New Directions in the Study of Visigothic Spain is the title of a new and thought-provoking article authored by our colleague, Dr Jamie Wood, in collaboration with Javier Martínez Jiménez and published this month in History Compass.
The article re-assesses the major historiographical debates concerning the study of Visigothic Spain, while acknowledging and emphasizing the centrality of archaeological evidence to better understand the period and its complex nuances.
Since the fall of the Visigothic kingdom in 711, analysis of its history has been tied to contemporary Spanish politics. Political and economic developments in Spain since the 1970s have driven research into the late antique and early medieval period. Most notably, archaeological evidence has come to play a much more prominent role in analyses of the Visigothic period in Spain. This article synthesises archaeological and historical research from the past 20 years. It draws on recent developments in urban and rural archaeology in order to examine key avenues of research on the period: the negotiated nature of power, post-Roman identity politics, and law and literacy.