Strategies of Distinction: The Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300-800 (Transformation of the Roman World, Vol 2)
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Between the fourth and the eight century, a number of 'experimental' polities had to create new forms of legitimacy and organisation to overcome a Roman world based on Empire, city and tribe. In the course of time, a new world developed that relied on Christendom, kingdom and people to pull an increased variety of local communities together. Of these three factors, the ethnic one certainly is the most elusive. This volume discusses the process of construction of ethnic identities. What did names, law, language, costume, burial rites, rhetoric, culture, royal representation or ideology mean, and to whom? This is the question that is common to the papers assembled here. Even though they span several centuries, and a geographic area from the Iberian peninsula to the Black Sea steppes, they all deal with the ways how ethnic distinction became a political factor in the post-Roman world.
could distin guish among barbarians according to their costume. Of course, it was obvious that some barbarians were more savage than others.124 These were often pictured as going naked, at least to the waist,125 or 122 Thegan, Vita Hludovki 19. Thegan, Vita Hludovici 4: occurrit ad Patrisbrunam, habitu Wasconum cum coaevis sibi pueris indutus, amiculo scilicet rotundo, manias camisae difjusis, cmralibus distends, calcaribus caligulis insertis, missile manu ferens; haec enim delectatio
disappointment, Gregory was much more atten tive to eccentric dress habits of ascetic pilgrims than of different gentes. 152 Leitz, "Gürtel und Bewaffnung des frühen Mittelalters", pp. 72-80; Beaulieu, Le costume antique et medieval, p. 62; Siegmund, "Kleidung und Bewaffnung der Männer im östlichen Frankenreich", pp. 695-99. 153 Pohl, Awaren, pp. 184; 288-9. 150 TELLING THE DIFFERENCE: SIGNS OF ETHNIC IDENTITY 51 Antiqua in Rome is depicted as wearing one.IM A Bulgarian beh is mentioned on a
modification of disadvantages through liberality of emperor. g Sherwin White, Roman Citizenship. 9 Gaius, Institutions 1, 119. CITIZEN ITATÜS AND LAW 133 and slaves. But for practical purposes peregrim were able to obtain adequate rights of ownership of these things by an alternative process, in iure cessio.I0 In at least some chartered cities (mumcxpia), whose citizens were of mixed Roman and I .atin status, and whose inhabitants included auokkt who might be neither Latins nor Romans, the
only a small minor ity of the population of Spain, and they were ruling over a very large territory. Even in the areas of setdement 54 they lived in close proximity to Romans whose estates they shared. 55 So it is perhaps 49 E.g. espionage? barbara conspiration armed support for usurpation or more local strong-arm tactics? 50 CTh 3, 14, 1. On the problem of the date of the Visigothic settlement see Wood, "The fall of the western Empire and the end of the Roman Britain", p. 254. 51 58, 1:
identify social and/or family groups on the basis of funerary structures. 47 On these points Pietri, "Les sepultures privilegiees en Gaule d'apres les sources Httcraires", cf. especially pp. 135-136, should be consulted. 48 The case of the cemetery of Vorges is perhaps one of the most representative, as almost all the burials had a grave marker to identify them: Fleche, "La necropole merovingienne de Vorges (Aisne)". THE ARRIVAL OF THE YBIGOTO IN HBTANU 171 Neither is it possible to identify