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26 Apr 22

How did forms of government evolve during the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages? Damián Fernández argues that some post-Roman polities were shaped in part by discourses about kingship and rebellion. The Visigothic kingdom of Toledo (507-711) provides a relative wealth of sources on rebellion because of the inability of rulers to secure a stable succession. Intellectual and political elites debated whether rebels should be seen as illegitimate tyrants, foreign invaders, or Christian sinners—or a combination of all three. The recasting of the figure of the rebel, Fernández argues, developed in tandem with the political vicissitudes of the Visigothic monarchy and contributed to changing notions of order, kingship, and political legitimacy in late antiquity.

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