Dietrich Lohrmann, Alcuin und Karl der Große vor ihrem Treffen 781 in Parma, S. 1—20
Unlike many historical accounts which allude to a first meeting in Parma, March 781, the 'Vita Alcuini' says that Charlemagne had met Alcuin before that date. This did not happen, as has been supposed by Jaffé, Duchesne and Levison, in the context of the diplomatic missions of 773 which preceded Charles' famous expedition against the Lombards. The legate specified in the Liber Pontificalis (Albuinus deliciosus regis) was rather a confidant of the same name who had assisted the king in a court judgment of 772. Alcuin himself as a learned educator and supervisor of buildings in York was totally unsuitable for such a diplomatic mission in a politically charged atmosphere.
Some later statements of Alcuin suggest a first encounter with King Charles already in 768-769 when returning from his first trip to Rome. At that date the royal brothers Charles and Carloman tried to engage Alcuin's teacher Aelbert for missionary work in the Frankish Empire. Did they try to engage Alcuin, too? In his letters which are preserved only for the last period of his life he remembers several scenes in Rome and Pavia. On their return, Aelbert sent Alcuin to Charlemagne, while he himself directly went to York. Alcuin stayed in the Alsatian abbey of Murbach for some time. We may suppose that he went on to the Rhine valley, meeting the king in one of the palaces near the Rhine. As Charles spent the winter of 769 in Aachen we cannot exclude the possibility of a meeting in that palace. His itinerary on the Rhine is suggested in particular by Alcuin's Carmen 4. Between 769 and 780-781, he was kept in York by his duties as head of the Cathedral school and architect of the church of St Sophia. In spite of the doubts put forward by Donald Bullough, there is no compelling reason to question the meeting of Parma in 781.
Takuro Tsuda, War die Zeit Karls des Großen 'die eigentliche Ära der Kapitularien'? S. 21—48
Capitularies are traditionally recognized as 'edicts of the kings' and it is widely accepted that their 'Golden Age' occurred during the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. The research to date has been focussed mainly on manuscripts, but this method is not appropriate for an analysis of the governmental system of the Carolingian age, because manuscripts were mostly composed sometime after the initial authoring of any given text. In order to clarify the earliest phase, the author explores references to the use of documents in narrative sources.
His results show that - with some exceptions - there are only two categories of information about the use of the written word which emerge in narrative sources: namely lex (leges) and 'texts on behalf of the church'. In view of the quantity of such cases, there is little diversity during the Carolingian age, a fact that would belie the alleged 'Golden Age'.
However, the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious can be labelled as the 'Golden Age' of texts that had only subordinate functions in communicating the wishes of the kings; that is to say Charlemagne and Louis the Pious should not be regarded as 'great legislators who issued many written edicts'. Therefore, we should re-examine the use of the written word in each kingdom without considering the text category of 'capitulary'.
Klaus Endemann, Wollte Einhard 'römisch' bauen? Die Bautechnik in Steinbach und Seligenstadt im Vergleich mit zeitgenössischen Bauwerken, (Taf. I—XVII, Abb. 1—26), S. 49—90
Three monuments in particular may be said to mark the turning point in European continental architecture of the early Middle Ages. The first to be named is Charlemagne's Palace Chapel in Aachen, followed by the monastery churches of Steinbach and Seligenstadt (near Frankfurt). Einhard, both friend and advisor to Charlemagne, had these built to house the relics of Saints Peter and Marcellinus that he had carried off from Rome. The Palace Chapel, through its architectural form, its bold construction and its daring statics, set new standards. As regards the two basilicas, the attempt to overcome the primitive building techniques of the time through the conscious emulation of Roman methods of construction is obvious. The Vitruvian scholar Einhard was well aware that an aesthetic unity of the beauty of the building form could be attained only in conjunction with skilful craftsmanship.
The two monastery churches, however, were not only oriented towards the early Christian architecture of Rome in their building materials and techniques; in their building types they also evoked the memory of the first Constantinian martyrs' basilicas. One might ask at this point why Einhard, member of the Court Chapel and responsible for building work in Aachen, aimed at a much more progressive quality of building work for the realisation of his own monasteries than had been employed for the almost contemporary buildings in the royal palaces in Aachen and Ingelheim, presumably also carried out under his supervision. Is it possible that Einhard, having in mind his imperial friend Charlemagne, intended to unite in these two monuments building form and execution in an exemplary way?
Contrary to the wide-spread opinion of researchers today, the know-how of Roman 'Kulturtechniken' - including that pertaining to architecture - was completely lost by the early Middle Ages. The monuments erected by the Merovingians, the early Carolingians and the Lombards, "in the style of the ancients of smooth ashlar" as is often boastfully recorded, were, from a technical point of view, at an extremely primitive stage. Einhard was, in fact, the first who consciously - also from a technical point of view - took up and drew upon the building culture of the Romans. His efforts mark the turning point in the building history of the Middle Ages.
Babette Ludowici, Quedlinburg vor den Ottonen: Versuch einer frühen Topographie der Macht, (Taf. XVIII—XIX, Abb. 27—29), S. 91—104
Quedlinburg, situated in the north-eastern foreland of the Harz Mountains, is a small town with a great history: the tranquil little place situated in the Bode Valley was, as an imperial seat and abbey, one of the central sites of the Ottonian kingdom in the 10th and 11th centuries. The granting of market rights to the abbey in 994 by Otto III was a crucial factor for its later development into a town. The presence of the empire spanning ultimately some three hundred years has shaped the town up to the present day, prompting various historians to intensive research. However, Quedlinburg's early period as well as possible reasons for the establishment of an Ottonian centre of power precisely there are still shrouded in mystery to a large extent. In order to contribute to answering the question "Why Quedlinburg?" I would like to draw attention to several features of the place in pre-Ottonian times which, as reflected in the archaeological sources of the 5th/6th to 8th/9th centuries, have been found in the surrounding area, as well as to earlier traditions associated with the find sites. The evidence reveals constellations which may have played a role in the 'process of fixing' the Ottonians at this spot.
Wolfram Drews, Günstlingsdiskurse im Mittelalter. Vergleichende Annäherungen an ein kulturübergreifendes politisches Phänomen, S. 105—147
Political favourites have so far been analysed predominantly by scholars focusing on the early modern period; in these contexts, favourites have often been taken as indicators and agents of processes leading to a growing institutionalisation of political structures, notably the modern state. On the other hand, in Islamic political systems favourites have often been taken as examples allegedly proving the arbitrariness of Islamic political rule, in particular the so-called oriental despotism. However, favouritism is rather a general phenomenon that can be found as early as in Pharaonic Egypt, the early Roman principate, the classical Islamic period as well as in the European Middle Ages, particularly in its later period. The article examines three case studies: The Barmakids, a family of Iranian origin whose members were able to maintain a leading position at the early Abbasid court over three generations, acting as viziers, cultural patrons and intimate associates of the caliphs until their sudden downfall. Secondly, the article discusses the ascendency and subsequent fall of the Jewish viziers of Granada in the 11th century, who acted as ministers, military leaders and patrons until they were killed during the very first anti-Jewish pogrom on European soil. Finally, Don Álvaro de Luna, long-time favourite of king Juan II of Castile, provides the last example; he combined secular and ecclesiastical offices which gained him an unparalleled position at court, converting him into the paradigm of a royal favourite until the early modern period. The article shows significant differences, but also structural similarities between the three cases, which are based, among other things, on common motifs pertaining to literary and propagandistic discourse about favourites. This discourse was in turn rooted in the precarious position of favourites at court, who had to rely on the personal trust of rulers in a rather informal way, which turned them into useful servants of their master, but which also made it easy for monarchs to get rid of them as soon as the balance of power seemed to be in danger of being turned upside down.
Ilya Dines, Between Image and Text. Long Rubrics and Captions in Medieval Bestiaries, (Taf. XX—XXII, Abb. 30—36), S. 149—164
Although Latin bestiaries were one of the most popular genres of medieval literature, today only about seventy manuscripts from England, France and Germany are known to have survived. Some of these contain long rubrics and captions whose scope and function have never been discussed thoroughly in scholarly literature. This paper analyzes for the first time the entire extant corpus of rubrics and captions that appear in medieval bestiaries. This research demonstrates how rubrics and captions might have been used in medieval pedagogy. It draws a parallel to the author's previous research that analyzed the function of the corpus of glosses in medieval bestiaries. This article concludes that like glosses, rubrics and captions not only facilitated education but also injected merriment into the medieval classroom. An appendix contains the list of the selected rubrics of Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, ms. lat. 3630.
Caroline Smout, Allegorie und Topik als Modelle der ästhetischen und epistemologischen Aufwertung von Malerei und Dichtung in den 'Regia Carmina' des Convenevole da Prato, (Taf. XXIII—XXXV, Abb. 37—49), S. 165—202
The essay examines how the aesthetic and epistemological prestige of painting was growing in the Trecento. It combines the analysis of two models, allegory and topic, on the basis of the well known panegyric of Convenevole da Prato for King Robert of Anjou (London, British Library, Ms. Royal 6 E IX), which so far has not been considered in this context. This panegyric is designed through allegorical iconotexts. Focussing on topic as a 'term' to describe the transformation of knowledge due to the fragmentation and reorganisation of traditional knowledge supplies, the essay deals with the following questions: a) To what extent is the revaluation of painting related to the break-up of traditional structures and b) Do allegorical iconotexts reflect on the status of pictures in the discourse about generating and stabilizing knowledge and the aesthetic function of pictures? Furthermore, the systematics of allegory is of particular relevance, since it criticises the traditional topic, which used to attach little value to painting, introducing a new topic of aesthetic criticism in the sense of aesthetic self-reflection.
Philipp Stenzig, Das 'Mirabile opusculum de fine mundi'. Eine politische Prophezeiung gegen das Konzil von Konstanz (mit editorischem Anhang), S. 203—273
The 'Mirabile opusculum de fine mundi' pretends to be a sermon of the Valencian Dominican friar S. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419), interpreting Daniel 2-4 (Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue symbolising the four empires, the king's golden idol on the plain of Babylon, and the fiery furnace) and Ezekiel 8/9 (the judgement on the idolaters and the man in linen with the writing kit), in order to teach the perplexed believers when to expect the arrival of the Antichrist and associated apocalyptic events (expected in the near future). The text, which can be dated to the second half of 1416, contains not only a detailed criticism of the state of Christendom (general ruin of religious life, simony and absenteeism of clergy more interested in worldly honours and treasures than in pastoral care), but also implicit propaganda against the Council of Constance, determined to put an end to the Western Schism: Nebuchadnezzar symbolises king Sigismund, the 'congregation on the plain of Babylon' is the present church assembly, and the king's idol (the antichristus mixtus) the antipope about to be raised there. But the true pope, no other than the surviving Benedict XIII, will return to triumph and purge the Church. This 'political prophecy' is apparently the composition of a Catalan Franciscan at Valencia or Morella, comprising elements and motifs of original sermons delivered by the famous saint. The text was widely circulated in print from 1475 up to the beginning of the 16th century.
Bernd Roling, Saeculum barbaricum. Frühneuzeitliche Stereotypen in der Philosophiegeschichtsschreibung des Mittelalters, S. 275—297
The question how to structure the history of medieval philosophy was already asked by 16th-century scholars, who had an enormous impact on the history of philosophy itself. As a result of interdenominational apologetics, Helvetian theologian Lambert Daneau created a threefold scheme of history in his Commentary on the 'Sentences' of Peter Lombard in 1580, presenting medieval intellectual history as a long history of decay, blamed on the scholastics. Starting with Lanfranc and the debate on the sacrament, philosophy, according to Daneau, emancipated herself from theology with fatal results. A second era, even worse and dominated by Aristotelianism and grammar, was allegedly ushered in by Albert the Great, having Durandus of San Porciano as its key final figure. The disaster purportedly reached its ultimate stage with the nominalists of the late Middle Ages, before Luther's appearance was finally able to bring the tragedy to an end.
This study reconstructs the success of Daneau's scheme, a tendentious construction adopted and developed further by Protestant writers like Adam Tribecchow, Jacob Thomasius or Georg Horn. Dispensing with the Protestant worldview, but adopting the same interpretative approach, also scholars of the early enlightenment such as Christoph Heumann or André-François Boureau-Deslandes reproduced Daneau's model. Finally we should ask to what extent our contemporary discussion of medieval philosophy may depend on these early modern premises.
Arnold Angenendt, Die Reinigung Jerusalems, oder: Die Pollutio als Kreuzzugsmotivik, S. 301—345
Pollutio, nowadays often understood as cultic impurity, is a basic phenomenon in all pre-enlightenment religions. Even though Jesus had revoked this impurity, it returned to Latin Christianity together with the imposition of celibacy. In Islam, in contrast to the western Christian countries, the discourse about pollutio is present until today. The article explains the importance of pollutio during the crusades, taking into account different discourses and perceptions. On the Christian side, it was actually the popes of the High Middle Ages who proclaimed that the Holy Land, sanctified by the blood of Christ, had to be cleared of the defilers' blood. On the Islamic side, a similar perception prevailed. For both religions, the issue was therefore not the extinction of the other, but rather purification.
Stefanie Rüther, Der Krieg der Bibeln. Zur visuellen Legitimation von Gewalt in spätmittelalterlichen Bibelausgaben, (Taf. XXXVI—XXXVIII, Abb. 50—52), S. 347—362
In medieval Christian Europe, nothing came closer to the justified practice of violence, including killing one's enemy, than the aid of god through direct divine intervention in war. The biblical wars of the Old Testament contained numerous examples; their knowledge provided a cultural framework which enabled contemporaries to make sense of the violence of their own times. Following the example of the story of Joshua and his victory over the five kings of the Amorites (Ios 10, 1-27), this article asks how far patterns of thought for a Christian legitimization of violence where not only constructed and discussed in texts but also in visual media. By a comparative analysis of the illustrations of the book of Joshua in late medieval history bibles, a specific way of a contemporary appropriation of the main book of the Christian church becomes evident. Even when we consider that the manuscripts where to a large extent produced in professional workshops we must acknowledge that the composition of text and image did not obey the degree of standardization reached a hundred years later with the translation of the bible by Martin Luther and its distribution through letterpress printing. The fifty illuminated codices present varieties of a specific reception of the bible framed by contemporary conventions of presentation that nevertheless allowed a certain degree of shifting interpretations. The genre of history bibles thus offers a very dynamic late medieval treatment of the bible that becomes apparent especially in the visualization of war and violence.
Dieter Mertens (†), Türkenabwehr und biblische Legitimation in der Zeit Kaiser Maximilians I., S. 363—390
The rise of the Ottomans and especially their conquest of Constantinople in 1453 caused a strong reaction in western Christianity. Political discourse began to remember the 'great deeds' of crusaders performed during the 12th and 13th centuries, especially the 'Claromontani passagii exemplum', praising the activities of Pope Urban II. Many speakers and authors tried to motivate their contemporaries by referring to the exemplary behaviour of the first crusaders who had conquered Jerusalem. Although they tried to motivate western warriors to follow this exemplum, adducing also Old Testament stories, they were not resoundingly successful. Dieter Mertens analyzes the process of legitimizing violence against unbelievers which involved references to examples and stories from the crusading period as well as to examples from the Apocalypse. Especially Aeneas Silvio Piccolomini, imperial secretary and later Pope Pius II, was very busy propagating the battle against the Turks and the recovery of Jerusalem, asserting that these endeavours would please God.
Klaus Schreiner (†), Alttestamentliche Kriegshelden in der politischen Theologie des Spätmittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit, (Taf. XXXIX, Abb. 53), S. 391—417
The contribution focuses on Old Testament heroes such as Gideon, David, or the Maccabees, which in the late Middle Ages and during the Early Modern period provided examples for righteous violence exercised in the service of the Christian church. During the Crusades, in the wars against the Turks, and in violent conflicts after the reformation, the heroic deeds of biblical heroes served as examples for contemporary fighters, allegedly granting them a license to kill similar to the one God had given to his elected fighters in past times. The argument propagated in leaflets, mirrors for princes, historiography, preaching and treatises created a charismatic type of heroes who not only fought with the help of God, but who also gained victories precisely because of this divine help. Although differing voices insisted on the idea of peace also extolled in Holy Scripture, they do not seem to have been in the majority.