A bookish interlude

Hi, everyone! We are sorry for the lack of updates in the last weeks, but Christmas and recent work wrecked our initiatives here in the last weeks. Anyway, I can announce some projected posts involving Vikings, Crusaders and the medieval Roman Empire will start to be published from next week onwards!

Meanwhile, both me and Pedro will share with you our current readings. I’m reading both José Mattoso’s Identificação de Um País (in the 2015 edition), a great scholarly essay (it couldn’t be anything else coming from Mattoso!) on the formation of the Portuguese kingdom in the High Middle Ages from wider sociological and political perspectives, and Thomas Asbridge’s The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land (as a book of popular history, it has some features which are not my type and some claims I don’t take at face value, but a nice introduction on the crusades in the Holy Land to the lay reader, nonetheless).

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Pedro is currently reading Kaldellis’ Helle9780521297295.jpgnism in Byzantium, which I had already the opportunity of reading, since he had a few questions about the topic. It is a nice work that sets medieval Hellenism within its historical role of markers of the Roman elites from the 12th century onwards (we’ll post on these themes in the future) and denounces the many ideological misuses and agendas regarding this theme, both in western Europe (with the aim of claiming sole inheritance to the Roman Empire) and by Greek nationalists to project back in time the Greek national identity, a product of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is just a pity in my opinion that he falls in the trap of considering medieval Roman identities as national (I agree much more with Gill Page’s view of ethnic and political Roman identities that she outlined in her book Being Byzantine: Greek Identity Before the Ottomans).

So, as you can see, despite being a bit pressured with our schedules, we haven’t been idle and have been planning some things. Stay tuned for the next installment of The Medieval Mediterranean!

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