This book presents a new and accessible translation of a well-known yet enigmatic text: the ‘Epitaph for Arsenius’ by the monk and scholar Paschasius Radbertus (Radbert) of Corbie. This monastic dialogue, with the author in the role of narrator, plunges the reader directly into the turmoil of ninth-century religion and politics. ‘Arsenius’ was the nickname of Wala, a member of the Carolingian family who in the 830s became involved in the rebellions against Louis the Pious. Exiled from the court, Wala/Arsenius died Italy in 836. Casting both Wala and himself in the role of the prophet Jeremiah, Radbert chose the medium of the epitaph (funeral oration) to deliver a polemical attack, not just on Wala’s enemies, but also on his own.
The career, mental world and writings of Regino, abbot of Prüm, were all defined by the Carolingian empire and, more particularly, by its end. The high Ottonian period of the mid-tenth century also witnessed a revival of historiography, exemplified by the work of the two major authors who wrote about the rise of the dynasty. The first of these was Liutprand of Cremona, whose Antapodosis, a history of European politics from 888 until around 950, and Historia Ottonis, a focused account of events surrounding Otto's imperial coronation, were both written in the earlier 960s. The second was Adalbert, who most probably wrote his continuation to the Chronicle in 967/968. Regino's Chronicle, dedicated to Bishop Adalbero of Augsburg in the year 908, was the last work of its kind for several decades, and as such its author can be regarded as the last great historian of the Carolingian Empire. The Chronicle is divided into two books. The first, subtitled 'On the times of the Lord's incarnation', begins with the incarnation of Christ and proceeds as far as the death of Charles Martel in 741. The second 'On the deeds of the kings of the Franks' takes the story from the death of Charles Martel through to 906. The much shorter continuation by Adalbert of Magdeburg enjoys a place in the canon of works relating to the history of the earliest German Reich and consequently has received considerably more attention.
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 Carolingian world,
especially in regional studies, analysis of the ethos
Monte Cassino and Carolingian
politics around 800
Perhaps one of the earliest witnesses to a fundamental difference in Italian and
French couture is a late-eighth-century letter from Monte Cassino. Its sharp
observation of fashion differences is arguably still an accurate representation
of the variation in dress on either side of the Alps: ‘the Gallic monks dress in
more wide and more generous clothes, whereas the Italian monks, like ours,
have shorter and tighter garments’.1
The text in question is not principally concerned with the apparently
sought to answer.
Texts like this are rarely edited; they do not offer
original thoughts, and often attest to the poor Latin and poor spelling
of the scribes who copied them. They occur quite often among more
substantial materials assembled in Carolingian manuscripts. By offering
a transcription and a translation I hope first to provide a teaching
source for those who want to understand Frankish thoughts
Carolingian society, see Dutton, Politics of Dreaming .
119 I.e., from Bobbio.
120 Chremes is the name of four different Terentian characters found in the Heautontimorumenos , the Andria , the Eunuchus and the Phormio. The monk called Cremes ( sic ) accompanied Wala in Italy in 822–5, and is called up as a faithful witness to the way his abbot dispensed justice.
121 Cf. Jerome, ep. 12: Et quod iam pridem in consecratione consecutum te esse credis, restat ut capias: ne minor inveniaris in Christo quam in mundo interim nominaris ac si falsi vocabuli inutilis
although Teofrastus is (too) young and Pascasius is old and worn out, because they are morally upright ( probi ) and their love derives from a good conscience ( bene conscii amantes ) they are qualified to perform this lament.
7 Swearing by Hercules ( hercle , mehercle ) is common in Terentian comedy, where its use is limited to male characters. Its use here is of a piece with the frequent citations from Terence’s plays, which are expected to be recognised among this learned coterie of monks. On Hercules and the classical tradition at the Carolingian court, see Nees
Regino’s world and career
The career, mental world and
writings of Regino, abbot of Prüm (d.915), were all defined by the
Carolingian empire and, more particularly, by its end. The Carolingians
were the second great ruling dynasty of the Franks, one of the barbarian
peoples which had taken up the reins of power in the Roman provinces at
the end of the fifth century. Their
The Carolingians and the Regula Benedicti
Trying to handle the project of Carolingian monastic reform is like putting
together a picture from pieces belonging to different puzzles. Each set of
sources – hagiography, chronicles, commentaries to the Regula Benedicti, charters, capitularia and acts of Church councils – tells a different story. Attempts
to forge them into a cohesive narrative force us to overlook contradictions and
necessarily expand on problematic master narratives. Wherever we start, we
end up in irresolvable conundrums. Things
, also himself, especially in the second book: as a prophet whose warnings went unheeded, and who had therefore to witness and suffer the exile of his people. It is no wonder that the second book has become one of the main ingredients of modern grand narratives about a decline of the Carolingians that began with the two revolts against Louis the Pious; 5 yet Radbert’s account of the crisis of Louis’ reign was written two decades later, with considerable hindsight. To a large extent, it reflects Radbert’s experiences as abbot of Corbie in the 840s, followed by his own