Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Decentering the Human in 12th Century Histories and Chronicles: Divine Nonhumans at the Center of the Itinerarium Cambriae and the Historia Anglorum Public Deposited

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  • This thesis primarily investigates nonhumans in the writings of 12th century historians. Where these writings may typically be seen as having little room for nonhuman agency, this thesis investigates how divinity, as an important part of medieval life, creates a space for nonhuman agency that is otherwise overlooked. In chapter one, this thesis discusses the writing of that agency in the form of natura naturans, a medieval idea that brings nature and god together in the writing of the Itinerarium Cambriae. The result is direct political agency of the nonhuman – powerful enough to threaten a king. In chapter two, this thesis discusses how celestial bodies and their motions shape the writing of Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum. By influencing and shaping how Henry comprehends and writes time, these celestial events act as a heuristic or a ‘teaching pattern’ which ultimately shape an eschatological form of time in the chronicle.
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