This book, written in honour of Mayke De Jong, offers twenty-five essays focused upon the importance of religion to Frankish politics. It deals with religious discourse and political polemic in studies that take up the themes of identity, and the creative deployment of the language of the Old Testament within Frankish society. The book explores how the use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shaped medieval perceptions of community. It shows that the Carolingian way of dealing with the Adoptionist challenge was to allow a conversation between the Spanish bishops and their Frankish opponents to take place. Charlemagne's role in the Vita Alcuini as a guardian of orthodoxy who sought to settle a controversy by organising and supervising a theological debate was striking. The book also discusses the admonition of an abbot of Frankish origin who came from southern France and made his monastic career in southern Italy. It showcases three letter manuscripts that share certain features but are different in other aspects. The first manuscript is a collection of the Moral Letters from Seneca to his pupil Lucilius , Paris , BnF, lat. 8658A. The book demonstrates that the lists of amici, viventes et defuncti reflected how the royal monastery was interacting with ruling elites, at different levels, and how such interactions were an essential part of its identity. It also examines the context of Monte Cassino's fading into the background, in the conviction that both political and religious concerns were at play.
A mirror of princes who opted out:
ReginoofPrüm and royal
Erik Goosmann and Rob Meens
In 908, the year in which the Carolingian Prince Louis (the Child) turned fifteen, Regino, abbot of St Martin of Trier, completed a momentous historical
treatise.1 Considered to have been the last major Carolingian historical work,
it chronicles the ‘rise and fall of the Carolingians’, for which reason Regino has
recently been dubbed ‘the Edward Gibbon of Carolingian historical writing’.2
Rosamond McKitterick has called attention to Regino
magnates who were schooled in warfare from their youth, the poorer Franks were neither militarily trained nor well equipped. This almost certainly accounts for several defeats suffered by Charles the Bald's forces.
ReginoofPrüm vividly described what could happen when the Scandinavians faced an untrained local force: ‘When the Northmen saw that this crowd of common people were not so much unarmed as bereft of any military training, they rushed upon them with a shout and cut them down in such a bloodbath that they
significance of this quality by stressing at two further occasions that the ‘most energetic’ ( exercitatissimus ) Charlemagne despised idleness.
The Gesta is not the only Carolingian source to accentuate the industriousness of warriors or kings, suggesting that vigour and commitment were considered key qualities in late Carolingian warrior culture. ReginoofPrum, for example, a contemporary of Notker, regularly employed the terms strennuus (strenuous) and industrius (industrious) in his chronicle to characterise
The perception of religious motives of warfare against non-Christian enemies in ninth-century chronicles
sanguinem parentum vestrorum effusum vindicari recolitis et sacra sub honore sanctorum creatoris vestri templa eversa iam in patria vestra cernitis, ministros eciam Dei summo gradu consistentes prostratos videtis .’
Ibid .: ‘ sed non in diu subveniente gratia Dei victoria ad christianos concessit ’. Similar arguments can be found in ReginoofPrüm, Chronicon , a. 882, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG , 50 (Hanover
metric prologue it was written by the ‘young boy Odbertus’, still ‘an unlearned
boy of only ten years old’, during the episcopate of Bishop Adelbold of Utrecht
(1010–26).10 Moreover, the content of the Passio Friderici was considered more
than useless, thus angering the respectable MGH editor, Oswald Holder-Egger.
Most offensive to positivist historians was the abuse the author made of two of
his sources, ReginoofPrüm’s Chronicle, and Thegan’s Life of Louis the Pious,
rendering all its contents and information about ‘real’ ninth-century history of
the empire to
Yitzhak Hen. This contains a copy of the
compendium comprising the apocryphal correspondence between Seneca and
St Paul and the supposed exchange of letters between Alexander the Great and
Dindimus, king of the Brahmins. The compendium was apparently originally
compiled by Alcuin for Charlemagne. Hen suggests that this compendium was
carefully crafted in order to soothe the emperor’s anxiety and reassure him
that his rule was rightful in God’s eyes. A mirror for ‘princes who had opted
out’ is identified by Erik Goosmann and Rob Meens in their interpretation of
, Frühe Hexenverfolgungen (Hamburg: Junius, 1989).
ReginoofPrüm, De Ecclesiasticis Disciplinis, ii, c. 364, Patrologia Latina 132, 352.
THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM
42 Burchard of Worms, Decreta, xix, Patrologia Latina 140, 963. For English translation see
John T. McNeill and Helena M. Gamer, trans., Medieval Handbooks of Penance (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1938).
43 Contra Carlo Ginzburg, who posits the existence of an inclusive “mythic complex,” based
loosely upon the models provided by Eurasian shamanism. See Ginzburg
Ottonian Germany: the chronicon of Thietmar
of Merseburg ; Widukind of Corvey, Deeds of the
Saxons ; Liudprand of Cremona, The complete works ;
Queenship and sanctity: the lives of Mathilda and the epitaph
of Adelheid ; History and politics in late Carolingian and
Ottonian Europe: the chronicle of ReginoofPrüm and