The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Representing History, 900–1300

Representing History, 900–1300

Art, Music, History Edited by Robert A. Maxwell
  • Copyright: 2010
  • Dimensions: 9 x 10
  • Page Count: 296 pages
  • Illustrations: 60 b&w illustrations
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03636-6
“Books of this nature offer an implicit comment on the state of the discipline; this volume provides evidence of a healthy current environment embracing much diversity of subject and method in the investigation of the historical past.”
Representing History stands as a model starting point for those wishing to consider the multitude of ways in which the past was made meaningful by writers, artists, and composers in the Middle Ages. The contributions range widely and as a whole offer an almost ideal balancing of theory and practice across the disciplines.”
“This truly interdisciplinary volume shows us that history writing in the Middle Ages was the province not only of chronicle writers and archivists, but also of liturgists, ecclesiastical and lay authorities, musicians, patrons, and artists. These insightful essays make clear that medieval people employed sophisticated and inventive strategies to shape the past, to justify or destabilize the status quo, and to imagine the future. The fascinating reverberations among these essays lead us to a more refined understanding of the practice of history, its theoretical underpinnings, and its real-world impact—both in the Middle Ages and in our own time.”
“This volume does great service to the medieval studies across a wide range of disciplines and is highly recommended.”

Modern scholarship, particularly historical studies, has long acknowledged the importance of the past to medieval conceptions of the present. This volume brings art history and music into dialogue with historical studies. The essays draw out the strategies shared by these fields in the realm of historical representation. How was the creative representation of past practices—in illuminated manuscripts, monumental sculpture, and architecture, as well as in musical notation, motet composition, and performance—understood as both a historical and historicizing act? What kinds of relationships did composers, patrons, chroniclers, and musicians entertain with their predecessors? Historical studies have shown how chroniclers and annalists rewrote tradition while self-consciously writing themselves into it; the essays in this volume explore such strategies in art and music.

The contributors are Jaume Aurell, Jeffrey A. Bowman, Susan Boynton, Ardis Butterfield, Margot Fassler, Patrick J. Geary, Lindy Grant, James Grier, Cynthia Hahn, Joan A. Holladay, Laurent Morelle, Lawrence Nees, Susan Reynolds, Gabrielle M. Spiegel, and Christine B. Verzar.

Robert A. Maxwell is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. His previous book The Art of Medieval Urbanism: Parthenay in Romanesque Aquitaine was published by Penn State Press in 2007.

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