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Re-evaluating the Eleventh Century through Linked Events and Entities

Project description

Creating a novel way to write history

Investigating history often involves piecing together various findings and data into reconstructions of the past. While a variety of data exist, it is often not possible to come up with a single undisputed narrative about historical events due to different perspectives and context. The EU-funded RELEVEN project seeks to address this challenge by developing a novel method of creating and using digital data to record assertions about historical events. It will do this by drawing on emerging multidisciplinary data and using a wide array of available resources to trace the authority of information regarding the Christian world in the eleventh century. The goal is to inform historians while providing unique historical insights and perspectives.


"The aim of the RELEVEN project is to develop and test new ways for digital data about historical phenomena to be created and curated so that it is most useful to historians, and to apply these methods to a methodologically challenging yet very significant aspect of medieval history. The approach is to re-frame both existing and new historical data as assertions, often sourced but always linked to an authority; this allows data to be manipulated according to source and authority, and also allows assertions themselves to be linked depending on whether they corroborate, depend on, or conflict with each other. The novel aspect of this methodology is that it takes to its logical conclusion something that historians all readily acknowledge and that is especially apparent for pre-modern history: that there are very few, if any, simple and undisputed facts. A related challenge is the contextualisation and reuse of existing online data for the period, to avoid its going to waste.

The approach is tested by taking a broad trans-regional approach to the history of the late 11th century (c. 1030–1095), centred broadly in the eastern half of Christendom but incorporating developments elsewhere, especially in the newly Christianised kingdoms of central Europe. The looming weight of the First Crusade at the century's end means that while certain regional or proto-national narratives—particularly for western Europe—are well-developed, they tend to obscure the larger trans-regional trends of communication and contact, particularly in eastern Christendom. By drawing upon the depth of scholarship and the plethora of digital resources that have emerged for this period in sub-disciplines such as prosopography, textual scholarship, corpus-based research, and archaeology, and by framing this scholarship in terms of assertions whose authority is traceable, it will become possible to look at the history not just from ""the eastern perspective"", but from several."


Net EU contribution
€ 1 561 372,25
Universitatsring 1
1010 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)