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Perfecting The Past: Charles The Bold And Traditional Historiography In Early Modern Germany

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Chapter Summary

Johan Huizinga's view of the relationship between modern scientific historiography and the earlier interested, programmatic, and overtly non-objective form of history- telling that preceded it characterizes that other historiography as immature in its conception. In order to track what happened to the perfected history of earlier times a history consciously embellished according to the interpretive agendas and rhetorical practices of its composers we must first understand how it functioned. In that regard the basis on which traditional historiography claimed its authority and the fate of that authority in a climate of increasing empiricism are of particular interest. This chapter offers a rough a definition of traditional premodern historiography and explains how the author distinguishes such "histories" from other narratives composed for programmatic purposes in premodern Germany. In the Burgunder Chronik the defeat of Charles is presented as an example of divine intervention on behalf of the righteous Swiss confederates.

Keywords: Charles; Germany; Johan Huizinga; traditional historiography



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