IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1125: Texts and Identities, VI: Fredegar's World - Mediterranean History in a 7th-Century Frankish Chronicle, (i)

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Centre for Late Antiquity, University of Manchester / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:Maximilian Diesenberger, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Stefan Esders, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Helmut Reimitz, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Steffen Patzold, Historisches Seminar, Universität Tübingen
Paper 1125-aFredegar and the gentes
(Language: English)
Walter Pohl, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Universität Wien
Paper 1125-bThe Roman Fables of Fredegar
(Language: English)
Helmut Reimitz, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Paper 1125-cEnemies of Clovis
(Language: English)
Ian N. Wood, School of History, University of Leeds

Fredegar’s Chronicle is one of the most important sources for the Latin West in the 7th century. As the one surviving historical account of the Merovingian kingdoms of the 7th century its information has long been the subject of discussion and controversy. But study has largely concentrated on the narrative of the 4th book, which is seen as a freestanding part of the Chronicle, and on the information on Frankish history contained therein. The information on the history of the non-Frankish world has as a result been less studied, although its historical perspective as a history of the Mediterranean World is one of the structuring principles of its organisation from the very beginning of the Chronicle. Indeed the 4th book comes down to us as part of a ‘chain of chronicles’ (Ian Wood), the texts of which include a look at the history of the Mediterranean, particularly through the Epitome of Jerome’s Chronicle. In the inclusion of histories of the Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Lombards, and Slavs in the chronicle collection, this perspective continues to the end of the 4th book, and its relation to the Frankish kingdoms is set out. Thus the stories are not mentioned or scattered accidentally, but can be seen as part of the total concept, which is essential to an understanding of the Chronicle.
In the two sessions the individual papers will put the spotlight on those stories of the Fredegar Chronicle which relate to the history of the non-Frankish world. With regard to the question of variety within the coverage, the papers will look outward chronologically and also regionally from the narrow horizon of Burgundian or Austrasian Francia: for instance in the relationship of Merovingian history to Roman Late Antiquity in the adaptation of the the Eusebius/Jerome Chronicle, and in a sequence of stories, whose models and sources are unknown, relating to the Byzantine world, and the no less original tales on Persian, Arab, Visigothic, and Slav histories, in the wider communities and cultures of the Mediterranean.