Eleventh-century Germany

The Swabian Chronicles

Author: I. S. Robinson

This book is based on a study of the Swabian chronicles undertaken for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in Munich. Three of the most important chronicles of eleventh-century Germany were composed in the south-western duchy of Swabia. The book focuses on these three chronicles of eleventh-century Germany: the chronicle of Herman of Reichenau, the chronicle of Berthold of Reichenau and the chronicle of Bernold of St Blasien. Bernold, a clergyman of Constance, continued the work of Herman and Berthold in a text containing the fullest extant account of 1080-1100. The chronicles reveal how between 1049 and 1100 the centripetal attraction of the reform papacy became the dominant fact of intellectual life in German reformed monastic circles. The chronicle of Berthold of Reichenau, whose authorship has been debated for two centuries, survives in two versions. One is a shorter and clearly earlier version, which begins in 1054 with a report of the death of Herman of Reichenau and breaks off in mid-sentence in the annal for 1066. The second version is obviously later and much more extensive. This second version is preceded in all the manuscripts by a biography of Herman of Reichenau. The alliance between Reichenau and the papacy was mutually advantageous as long as there was an anti-Gregorian bishop of Constance.

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