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The Past As A Precedent: Crusade, Reconquest And Twelfth-Century Memories Of A Christian Iberia

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Chapter Summary

In the introduction to a recent collection of essays on medieval memory and medieval perceptions of the past, Elisabeth van Houts wrote that "Memory is present centred and the past, whether recent or long ago, is viewed from the perspective of the present day. This chapter considers how Iberian Christians of the eleventh and twelfth centuries remembered two key aspects of their past: the Visigothic heritage of the Iberian peninsula; and second, the history of Iberian Christian relations with peninsular Islam. The aim is to delineate some of the approaches and methodologies that might be pursued for examining this formative period in medieval Iberian history with precision. One of the significant political and ideological influences on the Christian rulers of the Iberian peninsula from the latter half of the eleventh century onwards was the papacy, which, following the election of Leo IX, was held by succession of increasingly energetic reformers.

Keywords: Christian Iberia; Iberian peninsula; medieval memory; peninsular Islam; Visigothic heritage



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