Session227
TitleTexts and Identities, II: The Historiography of Barbarian Identities
Date/TimeMonday 7 July 2014: 14.15-15.45
 
SponsorInstitut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
 
OrganiserE. T. Dailey
Gerda Heydemann, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
 
Moderator/ChairWalter Pohl, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
 
Paper 227-a In Need of Barbarians: Ammianus Marcellinus's Depiction of Foreigners
(Language: English)
Pia Lucas, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought
Paper 227-b The Saxons in the Latin Imaginary: Changing Perspectives in the Late Antique West
(Language: English)
James M. Harland, Bonn Center for Dependency & Slavery Studies, Universität Bonn
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 227-c The Trojan Narrative and the Making of the Regnum Francorum
(Language: English)
N. Kıvılcım Yavuz, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 227-d The Regnum Gothorum and the Others: Isidore's Historia (de regibus) Gothorum as a Biblical History?
(Language: English)
Philipp Dörler, Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Index Terms: Historiography - Medieval; Language and Literature - Latin; Political Thought
 
AbstractThe papers of this session take a fresh look at the social and political function of historiographical texts and their relevance for the construction of barbarian identities in the late and post-Roman West. Pia Bockius examines the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus, challenging the traditional view of Ammianus's stereotypical depiction of a binary opposition between Romans and Barbarians, arguing instead that he carefully modulated his stance towards Barbarians according to the criterion of the well-being of the Empire. James Harland discusses the image of the Saxons within the works of Sidonius Appolinaris and Gregory of Tours. He suggests that although we may detect some coherent patterns in the representation of the Saxons in late antique sources, this had less to do with the peoples represented than with the shifting geopolitical and religious mentalities of the authors and societies that imagined them. Kilvilcim Yavuz's paper confronts the famous story of the Trojan origins of the Franks with new questions. Examining textual and manuscript evidence, it will consider the place and significance of the Trojan origins in Frankish politics, the shifting meaning of Trojan descent between the Merovingian and the Carolingian periods, as well as the question of how the narrative itself was transformed through centuries of use. The final paper by Philipp Dörler will focus on the History of the Goths written by the Spanish bishop Isidore of Seville, contrasting the uses of the Roman and the Biblical past as a resource of identification for the Visigothic kingdom.