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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1520: Transformation and Renewal in Post-Roman and Early Medieval Societies, IV: Early Medieval Governance

Thursday 9 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:Ralph Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Respondent:Stefan Esders, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Paper 1520-aReflections of Roman Law in the Early Medieval leges
(Language: English)
Miriam Czock, Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, Universität Duisburg-Essen
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Law, Mentalities
Paper 1520-bChoosing Where to Contest Power in 9th- and 10th-Century England and France: Did Rebels Think of Rome?
(Language: English)
Ryan Lavelle, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Winchester
Index terms: Mentalities, Military History, Political Thought
Paper 1520-cCommunications and Information as Tools of Ottonian Governance
(Language: English)
David Bachrach, Department of History, University of New Hampshire, Durham
Index terms: Administration, Historiography - Medieval, Political Thought

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 the sessions is to present and discuss current pieces of research by focussing on several key aspects and questions related to this gradual change.

Paper -a:
Although attracting scholarly attention at least since the 19th century, the codification of the Frankish laws remains puzzling in many ways. It is still debated today whether they were Germanic or Roman in character. German scholarship, in particular, has held the view, that the Frankish laws were quintessentially Germanic. Yet, it has been established that they also depended on Roman ideas. As modern opinions vary, it seems worthwhile to reconsider how much Roman legalism is evident in the Frankish leges. This paper wants to examine how Roman law was integrated into the Frankish laws. It aims at arguing that the codification of the early medieval laws should be understood as a creative process in which the Germanic and Roman concepts were not competing elements but were interconnected in the cultural climate of the social transformations having taken place.

Paper -b:
Acts of rebellion needed to use a political language which was understood by contemporaries. By attempting to act in a legitimate manner, rebels asserted themselves upon a political geography steeped in Roman and Roman-derived notions of authority. This paper is intended to address the ways in which sites of antiquity, including territorial organisation stemming from post-Roman polities, were used in acts of rebellion and reactions against it. The main research question is whether, rather than simply being manifestations of Roman power carried through into the medieval world, the Romanitas appealed to by rebels (and used by their opponents) was something that was newly-shaped by the very acts of contestation that rebels undertook.

Paper -c:
In order to carry out the primary duties of the royal government, namely the defense of the kingdom, the fostering of justice, and the support of the Church, the Ottonian kings of Germany and their officials required vast quantities of current and accurate information. Among the many ways in which the Ottonian government developed this information was through processes of inquisitio, an investigative mechanism that was inherited from the Carolingian government and dated back to the late Roman period. This paper will treat the acquisition of information by officials of the royal government with a particular focus on the institution of the inquisitio.