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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1026: Modes of Historiography in Medieval Europe

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Julia Verkholantsev, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
Moderator/Chair:Bal√°zs Nagy, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 1026-aWhen Myth Becomes History: Etymology and Narrative in Medieval Latinate Historiography from Isidore of Seville to Cosmas of Prague
(Language: English)
Julia Verkholantsev, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Language and Literature - Slavic, Rhetoric
Paper 1026-bAchronology and Chronicles: Perceptions of Time in the Historical Writing of England and West Frankia, from the 8th to the 12th Century
(Language: English)
Elizabeth M. Tyler, Department of English & Related Literature, University of York
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Latin, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1026-cMotherhood in History: Herstory in Byzantine Historiography
(Language: English)
Stavroula Constantinou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Greek, Women's Studies

This session unites papers that examine a range of methodological questions related to history writing in medieval Europe. Verkholantsev's paper deals with the attitude to and the use of language as a resource of historical research in the medieval Latinate scholarly tradition. It examines how etymological analysis suggests historical plots that become accepted as true events. A close reading of 'narrative etymologies' in medieval historical works shows that medieval historians employ etymological method to turn myth into history. Tyler's paper considers the ways in which that most apparently chronological of forms, the chronicle, interrogates, subverts and resists the trope of chronology. Particular interest lies with metanarrative about time, recopying and rewriting, manuscript context, movement from Latin to the vernacular and vice versa and the use of poetry. The paper focuses on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in the context of the Royal Frankish Annals, the Annals of St Bertin, John of Worcester's Chronicon and Gaimer's Estoire. Constantinou's paper engages with the feminine and the maternal, an unusual perspective in medieval historiography that is a deeply male genre, as it pervades the Alexiad of Anna Komnene (12th century), the only female Byzantine historian. According to Komnene, an emperor's successful reign lies in the value and power he bestows on the significant women of his palace. By focusing on the Alexiad, this paper examines the importance of motherhood in Byzantine history-making and writing.