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Taking Sides: Some Theoretical Remarks on the (Ab)Use of Historiography
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2008 (English)In: The Medieval Chronicle, Vol. 5, 99-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article should be seen as an attempt to put the early medieval chronicles in a more theoretical frame concerning identity formation and creation of historical tradition. The empirical examples are provided by two tenth-century chronicles: Chronicon Æthelweardi by Æthelweard of Wessex, and Res gestae Saxonicae by Widukind of Corvey. As the theoretical frame serve the conclusions and ideas taken from the research on collective memory, discourse analysis, and a more general reasoning about the affinity between knowledge and power. In effect, the article illustrates not only those mechanisms and literary strategies, but also, more broadly, demonstrates the pointlessness of common accusations of medieval historiography’s failure in its pursuit of objectivity. Partiality was the raison d’être of medieval chronicles, and, it is argued, our research should focus more on its appearances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 5, 99-111 p.
Keyword [en]
medieval historiography, national heritage, manipulative silence, AEthelweard, Widukind of Corvey
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-13317OAI: diva2:179837
Available from: 2008-03-17 Created: 2008-03-17 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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