Session805
TitleTexts and Identities, VII: Modes of Identification, iv
Date/TimeTuesday 13 July 2010: 16.30-18.00
 
SponsorInstitut für Mittelalterforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Wittgenstein Prize Project, FWF (Austrian Research Fund)
 
OrganiserRichard Corradini, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Maximilian Diesenberger, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Gerda Heydemann, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
 
Moderator/ChairPhilippe Depreux, Historisches Seminar / Exzellenzcluster 'Understanding Written Artefacts', Universität Hamburg
 
RespondentStuart Airlie, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Ian N. Wood, School of History, University of Leeds
 
Paper 805-a Grammars: Preaching Communities – Of Sheep and Men in the 9th Century
(Language: English)
Marianne Pollheimer-Mohaupt, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index Terms: Biblical Studies; Political Thought; Sermons and Preaching
Paper 805-b Compilation and Convergence: The Transformation of the Ethnic Repertory in Carolingian Europe
(Language: English)
Helmut Reimitz, Department of History, Princeton University
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Manuscripts and Palaeography; Political Thought
 
AbstractThese four sessions (T&I IV-VII) present the results of a five-year research project in Vienna, which was made possible by the award of the Wittgenstein prize 2004 to Walter Pohl, and dealt with the creation of early medieval ethnic identities. Whereas the Roman and Byzantine empire and the Caliphate were built on civic and imperial identities, buttressed by religion, the post-Roman kingdoms in the West were organized around an ethnic focus: Goths, Franks, Angles, Lombards, Danes, Bulgars etc. It was more or less taken for granted that things should have developed that way. The project raises the question why they did. The underlying thesis is that it was not the strong ethnic identity of the 'Germanic' peoples that imposed ethnicity as a political factor, but that the new ethnic landscape was also based on a Christian worldview. Several of the papers therefore deal with Christian sources and the visions of community expressed in them. This line of argument is complemented by other papers that explore slightly different perspectives on the topic. How was ethnicity expressed in sources that do not directly intend to propagate it? And what were the limits and ambiguities of ethnic identification? Where did it matter, and where not? The papers look at the discourses of identification represented in the texts in their respective political and social context. What was the interest of community-building behind the particular vision of past and present found in a text? Seen as a whole, the sessions thus offer a panorama of different 'modes' of identification that were intended to establish a significant order in the world and thus make it easier to control.