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  • Erzbischof Hinkmar und die Folgen: Der vierhundertjährige Weg historischer Erinnerungsbilder von Reims nach Trier
  • John J. Contreni
Erzbischof Hinkmar und die Folgen: Der vierhundertjährige Weg historischer Erinnerungsbilder von Reims nach Trier. By Olaf Schneider. [Millennium-Studien zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n. Chr., Band 22.]. (Berlin: de Gruyter. 2010. Pp. xii, 470. $137.00. ISBN 978-3-110-20056-0.)

In 863 Archbishop Hincmar compiled a document for use in the trial of one of his suffragan bishops, Rothad II of Soissons (832-62; 865-69). Among many juridical and historical topics, Hincmar's document outlined what he thought should be the proper relationship between metropolitans and their bishops. Olaf Schneider's meticulous study focuses on seventeen lines of the eighteen-page document in its Monumenta Germaniae Historica edition (Epistolae 8/1 [1939], no. 160, ed. Ernst Perels, pp. 122-40). These lines make up the eighth paragraph of the first part of the document and take the reader back to the eighth-century history of Hincmar's see when Milo, "by tonsure, but not by living, a cleric," "occupied" both Reims and Trier. The lands that Reims lost during this time of turmoil were later restored with the support of King Carlomann and the leadership of Archbishop Tilpin of Reims. Carlomann was buried in the church of Saint-Remigius of Reims after he died in 771. Schneider subjects all the rich details of this brief account, for which Hincmar is the only source, to meticulous scrutiny. A good part of the analysis focuses on the historicity of the "facts" of the account:Who were Milo and Tilpin? Was Carlomann actually buried in Reims, and, if so, what happened to his tomb? Establishing what can be known about the facts of the narrative allow Schneider to explore a much larger canvas, the canvas on which historical memories are created and then selectively viewed by later audiences. In the case of the Milo, Reims, Trier, and Carlomann cameo, he builds a convincing case that Hincmar had his own ninth-century lost property issues firmly in mind when he re-created eighth-century Reims. A master impresario of historical texts with a rich cathedral archive, Hincmar worked as a mosaicist might to construct a memory of eighth-century Reims that would serve ninth-century [End Page 763] circumstances. (Was Hincmar a second Tilpin [p. 65], or Tilpin a first Hincmar?) Only a perceptive viewer such as Schneider would detect that the pieces do not quite fit together snugly. In the tenth century, when Flodoard came to write his history of the church of Reims, Hincmar's constructed account of the eighth century had become canonical. The second part of the book traces how bits and pieces of the memory Hincmar created lived on in other lands, circumstances, and centuries to serve other needs. Here, Schneider leads his readers away from Reims to Trier where, in the wake of particularly destructive raids by Northmen, Trier lost not only its buildings to fire, but its archives and libraries and with them its past as well. As tenth-century Trier clerics rebuilt the memory of their past, Hincmar's account of their city's connection to Reims and especially to Milo proved helpful. Bits and pieces of Hincmar's construction took on new life in many different documents connected with Trier. Twice in his book Schneider makes the point that "[i]n the beginning there was Hincmar" (pp. 1, 387). The second time he uses the aphorism to preface his observation that by the end of his study Hincmar is nowhere to be found. Such is the contingency of memory and historical reconstructions. Schneider's fascinating case study of seventeen lines of carefully crafted text that went on to have multiple lives joins a growing number of fine studies of how memory was formed and re-formed in the Middle Ages.

John J. Contreni
Purdue University
...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 763-764
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-27
Open Access
No
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