Skip to navigation – Site map
The Uses of the Middle Ages in Modern European States

The Uses of the Middle Ages in Modern European States

History, Nationhood and the Search for Origins
Robert Evans, Guy P. Marchal (dir.), The Uses of the Middle Ages in Modern European States. History, Nationhood and the Search for Origins, Palgrave Macmillan, series: « Writing the Nation », 2015, ISBN : 9781137428110.
Notice published 12 October 2015

Publisher's presentation

This is the first collection of its kind, with a broad European coverage and an international team of authors. It shows how modern states and societies have used the history of the Middle Ages to legitimize themselves, and draws on some of the most famous and fascinating medieval themes, from Icelandic sagas, through Switzerland's William Tell and the Czech Hussites, to the Serbian battle of Kosovo. Now in paperback, the volume investigates especially the ways in which new and smaller states have invented or reinvented themselves on an imagined medieval base and how rival traditions have interacted with each other. It also shows the often uneasy relation between professional history and popular understandings of history, and some of the highly politicized uses to which the work of historians has been put in many different countries.

 

PART I: CELTS AND SCANDINAVIA
1. Transmission and Translation of Medieval Irish Sources in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries; B.Cunningham
2. The 'Decline of Norway': Grief and Fascination in Norwegian Historiography on the Middle Ages; J.E.Myhre
3. 'Braves Step out of the Night of the Barrows': Regenerating the Heritage of Early Medieval Finland; D.Fewster
4. Interpreting the Nordic Past: Icelandic Medieval Manuscripts and the Construction of a Modern Nation; G.Hálfdanarson
PART II: BENELUX
5. A Serious Case of Amnesia: The Dutch and their Middle Ages; P.Raedts
6. Medieval Myths and the Building of National Identity: the Example of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; M.Margue and P.Péporté
7. An Era of Grandeur: The Middle Ages in Belgian National Historiography, 1830-1914; J.Tollebeek
PART III: BALKANS
8. To Whom Does Byzantium Belong? Greeks, Turks and the Present of the Medieval Balkans; J.Niehoff-Panagiotidis
9. The Image of the Kosovo Battle (1389) Today: A Historic Event, a Moral Pattern, or the Tool of Political Manipulation; M.Šuica
PART IV: CENTRAL EUROPE
10. Italy's Various Middle Ages; M.Moretti and I.Porciani
11. Medievalism and Swiss National Identity; G.Marchal
12. The Public Instrumentalization of the Middle Ages in Austria since 1945; H.Wolfram
13. 'Old Czechs were Hefty Heroes': The Construction and Reconstruction of Czech National History in its Relationship to the 'Great' Medieval Past; F.Šmahel
14. Conclusion; R.J.W.Evans
Bibliography
Index

Top of page

Authors

Robert Evans (dir.)

Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford, UK from 1997-2011. His main publications are Rudolf II and his World; The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy; and Austria, Hungary, and the Habsburgs: Essays on Central Europe, c. 1683-1867. He is currently researching ecological and local history, and Welsh history in comparative context.

Guy P. Marchal (dir.)

Emeritus Professor of General and Swiss History, University of Lucerne, Switzerland. His main works are: Die frommen Schweden in Schwyz. Das 'Herkommen der Schwyzer und Oberhasler' als Quelle zum schwyzerischen Selbstverständnis im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert; Geschichte der Schweiz und der Schweizer; Schweizer Gebrauchsgeschichte. Geschichtsbilder, Mythenbildung und nationale Identität. His special interests are in the history of mentalités, historical anthropology, historiography and the history of traditions.

Top of page