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The History of the Franks (Classics) Paperback – 28 Nov 1974

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (28 Nov. 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442953
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Gregory of Tours (538-94), French historian, bishop of Tours (from 573), was born in Clermont-Ferrand. He had a distinguished and successful career as bishop. Gregory wrote accounts of miracles of the saints, an astronomical work to determine movable feasts, and a commentary on the Psalms. His masterpiece, Historia Francorum [history of the Franks], in 10 books, is a universal history; its account of contemporary events is of great importance.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book I have come back to again and again over the years and each time I see different things. I have worn out and replaced several editions in the process. I like to see history from the point of view of someone who was actually there rather than someone looking through a telescope from another century and using a modern set of values, and Gregory certainly fulfils that. Unlike a previous reviewer, I really like Gregory. Yes, he can be very judgemental, but he is also plain-spoken, very sincere and bursting with faith. I love his very literal, Biblical approach - for example, freeing prisoners no matter whether he believed them guilty or not and his wonderful method of computing the age of the world. His bravery in reproaching kings who were more than capable of summarily executing or torturing him on the spot. His motive for writing (nobody else is writing about what is happening) is borne out, as he is the only source for many of the events and characters he writes about. He is far livelier reading than most ancient writers, with his catchphrase of 'and the next thing that happened...'. One thing which has always stood out to me whenever I have re-read this book, is just how little mankind has changed - we still have the same torture issues (in Guantanamo Bay and in all the countries cited by Amnesty International) and even in our own county, the same unreasonable thugs on the streets.
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Format: Paperback
Although Gregory is frequently biased towards his family and home city of Tours, his works are an unparallelled source of information and insight into sixth century Frankish society. The transition to christianity is shown by one of the major players in the church, whilst the political turmoil that goes on around him gives valuable evidence for the development of Gaul.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone who is interested into what life was really like in the postRoman, dark ages, then here it is, 700 pages of blood and gore, lust andpiety. To some it may seem, all to often based on gruesome tittle tattle,but what an insight and horrific boost to the imagination into the goingson of those little doccumented times. Our dreams of chivalry lay shatteredat its' feet but as the Translator points out in footnote traps, whats'new? It is all the better if you know France and the places mentioned wellenough, starting with Tours. I found it the most eye opening history bookI have read for a long while, sadly though the satanic anti-hero and causeof much trouble and strife outlives the Author and her 'Divineretribution,' for another three years. We are all left frustrated at that,but none so much, I believe, as Gregory was!
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Format: Paperback
Gregory himself writes a fairly turgid account of the History of the Franks although I did have a few chuckles over various things that seemed timeless - such as the unfortunate transvestite accused of being kept as a lover by an abbess. The books is certainly not light reading but I'm glad I have finally read it.

Most of the stars lost here are not the fault of old Gregory. The editing is fine as far as it goes but is lacking in supporting commentary. For example I am still perplexed as to why there seemed to be a major Syrian population in early France - they are mentioned several times and on one occasion they seem to make up a large enough proportion of the population of a town that their language is listed with Latin and Hebrew as being one of three main languages spoken there. I thought for a while that there might have been some origin myth of the Franks suggesting that they came from Syria, but there is no evidence that this is the case.
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