Wednesday, 9 July 2014

#IMC2014 Session - Networks and Neighbours, IV: Understanding the Past in Texts and Manuscripts

N&N - IMC 2014 Session

TitleNetworks and Neighbours, IV: Understanding the Past in Texts and Manuscripts
Date/TimeWednesday 9 July 2014: 16.30-18.00
SponsorNetworks & Neighbours Network
OrganiserTim Barnwell, School of History, University of Leeds

Jason Berg, School of History, University of Leeds

Richard Broome, School of History, University of Leeds

Michael J. Kelly, School of History, University of Leeds / Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Moderator/ChairRosamond McKitterick, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Paper 1315-a Anastasius Bibliotecarius's Historia Tripartita and 9th-Century Claims to the Imperial Past
(Language: English)
Jesse W. Torgerson, Wesleyan University, Connecticut
Index Terms: Byzantine Studies; Manuscripts and Palaeography; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1315-b Targets of Opportunity: Blank Space, Obscure Texts, and the Preservation of the Past in Early Medieval Manuscripts
(Language: English)
Ralph Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Latin; Learning (The Classical Inheritance); Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1315-c Childebrand and the Chronicle of Fredegar: The Case of Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Reg. Lat 616
(Language: English)
Alessandro Gnasso, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Historiography - Modern Scholarship; Manuscripts and Palaeography; Political Thought
AbstractMedieval texts are crucial to our modern understanding of the past, but they also have much to tell us about medieval authors' own attitudes to their past. After all, the authors and compilers of medieval historical narrative texts were as much historians as their modern counterparts, even if the genre of history-writing has changed dramatically in the modern period. Likewise, even when not writing directly about history, medieval authors often hinted at or directly referred to their own knowledge of the past. Yet it is important to remember that our knowledge of medieval texts is ultimately dictated by the manuscripts that preserve them, and that these manuscripts often bear witness to textual variations. Thus, each copy of a text deserves to be studied in its own right, and a single manuscript can alter what we think we know about a text and its author. The purpose of this panel, then, is to explore our understanding of three early medieval texts and the networks within which their authors worked. Two of the papers deal directly with the issue of how authors understood their past; the first with the Byzantine understanding of the imperial past in the new imperial context of the 9th century as presented by Anastasius Bibliotecarius; the second with Aldhelm's presentation of paganism, which may be based on his knowledge of Anglo-Saxon or Roman pagan practices. The third paper deals with the issue of how a manuscript can alter our understanding of a text; in this case the version of the Continuations of the Chronicle of Fredegar preserved in Reg.Lat. 616.