Frankish? Irish? Other? The Problem with Labels

How and why do you label an idea as belonging to a particular culture? I have been looking at a ninth-century collection of materials on history, calendars and the Easter reckoning which highlights the difficulties in answering this question. The collection (Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, H 150 inf) is known as the ‘Bobbio Computus’ [1] because… Continue reading Frankish? Irish? Other? The Problem with Labels

Medieval Apocalypse, Open Access

A little reminder that there are a couple of things on early medieval apocalypse by me available for free online. First up, there is chapter three of Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2014) here - a wide-ranging chapter which covers Columbanus, Isidore of Seville, Julian of Toledo, Bede, and even the transmission of… Continue reading Medieval Apocalypse, Open Access

A Review of Peter Brown’s ‘Ransom of the Soul’ (2015)

Last summer, I reported a nice little chat I had had with the great Peter Brown about medieval futures. Now Brown’s new book has been out for a little bit, I thought I would share my review of what will no doubt turn out to be another important contribution to our understanding of late Antiquity.… Continue reading A Review of Peter Brown’s ‘Ransom of the Soul’ (2015)

1400 Years of the Edict of Paris!

It was issued 1,400 years ago today! On 18 October 614, the Merovingian king Chlothar II promulgated the Edict of Paris, following the defeat of his rivals and the unification of the Frankish kingdom.[1] In the middle of the twentieth century the Edict was labelled a ‘Magna Carta of the Frankish nobility’ – a description… Continue reading 1400 Years of the Edict of Paris!

Teaching Power and Identity After Rome

The town is bustling; there are new faces everywhere. It is the beginning of semester in St Andrews – a good time to reflect on what it is I’m actually trying to teach my students. Medievalists are often haunted at least a little by the ghost of ‘relevance’. Guy Halsall at York was more than… Continue reading Teaching Power and Identity After Rome

Converting the Isles: Conference Report

Roy Flechner and Máire Ní Mhaonaigh have been co-ordinating a research network, ‘Converting the Isles’, most recently funded by the Leverhulme Trust. They rightly stress the importance of ‘conversion’ in Europe history: Conversion to Christianity is arguably the most revolutionary social and cultural change that Europe experienced in late-antiquity and the early middle ages. Christianisation… Continue reading Converting the Isles: Conference Report