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The Fredegar Chronicles

Roger Collins

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Bibliography

Introduction: One Work or Two?

Part One – The Fredegar Compilation

Chapter one Authors – One or Several?

Chapter Two Who was ‘Fredegar’?

Chapter Three The Date of Composition and the Contents

Chapter Four The Structure of the Chronicle

Chapter Five Fredegar’s Sources

Chapter Six The Manuscripts

Chapter Seven The Manuscript Tradition

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Part Two – Childebrand and Nibelung’s Historia vel Gesta

Francorum

Chapter One The Contents

Chapter Twp Authorship

Chapter Three Evidential Value

Chapter Four The Manuscripts

Chapter Five The Manuscript Tradition

Chapter Six Influence and Survival

Appendix One The Basel Fragments

Appendix Two The Munich Bifolium

Appendix Three The Dillingen Fragment

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Index

Abbreviations:

Archiv Archiv fur deutsche Geschichtskunde


BEC Bibliothèque de l’Ecole des Chartes
Bischoff, Katalog Bischoff, Bernhard, Katalog der festländischen Handschriften
des neunten Jahrhunderts 2 vols (Wiesbaden, 1998 and 2004).
CLA Elias Avery Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores
(11 volumes + a Supplement, Oxford, 1934-1971)
DA Deutsches Archiv
KRUSCH 1888 Bruno KRUSCH (ed.), Chronicarum quae dicuntur Fredegarii
Scholastici libri IV, MGH SRM vol. II (1888), pp. 1-193.
MGH Monumenta Germaniae Historica
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AA Auctores Antiquissimi
SRM Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum
SRG Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum
SS Scriptores
NA Neues Archiv für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde
PL Patrologia Latina, ed. J.P. Migne
SSCI Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto
medioevo (Spoleto)
WALLACE-HADRILL J.M. WALLACE-HADRILL (ed.), The Fourth Book of
the Chronicle of Fredegar (London, 1960)

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STORY, Joanna (ed.), Charlemagne: Empire and Society (Manchester, 2004).

TAFEL, S., 'The Lyons Scriptorium’ pt. II, Palaeographia Latina, IV, ed. W.M.
Lindsay (London, 1925), pp. 40-70.
TARDIF, E.F., Les chartes mérovingiennes de l’Abbaye de Noirmoutier avec une
étude sur la chronologie du règne de Dagobert II (Paris, 1899).
TISCHLER, M., Einharts Vita Karoli. Studien zur Enstehung, Überlieferung und
Rezeption 2 vols. = (MGH Schriften vol. 48:, 2001).
TREMP, Ernst, Die (berlieferung der Vita Hludowici imperatoris des Astronomus
(MGH Studien und Texte 1: Hanover, 1991).

USSERMANN, Aemilianus, Germaniae Sacrae Podromus seu Collectio


Monumentorum Res Alemannicas Illustrantium, vol. I, (St. Blasien, 1790).

VERLINDEN, Charles, ‘Le Franc Samo’, Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, 12


(1933), pp. 1090-1095.
Verzeichniss der Handschriften der Stiftsbibliothek von St. Gallen, 2 vols. (Halle
1875)

WALLACE-HADRILL, J.M., ‘Fredegar and the History of France’, Bulletin of the


John Rylands Library 40 (1957/8), pp. 527-50; reprinted in idem, The Long-haired
20
Kings (see below), pp. 71-94.
WALLACE-HADRILL, J.M. ‘Fredgar’s Kings’ in idem, The Long-haired Kings
(London, 1962), pp. 206-31.
WALLACE-HADRILL J.M., The Frankish Church (Oxford, 1983).
WATTENBACH, Wilhelm, revised Wilhelm LEVISON, Deutschlands
Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter (Weimar, 1952), I, pp. 109-114, and II, pp. 161-63.
WILMART, Andre, Catalogus Bibliothecae Vaticanae: Codices Reginenses Latini 2
vols (Vatican, 1937 and 1945).
WOOD, Ian N. ‘The Vita Columbani and Merovingian hagiography’, Peritia, 1
(1982), pp. 63-80.
WOOD, Ian N., ‘Forgery in Merovingian Hagiography’, in Fälschungen im
Mittelalter vol. 5 (Hanover: M.G.H., 1988), pp. 369-84.
WOOD, Ian N., The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751 (London, 1994)
WOOD, Ian N., 'Fredegars Fables', in Anton SCHARER and Georg
SCHEIBELREITER (eds.), Historiographie (1994), pp. 359-66.
WOOD, Ian N., ‘John Michael Wallace-Hadrill (1916-1985)’, Proceedings of the
British Academy 124 (2004), pp. 333-355.
WRIGHT, C.E. and Ruth WRIGHT (eds.) The Diary of Humfrey Wanley, 2 vols.
(London, 1966).

ZIMMERMANN E.H., Vorkarolingische Miniaturen (Berlin, 1916), 178-9, and vol.


II, plates 73 and 74.

21
Introduction: One Work or Two?

Of the major narrative sources for the history of Early Medieval Europe, the
compilation known as The Chronicle of Fredegar is amongst the most complex,
confusing and contentious. If it has rivals in these dubious claims to distinction, there
are not many of them. Its authorship, contents, compositional history, structure and
manuscript transmission are all topics that have generated scholarly disagreement
over the last century and a quarter. Problems posed in all of these areas have made it
impossible for a modern critical edition to encompass all of the seemingly
contradictory variant elements that are to be found in the manuscripts within a single
text or version. In consequence the authoritative edition published in 1888 that has set
the standard for all others that have followed is a hybrid, linking two text forms that

22
never coexisted in the manuscript tradition.1
Despite all of these difficulties the work itself is amongst the most important
sources of evidence for the history of the Frankish kingdoms in both the Merovingian
and the early Carolingian periods. In particular it is a virtually unique source for
events in the Frankish kingdoms between the point at which the Ten Books of
Histories of Gregory of Tours stop soon before his death in 594, and its own abrupt
ending in 642. It also contains information relating to Spain, Italy, the northern
Slavs and the Byzantine Empire in the late sixth and first half of the seventh century
that is not to be found elsewhere. A revised and expanded eighth century version of
the work is also one of the most valuable sources for the history of Francia between
the establishment of Charles Martel's dominance in eastern Neustria around 720 and
the joint royal inaugurations of Charlemagne and his brother Carloman in the autumn
of 768. For many of these decades it provides a unique if not unprejudiced witness.2
While its value as a source for these otherwise obscure but important periods
has always been recognised as this work's most significant feature, it needs to be taken
as a whole and not just as a text to be mined for nuggets of information. Treated as a
deliberately formed historiographical compilation, it provides interesting insights into

1
Bruno KRUSCH (ed.), Chronicarum quae dicuntur Fredegarii Scholastici
Libri IV, MGH SRM vol. I, pp. 1-193; Roger COLLINS, Fredegar (1996), pp. 132-
133.
2
John Michael WALLACE-HADRILL, 'Fredegar and the History of France',
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 40 (1958), pp. 527-550; reprinted in idem, The
Long-Haired Kings and other studies in Frankish History (1962), pp. 71-94. See also
idem, 'Fredegar's Kings', in ibid. pp. 206-231.
23
the scholarly resources available to its author or authors and to later generations of
revisers, and into their perspectives on their own society and its past. Its revised
eighth century version also contributes to the better understanding of political
attitudes and the constraints placed on the writing of historical narratives in the early
Carolingian period.3 The dissemination of its manuscripts and the evidence that can be
recovered of its transmission, especially in the late eighth to tenth centuries is also of
considerable significance in the study of the Carolingian historiographical tradition at
this time.
Linguistically, the original seventh century version of the work is a very
valuable source for the investigation of the grammatical and orthographic peculiarities
of Merovingian Latin, and the manuscript evidence of the second version is almost
equally useful in the study of the impact of the reforms of both script and spelling of
the reign of Charlemagne (768-814). Also containing within itself unique text forms
of other independent works, such as the History of the Trojan War of the so-called
'Dares the Phrygian', the Fredegar compilation is a far more interesting, wide ranging
and important source than is often realised. But for its evidence for both seventh and
eighth centuries to be properly assessed, it is essential that the questions concerning
its authorship, dating, structure, contents and distribution be answered. Attempts will
be made here at least to review the current state of the arguments relating to these and
other related areas of enquiry.

3
Roger Collins, 'Deception and misrepresentation in early eighth-century
Frankish historiography: two case studies', in Jörg JARNUT, Ulrich NONN and
Michael RICHTER (eds.), Karl Martel in zeiner Zeit (Beihefte der Francia 37, 1994),
pp. 227-247.
24
To make this possible and to facilitate a better understanding of this important
text more generally, it may be necessary to take the radical step of regarding what is
normally treated as a single work, to which has been added some later phases of
continuation, as actually being two quite separate texts, albeit containing several items
in common in their contents. A number of the confusions and difficulties, especially
on the editorial side, can best be resolved by adopting such an approach.
Simply put, and leaving aside some of the detailed questions that will have to
be examined subsequently, there exists a seventh century compilation of historical
texts that between them cover the whole span from Creation to the year 642. This
consists of a number of earlier texts, explicitly borrowed, that have been put into more
or less appropriate chronological order. Into these works has been inserted a number
of interpolations of varying size, the sources for which in most cases can not be
identified. As well as numerous short insertions, there are also a few larger scale
borrowings that are not acknowledged, and whose origins we do not know. These
include a series of legendary stories relating to the supposed deeds of the Gothic king
Theoderic (493-526) and of the emperor Justinian I (527-565) and his general
Belisarius. The last part of the work, covering the years from 584 to 642 is almost
entirely made up of new material not to be found in any other context, and some or
most of this is normally thought of as representing the compiler or compilers' own
original composition.
As the uncertainty hinted at in the last sentence indicates, there have been
arguments over the number of individuals who may have contributed to the making of
the compilation and over the number of stages in which it came to be composed.
Furthermore, its structuring in the form we now have it is in either four or five books,
25
but it is not certain if this plan was original, or whether this was imposed upon it as
part of a slightly later editorial process. No manuscript or other early evidence gives
any indication of authorship or of the intended title of the work.
The second work, which needs to be clearly distinguished from its seventh
century predecessor, has never previously been recognised as having a separate
identity, but this is the most useful and also the least anachronistic way of treating it. 4
It has hitherto been regarded as no more than a continued version of the original
compilation, for various reasons. At the simplest level, the only part of its contents
that has really interested historians is the concluding section that covers the years
from 642 to 768. In particular, as it has long been recognised that the first part of this
section consists of a text of one version of the anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum
written around 726/7, scholarly attention has focused almost exclusively on the final
part, which deals with the period from the 720s to 768. In consequence little notice
has been taken of other changes elsewhere in the text, both in the form of removals
and of additions, or of its restructuring as a three rather than four or five book work.
Treating the two works as if they were one has created particular difficulties
for all of the editors of the Fredegar chronicle. The seventh century original is best
represented by a single manuscript written in 714/5, just over a half century after the
author's own time, and it is the only Merovingian testimony to his text. All other
extant manuscripts of this work, as will be seen, derive from an inferior and now lost

4
As will be seen below, pp. 000-000, in the chapter relating to its editions,
some of the ways in which the Fredegar compilation has been regarded result from
editorial decisions and interpretations made in the seventeenth century, which have
added to the difficulties of reaching a proper understanding of the text and its history.
26
early exemplar.5 In terms of trying to recover the author's original intentions and his
language the testimony of this one manuscript, MS Paris BN lat. 10910 has unique
authority, and not surprisingly all modern l editions, starting with those of Gabriel
Monod in 1885 and of Bruno Krusch in 1888, have based their texts upon it.6
What has been treated as the eighth century continuation uses a different
strand in the manuscript tradition for its components taken from the original Fredegar.
Furthermore, it omits some of the latter's contents and adds new items both borrowed
and original, and restructures the whole collection into a three book work. The final
book does indeed contain materials that extend the narrative of the seventh century
Fredegar from its abrupt ending in 642 up to 768, but this chronological expansion
was not the author's sole or even main purpose.
This has been obscured in particular by the scholarly concentration on what
were thought to be multiple continuations of the original Fredegar. In part this was
the product of the recognition by Leopold Ranke and by various MGH editors in the
nineteenth century that many of the sets of Frankish annals relating to the eighth and
early ninth centuries were made up of discrete sections, with core texts being
continued, often on several occasions or even annually.7 In the case of the second
version of Fredegar, it was thus not surprising that a similar approach was adopted in
the study of its narrative for the period after 642. A series of up to five separate

5
See below pp. 000-000
6
Gabriel MONOD, Études critiques sur les sources de l'histoire mérovingienne
- deuxieme partie: Compilation dite de Frédégaire (1885); KRUSCH ed.1888.
7
Francois Louis GANSHOF, 'L'historiographie dans la monarchie franque sous
les Mérovingiens et les Carolingiens', SSCI 17 (1970), pp. 631-750.
27
sections were thought to have been detected. One of these was recognised, as
previously mentioned, as a borrowing from the Liber Historiae Francorum, but the
rest could be regarded as discrete continuations of the kind that had become familiar
from the study of the compositional history of the annals.
Such an approach could only be sustained by ignoring the wider changes that
had been made to its contents and structure, because these clearly indicate that this
eighth century version is not just a copy of the seventh century original with no more
than a chronological extension of its concluding narrative. In fact the whole thing is
the product of a major editorial revision that must have taken place at a single time, as
the changes effected are testified to in all known manuscripts of this version. The
division into three books in particular is clearly expressed in the earliest of all these
manuscripts and is present in each of the three subdivisions of the class that were
recognised by Krusch.8
Fortunately, one of them provides an essential clue to the timing and the
inspiration behind this. The late ninth or early tenth century Vatican MS Reginensis
lat. 213 contains a unique colophon, following the conclusion of the account relating
to the election of Pippin III as king: Vsque nunc inluster vir Childebrandus comes
avunculus praedicto rege Pippino hanc historiam vel gesta Francorum diligentissime
scribere procuravit.9 In other words, we are being told quite explicitly that the work
was produced at the command of Count Childebrand, the new king's uncle, and that it

8
MS Montpellier, Ecole de Médécine 158; on which se below pp. 000-
000.
9
Fredegar, Continuationes 34; ed. KRUSCH, p. 182. On this manuscript see
below pp. 000-000.
28
was a 'History and Deeds of the Franks'.10 The changes to the contents previously
referred to all confirm such an intention, and so it seems we are as near as we may
ever come to being given the actual title of the work: Historia vel Gesta Francorum.
The colophon continues: Abhinc ab inlustre viro Nibelungo filium ipsius
Childebrando itemque comite succedat auctoritas. So, from this point onwards the
authority for the work comes from Childebrand's son Count Nibelung. This can only
refer to the relatively short succeeding section of text, which takes the narrative from
the inauguration of Pippin (probably in 751) up to those of his two sons in 768.
Although no doubt of great social and political importance in their time, both
Childebrand and Nibelung have left few traces of themselves in the records of eighth
and early ninth century century Francia.11 The precise nature of Childebrand's link to
the Carolingian dynasty has been debated. It was once generally thought that he must
have been a half-brother of Charles Martel, and thus the son of the latter's mother
Alpaida by some other liaison. In 1946 Léon Levillain, who had previously been the
leading supporter of this theory, suggested instead that if this had indeed been the
case, the word used here for 'uncle', avunculus, would not have been appropriate. It
applied only to paternal uncles, not maternal ones. So Childebrand had to be a son of
Pippin II. As there was never any question of him or his heirs being regarded as
potential candidates for the throne, it is most likely that he was illegitimate.12

10
J.F. NIERMEYER, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus (Leiden, 1976), p. 1068.
11
Léon LEVILLAIN, 'Les Nibelungs historiques et leurs alliances de famille' pt.
1, Annales du Midi 49 (1937), pp. 337-408.
12
Léon LEVILLAIN, 'Etudes mérovingiennes: la charte de Clotilde (10 Mars
673), BEC 105, pp. 5-63, at p. 30. Admittedly, the legitimacy of Charles Martel is
29
Returning to the text of the colophon, the main question it poses must be
whether the major structural reorganisation and revision of the contents, that gives this
Historia vel Gesta Francorum its special character, took place at the time that
Childebrand commissioned it, or when the work was finally completed under his son
sometime after 768. It could be argued that the colophon indicates that the main
compositional and editorial activity took place around 751, as it implies the wider
project of writing a 'History and Deeds of the Franks' was by then fully formed. By
this view the short final section that covers the years from 753 to 768, should rightly
be seen as a continuation; the only one to be associated with this work.13
While this is the more probable interpretation of the message of the colophon,
it has to be said that no manuscripts exist that lack the final section. In other words the
work only survives in the form it acquired after 768, and there is no codicological
evidence for the existence of a version of c.751, which would be subsequently
continued up to 768. It may be that Childebrand's compilation was either unfinished
or enjoyed a very limited dissemination, and that the continued form of the text
produced under his son Nibelung was either the first properly finished version or just

itself a controversial issue. See Waltraud JOCH, 'Karl Martell - ein minderberechtiger
Erbe Pippins?' in JARNUT, NONN, and RICHTER, Karl Martell in seiner Zeit, pp.
149-169.
13
Rosamond McKITTERICK, History and Memory in the Carolingian World
(2004), pp. 138-140 suggests there was no break around 751 and that the scribe was
merely commemorating his former patron, Count Childebrand. Thus the work would
have been written as a whole sometime after 768. However, this takes no account of
the codicological evidence for such a division in the text. See below pp. 000 and 000.
30
enjoyed a far wider readership.
Whatever view be taken of this particular problem, it will be appreciated that
there is no way that a critical edition can be prepared that tries to include all or part of
the original seventh century Fredegar along with some or all of the Childebrand-
Nibelung Historia vel Gesta Francorum. They never circulated together or as a
composite text in any form. The manuscript traditions are entirely separate, except for
the point at which a codex relatively far removed from the original form of the
Fredegar compilation was used to provide some of the text that was incorporated into
Childebrand's Historia. Simply put, the ideal form of the Fredegar compilation is that
contained in the Paris manuscript written in 714/5, and this has rightly been followed
by all modern editors. Decisions as to how best to edit the Childebrandine
compilation are far more difficult, and such an attempt has yet to be made, but
whatever choices be made, the manuscripts used would not be the same as those upon
which the editions of the seventh century Fredegar are based. This will become
clearer from the discussion of the manuscripts and manuscript traditions of the two
works given in the chapters devoted to them.
It may be hoped that enough has been said so far to provide at least prima
facie justification for the division of the contents of this book into two parts; the first
being devoted to the seventh century Fredegar compilation, and the second to the
Childebrand-Nibelung Historia vel Gesta Francorum that in part derived from it, but
which is in all other respects an independent work in its own right. This also has the
added advantage of not requiring potentially confusing discussion of particular
features of one of these works while at the same time having to take account of its
role, or lack thereof, in the other. Both will receive full but separate treatment. The
31
seventh century text can also here just be known as Fredegar or the Fredegar
compilation, while the eighth century work, hitherto regarded as just a series of
continuations, will be called the Historia vel Gesta Francorum. This particular title is
not intended to prejudge the question of whether a full form existed in the time of
Childebrand or was only achieved under his son. It just acknowledges the evidence of
the colophon in MS Vatican Reginensis lat. 213 relates to both men, and opts for a
relatively simple label by which their joint work may be known.

PART ONE: THE FREDEGAR COMPILATION

Chapter One: Authors - One or Several?

That this chronicle is often a virtually unique source for several of the events
or even periods it describes does not make it a necessarily reliable one. Questions
have to be asked about its authorship and date, as well as the sources of the
information that it conveys. Only on the answers to such enquiries can an assessment
of its value be made, and hence the significance of the arguments about single or
multiple authorship. In a series of often strongly contested debates, based on analysis
of often minute indicators in the text, claims have been made for anything between
32
one and four different authors, editors or compilers working on this text at different
points in the early to mid seventh century. The view ultimately taken on this issue
may have a direct impact on how much credence is to be given to aspects of its
narrative. Thus, for example, if it is believed that the work was written by a single
author around 660, how far can any reliance be placed on his account of the events of
the 590s, long before it could be based on his first-hand knowledge?
The arguments over the number of contributors and thus the possibility of
there being different stages in the composition of the collection, which were debated
throughout much of the first half of the twentieth century, still need to be examined,
although the debate over single versus multiple authorship has for the moment stalled
without a scholarly consensus having been fully achieved. Lacking some agreement
on this, the problems of the authority of all or any part of the work that were raised
above can not be settled.
When Bruno Krusch published the first detailed study of the work and its
manuscripts in 1882, before editing it in 1888, he argued that the compilation in the
form we now have it was the work of three or possibly four separate contributors. 14

14
Bruno KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae des sogennanten Fredegar', NA 7 (1882),
pp. 247-351 and 421-516, at pp. 423-455. His analysis was followed by M.
MANITIUS, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters vol. 1 (München,
1911), p. 224. On KRUSCH himself see the brief biographical note in his inaugural
dissertation: idem, Der 84Jährige Ostercyclus mit 12Jährigem Saltus (Leipzig, 1879),
p. 116; also Horst FUHRMANN, ‘Sind eben alles Menschen gewesen’.
Gelehrtenleben im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (München, 1996), pp. 51, 83, 141. He was
described as ‘the greatest Merovingian scholar who has ever lived’ in WALLACE-
33
The first of these he thought was working around the year 613, and to have assembled
the basic collection of texts, consisting of the Liber Generationis, the chronicles of
Jerome-Eusebius and of Hydatius, and the legendary tales about Theoderic and
Justinian. This first compiler, whom Krusch called 'A', added to these texts a short
chronicle of his own, covering the years 584 to 613. Then in 642 a second person,
known as author 'B', made a unique abridgement of the first six books of the Histories
of Gregory of Tours, to which he added another original chronicle covering the years
614-641, and added both of these to the collection made by 'A' in 613. Then around
the year 660 yet a third contributor, 'C', took his two predecessors' composite work
and interpolated various sections of new material into it, principally referring to
events that had taken place outside Francia, but also including treatment of some
internal events with a more pronouncedly pro-Austrasian character than the had been
the case in the previous parts of the work. Krusch was prepared to allow that the
author of these Austrasian interpolated materials, which constitute chapters 81-82, 85-
88 and probably chapter 48 of book IV in his edition, might not be the same man as
the final reviser of the text, who contributed the sections of non-Frankish stories (and
who would thereby have to be called 'D'), but he preferred at least for the sake of
simplicity to accept the existence of three rather than four authors, and so
amalgamated his hypothetical 'D' with 'C'. He also believed on the basis of changes in
the character of the contents that the compiler of 613 ('A’) and the writer working in
642 ('B') were probably Burgundians from Avenches, while the interpolator-editor of
c. 660 ('C/D') was an Austrasian living in Metz.
All of this complex argument contradicted the previous general view,

HADRILL (1960), p. lxii.


34
admittedly based on no close textual analysis, that the whole compilation was the
work of a single individual. It did not win immediate scholarly support. When
Gabriel Monod published a diplomatic edition of the oldest extant manuscript in 1885,
he merely noted Krusch's arguments and restated the traditional belief in a single
author. In an earlier publication he had attempted to describe the main characteristics
of this 'Fredegar', whom he described as being 'a monk of Gallo-Roman origin, living
at Saint-Marcel in Chalon-sur-Saône, who wrote his chronicle around 642, and who
later on, between 658 and 664, added various extra touches to his work.' 15 Agreeing
on single authorship, in 1888 Fustel de Coulanges dismissed Monod's delineation of
Fredegar as a monk, and argued in favour of his being a layman.16
At the turn of the century, Gustav Schnürer developed Krusch's arguments on
multiple authorship yet further in a book published in 1900, claiming that the first
compiler was working in 616 rather than in 613. 17 He chose this date because of his
interpretation of the meaning of a reference in the preface to the final book of the
compilation. This he thought implied that it was put together after the independent
kingdom of Burgundy had ceased to exist. This formal ending of the Burgundian
realm he felt had taken place at the assembly held at Bonneuil in 616, and so chose

15
MONOD, Études critiques sur les sources. pt. 2 (1885), pp. 12-13 and note 1;
idem, 'Du lieu d'origine de la chronique dite de Frédégaire', Jahrbuch für
Schweizische Geschichte 3 (1878), pp. 139-163.
16
Fustel de COULANGES, Histoire des institutions politiques de l'ancienne
France vol. 3: la monarquie franque (1888), pp. 7-8.
17
Gustav SCHNÜRER, Die Verfasser der sogennanten Fredegar-Chronik (=
Collectanea Friburgensia 9, 1900), pp. 72-75.
35
that as the earliest point at which Fredegar could have been working.18
He also tried to further divide up the contents of the section of new material
between the various contributors identified by Krusch, and to deduce the existence
and nature of hitherto undetected sources. For example, he recognised that the first
contributor seemed to be both strongly prejudiced against queen Brunechildis (d. 613)
and at the same time a supporter of her grandson the Burgundian king Theuderic II
(596-613), who was devoted to her. He explained the apparent contradiction in the
author's loyalties by suggesting that the compiler of 616 had relied uncritically upon
an otherwise unknown work on "The Wars of Theuderic", supposedly written by a
Burgundian author who had supported Brunechildis.
Schnürer also tried to identify or at least describe the anonymous authors.
Believing that the first compiler, Krusch's 'A', had been close to the Burgundian court
in the time of Theuderic II but was also well informed on the monastery of Luxeuil,
he claimed that he was actually Agrestius, a royal notary who became a monk of
Luxeuil after 613.19 The second author 'B', working around 642, he was unable to
name, but he thought he could outline some of his distinctive features, claiming that
he was a Burgundian in origin, with links to Flaochad (d. 642) the Mayor of the
Palace in Burgundy, but was actually writing in an unidentifiable location further to
the south.20 'C', on the other hand he saw as being Austrasian and a partisan of the
Arnulfing Mayor of the Palace Grimoald (died c. 656/7).21

18
ibid. pp. 144-154.
19
ibid. pp. 85-88.
20
ibid. pp. 128-136.
21
ibid. pp. 136-141.
36
In 1902 Louis Halphen reviewed Schnürer's book, and criticised him for his
over-imaginative reconstructions, which amongst other things had led him to suggest
the presence of a large number of interpolations in the text, some of which were very
small in size. On the other hand, Halphen did accept Schnürer's argument that the
ending of the Burgundian kingdom had not taken place by the point (Book Four
chapter 39 in all modern editions) at which Krusch believed the first author had
stopped writing.22 He thus accepted Schnürer's argument that the date of composition
must be later than 613, but at the same time he disagreed with the idea that a change
of authorship occurs in Book Four chapter 44, which relates to events taking place in
616. Instead he thought he had identified the principal division as coming at the end
of chapter 42, which concerns the year 614. Halphen thus saw the end of the
Burgundian kingdom that was apparently referred to in the preface as resulting from
the overthrow of Sigibert II in 613 rather than as being the product of the Council of
Bonneuil in 616. He also criticised Schnürer's attempts to identify the first two of the
three authors. However he was happy to accept Krusch's analysis that suggested the
existence of three separate authors and revisers of the work.
The belief that, on the contrary, there had only ever been a single author was
powerfully restated by Ferdinand Lot, a former pupil of Monod. In an article
published in 1914 he reviewed the arguments of Krush, Schnürer and Halphen, and
then expressed strong doubts about the existence of an author working in the period
around 613 to 616. He claimed that Krusch's 'A' and 'B' were one and the same man,
and in consequence he re-dated the first putting together of the whole compilation to

22
Louis HALPHEN, 'Une theorie récente sur la Chronique du Pseudo-Frédégaire',
Revue Historique, 79 (1902), pp. 41-56.
37
some point soon after 642.23
Lot did, however, accept that a revision of the work had taken place around the
year 660, and that this might have been done by somebody other than the original
author. In other words he was prepared at least in theory to accept the possible
existence of Krusch's author 'C'. He was also willing to regard chapters 48, 81-82,
and 84 of the final section as being interpolations. Krusch himself was never prepared
to compromise on his belief in three separate authors structure and made a brief reply
in a two page review of Lot's article later in the same year. 24 The coming of the First
World War put a temporary halt to these debates, which were not to be resumed until
the late 1920s.
Then in 1928 Marcel Baudot expanded on Lot's case for a single author, and
made a further attempt to identify the real Fredegar. 25 He argued that the nature of the
information in the section of new material for the years 584-642 implied that the
compiler must have been a royal official. Similarly, the range of his geographical
perspectives, something already stressed by Schnürer, reflected the way that he moved
around the country with the royal court. Going further, Baudot felt that the both the
Transjuran region and its count Berthar received a disproportionate prominence in the
later parts of the narrative, and this led him to attribute the authorship of the work to

23
Ferdinand Lot, 'Encore la Chronique du Pseudo-Frédégaire', RH 115 (1914),
pp. 305-337; reprinted in Receuil des travaux historiques de Ferdinand Lot, vol. 1
(1968), pp. 487-519.
24
Bruno KRUSCH, review of Lot's article in NA 39 (1914), pp. 548-549.
25
Marcel BAUDOT, 'La question du Pseudo-Frédégaire', Le Moyen Age 29
(1928), pp. 129-170.
38
this very same Count Berthar, whom he saw as an eyewitness to the events described
from 604 onwards. As Baudot was also a believer in both single authorship and a
final stage of authorial revision of the work around the year 660, this required his
suggested author, Berthar, to have enjoyed an extraordinarily long life, from well
before 604 to after 660. This improbability and other weaknesses in his arguments laid
Baudot open to scholarly criticism.
To be fair, other features of his article are of greater value than the attempted
identification of Fredegar as Count Berthar, but these were ignored in the general
disagreement with his argument on authorship. In particular he challenged the
interpretation of the Preface to Book Four upon which Krusch, Schnürer and Halphen
had relied for their view that a first author had been writing in the period around 613
to 616. The phrase in the preface usque regnum Guntchramni decedentem - 'until the
end (or decline) of the kingdom (or reign) of Guntramn' - had been taken by all three
of these scholars as meaning 'the ending of Guntramn's kingdom', which they saw as
referring to the formal end of an independent realm of Burgundy. 26 Baudot quite
correctly insisted that both the language and the context of the phrase required it to be
taken literally, as just referring chronologically to the latter part of the reign of
Guntramn. The transition from the material in the abbreviated first six books of the
Histories of Gregory of Tours to the new section of text composed by Fredegar
himself occurs in the description of the events of the year 584. As Guntramn ruled
from 561 to 592, the years from 584 to 592 could perfectly sensibly be seen as the
final or declining period of his reign, without having any implications for the future of
his kingdom.

26
Fredegar, prologus cuiusdam sapientis, ed. KRUSCH, p. 123.
39
In 1926 in lecture, Krusch returned to these questions with a discussion of the
origin of the pseudonym 'Fredegar' and a general restatement of his views, now nearly
fifty years old, on the composition and authorial structure of the chronicle. 27 The
published version of Krusch's lecture was reviewed in 1928 by the French historian
and textual scholar Léon Levillain, who gave a short but powerful presentation of the
arguments supporting single authorship.28 He also supported Baudot's interpretation
of the regnum Guntechramni phrase in the authorial preface, and rejected the
compromise that Lot had been willing to make in accepting the possible existence of a
separate reviser working around 660. As Levillain put it la chronique de pseudo-
Frédégaire est l'oeuvre d'un seul auteur, un Bourguignon originaire de la region
d'Avenches, qui a enterpris d'ecrire entre 658 et 661 l'histoire de son temps dans la
cadre d'une chronique.29 He also agreed with Lot (and also Fustel de Coulanges) that
this author was un laique qui avait frequenté les cours, donc probablement un grand
personage!.30
In 1934 Krusch, who died in 1940, made his last contribution to the debate,
with a short reply to the criticisms raised by Levillain, restating his own long held

27
Bruno KRUSCH, 'Fredegarius Scholasticus - Oudarius? Neue Beiträge zur
Fredegar-Kritik', Nachrichten des Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, phil.
hist. Kl. pt. 2 (1926), pp. 237-263.
28
Léon LEVILLAIN, review of Krusch's article (note 24 above) in BEC 99
(1928), pp. 89-95.
29
ibid. p. 94.
30
ibid. p. 95.
40
views but not offering any new arguments in their support. 31 However, the same year
saw the publication of an article which moved the debate to a new level, and gave new
strength to the belief in multiple authorship. Siegmund Hellmann approached the
problem by means of a linguistic analysis of Books Two to Four, which produced
philological support for a modified version of Krusch's original view on the four
possible authors.32 Where Hellmann differed from Krusch was in showing that the
Austrasian elements in the work were less distinctive than had previously been
believed, and that it was therefore possible to dispense with Krusch's third author, 'C'.
Instead he suggested that the chronicle was essentially the work of two Burgundians,
one writing around 614 and the other about 660.33 He felt that the 'real' Fredegar, the
man who actually compiled the whole collection of texts, was the second of these.
His predecessor of c. 614 was just the author of a set of Burgundian annals, covering
the years 584 to 614, which were subsequently incorporated into the compilation that
was made around 660.
Hellmann identified what he saw as lexical and structural features that were
distinctive of his two authors, citing passages of text in support of his contentions.
This moved the arguments about authorship on to potentially less subjective
foundations and also broadened them by getting away from previous historically

31
Bruno KRUSCH, 'Die handschriftlichen Grundlagen der Historia Francorum
Gregors von Tours, 2: Fredegarius - Oudarius?', Historische Vierteljahrschrift 28
(1934), pp. 15-21.
32
Siegmund HELLMANN, 'Das Fredegarproblem', Historische
Vierteljahrschrift 29 (1934/1935), pp. 36-92.
33
ibid. pp. 50-73.
41
based interpretations that usually rested on little more than a single episode or phrase,
as in the case of the supposed significance of the synod of Bonneuil. Hellmann's case
was tacitly accepted by Wilhelm Levison in his revision and updating of Wilhelm
Wattenbach's Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mitellalter.34 Supporters of single
authorship seemed unable to counter the philological questions, and in consequence
the Hellmann two-author theory remained unchallenged for several decades. It was
accepted by Michael Wallace-Hadrill in the introduction to his edition of the final
section of the chronicle, that was published in 1960, and was also endorsed by the
Belgian historian François Louis Ganshof in a booklet that he published on Fredegar
in 1970.35
By that time, however, the whole question had again been reopened by the
publication of an article by Walter Goffart in 1963. 36 Despite the consensus that
seemed to have formed around the acceptance of Hellmann's modification of Krusch's

34
WATTENBACH-LEVISON, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter:
Vorzeit und Karolinger, I: Die Vorzeit von den Anfängen bis zur Herrschaft der
Karolinger (1952), pp. 109-114.
35
John Michael WALLACE-HADRILL, The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of
Fredegar (1960), pp. XIX-XXV; François Louis GANSHOF, Een Historicus vit de
VIIe eeuw. Fredegarius, in the Mededlingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie
voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten vab Belgie. Kl. der Lett., 32 no 5
(1970).
36
Walter GOFFART, 'The Fredegar problem reconsidered', Speculum 38
(1963), pp. 206-241; reprinted with addenda in idem, Rome's Fall and After (1989),
pp. 319-354.
42
views, Goffart argued that the burden of proof rests upon those who challenge the
idea of single authorship, and if their attempts fail, the presumption must be that
Fredegar is one man.37 He attacked the belief in a change in the character of the
chronicle after 613/4 and thus in the presence within it of two separate compositions.
He also addressed the question of the role of the chronicle of Isidore, supporting the
correctness of Krusch's contention that it never formed an integral part of the
compilation, despite the presence of a text of it in the earliest manuscript of Fredegar.
The only area in which Goffart felt himself not sufficiently equipped to
counter Hellmann was in his linguistic analysis that seemed to favour dual authorship.
But this issue was addressed in an article by Alvar Erikson, published in Sweden in
1965, and which effectively undermined Hellmann's philological arguments. 38 Erikson
argued cogently for the existence of no more than a few and generally very minor
indications of stylistic variety in the compilation, and saw these as best explained by
the presence of undigested source materials. The joint but independent assaults of
Goffart and Erikson on the previously dominant dual authorship theory of Hellmann
have gravely weakened its credibility. No further detailed studies or arguments have
been published, and the single author thesis must be thought now to be the dominant
one. Michael Wallace-Hadrill, while following Hellman’s interpretation in preparing
his edition, seems later to have implicitly accepted single authorship. 39 So too did

37
ibid. pp. 209 and 321 respectively.
38
Alvar ERIKSON, 'The problem of authorship in the Chronicle of Fredegar',
Eranos 63 (1965), pp. 47-76.
39
J.M. WALLACE-HADRILL, The Frankish Church (Oxford, 1983), pp. 55,
58, 70, and 83 for reference to Fredegar as a single individual.
43
Andreas Kusternig in his 1982 edition of most of Fredegar. He also stressed the
significance of the legal and administrative terminology to be found in the text,
supporting the view that Fredegar was a learned and highly placed layman. 40 Belief in
‘at least two Fredegar authors’ was very briefly restated in 1987 in a book on the
Liber Historiae Francorum, based on the presence of a contradiction in the text that
could be no more than the result of the author's use of different sources. 41 A short
survey of the historiography by Roger Collins in 1996 favoured the view that the
single author thesis was now generally accepted.42

Chapter Two: Who was 'Fredegar'?

After the question of single or multiple authorship, the second issue that has
aroused most scholarly discussion is the way in which the work as a whole has come

40
Andreas KUSTERNIG (ed.), Der Vier Bücher der Chroniken des sogennanten
Fredegar, in Herwig Wolfram (ed.), Quellen zur Geschichte des 7. und 8.
Jahrhunderts (1982), p. 8.
41
Richard A. GERBERDING, The Rise of the Carolingians and the 'Liber
Historiae Francorum’ (1987), p. 14. A letter from Richard Gerberding to J.M.
WALLACE-HADRILL of 14th June 1982 argues that a comparison of Book Two
chapters 4-6 with Book Three chapters 2, 3, 5, and 9 (on Frankish origins) provides
evidence for multiple authorship.
42
COLLINS, Fredegar, pp. 91-96.
44
to take on the name of 'Fredegar'. As to whether there ever was a person so called
who was the sole or a leading contributor to the chronicle, it can be said that it is
highly unlikely. The name of Fredegar is a genuine Frankish one but it is very
uncommon in the sources for the Merovingian period. 43 There is certainly no
contemporary, early or even medieval evidence to link the name with this work. In
fact the earliest attribution of the chronicle to an author called Fredegar seems to have
been made in Claude Fauchet's Recueil des Antiquitez Gauloises et Françoises, which
was published in Paris in 1579.44 It is worth noting that for Fauchet and indeed for all
who interested themselves in Fredegar and his work up to the late nineteenth century,
they were applying the name not to the compiler of a collection of texts that formed a
universal chronicle that began with Creation, but with the author of a short historical
narrative that continued that of Gregory of Tours. In other words, our perception of
Fredegar is a very different one from our scholarly predecessors of the sixteenth to

43
John Michael WALLACE-HADRILL, The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of
Fredegar (1960), p. xv. For example: Fredegarium filium Wicherii habuit Walah:
Lorenz WEINRICH, Wala: Graf, Monch und Rebell (1963), p. 19 note 4. Note also
such forms as Fredegir, Frediker, Fredeger, Fridigart, Fridiart - all found in the
820s/860s Liber Memorialis Romaricensis, ed. Eduard HLAWITSCHKA, Karl
SCHMID and Gerd TELLENBACH, MGH Libri Memoriales vol. 1, p. 241.
44
Claude FAUCHET, Receuil des antiquitez gauloises et francoises (1579),
published in Paris in quarto format by J. Du Puys libraire jure, à la Samaritaine. On
Fauchet see Janet Girvan ESPINER-SCOTT, Claude Fauchet, sa vie, son oeuvre
(1938); especially pp. 282-322 for the Antiquitez.
45
eighteenth centuries.45
The priority of Fauchet's claim to have invented or at least first published the
name of Fredegar was not established until 1928. Up to that time it had been assumed
that a sixteenth century note in an eleventh century manuscript from Saint-Omer,
which assigned authorship of the work to a certain 'archdeacon Fredegar', was the
earliest linking of the name with this text.46 That there was no earlier testimony made
the reality of the claim highly questionable, but in an article published in 1926 Bruno
Krusch tried to argue from the history of this manuscript that the claim in the marginal
note might lead back to a genuine Frankish tradition of the Carolingian period. 47
However, two years later Léon Levillain pointed out that Krusch had been wrong to
think that the first printed reference to 'Fredegar' dated no earlier than 1598 and was to
be found in the second edition of Joseph Justus Scaliger's De Emendatione
Temporum.48 Instead he pointed to the earlier use of the name by Fauchet in 1579.

45
Credit for the proper understanding of the nature of the Fredegar compilation
belongs, as with so much else, to Bruno KRUSCH, in his ground breaking article,
‘Die Chronicae’ of 1882. For the earlier and much more limited understanding of the
author and his text see below pp. 000-000.
46
Bruno KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae’ (1882), p. 323.
47
Bruno Krusch, 'Fredegarius Scholasticus - Oudarius? Neue Beiträge zur
Fredegar-Kritik', Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen,
phil.-hist. Kl. (1926), pt. 2, pp. 237-263.
48
Léon LEVILLAIN, untitled review of Krusch's 'Fredegarius Scholasticus -
Oudarius' article in the 'Bibliographie' section of BEC, vol. 99 (1928), pp. 89-95, at p.
89: Krusch had not given priority to Fauchet over Scaliger because he only knew of
46
Additionally, Levillain suggested that the note in the Saint-Omer manuscript
could just as well have been written in the early seventeenth century as in the
sixteenth. This later dating is actually more than likely, in that the manuscript in
question, MS Saint-Omer Bibliothèque Municipale 706, originally formed part of a
much larger codex, whose other components are today MS Saint-Omer Bibliothèque
Municipale M 697 and MS Bruxelles Bibliothèque Royale 15835. Both of these
contain marginal notes by the Benedictine scholar Dom de Witte, one of which is
explicitly dated to the year 1630.49 So, the original manuscript, before being divided
into three parts contained several marginal notes in his hand, made in 1630. The note
relating to Fredegar also seems to be one of these, and so probably belongs to that
year too.
Levillain also pointed out that Fauchet never called Fredegar an archdeacon,
and thus he probably did not take his information from the Saint-Omer manuscript.
That the writer of the note thought the author's name was Fredegar because he had
read Fauchet seems, therefore, to be more probable than that Fauchet relied on the
note in the Saint-Omer manuscript. Indeed, there is no evidence to suggest he was

the expanded and differently entitled second version of the Antiquitez, published in
1599: Les Antiquitez gauloises et francoises augmentees de trois livres contenans les
choses advenues en Gaule et en France jusques en l'an 751 de Jesus Christ,
recueillies par M. le president Fauchet. Published in octavo in Paris by J. Perier, rue
Saint Jacques, au Bellerophon. A third, further expanded version appeared in 1611;
see the Bibliography, above p. 000.
49
Felix GRAT, Jeanne VIELLIARD and Suzanne CLÉMENCET (ed.), Annales
de Saint-Bertin (Paris, 1964), p. xxvi. On the manuscript see below p. 000.
47
even aware of the manuscript itself let alone of this note.
However, this still leaves unsolved the mystery of why Fauchet thought this
author was called Fredegar; a question to which nobody has been able to suggest an
answer. Although some scholars have continued to use what has been called ‘the
clumsy and pedantic Pseudo-Fredegar', it is now generally accepted that it is at least
simpler and more convenient to retain the traditional name, while pointing out that it
is no more than a scholarly invention of the early modern period. 50 By use of the name
Fredegar must be implied 'the author of the compilation commonly called the
Chronicle of Fredegar', but it has to be accepted that his or her real name will never be
known.
The anonymity of this author is not as surprising as might be thought when it
is realised that no Frankish historical writer or chronicler can be identified by name
from the time of the death of Gregory of Tours in 594 to the writing of the poetic
preface to Einhard's Vita Karoli by the court librarian Gerward in the 830s. In fact
virtually all the works produced in the intervening period lack both titles and headings
as well as authorial names in the manuscripts that contain them.51
Unfortunately, there is no other evidence apart from the compilation itself that
has a bearing on Fredegar's identity and the details of his life. It is on the assessment
of the significance of certain details in his work that judgments can be made about its
author's geographical location, social status and outlook. For example, that he
probably lived some part of his life in the region of Burgundy has generally been

50
WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. xv.
51
For a survey see GANSHOF, 'L'historiographie franque', SSCI vol. XVII
(1970), pp. 631-685.
48
accepted on the basis of his apparently detailed knowledge of and interest in aspects
of its history. However, that there may have been more than one author involved in
the making of the compilation inevitably complicates such arguments, and perceived
changes of geographical perspective and/or of political allegiance have been
interpreted as supporting belief in multiple authorship.52 They could also be the
product of unidentified sources being used without acknowledgement. Changes in
geographical perspectives and political and other attitudes could thus reflect no more
than differences in the texts being incorporated into the work.
On the other hand, if the theory of a single author is accepted, then some
scholars have hoped to locate or even identify him on the strength of particular
regional or other emphases in his narrative Thus, for example, a notable feature of the
final section of the work is the relative frequency of reference to people and events
concerned with the Pagus Ultrajuranus or Transjuran region, an area not otherwise
much noticed in the early Frankish period. This was first proposed as the possible
homeland of Fredegar as long ago as 1868, and the idea was most enthusiastically
developed by Marcel Baudot in 1928.53 But while there is a marked presence of
Transjuran events and individuals in the narrative relating to the period c. 590-615,
this declines dramatically thereafter. The last of the Transjuran dukes to be mentioned
by name by Fredegar is Herpo, who was killed in 613/4. 54 It is also quite notable that

52
See Chapter One above.
53
H. BROSIEN, Kritische Untersuchungen der Quellen zur Geschichte des
frankischen Königs Dagobert I (1868), p. 20; BAUDOT, 'La question du Pseudo-
Frédégaire', pp. 162-170.
54
Fredegar IV. 43, ed. KRUSCH p. 142; see also IV. 13, 24, 37, 40 and 42;
49
no stories relating to the Pagus Ultrajuranus can be found inserted into the earlier
parts of the chronicle, including the epitome of Gregory of Tours. Had Fredegar
actually been a Transjuran, it is surprising that he did not know of at least one
individual or event connected with the region in the period before 584. It is also
notable that amongst his many minor sources there is no trace of the only historical
work of this time known to have been produced in Transjura, the Chronicle of Bishop
Marius of Avenches, which ends in 581.55 It is thus notable that while Fredegar
records the death of Theodefrid Dux Ultrajuranus in 591, he makes no mention of his
succession to the duchy in 573, an event that was reported by Marius.56
Fredegar's association of Roman Aventicum (Avenches) with the Alaman
leader Wibilis, thus apparently prefiguring the settlement's subsequent medieval
German name of Wifflisburg, has been seen as suggestive of close relationship
between him and the town, and it lead Krusch and others into suggesting that one or
more of their 'Fredegars' may have lived there. 57 However, the lack of any influence
of the one historical text written in Avenches, and the lack of other indications of
special interest in the town must weaken this line of argument. 58 While there is a

ibid., pp. 127, 130, 138, 140, and 141.


55
Marii episcopi Aventicensis Chronica, ed. Theodor MOMMSEN, MGH AA
vol. XI, pp. 225-239. On Marius see Gabriel MONOD, Études critiques sur les
sources de l'histoire mérovingienne, pt. 1 (Paris, 1872), pp. 149-163.
56
Fredegar IV. 13, ed. KRUSCH p. 127. Marius, Chronica ed. MOMMSEN, p.
238.
57
KRUSCH , 'Die Chronicae', pp. 448-455; also see note 47 above.
58
Fredegar II. 40, ed. KRUSCH p. 64 and note 5; see KRUSCH 'Die Chronicae',
50
marked Transjuran element in one part of the final section of the chronicle, it is not
consistent or continuous enough to lead us directly to its author. Once again it looks
as if this is another unidentified strand in the complex web of Fredegar's sources. He
had a quantity of Transjuran information, which tails off dramatically as the narrative
moves beyond 615. There are thus no real grounds for believing he himself was a
native of the Transjura.
The associating of Fredegar with a particular region, as this and other
examples show, is an almost impossible task. For those who favoured the theories of
multiple authorship apparent shifts in geographical perspective or political allegiance
in the contents of the final section of the chronicle could be rationalised in terms of
the differences between the three or two contributors. For believers in single
authorship these traits in the narrative have required an explanation in terms of the
author's mobility, either physical or political. Making him a cleric, and above all a
monk, somewhat restricts this approach. Overall, Fredegar makes a number of
references to places in Burgundy, including Avenches and the Pagus Ultrajuranus,
Auxerre, Autun, Chalon-sur-Saône, and Lyon. He also records events and individuals
concerned with Austrasia, with some relatively frequent mention of Metz. But he can
also take his readers to Orléans, and the Loire valley, as well as to Paris and the Seine.
As succeeding generations of commentators have come to accept, the range is too
great to locate him in a particular geographical viewpoint.59 It is equally possible to
mark out those parts of the Frankish kingdoms that he tells us little or nothing about.

p. 450.
59
GOFFART, ‘The Fredegar Problem’, in idem, Rome’s Fall and After, pp. 330-
331.
51
While Alamannia and the Alamans feature fairly frequently, there is only one
reference to the Bavarians. Aquitaine is only mentioned once in the final section, and
the same is true of the Auvergne. The problem of using such evidence as a way of
localising Fredegar is compounded by the difficulty, or indeed the impossibility, of
knowing precisely which of his reports come from earlier written sources. It is quite
possible that the heavy emphasis in the period 584-613 on events in Burgundy is a
reflection of the set of Burgundian annals that some scholars have seen as underlying
this section of the narrative. Even if this is the case, his use of it would not in itself
prove that Fredegar was working in Burgundy, as he clearly also had access to literary
sources that originated outside the Frankish kingdoms entirely.
Thwarted in the approaches to the problem of locating Fredegar through
clusters of geographical references in his work, some students of Fredegar have tried
to identify political or dynastic emphases that could help locate or further distinguish
him. Thus it has been felt that his apparent support for the Arnulfing dynasty of
Mayors of the palace of Austrasia, not least for Grimoald, may be significant. 60 This
Austrasian interest has been thought not to cohere with the author's otherwise
predominantly Burgundian outlook. Grimoald, who had been executed shortly before

60
GOFFART, ‘Fredegar Problem’, p. 330 note 50: ‘…the Austrasian and
Pepinid interests of Fredegar ought nevertheless to be important factors in further
study of the chronicle.’ Ian WOOD, 'Fredegar's Fables', in Anton SCHARER and
Georg SCHEIBELREITER (eds.), Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter (1994), pp.
359-366 is the most recent discussion of Fredegar's political alignments; p. 365 for the
claim that Fredegar was a supporter of 'the faction of Grimoald'. See also COLLINS,
Fredegar, pp. 23-31
52
the compilation was being put together and whose career was potentially fatal to his
family's political rise, has been seen as an unlikely subject for praise if Fredegar was
not in favour of the Arnulfing dynasty as a whole. In consequence it has been thought
he was more likely to have been living in Austrasia than in Burgundy, at least in the
early 660s.
As has already been suggested, the notable Burgundian element in the early
part of the final section of the chronicle could reflect the influence of particular
sources more than of the compiler's geographical location. It is thus not necessary to
postulate a Burgundian phase followed by an Austrasian one for our author, either in
terms of his place of residence or his political allegiances. He could have come from
or lived in either of these two kingdoms. However, the question of Fredegar's
apparently favourable verdict on Grimoald remains potentially significant, as it could
be argued that anyone writing around the year 660 would only contemplate giving
such an impression if they lived in the Austrasian kingdom.
Having, after a brief struggle, succeeded his father Pippin I as Mayor of the
Palace in Austrasia around 643, Grimoald probably remained the dominant figure at
the court of the Austrasian Sigibert III (633-56) until the king died in 656. 61 In a very
surprising coup following Sigibert's death, which is reported in the Liber Historiae
Francorum, and also mentioned in Stephanus's early eighth century Vita of Bishop

61
For the events of these years see Eugen EWIG, Die Merowinger und das
Frankenreich (2nd edition, 1993), pp. 143-145; also Jean-Michel PICARD, 'Church
and politics in the seventh-century: the Irish exile of king Dagobert II' in idem (ed.),
Ireland and Northern France A.D. 600-850 (1991), pp. 27-52, and Ian N. WOOD,
The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751(London, 1994), pp. 21-224..
53
Wilfrid of York, his infant son and heir Dagobert (II) was exiled to Ireland, while
Grimoald installed a king called Childebert on the throne. Although this Childebert is
said to have been a son of Grimoald adopted by Sigebert III and hence his nickname
of 'the Adopted', a good case has been made for seeing him as a genuine Merovingian;
possibly an illegitimate son of Sigebert III.62 Whatever the truth of this, Grimoald
himself did not long survive this coup, as in some unexplained fashion he fell into the
hands of the Neustrian Frankish king Clovis II, who had him executed. 63 As Clovis II
(639-57) died in 657, this must have occurred either in that year or late in 656. As for
Childebert, he was able to retain the Austrasian throne relatively untroubled until his
own death, from unknown causes, probably in 662.
Burgundy formed part of the Neustrian kingdom of Clovis II and his heirs, and
if Fredegar was a partisan of Grimoald then a location for our author in Austrasia, at
least in the period 657/62, must be thought to be highly probable. However, the
Arnulfing and Austrasian sympathies of Fredegar can be exaggerated. Of Grimoald
he has effectively three things to say. Firstly, it is stated that, like his father, he was
popular. Secondly, there was a struggle between him and a certain Otto, who had held
the rank of Baiolus in the court of Sigibert III, over the succession to the office of
Mayor when Grimoald's father Pippin I died in 640/1. This was resolved by the
murder of Otto in 643, carried out by Lantfrid duke of the Alamans at Grimoald's
instigation. Thirdly, he and a duke Adalgisel protected the young king Sigibert III in

62
Matthias BECHER, 'Der sogennante Staatssreich Grimoalds. Versuch einer
Neubewertung', in Jörg JARNUT, Ulrich NONN and Michael Richter (eds.), Karl
Martell in seiner Zeit (1994), pp. 119-147.
63
Liber Historiae Francorum 43, ed. KRUSCH, MGH SRM vol. II, p. 316.
54
the course of his disastrous battle against the rebel Thuringian duke Radulf. 64 This
hardly constitutes a eulogy; nor can it be known what might have been said of him in
later sections of the work if they had been written. Fredegar was not necessarily
consistent in his verdicts, as can be seen from what he says about king Dagobert I
(623-39); but it would be fairer to say that he did not think that those whom he praised
on one occasion would always remain blameless.65
From his remarks about Grimoald, Fredegar can not necessarily be described
as a supporter of the Arnulfings. To say that in 640/1 Grimoald was popular 'with
many' in Austrasia need be no more than the truth, and his involvement in the murder
of Otto is neither hidden nor justified. Fredegar was, however, far more laudatory of
Grimoald's father Pippin I, and the latter's brother-in-law bishop Arnulf of Metz. The
bishop is referred to by Fredegar as beatissimus, and he is said to have displayed the
quality of sanctitas.66 This could be contrasted with the treatment of Pippin I's ally,
bishop Chunibert of Cologne, who, although a significant figure in Austrasian politics
in the period c. 630-40, is never qualified by any epithet whatsoever. 67 Arnulf's
sanctity made him a mediator in the quarrels between Chlotar II (584-629) and his son
Dagobert I (623-39). His advice and that of Pippin I was said to have contributed
directly to the prosperity and fame of Dagobert's rule. 68 After his retirement into a life

64
Fredegar IV. 86, 87, 88; ed. KRUSCH pp. 164-165.
65
Fredegar IV. 58 and 60, ed. KRUSCH pp. 149-151 for varying judgements on
Dagobert I.
66
Fredegar IV. 52, 53; ed. KRUSCH pp.146-147.
67
Fredegar IV. 58, 75, 85, ed. KRUSCH, pp. 150, 158-159, 164.
68
Fredegar IV. 58; ed. KRUSCH p. 150.
55
of ascetic seclusion around the year 629, his brother-in-law Pippin is presented by
Fredegar as the mainstay of Dagobert's regime in Austrasia: 'more cautious than
others, a true counsellor, most loyal and respected by all for his love of justice'.69
Although the two founding figures of this dynasty, that would make itself the
new royal house of Francia in 751, receive unstinting praise from Fredegar, he is not
unthinkingly partisan. Bishop Austrenus of Orléans (587-post 604) is also called
beatissimus, although we are told no more about him.70 Even more strikingly, Pippin's
contemporary, the Neustrian Mayor of the Palace Aega ( d. 641/2) receives equal
praise from Fredegar. He is described as being 'amongst other Neustrians the most
assiduous in his advice to Dagobert I', and was entrusted with responsibility for queen
Nantechildis and the infant Clovis (II) by the dying king out of respect for his
valuable counsel.71 He held the office of Mayor in Neustria during the first three
years of Clovis II's reign, and Fredegar's verdict on him was highly favourable: 'Aega
was truly outstanding amongst the other leading men of Neustria, acting with
prudence and imbued with the fullness of patience. He was noble by birth, very
wealthy, a follower of justice, erudite in his speech and always ready with advice.' 72
His successor as Mayor of the Palace in Neustria, Erchinoald, was also highly
esteemed by Fredegar, who called him 'patient', 'full of goodness', 'humble', and
'benevolent' towards the bishops and all other men, and lacking in pride or greed. He
was 'loved by all.'

69
Fredegar IV. 61; ed. KRUSCH p. 151.
70
Fredegar IV. 25; ed. KRUSCH p. 130.
71
Fredegar IV. 79-80; ed. KRUSCH pp. 161-162.
72
Fredegar IV. 80; ed. KRUSCH p. 161
56
As these examples show, Fredegar was in no sense an exclusive partisan of the
Arnulfings or of Austrasia over Neustria. His verdict on Erchinoald was given in the
past tense and was thus most probably written after the latter's death, which occured
some time between 657 and 659.73 This is a further indicator that this section of the
chronicle was being written after 659, as will be discussed in the next chapter. It is
also notable that it was delivered on the man who as Neustrian Mayor, must have been
involved with Clovis II in the execution of Grimoald in 656/7. If Fredegar had been
no more than an Arnulfing and Austrasian apologist, writing under the rule of
Grimoald's son, as he has sometimes been presented, it would be hard to comprehend
why he gave so favourable a report of this Neustrian Mayor of the Palace. Indeed, the
probable implication is that he was writing in the kingdom of Neustria and Burgundy,
rather than in Austrasia.
What is clear from the kind of judgements that Fredegar makes on the great
men of the 630s and early 640s, not excluding king Dagobert I, is that he looked for
particular virtues. Devotion to justice is marked out as a special quality in Pippin I,
Aega and king Dagobert, at least before he fell into evil ways.74 Prudence and the
giving of good advice are other characteristics for which all of these men are highly
commended. Dagobert is criticised by Fredegar both for debauchery after he took
over the Neustrian kingdom in 629 and for his cupidity towards the properties of the
Church and the magnates.75 The king is also blamed for cutting back on his

73
Fredegar IV. 84; ed. KRUSCH p. 163.
74
Fredegar IV. 61, 80 and 58 respectively; ed. KRUSCH pp. 151, 161 and 149-
150.
75
Fredegar IV. 60, ed. KRUSCH pp. 150-151.
57
generosity towards the Church, but it is noteworthy that the virtues that Fredegar
specifically praises do include almsgiving and the making of ecclesiastical
endowments; reinforcing the suggestion that he was a pious layman rather than a
cleric or a monk.76
Fredegar's strongly expressed approval for many of the leading men in both
kingdoms in the late 630s and early 640s is very personal. He does not give the
impression that he is merely passing on other people's views. The opinions he gives
have the character of ones formed at first-hand. Thus, if Fredegar had direct
experience of the royal courts it was likely to have occurred or to have begun in this
period. The breadth of his knowledge, not least his access to information coming
from beyond the frontiers of Francia, may also result from connections with the
highest levels of Frankish society. His knowledge of Columbanian monasticism is
less surprising when it be appreciated how much noble patronage of monastic houses
took place in the mid-seventh century, not least by Erchinoald and by the Arnulfings.77
Whether Fredegar was a layman or a cleric is hard, or even impossible to determine
with absolute certainty. His presentation of royal and aristocratic virtues is by no
means ecclesiastical in character, and there is no reason why as a pious layman he
should not have thought it reprehensible of Dagobert I to cut back on his gifts to the
Church. There are no references to the miraculous in his work, and it is clear that in
his version of the epitome of the first six books of Gregory of Tours, his principles of

76
See above p. 000.
77
Friederich PRINZ, Frühes Monchtum im Frankenreich (2nd edition 1988),
pp. 128-151.
58
selection favoured royal and secular events rather than ecclesiastical ones. 78 But other
elements in his narrative, such as the reference to Erchinoald's humility towards the
bishops could be cited to give an opposite effect. Overall, while the balance of
probability might be thought to favour the view that Fredegar was a layman of high
status, writing in the Neustrian-Burgundian kingdom, the evidence is not strong
enough to carry complete conviction.

Chapter Three: The Date of Composition and the Contents

One thing that seems nearly certain is that the work as we have it has not been
preserved in its intended final form. It terminates abruptly and inconclusively with
the description of what was effectively a civil war amongst the nobility of Burgundy
in 642, but the author at earlier points in his narrative made brief references to events
that occurred in the 650s, and at one stage promised his readers a fuller account of one
particular episode of which he made passing mention when he reached the appropriate
chronological point in his narrative. This fuller account does not exist in the work as
we now have it. So, it seems certain that the compilation was either left unfinished or
has lost a final section which would have taken its account beyond the year 642. That

78
Walter GOFFART, 'From Historiae to Historia Francorum and Back Again:
Aspects of the Textual History of Gregory of Tours', in Thomas F.X. NOBLE and
John J.CONTRENI (eds.), Religion, Culture and Society in the Early Middle Ages:
Studies in Honor of Richard E. Sullivan (1987), pp. 55-76; reprinted in idem, Rome's
Fall and After (1989), pp. 255-274.
59
the earliest surviving manuscript of the work is dated by reference to the regnal year
of a Frankish king to 714/5 means that the compiler must have been working at some
point between the two dates.79
This makes trying to locate the timing of the episode of which he promised a
fuller account of particular importance, as this could lead us to the chronological point
at which the author was working, or at least as near to it as is now possible to reach.
The promise of a fuller description of it comes in a chapter that starts with mention of
the death of the emperor Heraclius Constantine in 642 and the succession of his infant
son Constans (642-668).80 Fredegar follows this with a brief overview of the latter's
reign, referring to Arab conquests in Egypt and Africa and the emperor's paying of
tribute to them for three years. He then mentions how Constans regained control of
the empire and refused to continue the tribute; at this point making the promise to the
reader that he would give a fuller account when dealing with the appropriate year.
The Arab expedition into Africa that Fredegar mentions, in which the Patrician
Gregory was killed, took place in 646.81 Byzantine sources locate a period of peace,
which may have involved the payment of an annual tribute, in the years 650/1 to
653/4.82 A civil war broke out in the Arab caliphate following the assassination of the
caliph ‘Uthman in 656, and in 658/9 a treaty highly benefical to the empire was made

79
See below p. 000
80
Fredegar IV. 81; ed. KRUSCH p. 162.
81
THEOPHANES, Chronica, A.M. 6139; ed. G. de BOOR, Theophanis
Chronographia 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883,1885), vol. I, p. 343.
82
ibid. AM 6142-6144, ed. De BOOR, vol. I, pp. 344-345.
60
between the emperor Constans and the Syrian Arab leader and later caliph
Mu'awiyah.83 The imperial recovery that Fredegar refers to could therefore either
follow the end of the three year peace that Constans had to purchase or it might
involve the treaty of 658/9 by which the Arabs agreed to buy peace from the empire.
So, it is not actually possible to be more precise than to suggest a date in a period
ranging from about 655 to 660. That Fredegar was working 'around 660' would thus
seem to be the nearest we can get to his chronological location.
It has to be wondered if the lack of a section of narrative covering the years
from 642 to c.660 was due to the subsequent loss in the manuscript transmission or
because it was never written, perhaps as a result of the author's death. The closeness in
date to this of the earliest manuscript, probably written in 714/5, and the now
generally accepted belief that it was not the immediate ancestor of the other codices
containing the work, might argue in favour of the latter possibility. 84 Otherwise the
possible loss of text would have had to occur at a very early stage in the manuscript
transmission and to have affected more than a single line of descent. However, it has
to be admitted that there can be no certainty on this question, other than for the fact
that whatever the author may have intended, the work in practice ends where it does,
and the chances of any more of it ever being found are very slight indeed.
It is not possible to know what first inspired Fredegar to put together the
collection of texts and new materials from which his chronicle was made. The idea
may have come from a chance acquisition of a collection of historical texts or it may
just as well be the case that it was a prior determination on his own part to compose

83
ibid. AM 6150, ed. De BOOR, vol. I, p. 347.
84
See below p. 000
61
something of the sort that led him to find and make use of the items that he included
in his work. We are only on safe ground when analysing what it was that Fredegar
had available when compiling his chronicle, and to this we must now turn.
The main ingredients of the compilation as it was put together around 660
consist of: 1) an abridgement of the world chronicle known as the Liber Generationis,
written in the thirteenth year of the reign of the emperor Severus Alexander (which
would be 234/35); 2) a version of Jerome's Latin translation and continuation of the
Greek chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea85; 3) an abbreviated version of the chronicle
of the Spanish bishop Hydatius; 4) an abridged form of the first six books of Gregory
of Tours' Libri Historiarum, extending up to 584; and 5) a section of new or otherwise
unidentified material relating to the years from 584 to 642. There were also several
other smaller items included in it, which will be discussed below.
It seems likely that a number of the principal components of Fredegar's
compilation were already being transmitted together as a corpus of texts prior to his
obtaining them. At some time but possibly not very long after the year 468, an
unnamed scribe in an uncertain location in Spain, most probably in its north-eastern
corner, prepared a manuscript that combined a small number of different items.86 Of
these the most recent to be written was one that had been composed in his own native
land, but on the other side of the peninsula, in the province of Gallaecia (roughly

85
Rudolf HELM (ed.) Eusebius Werke - Die Chronik des Hieronimus, (2nd
edition Berlin 1956).
86
A suggestion first made by Theodor MOMMSEN in his edition of the Liber
Generationis: MGH AA vol. IX, p. 79; see also Richard BURGESS, The Chronicle of
Hydatius and the Consularia Constantinopolitana (1993), pp. 11-13.
62
equivalent to modern Galicia and northern Portugal). This was the chronicle of bishop
Hydatius of Aquae Flaviae, the modern Chaves on the northern edge of Portugal,
which ended its narrative in the year 468. 87 Hydatius, although his perspective became
increasingly restricted, firstly to events taking place within Spain more generally and
then within the province of Gallaecia itself, began his chronicle as a continuation of
the universal chronicle written by Jerome, who died in 419, but whom he himself had
seen as a boy while on a visit to Bethlehem in 406. Jerome’s chronicle was a Latin
translation, with original continuation up to the year 379, of one written in Greek by
Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339/340), which took the Creation as its starting point. Thus
Hydatius, by appending his increasingly Hispanocentric account of the years 379 to
468 to the combined accounts of Eusebius and Jerome, brought the history of the
World from its foundation up to his time of writing, probably close to the end of his
life.
In addition to the continuous chronicle provided by Hydatius's continuation of
the Eusebius-Jerome, the Spanish scribe seems to have added a text of a consular dated
chronicle written in Constantinople to his collection, even though it duplicated some
of the events described in the chronicle sequence. This work, known as the
Consularia Constantinopolitana, begins with the consulship of Brutus and Collatinus
(thought to be 509 BC) and ends with the second consulship of the emperor Anthemius

87
Edited, with introduction, in BURGESS, The Chronicle of Hydatius, pp. 70-
123. On the chronicle see Carmen CARDELLE DE HARTMANN, Philologische
Studien zur Chronik Hydatius von Chaves (1994), and Steven MUHLBERGER, The
Fifth-Century Chroniclers (1990), pp. 193-266..
63
in 468 AD.88 It contains little information beyond the list of consuls and most of what
there is relates to the fourth and fifth centuries. There is no trace of any of its material
in Fredegar, and so it is possible that the manuscript he was using did not include this
work.
The Spanish scribe who made a copy of the composite chronicle of Eusebius-
Jerome-Hydatius, may have also been the person who inserted a brief digression on
the Balearic Islands into its text and added a few dates using the Spanish era, a
chronology not employed by Hydatius.89 He also added to his manuscript two other
works not previously or elsewhere associated with this chronicle compilation or with
the Consularia. These were firstly the Liber Generationis, a chronological handbook
extending up to the year 235, attributed to Hippolytus, and secondly the Latin
translation of the letter of Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria to the emperor
Theodosius I on the calculation of the date of Easter, written in the early 390s.90
This codex of chronological and computational texts prepared in Spain in the
late fifth or sixth centuries is itself now entirely lost, but its existence and something of
its compositional history can be deduced from a copy, made directly or deriving from
it, that was written in Verona in the first quarter of the ninth century, and which is now

88
Edited in BURGESS, The Chronicle of Hydatius, pp. 215-245; see also
CARDELLE DE HARTMANN pp. 24-38.
89
Mark A. HANDLEY, Death, Society and Culture: Inscriptions and Epitaphs
in Gaul and Spain, AD 300-750 (2003), pp. 135-138.
90
BURGESS, The Chronicle of Hydatius, pp. 203-209, and p. 10 with notes 3
and 4. The date and place of origin suggested here for MS Berlin, Deutsche
Staatsbibliothek, Phillipps 1829 in note 4 are both wrong.
64
MS Berlin Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Phillipps 1829.91 What is important for the
present study is a stage in the transmission of this collection of texts between its first
compilation in Spain in the later fifth or sixth centuries and the writing of the extant if
incomplete copy in early ninth century Verona. Since it is clear that in the seventh
century either the original manuscript, or more likely a copy of it, came into the hands
of Fredegar.
The deduction that Fredegar had a copy of this Spanish compilation rests both
on the similarity of its contents to those to be found in the opening parts of his own
one, particularly the otherwise rarely to be encountered Liber Generationis, and also
on the close relationship between the his text of Hydatius's chronicle and that to be
found uniquely in the Berlin manuscript. Hydatius's work circulated in two forms: the
full and original version now only preserved in MS Berlin Deutsche Staatsbibliothek
Phillipps 1829, and in an abridged version created in Spain, probably in the 570s. 92
Although Fredegar made his own unique epitome of Hydatius's chronicle for
inclusion in his own compilation, it is clear from textual comparisons that he did so
from the full version and not from the Spanish epitome. As this and the combination
of texts accompanying it is only to be found in the Berlin manuscript, the probability
must be that Fredegar made use of a copy of the collection it contains.
If so, it may not have been as complete as the one preserved in MS Phillipps
1829, or he may have not have bothered with some of its contents. That he did not
include the letter on paschal dating of Theophilus of Alexandria is probably not
surprising, but that he found no use for the Consularia is. Again this is a subject on

91
Bernhard BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1, item 435, p. 91.
92
BURGESS, The Chronicle of Hydatius, pp. 11-23.
65
which it is only possible to speculate. What he certainly did find valuable for making
his own compilation were the other items in the Spanish collection: the Liber
Generationis, and the chronologically continuous narratives of the chronicles of
Eusebius, Jerome and Hydatius.
The Liber Generationis of 234/5 is first found as a component of the collection
of chronographic and other texts known as 'The Calendar of 354', which was probably
put together in Rome in that year or very soon after. 93 Its origjns lie further back in
time, in that it seems to be a Latin version of some of the Greek chronicle attributed
an author called Hippolytus.94 This is an author whose identity and literary output are
questions as complex and contentious, if not more so, than those relating to Fredegar
himself. It used to be thought that all of the numerous texts said to be written by him
were the work of a Roman deacon called Hippolytus, who may have been an
'antipope' and who died in exile under the emperor Maximin I (235-238), but there is
now a general scholarly recognition that there could be up to seven different early
Christian authors of this name, working at different times and places, and that some of
these might also be identical to as many as four martyrs of the same name. What has
come to be called die Hippolyt frage has generated a great deal of discussion but so
far no real consensus amongst specialists.95

93
Edited by Theodor MOMMSEN, MGH AA vol. IX, pp. 89-140; on the work
see Michelle Renee SALTZMAN, On Roman Time: the Codex Calendar of 354 and
the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (1990), especially pp. 50-56.
94
This is edited by Rudolph HELM in Griechische christliche Shriftsteller der
ersten drei Jahrhunderte vol. xlvi (1955), pp. 70-140.
95
J.A. CERRATO, Hippolytus between East and West: the Commentaries and
66
The work itself consists of a series of lists, containing such items as the
descendants of Adam and Eve, the races of mankind and the lands that they occupy,
various islands and mountains, the names of the prophets, the rulers of the people of
Israel and the length of their reigns, followed by those of the kings of the Persians, of
Alexander the Great and of the Ptolomies, and ending with the emperors of Rome
from Augustus to (Severus) Alexander (d. 235).96 It derives principally from
information to be found in the Old Testament, and is primarily directed at calculating
the passage of time from Creation.
Its role in Fredegar's compilation is complicated by the fact that it is not
structured as a chronicle and, extending up to 235 AD, some of the information it
contains is duplicated in the chronicle of Eusebius that follows, which here starts with
the reign of the Assyrian king Ninus and the birth of Abraham. However, it is clear
that Fredegar did not include it unthinkingly or just because it came with the
Eusebius-Jerome-Hydatius chronicle in the manuscript he was copying from. For one
thing he seems to have drawn up his own list of contents for it; despite the fact that
the work itself has an original table of contents of its own, which he also included
along with the author's preface.97 He also duplicated the list of kings of Israel from
Saul to Cyrus the Persian by adding another one from an unknown source, but which
differs from that of the Liber Generationis.98 There are thus two slightly different
tables of contents and two different lists of the rulers of Israel to be found in his

the Provenance of the Corpus (Oxford, 2002), pp. 3-13.


96
Fredegar I. 1-24; ed. KRUSCH PP. 20-33.
97
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH pp. 18-20.
98
ibid. p. 33.
67
version.
That Fredegar was actively interested in collecting and adding further lists to
those he found in his copy of the Liber Generationis, even when this already
contained equivalent materials, can be seen from the way he included several such
items between the conclusion of the latter and the start of the Eusebius-Jerome
chronicle. These included the second list of the kings of Israel from Saul to Cyrus
just mentioned, an account of the six days of Creation, yet another list of the
descendents of Adam as far as Moses, together with the judges, prophets and kings of
Israel (this therefore being his third such table of the kings), a second list of the
Persian and Ptolemaic monarchs, and similarly a further list of the Roman emperors,
but this time extending up to the thirty first (and last) year of the reign of Heraclius
(610-641).99 At least some of these items he seems to have taken from a manuscript
of the chronicle of Isidore of Seville (d. 636).100
He also added a list of popes with the lengths of their pontificates, from St.
Peter to Theodore (642-649).101 As no figures are given for the latter's tenure of the
papal office, it seems reasonable to assume the list was drawn up prior to his death in
649. In the number of years it assigns to each pope, Fredegar's papal list is close to
the Liber Pontificalis, but there are some variations and omissions.102 As there is no

99
ibid. pp. 34-42; all included as chapter 26 of Book One.
100
e.g. the Six Days of Creation certainly comes from Isidore: José Carlos
MARTIN (ed.), Isidori Hispalensis Chronica (CCSL vol. CXII, 2003), pp. 8-9
(identical in both versions of the chronicle).
101
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH pp. 34-36.
102
Compare with the lengths assigned to each pontificate in Liber Pontificalis,
68
other evidence of his use of the Liber Pontificalis as a source, it seems most likely that
his figures ultimately derive from it but are not copied directly.
Also included in this collection of lists is a set of calculations, here entitled
Supputatio Eusebii Hieronimi, which records the number of years in various stages
from Adam through the Flood, Abraham, Moses, the building of Solomon's Temple,
the preaching and Passion of Christ, the consulship of Constantine and Rufus up to the
first year of a Frankish king Sigibert, son of Theuderic. 103 While this may have
originated in the Eusebius-Jerome chronicle, as the title given it here implies, the
extension of these calculations on to the consulship of Constantine and Rufus in
457AD and then beyond that date to the time of 'Sigibert son of Theuderic' indicate
that Fredegar was using a source other than that chronicle itself, which only went up
to the year 379.
The one hundred and fifty six years between the consulship of Constantine
and Rufus in 457 and the first year of the Frankish king leads to a date of 613,
confirming that the reign was that of Sigibert II, son of Theuderic II (596-613). 104 In
fact this Sigibert, who was born in 602, only reigned for a few months in that year,
before being deposed and replaced by his cousin Chlotar II. So, the Supputatio used
by Fredegar must have been drawn up in that year, as otherwise this would have been
a very peculiar point at which to conclude it. The inclusion of the consulship of
Constantine and Rufus, an otherwise unmemorable event, may also suggest that the
Supputatio of 613 was itself based on an earlier one made in 457.

ed. Theodor MOMMSEN, MGH Gestorum Romanorum Pontificum vol. 1 (1898).


103
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH p. 34
104
Fredegar IV. 21, 40-42; ed. KRUSCH pp. 129, 140-141.
69
Because this material has in itself little value for the subjects it relates to,
Fredegar's use of the Liber Generationis and his adding to it of further lists he took
from other sources has aroused limited scholarly interest, and one modern edition has
omitted all of this section of his work. 105 The inclusion of the Supputatio with its
implied date of 613, provided some support for those scholars who believed in a
distinct phase of composition of the Fredegar chronicle around that time but beyond
that, little attention has been paid to this part of the compilation. However, the
presence of several duplicate lists, and in the case of the kings of Israel a triplicate,
must raise the question of why there is so much repetition and such apparent lack of
clear structure. In several instances the various lists differ in the length of reign they
attribute to particular rulers. In some cases this may be explicable in terms of scribal
errors in the subsequent manuscript transmission, but this is unlikely to be the answer
in all cases.106 It might be permitted to wonder instead if this opening section of the
work is not as unfinished as the conclusion and that the various lists and their
conflicting chronologies had not been put into final form when the compiler stopped
work. If this were the case, it would have to be admitted that the opening table of
contents may have been drawn up by someone other than the author himself. It
divides up the material into twenty six numbered chapters, of which the first twenty

105
That of Andreas KUSTERNIG (see p. 000 below), which starts with Book
Two chapter 53.
106
e.g. king Rehoboam is given a reign lasting both 19 years and 17 years: ed.
KRUSCH pp. 27 and 39. Similarly the reign of the emperor Commodus is said to be
both 12 years, eight months and 24 days (ibid. p. 33) and 12 years 7 months and 19
days (p. 41) long. There are many other such examples.
70
four relate to the various sections of the Liber Generationis. The twenty fifth chapter
is the list of popes from Peter to Theodore , while all of the additional lists are
incorporated as a single chapter twenty six, which is here entitled: Post haec
scarpsum ab Adam usque Noe, a Noe usque Abraham, deinde iudecum, post haec
regum Israhel et Aegyptium et inperatori Romanorum usque Aeraglium.107
The suspicion that this first section of Fredegar's compilation is not in its
intended final form is strengthened by comparing it with the parts that follow. The
Eusebius-Jerome and the Hydatius chronicles, which were also acquired like the Liber
Generationis from the Spanish collection, are carefully edited by Fredegar. They are
not only abridged but also interpolated with short phrases and small sections of text
taken from other sources, very few of which can now be identified. The same
happens in the case of the epitome of the first six books of the Histories of Gregory of
Tours, which is further shortened but also augmented by our compiler. It is clear from
this that he was capable of performing complex editorial operations on his materials,
cutting them or expanding them as seemed right to him, and always maintaining a
clear chronological development. So, the undigested and repetitive nature of some of
the components of the first section of his work is out of keeping with his normal
practice.
Fredegar is unusual amongst early medieval compilers in being quite so
intrusive as far as the text he is copying is concerned. As just mentioned his penchant
for inserting small items of new or supplementary information into the texts, as well
as abridging them is one of his most distinctive features as an author or editor. In
some cases the additional material added could be substantial in size, but no headings

107
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH p. 19.
71
or references are given to indicate that different sources are being used. For example,
sections of legendary stories relating both to the Ostrogothic king Theoderic (d. 526)
and to the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I (527-65) follow directly after the
abridged Hydatius, and in the section of new material at the end of the work there is a
substantial account of the Irish abbot Columbanus taken almost verbatim from the
Vita Columbani of Jonas of Bobbio (written after 639).108 In neither case is the
borrowing explicit or in any way acknowledged. Because Jonas’s life of Columbanus
survives independently, it is possible to recognise the use Fredegar is making of it.,
but with the legends of Theoderic and Belisarius his work provides the only context in
which these items have survived.109 In such cases this clearly adds to the importance
of his compilation, but his failure to flag the inclusion of such borrowings makes it
difficult to detect or evaluate them when they are not otherwise known.
This makes it harder to be sure how original most of what are thought to be
Fredegar's own contributions might be, as it is clear that his method of working
involved both the extensive excerpting of existing sources and the interweaving of
materials of different origins into other author's works. Thus, his epitome of the first
six books of Gregory's Histories, which clearly derives from an existing anonymously
shortened text of those books that was circulating in Francia throughout the seventh
century is further condensed and interpolated with new material not to be found in any
other context.110 It may be that these insertions are written by Fredegar himself, but it

108
Fredegar II. 57-59 and IV. 36; ed. KRUSCH pp. 78-83 and 134-138.
109
Edited by Bruno KRUSCH MGH SRM vol. IV, pp. 64-152.
110
For this see Martin HEINZELMANN, Gregor von Tours 'Zehn Bucher
Geschichte'. Historiographie und Gesellschaftskonzept im 6. Jahrhundert (1994), pp.
72
is equally likely that they derive from some source or sources now unknown.
Similarly, the final section of the compilation, covering the period from the
completion of Gregory's sixth book in 584 up to the events of 642 is generally
regarded as representing Fredegar's own work and his personal contribution to the
collection of historical materials that he had assembled. However, as just noted, it is
this section that contains the unacknowledged borrowing from the Vita Columbani. In
addition, stylistic and structural changes in the narrative of this part also indicate that
other unidentified sources have been used.
The prologue to this final section contains the compiler's acknowledgement
that he had hitherto drawn on the works of various chroniclers: Jerome (d. 419),
Hydatius (d. 468/9) , 'a certain wise man', Isidore of Seville (d.636) and Gregory of
Tours (d. 594), to bring his narrative up to the 'declining years' of the reign of the
Frankish king Guntramn (561-592).111 It has been thought that this listing of his
major sources also explains Fredegar's structuring of his compilation as a series of
borrowings from the authors mentioned and in a more or less chronological order.
The problems here, if this understanding is correct, reside in the references to quidam
sapiens and to Isidore of Seville. The 'certain wise man' referred to here has been
taken to be the author of the Liber Generationis, whose identity was unknown to

171-173. For a detailed analysis of the contents of this part of the work see the thesis
of J. E. WOODRUFF, The 'Historia Epitomata' (Third Book) of the 'Chronicle' of
Fredegar: an Annotated Translation and Historical Analysis of Interpolated Material
(1988).
111
Fredegar IV. prologus , ed. KRUSCH p. 123.
73
Fredegar, as the text was anonymous in the form he received it from Spain. 112
However, for this to be the case it has to be argued that his placing in the list of
authorities cited by Fredegar in this prologue after Hydatius and before Isidore is
wrong or has been subject to alteration, as he should feature at the beginning of the
list, since the Liber Generationis forms the first section of the work.
The second difficulty results from Isidore's presence in Fredegar's list of his
authorities, since, apart from the very short section on the six days of Creation in the
miscellaneous items attached to the Liber Generationis, there is nothing in the
compilation that can be shown to have come from Isidore's chronicle, or indeed from
any of his other works. While numerous small borrowings by Fredgar go
unacknowledged, it seems very strange that he should make a point of stressing a debt
to the Spanish bishop that may not extend beyond half a dozen lines of text.113
The only other association between Isidore and Fredegar comes in the
presence of a copy of the former's chronicle as the last item of the contents of the
earliest extant manuscript of the Frankish compilation, MS Paris Bibliotheque
Nationale nouvelle acquisition latine 10910.114 The question therefore must be
whether Isidore's chronicle was included in this manuscript because it was thought to
form a part of Fredegar's work, or whether it is there quite independently and was
added just because it was another historical text that the scribe had available for
inclusion in a composite historiographical collection.
While Bruno Krusch doubted that Isidore's chronicle ever formed a distinct

112
Roger COLLINS, Fredegar (1996), p. 86.
113
Fredegar I. 26; ed. KRUSCH p. 37.
114
On this manuscript see below pp. 000-000.
74
component of Fredgar's compilation, other scholars remained convinced that it was
indeed an integral part of it.115 Including it provides a solution to the otherwise
inexplicable reference to Isidore in the prologue but raises other difficulties. For one
thing, in the listing of authorities in that prologue Isidore is placed between the
'certain wise man' and Gregory of Tours, whereas in the Paris manuscript his work
comes at the very end, even after Fredegar's own section dealing with the years up to
642; a date nearly three decades later than that of the the last item contained in
Isidore's chronicle. The explanation suggested by Baudot that somehow the contents
of the compilation had been put in the wrong order in the Paris manuscript is not in
itself very convincing, and also fails to counter other more decisive objections.116
Firstly, Isidore's chronicle is found associated with that of Fredegar in only this
one manuscript; none of the others containing the Frankish compilation have this or
any other work by the Spanish bishop. Secondly, the text of Isidore as contained in
MS Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat. 10910 is neither excerpted nor interpolated;
treatments given by Fredegar to every other work of which he made use. Finally, as a
chronicle that itself extended from Creation up to the early seventh century, it
duplicated much that Fredegar had already covered in his borrowings from other
sources. The Isidore chronicle thus looks strangely undigested and unedited for a
possible component of our author's collection of historical texts. As a result of these
and other arguments, the most recent study of this problem argued strongly in favour
of the proposition that Isidore's chronicle had not formed an integral part of Fredegar's

115
KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae', pp. 484-486; SCHNÜRER, Die Verfasser, pp.
157-161
116
BAUDOT 'La question', pp. 133-137.
75
compilation, and thus its presence in the Paris manuscript was purely accidental.117
There is also a palaeographical argument against the Isidoran chronicle as
found in the Paris manuscript forming an integral part of the Fredegar compilation:
some of the numerous textual errors in this part of the manuscript can be explained as
the Merovingian scribe's failure to understand an exemplar in Visigothic script. 118
That his model for the Fredegar materials was a manuscript in Merovingian cursive
and for the Isidore one in Visigothic minuscule makes it clear that he was drawing on
two quite separate and independent sources.
Some suggestions could be made that might resolve some of these difficulties
over the intended contents of the compilation. It will be recalled that the order of
authorities in the list given in the prologue is as follows: Jerome, Hydatius, 'a certain
wise man', Isidore, and Gregory. In his copy of the Spanish collection of historical
and computistic texts the Liber Generationis was anonymous and attached to the
Eusebius-Jerome chonicle, while Hydatius’s chronicle came with a title and authorial
attribution.119 It is not unreasonable to think that Fredegar thought he had two texts,

117
GOFFART, 'The Fredegar Problem Reconsidered', Speculum 38 (1963), pp.
209-216; reprinted in idem, Rome’s Fall and After (1989), pp. 319-329.
118
Charles Henry BEESON, Isidor-Studien (1913), p. 73; for the probable
model in Merovingian cursive see WALLACE-HADRILL, 1960, p. xlviii.
119
Fredegar II. 49, ed. KRUSCH p. 69. However, the preface of Hydatius -
Adacius servus domini nostri Iesu Christi universis fidelibus in domino nostro Iesu
Christo et servientibus...brevi ante factae praefationis indicio - is placed in the same
chapter as the chronological calculations with which Jerome's chronicle ends. So
either Fredegar or the manuscript he was working from failed to highlight the
76
not three, as we would now see it. So, Jerome and Hydatius present no problems.
In Fredegar's compilation, in between his abridged Hydatius and similarly
treated edition of the first six books of Gregory's Histories comes the section of tales
relating to Theoderic, Justinian, Belisarius and others (Book Two chapters 57-62).
These seem to have had no authorial attribution, and are not found in any other
context. Typically, Fredegar has interpolated a short section of Gregory of Tours'
Historiae into the middle of them, to facilitate the transition from the material relating
to Theoderic to that concerned with the age of Justinian. 120 While the significance of
these tales will be discussed later, it seems reasonable to suggest that these items,
which did not form part of the earlier Spanish collection, were added by Fredegar
himself as the work of an unknown author, who therefore would be the quidam
sapiens of the prologue.
We are left then with the reference to the chronicle of Isidore, borrowings from
which by the scheme envisaged in the prologue should come between the Italian
Byzantine tales of 'a certain wise man' and the six book abridgment of Gregory. But
here there is nothing. In the compilation as we have it these two texts stand side by
side, with no trace of an Isidoran section between them.
The problem posed by the presence of Isidore's chronicle in the Paris
manuscript must thus be resolved by agreeing that this was indeed an independent
component and was not included by the scribe as part of the exemplar from which he
drew his Fredegar material, but this goes nowhere towards explaining why Fredegar
mentioned a debt to Isidore in the preface referring to chronicles he had used. While

significance of the change of author and source at this point.


120
Fredegar II. 60, using Gregory Historiae II. 2-3; ed. KRUSCH, pp. 84-85.
77
there can be little certainty on this and many other matters relating to the structure and
organisation of Fredegar's work, if this reference to Isidore is not just to be
disregarded, it could at least be suggested that its inclusion was another casualty of the
abrupt termination of the project, probably as a result of Fredegar's death. The
unfinished nature of the final section and the duplications in the opening one have
already been mentioned as probable evidence of the uncompleted nature of the
compilation. A further section drawn from Isidore's chronicle could have been part of
Fredegar's intentions, curtailed by whatever caused him to leave those other parts in
their unfinished state.

Chapter Four: The Structure of the Chronicle

Related to these issues concerning the contents of the compilation are ones
relating to its proposed structure, and in particular the question of the division of the
work into books. Virtually all of the manuscripts containing the original seventh
century version of the compilation include titles and conclusions relating to the
number of books into which it is divided. 121 In all cases this seems to be five. There
are incipits and explicits for Books One, Three, Four and Five, but none at all for a
Book Two. A five book structure may therefore have been envisaged by Fredegar but
not achieved in practice.
From what has already been said, it could be suggested that a division between

121
These are provided in full in the description of the manuscripts, below pp.
000-000.
78
the contents that would produce five sections might have the Liber Generationis as
the first. The second section would be composed of Jerome's translation and
continuation of Eusebius; the third comprise the edited version of Hydatius's
chronicle; part four be the abbreviated Gregory of Tours, and part five consist of
Fredegar's own original contribution.
Unfortunately, the evidence of the manuscripts does not correspond with this
ideal. The chronicles of Eusebius-Jerome and of Hydatius are not separated by
headings or lists of chapters in any of the manuscripts. A section of Hydatius's own
introduction to his chronicle, which was an explicit continuation of that of Jerome, is
preserved by Fredegar, but it is incorporated into the text, and is not given special
prominence as if it were marking a change of authorship. 122 It should be remembered,
too, that Fredegar received the chronicles of Eusebius, Jerome and Hydatius already
united in his Spanish collection of texts. So there was no reason for him to regard
them as separate works.
Fredegar's own intentions as to the structuring of his compilation are not easy
to recover. It seems clear enough that he had not intended the section of original
materials relating to the period 584-642, which makes up Book Four in all modern
editions, to be divided up into chapters. The text itself presents an obvious
chronological structuring by the regnal years of a number of named Merovingian
kings. This has subsequently been disturbed by the dividing up of the contents into
chapters. In some cases the events of a single year are split between one or more
chapters, and in others one chapter covers two years. That the chapter numbers for
this section in the earliest manuscript, Paris BN lat 10910, have been added by a later

122
Fredegar II. 49; ed. KRUSCH pp. 69-70.
79
hand, suggests very strongly that they were not an integral part of the work when the
scribe Lucerius was writing his codex in 714/5. The numbers could have been copied
from another manuscript at a somewhat later date; probably in the eighth century.
The division of the compilation into books is even more problematic, and the
modern organisation of Fredegar's work into four books is in large measure the result
of a decision made by Bruno Krusch when preparing his edition of 1888. 123 The Paris
manuscript is not consistent in its headings for the division of the contents, but as it is
by far the earliest and also the purest source for the text, its evidence for the structure
of the work must carry considerable weight. So, it needs to be examined in some
detail here.
A note on folio 1v, now only visible under ultraviolet light, indicates that the
heading for the first section referred to it as 'The First Chronicle': incip[iu]nt
capetolaris chronici primi.124 What can still be seen is the heading to the table of
contents: breviarium scarpsum ex chronica eusebii hieronimi aliorumque auctorum a
quodam adatio.125 In other words, the ensuing lists are presented as the work of
'Adatius', by which is meant Hydatius, in excerpting information from the chronicle of

123
COLLINS Fredegar p. 133 is too critical of this decision, which probably
represents the most sensible and practical compromise in the light of the conflicting
manuscript indications.
124
GOFFART, ‘Fredegar Problem’, pp. 209-210 note 13; in his Rome’s Fall
and After, pp. 322-323 note 13.
125
For the folio numbers see the fuller description given below, pp. 000-000.
MONOD Etudes critiques...deuxieme partie (1885) contains a diplomatic edition of
the manuscript..
80
Eusebius-Jerome and from other authors.
The next heading is that prefacing the list of chapters taken from Eusebius-
Jerome: incipiunt capetolares cronece gyronimi scarpsum. There are sixty two
chapters in the list and they extend to include the section of tales relating to Theoderic
and Justinian (chapters 57 to 62). However, the text itself has only forty nine chapter
numbers.126 Chapter forty nine contains a calculation of the number of years from the
foundation of Rome up to the fourteenth year of the reign of the emperors Valentinian
I and Valens, which is 378/9 AD. In other words, this is the end of Jerome's
continuation of Eusebius's chronicle. As in the case of the Liber Generationis, it is
probably Fredegar who drew up the initial table of chapters and has extended it
beyond the original source, in this case Eusebius-Jerome. However, the numbers for
his chapters 50 to 62 have not been inserted into the text itself.
The section of tales with which this part of the compilation ends is followed
immediately by the heading praefacio gregorii, and after an abbreviatred version of
Gregory of Tours' own preface there comes a table of contents headed incipit
capetolares libri quarti quod est scarpsum de cronica gregorii episcopi toronaci.
Ninety three chapters are listed, that take the narrative from the Hun invasion of Gaul
in 451 up to the death of the Frankish king Chilperic I in 584. The list of chapters
corresponds exactly to the divisions in the text itself.
Immediately after the ending of chapter 93 in this section there comes the
heading: incipit prologus cuiusdam sapientis, followed by incipiunt capetolaris

126
The subsequent chapter numbers and divisions of Book Two in Krusch's
edition are taken from those found in other classes of manuscripts. For these see
below pp. 000-000.
81
cronece libri quarti. The list of ninety chapters that follows contains what is regarded
as Fredegar's own original materials, covering the period from 584 to 642. Chapter
numbers and those in the text correspond. From the initial heading this therefore
seems to be a second 'Book Four'. However, the list of chapters is followed by the
famous prologue previously referred to that contains the list of the main authorities
used by the compiler, and after this comes another heading: in nomen domini nostri
ihesu christi incipit chronica sexta. So this material is also being described here as
'the sixth chronicle'.
Finally, on folio 170v, there comes the un-interpolated text of the first version
of the chronicle of Isidore of Seville, under the heading: in nomine sanctae trinitatis
incipit liber III kronnkorom sancti esidori episcopi. At the end, f. 184r, there is a brief
conclusion: explicit liber breviarium temporum a sancto hysidoro collectum iuxta
histoiae fidem ab inicio mundi usque quadragensemo anno chlothacharii regis ann.
There follows the colophon that provides the name of the scribe and the date of his
writing, the fourth year of a king Dagobert.
There are some other headings in the text, but these do not seem to represent
attempts to divide up the contents. The main divisions seem to be represented by the
items given above, which suggest that each section of the work had its own heading,
which was in most cases followed by a prologue or preface and a list of its contents.
The resulting structure would seem to be as follows:
1. ff.1-28v : 'the first chronicle', also described an abreviatio extracted from the
chronicles of Eusebius and Jerome and from other authors by 'a certain Adatius'. This
lacks a preface but has a table of chapters, even though the first chapter of the text
takes the form of another and slightly different list of contents.
82
2. ff28v-83: there is no heading for the section as a whole, but the table of
chapters calls itself capetolares cronece gyronimi scarpsum. There is no preface at
the start, but Hydatius's preface to his own chronicle is included after chapter 49 in the
text. The initial list of chapters contains numbers 50 to 62, which are not present in
the text
3. ff.83-121: the table of contents calls this liber quartus, and states it has ben
excerpted from 'the chronicle' of bishop Gregory of Tours. Gregory's own preface
precedes the list of chapters.
4. ff. 121v-170: the chapter list here also calls this liber quartus, but the first line
of the text calls it chronica sexta. The section as a whole commences with the
heading incipit prologus cuiusdam sapientis, but there is no text of any such preface at
this point. There is however the anonymous preface referring to the chronicle sources
used in making the compilation located after the table of chapters and before the
beginning of the text.
5. ff. 170v-184: 'Book Three of the Chronicles of the holy bishop Isidore', with
Isidore's own preface. Although the arguments in favour of treating this as not
forming part of the original Fredegar compilation have been discussed and considered
generally sound, the reference here to 'Book Three', which has nothing to do with the
organisation of Isidore's own text, might suggest that the scribe of this manuscript or
of that of a lost exemplar he was copying thought that this chronicle should form the
third book of this collection.
As previously stated there is no clarity or consistency in the designation of the
components of the compilation in this manuscript. Some items are referred to as
'books' and others as chronicles, and in one case both terms are used, but with
83
different numeration.
It also seems clear that some of the headings and related divisions of the text
must be non-authorial. The heading prologus cuiusdam sapientis implies that
whoever devised it assumed that the prologue normally thought to be Fredegar's own
was actually written by the unnamed sapiens who is mentioned in it. This contradicts
the logic of the author's statement and so he can hardly have been the one who
devised the heading. In other words there has been some degree of editorial
involvement in the organising and presenting of the compilation as a whole. This may
have included the drawing up of some if not all of the tables of contents to each
section, as discussed above with reference to the Liber Generationis. This editor does
not seem to have been able or willing to try to resolve the confusion over whether the
components were books or separate chronicles or the discrepancies in numbering. He
may also have added a text of Isidore's chronicle from another context because of
what he read in the final prologue, implying that it was one of the sources for the
compilation. The significance of all this would seem to be that the collection of texts
from which this was formed had itself been left in a rather chaotic and unfinished
state, with its own structuring and contents either not fully worked out or left
incomplete; a view already supported by other features in the contents previously
discussed.
Such an interpretation is strengthened by the evidence of the structuring of the
other manuscripts containing this work. As will be seen in the section of this book
dealing with the manuscript transmission, Paris BN lat. 10910 is not directly related to
the other surviving codices, which derive from a lost early exemplar that contained
some textual and other differences that distinguish it and its descendents. Amongst
84
these distinctive features is a related but somewhat more developed organisation of
the contents. As can be seen from the headings preserved in the more or less complete
codices, in all cases a five book structure is implied. However, while the Liber
Generationis is introduced as Book One, and the section of tales relating to Theoderic
and Justinian end with explicit liber tertius, there are no introductory headings or
conclusions for Book Two, or an initial heading for Book Three. The excerpts from
Gregory of Tours always form Book Four and Book Five consists of the original
material ascribed to Fredegar himself. So, while there is definite evidence of a
proposed five book organisation of the contents, the archetype of these manuscripts
must have been even less clear than MS Paris BN lat. 10910 about the divisions
within the intended first three books. The similarities and the differences in the
headings and the structure they imply between on the one hand the Paris codex, the
only complete manuscript of what Krusch designated as Class One, and on the other
hand the five extant manuscripts that belong to his Classes Two and Three, might lead
to the following conclusions.127
Firstly, that the collection of texts formed but probably left unfinished by
Fredegar had an organisation in which the extracts from Gregory of Tours were to
form Book Four and the section of new material relating to the period 584 to 642
would be Book Five. Secondly the divisions with in the corpus of chronicles he had
received from Spain, consisting of Eusebius-Jerome-Hydatius and the Liber
Generationis had not been properly worked out and were probably not to be found in
the author's own manuscript at the point at which he stopped work. Thirdly the

127
For his classification of the manuscripts see KRUSCH 'Die Chronicae', pp.
249-250, and below pp. 000-000.
85
uncertainty over the way these texts were to be divided and the presence of a
reference to the chronicle of Isidore of Seville in the preface to the last book may at
least suggest that some additional material was going to be added to the present
contents, perhaps forming a separate book in its own right, and probably drawn from
Isidore's work. If so, it could be that the text of Isidore's chronicle contained in the
Paris manuscript is that of the copy possessed by Fredegar himself, on which he never
had the chance to carry out his usual editorial work. It had not yet been integrated
into the compilation.128
It is interesting to note that when in the later eighth century an entirely new
item was added to the compilation in the archetype of the manuscripts of the Third
Class, in the form of the De Cursu Temporum of Quintus Iulius Hilarian, it was not
used to rationalise the structure of the collection as a whole, despite its being inserted
just before Book Four, the section of extracts from Gregory of Tours. In other words,
it would then have been possible to make the Liber Generationis Book One, as was
probably originally intended by Fredegar himself, and keep the Eusebius-Jerome-
Hydatius chronicles as well as the Theoderic and Justinian stories as Book Two, with
the De Cursu forming Book Three. However, in the Class Three manuscripts the new
text is left suspended between the explicit for Book Three and the incipit for Book
Four, and the lack of a clearly delineated Book Two remains as apparent as in the
Class Two manuscripts. This is the only alteration to the contents of the original
Fredegar compilation to be found in the manuscripts that contain it. As will be seen
there are marked differences in structure and contents in the Childebrand-Nibelung
Historia vel Gesta Francorum, which will be examined in the second part of this

128

86
book.
In general the evidence seems to suggest that Fredegar himself intended a
dividing up of the contents of the compilation into four or more likely five books, but
this was never completed. How he proposed to subdivide the books is harder to
answer. In the case of the Liber Generationis and the related lists, it has already been
suggested that the list of chapter numbers and the divisions it involves was the
product of a subsequent editorial process. A similar dividing up into numbered
chapters of the contents of the next section was completed as far as the initial table of
contents is concerned, but not in the text. The chapter divisions of the epitome of
Gregory of Tours are, on the other hand, complete and accord with the table of
contents that precedes this section. In the case of the final book, containing materials
relating to the period 584 to 642 the subdivision into chapters is the product of a
subsequent editorial process and in no sense original to Fredegar's own work, as it is
clear that he was using a system of regnal dating in structuring the contents of this
section of his work.
The choices made in the regnal chronology of the last book deserve examining
for any evidence of Fredegar's political allegiance, in a period in which Francia was
usually divided between two and sometimes three kingdoms. For the period from 584
to 613 the markedly Burgundian perspective of the contents of the chronicle is
reinforced by it being dated according to the regnal years of king Theuderic II of
Burgundy (596-613).129 However, with the death of Theuderic and the elimination of

129
Fredegar IV. 21-28: years 7 to 12 of Theuderic II; IV. 35-38: years 13 to 17;
ed. KRUSCH pp. 129-132, 134-140. Intermediate chapters in this book are mainly
filled with reports of events outside Francia.
87
his son Sigibert II (613), Fredegar then begins to date events by the regnal years of
Chlotar II (584-629). These he calculates from the beginning of Chlotar's reign in
Neustria in 584 rather than from his taking over of Burgundy in 613. 130 Thus that year
is described as being the thirtieth year of Chlotar. Fredegar continues to use the
regnal years of Chlotar II, even after the latter's son Dagobert was made king of
Austrasia in 623. Not until Chlotar's death in 629 does Fredegar begin dating by the
regnal years of Dagobert, which, however he counts from the king's installation in
Austrasia in 623. Thus, 629 is Dagobert's seventh year as well as being his father's
forty fifth.131 He died, according to Fredegar in the sixteenth year of his reign, and
dating of the events that immediately follow is by the regnal years of his legitimate
son Clovis II (639-57), who ruled over both Neustria and Burgundy. 132 However, this
does not prove consistent, as when events in Austrasia are mentioned they are dated
by the reign of Dagobert I's other son Sigibert III (633-56). As he had been installed
as king in Austrasia in 633 during his father's lifetime his regnal years are deemed to
start at that point, and thus they do not synchronise with those of Clovis II.133
One consequence of this series of overlapping regnal chronologies is that the
narrative can become ragged. Events in Austrasia are recorded for the eighth and

130
Fredegar IV. 43-56: years 30 to 46 of Chlotar II; ed. KRUSCH pp. 142-149.
131
Fredegar IV. 58-60, 67-79: years 7 to 16 of Dagobert I; ed. KRUSCH pp.
149-151, 154-161.
132
Fredegar IV. 80, 83, 89: years 1 to 4 of Clovis II; ed. KRUSCH pp. 161, 163,
165.
133
Fredegar IV. 87, 88: years 8 and 10 of Sigibert III; ed. KRUSCH pp. 164-
165.
88
tenth years of Sigibert III only, and these are sandwiched between others relating to
the third and fourth years of Clovis II. How Fredegar would have got himself out of
this difficulty of generally structuring by regnal year but only giving the year of the
king in whose kingdom the event described took place can not be known. While there
was a single dominant ruler, such as Chlotar II in 613-29 and Dagobert I in 629-39, it
was easy for him to date everything by the years of their reigns and to ignore those of
their junior partners in Austrasia, but from 639 onwards Fredegar obviously felt
unable to do this. It might to us seem more sensible to have equated each calendar
year with the regnal years of both kings, but it is likely that the regnal years were
calculated from the actual day of royal inauguration rather than from the preceding
first day of the calendar year. Thus, the relationship between the regnal years of
Sigibert III and those of Clovis II would not remain constant. Politically, one possible
clue in this section of the narrative is that Fredegar mentions all four of the years of
the reign of Clovis II in the period 639-642, as opposed to only two of those of
Sigibert III, but there is not a separate annal for each of Clovis's years. 134 It could be
that he was going to make the chronology of the reign of Clovis II, who would also
outlast his half-brother by a year, the mainstay of the structure of this part of the
chronicle. But, as with so much else, the abrupt ending of his work prevents any
certainty.

Chapter Five: Fredegar's Sources

134
Fredegar IV. 80; ed. KRUSCH p. 161 refers to the first three years of Clovis
II in a single sentence, explaining that during this period the regency was exercised by
Aega and queen Nantechildis.
89
The texts that Fredegar used in the making of his probably unfinished compilation
have not aroused much scholarly interest, other than where they have been thought to
provide evidence that might relate the problems of his own identity, his geographical
location and his purposes. The principal components of his collection, such as the
chronicles of Eusebius, Jerome, and Hydatius, and the Histories of Gregory of Tours,
have offered little to those interested in the textual transmission of these works in their
own right, and Fredegar's versions of them are too abbreviated and idiosyncratic to
help in the making of critical editions of them. However, some of the other items
within his compilation have proved of greater value.
Analysis of his text reveals something of the wealth of materials that he had at
his disposal, to which he makes no overt reference, but which contributed
significantly to his work; including the Vita Columbani of Jonas of Bobbio.135
Fredegar's unacknowledged use of a substantial extract of this both provides the
earliest testimony to the dissemination of this work, and considerably predates the
earliest extant manuscript of it.136 Three seventh century hagiographic texts either
mention or provide indications of their authors having known Jonas's Vita Columbani.

135
Edited by Bruno KRUSCH in MGH SRM vol. IV, pp. 1-156, and then again
on the basis of a much larger number of manuscripts in MGH SRG; see also M. TOSI
(ed.), Vita Columbani et discipulorum eius (1965) for a diplomatic edition of a
manuscript from Metz unknown to Krusch.
136
MS Metz Grand Seminaire 1; assigned by Bernhard BISCHOFF to 'Umkreis
von Reims (?)' and dated to 'IX. Jh., ca 3./4. Viertel' in his Katalog vol. 2, item 2788,
p. 190.
90
These are the Vita Wandregisili, the Vita Germani abbatis Grandivalliensis and the
Passio Praeiectii.137 None predates Fredegar.
Fredegar unquestionable knowledge of the Vita Columbani has also been seen
as providing a further possible clue as to his own location and background. It is
known from its preface that Jonas wrote his account of Columbanus (d. 615), the Irish
abbot and founder of the monastery of Luxeuil in Burgundy (c. 595) and of Bobbio
(613) in north-eastern Italy, sometime after the death in 639 of abbot Bertulf of
Bobbio. He dedicated it to the latter's successor Bobolenus jointly with abbot
Waldelenus of Luxeuil (629-70); so it must have been written by 670 at the latest. 138
However, it has been argued that the date of composition must actually be no later
than 643, as in the Vita Jonas does not refer to himself an abbot. This is significant if
it be accepted that he is to be identified with a certain 'Jonatus' who became abbot of
Marchiennes, near Saint-Amand, in that year. However, the grounds for claiming they
are one and the same consist of no more than the similarity of name. Fredegar, at
work around c. 660, thus provides the earliest evidence for the existence of the Vita
Columbani. The subject of the work and its dedication to the two abbots implies that
its earliest dissemination would have been from both Bobbio and Luxeuil, and this
might at least suggest that Fredegar had contact with one or other of these, and also
that he was sympathetic to Columbanian monasticism.

137
Edited by Bruno KRUSCH in MGH SRM vol. V, pp. 13-24, 33-40 and 225-
248; see Ian WOOD, 'The Vita Columbani and Merovingian hagiography', Peritia 1
(1982), pp. 63-80, at pp. 68-69.
138
Donald BULLOUGH, 'The career of Columbanus', in Michael LAPIDGE
(ed.), Columbanus: Studies on the Latin Writings (1997), pp. 1-28, at p. 1 note 1.
91
Another important component of Fredegar's compilation that is included by
him without any heading or title is the series of stories relating to non-Frankish
figures, notably the Gothic king Theoderic (493-526) and the Eastern Roman emperor
Justinian I (527-65) and his general Belisarius.139 There are also short sections
relating to the Alamannic king Chrocus and to the Vandals placed between the tales
relating to Theoderic and those concerned with Justinian. 140 This material has to a
great extent been ignored, largely because of its legendary and non-historical nature.
In size, it exceeds the Liber Generationis, and it been argued above that it was to the
presumed author of this group of tales that Fredegar was referring when he described
himself as using the work ciuiusdam sapientis.
While the clearly legendary character of this material may appear to distance it
from the more obviously historical records that make up the most of the rest of the
work that Fredegar selected from other authors or composed himself, he probably
included it out of his love of a good story. Fredegar did not share the kind of concerns
expressed by Bede in the preface to his Historia Ecclesiastica about the need to
guarantee the authenticity of his narrative.141 Fredegar seems to have liked a good
tale, and would include one if it appealed to him, however far-fetched the subject.

139
Fredegar II. 57-61; ed. KRUSCH PP. 78-89.
140
Fredegar II. 60; ed. KRUSCH pp. 84-85. In the Paris manuscript the chapters
(57 to 59) dealing with Theoderic end with the word EXPLICIT, perhaps implying a
different source was used for the subsequent narratives. This is not repeated in any of
the other manuscripts.
141
Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, praefatio, ed. Bertram
COLGRAVE and R.A.B. MYNORS (corrected edn. Oxford, 1991), pp. 2-7.
92
This was certainly a matter of choice on his part, and not the desperation of a compiler
short of material to include in his work. Comparison of both Fredegar's text of the
works of Hydatius and of Gregory of Tours with their authors' own original versions
or with other epitomes of them shows just how selective he could be. There was
much that was available to him that we might regard as reliable historical source
material that just did not interest him.
Most of what is to be found in Fredegar's interpolations and in his own final
section of new material can not be paralleled elsewhere. His sources may in some
cases be oral, in others such as the stories about Theoderic and Justinian, which will
be considered further below, they were almost certainly written. All too often those
sources, while their existence may easily be deduced, have neither survived
themselves nor made any impact on the work of others. It is therefore very helpful in
assessing his aims and methods to be able to examine an example of Fredegar
providing an account that can be compared with other versions of the same event.
Thus his narrative of the difficulties and eventual murder of bishop Desiderius of
Vienne can be compared with that given in the Vita Desiderii, which was almost
certainly the work of the Visigothic king Sisebut (611/2-20), and also with that of an
anonymous and probably early seventh century account of the bishop's life and
passion that was probably written in Vienne.142 While Fredegar's account of the

142
For Sisebut's Vita Desiderii: ed. Juan GIL, Miscellanea Wisigothica (1972),
pp. 53-68; also see Jacques FONTAINE, 'King Sisebut's Vita Desiderii and the
political function of Visigothic hagiography', in Edward JAMES (ed.), Visigothic
Spain: New Approaches (1980), pp. 93-129. The Passio Desiderii is edited by Bruno
KRUSCH in MGH SRM vol. III, pp. 638-645.
93
bishop's exile, recall and subsequent murder is much shorter than those of the two
hagiographic texts, he not only provides a chronology that is lacking from both the
other texts but also gives additional information. The deposition of Desiderius was
carried out in 603/4 by a synod held at Chalon at the instigation of both queen
Brunechildis and bishop Aridius of Lyon. In 607/8 he returned from his ensuing exile
but was subsequently stoned to death on the orders of king Theuderic II, who was
again acting on the advice of Brunechildis and bishop Aridius. 143 It is only Fredegar
who locates the synod at Chalon-sur Saône, dating these events via the regnal
chronology of Theuderic II, and who mentions the role played by bishop Aridius.
None of these elements contradicts the longer but less specific accounts of the
Visigothic and Frankish hagiographic texts, but instead complements them, and thus
testifies both to Fredegar's independence as a source and the likely reliability of some
of his information.
Particularly notable in the final section of his compilation are the numerous
reports of events that occurred beyond the frontiers of Francia. These relate to Spain,
Italy and the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. Using the book and chapter
divisions found in the modern editions, although these are not original, of the ninety
chapters in Book Four, seven relate to Spanish affairs, ten to Italian, and eight to
Byzantine. None of them refer to events in the British Isles, which seems to have
been beyond Fredegar's vantage point. A number of the episodes described relate to
diplomatic relations, such as the short-lived betrothal in 607 of the Visigothic princess
Ermenberga to Theuderic II of Burgundy; an episode not reported elsewhere. They

143
Fredegar IV. 24 and 32; ed. KRUSCH pp 130 and 133.
94
are always presented from a Frankish perspective.144 Others, however, have no such
Frankish dimension, and thus must derive from information that reached Fredegar
from outside Francia. His Spanish accounts tend, not very surprisingly, to be
concerned with royal successions; though Fredegar could pick up interesting
incidental details, such as the advanced age of king Chindasuinth (642-53), who was
said to be ninety at the time of his death. 145 The truth of some of his Spanish
information, such as king Sisebut's expulsion of Frankish forces from Cantabria, has
been doubted, but it may be reliable.146
Fredegar's Italian information is fuller and of considerable interest. The main
narrative source for the seventh and early eighth century Lombard kingdom is the
Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written at Monte Cassino in the mid
780s.147 For the period up to around 612, this in turn depended heavily on earlier

144
Fredegar IV. 30-31; ed. KRUSCH p. 132. The princess's very existence, let
alone her name, are entirely unrecorded in Spanish sources for this period.
145
Roger Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711 (2004), pp. 78-82.
146
WALLACE-HADRILL, Fourth Book, p. 21 and note 3; but see Roger
COLLINS, The Basques (1986), pp. 91-93.
147
Walter POHL, 'Paulus Diaconus und die Historia langobardorum: Text und
Tradition', in Anton Scharer and Georg Schiebelreiter (eds.), Historiographie im
fruhen Mittelalter (1994), pp. 375-405; also Rosamond McKITTERICK, History and
Memory in the Carolingian World (2004), pp. 60-83. For Fredegar as a source for
diplomatic history of the period see P.S. BARNWELL, ‘War and peace:
historiography and seventh-century embassies’, Early Medieval Europe 6 (1997), pp.
127-139.
95
works, now lost, such as that of bishop Secundus of Trento (d. 612). Once deprived
of this source, Paul's account of Lombard history is relatively thin until it reaches the
660s. For the 620s and 630s, and in particular for the reign of Arioald (626-36) and
the early part of that of Rothari (636-52), Fredegar, whose work was unknown to
Paul, is a major source for the history of the Lombard kingdom. His information
includes important details relating to Lombard diplomatic relations with both the
Franks and the Byzantine Empire, and the politics surrounding two of the royal
successions.148 Particularly interesting is the reference to a Lombard contingent
serving in Dagobert I's army in his campaign against the Wends; this may be the result
of treaty relations requiring the provision of military assistance when required, and
adds to the impression of Frankish hegemonic power in the time of Dagobert. 149 This
in turn may help explain some features of Frankish diplomatic and military relations
with the Lombards in the 750s and 770s.150
One subject for which Fredegar’s evidence has long been appreciated and
employed is that of the history of some of the Slavs who lived to the east of the
Frankish territories but who were increasingly subject to their economic and cultural
influence. The story of the Frankish merchant Samo and his rise to become king of
the Wends, and their revolt against Avar hegemony have been central to attempts from
the eighteenth century onwards to make sense of the emergence of the various Slavic
ethnic groups living between the Danube and the Baltic. 151 In part this is because

148
Fredegar IV. 45, 49, 50, 69 and 70; ed. KRUSCH pp. 143-145, 155-156.
149
Fredegar IV. 68; ed. KRUSCH p. 155.
150
See below p. 000.
151
PELZEL, F.M., ‘Abhandlung über Samo König der Slaven’, Abhandlungen
96
there is very little else by way of narrative sources relating to these processes, though
Paul the Deacon is also of some help. The more substantial archaeological record can
only make sense when used in conjunction with the narrative sources. Of these
Fredegar is for his period the most important.152
Fredegar's Byzantine information is of two kinds. There are a number of
direct references to military and political events, the authenticity of which can be
confirmed by other sources, and there are also a small number of clearly legendary
tales, very similar in character to those concerning Theoderic, Belisarius and Justinian
that are to be found in an earlier part of the work. These include the tale of the
conversion to Christianity of the wife of the Shah of Iran, and the single combat of the
emperor Heraclius and a Persian noble.153 The way in which the compilation has been
put together may obscure the similarities in style and character between the section of
materials on the sixth century Gothic and Byzantine rulers, inserted after the epitome
of the chronicle of Hydatius, and these seventh century stories located in the final
book. It is possible that several of these legendary pieces came from a single source,
the contents of which were then inserted by Fredegar into different sections of his
work in more or less the appropriate chronological location.
The story of how 'Caesara', the wife of the Persian shah 'Anlauf', secretly came

einer Privatgesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Böhmen 1 (1775), pp. 223-226; more


recently CHALOUPECKY, Vaclav, ‘Considerations sur Samon, le premier roi des
Slaves’, Byzantinoslavica 11 (1950), pp. 223-39.
152
CURTA, Florin, ‘Slavs in Fredegar and Paul the Deacon’, Early Medieval
Europe 6 (1997), pp. 141-167, with extensive references.
153
Fredegar IV. 9 and 64; ed. KRUSCH pp. 125-126 and 152-153.
97
to Constantinople to be baptised in the reign of the emperor Maurice (582-602) also
appears in Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum.154 His version is shorter than
Fredegar's and omits some of the characters, but is similar in outline, In Paul the
queen is called 'Caesara', but her husband is not named. It concludes with him and
sixty thousand of his subjects receiving baptism. Paul differs from Fredegar in
placing the episode in the reign of Constans II (642-68) rather than that of Maurice.
This difference and the fact that Paul was clearly ignorant of Fredegar's Italian
information helps confirm that he did not know the latter's chronicle. While it is
possible that Paul picked up his version of the tale while in Francia in the 780s, it is
likely that this and the other stories about Theoderic, Justinian and Heraclius had
reached Fredegar from or via Italy.
Not all of Fredegar's Byzantine information was legendary, even if it was not
always accurate in all its details. For example, he correctly reports Phocas's
overthrowing of the emperor Maurice in 602, but wrongly describes him as coming
from the Persian rather than the Danube frontier. Similarly, his account of the
successful revolt against Phocas in 610 also contains a number of genuine elements,
but conflates the successful rebel Heraclius with his father the exarch of Africa of the
same name, and he adds the extraordinary claim that the senators deposed Phocas
because he had thrown the imperial treasure into the sea as a gift to Neptune. 155
Although actually occurring in 610, this episode is placed by Fredegar alongside
events taking place in Francia in the year 629. However, it is clearly meant to serve as

154
Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV. 50, ed. Georg WAITZ, MGH
SRG (1890), p. 173.
155
Fredegar IV. 63; ed. KRUSCH pp. 151-152.
98
the prelude to a series of stories about the whole of Heraclius' reign (610-641). These
record his wars against the Persians (610-628) and then the Arabs (635-641), but they
are generally imprecise and exaggerated. On the other hand, Fredegar was right to
say that in his last years Heraclius married his niece and was regarded as a heretic, at
least in western eyes. It is thus unlikely that Fredegar was receiving information on
these events directly from Byzantium. An Italian source, distorting information that
was not properly understood, might help explain the mixture of fact and fiction of
which these Heraclian tales consist.
It must not be thought that Fredegar's use of earlier sources was uncritical or
simplistic. He often preserved credible details not to be found in other contexts. For
example, in the epitome of the first six books of Gregory of Tours he twice adds the
information that the Visigothic king Amalaric (526-31) was killed in Barcelona. 156
Although Gregory reports the king's death with considerable circumstantial detail, he
never mentioned where it occurred. The anonymous author of the Liber Historiae
Francorum, writing around 726/7, merely paraphrased Gregory on this. Of Frankish
authors it is only Fredegar who records this location for Amalaric's death. Likewise,
amongst other sources for this event, neither Jordanes nor Procopius, both writing in
the mid-sixth century, mention Barcelona. Isidore of Seville does not mention the
episode in his chronicle, but in his Historia Gothorum of 625/6 he does report that
Amalaric was killed in Barcelona, but he blamed it on the king's own supporters. Only
the fragmentary sixth century Consularia Caesaraugustana agrees with Fredegar in
both locating the event in Barcelona and making the Franks responsible.157

156
Fredegar III. 30 and 41; ed. KRUSCH pp. 103 and 105.
157
Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, ed. J.R. MARTINDALE (1980),
99
Particularly interesting are Fredegar's insertions into the text of Gregory of
information relating to the early history of the Franks. Here the story of the
supernatural origin of the Merovingian dynasty, through the union of the wife of king
Chlodio with bistea Neptuni Quinotauri similis makes its first appearance.158 Fredegar
is also the first author to refer to the Trojan origins of the Franks themselves, and their
founding of a new city of Troy on the banks of the Rhine. 159 It is unlikely that
Fredegar himself invented such tales. It is more probable that he was reporting
legends that were circulating more generally in seventh century Francia. A
comparison with Gregory of Tours is instructive. He recorded that some people
thought that Merovech, the father of Childeric, belonged to the family of Chlodio, but
he did not confirm it himself and knew nothing at all about Chlodio's own ancestry. 160
Within less than a century Gregory's lack of certainty as to whom Clovis's great
grandfather actually was had provided the opportunity for some inventive recasting of
Merovingian genealogy, with the role being given to the sea monster. It is also worth

s.v. Amalaricus, pp. 64-65 for full references to all sources describing this event.
158
Fredegar III. 9; ed. KRUSCH p. 95; see Alexander Callendar Murray, ‘Post
vocantur Merohingi: Fredegar, Merovech and ‘sacral kingship’”, in idem (ed.),
Rome’s Fall. Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History (Toronto, 1998), pp.
127-152

159
Fredegar III. 2; ed. KRUSCH p. 93; see John Michael WALLACE-
HADRILL, 'Fredegar and the history of France', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
40 (1958), pp. 527-550, reprinted in idem, The Long-haired Kings (1962), pp. 71-94.
160
Gregory of Tours, Historiae II. 10, ed. Bruno KRUSCH and Wilhelm
LEVISON, MGH SRM vol. 1, p. 58.
100
noting here that Fredegar was the first to refer to the resulting dynasty as 'the
Merovingians'. He is also the only writer of their time who does so.161
Fredegar certainly did not invent the idea of the Trojan origins of the Franks,
which also appears independently in the early eighth century Liber Historiae
Francorum162. The notion probably derived from a gradual transformation of a
Roman belief that some Trojans had settled in Gaul, which is to be found in the work
of the fourth century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, but may be older
still.163 Frankish interest in developing a past that was both ancient and also
inextricably linked with that of the Romans, for whom the Trojans were also
legendary ancestors, must have spurred on the adoption of this story. What is
significant, too, is that it locates Frankish origins in the eastern Mediterranean via
settlement in Gaul, and is not concerned with the non-Roman world east of the Rhine.
Fredegar also inserted into Gregory of Tours' narrative a number of minor
additional details, such as the name of the Frankish king Childeric's friend, who
advised him when to return from exile amongst the Thuringians. It could be that such
additions reflect no more than a story teller's wish to add verisimilitude to his
narrative, but they may represent a wider process of the accumulation of oral
traditions, not necessarily of any real historical value, around Gregory's text in the

161
per eo regis francorum post vocantur Merohingii: Fredegar III. 9; ed.
KRUSCH p. 95. The use of this name for the former ruling dynasty is thereafter only
to be found in Carolingian sources, starting with Einhard's Vita Karoli
162
Liber Historiae Francorum 1, ed. Bruno KRUSCH, MGH SRM vol. II, p.
241.
163
Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae XV. ix. 5
101
decades following his death; in the same way as his genealogy of Clovis became
transformed.
What is clear is Fredegar's love of a good story. Thus he added to Gregory of
Tour's brief mention of the sack of Trier by the Franks around 411 a tale of how a
Roman senator called Lucius betrayed the city out of a desire for revenge on the
emperor Avitus who had raped his wife.164 Similarly, Gregory's account of how
Childeric (died c. 481) was for a time replaced as ruler of the Franks by Aegidius is
developed by Fredegar into an elaborate tale, involving numerous characters, even
including the emperor Maurice (582-602).165 The drama and immediacy of this
narrative was heightened by the use of passages of dialogue; a practice that Fredegar
employed in even some of his shortest interpolations. The use of direct speech to
make the narration more dramatic is still more frequent in the last book, containing
more of Fredegar's own writing. Thus the Visigothic king Sisebut's good nature is
illustrated by his exclaiming: 'How wretched am I that so great a shedding of human
blood should occur in my time', when he heard of his troops slaughtering enemy
forces.166 What the source for this can have been is entirely unknown.
Some of Fredegar's tales made moral or political points. Thus, for example, he
interpolated into Gregory of Tours' account of Childeric's marriage to the Thuringian
queen Basina, a series of nocturnal visions in which the character of their descendants
was foretold: the first generation were going to be as 'lions, unicorns and leopards', the
second generation like 'bears and wolves', but the third one only equivalent to 'dogs

164
Fredegar III. 7; ed. KRUSCH p. 94.
165
Fredegar III. 11-12; ed. KRUSCH pp. 95-98.
166
Fredegar IV. 33; ed. KRUSCH, p. 133.
102
and lesser beasts'.167 This is unlikely to have been his own invention, in that this quasi-
biblical narrative, reminiscent of the story of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, relates to three
generations of Frankish kings the last of whom died in 592. It was relevant to the
politics of the late sixth century rather than the mid seventh. So this seems to be
another case of Fredegar using earlier and unknown sources, interwoven with the
larger scale and explicitly identified from which he constructed his work. What is
hard to understand is why he inserted something like this dream narration. Was it
because he just liked the story, or did he think it had a point to make?

Chapter Six: The Manuscripts

Because of the importance for the understanding of the text tradition and classification
of the manuscripts of the Fredegar compilation of the ways in which the contents are
divided, details of all the headings in the manuscripts are listed below in the sections
relating to each codex. Similarly, because of the value for editors, paleographers and
other scholars of knowing the full contents of any manuscript containing all or part of
the work, much fuller descriptions of the codices are here provided than might
normally be expected. Understanding the company that a particular text is keeping in
a manuscript is a vital part of the evidence relating to its dissemination and to the
relationships between codices.

167
Fredegar III. 12; ed. KRUSCH p. 97.
103
Part I: Complete or Almost Complete Codices

1. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 10910 [Krusch’s MS 1]

Format: This consists of 187 folios with a size of 235 x 158 mm; the written space
averaging 190 x 133 mm. The initial folio is labelled A; thereafter they are numbered
from 1 to 184, with two numbers (138 and 150) being used twice. There is evidence
of clipping. There are twenty four quires in all: twenty two are of eight folios, one is
of seven, and the final one is of four. Quire numbers are legible on folios 15v (II), 23v
(III), 31v (IIII), 39v (V), 55v (VII), 63v (VIII), 71v (VIIII), 79v (X), 86v (XI), 94v
(XII), 102v (XIII), 110v (XIIII), 118v (XIII), 126v (XVI), 134v (XVII), 141v (XVIIII
recte XVIII), 149v (XVIIII)164v (XXI), 172v (XXII), 180v (XXIII). One folio is
missing between numbered folios 85 and 86 in quire 11, and there may originally

have been another four folios in the final quire. Folios A, 38v, 84 and 184v are blank.
The text is written on a variable number of long lines, as follows: 16 lines (ff. 1-7, 87-

94v), 20 lines (ff. 8-22v, 24-47v, 95-126v), 21 lines (75, 76v, 127-134v), 22 lines (ff.

64-74v, 76, 77-83v), 23 lines (ff. 48-63v, 135-180, 182), 24 lines (181r/v, 182v-184)
and 25 lines (f. 23). These correspond with the quire structure of the codex:
104
16 lines to the page: quires I and XII
20 lines: quires II to VIII inclusive and XIII to XVI inclusive
21 lines: quire XVII
22 lines: quires VIIII to XI inclusive
23 lines: quires XVIII to XXIII inclusive
24 lines: quire XXIIII

On ff 25v-26 double columns are used for listing the Judges and Kings of Israel.
Lines are irregularly spaced, with distances between them ranging from 9 to 11 mm.
The distribution of the contents is as follows:
Quires I to III contain the Liber Generationis and the Supputatio
Quires IV to VII and the first four folios of VIII contain the Eusebius-Jerome
chronicle
Quires VIII (final folios) to XI (first four folios) contain Hydatius etc.
Quires XI (final folios) to XVI (first four folios) contain the epitome of Gregory of
Tours
Quires XVI (final folios) to XXII (first five folios) contain the Fredegar sections
Quires XXII (last three folios) to XXIV contain Isidore’s chronicle

Script:168 This is described by E.A. Lowe as ‘a rapid, not very expert uncial of a late
French type’ (CLA vol. V, no. 608). Bernhard Bischoff also felt that the palaeography
168
Samples of the script may be seen in DELISLE 1881 vol. III, plate XIII,
ZIMMERMANN, Vorkarolingische Miniaturen (1916), vol. II, plate 74, and New
Palaeographical Society no. 181.
105
indicated an early eighth century date, but it also failed to provide a clear pointer to
the manuscript’s geographical origin. There are some similarities between the script
of this manuscript and that of a probably late seventh century century codex from
Lyon: MS Lyon Bibliotheque Municipale 602 ff. 95-149 (CLA vol. VI, no. 782b.
Other useful comparisons can be made with the script of the Gundohinus Gospels
(CLA vol. VI, no. 716).169 Although not close, such similarities would support the
idea of a place of origin in the Rhone valley and the region of Lyon. 170 For
punctuation . is used for the major and , for the minor pauses.

Date171: Jean PORCHER, in Jean HUBERT, Jean PORCHER and W.F. VOLBACH,
L’Europe des invasions (1967), p. 188, dates the manuscript to c.750, and is followed
by Peter K. Klein, Die ältere Beatus-Kodex Vitr. 14-1 der Biblioteca Nacional zu
Madrid (Hildesheim and New York, 1976), p. 413, but no justification is given for
preferring this to that of the colophon on folio 184, which refers to the fourth year of

169
The suggestion was made by David Ganz (personal communication); for the
date: Bernhard BISCHOFF, Katalog, vol. 1, no. 2571a, p. 143. For the Gundohinus
see see Laurence NEES, The Gundohinus Gospels (1987), pp. 23-32.
170
Rosamond McKITTERICK, 'The Scriptoria of Merovingian Gaul: a survey
of the evidence' in H.B. CLARKE and M. BRENNAN (eds.), Columbanus and
Merovingian Monasticism (1981), pp. 173-207, at pp. 192 and 205 n. 89; reprinted in
eadem, Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms (1994), item 1.
171
Because of the problems associated with its dating and the significance of the
manuscript, a separate section on its dating is included here. Normally this topic will
be considered under the heading of ‘Script’.
106
the reign of a king Dagobert. The only candidates are Dagobert II (676-679) and
Dagobert III (711-715/6). Dagobert II began his reign between April and July of 676,
and was murdered in late December 679. So he had started his fourth regnal year. 172
Dagobert III completed a full fourth regnal year between January/February of 714 and
January/February 715.173 This makes him the more likely of the two, as does the fact
that he reigned in all of the Frankish kingdoms, while Dagobert II was only king of
Austrasia. A place of origin for this manuscript in the Rhone valley would place it
outside his realm.174 Finally, paleographic arguments would favour the early eighth
century date over the mid seventh century one, that is also so close to Fredegar's own
lifetime. All these arguments would place the writing of the manuscript in 714/5; a
view that has been accepted by all modern editors.

Notes and corrections: Brief Tironian notes in two separate hands may be seen on

folios 63v, 79, 127v (very faint), 132, 137v, 162v and 184v. These refer to the
contents of the text adjacent to them; in particular to certain biblical and historical
names. Thus, the second of these hands notes the names of Theodosius, Justinian and

172
E.F. TARDIF, Les chartes mérovingiennes de l'Abbaye de Noirmoutier avec
une étude sur la chronologie du regne de Dagobert II (1899), pp. 33-58, and Léon
LEVILLAIN, 'La succession d'Austrasie au VII siecle', Revue Historique 112 (1913),
pp. 62-93 for the chronology.
173
Bruno KRUSCH MGH SRM vol. VII, pp. 501-502.
174
Walter GOFFART, 'The Fredegar problem reconsidered' (1963), p. 694 favours
an origin in Austrasia as most other manuscripts of the work come from this region.
107
Antonina, and Brunechildis on ff. 63v, 79 and 132 respectively.

Other notes in a Caroline cursive appear on folios A, 23 v (very faintly; below the

illustration), 58v, 69, 76v, 77v, 83 and 88. These notes also refer to the subject matter

of the text; e.g. the note on f. 58v (adjacent to line 15) reads de gente burgundionum.

Erased notes in what is probably the same hand may be detected on ff. 20, 77 v, 83 and

86v. Line 11 of folio 28v has been completed in a Merovingian cursive.

On f. 86v, following the list of chapter headings, a scribal note has been destroyed,
probably by the use of reagents.
On f. 184 may be found a now only partly legible scribal colophon that dates the
writing of the manuscript to the fourth year of a king Dagobert. This could be either
Dagobert II (675-79) or Dagobert III (711-715), but greater probability attaches itself
to the latter.175

A very faint and unidentified text in half uncial may be made out on f. Av. There are
probably ninth century corrections made to the orthography throughout the

manuscript. Correctors’ marks may be seen in the margins of folios 11 v, 14v, 15

(twice), 30v, 34r to 37v inclusive, 40v-43 inclusive, 50r and 50v, 53v, 54r and 54v,
and 55. From the same period comes a heading in Caroline minuscule written

continuously across the top of folios 1v and 2r: breviariu scarpsu ex chronici eusebii
hieronimi aliorumque auctorum a quoda adatio.

175
See below p. 000.
108
Decoration:176 There are ink drawings probably contemporary with the writing of the

manuscript on folios 23v, 75v and 184v. The drawing on f. 23v depicts two men
standing facing each other with overlapping bows held in their extended arms. Below
the bows stands a stylised bird; a much faded and unfinished drawing of a very similar

bird also appears on f. 184v. On f. 75v there is a facing figure, with long hair, sitting
enthroned and holding a cross. This has been identified as a representation of the
empress Helena, but from the context in which it has been placed, the suggestion that
the figure depicted is that of Clovis is a compelling one. 177 A small drawing has been

erased on folio 86v.

Contents: f. Av (31 long lines, very faded): consisting of a calculation of the


passage of time from Adam up to a point in the reign of the Byzantine emperor
Heraclius (610-41). line 31: ...usque ad eraclium
This could derive from Isidore’s Chronicle (ed. T. MOMMSEN, MGH AA vol. XI, p.
480).

ff. Av and1: across the top of both pages: breviarium scarpsum ex chronica
eusebii hieronymi aliorumque auctorum a quodam adatio
176
There are illustrations of the drawings in ZIMMERMANN vol. I, pp. 178-9
and vol. II, plate 73; Jean HUBERT, Jean PORCHER and W.F. VOLBACH,
L'Europe des invasions (Paris, 1967), pp. 186-8, and LASKO 1971, plate 105 and
page 105.
177
Roger COLLINS, Fredegar (1996), pp. 120-121 note 110: the suggestion
was made by David GANZ (personal communication)
109
ff. 1: LIBER GENERATIONIS

preface on ff. 1-2v: ab adam usque ad ordinem quae contenetur in


huius volumine libri...iuxta ordinem de genesi sermonem faciamus.
f. 2v: EXPLICIT PRAEFATIO. INCIPIT NARRATIO PRAEFATIONIS FILI
SEM
text ff. 2v-20v: liber generationis hominum quo die fecit deus
adam.....badasar frater annis xliiii. darius asuerus annis xliii. cyrus anno I
ff. 20v-21: supputatio Eusebii Hieronymi ab adam usque ad diluvium...usque
in tempore isto invenies veritatem
ff.21-23: a list of popes, from Peter to Theodore; this has been extended to the
16th year of Hadrian I (AD 788) by another hand, using a darker ink.
INCIPIT NOTA DE EPISCOPIS SANCTAE ECLESIAE ROMANAE QUE CUI
SUCCESSIT VEL QUANTO TEMPORE FUIT
f. 23v: drawing of two men holding bows, with a bird standing below.
under which: KRWNNKWRVM MULTIFLIKHMHdIdRU.L.
HCTWRIAM
f. 24v: IN CHRISTI NOMINE LIBER CHRONECORUM,
f. 28: incipit capetolares cronece gyronimi scarpsum
followed by a list of sixty two chapters
f. 30v REGNUM ASSIRIORUM
f. 60 Adacius
f. 83: preface to Gregory of Tours’ Historiae: DECEDENTE ATQUE immo
potius pereunt....ab ipso mundi principium libri primi poneretur inicium (ending on f.
83v)
110
f. 84 blank
f. 84v: capitolares libri quarti quod est scarpsum de chronica
gregorii episcopi toronaci
list of 93 chapters, extending to f. 86v
(the missing folio between the present ff. 85 and 86 must have contained a the chapter
numbers and titles between 51 and 67)
f. 86v: a drawing and possibly up to 5 lines of writing have been erased
ff. 87-121: text of the epitome of the Historiae of Gregory of Tours:
ending.....crudelissimam vita digna morte finivit.
f. 121: prologue to the Fredegar section:
incipit prologus cuiusdam sapientis
f. 121v: incipit capetolaris cronice libri quarti in christi nomen
list of ninety chapters extending to f. 124 ; 6 lines left blank
at the bottom of both sides of f. 123.
ff. 124v-170 the original Fredegar text, beginning
CUM ALIQUID UNIUS VERBI......

f. 125v: cum chilperici vitam finisse scripsit. explicit prologus. in nomine


domini nostri Ihesu Christi incipit chronica sexta Gunthramnus rex francorum cum
iam anno xxiii....mendacia eos uterque interire fecisset./EXPLICIT/
ff. 170-184: in nomine sanctae trinitatis incipit liber III KRWNIKWRWM
sancti esidori episcopi
(NB this is MS X of Mommsen’s edition of Isidore’s Chronicle: MGH AA,
vol. XI, p. 398)
f. 170: preface; (the heading in a dark ink is written over a line of dots in the
111
brown ink that is characteristic of the text up to this point.) primus ex historicis iulius
africanus...explicit praefacio
f. 170v: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICORUM

sex diebus rerum creaturarum deus formavit...


f. 184: the text of the Chronicle ends on line 16:
explicit liber breviarium temporum a sancto hysidoro collectum iuxta
historiae fidem ab inicio mundi usque quadragensemo anno chlothacharii regis ann

Line 17 is blank. Below this come seven more lines of now scarcely
legible text, containing the colophon of the scribe Lucerius. This has been read as:
INVENIT LVCERIOS PRESBITER MONACOS DOM/
TVM A ...PER ISTA CRONECA ET PER ALIA CRONE/
SV. QVOD SEPTOAGENTA ET QVATTVOR ANN/
.....V. AVID QVOD SEXTVS MILIARIOS/
...ESSE EXPLITOS CONPOTAVIT IPSOS.../
AN. S X IN INDICCIONE EXSIENTE TE..../
..O QVARTO DAGOBERTO RIGNANTE
(ed. KRUSCH 1888, pp. 9-10)

f. 184v is blank.

The Chronicle of Isidore in MS Paris BN 10910 (ff. 170-184): The text of the
112
chronicle found here is that of the first and shorter version of Isidore’s Chronicle,
whose completion is dated in the work itself to 614/5. The colophon at the end of the
text in this manuscript (f. 184) indicates that it derives from an exemplar written in
Francia in the 41st year of a king Chlotar, who can only be Chlotar II (584-629), as
Chlotar I (c.511-61) died before the Chronicle was compiled and neither of the two
later Frankish kings of this name [Chlotar III (657-73) and Chlotar IV(717-19)]
reigned so long. Thus the date of the lost exemplar would seem to be 624/5. Only a
decade after it was written, this also testifies to the early arrival of Isidore’s work in
Francia.
Several of the textual variants found in this manuscript and noted in the apparatus to
Mommsen’s edition are products of its idiosyncratic later Merovingian orthography.
As the resulting text is very distinctive, any relationship that could be established
between its version of Isidore’s chronicle and those contained in other manuscripts of
later date might provide information about the subsequent history of this important
codex. The only close relative of its version of the text is that in MS Berlin
Staatsbibliothek Phillipps 1686, dated by Professor Bischoff to the last third of the
ninth century and given a west Frankish provenance (Katalog, vol. 1, p. 87, no. 412).
But as this latter codex seems to have derived its text of the chronicle via a lost
intermediary dated to the second year of the Lombard king Rothari (i.e. 637/8), the
relationship between the two manuscripts must be indirect, and result from use of a
shared exemplar for Isidore’s work rather than direct dependence. See José Carlos
Martín (ed.), Isidori Hispalensis Chronica in Corpus Christianorum series latina vol.
CXII (2003), pp. 96*-97*, and 64*-65*.

113
Ownership: Given by Jacques Sirmond to the Collège de in Paris, whence it passed to
the Bibliothèque Nationale. In 1915 Lindsay mistakenly gave its provenance as
Clermont Cathedral, and this error was perpetuated by Lesne in 1938.178

References: CLA V, no. 608, which does not record all of the Tironian and cursive
notes, nor all of the drawings. KRUSCH 1882, pp. 250-58; MONOD 1885;
TRAUBE, Vorlesungen, pp. 217-218; WALLACE-HADRILL 1958, pp. 71-72 and
1960, pp. xlvii-l; C. SAMARAN and R. MARISCAL, Catalogue des manuscrits en
ecriture latine portant des indications de date, de lieu ou de copiste vol. 3 (1974), p.
640; McKITTERICK 1981, pp. 192 and 205 n. 89; eadem, 1994 pp. 99-100.
COLLINS, Fredegar, pp. 120-22.

2) MS Metz, Bibliothèque Municipale, 134 (formerly D. 12) [Krusch’s MS


1X]
This manuscript was destroyed by bombing in 1944. The only substantial account of
it is to be found in notes made around 1882 by Bruno KRUSCH, now preserved in the
archive of the MGH in Munich.

Format: 212 folios of 285 x 185 mm (written space never recorded), in 26 long lines,
except for a three column glossary on ff. 172v-192v (in CLA VI, no. 788, these are

178
W.M. LINDSAY, Notae Latinae (1915), p. 474; Emile LESNE, Histoire de la
propriete (1938), p. 33. See Catalogue des livres de la Bibliothèque du Collège de
Clermont (Paris, 1764), no. 4611.
114
said to be ff. 186v-201v). It was unpaginated. Quire marks were visible as follows:
B (f. 8v), C (f. 16v), D (f. 22v), E (f. 30v), I (f. 38v), L (f. 53v), M (f. 61v), N (f. 68v),
P (f. 87v), Q (f. 95v), R (f. 103v), S (f. 110v), T (f. 108v), V (f. 116v), II (f. 136v), III
(f. 144v), V (f. 160v), VI (f. 168v), VII (f. 176v), VIII (f. 184v).

Script: Samples of the script are preserved in KRUSCH (1888), plate 1 (facing p. 10)
and in KOHLER vol. 3 (1960), pt. 2 plate 50 a/b/c. BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2, no.
2770, pp. 186-187 describes the script as ‘rundliche frühkarol. Min. mehrer Hde.
(“Angilram-Gruppe”)’, and dates it ‘VIII/IX Jh.’ It could well come from the period
before Angilram’s death in 791.179

Damage: the first folio; all of quires F, G, H; a folio between ff. 45 and 46 which
would have had quire mark K; and a folio between ff 203 and 204 had all been lost by
the time Krusch saw it; the MS originally must have consisted of about 237 ff.

Notes: f. 39v: Tironian notes; details not recorded.


f. 208 there is a prayer for blessing of an ointment in a 12th century hand at the
bottom of the page (for the text see KRUSCH (1882), p. 259 note 2.
f. 211v a 15th century hand: Liber iste continet summas diversas sanctorum doctorum
ad instructionem chanonicorum et monachorum.
On same page the original scribe entered an explicit in alternate lines of red and blue:
EXPLICIT LIBER DE DIVERSIS VOLUMINIBUS DEO GRATIAS CONTULIMUS
UT POTUIMUS VOLUNTARIAE BENE SI BENE TUI SI ALITER NOSTRI EST

179
Donald BULLOUGH - personal communication
115
MERITI ORA PRO SCRIPTORIS SI DEUM ABEAS ADIUTOREM

Ownership: Written in Metz, it was in the library of St. Arnulf’s in the 10/11th
century, as indicated by the inscription: Liber sancti Arnulfi. Si quis ei abstulerit,
maledictus sit ex Patre et Filio et Spiritu sancto. Amen. From there it passed into
public ownership in the French Revolution, and was placed in the Bibliothèque
Municipale, where it was destroyed in 1944.

Contents (reconstructed from Krusch’s hand written notes180):


f. 1: at illa audiens acto(>u)s suos egred pertimescit quia pecta/toris anima cum metu
magno et temorei.....qui desideraverunt ad patrem lumen pervenire (f. 4)

f. 4r: ITEM DE PENITENTIA SANCTI EFFREM


Haec autem dico ad refectionem caritati nostrae deo dignis/....quam tibi debe/tur
omnis adoratio in secula seculorum. Amen (f. 6)

f. 6r: ITEM SANCTI EFFREM DE DIE IUDICII


Quid enim praeter salutem tuam o homo deus queritate/...trahatur/ ad vitam
aeternam; amen EXPLICIT (f. 9r)
[These items are three of the texts of the so-called Ephraem Latinus (Clavis no.
1143), consisting of a corpus of six sermons, entitled De die iudicii et de

180
He only noted the opening and concluding phrases of each work, other than
for the Fredegar extracts, of which a full record of all text variants was made. Not all
items of the contents have yet been identified.
116
resurrectione, De beatitudine animae, De patientia (or, as here De paenitentia), De
luctaminibus, De die iudicii, De compunctione cordis, said to be translated from
the Greek originals of Ephraem Syrus. On this author see Dictionnaire de
spiritualité vol. IV (Paris, 1959), cc. 788-822. These works were known to
Defensor of Ligugé and to Florus of Lyon, and in Anglo-Saxon England. For an
8th/9th century Reichenau fragment (no. 79) see A. HOLDER, Die Reichenauer
Handschriften vol. II (Leipzig, 1914), p. 498.]

f. 9: DICTA SANCTI ISIDORI RATIO


Queso te anima. obsecro te. depraeco (>r) te. imploro te ne/.......
...tu mihi supra vita mea/ places (f. 24v)
[= Isidore, Synonymae bk II 1-103]

f. 24v: VI. DE OBOEDENTIA


Dicebant sancti patres de oboedentia quia frater qui ad oboe/dientia....ad
perfectionem venerunt (f. 25r)

f. 25v: VII. EPISTULA SANCTI CESARII EPISCOPI AD MONACHOS


Dominis sanctis et in christo desiderandis fratribus in blantiacin/se monasterio
constitutis caesarius episcopus/ sanctus ac venerabilis pater noster aregius religio/sa
quidem......et regnat dominus per omnia secula seculorum (f. 28)

f. 28r: VIII SANCTI AGUSTINI DE CONCORDIA


Dies sancti quos agimus in observatione........ut ignoscat ei. ecce dixi vobis quod
117
vobis expe/ (f. 30v)

{a section of the MS consisting of three complete quires is missing here}

f. 31: salvari quod perierat......invenire EXPLICIT DOGMA (f. 31v)

f. 31v: LIBRI VETERIS AC NOVI TESTAMENTI/ IUXTA PRIORUM TRADITIONEM


In principio videlicet quinque libri moysi.....catholicorum legendas; explicit (f. 32v)

f. 32v: XXVII INCIPIT DE GRADALIS SANCTI GELASI PAPAE CUM LXX/


EPISCOPIS VIRIS ERUDITISSIMIS DE CATHOLICIS/SCRIPTURIS QUI SUNT
VEL NON RECIPIENDI/
Post propheticas evangelicas atque apostoli/cas.....credimus esse subdenda (f. 35)
[ = the Pseudo Gelasian, de libris non recipiendis]

f. 35r: ITEM NOTITIA LIBRI APOCRIPHORUM QUI NON RECIPIUNTUR


Synodus ariminensium a constantio caesari....esse damnatum (f. 36v)

f. 36v: XXVIII. INCIPIUNT SENTENTIAS ISIDORI SPANEN/SIS EX LIBRI


DEFERENTIARUM
Inter deum et dominum ita quidam definierunt....gaudium sempiternum; EXPLICIT
ISIDORUS (f. 42)
[= Isidore, Differentiarum liber secundus, ch. 1ff.]

118
f. 42r: XXXVIIII SANCTI GREGORII EX HUMILIAE SUPER EZECHIHEL
PROPHETE
In prima hierusalem quae edificatur....qui vivit et regnat (f. 45v)

f. 45v: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM II


et thalamo uno calamo in longum.... {one folio missing here} ....in manu operis
tenemus (f. 48v)

f. 48v: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM III


vestibulum erat intrinsecus; quid ergo....ad fortitudinem suae gloriae per/durit; (f.
52v)

f. 52v: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM IIII


Sancta ergo universalis ecclesia membra debemus........ardentius inflammet (f. 56)

f. 56r: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM Va


Fratres mei karissimi non hoc sine magno mysterio.....ad perfectionem/ veniunt (f.
61v)

f. 61v: ITEM IN EIUSDEM ALIA VI


Cum ad fidem peccator.....nec adver/sitas frangat (f. 64v)

f. 64v: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM/ quattuor autem mense erant ad holocaustum....

119
f. 69r: ITEM ALIA EIUSDEM/ Sancta et enim ecclesia duas vitas habet....ipsi gloria
in secula seculorum/ AMEN: EXPLICIT (f. 72v)
[ = from Gregory the Great's Homilies on Ezekiel]

f. 73r: INCIPIUNT SENTENTIAS DE SANCTI GREGORII DE LIBRO PASTORALE


Aliter ammonendi sunt subditi atque aliter prae/lati....moribus non exsequendo
dimi/nunt; (f. 77)

f. 77: ITEM SANCTI GREGORII


Quattuor sunt qualitates quibus iusti....praeparat saltim quia iudicavit eru/bescat (f.
120v)

f. 121r: EX LIBRO DIALIGORUM SANCTI/ GREGORII PAPAE


quadam die nimiis quorumdam secularium tumultibus......quam me diligatur clamat.
(f. 158)

f. 158r: INCIPIUNT SENTENTIAE SANCTI HIERONIMI PRESBITERI [XXXVI]


cum de deo loqueris ita debes temperare sermonem....et carni et/ animae utilis est (f.
163)

f. 163r: DE HORARUM CURSOS


diarum autem in quibus deo.....non audeat con/summare (f. 164)

f. 164r: SENTENTIAE
120
Quod sunt genera mortis; id est tres....tertia quando qui in malig/no apositus est (f.
168)

f. 168r: DE VETUS TESTAMENTUM


principium latine dicitur genesis grece bresith hebraice....que agenda percipiuntur
que facta narrantur. (f. 169)

f. 169r: EXPOSITIO SUPER SINGULAS LITTERAS


Littera quid e elimentum vocis articulati.....Zabulon et principes nepthalim.
EXPLICIT EXPOSITI SUPER SINGULAS LITTERAS (f. 172v)

f. 172v: IN CHRISTI NOMINE INCIPIUNT GLOSAE


Adonai dominus. Agius sanctus.....roborare virtute fortitudine rogitat sepius . (fol.
192v)

{the concluding section of this glossary and the opening of the extracts from
Fredegar that follow have been lost}

f. 193: hebrei simul cum iacob in aegypto.....theodorus sedet (f. 208)

[This is the Fredegar contents, and it consists of Book Two chapters 2 (last
sentence) to 47 ed. KRUSCH, pp. 44-68; followed by Book One chapters 24 (the
Supputatio Eusebii-Hieronimi only) to 26 ed. KRUSCH pp. 34-36, ending with the
list of popes up to the pontificate of Theodore.
121
A folio is missing immediately after f. 203. The correct order of the final folios
should be ff. 210, 209, 208, 211, 212. This means that the Fredegar section should
end on f. 208]

f. 208: ORATIO SANCTI GREGORII


dominator domine deus omnipotens qui es trinitas/ una pater et filius et spiritus
sanctus qui es semper....quia tu es deus meus qui vi/vis et regnas in secula seculorum.
Amen ( f. 211)

f. 211r: EXPLICIT LIBER DE DIVERSIS VO/LUMINIBUS DEO GRATIAS/


CONTULIMUS UT POTUIMUS/VOLUNTARIAE BENE SI BENE TUI/ SI ALITER
NOSTRI EST MERITI/ ORA PRO SCRIPTORIS; SI DEUM/ ABEAS ADIUTOREM
{in alternating lines of red and blue}

f. 212: SERMO CYRILLI


cyrillus divinum quidem dicimus corpus christi quia....deus homo et homo deus
posset/ esse perficiunt (f. 212)

f. 212: SERMO ATHANASI


ego credo unam imaginem patris et filii et spiritus sancti....

{these last two items were added later}

122
f. 212v blank

References: CLA vol. VI, no. 788; KRUSCH (1882), pp. 258-65; KRUSCH (1888), p.
10 and pl. 1; BISCHOFF (1944), p. 23; , KOEHLER vol. 3 (1960), p. 111.,
WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), p. l; HOLTER (1965), p. 77; BISCHOFF (1989), pp.
36 and 83; COLLINS (1996), p. 122; GANZ (1999), p. 5; BISCHOFF (2004), no.
2770, pp. 186-187.

3) MS London, British Library, Harley 5251 [Krusch’s MS 2b]

Format: The manuscript consists of twelve quires of 92 folios of 201 x 163 mm, with
a written area of 165 x 115 mm, with 24 or 35 long lines to the page. The first ten
quires are of eight folios, the eleventh quire is of six folios (3 + 3), as is the twelfth (4
+ 2), but it was originally of eight. Quire numbers may be seen in the centre of the
lower margins of the verso of the final folio of the first two gatherings (ff. 8v and 16v)
only.

Ruling: There are double margins on each page, pricking is on the outer lines; rulings
extend unevenly across the page, but not across the whole folio. Each folio appears to
have been ruled individually. For punctuation ; is used for the long pause and . for
the short.

Script: The text was written by a single hand in a Caroline minuscule that Bernhard
123
BISCHOFF once assigned to north-eastern Francia. In his opinion, as cited by
WALLACE_HADRILL (1960, p. l), it dates to ‘the late ninth century‘. Bischoff
(2004), no. 2487, p. 123, however, assigns it to ‘Sudliches Frankreich (?), IX/X Jh.’
This may be due to the presence of some Aquitanian neums (see below: notes f. 35v)

Notes: On f. 92v the final 12 or 13 lines of the text were erased and replaced by a
magical invocation written in a very late Caroline hand with some proto-Gothic
features (probably mid 12th century).
There are two sets of corrections. The first of these, contemporary with the
manuscript itself, were inserted between the lines of the text. Changes made by a
second corrector, working in the tenth or eleventh centuries, were placed in the
margins (e.g. in f. 72v).
ff. 3v and 4r: Undatable stress markings have been added to some of the names, to aid
in their pronunciation.
f. 35v: some Aquitanian neums
f. 63v: ystoria is written twice in the margin in a rather crude Caroline hand.
f. 87v: reverentissimo written upside down in the bottom margin.

Decoration: Headings are written in red; large initials forming the first letter of the
first word of each chapter were written in black and normally filled in with colour.
On ff. 49r and 61v there are larger, more elaborate initials, with vegetal decoration.
That on f. 61v introduces Book Three.

Damage: The truncated condition of the quire number at the foot of f.8v and of the
124
note in the left margin of f. 72v show that the MS has been clipped. Several of the
edges of individual folios have had to be patched. While the vellum was originally of
a good white colour, it has suffered extensively from staining, though rarely so as to
affect legibility.
ff. 37v and 38r: a line of writing in the lower margin has been erased
f. 63r/v: the outer edge of the folio is missing
f. 74r: a note in the lower margin has been erased

Ownership: Part of the library of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (d. 1724); not found
in the diaries of its keeper, Humfrey Wanley covering the period 1715 to 172. So no
record is preserved of its acquisition. It passed with the rest of the Harleian MSS to
the British Musem in 1754-1755.

Contents: f. 1r: IN NOMINE DNI NRI IHV XPI/INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICI


LIBER PRIMI {followed by a list of 26 chapters}
f. 1v line 12: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER GENERATIONIS ADAM
USQUE AD ORDINEM QUAE CONTINETUR IN HUIUS VOLVMINE LIBRI
de numeratio temprum et annorum...iuxta ordinem de genesi sermonem
facimus
f. 2v line 10: INCIPIT NARRATIO/PRAEFATIONIS FILIISEM LIBER
GENERATI/ONIS HOMINVM
quo die fecit deus adam...
f. 15v: papal list (no heading)
...theodorus sedit anno x
125
f. 17r: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICORVM ET DIEBVS RERVM CREATVRARVM DS
FORMAVIT
i in primo die condidit lucem...hoc tempore a principio suppuantur anni iiii
mil ccclx
f. 18v: LIBER REGNORVM DE REGEB; DECLARAT
saul regnavit ann xl ...fuit ab adamus que ad eracleu (>eraclu) imperatore
regnante annorum xxxi. oms anni v milia cxlviii
f. 19v: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICI HIERONIMI EXCARPSVM
a list of 72 chapters begins on line 1 of f. 20, extending to
f. 21 line 18: EXPLICVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER REGNV ASVRIORVM
primus rex ninus regnavit ann l.....a buccileno victus nom vita que amisit
f. 61v EXPLICIT LIBER TERTIVS/INCIPIT PREFATIO GRECA
decedente eo atque immo potius...libri primi poneretur initium.
EXPLICIT PROLOGVS/INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA LIBRI QVOD EST QVARTI
EXCARPS DE CORONICA GRECV EPISCOPIS TORONACI
[f. 62v line 1: list of chapters, but with chapter numbers only added (probably later
than the writing of the text) from the beginning of f. 63v]
f. 64v line 1: EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER QVARTVS
cumque uuandali praeterissent a gallis...crudelissima vita digna morte finivit
f. 89r: EXPLICIT LIBER QVARTVS INCIPIVNT/CAPITVLA CHRONICI LIBER
[followed by a list of 10 chapters]
f. 89v: EXPLICIVNT CAP. INCIPIT PROLOGVS
cum aliquid dum iussu verbi propriae...vita finisset scripsi
f. 90v: EXPLICIT PROLOGVS
126
[then there follows a one line gap, and with no heading]:
Gunthramnus rex francorum dum iam anno vicessimo tertio...non loquor vita
illorum (on line 11 of f. 92v).
[the rest of the text of Fredegar on this page is erased and written over with
what appears to be a magical invocation or formula; see BISCHOFF (2004), no. 2487,
p. 123 which calls it a blessing]:
pater noster adiuro te sanguis p patrem et filium....incipit institutio psciani viri
eloqtissimi de nome y p noe y iupo.....

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 270-71; KRUSCH (1888), p. 10; WILMART,


Codices Reginenses Latini vol. 1, pp. 502-504; TAFEL, ‘Lyons Scriptorium’ (1925),
p. 50; LESNE, Histoire de la propriété écclesiastique, vol. IV (1938), p. 116;
WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), p. L; COLLINS (1996), pp. 122-123; BISCHOFF,
Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 2487, p. 123.

4) MS Bern Burgerbibliothek 318 [Krusch’s MS 2a]

Format: The manuscript used to consist of 131 folios, but numbers 3 to 26 were
detached in 1946, and are now preserved as 12 separate bifolia. The folios are of 255
x 180 mm, with a written area of 180 x 105/110; this increases to 190 x 120 on ff. 123
to 130. Folio 131 has a written space of 210 x 130/40. There are 23 long lines on
each page of folios 1 to 122v, increasing to 24 long lines in folios 123 to 130. Folio
127
131 has 26 long lines.
The codex is currently in a 17th century clasped binding.
No quire marks or numbers are visible. The MS consists of a single initial bifolium
(ff. 1 and 2), three dismounted quires of 8, containing the Physiologus and the
opening of Fredegar, and then twelve quires of eight (4 + 4). The final folio of the
MS is free standing. As its script, contents and size of written space also distinguish it
from the rest of the MS, it is most likely that this did not form part of the original
codex, but was bound in with it at some later date.

Script: The MS (except for f. 131) is written in a Caroline minuscule that has been
dated to the middle third of the ninth century 181 Reims or its surrounding area is its
most likely place of origin; though Bernhard BISCHOFF was of the view that the
scribe was nicht typisch reimsisch (private letter to Donald BULLOUGH). In 1938
Frederick CAREY had dated it to c. 825-845.182 Although no justification for this
dating was offered, it was probably made on the basis of the manuscript not
conforming to Carey's criteria for characteristic features of the MSS written in Reims
during the archbishopric of Hincmar (845-882), while at the same time displaying
features that made it impossible to date it later than his time. The relative dating of
this and the preceding MS London BL Harley 2551 may need to be reconsidered in
the light of the fact that it can be shown that the Bern MS is a direct copy of the

181
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1 (1998), no. 574, p. 122.
182
Frederick M. CAREY, ‘The Scriptorium of Reims during the Archbishopric
of Hincmar‘, in Leslie Webber JONES (ed.), Classical and Mediaeval Studies in
Honor of Edward Kennard Rand (New York, 1938), pp. 41-60.
128
London one (see below p. 000).
The scribal note on f. 130r implies that the book was the work of a single scribe,
Haecpert, but the appearance of the script might suggest instead that the MS was
written by two scribes, with the change of hands occurring between ff. 122v and 123r.
It is possible, though, that the whole manuscript was indeed written by a single scribe,
whose script was affected by the need to write in a more cramped way due to the
increase in the number of lines in the final quire. It should be noted, too, that the ink
used in this final quire is of a darker colour than that found in the rest of the MS.
There are some later additions: A nicht viel späterer Hand183 writing in a lighter ink
than that used elsewhere in the MS added 19 lines of text (see section on notes) on f.
41r. The work of a contemporary corrector can be seen throughout, e.g. on f. 25v,
26r/v.
f. 131 was written in a later Caroline minuscule, of probably eleventh or early twelfth
century date. This contains the verse De Septem Miraculis Mundi

Ruling: there are double margins defining the written space on each page, with ruling
between the inner margins only, and not across the full extent of the folio; pricking
may be seen in the outer margins of each folio.

Decoration: red is used throughout for headings and chapter numbers. For major
headings extending over two or more lines, red and black inks are alternated; e.g. on
ff. 23r and 23v the three line headings have been written in black/red/black and
red/black/red respectively. There are 33 coloured illustrations to accompany the text

183
HOMBURGER, Illustrierten Handschriften (1962), p. 101.
129
of the Physiologus on ff. 7 to 26 (for reproductions of these see VON STEIGER and
HOMBURGER); the text commences with a large initial S, decorated with interlace
in red, yellow and green. This has been associated with the style of the so-called
Ecole francosaxonne.

Notes: f. 24r: a now damaged sentence has been written into the top margin in
a crude Caroline hand: ei gencium dominant...eorum et qui pote..
f. 24v: a marginal note in a 17th cent. hand refers to book two of Canisius’s edition,
which is in his Antiquae Lectiones of 1602.
f. 25r line 6: an illegible note in a later hand
f.41r: a list of ‘Egyptian Days’ has been added by another contemporary hand
immediately after the papal list.184
f. 130r, lower margin: HAECPERTVS ME FECIT: QVI ISTVM LIBRVM
LEGIT/ORAT PRO HECPERTO SCRIPTORE SCDM HABEAT/ADIVTOREM ET
DEFENSOREM
f. 130v: qui nescit scribere nullum se putet esse laborem/Qui duo oculi vidit una
lingua loquitur tres digito 185

Damage: Other than for the dismounting of the Physiologus folios, the MS is in a

184
See Jules LOISELEUR, 'Les jours Egyptiens: leur variations dans les
calendriers du moyen-age', Mémoires de la Société national des Antiquaires de
France, 33 (1872), pp. 198-253.
185

130
good state of preservation, though there are some flaws in the vellum.
Evidence that the codex has been clipped may be found in the state of the note in the
top margin of f. 24r.

Ownership: On f. 131v: there is a note in a 15th century cursive: Ce livre appartient


a Ragonde bachellier. The Bachellier were a noted Reims family, and the manuscript
may thus have remained in Reims since first written. 186 Within a further century it had
moved westwards, as the note Petri Danielis Aurel. on f. 1r refers to Pierre Daniel
(1530-1603) a noted antiquarian and collector from Orléans, who also acquired the
library of the monastery of St. Benoît-sur-Loire (or Fleury) after its sack by Protestant
troops in 1562. Bongarsii also on f. 1r indicates that this is one of the items from
Daniel’s library that was purchased in 1603 by his fellow citizen, the Huguenot
diplomat Jacques Bongars (1564-1612). In 1632 Bongars’ collection of about 500
manuscripts and 3000 books was given to the Burgerbibliothek in Berne by Jacob
Graviseth (1598-1658).187

Contents: f. 1r: INCIPIT VITA SCI SYMEONIS SYRE SERVI DI QVI IN


COLVNA STETIT (in red)/SCS SYMEON EX UTERO MATRIS (in black)/
f. 5r: DE ORTV ET OBITV PATRVM
ff. 7r to 22v: the Physiologus latinus (C version)

186
Homburger, Illustrierten Handschriften (1962), p. 102
187
Konrad Müller, ‘Jacques Bongars und seine Handschriftensammlung’, Schätze
der Burgerbibliothek Bern (Bern, 1953), pp. 79-106.
131
f. 23r line 1: IN NOMINE DNI NRI IHV XPI IN/CIPIVNT CAPITVLA
CHRONICI/LIBRI PRIMI
[NB: the texts of each section of this manuscript are as for the Harleian MS
given above, and so not repeated here]
f. 23v: INCIPIT LIBER GENERATIONIBVS/ADAM VSQUE AD ORDINEM QVAE
CON/TINETVR IN HVIVS VOLVMINE LIB
f. 24v line 14: INCIP NARRATIO PREFATIONIS/FILII SEM LIBER GENERATIONIS
f. 25r line 16: DIVISIO TERRAE TRIBVS FILIIS NOE
f. 25v line 2: IIII CONFUSE SVNT AVT LINGVAE/POST DILVVIVM
line 10: V HAEC SVNT FILII JAFETH
f. 41r line 8: INCIPIVNT DIES EGYPTIA ET QVOS OBSERVARE OPORTET
f. 41v line 1: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICHORUM/ EX DIBVS RERVM
CREATVRARVM/DS FORMAVIT
f. 44v line 13: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRO/NICI HIERONIMI EXCARPSVM
[the list of chapters extends to line 10 of f. 46r, and this is immediately
followed by the text of the first chapter, without any heading. No chapter numbers
have been added to the text.]
f. 95v line 9: EXPLICIT LIBER TERTIVS/INCIPIT PRAEFATIO GRECA
f. 96r line 13: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA LIBRI IIII/EXCARPS DE CHRONICA
GREGVM/EPISCOPIS TORONACI
[a list of 93 chapters follows]
f. 98r line 19: EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER IIII
f. 121v line 15: EXPLICIT LIBER QVARTVS/INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICAE
LIBER
132
[a list of 51 chapters follows]
f. 123r line 1: INCIPIT PROLOGVS
f. 123v line 9: EXPLICIT PROLOGVS
[no heading introduces the text]
f. 125v: INCIPIT TRACTATVS EIVSDEM LECT EFFREM
f. 130r (bottom margin): HAECPERTVS ME FECIT: QVI ISTVM LIBRVM
LEGIT/ORAT PRO HECPERTO SCRIPTORE SCDM HABEAT/ADIVTOREM ET
DEFENSOREM
f. 131r: the De Septem Miraculis Mundi188

References: J. SINGER, Catalogus Codicum MSS Bibliothecae Bernensis vol. I


(Bern, 1760), pp. 41, 126, 130, 234; H. HAGEN, Catalogus Codicum Bernensium
(Biblioteca Bongarsiana) (Bern, 1875; reprinted 1974); p. 325; KRUSCH 1882 pp.
265-69; KRUSCH (1888), p. 10; E.K. Rand, Studies in the Script of Tours, vol. 2
(Cambridge, Mass., 1934), pp. 11-18; Helen WODRUFF, ‘The Physiologus of Bern. A
Survival of Alexandrian Style in a 9th Century Manuscript‘, The Art Bulletin vol. XII
(1930), pp. 226-53, especially pp. 226-30; Frederick M. CAREY, ‘The Scriptorium of
Reims during the Archbishopric of Hincmar‘, in Leslie Webber Jones (ed.), Classical
and Mediaeval Studies in Honor of Edward Kennard Rand (New York, 1938), pp. 41-
60; Otto HOMBURGER Die illustrierten Handschriften der Burgerbibliothek Bern
(Bern, 1962), pp. 101-117; Christoph VON STEIGER and Otto HOMBURGER,
Physiologus Bernensis. Voll-Faksimile-Ausgabe des Codex Bongarsianus 318 der

188
For the text see J.A. GILES (ed.), The Miscellaneous Works of
Venerable Bede, vol. IV Historical Tracts (London, 1843), pp. iii and 10-15.
133
Burgerbibliothek Bern (Basel, 1964), especially pp. 17-22; COLLINS (1996), pp.
122-23; BISCHOFF (1998), no. 574, p. 122.

5) MS Leiden, Bibliotek des Rijksuniversiteit, Vossianus Q. 5 + MS,

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Codices Reginenses latini 713 [Krusch’s MS 31

+ 32]

a: Leiden Voss. Lat. Q. 5 [Krusch’s MS 31]


Format: This consists of 38 folios of 271 x 165 mm, with a written space of 230 x
130/35, written in 28 long lines, and is composed of six quires: 3 x 8ff, 1 x 7ff (with a
stub between ff. 30v and 31r, but with no break in the text), 1 x 6ff and 1 x 3ff.

Script: It is written in a ‘ligaturenreiche alemannische Min. mehrer Hde’, and has


been assigned by Bernhard Bischoff to the ‘Bodenseegegend, VIII/IX Jh.’189
Previously he had been prepared to be more specific and to assign the manuscript to
St Gallen, at a date around 800; prior to the establishment of a proper scriptorium in
that monastery.190 There are no changes of scribal hand in in the Leiden section of the

189
Bischoff, Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 2212, p. 56; cf. CLA vol. X, no.
*108: 'Alamannic minuscule' 8/9th c.
190
Bernhard BISCHOFF,in Karl der Grosse: Werk und Wirkung, no. 378,
p. 218.
134
codex.

Notes and corrections: The distinctive hand of a 10th century corrector using a darker
ink may be seen throughout, making interlinear corrections and longer ones in the
bottom margins.
f.24: an interlinear note in a 12 th century hand: geisericvs svccessit. Hic carthaginem
et ypponensem cvnctasqve civitates plures cepit plurimvmqve sanguine catholicorvm
fvdit
Later 16th or 17th century headings have been added in the top margins of ff. 1r, 28v,
38r. There are underlinings in the text, probably of the same date, as far as f. 18;
mainly of individual words.

Damage: The text starts with chapter 36 of Book Two; so all of book one and the first
35 chapters of Book Two are missing (two full quires?).191

Contents: f.1r line 1: Contra romanos rebellentes (corrected >rebellantib;)


Vespasianus a nerone transmissus... (= Fredegar bk II, ch. 36)....tante victoriae
nominis gloriosus a buccelino victus nomen vitamque amisit.
f. 28v line 7: EX/PLICIT LIBER CHRONICE .III. INCIPIT LIBER QUI/NTI JULI
HELARIANI DE CURSU TEMPORUM/

191
In the other manuscripts of KRUSCH's Class Three chapters 24 to 26 of
Book One are omitted, and replaced by the De Cursu Temporum of Quintus Iulius
Hilarian. It is reasonable to assume the same would have been true of this manuscript
too: COLLINS (1996), p. 124.
135
Quantocumque tempore in divinis legibus cuiuscumque timentes...impii in ambustione
eterna. iusti autem cum do in uita eterna amen
f.38r line 21: EXPLICIT LIBER QUINTI IULA HE/LARIANI : INCIPIT PRAEFATIO/
GREGA LIBRI : IIII :
f. 38v line 1: Decedante atque immo potius pereunti ab urbe(>i)bus
gallicanis....mundi principio libri (primi add) ponetur initium (line 27)
line 28: INCIPIUNT CAPITULA LIBRI/
end of MS

references: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 273-74; KRUSCH (1888), p. 11; LINDSAY (1915),
pp. 460 and 482; CLA vol. X no. *108; WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), pp. L-LI; De
MEIER (1975), pp. 15-17; COLLINS (1996), pp. 123-124; BISCHOFF (2004), no.
2212, p. 56.

b: Vat. Reg. lat. 713 [Krusch’s MS 32]

Format: This section consists of 88 folios of 271 x 165 mm, with a written space of
230 x 130/35 in 29 long lines up to f. 62v. Lines are drawn 8 mm apart, decreasing to
7 mm after f. 63v. The written space of folio 63 is reduced to 225 x 125 mm, and
from f. 64 onwards it further decreases to 218 x 110/5 mm in 28 long lines. Folios 81
to 88, the final quire, are slightly smaller, measuring 260 x 154 mm. The manuscript
is composed of 12 quires in the following order: 1 x 3ff (1+2), 1 x 8ff (4+4), 1 x 7ff
(4+3), 5 x 8ff (4+4) 1 x 5ff (3+2), 1 x 9ff (5+4), 2 x 8ff (4+4); a stub of a folio is
136
visible between ff. 18 and 19: thus quire 3 was originally 4+4. Another stub may be
seen between ff. 71 and 72. No quire signatures or numbers can be seen. Each folio
has double bounding margins, with the outer ones ruled down the line of 29 pricks
used for the lines to be written upon. The quires are ruled together, from the outside.
The quires are composed of bifolia placed with smooth side facing hair side, with the
inner folding being of hair. In the section containing the LHF, however, quires are
composed with hair facing hair and smooth facing smooth. The folios are pricked and
ruled across the bifolium, with double outer margins delineating the written space on
each page. The pricking lies along the outer margin of each folio, and the lines run
between the inner margins.

Script and hands: Script as described above for the Leiden section. 192 Major scribal
changes can be seen between lines 21 and 23 on folio 62v, and between f. 63v and the
final folios of the manuscript. The first represents a change between the scribes of the
Fredegar text, who were writing in a pre-Caroline minuscule that has been dated to
around 800 and the scribe of the Breviarium of Ercanbert, writing in a pure Caroline
minuscule of the later ninth century. The second marks a change between two
different but contemporary hands, responsible for the Breviarium and the Liber
Historiae Francorum respectively.
Within the Fredegar section (ff. 1-62v) the presence of at least two hands can be
detected. One of these wrote all of ff. 1-20, while the presence of another can be seen

192
LINDSAY, Notae Latinae (1915), pp. 460 and 482 assigned the Leiden
section to St Gallen and the Vatican section to Reichenau, not recognising they once
formed a single codex.
137
on ff. 20v, 22v-23, and 35-36v. There is a clear change of hand between ff. 34v and
35r. This second scribe employed an elongated and angular hand that can appear
almost like a cursive. Up to the end of the Fredegar text on f. 62v the ink is generally
very black, especially up to f. 52v; a few lines and capital letters that have faded to a
dark brown. In the Fredegar section headings and chapter numbers are written in red,
but no colour is used for the sections after f. 62v. From f. 63 the ink is of a lighter
brown hue.
There are corrections in a late ninth century Caroline minuscule, written in a lighter
brown ink on ff. 34, 35r/v, 36r/v, 38v. The hand is like but not identical to that of the
scribe of the LHF, and is marked by a distinctive form of the letter t.

Notes: f. 1r top line: 2o over 1298, and in another hand: G F Fredegarii hystoria
Francorum q..m
A monogram, perhaps a corrector’s mark, appears in the margins of ff 52r/v, 53 r/v, 55
r/v, and 56r.

Ownership: For the suggestion that this manuscript was in Heidelberg in the early 17 th
century see below p. 000. Its subsequent acquisition by Queen Christina of Sweden
(d. 1688) is testified to not least by its 17th century brown leather binding, with royal
and episcopal (unidentified) arms on the spine.

Contents: The contents of this manuscript consist of three texts, none of which is
here complete:
138
1) ff. 1-62v: Chronicle of Fredegar, starting from the point in the heading to the
list of chapters that form the Fourth Book at which the Leiden MS ends.
f. 1 line 1: QUARTI QUOD EST EXCARPSUM DE CRO/NICA
GREGUM EPS THORONACHI
f. 23r line 15: EXPLICIT LIBER QUARTUS INCIPIUNT CAPITULA
CHRONICE LIBER QUINTUS
f. 24v line 20: expl capitula/ INCIPIT PROLOGUS
f. 25 line 26: EXPL PROLOGUS/ INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICAE
f. 62v line 21: ...eos uterque inlerire fecisset. explicit liber

2) ff. 62v-63v: The Breviarium of Ercanbert (truncated)


f. 62v line 23 Ercanbertus (in left margin) This is written in a different
hand and a lighter ink that that of the scribe of the text itself, and may not necessarily
be contemporary with it. The text itself is written in a later ninth century Caroline
minuscule.
Chlodarius rex de austris postquam theoterichus et theodobertus reges et germani
mortui sunt.....
This is the earliest testimony to the Breviarum of Ercanbert, written c. 827.193

193
This was partially edited by G.H. PERTZ in MGH SS, vol. II, pp. 327-29.
The only complete edition is still that of Aemilius USSERMANN, Germaniae Sacrae
Podromus seu Collectio Monumentorum Res Alemannicas Illustrantium, vol. I, (St.
Blasien, 1790), pp. xxxix-lii. For the appearance of Ercanbert in MS St. Gallen
Klosterbibl. 547, also containing Fredegar, see below p. 000
139
3) ff. 64-88: Liber Historiae Francorum (truncated towards the end of chapter
32)194
f. 64: INCIPIT LIBER HYSTORIAE FRANCORUM A GREGORIO
TORONENSIS URBIS EPISCOPO EDITA......
f. 88 line 28: .....ego mirifice honorabo vos et filios
This is written in a later ninth century hand, but clearly not that of the scribe of the
Breviarium.

Deductions: Because of the codicological complexity of the relationships, it might


be helpful to draw attention to the two main results of the study of the Leiden and
Vatican manuscripts:
1) While much of it once formed a single manuscript with the Leiden MS, the
Vatican codex now consists of parts of what were originally two separate manuscripts,
though probably from the same scriptorium. The first of these contains the Fredegar
and Ercanbert sections, and the second the equally truncated Liber Historiae
Francorum. The two were probably combined following the loss of the final quire
that would have contained the remainder of the text of Ercanbert.
2) The original codex, now divided between Leiden and the Vatican, would have
consisted of 38 + 62 (= 100) folios, with a further but now lost, initial series of folios
to contain the missing Book One (Liber Generationis). It was written at St. Gallen c.
800. In the later ninth century some blank (at least 2 and no more than 4) final folios
and the space remaining below the Fredegar text on f. 62v were used to copy the

194
Ed. Bruno KRUSCH, MGH SRM vol. II, pp. 238-296 and p. 223 (= MS A 3b
of his edition).
140
Breviarium of Ercanbert; most of which was subsequently detached and lost.

The manuscript in its original undivided state may be the one referred to in a ninth
century St. Gallen library list: chronica diversorum temporum libri V et gesta
francorum.195

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 274-76; KRUSCH 1888, p. 11; CLA vol. 1, item
108; WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), pp. L-LI; COLLINS 1996, pp. 123-124.

6) MS Vienna, Östereichische Nationalbibliothek 482 [Krusch’s MS 3a]

Format: This consists of 88 numbered folios, preceded by an unnumbered blank


folio, which forms part of the first quire. Of folio 88 only a stub about 40 mm wide is
preserved. The folios measure 252 x 165 mm, with a written area of 190 x 120mm,
comprised of 22 long lines. Exceptionally, there are 23 lines on f. 93r. There are
double margins on each page, with ruling only between the inner margins. The pricks
and slits (both are used) are located about 3mm outside the outer margins. The quires
were pricked and ruled in complete gatherings (best seen with quire VIII of ff. 53 to
61). The vellum is a creamy yellow colour, and is generally quite thick. There are 12
quires: one of 7 (3 + 4), one of eight (4 + 4), one of 6 (3 + 3), then eight of 8 (4 + 4),

195
See Gustav BECKER, Catalogi Bibliotecarum Antiqui (Bonn, 1885), item
22.
141
and a final very damaged one of 4 (3 + 1). This last quire has been repaired using a
strip of manuscript varying between 10 and 20 mm wide, on which may be seen the
beginnings of 40 lines of text in a Caroline minuscule. There is a second thinner strip
folded up inside this one, to strengthen the repair.
There are modern quire numbers in red in the middle of the lower margin of the verso
of the final folio of each gathering, but original dry point folio numbers can be seen in
a similar position on several folios: f. 6r I; f. 14v: II, f. 21r: IIII; f. 29r: V; f. 37r and f.
38r both have VI; f. 45r VII; f. 53r: VIII; f. 61r: VIIII; f. 69r X; f. 77r XI; f. 85r XIII.

Script: The script was identified by Bernhard BISCHOFF as a pre-Caroline


minuscule, and he suggested that the MS was written at Reichenau sometime around
800.196 Two scribes may have worked on this book, with a change of hands occurring
in f. 21r. There are a number of capital letters left open for possible colouring, but if
so this was never carried out. The ink is very black throughout. There is no use of
red.

Notes: On the recto of the unnumbered initial folio in a 17th century hand: isto codex
non est exaratus charactere visigothus aut Toletano sed Lombardus dicto, neque
incertus est auctor, sed Fredegarius historiam Francorum Gregorius Turonense
interpolatam exhibet. There is a reference made to Ruinart’s edition, and the note is
signed Schwandherus.

196
Bernhard BISCHOFF ‘Panorama der Handschriftenüberlieferung’ p. 244 and
note 78. See also Otto MAZAL, Byzanz und das Abendland (1981), p. 81.
142
Damage: The first folio of the first quire is missing, as are all of two and much of a
third of the final folios of the last quire. Worm holes run from the back of the book as
far in as f. 75.

Contents: f. 1r: INCIP LIBER GENERATIONVM


f. 17 line 1: the list of 31 chapters ends, and the text commences, but with no heading
f. 59v line 13: EXBLICIT LIBER CHRONICA/III INCIPIT LIBER QVINTI IVLI
ELARIANE DE CVRSV TEMPORV
f. 61r line 14: EXPLICIT LIBER QVINT IVLI HELARIANI. INCIPIT PREFACIO
GRECA LIBRI IIII
f. 87r line 22: the text ends: ...iocunditas uu...incensus k. stupefatus atq man; (=Book
Three chapter 93)
f. 87v is blank, as is the stub of f. 88r/v.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 276-78; KRUSCH 1888, p. 11; CLA vol. X, no.
1124; HOLTER 1950, p. 100; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. LI; BISCHOFF
(1965), p. 244; MAZAL 1981, p. 81; IRBLICH 1993, pp. 80-81; COLLINS 1996, p.
124.

7) Augsburg, Staats- und Stadtbibliothek 2o MS 223

(formerly Bischšfliche Ordinariatsbibliothek MS 2o 233, and Archiv des Bistums

K 233) [Krusch’s MS 3b]

143
Format: This paper MS consists of one initial unnumbered and 270 numbered folios
of 210 x 157mm (165 x 105mm), written in a rather faded black ink on 34 long lines
to the page. It is the work of a single scribe, writing a small and neat humanisticher
Bastarda, employing numerous abbreviations.197 It is essentially undamaged, and is
bound in a 16th century stamped white vellum binding, that has a floral decoration in
the centre and a geometric pattern around the edge of the outside front cover.

Ownership: There is a 17th century bookplate of SS. Ulric and Afra, Augsburg, on

the inside of the front cover: Monasterii S. Udalrici Aug.se


f. 1v: ex mosty augie a’ f. collctg. Thazomathi

The MS formed part of the collection of the Königliche Kreisbibliothek in Augusburg,


and then the diocesan Bischofliche Ordinariatsbibliothek.
On the inside of the back cover: Klostersignatur D 62
From this evidence it seems most probable that this book was written at Reichenau,
but was soon acquired by St. Ulric’s, Augsburg, where it remained, until becoming the
property of the bishopric in the 19th century.198

197
Rolf SCHMIDT, Reichenau und St. Gallen. Ihre literarische
(berlieferung zur Zeit des Klosterhumanismus in St. Ulrich und Afra zu Augsburg um
1500 (1985), pp. 140-47 at p. 140.
198
WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), p. LI, assigns it erroneously to Mehrerau,
with no discussion.
144
Contents: unnumbered first folio: LIBER CHRONICARVM . YDACY .
THORO/MACHI AC QVINTI IVLY. HILARIONIS./VNACVM . CHRONICA
REGINONIS . /MONASTERY . AVGIENSIS . QUO/DAM . INSIGNIS . ABBATIS .
/ADALBERONEM . /TREVIRENSIS . /ACCLE/SIAE . /AR/CHIE/PISCOPV .
/VENERABILEM . /LIBRI . DVO . INQVORV . /PRIMO . DE ROMANORVM .
GESTIS . AEGREGIE . SCRIBIT . ADIVNC/TIS . INFINE . DIVERSIS . SINE
ORDINAE . GESTIS
These lines are in alternating black and red, and are structured on the page so
as to form the shape of an X

f.1r: INCIPIT LIBER GENERATIONU PRIMO (31 chapters follow)


f. 11v: INCIPIT LIBER GENERATIONU 2 (50 chapters follow)
f. 29v: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICE TERTIUS
(14 chapters, commencing at ch. 49 of Book Two)
f. 42r: INCIPIT PREFACIO LIBRI QUARTI EXCERPTUM DE CHRONICA GRECA
THORONACI EPISCOPI
(There is no list of chapters; the text of the 90 chapters begins on f. 42v)
f. 60v: INCIPIT LIBER QUINTI IULI HYLARIONIS DE CURSU/TEMPORUM
f. 67r: INCIPIT PROLOGUS IN LIBRUM SEXTUM ET THOROOMACHI
(No list of chapters follows)
f. 68r: INCIPIT LIBER SEXTUS THOROMACHI
(the text of 90 chapters follows, ending on f. 97v:
...et eorum perfidia et mendacia eos uterque interfecisset.

145
ff. 98r to 177v: a text of the chronicle of Regino of Prüm, with the continuation by
archbishop Adalbero of Trier.
ff. 178, 178a and 179 blank
f. 180r/v: the Continuatio vitae sancti Magni (see MGH SS vol. IV, pp. 425-27).

ff. 181: CHRONICA . EVSEBII . HIERONIMI . CAESARIENSIS ./EPISCOPI .


ADVINCENCIVM . ET . GALIENVM . /INCIPIENS . ATEMPORE . ABRAHAM .
PROTENS . /SE . VSQVE . AD IMPERATORIS . VALENTIS . IN/TERITVM
There follows a multicolumn text of Jerome’s Latin translation of Eusebius’s
chronicle, ending on f. 261r.
ff. 261v-263r: Fasti Augustani (see MGH AA vol. IX, pp. 384ff)
ff. ff. 263r to 270r: the chonicle of Prosper (see MGH AA vol. IX, pp. 460-ff)
f. 270v is blank.

While this MS clearly derives from an exemplar belonging to Krusch’s class 3, as


evidenced not least by the insertion of Quintus Iulius Hilarion’s De Cursu Temporum
between the abbreviated Gregory of Tours and the Fredegar material, there are
numerous minor textual differences between this and the other extant examples of the
MSS of this class. Thus, MS Vienna ÖN 482 (number 6 above) which was written at
Reichenau can not have been the immediate ancestor of this codex (pace Schmidt p.
143), although it too probably came from the same monastery. The unique six book
structure indicated by the headings listed above must have resulted from treating the
inserted De Cursu Temporum as a separate book in its own right. This is not a feature
of other class 3 manuscripts, and so may have come about in consequence of
146
confusion: the Quintus in the heading on f. 60v could be taken, albeit
ungrammatically, as referring to the book number rather than the author’s name.
Whether this error was the work of the scribe of this manuscript or was something he
inherited from his lost model can not be determined.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 278-82; KRUSCH 1888, p. 11; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1960, p. LI; COLLINS 1996, p. 124; Rolf SCHMIDT, Reichenau und St.
Gallen. Ihre literarische (berlieferung zur Zeit des Klosterhumanismus in St. Ulrich
und Afra zu Augsburg um 1500 (Sigmaringen, 1985), pp. 140-47.

Part II: Fragment (not used in any editions)

8) Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität Basel, MS N I 6 no. 42

Three fragments of unequal size have been preserved through reuse in a


binding. One almost Z shaped piece is approximately 201 x 77 mm. It contains parts
of 23 lines of text. The top edge has been cut close to the text; so it is not possible to
say if originally there would have been more lines. The other two fragments are tiny;
the first containing only a few barely legible words and the other no more than a
handful of letters. The script is an early Caroline minuscule that has been dated to the
late eighth century or very early ninth, and assigned to the area of south-western
Germany. There are some interlinear corrections in an 11th century Caroline hand.
The Text contained on the largest fragment comes from book III, chapters 52
147
to 55 of Fredegar. The precise contents of the two small pieces and their relationship
to the larger one can not be determined.
Small as the sample is, an analysis of the variants to be found in the largest of
the fragments indicates that the manuscript from which this came had contained a
copy of what Krusch categorised as a Class Three text of Fredegar. It thus must have
had some relationship to the other three extant codices containing texts of this class
(see numbers 5 to A7 above); all of which also originated in this same region. Key
variants suggest a relatively close relationship to the St. Gallen MS (no 5) in
particular.
References: CLA Supplement, addenda no. 1812; BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1 (1998),
no. 320, p. 67.

Chapter Seven: The Manuscript tradition

Krusch regarded the earliest known manuscript of Fredegar, Paris Bibliothèque


Nationale fonds latins 10910 of 714/5, as the exemplar from which all others were
descended, but it is clear that several distinctive errors made by the scribe Lucerius
prove that that none of them can have been copied directly from his manuscript, but
are descended from a close relative of it. 199 Thus, although by far the earliest of the

199
Wallace-Hadrill (1960), p. xlix.
148
manuscripts containing Fredegar's work and of particular importance for the editing of
it, MS Paris lat. 10910 had virtually no subsequent influence and represents a sterile
branch of the tradition. The only subsequent additions made to it involved the adding
of the chapter numbers to the last book, in a probably eighth century hand. These are
most likely taken from another manuscript of the work of the Second or possibly
Third Class. Perhaps at the same time, and most likely around the year 788, the list of
popes that follows the Liber Generationis was extended from the pontificate of
Theodore to that of Hadrian I (772-795).
The lack of influence of the Paris manuscript is regrettable, in that all other
known complete, partial or otherwise derived versions of Fredegar’s chronicle
compilation descend from a lost early exemplar that suffered from serious defects,
containing both verbal corruptions and short but sometimes significant textual
omissions.200 Separately or collectively, these errors can at times be so serious that the
author's meaning is entirely lost. While modern editors have rightly concentrated upon
the relatively pure form of the text contained in the Paris manuscript, which stands at
several removes from all of its other relatives, it is important to appreciate that
virtually all Carolingian readers of Fredegar received his work in a form that was
sufficiently corrupt as at times to be little better than gibberish.
MS Paris BN lat. 10910's sole close relative, and the only other manuscript in
Krusch's Class One, Metz Bibliothèque Municipale ms 134, was destroyed in the
bombing of Metz in 1944. Fortunately, notes made by Bruno Krusch in preparation
for his 1882 study have preserved a record of the contents of the whole of the lost
Metz codex, and the edition of 1888 itself contains a sample of its script. Others may

200
Parts of the famous praefatio, ed. Krusch p. 123 provide good examples.
149
be seen in volume two of Koehler’s Karolingischen Miniaturen. This manuscript
contained a compilation of texts, including the pseudo-Gelasian de libris non
accipiendis, the sermons of the Latin 'Efrem Syrus' and extracts from Gregory, Isidore
and others, and was almost certainly written under bishop Angilramn in Metz in the
780s. It was certainly in the library of St. Arnulf's Metz by the 10/11th century. Its
Fredegarian content was small and consisted only of the Liber Generationis and lists
and chapters 3-37 of the Eusebius-Jerome chronicle in Fredegar's version of it. While
textually close to the Paris manuscript, Metz 134 was clearly not a direct copy, and
must have descended from another lost close relative of it (MS 'Ix').
The second line of transmission, which may originate with a second editing of
Fredegar's unfinished compilation in which a more explicit structuring by books was
imposed, is not represented by any manuscripts as early in date as those of the first.
How and when certain crucial corruptions made their way into the text can not be
known. Nor can the number of stages that may have existed between the archetype
and the surviving manuscripts of Classes Two and Three. On the basis of the textual
analyses carried out by Krusch for his study of 1882 it has never been questioned that
at some point, which has to be after c.660 but also well before the middle of the eighth
century, a manuscript was written that would be ancestral to both the extant codices of
Class Two and to the archetype of Class Three. The only extant manuscripts that might
represent this stage in the history of the transmission of the work are two mid-ninth
century north-eastern French codices, the sole surviving representatives of Class Two.
Since the publication of Krusch's study and edition, it has been accepted that
these two manuscripts, MS Berne Burgerbibliothek 318 and MS London, British
Library Harley 5251, derive from a single lost exemplar, and one is probably copied
150
from the other. Both stop abruptly in the ninth chapter of the final book, while in the
middle of the story of the conversion of the wife of the shah of Iran. The Bern
manuscript, written by a scribe named Haecpert and which also contains a splendid
illuminated Physiologus, was given priority by Krusch, and assigned to an origin in
the region of Reims and a dating in the second quarter of the ninth century by the late
Professor Bischoff. The Harley manuscript, which only contains Fredegar, is by the
same authority given an origin in southern France in the late ninth or early tenth
centuries (or just ‘late ninth century’ in an earlier judgment). This would again seem
to confirm the temporal priority of the Bern manuscript and make the Harley one no
more than a copy of it.
In both codices the text of Fredegar ends at precisely the same point and in
mid sentence. The relationship between the texts in the two manuscripts is also so
close as to prevent any questioning that one is indeed a copy of the other. However,
in the Harley manuscript it is easy to see that several succeeding lines have been
erased, while in the Bern codex the text just stops exactly where Harley 5251 does,
but there is no trace of erasure, and an entirely new work, a lection from Matthew's
Gospel on the Transfiguration, starts two lines below this. In other words, the
paleographically deduced relationship is the wrong way round, and Bern must derive
directly from Harley and not vice versa. There is no way that the scribe of the London
manuscript could have extended his text of Fredegar beyond the abrupt and pointless
ending in the Bern codex, let alone have then decided to erase it. The Bern
manuscript must have been copied from the London one, and after that erasure had
been made.201

201
First pointed out in COLLINS, Fredegar (1996), pp. 122-123.
151
It is regrettable that no earlier examples of the Class Two manuscripts have
survived, as one of them must have been used for preparing the ancestor of the rather
better preserved series of Class Three codices. As one of these Class Three
manuscripts would in turn be used to provide the Fredegar components of the Historia
vel Gesta Francorum, this must almost certainly have happened before 751.202 The
archetype of Class Three clearly took its text of Fredegar from a now lost ancestor of
the two extant ninth century Class Two manuscripts, to which it added some scribal
errors that were to be characteristic of its descendants. It also omitted the final three
chapters of Book One; whether through scribal error, because of the duplication of
some of the contents of this part of that book or deliberately to eliminate those
repetitions can not be known. The scribe of the ancestral manuscript of Class Three
also took the surprising decision to insert an additional item into the middle of the
compilation, between Books Two and Three. The new addition to the contents was the
De Cursu Temporum, written in 397 by Quintus Julius Hilarian, an obscure late fourth
century African author.203 This is essentially a series of chronological calculations, and
it has been suggested that Hilarian originally wrote the treatise to reassure those who
had been led to believe that the Sixth Age of the World would end in 468 that it would
actually last a little longer; at least until 497.204

202
The only alternative would be a slightly later date, if it be thought that the
Historia was largely the work of the period of Nibelung rather than of Childebrand.
See above p. 000.
203
ed. C. FRICK, Chronica Minora, vol. I, (1892), pp. 153-174.
204
Italo LANA, ' Q. Giulio Ilariano e il problema della storiografia latina cristiana
del IV secolo', Arachnion - A Journal of Ancient Literature and History on the Web 3
152
Why the scribe of the original manuscript of Class Three decided to include
this short text in the middle of the Fredegar he was copying is not clear. It might be
asked if the textual transmission of the De Cursu Temporum can throw any light on the
date and location of this scribe. But while there is evidence that the work was known
in Spain in the fifth century, and may have come thence into Francia, it now only
survives in the form it is found in the Fredegar compilation. A seventeenth century
edition of it by De la Bigne may have been based on an independent manuscript but if
so that is now lost.205 So the Fredegar compilation helps the understanding of the
transmission of the De Cursu Temporum, and not the other way around
Class Three is principally represented today by two substantial manuscripts,
dated by the late professor Bischoff, to around the year 800, which seem to stand very
close to the point of origin of this class.206 Although there are some contradictions to
be found in the description of these codices, both in the editions and in various
palaeographic and other discussions, it can be stated confidently that one of these two
manuscripts was written at St. Gallen and the other at Reichenau. 207 The former is
now divided into two parts, which are preserved in Leiden (Voss. Q. 5) and the
Vatican (Reginensis lat. 713). It is fuller than the Reichenau manuscript, now in
Vienna (ÖN 482), and it contains all of Fredegar from Book Two chapter 36 to the
end. It also now includes part of the Breviarium Regum Francorum ascribed to
Ercanbert, and a text of the anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum. The latter,

(1995) = http://www.cisi.unito.it/arachne/arachne.html
205
See LANA (note 198 above)
206
BISCHOFF, ‘Panorama der Handschriftenüberlieferung’ (1965), p. 244.
207
See above pp. 000 and 000.
153
however, is not an integral part of the original manuscript, being the product of the
binding together of two separate codices, which took place at some stage after the
concluding parts of Ercanbert’s work had been lost from the larger of the two
components. Fredegar in the Reichenau manuscript, Vienna ON 482, has no
companion texts, real or induced, and is itself truncated, ending with the conclusion to
Book Three, the epitome of Gregory of Tours.
Various suggestions have been made about the relationship between these two
manuscripts that are so close both in time and in their places of origin. Hypothetical
lost intermediaries have been suggested, but a detailed comparison of the two carried
out for this book makes it clear that a direct and immediate relationship between them
does indeed exist, and that it is the Reichenau manuscript (Vienna ÖN 482) that was
copied from the one from St. Gallen (Leiden Q. 5 + Vatican reg. lat. 713).
New light can be shed on the Class as a whole and on these two earliest
manuscripts of it by three small fragments of an otherwise lost codex that are now
preserved in the university library in Basel. These were not known to or used by any
of the modern editors of Fredegar. Although not even one complete line of the text has
been preserved in these fragments, there is enough in the largest of the three to show
that it contains part of what in modern editions would be Book Three chapters 52 to
55. Furthermore, as good luck would have it, amongst those phrases from these
chapters that are here preserved may be found several key variants that are exclusive
to the Class Three manuscripts. As Book Three was never used in any of the ninth
century compilations that added short sections excerpted from Fredegar to other
historical works, there seems to be no reason to doubt that we have in these meagre
scraps all that now remains of what was once a Class Three manuscript of the whole
154
Fredegar compilation.
It is possible to get a better sense of what it may have been like, in that from
the gaps between the preserved sections of text, especially that between the bottom of
the recto and the beginning of the verso, we can deduce that there was an average of
six words to the line and that only some three lines would seem to be entirely missing
from the top of the largest fragment. This would produce a probable figure of twenty
six long lines to the page. Traces can also be seen, especially on the recto, of the work
of an eleventh century corrector, who not only added some ill advised and erroneous
improvements to the text, but also inserted some interlinear glosses on the dramatis
personae of the narrative. He obviously felt that a prospective reader might become
confused by the actions of the various Childeberts, Chlotars and Chramns, here trying
to and in one case succeeding in killing each other. Thus, over Childebertus rex he
added the gloss frater Chlotarii, and over regnum (referring to that of Childebert,
which was then in the process of being acquired by Chlotar), he added frater eius.
These glosses are unique, and have no equivalents in other Fredegar manuscripts.
Palaeographically, Professor Bischoff assigned these fragments to an origin
somewhere in south-western Germany and a date around the turn of the eighth and
ninth centuries; in other words to a chronological origin very close to that of the St.
Gallen and Reichenau manuscripts, and to a geographical home, if not as closely
defined, then within the same general region.208 It is not unreasonable, therefore, to
ask what relationship exists between the Basel fragments and the other two class three
manuscripts of similar date and location. The limited basis on which comparisons
could be made might seem to militate against success in any such enquiry. However,

208
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1 (1998), no. 320, p. 67.
155
small as the sample may be, it can be said that in the spellings of names and most other
points of comparison, the Basel fragments consistently follow the practice of the St.
Gallen manuscript and not that of its Reichenau copy. There are, however, two points
at which the fragments enjoy correct readings that appear in identically erroneous form
in both of the other two manuscripts.209 This is not the product of any subsequent
process of correction. The almost entirely lost Basel manuscript thus seems to be more
closely related to the St. Gallen codex than to the Reichenau one, but at the same time
is probably superior to it in terms of its text. Neither the Basel nor the St Gallen
manuscript would seem on the basis of this evidence to be a direct copy of the other,
close as they may otherwise be.
We thus seem to have established the presence of at least three more or less
contemporary and very closely related manuscripts of a distinctive version of the
Fredegar compilation in the Lake Constance/South-West German area in the time of
Charlemagne. By comparison with all else that is known of the dissemination of the
work, this is a remarkable concentration of copies at more or less one time and place.
At the end of the eighth century, in Alamannia and eastern Switzerland at least,
Fredegar was clearly something of a ‘best seller’.
This was not a status that long survived. The two mid-ninth century Class
Two manuscripts have already been noted, but no other copies of Fredegar are known
to have been written at this time. It had almost entirely given way to the version of
itself that was contained in the Historia vel Gesta Francorum that is the subject of the
second part of this book. As the Fredegar compilation only extended its narrative up to
642 and as the history of the Merovingian dynasty was ignored, distorted or supressed

209
e.g. Conober, rendered as Coneber in the other MSS of the class: ed. Krusch p. 107.
156
for much of the age of Charlemagne, it is not surprising there was little interest in it at
that time.210 The glosses to be found in the Basel fragments indicate that this
manuscript at least was still being read in the eleventh century, but at the same time
hint at some of the problems readers would have found in making sense of
Merovingian history.
It is only around the turn the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that one last
manuscript of the Fredegar compilation was made. This was written on paper in
Reichenau, but by the seventeenth century had become part of the library of the
monastery of Saints Ulric and Afra in Augsburg. Its text seems to depend on that of
the much earlier Reichenau manuscript of c. 800, now MS Vienna ÖN 482, but not
very closely. It was either poorly or indirectly copied, and in the absence of other
manuscripts it is impossible to know what intermediaries may have existed between it
and its distant Carolingian ancestor.

210
Roger COLLINS, ‘Frankish Past and Carolingian Present in the Age of
Charlemagne’, in GODMAN, JARNUT and JOHANEK (eds.), Am Vorabend der
Kaiserkrönung (2002), pp. 301-322.
157
PART TWO: CHILDEBRAND AND NIBELUNG'S HISTORIA VEL GESTA
FRANCORUM

Chapter One: The Contents

It was a manuscript of the third class, in Krusch's classification, that supplied


some of the contents of the Fredegar compilation for the Historia that was compiled
on the authority of Count Childebrand, possibly around the year 751. That it is more
sensible and helpful to treat this as a separate work in its own right and not just as a
continued version of Fredegar has already been argued, but the case is reinforced by
the study of its nature and purpose. That it was a Class Three manuscript that was
thus used is clear enough from the textual comparisons, first made by Krusch in
1882.211 His primary interest was, however, directed at the section of new material,
relating to the years from 642 to 768, that was to be found in the manuscripts of what
he called Class Four. In other words he saw these as primarily a distinct class of
manuscripts of Fredegar, distinguished by the presence of the concluding section that
extended the narrative from the point at which the original compiler had left it up to
the royal inaugurations of Charlemagne and Carloman in 768. He recognised that
certain other changes had been effected to the Fredegar compilation in the
manuscripts of this class, but did not particularly value them, because they added

211
KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae' (1882), pp. 294-297.
158
nothing to the understanding or to his editing of the original version. So, in his
edition of 1888 he added the concluding section of new material for the years 642 to
768 onto a text of the Fredegar compilation that derived almost entirely from MS
Paris BN lat 10910 of 714/5.212
The result was anachronistic on more than one count. For one thing, this
ignored the fact that there had never existed a manuscript let alone an independent
version of these texts in which the original Fredegar coexisted with the so-called
Continuations. These had never just been added onto a text of Fredegar. They are
only to be found in manuscripts in which some of that work has been reorganised and
also expanded by the inclusion of other items. Textually therefore Krusch's edition,
which has been followed by all subsequent editors, contains a hybrid form not to be
found in any manuscript.213 Furthermore, the resulting text disregarded the
differences in structure between the seventh century Fredegar, organised in four or
five books, and that of the eighth century work which is clearly and explicitly divided
into three books.214 While noted in the apparatus to the edition, the book divisions of
his Class Four manuscripts were not taken into account when Krusch decided to add
the 642 to 768 materials to the end of what he regarded as Book Five.
Taken as a whole, the manuscripts of Krusch's Class Four contain something
rather different to Fredegar's original compilation. For a start all of the contents of the
latter's Book One, the Liber Generationis and related lists, are entirely omitted.

212
KRUSCH (1888); Collins, Fredegar (1996), p. 133.
213
Roger COLLINS, Fredegar, pp. 114-115.
214
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH p. 118 apparatus: Liber Quartus of Fredegar
becomes Liber III.
159
Instead, the work begins with Quintus Iulius Hilarian's De Cursu Temporum. This we
found first having been added to the original Fredegar compilation in manuscripts of
the Third Class, but rather oddly inserted between the end of the stories about
Justinian and Belisarius and before the start of the epitome of Gregory's Histories. It
is a fairly safe deduction that the compiler of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum, who
had a Class Three manuscript of Fredegar available to him, decided to move this work
and use it as a new opening section, in place of the Liber Generationis. The latter had
never had an obvious or logical role in Fredegar's compilation in any case.
The second major change was the insertion of a narrative entitled Historia
Daregetis Frigii de Origine Francorum into the Chronicle of Eusebius and Jerome,
between the end of chapter three and the beginning of chapter four in Fredegar's
divisions of that work.215 This is a rather remarkable text that has never aroused a
proper degree of scholarly interest. The 'Dares the Phrygian' to whom the work is
attributed may be assumed to be the same pseudonymous author who wrote a Historia
de Excidio Troiae or 'History of the Fall of Troy'. This survives in numerous
manuscripts, and was to be fairly influential in the later middle ages. It purports to be
an eye witness account of parts of the Trojan War and the fall of the city written by a
priest of Hephaestus from Phrygia, giving a Trojan view of these events. It is
prefaced by a letter supposedly from Cornelius Nepos to Sallust, in which he claims
that he had found a copy of the work in Athens and had translated it into Latin. 216

215
Ed. KRUSCH 1888, pp. 194-400; see also ibid. p. 45 for its location in the
text.
216
Ferdinand MEISTER (ed.), Daretis Phrygii de Excidio Troiae Historia
(1873). Many more manuscripts are now known.
160
Modern study of the text suggests instead that it was composed in Latin, probably in
the fifth or sixth centuries AD, but it is not known precisely when, where, why or by
whom.217
The significance of the Historia Daregetis Frigii de Origine Francorum
inserted into Childebrand's reworked Fredegar compilation lies in the fact that it is not
the same as the Historia de Excidio Troiae of 'Dares the Phrygian', but is clearly
related to it. Its existence has perplexed 'Dares the Phrygian' scholars; not least
because it survives in manuscripts in its 'De Origine Francorum' version that are older
than any containing the original 'De Excidio Troiae' form. The changes that have been
made to the latter's narrative are many and striking, and are primarily aimed at linking
the Trojans to the Franks, and thus giving them an ancestry that is as ancient as and
identical to that of the Romans. This was a theme that had already played a small part
in the seventh century Fredegar, but is enormously expanded in Childerand's work,
not least through the insertion of this text.
In that the original 'Dares the Phrygian' Trojan narrative had been composed in
the fifth or sixth centuries and contains nothing hinting at Frankish origin legends, the
assumption must be that the 'De Origine Francorum' version was a reworking of the
'Historia De Excidio Troiae' carried out in Francia at some point between the sixth
century and the first evidence of its existence as a component in Childebrand's

217
On this work see Stefan MERKLE, The Truth and Nothing but the
Truth: Dictys and Dares," in: The Novel in the Ancient World, ed. G. SCHMELING,
Leyden 1996, pp. 563-580, and idem, 'News from the Past: The True Stories of the
Trojan War", in: Latin Fiction: The Latin Novel in Context, ed. by H. HOFMANN
London 1999, pp. 155-166.
161
Historia vel Gesta Francorum in the middle of the eighth century. An obvious
question would be whether it was composed specifically for inclusion in the
Childebrandine Historia. In favour of this is the fact that this version of Dares can not
be found in any other context. It exists only as a component of Childebrand's
reworked Fredegar. On the other hand, this is the only part of that work to contain
such a radical rewriting of an independent text. It seems strange that if Childebrand's
compiler was prepared to make dramatic alterations to Dares' de Excidio Troiae to suit
his master's purposes, this was the only item that was subjected to such treatment.
Neither the de Cursu Temporum of Quintus Iulius Hilarian nor any other component
of his Class Three Fredegar manuscript were rewritten, interpolated or altered in any
other significant way. Compared to the liberties taken by 'Fredegar' himself, the
eighth century compiler was generally careful to preserve the texts he used, without
alteration. The only exception is the work of Dares, and this may imply that the
revision of it, turning it into a de Origine Francorum, had taken place elsewhere and
at an earlier time. In other words he inserted an already rewritten work into his
compilation because it suited his purposes, rather than he himself transformed Dares'
text into something that better fitted what he needed.
The third major addition to the materials taken over from Fredegar consisted
of the final section of new information that continues the narrative from the point at
which the latter breaks off in 642; firstly on to 751 and then to 768. However, unlike
the insertions of the de Cursu Temporum and the pseudo Dares de Excidio Troiae, the
addition of this section of narrative of recent and contemporary events has rarely been
seen as the work of a single compiler trying to restructure his materials into a new
Historia vel Gesta Francorum. Instead this concluding part of the work has usually
162
been regarded as consisting of a series of discrete continuations; up to as many as five
in number.218
Just as the opening parts of the original Fredegar, at least as far as the
conclusion of its epitome of the first six books of Gregory of Tours' Histories, have
largely been neglected because they offer so little by way of new information, so too
have the equivalent sections in Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta Francorum failed to
arouse much scholarly interest. With Fredegar most attention has always been paid to
the last book, containing the account of the years 584 to 642. In the case of
Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta the supposed continuations, carrying the narrative on
to 751 and 768 have always been the principal focus of scholarly concern.
The importance of the information that these concluding sections of the work
provide, especially in relation to the events of the period from 721 to 768, is
undoubtable, but questions relating to the number, date and purposes of these
supposed continuations has never aroused the amount of interest or of controversy
that was generated by the arguments over the original Fredegar compilation. Thus,
while the bibliography relating to the authorial and structural problems of the latter
has been seen to be substantial, little has been written about the text history of the so-
called Continuations, widely though they have been used as evidence for eighth
century Frankish history before 768.219

218
Roger COLLINS, ‘Deception and Misrepresentation in Early Eighth Century
Frankish Historiography: Two Case Studies’, in Jörg JARNUT, Ulrich NONN and
Michael RICHTER (eds.), Karl Martell in seiner Zeit (1994), pp. 227-47.

219
WALLACE-HADRILL, 1960, pp. xliii-xlv
163
This is due to the issue seemingly having been settled by Krusch in his
analysis of the compositional history of the Continuations, published as part of his
wider study of Fredegar in 1882. He reviewed earlier ideas on the subject, ranging
from belief that there had been four separate continuators to the claim that all of the
material up to c.751 was the work of but a single author and compiler, and produced
textual and linguistic arguments in support of his own position. 220 He looked for
clues in the text that might indicate changes of authorial style or outlook, or apparent
concluding remarks or summaries, such as calculations of the numbers of years that
had passed up to that point since the Creation and the Crucifixion, but which were
then followed by further sections of narrative. His conclusions on the subdivisions he
thus detected were not challenged, and were subsequently incorporated into the
authoritative Wattenbach-Levison manual on Frankish historical sources and have
been accepted almost entirely by the modern editors of the work. 221 From his
arguments, the text of the section of Continuations should be divided into three
separate sections, but with some significant subdivisions being detectable within

220
KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae', pp. 495-515: the seventeenth century editor of
Gregory of Tours and Fredegar, Thierry RUINART (1699) believed in four separate
continuations (see below p. 000), and was followed in this by Theodor BREYSIG
(1869). In the later nineteenth century Gabriel MONOD,’Du lieu d’origine de la
chronique dite de Frédégaire’, Jahrbuch für Schweizische Geschichte 3 (1878), pp.
139-163 and A. HAHN, ‘Einige Bemerkungen über Fredegar’, Archiv 11 (1858), pp.
805-840 favoured the view that there was only one author involved.
221
Wilhelm WATTENBACH, revised by Wilhelm LEVISON,
Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, vol. II (1953), pp. 161-162.
164
them.
The first Continuation consists of what in all modern editions are called
chapters 1 to 17. The first ten of these contain an almost exact copy of what in his
edition of that work Krusch categorised as the 'B' or Austrasian recension of the
anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum, first composed at St. Denis or Soissons
around 726/7.222 This was borrowed to provide a short synoptic account that bridged
the chronological gap between the abrupt termination of the original Fredegar
compilation in 642 and the late 720s. To this ready-made section, which he slightly
augmented, the first continuator added some new material of his own (chapters 11-
17), which carried the narrative up to 735. The second Continuation, Krusch
suggested, was the work of two distinct authors, possibly writing at slightly different
times. The first added only chapters 18 to 21, thus taking the account up to 739, while
the second went on from that point to the consecration of Pippin as king of the Franks
in 751. A final continuation, the longest section of all, subsequently advanced the
narrative through the reign of Pippin, ending with the royal consecration of his sons
Charles and Carloman in 768.223
That there is a definite division in the text between what was written up to c.
751 and the final section covering the years from 753 to 768 is certain, and is proved
by the survival in MS Vatican MS Reginensis lat. 213 of the colophon relating to
counts Childebrand and Nibelung, and how the latter took over responsibility for the

222
Ed. KRUSCH, MGH SRM vol. II, pp. 218-220; for the suggestion of
Soissons as place of origin, see Richard A GERBERDING, The Rise of the
Carolingians and the 'Liber Historiae Francorum' (1987), pp. 150-159.
223
KRUSCH, 'Die Chronicae', pp. 495-515.
165
work previously commissioned by his father. 224 Although this colophon has not been
preserved in any of the other manuscripts containing the work, most of them have a
gap of a few lines or other indicator implying a break in the text at this point. 225 So
there can be no disagreement that the section relating to the years c.753 to 768 is a
genuine continuation. However, it is probably the only one.
For one thing there is no codicological evidence for the existence of variant
versions with some but not all of the supposed continuations. Indeed, as previously
mentioned, no manuscript exists with only the text as far as c.751. The pre-Nibelung
form of the work, lacking the continuation up to 768, has not survived in the
manuscript tradition. Thus the manuscripts contain all of the text of 'the
Continuations' or none of it.
The stylistic arguments in favour of multiple authorship of the supposed
continuations are of the same kind as those first used to buttress the arguments in
favour of multiple authorship of the original Fredegar compilation, and which are now
largely discredited. Arguments relating to particular features of the contents of the
Continuations which might indicate compositional breaks, such as the chronological
calculations that make up chapter 16, are also liable to re-interpretation. 226 These
calculations, dating to 735, could have been incorporated into the Continuations
directly from another manuscript that the compiler was using. It was in this way that
calculations referring to the year 613 came to appear in the original Fredegar

224
Fredegar Continuations 34, ed. KRUSCH p.182.
225
Roger COLLINS, 'Deception and misrepresentation’, and see below
pp. 000-000
226
Fredegar Continuations 16, ed. KRUSCH, p. 176 and notes 1 and 2.
166
collection, leading Krusch and others to argue, ultimately unconvincingly, that the
year 613 must have played an important role in the compositional history of the work.
In any case a division in the text immediately after these chronological calculations
could not be claimed, because the author explicitly continues Itemque, quod superius
praetermissimus... then going on to relate an account of an earlier campaign of
Charles Martel against the Frisians, which he had not included in its correct temporal
location.227
Belief in multiple authorship of the Continuations also ignores the presence of
the other substantial alterations to the contents of the compilation: the change from a
four or five book structure to a definite three book one, and the addition of the texts of
the de Cursu Temporum and the variant form of 'Dares the Phrygian', as described
above. All these features indicate a deliberate recasting of the materials obtained from
a Class Three Fredegar manuscript, with the addition of new texts, to create an
explicitly titled and clearly structured Historia vel Gesta Francorum. Arguments
about the multiple authoring of supposed continuations fail to take this into account,
as this has to have been a single process. It is essential that we consider when this
may have been carried out. As suggested here, the most likely date is c. 751, as
suggested by the colophon in MS Vatican reginensis 213.228 The only alternative
would be to argue that the work in the form we have it was the product of a final and
more extensive revision carried out for Nibelung sometime after 768.
The three book structure organised the contents in the following way: the De
Cursu Temporum of Quintus Julius Hilarion was incorporated with Fredegar's epitome

227
Fredegar Continuations 17, ibid. p. 176.
228
See above p. 000.
167
of the chronicles of Eusebius, Jerome and Hydatius to constitute a new Book One.
The Fredegarian version of the epitome of the first six books of Gregory of Tours
became Book Two, while the Book Three was made up of the post Gregorian sections
covering the years 584 to 642, to which the new material taking the narrative on from
642 to 751 was added without a break or any other indication of change of authorship.
As previously mentioned, a final extension of this up to 768 was added following a
colophon in one manuscript and a gap of some lines in others. There are also a
number of textual alterations to be found throughout the work, which have to be
associated with this revision. All in all, the original Fredegar compilation had been
streamlined, to make it more clearly a history of the Franks, within an overarching
structure extending from Creation up to the time of Childebrand and Nibelung.

Chapter Two: Authorship

Because the wider transformation of the work has largely been ignored in favour of a
focus on supposed continuations, questions of the authorship and place of origin of
the new compilation, whether it be seen as a substantially revised version of Fredegar
or as Childebrand and Nibelung's Historia vel Gesta Francorum, have largely been
ignored. Accepting that a major and probably single act of revision or compilation
was involved, with only one further continuation subsequently being added, makes it
more important to try and find answers.
That the core of the work came from a Class Three Fredegar manuscript may
168
itself be some kind of a clue, because, as seen in the previous section, all surviving
examples of this text type are associated with south western Germany and the Lake
Constance region. There is no evidence at all for their wider dissemination. On the
other hand, if the new work was put into shape around the year 751, this predates the
earliest of these manuscripts by about half a century, and there can be no certainty as
to where the examplars from which our surviving manuscripts of this class descend
were to be found.
Another potential clue is the association of the work with Counts Childebrand
and Nibelung. Unfortunately, for all of their undoubted social and political
significance as close relatives of the ruling Carolingians, very little is known about the
landed estates and regional power bases of this family.229 So, it is not possible to
identify monasteries or other ecclesiastical institutions which they patronised, or
which they themselves owned, or of which they were the lay abbots. 230 It is, however,
more reasonable than in the case of the original Fredegar, now generally thought to
have been a layman, to assume that it was in such an establishment that the work was
carried out under their aegis.
Nothing in the earlier parts of the new compilation, such as the Dares text,
gives any clue as to the location in which it was formed. The only hints may be

229
WALLACE-HADRILL, Fourth Book (1960) p. xxvi, refers to a woodland
estate known as Mons Aldradus in the county of Melun, which in 791 was recorded as
having formerly been owned by ‘Count Hildebrandus and his son Nevelongus’. See
below note 231 for the source for this.
230
For the fullest study of this family see Leon LEVILLAIN, 'Les Nibelungen
historiques et leurs alliances de famille', pt. 1 (1937), pp. 337-408.
169
expected to be found in the final sections of new material covering the period from
642 to 768. Some tendencies can be detected. For example, where comparison can
be made with other contemporary sources, such as the various sets of eighth century
Frankish annals, the narrative of the Historia vel Gesta is generally more informative
about events in parts of Aquitaine and Burgundy than about those east of the Rhine. 231
But this is a very generalised tendency and there are no particular concentrations on
local areas, towns, saints or particular churches in the narrative that might indicate
special knowledge or partiality. It has already been seen in the case of the original
Fredegar that such indicators can be deceptive, and represent elements in the
compiler's sources more than evidence for his geographical location.
It is not possible to be sure that the final section of continuation, carrying the
narrative from 753 to 768, was added in the same place as the probable original
compilation of c. 751 was made; though this is likely. If so, it is worth noting that the
northern Aquitanian and west Burgundian emphasis in the narrative of these years is
even stronger and the lack of information relating to the Rhineland or anywhere east
of the river even more marked than is the case with the preceding section of text
dealing with the 730s and 740s.232
While the seventh century Fredegar was a very personal, if unfinished, work

231
Roger COLLINS, 'Pippin III as Mayor of the Palace: the Evidence', in
Matthias BECHER and Jorg JARNUT (eds.), Der Dynastiewechsel von 751.
Vorgeschichte, Legitimationsstrategien und Erinnerung (2004), pp. 75-91, at pp. 78-
79.
232
See Fredegar Continuations 40-53, ed. KRUSCH pp. 186-193. This section is
almost entirely devoted to events in Aquitaine.
170
of an unusual individual, the eighth century Historia vel Gesta is far less idiosyncratic,
confirming its status as a work put together on the orders of a patron and for a
designated purpose. That it was a history of the Franks is clear enough from both the
surviving scribal colophon and the nature of the work as a whole. That it was
originally intended to conclude with the elevation of Pippin III may at least suggest it
was undertaken specifically to celebrate the inauguration of the new Rex
Francorum.233 As it was commissioned by the new king's uncle, it could be that
Pippin was the intended dedicatee. Its continuation or completion up to the year 768,
with the consecration of Pippin's sons, may also be quite deliberate. However, there
are grounds for suspecting that this final form was not achieved in or close to that
year.
Evidence for this comes from the rather surprising error with which the work
concludes. It states that Pippin's sons Charles and Carloman were raised to the throne,
following his death, on Sunday the 18th of September in the year 768. 234 However, the
Annales Regni Francorum date this to Sunday the 9th of October. 235 As the Annales
for the period before c. 788 were probably the product of an act of compilation
between that year and 793, it might be thought that their testimony should not
necessarily be preferred. However, three extant original charters of Saint Denis
indicate that Pippin III was alive and in that monastery on 23rd September. 236 This

233
COLLINS 'Deception and misrepresentation', pp. 235-246.
234
Fredegar Continuations 54, ed. KRUSCH p. 193.
235
Annales Regni Francorum s.a 768, ed. F. KURZE, MGH SRG, p. 28.
236
Chartae Latinae Antiquiores vol. XV, ed. Albert BRUCKNER and Robert
MARICHAL, nos. 602-604, pp. 34-50; all dated to 23rd September 768.
171
seems to support the Annales claim that he died there on the 24th of the month. In
any case the date in our text is clearly wrong, and it is hard to imagine that such an
error could have been made if it was being written up close in time to these events.
A charter of Saint-Germain des Pres seems to hint that Count Nibelung had
died by 791; though this is only an implication.237It is also possible to suggest that the
Historia vel Gesta Francorum had been finished before this date, by virtue of the use
made of it in putting together a hybrid text in which its final section was added to a
new abbreviated version of the Histories of Gregory of Tours, so as to produce a
narrative extending that work up to 768. The earliest surviving manuscript to contain
this has been dated to around 800, but it is clearly not the archetype. So there must
have been earlier now lost codices that would predate it.
One internal feature of the narrative of the final section may provide another
indicator of the date by which the work had been completed. This is the passing
reference to the participation of Pippin III's nephew, duke Tassilo of Bavaria, in the
campaign against the Lombard king Aistulf in northern Italy in 756. 238 It has recently
been shown that the Annales Regni Francorum are markedly biased in their treatment
of Tassilo, and that this is a reflection of the action Charlemange took against him in
787 and 788, resulting in his deposition and monastic imprisonment. The narrative of
earlier sections of the Annales in which Tassilo appears is intended to provide
justification for the way he would later be treated, and also betrays a high degree of
sensitivity over the handling of this affair and the legitimacy of his trial and removal

237
René POUPARDIN (ed.), Receuil des chartes de Saint-Germain-des Pres
vol. I: 558-1182 (Paris, 1909 ) no. 22, p. 36.
238
Fredegar Continuations 38; ed. KRUSCH p. 185.
172
from his authority.239 The first section of the Annales, covering the years from 741 up
to the deposition of Tassilo in 788 were compiled soon after, and reflect the concerns
of the Frankish court at this time. 240 The quite neutral presentation of Tassilo to be
found in our source suggests that it was completed sometime before these events, and
when there was no need to find historical evidence to support his somewhat
questionable removal from power. So a date before 787 seems likely.

Chapter Three: Evidential Value

An origin as a work intended to glorify the new Carolingian dynasty, and


possibly for presentation to its first king, has important implications for the authority
and impartiality of its account of eighth century events. So too do the arguments over
the possible different stages of continuation of the text. Thus, for example, if the
account of the 730s was not written in this same decade by one or two contemporary
authors, as envisaged in the belief in multiple continuations, but was instead the work
of a single compiler working around the year 751, then the degree of trust that can be
placed in it may be reduced. Certainly, analysis of the text suggests that it is less
obviously a piece of contemporary reporting than has generally been assumed. For
example, comparison with some of the sets of the eighth century so-called 'Minor

239
Matthias BECHER, Eid und Herrschaft. Untersuchungen zum Herrscherethos
Karls des Grossen (1993), pp. 21-77.
240

173
Annals' is revealing. Campaigns by Charles Martel that these report for the years 720,
721, 722, 725, and 729 are not to be found here.241 Instead, there is a three or four
year gap in the narrative corresponding to the period 721-24 242 Three events that from
other sources can be dated to the years 724-28 are then included but they are deprived
of any chronology, and are followed by another gap in the narrative from 728 to
731243. So the account of the 720s is both patchy and lacking in precise dating. For the
early 730s, while the quantity of material included increases, the quality of its
organisation if anything gets worse. The Aquitanian war of 731 is said to be
contemporaneous with the Bavarian campaign of 728, while the Aquitanian
expedition of 731 is also made to be identical to the Poitiers campaign of 732 or
733.244 Finally, a section relating to Charles's military activity in Frisia is given as an
afterthought and quite outside its actual chronological context. 245 As the work of an
author who by older interpretations was supposedly writing in 735, this lack of
content, remarkable factual error and frequent chronological imprecision is hard to
understand. His supposed continuator of 739 proves equally inept, for in the small
section of text that is attributed to him he conflates the campaigns that were fought in
Provence in 737 and 739 into a single episode. 246 While all of this further weakens

241
For the chronology of the ascendancy of Charles Martel see T. BREYSIG,
Jahrbucher des frankischen Reichs, 714-741 (Leipzig, 1869).
242
Between Continuations 11 and 12, ed. KRUSCH, pp. 174-175F
243
Fredegar Continuations 12; ibid. p. 175
244
Fredegar Continuations 13; ibid. p. 175
245
Fredegar Continuations 17; ibid. p. 176.
246
Fredegar Continuations 20-21; ed. KRUSCH p
174
belief in any such process of successive continuations, it also underlines how wary we
must be of putting too much faith in the information provided by our source. And its
chronology is particularly unreliable.
For the events in Francia following the death of Charles Martel in 741 and up
to the consecration of Pippin as king (almost certainly in 751), the relevant section of
the Historia vel Gesta is a more substantial source than in the case of the two
preceding decades. This does not mean that it always entirely trustworthy. Its
composition under the patronage of Pippin III’s uncle, Count Childebrand, makes a
pro-Carolingian bias almost inevitable. A comparison with the account of the same
years in the Annales Regni Francorum is revealing; all the more so when the sections
of original material relating to the same period in the Annales Mettenses Priores are
also taken into consideration. All three differ on points of detail and on the emphases
they place on events, and none of them can be said to contain a full or impartial
account of events.247
Of particular note are some of the omissions of individuals and events, whose
absence from one narrative can be contrasted with their presence in one or both of the
others. The Historia vel Gesta, for example, makes no reference to the existence of
Pippin and Carloman's half-brother Grifo, and has to relate events taking place in
Bavaria in 747 and 748 without mentioning him, evening though the Annales Regni
Francorum indicate that his role in them was of central importance. 248 Nor is any
mention made of the last of the Merovingian kings, Childeric III, who was established
on the throne by the two brothers in 743 and would later be deposed to allow Pippin to

247
COLLINS, 'Pippin III as Mayor of the Palace: the Evidence' (2004), pp. 75-91.
248
COLLINS, ibid. p. 78.
175
assume the kingship.249 On the other hand, our source does refer to Carloman's son
Drogo, who is not mentioned in either the Annales Regni Francorum or the Annales
Mettenses Priores, but it has recently been established that its account of how both he
and his father's territories were handed over to Pippin in 747 is entirely misleading.
Instead, Drogo was intended to succeed Carloman as Mayor in Austrasia, and did
indeed briefly do so, only to be deposed by Pippin. 250 In general it could be suggested
that the narrative of our source is strongly conditioned by the circumstances
surrounding Pippin's acquisition of the throne in 751, and deliberately omits anything
that seems to question his legitimacy or hints at the existence of opposition to him.
By the time the continuation covering the years from 753 to 768 was added,
such considerations no longer mattered, or not to the same degree, and so here the
death of Grifo in 753 is reported, even though there is no previous mention of him in
the work.251 On the other hand there may have been some continuing sensitivities.
Carloman's involvement in the attempt to dissuade his brother from supporting the
Papacy against the Lombard king Aistulf and his subsequent death in captivity in
Francia, both of which are recorded in the Annales Regni Francorum receive no
mention here.252
The perspective of the author of this final section of text is more localised than

249
Lousi HALPHEN, Charlemagne et l’empire carolingienne (Paris, 1947), pp.
18-21; Annales Regni Francorum s.a. 750, ed. KURZE, p. 10.
250
Matthias BECHER, 'Drogo und die Konigserhebung Pippins', Fruhmittelalterliche
Studien 23 (1989), pp. 131-153.
251
Fredegar Continuations 35; ed. KRUSCH P. 183.
252
Annales Regni Francorum s.a. 755; ed. KURZE p. 12.
176
that of his predecessor. No mention is made of Pippin III's Saxon campaigns, and
even in reporting his war against the Aquitainian duke Waiofar, which provides the
subject matter of most of his narrative a successful foray south of the Garonne and
towards Toulouse that is recorded in the Annales is here omitted.253 In general the
author is much more interested in and gives fairly detailed accounts of those episodes
of the war that take place in the northern and eastern regions of the duchy of
Aquitaine.
Another marked feature of this section, which contrasts with the character of
the reports in the equivalent entries in the Annales Regni Francorum, is the strongly
Frankish nature of the accounts of Pippin III's relations with the Papacy and with the
Lombard kingdom. Thus no mention is made at all of the anointing of Pippin and his
sons by pope Stephen II in 754, even though his visit to Francia that year is described,
and in 755 the Frankish king is described as restoring the pope to his see. 254 The
campaigns against the Lombards in 755 and 756, actually undertaken at papal request,
are presented here as much in terms of Frankish overlordship. Thus after his defeat by
Pippin in 755, king Aistulf swears he would never try to withdraw himself from the
authority of the Franks and in return is permitted to retain both his life and his
kingdom.255 His actions the following year, which were again directed against papal
interests, are here presented as a breaking of his pledge of loyalty. His ensuing second
defeat by the Frankish army results in a further promise of loyalty, taken on oath,

253
Annales Regni Francorum s.a. 758 and 767; ed. KURZE pp. 16 and 24.
254
Fredegar Continuations 36-37; ed. KRUSCH pp. 183-184. cf. Annales Regni
Francorum s.a. 753-754; ed. KURZE pp. 10 and 12.
255
Fredegar Continuations 37; ed. KRUSCH p. 184.
177
which is directed not just to king Pippin but also to the proceres or leading men of the
Franks. A promise is also made of annual tribute, and hostages are given.256
Following Aistulf's accidental death later in the year, our source uniquely
states that the Lombards then elected one of their number, Desiderius, to be his
successor cum consensu praedicto rege Pippino.257 As there are no other grounds for
believing that the consent of the Frankish king had become a constitutional or political
requirement in the selecting of a new Lombard ruler, this claim should be regarded
with some suspicion. It may, however, imply that the work itself was the product of
the period after 774, when Charlemagne had taken the Lombard kingdom for
himself.258 A claim that the Franks enjoyed a recognised overlordship and that their
ruler had to consent to the choice of a new Lombard king would help justify the
unprecedented way in which Charlemagne had had himself elected as Rex
Langobardorum.

Chapter Four: The Manuscripts

Part I: Complete or Almost Complete Codices

1) Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, codices Reginenses latini MS 213

256
Fredegar Continuations 38; ed. KRUSCH pp. 185.
257
Fredegar Continuations 39; ed. KRUSCH p. 186.
258
Annales Regni Francorum s.a. 774; ed. KURZE, pp. 38 and 40.
178
[Krusch’s MS 4a]

Format: There are 157 numbered folios plus 4 front and 2 rear guard folios, numbered
I to IV and I to II. The manuscript has been clipped, as can be seen from truncated
notes on f. 97v and the proximity of the outer edge of the folios to the written area; its
present dimensions are 206 x 150, with a written space of 165 x 115/20. 19 quires of
8 folios (4 +4), and a final quire of 6 (4+2). No signatures or quire numbers are
visible. It is written mainly on 20 long lines to the page, changing to 21 lines on f.
129, and to 25 lines on f. 145, corresponding with changes between quires. However,
folios 133r, 137r/v and 144r/v have 22 lines to the page. Each folio has double
bounding margins with the line of pricking in the outer margin. The vellum is of a
yellowish white colour, similar to that found in MS Vatican Reg. lat. 191, and is
generally quite thick, and perhaps in consequence the folios are individually ruled.

Script and hands: ff. 49-157: It is written in a neat Caroline minuscule of later ninth
century date with a generally fine pen. Folios 1-48v are written with a thicker pen in
what is now a brown ink. The script becomes much smaller in the final folios. There
are frequent colour changes in the ink, which varies from a very dark brown or even
black (up to f. 48v) to a light brown (ff. 129-53), with the folios of the last quire being
written again in a dark ink.
There is a possible change of hand between ff. 48v and 49r, and another one between
f.57 and f. 57v, which can be distinguished by the differences in the style of the letter
g. There were probably several different scribes working on this codex, but they are
not easy to distinguish. There is some underlining and also re-inking of words in the
179
final section, from f. 137 onwards; possibly as the result preparing the manuscript for
use in the making of an edition of the text. If so it was probably that of Andre
Duchesne, published in Paris in 1636, which is the first to rely on this manuscript.
See below p. 000.

Notes: There are various Probationes pennae on f. 157v: pater noster qui est in celis
sanctificetur nomen tuum in a hand contemporary with the MS; male agit in a later
hand; other notes on f. 157v include Sphefavus and hy(mn)orum modalis and
Remigius praesul meritis ortuque venustus francorum dominio gentem peperit luc.
letum. Corrections to the text have been added at various points (e.g. twice on f. 80v)
in a later Caroline hand. There are a few scholarly marginalia in a 17th/18th century
hand, signed A Marim.

Decoration: From f. 1 to f. 39 chapter numbers in the margins and the litterae


notabiliores with which the first word of the text of each chapter begins are written in
an orange-red pigment. From f. 39v onwards such letters are either drawn or filled in
ink or are just drawn in outline and left unfilled. There are also a small number of
larger initials that contain simple interlace designs within themselves, e.g. on f. 129.
The first of these serves as the opening letter of the heading to Book Three of
Fredegar. The opening word of each chapter of the Fredegar text is written in red, up
to f. 39. Thereafter the initial letter of each chapter is written in the ink used for the
text. The list of chapter numbers on ff. 105-8 is also written in red, but thereafter the
marginal chapter numbers that accompany the text are only in ink.

180
Ownership: There is a library mark of S. Remi, Reims on the initial guard folio,
numbered IV: LIB LIBR SCI REMIGII in a late medieval hand
f. 1r: on the bottom of the page: P. Petavius, indicating the mauscript came into the
possession of Paul Pétau (1568-1614). After the death of his son Alexander, it was
sold to Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-89), and on her death was purchased, along
with the rest of her collection by Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691) before being given
to the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in 1690.
Also on the top line of f. 1, following an erasure, there is a lightly erased S. Remi,
Reims, press mark: liv...vol. xx. vi. 7. vii (cf. that still visible in MS Vatican Reg. lat.
191)
f. 2: what looks like a late medieval library note has been erased
f. 157v: remigius psul meritis ortuq; venustus/Francoru domino te peperit lu le tu
ff. 9v and 93r: a monogram appears in the margins, employing the letters t,o,r, and l.
This same monogram is also to be found in MS Vatican Reg, lat. 191, a mid to late 9th
century manuscript that can be securely ascribed to S. Rémi by a contemporary
ownership inscription across the bottom margin of ff. 20v and 21r: LIBER SCI
REMIGII STUDIO FRATRIS ADALOLDI. For this MS see Wilmart, Cat. pp. 452-
58, and Adalbert Ebner, Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte und
Kunstgeschichte des Missale Romanum im Mittelalter. Iter Italicum (Freiburg in
Breisgau, 1896), p. 237. This latter lists amongst the contents of the MS a
suggestively entitled Libellum ad Fredegarium diaconum However, the heading to be
found on f. 62v of the MS actually reads LIBELLUM AD FRDG DIACONUM, and, as
the opening sentence of the text reveals, this is really a letter from Alcuin to
181
Fridugisus (ed. E. Dümmler, MGH Epp. vol. IV, no. 289).
The Reims library marks and the similarities with MS Vat. Reg. lat. 191 make an
origin for this MS in St. Rémi, Reims, almost certain.259259
Some confusion over the history of the manuscript resulted from a claim by Ruinart in
his edition of 1699 that he had seen the characteristic donor's inscription of the
Praepositus Manno on a now lost folio.260260 This would imply an origin in Lyon and
make the manuscript part of a group of codices given by Manno to the monastery of
Saint Oyan in the Jura in the late ninth century. This was shown to be an error by S.
Tafel in 1925.261261

Contents: f. 1r: IN DEI NOMINE/INCIPIT LIBEL/LVS QUINTI IV/LII


HILARIONIS
added below this at a later date: DE DANIELIS HEBDOMADIBVS
f. 13v line 11: (in red:) EXPLICIT LIBELLUS QUINTI IV/LII HILARIANI (in

259
Frederick M. Carey, ‘The Scriptorium of Reims during the
Archbishopric of Hincmar (845-882 A.D.)’, in Leslie Webber Jones (ed.), Classical
and Mediaeval Studies in Honor of Edward Kennard Rand (New York, 1938), pp 41-
60; on p. 57 he assigns this MS to the period 825-845, but without explanation.
260
Thierry RUINART (ed.), Sancti Gregorii Turonensis Opera Omnia (1699);
reprinted in J.P. MIGNE, Patrologia Latina LXXI, see column 112.
261
S. TAFEL, 'The Lyons Scriptorium', pt. II, in Palaeographia Latina, IV, ed.
W.M. LINDSAY (London, 1925), 40-70, at p. 50. The claim is, however, repeated in
WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. Liii.
182
black:) INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICI/(in red:)
HIERONIMI EXCARPSUM X
f. 15v line 7 (in red:) EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER
f. 17 line 3: HISTORIA DAREGITIS I FRIGII DE ORIGINE FRANCORUM (in red)
f. 19 line 3 (in red:) HISTORIA DARE/GETIS I FRIGII DE ORIGINE
FRANCORVM
[Dares ends on f. 25 line 16, when the text of Jerome’s version of Eusebius
resumes at the beginning of its chapter 4]
f. 75v line 7 (in red:) EXPLICIT LIBER/ INCIPIT PREFATI GRECA
f. 76 line 8 (in red:) EXPLICIT PREFATIO LIBER. INCIPIVNT/CAPITVLA LIBRI
QUOD EST EXCARSVM DE CHRONICA GRECVM EPISCOPIS
THORONACI
f. 78v line 8 (in ink:) EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA
f. 105 top line (in red:) INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONECI LIBRI III
f. 108 line 12 (in ink:) EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/ (in red:) INCIPIT PROLOGVS
f. 109 line 14 (in red:) INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICI
[The text ends on the bottom line of f. 148v.]
After f. 109, there are no further headings to be seen in the manuscript. Parts
of two other independent works have been identified in this final part of the
manuscript, but there are no headings, divisions or even distinctive capitals to indicate
they do not form part of the preceeding text. The effect is to produce a continuous
historical narrative up to the year 806.
f. 149 r/v : the Fragmentum Chesnianum
This is a short set of annals for the years 768-790 that are preserved uniquely in this
183
MS.262 No heading or other indication of a change of author or work is included. The
Fragmentum was first edited by André Duchesne (hence the title) in his Historiae
Francorum Scriptores Coaetanei, vol. II (Paris, 1636), pp. 21-23; see also MGH
Scriptores, vol. 1, ed. G.H. Pertz, pp. 30-34.

ff. 149-157v: the Annales Regni Francorum for the years 791 to 806.
This is MS B3 in F. Kurze’s edition in MGH SRG (Hanover, 1895), p. ix. The text
ends on f. 157v ...Karlus cum exercitum regressus in loco qui dicitur silli super
ripam

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 294-97; KRUSCH 1888; WILMART, Codices


Reginenses, vol. 1, pp. 502-504; TAFEL 1925, p. 50; CAREY 1938, p. 57; LESNE
1938, p. 116; E. PELLEGRIN, p. 279; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. li; COLLINS
1996, p. 125.

2) Troyes, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 802 [Krusch’s MS 4a*]

This is a composite volume, made from three originally quite independent MSS,

262
For this text and its relationships to various sets of annals, including those of
Lorsch, see Roger COLLINS ‘Charlemagne’s imperial coronation and the Annals of
Lorsch’, in Joanna STORY (ed.), Charlemagne: Empire and Society (2005), pp. 52-
70.
184
which consists of 241 folios. The three elements from which it has been formed (at
the very end of the 18th century) are as follows:
1) ff. 1r-103v: a 14th century MS of Abelard’s letters and his Constitutiones regulares
secundum canones; written in two columns of 31 lines throughout. There is a note
dated 1346 on f. 103v, also referring to Paris.
2) ff. 104r-155v: part of the Fredegar compilation; which will be described in more
detail below.
3) ff. 156r-241v: an almost complete collection of the extant writings of ‘Dionysius
the Areopagite‘, dating to the mid ninth century, and with an early ownership
inscription of the church of Saint Sulpicius in Bourges, to whom it had been given by
a certain Adebrannus; from the name he was likely to have been an Irishman. (ff.
162v/163r lower margin: HIC E LIB SCI SULPICII BITURIGENSIS ECLAE/QUEM
DEDIT ADEBRANNUS; this is repeated on ff. 194v/195r and ff. 212v/213r). Its
dimensions are 252 x 197mm, with a ruled space of 212 x 158mm; it was written by a
single hand in a dark brown ink in 30 to 32 long lines in the first 8 quires. In the next
three this is reduced to 27 long lines. The MS consists of 11 quires (one of 6 folios
and then ten of 8). A final quire, containing the text of two of Dionyisius’s letters, has
been lost.

The following details are concerned exclusively with the second component of
the present manuscript, the Fredegar section:

Format: The manuscript consists of 52 folios, and the stubs of two others that have
been cut out. These latter would have once formed the first folio of the first quire and
185
the last folio of the final quire. The folios measure 255 x 195mm, with a written
space of 200 x 140mm, made up of 25 long lines; the only exception being the list of
chapters in two columns on ff. 111r to 112v. The extant folios are divided as follows:
one quire of 9 (4 + 5), then five of 8 (4 + 4), and a final one of 3 (2 + 1). Quire
numbers in the centre of the lower margin of the pages on which they appear are as
follows: f. 112v I; f. 113r II; f. 121r III; f. 129r IIII; f. 137r V; f. 145r VI; 153r VII.
The apparent uncertainty that this seems to imply about the status of the second quire
is due entirely to a change in system. The first quire was numbered on the verso of
the final folio, but thereafter numbers were placed on the recto of the first folio; hence
the immediate sequence of numbers of ff. 112v and 113r. Each folio is pricked on the
outer margins only, but with each page having double margins.

Script and hands: Earlier commentators, including Krusch assigned the MS to Lorsch,
on the basis of its contents, which exactly parallel those of a codex described in an
early Lorsch book list.263 However Bernhard Bischoff has assigned it to Fulda on
palaeographical grounds, and it therefore seems most likely that this is a copy of the
otherwise lost MS described in the Lorsch library catalogue. The script is a Caroline
minuscule that has been dated by Professor Bischoff to the second half of the ninth
century (or previously ‘ninth/tenth centuries‘), after the Fulda scriptorium had given
up Insular minuscule in favour of Caroline. There are numerous abbreviations;
amongst the most notable being df for defuncto, qsi for quasi, st for sunt, mm for

263
Bernhard BISCHOFF, Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften
(1974),p. 67; 2nd edition (1989), pp. 75-76.
186
meum, tc for tunc, hs for huius.
Although an argument could be made for the presence of four different scribal hands,
it seems more likely that the MS was actually the work of only a single scribe, though
with a notable change in letter size occurring in the middle of line 21 of f. 136v.

Decoration: on the otherwise blank f. 155v there is an ink drawing of a togate male
figure, standing facing to his right with his left foot on a rock. In his left hand he is
holding an open book, on which is written et indicet, and there is a pen in his right.
The whole figure is surrounded by a roughly bell-shaped line, from the right edge of
which emerges a clothed arm holding a pen. From f. 137 to f. 142 opening initials of
each chapter are filled in with an orange pigment. Chapter numbers in the right
margin are in red ink (but only up to f. 135v)..

Notes: There is a scribal monogram on f. 111. Some corrections in a 16th/17th


century hand, together with various under linings in ff. 111v to 155, suggest this MS
was used in the preparing of an edition of Jerome’s version of Eusebius’s chronicle.
There is a scholarly note, possibly by Pithou, on f. 111r.

Damage: There is some staining in the centre of the outer edge of the MS. A small
piece has been cut out of the bottom of f. 156, but has been repaired.

Ownership: The library mark Pithou II. 12 indicates that this manuscript once
belonged to the lawyer and antiquarian Pierre Pithou (1539-96). All three components
of the present MS Troyes B.M. 802 came into the possession of the Oratorian College
187
in Troyes by the 18th century, as can be seen by the separate library inscriptions: Ex
Libris Oratorii Collegii Trecensis, and they were moved from there to the
Bibliothèque Municipale following the French Revolution and the secularisation of
ecclesiastical property.

Contents: f. 104: INCIP LIBELLVS QVINTI IVLII HILARIONIS (in red)


[no further headings]

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 297-300; KRUSCH 1888 pp. 11-12; WALLACE-
HADRILL 1960 p. Li; COLLINS 1996 p. 126.

3) Milan, Basilica di San Ambrogio, Archivio Capitolare, M 13 [Krusch’s MS

4b1]

Format: This consists of 166 folios of 237 x 167 mm: a guard folio numbered as f. 1,
followed by 165 folios numbered from 2 to 164, but including two duplications: f.
104bis and f. 147bis. The written space is 170 x 110 mm. There are 27 long lines
throughout, except on the guard folio, which is in two column format; 25 lines of text
are here visible in each column, but in original state the folio would have been larger.
Quires 1 to 19 consist of 8 folios (4+4), quire 20 is of 3 (2+1), quire 21 (numbered as
q XX in the MS) has 8 (4+4), and quire 22 is a single bifolium. Several folios have
therefore been lost from quires 20 and 22, while the present quire 21 should be
188
relocated to precede quire 20.Quire numbers are located on the bottom left hand edge
of the verso of the final folio of each gathering. These are visible from q I on f. 9v up
to q XVIII on f. 144v. ‘q’ but no number (it should be XVIIII) may be made out on f.
151v. q XX is on f. 162v. The two damaged quires 20 and 21, that consist of ff. 152-
154 (20) and ff. 163-164 (22), have no visible numbers. There is a uniform system of
ruling throughout, with single lines forming the margins of the written space

Script: The manuscript is written, probably by a single hand, in a Caroline minuscule


that has been assigned by Bernhard Bischoff to the third quarter of the ninth century
and to the region of ‘Oberitalian‘.264 An origin in northern Italy has also been argued
on the basis of the decoration found on f. 2v, and may be thought probable. On f.
149v: three lines are written in a different, probably later Caroline minuscule, using
larger letters. By way of punctuation, high . is used for the long pause, and medial .
for the short pause.

Decoration: f. 2v: an arcade decorated with interlace surrounds the heading of the De
Cursu Temporum of Q. Iulius Hilarion:
IN NOMIN DN INCIPIT/LIB QV/IVLII HILA/RION
The style of decoration here has been identified with that found in some other
northern Italian or Milanese manuscripts of the period: see Ferrari, p. 253.
f. 142r: surviving marks above the section that has been cut out (see ‘damage’ above)

264
For the significance of this description see Donald BULLOUGH, 'Review
article: a scholar's work is never done', Early Medieval Europe vol. 12 (2004), pp.
399-407, at p. 404.
189
suggest there may have been a diagram on the missing half folio. Folios 143r to 144v
contain four sketches, all in roundels, consisting of: a) the Months with their zodiacal
signs, b) the Winds, c) a map of the world, and d) a depiction of the planets circling
the earth, marked with the length in days of their respective cycles. On the diagram in
f. 143r, representing months of the year and related zodiacal figures, there are
inscriptions that in most cases explain the theological significance of the relationships
between the two. For example, August is the zodiacal month of Virgo, because in it
the Virgin Mary conceived the Son; in the month of March under the constellation of
Aries, Abraham sacrificed a ram in place of Isaac etc. In some cases, e.g.
May/Gemini, there is no text provided. On f. 154v there is a diagram of circles
intended to illustrate the arguments about Paschal dating.
Large red capitals are used for the first letter of the opening word of each chapter in
the Fredegar section; the chapter numbers were added subsequently in the margins.

Damage: Mould has affected most parts of the codex, particularly the final quires,
rendering several folios virtually illegible.
The manuscript has been clipped around the edges, as is obvious from the damage
inflicted on various marginal notes on folios 155v, 156, and 157v. It is badly stained
throughout, especially in its opening and concluding sections. Many of the final
folios, in particular ff. 159-164, are virtually illegible, as are ff. 93 and 94. On f.
142r/v: the lower half of the folio has been cut out, from just below line 14.

Notes: f. 9v: several examples of the letter ‘d’ are doodled in the top margin, probably
by the original scribe. On ff. 2r, 155v, 156, 157v: marginal glosses in what Professor
190
Mirella Ferrari suggests may be a tenth century Lombard hand.265

Ownership: There are no indications relating to this.

Contents: There is an 18th century list of contents on an initial paper guard folio:
1. Libellus Quinti Iulii Hilarionis
2. Chronica excerpta ex Idacio, Gregorio Turonensi etc.
3. Ratio Paschalis Beati Theophili Alexandrini Episcopi

f. 1r: very faint, but in one column it is possible to make out part of a list of episcopal
signatories to an ecclesiastical council. These include:
Diogenes eps. cyzici scripsi
s(t)ephanus hierapsi eos suscrips
..itus Laodiciae suscripsi
The name of Diogenes bishop of Cyzicus (449-51) would indicate that the
council in question was that of Chalcedon of 451266
f.2v: IN NOMIN DN INCIPIT/LIB QV/IVLII HILA/RION
f. 12r: EXPLICIT LIBELLUS QUIN/TI IVLII HILARIONIS INCIPIT CAPITULA/
CHR ONICE (HIER added later) ONIMI EXCARSUM

265
Mirella Ferrari, ‘Manoscriti e cultura‘, in Atti del 10 Congresso internazionale
di studi sull’alto medioevo, Milano 26-30 sett. 1983 (Spoleto, 1986), pp. 241-75, at
pp. 252-254
266
William SMITH and Henry WACE (eds.), Dictionary of Christian
Biography vol. 1 (London, 1877), p. 840: Diogenes (6).
191
f. 13v: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA INCIPIT REG/NVM ASSIRIORVM
f. 21r: IT DE SUPERIORE CHRONICA
in illo tempore priamus helenam rapuit...
f. 58r: EXPLICIT LIBER/INCIPIT PRAEFATIO GREGA
decedanteo atq; immo potius...libera ponetur initium primi
f. 58v: EXPLICIT PREFATIO DO GRATIAS AMEN/INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA LIBRI
QVOD EST/EXCARSU DE CHRONICA GRECVM/EPISCOPVS THORONACIS
i de chunis et agecium...xciii de chilperico quod
f. 61v: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER
cumq; uuandali praeterissent a galleis...crudelissimam vitam digna morte
f. 82v: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRO/NICE LIBRI TERTII
i De bonitate Gunthramni et ecclesia sci marcelli
[there follows a list of 89 chapters, concluding with:
De uuillibadi interitum et flaocati obitum]
f. 84v: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT PROLOCVS
f. 132r: line 18 is left blank; this follows the inauguration of Pippin III in Fredegar
book IV chapter 33.
f. 142r: the text ends on line 14 with:
...et consecratione sacerdotum sublimatis in regno
below this the remainder of the folio has been excised
f. 142v: the top half is blank, and the bottom missing
f. 143 r/v: diagrams [see the account of the decoration above]
f. 144r/v: diagrams
f. 145r: (no heading) de temporum ratione dno adiuvante...
192
[ = Bede’s De Tempore Ratione chapter one]
f. 147r line 6: ....quae dominus adiuvare dignabitur exponenda veniamur
line 7: INCIPIT RATIO PASCHALIS BEATI THEOPHILI ALEXAN/DRINI
EPI DATIS EPISTOLIS AD THEODOSIUM IMPERA/TOREM IN QVO
ADNVNTIANS
venerabilis enim niceni concilii pontifices...
[ = Latin translation of the Ratio Paschalis of Theophilus of Alexandria]
f. 150r to f. 151v and on f. 154v: various tables
f. 155r to f. 164v: virtually illegible due to staining and spotting

References: KRUSCH 1882, pp. 300-301; KRUSCH 1888, p. 12; WALLACE-


HADRILL, p. li; Mirella FERRARI, ‘Manoscriti e cultura‘, in Atti del 10 Congresso
internazionale di studi sull’alto medioevo, Milano 26-30 sett. 1983 (Spoleto, 1986),
pp. 241-75, at pp. 252-4; COLLINS 1996, p. 126; BISCHOFF 2004, no. 2663, pp.
166-167.

4) London, British Library MS Harley 3771 [Krusch’s MS 4b2]

Format: This comprises 145 folios of 262 x 175mm, with a ruled area of 190 x
120mm, written in 24 long lines in a dark brown ink on a fine creamy vellum.
There are eighteen quires: one of 7 (3 + 4), nine of 8 (4 + 4), one of 7 (4 + 3), six of 8,
193
and a final one of three (2 + 1), with numbers located in the centre of the lower
margin of the verso of the last folio of each gathering.

Script: Written in a Caroline minuscule written by a single hand, described by


Bernhard Bischoff as ‘enge etwas schrage Min. m. leichter Schaftbrechung’. 267 He
assigns it to ‘Ostfrankreich (?), IX/X Jh, oder frühes X Jh.’268 As punctuation, ? is
used for the long pause and a medial . for the short pause.

Decoration: there is a small drawing of a male face - just eyes, nose, and moustache
- in the left margin opposite line 5 of f. 1r. Red is used throughout for headings and
chapter numbers.

Damage: A whole folio has been cut out between the present (modern foliation) ff. 93
and 94. This would have contained all of chapter 26 and parts of chapters 25 and 27
of what in all modern editions is called Book Four, but what actually constituted Book
Three in this class of MSS. The bottom halves of both ff. 1 and 145 have been cut
out, and replaced more recently by pieces of blank vellum. An inscription in the top
margin of f.2r has been destroyed, probably by the use of reagents, in the late
nineteenth century.

267
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 2478, p. 121
268
ibid.; WALLACE-HADRILL, (1960), p. li, refers to a letter from
Bischof giving his view that the manuscript was written ‘in western Germany, perhaps
at Cologne’, and in the mid-ninth century.
194
Notes and corrections: some 11th century probationes pennae (eg scribandi recte
sapere est) are visible on f. 1r, though they are mostly overwritten by an 18th century
title, as also is a 16th century note on Quintus Iulius Hilarion. The accession date of
the MS into the Harley collection is also here recorded: 20 dies mense januarii AD
1721/22. Next to the heading on f. 85v line 4, a 16th century hand adds al’ quintii
On f. 117v there is in half uncial in the left margin: in maxima fortuna minima licentia
est
On f. 19v there are notes on the Franci in a later 16th or 17th century hand that
reappears on f. 20v, where it wrote Corrupta Hystoria Daretis Phrygii in the margin
next to the start of the Dares section, and also Mendacium next to the statement that
the Franks derived their name from that of their king Francio. The same hand added
the names of Roman emperors in the margins throughout Book Two.
There are corrections made in black ink and with the use of erasure to the spelling
throughout, imposing Carolingian norms on the Merovingian usages probably derived
from the exemplar used by the scribe. Another, and possibly much later, corrector
used a light coloured ink employed oblique strokes to separate words that the original
scribe had run together eg f. 143r line 7: in/bitoricas (also bitoricas>bitoricis); this
practice can only be found from f. 135r onwards, with the section of text relating to
the years 752 to 768.

Ownership: On f. 2 there is a library mark, once visible but now illegible, probably
due to the use of reagents in the attempt to decipher it. It reads: Liber Sancti
Panthaleonis in Colonia.269 The manuscript was acquired in 1721 from the London

269
Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum, pt. II (London,
195
bookseller Nathaniel Noel for the library of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (d. 1725),
and thence passed to the British Library in 1754 or 1755. 270 Where Noel (died c.
1753) acquired it is not recorded.
Contents: f. 1v: IN NOMINE DNI IN/CIP LIB QVIN/TI. IVLII HILARO/NIS
(in very dark ink)
INCIPIT LIBELLVS/...iulii Hilarionis
(in an earlier hand and a much lighter ink)
quantocumque tempore in divinis.....in vita aeterna. Amen.
f. 11r line 11: EXPLICIT LIBELLVS QVINTI IVLII HILARIONIS/INCIPIT CAPITVLA
CHRONICE HIERONIMI/EXCARSVM
i de regno assiriorum...
[there follows a list of 62 chapters, ending on line 15 of f. 12v]
f. 12v line 16: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT REGNVM ASSIRIORVM
primus rex ninus regnavit ann L....
f. 20v line 4: ITEM DE SUPERIORE CHRONICA
[This introduces the text of the Fredegar version of Dares Phrygius; no indication is
given of its ending]
iiii in illo tempr priamus helenam rapuit...
f. 60r line 11: EXPLICIT LIBER/INCIPIT PRAEFATIO GREGA/
decedante (>decedente) atq. immo potius per eunti ab urbib;...
f. 60v line 13: EXPLICIT PREFATIO. DO GRATIAS. AMEN/INCIPIVNT. CAPITVLA.

1884), p. 85.
270
The Diary of Humfrey Wanley, ed. C.E. WRIGHT and Ruth WRIGHT 2 vols.
(London, 1966), vol. 1, p. 138 and note 3. For Nathanial Noel see vol. 2, p. 457.
196
LIBRI. QVOD. EST. EX/CARSU. DE CHRONICA. GRECU. EPS. THORONACIS/
i de chunis et agecium patricium...
[there follows a list of 93 chapters]
f. 62v line 23: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIBER
f. 63r line 1: cumque uuandali praeterissent a galleis (>galliis)...
f. 85v line 3: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICE/LIBER TERTII
i de bonitate gunthrani et eccla sci marcelli...
f. 87v line 5: EXPLICIT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT PROLOCVS:/
cum aliquidum iuso verbi pprietatem non habeo...
f. 88r line 22: ...vita finisset scripsit. EXPLICIT PROLOGUS
line 23 is blank
line 24: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICE
f. 89v line 1: Gunthramnus rex francorum. cum iam anno xxiii...
f. 125r line 1: blank line folowed by Igitur chlodeos (>chlodevos) filius dagoberti ex
genere alienigenaru...
f. 130r line 23: opitulante xpo rege regnu et dns dominoru. AMEN/Curricula annoru
actenus reperiuntur. ab adam ...
f. 134r line 1: Inde reversi praecelsi germani sequente anno pvocato...
f. 135r line 3 is blank, and is followed by His transactis. sequente anno iterum
saxones...
f. 145r. the text ends on line 9
f. 145v: there are five erased lines followed by seven lines of an unidentified text, not
all of which is legible.

197
References: MONTFAUCON, Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova vol.
I (1793), nos. 1632 and 1632a, p. 15; KRUSCH 1882 pp. 301-2; KRUSCH 1888 p.
12; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, pp. li-lii; PELLEGRIN 1973, p. 279; COLLINS
1996, pp. 126-127; BISCHOFF 2004, no. 2478, p. 121.

5) Munich, MS Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm 4352 [Krusch’s MS 4b2*]

Format: This is manuscript made of paper, with 273 folios of 295 x 210mm, with a
ruled space of 215 x 160mm, written by a single scribe in 24 or 25 long lines; other
than for ff. 1-12 in which there are 35 and 31 lines. The MS is bound in wood with a
dark red stamped vellum cover of 16th century date, decorated with interlace and vine
scroll.

Contents:
A. ff. 1-139v: (Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta Francorum - untitled)
f. 1r: Incipit Liber qui intitulatur Hilarion
f. 5r: Incipit capitula chronice heronimi excarsum
[list of 62 chapters]
f. 5v: Incipit Regnum Assiriorum capitulum primum
f. 46r: end of Book One, followed by Gregory of Tours' s prologue
f. 46v: list of chapters of Book Two
f. 48V: text of Book Two begins
198
f. 70v: list of chs. of Book Three
f. 72v line one: text ofBook Three begins
f. 139v: Book Three ends
ff. 140 and 141 are blank

Other items of the contents:


B. ff. 142r to 215r: Herimanni Augiensis Chronicon (contractus) - the Chronicle
of Hermann ‘the Lame’ (see MGH SS vol. XV, p. 74ff). This was copied by two
scribes (with a change of hands between ff. 186v and 187r) from the 11th century MS
Karlsruhe Aug. CLXXV ff. 1-45v.
C. ff. 216r to 237r: Historia Welforum Weingartensis (see MGH SS vol. XXI, p.
456) and the Weingarten Annals (see MGH SS vol. XVII, pp. 308-10); both copied by
four different scribes from MS Karlsruhe Aug. CLXXV, ff. 46r-60r and 73r-75r.
D. ff. 237r to 242r: De Romanis Imperatoribus (see MGH SS vol. XXI, pp. 475-
78.
E. ff. 242v: Imperatoris Sigismundi epitaphium, from MS Karlsruhe Aug
CLXXV f. 75v.
F. ff. 243-258v: the annals of Hermannus Altahensis - see MGH SS vol. XVII,
pp. 382-408, and 592-605.
G. ff. 259r to 273v: the annals of Eberhard, archdeacon of Regensburg - see
MGH SS vol. XVII, p. 592.

Script and hands: The script has been dated to the late 15th or early 16th centuries,
and to an origin in Reichenau (on non-paleographic grounds) .Several different hands
199
may be detected in the manuscript, at least three of which can be seen in the section
containing the Fredegar compilation. One scribe wrote ff. 1 to 17r, another wrote just
the whole of f. 86r/v, and the remainder of this part of the MS may have been the
work of another scribe, using a particularly thick pen and writing in a very solid hand.
Several other different scribes can be detected in the second section.

Damage: The interaction of paper and ink has resulted in all of the written space of
the folios in the Fredegar section turning a dark brown.

Ownership: There is a 17th century printed bookplate of the monastery of SS. Ulric
and Afra in Augsburg glued to the inside of the front cover; also on f. 1r is written
monasterii S. Udalrici Augustae. Library numbers are also given: E 36 on f. 1r and
there are two more on the inside of the front cover: B 4 and 3 h l. As some of the
items of the contents (C and E) are copied directly from Reichenau manuscripts, it is
likely that was where this was itself written. But if so, it passed quickly to the
monastery of Sts. Ulric and Afra in Augsburg; for which indeed it may have been
written.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 302-4; KRUSCH 1888 p. 12; C. HALM, Catalogus
Codicum Latinorum Bibliothecae Regiae Monacensis vol. I, pt. II (Munich, 1894), p.
177; A. HOLDER, Die Reichenauer Handschriften vol. I: Die
Pergamenthandschriften (Leipzig, 1906), pp. 408-9; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p.
Lii; Rolf SCHMIDT, Reichenau und St. Gallen. Ihre literarische Überlieferung zur
Zeit des Klosterhumanismus in St. Ulrich und Afra zu Augsburg um 1500
200
(Sigmaringen, 1985), pp. 148-151; COLLINS 1996 p.127.

6) Montpellier, Université, Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Médecine, MS 158


[Krusch’s MS 4c1]

Format: This consists of 135 folios and an unnumbered guard sheet, which serves as a
title page, on the verso of which is a brief list of contents. Although the modern
foliation runs from 1 to 135, there is no folio 59, but this is compensated for by the
presence of a f. 34bis. The dimensions of each folio are 252 x 168mm, with a ruled
space of 210 x 110/15mm, written in 26 long lines. There are seventeen quires: one of
6ff (3 + 3); eleven of 8ff (4 + 4); one of 6ff; two of 8ff; one of 6; one of 5 (3 + 2).
There are no quire numbers visible.

Script: Written by probably more than one scribe in a Caroline minuscule ascribed to
‘Frankreich (Burgund?)’, and dated to the second quarter of the ninth century. 271 This
contradicts an earlier opinion, dating it to the tenth century. 272 By way of punctuation,
medial . is used for the long pause and high . for the short pause. The French royal
genealogy on f. 1r has been written in a late Caroline minuscule. In its original form
this work extends from Priam, here said to be the father of Meroveus, up to Philip I
(1060-1108), under whom it was most likely written. Lines 19 to 26 contain a

271
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 2840, p. 203.
272
WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. Lii.
201
continuation of this genealogy up to the time of Louis VIII (1223-1226), written in a
protogothic hand appropriate to that period.

Damage: that the MS was clipped may be seen from the truncation of the decorative
design in the left margin of f. 57v.

Notes: f. 1r/v contain two notes written in the 18th century. The recto reads Codex
MS Bibliothecae Buchrianae D 51 MDCCXXI and the verso Series Regum
Francorum, Hilarion, Hieronymus, Dares, Fredegarii Scholastici Chronicon.
f.20r: There is a scholarly note in three lines in a later 16th century hand.
f. 25r: IUSTUS UT PALMA with neums written over in a crude script of late Caroline
date.
f. 31v: there are 6 lines of notes in a gothic hand in the lower margin.

Decoration: On f. 1v, which is the title page for the work of Quintus Iulius Hilarion,
the I of the initial In Dei.. extends the full length of the page. 273 It is filled with a
complex and well executed interlace of Celtic style. From the top of the letter there
emerges the facing bust of man; possibly a monk, as his head is tonsured, but without
a halo. The bust is flanked by griphons, holding in their beaks the beginning of some
form of arcading that may originally have been joined over the top of the man’s head,
but this has been lost due to clipping of the MS. Other large, interlace filled initials
can be seen on ff. 11v, 13r, 60r, 81v, and 84r. These have no anthropomorphic figures

273
Illustrated in V.C. NICQ, G.CAMES and G. VELAY, Les manuscripts de
l’Ecole de Médécine de Montpellier (Montpellier, 1994), p. 12.
202
attached to them, though the G on f. 84r incorporates a beaked bird-like head. There
is an interlace drawing that does not form part of the text in the margin of f. 57v, and
there are also two smaller and much less elaborate decorative capitals without
interlace on ff. 58r and 117v.
On f. 117v: a blank line is decorated with seven rows of dots with three to a line.

Ownership: f1r: The library mark Codex MS Bibliothecae Buchrianae D 51


MDCCXXI in an 18th century hand.

Contents: f. 1v: IN DI NO/MINE/INCIPIT/LIBELLVS/QVINTI/IVLII.


HI/LARIONIS
Quanto cumque/tempore in/divinis legi/bus.....impii in combustione aetna/iusti
aut cum do in vita aeterna. Amen
f. 11v: EXPLICIT LIBELLVS QVINTI IVLI/HILARIONIS/INCIPIVNT CAP CRONICA
HIERONIMI/ (excapps added in half uncial in the line above)
i de regnum assiriorum.... there follows a list of 62 chapters
f.13r: EXPLICIUNT CAPITULA/INCIPIT LIBER REGNU/ASSYRIORUM/PRIMUS
REX NINUS/regnavit annis LI....
f. 20r : text ends omne familia sua veniens albanoru fines et habita/ver ibi
[There follows a three line note in a 16th century hand, and then the
rest of this page is blank.]
f. 20v: Famosissimus gnarus namque nec n et sevissimus bellige/rator...
f. 14r: III HISTORIA DARETIS FRIGII. DE ORIGINE FRANCORUM/
eodem itaque tempore apud grecoru regna...
203
f. 41r: Ydacius servus dni nri ihu xpi universis fidelib; in dno nro...
f. 57v: v itamq; ammisit. EXPL LIB I/ INCIPIT PRAEF GRECA/
recedente. atq: immo potius pereunte ab urbibus gal/licanis...
f. 58r: EXPL PF/INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA/LIBIR QVOD E EXCARPS/ DE CRONICIS
GREGV EPIS/TORONACIS
i de chunis et agecium patritium...
[there follows a list of 93 chapters]
f. 60r: EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT LIB/CUMQUE/UUANDALI
PRAE/TERISSENT A GALLEIS
f. 81r: ...vitam digna morte finivit. AM DO EXPL/LIBER II/INCIPIUNT
CAPITVLA/CRONICE LIBRI .III.
[there follows a list of 89 chapters on f. 81v]
f. 82r: EXPLICIVNT CAPITVLA/INCIPIT PRLG/Cum adliquidum iusso verbi
proprie...
f. 84r: ...cum chilperici vita finisset scripsi. EXPL PRLG./INCIPIT
LIBER/CHRONICAE. GUNTHRAMN/rex francorum. cum nam anno xxiii...
f. 135v:the text ends on line 26: atrio sci dionisii martyris. ut ipse voluit cu
The missing final sentences have been added below in seven lines in a late 16th or
17th century hand, though the bottom line is so badly clipped as to be virtually
unreadable.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 304-6; KRUSCH 1888 p. 12; J. MALO-RENAULT,


‘La lettre ornée au moyen age d’apres les manuscripts de Montpellier’, La revue de
l’art ancien et moderne, vol. 65 (1934), pp. 97-110, at p. 101 and notes 6 and 8; G. L.
204
MICHELI, L’enlumiure du haut moyen age et les influences irlandaises (Brussels,
1939), p. 89 and note 4; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. lii; U.C. NICQ, G. CAMES
and G. VELAY, Les manuscrits de l’Ecole de Médécine de Montpellier (Montpellier,
1994), p. 12. COLLINS 1996, p. 127; BISCHOFF 2004, no. 2840, p. 203.

7) Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS lat. 4883A [Krusch’s MS 4c2]

Format: This consists of 128 folios of 330 x 250 mm in a modern binding, with
variable numbers of lines and differing sizes of ruled space. Folios 1 to 48 have a
written area of 255 x 200 mm, in two columns of 39 or 40 lines per page. Folios 49 to
72 have the same internal dimensions and are also divided into two columns (except
for ff. 67v to 72v, which are in three columns other than for f. 71r, which has a single
column), but of 36 lines. Folios 73 to 128 have a written space of 240 x 205mm and
have 27 or occasionally 28 lines to the page, again in two columns. These differences
and other codicological considerations may rightly give rise to the suspicion that this
codex is actually a composite one, made up of at least two originally quite
independent MSS, with the division coming between ff. 72v and 73r. (See below for
how scribes and content also support such a view). The second component, now
forming ff. 73 to 128, is the one containing Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta
Francorum. This section consists of seven regular quires of eight folios each.

Script and hands: The work of several scribes can be detected, all writing in later
205
Caroline minuscule. An eleventh century date has been suggested on the grounds of
an item of its contents that can be dated to the years 1024 to 1032. 274 However, this
would only relate to the first of the two constituent manuscripts and is not a
paleographic judgement. It is worth noting, though, that none of the hands that may
be seen in ff. 1 to 72 appear in ff. 73 to 128, supporting the view that the present
codex is a composite one made from two originally quite separate MSS.

Damage: From the abrupt start to the Fredegarian section (ff. 73 to 128), in the
middle of the second book, it may be assumed that originally there were one or more
quires attached to the front of this part of the present MS. That they were detached at
a fairly early stage may be deduced from the very stained condition of the edge of f.
73r, as if it formed the outer page of the MS for some time. The comment of the
scribe on f. 128v - non reperrio plus. sufficiat igitur hc - indicates that it was
originally copied from a defective exemplar.

Decoration: No colours are used at all in ff. 1 to 72v. In ff. 73r to 128v, there are
some red initials, and on various occasions a green wash has been painted over some
of the capitals, which are first written in ink.

Contents:
A. Folios 1 to 72v:

274
WALLACE-HADRILL, Fourth Book (1960), p. Lii, following KRUSCH,
‘Die Chronicae’ (1882), pp. 307.
206
1. ff. 1r to 27r: Liber Chronicorum Isidori Spalensis
[actually this is an abbreviation of Bede’s Chronica Maiora, to which has been
added a brief regnal list of the Carolingians, from Pippin II to Charles the Bald. This
is dated by computations of the time from the creation of the world and then in AD
dating firstly up to 809, and then on to the year 877, which is also described as
Regnante gloriosissimo rege Karolo anno xxxvii imperii vero secundo.]

2. ff. 6v col. 2 to f. 26v: a Hebrew-Greek-Latin glossary, and other glosses.

3. ff. 27v to 29r: Versus S. Augustini de anima

4. ff. 29r to 32v: Sinonima Ciceronis

5. ff. 33r to 38r: Excerpta ex Synodalibus Gestis Sci Silvestri Papae

6. ff. 38r to 39v: De Vita Activa Prosperi

6. ff. 39v to 50r: various letters of Jerome

7. ff. 50r to 66r: Brevis Adnotatio Hieronimi in Genesi

8. ff. 66r to 67r: Fulgentii epi ad Calcidium Grammaticum (Epistola)


[This is the Expositio Sermonum Antiquorum of Fulgentius 'the Mythographer'275;

275
See Rudolf HELM (ed.), Fabii Planciadis Fulgentii Opera (Stuttgart, 1970),
207
7. f. 67r: a bull of Pope John XIX (1024-1032) concerning the foundation of the
monastery of Arnac, datable to c. 1028-1033.276

8. ff. 67r col. 2 to f. 72v: the Satyrae of Juvenal

B. Folios 73r to 128v:

1. ff. 73r to 128v: part of the Fredegar compilation in the use made of it in
Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta Francorum; whose headings and divisions are as
follows:
f. 73v: the text begins abruptly and without a heading in ch. 18 of the Eusebius-
Jerome chronicle:
memoravimus sub Afronem (>arifronem) regem/assiriorum regnum
destructum/...
f. 93v: EXPLICIT LIB .II. / INCIPIT PREFATIO GRECA
f. 94v: INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA LIBRI QD EST EXCARPS DE CHRONICIS GRECV

pp. 109-26.
276
P. JAFFE, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum 2 vols. 1885; reprinted 1956, no
4107, vol. 1, p. 519. KRUSCH, ‘Die Chronicae’ 1882, p. 306 thought the script of
this section was an attempt at copying a Merovingian hand. In fact it is an imitation
of the cursive used by the papal chancery. The scribe was trying to make an accurate
a copy of the original document as he could. For this script see Paul
RABIKAUSKAS, Die Romische Kuriale in der papstlichen Kanzlei (Rome, 1958).
208
EPS TORONACIS
f. 102v: EXPLICIT LIBER SECVNDVS./INCIPIVNT CAPITVLA CHRONICAE
LIBRI TERTII
f. 104r: INCIPIT LIBER CHRONICAE
f. 128r/v: various lines have been left blank, and on f. 128v there is a note by the
scribe: non reperrio plus. sufficiat igitur hc

Ownership: The presence of the papal bull makes an origin in the monastery of
Arnac likely but not certain277. There are two library marks on f. 1r: Cod. Colb 1248
and Regius 3807, indicating the manuscript belonged to the library of Colbert , before
passing into the Royal Library; and thence to the Bibliotheque Nationale.

References: Krusch 1882, pp. 306-9; KRUSCH 1888 p 12; Wallace-Hadrill 1960, p.
lii; COLLINS 1996, pp. 127-128.

Part II: Fragments

1) Dillingen, Studienbibliothek MS XV Fragm. 1

277
KRUSCH, ‘Die Chronicae’ (1888), p. 12. For Arnac see Gallia
Christiana vol. II (2nd edition, Paris, 1720), p. 514.
209
Format: This consists of part of a single folio, cut down for use in a binding. 18 long
lines are preserved on the recto and 17 on the verso. Slight traces of another line of
text may be made out in the upper edge of both sides. From the small amount of text
missing between the bottom line of the recto and the first legible line of the verso, it
can be calculated that there were probably no more than 19 or 20 lines to the page,
and that the dimensions of the folio were in the order of c.160 x 135mm, with a
written space of c. 145 x 103mm.

Script: The script is a good Caroline minuscule, showing marked Rhaetian influence.
It has been dated by Bernhard Bischoff to the first quarter of the ninth century, and
located in the area in which Rhaetian script was used, perhaps eastern Switzerland. 278
There are numerous abbreviations, and it is possible that some of these point to the
influence of St. Gallen on the script.279

Contents: The text consists of parts of chapters 25 to 27 of Book Four (ed. Krusch p.
131), but its relationship to that of other MSS of classes Three and Four is not direct.
Despite the small size of the sample, this folio contains several unique readings, and it
may be the only surviving representative of a distinct subgroup of either class.

Reference: BISCHOFF 1998, no. 1009, p. 218.

278
Bernhard BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1 (1998), no. 1009, p. 218.
279
See below p. 000
210
2) Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm 29445/1

Four bifolia of a Fredegar manuscript were rediscovered in the late ninteenth century
by H. Schnorr von Carolsfeld in the Munich Universitätsbibliothek; though it is not
known precisely where he found them. A fifth related bifolium also emerged from the
city’s Staatsbibliothek. Unfortunately, the university’s four bifolia were destroyed in
bombing on 16th July 1944, leaving the one in the Staatsbibliothek as the sole
survivor of the manuscript.

Format: The folios measure 132 x 184 mm, and were written in between 22 and 23
long lines. Analysis of the contents (see below) indicates that the five bifolia came
from four separate quires.

Script: This is a Caroline minuscule that has been dated to the second half of the ninth
century. Palaeographic analysis suggests the manuscript originated in southern
Germany.

Contents: The text of the four bifolia that were in the Universitätsbibliothek
(henceforth UB) are all to be found between chapters 22 and 58 of Book Two, and are
said to be as follows:
1. ...tremum. Tarquinii (Fredegar, ed. Krusch, p. 51 line13) to cum tormentis
coge in chapter 27 (p. 52 line 14), and from patri suo (p. 54 line 9) to et gallos capit
(p. 55 line 6).
211
2. ab augusto (p. 56 line 29) to nunquam remisit (p. 57 line 23), and from de
parthis (p. 62 line 27) to regnat antoninus (p. 63 line 21).
3. ...litur constantinus (p. 66 line 13) to facti rome (p. 67 line 9), and from a
secundo anno (p. 69 line 10) to ingressus est (p. 70 line 13).
4. X sparsim focos (p. 74 line 19) to ipso rege placato (p. 75 line 25), and from
consilio ptholomei (p. 81 line 33) to tractansque (p. 83 line 6).

The still extant bifolium in the Staatsbibliothek (SB) comes from the same
section of the manuscript, and starts with incenderunt excepto capitolio (ed. Krusch,
p. 52 line 28), and continues unbroken to quod abstulerat alexander in chapter 30 (p.
54 line 9), on the bottom line of the verso of the first folio. The verso of the second
folio of the bifolium contains the text from ...retur ut socius proderit (p. 52 line 14) to
temporibus consulum gallisenonaci romam (p. 52 line 27).
From an analysis of the proportions of the text accounted for by or missing
from the record of the contents of these leaves, it is possible to suggest that the five
bifolia came originally from four different but adjacent quires. The SB bifolium thus
served as the top one of the first quire, with UB bifolium 1 lying immediately below
it, and forming the second bifolium of this quire. UB2 was the bottom bifolium of the
next quire. UB 3 formed the second bifolium of a third quire and UB 4 must have
been the bottom bifolium of the fourth and last quire here represented. The first,
second and fourth of these quires were of eight folios each, while the third was of ten.
Analysis of the text of the surviving bifolium reveals that it came from a
manuscript containing a version of the Historia vel Gesta very close indeed to that
now to be found in MS Troyes Bibliothèque Municipale 802, and of roughly similar
212
date. As the latter originally contained no more than the first two books of the
compilation, it is most likely that the manuscript of which this bifolium is the sole
survivor was similarly constituted.

References: Paul LEHMANN and Otto GLAUNING, Mittelalterliche


Handschriftenbruchstücke der Universituatsbibliothek des Georgianum zu München
(Leipzig, 1940), p. 48; Bernhard BISCHOFF, Die südostdeutschen Schreibschulen
und Bibliotheken in der Karolingerzeit vol. 1: die bayerische Diözen (3rd edn.
Wiesbaden, 1974), p. 257. See also Ladislaus BUZAS, Geschichte der
Universitätsbibliothek München (Wiesbaden, 1972), pp. 195 and 218. Bischoff,
Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 3468, pp. 291 and 301.

3) Leiden, Rijksuniversiteit, MS Voss. Q. 20, ff. 1-8v [Krusch’s MS 4c3]

This MS has long been recognised as being a composite codex, made up of two
originally distinct parts. The first of these (ff.1 to 8v) is the one that concerns us here,
and only contains selected extracts from the second book of Fredegar, in the version
used for Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta Francorum. It was written in a tenth
century Caroline minuscule that has been associated with Tours, in a two column
format with 25 lines in each column.
The second component (ff. 9 to 144) is a historical compilation, written at Tours in a
mid-ninth century Caroline minuscule, containing some of Quintus Curtius Rufus’s
history of Alexander the Great, an abridged version of Orosius, and the opening of the
213
Chronicle of Isidore of Seville.280
What follows relates only to the first section, ff. 1-8:

Notes: f. 1 r: in centre, below the text: adrianus episcopus in a late Caroline


minuscule.
f. 4r bottom margin: 5 line note in a 13th/14th century Gothic hand, listing the
contents of the MS: in h libro ctientur lib de regib assirioru et captivitate troie. et/
inicio romanoru; hyst curti rufi plures cotinens libros/ quoru ttius c pm. lib Esopi
cuiusdam greci fablatoris/ de ortu et actu et fine alexandri magni macedonis;
opuscula/ de libro hystoriaru horosii excerpta et in viiii breviarium collecta.

Contents: f. 1r: INCIPIUNT CAPITULA CHRONI/G: HIERONIMI


EXCARPSUM
[ten lines each introduced by a chapter number, but they are mostly illegible]
f.1v col. 1 line 1: INCIPIT LIBER DE REGIBVS/ASSIRIORVM ET
CAPTIVITATE/TROIE INICIO ROMANORV;/
REGNVM ASSIRIORV/ Primus rex ninvs...
f. 2v col. 2 lines 21/22: text ends: ...a captivitate troyae usque ad primam olimpiadem
fiunt anni ccccv.
f. 2v col. 2 line 23: HISTORIA DARETIS FRIGII/DE ORIGINE FRANCORVM . V .
f. 3r col. 1 line 1: EODEM ITAQVE TEMPORE APVD . VI ./grecorum regna quem
instar mare magnu...plurima multitudines consurgentes sup a muliu aput albam

280
For a description of this section see Bishoff Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 2215,
p. 57.
214
intfecerunt.
f. 6r col. 2 line 9: REDEAMUS QUO ORDINE HEBRE (i.e. returning to Book Two
chapter 7)
f. 6r col. 2 line 20: TEMPORIBUS HONORII (this is a jump to Book Two chapter
56)
f, 8v col. 2 lines 24-25: ...Audiens haecpuer ille; diligenter in memoria retinens.
theoderico velociter
The text ends here abruptly; the bottom margin of f. 8 cut out, but no text lost.

Fredegar contents: The extracts are not in the orginal order they would have been
found in a complete text of the work. They appear to be as follows:
1) Book Two, chapters. 1 to 6; though the chapter numbers do not fully
synchronise with those found in any manuscript of the complete text.
2) Dares the Phrygian De Origine Francorum (which normally comes close to
the opening of Book Two chapter 4.281
3) Book Two resumes with chapter 7, but then moves abruptly to
4) the middle of Book Two chapters 56 (ed. Krusch, p. 77, line 23) and the text
then continues into chapter 57, until cut off mid sentence (ed. Krusch p. 81 line 33 ).282
Most of the pieces chosen for inclusion here relate to the origins and legendary early
history of the Franks. Also, it is interesting to note that by and large these are all
pieces of text that are original to Fredegar (except Book Two chapters 1 to 3), and not
to be found in any other context. It is regrettable that no more of this manuscript has

281
KRUSCH 1888 p. 45.
282
This is only one word away from where Munich UB bifol. 4 resumes.
215
been preserved, as the selections made here suggest a scholarly interest in Frankish
legends.

References: KRUSCH 1882, pp. 309-10; KRUSCH 1888 p. 12; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1960, p. lii; Karel Adrian de MEYIER, Codices Vossiani Latini, pars II:
Codices in Quarto (Leiden, 1975), pp. 57-61; COLLINS 1996, p. 128.

4) S’Gravenhaage/The Hague, MS Koninklijke Bibliotheek 74 J 24

This is a codex of 51 folios of 145 x 200mm, principally containing a ‘B’ version text
of the Liber Historiae Francorum (see Krusch’s edn. pp. 229-31), written in a tenth
century hand. On f. 51r there is a short quotation from Fredegar Book Two chapter 6:
gesserat parva ex ipsis manus remanserat...A captivitate toiae usque ad primum
olimpiadem fiunt annii ccvi written in a tenth or eleventh century Caroline
minuscule.283
A later owner (17th or 18th century) was misled by the spurious title of Liber
Historiae Francorum (LIBER SCI GREGORII TVRONENSIS EPI GESTA REGVM
FRANCORVM on f. 2r) into thinking this was a copy of Gregory’s work, with
continuations by Fredegar. What is more, he believed that this was Fredegar/s own
copy of the work, as may be seen from the inscription on the inside front cover:
ANNALES FRANCORUM REGUM, INCIPIENTES A GREGORIO TURONENSE,

283
J.M. WALLACE-HADRILL was alerted to the existence of this
manuscript in a letter from Andre de MANDAD, dated 20th September 1976.
216
QUI EORUM GESTA USQUE FREDEGUNDUM REGINAM DESCRIPSIT, ET
CONTINUATAE AD REGNUM TEODERICI, DACOBERTI IUNIORIS FILII (cum
postscriptis adnotationibus) PER FREDEGARIUM, CUIUS HOC EST
MANUSCRIPTUM ORIGINALE

Part III: Manuscripts containing sections of the work reused for other contexts

As in most cases the Fredegarian element in the contents of these manuscripts is


relatively minor, and many of them have received detailed description elsewhere, no
attempt will be made here to give a complete and detailed account of them, except
where deemed absolutely necessary.284
The first and largest group to be considered is that in which a nine book
version of the Historiae of Gregory of Tours has been given a tenth book in the form
of an unacknowledged borrowing of most of Book Three of the Historia vel Gesta,
extending as far as the end of what modern editions call Continuations chapter 24. To
make this possible, the contents of the actual Book Ten of Gregory’s Histories was
merged with those of Book Nine. The Fredegar material thus excerpted covers the
period from 584 up to the death of Charles Martel. Added to the epitomised text of
the first six books of Gregory’s Histories, this provides a continuous narrative of both
universal and Frankish history from the Creation up to 741.
Two variant versions of these Gregory-Fredegar hybrids can be found,
distinguished in respect of the Fredegar material by the inclusion or otherwise of a list

284
KRUSCH, ‘Die Chronicae’ (1882), pp. 320-326.
217
of chapter headings or capitulae and some minor textual differences. The compilation
may have originated at the court of Charlemagne around the year 800. The earliest
extant codex of the first of the two known versions dates from very soon after, but it
was written at Lorsch.

A. The "Gregory-Fredegar hybrids":285

1. Heidelberg Universitätsbibliothek MS Palatinus lat. 864. [Krusch’s MS

5a]

Format: It comprises 134 folios of c.220 x 320mm, with an average written space of
c.170 x 265mm, written in 34 long lines. The manuscript consists of 17 gatherings,
marked by quire letters in the bottom margin of the verso of the final folio. I of 10, 1
of 9 (5 + 4), 1 of 8, 1 of 10, 6 of 8, 1 of 10, 4 of 8 and a final 1 of 7 (4 + 3).

Script: Dated to around the turn of the eighth/ninth centuries and assigned to the
scriptorium of Lorsch this was the work of several scribes, and at least two
contemporary correctors.286 There are extensive corections, frequently devoted to
285
For the Gregory-Fredegar hybrids see the descriptions in Martin
HEIZELMANN and Pascale BOURGAIN
286
Bernhard BISCHOFF, Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften (1974),
p. 23; 2nd edition p. 32.
218
modernising Merovingian Latin personal names and spellings. Thus the scribes
copied an exemplar using the form Gunthchramnus, which was then corrected to
Gunthramnus. Similarly Childebertus is usually changed to Hildebertus. Some
Insular traits have been detected in the abbreviations.

Damage: A folio has been lost between ff. 27 and 28, and the manuscript has been
clipped, as can be seen from the effect on marginal corrections on f. 67v.

Decoration: across the middle of f. 1r: there is a drawing of an angel, with a nimbus
around his head flying right, with outstretched wings and hands, holding a cross
tipped staff with a penant in his right hand.

Ownership: Its presence in Lorsch is established by the inscription: codex de


monasterio sci nazarii quod nomi/natur lauresham in Caroline minuscule (9th c?) on
f. 1r, as also Codex ex monasterii Sci Nazarii in a late 15th century hand below it. In
1623 the manuscript was sent to the Vatican as part of the spoils taken from
Heidelberg, and its presence in the Vatican Library, whence it was returned in the last
century, is recorded on the guard folio.

Notes: There are various probationes pennae on the same page, and a short
prayer in a 9/10 the century hand below the drawing of the angel. On the last seven
lines of f. 1r there is a list of names in three columns in very small script. The names
would seem to be those of various bishops and martyrs named in the text of Gregory's
Historiae.
219
Contents: The Fredegarian section is located on ff. 110v to 134v. It begins with a
list of 109 chapters, which is unique to these Krusch Class Five manuscripts; which is
to say it does not appear in the Class Four, or Childebrand's Historia vel Gesta
Francorum, manuscripts; from one of which the Fredegar material in the Gregory-
Fredegar hybrid was taken. The list is erroneous between numbers 64 and 89, because
the heading for chapter 64 has been left out. In common with other manuscripts of
this class, most of the Prologus Cuiusdam Sapientis is omitted, with only the final
phrases being retained to serve as the beginning of the text:
f. 110v: INCIPIUNT CAPITULA LIBRI X
de bonitate gunthchramni (>gunthramni) et ecclesia sancti marcelli...seu de
obitu ipsius.
f. 112r: INCIPIT LIBER DECIMUS
followed by the truncated prologue trasactis namque gregorii...finis gesta
cessavit et tacuit.
f. 130v: XCI igitur chlodoveus...
[The transition between the conclusion of the last book of Fredegar and the
Continuations is thus unmarked.]
f. 134v: after the end of the Fredegar text there are 17 lines of verses accompanied by
neums in honour of St. Odalric.

This manuscript was used for the editio princeps of Fredegar in 1568.287 Its variants

287
Mathias FLACIUS ILLYRICUS (ed.), Gregorii Turonici Historiae
Francorum Libri Decem. Undecimus Liber sive Appendix Historiae Francorum,
220
were noted by Krusch in the apparatus criticus of his edition. He did not otherwise
bother to do the same for the other manuscripts of this class.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 320-22, KRUSCH 1888 p. 13; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1960, p. liii; BISCHOFF 1974, pp. 23, 66 and 83-84; BISCHOFF 1998, p.
316; COLLINS 1996, p. 128; BOURGAIN and HEINZELMANN, ‘L’oeuvre de
Grégoire de Tours’ ( 1997), pp. 287-88.

2. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS lat. 5921 [Krusch’s MS 5ax]

Format: A manuscript of 149 folios of 227 x 320 mm, with an average written space
of 165 x 240mm, written on 30 long lines. It is contained in an 18th century vellum
binding. The opening folios of the codex have been lost, as the text starts abruptly in
chapter 9 of Book Two of Gregory.

Script: The manuscript was written in a later Caroline minuscule, by several hands,
and has been dated to the eleventh century. The Fredegar section, serving as Book
Ten of this version of Gregory’s Historiae, is located between ff. 120v and 149r.
There are numerous corrections in this section made in a proto-Gothic hand, as well as
many under-linings, of probably later date.

Supplementi Loco ab Alio Quopiam (Fredegario) Gregorio Thuronensi Adjectus


(Basel, 1568).
221
Decoration: There is a drawing of a cloth hanging on a decorated rail on f. 149v.
There are large black letters in-filled in orange serving to introduce chapters, but these
become much rarer in the later sections of the manuscript.

Ownership: There are several owners and library marks on f. 1r: L. Pithou ; Cod
Colb 701, and Regius 3804. On f. 149v may be seen: S. Arnulfi Codex and P. Pithou.
These indicate the manuscript was once owned by St. Arnulf, Metz, and was acquired
by Paul Pithou. It subsequently passed into the library of Colbert, and thence to the
Bibliotheque Royale and after the Revolution to the Bibliotheque Nationale.

Contents: f. 149r: the text ends with the burial of Charles Martel: ...sepultus est
Parius (sic) basilica Sancti Dionisii Martiris
There follow one full and two half lines of text very thoroughly erased.
A comparison of the text indicates that this is almost certainly a direct copy of MS
Heidelberg Universitätsbibliothek Pal. 864 (see above p. 000).

References: KRUSCH 1882 p. 322; KRUSCH 1888 p. 13; WALLACE-HADRILL


1960, p. liii; COLLINS p. 128;

3. Berlin, Preussische Staatsbibliothek MS lat. quart. 266 [Krusch’s MS 5xa]

While this manuscript retains its official ascription to the Preussische (or Deutsche)
Staatsbibliothek, it is currently located in Krakow. Having been moved for safe-
222
keeping from Berlin in the final stages of the Second World War into territory that
subsequently became part of Poland, this manuscript has been preserved in the
Biblioteka Jagiellonska of the Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, pending the outcome of very
lengthy and so far inconclusive negotiations over the mutual return of cultural
treasures.

Format: It consists of a single bifolium of 190 x 225 mm, written in 26 long lines. 288
The written space is hardly much smaller, in that all of the edges of the bifolium have
been clipped, probably for it to be reused in a binding. That this has involved the loss
of several lines of text in each folio is easily deduced.

Script: It is written in a Caroline minuscule datable to no later than the third quarter
of the ninth century; (for example the script still uses u as a).

Contents: The two folios contain four sections of the text of Book Four, between
chapters 16 and 40 by modern numeration. These are as follows:
folio 1r: guntram in burgundia sedem habens aurilianis (ed. Krusch p. 127 line
26).....ab exercito theodrici et theudeberti exinde deducetur. hlotharius obpressus (p.
128 line 22)

288
The text in folio 1r/v should have been continuous, as should that in
folio 2r/v; so it is clear that about five to six lines of the text in KRUSCH's edition,
which should have been contained in the bottom lines of each folio is now missing. It
is reasonable to deduce therefore, that in its original state the bifolium was written at
something like 32 lines to the page.
223
folio 1v: cupiditatis instinctu in facultate eius fiscus adsumitur (p. 129 line 3).....
defuncto uuandalmaro (p. 130 line 10)
folio 2r: anno [xvii] theodrici regis lingonas (p. 139 line 5)...vestis regalibus
theod/bertus expoliatus et equos eius cum stratura regia haec totumque berthario (p.
139 line 32)
folio 2v: redegit; Ob quam rem theodricus cum iam totum auster dominarit (p.
140 line 3).....quo pacto filii theodrici obprimerentur et regnum lotharii eleger/at
[gentes qui illic] adtracte fuerant concilio [secreto de solatio brunechilde et filiorum
theodrici procul fecit] adesse; exinde egressi cum b[runechilde et filius] theodrici
burgundias adpe/ (p. 141 line 3)

Krusch (1888) deduced textual parallels between this and the Paris manuscrip, BN lat.
5921 described above. Wallace-Hadrill (1960) describes it as derived from the Paris
manuscript, and this is repeated in Collins (1996) but paleographically this fragment is
earlier in date by anything up to two centuries.

References: KRUSCH 1888 p. 13; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960 p. Liii; COLLINS


1996 p. 128

4. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale. MS lat. 9765 [Krusch’s MS 5b]

Format: This is manuscript of 11 folios (though numbered as 110) of 220 x 330 mm,
with a written area of 200 x 235mm, in 30 long lines. There are 15 quires, each
224
numbered in the bottom margin of the verso of the final folio. The manuscript is now
preserved in an 18th century red leather binding, covered in a modern cloth wrapping.

Script and hands: The manuscript was written, at Echternach or at least in part, in a
Caroline minuscule assigned to the ninth/tenth centuries, in at least two or more
hands. There is a definite change of scribe between ff. 80v and 81r. From the latter
onwards the manuscript is written in a small neat hand, in a very black ink. The
scribe of the first section wrote a larger, coarser hand, in what is now a brown ink. A
third scribe may have been responsible for ff. 56 to 63. It has been suggested that the
three sections thus delineated actually come from three different codices, which were
amalgamated in Echternach at some unknown time. The script of one component
manuscript has been dated to the ninth century and the other two to the tenth.
Differences in the style of quire signature are also said to reinforce this view, but the
most significant of these comes on f. 81v, which corresponds to the more certain of
the changes of scribal hand. An amalgamation of two or three previously independent
manuscripts is distinctly possible, but it may be that there exists only one rather than
two major divisions and that a change of scribe is a better explanation than an
amalgamation of codices.

Decoration: There are some red initials, and green and occasionally yellow and green
are used to highlight initial letters, but this is confined exclusively to the first six
quires.

Ownership: There are library marks on f. 1r: St. L 1538 and suppl. lat 808.
225
Contents: The Fredegar section is to be found between ff. 101r and 111r. There
are no chapter headings, and this together with numerous other differences in word
order and spelling distinguishs this manuscript from MS Heidelberg UB pal. 864(see
above p. 000). Equally significantly, this manuscript lacks the text of what in the
Heidelberg codex would be chapters 96 and 97 (Continuations chapters 3 and 4 in
modern editions). This MS was used by Wallace-Hadrill in his edition, but its variants
were not included by Krusch in his apparatus.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 322-23; KRUSCH 1888 p. 13; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1960, p. liii; Michele Camillo FERRARI, Sancti Willibrordi venerantes
memoriam. Echternacher Schreiber und Schriftsteller von den Angelsachsen bis
Johann Bertels (Luxemburg, 1994), p. 71, note 393. COLLINS 1996, p. 129;
BOURGAIN and HEINZELMANN, ‘L’oeuvre de Grégoire de Tours’, pp. 287-88.

5. Saint Omer, Biblioth(que Municipale MS 706 [Krusch’s MS 5c]

This manuscript was originally united to MS St, Omer BM 697 (of 44 folios) and almost certainly also
to MS Bruxelles Biblioth(que Royale 15835 (of 16 folios), and together they contained a very
substantial compendium of historical writings, both Frankish and earlier, including the Breviarium of
Eutropius, the Notitia Galliarum, and the Latin version of the Chronicle of Marcellinus Comes, and
extending up to the Annales Laurissenses minores and the Annales Vedastini. The compilation was
made in the monastery of Saint-Bertin, whose ruins are situated in what is now a suburb of Saint-Omer.

226
Some, if not all of its contents may have derived from a slightly earlier such compilation written in the
monastery of St. Vaast or Vedastus at Arras. The separation of what would become MSS 697 and 706
seems to have occurred prior to the late fourteenth century, from the evidence of a contemporary Saint-
Bertin library catalogue. The date of the subsequent removal of what became MS Bruxellensis 15835
can not be established, though it must have preceded the French Revolution.

Format: MS Saint-Omer 706 now consists of 223 folios of 300 x 217mm, and is written, probably by
four different scribes, in two columns of 30 lines. The codex comprises 28 quires, primarily of 8 folios
each, each signed with a letter at the bottom of the verso of its final folio.

Script: It is written in a Caroline minuscule, that has been dated to the late tenth or early eleventh
century. The presence on the final folio of the text of a decree of anathema issued by archbishop
Odalric of Rheims (962-69), written in a hand contemporary with those of the scribes of the manuscript
has been used to suggest that the earlier of these dates is to be preferred. One change of hand occurs
after the completion of the Fredegar section, between ff. 144v and 145r.

Ownership: Saint-Bertin ownership marks: f. 16v: Liber sancti Bertini abbatis et confes and Iste
liber est sancti Bertini si quis retinuerit celaverit vel furtaverit anathema sit Amen, both in 13th century
hands.

Contents: MS 706 in particular includes 1) the Gregory-Fredegar hybrid, on ff. 1 to 144v (the Fredegar
component is to be found on ff. 118r to 144v), 2) a text of the C version of the Annales Regni
Francorum (from f. 145r onwards), and 3) the latter’s continuation as the Annales Bertiniani. The text
of the Gregory section has been contaminated by interpolation of material taken from the Liber
Historiae Francorum. The particular interest of this manuscript for Fredegar studies lies in the fact that
it is here, on fol. 118r, that the ascription of the work to Fredegarius is made, in an early 17th century
marginal note.

227
References: KRUSCH 1882 p. 323; KRUSCH 1888 p. 13; WALLACE-HADRILL
1960, p. liii; Félix GRAT, Jeanne VIELLARD, and Suzanne CLEMENCET (ed.),
Annales de Saint-Bertin (Paris, 1964), pp. xxiii-xxxii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129.

6. Bruxelles, Bibliothèque Royale MS 6439-6451 [Krusch’s MS 5cx]

This MS is a direct copy of the historiographical collection contained in MSS Saint-


Omer 697 and 706, including the archiepiscopal anathema (see C5 above). The
Fredegar section is to be found on ff. 59v-71v. The direct relationship between this
manuscript and its Saint-Omer exemplar is made clear not least by the fact that in f.
64v a section of text comprising most of chapter 48 and all of chapters 49 to 54 (by
the numeration of this class of MS) is missing. This corresponds exactly to a textual
lacuna starting on fol. 129v in MS Saint-Omer 706. This was caused by an erasure
that extends from that point to the top of the first column of f. 130r. As the amount of
text lost far exceeds the erased space, there are grounds for suspecting that up to two
folios have also been removed.
Consisting of 124 folios of 470 X 315mm, written in two columns, the manuscript
was made, to judge by the script, in the eleventh century and, like its exemplar, was
almost certainly produced in the monastery of Saint-Bertin. 289 It is probable that it
was written by the monks of Saint-Bertin for some other monastery or church, but
there are no indications as to which this may have been. There are various marginal

289
COLLINS, Fredegar (1996), p. 129, following WALLACE-
HADRILL, 1960, p. liii, is wrong to say it was written at Lobbes or St. Vaast.
228
notes on the contents throughout, that range in date from the eleventh to seventeenth
centuries. Seventeenth century notes century on ff. 1r and 3r record that it then
belonged to the Jesuit College in Bruges, where it was still located in 1783. It
provides no independent witness to the Fredegar tradition.

References: KRUSCH 1882 p. 323; KRUSCH 1888 pp. 13-14; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1996, p. liii; GRAT VIELLARD and CLEMENCET (1964), pp. xxxiii-
xxxvii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129.

7. Namur, Bibliotheque Communale MS 11290 [Krusch’s MS 5d]

Dated to between the middle and the third quarter of the ninth century, and currently
consisting of 224 folios this was probably written at the monastery of Saint-Hubert. 291
This provenance is recorded at the top of f. 1r by a note in a 16th century hand. The
manuscript contains Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica (ff. 1r-60v), and the Gregory-
Fredegar hybrid (ff. 61r-223r), which is here entitled LIBER HISTORIARUM. GESTA
FRANCORUM (f. 69r). Folio 223v has been erased, though a few neums are still
visible. On the badly damaged f. 224 there is a Frankish regnal list headed Gesta
Francorum. It extends from Clovis to Charlemagne, but as the bottom third of the
folio is missing, it could have continued for another 8 or 9 more lines. Amongst the

290
This manuscript has been known by a variety of institutional names:
Société Archéologique (WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. Liii) and Bibliothèque
Publique (COLLINS 1996 P. 129).
291
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2, no. 3560, p. 305.
229
kings included are Clovis II, Chlothar (Lotharius) III, Theuderic III, Clovis III,
Childebert III, Dagobert III and Chilperic/Daniel, perhaps implying a Neustrian origin
for the Merovingian section of the list. Regnal lengths and the names of the kings’s
sons are given in most cases. Above the list may be read Unibertus Pontifex
(probably bishop Chunibert of Cologne; see Krusch edition bk. IV, chs. 58, 75, 85, 86)
and also ab initio mundi secundum ebraicam veritatem ...nimis usque ad xiii heraclii
imperatoris
The Bede section (ff. 1-60) is written in 2 columns of 38 lines, while the
Gregory Fredegar part (ff. 61-224) has single columns written in 30 lines. There is
also a clear change of hand between ff. 60v and 61r, and different ruling and pricking
conventions are practised on either side of this division too. The written spaces also
change their dimensions. There are thus good grounds for suspecting that this was
originally part of a different manuscript to that containing the Gregory-Fredegar
section, though both would have been of similar date.
Uniquely, the Fredegar material in this manuscript, which is to be found
between ff. 193v and 223r, ends with the illness of Charles Martel in 739 (ch. 21 of
the Continuations), rather than with his death in 741 (ch. 24).

References: KRUSCH 1882 p. 323; KRUSCH 1888 p. 14; WALLACE-HADRILL


1960, p. liii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129; BISCHOFF 2004, no. 3560, p. 305.

8. Bruxelles, Bibliothèque Royale, MS 9361-9367 [Krusch’s MS 5e]

230
Of this class of manuscripts this is the only one to contain the complete text of 'the
Continuations', up to the year 768. It is thus likely that the final chapters were added
following a comparison with a Class Four manuscript containing the full Historia vel
Gesta Francorum. It has been dated to the twelfth century and once belonged to the
monastery of St. Laurence, Liège.

References: KRUSCH 1882 pp. 323-24; KRUSCH 1888 p. 14; WALLACE-


HADRILL 1960, p. liii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129.

9. Incomplete MSS of the Gregory-Fredegar hybrid, that may be assumed once


to have contained the Fredegar section:

a) Munich clm 29856/1 (formerly clm 29087): a single folio, assigned by


Bernhard Bischoff to ‘wahrscheinlich Umkreiss von Mainz, saec IX 2/4‘, containing
Gregory’s Hist. IX 3-9 (with 5-8 missing).292

b.1) Copenhagen, Bibl reg. Ny kgl Saml. 252b: a single folio containing some of
Hist II. 9, probably from Tours, and dating to the first half of the ninth century.293
Other fragments from this manuscript are:

b.2) Copenhagen, Bibl. univ. Rostgaard 160 2o no 1, f 1-2; also attributed to the
region of Tours, and the early 9th century.
b.3) Saint Petersburg, Academy of Sciences ms 2/625; a fragment containing
292
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 3500, p. 295.
293
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 1 (1998), no. 1990, pp. 412-413
231
Hist. I. 31 and the opening of 32.294

c) Wolfenbüttel, Bibl. Herzog August, Augg 2o. 10. 9. This is a manuscript put
together from the remains of various codices, several of which came from Strasbourg.
Its ff. 7-9 is taken from a 12th century Gregory-Fredegar hybrid, that may have
originated in the region of Tours.295

B. Other MSS that include significant extracts (but not from Gregory-Fredegar
hybrids):

1. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS 473 [Krusch’s MS 5f]

This manuscript has been the subject of a number of recent studies, but it may not yet
have revealed all of its secrets.296

Format: In its present state it consists of 172 folios of 195 X 255mm, written by
various hands in later ninth century Caroline minuscule in between 27 and 29 long
lines (25 lines on f. 1v). It is bound in 18th century white calfskin. The codex is

294
See Michael MURJANOFF, ‘Leningrader Bruchstück Gregorii Turonensis
Historiarum Liber II‘, Scriptorium 20 (1966), 55-57.
295
See H. Butzmann, ‘Die Wolfenbütteler Fragmente der Historien des Gregor
von Tours‘, Scriptorium 20 (1966), 31-40.
296
See p. 000 for references .
232
divided into 23 unequal gatherings: 1 of 7 (3+4), 9 of 8 (4+4), 1 of 11 (6+5), 1 of 8
(4+4), 1 of 2 (2+0), 2 of 8 (4+4), 1of 5 (4+1), 1 of 6 (2+4), 1 of 8 (5+3), 1 of 8 (4+4),
1 of 9 (5+4), 1 of 6 (3+3), 1 of 8 (4+4), 1 of 7 (4+3). Quires are numbered in the
bottom margin of the verso of the final folio, but only up to f. 89v. Thereafter they are
absent. Up to f. 88v the written space measures 140 x 185mm; from f. 90r it decreases
to 135 x 180. Folio 89 is blank. Ruling and pricking also changes: up to f. 89
doubled bounding margins are used and lines are guided by pricked holes. From f.
90r onwards all margins are single, and cuts replace pricks.

Script and hands: The manuscript has been dated to the second half of the ninth
century, and has also been assigned an origin in the monastery of Saint-Amand, but no
arguments have been published to justify the latter claim. A number of hands may be
detected in the manuscript. One definite change of scribe may be seen between ff.
88v and 90r (f.89 being blank). Despite superficial similarities, this may be
established by a comparison of certain letter forms, notably a and g. Other changes of
hand may occur between ff. 121v and 122r, and f. 169r and f. 169v; also on f. 11r. No
scribe may be found to have worked on both sections of the manuscript, taking the
blank f. 89 as the dividing point. The hand of a corrector, seen working throughout
the Liber Pontificalis is not to be seen after f. 88v.

Contents: These are various but primarily historical: Liber Pontificalis (ff. 1v-65v),
the Epistola de Revelatione Sancti Stephani (ff. 85v-88v), a unique edited and
interpolated version of the Liber Historiae Francorum (ff. 90r-107v), Fredegar
Continuations chapters 1 to 24 (ff. 108r-114v), a D class text of the Annales Regni
233
Francorum (ff. 116r-143v: this is Kurze’s MS D1), chapters 18 to 33 of Einhard’s Vita
Karoli (ff. 144r-151v), a genealogy of the Carolingian dynasty (ff. 169v-170v), and a
regnal list of the Frankish kings (ff. 171r-172v) that ends with Louis the Pious (814-
40). Although the present final folio is damaged and the quire structure would allow
for the previous existence of one more folio after this one, it is possible to see blank
lines below the ending of the regnal list, implying that it is complete, and originally
ended at the point at which it still does.
As the interpolated version of Liber Historiae Francorum starts with a short
epitome of the Book of Genesis, beginning on f. 90r this manuscript contains a
continuous history from Creation up to the time that it was being compiled; one that
devoted its greatest attention to the history of the Franks and more particularly of the
Carolingian dynasty. The coherence and clear chronological development of these
themes makes it hard to understand the purposes to be served by the first two items of
the contents. Neither thematically nor chronologically do they relate to the rest.
From all the evidence presented above, there exist strong grounds for
suspecting that the integrity of the present codex is illusory, and that it derives from
two separate manuscripts that have been united at some stage in its history.297 In terms
of theme and contents, construction of quires, size of written space, changes in style
of decoration, and different forms of pricking and ruling, a clear but hitherto
unrecognised distinction may be made between the first section of the manuscript,
extending up to f. 89, and the second, which commences on f. 90. It may also be

297
McKITTERICK 1998 and 2004, and REIMITZ 2000 (full citations in the
References to this manuscript, below p. 000) assume that the present manuscript is not
a composite one, made up of two originally independent codices.
234
noted that the outer edge of f. 90r is dirty, as if it once formed the outer page of an
unbound codex.

Notes: f. 167v there are two lines of neums and the word rege in the margin. There
are 17th century marginal notes throughout; usually just single words that refer to the
contents of the text. 7 lines have been erased on f. 114v. On ff. 116v and 117r the
year numbers between dccxlviii and dcclv have been erased and rewritten by another
hand. Similarly, on ff 120r/v and 121r year numbers have been written by two hands.

References: Krusch 1882 p. 324; KRUSCH 1888 p. 14 298; WALLACE-HADRILL


1960, p. Liii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129; Rosamond McKITTERICK, ‘L’idéologie
politique dans l’historiographie carolingienne‘, in Régine Le JAN (ed.), La royauté et
les élites dans l’Europe carolingienne (Lille, 1998), pp. 59-70; Helmut REIMITZ,
‘Ein karolingisches Geschichtsbuch aus Saint-Amand‘, in Christoph EGGER and
Herwig WEIGL (eds.), Text-Schrift-Codex. Quellenkundliche Arbeiten aus dem
Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung (=Mitteilungen des Instituts für
Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Ergänungsband 35, 2000), pp. 34-90;
Rosamond McKITTERICK, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (2004),
pp. 17, 120-132, 215-216.

298
The claim made here in KRUSCH 1888 p. 14 that the manuscript was
later corrected against the Brussels MS, KRUSCH's 5b, which is repeated in
WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), p. Liii and COLLINS 1996, p. 129 has not been
substantiated.
235
2. Paris, Bibiothèque Nationale, lat. 10911 [Krusch’s MS 5x2]

Format: A manuscript of 121 folios (of which f. 1 is a paper guard folio of 18th
century date, with notes on the verso) of 190 x 250mm (125 x 180mm),

Script: It is written in 21 long lines in a Caroline minuscule of mid to third quarter of


the ninth century date.299 It seems to be the work of a single scribe, writing a neat,
rather square hand. There are no quire numbers or signatures. It has long been seen
as originating in Liège, but a recent study has suggested Fleury instead. 300 This is
disputed.301

Notes: Across the bottom margins of ff. 47v-48r: ADAM SYDEREUM


MEREATUR/SCANDERE REGNUM This scribal colophon also appeared in a now
lost copy of the polyptique of St Rémi, Reims.302
f. 49: et ut istum miliarum impletur restant anni cxiii (after the text of the
chronological calculations in Continuations ch. 16) This would imply a date of 887.
There are several such additions to this text in the manuscripts containing it; see

299
M. TISCHLER, Einharts Vita Karoli. Studien zur Entstehung,
Uberlieferung und Rezeption (2001), pp. 1156-58 suggests that it can be dated to 887.
300
ibid.
301
Rosamond McKITTERICK, History and Memory in the Carolingian
World (2004), p. 15 note 34, who dismisses this as 'paleographically impossible'.
302
For argument based on this see TISCHLER, pp. 1156-1158.
236
KRUSCH 1888, p. 176 text note q to ch. 16.
There are various later medieval notes, insertions, and overwriting of erasures
throughout.

Damage: There are notes recording losses: deest hic quaternio at bottom of f. 117v;
deest una pagina at bottom of f. 114v; deest pagina at bottom of f. 109v

Ownership: f. 1r: Qui ex Bibliotheca ill. Baronis de Crassier A. 1755 Leodii de


venditu provenit: this refers to the sale of the library of Guillaume-Pascal, Baron de
Cressier (1662-1751), a noted statesman and book collector whose books and
manuscripts were sold in Liege in 1755. This, of course is no evidence that the
manuscript itself originated in Liège.

Contents: The manuscript contains a text of the A version of the Liber Historiae
Francorum, to which has been added (without break or heading) most of chapters 10
to 24 of the so-called Fredegar Continuations, which serve to extend the narrative up
to the death of Charles Martel in 741. There follows a version the Annales Regni
Francorum.303

f. 1v: notes on the contents in an 18th century hand


ff. 2r-3r: De origine et gestis Normannorum, written in a Gothic hand. On f. f. 3r this
is written over a text in another mid-ninth century Caroline minuscule (using open a).
Of this the presence of 14 lines may be made out, together with a list of chapter

303
This is MS C1 in F. KURZE’s MGH SRG edition, p. X.
237
numbers in the left margin (XVIII, XVIIII, L, LI, LII. Hardly any text is legible,
except: nuncupante vinciaco eosque devictos atque ...atos omnem regnum (adjacent to
chapter number LII)
ff. 3v-47r: the text of Liber Historiae Francorum304 Principium regum Francorum
eorumque originem vel gentium illarum gesta proferamus....
f. 47r: ...qui nunc anno sexto in regno subsistit
This is immediately followed by: QUALITER CUM SAXONIBUS . BAIOARIIS
EUDONE DUCE . CUM ABTHIRAMA . REGE SARRACENORUM . PUGNAVIT ET
VICIT .
LII Deinde coloniam urbem reversus ipsam civitatem coepit ....
f. 52r: text ends
ff. 52v-55v texts in a 13th or 14th century hand, writing 45 lines to the page.
ff. 56r-121v: a full text of Annales Regni Francorum, from 741 to 829. There are no
headings, only AD dates, which are written in red, as is the initial letter of each annal.
f. 57r/v: one and a half pages are left blank following Hildericus vero qui false rex
vocabatur tonsoratus est et in monasterium missus; some of this space has been used
for notes in a later hand.
f. 58r: the text of the Annales Regni Francorum resumes with: XIII dccliii Pippinus
rex in saxonia iter fecit.

References: Gabriel MONOD, ‘Les origines de l'historiographie a Paris’, Mémoires


de la Société del'histoire de Paris et d'ile de France 3 (1876), pp. 219-240;
KRUSCH 1882 p. 324; KRUSCH 1888 p. 14; WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. liii;

304
This is MS A 3a2 of Krusch's edition in MGH SRM vol. II, p. 222
238
COLLINS 1996, p. 129; TISSCHLER 2001 1156-1158; McKITTERICK 2004, pp.
13-19.

3. Saint Petersburg, Russian National Library/Saltykov Schedrin Public

Library MS Lat. F. v. IV. 4 [Krusch’s MS 5x1]

Format: This is a manuscript of 175 x 270mm (150 x 230), with 26 to 28 long lines to
the page in the first eleven quires; thereafter there are generally only 23 or 24. The
quires aspire to a regular pattern of eight folios: 4 of 8, 1 of 7, 2 of 8, 1 of 6, 11 of 8, 1
of 7, 1 of 9, 1 of 3 (1+2, but with the stubs of 5 other folios visible).

Script: It is written in a Caroline minuscule that has been assigned to the tenth
century, but may be as late as the early eleventh, in what is now a dark brown ink.
There is a definite change of hands visible between ff. 85v and 86r, which marks the
transition between the eleventh and twelfth quires. As the text (of Annales Regni
Francorum ) is continuous, there are no grounds for suspecting that two different
codices have been united at this point. F. 157 indicates the presence of at least a third
scribe working on this manuscript; one who may also have written the chapter list on
ff. 1v. The manuscript is thought to originate in Northern Francia. Later textual
insertions might link it with either the region of Soissons in the 11th century and that
of Boulogne in the twelfth.

Notes: There are marginal notes in a probably twelfth century hand on ff. 14v, 15r and
239
17r. Some of these are particularly concerned with Burgundy; that on f. 17r refers to
the Merovingian king Theudebert I (533-548). In ch. 20 (here numbered 19) of Liber
Historiae Francorum about 5 or 6 lines of text have been erased (between
fugieruntque cessi burgundiones [ed. Krusch p. 275 line 21] and civitate deprecabatur
[p. 276 line 8]) and replaced by 11 lines of new text, written very small, in a 12th
century hand.

Ownership: f. 1r: Ex Museo Petri Dubrowski. There is also a list of the contents of
the manuscript in an 18th century hand.

Contents: f. 1v: INCIPIUNT capitula de origine et gestis regum francorum


[a list of 51 chapters, extending to f. 3r.]
f.3r: a text of the Liber Historiae Francorum in its A version305 in 51 numbered
chapters, to which has been added a section of the 'Continuations of Fredegar' or
Historia vel Gesta Francorum (chapters 10 to 24 only), here forming chapters 52 to
55. These numbers and chapters are not included in the list given on ff. 1-3r.
f. 31v: ...anno sexto in regno subsistit/QUALITER CUM saxonib; BAIOARIIS .
EUDONE DUCE
f. 32r line 1: CUM ABDIRAMA REGE SARRACENORUM PUGNAVIT/ET
VINCIT
Deinde coloniam urbem reversus ipsam civitate coepit... ( = 'Continuations of
Fredegar' ch. 10, ed. Krusch p. 174)
f. 32v line 16: ... sepultus est in basilica sci dyonisii martyris ( = 'Continuations' ch.

305
This is MS A 3a1 in KRUSCH’s edition, MGH SRM vol. II, p. 222.
240
24, ed. Krusch, p. 179)
ff. 35r to 36v: there is a chronological table of the years 532-810 in three columns,
mainly consisting of no more than AD dates, but with brief records of events added
from 687 onwards. Reduced to simple text form, these read:
dcxcvii Pippinus senior regnare coepit
dccxiiii Karolus regnare coepit
dccxvii Karolus contra ragenfridum pugnavit
dccxxxii Karolus contra saracen(os) pugnav(it) ad pictavis
dccxxxvii Karol(us) contra saracen(os) pugnav(it) ad birram fluvium
dccxli Karolus obiit. Karlomannus et Pippinus regnare coeperunt
dccxlvi Karlomannus Romam profectus est
dccli Pippinus rex constituitur
dcclxviii Pippinus obiit. Karolus et Karlomannus regnare coeperunt
dcclxxi Karlomannus obiit II Nonas decembris
dcclxxiiii Papia capta a domno Karolo
dcclxxxiii Hildegardis regina obiit. Eclipsis S. II kl. Mai
dcclxxxv Eclips. s. bis
dcclxxxvii Dominus Karolus Rome pascha celebravit
dccxci Avari victi et pannonia subiugata
dccxcvi Adriano pontif defuncto leo successit
dccci Dominus Karolus Romae imperator et agau coronatus
dcccx Pippinus rex italiae filius domni Karoli impr decessit . viii. id. iul. Karolus
maior natu filius domni Karoli impr obiit II. n. decebr (f. 36v)
f. 37r: blank
241
f. 37v-90v: a text of the Annales Regni Francorum306 with an 11th century
interpolation on f. 38 (following tonsoratus est et in monasterium missus there has
been added quod situm est in suessionis civitate, with marking to indicate that this
refers to another insertion made higher up: in monasterio sancti medardi
ff. 3r-39r: There follows genealogies of the French kings (from Priam and
Pharamund) and of the Counts of Boulogne up to 1136, written in a twelfth century
hand; this is continued by a second hand up to 1179/80. It is clear the space on ff.
38r/v and 39r now occupied by this text had been left blank by the original scribe of
this manuscript.
ff. 90v-111r: Einhard’s Vita Karoli
ff. 111r-168r: The Vita Hludowici imperatoris of ‘The Astronomer’ (no heading or
title given here)
f. 168v: a genealogy of the Frankish kings from (C)hilderic the father of Clovis
(Ludovicus), extending up to the birth of Charles the Bald (823). However, the final
quire of the manuscript is badly mutilated, with only three of an original eight folios
surviving. As one of the missing folios came after the present f. 168, and the
genealogy ends abruptly on the very last line of f. 168v, it is probable that this text
would have continued onto the lost final folio of this quire, and so could the
genealogy itself have extended well on into the tenth century.

References: KRUSCH 1882 p. 324; KRUSCH 1888, pp. 14 and 222; Ernst TREMP,
Die Überlieferung der Vita Hludowici imperatoris des Astronomus (MGH Studien
und Texte 1: Hanover, 1991), pp. 50-53; COLLINS 1996, p. 129; TISSCHLER 2001,

306
This is KURZE’s MS C2 in his MGH SRG edition, p. X.,
242
pp. 1163-1176; McKITTERICK 2004, pp. 14, 21, 58 and 112.

4. Sankt Gallen, Klosterbibl. MS 547 [Krusch’s MS 5x3]

Format and script: An enormous manuscript, consisting of 332 folios or 662


numbered pages of 350 x 522mm (255 x 425), it is written in 2 columns of 61 lines by
various scribes using late Caroline minuscule, but displaying some marked proto-
gothic elements, and which should probably be dated to the late twelfth century. The
inks are of varying degrees of darkness, and there are red initials throughout, but no
other decoration. There are various late medieval corrections throughout. The codex
is contained in a probably fifteenth century binding of wooden boards covered in
white vellum, for which the first and last folios of the manuscript have been reused as
past-downs. That it was written in St. Gallen is highly likely. It certainly features in a
St Gallen library catalogue of 1461.
Contents: The codex contains a large collection of historical texts, including
Orosius (pp. 3 col. 1 to 93 col. 2), Jerome’s version of Eusebius’s chronicle (pp. 95
col. 1 to 204 col. 1), Paul the Deacon’s Historia Langobardorum (pp. 517 col. 1 to
554 col. 2), Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica (pp. 554 col. 2 to 636 col. 1), Petrus
Comestor, and the Historia de Bello Sancto of Robert of Rheims.
A text that is here called Gesta Francorum (pp. 637 col. 1 to 652 col. 2) is a
copy of the A version of the Liber Historiae Francorum, to which has been added a
section of the 'Continuations of Fredegar', which thus extends the narrative from 719
to 741. This Fredegarian (or Historia vel Gesta Francorum) section, consisting of
243
Continuations 10 (from Deinde colonia urbe reversus..) to 24 (ending xi kl Novembris
sepultus est in basilica sancti dionisii martyris. EXPLICIUNT GESTA
FRANCORUM) is located on pp. 651 col. 1 to 652 col. 2. 307 It is followed
immediately by the Breviarium regum francorum et maiorum domus of Erchanbert
(pp. 652 col. 2 to 653 col. 1), and then by Einhard’s Vita Karoli, which is here
anonymous and called Gesta Karoli (pp. 653 col. 2 to 660 col. 2).

References: Verzeichniss der Handschriften der Stiftsbibliothek von St. Gallen, 2 vols.
(Halle 1875), vol. 1, pp. 167-168; KRUSCH 1882 p. 324; KRUSCH 1888, p. 14; G.H.
PERTZ in Archiv vol. 5, p. 504; Albert BRUCKNER, Scriptoria Medii Aevi Helvetica
III, 114; Wallace-WALLACE-HADRILL 1960, p. liii; COLLINS 1996, p. 129.

C. Other Manuscripts that include small extracts

No discussion of these manuscripts will be included here.

a/ A small group of later manuscripts include the text of Book Two chapters 57 to
62, under the title Gesta Theoderici Regis. Serving as a legendary account of the
Ostrogothic king Theoderic, this was probably devised in the 12th century.
These include308:
1. Vatican Reg. lat 549 (12th century)

307
Ed. KRUSCH pp. 174-179.
308
On these see KRUSCH 1882 pp. 319-20.
244
2. Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek Aug. V (twelfth century)
3. Graz, Univ. Bibl. fol. 454 (twelfth century)309
4. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibl. 428 (thirteenth century?)
5. Graz, Univ. Bibl. quart. 926 (a fifteenth century copy of Graz 454)
6. Vienna, Univ. Bibl/. 3334 (written on paper; fifteenth century).

b/ Other short extracts are to be found in the following310:


7. Vienna ÖN lat. 612 {formerly ÖN Hist. prof. 991}, ff. 46-54, (first half of the
12th century and written in Austria) contains extracts beginning with III. 2: De
Francorum vero regibus...311
8. Wolfenbuttel Gud. 139, 17ff (15th century; an outline of Frankish history,
condensed from a Krusch Class Four manuscript)
9. Paris BN 7351 (13th century; various extracts)312.

309
For this see KERN, Anton, Die Handschriften der Universitätsbibliothek Graz
(3 vols. Leipzig, 1942, 1956 & 1967).
310
See KRUSCH 1888, p. 14.
311
KRUSCH 1882, p. 290; Helmut REIMITZ, Der Weg zum Königtum in
historiographischen Kompendien der Karolingerzeit’, in Matthias BECHER and Jörg
JARNUT (ed.), Der Dynastiewechsel von 751 (Münster, 2004), pp. 277-320, at p. 285
and note 32.
312
On this manuscript see Archiv vol. VII, p. 258.
245
Chapter Five: The Manuscript Tradition

The manuscript transmission of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum or revised version
of Fredegar, whichever description be preferred, is entirely through what Bruno
Krusch categorised as the Fourth Class of Fredegar manuscripts. This consists of eight
more or les complete manuscripts and some fragments. Krusch, followed by the other
two modern editors of the text, Wallace-Hadrill and Kusternig,
suggested the existence of at least seven other lost intermediaries. However, the re-
dating of a number of these manuscripts, particularly by Bernhard Bischoff has
undermined many of the arguments on which this view was based. Changes in scribal
practices and scribal errors can in some cases provide a better explanation for minor
variations between manuscripts than the postulating of lost intermediaries. While
Krusch examined many of the manuscripts of both versions of the Fredegar materials
in person, for others he relied upon descriptions sent to him by other scholars
associated with the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.
As can be seen from surviving letters and from notes on manuscripts inspected
and recorded at earlier times by other members of the Monumenta, these were usually
very precise in terms of textual variants, but omitted consideration of physical aspects,
that on occasion could prove crucial.313 For example, the textual similarities between

313
For example a lengthy letter sent by Paul EWALD from Madrid dated 10th
November 1878, discussing MS Troyes Bibl mun. 802, now in the MGH archives.
Krusch also made use of notes on several of the manuscripts previously made by
246
London British Library Harley 3771 and Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm
4352 led Krusch rightly to recognise a close relationship between the two, and in
practice into using the Munich manuscript as a major representative of its sub group
in preference to the London one. He thought the two were copied from the same
exemplar, and that the difference of nearly five hundred years in age between them
was essentially irrelevent. For his knowledge of the London manuscript he was
relying on a detailed description provided by Theodor Mommsen, but this did not
include mention of the fact that one folio of the manuscript was missing. This
produced a textual lacuna common to the two codices. However, the physical loss of
a folio of one quire in the London manuscript explains why it lacks the section of text
in question. The Munich manuscript on the other hand continues its text in mid page
and without a break, being unaware of the loss. In other words, it can only have been
copied from the London manuscript or from an intermediary deriving from that codex.
From a detailed examination of the textual variants, Krusch was able to deduce
the existence of three distinct subdivisions within his Class Four manuscripts. This
remains valid, whether they be seen as the components of the fourth class of Fredegar
manuscripts or as the only class of manuscripts of the Childebrand-Nibelung Historia
vel Gesta Francorum. One of these subgroups, which Krusch labelled 4c, he saw as
deriving from a model belonging to another, which he called 4b. Thus, only two of
the three subsets of manuscripts were of primary importance in editing the original
text of the work: 4a and 4b. 4c, whose earliest and only complete manuscript was
thought to be of tenth century date, could only serve as a control on the 4b codices,
from an early one of which it derived.

Georg WAITZ.
247
4a is represented by only one complete manuscript, Vatican reginensis lat.
213 and by another, Troyes Bibliothèque Municipale 802, which only contains the
text up to the end of the stories about Justinian and Belisarius; in other words just
Book One of this three book version. 314 This group was probably accorded the
priority implied by the 'a' in its label because of the unique presence of the scribal
colophon referring to counts Childebrand and Nibelung in the Vatican manuscript. Its
retention of this significant note might imply a closer or more faithful adherence to
the earliest strands of the manuscript tradition.
Unfortunately, while the retention of the colophon is a definite cause for
gratitude to MS Vatican reg. lat 213, in other respects this sole complete
representative of the 4a subgroup is very disappointing. It contains a high proportion
of scribal errors that are unique to itself, and has been subject to much correction.
Now dated to the late ninth or early tenth centuries, it gives the impression of being
relatively far removed from the earliest form of the text, and certainly could not be
treated as an authoritative guide to it. What it does do, at least, is testify to the
presence of the Historia vel Gesta, or revised Fredegar, in the region of Reims around
the end of the ninth century.
The Troyes manuscript, although containing less than half the work, is
characterised by Krusch as being close to the Vatican codex. This is not very easy to
see. The textual variants are both numerous and significant, and while they do not
align it more closely to either 4b or 4c, there are grounds for arguing that the Troyes
manuscript belongs in a class of its own. To appreciate this, it is helpful to turn to the
testimony of surviving fragments of an otherwise lost codex.

314
Fredegar, ed. KRUSCH p. 88. (II. 62).
248
Four bifolia of an otherwise unknown Fredegar manuscript were found by
Schnorr von Carolsfeld in the Universitätsbibliothek in Munich in the late nineteenth
century; though there are few details known of how and precisely where he discovered
them, let alone how they got into the library’s collection in the first place. A fifth
related bifolium also emerged from the city’s Staatsbibliothek at around the same time.
Unfortunately, the university’s four bifolia were destroyed by bombing on 16 th July
1944, leaving the bifolium in the Staatsbibliothek as the sole surviving component of
the manuscript. However, the lost bifolia had at least been described and included in
the catalogue of the university library’s medieval manuscripts published by Paul
Lehmann and Otto Glauning only four years earlier in 1940.315
The individual folios measure 184 x 132 mm, and were written on between 22
and 23 long lines in a Caroline minuscule dated to the second half of the ninth century,
and attributed by Bernhard Bischoff to ‘southern Germany’.316 It is possible to deduce
that four of the five of the bifolia came from different but adjacent quires. Analysis of
the text of Fredegar contained in the surviving bifolium, carried out for this book,
indicates that it is very close indeed to that to be found in MS Troyes Bibliotheque
Municipale 802, which is of similar date, written at Fulda.
Troyes BM 802 was once thought to be a Lorsch book, because a ninth

315
Paul LEHMANN and Otto GLAUNING, Mittelalterliche Handschriftenbruchstücke der
Universituatsbibliothek des Georgianum zu München (Leipzig, 1940), p. 48; Bernhard
BISCHOFF, Die südostdeutschen Schreibschulen und Bibliotheken in der Karolingerzeit vol. 1:
die bayerische Diözen (3rd edn. Wiesbaden, 1974), p. 257. See also Ladislaus BUZAS,
Geschichte der Universitätsbibliothek München (Wiesbaden, 1972), pp. 195 and 218.
316
BISCHOFF, Katalog vol. 2 (2004), no. 3468, pp. 291 and 301.
249
century Lorsch library catalogue referred to a codex containing Quintus Iulius
Hilarian and Eusebius-Jerome, which exactly represents the contents of the Troyes
manuscript. However the development of palaeographic study of manuscripts
associated with particular scriptoria has led to the firm assigning of the Troyes
manusript to the monastery of Fulda.317 This means that the Lorsch book must be lost.
The very close textual relationship between the Troyes manuscript and the
Munich bifolium implies that either the one was copied from the other, or that both
were copied from a common exemplar, perhaps the Lorsch manuscript. It is not
possible on the basis of the single Munich bifolium to establish for certain that it
either derived from the Troyes manuscript or served as the latter's model. In
preparing the stemma codicum provided here, it seems more sensible to opt for a
common descent for both the Troyes manuscript and the Munich bifolium from the
lost Lorsch book, which the library catalogue implies may have existed at an earlier
date than the palaeographic analysis would locate the writing of the other two.
Whether or not that be correct, and it is beyond proving either way, we now can be
confident of the existence of no less than three manuscripts of this particular form of
the text circulating in eastern Francia in the ninth century. As this is close in time to
the compiling of the original Historia vel Gesta in the later eighth century and as the
Lorsch library catalogue entry describes the contents in the very way that it is to be
found in the Fulda manuscript now in Troyes, it seems as if the restriction of the text
to just the first book was deliberate, and that in this truncated form it was of sufficient

317
BISCHOFF, Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften (1974), p. 67; 2nd edn
(1989), pp. 75-76. The index to both (pp. 102 and 114 respectively) refer to this MS
as Troyes 862 instead of 802.
250
interest for several copies to be made, and in at least three different locations.
If Krusch's subgroup 4a thus proves rather disappointing, due to a high level of
textual corruption in one manuscript and deliberate excision of two thirds of the
contents in the others, can 4b take its place as the most authoritative guide to the early
text form of the work? The late fifteenth or early sixteenth century Munich clm 4352
(4b2*) can be discounted, as it is only a copy of London, British Library Harley
3771 (4b2). This leaves two representatives of the 4b group: the London manuscript
(4b2) and Milan, Basilica di San Ambrogio, Archivio Capitulare M. 13 (4b1).
Both of these are quite close, in that they share numerous key variants, but
each has enough by way of idiosyncratic and corrupt readings to indicate that neither
was copied directly from the other. Both show traces of forms of spelling that predate
the reforms of the age of Charlemagne, and in the London manuscript in particular
these are frequently corrected by a second scribe. In itself this would imply that the
exemplars from which the two manuscripts derived were themselves related to later
eighth century models. However, scribal errors in both 4b1 and 4b2 make it likely
they were several removes from the earliest level of the text tradition. Several layers
of intermediaries have to be postulated.
Both of these manuscripts date from the late ninth century. That the London
one has been associated with 'East Francia', and possibly with the region of Cologne,
while the one in Milan was written in northern Italy is indicative of a relatively wide
geographical dissemination, and can be added to the evidence for the presence of
manuscripts of the 4a group in Lorsch, Fulda and the Reims area by the same time. It
is thus not possible to categorise the probable geographical home of the 4b group, nor
to be clear as to how its extant examples came to be so widely scattered. With the 4c
251
group of manuscripts, which descend from a lost and very early representative of the
4b codices, it is possible to say that the evidence for their origins and influence all
relates to western Francia, with specific associations with Tours and most probably
Burgundy.318 That 4c was the text class best known and disseminated in western
Francia thus seems a reasonable hypothesis. Overall, in comparison with the
manuscript tradition of the original Fredegar compilation, which was much more
limited in both number and geographical area, the Historia vel Gesta Francorum
seems to have spread itself fairly widely in the Carolingian territories, both east and
west and into northern Italy,in the course of the ninth century.319
It seems almost perverse that the earliest surviving manuscript, dating to the
first quarter of the ninth century and thus preceding any of the others by many
decades, should belong to the 4c group. This is MS Montpellier Bibliotheque de la
Faculté de Médécine 158, which used to be regarded as being of tenth century date.
Thus the earliest testimony to the derivative 4c class precedes all surviving codices of
the 4b group from which it originates. It is clear, perhaps not surprisingly, that its text
is actually purer than those of the two 4b manuscripts from half a century or more
later. It also makes the three book structure of the work even more explicit than the
manuscripts of the 4b group. An edition of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum will thus
be obliged to pay particular attention to this manuscript.
Even this, however, is not early enough in date to stand on the other side of the
reform of spelling of the time of Charlemagne, and thus to be able to closely
reproduce the orthography of the authorial original, which will have been much closer

318
See the descriptions given above, pp. 000-000.
319
See above p. 000.
252
to that found in the Paris manuscript of the original Fredegar compilation. Most of
these 'Class Four' manuscripts being discussed here contain traces of that late
Merovingian spelling that have slipped through the attempts of succesive correctors to
eradicate them. But these telling survivors are too few, and often confined to personal
names, to be able to give a real sense of the orthographic nature of the original. It
would thus not be possible for an editor to 'deconstruct' the language of the much
reformed ninth century manuscripts to try to recover the eighth century original state
of the language and spelling. The nearest that it is possible to come to this is via
another group of manuscripts that contain only a small portion of the text.
A section of material from the three book Historia vel Gesta Francorum,
covering the period from 594 to 768, was borrowed and added to an expanded, though
still far from complete, version of the ten books of Gregory’s Histories at some point
around or soon before 800.320 This latter was recast as a nine book text, with the
borrowed Fredegar material being added to it as Book Ten. This Gregory-Fredegar
hybrid is represented, in chronological order, firstly by a Lorsch manuscript now in
Heidelberg, that Bernhard Bischoff usually and surely correctly dated to around 800 321
. It can be shown easily enough that this codex does not stand at the head of the

320
BOURGAIN and HEINZELMANN, ‘L’oeuvre de Grégoire de Tours’ (1997),
pp.283-289.
321
BISCHOFF, Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften (1974), pp. 96-97, and
2nd edition (1989), pp. 104-105, but to second quarter of the 9th century in his
posthumous Katalog, vol. 1 (1998), no. 1513, p. 316; see Donald BULLOUGH,
‘Review article: a scholar’s work is never done’, Early Medieval Europe 12 (2003),
pp. 399-407.
253
tradition of this Gregory-Fredegar hybrid, and so must derive from an earlier
exemplar, which for various reasons it could be suggested was produced at Aachen. 322
Thus in terms of manuscript survival, evidence for a borrowing of text from the
Historia vel Gesta (in the form of the Heidelberg MS) exists from a point about
quarter of a century earlier than does the first evidence for the existence of the work in
its own right (in the form of the Montpellier MS). At least, as just mentioned, this
survival of a section of the text in an unreformed spelling gives some sense of what
the orthography of the author's original was like, even if it is not possible to recover it
all.323
From arguments suggested above, the Historia vel Gesta took on its final form,
with narrative extending up to 768, in the 770s or 780s. There is thus not a great
chronological gulf between that point and the time in which most of the surviving
manuscripts were written, which is to say in the later ninth century or early tenth. What
is interesting in this respect is to note the wide range of textual variation within those
manuscripts. Indeed, so marked are the differences between them that it is hardly
possible to say which of the variant text forms of this version should be taken as being
authoritative. They might better be regarded as representing different regional
traditions. It could also be suggested that the proliferation of variants also testifies to
the relative profusion of copies of the work in this period; more than might be expected
just from the number of codices containing it that have survived. In other words there
was probably more Fredegar around, particularly in its Carolingian version, than is

322
COLLINS, ‘Frankish past and Carolingian present’, pp. 317-318 and note 74.
323
For the manuscript tradition of the Gregory-Fredegar hybrid see BOURGAIN
and HEINZELMANN, ‘L’oeuvre de Grégoire de Tours’, pp. 283-289.
254
usually assumed.
A fragment of a manuscript found in Dillingen in Bavaria serves to intensify and
deepen this sense of the existence of a multiplicity of versions. Consisting of seventeen
lines out of a probable twenty to the page of a single folio , it could in theory derive
either from a manuscript of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum (i.e. one that would
belong to Krusch’s Class Four) or from the Gregory-Fredegar hybrid, just discussed. 324
Textually, there are similarities to both classes, but in the end the evidence favours an
origin as a manuscript of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum rather than as one of the
Gregory-Fredegar hybrid. However, it proves impossible to make consistent
associations between the text found in the Dillingen folio and that in any of the other
Class Four/Historia vel Gesta manuscripts. This difficulty is intensified by the fact that
this small fragment manages to contain within its brief compass no less than eight
unique readings, not to be found in any other manuscript of the work. This is an
extraordinarily high level of variation for any Fredegar codex. Within Krusch's Class
Four it is so marked a textual divergence that it has to be said that this fragment does not
obviously belong to any of his sub-divisions of that class. It could, therefore, be the sole
surviving evidence for an otherwise unknown subgroup of Class Four. It could thus be
the sole representative of a ‘4d’ . Indeed so different is it textually from any of the other
manuscripts and fragments that it constitute a class in its own right. If only more of it
had survived, it might have proved a real treasure.
There are one or two odd and textually corrupt excerpts from Fredegar to be

324
The text it contains comes from what in KRUSCH's edition would be Book Four
chapters 25 to 27 (pp. 130-131), but which in the three book Historia vel Gesta would
actually be Book Three.
255
found in some eleventh century manuscripts, but the Dillingen fragment is no such
relatively late or peripheral item. If in its diminished state it is indeed a representative
of Class Four, it may even be the earliest such to have survived. Bernhard Bischoff in
his posthumous catalogue dated this Dillingen fragment to the first third of the ninth
century, making it the equal in date to the Montpellier manuscript, Krusch‘s 4c1. The
script he identified as a minuscule under strong Rhaetian influence, as can be seen not
least from the forms of the letter ‘t’, and he suggested a place of origin in a scriptorium
in eastern Switzerland.
Some further precision may be possible. Short as the sample may be, the
Dillingen fragment contains a relatively large number of abbreviations. Most of these
are standard and non-diagnostic, but two of them, the ‘h’ with full transverse bar for
‘haec’ and the angular ‘s’-shaped figure for the ‘-us’ suffix ultimately derive, according
to Lindsay, from insular abbreviations.325 The former in particular he found in a large
number of both insular and insular-influenced continental manuscripts from St. Gallen.
On the other hand, this scribe does not use the insular reversed ‘c’ for the ‘con-’ prefix,
employing instead the standard continental ‘c’ with a horizontal line over it. Insular
influence is thus limited and at several removes. Either this scribe was trained in a
centre that had once been subject to insular traditions or he was copying an exemplar
from such a centre. If the latter be the case, then St. Gallen may suggest itself as the
source of the exemplar from which this all too fragmentary copy derived.
Whether this be allowed or not, we have yet another Fredegar manuscript,

325
W.M. LINDSAY, Notae Latinae: An Account of Abbreviation in the Latin MSS of
the Early Minuscule Period (c.700-850) (Cambridge, 1915), no. 108, pp. 98-100, and no. 478,
pp. 385-386.
256
though a different version and in a unique form of it, that has to be located in the area of
eastern Switzerland and south-western Germany close in time to the writing of what we
now know to be the three earliest class three codices. By the standards of the rest of our
evidence for the transmission of the work in all its variant forms, this represents a lot of
Fredegar manuscripts in close physical and temporal proximity. In consequence,
another observation may be offered.
Whoever put together the Carolingian three book version of Fredegar, in
however many stages and over whatever a length of time, he or she did it on the basis
of having a Class Three manuscript of the original version to work from. This can be
seen not only from close textual parallels, but also from the fact that this compiler
found Quintus Julius Hilarian’s De Cursu Temporum, which would have been
strangely located in his Class Three exemplar, and he put it where more logically it
belonged, at the beginning of the corpus of texts, discarding the Liber Generationis in
the process. The latter was never a very natural starting point for the compilation, but
as we know Fredegar had found it there in his manuscript from Spain. That the late
eighth century revised version depended on a Class Three manuscript and that all
known or deducible Class Three manuscripts, three of which date to the very period
under consideration, are to be found in the area encompassing eastern Switzerland and
south-west Germany, might lead to the suggestion that it may not have been too far
away from this region that the Carolingian Fredegar was compiled. That our only
fragment of one of the earliest codices of it also came from the same area might add a
little further weight to such an hypothesis.

257
Chapter Six: Influence and Survival

Unlike the original Fredegar compilation, which enjoyed little discernable influence
on other works produced in the Carolingian period or later - probably because its
narrative only extended up to 642 - the second version or Historia vel Gesta
Francorum was quickly used by other authors of the time. Amongst the eighth or
early ninth century texts that borrowed material, either directly or mixed with original
narrative of their own, were the Annales Regni Francorum, the Annales Mettenses
Priores and a universal chronicle that took its earlier sections from Bede’s de
Temporum Ratione.326 Already mentioned is the use of a section of it to form a ‘Book
Ten’ of a new expanded version of Gregory of Tours’ Historiae at the very end of the
eighth century.327 In the early ninth century, as well as the Annales Mettenses Priores,
the Chronicle of Moissac, possibly compiled around 828, also drew on the Historia
vel Gesta as one of its sources.
Although it has been suggested that the influence might have been the other
way around in the case of the Annales Regni Francorum, the nature of the borrowings
only make sense when viewed as the author of the original section of the Annales,
covering the years from 741 to 788 and working between then and 793, making use of
the existence of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum.328 It is impossible to understand

326
Ed. Georg WAITZ, MGH SS vol. XIII, pp. 4-19; see COLLINS, ‘Frankish
Past and Carolingian Present’ (2002), p. 316.
327
See above p. 000.
328
Rosamond McKitterick, History and Memory in the Carolingian World
258
why the compiler of the latter would not have made fuller use of the text of the
Annales, extending for twenty more years beyond his stopping place in 768, if these
had been available to him.
Evidence of use of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum after the Carolingian
period is much more limited. One rare exception is Sigebert of Gembloux (d. 1112),
who used it for part of his chronicle. As the borrowing relates to his information for
the period 594 to 768, it is almost certain that he was using a Class Four manuscript,
i.e. one that contained the whole of the Historia vel Gesta, rather than one of the Class
Five Gregory-Fredegar hybrids, which in all but one case only extend their narrative
to 741.329
The Fredegar chronicles, in both of the two versions, were slow to be noticed
and edited in the early modern period, at a time when so many other classical and
medieval texts were being studied and published by antiquarians and legal scholars.
Even when the text first began to be edited, it was only in small sections. Not before
the nineteenth century would a complete edition of the whole of Fredegar be
attempted. In part this was due to the fact that hardly anyone seems to have
recognised before then that there was indeed a complex work to be studied. As can be
seen, for example, from Montfaucon’s catalogue of the Reginenses manuscripts in the
Vatican, prepared in the 1680s but not published till 1793, the various constituent
parts of the compilation were regarded as separate works, and Fredegar was seen as
only the author of a continuation of the Histories of Gregory of Tours.330 The

(2004), pp. 138-140.


329
Text in Patrologia Latina, vol. CLX, cols. 112-146.
330
MONTFAUCON, B. de, Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova
259
preceding books of his compilation seemed to be no more than inferior or degraded
versions of their originals and were catalogued as being separate texts by Eusebius-
Jerome, Hydatius and Gregory himself.
The earliest publication of part of a Fredegar compilation came in 1568, when
the Lutheran controversialist Matthias Flacius Illyricus (1520-1575), produced an
enlarged edition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours, using amongst others the
Heidelberg manuscript, Palatinus lat. 864 (Krusch’s MS 5a) for the purpose. 331 This is
one of the Gregory-Fredegar hybrids, and in consequence what it calls Book Ten of
Gregory’s Histories actually consists of what modern editions regard as Book Four
and Continuations 1 to 24 of Fredegar, taking the narrative on from 584 to 741. As
Flacius Illyricus was using other manuscripts containing a ten book version of
Gregory’s original text, he recognised that the tenth book of the Heidelberg codex was
not part of the original text, but retained it in his edition for the value of what it had to
say, as a ‘Book Eleven’ or ‘Appendix’ by an unknown author. 332 His edition was
reused in larger collections of texts put together by other editors several times in the

vol. I (1793), pp. 14-16, items 1632 and 1632a, relating to MS Reg. lat. 213 (on which
see above pp. 000-000.
331
Matthias FLACIUS ILLYRICUS (ed.), Gregorii Turonici Historiae
Francorum libri decem, quorum quarto duo capita praecipua ex manu scripto
exemplari hac nostra editione accesserunt. Appendix item sive liber XI centum et
decem annorum historiam continens alio quodam autore quorum gratia totum opus
recudimus. Per P. Pernam. Basilieae 1568. This was reprinted in Paris in 1610.
332
Claude FAUCHET only seems to have invented the name ‘Fredegar’ in 1579;
see above p. OOO
260
course of the later sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries.333
The Dutch scholar, Henricus Canisius (1548-1610), nephew of the Jesuit St.
Peter Canisius, who became professor of canon law at Ingolstadt in 1590, published a
collection of medieval historical texts in his Antiquae Lectiones, seu antique
monumenta ad historiam mediae aetatis illustrandam, which first appeared in six
volumes in Ingolstadt between 1601 and 1604. The second volume (1602) contained
the earliest attempt at a complete edition of Fedegar. It seems to have been based
upon the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century Reichenau manuscripts that were
then in the library of the monastery of Sts. Ulric and Afra in Augsburg (Krusch 4bs*
and 3b).334 Partly because of haste and the use of at least one inferior copy (the
Augsburg MS, Krusch’s 3b), his text is a poor one. 335 It was very soon after reprinted

333
It was incorporated into Laurence de LA BARRE, Historia Christiana
Veterum Patrum (Paris, 1583), Marguerin de LA BIGNE (c.1546-1595), Sacra
Bibliotheca Sanctorum Patrum (Paris 8 vols. 1579; 2nd edition Paris, 1589; 3rd
edition Paris 1609-1610; 4th edition Paris 1624), and the Magna Bibliotheca veterum
Patrum et antiqurum Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum (Köln 15 vols. 1618-1622, vol. XI;
Lyon 27 vols., 1677, and Köln, 1694) etc.
334
Although it is suggested that he used MS London, British Library Harley 3771
(Krusch’s 4b2), the fact that Munich clm 4352 (Krusch 4b2*) was a direct copy of it
and was then together with the other manuscript he used in the library at Sts. Ulric and
Afra makes it a more likely source than the London codex, which was also probably
in northern Germany at the time. See pp. 000 and 000 above.
335
The collection of texts made by Canisius was as a whole not well organised,
and a reorganised version was published by Jacques BASNAGE as Thesaurus
261
in the Hispania Illustrata of Andreas Schott (Frankfurt, 1608).336
Soon after the publication of Canisius’s edition, a portion of Fredegar in the
Historia vel Gesta Francorum three book version was published by Joseph Justus
Scaliger (1540-1609) in his edition of Jerome’s Latin translation and continuation of
the chronicle of Eusebius.337 To this he added such continuations as the chronicle of
Hydatius, which he found in its Fredegarian version in the idiosyncratic MS Troyes,
Bibliothèque Municipale 802 (Krusch’s 4a*).338
In 1613 the Calvinist Marquard Freher (1565-1614), professor of Roman law
at Heidelberg since 1598 published a collection of texts relating to early French
history, up to the time of Adhemar of Chabannes.339 In this he included Fredegar’s
abbreviated version of the Historiae of Gregory of Tours, Fredegar’s own narrative of
the years from 584 to 642, and the whole of the continuation of this up to 768 found in

Monumentorum ecclesiasticorum et historicorum, sive H. Canisii Lectiones Antiquae


(7 vols. Antwerp, 1724-1725).
336
Vol. IV, pp. 185-207.
337
Thesaurus Temporum, Eusebii Pamphyli Chronicorum canonum omnimodae
Historiae libri duo, interprete Hieronymo. Item auctores omnes derelicta ab Eusebio
et Hieronymo continuantes (Leiden, 1606). This was reprinted in Geneva in 1609,
and in a revised version by A. Morus in Amsterdam in 1658. The 1606 edition was
also incorporated by SCHOTT into his Hispania Illustrata, vol. IV (Frankfurt, 1608),
pp. 208-212.
338
See above p. 000. On SCALIGER himself see Rudolf PFEIFFER, History of
Classical Scholarship 1300-1850 (Oxford, 1976), pp. 113-120.
339
Corpus Francicae Historiae Veteris et Sincerae (Hanover, 1613), pp. 117-166.
262
the Historia vel Gesta Francorum (or ‘Continuations’ of Fredegar). For the last part,
chapters 24 to 54 of the continuations, covering the period from 741 to 768 he just
reprinted Canisius’s edition, as the manuscripts he was using did not contain this part
of the text. He himself made use of the Heidelberg manuscript, Palatinus latinus 864
(Krusch 5a), first used by Facius Illyricus, and also the manuscript which later in the
same century would become MS Vatican Reginensis lat. 713, when it passed from
Queen Christina of Sweden’s collection to that of Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691)
and the Vatican. At the time that Freher himself was using it, this codex seems to
have been in Heidelberg, along with the Palatinus 864. This was the first edition in
which the name of Fredegar appeared.340
Freher’s edition, along with that of Canisius, was subsequently used by André
Duchesne for the text of Fredegar that he incorporated in to his collection of texts
relating to French medieval history, the Historiae Francorum Scriptores coaetanei of
1636.341 He also seems to have been the first scholar to consult the oldest and best
manuscript of the original Fredegar, MS Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat. 10910
(Krusch’s 1), and also the manuscript that would soon become MS Vatican Reginensis
lat. 213 (Krusch’s 4a), but which at this time was in the collection of Alexander Pétau.
The most scholarly of the early editions, and the nearest of them to approach
the publication of a critical text based on the comparison of several manuscripts was
that published in 1699 by Thierry Ruinart (1657-1709). 342 He made use of some of

340
The extended form of the title explicitly includes ...Gregorii Turonensis
excerpta chronica per Fredegarium Scholasticum….
341
Vol. I, pp. 722 to 728.
342
Sancti Gregorii Turonensis opera omnia necnon Fredegarii Scholastici
263
the best manuscripts, employing Paris Bibliothèque Nationale 10910 (Krusch’s 1),
and the Heidelberg Palatinus lat.864 (also the direct copy of it, Paris BN 5921 –
Krusch’s 5a and 5ax), and the Montpellier Bibliotheque de la Faculté de Médécine
MS 158 (Krusch’s 4c1), which has recently been shown to be the earliest surviving
codex containing the full text of the Historia vel Gesta Francorum. He recognised
that the first section of the continuation of Fredegar’s own narrative (Continuations 1
to 10 in modern editions) was actually borrowed, from what he called the anonymous
Gesta Regum Francorum, written by a monk of Saint-Denis. This is what we now
call the Liber Historiae Francorum.
It was also Ruinart who first defined this section of the work as
‘Continuations’, postulating that there were four separate sections of them. For
Ruinart, these consisted of, firstly the chapters covering the period from the marriage
of Clovis II to the execution of Bishop Leudegar (Continuations 1 to 3), secondly the
section from that point on to Charles Martel’s naval expedition against the Frisians
(Continuations 4 to 17), and thirdly the text that followed, up to the royal inauguration
of Pippin III (Continuations 18 to 24). The fourth of his sections is, obviously enough
the final one that then extends to the death of Pippin III and the succession of
Charlemagne and Carloman in 768 (Continuations 25 to 54).343

Epitome et Chronicon cum suis Continuatoribus (Paris, 1699). This was reprinted in
Maurice BOUQUET (ed.), Recueil des historiens des Gaules vol. II, part 5 (Paris,
1738), and via BOUQUET in J.P. MIGNE, Patrologia Latina, vol. LXXI (Paris,
1867), cols. 573-704.
343
RUINART (ed.), Sancti Gregorii Turonensis opera omnia pp. 663-704;
Patrologia Latina, vol. LXXI, cols. 665-698.
264
While none would now agree with the divisions he wanted to make in the text
with the death of Leudegar or possibly after Charles Martel’s Frisian expedition, he
can be counted as the inspirer of all subsequent attempts to see and interpet this
material as a series of discrete continuations. However, it needs to be understood that
he, like his predecessors was producing only a partial edition of the Fredegar
compilation. His main interest lay with the text of Gregory of Tours, and he
recognised the third book of Fredegar as no more than an abbreviated version of
Gregory’s books One to Six. So, this was of no interest to him and was not included
in his edition, anymore than the materials that had preceded it, the Liber Generationis
or De Cursu Temprorum, depending on the manuscript, and the distinctive
Fredegarian form of the Eusebius-Jerome-Hydatius chronicle sequence. Ruinart, like
his predecessors, was only really concerned with what Fredegar in either version
could add to Gregory, and so only included the new materials for the years 584 to 642
and the extension of this on to 768. He was unaware of or did not care about the other
changes to the text and to the structure that can be found when comparing the original
four or five book Fredegar with the three book Historia vel Gesta Francorum. For
him and for most other scholars of his day, and to a large degree since, the Fredegar
compilation had no intrinsic interest in itself. All that mattered was the way some of it
could carry forward the narrative history of the Frankish kingdoms, first found in
Gregory of Tours. It is from an understanding of this historiographical perspective
that we can see how we have found ourselves in the present state of confusion about
Fredegar and the Fredegarian texts, due to an over concentration on the narratives of
the final parts and a lack of concern for the wider questions of content and structure
that need to be addressed.
265
It was therefore the edition that Bruno Krusch (1857-1940) produced in 1888
for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica that first attempted to make sense of the
work as a whole and to find a way of presenting its text. It could be said that the
inheritance from Ruinart, with its misleading concern for the dissection of supposed
Continuations and lack of interest in questions of more general contents and
organisation, may have predisposed him to make some of the editorial decisions that
he did. He quite rightly used the Paris manuscript, Bibliothèque Nationale lat. 10910,
as the only sound basis for creating a text of the original Fredegar, producing a
version that improved on the diplomatic edition of the codex published only three
years earlier by Gabriel Monod (1844-1912).344 To add on to this an edition of the
additional materials relating to the years 642 to 768 found in his Class Four
manuscripts was pragmatic, but did violence to the codicological reality that the
resulting text was one that could not be found and had never existed in any
manuscript. The authority of his edition - ‘susceptible of correction but never of
replacement’ – led his successors, J.M. Wallace-Hadrill (1916-1985) in 1960 and
Andreas Kusternig in 1982 into restricting themselves to minor changes to the text but
not challenging the decisions taken by Krusch on structure and organisation. 345

344
Gabriel MONOD, Études critiques sur les sources de l’histoire
mérovingienne, pt. 2: La compilation dite de Frédégaire (Bibliothèque de l’École des
Hautes Études, vol. 63, 1885); for the verdict on their respective merits see
WALLACE-HADRILL (1960), pp. lxii-lxiii.
345
Ian N. WOOD, ‘John Michael Wallace-Hadrill (1916-1985)’, in Proceedings
of the British Academy 124 (2004), pp. 333-355.
266
Neither of their editions was intended to be complete.346
For the future, the original Fredegar compilation is more than well represented
by Krusch’s edition, as the Paris manuscript remains authoritative. What is
problematic is the three book Historia vel Gesta Francorum or second version, which
deserves an edition in its own right. This would have to be on the basis of the
manuscripts and fragments belonging to what Krusch classified as his Class Four,
with some input from the manuscripts of Class Five, one of which predates all others
in both of these classes, but which only contain a small section of the text. All of
these show the influence of the reform of spelling of the age of Charlemagne. None
contain the probable orginal orthography, close to that of the Merovingian period,
though many of them hint at features of it. The surviving manuscripts of Krusch’s
Class Four are all corrupt in various ways and none can be said to be really
authoritative in the way that Paris BN lat 10910 is for the original Fredegar. The
earliest of them is itself dependent on a branch of the tradition now only represented
by rather later and less good manuscripts than itself. Decisions to be taken are going
to be hard ones.

346
WALLACE-HADRILL 1960 explicitly limits itself to Book Four and the
Continuations. Andreas KUSTERNIG, Chronicarum quae dicuntur Fredegarii libri
quattuor, in Herwig WOLFRAM (ed.), Quellen zur Geschichte des 7. und 8.
Jahrhunderts (Darmstadt, 1982), pp. 3-325 omits the early sections up to Book Two
chapter 53.
267
268