East and West in the Early Middle Ages. The Merovingian Kingdoms in a Mediterranean Perspective

East and West in the Early Middle Ages. The Merovingian Kingdoms in a Mediterranean Perspective

Yitzhak Hen, Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva; Stefan Esders, Geschichte der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin, Topoi-Haus Dahlem, Hittorfstraße 18, D-14195 Berlin.
Vom - Bis
17.12.2014 - 20.12.2014
Laury Sarti

The conference aims to study the Merovingian Kingdoms in a broader Mediterranean context. In addition to being deeply rooted in the traditions and practices of the Western Roman Empire, Merovingian Gaul had complex and multi-layered economic, cultural, religious and political relations with the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. By analyzing Western and Eastern sources as well as archaeological findings, the symposium seeks to offer a new perspective on the Merovingian period.


Wednesday, 17th December

14:15‒15.30: Opening Session

Stefan ESDERS (Berlin): Welcome and introduction.
Bonnie EFFROS (Gainesville): Merovingians and the Mediterranean – The enduring attraction of the Pirenne thesis

15:45‒18:30: Session I – Shared Traditions and Forms of Exchange

Andreas FISCHER (Vienna): Money for nothing – Franks, Byzantines and Lombards in the sixth and seventh century
Jörg DRAUSCHKE (Mainz): Communication and trade between the Merovingians and the eastern Mediterranean – Archaeological perspectives

Jamie KREINER (Athens/Ga.): A generic Mediterranean – Hagiography in the early Middle Ages
Yitzhak HEN (Beer Sheva): Defensor of Ligugé’s Liber scintillarum and the migration of knowledge

Thursday, 18th December

09:15‒10:30: Session II – Expanding Horizons: The Formation of the Merovingian Kingdoms

Christian STADERMANN (Tübingen): Passio sancti Vincentii Aginnensis – A different interpretation of the Franco-Visigothic war 507/508
Yaniv FOX (Ra’anana): Anxiously looking east – Burgundian foreign policy on the eve of the reconquest

11:00‒15:45: Session III – The Pope as a Mediterranean Player

Sebastian SCHOLZ (Zürich): The papacy and the Frankish bishops in the 6th century
Rosamond MCKITTERICK (Cambridge): Perceptions of Rome and the papacy in late Merovingian Francia – The Cononian recension of the Liber pontificalis

12:15‒14:30 Lunch

Charles MÉRIAUX (Lille): From east to west – Constantinople, Rome and northern Gaul in the seventh century
Laury SARTI (Berlin): Knowledge exchange and perception of the Eastern Empire in the late Merovingian west

16:15‒17:30: Session IV – Pippin the Younger looking East

Erik GOOSMANN (Utrecht): New dynasty, new frontiers? Pippin’s politics and the wider Mediterranean world
Wolfram BRANDES (Frankfurt/M): The Byzantine background to the so-called “Donation of Pepin”

Friday, 19th December

09:15‒12:15: Session V – Patterns of Intensification: The 580ies

Phillip WYNN (Beer Sheva): Cultural transmission caught in the act – Gregory of Tours and the relics of St Sergius.
Wolfram DREWS (Münster): Hermenegild’s rebellion and conversion – Merovingian and Byzantine connections

Benjamin FOURLAS (Mainz): Early byzantine church silver offered for the eternal rest of Framarich and Karilos – Evidence of “the army of heroic men” raised by Tiberius II. Constantine?
Helmut REIMITZ (Princeton): Pax inter utramque gentem – The re-evaluation of Frankish identity in Merovingian encounters with the Empire during the last decades of the sixth century

12:15‒14:00 Lunch

14:00‒17:00: Session VI – Religious Landscapes and Spiritual Connections

Galit NOGA-BANAI (Jerusalem): Relocation to the west – The relic of the True Cross in Poitiers
Maximilian DIESENBERGER (Vienna): Martyrs and apostles from the Mediterranean in early medieval France

Ora LIMOR (Ra’anana): Willibald in the holy places
Ann CHRISTYS (Leeds): ‘Sons of Ishmael, turn back!’

Saturday, 20th December

09:15‒12:15: Session VII – Rethinking the late Merovingians

David GANZ (Notre Dame): Getting to know the late Merovingians – What Bern 611 reveals
Ian WOOD (Leeds): Contact with the eastern Mediterranean in the late Merovingian period

Lawrence NEES (Newark): ‘Merovingian’ illuminated manuscripts and their links with the eastern Mediterranean world
Stefan ESDERS (Berlin): Unplugging the Merovingians from the Mediterranean – The case of Ebroin

12:15‒12:45: Closing words

Mayke DE JONG (Utrecht): Comment.
Philipp VON RUMMEL (Berlin): Comment.

Yitzhak HEN (Beer Sheva): Closing remarks.


Pia Bockius

Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Koserstr. 20, D-14195 Berlin