Irene Bavuso, EHS Postan Fellow

Political and Economic Development on Frontiers: the Scheldt-Meuse Paradigm

After completing my BA and MA in History in Italy, I went to Oxford for my doctorate in Medieval History. My thesis focusses on the socio-economic context of the coastal areas of Southern England and Northern France during the sixth and the early seventh centuries, in order to understand the origins of the emporia system, the network of major coastal trading sites flourishing in Northern Europe from around the middle of the seventh century. This research was founded by the AHRC and the T.E. Lawrence-All Souls scholarship, and I was one of the recipients of the Economic History Society PhD bursary in 2015.

As a Junior Fellow at the IHR, my research explores the socio-economic developments undergone by frontier lands during the Merovingian period (sixth-eighth c.), looking in particular at the area between the rivers Scheldt and the Lower Meuse. This project aims to answer fundamental questions on how the relations between political power and economy on this border territory shaped the development of the Frankish kingdoms.

In general, I am currently interested in the primary economic factors fuelling social and political developments in the crucial processes leading to the formation and development of Early Medieval Europe after Late Antiquity.