Abstract

1492, 1789, 1919. There are dates so heavy with their sequels, they swallow the events that gave them meaning, and speak by themselves for whole histories. This quality of date-as-synecdoche was memorably exploited in the classic spoof-history 1066 and All That, with resonances of empires lost that can still be heard faintly but distinctly echoing in contemporary British histories of the Fall of Rome. The deixis of “and all that,” however, is not only historiological. As a totalizing figure of inference and allusion, it also gestures toward the kind of testimony that has counted in the past as fictional, merely figurative and literary. This study evokes the unmemorably big date of 407 (?) CE in order to posit a common antecedent for the respective “and all thats” of insular terminal-Roman historiography and of what has been called literature. The antecedent would be the late (not to say prematurely post-) Roman history-cum-fiction of Jerome’s Chronici canones (or Chronicle).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1942-1273
Print ISSN
1939-6716
Pages
pp. 30-48
Launched on MUSE
2009-03-20
Open Access
No
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