Fields of Study: Early Medieval Europe, Late Antiquity, the High Middle Ages
Advisor: Helmut Reimitz
Merle Eisenberg studies the Early Middle Ages and Late Antiquity, in particular, the transition from the late Roman Empire to the early medieval period, relations between the newly formed post-Roman kingdoms, and their continued connections to the Eastern Roman Empire. Merle is particularly interested in identity changes and formation in the late and post-Roman west, especially to understand the ways in which individuals conceptualized their world to create new communities to respond to the new conditions they experienced in their every day lives.
He is currently beginning his dissertation which will examine Roman, ethnic, and religious identities together in the early medieval west to understand how individuals and outsiders used existing and newly formulated identities to help shape a new world. His dissertation will focus on communities in southern Gaul, which slowly began to shift their borders as they interacted with new and transformed neighbors.
Merle's broader interests include the transformation of imperial and royal power, the use of material culture (especially numismatics) and archaeology in historical research, the "disappeared" groups that never formed states during the transformation and end of the Roman Empire, and the reception of late antiquity in the Carolingian World.
In addition, Merle is the convener of the Late Antique, Medieval, and Byzantine Workshop at Princeton and a participant in the Framing Early Medieval Coinage Project, which seeks to contextualize the changes in coinage in the late and post-Roman World throughout the Mediterranean. During the 2014-2015 academic year, he is also the President of the Graduate History Association
Merle completed his general exams in May 2014 with a major field in The Early Medieval World (Helmut Reimitz) and minor fields in Europe in the High Middle Ages (William Chester Jordan) and Society and Identity in the Late Antique East (John Haldon & Jack Tannous).
Merle received an M.A. in Medieval History with Distinction from King's College London in 2011 and a B.A., in History and Government, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Colby College in 2007. In the intervening years, he worked in politics.