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Chapter 4

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and Her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

2nd edition
Oxford University Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 6

Book VIII (continued)

Vol. VII
Chapter V

The Great Renunciation

Sources: —

Our chief source for the remaining portion of this volume will be the Frankish Annals, especially the two chronicles known as Annales Laurissenses and Annales Einhardi (published in Pertz's 'Monumenta,' vol. I).º

With the assumption of the royal title by a member of the Arnulfing line in 752 a new spirit seems to have come over the Frankish chroniclers. Under the depressing sway of the Merovingian fainéants, with the vessel of the state going to pieces before their eyes, the few men in the kingdom who could write seem to have been careless about preserving for a posterity which might never be born the records of a present which had in it no germs of hope for the future. This pessimist outlook on the world may have been somewhat changed by the victorious career of Charles Martel, but that stout warrior was too busy fighting the heathen and the infidel to think of providing himself with a chronicler of his deeds, and when the Muse of history found her favourite home in the convent and the chapter-house, Charles's policy of rewarding his most valiant generals with abbacies and prelacies was not likely to favour her inspirations.

That his grandson the greatest Charles loved the companionship of men of letters, and desired to have his deeds recorded by them, is abundantly evident. That Pippin, the intermediate link, was also a patron of learned men is probable, but is not quite so clearly proved. What is certain is, that from his and  p87 his brother's accession to the Mayoralty we discover an entirely new phase of Frankish history. Instead of the meagre and unsatisfactory notices of the Continuer of 'Fredegarius' we have now tolerably full accounts of the events of each year, recorded in language which is at first rough and barbarous, but which after the lapse of a generation becomes almost grammatical.

The Annales Laurissenses1 were so named by Pertz because the oldest MS. of them was found in the monastery of Lorsch, about twelve miles from Heidelberg, and it was suggested that they had been written by an inmate of that convent, a suggestion which, as we shall see, has not met with universal acceptance. They embrace the period from 741 to 829, and give for the most part a clear and intelligible annalistic sketch of the course of events, showing however a marked partiality for the great Frankish kings, and sometimes almost dishonestly concealing their military reverses. They are generally very particular in marking the places where Pippin and Charles kept Christmas and Easter. A favourite phrase at the end of each year is, 'Et immutavit se series annorum in annum DCCXLII,' or what the new year might be.

I. From internal evidence it seems clear that part of the first section of these annals, from 741 to 788, was not composed year by year contemporaneously with the events described. It was probably all compiled at the end of that time from trustworthy sources accessible to the writer, especially the two chronicles known as Annales S. Amandi and Annales Petaviani, which in their turn may have been built upon an earlier MS. written in the convent of St. Martin at Cologne.

From 788 to 797 the annals are probably more strictly contemporaneous. The compiler of 788, whoever he may have been, seems to continue his work from year to year with a constant effort after greater purity of style, and with very full information, derived from men high in authority, as to the course of events.

The question arises, Who was probably the author of these annals? Pertz's theory that they were the composition of a mere monk in the monastery of Lorsch was energetically combated, as early as 1854, by the great historian von Ranke, who argued that the knowledge of state affairs and the general grasp of  p88 historical fact contained in these annals were greater than could be reasonably looked for within the walls of any convent. He looked upon them therefore as in some sort the official chronicle of the Frankish kingdom, and proposed to call them Reichs-Annalen. This view was opposed by Sybel, but defended by Simson, Giesebrecht, Abel, Harnack and others; and, on the whole, the Reichs-Annalen theory must be considered to have triumphed. If however, for the earlier years, the Annales Laurissenses rest, as Giesebrecht thinks, on the Annales S. Amandi and Petaviani, we seem so far brought back to the convent theory of the origin of the Laurissenses, as it is apparently admitted that these two chronicles are of monastic origin.

W. Giesebrecht (in an article on 'die Fränkischen Königs-Annalen und ihr Ursprung') calls attention to the specially Bavarian character of the notices in the Annales Laurissenses, to the date of their first compilation, 788, the year of the deposition of Duke Tassilo, and to their persistent and bitter hostility to Tassilo's wife Liutperga; and he argues that this part of the work was probably composed by Arno, bishop of Salzburg. On the other hand, S. Abel (Jahrbücher des Fränkischen Reichs, I.657‑664) argues from the character of the Latinity of this first section that it must have been written by a Roman, and probably by an official of the papal curia. Both these opposing theories seem to me to belong to the region of pure conjecture.

II. The second part of the Annals, extending from (about) 797 to 813, which is written in much better Latin than the first, shows considerable affinity in style and thought with Einhard's Vita Caroli,a and on the whole the weight of opinion seems to incline to the side of attributing this portion of the work to his authorship.

III. The third part, 813 to 829, lies beyond our present horizon. It may be stated, however, that this is the only part of the work which has any documentary title (and that a slender one) to be associated with the name of Einhard. The compiler of the Translatio S. Sebastiani (a writer of the ninth century) calls Einhard the author of a book of Annals entitled 'Gesta Caesarum Caroli Magni et filii ejus Hludowici,' and quotes from it a passage which is found in these Annals under the year 826. There are however strong reasons (especially in connection with  p89 the annalist's manner of speaking about miracles) which militate against this theory. These reasons are well stated by W. Giesebrecht (Münchner Historisches Jahrbuch (1865), p213).

Thus it will be seen that considerable doubt hangs over the question of the authorship of these Annals. The official or semi-official character of at any rate the later portions of the work may now be considered as fairly well established: and all the almost endless debates about the exact personality of their authors should not obscure the fact that we have here a most valuable, practically contemporary and generally trustworthy authority for the reigns of Pippin and Charles the Great.

All that has been said about Annales Laurissenses, and something more, may be said about the so‑called Annales Einhardi: for these are evidently the Laurissenses themselves, worked over by some writer who has a better knowledge of grammar and a rather higher conception of the duties of a historian. Thus under the year 775 he tells us of a defeat of the Franks by the Saxons, and under 778 he describes the disaster of Roncesvalles, both of which are omitted by the authors of the Laurissenses. Moreover, under 741 he adds some interesting details as to the rebellion of Grifo, and under 782, 791, and 793 he gives us information concerning a certain Count Theodoric, a relation of Charles, with whom this author seems to have been brought specially in contact. All this points to some man of high position and character in Charles's court as the probable author, and it is not surprising that the name of Einhard should have occurred to scholars and been adopted by the editor of the Monumenta. There are however considerable difficulties in this theory, chiefly arising out of the relation of these Annals to the acknowledged work of Einhard, the Vita Caroli,2 and on the whole it is to be regretted that a 'question-begging' title such as Einhardi Annales should have been given to this performance. Better to label a manuscript by a number or the name of its discoverer than to give it a title resting on unproved assumptions, which may mislead future enquirers.3

The two chronicles just mentioned are decidedly our most important authorities for the period before us, but some of the  p90 others must be briefly noticed, as their names may be occasionally quoted in the following pages.4

Annales Laurissenses Minores are undoubtedly connected with the monastery of Lorsch, as they speak (under the dates 767 and 776) of 'monasterio nostro Laureshami,' but they are not of much original value. From 680 to 752 they are simply an abstract of 'Fredegarius' and his continuer. From 752 to 788 they are generally in correspondence with the Laurissenses Majores. From 789 to 806 they are believed to be compiled from Laureshamenses (see below) and Laurissenses Majores. From 806 to 817, where they end, they are thought to be (at any rate in the Fulda Codex) independent and with some local colour.

A much more important chronicle, though meagre and devoid of all literary form, is the Annales Mosellani.5 These annals, which extend from 703 to 797, are undoubtedly of early origin. Lappenberg, who discovered them in St. Petersburg, gave them their name on account of their supposed relation to certain convents on the upper Moselle of which they make frequent mention. W. Giesebrecht assigns them to the monastery of St. Martin at Cologne, where there was a community of Scoto-Irish monks, established by Pippin 'of Heristal.' Their notices of the leading events, campaigns, placita, deaths, are exceedingly brief, but apparently trustworthy.

Upon them, chiefly, are founded the Annales S. Amandi. The monastery of St. Amandus was situated at Elnon in Hainault, in the heart of the Arnulfing territory; and, as might be expected, this chronicle is devoted to the interests of the great Austrasian Mayors. It begins in 687 with Pippin 'of Heristal's' victory at Textri, but the regular notices do not begin till 708, and even then are often very short, and perhaps not always strictly contemporary. They end with the year 810.

Annales Petaviani (so named from a former possessor of the MS.) reach from 708 to 799. From 708 to 771 they do little more than combine Ann. S. Amandi and Mosellani. From 771 to 799 they give a full, contemporary and apparently  p91 independent history of events. They were probably begun in a Swabian convent and continued at Gorze (near Metz).

Annales Laureshamenses (named, like the Laurissenses, with doubtful propriety, from the monastery of Lorsch) are in fact a continuation, or rather two continuations, of Ann. Mosellani, reaching from 797 to 803 and 806 respectively. The former only is of any independent value.6

Closely connected herewith is the Chronicon Moissiacense, which seems to have had its origin in Aquitaine, and is therefore of some value for the affairs of southern Gaul. It rests mainly on the Ann. Laureshamenses, but carries on the history to the year 818.

Annales Maximiani (or the Wolfenbüttel Codex), (741‑805), Alamannici (741‑799), Nazariani (741‑790), are all also founded on Mosellani, and are closely related to one another. Their sometimes corresponding, sometimes varying histories of events between 771 and 799 are the points most deserving of study in these codices. Guelferbytani seem to be connected with the monastery of Murbach in the district of the Vosges, as they record with care the succession of its abbots.

The filiation of these various sets of annals is approximately represented in the following diagram: but of course the derived chronicles generally contain a good deal of matter in the shape of continuations or otherwise which is not to be found in the parent manuscript.

 p92  Though in no sense a contemporary (since he died a century after Charlemagne), the work of the historian Regino ought to be noticed here. He was chosen abbot of Prüm in 892, and ruled that celebrated monastery till 899, when the intrigues of his enemies obliged him to abandon his position and retire to Trier, where he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 915. Ratbod, archbishop of Trier, became his intimate friend, and encouraged him to occupy the enforced leisure of his exile in writing history. This he did on the large scale which became common in the Middle Ages, beginning with the creation of the world and coming down to the year 906. It is of course chiefly for the latter half of the ninth century that his work has any historical value. In our period he draws his materials principally from the Frankish annalists, especially the Annales Laurissenses, whom we prefer to consult at first hand, but occasionally, as in the story of Carloman's life at Monte Cassino, he preserves to us some popular tradition, perhaps of no great historical value, which nevertheless seems to illustrate the thoughts and feelings of the age.

Guides: —

Heinrich Hahn, in his 'Jahrbücher des Fränkischen Reichs, 741‑752' (Berlin, 1863), continues the valuable series of which Bonnell and Breysig have written the earlier volumes.

The five years from 740 to 744 may be said to mark the close of a generation, for during that short period the thrones of Constantinople and of Pavia, the Frankish mayoralty and the Roman papacy, were all vacated by death.

 p93  Death of Leo III, 740. On the 18th of June, 740,7 died the great Iconoclast Emperor, Leo the Third, after a reign of twenty-four years, marked by many great calamities, by earthquake, pestilence and civil war, but also by legal reforms, by a fresh bracing up of the energies of the state both for administration and for war, by the repulse of a menacing attack of the Saracens on Constantinople, and by a great victory over their army gained by the Emperor in person in the uplands of Phrygia. Emperor Constantine V, 740‑775. Leo III was succeeded by his son Constantine V, to whom the ecclesiastical writers of the image-worshipping party have affixed a foul nickname,8 and whose memory they have assailed with even fiercer invective than that of his father. He was undoubtedly a harsh and overbearing man, who carried through his father's image-breaking policy with as little regard for the consciences of those who differed from him as was shown by a Theodosius or a Justinian, but he was also a brave soldier and an able ruler, one of the men who by their rough vigour restored the fainting energies of the Byzantine state. While he was absent in Asia Minor continuing his father's campaigns against the Saracens, his brother-in‑law, the Armenian Artavasdus, grasped at the diadem, and by the help of the image-worshipping party succeeded in maintaining himself in power for nearly three years; but Constantine, who had been at first obliged to fly for his life, received steadfast and loyal  p94 support from the troops quartered in the Anatolic theme,9 and by their aid won two decisive victories over his rival. After a short siege of Constantinople he was again installed in the imperial palace, and celebrated his triumph by chariot races in the Hippodrome, at which Artavasdus and his two sons, bound with chains, were exposed to derision of the populace.10 With this short interruption the reign of Constantine V lasted for thirty-five years (740‑775), a period during which memorable events were taking place in Western Europe.

Election of Pope Zacharias, 741‑752. On the 10th of December, 741, Pope Gregory II died and was succeeded (as has been already stated)11 by Zacharias, whose pontificate lasted for more than ten years.12 The new Pope, like so many of his predecessors, was a Greek: in fact, for some reason which it is not easy to discern, it was a rare thing at this time for the bishop of Rome to be of Roman birth.13 Among the more important events of his pontificate were those interviews with Liutprand at Terni (742) and at Pavia (29 June, 743) which resulted in the surrender of the  p95 Lombard conquests in Etruria, the Sabine territory, and the district round Ravenna, and which have been fully described in an earlier volume.14 But far the most important act of the papacy of Zacharias was that consent which near the close of his life he gave to the change of the royal dynasty of the Franks, a transaction which will form the subject of the following chapter.

Carloman and Pippin joint Mayors of the Franks, 741. Two months before this change in the wearer of the papal tiara had come that vacancy in the office of the Frankish masterly which, as before stated, was caused by the death of Charles Martel at Carisiacum (October 21, 741).

Two sons, Carloman and Pippin, the issue of his first marriage,15 inherited the greater part of the vast states which were now practically recognised as the dominions of the great Major Domus, who for the last four years had been ruling without even the pretence of a Merovingian shadow-king above him.16 Of these two young men, Carloman, the eldest, was probably about thirty, Pippin about twenty-seven when they became possessed of supreme power by the death of their father.17 As far as we can discern anything of their respective characters from the scanty indications in the chronicles, Carloman seems to have been the more impulsive and passionate, but perhaps also the more generous, and, in the deeper sense of the word, the more religious of the two brothers. Pippin  p96 seems to have been of calmer mood, clement and placable, a good friend to the church, but also a man who from beginning to end had a pretty keen sense of that which would make for his own advantage in this world or the next.

In the division of the inheritance, Carloman, as the elder son, received all the Austrasian lands, the stronghold of the Arnulfing family, together with Swabia and Thuringia. To Pippin fell as his share Neustria, Burgundy, and the reconquered land of Provence. That Bavaria in the east and Aquitaine in the west are omitted in the recital of this division is a striking proof of the still half-independent condition of those broad territories.

Grifo, son of Charles Martel by Swanahild. But besides several confessedly illegitimate sons of the late Major Domus, there was one who both by his mother's almost royal birth and by the fact of her marriage (possibly after his birth) to Charles Martel had some claim, not altogether shadowy, to share in the inheritance. This was Grifo, son of the Bavarian princess Swanahild, at the time of his father's death a lad of about fifteen. Already during Charles Martel's lifetime Swanahild appears to have played the part of a turbulent wife, and in league with Gairefrid, count of Paris, to have actually barred her husband out of his Neustrian capital and appropriated some part of the revenues of the great abbey of S. Denis.18 Either the turbulence of the rebellious or the blandishments  p97 of the reconciled wife appear to have so far prevailed with the dying Mayor of the Palace that he left to the young Grifo a principality in the centre of his dominions carved out of the three contiguous states, Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy.19 But almost immediately on Charles's death the discord between Swanahild's son and his brothers burst into a flame. Whether Grifo took the initiative, occupied Laon by a coup de main, and declared war on his brothers aiming at the exclusive possession of the whole realm, or whether the Franks, hating Swanahild and her son, rose in armed protest against this division of the realm and blockaded Grifo in his own city of Laon, we cannot determine.20 In either case the result was the same: Laon surrendered, Grifo was taken captive, and handed over to the custody of Carloman, who for six years kept him a close prisoner at 'the New Castle' near the Ardennes.21 Swanahild was sent to the convent of Chelles,22 where she probably ended her days.

Death of Liutprand, 746. A little more than two years after the death of Charles Martel, in January, 744, his brother-in‑law Liutprand, king of the Lombards, also departed this life.23 The papal biographer who records the death of a wise and patriotic king with unholy joy attributes it to the prayers of Pope Zacharias, calumniating, as we may surely believe, that eminent pontiff, who had  p98 received many favours from Liutprand, and who seems also to have been a man of kindlier temper than many Popes, and still more than the Papal biographers.

Short reign of Hildeprand. On the death of Liutprand, his nephew and the partner of his throne, Hildeprand, succeeded of course to the undivided sovereignty. That unhelpful24 prince, however, whose whole career corresponded too closely with the ill omen which marked his accession,25 was after little more than half a year dethroned by his discontented subjects.26 Election of Ratchis, 744. In his stead Ratchis, the brave duke of Friuli, son of Pemmo victor of the Sclovenic invaders and hero of the fight at the bridge over the Metaurus, was chosen king of the Lombards.27 His accession appears to have taken place in the latter part of September, 744. What became of his dethroned rival we know not, but the silence of historians is ominous as to his fate.

Truce between Ratchis and Rome. Immediately on his accession Ratchis concluded a truce with Pope Zacharias, or rather perhaps with the civil governor of the Ducatus Romae, which was to last for twenty years: and in fact the relations between Roman and Lombard were peaceable ones during almost the whole of his short reign. But now that we have lost the guidance of Paulus Diaconus — an irreparable loss for this period — it is practically impossible to continue the narrative in the court of the Lombard kings. History will insist in concerning herself chiefly with the actions  p99 of four men — Zacharias the Greek, Boniface the man of Devonshire, and the two Frankish Mayors of the Palace. When she is not listening to the discussions in the Lateran patriarchate, she overpasses the Alps and waits upon the march of the Frankish armies, or follows the archbishop of Germany in his holy war against paganism and heresy.

Troubles of the Frankish brothers. The troubles of Carloman and Pippin did not end with the suppression of Grifo's rebellion. All round the borders of the realm the clouds hung menacing. In Aquitaine, Hunold son of Eudo was again raising his head and endeavouring to assert his independence. Otilo of Bavaria had probably abetted the revolt of his nephew Grifo, and certainly chafed like Hunold under the Frankish yoke. The Alamanni in the south, the Saxons in the north, were all arming against the Franks. It was probably in part at least as the result of these troubles that the two brothers determined to 'regularise their position,' if we may borrow a word from the dialect of modern diplomacy, by seating another shadow on the spectral throne of the Merovingians. A Merovingian phantom ordered to reign. Since the death of Theodoric IV in 737 there had been no fainéant king sitting in a royal villa or nominally presiding over the national assembly of the Campus Martius. A certain Childeric, third king of that name and last of all the Childerics and Chilperics and Theodorics who for the previous century had been playing at kingship, was drawn forth from the seclusion probably of some monastery, was set on the archaic chariot to which the white oxen were yoked, was drawn to the place of meeting, and solemnly saluted as king. This Childeric's very place in the royal pedigree is a matter of debate. In the documents  p100 which bear his name he meekly alludes to 'the famous man Carloman, Mayor of the Palace, who hath installed us in the throne of this realm.'28 That he was enthroned in 743 and dethroned in 751 is practically all that is known of this melancholy figure, ignavissimus Hildericus.'29

Campaign in Bavaria. Having thus guarded themselves against the danger of an attack from behind in the name of Merovingian legitimacy, Carloman and Pippin, who always wrought with wonderful unanimity for the defence of their joint dominion, entered upon a campaign against Otilo, duke of Bavaria. Otilo, as has been said, had probably aided his young nephew Grifo in his attempt at revolution. He had also formed a league with Hunold, duke of Aquitaine, and with Theobald, duke of the Alamanni, and openly aimed at getting rid of the overlordship of the Frankish rulers. Further to embitter the relations between the two states, he had married Hiltrudis, daughter of Charles Martel, contrary to the wish of her two brothers.30 To avenge all these wrongs and to repress all these attempts at independence 'the glorious brothers'31 led their army into the Danubian plains and encamped on the left bank of the Lech, the river which flows past Augsburg and was then the western boundary of the Bavarian duchy.  p101 On the opposite bank was the Bavarian army, with a large number of Alamannic, Saxon, and Sclavic auxiliaries. So the two armies lay for fifteen days. The river was deemed unfordable, yet Otilo as a matter of extraordinary precaution had drawn a strong rampart round his camp.

Alleged Papal veto on the war. The fortnight passed amid the jeers of the threatened Bavarians. Possibly too there may have been some heart-searching in the tent of the Frankish Mayors, for near the close of that period there appeared in the camp the presbyter Sergius, a messenger from Pope Zacharias, professing to bring the papal interdict on the war and a command to leave the land of the Bavarians uninvaded. However, at the end of the fifteen days the Franks, who had found out a ford by which waggons were wont to pass, crossed the Lech by night, and with forces divided into two bands fell upon the camp of the Bavarians. The unexpected attack was completely victorious; the rampart apparently was not defended; the Bavarian host was cut to pieces, and Otilo himself with a few followers escaped with difficulty from the field and placed the river Inn between himself and his triumphant foe. Theudebald the Alamannic duke, who must have been also present in the Bavarian camp, saved himself by flight. But the priest Sergius was taken, and with Gauzebald, bishop of Ratisbon, was brought into the presence of the two princes. Thereupon Pippin with calm soul addressed the trembling legate. 'Now we know, master Sergius, that you are not the holy apostle Peter, nor do you truly bear a commission from him. For you said to us yesterday that the Apostolic Lord, by St. Peter's authority and his own, forbade our enterprise against the Bavarians.  p102 And we then said to you that neither St. Peter nor the Apostolic Lord had given you any such commission. Now then you may observe that if St. Peter had not been aware of the justice of our claim he would not this day have given us his help in this battle. And be very sure that it is by the intercession of the blessed Peter the Prince of Apostles and by the just judgment of God that it is decreed that Bavaria and the Bavarians shall form part of the Empire of the Franks.'

The invading army remained for fifty‑two days in the conquered province. Otilo seems to have visited the Frankish court as a suppliant, and obtained at length (perhaps not till after the lapse of a year) the restoration of his ducal dignity, but with his dependence on the Frankish overlords more stringently asserted than before, and with a considerably diminished territory, almost all the land north of the Danube being shorn away from Bavaria and annexed to Austrasia.32 Otilo appears to have lived about five years after his restoration to his duchy, and to have died in 748, leaving an infant son Tassilo III, of whose fortunes much will have to be said in the following pages.

Coolness between the Pope and the Frankish rulers. For the time, however, we are more concerned with the relation of Carloman and Pippin to Pope Zacharias; and this indeed is that which has made it necessary to tell with some detail the story of the Bavarian campaign. Priest Sergius said that he brought a message from the Pope forbidding the Frankish princes to make war on Bavaria. Is it certain that he had not in truth such a commission? He is spoken of by the annalist as the envoy33 of the Pope, and though after the battle of the Lech it might be convenient for  p103 the Pope and all belonging to him to acquiesce in the decision of St. Peter as manifested by this disaster to the Bavarian arms, it is by no means clear that Zacharias, both as a lover of peace desirous to stay the effusion of Christian blood and also as a special ally and patron of the lately christianised Bavarian state, did not endeavour by spiritual weapons to repel the entrance of the Franks into that land. Late and doubtful as is the source from which the story of the mission of Sergius is drawn, it has a certain value as coinciding with other indications to make us believe that the Papacy still looked coldly on the Frankish power, that the remembrance of Charles Martel and his high-handed dealings with Church property was still bitter, and that we are yet in 743 a long way from that entire accord between Pope and Frankish sovereign which is the characteristic feature of the second half of the eighth century.

Growing influence of Boniface. To the influence of one man, a countryman of our own, more than to any other cause was this momentous change in the relation of the two powers to be attributed. The amalgam between these most dissimilar metals, the mediator between these two once discordant rulers, was Boniface of Crediton, the virtual Metropolitan of North Germany. We have already seen how he consolidated the ecclesiastical organisation of Bavaria, reducing it, as an old Proconsul of the Republic might have done, into the form of a province abjectly submissive to Rome. Thuringia and Hesse felt his forming hand. From Carloman, who was becoming more and more fascinated by his religious fervour, he obtained a grant of sixteen square miles of sylvan solitude in the modern territory of Hesse Cassel,  p104 where he founded the renowned monastery of Fulda, which he destined for the retreat of his old age. But not yet did he dream of retiring from his church-moulding labours. His influence was felt even in Neustria, and he might almost have been called at this time the Metropolitan of the whole Frankish realm.

Bold words of Boniface to the Pope. Devoted as Boniface was to the cause of the Papacy, he shrank not from speaking unpalatable truths even to the Pope when he deemed that the cause of the good government of the Church required him to do so. In the collection of his letters there are some which remarkably illustrate this freedom of speech on the part of the English missionary. In one, Boniface calls upon Zacharias to put down the 'auguries, phylacteries and incantations' detestable to all Christians, which were practised on New Year's Day by the citizens of Rome, probably in order to obtain a knowledge of the events which should happen in the newly-opened year.34 Then again, after Boniface had prayed the Pope to grant the archiepiscopal pallium to the bishops of Rouen, Rheims and Sens, and Zacharias had agreed to the proposal and sent the coveted garments, Boniface seems to have changed his mind and limited his request to one only, on discovering or suspecting that the Papal curia was asking an exorbitant sum for each of the pallia. Even the gentle Zacharias was roused to wrath by what seemed to him the inconsistency and suspectness of his correspondent.

'We have fallen,' he said,35 'into a certain maze and wonderment on the receipt of your letters, so discordant from those which you addressed to us last August. For in those you informed us that by the help of God and with the  p105 consent and attestation of Carloman you had held a council, had suspended from their sacred office the false priests who were not worthy to minister about holy things, and had ordained three archbishops, giving to each his own metropolis, namely to Grimo the city called which is called Rodoma,36 to Abel the city which is called Remi,37 and to Hartbert the city which is called Sennis.38 All which was at the same time conveyed to us by the letters of Carloman and Pippin in which you [all three] suggested to us that we ought to send three pallia to the before-mentioned prelates, and these we granted to them accordingly for the sake of the unity and reformation of the Churches of Christ. But now on receiving this last letter of yours we are, as we have said, greatly surprised to hear that you in connection with the aforesaid princes of Gaul have suggested one pallium instead of three, and that for Grimo alone. Pray let your Brotherhood inform us why you first asked for three and then for one, that we may be sure that we understand your meaning and that there may be no ambiguity in this matter.

'We find also in this letter of yours what has greatly disturbed our mind, that you hint such things concerning us as if we were corrupters of the canons, abrogators of the traditions of the fathers, and thus — perish the thought — were falling along with our clergy into the sin of simony, by compelling those to whom we grant the pallium to pay us money for the same. Now, dearest brother, we exhort your Holiness that your Brotherhood do not write anything of this kind to us again; since we find it both annoying and insulting that you should attribute to us an action  p106 which we detest with all our heart. Be it far from us and from our clergy that we should sell for a price the gift which we have received from the favour of the Holy Ghost. For as regards those three pallia which as we have said we granted at your request, no one has sought for any advantage from them. Moreover, the charters of confirmation, which according to custom are issued from our chancery, were granted of our mere good will, without our taking anything from the receivers.39 Never let such a crime as simony be imputed to us by your Brotherhood, for we anathematise all who dare to sell for a price the gift of the Holy Spirit.'

It would be of course a hopeless attempt to endeavour to ascertain the cause of this strange mis­understanding between two men who seem to have been both in earnest in their desire for the good government of the Church. Certainly the impression which we derive from the correspondence is that the Papal Curia was charging a fee for the bestowal of the pallium, and such an exorbitant fee that Boniface felt that he must limit his application to one, when in the interests of the Gaulish Church he would have desired to appoint three archbishops. It may perhaps be conjectured that the officials of the Curia were in this matter obeying only their own rapacious instincts and were acting without the knowledge of their chief, whose character, if we read it aright, was too gentle and unworldly to make him a strenuous master of such subordinates. It speaks well for the earnestness  p107 and magnanimity of both Pope and Bishop that the friendly relations between them do not appear to have been permanently disturbed. Even the letter just quoted concludes with these words: 'You have asked if you were to have the same right of free preaching in the province of Bavaria which was granted you by our predecessor. Yes, God helping us, we do not diminish but increase whatever was bestowed upon you by him. And not only as to Bavaria, but as to the whole province of the Gauls, so long as the Divine Majesty ordains that you shall live, do you by that office of preaching which we have laid upon you study in our stead to reform whatever you shall find to be done contrary to the canons and to the Christian religion, and bring the people into conformity with the law of righteousness.'

Boniface practically Patriarch of all Frank-land. It will be seen how wide was the commission thus given to Boniface, covering in fact the whole Frankish realm. In conformity therewith we find him holding synods, not only in Austrasia under the presidency of Carloman, but also in Neustria under that of his brother;40 the object of both synods and of others being held at Boniface's instigation being the reform of the morals of the clergy, the eradication of the last offshoots of idolatry, the tightening of the reins of Church discipline. Churchmen were forbidden to bear arms or to accompany the army except in the capacity of chaplains. They were not to keep hawks or falcons, to hunt, or to roam about in the forests  p108 with their dogs. Severe punishments were ordained for clerical incontinence, especially for the not uncommon case of the seduction of a nun. A list of survivals of heathenism, rich in interest for the antiquary and the philologer, was appended to the proceedings of one of the synods,41 as well as a short catechism in the German tongue, containing the catechumen's promise to renounce the devil and all his works, with Thunar, Woden and Saxnote and all the fiends of their company.

By all this reforming zeal Boniface made himself many enemies. Nothing but the powerful support of the Pope and the two Frankish Mayors probably saved him and his Anglo-Saxon companions ('the strangers' as they were invidiously called) from being hustled out of the realm by the Gaulish bishops, who for centuries had scarcely seen a synod assembled. However, with that support and strong in the goodness of his cause Boniface triumphed. At the synod of 745 Cologne was fixed upon as the metropolitan see of 'the Pagan border-lands and the regions inhabited by the German nations,' and over this great archbishopric Boniface was chosen to preside. Archbishop of Mainz, 747. Two years later the metropolitan dignity was transferred to the more central and safer position of Mainz, Boniface still holding the supreme ecclesiastical dignity. In frequent correspondence with Zacharias and steadily supported by him, he deposed a predecessor42 in the see of Mainz who had in true old German fashion  p109 obeyed law of the blood-feud by slaying the slayer of his father. He procured the condemnation of two bishops whom he accused of wild, but doubtless much exaggerated heresies.43 We read with regret that Boniface was not content with deposing these men from their offices in the Church, but insisted on invoking the help of the secular arm to ensure their life-long imprisonment.

Carloman's campaign against the Alamanni. While these events were taking place in the Church, other events in camps and battlefields were preparing the way for a change in the occupants of the palace, which took all the world by surprise. The two brothers Carloman and Pippin fought as before against the Saxons (745) and against the duke of Aquitaine (746), punishing the latter for his confederacy with Otilo of Bavaria. Massacre of Cannstadt. 746 But against the restless and faith-breaking Alamanni Carloman fought alone, and here his impulsive nature, lacking the counterpoise of Pippin's calmer temperament, urged him into a dreadful deed, and one which darkened the rest of his days. Something, we are not precisely told what, but apparently some fresh instance of treachery and instability on the part of the Alamanni, aroused his resentment, and he entered the Swabian territory with an army. He summoned a placitum, a meeting of the nation under arms, at Cannstadt on the Neckar.44 It is suggested that the avowed object of the placitum  p110 was a joint campaign against the Saxons, but this is only a conjecture. Apparently however the Alamanni came, suspecting nothing, to the place of meeting appointed by the Frankish ruler. Carloman adroitly stationed his army (doubtless much the more numerous of the two) so as to surround the Alamannic host, and the latter thus found themselves helpless when some sort of signal was given for their capture. Some were taken prisoners, but many thousands, it is said, were slain. Theudebald their chief and the nobles who had joined with him in making a league with Otilo were taken, and 'compassionately dealt with according to their several deservings.' Probably this means that there was a kind of judicial enquiry into their cases, and some may have escaped from the general massacre.45

When he came to himself and reflected on what  p111 he had done, when he saw, it may be, how this unknightly deed, more worthy of the chamberlain of a Byzantine emperor than of a brave duke of the Franks, struck the minds of his brother warriors, Carloman was filled with remorse. This then was the end of all those conversations with Boniface, of all those aspirations after a better and holier life, which had upward drawn his soul. He, the friend of saints, the reformer of Churches, had done a deed which his rude barbarian forefathers, the worshippers of Thunor and Woden, would have blushed to sanction. There was then no possibility of salvation for him in this world of strife and turmoil. If he would win a heavenly crown he must lay down the Frankish mayoralty. Carloman resolves to retire from the world. 'In this year Carloman laid open to his brother Pippin a thing upon which he had long been meditating, namely his desire to relinquish his secular conversation and to serve God in the habit of a monk. Wherefore postponing any expedition for that year in order that he might accomplish Carloman's wishes and arrange for his intended journey to Rome, Pippin gave his whole attention to this, that his brother should arrive honourably and with befitting retinue at the goal of his pilgrimage.'46

Carloman's journey to Italy. It was near the end of the year 747 when Carloman, with a long train of noble followers, set out for Italy. He visited on his road the celebrated monastery of St. Gall, the friend of Columbanus,47 which he enriched with valuable gifts. Having therefore probably  p112 descended into Italy by the pass of the Splügen, he proceeded at once to Rome, where he worshipped at the tomb of St. Peter, and again gave 'innumerable gifts' to the sacred shrine, among them a silver bowlb weighing seventy pounds. The fair locks of the Frankish duke were clipped away; he assumed the tonsure and received the monastic habit from the hands of Pope Zacharias. From Rome he withdrew to the solitude of Mount Soracte, and there founded a monastery in honour of Pope Silvester, who was fabled to have sought this refuge from the persecution of the Emperor Constantine.48

Mount Soracte. What visitor to Rome has not looked forth towards the north-western horizon to behold the shape, if once seen never to be forgotten, of Soracte? In winter sometimes, as Horace saw it, 'white with deep snow,' in summer purple against the sunset sky, but always, (according to the well-known words of Byron), Soracte

'from out the plain

Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break

And on the curl hangs pausing.'

But though most travellers are content to behold it from afar, he who would visit Soracte will find himself well rewarded for the few hours spent on his pilgrimage. Leaving Rome by the railway to Florence, the modern equivalent of the Via Flaminia, after a journey of about forty miles he reaches a station from which a drive of five miles up towards the hills and out of the valley of the Tiber brings him to Civita Castellana, the representative of that ancient  p113 Etruscan city of Falerii which according to Livy's story was voluntarily surrendered to Camillus by the grateful parents whose sons had flogged their treacherous schoolmaster back from the camp to the city.49

Aptly is this place called 'the castle-city,' for it looks indeed like a natural fortress, standing on a high hill with the land round it intersected by deep rocky gorges, and these gorges lined with caves, the tombs of the vanished Etruscans. Soracte soars above in the near foreground, and thither the traveller repairs, driving for some time through the ilex-woods which border its base, and then mounting upwards to the little town of St. Oreste — a corruption probably of Soracte — which nestles on a shoulder of the mountain. Here the carriage-road ends, but a good bridle-path leads to the convent of S. Silvestro on the highest point of the mountain. Ever as the traveller works his way upwards through the grateful shade of the ilex-woods, he is reminded of Byron's beautiful simile, and feels that he is indeed walking along the crest of a mighty earth-wave, spell-bound in the act of breaking. Here on the rocky summit of the mountain, 2,270 feet above the sea‑level, stands the desolate edifice which, though for the most part less than four centuries old, still contains some of the building reared by Carloman in honour of Pope Silvester. Unhappily all the local traditions are concerned with this utterly mythical figure of the papal hermit. The rock on which Silvester lay down every night to sleep, the altar at which he said mass, the little garden in which his turnips grew miraculously in one  p114 night from seed to full‑fed root, all these are shown, but there is no tradition connecting the little oratory with the far more interesting and historical figure of the Carolingian prince. But the landscape at least, which we see from this mountain solitude, must be the same that he gazed upon: immediately below us Civita Castellana with its towers and its ravines; eastward, on the other side of the valley of the Tiber, the grand forms of the Sabine mountains; on the west the Ciminian forest, the Lago Bracciano, and the faintly discerned rim of the sea; southward the wide plains of the Campagna and the Hollow Mountain which broods over Alba Longa.

Carloman retires to Monte Cassino. Here, for some years apparently, Carloman abode in the monastery which he had founded. But even lonely Soracte was too near to the clamour and the flatteries of the world. The Frankish pilgrims visiting Rome would doubtless often turn aside and climb the mountain on which dwelt the son of the warrior Charles, himself so lately their ruler. Longing to be undisturbed in his monastic seclusion and fearing to be enticed back again into the world of courtly men, Carloman withdrew to the less accessible sanctuary of Monte Cassino.50 Of his life there we have only one description, and it reaches us from a somewhat questionable source, the Chronicle of Regino, who lived a hundred years after the death of Carloman; but as the chronicler tells us that he made up his history partly from the narration of old men his contemporaries, we may suffer him to paint for us at least a not  p115 impossible picture of the Benedictine life of the Frankish prince. According to this writer, Carloman fled at night from Soracte with one faithful follower, taking with him only a few necessary provisions, and reaching the sacred mountain knocked at the door to convent and asked for an interview with its head. As soon as the abbot appeared he fell on the ground before him and said, 'Father abbot! a homicide,51 a man guilty of all manner of crimes, seeks your compassion and would fain find here a place of repentance.' Perceiving that he was a foreigner, the abbot asked him of his nation and his fatherland, to which he replied, 'I am a Frank, and I have quitted my country on account of my crimes, but I heed not exile if only I may not miss of the heavenly father-land.' Thereupon the abbot granted his prayer and received him and his comrade as novices into the convent, but mindful of the precept, 'Try the spirits whether they are of God,' laid upon them a specially severe discipline, inasmuch as they came from far and belonged to a barbarous race.52 All this Carloman bore with patience, and at the end of a year he was allowed to profess the rule of St. Benedict and to receive the habit of the order. Though beginning to be renowned among the brethren for his practice of every monastic virtue, he was not of course exempted from the usual drudgery of the convent, and once a week it fell to his lot to serve in the kitchen. Here, notwithstanding his willingness to help, his ignorance caused him to commit many blunders, and one day the head-cook,  p116 who was heated with wine, gave him a slap in the face, saying, 'Is that the way in which you serve the brethren?' To which with meek face he only answered, 'God pardon thee, my brother'; adding half-audibly,53 'and Carloman also.' Twice this thing happened, and each time the drunken cook's blows were met by the same gentle answer. But the third time, the faithful henchman, indignant at seeing his master thus insulted, snatched up the pestle with which they pounded the bread that had to be mixed with vegetables for the convent dinner,54 and with it struck the cook with all his force, saying, 'Neither may God spare thee, caitiff slave, nor may Carloman pardon thee.'

At this act of violence on the part of a stranger received out of compassion into the convent, the brethren were at once up in arms. The henchman was placed in custody, and next day was brought up for severe punishment. When asked why he had dared to lead up his hand against a serving-brother he replied, 'Because I saw that vile slave not only taunt but even strike a man who is the best and noblest of all that I have ever known in this world.' Such an answer only increased the wrath of the monks. 'Who is this unknown stranger, whom you place before all other men, not even excepting the father abbot himself?' Then he, unable longer to keep the secret which God had determined to reveal, said,  p117 'That man is Carloman, formerly ruler of the Franks,'55 who for the love of Christ has left the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them, and who from such magnificence has stooped so low that he is now not only upbraided but beaten by the vilest of men.' At these words the monks all arose in terror from their seats, threw themselves at Carloman's feet and implored his pardon, professing their ignorance of his rank. He, not to be outdone in humility, cast himself on the ground before them, declared with tears that he was not Carloman, but a miserable sinner and homicide, and insisted that his henchman's statement was an idle tale trumped up to save himself from punishment. But it was all in vain. The truth would make itself manifest. He was recognised as the Frankish nobleman, and for all the rest of his sojourn in the convent he was treated with the utmost deference by the brethren.

Ratchis abdicates and enters the same convent, 749. It was in 747 that Carloman entered the convent. Two years later his example was followed by the Lombard king, but there is reason to think that in his case the abdication was not so voluntary an act as it was with Carloman. King Ratchis, we are told, 'with vehement indignation' marched against Perugia and the cities of the Pentapolis. Apparently these cities were not included in the strictly local truce which he had concluded for twenty years with the rulers of the Ducatus Romae. But Pope Zacharias, mindful of his previous successes in dealing with these impetuous Lombards, went as speedily as possible  p118 northwards with some of the chief men of his clergy. He found Ratchis besieging Perugia, but exhorted him so earnestly to abandon the siege that Ratchis retired from the untaken city. Nay, more, says the papal biographer (for it is his narrative that we are here following), Zacharias awakened in the king's mind such earnest care about the state of his soul, that after some days he laid aside his royal dignity, came with his wife and daughters to kneel at the tombs of the Apostles, received the tonsure from the Pope, and retired to the monastery of Cassino, where he ended his days.56

This is the papal story of king Ratchis' abdication, but a study of the laws of his successor seems to confirm the statement (made it is true on no very good authority) that it was really the result of a revolution. This authority, the Chronicon Benedictanum,57 tells us that the queen of Ratchis, Tassia, was a Roman lady, and that under her influence Ratchis had broken down the old Lombard customs of morgincap and met‑fiu58 (the money payments made on the betrothal and marriage of a log damsel), and had given grants of land to Romans according to Roman law. All this may have made  p119 him unpopular with the stern old‑world patriots among his Lombard subjects. But it is conjectured with some probability that it was their king's retreat from the walls of untaken Perugia and his too easy compliance with the entreaties of Zacharias which at last snapped the straining bond of his subjects' loyalty.

Whatever the cause may have been, the fact is certain. Aistulf, king of the Lombards, 749‑756. The Lombard throne was declared to be empty, and Aistulf, brother of the displaced king, was invited to ascend it (July, 749).59 There may not have been bloodshed, but there was almost certainly resistance on the part of the dethroned monarch, for the first section of the new king's laws, published soon after his accession, provides that, 'As for those grants which were made by king Ratchis and his wife Tassia, all of these which bear date after the accession of Aistulf shall be of no validity unless confirmed by Aistulf himself.'

Thus these two men, lately powerful sovereigns, Carloman and Ratchis, are meeting in church and refectory in the high-built sanctuary of St. Benedict on Monte Cassino. We shall hereafter have to note the emergence of both from that seclusion, on two different occasions and with widely different motives.

The Author's Notes:

1 Full title, 'Annales Laurissenses Majores.'

2 These difficulties are insisted on by W. Giesebrecht, pp217‑219.

3 A notable instance is furnished by the title "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.'

4 The following notices are chiefly derived from Wattenbach (Deutschland's Geschichts­quellen im Mittelalter).

5 In the sixteenth volume of Pertz's Monumenta. Most of the others will be found in the first volume.

6 Though the Ann. Laureshamenses are not a very important authority, we must be careful not to confuse them with the Chronicon Laureshamense, a twelfth-century compilation from various sources (published in the twenty-first volume of Pertz's Monumenta), which is for our period of no authority at all. It is important to notice this, because the scandalous fiction about Einhard's intrigue with the princess Emma has been propagated on the sole authority of this quite untrustworthy writer.

Annales Laurissenses Majores, Annales Laurissenses Minores, Annales Laureshamenses, Chronicon Laureshamense: here are abundant materials for the bewilderment of historical students accumulated by the perverse ingenuity of editors.

7 The ordinarily received date is 741, but Bury (History of the Later Roman Empire, II.425) has produced strong arguments in favour of 740. The question is whether the Year of the World or the Indiction as stated by Theophanes is to be accepted as accurate. Both cannot be right, unless, as urged by Bury, a change had taken place in the mode of reckoning the Indictions.

8 Copronymus.

9 Nearly corresponding to the 'Phrygia' of earlier centuries.

10 It is noteworthy that two letters from Pope Zacharias to Boniface (57 and 58 in M. G. H.) are dated in the third year of 'domnus piissimus augustus a Deo coronatus Artavasdus' and of his son Nicephorus. These letters must, on any theory of their date, have been written a considerable time after the deposition of Artavasdus, but the Pope either had not heard the news or refused to recognize the validity of the deposition.

11 See vol. VI p480.

12 10 Dec. 741 to 22 March, 752.

13 Döllinger (Die Papst-Fabeln, p79) points out that of the ten Popes between 685 and 741, five were Syrians (John V, Sergius, Sisinnius, Constantine, and Gregory III), four were Greeks (Conon, John VI, John VII, and Zacharias), and only one a Roman (Gregory II).

14 See vol. VI pp491‑497.

15 Charles Martel's first wife was probably, though not certainly, named Chrotrudis (Hahn, p2).

16 Theodoric IV died in 737.

17 Carloman's birth-year is very uncertain. Pippin was probably born between December 714 and September 715 (Hahn, p2).

18 See Hahn (p17) and Dahn (Urgeschichte, III.829), who both rely on a petition from the abbot and monks of S. Denis (in Bouquet, V.699‑700) which contains these words, 'ante hos annos quando Carlus fuit ejectus per Soanachilde cupiditate et Gairefredo Parisius comite insidiante per eorum consensu (sic).

19 The story of this partition in favour of Grifo is told us only by the Annales Mettenses, by no means our best authority.

20 The former is the account of the matter given by Einhardi Annales: the latter by the Annales Mettenses.

21 Neuf-Château in Belgian Luxemburg.

22 Founded by the fainéant king Theodoric IV: nine miles to the east of Paris.

23 See vol. VI p498.

24 'Inutilis.'

25 See vol. VI p473.

26 The Liber Pontificalis gives Hildeprand only six months' reign, but the documents quoted by Bethmann (Neues Archiv III.265) show that there was an interval of seven or eight months between Liutprand's death and the accession of Ratchis.

27 For the previous history of Ratchis see vol. VI pp333, 468‑9, 480‑1.

28 'Viro inclito Karolomanno, majori domus, rectori palatio nostro (sic) qui nos in solium regni instituit' (quoted by Hahn, 41, n. 1).

29 So called by the Monk of St. Gall, I.10.

30 This marriage of Hiltrudis is generally attributed, probably with truth, to the influence of Swanahild. It seems to me possible that she was Swanahild's daughter, and therefore only half-sister of the reigning Frankish princes.

31 'Gloriosi germani' say the Annales Mettenses, which though not our most trustworthy, is here by far our fullest authority.

32 Quitzmann, p266.

33 Missus.

34 Ep. 51 (M. G. H. Epist. III.304).

35 Ep. 58, p315.

36 Rouen.

37 Rheims.

38 Sens.

39 Slightly paraphrased from 'Insuper et chartae quae secundum morem a nostro scrinio pro suâ confirmatione atque doctrinâ tribuuntur de nostro concessimus, nihil ab eis auferentes.'

40 The place of assembly of the first 'Concilium Germanicum' is uncertain: the Neustrian Council was held at Soissons. If Boniface was not personally present at the latter, all was done thereat in accordance with his wishes.

41 The Concilium Liftinense (Hefele, Concilien­geschichte, III.491‑533) gives a very full account of these synods convened by Boniface.

42 Gervillieb or Gervilio (see Hefele, p522).

43 Aldebert and Clemens. If it would not lead us too far from our special subject it would be interesting to transcribe the proceedings of the Lateran synod of 745, with reference to these two 'pseudo­prophetae,' who amid much that was crazy and fantastic had evidently some high and noble thoughts concerning religion (see Bonifacii Epistolae, 59, pp316‑322).

44 A few miles N. E. of Stuttgardt.

45 We can only arrive at any understanding of this mysterious affair by combining the accounts of two chroniclers. The Codex Masciacensis of the Annales Petaviani, a fairly good authority, of the end of the eighth century, says (Pertz, MonumentaI p11), 'Karolomannus intravit Alamanniam ubi fertur quod multa hominum milia ceciderit. Unde compunctus regnum reliquit.' On the other hand, the Annales Mettenses, the unfailing panegyrist of the Carolingians, says (Ibid. I.329), 'Anno dominicae incarnationis 746 Karlomannus, cum vidisset Alamannorum infidelitatem, cum exercitu fines eorum irrupit, et placitum instituit in loco qui dicitur Condistat. Ibique conjunctus est exercitus Francorum et Alamannorum. Fuitque ibi magnum miraculum, quod unus exercitus alium comprehendit atque ligavit absque ullo discrimine belli. Ipsos vero, qui principes fuerunt cum Teobaldo in solatio Odilonis . . . comprehendit et misericorditer secundum singulorum merita correxit.' On the next page Carloman in the monastery calls himself 'hominem peccatorem atque homicidam.' The two accounts are not really very divergent, for the mere slaughter of his enemies in fair and open fight would not have so sorely troubled the conscience of a Frankish warrior.

46 Einhardi Annales (Pertz, MonumentaI.135), s. a. 745: a year wrong here. The other sources clearly show that this entry should be under 746.

47 See vol. VI p127.

48 This utterly imaginary persecution and the story of Constantine's baptism by Silvester will be discussed in a later chapter.

49 Livy, V.27.

50 Regino, whom I am here following, seems to make the concourse of courtiers visit Carloman in a monastery at Rome, but his own narrative almost compels us to transfer it to Soracte.

51 Alluding no doubt to the massacre of Cannstadt.

52 This allusion to the barbarism of the Franks marks the Italian origin of the story.

53 The chronicler does not say this, but the narrative seems to require that 'et Carolomannus' was not intended to be heard by the head-cook.

54 'Arripuit pilum unde panis in (h)olera fratrum committendus conterebatur.'

55 'Iste est Carlomannus quondam rex Francorum.' The word rex would alone show that narrative is not strictly contemporary; Carloman was never king of the Franks.

56 The Liber Pontificalis does not mention the place of Ratchis' retirement, but the Chronica S. Benedicti Cassinensis says, 'Rachis rex Longobardorum, dimisso regno, ad beati Benedicti limina cum sua uxore Tasia et Rottruda filia, uterque monachico habitu induti: iste hic in Casino illa in Blombarolia (?) vitam finierunt' (M. G. H., Scriptores Rerum Langobardicarum, 487).

57 Cap. 16; Pertz, MonumentaIII.702.

58 The chronicler calls them morgyncaph and mithio. For further explanation of the two words see vol. VI p200. There does not seem to be any justification of the above statement in the extant laws of king Ratchis.

59 Oelsner (p437), by a careful comparison of dates, comes to the conclusion that Aistulf became king on the 3rd or 4th of July, 749, and died about the end of November or beginning of December, 756.

Thayer's Notes:

a Einhard's Life of Charlemagne is online: Jaffé's Latin text and apparatus at Archive.Org, Pertz's Latin text and apparatus (M. G. H. II.426‑463) also at Archive.Org, and a stripped-down HTML version at Bibliotheca Augustana; an English translation at Fordham University.

b The text as printed has "bow". I'm almost certain I've corrected it to what Hodgkin must surely have written: bowls and basins were commonly given as gifts to Roman churches, where they might even have found liturgical use, whereas a bow would have been a most unusual and singularly inappropriate gift, especially given the circumstances.

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