History and Memory in the Carolingian World

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The writing and reading of history in the early Middle Ages form the key themes of this book. The primary focus is on the remarkable manifestations of historical writing in relation to historical memory in the Frankish kingdoms of the eighth and ninth centuries. It considers the audiences for history in the Frankish kingdoms, the recording of memory in new genres including narrative histories, cartularies and Libri memoriales, and thus particular perceptions of the Frankish and Christian past. It analyses both original manuscript material and key historical texts from the Carolingian period, a remarkably creative period in the history of European culture. Presentations of the past developed in this period were crucial in forming a historical understanding of the Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian past and, in subsequent centuries, of early medieval Europe. They also played an extraordinarily influential role in the formation of political ideologies and senses of identity within Europe.

About the Author:
Rosamond McKitterick is Professor of Medieval History in the University of Cambridge

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a remarkable book that makes the arcana of medievalistsa evaluation of manuscripts intelligible and inspiring, even for nonspecialists. Highly recommended." CHOICE May 2005

"This book will surely appeal to her [McKitterick's] fellow medievalists, as well as to graduate students, and shake up the field. It's thorough and provocative look at cherished conventional wisdoms will force students of the period to place the context, construction, and manuscript traditions of their sources at the forefront of any effort to understand them." Warren Brown- California Institute of Technology

"This book moves the discussion of history writing and reading in the Carolingian age to a new level. It restores agency to Carolingian writers, outlines many of the important issues that animated reflection on the past and provokes us on almost every page to re-examine our understanding of Carolingian texts and contexts. In the end, McKitterick reminds us, it is a people's sense of the past that matters more than the past itself." - John J. Contreni, Purdue University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521534369
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosamond McKitterick is Professor of Medieval History in the University of Cambridge. Her previous publications include The Carolingians and the Written Word (Cambridge University Press,1989), The Frankish Kings and Culture in the Early Middle Ages (1995) and The New Cambridge Medieval History Vol II c.700-c.900 (ed. 1995). She has presented many conference papers and lectured extensively at universities throughout Britain, continental Europe, North America and Australia. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : history and memory in the Carolingian world 1
2 Carolingian history books 28
3 Paul the Deacon's Historia langobardorum and the Franks 60
4 The Carolingians on their past 84
5 Politics and history 120
6 Kingship and the writing of history 133
7 Social memory, commemoration and the book 156
8 History and memory in early medieval Bavaria 174
9 The reading of history at Lorsch and St Amand 186
10 Texts, authority and the history of the church 218
11 Christianity as history 245
12 Conclusion : history and its audiences in the Carolingian world 265
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