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La royauté et les élites dans l’Europe carolingienne (du début du ixe aux environs de 920)

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Régine Le Jan

Kings, monks and patrons: political identities and the abbey of Lorsch*

Matthew Innes

Texte intégral

  • * I would like to thank the organisers of the Lille colloquium for their hospitality; my audience fo (...)
  • 1 For the will and its significance see M. Innés, «Charlemagne’s Will: Piety, politics and the Impér (...)
  • 2 On monasteries in Frankish society, F. Prinz, Frühes Mönchtum im Frankenreich. Kultur und Gesellsc (...)

1In 811, pondering the fate of his Empire and his soul after his death, Charlemagne drew up a last will and testament disposing of his moveable wealth, the vast majority of which was to te passed on to the Church. Charlemagne saw his Personal relationship with the Church as central to his role as Christian Emperor. Witnessing the will, alongside the cream of Charles’secular ministri (fifteen counts), we have fifteen of ecclesiastical amici — eleven bishops and four abbots1. The presence of four abbots demonstrates the importance of monasteries in Carolingian politics. Monastic communities had long been locii of political and spiritual power in Frankish society. Under Pippin and Charlemagne, the establishment of royal lordship over the most important monasteries Consolidated the power of the Carolingian dynasty. Thanks to the seminal work of Semmler, we can now see monastic reform and the forging of an Imperial Church as the ecclesiastical and political aspects of a single process. A process which reached its climax in the First years of Louis the Pious’reign, when royal privileges were recalled and reissued, and a uniform bond between king and royal monasteries created. Imperial Church and Christian Empire begin to dissolve, one into the other2.

  • 3 Above all the work of the late K. Schmid and his pupils: for example, K. Schmid and J. Wollasch ed (...)
  • 4 The impetus came from Peter Brown’s work on late antique Holy men, which led to many studies utili (...)

2In the past decades a shift in historical interests and methods has led to exciting new work on the social function of medieval monasticism. There have been two main strands. One has stressed the importance of liturgical commemoration and intercession as preoccupations of early medieval society3. The other has investigated «the logic of saintly patronage» — the ways in which the institutions which housed and venerated the Holy were powerful actors in this world. Particularly important have been recent studies investigating at the practical forms such «saintly patronage» could take, above all through the charter evidence. Gift-giving created bonds of association between benefactors and churches, bonds which were assiduously kept up and continued overtime; donations of land, as recorded in legal documents, thus allow us to recreate the relationships of churches with their «catchment areas» and look at the networks built up around them4.

  • 5 For the following model I draw in particular on the work of M. De Jong, above all «Carolingian mon (...)
  • 6 As Karl BOSL noted: Franken um 800, München, 1969, p. 30-42.

3How does this new stress on «the power of prayer» alter our understanding of royal patronage of monastic communities?5 In a pre-bureaucratic world kings had only limited scope for direct interaction with the localities of their realms. Patronising cult-sites was one way to gain social purchase, an attractive strategy given the significance of cult-sites as regional centres. Royal patronage created not only a bond between ruler and cult-site, it also associated local benefactors with royal activity. Carolingian and post-Carolingian monasteries were doors through which kings could enter the «small worlds» of the localities. But they were not just points of entry. They are also points of articulation: places where resources and skills were concentrated to such a degree that political ideas could be given lasting form, and disseminated. Royal patronage led to the promulgation of a coherent ideology of royal power, presenting kings as the embodiment of a divine plan of supernatural order. Concentration of resources and organisational and intellectual skills underpinned the contribution of royal monasteries to liturgy and ritual architecture and material culture as well as literature. Royal visits to monasteries were a central feature of early medieval politics, and such occasions were marked by ceremonial and bouts of both conviviality and prayer. Favoured monasteries were thus centres of royal tradition, just as aristocratie proprietary churches could act as focii for family tradition6.

  • 7 The will is subscribed by an Abbot Adalung, and his identity with our Adalung is assured by Bischo (...)
  • 8 B. Bischoff, op. cit., is a magnificent study of the scriptorium which illuminates cultural activi (...)
  • 9 K. Glöckner, Codex Laureshamensis, Darmstadt, 1929-36, 3 vols., cited as CL plus chapter or charte (...)

4One of the men who guaranteed Charlemagne’s will was Adalung, abbot of Lorsch, a rich monastery in the prosperous middle Rhine valley, just a few kilometres east of the river opposite Worms7. Adalung’s proximity to the king, itself an index of Lorsch’s importance, may have paid dividends for his abbey: Charlemagne had ordered his executors to sell his library and a magnificent Gospel Book found its way from the palace to Lorsch, where it found its home in a wellstocked library which was the intellectual hub of a thriving cultural centre with an active scriptorium8. The historian of Lorsch is lucky in that it is possible to place the manuscripts and surviving material remains in their original social context. A huge cartulary, summarising over 3,000 Carolingian charters, survives in a twelfth century manuscript. This vast database has been used by a succession of scholars in the reconstruction of aristocratic society in the middle Rhine valley and beyond9.

  • 10 For Cancor see M. Borgolte, Die Grafen Alemanniens im merowingischer und karolingischer Zeit. Eine (...)
  • 11 Links with the Liège area were established by K. Glockner. art. cit. For St. Lambert see M. Gockel (...)
  • 12 CL1.

5The initial endowment of the monastery at Lorsch was made in 764 by Cancor and his widowed mother, Willeswind. They were members of the aristocratic kindred named «Rupertine» by modem historians. The «Rupertines» have often served as a paradigm of the Carolingian «Imperial aristocracy»: Count Cancor, as well as having rich estates in the middle Rhine and Hesse, was active in Alemannia10. The personal and political links between Cancor and the Carolingian homelands are also clear. The embodiment of these links was an interest in the cuit of St. Lambert, a late Merovingian bishop of Liège: churches dedicated to Lambert can be found in both Worms and Mainz, the latter owned by a kin-group who can be identified as relations of Cancor’s descendants11. The spread of the family’s links are clear front the charter recording the initial endowment of Lorsch, which is witnessed by the bishops of Utrecht, Trier and Constance12.

  • 13 R. Le Jan, Famille et pouvoir dans le monde franc, VIIIe-Xe siècles, Paris, 1995; Id., «Structures (...)
  • 14 M. Weidemann, «Urkunden und Viten der Heiligen Bilihildis aus Mainz», in Francia 21/1, 1994, p. 17 (...)
  • 15 R. Le Jan, Famille et Pouvoir, p. 54, with other instances of «Thuringian» names in Willeswind’s f (...)
  • 16 St. Rupert ancestor of the Rupertines: E. Zöllner, «Woher stammte der heilige Rupert?», in Mitteil (...)

6The Rupertines may have been Imperial aristocrats, but were they interlopers from Liège, implanted in the middle Rhine by the Carolingians? It is necessary to remember that the kinship structures of the Carolingian aristocracy were two-sided: they could value matrilineal links as highly as patrilineal. Of the vast web of kin relationships only a small subset would be «operational» at any given moment as «practical kin». Men of the standing of Cancor were part of a huge, complex, bilateral kin-group, but the people who mattered within this group were the immediate kin, and those more distant relations who were in a position to be useful as patrons or backers13. Cancor’s familial links might thus be multivalent. In fact, there is evidence for contacts alongside those with the Liège area, links which were ancient and remembered, even if they may not have been actively used by Cancor in the 760s. Firstly, Willeswind’s ancestors clearly were indigenous to the middle Rhine: some of them were involved in the foundation of the Altmünster or Hagenmünster in Mainz circa 700, a foundation linked to St. Bilihildis. Willeswind’s family in the early eighth century were involved with the duces of Thuringia, based east of the Rhine at Würzburg14. Thuringian tradition continued in Willeswind’s family down to Cancor’s generation and beyond, most graphically in the name given to Cancor’s brother, Turincbert15. Secondly, the kin group were also descended from St. Rupert, bishop of Worms and Salzburg in the years around 700. A typical late Merovingian «political saint», Rupert had links with the Merovingian dynasty, and fied from Worms, where he was bishop, to escape the growing influence of the Pippinids. He found his way to Bavaria where, in close co-operation with the Agilolfing duces, he engaged in missionary work and founded the see of Salzburg. At the end of his life he returned to Worms where his relics remained: the runaway popularity of his name in middle Rhenish good society must relate to the presence of a strong «Rupert tradition» in the area in the second half of the eighth century16.

  • 17 See J. Semmler, «Chrodegang, Bischof von Metz, 747-766», in Die Reichsabtei Lorsch, i: 229-45 and (...)
  • 18 Chrodegang’s parents were Sigiramn and Landrada; he had close links with the abbey of St-Trond and (...)
  • 19 See G.-H. Pertz ed., Annales Laureshamenses, MGH SS 1, p. 22-39, s a. 764, 761, 765 respectively. (...)
  • 20 CL c.3. J. Semmler. «Lorsch», p. 143, n.79, for the priest and schoolmaster Adalheri as author of (...)
  • 21 W. Jacobsen, «Was ist die karolingische "Renaissance" in der Baukunst?», in Zeitschrift für Kunstg (...)

7These traditions, although they were not forgotten, seem to have had only a limited impact of family strategy in the years around Lorsch’s foundation. Cancor and Willeswind gave their abbey to Chrodegang, bishop of Metz, papal iegate in Francia and the driving force behind the reform of the Frankish Church17. Cancor and Chrodegang were kinsmen18. Lorsch was staffed with monks from Chrodegang’s foundation at Gorze, led by Guntland, Chrodegang’s brother, who became abbot. Cancor was thus following in the footsteps of Count Ruthard, whose new foundation at Gengenbach, also east of the Rhine, was likewise staffed with Gorze monks. A stress on Roman usage lay at the heart of Chrodegang’s reform agenda; Chrodegang was responsible for one of the earliest translations of Roman martyrs to Francia when he acquired the relics of Gorgonius, Naborius and Nazarius from the Pope. Gorgonius and Naborius found their way to Gorze and Chrodegang’s other foundation near Metz, St-Avold, respectively, whilst Lorsch was dedicated to Nazarius19. A description of Nazarius’enthusiastic welcome to Lorsch in 765 by crowds of locals survives; Nazarius was later credited with miracles20. Architecturally, Lorsch likewise stood at the forefront of reform: the grand new church begun in 767 and dedicated in 774 related to Chrodegang’s agenda21.

  • 22 M. Borgolte, Die Grafen Alemanniens, p. 229-36, with references.
  • 23 J. Fleckenstein, «Fulrad von St-Denis und der fränkische Ausgriff in den süddeutschen Raum», in G.(...)
  • 24 On the spread of Lorsch’s estates see Die Reichsabtei Lorsch and F. Hülsen, Die Besitzungen des Kl (...)

8Lorsch can be related to the political strategy of Cancor and his contacts as well as the reform currents circulating around Chrodegang. Ruthard, the founder of Lorsch’s «sister», Gengenbach, had been installed by the Carolingians to rule the newly-conquered Alemannia. Cancor had worked alongside Ruthard in Alemannia, and Lorsch’s acquisition of large holdings along the Rhine in the Alemannian Breisgau underlines the importance of Cancor’s contacts, particularly those with Ruthard, for the new foundation. Ruthard was also an important patron of Chrodegang’s Gorze22. Cancor and Ruthard also worked with Fulrad, abbot of St-Denis, one of the key figures in Frankish politics east of the Rhine in the mid-eighth century. Fulrad received substantial estates in the Alsace-Alemannia borderlands, and was also active acquiring property east of the Rhine. These property acquisitions were organised around a series of monastic cells which were dependent on StDenis in the Frankish heartland; they facilitated the political and ecclesiastical integration of Alsace and Alemannia into the Frankish realm23. The vast property interests acquired by Lorsch in its early years lay predominantly down the middle and upper Rhine and to its east, along the Main and lower Neckar; they may have performed a similar function24.

  • 25 «My peculiar patron»: CL281. I discuss giving to the church at greater length in my forthcoming mo (...)

9How did Lorsch build up these property interests? The new foundation was incredibly successful in attracting donations of land from the population of its catchment area. Lorsch received over a hundred donations each year during the first five years of its existence. The men who gave land to St. Nazarius were buying into saintly power: one benefactor refers to «my peculiar patron, St. Nazarius». By giving land they were also expressing their social standing. And a choice to give to Lorsch was a choice to associate oneself with Chrodegang and Cancor as well as St. Nazarius. The patterns of donation thus reveal something of Cancor and Chrodegang’s kin-group, and also a wider and looser network of patronage, alliance and land-holding which reached out from the middle Rhine east and south. It was this network which had brought about the Francisation and Christianisation of the region in the seventh and eighth centuries; Lorsch’s foundation and the building up of her patrimony reflect the final stage of these processes25.

  • 26 On Hornbach see A. Neubauer, Regesta des ehemaligen Benediktinerklosters Hornbach, Speyer, 1904 an (...)
  • 27 Information about the Rupertine centre at Lorsch can be gleaned from CL 10, 167/3788.168/3789, 378 (...)
  • 28 CL167/3788 for the gift for the claustrum in 767, followed by CL168/3789 (the portion of Turincber (...)

10Lorsch was thus very different to the typical aristocratic foundation, somewhere like Hornbach, which was patronised by a narrow group of close kin alone26. The scale and nature of the patronage offered by Lorsch from the very beginning is different: the closest comparison is with Fulda. Yet Lorsch was a «Rupertine» family foundation, as the witness list to the foundation charter makes clear. Lorsch was a special place for the Rupertines, a family centre socially and geographically distinct from other settlement centres: it lay near the Nibelungenstrasse, midway between the bustling villa of Bürstadt, where many aristocratic and gentry families had holdings, and the villa of Heppenheim, a royal estate with vast attached woodland rights which was used as an endowment for local counts. Only the children and grandchildren of Willeswind and Rupert held land at Lorsch; its importance to the family is confirmed by the fact that part of the estate was used as the morning-gift for brides who married into the Rupertine kin-group27. The new foundation, dedicated to Roman saints and a part of Chrodegang’s monastic constellation, was thus expressive of the political identity of an east Frankish aristocratie constellation at a particular moment where their interests progressed hand in hand with those of the Carolingian dynasty. The initial foundation was very much the project of Cancor and his mother: the Altmünster lay on their portion of the family complex at Lorsch. In 767 — the year after Chrodegang’s death — the rebuilding of a new larger abbey on a different part of the complex began. Cancor’s brother, Turincbert, provided the land which was to be the site of the new claustrum. Family patronage reached a climax in 770, as the monks acquired the totality of the Lorsch estate to support the new complex, buying out Turincbert’s last interest28. Lorsch’s early history is underpinned by the dominance of Cancor and (until his death) Chrodegang within the Rupertine kin-group, and their ability to persuade the small group who held land at Lorsch to provide a site for new building, and to secure patronage from a wider group of kin, clients and allies. And note that Willeswind is given joint initiative in 764: the backing of this formidable widow may have been the factor that ensured success for Cancor, Chrodegang and Lorsch.

  • 29 CL3 = E. Mühlbacher, MGH Diplomata Karolinorum I, Berlin, 1906, Charlemagne charter 65 (hereafter (...)
  • 30 CL4 (MGH D Charlemagne 72). For the legal implications see J. Semmler, «Traditio und Königsschutz» (...)
  • 31 On Charlemagne and Carloman see most recently J. Jarnut, «Eine Bruderkampf und seine Folgen. Die K (...)

11The real drama in Lorsch’s early history cornes shortly after Cancor’s death in 771. Charlemagne, at his Easter court in 772, hears a case concerning the status of Lorsch, which is presented by the charter recording it as a dispute between Heimerich, Cancor’s son, and Abbot Guntland over possession of the abbey29. Guntland wins and places Lorsch under Charlemagne’s protection, in return receiving certain privileges: Lorsch becomes a royal abbey30. The royal diplomata, however, give a very partial view of the process; local documents suggest a more nuanced picture. The date of the case is of the utmost significance. 768-771 saw political division at the very highest level in the Frankish world, between Pippin’s two sons, Carloman and Charlemagne. Alsace and Alemannia stood in Carloman’s realm, the middle Rhine and its eastern hinterland under Charlemagne. Cancor, whose interests straddled the political division, advertised a certain equidistance31. The death in swift succession of Cancor and Carloman in late 771 left political leadership in the middle Rhine up for grabs. Heimerich, Cancor’s son, worked hard to inherit his father’s role as a regional political broker. But political tensions within the Carolingian family fed into tensions within aristocratie kin-groups; conflict at the centre interacted with conflict in the localities. In 772 Heimerich was opposed by a kinsman, Guntland. The young Charlemagne saw in Cancor’s death a golden opportunity to intervene in the aristocratic world centred on Lorsch. In 772 Charlemagne was the only real winner.

  • 32 CL248 (March 17, 772), CL3170/3686dd.

12The political strategy of Chrodegang and Cancor had been predicated upon the political and social co-operation of a wider group, in core cemented by ties of kinship. Whilst this co-operation lasted, Lorsch’s precise legal status was unimportant. Willeswind and Cancor had insisted in 764 that Lorsch was not to become a satellite of the bishopric of Metz. Instead it remained family property, formally held by Chrodegang then Guntland, but presumably also subject to daims from its founders and their kin. The deaths of Chrodegang and Cancor left this arrangement in need of renegotiation. Indeed, the «challenges» that Heimerich was alleged to have made to Guntland could be seen as an essential part of a process of renegotiation within the Rupertine kin-group. Certainly it is significant that, just weeks before his case was heard at the royal court in 772, Heimerich was at Guntland’s Lorsch, and that one of Heimerich’s sisters made huge grants to the abbey in 77232. Charlemagne managed to infiltrate himself into a debate within the Rupertine kingroup, a debate which he exploited to his political advantage. He may have been helped in this by changes in the internai alignment of the kingroup. By 772, the political and familial moment which had underpinned Lorsch’s initial foundation was passing. Cancor and Chrodegang had worked together because political and ecclesiastical expansion under loose Carolingian overlordship had much to offer both. However Guntland did not have his brother’s high political connections, nor did he control an episcopal and abbatial constellation: his interests were very much focused upon Lorsch alone. Moreever there is evidence for political coolness between Heimerich and the Carolingians: as the middle Rhine became increasingly important as a royal heartland and kings were more directly involved in the east than previously, aristocratic room for manoeuvre was reduced. Lacking his father’s Alemannian interests and high office, Heimerich inevitably had to concentrate on his family’s property interests, interests which began in the middle Rhine valley and pointed east. A monopoly over Lorsch and the abbey’s vast resources would have more important for both Guntland and Heimerich than for their predecessors as the community of interest between their two branches of the Rupertine kin-group ended. Hence in 772 Guntland may have been happy to exchange interfering relatives for royal lordship.

  • 33 CL c.9.
  • 34 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 79-80. See also A. Angendendt, «Pirmin und Bonifatius. Ihr Verhältnis zu (...)
  • 35 Lorsch tradition (e.g. in the cartulary-chronicle and the necrology) remembered Lull as the man wh (...)
  • 36 Cf. J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 78-80, on Charlemagne’s policy of acquiring monastic foundations east (...)

13However even Guntland was no out-and-out winner in 772. In 765 he had been given Lorsch as personal property by his brother, but by 778 he needed to get royal permission to make gifts from the abbey’s treasury for the health of his soul33. Lorsch’s legal status had always been anomalous34, but it was the change in familial and political context which made clarification necessary. All the more so given the graduai crystallisation of ecclesiastical structures east of the Rhine. Lorsch was, after all, a particularly rich and important abbey in Mainz’s backyard which had enjoyed close links with Gorze and Metz. Charlemagne’s intervention in 772 gave Lorsch a more regular position in ecclesiastical structures. It is no accident that, when the new church was dedicated in 774, Lull, the archbishop of Mainz, presided at the consecration, with Charlemagne, newly returned from victory over the Lombards, at his side35. The event was the visual and ritual proclamation of a new order, with Lorsch a royal abbey subject to episcopal spiritual jurisdiction. The establishment of royal control over aristocratie foundations like Lorsch was the means by which political and ecclesiastical reorganisation east of the Rhine created a regular structure of direct royal power under Charlemagne36.

  • 37 M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 238-58.
  • 38 K. Glöckner, art. cit., established the link.
  • 39 For the role of the monks themselves in defining the social networks around the monastery see M. D (...)
  • 40 K. Glöckner, art. cit., p. 13-14. Helmrich’s father was a patron of Echternach: C. Wampach, Geschi (...)
  • 41 E.E. Stengel ed., Urkundenbuch... Fulda, 76, from 776.
  • 42 Note the interest in Gorze and Chrodegang in the early sections of Annales Laureshamenses. The pla (...)

14Although the events of 772 were dramatic, there is little sign of any wider disruption in the abbey’s relationship with its catchment area — there is no noticeable break in the flow of benefactions. The royal take-over and related shifts in political structures may have led to some changes in the groups who patronised the abbey. But even among the Rupertines old loyalties died hard: many with kinship or patronage ties to Cancor’s family continued to give. A series of donations after 800, for example, records the gift of the church of St-Lambert’s, Mainz, to Lorsch: shares of St-Lambert’s were owned by a large inheritance group whose members were related to Lorsch’s founders37. By the last decade of the eighth century a new generation of Rupertines were active as counts in the middle Rhine, maintaining their local power but within the new Carolingian political superstructure: the famous Robert the Strong, forefather of the Capetians, was a Rupertine who began his career as a count in the middle Rhine38. The kind of social networks which spread outwards from Lorsch were by their nature conservative: gifts of land set up relationships which were remembered for generations. One way to look at links between abbey and locality is to investigate the identities of the abbey’s inmates, for in the early middle ages monks assiduously maintained contact with kin and friends beyond the monastery walls. The Lorsch monks whom we can identify continue to come from those social groupings which had patronised the monastery at its foundation39. Guntland, after his death in 778, was succeeded as abbot by Helmrich, one of the Gorze monks sent to set up the new abbey at its inception, and another relative of Cancor and Chrodegang40. Guntland and Helmrich were close enough to the Rupertines to act as witnesses when Rachel, one of Cancor’s daughters, gave land to Fulda41. And the slow replacement rate of the monastery’s brethren, most of whom entered the abbey as child oblates, meant that memories of Lorsch’s early years were preserved. Certainly Chrodegang and Gorze were not forgotten, and in 782 a Lorsch scribe referred to the redoubtable Willeswind as «our lady» and, in an important placitum, went out of his way to identify her kin42.

  • 43 Noted by J. Hannig, «Zentralle Kontrolle und regionale Machtbalance. Beobachtungen zum System der (...)
  • 44 For Ermbert, Rachel and Heimerich see CL 15.
  • 45 H. Breblau ed., Annales Iuvanenses, MGH SS 30.2, p. 727-744 at p. 734. See H. Wolfram, Die Geburt (...)

15So royal lordship neither severed the connections between Lorsch and its aristocratic patrons, nor blotted out the recent past. Nonetheless the acquisition of a new set of royal patrons did have some knock-on effects. If the descendants of Cancor and Willeswind kept up their patronage of Lorsch, it no longer occupied the central place in their family identity and political strategy. Patronage of Lorsch from Cancor’s close kin, Heimerich and his sisters, does fall off markedly after 772, and their father’s foundation has to compete with Fulda for their gifts43. Less happy about Carolingian policy than previously, they revived older family identities which had perhaps lain dormant for a generation. Heimerich and his sister Rachel work in particularly close contact with Ermbert, bishop of Worms. Ermbert and Heimerich were in all probability kinsmen, their common ancestor also one of Ermbert’s predecessors as bishop of Worms, St. Rupert44. In 774, the year thod Lull consecrated the new church at Lorsch, the relies of St. Rupert were translated from Worms to the new cathedral built by Bishop Vergil at Salzburg. Bavaria, of course, still lay beyond Charlemagne’s effective reach, and although we cannot know who was the prime mover behind the translation, Ermbert must have been involved and Heimerich would doubtless have felt an affiliation with his sainted ancestor, who in life had fled to Bavaria to escape the growing power of the Pippinids, and now in death became the embodiment of a new cultural assertiveness under Bavaria’s dynamic Agilolfing rulers. Vergil’s new building was probably the largest contemporary church north of the Alps, dwarfing the new church at Lorsch45.

  • 46 See W. Schlesinger, Die Entstehung des Landesherrschaft, Darmstadt, 1964, 2nd ed., p, 50-51 and K.(...)
  • 47 W. Lendi, Untersuchungen zur frühalemannischen Annalistik. Die Murbacher Annalen, Freiburg. 1971; (...)
  • 48 «Eastern Franks»: F. Kurze ed., Annales Regni Francorum, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1895, s.a. 785 (revise (...)
  • 49 Fastrada: see O. Holder-Egger ed., Einhard: Vita Karoli, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1911, c.20, p. 25-6.

16In addition to the Salzburg connection, Heimerich, through his mother, had a claim to a Thuringian identity and considerable interests east of the Rhine which might nurture this identity. The years after 772 were a period of increasing royal intervention in the provinces east of the Rhine, and this intervention provoked a backlash which was couched in terms of Thuringian identity46. The key to understanding the reaction of the regional aristocracy to Charlemagne’s increased interest in the east lies in one of the earliest manuscripts linked to Lorsch. Written at an upper Rhenish centre, probably Murbach, Vatican Palatina Latina 966 contains the Liber Historiae Francorum and the Annales Nazariani. Discussing the period up to 785 the Annales Nazariani draw on material that can also be found in a whole set of other annals linked with Murbach, St-Gallen and other Alsatian and Alemannian monasteries. Front 785 to 791, however, they give an independent account of great value, particularly of a conspiracy against Charlemagne which was revealed in 785-647. Whereas sources close to the Carolingian court see the conspirators as «eastern Franks», the Annales Nazariani describe them as «Thuringians»48. The Annales Nazariani voice a sense of political distinctness which informes a regional identity. They present the flash-point which leads to the formation of a sworn conspiracy (a coniuratio) as Charlemagne’s attempt to broker a marriage between a Frank and a Thuringian noble’s daughter. One conspirator, later brought before Charlemagne, admits that he had sworn to kill the king if he ever again crossed the Rhine. Einhard, himself a native of the rebels’homeland along the Main, remembered the revoit as being caused by the crudelitas of Fastrada, Charlemagne’s wife, again hinting at royal encroachment on a regional aristocratie world. Royal encroachment, indeed, came about precisely because Fastrada herself hailed from the Main area: but whereas Fastrada, allied to the Carolingians, was remembered as a Frank, those disaffected deployed a Thuringian identity to demonstrate their opposition49.

  • 50 Rupertines and Fulda: E.E. Stengel ed., Urkundenbuch... Fulda 76 (Heimerich’s sister Rachel in 776 (...)
  • 51 Heimerich’s last appearance is in CL 1539 (784x6); by 792 he is dead (CL 15).
  • 52 See K. Brunner, «Auf den Spuren», p. 16-20.

17There is concrete evidence that links Heimerich with those disaffected easterners who raised the Thuringian standard in 785-6. Heimerich’s kin were patrons of Fulda, at home in the aristocratic circles which were involved in the conspiracy. It was to Fulda that the conspirators fled once they were discovered; the abbey was their social and spiritual centre, and they begged for clemency in the name of St. Boniface. The abbot of Fulda, Baugolf, had close links to Lorsch and the Rupertines50. It was Baugolf who acted as a mediator between Charlemagne and the rebels, setting up a meeting at Worms. (Charlemagne, never one to miss a trick, sent the conspirators off to swear loyalty on various relics dispersed through Francia, then had some of them blinded and seized the property of others). Moreover, Heimerich himself makes his final appearance in the charter evidence shortly before 786, and is definitely dead by 79251. The Annales Nazariani demonstrate the persistence of an aristocratie world which viewed the Carolingians as intruders, and which spread east of the Rhine to Fulda and up the river into Alsace. Thus, although the Annales Nazariani were written at Murbach, it is easy to understand why they ended up at Lorsch. Indeed, their likely author, Emicho, abbot of Murbach, held property in the middle Rhine and was linked to Lorsch’s founders52.

18Abbots like Emicho at Murbach, Baugolf at Fulda, or (for that matter) Helmrich at Lorsch were tied into the local aristocratic world and viewed regional traditions of collective aristocratic action with sympathy, but their position as abbots also placed them in direct contact with the king. Just as Baugolf attempted to mediate between his aristocratie neighbours and his royal lord in 785-786, so the Annales Nazariani face both ways, describing the rebels in their own terms but also echoing official terminology in depicting Charlemagne as «prudent, most mild and most patient», «more mild than ail the kings who had preceded him in Francia». Royal monasteries were points of contact between court and locality even at moments of political tension between the two. If abbeys like Lorsch or Fulda harked back to an older political order in the eyes of some of their patrons, they remained royal abbeys which were now a central part of the Carolingian political System.

  • 53 On Ricbod see F. Knöpp, «Richbod, (Erz-) Bischof von Trier, 791 (?)-804», Die Reichsabtei Lorsch i (...)
  • 54 The basis for my list of historical works and discussion of the scriptorium is, of course, B. Bisc (...)
  • 55 Discussion: H. Fichtenau, «Karl der Grofie und das Kaisertum», esp. p. 290-300. K. Hauck, «Paderbo (...)
  • 56 Indeed J. Hannig, «Pauperiores vassi de infra palatio? Zur Entstehung der karolingischen Königsbot (...)

19Helmrich’s successor as abbot of Lorsch, Ricbod, abbot from 784, likewise straddled the worlds of court and regional aristocracy. Ricbod had unimpeachable credentials as a Lorsch monk who had written charters for Abbot Guntland, and as a local. But the contacts between abbey and court which followed from royal lordship had opened up a wider cultural and political world to Ricbod, who had been taught by Alcuin, with whom he kept in close contact53. Whilst the very earliest Lorsch manuscripts belong to a distinctive upper Rhenish script-province, by the last decades of the ninth century connections with the court take over. These links affected the works read and copied, accessing the Roman and Christian past: in the late eighth-and early ninth-centuries Josephus’Wars and fragments from Josephus'Antiquities, Eusebius'Ecclesiastical History, Orosius’Histories, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, Gregory of Tours’Histories and Vergil’s Aeneid; in the ninth-century new texts such as Einhard’s Life of Charles and Freculf of Lisieux’s World History, and rarer works like Jordanes'Getica the Scriptores Historiae Augustae and (possibly) Justinus’World History54. Ricbod’s links with the court also brought new historical traditions focused on the Carolingians. Under Ricbod’s patronage, earlier annalistic material from the Moselle area and the court were used as the basis for a new historical compilation, the Lorsch Annals55. Their account of the 760s and 770s is marked by a concentration on events at Lorsch and the constellation of monasteries of which it had been part. By the 780s, however, the annals begin to fill out and focus on the Carolingian court, particularly when it was based at Worms, as it often was before 790. There is also explicit political comment: in 783, for example, Christ gives Charlemagne victory over the Saxons, whilst Biblical parallels are adduced for the revoit of Pippin the Hunchback, and the accounts of Charlemagne’s dealings with the rebels of 785-786 (here labelled «Austrasian») and with Tassilo of Bavaria stress the ruler’s clementia and misericordia. The account is very much that of an informed insider, as we would expect from Ricbod, with lots of detail on the Adoptionist heresy and on the Avar wars. It builds up to a real climax in Charlemagne’s coronation and even more with a famous account of Charlemagne’s renewed reform initiatives in 801 and 802. Ricbod’s record of the recent past ends with a new Caesar exemplifying a new wave of reform, guaranteeing justice to the poor, despatching missi dominici, imposing the Rule of St. Benedict on monks and so on. Charlemagne’s reign caps Roman and Christian history56.

  • 57 H. Schnoor, Von Carolsfeld ed., «Chronicon Laurissense Breve», in Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft fü (...)
  • 58 Nomen and potestas: A. Borst, «Kaisertum und Nomentheorie im Jahre 800», in Festschrift P. E. Schr (...)

20It was Ricbod’s account which was to influence views of the past at Lorsch in the ninth century. The Chronicon Laurissense Breve was written between 806 and 814, as a continuation of Bede’s Minor Chronicle; it drew upon the Lorsch Annals, the continuations of «Fredegar», and the Royal Frankish Annals57. The resuit is a partisan and at times downright misleading account of the eighth century. The narrative is focused on the doings of the ruler and the movements of the court. From the beginning the Carolingians are given the explicit backing of God. The long history of Christianity east of the Rhine is ignored and Boniface is credited with the conversion of the provinces east of the Rhine and the introduction of monasticism to Austrasia. These two themes corne together with a long and propagandist account of Pippin’s coup of 751, approved by the Pope and with Boniface taking the starring role and crowning Pippin. There is a mocking account of the last Merovingian, who has the nomen but not potestas of the king, to such an extent that although charters and privileges are written in the king’s name they reflect the Carolingian mayor’s wishes, and the king becomes a passive actor in assemblies, accepting the customary dona and assenting to what is decided by mayors and army. Interestingly these passages closely parallel sections of the Prior Metz Annals, a propagandist account of the recent past written c. 806, probably under the auspices of Gisela, Charlemagne’s sister, at Chelles. Moreover, the contrast between nomen and the potestas is often used in circles close to the Carolingian court, most famously by Einhard to denigrate the Merovingians in his Life of Charlemagne. Personal contacts with the court, and the reading of works such as the Prior Metz Annals, led to the adoption of these propagandist views of the past in locally-produced works such as the Chronicon Laurissense Breve58.

  • 59 I consider the processes of cultural diffusion between court, monastery and locality in detail in (...)
  • 60 K. Hallinger, Corpus Consuetudinum Monasticarum I, Siegburg, 1963, p. 493-99.
  • 61 In fact the only known royal visits before the second half of the ninth century are in 774, when C (...)
  • 62 Royal gifts: MGH D Charlemagne 72, 73. For comments on Charlemagne’s sparing gifts of land to the (...)

21The cultural influence of the court, exercised both through written texts and through personal links which brought political and historical ideas with them, was profoundly influencing the perceptions of the recent past at Lorsch by the first decades of the ninth century. The Chronicon neither mentions the revoit of 785-6, nor uses the label «Thuringian». In effect, then, royal lordship over regional cultural centres such as Lorsch consigned some traditions to eventual oblivion. A version of the past which promulgated the Carolingian claim to lead an Elect people, the Franks, became current59. Lorsch’s place in the Carolingian political System was that of an important local centre which was in close contact with the court, a point of entry and exchange between the regnal and the regional. It was also a place at which the deeds of the Franks under Carolingian leadership were recorded and celebrated. In addition, Lorsch’s vast landed wealth attracted royal interest: in Louis the Pious’Notitia de servitio monasteriorum of 819 Lorsch is one of the abbeys owing an onerous threefold servitium, of munera, of soldiers and of prayers60. In these practical terms it was an useful royal resource. Yet Lorsch was not a royal residence, a site for royal assemblies or a centre of royal administration. The court may hâve visited Lorsch on occasion when it was in the middle Rhine — a poem of Theodulf of Orléans perhaps commemorates one such visit — but only in passing61. Charlemagne certainly valued his new acquisition in the years after 772: Lorsch was given a series of royal estates, including the old comital endowment at Heppenheim and the vast area of woodland which went with it. Charlemagne was canny in his patronage of the Church and usually reluctant to give large chunks of royal land — the scale of his patronage of Lorsch possibly reflects the tenacity of Lorsch’s old political allegiances and the need to demonstrate the superiority of royal patronage62. Whatever the case, despite his patronage he and his successor were relatively uninterested in direct exploitation of the abbey. It was a plum abbacy, whose incumbents, notably Adalung and his successor Samuel, were inevitably influential. But in an area which was in any case a royal heartland there was no need to use the abbacy to bulk up secular government: worthy and reliable, if slightly boring, churchmen, Lorsch monks to a man, were the order of the day.

  • 63 On Werner see K. Glöckner, art. cit., p. 308, 325, M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 304 and (...)
  • 64 On Samuel see H. Gensicke, «Samuel, Bischof von Worms, 838-856», Die Reichsabtei Lorsch i: 253-6. (...)
  • 65 For Frankfurt and Regensburg as «principal seats» see F. Kurze ed., Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, MGH (...)
  • 66 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 32-5. P. Kehr ed., MGH Die Urkunden der deutschen Karol (...)

22It is only in the last quarter of the ninth century that the relationship between kings and monks enters a new phase. The background to this change is geopolitical, the formation of a new eastern Frankish kingdom, and the significance of the middle Rhine therein. The stage is set by the politics of Louis the German, despatched by his father, Louis the Pious, to Bavaria in 817. Louis successfully created a secure political base for himself in Bavaria, and by the civil war of the 830s was working with aristocratic groupings in the middle Rhine. The tendrils of influence linking Louis the German to men like his fidelis Werner, a Rupertine and important patron of Lorsch, were acknowledged at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, when the area east of the middle Rhine, plus Mainz, Worms and Speyer on the west bank, were included in Louis’kingdom63. But Louis’position in the middle Rhine was initially weak, not least as traditional links and political loyalties predisposed many local ecclesiastics and lay aristocrats (not least Samuel, abbot of Lorsch and bishop of Worms, and count Rupert, who was to find fame and fortune in the west as Robert the Strong) to look west towards the traditional Frankish heartland. The key event came with the appointment of Hraban Maur, sometime abbot of Fulda, as archbishop of Mainz in 847, and the rallying of the Church hierarchy, including Samuel, behind Hraban and Louis. Significantly, it is only after 847 that Louis issues charters for Lorsch — shortly after the abbey receives a handsome gift from Werner, Louise' fidelis, of land which had originally been given to Werner by Louis himself64. From 847 on the middle Rhine and its immdiate eastern hinterland becomes a royal heartland which rivais, and even surpasses, Louis’Bavarian base. Of central importance is the complex of royal estates centred on the palace at Frankfurt; Frankfurt is rebuilt as a new Aachen, the palace chapel imitating Charlemagne’s. Frankfurt and Regensburg (the centre of the Bavarian royal heartland) become the «principal seats of the kingdom»65. Lorsch, the richest and most prestigious abbey of this royal heartland, inevitably had a higher profile than previously, witness the large scale patronage offered by Louis the German66. But, although more intense than previously, the pattern of royal involvement with Lorsch remained largely traditional.

  • 67 I follow J. Fried, König Ludwig der Jüngere in seiner Zeit, Lorsch, 1984, p. 13 in seeing burial a (...)
  • 68 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 127-148, on the buildings. Until recently the Torhalle (...)
  • 69 See B. Bischoff, Lorsch, p. 45 for a description of the rotulus, whose significance was pointed ou (...)

23It is under Louis the German’s son, Louis the Younger, that a new intimacy enters royal dealings with Lorsch. Louis the German had long prepared the way for a partition between his three sons by allowing each to gain political experience and create an aristocratic power-base as sub-king in a different province. Louis the Younger’s political career from its beginning was centred on the middle Rhenish royal heartland. Louis the German died shortly after acquiring the Imperial crown in 876; Louis the Younger moved quickly to have his father buried at Lorsch. By having his father buried in his own political heartland Louis secured his own political base, underlining his legitimacy as a ruler67. The events of 876 mark the beginning of a concerted attempt by Louis the Younger to create at Lorsch a special centre of dynastic charisma. Louis buried his illegitimate son Hugo alongside the first east Frankish ruler in 880, and he himself is buried at Lorsch in 882. Lorsch’s status as a royal mausoleum led to extensive redevelopment. A new church, the ecclesia varia, was built: here eastern Carolingians were buried, commemorated and interceded for in prayer. The Torhalle, consisting of a first storey hall over a splendid portico through which one passed as one approached the church, was erected. The precise function of this extraordinary structure is still unknown, but it is difficult not to link it to the representation of royal power68. The effect of these new buildings on the monastic complex was dramatic: this was now visibly identifiable as a royal, and it expressed, in stone, a resounding message about the interrelationship of royal, dynastie and divine power. Lorsch’s new role as a centre of dynastie power is reflected in the status afforded St. Nazarius in a liturgical rotulus recording the litany performed at the palace chapel of Frankfurt — Nazarius’name is picked out in golden rustic capitals69.

  • 70 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 88-89, compares Lorsch to other Carolingian burial sites. On Charles the (...)
  • 71 See MGH D Louis the Younger (details as n.66 above) 2; P. Kehr, MGH Die Urkunden der deutschen Kar (...)
  • 72 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 103-5. On Engilhelm and Moda see F. Staab, Gesellschaft (...)

24Sites of royal burial were places of the utmost sacred and political significance in the early middle ages. The early Carolingians, for example, had gone out of their way to have themselves buried at St-Denis, which had been a centre of Merovingian royalty. Charlemagne’s burial in the palace chapel at Aachen stood as a testament to Aachen’s special role and underpinned its later prestige as an embodiment of the Carolingian heritage. Louis the German’s brother, Charles the Bald, like Charlemagne founded his own locus regius, Carlopolis (Compiègne), where he (and later one of his sons, Louis the Stammerer) were buried. Charles the Bald also actively cultivated his relationship with St-Denis, promoting the abbey as a centre of Carolingian legitimacy and the saint as patron of the west Frankish kingdom; by the high middle ages royal ritual and burial were monopolised by St-Denis, which thus became the spiritual focus of the nascent'French’political community70. Lorsch, in the hands of Louis the Younger, was being promoted as a focus for a specifically east Frankish Carolingian legitimacy, just as the new palace at Frankfurt represented the political aspirations of the eastern dynasty. Thus Lorsch attracted regular donations from east Frankish rulers, anxious to ensure the continued commemoration of their forbears and to advertise their own place in the dynasty. Conrad I, the first non-Carolingian ruler in the east, used Lorsch’s status as a centre of east Frankish dynastie commemoration to attempt to associate himselt with Carolingian legitimacy, having his wife, Cunigund, buried alongside Louis the German and Louis the Younger71. Patronising Lorsch was a means of acquiring charisma not just for rulers but also for aristocrats: Werner, the key backer of Louis the German and then Louis the Younger in the middle Rhine, had his lifetime of service acknowledged when he was buried with his royal masters in the ecclesia varia. Most remarkable is the case of Engilhelm and Moda, clients of Werner’s and the practical backbone of his regime: according to Lorsch tradition they too were buried in the ecclesia varia, rewarded with Königsnähe in the grave72.

  • 73 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 128, and H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König, p. 91-109.
  • 74 Gifts in this pattern: from Louis the German and Louis the Younger via Werner (CL26 (836), 27-8 (8 (...)
  • 75 Data on Sigolf is assembled by H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König, p. 37-38.
  • 76 Brumath: CL 50. Gernsheim: CL 53 and see M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 106-8. Arnulf in (...)

25Lorsch’s role as a royal mausoleum ensured the abbey’s continued political importance for Carolingian and post-Carolingian rulers of the east Frankish polity. The middle Rhine and its royal centres continued to act as a central political stage for the members of the east Frankish political community throughout the Carolingian and post-Carolingian periods. But after Louis the Younger kings were, more often than not, men whose core support lay beyond the middle Rhine — in Alemannia for Charles the Fat, Bavaria for Arnulf, and Saxony for the Ottonian dynasty that was eventually to rebuild a lasting hegemony in the east. For these men the creation and maintenance of a close relationship with the abbey was vital, allowing them to embed themselves in a politically crucial region and its aristocratic society. Rulers and their consorts may have become more eager to visit Lorsch when they were in the middle Rhine than their predecessors; royal stays seem to have been more common73. The changing political function of the abbey is reflected in changes in the pattern of royal patronage. Charlemagne, Louis the Pious, and to a large extent Louis the German, when they wished to patronise the abbey simply made direct gifts of royal estates or rights. Whilst this type of gift never totally disappears, the increased volume of royal gifts in the second half of the ninth century is largely the resuit of a new type of gift-giving, in which kings patronised aristocrats and the abbey simultaneously. Typically, a king gives a favoured aristocratic fidelis land — often land previously held in beneficium — in outright property, and at a later date the fidelis passes on the royal gift to Lorsch, with the monks treating both king and aristocrat as benefactors74. That is, kings use gifts of lands to prime the networks of service and support which radiate from the abbey; in the second half of the ninth century they manipulate these networks directly by making gifts to prominent laymen specifically for the purpose of patronising Lorsch. Most remarkable of ail are the series of transactions involving Sigolf, a Lorsch monk who served as provost of the monastery and, as a royal fidelis, something approaching a political «fixer» under Arnulf, Louis the Child and Conrad I75. The suspicion that kings are far more directly involved with the abbey’s landed wealth than previously is confirmed by the gift of large fiscal complexes such as those at Brumath and Gernsheim: these gifts do not diminish royal resources, precisely because Lorsch has become something rather like a royal «land bank»76. Not that this is a case of sticky-fingered kings impoverishing the Church: along with the heightened political profile of monastic property went a dramatic increase in the abbey’s holdings.

  • 77 This paragraph is based on J. Semmler, «Lorsch», esp. p. 89-93, 114-16, 117-18 with full reference (...)

26The changes in Lorsch’s political function led to internai problems. After the death of abbot Walther (881-882) the abbey suffered a long vacancy, to the extent that the monks were moved to obtain a confirmed their rights of election from Charles the Fat. Walther’s eventual successor, Gerhard, enjoys a poor reputation: succeeding after a long vacancy can hardly have been easy, and the royal fidelis and monk Sigolf increasingly overshadowed Gerhard. Until the time of Walther the community had been remarkably stable, abbots emerging from within the convent and their election confîrmed by the king. The internai problems are clear from the impossibility of finding a suitable successor for Gerhard after his death in 893: eventually Arnulf was forced to suspend the right of election and use the abbey to reward and empower a key ecclesiastical fidelis, Adalbero, bishop of Augsburg. Although this may have been an emergency measure, it sets the pattern for over half a century: in 900 or 901 the abbey passed from Adalbero to his ally, another key political broker, Hatto, archbishop of Mainz, who was succeeded by a series of similar politically influential outsiders culminating in Bruno, archbishop of Cologne. The divisions within the convent took half a century to heal. However, it was not a matter of acquisitive kings riding roughshod over unworldly monks. For kings and monks alike, the problem was the reconciliation of the Carolingian tradition of free election with the political necessity of appointing a capable political actor with the necessary supra-regional contacts to the abbacy. Before Bruno of Cologne’s successful reform and reorganisation, the only internai suitable internal candidate was Liuthar, first elected in 897 but actually abbot from 913 to 931, and also bishop of Minden. Despite these problems, directly the resuit of heightened royal interest, monks continued to think about the right order to which they sought to return in terms of Carolingian tradition and royal lordship. From the vacancy under Charles the Fat to Bruno’s reform, the response to internal disorder was to appeal to the king, and to seek a renewal of the privileges, above all free election, which went with royal lordship. Kings, on their part, responded in the same Carolingian language. For all the abbey’s problems, both king and monks continued to see royal lordship as the guarantee of monastic order77.

27The history of Lorsch is a story of increasingly intense royal patronage. After all, in a little over a century the focal point of one aristocratic family had become a huge complex of prayer and liturgical commemoration for a royal line and a deafening physical statement of Carolingian kingship. However, the dramatic shifts that take place in royal relationships with Lorsch after 876 are determined by very specific political and geographical conjunctions, and Lorsch’s subsequent problems are a product of this very specific development. Nonetheless, Lorsch’s experience does suggest some important points about Carolingian involvement with monastic communities.

28Despite the formalised, legal rights and obligations which ensured the continuity of the relationship between kings and royal monasteries, we should not see royal lordship as uniform or monolithic. Lorsch, after all, relates to kings in very different ways in different political contexts at different stages in its history. We need to think of kings creating, manipulating and maintaining a personal relationship with’their’monastery. Hence new kings often felt the need to confirm and renew privileges, thus remaking the personal bond between king and community. Hence every Carolingian king who ruled the middle Rhine made at least one gift to Lorsch. Past kings were commemorated on their death-days, and remembering them involved remembering the gifts and rights that they had given the abbey. Royal lordship worked through the demonstration of effective patronage. It provided a set of expectations so powerful that they continued to determine action through the crises of the decades around 900 and into the tenth century.

29The lowest common denominator of royal lordship was prayer, prayer for the king and the health and stability of his kingdom. It was through the performance of such duties that royal monasteries became centres of royal tradition. At Lorsch, this is reflected in the written historiographical texts. Royal patronage, and the close links with the court which resuit from royal lordship, made Lorsch receptive to royal tradition. But links with the court did not cut monasteries off from the localities of which they were lord and neighbour. Carolingian monasteries were not isolated from the outside world: they were regional centres, points of contact between the royal court and local groupings of benefactors and clients. If Lorsch was important precisely as it stood at the centre of a set of local networks, we can hardly see it as a bulwark against aristocratic power in the localities per se. The events of 772 did not divorce Lorsch from its catchment area. The establishment of a direct bond between abbey and king gave Charlemagne and his successors a door into middle Rhenish society, and brought the social groups who had previously revolved around aristocratie brokers like Cancor into direct contact with royal tradition. The advent of royal lordship did not end previous relationships between monastery and society. Rather it added a new, high profile group of benefactors to the series of overlapping networks which connected monastery and world. The Carolingians manipulated the rules of aristocratie politics to create a king-centred political System. Bringing places like Lorsch into direct contact with the court and making them centres of royal tradition was a part of this process. Cancor’s immediate heirs may have been disenchanted by the events of 772, but by the 790s a new generation of Rupertines is active, playing by the new rules and eventually, in the figure of Robert the Strong, finding a winning hand.

  • 78 J.-F. Haldon, The State and the Tributary Mode of Production, London, 1993, p. 203-18 esp. p. 215 (...)
  • 79 For comments on the court’s importance see J.-L. Nelson, «Charles le Chauve et les utilisations du (...)

30Political reproduction — the socialisation of new actors to ensure the continuation of established practices — is a fundamental problem facing any polity lacking a dedicated bureaucracy78. An effective polity needs to identify potential recruits for political service, to persuade elite groups to underwrite political order, to inculcate ideas about legitimacy. Under the Carolingians, the royal court was a centre for the socialisation of the flower of aristocratie youth79. But royal monasteries played a central role in the definition of a king-centred political System on a more local level. They were centres of legitimation, performing a crucial role in a polity which was built around a dynastie identity and the ideal of Christian kingship. Royal lordship made the centres of spiritual and political power in the localities centres of royal tradition. If we compare aristocratie political identities and strategies in the time of Cancor to those of Robert the Strong or Werner, we realise that the Carolingians used royal lordship over monastic communities to transform the Frankish polity.

Notes

1 For the will and its significance see M. Innés, «Charlemagne’s Will: Piety, politics and the Impérial succession», in English Historical Review, September 1997, p. 833-855.

2 On monasteries in Frankish society, F. Prinz, Frühes Mönchtum im Frankenreich. Kultur und Gesellschaft in Gallien, den Rheinlanden und Bayern am Beispiel der monastischen Entwicklung (4 bis 8 Jahrhundert), 2nd edition, München/Wien, 1988. On Carolingian monastic reform, and monasteries in Carolingian politics, see the following articles by J. Semmler, «Die Beschlüsse des Aachener Konzils im Jahr 816», in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 74, 1963, p. 15-82; «Karl der Grosse und das frankische Mönchtum», in W. Braunfels ed., Karl der Grosse. Lebenswerk und Nachleben, Düsseldorf, 1965, 4 vols, ii: 255-89; «Pippin II und das frankische Klöster», in Francia, 3, 1975, p. 88-146; «Reichsidee und kirchliche Gesetzgebung bei Ludwig der Frommen», in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 71, 1960, p. 37-65; «Le souverain occidental et les communautés religieuses du IXe au début du XIe siècle», in Byzantion, 1991, 61, p. 44-71; «lussit... princeps renovare... praecepta. Zur verfassungsgeschichtlichen Einordnung der Hochstifte und Abteien in die karolingische Reichskirche», in J.-F. Angerer ed., Consuetudines Monasticae. Festgabe K. Hallinger, Rom, 1982, p. 97-124; «Benedictus II; una regula — una consuetudo», in W. Lourdaux and D. Verhelst ed., Benedictine Culture 750-1050, Louvain, 1983, p. 10-27. Also F.J. Felten, Äbte und Laienabte im Frankenreich. Studien zum Verhaltnis von Staat und Kirche im friiheren Mittelalter, Stuttgart, 1980.

3 Above all the work of the late K. Schmid and his pupils: for example, K. Schmid and J. Wollasch ed., Memoria. Die geschichtliche Zeugniswert des liturgischen Gedenkens im Mittelalter, München, 1984.

4 The impetus came from Peter Brown’s work on late antique Holy men, which led to many studies utilising literary sources to shed light on the function of sanctity in medieval society. T. Head, Hagiography and the Cuit of the Saints. The diocese of Orléans, 800-1200, Cambridge, 1988, coins the phrase «logic of saintly patronage». Studies of the charter evidence are a more recent phenomenon: the models are B. Rosenwein, TO Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter. The social meaning of Cluny’s property, 909-1049, Ithaca & London, 1989, and C.J. Wickham, The Mountains and the City. The Tuscan Appennines in the early middle ages, Oxford, 1989. E. Friese, «Studien zur Einzugsbereich der Kloster von Fulda», in K. Schmid ed., Die Klostergemeinschaft von Fulda im friiheren Mittelalter, München, 1978, 3 vols, in 5, II. iii.1003-1269, is a methodologically pathbreaking study of the relations of one abbey with its «catchment area»; M. De Jong, In Samuel’.v Image. Child oblation in the early medieval west, Leiden, New York and Cologne, 1996 is a stimulating reconstruction of interaction between abbeys and the world, focusing on patterns of recruitment.

5 For the following model I draw in particular on the work of M. De Jong, above all «Carolingian monasticism: the power of prayer», in R. McKitterick ed., The New Cambridge Medieval History II, Cambridge, 1995 [hereafter cited as NCMH] p. 622-653. Note also the stimulating treatment of cerémonial by J.-L. Nelson, «Carolingian royal ritual», in D. Cannadine and S. Price, Rituals of Royalty. Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies, Cambridge, 1987, p. 137-180. There is rich comparative material in J. Heitzmann, «Ritual Polity and Economy: the Transactional Network of an Imperial Temple in Medieval Southern India», in Journal of the Economie and Social History of the Orient. 34, 1991. p. 25-54. I should add that I do not wish to suggest that Carolingian kings were always distant and wholly reliant on ritual and ideology, rather that this model is a useful way of isolating one important aspect of Carolingian kingship.

6 As Karl BOSL noted: Franken um 800, München, 1969, p. 30-42.

7 The will is subscribed by an Abbot Adalung, and his identity with our Adalung is assured by Bischoff s demonstration that the Adalung who was abbot of Lorsch from 804 was identical with the Adalung who was abbot of St-Vaast from 807: B. Bischoff, Lorsch im Speigel seiner Handschriften, München, 1974, p. 32-35.

8 B. Bischoff, op. cit., is a magnificent study of the scriptorium which illuminates cultural activity. M. Innés, art. cit., p. 849-850 for the hypothesis about the Gospel Book.

9 K. Glöckner, Codex Laureshamensis, Darmstadt, 1929-36, 3 vols., cited as CL plus chapter or charter number. Subsequent work on the Lorsch charters owes a huge debt to Glöckner’s study of Lorsch’s founders, «Lorsch und Lothringen, Robertiner und Capetinger», in Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins, 50, 1936, p. 301-354. The two most important studies are M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe am Mittelrhein, Veröffentlichungen der Max-Planck Instituts tur Geschichte [hereafter VMPIG], 31, Göttingen, 1970 and F. Staab, Untersuchungen zur Gesellschaft am Mittelrhein in der Karolingerzeit, Wiesbaden, 1975. Also useful is the abbey’s Festschrift, F. Knöpp ed., Die Reichsabtei Lorsch, Darmstadt, 1974-7, 2 vols. : in telling the story of Lorsch and its relations with king and aristocracy I am following in the footsteps of J. Semmler, «Die Geschichte der Abtei Lorsch von der Gründung bis zum Ende der Salierzeit, 764 bis 1125», in Die Reichsabtei Lorsch, i: 75-173. On royal lordship see also H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König. Dargestellt am Beispiel der Abtei Lorsch mit Ausblicken auf Hersfeld, Stablo und Fulda, VMPIG 28, Göttingen, 1968, p. 13-149.1 am inevitably greatly indebted to ail these previous works.

10 For Cancor see M. Borgolte, Die Grafen Alemanniens im merowingischer und karolingischer Zeit. Eine Prosopographie, Sigmaringen. 1986, p. 93-94. For the Rupertines as model «Imperial aristocrats» see K.-F. Werner, «Bedeutende Adelsfamilien im Reich Karls des Grossen», in Braunfels ed., Karl der Grosse, i. 83-142 at 118-20.

11 Links with the Liège area were established by K. Glockner. art. cit. For St. Lambert see M. Gockel, op. cit., p. 238-58.

12 CL1.

13 R. Le Jan, Famille et pouvoir dans le monde franc, VIIIe-Xe siècles, Paris, 1995; Id., «Structures familiales et structures politiques au IXe siècle: un groupe familial de l’aristocratie franque», in Revue Historique, 265, 1981 p. 289-333; S. Airlie, «The aristocracy», in NCMH, p. 431-450.

14 M. Weidemann, «Urkunden und Viten der Heiligen Bilihildis aus Mainz», in Francia 21/1, 1994, p. 17-84 esp. p. 37-43, and E. Ewig, «Zur Bilihildisurkunde für das Mainzer Kloster Altmünster», in K.-U. Jàschke and R. Wenskus ed., Festschrift üur Helmut Beumann, Sigmaringen, 1977, p. 137-148. For property interests in the east, see W. Metz, «Babenberger und Rupertiner in Ostfranken», in Jahrbuch für frankische Landesforschung, 18, 1958, p. 295-304; Id., «Austrasische Adelsherrschaft des 8 Jahrhunderts. Mittelrheinische Grundherren in Ostfranken, Thüringen und Hessen», in Historisches Jahrbuch, 87, 1967, p. 257-304; A. Friese, Studien zur Herrschaftsgeschichte der frankischen Adels. Der mainlandische-thuringische Raum von 7. bus II. Jahrhunderts, Stuttgart, 1979, p. 95-102, but note the rEservations expressed by M. Gockel, «Zur Verwandtschaft der Äbtissin Emhilt von Milz», in H. Beumann ed., Festschrift für Walter Schlesinger, Marburg, 1974, 2 vols., ii: 1-70.

15 R. Le Jan, Famille et Pouvoir, p. 54, with other instances of «Thuringian» names in Willeswind’s family.

16 St. Rupert ancestor of the Rupertines: E. Zöllner, «Woher stammte der heilige Rupert?», in Mitteilungen des Instituts für Ôsterreichische Geschichtsforschung [hereafter MIÖG], 57, 1949, p. 1-22. On St. Rupert’s career see H. Wolfram, «Die heilige Rupert und die antikarolingische Adelsopposition», in MIÔG, 80, 1972, p. 4-34; Id «Vier Fragen zur Geschichte des heiligen Rupert», in Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens und seiner Zweige, 93, 1982, p. 2-25. For the vexed question of theRupert tradition at Worms see H. Beumann, «Zur Textgeschichte der Vita Ruperti», in Festschrift für Hermann Heimpel, VMPIG 36, 3 vols., Göttingen, 1972, iii: 166-96 esp. 192-3 and E. Gierlich, Die Grabstatten der Rheinische Bischöfe vor 1200, Mainz, 1990, p. 204-208; to the best of my knowledge the evidence of personal names has previously been overlooked.

17 See J. Semmler, «Chrodegang, Bischof von Metz, 747-766», in Die Reichsabtei Lorsch, i: 229-45 and the conference Saint Chrodegang, Metz, 1967. On Chrodegang’s kin, see M. Werner, Die Lütticher Raum in frühkarolingischen Zeit. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte eine karolingische Stammeslandschaft, VMPIG 62, Göttingen, 1980, p. 184-212.

18 Chrodegang’s parents were Sigiramn and Landrada; he had close links with the abbey of St-Trond and hailed from the Hesbaye, and began his career in the service of Charles Martel. A Rupert son of Lambert was an important patron of St-Trond in the first half of the eighth century, a key follower of Charles Martel in the Hesbaye and is clearly linked to Chrodegang: on him see M. Werner, Die Lütticher Raum, p. 184-197. K. Glöckner, art. cit., identified this Rupert with the father of Cancor, also named Rupert. However M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 298-299, n.739, argues that the «Hesbaye» Rupert, who was (according to later tradition) buried at St-Trond, cannot have been Cancor’s father, who was probably buried at Lorsch (J. Semmler, «Lorsch», op. cit., p. 75). The (twelfth-century) cartulary-chronicle refers to Chrodegang and Cancor as consanguinei: M. Werner, Die Lütticher Raum, p. 202-212, argues that this is a misunderstanding. Even if correct, Werner’s argumemts do not rule out kinship between Cancor and Chrodegang, and the evidence of family names and property is suggestive of kinship, although not necessarily close relationship.

19 See G.-H. Pertz ed., Annales Laureshamenses, MGH SS 1, p. 22-39, s a. 764, 761, 765 respectively. For the significance of the translation of Roman martyrs, see F. Prinz, «Stadtrömisch-Italianische Martyrreliquien und frankischer Reichsadel im MaasMoselraum», in Historisches Jahrbuch 87, 1967, p. 1-25.

20 CL c.3. J. Semmler. «Lorsch», p. 143, n.79, for the priest and schoolmaster Adalheri as author of an account of the Miracula S. Nazarii.

21 W. Jacobsen, «Was ist die karolingische "Renaissance" in der Baukunst?», in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 3, 1988, p. 313-347 at p. 321-322. Note also J.-M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, Oxford. 1984, p. 383.

22 M. Borgolte, Die Grafen Alemanniens, p. 229-36, with references.

23 J. Fleckenstein, «Fulrad von St-Denis und der fränkische Ausgriff in den süddeutschen Raum», in G. Tellenbach ed., Studien und Vorarbeiten zur Geschichte der grossfränkischen und frühdeutschen Adels, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1958, p. 9-39. For an edition and discussion of Fulrad’s will, the key document, see M. Tangl, «Das Testament Fulrads von Saint-Denis», Id., Das Mittelalter in Quellenkunde und Diplomatik, Graz, 1966, 2 vols., i: 540-581.

24 On the spread of Lorsch’s estates see Die Reichsabtei Lorsch and F. Hülsen, Die Besitzungen des Klosters Lorsch in der Karolingerzeit. Ein Beitrag zur Topographie Deutschlands im Mittelalter, Berlin, 1913. Gorze received donations from the aristocracy of the Metz-Verdun area rather than Lorsch’s catchment area: see A. D’Herbomez ed., Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Gorze, Paris, 1898.

25 «My peculiar patron»: CL281. I discuss giving to the church at greater length in my forthcoming monograph, Social Processes and the Early Medieval State, chapter 1.

26 On Hornbach see A. Neubauer, Regesta des ehemaligen Benediktinerklosters Hornbach, Speyer, 1904 and A. Doll, «Das Pirminskloster Hornbach. Gründung und Verfassungsentwicklung bis Anfang des 12 Jahrhunderts», in Archiv fur mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte 5, 1953, p. 108-142.

27 Information about the Rupertine centre at Lorsch can be gleaned from CL 10, 167/3788.168/3789, 3780.3783. See also H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König, p. 15-26.

28 CL167/3788 for the gift for the claustrum in 767, followed by CL168/3789 (the portion of Turincbert’s son, Rupert), and CL3780 for the acquisition in 770 of the remainder of Turincbert’s interests, in return for land elsewhere and silver.

29 CL3 = E. Mühlbacher, MGH Diplomata Karolinorum I, Berlin, 1906, Charlemagne charter 65 (hereafter MGH D Charlemagne plus charter number).

30 CL4 (MGH D Charlemagne 72). For the legal implications see J. Semmler, «Traditio und Königsschutz», in Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stifung für Rechtsgeschichte Kanonische Abteilung 76, 1959, p. 1-33 esp. p. 5-6.

31 On Charlemagne and Carloman see most recently J. Jarnut, «Eine Bruderkampf und seine Folgen. Die Krise des Frankenreiches (768-771)», G. Jenal ed., Herrschaft, Kirche, Kultur. Festschrift F. Prinz, Sigmaringen, 1992, p. 165-177. For Cancor’s equidistance, CL 1290 (June 770), dated by both Carloman’s and Charlemagne’s regnal years.

32 CL248 (March 17, 772), CL3170/3686dd.

33 CL c.9.

34 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 79-80. See also A. Angendendt, «Pirmin und Bonifatius. Ihr Verhältnis zu Mönchtum, Bischofsamt und Adel», in A. Borst ed., Mönchtum, Episkopat und Adel zur Gründungszeit des Klosters Reichenau, Sigmaringen, 1974, p. 251-303 esp. p. 267-269 on Chrodegang’s monasteries. Shortly after Chrodegang's death Lorsch had been involved in property exchanges with the monastery of the bishops of Metz at Buxbrunn, suggesting that the patrimonies of Chrodegang’s monasteries were entangled and links continued after his death: CL 1000. Compare the problems in defining the relationships between Boniface’s foundations after his death: indeed Charlemagne’s acquisition of Lorsch in 772 is neatly paralleled by events at Hersfeld in 775, as noted by F. Staab, Gesellschaft, p. 414, n.767.

35 Lorsch tradition (e.g. in the cartulary-chronicle and the necrology) remembered Lull as the man who presided over the dedication of the new church in 774, but gives no hint at any wider involvement. The plentiful charter evidence from Lorsch’s benefactors and for Lull’s contacts at Mainz (the latter in E. E. Stengel ed., Urkundenbuch der Kloster Fulda, Marburg, 1913-58, 2 vols., show no close ties between Lull and Lorsch. Lull’s name was a later addition to the original Lorsch entry to the Reichenau Confraternity Book: J. Autenrieth, D. Geuenich, K. Schmid, Das Verbrüderungsbuch der Abtei Reichenau, MGH Libri Memoriales et Necrologia 1, f. 54.

36 Cf. J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 78-80, on Charlemagne’s policy of acquiring monastic foundations east of the Rhine and in Aquitaine.

37 M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 238-58.

38 K. Glöckner, art. cit., established the link.

39 For the role of the monks themselves in defining the social networks around the monastery see M. De Jong, In Samuel’s Image and E. Friese, «Einzugsbereich»; the latter uses the rich necrological and diplomatic evidence from Fulda. Although we have charters a plenty from Lorsch, there no real necrological evidence for the identity of the monks, save Lorsch’s page in the Reichenau confraternity book (reference n. 36 above). The names of Lorsch monks here point to continuity with the social groups which had supported the group initially, a continuity also witnessed by what we know about the social background of Lorsch’s abbots before the 880s.

40 K. Glöckner, art. cit., p. 13-14. Helmrich’s father was a patron of Echternach: C. Wampach, Geschichte der Grundherrschaft Echternach im Frühmittelalter, I, Luxembourg, 1930, n.47. For Helmrich’s gifts of inherited land to Lorsch see CL 1340, 3032.

41 E.E. Stengel ed., Urkundenbuch... Fulda, 76, from 776.

42 Note the interest in Gorze and Chrodegang in the early sections of Annales Laureshamenses. The placitum is CL228.

43 Noted by J. Hannig, «Zentralle Kontrolle und regionale Machtbalance. Beobachtungen zum System der karolingischen Königsboten am Beispiel des Mittelrheingebietes», in Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 66, 1984, p. 1-46 at p. 28-9 and D. Neundörfer, Studien zur ältesten Geschichte des Kloster Lorsch, Berlin, 1920, p. 4. Although the scale of patronage falls off, there is no complete rupture: after 772 Heimerich’s sisters make donations to Lorsch (CL15, 182, 2918/3747b, 2919/37476) as does Heimerich (CL 178, 1539).

44 For Ermbert, Rachel and Heimerich see CL 15.

45 H. Breblau ed., Annales Iuvanenses, MGH SS 30.2, p. 727-744 at p. 734. See H. Wolfram, Die Geburt Mitteleuropas. Geschichte Österreiches vor seiner Entstehung, Wien, 1987, p. 134 and W. Jacobsen, art. cit., p. 322: note that Fulrad’s St-Denis was likewise rebuilt at a similar date (768-75) underlining the possibility of seeing architectural competition.

46 See W. Schlesinger, Die Entstehung des Landesherrschaft, Darmstadt, 1964, 2nd ed., p, 50-51 and K. Brunner, Oppositionelle Gruppen im Karolingerreich, Wien, 1979, p. 48-53.

47 W. Lendi, Untersuchungen zur frühalemannischen Annalistik. Die Murbacher Annalen, Freiburg. 1971; also edited by G.H. Pertz in MGH SS! p. 23-45. See B. Bischoff, Lorsch, p. 49-50 on the manuscript. The value of the Annales Nazariani as an alternative to the pro-Carolingian court-based narratives is stressed by K. Brunner, «Auf den Spuren verlorener Traditionen», in Peritia 2, 1983, p. 1-22 and M. Becher, Eid und Herrschaft. Untersuchungen zum Herrscherethos Karls des Grossen, Sigmaringen, 1993. In general on annalistic writing see H. Hoffmann, Untersuchungen zur karolingischen Annalistik, Bonn, 1958; M. Innes and R. McKitterick, «The writing of history», in R. McKitterick ed., Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation, Cambridge, 1994, p. 195-220; and R. Mckitterick «Constructing the past in the early middle ages. The case of the Royal Frankish Annals», in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 7, 1997.

48 «Eastern Franks»: F. Kurze ed., Annales Regni Francorum, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1895, s.a. 785 (revised version).

49 Fastrada: see O. Holder-Egger ed., Einhard: Vita Karoli, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1911, c.20, p. 25-6.

50 Rupertines and Fulda: E.E. Stengel ed., Urkundenbuch... Fulda 76 (Heimerich’s sister Rachel in 776), 145b (Rupert, father of Cancor in 780x1). Cancor is a rare name and this Cancor cannot be the founder of Lorsch; how his father was related to the founders of Lorsch must remain a moot point, although F. Staab, Gesellschaft, p. 413, argues that naming-patterns would make him Turincberfs son. For this younger Cancor s interests around Fulda see E.F.J. Dronke, Codex diplomaticus Fuldensis, Kassel, 1850 n. 275, and ID. ed., Traditiones et antiquitates Fuldenses, Fulda, 1844, c.42, nos. 209, 284. Baugolt and his contacts and kin: see M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 193-4, for his kinship to count Warin, an important ally of Cancor’s and benefactor of Lorsch (accepting the identity of the noble Baugolf active in the 760s and 770s with the later abbot of Fulda); also U. Hussong, «Studien zur Geschichte der Reichsabtei Fulda bis zur Jahrtausend-wende, II», in Archiv für Diplomatik 32, 1986, p. 129-303 at p. 141-6. In general see A. Friese, Herrschaftsgeschichte, p. 51-84, noting the phenomenon of gifts to Lorsch and 1 ulda by eastern nobles disaffected with the Carolingians at p. 55.

51 Heimerich’s last appearance is in CL 1539 (784x6); by 792 he is dead (CL 15).

52 See K. Brunner, «Auf den Spuren», p. 16-20.

53 On Ricbod see F. Knöpp, «Richbod, (Erz-) Bischof von Trier, 791 (?)-804», Die Reichsabtei Lorsch i: 247-52, and H. Fichtenau, «Karl der Grosse und das Kaisertum», in MIÖG 61, 1953, p. 275-334 at p. 287-309, 321-324.

54 The basis for my list of historical works and discussion of the scriptorium is, of course, B. Bischoff, Lorsch. See also R. Gerberding, «Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale latin 7906: an unnoticed very early manuscript of the Liber Historiae Francorum», in Traditio 43, 1987, p. 381-386.

55 Discussion: H. Fichtenau, «Karl der Grofie und das Kaisertum», esp. p. 290-300. K. Hauck, «Paderborn, das Zentrum von Karls Sachsen-Mission 777», in K. Schmid and J. Fleckenstein ed., Adel und Kirche. Festschrift G. Tellenbach, Freiburg, 1968, p. 92-140 esp. p. 92-102 explores possible links between the Annales Mosellani, Ricbod’s source, and the court. For the manuscript, Wien Ôsterreichische Nationalbibliothek 515, see B. Bischoff, Lorsch, p. 53 and p. 79 n.106.

56 Indeed J. Hannig, «Pauperiores vassi de infra palatio? Zur Entstehung der karolingischen Königsbotenorganisation», in MIÖG 91, 1983, p. 309-74, shows that Ricbod’s account of the missi dominici is a piece of polemic.

57 H. Schnoor, Von Carolsfeld ed., «Chronicon Laurissense Breve», in Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 36, 1911, p. 13-39. Discussion: W. Wattenbach, W. Levison and H. Lôwe, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Vorzeit und Karolinger II, Weimar, 1953, p. 264-5.

58 Nomen and potestas: A. Borst, «Kaisertum und Nomentheorie im Jahre 800», in Festschrift P. E. Schramm, Wiesbaden, 1964, i.36-51; E. Peters, The Shadow King. Rex Inutilis in Medieval Law and Literature, 751-1327, New Haven, 1970, esp. p. 48-54. Ercanbert, Breviarium Regum Francorum, MGH SS 2 p. 327-329 (written in 826) echoes the very same passages. Annales Mettenses Priores: edition B. Von Simson, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1905; translation with excellent introduction in P. Fouracre and R. Gerberding, Late Merovingian France, Manchester, 1996.

59 I consider the processes of cultural diffusion between court, monastery and locality in detail in M. Innés, «Memory, orality and literacy: cultural diffusion and political identity in an early medieval society», in Past & Present 158, 1998, p. 3-36. See also G. Althoff, «Gandersheim und Quedlinburg. Ottonische Frauenklöster als Herrschafts- und Überlieferungszentren», in Frühmittelalterliche Studien 25, 1991, p. 123-44, for a nuanced reading of the interaction between court traditions and their redactors.

60 K. Hallinger, Corpus Consuetudinum Monasticarum I, Siegburg, 1963, p. 493-99.

61 In fact the only known royal visits before the second half of the ninth century are in 774, when Charlemagne cornes to the new church’s blessing, and in 834, when Louis the German camps near Lorsch in the course of the civil war. But we can think of passing visits such as that which was the occasion of Theodulf’s poem, MGH Poetae Latini aevi Karolini I, p. 549-50, particularly when the court was based nearby at Worms.

62 Royal gifts: MGH D Charlemagne 72, 73. For comments on Charlemagne’s sparing gifts of land to the church see C. Wickham, «Monastic lands and monastic patrons», in R. Hodges ed., San Vincenzo al Volturno II, London, 1995. p. 138-152 at p. 142, and F.J. Felten, Äbte und Laienäbte, p. 174-256, on Charlemagne’s gifts and privileges to monasteries.

63 On Werner see K. Glöckner, art. cit., p. 308, 325, M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 304 and F. Staab, Gesellschaft, p. 410-11.

64 On Samuel see H. Gensicke, «Samuel, Bischof von Worms, 838-856», Die Reichsabtei Lorsch i: 253-6. For Werner’s gift of 846 see CL27, 28.

65 For Frankfurt and Regensburg as «principal seats» see F. Kurze ed., Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, MGH SRG, Hannover, 1890, s.a. 876, p. 111. For Frankfurt, M. Schalles-Fischer, Pfalz und Fiskus Frankfurt, VMPIG 20, Gottingen, 1969. Changing itineraries and residences generally: C.-R. Brühl, Fodrum, Gistum, Servitium Regis, Köln/Graz, 1968, p. 33-39.

66 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 32-5. P. Kehr ed., MGH Die Urkunden der deutschen Karolinger 1, Berlin, 1932-4, Louis the German charters 47, 63, 89, 117, 126, 156.

67 I follow J. Fried, König Ludwig der Jüngere in seiner Zeit, Lorsch, 1984, p. 13 in seeing burial at Lorsch as an initiative of Louis the Younger’s rather than as Louis the German’s original plan (as H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 34-35 argues).

68 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 127-148, on the buildings. Until recently the Torhalle was seen as relating to Lorsch’s early history, and Charlemagne’s visit in 774; however W. Jacobsen, «Die Lorscher Torhalle. Zum Probleme ihrer Deutung und Datierung», in Jahrbuch des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte 1, 1985, p. 9-77 assembles art historical reasons for a later date, which makes more sense in light of the historical evidence, and has recently received additional support from archaeological finds (I owe this last piece of information to Matthias Kloft).

69 See B. Bischoff, Lorsch, p. 45 for a description of the rotulus, whose significance was pointed out to me by Matthias Kloft.

70 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 88-89, compares Lorsch to other Carolingian burial sites. On Charles the Bald and St-Denis see G.P. A. Brown, Politics and patronage at the abbey of St-Denis (814-898): the rise of a royal patron saint, unpublished D. Phil thesis, Oxford, 1989. K.-H. Krüger, Königsgrabkirchen der Franken, Angelsachsen and Langobarden bis zur Mitte des 8. Jhts. München, 1971, discusses pre-Carolingian royal burials.

71 See MGH D Louis the Younger (details as n.66 above) 2; P. Kehr, MGH Die Urkunden der deutschen Karolinger II, Berlin, 1936-37, Charles the Fat charter 103, P. Kehr, MGH Die Urkunden der deutschen Karolinger III, Berlin, 1940, Arnulf charters 70 and 150; T. Sickel, MGH Diplomata regum et imperatorum Germaniae I, Hannover, 1879-84, Conrad charter 25.

72 See H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und Kônig, p. 103-5. On Engilhelm and Moda see F. Staab, Gesellschaft, p. 410-11 and M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 269-70, n. 738. Although the tradition surrounding their burial in the ecclesia varia is problematical it is nonetheless significant.

73 J. Semmler, «Lorsch», p. 128, and H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König, p. 91-109.

74 Gifts in this pattern: from Louis the German and Louis the Younger via Werner (CL26 (836), 27-8 (846), 39 (877)); Lothar II via Ansfrid (CL 23 (860), 33-5 (866)); Louis the Younger and Charles the Fat via Humbold (CL 43 (881), 45 (884)); then a series of gifts to fideles by Arnulf, all of which end up in Lorsch’s hands: CL 48, 49, 54. In many of these cases it seems to be understood that the initial gift is made on the understanding that it will eventually be passed on to Lorsch; the whole procedure is similar to the contemporary Anglo-Saxon practice of kings «booking» land to allow gifts to the church. On royal gifts in full property see D. Von Gladib, «Die Schenkungen der deutschen Könige zu privaten Eigen (800-1137)», in Deutsches Archiv für die Erforschung des Mittelalters 1, 1937, p. 80-136; K.J. Leyser, «The Crisis of Medieval Germany», in Proceedings of the British Academy 69, 1983, p. 409-443 at p. 423-441.

75 Data on Sigolf is assembled by H.-P. Wehlt, Reichsabtei und König, p. 37-38.

76 Brumath: CL 50. Gernsheim: CL 53 and see M. Gockel, Karolingische Königshöfe, p. 106-8. Arnulf in particular dismembered a substantial proportion of the middle Rhine’s fiscal complexes in gifts to various churches, but this is a reflection of changing geopolitics not royal impoverishment.

77 This paragraph is based on J. Semmler, «Lorsch», esp. p. 89-93, 114-16, 117-18 with full references. The sources are the royal charters and monastic tradition recorded in CL. See also F. Knöpp, «Adalbero, Bischof von Augsburg» and «Hatto, Abt von Reichenau, Ellwangen und Weissnburg, Erzbischof von Mainz», in Die Reichsabtei Lorsch i: 257-60, 261-68.

78 J.-F. Haldon, The State and the Tributary Mode of Production, London, 1993, p. 203-18 esp. p. 215 argues that the Carolingians failed to overcome this problem.

79 For comments on the court’s importance see J.-L. Nelson, «Charles le Chauve et les utilisations du savoir», in D. Iogna-prat, C. Jeudy and G. Lobrichon ed„ L'école carolingienne d'Auxerre de Murethach à Remi, Paris, 1991, p. 37-54 and S. Airlie, «Bonds of power and bonds of association in the court circle of Louis the Pious», in P. Godman and R. Collins ed., Charlemagne's Heir, Oxford, 1990, p. 191-204. I hope to discuss this issue at length elsewhere.

Notes de fin

* I would like to thank the organisers of the Lille colloquium for their hospitality; my audience for their comments; and Laurent Terrade and the Master and Fellows of Peterhouse, Cambridge for their assistance. Very special thanks are due to Mayke De Jong. In making sense of the Lorsch material I owe a huge debt to the encouragement and advice of Rosamond McKitterick, Janet Nelson and Chris Wickham.

Auteur

Université de Cambridge

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