Scholarship on the construction of early medieval identities has grown tremendously in recent years, with a number of edited collections, monographs, and articles examining ethnicity, religion, and the strategies of identification used by contemporary authors to situate themselves in a changing post-Roman landscape. The majority of these, though, focus on self-reflection – Franks concerned with Frankish identity, or Goths concerned with Gothic identity. Christian Stadermann’s Gothus is a particularly interesting and useful book precisely because it breaks out of this mold by investigating Gallic and Frankish views of their Gothic neighbors. As Stadermann illustrates, an outsider’s perspective is just as much about constructing one’s own identity as that of an insider, and therefore his examination of Merovingian views of the Goths provides unique insights into the Merovingians themselves.
Buchberger, E. (2018). [Review of the book Gothus: Konstruction und Rezeption von Gotenbildern in narrativen Schriften des merowingischen Gallien, by Christian Stadermann]. Journal of Late Antiquity 11(2), 446-448. doi:10.1353/jla.2018.0030.
Journal of Late Antiquity