The Merovingians and Burgundians ruled areas of modern France and Italy in the immediately post-Roman period of western European history (from the fifth century). Although the rulers of these groups traced their lineage to mobile Germanic-speaking people who had migrated from the north and east their models of government were overwhelmingly Roman. They took over territories which were accustomed to Roman law and which relied on Roman state infrastructure, including coinage issued by the state. This Burgundian gold tremissis (one third of a solidus), modelled directly on the Byzantine gold coin of the same weight was issued between AD 473 and 516 by King Gundobald. It demonstrates the extent to which Burgundian rulers adopted familiar styles and structures of government.
Lecture: In search of Porpora
Professor Hamish Miles
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