Hagen Keller, Die Erforschung der italienischen Stadtkommunen seit der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts, S. 1—38
From around 1800, international historians have taken a lively
interest in the Italian communes of the middle ages and the
renaissance. Their research was strongly linked to those
interpretations of the past which seemed to be in accordance with
selfconcepts of the 19th-century European bourgeoisie, whose
demands for fundamental reforms in the political and social order drew
on the history of the communes to establish legitimacy. In the
20th century, the discourse took new directions. However,
Fascism and National Socialism, the emigration or expulsion of leading
academics, and finally the Second World War impeded further
developments of this ongoing discussion.
This paper demonstrates changes in the discourse that have occurred since 1950. This new discourse has largely been based on new sources that have become available. Taking these as a starting point, the paper illustrates which research findings are still regarded as acceptable, and which new perspectives have been opened up with regard to an understanding of the Italian communes. The paper concentrates on central topics, determined by its original format as a lecture. This choice is also due to the research interests of the author, whose studies of the cities of the Regnum Italiae and of the inner structure of the Lombard communes have been conducted over the past five decades.
Stephanie Kluge, Kontinuität und Wandel? Zur Bewertung hochmittelalterlicher Königsherrschaft durch die frühe bundesrepublikanische Mediävistik, S. 39—120
The article analyses narrative continuities and discontinuities in
German historiography concerning high medieval kingship, particularly
before and after 1945. It is well known that German medievalists of
the 19th and early 20th centuries created a master
narrative of a glorious German past, cherishing the rise of the Holy
Roman Empire to a dominating position and deploring its subsequent
downfall. The central focus of this research was the power of the
king, who was seen to defend the Empire against attacks of both
nobility and church. As medieval history in Germany was traditionally
strongly politicized, this master narrative was potentially linked to
various political currents.
The essay highlights modifications of this master narrative linked to political changes from the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich to the Federal Republic of Germany up to the 1970s. In an analysis of the work of leading German medievalists, it shows that the breakdown of the Third Reich did not put an end to the master narrative of 'strong kingship'. Rather, it continued to dominate approaches of the discipline in the early Federal Republic, although politically charged implications were weakened or erased. The underlying reasons for this transformation can be sought in personal and methodological continuities, which translated into very gradual changes in the interpretation of high medieval kingship before and after 1945.
Michael Odenweller, Goldmünze und Goldblattkreuz. Die Obolus-Beigabe in frühmittelalterlichen Bestattungen als Zeugnis der Christianisierung, (Taf. I—II, Abb. 1—3), S. 121—154
In a small number of early medieval row graves from southern and western Germany a golden or silver coin was found in the buried person's mouth. As this rite seems to correspond to ancient Mediterranean burial customs, the coins were interpreted by most scholars as 'Obols', although it had been shown in the past that no real continuity for this rite exists from Antiquity to the early Middle Ages. The article suggests that these coins may have been linked to some sort of Christian burial rite. It is shown that the Christian iconography of the coins (e. g. the image of the Christian Emperor or a Germanic King, Emperors or victoriae with cross-rods and cross-crowned globes, single crosses or Chi-Rho-Signs) played an important role in early medieval burial rites. This can be demonstrated by comparing the golden or silver foil-crosses, in some cases embellished with coin-prints, which can be found in the same positions in the graves like the 'Obols'. The most likely function of these findings was to identify the deceased as a Christian. A second possible function may have been to prevent the soul from reentering the body of the deceased, trusting in the reflecting material of gold or silver.
Harald Kleinschmidt, Der Fund von Staffordshire und die Krise der merzischen Königsherrschaft um 700. Ein Beitrag zur Kritik der Debatte um den Staatsbegriff des frühen Mittelalters und zur Kooperation zwischen Geschichtswissenschaft und Archäologie, S. 155—206
The article reviews the archaeological find from Hammerwich near Lichfield, Staffs., unearthed in 2009. The find represents the largest assemblage of gold items on record from early medieval Britain. While the identification of most items in the assemblage as fragments of weapons poses few difficulties, the purpose of the deposit is far from obvious. The find neither displays unequivocal features of a hoard nor does it connect with practices of sacrifice in religious contexts. The article focuses on the uncial inscription of a verse from Psalm 67, incised into one item. The inscription connects with the early eighth-century Life of St Guthlac, which features the same verse. Both references belong to the earliest quotes of this otherwise rarely used verse. The article argues that the deposit should be placed into the context of the crisis of the Kingdom of Mercia around 700AD. This crisis appears to have been a consequence of attempts to change the structure of the Mercian stirps regia from a descent group of rulers into a group of rulers over various collectives of residents. The article suggests that structural transformations of this kind, occurring not only in Mercia but simultaneously also in Wessex and Kent, were indicative of processes of state formation.
Michael J. Enright, On the Unity of De Regno 1.4 of the 'Hibernensis'. The First Royal Anointing Ordo, S. 207—235
The Collectio Canonum Hibernensis (CCH) has been insufficiently studied and that is also true of its Liber XXV entitled De Regno which is potentially important for understanding aspects of royal initiation in Ireland and Francia during the eighth century. For De Regno's neglect, two reasons are notable. One is that the first two chapters dealing with royal unction and lot-casting can be interpreted as being contradictory and, for the second, that chapters 3 and 4 present only a shortened version of the wellknown De Duodecim Abusivis Saeculi, and thus seem inherently less interesting than the original text itself. But these four chapters of CCH appear to present a connected and coherent whole, and that requires explanation. The present study argues four points: first, that chapters 1 and 2 simply follow the OT model of king-making; second, that the principles expressed in chapters 3 and 4 are mainly also drawn from the OT and are keyed to respond to the anointing directive in 1; third, that they are shortened from the 'Twelve Abuses' text in order that they be more easily used in practice, that is delivered as admonitions at an actual royal inauguration. That being the case, chapters 1—4 of De Regno would then constitute the earliest surviving royal anointing ordo of the West. Furthermore, the text was known in Francia by the 740s where it is unique because it is the only work then existent and probably known to the Pippinids that recommends an unction ritual for a new king in combination with a biblical rationale for deposing an earlier incompetent one.
Carl I. Hammer, 'De Gestis Langobardorum'. Queen Theodelinda and Langobard Royal Tradition, S. 237—260
Paul the Deacon reports that the Langobard Queen Theodelinda (d. 627) built a royal palace and church at Monza. She endowed the church which later became a Langobard shrine, and she had the palace decorated with murals which depicted "the deeds of the Langobards". Such artistic patronage by an early-medieval woman ruler is highly unusual and possibly unique. This article attempts to contextualize Paul's report, to reconstruct the subject matter of the murals, and to interpret their political program. The article concludes that the murals depicted the deeds of certain Langobard rulers and that their intent was 1) to legitimize rule by kings over the Langobards, 2) to promote a unified ethnic Langobard identity amongst a diverse population, and 3) to assert the claims of Theodelinda's family, the Lethings, as the Langobard stirps regia. The article argues for Theodelinda's primary role in the construction of this Langobard royal ideology and sees the rule of the Gothic king, Theoderic, as the exemplar followed by her.
Gerd Althoff, Das Amtsverständnis Gregors VII. und die neue These vom Friedenspakt in Canossa, S. 261—276
This article is a contribution to a lively debate among German medievalists provoked by Johannes Fried's new thesis about 'Canossa'. In one book especially (Canossa. Entlarvung einer Legende. Eine Streitschrift, Berlin 2012), Fried tries to reconstruct a treaty of peace and cooperation between pope Gregory VII and king Henry IV — undiscovered till now — which was negotiated just before Canossa and concluded there. The article uses Gregory's understanding of his rights and duties as a pope, expressed in many of his letters written in the years in question, to argue against this thesis. The evidence shows that there existed wide gaps between Gregory's and Henry's self-understanding, which cannot have been easily bridged by discourses of friendship and political cooperation. Gregory demanded obedience from Henry and was working towards an assembly which would, under his direction, judge whether Henry could remain king or not. The high number of papal statements about Gregory's goals at precisely that time do not allow us to believe that the pope betrayed all of his followers by concluding a secret treaty with a king against whom he fought publicly at the very same time. There are many and convincing reasons to reject the new thesis put forward by Fried.
Christel Meier, Seneca redivivus oder: Die Neuerfindung der Tragödie im italienischen Frühhumanismus, (Taf. III—XIV, Abb. 4—19), S. 277—293
The reception of the dramatic texts of classical antiquity has a long and illustrious tradition. Dramatists like Naogeorg, Lessing and Goethe and the stage-directors of the 19th century applied a variety of strategies of transfer and adaptation to new theatrical contexts and social concerns, a process of reinterpretation that more recently culminated in the extreme forms of postmodern theatre and performance ('Regietheater'). However, the rediscovery of the classical dramas dates back to the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, when the treasures of antique Roman tragedy were unearthed after having been lost for 1200 years and revived under great difficulties. The essay analyses the three different steps in which this process of reapproaching Seneca's dramatic work occurred: first, through commentaries explaining the dramas in a language and interpretation that was comprehensible to the medieval audience; second, through their illustration; and third, through the creation of the first new tragedies moulded after the Senecan model.
Thomas Haye, Das Prosimetrum 'De consolatione Ecclesie' des Dietrich Vrie: eine literarische Verarbeitung des Konstanzer Konzils, S. 295—323
The Westphalian Austin friar Dietrich Vrie (d. after 1434) belongs to the most ambitious writers of the late Middle Ages. Based on personal experience, Vrie describes in his famous prosimetrum 'De consolatione Ecclesie' the history of the Council of Constance (1414—1418). This paper analyses not only the structure and contents of the Latin text, but also its development, date, and dedication. Furthermore, the author examines the literary sources and models; finally he evaluates the prosimetrical and poetical quality.
Achim Thomas Hack, Pius II. und der Empfang des heiligen Andreas 1462 in Rom (mit einem editorischen Anhang), S. 325—387
The tradition of transferring and receiving relics has been analysed in detail for Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages; however, similar studies for the Late Middle Ages do not exist, even though there are often much more detailed sources for this period. An especially striking example is the reception of Saint Andrew — or rather: of his head — by Pope Pius II in Rome on the 12th and 13th of April 1462. A complete dossier of contemporary texts, which are interwoven in many ways documents this event: reports, orations, poems, etc. The best known account was written by the pope in his autobiographical Comentarii rerum memorabilium in which he presents his interpretation of the events. He not only describes the fundamental aspects of the Roman ceremony for the reception, he also highlights a plethora of details: the presence of large crowds, the visibility of the action from every point, the participation of many cardinals in painful pedestrian processions, the competition between Romans in decorating their houses, the effect of highly emotional speeches, and the miraculous clearing of the weather, without which the ceremony could not have taken place. By receiving Andrew, Pius II emphasized the apostolic dimension of the Eternal City (the apostle was received by the two Roman principes apostolorum), at the same time pushing towards a crusade against the Turks (the saint, who had fled to Rome, should have been brought back to his sedes on the Bosporus by force). The role the apostle played for the humanist pope's self-image can ultimately be seen in his building activity and his entombment next to Saint Andrew.
Bernd Roling, Ein Anfang ohne Umkehr. Der Sündenfall der Engel und die Unmöglichkeit der Reue zwischen Mittelalter und Neuzeit, S. 389—411
About a quarter of every commentary on the Sentences in medieval and early modern scholasticism was dedicated to angelology. Many questions were disputed; one of the most important was the fall of Lucifer: Why did Satan revolt against God, although he was created as a perfect and almost omniscient being? Why was there no chance of penitence and forgiveness for him and his adherents, although the Divine consisted of love and indulgence in its essence? This paper gives a survey of the extensive debate, starting with the Church Fathers and focusing on early modern angelologists like Francisco Suárez and Rodrigo Arriaga. As will be demonstrated, the arguably most convincing solution to the angelic revolt was developed by Duns Scotus: Satan remained free after the revolt, but the condition of hell made any act of repentance impossible. The final part of the study offers two examples demonstrating the long lasting influence of Scotus' ideas, Johann Wilhelm Petersen's 'Bekräfftiger Origines' and Friedrich Klopstock's 'Messias'.