A comparative and statistical survey of the late antique and early medieval latin inscriptions of South eastern Gaul (c.300-750 AD) - Volume 1
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:42 by Paul Anthony. Reynolds
Roman civilisation had penetrated South Eastern Gaul more than any region in Western Europe. It is where Christianity gained its first converts and the first episcopal sees were established. For these reasons alone Gallo-Roman traditions might be expected to linger longer than elsewhere, but there is a marked transition: inscriptions set up during the Gallo-Roman period are predominantly votive or honorific as well as funerary, after c.300 AD they are almost exclusively funerary, suggesting a change in emphasis of purpose. Sentiments expressed on an inscription exposed to public view were expressly designed to be read by the passer-by, thereby recording something of the mores of the society that inscribed them, the spread of literacy and fashions in orthography and palaeography. Moreover, such a corpus may be expected to reflect demographic changes during a period encompassing Germanic invasion and subsequent settlement; did such changes affect the numbers of inscriptions set up and even their textual content over time? This corpus offers an invaluable mirror to the evolving society of South Eastern Gaul during the transition from the Gallo-Roman to early medieval period.;Chapter One describes briefly the sites where inscriptions have been discovered. Chapter Two discusses the dating methods employed, Chapter Three describes the most common funerary formulae employed. Chapter Four proposes and employs statistical methods for the reconstruction and dating of those epitaphs where some or most of the data discussed in Chapter Three are no longer extant. Chapter Five discusses the social background of the recipients of the epitaphs and the themes and eulogies inscribed. Chapter Six provides a conclusion explaining the reasons for such a concentration of epitaphs within their cultural and historical contexts.