This is a study of medieval Spain and its historians, from the chroniclers of the middle ages to the revisionists of the post-Franco era. The history of medieval Spain has long been perceived as a tale of original sin followed by a long-drawn-out process of atonement. History and the Historians of Medieval Spain traces the development of that perception. It is a formidably researched tour de force which reveals history in the making during the eight hundred years which separated the end of the Roman period from what is now described as the birth of the modern state. In the differing aspirations of the inventors of the past both then and now - from the restoration of Toledo's Visigothic hegemony in the 1240s to the feudalization of medieval Castile and the sacralization of its kings since the death of Franco - an underlying sense of purpose emerges. In their contest for control of the present through mastery of the past, and the expression of their local loyalties, the historians of the seventh to the fourteenth centuries and the authors of the False Chronicles in the early 1600s have their counterparts in the contemporary Spain of the autonomias.
Publisher: Oxford University Press