Heineken-Lecture by prof. dr. Rosamond McKitterick: Roman history and Roman historiography in the early Middle Ages

24 September 2010 from 15:00 to 16:30 hrs
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Prof. McKitterick will focus on the transmission of Roman imperial historiography through early medieval histories related to the papacy: the popes as cultural brokers.

Dr. Remco Breuker, winner of the first Heineken Young Scientists Award for History will give a short response. <br/><br/>In this lecture, Rosamond McKitterick will consider the historical context for the initial composition of the Liber pontificalis or Book of the popes, first compiled in the sixth century. The original conception and structure of the Liber pontificalis provide important clues concerning the historiographical context of the Liber pontificalis in the Early Middle Ages.<br/><br/>Professor McKitterick will discuss the available precedents for historical writing in the sixth century -especially writing about the history of Rome - on which the Liber pontificalis's author(s) may have been able to draw. These enhance and augment our understanding of the Liber pontificalis's ideological purposes and the degree to which the Liber pontificalis not only altered perceptions of Rome in the Early Middle Ages but played a crucial role in the formation of papal identity. <br/><br/>The particular perception of the Christian past in the Liber pontificalis reflects a determined effort to change its audience's understanding of Roman history. As Christian, and christianized, Roman history it not only precipitated many new associations and emulators, but itself played a major role in reorienting perceptions of the popes, Rome, and the Roman past.