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…

Clerical solidarity and King Hugh’s hirelings in Rather of Verona’s Praeloquia

In 933, Bishop Rather of Verona rebelled against his king. Together with the local count he invited Duke Arnulf of Bavaria and Carinthia to take over the Italian throne from King Hugh. Similar schemes had worked before: King Hugh himself had been invited to take over the Italian throne by another rebellious bishop in 926.…

Education Matters

Pessimism is depressingly common amongst modern British commentators upon standards in contemporary education. Public discussion, as in current concerns about the introduction of mandatory multiplication table testing in English primary schools, is always about the need to improve performance, in this case numeracy.    But, as early medieval scholars know only too well, the twin premises…