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Ninth-Century Histories, Volume I

This book presents a 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.

History and Hagiography 640–720

This book provides a collection of documents in translation which brings together the seminal sources for the late Merovingian Frankish kingdom. The collection of documents in translation includes Liber Historiae Francorum, Vita Domnae Balthidis, Vita Audoini Episcopi Rotomagensis, Acta Aunemundi, Passio Leudegarii, Passio Praejecti, and Vita Sanctae Geretrudis and the Additamentum Nivialense de Fuilano. The Liber Historiae Francorum was written while a Merovingian king still ruled over the Franks and by someone geographically very close to the political centre of that realm. Late Merovingian hagiography tends to emphasise miracles which heal and eliminate the maladies of the life, and the Vita Audoini follows the pattern. The Vita Sanctae Geretrudis makes no mention at all of Columbanus and his mission among the Franks, a strange omission if the Irish were all one group. The Passio Praejecti provides information on the relationship between the politics of the locality and the politics of the centre, for a land dispute between Praejectus and Hector, the ruler of Marseilles, was heard at the royal court at Autun at Easter 675. The Passio Leudegarii has an overt peace-making element, although the issue of who was on which side is much clouded by the complexity of the political narrative.

The Franks between theory and practice
Alice Rio

practice in the Frankish kingdoms. 2 The purpose of this essay is to see how a different kind of source, the legal formulae, may help bring into sharper focus this view of rights from below. Although formulae do not respond to the same kind of methodological treatment as actual records of dispute settlements, their evidence remains crucial, if only in terms of volume: formulae account for as many as 88 out of the 162 dispute

in Frankland
Some observations on the militarised frontier society of eastern Francia around 600
Stefan Esders

. 30 Kings consistently resided in Cologne in the former governor's seat, the praetorium , which in the sixth century was designated the aula regia . Around 600, under kings Childebert II and Theudebert II, Cologne seems to have been the most important ‘secondary residence’ of the kings of the eastern Frankish kingdom, together with Reims and Metz. 31 Cologne was also a major bishopric: the ancient Roman province of Germania inferior lived on as a church province in the Cologne archdiocese

in Early medieval militarisation
The English connection
Paul Fouracre

D AGOBERT II WAS a Merovingian king who ruled for about four years in Austrasia, the Frankish kingdom which included northeastern France, Belgium and the Rhineland. His reign probably began in late 675 or early 676. Very little is known about him, but he has been the subject of attention on two counts. First, as a child he was prevented from succeeding his father as

in Frankland
Paul Fouracre
Richard A. Gerberding

superiority of Stephanus’s version collapses. On the difference in names we can say little, except to note, with Coville, that, about the time Wilfrid was in Lyons, Aunemund signed a charter in his own hand: Aunemundus pecator consenciens subscripsi . It was by the name Aunemund that the Bishop of Lyons was known to his contemporaries in the Frankish kingdom. 25 In general terms it is surely

in Late Merovingian France
Hincmar and Lothar I
Elina Screen

subject of Lothar’s, as well as Charles the Bald, from the first; 70 the problem seems to have been that Hincmar’s vision of dual loyalty was not acceptable to Lothar prior to 847. Hincmar’s loyalty to Charles, and the preponderance of his responsibilities in the West Frankish kingdom, meant that Lothar had no realistic prospect ever of subverting Hincmar. From 847, Lothar seems to have accepted the necessity of acknowledging Hincmar and establishing a working relationship with the archbishop, although often continuing to deploy his influence

in Hincmar of Rheims
Abstract only
Ninth-century histories, volume II

This book presents a translation of the Annals of Fulda (AF). By the ninth century annals were one of the major vehicles for historical writing within the Frankish empire. The AF are the principal narrative source written from a perspective east of the Rhine for the period in which the Carolingian Empire gave way to a number of successor kingdoms, including the one which was to become Germany. AF offer the major narrative account of the east Frankish kingdom from the death of Louis the Pious down to the end of the ninth century. The surviving manuscripts are only an echo of what must once have been a much more extensive transmission, to judge by the use made of AF by a number of later annalists and compilers. The brief description of the manuscript tradition must be amplified by looking at the content of the annals. For the years 714 to 830 the work is undoubtedly a compilation which draws on earlier annals, in particular on the Royal Frankish Annals and the Lorsch Frankish Chronicle, with occasional use of other smaller sets of annals and saints' lives. The account of the origins of AF was heavily criticised by Siegmund Hellmann in a number of articles written some fifteen years after the appearance of Friedrich Kurze's edition in 1891.

Abstract only
Mayke de Jong
Justin Lake

This chapter focuses on the biographical, political and literary aspects of the Epitaphium Arsenii. It introduces the author, Paschasius Radbertus, who was a monk of Corbie and later its abbot, and his subject, Abbot Wala of Corbie (d. 836), who was Charlemagne’s controversial cousin. It explains the different political context in which the two books of this work originated. Whereas the first book was probably composed while the Emperor Louis the Pious was still alive, the second followed only in the mid-850s, when Louis’ son Charles the Bald ruled the West-Frankish kingdom. The changed perspective of the second book and the author’s polemical stance stand in contrast to the more reticent first book, which makes this such an interesting text. Furthermore, this introduction also explicates this funeral oration for Wala as a literary work, and comments on the author’s Latin and his use of classical and patristic sources.

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
The perception of religious motives of warfare against non-Christian enemies in ninth-century chronicles
Hans-Werner Goetz

Within the frame of the concept of militarisation during the early Middle Ages, this chapter is focused on the hardly deniable (ideological) Christianisation of warfare by inquiring into the question of whether early medieval wars were perceived as ‘religious’ or ‘holy’ wars (as is often assumed, but more often rejected by modern research for the times before the Crusades). When we define ‘religious war’ as a war not only accompanied by religious actions or/and interpreted in theological terms – which we find throughout the period equally in wars between Christians – but in addition waged for religious motives (and thus only possible for wars against non-Christian enemies), chroniclers of the ninth century do indeed testify to such motives, although rather rarely, as two case studies on the defence of the Viking attacks in the Frankish kingdoms and the very early ‘reconquista’ in the Asturian chronicles demonstrate. In most cases, the religious description and interpretation of warfare against non-Christians does not differ from intra-Christian wars. Every war is religiously permeated, whereas ‘holy war’ is an artificial modern characterisation.

in Early medieval militarisation