Towers of Faith: Views on the Biblical Landscape of the Tenth-Century Iberian World

The Bible in the Early Medieval Iberian World The world of the Iberian Bible is a fragmented one in a double sense. The transmission of old Bibles from late antique and Visigothic times and the production of new Bibles from the late eighth century onwards were situated in a scattered, if not fragmented Christian society…

Worrying about Hungarians in the early tenth century: an exegetical challenge

The Hungarian riders were one of the gentes whose own history was interwoven with the history of the Latin West from the first Empire through the Empire’s demise to the rise of a new Empire. Thus they had a considerable effect on these three western periods. The Annals of Saint-Bertin are the first source to…

A Reminiscence of Carolingian oath practice in Wipo’s “Deeds of Conrad II”

‘Charles’s stirrups hang down from Conrad’s saddle’. For the first ruler of the Salian dynasty, Conrad II (1024‒1039), to whom this proverb refers, Carolingian traditions mattered a great deal: Conrad reportedly visited Aachen soon after his election to take possession of Charlemagne’s throne and to emphasise his family’s Frankish roots. But the author of this…

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…