Uses of the Past in Twelfth-Century Germany: The Case of the Middle High German Kaiserchronik


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Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pDespite its broad transmission and its influence on vernacular chronicle writing in the German Middle Ages, the jats:italicKaiserchronik</jats:italic> has not received the attention from historians that it deserves. This article describes some of the ideological, historical, and literary contexts that shaped the original composition of the chronicle in the middle of the twelfth century: Christian salvation history, the revival of interest in the Roman past, the consolidation of a vernacular literature of knowledge, and the emergence of a practice of writing history as “serious entertainment” by authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Godfrey of Viterbo. Placed in these multiple contexts, which have a European as well as a specifically German dimension, the jats:italicKaiserchronik</jats:italic> emerges as an important document of the uses of the past in fostering a sense of German identity among secular and ecclesiastical elites in the high Middle Ages.</jats:p>

Description
Keywords
4303 Historical Studies, 43 History, Heritage and Archaeology
Journal Title
CENTRAL EUROPEAN HISTORY
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0008-9389
1569-1616
Volume Title
49
Publisher
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Sponsorship
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/J006513/1)
AHRC