Author Topic: Post-Roman Transitions: Christian and Barbarian Identities in the E. Med. West  (Read 424 times)

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Post-Roman Transitions: Christian and Barbarian Identities in the Early Medieval West


This volume traces the interplay between Christianity, ethnicity, and the formation of political identities in a post-Roman World. Through a variety of case studies, the papers explore the tenacity and the malleability of Roman and Christian forms of identification and othering in the barbarian kingdoms of the early medieval West. It is closely connected with its companion volume, Strategies of Identification: Ethnicity and Religion in Early Medieval Europe, which appeared as volume 13 in this series. As a collective effort, these volumes represent a main result of an extraordinary project, ‘Ethnic Identities in Early Medieval Europe’. This research programme, carried out between 2005 and 2010, was funded by the Wittgenstein prize of the FWF (Austrian Science Fund), which created the opportunity to build up a team of young researchers to study the role of ethnic identities in early medieval Europe in a much broader perspective than had so far been possible. The volume was finalized in the context of the SFB F42–G18, ‘Visions of Community’, also funded by the FWF since 2011. The Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences provided an excellent environment and offered indispensable infrastructure for our research. The project also profited enormously from the facilities and the inspiring atmosphere at the University of Vienna , both at the History Department and at the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung. Both institutions made it possible to integrate the junior researchers financed through the Wittgenstein project into an open working group, together with junior scholars on their payroll, with graduate students, with a number of visiting fellows from abroad, part of whom came with their own grants, and with many associated researchers. The two volumes owe much to the lively atmosphere, the many informal discussions, and the inspiring meetings in the project group, and of course to the new ideas and approaches that were developed in their course. Most contributions were repeatedly discussed in the Wittgenstein team at different stages, and efforts were made to link them to each other and to the central interests of the project, even though they had been deliberately designed to explore a wide range of very different sources and questions within the overarching theme of early medieval identity formation.

We are grateful to the institutions that have made the experience of the Wittgenstein project and the work on the two volumes possible. Many thanks are due to all friends and colleagues who offered suggestions, advice, and inspiration for this volume, specifically: Richard Corradini, Marianne Pollheimer, Gerald Krutzler, Francesco Borri, and Hannes Rois helped with the preparation of the manuscript; John Clay, Jamie Kreiner, Meg Leja, Matthew Gillis, and Timothy Scott helped with the English. The Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona has kindly granted permission to reproduce the Silver Plate from the Treasure of Isola Rizza as a cover image for this book, for which we are grateful. 2 Thanks also go to Yitzhak Hen, who accepted the volumes for his series, and to all those at Brepols who had their share in the publishing process. It has been a pleasure to work with this group, and we hope that, for many, it will also be a pleasure to use and read this volume.

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