The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe

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This book investigates the ways in which literacy was important in early mediaeval Europe, and examines the context of literacy, its uses, levels, and distribution, in a number of different early mediaeval societies between c. 400 and c. 1000. The studies, by leading scholars in the field, set out to provide the factual basis from which assessments of the significance of literacy in the early mediaeval world can be made, as well as analysing the significance of literacy, its implications, and its consequences for the societies in which we observe it. In all cases, the studies represent recent research and bring evidence such as the recent archaeological discoveries at San Vincenzo al Volturno to the subject. They provide fascinating insight into the attitudes of early mediaeval societies towards the written word and the degree to which these attitudes were formed. This period is shown as fundamental for the subsequent uses of literacy in mediaeval and modern Europe.