The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe

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Overview

The book investigates the ways in which literacy was important in early medieval Europe, and examines the context of literacy, its uses, levels, and distribution, in a number of different early medieval societies, including Ireland, Anglo-Saxon England, Visigothic and Umayyad Spain, Papal Rome, and Byzantium, between c. 400 and c. 1000. The contributors set out to provide the factual basis for assessments of the significance of literacy in the early medieval world and analyze the significance of literacy, its implications, and its consequences for the various societies. In all cases, the studies represent new research and provide fascinating insights into the attitudes of early medieval societies toward the written word.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Each of the contributions to The Uses of Literacy is strong and offers much to the reader...The final sentence of her conclusion merits repeating: 'Literacy's importance and relevance throughout the early middle ages is, on the evidence presented in our essays, as a major force in the most crucial and formative period in the development of European civilization." The Catholic Historical Review

"Overall, this collection of articles constitutes an important and welcome contribution to our understanding of a period in which literacy has traditionally either been ignored or associated with decline." History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521428965
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 345
  • Sales rank: 1,420,084
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Contributors; Preface; Abbreviations; Introduction Rosamond McKitterick; 1. Literacy in Ireland: the evidence of the Patrick dossier in the Book of Armagh Jane Stevenson; 2. Anglo-Saxon lay society and the written word Susan Kelly; 3. Administration, law and culture in Merovingian Gaul Ian Wood; 4. Literacy and the papal government in late antiquity and the early middle ages Thomas F. X. Noble; 5. Literacy and the laity in early mediaeval Spain Roger Collins; 6. Aspects of mediaeval Jewish literacy Stefan C. Reif; 7. Writing in early mediaeval Byzantium Margaret Mullet; 8. Literacy displayed: the use of inscriptions at the monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno in the early ninth century John Mitchell; 9. Royal government and the written word in late Anglo-Saxon England Simon Keynes; 10. Literacy in Carolingian government Janet L. Nelson; 11. Text and image in the Carolingian world Rosamond McKitterick; Conclusion Rosamond McKitterick; Index.

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