The writing of history in the early Middle Ages: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in context

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Britain was permanently dislocated from the cultural metropolis, Rome, by economy, history and language. Scribes could evoke the splendour of late antiquity or the Carolingian court by writing a universalizing script such as Square capitals or Caroline minuscule, both used for centuries in many corners of the former Roman Empire. Indeed, Bischoff even characterized southern England as a Roman writing province until the early eighth century. It was only in the tenth century that English scribes regularly wrote a form of script developed in Francia and thus could be viewed as now affiliated to a Frankish script-province. In the 960s a hybrid script appears, in which Caroline letter-forms infiltrate the writing of Insular script. Frankish reformed centres and Frankish masters exerted a profound influence on Anglo-Latin script in the century before the Norman Conquest. Multiple collaborating scribes worked in monastic and episcopal centres, often a dozen or more, but as many as twenty in the case of tenth-century Canterbury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature
EditorsClare A Lees
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages232-256
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781139035637
ISBN (Print)9780521190589
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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    Trilling, R. R. (2012). The writing of history in the early Middle Ages: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in context. In C. A. Lees (Ed.), The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature (pp. 232-256). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHO9781139035637.012