Academic journal article Medium Aevum

An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade

Article excerpt

Matthew Gabriele, An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 201 1). xii + 202 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-9 59144-2. £5 5.00. It is interesting that one of the older standard works on Charlemagne, that of Robert Folz from 1950, has a title beginning 'Le Souvenir ...'. Memory has in recent years advanced to a key position in the scholarly arsenal for perspectivizing the past, and in this ambitious monograph Matthew Gabriele seeks what he presents as a revisionist approach to the Carolingian period, explicitly based on an awareness of the dialectic of history and memory, fact and fiction (as informed, for example, by such writers as Gabrielle Spiegel, Patrick Geary, and Mary Carruthers), and arguing for a flatter approach to differences of genre, which he sees as 'a problem of our own creation' rather than as underlying hermeneutic principles. …

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