• Vita

    since 2014 University of New Hampshire
    Full Professor of Medieval History
    2009 – 2014 University of New Hampshire
    Associate Professor of Medieval History
    2003 – 2009 University of New Hampshire
    Assistant Professor of Medieval History
    2000 – 2001 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
  • Research Project

    Royal Courts and Freedom in Salian Germany

    My research on the East Frankish realm of the Carolingians and early German kingdom under the Ottonians from the ninth through the early eleventh century shows that the royal government maintained a system of law courts, under the direction of royally appointed counts, which were intended to provide for the legal needs of the substantial free population subject to the king’s rule. These findings contradict the traditional model that an autogenous nobility in German monopolized access to and participation in legal proceedings, and that the legally free below the level of the nobility largely disappeared from the lands comprising the German kingdom at some point in the ninth century or even earlier. The eleventh century is generally understood by scholars as a period significant change in the political structure of the German kingdom, brought about, above all, by the lengthy period of civil wars during the reign of King Henry IV (1056-1106). My research project is intended to test this model with respect to the system of royal law courts and their availability to the king’s free subjects during the reigns of the Salian rulers Conrad II (1024-1039), Henry III (1039-1056), and Henry IV. I will focus my attention on the large number of royal charters produced during this period, and the extensive collection of so-called private charters produced by monasteries and bishoprics. I will supplement these documentary sources with an examination of the contemporary narrative works.

  • Selected Publications

    Bachrach, David, Continuity of Carolingian Judicial Institutions in Ottonian Lotharingia, in: ZRG Germ. Abt. 138 (2021).

    Bachrach, David, Royal Justice, Freedom, and Comital Courts in Ottonian Germany, in: ZRG Germ. Abt. 137 (2020), 1-51.

    Bachrach, David, Royal Justice and the Comital Office in East Francia, c. 814-c.899, in: Francia 46 (2019), 1-23.

    Bachrach, David, The Benefices of Counts and the Fate of the Comital Office in Carolingian East Francia and Ottonian Germany, in: ZRG Germ. Abt. 136 (2019), 1-50.

    Bachrach, David, Inquisitio as a Tool of Royal Governance under the Carolingian and Ottonian Kings, in: ZRG Germ. Abt. 133 (2016), 1-80.