The Saint and the Count: A Case Study for Reading like a Historian

By Leah Shopkow

© 2021

While historians know that history is about interpreting primary sources, students tend to think of history as a set of facts.

In The Saint and the Count, Leah Shopkow opens up the interpretive world of the historian using the biography of St. Vitalis of Savigny (d. 1122) as a case study. This biography was written around 1174 by Stephen of Fougères and provides a rich stage to demonstrate the kinds of questions historians ask about primary sources and the interpretive and conceptual frameworks they use. What is the nature of medieval sources and the interpretive problems they present? How does the positionality of Stephen of Fougères shape his biography of St. Vitalis?How did medieval people respond to stories of miracles? And finally, how does this biography illuminate the problem of violence in medieval society? A translation of the biography is included, so that readers can explore the text on their own.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Illustrations: 4
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000872

  • AVAILABLE APR 2021
    From: $24.95
    ISBN 9781487525866
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    From: $48.75

    Regular Price: $65.00

    ISBN 9781487508432
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Quick Overview

In this pedagogical microhistory, Leah Shopkow demonstrates the skills used to present history through the biography of St. Vitalis of Savigny.

The Saint and the Count: A Case Study for Reading like a Historian

By Leah Shopkow

© 2021

While historians know that history is about interpreting primary sources, students tend to think of history as a set of facts.

In The Saint and the Count, Leah Shopkow opens up the interpretive world of the historian using the biography of St. Vitalis of Savigny (d. 1122) as a case study. This biography was written around 1174 by Stephen of Fougères and provides a rich stage to demonstrate the kinds of questions historians ask about primary sources and the interpretive and conceptual frameworks they use. What is the nature of medieval sources and the interpretive problems they present? How does the positionality of Stephen of Fougères shape his biography of St. Vitalis?How did medieval people respond to stories of miracles? And finally, how does this biography illuminate the problem of violence in medieval society? A translation of the biography is included, so that readers can explore the text on their own.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Illustrations: 4
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Leah Shopkow is a professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington.
  • Table of contents

    Preface
    Abbreviations

    Introduction: “We Should Not Pass Over in Silence”

    1. “In the Province of Bayeux”: St. Vitalis in the Historical and Hagiographic Record
    2. “Strive to rise swiftly from the dust”: The Author Stephen of Fougères
    3. “Men who built the Holy Church”: Hagiography and Genre
    4. “These are not our inventions”: Miracles and Doubt
    5. “They tried to kill him”: Hagiography and the Problem of Violence

    Afterword: “So that my words may not bore the reader”

    Appendix 1: The Life of St. Vitalis
    Appendix 2: The Life of St. Firmat

    Glossary of Terms and Concepts
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

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