The Narrative Worlds of Paul the Deacon
Between Empires and Identities in Lombard Italy
Amsterdam University Press
Written as the Lombard kingdom was on the cusp of downfall at the hands of the Carolingian empire, the works of Paul the Deacon (c. 720-799) are vital to understanding the history of Italy and Western Europe in the Middle Ages. But until now, scholars have tended to neglect the narrative structure of his texts, which reflect in important ways his personal responses to the events of his time. This study presents fresh interpretations of Paul's Historia Romana, Vita Sancti Gregorii Magni, Gesta Episcopum Mettensium, and Historia Langobardorum by focusing on him as an individual and on his strategies of argumentation, ultimately advancing a new conception of Paul as a dynamic author whose development of multiple lines of thought deserves closer examination.
Christopher Heath teaches at the Manchester Metropolitan University. His interests include historiography, and socio-economic and religious change between 450 and 950. His monograph The Narrative Worlds of Paul the Deacon was published in 2017 by AUP. Currently he is working on a study of the Lombard king Liutprand.