Kollegienhaus, Petersplatz 1, Basel, Hörsaal 116
Writing History, Writing the Laws: Truth, Evidence, and Fiction in Medieval Iceland
As Carlo Ginzburg argued in ‘Il giudice e lo storico’, the idea of historians as judges has led to an emphasis on history as the narrative of events performed by one or a small group of individuals. At least since the first half of the twentieth century historians have striven to put social life, mentality, and culture into historical research. It is in the context of cultural and social history that the relations between law and history have to be re-examined. We have to aim to understand law as a cultural product that is not disconnected from events and personalities, but is society’s articulation of the mundane and extraordinary. The lecture will reflect on ideas of evidence and truth in the Icelandic laws and how they (may) reflect on Icelandic writing.
Patricia Pires Boulhosa is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge. She works on medieval Icelandic law, its social, economic and historical circumstances, its immediate material circumstance – the manuscript – and the interpretative context of scribes and their readers.
Further information can be found in the flyer attached.
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