Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[This] important and useful study is a creative synthesis that presents a new and striking interpretation of the world of Merovingian Europe. He draws together a significant body of recent scholarship....The book's revised assessment of the nature and significance of the Merovingian world should find a wide audience among those interested in medieval Europe."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195044584
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

University of California, Los Angeles
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Table of Contents

The Roman West to the End of the Fifth Century

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    A book

    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.

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