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The preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours' Histories: Its Form, Context and Significance

Halsall, G. (2007) The preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours' Histories: Its Form, Context and Significance. English Historical Review, 122 (496). pp. 297-317. ISSN 0013-8266

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The preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours' Histories has long been known as a central passage in the Bishop of Tours' works, expressing his view of good kingship. This article analyses the style of the passage to reveal it to be a complex rhetorical piece of prose and shedding more light on Gregory's skill as a writer. Investigation of the passage and its context within the Histories allows the suggestion that it originated as a letter or sermon composed at Easter 576. In turn this permits a solid foundation for the chronology of Gregory's writing of the Histories, can only have begun then, and no earlier. The examination of the political history of the period between 575 and 576 and of Gregory's message reveals that the bishop was a skilled and subtle politician well able to cope with the dangers and dramas of Merovingian politics. Finally, it is suggested that Gregory was initially influenced in the composition of the Histories by Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2009 16:32
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2009 16:32
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cem001
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Identification Number: 10.1093/ehr/cem001
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6075

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