Professor speaks on medieval emotion at SUNY Binghamton

Dr. Susanna Throop delivered a lecture at SUNY Binghamton’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies on October 1. She was invited to speak as part of an interdisciplinary series of talks dedicated to the history of emotion.

Throop’s talk, “Words and Deeds: Vengeance, Emotion, and the Crusades,” discussed one particular emotion term in medieval Latin: “zelus.” As Throop explains, zelus, a composite of jealous protectiveness, love, and anger, provided emotional context for the idea of crusading as vengeance, in large part because it was conceptualized as an emotion that explicitly required an individual to take action. Thus, although on one level zelus was only a word in textual sources, nonetheless there is good reason to believe that the rhetoric of zelus correlated with deeds in a meaningful way.