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Fictions of Family: The 'Encomium Emmae Reginae' and Virgil's 'Aeneid'

Tyler, E.M. (2008) Fictions of Family: The 'Encomium Emmae Reginae' and Virgil's 'Aeneid'. Viator, 36 (149-17). pp. 149-179. ISSN 0083-5897

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The Encomium Emmae Reginae was written in the early 1040s to support the interests of Queen Emma as the period of Danish rule in England came tumultuously to an end. Its author was probably a Flemish monk from the foundation of Saint-Bertin. Recent scholarship suggests that the Encomiast wrote from within and for the Anglo-Danish court, whose members were intimately familiar with Emma’s role in the complex dynastic politics of the Anglo-Danish period. This article considers the impact of writing in this context for the Encomiast’s understanding of his text as historiography and argues that he uses Virgil’s Aeneid, and the tradition of commentaries on this text, to explore the nature of fiction and history. The terms of his exploration are sophisticated and reveal that he was working in an intellectual climate which would, in the twelfth century, begin to produce coherent conceptual arguments for the truth of made-up fictions.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2009 14:16
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2009 14:16
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/1484/J.VIATOR.2.300008
Status: Published
Publisher: Brepols
Identification Number: 10.1484/J.VIATOR.2.300008
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7726

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