David N. (David Norman)
The centuries that followed the Roman withdrawal from the British Isles have not been called 'Dark' for nothing; in the sources that survive, fact and legend seem inextricably intertwined, and the work of later medieval writers has only deepened the confusion. Dr. Dumville has done much to help dissect and disentangle these sources, probing the cultural history of the Insular Middle Ages, tracing the channels through which historical knowledge was transmitted and the interaction of political thought and historical writing - ideologically based historiography looms large as evidence in any attempt to grasp how medieval people comprehended their past. In these essays, he concentrates on the historiographical practices of the Irish, Britons and English, which shared much in common. Specific themes are the Insular cultivation of genealogy, the classic British pseudo-history (as in the Historia Brittonum and Geoffrey of Monmouth), the important Cistercian school of historical studies at Sawley, and the traditions of annalistic chronicling. An important section of Addenda is also provided.
(source: the publisher’s promotional abstract)
includes: The Historia Brittonum: The ‘Vatican’ recension, vol. 3, vol. 3 • The Historia Brittonum: The Sawley and Durham recensions, vol. 7, vol. 7 • The Historia Brittonum: The ‘Chartres’ recension, vol. 2, vol. 2
Papers revised or previously unpublished
This thesis presents a new edition of the major recensions of the Historia Brittonum. It is the first to depart from the pattern of conflated texts which has been followed by editors since 1691. Each may now be read as a text in its own right. I have argued that the 'Harleian' recension is the primary version of the Historia Brittonum and belongs to the year 829/30, and have shown that the attribution of the work to one 'Nennius' is late and unacceptable. The complicated textual tradition has been examined, from this early-ninth-century origin, throughout its mediaeval history; the fullest development is seen in the 'Sawley' recension of the beginning of the thirteenth century. I have also considered the early modern tradition of the work, represented by a large group of paper manuscripts prepared by or for the antiquaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as no printed text was available until 1691. In addition to detailed studies of manuscripts and textual tradition, I have prepared a literal modern English translation of the primary recension and have made a detailed preliminary study of its latinity. My remarks on the later recensions concentrate on establishing the filiation of the manuscripts and on placing each new version within the context of the textual tradition as a whole. This has seemed to be the primary requirement in any new investigation of the Historia. Work can now go forward, from a secure textual base, on the implications of this important series of texts for historical and literary studies.
Contributions to journals
comments: Reprinted in Dumville, D. N., Histories and pseudo-histories of the insular Middle Ages (1990) as essay I
Dumville, David N., “St. Patrick in Cornwall? The origin and transmission of Vita tertia S. Patricii”, in: Klar, Kathryn A., Eve E. Sweetser, and Claire Thomas (eds.), A Celtic florilegium: studies in memory of Brendan O Hehir, Celtic Studies Publications 2, Lawrence, Massachusetts: Celtic Studies Publications, 1996. 1–7.
Dumville, David N., “XIV: An early text of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae and the circulation of some Latin histories in twelfth-century Normandy” , in: Dumville, David N., Histories and pseudo-histories of the insular Middle Ages, Variorum Collected Studies Series 316, Aldershot: Variorum, 1990. 1–36. Reprint.
Dumville, David N., “Some British aspects of the earliest Irish Christianity”, in: Ní Chatháin, Próinséas, and Michael Richter (eds.), Irland und Europa: die Kirche im Frühmittelalter / Ireland and Europe: the early church, Veröffentlichtungen des Europa Zentrums Tübingen. Kulturwissenschaftliche Reihe, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1984. 16–24.
Whitelock, Dorothy, Rosamond McKitterick, and David N. Dumville, “Kathleen Winifred Hughes 1926–1977”, in: Whitelock, Dorothy, Rosamund McKitterick, and David N. Dumville (eds.), Ireland in early medieval Europe: studies in memory of Kathleen Hughes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. 1–18.