Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Identity and Authority

Founding Heroes.

When the term "Middle Ages" was first used in the eighteenth century, it was intended to refer negatively to the long period of European history between the fall of the great civilization of classical (Roman) antiquity in the fifth century and the "rebirth" of cultural greatness in the Italian Renaissance of the early fifteenth century. What this terminology acknowledges is the fact that in the period immediately preceding the Middle Ages, a void had been created by the disintegration of the centralized government of the Romans, leaving most of Europe under the control of tribal peoples with no written literature and no continuity of tradition in a geographically or culturally identifiable location. Thus, the early history of literature in the Middle Ages is in many ways the story of people seeking to define and justify their cultural identity. As the peoples of...

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This section contains 2,450 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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