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Maps And Panegyrics: Roman Geo-Ethnographical Rhetoric In Late Antiquity And The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

Eumenius' map, both described in a panegyric and serving as one, presents a convenient starting point for an exploration of the intersection between descriptions of lands and peoples and imperial rhetoric in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Roman geo-ethnography, steeped in imperial ideology, continued to provide imperial models even after the Roman Empire in the West ceased to exist in a political sense. Carolingian imperial rhetoric, building on the prestige of the Roman Empire, presented the Franks as successors and legitimate heirs to the Romans. The influence of maps and texts which creatively developed Roman models was not limited to scholarly education. Rather, in the medieval period geo-ethnography also contributed to ideology and politics by enriching the understanding and justification of translatio imperii.

Keywords: Carolingian; Eumenius map; panegyrics; Roman geo-ethnographical



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