ME3236 Soldiers and Saints in Late Roman Gaul
Lecturer Dr Alex Woolf (Room 15, 71 South Street)
Credits 30
Availability Semester 2, 2019-20
Class Hour View Timetable
Description This module examines the transformation of Gaul, the transalpine portion of the Roman Empire, in the period from c.379 to 455. This period saw the extensive Christianisation of the region, including the introduction of monastic ideas from the near east. It also saw political fragmentation including the earliest establishment of barbarian kingdoms within the Roman Empire. Goths, Franks and Huns will all feature, as will the earliest western hagiography, Sulpicius Severus’s Vita Martini, and the letters of St Patrick. Students will be encouraged to consider the contesting explanations of why a society which had retained considerable stability for four centuries broke down within a single generation.

Basic Reading

A.C. Murray, From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A reader (Peterborough, On., 2000)
T. F. X. Noble and T. Head, Soldiers of Christ: Saints and Saints Lives from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (University Park, 1995)



Course Structure

One two-hour meeting per week

Assessment 60% examination – one 3-hour paper
40% coursework
Learning Outcomes
  • Awareness of the wider political,  institutional and religious contexts in which he lived and worked
  • Appreciation of the interaction between the world of ideas and social and cultural developments


Restrictions None
Resource Lists