Examination of the Sithieu card

The name of Charlemagne filled the Middle Ages, even greater at the time of Filippo Angusto than among his contemporaries [124]. That vast intellect, that strong man dominates the feudal generations with the memory of his conquests, of his government, of the strength of his body, of his marvelous enterprises; a certain that the extraordinary is mixed in his reign, he is the subject of a number of chronicles, legends, heroic songs, which celebrate his life, his words, his conquests and his miracles; they make him great in one and holy. None of the kings of the three lineages left deep footprints like his in the spirit of the times; infinite are the documents that deal with him; the Benedictines collected more than eight hundred fragments that refer to him, and the collection by Pertz alone forms three large volumes in folio, all over his kingdom alone, where with patient erudition everything that remained of the memories about the person of the emperor was gathered; the chronicles, the papers, the legends, the diplomas, the seals, all in sum (except the epic story and [135]fictional) found itself welcomed in the work of that learned patient, and tender of his homeland, who wanted to preserve every smallest stone of the majestic building of the first of the Carolingians.

The chronicles, which are the most valuable sources from which to derive the story of Charlemagne, can be restricted to four main ones, and include well-known and exact notions about his life as king and as emperor; the first of them chronic, with the title of Annali d’Eginardo, are, by way of conjectures, rather than arbitrary, attributed to the chancellor of Charlemagne; but there is no clue to us; they are monastic annals, written little less than day by day and such that they are also distinguished by the form, from the uncontested work of Eginardo: The life of Charlemagne. It would be strange indeed that after having so partially described the facts and deeds of his lord, Eginardo had collected, within the same terms, other annals, and replicated his biographical work. These annals, correctly written, reveal the monastic and Latin origin of their author, and offer all the clues of a contemporary work; the events are reported to you day by day with inscribed fidelity, for writing history in those times was a duty of religion, a work of holiness, nor was there any allegation that was not in the conscience of the chronicler, poor friar, who passed life to educate itself and to seek what mattered to know to future generations [125]. This first and major chronicle, which I hold to be the work of some monk of the Seligenstad abbey, founded by Eginardo, began from the reign of Pepin the Short, and reaches the middle of the time of Lodovico, from whence the great annals of San Bertino and di Fulda, thus continuing the series of traditions written around the Carolingians, which come first from the monasteries. The annals are generally cold, dry, laconic; and they hint at the facts with that brevity that the summaries and titles of leaders in history books; the events are told [136]as they fall from the pen, without colors, without comments; they are the sacred chronology of the monastery, the series of times that pass before those fathers, like the great powdered oriole of the Hours.

The Life of Charlemagne, the undisputed work of Eginardo, differs from the annals in that they are interspersed with the general facts of society, while in the life composed of the faithful amanensis and chancellor of the great Charles, it is only his person, his actions and his way of to live; all his facts and sayings are religiously collected there, so that for this work you can measure his gigantic stature of seven feet, and hear his voice, very high in that very capable chest, and learn the prowess of his powerful arm and habits of his life, and everything that was operated by him from his childhood until his death. Eginardo, a passionate admirer of Charlemagne, lived in the palace with him as his family, and enjoys following him in the war, in the midst of battles and in private life, so for this respect, there is no

I gave the name of the Chronicle of the monk of St. Gallen (held in contempt by many scholars) to the account of the facts and deeds of Charlemagne, written in that abbey of St. Gall not far from Lake Constance, both to the beloved prince, and the chronicler called with the name of monk of St. Gallen, is a writer of legends of vivid and poetic imagination, who likes to collect all the facts and the epic traditions. He is not, to tell the truth, a contemporary author, but he has tried everything to refer to Charlemagne, and everything tells of good faith, and if seen he does not have with his own eyes, or heard with his own ears what he reports, he drew it at least from pure source. From Vernebetto, one of his brothers, who lived at the court of Lodovico Pio, he drew what he knew of ecclesiastical affairs, and from Adelbert, one of the faithful leuds who followed Charlemagne in his expeditions against the Saxons, the Huns and the Avars, he had what he knows of domestic and military matters. Leaning on these authorities, which he consulted a lot, the monk of St. Gall bears a multitude of legends and heroic songs about Charlemagne’s domestic life as king and emperor, and he is otherwise a grave and melancholy chronicler, like the cry of the night striga on the bell tower of his monastery; but happy, short story, cheerful, witty; his style is colorful, warm like Reinfeld wine. What more poetic, exemplary, than the story [137]of the war in Lombardy, where he describes those forests of spears, which look like ears of iron grown in the Milanese countryside! The monk of St. Gallen is a bit talkative; but why want to hurt him? Nor should we despise the old lady, who, turning the spinning wheel, tells the stories of her time, the legends, the facts and the deeds of a famous man. For me I love to see Charlemagne quarreling with the singers, scolding the palace officers, paying for this, threatening that and frightening them all with his gaze, with his high-pitched and shrill voice, yes, but sonorous, and precisely in this form there is l represents the monk of St. Gallen. In history, the most curious are not otherwise the facts; and are they not all always the same on the par with the passions of men and their affections? The important thing to see is the aspect of the company. Does a chronicler never tell anything extraneous to the customs of his time, and what more is to be required of him than the timely relation of the cases of life and customs among which he lives? I have read and reread, and seriously consulted, the monk of St. Gallen, because he introduces me to Charlemagne in his private life, with that violent justice of his, with those Germanic passions of his, with his inclination to intermingle with every small thing; and I would almost say because he introduced me to the gossip of his court. In the life of a great man, the best known are generally the great things; but often we also need to rest in the small ones. and what more is to be required of him than the precise relationship of the cases of life and customs among which he lives? I have read and reread, and seriously consulted, the monk of St. Gallen, because he introduces me to Charlemagne in his private life, with that violent justice of his, with those Germanic passions of his, with his inclination to intermingle with every small thing; and I would almost say because he introduced me to the gossip of his court. In the life of a great man, the best known are generally the great things; but often we also need to rest in the small ones. and what more is to be required of him than the precise relationship of the cases of life and customs among which he lives? I have read and reread, and seriously consulted, the monk of St. Gallen, because he introduces me to Charlemagne in his private life, with that violent justice of his, with those Germanic passions of his, with his inclination to intermingle with every small thing; and I would almost say because he introduced me to the gossip of his court. In the life of a great man, the best known are generally the great things; but often we also need to rest in the small ones. with those Germanic passions of his, with his inclination to intermingle with every little thing; and I would almost say because he introduced me to the gossip of his court. In the life of a great man, the best known are generally the great things; but often we also need to rest in the small ones. with those Germanic passions of his, with his inclination to intermingle with every little thing; and I would almost say because he introduced me to the gossip of his court. In the life of a great man, the best known are generally the great things; but often we also need to rest in the small ones.

The Saxon poet, one of the liveliest chroniclers of the reign of Charlemagne, did not otherwise inscribe in the language of his ancient homeland. He was born of one of those proud Saxons who opposed the arms of the emperor, and whom the latter later dispersed in the monasteries. He too lived in the solitudes of the cloister, where he described the events and undertakings that had taken place in his day, in time that almost all the major monastic communities had among them some Saxon religious, who had come from afar to look for a port there in the storms that weighed upon them. on his homeland. The Saxon poet wrote his chronicle in verse in the desert, and although he has studied the ancients little, nevertheless there is some reminiscence of Virgil in his verse. His forte is the descriptive genre, and yet he enjoys letting us attend all the pomp of the plenary courts, and takes pleasure in painting these magnificences of Charlemagne; describes all the events, the coming of the popes, the hunts, the banquets, the court, the family of the emperor, and it is evident that he has kept the love of the songs and heroic poems of the heaters and singers of his country . Perhaps also that he removed his most vivid paintings from some of those traditions written in the Germanic language, and the poet [138]Saxon is nothing more than a translator of those warlike songs that animated the warriors of the Rhine in battle.

The Chronicles of San Dionigi , so famous in the glories of the cavalry, have nothing original, but they are nothing but a great collection or a recapitulation of annals and traditions around that time. The monks in the silent desk [126] of the royal abbey did not already tell a story of their own, at least as far as the old days were concerned, but judiciously collected the best documents and the most certain traditions of the past; hence for Charlemagne and for the Carolingians in general, who benefited so much from the royal abbey of San Dionigi, they removed the annals attributed to Eginard, of which their text is nothing more than a faithful and exact translation, which was later in time progressed into the old French language, and the few incidences that are found there are for the more part observations made by chroniclers, or traditions removed from other chronicles. Everything that he wrote to San Dionigi came, as I say, from an inquisition; nothing was said that it had not first passed through the sieve of truth, and when a fact was delivered in those pages, it made full faith in justice, so much so that the Chronicle of San Dionigiit became the political newspaper of Charles VI himself. And nevertheless in these great chronicles of France the legend of Turpino also found a niche; yes the legend of the famous archbishop of Reims, Turpino, who enjoys such a popular reputation together with Charlemagne, of that Turpino that still forms the delights of us as we are, lovers of ancient times; of that Turpino so celebrated in the legends of the four sons of Amon and in the poem of Roncesvalles, where the proud bishop, with a helmet on his head, and equipped with an iron glove on his hand, bats down the infidels, so as not to spill the human blood. It is true that everything proves that the facts and enterprises referred to in this Turpino legend are falsified; but no one can deny that this history, written as it was in the eleventh or twelfth century,

Alongside the four main chronicles of the Carlinghi times, other ancient tales are lined up, less important, but equally curious for their origin: such are the annals of San Bertino, which we do not want to confuse with the paper, pious signification of that time; then the deeds of Charles the Great, written in verse in a monastery in Germany, a sort of translation of the [139]annals of Eginard; then the chronicle of the monk of Angoulemme, southern testimony of the customs and uses of the court of Charlemagne. To which ancient documents must be added the chronograph of Theophanes, the only one, among the Byzantine historians, who spoke a little broadly about the Western emperor. This Theophanes lived at the beginning of the ninth century, nor did he allow himself to get involved in his work of the things that were happening in Rome, of the flight of Pope Stephen, and of the exaltation of the Carolingians since Pepin. Paolo Diacono, of Lombard origin, as he is, just concedes a few short and concise pages to the reign of Charlemagne and the Franks, on par with the driest annals of monasteries. Nonetheless in his less than summarized relationship, he does not forget his children, his wife,

Here we are now to the annals of Fulda, written in the noble Carolingic abbey, which include the memories of the second lineage, so that it seems that you end, so much those Fuldense monks were Austrasii in body and soul! O ancient abbey, no more arise on your soil, beaten by war, than sad and silent ruin, but even your records survived the ravages of time! [127]Fulda and St. Gallen were the two Alemannic sisters, who guarded as chaste daughters the archives of their father and benefactor. In the solitudes of Sant’Arnoldo di Metz, other reports of the reign of Charlemagne were also preserved, since every fact worthy of history was jealously collected and celebrated. In the monastery of San Gallo a Latin poem about Charlemagne and his encounter with Pope Leo was kept, a very important event for the generation, but which then came the cause and the beginning of that great restoration of the Western empire; the pope and the emperor, holding hands, go to Rome, reciprocally lending each other their strength, and an old monk from San Gallo enjoys a memory of them; whereas this foundation of a vast empire hardly arouses the attention of some Byzantine annalist; of Constantine Manasseus, an example, who, having said that Pope Leo renounced the government of ancient Rome, adds: «He anointed the new emperor from head to toe, according to the rite of the Jews; the ancient bond with the prisca Roma was broken, the sword separated the daughter from the mother, and Rome, melting from its old age, is young again. ”

The Lives of the Saints are also a source, that it is his profession to continually consult those who write about the history of the Middle Ages, not [140]to accept everything that the servant’s piety tells of the master, to the miracles of which he keeps behind, but yes for the painting of the costumes which you find whole. And which century does not have its legends? What is the sovereign man, of whom posterity and contemporaries do not tell tales and tales? Who does not have his fictional story, his mythology close to reality? When the century has been filled with a name, it is good for them that historians and poets justify their admiration by recounting prodigies, it is good for them to say why they placed a man in such height; hence if you read, by way of example, the legendary of the saints, written by the famous archbishop Iucmaro, you will find particularities and facts of the domestic life of Carlo Martello, Pipino and Charlemagne; and so the anonymous who wrote the life of Blessed Alcuin,

But the largest, the most remarkable of such legendaries, is the book, or so to speak the poem, so detailed and relevant, known under the title Miracles of St. Benedict , written by Franco Aldorano, a monk of St. Benedict. There, in the long report of the innumerable labors of that boundless man, who founded civilization and rule in the West, you will find the episode of Count Rodolfo and his concubine, sunk in hell, a story that will assist us at all widths and to all the donations already made by the kings to the abbey of San Benedetto on the Loire, where it is navigable; curious document on the commerce of the caroline era. Read the Miracles of St. Dionysius again, written by a pious religious of this abbey in the ninth century, and consequently contemporaries, and you will see that this legend is a kind of description of civil life under the Carolingians. And if you like to get acquainted with the Germanic customs of Charlemagne, and to know the sylvan customs of Swabia, the Rhine and the Meuse, browse the reports of the Miracles of St. Goaro, written by a monk of the abbey of Prumia, founded by the emperor. What Germanic simplicity in those narratives! Everything there, in truth, refers to the Saint, everything turns to call the veneration and the gifts on the monastery; but even these legends of the wood and the desert give us very well to know the Carolinian times, and in these lives of the saints the particularities of the public or private life of those generations are found more than anywhere else. So who loves ancient things, read the Miracles of San Vandregisillo , abbot of Fontenelle, which contain the story of the conversion of a Saxon; read the Life of Saint Angilbert, Abbot of San Ricchieri, and will see how Berta, one of the daughters of King Charles, taken by a great love for Angilbert, whom she saw to be more than any other dear to her father, ardently wishing to have him [141]her husband, nor taking care in his heart to tell his father, nevertheless made sure that he learned of it. Who, although unwillingly saw his daughter in the grip of this love, even for a worse theme, and considering that Angilbert was descended from ancient and noble prosapia, he adhered to the desire of his daughter, and will see how he had her in marriage, he took off the priestly habit, and left the court, came to establish his abode in San Ricchieri, disdaining the vain pomp of honors, to live in that monastery with his Bertha, who also took the veil in the cloister itself.

The life of Gregory the Great, written by John the deacon, makes him aware of curious details on the introduction of Roman chant in Gaul, and with these details one is precisely writing and composing history. “King Charles, shaken by the discord that was between the sacred chant of the Romans and that of the Gauls, asked for the reason, and the latter alleged that the Roman chant had been corrupted by national arias, the others at the meeting claimed the purity of their melodies. So the king then asked where the purest water was, and everyone hastened, having to answer to the spring, the king added: – Now this is well said for us who have hitherto drunk the corrupted water of the trickle; let us purify ourselves at the eternal source. – He then left two cherics with Pope Adrian, and when he thought that they were sufficiently taught, he called them back to his metropolis of Metz, whence he then purified the song of all Gaul. If not that dead, then at a long time, they cherici, he realized that the ecclesiastical chant in Gaul was again distorted, and said: – Let’s go back to the source again. And he did so much that the pope, yielding to his requests, sent two other singers to Gaul, for which it was proved that the Gallic chant was again corrupted by the fault of those who practiced it, although the cherics of Metz were those who are missing. they moved away from Roman chant; so that from that time onwards it is taken for granted, that as much the song of Metz has deviated from that of Rome, the song of the other Gaul has also deviated from that of Metz whence he then purified the song of all Gaul. If not that dead, then at a long time, they cherici, he realized that the ecclesiastical chant in Gaul was again distorted, and said: – Let’s go back to the source again. And he did so much that the pope, yielding to his requests, sent two other singers to Gaul, for which it was proved that the Gallic chant was again corrupted by the fault of those who practiced it, although the cherics of Metz were those who are missing. they moved away from Roman chant; so that from that time onwards it is taken for granted, that as much the song of Metz has deviated from that of Rome, the song of the other Gaul has also deviated from that of Metz whence he then purified the song of all Gaul. If not that dead, then at a long time, they cherici, he realized that the ecclesiastical chant in Gaul was again distorted, and said: – Let’s go back to the source again. And he did so much that the pope, yielding to his requests, sent two other singers to Gaul, for which it was proved that the Gallic chant was again corrupted by the fault of those who practiced it, although the cherics of Metz were those who are missing. they moved away from Roman chant; so that from that time onwards it is taken for granted, that as much the song of Metz has deviated from that of Rome, the song of the other Gaul has also deviated from that of Metz – Let’s go back to the source again. And he did so much that the pope, yielding to his requests, sent two other singers to Gaul, for which it was proved that the Gallic chant was again corrupted by the fault of those who practiced it, although the cherics of Metz were those who are missing. they moved away from Roman chant; so that from that time onwards it is taken for granted, that as much the song of Metz has deviated from that of Rome, the song of the other Gaul has also deviated from that of Metz – Let’s go back to the source again. And he did so much that the pope, yielding to his requests, sent two other singers to Gaul, for which it was proved that the Gallic chant was again corrupted by the fault of those who practiced it, although the cherics of Metz were those who are missing. they moved away from Roman chant; so that from that time onwards it is considered unquestionable, that as much the song of Metz has deviated from that of Rome, the song of the other Gaul has also deviated from that of Metz[128] . ”

Now while these legends and these marvelous tales, if they have any importance, it is because of the enormous that they bear deeply imprinted on the customs of those times, in the papers, diplomas and capitulars there is instead an authenticity that leaves no doubt facts and acts of life tested by them. Certainly, in general, the reading of these papers is dry and fruitless, as is the reading of deeds drawn up by a notary, or transcribed in the archives of a court; but for the antiquarian who collects the relics of the past, they are documents [142]able to offer a general notion of the civil customs of a society, and there are two results that can be obtained from the study of them: first that of establishing the dates, so that the more doubting it is not possible that an event did not really happen at the allotted time , being the paper or the diploma the best way to establish the whole series of times of a kingdom, its beginning, the means and the end; then, what guides us even better in the curious study of the Middle Ages, the reference of most of these acts to private transactions among that generation. In such writings it is often a question of the sale of a benefice or an allod, or even of a war horse; and where you have a deed of donation of a piece of land or a mill to the abbey; where an inscription of marriage, and where the emancipation of a servant with the formal customs of every single nation, in which precisely these acts have a historical value. The cartolare itself includes the collection of these papers, very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the thoughtful study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. every single nation, in which precisely these acts have a historical value. The cartolare itself includes the collection of these papers, very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the thoughtful study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. every single nation, in which precisely these acts have a historical value. The cartolare itself includes the collection of these papers, very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the thoughtful study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. in that these acts have a historical value. The cartolare itself includes the collection of these papers, very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the thoughtful study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. in that these acts have a historical value. The cartolare itself includes the collection of these papers, very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the thoughtful study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the meditated study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. very ancient titles to prove the legitimate ownership of monastic assets, and the meditated study of those ancient parchments, is, so to speak, a way of initiation into the Middle Ages. The capitulars, fashioned on a broader basis, are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. fashioned on broader foundations, they are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. fashioned on broader foundations, they are codes that embrace the general customs of society; the charter is the act of private life from the baron to the servant; the capitulars are the statute for every race, for every social division, for every people, for dominion and for public property; diplomas proceed from kings; the papers from the accounts, the abbots, the bourgeois and even the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. by the bourgeois and also by the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age. by the bourgeois and also by the servants; all elements that illuminate the story, and establish the customs of each age.

Among the relics of those ancient times, I transcended one of the most precious monuments to personify in a single picture the entire life of the monastic community, and it is the Cartolare di San Bertino, that is the preservation of the papers and diplomas which constituted and enriched that great abbey. The powerful communities of that time were not only silent solitudes, in which brooding men, safe from worldly passions, waited to cultivate the land, to broaden the realm of science and to pray, but yes still political bodies that got involved in business. of the world. The abbots, almost always elected by the monks and confirmed by the pope, led a vigilant and active life, and exercised great authority over the entire civil body. Did it happen that the pontiffs convened a council to give order to the things of the Church, or that the sovereign banished made a military diet of the May camp? the abbots of the main monastic foundations v ‘ they came running with miter on their heads and stole around their necks to deliberate on public affairs. Francati, as they were, from the episcopal jurisdiction, all their obligations were towards Rome, the source [143]of Catholic unity: they had frequent, active correspondence with kings and popes, nor did they deal only with the interests of their monasteries, but were also consulted for their experience on matters of public life; Indeed, nothing was done in the world without the cooperation or consent of the leaders of those monastic colonies which ruled over Gaul, Germany and Italy.

The monasteries of those times formed a real, as much agitated as it is tiring republic, in which the monks used in the election of an abbot all the fervor of electoral democracy, with majorities and minorities, and warm and passionate opposition: neither to the abbot himself. it was not, when elected, too easy to exercise his entire authority; and sometimes they had us among the monks older than those who served as tribunes to defend the ancient privileges of the abbey. The most perfect equality reigned everywhere among the members of the same community, but that the monastery was also a refuge for the great of the earth: the expired princes were thrown into the cloisters as they were state prisons, and eventually Longobard kings, Saxon leaders went there. and Bavari accounts. Corbeja, San Bertino and Sant ‘ Ovano closed their iron doors behind not a few crowned kings, who, confused there by the innumerable family of friars, had nothing that distinguished them from the other servants of God admitted to the hermitage and the abbey. Now all these cases and facts were collected by the monasteries, and they kept track of them; and to these notes they then added papers and attachments, original documents that justified the reports of the monk, who was responsible for collecting the paper, which monk had the name, almost everywhere, of brother archivist, deputy to treasure every minimum title that referred to the abbey. Now all these cases and facts were collected by the monasteries, and they kept track of them; and to these notes they then added papers and attachments, original documents that justified the reports of the monk, who was responsible for collecting the paper, which monk had the name, almost everywhere, of brother archivist, deputy to treasure every minimum title that referred to the abbey. Now all these cases and facts were collected by the monasteries, and they kept track of them; and to these notes they then added papers and attachments, original documents that justified the reports of the monk, who was responsible for collecting the paper, which monk had the name, almost everywhere, of brother archivist, deputy to treasure every minimum title that referred to the abbey.

There was no one in the Middle Ages who did not know the ancient fame of the monastery of Sithieu, founded by San Bertino, not far from Sant’Omero. San Bertino was a pious monk, a native of Constance on the Rhine, a Roman city and already a nest of wisdom and light. He embraced the monastic state with Saint Homer, the first to civilize Flanders, and followed by several devoted companions, he went to that province, which he with whom he owed to ignorance and idolatry. Once in the village of Terrovana, there they first built a church entirely of walls, against the custom of that time, which was to build in wood, and decorated it with mosaics and columns, and surrounded it with cells, which became a short time too narrow, from which a colony of workers was established, which, led by San Bertino, started towards the city of Sant’Omero, where the religious ran across the countryside to look for a shelter and a suitable place for cultivation. Now while they were praying to God for this, a rich Franco, named Adroaldo, came to them [144]who, already old and without heirs, moved by devotion to St. Peter, gave these poor monks a house called Sithieu; and they worked there about six or seven years, and set up a chapel there; then, with the passing of time, the monastery grew more and more, until another colony came to settle on a nearby mound, building a church and a cemetery, and all these branches later formed the great abbey.

The list of abbots of San Bertino was soon full of illustrious names; while the donations of others continually enlarged his farms. The abbots were sometimes of royal lineage, that is, the sons of Palatine prefects and Merovingian kings; but nothing was more effective in raising it in the concept of peoples than in having gathered the last of the Merovei. The offspring of the crinite kings were thrown into that solitude, the monastery thus converted into a political prison, and no one heard of that progeny struck by fortune; San Bertino was, as it were, the sepulcher of the Merovei, and the abbots, very humble accomplices of the new lineage, extinguished there within the last scions of the ancient one.

The San Berlin paper barely touches a motto of Childerico, the last of those Merovei who also had granted so many privileges to that abbey. “After some time, says the card, King Childeric, having finished the last part of his life in the monastery of Sithieu, was buried in the church of San Bertino.” Not even a word of compassion about this death, nor a lament about this king of an expelled family; he is confined, and dies as the darkest of those monks, and as soon as his name is written in the liturgy; more indeed we speak of the story of an abbot, of the burial of a cantor, than of an expired king, but that the Church is loyal to the worthy son of Pepin. Hence Charlemagne also filled the monks of Sithieu or San Bertino with privileges.

The state prisons under the empire of Charlemagne were therefore San Bertino, Corbia, Fontanella, Sant’Ovano, Fulda in Germany, and Montecassino in Italy, all monasteries continuously populated by vanquished, so that the emperor, well served, deserved the supporters of his authority with the following diploma: «Charles, by the grace of God, king of the Franks, illustrious man, exercising our royal podestà, we confirm the gifts made by our predecessors to the holy places, according to customary direction. The venerable Ardrado, abbot of the monastery of Sithieu, built in honor of the mother of God and of the apostles Peter and Paul, therefore came into our presence, reminding our real munificence what our ancestors did for the immunities of the monastery, among which, for example, [145]the said privileges in everything that could benefit the monastery. ” And on foot is the seal of the most glorious Charles; which seal, copied as it was in the paper, represents a grave face, perfectly delineated, with the crown on the forehead; thick beard, big eye, Germanic nose. Could this be the cockpit type?

A few years later, the monastery of Sithieu obtained another royal diploma, which it bears on the front: De venatione sylvarum(of hunting in the woods); and there Charlemagne takes the title of king of the Franks and of the Lombards and of patrician of Rome. «We confirm, there it is said, for our eternal health, the gifts we have already granted to the servants of God; and therefore it is known to the present and to the future, that we have granted to Ardrado Abbate, and to the monks of the monastery of Sithieu, the right to hunt in the woods, as well as their people, so that they may have the opportunity to kill roe , in order to use their skins to cover books and to make gloves and belts, and this faculty is understood to be granted to them in perpetuity. ” Therefore, if the abbots of San Bertino asked to be able to cover their volumes with feral skins, to defend them from the ravages of time, it is a sign that they already had a considerable library.

There were not a few books at the time of Charlemagne, and they formed, as if to say, the relics of ancient wisdom and the pride of the monastery. Some of those catalogs, which still remain to us, include not that all the works of the fathers of the Church, such as St. Jerome, St. Paul and the others, and the ancient and sacred writings, even the profane authors, Virgil, Horace and even Ovid with his poetic loves. There were very severe penalties against those who destroyed books, and also that of excommunication, as it was too important to save those precious treasures from the malice or negligence of others. The correspondence of the abbots of San Bertino with the popes was active and continuous, and enjoying the privilege of depending directly, for their jurisdiction, on the Roman popes, they asked them for advice on the shops of the world, and in everything they had to do :

Do you see those marble pontiffs crouched over their monuments with inscriptions from the Carolinian times? They are the ancient abbots of Sithieu, consumed by the centuries; but it was a time when these powerful men, in the shadow of their monastery, fought against the kings themselves, guarded the expired kings, had sovereign jurisdiction, and royal domains, and a republic under the pastoral regiment. It was beautiful to see those monks standing around, as the election approached, and to oppose them strongly [146]to that abbot, who too pious had wanted to introduce reform in the monastery, placing their privileges in front of them, to which they were as fond as to life itself. But this name of reform, it is well to hear what the most severe and religious pontiffs did, and when the monks departed from the austere rule imposed by St. Benedict, they wrote to them: “Amend yourselves, however, that idleness is against your Rule.” And when they sat too long in the refectory, or did not observe the fasts commanded by the Church, or violated the canons of the councils, if they drank generous wine, if they satiated with fish from the nursery, or with game from the forest, the popes They threatened them with an interdict, and venerable guardians, as they were, of the sanctity of customs, they did not suffer nor the practice of women for within the cells, nor the noisy life of hunting through the forests. Similar reforms were also attempted by some vigilant abbot or austere bishop; but then what recalcitrar, what shouting! Those clerics who did not want to know about reform, murmured against the abbot dictator, the few, tightly bound in stormy leagues, were in conflict with him, and the letter of San Bertino precisely to know gives us the history of such contrasts.

The annals of the monasteries are the active, intellectual, political part of history in the Middle Ages; but if he has to give the same information and give the same value to heroic songs, true epics of that age? None of these traditions, we should reiterate, was written at the same time as the reign of Charlemagne, and it would be difficult to seek the true facts of the life of the great emperor; rather they are embroideries woven on the warp of true facts, narrated by the chronicle, where the truth is lacking in what is called historical chronology; the authors of these heroic songs take a fact, and arrange it in their own way, in the way that the illuminators of the Middle Ages painted Judith, Holofernes and the other characters of the New Testament, dressed in the style that was used at the time in which they illuminated! This is what the troubadours do, and you see full-hand lavished colors in their songs, and every little bit descriptions of battles and customs of feudal life; and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and you see full hand profuse in their songs the colors, and every little bit descriptions of battles and customs of the feudal life; and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and you see full hand profuse in their songs the colors, and every little bit descriptions of battles and customs of the feudal life; and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and every now and then descriptions of battles and customs of feudal life; and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and every now and then descriptions of battles and customs of feudal life; and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them and since what still remains of such poems does not go back to the twelfth century, it is natural for him that the troubadours from which they were composed should have dyed them with the customs and habits of their contemporaries, all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them all figuring them in the person of Charlemagne. The background of all these poems is the same, only the coloring is different; the original heroic songs deploy a host of paladins around Charlemagne, and form his pleiad; Count Orlando, Uggero the Danese, Olivieri, Turpino, Ganalone di Magonza, the four sons of Amone and the Lombard Astolfo, are continuously in the field with him. Which names were taken from the chroniclers to be attributed to them [147]that marvelous which forms, as if to say, the basis of their episodes: the wars of the Saxons, the Lombards, the Saracens, or the pilgrimages of Charlemagne to Jerusalem or Sant’Jacopo di Compostella, are the invariable themes of the novels of chivalry: vast field in to whom so many brave paladins are seen and so many feats! Nor is it already that we owe all faith to these chivalrous epics; but in the investigation of ancient times, all the clues and elements help to form a correct concept of society.

And whoever has history in value, should not disdain the verbal traditions, which passed from age to age, and of which large numbers will find on the banks of the Rhine and the Meuse, relating to the Caroline period. In any of the Alemannic ages he sees a colossal statue, with the crown on his head and the sword in his hand, that is Charlemagne; if instead it is a painting, even if it were a remnant of a Saint Christopher of Olbein, it is also Charlemagne! The dust of the ruins has buried the monuments he built, except for a few relics that remained standing: Charlemagne was the one who laid the first stone of this choir of the basilica of Aachen; do you see that tomb covered with a large tombstone? inside he placed his hands together; that stone seat is the same one in which he sat at the plenary courts; this golden circle, this crown was that of Charlemagne; this blessed ark closes its bones; the forests of the Meuse, the Moselle, the Rhine heard the neighing of his horses and the barking of his dogs; those castles there beyond, on the mountain, whose ruins are confused with the hills gilded by the vines, were his beloved abodes, though he had dearly visited Mainz, the episcopal see of St. Boniface. In Frankfurt some vestiges of his palace still remain; the street on the banks of the Rhine is all cockpit, and you breathe an air full of memories, which all remind you of the great emperor of the West; the Germanic institutions, the laws, the pomp, the feasts, all refer to Charlemagne, the founder of all that is ancient and great in Franconia, in Swabia, in Thuringia, in Bavaria, in Belgica,

So it is, oh great emperor, that the generations of the Rhine sanctified you and placed your life in legends, and you became St. Charlemagne for the simple populations of Alemagna! Now when in Cologne, in Aachen, in Mainz, you see a saint moving in his niche, and you hate to ring the clocks, and the hymns echoing under that large vaults, everything is for Charlemagne. Scroll through the German liturgies, and you will find the emperor honored as a saint; read the golden bull, and you will learn that all the Germanic laws derive from it. The images of Charlemagne are worshiped there like the relics; you search [148]there his skull, his bones, his stones, his foundations, and his name fills the inhabitants of the Rhine with pride.

The people who refresh themselves at the tepid springs of Aisgrane, as they descend the echelons they lead to the boiling fountain, and as they hold the leather cup to their lips, think of Charlemagne; that crowd that draws to the jubilee of the church of Aachen, in the time that the relics are exposed to the sight of thousands and thousands of pilgrims from Bavaria and Swabia; that crowd that kneels and prays, kneels and prays before the great emperor; and the ship of the Rhine, in intoning his German songs, traditions or legends of love, is also agitated by the memories of Charlemagne, of Berta with a great foothis mother, his daughter Emma, ​​the noble lover of Eginardo, the patron of the abbey of Sellinstad, whose ruins before him disappear in the last mists of the evening. In this way, if it happens that a great name is printed in the history of a country, all the traditions come to join it, and it becomes the pride, the poetry, the moral strength of a nation!