This book presents a rough 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.
promising patron of learned
men), that the resumption occurred. 28 From 841 on, the AB
were based in the western part of the old empire, in what became, with
the TreatyofVerdun 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
Charles, to whose service I adhered faithfully, did enough for me [in that regard] with Sergius and afterwards with his successor Leo; but later, inspired by God, he repented, and sent letters addressed to the apostolic see, in which he took care to correct his fault. 1
In hindsight, therefore, Hincmar recalled his relationship with Lothar as one of imperial recalcitrance, caused by Lothar’s disputes with his brother, the ruler of West Francia, followed by satisfactory imperial amendment.
The TreatyofVerdun in 843
Charlemagne in 814. The inability of the later Carolingians to revive the centralized political structure of Charlemagne’s reign put them at risk of deposition by ambitious and treacherous nobles, and, thus, the claims of legitimacy and sacrality afforded them a claim to rule, seemingly in spite of their inability to do so.
Through the TreatyofVerdun (843), Charles the Bald inherited the Western Frankish Kingdom, his two surviving brothers gaining the remainder of the Carolingian territory. The early years of his reign were reasonably peaceful
start. 7 Lucky for Charles was the death of his brother at the age of nineteen on 4 December 771. Charles now had his own as well as his brother’s share of Pippin’s inheritance: monarchia . Further territorial acquisitions between 771 and c. 800 resulted in a realm ( regnum ) 1,200,000 km 2 in extent. The conjuncture of the realm’s expanded size and the dynasty’s extension during the reigns of Charles (768–814) and his sole surviving adult heir Louis (814–40) created new intra-dynastic conflicts. In 843, with the TreatyofVerdun, a partition into three realms
before fleeing again. The legitimacy of the ordination of ‘Ebbo’s clerics’ remained a problem for Hincmar for decades to come. 33 Secondly, the division of the empire into three by the TreatyofVerdun in 843 meant that the province of Rheims now lay across a border: the majority of it was in West Francia (held by Charles the Bald), but part of it, including the whole diocese of Cambrai, lay within Lothar’s Middle Kingdom. 34 There was also property belonging to the church of Rheims in East Francia (held by Louis the German) and in Aquitaine, which Pippin II still
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies, and Miriam Czock
, although at the end of his life, in 814, his son Louis was the only survivor and succeeded his father as ruler of the empire. Family conflict erupted in the rebellions of Louis’s three older sons, particularly after the allocation of territory to Charles the Bald, Louis’s six-year-old son by his second wife, Judith, in 829. 13 Following Louis’s death, in 840, the TreatyofVerdun split the Frankish Empire into three major parts: in 843 Charles the Bald was allocated the west, Louis the German the territories east of the Rhine and Lothar a Middle Kingdom; in 855 this
with profoundly different regimes?
This chapter and this book cannot answer all of these questions
satisfactorily, but they can help to provide some background and a framework for understanding how Germany and the Germans literally have
come to where they are today. The focus, then, will be less on the larger
issues of German identity over the past decades and more on the sources
of identity of the people within Germany for the regions in which they
The Holy Roman Empire
Following Charlemagne’s death, the TreatyofVerdun in 843 divided his