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Modernity of the Middle Ages

edited by

Marina Buzzoni    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

Maria Grazia Cammarota    Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Italia    

Marusca Francini    Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italia    



The approach to the Middle Ages, more than a millennium long and far from unified and coherent, continues to oscillate between the two opposing images that the Enlightenment and Romanticism have given us. On the one hand, the Middle Ages of religious fanaticism, of superstitions, of the clash between church and state; a dark, barbaric, oppressive Middle Ages. On the other, the Middle Ages of sincere religious devotion, of great artistic expressions, of the affirmation of the freedom of peoples against the tyranny of the Roman Empire; a bright, refined, imaginative Middle Ages. In order to encounter the Middle Ages in a less stereotypical way, we must open ourselves up to the languages of the past, which on close examination reveal unexpected dimensions. If we try to listen to the voices coming to us from that distant time, we can perhaps also better understand the meaning of what the current operations of reusing the Middle Ages – of the various Middle Ages – are trying to tell us, not only about that historical period itself, but also about ourselves, today.

May 1, 2013
Copyright: © 2013 Marina Buzzoni, Maria Grazia Cammarota, Marusca Francini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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