History and commemorations: the Pirenne agenda.

From the very start of his career Henri Pirenne enjoyed an important public recognition. After the Great War he even became a national icon. Although he was very often asked to address the public at specific commemorative occasions or to contribute in writing to a book of remembrance, he has been reluctant to reach out to the general public. What he preferred was a more general almost theoretical reflection, bypassing the concrete circumstance. To safeguard his stance as a historian and of a man of science, without denying his patriotic ideals was in his eyes of the greatest importance.