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Ninth-Century Histories, Volume I
Author: Janet L. Nelson

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.

Hincmar and Lothar I
Elina Screen

relationship, which was central to the first part of Hincmar’s career, from 845 to 855. 5 Hincmar’s long subsequent career has left complex, partisan and largely retrospective evidence for his relationship with Lothar. 6 Hincmar had firm ideas on the roles of bishops and rulers, seen both in his later relationships with Louis the German and Charles the Bald, and in his comments on past precedents such as Ambrose’s dealings with Theodosius  I. 7 It is not possible to establish whether Hincmar’s relationship with Lothar contributed to the formation

in Hincmar of Rheims
Hincmar in the crisis of 875
Clémentine Bernard-Valette

gave the Lotharingian throne to Charles the Bald; the translation of Actard, bishop of Nantes, to Tours; and the conflict with Hincmar of Laon about episcopal power and freedom. In all these cases, Hincmar’s writings underlined his attachment to the rules established by canonical authorities: conciliar texts, decretals and papal letters, and patristic texts. Hincmar’s purpose was always to define a rule that would be suitable for any situation. In 875, when Charles the Bald left his kingdom for Rome and the imperial crown, Hincmar was faced

in Hincmar of Rheims
Abstract only
The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin
Christine Kleinjung

Hincmar was elected bishop of Laon – not without the assistance of the metropolitan of Rheims, who introduced him to the inner circle of the court of Charles the Bald. 4 Without any doubt Hincmar of Laon benefited from the high and influential political position of his uncle. However, the fall soon came and the relationship between the two Hincmars changed for the worse. Other than Hincmar of Laon himself, the main actors in this conflict were King Charles the Bald and Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, who was uncle and metropolitan of the accused

in Hincmar of Rheims
Rachel Stone

T HE CLOSE PARALLELS between Janet Nelson’s biography of Charles the Bald and Richard Abels’ biography of Alfred the Great are clear. 1 Both authors investigate their subjects’ role as rulers, intellectuals and fighters against the Vikings; both books raise issues as to the extent to which early medieval biography is possible. Yet one noteworthy

in Frankland
Margaret J. McCarthy

Introduction King Louis the Stammerer succeeded Charles the Bald on the throne of West Francia in 877, inheriting both his father’s kingdom and his father’s advisers. Prominent among those advisers was Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, who was the chief architect of Louis’s coronation, composing and conducting the coronation ritual. A common narrative about Hincmar in the 870s is that he was losing favour near the end of Charles the Bald’s reign, 1 but then Louis the Stammerer’s accession provided another

in Hincmar of Rheims
Abstract only
Janet L. Nelson

Lothar’s two younger brothers, Louis the German and Charles the Bald, had emerged the victors, there was the prospect of peace and a more or less stable royal household to provide, once again, the traditional environment for royal annalists to resume work. It was in the entourage of Charles, a youth well known to former members of his father’s household (and perhaps hopefully looked to by them as a

in The Annals of St-Bertin
Abstract only
Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

provide the backdrop to the Epitaphium Arsenii . Yet its context should be extended further, well into the period after the death of Louis the Pious and the struggle for succession among his three remaining sons. While the emperor, Lothar (840–55), still commanded loyalty in Corbie, this monastery became part of the kingdom of Charles the Bald (840–77). 2 This in itself created considerable tension, yet it only surfaces in the Epitaphium ’s second book, in the context of a full-scale assessment of the rebellions of the early 830s from a later perspective. Its author

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
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Dame Jinty Nelson . . . An appreciation
Paul Fouracre and David Ganz

combined in practical action, and with how individuals made choices according to needs and opportunities, led her to work on the reign of Charles the Bald, a figure rather in need of historical rehabilitation. The result was a model of political history that set the pace for a series of studies that rethought the history of the later Carolingians. Whereas in some scholars a concentration on political

in Frankland
Sylvie Joye

Hincmar – who in his annals systematically presented his King Charles the Bald as someone who had been unjustly attacked, who forgave, who tried to retie the bonds of the Carolingian family – further developed in his letters and treatises the image of a sovereign whose position is justified by association with the figure of the father, pivot of a hierarchy presented as sacred and natural (but evidently constructed), and which the king guarantees by the exercise of his judgement. 57 The king was most readily compared to a father, who played the

in Hincmar of Rheims