IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 625: Texts and Identities, II: Mirrors of Alterity - Letters and Chronicles

Tuesday 8 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:Maximilian Diesenberger, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Rob Meens, Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Moderator/Chair:Walter Pohl, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Universität Wien
Respondent:Patrick J. Geary, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
Paper 625-bSome Observations Regarding the Perception of Others in the Letters of the Codex Carolinus and the Liber Pontificalis in the 8th Century
(Language: English)
Clemens Gantner, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Paper 625-cReflections of the Migration Period in Medieval Chronicles
(Language: English)
Nicola Edelmann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Abstract

The papers of this session focus on the question of how identities are formed, maintained, and appropriated in writing, thereby emphasising the relation to the respective ‘other’. Clemens Gantner’s paper analyses the interaction of a stronger and ever more confident papacy in the 8th century with a variety of ‘others’. As the position of the popes in Italy was subject to constant change, so was the perception of those others. The ambivalent relationships with the Lombards on the one hand and Byzantium on the other hand are of special interest in this respect, though one ought not to forget that the interaction with the Franks was not as cloudless as it may seem. The third contribution (Nicola Edelmann) also addresses, from a different angle, the shaping of identity in relation to the construction of images of alterity, namely by examining representations of the so-called ‘Migration period’ in medieval world chronicles. In what way did the narratives change over the centuries, and do these changes reflect contemporary interests and perceptions? The paper will focus on some recurring events and persons that are still used today to illustrate the migration period, such as the depiction of rulers like Theoderich or Alboin and their deaths, and analyse the transformation these narrative elements undergo while being retold in chronicles over the centuries.