1st Edition

Using and Not Using the Past after the Carolingian Empire c. 900–c.1050

Edited By Sarah Greer, Alice Hicklin, Stefan Esders Copyright 2020
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    Using and Not Using the Past after the Carolingian Empire offers a new take on European history from c.900 to c.1050, examining the ‘post-Carolingian’ period in its own right and presenting it as a time of creative experimentation with new forms of authority and legitimacy.

    In the late eighth century, the Frankish king Charlemagne put together a new empire. Less than a century later, that empire had collapsed. The story of Europe following the end of the Carolingian empire has often been presented as a tragedy: a time of turbulence and disintegration, out of which the new, recognisably medieval kingdoms of Europe emerged. This collection offers a different perspective. Taking a transnational approach, the authors contemplate the new social and political order that emerged in tenth- and eleventh-century Europe and examine how those shaping this new order saw themselves in relation to the past. Each chapter explores how the past was used creatively by actors in the regions of the former Carolingian Empire to search for political, legal and social legitimacy in a turbulent new political order.

    Advancing the debates on the uses of the past in the early Middle Ages and prompting reconsideration of the narratives that have traditionally dominated modern writing on this period, Using and Not Using the Past after the Carolingian Empire is ideal for students and scholars of tenth- and eleventh-century European history.

    1) Introduction

    Sarah Greer and Alice Hicklin

    Past Narratives

    2) The Future of History after Empire

    Geoffrey Koziol

    3) Remembering Troubled Pasts: Episcopal Deposition and Succession in Flodoard’s History of the Church of Rheims

    Edward Roberts

    4) In the Shadow of Rome: After Empire in the late-tenth-century Chronicle of Benedict of Monte Soratte

    Maya Maskarinec

    5) Infiltrating the Local Past: Supra-regional Players in Local Hagiography from Trier in the Ninth and Tenth centuries

    Lenneke van Raaij

    6) After the Fall: Lives of Texts and Lives of Modern Scholars in the Historiography of the Post-Carolingian World

    Stuart Airlie

    Inscribing Memories

    7) How Carolingian was Early Medieval Catalonia?

    Matthias M. Tischler

    8) Orchestrating Harmony: Litanies, Queens, and Discord in the Carolingian and Ottonian Empires

    Megan Welton

    9) Models of marriage charters in a notebook of Ademar of Chabannes (ninth-eleventh century)

    Philippe Depreux

    10) All in the Family: Creating a Carolingian Genealogy in the Eleventh Century

    Sarah Greer

    11) ‘Charles’s stirrups hang down from Conrad’s saddle’: Reminiscences of Carolingian Oath Practice under Conrad II (1024‒1039)

    Stefan Esders

    Recalling Communities

    12) Notions of Belonging. Some Observations on Solidarity in the Late- and Post Carolingian World

    Maximilian Diesenberger

    13) Bishops, Canon Law, and the Politics of Belonging in Post-Carolingian Italy, c. 930-c. 960

    Jelle Wassenaar

    14) Migrant Masters and their Books. Italian Scholars and Knowledge Transfer in post-Carolingian Europe

    Giorgia Vocino

    15) The Dignity of Our Bodies and the Salvation of Our Souls. Scandal, Purity, and the Pursuit of Unity in Late Tenth-Century Monasticism

    Steven Vanderputten

    16) Law and Liturgy: Excommunication Records, 900-1050

    Sarah Hamilton



    Sarah Greer is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of St Andrews. Her research explores the relationships between memory and power in the long tenth century.

    Alice Hicklin is a post-doctoral fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research compares legal and diplomatic practices throughout western Europe in the early middle ages.

    Stefan Esders is professor of Late Antique and Early Medieval History at the Freie Universität Berlin, specialising in legal history. He has recently co-edited East and West in the Early Middle Ages: The Merovingian Kingdoms in Mediterranean Perspective (2019) with Yaniv Fox, Yitzhak Hen and Laury Sarti.

    Many of the contributors present unique approaches to their topics; some bring little-known texts to the light; some force a reassessment of well-known sources. What this book does do, and does well, is demonstrate the necessity of reconsidering the traditional historiography of the post-Carolingian world, while providing a multifaceted view of the many different approaches and methodologies that can be used to explore it.

    Laura Wangerin, Seton Hall University, Early Medieval Europe 2022 30 (4)