IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 110: Visions of Community, I: After the End of Ancient Christianity - The Reconfiguration of Late Antique Topographies in Merovingian Historiography and Hagiography

Monday 1 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Sonderforschungsbereich 42 'Visions of Community: Comparative Approaches to Ethnicity, Region & Empire in Christianity, Islam & Buddhism, 400-1600', Universität Wien / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Organiser:Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Ian N. Wood, School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 110-aThe Merovingian Six Book-Version of Gregory of Tours' Histories and the Creation of New Spielräume for the Spiritual Topography of Gaul
(Language: English)
Helmut Reimitz, Department of History, Princeton University
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Mentalities
Paper 110-bA Contest at Brioude: Hagiography after Gregory of Tours
(Language: English)
Jamie Kreiner, Department of History, University of Georgia, Athens
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities
Paper 110-cThe Creation of Martyrs in Early Medieval Burgundy: King Sigismund as Archetype?
(Language: English)
Gordon Blennemann, Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris / Mittelalterliche Geschichte und Historische Hilfswissenschaften, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Political Thought

As Christendom had consolidated its foothold in the hearts and minds of the peoples in Western Europe, and the political influence of the Roman Empire was gradually fading from view, the new intellectual elite, consisting mainly of ecclesiastical officials who had imposed themselves on the legacy of Rome, went at lengths to reconfigure the spiritual landscape of the lands they had inherited. Chief among these authors, as Helmut Reimitz will argue, was the 6th-century bishop Gregory of Tours, whose Histories perhaps most clearly reflects these shifts and the subsequent search for new boundaries – both real and spiritual. Building on this paper, Jamie Kreiner will then look at the cult of Saint Julian to demonstrate how this process continued in hagiographical narratives produced in the 7th century, which both adopted and challenged Gregory’s topographies. Finally, Gordon Blennemann will show how the two ‘genres’ would essentially overlap by focusing on the Passio Sancti Sigismundi regis, a strikingly dyadic text in which a Burgundian origo gentis is combined with the life of this saintly king. As such, all three papers focus not only on narrative references to the Roman and Biblical past, but also try to situate these within the specific social and political context of the production of these texts, as well as to the longue durée of hagiographical and historiographical traditions.