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10. Clovis and the Franks

The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210) Professor Freedman begins his discussion of Gregory of Tours' history of the Merovingian kings. This history differs markedly from the classical invective style used by Procopius. Gregory of Tours' account seems more random by comparison and emphasizes the intervention of the supernatural in everyday life, particularly through the miracles of St. Martin of Tours. Gregory begins his account by showing how Clovis established Frankish hegemony and secured the prominence of the Franks in the post-Roman West. That the Franks were the first Catholic (as opposed to Arian) people among the barbarian invaders also figures heavily in his account. Professor Freedman ends the lecture with a discussion of Clovis' sons, among whom Clovis had divided his empire. Despite their violent internecine conflicts,, Gregory of Tours considers them and their father to be appropriate rulers for savage times. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Gregory of Tours and Procopius as historians 06:17 - Chapter 2. Gregory of Tours, the Author and his Writings 17:08 - Chapter 3. Gregory of Tours on the Franks 23:31 - Chapter 4. Clovis and Christianity 39:47 - Chapter 5. The Sons of Clovis Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu This course was recorded in Fall 2011.
Length: 46:55

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