Monday, July 15, 2013

Pseudo-Isidore's Invocatio

Jonathan Jarrett, writer of an excellent blog on Tenth-Century Europe and author of a distinguished volume on medieval Catalonia, has stumbled upon this remote and desolate corner of the intertubes and asked a very important question.

Three years ago, in a post on the First Words of Pseudo-Isidore, I noted that
Pseudo-Isidore starts off with an invocation: "In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi incipit praefatio sancti Isidori libri huius" -- "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, here begins St. Isidore's preface to this book." Now that sounds ordinary enough, and in fact Hinschius found it so unremarkable that he left it out of his edition (even though it's in all the MSS). But it's not so innocent. In fact, it's clearly derived from the invocation used by Lothar's chancery -- the little intro formula that they used to start out their documents. Lothar and the unity party were allies, remember, so this is highly significant.
In comments, Jarrett expresses some circumspect uncertainty. I hope he will forgive me for quoting him here up top:
Firstly, I bet you could find that phrase in at least some charters of almost any Carolingian king after Charlemagne and I'd be surprised if it weren't in Louis's or even Charles the Bald's here and there. The kings tended to vary in their subscription and intitulatio more than in the structural formulae. Secondly, even if it were specific to Lothar, the invocatio is pretty basic. If you wanted to open your text with "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," which doesn't seem like a cunning or specific thing to want, it'd be hard not to hit on something very like that phrase. I think that the person who came up with that theory had been thinking about just these texts for a bit too long, myself, though if they did do the comparative work and prove it's specific, I'll humbly back down.
Some of Jarrett's concerns might have been addressed had I steered readers to Emil Seckel (as ed. Horst Fuhrmann), Die erste Zeile Pseudoisidors (Berlin, 1959), where this argument originated. As the issue is deeply important, especially given new theories (some of them of my own making!) that attach the Pseudo-Isidorians to Lothar partisans in the 830s, it's worth finally giving this particular corner of Pseudo-Isidore its due.

For various reasons that need not bother us here, Paul Hinschius printed Pseudo-Isidore's massive collection of fake laws without any invocatio. Yet his son-in-law Emil Seckel, upon reading Hinschius's extremely thorough introduction, realized that a lot of important, early manuscripts--particularly manuscripts of the A1 and A2 recensions--opened with the following words (the textual evidence here is quite strong):
In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi. Incipit praefatio sancti Isidori libri huius.
By the time he came upon this realization, Seckel had already spent gobs and gobs of time thinking about Pseudo-Isidore's (and particularly Benedictus Levita's) sources. And he remembered that the Pseudo-Isidorians had borrowed a significant portion of their introductory material from the Collectio Dionysio-Hadriana. He was also reminded that the DH opens with its own invocatio, and he wondered whether there might be some relationship between the two introductory formulae. After surveying the textual evidence (we still have nothing approaching a critical edition of the DH), Seckel was able to establish the wording of the invocatio in the DH (again, with a fair degree of confidence), as follows:
In nomine domini. Incipit praefatio libri huius.
Should we assume that the similarity between these invocationes is not accidental (and given the broader overlap in introductory materials between the DH and Pseudo-Isidore, that point would be hard to argue), a comparison allows us to see the first twelve words of Pseudo-Isidore through new eyes:
In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi. Incipit praefatio Sancti Isidori libri huius.
The words in bold begin to look like minor additions that Pseudo-Isidore has contributed to the invocatio he borrowed from the DH. The explanation for "Sancti Isidori," at least in Seckel's mind, was fairly clear: A) The Pseudo-Isidorian preface that follows this invocatio is, indeed, in the name of one Isidorus Mercator, and B) the underlying DH invocatio actually introduces an excerpt from Isidore's Etymologiae. Horst Fuhrmann even proposed that this latter circumstance was one of the reasons our forgers alighted on their peculiar pseudonym.

But what about "nostri Iesu Christi"? Here Seckel anticipates Jarrett's well-considered objections. "Pseudo-Isidore's inscription looks as harmless as possible, and the invocation certainly occurred hundreds of times before Pseudo-Isidore" (40). But, Seckel continues, in a catchy line that threatens to lose some its luster in translation: "...harmlos wäre, wer Pseudoisidors erste Zeile für eine Harmlosigkeit hielte." He then provides the comparative work that Jarrett asks for, from pp. 41 through 46.

Here Seckel finds strict regularity in the invocationes (if not the intitulationes and subscriptiones) as employed in documents issued by Carolingian kings and emperors from the time of Charlemagne's imperial coronation in 800 onwards. Charlemagne preferred "In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti" (apparently lifted, as Seckel notes, from the baptismal formula). Louis the Pious elected to invoke God with the words "In nomine domini dei et salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi" (in this case, apparently depending on eighth-century Roman chancery practice). Lothar I, meanwhile, chose an invocatio only slightly different from his father's: "In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi dei aeterni," as did Louis the German between 830 and 833: "In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi dei omnipotentis." After the Field of Lies, though, Louis the German changed his invocatio to "In nomine sanctae et individuae trinitatis," which was the same formula picked up by Charles the Bald. And Seckel follows the history still further: Two of Lothar's sons kept their father's invocatio, while Lothar II reached back to Louis the Pious with "In nomine dei et salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi."

Seckel then briefly traces the recurrence of these invocationes not through the charters, but through conciliar legsilation. Thus the acta promulgated by the council that met at Mainz in 813 invoke God with the words "In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti"--in clear dependence on Charlemagne's preferred formula. At Rome in 826, the acta employ Louis the Pious's invocatio; at Ingelheim in 840 they use Lothar I's. As Seckel notes, the invocatio of a given council could even, in the right circumstances, have partisan overtones. Thus, at Aachen in 836, the bishops slapped "In nomine sanctae Trinitatis" on the top of their acta, nodding not at Louis the Pious (against whom certain bishops presumably still harbored hard feelings), but at Louis the GermanIn this context, the Pseudo-Isidorian invocatio becomes a matter of interest.

In all of Francia, whose royal chancery would the words "In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi" put you in mind of? If you were writing between 830 and 833, the answer would be either Louis the German or Lothar I. If you were writing between 834 and about 850, it could only be Lothar. (And if you're writing before 830 or after 850, you're probably not Pseudo-Isidore.)

Such, anyway, is Seckel's case. In conclusion, some observations: In the first place, Seckel's argument makes a great deal of sense in the broader context of Pseudo-Isidore's agenda, as we have encountered it, repeatedly, on this blog. In the second place, the invocatio heading Pseudo-Isidore's collection has a fairly undeniable chronological position in the history of royal Carolingian invocationes. This is a rarified genre into which Jesus Christ was himself only first admitted with the accession of Louis the Pious after 814, and from which he was excluded by all but Lothar I and his sons after 840. Third, though: Assuming we're reading Pseudo-Isidore correctly, he was playing a dangerous game. Seventh-century legal collections should not be giving shout-outs to ninth-century political favorites. Then again, it's just bland enough that it's perfectly possible nobody cared that much; indeed, nobody before Seckel gave these words a second thought. And, fourth, Seckel was one of the most brilliant Pseudo-Isidorian scholars this world has seen, and his brilliance lay partly in his appreciation for detail (and the great payoffs that kind of sensitivity can have for anyone working on the False Decretals). Yet anybody who has read his Benedictus-Levita Studien has learned to be wary of his tendency to see significance in even the slightest textual variants. Die erste Zeile Pseudoisidors advances a very Seckelian argument indeed.

Ansgar and Rimbert Revisited, Part III: The Bitter End, With Gifs

Another unsolvable problem that emerges with Knibbs’ interpretative model is found in the formulation of Nicholas [I]’s privilege for Ansgar of 31 May 864. Knibbs claims that the brief response in the negotiations that Nicolaus I gave in his letter to Solomon of Constance in May 864 reflects the genuine document for Ansgar, which Nicholas promulgated later. According to [the letter to Solomon], Nicholas claims – after praising Emperor Louis the Pious’s zeal and declaring himself prepared to follow in the footprints of what his predecessor Gregory IV had done earlier – to ...allow...Bremen to be independent of the archbishop of Cologne, and to be promoted to an archiepiscopal see over Danes and “swevi” [i.e., Swedes]. It is peculiar that important parts of these rights are missing in the preserved privilege itself, which Rimbert according to Knibbs basically composed entirely himself. [In the Nicholas privilege], Hamburg and Bremen are, to be sure, joined to each other, but Ansgar, who is here called “the first archbishop of the Nordalbingians,” does not become archbishop over Danes and “swevi”, but only over the Nordalbingians, and instead, he is allowed to continue in his role as legate over Danes, “sveones,” and Slavs. The latter is a formulation that is recognized from the privilege of Gregory IV for Ansgar. If Rimbert had made these changes, they are entirely incomprehensible. He would, in other words, have had a document that made him into archbishop of great swaths of northern Europe, but instead worked out a version that made him into archbishop over the Nordalbingians, and that is content to make Ansgar a papal legate among Danes, sveones, and Slavs, and this without ascribing these rights to Ansgar’s successors, i.e. himself [Rimbert]. Exactly because this document, which, according to Knibbs’s thesis, [Rimbert] had himself written, did not contain suitable formulations, he had during his entire time in office to fight for claiming this assignment as an “inheritance” which he had from Ansgar “by right of succession.” This is unreasonable, and in its place there is an entirely reasonable explanation.
Wolfgang Seegrün has pointed out that there is a decisive difference between the preliminary message to Solomon and the fully worked-out privilege to Ansgar. The former had no legal force. Against this background, the undersigned [i.e., Janson] has always claimed that what happened between the preliminary message and the issuing of [Nicholas’s privilege for Ansgar] was that the curia carefully worked through the case. In particular, they studied Gregory IV’s earlier privilege for Ansgar, and there they found that things were considerably more complex than the German delegation had portrayed them. I will not enter into detail here, but it ought in fact to be emphasized that a clear sign that it in fact was Gregory IV’s document that had come up is that Nicholas now no longer talks about “swevi”, which more likely is usage from the northern European area, but instead, along the lines of Gregory IV and general usage, about “sveones”, and from Gregory’s letter also the Slavs [enter] the legatine area. Things are thus clear as glass. The report to Solomon was...determined by the presentation of the royal delegation, while the privilege for Ansgar [was determined] by Gregory IV’s earlier privilege.
I know, dear reader, I know: That’s hard going, but we’ll take our time. Let’s start with a stroll through the documents Janson and I are fighting about. There are two of them:

1) Nicholas I’s 864 response to various petitions from Louis the German as brought to his notice by Bishop Solomon of Constance (which I refer to, in my book, as Nicholas’s report to Solomon). This document survives fully independently of the Hamburg-Bremen tradition and is of unimpeachable authenticity. In it, Nicholas notes that he has received Louis the German’s petition regarding Ansgar, and describes the actions he has taken. 

2) A charter that is quoted (or "quoted") in Chapter 23 of Rimbert’s Vita Anskarii. In this lengthy chapter, Rimbert purports to reproduce the privilege that Nicholas I actually issued for Ansgar in 864. This is the privilege that we are supposed to believe item 1) summarizes.

Scholars who peruse these two pieces of evidence find themselves confronted by a pair of interrelated problems: Item 2) is plagued by formal irregularities so serious as to call its authenticity into question. Even committed defenders of the traditionalist narrative have been forced to pen lengthy apologiae for its defects. And the contents of item 2) are moreover flatly contradicted by the contents of item 1)—the only unprobelmatic and independent scrap of evidence in this dark and dusty corner of medieval history. According to me, this anomaly lends itself to a simple explanation: Item 1) reflects what Nicholas actually did, while item 2) reflects what Rimbert wishes Nicholas had done. Item 1), in other words, comes from the pope; item 2) comes from Rimbert.

Janson and other traditionalist historians, however, need item 2) to be authentic, so this simple explanation is unavailable to them. Instead, Janson and co. have to somehow bridge the gap between 1) and 2). And my goodness does Janson believe he has bridged this gap. You might even say he believes he has laid nineteen lanes of Los Angeles expressway right over the top of it.

Janson accomplishes this remarkable feet of engineering by beginning with the premise that everything is genuine, and then trying to imagine what sort of circumstances could have resulted in our contradictory texts. This strikes him as an acceptable way to proceed, because many scholars have found that imaginary scenarios have the weight of evidence if they are conceived with enough fervor, outfitted with weak arguments that have no probative force (i.e., swevi and sueones--more on that in a bit) and committed to print. In this case, Janson finds his imaginary scenario to be as “clear as glass,” and in his mind it therefore constitutes an “unsolvable problem” for my argument.

To see why (or why not), we begin with the relevant passage from item 1):
We [that is, Nicholas I speaking in pluralis maiestatis] praise the zeal of the emperor Louis the Pious of blessed memory, and are prepared to follow in the footsteps of our predecessor Gregory of holy memory. Although license for this could not be given by Gunthar [of Cologne], and should not have been sought, nevertheless for the love of the king...[we declare] that the bishop of  Bremen, with our authority, should have the power and honor of an archiepiscopate over the Danes and the Swedes, in the aforementioned place of Bremen, and that his successors in future times should also hold and possess this power forever.
Note, dear reader, that Janson has not been completely accurate in his summary of this passage. Item 1) neither explicitly withdraws Bremen from Cologne’s jurisdiction nor elevates the see of Bremen to archiepiscopal status. Instead, it declares that “the bishop of Bremen” (i.e., Ansgar) is to enjoy the power and honor of an archiepiscopate over the Danes and the Swedes.

Let us now turn to item 2), which you can find online here, and translated here (scroll down to CHAPTER XXIII). As quoted by Rimbert, this document characterizes Ansgar as “the first bishop of the Nordalbingi,” grants him status as papal legate, and declares that Hamburg, the see of the Nordalbingi, is henceforth to be an archiepiscopal see. It also proclaims that, after Ansgar’s death, a successor in the form of a vigorous preacher, suited for such a magnificent position, is to always be elected.
A minor point: I’m not quite sure what Janson means when he complains that this document does not  “ascribe these rights to Ansgar’s successors.” Isn’t that exactly the force of Nicholas’s statement that Hamburg is to henceforth (deinceps) be an archiepiscopate and that successors to Ansgar’s offices are always (semper) to be elected? Divine judgment is even called to witness the election of later officeholders. Despite these lines, there is no evidence that Rimbert or his successors received anything from the pope except the pallium. To the extent that Rimbert “ fight for claiming [the legateship] as an ‘inheritance’ which he had from Ansgar ‘by the right of succession’” (Janson, as above: and this statement comes from the much later Vita Rimberti, so it’s unclear whether Rimbert even cared about the legateship, much less that he fought for it), his case could only have been bolstered by this passage. Perhaps nobody took it seriously, though? We digress....
Item 2) then proceeds with a secondary narratio complaining that Ansgar lost his monastery at Turholt to Charles the Bald after the Carolingian civil war, and that the northern mission endured serious hardship as a result. Hamburg in particular was left “nearly deserted.” Meanwhile, the bishop of Bremen was considerate enough to die, leaving Louis the German to wonder whether the church of Bremen might be joined and subjected to the new archiepiscopal see at Hamburg. A petition along these lines was therefore submitted to Nicholas through Solomon of Constance. In accordance with this petition, Nicholas therefore merges the dioceses of Hamburg and Bremen and declares that they are henceforth to be and to be called a single diocese under the see at Hamburg. Henceforth no archbishop of Cologne is to enjoy any power in the new diocesan territory. Anyone who opposes these arrangements is to be struck with the sword of anathema.

Now that we have had our leisurely walk through items 1) and 2), we get to the fun part. Can you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, see any point of contact—any point of resonance whatsoever, however minuscule—between the short but fairly straightforward remarks in item 1) and the many provisions outlined by item 2)? Remember that item 1) is supposed to be describing the contents of item 2) for Louis the German’s benefit. Both items mention Louis the Pious and Louis the German, I guess. They both mention Cologne. Otherwise any relationship is pretty thin. Item 1) is all about Ansgar as Bishop of Bremen, while item 2) is all about Ansgar as Bishop of the Nordalbingi. Item 1) gives the bishop of Bremen archiepiscopal honor and authority over the Danes and the Swedes. Item 2) makes the bishop of the Nordalbingi Nicholas’s legate, declares Hamburg to be an archiepiscopal see, and then proceeds to characterize Bremen as a replacement for the lost monastery at Turholt, and therefore to merge the diocesan territory of Bremen with that of Hamburg, and to make Hamburg the new (archiepiscopal!) see of the enlarged archdiocese. In other words, item 1) expands the authority of the bishop of Bremen over the Danes and the Swedes, while item 2) dissolves the diocese of Bremen entirely and subjects all of its territory to Hamburg.

Maybe item 2) is a forgery?

Janson thinks not, because he has a story that sorts all this out for us. Nicholas’s secretaries just got a bit ahead of themselves when they were composing item 1). They met Louis’s delegation and they were like yeah, sure, whatever you say, and they dashed off a quick summary of what they intended to do.
Then later they were like,
This is all so much more complicated than we thought!
So after carefully reading Gregory’s privilege for Ansgar...
...they composed item 2).
But like a lot of administratively assertive types, Nicholas I was a tightwad. No way he was going to rewrite item 1) and waste all that precious papyrus.
So he was like...
Item 1) doesn’t matter! It “has no legal force”! Yo, why did we even write dat shit!? 
Solomon, tell Louis that if he has any questions about what we did here, he should drop Ansgar a line. Sorry about that screwed up paragraph. See you around!
I will be the first to admit it: Janson is right! Something like that could have happened!

Here are some other things that could have happened!
-On their way back north after getting all the requisite privileges from Nicholas I, Solomon and the German delegation were crossing a stream when Nordfrid, Ansgar’s representative, stepped on a mossy rock and fell into the water. Sadly, he was carrying the privilege for Ansgar in his pocket, and it was destroyed (papyrus and water do not mix). He was too embarrassed to tell anyone. That night he snuck into Solomon’s tent, absconded with a quill, some ink, and one of the less important documents that Nicholas had sent north with them. He carefully erased the papyrus to make way for a hastily composed replacement privilege for Ansgar. Nordfrid was a little fuzzy on some of the finer points, but he did his best. Nobody was ever the wiser.
-Instead of succumbing to the waters of an Alpine stream, the privilege in Nordfrid’s pocket attracted the attention of Solomon’s horse, who waited until nobody was looking before deftly removing it from Nordfrid’s pocket with his horsey teeth and eating it. To spare Solomon any embarrassment, Nordfrid proceeded as above.
-After the delegation had their audience with Nicholas, the pope went to his secretaries and was like: You guys over there, draw up a reply to Louis the German. And you guys over there, draw up the privilege for Ansgar. And before clarifying the finer points, he and Solomon went out for a beer. Team 1 and team 2 came up with different stuff. Nicholas and Solomon came back from the bar a little tipsy, the documents were already sealed, and nobody was in the mood to double check anything. Everyone was careful to keep the papyrus away from Solomon’s acquisitive steed.
-Louis the German really wanted Nicholas I to make Ansgar an archbishop at Bremen. But Ansgar hated his drafty Bremen apartment (slow WIFI, and every five minutes Willehad’s bones were healing some tedious pilgrim and dragging him out of bed) and really wanted to move to Hamburg (no Willehad, great Döner kebaps). He shot the pope an email (with a CC to Solomon) just as the delegation was arriving in Rome. Nicholas was like, shit, what do we do? And Solomon was like, let’s just tell everyone what they want to hear and hit the bar. And Nicholas was like, Word. They even remembered to give Solomon’s horse some extra barley after stumbling back.
-Nicholas and Solomon spent all afternoon working on Ansgar’s privilege as carried in item 2), then hit the bar with Solomon, the librarian Anastasius, and Cletus, Anastasius’s Bichon frise. After pint number five, Nicholas was getting worked up about Gunthar’s role in the whole Lothar divorce thing. He complained about it all the way back to the Lateran. Cologne was a serious pain in the ass. He was still feeling pretty awake when he got back to his apartment and thought he might as well do a bit of work. So he went to his study, grabbed a piece of papyrus, and pounded out the report for Louis the German, all in one go, complete with the paragraph making Ansgar an archbishop at Bremen as in item 1). Nicholas as a badass Latinist so this was no sweat for him, even after all that beer. It wasn’t quite accurate, but sticking it to Cologne sure felt good. Then he took Cletus for a walk in the stables, fed Solomon’s horse an apple, and had a cigarette.
These fantasies lack gifs, it is true, but that makes them no less probable! And there are other possibilities too! Perhaps you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, can use your own flourishing imaginations to further advance our understanding of the origins of Hamburg-Bremen! In the meantime, I’m getting a bit tired, and I imagine I’ve made my point

Nevertheless, this is a blog, the intertubes will be fed, and there’s no reason we can’t afford Janson’s particular scenario the courtesy of closer scrutiny. Three points, in particular, conspire to muddy the clear glass of Janson's solution.

Point the First: Nicholas’s letter to Louis the German survives without its dating clause, so there is no evidence that item 1) must have been composed before item 2). Indeed, we can only say that whatever privilege Nicholas issued for Ansgar must have been contemporaenous with his report to Louis the German. Janson asks that we imagine a progression in the approach of the papal chancery from item 1) to item 2), but it is important to remember that Nicholas did not simply receive the German delegation, send them back across the Alps with 1), and then drop 2) in the post later on after their ideas and understanding had progressed. Ansgar’s representative, Nordfrid, traveled with Solomon. Insisting on the authenticity of the privilege quoted in chapter 23 of the Vita Anskarii requries you, dear reader, to imagine that the delegation returned with both 1) and 2) in their saddle bags. Janson’s scenario, in other words, posits that Nicholas knowingly sent an inaccurate report to Louis the German because...he was lazy? He was confused? He wrote his letters in the wrong order? 

Point the Second: In this connection it is useful to note, once again, that items 1) and 2) flatly contradict each other. Item 1) is not a vaguely phrased summary of item 2). Item 1) is not an informal description of a technical document. Item 1) simply describes a completely different and wholly unrelated papal provision. The distance between 1) and 2) is so great  that not even Janson’s imagination can unite the two. Consider, for example, Louis the German’s petition. What did Louis ask the pope to do? Item 1) strongly implies that Louis asked the pope to confer archiepiscopal rank on the bishop of Bremen. Item 2) all but says that Louis asked Nicholas to merge the diocese of Bremen with the archiepiscopal see at Hamburg. Could a closer study of Gregory IV’s privilege have changed how Nicholas chose to portray Louis’s request?

Point the Third: Since Seegrün, we have been reading that Nicholas’s report to Louis somehow “had no legal force.” Such is your blogger's impatience with this statement that he is driven to inflict a final gif upon the straining computers of his readership:
Naturally, the actual privilege issued to Ansgar is what Ansgar (and his successors) would have used to defend the position and privileges of the (arch)diocese. But Nicholas’s report to Louis the German was no less crucial; it informed Solomon and the king of papal decisions with respect not only to Ansgar, but also to a variety of other cases that the delegation had brought to the pope’s attention. Its significance was both legal and administrative, to the extent that Nicholas hoped that Louis would adhere to, observe and when necessary further the papal decisions it outlined. That is why he wrote it.

The rest of Janson’s aforequoted statements seem oddly oblivious to my actual argument. I don’t buy his theory about the regional significance of swevi and sueones (alternative second- and third-declension forms for “Swedes”), but had he read Chapter 5 more carefully, he’d have seen that I suggest that Rimbert used Gregory IV's privilege to assist in his composition of item 2). I even provide some evidence for this point. So Janson’s swevi/sueones point is...dare I type it...consistent with my argument?

Otherwise, Janson asks why Rimbert would have suppressed a privilege that made Ansgar archbishop over the Danes and the Swedes, only to forge a replacement that made him archbishop of the Nordalbingi and legate to the Danes, Swedes and Slavs. Why cede archiepiscopal jurisdiction over “great swaths” of northern Europe in favor Hamburg, Bremen and little else? Janson’s statements puzzle your blogger deeply, especially as this precise point is addressed, at length, in Chapter 6 of my book. In brief, dear reader: Would you rather be Emperor of Antarctica or Mayor of Cleveland? Take your time. Given that Denmark and Sweden had no Christians and no ecclesiastical infrastructure, and the Frankish emperors exerted no direct authority over either region, the analogy is very apt. Rimbert needed to be archbishop of the Danes and the Swedes about as much as he needed metropolitan jurisdiction over the moon; the tithe income would have been about the same. And Rimbert’s problems were still deeper: Nicholas’s report (item 1) concedes archiepiscopal status on Ansgar as the bishop of Bremen, but an authentic pallium privilege calls Rimbert archbishop of Hamburg. Would it have been at all clear to anybody that a privilege for Ansgar as (arch)bishop at Bremen meant anything for the status of Rimbert as archbishop at Hamburg? In fact it’s clear enough what Rimbert and his successors at Hamburg needed. They needed Bremen, both for its security and its income, and they were willing to fight tooth and nail—and even risk subjection to Cologne—to keep it.

Back to Part I
Back to Part II
Back to Intro