The Kaiserchronik: A Medieval Narrative

Hardcover | August 19, 2012

byAlastair Matthews

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This book presents a narratological analysis of the Kaiserchronik, or chronicle of the emperors, the first verse chronicle to have been written in any European vernacular language, which provides an account of the Roman and Holy Roman emperors from the foundation of Rome to the eve of theSecond Crusade. Previous research has concentrated on the structure and sources of the work and emphasized its role as a Christian narrative of history, but this study shows that the Kaiserchronik does not simply illustrate a didactic religious message: it also provides an example of howstory-telling techniques in the vernacular were developed and explored in twelfth-century Germany. Four aspects of narrative are described (time and space, motivation, perspective, and narrative strands), each of which is examined with reference to the story of a particular emperor (Constantine the Great, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, and Henry IV). Rather than imposing a single analyticalframework on the Kaiserchronik, the book takes account of the fact that modern theory cannot always be applied directly to works from premodern periods: it draws critically on a variety of approaches, including those of Gerard Genette, Boris Uspensky, and Eberhard Lammert. Throughout the book, thenarrative techniques described are contextualized by means of comparisons with other texts in both Middle High German and Latin, making clear the place of the Kaiserchronik as a literary narrative in the twelfth century.

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This book presents a narratological analysis of the Kaiserchronik, or chronicle of the emperors, the first verse chronicle to have been written in any European vernacular language, which provides an account of the Roman and Holy Roman emperors from the foundation of Rome to the eve of theSecond Crusade. Previous research has concentrat...

Alastair Matthews specializes in theoretical approaches to medieval German narrative literature. He was awarded his doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2009 and held a Junior Research Fellowship at Somerville College, where he examined concepts of character and the self in Middle High German texts. He is currently a Theodor Heuss...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:August 19, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199656991

ISBN - 13:9780199656998

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations, Translations, References1. Introduction2. Time, Place, and Space: Constantine the Great3. Motivation: Charlemagne4. Perspective: Otto the Great5. Strands and Embedding: Henry IV and Godfrey of Bouillon6. ConclusionReferences