Flodoard of Rheims and the tenth century
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This thesis is a study of the works of the historian Flodoard of Rheims (893/4–966), author of two substantial prose narratives (Annales and Historia Remensis ecclesiae) and an epic verse history (De triumphis Christi). Flodoard is the only major Frankish chronicler of his day, so his accounts of the political history of the West Frankish, Ottonian and Italian kingdoms are of paramount importance to modern scholars. Flodoard’s Annales have been considered a reliable and neutral account of contemporary affairs, so historians have been content to mine them for ‘facts’ informing wider debates concerning the history of late Carolingian Europe. Additionally, he has been judged a conscientious, source-driven archivist: his Historia Remensis ecclesiae preserves an abundance of otherwise-lost documentary sources which has been used by scholars to illuminate the church of Rheims’ illustrious history. However, Flodoard was an actor on the highest political stage. He spent time at royal courts, travelled to Rome, and regularly communicated with the leading political and intellectual figures of his day. He was also deeply enmeshed in the affairs of the powerful archbishopric of Rheims. This study demonstrates that Flodoard’s histories are not easily extricated from the context of his own turbulent career. It argues that Flodoard cannot be understood without reference to the vicissitudes of the complex political environment in which he operated. By taking Flodoard on his own terms and situating his historical works in their appropriate political and intellectual contexts, this thesis challenges the conventional way we read Flodoard, asking what kind of information we can reliably interrogate him for, whom his audiences were, why he wrote history at all and whether he is truly representative of his age.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2020-03-04
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 4th March 2020
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