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Queenship and Sanctity

The Lives of Mathilda and the Epitaph of Adelheid (Medieval Texts in Translation)

Sean Gilsdorf

Publication Year: 2012

Queenship and Sanctity brings together for the first time in English the anonymous Lives of Mathilda and Odilo of Cluny's Epitaph of Adelheid. Richly annotated, with an extensive introduction placing the texts and their subjects in historical and hagiographical context, it provides teachers and students with a crucial set of sources for the history of Europe (particularly Germany) in the tenth and eleventh centuries, for the development of sacred biography and medieval notions of sanctity, and for the life of aristocratic and royal women in the early Middle Ages.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-6


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pp. vi-vii

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pp. viii-x

A few years ago, the historian Roger Collins reviewed the state of early medieval studies in the Anglo-American world.1 On the whole, his conclusions were positive: studies of the period, he noted, have increased in number and sophistication, while translated sources—essential for bringing the early Middle Ages within the mental and curricular horizons ...


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pp. xi-xii


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pp. xiii-xv

Genealogical Tables

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pp. xvi-xviii

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pp. 1-68

One thousand years ago, authors from monasteries in Burgundy and northern Germany sat down to record the lives and deaths of two powerful and pious women, Mathilda and Adelheid. Both were extolled by their Saxon and Burgundian biographers as saints, exemplary figures whose lives were guided by God and witnessed to his grace. ...

Translated Texts

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The “Older Life” of Queen Mathilda

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pp. 71-87

There are many who foolishly devote themselves to worldly study, hoping that by filling the people’s ears with stories of famous men told in a philosophical way, they might either gain lasting fame or curry human favor.1 By order of the most glorious Emperor Otto, however, we have recorded ...

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The “Later Life” of Queen Mathilda

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pp. 88-127

To King Henry, wholly deserving of the utmost reverence. The interpreter of this work wishes for you an increase in spiritual gifts, the augmentation of your virtues, and prosperity in worldly affairs. Many know that you, blessed with knowledge and skill in a variety of pursuits, have pored over numerous books containing the lives of the holy fathers, ...

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The Epitaph of Adelheid

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pp. 128-144

To the venerable lord abbot Andreas and all of the brothers entrusted to him, who devoutly serve our Lord and Savior on the outskirts of Pavia:1 brother Odilo, the dregs of all of the paupers of Cluny, sends wishes for prosperity in this life and for everlasting joy.2 ...

Appendix 1: Widukind of Corvey on Queen Mathilda (Res Gestae 1.31 and 3.74)

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pp. 145-146

Appendix 2: Mathilda and the Stirps Widukindi

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pp. 147-153

Appendix 3: Vestigia deosculari: St. Efrem, Bavaria, and the Vita Mathildis posterior

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pp. 154-158


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pp. 159-198


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pp. 199-212


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pp. 213-222

E-ISBN-13: 9780813216089
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813213743

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1st ed.

OCLC Number: 608652971
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Queenship and Sanctity

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Subject Headings

  • Matilda, Queen, consort of Henry I, King of Germany, ca. 895-968.
  • Adelaide, Empress, consort of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, 931-999.
  • Queens -- Germany -- Biography.
  • Christian saints -- Germany -- Biography.
  • Germany -- History -- Henry I, 919-936 -- Sources.
  • Germany -- History -- Otto I, 936-973 -- Sources.
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