This book presents a rough translation of the Annals of St-Bertin (AB). The AB give a detailed record of events in the Carolingian world, covering the years 830-882. They constitute the most substantial piece of contemporary historical writing of their time, a time that was a critical one in western European history. The AB contain uniquely extensive information about Viking activities, constructive as well as destructive, and also about the variety of responses to those activities. Produced in the 830s in the imperial palace of Louis the Pious, the AB were continued away from the Court, first by Bishop Prudentius of Troyes, then by the great scholar-politician Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims. The AB have little information for the year 840 after the death of Louis the Pious, and something like the earlier density of reporting is resumed only with the battle of Fontenoy. From 841 on, the AB were based in the western part of the old empire, in what became, with the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the kingdom of Charles the Bald. Thus the division of Verdun is, again, faithfully reflected in the AB's record. From time to time, information was received from Lothar's Middle Kingdom, and from Louis the German's East Frankish kingdom; but the AB's main focus after 843 was on events in the West and on the doings of Charles the Bald.
ArchbishopHincmarofRheims quoted from the 859 annal of the AB ,
and stated explicitly that the work’s author was Prudentius. Of
Spanish origin (his given name was Galindo), Prudentius was probably the
son of refugee parents who had moved north of the Pyrenees early in
Louis the Pious’s reign. The boy was apparently sent to the palace
c . 820 to serve in due course in Louis’s chapel
marriage dispute, then, on which rested the fate not just
of just individual kings and queens but of whole kingdoms, and whose
outcome durably shaped European history.
This book is a translation of
the most significant source for this attempted divorce, a treatise
known as De divortio Lotharii regis et Theutbergae reginae ,
written in 860 by ArchbishopHincmarofRheims. In this
Gottschalk of Orbais and the predestination controversy in the archdiocese
Matthew Bryan Gillis
remained an inveterate opponent to those bishops who condemned his teachings, foremost among them ArchbishopHincmarofRheims.
Hincmar first sought to contain the danger of Gottschalk’s heresy and restore order to the Church, threatened by Gottschalk’s resistance to episcopal correction. Yet the archbishop soon found himself in the position of trying to resolve the doctrinal conundrum of predestination as kings, bishops and intellectuals from other kingdoms became involved in the controversy. The two-fold problem of Gottschalk the unrepentant
, Chapter 13, pp. 259–62; Kleinjung, Chapter 3, p. 70.
202 Screen, Chapter 4 pp. 80–2.
203 R. Stone, ‘Gender and hierarchy: ArchbishopHincmarofRheims (845– 882) as a religious man’, in P. H. Cullum and K. J. Lewis, eds, Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2013), pp. 28–45.
204 Barbier, Chapter 11, pp. 218–21.
205 Joye, Chapter 10; West, Chapter 12, pp. 230–1.
206 de Jong, Chapter 14, p. 268.
207 West, Chapter 12, p. 238.
208 Joye, Chapter 10, pp. 194–200.
209 Patzold, Episcopus , pp. 179
Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims (d. 882) is a crucial figure for all those
interested in early medieval European history in general, and Carolingian
history in particular. As the powerful Archbishop of Rheims, Hincmar shaped the
times in which he lived, advising and admonishing kings, playing a leading role
in the Frankish church, and intervening in a range of political and doctrinal
disputes. But Hincmar also shaped how those times would later be seen by
historians up to the present day, by writing historical accounts such as the
Annals of St-Bertin, and by carefully preserving dossiers of material for
posterity. This book puts the archbishop himself centre-stage, bringing
together the latest international research across the spectrum of his varied
activities, as history-writer, estate administrator, hagiographer,
pastorally-engaged bishop, and politically-minded royal advisor. For the first
time since Jean Devisse’s magisterial studies in the 1970s, it offers a
three-dimensional examination of a controversial figure whose actions and
writings in different fields are often studied in isolation, at the cost of a
more integrated appreciation. Combining research from recognised experts as well
as early-career historians, it will be an essential companion for all those
interested in the early medieval Frankish world, and in the history of early
medieval Europe more broadly.
The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin
At least six formal episcopal depositions were discussed in councils in Western Francia and Lotharingia after 835. ArchbishopHincmarofRheims was involved in every one. 2 However, the deposition of one of them, Bishop Hincmar of Laon, proved one of the most awkward episodes in his career. As a young man, Hincmar of Laon seemed very promising; his uncle Hincmar of Rheims must have been proud of him. 3 The future bishop of Laon was educated by Hincmar of Rheims, who played the role of a mentor. In his twenties in 858, the younger
, celebrating mass, hearing confession and carrying relics.
Bishops had armed retainers, such as those accompanying Bishop Hincmar of Laon to the synod of Douzy in 871.
The implications of this militarisation of the clergy, who were the principal chroniclers of the day, will become clear below.
This militarisation naturally also shaped perceptions of the monarchy. In his treatise on kingship, ArchbishopHincmarofRheims told the king that his duties
Hincmar, the polyptych of St-Rémi and the slaves of Courtisols
The monastery of St-Remi of Rheims produced in the ninth century a remarkable and detailed estate survey or polyptych. Even though this polyptych survives only in later copies, I shall try to show in what follows that ArchbishopHincmarofRheims left his trace on the lost original manuscript, in the shape of a nota mark in the margin of the description of the monastery’s estate of Courtisols (Marne), and then try to discern the reasons for the prelate’s personal involvement in the management of the Rheims estates, as revealed by this
punishments, not for injury to himself, but violations of
the law of God, let him strive to be feared. 43
Few normative texts go beyond this
emotionally ambivalent view of lordretainer relationships. 44 One exception is
striking. In 858, during a crisis in the reign of Charles the Bald,
ArchbishopHincmarofRheims and other West Frankish bishops sent a