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Historiography and Identity III: Carolingian Approaches

R. Kramer, H. Reimitz, G. Ward (eds.)
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VIII+396 p., 2 b/w ill., 2 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-58655-7
Languages: English
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In this volume, the diversity of Carolingian historiographical material is brought to light using a broad variety of methodological approaches and different modes of interpretation.

Note: the full text of this volume is now available in Open Access at:

This volume explores the extent to which the reinstitution of the Empire in Western Europe brought about new ways of reconciling the multitude of post-Roman identities with the way the past was shaped in historiographical narratives. From universal histories to local chronicles, and from narratives that support Carolingian rule to histories with a more local focus, the centralization of power and authority in the course of the eighth and ninth centuries forced those who engaged with their own past and that of their community to acknowledge the new situation, and situate themselves in it. The contributions in this volume each depart from a single source, event, or community, and relate their findings to the broader issue of whether the rise of the multi-ethnic Carolingian court allowed for more inclusive narratives to be created, or if their self-proclaimed place at the centre of the Frankish world actually created a context in which local communities were given new tools to assert themselves.

Helmut Reimitz is Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University.
Rutger Kramer is Assistant professor at the Radboud Institute for Culture and History, Radboud University Nijmegen.
Graeme Ward is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford.


Table of Contents

Histories of Carolingian Historiography: An Introduction — HELMUT REIMITZ

Carolingian Uses of History

From the Order of the Franks to the World of Ambrose: the Vita Adalhardi and the Epitaphium Arsenii Compared — MAYKE DE JONG

Remembering the Ostrogoths in the Carolingian Empire — MATTHIAS M. TISCHLER

A Carolingian Epitome of Orosius from Tours: Leiden VLQ 20 — ROSAMOND MCKITTERICK & ROBERT EVANS

Approaches to History: Walahfrid’s Parallel Universe — RICHARD CORRADINI

Carolingian Histories

Enhancing Bede: The Chronicon Universale to 741 — SÖREN KASCHKE

A Crowning Achievement: Carolingian Imperial Identity in the Chronicon Moissiacense — RUTGER KRAMER

Much Ado about Vienne? A Localizing Universal Chronicon — SUKANYA RAISHARMA

The Sense of an Ending in the Histories of Frechulf of Lisieux — GRAEME WARD

Uses of Carolingian History

Historiography of Disillusion: Erchempert and the History of Ninth-Century Southern Italy — WALTER POHL

‘A Man of Notable Good Looks Disfigured by a Cruel Wound’: The Forest Misadventure of Charles the Young of Aquitaine (864) in History and Legend — ERIC GOLDBERG



“As a collection of essays, Carolingian Approaches has much to commend. These studies all succeed in presenting thoughtful variations on what at first glance might seem a relatively well-trodden path.” (Edward Roberts, in The Medieval Review, 21.12.29)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : genres & specific topics
Historiography (historical writings in the period)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
Medieval History (400-1500) : subperiods
Merovingian & Carolingian period

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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