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East and West in the Early Middle Ages

Book description

From their crystallisation in the late fifth century to their ultimate decline in the eighth, the Merovingian kingdoms were a product of a vibrant Mediterranean society with both a cultural past and a dynamic and ongoing dialogue between the member communities. By bringing together the scholarship of historians, archaeologists, art historians, and manuscript researchers, this volume examines the Merovingian world's Mediterranean connections. The Franks' cultural horizons spanned not only the Latin-speaking world, but also the Byzantine Empire, northern Europe, Sassanid Persia, and, after the seventh century, a quickly ascendant Islamic culture. Traces of a constant movement of people and cultural artefacts through this world are ubiquitous. As simultaneous consumers, adapters, and disseminators of culture, the degree to which the Merovingian kingdoms were thought to engage with their neighbours is re-evaluated as this volume analyses written accounts, archaeological findings and artefacts to provide new perspectives on Merovingian wide-ranging relations.

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