Narratives of a New Order: Cistercian Historical Writing in England, 1150-1220

Overview

The origins of the Cistercian monastic order are currently under intense scrutiny and revision, as scholars identify how the written word was used to 'invent' a unified corporate identity. Here Elizabeth Freeman examines the classic genre for inventing a past - the history, chronicle, and annal - and argues that historical narratives of the English Cistercians helped define the characteristics of both the new Cistercian monastic order and also the new orders of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England. She shows ...

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Overview

The origins of the Cistercian monastic order are currently under intense scrutiny and revision, as scholars identify how the written word was used to 'invent' a unified corporate identity. Here Elizabeth Freeman examines the classic genre for inventing a past - the history, chronicle, and annal - and argues that historical narratives of the English Cistercians helped define the characteristics of both the new Cistercian monastic order and also the new orders of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England. She shows how Aelred of Rievaulx's Relatio de standardo and Genealogia regum Anglorum articulated new senses of Englishness, and demonstrates through attention to library holdings that this focus on national self-definition continued throughout the twelfth century. The Fundacio abbathie de Kyrkestall shifts focus to local history and exploits Cistercian tropes of land-use in order to resolve the communal insecurity that characterised the Cistercians in around 1200. The Narratione de fundatione Fontanis monasterii features another method of reconciling the nostalgic quest for continuity with the intellectual recognition of change - it separates historical 'fact' from 'meaning' and imbues events with rich allegorical significance. Finally, Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicon Anglicanum indicates the multiple strategies Cistercian historians employed in order to turn the disparate and contradictory events of the past into a comprehensible and meaningful narrative.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782503510903
  • Publisher: Brepols Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Medieval Church Studies Series , #2
  • Pages: 255
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Aelred of Rievaulx: Cistercian Historiography in the 1150s
1 Multiple Meanings for Multiple Audiences: Aelred of Rievaulx's Relatio de standardo 31
2 The Timeless Nation: Aelred of Rievaulx's Genealogia regum Anglorum 55
Pt. 2 After Aelred: 1167-1200
3 Building Solid Foundations: Expanding the Definition of Historical Production 91
Pt. 3 Foundation Histories and Invented Tradition, 1200-1220s
4 Resolving Uncertainty: The Fundacio abbathie de Kyrkestall 137
5 The Literal and the Allegorical: The Narratio de fundatione Fontanis monasterii 151
Pt. 4 National History Writing, C. 1220
6 Meanings in the Borders: Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicon Anglicanum 179
Conclusion 215
Bibliography 221
Index 239
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