The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages

Texts, Resources and Artefacts


This volume offers a comparative study of the ways in which the new communities that developed in the course of the 'transformation of the Roman world' (4th–8th centuries) were pulled together. In understanding the political, social, religious and ethnic formations in the early medieval West as “communities under construction”, the various contributions attempt an exemplary discussion of the various forms in which significance and cohesion could be achieved. Case studies include the terminology of ethnicity; population movements (evacuees and refugees); treasures in their material and symbolic aspects; early kingship, cities and ethnic survivals of the Visigoths; Merovingian identities and hairstyles; Christian communities and historiography in the Frankish kingdoms.


EUR €177.00USD $221.00

Biographical Note

Richard Corradini, Ph.D. (2000), University of Vienna, is Researcher at the Medieval History Research Unit of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and works on Frankish historiography and late antique and early medieval computus and perceptions of time. His publications include Zeit und Text. Studien zum tempus-Begriff des Augustinus (1997), Die Wiener Handschrift Cvp 430*. Ein Beitrag zur Historiographie in Fulda im frühen 9. Jahrhundert (2000). Max Diesenberger, Ph.D. (2001), University of Vienna, is Researcher at the Medieval History Research Unit of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He works on early medieval hagiography and manuscript transmission, on perceptions of nature and on ideas of sacrality. Helmut Reimitz, Ph.D. (1999), University of Vienna, is Researcher at the Medieval History Research Unit of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Vienna. He works on the manuscript transmission of early medieval historiography and on concepts of identity in the Frankish world.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of plates, figures and tables The construction of communities and the persistence of paradox: an introduction Walter Pohl Structures and resources of power in early medieval Europe Dick Harrison Gens. Terminology and perception of the ‘Germanic’ peoples from late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages Hans-Werner Goetz The refugees and evacuees in the age of migrations Wolf Liebeschuetz The ‘gold hoards’ of the early migration period in south-eastern Europe and the late Roman Empire Michael Schmauder Th enomad’s greed for gold: from the fall of the Burgundians to the Avar treasure Matthias Hardt Alaricus rex: legitimizing a Gothic king Hagith Sivan Changes in the topography of power: from civitates to urbes regia in Hispania, Gisela Ripoll Deconstructing the Merovingian family Ian Wood Hair, sacrality and symbolic capital in the Frankish kingdoms Maximilian Diesenberger The ritual significance of vesels in the formation of Merovingian Christian communities Bonnie Effros Social networks and identities in Frankish histotiography. New aspects of the textual history of Gregory of Tours’ Historiae, Helmut Reimitz The rhetoric of crisis. Computus and Liber annalis in early ninth-century Fulda Richard Corradini The History of Obn Habib and ethnographies in Al-Andalus Ann Christys Abbreviations Bibliography Index Notes on contributors


All those interested in the history of Late Antiquity, the Early Middle Ages, the formation of political, social, religious and ethnic communities in western Europe, particularly ancient and medieval historians and archaeologists.