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The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe

$112.00 (C)

Walter Pohl, Ian Wood, Desirée Scholten, Erik Goosman, Graeme Ward, Mayke de Jong, Sven Meeder, Marianne Pollheimer, Giorgia Vicino, Richard Broome, Robert Flierman, Timothy Barnwell, Rosamond McKitterick, Clemens Gantner, Helmut Reimitz
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  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107091719

$ 112.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This volume analyses the importance of history, the textual resources of the past and the integration of Christian and imperial Rome into the cultural memory of early medieval Europe within the wider question of identity formation. The case studies in this book shed new light on the process of codification and modification of cultural heritage in the light of the transmission of texts and the extant manuscript evidence from the early middle ages. The authors demonstrate how particular texts and their early medieval manuscript representatives in Italy, Francia, Saxony and Bavaria not only reflect ethnic, social and cultural identities but themselves contributed to the creation of identities, gave meaning to social practice, and were often intended to inspire, guide, change, or prevent action, directly or indirectly. These texts are shown to be part of a cultural effort to shape the present by restructuring the past.

    • Investigates the role played by the resources of the past in forming the identities of communities in early medieval western Europe
    • Includes analysis of the transmission of texts and of manuscript evidence and makes new primary source material available for the first time
    • Offers a new perspective on the notion of 'cultural memory' by considering how particular texts and their early medieval manuscript representatives reflect and shape ethnic, social and cultural identities
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This coherent collection focuses on the collection, formation, and management of the distant (classical and patristic) and the more recent past through processes of selective transmission, suppression, and rewriting of this heritage in the early Middle Ages. They are an important contribution to our understanding of the importance of biblical and patristic texts and the core significance of the Eusebius-Jerome tradition to create useful cultural memories, but also the malleability of these texts at the hands of authors and compilers."
    Patrick J. Geary, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

    "This wide-ranging collection of essays is an important contribution by medievalists to the conceptual debates about cultural and collective memory more commonly conducted with reference to later centuries. It will be of great value to all those interested in text history as well as historical writing in the early Middle Ages."
    Julia Smith, University of Glasgow

    "As ample a subject as 'the resources of the past' spanning the fourth century to the eleventh is appropriately given a team-treatment in this timely and stimulating volume. The authors, ranging from doctoral students to some senior figures in the field, bring richly varied resources of their own to bear. They tackle many texts, ranging from fairly obscure to much-studied, finding and testing new approaches. The effect is one of illumination across the earlier medieval period."
    Jinty Nelson, King's College London

    "This book gives us an exciting and creative rereading of the issues involved in how to use the concept of cultural memory in actual historical analysis. It will be a new starting-point for medieval debate."
    Chris Wickham, University of Oxford

    "The natural complement to Hen and Innes' volume The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2000), The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe focuses more tightly on which, whether, and why, quarries of past knowledge were used, and how this knowledge was transformed in the process of its appropriation and transmission. Moving from inference to implication, the collection’s contributors demonstrate that such transformations were not the accidents of mindless copyists stolidly passing along an unbidden bequest, but the product of deliberate, considered choices about the past made for present and future needs. [This book] forcefully reminds us that to view a profile of Carolingian culture we must simultaneously see it as Janus-faced and take it at face value."
    Courtney M. Booker, University of British Columbia

    'This innovative and stimulating volume offers a remarkable synthesis of the research directions pursued by its senior contributors over the last two decades. Yet most importantly, this volume demonstrates how a careful study of minor texts and their manuscript transmission can contribute to the social and political history of the early medieval west by diving deeper into Carolingian cultural practices.' Warren Pezé, Early Medieval Europe

    'Over the course of four thematic sections (‘Learning Empire’, ‘The Biblical Past’, ‘Changing Senses of the Other from the Fourth to the Eleventh Century’ and ‘The Migration of Cultural Traditions in Early Medieval Europe’), the fifteen essays in this collection provide case studies of the ways in which early medieval authors drew upon the textual resources of the past to inform the present.' Scott G. Bruce, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107091719
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: cultural memory and the resources of the past Walter Pohl and Ian Wood
    Part I. Learning Empire:
    1. Creating cultural resources for Carolingian rule: historians of the Christian empire Walter Pohl
    2. Cassiodorus's Historia tripartita before the earliest extant manuscripts Desirée Scholten
    3. Politics and penance: transformations in the Carolingian perception of the conversion of Carloman (747) Erik Goosman
    4. Lessons in leadership: Constantine and Theodosius in Frechulf of Lisieux's Histories Graeme Ward
    Part II. The Biblical Past:
    5. Carolingian political discourse and the biblical past: Hraban, Dhuoda, Radbert Mayke de Jong
    6. Biblical past and canonical present: the case of the Collectio 400 capitulorum Sven Meeder
    7. Divine law and imperial rule: the Carolingian reception of Junilius Africanus Marianne Pollheimer
    8. Framing Ambrose in the resources of the past: the late antique and early medieval sources for a Carolingian portrait of Ambrose Giorgia Vicino
    Part III. Changing Senses of the Other from the Fourth to the Eleventh Centuries:
    9. Pagans, rebels and Merovingians: otherness in the early Carolingian world Richard Broome
    10. Who are the Philistines? Bede's readings of Old Testament peoples Ian Wood
    11. Gens perfida or populus Christianus? Saxon (in)fidelity in Frankish historical writing Robert Flierman
    12. Fragmented identities: otherness and authority in Adam of Bremen's History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen Timothy Barnwell
    Part IV. The Migration of Cultural Traditions in Early Medieval Europe:
    13. Transformations of the Roman past and Roman identity in the early Middle Ages Rosamond McKitterick
    14. The eighth-century papacy as cultural broker Clemens Gantner
    15. Transformations of Late Antiquity: the writing and re-writing of church history at the monastery of Lorsch, c.800 Helmut Reimitz
    Conclusion Mayke de Jong and Rosamond McKitterick

  • Editors

    Clemens Gantner, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
    Clemens Gantner works and teaches at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Austrian Institute of Historical Research. He is the author of the forthcoming book on the perception of Others in early medieval papal Rome, Freunde Roms und Völker der Finsternis, and co-editor of the acclaimed volume Visions of Community in the Post-Roman World (2012, with Walter Pohl and Richard Payne). His main research area is the history of the papacy in the early Middle Ages, and more generally Italy from 600–1000. He has also published on early medieval apocalyptic texts and on the contacts of the Latin West with Byzantium and the Islamic world.

    Rosamond McKitterick, University of Cambridge
    Rosamond McKitterick holds the Chair in Medieval History in the University of Cambridge and is Vice-Master of Sidney Sussex College. Her books include The Carolingians and the Written Word (1989), History and Memory in the Carolingian World (2004), Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (2006), Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity (2008) and Old Saint Peter's, Rome (edited with J. Osborne, C. Richardson and J. Story, 2013), and she has lectured and given seminars in many universities in Britain, Continental Europe, North America and Australia. She is a Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and in 2010 she was awarded the Dr A. H. Heineken International Prize for History. Her current work within the field of the early medieval history of Europe focuses on a people's (re)construction, knowledge and use of the past, especially the Roman past. Latterly this has also taken her into study of the historical and cultural context and implications of early medieval glossaries.

    Sven Meeder, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    Sven Meeder is Lecturer in Medieval History at Radboud University Nijmegen. His work focuses on the intellectual history of early medieval Europe, in particular the mechanics of the spread and transmission of texts, books and ideas. He has published on the religious, intellectual and social history of early medieval Ireland as well as the connections between the British Isles and the Continent through the dissemination of Hiberno-Latin texts, notably liturgical texts and works of canon law. Recently, he has been awarded a prestigious NOW research grant for the project 'Networks of Knowledge' into intellectual networks in the Carolingian period.


    Walter Pohl, Ian Wood, Desirée Scholten, Erik Goosman, Graeme Ward, Mayke de Jong, Sven Meeder, Marianne Pollheimer, Giorgia Vicino, Richard Broome, Robert Flierman, Timothy Barnwell, Rosamond McKitterick, Clemens Gantner, Helmut Reimitz

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