Cultural Memory and the Resources of the Past AD 400–1000
This project explored the value of studying the early Middle Ages to understand national and cultural identities in modern Europe. It examined the diverse ways in which the post-Roman successor states of Western Europe in the early Middle Ages used the cultural resources of their immediate past.
This revolved around two aims:
To determine the role played by resources of that immediate past in forming the identities and communities of early medieval Western Europe
This work has highlighted the importance of Rome, Roman history, and the integration of Christian and imperial Rome into the cultural memory of early medieval Europe.
To identify elements of the process by which new discourses, ethnic identities and social models of early medieval Europe have come to form an essential part of modern European national and transnational identities.
Manuscript material from the early Middle Ages is a major resource. It sheds light on the process of codification and modification of the cultural heritage, and helps the study of cultural dynamics in general.
These two aims were pursued via four separate but closely interrelated projects:
- ‘Learning Empire – Creating Cultural Resources for Carolingian Rulership’, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
- Biblical Past as an Imagined Community’, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
- ‘Otherness in the Frankish and Ottonian Worlds’, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
- ‘Migration of Roman and Byzantine Cultural Traditions to the Carolingian World’, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom