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Ninth-century histories, volume II

This book presents a rough 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.

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aide-mémoire of this kind but coherent historical narrative which both recorded events and commented on them and attempted to explain them. By the time of Charles the Great substantial works were being produced in this form: the Annals of Lorsch , the Royal Frankish Annals , the Older Metz Annals . 2 The works themselves are almost all without contemporary titles or ascriptions of authorship: the titles used in manuscripts, which are

in The Annals of Fulda

the critical remarks about Charles in a continuation of the Royal Frankish Annals, the so-called Annals of St-Bertin, written by Prudentius, first as a palace cleric, then as bishop of Troyes, between 835 and 861. Hincmar, after the 849 council, wrote a short diocesan letter, known now as Ad reclusos et simplices, addressed ‘dilectis filiis simplicibus huius sanctae sedis’ (‘to his beloved children, the simple 48 Hincmar’s life in his historical writings believers of this see’), warning them against Gottschalk’s heretical teachings, and assuring them that there was

in Hincmar of Rheims

in a collective act of contrition.12 The account in the Royal Frankish Annals is circumstantial: After receiving the advice of his bishops and nobles, the lord emperor was reconciled with those brothers whom he had ordered, against their will, to be tonsured. And because of this deed and others – that is, what was done against Bernard, the son of his brother Pepin, and what was done against Abbot Adalhard and his brother Wala – he made a public confession and performed penance [publicam confessionem fecit et paenitentiam egit]. He carried this out in the presence

in Religious Franks
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strands of this dynastically-sponsored phenomenon, the writing and re-writing of history loom large. The elites of the Carolingian age not only keenly devoured classical and biblical history, but also saw to the composition of a panoply of contemporary historical works. Several major sets of annals inspired by the Royal Frankish Annals , a work associated with the court of Charlemagne, together with a variety of

in History and politics in late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe
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diplomacy of Charlemagne and of the Frankish nobles who sustained his power were noted down, year by year, in the Royal Frankish Annals ( Annales Regni Francorum ). 12 There is no evidence that Charlemagne ever sought to influence the annals’ content, or to exploit the annals for what would nowadays be termed ‘public relations’ purposes. His biographer does not mention historical writing as among

in The Annals of St-Bertin

Hildeprand had started to date the charters according to Charlemagne’s regnal years in order to display his loyalty to the Carolingian king. In 779 the duke travelled to France and lavishly offered the Frankish king presents in the royal villa of Verzenay (close to Reims).35 This is one of only three references to gifts in the Royal Frankish Annals, which generally seem to neglect the everyday phenomenon of gift exchange in early medieval society. It was mentioned at this point of the annals’ narrative because Hildeprand’s presents testified to Charlemagne’s strengthened

in Religious Franks
The making and unmaking of an early medieval relic

apart again over the centuries, specialists are of the opinion that they are likely to be of eighth- or ninth-century European origin. The reliquary displays them as the ‘sandals of Christ’, and presents them flanked by images of Pippinus rex and Zacharias papa worked in mock-Carolingian enamel and goldwork.1 Why is this footwear preserved, relic-like, in a liturgical space? Why at Prüm? What connection might King Pippin have had with the ‘sandals of Christ’? Why do the sandals link the first Carolingian king with the pope who, according to the Royal Frankish Annals

in Religious Franks