Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography, 640-720 / Edition 1

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This collection of documents in translation brings together the seminal sources for the late Merovingian Frankish kingdom. It inteprets the chronicles and saint's lives rigorously to reveal new insights into the nature and significance of sanctity, power and power relationships. The book makes available a range of 7th- and early 8th-century texts, five of which have never before been translated into English. It opens with a broad-ranging explanation of the historical background to the translated texts and then each source is accompanied by a full commentary and an introductory essay exploring its authorship, language and subject matter. The sources are rich in the detail of Merovingian political life. Their subjects are the powerful in society and they reveal the successful interplay between power and sanctity, a process which came to underpin much of European culture throughout the early Middle Ages.

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Editorial Reviews

A translation and interpretation of eight Merovingian Francia narrative texts from 640 to 720 presenting a view of the "Dark Ages" that concerns itself with the ways in which early medieval society organized itself for political ends. The stories tell remarkable tales of queens, kings, warriors, clergy, and saints, and reveal more to the period than simply an age of economic and political decline. The enthusiasm of the authors is reflected in the careful translation, discussions of historical background, and examinations of hagiography and historiography in general. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719047916
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Sources Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 397
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Fouracre is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Manchester

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The seventh century in its historical context 1
Introduction: Sources and historians: hagiography and history 26
Introduction: Merovingian Latin: the language of the sources 58
I Liber Historiae Francorum (The Book of the History of the Franks) 79
II Vita Domnae Balthidis (The Life of Lady Balthild, Queen of the Franks) 97
III Vita Audoini Episcopi Rotomagensis (The Life of Audoin, Bishop of Rouen) 133
IV Acta Aunemundi (The Deeds of Aunemund) 166
V Passio Leudegarii (The Suffering of Leudegar) 193
VI Passio Prajecti (The Suffering of Praejectus) 254
VII Vita Sanctae Geretrudis (The Life of St Geretrud), and the Additamentum Nivialense de Fuilano (the Nivelles supplement to the Vita Fursei concerning Foillan) 301
VIII The First Section of Annales Mettenses Priores (The Earlier Annals of Metz) 330
Bibliography 371
Index 388
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