A remarkable quantity and variety of history was written in Frankish realms of Western Europe in the eighth and ninth centuries. This work examines the understanding of the past and use of history contained in these books and their role in forming political ideologies and senses of identity within Europe.
Charlemagne is often claimed as the greatest ruler in Europe before Napoleon. This magisterial study re-examines Charlemagne the ruler and his reputation. It analyses the narrative representations of Charlemagne produced after his death, and thereafter focuses on the evidence from Charlemagne's lifetime concerning the creation of the Carolingian dynasty and the growth of the kingdom, the court and the royal household, communications and identities in the Frankish realm in the context of government, and Charlemagne's religious and cultural strategies. The book offers a critical examination of the contemporary sources and in so doing transforms our understanding of the development of the Carolingian empire, the formation of Carolingian political identity, and the astonishing changes effected throughout Charlemagne's forty-six year period of rule. This is a major contribution to Carolingian history which will be essential reading for anyone interested in the medieval past. Rosamond McKitterick has also received the 2010 Dr A. H. Heineken Prize for History for her research into the Carolingians.
This volume examines the role played by the medieval past in its many representations up to the present day. Continuing the theme of Volume 8 of the same series, which examined the early medieval search for origins in relation to building a sense of identity and social memory, this volume focuses on the modern appropriation of the early medieval past. The early Middle Ages played an important role in the creation of a sense of identity for modern European nations. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a process was begun of delineating Europe according to peoples and nations. This conception of people and nations as quasi-natural forms of social organisation, often claimed as being historical but ultimately considered to be a trans-historical phenomenon, still survives in modern Europe and unfortunately seems to be increasing in importance in the political disputes in certain areas. Most of the contributions in this volume deal with the appropriation of the early Middle Ages from the perspective of national histories. A few contributions examine strategies of using the early medieval past in other contexts. It is thereby possible to identify patterns of how, in the varied social contexts of modern Europe, images of the Other have been transmitted or the sense of belonging has been legitimised.
CONTENTS: "Introduction: The New Bede," Scott DeGregorio • "Who Did Bede Think He Was?" Roger Ray • "Bede and the Ordering of Understanding," Alan Thacker • "Si naturam quaeras: Re-Framing Bede's Science," Faith Wallis • "The Responsibility of Auctoritas: Method and Meaning in Bede's Commentary on Genesis," Calvin B. Kendall • "Bede's Neglected Commentary on Samuel," George Hardin Brown • "Footsteps of His Own: Bede's Commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah," Scott DeGregorio • "Christ as Incarnate Wisdom in Bede's Commentary on the Song of Songs," Arthur G. Holder • "Bede's Originality in His Use of the Book of Wisdom in His Homilies on the Gospels," Lawrence T. Martin • "Bede's History in a Harsher Climate," Walter Goffart • "Carolingian Perspectives on the Authority of Bede," Joyce Hill
"The Anglo-Saxon mission to early medieval Germany and the Netherlands has long been seen as a major contribution to the foundation of Christian Europe. Encouraged by the activities of prominent Anglo-Saxons such as St Willibrord (d. 739) and St Boniface(d. 754), pious men and women left their homes in England to reform and reinvigorate the culture and politics of the Church in Northern Europe, while greatly expanding the frontiers of Christendom. Anglo-Saxons in a Frankish World, 690-900 provides the first major reassessment of the Anglo-Saxons' influence on the Frankish world for fifty years. It argues that, because figures like Boniface were so important to the cult of saints east of the Rhine, stories about them became central to the ways in which different groups responded to the rapidly changing landscape of Carolingian culture and politics. The study draws on letters, charters, and other evidence to recontextualize the numerous hagiographies written about the Anglo-Saxons on the European mainland, while providing fresh perspectives on attitudes to mission, monasticism, authority, and the secular world in East Frankish society."--Back cover.