Frühmittelalterliche StudienBand 43
Nikolaus Staubach, In hoc signo vinces. Wundererklärung und Wunderkritik im vormodernen Wissensdiskurs, S. 1–52.
There has been a lot of discussion on the miraculous events which are said to have preceded Constantine's victory at the Milvian Bridge. The vision of the cross in the sky was an outstanding paradigm in that great debate on the 'cessation of miracles' in which historians and theologians took part as well as philosophers and scientists. From Reformation times to the age of Enlightenment, from the 'Magdeburg Centuries' to Gibbons 'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' the decreasing credit of the Eusebian account is closely connected to the emergence of historical scepticism and critical methods in historiography.
Markus Mülke, Romana religio oder catholica fides? Der Westgotenkönig Leovigild und das arianische Reichskonzil von 580 n. Chr. in Toledo, S. 53–69.
In 580 CE, the Visigoths' king Leovigild assembled the first general council of Arian bishops in Toledo. Calling the Arian confession 'catholic faith' he denounced – probably using a famous expression of Tertullian's 'Apologeticum' – the church's opposition as 'Roman religion', i. e. as collaboration with the Byzantine emperor, in that period one of the most dangerous enemy of the Spanish peninsula. This strategy fits in Leovigild's general tendency of profiling his own reign as a counterpart to the Imperium Romanum. After the king's death, the third Toletanum declared the victory of the catholic church over Arian heresy and praised the unity of the Visigothic kingdom with the worldwide community.
Florian Hartmann, Vitam litteris ni emam, nihil est, quod tribuam. Paulus Diaconus zwischen Langobarden und Franken, S. 71–93.
Recent research on Paul the Deacon's 'Historia Langobardorum' attested Paul a profrankish tendency and interpreted his 'Historia Langobardorum' as a kind of manual for the Franks serving in the regnum Langobardorum. For a better understanding of Paul the Deacon's life and of his historiographical texts, the paper suggests to pay attention to his poems written both at the court of Charlemagne in Aix-la-Chapelle and in Italy at the courts of the Lombard king, Desiderius, and of the Lombard duke of Benevent, Arichis. The epitaphs Paul wrote for the dukes of Benevent and the relatives of the king Desiderius allow to consider him intimate with the Lombard elite in Italy both before and after the Frankish conquest of the Lombard kingdom. Those poems written in favour of the Carolingian family in the Frankish realm, in contrast, give a more reserved impression. Furthermore, Paul's 'Liber de episcopis Mettensibus' with its praise of the Carolingian dynasty can by unmasked as a mere remittance work without any significance for the author's identity. Given Paul's strong relation to the dukes of Benevent, as attested by the poems, it seems, therefore, not very likely to consider his 'Historia Langobardorum' as an admonitio for the Frankish elite in the Lombard kingdom, since the work is lacking a decided profrankish conception.
Monika Suchan, Der gute Hirte. Religion, Macht und Herrschaft in der Politik der Karolinger- und Ottonenzeit, S. 95–112.
The indissoluble connection of secular and religious conceptions concerning justice and good order is not only a characteristic of early medieval society as a whole, but also of policy in this era. Since Pippin's coronation in 751, kings and bishops were guided by the model of the Good Shepherd, which had already been used as a metaphor for responsibility in leadership in different cultures of the Ancient World. As a result, policy in the Carolingian era mainly consisted in interpreting and disseminating texts, for to rule like a shepherd meant to develop political conceptions which were based upon Christian tradition, especially the bible, the canons or the fathers of the church, to write texts about these conceptions and to use them for the justification and motivation of political action, first of all at synods. During the 9th century, royal and episcopal exercise of power tended to resemble each other more and more. The Good Shepherd model was modified in the Ottonian Empire during the 10th century, when consensus became the political key theme. Firstly, that meant to exonerate the office of the king of much of its theological burden. Secondly, the king, noblemen and bishops developed forms of liturgical and sacramental communication in order to achieve a closer political integration.
Tobias Hoffmann, Diplomatie in der Krise. Liutprand von Cremona am Hofe Nikephoros II. Phokas, S. 113–178.
In the year 968 bishop Liutprand of Cremona in Italy was sent to Constantinople in order to negotiate a marriage between the son of Otto I. and a Princess of Byzantium. The circumstances of this negotiation were anything but ideal. Otto recently had made the Lombard dukes of Capua and Benevent his vassals though these dukes were regarded tributaries by the Emperor Nikephoros II. Phokas of Byzantium. Otto even had attacked Byzantine provinces in southern Italy in order to enhance his position concerning the negotiations to come. It is no surprise that Liutprand found himself confronted with an unfriendly, even a hostile atmosphere at the court of Byzantium. During the first reception, the bishop learnt painfully the annoyance of the Emperor who had changed the scheduled ceremonial. The following banquets were used by the Emperor to mock Otto upon whom he looked down as an insignificant ruler of barbarians. This disdain of Otto was proved by the seating arrangements during these banquets which led to numerous conflicts with the ambassador. In addition to this, the Emperor refused gifts presented to him by Liutprand, even in return gave him presents in order to offend him. There was no chance of a peace between the emperors whatsoever. During these conflicts, the ambassador did not behave as dilettantish, as was often stated, but adequately.
Knut Görich, Versuch zur Rettung von Kontingenz. Oder: Über Schwierigkeiten beim Schreiben einer Biographie Friedrich Barbarossas, S. 179–197.
This paper discusses some methodological difficulties in writing a biography of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Formerly, German historians often judged medieval emperors as if they were modern statesmen. From their point of view, the emperors aimed at the foundation of a modern-like nation state. Out of this perspective, Barbarossa became a German national myth in 19th century historiography and a forerunner of modernity. Bearing this in mind, it has to be the goal of the modern biographer to reject this inappropriate teleology and to regain the openness of the historic situation in a fresh description of events. To this end, the actions, deeds and behaviour of the Staufer emperor can only be explained by reflections on the conditions of rulership in premodern society. Especially visualisations of rank, symbolic communication and interactions between the ruler and his princes have to be taken into consideration. In this context, preserving and defending his honour is emphasized as one of the key principles of Barbarossa's political actions. It is not only here that his commitment to the nobles' mentality of his time is uncovered. A main focus of my biography of Frederick Barbarossa will be to illustrate the otherness of this code of behaviour and honour.
Gerd Althoff, Otto IV. – Woran scheiterte der welfische Traum vom Kaisertum? S. 199–214.
This article seeks to explain the failure of the only Welf emperor of the Middle Ages. The discussion will address not only sources which expressed the criticisms of the Emperor's enemies and the condemnations of how he understood and practised rulership, but also the advice and admonitions of his supporters and followers, not least Pope Innocent III, which were meant to alert him to mistakes and incorrect behaviour. In contrast to his Staufen competitors, Otto IV seems in many respects not to have followed 'rules of the game' which in the Empire regulated dealings between emperor and magnates, and this resulted in acts of provocation and insult. An explanation for this peculiar behaviour is to be found in Otto's socialisation in the English domains, where those forms of relations between king and magnates with which Otto IV sparked conflicts in the Empire were in fact common.
Stephan Waldhoff, Synagoga im Sakramentar. Zur revelatio synagogae in der Handschrift 193 der Bibliothèque municipale in Tours (Tafel I–V, Abb. 1–8), S. 215–270.
This study asks, why the general Preface in the Sacramentary of Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, ms 193 is decorated by an historiated initial showing the unveiling of Synagoga. It is not the text of the prayer which contributes to the understanding of the motif, but an allegorical interpretation of the liturgical performance: Ivo of Chartres explains allegorically the priest's local changes during the Mass as the coming of Christ to the Jews (the right side of the altar), the transition of the Christian preaching to the gentiles (moving on the left) and the eschatological conversion of the Jews to Christianity (back to the right). The latter is symbolized by the priest's moving at the end of the Fore-Mass and the beginning of the Eucharist. The revelatio synagogae illustrates the Jewish conversion – an interpretation which is supported by iconographic research on this rare motif. The historiated initial of the Preface is chosen because in the sacramentary this prayer is found at the beginning of the texts which constitute the (more or less) unchanged core of the Eucharist (and which are emphasized by a 'decorative crescendo'). And apart from that Preface and Sanctus evoking the heavenly liturgy are illuminated traditionally by eschatological motifs. The eschatological revelatio synagogae fits this Preface iconography.
Andreas Bässler, Wenn der Autor nicht mehr im Bilde ist. Entkoppelung von Körper und Rede in proto-emblematischen und emblematischen Sprichwortbildern an der Wende vom 15. zum 16. Jahrhundert (Tafel VI–XI, Abb. 9–20), S. 271–292.
In Henri Baude's 'Dictz moraulx pour faire tapisserie', a proto-emblematic series of illustrated proverbs from the last quarter of the 15th century, some pictures exist with authorial personae in combination with other speaking figures. From Baude's illustrated proverbs to such of the 'Proverbes en rimes' (ca. 1500) and the emblem literature since 1531 there are tendencies to reduce the body of the pictured author, of changing patterns in organisation of speech and dialogue, of loosening the connection of pictured bodies and their voices.
Andrzej Pleszczyński, Das Reich und das Verhältnis des Piastenstaates zu ihm im Urteil der Chronik des sogenannten Gallus Anonymus, S. 297–314.
The paper analyses the problem of the image of the German Reich in the Chronicle of Gallus Anonymous, the first chronicler writing in Poland. Generally, information about the German state and its people is sparse and not instructive as to the real meaning and contacts existing between Polish rulers and the German political elite. The chronicler focused on the Slavic territory and Hungary, the land that was geographically best described (apart from Poland and Pomerania). For him Germany was like a different world. The important thing was that Gallus Anonymous did not recognise a land known as Germany, only Saxony and the Reich, or, as he wrote, the Roman Empire. However there are words describing Germans, even in dual form: 1/ Theutoni, which is used when the author wants to convey a positive or neutral meaning, and: 2/ Alemani in situations when the Germans are described as an enemy. Gallus Anonymous respected the institution of the empire; so, according to him, the crown of the Polish kings had its origins in the legacy of the emperor, and thus the Polish state ought to be subject to the authority of the emperor, but with full autonomy; the Piast rulers could serve the emperor, but only with their military service, not by paying a tribute. Those conditions were similar to the claims put forward by the Czech political elite, described at the time by their contemporary, the Monk of Sazava.
Knut Görich, Die deutsch-polnischen Beziehungen im 10. Jahrhundert aus der Sicht sächsischer Quellen, S. 315–325.
What we could call an early 11th century
Zbigniew Dalewski, Begräbnis des Herrschers. Ritual und Streit um die Thronfolge in Polen des früheren Mittelalters, S. 327–347.
Referring to an account of Gallus Anonymous' chronicle describing the dispute about the division of the treasury and the kingdom that aroused between the sons of Duke Władysław Herman of Poland – Bolesław Wrymouth and Zbigniew – during their father's funeral in 1102, this paper examines the meaning of the ruler's funeral rites in political culture of Poland in the central Middle Ages. It argues that in Poland, as in other early and high medieval polities, participation in the predecessor's funeral was crucial for legitimizing and stabilizing of power of a new ruler. Assuming the role of a principal mourner he could manifest his close relations with the deceased ruler and present himself as a real heir to the throne. The medieval authors, as Gallus, were fully aware of this role of monarch's funeral and depending on their needs they emphasized or neglected the successor's participation in the predecessor's funeral in order to maintain memory of described events which was consistent with their interests.
Grischa Vercamer, Das Bad des Kœuml;nigs – beschreibt Gallus Anonymus ein genuin piastisches/polnisches Ritual? Überlegung zu Ehre und Herrschaftsvorstellung bei den frühen Piasten (Bolesław I. und Bolesław III.) aufgrund des Kapitels 1,13, S. 349–372.
This article deals with the interpretation of a central chapter of the Cronica Ducum sive Principum Polonorum by Gallus Anonymus and analyzes on the background of further historiographical sources the idea and special character of rituals of power in the reign of Boleslav I. Brave. The chronicler describes, how queen Emnilda often holds back Nobles in secret, who were before sentenced to death by the king. During a regular banquet with 12 advisors the queen used to confess her husband humbly her pious theft (pium furtum) and the king forgave her on the spot and asked to send for the condemned noble, whom he would await in the sauna (balneum). There the king, in the intimacy of the bath, forgave and rehabilitated the nobleman after a long moral talk. According to the interpretation of the author, the king was not at all betrayed by his queen (this would have meant serious damage to his authority), but in contrary, she acted on his behalf and with his knowledge. So the king's rigor iustitiae was successfully completed by the clementia regina. In this way Boleslav I. managed to secure on the one hand his authority and honour and maintained on the other hand as well the reputation of important families in his realm. By no means this is comparable to other known forms of 'conflict-management' of that time, neither in the form the queen acts, nor in the form the condemned was rehabilitated (in secrete rather than in public). So it seems to be justified to speak of a 'genuine' Piastic ritual. Moreover, the author suspects – and many hints point to this –, that Gallus, by writing the scene, had rather the parents of Boleslav III. (Władysław I. Herman and Judith of Bohemia) in mind than the authentic Boleslav I., from whom he would have known almost nothing. From this background and in comparison to the way Gallus describes the current rulership of Boleslav III., it seems that the chronicler had a rather critical view towards the latter rulership and juxtaposes the two rulers deliberately.
Tomasz Jasiński, Die Poetik in der Chronik des Gallus Anonymus, S. 373–391.
The analysis of the poetic prose can be considered as an important research element that permits to describe the exceptional features of the text in question. The prose of Anonymous so-called Gallus distinguishes from other similar chronicles by its unique rhythms and rhymes. The chronicler used a variety of rhythms and rhymes which were combined with each other and served directing the expression of the narrative. Although some elements of his poetics can be found in the works of several other medieval writers, his unique rhythms and rhymes make a fully original and unique style, which cannot be meet in works of other authors of his epoch. There is only one exception – 'Translatio Sancti Nicolai' composed by an anonymous author known as Monk of Lido. Only in this work one can find the same composition of rhythms and rhymes as in 'Chronica Polonorum'. Both authors close important passages, most often, with four-syllabic verbs, with two-syllabic rhymes and stressed on the pre-last syllable. Before this type of verbs there is a word usually stressed on the pre-pre-last syllable (velox) or less frequently on the pre-last syllable (trispondaicus). This identical style, besides many other similarities presented in the article, is certainly an important and valid case for claiming that both of these works were composed by the same author.
Jacek Banaszkiewicz, Was soll im Juni 978 um die Johannisnacht in Aachen geschehen sein? S. 393–406.
King Lothar's onslaught on Otto during his stay in Aachen in June 978 has been frequently discussed in coursebooks and essays for a long time now. Recently this issue has also become increasingly a symbolic sign of the separation of two parts of the Frankish empire: 'the French' and 'the German'. However, the event itself has been shown by historians – one can say – for generations routinely and according to the same pattern: the attack, being a complete miss, ends in the plundering of the palace and a certain symbolic gesture. This sketch is an attempt to establish the means of ideological expression that were employed by the medieval authors who described the incident. In particular, we take our interest in Richer and his account of the events subordinated to the motif of 'an evil ruler driven away from his table'. Especially, thanks to the scene which shows that Lothar seizes the emperor's table, full of food, and his belongings, the valorisation takes place of the king of the Franks as the right lord of the palatium in Aachen.
Gerd Althoff, Spielregeln und Ironie im Gallus Anonymus, S. 407–415.
The first book of Gallus Anonymous contains a series of stories whose historical accuracy is dubious. Not remotely dubious is, however, the fact that these stories are meant to praise the peerlessness of the Piast court, especially that of Boleslaw Chrobry, and to paint the wealth, pomp, exercise of power and military superiority of the early Polish state in the most glowing colours. This article seeks to show how often in doing so the author made use of ironic writing strategies, which aimed at an audience that knew how to recognise and value them. This ironic tenor found in several chapters of the first book will then be used to reassess the much-discussed depiction of Otto III's visit in Gnesen, where the ironic perspective is similarly to be found.
Wojciech Fałkowski, The Letter of Bruno of Querfurt to King Henry II, S. 417–438.
Bruno expressed his own vision of the world, undetermined by the traditional political hierarchy and rebuffing any deviation from the clearly defined path towards sainthood. He voiced these opinions in a personal letter to the king, which was not to serve as a political manifesto, but rather a form of general reckoning performed before embarking to follow the footsteps of St Adalbert. The noncompliance to Henry's majesty was an issue of morality, while the incompatibility of opinions resulted from a radically different assessment of Boleslav the Brave's merit and position. In late 1008, when Bruno's letter was written, the Polish duke remained the privileged protector of six saints, whom he had personally aided on their path towards glorious martyrdom. This alone was seen as sufficient legitimization of the gained position and the pursued politics of independence. It led towards the establishment of a new political centre in opposition to the empire and the paradigm of vassalage. Bruno described Boleslav as his sovereign and protector who had right to follow his own way to salvation, which became also a basis for the ideology of the state and power.
Anna Aurast, Gäste, Fremde, Feinde. Fremdbilder in der Chronik des Gallus Anonymus, S. 439–452.
In the 'Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum' Gallus Anonymus, its nameless author, draws upon frequent images of strangers. He himself a foreigner at the court of Duke Bolesław III, Gallus' references to strangers and the imagery surrounding them are carefully thought out literary devices. This article examines passages in Gallus' text containing explicit Latin terms for 'strangers', together with their associated imagery, and attempts to decipher their functions in his work.
Writing his gesta largely to glorify and commemorate the deeds of the young duke Bolesław, Gallus is eager to portray his patron as heir to a line of noble rulers who extended protection and fairness to strangers. These model kings, known for their great generosity to foreigners and exiles, stood, according to Gallus, in sharp contrast to the rough practices of dealing with strangers of that day. In presenting his chronicle, however, Gallus evidently hoped to accomplish more than present Bolesław with a noble past. The gesta comprised an effort to discreetly mould Bolesław into the ideal ruler that Gallus envisioned through the example of his great forbears.
But encounters with strangers portrayed in its pages served other purposes that were hardly benevolent. They sought to justify Bolesław's murderous conflict with his older brother, Zbigniew, in which the latter was captured, blinded, and ultimately died. It exculpated Bolesław of any wrongdoing, and legitimized his pretensions as the country's sole ruler. For here Gallus painted images of strangers not as persons worthy of protection, but as obstinate pagans, perfidious enemies and hostile invaders. Strangers were entirely to blame for the dukedom's crisis, and the dissociation of 'us' from the strangers outside further enabled the emergence of a collective identity.
Daniel Bagi, Gallus Anonymus und die Hartvik-Legende über den Erwerb der Alleinherrschaft von Bolesław III. bzw. Koloman dem Buchkundigen, S. 453–459.
The recent paper delivers a comparison of the so called Chronicle of the Gallus Anonymus and the third Legend of King St. Stephen of Hungary, the so called Legenda Harviciana from the point of view, how the two authors describe the way to the monocracy of their 'heroes'. However the two texts are different, the Legenda Hartviciana was written on base of the two earlier legends of the Hungarian king, and the chronicle of the Gallus Anonymus is rather a kind of gesta regum gesta ducum, both of them have been written for the same purpose: they had to deliver proofs for the origin of the royal/ducal power of Boleslaw III Wrymouth (1102–1138) and Coloman the Learnt (1095–1116). To reach their goal, both of the authors, bishop Hartvik and the Gallus created a direct connection between the founder of the monarchy (called in Coloman's law book the 'proto king') and the recent rulers, and created also a new category of legality: the possessing of the whole country and the origination of the own reign of the first Christian and crowned ruler. This proceeding provided to deny the right of reign of the closest relatives of Boleslaw and Coloman (Zbigniew and Álmos), and made them to immediate successors to the political work of the first Christian ruler of the country.