Gaul between imperium and regna. The representation of contingency and its coping

The project focuses on the gallic letter collections of Sidonius Apollinaris, Ruricius of Limoges and Avitus of Vienne from the late 5th and early 6th century. Up until today research interests mainly concentrated on individual letters or individual sections of letters but a systematic overall analysis is still lacking. Furthermore in using the term ‚contingency‘ a heuristically promising alternative to the controversial models of decline, continuity and transformation of the Western Roman Empire is introduced by the project. By means of examining the textual representation of contingency and its coping the project studies primarily the perception of the gallo-roman contemporaries and its literary conversion. The methodical approach of the project to analyse the narrational mode of the letter collections allows on the one hand to examine the internal structure of the respective letter collection and its respective immanent developments and on the other hand to compare the three letter collections. Thus providing an as yet missing contribution to the research of literary communication and of possible changes of perception and interpretation patterns in late 5th and early 6th century Gaul.

Publication: Kontingenzerfahrungen und ihre Bewältigung zwischen imperium und regna. Beispiele aus Gallien und angrenzenden Gebieten vom 5. bis zum 8. Jahrhundert, hg. von Matthias Becher - Hendrik Hess, Göttingen 2021.

Project manager:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Becher

Research associate:

Dr. Hendrik Hess

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