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Vita Hludovici

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Title: Vita Hludovici  
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Subject: Torson, Count of Toulouse, Seguin I of Gascony, Latin biographies, Guerin of Provence, Thegan of Trier
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Vita Hludovici

Charlemagne crowns Louis the Pious

Vita Hludovici or Vita Hludovici Imperatoris (The Life of Louis or the Life of the Emperor Louis) is an anonymous biography of Louis the Pious, Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks from AD 814 to 840.

Contents

  • Author 1
    • Identification 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5

Author

The work was written in Latin in or soon after AD 840 by an anonymous author who is conventionally called Astronomus , the Astronomer or sometimes the Limousin Astronomer. This is due to his many detailed comments on astronomical matters in the work upon which he describes himself as "one credited with having knowledge of this subject."[1] He held office at the court of Louis the Pious, and his cultural and religious references suggest that he was not a churchman.[2] It has been conjectured, based on evidence within the text, that the author was born around AD 800 and that his nationality was not Gothic or Frankish.[3]

The author's attitude to his subject is clearly subordinate and one of admiration, yet he does not idealise Louis in the same way as, for example, Einhard does in his Life of Charlemagne. It has been suggested that the author exhibits a degree of disapproval towards clerics and the workings of the Frankish Church, lending weight to the view that he was not formally connected to the Church.[4] Nevertheless, the most popular recent ideas (see below) do identify him as a cleric.

Identification

Denier of Louis (20mm, 1.65 g, 1h). Uncertain mint. Struck 822-840 AD.
Obverse: HLVDOVVICVS IMP, cross; pellet in each quarter.
Reverse: XPISTIANA RELIGIO, temple; cross within.

Various attempts have been made to identify the author with a particular individual. In 1729, Von Eckhart thought he was a notary attached to Louis' court between 816 and 839. Von Simson in 1909 attempted to identify him as Archdeacon Gerolt, a cleric at court.[5] Max Buchner, the author of one of the most influential modern studies of the Astronomer's work in 1940, identified him as Hilduin, the chancellor of Pippin II and Charles the Bald. Ernst Tremp supports this view in his important 1995 study, although Buchner and Tremp differ by about a decade in their dating of the work.[6] Tischler has most recently tried to make a case that the Astronomer was Jonas of Orleans but the Hilduin theory remains more popular amongst historians.[7] Recently, Courtney Booker suggested Walafrid Strabo was the Astronomer.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Astronomer. Vita Hludovici. p. 58.1. 
  2. ^ The Astronomer. Vita Hludovici. pp. Prologue 1. 
  3. ^ Cabaniss, A. (1961). Son of Charlemagne. A Contemporary Life of Louis the Pious. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. pp. 1–2.  
  4. ^ Cabaniss, A. (1961). Son of Charlemagne. A Contemporary Life of Louis the Pious. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. p. 4.  
  5. ^ Yitzak Hen and Matthew Innes, ed. (2000). The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  
  6. ^ Ganz, David (1997). """Review: Ernst Tremp "Thegan, Die Taten Kaiser Ludwigs (Gesta Hludowici imeratoris). Astronomus, Das Leben Kaiser Ludwigs (Vita Hludowici imperatoris) . Francia 24 (1): 208. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  7. ^ Ganz, David (2003). """Review: M. Tischler "Einharts 'Vita Karoli'. Studien zur Entstehung. Francia 30 (1): 314. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  8. ^ Booker, C. (2009). Past Convictions: The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 293, n. 129.  

Bibliography

  • Booker, C. (2009). Past Convictions: The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.  
  • Buchner, Max (1940). "Entstehungszeit und Verfasser der "Vita Hludowici" des "Astronomus"". Historisches Jahrbuch (in German) 60: 14–45. 
  • Cabaniss, A. (1961). Son of Charlemagne. A Contemporary Life of Louis the Pious. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.  
  • King, P.D. (1987). Charlemagne: Translated Sources. Kendal: P.D. King.  
  • Tischler, M. (2001). Einharts Vita Karoli. Studien zur Entstehung, U¨ berlieferung und Rezeption (in German). Hanover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung.  
  • Tremp, Ernst (1995). Thegan, Die Taten Kaiser Ludwigs/Astronomus, Das Leben Kaiser Ludwigs (in German). Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 

External links

  • Full text in Latin from Tremp's 1995 edition.
  • Selected text in English on the siege of Barcelona from P.D. King's 1989 edition.
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