aspects of Scottish identity to this day.
Reconstructing the 1540 interlude from the eye-witness description revealed just how much of the 1552 play was already there in 1540. Despite their very different political contexts, the two evidently shared a desire to open up the political sphere to the needs of the commonwealth and to reform the governance of church and state. What had changed between the two productions was the death of James V, which robbed the nation of the readiest agent of political and social reform. In the absence of a king to whom he might address his concerns the playwright refashioned the play for a Scotland in which political authority and the will to reform were considerably more precarious, fragmented, and internally conflicted.
Working on the texts and contexts of the play suggests just how robust Scottish court and civic culture must have been in the mid-sixteenth century, how open to criticism and vigorous debate, in ways that other Renaissance courts and public spheres seem not to have been. It also suggests how versatile, accommodating, and implicitly democratic were both the dramatic form and the Middle Scots language in this period. That Lyndsay could use the same dialect, and broadly the same lexicon to voice both a Cupar tailor and the king of Scotland, a poor cottar and the archangel Michael, suggests a capaciousness and social inclusivity to Scots ‘Inglish’ that was seemingly not available to English writers of the same period.
Research Theme 1: We have traced the structural history of Portus, from its establishment under Claudius, to its enlargement under Trajan and subsequent emperors down into the 4th c AD. Five key buildings at the centre of the port played distinctive roles in respect to the Claudian and Trajanic harbour basins and a related canal. From the early 2nd c, the three-storey Building 3 (Palazzo Imperiale) was its administrative hub and the adjacent Building 5 was the focus of ship-building or repair; the Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo was built at a date in the later 2nd c AD, probably for storage.
Research Theme 2: The later 5th and the 6th c AD witnessed the gradual siltation of the outer Claudian basin, a contraction in the extent of the port, a transformation of the function of its buildings and in the volume and range of its traffic and cargo. In the 470s, the five buildings under study were enclosed within a defensive wall designed to protect the inner Trajanic basin from seaborne attack, possibly from Vandal pirates. Buildings 5 and 3 were systematically demolished in the mid to later 6th c, probably by the Byzantine authorities, and burials began to proliferate amongst the ruins.
Research Theme 3: The large scale and complexity of the port infrastructure at Portus is best appreciated by remembering that by the early 2nd c AD it was the central node in what might term as a "port-system". Communication between Portus and Ostia and the commercial district of Rome, was articulated by a network of canals and the river Tiber itself. Our work has greatly increased understanding of a key part of this, the Isola Sacra, that lies between Portus and Ostia. It has revealed a massive new canal running south from the Fossa Traiana and parallel to the cemetery, field divisions, and warehouse complexes.
Research Theme 5: Portus' primary role was to supply the 800,000 inhabitants of Rome with foodstuffs and the other materials. It was also a hub for re-distributing imports from other Mediterranean ports and, to a lesser extent, exporting construction material and other products from the Tiber valley. Analyses of amphorae, table and cooking wares, bricks, decorative stone and carbonized seeds from our excavations has enabled us to trace changing commercial connections to known sources across the whole Mediterranean basin, underlining the particular importance of north Africa (ceramics) and the east Mediterranean (decorative stone). Our work has also reveal the presence of Italian products ceramics, either for use in the port or for export.
Methodological Innovation: The challenge of tracing the history of this extensive port within the short time-frame of our projects was met by combining non-destructive survey of the area of our five buildings followed by excavation. The former approach was intended to extract the maximum information about buildings that were still buried. Topographical survey of the ground surface provided some clues, to which was added laser-scans of standing walls; the layout of structures below the surface was then picked-out using a combination of geophysical techniques. Open area excavation was then targeted upon areas most likely to answer our research questions. All of this information was captured digitally.
Interdisciplinary Research Environment: The complexity and richness of this site qualify it well for the use of scientific techniques as well as those more traditionally associated with the Humanities, thereby promoting an inter-disciplinary approach to studying the past. Analyses of sedimentary deposits and micro-fauna from deep cores drilled into the Claudian basin, quays and canals have taught us much about the use of water-spaces at Portus. Its environment, by contrast, is being studied by means of carbonized seeds and ancient pollen, while ceramics have been tracked to their widely differing places of origin across the Mediterranean by analysing the petrology of the minerals found within their clay matrix. Other scientific approaches include marine and terrestrial geophysical survey, computer visualization of project results and biological profiling of ancient skeletons.
Student Involvement: The huge cost of large-scale excavations at Classical sites means that they are much rarer today than they used to be. However, the inter-disciplinary and ethical challenges inherent to these, and the range of techniques to which they are suited, means that they are ideal for training the next generation of Classical archaeologists in field and analytical techniques, as well giving them familiarity with the material culture of the Classical world. An AHRC project studentship in Roman ceramics, for example, has addressed one of our research questions and generated deep knowledge of one class of material, while excavation data have provided dissertation topics for MSc Computing students. Furthermore, countless undergraduate students from Southampton, Cambridge, Oxford, Aix-Marseille, Ghent, Roma Tre, Roma La Sapienza, Seville and Tarragona have had their first taste of Roman Mediterranean archaeology in this unique context.
Data Capture: The Portus Project has worked with technology consultants and researchers to develop and evaluate various methods for capturing archaeological data. These include methods for recording buildings such as laser scanning and gigapixel imaging, and objects, including photogrammetry and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). We have also experimented with novel capture tools such as Microsoft Kinect and wearable cameras like Looxcie and GoPro as a way of enhancing information exchange and student involvement in the research process.
International Collaboration: International collaboration is of key importance for a project of this scope. The Italian archaeological Superintendency for Rome was a key partner at its inception and subsequently, while the British School at Rome has been a key logistical centre. In addition to these institutions, we have worked closely with colleagues at the CNRS/University of Lyon on deep coring, received advice on Roman shipping by the University of Aix-Marseille, ancient wood by Cornell University and infra-red and aerial photography by Ghent University, while expertise on a variety of Roman finds has been supplied by colleagues at research institutions in Italy.
Data Analysis and Presentation: Computer techniques have been used to inform our interpretative processes in many ways. For example, during the excavations of Building 5, a large structure of Trajanic date built for ship construction or repair, we began by integrating 3D geophysical data with that from excavation and laser scanning. This provided us with a framework upon which to build computer structural models so that we could test likely building forms. This in turn enabled us to better understand the building that we are studying and identify likely architectural comparanda. Furthermore we have undertaken the procedural simulation of this and other buildings, which have then been used to provoke discussions with colleagues about the possible uses and functions. A number of possible interpretations were then worked up by a 3D computer graphic artist. Portus has in turn been able to train students crossing these disciplinary boundaries.
Visual Representation: The Portus Project has explored the creation of alternative methods for representing interpretations of the site, and the methods employed on the project, and for delivering these online, in exhibitions, publications and on site. This has included the production of computer graphic models, and also collaboration with professional photographers and with artists. For example, Rose Ferraby produced a series of screen prints reflecting archaeological processes such as geophysics and aerial photography in use at Portus. We have also looked at early plans of the site, including that of Rodolfo Lanciani and Italo Gismondi, and are currently examining contemporary Roman representations of the port, in particular the reverse of a sestertius of AD 112-114 showing the Trajanic basin and surrounding buildings., with Bernard Woytek (Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Antike der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften).
Outreach: We have been keen to share the results of our research from the start of the Portus Project, both within the academic community and beyond. Our outreach strategy was planned around international press conferences and public lectures in Italy, France and the UK, while project results featured in a widely aired programme made by the BBC and Discovery US. All of this has raised the profile of the site and stimulated interest at the local and international level. We have hosted many guided visits by interested amateurs, academics, local landowners, school children, US and Italian university students and members of foreign academies. In the UK we have also involved local school children in the project. We were also visited by HRH Princess Alexandra in 2008, and on several occasions by HM Ambassador to Italy.
Raising Awareness of Portus: One of the academic impacts of the projects has been a raised awareness of the significance of Portus in discussions as to how Rome’s commercial and administrative influence was mediated across the Mediterranean basin. Another has focused upon the role of Computer Graphic Imagery in the archaeological interpretation process and in communicating this with interested users. Our work has also had considerable impact beyond academia. Our stakeholders have included our colleagues within the Italian Archaeological Superintendancy of Rome, with whom we are sharing practice on the recording and visualization of complex archaeological sites for the public, companies such as Microsoft Research, whose products have been trialled at Portus, and tour companies who are interested in including the site on their itineraries. The project has also facilitated the leveraging of additional research grant applications in the UK and beyond.
Knowledge Exchange: One aim of the Portus Project has been to develop and enhance collaborations between academic and other organisations and individuals. This includes the development and application of digital methods of value both to the Portus Project and to industrial, government and third sector partners. For example, we worked with L-P: Archaeology to develop and test the functionality of their new ARK database. These developments have fed into their other commercial and research contracts. The project has also worked with Microsoft Research (MSR) on areas such as data capture, research data management and publication and learning technologies.
Initiatives Arising from the Portus Project: Our interest in linking archaeological research practice to education has developed most recently with work on virtual fieldwork and online learning. This falls under the aegis of the Portus Field School, a University of Southampton initiative arising from the Portus Project. For example, we are developing tools to provide access to field learning for disabled students, in partnership with colleagues in Geology, Geography and Oceanography. Most recently we have been developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in partnership with FutureLearn focused on Portus, the Roman Mediterranean, and related archaeological practice.
Research Theme 4
Although people were central to the life of any port, there is very little archaeological evidence for the inhabitants of Portus, or indeed many Roman Mediterranean ports, aside from occasional tombstones. Anthropological analyses of c. 43 inhumation burials of c. 6th c AD date from our excavations points to a predominantly male population involved in heavy physical labour with a heavy carbohydrate diet - a finding borne out from analyses of 3rd c AD burials nearby. On-going oxygen isotope evidence is investigating the possible origins of these people, as well as their foodstuffs. An idea of their cultural practices is coming from the table-wares and kitchen wares that they used, as well as from chance finds of rings and other personal possessions.
EP01-201 ©2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
1931: An early ‘selfie’: Jack was at work in the BCC Printing Department when he took this photograph in a mirror, one of several self portraits which show how far he thought of himself as a photographer, not simply a snapshotter.
EP02-124. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
BCC’s designers at work. On the wall at the rear is a poster advertising ‘Jinbu’ – ‘Progress’ – cigarettes: two modern young women, smoking, ride a wheelbarrow. Just above them an aircraft can be glimpsed, climbing skywards. Tobacco advertising proved a powerful driving force in the development of a new urban Chinese visual culture. Ephgrave systematically photographed these talented, and now well-known, artists at work, and also documented the company’s modern printing and photographic machinery.
Ep02-123. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
1929: Framed by two of the BCC plant’s buildings, this shot shows an ocean liner, being passed by the Libia, an Italian warship. Ephgrave took care to catch the angles of the staircases and of the plant’s sheds, composing an almost abstract study out of the technologies of power, coercion and capital.
Ep01-630. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
Another nicely-composed shot, of factory hands gathered outside a plant office, probably taken from inside the printing department. British American Tobacco was the republican Chinese state’s single biggest taxpayer. It faced stiff competition in the cigarette market from Chinese-owned firms, which marketed their wares as ‘National Products’, and labelled buyers of British or other foreign goods as unpatriotic. Labour relations in Pudong could be difficult too because the area – and the unions – were largely controlled by very powerful gangsters.
EP01-013. ©2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien
The first prints in the albums were not taken by Ephgrave, but date from 1927, and were given to him by British military pilots serving with the 10,000-strong Shanghai Defence Force, sent to head off a feared Chinese nationalist assault on the foreign-controlled (and British dominated) International Settlement. A biplane flies over the countryside outside the city. The print has been damaged by the glue used to fix it in the album, but the romance of flight, and of Shanghai re-imagined, still comes through, and surely impelled the then 11-year old to collect the images.
Ep01-004. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
The same year and source: the riverside ‘Bund’, and wide Avenue Edward VII which marked the boundary of the International Settlement, top and the French concession, to the left. The crowded river and the meteorological signal tower remind us that Shanghai was a city on and of the water, a key point in global maritime networks; the imported cars on the streets exemplify its ostentatious modernity. The War Memorial, facing the end of Ave Edward VII locates foreign Shanghai in the European world, but the Shanghai Club, the second building north along the Bund places it in the British orbit, for this was the informal headquarters of the British presence.
EP01-394 ©2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
1932: The beauty of the flight turned ugly: the wreckage of a military aircraft amongst the ruins of Hongqiao airfield, west of the International Settlement, part of the area that bore the brunt of the February 1932 war between Chinese and Japanese forces. Most Europeans supported the Japanese at this point, thinking that Chinese nationalism needed a check. Ephgrave took a camera into these blasted suburbs, recording the harrying of his city's surrounds.
Ep01-736. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
Shanghai industry was often a site of strife, of anti-imperialist activism, and violent responses, as well as struggles over economic issues. BCC was a particular site of unrest. ‘Down with all imperialist running dogs’ starts the hand-written poster on the left, posted during one of a series of strikes in 1933: ‘We demand that the plant implements the Factory Law’ demand the larger characters. The sequence of photographed wall posters of which this was a part, suggests that Ephgrave was probably drawn to the striking visual impression these posters make.
Ep01-279. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
Along with the International Settlement policy, the first line of foreign Shanghai's defence was the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. Ephgrave joined the Armoured Car Company, shown here at the Shanghai Race Club in 1932 preparing to have an official photograph taken. A significant proportion of young British men in particular joined the Corps, regularly parading through the streets, showing the strength of foreign power, and intent, then heading off to the their offices to trade. The irony was not lost on many of them; it was hardly lost on Shanghai Chinese.
Ep01-699. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
Sport – in Ephgrave’s case soccer, golf, and rowing – was embedded in foreign settler culture. Young Jack took many shots of the Shanghai Rowing Club’s activities outside Shanghai at a place dubbed ‘Henli’. The double-exposure may well be accidental, but Ephgrave’s decision to keep the print from it and add it to the albums suggests that he liked the effect.
Ep01-124 © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
1930: A crowded Shanghai street during the annual ‘Basket Fair’ which centred on the Jing’an -- ‘Bubbling Well’ – Temple, and which was held on the Buddha’s birthday. Far away from the Bund in feel, but barely a quarter of a mile west, tens of thousands of people thronged the streets and the hundreds of temporary stalls.
EP01-763 © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
Street photographer: Three men examine something in front of a shop in one of a series of shots of a busy market district. Ephgrave’s attention seems to have been caught by the silk clothing of the man whose back is to his camera, but he has also caught a lively grin from a smoking passer-by.
Ep01-754. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
What seems to be a river-side embarkation point for people getting to a ferry, or on the sampans on the right. Peddlers are selling snacks to the waiting crowd. The shot suggests the ubiquity of Ephgrave’s day-job’s craft: there is a poster for BCC’s ‘Hatamen’ cigarettes on the wall top left.
Ep01-770. © 2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien.
There are photographs of friends and family, the oarsmen and the well-turned-out volunteers, but this portrait of a pensive woman haunts us. It is one of a number of such finds in this collection, one family’s private archive, but a distinctive and now uncovered vision of a city’s tangled history.
Owned by Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (d. 1612). Royal 1 D. ix, f. 45
The Christian Monarch
King Cnut as Benefactor of the Church
The inscription on the left-hand page in this book of the Gospels identifies King Cnut as a benefactor of the monastic community at Christ Church, Canterbury. Having established himself king of England by force, Cnut went to great lengths to justify his rule, and it is plausible that he might have donated this rich book to Christ Church, though there is no record of such a gift. The lavishly framed page to the right marks the beginning of the Gospel of Mark.
Owned by Charles II. Royal 2 A. xxii, f, 14v
A Psalter for Westminster the Coronation Church
This richly illuminated book belonged to the Benedictine abbey of St Peter, Westminster, and was probably commissioned by one of the community’s high-ranking brethren. The striking image on the left, King David portrayed as author of the Psalms, was painted by an unknown artist, probably an itinerant professional. The style shows the influence of some of the greatest artists working in southern England at the time. Further tinted drawings were added fifty years later during the period of heightened local artistic activity that accompanied Henry III’s rebuilding of Westminster Abbey.
Henry VIII Praying in his Bedchamber
Portrayed as we might expect him to appear at the age of 49 (his age when this book was made), Henry VIII holds a book that represents this book, his own Psalter. The writing in the margin is one of the King’s many annotations; he has written in Latin, ‘note who is blessed’. Placed at the beginning of the Psalms, Henry VIII’s portrait aligns him with King David, the supposed author of the Psalms. As seen in other copies of the Psalms in this exhibition, David’s portrait typically occupies this place in Psalters.
How to be a King
Prince Edward’s Manual of Kingship
The king’s clerk Walter of Milemete commissioned this manuscript of the Secretum secretorum (Secret of Secrets) as a gift for the future Edward III. In the Middle Ages the Secretum compendium of knowledge for a king was believed to be a work that the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle had composed for his pupil Alexander the Great. Here, Alexander receives the book from a messenger who bears on his girdle the heraldic arms used by Prince Edward when Earl of Chester. In the lower margins, Edward’s arms are accompanied by those of his father, Edward II, and his two uncles.
A Biography of Julius Caesar
The scribe of this manuscript wrote that it was made in Bruges in 1479 by order of the ‘treshault, tres excellent, et tres victorieux prince’ (very exalted, excellent and victorious prince) Edward IV. The copyist included a French biography of Julius Caesar, long popular with the nobility, as well as two additions that may have been made at the King’s request – an account of the reign of Augustus and a list of Roman emperors. The opening illustration shows Caesar’s fabled birth by Caesarian section, a term derived from this event.
Owned by Edward IV. Royal 15 E. iv, f. 14r
Edward IV: Founder of the Old Royal Library
A Chronicle of English History
Among the most impressive and lavishly illustrated of Edward IV’s collection of historical texts are two volumes containing part of the Recueil des croniques d’Engleterre (Chronicle of England) by Jean de Wavrin. Monumental in scale, this compilation in French prose told the history of Britain from its legendary origins to the reign of Edward IV. Its completion took the noble author the last 25 years of his life. In the first volume (displayed here) a large illustration shows Wavrin presenting his book to Edward IV.
Owned by Prince Henry Frederick (d. 1612), Royal 17 D. vi, f. 40.
A Book of Advice for Prince Harry
The author Thomas Hoccleve is shown here presenting his book, the Regement of Princes, to the future Henry V. He completed this poem of instruction and political advice in 1410–11, when Henry IV was incapacitated by illness and Prince Henry governing on his behalf. None of the surviving copies of the Regement of Princes seems to be the book that Thomas Hoccleve presented to the Prince. This manuscript belonged to William Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, and bears his coats of arms.
Owned by Prince Henry Frederick (d. 1612), Royal 14 C. vii, f. 4v
The World’s Knowledge
Route-Map to the Holy Land
The St Albans monk Matthew Paris (died 1259) never made the journey to the Holy Land. He did however draw a fascinating map of the pilgrimage route from England to Jerusalem. It is displayed on four parchment sheets and divided in seven sections that allow the viewer to follow in the footsteps of a medieval pilgrim. The route begins in London and progresses from the bottom to the top of each page. The final destination is the Holy Land depicted on two leaves.
Royal 20 E. ix, f. 28.
Henry VIII’s Atlas
Jean Rotz, an expert compiler of sea charts and navigator from Dieppe, left the court of Francis I of France to enter the service of Henry VIII. In 1542, he presented his Boke of Idrography to the English monarch, wishing to provide a ‘recreation of the king’s mind’. The volume was also a tool for learning some of the principles of navigation and discovering the countries of the world and their inhabitants. Rotz’s atlas contains 11 regional charts. Here, the map of the coast of Brazil includes an ethnographically precise depiction of a village and several activities of the Tupinamba tribe.
Genealogy of the Dukes of Normandy
This royal genealogy gives unprecedented visual prominence to the ancestors of William the Conqueror. The family line of the dukes of Normandy extends from Rollo (died around 932), to Henry I, with Matilda (labelled Maud) to their left. By this means the creators of the genealogy highlighted the important dynastic change that resulted from the Conqueror’s invasion of England. They also integrated his Norman lineage into the line of English royal succession.
King Arthur and the Holy Grail
The Quest for the Holy Grail, the mythical chalice containing Christ’s blood, is at the centre of this beautifully illustrated collection of tales that ends with the downfall of King Arthur. The texts in this volume combine chivalric and Christian legend and omit frivolous exploits involving damsels, thereby appealing to a high-minded aristocratic patron. On the right-hand page, Lancelot is pictured taking leave of Arthur and Guinevere and later knighting his son, Galahad, who will complete the quest.
The European Monarch
A Wedding Present for Margaret of Anjou
This remarkable book was a gift to Margaret of Anjou from the renowned military commander John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (died 1453), here presenting the book to her. On the right is the genealogical claim of Margaret’s husband, Henry VI, to be the rightful king of France. In the diagram the descent of Henry (lower centre) from St Louis IX (at the top) is shown both from the English line, on the right, and the French line, on the left.