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Master Thesis

Les identités ethniques en Novempopulanie, Wasconie et Aquitaine dans l’Antiquité tardive et au haut Moyen âge (IIIe-IXe siècle)

Abstract : Albeit scholars have stressed for a long time on Novem Populi’s peculiarity, to the south of Garonne, nevertheless, ethnicity in Antiquity may have been more flexible and integrative than expected. In Aquitania between Garonne and Loire, a return to Celtic traditions or an upholding of Roman ones after Empire’s ‘fall’ is unlikely. Even Gothic and Frankish influences remain very discreet in medieval sources. The idea of an unassimilable Gothic identity – which could explain the kingdom of Toulouse’s brutal collapse facing Frankish king Clovis – is highly questionable as well. Indeed, this thesis is due to Gregory, bishop of Tours’ historical profrankish works, such as the so-called ‘central role’ of Wascones ‘invaders’ in 6th-century Novempopulania’s identity. In both cases, the Wascones’ ethnotype is linked up with barbarity, referring to long-termed Roman ethnographic traditions. Franks seem to have ethnicized repetitive noblemen’s revolts in a bad-controlled border. In the 7th century, historiography has defended the construction of two identities: Wasconia’s ethnicity on the one hand and Aquitania’s on the other hand. But sources seem to show a gap between a real political autonomy and a blurring of ethnic labels by Franks, for political reasons. Therefore, Wascones are sometimes named by antique ethnonymes whereas Aquitani are frequently nicknamed as Wascones. Again, this is a political weapon, made on purpose to discredit opponents till the 8th century and not an instrument of internal cohesion. The Carolingian kingdom of Aquitania’s and the independent principality of Wasconia’s building, in the 9th century, could have changed things. However, sources don’t seem to be very concerned about ethnicity. The so-called Aquitani’s "memoirs" or "legends” appear to be scholars’ misunderstandings. The kingdom of Aquitania and the principality of Wasconia could be more territorial constructions than ethnic ones, although a very incomplete documentation prevents us from being too affirmative.
Document type :
Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 11:58:04 AM
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  • HAL Id : dumas-01426168, version 1



Mathieu Pelat. Les identités ethniques en Novempopulanie, Wasconie et Aquitaine dans l’Antiquité tardive et au haut Moyen âge (IIIe-IXe siècle). Histoire. 2016. ⟨dumas-01426168⟩



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