Da Representaçaõ à Materialidade do Espaço. Territorio da diocese de Braga (Séculos IX–XI) [by André Evangelista Marques]

Portass, Robert (2017) Da Representaçaõ à Materialidade do Espaço. Territorio da diocese de Braga (Séculos IX–XI) [by André Evangelista Marques]. The English Historical Review . ISSN 0013-8266

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This book explores the relationship between the documentary representation of places, settlements and people, and their concrete reality—an exploration that aims to capture something of the ‘materialidade do espaço’ (‘materiality of space’). The setting is the northern Portuguese diocese of Braga from the ninth to the eleventh centuries. To the uninitiated this may seem a philosophical problem as much as an historical one, but this book in fact responds to a well-developed set of thematic and methodological concerns, deeply entrenched in medieval Iberian studies since the late 1960s. Few books, however, situate themselves quite so explicitly in relation to a given historiographical school as does this one: this much is made clear from the outset, for it falls to José Ángel García de Cortázar, the doyen of an influential branch of Iberian historical studies, concerned above all with drawing insights from geography, landscape studies and toponymy, to provide the first of two prologues. García de Cortázar urged a generation of social and economic historians of early medieval Iberia to analyse the ‘organización social del espacio’ – a phrase that eludes clear definition but which effectively refers to what people did, and how they interacted with others and the environment in which they lived and worked (one might think to add ‘prayed’ too, but this was largely off the agenda in the History departments of Iberia in the 1970s and ’80s: priest, abbot and monk were, above all, estate managers for Iberian historians interested in the ‘social organisation of space’). Admittedly, as Luís Carlos Amaral (the book’s second prologist) makes plain, the influence of this school on Portuguese scholarship emerged more gradually during the 1980s, but Marques’ book is proof positive that it remains strong.

Keywords:Medieval History
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:28470
Deposited On:23 Aug 2017 11:52

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