This book is the first English translation of one of the most significant chronicles of the middle ages. Written in Bamberg at the end of the eleventh century, Frutolf of Michelsberg's Chronicle offers a lively and vivid account of the great struggle between the German emperors and the papacy known today as the Investiture Contest. Frutolf's Chronicle has numerous continuations written in the first quarter of the twelfth century. Together with that, Frutolf's Chronicle offers an engaging and accessible snapshot of how medieval people reacted to a conflict that led to civil war in Germany and Italy, and fundamentally altered the relationship of church and state in Western society.
concubinage), to which the problematic issue of lay investiture would later be added. It is useful here to consider each in turn.
Simony and clerical chastity
Simony had a long history within the Western Church. It derived its name from Acts 8.18 where Simon Magus attempted to purchase from Peter the gift of the Holy Spirit which had descended on the apostles at Pentecost. Although repeatedly condemned at ecumenical and regional councils from the time of Chalcedon ( AD 431) onwards, and identified by Pope Gregory the Great as a heresy whether by promise or payment
The twelfth-century Chronicle of Petershausen, composed over the course of more than thirty years, opens a rare window on the life-world of a medieval monastery as it struggles to grow and survive within tumultuous spiritual and temporal landscapes. From its founding by St. Gebhard II of Constance as a proprietary episcopal monastery in 992 through the aftermath of the great fire that ravaged the community in 1159 and beyond, Petershausen encountered both external attacks and internal disruption and division. Across the pages of the chronicle, supra-regional clashes between emperors and popes play out at the most local level. Monks struggle against the influence of overreaching bishops. Reformers arrive and introduce new and unfamiliar customs. Tensions erupt into violence within the community. Advocates attack. Miracles, visions, and relics link the living and the dead. Through it all the anonymous chronicler struggles to find meaning amid conflict and chaos and forge connections to a distant past. Along the way, this monk enlivens his narrative with countless colorful anecdotes – sometimes amusing, sometimes disturbing – creating a history for the monastery with its own unique voice. Intended for specialists and students alike, this volume presents the first translation into English of this fascinating text, which offers a unique glimpse into the lived experience of medieval monasticism and its interactions with the society around it.
king and found
the king’s youthful mind an easy prey. 133 For he promised that he would destroy
the Pataria, capture Herlembald alive and send him over the mountains,
if the king would invest him with the Milanese bishopric. In return for
this promise and for a small sum of money he received the investiture
which he asked for, but he did not obtain the bishopric.
For when he heard of his endeavour
Henry IV (1056–1106) and which continued into the reign of his son
Henry V (1106–25). Historians frequently call this conflict of
empire and papacy the ‘Investiture Contest’, a label that
refers to the disputed practice of lay investiture, whereby the king
appointed the bishops and the abbots of royal monasteries in his realm.
At the heart of that practice was the ceremony of investiture itself,
Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland
encounters took place, their inclusion in the text, and the prominent contemporary addition of the “nota” that draws attention to the encounter between Meinrad and Otto in the margin of the manuscript, suggests that the liberty of the monastery was on the mind of the chronicler as he compiled his text.
In the second half of Book Two, the chronicler turns to the conflict over investiture. 4 While Book Three provides valuable insight into the experience of the controversy at the local level, in Constance and at Petershausen, 5 this section of Book Two engages the crisis
debate, which tended to locate eleventh-century reform almost exclusively in the context of the bitter conflict between Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) and the German king and later emperor, Henry IV (1056–1106), over the question of lay investiture and what has been termed ‘the right order in the world’. 10
For the better part of the twentieth century, this historiography has been reinforced by the tendency of historians to divide the reformers into ‘moderate reformers’ in the earlier part of the eleventh century and ‘radical reformers’ in the second half. Moderate
the bride, the anonymous author condemned Pope Gregory VI, whose illicit intrusion into the apostolic see by simony was described not merely as theft, but also as the rape of the bride of Christ. 32 Humbert of Silva-Candida also condemned simony with sexual and marital imagery, warning as well that the practice of lay investiture intruded in this sacred union. For Humbert, a bishop’s consecration meant his effective marriage with his church, and his episcopal ring signified that ‘like betrothed lovers, they [bishops] should unceasingly show forth and praise the
Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland
century. As a monastery affiliated with Hirsau, Petershausen became entangled with the struggle over investiture, a conflict that swept with particular fury through Swabia in the 1090s. 7 Theodoric found himself caught up in this ecclesio-political crisis, and because he remained loyal to Bishop Gebhard III, 8 Theodoric was thus deposed and exiled with Gebhard when King Henry IV appointed Arnold of Heiligenberg (r. 1092–1112) as bishop of Constance in his stead. 9 During this period of exile, Werner (r. 1103/1104) was set in the office of abbot at Petershausen. 10
latter replied “I so wish”, and with his hands clasped
and enclosed by those of the count, they were bound together by a
kiss. Then with the wand which he held in his hand, the count gave
investiture to all’. 1 This is not a description of a ceremony taking
place during a meeting between two rulers, but it is the most
detailed twelfth-century description of a ritual that is frequently