From Genealogies to Chronicles: The Power of the Form in Medieval Catalan Historiography
Viator, Vol.36 (2004)
The article compares two historical texts of medieval Catalonia, the genealogical and formulaic Gesta Comitum Barcinonensium (1162-1184) and the chivalric narratives of Llibre dels Fets del Rei en Jaume (1244-1276), in order to read the changes of both content and form of the two texts. These texts were inscribed in very different historical contexts: the first, at the moment when the counts of Barcelona become kings of Aragon and needed to legitimize their new status in the late-twelfth century; the second, in the foundations of the Catalan Mediterranean expansion organized by Jaume I el Conqueridor in the mid-thirteenth century. Using the epistemological referents of modern historiography, the author establishes to what extent certain mutations in literary genres result from or reflect changes in historical contexts, and how they contributed to modify it. These texts are analyzed from both literary and historical perspectives, stressing the links between form and content, between text and context in the medieval genealogies and chronicles.