Liturgy Matters

Last week I made my first visit to the current British Library exhibition, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War. My first, but I hope not my last: it brings together such a wealth of written material, alongside other artefacts, that it’s hard to maintain proper scholarly decorum when faced with so many manuscripts, familiar from scholarship,…

Conference Report: Oliba de Vic. Un bisbe de mil anys enrere/ Oliba of Vic. A Bishop One Thousand Years Ago

Organisers: Prof. Dr. Matthias M. Tischler (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona/ICREA), Mn. Robert Baró Cabrera (Ateneu Universitati Sant Pacià) and Dr. Marc Sureda i Jubany (Museu Episcopal de Vic) Date, Place: 8.–10. 11. 2018, Barcelona, Bellaterra and Vic Report by Ekaterina Novokhatko, Institut d’Estudis Medievals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, e-mail: Ekaterina.Novokhatko@uab.cat Questions on European identity and…

Decretum Hadriani: A Translation

This blog post is a translation of a text from the 1080s. It’s a little late for the After Empire project, but an important witness to the changes which mark the end of its remit, and to the transformation of the Carolingian and classical Roman pasts in central-medieval memory. It’s a follow-up to my previous…

Carolingian ecclesiology in the 10th century: the example of St. Gerald of Aurillac

The Carolingian period generated two new different orientations of lay spirituality: (1) radical conversion that imitated the monastic spirituality while remaining in the world; and (2) the valorisation of some aspects of the laity (marriage, juridic and military functions, use of the power to serve the Church and the poor etc.). These phenomena were developed…

A Memory in Between: Using or Not Using the Carolingian Past in 10th-Century Nonantola Abbey

From its Lombard origins, the Abbey of Nonantola was a political powerhouse in the Kingdom of Italy. Its foundation in 752 profoundly shaped that sector of eastern Emilia located between the Apennines and the River Po. King Aistulf granted Anselm extensive stretches of public land. Under Charlemagne, the abbey become the one place that best…

Using the Merovingian past in the eleventh century: Odorannus of Sens

It’s no surprise that monks and nuns in the high middle ages used the Merovingian past when they were retelling their foundation legends. From the tenth century onwards, we see an increasing number of monasteries claiming that they had Merovingian founders, usually opting for big-name figures such as Clovis or Dagobert. This creation of a…

Liturgical innovation in tenth-century hagiography

In the Carolingian period, many attempts were made to consolidate the practice of liturgy in order to prevent Mass and the offices from being celebrated incorrectly: the Admonitio Generalis and the bulk of liturgical commentaries testify to this. Nevertheless, variety and innovation remained the norm through the ninth and tenth centuries, and manuscript material from…

Legal change in a period of transition: Conrad I’s diploma for the bishopric of Chur (912)

One of the prime objectives of the HERA project is to show that in the tenth century, the past and its uses gained importance in the absence of clear administrative or legal structures, as action in the present often drew authority and legitimacy from claims about the past. The ways that contemporaries chose to use…

The tenth-century episcopacy as a commonwealth of learning

Historians of early modern Europe have traced the emergence of a ‘republic of letters’ from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Their studies have shown how letter writing, humanist friendship, travel, and the use of Latin as a common language fostered a group identity among European scholars that transcended borders and political allegiances. From the…