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The kingship and the judiciary proceedings in the Merovingian Gaul (fifth-sixth centuries)

Grant number: 16/10281-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 16, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Cândido da Silva
Grantee:Isabela Alves Silva
Supervisor: Joye Sylvie Marie Danielle
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France  
Associated to the scholarship:15/20860-0 - The kingship and the judiciary proceedings in merovingian Gaul (fifth-eighth centuries), BP.IC


The present BEPE project intends to study the actuation of the Merovingian royal authority through its role in the justice sphere. Two kinds of sources coming from Gaul are comparatively analyzed: the law-code Pactus Legis Salicae, probably edited in the end of the sixth century, result of the actuation of the royal power, and the historical-narrative from the end of the sixth century, the Decem Libri Historiarum, written by the bishop Gregory of Tours. In the Pactus divers cases of social litigations are exposed, followed by the respective judiciary proceedings to be taken so as to resolve them. Already in the historical-narrative, there are some detailed depictions of cases of judiciary disputes from the end of the sixth century, in which Merovingian kings can be seen acting as judges or even as accused part. Furthermore, there is a reference to the "contents of the laws" in the midst of the disputes presented in the narrative, frequently given as a note, coming from the kings or addressed to them, on the correct conduct to be respected in justice. Departing from a common description of the actuation of the Merovingian monarchy, in the historiographical debates, as patrimonialist and more interested in the promotion of wars than in the maintenance of peace in the kingdom, I seek to study, by means of the comparative analysis of the judiciary proceedings prescribed by the royal power, presented in the Pacts, with those recorded in the narrative of the bishop of Tours, how the example of justice may offer a different picture about these first Frankish kings. (AU)

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