In this project, which was developed within the framework of the “Transformation of the Carolingian World”-network, we would like to explore the cultural history of the Carolingian and post-Carolingian world. The Carolingian reforms of language, script and education before and after 800 have been studied intensively as an important period for the formation of the social, political and cultural horizons of Latin Europe in the Middle Ages. This is, however, much less true for the period after the first two Carolingian emperors from the mid-ninth century to the beginning of the twelfth which is still often regarded as a time of cultural decline, political fragmentation: a new Dark Age after the short ‘renaissance’ of learning, education and cultivation of knowledge in the time of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious (768 – 840 CE).

It is, however, precisely this later and post-Carolingian period after the 840s, from which the main bulk of the manuscripts attesting to and reinforcing the intensified efforts to establish new standards in Latin Europe have come down to us. What we observe is not only a new cultural base line in the Carolingian world, but also new standards to organize knowledge in books and libraries and the formation of a cultural convergence that held together the increasingly diverse and politically fragmented world of Latin Europe.

The project intends to use the writing and rewriting of history as a window into this process. We want to explore if, and if so, how new approaches to the codification of knowledge changed the conceptualization of history, its generic boundaries, meaning and its place in (real or imagined) libraries. While we expect to find and explore a wide spectrum of possibilities, we also aim at sounding out the limits of these possibilities by a comparative approach between different regions, places, cultural backgrounds, and textual traditions.

The project has started with series of seminars at which members of this group will present their approaches, ongoing work, or future projects. This should help us to establish a common base line, and develop a more focused project design and a shared data-base for a more comprehensive comparison of different texts, contexts and trajectories, various cultural topographies and degrees of convergence in the late and post-Carolingian world – from the Atlantic, to Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean world.

Histories in Transition – Online Seminars


15-16 September 2022
Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Organised in collaboration with Histories in Transition and the Graduiertenkolleg 2196 “Dokument – Text – Edition” by Bart van Hees and Sören Kaschke | Program
Frankish Annals: Texts – Transmission – Editions

Frankish annals of the eighth and ninth centuries still resist a consensual scholarly synthesis on several aspects. This conference aims to bring together new approaches and future perspectives for the study of annals. Starting with a review of the fundamentals of the genre, papers will then move on to changes in narrative techniques, the importance of codicological contexts, dissemination, and the practice of rewriting. Particular attention will be paid to the challenges annals are posing to editors, as the many nineteenth-century editions still in use are less and less suitable for a variety of present-day approaches. In all, the conference will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of history writing in early medieval Europe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. CET
Graeme Ward (Universität Tübingen)
Making Liturgical History in Eleventh-Century Aquitaine: Ademar of Chabannes, Amalarius of Metz, and the Monastic Office

Wednesday, Mar 9, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. CET
Hans Hummer(Wayne State University)
The Carolingian Genealogies and their Manuscripts


December 1, 2021
Steffen Patzold, Universität Tübingen
The Collectio Dionysio-Hadriana as resource of historical knowledge

November 8, 2021
Marco Stoffella, Università di Verona
Christian time, calendars, and computus. The study of the past at the scriptorium in Verona

June 16, 2021
"Bede and the Continent. The Afterlives of Bede’s Chronicles, 8th to 12th Centuries"

Beda Venerabilis (672‒735) is the creator of several important texts on historiography and computus. His two chronicles in particular were widely transmitted and read soon after they were written. Especially in the Carolingian period, these sources, which were received, adapted and integrated into various codicological contexts, served as a basic framework of historical knowledge until the late Middle Ages and inspired countless chronistic and annalistic continuations. In addition, the stereotypical structure of Bede’s chronicles as a form-giving narrative inspired the composition of further chronicles. The workshop looks at the influence and effectiveness of Beda's chronicles on the basis of several examples.

Máirín MacCarron, University College Cork
The Key Features of Bede’s Chronicles
Joshua Westgard, University of Maryland
Aspects of the Afterlife of Bede’s Historical Writings
Sören Kaschke, Universität zu Köln
“The Years They Are A-Changing”. Bede’s Reckoning of Time and Its Adaptation in the Chronicon Universale of 741
Patrick S. Marschner, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
A Historiographical Triad? Bede, the "Chronicon Moissiacense" and the Chronicle of Claudius of Turin
Richard Corradini, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
The "Chronica de VI aetatibus mundi". A Successful Bede Follow-up

May 25, 2021
Bart van Hees, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Annals in the Frankish realms

March 29, 2021
Eric J. Goldberg, Massachussets Institute of Technology
Eyewitness to the End of Empire: Author, Argument, and Audience of the ‘Annals of Saint-Vaast’

January 18, 2021
Charlotte Denoël, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Image and Text in Ademar of Chabannes’ Notebook Leiden VLO 15


December 9, 2020  
Maximilian Diesenberger, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Histories in Transition: Salzburg and Admont

November 23, 2020
Jo Story, Leicester University
Frankish History in Twelfth-century Durham: Symeon and the Manuscript Evidence

October 5, 2020
Helmut Reimitz, Princeton University
History Books, the History of the Book and the History of History in the Carolingian and Post-Carolingian World  

July 3, 2020
Patrick S. Marschner, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
The World Map of the Corpus Pelagianum (BNE, Ms. 1513, fol. 1v.) and its Strategies of Identification

June 19, 2020
Steffen Patzold, Universität Tübingen
Writing and Using History in 10th- and 11th-Century Bavaria: The Case of Freising

June 5, 2020
Matthias M. Tischler, ICREA/Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Mapping the Early Medieval Landscape of Histories between Aquitaine, Southern Gaul and the Northern Iberian Peninsula: Some Hypotheses on the Role and Impact of Carolingian Historiography in Southwestern Europe

May 22, 2020
Frederic Clark, University of Southern California
Critique and Book History: An Agenda for the History of Scholarship from the Medieval Manuscript Codex to Early Modern Print

Projektleitung Wien:
Maximilian Diesenberger