The discipline of 'Germanic' antiquity and its contemporary intellectual and socio-political environment
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 23:25 authored by Timothy Scott
This dissertation examines how the discipline of 'Germanic' Antiquity has negotiated its contemporary intellectual and socio-political environment. This thesis rests on close, critical examination of the research of Klaus vn See (Goethe Universität, Franfurt am Main), Dieter Geuenich (Universität Duisberg-Essen), Walter Pohl (Universität Wien) and Sebastian Brather (Universität Freiburg). Their works on the 'Germanic' barbarian form a core of primary sources. The four scholars are treated as individual case studies. The analysis of these case studies draws on the Bourdieusian principles of Field, Capital and Habitus. These principles form the central underpinnings of this dissertation's methodology, focusing attention on the question of the relationship between the discipline of 'Germanic' Antiquity and its broader context. Each case study has made extensive contributions to discussions concerning 'Germanic' Antiquity and the development of these contributions is discussed chronologically in Chapters 3-6. The common thread that ties the four case studies together is their shared interest in the historiographical challenges associated with the study of the distant 'Germanic' past and their use of approaches from outside of the discipline to inform their discussion. Analysis of the works of von See, Geuenich, Pohl and Brather has led to the conclusion that there has been a shift in methodologies used by the discipline of 'Germanic' Antiquity. The discipline appears to be redefining itself along interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary lines. This has been seen with the use of ethnicity since the 1960s, when the term started to emerge in the broader academic world. The four case studies recognise that ethnicity is socially constructed rather than biologically defined and it provides them with wider academic contexts upon which their discussions about 'Germanic' barbarian identity in the Late Antique and Early Medieval periods can be developed.