DOI link for Common quest
Common quest book
Those choosing to study the common person in Merovingian Gaul face a frustrating shortage of primary source material, as chroniclers of the age were members of an educated elite with little interest in the comings and goings of commoners. The primary sources on the subject – Gregory of Tours’ Historia Francorum, The Chronicle of Fredegar, and the Liber Historiae Francorum – provide colorful and brutal, if not entirely accurate, glimpses into the reigns of the Merovingian “long-haired kings” but offer little enlightenment as to the day-to-day plight of the common people of the era. Alternate approaches are needed, and historians have successfully incorporated alternate disciplines such as sociology and psychology into their approach to source material from other eras with great success. In that light, this work proposes utilizing Konstantin Stanislavski’s technique of physical actions for actors to help historians extrapolate the “character” of the Merovingian common person from the primary sources and understand not only how people of a distant age may have behaved within their given circumstances but also how they may have felt as they moved through their world.