Praying for kings and bishops in late tenth-century northern France

There is a tendency amongst medieval scholars to leave the evidence of liturgical books to liturgical specialists, and scholars of the post-Carolingian world are no different in this respect. There are good reasons for this: surviving medieval liturgical manuscripts are not simply service books, compiled to support the minister in the delivery of rites, but…

Embodying Dynasties II: cults, politics, and genealogies

As my earlier blog post laid out, my research project as part of After Empire looks at royal mausolea as sites of historical memory in the tenth and early eleventh centuries. As we are already almost one year into the project I thought I’d give an update on how my own research is going. Over…

The Conservative Coins of Adalbero of Laon: Kings and Bishops in the Post-Carolingian World

Ah, a king’s life! Deposition and imprisonment, destitution, murder, getting backtalk from lippy counts… It’s not like there’s ever a bad time to be king, but the tenth century definitely doesn’t have much of a good reputation when it comes to kingship. Medieval historians tend to like their government big and preferably royal, whether that…

The Long Arms of Saint Eucharius of Trier?

The religious landscape of the tenth century is usually described as consisting of a hotchpotch of localities. Defining what was ‘local’ in the Middle Ages, however, is rather difficult for modern scholars. It could comprise a diocese, a town, a monastery, or a community of canons – all entities that were not necessarily separate from…

The Ottonian queen as ‘consors regni’

Uses of the past, or responses to it, are not only to be found in historical narratives, but are also necessarily reflected in a society’s political institutions. The history of Ottonian queenship provides an interesting case in point, since we cannot begin to analyse it without taking a position on the debt it owed to…

The Circulation of Saints’ Feasts (and Texts) in the Post-Carolingian World

In any historical period, the expansion of new cults and the new texts accompanying them, serve for the commemoration of the past. But such expansion also reflects – whether consciously or unconsciously – the needs of the society at that time. Thus the apparition of new feasts and new saints’ lives and the more active…

Pocket Change: the Transformation of Money in the Tenth Century

At the heart of After Empire is a view of the tenth century as an era of change. New dynasties, sometimes even new kingdoms, had to reshape the tools available to them – or craft fresh ones – in order to rule effectively. One of these tools was coined money. The Carolingians had laid a…

The Quedlinburg Annals: writing the Ottonian past in the 11th century

Shortly after the turn of the first millennium CE, a new history of the Ottonian empire was written. The Quedlinburg Annals, a chronicle of world history created at the imperial Saxon convent of Quedlinburg, is one of the most important contemporary historiographical works we have for Ottonian Empire. The Annals track the history of the…

Interview with Matthias M. Tischler in Catalunya Cristiana

Our PI in Barcelona, Matthias M. Tischler, has recently given an interview to Catalunya Cristiana. In his interview, Matthias presents the aims of our HERA-project “After Empire” (UNUP), discussing in this framework the more or less unknown richness of the legacy of Carolingian and post-Carolingian manuscripts from long tenth-century Catalonia and the necessity of an adequate presentation…