Friday, June 19, 2009

The Legend of Charlemagne: 9th-11th c.

Sorry it's been quiet from me lately. Trying to finish the book this Summer. Anyway, if you're interested, I'd thought I'd share. Please check out my abstract (slightly, but not totally out-of-date) and these google maps I've put together. (Personally, I've found google maps incredibly helpful in letting me get a visual sense of the geography I'm talking about.) All the data in these maps relates to the period 814 - ca. 1100.

Red = 9th/ 10th c.
Green = 11th c.
Yellow (in top map) = 1st Crusade Narrative

All thoughts/ comments/ suggestions most welcome.


tenthmedieval said...

Lumme, Matt, hurry up, I want to read this an incorporate it into teaching. It'll be really useful. This is reception that made a difference.

The only immediate question I have is, do you see any significance other than just spreading plausibility in the false diplomas map? It seems to me that it's starting in places where an association with Charlemagne wasn't too implausible and then moving out. I wonder how fakes of Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald or Louis the German would compare? (I realise this is much harder to do, though, at least for Louis the Pious which is perhaps the only useful comparison in terms of range. Come on Johanek!)

Matthew Gabriele said...

Thanks, Jon. I'm working on it...

1) I dunno if I agree with the "spreading plausibility" (at least regionally) because, although central Italy's new in the 11th c., the rest of the regions already have something going on in the 9th/10th c. -- Normandy, Aquitaine, Lombardy, Bavaria, etc. Then again, more places in those areas "rediscover" their Carolingian heritages in the 11th c. -- something Amy Remensnyder's talked about for Aquitaine.

2) interesting question about the other Carolingians. Yeah, I wish L the P's diplomas would come out sometime. That'd certainly help. The thing I HAVE discovered though is that Charlemagne's NOT the most important Carolingian in many of these places through the early 11th c., even if he's still there. As you might expect, it's Charles the Bald in the West and Louis the German in the East. Those guys are the Carolingians most people seem to care about...

Clemens Radl said...

By the way, Jonathan, it's no longer Johanek, but Theo Kölzer, Bonn, who is working on the diplomata of L the P. According to our "Jahresbericht" (PDF) page VIII, Kölzer had about one quarter of the diplomata ready for print as of spring 2008, so the edition will probably be much further advanced by now.

Also, regarding falsifications etc. it might be useful to use the "Ergänzungen zu den MGH Diplomata" which is a database prepared by Kölzer which so far includes the Diplomata of the Ottonian and early Karolingian kings (DD Karol. 1).

tenthmedieval said...

I think that in Aquitaine (and points south), as both Remensnyder and I have pointed out in our areas, the idea of the Carolingians becomes more attractive the less likely they are to actually demand anything of you. As you know this is a bit more complicated in my area than in Aquitaine, where the strategy often seems to be to ignore them while they exist and then lament them once they're gone. The same may be true in Italy to an extent; in both areas there's a claim to greater antiquity than the current race of kings going on. So maybe it's just that.

The Lay Archives project research I did seems to echo your conclusion about Charlemagne not being the big guy, at least in Germany. Although stuff that late was out of my remit, I had to pass through a lot of royal diplomas from Arnulf, especially, to get to whatever lay stuff might be there, and Louis the German also but less so. Arnulf was maybe marketing his Carolingian ancestry quite strongly I think and issued a lot of precepts, but they don't seem to value the Ottonians in the same way.

Clemens, thankyou for the update: I hope for good news there soon, then!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how history would have worked out if the folks in Charlemagnes time had had cruise missiles which would have demolished castles in an instant. Which are also launched from thousands of miles away.

Petrol bombs which kill all living creatures within a kilometr or more. MOAB bombs which are even more devastating etc etc.

And nuclear bombs which today can obliterate 20 million people (say in Mexico City) in an instant.