Credo by Melvyn Bragg

By Melvyn Bragg

Britain in the course of the darkish a while is the surroundings for the interesting tale of Bega, a tender Irish princess who turned a saint, and her lifelong bond with Padric, prince of the north-western country of Rheged. This dramatic, far-reaching story brings to lifestyles a land of warring kings, Christians and pagans, and tribes divided by means of language and tradition, illuminating a little-known but severe interval in British historical past.

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Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1981). See also I. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms 450–751 (London, 1994), pp. 293–303, for the development of trade in the North Sea region. 74 E. James, ‘Cemeteries and the problem of Frankish settlement in Gaul’, in P. ), Names, Words and Graves. Early Medieval Settlement (Leeds, 1978), provides an excellent critique of traditional approaches. 75 E. James develops his critique of cemetery archaeology in ‘Burial and Status in the Early Medieval West’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, fifth series, 39 (1989).

Hagiography has long been a subject of interest because it is basic to the culture of sanctity in Western European society, and hagiography not only records but also constructs this socio-religious phenomenon. It was of interest too to secularist, positivist historians of the late nineteeenth and early twentieth centuries who, as we have seen, were W. Davies and P. ), The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 1986), and on the formulae in documents which granted immunity, P.

92 To privilege the text in this way invites us to go further and ask whether literary criticism might actually be more useful to us as a tool for analysing the texts than the traditional approach of the historian. 93 This view calls for the critical examination of texts in terms of linguistic analysis in order to explore their meaning to the fullest possible extent. It further invites us to examine all kinds of texts and other sources of information on the basis that social being is constituted through language, and therefore all thought and social interaction, past and present, should be analysed in linguistic terms.

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