This book presents a rough 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 AnnalsofFulda and their
By the ninth century annals were one of
the major vehicles for historical writing within the Frankish empire. 1 The earliest annals were
probably no more than brief marginal notes on the tables used for
calculating the date of Easter, but it was soon discovered that an account
of events organised year by year could be not simply an
Pursuing enemies to death in France between the ninth and the eleventh centuries
The AnnalsofFulda , trans. T. Reuter
(Manchester, 1992), p. 19. This battle rates one sentence in the
Annals of St Bertin and eight words in Nithard, though
the latter had earlier noted that Adalbert had a mortal hatred for
Louis: Nithard, Histoire des fils de Louis le Pieux , ed. Ph.
Lauer (Paris, 1926), pp. 58, 66
) under Hilduin’s supervision, roughly until the death of Louis the Pious in 840. Thereafter, during the ensuing three or four decades, there were independent continuations of those annals in the western, middle and eastern Frankish kingdoms. From the 840s until the late 880s, the so-called AnnalsofFulda were produced in the orbit of the archbishop of Mainz; the so-called Annals of Xanten were written for much of that period at, perhaps, Ghent, then Cologne by the one-time court librarian, Gerward; and the Annals of St-Bertin were written by Bishop Prudentius at
harmful impact upon growing crops, houses, animals and people consistently feature in medieval annals and chronicles. A typical example is the following entry in the AnnalsofFulda where we learn that in 872:
Omne tempus aestivum grandinibus variisque tempestatibus pernoxium extitit; nam grando plurima loca frugibus devastavit; horrenda etiam tonitrua et fulmina pene cotidie mortalibus interitum minabantur, quorum ictibus praevalidis homines et iumenta in diversis locis exanimata et in cinerem redacta narrantur
to check the power of the monarchy, whereas Tellenbach interpreted it as just another military coup of a type common in the world of Frankish politics. This debate was possible because the major surviving narrative sources – two separate continuations of the AnnalsofFulda – took opposing views of the events. 33 What is significant to appreciate for the modern student is that aspects of the Sonderweg conditioned how Schlesinger chose to interpret the evidence and to which of the sources he gave more weight. 34 Perhaps a more obvious turning point is the
, suggests Ermengard was hostile to Ebbo, having received his abbeys (Lothar removed Bobbio and Stablo from Ebbo: Hincmar, Epistola 198, p. 211).
27 Hincmar, Epistola 10, MGH Epp. 8, p. 4, after June 846.
28 Hincmar, Epistola 12, MGH Epp. 8, pp. 4–5.
29 Annales Fuldenses , s.a. 846, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG 7 (Hanover, 1891), p. 36 (trans. T. Reuter, The AnnalsofFulda (Manchester, 1992), pp. 24–5).
30 AB s.a. 844–45, pp. 46–51 (trans. Nelson, pp. 58
cross-references to other ninth-century historical sources, especially
annalistic ones of which translations are forthcoming in the Manchester
University Press series. (References to the notes to the AnnalsofFulda are to T. Reuter’s translation.) I have given
references to the standard (usually MGH ) editions of primary
materials in Latin (especially councils, capitularies and papal letters)