This volume investigates the ways in which people in the early Middle Ages used the past: to legitimate the present, to understand current events, and as a source of identity. Each essay examines the mechanisms by which ideas about the past were subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) reshaped for present purposes. As well as written histories, also discussed are saints' lives, law codes, buildings, Biblical commentary, monastic foundations, canon law and oral traditions. This is the first book to investigate systematically this important topic.
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