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Power and Religion in Merovingian Gaul
Columbanian Monasticism and the Frankish Elites

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107658424


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About the Authors
  • This study is the first to attempt a thorough investigation of the activities of the Columbanian congregation, which played a significant role in the development of Western monasticism. This was a new form of rural monasticism, which suited the needs and aspirations of a Christian elite eager to express its power and prestige in religious terms. Contrary to earlier studies, which viewed Columbanus and his disciples primarily as religious innovators, this book focuses on the political, economic, and familial implications of monastic patronage and on the benefits elite patrons stood to reap. While founding families were in a privileged position to court royal favour, monastic patronage also exposed them to violent reprisals from competing factions. Columbanian monasteries were not serene havens of contemplation, but rather active foci of power and wealth, and quickly became integral elements of early medieval statecraft.

    • Proposes an innovative perspective on early medieval monasticism by focussing on the political aspects of its development in Francia
    • Provides a new approach to power relations in the barbarian kingdoms by exploring the emergence of a new Christian elite
    • Investigates relations between the secular and ecclesiastical sphere to provide a holistic view of early medieval society
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Anyone wanting to learn about some of the major families of Burgundy and Austrasia will need to consult this book, and the reader will also find numerous points of detail that illuminate the seventh century. At the same time, Fox unwittingly exposes the limits of modern categorization.' Ian Wood, Early Medievel Europe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107658424
    • length: 369 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Merovingians
    2. The aristocracy
    3. Monasteries as guardians of family memory
    4. Monasteries as guardians of family property
    5. Monastic identity

  • Author

    Yaniv Fox, Open University of Israel
    Yaniv Fox is an I-CORE postdoctoral fellow at the Open University of Israel. He took his undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University in history and communications, followed by a Masters and PhD at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel in early medieval history, during which he was awarded the Negev fellowship. As a doctoral candidate he received the MAHAR award for outstanding article in the humanities, awarded for a paper published on early medieval Europe. After submitting his doctoral dissertation, he received the 2012–13 Rothschild postdoctoral fellowship for the humanities, which allowed him to spend a year as a visiting scholar at the Faculty of History in the University of Cambridge and a Postdoctoral Associate at Clare Hall. Yaniv Fox has taught several courses in early medieval history at the Open University of Israel, Ben-Gurion University, and Achva Academic Campus. His field of interest is early medieval history and, particularly, the history of monastic patronage in the Gibichung and Merovingian kingdoms.

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