Barbarians, maps, and historiography: studies on the early medieval West

To complement his first collection of articles (Rome's Fall and After, 1989), Walter Goffart presents here a further set of essays, all but two published between 1988 and 2007. They mainly focus on two types of historiography: early medieval narratives, with special attention to Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica; and printed maps designed to portray and teach history, with special attention to the ubiquitous 'map of the barbarian invasions'.The wide-ranging concerns represented extend from the underside of the Life of St Severinus of Noricum, and further evidence for dating Beowulf, to the questions whether the barbarian invasions period was a 'heroic age' and how Charlemagne shaped his own succession. Attention is also paid to the earliest map illustrating the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy and to the historical vignettes of the Vatican Galleria delle carte geografiche. The collection opens with the appraisal of certain writings dealing with what is now called 'ethnogenesis theory'. To conclude, Professor Goffart adds brief second thoughts about each of these essays and supplies an annotated list of his articles that have not been reprinted.