In the 500s, the Frankish state formed from the ashes of the northern Gaulish, German and Belgian provinces. The Franks and Latins here boasted a fine historian in Gregory of Tours. And then... it all went to hell, and there were no more historians to tell us why. But there were, still, authors of the lives of saints, and chronologists. So this is the material we all need to make sense of this period.
This book provides eight primary and secondary sources from the era overlapping the early Umayyads (640-720 AD). It also contains a long introductory essay, and commentaries upon each source. The period as a whole includes, especially, the career of Ebroin; this towering "major-domo" was a man-who-would-be-king like Pepin the Short not too many generations later. But since Ebroin never did get to be king, the chronicles and saints-lives tend to see Ebroin as a villain. Makes one wonder how Pepin would be viewed today if the Merovings had found a prince strong enough to defend their rights, but that's another story . . .
This is not to say that the sources themselves are to be trusted on face; the Liber Historiae Francorum, especially, is wretched. But that is hardly the *translators'* fault - and the translators are always there with footnotes to explain matters. For what these sources are, the editors have done an exemplary job.
- Paperback: 397 pages
- Publisher: Manchester University Press; 1 edition (15 March 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0719047919
- ISBN-13: 978-0719047916
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.3 x 14 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 499 g
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