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Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium as Genealogy

Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium as Genealogy

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium as Genealogy
Source:
Authoring the Past
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226032344.003.0002

This chapter addresses the genealogical text known as the Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium, focusing on the first version of the text, Gesta I. The Gesta Comitum, which was the first Catalan genealogical text and predicted many of the future trends in Catalan medieval historiography, unveiled the historical context within which it was constructed. Alfonse the Chaste inherited both the county of Barcelona and the kingdom of Aragon from his father. The political experiments of the new times produced innovative historical genres in tune with the transformed political and social context. Gesta I was composed in four stages. The details of Wilfred the Hairy's narrative showed the reasons why the Gesta was written. In general, the Gesta Comitum demonstrated the enormous potential of genealogy as historical genre, its active role in legitimizing social and political aspirations, and its ability to consolidate values in a tradition.

Keywords:   genealogy, Gesta Comitum Barchinonensium, Gesta I, Catalan medieval historiography, Alfonse the Chaste, Wilfred the Hairy

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