Hincmar of Rheims

Life and work

Rachel Stone
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Charles West
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Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims (d. 882) is a crucial figure for all those interested in early medieval European history in general, and Carolingian history in particular. As the powerful Archbishop of Rheims, Hincmar shaped the times in which he lived, advising and admonishing kings, playing a leading role in the Frankish church, and intervening in a range of political and doctrinal disputes. But Hincmar also shaped how those times would later be seen by historians up to the present day, by writing historical accounts such as the Annals of St-Bertin, and by carefully preserving dossiers of material for posterity.

This book puts the archbishop himself centre-stage, bringing together the latest international research across the spectrum of his varied activities, as history-writer, estate administrator, hagiographer, pastorally-engaged bishop, and politically-minded royal advisor. For the first time since Jean Devisse’s magisterial studies in the 1970s, it offers a three-dimensional examination of a controversial figure whose actions and writings in different fields are often studied in isolation, at the cost of a more integrated appreciation. Combining research from recognised experts as well as early-career historians, it will be an essential companion for all those interested in the early medieval Frankish world, and in the history of early medieval Europe more broadly.

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‘Its fourteen contributors seek, in distinct but complementary ways, to draw together Hincmar's life and work in order to understand better not only the man himself, but also the late Carolingian world which is so often evoked through his writings.'
Ingrid Rembold, Hertford College, University of Oxford
Early Medieval Europe Vol. 25 Issue 2

‘The editors are to be commended for bringing together a set of perceptive and well-researched studies (ninety-three pages of endnotes in 288 pages of text with an uncommonly detailed index) that ask the right questions and will prompt new thinking about one of the Carolingian age’s great figures.
H-France Review

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