Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History and American Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Ferrell, Claudine

First Advisor

O'Brien, Bruce

Major or Concentration



At first glance, the collapse of the Roman Empire also meant a breakdown of the unifying bureaucratic and cultural bonds tying together Europe, and thus, a collapse of the Empire to a fractious mass of warring dukedoms and kingdoms. Yet, despite this loss of central Roman governmental authority, the retained Latin and emerging vernacular literacy encouraged the old bonds and fostered new connections within the elite classes. Among the successor states to the Roman Empire, Anglo-Saxon England and Francia provide strong evidence of the significant role that literacy played in the maintenance and establishment of cultural bonds. Despite significant differences, both real and superficial, literacy in these two regions not only stimulated intra-regional connections, but also, promoted strong ties inter-regionally. Ultimately, in both Francia and Anglo-Saxon England, literacy created cultural bonds through law, scholarship and high culture.

Included in

History Commons