Genealogy: Form and Function in Medieval Historical Narrative

Beneath the apparent narrative disarray, the paratactic disjunction of episodic units, and the seeming logical incoherence which scholars have assumed to be the necessary by-product of narrative parataxis in medieval historiography, lay a metaphor of procreative time and social affiliation which brought together into a connected historical matrix the core of the chronicler's material. Genealogy, as a complex of metaphoric structure, narrative "grid," and social context, represents one of many possible cases of the sensitivity of medieval historical narratives to social realities and indicates how medieval chroniclers responded to these realities as well as to the aesthetic conventions of literary tradition.