Towards a Trans-Regional Approach to Early Medieval Iberia

Barrett, Graham, Carvajal Castro, Alvaro, Marques, Andre Evangelista , Agundez San Miguel, Leticia, Castro Correa, Ainoa, Fernandez Ferreiro, Marcos, Jarrett, Jonathan, Peterson, David, Quetglas Munar, Rosa, Sanchez Pardo, Jose Carlos, Santos Salazar, Igor and Tomas Faci, Guillermo (2022) Towards a Trans-Regional Approach to Early Medieval Iberia. History Compass, 20 (6). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1478-0542

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Towards a Trans-Regional Approach to Early Medieval Iberia
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The past few decades have witnessed great change in the study of the early Middle Ages in the Northern Iberian Peninsula. Spanish and Portuguese historiographies have moved away from older grand narratives such as ‘Reconquest and Repopulation’, which traced a centuries-long process encompassing the ultimate victory of Christianity over Islam and the construction of distinct nations or national societies. The basic tenets of these and other essentialist approaches to a period traditionally seen as the cradle of Spain and Portugal have been questioned and now superseded by a clearer awareness of the territorial diversity characterising the 8th to 11th centuries. Yet the ballast of both nationalism and regionalism has obstructed meaningful comparison amongst the Iberian regions to date. Drawing on the work of the research group EarlyMedIberia, this article argues for a new trans-regional approach to Northern Iberia, looking beyond political and geographical boundaries to consider the whole in a comparative light, and stressing the commonalities between regional and local societies. It does so by providing an overview of the extant charter material from before 1100 (indicating the principal editions) and by reviewing the major historiography. The conclusion proposes a closer assessment of the differences and similarities amongst regional historiographies, based on a more nuanced understanding of how they have been moulded by the specificities of the charter corpus in each region, as the first step towards a more integrated, contextualised, and rigorously comparative approach to the early Middle Ages in Northern Iberia.

Keywords:Early medieval Iberia, Early medieval history, Charters and diplomatics, Trans-regional history, Comparative history, Sociocultural history
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V224 Iberian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q612 Medieval Latin
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P132 Archive studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:49838
Deposited On:23 Jun 2022 16:17

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