Universiteit Leiden

Reading your sources My first aha moment

My first aha moment

Contribution: Wilfred Simons (Leidsch Dagblad reporter, history alumnus)

I embarked on the 1981 summer holiday with a pile of medieval history textbooks. I read about Fulk Nerra (970-1040), Count of Anjou, and his consolidation of power in ‘The Making of the Middle Ages’ by R.W. Southern. This Oxford don had an eye for the extraordinary, something that caught me completely off guard. 

Southern told how a meteorite landed in Fulk Nerra’s castle garden. I thought he was concerned about the impact, but no. As the meteorite rammed its way into their lawn, the count and his wife sat by the open window at the top of the castle. Look, he said, this is how Anjou nobility lived in the 11th century. 

Aha! So you could read your sources like that too: not for the meteorite, but for the private lives!

Image: seal of Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou.


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