IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1548: Crossing the Rubicon, I: The Medieval Julius Caesar, Conqueror, or Peace-Bringer?

Thursday 9 July 2020, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Jesse Harrington, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Emily A. Winkler, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford / Department of History, University College London
Paper 1548-aJulius Caesar, New Caesars, and Edenic Restoration in 12th-Century England
(Language: English)
Tom Forster, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Political Thought
Paper 1548-bThe Representation and Role of Julius Caesar in Gerald of Wales's Treatment of Irish and Welsh History
(Language: English)
Diarmuid Scully, School of History, University College Cork
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Political Thought
Paper 1548-cThe Cistercians' Caesars: The Image of Caesar in the Historical Writings of Aelred of Rievaulx, William of Newburgh, and Jocelin of Furness
(Language: English)
Jesse Harrington, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Monasticism
Abstract

This is the first of two sessions examining the range of medieval reactions to Julius Caesar. This session explores how the border-crossing historians of the 12th-century renaissance portrayed Caesar either as conqueror or as divine restorer of peace and prosperity. It charts the ‘rediscovery’ of Caesar as a vehicle for the theological exploration of fortune and of the providential reform of mankind, by Henry of Huntingdon, Orderic Vitalis, and Aelred of Rievaulx; how ‘the conquering Caesar’ was later revised on the expanding Anglo-Norman frontiers of Wales and Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and William of Newburgh; and finally, how these images of Caesar were reworked in a Cistercian context for their own cross-border patrons. Together, these papers show how the 12th-century renaissance spurred new interpretations of Caesar.