The publication of “Epic Lives and Monasticism in the Middle Ages, 800-1500” by Anna Lisa Taylor, associate professor of history, will be celebrated Friday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at Amherst Books, 8 Main St.
Published by Cambridge University Press, the work is the first to focus on Latin epic verse saints’ lives in their medieval historical contexts. Taylor examines how these works promoted bonds of friendship and expressed rivalries among writers, monasteries, saints, earthly patrons, teachers and students in Western Europe in the central middle ages. Using philological, codicological and microhistorical approaches, Taylor reveals new insights that will reshape understanding of monasticism, patronage and education. These texts give historians an unprecedented glimpse inside the early medieval classroom, provide a nuanced view of the complicated synthesis of the Christian and Classical heritages, and show the cultural importance and varied functions of poetic composition in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries.