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MYTH AND HISTORY IN THE BATTLEFIELD: APPROPRIATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE PAST BY THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD AND AS NATIONAL HISTORY

Elton O. S. Medeiros

Revista de História Comparada-UFRJ 8 (2), 2014.

In this article we will discuss the importance of the past to the ideals and aspirations of a society which interprets it and how that society modifies it as a way to adapt it to the purposes of its own age. For this task, we will use the poem The Battle of Maldon , which describes the battle that took place in England in the year of 991 AD between Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Examining how the poem could have been understood by the medieval audience, highlighting its heroic and moral characteristics for the socio-political ideals of Anglo-Saxon society. While in the nineteenth century the same text will be appropriated by the nationalistic ideal, through the heroic chivalric ideal of personal sacrifice on behalf of the motherland.

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