Walt's Reviews > Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard's Histories

Carolingian Chronicles by Bernhard Walter Scholz
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

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bookshelves: history-medieval
Read in July, 2011

The chronicles are a little skimpy, even by Medieval standards. There is not much description of society, law, customs, or much of anything except double-cross and triple-cross by the major actors. A few things did stand out for me such as the King/Emperor holding a major gathering of his feudal lords each year; and the annual campaigns. Warfare was necessary in Carolingian France.

Of course, the authors of the two chronicles have strong biases that shine through. I am doubtful of the constant (annual or more frequent) betrayal and wantonness of the Saxons, or even Lothar, whom Nithard blamed for the Carolingian Civil War. Obviously, much has to be taken with some skepticism. The authors do show that Carolingian society was organized in some fashion with some sense of a bureaucracy that enabled it to maintain a powerful war machine.

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