Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400-750

Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400-750

Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400-750

Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400-750

Synopsis

This illustrated book continues themes in Central European cultural history treated elsewhere with the intention of presenting an interdisciplinary study of early medieval socio-cultural developments. A continuation of the preceding books, this volume examines the archeological evidence of the groups who settled Central Europe. It aims to amplify the information recorded during the late Roman Empire about societies, social dynamics and ethnological contexts by examining their material culture. The language of significant objects complements the literature of significant texts. The three parts of the book inform of the historical and archeological evidence; elaborate the socio-cultural conclusions provided by archeology; examine the system of values as reflected in the forms of artistic expression. The study of objects helps clarify the contours of the Germanic populations of pre-Carolingian Central Europe.

Excerpt

This book continues some of the thematic presentation of Central European cultural history begun in the earlier volumes, The Prehistory of Germanic Europe, The Romans in Central Europe and The Germanic Realms in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400 – 750. It should be appreciated that a recapitulation of this vast range of material cannot be entertained. The aim of this book is to present an interdisciplinary study of the social and cultural developments of Central Europe from the fifth to the middle of the eighth centuries. It is also the intention to survey, examine and illustrate the interplay between some themes in political. religious, socio-economic and cultural history reflected in the archcological and artistic evidence from pagan to Christian times. The area of our concern is that part of Central Europe which, following the Roman Period, came to constitute the East Frankish Kingdom under the Merovingians.

Though a balanced presentation is desirable, the sheer amount of available historical evidence and traditional analysis weight the discussion in favor of the textual rather than the material evidence. The former reflects the activities of the leading social groups, the latter tends to reflect society more widely. It is hoped that the contours will be more sharply defined. As a continuation of the preceding volumes this book will examine the unwritten, archeological evidence pertaining to the likely origins of thinly scattered, largely unnamed, often changing, perhaps Germanic, populations. At the time they entered the written, historical records, as they wandered away from their places of probable origin, they also underwent ‘ethnic’ mutations, acquired names, ‘tribal’ cohesion, developed a community of interests and accepted a common cause. These populations refined their leadership principles, accepted or rejected influences, developed sociopolitical structures, split into factions with particular intentions and destinations, absorbed other population splinters and eventually contributed to the general development of large parts of Europe and some of the regions surrounding the Mediterranean from the Late Imperial Period to the emergence of the Carolingian Empire. The individualistically motivated, voluntary and probably opportunistic nature of group membership, with the inherent rules and contractual conditions, privileges, punishments and rewards, which could be earned in . . .

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