Preaching Christ in a Transcultural Society: The Homiliary of Luculentius from Early Medieval Catalonia (ca. 900)*

The Long Rediscovery of a New Old Text   The so-called Homiliary of Luculentius is an early medieval text with an unfortunate fate. Already known in fragments since the seventeenth century, it became part of the history of Latin medieval literature only at a very late stage of research due to incorrectly attributed dates and…

Conference report: Uses of the Past in Times of Transition. Forgetting, Using, and Discrediting the Past

From the 30th of May to the 1st of June, 2019, the Austrian Academy of Sciences hosted the final conference of the After Empire project in Vienna. The conference brought together scholars working on post-Carolingian Europe with those working on other regions experiencing their own ‘times of transition’. Like many of the speakers, several of the moderators…

Canonica capitularique auctoritate fultus: King Conrad II, the Carolingian legal past and the censuales of Speyer (1025)

For anyone dealing with medieval royal diplomatics, confirmation charters are a very common thing. Whenever a new ruler was appointed, one of his first acts was to renew charters that had once been given by his predecessors and which were now presented to him for confirmation. While through its renewal a document achieved new legal…

Local Communities and the Church in Trier at the Beginning of the Tenth Century

At the beginning of the tenth century Regino, in exile from the monastery of Prüm, composed a collection of canon law in two books at the request of his patron, Archbishop Ratbod of Trier. According to the preface, he intended this to be a portable guide for the bishop to take with him when touring…

Multifaceted Liturgy: Passio Imaginis Domini and Visualising Devotion

The legend of the Passion of the Crucifix arrived in Western Europe with the Second Council of Nicaea (787). This text recounts a Jewish blasphemy concerning the image of Christ on the Cross, which had occurred in Beirut. The story goes that at a dinner at someone’s house in Beirut, a group of Jews noticed…

The Many Faces of Pelayo

The centrepiece of the Chronicle of Alfonso III, written in the late 9th or early 10th centuries, is the description of a certain Pelayo and his rebellion against the Saracen foreign rulers of the Iberian Peninsula. Pelayo, as the chronicle describes it, led a small group of Asturians in the pathless mountains in the North…

Eadgifu, Louis IV, and Female Power

Over the last two decades there has been much discussion of why so few women are described as hostages in early medieval sources. Yet to date, there has been very limited interest in the role of women as active participants in hostage practices, here interpreted as brokering agreements, giving hostages, receiving them, or releasing those…

Source Translation: King Henry the Fowler frees the priest Baldmunt from slavery, 11 August 926

Henry I, known as ‘The Fowler’, was the first ruler of the new Ottonian dynasty (named after his son Otto I). His rule is often seen as a new phase in East Frankish kingship, distinct both from the members of the Carolingian dynasty whom he followed and that of his son Otto I.  On 11…