Fecamp remains of Norman Castle Source - Fécamp Tourisme

Early Medieval Europe

The politics of being Norman, Alicante between the Byzantines and The Visigoths, Bede as a computist,  and the last stand of the Anglo-Saxons in 1006. All in the new issue of Early Medieval Europe August 2015

Early Medieval Europe provides an indispensable source of information and debate on the history of Europe from the later Roman Empire to the eleventh century. The journal is a thoroughly interdisciplinary forum, encouraging the discussion of archaeology, numismatics, palaeography, diplomatic, literature, onomastics, art history, linguistics and epigraphy, as well as more traditional historical approaches. It covers Europe in its entirety, including material on Iceland, Ireland, the British Isles, Scandinavia and Continental Europe (both west and east). It is edited by: Marios Costambeys, Simon MacLean, Roy Flechner, Julia Barrow, Paul Dutton, Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis, Helmut Reimitz, Gabor Thomas, Ian Wood

Table of Contents:

Early Medieval History volume 23 no 3 CoverNunc autem a Gothis subversa: the province of Alicante and the Spanish Mediterranean towns between the Byzantine and Visigothic periods
By Javier Martínez Jiménez and José María Moreno Narganes

The transition between the sixth and the seventh centuries in the towns of Iberia has been a matter of much discussion, leading to the development of the ‘urban renewal’ model, by which the Visigothic process of state formation generated a new urban munificence. A similar process can be seen in the towns of the Byzantine area, and our aim is to discuss the evolution of the urban settlements of the modern province of Alicante, reassessing the available evidence and comparing it with the models proposed for the Byzantine and Visigothic areas.

Bede, Irish computistica and Annus Mundi
By Máirín Mac Carron

Bede’s decision to diverge from the mainstream chronological tradition, based on the Septuagint, in favour of the Vulgate for chronology has generally been explained by his concerns about contemporary apocalypticism. This essay will argue that Bede’s choice of Annus Mundi was also greatly influenced by Irish computistica. These texts incorporate a chronological framework – influenced by Victorius of Aquitaine’s Easter Table – that was implicitly and explicitly apocalyptic and provided a date for the Passion that Bede objected to. Bede was greatly indebted to Irish computistica but adopting the Vulgate Annus Mundi allowed him to assert his own views on chronology.

The politics of being Norman in the reign of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy (r. 942–996)
By Fraser McNair
Open Access

In 966, by the end of the reign of its third duke, Richard I, Normandy had overcome the crises that had beset it in the middle of the century. Much of this success came from the coherence of its ruling group, which expressed itself partly in terms of ‘Norman’ identity. This article uses Dudo’s history of the dukes and Richard’s charters to argue that ‘Norman’ as a political identity was a deliberate creation of the court of Richard I in the 960s, following the perceived failure of his and his father’s policies of assimilation into Frankish culture.

Landscape and warfare in Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking campaign of 1006
By Thomas J.T. Williams
Open Access

This paper outlines the state of research into early medieval conflict landscapes in England and sets out a theoretical and methodological basis for the sustained and systematic investigation of battlefield toponymy and topography. The hypothesis is advanced that certain types of place were considered particularly appropriate for the performance of violent conflict throughout the period and that the social ideas that determined the choice of locale are, to some degree, recoverable through in-depth, interdisciplinary analysis of landscapes, place names and texts. The events of 1006 and the landscape of the upper Kennet are introduced as a case study that reveals the complex interplay of royal ideology, superstition and place that were invoked in the practice of violence in late Anglo-Saxon England. In the course of the discussion, this paper seeks to demonstrate the value of applying a similar approach to the full range of evidence for conflict landscapes in early medieval England and beyond.


Ruins of the Norman Castle at Fécamp. Source: Fécamp tourisme