merovingian world

James T Palmer on the Early Middle Ages and Other Things

Current Projects

Sciences and Belief in Early Medieval Europe

St Gall, 250, p. 2
The course of the Sun, Moon and Planets

The aim of this project is to explore the cultural and political contexts of “sciences” in the early medieval world. Sciences from astronomy to medicine were not the marginal pursuits in the period it is often claimed – they were debated at courts, framed how people acted, and received significant resources in books and time. How then did thinking about the natural world shape belief and action?

This project is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust with a Major Research Fellowship for 2018-21Leverhulme

Merovingians Worlds

Gregory of Tours’ Histories (Cambrai, BM, 684).

The Merovingian kingdoms (c. 450-751) were the most powerful and long-lived of the states that transformed the inheritance of Rome after the Crisis of the Fifth Century. This was a world built on dynamic political, social, and religious interactions, and shaped by its wide-ranging connections from Britain and Ireland to Byzantium and beyond. Merovingian Worlds (contracted with Cambridge University Press) will provide a critical introduction to the rich source material, material and text, and the modern debates that shaped our perception of Western Europe after the Fall of Rome. To capture the richness of Merovingian society, the book will be structured around six interlocking themes: Global Gaul, Peoples under the Merovingians, History and Time, the Organisation of Knowledge, Power and Consent, and Religious Encounters.


The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius in the West: Texts, Transmission, and Traditions

Ps-Methodius in BAV Barb. lat. 671 (8thC)

This project is a collaboration between myself and Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University) to produce a new volume on Pseudo-Methodius’s Revelation for Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum. Pseudo-Methodius became one of the ‘bestsellers’ of the Middle Ages after its swift translation from Syriac to Greek and from Greek into Latin by the early eighth century. It survives in well over 200 manuscripts and in four versions in the Latin tradition. The forthcoming volume will provide a significantly updated and revised account of the manuscript tradition with editions, epi-editions, and cultural commentary.

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