ProjectHistories in Transition. The Case of Freising and Salzburg (9th - 12th c.)

Basic data

Histories in Transition. The Case of Freising and Salzburg (9th - 12th c.)
01/10/2023 to 30/09/2026
Abstract / short description:
The project aims to challenge the current understanding of the cultural history of historiography in the Carolingian and post-Carolingian world (9th – 12th centuries) with an innovative and precisely focussed investigation of two major centres of historical writing during this period, Salzburg and Freising. We want to explore how in the course of the transformation of the Carolingian World, the ways of thinking about, organising, compiling and writing history changed between the 9th and 12th centuries. The project will explore how new approaches to the codification of historical knowledge changed the conceptualisation and meaning of history, its generic boundaries, and its place in (real or “imagined”) libraries in these two centres. The project will use the writing and re-writing of history at these two important Bavarian centres of learning (Salzburg and Freising) as a window into these processes. Taking advantage of the recent advances in the study of the materiali-ty of manuscript production, we shall analyse how medieval historiographers worked with parch-ment, pen and knife. We shall examine the different ways that texts about history were written down and combined with other texts in manuscripts; and determine the consequences of choice of scripts, mise-en-page, annotation and the contextual associations drawn with other texts in multiple text manuscripts (MTMs) had for the production of historical meaning. Secondly, we shall investi-gate the social context and the intellectual horizons of these forms of production: What interests were involved? Can the impact of these codices on society be identified? In what way did historical thinking become tangible - and did it change between the 9th and the early 12th century? Our guid-ing questions aim at: (a) Contextualisation (b) Libraries and scriptoria as arsenals of historical knowledge and (c) the Meaning of the form. At the same time, this project is a pilot study for a larger international collaborative undertaking: On the basis of ca. 35 manuscripts, we define the standards for an international project, not only with regard to the content aspects mentioned above, but also to the digital representation of the collected material.

Involved staff


Institute of Medieval History
Department of History, Faculty of Humanities
CRC 923 - Threatened Orders
Collaborative research centers and transregios
CRC 1070 - ResourceCultures. Socio-cultural Dynamics in the Treatment of Resources
Collaborative research centers and transregios

Local organizational units

Institute of Medieval History
Department of History
Faculty of Humanities


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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