Catalan Chroniclers and Poetic License: History, Epic, Fiction

in Authoring the Past

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226032320
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226032344 | DOI:
Catalan Chroniclers and Poetic License: History, Epic, Fiction

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter investigates the link between reality and fiction characteristic of medieval historiography. It also reviews the notion of historical accuracy in the work of medieval historians, their ability to blend different sources, and their tendency to fictionalize the remote past and to historicize the recent past. The Gesta comitum Barcinonensium's characters reflected historical conditions, despite their fictional elements. The chivalric tone of the Llibre dels Fets was a perfect catalyst for the prosification of earlier epic poems. Ramon Muntaner presented two details that display his empathy with the world of chivalry. It can be concluded that medieval Catalan readers did not mind the radical distinction between reality and fiction which is done today—at least, not on a discursive level. The authors deliberately manipulated genre to attain their historical, social, or political purposes.

Keywords: medieval historiography; Gesta comitum Barcinonensium; Llibre dels Fets; Ramon Muntaner; chivalry; reality; fiction

Chapter.  7698 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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