L’historien errant

… is a term occasionally used by 19th century historians to describe Jean Froissart (c. 1337 – c. 1405), the famous chronicler of the Hundred Years’ War. Apparently, this somewhat florid appellation was coined in imitation of chevalier errant [knight-errant], an expression first recorded in the 14th century referring to the medieval equivalent of the Lone Ranger, i.e. a knight wandering the lands in search of noble adventures.

I have adopted the name of L’historien errant not because I think of myself as particularly chivalric or valiant, but because the idea of wandering around and encountering all sorts of unexpected things – as the knight-errants used to do – pretty much sums up the  concept behind this blog. It records my own personal encounters with works of art, architecture and literature, but also with artefacts and ideas from the past in general. Some of these things I encounter in books or, indeed, on other blogs, but most of the time I’ll be talking about stuff I come across in real life: E.g. strolling through the cities of Vienna and Glasgow where I live (both places full of art and history), walking in the countryside that surrounds them or, travelling to other countries like Italy and Switzerland.

The header image…

… shows two knights, one from an early 15th-century wall paintig in Mariapfarr, Austria, representing St. George, the other from the late 19th-century mosaic on the facade of the Historisches Museum in Bern, Switzerland. I admit, it is a little over-dramatic, but I believe it gives a good idea of the blog’s main subject areas: 1) Art. While I do consider myself as someone working in the field of “historical study” and therefore a historian, I am first and foremost an art historian. Then again, I am more interested in, say, Geoffrey Chaucer or the history of Chivalry than e.g. Michelangelo or Rembrandt – which brings us to: 2) The Middle Ages. As you may have guessed by now, my main area of interest and expertise is the (late) Middle Ages, so expect them to feature prominently here. Another area I have considerable interest in, is: 3) The 19th century, from the era of the Romantics all through to the fin-de-siècle. So, this is what the second knight in the header image stands for.

This is, of course, not all. Every now and then, I’m surely going to branch out into other fields, like 20th century literature or, ocassionally, contemporary art. And who knows, one day I might even throw in a post about Rembrandt or Michelangelo – but don’t hold your breath…

This blog…

… is written and maintained by Christian Nikolaus Opitz. Unless otherwise noted, all texts and images published on this blog are my sole property and protected by copyright.

Please also note…

… that despite careful control I do not take over responsibility for contents of external links.

You can contact me…

… at: c.n.opitz [at] gmail [dot] com

…or find me on Twitter as: @c_n_opitz

1 Response to About

  1. Pingback: To the ghosts who write history books | L'Historien Errant

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