Chicken or Egg?
Chicken or Egg
So I’m looking at Stafford’s Queens, Concubines and Dowagers to see if there’s anything useful for the paper-to-article thing. And she says, “During the sixth century the Merovingian kings extended Frankish control and won great though not always lasting victories over Thuringians, Burgundians, and Bavarians” (p. x)
So here’s my question, and it’s one that has been floating around in my head since I started my PhD thesis:
The who? This is particularly in reference to the Thuringians. Oh — let me preface this by saying I haven’t yet read any of the (end of) Rome/Barbarian books that have come out in the last year or so, nor Wickham. Sorry — heavy teaching load and job searches kind of got in the way. But anyway …The who?
Do we actually know anything about the Thuringians, except that we have a law code and Fredegar and (I think) the Annales Regni Francorum. And some of Boniface’s correspondence. At least, that’s all I can think of in terms of pre-Carolingian stuff. I assume Stafford is talking about the Basina/Basinus/Chlothilde stuff (also in Gregory — sorry LDW!), and perhaps Radulf, who is put in as dux. But does anyone know of a anything that ties all of these sources together into the same group of people? Because IIRC, Schlesinger, in Geschichte Thüringens discusses the arguments that the Thuringian duces (or is it just the Würzburger duces?) at the time of Boniface’s mission are possibly (probably? — oh hell, that may be Prinz. I should check that.) the descendants of Radulf, which I suppose makes him an analog for Agilolf in Bavaria.
Why am I rambling about this? To figure out one small point that may or may not make it into this article. It would be nice to know which law obtained in the area I’m studying in the period between Boniface’s mission and, say the reigns of Pippin or more likely, Charlemagne. And of course, “this area” is also problematic. Anybody know of good maps for C7, C8, and C9 on what areas were considered parts of Thuringia then? Anyway, I’m looking at women and property in this area, and it would be nice to know whether we modern people are calling it Thuringia because that’s where the Thuringians were, or if we’re calling the people Thuringians because that’s where they live.
And yes, I realise that the real answer is probably that we just don’t know and who cares? But it’s these little details that keep me from fretting about the rest of my life.
Also, yes, I am very aware of Innes’ State and Society. It doesn’t answer my questions per se, but I suppose I should just break down and buy a damned copy, since CUP lost LDW’s order when he tried to get it for me as a gift.
PS — If this entry tells you for sure who ADM is IRL and you didn’t already know, I’d appreciate your not passing it on. Cheers.