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Writing the Early Medieval West

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Marios Costambeys, Matthew Innes, Richard Matthew Pollard, Paul Hilliard, Ingrid Rembold, Christina Pössel, Graeme Ward, Nicholas Everett, Sven Meeder, Anna Dorofeeva, Charles West, Andy Merrills, Yitzhak Hen, Simon Coupland, Elina Screen
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  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107198395

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About the Authors
  • Far from the oral society it was once assumed to have been, early medieval Europe was fundamentally shaped by the written word. This book offers a pioneering collection of fresh and innovative studies on a wide range of topics, each one representing cutting-edge scholarship, and collectively setting the field on a new footing. Concentrating on the role of writing in mediating early medieval knowledge of the past, on the importance of surviving manuscripts as clues to the circulation of ideas and political and cultural creativity, and on the role that texts of different kinds played both in supporting and in subverting established power relations, these essays represent a milestone in studies of the early medieval written word.

    • Showcases the diversity of the written word in early medieval Europe over a range of genres and media
    • Dedicated to Rosamond McKitterick, this title brings together a diverse range of historians working across several different countries
    • Integrates detailed and specific study with wider conceptual framing
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Each of the contributors to this superb collection of essays provides a fresh and original insight into the intricate relationships between authors, texts and contexts in the early medieval West. At the same time, they also remind readers that among the most enduring outcomes of the work of great scholars are the affection and gratitude of their students.' Antonio Sennis, University College London

    ‘For four decades Rosamond McKitterick has been one of the most original and productive historians of Europe's early Middle Ages. She has published countless essays and a series of path-breaking monographs. She has also been a devoted and remarkably successful teacher, having supervised forty-two dissertations. It is fitting that this volume of essays in her honor gathers work by some of the most successful, and now prominent, of her students. It is fitting, too, that the book is organized into sections corresponding with the major themes that have animated her work. Readers will profit from the excellent work assembled here. The book is a worthy tribute to a superb scholar and a remarkable teacher, friend, and colleague.' Thomas F. X. Noble, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

    ‘The essays of this volume not only demonstrate the continuing importance of the medium of writing and the written word in the ‘barbarian' successor states after the 'Fall of Rome'. Taken together they also demonstrate the crucial role of literacy itself as a catalyst of the social, cultural and political changes that came to shape the Christian West for many centuries to come.' Helmut Reimitz, Princeton University, New Jersey

    'There are many ways to measure the enormous impact Rosamond McKitterick has had on the study of early medieval history over the past four decades. The present volume provides one index: the fifteen contributors include just fourteen of the forty-seven (!) scholars whose PhD dissertations she has supervised. After an Introduction by Marios Costambeys and Matthew Innes that offers a more qualitative assessment of McKitterick's influence and shows how her work points to the future, the book unfolds in three parts, each with a brief introduction, that echo her principal lines of research: history and memory, the study of manuscripts, and the Carolingian construction of power through the written word. … this [book] … repays time spent with several chapters. That will be especially true for young scholars starting out on research in this vibrant field.' Adam J. Kosto, The Medieval Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107198395
    • length: 330 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 162 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of contributors
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction: a study in the education of a society? Marios Costambeys and Matthew Innes
    Part I. Knowledge of the Past:
    2. Flavius Josephus: the most influential classical historian of the early Middle Ages Richard Matthew Pollard
    3. Bede and the changing image of Rome and the Romans Paul Hilliard
    4. Paul the Deacon and Rome Marios Costambeys
    5. History and (selective) memory: articulating community and division in Folcuin's Gesta abbatum Lobiensium Ingrid Rembold
    6. 'Appropriate to the religion of their time': Walahfrid's historicisation of the liturgy Christina Pössel
    7. The order of history: liturgical time and the rhythms of the past in Amalarius of Metz's De ordine Antiphonarii Graeme Ward
    Part II. The Written Word in Early Medieval Europe: The View from the Manuscripts:
    8. The manuscript evidence for pharmacy in the early Middle Ages Nicholas Everett
    9. Monte Cassino's network of knowledge: the earliest manuscript evidence Sven Meeder
    10. Strategies of knowledge organisation in early medieval Latin glossary miscellanies: the example of Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14388 Anna Dorofeeva
    11. 'Dissonance of speech, consonance of meaning': the 862 Council of Aachen and the transmission of Carolingian conciliar records Charles West
    Part III. Texts and Early Medieval Rulers:
    12. The Moorish kingdoms and the written word: three 'textual communities' in fifth- and sixth-century Mauretania Andy Merrills
    13. When liturgy gets out of hand Yitzhak Hen
    14. The formation of a European identity: revisiting Charlemagne's coinage Simon Coupland
    15. Queenship in dispute: Fastrada, history and law Matthew Innes
    16. Remembering and forgetting Lothar I Elina Screen
    List of manuscripts
    General index.

  • Editors

    Elina Screen, University of Oxford
    Elina Screen is an established historian of early medieval Europe, with particular specialisms in the Carolingian world. Screen is currently preparing a monograph on Emperor Lothar I (d. 855), on whom she is the leading authority. She is also General Editor of the Medieval European Coinage project and publishes on medieval numismatics.

    Charles West, University of Sheffield
    Charles West is a former Humboldt Fellow and AHRC Leadership Fellow. West has published extensively on early medieval topics including historical writing. His monograph, Reframing the Feudal Revolution (Cambridge) was published in 2013, and he has co-edited two books on Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims (d. 882) with Rachel Stone.


    Marios Costambeys, Matthew Innes, Richard Matthew Pollard, Paul Hilliard, Ingrid Rembold, Christina Pössel, Graeme Ward, Nicholas Everett, Sven Meeder, Anna Dorofeeva, Charles West, Andy Merrills, Yitzhak Hen, Simon Coupland, Elina Screen

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