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This chapter looks at how local historical writing is prominent in medieval historiography, just as local affairs dominated most lives in the Middle Ages. However, the term and category local history is a modern concept, not a medieval one. Furthermore, even as a modern analytic category, local history can be problematic. One might ask whether the category should include powerful counties but not small kingdoms, or national histories with local sections or brief local elements. In England, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle was primarily concerned with national affairs, but also mentioned events in the particular monasteries where the various versions were written. This could provide curious juxtapositions, emphasizing the separate perception of the local and the national.


This material was originally published in The Oxford History of Historical Writing: 400-1400, edited by Sarah Foot and Chase F. Robinson and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit