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The Modern Origins of the Early Middle Ages$
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Ian Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199650484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650484.001.0001

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Romans, Barbarians, and Prussians

Romans, Barbarians, and Prussians

(p.174) 10 Romans, Barbarians, and Prussians
The Modern Origins of the Early Middle Ages

Ian Wood

Oxford University Press

The Italian Wars of Independence and the Franco-Prussian War impinged directly on the writing of early Medieval history. Fustel de Coulanges changed from being a classicist to being a medievalist immediately after 1870. The result was a detailed restatement of the ideas of Du Bos, presenting a Romanist interpretation of Frankish history. At the same time Fustel encouraged the use of images of antiquity and the early Middle Ages to promote French national and local patriotism. Among other historians caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, Dahn wrote a sober, and largely Romanist, history of kingship, while at the same time setting out a Germanist interpretation in his novel ‘Ein Kampf um Rom’, which was one of the publishing sensations of the late nineteeth and early twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   Italian Wars of Unification, Franco-Prussian War, Fustel de Coulanges, Felix Dahn

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