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11. Frankish Society

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)

Professor Freedman considers the Merovingians as an example of barbarian kingship in the post-Roman world. In the absence of a strong government, Merovingian society was held together by kinship, private vengeance, and religion. Kings were judged by their ability to lead men in war. Gregory of Tours believed that the violence characteristic of Frankish society was useful insofar as the kings wielded it to back up threats of supernatural retribution for bad actions. Professor Freedman ends with a brief summary of the decline of the Merovingians.

00:00 - Chapter 1. What Holds Society Together?
07:20 - Chapter 2. Gregory of Tours
12:27 - Chapter 3. The bishops and the King
16:39 - Chapter 4. The Basis of Merovingian Power
34:20 - Chapter 5. The Church in Frankish Society
46:26 - Chapter 6. The End of Merovingians

Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu


This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

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