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Questioning Early Modern Medievalisms

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Chapter Summary

The concept of medievalism has, during the past few decades, given rise to a new subfield within literary and cultural studies. This is the introductory chapter of this book Early Modern Medievalisms, is divided into three sections. The first first section reflects on the notions of continuity and discontinuity between the medieval and the early modern. It largely focuses on the Italian Renaissance and its European reception. The second section discusses the manifold ways in which artists in the early modern period made use in their works of elements identifiable as 'medieval'. It also discusses ways in which the medieval was invoked by the early moderns, in different national and historical contexts, as an instrument of political and religious legitimation. The final section examines how the medieval was explicitly conceptualized in the early modern period.

Keywords: early modern medievalism; European reception; Italian renaissance

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