This book presents a new and accessible translation of a well-known yet enigmatic text: the ‘Epitaph for Arsenius’ by the monk and scholar Paschasius Radbertus (Radbert) of Corbie. This monastic dialogue, with the author in the role of narrator, plunges the reader directly into the turmoil of ninth-century religion and politics. ‘Arsenius’ was the nickname of Wala, a member of the Carolingian family who in the 830s became involved in the rebellions against Louis the Pious. Exiled from the court, Wala/Arsenius died Italy in 836. Casting both Wala and himself in the role of the prophet Jeremiah, Radbert chose the medium of the epitaph (funeral oration) to deliver a polemical attack, not just on Wala’s enemies, but also on his own.
This book presents a translation of the Annals of Fulda (AF). By the ninth century annals were one of the major vehicles for historical writing within the Frankish empire. The AF are the principal narrative source written from a perspective east of the Rhine for the period in which the Carolingian Empire gave way to a number of successor kingdoms, including the one which was to become Germany. AF offer the major narrative account of the east Frankish kingdom from the death of Louis the Pious down to the end of the ninth century. The surviving manuscripts are only an echo of what must once have been a much more extensive transmission, to judge by the use made of AF by a number of later annalists and compilers. The brief description of the manuscript tradition must be amplified by looking at the content of the annals. For the years 714 to 830 the work is undoubtedly a compilation which draws on earlier annals, in particular on the Royal Frankish Annals and the Lorsch Frankish Chronicle, with occasional use of other smaller sets of annals and saints' lives. The account of the origins of AF was heavily criticised by Siegmund Hellmann in a number of articles written some fifteen years after the appearance of Friedrich Kurze's edition in 1891.
The career, mental world and writings of Regino, abbot of Prüm, were all defined by the Carolingian empire and, more particularly, by its end. The high Ottonian period of the mid-tenth century also witnessed a revival of historiography, exemplified by the work of the two major authors who wrote about the rise of the dynasty. The first of these was Liutprand of Cremona, whose Antapodosis, a history of European politics from 888 until around 950, and Historia Ottonis, a focused account of events surrounding Otto's imperial coronation, were both written in the earlier 960s. The second was Adalbert, who most probably wrote his continuation to the Chronicle in 967/968. Regino's Chronicle, dedicated to Bishop Adalbero of Augsburg in the year 908, was the last work of its kind for several decades, and as such its author can be regarded as the last great historian of the Carolingian Empire. The Chronicle is divided into two books. The first, subtitled 'On the times of the Lord's incarnation', begins with the incarnation of Christ and proceeds as far as the death of Charles Martel in 741. The second 'On the deeds of the kings of the Franks' takes the story from the death of Charles Martel through to 906. The much shorter continuation by Adalbert of Magdeburg enjoys a place in the canon of works relating to the history of the earliest German Reich and consequently has received considerably more attention.
expressed more appropriately in any other place ( locus ), 20 since the evils that have grown up little by little are only now being punished. For this empire has expanded with felicitous success up to the present day, as if in the fullness of time, but the vices that have been committed by degrees, as is typical in a state of prosperity, have grown up and accumulated. By the just judgement of God this was revealed not merely by his scourges, but also by new miracles of saintly power. 21 Unless I am mistaken, therefore, these things should be pointed out and lamented in
Chapter seven: Regarding Dionysius, seventh bishop. The seventh bishop,
Dionysius, took office around the year 798. In the time of this bishop Emperor
Charles celebrated a synod in the city of Genoa, as can be read in the
Deeds of that emperor.
For at that time Desiderius, king of the Lombards, was harassing the
empire, and African Saracens were devastating Genoa and the coastal lands
badly, so the
leaders, and paid for it by being exiled to a series of monasteries in the empire. Louis’ quick comeback and highhanded dealing with his elder sons in the aftermath of the first rebellion sowed the seeds for a second revolt in the summer of 833, which led to the old emperor’s infamous public penance in the autumn of that year. Yet within half a year Louis was back in charge, and in August 834 Lothar was forced to retreat to Italy and remain there. He was followed by some loyal supporters, including Wala, by now abbot of Bobbio, who died there in 836. 1
and Greece to the furthest coast of Spain—who could venture to navigate
it safely. If, however, she opens the sea and watches over it, everyone may
navigate it safely.
Indeed, where once Genoa was called a town or fortress, now it
can only be called a realm or even an empire.
Where once the city was captured and destroyed by the Africans, now it
would be the easiest thing for Genoa to capture and destroy all of
An expedition to the Balearic islands, at that time
part of the Muslim Almoravid empire (based in Morocco), a key preliminary to
the later campaigns against Almería and Tortosa. This initial
expedition was led by Caffaro himself, who was then consul: from Minorca the
Genoese went to Almería, where they extracted a large sum from its
inhabitants: CGA , pp. 33
Fathers. 3 (Modern scholarship has pointed out
that there were Desert Mothers, too, but the Middle Ages do not emphasise
the role of women in the early eremitic movement.) With the end of the
persecutions of Diocletian and the outbreak of religious tolerance in the
Roman Empire under Constantine (emperor 306–337), Christianity had
lost its dangerous, ‘edgy’ status as a countercultural
movement (it would become the official
The demographic landscape of medieval
Italy ( fig. 2 ) differed from most of the rest of Europe in
its relatively high percentage of urban-dwellers, even after the end of the
Roman Empire. Economic growth, especially from trade, from the eleventh century
on expanded the urban middle classes, while the decline of imperial authority
in Italy at the end of the eleventh century made room for the rise of communes: