The Heroic Age

A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe

Founded 1998   |   ISSN 1526-1867

Call for Papers


54th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Proposals for the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies are due by September 1, 2018, and must include the Participant Information Form. The Heroic Age is sponsoring the following sessions:

New Approaches to the Age of Arthur: Britain and Gaul in the Fifth Century

Sponsor: The Heroic Age

Contact: Dr. Larry Swain,

The "dark" fifth century has continued to be a source of debate among scholars. During this century, Roman Gaul became Frankia, the Roman provinces of Britain transformed into small kingdoms, some of them Germanic in nature, others Romano-Celt. Wales, the last region colonized by Rome and the most difficult for them to conquer, at least in the south maintained an intellectual and cultural (and religious) tradition rooted in a Roman inheritance. If Gildas and Nennius are to be believed, it is during this period somewhere that the figure or figures that became the Arthur of the Matter of Britain moved.

The Heroic Age celebrates its twentieth year in 2019–2020. Our inaugural issue examined early traditions of Arthur. With this session, we wish to both look back at that first issue but also look forward to uncovering new studies in Late Antiquity. We invite interdisciplinary submissions that examine the tumultuous changes in the fifth century.

Becoming Roman/Becoming Barbarian: Cultural Assimilation and Resistance in Late Antiquity

Sponsor: The Heroic Age

Contact: Dr. Larry Swain,

From the reign of Diocletian ending in 306 CE until well into the so-called High Middle Ages, issues of identity in the West revolved around how one identified oneself: as a Roman, or a Gaul, or a Burgundian, and how even were those terms understood. Many of the early kingdoms issues new law codes, such as the Burgundian code, which included separate definitions and treatment if one were "Roman" or other in order to define identities, for example. The purpose of this session is to examine the adoption of an identity or the transitioning to a new identity in formerly Roman provinces during the Late Antique period. Whether Roman senatorial classes in Gaul following a Germanic overlord, a Germanic chieftain dressing and establishing a court in imitation of the Roman emperor, or any of another myriad issues of cultural, political, religious, or linguistic identification in the period, this session seeks to explore how people in former Roman provinces identified themselves, and if recoverable, why, as Romans, Barbarians, or other, or conversely, how they identified others.

Law, Literature, and Society in Medieval Ireland and Beyond

Co-sponsors: The Heroic Age, ASIMS

Contact: Dr. Westley Follet,

Medieval Ireland possessed the oldest codified, vernacular legal system in Western Europe.  The earliest textual witnesses of this system consist of legal tracts produced by professional Irish jurists, heroic literature which preserves a surprising amount of legalistic material, and canonical and penitential tracts written in Latin and Old Irish.  The influences upon and the influence of the early Irish legal tradition cross literary genres and extended well beyond Ireland itself, to include the Roman legal tradition, the Anglo-Saxon and Frankish traditions, and, not least of all, the Church. This session seeks to explore the relationships among any of these legal traditions, between medieval law and literature, and what these relationships can teach us about the societies that produced them.

Please consider developing proposals for the other session sponsored by ASIMS as well:

Digital Castles: New Developments in Research and Teaching, A Roundtable

Sponsor: ASIMS

Contact: Dr. Westley Follet,

Participants will discuss how scholars and students can use digital technologies to achieve a more nuanced understanding of medieval culture. Castles are the perfect medium for pursuing this goal, because castle studies combine approaches from history, archaeology, art history and literature. This session will therefore provide a venue for an exciting interdisciplinary dialogue, framed within the digital humanities. This session will advance the historiography by showcasing the latest techniques, including 3D printing and virtual reality using 3-D models. New research agendas and teaching methods in digital castle studies in Ireland and elsewhere will also be discussed.

General Submissions

The Heroic Age welcomes and encourages papers on topics unrelated to themed issues at any time. The journal publishes the following types of materials:

Editions and Translations

The Heroic Age invites submissions of new editions and translations of early medieval texts related to Northen Europe. Both complete works and fragments of longer works will be considered for publication. The original may be in either an early medieval vernacular or Latin or Greek. Translations and editions should not exceed 7000 words, although longer texts may be considered. Please consult the Author's Instructions for general submission guidelines. Preference will be given to texts that do not exist in a modern edition or translation. Please indicate if the text is previously unedited or untranslated.

Themed Issues

New Feminist Voices in the Heroic Age

Editors Melissa Ridley Elmes Mailto: Icon (Lindenwood University) and Carla María Thomas Mailto: Icon(Florida Atlantic University)

We are accepting submissions from graduate students, postdoctoral, and junior or early-stage scholars (pre-tenure or equivalent NTT faculty experience) working in any discipline with a focus on Northwestern Europe in the period covered by the journal, c. 300–1200 CE.; we will also consider comparative approaches that examine a Northwestern European topic against another geographical area. We welcome articles of 7,000 words (inclusive of bibliography and endnotes) and essays of 3,000 words. Submissions do not necessarily have to focus on feminist issues, although they should demonstrate a feminist approach (women's studies, gender/queer studies, etc.) to the question(s) being addressed.

Submission guidelines and style requirements for The Heroic Age can be found under "Submission Instructions."

Identity in Late Antiquity—Diocletian to Charlemagne

We are accepting submissions for a themed section exploring issues of identity in Late Antiquity. A period of upheaval in every sphere, Late Antiquity saw chieftains become kings, Germans imitate Romans, Romans imitate Germans, and different religious expressions—whether within Roman Christianity, traditional Roman religion, or the religions of those the Romans conquered. This section looks to explore all issues of identity (gender, sexuality, class, ethnogenesis, religious, culture, etc.) as expressed in Northwestern Europe (Gaul/Francia, Britain, Anglo-Saxon England, Ireland, the Low Countries, Scandinavia, etc.) during Late Antiquity (for our purposes here 284 CE to 800 CE) as expressed through humanly created media (art, literature, language, material culture, political and social structures).

Submission guidelines and style requirements for The Heroic Age can be found under "Submission Instructions."