The Origins And Development Of Biographical Writing Essay
Making reference to at least two of the works covered in weeks 1-5 of the module, addressing the following problem:
⦁ Account for the origins and development of biographical writing in late antiquity and the early middle ages (i.e. how and why did people write biographies in this period?).
By addressing two works covered, how can we account for the origins and development of biographical writing in late antiquity and early middle ages?
I.e. how and why did people write biographies in this period?
In late antiquity (161-565 CE) to the early middle ages the origins and development of early biographies and hagiographies were beginning to occur and transform. In this essay, I will argue how and why people wrote biographical writings by referring to the works of Augustine’s Confessions, Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne and the hagiography, Perpetua. First of all, it is important to remember that biographical writings at first were regarded as a mere way of writing down history. Focusing on one individual’s life events, the genre didn’t begin to emerge until the 18th century, hence why historians should be careful when analysing such sources (Kendall) . Early biographies from these periods tend to focus on the lives of kings, saints and other notable people. They were derived to inspire people and perhaps lead a more religious, holy life. This is since mostly, the people who were writing these works were monks, hermits and priests using their knowledge and…