How did the Merovingian Kings wear their hair?

We must accept, I think, that the Franks, like all Germans, attached a particular importance to the hair

Gregory of Tours, the Eastern Emperor, and Merovingian Gaul

This article explores Gregory’s passages on imperial Rome and argues that they were intended to highlight the virtues and vices of particular Merovingian kings in comparison with particular Roman emperors.

Fredegund’s Deadly Dinner

One of the great villains in Gregory of Tours’ The History of the Franks is Fredegund. The sixth-century Merovingian queen was responsible, according to Gregory, for a lengthy list of murders and attempt assassinations, including against her own family members. She even murdered those men who failed to carry out her assassinations.

Historian discovers evidence of malaria from the Early Middle Ages

In his paper, ‘Malaria and Malaria-Like Disease in the Frankish Empire, c.450-950, Timothy Newfield examines over fifty references to illnesses which appear in Merovingian and Carolingian sources

716: A Crucial Year For Charles Martel

The early years of Charles Martel’s life are all but obscured from the historian’s view.

The Frankish Pretender Gundovald, 582–585. A Crisis of Merovingian Blood

In the autumn of 582, a claimant to Frankish kingship named Gundovald landed in Marseilles, returning from exile in Constantinople with covert support from very powerful persons in the kingdom.

Charlemagne still kicking 1200 years later or Morangles Early Medieval Holidays

T.S. Morangles takes a trip to see all things Carolingian and Merovingian!

The Tale of Bealhildis or how an Anglian slave became a saintly French Queen

It is not every day England gives a home girl to be worshipped as a Saint by enthusiastic Gallic crowds.

Blended and Extended Families in Carolingian Charters

This is a summary of a paper on Carolingian charters and the relationship between step and blended families.

Merovingian Diplomacy: Practice and purpose in the sixth century

The practise of diplomacy has not been much studied in Merovingian Gaul, although there are numerous works that deal with its political dealings with its neighbours and with the administration and culture of Gaul at this time.

The ‘second Jezebel’: representations of the sixth-century Queen Brunhild

The sixth century Merovingian queen Brunhild is a figure of extremes, lauded by Pope Gregory the Great as ‘most excellent daughter’ and later defiled as ‘the enemy of

Merovingian and Carolingian Empires: An Analysis of Their Strengths and Weaknesses

In this research paper I will analyze the achievements and the destruction of the Merovingian Empire to demonstrate how both provide a basic structure of government for the Carolingians to adopt.

Behind the Veil: The rise of female monasticism and the double house

In this thesis I aim to restore the contemporary views of female monasticism that have been marginalized in current historiography. By evaluating the primary source material on women in monasticism, I intend to recapture the complex links between female religious communities and the wider social, cultural and political world of the Frankish kingdoms.

Frankish involvement in the Gregorian mission to Kent

This article re-examines the primary documents relating to the sixth century Gregorian Mission to Kent in light of the modern historiographical tradition which claims Frankish hegemony existed over the Kentish Kingdom under Aethelberht’s rule.

The Liber Historiae Francorum – a Model for a New Frankish Self-confidence

The Liber Historiae Francorum – a Model for a New Frankish Self-confidence Philipp Dörler Networks and Neighbours, Volume One, Number One (2013) The Liber historiae Francorum was influenced by different historiographic traditions. In this paper, I pursue two arguments. First, I believe that the author of the Liber historiae Francorum juxtaposes and slightly transforms these […]

Tenebrae Refulgeant: Celestial Signa in Gregory of Tours

Celestial portents appear frequently in the Historiae of Bishop Gregory of Tours (ca. 539–94). Gregory carefully distinguished between the interpretation of celestial signs and horoscopic astrology by describing signs as natural, albeit miraculous, elements of God’s Creation.

Literal and Symbolic: the Language of Asceticism in Two Lives of St Radegund

Since Radegund was never martyred, it is through her ascetic practice, a vicarious martyrdom, that her sanctity must be constructed. Both Fortunatus and Baudonivia treat Radegund’s ascetic practices as a means of creating the powerful body of a saint, a living relic, but the differences in the two writers’ approaches are notable.

Knowledge of Ephraim’s Writings in the Merovingian and Carolingian Age

The florilegium entitled Liber Scintillarum, the book of sparks from the words of God and of his saints, was composed by the monk Defensor of Ligugé. Our evidence for the life and date of Defensor derives entirely from his preface.

Expressions of Power – Luxury textiles from early medieval northern Europe

This paper focuses on luxury textiles from archaeological and non-archaeological contexts in north-western Europe.

Clovis: How Barbaric, How Pagan?

The mainstream portrait of Clovis, still dominant in English and American writing, derives its many negative features from secondary sources written a half-century or more after his death and abounding in grossly unreliable anecdotes.

Relics, Religious Authority, and the Sanctification of Domestic Space in the Home Gregory of Tours: An Analysis of the Glory of the Confessors 20

With the rival clerics out of the way, Gregory still needed to solidify his new and publicly contested position with local elites and other powerful members of his new congregation. Thus, much of what Gregory did early in his episcopacy was intended to convince the community at Tours that he was their right man.

Marriage and alliance in the Merovingian Kingdoms, 481-639

This dissertation offers a narrative interpretation of Merovingian history from the reign of Clovis I (r. 481-511) through the reign of Dagobert I (r. 629-639). The narrative focuses on the competitive nature of the Merovingian kingdoms and the role that foreign marriages could play in that competition.

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