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Charlemagne et les objets

Des thésaurisations carolingiennes aux constructions mémorielles

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Edited By Philippe Cordez

Les recherches réunies dans ce livre partent du constat que le Moyen Âge ne connaissait pas notre notion d’« objet ». Le mot n’a en effet pris son sens courant de chose de dimension limitée, destinée à un certain usage, que vers la fin du XVIII e siècle. Comment peut-on, dès lors, rendre compte sans anachronisme de ce que les « objets » ont été pour ceux qui vécurent durant les siècles précédents ?
La figure de Charlemagne a permis aux auteurs d’aborder cette question à partir de deux phénomènes historiques. La vaste entreprise de la réforme carolingienne, d’abord, impliqua le développement de pratiques de « thésaurisation », soit des accumulations de matières et de formes consistant aussi bien en de nouveaux modes de gestion qu’en la création d’artefacts unissant, de façon inédite, les pouvoirs profane et sacré. La célébration largement partagée de la mémoire de l’empereur, ensuite, donna lieu à de nombreuses « constructions mémorielles », qui associaient des récits et des choses, et faisaient ainsi d’elles l’évidence présente d’un passé revisité.

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English Summaries 233

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English Summaries Charlemagne and his Objects. From Carolingian Treasures to Memorial Constructs Philippe Cordez Introduction. Charlemagne and his “objects” The essays collected in this volume take their starting point in the observation that the current notion of an “object” did not exist in the Middle Ages. The word itself is an invention of thirteenth-century nominalist philosophy. If, from an etymological point of view, it means that which is put before [oneself], it was only in the late eighteenth century that it took the modern meaning of a thing with physical bounda- ries that has a particular function and that is seemingly independent from any “sub- ject”. As a reformer who promoted novel types of “objects”, and as an emperor of- ten remembered through material testimonies in the later Middle Ages, Charlemagne provides a unique opportunity for a collective research on the medieval conceptions of the “object”. The authors of this book bring into sharper focus various modes of their existence, especially by recourse to the notions of treasure-hoarding – that is the accumulation of several objects, but also of diverse materials and forms in a single object – and of memorial construction – meaning the process through which an object gets to be seen as referring to the past, whether it be to the time of its creation or to a later stage as a result of its reinterpretation. Daniel Russo Planes, Backgrounds, Surfaces: Visual Presence and Politics of the “Object” in the Carolingian Era After presenting the historical uses of the word...

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