IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1721: Memorabilia of Antiquity: Remembering Ancient Writings in Medieval Texts

Thursday 5 July 2018, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:N Yavuz, Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Københavns Universitet
Paper 1721-aModelling Contemporary History on Ancient Hypotexts: Otto of Freising's Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus, the Anonymous Imperial Chronicle, and the Classics
(Language: English)
Kathrin J. Wankmiller, Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen, Universität Innsbruck
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance)
Paper 1721-bMythographic Preaching in Late Medieval England
(Language: English)
Bernhard Hollick, Institut für Altertumskunde, Universität zu Köln / College of Humanities, University of Exeter
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Pagan Religions, Sermons and Preaching

Paper -a:
The chronicle of Otto of Freising and the Anonymous Imperial Chronicle, dedicated to Emperor Henry V, both originate in the 12th century. Although they both comment on contemporary history, a comparison of the methods and frameworks used by the authors to portray the politics of their own time has not been undertaken so far. However, it can be demonstrated that Otto and the writer of the Anonymous Imperial Chronicle are using specific ancient writings as models to present their respective interpretation of contemporary history: Otto draws heavily on Lucan in order to create a pre-apocalyptic atmosphere, whereas the author of the Imperial Chronicle uses (Pseudo-)Platonic references in order to highlight Henry’s ideal rule as philosopher king.

Paper -b:
Sermons from late medieval England are not only occupied with the care of souls: they introduce the reader into a narrative cosmos, in which the human and divine protagonists of ancient (mostly ovidian) mythology are very much alive. Other than suggested by Smalley, though, this ‘mythographic’ style of preaching was not a specifically mendicant habit: rather it was the campaign-like effort of a scholastic establishment, whose traditions of learning and writing came under an increasing threat by scepticism and Lollardy. My paper will try to explain this urge to establish a continuity with the pagan past by analyzing the social background, discursive context, and development of respective sermons from c. 1330-1450.