Ancient Myth and National Spaces in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Panel)


Comparative Literature / Interdisciplinary Humanities

James Coleman (University of Pittsburgh)

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski (University of Pittsburgh)

In this current age of resurgent nationalism, questions of national origin and legitimation take on a new importance. This panel, which welcomes submissions from scholars working within or across different national literary traditions, will explore the use of ancient myth in justifications of territorial conquests and the defense and legitimation of national spaces.

Issues that papers may address include (but are not limited to):

Ancient and pseudo-ancient foundation myths

Dynastic myths and claims of descent from classical figures

Medieval and early modern evocations of mythical conflicts

The Latin/vernacular divide and questions of elite/popular readerships

Word and image in the transmission of national myths

In this current age of resurgent nationalism, questions of national origin and legitimation take on a new importance. Even before modern nation states were created, medieval and early modern authors reflected on their region's past (its populations, its borders) through the lens of classical mythology. This panel will bring together papers that explore these issues in the medieval and early modern periods.