Smith, Adrian (2010) The 'Prehistory' of Gregory of Tours: An Analysis of Books I-IV of Gregory's Histories. MPhil thesis, University of York.
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This thesis is concerned with the structure and agenda of the first four books of Gregory of Toursâ Histories. Building on the idea that it was the death of Gregoryâs patron, king Sigibert, at the end of Book IV, that stimulated the writing of the Histories, I argue that the agenda of the first four books, the âPrehistoryâ, relates directly to the events that brought about the Civil War that resulted in Sigibertâs death. This focus has previously gone unrecognised. I suggest that there is a strong structural framework to this section of the Histories, designed to promote the authorâs agenda. This confirms that Books I-IV were conceived as one unit, and also heightens the level at which modern scholarship should view Gregoryâs literary achievement. This in turn should illuminate the state of Merovingian education and society as a whole.
The message behind Gregoryâs carefully structured âPrehistoryâ is an expansion of the Preface to Book V, in which Gregory pleads with his audience, his contemporary kings, to follow the path of God, like their ancestor, Clovis. This will bring peace and an end to greed and Civil War. This path, continually espoused by the agents of the Lord, His bishops, would lead to a successful reign and a healthy kingdom. Failure to listen to Gregory and his colleagues, would lead only to ruin, a message reiterated throughout the Prehistory, and highlighted in the death of king Sigibert.
|Item Type:||Thesis (MPhil)|
|Keywords:||Gregory of Tours, Merovingians, Clovis, Stucture|
|Department:||The University of York > History (York)|
|Deposited By:||Mr Adrian Smith|
|Deposited On:||09 Jul 2012 12:13|
|Last Modified:||09 Jul 2012 13:29|
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