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Early Medieval Regions and Identities

colonial governments in certain African tribes, for example, cleared away many of the communitarian defenses against predation and empowered the headman to exercise a great deal of arbitrary authority that had not been previously possible ( Van de Walle 2001). 3. Finally, communitarian law may be rationalized endogenously, either de novo or from the attraction of an external example. Such was the process in post-Roman Europe, where Germanic kings slowly adopted pieces of Roman law – first only the legal categories to aid in the articulation of the existing law, but over


Resistance among the Medieval Peasantry," one of the first articles to discuss gossip and talk in a medieval context. His most recent book is Legge, pratiche e conjlitti (2ooo), and he is work- ing on a book on post-Roman Europe and the Mediterranean. He is an editor of Past and Present. 22l

in Fama

central aspects of their subject, such as urbanism, rural settlement, water-supply, church architecture, and burial archaeology. With the publication of this book, Iberia in the crucial period AD 300-850 can no longer be ignored by archaeology courses, nor side-lined in general discussions of developments in post-Roman Europe. Secondly, understanding what happened in Iberia in this period from an archaeological perspective is peculiarly interesting and important, because, unlike most of the Roman Empire, the peninsula witnessed two major take-overs of power, and

stone foundation and suitable for the passage of horses, wagons and chariots’ (Byrne 1973: 33), mentioned in cap. 30 of the Vita Brigidae by Cogitosus.28 7. Ecclesiastical authorities, in their zeal for civilizing the bar- barous conditions of life in post-Roman Europe, actively sup- ported the construction of bridges and log roads. In France, there were religious groups, active in constructing and repair- ing the infrastructure (called fratres pontifices, frères pontifes, attested for Albi/Tarn 1035, Paris and Rouen/Seine, Arles and Avignon/Rhône already before 1200

singular refer- ent.18 The result was the rise of a reverential vos, much later imitated by some other European societies. The medieval German emperors repli- cated this principle in their o‰cial documents written in Latin and in the 9th century, German ir (you.PL) began to be used in the same way (Lock- wood 1968: 61). The first context extension involved the spread of the Latin plural form vos from the emperor to the nobility. This use was adopted and further extended in post-Roman European societies: In me- dieval Europe, generally, the nobility said T to the common

outlier in the middle of the graph on the left). Of the others, as was noted above, the coverage of the verb-based lexical type is too thin to give much confidence in the results. One conclusion to be drawn is that the east-west cline for inflectional person is very strong and robust across various groupings and breakdowns, while the others are evident only under some conditions. How to explain this geography? The worldwide high-latitude continuum cannot be explained by the linguistic and cultural impact of Roman or post-Roman Europe, colonial Europe, China, Mongolia

Affair’, in Alexander O’Hara (ed.), Columbanus and the Peoples of Post- Roman Europe, Oxford 2018, pp. 143– 164, at p. 150; Thomas Scharff, ʻDie Körper der Ketzer im hochmittelalterlichen Häresiediskurs’, in Clemens Wischermann and Stefan Haas (eds.), Körper und Geschichte. Der menschliche Körper als Ort der Selbst- und Weltdeutung, Stuttgart 2000, pp. 133–149. Chindasvinth, the ‘Gothic disease’, and the Monothelite crisis 177 henceforth root out this custom from the very ground. Fredegar’s portrayal of the Visigothic king, though it may sound cynical to us, is perhaps

harder to draw ethnographic conclusions from archaeological facts than to solve chronological or economic problems, for tangible remains 99 Frontiers in the sense of a linear circumscription or a section thereof, do not seem to have existed to any significant extent in post-Roman Europe before the later Medieval period, since wide areas of no-man's land consisted of woodland and marsh. This evidence had been mostly accepted in the literature after having been programmatically pointed out in: H.F.HELMOLT, Die Entwicklung der Grenzlinie aus dem Grenzsaume im alten