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In this innovative new study, Patrick Geary rejects traditional notions of European history to present the Merovingian period (ca. 400-750) as an integral part of Late Antiquity. Drawing on current scholarship in archaeology, cultural history, historical ethnography, and other fields, the author formulates an original interpretation not only of Merovingian history but of the Romano-barbarian world from which it arose. Mapping the complex interactions of a volatile era, he carefully traces the Romanization of barbarians and the barbarization of Romans that ultimately made these populations indistinguishable. Authoritative and elegantly written, Before France and Germany
*presents an original and powerful synthesis of one of the most misunderstood periods of European history
*draws on the latest archaeological, ethnographic, and historical findings, including grave finds, court documents, and kinship records
*establishes the Merovingian world as an integral part of late antiquity
*culls and interprets a wealth if specialist Continental scholarship in a concise, readable style This new study is an important contribution to our understanding of a crucial but often neglected period of Western history.
Geary rejects traditional conceptions of European history to present the Merovingian period as an integral part of Late Antiquity.
The Roman West to the End of the Fifth Century
Posted May 7, 2009
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First, let me say that I try to look for the positive in every book I read. With this book, I am still looking but seem to have run out of pages. Having read many other books on essentially the same subject matter (European History), this book was the least interesting of all. The real turn-off for me occurred at Chapter VII when the writer uses the writings of an earlier writer (an excellent one at that) to begin what appeared to me to be a personal attack on people long dead. This is one historian who seems to forget that historians write about things that others do. The only sweat this writer will ever break on the subject is by writing the book on a hot beach in the sun. The Merovingians may not have been the greatest thing since sliced bread but they were there. There are many other books by really good authors on the subject that I would recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.