This introduction provides historical background to the Annals and a discussion of Lampert of Hersfeld. During the five centuries since the appearance of the first printed edition of the Annals Lampert's work has been more studied and has also been more controversial than any other medieval chronicle. In fact the author of the Annals himself left a clue to his identity in the autobiographical passages in the annals for 1058 and 1059. The instruction in the art of Latin composition in the school of Bamberg made Lampert 'the unrivalled master among medieval historians: even his critics admit that'. In his analysis of the monastic reform movement Lampert identified its origins in a reaction against the recent cases of simony in the imperial abbeys that he associated in particular with Abbot Rupert of Bamberg and Reichenau.
The documents in this section consist of Wulfstan’s political tracts, those texts the archbishop composed either for public circulation or as private memoranda with the purpose of articulating or advocating for some aspect of his social vision.
Archbishop Wulfstan of York is among the most important legal and political thinkers of the early Middle Ages. A leading ecclesiastic, innovative legislator, and influential royal councilor, Wulfstan witnessed firsthand the violence and social unrest that culminated in the fall of the English monarchy before the invading armies of Cnut in 1016. This book introduces the range of Wulfstan's political writings and sheds light on the development of English law during the early eleventh century. In his homilies and legal tracts, Wulfstan offered a searing indictment of the moral failures that led to England’s collapse and formulated a vision of an ideal Christian community that would influence English political thought long after the Anglo-Saxon period had ended. More than just dry political theory, however, Wulfstan’s works are composed in the distinctive voice of someone who was both a confidante of kings and a preacher of apocalyptic fervour. No other source so vividly portrays the political life of eleventh-century England: what it was, and what one man believed it could be.
This documents in this section include sources and analogues of Wulfstan’s political writings, such as other instances of his homiletic prose, examples of formal royal legislation produced under his supervision, and texts showing his influence.
This book is the first English translation of one of the most significant chronicles of the middle ages. Written in Bamberg at the end of the eleventh century, Frutolf of Michelsberg's Chronicle offers a lively and vivid account of the great struggle between the German emperors and the papacy known today as the Investiture Contest. Frutolf's Chronicle has numerous continuations written in the first quarter of the twelfth century. Together with that, Frutolf's Chronicle offers an engaging and accessible snapshot of how medieval people reacted to a conflict that led to civil war in Germany and Italy, and fundamentally altered the relationship of church and state in Western society.