1st Edition

Authorship, Worldview, and Identity in Medieval Europe

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 4, 2022
ISBN 9780367457662
March 4, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
432 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $170.00

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Book Description

What did medieval authors know about their world? Were they parochial and focused on just their monastery, town, or kingdom? Or were they aware of the broader medieval Europe that modern historians write about? This collection of essays brings the focus back to medieval authors to see how they described their world. While we see that each author certainly had their own biases, the vast majority of them did not view the world as constrained to their small piece of it. Instead, they talked about the wider world and often they had informants or textual sources that informed them about the world, even if they did not visit it themselves. This volume shows that they also used similar ideas to create space and identity – whether talking about the desert, the holy land, or food practices in their texts. By examining medieval authors and their own perception of their world, this collection of essays offers a framework for discussions of medieval Europe in the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction – the medieval world then and now

Christian Raffensperger

Part 1: A Wider World

2. The Horizons of Gregory of Tours

Erin Thomas Dailey

3. When World Views Collide? The Travel Narratives of Haraldr Sigurðarson of Norway

Bjørn Bandlien

4. Concubinage in New Contexts: Interfaith Borrowings and the Rulers of Castile-León in the High Middle Ages

Stacey E. Murrell

5. Finding Byzantine-Norman Common Ground:Classics and Christianity in Tzetzes’ Encomium to Loukia

Hannah Ewing

6. Imagined Geographies in Early Rus’

Inés García de la Puente

7. The Globe in Thirteenth-Century Hispania: Archbishop Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada and his World

Lucy K. Pick

8. The World View of Marco Polo’s Devisament dou monde: Commercial Marvels, Silk Route Nostalgia and Global Empire in the Late Middle Ages

Teresa Shawcross

9. Treasuries as Windows to the Medieval World: San Isidoro de León and Saint Blaise at Braunschweig

Jitske Jasperse

Part 2: Neighbors and Neighborhoods

10. Adam’s of Bremen view of the Polabian Slavs

Christian Lübke

11. Into the Wild West: Two Twelfth-Century Clerics’ View of Medieval Brittany

Amy Livingstone

12. An Irish Sea King?: Ethnicity and Legitimacy in the Vita Griffini filii Conani and Historia Gruffud vab Kenan

Rebecca Thomas

13. Saxo and the Slavs

Kurt Villads Jensen

14. Is there any other world? Imagination of the outside world in the medieval historiography of the Czech lands based on the chronicles Cosmas of Prague, so called Dalimil and Přibík Pulkava of Radenín

David Kalhous

15.’Und gras vor spise zeren’: Migration, Fermentation, and the Map of Civilization in the Baltic Crusades

Paul Milliman

16. Bulgaria - the new Byzantium: Political ideology and self-perception in a medieval Balkan State

Panos Sophoulis

17. Medieval Welsh Ethnic Nicknames and Implications for the Welsh View of their Geopolitical Context, 1050 – 1400

Frederick Suppe

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Christian Raffensperger is the Kenneth E. Wray Chair in the Humanities at Wittenberg University, as well as an Associate of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. His work focuses on connecting eastern Europe into the larger medieval European world, as seen in Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ and the Medieval World (2012) and Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Medieval Eastern Europe (2018).