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…

Traders, Raiders, Settlers and Conquerors: England 700-1066

Traders, Raiders, Settlers and Conquerors: England 700-1066 This was the title of a highly successful continuing professional development workshop for around 30 secondary school teachers held at the King’s Manor, courtesy of the University of York, on Saturday 16th June 2017.   Jointly organised with the Historical Association it was delivered by 4 members of the…

In the Shadow of Carolingian Studies: Bernhard Bischoff and Manuscript Culture in Early Medieval Catalonia

Carolingian Culture on the Peripheries and Bernhard Bischoff One of my unanswered questions about Carolingian Studies in the 20th century is the role that the peripheries of Charlemagne’s Empire played in terms of culture and religion and what position these so-called marcae could establish in the Europe-wide network of knowledge transfer. This point of view…

Synergy Event Barcelona 24-26 May 2018

In the sunny and stimulating environment of the cities of Barcelona and Vic, the members of the ‘After Empire’ project, as well as Sumi Shimahara (Paris), Philippe Depreux (Hamburg) and Charles West (Sheffield) visited various archives and libraries studying early medieval Catalan manuscripts. This was done as part of the preparation of a bilingual (English…

The cult of St Alexius: a new veneration of an old saint and Italian influence in the Catalan region

Although this fourth-century saint had become popular very early among the eastern Christians, in Western Europe St Alexius was the recipient of a wave of devotion only in the ninth and tenth century. From the ninth century onwards, different versions of his life spread in diverse religious communities from Spain to England. Around 1040 his…

All in the family? A beginner’s guide to Carolingian genealogies in the 10th and 11th century

One of the genres of source that I’m closely working with as part of the After Empire project is genealogies. Genealogies are especially interesting texts both for the questions that this project is investigating and for my own research interests: how do people engage with the past? And how in particular do they engage with…

Dealing with the recent past in St Maximin, Trier

Not only were the deeds of saints recorded in hagiographical sources; we regularly find traces of a local past as well. These traces can explain what elements of the past were important for a specific community. For example, in the following, I will argue that the Historia Miraculorum was written to justify a reform movement…

A revitalization of the Carolingian general oath of loyalty under Salian rule?

In the Carolingian period, general oaths of fidelity like those sworn under Charlemagne, Louis the Pious or Charles the Bald created a direct personal bond between the adult male free population and the Carolingian ruler and his family. This has always been taken as indicating a comparatively high degree of statehood, as the oaths had…