This paper will examine the scholarly and intellectual responses to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae in the 12th and 16th centuries. It will examine how the ideological meanings attributed to ‘Briton’, ‘British’, and ‘Britain’ changed during this period, and it will discuss how the alteration of these national terms affected and reformed attitudes towards Geoffrey’s Historia. The paper will compare the scathing comments in William of Newburgh’s Historia rerum Anglicarum (c. 1198), to the first biography of Geoffrey produced by John Leland in De uiris illustribus (c. 1535). The comparison will illustrate how two Latin writers, one from the 12th-century Renaissance and the other an Early Modern antiquarian, influenced the reception of the Historia regum Britanniae, and ultimately the paper will consider how the two writers helped to shape Geoffrey’s authority as a historian.
In Georgian history the king David IV the Builder occupies a special place. Being yet teenager (sixteen years old) in 1089 he inherited weakened country. After his death in 1125 David left powerful state, actually pan-Caucasus Empire. The political ascendance of Georgian Kingdom was accompanied with important cultural achievements. This transformation was a result of innovations initiated by the king in all sphere of societal life: administrative structure of the state, court of justice, army, church, education, finances etc. were reformed. With the process of nation-formation the medieval renewal became to be perceived as a ‘Golden Age’ of Georgian past. It has acquired the function of national marker. In the paper we intend to represent the actual history as well as memory of these reforms.
Cambridge University Library, MS Pembroke 277, an early 14th-century English copy of the Legenda Aurea, contains an appendix of eleven saints’ vitae, nine of whom were particularly important for the Anglo-Saxon Church. Though these nine vitae all derive from earlier Anglo-Latin texts, they nevertheless exhibit the work of a redactor who skillfully abridges, rearranges, and integrates a variety of sources to create a series of unique texts that have unduly escaped the notice of modern scholarship. This appendix provides evidence for an attempt to renew the English Church in the early 14th century, chiefly through the production and promotion of Anglo-Saxon hagiography.