Frankish History: Studies in the Construction of Power, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Frankish History

Studies in the Construction of Power, 1st Edition

By Paul Fouracre


368 pages

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Hardback: 9781409451594
pub: 2013-03-12

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The volume consists of sixteen papers on the history of Francia between the seventh and eleventh centuries. Originally published between 1979 and 2009, the papers are arranged around three interlinking themes: the relationship between History and Hagiography, the history of Francia under the respective regimes of the Merovingan and Carolingian kings, and the problem of how states with weak governing institutions were able to exercise power over large areas. The history of Francia has been one of the most productive areas of early medieval history over the past two generations. Models of European development have been based on its rich materials and the fact that the polity lasted for half a millennium makes it a prime area for the study of the dialectic between continuity and change. The papers collected here all have this ’big history’ as their background. It is to be hoped that keying into such questions makes them both accessible and useful for students and teachers alike.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Part I History and Hagiography: The work of Audoenos of Rouen and Eligius of Noyon in extending episcopal influence from the town to the country in 7th-century Neustria; Merovingian history and Merovingian hagiography; The origins of the Carolingian attempt to regulate the cult of saints; Forgetting and remembering Dagobert II: the English connection; Why were so many bishops killed in Merovingian Francia? Part II Merovingians and Carolingians: Merovingians, mayors of the palace and the notion of a ’low-born’ Ebroin; The long shadow of the Merovingians; Comparing the resources of Merovingian and Carolingian states: problems and perspectives; The context of the OHG Ludwigslied. Part III Power, Justice and the Maintenance of Order: ’Placita’ and the settlement of disputes in later Merovingian Francia; Carolingian justice: the rhetoric of improvement and contexts of abuse; Eternal light and earthly needs: practical aspects of the development of Frankish immunities; The nature of Frankishpolitical institutions in the 7th century; Cultural conformity and social conservatism in early medieval Europe; Marmoutier and its serfs in the 11th century; The uses of the term beneficium in Frankish sources. A society based on favours?; Index.

About the Author

Paul Fouracre is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Manchester, UK.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Medieval