How historians in the central Middle Ages rewrote the past to meet the needs of a changing present.
In the Middle Ages, rewriting history was a distinct activity within the larger sphere of historical writing. Rewriting started with existing historical accounts, recasting them into new forms as new stories about the past. Changes in circumstances drove rewriting, encouraging historically literate writers and their patrons to examine their histories anew, to jettison what no longer made sense or was useful, and to supply new material to fill gaps or expand ideas. Writers rewrote not only for the present and future, but also for the past. They curated the past and reorganized its intellectual artifacts, thereby revealing new facets of old history to future eyes.
Rewriting was a defining characteristic of the central Middle Ages (900–1300), distinct both from earlier traditions of universal history and from later traditions of making continuations which left the narrative core intact. Reimagining the past by rewriting happened across genres, in the vernaculars as well as the universal languages of Latin and Greek, and across Europe, west and east. The chapters in this book explore the reasons and methods for rewriting, ranging across the Anglo-Norman realm, France and Flanders, Christian Iberia, Norman Italy and the Mediterranean, Byzantium, and Georgia and Armenia. Together, they show a set of rewriters who made themselves the authorities for their own age.
Emily A. Winkler is Principal Investigator of a research project on medieval historical writing in England and Wales, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is a Research Fellow at St Edmund Hall and the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford. An historian of medieval thought and writing, she has research interests in responsibility and leadership, conquest and diplomacy, material culture, and emotion and experience.
C. P. Lewis is Research Fellow in the Department of History at King’s College London, and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. He has published on English and Welsh history in the central Middle Ages and has edited both Anglo-Norman Studies and Haskins Society Journal. Besides his published articles on the twelfth-century Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan, he has work in hand on the Anglo-Norman historians Orderic Vitalis and William of Malmesbury.
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Rewriting History in the Central Middle Ages, 900–1300, éd. Emily A. Winkler et C. P. Lewis, Turnhout, Brepols, 2022 (International Medieval Research, 26). 342 p., 8 maps, 156 x 234 mm.
ISBN: 978-2-503-59686-0. Prix : 95 euros.
Source : Brepols