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introduction: barbarian gaul using none toembed none in web,windows application data matrix What would bec none none ome of the two-tiered model if one were to discover that important social behaviors and activities among people from Gaul s various social ranks differed only by a matter of degrees And finally, how might one go about attempting to address such questions I explore aspects of the situation of people who were not part of the power structure of Barbarian Gaul, but who nevertheless had an impact on society . I propose to begin my approach to Gallic society in a manner that rather emulates those scholars who have been reconsidering ethnicity, by taking an initial step of suspending assumptions of duality: elite versus popular, Roman versus barbarian. 58 Otherwise, I shall construct a social model that is in keeping with recent research and based on a firm textual foundation.

59 To borrow from Ian Wood borrowing from Peter Brown: It is necessary to reconstruct microcosms. Individual microcosms can then be compared synchronically and diachronically with other microcosms, thus building up a more inclusive picture. 60 This study essentially will constitute the first part of Wood s.

58. On the ina dequacy of thinking in terms of polarities when assessing late ancient societies, see Peter Garnsey and Caroline Humfress, The Evolution of the Late Antique World (Cambridge: Orchard Academic, 2001), 84. One long-lasting and overly dualistic assumption being rejected by recent archaeologists and scholars proposed that the presence of burial goods, commonly found in row grave cemeteries (Reihengr berfelder) in northern Gaul, identified the deceased as Germanic, while an absence of objects, or a presence of inscriptions, indicated the dead to have been Gallo-Romans.

For this tradition and its abandonment in favor of theories that emphasize the role of social strategizing in the production of early medieval funerals, see Effros, Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology, 100 110, 192 96. Effros, ibid., 110, writes, Rather than particular customs being uniquely Gallo-Roman or Frankish, funerary symbolism represented a constantly evolving form of political, social, personal, and religious expression.

59. Two recent works that contain model efforts for constructing social overviews are Smith, Europe after Rome, and Innes, State and Society in the Early Middle Ages. While the former is broad in scope and the latter a local analysis, both eschew the study of institutions per se and instead build their models upon examinations of local patterns and developments in social structuring, community building, and political strategizing.

See Smith, ibid., 3 7; Innes, ibid., 4 12.

Guy Halsall, Social Identities and Social Relationships in Early Merovingian Gaul, in Franks and Alemanni in the Merovingian Period: An Ethnographic Perspective, ed. Ian Wood (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1998), 141 65, proposes another behaviorally based social model for which individuals look to benefit socially by playing one or more aspects of their identities. These include ethnicity, religious belief, age, gender, family, other fictive kinship group, settlement location, position in a vertical hierarchy of power ( rank or class ), and so on ; ibid.

, 141. 60. Ian Wood, Conclusion: Strategies of Distinction, in Strategies of Distinction: The Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300 800, ed.

W. Pohl and H. Reimitz (Leiden, Boston, and Cologne: Brill, 1998), 301.

. Goals of the Book Social mobility in late antique gaul method; it wil none for none l construct a microcosm. One aspect of my development of a model for society thus will be to build around the writings of a singular author, Gregory of Tours. This approach should prove beneficial not only because no text offers more data about the wide array of participants in Gaul than Gregory s, but also because no Gallic author has received the degree of scrutiny from recent historians that the Bishop of Tours has.

While the present exercise will privilege the microcosm that is Gregory s world, nevertheless it also will incorporate data from other literary sources, mostly clerical writings. The heavy ecclesiastical slant of the surviving evidence will direct the reader s attention frequently to behavior at churches, especially activities involving saints cults, but other aspects of life will also be explored. Additional context will come from taking into account recent scholarship on Gallic epigraphic and material evidence.

Data from epigraphy and material remains can be used to corroborate, or challenge, evidence from literary texts, and it can reveal aspects of society that literary sources do not address.61 Otherwise, the present microcosmic exercise will benefit from incorporating insights from several recently available macrocosmic studies of early medieval Europe that have synthesized recent scholarship utilizing literary, documentary, and archeological evidence.62 In some respects, this study was initially envisioned as a complement to Ralph Mathisen s Roman Aristocrats in Barbarian Gaul.

That tome addressed the variety of ways that fifth-century aristocrats strove to remain atop society as Gaul passed from imperial to barbarian control.63 Mathisen identified aristocratic strategies, including acquiring high church office, establishing elite identity through literary studies, serving in barbarian governments, and even adopting violence as a means of self help. My reading of Roman Aristocrats has caused me to question,.

61. Mark A. Ha ndley, Beyond Hagiography: Epigraphic Commemoration and the Cult of the Saints in Late Antique Trier, in Society and Culture in Late Antique Gaul: Revisiting the Sources, ed.

Ralph W. Mathisen and Danuta Shanzer (Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001), 188, 196; Patrick P rin, Settlements and Cemeteries in Merovingian Gaul, in The World of Gregory of Tours, ed. Kathleen Mitchell and Ian Wood (Leiden, Boston, and Cologne: Brill, 2002), 89.

62. E. g.

, Smith, Europe after Rome; Matthew Innes, Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe; Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages. 63. For Mathisen, Roman Aristocrats in Barbarian Gaul, xi, the fundamental question is: What kinds of conscious and positive responses did the resident Romans make to the changes in their world .

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