Back to an unknown monastic paradise: Carolingian Benedictine monasticism in early medieval Catalonia in the mirror of its manuscript tradition

It is a well-known story of early medieval monastic life that the Europe-wide diffusion of the Benedictine life-style was intrinsically connected to the Carolingians’ reform of the Church. This older form of religious life imposed its dominance over other male (and female) monastic rules in the Southwestern periphery of the Carolingian Empire from the reign of…

New website for Catalan manuscripts

In collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the After Empire project is pleased to announce the launch of a new website which will track ninth- to eleventh-century Catalan manuscripts, part of Prof. Dr. Matthias M. Tischler and Ekaterina Novokhatko’s research on ‘From Carolingian Periphery to European Central Region: The Written Genesis of Catalonia’. The…

Wandering Archangel Michael: the Gargano legend from Eastern Italy to Catalonia

From the last decades of the eighth century, the cult of the Archangel Michael spread throughout various Western regions and became a common European religious and spiritual phenomenon. Two important sanctuaries, Monte Gargano on the eastern coast of Italy and Mont Saint Michel in north-western France, invoked numerous pilgrimages at this time. A number of donations,…

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…

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…

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 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…

Dusty Parchments and Curious Peoples: Carolingian Manuscript Studies and Public History in 21st-Century Catalonia

The central aim of our Barcelona research project “From Carolingian Periphery to European Central Region: The Written Genesis of Catalonia” in the framework of the HERA-project “After Empire: Using and Not Using the Past in the Crisis of the Carolingian World, c.900‒c.1050 (UNUP)” is to show that it is indispensable for 21st-century Europe and its…

Beyond the Carolingian dream: monks together and apart

Hello, I am Ekaterina Novokhatko, the PhD fellow for the ‘After Empire’ project based in Barcelona. Our project here deals with the Written Genesis of Catalonia during the long tenth century. Nowadays, nearly everyone seems to be talking about identity: religious, national, cultural, social or ethnic. Comparison and opposition between personalities, social groups or even…