IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1240: Remembering Charlemagne and Merovingian Queens in Medieval and Modern Historiography

Wednesday 4 July 2018, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Ingrid Schlegl, Institut für Geschichte, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Paper 1240-aShaping Memory with the Voice of an Angel: Narrations of Alien Consciousness and Their Functions in Medieval Chronicles
(Language: English)
Florian Michael Schmid, Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - German
Paper 1240-bThe Cloister and the Cornfield: Henry Bradshaw's Lyfe of Saynte Radegunde
(Language: English)
Nancy Atkinson, Department of English, University of North Alabama
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1240-cRemembering the Merovingian Queens in France
(Language: English)
Heta Aali, Department of Cultural History, University of Turku
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Medievalism and Antiquarianism

Paper -a:
The narration of another person’s consciousness is a stylistic device used for various purposes not only in literary texts but also in medieval chronicles. This paper deals with the construction and narration of history in the episodes featuring Charlemagne in Henry’s of Munich World Chronicle, and outlines the author’s strategies of creating plausibility by analyzing the selection and handling of sources, the dramatization of the text by means of direct speech, and the types of knowledge presented. Throughout, the focus will be on the textual functions of inserting the angel’s voice as that of a divine mediator.

Paper -b:
My paper considers memory and sacred place through Bradshaw’s late 15th-century poetic shrine. This poem refashions the 6th-century Radegund by stressing her asceticism and showing that her miracles sanctify ordinary places. However, through his omissions, Bradshaw transforms a politically adept, Merovingian queen into a cloistered virgin with little agency. Moreover, by including a late medieval but (possibly) pagan goddess legend of how Radegund miraculously turns a bare field into a harvest-ready crop, Bradshaw reshapes the boundaries between sacred and ordinary place: his depiction explains why the laity continue to remember Radegund by offering oats at the church altar.

Paper -c:
I examined in my Ph.D. thesis (2017) the ways in which early medieval Merovingian queens were represented and studied in early 19th-century French historiography. I studied particularly the way the representations were constructed in terms of changing ideals of queenship and gender, and how different audiences were offered different interpretations of the queens. In this paper I will explore the early 19th-century representations of the Merovingian queens from the perspective of cultural memory and forgetting: what can we learn about the period’s cultural memory/ies by examining what was left out of the histories of the Merovingian queens?