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A History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours, Lewis Thorp

By Gregory of Tours, Lewis Thorp

A dramatic narrative of French historical past within the 6th century. Gregory of excursions (c.A.D. 539-594) meant his heritage to be a chronicle of occasions and incorporated the 21 years he spent as Bishop of excursions. This quantity includes all ten books of the historical past. As Gregory unravels the bewildering occasions of these many years, what emerges is not any dry ancient record yet a colourful, certain and relocating festival.

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During the wars fought in Italy from 1494 both Germans and Swiss got as far over the Alps and into the Lombard plain as they could; Mountains split countries, but they did not suggest limits to expansion. Even tries the sea did not stop Henry VII from still considering Calais a part of England and trying to add Boulogne, or Aragon from seeking to control the kingdom of Naples. Theorists, again, tried to claim that language acted as a natural frontier; but in praaice no ruler used this argument as more than an excuse for conquest; even within individual nations there was no fepling tiat all the subjects of one prince should speak the same language.

For time to come, on the other hand, there were no guide lines save those, potentially ominous, projected forward by the church. There was no concept of secular progress save in the sense of a more effective (to take a recovery of the past : the consolation of ancient wisdom, the spur to emulate ancient achievements. There was no notion that man could improve creased, disease routed, his physical lot, that food could life made more convenient or be in- com- Both the humanitarian and the technological motives for planning hopefully for the future were lacking.

On the other hand the possession of an acquired skill and the ability to serve an apprenticeship, did make travelling worth while. An analysis of two London companies showed that nearly half their apprentices had come from northern England. Some men could travel, indeed had to travel, in the fairly confident expectation of being employed. Village clocks were made by itinerant clockmakers and churches often by itinerant masons: the great mosques of Contantinople were built by renegade Christians, just as the guns that had shattered the city wall in 1453 had been forged by renegade Christian gunsmiths.

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