Book

Authoring the Past

Jaume Aurell

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226032320
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226032344 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226032344.001.0001
Authoring the Past

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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This book surveys medieval Catalan historiography, the emergence and evolution of historical writing and autobiography in the Middle Ages, on questions of authority and authorship, and on the links between history and politics during the period. The author examines texts from the late twelfth to the late fourteenth century—including the Latin Gesta comitum Barcinonensium and four texts in medieval Catalan: James I's Llibre dels fets, the Crònica of Bernat Desclot, the Crònica of Ramon Muntaner, and the Crònica of Peter the Ceremonious—and outlines the different motivations for the writing of each. For the author, these chronicles are not mere archaeological artifacts but rather documents that speak to their writers' specific contemporary social and political purposes. He argues that these Catalonian counts and Aragonese kings were attempting to use their role as authors to legitimize their monarchical status, their growing political and economic power, and their aggressive expansionist policies in the Mediterranean. By analyzing these texts alongside one another, the book demonstrates the shifting contexts in which chronicles were conceived, written, and read throughout the Middle Ages.

Keywords: Catalan historiography; medieval Catalan; James I; Bernat Desclot; Ramon Muntaner; Peter the Ceremonious; Catalonian counts; Aragonese kings; medieval chronicles; expansionist policies

Book.  328 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Authoring the Past

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