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Architectural Mimesis And Historical Memory At The Abbey Of Mont-Saint-Michel

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Chapter Summary

During the reign of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious, an anonymous hagiographer at the Neustrian monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel set out to write the history of his communitys foundation, an event he placed a little over a century earlier, in the years 708-09. The architectural mimesis described in the Revelatio Ecclesiae Sancti Michaelis in Monte Tumba continued to shape the historical memory of the guardians of Mont-Saint-Michel in the centuries after the narratives composition, as successive generations of the abbeys monks sought to articulate their shrines relationship to Monte Gargano through architectural forms, works of hagiography, and liturgical performances. They did so, this chapter suggests, because the act of mimesis described in Mont-Saint-Michels foundation legend offered a powerful symbol around which the monks could construct and reaffirm their own corporate identity.

Keywords: architectural mimesis; historical memory; Mont-Saint-Michel; Monte Gargano; Revelatio in Monte Tumba



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