Craig H. Caldwell
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The transformation of the Roman world, c. 450–c. 550
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This first chapter sets out different approaches to the question of what survived in western Europe from the later Roman Empire, after its central institutions had ceased to exist in the mid-fifth century. How far and in what ways did the practices of Roman governmentality – notably taxation – survive and persist into the post-Roman world? The chapter next considers the emergence, to use a neutral term, of peoples with different ethnic labels in that post-Roman world – Goths, Lombards, Franks – and different theories of ethnic formation. Who were these people, and how can textual and material (archaeological) evidence identify them? Finally, the chapter considers the ‘glue’ that held late antiquity together and gave it coherence: Christianity, and the balance between centralization and regional difference in the Latin Church of Rome.

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Debating medieval Europe

The early Middle Ages, c. 450 –c. 1050



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