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The Epic in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (ELMEMS)
Start date: Sep 15, 2011, End date: Sep 14, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"This project explores the transmutation of the epic in Scotland from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern periods to consider the vital role of texts in codifying the past, legitimising the present and problematising contemporary socio-political anxieties. These texts contributed to the founding of nationalism and the fabrication of the existing national identities all over Europe.The project offers an innovative perspective in Irish and Scottish literary studies since medieval chronicles and historical romances have never been studied in conjunction with renaissance epics. The project will reassess the importance of the epic as a genre and its interaction with other genres; trace its transformation in Scotland and explore the dialogic correspondences between the different manifestations of the epic and historical tensions. Using Stanihurst’s chronicle and translation of the Aeneid, the study determines the formation of archipelagic identities. These pervasive notions of Scottishness, Irishness and Englishness prevailed over the centuries and helped the establishment and promotion of national vernacular culture in written language as an alternative to the hegemonic Latin culture. Translation played a central role in the legitimisation of the vernacular. By translating and making Greek and Latin texts available to contemporary Europe, countries assimilated classical literary precepts and imperial power to their own conception as a nation with a culture of its own.The project will establish the medieval and early modern origins of national and cultural identities in Europe as represented through the epic, which led to future political tensions and will also elucidate the multicultural heritage of Scotland and Ireland."
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