The king’s death. Funerary rituals
and royal commemoration in the Early Middle Ages
The article reviews the historiographical and archaeological debate about the transformations of funerary rituals between Late Antiquity and Ealy Middel Ages in Western Europe, focusing especially on the diffusion of grave-goods in burials and the role of Christianity. The center stage is taken by the discussion of the different interpretative models used by historians and archaeologist, working especially on royal funerary rituals and burials in the post-Roman kingdoms, as well as the material «discoveries » of «royal» burials in Tournai, St. Denis in Paris and Sutton Hoo. The last part of the article is dedicated to the reconstruction, using written data and material evidence, of the strategies of commemoration of the rulers of the Italic kingdom from the Gothic kingdom in the sixht century through Lombard and Carolingian Ages, and ending with the Ottonian dynasty at the beginning of the eleventh century. The emphasis is on the progressive structuring of the imperial funerary rituals in the Ottonian Age and the «invention of tradition» of Early Medieval royal burials in the following centuries.
The shattered mirror. «Regimes of historicity»
and the use of history according to François Hartog
This article is a critical review of François Hartog’s contribution to recent historiographical debates. It examines Hartog’s concept of «regime of historicity» and its applications. Furthermore, it discusses the latest form of historical temporality, which Hartog called «presentism», intending it as a time dominated by imperatives of the present and by the «suspension» of historical time. Hartog’s attempt to find a way out of this impasse, which is usually called the postmodern condition, is an exciting challenge and historians are not the only ones to find it fascinating.
«I swear loyalty to the King and His Royal Successors».
Military discipline, civilization,
and nationalization in liberal Italy
The essay investigates the role of military discipline in civilizing and nationalizing Italian conscripts between 1861 and 1914 by intersecting strictly normative sources with suggestions coming from ego-documents. On the one hand, the essay focuses on disciplinary regulation in order to evaluate to what extent the military authorities’ disciplining effort theoretically coincided with (or at least was a prerequisite for) a genuine nationalization of the recruits. On the other hand, soldiers’ memoirs and personal papers shed some light on the concrete application of the rules and on the file and rank’s subjective perception of military discipline.
Ripensare il //libertinage// europeo
Rethinking European libertinage
Didier Foucault’s book is a good example of recent developments in the historiography of European libertinage. It looks at a broad historical period, from the 12th to the 18th centuries, and overcomes the traditional division between intellectual and moral libertinage. This essay discusses his perspective, taking advantage of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé’s latest historiographical studies, while showing the risks of a generalized use of terms like libertine, libertinage, libertinisme in the history of Western philosophy.