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Paschasius Radbertus' funeral oration for Wala of Corbie
Authors: Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

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.

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Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

The Epitaph of Arsenius Confronting crisis The ‘epitaph’ or funeral oration for Abbot Wala of Corbie (d. 836), a cousin of Charlemagne who was also known as Arsenius, is a confrontation with political crisis at various levels, and at different moments in time. Its focus is on Wala’s different roles during the reigns of Charlemagne (768–814) and his successor, Louis the Pious (814–40). As the only remaining son when his father died, Louis, who had hitherto been king of Aquitaine, had already been made co-emperor by Charlemagne in 813. At this time Wala was

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
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Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

2.6, PL 17 col. 1023D . A ninth-century copy of the text from Corbie is found on ff. 2–80v of Paris, BnF lat. 18311. For the text and author, see Lanéry, ‘La tradition manuscrite’. 13 Severus’ role in the discussion is that of the older monk, a faithful disciple of the recently deceased Abbot Wala, who could inform his fellow monks about an earlier phase of Arsenius’ leadership of Corbie. 14 Cf. Terence, Adelphoe 3.4.51 (497): quapropter nitar, faciam, experiar. 15 … cum nemo <doluerit> quod doluerit qui nesciat deplorare, nemo inter tormenta qui non

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
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Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

<who has been accepted > by God < because of grace, not> [because of his] works. I ask you, therefore, brother, let us give thanks to God, who granted him these things, and who promised himself to us, so that we may greatly rejoice … that he granted such things to him. 1 Radbert became abbot of Corbie in 843/4 but was forced to resign the office at some point between 849 and 853, after which he retired to the monastery of St Riquier. The date of his deposition marks the terminus post quem for the composition of Book 2, which was probably written in the mid-850s

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
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Kriston R. Rennie

for the monasteries of Saint-Denis, Vézelay, Montiéramey, Fleury, Charroux, and Montier-en-Der, exhibiting a tradition of papal intervention that lends itself well to the following political interpretation. Put simply: the ninth-century evidence strongly favours the emergence of papal protection as the hallmark characteristic of monastic exemption privileges. To illustrate this point more clearly, let us consider the monastery of Corbie, whose special relationship with Rome gives witness to the legal precedent of early papal privileges that

in Freedom and protection
Author: Stephen Miller

Feudalism, venality, and revolution is about the political and social order revealed by the monarchy’s most ambitious effort to reform its institutions, the introduction of participatory assemblies at all levels of the government. It should draw the attention of anyone interested in the sort of social and political conditions that predisposed people to make the French Revolution. In particular, according to Alexis de Tocqueville’s influential work on the Old Regime and the French Revolution, royal centralization had so weakened the feudal power of the nobles that their remaining privileges became glaringly intolerable to commoners. Feudalism, venality, and revolution challenges this theory by showing that when Louis XVI convened assemblies of landowners in the late 1770s and 1780s to discuss policies needed to resolve the budgetary crisis, he faced widespread opposition from lords and office holders. These elites regarded the assemblies as a challenge to their hereditary power over commoners. The monarchy incorporated an administration of seigneurial jurisdictions and venal offices. Lordships and offices upheld inequality on behalf of the nobility and bred the discontent evident in the French Revolution. These findings will alter the way scholars think about the Old Regime society and state and should therefore find a large market among graduate students and professors of European history.

Kriston R. Rennie

The authority of this particular Roman council, therefore, backed by its hefty subscription list, served the monastery’s interests exceedingly well in its bid to break from the influence of the Parisian episcopate. In the course of ongoing disputes with the bishops of Amiens, the monks of Corbie likewise compiled a dossier of diplomas and privileges to assert their autonomous claims. 26 As we have already seen, its association with Rome was ostensibly integral to achieving exemption from Pope Leo IX in April 1050 (JL 4212), 27 which

in Freedom and protection
Bart Jaski

north-west of Reims) in 822.7 The opposite results in dating at which Chazelle and Alibert arrived should serve as a warning against reading too much into one specific illustration or motif. Yet their approach in singling out a number of illustrated Psalms and discussing their potential political background has yielded interesting results, and appears to support the interpretation of the Utrecht Psalter as a visual ‘mirror of princes’. A more general approach, by Kathleen Openshaw with reference to insular manuscripts, and by Heather Pulliam with regard to the Corbie

in Religious Franks
Elite practice
Paul Fouracre

monks. In addition to the toll exemptions there also survives one tractoria , a document of Roman origin which entitled the beneficiary (formerly officials travelling on behalf of the Roman emperor, but now churchmen hand in glove with the king) to receive supplies en route to their destination. 25 This benefit was granted to the monastery of Corbie in the year 716. 26 The destination of Corbie’s agents was Marseilles. In addition to getting supplies for 15 carts and lodging on their journey, the agents were also to pick up 10,000 lb of oil from the royal depot of

in Eternal light and earthly concerns
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Gottschalk of Orbais and the predestination controversy in the archdiocese of Rheims
Matthew Bryan Gillis

among his correspondents; he had been known as a teacher in the archdiocese before his journey south and had studied at Corbie. He now sent works to the missionary monk Gislemar and the scholar Ratramnus there; Ratramnus eventually composed a treatise on predestination with a position comparable to Gottschalk’s. 35 It is possible that Gottschalk’s stay at Corbie was formative in his development as an intellectual and missionary. Since the beginning of the Scandinavian mission in Louis the Pious’ reign, Corbie had been famed as a centre for preparing and sending

in Hincmar of Rheims