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Home » History » Muslim/Magyar Invasions, Liudprand of Cremona (d. 972) and Christendom in the 10th Century

Muslim/Magyar Invasions, Liudprand of Cremona (d. 972) and Christendom in the 10th Century

In my previous post (https://ballandalus.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/muslim-and-magyar-raids-in-western-europe-during-the-ninth-and-tenth-centuries/) I sought to briefly outline the political and military aspects of the Magyar and Muslim incursions into Latin Christendom during the ninth and tenth centuries. In this piece, I want to look more closely at how one Latin writer, Liudprand of Cremona (d. 972), reflected upon these events. From the outset it should be asked: how were the fact the major, destructive raids by Muslims, Magyars and Vikings on Europe interpreted by Latin Christians during this period? Did they view the raids as a consequence of the internal divisions and disunity that had become characteristic of the former lands of the Carolingian Empire or as a manifestation of God’s wrath against the impiety of Christians in Italy and Francia?

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Liudprand, the Bishop of Cremona, and one of the main contemporary sources for the raids of the Magyars and Muslims in Europe, provides a unique perspective on these questions. He presents the invasions of the Magyars and Muslims in a similar manner, as a consequence of the chaos and civil strife that had plagued Western Christendom since the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire. Liudprand also emphasizes that this lack of order has led many Christian lords (and commoners) to behave unjustly and act impiously. He views the Magyars and Muslims as divine punishment sent to chastise these Christians, and Christendom as a whole, for their sins. He blames both the “evil Christians” and “infidels” for the turmoil of his times, and throughout his narrative attempts to associate these two categories with one another in order to properly explain why these invasions have occurred. By narrating the history of these invasions, Liudprand not only provides a strong critique of the present reality, but also implicitly (at times, explicitly) asserts that only a powerful, just, and Christian sovereign, Emperor Otto I, would be able to defeat the invaders, regain divine favor, and restore unity and order to Latin Christendom.

Liudprand of Cremona

Liudprand the Bishop of Cremona, who began writing a history of the late ninth and tenth century, known as the Antapodosis, around 958 in Frankfurt, was an important contemporary witness for political developments in the tenth century.[1] Liudprand was born into a prominent Lombard family of palatium (leading notables) in Pavia around 920, and survived the sack of the city by the Hungarians in 924.[2] He was educated as a cleric, before becoming a secretary for Berengar II of Italy and being sent to the Byzantine Empire on several diplomatic missions. He fell from Berengar’s favor around 950, and attached himself to Otto of Saxony, in whose court he began composing the Antapodosis.[3] He was invested with the bishopric of Cremona by Otto in 962, and entrusted with an important diplomatic mission to Constantinople on Otto’s behalf, described in detail in his Relatio de Legatione Constantinopolitana.[4] He died in 972, leaving behind an important collection of writings pertaining to tenth-century Western European history, of which the Anatapodosis was by far the most important for the history of the Magyar and Muslim invasions.

Liudprand viewed Byzantium, Rome, Italy, and the Frankish kingdoms as all being constituent parts of a larger Christendom which was under immense threat, both militarily, as a result of Magyar and Muslim invasions, and in terms of preserving its unity, due to the civil strife.[5] Liudprand also sought to portray Islam, as he viewed it, as the primary enemy of Latin Christendom by constructing a narrative in which events in Iberia, Provence, and Italy could be viewed as part of a larger “European Christian” history.[6] Hence, his discussion of the Muslims of Fraxinetum, the victory of King Ramiro II of León over Abdurrahman III of Al-Andalus at Simanacas in 939, and the North African raiders in Italy is presented as part of a unified and singular history. His placing of all these events within the same broader context can also be interpreted in light of Christendom’s hardening attitude towards Islam and Muslims in the early Middle Ages, as it became clear that Islam posed one of the greatest threats to the unity and security of Christendom.[7] It should be noted, however, that Liudprand–like many of his contemporaries–speaks of Islam and Muslims almost exclusively in political or military terms, never as a theological or religious threat. Regarding Liudprand’s writing itself, it appears that he lived in a world of political violence, turmoil, and foreign invasion, and all these themes are recurrent throughout his narrative.[8] He was an infant when the Magyars burnt Pavia, his native city, and this also must have had an impact not only on his decision to write about these events, but also on the way in which he interpreted them.

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Liudprand was highly skilled in literary Latin and had read and studied the great works of classical Latin literature, both classical and Christian. As Paolo Squatriti, the recent translator of the Antapodosis, asserts, this allowed him to adopt the models and styles from ancient and late antique writers, including Virgil, Cicero, and Augustine, and to combine this with his deep knowledge of the Bible in order to represent himself to readers with a persona most attuned to the circumstances.[9] Throughout his narrative there is interplay between war, intrigue, ambition, and license.  Liudprand seeks to underscore that it is divine guidance, not chance or politics, that was the real force that governed human affairs.[10] More significantly, throughout the text there seems to be an attempt to construct the legitimacy of Otto I as the ideal Christian ruler, a “New David,” who would be able to defeat the invaders, restore Christian unity, and establish justice throughout Latin Christendom.[11]

Civil Strife, Unholy Alliances, and Divine Retribution

During the ninth century, the lands constituting the Carolingian Empire were plagued by factionalism and civil strife, with nobles and lords competing for control of specific regions and lands amidst the chaos and petty conflicts that occurred in Francia, Italy, Piedmont, Swabia, and Bavaria. Liudprand was very conscious and highly critical of this phenomenon, believing it to have facilitated the invasions of the Muslims and Magyars in the ninth and tenth centuries. More significantly, he was appalled by the inaction against these invading forces, with local lords preferring to pay off raiders rather than engage them in combat.[12] Alliances made by Christian lords with “infidels,” whether Muslims or Hungarians, to aid them in their conflicts and vendettas was also particularly abhorrent to Liudprand; this policy was mainly manifested in the hiring of Hungarian or Arab/Berber mercenaries.[13]

As noted in my previous post, the practice of hiring Muslim mercenaries, initiated in the mid-ninth century had resulted in utter chaos in the Italian peninsula, allowing the Muslims to seize numerous cities and fortresses throughout Apulia, Calabria, and Benevento. Liudprand also accused Christian lords of endangering all of Christendom by their dealings with these “infidels,” and stresses that those who engaged in such “unholy alliances” had incurred the wrath of God upon themselves and upon Christendom.[14] In this way, he explicitly condemns the Emperor Arnulf for opening the way of the Magyars into Europe following his pact with them in 896, Hugh of Italy, who is compared with Ahab the ancient king of Israel, for his accommodation of the Muslims of Fraxinetum which led to the deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Christian pilgrims, and the Italian city states, namely Gaeta and Amalfi, for their alliance with the Muslims of Monte Garigliano.[15]

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Liudprand understood the strategic purpose of these alliances better than most, and in his view, this made them even more inexcusable, considering how they subordinated the interests of Christendom to local economic and political concerns or sought to empower one lord at the expense of another. From his perspective, these alliances had dissolved Christian unity, and facilitated foreign “infidel” domination. Liudprand asserts that invasions have occurred not only because of the strategic implications of such unholy pacts between Christians and heathens, but also because such an accommodation of “infidels” incurred the wrath of God. Similarly, Pope John VIII (872-882) also associated the “wicked Christians” with the Muslims, and presented a powerful case against such alliances by arguing that they facilitated the domination of the invaders; in other words, Italian anarchy led to Muslim invasion and success. Pope John also recognized the strategic importance of unraveling such alliances in order to restore Christian unity and drive out the Muslims, especially those in Monte Garigliano, and threatened excommunication to those Christians that made common cause with the “infidels.”[16] As early as 878, he also stressed the importance of defensio totius christianitatis (“the defense of the entirety of Christendom”) in the face of an aggressive Muslim enemy which was threatening Rome itself.[17] Despite this, several high ranking figures, including Bishop Anastasius II of Naples, continued to associate with the Muslims.[18] Therefore, according to Liudprand and Pope John, internal strife inevitably led to unholy alliances which empowered invaders, who, in due course, brought destruction and devastation in a manifestation of divine wrath upon Christendom.

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The converse argument also held true, as Liudprand explains when describing the campaign to expel the Muslims from their fortress in Monte Garigliano in 915. Pope John X had gathered a coalition of various Italian and Frankish nobles, which included former allies of the Muslims, and led the assault against Garigliano himself.[19] The outcome was a complete victory for the Christians with Liudprand exclaiming how “Saints Peter and Paul were seen on the battlefield by devout men and as Christians, we believe that it was through their prayers that the pagans were put to flight.”[20] The heralding of this event as a divine victory by Liudprand demonstrates how the triumph of the Christian coalition assembled by the Pope to defeat the Muslims of Garigliano, who had raided Italy with impunity for over three decades, was viewed as God’s will.

The breaking down of the complex system of alliances between the Muslims and the Italian city states was undoubtedly the prerequisite for the success of this campaign, but more significant, in Liudprand’s view, was God’s favor upon the army and His wrath against the “infidels”; such a victory was therefore a product of both Christian unity and the Divine Will.[21] Interestingly, Liudprand not only invokes the Christian/“infidel” difference when discussing the Battle of Garigliano (915) but emphasizes the Roman/barbarian (i.e. civilized vs. uncivilized) dichotomy by referring to the Muslims as poeni, or Phoenicians, a term replete with negative connotations, in an attempt to invoke the raids and advances of the Carthaginians led by Hannibal in Italy during the Second Punic War.[22] This highlights the fact that Liudprand had a very particular idea of “Europe” which was Graeco-Roman in heritage and Christian in faith, where barbarians could only be tolerated if they were assimilated or Christianized; in Liudprand’s view, assimilation and Christianization were not mutually exclusive.

It is important to point out that Liudprand’s portrayal of the Muslim and Magyar raids in the ninth and tenth centuries as a manifestation of divine displeasure was by no means unique. As described previously, during the ninth and tenth centuries, the areas encompassing modern-day France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany were being assaulted by three main groups: the Vikings, the Magyars, and the Muslims.[23] As the main external threat to Latin Christendom, they were depicted almost monolithically as invading barbarian hordes, ravaging Western Europe from three different directions.[24] These invasions were depicted as manifestations of God’s wrath against the perceived impiety of the Frankish kingdom.[25] The sensitivity of the Latin chroniclers to the Viking, Hungarian, and Muslim destruction of monasteries is especially apparent, and seems to inform their theological perspective on the invasions, since they viewed such attacks not only as manifestations of divine displeasure, but also as reflective of “pagan” hatred for Christianity.[26]

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By recognizing that the Latin chroniclers described the Vikings, the Magyars, and the Muslims in similar terms, as God’s instrument for chastising faithless Christians for their sins, it becomes clear that Liudprand’s narrative is situated firmly within this tradition. In fact, as early as the fifth century, ecclesiastical writers censured Christians for their sins and attributed the success of barbarian invasions to the “just judgment of God”; this framework of understanding foreign invasion was perhaps used as a model by Liudprand, who was well read in early Christian Latin literature.[27] The characterization of the raids of the Muslims of Fraxinetum in the Annals of St. Victor of Marseille as God’s divine rod of chastisement against the Christians (“Deus flagellare vellet populum christianum per seviciam paganorum, gens barbaric in regno Provence irruenes”), and the lamentation by Alcuin of York of the Viking devastations in Northumbria using the words of an Old Testament prophet (“Uae genti peccatrici, populo graui iniquitate, filiis sceleratis; derelinquunt Deum et blasphemauerunt sanctum saluatorem mundi in sceleribus suis”– Isaiah 1.4), are both demonstrative of the fact that the Muslim raids were viewed in the same light as the depredations of the Vikings in the North, i.e., as punishment for the sins of Christendom.[28] Moreover, the Frankish chronicler Radbert, writing a century before Liudprand, interpreted the Viking and Muslim attacks in Francia during the Carolingian civil war as clear signs that the apocalypse was near, in fulfillment of Matthew 24.6-7.[29]

Liudprand believed that the judgment and will of God pervaded everyday life and all contemporary events; above all, he emphasized the justice of God, whereby sinners would inevitably be punished and piety rewarded.[30] It is in this way that Liudprand begins his Antapodosis by attributing the arrival of Iberian Muslims, who would establish themselves at Fraxinetum on the shores of Provence in 887, to “the just judgment of God.”[31] This does not prevent him from highlighting how the internecine struggles of the lords of Provence enabled the Muslims to conquer the land with relative ease, but he demonstrates that the sins of these Christians who engaged in alliances with these “infidels” were punished by the Muslims who were able to “ravage, exterminate, and [make] it so that no one was left.”[32] This biblical imagery is supplemented by Liudprand quoting the book of Deuteronomy: “One of them pursued a thousand and two chased ten thousand…because their God had sold them and the Lord had shut them up”- Dt. 32.30.[33] As with the civil strife in Italy, Liudprand again attributes the success of foreign invaders not simply to strategic errors on the part of Christians, but also to their sins, and the divine retribution which those sinful actions incurred.

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Similarly, in 899, King Berengar’s forces were routed and Italy opened up to invasion and pillage not because his army was inferior (in fact it was three times more numerous according to Liudprand), but because Berengar “[saw] so many troops around him, puffed up by the spirit of pride and [attributed] the [coming] triumph over his enemies more to his numbers than to God.”[34] Again, divine retribution plays a role in contemporary events; in this case, Berengar’s sinful arrogance is the trigger for the wrath of God which manifests itself in the Hungarians. Indeed, Liudprand continues and makes clear that “it was not their [the Magyars’] strength that earned this success [i.e. victory in battle], but God’s true words” and goes on to quote the words of the Prophet Jeremiah:

“Behold, I will bring you a people from afar, a strong people, an ancient people, a people whose language you shall not know, nor understand what they say. Their quiver is like an open sepulcher; they are all valiant; and they shall eat up your grain and your bread, they shall devour your sons and your daughters, they shall eat up your flocks and your herds, they shall eat your vineyards and your figs; and with swords they shall destroy your strong cities, wherein you trust. Nevertheless in those days, says the Lord God, I will not bring you to utter destruction.”[35]

This is perhaps one of the most powerful quotations used by Liudprand in his narration of the Magyar invasions, and is indicative of his attempt to evoke biblical imagery and prophecy in his discussion of current events.[36] The reference in the verse to the mysterious language of these people, the emphasis on their quiver, and the destruction of cities makes it clear that Liuprand attempts to associate this “ancient people” mentioned by Jeremiah with the Magyars, who spoke a language very different than Latin or Germanic, had mastered archery, and sacked numerous cities. By also quoting the last line, which emphasizes that God will not forsake His people, Liudprand is suggesting that if the Christians refrain from sin, God will not abandon them to the torment of these invaders, because God is just but also merciful and forgiving, a theme Liudprand returns to later in Antapodosis.[37] Similarly, another ecclesiastical chronicler connects the Muslims who sacked the monastery of San Vincenzo Al Volturno with “the evil race of Agarenes [i.e. biblical sons of Hagar] whose hands are against all,” an unmistakable reference to Genesis 16.12.[38] Having portrayed Latin Christendom as plagued by sin and internecine conflict, Liudprand next seeks to convince his reader that there is only one man in Europe capable of restoring the unity and glory of Christianity: Otto I.

Otto I: Emperor and a New David

Liudprand introduces Otto I (r.936–973) as “the man by whose power the northern and western sections of the world are ruled, by whose wisdom they are pacified, by whose religious observance they are pleased, and by whose severity in just judgment they are cowed.”[39] Otto is contrasted with all the other historical figures mentioned by Liudprand in the strongest possible way. While Berengar (“persecutor of the churches”) and others are impious and extort money from churches, Otto patronizes monasteries and prays devoutly; whereas the many Christian nobles and dukes ally with and are powerless in the face of the invaders, Otto is victorious on the battlefield against them; and whereas the many lords of Italy have incurred the wrath of God due to their sins, Otto carries out the divine will and is favored by God. This stark differentiation between Otto and the other Christian princes and lords, whether Hugh, Berengar, or Arnulf, forms the basis of Liudprand’s argument that Otto is in fact a New David, a sacral king, who represents the ideal of Christian kingship.[40] Hence, Liudprand’s narration of the many internecine conflicts, the impiety of local lords, and the devastation of the invasions of the Magyars and Muslims appears to be setting the stage for his depiction of Otto as the legitimate ruler of Latin Christendom and justifying his intervention in Italian affairs leading up to his coronation as Emperor in February 962.[41]

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Otto’s success against the Magyars, especially his victory at Lechfeld in 955, is portrayed by Liudprand (and several other chroniclers, namely Widukind of Corvey) as an illustrious victory of Christians over “infidel” Hungarians.[42] There is specific emphasis on the role of God’s will and the favor which He bestowed upon Otto as an important factor that contributed to this victory. Widukind also emphasizes the divine will that played a role in Otto’s victory by referring to how the king assured his men that “[their] greatest comfort is that [they] enjoy God’s help.”[43] The motif of the Holy Lance, the relic which contained the nails from the Cross upon which Christ was crucified, is recurrent throughout the narrative and Otto’s adoration and possession of it is seen as playing a central role in his success against the Hungarians.[44] In their narration of the Battle of Lechfeld, both Liudprand and Widukind describe Otto as leading his troops in chanting the Kyrie eleison and prayers to the Virgin Mary before engaging the enemy, and rallying his soldiers by brandishing the Holy Lance. The victory is even compared with Charles Martel’s victory at Tours in 732, two centuries earlier.[45]

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The role of the Magyars in the civil wars between the Saxon dynasty and the nobles of Bavaria is also highlighted by Liudprand as a way of delegitimizing Otto’s opponents for associating with “infidels,” and contrasts their sinful behavior by showing the righteousness of King Otto who acted piously and relied solely on the power of God.[46] Much has been written about notions of Ottonian emperorship and attempts to construct imperial legitimacy, but it is important to underscore the role of Otto’s success against the invaders, both the Magyars and the Muslims of Fraxinetum, whom he kept at bay, as contributing to the idea that Otto was in fact a just ruler and the natural leader of western Christendom.[47] This argument is not only employed to contrast Otto with the petty rulers of Italy, but also utilized against the Byzantine Empire, as when Liudprand reported that it would not be the Greeks (i.e. the Byzantines), but the Franks, understood to mean the Germanic peoples, that would clear the Muslims out of Italy; he asserts this in the context of a failed Byzantine expedition against the Muslims in southern Italy at around the same time that Otto was increasingly intervening in Italian affairs.[48] For Liudprand, Otto was the protector of Christendom and throughout his text he utilizes imagery and motifs in order to establish this point. He relies on the strong contrast between the incompetent, sinful princes of Italy and Otto as the victorious, pious and just Christian ruler to justify his depiction of Otto as a sacral king, a new David, and the ideal Christian ruler.[49]

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[1] Robert Levine, “Liudprand of Cremona: History and Debasement in the Tenth Century,” Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 26 (1991): 76.

[2] Karl Leyser, “Ends and Means in Liudprand of Cremona,” Communications and Power in Medieval Europe: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries, ed. Timothy Reuter (London: Hambledon Press, 1994), p. 126; Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 3.

[3] Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 4; Collins, Early Medieval Europe, p. 401.

[4] Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 5. For a detailed discussion of this embassy, see Henry Mayr-Harting, “Liudprand of Cremona’s Account of his Legation to Constantinople (968) and Ottonian Imperial Strategy,” English Historical Review 116 (2001): 539–556.

[5] Leyser, “Ends and Means,” p. 133. By the time Liudprand composed his Relatio Legatione Constantinopolitana following his embassy to Constantinople in 968, he seems to have further limited the borders of Europe to the exclusion of Byzantium; his Christian universe then became centered on the Ottonians, the new Holy Roman Empire (Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 35).

[6] Leyser, “Ends and Means,” p. 134; Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 8; Karl Leyser, “Concepts of Europe in the Early and High Middle Ages,” in Communications and Power in Medieval Europe, pp. 13–14; Jonathan Shepard, “Europe and the Wider World,” in The Early Middle Ages, Europe 400–1000, ed. Rosamond McKitterick (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001),p. 222.

[7] Leyser, “Ends and Means,” p. 141.

[8] Levine, “Liudprand of Cremona,” p. 71.

[9] Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 7; Levine, “Liudprand of Cremona,”p. 74.

[10] Karl Leyser, “Liudprand of Cremona: Preacher and Homilist,” in Communications and Power in Medieval Europe, p. 122; Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 11.

[11] Philippe Buc, “Writing Ottonian Hegemony: Good Rituals and Bad Rituals in Liutprand of Cremona,” Majestas 4 (1996): 33; Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 27–29.

[12] For example, in 947, Berengar II taxed the entire kingdom of Italy, including church property, in order to dissuade the Hungarians from invading Italy (Liudprand, Antapodosis 6:33, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 194; Wickham, Early Medieval Italy, p. 179).

[13] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:42, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 94; Bowlus, Battle of Lechfeld, p. 73; Leyser, “Liudprand of Cremona,” p. 121

[14] Leyser, “Ends and Means,”p. 130. A notable example of the association of “bad Christians” with “perfidious infidels” is that of Adalbert of Ivrea who in the 960s took refuge with the Muslims of Fraxinetum to avoid the wrath of Otto I (Liudprand, King Otto 4, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 221).

[15] Liudprand, Antapodosis 5:17, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 181–182. Arnulf used the Magyars as mercenaries in his campaigns against the Christian kingdom of Moravia (Collins, Early Medieval Europe, p. 397).

[16] Engreen, “Pope John VIII and the Arabs,” pp. 325–326.

[17] Dominique Iogna-Prat, “L’islam et la naissance de la ‘Chrétienté a la fin du neuvieme siècle,” in Historire de l’islam et des musulmans en France, ed. Mohamed Arkoun (Paris: Albin Michel, 2006), pp. 74–75.

[18] Engreen, “Pope John VIII and the Arabs,” p. 319.

[19] Hamilton, “Pope John X,” p. 316; John Gilchrist, “Papacy and the Saracens,” The International History Review, 10. 2 (1988): 183.

[20] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:54, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 99.Hamilton, “Pope John X,” p. 317.

[21] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:50, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 98–99.

[22] [22] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:51–54, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 98–99; George Frederic Franko, “The Use of Poenus and Carthaginiensis in Early Latin Literature,” Classical Philology 89 (1994): 153–158. This is quite unprecendented, since Latin authors in the early Middle Ages commonly use the terms hagarenes or saraceni, both with biblical connotations, to refer to Muslims.

[23] See map in Appendix.

[24] For the conceptualization of the “barbarian” in the Latin Christian imagination, see W. R. Jones, “The Image of the Barbarian in Medieval Europe,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 13 (1971): 376–407.

[25] For a discussion of the theology of the Viking invasions in Latin Christendom, see Mary Garrison, “The Bible and Alcuin’s Interpretation of Current Events,” Peritia 16 (2002): 68–84; Simon Coupland, “The Rod of God’s Wrath or the People of God’s Wrath? The Carolingian Theology of the Viking Invasions,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 42 (1991): 535–554, in which a parallel between the way that Latin Christians viewed the Viking invasions and the Muslim raids in western Europe is drawn.

[26] In fact, attacks against monasteries were motivated largely by economic considerations, as shown by Coupland, “The Rod of God’s Wrath,” pp. 541–544, who also indicates that the Christian monarchs Lothar I and Charles the Bald also looted monasteries (Coupland, “The Rod of God’s Wrath,” p. 543).

[27] Salvian of Marseille, “On the Governance of God,” trans. Jeremiah O’Sullivan, From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader, ed. Alexander Callander Murray (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2000), pp. 109–137.

[28] Poly, La Provence, p. 9; Garrison, “The Bible and Alcuin‘s Interpretation,” p. 80; Coupland, “The Rod of God’s Wrath,” pp. 538–541. “Deus flagellare vellet populum christianum per seviciam paganorum, gens barbaric in regno Provence irruenes” roughly means “God flagellated the Christian nation through a pagan, barbaric people who have ruined [i.e., completely devastated] Provence,” and “Uae genti peccatrici, populo graui iniquitate, filiis sceleratis; derlinquunt Deum et blasphemauerunt sanctum saluatorem mundi in sceleribus suis” translates as “Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity…wicked sons; they have forsaken the Lord and they have blasphemed the holy Saviour of the world in their wicked deeds.”

[29] Coupland, “The Rod of God’s Wrath,” p. 538.

[30] Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 11.

[31] Liudprand, Antapodosis 1:3, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 45.

[32] Liudprand, Antapodosis 1:4, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 46–47.

[33] Liudprand, Antapodosis 1:4, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 47.

[34] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:10, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 81.

[35] Liudprand, Antapodosis 2:16, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 83–84.

[36] Another notable use of biblical imagery is his anecdote of a fountain in Genoa overflowing with blood as a foreshadowing of the devastating sack of the city by North African Muslim raiders in 935 (Liudprand, Antapodosis 4:5, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 142).

[37] Liudprand, Antapodosis 3:4, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 112–113.

[38] John of San Vincenzo, “The Destruction of the Monastery of San Vincenzo Al Volturno,” Medieval Italy, p. 113.

[39] Liudprand, Antapodosis 4:15, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 151.

[40] Buc, “Writing Ottonian Hegemony,” p. 5.

[41] Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 29.

[42] Gerhard, Vita Sancti Uodalrici Episcopi Augustani, trans. Charles R. Bowlus, Battle of Lechfeld, pp. 176–178; Widukind of Corvey, Widukindi Res Gestae Saxonicae, trans. Hill, The First Reich, pp. 15–18.

[43] Bowlus, Battle of Lechfeld, p. 17.

[44] Liudprand, Antapodosis 4:25, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 158–159; Bowlus, Battle of Lechfeld, p. 12; Widukind of Corvey, Widukindi Res Gestae Saxonicae, trans. Hill, The First Reich, p. 17; Buc, “Writing Ottonian Hegemony,” pp. 34–35; Leyser, “Liudprand of Cremona,” p. 122; Karl Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony (London: Indian University Press, 1979), p. 88.

[45] Widukind of Corvey, Widikundi Res Gestae Saxonicae, trans. Hill, The First Reich, p. 18.

[46] Bowlus, Battle of Lechfeld, pp. 92–94, 168.

[47] See Karl Leyser, “Theophanu Divina Gratia Imperatrix Augusta: Western and Eastern Emperorship in the Later Tenth Century,” in Communications and Power in Medieval Europe, pp. 143–164; Hill, The First Reich, pp. 85–118.

[48] Mayr-Harting, “Liudprand of Cremona’s Account of his Legation to Constantinople,” p. 553; Kreutz, Before the Normans, pp. 102–106.

[49] Liudprand, Antapodosis 4:29, trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, pp. 164–165. For the idea of sacral kingship during Charlemagne’s time, see Mary Garrison, “The Franks as the New Israel?” in The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages, eds. Yitzhak Henn and Matthew Innes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp.114–161.

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