Brevitas in the writings of Isidore of Seville

Wood, Jamie (2010) Brevitas in the writings of Isidore of Seville. In: Early Medieval Spain: A Symposium. Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar (63). Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, London, pp. 37-53. ISBN 0902238566

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A large number of the works of Isidore of Seville were described by the author, by close contemporaries, or by subsequent users as being written with brevity. This paper seeks to understand why Isidore claimed to be writing with brevity so often and why brevity was such an important feature of writing in Visigothic Spain. Isidore does not have any special primacy on this issue – he was neither the first to claim to be writing briefly nor the first to fail to write briefly, nor was he the first writer to rationalise the brevity claim. But Isidore is interesting for the fact that he thought about brevity in abstract terms and that his thinking on the matter influenced some very near contemporaries. This happy conjunction means that by exploring Isidore’s writings about brevity and those of his successors we can come to a better understanding of the meaning of the common brevity topos in early medieval writing.

Keywords:Medieval History, Historiography, Ancient History, Spain
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V224 Iberian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V110 Ancient History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:7392
Deposited On:30 Jan 2013 17:22

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