Pub Date2014
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In Their Own Words: Practices of Quotation in Early Medieval History‐Writing

Jeanette Beer
University of Toronto Press

In Their Own Words examines early medieval history-writing through quotation practices in five works, each in some way the first of its kind. Nithard’s Historiae de dissensionibus filiorum Ludovici Pii is extraordinary for its quotation of vernacular oaths, the first recorded piece of French. The Gesta Francorum is the first eye-witness account of the First Crusade. Geoffrey of Villehardouin’s La Conquête de Constantinople, written by a leader and negotiator of the Fourth Crusade, and Robert de Clari’s La Conquête de Constantinople, written by a common soldier in the same crusade, are the first extant French prose histories. Li Fet des Romains, a translation and compilation of all the classical texts about Julius Caesar (including Caesar’s own Gallic Wars) that were known in the thirteenth century, is the first work of ancient historiography and the first biography to appear in French.