Barbarians, Maps, and Historiography
Studies on the Early Medieval West
To complement his first collection of articles (Rome's Fall and After, 1989), Walter Goffart presents here a further set of essays, all but two published between 1988 and 2007. They mainly focus on two types of historiography: early medieval narratives, with special attention to Bede's Historia ecclesiastica; and printed maps designed to portray and teach history, with special attention to the ubiquitous 'map of the barbarian invasions'. The wide-ranging concerns represented extend from the underside of the Life of St Severinus of Noricum, and further evidence for dating Beowulf, to the questions whether the barbarian invasions period was a 'heroic age' and how Charlemagne shaped his own succession. Attention is also paid to the earliest map illustrating the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy and to the historical vignettes of the Vatican Galleria delle carte geografiche. The collection opens with the appraisal of certain writings dealing with what is now called 'ethnogenesis theory'. To conclude, Professor Goffart adds brief second thoughts about each of these essays and supplies an annotated list of his articles that have not been reprinted.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Two notes on Germanic antiquity today; What's wrong with the map of barbarian invasions?; The map of barbarian invasions: a preliminary report; The map of barbarian invasions: a longer look; Does the Vita S. Severini have an underside?; Conspicuously absent: martial heroism in the Histories of Gregory of Tours and its likes; Bede's Uera lex historiae explained; The Historia ecclesiastica: Bede's agenda and ours; Bede's History in a harsher climate; Paul the Deacon's Gesta Episcoporum Mettensium and the early design of Charlemagne's succession; Charters earlier than 800 from French collections; Le problème des Translationes S. Liborii; The first venture into 'medieval geography': Lambarde's map of the Saxon heptarchy (1568); Hetware and Hugas: datable anachronisms in Beowulf; The name 'Meringovian' and the dating of Beowulf; Christian pessimism on the walls of the Vatican Galleria delle carte geografiche; Addenda; Additional articles (annotated list); Index.
Walter Goffart is Professor Emeritus of History, University of Toronto, Canada, and Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of History, Yale University, USA