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Raji C. Steineck

Abstract

In this essay I discuss the various ways time can be inscribed in texts below the level of explicit propositions about time. I argue that a full chronographical analysis needs to account for the dimensions of the theoretical, the practical, and the aesthetic. Taking Kant’s table of categories as a guide to the fundamental functions of chronographic determination, I propose a methodology of analysis that goes beyond the aspect of quantitative measurement, and includes typological, thetic and modal information about time. Numerous examples from various textual domains such as poetry, historiography, science and law illustrate the wide applicability of the proposed analytical categories. The full matrix of dimensions and determinative functions can be used to describe the chronographic signature of a text, which depends as much on its communicative purpose as on the technologies of calculating and describing time available to its authors.

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Heike Polster

Edited by Carol A. Fischer

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Kevin Birth

Abstract

Bishop Asser’s biography of King Alfred describes him as creating a candle “clock” to know the time on cloudy days and at night. This candle “clock” has often been seen as an early example of uniform timekeeping and equinoctial hours, and consequently in conflict with the seasonally variable canonical hours. The approach taken here challenges this interpretation. It views King Alfred’s candles as complementary to rather than in conflict with sidereal timekeeping, clepsydrae, cockcrow, and canonical hours. This leads to an interpretation of the candles as a means of interweaving of liturgical and secular timekeeping. It is argued, moreover, that pluralism in ways of reckoning time is a feature of Anglo-Saxon time consciousness; Alfred should not be viewed as an horological innovator, but as a monarch whose interests in time reflect those of his society.

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Dennis Costa and Akadiusz Misztal

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Friedel Weinert

Edited by Carol A. Fischer