IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1020: Transformation and Renewal in Post-Roman and Early Medieval Societies, I: The Roman World Becoming Medieval

Wednesday 8 July 2015, 09.00-10.30

Organisers:Guido M. Berndt, Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Laury Sarti, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Roland Steinacher, Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Moderator/Chair:Stuart Airlie, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Paper 1020-aTransformation and Renewal: An Introduction and Overview
(Language: English)
Edward James, School of History, University College Dublin
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Mentalities, Political Thought
Paper 1020-bThe Transformation of Ethnic and Social Identities
(Language: English)
Roland Steinacher, Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought, Social History

This series of five sessions aims at discussing the current state of research on reform and renewal in the transforming Roman West in the Early Middle Ages. The post-Roman world emerged from ancient structures but at the same time it was based on new political, social and economic factors and features. These new and old elements – both Roman and non-Roman – were continuously renewed and reformed during the subsequent centuries, while Rome remained an important constitutive force to the post-Roman societies under barbarian leadership, as those emerging in Italy, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Africa. The aim of these sessions is to present and discuss current pieces of research by focussing on key aspects and questions related to this gradual change.

Paper -b:
This paper will present first results of a project running at the Austrian Academy of Sciences: We try to understand the construction of local and provincial identities in certain selected regions of the Roman Empire (Raetia, Noricum, the Pannonian provinces), and of the development of these identification patterns after the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire. The overall aim is to reach a deeper understanding of how identification labels of groups and individuals as well as ethnic terms have been used within the Roman world (Roman provinces), and to develop detailed insights on the evolution, transformation or disappearance of identities from the Roman world and its periphery in the second half of the first millennium. What social groupings existed before, under and after Rome? And how did these interact with Romanness? Which social groups bore identities, who was included or excluded? Do provincial, sub-Roman and ‘barbarian’ identities perhaps have more in common than we tend to think? Identity formation in these regions can thus be studied in the longue durée, avoiding pre-conceived master narratives. In this way, we hope to gain a much better understanding of the conditions under which, in the second half of the 1st millennium, numerous new peoples and states have formed.