Ancient History & Civilisation



Acta synh. habit. Romae – Acta Synhodorum habitarum Romae

Anon. Val. – Anonymous Valesianus

Cod. Just. – Codex Justinianus (Code of Justinian), see Corpus Iuris Civilis

C. Th. – Codex Theodosianus (Theodosian Code)

Ep. Aust. – Epistolae Austrasiacae

H.E. – Historia Ecclesiastica (Ecclesiastical History).

ILSInscriptiones Latinae Selectae, see Dessau (1974)

Justinian Nov. – Justinianus Novellae (Novels of the Emperor Justinian), see Corpus Iuris Civilis

Lib. Pont. – Liber Pontificalis (Book of the Pontiffs)

MGH – Monumenta Germaniae Historica

Nov. Val. III – Novels of the Emperor Valentinian III, see Codex Theodosianus

PLREProsopography of the Later Roman Empire

SH – Procopius, Secret History


1 How long the Roman Empire lasted depends, of course, on how you count. I’m dating its establishment here from the moment of its first major extra-Italian acquisition: the conquest of Sicily. The quotation is from Malchus fr. 14, trans. Blockley (1983), 410.

2 For a much fuller exploration of these crucial transformations, see Heather (2005), c. 3; (2009), cc. 2–3 with full guidance to the many and varied studies on which this picture is based.

3 This is a brief summary of the story I tried to tell in much more detail in The Fall of Rome: Heather (2005).

4 On the so-called Slavicization of Europe which redrew the map of central and Eastern Europe, see Heather (2009), esp. cc. 7–8 with, again, full refs to the body of literature on which the picture is based.


1 Cassiodorus, Variae 1.1, trans. Hodgkin (1886), 141–2. The best introduction to Hellenistic concepts of kingship and their (barely) Christianized continuation in the late Roman period is Dvornik (1966), with MacCormack (1981) on their regular acting out in imperial ceremonial.

2 Getica 52.271.

3 Gens purpura: e.g. Variae 4.1; 9.1; 10.1–4. The generations are numbered in Variae 9.25. A fuller Amal genealogy is laid out at Getica 14.79–81.

4 Jordanes gives his account of his usage of Cassiodorus’ history at Getica Pref. 2–3. Momigliano (1955) famously argued that Jordanes was lying to cover up his closeness to Cassiodorus; Goffart (1988) argued the opposite. Both views have other advocates besides. I have laid out my own opinions in more detail in Heather (1991), c. 2 (1993). The two letters of Cassiodorus which pertain particularly to the debate are Variae 9.24–5.

5 The Thracian Goths have a large role to play in what follows. Goths under Hunnic domination: Priscus fr. 49. Crimea and Sea of Azov: Procopius, Wars 8. 4.9 ff.; Buildings 3.7.13.

6 Getica 48.246–52 unravelled in Heather (1989).

7 Valamer’s 300 pounds of gold p.a.: Priscus fr. 37. The contrast between the visible wealth of the fourth-century Goth-dominated Cernjachov culture and the gold of the Hunnic era is staggering: compare, e.g., Heather (1996) c. 3 with Bierbrauer (1980) or Bona (1991). Heather (2009), c. 5 discussed the broader impact of the rise and fall of the Hunnic Empire in more detail and with full refs to current scholarship.

8 For more detail discussion of the Vandals and Visigoths, with full refs: Heather (2009), c. 4. Clovis: Gregory of Tours, Histories 2.40–2 with below, page 000.

9 On the politics of the city’s creation, see Dagron (1974) with Heather and Moncur (2001) for the creation of the Senate and some of its subsequent political uses. Grig and Kelly (2012) contains some helpful additional contributions.

10 His body was never found, generating many romantic stories, not least the legend of the marble emperor who, a latter-day King Arthur, would awaken to retake Constantinople from the Turks: see further Nicol (1992).

11 Alföldi (1974); Mocsy (1974); Lengyel and Radan (1980) remain the best introduction, although much has been learned since; see e.g. Christie (1996); Whitby (2000).

12 Croke (2005) sparked off my train of thought on the young Theoderic’s arrival. The best (and wonderfully brief) guide to the archaeological development of the city remains Mango (1985) with full refs.

13 Puzo (1969), 16.

14 Rosamund: Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards 4.28. See Getica 52.271 for the division of opinion about sending Theoderic to Constantinople.

15 Braund (1984), esp. 9–31.

16 On Leo, Aspar, and the Isaurians, see e.g. Brooks (1893); Thompson (1946); Scott (1976); Stein (1949), c. 10, (1950), c. 1.

17 Getica 55.282 ff.; cf. PLRE 1, 905 for refs to Theodosius’ Sarmatian triumph.

18 Getica 53.276; cf. Heather (2009), 246 ff. for a more detailed treatment of the post-Attilan fallout.

19 Pay: Malchus fr. 2. Theophanes AM 5931 suggests that some at least of the Thracian Goths had been established on imperial territory since the 420s. The text is not without problems, but does stack up with a chain of other evidence (Theoderic Strabo’s relationship by marriage to Aspar, the fact that these Goths provided the garrison of Constantinople etc) which emphasizes how deeply embedded they were within the Constantinopolitan political establishment by the 470s: see in more detail Heather (1991), 251–63.

20 I have set out my own views on the identity debate as it relates to the so-called (by the Romans) ‘barbarians’ of late antiquity in fuller form in Heather (2008) with full refs. Alternative views can be found in e.g. various of the papers collected in Gillett (2002), and Halsall (2007), c. 2. See also Heather (2009), cc. 1 and 11 for the key intellectual linkage that operates in this period between conceptions of identity, and the reality or not of large-scale migration. The key evidence for the propensity of the Pannonian Goths actually to engage in farming is provided by Malchus fr. 18.3, p. 430.5 ff.; fr. 20, p. 438.55 ff.; fr. 20, p. 446.199 ff. with further discussion in Heather (1991), 242 ff. All subsequent page and line references to the surviving fragments of Malchus’ history refer to the edition and translation of Blockley (1983).

21 Wagon train: Malchus fr. 20, p. 448, l. 245; cf. Heather (2009), 28 ff. with full refs on the migration habit.

22 Lots: Getica 56.283. Vithimer’s son Vithimer may have received in Gaul two letters from Bishop Ruricius of Limoges: Epp. 2.61 and 63: trans. Mathisen (1999).

23 Advance on Thessalonica: Getica 56.287. Departure for Italy: Getica 57.289 ff.

24 The principle that only one group could be paid at a time is expressed at Malchus fr. 15, p. 420, ll. 10 ff.

25 Euboia: Getica 56.285–7. The text of Strabo’s treaty with Leo can be found at Malchus fr. 2. p. 408. ll. 22 ff. Extensive quotations from Malchus’ history were preserved by the tenth century. Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyryogenitus: see further Blockley (1981), c. 4. Brooks (1893) remains an excellent guide to the court politics within Constantinople, so long as you allow for the fact that he tended to see all Isaurians as natural allies, whereas the evidence is clear that there were distinct groups with their own potential inner rivalries.

26 For introductions to the burgeoning archaeology of Isauria: see e.g. Foss (1990); Mitchell (1993); Hill (1996).

27 A more detailed account of the rise and fall of Basiliscus can be found in e.g. Brooks (1893); Heather (1991), 272–8; Stein (1950), c. 1.

28 The sources for Armatus and his fall are listed at PLRE 2, 148. Strabo’s 13,000 men: Malchus fr. 18.4. Theoderic the Amal at one point offered to campaign where the emperor wanted with 6,000 ‘of his best’ men while leaving his non-combatants in the city of Dyrrhachium (Malchus fr. 20, p. 446.215 ff.) which required a garrison of 2,000 (Malchus fr. 20, p. 440.83 ff.). He wouldn’t have been taking any risks at this point, so we’re again looking at c.10,000 combatants. Sideswapping: Malchus fr. 18. 1.

29 Malchus fr. 18.2.

30 Malchus fr. 20, p. 444.175 ff.

31 Malchus fr. 18.2, p. 428.30 ff.

32 Malchus frr. 18.3–4, 20. Some evidence of these Gothic assaults has emerged from archaeological investigation: Pallas (1977); Wiseman (1984) with refs.

33 Malchus fr. 20, p. 446.212 ff.

34 Malchus fr. 20, p. 446.226 ff.

35 Marcian’s attempted coup in late 479 is the last incident recounted by Malchus: fr. 22. From 480, our main source becomes instead the surviving fragments of John of Antioch, which can be read in translation in Gordon (1966). The account of his death is taken from John of Antioch fr. 211.5; other sources as PLRE 2, 1076.

36 Recitach’s murder of his uncles: John of Antioch fr. 211.5. His own death: John of Antioch fr. 214.3; cf. Heather (1991), 301 ff. for fuller discussion of the likely shift of allegiance among the bulk of the Thracian Goths.

37 See Brooks (1893) for a typically lively account.

38 Autumn, once the harvest had been gathered in but while the grass was still growing, was an excellent time to make such moves. The main source for his revolt and the move on Constantinople is John of Antioch fr. 214.4 ff.

39 The quotation is from John of Antioch fr. 214a. Good secondary accounts of the conquest of Italy can be found in Wolfram (1988), 278 ff.; Moorhead (1992), c. 1.


1 Cassiodorus, Variae 9.24.

2 The letters are edited by Mommsen (1894a). Hodgkin (1886) is a sometimes highly abbreviated summary translation of the Variae collection; Barnish (1992) provides a fully annotated up-to-date translation of a selection of the letters. For an introduction to Cassiodorus and his career, see e.g. O’Donnell (1979); Barnish (1992), ix–liii; Heather (1993). Liberius certainly and arguably Symmachus and Boethius – all of whom we will return to later in the chapter – were all more important Roman advisers to Theoderic in the formative part of his reign than Cassiodorus.

3 Bjornlie (2009) is excellent on the context of the collection’s creation, but – in my view implausibly – considers that the letters were substantially rewritten for a bureaucratic audience in Constantinople after 540. On the classicizing agenda of Theoderic’s regime to which the letters’ tone and contents were well suited, see Heather (1993). This is not to deny that Cassiodorus could and did play many tricks with the selection and arrangement of his chosen letters, as we shall see later in the chapter.

4 Kaster (1988), esp. 12–19 is excellent on the role ascribed to education; cf. Sorabji (1983), esp. cc. 13 and 20 for how these ideas intersected with the ancient view of the universe. The classic study of ancient political theory and the limited impact of Christianity is Dvornik (1966), esp. cc. 8, 10–12.

5 Mosaic decoration: MacCormack (1981), 236–9; cf. more generally on Theoderic’s palaces: Johnson (1988); Ward-Perkins, 1984.

6 For an introduction to the Goths’ non-Nicene Christianity, see Heather and Matthews (1991), cc. 4–7. Theoderic and the papacy: Anon. Val. 12.65 on the adventus, and Moorhead (1992), c. 4 on the disputed election. Synod: Acta synh. habit. Romae, I, p. 405. Ennodius: ed. Hartel, pp. 267–8; cf. id., Life of Epiphanius 97.35.

7 Civilitas: Barnish (1992), xxiv–xxv; cf. Variae 1.27; 2.24; 6.5; 8.33; 9.18. General importance of the law: e.g. Variae 2.7; 3.17 (cf. 18); 4.22; 5.40; 10.5. Actual cross-references to the Theodosian Code and other imperial laws are cited by Mommsen (1894a) at pp. 281–3. See too Variae 12.5 and 11.13 on libertas.

8 Panegyric: ed. Hartel, p. 264, 13 ff.; cf. Variae 3.13, 8.15, 8.31; with Variae 9.21 on grammarians’ pay.

9 For fuller discussion of all these points, see Heather (1993); (1994a).

10 On the build-up of Church rights and property in the late Roman period, see Jones (1964), c. 22; Wood (2006), esp. c. 1. Vandal contrast: e.g. Courtois (1955), 289–310; Heather (2007); Merrills and Miles (2010), c. 7.

11 For the threat, see Ennodius, Life of Epiphanius 122–35. On the Italian aristocracy, see Barnish (1988); Schäfer (1991); Wickham (2005), 155–68.

12 For an introduction to Norman land grabbing, see e.g. Hooke (1998); Williams (1991); Baxter (2007), c. 7. Theoderic’s loss of manpower to Strabo in c.477: above page 000.

13 Cassiodorus, Variae 2.15–16. Ennodius, Ep. 9.23. PLRE 2, 677–81 collects and discusses the other references to him in our sources.

14 Bierbraüer (1975), 23–39, based fundamentally on information which emerges incidentally from Procopius’ narrative of the East Roman conquest.

15 Goffart (1980) – substantially restated in (2006), c. 6 – famously argued that no actual real estate changed hands and has won many followers. In my view, his argument is successful in bringing tax adjustments into the picture, and it is to Goffart that we owe a convincing identification of the Italian ‘thirds’. But his insistence that no land changed hands stretches the argument beyond breaking point, and a necessary reaction has followed: see e.g. Barnish (1986); Wickham (1993); Halsall (2007), 442–7; and the papers collected in Riviere (2012).

16 Amory (1997) argued that Theoderic’s army essentially disappeared into the landscape, and, like the accommodation argument of Goffart, it too has its admirers. Heather (1995) collects and discusses the evidence from the Variae relating to Gothic-army management, which is not insubstantial, including Variae 5.26–7 (calling in Goths from Picenum and Samnium to receive their donatives); 5.36 (a written discharge); 8.26 (subgroup in Riete choosing its own prior).

17 Getica 60: 313.

18 Good narratives can be found in James (1988), c. 3; Wood (1994), c. 4. The main points of controversy are detailed chronology, and the size of the entity based around Soissons: see further page 000.

19 Variae 3.1.2–3.

20 Variae 3.2.3–4.

21 Variae 3.5.2–5.

22 Variae 1.1.

23 An older strand of scholarship – e.g. Jones (1962) – tried to tie down Theoderic’s exact constitutional position as ruler of Italy, but this is in the end a hopeless task. Prostko-Prostynski (1994), c. 1 and 131 ff. ably assembles and discusses the available evidence for the different rounds of negotiation, and it is his reconstruction that I broadly follow here. The one point I’m not completely sure about is whether Constantinople formally agreed to everything that Theoderic in practice did in such matters as statue placement and acclamation; as far as I can see, there is no way to be certain.

24 Amalafrida’s wedding: Procopius, Wars 3.8.12. Letter exchange: Cassiodorus, Variae 5.43–4.

25 See further Wolfram (1988), 320 ff.

26 Variae 3.2.1 with 1.46.2–3 on the clocks. The excellent translation of a selection of Avitus’ works in Shanzer and Wood (2002) has made important aspects of culture and politics of the Burgundian kingdom now much more accessible to a non-Latinate audience.

27 Variae 3.4.1–2; 2.41.2.

28 Conquest of Spain and centralization of the treasury: Procopius Wars 5.12.33 ff.; cf. Variae 5.35 and 39 for two snapshots of consolidated administration including Spain, presumably from 511 just before Cassiodorus left the post of quaestor.

29 Life of Caesarius 1.36–43 for the meeting, trans. in Klingshirn (1994b). The councils are discussed in more detail in Klingshirn (1994a), 124 ff.

30 ILS 827.

31 Eutharic appears in the Getica at 33:174–5. His roughness is commented upon at Anon. Val. 14.80. It is often assumed that Amalaric, Theoderic’s grandson via his son-in-law the Visigothic king Alaric II, was destined to rule over Spain, but see below, page 000.

32 The literature on the background to the Acacian schism is inexhaustible, but see e.g. Allen (2000); Gray (2005); Millar (2006), c. 4.

33 For more detailed accounts with full refs, see Moorhead (1992), 194–200; cf. Noble (1993); Sotinel (2005).

34 On Cassiodorus’ Chronicle, see O’Donnell (1979), 36–43. Justin’s adoption of Eutharic is mentioned at Variae 8.1.3; cf. Claude (1989) on the significance of the act.

35 Anon. Val. 14.83 gives the diabolical explanation for the standard list of failures that have long been noted (it is also the source of the comment that Theoderic was about to launch a persecution of Catholics just before his death). See further e.g. Momigliano (1955); Moorhead (1992), c. 7.

36 Momigliano (1955). Its model of a Rome/Ravenna divide has remained hugely influential ever since: e.g. Moorhead (1992), c. 5.

37 Variae 6.6 provides a convenient job description for the post of Magister Officiorum. The sources for Boethius’ career are collected and discussed at PLRE 2, 233–7.

38 Matthews (1975), cc. 1–2 is a superb treatment of otium: this ideal of rational, cultural, busyness on the part of the elite ties in tightly with the Graeco-Roman self-understanding of the cultural characteristics which made it an inherently superior human society: above, page 000.

39 Boethius: Variae 1.10; Gundobad: Variae 1.45; Clovis: Variae 2.40. Symmachus and Theoderic: Variae 1.23; 2.14; 4.6; 4.22; 4.51.

40 Marcellinus Comes ad a. 508. Croke (2001) is an excellent introduction to the chronicler and his connections.

41 The Consolation of Philosophy is available in translation in Stewart et al. (1918). Its evasive wording – deliberately evasive I suspect, as Boethius may still have been hoping for a positive eventual outcome when it was written – has been wrestled with by many historians, but, in the end, doesn’t tell us what we’d like to know. See e.g. Chadwick (1981), esp. 56 ff. and c. 5, together with many of the essays in Gibson (1981).

42 Gens purpura: above, page 000. Theodahad: Variae 8.23; cf. 9.25.9. Ligurian disturbances: Variae 8.16. Tuluin, Variae 8.9–11; cf. Variae 8.3 for explicit acknowledgment that a non-Amal succession was thought about.

43 Split: Procopius, Wars 5.13.4 ff; cf. ibid. 5.12.50–4, and Jordanes, Getica 58.302 on Theudis’ build up of power and independence in Spain.

44 For more detailed narrative reconstruction, see Wolfram (1988), pt 5, c. 10.

45 Non-adoption: Variae 8.1.3; cf. Moorhead (1992), c. 5 for a more detailed treatment of the problems of Theoderic’s final years.

46 Barnish (1990) fully explores the evidence for ties between the two.

47 A certain Pitzas, for instance, surrendered to Belisarius with half the Goths settled in Samnium: Procopius, Wars 5.15.1–2 with Heather (1995) on the broader run of evidence for local, independent authority structures within the overall group. Amory (1997) tried to argue there was no solid group identity at all among Theoderic’s following, based essentially on the case of one Gundilas who clearly did swap sides in the war according to immediate convenience (see esp. his App. 1, pp. 321–5). But this entirely fails to account for why the Byzantine war of conquest should have lasted for twenty years: Heather (2003).

48 The longer-term transformation of the Germanic world on the fringes of the imperium, and their strategic consequences, are treated in more detail in Heather (2009), esp. cc. 2 and 7 with full refs.


1 Justinian Nov. 11; cf. Bavant (2007) for a recent summary of findings.

2 ‘Autopsy’ – literally witnessing something yourself – was considered the strongest guarantor of its veracity, so the ancient world liked historians who had been part of the events they described. The same conventions applied both to those working in Greek and Latin, although their stranglehold was not so strong as to prevent very different authorial voices from coming through. On the Greek tradition in late antiquity, see generally Blockley (1981), (1983), while Matthews (1989) looks at the main surviving Latin representative.

3 Buildings can be read in the English translation of Dewing (1940). The attack on its veracity was led by Croke and Crowe (1983), but see now e.g. Whitby (1986), (1988), c. 3; Curta (2001), c. 4.

4 SH 1.3: trans. Dewing (1935).

5 SH 8.22–33.

6 SH 9.10–30; Cod. Just.–4 records the relevant legal change, allowing former actresses to marry anyone of whatever rank.

7 The demoniacal character and alliances of the pair are laid clear at SH 12.14–32.

8 Averil Cameron (1985), c. 5 is excellent on the carefully drawn inversion of what Theodora should have been.

9 SH 8.12–22. The late fourth- and early fifth-century poetical satirist Claudian, who worked on behalf of the great Western generalissimo Stilicho, used sexuality to lampoon one of his employer’s great East Roman enemies (Eutropius) and demonized the other (Rufinus): Alan Cameron (1970), cc. 4, 6. In reading the demonization of Justinian as an equally constructed piece of rhetorical artifice as the tarting up of Theodora, rather than as Procopius’ genuine belief, my account is closer here to that of Kaldellis (2004), esp. 150–9, than Averil Cameron (1985), 56–9, but Kaldellis sees much less humorous intent here.

10 Kaldellis (2004), for the analysis, but reviews have been mixed and there are alternatives: e.g. Greatrex (2000). For myself, I have no doubt that Kaldellis adds many individually convincing insights to our understanding of Procopius the author, but suspect that his bigger picture is arguing for too politically precise a purpose behind Procopius’ satire.

11 Deo Auctore 1: with above, page 000 on Theoderic’s response to the importance of written law.

12 Athaulf: Orosius 7.43. Roman merchant turned Hun: Priscus fr. 11.2 (trans. Blockley (1983), pp. 269 ff.). The Preface to the Bavarian Code, trans. Rivers (1977), best captures the overall ideological significance of written law in the early Middle Ages, but it is very broadly present: see e.g. Heather (1994a).

13 Gaius’ earlier textbook managed to survive by an extraordinary fluke in a single palimpsest MS (i.e. it could still be read underneath later material written in on top). Justinian’s replacement can be read in the translation of Birks and McLeod (1987) and alongside Metzger (1988).

14 An excellent overview of the Justinianic project is Honoré (1978), esp. c. 7. On the work of Hermogenianus and Gregorianus, see Honoré (1994). Matthews (2000) and Sirks (2007) provide modern and in some ways contradictory accounts of the Theodosian project, but the disagreements focus on the reasons for slow progress, not the fact that it was so slow compared to its Justinianic successor.

15 Deo Auctore 4–5.

16 On the messy legal background which this reform needed to address, see Jones (1964) c. 14 (arguably a little pessimistic); Harries (1999), c. 1; Humfress (2007), pt 1.

17 On the deeper background, see Dodgeon and Lieu (1991); Heather (2005), cc. 1 and 3; Dignas and Winter (2007), 9–32.

18 The quotation is from Procopius, Wars 1.11.17–18; with further commentary and more detailed discussion of the backdrop in e.g. Greatrex (1998), c. 7; Greatrex and Lieu (2002), 79 ff.; Dignas and Winter (2007), 34–44.

19 On Constantius, Julian and the Persians, see Matthews (1989), c. 6.

20 The sources for Justin’s coup are collected and discussed at PLRE 2, 650. The difference between taking the throne and really exercising power is a general theme among modern scholarship on late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Its importance has been particularly stressed by Carolingian historians, where it has come to be reckoned that between five and ten years, and not an inconsiderable amount of luck, was required to turn oneself into an effective ruler: see below, page 000.

21 Const. Tanta 12.

22 Fifty Decisions: Honoré (1978), 142–6. Suppression of rival schools: Const. Omnem 7.

23 Const. Tanta 13; 15.

24 For more detailed accounts, see Greatrex (1998), cc. 7–9; Greatrex and Lieu (2002), c. 6; Dignas and Winter (2007), 100–6.

25 Alan Cameron (1973), (1976) provides the best modern introduction to the circus factions. Our main sources for Nika are Procopius, Wars 1.24 and the Chronicon Paschale trans. Whitby and Whitby (1989), pp. 115 ff. For more detailed commentary, see e.g. Alan Cameron (1976); Greatrex (1997); Sarris (2011), 148–53.

26 As identified by Evans (1984). For Kaldellis (2004), 24 ff. this is an excellent example of the extremely clever, extremely subversive Procopius at work: cf. note 10 above.

27 The quotations are from respectively Justinian, Nov. 30.11.2 (AD 536), and Cod. Just.–2 (AD 534). Variations of the traditional vision of Justinian can be found in more academic commentators such as Jones (1964), 269 ff. and more popular studies: Norwich (1988), c. 10. But there have been doubters too: e.g. Moorhead (1994), 63 ff.

28 On the background, see Courtois (1955), pt 3, cc. 1–2; Heather (2007); Merrills and Miles (2010), c. 7.

29 On the rise of the Moors, see below, page 000. Gelimer’s coup: Courtois (1955), 269 ff.; Merrills and Miles (2010), 74 ff.

30 The key source for the ‘conversations’ of 532 is translated in Brock (1981); cf. Gray (2005) for the broader context.

31 On these previous attacks, see further Heather (2005), 385–407.

32 Pudentius and Godas: Procopius, Wars 3.10–11.

33 Procopius, Wars 3.11.13–14.13 recounts the voyage, cf. Wars 3.14.1–5 for Procopius’ scouting mission.

34 Procopius, Wars 3.14–21 for the campaign as far as the capture of Carthage.

35 Procopius, Wars 3.21–4.3.

36 Procopius, Wars 4.4–9; cf. PLRE 3, 192–3 for the many other sources which record the triumph.

37 Const. Tanta Pref.; cf. Honoré (1978), 170 ff. for a projected reconstruction of the working timetable.

38 The emergence of this new arm of the East Roman army still awaits comprehensive study, but Procopius’ preface to the Gothic war (Wars 5) gives a stylized account of its undoubted importance, which is strongly supported by the battle narratives which follow. For some relevant secondary comment, see Thompson (1982), 77–81, 90–1; Elton (2007).

39 Our main source for Amalasuentha’s reign is Procopius, Wars 5.2–4, with important supplementary material in Cassiorodus’ Variae, esp. 9.8–9 (on Osuin). and 8.9–10 (Tuluin); cf. Wolfram (1988), pt 5, c. 9; Heather (1995) for further discussion.

40 The sources for Peter the Patrician are collected and discussed at PLRE 3, 994–8. Good news: Wars 5.3.30. Bad news: SH 24.22–3.

41 Procopius, Wars 5.3.30–7.25.


1 SH 18.3–30 with footnote 1 on p. 213 of the Loeb translation.

2 Procopius, Wars 5.6–11 is our main source for Theodahad’s reign. Modern secondary accounts of Justinian’s conquest can be found in e.g. Wolfram (1988), pt 5, c. 10.; Heather (1996), c. 9; Moorhead (1994), c. 3; O’Donnell (2009), 257 ff. Thanks to Procopius, the events are well understood and there is no need to keep referring in what follows to this body of literature, and the greater one to which its footnotes give access.

3 Franks: Wars 5.11.28–9. Pitzas: Wars 5.15.1–2. Rome: Wars 5.14 to 6.6. Salona: Wars 5.16.8–18.

4 Picenum: Wars 6.7.28–34. Rimini: Wars 6.10. Garrisons: Wars 6.11.1–3. Belisarius: Wars 6.11–13.

5 Adriatic front: Wars 6.23–8. Urais: Wars 6.18 ff.

6 Abandonments: Wars 6.28.30–5. Negotiations: Wars 6.22.9–20.

7 Wars 6.29.1–3.

8 Gothic embassy: Wars 6.22.17–20. Armenians: Wars 2.3.31–57. Procopius’ account of the invasion can be read at Wars 2.5–13. The destruction of Antioch is recorded at Wars 2.10.4–9, and the creation of new Antioch at 2.14. Secondary accounts: e.g. Greatrex and Lieu (2002), cc. 7–8; Greatrex (2005), 488 ff.; Dignas and Winter (2007), 37 ff. and 106 ff.; Sarris (2011), 153 ff.

9 Urais and Ildebadus: Wars 6.28.35; 29.39–41. Offers to Belisarius: Wars 6.30. The general’s return to Constantinople is recounted at Wars 7.1.

10 Wars 7.1.25–2.13 with Goscinny and Uderzo (1963) on the Gothic disease.

11 For more detailed accounts of the rumbling on of the war with Persia, see the works cited in note 8. Heather (1996), 327–8 provides a full listing of the elements of the Roman army that Totila recruited at different moments, but note that the vast majority joined only on a contingent basis, usually because they had not been paid, and returned to an imperial allegiance once they had.

12 Totila’s initial victories are described by Procopius at Wars 7.3–8.

13 Auximum: Wars 7.9–12. Rome: Wars 7.13–21.

14 Belisarius and Totila: Wars 7.21–37. The raiding fleet: Wars 7.35, 37–9, 8.22.

15 Wars 7.37.6–7; cf. 8.24.4.

16 Wars 8.23.

17 Totila’s final campaign: Wars 8.26–32. Teias: Wars 8.33–5.

18 Three centres of resistance: Wars 8. 35. 37; Wars 8. 34. 19–20: Agathias, Histories 2.13–14); Butilinus’ campaign and its failure is recounted by Agathias, Histories 2.1–14. The story of Widin is told by Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards 2.2 with commentary at PLRE 3, 924.

19 Although this has never stopped people from trying. O’Donnell (2009), 289 quotes one recent attempt, more thoughtful than most, but even there the only ‘real’ figure is the report that Justinian inherited a reserve of 28 million solidi from Anastasius and Justin, whose status is unclear.

20 For a more detailed discussion of the problematic way in which new understandings of human group identity have been received into discussions of late antiquity, see Heather (2008). In the Italian case, the argument of Amory (1997) has convinced some that Theoderic’s Gothic following was highly ephemeral in nature, but its evidential base is slight, and it has the overriding limitation of leaving entirely unexplained why many thousands of its members were willing to fight and die between 536 and 556, when, from at least 540, Justinian was willing to allow them to keep the lands they had received in the allocation process: cf. Heather (2003) for fuller argumentation. Much more convincing on the Vandals, than is Amory on the Goths, are Merrills and Miles (2010), esp. c. 4, who rightly stress that the rewards of the settlement process marked out Geiseric’s followers as a new, and distinct military elite in North Africa, whose subsequent removal after the East Roman conquest was a similarly substantial historical phenomenon.

21 Heather (1996), esp. 273–5 and App. 1: Procopius uses three synonymous terms for this group: ‘the best’, the ‘picked’, and ‘leading’. The narrative allows you to watch their destruction. On the destruction of the Vandal equivalent, see Merrills and Miles (2010), c. 9.

22 Wickham (2005), 728–39; cf. Wickham (2009), 140–7 for the evidence in more detail. Wickham’s overall model in these works – see e.g. (2005), 708–17 – is that the economic complexity of the late Roman period was built around the structures and operations of the late Roman state. If so, then the disappearance of that state was bound to generate substantial simplification, even if the Gothic war hurried matters along. A less state-centred view is Ward Perkins (2005), who explains the complexity more in terms of the general conditions generated by the empire than the workings of its own political economy. In this model, the violence associated with the end of the empire and its aftermath has a more important causative role.

23 Courtois (1955), pt 3, c. 2 is the classic account; Rushworth (2004) and Merrills and Miles (2010), esp. 124–9 both with refs provide up-to-date supplements.

24 Pringle (1981) collects the evidence for fortification; cf. Merrills and Miles (2010), 241 ff. on religious reconstruction. Wickham (2005), 637–44 and 720–8 discusses the evidence for continued urban prosperity and economic complexity in post-conquest North Africa.

25 Curta (2001), c. 4 (mustering archaeological reinforcements) convincingly argues against the old tendency to dismiss the reality of Procopius’ evidence for major Justinianic investment in the defences of the Balkans.

26 A good recent account of Justinian’s tax reforms is Sarris (2011), 151–3; cf. SH 12 for some examples of great men’s fortunes being destroyed.

27 Justinian, Nov. 148, discussed by Sarris (2011), 227–8.

28 There is an excellent recent literature in English on every aspect of the plague: Horden (2005); Stathakopoulos (2000); Sarris (2002). I generally follow Horden’s guidance on matters of detail. On the continued prosperity of the eastern Mediterranean post-550, see Ward Perkins (2005); Holum (2005); Wickham (2005), 443 ff. (on rural production), 626 ff. (on the cities), with 548–9 for his particular analysis of the effects of the plague as ‘marginal’.

29 Cf. above, note 19, the guesswork quoted by O’Donnell (2009), 289 suggests that Justinian inherited a reserve of 28 million solidi, that the conquests cost about 36 million, and that Italy and North Africa brought in maybe 500,000 p.a. each: no figure is given for Sicily. Even using these figures, you would still have to reckon that the conquests did indeed pay for themselves in the medium to longer term.

30 Theophylact Simocatta 1.3.8–13; the apposite parallel is with Theoderic’s rejection of the gifts by which the Vandal king Thrasamund attempted to buy himself back into favour in 511: above, page 000.

31 Menander fr. 5.1 trans. Blockley (1985), 49. Good introductions to Avar history are provided by Whitby (1988); Pohl (1988), (2003). For an introduction to Avar archaeology in English, see Daim (2003).

32 For some orientation on Eurasian nomads, see Lattimore (1940); Sinor (1977); Khazanov (1994).

33 Cutrigur raids: Procopius, Wars 2.4; Agathias, Histories 5.11 ff. Slav raids: Buildings 4.7.13 and 17f.; Wars 7.39–40. Curta (2001), cc. 5–6 (covering both Lombards and Gepids, and the Slavs) provides a good introduction into different aspects of the broader situation.

34 Menander fr. 5.1–2, trans. Blockley (1985), 50–1.

35 Justin’s declaration: John of Ephesus, H.E. 6.24, trans. Smith (1860), 429; cf. Menander fr. 8, trans. Blockley (1985), 97.

36 For a fuller discussion of the Hunnic parallels, see Heather (2005), c. 8; (2009), c. 5. Sirmium: Menander fr. 12.5.

37 Menander fr. 11, trans. Blockley (1985), 429.

38 The story of Narses’ invitation is told by Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards 2.5, trans. Foulke (2003). For further discussion of their move into Italy, see e.g. Wickham (1981), 28 ff.; Jarnut (1983), c. 1; Christie (1995), c. 2; Pohl (2005), who puts the emphasis exclusively on Lombard predatoriness.

39 Whitby (1988), 156 ff. explores the effective East Roman counter-attack of the 590s. For a more detailed account of the Slavicization of the Balkans, see Heather (2009), c. 8, esp. 399–406.

40 The overall picture from the first set of excavations was famously pulled together by Foss (1977); cf. Foss (1996) for much greater detail. For a recent summary of subsequent material, see Wickham (2005), 626 ff. Ward Perkins (2000) and Wickham (2005), 609 ff. both emphasize the contrast provided by the continued prosperity of old Roman cities in Egypt and the Fertile Crescent that fell under Islamic, Umayyad rule.

41 Ottoman documents: Hendy (1985), 613–69; cf. more generally Haldon (1990) on the dramatic administrative, military and political adjustments required.

42 For good introductions to the general context of Roman–Persian conflict in late antiquity, see e.g. Whitby (1988), c. 7; Blockley (1992); Greatrex (2005). For the evolving situation later in Justinian’s reign, see Dignas and Winter (2007), esp. 138 ff.; Sarris (2011), 153 ff.

43 Some of the diplomacy with the Western Turks is covered in extraordinary detail in the surviving fragments of Menander: esp. frr. 10 and 13. For more detail and alternative views, particularly of Turkish motivation, see Dignas and Winter (2007), esp. 109–15; Sarris (2011), 226 ff.

44 The best account of Maurice’s campaigns is Whitby (1988), cc. 9–11. See also Sarris (2011), 232 ff. for the ‘Versailles moment’.

45 For more detailed narrative treatments, see e.g. Whitby (1988), c. 6; Sarris (2011), 236–42.

46 The Chronicon Paschale’s account of the siege of Constantinople can be read in the English translation of Whitby and Whitby (1989), 168 ff. The sources for the Persian wars of Phocas and Heraclius are brilliantly examined in Howard Johnston (2010). For more detailed narrative reconstruction, see e.g. Dignas and Winter (2007), 44 ff., 115 ff., and 148 ff.; Sarris (2011), 242–57.

47 On the third-century crisis and Roman recovery, see e.g. Dodgeon and Lieu (1991), pt 1; Potter (2004), cc. 6–7; Heather (2005), cc. 2–3.

48 For an introduction to the source problems, see esp. Crone and Cook (1972); Crone (1987).

49 The point emerges very clearly from Sartre (1982); cf. more generally on Arabia in late antiquity e.g. Donner (2005); Dignas and Winter (2007), c. 5. For parallels with the Germanic world, see Heather (2009), esp. cc. 2 and 11.

50 An excellent recent account in English (among many) is Kennedy (2007).

51 We will return to the history of Byzantine religious self-understanding in the next chapter via the iconoclast controversy.

52 For more detail on Justinian’s Arab policy, and Maurice’s reversal, see the works cited in notes 42 & 49.


1 Lib. Pont. 98.23, trans. Davis (1992), 190–1. Einhard, Life of Charlemagne 28. Charlemagne is called Pater Europae in Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa, line 93 of the surviving fragment (the poem may also be by Einhard: see c. 7, note 2): trans. Godman, (1985), 203. It also sparked one rightly famous overview: Bullough (1985).

2 Priscus fr. 20.3 for Attila’s attempt to interfere in a Frankish succession dispute of the 440s. The sources for Childeric’s career are listed and discussed at PLRE 2, 285–6, his exile being recorded at Gregory of Tours, Histories 2.12; cf. Halsall (2007), 269–71, 303–6 for a broadly convincing attempt to place him in the context of Roman imperial unravelling. For a more detailed account of the grave, see Perin and Kazanski (1996).

3 On the swift unravelling of the final strands of empire after 468, see Heather (2005), 407–30.

4 Basina’s dream is recounted at Fredegar 3.12. Good accounts of Clovis’ conquests in English can be found in James (1988), 79–90; Wood (1994), 38–50. James argued that Clovis’ first victim – Syagrius – controlled a much smaller entity than was traditionally believed, but this has not gone unchallenged: MacGeorge (2002), 111 ff. Gregory of Tours, Histories 2.40–2 records the hits, but see Heather (2009), 308–10 on the potential dating problem.

5 On the revised chronology and theological context of Clovis’ conversion, see Shanzer and Wood (2002), 362–73, with, above, c. 2 on the generally excellent relations that the non-Nicene Theoderic enjoyed with Catholic churchmen under his rule.

6 Good accounts of Frankish expansion subsequent to the removal of the Ostrogothic block, as well of the multiple civil wars and division of the kingdom, can be found in James (1988), 91–108 and c. 5; Wood (1994), 50–4 and c. 6. Theudebert’s letter to Justinian: Ep. Aust. 20. Gold coins: Procopius, Wars 7.33. 5–6. The Merovingian court poet Venantius Fortunatus only uses ‘Caesar’ of a Frankish king on one occasion (6.1: Sigibert’s marriage to Brunhild). Otherwise, he sticks to ‘king’ in the numerous poems he produced for a series of different Frankish kings.

7 Wickham (2009), cc. 4–6 provides a good general introduction to the post-Roman west. Nicene Visigothic kingdom: Collins (2004), c. 8, supplemented by the essays in Heather (1999) which provide an introduction in English to much recent Spanish-language scholarship on the Visigothic successor state. On the Lombards, see e.g. Wickham (1981), 28 ff; La Rocca (2005), esp. the essays of Pohl and Gaspari.

8 Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, c. 1; cf. Wallace-Hadrill (1982), 231 ff. for a high-quality example of the traditional mode of treating the later Merovingians.

9 Gerberding (1987), esp. c. 8.

10 On relations with the periphery: Wood (1994), c. 10.

11 The quotation is from Gibbon (1896–1900), c. 52. Fouracre (2000), 1–10 provides a brilliant survey and demolition combined of more traditional approaches to Charles Martel. Wood (1995) is an excellent case study in the tensions generated by the granting of lay tenancies to the ‘wrong’ laymen because of outside pressure imposed by a new overlord.

12 There are many good narratives in English, all of which deal with the issues raised by the fragmentary and biased nature of the surviving sources: e.g. Fouracre (2000), c. 3; Fouracre (2005); McKitterick (2008), 63 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 41 ff.

13 More detailed narratives: Fouracre (2000), c. 4; McKitterick (2008), 63 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 44–51. On the will of Abbo, see Geary (1985).

14 We will return to the importance of kings’ providing rewards in the next chapter, but good introductions are: Bassett (1989); Reuter (1985), (1990). See further Fouracre (2000), esp. 175–84 on the origins of Charles’ original success, although I would argue that Pippin’s successes meant that matters were more strongly weighted in favour of whoever emerged as victorious from the power struggle within Austrasia than he would envisage.

15 More detailed guides to the events: e.g. McKitterick (1983), 33 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 51 ff.; see also Fouracre (2005), esp. for similar suspicions about the appointment of the final Merovingian.

16 For further reading on Pippin’s coup d’état (with full references to the massive scholarly literature), see, e.g., McKitterick (1983), c. 2; Fouracre (2005); McKitterick (2008), 71 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 51 ff.

17 On Byzantine losses, see Mango (1977a); Whittow (1996), 82 ff. The works cited in note 11 also provide good accounts of eighth-century Lombard expansion.

18 Events in Italy: Noble (1984), 71 ff.; cf. the translations and excellent introductions to the relevant papal lives in Davis (1992), esp. nos. 92–95. Pippin and Francia: McKitterick (1983), 45–53; Costambeys et al. (2011), 57–65.

19 For fuller accounts of Charlemagne’s manoeuvres, see e.g.: McKitterick (1983), 64 ff.; Nelson (1998); McKitterick (2008), 75 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 65 ff.; cf. Nelson (2005), 28–31 for a fascinating account of the impact upon Charlemagne of his visit to Rome during the siege of Pavia. King (1987), 269–79 provides a translation of the letters to the Frankish kings of Pope Stephen from these years preserved in the Codex Carolinus. The Pope’s anxiety in the face of the projected marriage alliance between Charlemagne and the Lombard royal family, and subsequent relief at its failure, is only too evident (Latin text: Gundlach (1892), nos. 44–8).

20 The letter is translated by King (1987), 286–8 (Latin text: Gundlach (1892), no. 60). In the sixth-century life of Sylvester in the Liber Pontificalis, trans. Davis (2000), 14, the cure and baptism are already there, but no mention of any great handover of power (on the date of the life, see Davis (2000), xlvi–xlvii). Many have – reasonably – thought that the appearance of the key linkage between cure, baptism and transfer of power in Hadrian’s letter is a sign that the fully forged text of the Constitutum already existed: cf. Noble (1984), 134–7 with full refs to further reading. But as we shall see – below pages 000–000 – more recent research has shown that the actual document, as opposed to some of its key ideas, was produced later.

21 A good selection of Hadrian’s run of letters to Charlemagne in these anxious years is translated by King (1987), 276 ff. (Latin text: Gundlach (1892), nos. 49 ff.). Their contents and context are superbly handled by Noble (1984), c. 5, whose overall conclusions about Charlemagne’s gifts I summarize here.

22 Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, c. 13. For more detailed accounts of these later conquests, see e.g. McKitterick (1983), 59–72; Reuter (1985), (2005); McKitterick (2008), 103 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 68 ff.

23 An excellent recent treatment is Story (2005a).

24 On the reflections of Charlemagne’s intellectuals, see e.g. Godman (1987), c. 2; Collins (2005); McKitterick (2008), 114–18; Costambeys et al. (2011), 160–70.

25 A good introduction to iconoclasm is provided by Cormack (1985), esp. c. 3; Herrin (1987), c. 8; Whittow (1996), c. 6; Noble (2009), c. 2. On its ending, see in addition Mango (1977b).

26 See e.g. McKitterick (2008), 311 ff. and now in much more detail Noble (2009), c. 4.

27 This is a repeated emphasis in the papal letters of the Codex Carolinus: e.g. trans. King (1987), nos. 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 17, 18, 26, 30, 35, 37 (Latin text Gundlach (1892), nos. 44, 45, 53, 50, 56, 60, 61, 72, 76, 82, 83).

28 Julian: Ammianus 15. 8. 17; cf. Matthews (1989), c. 6.

29 The sequence of events from the attack on Leo to the imperial coronation has to be unravelled from papal and Carolingian sources who, immediately after the event, started spinning the story in ways which best suited their own interpretation, a clear sign in itself that this was something which happened under duress for at least one of the parties. Good recent approaches are Noble (1984), 291 ff.; Collins (2005); McKitterick (2008), 88 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 160 ff.

30 The supervisor in question is Professor John Matthews, now of Yale University: always to be distinguished from the other John Matthews who writes about King Arthur …

31 See e.g. McKitterick (2008), 96 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 194 ff.


1 Einhard, Life of Charlemagne 22.

2 Divisio Regnorum: text Boretius (1883), no. 45, trans. King (1987), 251–6. For further discussion of the succession issue, see e.g. McKitterick (2008), 96–103; Costambeys et al. (2011), 194 ff.

3 The quotation is from Yeats, The Second Coming. Ordinatio Imperii: text Boretius (1883), no. 136, trans. Dutton (2004), 199–203; cf. both on Louis’ own succession and the problems with his children, McKitterick (1983), c. 5; Nelson (1990); Collins (1990); Nelson (1992), c. 4; Goldberg (2006), pt. 1; de Jong (2009), c. 1, esp. 19–31, cc. 4–6; Costambeys et al. (2011), 196 ff.

4 There are many good accounts of the basic structure of the empire: e.g. Dunbabin (2000), c. 1; McKitterick (2008), cc. 3–4; Costambeys et al. (2011), c. 4. Tracing Carolingian failure to the bureaucratic limitations of its Empire is an argument particularly but not solely associated with F. L. Ganshof. See Ganshof (1971) for an excellent selection of his papers in English. On patterns of literacy in the early medieval west in general, and the Carolingian world in general, see McKitterick (1989), (1990).

5 On the profound significance attached to written law in Roman propaganda, see above, page 000. On developing patterns of law-making and collection under Carolingian rule: Nelson (1982); cf. McKitterick (1989), c. 2, (2008), 233 ff. For an alternative perspective, see also Wormald (1999), c. 2.1.

6 In addition to the literature cited in note 4, see also on military organization Reuter (1985), (1990); Halsall (2003), c. 4. See too Werner (1980), 191–211 on missi. Wulfad case: Nelson, (1986a), 53 ff.

7 Rule of thumb: Goldberg (2006), esp. introduction (1–11) and epilogue (335–46). On the frequency of campaigning: Reuter (1985). On Charlemagne’s suppression of revolt: Nelson (2008); Costambeys et al. (2011), 65 ff.; cf. more generally Leyser (1979), pt 1 on the resentments that royal favour could arouse especially in aristocratic siblings not in receipt of it.

8 Engelbert: text Dummler (1884), 138–9; trans. Dutton (2004), 332–3. On the run up to the battle, see Nelson (1990); Goldberg (2006), c. 3; Costambeys et al. (2011), 379–88.

9 Charles the Bald’s securing of power: Martindale (1981); Nelson (1992), cc. 5–6. On Louis the German: Goldberg (2006), cc. 4–5.

10 See generally Nelson (1992), cc. 7–8; Goldberg (2006), cc. 7–8; Costambeys et al. (2011), 388 ff. These works provide full references to the sources and further secondary reading. In addition, on Lothar II’s divorce, see in particular Airlie (1998).

11 McKitterick (1983), c. 7; MacLean (2003), esp. cc. 5–6; Goldberg (2006), 335 ff.; Costambeys et al. (2011), 419 ff.

12 More detailed narratives of these developments are provided by e.g. McKitterick (1983), c. 10; Dunbabin (2000), cc. 3–4; MacLean (2003), cc. 3–4.

13 Regino of Prum, Chronicle 888; text Kurze (1890), 129; trans. Dutton (2004), 541.

14 Good introductions in English are Dunbabin (2000), cc. 4–5; MacLean (2003), cc. 3–4; cf. Hallam (1980) for a series of illuminating regional perspectives.

15 Odo and Boso: Hallam (1980), c. 1; Dunbabin (2000), cc. 3–5; MacLean (2003), c. 3. East Frankish duchies: Reuter (1991), cc. 4–5.

16 Dunbabin (2000), 37 ff. is excellent on the problems of defensive warfare for Carolingian-type armies and on the broader impact of fortification; cf. Halsall (2003), c. 10 and Hallam (1980), 13 ff. On Robert the Strong, see Nelson (1992), esp. 183 ff.

17 A similarly strategic mixture of loyalty and usurpation underlies, for instance, the emergence and subsequent growth of Flanders: Ganshof (1949). For a broader introduction and bibliographical orientation, see e.g. Werner (1979); Bourchard (1981); Poly and Bournazel (1991); Barthélemy (2009). Hallam (1980), c. 2 provides very necessary regional differentiation to fill out the general model.

18 See in more detail Heather (1994b) and (2005), cc. 1 and 3 with full refs.

19 The only exception to the pattern of administrative recasting was a religious one, in that dioceses of the early medieval, former Roman west often preserved the old civitas boundaries, even where these had ceased to be relevant for other purposes. I have explored the causes and consequences of this transformation in more detail in Heather (2000), (2010); cf. Halsall (2003), c. 3 for an excellent survey of the evidence for raising armies in post-Roman Europe.

20 The transformation of state structures is comprehensively discussed in Wickham (2005), esp. cc. 3 and 6 with full bibliography.

21 Good introductions to the empire’s history in English are Leyser (1979); Reuter (1991).

22 A terrific introduction to the reconquista is provided by Fletcher (1989). For an introduction to the growth of Christian northern and Eastern Europe: Heather (2009), cc. 8–10.

23 Leyser (1979), cc. 7–8; Goldberg (2006), 335 ff.; Reuter (1991), c. 6.

24 On the Magyars and the history of the Reich, see esp. Leyser (1982a), (1982b); cf. more generally Macartney (1930); Bowlus (1995).

25 Reuter (1991), 94–102, 229–36.

26 Reuter (1991), esp. 77 ff.; cf. Heather (2009), c. 8 with refs for the deeper background.

27 Reuter (1985), (1990) develops the model in relation to Carolingian power; cf. Reuter (1991), 174–80, 253–64 on the collapse of the Ottonians’ Slavic marches. On Anglo-Saxon England, see e.g. Bassett (1989); Charles Edwards (1979). Wickham (2005), 339 ff. provides a more general, comparative treatment.

28 Reuter (1990) set up the cost–benefit equation of expansion (which I largely follow here); cf. Depreux (1994) on Matfrid of Orleans. Halsall (2003), 89 ff; McKitterick (2008), 103 ff. esp. 135–6 have offered some critique and modification to Reuter’s original accounts, which have influenced my vision of the pair of simultaneous cost–benefit equations.

29 Heather (2009), esp. cc. 2, 9–11 explores these processes and their consequences in more detail.


1 Matthew 16:18–19.

2 The text and a translation can be found conveniently together in Godman (1985), 197–207. Godman (1987), 82 ff. provides fuller discussion than his footnotes to the translation, including of the issue of Einhard’s potential authorship.

3 Translations of The Epistle of Clement and the Ignatian letters can be found in Staniforth (1987). Victor: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. 5.24. For the early development of the Christian community in Rome in general, see Ullmann (1970), c. 1.

4 A fuller discussion can be found in Jones (1964), c. 22.

5 See further Ullmann (1970), 12 ff.; Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 7–22 with refs.

6 The literature that could and in some ways should be cited here is potentially limitless, but an excellent general introduction in English is Chadwick (1993) which can be supplemented by more detailed accounts of individual issues such as Hanson (1988) (the so-called Arian dispute); Burrus (1995) (Priscillianism); and Frend (1972) (the so-called Monophysite movement). The developing theological argument needs to be understood against the general spread of Christianity and transformation of its institutional structures surveyed in e.g. Jones (1964), c. 22; Herrin (1987), cc. 1–3; and Brown (1996), cc. 3–4.

7 This is all well discussed in Ullmann (1970), 13 ff. (cf. his fuller discussion in Ullmann, (1960)), usefully supplemented by Schatz (1990).

8 The suburbicarian sees originally subordinate to Rome’s metropolitan authority were Albano, Tusculum, Palestrina, Sabina, Ostia, Portus and S. Rufina.

9 Decretal collections: Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 22 ff. with refs. Leo I left an extensive, separate letter collection, but only 17 of his missives made it into the decretal collections. Hilary: Nov. Val. III 17. For an introduction to the dispute which generated this ruling, see Mathisen (1989), c. 7. On the contrasting busyness of the imperial rescript system, see Heather (2005), 108–9 with refs.

10 Refs as above, note 6.

11 This conclusion emerges with great vigour from all the evidence; more detailed discussions can be found in the works cited in note 6. The canons of the first four ecumenical councils are translated in Bright (1892), and the proceedings of Constantinople (553) in Price (2009).

12 The imperial role in ongoing fourth-century Christian debate is examined in e.g. Barnes (1993); McLynn (1994). On the sixth century, see e.g. Gray (1979), (2005) with again Frend (1972). The standard outcome of losing out in a struggle for imperial validation in the fourth and early fifth centuries was not the complete eradication of the losing point of view, but its reduction to sect status, the fate suffered by so-called ‘Arians’ and Donatists.

13 A very brief introduction to developing Church (canon) law in this period is provided by Brundage (1995), c. 1; cf. on Church courts Jones (1964), c. 22; Harries (1999), c. 10; Humfress (2007), c. 7.

14 For an introduction to papal elections and their associated violence, see Curran (2000), esp. c. 4.

15 A good introduction to Augustine’s thought is Brown (1967). On Athanasius, see Barnes (1993). The modern discussion of the ascetic movement is associated again with Peter Brown, see e.g. Brown (1970); (1981); Howard Johnston et al. (1999).

16 Dvornik (1966) remains seminal, usefully supplemented by MacCormack (1981) on the ideology’s ceremonial manifestations.

17 Gelasius: see, e.g., Ullmann (1970), 31–5; Llewellyn (1971), 38–40; Richards (1979), c. 4; Duffy (2006), 49–53. Somerville and Brasington (1998), c. 2 provide both an introduction to the work of Dionysius, and translations of his various prefaces. On the influence of his decretal collection, see Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 22–8 with refs.

18 By far and away the best analysis of the pontificate of Gregory I is Markus (1997). For good introductions to the Monothelite Dispute and papal resistance, see Llewellyn (1971), c. 5; Herrin (1987), 207–18, 250–9. An excellent pathway into the Anglo-Saxon missions and Theodore of Tarsus is provided by Mayr-Harting (1972) pt 1; Campbell (1986), nos. 1 and 4.

19 Sotinel (2005) and the various papers in Chazelle and Cubitt (2007) offer good introductions to the Three Chapters Controversy. On Gregory and the Lombards, see Markus (1997), c. 7. AD 681: Noble (1984), 12–14.

20 Imperial restructuring in general: Haldon (1990). Consequences in Italy and in the vicinity of Rome in particular: Krautheimer (1980), c. 4; Brown (1984); Noble (1984), 2–11. The highly revealing papal biographies of the Liber Pontificalis for this crucial period are now available in the excellent translation of Davis (2000).

21 Noble (1984), c. 2 is by far the best account in English. Davis (1992) is an excellent translation of the relevant papal biographies.

22 The point emerges clearly from the well-crafted narrative of Noble (1984), cc. 2–4; cf. Llewellyn (1971), cc. 7–8; Duffy (2006), 86 ff.

23 Nov. Val. III 17; English trans. in Pharr (1952).

24 Reydellet (1981) is an excellent general survey; cf. Teillet (1984) specifically on the Visigothic kingdom, but incorporating much general material besides.

25 General accounts of the Visigothic Conversion to Catholicism in English are Thompson (1969), c. 4; Collins (2004), c. 2; cf. in more detail Hillgarth (1966); Fontaine (1967); Ripoll and Velázquez (1995). The quotation is from Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People 3.25 and further commentary is available in the works cited in note 18.

26 Gregory of Tours’ Histories are translated by Thorpe (1974). The position of Spanish bishops under Umayyad rule emerges from John of Gorze’s mission to Spain in the tenth century, trans. in Smith (1988).

27 The precocious initiatives of Caesarius can be explored in more detail through Klingshirn (1994a). Developing tradition from the 580s onwards: Turner (1903); Vessey (1993); cf. Mordek (1975) on the Vetus Gallica.

28 Vives (1963) provides a full edition and accompanying Spanish translation of the Visigothic councils; cf. Stocking (2000) for a recent study in English utilizing some of these materials. The best modern study of the Anglo-Saxon conciliar tradition is Cubitt (1995). The visit of the papal legates is translated in Whitelock (1996), no. 191, 170 ff.

29 For an introduction to Roman pilgrimage, see Llewellyn (1971), c. 6; Birch (1998).

30 Charlemagne’s donations: above, page 000. The vitae of Hadrian I and Leo III are conveniently translated as nos. 97 and 98 in Davis (1992), who also provides excellent introductions to the lives, and what they omit. Secondary commentary on the building can be found in e.g. Llewellyn (1971), 242 ff; Krautheimer (1980), c. 5; Christie (2005).

31 End of iconoclasm: above, page 000. For further discussion of the filioque, see McKitterick (2008), 311–15.

32 The Admonitio Generalis is translated in King (1987), 209–20. It is followed there by further translations of much of Charlemagne’s capitulary legislation. For further discussion of the general principles of reform, see e.g. de Jong (2005); McKitterick (2008), c. 5; Costambeys et al. (2011), c. 3;

33 The bibliography on Charlemagne’s intellectuals is enormous, but, for a fuller introduction, see e.g. Godman (1987), c. 2; the highly useful collection of essays in McKitterick (1994a) esp. those of Law, Garrison and Rankin; the essays of Bullough and McKitterick in Story (2005). These can be supplemented by studies of individual thinkers such as Dutton (1998) (Einhard) and Bullough (2003) (Alcuin).

34 The essays collected under thematic headings in McKitterick (1994a) provide an excellent introduction to the portfolio of key texts.

35 On the Study of Letters (De litteris colendis) is translated in King (1987), 232–3. On the late Roman grammarian, see Kaster (1988), and on the subsequent evolution of Latin, Wright (1982), (1996); cf. Heather (1994a) on the underlying sociological transformations.

36 See further, among many possibilities, Law (1994); McKitterick (2005) with refs. The detailed individual studies collected in Bischoff (1994) shed intense, specific light.

37 On the general cultural significance of the Carolingian period for Latin literature as a whole, see Reynolds and Wilson (1991). Nelson (1977) is particularly good on the ideologically imposed limits of Carolingian intellectual activity. Otherwise, the works cited at note 33 are all extremely helpful.

38 An excellent recent reassessment of the issue is McKitterick (2008), 345 ff.

39 The best introduction to the history of script is Bischoff (1990); but see also Ganz (1989) and McKitterick (1994b).

40 Nelson (1987); Wood (2006), cc. 14–15.

41 On the cathedral schools and learning, see e.g. McKitterick (1994); Costambeys et al. (2011), 142 ff. Lawrence (2001), cc. 2–3 provides a good introduction to Carolingian monastic reform, and Cabaniss (1979) an English translation of Ardo’s contemporaryLife of Benedict of Aniane.

42 Trans. King (1987), 311–12.

43 Charlemagne’s letter celebrating the work of Paul the Deacon is translated at King (1987), 208. On the reform project in general, see above all McKitterick (1977), c. 1 (bishops), and c. 3 (preaching). Helpful additional discussions include de Jong (2005); McKitterick (2008), 299–311; Costambeys et al. (2011), c. 3: all with further refs.

44 The evidence of key types of source material is gathered and analysed by McKitterick (1977), c. 2 (episcopal statutes), c. 4 (liturgical experience). My general conclusions echo those of other recent contributors (see previous note).

45 The point is well made in Costambeys et al. (2011), 142 ff., which summarizes the overall picture which has emerged from a century and a half of modern scholarship on the so-called Carolingian Renaissance, to which the works cited in notes 33, 36, 37 and 41 provide excellent points of entry.


1 The bibliography on Innocent III and the Fourth Lateran Council is immense, but a good introduction is provided by Morris (1989), c. 17, esp. 447–51; with fuller discussion in e.g. Tillmann (1980): a translation of the German original of 1954. An English version of the conciliar canons can be found in Rothwell (1975), 643–75. The new edition of Innocent’s letters (Hageneder et al., 1965–), has so far reached the year 1208/9, but an excellent overall discussion of Innocent’s views on papal authority is Hageneder (2000).

2 Themistius, Orations 6.83c–d; which is why the later Roman Empire had ended up being governed not from Rome but from political centres much closer to the key frontiers such as Trier, Constantinople, and Antioch: Heather (2005), c. 1.

3 A good introduction is Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 135 ff. with 154–5 and 184–6 on the MS dissemination.

4 I am convinced by Fried (2007), esp. c. 4, that only religious authority was meant to be ascribed to the Pope by the forgery at the moment it was produced. The extension of its wording into the realm of secular authority was a later development, as we shall see later in the chapter.

5 On the vision of the text, see generally Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001); Fried (2007), and Reynolds (1995).

6 Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), esp. 173 ff.; Fried (2007), esp. 88 ff. with the App. A 115–28 (by Wolfram Brandes). By contrast, see Noble (1984), 134–7 with full refs for the alternative view that the Donation of Constantine at least was produced in eighth-century Rome.

7 On 833, see above, page 000, with refs and the particular comments of Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 173 ff.; Fried (2007), 88 ff.

8 A full treatment in English of the dispute between the two Hincmars is McKeon (1978); see now also Schieffer (2003).

9 Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 186–95.

10 Good accounts of the activities of both Nicholas and Hadrian with full refs can be found in the introductions to the translations of their lives in the Liber Pontificalis: Davis (1995), 189–202 (Nicholas), 249–58 (Hadrian). They are also discussed in all the standard general English-language treatments of the medieval papacy: e.g. Llewellyn (1971), c. 9; Ullmann (1972), c. 5; Duffy (1997), c. 4.

11 Liutprand, Antapodosis, I.30.

12 For general introductions to the period, see e.g. Ullmann (1970), 111 ff.; Llewellyn (1971), c. 10; Duffy (1997), 103 ff.

13 Noble (1984), 308–22; Davis (1995), 1–4.

14 See the introductions to, and actual biographies of, these Popes, with the lines of contention running through them, in Davis (1995).

15 Liber Pontificalis 107.68 ff., esp. 73–4 on the request that Formosus be made Archbishop. Nicholas refused – on the grounds of Nicaea 15 – because Formosus was already a bishop. See the introduction and footnotes of Davis (1995) for the complex webs of intrigue surrounding the mission.

16 Liber Pontificalis 104.40–3 (Sergius III); 112.6–11 (Stephen V).

17 Cf. Davis (1995), 72–3; Sergius’ death probably ended this initiative.

18 Liber Pontificalis 107.21–35.

19 Fuller discussions of these incidents are available in Davis (1995), 189–202, 249–58 (introductions to the lives of Nicholas and Hadrian). See also on the divorce Airlie (1998); Nelson (1992), 215 ff.; Goldberg (2006), 292–5. And on Moravia: e.g. Dvornik (1970); Richter (1985); Goldberg (2006), 270–88.

20 General accounts in e.g. Llewellyn (1971), c. 10; Ullmann (1972), cc. 5 and 6; Duffy (1997), 103–9.

21 On Benedict IX, see Morris (1989), 82–4, drawing esp. on Herrmann (1973).

22 General accounts in e.g. Ullmann (1970), cc. 5 and 6; Llewellyn (1971), c. 10; Morris (1989), 18–33; Duffy (1997), 103–21.

23 Among many other good introductions to the origins and nature of the reform agenda in English, see Morris (1989), 28–33 and cc. 3–4 (the quotation from Peter Damian is from p. 103); Robinson (2004a), 1–12, or, in more detail, Cowdrey (1970).

24 Ullmann (1970), c. 6; McKitterick (1999); cf. Reuter (1982). For a more detailed study of Gerbert, see Riché (1987).

25 The relevant bibliography is enormous, but, for introductions, see Gibson (1975); Reuter (1982); Morris (1989), c. 3; McKitterick (1999); Wollasch (1999); Leonardi (1999); Cowdrey (2004).

26 On Burchard and Regino, see Austin (2009), esp. pt 1. Though cf. Jasper and Fuhrmann (2001), 184–6 (with full refs), Ullmann (1970), c. 7 is certainly overstating the situation to call this ‘The Age of Pseudo-Isidore’, since the text was so little used in practice.

27 Rosenwein (1989) on the property of Cluny, with, e.g., McKitterick (1999); Wood (2006) on more general patterns.

28 There are many excellent accounts of Leo IX, but good introductions in English can be found in Morris (1989), 79–89; Cowdrey (2004); Blumenthal (2004); and Robinson (2004a), 17–36. This work also incorporates a translation of the more or less contemporary Life of Leo, where his leadership of the knights is recounted at I.7. Among the usual suspects, see also Ullmann (1970), c. 6; Duffy (1997), 110 ff.

29 Morris (1989), 107–8; Fried (2007), esp. 16 ff.

30 On Nicholas and Alexander in general, see Morris (1989), 89–108; Cowdrey (2004); Blumenthal (2004); cf. in much more detail Schmidt (1977). On the return to registration, Cowdrey (2002), xi ff.

31 Letter 97, quoted in Cowdrey (2004), 260 f.

32 On Gregory’s radical extension of the reform programme, see further Morris (1989), c. 5; Ullmann (1970), c. 7; Duffy (1997), 120 ff.; Robinson (2004b); Blumenthal (2004). Gregory’s letters are translated in Cowdrey (2002), and other contemporary materials relating to his pontificate in Robinson (2004a), 158 ff., which also provides a good introduction to his pontificate and these documents at 36 ff.

33 There is now an excellent general guide to processes of granting lands and other financial rights to ecclesiastical institutions in the Middle Ages: Wood (2006). For England, the evidence is comprehensive thanks to Doomsday Book and the Cartae Baronum of 1166: Douglas and Greenaway (1952), 903 ff. On the situation in Germany, Reuter (1982), and note in particular the indiculus loricatorum: when Otto II was in trouble after defeat in Italy in 981, it was exclusively to bishoprics and monasteries that he sent for reinforcements.

34 Morris (1989), 60–2.

35 For fuller accounts of the Investiture Controversy and subsequent confrontations, see e.g. Morris (1989), cc. 5, 7–8; Robinson (1990), (2004b), (2004d); Blumenthal (2004). The footnotes to these works and esp. Morris’ bibliographical essays to each chapter provide excellent guidance to the (extensive) bibliography of more detailed and non-English-language studies available for this topic.

36 For further discussion of these developments inside and outside of Rome, see e.g. Morris (1989), esp. 164 ff. and c. 9; Robinson (2004c), (2004d); Blumenthal (2004).

37 The bibliography on crusading is immense, but for a more detailed introduction, see e.g. (in English) Riley-Smith (1986); Tyerman (2006).

38 For an introduction to these collections, see Robinson (1978); Brundage (1995), c. 2; Morris (1989), 126–33 drawing on more detailed studies such as Fuhrmann (1973) and Mordek (1985); cf. Austin (2009) on the deeper background. Some of the relevant material is still awaiting proper, scholarly editions, but the Anonymous Collection in Seventy-Four Titles has been both edited and translated: Gilchrist (1973), (1980).

39 Const. Tanta 13; 15 (see above page 000).

40 For an excellent introduction to the rediscovery of the Digest, see Stein (1999), 43–8 with full refs. Clarence Smith (1975) is an extremely helpful prosopographical guide to Roman and canon lawyers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

41 Good introductions: e.g. Brundage (1995), c. 3; Stein (1999), 49 ff. The first part of Gratian’s text is translated in Thompson and Gordley (1993), who also provide an extremely helpful introduction.

42 Gratian, Decr. C. IX. Q. 1 dictum post c. 16 (1011).

43 There are many possible treatments, but see, e.g., Morris (1989), 397–416; Brundage (1995), c. 3; Stein (1999), 49 ff.


1 A highly readable introduction to the tendency for papal schism is Tuchman (1979).

2 On crusading in general, see Tyerman (2006), and on papal marriage strategies d’Avray (2005). Moore (1987) is a classic guide to the burgeoning persecution of heretics.

3 Trans. Rothwell (1975), no. 146, 705 ff.

4 See e.g. Duffy (2005); Burgess & Duffy (2006).

5 On Montaillou, see Le Roy Ladurie (1990).

6 On the ideological willingness of the Russian army to fight and die, see Merridale (2006).

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