IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 125: Myths and Mythologising in the Construction of History

Monday 2 July 2018, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Daniel Franke, Department of History, Richard Bland College of William & Mary, Virginia
Paper 125-aLombard Migration Saga: Myth or History?
(Language: English)
Peter Bystrický, Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Pagan Religions
Paper 125-bThe Forging and Reforging of the Myth: The Construction and Mobilisation of the Norman Myth in the Battle of Hastings of Henry of Huntingdon
(Language: English)
Paulo Christian Martins Marques da Cruz, Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Military History
Paper 125-cInventing the Hero: The Origins of the Myth of Jaroslav of Sternberg
(Language: English)
Jan Malý, Institute of World History, Univerzita Karlova, Praha
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Genealogy and Prosopography, Historiography - Medieval, Military History

Paper -a:
Paul the Deacon wrote down the history of the Lombards in the late 8th century. Although his work is based upon Origo gentis Langobardorum, he added several stories and tales. The number of sagas preserved by Paul the Deacon is quite astonishing. They can be divided into two groups: migration legends, which have their parallels in sagas of other Germanic tribes, and heroic sagas. Paul the Deacon apparently made use of Lombard oral tradition and, himself a Lombard, might know these sagas personally. Lombards still remembered names of their pagan gods Odin and Frigg. Remarkably, Lombard king Alboin became so famous, that he not only replaced his father Audoin in Lombard collective memory, but his glory, courage, and deeds were celebrated among other Germanic peoples in their songs, including Old English poem Widsith.

Paper -b:
The present work aims to identify how the notorious English chronicler of the 12th century, Henry de Huntingdon, through the narrative of the Battle of Hastings, contained in his Historia Anglorum, collaborated in the construction and mobilisation of the so-called Norman myth. We are also interested in reflecting on the condition of this myth and the social aspects of survival of the gens normannorum as an identity, especially during the reign of Henry I, as well as the due influences of a typically Anglo-Norman literary tradition.

Paper -c:
In 1241, a massive army of Mongols defeated Christian princes in the battle of Legnica in Poland. The Mongol army then proceeded to Hungary via Moravia. In later tradition, an aĺmost certainly fictional siege of the city of Olmutz (Olomouc), one of the key points of Moravia, has been remembered. Jaroslav of Sternberg, a fictional member of one of the oldest Bohemian noble families, has been said to defend the city against the Mongols. The proposed paper traces the origins of this myth and tries to answer the question of why this myth even emerged in medieval and early modern Bohemian historiography, and how various medieval sources depicting this event were interrelated, in context with the history of Bohemia and its neighbours in the middle of the 13th century.