IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1307: Genealogy and Pseudo-History in the Medieval Insular World

Wednesday 8 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Ben Guy, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Owain Wyn Jones, School of History, Welsh History & Archaeology, Bangor University
Paper 1307-aWriting the Ancient History of the Picts in the Early Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Nicholas Evans, Department of History, University of Hull
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Genealogy and Prosopography, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic
Paper 1307-b'O herwyd yr Istoria': The Appropriation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's British History in Welsh Genealogy
(Language: English)
Ben Guy, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Genealogy and Prosopography, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 1307-cThe Foundation of Wales and England: A Re-Examination of the Cadwallader Episode in Middle English Versions of the Prose Brut
(Language: English)
Georgia Henley, Department of Celtic Languages & Literatures, Harvard University
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic, Language and Literature - Middle English, Politics and Diplomacy
Abstract

During the Middle Ages, the primary purpose of the past was to explain the present. For this reason, pseudo-historical texts were composed which were designed to demonstrate to the reader how the particular circumstances of the present came to be. Genealogical texts are especially prominent in this genre, as a genealogy is able to succinctly communicate a teleological view of the past that is easily comprehensible. Although such texts often include little genuine information about their purported historical subjects, they are rich sources for our understanding of politicised historiography and, more broadly, of medieval world views.