History and Memory in the Carolingian World

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This study reveals the remarkable quantity of varied forms and new types of history written in the Frankish realms of Western Europe during the eighth and ninth centuries. The Franks also preserved the classical and Judaeo-Christian histories from earlier centuries. Their books reflect a highly sophisticated and many-layered understanding of the past as well as a very creative use of history. Rosamond McKitterick illuminates the extraordinarily influential role of these history texts in the formation of political ideologies and senses of identity within Europe.

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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: 9780521827171
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (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; 2. Carolingian history books; 3. Paul the Deacon's Historia langobardorum and the Franks; 4. The Carolingians on their past; 5. Politics and history; 6. Kingship and the writing of history; 7. Social memory, commemoration and the book; 8. History and memory in early medieval Bavaria; 9. The reading of history at Lorsch and St Amand; 10. Texts, authority and the history of the church; 11. Christianity as history; 12. Conclusion: history and its audiences in the Carolingian world.

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