Rethinking Anachronism for Medieval Film in Richard Donner’s Timeline

  • Margitta Rouse
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Medievalists have, albeit reluctantly, learnt to accept that literary and cinematic depictions of the Middle Ages frequently take liberties with historical accuracy. There seems to be a consensus that such liberties do little to refine our understanding of the Middle Ages, but mirror modern concerns and desires, instead.1 Three clichés, in particular, serve modern-day agendas: the Middle Ages as “lost ideal,” as “barbaric past,” and as “the site of timeless romantic values.”2 Some theorists suggest that medievalists should embrace inaccuracies, anachronisms, and clichés precisely because these “indicate the ways in which contemporary filmmakers infuse their work with modern concerns.”3


Science Fiction Medieval Period Historical Accuracy Historical Consciousness Parallel World 
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Copyright information

© Andrew James Johnston, Margitta Rouse, and Philipp Hinz 2014

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  • Margitta Rouse

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