Wendy Davies
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Franks and Bretons
The impact of political climate and historiographical tradition on writing their ninth-century history
in Frankland
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This chapter explores both the roots of the historical interpretation and the stimuli for change by considering the long historiographical tradition, attitudes to textual sources, and the changing political environment on ninth-century history-writing of Franks and Bretons. Ninth-century Breton texts talk of French occupation and Breton resistance; the language of 'oppression' by the French, the 'yoke' they imposed, and the 'servitude' and 'liberty' of the Bretons belongs with later medieval and modern representations - a comment in itself, of course, on changing attitudes to personal status, as it is also an obvious comment on the changing administration of the French state. But, just as Carolingian conquest is undeniable, so is the fact that that conquest provoked the emergence of the Breton polity and the establishment of its historic frontiers - a state with real political significance in the later medieval and early modern periods.

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The Franks and the world of the early middle ages

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