Inalienability of church property and the sovereignty of a ruler in the ninth century
Stefan Esders and Steffen Patzold
From Justinian to LouisthePious: inalienability of church
property and the sovereignty of
a ruler in the ninth century
Stefan Esders and Steffen Patzold
Mayke de Jong has vastly transformed our picture of the Carolingian period
in the course of surveying the relationship between politics and religion
anew. She has shown how misleading the dichotomy between ‘Church’ and
‘State’ is, which has structured numerous historical works on ninth-century
Francia since at least the nineteenth century. The ecclesia was, in the discourse of the time, far more than just
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.
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.
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.
The Penance of Attigny (822) and the
leadership of the bishops in amending
Penance is a main topic in LouisthePious’s reign, as Mayke de Jong’s book
on the crisis of the late 820s and early 830s brilliantly shows.1 The most dramatic moment is the emperor’s deposition in 833, which led to vivid discussion among the political elite.2 This was not the first time Louis publicly
acknowledged his errors, since he had already done so in 822 at Attigny,
one of the most important palaces, which was associated with political
The Epitaph of Arsenius
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, LouisthePious (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
Incest, penance and a murdered bishop:
the legend of Frederic of Utrecht
Bram van den Hoven van Genderen
The title of this contribution refers to the early-eleventh-century Passio
Friderici.1 In this saint’s life bishop Frederic of Utrecht (fl. c. 822/26–34) is murdered by a couple of minions of Empress Judith, wife of Emperor LouisthePious, out of revenge for the bishop’s accusations of incest and adultery against
her. Moreover, incest was involved in a double sense. Judith’s presumed lover,
Count Bernard of Septimania, was, according to the Passio, also
particular type of normative text. 3 Devisse identified around fifty capitulary citations, of which all those from texts dated before 826 were taken from the collection compiled by Ansegis, abbot of St-Wandrille. 4 Even when Devisse referred to the original capitulary, this was in fact also in Ansegis. 5 This confirms once again the importance of this collection put together under LouisthePious, which Hincmar knew well, since he had several copies of it made. 6
Devisse was however more interested in the texts that were cited than in the place
, MGH Concilia 2.2, pp. 724–67.
39 Cf. Matthew 16:19, where it is only Peter who is given the power of binding and loosing. The idea of the bishops collectively sharing Peter’s prerogatives, as successors to the apostles, is clearly expressed in the Relatio episcoporum of 833, which contains the bishops’ accusations against LouisthePious that led to his public penance. Relatio episcoporum (833), p. 51; De Jong, Penitential State , p. 271; for a new edition of this text, see Booker, ‘Public penance’.
40 This best fits Charles the Bald, who at the beginning
This book, written in honour of Mayke De Jong, offers twenty-five essays focused upon the importance of religion to Frankish politics. It deals with religious discourse and political polemic in studies that take up the themes of identity, and the creative deployment of the language of the Old Testament within Frankish society. The book explores how the use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shaped medieval perceptions of community. It shows that the Carolingian way of dealing with the Adoptionist challenge was to allow a conversation between the Spanish bishops and their Frankish opponents to take place. Charlemagne's role in the Vita Alcuini as a guardian of orthodoxy who sought to settle a controversy by organising and supervising a theological debate was striking. The book also discusses the admonition of an abbot of Frankish origin who came from southern France and made his monastic career in southern Italy. It showcases three letter manuscripts that share certain features but are different in other aspects. The first manuscript is a collection of the Moral Letters from Seneca to his pupil Lucilius , Paris , BnF, lat. 8658A. The book demonstrates that the lists of amici, viventes et defuncti reflected how the royal monastery was interacting with ruling elites, at different levels, and how such interactions were an essential part of its identity. It also examines the context of Monte Cassino's fading into the background, in the conviction that both political and religious concerns were at play.