For 1400 years Gregory's Histories--the principal work of Merovingian history--have been understood as a "history of the Franks" and as an objective portrayal of history, albeit told by a naive narrator. This completely new interpretation of the Histories reveals connections between apparently unconnected, adjacent chapters, and also begins to make out their real function. Gregory (538-594) can be seen as focusing on the development of a socio-political concept of society, which anticipates the leadership of the Christian state entrusted to the joint government of bishops and king.
List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction: the state of research into Gregory of Tours in 1992; 1. Gregory of Tours and his family; 2. The function of autobiographical elements in Gregory's concept of contemporary history (books v-x); the relationship of 'bishop' and 'king'; autobiography and the writing of history; the concept of history; 3. Ten Books of History: genre, structure and plan; 4. Gregory's ecclesia Dei: the eschatological church and the concept of history; Conclusion; Postscript; Bibliography; Index of references to Gregory's works; Index of names.
"...even those who do not subscribe to Heinzelmann's main thesis will greatly profit from the many important findings set out in his book." Walter Goffart
"[This study] marks a watershed in studies of Gregory and is the capstone of decades of this eminent scholar's work." American Historical Review
"Heinzelmann's book is a good companion to Gregory's work in that it provides a comprehensive interpretation of Gregory's concept of history." Comitatus