The aim of the Charlemagne in England project was to explore this insular literary tradition of Charlemagne material with equal focus on the AN and the ME texts, examining the textual relations between them and the correspondences in narrative form and generic expectations. It assessed the evidence for their audiences and reception in a multilingual society, and for their contemporary cultural and political significance. The central conflict represented, between Christians and Saracens, offers parallels to international crusading interests in the earlier AN period, and in the 14th and 15th centuries mirrors the perceived threat to western security from the Ottoman Turks. The prominence in so many of the texts of the motif of the chivalrous Saracen indicates, through the fantasy of conversion, a desire for engagement with the eastern Other. This complex reflection of cultural and political concerns in medieval England has some resonances for contemporary Britain.
The Société Internationale Rencesvals, founded in 1955, brings together scholars from all over the world in the study of the epic poetry of mediæval Europe. The Society’s interests centre on epics written in the Romance languages, but with increasing attention being paid to adaptations and reflections, particularly of originally French material, in Middle English and Anglo-Norman, Franco-Italian, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages, and to later elaborations in Italy, Spain and the New World.
The project website offers a single, unified database framework for the extraction of prosopographical and socio-economic data found in early medieval legal documents, providing a common framework capable of extracting and comparing the data contained within legal documents, while still, at the same time, allowing users to identify and control for the most significant distortions typically affecting this material (such as modes of transmission, e.g. via an original or a later copy). The second aim is to apply this framework to legal documents surviving from the reign of Charlemagne (25 September 768 to 28 January 814 AD). Over four thousand charters survive from the reign of Charlemagne (more than for the reign of any other early medieval European ruler); the database includes almost a thousand of them, selected for maximum variety in types of repository, modes of transmission, geographical area, recipients and issuers, etc. All the information contained within the database can be searched via faceted browsing, including through a mapping tool.
Hadrian’s Epitaph is a masterpiece of the Carolingian Renaissance that survives today high up in the portico of the church of St. Peter in the Vatican, Rome. It was commissioned by Charlemagne to commemorate Pope Hadrian who died at Christmas 795, and embodies the Carolingian mastery of classical epigraphic and poetic forms as well as the aesthetic innovations of the Carolingian Renaissance. Nothing else like it survives from the age of Charlemagne, but because of its inaccessible location it has never received the modern analysis that it so clearly merits. This project studied the Epitaph in a much broader socio-political context, in which the archaeological examination of the object and its context of manufacture provided the evidence for a re-evaluation of the cultural and political dynamics of Francia in the late eighth century. The Epitaph is a lens through which the vibrancy of Charlemagne’s court culture and its connections to Italy, past and present, can be brought into focus.
This website showcases three major exhibitions which took place in Aachen in 2014, all of which were dedicated to the culture and courtly life of Charlemagne. The trio of exhibitions were opened on 19 June 2014 by their official patron, the Federal President. They ran from 20 June to 21 September 2014 in three prestigious venues – the Coronation Hall in Aachen’s Town Hall, the Centre Charlemagne on the Katschhof, and the Cathedral Treasury – and presented the impact, art and culture of Charlemagne. In addition to Aachen’s own historical collections, the exhibitions included loan exhibits from international museums and private collections.
This site is entirely devoted to the Chanson d’Aspremont. It is a collective research project, which aims to provide a complete edition of the corpus of French Chanson d’Aspremont. The project has an expected life of six years (2010–2016) and is led by a team of Italian and Belgian researchers. The purpose of this research is to fill a major gap within the study of the epic by editing the French corpus of one of the most important epics of the king cycle: Chanson d’Aspremont. Specifically, this research is intended to provide: a comprehensive study of the manuscript tradition of the poem; an interpretative edition, in digital format, the entire corpus of French; and a critical edition using the main versions of the text. In this sense, this research not only aims to make available significant unpublished materials of interest to researchers from various disciplines. Furthermore, it proposes a model for similar such projects in the future.
The First Crusade and subsequent crusading expeditions to the East saw the establishment of permanent settlements by crusaders and their Latin European allies in the territories they had conquered. These settlements were known generally in the West as “the land across the sea,” or in the French vernacular, Outremer. In the lands of Outremer, crusaders introduced a new political presence and a novel cultural construct where the French language was used on a daily basis, and where French language texts were created, circulated, and amended in much the same manner and at times in direct correlation with French texts produced in areas traditionally associated with early French-language development. This website aims to: 1) provide source descriptions and summaries with integrated links to web resources; 2) create thematic essays; 3) offer bibliographic inroads to encourage further research on the French of Outremer.
Between the mid-thirteenth and the late fifteenth centuries, a great number of French texts were written by Italian-speaking authors or in geographic locales where early forms of Italian were the main mode of oral communication. French texts that were first written in other French-speaking areas were also copied and actively circulated in Italy during this time. This website, in conjuction with Fordham’s French of Outremer sites, aims to expand awareness of these two kinds of French texts – both those composed and those copied in Italy – and the communities in which they were produced, to encourage new scholarly approaches to the literary and historical evidence.
The French of England is a major field for fresh exploration. This website gives information about material on the French documents and texts of England: on translations of previously untranslated and unpublished work, and on current research. The total documentary corpus composed in the French of England is unquantified and probably unquantifiable, but it is large and significant, and the subject of much important recent work both by historians and by linguists (especially as there has been fresh scholarship in recent years on the nature and uses of the fourteenth- and early fifteenth- century French of England). This site includes a bibliographic guide to the French records of medieval England.