New honores for a region transformed. The patriciate in Post-Roman Gaul

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Abstract

This paper explores the development of the office of patricius in Burgundy and Provence, from the disintegration of Roman rule in the region and the rise of the Burgundian kingdom, through the Merovingian era, and up to the rise of the Carolingians. The patriciate was emblematic of the romanitas of southern Gallic culture, while simultaneously reflecting the innovations that characterised the shift to barbarian rule. Patricians were more than mere officeholders: they were very central functionaries, holding together the tenuous fabric of government, and at the same time liminal figures, exercising near-autonomous status and operating in the "grey areas" of Merovingian sovereignty. The transformation of the office from an honorific held only by kings, to a rank bestowed upon civilian governors, and then to a title that accompanied a military command, illuminates the processes that affected Gaul as it transitioned from late antiquity to the early middle ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-286
Number of pages38
JournalRevue Belge de Philologie et de Histoire
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
★ The authors gratefully acknowledge support from MITACS, NSERC, Ryerson, and WVU.

Keywords

  • Burgundiann
  • Burgundy
  • Francia
  • Gaul
  • Maior domus
  • Merovingian - Patricius - Patrician
  • Provence
  • Rector

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