A Companion to Gregory of Tours


Gregory, bishop of Tours (573-594), was among the most prolific writers of his age and uniquely managed to cover the genres of history, hagiography, and ecclesiastical instruction. He not only wrote about events (of the secular, spiritual, and even natural variety) but about himself as an actor and witness. Though his work (especially the Histories) has been recycled and studied for centuries, our grasp of an even basic understanding of it, never mind Gregory’s significance in the history of the late antique West, has hardly yet attained a definitive perspective.
A Companion to Gregory of Tours brings together fourteen scholars who provide an expert guide to interpreting his works, his period, and his legacy in religious and historical studies.

Contributors are: Pascale Bourgain, Roger Collins, John J. Contreni, Stefan Esders, Martin Heinzelmann, Yitzhak Hen, John K. Kitchen, Simon Loseby, Alexander Callander Murray, Patrick Périn, Joachim Pizarro, Helmut Reimitz, Michael Roberts, Richard Shaw.

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Alexander Callander Murray, Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Toronto, received his Ph. D. in 1976 from Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies. He has written on kinship, Beowulf, the institutions of Merovingian Gaul, ‘ethnogenesis’, and Gregory of Tours.
List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Genealogies


Part I. Gregory and His Circle

1. Martin Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours: The Elements of a Biography
2. Michael Roberts, Venantius Fortunatus and Gregory of Tours: Patronage and Poetry

Part II. Composing the Works
3. Alexander Callander Murray, The Composition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours and its Bearing on the Political Narrative
4. Richard Shaw, Chronology, Composition, and Authorial Conception in Gregory of Tours’ Miracula
5. Pascale Bourgain, Gregory of Tours’ Works: Manuscripts, Language, and Style

Part III. Institutional and Material Setting
6. Alexander Callander Murray, The Merovingian State and Administration in the Times of Gregory of Tours
7. Yitzhak Hen, The Gallic Church in the Sixth Century
8. Patrick Périn, Landscape and Material Culture of Gaul in the Times of Gregory of Tours

Part IV. Religious and Literary Perspectives
9. Martin Heinzelmann, The Works of Gregory of Tours and Patristic Tradition
10. Joachin Pizarro, Narrative and the Literary Imagination in Gregory of Tours’ Works
11. John Kitchen, Gregory of Tours, Hagiography, and the Cult of the Saints in the Sixth Century

Part V. Gregory and the Political World of the Sixth Century
12. Stefan Esders, Gallic Politics in the Sixth Century
13. Simon Loseby, Gregory of Tours, Italy, and the Eastern Empire
14. Roger Collins, Gregory of Tours and Spain

Part VI. Post Mortem
15. Helmut Reimtiz, The Early Medieval Editions of Gregory of Tours’ Histories
16. John J. Contreni, Gregory of Tours’ Works From the High Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period

All interested in Late Antiquity in the West, and especially Gaul, Merovingian and Frankish history, Church/religious history, and the Early Middle Ages. Readership is not limited to graduate students and specialists.