Luciano Gallinari

Some historiographic reflections on parallelisms about the role of indigenous peoples in a geographical area between Sardinia and the Iberian Peninsula in the Early Middle Ages (pdf)

(*En Portugués aquí; En Español aquí; En français ici)


The paper intends to present some parallelisms on the concept of “border” and the relations among Vandals, Byzantines and Sardinians from one side, and among Byzantines, Goths and Hispano-Romans, from the other, in the former Roman provinces of Sardinia and the Iberian Peninsula during the Early Middle Ages.

The paper seeks to reflect on the possible identitarian and “nationalistic” use in modern times of that historical period between the end of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. In parts of both Sardinian and Iberian historiography there is the tendency to highlight the role of indigenous peoples and complement that by the relatively small penetration of the Roman (the Western colonizers’) influence in some areas of the North of the Iberian Peninsula and of the mountainous center of Sardinia.

In these areas, the role of Barbaricini (the inhabitants of the Civitates Barbariae of the interior of Sardinia mentioned by Justinian), Hispano-Romans, proud opponents of the Empire, and “true” Sardinians and Iberians have been exalted. Employing Maurice Halbwachs’s theoretical rubric, I show how these specific stereotypes, historical and historiographical myths, confirmed memory and identity and were the result of continuous choices – conscious or not – of what people wanted to remember, wanted to be, and wanted to be represented as, and what that means for historical reconstruction.


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