Church council under control of the Carolingians declared that monks
and handmaids of God should strive to order their specific way of life iuxta
regulam sancti Benedicti.2 The Regula Benedicti had been produced for ascetic
enthusiasts finding their place in a world of fading Romanitas. It had little to
do with Francia at the verge of the Carolingian takeover or with the ambitious
plans of Charlemagne and LouisthePious to shape an ideal God-pleasing
Mayke de Jong has provided by far the best attempt to capture the spirit of monastic
reform in the
The making and unmaking of an early medieval relic
Julia M. H. Smith
. de Jong, ‘The empire as ecclesia: Hrabanus Maurus and biblical historia for rulers’,
in Y. Hen and M. Innes (eds), The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge,
2000), 191–226; M. de Jong, ‘Exegesis for an empress’, in E. Cohen and M. de Jong
(eds), Medieval Transformations: Texts, Power, and Gifts in Context (Leiden, 2001),
69–100; M. de Jong, The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of
LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009); M. de Jong, ‘Sacrum palatium et
Julia M. H. Smith
between textual and material forms of historical
From self-representation to episcopal model. The case of the eloquent bishops Ambrose of Milan and Gregory the Great
Bishops in the mirror: from
self-representation to episcopal model.
The case of the eloquent bishops Ambrose
of Milan and Gregory the Great
Around the year 877, the priest Andrew of Bergamo was busy abbreviating and
updating his version of Paul the Deacon’s Historia Langobardorum. When dealing
with the rebellion of the three elder sons of Emperor LouisthePious (814–40)
in 833, Andrew recalled how Lothar I tried to make excuses for himself by shifting the blame onto Angilbert II (824–59), the Frankish archbishop of Milan.
Brought into the
a crucial role all over the Frankish empire shortly
M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the Age of LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009), p. 113. I would like to thank Francesco Borri,
Andreas Fischer, Marios Costambeys, Giorgia Vocino and Graeme Ward for comments on the text. All errors that remain are of course my own.
Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum VI, c. 40, ed. L. Bethmann and G. Waitz,
MGH Scriptores rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum saec. VI–IX, 12–219, p. 179.
The sermon De cupiditate by
LouisthePious.46 Only after the double ritual of penance and baptism can Clovis return
to the exercise of power.
The concept of election behind the passage therefore does not mean that
the Franks were ‘the’ true Israel, the one chosen people among the many gentes
of the period. They had become a gens sancta by their conversion. The cumulative act of baptism was a special display of God’s grace. The circumstances
also mattered, involving divine intervention by granting victory to the gens
Francorum and its king, and featuring two holy men who had guaranteed that
Dealing with the Adoptionist controversy at the court of Charlemagne
the concept of sacerdotes
and the many layers of meaning connected to that concept in the Carolingian
age, see M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the Age of
LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 178–83; S. Patzold, Episcopus.
Wissen über Bischöfe im Frankenreich des späten 8. bis frühen 10. Jahrhunderts,
Mittelalter-Forschungen 25 (Ostfildern, 2008), pp. 135–84.
J. Nelson, ‘Kingship and empire’, in J. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of
Medieval Political Thought: c. 350–c. 1450 (Cambridge, 1988), 211–51, pp. 211–12.
. de Jong, C. van Rhijn and F. Theuws (eds), Topographies
of Power in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden/Boston, MA/Cologne, 2001), 291–328;
and, in general, M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the
Age of LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009).
Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni, c. 20, ed. O. Holder-Egger, MGH SRG 25, p. 25. A further example is that of Notker the Stammerer; see C. Hammer, ‘ “Pipinus rex”;
Pippin’s Plot of 792 and Bavaria’, Traditio 63 (2008), 235–76; and C. Hammer, From
Ducatus to Regnum. Ruling Bavaria under the Merovingians and
uniformity through its preference for the Rule of St Benedict. After Charlemagne’s death in 814, his empire steadily fell apart during the reign of his son, LouisthePious, resulting in the creation of three separate entities by 843: the west Frankish, east Frankish and middle kingdoms. The ninth- and tenth-century invasions by the Muslims, Vikings, Magyars and Slavs had contributed to this fragmentation, though historians now speculate about the extent to which the empire crumbled from internal weaknesses rather than from external pressure and incursion. 4
. Authority and
Atonement in the Age of LouisthePious, 814 – 840 (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 166–8;
M. Innes, ‘Charlemagne, Justice and Written Law’, in A. Rio (ed.), Law, Custom and
Justice (London, 2011), 155–203, p. 168.
no one doing service for God involve himself in secular affairs’; 2 Tim. 2.4).
Eventually Charlemagne would ask bishops acutissime how their duties to
God and the earthly kingdom could be reconciled.40
In the big book of capitularies, the next big text after Herstal is the
Admonitio generalis of March 789. It opened in the form of a
rivers. Following negotiation with the rulers,
these merchants settled with their families. There are extant documents
of privilege granted to the Jews as early as the reign of Emperor LouisthePious between 814 and 825, and thereafter, during the period of the
emperors Otto. Otto I (962–73), and Otto II (973–83), developed the
cities along the length of the River Rhine, placing at their heads bishops
whom they made branches of their rule.15 Thus, by the end of the eleventh
century, Magdeburg and Merseburg on the Elbe, Mainz, Cologne, Worms,
and Speyer on the Rhine