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Title: Eschatology, crusade and reform in English historical writing, c.1180-c.1220
Author: Reid, Hugh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1035
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The extraordinary proliferation of historical writing in late twelfth-century England has attracted much comment, but defies straightforward explanation. As such, this thesis makes no attempt at an all-encompassing elucidation of this diverse range of texts; it seeks instead to study one feature of some of the chronicles produced at this time, just as other studies have illuminated, for instance, the concern for administrative history shared by a number of chroniclers. The feature in question is a marked eschatological awareness. We may identify three factors that contributed to this. First, the fall of Jerusalem and the crusading movement spurred several chroniclers to relate events to the broader arch of Christian history. Against this same backdrop the distinctive Calabrian thinker Joachim of Fiore constructed a radical revision of the Augustinian theology of history; but to contemporaries he presented a simplified though no less influential scheme of history according to which the reign of Antichrist would shortly begin. This was demonstrably an influence on several English chroniclers, who reported his ideas with considerable interest. Joachim was also influential on the papacy: Innocent III co-opted his ideas to propound the crusading and reformist goals that he shared with, and had probably absorbed from, a group of contemporary Parisian theologians, of whom Peter the Chanter was the most important. The reform movement, which rapidly transcended its scholastic origins, was also reported with great interest by English chroniclers, and informed their writing as much as Joachim’s ideas had; the two were arguably different sides of the same coin. It is with these various interrelated developments in late twelfth-century Europe, and their impact upon contemporary English historiography, that the present thesis is concerned.
Supervisor: Sharpe, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available