Ruricius of Limoges and Friends: A Collection of Letters from Visigothic Gaul

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Liverpool University Press, 1999 - History - 289 pages
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The fifth century brought great changes to Roman Gaul, including the expansion of the Christian church, the disappearance of the Roman imperial presence, and the arrival and settlement of various barbarian peoples. In this volume, the letters of Ruricius, bishop of Limoges (c. 485-510), and those written to him -- by Faustus of Riez, Sedatus of Nimes. Caesarius of Aries, Euphrasius of Clermont, Graecus of Marseilles, Victorinus of Frejus, Sidonius Apollinaris, Paulinus of Bordeaux, and Taurentius -- give insight into the personal lives and feelings of those who experienced these transformations first hand.

The collection affords an unparalleled view of Gaul in the last quarter of the fifth century, when it seemed that the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse would become the primary barbarian power in the region. In an intimate and domestic way, these personal correspondences describe what happened in Gaul after the final Roman withdrawal just before A.D. 480. They illustrate how literary culture continued under barbarian rule, and demonstrate how well-to-do Gauls responded to the changing times. They provide priceless insights not only into the private and public lives of the individual letter writers but also into life and activities in Visigothic Gaul at the local level in general. Surprisingly, they suggest how little impact the Visigoths actually had on many individuals present at the "end of Roman Gaul.

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About the author (1999)

Ralph W. Mathisen received his Master's degree in Classical Languages and PhD degree in Ancient History from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities at the University of South Carolina, where he serves as Director of the Bibliographical Database for Late Antiquity Project, Editor of the Late Antiquity Newsletter, administrator of the LT_ANTIQ and NUMISM-L discussion lists, and teaches Ancient and Byzantine History. He is the author of numerous articles and several books relating to Late Antiquity.

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