The Text and the World: The Henrykow Book, Its Authors, and their Region, 1160-1310

The Text and the World: The Henrykow Book, Its Authors, and their Region, 1160-1310

by Piotr Gorecki


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The Text and the World is a study of an exceptionally interesting primary source - the Henrykow Book - and of the local and regional world which that source reflected and helped shape. The source is a history of the Cistercian monastery in Henrykow, about forty kilometers to the south of Wroclaw, in the duchy of Silesia, produced in the monastery in two sections-one completed soon after 1268, the other soon after 1310-and redacted into a single codex in the second or third decade of the fourteenth century. The earlier part of the Book is the work of Peter, the third abbot of the monastery, while the continuation was written by an anonymous monk at the same community, possibly a later abbot by the same name.

The Henrykow Book offers an exceptionally rich introduction to a number of subjects currently of major interest to medieval historians. It is interesting as a literary work, as an instance of forensic rhetoric, and as a type of legal argument; as an instance of biography and (implicit) autobiography. It draws on and is an example of the relationship between memory and writing, and acts as a record of lordship, power, economy, the law, social groups, communities, and institutions, in the local and regional world of the time. The Text and the World explores each of these major subjects, contextualized with the Henrykow Book's contemporary diplomatic evidence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199688791
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/09/2015
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Piotr Gorecki is a professor of history at the University of California, Riverside, where he has worked since 1989, after lecturing briefly at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His training is in general medieval history, and in his research he specializes in the history of medieval Poland, with a principal focus on the intersection between social and legal history, on medieval communities, and on the medieval economy. He has a PhD from the University of Chicago (history, 1988), and a JD from Stanford Law School (1983).

Table of Contents

Part One: The Text
1. In Search of the Authors
2. The Past as a Legal Resource
3. Writing, Memory, and Knowledge
4. Communities of Memory and Knowledge
Part Two: The World
5. Gathering the Monastic Estate
6. The World of Abbot Peter
7. The Long Thirteenth Century: The World of Peter's Continuator
8. The Long Thirteenth Century: Peasants and Townspeople Transformed
9. The Text and the World

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