Writing the World in Early Medieval England

Writing the World in Early Medieval England - Nicole Guenther Discenza

Writing the World in Early Medieval England

The early medieval English were far more diverse and better connected to a broader world. Their writings reveal substantial interest in Europe, Asia, and Africa while they situated themselves firmly within Christian Europe. They drew many ideas from textual sources and filled out their conceptions from their own travels and interactions with visitors. Chronicles, histories, poetry, homilies, saints' lives, and occasionally maps tell of peoples and lands from the British Isles to their near neighbors in Scandinavia to such distant places as Jerusalem, North Africa, and India. They also imagined geographies that veered into the fantastic and vividly depicted hell, purgatory, and heaven. This Element provides insights about early medieval English who were engaged deeply in a variety of modes with other parts of their world. Both the connections and the divisions they constructed still have impact today.
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The early medieval English were far more diverse and better connected to a broader world. Their writings reveal substantial interest in Europe, Asia, and Africa while they situated themselves firmly within Christian Europe. They drew many ideas from textual sources and filled out their conceptions from their own travels and interactions with visitors. Chronicles, histories, poetry, homilies, saints' lives, and occasionally maps tell of peoples and lands from the British Isles to their near neighbors in Scandinavia to such distant places as Jerusalem, North Africa, and India. They also imagined geographies that veered into the fantastic and vividly depicted hell, purgatory, and heaven. This Element provides insights about early medieval English who were engaged deeply in a variety of modes with other parts of their world. Both the connections and the divisions they constructed still have impact today.
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