Western Michigan University

History H710:  Medieval Historiography

 

Fall Semester 2008                                                                                                          Dr. Deborah Deliyannis

Place:  BH 235                                                                                                          Office:  Ballantine Hall 708

Time:  Th 7:00-9:00 pm                                                                              Office Hours: W 1:30-3:30 or by appt.

Call no. 27201                                                                                                                         Phone:  855-3431

website:  http://www.indiana.edu/~dmdhist/                                                               email:  ddeliyan@indiana.edu

 

 

Description

 

Medieval historiography has been called "inauthentic, unscientific, unreliable, ahistorical, irrational, borderline illiterate, and, worse yet, unprofessional."  Historia in the Middle Ages meant "story" or "narrative", and could refer to narrative works of art, saints' lives, parts of the bible, the literal sense of scriptural texts, liturgical offices, epic poems, and other texts and objects.  "History" as we understand it was not part of the traditional education curriculum, and, perhaps as a result, was written in a large variety of genres and styles.  Historical texts are extremely important sources of information for historians of all different aspects of medieval culture; however, before 'facts' can be extracted from them, we must understand why and how those pieces of information are included in the first place.  In this course we will examine some of the major historical and biographical works written during the Middle Ages, as well as modern scholarly studies of these texts.  We will consider the research methods of these authors, the sources and models that they used, and the different formats in which they arranged their information to fulfill their own personal, political, and literary aspirations.  We will then discuss what kinds of information can be acquired from them, and what their limitations as sources are.

 

Course requirements:

10%           Attendance, participation in discussions

15%           A short (10 min.) book report on a specific book

50%           A 10-15 page research paper

25%           A presentation of approximately 20-25 minutes, on the paper, given at one of the last class sessions

 

Written paper proposals will be due on October 2.  By that date, you should have discussed with me, during office hours or by appointment, what you wish to work on.  I will schedule the presentations on the basis of the proposals, and let you know the dates during the following week.  A progress report on your research project, including such things as preliminary bibliography, will be due on November 6.  You are encouraged to see me at any time to discuss your project and/or your presentation.

 

Your papers will be due on the last day of class.



Tentative Schedule

 

* - chapter from Deliyannis, ed., Historiography in the Middle Ages (Leiden, 2003) - PDF files on Oncourse

 

 

Sept. 4 - Class introduction

 

 

Sept. 11 - Some theoretical overviews

Secondary readings

* Deliyannis, Introduction

Roest, Bert.  "Mediaeval Historiography:  About generic constraints and scholarly constructions."  In B. Roest and H. Vanstiphout, eds., Aspects of Genre and Type in Pre-Modern Literary Cultures (Groningen, 1999), pp. 47-61.  PDF on oncourse

Spiegel, Gabrielle, "Theory into Practice:  Reading Medieval Chronicles," in E. Kooper, ed., The Medieval Chronicle:  proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle (Amsterdam, 1999), pp. 1-12.  PDF on oncourse

Morse, Ruth, Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages.  Rhetoric, Representation, and Reality (Cambridge, 1991), read chapter 2, "The Meaning of the Past," pp. 85-124.  PDF on oncourse

White, Hayden, "The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality," in The Content of the Form (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins Press, 1987), pp. 1-21.  PDF on oncourse

 

 

Sept. 18 - Universal History

Secondary readings

* Allen, Michael, "Universal History 300-1000:  Origins and Western Developments"

* Sprandel, Rolf, "World Historiography in the Late Middle Ages"

 

Primary sources - Universal chronicles are not best-sellers!  Very few have been translated; one of the few that has is Bede's.  Of the others, choose one of them and have a look through, noting the organization and topics

Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People: The Greater Chronicle; Bede's Letter to Egbert, translated by Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors, with an introduction by Judith McClure and Roger Collins (Oxford, 1999), read "The Greater Chronicle", pp. 307-340.  4-hr reserve BR746 .B5 1999

Eusebius/Jerome, Die Chronik des Hieronymus:  Hieronymi Chronicon, ed. Rudolf Helm (Berlin, 1956)  4-hr reserve BR65 .E7 1975 v.7

Frechulf of Lisieux (Frechulfus Lexouiensis), Historiarum Libri XII, ed. Michael Allen (CCCM 169 and 169A; Turnhout, 2002)  Wells stacks BR60 .C822 v. 169 and 169A or online through "Library resources" reference page, "Library of Latin Texts"

Stuten, Albert, Die Weltchronik des Mšnchs Albert 1273/77-1454/56, ed. Rolf Sprandel, MGH SS rerum Germanicarum n.s. 17 (Munich, 1994), Wells stacks DD3 .M773 v.17 or online at http://www.dmgh.de, follow links  "Reihenübersicht" -> "Scriptores" -> "Scriptores rerum Germanicarum, Nova series (SS rer. Germ. N. S.)" -> "17: Die Weltchronik des Monchs Albert" -> "Gehe zu Seite" input 37

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Muhlberger, Steven, The Fifth-century Chroniclers:  Prosper, Hydatius, and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 (Leeds, 1990). 

Given-Wilson, Christ.  Chronicles:  The Writing of History in Medieval England  (London: Continuum, 2004).

 

 

Sept. 25 - National History I

Secondary readings

* Pizarro, Joaquin Martinez, "Ethnic and National History ca. 500-1000"

 

Primary sources

Gregory of Tours, A History of the Franks, translated with an introduction by Lewis Thorpe (Harmondsworth, 1974), read pp. 159-193, 602-604.  4-hr reserve

Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People: The Greater Chronicle; Bede's Letter to Egbert, translated by Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors, with an introduction by Judith McClure and Roger Collins (Oxford, 1999), read pp. 3-5, 65-107, 286-295.  4-hr reserve

The Annals of Saint-Bertin, translated and annotated by Janet L. Nelson (Manchester, 1991), read introduction, years 836-860, 875-882.  4-hr reserve DC70.A2 A713 1991

The Anglo-Saxon chronicle. A revised translation, edited by Dorothy Whitelock, with David C. Douglas and Susie I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N.J., 1962), read pp. 1-58, browse through the rest.  4-hr reserve DA150 .A52

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Goffart, Walter.  The Narrators of Barbarian History.  Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon (Princeton, 1988).  online!  an ACLS Humanities book

Pizarro, Joaquin M., A Rhetoric of the Scene.  Dramatic Narrative in the Early Middle Ages (Toronto, 1989). 

Gerberding, Richard.  The rise of the Carolingians and the Liber historiae Francorum (Oxford, 1987).

Hirschler, Konrad.  Medieval Arabic Historiography:  Authors as Actors  (London:  Routledge, 2006).

McKitterick, Rosamond.  History and Memory in the Carolingian World  (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2004).

 

 

Oct. 2 - National History II

[paper proposals due]

Secondary readings

* Kersken, Norbert, "High and Late Medieval National Historiography"

 

Primary sources

William of Malmesbury, Historia novella:  the contemporary history, edited by Edmund King; translated by K. R. Potter (Oxford, 1998), read introduction, books 2 and 3.  4-hr reserve DA198.5 .W71

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Blacker, Jean, The faces of time:  portrayal of the past in Old French and Latin historical narrative of the Anglo-Norman regnum (Austin, TX, 1994).

Otter, Monika, Inventiones:  fiction and referentiality in twelfth-century English historical writing (Chapel Hill, 1996). 

Partner, Nancy, Serious Entertainments:  The Writing of History in Twelfth-Century England (Chicago, 1977).

Thomson, Rodney M.  William of Malmesbury  (Woodbridge:  Boydell Press, 2003).

 

 

Oct. 9 - Yom Kippur, class does not meet

 

Oct. 16 - Instructor at a conference, class does not meet

 

 

Oct. 23 - Institutional History

Secondary readings

* Sot, Michel, "Local and Institutional History (300-1000)"

* Roest, Bert, "Later Medieval Institutional History"

 

Primary sources

The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis).  The Ancient Biographies of the First Ninety Roman Bishops to AD 715, translated with an introduction by Raymond Davis (Liverpool, 1989), read pp. 1-3, 14-33, 87-92.  4-hr reserve BX950.E6 L6 1989

The Lives of the Eighth-Century Popes (Liber Pontificalis).  The Ancient Biographies of Nine Popes from AD 715 to 817, translated with an introduction and commentary by Raymond Davis (Liverpool, 1992), read pp. 123-172.  4-hr reserve BX393 .L573 2007

Matthew Paris, "Deeds of the Abbots of St. Albans", in R. Vaughan, trans., Chronicles of Matthew Paris:  Monastic Life in the Thirteenth Century (Gloucester, 1984), read pp. 13-79.  4-hr reserve  BX2435 .P2542 1984

The Chronicle of Salimbene de Adam, trans. Joseph L. Baird, Giuseppe Baglivi and John Robert Kane (Binghamton, NY, 1986), choose about 10 pages to read.  4-hr reserve BX4705.S24 S2413 1986

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Pizarro, J. M.  Writing Ravenna:  a Narrative Performance in the Ninth Century (Ann Arbor, MI, 1995).

Freeman, Elizabeth.  Narratives of a New Order:  Cistercian Historical Writing in England, 1150-1220  (Turnhout: Brepols, 2002).

Uge, Karine.  Creating the Monastic Past in Medieval Flanders (Woodbridge:  Boydell Press, 2006).

 

 

Oct. 30 - Patten Lecture, James J. O'Donnell

regular class does not meet

 

 

Nov. 6 - Dynastic and Urban History

[Discussion of research paper progress]

Secondary readings

* Shopkow, Leah, "Dynastic History"

* Vasina, Augusto, "Medieval Urban Historiography in Western Europe (1100-1500)

 

Primary sources

Dudo of St. Quentin, History of the Normans, translated by Felice Lifshitz, read books 1-3, 15-18.  Online at http://www.the-orb.net/orb_done/dudo/dudindexe.html

Giovanni Villani, Croniche Fiorentine (Florentine Chronicle), selections, trans. Rose E. Selfe (London, 1906), read I.1-21, II.selections; VIII  Online at http://www.elfinspell.com/VillaniContents.html, also downloadable at googlebook

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Shopkow, Leah, History and community:  Norman historical writing in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (Washington, D.C., 1997).

Wolf, Kenneth Baxter.  Making history : the Normans and their historians in eleventh-century Italy  (Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995).  not at IU

Ragone, Franca. Giovanni Villani e i suoi continuatori : la scrittura delle cronache a Firenze nel Trecento  (Roma: Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo, 1998). 

 

 

Nov. 13 - Contemporary and Legendary History

Secondary readings

* Ainsworth, Peter, "Contemporary and 'Eyewitness' History"

* Ainsworth, Peter, "Legendary History:  Historia and Fabula"

 

Primary sources

Froissart, Jean, Chronicles, translated with an introduction by Geoffrey Brereton (Harmondsworth, 1978), read pp. 37-38, 97-119, 402-417.  4-hr reserve  D113 .F7213 1978

Geoffroi de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville.  Chronicles of the Crusades, translated by Margaret R. Shaw (Harmondsworth, 1963), read pp. 29-65.  4-hr reserve D164.A3 V7 1963

Wace,  Roman de Brut: Text and Translation, edited and translated by Judith Weiss (Exeter, 1999), read lines 1-8 (p. 3), lines 12263-end (pp. 309-373).  4-hr reserve PQ1545.W2 A613 1999

Laxdaela Saga, translated by Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Palsson (Harmondsworth, 1969), read pp. 47-69.  4-hr reserve  PT7269.L4 E5 1969

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Spiegel, Gabrielle M., Romancing the past:  the rise of vernacular prose historiography in thirteenth-century France (Berkeley, 1993).

Ainsworth, Peter F., Jean Froissart and the fabric of history:  truth, myth, and fiction in the Chroniques (Oxford, 1990).

Beer, Jeanette M. A.  Narrative Conventions of Truth in the Middle Ages.  Geneva:  Droz S. A., 1981.

Ashe, Laura.  Fiction and History in England, 1066–1200  (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Rosenthal, Joel.  Telling Tales:  Sources and Narration in Late Medieval England  (University Park, PA:  Penn State University Press, 2003).

Moll, Richard J.  Before Malory:  Reading Arthur in Later Medieval England  (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 2003).

 

 

Nov. 20 - Biography

Secondary readings

* Heffernan, Thomas J., "Christian Biography:  Foundation to Maturity"

* Goodich, Michael, "Biography 1000-1350"

 

Primary sources - pick three!

The Earliest life of Gregory the Great, by an anonymous monk of Whitby, text, translation and notes by Bertram Colgrave (Cambridge, 1985, reprint of 1968), read pp. 45-54, 72-139.  4-hr reserve BX1076 .E132

Paris, Matthew, Life of St. Edmund, edited and translated by C. H. Lawrence (Oxford, 1997), read pp. 118-167.  4-hr reserve BX4700.E2 P375 1996

Alfred the Great.  Asser's Life of King Alfred and other contemporary sources, translated with an introduction and notes by Simon Keynes and Michael Lapidge (Harmondsworth, 1983), read pp. 67-110.  PDF on oncourse

Geoffroi de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Chronicles of the Crusades, translated by Margaret R. Shaw (Harmondsworth, 1963), read pp. 167-194, 265-276, 331-353. 4-hr reserve D164.A3 V7 1963

Malaterra, Goffredo (c. 1097).  The Deeds of Count Roger of Calabria and Sicily and of his Brother Robert Guiscard, trans. K. B. Wolf (Ann Arbor, 2005).  4-hr reserve DG867.24 .M3513 2005

 

Book reports and/or further bibliography

Lifshitz, Felice.  The Norman conquest of Pious Neustria:  historiographic discourse and saintly relics, 684-1090 (Toronto:  Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1995). 

Van Houts, Elisabeth M. C.  Memory and gender in medieval Europe, 900-1200  (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1999).

Heffernan, Thomas. Sacred biography: saints and their biographers in the Middle Ages (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1988).

 

 

 

Nov. 27 - Thanksgiving, class does not meet

 

 

Dec. 4 - Student presentations

 

 

Dec. 11 - Student presentations

 

 

 

 

 


Books for Book Reports

 

date

title

Sept. 18

Muhlberger, Steven, The Fifth-century Chroniclers:  Prosper, Hydatius, and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 (Leeds, 1990).  Wells D56.5 .M85 1990

Sept. 18

Given-Wilson, Christ.  Chronicles:  The Writing of History in Medieval England  (London: Continuum, 2004).  Wells DA176 .G58 2004

Sept. 25

Goffart, Walter.  The Narrators of Barbarian History.  Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon (Princeton, 1988).  online!  an ACLS Humanities book

Sept. 25

Pizarro, Joaqu’n M., A Rhetoric of the Scene.  Dramatic Narrative in the Early Middle Ages (Toronto, 1989).   Wells PA8096 .P59 1989

Sept. 25

Gerberding, Richard.  The rise of the Carolingians and the Liber historiae Francorum.  Oxford:  1987.  Wells DC64 .G4 1987

Sept. 25

McKitterick, Rosamond.  History and Memory in the Carolingian World  (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2004).  own; Wells D13.5.E85 M384 2004

Sept. 25

Hirschler, Konrad.  Medieval Arabic Historiography:  Authors as Actors  (London:  Routledge, 2006).  Wells DS37.4 .H38 2006

Oct. 2

Blacker, Jean, The faces of time:  portrayal of the past in Old French and Latin historical narrative of the Anglo-Norman regnum (Austin, TX, 1994).  Wells DA195 .B57 1994

Oct. 2

Otter, Monika, Inventiones:  fiction and referentiality in twelfth-century English historical writing (Chapel Hill, 1996).  Wells DA129.5 .O88 1996

Oct. 2

Partner, Nancy, Serious Entertainments:  The Writing of History in Twelfth-Century England (Chicago, 1977)  Wells DA130.H413 P37

Oct. 2

Thomson, Rodney M.  William of Malmesbury  (Woodbridge:  Boydell Press, 2003).  Wells DA3.W48 T47 1987  at carrel 7-127A

Oct. 23

Pizarro, J. M.  Writing Ravenna:  a Narrative Performance in the Ninth Century (Ann Arbor, MI, 1995).  Wells BX4684 .M38 1995

Oct. 23

UgŽ, Karine.  Creating the Monastic Past in Medieval Flanders (Woodbridge:  Boydell Press, 2006).  Wells BX2676.F583 U384 2005

Oct. 23

Freeman, Elizabeth.  Narratives of a New Order:  Cistercian Historical Writing in England, 1150-1220  (Turnhout: Brepols, 2002).  Wells BX3416 .F73 2002

Nov. 6

Wolf, Kenneth Baxter.  Making history : the Normans and their historians in eleventh-century Italy (Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995).  not at IU

Nov. 6

Shopkow, Leah, History and community:  Norman historical writing in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (Washington, D.C., 1997)  Wells DC611.N856 S56 1997

Nov. 6

Ragone, Franca. Giovanni Villani e i suoi continuatori : la scrittura delle cronache a Firenze nel Trecento.  Roma: Istituto storico italiano per il Medio Evo, 1998.  Wells DG737.24.V55 R24 1998

Nov. 13

Ainsworth, Peter F., Jean Froissart and the fabric of history:  truth, myth, and fiction in the Chroniques (Oxford, 1990).  Wells D113.F9 A55 1990 faculty study

Nov. 13

Beer, Jeanette M. A.  Narrative Conventions of Truth in the Middle Ages (Geneva:  Droz S. A., 1981).    Wells BD171 .B37 1981

Nov. 13

Spiegel, Gabrielle M., Romancing the past:  the rise of vernacular prose historiography in thirteenth-century France (Berkeley, 1993)  Wells PQ221 .S66 1993  out, due 10/19

Nov. 13

Ashe, Laura.  Fiction and History in England, 1066–1200  (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2007).  Wells PR1120 A84 2007  out, due 11/4

Nov. 13

Moll, Richard J.  Before Malory:  Reading Arthur in Later Medieval England  (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 2003).  Wells PN57.A6 M65 2003

Nov. 13

Rosenthal, Joel.  Telling Tales:  Sources and Narration in Late Medieval England  (University Park, PA:  Penn State University Press, 2003).  Wells DA170 .R67 2003

Nov. 20

Lifshitz, Felice.  The Norman conquest of Pious Neustria:  historiographic discourse and saintly relics, 684-1090  (Toronto:  Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1995).  Wells BR847.N67 L54 1995

Nov. 20

Van Houts, Elisabeth M. C.  Memory and gender in medieval Europe, 900-1200 (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1999).    Wells D113 .V36 1999

Nov. 20

Heffernan, Thomas. Sacred biography: saints and their biographers in the Middle Ages (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1988).  online or Wells PR275 .R4 H44 1988 out, due 10/28