The role of the nobility in the creation of Gallo-Frankish society in the late fifth and sixth centuries AD
The aim of this dissertation is to explore the contribution made by the nobility, both Gallo-Roman and Frankish, to the creation of a new society after the collapse of imperial authority in the west, Gallo-Frankish society. The first chapter of this dissertation is a review of the sources, both ancient and modern, used in the research undertaken for this dissertation. It is important to realise that, while not as numerous as those of other periods, sufficient ancient material survives to make a study such as this valid. Modern issues and debates will be highlighted, including an indication of what led me to this particular thesis. The second chapter outlines the history of Gaul and the barbarians to the middle of the fifth century. It then looks at the institutions that were the backbone of Gallo-Roman society. The third chapter explores the lives of a number of individuals who lived in Gaul during the late third and fourth centuries. They exemplify the challenges that faced the nobility and the ways they found of facing them. Chapter four introduces the Franks as the successors to imperial rule in Gaul. A narrative history is followed by a study of the institutions that they made use of in establishing their power. Chapter five narrows the focus still further and looks at the role that the monarchy and the nobility had to play in the creation of Gallo-Frankish society. It will look at specific examples in order to demonstrate the vital role that the fusion taking place between Gallo-Romans and Franks played in this process. The final chapter, chapter six reaches the conclusion that Gallo-Frankish society was based on an amalgamation of Gallo-Romans and Franks, an amalgamation that was remarkably peaceful, given the events of the period.