This subproject investigates changes over time in the evaluation of cause and effect and the evaluation of change. Using a combination of distant and close reading, I will assess and analyse correlations and patterns that chroniclers identified. Furthermore, the emergent of new knowledge, concepts and evidence in patterns and causal relationships that authors indicated, will be analyzed. Finally, I will assess how this affected their ideas on tradition and innovation.

A key question is in what contexts chroniclers identified tradition or ‘novelty’ as a cause, or conversely as the solution for crisis phenomena. Many authors framed situations and behaviour by descriptors like ‘old, traditional, customary’ or ‘new, unheard of, modern, novel, innovative’. More implicitly, authors indicated their views of change by phrases like ‘these days’, ‘this was the beginning of’ and ‘this was the end of’. The context usually allows me to see whether this is meant positively or negatively, and to reconstruct in what circumstances this was so. 

Researcher: Theo Dekker