Royal marriage, Frankish history and dynastic crisis in Regino of Prüm’s Chronicle

Eric Goldberg, Simon MacLean

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Abstract

Regino of Prüm’s Chronicle (907/908) is one of the most important works of contemporary history written in the era of the Carolingian Empire. In this article we consider Regino’s numerous stories about good and bad royal marriages drawn from the deep past of the Franks, and we show how the historian adapted his source material to late Carolingian sensibilities. We then argue that Regino’s interest in royal marriage can best be interpreted as a reflection of his anxiety about the marital status of the reigning East Frankish king Louis IV »the Child« (900-911). Regino dedicated his work to the king’s godfather and counsellor Adalbero of Augsburg, and he apparently hoped to influence the king and his inner circle in the urgent task of selecting an appropriate royal bride. Regino’s accounts of past rulers and their marital histories therefore give us an insight into how he perceived the political order of his own day and his fears about the future of the Carolingian dynasty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-129
Number of pages23
JournalMedieval Worlds. Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies
Volume10
Early online date28 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Carolingians
  • Marriage
  • Regino of Prüm
  • Historiography
  • Louis the Child
  • Lotharingia

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