The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts

By Richard Corradini; Max Diesenberger et al. | Go to book overview

STRUCTURES AND RESOURCES OF POWER
IN EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE

Dick Harrison

There are those who believe that history exists for the benefit of itself, that historians exist for the sole purpose of describing what actually happened a long time ago, and that any attempt to break free from the bonds of specific historical periods and fields of research by way of models, typologies, theories and broad comparisons are scholarly failures as such. According to these persons, not only can historians dispense with apologies for spending their lives digging in dusty archives and writing big, unreadable books on obscure subjects, they may also be proud of the fact that they, in their capacity as specialists in a particular historical field (like the early Middle Ages in Western Europe), know next to nothing of other historical fields (like South-East Asia in the eighteenth century). According to this line of thinking, a good historian should also be careful not to introduce any modern concepts to the study in question; for instance, any attempt to understand the development of early medieval kingdoms by using sociological and anthropological theories would be bound to fail. The only real way of doing good research would be the old-fashioned historicist way—to try to understand the period on its own terms and shut out the twentieth century as much as possible in order to avoid anachronistic patterns of thought.

When confronted by these traditionalist ways of thinking, whether explicit (as is seldom the case today) or implicit (as is still often the case in various books and articles), I have a tendency to react with anger. In my view, history should not be studied as I'art pour I'art. We need history in order to view our contemporary world in a new light, to attain new perspectives on contemporary society as well as on the past. In my view, bringing twentieth-century concepts and theories into the early Middle Ages is not only fruitful—it is necessary. More than that, we should use interdisciplinary models, particularly from related disciplines within the social sciences (like sociology and anthropology), both because this helps us to see the past in a new perspective and because it helps us to use our results in order to throw more light on the present.

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 417

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.