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Manufacturing a Past for the Present

Forgery and Authenticity in Medievalist Texts and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Europe


Edited by János M. Bak, Patrick J. Geary and Gábor Klaniczay

In search of specific national traditions nineteenth-century artists and scholars did not shy of manipulating texts and objects or even outright manufacturing them. The essays edited by János M. Bak, Patrick J. Geary and Gábor Klaniczay explore the various artifacts from outright forgeries to fruits of poetic phantasy, while also discussing the volatile notion of authenticity and the multiple claims for it in the age.

Contributors include: Pavlína Rychterová, Péter Dávidházi, Pertti Anttonen, László Szörényi, János M. Bak, Nóra Berend, Benedek Láng, Igor P. Medvedev, Dan D.Y. Shapira, János György Szilágyi, Cristina La Rocca, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Johan Hegardt and Sándor Radnóti.


Edited by Antonino de Francesco

The book aims rethinking the cultural history of Mediterranean nationalisms between 19th and 20th centuries by tracing their specific approach to antiquity in the forging of a national past.
By focusing on how national imaginaries dealt with this topic and how history and archaeology relied on antiquity, this collection of essays introduces a comparative approach presenting several cases studies concerning many regions including Spain, Italy and Slovenia as well as Albania, Greece and Turkey.
By adopting the perspective of a dialogue among all these Mediterranean political cultures, this book breaks significantly new ground, because it shifts attention on how Southern Europe nationalisms are an interconnected political and cultural experience, directly related to the intellectual examples of Northern Europe, but also developing its own particular trends.

Contributors are: Çiğdem Atakuman, Filippo Carlà, Francisco Garcia Alonso, Maja Gori, Eleni Stefanou, Rok Stergar, Katia Visconti.

Edited by Gert Melville

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages Online offers an accessible yet engaging coverage of medieval European history and culture, c. 500-c. 1500, in a series of themed articles, taking an interdisciplinary and comparative approach. Presenting a broad range of topics current in research, the encyclopedia is dedicated to all aspects of medieval life, organized in eight sections: Society; Faith and Knowledge; Literature; Fine Arts and Music; Economy; Technology; Living Environment and Conditions; and Historical Events and Regions. This thematic structure makes the encyclopedia a true reference work for Medieval Studies as a whole. It is accessible and concise enough for quick reference, while also providing a solid grounding in a new topic with a good level of detail, since many of its articles are longer than traditional encyclopedia entries. The encyclopedia is supported by an extensive bibliography, updated with the most recent works and adapted to suit the needs of an Anglophone audience.

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages Online is a unique work, and invaluable equally for research and for teaching. Anyone interested in the art, architecture, economy, history, language, law, literature, music, religion, or science of the Middle Ages, will find the encyclopedia an indispensible resource.

This is an English translation of the second edition (2013) of the well-known German-language Enzyklopädie des Mittelalters, published by Primus Verlag / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Luke Lavan and Philip Mills


This paper outlines the potential in the study of ceramic building material (CBM) recovered from archaeological contexts, and how it can shed light on archaeological questions. It can contribute to the dating of archaeological deposits and sites. As a large artefact, which can be subsequently reused in Antiquity, it can provide important information about site formation processes. The knowledge that large quantities of this material are not locally made, and are in fact part of wider regional distribution networks, makes CBM an extremely useful means of tracing ancient trading patterns. The proportions of different CBM forms in an assemblage can help inform us about the nature of a deposit, as can traces of sooting and mortar on recovered CBM. This material also provides important evidence for reconstructing the appearance of a building or neighbourhood and its change over time. A methodology and sampling strategy, which has been developed to elucidate this information in an efficient manner, is also presented.


Simon C. Thomson

interested in critiquing its preservation of Beowulf than in the manuscript as a whole, and most have examined only parts of the artefact with the intention of making targeted suggestions. In the present study, my hope is both to engage with the manuscript on its own terms, and to use it to consider what

Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex


Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.


Simon C. Thomson

of biblical narratives, the exception rather than the rule. 16 We can, then, regard literary collections like the Nowell Codex as “dynamic, ludic entities”, offering a play of meanings within and between different texts and in which variant ideas may be simultaneously present. 17 I have argued


Simon C. Thomson

probable sequence of gatherings, the original sequence of texts, and the sequence of scribal activity. This discussion will underpin subsequent chapters about the work of the scribes and the eleventh-century project to re-present Beowulf in this volume. My conclusion is that it seems likely that the


Simon C. Thomson

that the other texts do not, as a response to its poetic form. The aim of the present chapter is to render a relatively consistent narrative out of disparate and challenging pieces of evidence. I find that Scribe A knew what he was working on; that the Nowell Codex was deliberately produced, and

Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale R. Owen-Crocker

, are dated to the late twelfth century, and the secular garment they most resemble, the Shirt of Louis IX of France shirt of St Louis, to the early part of the thirteenth century, so the question raised by the present garment is whether the earlier dating, to the middle of the eleventh century, is