Hagiography, Historiography, and Identity in Sixth-Century Gaul
Hagiography, Historiography, and Identity in Sixth-Century Gaul
Rethinking Gregory of Tours
€ 104,00 excl. VAT
Number of pages
Publication date
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Also available as
eBook PDF - € 103,99
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments \

The Cults of Saints
Gregory of Tours and his Work
East and West
The Aims of this Study

1. Gregory of Tours
The Life of Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours and his Saints
Martin of Tours
Julian of Brioude
Vita Patrum
The Glory of the Confessors
The Glory of the Martyrs

2. 'When the Saints Go Marching In': Eastern Saints in Merovingian Gaul
The Italian Evidence
The Eastern Evidence: Glory of the Martyrs
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus
The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
Cosmas and Damian
The Eastern Evidence: Glory of the Confessors
Conclusion: The Dissemination of the Cults of Saints

3. The Miraculous History of Gregory of Tours
Libri Miraculorum Revisited
Gregory of Tours’s Literary Approach
Gregory of Tours’s Historiographical Perception
From Hagiography to Ecclesiasticcal History
A Brief History of 'Ecclesiastical History'
Historiographical and Literary Context

4. 'By Romans They Refer To…' (Romanos Enim Vocitant): History, Hagiography, and Identity
Whose History Is It Anyway?
Gallo-Christian Identity
Gaul vs. Spain
Gaul vs. the East
Hagiography and Identity
The Martyrologium Hieronymianum


Reviews and Features

"[...] this is a readable and rather enjoyable book which does indeed succeed in getting us to think about Gregory afresh."
- Paul Fouracre, The Medieval Review, June 2022

"[...] there is much to commend in Rotman’s innovations and nuanced reassessments; they should help instruct how scholars may better approach the corpus of the bishop of Tours henceforth."
- Allen E. Jones, Journal of Early Christian Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3

''Hagiography, historiography, and Gregory of Tours are all subjects that have attracted a good deal of attention since 1960: the concept of identity has come to the fore rather more recently, above all since 2000. Tamar Rotman has something to add to the four areas of discussion.''
- Ian Wood, University of Leeds, Early Medieval Europe, 2023, Vol. 31, No. 2

"Rotman’s study performs a vital service in demonstrating that Gregory’s second great literary project was no less deliberate and profound than the Historiae. For this reason, and for its many insights into the connections between Merovingian Francia and the wider Mediterranean, it is necessary reading for all scholars of Gregory and his milieu."
- Gregory Halfond, Speculum, vol 98, no 3, July 2023

''Rotman’s book is both interesting and challenging. Its argument is innovative and carefully crafted, directing our attention to problematic and unexplained elements in Gregory’s oeuvre and signaling assumptions about genre and categorization that historians can unwittingly bring to the table.''
- Isabel Moreira, Studies in Late Antiquity, Winter 2023

''...Rotman’s book opens the door to further developments in scholarship on Gregory and the role of hagiography in historical study''.
-Erica Buchberger, Church History Journal , June 2023

Tamar Rotman

Hagiography, Historiography, and Identity in Sixth-Century Gaul

Rethinking Gregory of Tours

Gregory of Tours, the sixth-century Merovingian bishop, composed extensive historiographical and hagiographical corpora during the twenty years of his episcopacy in Tours. These works serve as important sources for the cultural, social, political and religious history of Merovingian Gaul. This book focuses on Gregory’s hagiographical collections, especially the Glory of the Martyrs, Glory of the Confessors, and Life of the Fathers, which contain accounts of saints and their miracles from across the Mediterranean world. It analyses these accounts from literary and historical perspectives, examining them through the lens of relations between the Merovingians and their Mediterranean counterparts, and contextualizing them within the identity crisis that followed the disintegration of the Roman world. This approach leads to groundbreaking conclusions about Gregory’s hagiographies, which this study argues were designed as an "ecclesiastical history" (of the Merovingian Church) that enabled him to craft a specific Gallo-Christian identity for his audience.

Tamar Rotman

Tamar Rotman specializes in late antique and early medieval history. Her research focuses on the role of hagiography and the cults of saints in the identity discourse of the early Middle Ages, giving special attention to the transmission of knowledge and cultural practices in the Mediterranean sphere. She is a Fulbright and a Rothschild scholar and a visiting scholar at Columbia University.