This chapter reflects on the practice of writing histories of time, arguing for a transdisciplinary approach to the history of temporality alert to the diverse and plural ways that time is configured in different genres and settings by historical agents. This history should not recapitulate the tired polarities of an earlier scholarship which set imprecise and ahistorical medieval time against the precisely measured and historical time of modernity. This discussion is set alongside theories of time from Augustine to Ricoeur, and develops in counterpoint with a case study of temporalities in and around fifteenth-century Leuven. Commencing with a new clock installed at the Abbey of Park in 1478, which played a chant from the medieval liturgy in honor of the Virgin Mary, this study shows how understanding time requires a history that takes into account objects, music, images, texts and ritual.
Keywords: time, temporality, Mary, Augustine, Leuven, music, clock, liturgy, medieval, modernity