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Ninth-century histories, volume II

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.

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aide-mémoire of this kind but coherent historical narrative which both recorded events and commented on them and attempted to explain them. By the time of Charles the Great substantial works were being produced in this form: the Annals of Lorsch , the Royal Frankish Annals , the Older Metz Annals . 2 The works themselves are almost all without contemporary titles or ascriptions of authorship: the titles used in manuscripts, which are

in The Annals of Fulda
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strands of this dynastically-sponsored phenomenon, the writing and re-writing of history loom large. The elites of the Carolingian age not only keenly devoured classical and biblical history, but also saw to the composition of a panoply of contemporary historical works. Several major sets of annals inspired by the Royal Frankish Annals , a work associated with the court of Charlemagne, together with a variety of

in History and politics in late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe
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diplomacy of Charlemagne and of the Frankish nobles who sustained his power were noted down, year by year, in the Royal Frankish Annals ( Annales Regni Francorum ). 12 There is no evidence that Charlemagne ever sought to influence the annals’ content, or to exploit the annals for what would nowadays be termed ‘public relations’ purposes. His biographer does not mention historical writing as among

in The Annals of St-Bertin