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The Changing Fortunes of Early Medieval Bavaria to 907 ad

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Abstract

This essay surveys the political historiography of the early medieval principality of Bavaria, particularly in three periods; that of the Bavarians’ emergence in the sixth century, the time of a complex interrelationship between Bavarians and Franks and their Agilolfing and Carolingian ruling houses in the eighth century, and the transitions of power from Charlemagne’s takeover of Bavaria in 788 and the transfer to a new Luitpolding duchy in 907. The Bavarian case serves as a useful counternarrative to those of larger peoples like the Franks or Lombards, and illustrates that the inheritance of Roman tradition, the relationship between rulers and ruled, and the creation and maintenance of ethnic identities could be flexible and complex in the early Middle Ages.

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