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History 112: Late Antiquity & the Early Middle Ages

In-class Activities

Activity 1:

1.  Our primary source is a solidus from the Merovingian period:;prevRouteTS=1632778033101.  The reverse can be seen here:;prevRouteTS=1632778205639

2.  What questions do you have?

What is a solidus?

Who was Childebert III?

How/why was the solidus used?

Where did the gold come from (economy and trade)?

Who were the goldsmiths in Marseilles?  How did they learn their craft?

How did Merovingian kings see themselves in relation to Rome?

Who had the authority/power to mint coinage?

3.  Research strategies

     Tertiary sources:  Figure out the who and the what, and see recommendations for secondary sources to consult.

     Secondary sources:  Explore a few different possible research avenues to see what you find, then select a path.


Activity 2:

1.  Our primary source is a passage from the History of the Franks of Gregory of Tours about a revolt of the nuns at a convent in Poitiers (Book X, chapters 15-16):

2.  What questions do you have?

3.  Research strategies

     Which tertiary sources will you look at?  What search terms will you use? What secondary sources are recommended in the bibliographies?

     What secondary sources can you find?  Which discovery tools (example:  ITER, Primo, JSTOR) will you search?