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.
1. The importance
of the text
The Annals of St-Bertin give
a detailed record of events in the Carolingianworld, covering the years
830-82. They constitute the most substantial piece of contemporary
historical writing of their time 1 – a time that was, on any
reckoning, a critical one in western European history. As on most major
this paper I want to make some comparisons between lordship in Francia
and England, focusing less on the institution itself than on
contemporary depictions of the relationship, in particular in literary
sources, and the moral norms associated with it.
Although there have been many discussions of the practice
of ‘ Herrschaft ’ in the Carolingianworld,
especially in regional studies, analysis of the ethos
Carolingianworld are much wider.
These issues have a bearing, naturally, on how we think about governmentality in the period, but they are also important in relation to social identity. How did the elites who emerged after the demise of the Carolingians create new family identities and how did this affect women? Was ‘Frankish’ identity superseded by new regional and local identities? And in terms of religiosity, one key question is whether the religious reform that was evident from the tenth century onwards was a reaction to the new oppressions. Or was it
Historia of the influential but resolutely static Bede and a
set of scholars whose physical movement defined them as
peregrini , the ninth-century Irish expatriate scholars who made
their careers in the Carolingianworld. Within that community, I will
focus upon one in particular, Sedulius Scottus. 12 The lives of such men –
‘ scotti who die in foreign lands’ in the
Ryan Lavelle, ‘The Use and Abuse of
Hostages in Later Anglo-Saxon England’, Early Medieval
Europe , 14 (2006), 269. Adam Kosto has also noted that,
in Ireland, the possession of hostages was an index of royal
status. Adam J. Kosto, ‘Hostages in the CarolingianWorld
(714–840)’, Early Medieval Europe , 11 (2002
Gottschalk of Orbais and the predestination controversy in the archdiocese
Matthew Bryan Gillis
controversy represent a remarkable case of defiance of episcopal authority and an unusual occurrence of heresy in the Carolingianworld, both of which exposed Hincmar’s limitations as a defender of doctrine and ecclesiastical discipline in his own archdiocese.
A missionary of grace
Theological controversy came to the archdiocese of Rheims in 848 when Gottschalk, a priest from the archdiocese and former monk of the abbey of Orbais, returned after a decade of travels through the Carolingian empire, Dalmatia, Bulgaria and
Carolingian period: M. de Jong, ‘Carolingian monasticism: the power
of prayer’, in NCMH, Vol. II (Cambridge, 1995), 622–53. On the broader context of
Carolingian reform, see M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement
in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009); M. de Jong, ‘Charlemagne’s
Church’, in J. Story (ed.), Charlemagne. Empire and Society (Manchester/New York,
Concilium Germanicum (a. 742), c. 7, ed. A. Werminghoff, MGH Conc. 2:1, 1–4, p. 4.
Creating ordo in this brave new Carolingianworld meant
arising from the HERA project (2010–13)
on ‘Cultural memory and the resources of the past’: M. de Jong, ‘Carolingian
political discourse and the biblical past: Hraban, Dhuoda, Radbert’, in C. Gantner,
R. McKitterick and S. Meeder (eds), The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval
Europe (Cambridge, 2015), 87–102.
M. de Jong, ‘Imitatio morum: the cloister and clerical purity in the Carolingianworld’, in M. Frassetto (ed.), Medieval Purity and Piety. Essays in Medieval Clerical
Celibacy and Religious Reform (New York/London, 1998), 49–80; M. de Jong, ‘An
) but, above all, the dynastic accidents of barren marriages and the deaths of sons: the downside of bio-power. The legacy of the empire was pre-eminently cultural. It was most visible in its subsidiarity, dialoguing between administrative levels, and grass-roots social practices maintained by local elites and their dependants. 51 The last capitulary was issued in 884. Thereafter the moment had passed. A legacy remained. In the hands of new families and operating at subsidiary levels, different and hybrid forms of governmentality marked a post-Carolingianworld. 52