IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1710: Texts and Identities, VII: Historical Writing, Ecclesiastical Politics, and Missionary Strategies in Early Medieval Europe

Thursday 12 July 2012, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:E. T. Dailey, School of History, University of Leeds
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Moderator/Chair:Simon MacLean, Department of History, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
Paper 1710-aFlodoard and His Archbishops in the Struggle for the See of Rheims, 925-948
(Language: English)
Edward Roberts, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 1710-bThe Poeta Saxo Recontextualized: Literary Strategies at the Bishopric of Paderborn
(Language: English)
Ingrid Rembold, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval
Paper 1710-cAdam of Bremen, Saxony, and the Conversion of Scandinavia
(Language: English)
Dimitri Tarat, Department of History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval
Abstract

This session attempts a comparison between the historiographical efforts in three early medieval bishoprics – Reims, Paderborn and Bremen – and the uses of the past in ecclesiastical politics and missionary efforts in these centers between the late 9th and the 11th century. The first paper raises issues of motivation, objectivity and literary strategies for the major historian of 10th-century West-Francia, Flodoard of Reims, writing during the dispute over the see of Reims, Flodoard was firmly behind one of the archbishops. As Edward Roberts argues in his paper, this assessment has important implications for how we view his work and thus the history of the kingdom in this period. The Christianization of Saxony and its relevance for later missionary efforts are at the centre of both the Poeta Saxo’s Annales de gestis Caroli Magni imperatoris and of Adam of Bremen’s Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum. Ingrid Rembold argues that the composition of the Poeta Saxo’s work should be placed in Paderborn and viewed as part of a wider literary programme that included the Translatio and the Vita sancti Liborii. From the way in which these works represent the Charlemagne’s efforts in the Christianization of Saxony, a message emerges which stresses the authority of kings and bishops in preaching and Christianization and the centrality of the bishopric in Paderborn in this process. In a similar vein, Dimitri Tarat explores the place of the Christianization of Saxony in Adam of Bremen’s writing and its relevance for organising the conversion in Scandinavia. These case studies will offer interesting points of comparison with regard to the similarities and differences in the ways in which historical writing played into the political agenda and the balance of power in the three bishoprics under consideration.