Winner: The 2001 Margaret Wade Labarge Prize for Medieval Studies Including such remarkable accounts as Attila the Hun's meeting with the Pope, Queen Balthild's life, and Gregory of Tour's vivid descriptions of what happens when daily life is enmeshed with politics, From Roman to Merovingian Gaul documents events that are both remarkable in themselves and that demonstrate what made this era of history distinct. Comments: "This admirable collection of primary sources is so copious that it will prove instructive to senior professors as well as beginning undergraduates. The amazingly wide choice of readings, introduced by brief, astute, unpretentious comments, lays out before us the astonishing spectrum of writings documenting what is still often, but wrongly, called the 'Dark Ages'. The collection is unusually homogeneous: the editor who selected the contents also translated almost all of them from the original latin. The translations read well and are rendered exceptionally accurate by Professor Murray's deep learning in late Roman and Frankish institutions. Nowhere in the western part of the Roman Empire was continuity from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages so sustained and observable as in Gaul. The connection between the Roman and Merovingian periods was not seamless, but close to being so. The sources gathered and presented by Alexander C. Murray provide an engrossing, inspiring, and readable record of a decisive historical period." -Walter Goffart, University of Toronto Alexander Callander Murray is a member of the Department of History and Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, where he teaches at the Erindale Campus. He is author of Germanic Kinship Structure: Studies in Law and Society in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (1983), editor of After Rome's Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History (1998), and has written articles on Merovingian administration and office-holding, and on the dating of Beowulf.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Books-Reading, General,