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Title: A critical study of the Liber Historiae Francorum
Author: Gerberding, Richard A.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1983
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Although the Liber Historiae Francorum is the only surviving contemporary chronicle which treats the fifty years spanning the turn of the seventh to the eighth century in Frankish Gaul, it has been generally mistrusted by students of the period. This thesis is an attempt to discover whether the reputation is just or whether the chronicle might yield new information about the later Merovingian age. In so doing it asks three questions: 1) Is the work's latest edition, which is now nearly 100 years old, still the best version of the text we can achieve? 2) How accurate is the LHF's description of events? 3) Does a study of the author and his attitudes yield any insight into the nature of late Merovingian politics and society? The study concludes that the edition is an accurate rendering of the surviving manuscripts and an adequate basis for study of the work. This is true despite the fact that the contents of one early manuscript, which was unknown to the work's editor, calls into question the currently held assumptions concerning order, date, and composition of the LHF's recensions. Although the chronicle does indeed contain many errors in its earlier parts, for the period from the 650's (LHF-43) to the end of the work, there are a surprising number of instances where its version of events is either as believable as or more probable than the currently accepted view. An analysis of the author and his attitudes outlines a picture of late Merovingian politics as conducted by factions of leading Neustrians, whom the chronicler calls the Franci, and who could find unity in the loyalty due the legitimate Merovingian king.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Franks ; History ; Historiography ; Kings and rulers ; France ; To 768 ; To 987