In Their Own Words
In Their Own Words examines early medieval history-writing through quotation practices in five works, each in some way the first of its kind. Nithard's Historiae de dissensionibus filiorum Ludovici Pii is extraordinary for its quotation of vernacular oaths, the first recorded piece of French. The Gesta Francorum is the first eye-witness account of the First Crusade. Geoffrey of Villehardouin's La Conquête de Constantinople, written by a leader and negotiator of the Fourth Crusade, and Robert de Clari's La Conquête de Constantinople, written by a common soldier in the same crusade, are the first extant French prose histories. Li Fet des Romains, a translation and compilation of all the classical texts about Julius Caesar (including Caesar's own Gallic Wars) that were known in the thirteenth century, is the first work of ancient historiography and the first biography to appear in French.Jeanette Beer's work bridges the divide between the study of vernacular and Latin writing, providing new evidence that the linguistic cultures were not isolated from each other. Her examination of quotation practices in early medieval histories illuminates the relationship between classical and contemporary influences in the formative period of history-writing in the West.
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- 2014 University of Toronto Press
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