Meet a Medieval Source Videos

An Introduction to the Histories of Gregory of Tours, by Hope Williard

Dr. Hope Williard, University of Lincoln

Open Source Link

Gregory of Tours (539-594): History of the Franks: Books I-X

Discussion Questions

  • What to Gregory’s own statements about his writing tell us about his choices as a writer?
  • Why does Gregory tell us the things that he does?
  • What characterises Gregory’s portraits of Merovingian queens?

Readings and Resources: Freely Available Online

  • Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, trans. Ernest Brehaut (New York: Columbia University Press, 1916).

Other Readings (available to purchase as e-books or online via library subscriptions)

  • Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. Lewis Thorpe (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974).
  • Erin T. Dailey, Queens, Consorts, Concubines: Gregory of Tours and the Women of the Merovingian Elite (Leiden: Brill, 2015).
  • Guy Halsall, ‘The Preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours’ Histories: Its Form, Contents, and Significance’ The English Historical Review 122:496 (2007), pp. 297-317.
  • Alexander C. Murray, Gregory of Tours: The Merovingians (Peterborough: University of Toronto Press, 2006).
  • Alexander C. Murray, ed., A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Boston: Brill, 2016).
  • Ian Wood and Kathleen Mitchell, eds, The World of Gregory of Tours (Boston: Brill, 2002).

To Cite this Page

Williard, Hope. “An Introduction to the Histories of Gregory of Tours,” Middle Ages for Educators, April 17, 2020. Accessed[date].,-by-hope-williard/


The Justinianic Plague, by Merle Eisenberg

Merle Eisenberg, National socio-Environmental synthesis center (sesync), University of Maryland

Primary sources along with reading questions for each of them can be found here in a PDF document.

Primary Sources

The complete passage on Procopius and the Plague in Constantinople can be found online at the Fordham Source Book on Plague.

The datasets in the above PDF are from Mordechai et al (see further reading for full citation) and can be found there under Figures and Supplementary Information. If you want to dig into the underlying sources, that be found at the bottom of the same page.

Further Reading

Lee Mordechai & Merle Eisenberg “Rejecting Catastrophe: the case of the Justinianic Plague,” Past & Present (2019), 3-50.

Lee Mordechai, Merle Eisenberg, Timothy P. Newfield, Adam Izdebski, Janet E. Kay, and Hendrik Poinar, “The Justinianic Plague: An inconsequential pandemic?” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Dec 2019, 116 (51) 25546-25554.

Merle Eisenberg and Lee Mordechai. “The Justinianic Plague: An Interdisciplinary Review.” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 43, no. 2 (2019): 156–80.

Michel Keller et al. “Ancient Yersinia pestis genomes from across Western Europe reveal early diversification during the First Pandemic (541–750),” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jun 2019, 116 (25), 12363-12372

To Cite this Page

Eisenberg, Merle. “The Justinianic Plague,” Middle Ages for Educators, March 30, 2020. Accessed [date].