In the Manner of the Franks: Hunting, Kingship, and Masculinity in Early Medieval Europe 0812252357, 9780812252354

Eric J. Goldberg traces the long history of early medieval hunting from the late Roman Empire to the death of the last C

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In the Manner of the Franks: Hunting, Kingship, and Masculinity in Early Medieval Europe
 0812252357, 9780812252354

Table of contents :
Chapter 1. Emperors and Elites
Chapter 2. Merovingians and Magnates
Chapter 3. Charlemagne and the Chase
Chapter 4. Louis the Pious and His Legacy
Chapter 5. Hounds and Hawks
Chapter 6. Peasants and Poachers
Chapter 7. Bishops and Boars
Chapter 8. Danger and Death

Citation preview

In the Manner of the Franks

THE MIDDLE AGES SERIES Ruth Mazo Karras, Series Editor Edward Peters, Founding Editor A complete list of books in the series is available from the publisher.

In the Manner of  THE FRANKS Hunting, Kingship, and Masculinity  in Early Medieval Europe

Eric J. Goldberg

University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia

 Copyright © 2020 University of Pennsylvania Press All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of review or scholarly citation, none of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112 /pennpress Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 A Cataloging-in-Publication record is available from the Library of Congress ISBN 978-0-8122-5235-4

For my parents And for Birgit, Abigail, Claire, and Eve

 Nimrod was the first man on earth to become powerful. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. —Genesis 10.8–9


Introduction 1 Chapter 1. Emperors and Elites 15 Chapter 2. Merovingians and Magnates 44 Chapter 3. Charlemagne and the Chase 70 Chapter 4. Louis the Pious and His Legacy 103 Chapter 5. Hounds and Hawks 129 Chapter 6. Peasants and Poachers 166 Chapter 7. Bishops and Boars 190 Chapter 8. Danger and Death 213 Conclusion 238

Notes 247 Bibliography 291 Index 331 Acknowledgments 339

Map 1. Early Medieval Eu rope.


After many weeks of travel, Charlemagne’s ambassadors arrived at the court of the caliph Harun al-Rashid. Charlemagne had dispatched his envoys over land and sea to renew his father’s alliance between the Frankish and Muslim empires, and as diplomatic protocol required, the ruler of the Franks sent his representatives with costly gifts: fast horses, bright fabrics, and fierce hunting dogs. As the wealthiest ruler in the world, the caliph was only mildly impressed by the horses and textiles, yet he did take a special interest in the Frankish dogs, and he inquired as to what animals they were good for hunting. Charlemagne’s ambassadors proudly responded that they would tear to pieces any beast on which they were set. The caliph replied dubiously, “Only time will tell.” As chance would have it, the next day it was reported to Harun that a lion was assailing his subjects nearby. He immediately called for the visiting Franks and their dogs, and they set out quickly on horseback. When they came upon the lion, the Frankish dogs encircled the menacing beast, and Charlemagne’s envoys moved in, quickly slaying it with their swords. Seeing the skill and courage of the Frankish hunters, the caliph at last believed the rumors he had heard about the emperor in far-off Europe. He proclaimed, “Now I know that the things I have heard about my brother Charlemagne are true: that through constant hunting and exercising his body and mind with untiring energy, he has grown accustomed to conquering everything under heaven!”1 As is often the case with early medieval hunting stories, we cannot know if this tale about Charlemagne’s ambassadors slaying a lion in Mesopotamia is based on an actual historical event or was simply made up. The anecdote comes from the pen of a St.-Gall monk named Notker, who had a flair for inventing vivid stories to entertain his intended reader, Charlemagne’s great-grandson Charles the Fat. Nevertheless, the story is significant because it captures essential connections between hunting, masculinity, and power in the early Middle Ages. The caliph’s proclamation about Charlemagne at the end of the tale encapsulates two

Figure 1. A romantic modern depiction of Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne’s ambassadors about to hunt down a lion. Painting of Notker’s tale by Julius Köckert (1864) in the Maximilianeum, Munich. (© Bildarchiv Bayerischer Landtag)


prevalent interpretations of hunting in Notker’s day: that it was a badge of the Franks’ vigorous manhood (“exercising his body and mind with untiring energy”) and that it was a symbol of Carolingian kingship and empire (“conquering everything under heaven”). Charlemagne’s biographer Einhard likewise associated hunting with Frankish kingship and manhood when he observed that Charlemagne and his sons were outstanding hunters more Francorum, “in the manner of the Franks.”2 Einhard’s phrase “in the manner of the Franks” expressed the political ideology that skill at hunting was a defining characteristic of the Carolingian royal family and of the Frankish nobility at large. As Einhard summed up with pride, “ There is hardly another people to be found on earth who can equal the Franks in this art.”3 This book seeks to understand why authors like Einhard and Notker believed there were important connections between hunting, kingship, and masculinity in early medieval Europe. To answer this question, I trace the dynamic history of hunting from the late Roman empire, through the eras of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties, up to the death of the last Carolingian king, Louis V— fittingly, in a hunting accident—in 987. I argue that hunting played a fundamental role in the creation of aristocratic status and manhood throughout these centuries. Moreover, I demonstrate how hunting experienced a number of significant developments during this era that reflected and shaped larger changes in politics and society. Not only did cynegetic techniques, law, and geography evolve across the centuries, but the Carolingians also transformed the activity into a symbol of Frankish kingship and political identity. This connection between hunting, kingship, and Frankishness first emerged under Charlemagne (768–814), reached its highpoint under his heir Louis the Pious (814–840), and continued under Louis’s sons. Carolingian royal hunting then experienced a long period of transformation during the later ninth and tenth centuries until Louis V’s death. In the end, the Carolingians’ emphasis on the hunt as a badge of royal power and Frankish identity endured long after the end of their dynasty. In this study I define “hunting” broadly as all methods of capturing or killing wild animals and birds.4 By doing so, I follow the lead of one early medieval author who characterized hunting as any technique for slaying or catching game “with practice, skill, and cunning.”5 Geographically I focus on the lands of western Europe that became the core regions of the Carolingian Empire (Gaul, Germany, and Italy), with occasional glances further afield to Byzantium, the ‘Abbasid caliphate, Anglo-Saxon Britain, and the Scandinavian and Slavic worlds. While previous studies of medieval hunting have tended to focus on techniques and law, I seek to understand the larger political, cultural, and ideological meanings of the chase in the context of early medieval society. I contend that hunting played a vital yet little-understood role in the social construction of political power, noble




status, and elite manhood in this formative period of European history. Hunting, in other words, contributed to the creation of Europe itself.

Approaches to Early Medieval Hunting The prevalent view of hunting in the early Middle Ages is that it was somehow more primitive, militaristic, and “Germanic” than in later periods. This perspective goes back to the Enlightenment, when Edward Gibbon characterized hunting by the “German conquerors” as a destructive force that undermined Roman peace, law, and social order. Through the usurpation of public lands to create private forests, Gibbon argued, the barbarians oppressed the civilized inhabitants of Roman Gaul and drove the large-scale reversion of productive agriculture to primeval wilderness.6 The sociologist Norbert Elias contributed to this view through his influential work on the formation of court societies and what he called the “civilizing process.” Elias was interested in the historical development of restrained codes of courtly behavior that compelled aristocrats to stifle violent impulses and behave according to rules of refined etiquette.7 Only in the later Middle Ages and early modern era, Elias believed, did Eu ropean monarchs become strong enough to curb aristocratic violence through what he termed the “courtierization of warriors.”8 As part of his model, Elias argued that it was not until the post-medieval era that hunting emerged as a civilized “sport,” by which he meant an orga nized group activity centered on competition, physical exertion, and “rules which define the permitted limits of violence.”9 In contrast, Elias believed that hunting in the earlier medieval centuries was simpler, more violent and unregulated, and focused on the “real pleasures, the pleasures of killing and eating.”10 Early medieval historians have long discredited such antiquated views of the “Dark Ages.” Nevertheless, these outdated notions endure in modern scholarship on the history of hunting. In the only monograph dedicated exclusively to early medieval hunting (published in 1940), Kurt Lindner described this period as one of secondary importance for the overall history of the subject.11 For Lindner, the Merovingian and Carolingian eras provided only the rough-hewn foundations for “all the beauty and sublimity that was the peculiar characteristic of late medieval hunting in its Golden Age.”12 More recent scholarship on medieval hunting accepts Lindner’s interpretation. In his important history of hunting from prehistoric times to the present, Werner Rösener posed the question, “In which age and under what circumstances did the ‘noble art of the chase’ evolve out of the wild slaying of animals?”13 The answer, Rösener argued, was in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the supposedly primitive hunting by the Franks evolved


into the courtly sport of French and German aristocrats.14 For Rösener, hunting in the central and later Middle Ages was fundamentally different from the early medieval “wild slaying of animals” (die wilde Tierhetze) in that it was “courtly,” a formulation that echoes Elias’s views. Rösener associated the courtly chase with a range of characteristics including stag (red deer) hunting, falconry, elaborate rituals, elegant attire, banqueting, and the participation of women. In contrast, Rösener depicted hunting under the Merovingians and Carolingians as militaristic, heroic, focused on slaying dangerous wild boars, and less interested in the more refined stag hunting and falconry.15 Thus it allegedly was only in the later Middle Ages that hunting came to play “an important role in the thought and behavior of the nobility and court society.”16 This supposed contrast between the warlike heroic boar hunting by the Franks and the sophisticated courtly chase of the central and later Middle Ages reflects the general scholarly consensus.17 As a result, studies of medieval hunting often begin in the late eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, as if the previous millennium were of little consequence.18 Contributing to this view is the fact that most medieval hunting and falconry manuals date to the twelfth century and later.19 Thus one scholar concludes that the dearth of cynegetic treatises and pictorial illustrations before the twelfth century “in itself suggests that hunting was still essentially for the pot and that the methods were basic and little affected by sophisticated ritual.”20 In contrast to this popular view, specialists in the history of early medieval Europe have long recognized the importance of hunting in Frankish society.21 As Thomas Zotz summed up, “Seen from the point of view of the court and its culture, the hunt without question stood at center stage.”22 Early medieval historians have written on different aspects of this subject from social, legal, administrative, and ideological perspectives.23 In recent years Martina Giese and Baudouin Van den Abeele in particular have revolutionized our understanding of the sources and techniques of medieval and early modern hunting and falconry.24 While the scholarship of Giese and Van den Abeele tends to focus on the central and later medieval centuries, this book concentrates on the much-less-studied early Middle Ages. My objective is not to focus on the minutiae of cynegetic techniques (although they certainly are important) but rather to view hunting within the larger context of early medieval politics, society, and culture. To do so, I situate early medieval hunting within three broad themes: masculinity, ritual, and the environment. First, this book views the history of hunting through the lens of scholarship on masculinity and gender. In recent years, there has been significant scholarship on the history of masculinity in the Middle Ages. This work begins with the recognition that, while biological sexes (male and female) are historical constants, gender—that is, how societies think about manhood and womanhood—varies




across time and cultures. This is because ideologies of gender are always enmeshed in how a society symbolizes and legitimates power. Scholarship on medieval masculinity stresses that, although society was decidedly patriarchal, there was not a single, dominant, “hegemonic” version of manhood.25 Instead, there were overlapping and competing masculine groups, including laymen, clerics, monks, nobles, warriors, courtiers, commoners, and (in the East) eunuchs. Powerful men often strove to dominate and marginalize other male and female gender groups, although not without resistance.26 In the early Middle Ages, lay noblemen embraced a version of masculinity that combined the active life of politics, marriage, and warfare with the contemplative life of reading, penance, and prayer.27 As Rachel Stone has argued, this was especially true in the later eighth and ninth centuries, when the efforts of the Carolingians to create a Christian empire based on cooperation between lay nobles and churchmen led to more positive views about lay masculinity.28 In light of this gender complexity, scholars emphasize the socialized and performative nature of medieval masculinities: that notions of manhood were acquired through processes of education, discipline, and self-mastery and that masculinity constantly needed to be asserted through the “stylized repetition of acts.”29 Royal courts played an especially important role in shaping aristocratic masculinity by modeling male behavior for the sons of noble families raised at the palace.30 Historians have also begun to explore medieval male bodies and investigate the ways in which masculine identities were constructed through cultural practices such as diet, hair, clothing, exercise, and asceticism.31 A central argument of this book is that hunting was essential to the masculine identity of one dominant gender group: lay aristocrats. By lay aristocrats (or lay nobles—I use the terms synonymously), I signify male members of the early medieval political and social elite who were not clerics or monks. I prefer the adjective “lay” to “secular,” since lay elites were often highly religious and literate and therefore did not possess a profane secular culture separate from that of the educated clergy.32 The lay nobility was a loosely defined group that constituted the upper strata of early medieval society, although there was considerable hierarchy, fluidity, and ambiguity within it.33 The written sources employ a range of terms to describe its members, including “nobles” (nobiles), the “powerful” (potentes), the “great” (proceres, magnates), the king’s “faithful men” (fideles, leudes), and “warriors” (milites).34 One historian estimates that members of the lay aristocracy probably numbered in the low thousands at any given time.35 Scholars of early medieval Europe have often noted in passing the connections between hunting and aristocratic manhood, but this topic has not yet received the focused attention it deserves.36 It was precisely because of the subjectivity of noble status, the different manifestations of masculinity, and the blurry lines between laymen


and clerics that hunting proved to be such an important marker of the lay aristocracy. Learning to hunt with horses, hounds, and hawks transformed wellborn boys into men and distinguished them from women, clerics, commoners, and other gender groups.37 The activity instilled in noble boys and youths the essential manly virtue of fortitudo, which entailed not only physical strength but also skill with weapons, horsemanship, self-discipline, and courage. Even after becoming adults (a transition marked by marriage and the establishment of a household), noblemen continued to hunt as a public ritual of lordship and violence, which were key markers of lay masculinity.38 And it must be added that most kings and nobles truly loved to hunt: it was a passion, a form of relaxation, and a source of tremendous joy in what could be a difficult and dangerous world. Even more than warfare itself, it was the love of hunting—what one scholar has called “noble hunting fever” (adliges Jagdfieber)—that distinguished powerful laymen from everyone else in post-Roman Europe.39 The second body of scholarship on which this book builds are studies of early medieval political ritual. By “political ritual,” this scholarship signifies a semiregularized set of actions performed for their symbolic value to convey ideas about power, authority, and order. Inspired by the work of social anthropologists, historians emphasize the importance of rituals for ordering the status-conscious, competitive, and undergoverned society of early medieval Europe.40 Rituals functioned on at least two levels: as choreographed events strategically used in short-term power struggles, and as reports of those ritualized events by chroniclers who attempted to control their interpretation and memory.41 Scholars of early medieval ritual have tended to view royal hunting through the lens of consensus politics. Political consensus—that is, the agreement and support of the nobles—was the lynchpin of royal power. As Chris Wickham emphasized, forging political consensus often depended on the proper stage-management of rituals.42 The interpretation of hunting as a key ritual of consensus goes back to a classic article on Carolingian political culture by Janet Nelson.43 Nelson interpreted royal hunts (and other group activities like banqueting, going to mass, and gift-giving) as courtly activities that helped forge bonds of consensus between the Carolingians and the Franks and therefore contributed to the maintenance of social equilibrium and political stability: “For the hunt was an exercise in, and a demonstration of, the virtues of collaboration. The aristocracy who hunted with the king shared his favour, his sport, his military training and his largess.”44 Although Nelson’s brief discussion of hunting focuses on the ninth century, historians have tended to accept her interpretation as valid for the entire early Middle Ages. Scholars therefore have largely ascribed a functionalist interpretation to early medieval hunting: that it was a group ritual that helped forge political consensus between rulers and aristocrats and thus contributed to political order.45




In the chapters that follow, we will find that Nelson’s consensus model of hunting as a royal ritual is at times compelling. This was especially true during the late eighth and ninth centuries, when Charlemagne and his successors transformed the chase into a prominent ritual of royalty. Yet this interpretation requires nuancing and qualifying, since scholars have adopted it in a way that tends to flatten, oversimplify, and overgeneralize what was a complex phenomenon that varied greatly over time, space, and context. Royal hunts could be an impor tant force for consensus, but this was not the only role they played in early medieval society. Moreover, the dynamics for creating political consensus were not constant but varied across chronology and geography.46 It therefore is misleading to make sweeping statements about the “function” of early medieval hunting based on Nelson’s ninth-century Carolingian model. As we will see, royal hunts played a range of roles in society: not only for forging consensus but also for displaying the king’s prowess and health, announcing the establishment of peace, asserting lordship over territory, testing the courage of the nobles, and providing a venue for exercise and relaxation. Interpreting hunting as a ritual of consensus describes only one aspect of a much more multifaceted, dynamic, and exciting story. The third body of scholarship on which this book builds is medieval environmental history. Environmental history explores the dynamic interaction between human societies, the natu ral environment, and the animal world, and as Richard Hoffmann put it, “brings the natu ral world into the story as an agent and object of history. This is medieval history as if nature mattered.”47 Environmental history overlaps with cultural, social, and economic history, since the natu ral world and animals were omnipresent in medieval life.48 The recent “animal turn” in anthropology has influenced environmental history by breaking down traditional rigid boundaries between humans and other animals and between culture and nature. Scholars now emphasize how humans, animals, and the natu ral world were deeply interconnected.49 Wilderness is a human creation, always changing, and part of a continuum with civilization.50 Arising from this insight is the field of landscape history, which is related to environmental history in that it explores how people since prehistory have changed the physical environment for practical, political, and ideological reasons.51 Thus there were no primeval, untouched landscapes in early medieval Eu rope; since their arrival tens of thousands of years earlier, humans had profoundly shaped Eu rope’s wilderness regions, depended on them for natu ral resources, and projected their cultural values onto them. The study of early medieval hunting must include approaches from environmental and landscape history, since it needs to consider the organization of wilderness for the pursuit of game, the kinds of wild animals that people hunted,


and the trained animals that assisted them.52 For the present book, the scholarship on medieval forests and game parks is especially relevant. Historians have long recognized that royal forests played an important role in the evolution of hunting rights and law, and they have attempted to understand the origins and development of forests from legal, administrative, geographic, and ideological perspectives.53 That scholarship sometimes assumes that, from their first appearance in the historical sources, royal forests were defined by hunting rights and thus primarily for the king’s chase.54 This book, however, emphasizes that royal forests underwent a long evolution during the early Middle Ages. We will see that it was only under the Carolingians that forests became explicitly associated with royal hunting and jurisdiction over wild animals, especially the Franks’ favorite game—red deer and wild boar. Related to the history of the forest is the game park, that is, walled game reserves built near palaces for the exclusive enjoyment of the king and his companions. Historians have stressed the important role of game parks as symbols of royal authority, but most of this scholarship focuses on the later medieval and early modern periods, especially in England.55 We will have a number of opportunities to reexamine the evolution of royal forests, game parks, hunting rights, and game in the course of this study. One of the central arguments of this book is that it was Charlemagne himself who introduced decisive changes in forests and parks as part of his new emphasis on the hunt as an emblem of Carolingian kingship. In sum, this book aims to put the hunt where it belongs: at the center of our understanding of early medieval masculinity, political culture, and the relationship between people and the environment. Rather than approaching hunting narrowly through the lens of techniques and law, I endeavor to understand this complex phenomenon within the broader customs, hierarchies, and habitus of early medieval society. Guy Halsall labeled such a methodology a “substantist” approach that attempts to explain the behav ior of people “in terms of the norms, values and mentalities of the society which is practicing it.”56 In other words, early medieval hunting had its own logic that distinguishes it from the modern notion of “sport.” I argue that, throughout the early Middle Ages, hunting was essential for military training and the construction of noble identity and manhood. During these centuries, however, the chase experienced impor tant changes in the realm of political symbolism and ritual, the development of forests and wilderness landscapes, and its associations with a specifically Frankish political identity. The history of hunting, in other words, reflected, and indeed shaped, larger developments in politics and society. Recognizing that early medieval hunting varied over time and place necessitates a contextual approach that avoids lumping together evidence from different centuries into an oversimplified model of the early medieval hunt. Throughout this book, we need to stay




attentive to chronology, geography, context, and significant moments of political change.

Sources and Organization The historian of early medieval hunting must cast his or her net widely in terms of evidence. While several texts related to hunting and falconry do survive from this period, they are not didactic hunting and falconry treatises like those found in the later medieval and early modern eras.57 The reason for this dearth of early medieval hunting treatises is that people in this era learned the necessary skills through oral instruction, observation, and practice rather than by reading.58 To compensate for this, I take an eclectic approach to the sources and examine a broad range of written and unwritten evidence. It is important to stress from the outset that different kinds of evidence give us different kinds of information. We will need to keep in mind the assorted types of surviving evidence, the advantages and limitations of each, and the need to check various sources against each other. Nevertheless, the tremendous variety of sources relevant to early medieval hunting is a significant advantage to its study and an indicator of its social and political importance. A key category of evidence I use in this book is literary sources, such as chronicles, royal biographies, hagiography, letters, and poetry. In the pages that follow, I frequently refer to chroniclers and poets who tell stories about hunters and describe human encounters with wild animals and wilderness. Yet, as we saw in Notker’s story about Charlemagne’s ambassadors hunting with Harun al-Rashid, one cannot naively accept such literary anecdotes as objective reports of actual historical events. Early medieval authors wrote to praise rulers and entertain audiences, they emulated preexisting literary traditions, and they sometimes had little firsthand information about the events they described. Moreover, authors like Notker often were partisans who wrote to promote specific ideological agendas and to influence the interpretation of past events. They therefore do not provide impartial accounts of ritualized behaviors such as hunting.59 For this reason, it would be dangerous to accept Notker’s report of Charlemagne’s ambassadors hunting with the caliph as historical fact without corroboration from other independent sources. But Notker and writers like him did not choose their themes haphazardly, and it is significant that, in certain periods and contexts, they placed particular emphasis on certain kinds of hunting. Moreover, whether or not a specific hunting episode actually happened, writers needed to root their narratives in a general basis of reality, since other wise it is difficult to see how their stories would have had an impact on the audiences they sought to influence.60 In the words of Philippe Buc, literary narratives reflect “assumptions and commonplaces concerning what could


and should happen” whether or not a particular event in fact occurred in the way described.61 We also need to recognize that early medieval authors did not have a single, monolithic view of the chase. Like people today, they held different opinions about the activity. Some saw it as a symbol of kingship and manhood; others interpreted it as a form of exercise and relaxation. Some criticized it as a symptom of aristocratic arrogance and abuse, while others simply had little interest in the topic. The hunt therefore was a “semantically flexible motif ” that authors adapted to a wide range of situations and endowed with a wide range of meanings.62 We therefore must consider the reliability of literary sources on a case-by-case basis and check the information they provide against other available evidence. Ultimately, we need to read literary texts on two levels: what they reveal about actual hunting praxis as well as what they can tell us about the evolving ideological associations of the hunt. The ideological component is important, since literary representations of hunting and human-animal encounters often contain encoded messages about sovereignty, political authority, and power.63 Throughout this book I will be interested in both the practice and ideology of hunting, which, after all, are different levels of the same phenomenon. Literary representations of the hunt are as much a part of reality as the act itself. Literature not only mirrored, but also helped fashion, social and political realities. A second broad category of evidence this study uses is documentary sources, such as laws, capitularies (royal decrees), charters, and administrative records. These documentary, or normative, sources can have certain advantages: they occasionally contain reliable information about hunting practices and rights, they address the concerns of the people who wrote or decreed them, and the historian often can date and contextualize them with considerable precision. Such texts will play an important role in this study because they offer independent information that can be compared with the literary sources. And, like literature, normative sources in some cases could shape social and political realities. Yet documentary evidence presents challenges as well. It can be frustratingly brief and vague, and, in the case of laws and royal decrees, one often does not know the extent to which they were carried out. For example, Charlemagne issued a number of decrees against poaching in royal forests, but we have limited direct evidence about the extent to which his commands were obeyed. Nevertheless, the fact that Charlemagne made so many decrees to protect “our game” is significant in itself because it sheds light on his own personal ideas, concerns, and priorities. A third important category of evidence is unwritten sources, chiefly art and archaeology. The late antique and early medieval worlds have in fact left behind a wide array of hunting imagery in the form of mosaics, stone sculpture, metalwork, and illuminated manuscripts. For example, two illuminated psalters produced in the ninth century, the Stuttgart Psalter and the Utrecht Psalter, contain a wide




array of images related to hunting and wild animals.64 While the artists of these and other manuscripts were influenced by classical and Byzantine pictorial traditions, they often tailored images of everyday objects like weapons, armor, tools, and hunting equipment to reflect contemporary realities.65 Like literary sources, artistic depictions of the chase must be read on two levels: what they reveal about the development of hunting ideology as well as how accurately they reflect actual practices. In addition to artistic evidence, archaeology and especially zooarchaeology (analysis of animal bones from archaeological excavations) give important insights into the consumption of wild and domesticated animals and the connections between hunting, geography, and social hierarchies.66 Telling patterns emerge, such as the correlation between greater game consumption and elite settlements and the Franks’ predilection for hunting red deer. At the same time, the generally low percentages of wild-animal remains in bone assemblages (usually under 10 percent by weight) make clear that early medieval people did not chiefly hunt for nutrition: instead, hunting and the consumption of game had social prestige as symbols of status and power. All these kinds of evidence—literary, documentary, artistic, and archaeological— have their own advantages, problems, strengths, and limitations. We therefore must evaluate them on a case-by-case basis, compare them against each other, and keep in mind chronology and context. The wide range of available evidence greatly enhances our ability to bring to life the dynamic, complex, and changing world of early medieval hunting. I have organized this book chronologically, interspersed with several thematic chapters. Chapters 1 through 4 explore the development of elite and royal/imperial hunting from the age of Constantine the Great in the early fourth century, through the Merovingian and early Carolingian eras, up to the death of Charles the Bald in 877. The next three chapters turn to thematic topics that nevertheless pay attention to change over time: Chapter 5 on elite hunting techniques, Chapter 6 on hunting by non-elites, and Chapter 7 on hunting and the Church. The final chapter returns to the political narrative and explores the decline and transformation of royal hunting during the late ninth and tenth centuries up to the death of Louis V in 987.

A Note on Translations, Terminology, Names, and Dates All translations are my own unless other wise indicated. To economize space, I have not provided entire Latin passages in the notes, since they can be easily checked in printed and online editions. When a source’s terminology is signifi-


cant or problematic, I provide the Latin word or phrase in parentheses. I occasionally employ the uncommon adjectives “cynegetic,” “venatic,” and “venatorial,” which derive from the ancient Greek kunagós and Latin venator (“hunter”) and simply mean “related to hunting.” By the term “game,” I mean the wild animals that were hunted as well as their meat. Throughout the book, I use the word “forest” to translate the technical Latin term forestis and thus to indicate a special landscape under royal jurisdiction, at least initially. Under Charlemagne (but not before, as is sometimes assumed), forests became explicitly connected with the crown’s hunting rights, and thereafter they carried the sense of hunting reserves.67 In contrast, I use a range of terminology like “woods,” “woodland,” and “wilderness” to translate nontechnical terms like silva, saltus, nemus, and eremus. I Anglicize the names of historical figures unless the Latinized version is commonly used. To distinguish the different rulers of the Carolingian family, I use their traditional cognomens (e.g., “the Pious,” “the German,” “the Fat,” “the Simple,” etc.) while recognizing that these epithets often are modern inventions and thus problematic. In the case of place names, I give the English form if one is available. I hyphenate the names of churches and monasteries (e.g., St.-Denis) but spell out the names of their patron saints (Saint Denis). For the years in parentheses following personal names, the first date indicates the year of accession to office, not the year of birth.



Emperors and Elites

In the summer of 315, the Roman senate dedicated to Constantine the Great (306–337) what was to be the last triumphal arch in the city of Rome. Erected to commemorate Constantine’s victory over a rival emperor three years earlier, the Arch of Constantine rose to an impressive height of sixty-nine feet and spanned the Triumphal Way, which victorious emperors followed when they marched into the heart of Rome. The planners who designed Constantine’s arch decorated it with traditional scenes of Roman imperial leadership, many of which had been taken from earlier monuments of Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius: the emperor addressing his troops, leading them in battle, receiving the surrender of barbarian chieftains, and returning to Rome in triumph. The planners also adorned the arch with four prominent hunting scenes on round stone reliefs, or tondi.1 Taken from an earlier monument of Hadrian’s, these stone reliefs depicted the clean-shaven Constantine (the heads of the bearded Hadrian had been changed) departing for the hunt and slaying a lion, bear, and wild boar. Although Constantine had recently converted to Christianity, these scenes were paired with depictions of the emperor making sacrifices to the gods associated with the hunt: Diana, Apollo, Silvanus, and Hercules. There was a power ful ideological connection between the scenes of military victory and those of hunting, since both highlighted Constantine’s role as the protector of the empire against dangerous adversarial forces, whether barbarians or beasts. Within two centuries of the dedication of Constantine’s arch, the Roman world had been profoundly transformed: the empire had become Christian, Rome had ceased to be the capital, the seat of imperial government had moved to Constantinople, and the emperors had ceded the western provinces to barbarian rulers, not unlike the vanquished chieftains depicted on the arch. At the same time, vigorous hunting as depicted on the Arch of Constantine grew in


Chapter 1

Figure 2. Constantine the Great hunting a wild boar and making a sacrifice to Apollo. One of the four prominent hunting medallion pairs on the Arch of Constantine in Rome (dedicated in 315) that were refashioned from an earlier monument of Emperor Hadrian. (Alinari/Art Resource, New York)

cultural importance for the late Roman aristocracy. As late antique society became increasingly militarized during the fourth and fifth centuries, Roman elites embraced hunting as a symbol of their high status and manhood (virtus) and as the chief form of military training for boys and young men. The new barbarian rulers of the West, who increasingly lived shoulder to shoulder with Romans, likewise adopted these hunting traditions as a symbol of their embrace of Roman culture. This chapter explores the continuities and changes in Roman hunting during late antiquity through three interrelated topics: hunting and the late Roman aristocracy, imperial hunting and staged animal hunts in the amphitheater, and the continuation of Roman hunting practices in the new barbarian kingdoms. As the Roman Empire transformed and eventually disappeared in the

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West, hunting emerged as a central element of the new Romano-barbarian aristocratic culture.

The Late Roman Aristocracy When Constantine’s architects erected his triumphal arch, humans had, of course, been hunting for tens of thousands of years.2 During the Paleolithic era (approximately 2.6 million to 10,000  years ago), early humans migrated out of Africa and spread throughout Eurasia, with anatomically modern humans entering Europe about 40,000 to 45,000 years ago. Early humans were hunter-gatherers and opportunistic omnivores, eating varying amounts of meat, fish, shellfish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries. Human groups hunted to different degrees depending on their environments, and over the millennia they developed a range of techniques that included the use of spears, archery, fishhooks, nets, and poisons and the driving of herds off cliffs. Paleolithic cave paintings in southern France and northern Spain contain scenes of people hunting big game (bison, horses, aurochs, deer) that suggest the cultural importance of this activity for huntergatherer societies. Scholars have argued that hunting and tracking led to important developments in early human society, such as ritualized religious behaviors, logical reasoning, storytelling, warfare, and happiness itself.3 Highly significant for the success of early humans in Eurasia was their alliance with another apex predator, the wolf (Canis lupus).4 Sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago, human contact with wolves resulted in the emergence of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), a canine subspecies that greatly aided humans as guardians, workers, companions, and fellow hunters. The humancanine relationship was vital for the development of hunting, since the dog’s acute sense of smell combined with its intelligence and speed enabled hunters to track game in the dense woodlands of northern Europe, which were expanding at the end of the last glacial period (ca. 12,000 years ago). During the Mesolithic period in Europe (ca. 9,500–4,100 BCE), people seem to have hunted chiefly with archery and dogs, and human burials with dogs suggest that people viewed canines as companions in the afterlife. After the shift from nomadic hunter-gatherer groups to settled agricultural communities during the Neolithic era (ca. 10,200– 4,500 BCE), some people continued to hunt, both for additional food and to protect their villages and livestock from predators, especially wolves. Analysis of bone finds from Neolithic sites in northern Europe suggests that around 90 percent of the meat people ate came from cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs, while about 10  percent came from game: chiefly red deer (59  percent of the number of



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Figure  3. A Mesolithic cave painting of archers hunting deer (10,000–9,000 BCE). From Los Caballos Cave, Fuentes de Leon, Spain. Modern serigraphic transcription of original. (Art Resource, New York)

identified specimens), but also wild boar (13  percent), roe deer (12  percent), aurochs (9  percent), and various smaller animals.5 In other words, people in early settled communities obtained meat chiefly from livestock, although some people still hunted game. The ideological associations between hunting, power, and manhood displayed on the Arch of Constantine went back to the first civilizations in Mesopotamia,

Emperors and Elites

Figure 4. King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria (883–859 BCE) hunting lions from a chariot. Wall relief from Ashurnasirpal’s palace in Nimrud, today in the British Museum, London. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

Egypt, Persia, and Greece.6 Hunting big and challenging game like lion, bear, deer, and wild boar symbolized the martial prowess and political power of rulers and elites and presented them as protectors of their subjects from predators. At the same time, hunting was an impor tant form of military training for warriors. Stone reliefs from the palaces of the Assyrian kings vividly depict them hunting lions and other wild animals, and the Sassanid kings of Persia likewise had themselves represented in the visual arts as great hunters. The Hebrew scriptures assume a fundamental connection between hunting, masculinity, and power in its depiction of Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod: “He was the first man on earth to become power ful. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord” (Genesis 10.8–9). The Greeks inherited many of these traditions, and Plato (d. 348 BCE) extolled hunting with dogs and horses as the best form of military training for aristocratic men and generals.7 Plato’s contemporary Xenophon (d. 354 BCE) composed the earliest surviving hunting manual, the Cynegeticus (On Hunting).8 In that work Xenophon discussed the optimum methods of hunting hares, stags, and wild boars with dogs and nets. Like Plato, Xenophon saw hunting as the best way to foster strength, prowess, and moral character in men. He concluded his work with a heartfelt encomium on the hunt:



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Figure 5. Shah Khosrau I of Persia (531–579 CE) hunting on horseback. Gilded silver plate in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

It makes for physical fitness, improves the sight and hearing, slows down the process of growing old, and above all it is good training for warfare. Hunters will not, for instance, get tired when marching under arms across difficult terrain, because they will have built up their stamina by their habit of carrying weapons when hunting animals. . . . These, then, are the kinds of men who develop into fine soldiers and military commanders. For men who have striven to rid their minds and bodies of all that is disgraceful and immoderate, and to instill instead a growing desire for virtue, are men of outstanding worth, because they will not let anyone get away with wronging their city or harming their land.9

Emperors and Elites

Although the nobles of early medieval western Europe did not know Xenophon’s hunting treatise, many would have agreed with his sentiments. Of course, the peoples of Italy had hunted for food and to protect their livestock long before the emergence of the Roman Empire.10 With their conquest of the eastern Mediterranean, Romans encountered firsthand the hunting traditions of Greece, Persia, and Egypt. Nevertheless, before the third and fourth centuries, hunting does not seem to have been a significant marker of status or manhood for the Roman nobility.11 Although Roman aristocrats sometimes hunted as a form of exercise and leisure, their traditional masculine ideal of the civic man emphasized other traits: good birth, classical education, extensive properties and slaves, the holding of public office, moderation and gravitas, and the hallmark wearing of the toga. For Roman elites during the early empire, therefore, hunting was a common activity but not an identifying one.12 For example, in a letter to the historian Tacitus, the Roman senator Pliny the Younger (d. ca. 113) made fun of his recent hunting excursion near his home in the Apennine Mountains. Although his companions bagged three wild boars, Pliny himself spent his time sitting quietly by the nets and writing. He concluded to his friend, “So next time you hunt yourself, follow my example and take your notebooks along with your lunchbasket and flask. You will find that Minerva [the goddess of poetry] walks the hills just as much as Diana [the goddess of the hunt].”13 Pliny’s letter reflects how, during the early empire, traditional social markers like education, literate culture, and refined leisure at country estates, rather than daring hunting exploits, defined what it meant to be a Roman aristocrat. It was not until late antiquity that hunting took on a more central role in the identity of Roman elites. The third and fourth centuries were a period of considerable social flux, as new families rose to senatorial status through ser vice in the Roman bureaucracy and army.14 A number of these new families became phenomenally wealthy, especially in the West, where they lived as great lords on their vast estates in the countryside. At the same time, the administrative reforms of Diocletian and Constantine separated the civilian bureaucracy from the army, a development that had a profound impact on evolving late Roman ideas about manhood.15 Elites who served in the civilian bureaucracy maintained the traditional civic masculinity based on classical education, literate culture, and governmental ser vice. But Romans who entered the army embraced a more militarized version of manhood. This muscular masculine ideal gradually became dominant in the West because of its growing turmoil, instability, and warfare. In an increasingly dangerous world, late Roman elites placed heightened emphasis on the masculine virtue of fortitudo—physical strength, courage, and military prowess—which was necessary for a successful military career.16 The chronicler Renatus Frigeridus captured this militarization of Roman manhood in his



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description of the general Aetius (d. 454), who successfully defended Gaul against Attila and the Huns. Renatus praised Aetius not only for his traditional Roman virtues (noble parents, good marriage, high office, and personal character) but also for his military qualities: his physique, vigor, bravery, toughness, equestrian skill, expertise with a bow and lance, and overall manliness (virilis habitudo).17 As a sign of their identity as military men, late Roman elites like Aetius abandoned the toga and adopted new fashions that incorporated exotic, non-Roman components, a style that Peter Brown dubbed “barbarian chic.”18 This fashion emphasized military elements: tunic and pants; leather boots; the general’s asymmetrical cloak (paludamentum), which was fastened with an ornate shoulder brooch; and the sword belt (cingulum militare), which had a heavy buckle. This late Roman military attire became the identifying wardrobe of the well-dressed nobleman in early medieval Europe. The militarization of the late Roman nobility elevated hunting from a secondary to a primary marker of elite identity. In the West, this development was furthered by the growing ruralization of the aristocracy; that is, elites devoting less time to political careers in cities and spending more time at villas in the countryside where they could hunt. Reflecting this shift, we increasingly hear of the hunting exploits of Roman elites, both in the West and throughout the empire, during the fourth and fifth centuries. For example, the tutor of the future emperor Gratian, Ausonius of Bordeaux (d. 395), was an enthusiastic hunter who had a number of close calls with dangerous wild beasts. Writing to a friend living in Aquitaine, Ausonius warned of the perils of hunting the lightning-fast wild boars in the region: “Take warning from your brother, who pulls back his clothes and displays ugly scars near his private parts and bares his bottom to show how awkwardly it was pierced.”19 The anonymous author of the Augustan History frequently mentioned hunting in his largely fictional biographies of late Roman rulers.20 This author, who seems to have been writing sometime in the late fourth or early fifth century, underscored the advantages of rigorous hunting as training for military men. In his account of Septimius Odaenathus of Palmyra (263–267), he wrote that Odaenathus “was a warlike man in battle and, as most writers relate, evens more famous for his memorable hunts. From his earliest years he expended his sweat, as is the duty of a true man [officium virile], in taking lions and panthers and bears and other beasts of the wild. He always spent time in the woods and mountains, enduring heat and rain and all other hardships which the pleasures of hunting entail. Hardened by these experiences, he was able to bear the sun and the dust in the wars with the Persians.”21 The growing popularity of hunting attracted posers as well. The late-fourth-century chronicler Ammianus Marcellinus groused that some Romans compared their hunting exploits to the deeds of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar while in truth they let their servants do all the work.22

Emperors and Elites

Figure  6. Romans hunting hare with dogs and horses and without nets, as Arrian described in his Cynegeticus. Late third-century mosaic from El Djem, North Africa, today in the Bardo Museum, Tunis. (© Gilles Mermet/Art Resource, New York)

An important second-century source for Roman hunting techniques is the Cynegeticus of the Greek author Arrian, which he dedicated to Emperor Hadrian (117–138).23 Although Arrian wrote his treatise in imitation of Xenophon, he sought to bring the latter’s instructions up to date. Like Xenophon, Arrian focused on hare hunting but he discussed larger game as well. The thrill of hare hunting comes from the remarkable swiftness of the common European, or brown, hare (Lepus europaeus), which can run at speeds exceeding forty miles per hour, about the maximum pace of a thoroughbred race horse or greyhound. But whereas Xenophon had favored hunting hare on foot with nets, Arrian advocated hunting on horseback without nets. Arrian argued that these modifications were possible because of new techniques unknown to Xenophon, especially the use of hardy Scythian and Illyrian horses as well as the swift Celtic sight dogs known as vertragi.24 In Arrian’s eyes, this newer style of hunting was manlier, a better form of military training, and more exciting to watch.25 But, although Arrian favored hare hunting, late Roman elites engaged in a much wider range of hunting styles and techniques. One important source of information is the extensive hunting



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mosaics from the Villa Romana del Casale, a magnificent late antique villa near Piazza Armerina, Sicily. The villa dates to the late third/early fourth century and perhaps was built by an imperial governor or one of the tetrarchs.26 One mosaic from this villa, known as the Little Hunt, illustrates a spectrum of popular hunting methods. It shows hunters both on foot and on horseback pursuing deer, wild boar, fox, and hare and hunting with swift greyhound-like dogs, heavy boarhunting dogs, nets, spears, and bows. At the center of the mosaic, the lord of the villa is shown sacrificing to a statue of Diana and enjoying a post-hunt banquet in the shade of a vermillion canopy.27 This last detail calls attention to an important aspect of aristocratic hunting: its frequent connection to the post-hunt banquet, which was an extension of the hunt itself. A new type of hunting also became popular among the late Roman aristocracy: falconry.28 Today the term “falconry” is used for hunting with all trained birds of prey (raptors), both high-flying falcons and low-flying hawks. The Romans and Greeks traditionally did not practice falconry and instead caught birds with nets, poles, and birdlime.29 Archaeology points to the conclusion that falconry first developed in the steppes of central Asia and was introduced into the Roman world during the barbarian migrations of the late fourth century.30 Literary references to Roman elites practicing falconry suddenly appear in the fifth century. The earliest reference comes from Ausonius’s grandson Paulinus of Pella, who in his Thanksgiving (ca. 460) recalled his privileged childhood around Bordeaux. After recounting his Greek and Latin studies, he described his love of exotic luxuries, which included elegant clothing, Arabian perfumes, well-bred horses, fast dogs, and beautiful hawks.31 Around the same time, the blue-blooded Sidonius Apollinaris (d. ca. 485), who is one of our most impor tant sources for the last years of imperial rule in the West, referred to fellow Gallo-Romans practicing falconry.32 Mosaics of hunters using raptors from Carthage and Argos attest to the spread of falconry across the Mediterranean world in late antiquity.33 Unlike hunting with dogs, horses, and weapons, falconry had little use as military training. Instead, it was a new status symbol and spectator sport focused on the challenge of successfully training and hunting with a hawk or falcon. It provided an exciting complement to traditional hunting, since it took place in the air rather than on land. Like other imported luxuries, falconry was one of the exotic “barbarian chic” fashions that distinguished late Roman elites from the rest of society. Reflecting its growing importance for the Roman aristocracy, hunting imagery became common in late antique art. This imagery demonstrates the growing ideological significance of the hunt as a marker of social status and as a symbol of power and identity. Hunting mosaics like those of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily became common throughout the late Roman world.34 Such mosaics depict

Figures 7, 8, and 9. Different kinds of late Roman hunting: on foot and on horseback, with and without dogs and nets, pursuing red deer, wild boar, and fox. Details from the Little Hunt mosaic, Villa del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)


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Figure 10. A silver bowl decorated with a bear-hunting scene and other beasts. Such lavish silverware was used in aristocratic dining and post-hunt banquets. From the fourth-century Mildenhall Trea sure, today in the British Museum, London. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

a wide range of hunting techniques and game, from hare hunting and falconry to pursuing big game like deer, wild boar, and bear. Luxurious late antique silver dishes and bowls, to be used at opulent banquets, likewise often feature hunting scenes. The Mildenhall Treasure, from fourth-century Britain, for example, includes a bowl with a central bear-hunting scene surrounded by engravings of other beasts. Similarly, the spectacular Sevso Treasure, which was found in Hungary and probably dates to the late fourth or early fifth century, contains the twenty-pound silver Hunting Plate, which depicts the exploits of its owner, an other wise unknown Christian aristocrat named Sevso.35 The plate shows Sevso enjoying the typical lifestyle of a late Roman lord: living in a fortified rural villa; riding his favorite horse (named Innocentius); pursuing boars, stags, and bears with the aid of dogs and nets; and presiding over a post-hunt banquet. In the third and fourth centuries, hunting imagery became more common on the sarcophagi of aristocratic men, as well.36 It was of secondary importance whether the wealthy Romans who were buried in such sarcophagi, who owned such silver table wear, and who lived in villas decorated with such mosaics actually were

Emperors and Elites

Figure 11. A fourth-century Roman sarcophagus decorated with vivid scenes of boar and stag hunting. Musee de l’Arles antique, Arles. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

accomplished hunters. This imagery projected an ideology of heroic virtus on them and, in the case of sarcophagi, symbolized their triumph over death itself. Late Roman elites made sure their sons learned to hunt at a young age, especially if they wanted them to pursue military careers.37 It is essential to emphasize the connection between hunting and military training. Hunting taught a range of skills that were directly applicable to warfare: horsemanship, archery, wielding a lance, tracking, and laying traps. Emperor Maurice (582–602) highlighted the importance of hunting for training Roman troops in his Strategikon: “Devoting some time to hunting is of great value to the soldiers. Not only does it make them more alert and provide exercise for their horses, but it also gives them good experience in military tactics. It is very important for them to become experts at it by constant practice.”38 Moreover, it instilled in youths virile qualities that military men needed: physical strength and fitness, speed and dexterity, discipline and patience, courage and steady nerves. Boys began by hunting small and harmless animals like hares and birds and gradually moved on to more challenging and dangerous game, like red deer, wild boars, and even bears. The Villa Romana del Casale contains a child’s room with floor mosaics depicting boys hunting hares, goats, weasels, and peacocks while girls pick roses and make floral garlands.39 Because boys often roamed the countryside in groups, the activity also taught leadership, teamwork, planning, and strategy. In his panegyric for Emperor Anthemius (467-472), Sidonius provides a memorable snapshot of wellborn youths hunting: “In boyhood it was his sport to practice archery with gusto . . . , to hurl with boyish arm the quivering javelin, or with a leap to throw upon the back of a chafing steed all his weight of steel chain-armor and heavy lance; or at other



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times to find and chase wild beasts, to seek them in their leafy lurking-places and, when he espied them, to enclose them in a tight net or pierce them with cast of spear. His comrades cheered for him with great noise, as with gnashing teeth the beast received the steel as the weapon entered and passed clean through the shoulders.”40 Sidonius’s description is highly idealized, but it conveys what men like himself expected of aristocratic youths. Isidore of Seville (d. 636) echoed Sidonius’s sentiments in a treatise titled The Disciplines of Education about the proper schooling of wellborn boys. According to Isidore, boys should study the liberal arts and learn to read, speak eloquently, and carry themselves with dignity. Then, upon reaching puberty at age fourteen, they were to turn to physical exercises like hunting, riding, training with weapons, running, and wrestling. This rigorous regimen endowed them with a man’s physique (apta et virilis figura), physical toughness (duritia corporis), powerful arms (robur lacertorum), and all-around manliness (virtus).41 Such youthful hunting and riding were dangerous activities, and they must have resulted in a significant number of injuries and premature deaths. Paulinus of Pella marveled that he had not died from his childhood exploits: “I remember how, when I had grown strong, I always loved to gallop on a swift horse and narrowly escaped many bad falls. It is right to believe Christ’s mercy protected me.”42 Archaeologists have found graves of children with child-size weapons, bows, and arrows, which the parents may have included to symbolize their child’s love of hunting—and perhaps to indicate that he had died in a hunting accident.43 The centrality of hunting for the military training of aristocratic boys was one of the most enduring legacies the late-Roman elite bequeathed to the early medieval nobility. Although Diana was the goddess of the hunt, Romans associated this activity almost exclusively with men. The reasons for this were the inherent dangers of hunting, the equestrian and martial skills it demanded, and its close associations with warfare. As a result, Romans viewed female hunting as decidedly unRoman and uncivilized. It is true that Virgil had depicted the Carthaginian queen Dido hunting with Aeneas, but he apparently did this to emphasize her exotic Phoenician origins.44 The author of the Augustan History similarly described the unusual hunting by Odaenathus’s wife, Zenobia, to stress that she was a foreigner from Palmyra. He reported that, after her husband’s death, Zenobia shockingly behaved like a man: she wore military attire, rode horses, marched with the soldiers, fraternized with generals, and “hunted with the eagerness of a Spaniard.”45 Other Roman writers mentioned women hunting among the most savage and wild peoples beyond the borders of the empire.46 Classical authors described such exotic behavior among barbarians not to provide accurate accounts of those foreign cultures but rather to stress that those peoples were

Emperors and Elites

different from, and inferior to, Romans. In Roman eyes, only an uncivilized people would allow its women to hunt. While hunting was becoming increasingly associated with aristocratic status and manhood in late antiquity, it is important to recognize that elites did not have a monopoly on this activity. According to Roman law, everyone in the empire had the right to hunt. This was because Roman law considered wild animals, birds, and fish the property of no one (res nullius) until captured or killed. The Institutes of Justinian (published in 533) state: “Wild beasts, birds, and fish (that is, all animals that live on the earth, ocean, and sky), as soon as they are captured by someone, immediately become his property according to natural law. For what previously belonged to no one according to natural reason becomes the property of him who catches it. It does not matter whether he captures wild beasts or birds on his own estate or on someone else’s. However, he who enters another person’s estate to hunt or catch birds can be prohibited from entering by the owner if the owner takes precautions against it.”47 Everyone therefore was free to hunt, fowl, and fish, whether on his own property, in unowned wilderness, or even on another person’s property as long as the owner did not actively try to prevent entry. Thus, it was not hunting per se, but rather the manner of hunting—with assistants and slaves, costly equipment, and well-bred horses and dogs—that distinguished aristocrats from social inferiors. Another way in which Roman aristocrats distinguished their hunting was by building private, walled game parks (vivaria). Columella and Pliny the Elder reported that wealthy Romans sometimes built walled parks on their rural estates to enclose deer, wild boar, oryx, hare, and other animals “so that the sight of their being hunted within an enclosure might delight the eyes of the proprietor and that when the custom of giving feasts called for game, it might be produced as it were out of store.”48 By enclosing game within the walls of their parks, wealthy Romans established legal possession over wild animals and made it a crime for others to hunt them. In this way, game parks ensured a store of fresh game for banquets, provided a private enclosure for hunting, and symbolized the lord’s wealth, power, and dominion over the natural world.

Emperors, Hunting, and Venationes Although scenes of heroic hunting figured prominently on the Arch of Constantine, it is a curious fact that the hunt never developed into a consistent symbol of Roman imperial power. As we have seen, the four medallion pairs on Constantine’s arch had been taken from an earlier monument of Emperor Hadrian, who was unusual in his lifelong devotion to hunting and efforts to make that activity a



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central element of his imperial persona.49 Chroniclers noted Hadrian’s exploits hunting boars, bears, lions, and other beasts as he toured the provinces of the empire, and he erected public monuments and issued coins to commemorate his exploits. Written more than two centuries after Hadrian’s death, the Augustan History remembered his devotion to the chase and especially to hunting lions: “He rode and walked a great deal and always kept himself in training by the use of arms and the javelin. He also hunted, and he often used to kill a lion with his own hand, but once in a hunt he broke his collar-bone and a rib. These hunts of his he always shared with his friends.”50 Hunting was a personal passion of Hadrian’s, and it is possible that he emphasized this activity because he was not a great conqueror like his predecessor Trajan. Thus for Hadrian, hunting may have provided a convenient symbol of prowess and virtus in an era when the empire was no longer expanding. Yet most emperors seem to have hunted simply for exercise and relaxation. This the picture we get of Trajan’s own hunting. In a panegyric delivered in Trajan’s honor in the year 100, Pliny the Younger mentioned the emperor hunting alone in the wilderness as a form of private leisure: “Your only relaxation is to range the woodlands, drive wild beasts from their lairs, scale vast mountain heights, and set foot on rocky crags, with none to give a helping hand or show the way.”51 After obtaining the purple, an emperor’s hunting activities were usually overshadowed by other traditional imperial symbols, especially celebrating military victories, building grand monuments, and sponsoring lavish circuses and games.52 The last of these—games in the amphitheater—did have an important connection to hunting.53 To entertain their subjects, Roman emperors and wealthy patrons often paid for extravagant contests that included staged animal hunts, known as venationes, featuring professional beast hunters (bestiarii). Venationes were distinct from gladiatorial combats, which typically took place in the afternoon after the beast hunts. Executions of low-status criminals came between the two events and often involved the so-called damnatio ad bestias: exposing convicted lawbreakers to fierce animals like lions, leopards, and bears. Such wild animals were imported at tremendous expense from far-flung provinces of the empire and beyond. A long ambulatory mosaic known as the Big Game Hunt from the Villa Romana del Casale vividly depicts the arduous capturing of exotic beasts (elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, tigers, panthers, ostriches) in Africa and India and their transport by ship across the Mediterranean to Rome.54 Venationes sponsored by emperors could be astonishing in scope. In the year 107, for example, Trajan celebrated his victory over the Dacians by hosting games in which eleven thousand wild beasts were killed in the Roman Colosseum. Such astounding displays of fierce and exotic animals symbolized the emperor’s rule over the entire world and his vigilant defense of the empire against threatening predatory forces. Procuring

Figure 12. A third-century mosaic from Smirat, Tunisia, commemorating venationes paid for by a local patron named Magerius. The mosaic shows four beast hunters (named Spittara, Bullarius, Hilarinus, and Mamertinus) killing four leopards (named Victor, Crispinus, Luxurius, and Romanus). At the center a servant displays the four thousand denarii Magerius paid for the wild beasts. Today in the Archaeological Museum in Sousse, Tunisia. (Vanni Archive/Art Resource, New York)

Figure 13. The capturing and transporting of exotic wild animals (including ostriches, gazelles, wild boars, and elephants) for staged hunts in the amphitheater. Detail from the Great Hunt mosaic, Villa del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

Emperors and Elites

wild animals for Roman amphitheaters led to the reduction and extinction of some species in certain regions, including lions, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, elephants, and hippopotamuses.55 A few emperors went so far as to perform in staged animal hunts themselves. Such behavior drew sharp criticism from chroniclers and senators, because they looked down on gladiators and bestiarii as men of low status and therefore viewed such behavior as shockingly undignified for an emperor.56 They also interpreted such per for mances in the arena as a sign that the emperor lacked the strength and skill required to hunt successfully in the wilderness. For example, Suetonius reported that the elderly emperor Tiberius (14–37) once threw javelins at a wild boar in an arena in an effort to hide his declining health.57 Suetonius also reported that Domitian (81–96) performed feats of archery in what seems to have been the arena near his palace in the Alban Hills outside Rome. Although Suetonius begrudgingly recognized Domitian’s impressive marksmanship, he interpreted such hunting as a sign of the emperor’s indolence and lack of martial valor: “Domitian hated to exert himself. While in Rome he hardly ever went for a walk, and during campaigns and travels he seldom rode a horse, but almost always used a litter. Weapons did not interest him, though he was an exceptionally keen archer. Many people have seen him shooting animals of various kinds on his Alban estate, sometimes deliberately bringing down a quarry with two successive arrows so dexterously placed in the head as to resemble horns.”58 In his panegyric for Trajan, Pliny condemned the performances of Domitian as a fraudulent kind of hunting and a sign that he lacked the true valor that Trajan, who hunted in the wild, actually possessed.59 But the emperor who took hunting in arenas the furthest was Commodus (180–192).60 He reportedly performed as a gladiator in the amphitheater and killed thousands of men and beasts, including elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and giraffes. On one occasion he displayed his archery skills to the Roman crowds by shooting a hundred bears from the balustrade of the Colosseum. As part of his public image as a mighty hunter, Commodus commanded the senate to call him the Roman Hercules in imitation of the god of strength, whose twelve labors included slaying the Nemean lion and capturing the Erymanthian boar. Commodus had Hercules’s emblems—his club and the skin of the Nemean lion—carried before him in the streets of Rome and placed on a golden throne in the imperial box in the Colosseum, and he disseminated statues of himself dressed in Hercules’s lion skin and carrying his club. Cassius Dio (d. ca. 235) criticized Commodus for his bloody performances in the Colosseum, and he noted that some senators in the crowd had to chew bitter laurel leaves to keep from laughing. But Commodus’s superhuman slaughter of thousands of wild beasts probably impressed many of his subjects with his godlike dominion over the natural world.



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Figure 14. A portion of the mosaic from the peristyle court of the Great Palace in Constantinople (sixth century). It depicts both rural hunting scenes (e.g., hare hunting) as well as bestiarii in armor fighting tigers and other wild animals. Mosaic Museum, Istanbul. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

As impressive as these staged hunts in the arena were, Domitian and Commodus were outliers; most emperors seem not to have participated in venationes personally. Instead, it was by sponsoring lavish circus games and hunts that they projected their imperial persona to the urban masses. Such circus games in fact experienced impor tant transformations during late antiquity.61 Christians criticized gladiatorial combats as a form of murder, and they viewed circus games in general as an institution connected with Roman paganism. Constantine temporarily banned gladiatorial combats in 325, and Honorius outlawed them for good in 404.62 Staged beast hunts, on the other hand, endured. The eastern Roman emperors and senators continued the tradition of sponsoring venationes in the Hippodrome of Constantinople along with chariot races, which became extremely popu lar in late antiquity. The imperial Great Palace, which was adjacent to the Hippodrome, had floor mosaics with hunting scenes that included bestiarii fighting lions and other beasts. In this way,

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the eastern Roman emperors maintained the tradition of sponsoring staged hunts as a public symbol of imperial power. This enduring ideology is reflected in the Barberini Ivory, which depicts an eastern Roman emperor (perhaps Justinian I, 527–565) as a triumphant conqueror vanquishing his enemies. Beneath his feet crouch subjected barbarians bringing him tribute, including wild beasts, presumably to be slaughtered in the Hippodrome. This image captures the interrelationships between military triumphs and venationes that endured in the eastern Roman Empire. In contrast, circus games with staged beast hunts died out in the West by 600. This resulted from the evaporation of imperial patronage, the high cost of sponsoring venationes, and a general lack of funds to maintain amphitheaters. Like aristocrats, Roman emperors also sometimes hunted in walled game parks (vivaria). This tradition was imported from Persia, where the shahs had constructed walled parks known as paradises.63 Persian paradises often were beautifully landscaped wilderness enclosures surrounded by high walls and stocked with local and exotic game. Ammianus Marcellinus described one Persian paradise near Seleucia on the Tigris: “an extensive round tract, enclosed by a strong fence and containing the wild beasts that were kept for the king’s entertainment: lions with flowing manes, boars with bristling shoulders, bears savage beyond all manner of madness (as they usually are in Persia), and other choice animals of enormous size.”64 Some imperial parks were massive. One seems to have been the enormous, fifty-five-thousand-acre walled district north of Trier (aptly named the Langmauer, or Long Wall) that was constructed by Valentinian I (364–375).65 The six-foot-high stone walls of this enclosed landscape were forty-five miles long, and it apparently functioned as a hunting park as well as an agricultural zone to support the imperial court at Trier. Located within the Langmauer was the opulent villa at Welschbillig, an imperial palace that had a large swimming pool surrounded by over one hundred statues of emperors and phi losophers. But Ammianus Marcellinus criticized emperors who hunted in walled parks because they reminded him of Commodus’s per for mances in the Colosseum. He wrote of Valentinian I’s son Gratian (375–383): He was a young man of extraordinary talent, eloquent, self-restrained, warlike, and merciful. He was already on his way to rivalry with the most distinguished emperors while yet a comely down was creeping over his cheeks, had not his natu ral inclination for unbecoming conduct, which was given free reign by his intimates, turned him to the frivolous pursuits of the emperor Commodus, although without that prince’s thirst for blood. Commodus had felt superhuman exultation because he so often



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Figure 15. The late Roman emperor as master of barbarians and beasts. A victorious east Roman emperor (Justinian?) with subjected barbarian peoples beneath his feet bringing gifts and exotic animals. Barberini Ivory in the Louvre Museum, Paris. (© RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, New York)

killed a great number of wild animals with javelins in the presence of the people, and slaughtered with various kinds of weapons in the amphitheater a hundred lions that were released together, without needing to inflict a second wound. Similarly, Gratian shot sharp-toothed beasts in the enclosures which are called vivaria and neglected matters of serious importance.66

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For Ammianus Marcellinus, as for Suetonius and Pliny, it was the challenging and arduous pursuit of animals in the wild that was the only fitting type of hunting for an emperor. Ammianus Marcellinus underscored his dislike of hunting in parks when he described with satisfaction how Julian’s cavalry destroyed the Persian paradise near Seleucia and slaughtered all the lions, bears, and boars within it “with hunting spears and a hail of missiles.”67 As is clear, lions were especially associated with Roman imperial hunting and venationes. Living primarily in Africa and Asia, lions were the most feared of predatory animals, and hunting them had been associated with kingship and power since the earliest civilizations.68 The Hebrew scriptures associated lion hunting with martial prowess and heroic daring, and it was the young David’s experiences slaying lions and bears to protect his father’s livestock that gave him the confidence to fight Goliath (1 Samuel 17.34–36; 2 Samuel 23.20). Late Roman emperors asserted an imperial monopoly on hunting and capturing lions so they could use them for public spectacles and their private game parks. The original date of this monopoly is unknown, but it may go back to the time of the great lion-hunter Hadrian. The Theodosian Code (decreed 438) contains a law of Honorius (393–423) and Theodosius II (408–450) clarifying that, while hunting lions was exclusively for the emperor’s amusement, Roman citizens could kill lions “for the safety of our provincials” but not to hunt or sell them.69 Lions were not indigenous to Eu rope after they were hunted to extinction in Greece by 100 CE, so they had to be imported from Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, the power ful ideological associations between lions, lion hunting, and royal power would live on in early medieval Eu rope. One final thing to observe about Roman imperial hunting is that the activity seems to have played little role as a ritual of consensus. Roman emperors undoubtedly did sometimes hunt with advisors and favorites, and the Augustan History observed that Hadrian often hunted with his friends.70 Nevertheless, Roman authors usually did not emphasize that emperors hunted with companions. This absence may be related to the fact that political consensus was less impor tant for imperial power after Augustus established himself as a military dictator and diminished the power of the senate.71 And as far as emperors did need to shore up political consensus, they did this primarily by staging lavish processions and circus games, grand events that orga nized all of society, from the senators and equestrians down to the plebs and slaves, through carefully hierarchic rituals and seating.72 The impression that most emperors hunted without much fanfare, large entourages, or spectators agrees with the image of imperial hunting as a form of personal relaxation rather than a central element of their public persona. In other words, it was grand public rituals like military



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victories and circus games, rather than hunting, that were most significant for Roman imperial ideology.

Romanized Barbarians and the New Order in the West In late antiquity, Romans increasingly interacted with foreigners, whom they called “barbarians,” a subjective catchall term to describe the bewildering array of non-Roman peoples surrounding their empire.73 As depicted on Constantine’s arch, the Romans tended to assign wild, animal-like characteristics to barbarians, describing them as savage, excessive, violent, and without law. Behind these stereotypes, however, Roman and barbarian ethnic identities were much more fluid and complex.74 Ethnic identity was not a genetically inherited trait that rigidly defined a person; instead, it was situational, and it had to be performed. It was mainly elites—rulers, nobles, and warriors—who made claims of ethnic identity to assert high status and membership in specific political communities.75 Ethnicity was only one element of an individual’s multiple identities, which also included gender, social status, place of birth, education, political allegiance, religion, and language proficiency.76 In late antiquity, tough barbarian warriors living near the frontiers became increasingly Romanized through trade, ser vice in the Roman army, Christianization, and settlement within the empire. At the same time, Roman provincial elites adopted elements of barbarian fashions as a badge of their military lifestyle. In this way the western provinces slowly transformed into a broad frontier zone, or middle ground, in which Roman soldiers and barbarian warriors began to merge into a single class of military men. A late antique funerary inscription found near Budapest captures this merging of Roman and barbarian manhood along the empire’s frontiers, proudly proclaiming in Latin, “I was a Frank by birth and a Roman soldier in arms. I always carried my weapons in battle with exemplary manliness [egregia virtute].”77 How barbarian peoples were integrated into the political and social landscape of the late Roman Empire is a complex and debated topic.78 At Constantine’s death in 337, the empire had recovered from the political crises of the third century, reestablished its traditional borders, and seemingly rested on new, secure foundations. Yet, less than two centuries later, the emperors had withdrawn eastward to Constantinople and ceded the western provinces to a number of barbarian kings and their armies. Any historian who seeks to understand these changes therefore must deal with difficult questions of imperial politics and diplomacy, the changing structure of the Roman army, barbarian kingship and society, and larger transformations in late Roman culture and economy. Constantine and his

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successors heavily recruited barbarian warriors into the Roman army and settled small groups of them along the frontiers. The steady and controlled trickle of barbarians into the empire became much more intense in the late fourth century, with large confederations migrating en masse into the empire and either compelling the imperial government to cede them territories on which to settle or seizing them outright. The Roman army essentially disappeared in the West during the early fifth century, and the federated barbarian soldiers of newly founded kingdoms came to fill its place. The overall numbers of barbarian peoples who settled in the western provinces were relatively small—a few hundred thousand at most (perhaps much less), and thus only a small percentage of the general Roman population. But they were a significant minority because their kings now offered to the Roman provincials the military protection and political order that the emperors traditionally had provided. The northern barbarians had hunted for centuries before settling in the empire.79 In general, the peoples of northern Europe had a cuisine that placed more emphasis on meat and animal products than did the Romans, whose Mediterranean diet favored foodstuffs from agriculture (bread, polenta, wine, olive oil, and vegetables).80 At Hochdorf in southwestern Germany, a barrow of a chieftain dating to circa 530 BCE contained rich burial artifacts, including items related to hunting: a quiver of arrows, three fishing hooks, an iron knife, animal furs, and nine large drinking vessels made from the horns of aurochs.81 One must be very cautious with the descriptions of barbarian peoples by Roman writers, since they often reproduced well-worn classical stereotypes about savage foreigners. Nevertheless, it seems significant that they noted the importance of hunting for barbarian elites. Caesar wrote of Germanic warriors that “their whole life is composed of hunting and military endeavors,” and he described their pursuit of wild oxen, elk, and aurochs in the vast woodlands of Germany.82 Similarly, Tacitus reported that barbarian elites “spend much time hunting, but even more time in idleness,” while they left the domestic work to subordinate gender groups: “to the women, old men, and weaklings in the family.”83 Ammianus Marcellinus stressed the connections between hunting and manhood in his description of the Taifals, a people who became members of the Gothic confederation. He explained that Taifal men practiced pederasty, although a boy subjected to this abuse could restore his damaged reputation “if, when he came of age, he single-handedly catches a wild boar or slays a huge bear.”84 For barbarian warriors, fearsome wild animals associated with hunting were important symbols of power, virility, and divine protection. The treasures found in the tomb of an early-seventh-century Anglo-Saxon chieftain at Sutton Hoo included aurochs-horn drinking vessels, gold objects decorated with wild boars, wolves, and raptors, and a scepter capped with an elegant red deer stag.85


Figure  16. The stag as a symbol of power and virility among the early Anglo-Saxons. A scepter crowned with a finely modeled red deer from a chieftain’s burial in Sutton Hoo, England (early seventh century). Today in the British Museum, London. (© The Trustees of the British Museum/Art Resource, New York)

Emperors and Elites

Once barbarians settled within the empire, they seem quickly to have adopted the hunting practices of late-Roman aristocrats using dogs, horses, and hawks. This is not surprising, since in most other arenas barbarian elites embraced Roman cultural practices. The Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great (471–526) reportedly used to say, “Only a poor Roman lives like a Goth, while a rich Goth lives like a Roman.”86 Procopius (d. ca. 565) likewise noted the gusto with which the Vandals in North Africa adopted the luxuries of Roman life, including villas, bathing, banqueting, the theater, chariot races, walled paradises, “and above all else . . . hunting.”87 The courts of barbarian kings became new centers of RomanChristian culture.88 Like a Byzantine emperor, Theodoric the Great sponsored performances, games, and animal hunts in the circuses of Rome and Italy, and mosaics from his palace in Ravenna contain traditional Roman hunting scenes with horses, dogs, and nets.89 Classical culture also characterized the court of another Theodoric, the Visigothic king Theodoric II (453–466). Sidonius, who had spent time at Theodoric II’s palace, praised the Visigothic ruler and his household as the embodiment of civilized culture and restraint.90 Sidonius called special attention to Theodoric II’s skills as a hunter, which he interpreted as a badge of his manhood: When a hunt has been announced and he sets out, he considers it beneath his royal dignity to have his bow slung at his side. If chance presents to him a bird or beast within range while hunting or riding, he puts his hand behind his back, and a slave places the bow in it, with the string or thong hanging loose. For he thinks it childish to carry the bow in a case and womanish to take it over already strung. . . . He may first urge you to choose what quarry you wish to be struck down: you choose what he is to strike, and he strikes what you have chosen. Should a mistake be made by either of you, more often at fault is the eyesight of the selector than the aim of the archer.91 It is significant that both Theodorics were Arian Christians and thus heretics in the eyes of orthodox Romans. Nevertheless, the classical cultures of their courts, including traditional Roman forms of hunting and banqueting, seem to have helped smooth the way for cooperation between barbarians and Romans in the post-imperial West. Analysis of animal bones from sites in northern Gaul likewise suggests the growing importance of hunting and banqueting (and other forms of conspicuous consumption) for Romans and barbarians in late antiquity.92 Before the fourth century, the percentages of wild animals from excavated bones assemblages tend to be low in Roman sites: about 1–2  percent from urban and rural sites in northern



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Gaul (especially red deer, hare, and wild boar), and about 3 percent from cities and towns in Latium.93 Similarly, wild animal bones from sites in Germany dating to the Roman Iron Age (roughly 1–300 CE) usually yield around 1–2  percent wild animal bones, mostly red deer, roe deer, hare, and aurochs.94 However, the percentages rise at several elite sites in northern Gaul dating to the so-called Migration Period (300–700). In addition to higher percentages of wild animal bones at these sites (mostly red deer and wild boar), one finds other markers of a lordly lifestyle, including large timber or stone buildings, equestrian gear, weapons, coins, and “feasting kits” (silver tableware, glass vessels, etc.), as well as objects with Christian and hunting iconography.95 One site illustrating this phenomenon is Gennep, between the Meuse and lower Rhine rivers, which dates from the late fourth and fifth centuries. The Gennep excavations suggest that red deer accounted for some 20  percent of the inhabitants’ diet—a much higher percentage than at most sites. The Gennep site also had an unusually rich material culture, which included large timber halls, evidence of intensive craft production (including working with gold and silver), some three hundred and fifty Roman coins, and fragments of Roman glass, pottery, and military gear. Gennep may have been a military stronghold of Franks and/or other barbarian soldiers who were federates of the Romans during last decades of the western empire.96 Similar late antique sites have been excavated nearby at Gellep-Stratum and Duisburg, where archaeologists likewise found considerable evidence of elite material culture and hunting.97 The evidence from such sites points to the heightened connection between hunting and elite status among Romans and barbarians in late antique northern Gaul and to the importance of banqueting and game consumption for ostentatious display.

* * * Thus, by the year 500, a new militarized aristocracy was coalescing in the postRoman West around the courts of barbarian kings. This elite was an amalgam of different social groups: old Roman senatorial families, new men who had risen through the ranks of the late Roman army, and ambitious barbarian warriors who had settled within the empire. Scholars call this new aristocracy the early medieval nobility, although it is important to stress that there was no legally defined noble class. Thus, Isidore of Seville defined a nobleman (nobilis) simply as “not a commoner, but rather a person whose name and family are well known.”98 Early medieval people could recognize a nobleman based on social markers like attire, adornment, deportment, and manner of speaking.99 Perhaps more than any other activity, hunting characterized this noble lifestyle because it combined so many markers of elite status and manhood: wealth, leisure, rural estates, servants, equestrianship, and skill with a bow and lance.

Emperors and Elites

A final letter of Sidonius Apollinaris captures this nascent ideal of the early medieval nobleman. In it, Sidonius painted an admiring portrait of a GalloRoman general named Vettius.100 Sidonius began by praising his friend as a man of senatorial rank, a lord of a virtuous household, generous, sober, and strict, and always elegantly dressed in his military cloak and sword belt. Moreover, Vettius was an educated Christian who read sacred books, listened to them during meals, and recited the psalms. Sidonius also stressed that Vettius was a gifted huntsman, “second to none in training horses, judging the quality of dogs, and handling hawks.” He noted with approval that, during prescribed times of Christian fasts, his friend abstained from the game he caught, “thus enjoying the hunt but not the hunted.” Even though Vettius was a military man, Sidonius concluded that everyone—clergy as well as laymen—would benefit by emulating his way of life. Sidonius’s portrait of Vettius—noble lord, educated Christian, skilled warrior, and accomplished hunter—in many ways embodied the lay masculine ideal for the next half millennium. Yet in Sidonius’s eyes, Vettius’s hunting was still very much tied to notions of Roman identity and manhood: he was a Roman gentleman in a world without empire. The subsequent chapters of this book explore how this elite culture of hunting gradually became associated with the new dominant power in the West: the Franks.



Merovingians and Magnates

In his epitaph for the eastern Roman emperor Heraclius (610–641), a Frankish chronicler known as Fredegar praised the ruler’s hunting prowess. He reported that Heraclius not only hunted avidly in the wild but, like Commodus centuries earlier, also performed before crowds in the circus. Although Fredegar ultimately criticized Heraclius’s career, he interpreted the emperor’s enthusiastic hunting as a laudable quality that contributed to his overall manliness: “Emperor Heraclius possessed an attractive appearance, handsome face, and dignified height and build. He was much stronger than all other men and an outstanding warrior, since he often killed lions in arenas and many individually in wild places.”1 In contrast, however, Fredegar criticized the hunting by Heraclius’s contemporary, the Merovingian ruler Clothar II (584–629). Although he praised the Frankish king for many of his qualities, he censured him for hunting too much and, intriguingly, for heeding the counsel of women: “This Clothar was strong-minded and well-read, a God-fearing man, a great patron of churches and priests, an alms-giver to the poor, kindly disposed to all, and full of piety. On the other hand, his devotion to hunting wild animals was excessive, and he paid too much attention to the views of women and girls. His magnates criticized him for this.”2 These epitaphs of Heraclius and Clothar II embody a central paradox of hunting in the Frankish kingdoms under the Merovingian dynasty (481–751). During this era after the end of the western empire, Byzantine emperors, Merovingian kings, and Frankish elites continued to hunt. Historians often assume that hunting played an important role in the political culture of the Merovingian kingdoms: to demonstrate the virile manliness of the kings and to foster political consensus with the Frankish nobles.3 Yet contemporary chroniclers in fact gave surprisingly little indication that hunting was ideologically significant for the Merovingian rulers or that they hunted with their magnates. Indeed, chroniclers tended to ignore the hunting activities of Merovingian kings or, as in the depiction of Clothar II, to criticize them for this activity. Nevertheless, it is clear that

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the Merovingians and Franks were avid hunters, as the Gallo-Romans had been before them. This chapter seeks to unravel these apparent contradictions and uncover the roles of hunting in Merovingian politics and society. Along the way, we will try to explain why Fredegar condemned this activity for a Merovingian king but praised it for a Byzantine emperor. We will investigate the complexity of hunting in the Merovingian world through several interrelated topics: kings and nobles, hunting and murder, royal forests, and early medieval laws.

Kings, Nobles, and Chroniclers in the Sixth Century By the early sixth century, the Frankish kingdom, founded by Clovis I (481–511), was emerging as one of the most powerful polities in the post-Roman West.4 Clovis established a monarchy in Gaul by taking over the Roman military administration, uniting the Franks, eliminating his rivals, and driving the Visigoths into Spain. He also had the foresight to convert to orthodox (Catholic) Christianity (rather than heretical Arianism), thereby winning the crucial support of the Gallo-Romans. After Clovis’s death, his sons divided Gaul into small kingdoms, each of which was centered on a northern capital city (Reims, Orléans, Paris, and Soissons). But these early Merovingian kingdoms were more mosaics of cities and territories than coherent polities based on ethnicity or geography. During the sixth century, the Merovingian kings conquered or subjugated neighboring territories such as Aquitaine, Burgundy, Alemannia, Thuringia, and Bavaria. This frequent warfare combined with ongoing rivalries among Clovis’s descendants heightened the geographical fluidity of the Merovingian kingdoms, although these political dynamics fostered social cohesion around the kings as well. During the sixth century, the Frankish nobility was coalescing into an affluent class of warriors and landlords, and their wealth enabled them to maintain a lifestyle of lavish display and conspicuous consumption on a par with that of their Gallo-Roman neighbors.5 As imperial government, Roman taxation, and classical schools slowly disappeared in the West, the courts of the Merovingian kings became the new centers of politics, patronage, and high culture.6 The Franks were a confederate people, and a key to their success was that they assimilated Romans, Burgundians, and other groups into their kingdoms, a process facilitated by intermarriage and the tradition of raising young noblemen at the palace. The Merovingian nobility therefore was a broad, heterogeneous, fluid group of men and women at the top of the social pyramid. Their social dominance was never fully secure, so they constantly struggled to maintain their position in the face of challenges from rivals and parvenus.7 The nobility was a highly stratified group, with elites differing considerably in wealth and status. Historians agree that early



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medieval nobles typically shared several key characteristics: (1) distinguished ancestry (2) significant wealth and property; (3) high office (especially those of bishop and count); (4) access to the patronage of a king or powerful figure; and (5) an elite lifestyle.8 It was because of the fluidity of noble status and the absence of any legally defined aristocracy that the last category—elite lifestyle—was so important for marking the nobles as distinct. To use the words of Timothy Reuter, “The collective effect of all these social markers was to recreate a world in which aristocrats were unmistakably different, immediately recognizable. For themselves, at least, the dominant classes reinforced these perceptions by constructing a class world.”9 This shared elite lifestyle played an important role holding together the loosely unified Merovingian kingdoms. Paul Fouracre identified a number of key components of this elite culture, including orthodox Christianity, devotion to saints, the offices of bishop and count, love of treasure, the use of written charters to guarantee property rights, attendance at court, and ritualized behavior.10 Hunting played a vital role in the formation of this Frankish noble lifestyle. It needs to be emphasized from the outset that, like late Roman aristocrats, early medieval nobles did not hunt to survive. Certainly nobles ate the game they caught—or that their huntsmen caught for them—but their wealth, chiefly in the form of lands for agriculture and livestock, meant that they had more than enough food to put on their tables. Instead, nobles hunted primarily as a symbol of status, as a form of military training and exercise, and as a ritual of dominion over land and space. The hunt therefore was a badge of aristocratic power. Jewelry with hunting and falconry motifs found in Merovingian-era graves reflects this.11 Although these graves sometimes belonged to wealthy women, the imagery on their jewelry was decidedly masculine. For example, a brooch found in a seventhcentury grave near Koblenz shows a nobleman carrying a raptor on his fist and proudly riding a stallion with an extended penis. Ornate trappings adorn the stallion, and a cross hovers next to the falconer’s head. This image captures essential markers of aristocratic manhood: stallions, hawks, jewelry, as well as Christianity itself.12 Merovingian chroniclers describe hunting as a regular part of noble life. As in the late Roman Empire, hunting in Merovingian Gaul brought together many markers of status: well-bred horses and dogs, costly equipment, martial skill, control of land, drinking and banqueting, servants and leisure. Venison, boar, and certain types of fowl were favorite foods of the nobility and conveyed high status.13 Hunting also continued to have a central place in the military training of young elites.14 As Sidonius observed of the Franks, “Even in boyhood’s years, their love of war is full-grown.”15 This period of military training and hunting continued after boys entered adolescence (adolescentia), a period that began around

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the age of fourteen (marked by the growing of a beard) and continued into the late twenties.16 Many wellborn Frankish men spent their teens and twenties hunting, banqueting, and serving as warriors in the retinues of powerful lords. One Merovingian prince was described as “surrounding himself with rowdy persons in a youthful and restless stage of their lives.”17 This last observation comes from the pen of Gregory of Tours (573–594), a Gallo-Roman bishop, royal counselor, and the most important chronicler of the early Merovingian kingdoms.18 Gregory occasionally mentioned hunting in his Histories and works of hagiography, and his comments highlight the importance of the activity for the elite lifestyle of Frankish noblemen. The hunting he depicted differs little from that of Gallo-Roman aristocrats a century or two earlier: chiefly the pursuit of large game like deer and wild boar on horseback with dogs, and also falconry. Notably, Gregory never praised hunters for their exploits, and he often associated the chase with pride, anger, and bloodshed. For example, he described one magnate pursuing another with murderous intent “with horns and trumpets as if chasing a fleeing stag.”19 Gregory and his contemporaries sometimes worried that there were lingering connections between hunting and paganism among the rustics of the countryside. Gregory narrated how, in the 580s, a Christian hermit named Walfoy (Vulfolaic) convinced the people around Trier to give up their devotion to Diana and smash all her statues.20 For the bishop of Tours, hunting was part of the ostentatious, martial, violent culture of aristocrats of which he was often critical. Several of Gregory’s stories shine flashes of light on Merovingian hunting culture. One vivid anecdote hinges on the role of hawks as a badge of elite status. In his Miracles of Julian the Martyr, Gregory told a story about the arrogance of a count named Becco. According to Gregory, one of Becco’s hawks did not return one day while he was hunting. 21 Around that time, a servant of the church of St.-Julian found a different hawk while out walking and kept it. When Becco learned of this, he falsely claimed that the servant had stolen his lost hawk, and he threw him in prison and sentenced him to death. Desperate to save the servant, a priest of St.-Julian’s sent Becco ten gold coins to have him released, but the count insisted on three times that amount before he would let the servant go free.22 Gregory told this story to illustrate Becco’s pride and avarice (the fine of thirty gold coins recalls the payment to Judas), and he went on to report with satisfaction that Becco later suffered a stroke. But Becco may have acted as he did because the situation was socially embarrassing to him, since Gregory implied that people wondered whether the servant had taken his missing hawk. Moreover, Becco possibly resented that a lowborn servant dared to acquire such a high-status item. Gregory’s story about Count Becco’s superbia thus highlights how hawks served as important badges of elite status in the competitive, honor-conscious, small worlds



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of Merovingian Gaul. The Franks’ neighbors shared this enthusiasm for falconry. Several graves in Germany dating to the sixth and seventh centuries contained the remains of hawks along with other elite objects, while mosaics from Mértola in southern Portugal suggest that the practice of falconry existed among the Visigoths as well.23 A second story of Gregory’s demonstrates the associations between hunting, assimilation, and competing notions of manhood. In his Life of the Fathers, Gregory described the career of a Thuringian layman named Brachio who obtained a position as the huntsman of the powerful count of Clermont.24 Brachio’s name suggests that his parents had expected him to become a skilled hunter; it apparently meant “hunting dog” in the Germanic vernacular (and is related to the modern German Bracke, “hound”), although the Latin-speaking Gregory incorrectly thought it meant “bear cub.”25 It was not unusual for early medieval parents to name their sons after fierce wild animals (wolf, bear, wild boar, dog, stag, eagle, falcon, etc.), a fact that reflects the centrality of strength, courage, and hunting for elite masculinity.26 Gregory narrated how one day Brachio unexpectedly stumbled upon the hermitage of the holy man Aemilianus while pursuing a wild boar in the woods of Pionsat. As the huntsman for the count of Clermont, Brachio was not from the highest social circles. Nevertheless, Aemilianus immediately recognized him as a man of rank because of his social markers: he rode on horseback, he had a pack of hunting dogs, and he was “dressed with great elegance.” The hermit gave Brachio the kiss of peace and tried to convince him to leave his sinful life at court and become a monk.27 Meanwhile, Brachio marveled at the fact that his dogs refused to enter Aemilianus’s garden, where the exhausted wild boar had sought refuge. This experience deeply moved Brachio. It inspired him to embrace a strange double life, hunting for the count of Clermont by day and secretly praying and learning to read at night. (Bracho’s lack of literacy may reflect the fact that he hailed from Thuringia rather than Merovingian Gaul, where there were significant levels of literacy among the lay elites.28) Here we catch a glimpse of the tension between two modes of masculinity—the courtly hunter and the ascetic monk—within the heart of a single nobleman. In this case, the latter eventually won out: when the count of Clermont died, Brachio renounced the world, became a monk, and eventually succeeded Aemilianus as abbot of his woodland monastery. Brachio’s brother reportedly was so outraged that Brachio had abandoned his promising career and the prospects for a good marriage that he tried (unsuccessfully) to murder him.29 Perhaps his brother feared that Brachio, like Saint Anthony of Egypt, would give away his wealth and property before entering the monastic life. Gregory’s story highlights the “cultural capital” of hunting skill that might enable a Thuringian outsider like Brachio to obtain a position of some

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prestige within Frankish society. Had he married a local woman, his children legally would have been Franks since they were born in Frankish territory. For Brachio to give up a life of hunting, ser vice at court, and marriage for the cloister was to turn his back on what it meant to be nobilis, and his story highlights how different versions of manhood, including the ascetic monk, could rival that of the aristocratic layman. A third story from Gregory’s pen demonstrates the ties between hunting, reputation, and dominion over space.30 He recounted that in 577 the prince Merovech and the magnate Guntram Boso sought asylum in the church of St.-Martin in Tours to escape the wrath of Merovech’s own father, King Chilperic (561–584). Eager to end the standoff, Queen Fredegund (Merovech’s stepmother) secretly bribed Guntram Boso to convince her stepson to leave the sanctuary of the church so he could be assassinated. Guntram Boso accomplished this by playing on the prince’s sense of manly honor. “Why do we stay cooped up here, as if we were too idle or timid to set foot out of doors?” he asked Merovech. “We slink about in this church as if we were half-witted! Let us call for our horses! Let us take our hawks and go hunting with our dogs! We should enjoy some diversions out in the fresh air.” Here we see how the refusal to ride and hunt made a nobleman seem lazy, cowardly, and weak—that is to say, not a true man. In a world in which people took reputation seriously, a royal scion like Merovech was willing to risk life and limb to go hunting and reaffirm his manhood. Fortunately for him, his stepmother’s assassins were not ready when he ventured into the countryside around Tours. He returned to the sanctuary of St.-Martin’s unharmed, his manhood reaffirmed. Gregory noted that the treacherous Guntram Boso later died in battle like a hunted wild boar, impaled with so many spears that his body could not fall to the ground.31 Gregory also mentioned hunting by Merovingian kings. Notably, he gave no indication that royal hunts differed substantially from those of other elites, and he never suggested that the Merovingians bestowed any particular political or ideological significance on the activity. Indeed, most of Gregory’s references to royal hunts are brief and en passant: a mere background detail that sets the scene for a more significant turn of events. For example, he briefly noted that Clothar I (511– 561) had been hunting in the woodland of Cuise near the palace of Compiègne when he fell ill and died, and he observed that Chilperic I and Fredegund spent the autumn hunting season in the woods of Cuise after their sons died of illness in 580.32 He also mentioned that Chilperic was returning at twilight from the chase near Chelles (a royal manor outside Paris) when he was murdered in September 584.33 In all these cases, Gregory brought up royal hunts only to provide circumstantial information about the course of political events, not to call attention to the activity itself.



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Gregory’s most memorable stories about Merovingian royal hunting concern King Guntram (561–592), the ruler of Burgundy whom Gregory knew personally. Guy Halsall has argued that Gregory’s generally positive picture of Guntram was necessitated by the fact that Guntram controlled Tours, which made open criticism of the king dangerous.34 Gregory depicted Guntram as an avid huntsman whose outings into the countryside regularly punctuated his busy schedule. For example, he noted that, when the king wanted secretly to recover the body of his murdered nephew, he pretended to go hunting so that he could depart Paris without raising suspicion.35 However, Gregory suggested that Guntram’s love of the chase was excessive and that it inflamed his bad temper and undermined his commitment to justice. In his Glory of the Confessors, for instance, he commented that Guntram became furious when someone stole his favorite hunting horn and without justification threw suspects in prison and deprived them of their property.36 On another occasion, right after returning from hunting, Guntram furiously berated two penitent rebels before finally pardoning them at the intervention of Gregory himself.37 On that occasion the king insulted the former rebels by calling them cunning foxes, which actually was a serious offense. Frankish law imposed fines for calling someone not only a fox but also a hare, a homosexual, someone who soiled his underwear, and someone who threw down his shield and ran away from battle—all grave insults to a man’s honor.38 Gregory’s observations about Guntram’s anger, arbitrary behavior, and verbal abuse implied that hunting instilled in him a kind of predatory, animal-like aggression that he took out on his subjects. Gregory’s most vivid tale about Guntram’s fury is a story about what happened in 590 while he was hunting in a royal woodland in the Vosges Mountains.39 On that occasion, the king discovered the carcass of a wild ox that had been killed by another hunter. Guntram was furious, and he asked the supervisor of the woodland who had dared to do such a thing. The warden replied that it had been none other than the king’s own chamberlain, Chundo. Guntram immediately ordered that Chundo be arrested and brought to the palace in chains. The chamberlain denied the accusation, so the exasperated king decreed a trial by combat to determine who was lying. Chundo named his nephew as his champion, and in the ensuing melee both the chamberlain’s nephew and the manager of the woodland perished of grisly wounds. Guntram then ordered Chundo himself to be seized, tied to a post, and stoned to death. Gregory concluded his dark narrative with the observation that the king “ later deeply regretted that he had been carried away by anger and rashly executed a faithful and dutiful man for such a trifling offense.” We will return to this story, because it is a key piece of evidence for the early evolution of royal forests under the Merovingians, but here we should observe that, as in the tale of the stolen hunting horn, Gregory again associated Guntram’s love of the chase with uncontrolled anger and cruelty.

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Gregory’s reports of these Merovingian hunts are significant for several reasons. Some of the details he mentions were to characterize kingly hunting throughout the early Middle Ages: the importance of September and October as prime deer hunting season, the game-rich wildernesses of Cuise and the Vosges as favorite royal hunting grounds, and the fact that queens sometimes accompanied their husbands as companions and spectators (but, as far as we can tell from the evidence, not as fellow hunters). At the same time, Gregory’s stories follow the general pattern of earlier Roman imperial hunting in that he did not associate the activity with political symbolism or ritual. Indeed, with the exception of the queen, Gregory never mentioned any hunting companions of the kings. Surely the Merovingians did sometimes hunt with others (sons, counts, warriors, courtiers, servants, etc.), but Gregory’s silence about the kings’ companions calls into question the common assumption that Merovingian hunting played an important role in forging political consensus with the Frankish elite. Nevertheless, Gregory did mention other lavish, well-attended Merovingian political rituals, such as banquets. In the early Middle Ages, lavish feasts played a key role in political networking and establishing alliances between rulers and powerful nobles.40 Here Gregory’s account of Guntram’s visit to the city of Orléans in 585, an occasion during which Gregory himself was present, is revealing. Gregory began book 8 of his Histories with an extended narrative of Guntram’s banqueting in Orléans to solidify the allegiance of the city’s leading families: “He visited Orléans, where he made a great attempt to establish friendly relations with the townspeople. When he was invited to their houses he accepted and he greatly enjoyed the banquets that they offered him. He received many gifts from them and gave them presents in return with lavish generosity.”41 But, in contrast to his long account of Guntram’s banqueting at Orléans, Gregory mentioned the king’s hunting during that same visit only in passing: “The next morning King Guntram went off hunting. When he returned, I brought Count Garachar of Bordeaux and Bladast to have an audience.”42 Similarly, when reporting the Treaty of Andelot between Guntram and Childebert in 587, Gregory described the kings feasting, exchanging gifts, and kissing each other, but not hunting together.43 In sum, Gregory acknowledged that Merovingian kings enjoyed hunting, but he also suggested that their outings were rather smallscale affairs that, unlike banqueting, did not significantly contribute to royal symbolism or consensus building. The poetry of Gregory’s friend Venantius Fortunatus supports these impressions.44 Although Venantius wrote a number of poems to praise Merovingian kings, he never once extolled their exploits at the chase. This is striking, since Venantius’s emulation of classical poetry (especially Virgil) gave him plenty of literary models that talked about hunting. In his Life of Saint Aubin, Venantius did mention Childebert II (575–595) hunting outside Paris, but, like Gregory, he



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brought it up only in passing and ascribed to it no political or ideological significance.45 However, Venantius (again like Gregory) did present hunting as a key component of the elite lifestyle of noblemen around the Merovingian court; for example, in a poem praising Gogo, the counselor of Sigibert I (561–575), he envisioned him hunting when not engaged in royal business: Or else does he wander sunny groves and glens And snare wild animals with his net or kill them with his spear? Do the woods echo and thunder in the Ardennes or Vosges With the death of a stag, wild goat, elk, or aurochs, shot by his arrows? Does he strike between the horns the brow of the mighty bison, Can the bear, wild ass, or wild boar no more delay its fate?46 Thus Venantius echoes Gregory’s depiction of hunting in sixth-century Merovingian Gaul: that it was important for the masculinity and elite status of kings and nobles but that it did not play a significant role in royal ideology or ritual. We can speculate about reasons for the low ideological profile of early Merovingian hunting. Steffen Patzold has noted that the language of consensus played little role in Merovingian political rhetoric.47 The Merovingians of course formed alliances with leading families, but a discourse of consensus was not central to their royal ideology. It therefore is not surprising that the sixth-century sources do not present royal hunts as a forum of consensus building. Moreover, it should be emphasized that, although the Merovingians had many suburban and rural residences, they tended to stage royal ceremonies in old Roman cities.48 As we have seen, Clovis’s descendants each received a “capital” city in the Frankish heartlands of northern Gaul and a small kingdom that was more a collection of cities than a coherent polity. As a result, the political symbolism of early Merovingian kingship seems to have been urban in character and performed before crowds: banqueting, visiting saints’ shrines, distributing charity, victory celebrations, sitting on thrones, and displaying the Merovingians’ hallmark long hair.49 So a courtier-bishop like Gregory of Tours paid much more attention to Guntram’s feasting and gift exchange with the leading citizens of Orléans than to his early-morning hunting outside the city. Similarly, neither Gregory nor any other chronicler mentioned a Merovingian king hunting in a walled game park, structures that always were located outside the walls of cities. Indeed, there is no evidence for Merovingian game parks, and the Merovingian kings apparently allowed the massive imperial Langmauer near Trier to fall into disuse.50 Thus the urban face of Merovingian kingship, combined with the general absence of a rhetoric of consensus, may explain why Gregory and Venantius paid little attention to royal hunts.

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Nevertheless, the early Merovingians did occasionally imitate the Byzantine practice of throwing circus games and, on at least one occasion, staged animal hunts. Eastern Roman emperors and senators continued to sponsor chariot races and venationes in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, and these grand events were often associated with imperial triumphal processions. In emulation of this Byzantine custom, in 569 Chilperic “had circuses built at Soissons and Paris and offered a show [spectaculum] to the people.”51 Although Gregory did not say explicitly that Chilperic’s spectacula included staged hunts, this is possible. The fact that Chilperic built these circuses in Soissons and Paris is significant: the former city was his royal capital, and the latter had belonged to his recently deceased brother Charibert I (561–567). Chilperic’s circus games thus were a ploy to win the support of the citizens of Paris, even though he had agreed to hold that city in common with his brother and nephew after Charibert’s death.52 Gregory also reported that in his capital city of Metz Childebert II organized a public show (ludus, spectaculum) that included a staged animal hunt.53 He described the spectators cheering as a pack of dogs attacked an unspecified beast (perhaps a bear) while the king and his court watched from the second floor of an adjacent palace.54 In this way, the architecture of Merovingian Metz mirrored, albeit on a vastly smaller scale, the urban layout of the Great Palace and Hippodrome in Constantinople. These circus games and staged hunts in Soissons, Paris, and Metz again suggest the urban face of sixth-century Merovingian kingship, which in turn helps explain why chroniclers paid little attention to royal hunts outside of cities. There is no evidence, however, that these Merovingian circuses continued beyond the sixth century. As we have seen, they seem to have died out in the West around the year 600, apparently because of the high cost of organizing them and of maintaining urban amphitheaters.55

Hunting and Late Merovingian Kingship The early seventh century saw important changes in Merovingian kingship. The key figures in these developments were Clothar II and his son Dagobert I (623– 639), whose reigns mark the “apogee of Merovingian power.”56 Throughout the sixth century, multiple kings had been the rule, with their territories gradually coalescing into three Frankish kingdoms: the western kingdom of Neustria, centered on Paris and Soissons; the eastern kingdom of Austrasia, centered on Reims or Metz; and the Burgundian kingdom, centered on Orléans. (The kings tended to divide up Aquitaine.) But through a combination of political maneuvering and dynastic accident, Clothar II managed to reunite all the Frankish kingdoms in his own hand in 613. Under Clothar II and Dagobert, the Frankish kingdoms



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Figure 17. The enduring tradition of circus games with venationes in the Byzantine Empire. A depiction of a staged beast hunt with bears and lions in the Hippodrome. Detail from an ivory diptych celebrating the consular games of the east Roman senator Flavius Anastasius in 517. Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

enjoyed an unusual prolonged period without civil war. This was an important political moment, because Paris emerged as the de facto capital of the Frankish kingdom. More frequent kingdom-wide assemblies and the draw of a permanent royal court at Paris fostered the formation of a highly integrated Frankish nobility that, despite its diverse geographic backgrounds, came to share a common political culture.57 This more courtly political culture at Paris included the establishment of a palace school for young noblemen, the flowering of learning and literature, and increased emphasis on royal fanfare and ritual.58 Emblematic of these developments was the large kingdom-wide assembly Clothar held “with our bishops, great magnates, and faithful men” at Paris in 614.59 At this assembly, Clothar issued an ambitious code of twenty-four decrees aimed at reorganizing the Frankish legal system along the lines of Roman practices and fostering peace

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and order throughout the realm.60 The title of these decrees suggests the lofty ideology behind Clothar’s kingship, referring to them as the “act and constitution of the famous prince King Clothar for all the people” and describing his power as “imperial rule” (imperium). It is in the context of this heightened royal symbolism of Clothar II’s Pa risian court and its emphasis on Roman models that we should situate this chapter’s opening description of his frequent hunting. The anonymous authors of the Chronicle of Fredegar mentioned Clothar’s excessive hunting in connection with his unification of all the Frankish territories in 613. Indeed, it is in this same passage that Fredegar employed for the very first time the unifying term “kingdom of the Franks” (regnum Francorum): The entire kingdom of the Franks was united, as it had been under Clothar I [in 558–561]. [Clothar II] was king for sixteen happy years, during which he kept the peace with all the neighboring peoples. This Clothar was strong-minded and well-read, a God-fearing man, a great patron of churches and priests, an alms-giver to the poor, kindly disposed to all, and full of piety. On the other hand, his devotion to hunting wild beasts was excessive [venacionem ferarum nimium assiduae utens], and he paid too much attention to the views of women and girls. His magnates criticized him for this.61 It is possible that Clothar II consciously emulated his contemporary, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius. As we have seen, Fredegar similarly called attention to Heraclius’s hunting prowess, although in that case he interpreted it as a laudatory attribute: “He was much stronger than all other men and an outstanding warrior, since he often killed lions in arenas and many individually in wild places.”62 If Fredegar’s account is correct, then it seems that Heraclius revived the practice of Domitian and Commodus of personally performing in staged venationes. It therefore may be that Clothar II’s emphasis on his personal hunting prowess was an imitation of contemporary Byzantine symbolism. The Merovingian and Byzantine courts periodically exchanged ambassadors and paid attention to the other’s hunting exploits. The Greek chronicler Agathias alleged (probably falsely) that a “huge bull with gigantic horns” killed the Merovingian Theudebert I (533–548) by throwing him against a tree.63 Some indirect evidence corroborates the theory that Clothar II made hunting part of his royal persona. His favorite residence at Paris was the suburban manor of Clichy, on the Seine River, where he held impor tant assemblies, celebrated his son Dagobert’s wedding, and presided over a major church council.64 Clichy was located in a prime hunting district: there were extensive woodlands



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along the Seine between Paris and Rouen, especially the old-growth Forêt de Rouvray. Game was so plentiful in the region that later French kings made Clichy a royal hunting lodge, thereby earning it the name Clichy-la-Garenne (“the hunting reserve”). Clothar seems to have been particularly covetous of territories with good hunting. When he appointed Dagobert king of Austrasia in 622, he notably withheld from his son the two best Austrasian hunting districts: the Ardennes and Vosges.65 The Vosges are the beautiful forested mountains of Alsace between Alemannia and Burgundy where we found Guntram hunting in 590. One writer described the Vosges as a “massive and spacious woodland, having many lairs of wild beasts and often resounding with dogs and horns,” and another noted that numerous bears, wisent, and wolves inhabited the region.66 The Ardennes, on the other hand, were the vast, rugged wilderness of western Austrasia, which Fredegar reckoned as extending from west of the Meuse River almost to the middle Rhine (i.e., much larger than today).67 The Vosges and Ardennes both offered excellent hunting and fishing, and it was in these two regions that Venantius Fortunatus imagined Gogo (the minister of the Austrasian king) enjoying the chase.68 It is an interesting question why Fredegar was so critical of Clothar II’s hunting activities. The authorship of this important seventh-century work is a matter of some scholarly debate.69 The current consensus is that one or several authors initially wrote the chronicle in Burgundy circa 642 and that they therefore had retrospective knowledge of the reigns of Clothar II and Dagobert. It was then revised in Austrasia about 660 in circles sympathetic to the faction around the Pippinid family, who were the ancestors of the Carolingians. The chronicle was notably critical of Clothar and Dagobert because those rulers favored the Neustrian magnates around Paris over those of Austrasia and Burgundy. Indeed, the Fredegar authors advocated a political system led not by autocratic Merovingian kings but rather by the Frankish magnates, especially the Pippinid network around Pippin I (d. 640) and Arnulf of Metz (d. 640). Seen in this light, a partial explanation for the chronicler’s critique of Clothar II’s hunting was his withholding of the Ardennes and Vosges when he granted Austrasia to Dagobert in 622.70 This became a matter of contention between father and son. Three days after Dagobert’s wedding at Clichy in 625, Clothar and his son got into a serious argument because Dagobert wanted the Ardennes and Vosges returned to Austrasia. The kings selected twelve magnates to adjudicate the issue, among whom was Arnulf of Metz, “who was of such sanctity that he always advocated harmony between the father and son for the sake of peace.”71 In the end, the bishops and “wiser” magnates brokered an agreement between Clothar and Dagobert: Clothar returned the Ardennes and Vosges to Austrasia, and in exchange Dagobert granted his father territories in Aquitaine and Provence.

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Related to these events is Fredegar’s comment that Clothar II not only hunted too much, but also paid too much attention to the counsel of women (mulierum et puellarum suggestionibus nimium annuens). He added that Clothar’s magnates (leudes) strongly criticized him for both of these shortcomings.72 This reference to the influence of women at court probably is an allusion to Clothar’s third wife, Sichilde, whom the king married in 618. Reflecting the sway of Sichilde and her family, it was her own sister Gomatrude whom Dagobert married in 625 at Clichy.73 Similarly, Fredegar criticized Dagobert for having numerous queens and mistresses after he moved his capital from Austrasia back to Paris when his father died in 629.74 For Fredegar, Dagobert’s move to Paris was the turning point for the worse: “Up to that time from the beginning of his reign he had followed the counsel of the blessed Bishop Arnulf of Metz and the mayor of the palace Pippin, and he ruled the royal government with such prosperity in Austrasia that he had the greatest praise from all peoples.”75 He continued, “[Dagobert’s] magnates complained of his depravity, which reached the ears of Pippin, who was the most prudent of all men and an excellent counselor, a man of unshakable faith, and cherished by all for his love of justice, which he had carefully taught to Dagobert when he heeded his advice.”76 It therefore seems that Fredegar’s criticism of Clothar II for excessive hunting, heeding the counsel of women, and ignoring the advice of his leudes refers to the move of his court from Austrasia to Paris, where the king now listened to the counsel of the Neustrian magnates and their female relatives. Perhaps Clothar sought to imitate Heraclius’s hunting and transform this activity into a symbol of his quasi-imperial rule (imperium) over the reunited regnum Francorum. It is possible that his hunts in the countryside outside Paris became an important forum for bonding with his Neustrian supporters, a kind of exclusive “hunting club” from which Pippin and the Austrasians felt excluded. Thus under Clothar II we may catch our first glimpse of hunting as a symbol of Merovingian kingship and as a ritual of political consensus. But we also see how royal hunts could exclude as well as include, and we note that chroniclers could inject their own interpretations of the activity that were contrary to the intentions of the king. These themes will reemerge more clearly under the Carolingians, but it is important to recognize that they had their origins in the Merovingian era and, apparently, during the reign of Clothar II in particular. It is also noteworthy that this critique of Chlothar’s excessive hunting was voiced in a chronicle sympathetic to the ancestors of the Carolingian family, who will dominate the chapters that follow. It should be mentioned that Fredegar connected his critique of Clothar II and Dagobert to a series of intriguing fables running throughout the chronicle. Ian Wood and Helmut Reimitz have stressed the ways in which Fredegar’s fables convey larger themes of power, counsel, and trickery in the Merovingian world.77 What is striking about Fredegar’s tales is that they often hinge on the imagery of



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hunting and wild beasts. One of his early fables is an animal story (allegedly told at the imperial court in Constantinople) in which a lion, “the mightiest of all beasts,” was chosen king by the other animals. At a royal banquet the lion then devoured a deer that a fox had tricked into attending, although the fox in turn tricked the lion by taking for himself the deer’s heart, apparently a prized piece of meat reserved for the ruler.78 In another passage, Bishop Ludegast of Mainz reportedly convinced King Theuderic II to continue a war against his brother Theudebert II by telling an animal fable. The bishop told the king, “A peasant tale tells how a wolf went up into the hills with her cubs so they could begin to hunt. She called them to her on the mountain and said: ‘As far as your eyes can see in all directions, you do not have a single friend except for those few members of your family.’ ”79 According to Fredegar, Theudebert was not Theuderic’s true brother because his father actually had been a gardener. So the moral of the fable apparently was that it was acceptable for Merovingian kings to kill nonroyal rivals.80 It was this predatory, animal-like bloodshed between Theudebert II and Theuderic II that paved the way for Clothar II’s unexpected reunification of the regnum Francorum in 613. But Fredegar recounted yet another fable that cast a dark shadow over the reigns of Clothar II and his son.81 This fable involves a series of visions seen on the wedding night of Childeric and Basina, parents of the founder of the Merovingian kingdom, Clovis I. Basina allegedly refused to have sex with her husband that night and instead requested that he go outside the palace three times and tell her what he saw. He reported that he first saw animals that looked like lions, leopards, and unicorns; next he saw bears and wolves; and the third time he saw dogs and other small beasts fighting with each other. Basina interpreted these visions to represent the declining manliness (viritas) of their descendants: their son would have the fortitudo of a lion, their grandsons the bravery of leopards and unicorns, and the descendants of their grandsons would have the predatory rapaciousness of bears and wolves. “But what you saw the third time are their descendants who will ruin the kingdom because they will reign like dogs and other lowly beasts, and their bravery will resemble that of those animals.” This tale was a condemnation of Clothar II and Dagobert, under whose regime the people purportedly suffered. Once again, Fredegar used the image of hunting and wild beasts to critique contemporary Merovingian rulers and paint a picture of dynastic decline.

Hunting and Murder Although chroniclers did not have much to say about Merovingian hunting prowess, there is one related topic that did draw their attention: hunting and its connection to murder.82 Murder and assassination played an impor tant role in

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Merovingian politics. Indeed, when Clothar II captured his nemesis Queen Brunhild (his uncle’s widow) in 613, he accused her of being responsible for the murder of ten Frankish kings, including his own father.83 Clothar devised a gruesome execution for Brunhild that took the form of a damnatio ad bestias: first he humiliated her by parading her on a camel before his assembled troops, and then he ordered her to be tied to the tail of a wild horse that tore her to shreds with its hooves. The not-infrequent murder of kings, magnates, and even bishops in the Merovingian kingdoms reflected the court-centered focus of political intrigue and the considerable wealth and power of such figures that made them attractive targets.84 These assassinations also reveal that there were not such strong taboos against regicide and the killing of bishops as there would be under the Carolingians. The Visigothic kingdom likewise experienced frequent royal assassinations during this period, a phenomenon Fredegar labeled the disease of the Goths.85 Merovingian chroniclers reported several murders that transpired during hunts. We have seen how Guntram Boso sought to help Fredegund murder her stepson Merovech by convincing him to leave the sanctuary of St.-Martin’s in Tours and go hunting in the countryside. The queen’s plan was for assassins to ambush her stepson, but the hunt took place before the killers could be put in place.86 Gregory also described the murder of Clothar II’s father Chilperic in 584 at the manor of Chelles outside Paris: “One day he was returning from the hunt just as the darkness of night was falling. As he was being helped from his horse and placed a hand on the shoulder of a servant, a certain man came up and struck him with a dagger under the armpit and then stabbed him a second time in the stomach. Immediately a great quantity of blood flowed from his mouth and the open wound, and he gave up his wicked soul.”87 Similarly, the bishop of Tours narrated how the Frankish king Sigibert the Lame had been murdered by his own son while in the woods of Buchau, perhaps during a hunting trip.88 According to Fredegar, Clothar II sent a force to kill Bertoald, the mayor of the palace of Theuderic II, while Bertoald was hunting along the Seine in 604.89 The Suffering of Saint Leudgar (ca. 680) similarly reports that a former supporter dealt Childeric II (657–675) a fatal wound “while he was hunting in a woodland and thought himself safe.”90 Royal murders were shocking events that drew the attention of chroniclers and sparked arguments about the perpetrators and their motives. One sees this in the evolution of the account of Chilperic’s murder at Chelles in 584. Gregory did not identify the assassin, describing him only as a “certain man” (quidam). Immediately following his account of Chilperic’s death, Gregory described the king’s wickedness and manifold crimes, thereby implying that many people wanted him dead.91 Several generations later, however, Fredegar blamed Chilperic’s death on



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Queen Brunhild, claiming that she had sent a killer (ominously named Falco, “the Falcon”) to commit the deed.92 Yet others blamed Chilperic’s own wife Fredegund. This is the view held by the important late Merovingian chronicle known as the Book of the History of the Franks (Liber historiae Francorum, or LHF), which was written by an anonymous author in Neustria in 726 or 727.93 The LHF alleges that Fredegund had arranged Chilperic’s murder because the king discovered she was having an affair with the mayor of the palace, Landeric. Chilperic supposedly stumbled upon the affair when he unexpectedly came back to his bedchamber from the stables early one morning before setting out to hunt. At that moment Fredegund was bent over a basin washing her hair, and the king walked up behind her and playfully smacked her bottom with his riding crop.94 Thinking it was her lover she cried out, “Hey, what are you doing Landeric?!” The revelation stunned the king, and he departed in a state of shock. Realizing her affair was exposed, Fredegund sent assassins armed with long daggers (and emboldened with strong wine) to murder her husband. This they did when the king returned from hunting that evening, after everyone else had gone to his quarters. To shift the blame to Chilperic’s rival, the assassins cried out before fleeing into the night, “Ambush! Ambush! Come see what King Childebert of Austrasia has done to our lord!” The king’s bodyguard rushed out of the palace and searched the grounds for the assassins but could not find them in the darkness. This last detail of the LHF’s version of Chilperic’s murder—the search for the assassins by the royal bodyguard (exercitus)—highlights why hunts were such good opportunities for assassinations. In cities and palaces, Merovingian kings usually protected themselves with bodyguards of warriors, making assassination highly difficult.95 For example, Guntram was so paranoid that “he surrounded himself with armed men and never went to church or to the other places he liked to visit without a strong guard [sine grande custodia].”96 Such military entourages could be quite large. One mayor of the palace traveled with an escort of three hundred men.97 However, hunts obviously took place in the wilderness, far from the carefully supervised milieu of the court. Although a few soldiers undoubtedly accompanied Merovingian kings when they went hunting, they could not bring their entire bodyguard, since so many armed men would have been a hindrance and scared off many of the wild animals. Thus, the absence of a large bodyguard, the seclusion of woodlands, and the inevitable separation of the hunters made hunts particularly favorable settings for regicide. At the same time, the king’s wounds might be disguised to look like the result of a hunting accident: a fall from a horse, a collision with a tree, a misfired arrow, or a gash from a wild boar’s tusk. Here the murder of Childeric II in 675 is instructive. The Suffering of Saint Leudgar reports that a group of magnates at the palace conspired against Childeric

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and that one of them dealt the king a fatal wound “while he was hunting in a woodland and thought himself safe.”98 (The LHF adds that the Frankish nobleman who ambushed the king, named Bodilo, also killed the king’s pregnant wife Bilichild, who was with her husband.99) The fact that the Suffering of Saint Leudgar stipulates that Childeric II had thought himself to be safe (securus) implies that kings in fact often worried about their safety when they hunted. In other words, one reason the Merovingians did not develop the hunt into a prominent royal ritual may have been their constant fear of ambush and assassination. This in turn might explain why Clothar II seems to have been the exception to this rule: he reigned alone over a reunited regnum Francorum and therefore had less fear of a royal rival who might dispatch cutthroats to waylay him. To put it another way, the usual strife among multiple kings, and the frequency with which they restored to murder, may clarify why most Merovingians shied away from large festive hunts, where it was more difficult to protect the king. This would change under the Carolingians.

The Birth of the Forest One important contribution the Merovingians made to the history of hunting was the creation of the royal forest. Historians have long debated the origins, definition, and significance of medieval forests through an array of historical perspectives—legal, philological, institutional, social, and environmental.100 Technically speaking, the word “forest” (forestis) did not exist before the seventh century. In antiquity, there was an abundance of woodland, wilderness, and open landscapes in northern Europe. Roman law viewed such unowned land as res nullius, the property of no one, so any person could hunt, fish, trap, collect wood, and pasture animals on such land.101 Thus according to the sixth-century Digest of Roman Law, a trapper of deer or bears was not responsible if some person or animal were injured by his pits or snares as long as he had not set them in public places or on another person’s land.102 As we have seen, Roman law likewise considered wild animals, birds, and fish to be res nullius until a person actually caught or killed them and thereby established possession. So the fact that a deer might wander across one’s private property did not make that deer the property of the landlord unless he trapped or slew it. Notably, Roman law had no regulations against trespassing while hunting; one could pursue game onto another’s property unless the landlord actively tried to prevent entry.103 This Roman legal arrangement concerning wilderness and hunting continued under the early Merovingians. Early medieval people were highly dependent on woodlands for a wide array of natural resources: not only game and fish but also



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firewood, timber, wattle (thin branches to make fences), land for clearing, pasture for livestock, acorns and beechmast to fatten pigs, and honey.104 There were vast expanses of woodland in Europe in the Merovingian era, and they seem to have been increasing in some regions due to the reforestation of former agricultural land.105 As Charles Higounet summed up, “Western Europe in the early Middle Ages again was a world of woodland. The weight of this mass of shadow must have been everywhere.”106 Frankish law protected the natural resources (but not the wild animals) found on one’s own private property. Thus the sixth-century Frankish Salic Law imposed fines for chopping down, burning, or stealing wood from, or illicitly fattening pigs in, another person’s woodland (silva).107 The seventh-century Ripuarian Law of the Austrasian (eastern) Franks similarly demanded fines for the theft of timber from private silvae, while it noted that a wild animal did not belong to anyone since it was a “thing not possessed” (non res possessa).108 The Ripuarian Law specified that there were three kinds of woodlands: those belonging to a community (silva communis), those belonging to the king (seu regis), and those belonging to someone else (vel alicuius). Significantly, the Ripuarian Law exacted the same penalty (fifteen solidi) for the theft of wood from all three types of silvae, thereby emphasizing that the Merovingian kings in theory were not entitled to impose arbitrary draconian punishments for thefts from royal woodlands. One impor tant use the Merovingians had for woodlands was to fatten pigs, the favorite food of the Franks. Throughout the early Middle Ages, pork was the favorite meat of Frankish elites, and its consumption was a badge of status.109 Carrying an average of 165 pounds of meat, a single pig could feed up to fifty people. Pork could be salted and boiled, but elites preferred it freshly roasted, when it is most succulent. Like venison and wild boar, roasted pork played a key role in aristocratic feasts and in the demonstration of wealth, rank, and power. A treatise by a Byzantine physician named Anthimus for King Theuderic I (511–533/534) noted the prominence of pork, suckling pig, and bacon among Frankish delicacies (deliciae Francorum), and he joked that the Franks loved pork so much that they might even consume it raw or use it to heal injuries.110 To maximize flavor and tenderness, pigs were often butchered while still young, typically in December of their second or third year after being fattened on woodland acorns, nuts, and beechmast in the autumn. The right of pasturing of pigs in woodlands for about six weeks during the autumn (a privilege later known as pannage) was highly valued, and charters sometimes mea sured silvae by the number of pigs that could be fattened in them. The Merovingians charged a pig tithe (decima porcorum)—that is, a fee of one out of every ten pigs—to people who fed their pigs in royal woodlands. As a pious act, Clothar II conceded to the Church the right to collect this pig tithe (as well as fees for

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land clearances and pasturage) in their own woodlands.111 He also decreed that royal swineherds should not drive the crown’s pigs into woodlands belonging to churches or individuals without the owners’ permission.112 As in the case of hunting on horseback, therefore, dining on fresh pork conveyed status, wealth, power, and control of wilderness. There were important developments in wilderness ownership in Frankish Gaul that began to change the Roman legal order, and they involved the Merovingians claiming large areas of wilderness for the crown.113 The details of this significant transfer of wilderness property to the fisc (that is, the properties belonging to the crown) are poorly documented. The scholarly consensus is that the Merovingians based their right to seize such regions on the old Roman right to wasteland (ius eremi), according to which the emperor could take possession of any wild, unoccupied land.114 In truth, such wilderness areas were seldom completely unoccupied, since they usually contained scattered homesteads and settlements. Nevertheless, the Merovingians began laying claim to extensive wilderness districts, such as the Ardennes and the Vosges, by the late sixth century. They extracted a range of resources from such expansive wilderness landscapes, including game. We have already seen how possession of the Ardennes and Vosges became a matter of contention between Clothar II, Dagobert, and Austrasian magnates in the 620s.115 Chroniclers reported that the Merovingians and their mayors hunted not only in the Vosges and Ardennes but also in Cuise near Compiègne, around Paris and Orléans, and along the Seine.116 Surviving royal charters occasionally show the Merovingians residing in these woodland regions favorable for hunting during the summer and autumn months.117 Gregory’s account of Guntram executing his chamberlain for slaying a wild ox in a royal woodland (in silva regale) in the year 590 seems to document an early stage of this development.118 Guntram’s actions indicate that he considered the royal woodland in the Vosges Mountains to be off-limits to hunters, a view that contradicted the Roman legal position that huntsmen had the right to track game onto another person’s property. Gregory clearly thought Guntram’s execution of Chundo was unjust, and Guntram himself reportedly felt remorse for his violent retribution. Ian Wood plausibly suggests that Guntram’s guilty conscience for executing Chundo may explain why he granted the estate of Annegray on the southwestern edge of the Vosges to the Irish monastic founder Columbanus at this time.119 Notably, archaeologists have uncovered at Annegray a Gallo-Roman statue of Diana and bronze figurines of wild boars, which may indicate that the site had pre-Christian associations with hunting and its patron deity.120 It therefore is possible that Guntram hoped his donation of Annegray to Columbanus would Christianize a pagan site dedicated to Diana and atone for his overzealous protection of a nearby royal silva.



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During the seventh century, Merovingian charters began referring to some royal woodlands by the new term “forest” (forestis). Scholars have long debated the linguistic origins of this word. The current view is that the term probably derived either from the Latin phrase foris est, “it is outside” (i.e., outside the area of common easement) or from the Frankish vernacular word first, “enclosure.”121 In any case, forestis became a new term in royal charters that designated a wilderness area owned (at least originally) by the crown that was off-limits to the public. The earliest uncontested reference to a royal forest comes from Sigibert III’s foundation charter, dated 648, for the double monastery of Stavelot-Malmedy in the Ardennes.122 The charter states that Sigibert founded the monastery “in our forest [in foreste nostra] called the Ardennes, in places of desolate solitude where many wild animals live.” The charter went on to report the king’s grant of a large area of surrounding woodland (saltus) measuring eleven miles in circumference. Childeric II confirmed Sigibert III’s grant to Stavelot-Malmedy in 670, although he revoked the southern half of the forestland that lay near the royal manors of Amblève, Cherain, and Lierneux.123 A few years later, Theuderic III again confirmed these grants to Stavelot-Malmedy, and his charter emphasized that the monastery had been founded on forestland belonging to the royal fisc (de foreste fiscibus nostris, de fisco).124 Stavelot-Malmedy was not the only recipient of royal forests and woodlands. One of Sigibert III’s charters records the foundation of the monastery of Cugnon “on our land, the Ardennes silva, in the place called Cugnon, where the Semois River is seen to flow about it.”125 The charter mentioned that these lands in the Ardennes lay near several other royal woodlands (silva nostra, silva dominica), including one at Orgeo, near Longlier. Merovingian charters also mention forests outside the Ardennes: Childeric II founded the monastery of Montier-en-Der in the forestis of Der (between Langres and Reims) in the 670s;126 Childbert III gave the royal woodland (silva nostra) of Cormeilles (on the Seine northwest of Paris), which was part of a forest jurisdiction (forestaria), to the nearby monastery of Argenteuil in 697;127 and Chilperic II gave the large Forest of Rouvray (foraste nostra) along the Seine between Paris and Rouen, together with a forester who lived at the royal manor of Clichy, to the monastery St.-Denis in 717.128 We can draw a number of conclusions from the evidence provided by these charters. First, we note that the court scribes who wrote Merovingian diplomas used terms like forestis nostra, silva dominica, and saltus interchangeably. In other words, there seems to have been no material difference between a forest referred to in Merovingian charters in the seventh century and a silva regalis described by Gregory of Tours a century earlier. These royal wilderness areas belonged to the fisc (de fisco). The fact that the word forestis appears only in royal charters in the Merovingian period highlights the fact that it designated, at least initially, a royal property. Second, royal forests could vary considerably in size, from vast forests like the

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Ardennes and Rouvray to much smaller forests, some of which were located within, or adjacent to, larger forests. This fact brings us to the third observation: that royal forests were not unbroken areas of trees but rather amalgams of landscapes that included woodlands, meadows, mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes, as well as scattered manors and farms. In other words, royal forests usually included woodlands, but they encompassed a range of landscapes. Fourth, forests were under the supervision of royal officials called foresters (forestarii), some of whom lived at nearby royal manors. It apparently was the responsibility of these foresters to supervise the forests in their jurisdictions (forestariae) and to remove trespassers. Finally, as Thomas Zotz observed, there is no indication that the Merovingians used royal forests primarily for hunting.129 Clearly they did hunt and fish in the Vosges, Ardennes, Cuise, and around Paris, but game was only one of the many natural resources that they extracted from forests and woodlands. This observation challenges a common assumption that from their first appearance in the Merovingian charters, forests were primarily royal hunting enclosures.130 Indeed, as Charles Petit-Dutaillis pointed out, Merovingian forest charters in fact never mention hunting rights or rights over wild animals.131 This is true even when those charters enumerate property rights in appurtenance clauses.132 Merovingian decrees such as those of Clothar II likewise are silent about forests, hunting rights, and wild animals, although, as we have seen, they do discuss the right to pasture pigs. And, as already noted, the seventh-century Lex Ripuaria assumed that wild animals and fish on woodland properties, even those of the king, belonged to no one (non res possessa). Indeed, with the exception of Gregory’s unusual story about Guntram in the Vosges in 590, there is no evidence that the Merovingians actively discouraged, or imposed punishments for, hunting on royal properties. The Merovingian era therefore appears to have been an early transitional period in the development of royal hunting enclosures: as in the Roman Empire, people in theory still had the right to hunt or fish wherever they wished, although in practice the king and his foresters sometimes tried to prevent them from entering the crown’s forests and woodlands. These circumstances fit with what seems to have been the rather low profile of hunting as a Merovingian royal ritual. The Merovingians did hunt, but, perhaps with the exception of Clothar II, they seem not to have developed the activity into a special symbol of royal authority.

Hunting in Early Medieval Law Codes While writers like Gregory of Tours and Fredegar give us glimpses of Merovingian elites hunting in the midst of political struggles, early medieval law codes provide different perspectives in the context of daily life.133 For the Franks, the



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earliest law codes were the early sixth-century Salic Law and the seventh-century Ripuarian Law.134 The overarching objective of these laws was to discourage criminal behavior and curtail violence through monetary penalties for a wide range of crimes.135 Among the many topics these codes address, they occasionally touch on matters related to hunting. In particular, they contain a number of chapters stipulating that if a person were convicted of stealing a hunt-related animal, he not only had to return the animal (or pay its value) to the person against whom the crime was committed, but he also had to hand over an additional monetary fine reckoned in gold coins (solidi), a third of which went to the local count. This additional fine reflected the relative social prestige of the animal beyond its monetary worth. In other words, these fines conveyed the value of such animals as status objects in the Merovingian world. A few examples are illustrative. The Frankish laws suggest that red deer and wild boar were the most prestigious game, since they imposed the high fine of fifteen solidi if someone made off with an exhausted stag or boar that a hunter and his dogs had been pursuing.136 They also placed the fine for stealing a mature hawk that had molted (that is, shed its juvenile feathers) at twelve solidi, and they imposed the high fine of forty-five solidi for the theft of a hawk locked in a cage or of a good scent hound.137 As points of comparison, the Ripuarian Law placed the monetary value of a cow at one solidus, a good horse or sword at seven solidi, and a coat of mail at twelve solidi.138 In other words, the prestige value of a mature hawk was approximately equivalent to twelve cows, a coat of mail, or almost two horses. And the theft of a good tracking dog carried a crippling fine equivalent to forty-five head of cattle, almost four coats of mail, or more than six horses. These fines give a sense of the high prestige of hunting dogs and raptors in Frankish society and imply that only the very wealthy could afford them. They help us understand why a magnate like Count Becco would have resented a lowborn servant possessing a trained hawk, whether or not it actually was the one the count had lost. As the Frankish kingdom expanded, other peoples who had their own laws were brought under Merovingian rule. In 534 the Franks conquered the formerly independent Burgundian kingdom, whose inhabitants were under the authority of the recently codified Book of Constitutions. The compilers of the Book of Constitutions generally wrote in a formulaic and restrained style, yet they injected striking humiliations specifically for the theft of dogs and hawks. Chapter 97 reads: “If anyone dares to steal a sight dog, a scent dog, or a running dog, we order that he kiss the posterior of the dog in question in front of all the people at an assembly, or let him pay five solidi to him whose dog he took and a fine of two solidi.”139 The next chapter turned to the theft of hawks: “If anyone presumes to steal another’s hawk, either let the hawk in question eat six ounces of meat [placed] on

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his testicles, or, if he does not want to do this [!], let him be compelled to pay six solidi to the owner of the hawk and a fine of two solidi.”140 In other words, because hunting dogs and hawks were so closely tied to notions of elite manhood, their theft demanded extraordinary public humiliations that reaffirmed the honor of the claimant in the eyes of the community. At the same time, these wickedly creative punishments give us a rare glimpse of the coarse, earthy sense of humor of aristocratic hunters. Law codes from other neighboring provinces likewise contain chapters related to hunting. The early version of the Alemannic laws (the Pactus legis Alamannorum), which probably dates to the reign of Clothar II, imposed a range of fines for the killing or theft of different kinds of game: twelve solidi for a bison or buffalo, six solidi for a bear or wild boar, and other fines for stags, does, cranes, geese, and ducks.141 These laws seem to apply to game captured by one’s dogs or hawk but not yet claimed by the pursuing hunter (as in the Salic Law) or perhaps to animals kept in game parks. The Aleman laws also prescribed a striking humiliation with regard to dogs. If a dog killed someone, its owner was to pay half the victim’s wergild (“man price”) to his relatives. However, if the victim’s relatives demanded the entire wergild, the Aleman laws stipulated a macabre challenge to the owner: “Let all his doors be closed, and let him always enter and leave through one door. And let the dog be hung nine feet above that threshold until it becomes completely putrefied and drops decayed matter and its bones lie there. He may not enter or leave through any other door. And if he removes the dog from there or enters his house through another door, let him return the other half of the wergild.”142 This humiliation inverted the usual social practice in which lords tied up guard dogs at the gates of manors. The author of the seventh-century Passion of Saint Praejectus, for example, saw it as a miracle when the saint visited the home of a Frankish layman and was not bitten by the “dogs chained up to keep guard outside the gates of his house which are wont to give comfort to men and to terrify by their wild ferocity.”143 Once again, we see that fierce dogs were a symbol of aristocratic power. Two law codes suggest the increasing sophistication of elite hunting techniques at the very end of the Merovingian period. These are the later redaction of the Law of the Alemans, which probably dates to the reign of the Aleman duke Lantfrid (709–730) or soon thereafter, and the Law of the Bavarians, from the 730s or 740s. Notably, these two codes show a marked increase in the variety of specialized dogs and hawks for different kinds of hunting.144 For example, the Law of the Bavarians offers an extensive list of hunting dogs: sight dogs “that not only chase a hare but catch it through its speed”; scent hounds called leash dogs (leitihunt); flushing hounds (triphunt); tracking hounds (spurihunt); beaver dogs (piparhunt), which hunted underground in the burrows of animals; hawk dogs (hapuhhunt), which worked in



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cooperation with trained raptors; herding dogs, which killed wolves; guard dogs (hovawart); as well as “dogs that chase bears, buffaloes, and other large animals that we call swarzwild.”145 In contrast, the earlier Salic Law had mentioned only four types of dogs.146 These two eastern law codes appeared at time of mounting Frankish imperialism beyond the Rhine. During the first half of the eighth century, the Frankish kingdom was expanding again under the leadership of the Pippinid/Carolingian mayors of the palace: Charles Martel (714–741) and his sons Carloman (741–747) and Pippin III the Short (741–768). Martel, Carloman, and Pippin III built up their support among the leading Frankish families through successful annual military campaigns against neighboring peoples, especially in the East. In the process, Alemannia and Bavaria were increasingly brought under Frankish suzerainty, with Carloman annexing Alemannia outright in 746.147 Helmut Reimitz makes the case that the Aleman and Bavarian dukes issued these codes in the face of growing Carolingian imperialism to stress the legitimacy of their semiindependent duchies, which dated from their early alliances with the Merovingians.148 Thus, these law codes seem to reflect the regional identity of the Aleman and Bavarian elites as they faced the specter of Carolingian-led Frankish conquest. Seen in this light, the striking emphasis on specialized hunting techniques in these codes may have been proud assertions of Bavarian and Aleman independence. In other words, the prominence given to the refinement of Aleman and Bavarian hunting may have been a strategy to distinguish the elites of those regions from the Franks and their Carolingian leaders. It would explain, for example, the Law of the Bavarians’ unusual reference to hawks and other birds “that are domesticated from wild birds through human instruction and effort and are taught to fly and sing in the courtyards of noblemen [per curtes nobilium].”149 This was a declaration of the sophistication and courtliness of the Bavarian nobiles at a time when they were under mounting pressure from the Carolingians. Here we again see how hunting could be transformed into symbols of political power and identity. As we will see in Chapter 3, Charlemagne would develop this idea—the connection between hunting and political identity—into a symbol of the new Carolingian monarchy.

* * * In sum, we find that the Merovingian elite adopted the hunting traditions of the Gallo-Roman provincial aristocracy, and throughout the Merovingian era the chase remained a badge of elite status and manhood. Although the Merovingians laid claim to large woodlands and forests in areas such as the Ardennes, Vosges, and Cuise, their hunting seems to have differed little from that of the nobility at

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large: it was a continuation of the Roman imperial model. Notably, not a single contemporary chronicler praised a Merovingian king for his hunting prowess or described large royal hunting parties, possibly due to the largely urban face of Merovingian kingship combined with concerns about assassination. The one exception seems to have been Clothar II, who between 614 and 629 apparently emphasized his hunting to imitate Byzantine imperial symbolism and to reflect his unification of the Frankish kingdoms. Clothar may have been freer to hunt because as the lone ruler of the regnum Francorum, he had fewer concerns about potential attempts on his life. At the same time, Clothar’s shift of his capital to Paris may have fostered the emergence of hunting as a royal symbol, especially with his spending so much time at the rural manor of Clichy in the game-rich woodlands along the Seine. As we have seen, this facet of his kingship drew the criticism of Fredegar because the eastern Franks around the Pippinid family felt excluded from Clothar’s circle of advisors. Although Clothar II apparently tried to elevate hunting into a symbol of royal authority, this development does not seem to have continued into the early eighth century, possibly because so many of Clothar II’s successors were child rulers.150 The Book of the History of the Franks, the last Merovingian chronicle, from the 720s, notably offers no new reports of royal hunts, even though that topic would have worked well with the author’s predilection for exciting tales about warfare and intrigue. One final aspect of Merovingian hunting that deserves comment is that no author associated the activity with a sense of Frankish political identity. In the sources we never find a statement about the connection between Frankishness and hunting skill. Indeed, Fredegar’s praise of Heraclius’s hunting prowess and the fact that Clothar II may have consciously imitated him suggest that the activity still carried overtones of Roman culture. Yet the sophisticated hunting techniques codified in the Bavarian and Aleman laws at the close of the Merovingian period pointed the way to new, post-Roman associations between hunting prowess and political identity. But the notion of hunting “in the manner of the Franks” would not appear until the Carolingian family toppled the Merovingians and seized the throne for themselves. It is to these developments that we now turn.



Charlemagne and the Chase

Pippin the Short was a great hunter; at least that is how Notker remembered him over a century after his death. Pippin inaugurated the Carolingian royal dynasty in 751, when he deposed the last Merovingian king and had himself crowned with the support of the Franks and the blessing of the pope. But, according to Notker, some of the nobles privately mocked the new king because of his unimpressive height, thus earning him his modern sobriquet. To win their respect, Pippin staged a spectacle in which a savage lion was matched against a raging bull. As the animals began to fight, the king turned to his men and challenged any of them to go out into the arena and slay the lion. When no one dared to come forward, the king rose from his seat, drew his sword, and slew both beasts with a single stroke. He then addressed the astonished Franks with the following words: “Does it not seem to you that I am rightly your lord? Have you not heard what little David did to the giant Goliath, or what Alexander, who also was short, did to his [disloyal] followers?” His men fell to the ground and cried, “Who but a crazy person would dare challenge your royal authority to command all mankind?!”1 Once again, it is likely that Notker invented this hunting tale to entertain his intended reader, Pippin’s great-great-grandson Charles the Fat. His story is chiefly a literary creation about royal power and virility, since the lion was the king of beasts and the bull was a symbol of strength and sexual potency. 2 Yet Notker’s anecdote contains a significant historical truth: that, in comparison to the Merovingians, the Carolingian kings placed far greater emphasis on the symbolism of hunting, lions, and wild beasts. When Pippin’s younger son Carloman (768–771) died prematurely at age twenty, his supporters buried him at Reims in a late antique sarcophagus with a dramatic lion-hunting scene, thus implying that he had been an avid huntsman.3 Pippin’s older son Charlemagne likewise associated himself with lions and hunting. The grand bronze doors of

Figure 18. Under the Carolingians, the motifs of lions and lion hunting emerged as powerful symbols of royal power. Illustration for Psalm 58.6 (Vulgate 57.6): “Oh God, break the teeth in their mouths, tear out the fangs of the young lions.” (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 32v)


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Figure 19. The Carolingian king as heroic lion hunter. When Charlemagne’s younger brother Carloman died in 771, he was buried at Reims in a (now-lost) third-century Roman sarcophagus with a prominent lion-hunting scene similar to this one. Louvre Museum, Paris. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

Charlemagne’s chapel at Aachen were decorated with lion heads, and his advisor Alcuin praised him as “the lion, lord of all animals and wild beasts.”4 In another letter, Alcuin playfully referred to Charlemagne’s love of hunting by quoting Virgil’s words to Augustus: “You slay the wild boars, I will hold the nets.”5 The Carolingians’ emphasis on their identity as great hunters reflected their emulation of Roman, Byzantine, and ‘Abbasid imperial models.6 Although perhaps fictional, Notker’s story about Pippin slaying a lion therefore captures the centrality of hunting for the new dynasty’s royal and imperial ideology. This new ideological emphasis on hunting illustrates a hallmark strategy of the Carolingians observed by Peter Brown: the dynasty’s “ingenious exploitation, to new ends,” of age-old practices in Frankish lay society that could be transformed into useful political tools.7 This chapter explores the growing prominence of royal hunting during the reign of Charlemagne, which marked an important turning point in the history of early medieval hunting. We will focus on several

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interrelated topics that shaped these developments: royal forests and game, Carolingian chroniclers, walled parks, and hunting officials.

Royal Forests and “Our Game” Pippin III’s eldest son Charles—known to history as Charles the Great, or Charlemagne—was born on April 2, 748.8 He undoubtedly grew up surrounded by the culture of hunting in his father’s household. Like Notker, Eigil of Fulda remembered Pippin III as an avid huntsman, and the king probably took an active role in the hunting and riding lessons of the young Charlemagne and his brother Carloman.9 When Pippin usurped the Frankish throne in 751, he took possession of all the royal properties, palaces (more than one hundred and fifty of them10), as well as forests. The pro-Carolingian author of the continuation of the Chronicle of Fredegar described Pippin’s wars against his adversaries in language notably reminiscent of the hunt; for example, he depicted the rebel Aquitanian duke Waifar as a kind of wild beast “lurking with a few men in the woodlands of la-Double in the region of Périgueux, restless and roving about.”11 He also narrated how Pippin’s wars with the Lombard king Aistulf reached a climax with a dramatic hunting death in 756: “Afterward, when King Aistulf of the Lombards went hunting in a woodland, by divine judgment he was thrown against a tree from the horse on which he rode. In this way he violently ended his life and reign with a welldeserved death.”12 In this way, the continuator of Fredegar’s chronicle implied a connection between Aistulf ’s hunting fatality, the transfer of God’s favor to the Carolingians, and the emergence of the Franks as the dominant power in Europe. Many subsequent chroniclers likewise reported Aistulf ’s hunting death, which suggests that the memory of this incident remained important for Carolingian ideology.13 As Pippin himself lay dying at the beginning of hunting season in 768, he had forests and wild animals on his mind. On his deathbed the first Carolingian king granted the game-rich forest of Yvelines (today the Forêt domaniale de Rambouillet), southwest of Paris, to the great royal monastery of St.-Denis, where he wished to be buried.14 In making this gift, Pippin seems to have been imitating his father Charles Martel, who on his deathbed had similarly granted the old Merovingian hunting manor of Clichy outside Paris to St.-Denis, where he too wanted to be entombed.15 The charter recording Pippin’s deathbed grant is highly unusual: not only is it Pippin’s only known grant of forest property, but it also broke with Merovingian precedent by expressly including all types of wild animals (diversa feraminum genera) in the list of property rights. The implications of this novel addition are impor tant. It implied that had it not been



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included, Pippin’s gift of Yvelines would not have conveyed the right to hunt. This was a significant departure from Roman and Merovingian legal traditions that had regarded wild animals as res nullius and thus entitled anyone to hunt on his own land. When it came to gifts of royal forest, the new royal dynasty did not see hunting rights as automatic but rather as a privilege that could be given or withheld. Charlemagne further developed this emphasis on the protection of “our game” (feramina nostra) in royal forests. We can trace this development in his charters.16 During the first few years of his reign, Charlemagne’s scribes (like those of previous kings) used the terms forestes and silvae interchangeably in royal charters and did not mention hunting rights.17 However, this pattern notably changed immediately after his conquest of the Lombard kingdom in northern Italy. Charlemagne’s conquest of the Lombard regnum was a momentous event that sent shockwaves throughout Europe. During the winter and spring of 773–774, he invaded Italy, deposed King Desiderius, and annexed the Lombard kingdom outright.18 He returned in triumph to Francia with a greatly expanded kingdom that was reflected in his grandiose new title, “by the grace of God king of the Franks and the Lombards.” Right after the Lombard conquest, Charlemagne’s charters began making a clearer distinction between woodlands and forests and paid much closer attention to the details of wilderness rights. While these charters associated a range of rights with silvae (collecting lumber and firewood, pasturing livestock and pigs, fishing and fowling), they notably attributed hunting rights only to forestes. Once again, this was a significant departure from the Merovingian charters, which had used the terms “forest” and “woodland” interchangeably and never mentioned hunting or rights over wild animals. Several charters Charlemagne issued in the second half of 774—that is, just after his triumphal return from Italy—reflect this shift. In one important charter, granted in December 774, Charlemagne confirmed two recent deathbed grants to the monastery of St.-Denis: his father’s gift of Yvelines Forest in 768 and his late brother’s grant of the adjacent manors of Faverolles and Néron in 771.19 Like his father’s charter, Charlemagne’s included a detailed description of Yveline’s borders, which he now expanded westward to the Eure River to incorporate Faverolles and Néron within an enlarged forest. But, while his father’s 768 charter had used the terms forestis and silva interchangeably, Charlemagne’s one of 774 now referred to Yvelines exclusively as a forest. The details of the grant suggest a reason for this change in terminology: the grant explicitly included hunting rights, and it therefore was a forest and not a woodland according to Charlemagne’s new way of categorizing wilderness property. In his “confirmation,” Charlemagne actually restricted St.-Denis’s hunting rights. As we have seen, his father had granted St.-Denis the right to hunt all kinds of game (diversa feraminum genera) in

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Yvelines. In contrast, Charlemagne now limited those rights only to roe deer (cervi capreoli). Of the three chief kinds of game that inhabited the Forest of Yvelines (red deer, roe deer, and wild boar), roe deer were the least prestigious. The Franks tended to rank types of game according to their size and danger, and the timid roe deer (Cervus capreolus, literally, “ little goat deer”) was lower in the hierarchy of noble game than the majestic red deer stag and the fearsome wild boar.20 The obvious reason for this change was that Charlemagne wanted to preserve these highly valued animals for his own hunting in Yvelines and other royal forests nearby, which included the heavily wooded region around Versailles, where French kings later built their famous hunting palace. Charlemagne’s charter then concluded with a novel prohibition: that no one hunt or trap any game within Yvelines’s borders without Fulrad of St.-Denis’s express permission. In this way, the abbot of St.-Denis essentially became the king’s gamekeeper within the Forest of Yvelines, since he now was responsible for supervising who hunted within its borders. A second charter that Charlemagne issued a few months earlier (on September 15, 774) sheds additional light on his new distinction between forestes and silvae and increased attention to hunting rights.21 In that charter, Charlemagne gave a portion of the royal forest of Kintzheim in Alsace to Fulrad’s nearby church of St.-Hippolyte. Notably, this charter broke with tradition by specifying that, once the gift had been made, the property no longer was forest but rather woodland (hoc est silva ex foreste nostra). The details of the document again suggest that this change in terminology reflected a new way of categorizing wilderness property. In particular, Charlemagne’s charter stated that he granted Fulrad’s church only fishing and fowling rights (tam piscatione quamque avis capiendo), not the right to hunt. Once again, Charlemagne presumably withheld hunting rights to prevent Fulrad’s men from depleting the game in the surrounding royal forest. Charlemagne also granted St.-Hippolyte permission to feed livestock in the king’s forest but not to hunt, fish, or fowl there. The implications of these grants of wilderness property in 774 are twofold. First, they point to the conclusion that Charlemagne now considered the wild animals, fish, and birds in royal forests to be the property of the crown rather than res nullius. He therefore could grant, withhold, or limit the right to hunt, fish, and fowl on properties that had formerly been royal forestland. The reason for this clearly was to protect the king’s access to plentiful game, especially red deer and wild boar. These new restrictions suggest Charlemagne’s heightened conception of the king’s authority over wilderness and wild animals. Second, these two grants implied that only forestes came with hunting rights while silvae did not. This was a novel distinction not found in Merovingian charters. In other words, Charlemagne was proposing a new way of categorizing wilderness property:



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Figures 20 and 21. The king’s game in and around the Forest of Yvelines: a stately red deer stag (Cervus elaphus) with an impressive set of antlers and a fearsome wild boar (Sus scrofa) with dangerous tusks. (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fols. 53v and 96v)

a forest was, by definition, a hunting reserve, whereas a woodland carried the traditional range of wilderness rights—except for the right to hunt. The inspiration for Charlemagne’s distinction between silvae and forestes, and his association of hunting rights only with the latter, seems to have come from his recent experiences in Italy. While south of the Alps, the twenty-six-year-old king would have learned firsthand about different traditions of royal hunting and wilderness law.22 In particular, the Lombard kings had special royal wilderness areas

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called gahagia (“enclosures”), which were distinct from silvae and off-limits to all but the king and his representatives.23 The seventh-century Lombard Edict of Rothari, for example, protected the wild animals in the king’s enclosures (gahagia regis) with extra high fines and contrasted these wilderness properties with common silvae.24 Closely connected to the gahagium was the Lombard gualdus (the word is related to modern German Wald, “forest”), which was another wilderness area under royal or ducal control.25 For example, just two years before Charlemagne’s conquest, King Desiderius granted to the monastery of San Salvatore about twenty-five hundred acres of woodland (silva) from a royal gahagium. 26 Desiderius’s gift of silva from a larger royal enclosure (ex gagio nostro) seems to foreshadow Charlemagne’s 774 gift of silva ex foreste nostra to St.-Hippolyte. The associations of Lombard enclosures with hunting rights is further illustrated by another 772 grant, this time from the Lombard duke Theodicius of Spoleto. Theodicius gave the extensive gualdus of Alegia to the monastery of Farfa, “with the exception of hunting rights in that gualdus, which we withheld for our own use.”27 Theodicius’s grant of wilderness without hunting rights once again appears to foreshadow Charlemagne’s two 774 forest charters for Fulrad of St.Denis, both of which made a distinction between wilderness ownership and rights over wild animals. In other words, the Lombard gahagia and gualdi with their protected game, as well as the Lombard legal distinction between land ownership and hunting rights, seem to have provided important models for Charlemagne’s new association of royal forestes with the right to hunt. For the rest of his reign, Charlemagne continued to protect the crown’s forests and game and to distinguish between forestes and silvae in his charters. After 774 he granted woodlands (or confirmed earlier woodland grants) on seven occasions, 28 but he gave away forest property on only one occasion (located in Frisia).29 Intriguingly, there is no evidence that Charlemagne confirmed any earlier Merovingian grants of forestland, such as Chilperic II’s generous gift of the large Forest of Rouvray to St.-Denis.30 What this means is unclear, but it may indicate that Charlemagne hoped to revise earlier royal gifts of forestland, as he had in the case of Yvelines. Several charters illustrate his continued assertion of the crown’s authority over wild animals and his distinction between forests and woodlands. For example, in 797 he granted to the monastery of St.-Riquier a small woodland property where the monastery’s patron saint, Richarius, had lived as a hermit in the seventh century.31 This woodland was known as the Forest (modern ForestMontiers) and was located next to the large royal forest of Crécy-en-Ponthieu. But Charlemagne’s charter emphasized that the property in fact was a woodland and not a forest (in ipsa silva quae vocatur Forestis) and thus did not include hunting rights, thereby protecting the crown’s game in the adjacent reserve of Crécy. Here Charlemagne’s charter seems to have addressed the fact that the



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mid-eighth-century Life of St.  Richarius described the land on which the saint had built his hermitage as located “in the forest of Crécy” (in Crisciacense foreste), which was “reserved for the king’s enjoyment” (ad regis letitiam erat censita).32 When Alcuin revised the Life of St. Richarius to improve its style, he notably “updated” the terminology of this passage and described the saint’s hermitage as located not in a forest but in a woodland (in silva Chrisciacense).33 Like Charlemagne’s 797 charter, Alcuin accommodated the terminology of the saint’s life to the new distinction between forestes and silvae. Charlemagne made an especially significant grant on March  26, 800, only months before his imperial coronation in Rome.34 He issued this charter during his visit to the monastery of St.-Bertin, which was situated in a wilderness region of marshes, hills, and forests known today as the Marais Audomarois (the marshland of Saint-Omer). On that occasion he granted to St.-Bertin not property but rather the right to hunt in woodlands the monastery already possessed, which were located adjacent to several royal forests. His charter proclaimed that St.Bertin’s vassals would “have permission to hunt in their own woodlands . . . but not in our own forests, which we have established for our own use” (in eorum proprias silvas licentiam haberent eorum homines venationem exercere . . . salvas forestes nostras, quas ad opus nostrum constitutas habemus).35 The charter concluded with a warning to royal officials—unusually addressed in direct speech—not to infringe on St.-Bertin’s hunting rights. Here we again see Charlemagne’s assertion that all wild animals in and around royal forests belonged to the crown and that the king therefore could grant or withhold hunting rights to those who possessed lands nearby, even without bestowing any actual property. Such grants of hunting rights without property would become more common under the tenth-century Ottonians, but they were highly unusual in Carolingian charters. Charlemagne also asserted the crown’s heightened authority over forests, game, and hunting rights in his capitularies. Capitularies were royal laws and statements of the king’s will in the form of written decrees, often orga nized into chapters (capitula).36 While the Merovingians occasionally had issued new royal laws, the Carolingians made capitularies a central component of their administration and communication with the nobility. One of the most significant decrees for the management of forests, woodlands, and game is the Capitulary on Royal Manors (Capitulare de villis), which Charlemagne seems to have issued in the 790s to ensure the efficient provisioning of his expanded court at Aachen.37 In that decree, Charlemagne laid out in detail how his stewards were to manage the crown’s manors, estates, and properties. Echoing Charlemagne’s charters, the Capitulary on Royal Manors distinguished between silvae and forestes, associating only the latter with hunting, and insisted on the protection of “our game”:

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Our woodlands and forests [silvae vel forestes nostrae] ought to be well protected. Where there is an area to be cleared, [the stewards] are to clear it and not allow the fields to be overgrown with woodland. Where there ought to be woodlands, they should not permit them to be excessively cut or damaged. Moreover, they should carefully protect our game in the forests, likewise keep hawks and sparrow hawks for our use, and diligently collect our dues there. And if the stewards, or our mayors or their men, send their pigs into our woodland to be fattened, they should be the first to pay the tithe and thereby set a good example so that other men also pay the full tithe.38 Here we again see Charlemagne’s notion that only forests were for hunting (and falconry) and that the game in them (feramina nostra in forestes) belonged to the crown. In contrast, woodlands were for other purposes, such as collecting wood, clearing land, and feeding pigs.39 The reference to dues (censa nostra) collected in royal forests suggests that the crown sometimes did allow people to hunt in them, but only in return for a payment—something like a hunting permit. That requirement explains a later chapter in the Capitulary on Royal Manors that required stewards to collect fines “for wild animals taken in our forests without our permission.”40 When the king and his stewards did grant individuals permission to hunt in royal forests, they stipulated exactly how many wild animals one could hunt. Thus another capitulary stated that “if the king granted somebody one or more wild animals inside a forest, that he not take more than had been given to him.”41 The Capitulary on Royal Manors also mentioned other responsibilities of stewards related to hunting and forests: having good nets, caring for the king’s dogs, exterminating wolves, assisting the king’s huntsmen and falconers, building fish ponds, and sending annual income reports that included the numbers of hides, skins, horns, pelts, fish, and fines collected from poachers.42 The stewards’ collection of fines “for wild animals taken in our forests without our permission” (quid de feraminibus in forestis nostris sine nostro permissio captis43) highlights a central theme of Charlemagne’s protection of “our game”: his campaign against poaching. Although Merovingian kings like Guntram may have sporadically inflicted draconian penalties for hunting in the crown’s woodlands, this does not seem to have been a consistent practice, and their decrees and charters are notably silent on the subject. In contrast, Charlemagne repeatedly addressed in his capitularies what he regarded as illicit hunting in royal forests, indicating that people in fact were doing just that. The forbidden hunting of “our game” was an issue of deep personal concern for Charlemagne. After his imperial coronation he again reminded the stewards and foresters of their duty to protect the crown’s game, birds, and fish in royal forests.44 In the important General



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Capitulary for the Royal Legates (802), Charlemagne betrayed his frustrations about the persistent problem of poaching by commoners and royal officials alike. In this decree we hear the exasperated voice of Charlemagne himself, with his emphatic repetition of our game, our forests, our presence, and oaths sworn to us. He fumed: Let no one dare to steal our game in our forests, which is something we have forbidden many times already! Once again we resolutely [ firmiter!] command that no one do this any more. Let every man be on guard against this if he wishes to keep the fidelity he has sworn to us. If a count, hundredsman, vassal, or other official steals our game, without exception [omnino!] bring him into our presence to give account. But for commoners who steal our game, without exception [omnino!] let them pay what is just, and in no way should the fine be reduced for them. And if anyone knows this to have been done by someone else, in the name of preserving the fidelity he swore to us and now swears again, let him not dare to conceal it.45 In this way Charlemagne made protection of the crown’s forests and game part of the kingdom-wide oath of loyalty. Poaching, and even failure to report poaching by others, now became a form of infidelity. Charlemagne also worried about the theft of the crown’s hunting dogs, which were distinguished by a shaved mark on their right foreleg. He demanded that anyone found with such a dog appear “in our presence” with the animal for questioning.46 At first glance, it might seem that Charlemagne’s new policies would have significantly restricted the nobles’ access to hunting. This is highly doubtful. Such a move would have dangerously alienated the one social group on which Charlemagne’s power rested. The Carolingians depended on the leading nobles of the provinces to corral local support on the behalf of the king, and they therefore could not afford to offend them as a group.47 Moreover, in contrast to the Merovingians’ rhetoric, the Carolingians’ underscored that the new dynasty ruled through consensus and cooperation with the Frankish elites.48 The real upshot of Charlemagne’s efforts to protect “our game” was to make access to good hunting a badge of noble status and royal favor. One sees this in Charlemagne’s 802 decree quoted above, in which his penalties distinguished between the king’s supporters (counts, hundredsmen, vassals, and other officials) and commoners (caeteri vulgi). He commanded that those from the former group who were convicted of poaching appear before him to give account of their actions. In contrast, commoners were to pay “what is just,” that is, the crushing sixty solidi fine for infidelity.49 This double standard betrays Charlemagne’s socially based view of hunting: that it was an activity for the nobility (from which royal officials and vassals usually

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came) and not for “vulgar” commoners. What happened to noblemen accused of poaching in a royal forest is unknown, but the fact that they were summoned to the palace was in itself recognition of their high status.50 In other words, Charlemagne did not seek to exclude noblemen from hunting, which would have caused widespread outrage, weakened royal power, and fomented rebellion. Instead, he asserted the crown’s authority to grant (or withhold) hunting rights to the nobles and thereby recognize their social rank and political fidelity. In essence, Charlemagne seems to have envisioned hunting as a badge of membership in the Frankish nobility.51 Indeed, Charlemagne left open multiple avenues for nobles, fideles, and favored subjects to hunt. We have seen him grant supporters access to game, such as when he gave the monastery of St.-Bertin the right to hunt in its own silvae.52 That charter makes clear that Charlemagne expected the abbot of St.-Bertin to allow his vassals and supporters (homines) to hunt on the monastery’s properties. (As we will see in Chapter 7, churchmen were prohibited from hunting themselves.) In this way, the abbot became a local gamekeeper who could grant regional elites access to good hunting in a district adjacent to the crown’s own forests. Charlemagne conceded similar hunting rights to other bishoprics and monasteries. For example, Arn of Salzburg drew up for Charlemagne’s approval a land survey that listed the forests and hunting and fishing rights that belonged to his episcopal see.53 As was the case with the abbot of St.-Bertin, the archbishop of Salzburg thus became a local gamekeeper who could grant Bavarian nobles access to prime hunting. We also hear of laymen holding forestland, sometimes granted by a charter from Charlemagne himself.54 To give just a few examples: in 798 a certain Hermut gave a forest in Rimsdorf near the Vosges to Wissembourg; in 816 two brothers named Eric and Ermenfrid sold to the bishop of Cologne a portion of their father’s forest at Nievenheim; and around 820 a man named Hadamar donated several forests in Sattlern to the monastery of Mondsee.55 Count Childebrand II of Autun and his son Eccard similarly held the forest of Morvois, southeast of Paris, with hunting and fishing rights, during the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious.56 We hear of royal vassals holding forestland with the king’s approval as well.57 It also seems that counts supervised royal forests in their counties and presumably could hunt in them; for example, Count Poppo controlled a forest in the Spessart Mountains as part of his county in the Grabfeld (ex rebus prefati comitatus sui).58 Here we uncover what was another incentive for regional elites to seek the office of count: the title apparently brought with it permission to hunt in royal forests within the county. In this way, nobles could secure access to prime hunting districts by obtaining the office of count and thus, like bishops and abbots, share that access with their relatives, friends, and vassals. Indeed, hosting hunts in royal forests may have been an essential mechanism



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through which counts built up local support on the behalf of the king. And we should not forget that noblemen apparently could also pay a fee to the king’s steward to hunt in a royal forest.59 Charlemagne’s assertion of the crown’s protection of wild animals in and around forests therefore did not prevent the nobles from hunting. Instead, it enabled the king to channel access to this hallmark elite activity into the hands of his fideles: the bishops, abbots, counts, stewards, and vassals. To put it another way, Charlemagne’s campaign to protect forests and game was not about exclusion but distinction: it made access to good hunting a defining badge of membership in the Frankish nobility. And, as we will see in Chapter 6, he simultaneously circumscribed the traditional rights of “vulgar” commoners to hunt and trap wild animals. Charlemagne was creating what German scholars might call a Jagdadel: that is, a Frankish nobility defined by hunting.

Imperial Hunter and Angler A deep love of hunting was fundamental to Charlemagne’s personality.60 Einhard made devotion to the chase a central theme of his Life of Charlemagne, which he wrote during the reign of Charlemagne’s heir Louis the Pious.61 This was a notable departure from Einhard’s chief literary model, Suetonius’s Lives of the Caesars, which almost never mentions hunting.62 Einhard interpreted Charlemagne’s frequent hunting as a sign of his vigorous Frankish manhood. He gave a detailed description of Charlemagne’s commanding stature, dignified appearance, and traditional Frankish attire, concluding that “the whole way he carried himself was virilis.” Einhard argued that this manliness came from Charlemagne’s dedication to the chase and other forms of physical exercise: “He kept fit by riding and hunting constantly, which was a tradition of his people. Indeed, there is hardly a people on earth who can rival the Franks in this art.”63 He added that the king also loved to swim and that no one could beat him in a race in the Aachen baths. Regular hunting and physical exercise were a family tradition that Charlemagne engrained in his heirs: he “required that his sons, as soon as they were old enough, be taught to ride and trained in weapons and hunting in the manner of the Franks.”64 This notion of hunting “in the manner of the Franks” was in fact new, and it captured the novel connections between hunting, kingship, and Frankish identity in Carolingian political ideology. At the end of his biography Einhard reported with admiration that, in spite of gout in one foot, the elderly ruler continued hunting near Aachen “in his accustomed manner, even though worn out with old age.”65 Einhard wanted his readers to know that the first Frankish emperor remained a dedicated hunter—and thus a real man—until the end of his life.

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Einhard associated Charlemagne’s hunting with his consumption of food, especially meat. Frankish kings were expected to dine with fitting opulence (more regio), and carefully orchestrated banquets symbolized political harmony, social order, royal power, and kingly generosity.66 In the Capitulary on Royal Manors, Charlemagne ensured that his court was dependably supplied with high-quality foodstuffs from the crown’s far-flung estates: game, pork, poultry, fish, wine, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and much more.67 In his cultural history of food, Massimo Montanari argued that gorging oneself on meat and alcohol was an important badge of manhood and power during the early Middle Ages,68 but this view distorts the evidence. Early medieval authors in fact stressed that it was the moderate consumption of food and drink that distinguished true kings and nobles from effeminate overindulgers.69 In part, this attitude reflects the continued adherence to the ancient scientific view on diet as articulated in Anthimus’s On the Preparation of Foods: that the proper cooking and restrained consumption of food and drink were essential for balancing the body’s humors and maintaining health.70 Einhard reported Charlemagne’s love of roasted meat and his dislike of fasting,71 but he stressed the overall moderation, sobriety, and Christian restraint of his court: He was moderate in food and drink, more moderate in drink, since he detested drunkenness in any man, but especially in himself or one of his followers. He could not abstain from food, however, and he often complained that fasts were bad for his body. He banqueted very rarely and only on very important feasts, but then with a large number of people. His daily meal was served in four courses apart from the roast, which he enjoyed more than any other food and which his hunters used to carry in on a spit. During the meal he listened with pleasure to some recitation or reading. He took delight in the books of Saint Augustine and, among them, particularly those entitled The City of God.72 Charlemagne’s appreciation of the City of God is significant, since in that work Augustine argued that one might attain salvation—the Supreme Good—only through temperance, self-control, and the constant struggle against the desires of the flesh.73 The restrained and dignified dining habits of Charlemagne’s palace in turn modeled courtly behavior for the Frankish nobles. This was the essence of Norbert Elias’s “civilizing process,” although centuries before he believed such developments had taken place. To use the words of Janet Nelson, Charlemagne’s court was decidedly “courtly” in the sense that it was “a place of controlled and measured recreation and sociability.”74 Although Charlemagne undoubtedly hunted throughout his life, chroniclers and poets did not begin reporting this royal activity until around the time of his


Figure 22. A Carolingian banquet. Waiters serve food and wine to diners seated around an ornate table. As in late antiquity, the post-hunt banquet was an essential part of elite hunting in the Carolingian Empire. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 73v)

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imperial coronation on Christmas Day, 800. Nevertheless, we can detect some outlines of his hunting activities before 800 through an examination of his itinerary in the late summer and autumn (prime hunting season) as revealed by chroniclers and royal charters.75 Early in his reign, it seems that Charlemagne favored hunting in the Ardennes and on the middle Rhine. In the early Middle Ages, the heavily wooded Ardennes region was much larger than it is today, extending across central Francia, from west of the Meuse River to the Hunsrück Mountains near the middle Rhine, and from the Eifel, which was south of Aachen, to the palace of Thionville.76 Merovingian and Carolingian writers sometimes described the Ardennes as a single royal wilderness, but in fact it encompassed multiple royal forestes, some twenty-five royal estates, and scattered monasteries, villages, and Roman roads.77 It is significant that the Pippinid/Carolingian family came from the Ardennes region between the Meuse, Moselle, and Rhine Rivers, and this ancestral homeland of wooded highlands and river valleys helps explain the centrality of hunting for the family’s identity.78 Pippin III made autumn excursions through the Ardennes, and it is likely that he sometimes brought the young Charlemagne with him.79 In the 770s and early 780s, Charlemagne often spent hunting season in or near the Ardennes. His chief late summer and autumn residences during these early years included his father’s palaces of Düren, Herstal, and Thionville,80 and we also hear of sojourns nearby, at Longlier, Godingen, and Cheppy.81 During the 780s, military campaigns and royal business compelled the king to spend considerable time on the middle Rhine, especially at Mainz and Worms. In this region he probably made hunting excursions to the royal forests on both sides of the Rhine.82 Beginning in the 790s and continuing until his death in 814, Charlemagne spent extensively more time at the newly renovated palace at Aachen, which was located between Düren and Herstal. This residence now became the main focus of political life and the chief meeting place between Charlemagne and the Franks.83 Aachen developed into a major palace complex and a bustling town, with a large two-story royal hall, a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary, renovated Roman baths, colonnades, ancillary buildings, aristocratic residences, and a market. The forests and marshes nearby were favorable for hunting and falconry.84 During the last twenty years of his reign, Charlemagne sojourned at Aachen for many months almost every year, especially in fall and winter. During these extended periods at Aachen, he probably made frequent trips into the Eifel highlands (a region known as the High Fens), which were located less than a day’s ride south of the palace. Indeed, a significant number of royal estates and manors were located in the Ardennes within four days’ ride of Aachen.85 We explicitly hear of Charlemagne hunting in the Ardennes on only three occasions (802, 804, 813), but we can assume that he made a great many other unreported hunting trips



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there. Chroniclers seem often to have ignored his short trips to the Ardennes, since they apparently considered such excursions a normal component of his residences at Aachen. For example, the Minor Annals of Lorsch reported that in 809 “the emperor resided the entire year at Aachen,” although the Royal Frankish Annals noted that he in fact made a trip to the Ardennes in the late summer or early autumn.86 We therefore may conclude that Charlemagne’s long stays “at Aachen” in fact included a significant number of unreported hunts nearby. It should be emphasized that Charlemagne’s hunting trips were not driven by the inability of the court to supply itself with food for an extended period of time.87 Already under the Merovingians, the Frankish kings had had an impressive network of fiscal estates and transportation arrangements that ensured the regular delivery of vast quantities of food to the palace. The many royal estates and roads around Aachen meant that Charlemagne and his successors were able to stay there for months at a time. In spite of Charlemagne’s love of hunting, the majority of meat consumed at the palace would have come from livestock. For example, of the mammal bones excavated at the royal manor of Wellin in the Ardennes (about seventy miles southwest of Aachen), 95  percent came from domesticated animals (especially pigs and young piglets), whereas only 5 percent came from game (chiefly red deer).88 In other words, roasted game was a special luxury favored by Charlemagne, but it would not have been the main type of meat served at the palace. That would have been the case in most royal and aristocratic households. Chroniclers and poets began explicitly reporting Charlemagne’s hunts in 800. Several factors account for this significant shift. First and foremost, these authors associated Charlemagne’s hunting with his new imperial status, which came with his coronation in Rome that year. In this way, writers drew an implicit comparison between Charlemagne and the great imperial huntsmen of antiquity and asserted his parity with the Byzantine and ‘Abbasid emperors. The chroniclers’ new focus on Charlemagne’s hunting during the last fifteen years of his life corresponds with what Rosamond McKitterick describes as a general emphasis “on a style of explicitly imperial rulership.”89 This development was also connected to the end of Carolingian military expansion and the establishment of relative peace throughout Frankish Europe. By 800, the remarkable century of Frankish raiding and conquest under Carolingian leadership was slowing, and Charlemagne, who was now in his fifties, increasingly turned over command of his armies to his sons and generals.90 In this new era of imperial peace, the hunt provided an ideal stage on which the aging ruler could show his continued health and vigor to his subjects.91 Related to this may have been an additional factor: Charlemagne’s diminished concerns about political rivals, rebellions, and assassination. As we have seen, fear of assassination may have been one of the reasons why the Merovingians

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did not develop hunting into a central royal ritual. At least one rebellion had taken aim at Charlemagne’s life, and for this reason he demanded oaths of loyalty from all his male subjects over the age of twelve.92 But by the 790s, Charlemagne had three adult sons and had overcome the major challengers to his power, including his brother Carloman, King Desiderius of Italy, and his cousin Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria.93 Thus, later in his reign, Charlemagne may have worried less about the assassin’s dagger and therefore felt he could hunt more publicly. The two most important chronicles from circles around his court—the Royal Frankish Annals and the Earlier Annals of Metz—reported a cluster of hunts in 802–805. The Royal Frankish Annals were penned around the court beginning about 790, while the Earlier Annals of Metz were written circa 806, perhaps at Chelles under the supervision of Charlemagne’s sister Gisela.94 While Charlemagne’s hunting during the 770s and 780s seems to have focused on the Ardennes, his reported trips during the last fifteen years of his reign took place within an expanded geography that included the Vosges, the Hercynian (Bohemian) Forest, and Bavaria.95 In other words, Charlemagne’s hunts after 800 reflected the truly imperial scope of his territorial power. In their hunting narratives, these chroniclers highlighted Charlemagne’s sovereign status, the peace of his empire, and his virile prowess in old age. For example, the Royal Frankish Annals introduced Charlemagne’s hunting in a list of events for the year 802 that reflected his new imperial authority: his diplomatic recognition by Baghdad and Constantinople, the arrival of the elephant Abul Abbas as a gift from the caliph, military victories on the frontiers of the empire, and the celebration of Easter and Christmas at Aachen.96 In this way, the Royal Frankish Annals from the outset encoded royal hunting with a strong aura of imperial ideology.97 The author of the Earlier Annals of Metz likewise presented Charlemagne’s hunting as a symbol of his Frankish empire. He (or, in this case, perhaps she) introduced this topic in the entry for the year 803, a passage that rings with the language of imperial power. The author reported Charlemagne’s summer assembly at Mainz, his reception of Byzantine envoys at Salz, and the submission of the duke of Spoleto. S/he then continued: The emperor then set out for Bavaria. He made a journey through the Hercynian Forest with select companions and hunted wisent and other wild animals. He sent the rest of the army to march along more accessible roads. From there he went to Regensburg where he arranged what was necessary. He then hunted throughout Bavaria while awaiting the return of his army from Pannonia. When they returned, he met them on the way at Regensburg. . . . Many Slavs and Huns also were at that meeting



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and surrendered themselves with all they possessed into the emperor’s lordship.98 This passage notably weaves together Charlemagne’s hunting with the themes of imperial power, military triumph, and manly health. The unusual statement that Charlemagne hunted bubali (presumably wisent and/or aurochs) in the ancient Hercynian Forest—that is, the Bohemian Forest, north of Regensburg—deserves special comment. According to one Bavarian author, the Bohemian Forest was known for its unusual game, which included elk, wisent, and ibex.99 These details notably echo Julius Caesar’s description of hunting by the early Germanic peoples in his Gallic War.100 Caesar had marveled at the size of the ancient Hercynian Forest and the Germanic peoples’ hunting of aurochs for exercise and the animal’s massive horns. Caesar framed his description of the Hercynian Forest with the observation that the Gauls no longer raided that far beyond the Rhine because Roman luxury goods had caused them to lose their former hardihood and courage. The earliest surviving manuscripts of Caesar’s Gallic War date to the early ninth century, so it is possible that the author of the Earlier Annals of Metz knew of this work.101 This unusual reference to Charlemagne hunting wisent in the Hercynian Forest thus suggested that the Carolingian emperor had reawakened the long-dormant manliness of the “Gauls” (i.e., the Franks) and revived their supremacy over eastern “barbarians.” Hunting big game in the forests of Germany therefore symbolized Charlemagne’s military power and imperial authority and recalled the writings of the great Julius Caesar. At other times Charlemagne devoted himself to fishing. Although far less physically demanding than hunting, angling had imperial and Christian ideological resonances. According to Suetonius, the emperor Augustus had taken up fishing after the end of the civil wars, and the Byzantine emperors had large ponds for fishing at their suburban palaces.102 Charlemagne’s fishing trips seem especially to have taken place during Lent, the six-week penitential season before Easter when laypeople were expected to give up eating the meat of quadrupeds and birds, although fish was allowed.103 Charlemagne observed the fast during Lent and reportedly gave up hunting as well.104 He arranged for Lenten foodstuffs (quadragesimale) to be sent to the palace during this period (fish, vegetables, cheese, butter, herbs, etc.), and he went so far as to impose the death penalty for the newly converted Saxons if they dared to eat meat during Lent.105 This in turn made Lent an ideal season for fishing. For example, during Lent in 800, Charlemagne made an unusual progress along the northern coast of his kingdom between Boulogne and Rouen. The Royal Frankish Annals reported that he made this trip to supervise the building of ships to guard his kingdom against Scandinavian pirates, although the Annals of St.-Amand added that he also took the

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opportunity to go fishing.106 The St.-Amand chronicler mentioned this fishing trip at the culmination of Charlemagne’s victories against the Saxons and Huns and immediately before his coronation, thereby transforming the activity into a symbol of imperial peace. Observance of Lent also seems to explain Charlemagne’s four reported visits to Nijmegen in Frisia (in 777, 804, 806, and 808), all of which took place during Lent.107 Nijmegen is located on the Waal River, which is rich in fish, thus making it an ideal location for royal angling. In this way, fishing provided a convenient Lenten loophole for an avid hunter like Charlemagne. He was also interested in the spiritual dimensions of the activity: on one occasion in the Aachen baths, he and Alcuin discussed the mystical significance of the 153 fish Saint Peter had caught in the Sea of Galilee (John 21.11).108 But, as soon as Lent was over, Charlemagne resumed his usual hunting. As Notker put it, the day after Easter “Charlemagne was completely fed up with quiet and rest and prepared to go hunt buffalo and aurochs in the wilderness.”109 Charlemagne’s pattern of seasonal hunting therefore reflected the gradual expansion of his power, his growing imperial ideology, as well as his Christian piety. Throughout his reign he favored hunting in the Ardennes Forest, and his summer and autumn residences (when not on military campaign) tended to be located in or near this large wilderness region: at Düren, Herstal, Thionville, and, beginning in the 790s, almost exclusively Aachen. During the last fifteen years of Charlemagne’s reign, chroniclers highlighted the imperial ideology surrounding his hunts as well as their associations with his health, manliness, and the peace of his empire. Notably, the geographic scope of Charlemagne’s hunting expanded in these years to reflect the territorial extent of his rule, as evidenced by trips to the Vosges, the Hercynian Forest, Bavaria, the northern coast of Francia, and Nijmegen. During this final period of his reign, Charlemagne truly was an imperial hunter. As already discussed, Janet Nelson has argued that Carolingian hunting also served as an important forum for building political consensus.110 Nelson interprets royal hunts as an elite group ritual that reinforced camaraderie and cooperation between the king and the nobles. While some scholars have critiqued Nelson’s consensus model,111 it clearly does apply to some of Charlemagne’s hunts. Central to Nelson’s analysis is her contention that royal hunts often took place at the conclusion of assemblies when large numbers of nobles—the king’s fideles— were at court. It should be noted, however, that Nelson’s examples of hunts after assemblies come from the reigns of Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald (840– 877),112 and it is difficult to show a correlation between hunting and assemblies under Charlemagne. Moreover, as was the case for all rulers, the size of Charlemagne’s hunts varied widely: from small outings with a few companions for the king’s relaxation and exercise, to chance encounters with game while the king was



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traveling, to large festive hunting parties with dozens of fellow hunters, each with his own steed and equipment.113 The year 803 is a case in point. Charlemagne held a summer assembly at Mainz, then traveled to Salz in Franconia, where he handled more royal business, and only afterward went hunting in the Hercynian Forest with a few chosen companions (cum electis).114 After that, he traveled to Bavaria, where he hunted some more while awaiting the return of his army from Bohemia. One chronicle reports that, while on this hunting trip in Bavaria, Charlemagne visited Salzburg and confirmed the archbishopric’s territories “with many of his faithful men standing as witnesses.”115 It is likely that many of these fideles were part of the king’s hunting party. Charlemagne’s hunts in 803 therefore took place long after, and far away from, his summer assembly at Mainz, and the number of his companions varied from a small select group to a sizeable entourage. In other words, an assembly was not necessary for a large royal hunt. This considerable range in the size of royal hunting parties seems to have been typical under the Carolingians. Whether large or small, Carolingian hunts were impor tant venues for the king to socialize with the nobles and build a sense of manly comaraderie with them. Hunting provided a more relaxed, less formal setting for face-to-face interactions, where the ruler and his companions could bond through their shared love of this defining elite activity. As one chronicler noted, such outings in the wilderness put the king in a good mood and enabled him to unwind from the frustrations of the palace.116 At the same time, hunts gave a ruler like Charlemagne the opportunity to test the fortitudo of his men, study their habits and character, promote those whom he found talented, and teach lessons to those whom he found wanting. This may have been especially impor tant after 800, when Charlemagne less frequently led his armies in person. Two anecdotes from Notker illustrate these dynamics. In one, Notker described Charlemagne hunting with some elegantly dressed nobles on a cold and rainy morning in Italy.117 Charlemagne decided to teach these notables a lesson about the vanity of lavish clothing by not allowing them to change before setting out. The rain, mud, and gore ruined their delicate clothes, while Charlemagne’s no-nonsense attire emerged intact. Notker reported another hunt in which Charlemagne’s companions included not only Franks but also visiting Muslim ambassadors.118 On this par ticu lar hunt, a disgraced nobleman named Isembard rehabilitated himself in the eyes of the ruler by single-handedly slaying an aurochs. Isembard’s bravery so impressed Charlemagne that he restored the offices that he had revoked some years earlier.119 As usual, Notker probably invented many of the details of these stories, but they nevertheless seem to capture essential characteristics of Charlemagne’s hunts: their importance as a forum for male bonding with the nobles; their role as a testing ground for his supporters’ character,

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bravery, and loyalty; and an opportunity to exchange hunting techniques with visiting foreign guests. One final dimension of these seasonal hunting trips should be noted: they could serve as an opportunity to supervise local military matters. As we have seen, during his fishing trip in the spring of 800 Charlemagne oversaw the building of a fleet to protect the coastline from the increasingly troublesome Northmen.120 Similarly, in 803 Charlemagne awaited the return of his army from Bohemia while hunting in Bavaria. Indeed, the Earlier Annals of Metz imply that one objective behind his hunting trip to the Hercynian Forest was to scout out a new invasion route into the land of the Bohemian Slavs. Two years later Charlemagne for the first time sent two armies into Bohemia through the Hercynian Forest, apparently using the route he had reconnoitered during the 803 hunting trip.121 Charlemagne’s establishment of Paderborn as his chief palace in Saxony during his conquest of the region likewise probably mixed hunting with military planning. Paderborn is located next to the Egge Hills and Teutoburger Wald, which are home to plentiful wild animals, birds, and even wild cats. Archaeologists have uncovered the bones of deer, wild boar, and bear at the Paderborn palace, which confirms that hunting took place nearby.122 The Carolingians knew from reading Tacitus that the barbarian chieftain Arminius had destroyed three of Augustus’s legions in the Teutoburger Wald in 9 CE.123 As in the case of the Hercynian Forest, hunting in the Teutoburger Wald implied that Charlemagne’s power in Germany exceeded that of the great conquerors of antiquity.

The Revival of the Walled Game Park Another key venue for Carolingian hunting was the walled game park, which suddenly reemerged under Charlemagne after a long absence in the Merovingian sources.124 As we have seen, hunting parks, or paradises, were as an important symbol of royal and imperial power in antiquity, and in the Middle Ages they provided a “theatrical vehicle for propaganda” for rulers.125 Royal parks were carefully managed landscapes—sometimes resembling botanical gardens and royal menageries—that highlighted the ruler’s mastery of the natural world.126 An aura of mystery and exclusivity surrounded the game park, since it was enclosed by high walls and off-limits to all but the king and his favored guests. The ‘Abbasid caliphs and Byzantine emperors had magnificent walled gardens, paradises, and menageries.127 Beginning with Pippin III, the Carolingians were in diplomatic contact with Baghdad, Constantinople, and Cordoba, so Charlemagne would have grown up hearing stories of the sophisticated hunting cultures and game parks of those foreign courts.128 In other words, walled parks announced the



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Carolingians’ parity with the Byzantine and ‘Abbasid rulers. By the ninth century, Frankish nobles were imitating the Carolingians and constructing their own parks. The anonymous Deeds of the Bishops of Le Mans (832) describes a nobleman named Alan with a walled park next to his manor in which he hunted stags on horseback.129 During Charlemagne’s reign, walled parks reappear in the written sources under the new vernacular term brogilus, a word that is the ancestor of modern German Brühl (“meadow”) and French breuil (“enclosure”).130 The fact that the Carolingians used the vernacular word brogilus rather than the classical term vivarium suggests that there was no direct continuity between late Roman and Carolingian game parks. The earliest Frankish reference to game parks is found in chapter 46 of Charlemagne’s Capitulary on Royal Manors: “Let [the stewards] take good care of our woods, which the public calls brogili, and repair them in a timely fashion without delay and in no way procrastinate so that it is necessary to rebuild them completely. They should do likewise for all the buildings [in them].”131 This brief chapter yields several observations: that there was more than one royal game park; that they tended to be wooded; that stewards were responsible for their upkeep and especially the maintenance of their walls and/or fences to prevent the game from escaping; and that walled parks contained buildings— presumably stables, barns, storehouses, and villas—that likewise required maintenance. This chapter reveals that the good management of walled parks was a priority for Charlemagne, just like the crown’s forests. We hear of walled parks at Aachen and the important residence of Attigny during Charlemagne’s reign, and from his successors we learn of other parks at or near the palaces of Compiègne, Ingelheim, Ranshofen, Regensburg, and somewhere east of Frankfurt.132 There were other parks at the secondary royal residences as well.133 A key characteristic of Carolingian walled parks is that they tended to be near major palaces. The ninth-century poet Ermold the Black emphasized that the game park at Aachen was close to the palace: There is a noted place near the royal hall Called Aachen, the fame of which is great, Girded by a stone wall and surrounded by an earthen rampart, Situated in the woods, where recent growth is flowering. A bubbling stream slowly meanders through it. Different birds and beasts live there. When it pleased the king, with a few companions He would often go there for the thrill of hunting. He would skewer the massive bodies of horned bucks with his sword Or cut down does and she goats.

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When ice stiffened the ground in wintertime, He set his clawed falcons on birds.134 This proximity to palaces meant that game parks were easily accessible to parties of hunters as well as spectators at court. The king and his companions therefore could depart from the palace early in the morning, spend the day hunting in the game park, and return to the palace that same evening. In contrast, seasonal hunting trips to destinations like the Vosges, Bavaria, and more distant parts of the Ardennes required much longer travel times.135 Daylong hunts in walled parks could take place in conjunction with assemblies and other festive occasions at court, which fits Nelson’s model.136 Because of the parks’ proximity to palaces, hunts in them seem to have involved a high level of fanfare, ritual, and, especially, spectatorship. The park at Aachen contained a palace with a balcony from which guests could watch.137 In an important sense, hunts in royal parks resembled the staged animal hunts in Roman and Byzantine arenas, although the spectating public was now limited to an exclusive courtly audience.138 The walls and fences prevented the animals’ escape, which gave all the advantage to the hunters and thus made possible a prodigious slaughter. At the same time, this walled setting near the palace probably made Charlemagne and his successors feel protected from assassination, since the pursuit of the animals would have been limited and the king was therefore less likely to get separated from his companions. The presence of royal buildings and lodges explains why we find Carolingian rulers conducting royal business in game parks as well: granting charters, issuing capitularies, holding assemblies, and staging judicial duels.139 Game parks, in other words, were an important new stage upon which Charlemagne and his successors displayed their hunting prowess, and royal power more generally, to the Frankish nobility. Historians debate the scale and organization of Carolingian game parks. In an impor tant article Karl Hauck reviewed all the evidence for the dynasty’s walled reserves and argued for their considerable ideological significance for Carolingian kingship.140 Hauck highlighted their sophistication and suitability for large hunting parties, and he was cautiously optimistic about the historical reliability of their literary descriptions in court poetry like that of Ermold. Lutz Fenske, however, strongly critiqued Hauk’s views and raised significant reservations about the practicality of such parks and the accuracy of the literary accounts of hunts in them.141 Using the more plentiful information concerning early modern walled parks, Fenske stressed the extreme difficulty and cost of building large parks, maintaining their vegetation and extensive walls, and keeping their animal populations healthy and wild. As a result, he offered a conservative estimate of the size of Carolingian parks, reckoning that they were similar to



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those in medieval England after the Norman Conquest: that is, about 150 to 300 acres and surrounded by a fenced and/or walled perimeter mea suring a total of one-and-a-half to three miles.142 (As a point of comparison, Central Park in New York City comprises about 850 acres and has a perimeter of six miles.) Although written and archaeological evidence does not shed any definitive light on the dimensions of Carolingian parks, some data do support Fenske’s estimates. The island of Mariannenaue in the Rhine River, which may have been the site of the hunting park near Ingelheim described by Ermold,143 today mea sures about two miles in length and encompasses approximately 170 acres. Although the contours of Mariannenaue have changed over the centuries, it notably falls within Fenske’s ballpark estimate. The roughly contemporary walled gardens of Caliph al-Mutawakkil (847–861) at al-Jawsaq al-Khâqânî similarly encompassed 172 acres.144 In the final analysis, there actually is considerable common ground between Hauck and Fenske’s views. Fenske conceded that the size of Carolingian walled parks seems to have varied, with the one at Aachen being significantly larger than the others.145 The fact that Louis the Pious liked to hunt with falcons in the Aachen park corroborates the impression of its considerable size, since (as we will see in Chapter 5) falcons require large, open terrain to hunt effectively.146 As Fenske noted, the Carolingians must have addressed the problem of maintaining game populations in their parks by periodically restocking them, either through drives of animals from the surrounding wilderness, or by trapping and transport, or both.147 This was a massive undertaking, and royal stewards soon began conscripting local freemen into labor on the king’s brogili as one of the duties they owed to the crown.148 One of the most detailed depictions we have of a hunt in a game park comes from the epic poem Charlemagne and Pope Leo.149 This anonymous poem, which apparently was written by an author close to Charlemagne’s court soon after the imperial coronation, offers an idealized picture of how Charlemagne rose to the imperial title in the years up to 800.150 The poet pursued a complex strategy of borrowing from the classical verse of Virgil, Ovid, and Venantius Fortunatus, yet his final product was wholly original.151 Only book 3 of the poem’s original four books survives, and the work probably culminated with an account of Charlemagne’s coronation in Rome. Book 3 begins with Charlemagne’s conquest and conversion of the Saxons, thereby portraying the dawn of an era of peace. After narrating Pope Leo’s visit to Paderborn in 799, the poet turned to the game park at Aachen: “ There father Charlemagne, the venerable hero, often devotes himself to his favorite exercises through the fields, chases wild animals with dogs, and with menacing arrows lays low horned herds beneath the dark trees.”152 The poet went on to describe a large hunting party in Aachen’s walled park. It is unclear if and when this royal hunt actually took place, but, if it did happen, it

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may have been in June or July of 800, after Charlemagne returned from his fishing trip to the North Sea.153 In the eyes of the poet, this hunt symbolized not only the king’s martial prowess but also the political order of the entire realm. Perhaps more than any other piece of evidence, this scene embodies Nelson’s consensuspolitics interpretation of royal hunting. Before dawn the palace courtyard filled with the sounds of neighing horses and barking dogs while eager young men (iuvenes, iuventus) waited outside the king’s bedchamber.154 After Charlemagne visited his chapel to pray (an important detail showing that he put Christ before the chase), he joined the growing throng in the courtyard that now included counts, young men, servants, and the king’s sons Charles and Pippin.155 The poet emphasized that a large number of women also accompanied the hunters as spectators. He described the female members of the royal family, all elegantly dressed and adorned with jewelry, coming forth from the palace to join the hunting party: Queen Liutgard, six of the king’s daughters, and a large number of female attendants.156 Some scholars have dismissed these details as unrealistic, arguing that the “attendance of women at the boar hunt is seldom, if ever, recorded.”157 But, as we have seen, the Merovingians sometimes brought queens along when hunting, and Carolingian authors likewise took for granted the presence of royal wives during hunts.158 Einhard himself stressed that Charlemagne disliked being parted from his daughters and often brought them with him on his travels.159 Although not active participants, royal women and their female attendants seem to have been important companions and spectators at Charlemagne’s hunts, especially those in walled parks near his palaces. At royal hunts, therefore, women probably played a key role in assessing masculine valor as the hunters competed among themselves for glory.160 After the women had arrived, the hunting party departed in procession into the park with a great blasting of horns.161 The mood was one of joy and excitement, with the king and hunters united in their shared passion for hunting (venandi studium).162 Here one sees how royal hunts provided an arena for the expression of powerful emotions—joy, laughter, excitement—within permissible boundaries, which contrasted with the more rigid codes of behavior in the palace itself.163 Once they arrived in the park, the dogs set out in search of the animals lurking in the woods while the mounted huntsmen followed the sounds of their barking. Soon the dogs located a wild boar and pursued it to the point of exhaustion.164 But the hunters held back, since slaying the first beast was an honor reserved for the king himself: Then father Charlemagne charges into their midst. Faster than a flying bird he pierces with his sword the beast’s Breast and drives cold iron through its heart.



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The boar crashes down, vomiting out its life-blood And rolls over in yellow sand as it dies. The royal children watch these events from a high hill. Charlemagne then commands more game to be found. He addresses his distinguished companions with friendly words: “Fortune shows that she will make this a happy day for us Through these omens and will support our efforts. All of you should assist in this labor through your hard work And give friendly aid through your passion for hunting!” Hardly had the hero said these words when the band cheers from the hill. Those nobles set out in haste to the woods To hunt swift beasts. Charlemagne himself, that famous father, Flies ahead of them carrying an iron spear in his hands And lays low with slaughter uncountable herds of boars, Many bodies of animals crash to the ground everywhere.165 Although idealized, this passage captures central dynamics of Carolingian hunts, especially within walled parks: the image of the king as a courageous, virile hunter; his prodigious slaughter of wild animals to demonstrate mastery over nature; the joyful camaraderie of the king and his companions; the spectatorship by male and female courtiers; and the notion that successful hunts could be a sign of God’s favor (here poetically described as fortuna). These interwoven themes— manliness, mastery of nature, spectatorship, joy, comaraderie, divine favor—would have been present at most royal hunts. But, in contrast to hunts in unbounded forests, game parks concentrated and magnified these dynamics because of their proximity to the palace, the possibility of numerous observers, and the many animals enclosed within their walls. At the same time, walled parks increased the king’s safety because he could not get separated from his companions. The post-hunt ceremonies were just as important as the hunt itself. In the conclusion of this scene, the poet described Charlemagne inviting his companions—both men and women—to a banquet in a shady meadow in the park where pavilions had been set up.166 The king divided the spoils of the chase— the venison, the wild boar, and other game—among his fellow huntsmen.167 This was a significant ritual, since it symbolically reenacted the king’s distribution of plunder after military campaigns, and it therefore allowed him to demonstrate royal munificence and favor. As cooking fires glowed in the meadow, Charlemagne cheerfully summoned his guests to tables according to rank. He ordered wine and roasted game to be served, and all were filled with happiness. The presence of so many young men and women undoubtedly gave such post-hunt feasts an element of sexual excitement. Indeed, in the later Middle Ages, erotic love was a frequent

Charlemagne and the Chase

Figure  23. During large royal hunts, pavilions were sometimes set up for shade, spectators, and banqueting. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 71v)

theme in literary representations of the chase.168 But in the early Middle Ages, such eroticism was notably absent from hunting scenes. The emphasis instead was on the valor and camaraderie of the men and on the moral virtue of the women. Thus the poet of Charlemagne and Pope Leo described the women at the posthunt banquet as chaste maidens (castae puellae).169 At the conclusion of the feast, the tired hunting party returned to the palace under the cover of night. The majority of the animals in game parks would have been those common to royal forests: deer, wild boars, birds, and fish.170 But in some cases, Carolingian parks may have also contained rare and exotic animals. In the post-Roman West, unusual animals from distant lands continued to be associated with notions of imperial victory and universal empire, an ideology kept alive by public games in


Figure 24. Wild animals that one might have found in a Carolingian game park: a bear, wolf, wild boar, onager, and two bulls drinking from a stream, as well as different kinds of birds. From the illustration for Psalm 104.11 (Vulgate 103.11): “All the beasts of the field take drink, the onagers quench their thirst.” (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 117r)

Charlemagne and the Chase

Constantinople and lavish zoological gardens in the ‘Abbasid empire.171 The Bible likewise provided models for royal menageries, since Solomon reportedly had apes and peacocks at his palace (1 Kings 10.22). The best-known exotic animal at Charlemagne’s court was the elephant he received from Harun al-Rashid.172 This Indian elephant, named Abul Abbas, arrived in Francia in 801, and it was one of the great wonders of Charlemagne’s court until it died on campaign with the emperor in Saxony in 810.173 It is possible that Charlemagne sometimes kept Abul Abbas in the Aachen park, although the pachyderm obviously was not hunted and would have required copious amounts of fresh vegetation and a large barn to house it (especially during the winter months). Charlemagne instructed his stewards to keep “swans, peacocks, pheasants, ducks, pigeons, partridges, and turtledoves” for the sake of royal splendor (pro dignitatis causa), and some of these birds probably made their way into his parks.174 Notker claimed that the Carolingians had lions, monkeys, and African bears, some of which were diplomatic gifts from Muslim rulers.175 Whether Notker’s stories have a basis in truth or simply were the product of his active imagination is less clear. However, we do hear from more reliable sources that the Carolingians, and even some of their magnates, had parrots, lions, and onagers (Asiatic wild asses).176 Onagers were hunted in the Muslim world for the challenge (they are astonishing fast) and their flavorsome meat, and it is possible that the Carolingians acquired some through diplomatic gifts or trade.177 Charlemagne’s court also had trained dancing bears, which likewise symbolized his mastery over wild beasts.178 Moreover, the imagery of fierce and exotic beasts decorated the Carolingian palace: bronze lions, bears, and eagles; royal robes embellished with lions, elephants, eagles, and griffins; and imported silks from the East adorned with vivid hunting scenes.179 Like game parks, such exotic animals suggested the Carolingians’ dominion over the natural world and their parity with the rulers of Constantinople and Baghdad.

Hunting Officials and Administration Charlemagne’s efforts to protect the crown’s forests and wild animals and to maintain its game parks rested on an expanded network of royal agents and institutions. While some scholars have been skeptical of the efficaciousness of Charlemagne’s government, recent reassessments are more optimistic about his ability to manage the far-flung empire through a combination of personal supervision and delegated authority.180 Although the Merovingians undoubtedly had servants who assisted the king while hunting, it is not until the reign of Charlemagne that we find court officials with designated hunting responsibilities in the written sources. These officials not only supported the king during his own hunts, but



Chapter 3

Figure 25. An early Muslim silk depicting scenes of lion and leopard hunting. Such eastern silks were highly valued in Carolingian Eu rope, and their imagery influenced ideas about royal hunting in the West. Today in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican Museums. (Scala/Art Resource, New York)

they also provided fresh game for the court when the king was other wise occupied. Here a key piece of evidence is Hincmar of Reims’s On the Organization of the Palace, which the archbishop dedicated to Charlemagne’s great-great-grandson Carloman II in 882. Hincmar based the second half of his treatise on a now-lost work on the same subject by Charlemagne’s counselor Adalhard of Corbie, which Adalhard apparently had composed circa 812.181 Hincmar’s work therefore seems

Charlemagne and the Chase

to contain an accurate (albeit undoubtedly idealized) account of the administration of Charlemagne’s court. According to Hincmar, Charlemagne had four senior huntsmen (venatores principales) and a head falconer (falconarius) who supervised the hunting activities and associated servants at the palace.182 These associated servants included trackers (bersarii), dog keepers (veltrarii), and beaver trappers (beverarii).183 Hincmar emphasized that the senior huntsmen needed to prepare for upcoming hunts and the changing seasons with careful planning and good judgment (cum mensura et ratione). He especially stressed the need for them to determine the appropriate numbers of assistants, dogs, and raptors without overwhelming the court.184 This detail reflects the different sizes of royal hunts throughout the year, which in turn required different numbers of hunting assistants and animals. Stewards also had hunt-related responsibilities, including protecting local forests, employing falconers, fishermen, and netmakers, and caring for the king’s puppies and hawks.185 The queen likewise played a role in feeding royal puppies in her maternal role as caregiver of the “ little ones” at court.186 Stewards also supervised the local foresters, who protected the crown’s forests, fish, and game.187 We therefore find a hierarchy of Carolingian hunting officials spreading outward from the court to the forests: several senior huntsmen and a chief falconer in permanent residence at the palace; assistant huntsmen, dog keepers, trackers, and falconers, some of whom lived (at least part-time) on royal estates; and foresters who lived in or near the forests themselves. This complex organization explains Hincmar’s concern that the king’s senior huntsmen should carefully plan ahead and summon to court only as many assistants as needed. Game parks similarly demanded tremendous organization, infrastructure, and investment of the crown’s resources.188 As we have seen, Charlemagne put his stewards in charge of maintaining his game parks and repairing their walls to keep the animals from escaping.189 Deer can make a vertical leap of about six feet, so the walls and fences of parks needed to be even higher. Moreover, to maintain the health of the different kinds of game in them, the parks required a source of fresh water, a range of landscapes and vegetation for bedding and grazing, and periodic restocking with captured wild animals and fish. All of these needs help explain Charlemagne’s insistence that his stewards have “netmakers who know how to make good nets for hunting, fishing, and catching birds.”190 One source of Carolingian knowledge about the construction and maintenance of game parks may have been the treatise On Agriculture by the Roman author Columella, the oldest manuscripts of which date to the early ninth century.191 Columella described the proper construction of game parks with walls of stone, wood, and earth, and he underscored the need to provide a range of vegetation, fresh water, and supplemental food to keep the game healthy. As already mentioned, some



Chapter 3

stewards tried to impose the considerable park-related labors on the general population. This abuse compelled Louis the Pious to clarify that freemen should not be forced to work on royal parks as one of their public duties.192

* * * In sum, the maintenance of forests and game parks represented a major financial, material, and administrative investment by Charlemagne and his successors. This tremendous expenditure highlights the great importance with which the Carolingians endowed their public image as royal hunters. As we will see in Chapter 8, the loss and destruction of royal forests and parks in the tenth century would be an important symptom of the decline of Carolingian power and authority. But we must first turn to the reign of Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious, under whom hunting reached its zenith as a ritual of royalty and a symbol of Frankish political identity.


Louis the Pious and His Legacy

The royal hunt in Charlemagne and Pope Leo highlights the participation of the king’s two eldest sons by Queen Hildegard: Charles the Younger and Pippin of Italy, who, in the poet’s eyes, were the great hope for the future of the Carolingian dynasty. He wrote of the hunting party assembling in the Aachen courtyard: Surrounded by a crowd of great men, Looking like his father in bearing and appearance, Charles [the Younger] himself, illustrious with father’s name, finally comes forth. In his accustomed way he mounts the back of his brave horse. Next follows Pippin, named after his grandfather, Who revives the royal deeds of his ancestor. Mighty in battle, a daring hero, most skilled in arms, The great general arrives amid his servants. Surrounded by many men his own age, he shines high Upon his horse, his handsome face and countenance glow, His beautiful temples bound with gold.1 Conspicuously absent from this gathering of royal heirs was Charlemagne’s youngest son, Louis the Pious. Louis’s nonappearance is striking, since it was he who eventually succeeded his father after his brothers’ premature deaths. Louis’s absence may simply have been the result of circumstances, since he was not at Aachen in the summer of 800, when this hunt apparently took place.2 But the situation also may reflect Charlemagne’s reservations about the abilities of his youngest son.3 Born in 778, Louis was sent away by his father in 781, at the unusually young age of three, to become king of the peripheral region of Aquitaine. When in 806 Charlemagne announced his plan for the future division of the empire, he earmarked the most important territories for Charles the Younger and


Chapter 4

Pippin, while he assigned Aquitaine and a few adjoining districts to Louis.4 As Mayke de Jong summed up, “Louis had not been his father’s choice.”5 After Pippin and Charles the Younger died unexpectedly in 810 and 811, the elderly Charlemagne hesitated for almost two years before naming Louis co-emperor and heir. And even then he did not give Louis the entire empire, since he granted the Lombard kingdom to Pippin’s illegitimate son Bernard. Seen in this light, Louis’s absence in the poetic hunting scene suggests Charlemagne’s doubts about his youngest son. After Louis the Pious succeeded his father in 814, he in fact proved to be a capable, cultured, and resourceful ruler.6 Indeed, in many ways the first half of his reign proved to be the highpoint of Carolingian power. It is true that tensions surrounding the succession of his own sons eventually sparked serious rebellions against him in the 830s, but this was not an uncommon phenomenon for early medieval rulers with multiple heirs. What is striking about Louis’s reign was not his sons’ rebellions but the centrality of hunting for his imperial persona.7 It is possible that Louis’s court placed so much importance on his hunting prowess to underscore his Carolingian credentials and thus compensate for his father’s seemingly tepid enthusiasm for him as heir. Louis’s prodigious hunting carried many of the same ideological associations as under his father: manly prowess, virile health, imperial peace, and Frankish identity. One also finds a heightened emphasis on the hunt as a symbol of dynastic continuity and thus royal legitimacy. It was under Louis and his sons that excellence at the chase fully emerged as the defining badge of the Carolingian family as a whole. This chapter explores the evolution of this royal hunting ideology from the succession of Louis the Pious in 814 to the death of his youngest son, Charles the Bald, in 877. We will see that this period in many ways represented the high point of Carolingian hunting, both in terms of political ideology as well as royal practice.

Louis the Pious as Hunter The writers around Louis stressed that he was an ardent huntsman like his father. Einhard’s comment that Charlemagne had his sons “taught to ride and trained in weapons and hunting in the manner of the Franks” implied that Louis had inherited his father’s love of the chase.8 Louis’s biographers likewise highlighted his hunting prowess. One of them, Thegan of Trier, was in fact not at all enthusiastic about hunting, and in contrast to Einhard he downplayed this activity in favor of a highly austere Christian portrait of the ruler.9 Nevertheless, Thegan had to admit that Louis was an outstanding huntsman who possessed a “powerful chest, broad shoulders, and arms so strong that no one could equal him in shooting a

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

bow or throwing a spear.” After describing Louis’s piety, learning, and selfcontrol, he added, “In the month of August, when the deer are fattest, he went hunting until boar season arrived.”10 Chroniclers and poets mentioned Louis hunting on no fewer than twenty-seven separate occasions, a remarkable statistic that vastly outnumbers the reported hunts of any other early medieval ruler.11 Although Louis actually may not have hunted more than his predecessors, the frequency with which writers called attention to this activity underscores its heightened importance for his public persona. Louis’s seasonal hunting patterns reveal both similarities with and differences from those of his father. As was the case for Charlemagne, Louis often hunted in the Ardennes, the Vosges, Nijmegen, and the middle Rhine. But he also frequently visited the game-rich forests along the Oise River near Compiègne, where the Merovingians had often hunted.12 This expanded hunting geography reflected Louis’s patterns of annual travel, since he favored the middle Rhine, the Oise district around Compiègne, Quierzy, and Attigny, and especially Aachen for holding court and assemblies.13 Viewed on a map, Louis’s five favorite hunting regions formed a great cross in the middle of the empire, stretching from Nijmegen in the north to the Vosges in the south and from Frankfurt in the east to Compiègne in the west, with the vast Ardennes situated roughly in the center. Louis often hunted in the late summer and autumn, but we also find him engaged in the activity in the springtime after Easter and in the early summer as well. He typically returned from his fall hunting trips after Martinmas (the Feast of Saint Martin, November 11) to his winter residence, usually Aachen. During the winter months, Louis reportedly enjoyed falconry in the Aachen game park.14 Like his father, Louis undoubtedly also made numerous unreported local hunting trips, especially to the Eifel–High Fens regions of the Ardennes near Aachen. These short, small-scale hunting trips went largely unnoticed by the chroniclers because they did not disrupt the overall itinerary of the court. For example, in his Translation and Miracles of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Einhard mentioned in passing that Louis went on two hunts “in the customary manner” near Aachen in the spring of 828.15 The Royal Frankish Annals passed over these two hunts in silence, stating only that Louis held an assembly at Aachen in February and then went to Ingelheim in June.16 But Einhard noted them because he happened to be at the palace at that time and thus had an insider’s view of the quotidian rhythms of the court. Louis’s charters suggest some of the royal residences that he may have visited while hunting in the Ardennes, including Theux, Strée, Corbeny, Cheppy, and Coucy.17 The important palatium regium of Theux was situated in a valley of the High Fens twenty-two miles southwest of Aachen, and it therefore was only a day’s ride from court.18



Chapter 4

Another difference from Charlemagne’s reign is that one finds much more evidence for the interconnections between royal hunting and annual assemblies. Louis notably held a large number of his assemblies in the summer and autumn at prime hunting locations (e.g., Thionville, Compiègne, Nijmegen, and the middle Rhine), and chroniclers not infrequently mentioned him hunting directly before or after these assemblies.19 This connection between assemblies and hunting points to the heightened political importance of this activity for Louis, both for maintaining bonds of camaraderie with nobles as well as for projecting his image as a virile imperial hunter. Louis’s charters occasionally suggest the identity of his hunting companions. For example, while hunting along the middle Rhine in October 829 following an assembly at Worms, he made a gift to his fidelis Count Sunifred I of Urgell at the request of the powerful chamberlain Bernard of Septimania.20 Sunifred and Bernard presumably had stayed with the emperor following the Worms assembly to hunt with him. The connection between assemblies and hunting also implies that foreign ambassadors, who often appeared at assemblies to renew treaties and carry out diplomacy, participated in Louis’s hunts. At a large assembly at Ingelheim in 826, for example, Louis received ambassadors from Rome, Jerusalem, Denmark, and the Slavs, and Ermold explicitly described the Danes accompanying Louis hunting on that occasion.21 Notker assumed the Carolingians hunted with visiting Muslims as well.22 Louis’s palace therefore was a meeting place for hunters across the medieval world: Franks, Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians, and others. During the first fifteen years of his reign, Louis’s itinerary in fact resembled an extended hunting trip broken up by assemblies, Christian holidays, and the usual wintering at Aachen. The movements of Louis’s court during the years 820–822, which in many ways marked the apogee of Carolingian power, illustrate this (Map 2). As usual, Louis spent the winter of 819–820 at Aachen, from Martinmas through early summer.23 In May he visited the nearby palace of Theux in the High Fens, perhaps for an other wise unreported hunting trip.24 At some point in the summer he departed from Aachen and traveled through the Ardennes (probably hunting along the way) to the royal heartland along the Oise River. In early September he held an assembly at Quierzy, after which he went on his customary autumn hunt, visiting the palaces of Ver-sur-Launette (September 18), Compiègne (September 27, October 15), Servais (October 22), and Quierzy (October  29) before returning through the Ardennes to Aachen for the winter.25 The following year (821) had different destinations. After holding a winter assembly and celebrating Easter at Aachen, Louis sailed down the Meuse River to Nijmegen, where he had another assembly in May and perhaps hunted in the adjacent forest.26 He briefly returned to Aachen in July, then went south through the Ardennes via Trier and Metz to Remiremont to hunt in the Vosges,

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

and headed back north to hold an assembly at Thionville in mid-October. He finally returned to Aachen in December for the winter.27 In 822 Louis departed from Aachen in the early summer and made another trip through the Ardennes.28 The slow pace of this excursion suggests that he was hunting: he issued charters forty-six days apart at Strée (June  29) and Corbeny (August  14), although he could have traveled the 120 miles between the two locations in a week.29 By early September he reached Attigny, where he held a large assembly.30 Immediately thereafter he went on an autumn hunting trip through the southern Ardennes, issuing charters at Cheppy (September 28), Völklingen (October 27), Eisenberg (November 1), and Worms (November 6).31 Once again, this was a leisurely pace of travel that left plenty of time for the chase: he could have covered the 220 miles between Attigny and Worms in two weeks, but his itinerary took him almost two months. At the conclusion of this autumn hunting trip he held another assembly in early December at Frankfurt, where he spent the winter.32 Overall, Louis had travelled approximately 1,600 miles during these three years, and hunting had filled much of his annual schedule between early summer and mid-November. The considerable time Charlemagne’s son devoted to the chase was a symptom of the peace and stability in his empire. It recalled the extended hunting trips of Emperor Hadrian during the heyday of the Pax Romana. It is significant that Louis framed the 822 Attigny assembly with hunting trips in the Ardennes. He did something remarkable at that assembly: he publicly confessed, and did voluntary penance for, past sins against his relatives (including the unintentional death of his nephew, King Bernard of Italy, whom he had ordered to be blinded). Earlier generations of scholars interpreted Louis’s penance at Attigny in 822 as a symptom of an alleged weaknesses of character: his lack of resolve, excessive piety, and manipulation by churchmen.33 But Mayke de Jong argues that Louis’s penance at Attigny, far from being a sign of royal feebleness, was a “truly imperial gesture of atonement” that brought to mind great rulers like David and Theodosius who similarly had performed penance to secure God’s favor.34 The fact that Louis went hunting—the quintessential symbol of royal manhood and power—immediately before and after the 822 assembly corroborates the interpretation that Louis was acting from a position of strength and confidence. Indeed, Louis’s hunting trips often seem to have included moments of personal prayer and penance. For example, during his autumn hunt in 836, he took time to visit Einhard’s monastery of Seligenstadt and pray at the shrine of Saints Marcellinus and Peter.35 It also may have been during this hunting trip that he visited the church of St.-Goar on the middle Rhine, where he prostrated himself before the tomb of the saint and received miraculous healing for a painful case of gout.36 Such interludes of pilgrimage and atonement during hunting trips reflect Louis’s balancing of the active and spiritual life.




50 Miles

(Sept 18, 820)



(Sept, 822)

(Sept 28, 822)

e R. Ai s n








(Oct, 821)


(Sept/Oct, 821)


(Aug, 821)




(Oct 27, 822)


(Aug, 821)





Eisenberg (Nov 1, 822)



Itinerary 822

Itinerary 821

Itinerary 820


G. Thompson, 2019



in R

Reported Hunting





[ #


(winter/spring, 822/23)

(Nov 6, 822)

(winter/spring 819/20) (winter/spring 820/21) Aachen (winter/spring 821/22) (July, 821)





Map 2. Hunts and Assemblies: The Itinerary of Louis the Pious, 820–822.


(Aug 14, 822)


(Oct 22, 820)





50 Kilometers


(Sept 27, Oct 15, 820)



Oise R.




Nijmegen (May 821)


H (May 8, 820)





H Strée

H (June 29, 822)


H Me


Se ine


(Sept 6, Oct 29, 820)



English Channel




. Rhi ne R

R M os el le



North Sea











Louis the Pious and His Legacy

Some scholars argue that Louis’s passion for the chase was so excessive that it destabilized his regime and thus precipitated the rebellions of the early 830s.37 But, as we have just observed, the evidence points to the conclusion that Louis’s regular hunting trips in fact were a sign of peace and stability, not irresponsibility or volatility.38 In other words, the steady rhythms of Louis’s seasonal hunts reassured his subjects that all was well in the empire. Moreover, the regularity with which Louis hunted suggests that he felt secure on the throne and had little fear of attacks by disgruntled sons and magnates. Conversely, it was the rebellions of the early 830s that disrupted his regular patterns of hunting, thereby indicating that there was a serious political crisis. The first of these rebellions in the year 830 was immediately preceded by what appears to have been a Lenten fishing trip reminiscent of his father’s reign. On Ash Wednesday 830, Louis departed from Aachen for Nijmegen and then made a royal progress along the empire’s northern coast.39 The rebels converged on him at Compiègne, where his eldest son Lothar I (840–855), whom Louis had named co-emperor in 817, took his father into his custody and began to rule in his own right.40 Even though in confinement by his son, Louis managed to regain the upper hand at an assembly at Nijmegen in early October with the help of his supporters.41 Hunting played an important symbolic role in Louis’s reassertion of power during the 830 rebellion. Louis’s biographer known as the Astronomer described Louis masterfully taking control of the “beastlike uprising” (feralis commotio) at the Nijmegen assembly, and he described the rebels behaving “in the manner of dogs and birds of prey” (more canum aviumque rapatium).42 In this way, the Astronomer subverted the traditional more Francorum ideology to show that the traitors did not act like true Franks. The Nijmegen assembly took place in October during hunting season, and a charter shows that Louis and Lothar remained there until Martinmas.43 It therefore seems that Louis spent several weeks hunting in the Nijmegen forest with his eldest son after the assembly, a gesture that would have announced his recovered power as well as the restored harmony between father and son. The following summer (831) Louis advertised the peace of the empire by resuming his usual pattern of hunting: “He traveled through the Vosges near Remiremont, where he indulged in fishing and hunting as much as he wanted.”44 He then traveled to Thionville, where he held an assembly in October. Once again, the emperor seems to have hunted after the assembly, since he did not depart Thionville for Aachen until post missam sancti Martini.45 Hunting likewise played a role in the more serious second rebellion of 833– 834. In June 833 Louis’s eldest three sons deposed him at the Field of Lies, near Colmar in Alsace. This shocking event transpired within sight of the Vosges Mountains, which rose up just to the west of Colmar. Lothar now usurped for himself the martial symbolism of riding and hunting. He took his father into



Chapter 4

custody, “having him ride a horse separately with a few assigned guards like a person without rank.”46 Lothar imprisoned his father in the monastery of St.Médard in Soissons while “he himself went hunting until the autumn time.”47 Lothar then presided over a large assembly at Compiègne in early October, where his father was stripped of his sword belt and royal clothing and forced to perform penance. Yet Louis again managed to regain the upper hand with the help of his supporters and younger sons, forcing Lothar to flee to Italy in February 834. On March 1 Louis was regirded with his weapons and regal attire in the monastery of St.-Denis, and he once again announced his restoration through an extended hunting trip: “After the [Easter] celebration, he exercised himself by hunting throughout the Ardennes, and after the feast of Pentecost [May 24] he occupied himself with hunting and fishing near Remiremont.”48 A long hunting trip, in other words, was the symbolic capstone of Louis’s reinstatement as emperor after both rebellions. After overcoming this second rebellion, Louis remained securely in power until his death in 840. The chief chronicler for the last years of Louis’s reign noted the resumption of regular seasonal hunts: in the Ardennes in 835, in the Vosges and around Frankfurt in 836, near Compiègne in 838, and on the middle Rhine and in the Ardennes in 839.49 The familiar rhythms of the emperor’s hunting reassured his subjects of peace restored. The chroniclers and poets around Louis both reflected and shaped the hunting culture of his court. These authors offered a range of interpretations of royal hunting, among which the themes of emperorship, manliness, peace, and dynastic continuity predominate. The earliest narrative source from Louis’s reign is the continuation of the Royal Frankish Annals. Writers around the palace resumed the Royal Frankish Annals circa 817, and they continued the chronicle up to 829. As Rosamond McKitterick points out, this continuation of the annals provides a “cleverly orchestrated narrative” that presents Louis as his father’s natural heir and successor.50 The chronicle regularly reported Louis’s seasonal hunts between 817 and 829 in the Ardennes, Vosges, Nijmegen, Frankfurt, and Salz.51 In this way, the motif of hunting serves as a golden thread woven into the fabric of the chronicle that connects Louis to his father. Indeed, the Royal Frankish Annals indicates an intensification of hunting under Louis: compared to Charlemagne’s three reported hunts, they mention Louis hunting on twelve separate occasions, and they employ formulaic phrases like “in the usual way” and “after the fall hunting season” to stress the regularity and duration of Louis’s excursions. Illustrating the hunt’s importance as a symbol of the ruler’s health, the chronicle first reported Louis hunting to provide proof of his speedy recovery after he was injured when a wooden arcade collapsed on him in 817.52 This tradition of recounting Louis’s hunts persists in the continuation of the Royal Frankish Annals, the so-called Annals of St.-Bertin.53 The Annals of St.-Bertin resumes narrating Louis’s

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

hunting activities after the rebellions of the early 830s, thus asserting that his regime again rested on secure, peaceful foundations.54 The Annals of St.-Bertin reports that as late as 839 Louis hunted vigorously (alacriter) and with great joy (delectabiliter), thereby reassuring its audience of the elderly emperor’s continued health.55 Like his father, Louis remained a huntsman up to his death. The author who most emphasized Louis’s persona as a huntsman was his anonymous biographer, known as the Astronomer.56 The Astronomer was a courtier and partisan of Louis’s, and he composed the Life of Emperor Louis in the winter of 840–841 just after Louis’s death.57 Like Einhard (whose Life of Charlemagne he knew well), the Astronomer made the chase a central theme of his royal biography, reporting Louis hunting on no fewer than seventeen separate occasions. For the Astronomer, Louis’s lifelong devotion to the chase was a central component of his Carolingian identity. Indeed, he went out of his way to emphasize that Louis was already a gifted hunter while his father still was alive, perhaps to compensate for the fact that Charlemagne and Pope Leo had omitted Louis from the Aachen hunting scene. The Astronomer reported that even as a boy Louis was an excellent equestrian, knew how to use a lance, and wore childsize boots with spurs, and he recounted that Charlemagne had bestowed on Louis the sword belt when he came of age.58 He noted that when the seven-year-old Louis visited his father in Paderborn in 795, they took an autumn trip together to Eresburg, presumably so Charlemagne could instruct his young son in hunting in the densely wooded Sauerland hills.59 The Astronomer gave the earliest datable reference to Louis hunting (ca. 811) and noted that Louis’s falconer Gerric helped negotiate Louis’s succession to the imperial throne in 813.60 The Astronomer also appropriated Einhard’s more Francorum terminology, describing Louis hunting “in the manner of the Franks” (iuxta morem Francorum) and “in the manner of the kings of the Franks” (iuxta morem Francorum regum).61 This language emphasized Louis’s Frankish manhood in the mold of his father. While the Astronomer made venatorial prowess a central component of Louis’s royal persona, he made clear that Louis was even more devoted to God and the Church, thereby corroborating his argument “that he was not only a king but also a priest.”62 It may be that some contemporaries did think that Louis hunted excessively, since the Astronomer went out of his way to refute that charge. He stressed that one of Louis’s chief virtues was moderation, and he noted that the emperor was so devoted to acts of piety during Lent “that he scarcely permitted himself one or two days for a bit of riding.”63 By emphasizing that Louis put the Church before the chase, the Astronomer echoed reports that Louis’s predecessors went to morning mass before hunting.64 The Astronomer vividly illustrated this point in the pivotal chapter 58, which is the only place where he referred to himself.65 In that chapter, he narrated how, one night in the spring of 837, the



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emperor interrogated him about a comet, thereby earning him his moniker. Louis concluded from their learned discussion that the comet signified his approaching death, and he therefore spent the night in prayer, distributed alms to the poor and clergy, and had masses celebrated before he departed for the Ardennes. He concluded the chapter with a strange retrospective comment: “This hunt yielded to him vastly more than usual, and they say that every thing that pleased him at that time turned out to have a happy end.”66 In other words, the Astronomer interpreted this successful hunt as proof that Louis had secured God’s favor by means of his nocturnal prayer vigil. Like the chroniclers, the poets around Louis interpreted hunting as a badge of Carolingian manhood and dynastic continuity.67 They drew inspiration from a range of sources: the bucolic verse of Virgil and Ovid, the Charlemagne and Pope Leo epic (which was still read during Louis’s reign68), the prose works of contemporary chroniclers, and the actual hunting culture of Louis’s court.69 It was Ermold who most conspicuously wove the imagery of the hunt into his verses. Ermold was a supporter of Louis’s second son, Pippin I of Aquitaine (817–838). Louis had exiled Ermold to Strasbourg because of a mysterious offense, and Ermold wrote his verses in an effort to regain the emperor’s favor.70 In 826 he dedicated to Louis a long epic poem titled In Honor of Emperor Louis, as well as two verse epistles addressed to Pippin, and he sent copies of all three works to both rulers.71 In his first epistle to Pippin, Ermold described the joys of the Aquitanian countryside, and he envisioned the emperor’s son receiving the letter at one of the rural palaces built by his father.72 Although Ermold stated a preference for Aquitaine, he praised the excellent forests, hunting, and fishing of Alsace between the Rhine and Vosges, where Strasbourg is located.73 Ermold continued this imagery in his second verse epistle for Pippin. He began by comparing his status among the court poets to an eager little puppy amid a pack of big hunting dogs.74 For models of good rulership, he offered Pippin examples of biblical kings as well as his own ancestors, and he voiced his hope that Pippin would listen to In Honor of Emperor Louis, a copy of which he had sent him.75 His central argument was that, to be a good ruler and true man, Pippin needed to put God before all else. But he worried that Louis’s son lacked moderation in hunting: To be sure you should enjoy the pleasures of the woods and fields, Catch this or that animal with dog and falcon: One day should be reserved for the use of hunting weapons, Another day should be reserved for carrying out more important business. Cease to be a boy in both age and conduct and Become a man! In this way, dear king, you will be worthy of your title.76

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

To drive home this message, Ermold told a story about a pious hermit who endangered his soul through excessive fondness for an adopted cat,77 concluding this entertaining tale with a serious admonition for the prince: “I did not write these things for you, dear king, because you love this kind of little animal: it is for dogs that your affection needs to be more moderate.”78 Pippin’s enthusiasm for hunting is reflected in the fact that he issued most of his charters at rural manors in the Aquitanian countryside.79 Hunting was an important component of Pippin’s image as a legitimate Carolingian ruler, but his critics used this against him by asserting that his passion for the chase crossed the line between moderation and excess. Avid hunting was central to Frankish manhood, but it needed to be balanced with mature self-control. Between these two verse epistles Ermold penned his epic poem In Honor of Emperor Louis, which (as he told Pippin) provided a model of Carolingian kingship and manhood. Throughout this work the poet-in-exile wove the imagery of the chase. In book 1, which describes Louis’s early career as king of Aquitaine, Ermold stressed the abundant game and fishing around Louis’s palace at Doué, and he noted that wild beasts had formerly inhabited the land of the monastery of Conques that Louis patronized.80 In book 2 Ermold again suggested a connection between hunting and monastic patronage when describing the foundation of the monastery of Inden near Aachen: “It was once a favorite haunt of horned stags, good for bears, wild cattle, and wild goats. But Louis cleared the region of beasts and skillfully turned it into a place pleasing to God.”81 In book 3, he recounted Louis’s 818 Breton campaign as a kind of hunt: he compared the Bretons to wild animals that lived “in the manner of savage beasts” (more ferae), he likened their rebel king Murman to a fierce bear, and he depicted Murman’s palace as an overgrown game park.82 Ermold concluded book 3 by contrasting Louis’s successful “hunt” in the wilds of Brittany (and the butchering of Murman) with the bucolic, well-ordered game park at Aachen.83 In this way, Ermold transformed the game park into a symbol of Louis’s dominion over men, beasts, and nature itself. Ermold’s hunting imagery reached its climax in book 4 with a vivid account of a royal hunt on an island park in the Rhine near Ingelheim.84 This outing took place in 826 during an important occasion at court: the submission and baptism of the Danish leader Harald with his family and supporters.85 This scene again illustrates the role of the hunt as a diplomatic ritual during the visits of foreign dignitaries.86 The hunting scene occasionally echoes that of Charlemagne and Pope Leo, although it differs in important respects.87 Like the earlier poem, Ermold depicted this hunt as a highly ceremonial and festive occasion with the participation of many nobles. But while Charlemagne and Pope Leo had focused on the emperor’s hunting, Ermold expanded his view to include the exploits of the emperor’s thirty-one-year-old son, Lothar, “in the full flower of his youth, who



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killed many bears himself.”88 Ermold then went on to narrate how Louis’s threeyear-old son, Charles the Bald (840–877), under the watchful eye of his mother Judith, begged for a horse and weapons so he could hunt like his father and halfbrother. Some men captured a doe to appease the little prince, and Charles proceeded to strike the trembling animal with a child-size weapon.89 Ermold’s vignette is idealized and perhaps invented; nevertheless, he gives us a glimpse of the immersion of aristocratic boys in the chase from an early age. Ermold interpreted Charles’s behavior as a sign of his future manliness (virtus) that he inherited from his ancestors: “It was a boyish achievement this time, but more would follow, and he would go forth marked by his father’s manliness and his grandfather’s name.” Empress Judith’s presence at the hunt calls attention to another important development in Ermold’s poetry. While Charlemagne and Pope Leo had depicted numerous women accompanying Charlemagne’s excursion into the game park, Ermold reduced this female presence to Judith alone. This shift seems to reflect the politics of Louis’s regime, which sought to overturn the considerable influence of women at his father’s court.90 When Louis arrived at Aachen in 814, one of the first things he did was banish his influential sisters to monasteries, both symbolically to “purify” the palace and to make room for his own advisors. Nevertheless, Louis’s second wife wielded considerable influence in his household. Ermold emphasized her role as the watchful protector of little Charles, and he noted her ceremonial role at the hunt as well. While Charlemagne and Pope Leo depicted Charlemagne presiding over the post-hunt banquet, Ermold stressed the initiative of the empress: Now the great father, Caesar, and the other young men Prepared to go home carrying the heavy game. But in the middle of the woods Judith had skillfully constructed A verdant pavilion. . . . She herself prepared for the pious king in the green grass of the meadow A high seat and made ready a banquet. Then Caesar and his beautiful wife washed their hands And sat together on a golden couch. Handsome Lothar and Harald the honored guest Also sat at the table at the pious king’s bidding. The other young men sat on the grass And rested their tired bodies under the shady trees. Then the young men carried out succulent roasted meat of the wild beasts, Different kids of game were brought to the imperial banquet.

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

Hunger was driven from the feast. They raised cups to their mouths And drove away thirst with fine wine. Good Bacchus made their strong hearts happy, And happily the men returned to the palace.91 Here we see how Judith’s supervision of the banquet facilitated the conclusion of the hunt. As Valerie Garver put it, “In this case a woman arranged this event, which suggests a nascent form of courtliness. The move from the masculine, physical arena of the hunt back to the confines of the court occurs under female direction.”92 Ermold drove home Judith’s careful supervision of the banquet by implicitly contrasting her with the wicked queen of the Bretons. Ermold depicted the Breton queen as a sensual, manipulative, sinister woman married to an irresolute drunken king, thereby making her the antithesis of the virtuous Frankish empress.93 The emphasis on Judith’s gendered pious demeanor is significant, since only a few years later the rebels maliciously accused her of an affair with Louis’s powerful chamberlain, Bernard.94 To demonstrate his confidence in Judith’s innocence, Rabanus Maurus sent her biblical commentaries on Judith and Esther.95 These two Old Testament books appropriately focus on the virtuous behavior of women at court, especially during banquets. Another court poet, Walahfrid Strabo, likewise connected Louis’s hunting with notions of Carolingian authority. In 829 Walahfrid joined Louis’s entourage, where he may have served as the teacher of the young Charles the Bald.96 Walahfrid made his debut at the palace with a daring poem, On the Statue of Theodoric.97 The poem’s title comes from an equestrian statue that Charlemagne had moved from Ravenna to the courtyard at Aachen. This gilded statue depicted the eastern Roman emperor Zeno (474–491), although the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great subsequently affixed his own name to it; it was upon this secondary identification that Walahfrid seized.98 Like Ermold, Walahfrid wove venatic imagery throughout On the Statue of Theodoric, but he took a new approach to this motif.99 While Ermold presented the hunt as a sign of Carolingian virtus, Walahfrid described the Aachen game park as a new Eden where wild beasts (bears, boars, wolves, stags) and even exotic and fantastical creatures (lions, leopards, tigers, dragons) could live in peaceful harmony with domesticated animals (cattle, oxen, sheep).100 Here Walahfrid invoked the vision of the messianic age of the prophet Isaiah, who predicted the coming era of peace inaugurated by God’s anointed king, when “the wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion” (Isaiah 11.6–7).101 Walahfrid developed this theme further in another poem addressed to Louis, an epigram titled “On the Bone of a Little Doe.”102 In this work Walahfrid described a peculiar scene: a young tree sprouting out of the decomposing remains


Figure 26. Queens were impor tant companions, organizers, and spectators during royal hunts. Illustration for Psalm 45.10 (Vulgate 44.10): “The queen stands at your right hand, dressed in gold clothes and adorned with a many-colored robe.” (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 57v)

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

of a discarded deer leg (tibia). This strange tableau begins to make sense when one considers that hunters often butchered deer in the wild, discarding the lean parts of the carcass (including the lower legs) and taking home the meaty portions, like the hams and shoulders. One wonders if Walahfrid stumbled upon this sight while strolling in the Aachen park itself. For the poet, the tree growing out of the decaying remains of the hunt again brought to mind the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, which describes the messianic king as a new branch emerging from the dormant stump of Jesse (Isaiah 11.1–2). This imagery led to a deeper reflection on the balance between death and rebirth in the natu ral world and in the hunt itself. He concluded: “Hail great Caesar! Every thing has its master: you slay deer with your spear, and a woodland grows up from their bones!” In this way Walahfrid again gave his own distinctive interpretation of the hunt by stressing Louis’s harmonious dominion over the natural world, which recalled Isaiah’s vision of the messianic age.

Merovingian Memories The Carolingian ideology of hunting “in the manner of the Franks” brought with it an invention of tradition with regard to the Merovingian dynasty. As we have seen, the Merovingian kings hunted, but they do not seem to have developed the activity into a symbol of Frankish kingship. Intriguingly, it was authors around Charlemagne and especially Louis the Pious who introduced the idea that vigorous hunting was an age-old tradition that went back to the first Frankish royal dynasty.103 The earliest Carolingian description of Merovingian hunting comes from the Life of Saint Trudo, written by Donatus of Metz during Charlemagne’s reign.104 Donatus described the young Trudo’s renunciation of the hunting at the Merovingian court as a sign of his sanctity: “Because he was born of a very noble family, aristocratic youths his age came to him and asked, or rather demanded, that he join them in the ritual of hunting [venandi ritus], as is the custom among the boys serving the king [ut mos est regiis pueris].” When Trudo refused, the blueblooded youths “began to despise him and consider him ignoble [degener].” Although set in the seventh century, Donatus’s passage reflects the hunting culture at the Carolingian palace: the chase was a courtly ritual in which aristocratic youths participated, and it was closely associated with nobility itself. Similar reports come from several works of hagiography about the early founders of the monastery of St.-Wandrille (Fontanelle), which were written around the time of Charlemagne’s imperial coronation.105 The Life of Saint Ansbert describes the young Merovingian prince Theuderic III (673/675–691) as an avid hunter, “which for him was a tradition of his people” (ut sibi gentilicum erat).106



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The lives of Lantbert and Conded similarly refer to Childeric II’s hunting lodge (iocundum palatium) in the forest of Brotonne on the lower Seine where the Merovingians pursued the autumn chase (exercitium autumnalis venationis).107 Although set in the distant Merovingian past, these saints’ lives once again highlight the centrality of hunting to the culture of Charlemagne’s court. They implied that the Carolingians had revived the age-old tradition of Frankish royal hunting, which had fallen dormant under the last Merovingians. This ideology was developed further under Louis the Pious. The most vivid depiction of Merovingian hunting is to be found in the highly fictionalized Deeds of Dagobert, King of the Franks. Composed circa 830, the Deeds tells the story of the seventh-century Merovingian king Dagobert I (whom we met in Chapter 2) and his devotion to the cult of Saint Denis.108 Throughout the text, the anonymous author emphasized that hunting was venerable Frankish royal custom. He described Dagobert’s father Clothar II as a royal hunter, and he called attention to Dagobert’s frequent hunting “as soon as he reached the age of adolescence, as is the custom of the Frankish people” (ut genti Francorum moris est).109 It is revealing that the author based his report of Clothar II on the Chronicle of Fredegar, which, as we have seen, actually had criticized Clothar for his excessive hunting.110 But the author of the Deeds of Dagobert transformed Fredegar’s critique into praise by shifting the connotation of the adverb nimium from negative (“too much”) to positive (“a great deal”): “This Clothar was strong-minded and well-read, a Godfearing man, a great donor to churches and priests, an almsgiver to the poor, kindly disposed to all, and full of piety. He was a great warrior, and he constantly hunted wild animals a great deal [venationibus ferarum nimium assidue utens].” This shift captures the change in attitudes toward royal hunting between the Merovingian and Carolingian periods. In contrast to Fredegar, the author of the Deeds of Dagobert presented dedication to hunting as a royal virtue. The author carried this theme throughout the Deeds of Dagobert. He stressed that it had been the Carolingians’ own ancestor Arnulf of Metz who had been the young Dagobert’s tutor.111 In this way the author implied that the Carolingian dynasty in the person of Arnulf had played a role in teaching the Merovingian prince to hunt. He then went on to tell an exciting hunting story that explained the origin of Dagobert’s devotion to the cult of Saint Denis.112 One day while pursuing a stag outside of Paris, the young prince stumbled upon the neglected martyr shrine of Denis, where the exhausted animal had sought refuge. Miraculously, the prince’s dogs refused to enter the sanctuary, an event that revealed to Dagobert the saint’s power. As a result, Dagobert transformed the shrine into the monastery of St.-Denis, in the basilica of which he and his successors were buried.113 This passage notably echoes Gregory of Tours’s account of Brachio’s encounter with Aemilianus in the woods of Pionsat,114 but unlike Brachio, Dagobert

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did not abandon the secular life to become a monk. Instead, he became a model Frankish king and hunter: The most excellent prince and king Dagobert was very prudent, clever of mind, kind to those of good will and loyalty, but a great terror to rebels and traitors in his kingdom. He skillfully governed the realm and was kind toward those of genuine piety. Yet like a savage lion he seized the necks of rebels and triumphed over the ferocity of foreign peoples with his mighty strength of spirit. He was a generous patron of churches, priests, paupers, and pilgrims beyond measure. Constantly exercising and hunting like a true man [exercitiis viritim et venationibus assidue utens], he was vigorous and without equal in bodily quickness.115 We know from a letter to Hilduin of St.-Denis that Louis read the Deeds of Dagobert, and it is possible that Hilduin himself (who was the emperor’s archchaplain) wrote the work.116 In this way the Deeds of Dagobert presented to Louis’s court a model of royal hunting and manhood that allegedly was rooted in age-old Merovingian tradition. In emphasizing how Clothar II and Dagobert had hunted assidue, the author of the Deeds of Dagobert echoed Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, which predated his work by several years. As we have seen, Einhard wrote that Charlemagne “kept fit by riding and hunting constantly [assidue], which was a tradition of his people.”117 Einhard’s phrase “which was a tradition of his people” (quod illi gentilicium erat) in turn seems to borrow from the earlier Life of Saint Ansbert, which describes Theuderic III hunting according to the tradition of his people (ut sibi gentilicum erat).118 Einhard’s use of the unusual classical term gentilicium is significant, since it could be translated as both “belonging to a family” and “belonging to a people.”119 Perhaps Einhard was attracted to this word precisely because of its double meaning: it conveyed that hunting was a specialty of both the Carolingian dynasty and the Franks in general. His larger point was that Charlemagne and the Carolingians had revived Frankish manhood, which had languished under the last Merovingian kings. He drove home this message in his opening chapter, where he criticized the last Merovingians as puppets under the thumb of the Carolingian mayors.120 To illustrate that the last Merovingians had lost their manly vigor and potentia, Einhard alleged that they “traveled in a wagon pulled by yoked oxen and driven by an ox-driver in the peasant manner.” The word Einhard used for wagon is carpentum, which was a two-wheeled carriage that Suetonius (Einhard’s model) exclusively associated with the travel of women.121 This set up a damning comparison between the last womanly Merovingians, who allegedly rode in a cart “in the peasant manner” (more rustico), and the manly Carolingians,



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who rode on horseback and hunted more Francorum. This contrast was intensified when one considers that oxen are castrated bulls, while the Franks preferred to ride stallions. Einhard’s message was clear: the Carolingians had rescued the neglected royal tradition of vigorous hunting and riding, and thus Frankish manhood itself, from its decline under the effeminate last Merovingians. In this way, the Carolingian ideology of hunting more Francorum implicitly legitimated their usurpation of the throne in 751.

Louis the Pious and the Forest Louis also inherited from his father the desire to protect the crown’s forests and game. This effort was part of Louis’s general initiative to reform government and curb abuses throughout the empire.122 As part of this endeavor, Louis insisted that he review and renew all his subjects’ royal charters and the rights they recorded. He worried that some of his subjects had usurped royal forests or created new ones without his father’s permission. Louis decreed in a capitulary early in his reign, “Concerning newly created forests: whosoever has them should hand them over unless it can be proven with a genuine charter that he had created them through the order and permission of our father, the lord Charlemagne. With the exception of those that are for our own use, we wish to decide what to do with them.”123 Soon thereafter Louis ordered his legates (missi) to inspect the crown’s forests throughout the realm: “Concerning our forests: that, wherever they are located, let [our missi] carefully investigate how they can be secure and protected. They should tell the counts not to create any new forests. And, where they find them to have been newly created without our order, they are to command them to be handed over.”124 Louis followed up this rhetoric with action. A list of his responses to questions from his legates includes the following statement: “Concerning the forest that Count Autharius desires to have, where it is said not to have existed before: we want our legates to investigate the truth of the matter and by our authority settle what they conclude is just.” The same document added, “Odo the butler needs to be interrogated about his forest.”125 We can make a number of observations about these decrees. To begin with, they suggest that the Frankish nobles had accepted Charlemagne’s view that only forestland carried hunting rights and that, by Louis’s reign, a significant number of them claimed to own forestes. It is possible that Charlemagne had made a significant number of grants of forest properties and hunting rights to his magnates, and we examined several such examples in Chapter 3. But Louis suspected that some of his subjects (especially counts) had acquired forestland illicitly, either by usurping forests that belonged to the crown or by creating new

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

ones ( forestes noviter institutae) where they had not existed before (ubi ea prius non fuisse). Some of these new forests may have been unclaimed wilderness or public woodlands seized by nobles, whereas others simply may have been silvae that nobles owned and where their families had traditionally hunted without an explicit grant of hunting rights. But with the Carolingians’ heightened attention to such rights and their insistence that wild animals around royal forests belonged the crown, landowners found their prerogative to hunt in private woodlands in jeopardy unless they obtained royal approval confirmed by a charter. As Charlemagne had, Louis sought to balance the protection of the crown’s forests and game with the distribution of forestland and hunting rights to his supporters. Louis’s charters shed additional light on his efforts to protect royal wilderness.126 Like his father, Louis distinguished between forests and woodlands in his grants, and he was protective of both kinds of properties. Notably, not one of his charters records a new grant of forestland or hunting rights. He confirmed Stavelot-Malmedy’s old Merovingian grant of forestland in the Ardennes as well as his father’s donation of hunting rights to St.-Bertin,127 but we do not hear of him or his successors renewing other gifts of royal forest, such as those of Rouvray and Yvelines to St.-Denis. In a few instances Louis did give away silvae and the right to feed livestock and pigs and collect lumber in woodlands and forests belonging to the crown.128 Also like his father, Louis occasionally granted woodland from forests, thereby implying that the property did not come with the right to hunt. For example, Louis gave the monks of Münster-in-Gregoriental woods from the larger forest at Colmar (partem silve de praescripta foreste nostra), and on another occasion he confirmed a property exchange between Count Poppo and Rabanus of Fulda that included a woodland from the Spessart forest (in foresto nostro vocabulo Spetheshart quondam portionem silve).129 Like Charlemagne, therefore, Louis rejected the Roman legal tradition that wild animals were res nullius and insisted that they were the property of the crown in the vicinity of royal forests. A new theme one finds in Louis’s charters is investigations into disputed forests, woodlands, and associated rights. These investigations give snapshots of the forest inquiries mandated in Louis’s capitularies, and they show the crown following up royal rhetoric with political action. For example, while visiting the palace of Theux in the Ardennes in 827, Louis settled a dispute between StavelotMalmedy and the steward of Theux over access to the nearby woodland of Staneux.130 Louis sent the count of the palace and the court schoolmaster to visit the woodland and investigate the matter. In addition to hearing their report, Louis personally interrogated the abbot and steward, scrutinized Stavelot-Malmedy’s charters, and inquired about local customs. In the end he decided on a compromise: he ordered the abbot and steward to share grazing, pannage, lumber, and



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fishing rights in the contested woodland, and he commanded that neither make any future clearings or build any farms there. After similar investigations, Louis restored to the bishopric of Le Mans several forests that he had unfairly granted to a royal vassal, and he returned to the monastery of Hornbach the woodlands that the steward of Frankfurt had usurped.131 Such charters highlight Louis’s efforts to settle disputes over forests and woodlands and to correct unjust actions committed by his agents and even himself.

Louis the Pious’s Sons Louis’s sons inherited their father’s passion for hunting. In his succession decree of 817, Louis made his three sons by his first marriage co-rulers and specified their future inheritances: Lothar I became co-emperor, ruler of Italy, and heir to the bulk of the empire; Pippin I became king of Aquitaine; and Louis the German (840–876) became king of Bavaria. The birth of Charles the Bald in 823 to Louis’s second wife, Judith, complicated matters, eventually forcing the emperor to revise his 817 plan. This effort to undermine his earlier decree created the political malaise that sparked the rebellions of the 830s.132 In the competitive climate among Louis’s sons, demonstrations of hunting skill were public assertions of throne-worthiness. As we have seen, Ermold interpreted the hunting prowess of Lothar and the precocious enthusiasm of young Charles the Bald as signs of their royal virtus and legitimacy. Ermold’s critique of Pippin of Aquitaine’s excessive hunting suggested the prince’s growing disfavor with his father, although it also reveals Pippin’s efforts to cultivate the persona of a traditional Carolingian.133 In his first known act as king of Bavaria, Louis the German asserted control of the royal forests in his realm.134 As we have seen, during the rebellion of 833 Lothar hunted publicly to demonstrate that he now sat on the throne,135 and while king of Italy during his father’s reign, Lothar sometimes stayed at royal palace of Marengo near Pavia, where there was a large royal hunting reserve.136 Indeed, the earliest surviving portrait of a European king hunting is of Lothar himself and is found in a legal manuscript from Benevento that dates to the early eleventh century. This manuscript contains a remarkable series of portraits of Lombard and Carolingian kings, including one of a stern-faced Lothar: he rides on horseback, holds the leash of a (disproportionately small) dog, and pursues a deer while a companion with a hunting horn follows behind.137 This is not a contemporary portrait, but it suggests that the memory of Lothar as a great hunter lived on in Italy. There are notably few references to royal hunts in the chronicles immediately after Louis the Pious’s death. Several factors may explain this shift. To begin with,

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

Figure 27. The earliest portrait of a medieval king at the chase. Lothar I hunting a stag with a (disproportionately small) dog and accompanied by a fellow hunter with a horn. From an Italian collection of legal texts dating circa 1000. (Biblioteca del Monumento Nazionale Badia di Cava, MS 4, fol. 241r)

the civil war that broke out between Louis’s sons in 840–843, as well as the ongoing rivalries thereafter, produced a hostile climate among competing Carolingian kings not unlike that under the Merovingians. In this world of renewed predatory politics, the sons of Louis the Pious may have worried about attacks or even assassination attempts and therefore avoided regular seasonal hunts in which their whereabouts would be predictable. At the same time, we need to recognize that the Carolingian tradition of contemporary histories being written close to court temporarily abated after Louis’s death. No writer in the entourage of Lothar I produced a chronicle, while the main narrative sources in the east and west Frankish kingdoms—the Annals of Fulda and the Annals of St.-Bertin—initially were



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written away from the palace.138 This situation contrasted with that in the early ninth century, when writers like Einhard, the Astronomer, Ermold, and the authors of the Royal Frankish Annals had much closer connections to court. This distance from the palace helps explain why for several decades the Fulda and St.Bertin chronicles contain little detailed information about the daily rhythms of court life, including hunting. For example, Lothar I seems to have hunted in the Vosges in the fall of 849, although no chronicler bothered to mention this.139 Likewise, the authors of the Annals of Fulda did not mention hunting until 870.140 This was not a coincidence. That same year, Liutbert of Mainz, in whose entourage the Fulda annals were being written, became Louis the German’s archchaplain, and henceforth the chronicle became much more court-centered in its focus.141 Nevertheless, royal hunting did remain a significant political ritual. During the civil war after Louis the Pious’s death, the activity once again functioned as a symbolic assertion of territorial lordship among the rival brother-kings. Thus, when the three brothers declared a temporary truce in October 842, Lothar immediately went hunting in the Ardennes to show that “he was confident concerning his choice of territories of the realm.”142 At the same time, Lothar seized the benefices of all his brothers’ supporters in the region, illustrating how forests and benefices were equally important for a ruler’s control of a vital royal heartland. Yet hunting could also function as a diplomatic ritual of fraternal harmony. When Lothar I and Louis the German struck an alliance in the summer of 850, they announced their new treaty with a joint hunting trip in the Osning region of the Ardennes, as the Annals of Xanten reports: “That same year there was such peace between the brothers, Emperor Lothar and King Louis, that they went on a hunt together with a few men for many days in the Osning district. Many marveled at this turn of events, and they took leave of each other in peace.”143 Here we again see how royal hunts were highly choreographed rituals of consensus that announced and reinforced political agreements. It is noteworthy that the Annals of Xanten specify that Lothar and Louis the German hunted with only a select group of companions (cum paucis), illustrating how small hunting parties articulated a ruler’s inner circle of counselors. The chronicler’s final comment that “many marveled at this turn of events” (multi hoc facto mirarentur) is also striking, since it shows that contemporaries paid attention to Carolingian hunts and discussed their political significance. Reports of royal hunts become more frequent again in the mid-860s in connection with Charles the Bald. It was during the 860s and 870s that Charles was approaching the apogee of his power as the ruler of west Francia, and the reports of his seasonal hunts in the Annals of St.-Bertin reflected his growing imperial ideology that culminated with his annexation of western Lotharingia in 869–870 and imperial coronation in 875. Related to Charles’s imperial pretensions may

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have been his desire to present himself as the equal of the contemporary emperor, Basil I (867–886), who had a reputation for being an outstanding hunter and equestrian.144 At the same time, there was a significant change in the authorship of the Annals of St.-Bertin in those years. Between the early 840s and 861, the Annals of St.-Bertin had been penned away from court by Prudentius of Troyes, who had nothing to say about hunting.145 But after Prudentius’s death in 861, Charles the Bald’s chief counselor, Hincmar of Reims, took over authorship of the Annals of St.-Bertin.146 Hincmar was a courtly prelate who had spent time at Louis the Pious’s palace, and he revived the tradition of recording annual hunts to connect Charles’s reign with those of father and grandfather. On one occasion Hincmar personally reminded Charles of the long-standing hunting traditions of his dynasty. When Charles visited Reims in 871, Hincmar took him into the basilica and showed him the sarcophagus of his great uncle Carloman, which, as we have noted, was decorated with a dramatic lion-hunting scene.147 That year was the one-hundredth anniversary of Carloman’s death, a fact that was not lost on the archbishop and king.148 But Hincmar’s reports of Charles’s hunts in the Annals of St.-Bertin ended abruptly in 873. The reason is that Hincmar fell out of favor in 874, and his entries thereafter took on a critical tone toward the king.149 This explains why he ceased reporting Charles’s venatorial activities: the embittered archbishop no longer wanted to grant him this badge of Carolingian legitimacy. Charles the Bald’s seasonal hunting destinations reflect the fact that he ruled in the western half of his father’s empire. During the 860s and early 870s Hincmar described him hunting in the Forest of Cuise near Compiègne, at Orville on the Authie River, and in the western Ardennes.150 Charles began hunting in the Ardennes immediately upon taking possession of western Lotharingia when his nephew Lothar II died in 869, which again highlights the importance of hunting to demonstrate rule over a contested region.151 While Charles’s hunting in Cuise and the Ardennes recalled the seasonal patterns of his father, his hunts at Orville were something new, since none of his predecessors is reported to have hunted there. Why Charles favored Orville in northern Francia may have had to do with the Northmen, who in the 860s were increasingly threatening his kingdom, especially along rivers like the Loire, Seine, and Somme.152 Orville was only a day’s ride from Amiens and the Somme River, and Charles perhaps hoped his hunting trips there would deter incursions by the Northmen. If we survey the places where Charles issued charters during prime hunting season, we uncover more details of his hunting patterns. During these autumn months we find Charles at not only Compiègne and Orville but also Attigny, Bézu, Gondreville, around Laon, Ponthion, Quierzy, Saint-Quentin, Servais, Ver, and Verberie.153 As we will see below, a number of these royal residences had important forests nearby. Like his predecessors, Charles sometimes had his queen with him when he went hunting; for



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example, he issued two charters in the Forest of Cuise in November 864 during what probably was an autumn hunt, and his charters state that he made the grants at the request of Queen Ermentrude.154 Our most detailed glimpse of Charles the Bald’s forests comes from his very last decree, the Capitulary of Quierzy of June 877. The fifty-five-year-old Charles (recently crowned emperor) issued this capitulary to arrange the temporary government of the kingdom while he was away in Italy. One of Charles’s main objectives with this capitulary was to establish measures to prevent his ambitious thirty-one-year-old son, Louis the Stammerer (877–879), with whom he had strained relations, from usurping power while he was gone. In the penultimate chapter (c. 32), Charles carefully enumerated the palaces and forests where he permitted—and, more important, where he prohibited—his son to stay, hunt, and slaughter pigs during his absence.155 Charles’s intention in this chapter was not only to protect the crown’s economic resources. He also wanted to prevent his son from holding court, hunting, and feasting like a king with his supporters and thereby launch a coup d’état. Charles undoubtedly had on his mind the opening passage of the Book of Kings, which relates how David’s son Adonijah rebelled against his elderly father and proclaimed himself king by throwing lavish banquets attended by the chief men of the realm (1 Kings 1.1–27). Charles the Bald heeded political lessons from the Old Testament, and in 877 he sought to limit the ability of his son to usurp the trappings of kingship. We cannot identify with certainty all the locations in chapter 32 of the Capitulary of Quierzy, but it nevertheless provides the most extensive report of west Frankish royal forests that survives. Although Charles’s kingdom stretched from the Spanish march to the North Sea, he notably addressed only the region between Paris and western Lotharingia, which constituted the heartlands of his realm: Our son should not stay in these palaces (if there is no urgency to do so) or go hunting in these forests: Quierzy with its forests is entirely off limits. Likewise for Servais with the entire district of Laon. Likewise for Compiègne with Cuise. Likewise for Samoussy. At the manor of Orville he may not take any pigs or hunt there unless he is only passing through. At Attigny he may hunt only a little. At Ver he may take only pigs. The Ardennes is entirely off limits unless he is only passing through. Likewise for our estates [in the Ardennes] assigned to our ser vice. In Ligurio he may take pigs and wild animals. Herstal with its forest is entirely off limits. At Lens, Wara, and Astenido, he can take wild animals and pigs. At Rugitusit, Scadebolt, and Launif [he can take wild animals and pigs] only if he is passing through and as few as possible. Likewise at Crécy. At Lisga he may take only pigs.156

Louis the Pious and His Legacy

This passage arranges Charles’s palaces and forests into four groupings (see Map 1 on page viii). The first section focuses on the valleys of the Oise and Aisne, which constituted the heart of the west Frankish kingdom: Servais, Laon, Compiègne with Cuise, Samoussy, Orville, Attigny, and Ver. The second section then turns to western Lotharingia, the region that Charles had acquired in the 870 Treaty of Meersen: the western Ardennes and the estates belonging to the crown there,157 Ligurio (probably the Forest of Luiz east of Ponthion), and Herstal. The third section then adds two groupings of three locations each that seem to have been situated in the north of his kingdom: the first apparently a “Walloon triad” (in Lens et Wara et Astenido) and the second seemingly a “Flemish triad” (in Rugitusit, in Scadebolt, in Launif ) in the Scheldt region.158 The final section then appends two miscellaneous locations: the large forest of Crécy north of Paris and at Lisga (perhaps the Lysgau on the Lys River near the Flemish triad). Notably, Charles gave his son unrestricted access to hunting and pigs in only four locations: in the northern Walloon triad and the forest of Luiz in western Lotharingia. These places were peripheral to the west Frankish heartlands. On the other hand, he made off-limits the important forests and palaces along the Oise-Aisne valleys (Quierzy, Servais with the Laonnois, Compiègne with Cuise, Samoussy, Attigny, Ver) as well as Herstal in western Lotharingia. Compiègne with Cuise Forest was especially significant, since during the last years of his reign Charles was developing the palace into a west Frankish royal capital to rival Aachen.159 We later hear that Compiègne had a game park, and it may be that Charles built it around this time.160 Charles limited Louis’s access to the rest: hunting and pigs only when passing through Orville, the Ardennes, the Flemish triad, and Crécy; limited hunting at Attigny; and only pigs at Ver and Lisga. He concluded the capitulary with the command that “for each forest, Adelelmus should carefully keep track of how many pigs and wild animals have been hunted in each by our son.”161 This Adelelmus seems to have been Charles’s supporter Count Adalhelm of Laon, whom Charles listed as one of his faithful men who would keep an eye on his son while he was away.162 By ordering Adalhelm to take note of how many pigs and wild animals his son butchered, Charles could monitor how much hunting and banqueting his son had done while he was in Italy and thus determine whether a conspiracy was afoot.

* * * The Capitulary of Quierzy therefore highlights the centrality of palaces, forests, hunting, and banqueting for the public face of Carolingian kingship. Charles’s careful attention to these details was not merely to conserve the crown’s economic resources, but also to defend the symbolic essence of Carolingian kingship itself.



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That in turn helps us understand why Charles and his father and grandfather had paid such careful attention to the preservation of royal forests and “our game”: under the Carolingians, the chase had become the predominant emblem of the Frankish monarchy. As it turned out, Charles the Bald never learned how much hunting and banqueting his son had done in his absence: he died a few months later, on October 6, 877, during his return trip from Italy. It seems that Louis the Stammerer had ignored his father’s orders: he received word of his father’s death while residing at Orville (where he had been prohibited to stay) in the middle of hunting season.163 But before we trace the further transformations of royal hunting after Charles the Bald’s death, we will turn to more thematic topics in the next three chapters: hunting techniques, hunting by non-elites, and hunting and the Church.


Hounds and Hawks

What did it mean when Einhard said that Charlemagne taught his sons to ride and hunt “in the manner of the Franks”? What were the techniques that kings, princes, and nobles used to capture and kill wild animals that distinguish them from the rest of early medieval society? The difficulty in answering these questions is that, in contrast to later centuries, there survive no comprehensive howto hunting manuals from the early medieval Latin West. This lack does not mean that Frankish hunting techniques were primitive or unsophisticated. It instead reflects the fact that hunting was a body of skills and knowledge passed on chiefly by word of mouth, from fathers to sons and from teachers to pupils. The oral, and thus often vernacular, nature of hunting knowledge is reflected in the fact that Charles the Bald’s 877 decree about where his son could hunt contains the earliest surviving example of the Romance verb caciare (“to hunt”), the ancestor of the modern Italian cacciare and the French chasser.1 Under the Merovingians and especially under the Carolingians, Frankish lay elites were often literate and schooled in Latin and the liberal arts.2 But the primary language of the chase was the spoken vernacular: Romance dialects in the West, and Germanic dialects in the East. This absence of early medieval hunting manuals is one reason some historians have had a rather pessimistic view of Frankish hunting techniques. One scholar has argued that hunting changed little between the fifth and the tenth centuries, with Carolingian kings employing techniques that differed little from those of barbarian chieftains half a millennium earlier.3 Others contend that Frankish hunting focused on the “heroic,” hypermasculine boar hunt rather than on the supposed hallmarks of the “true” aristocratic courtly chase of the later Middle Ages, that is, stag hunting and falconry.4 This chapter questions these views. Lacking comprehensive hunting manuals, we must piece together our picture of early medieval hunting from a wide range of sources, written, archaeological, and artistic. These sources reveal the complexity, variety, and dynamism of Frankish


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hunting techniques that set kings and lay nobles apart from the rest of society— from clerics, monks, commoners, and the poor—and marked them as powerful and virile men. Hunting also set wellborn men apart from their female counterparts. Although women sometimes accompanied hunters as spectators and companions, there is no convincing evidence that they actively participated in the chase and falconry before the twelfth century. Thus, while Charlemagne had his sons taught to ride and hunt more Francorum, he had his daughters learn to weave, “so that they would value work and cultivate every virtue rather than grow lax through leisure.”5

Kinds of Game In the early Middle Ages, writers usually described the animals people hunted either according to their individual types (red deer, hare, crane, etc.) or by using general terms like feramina (wild animals) and bestiae (beasts). They typically did call them animalia, which according to the two great sources of zoological knowledge—Pliny the Elder’s Natural History and Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies— encompassed all breathing and moving creatures, including humans. Terms like feramina and bestiae therefore implied a distinction between humans and wild animals and the superiority of the former over the latter. In addition to Pliny and Isidore, a third source of zoological knowledge was the Physiologus, a late antique catalogue of animals that provided physical descriptions as well as symbolic and moral interpretations. Consisting of some thirty-six chapters by the ninth century, the Physiologus was a tool for decoding animals in the Bible.6 Familiarity, either direct or indirect, with the content of these zoological compendia seems to have been widespread among the early medieval elite. For example, Louis the Pious’s son-in-law Eberhard of Fruili owned a book of beasts (Liber bestiarum) that presumably was a copy of the Physiologus, while in a book of moral guidance for her son, the Frankish noblewoman Dhuoda cited Pliny the Elder’s description of how deer cross bodies of water.7 Carolingian authors also wrote entertaining and moralizing stories and fables with themes from the natural world, some of them involving talking animals, such as lions, wolves, rams, cocks, and dogs.8 During assemblies, moreover, nobles and their curious sons probably visited royal game parks to view exotic animals that included lions, parrots, peacocks, and the elephant Abul Abbas. In this way, the Franks would have viewed the natural world through multiple lenses: classical literature, Scripture, Christian learning, fables, and personal observation of the natural world. In post-Roman Europe, people hunted a range of wild animals, each with its own specific habitats and patterns of behavior. These factors dictated when,

Hounds and Hawks

where, and how the best hunting of these animals took place. While in the second century Arrian had touted the thrill of hunting hares, early medieval elites often favored bigger game. A charter of Otto I lists hunted game as “red deer, bear, roe deer, wild boar, and those beasts that in the Germanic tongue are called ‘elk’ or ‘skelk’ [i.e., moose].”9 Although these animals can be hunted year-round, the most favorable seasons were late summer through autumn, which according to Thegan was when Louis the Pious hunted first deer and then wild boar.10 In the tenth century, the archbishopric of Salzburg claimed the right to hunt bear and wild boar in St.-Andrä im Sausal “for three weeks before the autumnal equinox until Martinmas”—that is, from early September to November 11.11 Of the some fifty datable Carolingian hunts reported by chroniclers, the vast majority of them fell in the summer or autumn, although we also hear of royal hunting in the springtime as well.12 As we have seen, Charlemagne seems to have fished during Lent, and Louis the Pious liked to fly falcons in the winter.13 Thus early medieval people could hunt throughout most of the year, although their quarry and techniques varied. The changing of the hunting seasons marked the calendar as much as did the seasons of the Church. Analysis of wild animal bones at high-status sites like Paderborn, Karlburg, Soest, Sugny, and Wellin reveals that the Franks’ favorite game was not wild boar but rather the stately European red deer (Cervus elaphus).14 Male red deer are called stags (or, in British parlance, harts), and during the summer they have reddish-brown coats, for which they are named. Red deer require both wooded and open landscapes. They have excellent sight and sense of smell, and they are active in the early morning and at twilight, when they graze. Hunters prize red deer for their impressive size (males average 350–530 pounds), for their flavorsome meat, and for their large antlers. Although red deer can be hunted all year, the best time is from early September to early October, which is during the rutting (mating) season, when stags become less cautious as they challenge other males with roaring and locked-antler wrestling and attempt to attract harems of females (hinds). As one poet put it, every September the Franks dropped every thing and set off in pursuit of red deer.15 The other species of deer hunted in Frankish Europe was the small roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), which favors wooded mountains, brushlands, and open fields. Roe bucks have small straight horns and weigh 35– 75 pounds on average.16 Although the Romans had introduced the fallow deer (Dama dama) from the eastern Mediterranean, the evidence suggests that they were not common in early medieval Europe.17 The Franks hunted other big game as well, especially wild boar, bear, elk, bison, and aurochs. The European wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a strong, compact, fierce subspecies of wild pig measuring four to six feet in length and weighing 140–200 pounds on average.18 Wild boars favor woodlands, and they have tough hides,



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Figure 28. Three red deer stags (Cervus elaphus) on a mountainside. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 9r)

thick broad skulls, and razor-sharp tusks that they wield as deadly weapons. Ancient authors cautioned that hunting wild boar was extremely dangerous because of the animal’s ferocity, considerable size, quick speed, thick hide, and deadly bite.19 One chronicler reported that a wild boar fatally gored the Bavarian prince Gunther, even after he had run the beast through with his hunting spear.20 Rabanus interpreted the wild boar as a symbol of savage strength, evil, and the devil himself.21 Wild boars were also associated with uncontrolled lust and sexual potency. Paschasius described the chamberlain Bernard, who was accused of having an affair with Empress Judith, of “occupying the royal bedchamber like a wild boar.”22 Thegan noted that the best time to hunt wild boar is in the late autumn (November and December), which is the mating season when males become more aggressive, their testicles double in size, and they fight rivals for dominance. Hunting bear and aurochs was equally dangerous. The Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) weighs 570–780 pounds on average and is tremendously strong and fast.23 Brown bears hibernate in caves or dens during the winter, so they are

Hounds and Hawks

best hunted in the summer and autumn. Bears tend to stand when cornered, so the final stage of a bear hunt became life-or-death combat between the hunters and a terrifying humanoid beast.24 Armed with deadly jaws and claws, a bear can crush the life out of a man with its powerful bear hug. To hunt them, the Franks used packs of fierce, heavy dogs that surrounded the bear until the hunters could slay it with hunting spears, arrows, or other weapons: Not other wise when a Numidian bear is hunted, It stands, surrounded by the dogs, and bares its claws. Lowering its head it growls, crushes the hounds that come too near In its embrace, and makes them yelp in pain. Here, there, on every side the raging dogs are barking, But fear to move in to attack the awful beast.25 Excavations of the Carolingian palace at Paderborn turned up a bear claw, perhaps a trophy from a hunt.26 Charlemagne reportedly initiated a campaign to exterminate all the bears in Saxony during his wars in the region, thus suggesting a connection between military conquest and the extermination of predators.27 Also extremely dangerous to hunt was the now-extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), the massive (1,500–3,000 pounds), fast, aggressive ancestor of modern domesticated cattle that was indigenous to Germany and central Europe. Aurochs had large horns that were prized as drinking vessels because of their remarkable capacity.28 They were gradually hunted to extinction in Germany, but herds lived on in Poland until the early modern era.29 The ferocity of boars, bears, and aurochs made hunting them an admired badge of manhood. One nobleman named Tommo earned the macho sobriquet “the Wildman” (indomitus) because of his exploits hunting big game.30 Although big game was the most socially prestigious quarry, the Franks hunted a wide range of animals. Zooarchaeology from the manor of Wellin in the Ardennes, which Charlemagne’s uncle Carloman gave to the monastery of Stavelot-Malmedy in 747, illustrates this. Analysis of the wild animal bones from Wellin included not only red deer (40 percent) and wild boar (11 percent) but also red fox (30  percent), roe deer (4  percent), otter (4  percent), squirrel (3  percent), and hare (2.5 percent).31 These percentages again reveal that the Franks tended to favor red deer over other kinds of game. Particularly striking here is the high percentage of furry animals—fox, beaver, otter, squirrel—that were valued for their pelts.32 Notker described a nobleman hunting fox with swift dogs, while Alcuin urged an Anglo-Saxon bishop to avoid spending time with rowdy foxhunters.33 We hear of hare hunting in Carolingian and Byzantine sources as well, which, as we have seen, required considerable equestrian skill.34 It is possible that



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Figure 29. Two wild boars, two bears, and two lions. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 82v)

the other furry animals found at Wellin (beaver, otter, squirrel) were trapped rather than hunted, perhaps by professional trappers. Such plush furs were highly valued for lining winter clothing, and Notker mocked courtiers who strutted about in luxurious garments adorned with furs and even peacock feathers. The austere Charlemagne, in contrast, allegedly preferred a simple shearling vest to keep warm in foul weather.35 Game populations fluctuated in early medieval Eu rope. Hunting, woodland clearance, diseases (epizootics), and climatic factors impacted the numbers of wild animals from century to century and from region to region.36 For example, Gregory of Tours mentioned a severe drought that afflicted Gaul in 591 and decimated not only livestock but also deer and other wild animals.37 Eu ropean bison, or wisent (Bison bonasus), the largest mammal in Eu rope, seem to have gone extinct in Gaul in the eighth century, but they survived in the Ardennes and Vosges into the fourteenth century and east of the Rhine even longer.38 In the mountains of Friuli, wisent reportedly grew so large that fifteen men could lie side by side on one of their hides.39 At one tenth-century Slavic fortress northwest of Vienna, archaeologists found a notably high percentage of bison bones (13.7 percent) among the high overall proportion of game.40 Loss of habitat to humans seems to have been the chief factor for the decline of bison populations, although hunting probably played a role as well. Red deer populations also may have been under environmental pressure during the Carolingian era. Eu ropean red deer cast their antlers toward the end of winter as their testosterone levels drop after the rut, with healthy bucks usually doing so in March and April. In contrast, old and undernourished bucks tend to cast their antlers earlier in the winter. Intriguingly, Charlemagne renamed February Hornung (“antlershedding month”), which might indicate that red deer populations were experiencing environmental stress during his reign, perhaps from overhunting.41 This

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situation would help explain Charlemagne’s special concern to protect deer and other game in royal forests.

Hunting Techniques Kings and elites hunted in many different ways.42 The primary distinction was between hunting with dogs (known as “venery,” from the Latin verb venari, “to hunt”) and falconry. Hunting with dogs could take a range of forms: on horseback, on foot, in the wild, in a game park, in large or small hunting parties, with or without nets, and so on. Pippin the Short’s vassal Gangulf reportedly hunted “with the keen help of dogs or ensnared them in the knots of his nets.”43 The most extensive description of early medieval hunting techniques comes not from a Frankish source but from the Anglo-Saxon abbot Aelfric of Eynsham (d. ca.1010). In a series of dialogues for teaching Latin to his students, Aelfric included a fictional interview with a king’s huntsman. This passage is worth quoting in full because of its rich detail: Teacher. How do you perform your skill? Hunter. I weave my nets and set them up in a suitable location. I then set my dogs to pursue wild beasts so that they run into the nets unexpectedly and thus are ensnared. I slay them while they are still in the nets. Teacher. Can you hunt only with nets? Hunter. Of course I can hunt without nets. Teacher. How? Hunter. I pursue wild beasts with fast dogs. Teacher. What kind of wild animals do you usually catch? Hunter. I catch stags, wild boars, does, roe deer, and sometimes hares. Teacher. Did you go hunting today? Hunter. No, because today is Sunday. But I went hunting yesterday. Teacher. What did you catch? Hunter. Two stags and one wild boar. Teacher. How did you catch them? Hunter. I caught the stags in my nets and slew the wild boar. Teacher. How did you dare to slay the wild boar? Hunter. The dogs chased it toward me. Standing in its path, I suddenly slew it. Teacher. You were very brave! Hunter. A hunter must not be fearful, since many wild beasts lurk in the woods.44



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Figures  30 and 31. Many kinds of nets were used in hunting. These illuminations depict purse nets tightened by retractable cords. (Figure 30: Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 19v. Figure  31: Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 156r)

Here we find Aelfric’s fictional huntsman pursuing the same kinds of game (stags, wild boars, does, roe deer, hares) and using similar techniques (fast dogs, with and without nets) as on the Continent. Hunters used different kinds of nets, including purse nets, which were shaped like a large bag with a mouth that could be tightened; rectangular nets that could block trails; and long crescent-shaped nets that could be set up in woodlands.45 Aelfric’s huntsman seems to have hunted alone, probably because he was a “professional” employed by the king. But the size of hunting parties varied, of course. While many outings undoubtedly were smallscale affairs, larger aristocratic hunting parties with numerous participants and servants would not have been uncommon, and they played important roles as

Hounds and Hawks

rituals of power and elite solidarity. One chronicler described a royal hunt with a hundred fellow hunters, each with his own steed and weapons.46 Hunting manuals from the later Middle Ages distinguish between two main kinds of venery: the chase and the drive. Both forms of hunting seem to have been popular in the Frankish world, although it should be emphasized that early medieval writers never used the terms “drive” and “chase.” Geography, available game, season, size of the party, and inclination of the hunters would have determined what form a hunt would take, and many outings probably combined different styles of hunting.47 In a chase-style hunt (known in later centuries as la chasse par force des chiens, “the hunt with the strength of dogs”), hunters located a single stag, wild boar, or other suitable animal and pursued it on horseback with dogs, often over great distances. If the animal could not escape, it eventually became exhausted or cornered and stopped running, enabling the dogs to surround it and the hunters to attempt to kill it. Unbounded wilderness obviously provided the best setting for a chase-style hunt, with its thrilling, drawn-out pursuit. Indeed, it was only in open, unfenced wilderness that the favorite game of early medieval elites, the red deer, could thrive. Pursuing a stag on a galloping horse through forest, field, and stream demanded great horsemanship and daring from the hunters, since the danger of high-speed collisions and falls was considerable. Einhard closely associated hunting more Francorum with equestrian skill, which highlights the popularity of chase-style hunting.48 The ninth-century Deeds of Dagobert describes just such a hunt outside Paris: “One day [Dagobert] set out to hunt a stag, which was easily found. Driven by the barking and swift pursuit of packs of dogs, the animal fled through woodlands, mountains, and, where they flowed, rivers, seeking to escape the excited dogs through its swiftness. Finally worn out, it came to a place called Catulliacus, which is almost five miles from the city of Paris.”49 Alerted to the stag’s location by his dogs’ barking, Dagobert soon arrived on his galloping horse.50 Because hunters often fell behind their dogs, Frankish and Lombard laws imposed high fines for stealing an exhausted stag or boar before the hunters showed up.51 In a drive-style hunt, in contrast, servants with dogs pursued game toward the waiting hunters, who stationed themselves on horseback or on foot to intercept the fleeing animals. Liudprand of Cremona (962–972) described a drive-style hunt in which King Lambert of Italy waited on horseback while the other huntsmen “rushed here and there, as the custom is.”52 Landscape features (such as rivers and valleys) or man-made obstacles (including hedges, long nets, and ropes decorated with feathers, known as “scares”) could be used to direct the animals’ flight. When the animals burst into the open, the waiting hunters sought to shoot or slay as many as they could. Game parks were favorable for drive-style hunts, since their walls and landscaped features made it easier to guide the



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Figure  32. High-speed falls from horseback must have caused frequent injury and death among early medieval nobles. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 30v)

animals along predictable paths toward the hunters. Ermold’s description of Louis the Pious’s outing on the island park near Ingelheim seems to describe a drive-style hunt: The whole wood resounded with constant barking, Here the cries of men, there the blasts of horns. The animals were flushed out and fled through the sharp underbrush. Neither flight, nor woods, nor water afforded them any protection. Here a little doe fell among the stags, There a boar with fangs was run through by a spear. Joyful Caesar slew many beasts, Struck them down with his own hand. Swift Lothar, in the full flower of youth, killed many bears himself. Other groups of men in the meadows slew Many animals of different kinds.53 Drives thus provided a good forum for hunters to display their daring and marksmanship and to slay a large number of animals, perhaps before a crowd of cheering spectators. King Henry I of Saxony (919–936) reportedly killed more than forty animals in a single outing, a feat that suggests a drive-style hunt in a game park.54 Such prolific carnage magnified the ruler’s image as a great warrior and the king of wild beasts. In royal and aristocratic hunts, servants might play an important role in locating and flushing the game. Isidore of Seville identified four kinds of hunting assistants: trackers (vestigatores), who followed animal prints to their lairs; beaters (indagatores), who beat the trees and brush to startle and drive game; scouts (alatores),

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who went ahead likewise to scare game; and the drivers (pressores), who chased after the fleeing game.55 Trackers used scent hounds with good noses to follow an animal’s trail and locate its lair, and they could identify the species, size, sex, and health of a potential quarry by examining prints, antler rubbings on trees, and droppings. The Astronomer saw the ability to identify wild animals from their droppings as a sign of great cleverness (calliditas).56 Most hunts seem to have begun early in the morning, when deer seek food and water before bedding down for the day. The hunters and their assistants would have been careful to approach from downwind so as not to alert the deer prematurely. This sensitivity to wind direction may explain Charlemagne’s frustration that the Franks had vernacular names only for the four cardinal winds and why he added eight more: when hunting, he and his companions needed to discuss, in Frankish, the precise wind direction and its implications for their line of approach.57 An important tool of the chase was the hunting horn. Because game animals bedded down in thickets during the daylight hours, hunters blew horns to scare them into open flight. The correct blowing of hunting horns was an art in itself, with different notes and patterns indicating the progress of a hunt. One chronicler reported with disapproval that when serfs of the monastery of St.-Gall sought to hunt like aristocrats, they first had to “learn to blow their horns in a style different from the other peasants.”58 Distinctive horn blasts informed the hunters of the different stages of the hunt, such as when the animals had been flushed, when servants should unleash their dogs, or when the scattered dogs should return to the hunters. King Guntram had a favorite hunting horn with which “he had been accustomed to collect his Molossian hounds or to scatter herds of antlered deer in the woods.”59 Ermold vividly described the blasts of horns, barking of dogs, pounding of hooves, and human cries during a hunt.60 Aristocratic hunting therefore had its own complex, strange music, which was distinct from the rude horn blowing of peasants and the somber melodies of ecclesiastical chant.61 A successful hunt climaxed with the kill. The drama was especially high during this final phase of the chase, not only because of the long-anticipated confrontation between hunter and beast, but also because the exhausted animal was now fighting for its life. It was precisely these situations that taught young noblemen courage, steady nerves, teamwork, and the effective use of weapons in the face of physical danger. This was how Charlemagne and Pope Leo depicted the hunt in the Aachen park, with Charlemagne slaying an exhausted wild boar with his sword as his companions looked on.62 Moving in for the kill was a moment of peril for the hunter, since it brought him within striking distance of the animal’s claws, fangs, and antlers. Aelfric’s teacher therefore praised the huntsman as truly brave (valde audax) for slaying a charging wild boar single-handedly.63 It is not surprising that we occasionally hear of wild animals wounding and killing hunters.



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Figure  33. The horn was an essential tool for hunting. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 48v)

As we have noted, a “huge bull with gigantic horns” allegedly threw Theudebert I against a tree and killed him.64 King Favila of Asturias (737–739) reportedly died while hunting a bear, and an aurochs is said to have once gashed Charlemagne’s leg with its horns.65 A late medieval tradition claimed that Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria founded the monastery of Kremsmünster in 777 on the spot where his son Gunther, “a young man of great agility,” was killed by a wild boar.66 Hunting stags was similarly perilous because, when pumped up on testosterone during the autumn rut, they might charge and wound with their sharp antlers. A stag gravely injured Louis II of Italy while he was trying to shoot it in 864.67 Similarly, in late August 886, Emperor Basil I reportedly had a fatal encounter with a huge stag that he surprised while it was drinking from a stream. The stag charged him, got its antlers stuck in his belt, and pulled him off his horse. It then galloped off, dragging the helpless emperor with it through the wilderness—allegedly for sixteen miles! He died nine days later from his injuries.68 Some of these stories may be exaggerated or invented (Basil in fact may have been murdered), yet they nevertheless reflect the real dangers of the hunt. It was precisely because of the possibility of serious bodily harm that kings and nobles won renown for their exploits. The description of Charlemagne slaying a wild boar with his sword raises the question of the weapons used by elites while hunting.69 When hunting, kings and nobles did sometimes deliver the coup de grâce with their swords.70 Ermold

Figure 34. A hunting fatality. Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria mourns the death of his son Gunther, who according to a late medieval tradition was killed by a wild boar while hunting. Tassilo reportedly founded the monastery of Kremsmünster in 777 on the spot where his son had died. Painting in the Kremsmünster monastic library by Josef Kadariza (1695). (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)


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and Notker depicted the Carolingian kings and the Franks employing swords against fearsome wild beasts, and the Middle High German epic The Nibelungenlied (ca. 1200) likewise had its hero Siegfried slay a wild boar and a bear with his sword.71 The reason hunters might reach for their swords was primarily cultural. Under the Carolingians, the longsword (along with the horse) emerged as the quintessential badge of elite status for lay noblemen.72 Thus, approaching a dangerous beast with a sword in hand highlighted the aristocratic nature of hunting more Francorum. It displayed the hunter’s courage in the face of danger and facilitated military training by simulating combat. This was the moral of Notker’s story about Pippin slaying a lion and a bull with his sword: by doing so he won the respect of the Franks and convinced them to submit to his kingship.73 The use of swords to kill wild animals seems to have been a Carolingian development, since the Merovingian-era sword (spata) probably was impractical because of its heaviness, wide blade, and absence of a long tapering point.74 But Charlemagne’s reign saw a number of changes in the production of longswords, including improved forging techniques, higher-quality steel, and the introduction of a blade that gradually tapered from hilt to point. This transformation in blade design shifted the longsword’s center of gravity toward the sword grip and made it significantly more maneuverable for agile swordplay.75 In spite of the prestige of swords, they probably were not the most frequently used hunting weapon. One of the most common was the spear. Charlemagne and Pope Leo describes hunters bringing long hunting spears with razor-sharp iron heads (lata ferro venabula acuto).76 Frankish soldiers used long heavy spears with winged blades for thrusting, although the hunting spear (venabulum) seems to have been distinct from the military lance.77 Carolingian palaces had stores of venabula among the king’s hunting equipment.78 One sixth-century grave from Bavaria included what seems to have been a hunting spear with a metal blade measuring almost two feet long.79 To hunt wild boar, classical authors recommended that teams of hunters use such heavy spears, tough hunting dogs, and reinforced nets.80 An illustration of the “ labors of the months” dating to the early ninth century shows two men attempting to kill a boar, one impaling it with a spear and the other gripping its hind leg and swinging his sword.81 Such dangerous maneuvers required considerable organization and teamwork, and this was a chief reason why hunting fostered camaraderie and served as practice for war. But these situations also put hunters at risk of being injured—not only by the wild animal but also by fellow huntsmen. As we will see in Chapter 8, this happened to Charles the Bald’s grandson Carloman II, who in 884 received a mortal wound from a companion who was trying to assist him in slaying a wild boar.82 Archery also played a key role in hunting.83 Indeed, along with the spear, the bow probably was the most common hunting weapon.84 Contemporaries lauded

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Figure 35. In the Carolingian era, the longsword was an essential badge of lay aristocratic status. Elites sometimes slew animals with their swords when hunting for military training and to underscore their nobility. (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 43r)

kings for their marksmanship. Charlemagne and Pope Leo describes Charlemagne “laying low horned herds with quivering arrows,” and Thegan boasted “that no one could equal [Louis] in shooting a bow or throwing a spear.”85 Nobles prided themselves on their archery skills. One abbot reportedly was such a good archer that he could shoot down birds.86 In a collection of excerpts from the Lives of the Caesars for Charles the Bald, Heiric of Auxerre copied out Suetonius’s memorable account of Domitian’s outstanding marksmanship.87 Poor aim, on the other hand, could result in fatal hunting accidents.88 Bow hunting on horseback required considerable skill indeed, since the hunter needed to control his horse while simultaneously drawing his bow, taking aim, and not falling off. Archery was widespread in Frankish society. Arrows were common objects in Merovingian-era graves, and Carolingian capitularies required both infantry and cavalry to have bows.89 The



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Figure 36. A horseman wielding a heavy spear with a long winged blade similar to a hunting spear (venabulum). (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 14v)

relatively low cost of bows made them accessible to all social groups. It seems that bows in the Merovingian period were simple straight wooden affairs about two meters long that became D-shaped when strung. However, by the ninth century the Franks began adopting the superior composite reflex bow—a laminated bow made of horn, wood, and sinew—which was used by the Byzantines, Lombards, Avars, and Magyars.90 Reflex bows have a longer range and fire with grater velocity, and they therefore may have been advantageous for hunting. One additional hunting technique described by the early medieval law codes was the use of domesticated deer.91 This practice of hunting with domesticated deer went back millennia, and it was done in both Roman Gaul and among the peoples of Germany. The deer (either male or female) was caught young, raised to be tame, fitted with a harness and leash, and tied up in the wild during the autumn mating season. The hunter then hid nearby and shot any bucks that came to investigate. The early Franks placed a high value on such domesticated deer (cervus domesticus), which were marked with the owner’s brand: the fine for stealing one was thirty solidi if it had not yet been used to hunt, but forty-five solidi if the owner had already killed two or three wild animals with it.92 A domesticated stag that was sexually mature and could “roar” was particularly valued for its ability to attract rival bucks.93 In this way, domesticated deer were items of high status like a horse, falcon, or sword, and in late antiquity and the Merovingian

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Figure 37. A hunter impales a wild boar with a spear while a companion grabs its hind leg and attacks with a sword. This scene from an early ninth-century Salzburg manuscript illustrates the months of November and December, which constituted prime boar-hunting season. (Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 387, fol. 90v)

Figure 38. It took tremendous equestrian and archery skill for a hunter on a galloping horse to shoot a fleeing deer. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek 32, fol. 53v)

period they sometimes were depicted in art and buried in elite graves along with other status markers. However, evidence for the use of domesticated deer (written, archaeological, and artistic) disappears around the middle of the seventh century.94 Carolingian-era authors never refer to this technique, which suggests that Frankish nobles had come to look down on the practice, presumably because it was less challenging than pursuing game on horseback.



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Figures 39 and 40. A soldier with a traditional wooden D-shaped bow (unstrung) and two archers with reflex bows. (Figure 39: Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 146v. Figure 40: Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 35v)

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Figure 41. A man leading a domesticated stag with a harness back from a hunt. Following behind is a hunter carrying a deer they have slain. Detail from a fourth-century Roman sarcophagus. Musee de l’Arles antique, Arles. (Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York)

It is uncertain whether the Carolingians continued the Roman and Byzantine tradition of staging animal combats in arenas as a form of public entertainment. Notker’s story about Pippin slaying a lion and bull in front of his nobles does resemble a public spectaculum,95 but it is unclear whether Notker’s tale actually reflects the practice of staged beast combats. Notably, no other author reports such staged hunts during the Carolingian era. Alcuin urged a former student named Nathaniel not to spend too much time watching the dancing bears at Charlemagne’s court, which suggests that there were animal performances but that they did not take the form of staged hunts.96 The disapproval of churchmen probably discouraged venationes. Following Isidore, Rabanus sharply criticized beast combats as a pagan tradition that Christians should avoid.97 In his On the Laity for Count Matfrid, Archbishop Jonas of Orléans quoted Augustine’s critique of professional hunter-gladiators, although it is unclear whether Jonas interpreted the term venatores to refer to performers in the arena or to hunters in general.98 The fact that the Carolingians did not maintain the old Roman arenas suggests that staged animal combats in urban settings were uncommon. But Carolingian hunts in game parks were indeed similar to Roman venationes, especially when there were spectators present. Under the Carolingians, therefore, hunting in game parks apparently replaced staged animal hunts in urban arenas, with the spectating public sharply reduced to a courtly audience of noblemen and noblewomen.

Hunting Dogs Dogs played an essential role in hunting. The domesticated dog (Canis lupus familiaris) emerged as a subspecies from grey wolf populations (Canis lupus) some twenty to forty thousand years ago, and over time humans began to use canines



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as guardians, companions, and fellow hunters.99 Today people think of dogs in terms of distinct breeds with specific characteristics maintained through selective reproduction; however, this kind of controlled breeding is a modern invention.100 In the Roman and Frankish worlds, dog breeding was not so systematic, although over time there emerged “natu ral breeds” with specific characteristics in response to geography, environment, and work. People tended to describe kinds of dogs according to their intended function or their place of origin. The Roman poet Grattius included a long section on hunting dogs in his Cynegeticon, stating that “dogs belong to a thousand lands, and they each have characteristics derived from their origin.” He then cata logued the best natu ral breeds (gentes) for hunting, including those of the Celts, Persians, Chinese, Britons, Molossians, and Spartans. For each, Grattius described its chief strengths and weaknesses.101 A copy of Grattius’s Cynegeticon circulated at the Carolingian court.102 In spite of the negative image of dogs in Scripture, medieval people tended to have positive attitudes toward man’s best friend.103 They projected onto dogs a range of cultural values including loyalty, intelligence, goodness, and bravery. Isidore wrote: “No creature is wiser than dogs, and they have more sense than other animals. For they alone recognize their own names, love their masters, and defend their masters’ homes. They will also throw themselves into certain death for their master’s sake, eagerly pursue game with their master, and not abandon their master’s body, even when he is dead. They cannot survive without humans. In dogs there are two chief qualities: strength and speed.”104 When the wild boar killed the Bavarian prince Gunther, his faithful hunting dog allegedly ran back to the palace and alerted his father Duke Tassilo that something was terribly wrong.105 Although the ancient Gauls had consumed dog meat, they gave up the practice under the influence of Roman culture, and this abstention continued in the Frankish world.106 An essential distinction among hunting dogs is between sight hounds and scent hounds. Sight hounds (gazehounds) are fast dogs that pursue their quarry by sight, while scent hounds (lymers) possess an acute sense of smell that enables them to “follow the line” of an animal’s tracks. In the second century, Arrian especially praised the Celtic sight hounds known as vertragi, which seem to have resembled modern greyhounds.107 Arrian described the qualities of a good vertragus, including a long muscular body, a pointed nose, big bright eyes, large folded ears, and a soft coat of any color.108 Grattius likewise praised the speed of Celtic sight hounds, although he observed that they did not have a good nose for tracking.109 Arrian noted that the Celts also used scent hounds called segusians, which had good noses but were scruffy looking and barked too much.110 The vertragi and segusians remained popular among the Franks, and early medieval writers referred to them as veltres and seuses in the vernacular. It is possible that, as time

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wore on, these two terms came to designate sight hounds and scent hounds in general. Notker told a story about one nobleman who traveled with his sight hounds: “He took on a leash two small dogs that in the Gallic language are called veltres, which on account of their swiftness can easily catch foxes and other small animals and often sneak up on quails and other birds before they can fly away.”111 The Carolingians apparently favored veltres, since the keeper of the king’s dogs had the title veltrarius.112 The Anglo-Saxons likewise had good sight dogs, and their merchants traveling to Italy had to pay to the Lombard king (among other items) two well-bred sight hounds (canes veltrices) with shiny coats and gold-plated collars.113 A third chief kind of hunting dog were the heavy, mastiff-like canines that were good for attacking dangerous beasts like wild boars, bears, and wolves. Early medieval authors sometimes referred to these powerful dogs as Molossians, a classical term that originally described the big, fierce herding dogs from Molossia in northwestern Greece. Charlemagne ordered his stewards to feed and care for the crown’s dogs at their own expense unless he or the queen made other arrangements.114 This could be a heavy burden, since a pack of dogs for a chase-style hunt could number from twelve to fifty hounds.115 Medieval dog food often took the form of grains, especially oats and bran, augmented with table scraps.116 Early medieval law codes refer to many types of hunting dogs.117 The Frankish laws list a well-trained segusian (canis secutius magister) and a dog called an agutarius, which some manuscripts equate with the vertragus.118 The Burgundian Book of Constitutions added a third type of canine called “ little stone dog” (petrunculus), which may be related to the petronii mentioned by Grattius, which he described as good at sniffing out the hidden lairs of game but prone to bark and thus alert the animals of their approach.119 As mentioned in Chapter 2, we find a remarkable proliferation of specialized hunting dogs in the eighth-century law codes of the Alemans and Bavarians. The later redaction of the Laws of the Alemans mentions a man’s fastest sight dog (primus cursalis, qui primus currit); a scent dog (ductor), called in the vernacular a “leash dog” (laitihunt); a good boar dog (bonis canis porcaritius); a bear dog (ursaritius); one that herds cows or bulls; a good sight dog that hunts hares (velter leporalis probatus); a guard dog; as well as a sheep dog (canis pastoralis) “that kills wolves, delivers the flock from its jaws, and will run to the second or even third village when the alarm is raised.”120 The Laws of the Bavarians offer a similar list: a scent dog (canis seucis) called a leash dog (leitihunt); a scent dog called a flushing dog (triphunt); a tracking dog (spurihunt); a beaver dog (piparhunt), which pursues beavers into their lodges; a fast sight dog (veltris), “that not only chases a hare but catches it through swiftness”; a dog that hunts in cooperation with hawks (hapuhhunt); a dog that hunts bears, wisent, “and other large game that we call ‘black beasts’ [schwarzwild]”; a sheep dog that catch wolves; and a guard dog (hovawart).121 The striking specialization of hunting dogs in these


Figures 42, 43, and 44. Well-bred dogs were symbols of aristocratic power in the early Middle Ages. The Utrecht and Stuttgart Psalters depict a range of canines, including fast greyhound-like hunting dogs, thick-coated shepherd-like dogs, and sturdy guard dogs with short muzzles. (Figures 42 and 43: Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fols. 2v, 24v. Figure  44: Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 26v)

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Bavarian and Aleman law codes suggests the sophistication of hunting techniques by the eighth century. Their Germanic names again remind us of the often oral and vernacular nature of early medieval hunting discourse.

Early Medieval Falconry It has been suggested that that the Franks had little interest in falconry, the “highest form of hunting of courtly society,” and that this kind of hunting did not become truly popular until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.122 In reality, falconry was a favorite style of hunting among Frankish elites since the early Merovingian era, a practice that they had adopted alongside the late Roman aristocracy.123 The term “falconry” refers to using trained birds of prey (raptors), chiefly hawks and falcons, to hunt birds and other small game.124 In contrast, fowling was the hunting of birds with nets, snares, and birdlime, activities that tended to be practiced by professionals and commoners rather than nobles. Unlike hunting on horseback, falconry was not a form of military training, since it did not instill martial and equestrian skills, fitness, or courage. Rather, it was an elite pastime and status symbol practiced primarily for its stately beauty, thrilling spectacle, and the deep emotional bond that a falconer often forms with a trained raptor.125 Because of the great difficulties in raising and training a raptor, falconry was a powerful symbol of a nobleman’s ingenuity and intellectual ability to control the natural world. And owing to their flight, hawks and falcons projected the hunter’s mastery of nature from the land into the sky above. Of course, falconry also provided game such as crane, goose, duck, and hare for one’s table. Archaeology reveals the popularity of falconry among Frankish, Saxon, Visigothic, Swedish, and Slavic elites by the sixth and seventh centuries.126 In the Frankish world, falconry was an activity primarily for men. It is true that the remains of raptors have been found in two female graves from Merovingian-era Germany,127 but raptors in female graves may simply have been emblems of the high status of the deceased women, not evidence that they had practiced falconry. Similarly, several Merovingian-era female graves have been found with jewelry decorated with images of male falconers, but once again these objects seem primarily to have been badges of status.128 In one decree Charlemagne included abbesses alongside bishops and abbots in a list of religious figures whom he prohibited from having dogs, falcons, hawks, or jesters.129 However, the inclusion of jesters in this list suggests that Charlemagne’s main concern was inappropriate forms of entertainment at ecclesiastical and monastic courts, not that abbesses were hunting and hawking themselves. No early medieval writer or artist depicted women practicing falconry; the earliest literary testimony comes



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from the twelfth century, while artistic images begin in the fourteenth.130 The Franks’ apparent exclusion of women from falconry is ironic, since falconers favored female raptors because of their larger size and superior strength. In falconry, the difference between falcons (falcones) and hawks (accipitres) is fundamental.131 Falcons have narrow, pointed wings and slender tapered tails and tend to beat their wings regularly and rapidly. In contrast, hawks have shorter, rounder wings and longer tails that enable them to glide with occasional wing beats. These differences in flight patterns shape how they hunt. Falcons ascend high over open country or rivers and dive (stoop) on prey at tremendous speeds, stunning them with their clenched claws and then killing them with their sharp beaks. Hunters with falcons often rode on horseback to keep up with their highflying raptors. In contrast, hawks glide at low altitude and can maneuver through trees and brush and pounce quickly on prey, which they kill with their sharp claws. For this reason, hunters with hawks could go on foot. Falconers sometimes flushed birds for their raptors with trained dogs, which Bavarian and Frisian laws refer to as hawking dogs (hapuhhunt, canis acceptoricius).132 However, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between hawks and falcons in the sources, since early medieval writers often referred to both kinds of raptors as accipitres.133 For example, the Laws of the Bavarians distinguished accipitres by the birds they hunted, including a crane hawk (cranohari), a goose hawk (canshapuh), and a duck hawk (anothapuh).134 Falconers hunted a range of birds and small mammals: cranes, herons, ducks, geese, gallinaceous birds, coots, thrushes, starlings, sparrows, corvine birds, pigeons, as well as hares and squirrels.135 Although late antique and Merovingian authors tended to refer to all raptors as accipitres, one does find a growing distinction between hawks and falcons under the Carolingians. For example, the early Carolingian reform councils of the 740s prohibited churchmen to hunt with both hawks and falcons.136 In his capitularies, Charlemagne listed hawks (probably goshawks), falcons (most likely peregrine falcons), and sparrow hawks as the three chief hunting birds.137 A treatise for a Carolingian king (apparently Louis the German) on dietary laws describes hunting doves, cranes, geese, and other birds with “a hawk or a capus, that is to say, a trained falcon that returns to a man’s hand.”138 On one level, this Carolingian-era attention to the division between hawks and falcons reflects the study of Isidore’s Etymologies, which distinguished between accipitres and falcones and noted that capus was a synonym for the latter.139 Yet it perhaps also indicates a growing vogue of falcons among Frankish nobles, who were becoming increasingly wealthy through the successful wars and conquests of the early Carolingians. With the influx of plunder, tribute, and estates into the hands of leading Frankish families, hunting with falcons may have provided an exclusive status symbol with which to flaunt newly acquired riches. Even more than hunting with hawks, flying falcons

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was an activity for wealthy elites: it required large, open landscapes over which the high-flying falcons could soar; it was a spectacle that could entertain large groups of observers; and the hunters usually rode on horseback and used trained dogs to scare the game.140 Extensive properties, entourages, well-bred horses, packs of dogs—all these were markers of great princes and lords. In later centuries falcons were sometimes considered more noble than hawks because of their high flight,141 and it is possible that such sentiments already existed by the eighth century. That Charlemagne gave his raptor keepers the newly minted title “falconer” (falconarius) and not “hawker” implies that he favored falcons.142 Louis the Pious did.143 Analysis of raptor bones at early medieval sites suggests that goshawks were more commonly used than falcons to hunt,144 but this disparity in itself may reflect the exclusivity of hunting with the latter. The prestige of falcons relative to hawks seems to be reflected in the regal gifts that Boniface sent King Ethelbald of Mercia “as a token of our true love and devoted friendship”: two falcons and one hawk.145 Especially popular by the Carolingian period appears to have been hunting cranes with falcons. Cranes are migratory, and in western Europe they are best hunted in the autumn and spring, when large flocks pass over on their way between Scandinavia and Spain/North Africa.146 Among trained raptors, the eighthcentury Laws of the Bavarians assigned the highest value to the crane hawk (cranohari), which appears to be a reference to the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).147 The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal, stooping at astonishing speeds of up to two hundred miles per hour. The common European crane (Grus grus) is a graceful gray bird with an impressive wingspan of six to eight feet, making it one of the largest flying animals. Hunting large soaring cranes with lightningfast falcons is a thrilling spectacle suited to large groups of observers on horseback.148 Crane meat is also surprisingly flavorsome when prepared correctly, although Anthimus warned that it should be eaten in moderation since overindulgence in its dark meat could cause depression.149 The Continental vogue of hunting cranes with falcons spread to the Anglo-Saxons. A few years after Boniface sent his gift of raptors to the king of Mercia, King Ethelbert of Kent sent Boniface a letter with the following request: “ There is one other thing I wish you to grant me, that I believe will not be very difficult for you to acquire according to what I have heard: that is, two falcons with the artful skill and courage eagerly to attack and catch cranes and, having caught them, bring them to the ground. We ask you to acquire these birds and send them to us, since very few of this kind of hawk are found in our region of Kent that produce such good offspring that are so quick of mind and aggressive that they can be trained, tamed, and taught the abovementioned art.”150 Here Ethelbert highlighted the high quality of falcons found in Francia (which he describes as a kind of accipiter), praising them as



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intelligent and aggressive (animo agiles et bellicosi) and possessing skill and courage (ars et artis audacia). Peregrine falcons are common in western and central Europe, which seems to explain Ethelbert’s confidence that Boniface could easily acquire them.151 Archaeologists have unearthed significant numbers of hawk and falcon bones (especially of larger females) at early medieval trading centers around the Baltic such as Reric, Hedeby, and Birka, which points to the conclusion that northern European merchants sold hunting raptors to an “international” clientele.152 The Alpine region around Chur apparently also had good falcons, since officials there collected a fee from people who caught them.153 It is perhaps not coincidence that Ethelbert requested a pair of falcons, because falconers sometimes used two peregrines in tandem to hunt cranes due to the crane’s large size.154 Ethelbert’s description of falconry as an ars foreshadows the title of the great medieval falconry manual, the Art of Hunting with Birds (De arte venandi cum avibus), by the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II (1198–1250),155 who devoted an entire book of his treatise to hunting cranes with falcons.156 Ethelbert’s letter to Boniface reveals that crane hunting with falcons was already popular among Frankish and Anglo-Saxon elites by the mid-700s. In his letter to Boniface, King Ethelbert observed that falcons needed to be “trained, tamed, and taught” to hunt. Training hawks and falcons is a complex process that involves considerable time, effort, care, equipment, and money.157 Young nestlings (eyasses) were often taken from nests when their parents were away searching for food. They had to be kept in a protected shed, frequently bathed, and given tender meats until they developed the feathers and muscles necessary to fly. Once their feathers began to come in, they were exposed to partial sunlight and given a perch so that they could practice flying short distances. After the young raptor was capable of flight, the falconer began the long process of manning, that is, accustoming the bird to human contact and being carried on a gloved hand (manus). Only after the raptor had been fully manned would the falconer take it to make its first flight and allow it to catch and devour a bird. When hunting, the falconer restrained the raptor with leather straps attached to its feet (jesses).158 A small round bell was sometimes attached to the foot to help the falconer locate the bird in case it did not return.159 After a few successful flights, the falconer began to give his bird meat so that it would return to him when hunting and not devour its prey. At this point the falconer moved the raptor from its smaller shed to a proper cage, where it was given more sunlight and fed with different kinds of meats. The bird’s diet was carefully monitored to avoid excess body fat, which inhibits its ability to fly properly. Hawks and falcons molt (shed their feathers and grow new ones) during the summer, and they cannot be used to hunt during this period.160 Wealthy hunters often kept their trained raptors over the summer in their cages (later called mews,

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Figure 45. Modern Arab falconers on horseback hunting herons in an open landscape along a river. Falconers often use pairs of falcons to hunt herons and cranes because of their large size. The Heron Hunt by Eugène Fromentin (1865) in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France. (© RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, New York)

from the Latin world for molting, mutatio) and carefully fed them so they were ready to hunt again in the autumn. But poorer falconers simply let their birds return to the wild in the spring to avoid the high cost of feeding them. They then caught new nestlings to train in the autumn.161 No comprehensive falconry treatises remain from early medieval Europe. However, two veterinary works do survive that discuss in detail the treatment of sick raptors—a genre that Baudouin Van den Abeele labels “un traité du falcon malade.”162 The earliest of these seems to be Grimald’s Book of Hawks (Liber accipitrum), a work that survives in a single eleventh-century copy in Poitiers.163 The opening words of the treatise provide the only information about its composition: “Here begins the little work of Grimald, the tutor and count of the sacred palace, on the diet and raising of hawks for King Charles.”164 This dedication to Karulus rex points to the conclusion that the work was given to a Carolingian recipient by that name sometime between 768 and 993 (i.e., between the accession of Charlemagne and the death of Charles of Lorraine).165 Although the identity of the author/compiler is uncertain, a candidate is Grimald of St.-Gall (841–872), who spent time at the courts of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious before becoming the longtime archchaplain (not the count of the palace) and court teacher of Louis the German.166 If the identification of the author as Grimald of St.-Gall is



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correct, then Karulus rex presumably would be Charles the Bald, Louis the German’s half-brother and sometime ally. In light of the tradition of sending hawks, falcons, and other hunting animals as diplomatic gifts, the notion of Louis the German’s archchaplain giving the Book of Hawks to Charles the Bald is plausible. This is only a theory, however. All we can conclude with confidence is that a prominent courtier named Grimald dedicated the Book of Hawks to a Carolingian ruler named Charles. The Book of Hawks consists of thirty chapters. Most contain recipes to cure various raptor ailments, such as skin disease, lack of appetite, fever, fungus, respiratory difficulty, and lethargy. For example, one chapter reads: “If a hawk refuses to move, here is how to cure it. Mix in equal weight lentils with rose oil and honey in a cup. Give it this tasty dish to eat.”167 Although some recipes call for more unusual ingredients (exotic spices, ground bone, etc.), Grimald envisioned them to be put to real use, since the final chapter carefully standardizes the different weights and measures used in the treatise.168 While most of the work deals with illnesses and cures, chapter 17 provides some basic advice about how to raise and train a hawk: “To nourish a hawk so that it is strong and muscular, it must eat well from the day it is captured until the first day of January. Moreover, it should eat different kinds of meat, and you will see it grow strong and hardy. When you take it out on the day just mentioned [January 1], encourage it to hunt and you will . . . it . . . a third . . . There is no bird whose flesh it cannot eat. It will fear neither wind nor snow, since it was well nourished. In this way you will be able to control it.”169 The origin of the recipes in Grimald’s Book of Hawks is uncertain. They seem to stem from a range of traditions, including ancient medicine, folk healing, trial and error, and superstition.170 Based on the treatise’s Latin terminology and orthography, some scholars suggest that its recipes ultimately date from late antiquity and perhaps were translated from Greek into Latin.171 It is also possible that the material in Grimald’s treatise arrived at the Carolingian court through diplomacy with Byzantium and the East. There was a notable flowering of falconry scholarship and treatises at the ‘Abbasid and Byzantine courts during the Carolingian era. Around 780 the court hunting master Al-Gitrif compiled the earliest surviving Arabic manual on falconry, the Kitab dawari at-tayr (“book of hawks”), for Charlemagne’s contemporary, Caliph al-Mahdi (775–785).172 Al-Gitrif based his treatise on a number of sources, including a Byzantine book on raptors that had been sent to the caliph. Interest in treatises on falconry, hunting, and veterinary medicine continued under Harun al-Rashid and his successors. In this context, it is conceivable that Grimald’s Book of Hawks was a Latin translation of a now-lost Greek or Arabic treatise, perhaps given to the Carolingians as a diplomatic gift. This would fit well with reports of Frankish kings and queens sending

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dogs and falcons to Byzantine emperors and ‘Abbasid caliphs.173 In any case, the early medieval convergence of diplomacy between East and West and the appearance of the earliest falconry manuals in Greek, Arabic, and Latin is striking. The other surviving early medieval treatise on the care of raptors is the socalled Anonymous of Vercelli.174 As the title implies, the treatise’s author is unknown, and it survives in a single manuscript from the Italian city of Vercelli. The text is fragmentary and damaged in a number of places, its introduction and first chapters are missing, and it is written in an ungrammatical Latin that shows signs of becoming vernacular. Analysis of the handwriting indicates that it was written during the pontificate of Atto of Vercelli (924–ca. 960), who seems to have had an interest in falconry.175 Like Grimald’s Book of Hawks, the Anonymous of Vercelli prescribes various concoctions to treat a range of raptor ailments, including worms, gout, inflammation of the feet, shortness of breath, lice, and refusal to eat and drink. Several of the recipes contain a peculiar mixture of veterinary medicine and superstition, including one that required a “mixing bowl made of the bone of a skull—as old as you can find—of a man who has been dead for a long time.”176 Others are less macabre and perhaps efficacious, such as cooking an omelet for a raptor that has lost its appetite or treating feather parasites with an ointment made with boiled lupine seeds.177 The treatise concludes with a blessing to protect one’s falcon from eagles, which are one of its few predators: “Eagle, eagle, the Lord made you, Adam gave you your name. I command you, eagle, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that you do not put forth your talon against the falcon that you follow.”178 Like Grimald’s Book of Hawks, the Anonymous of Vercelli continued to be studied and copied after its composition. Many of its recipes appeared in modified form in a twelfth-century treatise by an Italian author known as Gerard the Falconer.179

Hunting Techniques and Elite Identity The hunting skills and equipment we have been examining not only served the utilitarian purpose of catching game. They also had significant cultural value by marking noblemen as distinct from the rest of the population. While aristocratic hunting under the Merovingians seems still to have radiated a faint afterglow of Romanitas, under the Carolingians writers associated it with Frankish identity. Wandalbert captured this view in a poem that he wrote for Lothar I. He observed that, in the month of September, the Franci (but not the lowborn agricolae) were seized by their burning passion for the chase (venandi studiosa voluptas) and dropped every thing to set out with their dogs in pursuit of red deer.180 Participating in annual autumn hunting therefore marked a person as a noble Frank and



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Figure 46. Throughout the early Middle Ages, hunting was the chief form of military training for wellborn Frankish youths. Here the Stuttgart Psalter artist depicted a young man in armor hunting stags to illustrate Psalm 18.33–34 (Vulgate 17.33–34): “He made my feet like the feet of deer and placed me on the heights. He trains my hands for war. You made my arms like a bow of bronze.” (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 21r)

not a commoner. In this way, hunting “in the manner of the Franks” was a key marker of what Peter Brown has called the “Frankification” of the European nobility under the Carolingians. This complex process entailed regional elites adopting codes of Frankish aristocratic behavior, especially those emanating from the court, and thus becoming Franks themselves.181 Under the Carolingians, hunting remained essential for the military training and socialization of wellborn boys, especially those receiving their training at court.182 The Stuttgart Psalter contains a vivid image of a beardless youth dressed in armor and hunting red deer stags to illustrate the psalm verses, “He made my feet like the feet of deer and placed me on the heights. He trains my hands for war. You made my arms like a bow of bronze” (Psalm 18.33–34). The artist notably modified the literal meaning of these verses (he transformed “like the feet of a deer” into hunting deer) to reflect the centrality of this activity for the military training of young Frankish nobles. It was during the years of youthful hunting that wellborn boys became ingrained with the competitive, manly culture of the

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Frankish aristocracy and formed bonds of camaraderie (concordia) with their peers.183 It was for this reason that the youths at the palace saw it as disgraceful (degener) if one of their peers refused to participate in their frequent hunts.184 In a treatise on the training of soldiers for Lothar II (855–869), Rabanus stressed that hunters of stags, wild boars, and bears were especially suited to warfare “ because they have greater toughness, physical strength, and rigorous training.”185 He continued: Today boys and adolescents are raised in the households of princes so that they learn to endure harsh and adverse conditions and suffer hunger, cold, and the heat of the sun. For if a boy progresses beyond this age without such training and discipline, his body quickly becomes lazy. For this reason there is the well-known popular saying, “By puberty one can become a good horseman, but rarely if ever at an older age.” This is because a person maintains the discipline learned at an early age, since it seems natural while growing up amid the other enjoyments and pleasures of those years. It is better that a trained adolescent never reaches the age of military service than live beyond it without such training.186 We get a similar picture of the Carolingian count Gerald of Aurillac, whose childhood education focused on learning to read the Bible and hunting: “With divine providence he devoted himself to the study of letters, but by the will of his parents he only made his way through the Psalter. He then was trained in secular exercises as is the custom for noble boys: to train Molossian hounds, become an archer, and learn to fly falcons and hawks with good technique.”187 The Astronomer carefully narrated the stages of Louis the Pious’s military education: beginning to learn to ride and carry child-sized weapons at the early age of three, already riding well and wearing military attire and boots with spurs by age seven, and formally receiving a soldier’s sword from his father at age fourteen.188 Yet Rabanus’s comment that “it is better that a trained adolescent never reaches the age of military ser vice than live beyond it without such training” hints at what must have been a significant mortality rate among wellborn youths from injuries related to riding and hunting.189 The chance of death from hunting and riding injuries was probably a key reason why parents usually sought to have “an heir plus a spare.” After nobles reached the age of mature military ser vice, riding and hunting remained impor tant for maintaining fitness and a reputation for manliness. It is no coincidence that authors often used the verb exercere, “to train, exercise,” to describe hunting. Carolingian authors like Einhard, the Astronomer, and the anonymous author of the Deeds of Dagobert defended kings’ vigorous hunting as



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the key for maintaining health, manliness, and prowess into old age. Conversely, for a ruler to lose his ability to “mount his horse manfully [viriliter] and wield his weapons vigorously [vivaciter]” called into question his capacity to hold office and exercise power.190 It was for this reason that chroniclers emphasized that Charlemagne and Louis the Pious continued to hunt enthusiastically (alacriter) and with great joy (delectabiliter) in old age.191 Some writers advocated hunting as an impor tant antidote for sloth and cowardice and thus a tool to make lay aristocrats into effective supporters of the king.192 For example, the Life of Saint Gangulf (ca. 900) defended the avid hunting by Pippin’s eponymous vassal because it enhanced his ser vice to the crown: “[Pippin] counted him among his most valiant warriors because he was quick-witted, very strong, vigorous in arms, and thoroughly skilled in all military exercises.”193 At the same time, the Carolingians admonished their nobles to put their duty to God and king before the chase. Charlemagne decreed that, following his own example, his counts should not hunt on Sundays or the days scheduled for court sessions until they had heard all the cases.194 For all these reasons, the trappings of the chase were essential markers of aristocratic status. Some parents gave their sons hunt- and beast-themed names like Urso (“Bear”), Wirund (“Wisent”), and even Venatio (“Hunt”).195 Frankish elites had their own hunting fashions. The Astronomer disapproved of highborn churchmen wearing elaborate hunting and riding attire: “ belts outfitted with golden bindings and jeweled daggers, elegant clothing, and ankles decked out with spurs.”196 Aristocratic hunters also wore deerskin gloves, referred to as wanta in the vernacular, from which the modern English word “gauntlet” derives.197 A nobleman might hand over his deerskin glove or prized hunting horn as a pledge—and thus as a symbol of his Christian honor.198 In his will dated 876, Count Eccard of Mâcon bequeathed much treasure to his friends and vassals, including scent hounds, falcons, sparrow hawks, horses with saddles, knives, gloves, and an elegant fur coat.199 Frankish elites traveled with their dogs, hawks, and falcons, both as signs of their status and to take advantage of any game that presented itself.200 Occasionally nobles made the mistake of bringing their dogs or falcons into sanctuaries, thereby earning the ire of patron saints.201 Nobles threw scraps of food to favorite dogs when dining.202 They also worried about the wellbeing of their animals. When the defenders of the Grand Pont tower in Paris faced certain death from a Viking attack, they released their hawks so they would not perish with them or fall into the hands of the pagans.203 Reflecting their prominence as symbols of nobility, the value of hawks, falcons, and swords was on the rise during the Carolingian period. Louis the Pious forbade people to accept raptors and swords as wergild payments because they claimed they were of higher value than listed in the old Frankish laws.204

Hounds and Hawks

Not surprisingly, game figured prominently in aristocratic banquets. A humorous drinking song by Paul the Deacon (d. 799) lists venison, wild boar, and crane among the foods one would find at a feast. 205 As we have seen, Charlemagne especially liked roasted game. 206 This connection between eating game and status is confirmed by the archaeology of a number of early medieval sites.207 One notable example is Karlburg on the Main River, which contained two distinct socioeconomic zones: a stone fortress atop a hill, and a village and monastery along the Main River below.208 In 741/742, Pippin the Short’s brother Carloman gave the Karlburg monastery of St.-Mary to the nearby bishopric of Würzburg, and a decade later Pippin gave the fortress and royal lands at Karlburg to Würzburg as well. There is evidence that some of the inhabitants of the lower settlement, which had a port on the Main River, were prosperous and engaged in trade. Nevertheless, the lowland inhabitants at Karlburg ate very little game, with the wild animal bones from that area (including the monastery) amounting to only 0.9  percent of the total weight of animal bones. In contrast, the residents of the stone fortress atop the hill—presumably political and military elites—ate much more game (10.7 percent of the bones), principally red deer and wild boar as well as bison and wildfowl. Karlburg thus illustrates the close correlation between lay elites, hunting, and the consumption of game, even within a larger settlement that also included villagers, monks, and merchants. Similarly differentiated early medieval settlements have been found at Oberammerthal and Starigard/Oldenburg, where the concentration of bones from wild animals, fowl, and raptors was notably higher in the central fortresses than in peripheral areas or adjacent suburbs.209 In other words, at sites like Karlburg, Oberammerthal, and Starigard/Oldenburg, it was the political and military elites, and not just the economically well-off, who tended to hunt, practice falconry, and dine on game. Hunting also facilitated the social and political interaction between Franks and their neighbors. We have noted that visiting ambassadors seem to have hunted with Carolingian kings, an activity that emphasized their shared identity as powerful men. Such diplomatic hunts would have fostered the exchange of hunting techniques across the post-Roman world. We hear of the Moravian ruler Svatopluk I (870–894) hunting with falcons, and bones from goshawks and peregrine falcons have been found at the Moravian fortress of Mikulčice.210 A silver pendant from the Moravian fortress of Staré Město depicts an elegant long-haired lord who looks much like a Frank: he rides on horseback, wears ornate armor, a sword belt, and boots, and proudly carries a raptor on his fist.211 It was around this time that Carloman of Bavaria (876–880) formed an alliance with Svatopluk and had the Moravian ruler stand as godfather to his newborn grandson, who was named Svatopluk (Zwentibold) after the Slavic prince.212 One suspects that hunting



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Figure  47. A bear in a palace. (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 72r)

and falconry gave cultural cohesion to such political alliances across frontiers between Franks and their neighbors. Frankish hunting culture possessed distinctive rituals, although we catch only glimpses of them. As in later periods, the Carolingian kings distributed the spoils of the hunt to their companions: not only the meat but also “a thousand huge deer antlers and the hides and heads of bears too.”213 In this way the sharing of game symbolically reenacted the distribution of plunder after military campaigns. Handwashing also seems to have been an important ritual, a gesture that symbolically distanced the hunter from the bloody killing of game after the hunt was over.214 It is unclear whether Frankish rulers themselves butchered the game—the ritual in later periods known as the breaking, or unmaking 215—or if they left this task to their servants. Notker notably associated carrying knives— the essential tool for carving up game—with menial servants.216 Walahfrid’s description of the lower leg (tibia) of a deer having been left in the wild suggests that the butchering and discarding of less desirable parts took place before the hunters

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Figure 48. A rich man and his wife distribute food to the poor, with a stag’s head and antlers proudly displayed on the roof of their villa. This image suggests that the tradition of displaying game trophies to commemorate successful hunts already existed in the Carolingian period. Illustration of Psalm 112.9 (Vulgate 111.9): “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever, his horn will be exalted in glory.” (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 65v)

returned home.217 As in later eras, hunters may have had claims to specific parts of an animal’s body according to status: the heart, head, hide, horns, and choice joints of meat.218 Fredegar and Notker imply that the heart was reserved for the king, perhaps because it was believed to contain the animal’s life force.219 It is also possible that Frankish aristocrats displayed hunting trophies—that is, parts of wild animal bodies—to commemorate certain hunts.220 We have already noted the bear claw found at the palace at Paderborn, which may have been a hunting trophy, 221 and bear skins and claws have been found in several early medieval elite burials of men and women.222 Louis the German had a “very long spike from a marine fish,” perhaps a narwhal tusk from the North Atlantic.223 The Utrecht Psalter apparently shows the display of a game trophy. In the illumination for Psalm 112, the artist depicted a wealthy man and his wife distributing bread to the poor to illustrate the verse, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever, his horn will be exalted in glory” (Psalm 112.9). Here the artist interpreted literally the words “his horn will be exalted in glory” (a figurative expression of honor) by drawing a stag’s head with antlers atop the man’s villa.224 This detail suggests a tradition of nobles displaying


Figures 49 and 50. Two decorated early medieval elk (moose) antlers. The first one, which according to radiocarbon dating is from circa 1000, reportedly hung above Louis the Pious’s sarcophagus in Metz. (Figure 49: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Figure 50: © Dommuseum Hildesheim, Foto: Florian Monheim)

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in their homes the antlers of game they had hunted. In fact, there survive several elk antlers that seem to date to the early Middle Ages and that were subsequently carved with decorations. One of these, which according to carbon dating came from an elk living about 1000, came to adorn the burial chapel of Louis the Pious in Metz, perhaps in recognition of his reputation as a great hunter.225 People also sometimes founded churches to commemorate memorable hunts. In 764, two noblemen named Hariolf and Cadoloh reportedly slew a large elk in the Virngrund Forest of Swabia and founded there the monastery of Ellwangen (Elehenfanc)— literally, “the place where the elk was caught.”226 According to a later tradition, Hariolf and Cadoloh sent the elk’s enormous antlers to Pippin the Short, who displayed them in Amboise Castle on the Loire River.227

* * * In this way, hunting “in the manner of the Franks” entailed a wide range of techniques, equipment, and rituals. The pursuit of red deer and wild boar on horseback with dogs seems to have been the most popular form of elite hunting. Yet kings and nobles pursued many other kinds of game, including bears, aurochs, wisent, elk, hare, and fox. The Carolingians were especially enthusiastic about falconry, and hunting cranes with high-flying falcons seems to have grown in popularity during the eighth and ninth centuries. Under the Carolingians we detect other developments in techniques and equipment, such as increased specialization in dogs, the revival of game parks, the introduction of the composite reflex bow, and the declining popularity of using domesticated deer. In Grimald’s Book of Hawks and the Anonymous of Vercelli, moreover, we find the first medieval treatises dedicated to the veterinary treatment and (to a lesser extent) training of raptors. These complex and costly techniques created a distinctive aristocratic hunting culture that set noblemen apart from all other social and gendered groups. Regardless of one’s ethnic background, to hunt more Francorum facilitated becoming a Francus, Frankish nobleman, in the Carolingians empire.



Peasants and Poachers

During the 790s, Alcuin wrote a grammatical exercise for Charlemagne’s son Pippin of Italy.1 At the end of this work, which took the form of a dialogue, Alcuin added some puzzles based on the riddles of the late antique author Symphosius. They included the following curious example: Alcuin. I went with some other people on a hunt in which, if we caught something, we carried nothing with us. And, what we were not able to catch, we carried home with us. Pippin. That is hunting by peasants. Alcuin. That is correct.2 Alcuin’s strange riddle has confused scholars, who have assumed that the solution is the same as that for Symphosius’s original: a “louse” (pediculus).3 But “louse” makes little sense here. Indeed, Alcuin worded his riddle quite differently than Symphosius, who had made no reference to hunting by peasants (rusticorum venatio). However, the solution becomes clear if we keep in mind Alcuin’s playfulness with Latin and consider an alternative meaning of pediculus: a “ little trap,” which derives from the Latin word pedica (“trap”).4 With the word “trap” in mind, the logic of Alcuin’s riddle becomes clear: unlike kings and nobles who actively pursued game with horses and dogs, peasants often hunted passively by setting traps in the wild. Such rural people therefore carried nothing with them when they went hunting, since they simply went to check their traps. And, if they brought home any game, it was the traps that had caught the animals, not the rustici themselves. In short, Alcuin was humorously contrasting the active hunting by aristocrats—the kind of hunting “in the manner of the Franks” that Pippin had learned under his father’s watchful eye—with the passive trapping used by peasants. Alcuin’s riddle therefore brings into focus the link between social status and different kinds of hunting. While much of this book has focused on kings

Peasants and Poachers

and nobles, this chapter explores the practices of non-elites and investigates the connections between hunting, forests, status, and social mobility. In a classic book on hunting and law in eighteenth-century England, E. P. Thompson demonstrated how the crown’s creation of private forests engendered tensions between the monarchy, aristocrats, and local landowners.5 He showed how new draconian laws to protect the forests and game (especially red deer) put the monarchy and wealthy elites in competition with local property owners for wilderness resources— wood, pasture, agricultural land, rivers, and fishponds, as well as game—that had been open to common use. In other words, forests had their own politics and economies, and they became flashpoints for broader tensions within English society. A parallel situation existed in early modern Germany, where hunting was a privilege of the princes and nobles that was forbidden to commoners.6 This chapter examines how the Carolingians’ efforts to protect forests and game, and to control the distribution of forestland and hunting rights to their aristocratic supporters, created similar tensions within Frankish society. Early medieval writers, who typically were men and women of relatively high status, can give the impression of a society in which a thin stratum of powerful lords (potentes)—kings, bishops, abbots, counts, and other nobles—dominated a sea of faceless poor (pauperes). Alcuin himself contributed to that impression by lumping together all non-nobles under the category of rustici and poking fun at their passive form of hunting. The term rustici carried contemptuous overtones, since it denoted not merely country dwellers but also those who were boorish, vulgar, and without good manners.7 Nobles disdained the way lowborn commoners (ignobile vulgus) did not know how to wield weapons like true men and how they rode in ox carts like peasants (rustico more) rather than on horses.8 Ultimately, rustici could never be real men because they lacked the innate moral virtue of those of high birth and noble lineage. This was the conviction of Louis the Pious’s biographer Thegan, who unleashed a tirade against the lowborn churchmen who had taken part in the 833 rebellion against Louis, “those whom [the emperor] had lifted up from the vilest servile condition.”9 Thegan reserved his strongest vitriol for the former Saxon serf Ebbo, whom Louis had made archbishop of Reims: “He made you free but not noble, which is impossible!”10 In truth, Frankish society was far more economically complex and socially fluid than the binaries of powerful/poor and noble/peasant allow.11 Between the seventh and the tenth centuries, free village communities were the most common unit of social organization in northern Europe. In these small face-to-face worlds, status was a matter of subtle gradations among freemen, landowners, farmers, laborers, and people of other professions.12 In other words, there was no abrupt caesura between nobiles and rustici but rather an unbroken, fluid spectrum of wealth and status that embraced all of society. At the very bottom of the social



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pyramid were semifree serfs and slaves, but they were not the norm and seem to have been clustered around the manors of kings, bishoprics, and monasteries. Early medieval society was therefore a continuum in which the social categories of noble and non-noble were relative and subjective. It was for this reason that Isidore defined an ignobilis simply as someone who was “unknown, a commoner, of obscure family, and whose name is not known.”13 This chapter explores how the hunting practices of non-elites reflected and shaped the complexity of societal hierarchies. We will see that the social reality was more varied and interesting than Alcuin’s riddle suggests. As Alban Gautier put it, the hunt was “the elite activity par excellence in the discourse [of the sources], but in fact practiced by many strata of society.”14 Many non-noble groups engaged in different types of hunting and hunt-related activities. They included professional huntsmen, fishermen, and fowlers, foresters who managed the king’s game reserves, farmers who trapped wild animals and predators, poachers who illegally took the king’s game, as well as commoners who aspired to hunt like nobles. At the same time, all communities depended on access to wilderness areas for a wide range of resources, a need that brought them into competition with the crown and its representatives. Meanwhile, kings and elites increasingly tried to police the boundaries of noble status by limiting commoners’ access to forests and game.15 Yet they could not prevent elite hunting techniques from creeping down the social hierarchy and thus creating avenues for upward social mobility and claims to elite masculinity. An investigation into “hunting by peasants” therefore brings into sharp relief the fluidity of early medieval society and the symbolic power of the hunt to lay claim to status and manhood.

Commoners, Trapping, and Hunting Most inhabitants of early medieval Europe were free people who lived in small villages. Early medieval writers used a range of terms to describe such men and women, such as rustici (peasants), vulgi (commoners), agricolae (farmers), and pauperes (the poor). Such common people tended to engage in a range of economic activities, including farming, raising livestock, working as laborers, cultivating gardens, and buying and selling goods at local markets.16 There were also individuals with specialized vocations in village communities, such as carpenters, millers, shepherds, blacksmiths, and local priests. Commoners seem to have emulated the diet of elites, although their economic constraints meant that they generally ate more vegetables and darker breads and less high-quality pork, game, and wine.17 Availability of food was a perennial concern, since commoners faced periodic food shortages (usually caused by bad weather) as well as serious famines.18

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Village life demanded that inhabitants live in a symbiotic relationship with, and manage with care, nearby woodlands and wilderness areas, sometimes referred to in the sources as communal woodland (silva communis) or the communal mark (communis marcha).19 Wilderness and woodlands provided local communities with essential resources, including firewood, lumber, pannage, pasture, chestnuts, land for clearing, honey, as well as fish, birds, and game.20 At the same time, they could be places of danger, since they might be inhabited by wolves, bandits, social outcasts, and malevolent spirits.21 As Alcuin indicated, peasants often hunted not like nobles but by trapping. We get glimpses of trapping techniques in the early medieval law codes.22 The Frankish laws mention various traps and devices to catch wild animals, fish, and birds: folding, or twitch-up, traps (pedica), box traps (trappa), nets (retiacula), and woven baskets (nassae).23 Some laws deal with unintentional injuries to persons or livestock by traps set in the wild. The Roman Empire had supported the rights of trappers. Roman law stated that someone who set up a pit trap (fovea) for deer and bears was not culpable if a person or domesticated animal fell into it as long as it had not been set up in a public thoroughfare.24 Even then, the trapper was not liable for injuries if he had notified the community of his traps beforehand or if the plaintiff could have foreseen the danger. The same went for snares (laquei), as long as they were not set up in a place where the trapper had no right to do so, such as on another person’s property. The Book of Constitutions issued by the Burgundian kings shared this view: “If someone sets a trap for wild animals outside cultivated areas in an uninhabited place, and if by chance a man or an animal runs into it, no blame will be held against him.”25 Yet other law codes did assign culpability to the trapper in certain circumstances. The Frankish Ripuarian Law stated that, if someone set up a folding trap (pedica), pit trap (fossa vel puteus), or spear trap (palista) without taking due precautions for the safety of others, he was liable if it injured or killed someone.26 Similarly, the laws of the Saxons and Thuringians assigned guilt to a trapper if his snare (laqueus), folding trap (pedica), pit (fossa), or any device (machinamentum) for capturing wild animals injured someone else or his livestock or pack animal.27 The Lombard Edict of Rothari extended the trapper’s liability to injuries caused by the trapped animal unless the injured person was trying to steal it from the trap.28 It added that, if someone found a wild animal in someone else’s trap and killed it with good intentions (i.e., to prevent it from escaping), the finder was entitled to take the right foreleg and seven ribs. One Frankish chronicler gave a detailed description of pit traps, which consisted of deep ditches with coverings of branches, twigs, grass, and ferns that were supported from below by long poles.29 While most traps seem to have been left in wild places and checked periodically, some required the presence of trappers to be activated. The Stuttgart Psalter



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Figure 51. A pit trap ( fossa) with a net. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 17r)

contains an image of two hiding men holding the ends of a rope snare with a central tightening loop. The chief motivations for trapping, fowling, and fishing are not surprising: food and profit. Unfortunately, with the exception of the law codes, Frankish sources have very little to say about these subjects. This is a symptom of the elite bias of the authors: as in the case of subjects like farming and trade, they usually did not view such humble activities as worthy of reporting in any detail. But if we

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Figure 52. A snare trap (laqueus), consisting of a long rope with a central tightening loop, activated by two hiding men. (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 155r)

widen the cast of our net for sources, we find a remarkable piece of evidence from early medieval Iona: Adomnán’s Life of St. Columba. Adomnán (679–704) was abbot of the important Irish monastery of Iona off the coast of northwestern Britain, and he hailed from a branch of the influential Irish Uí Néill family.30 Adomnán was deeply concerned about the welfare of the poor, downtrodden, and weak in society.31 In his Life of St.  Columba, Adomnán included a memorable miracle story about peasant trapping that is unparalleled in early medieval literature. He reported that a destitute beggar once came to Saint Columba asking for charity to alleviate his poverty. The saint sharpened the end of a stick, blessed it, and instructed him to use it as a stake trap (veru).32 He assured the man that it would harm neither man nor livestock, but that it would provide him and his family with an abundant supply of game and fish. Adomnán continued: The poor beggar was delighted to hear this and returned home. He set the sharp stick up in an out-of-the-way place where there were wild creatures, and after only one night he went to check his stake-trap in the early morning. There he found that a stag of amazing size had fallen on the stake. Why say more? It is said that no day could pass but that he found a stag or



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a hind or some other creature had fallen on the stake where it was fixed. Also, when his house was filled with game, he sold to neighbors the surplus that the hospitality of his house could not use.33 However, the man’s wife worried that someone would injure himself on the magic stake, especially after the family dog had impaled itself on it. She therefore nagged him to get rid of it. Her husband finally acquiesced, chopped it up, and threw it into the fire. Once again he and his family became destitute, “for this relief from penury had depended on that stake which had stood him in as good stead as any snare, net, or other means of hunting or fishing, because it had been blessed and given by Saint Columba.”34 This miracle story obviously is fanciful and contains elements of Irish folk tales, yet it is significant because it demonstrates how trapping and fishing could provide an important source of additional food and income for poor families. Adomnán’s story offers a rare glimpse of peasant masculinity that valued successful trapping, providing fish and game to family and friends, and accumulating wealth through the sale of the surplus. Frankish elites looked down on such trapping and other passive forms of hunting. The reason was the high value they placed on the requisites of the chase: fast horses, good dogs, quality weapons, patiently acquired skills, and personal bravery. To them, the kind of trapping described by Adomnán was ignoble and unmanly. In other words, Frankish nobles placed a premium on the kinds of hunting that, unlike trapping, demanded expertise, wealth, exertion, and danger. That was the punch line of Alcuin’s riddle: that by setting traps, peasants could carry home game that they themselves did not have the skill to catch (quod capere non potuerunt). For similar reasons, elites often sniffed at fishing and fowling. In the Capitulary on Royal Manors, Charlemagne associated fishermen and fowlers with other menial workmen on royal estates, such as blacksmiths, shoemakers, carpenters, brewers, and bakers.35 The blue-blooded Liudprand of Cremona lumped fishermen and fowlers together with lowborn chambermaids and merchants and contrasted them with highborn warriors.36 As we have seen, Charlemagne and Louis the Pious are reported to have gone fishing on several occasions (in 799, 831, and 834), but it seems that they did so either to accommodate the fasting period of Lent or to signify the peaceful conclusion of periods of war and instability—similar to Augustus’s post-civil-war fishing as reported by Suetonius.37 Fowling was quite different from falconry, since it involved the catching of birds with nets, snares, and birdlime (a viscous substance made from boiled bark that can be spread on branches to trap birds). As a boy, Saint Augustine had amused himself by fowling in the countryside around his hometown of Thagaste, but he came from an obscure family far removed from the grand hunting parties of late Roman gentlemen.38 The Utrecht Psalter contains a depiction of a humble

Peasants and Poachers

Figure  53. A humble fowler with a bird snare (laqueus) hiding in a bush. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 72v)

fowler who crouches under a bush and holds a fishing-pole-like snare with a tightening loop at the far end. The low-status associations of fowling, fishing, and trapping explain the embarrassment of the fictional hero Walter when he was forced to engage in these very activities in the Waltharius epic. Walter was an enthusiastic hunter of stags, as befitted the son of a king and a future ruler himself.39 But Walter’s cross-country flight from the land of the Huns compelled him to engage in more humble forms of obtaining food: The fleeing Walter, as I said, moved on by night, In the daytime, seeking thickly wooded groves and gorges, He skillfully lured and skillfully captured birds, Ensnaring them at times with birdlime or with wooden traps. But, when their journey reached where winding rivers flowed, He cast his hook and captured prey from that deep water. Thus by enduring work he dispelled the pang of hunger.40 Here we see how, for a nobleman like Walter, fishing, fowling, and trapping were work to be endured (tollerando laborem) rather than enjoyed. He lamented, “Even I myself am forced to be both fisherman and fowler!”41 It is true that



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historians have dubbed the first Ottonian king Henry I “the Fowler” (auceps), but this moniker comes from a later twelfth-century tradition that he allegedly was trapping birds when the German nobles informed him that he had been chosen king.42 The author of this legend presumably wished to draw a parallel between the humble fowler-king Henry and the fishermen-apostles, who similarly had been mending their nets when Jesus first summoned them to their ministry. But there is no contemporary evidence that Henry, or any other Frankish king, engaged in fowling. Commoners set traps to catch not only game but also predatory animals like wolves, bears, and foxes. Such predators lurking in nearby woodlands were an ever-present danger to livestock, crops, and people, especially in times of famine and cold winters. Bishops urged local priests to give shelter to travelers lest they be forced to sleep outside and be attacked by wild beasts.43 Indeed, Bishop Frothar of Toul wrote a letter to two abbots in his diocese with the tragic news that some of their men had recently been killed by wolves during a famine, a misfortune he interpreted as the work of the devil and God’s punishment for their collective sins.44 People told scary stories about times when wolf packs invaded villages and towns in search of food, such as in Gaul in the 570s and 580s and in Germany in 850.45 Unsurprisingly, early medieval fables associate wolves, bears, and foxes with danger, cunning, and trickery.46 Following Isidore, Rabanus reported the superstitious stories that rustici told about wolves: “With a greedy fury the wolf kills whatever it finds. Some people say that it is called lupus as if leopus since, like a lion [leo], his strength is in his paws [pedes]. Thus whatever he grips with his paws does not survive. It is a ravenous beast eager for blood. Peasants say that a person loses his voice if a wolf sees him before he sees the wolf. For this reason people say when there is a sudden lull in a conversation, ‘Just like the wolf in the story.’ . . .  Wolves endure hunger for a long time, and after a long fast they devour everything.”47 In an effort to prevent wolves from eating livestock, villagers set up traps around their fields, but doing so in turn created dangers for their neighbors, who demanded extra precautions from the trap setter. Burgundian law stipulated that anyone who set up a bow trap for killing wolves must immediately inform his neighbors about it. Moreover, he was required to set three trip wires: a low wire for the wolf itself, and two higher ones further away that a person or domesticated animal would activate if he came too close, thereby discharging the arrows at a safe distance.48 Such sophisticated traps with stationary bows and multiple trip wires show the fallacy of the aristocratic view that peasant trapping did not require skill. Although Alcuin implied that rustici caught wild animals only with traps, they did sometimes hunt in a more active fashion. Under the Carolingians, well-to-do farmers had basic weapons that could be used for hunting, since Charlemagne

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required that all freemen with four or more homesteads (mansi) of land serve in the army equipped with a spear, bow, two bowstrings, and a quiver of arrows.49 Moreover, Carolingian armies were required to have a large contingent of expert slingers with twenty pack horses carrying sling stones.50 Although the inexpensive shepherd’s sling was a low-status weapon, it had a tremendous range of over fourteen hundred feet—more than a bow—and could launch stones with bulletlike force when in the hands of a skilled slinger. When not on campaign, commoners could use their lances, bows, and slings to hunt, which may have been one of the chief ways they honed their skills for military ser vice. In other words, there was a tension in Charlemagne’s legislation, since it required landowning freemen to possess weapons even as it forbade them to hunt with those weapons in royal forests. Yet most commoners could not afford the fast horses, packs of dogs, elegant attire, servants, and other expensive equipment necessary to hunt like “true” noblemen. One ninth-century writer took it for granted that the weapons of peasant farmers (rusticolae) were of inferior quality to those of nobles.51 As we saw in Chapter 5, horses, hunting dogs, hawks, and falcons were expensive and costly to care for, which is what made them badges of high status. Frankish law valued a good horse at seven solidi and a trained falcon or mature hawk at six to twelve solidi, while it valued a cow at only one solidus.52 And the cost of good raptors was on the rise in the ninth century.53 In contrast, most dogs in villages probably were mongrels that would have been of little use for hunting. The Annals of Fulda reported that, when a pestilence struck in 878, the dogs of the village of Walahesheim ate the carcasses of the dead cattle “as they usually do.”54 Sometimes wolves in turn devoured such dogs.55 Village dogs therefore tended to be skinny, scruffy scavengers, far different from the strong, well-fed, and well-groomed hunting dogs in aristocratic kennels. But this was not always the case. At sunrise before the Battle of Monfaucon in June 889, King Odo reportedly met a young man (apparently a commoner) hunting hares with his dogs who informed the king of the approach of a Viking army.56 This man’s dogs presumably were greyhound-like veltres capable of catching hares. This story suggests that commoners did sometimes have good hunting dogs. Such valuable canines must have been prestigious items in village communities, and they in turn enabled nonnobles to engage in active forms of hunting. Hunting dogs, in other words, could be vehicles for upward social mobility. Even if some commoners did own a good hunting dogs, many would have employed humbler techniques, such as lying in wait or stalking on foot. Some also may have used domesticated stags to attract game within bowshot, a technique that seems to have declined in popularity among elites by the early eighth century.57 Such alternative methods would have resulted in lower success rates


Figures 54 and 55. Inexpensive yet effective hunting weapons commoners could afford: a simple D-shaped wooden bow and a shepherd’s sling. (Stuttgart Psalter, Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fols. 69v and 158v)

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Figure 56. A dog and a fox (?) feeding on carrion. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 35r)

than the techniques used by kings and nobles. This helps explain the significantly lower frequency—but, it should be emphasized, not the complete absence—of wild animal bones at non-elite sites. As we have seen, at the lower settlement at Karlburg, only 0.9 percent of the animal bones came from wild animals, while at the nearby fortress the percentage rose to 10.7 percent.58 A similar differentiation is found at the fortified site at Oberammerthal, near Amberg, where the bones of game (especially red deer) were lower in the outer bailey (3.9 percent) than in the high-status fortress (10.4 percent).59 In other words, some non-elites did actively hunt and consume game, but the techniques of elites seem to have had a much higher success rate. The extent to which commoners practiced falconry is unclear. Archaeology reveals that early medieval merchants at places like Reric and Birka traded hawks and falcons, although it is uncertain whether they hunted with raptors themselves.60 The high cost of hawks and falcons suggests that the activity was chiefly associated with aristocrats. Moreover, the training, feeding, and care of a hawk or falcon was a complex, expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming undertaking that would have been beyond the means of many commoners. One tenthcentury writer from Trier described a rusticus who unintentionally killed a hawk that his lord had entrusted to him because he did not possess the skill to care for it (illius artis nullam habere periciam) and it refused to eat in his smoke-filled home.61 Nevertheless, some commoners clearly did practice falconry. Because hawks and falcons were obtained from nests while the birds were young, there was nothing to prevent non-elites from capturing raptors in the wild and training or selling them. This may have been the intention of the lowborn servant of the church of St.-Julian who (as we saw in Chapter 2) found a hawk while out walking



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and kept it, with the result that the count falsely accused him of theft.62 Because fowlers were skilled at catching birds, they sometimes may have captured young hawks and hunted with them. Aelfric described a fictional fowler (auceps) who caught birds not only with nets, snares, and birdlime but also with trained hawks. Aelfric’s fictional fowler proudly explained that he knew how to capture, train, and care for hawks and that in the winter his hawk provided him with ample food.63 Theodulf noted a falconry-themed proverb among country folk (rustica plebs) that implies knowledge of this skill: “Neither by practice nor punishment can one make an owl into a hawk that attacks cranes with its talons.”64 When non-elites did practice falconry, they probably favored using hawks over falcons. This is because hunting with hawks could be done on foot and in wooded areas, whereas hunting with falcons required horses and large expanses of open land. Non-elites who knew how to capture, train, and hunt with raptors possessed a valuable source of additional food as well as a form of cultural capital. With Charlemagne and Louis the Pious’s effort to control the distribution of hunting rights and good forestland, common freemen would have found their ability to hunt and trap increasingly limited. It is possible that Charlemagne’s new distinction between forestes and silvae, and his insistence that only the former carried hunting rights, meant that villagers no longer could legally hunt in communal silvae, especially if they were located near a royal forest. Still, some rural communities probably defended their traditional access to hunting in certain wilderness areas. In the late Carolingian period, bishops still assumed that hunting was among the rural activities (along with clearing fields, gardening, harvesting crops, chopping wood, carting, etc.) that people should avoid on Sundays.65 But even if some communities did have traditional hunting rights, kings, church prelates, and other lords seem to have slowly eroded them. For example, one charter reports that the monastery of Fulda obtained the “forest that belongs to the village of Echzell in which previously there had been common hunting by all citizens.”66 Villagers lost access to communal woodlands too. Louis the Pious granted to the monastery of Aniane a portion of a royal silva near Agde in which the locals had previously gathered wood and pastured their animals according to tradition (sicut antiquitus usus fuerit).67 Lay nobles likewise gained control over silvae communes.68 By the ninth century, therefore, villagers found their access to woodlands, forests, hunting, and fishing increasingly circumscribed, a situation that must have engendered resentment and protest in the countryside. A remarkable decree issued by Charlemagne’s son Pippin of Italy, for whom Alcuin wrote the opening riddle about “hunting by peasants,” deserves special comment. In a capitulary for his Italian kingdom, the emperor’s son commanded that no one set traps “in a royal forest or in any location whatsoever” (in foreste dominica nec in quolibet loco).69 It is possible that Pippin’s decree applied only to

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Italy. However, the fact that Pippin used the Frankish term forestis, which generally was not used in Italian contexts, rather than the more common Lombard gahagium or gualdus, suggests that this command had its origins in an other wise unreported decree of his father’s for the entire empire. If this is correct, then this decree amounted to an astonishing restriction of the public’s traditional rights, since Roman, Frankish, and Lombard laws all assumed a person could set traps in the wild or on his own property to catch animals, birds, and fish.70 In other words, under Charlemagne it in theory became illegal to trap anywhere in Carolingian Italy and perhaps throughout the entire empire. This was a dramatic extension of Charlemagne’s protection of “our game” far beyond the confines of the royal forest. The primary objective of this decree undoubtedly was to protect game populations for the king and the nobles, while a secondary goal may have been to limit non-nobles’ access to such high-status food. Once again, this decree must have sparked considerable resentment, protest, and disobedience from commoners. Related to this ban on trapping was Charlemagne’s effort to exterminate wolves and bears.71 Throughout history, the extermination of dangerous animals has been a powerful symbol of power and civilization.72 Wolves were the most common predator of both livestock and deer, and their threat was a reason people set up traps around their villages.73 Bears also were a danger, and Charlemagne reportedly attempted to exterminate all the bears in Saxony.74 There was a tension inherent in setting traps for predators, since such traps could also catch deer and other game. Charlemagne transferred the responsibility for wolf hunting from the public to the crown’s representatives. He commanded that every village mayor appoint two full-time wolf hunters (luparii) who were responsible for keeping down local wolf populations, and they were instructed to send the wolf pelts to court. Charlemagne granted designated wolf hunters special privileges: they were exempt from military ser vice and attending legal hearings, and they received for their ser vices a measure of wheat from every freeman in their district annually.75 He likewise made stewards and bishops responsible for exterminating wolves in their localities, and they were to report how many wolves they had captured each year and likewise send the pelts to the palace. Royal stewards were instructed to hunt wolves in May (when litters were born) with poison, traps, pits, and dogs.76 Protecting the crown’s game in royal forests was the chief motivation behind Charlemagne’s program to exterminate wolves, although an added benefit was that it protected the livestock of nearby villages. It also compensated for the outlawing of public trapping, which previously had been the chief strategy for controlling wolf populations. It should be noted that if commoners did become wealthy enough to purchase good horses, hunting dogs, and other costly equipment, and if they took the time



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to master hunting with them, then they could rise above their humble origins and lay claim to elevated social status. In other words, through hunting exploits, rustici could win local renown, which was a key component of Isidore’s definition of a nobleman.77 Several anecdotes told by Ekkehard IV in his Ups and Downs of St.-Gall, which dates to the mid-eleventh century, illustrate such upward mobility. In one story, Ekkehard recalled with disapproval the social climbing of his monastery’s servile property managers: “The property managers—about whom it is written, ‘Servants who do not fear become proud’—began to carry polished shields and spears, and they learned to blow their horns differently from the other villagers. They also trained their dogs to hunt: at first hares, then not only wolves, but reportedly also bears and fierce wild boars. They proclaimed, ‘Grain supervisors tend to farms and fields. But let us manage our own benefices and indulge in hunting as befits true men!’ ”78 In similar story, Ekkehard reported how the foresters of the bishop of Constance went hunting for bear and deer and wore their hair and beards long “as people of this kind often do as if they were of high rank” (ut id genus multum videri solet, quasi venerandi).79 In both these tales, we see the centrality of hunting for the performance of noble identity and elite masculinity. And, because it was a performance, non-nobles could learn the part if they had the necessary wealth and time. By adopting the badges of aristocratic status (wellmade arms and armor, horses, dogs, flowing hair, etc.) and learning to hunt big game and blow their horns properly, these non-nobles distanced themselves from other villagers (villani) and laid claim to elevated status. Perhaps more than any other activity, mastering the skills of hunting asserted noble rank because it combined so many different elite social markers: wealth, property, leisure, servants, bravery, horsemanship, and skill with weapons.

Poaching the King’s Game In spite of Charlemagne’s decrees, it is clear that some people continued to hunt and trap in woodlands and royal forests. Some of them may have based their right to do so on long-standing custom that went back to the Roman and Merovingian eras. Nevertheless, the Carolingians’ tightened control over forestland, game, hunting rights, and trapping significantly circumscribed their opportunities to do so.80 We have seen how, beginning in the 790s, Charlemagne became especially concerned about poaching in royal forests. Behind these efforts was Charlemagne’s assertion that wild animals in and around forests no longer were res nullius but rather the property of the crown to be enjoyed only by the king and his fideles. Charlemagne made his stewards and foresters responsible for protecting the crown’s game, birds, and fish in royal forests, and they were to investigate cases of

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poaching, collect fines for infractions, and send reports to court.81 As noted in Chapter 3, Charlemagne set up a double standard with regard to poaching: on the one hand, accused noblemen (counts, hundredsmen, vassals, and other royal officials) had to appear before the emperor himself to give account for their actions; on the other hand, the vulgi had to pay the heavy bannum penalty of sixty solidi.82 Only the wealthiest commoners could pay a fine equivalent to sixty head of cattle; all others presumably would have been enslaved for their transgression. It was this horrific possibility that made poaching such a dangerous undertaking. Charlemagne’s expansion of this crime to include those who did not report a neighbor’s poaching may have created an ominous climate of informers and suspicion in some villages. One can imagine how accusations of poaching might become embroiled in village rivalries between families, not unlike accusations of witchcraft in later eras. Nevertheless, as late as the twelfth century, commoners and peasants continued to hunt and trap. In 1152 Frederick Barbarossa prohibited all people in the empire from trapping except for dangerous predators like bears and wolves.83 It is tempting to dismiss Charlemagne’s anti-poaching decrees as ineffective and emblematic of a general weakness of Carolingian government. After all, the emperor’s ranting against the poaching of our game in our forests indicates that his subjects continued to do so. But we do in fact have proof of counts carrying out the king’s orders. One piece of evidence comes from a letter of Einhard’s to the east Frankish count Poppo that probably dates to the second half of Louis the Pious’s reign.84 In the letter, Einhard asked Poppo, who was count of the Grabfeld near Fulda, to pardon two unnamed poor freemen (pauperes homines) whom the count had convicted of stealing game in the king’s forest. These men had in fact paid part of the fine, but they could not pay the full amount owing to their limited financial resources (propter paupertatem suam). That these men paid at least part of the fine suggests that they were persons of some means but had become impoverished through the partial payment. Indeed, the fact that Einhard referred to them as homines and not just pauperes may indicate that they were vassals of some powerful figure, since he often used that term to refer to the followers of lords.85 The two men had fled to Einhard’s monastery of Seligenstadt in the hope that he would intervene on their behalf and obtain Poppo’s pardon. In his letter, Einhard urged the count in the name of Seligenstadt’s patron saints “to deign to pardon them as far as it is possible so that they might not be wholly ruined on account of a crime of this kind.”86 Einhard’s description of their transgression (furando feramina in dominica foraste) echoes the wording of Charlemagne’s 802 decree against poaching, which suggests that Einhard had this specific capitulary in mind.87 His letter therefore demonstrates that counts did sometimes enforce the king’s prohibition against poaching in royal forests, and there is nothing



Chapter 6

in Einhard’s language to suggest that this situation was unusual. Unfortunately, we do not know if Einhard’s appeal to Poppo met with success. It is perhaps unlikely, since Charlemagne had specified that vulgi convicted of poaching should pay the entire fine and “in no way should it be reduced for them.” Einhard’s letter brings up an important question: why would two pauperes homines have dared to steal game from the king’s forest in spite of Charlemagne’s draconian legislation? We have encountered two reasons already in Adomnán’s Life of St. Columba: food and profit. However, as we have seen, archaeology demonstrates that game did not make a significant contribution to the overall diet of commoners, who chiefly consumed grains, vegetables, poultry, and livestock. While there certainly were beggars in Carolingian society, the evidence suggests that most people had enough to eat and did not suffer from malnutrition, except in times of famine. Some rustici may have hunted and trapped for social mobility. Because the eating of game was a prestigious luxury, doing so may have raised their status within their communities. It also is possible that some people stole the king’s game as a sign of political protest. The Carolingians’ efforts to circumscribe non-elite hunting and trapping and to take over good forestland must have engendered considerable resentment among villagers. Throughout history, peasant communities have often resisted the dominance of elites through low-level forms of resistance like theft, trickery, sabotage, foot-dragging, and mockery.88 Hunting illegally in the king’s forest therefore may have been a daring way for a commoner to thumb his nose at those in power, display his defiant bravery, and win the respect of his neighbors (and the affections of unmarried women). It is therefore possible that some poachers had a Robin Hood–type mentality, in which stealing the king’s game was a form of dissent and part of a subversive, distinctively non-noble version of masculinity. “Vulgar” commoners undoubtedly had their own ideas about what constituted a real man, and poaching the game of their lords may have been part of this rival gendered ideal.

Professional Huntsmen and Hunt-Related Occupations The other chief motivation for peasant hunting, trapping, fishing, and poaching was, of course, economic. Given the value of the meat, pelts, and antlers of game animals, professional and part-time huntsmen could sell what they caught for a profit. Indeed, the consumption of game in aristocratic households probably fostered a market for peasant hunters and trappers, creating a financial incentive for non-elites (perhaps including Einhard’s pauperes homines) to hunt, trap, and risk poaching the king’s game. We occasionally encounter in the written sources

Peasants and Poachers

huntsmen and other people with hunt-related skills. We have already met Adomnán’s beggar with the miraculous stake who sold his surplus game and fish to his neighbors. Although this story comes from northwestern Britain, this phenomenon (minus the magic trap) probably was common throughout Europe. One writer mentions two brothers, named Tonazan and Urso, who in the early eighth century hunted near Salzburg to make money (ad aurum faciendum).89 As we have seen, Aelfric described a royal huntsman who caught deer, wild boars, and hare for the king’s table. In return, the king gave him clothing, food, and occasionally even a horse or piece of jewelry.90 Charlemagne’s decree that every village employ two full-time wolf hunters created another career path for commoners with good hunting skills.91 Churches and monasteries, like St.-Bertin, St.-Denis, and Salzburg, that possessed hunting rights probably also employed professional huntsmen, since (as we will see in Chapter 7) canon law forbade clergy and monks from participating directly in the hunt. We hear of other professionals who earned a living with specialized talents. Aelfric described a fisherman who caught a wide range of fresh- and saltwater fish using a boat, nets, hooks, wicker baskets, and spears. He sold the fish he caught in towns and never ran out of buyers.92 Archaeology confirms the sale of significant quantities of fish in early medieval seasonal markets such as Reric.93 Isidore of Seville listed four different kinds of hunting assistants (trackers, beaters, scouts, and drivers), while the Burgundian laws mention trackers who received payment to help hunters find game.94 Hincmar named stalkers, dog keepers, and beaver trappers among the lesser servants at the Carolingian court.95 The Franks valued the European beaver (Castor fiber) for its plush fur as well as for its castor (musk) oil, which was believed to have medicinal value.96 Moreover, the Carolingians needed to keep beaver populations in check, since their dam building in forests and parks could damage trees and cause significant flooding.97 As we have seen, the significant amount of fox, squirrel, and otter bones found at the Carolingian manor of Wellin suggest the presence of trappers in the nearby Ardennes.98 After the apparent ban on trapping throughout the Carolingian empire, it would seem that only trappers with express permission (as in the case of those in the ser vice of the archbishop of Salzburg99) would have been able to practice their trade legally. But some must have done so illegally and sold their catch on the black market. The Franks’ passion for falconry also suggests the existence of dealers who trapped young hawks and falcons and sold them. That would explain Ethelbert of Kent’s assumption that Boniface could easily acquire good falcons in Francia.100 Charlemagne instructed royal stewards to have hawks and sparrow hawks on hand for the king’s use, which probably created a market for young raptors around royal manors.101 As we have seen, significant numbers of raptor bones have been unearthed at Reric, which implies that merchants sold hawks and



Chapter 6

falcons in northern European markets.102 Thus, the aristocratic vogue of falconry would have created a number of economic opportunities for non-elites, including raptor dealers, trainers, assistant falconers, perch and mew builders, and even makers of quality gloves and jesses. These hunt-related professions—hunters, trappers, furriers, fishermen, wolf killers, trackers, raptor dealers, etc.—could provide avenues of social mobility for non-elites. Such activities potentially brought good incomes, connections to powerful patrons, and access to elite lifestyles. As Stuart Airlie has emphasized, serving in the entourage of a king or lord might transform a small figure like a professional huntsman into a trusted companion and palace courtier. This in turn would give him opportunities to form influential friendships, perform valuable ad hoc missions, and win patronage.103 We saw one example in Gregory of Tours’s account of the huntsman Brachio, who served the power ful Duke Sigivald of Clermont.104 Gregory described Brachio as Thuringian by birth,105 which suggests that he came to Gaul in the aftermath of the Merovingian conquest of Thuringia in the early 530s. As an outsider, Brachio apparently won the position at Sigivald’s court through his hunting skills. Although Brachio was a lesser court functionary, his valued abilities made him a man of some status. Thus, when he stumbled upon the hermit Aemilianus while out hunting, the holy man immediately recognized Brachio as a person of rank. “Dearest son,” he addressed him, “I see that you are dressed very elegantly and that you follow those things that will lead to the damnation rather than salvation of your soul.” Similarly, Aelfric described how kings might occasionally give high-prestige items like horses and jewelry to their huntsmen.106 Hunting skills and ser vice to a king, duke, or lord therefore provided avenues of upward social mobility for men of lesser status. Indeed, a few professional huntsmen and falconers attained positions of influence and even prominence through their ser vice to the Carolingians.107 There existed considerable differences in rank among royal hunters and falconers. Some were of lower status and apparently had little direct contact with the king, but those who served at court had the chance to catch the ruler’s attention, impress him with their skills and loyalty, and win his favor. Einhard noted that the huntsmen carried in the roasted game on spits during meals at Charlemagne’s palace.108 This duty not only gave huntsmen a prominent role in court ritual, but it also put them in the banqueting hall and thus at the epicenter of royal patronage. Because they were trusted royal companions, huntsmen sometimes ran important errands for the king and queen. Charlemagne decreed “that our hunters and falconers, and the other servants who are in permanent attendance on us at the palace, shall throughout our estates be given such assistance as we or the queen command in our letters, on occasions when we send them out on an errand, or when the seneschal or butler gives them some task to do in our name.”109 This command

Peasants and Poachers

implies that the hunters and falconers were subordinate to the seneschal, butler, and queen, the latter of whom supervised the smooth functioning and provisioning of the royal household.110 Archaeology suggests that falconers at court lived near, but not in, the palace.111 When traveling on royal business, the king’s hunters and falconers were permitted to levy lodging, horses, and labor from freemen, although not from churches or monasteries.112 The special missions huntsmen performed for the king brought them into contact with men of much higher status. One example of this phenomenon is the falconer Gerric. He is documented as being in Louis the Pious’s ser vice from 794 to about 826, making him one of Louis’s longest-known companions.113 While still king of Aquitaine, Louis sent Gerric to Aachen “to consult his father on some necessary matters.” As he waited at the palace for the emperor’s response, some magnates took Gerric aside and urged him to tell Louis to come to Aachen in person to secure his succession to the throne.114 Here we find a royal falconer involved in political negotiations at the very highest level: royal succession itself. Fifteen years later, Louis sent the same Gerric to investigate matters related to the Jewish community in Lyon. On this occasion, Gerric’s assertive behavior as the emperor’s trusted envoy provoked the outrage of the powerful archbishop of Lyon, Agobard.115 We meet other trusted hunting officials who apparently had careers similar to Gerric’s. In 839 Louis the Pious gave his huntsman Dagolf the important mission of bringing military orders to the eastern counts Gebhard, Hatto, and Poppo, the latter of whom we have met prosecuting poachers.116 This was another urgent situation related to royal succession, since in 839 the elderly emperor was facing a rebellion from his namesake son, Louis the German. In these cases, we find relatively lowly huntsmen rubbing elbows and negotiating with powerful counts, bishops, and magnates in situations of considerable political magnitude. The influence of these hunters and falconers arose out of their presence at court and their trusted relationships with the ruler. As huntsmen, moreover, these figures must have been outstanding horsemen, skilled with weapons, and physically strong, thereby making them tough, manly, and even intimidating royal representatives. We can see how huntsmen and falconers were ideal messengers for kings, since they were tested loyal servants who were dependent on the ruler’s favor for their influence. In this sense they held a position at court somewhat analogous to Charlemagne’s daughters as argued by Janet Nelson: they were trusted royal companions but not independently powerful on their own.117 In spite of their lesser status, their subtle knowledge of the palace and its codes of behavior as well as their admired hunting skills enabled them to negotiate with powerful figures in the king’s name. In their frequent royal errands, huntsmen sometimes abused their privileges. Charlemagne learned that some were unjustly extracting food and lodging from his subjects, churches, and monasteries,



Chapter 6

and he commanded this to be stopped.118 That the emperor had to issue this decree again suggests the proud, assertive behavior of royal huntsmen. By the late ninth century, their influence seems to have increased, and we find them intervening in royal diplomas on behalf of the recipients and acting as judges in forest disputes.119 The growing prestige of royal huntsmen eventually transformed this lesser court post into an honorific title to which nobles aspired. Thus, the powerful Bavarian count Iring became the huntsman to Louis the German’s grandson Arnulf of Carinthia (887–899). In the dedicatory inscription of a church he built, Iring proudly described himself as “the king’s excellent count and chief huntsman.”120 One final group of non-nobles who might achieve social mobility through hunt-related careers was the king’s foresters. Foresters first appear in the Merovingian charters as local officials in charge of administering the king’s forestes.121 By the reign of Charlemagne, they were responsible for protecting the crown’s forests and their wild animals and fish and making sure that hunters to whom the king had granted limited access did not exceed their game limit.122 Charlemagne associated foresters with other lesser functionaries (horse breeders, cellarers, toll collectors, etc.), and they had to render plowing ser vices and piglets for property they held from the fisc.123 They most likely came from local families who lived near forests. The office seems to have brought with it a certain level of prestige, since foresters held land from the crown and might live at a royal manor.124 In one Carolingian charter we meet a forester named Engelbreht and a blacksmith named Helmrich who jointly held land from the king, suggesting that they were figures of roughly the same status.125 Carolingian writers sometimes accused royal foresters of abusive, high-handed, and unethical behavior.126 In some cases, obtaining the office of forester could be an initial stepping-stone in an obscure family’s rise to prominence. A twelfth-century chronicle reports that the founder of the Angevin dynasty was a rusticus named Tortulf whom Charles the Bald promoted to forester after he distinguished himself as a soldier.127 Tortulf ’s son Ingelger later became the count of Anjou. Although Tortulf ’s story may be legendary, it corroborates the impression that Carolingian foresters were local figures of some status who might experience upward mobility because of their ser vice to the crown. A charter of Louis the Pious’s reveals that, in his effort to protect the crown’s forests, he elevated the authority of royal foresters.128 Louis issued this charter on October 27, 822, at Völklingen, on the southern edge of the Ardennes, during one of his autumn hunting trips.129 On this occasion Louis granted the foresters in the Vosges freedom from onerous public duties. For foresters of free status, Louis gave them exemption from the general summons to law courts, from military ser vice, and from escorting royal legates and providing them with horses. For foresters of servile status, he decreed that they no longer needed to provide horses

Peasants and Poachers

or other labor ser vices, but they still had to render the dues and ser vices they owed the crown. Louis also stipulated that noncriminal offences committed by foresters in the Vosges were to be judged not by the local counts but by certain senior foresters (magistri forestariorum). The emperor apparently made these concessions to compensate the foresters for their heavy obligations, since he frequently hunted in the Vosges.130 At the same time, Louis granted these privileges to empower his foresters when defending the crown’s forests, woodlands, and hunting rights in the face of powerful challengers like counts and bishops. In other words, Louis had made his foresters in the Vosges a special class of royal agents with freedom from public duties and with a significant level of legal immunity. This situation probably raised even further the status of foresters within their local communities and gave them a sense of entitlement because of their ser vice to the emperor. It is possible that Louis made similar concessions to foresters elsewhere, although we have evidence only for those in the Vosges. Hincmar of Reims told a story in the Life of St.  Remigius suggesting that Louis’s foresters did in fact act with considerable assertiveness and bravado when defending the crown’s forests and woodlands.131 He reported that the church of Reims had long owned the villages of Kusel and Altenglan, on the northern edge of the Vosges, and that they supplied Reims with fish from local rivers. However, two of Louis’s foresters (who happened to be brothers) one day announced that a nearby woodland that was claimed by the villagers in fact belonged to the crown. Hincmar gave a dramatic depiction of the foresters’ high-handed behavior. One rode to a boulder on the border of the property and proclaimed, “Let it be known to everyone that this woodland belongs to the emperor as far as this stone!” But when he struck the boulder with his pickaxe to mark it, shards of rock flew into his face and blinded him. Meanwhile, the forester’s brother had set out in pursuit of a wolf that had attacked the pigs they had brought to fatten in the disputed woods. His horse stumbled, however, resulting in a fatal collision with a tree. “In this way,” Hincmar concluded with satisfaction, “both men received a reward for their arrogance and lies.”132 Although Hincmar may have invented much of this story, it suggests that foresters, like royal huntsmen and falconers, had a reputation for haughty behavior because they were agents of the crown. Hincmar’s tale seems to capture the real-life drama of such local woodland conflicts: the cocky swagger of the foresters, their fast horses and menacing pickaxes, and their proclamations of royal ownership through public announcements and chiseled marks (perhaps crosses) on rock formations. It may be significant that Hincmar did not report whether his bishopric actually recovered the contested woodland. His silence suggests that it did not.

* * *


Figure  57. Louis the Pious’s foresters reportedly indicated the boundaries of royal woodlands by chiseling marks (perhaps crosses) on boulders with pickaxes. (Stuttgart Psalter, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23, fol. 86v)

Peasants and Poachers

In conclusion, non-elites often—but not always—hunted differently from nobles. Rather than pursuing game with horses and packs of dogs and practicing falconry, rustici more often trapped, fowled, fished, and hunted using less costly techniques. They engaged in these activities for a range of reasons: for food, to sell game for profit, to exterminate predators, for social prestige, and for upward mobility. Other non-elites made their living through hunt-related professions as royal huntsmen, furriers, raptor dealers, wolf hunters, and foresters. Beginning with Charlemagne, the Carolingians attempted to limit commoners’ access to game by outlawing trapping, by taking over former public woodlands, and by imposing high penalties for poaching in the king’s forests. Although the Carolingians tried to police the boundaries of noble status and prevent peasants from taking the crown’s game, these efforts were not entirely effective. Some rustici continued to hunt and trap, perhaps as a sign of their resentment toward the crown and nobles and as an expression of a rival, peasant form of masculinity. Others who obtained wealth might even learn to hunt “in the manner of the Franks” and thus lay claim to noble status themselves. Hunting, in other words, paradoxically served as both a marker of noble status as well as a vehicle for upward mobility for non-nobles. In Chapter 7 we turn to another social group that similarly had a complex and sometimes fraught relationship with the ubiquitous culture of hunting: the clergy.



Bishops and Boars

In the history of the Frankish Church, Archbishop Milo of Trier (722–ca. 761) has one of the most notorious reputations as a worldly prelate.1 One of Charles Martel’s “doughty aristocratic warrior bishops,” Milo came from a powerful Austrasian family that allied itself with the early Carolingians.2 His great uncle and father had been archbishops of Trier before him, and his brother was a count. As a reward for his family’s support, Martel gave Milo the archbishoprics of both Trier and Reims, a highly uncanonical situation that drew strong criticism from Saint Boniface and Pope Zachary. The author of the Deeds of the Archbishops of Trier likewise censured Milo as a nefarious bishop who lived as a layman, marched to war with the army, despoiled church property, and in general showed little concern for ecclesiastical discipline. According to this writer, Milo met a fitting dark end in the Meulenwald outside of Trier: “The tyrant Milo, having committed these crimes, one day went hunting and was wounded by a wild boar. He died in the village called Ehrang at the first milestone from Trier, where he was buried after forty years of tyrannical rule.”3 This account of Milo’s bloody demise may be apocryphal. No contemporary reported that he died while hunting, and the Deeds of the Archbishops of Trier, which contains the earliest version of this story, was not penned until the twelfth century.4 Nevertheless, this legend about Milo’s death captures a central theme of the Carolingian Church reforms: the efforts to reign in the worldliness of clerics and abolish their participation in aristocratic activities, especially hunting. The prohibition against clerical hunting arose out of several developments in early Christianity: the late antique proscription against clerics using weapons and performing military ser vice, ascetic influences that rejected aristocratic pomp and luxury, and concerns about the ritual purity of the clergy for the performance of the sacraments.5 As kingdom and Church merged into a Christian empire under the Carolingians,6 reformers sought to enforce the long-standing prohibition of clerical hunting to clarify the increasingly blurry boundaries between laymen and

Bishops and Boars

clerics. This was a difficult task, since clerics frequently came from the same aristocratic families as counts and warriors, and laymen and laywomen often were literate and pious Christians who led lives of prayer and Scriptural study, not unlike members of the Church. This blurring of the lines between the nobility and the clergy created an ideal of lay manhood that was at once worldly and muscular as well as educated and pious. As Thomas Noble and Rachel Stone have argued, Carolingian churchmen like Alcuin and Jonas of Orléans preached that the lifestyle of lay nobles, with its emphasis on military ser vice, marriage, and the exercise of power, was not incompatible with Christian morality and salvation.7 Yet the different career paths open to noblemen—the worldly warrior versus the chaste churchman or ascetic monk—had the potential to create tensions in the hearts of Frankish youths who wrestled with conflicting masculine ideals.8 These tensions could be exacerbated by the fact that parents often did not decide whether sons would pursue a secular or clerical career until well into their education. As a result, the activity of hunting often became a contested boundary marker between different aristocratic vocations.9 Adding to this social and gendered complexity is the fact that “the clergy” itself was not a homogenous class but rather a broad and fluid category comprising many different subgroups. The Synod of Frankfurt (794), for example, used the word clerici as an umbrella term that encompassed both “secular” clergy (archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons) as well as “regular” clergy (abbots, abbesses, monks, nuns, canons).10 In other words, neat social categories like “the clergy” and “the Church” were as complex and potentially misleading as “the nobility” or “the peasantry.” Because of these increasingly unclear gendered boundaries, clerical hunting became a flashpoint for larger debates about the nature of Christian society and the distinction between laymen, clerics, and monks.11 This chapter investigates the evolution of the clerical hunting ban and explores the complex relationship between hunting and the Church in the early Middle Ages. We will discover that, because hunting was so prevalent in early medieval society, churchmen and monks could not wholly separate themselves from the culture of the chase, even if they wished to do so.

Clerical Prohibitions Against Hunting Since the early days of Christianity, priests performed the sacraments and thus acted as mediators between God and mankind. As a result of priests’ unique role in Christian society, the “singularly powerful idea” of separation between clergy and laity was common in early medieval Europe.12 Like people today, those in the



Chapter 7

Frankish world hoped that churchmen would live exemplary lives of Christian piety, upright behavior, and moral leadership. This was a central argument of Gregory the Great’s widely read Book of Pastoral Rule: that Christian leaders must lead by example and adhere to a higher standard of Christian conduct.13 To accomplish this, clerics were expected to shun sinful and frivolous worldly activities: not only hunting but also carrying weapons, going to war, fornication, excessive eating and drinking, wearing expensive clothing, telling bawdy jokes, and the like. The clergy of course sometimes fell short of these ideals. Clerics and monks frequently came from prominent families, and they found it difficult to distance themselves from the martial, ostentatious aristocratic culture in which they grew up. Amid the tensions between competing masculine ideals, hunting became a key marker of social and gendered identities. The proscription of clerical hunting did not begin until the early sixth century. This new position was the result of the long-standing prohibition against clerics carrying weapons combined with the growing influence of Christian monasticism, which rejected worldly pleasures and often demanded a vegetarian diet.14 The first church council to impose the hunting ban on clerics was the Synod of Agde, held in 506 under the leadership of the ascetic Caesarius of Arles with thirty-five bishops from southern Gaul and Provence in attendance. The canon in question banned clerical hunting on the grounds that it was a worldly pleasure (voluptas): “It is not proper for bishops, priests, and deacons to have dogs and hawks for hunting. If such a person is found participating in this worldly pleasure, if he is a bishop, let him withdraw himself from communion for three months; if he is a priest, let him abstain for two months. If he is a deacon, he will wholly cease from his office and communion for a month.”15 Eleven years later this canon was adopted at the Synod of Epaone, in Burgundy.16 The Synod of Mâcon (585), which was called by the hunt-loving King Guntram, imported the clerical hunting ban into the Merovingian kingdoms. But, in contrast to the earlier decrees, the Synod of Mâcon focused narrowly on bishops and addressed concerns about their ownership of guard dogs: After considering and deciding what applies to divine and human law, we thought it fitting to make the following decree about dogs and hawks: We desire that the bishop’s household, which was instituted with God’s favor to welcome all people without exception in hospitality, have no dogs, lest by chance those who hope to find comfort from hardship there instead be torn apart by the bites of vicious dogs and suffer bodily injury. The bishop’s residence ought to be guarded by hymns and good works, not barking and deadly bites. It is a monstrous and disgraceful sign if dogs or hawks live where God’s hymns should be sung without ceasing.17

Bishops and Boars

In this way, the Synod of Mâcon prohibited bishops from having dogs and hawks at their residences on the grounds of their obligation to provide hospitality and charity. However, it notably did not prohibit bishops from hunting per se or from owning dogs or hawks if they were housed elsewhere. Moreover, the Mâcon decree said nothing about priests, deacons, or monks. The earliest monastic rule that explicitly prohibited monks from hunting was that of Bishop Ferreolus of Uzès (d. 581), who justified the ban on the grounds that hunting was a worldly pleasure.18 In sum, although the Merovingian Church clearly deemed clerical hunting inappropriate, it lacked a single coherent policy and left a number of loopholes that, in some circumstances, permitted the practice. These ambiguities were increasingly resolved under the Carolingians, who strongly opposed clerical hunting as part of their reforms of the Frankish Church.19 The Carolingians sought to purify the often-worldly Frankish clergy and transform its members into a class of educated churchmen leading exemplary lives of Christian virtue. The hunting and weapons ban therefore became central to the effort to improve the quality of churchmen and distinguish them from lay nobles. An early impetus came from the Anglo-Saxon reformer Boniface (d. 754), who was the papal legate to Germany. With the support of Martel’s older son, the Austrasian mayor of the palace Carloman, Boniface presided over the first Carolingian reform council of the Frankish Church. On the eve of that council in 742, Boniface wrote to Pope Zachary asking for guidance about Frankish bishops “who, although they deny that they are fornicators and adulterers, are hard-drinking, irresponsible men and hunters who fight fully armed in the military and have shed human blood with their own hands, whether of pagans or of Christians.”20 In his reply, Zachary focused on bishops and priests who had sexual relations and shed human blood, commanding that Boniface prohibit such men from performing the sacraments and other priestly duties. However, the pope notably did not address Boniface’s concern about clerical hunting, suggesting that he saw this issue as one of secondary importance. 21 Before Boniface received Pope Zachary’s reply, however, Carloman summoned the reform council in April 742. In attendance were the eastern bishops of Würzburg, Cologne, Buraburg, Erfurt, and Utrecht, with Boniface acting as the presiding archbishop and papal legate. In his publication of the council’s decrees, Carloman stated that he sought “to revive God’s law and ecclesiastical order, which had fallen into disrepair under previous princes,” an obvious criticism of the Merovingians.22 Carloman emphasized that he made these decrees “with the counsel of my priests and magnates,” indicating that lay nobles supported the reforms alongside churchmen.23 Reflecting the concerns that Boniface had voiced in his recent letter to the pope, the second canon addressed the issue of clerical



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hunting. Carloman and his counselors framed the prohibition as part of a decree against clerics carrying weapons and participating in warfare: We wholly prohibit God’s servants in all things to carry any kind of weapon, to fight, and to go forth in the army and host, excepting only those who are chosen for the divine ministry, that is, to perform the solemnities of the Mass and transport the protecting bodies of saints. Let the prince have with him one or two bishops with chaplains and priests, and let every count have one priest who can judge the sins of the men who make confession and prescribe penance. We also prohibit to all God’s servants hunting and roaming about in woods with dogs. Likewise they should not have hawks and falcons.24 Thus this prohibition was more expansive than earlier decrees in that it applied to all of God’s servants (servi Dei): bishops, priests, deacons, and all other clerici.25 It also addressed the ambiguities in earlier canons: not only were clerics prohibited to hunt themselves, but they also were not to spend time wandering in woodlands with dogs, which meant that they should not even accompany other hunters as spectators. Moreover, the prohibition clarified that clerics should not practice falconry with either hawks or falcons, even though those activities did not involve the use of weapons.26 Carloman’s brother Pippin the Short (who would usurp the Frankish throne seven years later) held his own reform counsel in 744 at Soissons “with the consent of the bishops and priests, with the counsel of God’s servants, and with the counts and great men of the Franks.” Pippin’s council issued a similar injunction against clerical hunting, although he prohibited only abbots from participating in war: “Let true abbots not march with the host unless only to lead their men. And all clerics should not commit fornication, wear the clothing of laymen, go on hunts with dogs, nor carry hawks.”27 This call to renew God’s law and ecclesiastical order in the Frankish kingdom left a deep impression on Pippin’s son Charlemagne. After succeeding his father in 768, Charlemagne embraced his role as the divinely appointed protector of the Church. In his very first capitulary issued circa 771, he adopted the solemn title, “Charles, king by the grace of God, ruler of the kingdom of the Franks, and the devoted defender of the holy Church and its supporter in all things.”28 In that capitulary Charlemagne renewed verbatim his uncle’s 742 decree prohibiting clergy from hunting, roaming the woods with dogs, and owning hawks and falcons.29 Notably, he did not prefer his father’s ruling on the same topic, apparently because it was less expansive and rigorous than his uncle’s. Charlemagne reiterated this clerical prohibition throughout his reign. Although he did require military ser vice from his bishops and abbots, he still enforced the hunting ban for all

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members of the clergy.30 In 789 he decreed that bishops, abbots, and also abbesses were not to have dogs, hawks, falcons, or jesters.31 As we have seen, this decree probably does not indicate that abbesses were hunting, but it does call attention to the fact that ecclesiastical prelates—men and women—often were expected to entertain guests and provide them with fresh game at banquets.32 The association of hunting and falconry with bawdy entertainments is significant, since it underscores the view that these activities were worldly pursuits and inappropriate for churchmen and spiritual leaders. Subsequent Carolingian synods reiterated these clerical prohibitions on hunting and other worldly activities (negotia saecularia), often invoking as justification 2 Timothy 2.4: “No one serving God should involve himself in worldly activities.”33 Yet concerns about clerical hunting persisted into the reign of Louis the Pious. In his influential book on penance, Halitgar of Cambrai (817–831) stipulated that clerics who admitted to hunting were to perform penance for one year, deacons for two years, and priests for three years.34 This was a notable increase over the punishments for clerical hunting in the 506 Synod of Agde, which had been reckoned in months rather than years. Charlemagne sought to hold Frankish nobles to higher standards of Christian behavior as well. Of course, he expected his nobles to hunt, but he placed limitations on their hunting in accord with his vision of creating a Christian empire. Thus he insisted that laymen not go hunting on Sundays and feast days so that they could go to church. Moreover, he demanded that counts not go hunting or attend banquets on days when they should judge legal cases and enforce justice in county courts.35 Charlemagne emphasized that he himself modeled proper Christian behavior for the nobles during royal assemblies: “We want and command that our counts neither cancel nor shorten their court hearings on account of hunting or other amusements. Rather, following our own example when we hold court with them [ad exemplum quod nos cum illis placitare solemus], they themselves should likewise hold court with their subjects and enforce justice.”36 Here we see clearly how the behavior of the Carolingian ruler and his court served as a model (exemplum) for the behavior of his counts, who in turn were to model that Christian behavior for their own men and subjects in the provinces. Once again, this is the essence of Norbert Elias’s “courtierization of warriors,” with aristocrats adopting and exporting the refined manners of the palace. Under Charlemagne this included not only teaching youths how to hunt, but also showing the nobles when to refrain from the chase because of their higher duties to God, the king, and justice. Such decrees capture the views of kings and their ecclesiastical advisors. Yet another genre of evidence—episcopal capitularies—gives more regional and local perspectives. Some fifty episcopal capitularies survive from the Carolingian era, almost all of them dating to the ninth century. Individual bishops composed



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these episcopal capitularies to bring the Carolingian reforms to their local parishes and to the clergy of their dioceses. Episcopal capitularies suggest that the priests and clerics in towns and villages often came from prominent local families and did not always willingly give up their worldly way of life.37 In these documents bishops repeatedly commanded local clergy to relinquish markers of elite status, including carrying weapons, hunting, and owning dogs, hawks, and falcons, as well as other worldly behaviors (wearing lay attire, living with women, going to taverns and banquets, telling off-color jokes, singing and dancing, attending law courts, etc.).38 Bishops also worried that some local priests served in households of potentates and thus could not escape the culture of hunting even if they tried. Radulf of Bourges forbade village priests (presbyteri villici) to hunt or act as escorts for powerful lords, and Agobard of Lyon (the adversary of Louis the Pious’s falconer Gerric) complained that some lords compelled household priests to perform menial tasks such as serving food and drink, acting as grooms when ladies went riding, and taking dogs for walks.39 Other bishops were concerned that hunting and dogs were forms of spiritual pollution. They commanded laymen not to bring dogs into churches and not to hunt when preparing to stand as godparents or when performing penance.40

Clerical Hunting and Ecclesiastical Hunting Rights How successful were these Carolingian prohibitions of clerical hunting? Ultimately this question is impossible to answer, since there is no way to quantify the prevalence of clerical hunting before and after the Carolingian reforms. What is clear is that they succeeded in creating a general consensus that hunting was inappropriate for churchmen, even if some clerics ignored the prohibitions in practice. In other words, some churchmen continued to hunt (the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 would again outlaw the practice), but this was increasingly frowned upon during the eighth and ninth centuries. During Louis the Pious’s reign, Agobard of Lyon still felt it necessary to admonish the clerics and monks in his archdiocese to shun aristocratic pomp: hunting, falconry, banqueting, drunkenness, musical entertainment, wealth, and jewelry.41 But, writing soon after Louis’s death, the Astronomer believed that the Carolingian hunting prohibition had been at least partially successful. Commenting on Louis’s early career as king of Aquitaine he wrote: Since he came of age [ca. 793], but especially at that time [ca. 812], the most pious spirit of the king was roused to divine worship and the exaltation of the Church, so that his works proclaimed that he was not only a

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king but also a priest. For whoever was a cleric in Aquitaine before the region was entrusted to him seemed to be living under tyrants and knew better how to apply himself to riding, to military exercises, and to hurling missiles than to divine worship. The king zealously brought in teachers from everywhere, and he quickly built up the study of reading and singing and the mastery of divine and worldly letters.42 The Astronomer’s description of Louis as both king and priest recalls the biblical figure Melchisedech (Genesis 14.18–19) and highlights the Carolingians’ dual roles as terrestrial rulers and leaders of God’s Church.43 According to the Astronomer, Louis’s enthusiasm for reform continued after he succeeded his father: “Finally, at that time [ca. 817] belts outfitted with golden bindings and jeweled daggers, elegant clothing, and ankles decked out with spurs began to be cast aside and abandoned by the bishops and clerics. For the emperor considered it to be quite monstrous if someone of the religious life should aspire to the ornaments of worldly glory.”44 The Astronomer’s focus on luxurious clothing, daggers, and spurs is significant because these were the badges of aristocratic huntsmen. But his formulation “began to be cast aside” (ceperunt deponi) highlights that these reforms remained a work in progress. In the end, the prohibition of clerical hunting probably was effective only when promotions to coveted ecclesiastical offices— especially bishoprics, abbacies, and other important churches—depended on avoiding such worldly behavior. In rural parishes far from court, local clerics may have viewed maintaining an elite lifestyle as more important than winning the approbation of a distant king or bishop. We do in fact know of one churchman whom Louis the Pious seems to have deposed for breaking the clerical ban on carry ing weapons: the poet Ermold. The general consensus is that Ermold was an Aquitanian cleric,45 and we know that he served in the household of the avid hunter Pippin of Aquitaine. However, in the 820s Louis exiled Ermold to Strasbourg in Alsace for a crime that heretofore has puzzled scholars. In the conclusion of In Honor of Emperor Louis, Ermold expressed the hope that the emperor would understand from his “truthful words” (veridicis verbis) that he was “less guilty of the crime charged against him” (criminis objecti me minus esse reum) and thus should be pardoned.46 Some scholars suspect that Ermold had gotten in trouble for dogmatic errors related to the veneration of saints (which he vociferously defended in the poem), although others express doubt about this interpretation.47 However, it has been overlooked that Ermold openly confessed to another crime: carry ing weapons and performing military ser vice. In his account of Louis’s campaign against the Bretons in 824, Ermold admitted that he had served in Pippin’s troops as a soldier:



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I myself carried to that place a shield on my back and a sheathed sword, But no one suffered an injury from a blow I delivered. Seeing this Pippin marveled, laughed, and said, “Put down your arms, brother. It is better that you stick to writing!”48 If it is correct that Ermold was a cleric, then marching to war with a sword and shield was a flagrant transgression of the decrees forbidding churchmen from carrying weapons and serving in the army. It apparently was in this very passage that Ermold made his case that he was “less guilty of the crime charged against him,” since he emphasized that his sword had remained sheathed (ensemque revinctum gessi) and that he had not injured anyone with his weapon (nemo me feriente dolet). Serving in the army implies that Ermold had some skill at hunting, since that was the standard training for horsemanship and war. We have noted in Chapter 4 that the imagery of the hunt in fact runs throughout Ermold’s poetry. This evidence suggests that his mysterious crime was none other than breaking the clerical prohibition on carrying weapons—and thus, by extension, perhaps also hunting. In other words, Ermold may have been one of the worldly Aquitanian churchmen whom the Astronomer accused of knowing “better how to apply himself to riding, to military exercises, and to hurling missiles than to divine worship.” In 824 Louis the Pious apparently sought to make an example of Ermold by exiling him to Strasbourg—a city tantalizingly close to the game-rich Vosges—for this crime. Ermold did in fact take Pippin’s advice to heart: he put down his weapons and turned to writing poetry, and it was through his verses that he hoped to win Louis’s pardon. Another piece of evidence for the enforcement of the clerical hunting ban comes from a letter of Pope Nicholas I (858–867) to Archbishop Adalwin of Salzburg (859–873), a document that is preserved in Gratian’s twelfth-century Decretum.49 In this letter, the pope expressed concern that the youthful Bishop Lantfrid of Säben (854–875) not only loved hunting and falconry but also had a daughter who often accompanied him. Adalwin and the Bavarian bishops had admonished Lantfrid to cease this inappropriate behavior, but with little success. Pope Nicholas blamed Lantfrid’s unacceptable behavior on youthful immaturity. He wrote to Adalwin: “If what we have heard is true, it is right to call him a youth, since he is seized by youthful desires and not restrained by gravitas. For, as blessed Jerome says, ‘We never read [in Scripture] of a holy huntsman.’ ” The pope instructed the archbishop to call a regional synod at which he would command Lantfrid “to remove himself wholly from the hunting of all beasts and birds and completely from inappropriate familiarity with his daughter.” If Lantfrid still refused to obey, then Adalwin was to excommunicate and depose him. Although we do not know what became of Lantfrid’s case, the letter shows that the papacy and the Frankish bishops took the hunting ban seriously and sought

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to root it out, at least among fellow bishops. It is also noteworthy that the pope’s concern was not only that Lantfrid’s behavior went against Church law, but also that it was causing scandal and gossip (mala fama) in the local community. Once again, we see the connection between the prohibition of clerical hunting and the desire that bishops and clergy should lead exemplary Christian lives. Another indication of the impact of these prohibitions is that accusations of clerical hunting became coded language to attack the moral probity of churchmen. Such rhetoric became more common in the first half of the ninth century, just when the Astronomer suggested that the clerical hunting ban was beginning to take root. For example, in his Life of Saint Benedict of Aniane (probably written in the 820s), Ardo criticized a monk who traveled on horseback with his whelps when on monastic business, thus breaking the prohibition against churchmen having dogs. According to Ardo, God caused the horse to throw the monk to the ground, thereby injuring him, and then struck his horse dead.50 The Deeds of the Holy Fathers of St.-Wandrille, which was written around 833, criticized Abbot Wido (738–739) in language that echoed the legislation against worldly clerics: “He came from the secular clergy and was always girded with a knife that they call a semispatha. He wore military attire instead of a monastic hood and never followed the rules of ecclesiastical discipline. He always brought with him a mixed pack of dogs with which he constantly hunted, and he was such an expert archer with a wooden bow that he could shoot down birds. He devoted himself to these exercises much more than to the matters of the Church.”51 Critics of Abbot Fridigisus of St.-Bertin (820–834) and Pope John XII (955–967) likewise censured them for hunting.52 It is impossible to know if these accusations are true, but they demonstrate the extent to which Frankish society had come to accept the notion that hunting was unacceptable for upright churchmen. Conversely, to identify a churchman as a non-hunter became shorthand to say that he did not lead a worldly aristocratic lifestyle. The Annals of Xanten praised Archbishop Willibert of Cologne (870–889) as “not a prideful man, nor a hunter, nor a hypocrite, nor a mercenary, nor open to bribes, but rather motivated by great earnestness and endowed with all the ecclesiastical disciplines.”53 Nevertheless, hunting was so central to aristocratic culture that churchmen could not always extricate themselves from it completely, even if they wanted to. As we have seen, powerful lords sometimes expected clerical vassals to accompany them on hunts and even act as horse grooms and dogkeepers. Merovingian kings sometimes insisted that bishops escort them. When Childebert prepared to go hunting near Paris one morning, he commanded Bishop Albinus of Angers to join him as a spectator.54 Technically this was not a breach of Church law before the Carolingians, since the Merovingian synods prohibited clerics only from owning hunting dogs and hawks and keeping them in their homes. Yet



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the Carolingian prohibition against churchmen “wandering in woodlands with dogs” made clerical accompaniment of hunters a violation of the canons. Ermold emphasized that royal clerics waited back at the palace when Louis the Pious went hunting, thereby calling attention to the fact that Louis’s court properly observed this prohibition.55 But some ecclesiastical prelates did not want to miss out on royal hunts, since they were important settings for networking and royal patronage. At times churchmen apparently got around the letter of the law by accompanying kings on hunting trips but recusing themselves when the king and his companions engaged in the actual pursuit of wild animals. For example, Charles the Bald issued two charters for the bishop of Châlons on November 22, 864, in the Forest of Cuise, presumably during an other wise unrecorded autumn hunting trip.56 A similar scenario is implied by a report of a dispute settlement of King Odo (888–898) that transpired in the spring of 890 “when according to royal custom King Odo was staying in the Forest of Cuise to go hunting near the place called Audita with the bishops, counts, and royal vassals.”57 With the support of the other nobles who were there, Bishop Gilbert of Nîmes persuaded Odo to order an investigation into a contested property that eventually was returned to his bishopric. In other words, hunts were good opportunities for prelates like Gilbert to secure favorable judgments and patronage from a king while their allies were present. This was perhaps especially true because of the more informal, relaxed atmosphere around royal hunting trips, which would have presented occasions for churchmen to approach the king when he was in a jovial mood. Similarly, Sturm of Fulda was able to obtain the lifting of his sentence of exile by approaching Pippin the Short early one morning before the king set out to hunt.58 Churchmen therefore sometimes did accompany kings on hunting trips, even if they waited back at the palace while the king and his lay companions went out to do the actual hunting. Some bishops and abbots also were involved in hunting because their churches possessed highly valued hunting rights. As we have seen, by the reign of Charlemagne the see of Salzburg possessed extensive forestland and fishing and hunting rights along the Salzach River and in the Abersee.59 Salzburg so highly valued its hunting rights that it even forged documents to extend them. In the early tenth century, one of its scribes falsified a royal charter in the name of Emperor Arnulf claiming the right to hunt bears and wild boars in St.-Andrä im Sausal.60 Bishops and abbots with such valuable rights were of course not supposed to hunt themselves; instead, they were to let laymen and vassals do the hunting.61 Charlemagne was careful to justify his grants of hunting rights to monasteries because they seemed to contradict his decrees against clerical hunting. Thus when he confirmed to St.-Denis the right to hunt roe deer in the Forest of Yvelines, he emphasized in the charter that he made the grant so the monks might “bind the books of that

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holy place with their hides.”62 Similarly, in his charter granting hunting rights to St.-Bertin, he specified that the abbot’s lay vassals (homines) were to do the hunting, and he stipulated that he made the grant “so that the brothers can have the wherewithal either to bind books or make gloves and belts.”63 In light of the Rule of Saint Benedict’s prohibition against monks eating quadrupeds,64 these charters imply that abbots served the game to visiting guests, gave it to their vassals and supporters, or perhaps sold it at local markets. Bishops and abbots who did possess hunting rights were vigilant that people not hunt on their lands without permission. When certain men requested that they be allowed to hunt on Reims’s properties in the Wormsgau, Hincmar refused on the grounds that none of his predecessors had ever allowed such a thing and that such actions would surely bring down Saint Remigius’s wrath.65 Prelates might also sell hunting rights to others. Abbot Berenger of Tegernsee (1003–1013) sold the right to hunt (venatio silvestrium ferarum) in the woodland of Otterfing to Count Dietrich in exchange for four and a half farmsteads.66 Beginning in the later ninth century, we notably find more instances of Carolingian kings granting bishoprics and monasteries hunting rights. For example, Zwentibold granted a forest and hunting rights to the monastery of St.-Maximin, Louis the Child gave a forest and hunting rights to the bishopric of Eichstätt, and Charles the Simple gifted a forest and hunting rights to the bishop of Liège.67 We also hear of several bishoprics acquiring game parks under the later Carolingians. The one at Regensburg fell into in the hands of the monastery of St.-Emmeram, although Arnulf regained it for the crown’s use.68 The bishops of Eichstätt were allowed to take three wild boars, three stags, three does, and thirty fish from the king’s game park at Pegnitz every year.69 The archbishops of Milan possessed their own game park, where they allowed supporters to hunt.70 Although Charlemagne had been careful to stipulate that his grants of hunting rights to churches were only to allow acquisition of materials for binding books and making gloves and belts, the later Carolingians did not include such clauses. This shift may indicate a less rigorous adherence to the clerical hunting ban and monastic dietary restrictions by the end of the ninth century. In some scenarios bishops and abbots were expected to organize and supervise local hunts. One reason was to protect their dioceses from wolves. In the 470s the bishop of Vienne rallied the citizens against wolves and other predators that were menacing the city because of a series of natural disasters.71 A letter from Bishop Frothar of Toul (813–847) reveals that Charlemagne extended his subjects’ obligations to cull wolf populations to the bishops. Soon after his appointment, Frothar wrote to the elderly Charlemagne to give him an update on his extermination campaign: “Although it is not yet time for me to give a full account of my efforts, I would like to give your Majesty an interim report on how I have done in exterminating these terrestrial wolves. Since you granted me the bishopric, I killed



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240 wolves in your forests. I say, ‘I killed them,’ because they were captured on my orders and command.”72 This comment shows that Frothar took the hunting ban seriously and wanted to reassure the emperor that he was not killing wolves himself. It is significant that the bishop of Toul concentrated his wolf culls in the king’s nearby forests (in vestris forestibus). This highlights the fact that Charlemagne’s campaign to exterminate wolves was primarily aimed at safeguarding the crown’s game, although a secondary benefit would have been the protection of nearby village communities and their livestock. Wolves were a serious problem in Frothar’s diocese, since during times of famine they were known to attack and kill people.73 The fact that Frothar’s men killed 240 wolves in less than a year gives us a glimpse of the massive scale of Charlemagne’s empire-wide extermination effort. Another context in which churchmen found themselves organizing hunts was through their role as teachers of young nobles. Bishops and abbots were powerful figures who had one foot in the Church and the other in the world of the nobility.74 In this capacity, they often found themselves entrusted with the schooling of the sons of prominent nobles, many of whom did not intend to pursue an ecclesiastical career. This meant that prelates sometimes oversaw lessons in hunting and falconry as well as grammar and literature. Abbot Notker of St.-Gall (971–975) probably was not unusual in supervising the training of the sons of his vassals, which entailed practicing weaponry, playing chess, and “hunting birds and the other animals that are suitable for exercising the character of wellborn men.”75 Notker even built a small zoo at St.-Gall that housed individual species of wild animals and birds.76 But other churchmen worried that hunting by boys attending monastic schools might contaminate the purity of the cloister. After learning of the sack of Lindisfarne by the Northmen in 792, Alcuin urged the brothers of nearby Wearmouth-Jarrow to secure God’s protection by shunning impious behavior and not allowing their boys to “dig up the dens of foxes and chase the swift flight of hares.”77 Those boys probably included not only monastic oblates but also the sons of prominent Northumbrian aristocrats who were destined for worldly careers. Because bishops and abbots were responsible for both educating the sons of nobles and exterminating wolf populations, and since their churches sometimes had hunting rights, they could not escape the culture of hunting altogether. It simply was too ubiquitous in early medieval society.

Ecclesiastical Views on Hunting Most noble boys would have grown up in households that took for granted the importance of hunting for their education. However, those who advanced in the study of the liberal arts, perhaps for a career in the Church, would have encountered

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learned Christian views that challenged this view. The Bible does not offer a very positive interpretation of hunters.78 It is true that David and Samson are briefly praised for their hunting exploits (1 Samuel 17.36–37; Judges 14.6, 15.4). But the picture of the two other biblical huntsmen—Nimrod and Esau—is negative. Genesis 10.8–9 describes Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod as the first great ruler in human history and an accomplished hunter: “He was the first man on earth to become powerful. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.” Extrabiblical traditions (including the medieval Jewish Haggadah) reported that Nimrod rebelled against God and built the Tower of Babel, thus forever associating him with pride and sin. Isaac’s firstborn son Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, likewise had a dark reputation (Genesis 25.25–34). Esau was an impetuous, hairy redhead and gifted huntsman who rashly sold his claim to his father’s patrimony to Jacob. He also earned his parents displeasure by disobeying God’s command and marrying Hittite women. As a result, Jacob’s descendants founded the twelve tribes of Israel, whereas Esau’s progeny became their Edomite rivals.79 Based on the figures of Nimrod and Esau, early Christian writers had a rather negative view of hunters. In his commentary on Psalm 91.3, “He will liberate me from the snare of the hunters,” Jerome made the following comment: “ There are many hunters in this world who attempt to hunt our soul. For Nimrod himself was a giant, and he was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Esau too was a hunter because he was a sinner. For in the entirety of holy Scriptures, we do not find anyone who was a holy hunter. On the other hand, we do find holy fishermen.”80 In his commentary on Psalm 119, Ambrose voiced a similar opinion: “For these men [Nimrod and Esau] were hunters who caught wild beasts with snares and bound dumb animals with chains. Hunters who capture beasts that provide display for popular shows are useless and serve only cruelty. For we do not find a single righteous man among the hunters in divine Scriptures.”81 Augustine urged Christians to shun circuses and hunting performances, and he worried that the sight of hunters chasing a hare in the countryside (or even of a spider catching a fly) diverted his mind from spiritual matters.82 Maximus of Turin (d. 420) wrote a sermon about fasting during Lent in which he criticized people who used this penitential season as free time to hunt. He admonished his congregation, “Brothers, do you really think that a person truly fasts if, rather than keeping vigil in church or visiting the holy places of blessed martyrs, he rises at the crack of dawn, gathers his servants, sets up his nets, takes his dogs, and heads for groves and woodlands?”83 Maximus went on to bemoan that some lords abused, flogged, and even killed servants for making mistakes during a hunt or while caring for their dogs. Some lords treated their dogs better than their slaves: “In the homes of many men you can see well-groomed and well-fed dogs running about, while their servants are pale and can barely walk!”84



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Early medieval hunters did not have a special patron saint. Significantly, the well-known Saint Hubert—the Apostle of the Ardennes and protector of hunters—seems not to have become associated with hunting until the central Middle Ages.85 Hubert was the Frankish bishop of Liège (703–727), and the two earliest versions of his many saint’s lives, written in 744 and 825, notably do not mention hunting. This association was a later development, after his relics were transferred in 825 to the monastery of Andain in the Ardennes, which became known as St.-Hubert. In antiquity Andain had a spring dedicated to the goddess Diana, and this tradition, in conjunction with the monastery’s location in the Ardennes, gradually fostered Hubert’s associations with hunting. It apparently was only in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that he became known as the patron saint of hunters and a protector against rabies. In the later Middle Ages, one of his lives introduced the miracle (borrowed from the life of the eastern saint Eustace) of Hubert’s conversion while hunting when he encountered a wondrous stag with a crucifix suspended between its antlers. Yet, during the early Middle Ages, neither Saint Hubert nor any other patron saint seems to have been explicitly associated with hunters. The Franks therefore inherited a late antique Christian tradition that sporadically criticized hunting as a suspect activity that could lead to sinful behavior and neglect of religious obligations. Nevertheless, it is impossible to generalize the view of the Frankish Church on lay hunting; churchmen held a range of opinions about the activity, reflecting the ubiquity of hunting in aristocratic society and the fact that many ecclesiastical authors probably had hunted as children and young men before deciding on a clerical or monastic career. Moreover, the emphasis on cooperation between lay nobles and ecclesiastical prelates, which was a central theme of Carolingian government,86 apparently fostered more willingness on the behalf of clerical authors to describe aristocratic hunting in positive, or at least neutral, terms. Thus between Louis the Pious’s two biographers, one (Thegan) significantly downplayed Louis’s frequent hunting, whereas the other (the Astronomer) made it a central theme of his royal portrait.87 The most outspoken critic was Bishop Jonas of Orléans (818–843), a learned Aquitanian cleric who served Louis’s son Pippin of Aquitaine. Jonas dedicated to Count Matrid of Orléans his On the Laity (828/9), a “lay mirror,” which was a guide of moral instruction.88 In that treatise Jonas included a chapter titled “Concerning those who neglect the welfare of the poor because of their hunting and love of dogs.”89 Here Jonas critiqued not hunting per se but rather excessive aristocratic devotion to the activity that led to abuse of the poor and neglect of one’s soul. In this way Jonas echoed the criticism of Pippin of Aquitaine by his contemporary Ermold, whom he probably knew.90 In this section Jonas quoted Maximus of Turin’s above-

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mentioned sermon (which he mistakenly attributed to Augustine). Jonas prefaced Maximus’s sermon with his own thoughts on the matter: There are many who, because of the love of dogs and all kinds of hunting to which they foolishly devote themselves, neglect both their own welfare and the welfare of the poor. It is a miserable situation greatly to be lamented when the poor are despoiled, beaten, and forced into slavery by powerful men, and suffer many other things besides, all for the sake of wild beasts, which men themselves do not feed but rather that God has granted to all mortals for their common use. But those who do so assert that they are acting justly according to the law of the world. . . . It is the height of folly when on account of hunting someone skips the solemn celebration of the Mass and divine praises on Sundays and other feast days. Because of this kind of hunting he neglects the salvation of his soul as well as the souls of those whom he should rule and serve. Such men love the barking of dogs more than the melodies of heavenly hymns.91 Here one notes Jonas’s implied denunciation of the sixty-solidi fine for poaching in royal forests according to the capitularies (lex mundi). This topic would have been particularly relevant to Matfrid, who as count of Orléans was responsible for prosecuting poachers in his county. Those who could not pay this heavy penalty were “despoiled, beaten, and forced into slavery.” Jonas’s assertion that God had granted wild animals to all mankind refers to the Book of Genesis, where God gave Noah and his descendants permission to eat animals after the flood (Genesis 9.1–3). Jonas’s appeal to potentiores like Matfrid to be merciful toward commoners guilty of poaching echoes Einhard’s contemporary letter to Count Poppo on the same subject. Jonas concluded the chapter with an excerpt from Augustine’s Commentary on the Psalms. Augustine had critiqued professional beast hunters (venatores) who performed in arenas, although Jonas reinterpreted the passage to censure the admiration of hunters in general.92 Other Carolingian churchmen voiced similar critical views of hunting and hunt-related activities. In his commentary on the book of Genesis, Rabanus followed Jerome in his negative interpretation of Nimrod, presenting him as a tyrannical emperor who built the Tower of Babel in an effort to make himself equal to God. Rabanus asked, “Why is he called ‘hunter,’ and what is signified by this title, unless it means the deceiver of earthly souls who catches men and kills them?”93 Hincmar criticized the display of wild animals for entertainment at banquets, either performances with bears (turpia ioca cum urso) or actors wearing beast masks called talamascas.94 Such performances apparently were not uncommon. As



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Figure 58. A man with what appears to be a dancing bear on a leash. Next to him a musician plays a wind instrument while a man dances. Illustration for Psalm 30.11 (Vulgate 29.11): “You have turned my mourning into dancing.” (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 17r)

we have seen, there were dancing bears at Charlemagne’s court, and we also hear of traveling minstrels with performing monkeys.95 Hincmar noted with disapproval that some laymen saw it as bad luck to run into a cleric when setting out to hunt, whereas others irreverently trained their dogs “to bark at the offertory box as if it were a wild beast.”96 This passage is significant because it reveals that some laymen had an anticlerical bias, apparently because of the Church’s opposition to hunting on Sundays and feast days, as well as for its collection of tithes. In other words, most hunters were devout Christians, but some did not agree with clergy’s efforts to limit the days on which they could hunt. One of the artists of the Utrecht Psalter, who presumably was a cleric or monk, critiqued hunting animals as status symbols. To illustrate “vanities and false luxuries,” he depicted two men showing off a falcon, hunting dogs, and prancing steeds before a crowd of admiring onlookers. This illumination is in fact one of the earliest representations of what became a common motif in later medieval art: “the falcon on the fist.”97 Other churchmen made pronouncements against hunters, shepherds, and rural people who recited superstitious charms to protect themselves, their dogs, and their animals from disease and injury.98 The blessings for hawks and falcons found

Bishops and Boars

Figure 59. Two men show off their horses, hawk, and dogs to a crowd of onlookers. Illustration of Psalm 40.4 (Vulgate 39.4): “Blessed is the man who does not care for vanities and false luxuries.” (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 23r)

in the Anonymous of Vercelli probably would have raised the eyebrows of some bishops.99 Carolingian church councils decreed that laymen convicted of particularly heinous crimes (such as the killing of a close relative or priest) had to submit to especially rigorous public penance that included renouncing essential elements of aristocratic life: hunting, carrying weapons, riding horses, eating meat, attending banquets, and even associating with one’s wife. Bishops thus recognized hunting as a privilege of the lay nobility, but one that was incompatible with particularly sinful conduct.100 Yet not all churchmen were critical of hunting. We have already encountered positive depictions of hunting by clerical writers such as Ermold and the Astronomer. We have seen that Notker and the author of the Life of Saint Gangulf defended aristocratic hunting as a means to combat sloth and luxury and to enhance vigorous ser vice to the crown.101 It is striking that, unlike Jonas of Orléans, the other Carolingian authors of lay mirrors (Alcuin, Paulinus of Aquileia, and Dhuoda) did not mention hunting, which implies that they accepted the activity as a natural part of aristocratic life. Some churchmen expressed interest in hunting through ancient texts. In the early ninth century, a monk at Fulda copied into a codex the letter of Pliny the Younger to Tacitus describing his habit of writing while waiting by the nets during a hunt.102 Hincmar likewise had an interest in classical works with venatic themes. While a boy at St.-Denis, he studied the hunting poem, Cynegetica, of the third-century author Nemesianus, and later in life he quoted it, apparently from memory.103 The earliest surviving copy was made at St.-Denis



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circa 825, just when Hincmar was at Louis the Pious’s court with his abbot, Hilduin of St.-Denis, who was serving as archchaplain.104 One wonders if Hilduin gave this copy of Nemesianus’s poem to Louis the Pious as a gift. Several churchmen dedicated treatises on hunt-related topics to Louis the Pious’s namesake, Louis the German.105 One was an anonymous treatise on hunting and dietary laws. Although the surviving copy omits the name of the royal recipient, internal evidence points to the conclusion that it was Louis the German himself.106 In this work, the author sought to assuage concerns that hunted game might be considered a prohibited food according to the decree of the apostles not to eat animals that had been “strangled” (suffocatum; Acts 15:19–20, 28–29). Early medieval people took such ritual purity laws seriously, since they believed that eating prohibited animals could bring down God’s wrath on the kingdom.107 The author of the treatise defended the eating of hunted game by making a distinction between animals killed by wild beasts and those killed by trained dogs: We do not consider an animal strangled that is captured by a dog. This is because the hunting actually is of the man whom the dog accompanies. A man uses the dog’s keen sense of smell and swift speed to capture the animal. Thus the capturing is ascribed not to the dog but to the man. . . . It therefore is proper to conclude generally that whatever is captured by man’s practice, skill, and cunning ought not to be reckoned among those animals that are strangled. Nor is a person who takes food of this kind guilty of a crime as long as he does so with thanksgiving.108 The author gave a similar defense of eating game captured with traps, snares, fishing tackle, hawks, and falcons: “If a dove, crane, goose, or any other bird is captured and torn apart by a hawk or capus, that is, a trained falcon, that returns to a man’s hand, it should not be called strangled, since it actually is captured by the man whom the animal’s intelligence serves in the capturing of birds.”109 The author went on to defend the essential goodness of God’s creation in the natural world and to warn against the sin of gluttony, citing passages from the Old Testament, the Apostle Paul, and Augustine’s Confessions.110 In the process, he invoked the example of the prophet Elijah, who ate meat brought to him by ravens in the wilderness (1 Kings 17.4–6), thereby suggesting a biblical parallel to falconry. A second treatise for Louis the German comes from the pen of Hincmar himself, and it sheds important light on the intersection of falconry, scriptural study, and book learning around the Carolingian court.111 This treatise is a commentary on Psalm 103.7, “The cedar of Lebanon is the home of the herodius” (a kind of bird), and Louis had asked Hincmar to write it during a meeting with Charles the Bald at Tusey in 865. In the opening of the treatise, Hincmar recalled that he,

Bishops and Boars

Louis, and Bishop Altfrid of Hildesheim had had an engaging discussion about Scripture at Tusey, debating the very same issues raised in the previous treatise for the east Frankish king: clean and unclean animals, the importance of avoiding gluttony, and the fundamental goodness of God’s creation. However, royal business had interrupted their conversation, and before departing Louis had asked Hincmar to compose for him a commentary on Psalm 103.7. It seems that the king’s interest in falconry, and his confusion about what kind of bird a herodius actually was, motivated his request.112 Hincmar explained that the Old Latin translation of the Bible (the Vetus Latina) provided a synonym for herodius: the coot (fulica), a black-feathered waterfowl related to cranes.113 However, in his theological encyclopedia known as On the Universe (a copy of which he had sent to Louis the German),114 Rabanus had included an entry on hawks and falcons in which he stated that herodius was another name for a falcon.115 In other words, Louis had asked Hincmar to write a commentary on Psalm 103.7 because of his perplexity that herodius could designate both a coot and a falcon. Here we see that Carolingian rulers carefully read the theological works that churchmen dedicated to them—especially the sections that dealt with topics related to hunting and falconry.116 Like other members of his dynasty, Louis the German was an educated king whose interests brought together the Bible, scriptural exegesis, classical learning, and a love of the chase. Louis’s intellectual curiosities highlight the merging of lay and clerical culture around the Carolingian palace. In spite of critiques of excessive hunting expressed by some churchmen like Jonas of Orléans, the Carolingian reforms created a new, dynamic ideal of aristocratic masculinity in which avid hunting, Christian piety, and book learning existed side by side. By and large, the Frankish Church under the Carolingians accepted, and sometimes even praised, lay hunting as long as it was kept within the bounds of Christian moderation, propriety, and charity. Frankish noblemen and noblewomen participated in this pious, literate, and huntloving culture centered on the Carolingian court.

* * * In conclusion, two final observations can be made about the complex relationship between hunting and the Church. First, it should be noted that, unlike hunting and falconry, fishing was permissible for clerics. This practice agreed with Jerome’s above-cited comment that, in contrast to the depiction of hunters in Scripture, “we do find holy fishermen,” that is, the apostles.117 In hagiography one repeatedly finds positive depictions of fishing. Gregory of Tours himself seems to have been an avid angler, and he included a number of fishing stories in his historical and hagiographical works.118 In the preface to his



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Figure 60. A pond with fish. (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 55v)

Miracles of Saint Martin, he defended his rustic literary style on the grounds that Christ’s apostles had been humble fishermen rather than masters of rhetoric, and later in that same work he mentioned that he himself went fishing in the Loire.119 Gregory also related how, as a boy, he healed his sick father by catching a fish and burning its heart and liver, just as Tobias had cured his father in the Book of Tobit (11.1–13).120 The acceptance of fishing for clerics and monks continued in the Carolingian period. During the reign of Louis the Pious, one of the monks of St.-Mesmin de Micy caught a large pike in the Loire River that was served to his monastery’s honored guest, Benedict of Aniane.121 Louis the Pious’s half-brother Drogo of Metz was also a fisherman who actually drowned while fishing in the River Oignon in Burgundy.122 Notably, Drogo died on Sunday, December 8, 855, which reveals that churchmen might fish in the winter and, surprisingly, even on the Lord’s day. In contrast to lay noblemen, therefore, churchmen seem to have embraced the apostle-like activity of fishing as a badge of clerical status. The fact that Charlemagne and Louis the Pious are reported to have hunted and fished highlights their dual identity as “king and priest.” Second, it is important to recognize that some clerical authors voiced a view of mankind’s relationship with wild animals that differed radically from that of lay

Figure  61. A rival ideal of mankind’s relationship with nature. In this image all of creation— angels, rulers, men, women, beasts, trees, and the elements—praise God together. Illustration for Psalm 148 (Vulgate 147). (Utrecht Psalter, Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32, fol. 82v)


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hunters.123 Wild beasts appear frequently in medieval hagiography, often to demonstrate the power of the saint and the fact that even animals recognized his authority.124 Through their sanctity, holy men like Anthony of Egypt lived peacefully with fierce beasts in the wilderness, thereby re-creating the harmony that had existed in the Garden of Eden before the Fall.125 The model for this likewise came from the life of Jesus, who after his baptism lived in the desert with wild animals and was cared for by angels (Mark 1.12–13). It also echoes the language of Psalm 148, which calls for all creation—angels, stars, men, women, beasts, birds, fish, trees, even the elements themselves—to praise God together. Gregory of Tours developed this theme in his sketch of the hermit Aemilianus, who lived in the woods of Poinsat: Aemilianus, then, left his parents and properties, sought the solitude of the wilderness and hid himself in the depths of the woods of Pionsat in the territory of Clermont. When he had felled trees there and made a level field, he turned the earth with a hoe and drew his life’s sustenance from it. He had a small garden too, moistened by rainwater, from which he took vegetables, eating them without butter. He had no company except for God’s help, for his fellow inhabitants were the wild animals and birds that came to him every day, as though to the servant of God.126 This woodland Eden was the backdrop for the dramatic encounter between the saintly hermit and the huntsman Brachio, whose hunting dogs miraculously refused to pursue the wild boar into Aemilianus’s garden.127 Aemilianus was not unique. The holy man Euthicius reportedly had a pet bear that guarded his monastery’s sheep and that he affectionately called Brother Bear.128 Columbanus similarly lived in harmony with birds, squirrels, and bears in the wilderness of Gaul.129 The holy mountain of Verzy near Reims was a miraculous refuge for wild animals from the pursuit of hunters.130 Yet such woodland monasteries and micro-Edens could upset local rulers, who resented such intrusions into their wilderness properties. Duke Gunzo of Alemannia reportedly drove Columbanus and his monks out of Bregenz because they spoiled his hunting, and Queen Brunhild similarly berated the hermit Meneleus for disturbing her woodlands.131 Nevertheless, such stories reveal a popular belief that some hermits could live peacefully with wild beasts and protect their woodlands from the violent intrusion of hunters. The ideal of holy men living in harmony with nature provided a radical gendered alternative to lay manhood itself. It pointed to the conclusion that the ubiquitous aristocratic culture of hunting was a sign of man’s fallen state and a reminder of paradise lost.


Danger and Death

Duke Herbert planned to murder King Louis IV (936–954) during a hunt. The west Frankish king had invited the powerful duke of Vermandois to go hunting with him on a cold winter day in early 943, and Herbert intended to strangle his lord with a garrote when he got the chance. But the twenty-three-year-old Carolingian ruler learned of the plot in advance and saw an opportunity to avenge his father Charles the Simple (898–929), whom Herbert had cruelly imprisoned for the last six years of his life. During the hunt Louis gave a signal, and his soldiers suddenly seized Herbert. The king then removed the garrote from the duke’s saddlebag and demanded an explanation. Caught red-handed, Herbert admitted to his treacherous scheme, and the king immediately sentenced him to be hanged from a nearby tree. But, after watching the traitor writhing on the end of the rope for a while, Louis ordered him to be cut down so that God could decide whether to spare his life. But Herbert could not escape divine justice: when he fell to the ground, his huge belly burst open and his innards poured out. In this way Louis IV escaped an assassination attempt and avenged the humiliation of his father.1 Like many of the hunting stories we have encountered, this dramatic report of Herbert II’s death seems to be fiction. It comes from Folcwin’s Deeds of the Abbots of St.-Bertin, which was penned years later, circa 960, during the reign of Louis IV’s son Lothar III (954–986). Flodoard of Reims, whose contemporary annals provide the most reliable political narrative for Louis IV’s reign, gives no indication that the king played a role in Herbert’s death.2 Nevertheless, Folcwin’s story is significant because it illustrates the changing nature of politics and hunting during the Long Tenth Century. With the death of the heirless Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire fragmented into a mosaic of kingdoms and principalities, and the dynasty of Charlemagne lost its long-held monopoly on the Frankish monarchy.3 For the next hundred years the Carolingians were forced to share power with rival kings and overmighty princes like Herbert of Vermandois.


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Warfare and instability within the old borders of the Carolingian Empire became endemic because of conflicts among competing kings and nobles along with the invasions of Vikings and Magyars. In east Francia the Carolingian dynasty died out in 911 and was replaced by the Saxon Ottonians, who gradually consolidated their power over Germany, Lotharingia, Burgundy, and Italy. In west Francia, the Carolingian descendants of Charles the Bald saw their kingdom break apart into a tumultuous, semi-stateless society that consisted of a greatly shrunken royal domain surrounded by independent principalities. Geoffrey Koziol describes tenth-century west Francia in arresting terms: “It’s a dismal and dangerous place to be. Every count has a bishop in his pocket, unless the bishop has a count in his. No one keeps their word. Treaties are made just to be broken, truces nothing but an opportunity to catch an enemy off-guard. The violence is horrible and neverending, for assassination is the ultimate political weapon and every killing begs for retaliation.”4 Timothy Reuter once noted in passing that there is a significant decline in references to hunting in tenth-century sources. Reuter wondered whether this change represented a real transformation in political culture—the declining significance of hunting as a royal ritual—or if it merely was a consequence of the increasingly fragmentary chronicles.5 A close examination of the evidence reveals that hunting did in fact remain an impor tant symbol of power and authority for late Carolingian kings. Indeed, because of their increasingly circumscribed basis of power, tenth-century Carolingians seem especially to have valued the traditional symbols of kingship—not only hunts but also coronations, liturgy, regalia, queens, palaces, and charters—to distinguish themselves from their competitors and maintain an aura of regal legitimacy.6 The real shift was that tenth-century chroniclers increasingly ignored the hunting activities of the last Carolingians and, as Folcwin’s story suggests, mentioned them only when they went terribly wrong. This transformation in hunting narratives reflects the diminishing power of the late Carolingians, since they could no longer inspire writers to depict them as great hunters. Still more worrying was the chroniclers’ new focus on danger and death rather than prowess and authority, which suggested that the last Carolingians were losing royal power and divine favor.7 Fundamental changes in political structures lay behind the vanishing image of the Carolingians as mighty huntsmen. The descendants of Charles the Bald found it increasingly difficult to compel the Frankish princes to come to their court and attend their assemblies with any regularity. As a result, royal hunts and other court rituals became less effective tools for building consensus. Indeed, territorial princes and rival dynasties appropriated traditional Carolingian symbolism and ritual, including high-profile hunting, to express their independent power.8 At the same time, many of the

Danger and Death

royal forests and game parks slipped from the Carolingians’ control into the hands of competing kings and magnates, which deprived the Carolingians of the traditional stages on which their predeces sors had displayed their prowess. Thus, while the last Carolingians probably hunted with the same enthusiasm as their predeces sors, they had fewer royal forests in which to hunt, fewer supporters with whom to hunt, and fewer partisan chroniclers to describe their hunting exploits. In short, the politics, infrastructure, and ideology of Carolingian hunting began to unravel as the power and authority of the dynasty waned. This final chapter explores these transformations from the last years of Charles the Bald to the death of the last Carolingian king Louis V in 987. We will focus on several interwoven themes: the transformation of Frankish politics in the late ninth and tenth centuries, the changing nature of royal hunting narratives, the Carolingians’ loss of forests and game parks, and the appropriation of hunting symbolism by new royal dynasties.

Changing Hunting Narratives and the Year 864 We have observed that Hincmar ceased reporting Charles the Bald’s hunting activities after 873, which is precisely when he lost his position as Charles’s chief counselor.9 Thereafter his entries took on an increasingly critical tone toward Charles, and his refusal to report Charles’s hunts denied the king this traditional symbol of Carolingian legitimacy. The connection between Hincmar’s fall from Charles’s inner circle and his sudden silence about royal hunts highlights the fact that hunting narratives in chronicles were not mere factual reports of what happened but, instead, carefully crafted statements about royal power and authority. They reflected the widespread belief that the stability of the realm depended on the prowess and piety of the ruler: thus, successful hunting indicated not only the king’s manliness and health but also his favor in the eyes of God.10 In contrast, reports of venatorial misadventures implied a worrying loss of divine support. As we have noted already, a large number of Carolingian chroniclers recorded the violent hunting death of Pippin the Short’s nemesis King Aistulf “by divine judgment” in 756.11 The widespread circulation of this report kept its memory alive and implied that Carolingian accidents might likewise indicate the loss of divine sanction. Carolingian kings and princes probably experienced occasional injuries while hunting at high speeds on horseback: falls, collisions, scrapes, and worse. Indeed, it is conceivable that some premature Carolingian deaths had been the result of unreported hunting disasters. For example, the early deaths of Carloman on December 4, 771, Charles the Younger on December 4,



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811, and Pippin I of Aquitaine on December 13, 838 all notably fell during the annual boar-hunting season in November and December.12 Nevertheless, chroniclers between 751 and the 860s observed a code of silence about such events involving the Carolingians. This wall of silence about Carolingian hunting injuries suddenly began to show cracks in 864. In that year, Hincmar reported in the Annals of St.-Bertin a highly unusual spate of Carolingian hunting accidents. Of course, Hincmar’s entry for that year is not an objective report of what happened but rather a highly crafted narrative about royal authority and divine agency.13 In that year, Charles the Bald’s second son, the handsome sixteen-year-old Charles the Young of Aquitaine (855–866), suffered a horrific injury one evening in the Forest of Cuise.14 Hincmar reported that the appalling injury was the result of an accident while the king’s son and his companions returned from hunting: “Charles the Young, whom his father recently had taken back from Aquitaine and brought with him to Compiègne, was returning at night from a hunt in the woodland of Cuise. While only trying to play with the other young men his age, by the work of the Devil he was struck in the head with a sword by a young man named Albuin. The blow almost penetrated the brain, reaching from the left temple all the way to the cheek of the right jawbone.”15 In this way, Hincmar blamed this unprecedented royal disaster on the macho horseplay of young aristocrats. Such tests of martial skill and bravery must have been commonplace among young nobles while honing their skills at hunting, riding, and wielding weapons. Yet there is good reason to believe that Hincmar’s account is not entirely truthful. The political context was significant: Charles the Young recently had rebelled against his father in Aquitaine, and in December 863 Charles the Bald had invaded Aquitaine, revoked his son’s royal title and authority, and taken him in custody back to Compiègne.16 The youthful Albuin, who injured the king’s son, was one of Charles the Bald’s counts and supporters who apparently had been in the king’s army when he took his son into custody.17 Several independent sources, including the impor tant early tenth-century chronicler Regino of Prüm, tell a different story.18 According to Regino, the mishap actually was the result of a failed assassination attempt: it was Albuin who was hunting in the Forest of Cuise, and Charles the Young tried to murder him in an ambush, apparently as an act of vengeance for Albuin’s role in his recent downfall. Here we again see how hunts were key opportunities for assassinations, although in this case a member of the royal family was the perpetrator rather than the victim. Charles the Young’s plot backfired, however, and Albuin, who did not recognize his assailant in the gathering darkness, gravely wounded the king’s son. The exact nature of Charles’s horrific injury, reaching from the left temple to the right jaw, shows that Albuin was right-handed.

Danger and Death

The grotesque injury of the prince was a crisis for Charles the Bald’s court. It not only suggested a troubling loss of divine favor, but it also threw into doubt Charles the Bald’s plans for royal succession.19 Moreover, the possibility that Charles the Young had tried to murder a member of a prominent family, and then been soundly defeated by him, called into question the prince’s character and prowess. The king’s son was hideously disfigured from the wound, and he subsequently suffered epileptic fits from the traumatic brain injury and died two years later. Charles the Bald and his court tried to cover up the embarrassing incident as best they could. The king kept his crippled namesake out of the spotlight, sending him back to Aquitaine and having him quietly buried at Bourges (rather than in the royal crypt in St.-Denis) when he passed away in 866.20 In a letter to Pope Nicholas, Charles lamented that his son had been “injured in an accident,” but he added that his predecessors had experienced similar, albeit unspecified, hardships.21 As the king’s supporter, Hincmar backed up Charles the Bald’s version of events: in the Annals of St.-Bertin he presented the injury as the result of an innocent accident during youthful horseplay, and he blamed it, not on Albuin, but the “work of the Devil.” What is most striking is that Hincmar corroborated the king’s assertion that royal hunting injuries were not uncommon by reporting three other hunting mishaps that very same year. He narrated how Louis the German injured his ribs from a fall in a game park, Louis the German’s son Carloman escaped his father’s custody by pretending to go hunting, and Louis II of Italy was gored by a stag.22 By reporting so many hunting misadventures in the same entry, Hincmar provided “proof ” for Charles the Bald’s claim that his son’s alleged hunting injury was not unusual and therefore did not indicate a loss of divine favor. In this way, Hincmar broke the wall of silence about Carolingian hunting mishaps for the first time, apparently in an effort to cover up something far worse: the failed attempt by the king’s son to murder one of his father’s supporters. Here we again see how hunting stories in early medieval chronicles were not objective accounts of what happened but instead carefully crafted narratives that attempted to control the interpretation and memory of such events according to the writer’s loyalties. At the same time, Hincmar’s description of Charles the Young’s injury foreshadows an increasingly prominent motif in late Carolingian hunting narratives: the association of the activity not with royal authority and manhood but rather with youthful irresponsibility and a lack of maturity.23 Thus, in some circles, hunting was becoming disassociated from Frankish manhood and linked with the reckless immaturity of youth. This shift foreshadowed later AngloNorman chroniclers, who emphasized the rashness of young knights lacking the wisdom and restraint of mature men.24 This view would become more prevalent as the late Carolingian dynasty became alarmingly short of adult male heirs. In



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the eyes of some writers, this traditional royal activity had become too dangerous for the dwindling royal family.

Hunting in West Francia Under the Late Carolingians When Charles the Bald died in 877, the west Frankish branch of the Carolingian family entered a period of mounting dynastic and political crisis.25 Charles’s surviving son, Louis II the Stammerer, died unexpectedly in 879 after a reign of less than two years, and Louis the Stammerer’s two sons by his first marriage, Louis III (879–882) and Carloman II (879–884), likewise were short-reigning kings who died prematurely. Regino praised these kings as rulers of great virtue, beauty, courage, and manliness, although he admitted that Louis II did stutter slightly.26 There are scattered indications that these three west Frankish kings, all of whom grew up around Charles the Bald’s court, were traditional Carolingian hunters. As we have seen, in the Capitulary of Quierzy Charles the Bald sought to limit the forests in which Louis the Stammerer could hunt when he set out for Rome in 877. After his father’s death, Louis received the submission of the west Frankish magnates at a hunting lodge in the Forest of Cuise, and during his short reign he frequently visited prime hunting districts such as Orville, Compiègne, Quierzy, and the Ardennes.27 When Louis lay on his deathbed in 879, he entrusted Count Albuin—apparently the very same Albuin who had wounded his brother fifteen years earlier in the Forest of Cuise—to deliver the Carolingian regalia to his eldest son, Louis III.28 An equestrian misadventure led to the premature death of eighteen-year-old Louis III in the summer of 882. Technically speaking, it was not a hunting injury, but it is nevertheless instructive because it again illustrates growing concerns about the irresponsibility of young kings horsing around on their stallions. The Annals of St.-Vaast reported: “Because he was a young man [quia iuvenis erat], he set off after a girl who was the daughter of a certain Germund. When she fled into her father’s house, the king jokingly pursued her while still riding his horse. But he smashed his shoulders against the upper lintel of the doorway and horribly crushed his chest against his horse’s saddle. In this way he was seriously injured and carried to St.-Denis, where he died on August 5 to the tremendous grief of the Franks.”29 The St.-Vaast chronicler’s association of this disaster with youthful recklessness again illustrates this new motif in late Carolingian chronicles. Moreover, his emphasis on the grieving of the Franks hints at a growing separation between the accident-prone descendants of Charles the Bald and the west Frankish magnates, who increasingly had to act as the leaders of the realm. As with the

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injury of Charles the Young in 864, the elderly Hincmar sought to cover up this embarrassment to the Carolingians as best he could: he did not mention the incident, stating only that Louis III “became weak in body” and died at St.-Denis.30 Louis III’s ignominious death in the summer 882 marks an important shift in Carolingian sources. Hincmar died later that year, making the Annals of St.-Vaast our chief west Frankish chronicle. Covering the years 873 to 900, these annals were written at the monastery of St.-Vaast in Arras in northern Francia.31 Notably, the St.-Vaast author(s) did not have an especially positive view of the reigning Carolingians, and, as the above incident reveals, he was willing to narrate mishaps not flattering to the royal dynasty. Indeed, during the early 880s the St.-Vaast writer repeatedly contrasted the youthful inexperience of Louis III and Carloman II with the sober maturity of the Franci, by which he meant the west Frankish magnates including Hugh the Abbot (d. 886), a powerful layman who held a number of monasteries, including St.-Vaast itself.32 With the west Frankish kingdom facing premature royal deaths and serious Viking invasions, the Annals of St.-Vaast criticized the late Carolingians for youthful recklessness, lack of gravitas, and not heeding the wiser counsel of the senior Franks. Following his older brother’s death, Carloman II succeeded to a reunited west Frankish kingdom. Born in 866, the sixteen-year-old Carloman seems to have been a capable ruler who sought to revive the monarchy. On the occasion of Carloman’s coronation in 882, the elderly Hincmar dedicated to him On the Organization of the Palace, a blueprint for reinstating good government, and royal hunting, as they had existed under Charlemagne.33 Carloman and the west Frankish magnates worked energetically to overcome a combination of serious threats: Viking invasions, the usurper Boso of Provence, and a general breakdown of political order.34 Reflecting his traditional style of rule, Carloman held assemblies and issued two capitularies (the last Carolingian capitularies, as it turned out) that aimed at restoring good government and law as described in Hincmar’s treatise.35 Suggestive of his desire to associate himself with traditional hunting symbolism, Carloman issued one of his capitularies during an assembly in the Compiègne game park itself (in broilo Compendii palatii).36 This is the only known royal assembly to have taken place in a hunting park, a gesture that called attention to Carloman’s identity as a traditional Carolingian huntsman. Indeed, it was Carloman’s embrace of hunting as a symbol of royal authority that led to his premature death in 884. Although he won victories against the Northmen in 879 and 882, he was unable to drive them from his realm.37 The Viking occupation of the north resulted in a humanitarian crisis, since all the people of the region abandoned their homes and fled south of the Oise River in 882.38 So, in early 884, Carloman and the west Frankish magnates decided to offer the Northmen a massive tribute of twelve thousand pounds of silver in return



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for their departure. Although costly, this stratagem actually worked: the Vikings immediately ceased plundering, exchanged hostages with the king, and in October 884 burned their fortresses on the Somme and departed. Right after the exodus of the Northmen, Carloman and his army marched into the north to reassert control.39 It was in this context that Carloman went hunting at the manor of Bézu-la-Forêt. Bézu had important ideological significance, because it had served as a northern residence and hunting destination for his grandfather Charles the Bald in more peaceful times.40 It seems that the king hoped his hunt at Bézu would signify the restoration of his kingship in this war-torn region. But the hunt ended in disaster. The Annals of St.-Vaast give the following account: “The Franks who had been with Carloman returned to their homes, and a few young men remained with him to go hunting at Bézu. While the king was trying to slay a wild boar, one of his men named Bertold sought to help but wounded the king in the leg. The injured king survived for seven days and then died at that same place on December [6?]. His body was carried to the monastery of St.-Denis and buried there. The Franks took counsel and sent Count Theodoric to Italy to Emperor Charles [the Fat] so that he might come to Francia.”41 Once again, the St.Vaast chronicler blamed this premature fatality on the youth of the king and his companions, describing them as a “few young men” (pauci iuvenes) and distinguishing them from the Franci, by which he meant the west Frankish magnates. In this way the Annals of St.-Vaast decoupled the long-standing associations between royal hunting and Frankish political identity that the Carolingian court had long fostered. This was a significant development, since it rejected the idea that the Carolingian kings were the embodiment of Frankish manhood. For his part, the dying Carloman saw his injury as God’s punishment for his moral failings. On his deathbed he made a gift to the nearby monastery of St.-Crispin “for the pardoning of our sinful deeds” and requested that the brothers pray for his soul every year on the anniversary of his imminent death.42 It is instructive to compare how other chroniclers reported Carloman II’s hunting fatality. The reports of the Annals of Fulda and of Regino of Prüm confirm that a fellow hunter had accidentally wounded Carloman, although they observed that people were telling different versions of the story. Regino wrote, “Because [Carloman’s companion] had committed this crime accidentally and not deliberately, it was kept secret by the king so that an innocent man would not be put to death.”43 This detail is significant because it again calls attention to the Carolingians’ efforts to influence narratives about their hunts, especially when they involved mishaps. As in the case of the Carolingian misadventures in 864 and 882, Carloman and his supporters sought to cover up the details of his hunting injury in 884. But in this case the dying king could not prevent the real story from getting out. Thus, in the reports of Carloman’s death, we see not only the

Danger and Death

decoupling of royal hunting from Frankish manhood but also the inability of the late Carolingians to influence how chroniclers reported their hunts. This trend would continue for the next century. The most interesting report of Carloman II’s death came from the court of Alfred the Great of Wessex (871–899) across the English Channel. By the eighth century, the Anglo-Saxon kings and nobles had attained a position of wealth and power comparable to that of the Franks, and from this time we have growing written, artistic, and zooarchaeological evidence for hunting and falconry in Britain.44 As for the Franks, hunting for the Anglo-Saxons had become one of essential “skills befitting noblemen” (artes quae nobilibus conveniunt).45 Alfred highlighted his identity as a royal hunter, a trait that may have been inspired by the Carolingian court, since his stepmother was Charles the Bald’s daughter Judith.46 In the Life of King Alfred, written in 893, Asser touted Alfred’s hunting prowess: “An enthusiastic huntsman, he strives continually in every branch of hunting, and not in vain; for no one else could approach him in skill and success in that activity, just as in all other gifts of God, as I have so often seen for myself.”47 He went on to describe how Alfred hunted in Cornwall, made sure his sons learned to hunt, and personally instructed his falconers, hawk handlers, and dog keepers.48 To magnify Alfred’s prowess further, Asser gave a vivid report of Carloman II’s death, blaming it not on the king’s companion but on the wild boar: “That same year [884] a wild boar gored Carloman, king of the west Franks, with its savage tusks during a boar hunt and dealt him a miserable death.”49 Soon thereafter, Alfred sent a gift of wolfhounds to Hincmar’s successor, Fulk of Reims.50 This was a pregnant gesture, since traditionally it had been the Carolingians who had organized the protection of the Frankish kingdom from wolves. The gift implied that, in the aftermath of Carloman’s death, it was Alfred who was the preeminent ruler in the West. The fact that Emperor Basil I reportedly also died in a hunting accident in 886 probably heightened Alfred’s pretentions to be the senior royal hunter in Europe.51 Following the reunification of the Carolingian Empire under Charles the Fat in 885, reports of Carolingian hunting become notably scarce. Charles himself probably hunted, but no chronicler took the time to mention it.52 Several converging factors help explain this absence. As we have seen, by the 880s some chroniclers were abandoning the traditional association between hunting and Carolingian kingship, connecting the activity instead with youthful irresponsibility that dangerously jeopardized the safety of the realm. Another factor is the paucity of chroniclers during the first half of the tenth century. With the conclusion of the Annals of St.-Vaast in 900 and Regino’s Chronicle in 906, the historian is largely dependent on Flodoard of Reims, whose Annals provide the most reliable narrative for the years 919–966.53 Flodoard was a close observer of west



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Frankish politics, yet he said strikingly little about royal hunting or other traditional aspects of court ritual. At the same time, declining reports of royal hunts suggest deeper transformations of politics during the late ninth and early tenth centuries. With the emergence of powerful territorial princes like the Robertians (the ancestors of the Capetian dynasty) and the dramatic loss of the crown’s lands outside a narrow royal demesne, the last Carolingians had difficulty attracting powerful magnates to their court, and they no longer could go on extended hunting trips throughout the realm.54 As under the Merovingians, it is also likely that the late Carolingians shied away from ostentatious hunting because of the fear of capture (as Duke Herbert did to Charles the Simple in 923) or assassination (as Herbert allegedly plotted against Louis IV in 943). There was in fact a notable rise in reported murders in forests during the late Carolingian period. In the year 898 alone, both King Lambert II of Italy and Duke Eberhard of Hamaland were murdered while engaged in the chase.55 In 903, Count Baldwin II of Flanders’s men even murdered Archbishop Fulk of Reims in a woodland near Compiègne—presumably in the royal forest of Cuise itself.56 A mid-tenth-century source describes an attempt on the life of Emperor Basil I during a hunt in which a companion threw a javelin at him on the pretense of trying to slay an animal they were pursuing.57 Liudprand of Cremona gave a detailed account of Lambert’s murder in the Lombard reserve of Marengo not far from Pavia. While Lambert rested from hunting in a secluded spot, his companion Hugh killed him to avenge the execution of his father years earlier. Rather than using his sword, Hugh broke the king’s neck with a thick branch to make it look like he had fallen from his horse. Some people believed that the king had in fact died in an equestrian accident, but Liudprand was confident that he had been killed by Hugh. Concern about assassinations and revenge killings may have caused the late Carolingians to revert to smaller, less publicized hunts, similar to the Merovingian outings we observed in Chapter 2. Thus the tenth-century west Frankish kings may have hunted as frequently as their predecessors. But fewer chroniclers paid attention to their hunts because they now tended to be more limited geographically, smaller in scale, and thus less effective for forging political consensus or projecting a virile royal image. Nevertheless, we still catch occasional glimpses of royal hunting in action. When Charles the Fat died without heir in 888, the west Frankish magnates passed over the eight-year-old Charles the Simple (the last surviving son of Louis the Stammerer) and selected as their king the Robertian count Odo (888–898), who had bravely led the defense of Paris during the Viking siege in 885–886.58 Odo’s elevation to the throne in 888, and then the counter-coronation of Charles the Simple in 892, set the trajectory for the Carolingian-Robertian rivalry that dominated west Frankish politics for the next century. Because Odo was not a

Danger and Death

Carolingian, he seems to have been especially careful to surround himself with traditional royal symbolism. In 888 he was crowned and anointed in Charles the Bald’s church of St.-Corneille at Compiègne, where he swore a coronation oath based on that of Louis the Stammerer and Charles the Bald and received from St.-Denis the traditional Carolingian regalia.59 Hunting likewise played an important role in Odo’s public persona, since, as we have seen, a charter from 889 describes him and the magnates hunting in the Forest of Cuise “according to royal custom” (more regio).60 Odo, in other words, wanted to be seen by the west Frankish nobles as a traditional huntsman like his Carolingian predecessors. Intriguingly, we have no reports of Charles the Simple hunting. Of course, this silence may simply be the result of Flodoard’s taciturn narrative. However, it might also reflect Charles’s tumultuous childhood. Born soon after his father’s death in 879, Charles the Simple was the first west Frankish king who had not grown up during the political stability of Charles the Bald’s reign. He was raised by his mother, Adelaide, and Fulk of Reims surrounded by considerable danger and intrigue. Koziol goes so far as to describe Charles as having “one of the most miserable childhoods suffered by any known early medieval king.”61 With his guardians fearing for his safety, it is conceivable that the young Charles did not receive the customary training in riding and hunting like earlier Carolingian princes. This was in fact the opinion of the late tenth-century chronicler Richer of Reims. Admittedly, Richer is not a very reliable source for the reign of Charles the Simple: writing in the 990s, he was largely dependent on Flodoard for his information up to 966, and he inserted much dramatic detail to create a chronicle full of heroes and villains.62 Nevertheless, it may be significant that, although Richer painted a generally positive picture of Charles, he described him as “not particularly accustomed to military exercises” (exercitiis militaribus non adeo assuefactus).63 In this same passage Richer gave the earliest ascription of the attribute simplex to Charles (ingenio bono simplicique), with the result that modern historians have bestowed upon him the problematic sobriquet “the Simple.” Scholars have rightly pointed out that simplex had positive moral connotations and therefore more accurately could be translated as “straightforward,” “guileless,” or “innocent.”64 Yet Richer’s description of Charles as simplex also calls to mind the Vulgate Bible’s description of the patriarch Jacob as a vir simplex and a homebody, which contrasted with Jacob’s twin brother Esau, who was a great hunter and an outdoorsman (Genesis 25.27). In this way, by describing Charles as simplex, Richer suggested a comparison with Jacob and implied that this Carolingian king, like the biblical patriarch, was not a skillful huntsman. One body of evidence—Charles’s charters—may corroborate Richer’s picture of Charles as a less-than-enthusiastic hunter. Under the late Carolingians, Compiègne remained an important royal palace, and a number of significant political



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meetings took place there.65 This palace brought back memories of the period of Carolingian greatness, when Charles the Bald had rebuilt Compiègne as the west Frankish Aachen.66 One of the main attractions of Compiègne was its game park and the game-rich Forest of Cuise, where we have found many of Charles the Simple’s predecessors hunting. Charles the Simple himself highly valued Compiègne, and his charters called attention to the fact that it was a royal palace.67 Nevertheless, it is striking that Charles gave away considerable hunting rights at Compiègne itself. He granted to Compiègne’s church of St.-Corneille hunting, fishing, and trapping rights along both shores of the Oise River extending all the way from the villa of Clairoix to the bridge at Venette—a distance of about three and a half miles.68 He also gave St.-Corneille part of Compiègne’s game park, and he made another large grant of land between the game park and Oise to his new chapel of St.-Clement.69 To be sure, these gifts were important gestures of the king’s piety toward royal churches and their patron saints, but it is hard to imagine Charles’s predecessors giving away such prime hunting rights so close to a vitally important palace. Perhaps these charters reflect the fact that Charles was not an especially enthusiastic hunter, as Richer implied. If this were true (and ultimately it is impossible to know), then maybe his tumultuous childhood was to blame. What is clear is that, in the post-888 world, Carolingian kings could no longer take for granted that their sons would have the safety and security necessary for extensive hunting and riding. The theme of royal hunting reemerges amid the political struggles of the reign of Charles’s son, Louis IV the Exile (transmarinus).70 Born circa 920, Louis grew up at the Wessex court of Edward the Elder and Athelstan, to which his mother, Eadgifu (Athelstan’s sister), had fled with her young son after Herbert II of Vermandois imprisoned Charles the Simple in 923. Thirteen years later, the powerful Robertian duke Hugh the Great summoned the sixteen-year-old Louis back to west Francia to become king. The sources suggest that the symbolism of hunting and horsemanship remained central to the public face of kingship. For example, when Hugh the Great sent the Carolingian regalia to Louis at Athelstan’s court in recognition of his claim to the throne, the objects reportedly included fast horses with regal trappings.71 The implication is that the Franks still expected their exiled king to be an accomplished rider. Flodoard related that, when conflict eventually broke out between Hugh the Great and Louis in 945, Hugh’s supporters plundered the palace of Compiègne.72 Richer added that Hugh’s supporters seized not only the regalia from Compiègne but also the king’s huntsmen, dogs, horses, and hunting spears.73 Although we must again be cautious about accepting Richer’s augmentations to Flodoard’s narrative, his association of cynegetic equipment with the regalia insignia highlights the continued importance of hunting for the display of late Carolingian kingship. It is

Danger and Death

pos sible that this regalia plundered from Compiègne included lions. In 951 the east Frankish king Otto I (936–973) invited Hugh the Great to a meeting at Aachen to mediate the conflict between the Robertian duke and King Louis. In response, Hugh made the unusual gesture of sending Otto two lions as a gift in advance of his arrival.74 The symbolic meaning of Hugh’s gesture was clear: lions were the most royal of wild beasts, and the fact that Hugh sent them to Otto (whose sister was married to Hugh) implied that he saw the Saxon king, not Louis, as the senior ruler in Europe. It is unknown how the duke had obtained these lions, but it is possible that they had been part of the Carolingian regalia plundered from Compiègne six years earlier. Perhaps these lions had once lived in Compiègne’s game park. As for Louis IV, his hunting activities seem to have been limited to the narrow territory around Compiègne, Laon, and Reims, to which the west Frankish royal demesne had dramatically shrunk by the time he became king. It was in these reduced circumstances that another premature hunting fatality struck the Carolingian dynasty during the autumn of 954. Flodoard gave a laconic account of the death of the thirty-four-year-old king: “Having departed from Laon, King Louis set out for the city of Reims to stay there for a while. Before reaching the River Aisne he saw a wolf running ahead of him. He urged on his horse and chased it, but he fell. He was badly injured and carried to Reims. He lay there in great pain for a long time and was overcome with serious swelling. Worn down from suffering he ended his days [on September 10] and was buried in the church of St.-Remigius.”75 In this way, Louis IV died while continuing his dynasty’s tradition of hunting. But there was a dark irony to Louis’s death. While Charlemagne had instituted a massive effort to exterminate wolves throughout his empire, his great-great-great grandson died chasing a lone wolf, seemingly encountered by chance, while traveling across his tiny royal demesne. One also notes that details of traditional Carolingian hunts are absent in Flodoard’s report: the king’s companions and sons, the spectators and servants, the royal fanfare and banqueting, the enthusiasm and joy. Louis IV had worked to restore the glory of his dynasty as best he could, but his death while hunting in 954 poignantly captured the dramatic withering of Carolingian resources, as well as the declining attention chroniclers paid to the hunt as royal ritual, since the days of Louis the Pious. A primary force behind the gradual evaporation of the hunt as a meaningful political ritual in tenth-century west Francia was the dramatic loss of royal properties and territories, including forests and game parks.76 Through the reign of Charles the Fat, the Carolingians seem to have maintained careful control of wilderness resources, and the sons and grand sons of Louis the Pious only rarely made outright grants of forest property.77 However, the late Carolingians



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increasingly lost control of the crown’s wilderness resources along with other fiscal properties.78 This was especially true in the middle kingdom of Lotharingia with Aachen and the Ardennes, which became a contested peripheral region between the competing west and east Frankish kings.79 The crucial period was that between Charles the Fat’s death in 888 and the coronation of Louis IV in 936, an era that saw the emergence of independent territorial princes in Neustria, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Flanders, Normandy, Anjou, and Vermandois. For example, when King Odo died in 898, Charles the Simple was forced to grant all the counties, royal properties, and regalian rights (as well as a number of important monasteries) between the Seine and Loire to Odo’s brother Robert of Neustria, making him lord of all the counts, bishops, and royal vassals in that region.80 By the reign of Louis IV, Robert’s son Hugh the Great controlled approximately twenty counties in Neustria (including Angers, Blois, Chartres, Orléans, Paris, Sens, and Tours) and the royal monasteries of St.-Denis and St.-Martin. Count Herbert II of Vermandois (the villain of Folcwin’s story) held the counties of Amiens, Meaux, Soissons, and Vermandois as well as the abbacies of St.-Quentin and St.-Medard. In contrast, Louis IV controlled only the royal domains northeast of Paris: Attigny, Compiègne, Corbeny, Douzy, Ponthion, and Laon.81 In other words, Louis IV possessed less fiscal land than any other Frankish king since the last Merovingian, Childeric III.82 Thus, from the approximately twenty forests Charles the Bald had listed in the Capitulary of Quierzy in 877, it seems that only seven (Laon, Quierzy, Servais, Cuise, Samoussy, Attigny, and Ver) remained in Carolingian control by the accession of Louis IV. By 1000, the number of west Frankish royal forests had been reduced to six.83 In most cases the territorial princes simply took over the crown’s forests and game parks along with the other royal properties within their nascent principalities. Thus the tenth-century counts of Anjou controlled the royal forestes and silvae in their principality, and they required their subjects to purchase licenses to hunt, chop down trees, collect wood, clear woodland, or fish in them.84 The Rudolfing kings of Upper Burgundy similarly controlled royal forests within their territories.85 As the magnates appropriated former royal forests, they adopted ostentatious hunting more regio as a symbol of their power. For example, a charter of Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine (886–918) states that he made a grant to the canons of Brioude while “pursuing the arts of the hunt.”86 The dukes of Normandy likewise took over forest rights in their emerging principality, and their tight control of woodlands and rivers sparked protests from the peasants.87 In his History of the Normans written around the year 1000, Dudo of St.-Quentin praised the game and forests of Normandy, and he depicted the dukes engaged in the chase like Carolingian kings of old: hunting with other nobles, setting up forest pavilions, and throwing magnificent post-hunt banquets “of kingly opulence.”88

Danger and Death

Indeed, it was this Carolingian tradition of royal forests in Normandy, with the duke’s monopoly over hunting rights in them, that William the Conqueror exported to England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.89 Within a century, the Anglo-Norman kings remarkably claimed one-third of England as royal forest for the king’s hunting. The archaeologist Naomi Sykes has shown that the Norman Conquest is reflected in the bone assemblages of elite sites in England, which display a decisive shift away from roe deer to red deer—that is, the favorite game of the Franks—in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries.90 In this way, the Normans imported into England elite Frankish hunting practices as well as Carolingian forest law. In west Frankish charters we catch glimpses of forests and game parks passing into the hands of territorial princes. In some cases kings issued charters “granting” forests and parks that in reality they seem no longer to have controlled: they were giving the royal imprimatur to faits accomplis. In other cases royal grants seem to have been made under duress.91 Charles the Simple gave away or confirmed forest properties, hunting rights, and/or game parks at Tours, Ornes, Nîmes, and Theux.92 Louis IV’s son Lothar III gave the old Carolingian forest of Waës in Frisia (a region he did not control) to Count Theodoric II, and he confirmed Count Baldwin Baldzo’s gift of the large forests of Methela and Feret to the monastery of St.-Peter in Ghent.93 In many of these cases the kings were simply approving a transfer of ownership that had already taken place through the creation of territorial principalities in which dukes and counts controlled all the old Carolingian fiscal properties. Such royal grants defended the idea that, in theory at least, the king still controlled forests and game parks, although in practice this was no longer the case. In other cases royal parks seem to have fallen into disuse and decay. This is not surprising, since we have seen that walled parks demanded massive investment, organization, maintenance, and supervision. We hear of game parks still functioning at Compiègne and Attigny under Charles the Simple, but it is unclear how long this situation continued.94 In 900 Robert of Neustria gave one of his supporters a grant of lands near Tours, including “the meadow that used to be the king’s but is now for carting [hay], with the field beyond the aforementioned chapel where formerly there had been a royal game park.”95 Endemic warfare probably damaged some parks. When Hugh the Great’s supporters plundered Compiègne in 945, it is possible that they damaged the game park there. In 881– 882 the Northmen sacked and burned the palace at Aachen, which probably damaged the game park built by Charlemagne.96 From this time on, we no longer hear of Aachen as a political stage for the Carolingians, and Lotharingia became a contested peripheral region between the west and east Frankish kings. In 978 Aachen was sacked, plundered, and vandalized once again, this time by Lothar III



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to humiliate Otto II (973–983).97 Otto retaliated by invading west Francia and plundering and burning Compiègne, Attigny, Laon, and Reims.98 It is hard to believe that these civil wars did not seriously damage what remained of the Carolingian parks at these palaces. By the early eleventh century, the old walls of the Aachen park apparently were used only as a boundary marker.99 This situation highlights the extent to which royal game parks could exist only in a time of peace and stability.

Hunting in Late Carolingian and Ottonian East Francia As in west Francia, there is a notable decline in reports of royal hunting in the east Frankish kingdom in the late ninth and early tenth centuries.100 The last east Frankish Carolingians we explicitly hear of hunting are Louis the German and his son Carloman.101 Nevertheless, there are indications that the activity remained important among Louis the German’s descendants, several of whom Regino praised as paragons of royal manhood.102 Louis’s son Louis the Younger (876– 882) sent Louis the Stammerer “a steed remarkable for its strength and speed rather than its height and bulk, and a saddle like the one on which we ride.” From these gifts Louis the Younger hoped his cousin would perceive his tough Carolingian manliness: “that we value strength and practicality, not luxury and frivolity.”103 Soon after becoming king, Louis the German’s grandson Arnulf reclaimed the game park at Regensburg that sometime earlier had passed into the hands of the local bishop.104 Arnulf also possessed a walled park and forest at the manor of Ranshofen.105 Royal huntsmen were prominent figures at the east Frankish court in the late ninth century, including the Bavarian count Iring, who held the position as the king’s chief huntsman.106 The reason it is difficult to trace royal hunting among the east Frankish Carolingians is that the main eastern chronicles—the Annals of Fulda and Regino of Prüm’s Chronicle—have little to say on the subject, and when they do they are notably negative. In this sense the east Frankish chroniclers are similar to those of the Annals of St.-Vaast and Flodoard. Although the authors of the Annals of Fulda often (but not always) displayed political sympathy for the east Frankish Carolingians, they do not report a single royal hunt of theirs.107 Indeed, the hunting activities reported in the Fulda annals are notably dark and ominous: the hunting deaths of Aistulf in 756 and Carloman II in 884, the Moravian ruler Rastislav escaping an assassination plot by going hunting, and hunting by Viking invaders.108 The report of the Vikings hunting in 886 is especially revealing. While narrating the Viking siege of Paris during the winter of 885/886, the Annals of Fulda reported

Danger and Death

that the Northmen became more confident after the deaths of the west Frankish leaders Hugh the Abbot and Gauzlin of Paris: “The Northmen became bolder, came out of their fortifications, took possession of the whole region, and were able to enjoy hunting and other amusements with no one to prevent them.”109 This comment was an implicit critique of Charles the Fat and his inability to break the Viking siege and drive the Northmen from the realm. At this point the Annals of Fulda were being written in the circle of Archbishop Liutbert of Mainz and were highly critical of Charles because he had not made Liutbert his archchaplain.110 The depiction of the Vikings hunting and enjoying themselves in the countryside around Paris was the negative image of the proper political order. In the eyes of this supporter of Liutbert of Mainz, it was emblematic of a world turned upside down because Charles the Fat had chosen the wrong counselors. Regino likewise painted a negative picture of hunting. He completed his world chronicle in 908 and therefore wrote with the knowledge of the breakup of the empire following Charles the Fat’s death.111 As a result, Regino was consciously narrating the decline and fall of the Frankish empire. In 908 the outlook for the Carolingian dynasty was grave: although Charles the Simple and Louis the Child (900–911) ruled in west and east Francia, both lacked male heirs and faced serious political unrest and invasions by the Vikings and Magyars. In a key passage, Regino attributed the decline of the Carolingian dynasty to premature princely deaths combined with the sterility of royal marriages.112 He dedicated his chronicle to Bishop Adalbero of Augsburg, who was Louis the Child’s guardian and counselor.113 Louis was born in 893, so he had just reached the age of majority in 908. It therefore seems that Regino intended his Chronicle to serve as a series of historical lessons about good and bad rulers for the east Frankish king.114 Throughout his history, Regino notably wove a litany of hunt-related tragedies and mishaps, taking many of them from earlier Frankish chronicles. He reported the hunting murder of the Merovingian king Chilperic in 584, the hunting fatality of Aistulf in 756, the maiming of Charles the Young in the Forest of Cuise in 864, the hunting death of Carloman II in 884, the unchecked hunting by Magyar invaders in the late 880s, and the murder of Duke Eberhard of Hamaland while hunting in 898.115 Similarly, although Regino based his laudatory account of Dagobert I on the ninth-century Deeds of Dagobert, he expunged that text’s prominent references to Dagobert’s devotion to the chase.116 Read in conjunction with his worries about the premature deaths that plagued the dwindling Carolingian dynasty, Regino’s dark hunting stories implied that Louis the Child should avoid this dangerous activity or risk becoming another premature royal fatality. Regino drove home this message by telling a chilling story about the angel of death who at night carried a hunting spear (venabulum) and used it to knock on the doors of those fated to die.117



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But if Regino and the Annals of Fulda were pessimistic about royal hunting, Notker the Stammerer enthusiastically endorsed this activity. As we have seen, Notker composed his Deeds of Charlemagne for Charles the Fat to provide models of good kingship that would help revive the tottering empire. Notker notably made a vigorous defense of royal hunting in the second book of the Deeds, which he began writing in the second half of 884—that is, just around the time of Carloman II’s death.118 Carloman’s fatality apparently weighed on Notker’s mind: while there are no hunting stories in the first book, he included five separate anecdotes about royal hunts in book 2.119 Notker repeatedly highlighted the connections between vigorous hunting, Frankish masculinity, and effective kingship, and he contrasted Charlemagne’s manly hunting with the effeminate luxury of courtiers. Indeed, Notker’s very first hunting story hinged on a leg injury, thus recalling Carloman II’s fatal leg wound in Bézu-la-Forêt.120 In that episode, Notker described how Charlemagne, “intolerant of idleness and leisure,” went hunting with his courtiers and was gashed in the leg by an aurochs. On one level, Notker was providing an exciting backstory to Einhard’s comment that Charlemagne had limped in old age but continued to hunt.121 But Notker also had a serious message for Charles. He reported that most of the nobles took off their pants and offered them to the injured king, whose leggings had been torn by the aurochs’s horns. Yet one companion, a disgraced nobleman named Isembard, kept his pants on and slew the aurochs, bringing its palpitating heart back to the emperor. At the urging of the empress, Charlemagne rewarded Isembard’s bravery by restoring his former honors in Alemannia.122 The moral of the story was clear: despite its obvious risks, hunting was indispensable for effective leadership because it enabled the king to identify daring men from among the crowds of sycophantic courtiers. If Charles wanted to drive out the Northmen and restore the empire, Notker argued, he needed to hunt with his nobles and promote those who proved themselves brave and capable. Notker continued this message about the political benefits of hunting throughout the remainder of book 2. In the very next chapter, he described the alleged lion hunt of Harun al-Rashid and the Frankish ambassadors. Notker crafted this scene to contrast the effeminizing luxury of the Muslim East with the tough manhood of the Frankish West.123 As we have observed, the caliph allegedly interpreted the hunting prowess of the Franks as the source of Charlemagne’s military might in far-off Europe.124 Notker’s other hunting stories contain similar lessons about the connections between hunting, manhood, and royal power: Pippin won the respect of his magnates by slaying the lion and bull, and Charlemagne, the “most physically fit of all the Franks,” taught his foppish courtiers a lesson about toughness by taking them hunting in the rain and thereby ruining their ostentatious clothing.125 But Notker did not deny the danger of assassination

Danger and Death

attempts during hunts, since he reported how the Danish king Godfred I had been murdered by his own son while flying falcons.126 Notker’s message to Charles the Fat therefore was that hunting was indeed dangerous and that a ruler needed to be careful, but that it simply was too important as military training to be abandoned. In the end, however, Charles seems never to have read Notker’s hunting stories: book 2 of the Deeds remains unfinished, apparently because Notker gave up writing it after Charles was deposed by his nephew Arnulf in late 887.127 When Louis the Child died without heir in 911, the east Frankish crown passed to non-Carolingian rulers, first Conrad I (911–918) and then Henry I (919– 936). Henry founded the Saxon Ottonian dynasty, whose descendants ruled the east Frankish kingdom, and eventually also Lotharingia, Italy, and Burgundy, into the early eleventh century. There is a half-century lacuna in the narrative sources for the east Frankish kingdom after Regino’s Chronicle, and it ends only in the 960s. This was not coincidence, since at that time Henry I’s son Otto I was reaching the apogee of his power, which was symbolized by his imperial coronation in 962. In the 960s, writers in the east Frankish empire, especially in Saxony, began producing works of history aimed at the Ottonian court, a situation reminiscent of the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious.128 In this Ottonian revival of historical writing, one finds a resurgence of the motif of the royal hunter. However, the rhetoric of “in the manner of the Franks” is notably absent from depictions of Ottonian hunting, since the Ottonians were a Saxon dynasty; they therefore hunted more regio, but not more Francorum. The earliest literary references to Ottonian hunting come from Widukind of Corvey, who dedicated his Deeds of the Saxons to Otto I’s daughter, Abbess Mathilda of Quedlinburg, in 967–968. At that moment Otto I and his son Otto II were away in Italy, making Mathilda the senior Ottonian north of the Alps. Widukind intended his Deeds to provide Otto’s daughter with the historical knowledge and royal models she would need to act as the temporary head of the Ottonian family.129 He appropriated the theme of royal hunting and banqueting from Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, a work that he knew.130 One sees this in Widukind’s portrait of Henry  I. Although later historians dubbed Henry “the Fowler,” Widukind emphasized that he was a hunter and a paragon of royal manhood: “He was distinguished with outstanding prudence and wisdom, and his powerful physique contributed to his royal dignity. He so surpassed all others in exercises and games that he terrified them. He was so keen at hunting that he killed forty or more wild beasts in a single outing. Although he was suitably cheerful during banquets, he never let it diminish royal discipline.”131 Thus for Widukind, Henry’s hunting and banqueting symbolized his masculinity and selfcontrol. Widukind likewise praised Otto I’s virility, describing him as strong, agile, devoted to hunting and riding, and possessing a “hairy chest resembling the



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mane of a lion.”132 Like hunting prowess, luxuriant hair—both on the head as well as on the chest—was a symbol of Otto’s lionlike manliness.133 Widukind’s comment that Henry I “so surpassed all others in exercises and games that he terrified them” was a not-so-subtle dig at the struggling west Frankish Carolingians. Widukind clearly had in mind the hunting death of Louis IV, who had been married to Otto’s sister Gerberga. In a pivotal passage recalling the events of 945–946, Widukind contrasted Louis IV’s political hardships in the West with Otto I’s military strength and joyful hunting in the East. Here Widukind made a rare reference to himself, a detail that highlights the importance of this episode in his work: The king’s sister [Gerberga] bore King Louis [IV] three sons: Charles, Lothar, and Carloman. But King Louis himself was tricked by his dukes, captured by the Northmen, and, according to the plan of Hugh [the Great] of Laon, handed over and placed under royal arrest. The Northmen took his eldest son Charles with them to Rouen, and there he died. Hearing of the misfortune of his friend, the king [Otto] was very sad, and two years later he ordered an expedition into Gaul against Hugh. At that time while the king [Otto] went hunting in woodland regions, we saw the hostages sent by Boleslav [of Bohemia], whom the king ordered to be shown to the people. The king was very happy about these things.134 Widukind’s emphasis on Otto’s happiness and hunting highlighted the fact that he was secure on his throne and did not fear hostile attacks, thus recalling the bygone days of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. The Saxon king’s peaceful hunting while the Slavs sent him hostages threw into sharp relief Louis’s IV’s political hardships, troubles with the Vikings, and eventual hunting fatality near Laon. Indeed, Widukind exaggerated Louis’s dire straits by falsely claiming that Hugh the Great ruled Laon itself, which actually was the only region where Louis felt secure enough to hunt. Through this juxtaposition, Widukind depicted the passing of hunting excellence—and thus royal manhood itself—from the moribund late Carolingians to the virile Ottonians. Widukind’s passage hearkens back to the opening vignette of the Life of Charlemagne, where Einhard contrasted the weak and feeble Merovingians and the virile hunt-loving Carolingians.135 In Widukind’s eyes, a new age had dawned in Europe, and the great royal hunters now lived in Saxony. Other authors writing for the Ottonian court echoed Widukind’s hunting stories.136 The most interesting come from the pen of the Italian bishop Liudprand of Cremona.137 Like Widukind, Liudprand believed that hunting enhanced good kingship. In his earlier work titled The Retribution, he held up Lambert II

Danger and Death

of Italy (894–898) as a model king, describing how he avidly hunted wild boars in the reserve of Marengo near Pavia, “a woodland of wondrous size and beauty, perfect for the chase.”138 For Liudprand, Lambert had been a paragon of royal manhood: he was energetic and clever, possessed wisdom, piety, and a good physique, and in general bore himself like a true man (viriliter).139 But, while other Ottonian writers looked to Carolingian authors for models, Liudprand, who knew Greek and had traveled to Constantinople, cast his gaze eastward to the Byzantine Empire. He recounted with pride how in 927 King Hugh of Italy had sent his father as an ambassador to Emperor Romanos I (920–944), to whom his father had given a pair of fierce hunting dogs as a diplomatic gift. He also narrated how, before becoming emperor, Romanos had distinguished himself by single-handedly slaying a lion while on military campaign.140 In his Embassy to Constantinople, which he wrote circa 969 for Otto I and Otto II, Liudprand used the imagery of hunting, lions, and other wild beasts to convey what he saw as the transfer of imperial authority from Byzantium to Saxony. In that work Liudprand offered a satirical account of his failed diplomatic mission to Constantinople in 968 to obtain a Byzantine bride for Otto II. In his mocking portrait of Emperor Nikephoros II (963–969), Liudprand described the Byzantine ruler as a savage wild animal: “a sylvan creature in visage, uncivilized, a wanderer of the wild, goat-footed, horned, quadruped, bristly, wild, boorish, barbaric, thick-skinned, hairy.”141 Liudprand went on to lampoon Nikephoros’s game park outside Constantinople.142 When he visited the park, he was surprised to find that it contained not lions but Asiatic wild asses (onagers).143 Liudprand dismissed hunting wild asses as undignified, since he believed (incorrectly) that they offered little sport and looked like the lowly donkeys found in Italy. When Nikephoros asked him whether Otto I had game parks with wild asses, Liudprand replied that the Saxon emperor had all types of wild beasts in his game parks—with the sole exception of onagers.144 Not understanding the insult, the Byzantine emperor promised to send Otto some, although Liudprand noted that he never did. In this way, Liudprand used the hunting of onagers to symbolize Nikephoros’s effeminate rulership in contrast to the Ottonians’ manliness. Liudprand used his story about Nikephoros’s onagers to segue into a strange prophecy that had captured the imagination of the Byzantine court. This oracle came from a Sicilian bishop named Hippolytus who had made the cryptic prediction, “The lion and lion cub together will kill the wild ass.”145 The Greeks interpreted this prophesy in the following manner: the lion symbolized the Byzantine emperor, the lion cub the Frankish king (presumably either Lothar III or Otto I), and the wild ass the ‘Abbasid caliph. The message, the Byzantine court believed, was that Nikephoros would triumph over the Muslims with the help of the Franks. But Liudprand explained to his Ottonian audience that this



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interpretation was incorrect. In his view, the lion and its cub were Otto I and Otto II, the “august emperors of the Romans,” while the wild ass was none other than Nikephoros himself, “who fittingly may be compared to the wild ass because of his empty and mindless vainglory.”146 Thus this oracle—as indeed all of Liudprand’s stories about lions, wild asses, and hunting in this work— symbolized the transfer of imperial power and manhood from Constantinople to the Ottonian court. Although hunting played an impor tant role for the ideology of Ottonian kingship, we actually find a significant contraction of east Frankish royal forests and hunting geography, not unlike the situation in late Carolingian west Francia. Scholars have argued that the Ottonian rulers had three separate royal heartlands, each with its own network of properties and palaces: the Harz Mountains of eastern Saxony, the middle Rhine region around Frankfurt, and Lotharingia around Aachen.147 In reality, however, Ottonian power was primarily based in the Harz region,148 and it is here that we chiefly find the Ottonians hunting. The Harz were the political, economic, and sacred core of the Ottonian empire, since it contained impor tant family lands, churches, monasteries, and silver mines.149 The favorite hunting lodge of the Ottonians was Bodfeld (near modern Elbingerode), not far from the Ottonian residence of Quedlinburg.150 Henry I hunted at Bodfeld shortly before his death, as did the later Salian emperor Henry III (1039–1056).151 Overall, German kings are known to have visited Bodfeld seventeen times between 944 and 1068, with twelve of those visits during prime hunting season.152 The centrality of Bodfeld for Ottonian hunting is seen in Otto I’s very first charter, in which he made a generous grant to the newly founded convent of Quedlinburg (where his father was buried) that included one-tenth of all the game from Bodfeld and nearby Siptenfeld.153 Bodfeld and the Harz Mountains therefore provided the primary hunting region for the Ottonians, similar to the region around Compiègne, Laon, Reims, and Attigny for the late Carolingians of west Francia. In this way the hunting geography of the Ottonians and last Carolingians was dramatically smaller than the seasonal itineraries of Louis the Pious that had reached from Nijmegen to the Vosges and from Frankfurt to Compiègne. The Ottonians and last Carolingians therefore hunted like their predecessors, but the geographic extent of their hunts betrayed the significant contraction of their royal heartlands. Notably absent from their reported hunting itineraries was Lotharingia and the Ardennes Forest, which during the later ninth and tenth century passed into the control of regional families (including the power ful Ardennes-Verdun dynasty) and local bishoprics and monasteries.154 The Ottonians gave away considerable forest properties as well as hunting rights outside the Harz region. This trend began under the late east Frankish

Danger and Death

Carolingians and Otto I and Otto II.155 For example, in 897 Arnulf ’s son Zwentibold of Lotharingia transformed a woodland (silva) in the Ardennes belonging to St.-Maximin at Trier into a forest (ex ea forestem facimus) by granting it exclusive hunting rights there and the authority to collect the traditional poaching fine of sixty solidi.156 While this practice of granting hunting rights independent of property seems to have been rare under the early Carolingians,157 it became increasingly prevalent during the course of the tenth century. For example, in 944 Otto I issued a charter for the bishop of Utrecht in which he forbade “any count or other person in the forest district located in Everhard’s county to hunt red deer, bear, roe deer, wild boar, and those beasts that in the Germanic tongue are called ‘elk’ or ‘skelk’ without the permission of the bishop.” Otto added to his grant the nearby silva of Vollenhove “to be protected under forest jurisdiction as we possess in our own [forests]” (ius servetur forestense utpote nobis in nostris).158 Here we find for the first time the phrase ius forestense, which encapsulated the growing disassociation between hunting rights and the actual ownership of forestland.159 Otto III’s grants of forests were much more extensive than those of his predecessors, including forestland in the Vosges, on the middle and lower Rhine, in Franconia, in Saxony, in Lotharingia, and in Italy.160 Otto III’s charters introduced the newly minted adjective “enforested” (forestata) to describe properties placed under the protection of forest law.161 A related development in east Frankish royal charters after 888 was the more frequent inclusion of forest, hunting, and fishing rights (forestes, venationes, piscationes) in the formulaic appurtenance clauses, which had never been the case in earlier periods.162 Such royal grants, which continued in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, became the foundation of the large private hunting reserves and forests (Wildbann und Forsthoheit) of the medieval German princes.163 This was one piece of larger transformations taking place in Germany: the disappearance of old Carolingian geopolitical units around the year 1000 and the emergence of new, more permanent territorial jurisdictions and lordships.164 The tenth-century Carolingians and Ottonians therefore gave away considerable forest properties and hunting rights outside their royal heartlands. Yet one crucial difference is that, unlike the late Carolingians, the Ottonians maintained more direct control over bishoprics and monasteries throughout their empire.165 As a result, forestland the Ottonians granted to churches was not necessarily alienated from their use. The Ottonians frequently received hospitality and food at bishoprics and monasteries when traveling, and during visits they presumably could have hunted in former royal forests. It is possible that the Ottonians granted forestland and hunting rights to bishoprics and monasteries as a strategy to protect and maintain these valuable yet burdensome properties while they were away in Italy. Of the forty years between Otto I’s departure for Rome in 961



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and Otto III’s death in 1002, the Ottonians spent a remarkable seventeen years in Italy.166 The Ottonians therefore may have viewed grants of forestland to churches as a tactic to preserve these royal resources while they were south of the Alps and to retain the ability to hunt in them when they returned. Supporting this theory is the fact that Henry I, who was the only Ottonian who did not rule Italy, is not known to have given away any forest properties or hunting rights. Thus, unlike the situation in tenth-century west Francia, the Ottonians may not have lost access to royal forests they granted to bishoprics and monasteries throughout their empire.

The Last Carolingian Hunter It seems fitting that the last Carolingian king, Louis V (986–987), died in a hunting accident. The twenty-year-old Louis had succeeded his father Lothar III to the west Frankish throne only the previous year, and in early 987 he announced an impor tant assembly to take place in May at Compiègne. The purpose of the assembly was to reach a peace accord with Empress Theophanu, Otto II’s Byzantine widow, who was acting as regent for the young Otto III. Before the meeting Louis went hunting in the Forest of Halatte near Senlis, which lay downstream from Compiègne. The king undoubtedly went hunting for exercise and relaxation, but he probably also wanted to project a traditional image of royal authority and demonstrate to the Ottonian court that he knew how to hunt like the Frankish kings of old. It was in this context that the final Carolingian hunting fatality took place. Louis’s death seems to have been less than heroic, involving only a fall on foot rather than a high-speed crash on horseback or a bloody encounter with a wild boar. As he often did, Richer embellished his account of Louis’s death with anatomical details to display his medical learning: “Louis subsequently sent his army away and went to Senlis. While hunting there during the summer, he fell when his foot slipped, and he suffered a tremendous blow to his liver. Because the liver produces the blood (as the physicians tell us) he began to hemorrhage violently from the injury. A torrent of blood poured out of his nostrils and his throat. His chest throbbed with constant pain, and an unbearable fever came over his entire body. On May 22 he succumbed and paid his debt to nature, having outlived his father by just one year.”167 Once again we hear nothing of the fanfare found in earlier Carolingian hunting narratives: Richer’s Louis V is a lonesome hunter without comrades, a horse, or even a loyal dog. Notable too is Richer’s silence about hunting viriliter, assidue, more regio, or more Francorum: Louis’s hunt was, at it were, devoid of manliness, symbolism, and even joy. This description hearkened back to those of Merovingian hunts,

Danger and Death

when writers like Gregory of Tours had paid little attention to hunting ritual and ideology. The last Carolingian king was laid to rest in the royal chapel at Compiègne, on the edge of the great Forest of Cuise, where Frankish kings had hunted for half a millennium. A few weeks later the west Frankish magnates elected the Robertian Hugh Capet as their king, thereby inaugurating the Capetian monarchy. And with that final hunting death, the long line of Carolingian kings came to an end.



“Now I know that the things I have heard about my brother Charlemagne are true: that through constant hunting and exercising his body and mind with untiring energy, he has grown accustomed to conquering every thing under heaven!”1 This, according to Notker, was Harun al-Rashid’s exclamation when he saw Charlemagne’s ambassadors slay a lion on the outskirts of his capital. At first glance, Notker’s story seems to reflect an unchanging essence of hunting in the early Middle Ages: that it was intimately bound up with representations of kingship, power, and military might. Yet viewing early medieval hunting in this way—as a static and uniform phenomenon over half a millennium—is highly misleading. This book has explored the variety, dynamism, and changing nature of early medieval hunting from the late Roman Empire to the turn of the first millennium. At the same time, this study has interpreted this activity not only in terms of techniques and law but also within the broader context of politics, society, and culture. To do so, we have paid attention to both the representation and reality of hunting in a wide range of evidence and focused on the three themes of masculinity, ritual, and the environment. This approach has yielded a number of important insights and brought us to a deeper understanding of hunting in early medieval Europe. An overarching conclusion of this book is that the traditional characterization of early medieval hunting—as primitive and “Germanic,” focused primarily on boar hunting, and lacking in sophistication—is highly inaccurate. Such a simplistic and gloomy picture ultimately rests on outdated notions of the Dark Ages that scholars of early medieval Europe long ago dismantled. To be sure, hunting was an essential component of military training for the early medieval nobility, and boar hunting was indeed popular. Yet the evidence makes clear that hunting was far more complex and that it played a wide range of roles in early medieval society. The most popular game was not wild boar but red deer, impressive for its size, strength, speed, and antlers. The Franks’ hunting of red deer often resembled what


later medieval treatises sometimes called la chasse par force des chiens: the long, challenging pursuit on horseback of a single deer, with the help of trained dogs, across unbounded wilderness. But kings and nobles engaged in many other kinds of hunting, including drive-style hunts, hunting in game parks, bear, fox, and hare hunting, and especially falconry. This diversity of hunting styles was an enduring legacy of the late Roman aristocracy for the elites of early medieval Europe. The evidence suggests that hunting techniques changed over time, including the growing specialization of hunting dogs, the vogue of hunting cranes with falcons, the renewed emphasis on royal game parks under the Carolingians, the introduction of improved equipment like the composite reflex bow and longsword, and the declining popularity of using domesticated deer. Although aristocratic hunting was originally associated with Roman culture, under the Carolingians it became a badge of Frankish identity and membership in the Frankish nobility. Einhard summed up this sentiment in his boast, “There is hardly another people to be found on earth who can equal the Franks in this art.”2 Throughout the seven centuries under examination, we have found that hunting was central to the performance of aristocratic masculinity. From the reign of Constantine the Great to that of Hugh Capet, hunting with hounds, horses, and hawks defined and shaped what it meant to be a nobleman. With the growing militarization of late Roman society in the West during the fourth and fifth centuries, hunting became the primary institution through which wellborn boys and adolescents learned essential military skills: riding and wielding weapons, courage and discipline, teamwork and leadership. This youthful period of frequent hunting, which often took place while serving in the entourage of a king or lord, engrained in noble boys the admired masculine virtue of fortitudo: bravery, hardihood, equestrianship, and skill with a lance, bow, and sword. Yet the popularity of falconry shows that hunting was not only for military training: it also was an art (ars) that required years of practice and study, and it therefore was a highly admired social marker of noble status and lay manhood. Adult noblemen continued to hunt with dogs and raptors as a symbol of their virility, power, and status, and the activity also served as an important source of exercise, relaxation, and joy. To hunt viriliter, “like a real man,” demonstrated that a nobleman was fit to wield power and hold office. At the same time, some authors stressed that lay nobles needed to avoid excessive hunting and prioritize their obligations to God and king, while others (especially in the late Carolingian period) worried that the activity showed a lack of maturity and posed serious risks for the dwindling royal dynasty. Hunting therefore was ubiquitous in aristocratic society, although it engendered debate about its significance, benefits, excesses, and dangers. What made hunting so important for the identity of the lay nobility was that there were so many other competing gender groups. Although it is popular to




think of medieval people as divided into three “orders” (those who fight, those who pray, and those who work), in reality society was much more complex and fluid. It included laymen, laywomen, nobles, courtiers, scholars, clerics, monks, nuns, commoners, peasants, merchants, and slaves. There was considerable overlap and competition among the different male groups, and there did not exist a single, dominant form of “hegemonic” masculinity. It was precisely for this reason that hunting was essential for marking the masculine identity of lay noblemen and setting them apart from the rest of society. This is because the activity brought together so many key markers of male noble lay status: skill with weapons, horsemanship, ostentatious wealth, costly equipment and dogs, servants, leisure, and control of land and wilderness. While aristocratic women sometimes accompanied hunters as companions and spectators, there is no conclusive evidence that they actively engaged in hunting or falconry themselves, as they would in later centuries.3 Instead, they provided an important feminine audience for the masculine valor of competing hunters. Kings and nobles sought to prevent nonelites from hunting, although their efforts to exclude commoners from appropriating this marker of noble status were never wholly successful. Non-nobles did engage in different types of hunting and consume game, which could provide avenues for economic and social mobility or serve as a form of political protest against aristocratic domination. Hunting as a ritual of power and authority experienced a long evolution during the early Middle Ages. It is sometimes taken for granted that hunting always was an important symbolic activity for early medieval rulers. Based on Janet Nelson’s study of Carolingian royal ritual, scholars have assumed that hunting was central to royal representation and forging political consensus throughout the early Middle Ages.4 Yet Nelson’s model works best for the ninth century—which, after all, was the focus of her study. In the late Roman Empire and in the Merovingian period, royal or imperial hunting in fact seems not to have been a central component of most rulers’ public personas. Although Roman emperors and Merovingian kings did hunt, chroniclers generally did not describe them hunting with special fanfare or large groups of nobles. There were some exceptions, such as the Roman emperors Commodus and Heraclius, who went so far as to perform in staged beast hunts (venationes) in public arenas. The Merovingian king Clothar II also appears to have hunted frequently around Paris, perhaps in emulation of Heraclius. But most Merovingian kings seem to have shied away from large, festive hunts, in part probably because of concerns about assassination. Merovingian royal rituals, like those of the Roman and Byzantine emperors, still were primarily based in cities: banquets, gift exchanges, victory celebrations, display of their hallmark long hair, and visits to the shrines of saints. This urban focus of Merovingian symbolism relegated hunting outside of cities to secondary importance.


It was under the Carolingians that hunting first emerged as a central component of royal symbolism and ritual. Beginning in the reign of Charlemagne, chroniclers and poets began praising the Frankish king as a great and avid huntsman, and they discreetly covered up any injuries and mishaps. In this period, royal hunts did play an impor tant role in fostering political consensus between the king and nobles. Yet consensus was only one aspect of this many-sided royal ritual: Carolingian hunts publicized the king’s martial prowess and virility, they symbolized his imperial authority, they announced peace and concord, they advertised dominion over territory and nature, they tested the courage and character of nobles, and they provided exercise and relaxation. Notably, reports of regular royal hunts were most common later in Charlemagne’s reign and under Louis the Pious, when the Carolingians had few serious rivals and therefore apparently could hunt regularly with little fear of assassination attempts. These two rulers established annual hunting itineraries that were truly imperial in scope, stretching from Nijmegen to the Vosges and from Bavaria to Compiègne, with the great Ardennes Forest at their heart. After Louis the Pious’s death in 840, his heirs continued to hunt in their respective kingdoms, with Charles the Bald focusing his seasonal hunts on the region around Compiègne/Cuise, Orville, and, after 869, western Lotharingia. It also was under the Carolingians that writers like Einhard, the Astronomer, and the anonymous author of the Deeds of Dagobert began associating hunting with a specifically Frankish identity. To hunt “in the manner of the Franks” meant to hunt like the king and his supporters did—with horses, dogs, hawks, and falcons. It is in this Frankish ideology that we see most clearly the role of hunting as a force for consensus politics and elite social cohesion around the ruler. In reality, Carolingian kings seem to have hunted with large groups of companions only occasionally, and most royal hunts probably were small-scale affairs. Nevertheless, the ideology that the king and nobles together excelled in this “art” provided elites of different backgrounds with a shared idea of themselves as Franks. Hunting, in other words, became central to the “Frankification” of Europe’s regional aristocracies. At the same time, this Carolingian ideology carried with it an implicit criticism of the last Merovingian kings, who according to Einhard had lost their manly virtue by trading their hunting steeds for an ox cart. In connection with this myth of the Merovingian loss of manhood, Carolingian writers told stories about the hunting exploits of earlier Merovingian kings to highlight their dynasty’s supposed later decline. Thus the ideology of hunting more Francorum carried with it an implicit justification of the coup d’état of 751 by portraying the Carolingians as the saviors of Frankish masculinity. The third theme this book has traced is the connection between early medieval hunting and the environment, especially with regard to wilderness and wild




animals. We have seen that the relationship between hunters and the natural world underwent a long period of transformation between 300 and 1000. In the Roman Empire, wild animals were considered res nullius, the property of no one. Everyone therefore could hunt and fish wherever he wished—even on another’s property unless the landlord sought to prevent the hunter from entering. This legal situation seems to have continued throughout the Merovingian era. The Merovingian kings favored hunting in wilderness regions that would remain important throughout the early Middle Ages: the Ardennes, Cuise near Compiègne, the Vosges, and the region around Paris. Although Gregory of Tours did tell one story about Guntram executing someone for hunting in a royal woodland, his point was that Guntram’s behavior was unjust and apparently unusual. In general, hunting seems to have remained available to everyone. Merovingian charters introduced the new term “forest” (forestis) in the seventh century, but these documents use the terms silva and forestis interchangeably, and they never explicitly mention hunting rights. Certainly Merovingian kings did hunt in their forests and woodlands, but they extracted a wide range of other resources from them, including lumber, firewood, fish, birds, pannage for pigs, pasture for livestock, land for clearing, and the like. Overall, the impression one gets is that the Merovingians did not take significant steps toward privatizing hunting rights for the benefit of crown, which seems to conform to the general lack of emphasis that the Merovingians placed on the hunt as royal ritual. Reflecting the new importance that the Carolingians placed on hunting, Charlemagne reconceptualized and reorganized the Frankish monarchy’s forests and woodlands. His charters and capitularies paid closer attention to wilderness rights, made a clearer distinction between silvae and forestes, and associated only forests with hunting rights. He also made a concerted effort to protect “our game” in royal forests and to prosecute poachers. Charlemagne’s inspiration seems to have come from the Lombard royal gahagia (hunting enclosures), which he encountered during his 774 conquest of northern Italy. It was right after his return to Francia that year that his charters began to pay closer attention to wilderness rights and to associate only forests with hunting and game. Louis the Pious continued these efforts by carrying out an empire-wide investigation into illicit forests that had not been confirmed by a royal charter from his father. Charlemagne and his successors also placed a new emphasis on walled game parks, which provided a stage for hunting by the king and his sons and nobles. Game parks tended to be located near royal palaces and thus were capable of hosting larger audiences for the exploits of the king and his companions. Whether in forests or walled parks, hunting highlighted the Carolingians’ mastery of the natural world and presented them as “lord of all animals and wild beasts.” Written and zooarchaeological sources demonstrate that the Franks’ favorite quarry was red deer, although


they hunted a wide range of game that included wild boar, roe deer, bear, aurochs, bison, elk, hare, fox, and beaver. Hunting with trained hawks and falcons extended the Franks’ lordship over wild animals into the sky above. For spiritual reasons, kings (and perhaps also lay nobles) turned to fishing during Lent. Each kind of game had its own particular habitats, behavioral patterns, and biological cycles that dictated where, when, and how it was best hunted. One theme that has emerged is the changing relationship between hunting, the environment, and social status. In the Roman Empire, all people in theory had a right to hunt, fish, and fowl either on their own property, unowned wilderness, or even the property of another. This situation continued in the Merovingian period. However, the connections between certain types of hunting (e.g., falconry) and noble status resulted in elites increasingly policing the participation of non-elites. This was especially true under Charlemagne, who initiated a program to prosecute illegal hunters in royal forests. The punishments Charlemagne prescribed in his capitularies reflected his conviction that hunting was the domain of the nobility, since non-nobles caught poaching had to pay the particularly heavy fine of sixty solidi. In contrast, nobles found guilty of this crime were summoned to the palace for questioning: a tacit recognition of their high status, even if it resulted in a reprimand or punishment. It also seems that Charlemagne attempted to outlaw trapping throughout the empire, which was the chief way that commoners and peasants traditionally hunted. In contrast, Charlemagne left open a wide range of opportunities for nobles to hunt: in royal forests with the king’s permission or by purchasing a permit; through royal grants of forestland or hunting rights; with the approval of bishops, abbots, and counts who possessed forestland; and by practicing falconry, which did not require forestland or hunting rights. In this way, Charlemagne’s efforts to stop poaching in and around royal forests was not about exclusion but about distinction: it made hunting in forests a marker of noble status and thus a badge of membership in the Frankish nobility. “Vulgar” commoners, in contrast, found their traditional access to hunting, trapping, and game increasingly (but never completely) circumscribed. The mounting political, dynastic, and military crises of the late ninth and tenth centuries precipitated deep transformations in this Carolingian culture of hunting. Although the late Carolingians continued to hunt like their predecessors, some chroniclers now critiqued the activity as dangerous and immature or ignored it altogether—except in the case of hunting disasters and fatalities. After 888, the beleaguered late Carolingians lost many of their royal forests and game parks to new royal and princely dynasties, with the result that their hunting activities were increasingly restricted to the narrow royal demesne between Compiègne, Laon, Reims, and Attigny. With fewer nobles coming to court and fewer chroniclers reporting their exploits, the royal hunts of the last Carolingians lost




much of their power as a symbol of royal authority or as a force for political cohesion. And, amid the political strife of the warring territorial princes, the fear of capture or assassination once again made ostentatious royal hunts apparently too dangerous for the Frankish royal family. At the same time, new royal dynasties began to adopt the symbolism of royal hunting. The Ottonian kings of Saxony especially appropriated Carolingian and Byzantine models of hunting as a symbol of their royal and imperial power, a phenomenon that would continue under their Salian and Hohenstaufen successors.5 In contrast, the early Capetians kings in France do not seem to have emphasized hunting as a part of their public persona. Echoing late Carolingian chroniclers, early Capetian writers expressed the view that hunting was an irresponsible, youthful activity that was not appropriate for mature kings.6 Aimoin of Fleury (d. ca. 1010), for example, repeatedly noted that hunting was a long-standing Frankish custom (mos Francorum),7 but he recounted a number of harrowing hunting stories in his chronicle that highlighted the manifold dangers of this activity for adult rulers.8 Suger of St.-Denis (d. 1151) similarly presented hunting as an activity that was not appropriate for mature Capetian kings.9 It now was the French territorial princes who hunted like kings and who monopolized access to former royal forests. After 1066, William the Conqueror exported from Normandy to England the tradition of Carolingian forest law and the Franks’ predilection for hunting red deer. In this way, Anglo-Norman England, like the German empire, became an important heir to the traditions of Carolingian hunting. Early medieval royal hunting therefore experienced a process of bifurcation around the year 1000. While the association between hunting and Frankish identity continued in Capetian France among the territorial princes, it was in Ottonian Germany (and later Anglo-Norman England) that the connection between the chase and kingship endured most powerfully. Yet Ottonian writers understandably abandoned the Frankish rhetoric because the Ottonian rulers were from Saxony. To put it another way, the more Francorum hunting rhetoric continued in Capetian France among the nobles, while the more regio ideology endured around the Ottonian court.10 In both kingdoms there was a significant contraction of forests directly under royal control: in Ottonian Germany primarily in the Harz Mountains of eastern Saxony, and in Capetian France in the narrow royal demesne near Paris. Notably, the great hunting regions of the Ardennes and Vosges, where the Merovingian and Carolingian kings had hunted for half a millennium, fell into the hands of local families, bishoprics, and monasteries. The royal dynasties of eleventh- and twelfth-century Europe would rebuild kingly hunting on the fragmentary remains of these early medieval foundations.11 In his history of hunting from the prehistorical period to the modern era, Werner Rösener posed the question, “In which age and under what circumstances


did the ‘noble art of the chase’ evolve out of the wild slaying of animals?”12 The answer, Rösener argued, was in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the supposedly primitive “wild slaying of animals” of the Franks evolved into the sophisticated chase of French and German aristocrats.13 For Rösener, hunting in the central and later Middle Ages was fundamentally different from early medieval hunting in that it was “courtly,” by which he meant aristocratic, ritualized, focused on stag hunting and falconry, and involving the participation of women. This study has shown how problematic that picture is. During the early Middle Ages, one finds a vibrant and dynamic hunting culture that included red deer and wild boar hunting, falconry, ritualized behavior, female spectators, literature and poetry, and a conviction that mastery of this art distinguished lay noblemen from all other gender groups. At the palaces of the Carolingian kings, hunting was decidedly “courtly” in that it entailed not the “wild slaying of animals” but instead royal fanfare, ritualized patterns of behavior, and complex forms of specialized knowledge that united kings and nobles in a shared elite political culture. This is exactly the kind of courtly behavior Nelson talked about when she described Charlemagne’s palace as a courtly society characterized by “controlled and measured recreation and sociability.”14 Yet it has not been the objective of this book simply to argue that we should push back the origins of courtly hunting to the early Middle Ages. The early Middle Ages were different from the Roman Empire that came before and the central and later Middle Ages that came after. The early medieval centuries must be studied on their own terms—as a distinctive and fascinating era of history with its own characteristics, developments, complexities, and achievements. And, while we can legitimately label Carolingian hunting as “courtly,” writers like Einhard had their own vocabulary that characterized this defining noble, masculine, and royal activity: more Francorum, “in the manner of the Franks.”



Introduction 1. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.9, pp. 63–64. 2. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p. 23. On this passage, see Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” esp. 19–20. 3. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 22, p. 27. 4. My definition follows that of Sveinung Bang-Andersen, who defined hunting as any method “of downing and trapping game; large or small, running or swimming, feathered or furred, edible or inedible”: Bang-Andersen, “Prehistoric Reindeer Hunting,” at 41–42. See also Hughes, “Hunting,” 47: “the killing of other animal species for food and other uses.” To keep the scope of this book manageable, I treat fishing only in passing, although medieval hunting and fishing rights were often related. On this subject, see Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 4.2:133–135; Hoffmann, “Fishing”; Hoffmann, Environmental History, 192–195; Hack, “König als Fischer.” 5. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:633. 6. Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall, 2:481. For the imagined connections between the end of the Roman Empire and the “Dark-Age” reforestation of Eu rope, see Squatriti, Landscape and Change, 6–14. 7. Elias, Civilizing Process; Elias, Court Society. Nelson, “Gendering Courts,” demonstrated that the origins of courtliness and court societies are to be found in the palaces of early medieval Europe, where educated women played a central role in the civilizing process alongside men. 8. Elias, Civilizing Process, 466–467. 9. Elias, “Essay on Sport,” 155. Elias’s focus was on foxhunting in eighteenth- and nineteenthcentury England. For a critique of Elias’s analysis, see Fletcher, Violence and Civilization, 107–115. 10. Elias, “Essay on Sport,” 161. 11. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks. For Lindner and his impor tant work on Jagdwissenschaft and Jagdkunde, see Lindner, “Hunting Science”; Roosen, “Noblest Form of Hunting.” 12. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 455. See also Lindner, Queen Mary’s Psalter, 5. 13. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 125–149, at 128. See further Rösener, “König als Jäger”; Rösener, “Jagd und Jäger.” 14. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 12, 125–126. Rösener took as his model of courtly hunting the chase scene in the thirteenth-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg: Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan, 78–86. For similar views, see Rösener, “Jagd, Rittertum”; Cummins, Hound and the Hawk, 104–106. 15. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 12, 99, 109, 128, 132–134, 138, 147–148, 151–153. Rösener (147) dubiously presents the boar-hunting scene in the Nibelungenlied as representative of early medieval hunting in general, even though this epic in its current form dates from ca. 1200. 16. Rösener, “Adel und Jagd,” 148–149. 17. For example, see Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger”; Guizard, “Les accidents de chasse,” 291; Boccassini, “Falconry,” 367–369. 18. The extensive scholarship on medieval hunting has largely focused on the twelfth through sixteenth centuries through the lenses of later medieval literature, art, and hunting manuals. Examples include Thiébaux, Stag of Love; La chasse au Moyen Âge; Chastel, Le Château, la chasse et la forêt; Rösener, Jagd und höfische Kultur; Cummins, Hound and the Hawk; Almond, Medieval Hunting;


Notes to Pages 5–7 Almond, Daughters of Artemis; Oggins, Kings and Their Hawks; Marvin, Hunting Law; Paravicini Bagliani and Van den Abeele, La chasse au Moyen Âge; Rueda, Caza en la Edad Media; Allsen, Royal Hunt; Bord and Mugg, La chasse au Moyen Âge; Mileson, Parks in Medieval England; McCracken, In the Skin of a Beast. 19. Van den Abeele, La littérature cynégétique; Van den Abeele, “Medieval Latin and Vernacular Treatises.” 20. Barlow, William Rufus, 121. See further Barlow, “Hunting.” 21. For example, see Irsigler, “On the Aristocratic Character,” 119–120. 22. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 121. 23. E.g., Hennebicque, “Espaces sauvages”; Jarnut, “Frühmittelalterliche Jagd”; Rollason, “Forests”; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious.” In spite of this scholarship, surveys of early medieval Eu rope tend to mention hunting only briefly or omit it altogether: e.g., Fouracre, New Cambridge Medieval History, 212, 217, 234; McKitterick, New Cambridge Medieval History, no references to hunting; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 296–297. 24. For the relevant publications of Martina Giese and Baudouin Van den Abeele, see the bibliography. Giese is preparing a monograph on medieval and early modern royal hunting based on her 2011 Habilitationsschrift, “Der König als Jäger,” a copy of which I could not obtain. 25. See especially Hadley, “Introduction: Medieval Masculinities,” in Hadley, Masculinity in Medieval Europe, 1–18; Smith, “Introduction,” in Brubaker and Smith, Gender in the Early Medieval World, 1–19; Leja, “Making of Men”; Stone, Morality, 14–21; Romig, Be a Perfect Man, 1–7; and the collected essays in Hadley, Masculinity in Medieval Europe, and in Brubaker and Smith, Gender in the Early Medieval World. 26. Smith, “Introduction,” in Brubaker and Smith, Gender in the Early Medieval World, 7–8; Karras, From Boys to Men, 7–8. 27. Leja, “Making of Men,” 18–19. 28. Stone, Morality; Stone, “ ‘In What Way?’ ” 29. The phrase is from Butler, Gender Trouble, 140, cited in Hadley, Masculinity in Medieval Europe, 14. 30. Innes, “ ‘Place of Discipline.’ ” Innes challenges the conclusions of C. Stephen Jaeger, who argues that courtly societies did not begin to emerge until the tenth century: Jaeger, Origins of Courtliness and Jaeger, Envy of Angels. See further Innes, State, 145. 31. Examples include Coon, Dark Age Bodies; Hack, Karolingische Kaiser; Dutton, “Charlemagne’s Mustache”; Ringrose, Perfect Servant; Skinner, “Better Off Dead’?” For female beauty, see Garver, Women, 21–67; and more generally, Bynum, “Why All the Fuss?” 32. Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 1:757–758 and 2:1240 (s.v. “laicalis,” “saecularis”). Although the adjectives laicalis and saecularis both appear in early medieval texts, the modern word “secular” (as in “worldly,” “profane”) is misleading because it suggests a separate non-Christian sphere that did not exist in early medieval society: Nelson, “Public Histories,” 284–285; Airlie, “Word,” 54–55; Innes, “ ‘He Never,’ ” 145–147. In spite of the title of his article, Noble, “Secular Sanctity,” favors the term “lay” to describe Carolingian elite culture. 33. Innes, State, 82–85. 34. For the complexity of terms used to describe early medieval lay elites, see Wickham, Framing, 153–258, esp. 153–154; Stone, Morality, 21–26. I use the term “warrior” to describe early medieval military men, who often were the vassals of kings and lords, to distinguish them from the paid professional soldiers of the Roman Empire. However, I do not mean to suggest that they possessed a kind of heroic ethos that the word “warrior” sometimes implies in American English. 35. Noble, “Secular Sanctity,” 24, referring to the Carolingian aristocracy. 36. E.g., Riché, Daily Life, 25–26, 75–76, 95–96; Airlie, “Anxiety of Sanctity,” 382; Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 212, 217; Innes, State, 160; Innes, “Place of Discipline,” 67; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 296–297; Halsall, Warfare and Society, 117; Hack, Karolingische Kaiser, 45–49. 37. On women and hunting in the central and later Middle Ages, see Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 181–197; Almond, Daughters of Artemis. 38. Halsall, “Violence,” esp. 31–34; Leja, “Making of Men,” 24, 37–40. 39. Irsigler, “On the Aristocratic Character,” 119–120; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 110 (quote). 40. Key works on this topic include Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed”; Koziol, Begging Pardon, esp. 289–324; Leyser, “Ritual”; Althoff, Spielregeln; Pössel, “Symbolic Communication.”

Notes to Pages 7–15 41. Pössel, “Magic,” responding to the critiques on the scholarship about early medieval rituals voiced by Buc, Dangers. See also Koziol, “Review Article”; Vollrath, “Haben Rituale Macht?” 42. Wickham, “Consensus,” esp. 425; Nelson, King and Emperor, 2, 71–72. The classic work on early medieval consensus is Hannig, Consensus fidelium. 43. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 120–124. 44. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 122. 45. E.g., Althoff, Family, 138; Schwedler, “Ritualisiertes Beutemachen”; MacLean, Kingship, 95; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 296; Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice, 401. 46. See the essays in Epp and Meyer, Recht und Konsens. 47. Hoffmann, Environmental History, 3. 48. See Kalof and Resl, Cultural History of Animals, esp. vol. 2: Resl, Cultural History of Animals. 49. Schroer, “View from Anthropology.” Examples of early medieval environmental history that break down the old nature-culture divide include Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests”; GuizardDuchamp, Les terres du sauvage; Squatriti, Landscape and Change. 50. Ritvo, “Edging into the Wild.” 51. The classic work of landscape history is Hoskins, Making of the English Landscape. 52. Throughout this book, I consult the following guides on Eu ropean animals: Aulagnier et al., Mammals of Europe; MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals of Europe; Svensson, Birds of Europe. 53. Key works on early medieval forests include Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt’ ”; Jarnut, “Frühmittelalterliche Jagd”; Semmler, “Forst”; Zotz, “Beobachtungen”; Lorenz, “Königsforst.” 54. Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 159 and 161n9, summarizing previous scholarship; Guerreau, “Les structures,” 30. 55. Liddiard, Medieval Park; Beaver, Hunting; Langton and Jones, Forests and Chases; Fletcher, Garden of Earthly Delights. For the early Middle Ages, see Hauk, “Tiergärten”; Rollason, “Forests.” 56. Halsall, Warfare and Society, 6–10, quote on 7. Halsall builds on the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, especially his notion of cultural capital: Bourdieu, Distinction, esp. 3–89. 57. Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” 65, define a hunting treatise as “a didactic writing on hunting or its auxiliaries— quadruped or bird of prey—written in Latin or in the vernacular and generally intended for a public of practitioners.” 58. Giese, “Gebell im Kloster,” 121; Giese, “Graue Theorie.” 59. Buc, Dangers. 60. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 122; Rollason, “Forests,” 446. 61. Buc, Dangers, 76. 62. Van den Abeele, “Falconry,” 1536. 63. As argued by McCracken, In the Skin of a Beast, for late medieval France. 64. The Utrecht Psalter (Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek MS 32) was made in the region of Reims during the reign of Louis the Pious or Charles the Bald: Chazelle, “Archbishops Ebo and Hincmar”; Chazelle, Crucified God, 241–260; van der Horst, Noel, and Wüstefeld, Utrecht Psalter; Nees, Early Medieval Art, 200–201. The Stuttgart Psalter (Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. bibl. fol. MS 23) was produced near Paris (probably at St.-Germain-des-Prés) during the reign of Louis the Pious ca. 820/830: Bischoff and Fischer, Stuttgarter Bilderpsalter. 65. France-Lanord, “Les illustrations du psautier d’Utrecht”; Coupland, “Carolingian Arms and Armor.” 66. Important examples of scholarship related to hunting with an emphasis on zooarchaeology include Grimm and Schmölcke, Hunting in Northern Europe; Gersmann and Grimm, Raptor and Human; Sykes, Norman Conquest; Sykes, Beastly Questions; Baker, Carden, and Madgwick, Deer and People. See further Janssen, “Fleischversorgung”; Audoin-Rouzeau, “Compter et mesurer les os animaux,” esp. 308–311; Plukowski, “Zooarchaeology”; Schmölcke, “Central European Burials,” 497–499. 67. Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 94–95, translates forestis as “reserve.” I prefer “forest” because it enables one to see more clearly the evolving meaning of the term. We will see that, under the Merovingians, forestis simply designated a wilderness property belonging to the crown, not a royal hunting reserve. Chapter 1 1. Aymard, Essai, 175, 527, and plates 40.1–4; Anderson, Hunting, 101–106; Ferris, Arch of Constantine.



Notes to Pages 16–24 2. For overviews of early human hunting, see Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 28–48; Hartz and Schmölcke, “From the Mesolithic”; Vretemark, “Late Bronze Age Hunting”; Trebsche, “Hunting”; Hoffmann, Environmental History, 22–33; Hughes, “Hunting.” 3. On religious rituals: Burkert, Homo Necans; on logical reasoning and storytelling: Ginzburg, “Morelli,” 12–14, 22–23; on warfare and violence: Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 30–35; Cartmill, View, 1–14; Betzig, “Hunting Kings”; on happiness: Ortega y Gasset, Meditations, 118; Elias, “Essay on Sport,” 174. 4. For dogs in early Eu ropean societies, see Petersen, “Mesolithic Dogs”; Schmölcke, “Evidence.” The arguments of Shipman, Invaders, are controversial. 5. Hartz and Schmölcke, “From the Mesolithic,” 21, 23 (table 1), 26–28. 6. On ancient hunting, see Aymard, Essai; Harper, Royal Hunter; Anderson, Hunting; Barringer, Hunt; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 49–72; Trinquier and Vendries, Chasses antiques; Ambos, “Altorientalischer König”; Hughes, “Hunting.” 7. Plato, Laws, 6.763b, 8.823b–824, in Complete Works, 1438, 1489–1490. 8. Xenophon, Cynegeticus; Anderson, Hunting, 30–56; Xenophon, On Hunting, in Xenophon and Arrian, On Hunting. 9. Xenophon, Cynegeticus, 12.1–9, pp. 157–158. 10. Green, “Did the Romans Hunt?” 11. Badel, “La noblesse romaine.” 12. Badel, “La noblesse romaine,” 37. 13. Pliny the Younger, Letters, 1.6, in Letters, Books 1–7, 16–17. For hunting and ancient poetry, see Steindel, “Jagd.” 14. Heather, “Senates and Senators”; Cameron, Later Roman Empire, 113–132; Cameron, Mediterranean World, 89–94. 15. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations, 96–111; Halsall, “Gender.” 16. Sarti, Perceiving War, 269–270, 275. 17. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 2.8, pp. 50–52. 18. Brown, Rise, 45; Harlow, “Clothes.” 19. Ausonius, Epistles, no. 14, pp. 46–49 (modified). For other late Roman hunters, see Rutilius Claudius Namatianus, De reditu suo, 1.621–630, 160–161; Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Macrina, cc. 8–9, pp. 27–28; Bregman, Synesius of Cyrene, 18 and n. 6. 20. Matthews, “Historia Augusta,” 713; Historia Augusta, vol. 1: Hadrian, cc. 20.13, 26.3, pp. 65, 79; Antoninus Pius, c. 11.2, p. 127; Marcus Aurelius, c. 4.9, p. 143; Verus, c. 2.10, p. 211; vol. 2: Severus Alexander, c. 29.3, p. 235; Two Maximini, c. 8.4, p. 329; vol. 3: Tacitus, cc. 11.4, 16.2, pp. 315, 325; Carus, Carinus, Numerian, c. 14, pp. 437–439. 21. Historia Augusta, vol. 3: Thirty Pretenders, c. 15.6–8, p. 107 (modified). A mosaic found in Palmyra may depict Odaenathus hunting tigers: Gawlikowski, “Palmyra.” 22. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 28.4.18, 3:146–147. 23. Arrian, Cynegeticus, 22–23, 90–125, 167–189. There were several other Roman works on hunting, although not as detailed as Arrian’s: Grattius, Cynegetica; Nemesianus, Cynegetica; Oppian, Cynegetica; Anderson, Hunting, 129–135, 139–141. 24. Arrian, Cynegeticus, cc. 1–3, 23, pp. 90–95, 114–117. 25. Arrian, Cynegeticus, c. 24, pp. 116–117. 26. Catullo, Ancient Roman Villa, esp. 9, 47–50. 27. For the connections between Roman hunting and devotion to the gods, see Estienne, “Festa venatica.” 28. Lindner, Beiträge; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 151–154; Giese, “Evidence of Falconry,” 1475–1476. 29. For ancient fowling, see Vendries, “L’Auceps”; Hurka, “Falconry.” 30. Lindner, Beiträge, 111–156; Dobiat, “Early Falconry”; Kosintsev and Nekrasov, “Archaeozoological Survey”; Yablonsky, “Were the Early Sarmatian Nomads Falconers?”; Erdenebat, “A Contribution”; Soma, “Ethnoarchaeology.” 31. Paulin de Pella, Poème, ll. 141–152, p. 68. 32. Sidonius, Letters, 3.2, 4.9, pp. 12–13, 96–97. Concerning Sidonius, see Harries, Sidonius; Kaufmann, Studien; Car ter, “Games.” 33. Lindner, Beiträge, 121–148; Åkerström-Hougen, Calendar; Trovabene, “La caccia col falcone”; Hurka, “Falconry,” 694–696.

Notes to Pages 24–38 34. For example: Dunbabin, Mosaics, 46–64, 48–49, 55, 62, 119–121, 252, 257, 262, plates 21– 22, 29, 109; Blanchard-Lemée, Ennaïfer, Slim, and Slim, Mosaics, 167–172 and plate 121; Hanoune, “La chasses en Afrique romaine”; Fernández, Aristocrats, 80–81. 35. Mango and Bennett, Sevso Treasure, 55–97. On the cultural significance of silver tableware in late antiquity, see Hardt, “Silverware.” 36. Loriquet, “Tombeau”; Halsall, Barbarian Migrations, 98; Baratte, “La chasse.” 37. Hack, Karolingische Kaiser, 35–39. 38. Maurice’s Strategikon, 165–169, at 165 (modified). He went on to describe how generals should train their armies of up to several thousand footmen and cavalry to encircle herds of game and slay the animals with arrows and lances. 39. Catullo, Ancient Roman Villa, 94–95. 40. Sidonius, Poems; Letters, pp.  18–19 (modified). See further Sidonius, Letters, 3.3, 4.4, pp. 12–13, 80–81. 41. Isidore of Seville, Institutionum disciplinae, at 426. 42. Paulin de Pella, Poème, ll. 141–152, p. 68. 43. Sarti, Perceiving War, 165–167; Hack, Karolingische Kaiser, 37 and n. 57. 44. Virgil, Aeneid, 4.159–201, pp. 132–133. See also 1.379–387, pp. 58–59. 45. Historia Augusta, vol. 3: Thirty Pretenders, c. 30.13–18, p. 139. 46. Tacitus, Germania, c. 46, pp. 212–213; Procopius, History of the Wars, 6.15, 3:418–421. 47. Institutiones, 2.1.12–13, in Corpus Iuris Civilis, 1:10–11. See further Green, “Did the Romans Hunt?,” 237–239; Marvin, Hunting Law, 21–23; Donahue, “Animalia.” 48. Columella, On Agriculture, bk. 9, preface and 9.1, pp. 420–421, for quote; Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 8.78, 3:146–147. 49. Anderson, Hunting, 101–106; Aymard, Essai, 175, 527, and plates 40.1–4; Gutsfeld, “Hadrian als Jäger”; Le Roux, “L’empereur.” 50. Historia Augusta: Hadrian, c. 26.2–3, 1:78–79. 51. Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus, c. 81, in Letters, Books 8–10; Panegyricus, 512–513; Radice, “Pliny.” 52. For Roman and Byzantine military triumphs, see McCormick, Eternal Victory. 53. Golvin, L’Amphithéâtre romain; Hughes, “Hunting,” 66–68; Shelton, “Beastly Spectacles,” 116–126. 54. Catullo, Ancient Roman Villa, 52–59. 55. Hughes, “Hunting,” 60–62. 56. Suetonius, Nero, c. 12, in Lives of the Caesars, 2:102–105; Dio Cassius, Roman History, 62.17, vol. 8, pp. 72–75; Hughes, “Hunting,” 68–69. 57. Suetonius, Tiberius, c. 72, in Lives of the Caesars, 1:410. 58. Suetonius, Domitian, c. 19, in Lives of the Caesars, 2:380–381. 59. Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus, c. 81, in Letters, Books 8–10; Panegyricus, 512–513. 60. Dio Cassius, Roman History, 73.10, 73.15, 73.17–21, vol. 9, pp.  92–93, 102–115; Historia Augusta: Commodus, 5.5, 8.5–9, 11.10–12, 12.10–12, 13.3, 15.3–8, 1:276–277, 284–287, 292–301; Aymard, Essai, 527–558; Anderson, Hunting, 125–126. 61. Christie, “No More Fun?” 62. Theodosian Code, 15.11–12, p. 436. 63. Allsen, Royal Hunt, 34–51. 64. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 24.5.2, 2:448–449. We hear of the emperors Tiberius and Nero having zoological gardens, and it is possible that they sometimes hunted in them as well: Allsen, Royal Hunt, 40 and n. 43. 65. Fischer, “Hunting,” 262; Heinen, Trier, 290. 66. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 31.10.19, 3:452–455 (modified). 67. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 24.5.1–2, 2:448–449. See further Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 24.1.5, 2:402–403. 68. Andreae, Symbolik. 69. Theodosian Code, 15.11.1, p. 436. 70. Historia Augusta, vol. 1: Hadrian, cc. 26.2–3, p. 79. 71. Wickham, “Consensus,” 391. 72. Jussen, “Um 567,” 22. 73. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations; Brown, Rise, 37–52, 93–106. 74. Geary, “Ethnic Identity”; Reimitz, History.



Notes to Pages 38–45 75. Pohl, “Conceptions,” 41. 76. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations, 35–62. 77. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 453 (no. 3576). The first half of the epitaph (Francus ego cives Romanus miles in armis) alternatively might be translated: “I was a Frank, a Roman citizen, and a soldier in arms.” On this epitaph, see Rigsby, “Two Danubian Epitaphs.” 78. Halsall, “Barbarian Invasions,” 35–55; Halsall, Barbarian Migrations; Todd, “Germanic Peoples”; Heather, “Goths and Huns”; Wood, “Barbarian Invasions”; Noble, From Roman Provinces. 79. Trebsche, “Hunting”; Reichmann, “Late Ancient Germanic Hunting.” 80. Montanari, Culture of Food, 1–37. 81. Hansen, “Hunting”; Naumann and Schneider, Keltenfürst. 82. Caesar, Gallic War, 6.21, 6.24–28, pp. 346–355, quote at p. 347. Caesar reported that warriors trained by slaying aurochs in staged hunts similar to modern bullfights. 83. Tacitus, Germania, c. 15, pp. 152–155, with a textual variant at 152n2. 84. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 31.9.5, 3:445. 85. Carver, Sutton Hoo. 86. Excerpta Valesiana, 12.61, pp. 546–547. 87. Procopius, History of the Wars, 4.6.5–10, 2:256–257. 88. Hen, Roman Barbarians. 89. Excerpta Valesiana, 12.60, 12.67, pp. 544–545, 551–552; Cassiodorus, Selected Variae, 3.51, 5.42, pp. 67–71, 90–93. 90. Sidonius, Poems; Letters, 1.2, pp. 334–345. Sidonius wanted to present to the Gallo-Roman aristocracy a positive image of the Visigothic king, with whose help his father-in-law Avitus attained the purple in 455. 91. Sidonius, Poems; Letters, 1.2, pp. 338–341 (modified). 92. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations, 331–332, 337–338, 343, 350–353. Halsall emphasizes that northern Gaul was much more of a frontier zone than the more Romanized south. 93. Green, “Did the Romans Hunt?,” 229; Lepetz, “La chasse.” For a similar picture from Roman Pannonia, see Bökönyi, Animal Husbandry. 94. The largest portion of the caloric intake of early Germanic communities came from domesticated animals (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats) and cereal crops: Krüger, Germanen, 121–131; Todd, Early Germans, 77–78; Hamerow, Early Medieval Settlements, 126–127, 134, 148. There is no evidence that hunting was an exclusive elite privilege among the barbarians in this early period: Trebsche, “Hunting.” 95. Loveluck, “Problems.” For a fifth-century burial with a bowl decorated with a boar-hunting scene, see Böhme, Germanische Grabfünde, 107, cited in Halsall, Barbarian Invasions, 350. 96. Hamerow, Early Medieval Settlements, 113–114, 177–180. 97. Reichmann, “Late Ancient Germanic Hunting.” 98. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.184, vol. 1. In contrast, he wrote that a non-noble (ignobilis) was so-called “ because he is unknown, a commoner (vilis), of obscure family, and his name is not known”: Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.146, vol. 1. 99. See the telling story of a disguised nobleman told by Bede, Ecclesiastical History, 4.22, pp. 402–403. 100. Sidonius, Letters, 4.9, pp. 96–99; Kaufmann, Studien, 354–355. Chapter 2 1. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.65, p. 153. (I do not accept the conjecture of Wallace-Hadrill, Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar, 53 and text note e.) On this passage, see Kaegi, Heraclius, 26–27; and Esders, “Herakleios.” On Byzantine imperial hunting and circus games, see Patlagean, “De la Chasse”; and Jussen, “Um 567,” 23. 2. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.42, p. 142. 3. Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 205–206, 212, 217. Irsigler, “On the Aristocratic Character,” 119–120, and Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 99–101, cite several saints’ lives as evidence for the importance of royal hunting under the Merovingians. However, these vitae were written by Carolingian authors and therefore should be interpreted as reflecting Carolingian political culture. Chapter 4 discusses this evidence. 4. For the Merovingian kingdoms, see especially Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul”; Fouracre, “Francia”; Halsall, Barbarian Migrations, 303–310; Geary, Before France and Germany; Wood, Merovingian Kingdoms.

Notes to Pages 45–51 5. Wickham, Framing, 168–203; Brown, “Study of Elites.” 6. Riché, Education, 206–210; Hen, Roman Barbarians, 94–123; Brown, Rise, 233–235; Innes, “ ‘Place of Discipline,’ ” 61–62 and n. 7; Wickham, Framing, 195–198; Esders, “Nordwestgallien.” 7. Fouracre, “Origins”; Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 214–222. 8. Irsigler, “On the Aristocratic Character,” 122–124; Bosl, Leitbilder, 9–10, 20; Airlie, “Anxiety of Sanctity”; Smith, Europe, 174. 9. Reuter, “Nobles and Others,” 120. 10. Fouracre, “Francia,” 381–382; Fouracre, “Space.” 11. Dobiat and Grimm, “Rider Fibula”; Jost, “Depiction.” 12. Jost, “Depiction,” 1425, unconvincingly argues that the image probably is “Christ himself . . . as a heroic hunter.” 13. For English parallels, see Sykes, “From Cu”; Sykes, “Dynamics”; Serjeantson, “Birds”; Birrell, “Procuring.” 14. In general, see Galloni, Il cervo e il lupo, 3–25, 65–87. 15. Sidonius, Poems; Letters, 5.249–250, p. 82. 16. Nelson, King and Emperor, 487–489. 17. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 4.13, p. 144; Innes, “ ‘Place of Discipline,’ ” 61–62. 18. Wood, Gregory of Tours; Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours; Reimitz, History, 25–123. 19. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 4.47, p. 183. 20. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.15, pp.  380–382. Another contemporary author mentions hunters making sacrifices to sacred trees: Guizard, “Les accidents,” 292. 21. Gregory of Tours, Miracles of the Martyr Julian, c. 16, in Lives and Miracles, 340–343. 22. Becco’s fine actually was slightly less than one might expect for the theft of a hawk. The Pactus legis Salicae, 12.2, p. 59, stipulated that, if a slave committed theft, his master had to pay a penalty six times the value of the stolen item (plus return the stolen property and compensate for the loss of its use). According to the Lex Ribuaria, c. 40.11, pp. 94–95, a trained hawk was worth six solidi. Thus Becco’s fine of thirty solidi actually was slightly lower than one might have expected (thirty-six solidi). This is not to argue, however, that Becco actually consulted a Frankish law book when he calculated the fine. For the danger of assuming a literal usage of the law in tribunals described by Gregory, see Geary, “Gabriel Monod.” 23. Schmölcke, “Central Eu ropean Burials”; Rueda, “Falconry,” 1198–1199. 24. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12, pp. 261–265. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.12, pp. 206–207, describes Brachio as genere Thoringus, which probably means that he hailed from the Thuringian elite. 25. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12.2, p. 262 and n. 3. 26. One Gallo-Roman family had members with hybrid Latin-Germanic names like Lupus (“Wolf ”), Magnulf (“Great Wolf ”), and Romulf (“Roman Wolf ”): Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 4.47, p.  183; Müller, “Germanische Tiersymbolik,” 216; Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 217; Reimitz, History, 211. 27. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12.2, pp. 262–263. 28. Wood, “Administration.” 29. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12.2, p. 263. 30. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.14, p. 211. 31. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 9.12, pp. 425–426. 32. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 4.21, 5.39, pp. 154, 245–246. 33. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 6.46, p. 319. 34. Halsall, “Nero and Herod?” See further Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 51–71. 35. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.10, p. 377. 36. Gregory of Tours, Liber in gloria confessorum, c. 86, p. 354. 37. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.6–8.7, pp. 374–375. 38. Pactus legis Salicae, 30.1–7, pp. 118–120. 39. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 10.10, p. 494. On this passage, see Giese, “Kompetitive Aspekte,” 268–270. 40. For Merovingian banqueting, see Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.14, 5.18, 7.16, 8.1–4, 9.19, pp.  219, 227–229, 337–338, 370–374, 432; Effros, Creating Community; Wickham, Framing, 195– 196; Hen, “Food and Drink”; Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 104. 41. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.1–8.4, pp. 370–374, at 370.



Notes to Pages 51–57 42. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.6–8.7, pp. 374–375. 43. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 9.11, p. 426. On gifts, see Curta, “Merovingian and Carolingian Gift Giving.” 44. On Venantius, see George, Venantius; Roberts, Humblest Sparrow. 45. Venantius Fortunatus, Vita sancti Albini, c. 38, p. 31. 46. Venantius Fortunatus, Carmina, 7.4, ll. 17–22, pp. 155–156; Roberts, Humblest Sparrow, 77–78, 138, 252–253, 257–260. 47. Patzold, “ ‘Konsens.’ ” See also Esders, “Gallic Politics,” 450. 48. Dey, Afterlife, 160–178. 49. Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 205–208; McCormick, Eternal Victory, 328–342. 50. At the Merovingian-era site at Gellep-Stratum on the lower Rhine, archaeologists have found a long ditch along one side of a wooded area that might indicate a walled park or simply a boundary marker: Reichmann, “Late Ancient Germanic Hunting,” 269–271. 51. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.17, p.  209. For interpreting this passage, see Jussen, “Um 567,” esp. 21–24. 52. Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 213. 53. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.36, p. 351. 54. The royal palace at Metz was adjacent to a Roman amphitheater: Dey, Afterlife, 171. 55. Christie, “No More Fun?” 56. Wood, Merovingian Kingdoms, 140–158, at 140. 57. Fouracre, “Francia.” 58. Hen, Roman Barbarians, 94–123; Reimitz, History, 212–222. 59. Chlotharii II. edictum, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 20–23, quote on 23; Concilium Parisiense, in Concilia, 1:185–192. 60. Esders, Römische Rechtstradition, 340–357; Wood, Merovingian Kingdoms, 143 and n. 25; Reimitz, History, 213–214. 61. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.42, p. 142; Reimitz, History, 189, 232. 62. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.62–65, pp. 151–153; Esders, “Herakleios.” For Byzantine influence at the Merovingian court, see Esders, “Gallic Politics,” 436–437. 63. Agathias, Historiarum libri quinque, c. 4, pp.  14–15. Although Van Dam, “Merovingian Gaul,” 212, accepts the report as true, Agathias probably invented it to show his disapproval of Theudebert’s anti-Byzantine campaigns in Italy and Thrace. Procopius and Gregory state that Theudebert died from illness: Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 3.36, p. 131; Procopius, History of the Wars, 8.24.6, 5:304–305; Collins, “Theodebert I,” 9–10; Kaldellis, “ Things,” 298. 64. For Clothar II and his descendants at Clichy, see Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.53, 4.55, 4.78, 4.83, pp. 146–147, 148, 160–161, 163; Concilium Clippiacense a. 626 aut 627, in Concilia, 1:196–201. For Merovingian estates around Paris, see Wickham, Framing, 398–399. 65. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.47, p. 144. 66. Waltharius, ll. 491–492, p. 26; Jonas of Bobbio, Life of Columbanus, 1.10, p. 116. 67. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.74, p. 158. See further Ewig, “Les Ardennes”; Müller-Kehlen, Ardennen; Noël, “Deux grandes forêts.” 68. Venantius Fortunatus, Carmina, 7.4, ll. 17–22, pp. 155–156. 69. Wood, “Fredegar’s Fables”; Wood, “Deconstructing”; Collins, Fredegar-Chroniken; Reimitz, History, 174–190; Esders, “Herakleios,” 241–244. 70. Pippin I’s wife Itta seems to have held extensive lands in the Charbonnière Forest, which marked the traditional boundary between Neustria and Austrasia: Wood, “Genealogy,” 243; Ganshof, “Carbonaria Silva.” 71. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.53, p. 147. 72. Clothar’s 614 decree spoke of the king’s fideles ac leodes: Clotharii II. edictum, c. 11, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 23. For the meaning of leudes, see Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 1:782–783 (s.v. “1. leudis”). 73. Wood, Merovingian Kingdoms, 148–149. For the influence of women on early medieval court culture, see Nelson, “Gendering Courts.” 74. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.60, pp. 150–151. 75. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.58, p. 150. 76. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.61, p. 151. 77. Wood, “Fredegar’s Fables”; Wood, “Iocundus in fabulis”; Reimitz, History, 199–212.

Notes to Pages 58–63 78. Fredegar, Chronicon, 2.57, p. 81. 79. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.38, p. 139. 80. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.27, 4.37, pp. 131, 138. For interpretations of this fable, see Reimitz, History, 208–209. 81. Fredegar, Chronicon, 3.12, p. 97. 82. For hunting, murder, and related topics, see Giese, “Kompetitive Aspekte.” 83. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.42, pp. 141–142. 84. Fouracre, “Why?”; Wood, “Discussion,” in Heather, Visigoths, 370. 85. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.82, p. 163. 86. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.14, p. 211. 87. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 6.46, p. 319. 88. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 2.40, pp. 89–90. 89. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.24–26, pp. 130–131. 90. Passio Leudegarii (I), c. 13, p. 296; Late Merovingian France, 193–215. 91. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 6.46, pp. 319–321. 92. Fredegar, Chronicon, 3.93, p. 118. 93. Liber historiae Francorum, c. 35, pp. 302–304; Gerberding, Rise; Late Merovingian France, 79–87; Reimitz, History, 240–263. 94. Liber historiae Francorum, c. 35, p. 302: rex vero retro veniens, eam in natibus suis de fuste percussit. An alternate translation is possible. 95. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 7.29, 9.3, pp. 347–348, 415–416. 96. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 7.8, 7.18, pp. 331 (quote), 338. 97. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.25, p. 130. 98. Passio Leudegarii (I), c. 13, p. 296. 99. Liber historiae Francorum, c. 45, p. 318. The LHF does explicitly mention the hunt, only that Bodilo ambushed the king (insidiaturus in regem). Fredegar, Chronicon, c. 2, p. 169, adds that the murder took place in Lauchoni silva, perhaps the woodland of Livry or Bondy between St.-Denis and Chelles: Fredegar, Fourth Book, 81 and n. 2. 100. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt’ ”; Kaspers, Comitatus nemoris, 18–46; Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests”; Zotz, “Beobachtungen”; Lorenz, “Königsforst”; Jeitler, “Wald”; Rollason, “Forests.” 101. Rubner, “Vom römischen Saltus,” 271–277; Semmler, “Forst,” 145. 102. Digesta, 9.2.28, in Corpus Iuris Civilis, 1:128. 103. Institutiones, 2.1.12–13, in Corpus Juris Civilis, 1:10–11. 104. Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests.” 105. Lewitt, “Pigs.” 106. Higounet, “Les forêts,” 374. For the sake of clarity, I translate la forêt in the above quotation as “woodland,” since Higounet equates forestes with silvae in his impor tant region-by-region survey (which includes a useful map with 142 labeled woodlands/forests). 107. Pactus legis Salicae, c. 27.23–26, pp. 105–106; Capitula legi Salicae addita, c. 122, p. 265. For the Lex Salica, see Ubl, “Im Bann der Traditionen”; and Ubl, Sinnstiftungen. 108. Lex Ribuaria, c. 79, pp. 128–129. (Thanks to Karl Ubl for discussing this passage with me.) The Lex Ribuaria was decreed either under Clothar’s son Dagobert or his grandson Sigibert III (633–656). 109. Gautier, “Manger de la viande,” 299–301; Sergent, “Le porc indo-européen,” 11–23; Kreiner, “Pigs”; Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 104–105. See further Schouwink, Der wilde Eber; Montanari, Medieval Tastes, 62–71. 110. Anthimus, De observatione ciborum, cc. 9, 10, 14, 16, 21, pp. 7–11. On this text, see Anthimus, On the Observance; Deroux, “Anthime”; Effros, Creating Community, 61–66; Hen, “Food and Drink.” 111. Clotharii II. praecepto, c. 11, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 19; Capitulare de villis, c. 36, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86n54. Concerning the pig tithe, see Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 2.2:279–282; Kaspers, Comitatus nemoris, 235–236. 112. Chlotharii II. edictum, cc. 21–23, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 23. 113. For the emergence of royal forests under the Merovingians, see Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 111–125; Rubner, “Vom römischen Saltus”; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 95–101; Glöckner, “Bedeutung”; Mischke, “Kapitularienrecht,” 64–66.



Notes to Pages 63–66 114. Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 2.2:279–282, 316–317 and n. 5; Kaspers, Comitatus nemoris, 229; Jarnut, “Frühmittelalterliche Jadg,” 776–777; Jarnut, “Jagdrecht.” 115. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.47, 4.53, pp. 144, 147. 116. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 4.21 (Clothar I hunting in the Forest of Cuise), 5.39 (Chilperic I hunting in Cuise), 6.46 (Chilperic I assassinated returning from the chase near Chelles), 8.6 (Guntram hunting near Orléans), 10.10 (Guntram hunting in the Vosges), pp. 154, 245–246, 319, 374, 494; Venantius Fortunatus, Vita sancti Albini, c. 38 (Childebert II hunting near Paris), 31; Venantius Fortunatus, Carmina, 7.4 (the royal minister Gogo hunting in the Ardennes and Vosges), pp.  155–156; Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.24–26 (the mayor of palace Bertoald hunting along Seine while visiting royal properties), pp. 130–131. Gregory implied that there were royal woodlands in the Auvergne as well: Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.21, p. 387; Gregory of Tours, Liber de passione, c. 17, p. 121. 117. Urkunden der Merowinger, nos. 41 (Dagobert I at Clichy on October 15, 632), 85 (Clovis II at Clichy on June 22, 654), 118 (Theuderic III at Compiègne on December 6, 677), 128 (Theuderic III at Compiègne on May 23, 685), 131 (Theuderic III at Compiègne on October 30, 690), 139 (Clovis III at Namur in the Ardennes on June 25, 693), 140 (Clovis III at Compiègne on September 1, 693), 142 (Childebert III at Compiègne on December 13, 694), 143 (Childebert III at Compiègne on December 23, 694), 175 (Chilperic II at Compiègne on June 8, 717), pp. 108–110, 216–220, 302–304, 324–327, 332–334, 350–352, 352–354, 357–360, 360–362, 434–436. 118. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 10.10, p. 494. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.21, p. 387, also reported that Childebert met with his supporters and queen at the royal manor of Basbellain, located in medio Ardoennensis silvae, in 585. Notably, the text of the Treaty of Andelot (587) between Guntram and Childebert, recorded by Gregory, does not mention silvae and implicitly includes them under the general category of “fiscal properties” (de agris fiscalibus): Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 9.20, pp. 434–439, at 437. 119. Jonas of Bobbio, Life of Columbanus, 21–22. 120. O’Hara, “Columbanus ad Locum,” 146, 151–158. 121. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 141–143; Söll, Bezeichnungen; Jarnut, “Frühmittelalterliche Jagd,” 777; Lorenz, “Königsforst,” 263, 266–275 and nn. 24, 25, 277–278; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 99; Rollason, “Forests,” 430–432. 122. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 81, pp. 205–207; Lorenz, “Königsforst,” 266–267. A significant number of Merovingian charters have been lost, however, so the term may have appeared earlier: Lorenz, “Königsforst,” 275–276. For the foundation of Stavelot-Malmedy, see Fox, Power, 170–172. 123. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 108, pp. 277–280. Childeric sent a bishop, royal deputy, and several foresters to record the new borders, which passed through several forestes within the Ardennes. 124. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 124, pp. 314–317. 125. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 80, pp. 202–204; Fox, Power, 165–170. 126. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 128, pp. 324–327. 127. Urkunden der Merowinger, no.  150, pp.  376–378. For a ninth-century report of another grant of Childebert III that included five foresters, see Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium, c. 2, p. 19. 128. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 173, pp. 430–431. 129. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 98–99. 130. E.g., Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 2.2, pp.  316–317 and n. 5; Higounet, “Les forêts,” 376, 386–387; Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 159–161; Dobiat, “Jagd,” 720–721. For an overview of scholarship on early medieval hunting rights, see Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 74–91. 131. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 124, 139. 132. E.g., Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 124, p. 316. 133. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 86–95; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 81–87; Manfredini, “Chi caccia,” 47–58; Giese, “Legal Regulations.” These early law codes also contain chapters on trapping, which I discuss in Chapter 6. 134. For the complicated histories of the Lex Salica and Lex Ribuaria, see Lück, “Lex Ribuaria”; Lück, “Lex Salica”; Ubl, “Im Bann”; Ubl, Sinnstiftungen; Reimitz, History, 103–108, 234. 135. On this topic, see Esders, “Wergeld.” 136. Pactus legis Salicae, c. 33.4–5, p. 125. 137. Lex Ribuaria, c. 40.11, p. 95; Pactus legis Salicae, cc. 6.1–4, 7.1–4, pp. 36–40.

Notes to Pages 66–74 138. Lex Ribuaria, c. 40.11, p. 94. These are rare records of monetary values, not additional fines for theft. 139. Liber constitutionum, c. 97, pp. 112–113. For the Burgundian laws and their historical context, see Wood, “Political Structure”; and Wood, “Legislation.” 140. Liber constitutionum, c. 98, p. 113. Following Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, 690–691, scholars have translated super testones as “from the breast”: Burgundian Code, 84 and n. 1; Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 498. However, the near-contemporary Latin translation of Oribasius’s Greek medical treatise uses testones to mean testicles: Souter, Glossary, 417 (s.v. “testo”). 141. Pactus legis Alamannorum, cc. 23–26, pp. 28–30. 142. Pactus legis Alamannorum, c. 28, p. 31. 143. Passio Praejecti episcopi, c. 3, p. 227. See further Lex Salica, c. 47.3, p. 219; Lex Romana, c. 13.2, p. 137; Kreiner, “About the Bishop,” 348. 144. Lex Alamannorum, cc. 78.1–6, 95–96, pp. 142–144; 154–155; Lex Baiwariorum, cc. 20–21, pp.  460–467. Concerning the Bavarian laws, see Esders, “Late Roman Military Law”; Siems, “Herrschaft und Konsens.” 145. Lex Baiwariorum, c. 20, pp. 460–464. 146. Pactus legis Salicae, c. 6.1–4, pp. 36–38. 147. Reuter, Germany, 54–60; Reuter, “Charlemagne,” esp. 189–190; Fouracre, Age, 99–110, 177–178; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 44–56. 148. Reimitz, History, 295–334. 149. Lex Baiwariorum, c. 21, pp. 465–467. 150. Fouracre, “Francia,” 380–396; Offergeld, Reges pueri, 241–267. Chapter 3 1. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.15, pp. 79–81. For later versions of this story and Pippin’s cognomen, see Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 19, pp. 338–339 (textual note * and n. 238a); Thouvenot, “La légende”; Stoclet, “Pépin.” 2. Eser, “Löwenbilder”; Shelton, “Beastly Spectacles,” 97–102. 3. Carloman’s now-lost tomb depicted a hunter slaying a lion with a spear and closely resembled the surviving third-century sarcophagus of Jovinus, also in Reims: Hamann-MacLean, “Reimser Denkmale,” 126–138; Nelson, “Carolingian Royal Funerals,” 143–145. The Pictish St.  Andrews Sarcophagus, which probably dates to the second half of the eighth century, also features images of royal lion hunting: Foster, St. Andrews Sarcophagus. 4. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 181, in Epistolae, 4:299. On this theme, see Dutton, “Charlemagne.” 5. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 145, in Epistolae, 4:235. 6. For Byzantine, Umayyad, and ‘Abbasid hunting, see Ashan, “Note”; Patlagean, “De la Chasse”; Smith, “Hunting Poetry.” 7. Brown, Rise, 454. 8. Scholars now largely accept the redating of Charlemagne’s birth from 742 to 748, as argued by Becher, “Neue Überlieferungen.” 9. Eigil, Vita Sturmi, c. 36, p. 374. Recent scholarship leans toward a date of ca. 818 for the Vita Sturmi: Becht-Jördens, “Vita Aegil,” 38. 10. Airlie, “Palace of Memory,” 9. 11. Fredegar, Chronicon, cc. 36–38, 51–52, pp. 183–185, 192 (quote). Fredegar’s continuation, which was penned in its final form by Pippin III’s cousin Nibelung sometime early in Charlemagne’s reign, records the triumphant rise of the Carolingian dynasty with the support of the Franks, and it concludes with the succession of Charlemagne and Carloman in 768: McKitterick, History and Memory, 138–140; Collins, Fredegar; Reimitz, History, 295–304. 12. Fredegar, Chronicon, cc. 39–40, p. 186. 13. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 756 (both versions), pp. 14–15; Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 756, p. 49; Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 757, p. 7; Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 755, pp. 45–46. For another Lombard hunting disaster, see Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, 6.58, p. 186. 14. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 28, pp. 38–40. 15. Urkunden der Arnulfinger, no. 14, pp. 32–34; Nelson, King and Emperor, 57–58. 16. Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 4.2:128–135, provided an overview of Carolingian forests and hunting rights but without attention to chronology. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 125–141, esp. 126–129, downplayed the significance of the charter evidence in favor of



Notes to Pages 74–77 capitularies. Mischke, “Kapitularienrecht,” 63–96, esp. 78–83, examined the forest charters of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, although her non-chronological approach obscures the changes introduced by Charlemagne in 774. 17. Carloman’s scribes likewise used the terms interchangeably: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 28, 51, 55, 80, pp. 38–40, 71–72, 81–82, 114. The Urkunden der Arnulfinger only use the term silva and never forestis. 18. Noble, Republic, 127–132; Nelson, King and Emperor, 119–148. 19. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 28, 53, 87, pp. 38–40, 74, 125–127. Charlemagne’s Yvelines charter amounted to a damnatio memoriae for his brother Carloman, with whom he had had a bitter rivalry. Although St.-Denis in fact had possessed Yvelines, Faverolles, and Néron for several years, Charlemagne’s scribe worded the charter as if he were granting these properties for the first time, and it notably expunged any reference to Carloman. The document emphasized Charlemagne’s direct succession to his father with the scriptural verse of the preamble: “Come you blessed one of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you since the beginning of the world” (Matthew 25.34). During the period of their joint rule, it seems that Charlemagne and Carloman had clashed over forest properties in each other’s kingdoms: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 51, 55, pp. 70–72, 81–82. On the rivalry between Pippin’s sons, see Jarnut, “Bruderkampf ”; Nelson, King and Emperor, 93–110. 20. Analy sis of the wild animal bones from the Carolingian manor of Wellin in the Ardennes supports this conclusion, since red deer and wild boar made up 40 percent and 11 percent, respectively, while roe deer composed only 4  percent: Chantinne, Mignot, and Vanmechelen, Le Premier Moyen Âge, 47–49 and graph no. 77. In a letter to Charlemagne, Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 145, in Epistolae, 4:234–235, contrasted the ferocity of wild boars and lions to the timidity of hares and lambs. 21. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 84, pp. 120–122. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 108, overlooks the significance of this charter. 22. A charter Charlemagne granted on June 5, 774, at Pavia for Bobbio uses the terms forestis and silva to describe the Lombard royal woodland of Montelongo, suggesting that he and his counselors were trying to come to terms with Lombard wilderness categories through the lens of Frankish terminology: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 80, pp. 114–115. 23. Concerning Lombard gahagia, see Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 216–218; Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 37; Lombard Laws, 259; Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 162–166; Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 1:602 (s.v. “gahagium”). Cf. Metz, “Das ‘gahagio regis.’ ” Charlemagne’s later knowledge of Lombard royal enclosures is demonstrated by a charter of 777, which he granted in a gahagium near Milan: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 113, pp. 159–160. 24. Edictus Rothari, cc. 319–321, pp. 73–74, which also prohibited the theft of bees from a gahagium regis. 25. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 217–218, interpreted gahagium and gualdus as synonyms. See further Verhulst, Carolingian Economy, 13–14; Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 162– 170, 198; Glöckner, “Bedeutung,” 25, 30–31. 26. Codice diplomatico longobardo, no. 41, pp. 239–243. This gahagium was under the supervision of a waldman. 27. Codice diplomatico longobardo dal DLXVIII, vol. 4, no. 964*, pp. 767–768. See further Codice diplomatico longobardo dal DLXVIII, vol. 4, no. 702, pp. 617–619; and Codice diplomatico longobardo dal DLXVIII, vol. 5, no. 812, pp. 255–256. For context, see Costambeys, Power, 78–79. Charlemagne later made several grants to Farfa including royal immunity and a confirmation of Farfa’s properties: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 98, 99, 111, pp. 141– 143, 156–157. 28. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 103, 104, 114, 126, 134, 213, 218, pp. 147–149, 160–161, 175–176, 184–185, 284–285, 290–292; Urkunden Karls III., no. 34, pp. 57–58. 29. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 117, pp. 163–164. It may be significant that Charlemagne’s lone forest grant after 774 involved forestland located along the Eem River in Frisia, since that region’s marshy landscape meant that much of its land was not owned: Hoffmann, Environmental History, 71–75. 30. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 173, pp. 430–431. 31. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 182, pp. 245–246.

Notes to Pages 78–82 32. Vita Richarii sacerdotis Centulensis primigenia, c. 8, pp. 449–450. For the dating of this work to the mid-eighth century, see Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 99. 33. Alcuin, Vita Richarii confessoris Centulensis, c. 12, p. 396. 34. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, pp. 256–257. 35. This language echoes the opening words of Charlemagne’s Capitulary on Royal Manors, which asserted that all royal properties had been established for the use of the crown: Capitulare de villis, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 83: villae nostrae, quas ad opus nostrum serviendi institutas habemus; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 108. 36. Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice, esp. 34–37. 37. Capitulare de villis, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 82–91; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 149–155; Campbell, “Capitulare de villis”; Nelson, King and Emperor, 364–367. 38. Capitulare de villis, c. 36, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86. 39. According to the passage, stewards were responsible for collecting a tithe (decima) from those who fed pigs in the crown’s woodlands, which apparently refers to the Merovingian decima porcorum: Capitulare de villis, c. 36, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86n54. Charlemagne instructed the stewards to inform him every September 1 if there would be enough pannage to feed the king’s pigs and to ensure that royal foresters rendered plowing and piglets in return for land they held from the fisc: Capitulare de villis, cc. 10, 25, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 84–85. 40. Capitulare de villis, c. 62, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 88–89. 41. Capitulare Aquisgranense, c. 18, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 172. 42. Capitulare de villis, cc. 11, 21, 45, 47, 58, 62, 65, 69, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 84– 85, 87–89. 43. Capitulare de villis, c. 62, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 88–89. 44. Capitulare Aquisgranense, cc. 18–19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 172. However, Charlemagne encouraged industrious men to clear woodland (silva) for new arable fields. 45. Capitulare missorum generale, c. 39, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 98. For Charlemagne’s voice in his capitularies, see Nelson, King and Emperor, 472–474. 46. Capitulare missorum (803), c. 18, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 116. 47. Innes, State. 48. MacLean, “Hincmar.” 49. Capitulare missorum generale, c. 39, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 98; Ganshof, Frankish Institutions, 28; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 110. 50. For Charlemagne and disobedient agents, see Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice, 90–127. 51. For this theme in early modern Germany, see Rösener, “Adel und Jagd.” 52. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, pp. 256–257. 53. Breves notitiae, cc. 1.4, 3.10, 4.4, 4.10, 6.2, 7.1–7.3, 7.7, 9.8, 14.51, 18.3, in Notitia Arnonis und Breves notitiae, pp. 88, 92, 94, 96, 100, 112, 116. The Agilolfing dukes likewise had forests in Bavaria: Älteste Traditionsbuch, no. 39, pp. 138–144. See further Wolfram, Geburt Mitteleuropas, 429– 431. 54. Early in his reign, Louis the Pious decreed, “Concerning newly created forests: whosoever has them should hand them over unless it can be proven with a genuine charter that he had created them through the order and permission of our father, the lord Charlemagne”: Capitula per se scribenda, c. 7, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 288. 55. Traditiones Wizenburgenses, no. 211, p. 426 (see further no. 196, pp. 401–402); Urkundenbuch für die Geschichte des Niederrheins, nos. 32–33, p. 17; Älteste Traditionsbuch, no. 40, p. 144. 56. Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, no. 220, 1:553. Charles the Bald later gave Morvois Forest to his fidelis Count Widric and then to St.-Denis. Concerning Childebrand II and Eccard, see Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 141–142, fig. 8.2. For Widric, see Nelson, Charles the Bald, 192–193. 57. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 324, 2:799–801. 58. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 220, 402(I–II), 1:542, and 2:997–998. 59. Capitulare de villis, c. 36, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86. 60. In her recent biography of Charlemagne, Nelson notes that her subject was a “keen huntsman and swimmer”: Nelson, King and Emperor, 24, 122, 345, 417, 421, 425, 443, 480, 489 (quote). 61. For debates about the date of Einhard’s Vita Karoli, see Dutton, Charlemagne’s Courtier, xviii–xxiv; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 11–14; de Jong, Penitential State, 67–69; Noble, Charlemagne, 9–10; Nelson, King and Emperor, 5–7.



Notes to Pages 82–85 62. For Einhard’s use of Suetonius, see Ganz, “Einhard’s Charlemagne,” 45–48. Einhard also knew the Scriptores historiae augustae with its references to imperial hunting prowess: Ganz, “Einhard’s Charlemagne,” 49; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 17. 63. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, cc. 22 (physical description, hunting, swimming), 23 (Frankish attire), pp. 27–28. 64. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p. 23. 65. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 30, pp. 34–35. 66. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.16, in Opera, 18; Geary, “Feasting.” 67. Capitulare de villis, cc. 8, 34, 26, 38, 62, 70, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 83, 86, 88–89, 90. 68. Montanari, Culture of Food, 21–23. Montanari bases this view on problematic evidence, including the Icelandic Edda, the twelfth-century Chronicon Novalese, and a misreading of Liudprand of Cremona. On the topic of food and medieval hunting, see also Galloni, Il cervo e il lupo, 127–142. 69. Not a single Merovingian- or Carolingian-era text praises overeating or corpulence. Carolingian authors painted satirical pictures of figures who ate and drank to excess: Constable, “Monks and Canons,” 325, 334; Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.18, pp.  23–25; Waltharius, ll. 277–323, 359–368, pp. 16–21. On this topic, see Innes, “ ‘He Never,’ ” esp. 137–142; Innes, “Place of Discipline.” 70. Anthimus, De observatione ciborum. On this text, see Effros, Creating Community, 61–66; Hen, “Food and Drink.” The earliest surviving copies of On the Preparation of Foods date to the ninth century, so the work was known to the Carolingians: Anthimus, On the Observance, 43–44. Einhard’s comment that Charlemagne fasted and drank only water whenever he had a fever reflects the continued ancient belief in the connection between diet and balancing bodily humors: Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 30, p. 35. 71. Montanari, Culture of Food, 29, estimates that people in the early Middle Ages fasted from meat about 150 days per year. 72. Noble, Charlemagne, 41 (modified); Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 24, pp. 28–29. The moderation in food and drink during mealtimes, as well as the reading aloud of Christian texts, recalls the instructions for monastic dining in the Rule of Saint Benedict, cc. 38–40, pp. 134–141. 73. Augustine, City of God, 19.4, pp. 852–857. 74. Nelson, “Was Charlemagne’s Court?” 42. For similar views, see Airlie, “Palace of Memory”; Innes, “ ‘Place of Discipline’ ”; Nelson, King and Emperor, 336–345, 356–359. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 101, distinguishes between Carolingian “Hofkultur” and later medieval “höfische Kultur,” although he does not explain the difference. 75. For Charlemagne’s palaces and itinerary, see McKitterick, Charlemagne, 157–197. Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice, 324–325; and Nelson, King and Emperor, 157–159, defend the use of charters to reconstruct Charlemagne’s itinerary, a methodology questioned by McKitterick, Charlemagne, 188–197. For palaces and itineraries, see also MacLean, “Palaces”; Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1, esp. 32–33, 40, 47, 86–87 for hunting palaces; Brühl, “Die Herrscheritinerare,” 615–645; Brühl, “Königspfalz,” 161–274. 76. The Royal Frankish Annals depict Louis the Pious hunting per Arduennam in the fall of 822, while his charters show him traveling from west to east via Cheppy, Thionville, Völklingen, Eisenberg, and Worms. Similarly, the Annals of St.-Bertin describe Louis as hunting per Arduennam during the summer of 839, while other evidence shows his itinerary proceeding from Kreuznach near Ingelheim, through the Hunsrück Mountains to the northwest, on to Vlatten near Aachen, and then to the southwest to Chalon-sur-Saône: Böhmer and Mühlbacher, Regesta Imperii, vol. 1, nos. 762b–766, 995b–997d. See also Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.74, p. 158; Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 882, 118 and n.6. 77. Ewig, “Les Ardennes”; Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1, 33n112; Müller-Kehlen, Ardennen, 111–228; Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 175–179; Noël, “Deux grandes forêts.” 78. For Pippinid lands in the late seventh century, see Fouracre, Age, 41–54. 79. Fredegar, Chronicon, c. 36, p. 183. 80. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 769 (Düren), 770 (Herstal), 771 (Herstal), 772 (Herstal), 773 (Thionville), 775 (Düren), 776 (Herstal), 778 (Herstal), 779 (Düren), 782 (Thionville), 783 (Herstal), pp. 30, 32, 34, 40, 48, 52, 54, 64, 66; Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 67 (Thionville), 86 (Düren), 97 (Thionville), 102–106 (Düren), 107–109 (Thionville), 136 (Herstal), 142 (Düren), 146 (Herstal), 149 (Thionville), pp. 97–99, 124–125, 139–140, 146–151, 152–154, 186– 187, 193–194, 198–199, 202–204.

Notes to Pages 85–88 81. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 63 (Longlier), 120 (Godingen near Clervaux), 137 (Cheppy/Cispiaco in the Ardennes), pp. 91–93, 167–168, 187–188. 82. Göckel, Karolingische Königshöfe, 72–87. 83. Nelson, “Aachen”; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 157–170; Giese, “Continental Royal Seats,” 388–391; Rollason, “Charlemagne’s Palace,” 443–448; Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice, 322–335; Innes, “Charlemagne’s Government,” 75. 84. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 891, p. 136. 85. Hennebicque, “Espaces sauvages.” 86. Annales Laurissenses minores, c. 41, in Scriptores, 1:121; Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 809, p. 129. 87. Hennebicque, “Espaces sauvage,” 45–52; Airlie, “Palace of Memory,” 2–3; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 171–178. 88. Chantinne, Mignot, and Vanmechelen, Le Premier Moyen Âge, 47–49 and graph no.  77; Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 97 and n. 46. 89. McKitterick, Charlemagne, 31–56, 113–132, at 51–52. See further McKitterick, “Carolingian Renaissance.” 90. Reuter, “End”; Reuter, “Plunder”; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 154–160. 91. Bachrach, Charlemagne’s Early Campaigns, 103 and n. 388, observes that the image of the Carolingians as great hunters compensated for the absence of heroic bravery in contemporary depictions of their military leadership. 92. Capitulare missorum, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 66; Capitulare missorum generale, c. 2, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 92; Becher, Eid und Herrschaft. 93. These adversaries also included the Saxon insurgent Widukind, the Frankish rebel Hardrad, and his first son Pippin the Hunchback: Airlie, “Charlemagne,” esp. 97–101. 94. Hen, “Annals of Metz”; Late Merovingian France, 332–340; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 31–49, 61–62; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 70. The revised version of the Royal Frankish Annals, which provides entries for the last decade and a half of Charlemagne’s reign, seems to have been begun under Louis the Pious ca. 817 and then continued until 829. For the imperial ideology of the Annales regni Francorum and Annales Mettenses priores, see Reimitz, History, 368–375, 413–414. 95. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 802 (Ardennes), 804 (Ardennes), 805 (Vosges), pp. 117, 119, 120; Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 803 (Hercynian Forest and Bavaria), 805 (Vosges), pp.  90, 94. After 800 we find Charlemagne at locations that suggest other unreported hunting/fishing trips: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 198 (Vosges in 802), pp. 266–267; Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 806 (at Seilles on the Meuse River), 809 (Ardennes), 811 (trip to coast), pp.  121–122, 129, 135. Riché, Carolingians, 106, states that Charlemagne hunted at his military camp at Herstelle in Saxony in the autumn of 797, although I was unable to find the source upon which he bases this statement. 96. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 802, p. 117. 97. The Royal Frankish Annals also revealed how hunting trips could signify royal favor. They reported that, in the late summer of 805, Charlemagne hunted in the Vosges with his son Charles the Younger following the latter’s successful campaign against the Slavs, a gesture that highlighted the prince’s favored status with his father: Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 805, p. 120; Nelson, King and Emperor, 421, 425. 98. Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 803, pp. 89–90. 99. Arbeo of Freising, Vita Haimhrammi, 6A, p. 36; MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals of Europe, 207–208, 214, 217–218. 100. Caesar, Gallic War, 6.24–28, pp. 348–355. 101. The three earliest surviving copies of Caesar’s De Bello Gallico have connections to Fleury and Corbei: Reynolds and Wilson, Text and Transmission, 35–36; McKitterick, History and Memory, 40–41, 193–194 and nn. 30–32. 102. Suetonius, Deified Augustus, c. 83, in Lives of the Caesars, 1:272; Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 92, pp. 300–301. More generally, see Hack, “König.” 103. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.15, p. 18, stressed that Charlemagne also gave up carnes quadrupedum aut volatilium on Fridays as well. For the ninth-century debate on whether monks could eat fowl during Lent, see Semmler, “Volatilia.”



Notes to Pages 88–92 104. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.11 (Lenten fasting), 1.21 (renunciation of meat during Lent), 2.8 (resumption of hunting after Easter), pp. 16, 27–29, 59–60. 105. Capitulare de villis, c. 44, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87; Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, c. 4, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 68. 106. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 800, p. 110; Annales sancti Amandi, s.a. 800, in Scriptores, 1:14. The author did not specify Charlemagne’s method of fishing, but its connection with the construction of a fleet suggests that he did so from a ship, perhaps using nets. Charlemagne’s coastal trip in 800 brought him very close to the monastery of St.-Amand, where the chronicle was written ca. 810: Dunphy, “Annales Sancti Amandi.” It also was during this coastal trip that Charlemagne stopped at St.-Bertin (with its good fishing in the Marais Audomarois) and made his unusual grant of hunting rights to the monastery: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, pp. 256–257. 107. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 776 (Easter in 777), 806 (Lent/Easter), 808 (April), pp. 48, 121, 126; Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 804 (Easter), pp. 90–91; Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 117, pp. 163–164 (June 8, 777). On the palace at Nijmegen, see Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 17, p. 20; Lobbedey, “Carolingian Royal Palaces,” 139–143. 108. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 262, in Epistolae, 4:420; Nelson, “Aachen,” 217, 236. 109. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, p. 60. For example, after celebrating Easter at St.-Bertin in 800, Charlemagne moved on to Rouen where the large forest of Arlaunum (the Forêt de Brotonne) had plentiful game as well as a hunting villa: Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 800, p. 110; Vita Lantberti abbatis Fontanellensis, c. 3, p.  611; Vita Condedi anachoretae Belcinnacensis, c. 4, p.  647; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 100 and n. 30. 110. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 120–124. 111. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 44–45. 112. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 121–122 and n. 97. 113. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 117, 119, distinguishes between larger and smaller ad hoc royal hunts. The Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 32, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361, refers to hunts in transitu. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.40, in Opera, 29, describes a large royal hunting party with a hundred participants. 114. Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 803, pp. 89–90. 115. Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum, c. 6, pp. 46–47, 107. 116. Aimoin of Fleury, Historiae Francorum libri quatour, 3.57, col. 731A. 117. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.17, pp. 86–87. 118. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, pp. 60–61. 119. Innes, “Memory”; Innes, “Property.” 120. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 800, p. 110. 121. Annales Mettenses priores, s.a. 805, p. 94; cf. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 805, p. 120. 122. Loveluck, Northwest Europe, 117. For Paderborn, see Lobbedey, “Carolingian Royal Palaces,” 143–147. 123. The author of the Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 852, p. 42, revealed knowledge of the account of the Battle of the Teutoburger Wald in Tacitus’s Annales, a copy of which was in the Fulda library in the ninth century. Reuter, Annals of Fulda, 33n7, incorrectly interpreted this as a reference to Tacitus’s Germania. See further Wells, Battle. 124. For medieval game parks, see Hauk, “Tiergärten”; Guizard-Duchampe, “Les parcs à gibier carolingiens”; Mileson, Parks; Liddiard, Medieval Park; Ahrland, “Vert and Venison”; Langton, “Forest Fences.” 125. Mileson, “Sociology,” 11. 126. Allsen, Royal Hunt, 34–79. 127. El-Hibri, “Empire,” 298; Kennedy, Court, 133–149, 152–154; Allsen, Royal Hunt, 38, 152– 154; Stetkevych, Hunt; Littlewood, “Gardens”; Ševčenko, “Wild Animals”; Ševčenko, “Eaten Alive.” 128. McCormick, “Pippin III.” 129. Actus pontificum Cenomannis in urbe degentium, c. 11.3, p. 65. 130. Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitas Lexicon Minus, 1:141 (s.v. “brogilus”); Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 4.2:132; Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 32–37, 50n112; Gautier, “Game Parks,” 55–56; Guizard-Duchampe, “Le parc à gibier carolingiens,” 18. 131. Capitulare de villis, c. 46, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87. 132. Aachen: Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 39–40; Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 58–62. Attigny: Capitulare missorum, c. 10, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 140; Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple,

Notes to Pages 92–95 no. 86, pp. 192–196. Compiègne: Karlomanni capitula Compendii de rapinis promulgata in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 370–371; Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, nos. 75, 96, pp.  167–170, 221–223. Ingelheim: Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 43–44. Ranshofen: Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 172, pp. 261– 262. Regensburg: Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 12, pp. 20–21. Somewhere between Bavaria and Frankfurt: Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, pp. 114–115. 133. Bavincourt in the Pas-de-Calais: Recueil des actes d’Eudes, no. 20, pp. 85–98, esp. 86n7. Beaulin near Orléans: Recueil des actes de Robert Ier et de Raoul, no. 2, pp. 10–13; Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V, no. 33, pp. 80–83. Le Breuil-l’Abbesse near Poitiers: Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V, no. 20, pp. 41–43 and 191 (s.v. “brolium”). Cornus near Troyes: Recueil des actes de Louis II le Bègue, Louis III et Carloman II, nos. 65, 80, pp. 171–172, 213–214. In the county of Exmes in Normandy: Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, no. 35, pp. 74–76. Fariacus (Ferry in the Puy-de-Dôme?) in Aquitaine: Recueil des actes de Pépin Ier et de Pépin II, no. 54, pp. clxvi and n. 2, 214–217. Martigny-sur-Loire near Tours: Recueil des actes de Robert Ier et de Raoul, no.  43, pp. 166–172. Neuville-sur-Sarthe: Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 323, 2:799–801. See further Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 34–44. 134. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836–1847, p. 140 (referring to Louis the Pious). A charter of Henry II indicates that the Aachen park lay southeast of the palace: Urkunden Heinrichs II., nos. 380, 392, pp. 484–485, 504–505. 135. For example, when Charlemagne went hunting in the Vosges in the summer and autumn of 805, his stay at Champ-le-Duc and Remiremont (on the northwestern edge of the Vosges) lasted for many weeks and his round trip covered some 350 miles: Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 805, p. 120. 136. The best-illustrated example of a day-long outing in a game park in conjunction with a festive occasion at court is Louis the Pious’s hunt on an island near Ingelheim in 826: Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2062–2359, pp. 156–180. 137. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836, 1851, p. 140. For the ideological significance of the royal solarium, see de Jong, “Charlemagne’s Balcony.” The game park at Neuville-sur-Sarthe also had buildings in it or nearby: Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 323, 2:800. 138. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 86, 89. 139. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1848–1863, p. 140; Recueil des actes de Pépin Ier et de Pépin II, no. 54, pp. 214–217; Karlomanni capitula Compendii de rapinis promulgata, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 370–371. 140. Hauck, “Tiergärten.” 141. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” esp. 56–90. See also Allsen, Royal Hunt, 41. 142. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 77–78. See also Sykes, “Animal Bones,” 50. In antiquity, Roman aristocratic game parks could be as small as thirty-five acres: Hughes, “Hunting,” 56. 143. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2366–2370, p. 180; Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 43; Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 59n109. 144. Al-Samarrai, “ ‘Abbasid Gardens,” 118–119. However, the ‘Abbasid zoological park in southern Samarra was dramatically larger: thirteen thousand acres. 145. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 80. In contrast, the park at Regensburg was rather small, and a charter describes it as a locellus vulgari nomine pruoil nominatus: Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 12, p. 21. 146. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836–1847, p. 140. 147. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 86. 148. Capitula de functionibus publicus, c. 4, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 295. 149. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, 366–379; partially translated in Poetry, 196–207. See further Godman, “Poetic Hunt,” esp. 575–586; Godman, Poets and Emperors, 82–91; Godman, Jarnut, and Johanek, Am Vorabend; Schwedler, “Ritualisiertes Beutemachen,” 181–187; Nelson, King and Emperor, 372–373. 150. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 1–136, pp. 366–369. 151. Godman, “Poetic Hunt,” 577–578, 584; Godman, Poets and Emperors, 88–89. 152. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 149–152, pp. 369–370. 153. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 800, p. 110. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 12, p. 312, reports that Louis the Pious parted company with his father at Ver in early June 800, which would concur with the fact that Charlemagne and Pope Leo describes the participation of only Charlemagne’s older two sons in the Aachen hunt. 154. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 153–181, p. 370. These young men would have included the sons of magnates receiving their education at court as well as mature soldiers in their twenties,



Notes to Pages 95–101 thirties, and forties: Innes, “Place of Discipline.” Alcuin, De cella sua, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:244, recalled the iuventus hunting at Aachen. 155. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 168–180, p. 370. 156. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 182–267, pp. 370–372. 157. Godman, “Poetic Hunt,” 578–579. 158. Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, 5.37, p. 157. 159. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p.  25; Nelson, “Women”; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 88–92. 160. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, pp. 60–61, told a story about the queen urging Charlemagne to reward a nobleman who had distinguished himself hunting. 161. The poet implies that the hunt took place in the game park he has just described: Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 143, 181, pp. 369–370. 162. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 268, 305, pp. 373–374. 163. For Carolingian debates about humor and laughter, see Innes, “ ‘He Never.’ ” 164. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 267–293, pp. 372–373. 165. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 294–311, pp. 373–374. 166. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 314–325, p. 374. 167. On this theme, see Le Jan, “Le don et le produit sauvage.” 168. Thiébaux, Stag of Love. 169. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, l. 322, p. 374. 170. Urkunden Konrad I., no. 3, pp. 3–4, lists the animals in a game park as red deer, wild boars, does, and fish. 171. Grabar, L’Empereur, 57–74; Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 46–47; McCormick, Eternal Victory, 18, 36–37, 46, 78; Walker, Emperor, 23–37; Al-Samarrai, “ ‘Abbasid Gardens,” 118–119. For the ideology of alien and exotic fauna, see Ritvo, “Going Forth”; Giese, “Kostbarer als Gold.” 172. Concerning Abul Abbas, see Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 801–802, 810, pp. 114, 116– 117, 131; Dutton, “Charlemagne,” 59–61; Hack, Abul Abaz; Dreßen, Minkenberg, and Oellers, Ex oriente. 173. Annales regni Francorum, s a. 810, p. 131. 174. Capitulare de villis, c. 40, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86. 175. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8–9, 2.15, pp. 61–62, 78–80. 176. Collectio Sangallensis, no. 29, in Formulae Merowingici et Karolini aevi, 415; Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 951, p. 130. 177. Goldberg, “Emperor’s Ass.” 178. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 244, in Epistolae, 4:392. 179. Schramm and Mütherich, Denkmale, 115 and plates 4 and 5; Beissel, “Wölfin”; Richer, Histories, 3.71, vol. 2: Books 3–4, pp. 116–117; Riches, “Carolingian Capture,” 197; Volbach, Early Decorative Textiles; Kühnel, “Abbasid Silks”; Walker, Emperor, 23–37; Brubaker and Haldon, Byzantium, 80–108; Giese, “Adler.” 180. Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice; Nelson, King and Emperor, esp. 415. 181. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 3, p. 54; Kasten, Adalhard, 72–84; Nelson, “Aachen,” 226– 232; Nelson, King and Emperor, 146, 477–479. McKitterick, Charlemagne, 142–148; and MacLean, “Hincmar,” caution that Hincmar probably also drew on his own observations at the courts of Louis the Pious and Charles the Bald as well as on wishful thinking. 182. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 4, pp. 62–65. 183. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 4, pp. 64–67 and n. 147. 184. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 5, pp. 76–79 and n. 179. 185. Capitulare de villis, cc. 11, 21, 36, 45, 47, 58, 62, 65, 69, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 84–89. 186. Capitulare de villis, c. 58, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 88; Nelson, King and Emperor, 366 (quote). 187. Capitulare Aquisgranense, cc. 18–19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 172; Capitulare de villis, c. 10, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 84. 188. Guizard-Duchampe, “Le parc à gibier carolingiens,” 25–27; Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 56–90. 189. Capitulare de villis, c. 46, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87. 190. Capitulare de villis, c. 45, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87.

Notes to Pages 101–106 191. Columella, On Agriculture, preface and 9.1, pp. 420–425. The two oldest Columella manuscripts were produced at Corbei and Fulda: Hedberg, Contamination and Interpolation, 1–2; Reynolds and Wilson, Texts and Transmission, 146–147. 192. Capitula de functionibus publicis, c. 4, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 295. Chapter 4 1. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 196–203, p. 371. 2. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 12, p. 312, reports that Louis parted company with his father at Ver in early June 800. One wonders if the Astronomer included this detail, which is not reported in any other source, to explain Louis’s absence in the Charlemagne and Pope Leo hunting scene. 3. De Jong, Penitential State, 18–19; Collins, Charlemagne, 156–158; Becher, Charlemagne, 126– 131; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 194–196. 4. Divisio regnorum, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 126–130. 5. De Jong, Penitential State, 19. 6. Godman and Collins, Charlemagne’s Heir; de Jong, Penitential State; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 194–222. 7. Goldberg, “Louis the Pious.” See further Schäpers, “Ludwig der Fromme.” 8. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p. 23. 9. Thegan expunged all the references to hunting that he found in the Life of Charlemagne and the Royal Frankish Annals, which were his chief historical models and sources: Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 22–23. On Thegan and his Deeds, see Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, 1–22; Tremp, Studien; Innes, “ ‘He Never’ ”; de Jong, Penitential State, 72–79; Noble, Charlemagne, 187–194. 10. Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, c. 19, pp. 200–204. 11. Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 2, 30–31. 12. For Compiègne under the Carolingians, see Airlie, “Palace of Memory,” 14–17. 13. De Jong, Penitential State, 34. 14. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836–1847, p. 140. 15. Einhard, Translatio, cc. 2.3, 2.6, pp. 246–247; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 20. 16. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 828, p. 174. 17. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 182 (May  8, 820, at Theux), 210 (June  29, 822, at Strée), 211 (August 24, 822, at Corbeny), 213 (September 28, 822, at Cheppy), 262 (May 25, 827, at Theux), 357 (August 24, 835, at Coucy), vols. 1–2:449–451, 518–522, 525–527, 654–656, 888–890. See further Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1:33 and n. 112, who also stresses the importance of Longlier in the Ardennes. 18. Müller-Kehlen, Ardennen, 207–215. 19. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 816 (receives foreign ambassadors at Compiègne in the autumn), 820 (autumn assembly at Quierzy followed by hunt), 821 (May assembly at Nijmegen, October assembly at Thionville preceded by hunt), 822 (August assembly at Attigny followed by autumn hunt in Ardennes followed by another assembly at Frankfurt), 823 (fall hunt in Ardennes with November assembly at Compiègne), 824 (June assembly at Compiègne), 825 (spring hunt at Nijmegen followed by May assembly at Aachen followed by June or July hunt in Vosges followed by August assembly at Aachen followed by another hunt at Nijmegen in the autumn), 826 (summer hunt at Salz followed by October assembly at Ingelheim), 827 (early summer assembly at Nijmegen, August assembly at Compiègne followed by hunting nearby; see also Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 41, p. 440), 828 (hunt before assembly at Ingelheim; see also Einhard, Translatio, c. 2.6, p. 247), 829 (August assembly at Worms followed by autumn hunt near Frankfurt), pp. 144, 154–156, 159, 161–162, 164, 167–168, 170–171, 173–174, 177; Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 830 (October assembly at Nijmegen), 831 (autumn assembly at Thionville), 836 (September assembly at Worms preceded and followed by hunting), 837 (June assembly at Nijmegen), 838 (May assembly at Nijmegen and August assembly at Quierzy followed by hunting near Compiègne, Ver, “and other places nearby suitable for the hunt”), pp. 2, 4, 19–21, 24–25. 20. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 283, 2:705–706 and n. 3; Depreux, Prosopographie, 138, 411. 21. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 826, p. 169; Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2062–2359, pp. 156–180. 22. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, 2.9, pp. 60–61, 63–64. 23. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 819–820, p. 152; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 168– 173, 175–180, 1:417–430, 434–447.



Notes to Pages 106–111 24. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 182, 1:449–451. 25. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 820, p. 154; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 184–188, 190–192, 1:456–465, 469–475. 26. There was a large forest south of the Nijmegen palace: Den Braven, “Charlemagne’s Palace.” For the suitability of Nijmegen for hunting and falconry, see also Begiebing, Jagd, 54–57. 27. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 821, pp. 154–156; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 193– 196, 199, 201–202, 1:476–484, 492–493, 497–501. 28. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 822, p. 158; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 204–207, 209–211, 1:502–513, 515–522. 29. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 210–211, 1:518–522. McKitterick, Charlemagne, 182 and n. 154, estimates the rate of travel for kings around 20 miles per day. 30. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 822, pp. 158–159; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 212, 1:522–525. 31. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 822, p. 159; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 213–215, F 43, 1–2:525–530, 1201; Formulae imperiales, no.  43, in Formulae Merowingici et Karolini aevi, pp. 319–320. 32. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 822, p.  159; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no.  216–218, 1:531–539. 33. Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 154–159, 206–207. 34. De Jong, “Power”; de Jong, Penitential State, 36, 122–131, at 122. 35. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 836, p. 20; Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 836, p. 27. 36. Wandalbert, Miraculae sancti Goaris, c. 30, in Scriptores, 15.1:371 and n. 3. 37. Hennebicque, “Espaces sauvages,” 48–49; Boshof, Ludwig der Fromme, 268. For analysis of these rebellions, see de Jong, Penitential State, 38–50. 38. De Jong, Penitential State, 51, 153, 158, 214. 39. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 830, p.  1; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 284–285, 2:706–711. 40. For Lothar’s reign, see Schäpers, Lothar I. 41. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 830, pp. 2–3; Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 45, p. 460. 42. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, cc. 44, 45, pp. 456, 462. 43. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 288, 2:718–720. 44. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 46, p.  466. The Annals of St.-Bertin do not mention this hunting trip. 45. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 831, pp. 4–5 (quote); Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 46, p. 466; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 307, 2:758–760 (issued November 4 at Thionville). 46. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 48, p. 478. 47. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 48, p. 480. 48. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 52, p. 492. 49. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 835, 836, 838, 839, pp. 18, 20, 25, 33–34. 50. McKitterick, Charlemagne, 31–49, 54–55 (quote); McKitterick, History, 101–119; Collins, “Reviser,” esp. 202–203. 51. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 817, 819, 820, 821, 822, 823, 825, 826, 829, pp. 146, 147, 152, 154, 155, 159, 162, 167, 168, 171, 177. 52. Annales regni Francorum, s.a. 817, p. 146. 53. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 835, 836, 838, 839, pp. 18, 20, 25, 33–34. Style and content point to several changes in authorship of the Annals of St.-Bertin during the 830s and early 840s: Nelson, “Annals of St. Bertin”; Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 6–13; de Jong, Penitential State, 65–66; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 21–22. 54. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 835, 836, 838, pp. 18, 20, 25. 55. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 839, pp. 33–34. 56. Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 23–26. 57. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, pp.  53–152; de Jong, Penitential State, 79–89; Noble, Charlemagne, 219–226. 58. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, cc. 4, 6, pp. 294–296, 300. 59. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 4, p. 296. 60. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, cc. 17, 20, pp. 332, 342–343 and n. 250. 61. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, cc. 29, 35, pp. 380, 410.

Notes to Pages 111–115 62. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 19, p. 334 and n. 209; de Jong, Penitential State, 83. 63. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, prologue and c. 62, pp. 282 and n. 11, 542. See further Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 28, p. 378. 64. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 168–180, p. 370; Eigil, Vita Sturmi, c. 18, p. 374. 65. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 58, pp. 518–524; Ashley, “What Did Louis the Pious See?” 66. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 58, p. 524; Noble, Charlemagne, 293. 67. For the poets around Louis, see Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious.’ ” 68. Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious,’ ” 258–259; Noble, Charlemagne, 121. 69. Soon after Louis succeeded his father in 814, Theodulf of Orléans dedicated a short panegyric to him in which he emphasized Louis’s prowess at hunting and falconry, which he interpreted as a sign of his military strength against neighboring barbarians: Theodulf, Carmina, no. 39, ll. 7–12, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini 1:531; Godman, Poets, 96–106; Theodulf of Orléans, Verse, p. 126. 70. Godman, Poetry, 45–46; Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious,’ ” 253–271; de Jong, Penitential State, 89–95; Bobrycki, “Nigellus.” I propose a possible explanation for Ermold’s exile in Chapter 7. 71. Ermold wrote the first verse letter soon before he composed In Honor of Emperor Louis in 826, and he penned the second verse letter not long thereafter: Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious,’ ” 255; Godman, Poets, 106–129. 72. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem I, ll. 11–14, in Poème, 202–203 and n. 3. 73. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem I, ll. 77–134 in Poème, 208–212. 74. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 7–13 in Poème, 218. 75. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 109–200, in Poème, 226–232. 76. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 41–46, in Poème, 220. 77. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 69–106, in Poème, 222–224. 78. Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 107–108, in Poème, 224. 79. Collins, “Pippin I,” 364. 80. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 230–234, 744–749, pp.  22, 58; Boshof, Ludwig der Fromme, 58–59. 81. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1238–1247, p. 96. 82. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1304–1311 (quote 1305), 1346–1351, pp. 102, 104. 83. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1726–1731, 1836–1847, pp. 131, 140. 84. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2062–2359, pp. 156–180. 85. For this event and its context, see Coupland, “From Poachers.” 86. Ermold assigned Harald and the Danes a passive, feminized role at the hunt by describing them as spectators, but it seems likely that they did participate: Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2376– 2377, pp. 180–182. 87. Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious,’ ” 258–259; Godman, Poets, 111. 88. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2381–2393, pp. 180–182. 89. Concerning this scene, see Ward, “Caesar’s Wife,” 218–219. 90. De Jong, Penitential State, 19–21, 188–189; de Jong, “Bride Shows,” 265–267; Nelson, “Women”; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 199–202. 91. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2416–2435, p. 184. 92. Garver, Women, 201. 93. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1418–1427, 1460–1461, 1630–1633, 1644–1645, pp. 110, 112, 124, 126. 94. Ward, “Agobard”; Bührer-Thierry, “La reine adultère”; Dohmen, Ursache allen Übels, 18–180. 95. Rabanus Maurus, Expositio in librum Judith and Expositio in librum Esther; Rabanus Maurus, Epistolae, nos. 17a–b, in Epistolae, 5:420–422; de Jong, “Exegesis,” 76–77; de Jong, “Bride Shows,” 272. 96. De Jong, Penitential State, 94 and n. 175. 97. Walahfrid Strabo, De imagine Tetrici, 25–41; Godman, Poets, 133–144. 98. Agnellus of Ravenna, Liber pontificalis, c. 94, pp. 337–338; Godman, “Louis ‘the Pious,’ ” 276–278. 99. Walahfrid began with an attack on Ermold, lamenting the decline of poetry in his day and punning Ermold’s sobriquet “the Black” (nigellus) with “black dung” (stercora nigella): Walahfrid Strabo, De imagine Tetrici, ll. 10–23, pp. 131–132. 100. Walahfrid Strabo, De imagine Tetrici, ll. 115–127, p. 135.



Notes to Pages 115–122 101. Hauk, “Tiergärten,” 40–42. 102. Walahfrid Strabo, Carmina, no. 27, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2:382. 103. Irsigler, “On the Aristocratic Character,” 119–120, and Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 99–101, overlook that it was the Carolingians who created the image of the Merovingians as avid hunters. 104. Donatus, Vita Trudonis, c. 4, p. 278. This text dates 784–791: Cox, “Kontextfunktion,” at 4. 105. On these texts, see Wood, “Saint Wandrille.” 106. Vita Ansberti, c. 7, p. 623. 107. Vita Lantberti, c. 3, p. 611; Vita Condedi, c. 4, p. 647; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 100 and n. 30. 108. Gesta Dagoberti I.; Rech, “Gesta Dagoberti.” 109. Gesta Dagoberti I., cc. 1–2, p. 401. 110. Fredegar, Chronicon, 4.42, p. 142. The author omitted Fredegar’s critique about the king heeding the advice of women. 111. Gesta Dagoberti I., c. 2, p. 401. 112. Gesta Dagoberti I., cc. 2–4, pp. 401–402. 113. Dey, Afterlife, 165–166. 114. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12, pp. 261–265. 115. Gesta Dagoberti I., c. 23, pp. 408–409. 116. Epistolae variorum, no. 19, in Epistolae, 5:326; Gesta Dagoberti I., pp. 396–397; McKitterick, History, 214. 117. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 22, p. 27. 118. Vita Ansberti, c. 7, p. 623. Einhard became abbot of St.-Wandrille in 816, where the Vita Ansberti was written, which may explain his familiarity with the text. Einhard’s use of gentilicium (rather than gentilicum) is grammatically correct. 119. Suetonius, whom Einhard emulated, had used this uncommon term in the opening lines of his Lives of the Caesars in the narrow sense to describe the family of Julius Caesar: Suetonius, The Deified Julius, c. 1, in Lives of the Caesars, 1:2 (gentilicis hereditatibus multatus). He used it in a similar sense on one other occasion: Suetonius, The Deified Claudius, c. 25, in Lives of the Caesars, 2:50 (nomina gentilicia). 120. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 1, pp. 2–4. On this passage, see Fouracre, “Long Shadow.” 121. Suetonius, Tiberius, c. 2, and Caligula, c. 15, in Lives of the Caesars, 1:294, 424; Suetonius, Deified Claudius, cc. 11, 17, in Lives of the Caesars, 2:22, 34. 122. De Jong, Penitential State, 22–38; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 196–213. 123. Capitula per se scribenda, c. 7, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 288. 124. Capitulare missorum (819), c. 22, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 291. 125. Responsa missis data, cc. 3, 6, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 314 (mid-820s). The butler Odo probably was the “young and energetic Otho,” whom Ermold described as Louis’s chief cupbearer, while Autharius may be the count by that name whom Louis entrusted with royal business in the 830s: Ermold le Noir, Poème, l. 2346, p.  178; Airlie, “Palace of Memory,” 8–9; Depreux, Prosopographie, 73–74 (no. 6). 126. Mischke, “Kapitularienrecht,” 78–94. 127. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 33, 186, 1:85–89, 460–462. 128. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 58, 141, 249, 308, 309, 325, vols. 1–2:146–148, 357–358, 620–621, 761–764, 805–805. Several of Louis’s charters also report him granting common woodlands (silvae communes) to supporters: Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 132(I–II), 326, 358, vols. 1–2:334–338, 807–808, 891–892. A charter of Lothar III (954–986) confirms a dubious earlier charter, allegedly destroyed in a fire, in which Louis supposedly granted a forest on the Yvonne River to the monastery of St.-Colombe in Sens: Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V, no. 35, pp. 86–88. 129. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 220, 402(I–II), vols. 1–2:542, 997–998. 130. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 262, 2:654–656. 131. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 219, 323, vols. 1–2:539–540, 799–801. 132. Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 213–222. 133. For Pippin’s relations with his father, see Collins, “Pippin I,” esp. 376–382. 134. Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, no. 1, p. 1. 135. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 48, p. 480.

Notes to Pages 122–126 136. Urkunden Lothars I., nos. 4, 35, pp. 60–62, 112–115; Capitulare de expeditione Corsicana, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 324–325; Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.42, in Opera, 30– 31. Lothar I also settled disputes over woodlands in Italy: Urkunden Lothars I., no. 11, pp. 74–76. 137. Concerning this manuscript and its images, see Rotili, La miniatura, 2:59, 68–70, and plate 31; Zanichelli, “I Libri Legum,” 7–18 (esp. 13), 207 (fig. 10). 138. Reuter, Annals of Fulda, 1–9; Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 6–13. 139. Urkunden Lothars I., nos. 105–106, pp. 245–253; Schäpers, Lothar I., 540–541. 140. Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 870, p. 70. Here the chronicler reported the hunting and banqueting of Louis the German’s rivals, the rulers of Moravia: Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 286–288. 141. Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 14–15; Annals of Fulda, 8–9. 142. Nithard, Historiarum libri IIII, 4.4, p. 45. 143. Annales Xantenses, s.a. 850, p. 17. Osning (in Hosninge) was the Ardennes district around Longlier: Müller-Kehlen, Ardennen, 57; Kaspers, Comitatus nemoris, 89–93. Cf. Annales Xantenses, 17n11. On this chronicle, see Löwe, “Studien,” 59–99. For the context, see Dümmler, Geschichte, 1:346–347; Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 154–156. 144. Vita Basilii imperatoris, cc. 12–15, pp. 46–59. 145. That Prudentius was a Visigoth from Spain rather than a Frank perhaps made him more inclined to ignore royal hunting. 146. Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 9–13; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 27–28; Nelson, “Hincmar’s Life”; and Stone and West, Hincmar of Rheims. For context, see Nelson, Charles the Bald, 221–253. 147. On that occasion Hincmar convinced Charles to restore the estate of Neuilly that Carloman had granted to Reims on his deathbed: Hincmar, Gesta de villa Noviliaco, c. 5, p. 104. 148. Mordek, “Ein exemplarischer Rechtsstreit,” 95. 149. Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 12. 150. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 865 (Orville), 867 (Orville), 868 (Orville), 869 (Ardennes), 870 (Cuise), 871 (Orville: cancelled), 872 (Ardennes), 873 (Orville), pp. 123, 137, 151, 164,175, 182, 188, 195. 151. Charles the Bald also met with Lothar II in the Ardennes in the summer of 867, and they perhaps hunted together on that occasion: Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 867, p. 136. 152. E.g., Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, 865, 866, pp. 95–96, 113, 116, 117, 122–124, 125–127, 130–131. On Orville, see Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1:33n112, 40n146. 153. Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 26 (June 20–September 8, 843, at Compiègne), 58 (September 27, 844, at Compiègne), 89 (October 30, 846, at Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire), 90 (November 8, 846, at Roucy), 99 (September 2, 847, at Saint-Quentin), 150 (September 17, 852?, at Ver), 158 (November  853, at Servais), 168 (October  31, 854, at Bézu), 177–178 (September  25, 855, at Le Chesne-Herbelot in Cuise Forest?), 189 (October 3, 856, at Verberie), 196 (September 18, 857, at Quierzy), 199 (November 27, 858, at Avenay), 214–215 (September 11, 859, at Meung-sur-Loire), 216 (October 13, 859, at Tusey), 220 (August 31, 860, at Compiègne), 221–222 (November 19, 860, at Ponthion), 1:65–67, 163–166, 241–242, 243–245, 262–265, 399–402, 443–444, 459–465, 465–475, 492–494, 507–508, 511–512, 540–544, 544–547, 549–555, 555–561; Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 233 (September 14, 861, at Auxerre), 246–247 (September 19, 862, at Compiègne), 248 (October 26, 862, at Ponthion), 258–259 (October 29–November 4, 863, at Verberie), 273 (September 20, 864, at St.-Amand), 274 (October 11, 864, at Petegem), 275 (October 19, 864, at Quierzy), 277–278 (November 22, 864, at Le-Chesne-Herbelot in Cuise Forest?), 302 (September 5, 867, at Vaux-sur-Somme), 303–304 (October 18–30, 867, at Orville), 316 (September 27, 868, at Ponthion), 328 (September 9, 869, at Metz), 330 (November 24, 869, at Gondreville), 344 (November 24, 870, at Vienne), 351 (October 871, at Reims), 352 (October 7, 871, at Langres), 353 (October 30, 871, at Champlitte), 354 (November 1, 871, at Besançon), 367 (October 12, 873, at Le Mans), 376 (November 16, 874, at Attigny), 412 (September 4, 876, at Quierzy), 2:17–18, 53–67, 67–70, 81–89, 112–114, 115–117, 117–119, 120–123, 165–167, 167–176, 198–199, 224–226, 228–235, 266–268, 281–282, 282–285, 285–287, 287–288, 318–320, 336–340, 421–423. On west Frankish palaces, see especially Barbier, “Domaines royaux”; Barbier, “Palais et fisc”; Barbier, “Le système palatial.” 154. Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 277–278, 2:120–123. 155. Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 32, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361. For analysis of this chapter, see Gravel, “Of Palaces.” See further Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1:86–87; Nelson, Charles the Bald, 248–250. For Louis the Stammerer, see McCarthy, “Power and Kingship.”



Notes to Pages 126–132 156. Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 32, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361. 157. The 870 Treaty of Meersen split the Ardennes in half between the kingdoms of Louis the German and Charles the Bald, with the Ourthe River (a tributary of the Meuse) marking the boundary: Gorissen, “Encore la clause”; Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 98n52. 158. For tentative identifications of the problematic Ligurio, Lens, Wara, Astenido, Rugitusit, Scadebolt, and Lisga, see Gravel, “Of Palaces,” 99–103. 159. Nelson, Charles the Bald, 36, 235, 247–248. 160. Karlomanni capitula Compendii de rapinis promulgata, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 370–371. 161. Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 33, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361. 162. Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 15, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 259. This identification is supported by the fact that Laon is the only entire district mentioned as off-limits in chapter 32, a situation that would have given Count Adalhelm of Laon a vested interest in enforcing the decree. See further Nelson, Charles the Bald, 224n16, 228, 247, 249–250. 163. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 877, p. 218; Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 32, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361. Chapter 5 1. Capitulare Carisiacense, c. 32, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 361. 2. Wood, “Administration”; McKitterick, Carolingians, 211–270. 3. Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 48. 4. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 99, 134, 144, 150–164. 5. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p.  23. On women and hunting in the central and later Middle Ages, see Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 181–197; Almond, Daughters of Artemis. 6. Resl, “Introduction,” 9–15. 7. Kershaw, “Eberhard of Fruili,” 102; Dhuoda, Liber Manualis, 3.10, pp. 112–115 and n. 109. 8. Ziolkowski, Talking Animals, 47–109; Kratz, “Aeneas or Christ?” 9. Urkunden Otto I., no. 62, in Urkunden Konrad I., 143–144. The last two animals refer to Europe elk (alces alces): Wolfram, Grenzen und Räume, 452n215; MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 207–208. For the kinds of game described in Carolingian sources, see Guizard-Duchampe, “Les parcs à gibier carolingiens,” 24–25 and table 1. 10. Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, c. 19, p. 204. See further Giese, “Continental Royal Seats,” 391–392 and n. 14. 11. Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 184, p. 285. This was a forged charter of Arnulf ’s but nevertheless confirmed by Otto II and Otto III: Urkunden Ottos II., nos. 165, 275, pp. 186, 319; and Urkunden Ottos III., no. 1, p. 394. 12. Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 30–31 (appendix). 13. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836–1847, p. 140. 14. Loveluck, “Rural Settlement,” 241–242, 251; Loveluck, Northwest Europe, 124–142, 149– 150; Chantinne, Mignot, and Vanmechelen, Le Premier Moyen Âge, 47–49 and graph no. 77. Cf. Sykes, “Impact,” esp. figure 11.4, who suggests that the bones of wild boar predominate at Frankish sites. On red deer, see MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 200–203; Baker, Carden, and Madgwick, Deer and People. 15. Wandalbert, De mensium duodecim nominibus, ll. 258–261, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2:613. 16. MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 211–214. 17. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 396; Lepetz, “La Chasse,” 149–150 and figure 7; MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 204–206. 18. MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 196–198; Pastoureau, “La chasse au sanglier”; Schwenk, “Jagd”; Schouwink, Der wilde Eber. 19. Xenophon, Cynegeticus, c. 10, pp. 152–156. 20. Bernard of Kremsmünster (d. 1327), Liber de origine, c. 6, p.  641. The coat of arms of Kremsmünster depicts the wild boar impaled by Gunther’s spear. 21. Rabanus Maurus, De universo, 7.8, col. 207A, expanding on Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.1.27, vol. 2. 22. Paschasius Radbertus, Epitaphium Arsenii, 2.7, p. 67. 23. MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 105–107.

Notes to Pages 133–140 24. Isidore, Etymologiae, 12.2.22, vol. 2; Oehrl, “Bear Hunting.” 25. Waltharius, ll. 1337–1342, pp. 64–65 (modified). For a hunter with a venabulum pursuing a bear on horseback, see Otloh, Vita Bonifatii, 2.20, p. 206. 26. Loveluck, “Rural Settlement,” 241. 27. This is claimed by Pastoureau, L’Ours, 11, although I could not identify the source of his information. 28. Isidore, Etymologiae, 12.1.34, vol. 2. 29. Samsonowicz, “Falconry,” esp. 1496. 30. Thietmar of Merseburg, Chronicon, 6.15, p. 292. 31. Chantinne, Mignot, and Vanmechelen, Le Premier Moyen Âge, 47–49 and graph no.  77. Overall, wild animals were 5  percent of the mammal bones, while 95  percent came from domesticated animals. 32. MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 96–101, 129–131, 233–235. 33. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.20, p. 26; Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 114, in Epistolae, 5:168. 34. Abbo, Bella Parisiacae urbis, bk. 2, ll. 496–499, p.  112; Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 13, pp. 50–51. 35. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.17, p. 86 and nn.9, 10. 36. Newfield, “Great Carolingian Panzootic”; Newfield, “Early Medieval Epizootics.” 37. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 10.30, p. 525. 38. Pucek et al., European Bison, 20–21; MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 214. 39. Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, 2.8, pp. 76–77 and n. 6. 40. Pucher and Schmitzberger, “Ein mittelalterlicher Fundkomplex.” 41. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 29, p. 33. 42. Good surveys of medieval hunting techniques include Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 237–455; Cummins, Hound, 32–67; Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting.” 43. Vita Gangulfi prima, c. 2, pp. 16, 18. On this text, see Patzold, “Laughing.” 44. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 56–79, pp. 23–25. 45. Hughes, “Hunting,” 57–58. 46. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.40, in Opera, 29. 47. Sykes, “Animal Bones,” 50–52. 48. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 19, p. 23. 49. Gesta Dagoberti I., c. 2, p. 401. 50. Gesta Dagoberti I., c. 4, p. 402. 51. Pactus legis Salicae, 33.4–5, p. 125; Edictus Rothari, cc. 309–314, pp. 72–73. 52. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis 1.42, in Opera, 30–31. The king eventually tired of waiting and took a nap, giving his companion the opportunity to murder him. 53. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2381–2393, pp. 180–182. 54. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, 1.39, pp. 78–79. 55. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.282, vol. 1. For trackers in later centuries, see Cummins, Hound, 33–35. 56. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 15, p. 328. 57. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 29, p. 34. 58. Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. 48, p. 108. 59. Gregory of Tours, Liber in gloria confessorum, c. 86, p. 354. 60. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2381–2393, p. 182. 61. On this topic for a later period, see Zaltenbach, “Musik und Jägerei.” 62. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 289–298, pp. 373–374. 63. Aelfric, Colloquy, l. 77, p. 25. 64. Kaldellis, “ Things Are Not What They Are,” 298. 65. Chronicle of Alfonso III, c. 12, in Cronicas Asturianas, 130; Collins, Early Medieval Spain, 229; Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, p. 60. 66. Bernard of Kremsmünster, Liber de origine, c. 6, p. 641. 67. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, p. 115. 68. Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 102, pp. 334–335; Norwich, Short History, 157–158; Treadgold, History, 461. 69. On hunting weapons, see Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 364–366. For weapons in general, see Coupland, “Carolingian Arms”; Halsall, Warfare, 163–176.



Notes to Pages 140–149 70. Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” 61. 71. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1844–1845, p. 140; Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, 2.9, 2.15, pp. 60, 64, 79; Nibelungenlied, ll. 937–938, pp. 88–89. One should, however, take Notker’s heroically exaggerated hunting scenes with a grain of salt: Fenske, “Jagd und Jäger,” 64. See also Oehrl, “Bear Hunting,” 302–304. 72. Le Jan, “Frankish Giving of Arms.” 73. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.15, p. 80. 74. Fensk, “Jagd und Jäger,” 41. 75. Coupland, “Carolingian Arms,” 42–46. 76. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 173–174, p. 370. See also Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, p. 61. 77. Coupland, “Carolingian Arms,” 46–48. 78. Richer, Histories, 2.43, vol. 1, Books 1–2, pp. 260–261. 79. Dobiat, “Cervus domesticus,” 85. 80. Xenophon, Cynegeticus, c. 10, p. 154. 81. Giese, “Alltagsgeschichte,” 145–148. 82. Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 884, p. 101; Annales Vedastini, s.a. 884, pp. 55–56; Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 884, pp. 121–122. 83. Paulsen, “From Stone Age Hunting”; Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” 62–64. 84. Burchard of Worms, Corrector sive medicus, c. 16, p. 634, assumed that archery was the most likely way a hunter might accidentally (improvise) kill someone else. 85. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 151–152, p. 370; Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, c. 19, p. 200. 86. Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium, c. 11, p. 34. 87. Heiric of Auxerre, I Collectanea di Eirico di Auxerre, 112–113. 88. Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, 6.58, p. 186, reported that one of the hunting companions of King Liudprand (712–744) accidentally shot and killed the Lombard ruler’s nephew. 89. Coupland, “Carolingian Arms,” 48–50. 90. Ermold le Noir, Poème, l. 399, p. 34, refers to bows reinforced with horn (cornea plectra). See also Bowlus, Battle, 27–36. 91. Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 491–493; Dobiat, “Cervus domesticus.” 92. Pactus legis Salicae, cc. 33, pp. 124–125; Lex Ribuaria, c. 46, p. 97; Edictus Rothari, cc. 315– 316, p. 73. 93. Edictus Rothari, c. 315 (and c. 316), p. 73. 94. Dobiat, “Cervus domesticus,” 93; Grimm and Schmölcke, “Results,” 623 (figure 2) and 627. 95. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.15, pp. 79–80. 96. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 244, in Epistolae, 4:392. 97. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 18.58–59, vol. 2; Rabanus Maurus, De universo, 20.37–38, cols. 553D–554A. 98. Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, 2.23, 2:98–101 and 98n2. 99. Petersen, “Mesolithic Dogs”; Schmölcke, “Evidence”; Giese, “Tierische Jagdhelfer.” For an overview of (especially later) medieval hunting dogs, see Bugnion, Les chasses médiévales. 100. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 248–254; Giese, “Gebell im Kloster,” 122–124. 101. Grattius, Cynegeticon, ll. 150–222, pp. 167–173. Concerning the evidence for Greco-Roman dogs, see Xenophon and Arrian, On Hunting, 12–18. 102. Bischoff, “Hof bibliothek Karls des Grossen,” 150. 103. Resl, “Introduction,” 24–26; Gelfand, Our Dogs. 104. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.2.25–26, vol. 2. 105. Bernard of Kremsmünster, Liber de origine, c. 6, p. 641. For a similar loyal dog story, see Thietmar of Merseburg, Chronicon, 1.27, pp. 34–35. 106. Meens, “Eating Animals,” 11–13. 107. Arrian, Cynegeticus, cc. 3–4, pp. 94–95. 108. Arrian, Cynegeticus, cc. 4–6, pp. 94–99. 109. Grattius, Cynegeticon, ll. 203–206, pp. 170–171. 110. Arrian, Cynegeticus, c. 3, p. 92–95. 111. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.20, p. 26. 112. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 4, pp. 64–67.

Notes to Pages 149–153 113. “Honorantie civitatis Papie,” ll. 47–49, pp. 19, 37; McCormick, Origins, 679; Sawyer, Wealth, 84–85. 114. Capitulare de villis, c. 58, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 88. On the duty of caring for the king’s dogs, see Pégeot, “Le droit.” 115. Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” 61. 116. Arbeo of Freising, Leben des heiligen Korbinian, c. 26, pp.  134–137; Giese, “Gebell im Kloster,” 115. 117. Zooarchaeology reveals the diversity of dogs in early medieval Scandinavia: Sørensen, “Dogs.” 118. Pactus legis Salicae, cc. 6.1–2, pp. 36–37; Lex Salica, c. 6.2, p. 37. 119. Liber constitutionum, c. 97, pp. 112–113; Grattius, Cynegeticon, ll. 205–208, pp. 170–171. 120. Lex Alamannorum, c. 78.1–6 (also cc. 95–96), pp. 142–144 (also 154–155). 121. Lex Baiwariorum, c. 20, pp. 460–464. 122. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 99, 134, 144, 150–164, quote at 161. 123. For early medieval falconry, see Giese, “Evidence of Falconry.” See further Oggins, Kings; Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie; Rueda, “Falconers’ Ornithological Classification”; GuizardDuchampe, “Les parcs à gibier carolingiens,” 22–24; Prummel, “Falconry”; Gersmann and Grimm, Raptor and Human. 124. For the definition and terminology of falconry, see Giese, “Evidence of Falconry,” 1471, 1474; Grimm and Gersmann, “Introduction,” 19. For the range of wildfowl hunted by falconry and fowling, see Sykes, “Dynamics.” 125. Bednarek, “Emotions.” It is likely that noblemen admired their trained raptors for their “warrior-like” qualities: Almond, “Hunting,” 1140. 126. Dobiat, “Early Falconry”; Prummel, “Falconry,” esp. figure  5 on p.  360; Girinikas and Daugnora, “Hunting”; Vretemark, “Vendel Period”; Vretemark, “Birds”; Oehrl, “Overview”; Rueda, “Falconry,” 1198–1200; Maldre, Tomek, and Peets, “Birds”; Bleile, “Falconry”; Teegen, “Skeletons.” For the adoption of falconry in Norway and Denmark during the Viking age, see Grimm and Stylegar, “Short Introduction”; Gansum, “Royal Viking Age Ship Grave”; Gotfredsen, “Traces.” 127. Dobiat, “Early Falconry,” 351; Schmölcke, “Central Eu ropean Burials”; Ludowici, “Chamber Grave 41.” For a possible elite female falconer buried at Birka in Sweden, see Grimm, “From Aachen,” 489–490. 128. Dobiat and Grimm, “Rider Fibula”; Jost, “Depiction.” 129. Duplex legationis edictum, c. 30, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 64. 130. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 181–189; Almond, “Hunting,” 1139–1146. 131. Oggins, Kings, 10–12; Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 45–91; Rueda, “Falconers’ Ornithological Classification,” 64–65, 68–69. For biology and taxonomy, see Zachos, “Birds of Prey”; Gamauf, “Palaearctic Birds”; Svenson, Zetterström, and Mullarney, Birds of Europe, 112–123. 132. Lex Baiwariorum, 20.5, p. 462 and n. 3; Lex Frisionum, 4.7, pp. 46–47. 133. For example, see Liber constitutionum, c. 98, p.  113; Edictus Rothari, cc. 317, 320–321, pp. 73–74. 134. Lex Baiwariorum, c. 21, pp. 465–467. The Aleman laws mention hawks that hunt geese and cranes: Pactus legis Alamannorum, c. 26.4–5, p. 30; Lex Alamannorum, c. 96.1, p. 155. See further Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 496. 135. Prummel, “Falconry,” 367. In some cases, hawks also seem to have been used to handicap deer while pursued by a hunter and his dogs: Oehrl, “Can Pictures Lie?” 136. Concilium Germanicum, c. 2, in Concilia, 2.1:3; Concilium in Francia habitum a. 747, in Concilia, 2.1:47. See further Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 92, p. 211. 137. Capitulare missorum generale, c. 19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 95. The Eurasian sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus) is one of the smaller species of hawks that chiefly hunts small birds in wooded landscapes, although it also can fly to high altitudes and stoop like a falcon. They are brave but difficult to train: Svenson, Zetterström, and Mullarney, Birds of Europe, 112. 138. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:634. 139. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.7.55–57, vol. 2. 140. Prummel, “Falconry,” 359. 141. Rueda, “Falconers’ Ornithological Classification,” 65, 69; Giese, “ ‘De Arte Venandi,’ ” 1460. 142. Falconarius first appears in Charlemagne’s Capitulary on Royal Manors, and it continued to be used for royal falconers throughout the Carolingian period: Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers,



Notes to Pages 153–156 Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 1:533 (s.v. “falconarius”). In contrast, Alfred the Great had both falconarii and accipitrarii at his court: Asser, De rebus gestis Aelfridi, c. 75, p. 59. Cf. Lacey, “Charter Evidence,” 1090–1091. 143. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1836–1847, p, 140; Theodulf, Carmina, no. 39, ll. 7–12 in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:531. 144. Prummel, “Falconry,” 367; Van den Abeele, “ ‘On the Dunghill,’ ” 528–529. 145. Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 69, p. 142. 146. Svenson, Zetterström, and Mullarney, Birds of Europe, 128–129; Lundin, Cranes; Rueda, “Falconers’ Ornithological Classification,” 66–67. 147. Lex Baiwariorum, c. 21, pp. 465–467; Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 496–497 and n. 23. 148. For an impressive cycle of eighteenth-century paintings depicting the landgraves of HesseKassel hunting herons (which are similar to cranes) with falcons, see Dobler, “Landgraves.” 149. Anthimus, De observatione ciborum, c. 27, p. 14. 150. Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 105, p. 231. For commentary, see Giese, “Evidence for Falconry,” 1477; Horobin, “Pen,” 1056. 151. However, it is also conceivable that Ethelbert was referring to gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus), although they live in arctic regions and would have had to be imported from Scandinavia to Francia: Lacey, “Charter Evidence,” 1100; Hill, “Crane”; De Smet, “Princess”; Mullarney and Zetterström, Birds, 120–123. 152. Grimm, “From Aachen,” 487–490; Heinrich and Teegen, “Falconry.” For the trapping and trade of falcons and hawks in medieval Norway, see Orten Lie, “Falconry.” 153. Urkunden Otto I., no. 209, in Urkunden Konrad I., 288, refers to a “censum . . . de . . . procuratione bannita falchonum.” 154. Teegen, “Skeletons,” 1378. 155. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 154–159; Fried, “Kaiser Friedrich”; Giese, “ ‘De Arte Venandi.’ ” 156. Frederick II, De arte venandi cum avibus, bk. 4, pp.  698–827 (see also bk. 3.111–140, pp. 658–679). 157. For the training of hawks and falcons in the Middle Ages, see Oggins, Kings, 18–35; Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 93–172; Pummel, “Falconry,” 357–359. The earliest medieval treatise on the training of hawks and falcons is Adalard of Bath, Conversations. 158. Abbo, Bella Parisiacae urbis, bk. 1, l. 538, p. 95. Hoods, an import from the Muslim world, do not seem to have been introduced to Eu rope until the thirteenth century: Giese, “ ‘De Arte Venandi,’ ” 1461. 159. Several early medieval raptor bells have been found: Prummel, “Falconry,” 362. 160. Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 142–144. 161. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 137–148, pp. 30–32. For discussion, see Horobin, “Pen,” 1056–1057; Lacey, “Charter Evidence,” 1094–1095. 162. Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 263. See further Van den Abeele, La littérature cynégétique; Van den Abeele, “Medieval Latin and Vernacular Treatises.” 163. Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 21; Van den Abeele, La littérature cynégétique, 35. For an edition and analysis, see Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, 118–121. See further Smets, “Materia medica”; Goldberg, “ ‘Hunt Belongs to Man,’ ” 43–45. 164. Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, c. 1, p.  53: “Incipit opusculum Grimaldus baiuli et comitis sacri palatii ad Karulum regem de dieta ciborum et nutritura ancipitrum. Incipit liber †m† acciptrum” [sic]. 165. Oggins, Kings, 1–2, and Giese, “Graue Theorie,” 31, 35, agree that Grimald’s Liber accipitrum probably dates to the Carolingian era. On the other hand, Van den Abeele dates Grimald’s work to the time of the surviving manuscript (“probably written at the end of the eleventh century”) without further comment: Smets and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” 66; and Van den Abeele, “Medieval Latin and Vernacular Treatises,” 1272. 166. An Smets arrived at this tentative conclusion: Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, 35–40; Smets, “Materia medica,” 29–30. I expand the case for Grimald of St.-Gall’s authorship: Goldberg, “ ‘Hunt Belongs to Man,’ ” 43–45. On Grimald’s career, see Geuenich, “Beobachtungen.” 167. Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, c. 15, p. 64. 168. Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, c. 30, p. 74. 169. Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, c. 17, p. 65. (The Latin is unclear where indicated.)

Notes to Pages 156–160 170. Olmos de León, “Care of Hunting Birds” (concerning later medieval Spanish falconry treatises). 171. Le “Liber accipitrum” de Grimaldus, 34; Smets, “Materia medica,” 30–31; Fischer, Review, 118–119, 120. 172. Al Gitrif ibn Qudama al-Gassani, Beizvögel, 9–41; Möller, Studien, 29–32, 107–109. For Byzantine, early Arab, and Persian falconry, see Külzer, “Some Notes,” esp. 701, 704; Akasoy, “Falconry”; Daryaee and Malekzadeh, “Falcons.” For the intellectual context, see Gutas, Greek Thought, esp. 28–74. 173. E.g., Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.9, pp. 63–64; Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 3.23, in Opera, 82–83; Christys, “Queen.” This challenges a common assumption that the exchange of hunting techniques between East and West did not occur until the crusades: Allen and Smith, “Some Notes,” 113; Smith, “Arabian Hound,” 464. 174. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin”; Van den Abeele, La fauconnerie, 20–21; Van den Abeele, “Medieval Latin and Vernacular Treatises,” 1280–1281. 175. Atto once observed that the larger female hawks attack and kill the males after copulation: Attone di Vercelli, Polipticum, c. 13.1–3 (version B). Although this kind of behavior usually does not occur in the wild, female goshawks have been known to kill their mates when kept in a shared cage: Kent, “Programme,” at 106; and more generally Cade and Berry, “Influence.” Concerning Atto, see Vignodelli, “Politics.” 176. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 176 (c. 16). 177. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 175 (c. 14), 177 (c. 19); Van den Abeele, “Medieval Latin and Vernacular Treatises,” 1281. 178. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 179 (c. 33). 179. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 178–179. Concerning this text, see Tilander, Dancus rex. 180. Wandalbert, De mensium XII nominibus, ll. 94–95, 258–261, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2:607, 613. 181. Brown, Rise, 411. 182. Innes, “Place of Discipline,” 61–68. 183. Waltharius, ll. 96–108, 1252–1264, pp. 8–9, 60–61. 184. Donatus, Vita Trudonis, c. 4, p. 278. 185. Rabanus Maurus, De procinctu Romanae miliciae, c.5, p. 445. 186. Rabanus Maurus, De procinctu Romanae miliciae, c.3, p. 444. 187. Odo, Vita sancti Geraldi Auriliacensis, 1.4, p. 140. On Gerald, see Airlie, “Anxiety of Sanctity.” I am not persuaded by the arguments of Kuefler, Making, who argues that the longer life of Gerald should be dated to the early eleventh century; see Bruce, Review. 188. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, cc. 4, 6, pp, 294–297, 300. 189. For the fatal hunting accident of a nobleman’s son, see Actus pontificum Cenomannis in urbe degentium, c. 11.3, p. 65. 190. Lex Baiwariorum, 2.9, p, 303. At the conclusion of the Waltharius, the hero looks forward to going home and hunting stags, even though he has lost his right hand: Waltharius, ll. 1424–1436, pp. 68–69. 191. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 30, pp. 34–35; Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 839, pp. 83–84. 192. E.g., Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.17, p. 86. 193. Vita Gangulfi prima, cc. 2–3, pp. 16–18. Here the author quoted the dictum of the Rule of Saint Benedict, c. 48, p. 160: “Leisure is the enemy of the soul.” 194. Admonitio generalis, c. 79, pp.  230-233; Duplex legationis edictum, c. 17, and Capitula de causis diversis, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 63, 135. 195. Notitia Arnonis, c. 8.1, p, 96 (Urso); Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 33, 1:87 (Wirund); Urkunden der burgundischen Rudolfinger, no. 10, p. 109 (Venatio). 196. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 28, p. 378. 197. Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 2:146 (s.v. “wantus”). See also Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, p. 256; Waltharius, ll. 1425–1428, p. 68. For monastic leather goods, see Diem, “Stolen Glove.” 198. Traditionen des Hochstifts Freising, no. 419, 1:359–360; Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 2.34, in Opera, 53. 199. Recueil des chartes de l’abbaye de Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, no. 25, 1:59–67, at 66. Concerning Eccard, see Nelson, “Dispute Settlement,” 53–55; Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 141–143.



Notes to Pages 160–166 200. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 1.20, p. 26. 201. Carmen de Timone comite, ll. 145–150, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2:124; Heiric of Auxerre, Miracula Sancti Germani, col. 1238C–D. 202. Arbeo of Freising, Leben des heiligen Korbinian, c. 26, pp. 134–137. 203. Abbo, Bella Parisiacae urbis, bk. 1, l. 538, p. 95 (reference to lora). 204. Capitula legibus addenda, c. 8, Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 282. 205. Paul the Deacon, Coniurationes convivarum pro potu, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:65– 66. Paul also mentioned seafood, fish, fruit, vegetables, and wine. He notably omitted pork. 206. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 24, pp. 28–29. 207. Gentili and Valais, “Composantes aristocratiques”; Loveluck, “Dynamics”; Loveluck, “Rural Settlement,” 241–242, 251; Loveluck, Northwest Europe, 124–142. 208. Kerth, Ettel, and Obst, “Fleischnahrung”; Ettel, “Frühmittelalterlicher Burgenbau,” esp. 46–48; Loveluck, Northwest Europe, 134. 209. Kerth and Landgraf, “Haustier- und Jagdwildreste”; Teegen, “Skeletons,” esp. 1374, 1389– 1393 (tables 3 and 4). 210. Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 870, p. 70; Grimm, “From Aachen,” 483–484. 211. Dvornik, Byzantine Missions, 94 and figure 13; Bleile, “Falconry,” 1359 (figure 37). 212. Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 309–310. 213. Karolus magnus et Leo papa, ll. 312–315, p.  374; Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2440–2447, p. 186; Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, p. 61. 214. Ermold le Noir, Poème, l. 2424, p. 184; Amalarius, Epistolae, no. 11, in Epistolae, 5:264. 215. Cummins, Hound, 41–44. Moreover, early medieval sources do not mention the later ritual of the curée—that is, rewarding the hunting dogs by allowing them to eat a mixture of blood, intestines, and bread from the emptied skin of the slain animal. 216. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.21, p. 92. On the subject of knives and butchering game in AngloSaxon England, see Sykes, “Deer.” See also Härke, “Knives,” 144–148. 217. Walahfrid, Carmina, no. 27, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2:382. 218. Marvin, Hunting Law, 110–111. 219. Fredegar, Chronicon, 2.57, p. 81; Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, pp. 60–61. 220. Graf, “Fürstliche Erinnerungskultur”; Pluskowski, “Communicating”; Kammel, “Gehörnt.” This scholarship assumes that the display of hunting trophies did not emerge until the central Middle Ages or later. The arms and armor of famous warriors might be displayed as well: Vita Gangulfi prima, c. 3, p. 159. 221. Loveluck, “Rural Settlement,” 241. 222. Grimm, “Bear-Skins.” 223. Collectio Sangallensis, no.  29, in Formulae Merowingici et Karolini aevi, 415. In the later Middle Ages, narwhal horns were sometimes thought to be unicorn horns, concerning which see Kammel, “Gehörnt,” 137–138. 224. For possible classical models, see Lepetz, “La Chasse,” 156–157 and figures 17 and 18. 225. Kahsnitz, “Goldschmidt-Addenda,” 48–49 (nos. 45–46); De Hond and Scholten, “Elk Antler.” For Louis’s tomb at Metz, see further Noga-Banai, “Sarcophagus.” 226. Ermenrich, Vita Hariolfi, c. 2, p. 16. 227. Probst, “Riesenhirsch von Ellwangen.” Chapter 6 1. Disputatio Pippini cum Albino. On this text, see Bayless, “Alcuin’s Disputatio,” with partial text, translation, and commentary. 2. Disputatio Pippini cum Albino, 142: A. . . . Fui in venatione cum aliis, in qua si quid cepimus, nihil nobiscum portavimus, et quod capere non potuimus, domum portavimus nobiscum.—P. Rusticorum est hec venatio.—A. Est. 3. Symphosius, Aenigmata, no. 30, in Variae Collectiones Aenigmatum Merovingicae Aetatis, 651: Est nova notarum cunctis captura ferarum, ut, si qui capias, et tu tibi ferre recuses et, si non capias, tecum tamen ipse reportes. Bayless, “Alcuin’s Disputatio,” 177 and n. 50, gives Symphosius’s answer (pediculus) as the solution to Alcuin’s riddle. 4. Concerning pedica traps, see Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 491 and n. 10. By the twelfth century, pediculus meant a kind of cell in which the prisoner’s feet were bound with chains: Du Cange, Glossarium, 6:245 (s.v. “pediculus”).

Notes to Pages 167–174 5. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters. 6. Rösener, “Adel und Jagd,” 140–143. 7. Brown, “Relics,” 230–235; Brown, Rise, 152. 8. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 1, p. 3 (the last Merovingians in ox carts); Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 1688–1691, p. 128 (a Frank named Coslus who was not from a prominent family but distinguished himself as a warrior); Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 882, p. 118 (commoners without military training). 9. Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, c. 43, p. 230; de Jong, Penitential State, 72–79. 10. Thegan, Gesta Hludowici imperatoris, c. 44, p. 232. 11. Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 223–270; Loveluck, “Problems,” 57–62. 12. Innes, State, esp. 82–85. 13. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.146, 10.184, vol. 1. 14. Gautier, “Manger de la viande,” at 286. Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 239–241, distinguishes between the Volksjagd and the Königsjagd. 15. Spiess, “Herrschaftliche Jagd.” 16. On the rural economy, see Wickham, “Pastoralism and Underdevelopment”; Verhulst, Carolingian Economy, esp. 29–84. 17. Montanari, Culture of Food, 29–33, 46–47; Gautier, “Manger de la viande.” In medieval England, the lower social classes ate more beef and mutton and less pork and game: Sykes, “From Cu.” 18. Newfield, “Contours.” 19. Lex Ribuaria, c. 79, pp. 128–129; Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 71, p. 108. 20. Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 183–198; Squatriti, Landscape; Hoffmann, Environmental History, 181–195. 21. Reuter, “Insecurity of Travel,” 53–58, 60–61; Brown, Rise, 482–486. For a woodland demon ( faunus), see Waltharius, l. 763, 38–39. 22. Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 486–491. 23. Pactus legis Salicae, cc. 7.9–10, 27.27–28, pp. 41, 106–107; Capitula legi Salicae addita, c. 119, p. 264. For Latin terminology, see Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 491. 24. Digesta, 9.2.28, in Corpus Iuris Civilis, 1:128. 25. Liber constitutionum, c. 72, pp. 96–97. 26. Lex Ribuaria, c. 73(70).2, p. 124. 27. Lex Saxonum, cc. 56, 58, pp. 31–32; Lex Thuringorum, c. 59, p. 66. 28. Edictus Rothari, cc. 310–312, p. 72. 29. Richer, Histories, 4.83, vol. 2: Books 3–4, pp. 378–381. 30. Adomnán, Life of St. Columba, 53–65. 31. He authored a decree known as the Law of Innocents that aimed to protect women, children, peasants, and churchmen from violence and war at the hands of the power ful: Adomnán, Life of St. Columba, 51–52. 32. Adomnán, Vita sancti Columbae, 2.37, pp.  148–150; Adomnán, Life of St.  Columba, 2.37, pp. 185–187 (and 337n304 for traps in early Irish laws). 33. Adomnán, Life of St. Columba, 2.37, pp. 185–186 (modified); Adomnán, Vita sancti Columbae, 2.37, p. 149. 34. Adomnán, Life of St.  Columba, 2.37, p.  187 (modified); Adomnán, Vita sancti Columbae, 2.37, p. 150. 35. Capitulare de villis, c. 45, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87. 36. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapadosis, 1.26, 5.32, in Opera, 22, 150. 37. Suetonius, Augustus, c. 83, in Lives of the Caesars, 1:248–249. 38. Augustine, De quantitate animae, 21.36, p. 175. Augustine lamented that, as he grew older, his long hours of studying caused him to lose the youthful fitness that had enabled him to walk for miles in the countryside while fowling. 39. Waltharius, ll. 1424–1426, 1434–1438, p. 68. 40. Waltharius, ll. 419–425, pp. 22–23 (modified). 41. Waltharius, ll. 272–273, pp. 16–17 (modified). 42. Annales Palidenses, s.a. 924, in Scriptores, 16:61. 43. Riculf of Soissons, Capitula, c. 14, in Capitula episcoporum, 2:106.



Notes to Pages 174–181 44. Frothar, Epistolae, no. 32, in Epistolae, 5:297–298. 45. Avitus of Vienne, Homiliae, no. 6, pp. 108–110; Avitus of Vienne, Letters, pp. 381–383 and 382n2; Sidonius, Letters: Books 3–9, 7.1.3, pp.  288–289; Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 2.34, 6.21, pp. 83, 289; Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 850, pp. 40–41. 46. Fredegar, Chronicon, 3.13, p. 97; Alcuin, Carmina, no. 49, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:262; Theodulf, Carmina, no. 50, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:550–551. 47. Rabanus Maurus, De universo, 8.1, cols. 223B– C; borrowing from Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.2.23–24, vol. 2. 48. Liber constitutionum, c. 46.1–4, pp. 76–77. The law went on to say that if the person took these precautions, then he would not be liable if a person were injured or killed. For a Visigothic parallel, see Liber iudiciorum sive Lex Visigothorum, cc. 8.4.22–23, pp. 340–342. 49. Capitulare Aquisgranense, c. 9, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 171; Capitulare missorum de exercitu promovendo, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 137; Halsall, Warfare, 93–95. 50. Capitulare Aquisgranense, c. 10, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 171. Concerning slingers, see Bachrach, Early Carolingian Warfare, 102–103. 51. Paschasius Radbertus, Epitaphium Arsenii, c. 1, p. 29; Leyser, “Early Medieval Canon Law,” 57. 52. Lex Ribuaria, c. 40.11, pp. 94–95. 53. Capitula legibus addenda, c. 8, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 282. 54. Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 878, p. 92. 55. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 6.21, p. 289. 56. Abbo, Bella Parisiacae urbis, bk. 2, ll. 496–499, p. 112. The theory that this young man was not a noble is suggested by the fact that he was not serving in Odo’s army. 57. Giese, “Legal Regulations,” 491–493; Dobiat, “Cervus domesticus,” 93; Grimm and Schmölcke, “Results,” 623 (figure 2) and 627. 58. Kerth, Ettel, and Obst, “Fleischnahrung”; Ettel, “Frühmittelalterlicher Burgenbau,” 46– 48; Loveluck, Northwest Europe, 134. 59. Kerth and Landgraf, “Haustier- und Jagdwildreste.” 60. Grimm, “From Aachen,” 487–490. 61. Sigehard of St.-Maximin, Ex miraculis sancti Maximini, c. 14, pp. 232–233; cited by Giese, “Evidence of Falconry,” 1488n24. 62. Gregory of Tours, Miracles of the Martyr Julian, c. 16, in Gregory of Tours, Lives and Miracles, 340–343. 63. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 121–148, pp. 30–32. 64. Theodulf, Carmina, no. 10, in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 1:465. 65. Council of Troyes, c. 35, in Concilia, 5:122. 66. Urkunden Otto I, no. 131, in Urkunden Konrad I., 211. 67. Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, no. 11, 1:35; Mischke, “Kapitularienrecht,” 85–86. 68. Das älteste Traditionsbuch des Klosters Mondsee, nos. 58, 104, pp. 160, 208. 69. Pippini capitulare Italicum, c. 17, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 211. 70. Digesta, 9.2.29, p. 160; Pactus legis Salicae, cc. 7.9–10, 27.27–28, pp. 41, 106–107; Capitula legi Salicae addita, c. 119, p. 264; Lex Ribuaria, c. 73(70).2, p. 124; Edictus Rothari, cc. 310–311, p. 77. 71. Dutton, “Charlemagne,” 63–67. 72. Ritvo, “Edging,” 18. 73. Pluskowski, Wolves; Jordan, “Count Robert’s ‘Pet’ Wolf,” esp. 408–411. 74. Pastoureau, L’Ours, 11. 75. Capitulare Aquisgransense, c. 8, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 171 and n. 3. Luparius could mean both “wolf hunter” and “wolf hound,” but only the former makes sense here: Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 1:813 (s.v. “luparius”). 76. Capitulare de villis, c. 69, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 89. 77. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.184, vol. 1. 78. Ekkehard IV, Casus Sancti Galli, c. 48, pp. 108–111. These servile property managers perhaps belonged to an unfree class in German society known as ministeriales: Reuter, Germany, 231–232. 79. Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. 15, pp. 42–43; Spiess, “Herrschaftliche Jagd,” 236–237. 80. Spiess, “Herrschaftliche Jagd,” 234–238. 81. Capitulare de villis, cc. 36, 62, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86, 88–89; Capitulare Aquisgranense, cc. 18–19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 172. 82. Capitulare missorum generale, c. 39, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 98.

Notes to Pages 181–186 83. Urkunden Friedrichs I., no. 25, c. 14, 1:44; Speiss, “Herrschaftliche Jagd,” 237–238. 84. Einhard, Epistolae, no. 47, in Epistolae, 5:133; Innes, State, 133. Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, 2.23, 2:90–95, criticized royal legislation (lex mundi) that imposed such high penalties for poaching. See Chapter 7. 85. See the entry “homo pro vassalus” in the index of Epistolae, 5:669. 86. Einhard’s language recalls Gregory’s report that Guntram regretted having executed his chamberlain Chundo “for such a trifling offense” (hunting in a royal silva): Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 10.10, p. 494. 87. Capitulare missorum generale, c. 39, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 98: ut in forestes nostras feramina nostra nemine furare audeat. 88. Scott, Weapons, esp. 35, 265–266, 291. 89. Notitia Arnonis und Breves notitiae, c. 8.1, p. 82. 90. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 53–85, pp. 23–26. 91. Capitularia Aquisgranense, c. 8, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 171. 92. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 86–122, pp. 26–30. 93. Grimm, “From Aachen,” 488. 94. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 10.282, vol. 1; Liber constitutionum, c.16.3, p. 55. 95. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, c. 5, pp.  64–67; Lindner, Geschichte des deutschen Weidwerks, 441–442. 96. MacDonald and Barrett, Mammals, 233–235. 97. Samsonowicz, “Falconry,” 1497. 98. Chantinne, Mignot, and Vanmechelen, Le Premier Moyen Âge, 47–49. 99. Notitia Arnonis und Breves notitiae, c. 7, p. 96. See also Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 84, pp. 120–122. 100. Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 105, p. 231. 101. Capitulare de villis, c. 36, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 86. 102. Grimm, “From Aachen,” 487–488. 103. Airlie, “Bonds,” 192–193. 104. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12, in Lives and Miracles, 176–187. 105. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 5.12, pp. 206–207. 106. Aelfric, Colloquy, ll. 53–85, pp. 23–26. 107. Airlie, “Bonds,” 192. 108. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 24, p. 29. 109. Capitulare de villis, c. 47, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 87. 110. Stafford, Queens, 93–114. 111. Grimm, “From Aachen,” 479–493. 112. Karoli ad Pippinum filium epistola, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 211–212. For AngloSaxon parallels, see English Historical Documents, nos. 83, 87, pp. 474–475, 480–481. 113. Depreux, Prosopographie, no. 117; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 7. 114. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 20, p. 342. 115. Airlie, “Aristocracy,” 105–106. 116. Einhard, Epistolae, no. 41, in Epistolae, 5:130–131; Goldberg, “Popular Revolt,” 486–487. 117. Nelson, “Women.” 118. Karoli ad Pippinum filium epistola, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 211–212. 119. Urkunden Karlmanns, no. 25, in Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, 322; Urkunden der burgundischen Rudolfinger, no. 10, 108–109. 120. Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, 4:454. 121. Lorenz, “Königsforst,” esp. 269, 275. 122. Capitulare Aquisgranense, cc. 18–19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 172. 123. Capitulare de villis, c. 10, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 84. 124. Urkunden der Merowinger, no. 173, pp. 430–431. 125. Urkunden Ludwigs des Kindes, no. 4, in Urkunden Zwentibolds und Ludwigs des Kindes, 101. 126. E.g., a royal forester who stole a horse: Vita Filiberti, c. 16, p. 593. 127. Bates, “West Francia,” 406; Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, 1; Bouchard, Those of My Blood, 22–23. 128. Formulae imperiales, no. 43, in Formulae Merowingici et Karolini aevi, 319–320; Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, appendix 1, no. F 43, 2:1201. See further Innes, State, 142–143; Rio, Legal Practice, 132–137.



Notes to Pages 186–194 129. For Louis’s itinerary, see Urkunden Ludwigs des Frommen, nos. 213–214, 1:525–529. 130. In 817, 821, 825, 831, 834, 836: Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” appendix. 131. Hincmar, Vita Remigii episcopi Remensis, cc. 17, 27, pp. 309, 323. On this text, which Hincmar seems to have penned after 877, see Wallace-Hadrill, “History.” 132. Hincmar, Vita Remigii episcopi Remensis, c. 27, p. 323. Chapter 7 1. Ewig, “Milo”; Wallace-Hadrill, Frankish Church, 137; Wormald, “Bede,” 52; Innes, State, 175; Fouracre, Age, 124, 133; Wickham, Inheritance of Rome, 184–185, 189. 2. McKitterick, “England,” 75. 3. Gesta Treverorum, cc. 24–25, in Scriptores, 8:161–162. 4. Hincmar, Vita Remigii, prologue, 251, criticized Milo but did not mention a hunting death. The report of Milo’s death perhaps resulted from the conflation by the author of the Gesta Treverorum of two independent details found in Boniface’s letter collection: his explicit criticism of Milo as a bishop and his complaint to the pope that certain Frankish bishops were hunters and soldiers: Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, nos. 50 and 87, pp. 83, 198. Nevertheless, Ewig, “Milo,” 198, concludes, “daß er ein leidenschaftlicher Jäger war.” 5. Lutterbach, “Die für Kleriker bestimmten Verbote.” See further Prinz, Klerus und Krieg, 83–84; Guyon, “De la chasse”; Dusil, “Falconry,” esp. 510–512. 6. De Jong, “Empire as Ecclesia”; de Jong, “Charlemagne’s Church.” 7. Noble, “Secular Sanctity”; Stone, “ ‘In What Way?’ ”; Stone, Morality; Stone, “Waltharius.” 8. Airlie, “Anxiety of Sanctity”; Nelson, “Monks.” 9. Nelson, “Monks,” 130–131 and n. 30; Constable, “Monks.” 10. Synodus Francofurtensis, c. 6, in Concilia, 1:74. Others envisioned Christian society as comprising of three distinct orders (clergy, monastics, and laity): Rabanus Maurus, De universo, 4.5, col. 91B; Constable, “Monks,” 328, 331. See Van Rhijn, Shepherds, 51–55. 11. For the complex relationship between the medieval Church and hunting, see Galloni, Il cervo e il lupo, 107–126; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 109–124; Moro, “La caccia in età carolingia”; Giese, “Gebell im Kloster.” 12. De Jong, “Charlemagne’s Church,” 124. 13. Gregory the Great, Book of Pastoral Rule, part 2, pp. 49–85. 14. The Rule of St. Benedict, c. 39, pp. 138–139, prohibits monks from eating quadrupeds. 15. Concilium Agathense (a. 506), c. 55, in Concilia Galliae a. 314–a. 506, 226. 16. Concilium Epaonense (a. 517), c. 4, in Concilia Galliae a. 511–a. 695, 25. 17. Concilium Matisconense (a. 585), c. 13, in Concilia Galliae a. 511–a. 695, 245. See further Kreiner, “About the Bishop,” 348. 18. Regula Ferrioli, c. 34, p. 142. 19. For the Carolingian reforms, see Wallace-Hadrill, Frankish Church, 258–303; McKitterick, Frankish Church; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 306–320; Brown, Rise, 446–452; de Jong, “Charlemagne’s Church”; de Jong, Penitential State, 112–147; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 110–153. 20. Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 50, p. 83. 21. Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, no. 51, pp. 86–92. 22. Karlmanni principis capitulare, preface, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 24–25. 23. Karlmanni principis capitulare, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 25. 24. Karlmanni principis capitulare, c. 2, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 25. A few years later, Boniface reiterated this same decree at another synod, adding that God’s servants likewise were not to carry weapons or wear ostentatious or military attire: Concilium in Francia habitum anno 747, in Concilia, 2.1:47. 25. Karlmanni principis capitulare, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 25. 26. See also Boniface and Lull, Epistulae, nos. 83, 92, pp. 186, 211. 27. Pippini principis capitulare Suessionense, c. 3, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 29. After becoming king, Pippin renewed the clerical prohibition on carry ing arms, but he did not revisit the issue of hunting: Capitulare Vermeriense, c. 16, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 44. 28. Karoli magni capitulare primum, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 44–46; McKitterick, Charlemagne, 83–84. 29. Karoli magni capitulare primum, c. 3, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 45.

Notes to Pages 195–200 30. Lutterbach, “Die für Kleriker bestimmten Verbote,” 164–166. 31. Duplex legationis edictum, c. 30, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 64. See also Capitulare missorum generale, c. 19, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 95; Capitulare Aquisgranense, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 170. 32. Giese, “Gebell im Kloster,” 113–114. 33. Concilium Moguntinense anno 813, c. 14, in Concilia, 2.1:264–265; Concilium Turnonense anno 813, c. 8, in Concilia, 2.1:287; Concilium Aquisgranense anno 816, c. 145, in Concilia, 2.1:220; Capitulare Mantuanum primum, c. 6, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 195; Concilium Romanum a. 826, c. 12, in Concilia, 2.2:573; Council of Mainz, c. 13, in Concilia, 3:168–169 (quoting from the 813 synods of Mainz and Tours); Synodus Papiensis, c. 4, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 117. 34. Halitgar, Penitential, c. 52, in Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, 244. 35. Admonitio generalis, c. 79, pp. 230–233; Duplex legationis edictum, c. 17, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 63. 36. Capitula de causis diversis, c. 1, in Capitularia regum Francorum 1, 135. 37. Van Rhijn, Shepherds, 171–212, 217. 38. Capitula episcoporum, 1:20 (c. 17), 38 (cc. 4, 6), 55 (c. 5), 56 (c. 11), 112 (c. 13), 187 (c. 1), 190 (c. 10), 191 (cc. 16–17), 213 (c. 11), 224 (c. 17), 247–248 (c. 19); Capitula episcoporum, 2:41–42 (c. 14), 52 (c. 20), 94 (c. 4), 138 (c. 50), 150 (c. 108), 151 (c. 113), 233–234 (c. 10); Capitula episcoporum, 3:53 (cc. 5–6), 66 (c. 6), 86 (cc. 3, 6), 97 (c. 3), 125 (c. 9), 140 (c. 23), 226–227 (cc. 17–19), 280 (c. 46). 39. Radulf of Bourges, Capitulary, c. 19, in Capitula episcoporum, 1:248; Agobard of Lyon, Epistolae, no. 11, in Epistolae, 5:203. 40. Capitula episcoporum, 1:69 (c. 24), 235 (c. 2); Capitula episcoporum, 3:136 (c. 6), 185 (c. 5), 240–241 (c. 8), 298 (c. 93); Lutterbach, “Die für Kleriker bestimmten Verbote,” 160–162. Otto II later lamented that the Bavarian monastery of Tegernsee had fallen under the control of laymen who polluted the sacred space by allowing their dogs to roam free within its buildings: Urkunden Ottos II., no. 192, p. 220. 41. Agobard of Lyon, Epistolae, no. 2, in Epistolae, 5:156 (c. 9). 42. Noble, Charlemagne, 242–243 (modified); Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 19, pp. 334–337. 43. De Jong, Penitential State, 83. 44. Noble, Charlemagne, 255–256 (modified); Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 28, p. 378; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 24. 45. Noble, Charlemagne, 119; de Jong, Penitential State, 89. Ermold’s clerical status is questioned but not resolved by Bobrycki, “Nigellus,” 162–163. 46. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2636–2643, p. 200. Ermold also refers to the “wicked deeds of my crime” (delicti gesta nefanda mei): l. 43, p. 6. 47. De Jong, Penitential State, 89; Noble, Images, 287–294; Noble, Charlemagne, 125. 48. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2016–2019, p. 154. Concerning this passage, see Bobrycki, “Nigellus,” 170–171. 49. Gratian, Decretum, Distinction 34, cols. 125–126; Nicholai I papae epistolae variae, no. 116, in Epistolae, 6:631–633. 50. Ardo, Vita Benedicti abbatis Anianensis, c. 25, p. 210. 51. Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium, c. 11, p. 34. 52. Folcwin, Gesta abbatum sancti Bertini, cc. 47–48, in Scriptores, 13:614–615; Liudprand of Cremona, Historia Ottonis, c. 10, in Opera, p. 167. 53. Annales Xantenses, s.a. 871, p. 29. 54. Venantius Fortunatus, Vita sancti Albini, c. 28, p. 31. 55. Ermold le Noir, Poème, ll. 2446–2449, p. 186. 56. Recueil des Actes Charles II le Chauve, nos. 277–278, 2:120–123. 57. Recueil des actes d’Eudes, no. 14, pp. 65–67 (at 67). 58. Eigil, Vita Sturmi, c. 18, p. 374. 59. Notitia Arnonis, cc. 3.10, 4.2, and Breves notitiae, c. 7, pp. 74, 90–92, 96. For another fishing treaty, see Salzburger Urkundenbuch, 898–899 (no. 3). 60. Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 184, p. 285. Otto II and Otto III confirmed this forgery: Urkunden Ottos II., nos. 165, 275, pp. 186, 319; and Ottos III., no. 1, in Urkunden Ottos II., 394. 61. E.g., the eleventh-century bishops of Constance had their foresters provide game for their table: Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. 15, pp. 42–43. For the monastery of Tegernsee, see Giese, “Gebell im Kloster,” 109–130.



Notes to Pages 201–206 62. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, nos. 29, 87, pp. 39, 125. 63. Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, p. 256. 64. Rule of Saint Benedict, c. 39, p. 138. 65. Flodoard, Historia Remensis ecclesiae, 3.26, p. 332. Charles the Fat made restitution to the archbishopric of Trier for damage that huntsmen in a nearby royal forest did to villages belonging to the archbishopric: Urkunden Otto I., no. 110, in Urkunden Konrad I., 193–194. 66. Traditionen des Klosters Tegernsee, no. 4, pp. 4–5. 67. Urkunden Zwentibolds, no. 13, pp. 39–41; Urkunden Ludwigs des Kindes, no. 58, in Urkunden Zwentibolds, 185–187; Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, no. 81, pp. 180–181. See also Urkunden Karls III., no. 89, p. 147; Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 115, pp. 170–171. 68. Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 12, pp. 20–21. 69. Urkunden Konrad I., no. 3, pp. 3–4. 70. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapadosis, 3.14, in Opera, p. 80. 71. Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 2.34, p. 83. 72. Frothar, Epistolae, no. 1, in Epistolae, 5:277; Dutton, “Charlemagne,” 63–64. 73. Frothar, Epistolae, no. 32, in Epistolae, 5:297–298. 74. De Jong, “Internal Cloisters.” 75. Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. 135, p. 262. 76. Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, c. 136, p. 266. 77. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 19, in Epistolae, 4:55. In another letter (no. 114, p. 168), Alcuin urged the archbishop of York to associate himself with pious men who eschewed ostentatious attire, drunkenness, lewd entertainments, and “whooping through the fields chasing foxes.” 78. Schwedler, “Biblische Jäger.” 79. On this topic, see Shimahara, “La rivalité entre frères.” 80. Jerome, Tractatus de Psalmis, in Opera, 2:127. 81. Ambrose, Expositio Psalmi CXVIII, Psalm 119, pp. 176–177. 82. Augustine, Enarratio in Psalmos, Psalm 102.13, p.  1463; Augustine, Confessions, 10.36, pp. 212–213. 83. Maximus of Turin, Sermones, no. 36.2, pp. 141–142. 84. Maximus of Turin, Sermones, no. 36.3, pp. 142–143. 85. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 117–124; Kühn, “Historische Gestalt”; Schlieker, “Das Tollwut- und Jagdpatronat”; Dierkens, “Guérisons et hagiographie”; Schwedler, “Biblische Jäger”; Galloni, “Sant’Uberto.” Cf. Boureau, “Placido tramite.” 86. Stone, “ ‘In What Way?’ ” 87. Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 22–26. 88. Stone, Morality, 36–42; Romig, Be a Perfect Man, 40–42; Veronese, “Contextualizing Marriage.” 89. Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, 2.23, 2:90–105. 90. Notably, Jonas omitted any reference to hunting in his mirror of princes for Pippin I: Jonas of Orléans, Le Métier de roi. 91. Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, 2.23, 2:90–95. 92. Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, 2.23, 2:98–105 (also including an excerpt attributed to Cyprian about the sins of gambling). Augustine’s critique of venatores is missing from the second, later, version of his treatise: Jonas of Orléans, Instruction des laïcs, introduction, 1:99–101; and 2:98n2. Jonas’s concern about excessive affection for dogs may provide the context for the strange case mentioned by Rabanus of a man accused of having intercourse with a bitch “against nature.” One wonders if this man simply allowed his favorite dog to sleep in his bed. In this case (as in the case of a man who superstitiously ate the liver of a dog that had bitten him to avoid rabies) Rabanus prescribed fasting and penance: Rabanus Maurus, Epistolae, no. 41, in Epistolae, 5:479–480. 93. Rabanus Maurus, Commentariorum in Genesim libri quatour, 2.9, cols. 528–529, at 528B. 94. Hincmar, First Capitulary, c. 14, in Capitula episcoporum, 2:41 and n. 65; Walter, “Der Bär und der Erzbischof ”; and generally Dinzelbacher, “Masken.” 95. Alcuin, Epistolae, no. 244, in Epistolae, 4:392; Gregory the Great, Grégoire le Grand: Dialogues, 1.9.8, 1:82. 96. Hincmar, De divortio Hlotharii regis, responsio 15, p. 208. Stone and West, Divorce of King Lothar, 240, translate truncus as “tree trunk” rather than “offertory box.” Cf. Niermeyer, van de Kieft, and Burgers, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, 2:1366 (s.v. “truncus”).

Notes to Pages 206–212 97. Van den Abeele, “Le faucon sur la main.” 98. Regino of Prüm, Sendhandbuch, 2.5.44, p. 244; Burchard of Worms, Corrector sive medicus, c. 54, p. 644. 99. Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 178–179 (cc. 32–33). 100. Leyser, “Early Medieval Canon Law,” esp. 57–60 and 70. For one example, see Concilia, 5:568 (c.1). 101. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.17, p. 86; Vita Gangulfi prima, cc. 2–3, pp. 16–18. 102. Munich, Clm 1461, fol. 46v (Fulda, first quarter of the ninth century). One of the earliest manuscripts of Pliny’s complete letter collection comes from Fulda and dates to the early ninth century: Florence, Laurentius Mediceus 47.36 (second quarter of the ninth century). 103. Hincmar quoted a passage from Nemesianus’s Cynegetica to insult an adversary by saying that reading his convoluted prose was like chasing a wild animal across the countryside: Hincmar, Opusculum LV capitulorum, in Concilia, 4, supplement 2:247. See further Anderson, Hunting, 129– 135; Williams, Eclogues. 104. Bischoff, “Hof bibliothek Karls des Großen,” 150 and n. 8; and generally Bischoff, “Court Library of Louis the Pious,” 76–92. 105. On this topic, see Goldberg, “ ‘Hunt Belongs to Man.’ ” 106. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:633–635; Goldberg, “ ‘Hunt Belongs to Man,’ ” 33–41. 107. When villagers found thousands of birds mysteriously dead in a field, they summoned the local bishop to identify which birds they could eat and which were prohibited: Theodulf, Carmina, no. 72.3 (ll. 185–190), in Poetae 1:568. In general, see Meens, “Eating Animals.” 108. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:633. 109. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:634. 110. Ad epistolas variorum supplementum, no. 10, in Epistolae, 5:634–635. 111. Hincmar, Epistolae, no. 179, in Epistolae, 8:167–172. 112. Hincmar, Epistolae, no. 179, in Epistolae, 8:170, noted that Louis requested a literal and grammatical answer to this puzzle (iuxta litteram) rather than an allegorical or mystical explanation. On Louis the German’s intellectual interests, see Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 32–39, 165–167. 113. Hincmar, Epistolae, no. 179, in Epistolae, 8:168. Hincmar thought that coots tasted like hare: Hincmar, Epistolae, no.  179, in Epistolae, 8:169 (following Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.7.53, vol. 2); Svenson, Birds of Europe, 126. Hincmar went on to discuss a number of other birds related to falconry such as hawks, eagles, and kites. 114. Rabanus Maurus, Epistolae, no. 37, in Epistolae, 5:473. 115. Rabanus Maurus, De universo, 8.6, col. 258A–B. Here Rabanus departed from Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 12.7.57, vol. 2, which provided much of Rabanus’s information on hawks and falcons. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, 31.11–13, 2:1557–1559, associated hawks and herodii. See further Giese, “ ‘Aucupatorium Herodiorum,’ ” 412–413, n. 20. 116. For Carolingians’ interest in exegesis, see de Jong, “Empire as Ecclesia.” 117. Jerome, Tractatus de Psalmis, Psalm 90, in Opera, 127. Concerning medieval fishing, see Hoffmann, Environmental History, 192–195; Hack, “König als Fischer.” 118. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 17.4, in Lives and Miracles, 251; Gregory of Tours, Liber in gloria confessorum, c. 5, p. 302; Gregory of Tours, Historiae, 8.10, pp. 376–377; Van Dam, Saints and Their Miracles, 260n73; Murray, Companion to Gregory of Tours, 377. 119. Gregory of Tours, Libri IV de virtutibus sancti Martini episcopi, prologue, 2.16, in Lives and Miracles, 424–425, 562–565. 120. Gregory of Tours, Liber in gloria confessorum, c. 39, p. 322. 121. Ardo, Vita sancti Benedicti Anianensis, c. 24, pp. 209–210. 122. Hack, “König als Fischer,” 325. 123. Guizard-Duchamp, Les terres du sauvage, 103–238. 124. Alexander, Saints and Animals. 125. For example, see Athanasius, Life of Anthony, cc. 9, 12, 15, 23, 52, and Jerome, Life of Paul of Thebes, cc. 7–9, 15, in Early Christian Lives, 15–17, 19, 24, 41, 78–79, 83. See further Miller, In the Eye, 119–154. 126. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12.1, in Lives and Miracles, 178–179 (modified). 127. Gregory of Tours, Liber vitae patrum, c. 12.2–12.3, in Lives and Miracles, 178–187.



Notes to Pages 212–218 128. Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 3.15, pp. 128–130. 129. Jonas of Bobbio, Life of Saint Columbanus, 1.8, 1.15, 1.17, 1.27, pp. 113 and n. 127, 126–127, 129–130, 161–162; O’Hara, “Columbanus,” 158. For other stories about holy men and wild animals, see Guizard, “Les accidents,” 293–294. 130. Flodoard, Historia Remensis ecclesiae, 2.3, pp. 137–138. 131. Walahfrid Strabo, Vita sancti Galli confessoris, 1.8, p. 290; Vita Menelei abbatis Menatensis, 2.4, pp. 150–151. See further O’Hara, “Columbanus,” 161–167. Chapter 8 1. Folcwin, Gesta abbatum sancti Bertini, c. 102, in Scriptores, 13:626. On this passage, see Koziol, Politics of Memory, 330–331 and n. 57, 464. 2. Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 943, p. 87 and n. 1. For Herbert II’s death, see Lauer, Le Règne de Louis IV, 94 and 292. 3. For Charles the Fat’s reign and the events of 888, see MacLean, Kingship and Politics; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 419–435. 4. Koziol, “Is Robert I in Hell?,” 233. See further Koziol, “Political Culture.” 5. Reuter, “Ottonian Ruler Representation,” 140–141. However, Reuter’s brief characterization of east and west Frankish royal hunting is not persuasive. 6. Schneidmüller, Karolingische Tradition; Dunbabin, France in the Making, 36–37; Nelson, “Rulers and Government,” 107–112; Koziol, “Conquest”; MacLean, “Cross-Channel Marriage”; MacLean, Ottonian Queenship. 7. Guizard, “Les accidents de chasse,” emphasizes the connection between hunting mishaps and the loss of God’s favor. Geary, “Feasting,” 79, stresses the importance of “painstakingly constructed” narratives of ceremonial harmony because of the ever-present threat of hatred, treason, and infidelity. 8. Zimmermann, “West Francia,” 443–444, uses the phrase imitatio regis to describe the quasiroyal ideology of the west Frankish princes. 9. Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 12; Nelson, Charles the Bald, 241–242. 10. Guizard, “Les accidents de chasse,” 296. 11. Fredegar, Chronicon, cc. 39–40, p. 186. 12. The one Carolingian king who we know did perish from injuries received during a boar hunt, Carloman II, died in early December 884 (see below). 13. Nelson, “Tale of Two Princes.” 14. For Charles the Young’s injury and the events of 864, see Goldberg, “Man of Notable Good Looks.” For other interpretations, see Nelson, Charles the Bald, 209; Halsall, Warfare and Society, 118; Innes, “Place of Discipline,” 67; Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, 296– 297; Giese, “Kompetitive Aspekte,” 272–273, 282; Skinner, “ ‘Better Off Dead’?” 35–37. 15. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, p. 105. 16. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 863, p. 104. 17. Recueil des Actes Charles II le Chauve, no. 258, 2:81–86. 18. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 870, p. 101; Epistolarum Fuldensium fragmenta, nos. 33 and 36, in Epistolae, 5:532; Goldberg, “Man of Notable Good Looks,” examines this evidence. 19. Charles had planned to divide his kingdom between Louis the Stammerer and Charles the Young: Nelson, Charles the Bald, 173–174, 209. 20. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 865, 866, pp. 117–118, 130. 21. Caroli regis epistola, no. 9, in Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, col. 735. 22. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, pp. 114–115. For another hunting misadventure of Louis II of Italy, see Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 57, pp. 204–207. 23. We have already noted this theme in Ermold’s second verse epistle to Pippin of Aquitaine: Ermold le Noir, Ad Pippinum regem II, ll. 41–46, in Poème, 220. 24. Aird, “Frustrated Masculinity,” esp. 48. 25. For the west Frankish kingdom during the long tenth century, see Dunbabin, “West Francia”; Bates, “West Francia”; Zimmermann, “West Francia,” 420–455; Bull, France in the Central Middle Ages; Koziol, Politics of Memory. Standard works on the tenth-century west Frankish kings include Lauer, Robert Ier et Raoul de Bourgogne; Lauer, Le Règne de Louis IV; Lot, Les derniers Carolingiens. 26. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 879, 883, pp. 114, 120.

Notes to Pages 218–221 27. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 877, 878, 879, pp. 218 (Orville, Quierzy, Compiègne, Cuise), 222 (Orville), 230 (Herstal), 234 (Ardennes, Compiègne). 28. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 879, pp. 234–235; Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 216n5. 29. Annales Vedastini, s.a. 882, p. 52. 30. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 882, p. 246. 31. Annales Vedastini, s.a. 881, p. 49, report the Northmen sacking monasterium nostrum. See further MacLean, Kingship and Politics, 62. 32. Annales Vedastini, s.a. 875, 879–882, 884–886, pp. 41, 44–47, 51–53, 55–56, 60; MacLean, Kingship, 64–66. 33. Hincmar, De ordine palatii, cc. 4–5, pp. 62–67, 76–79. 34. On Boso’s rebellion, see MacLean, “Carolingian Response.” 35. Karlomanni capitula Compendii de rapinis promulgata and Karlomanni capitulare Vernense, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 370–375. Echoes of Hincmar’s De ordine palatii are found in the opening chapters of the Ver capitulary. 36. Karlomanni capitula Compendii de rapinis promulgata, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 370–371. 37. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 879, p. 240; Annales Vedastini, s.a. 882–884, pp. 52–55. 38. Annales Vedastini s.a. 882, p. 52. 39. Annales Vedastini s.a. 884, p. 55. 40. Charles the Bald had issued a capitulary at Bézu in the summer of 856: Primum missaticum ad Francos et Aquitanos directum, in Capitularia regum Francorum 2, 282–283. For a stay at Bézu in October 854 that probably included hunting, see Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, no. 168, 1:459–465. Nelson, Annals of St.-Bertin, 187 and n. 1, identifies Basiu as Bézu-St.-Eloi, ten miles south of Bézu-la-Forêt. 41. Annales Vedastini, s.a. 884, p. 56. The St.-Vaast chronicler left a lacuna in the manuscript, presumably because he did not know the specific date of Carloman’s death: Dümmler, Geschichte des ostfränkischen Reiches, 3:232 and n. 1; Recueil des actes de Louis II le Bègue, Louis III et Carloman II, liv–lv. 42. Recueil des actes de Louis II le Bègue, Louis III et Carloman II, no. 79, pp. 209–213. 43. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 884, pp. 121–122. The Annales Fuldenses (Mainz continuation), s.a. 884, pp. 101–102, distinguish between the popu lar rumor blaming the boar and the real truth (res vera). In the early eleventh century, Burchard of Worms, Corrector sive medicus, cc. 16–17, p. 634, decreased the prescribed penance for a man who accidentally killed someone while hunting. 44. Sykes, “Woods”; Oehrl, “Overview”; Poole, “Zooarchaeological Evidence”; Lacey, “Charter Evidence”; Almond, “Hunting.” On the Anglo-Saxon elite and hunting, see further Gillingham, “Thegns,” esp. 139–144; Bond, “Hunting”; Fleming, “New Wealth”; Gautier, “Game Parks”; Liddiard, “Deer Parks.” For Pictish and Welsh hunting, see Carrington, “Horseman”; Jenkins, “Hawk and Hound.” 45. Asser, De rebus gestis Aelfridi, c. 75, p. 58. 46. Wormald, “Age of Bede,” 142; Stafford, “Charles the Bald.” 47. Asser, De rebus gestis Aelfridi, c. 22, pp. 19–20. Here Asser echoed Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, which he knew: Alfred the Great, 254n139. When a Norwegian chieftain named Ohthere visited Alfred’s court, an English writer described with fascination the walruses Ohthere had hunted in the White Sea as well his wealth in the form of reindeer, walrus ivory, whale bone, and the skins of whale, seal, reindeer, marten, bear, and otter: The Voyages of Ohthere, in Somerville and McDonald, Viking Age, 2–4. Concerning Ohthere and hunting in Viking-Age Scandinavia, see Winroth, Age of the Vikings, 104, 110–113; Bang-Andersen, “Prehistoric Reindeer Hunting”; Indrelid, “ ‘Industrial’ Reindeer Hunting”; Sørensen, “Dogs”; Carstens, “On the Hunt”; Iversen, “Name of the Game!”; Oehrl, “Hunting.” 48. Asser, De rebus gestis Aelfridi, cc. 74–76, 55, 58–59. A later medieval library cata logue from Christ Church, Canterbury, lists a “book of King Alfred on the keeping of birds” (Liber Alvredi regis custodiendis avibus): Bischoff, “Älteste europäische Falkenmedizin,” 172 and n. 8. For a possible treatise on falconry by Harold Godwinson, see Haskins, “ ‘King Harold’s Books.’ ” 49. Asser, De rebus gestis Aelfridi, c. 68, p. 51. Asser based his report of Carloman’s death on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, s.a. 885, pp. 79, 81 (Peterborough manuscript), although he corrected Carloman’s name and the year.



Notes to Pages 221–225 50. Circa 886, Fulk sent Alfred a letter in which he thanked him for a recent gift of wolfhounds: Alfred the Great, 184–185, 331–333. On this letter, see Nelson, “. . . sicut olim gens Francorum . . . .” 51. Norwich, Short History, 157–158. 52. For speculation about Charles the Fat’s hunting activity in Italy, see MacLean, Kingship, 95. 53. Flodoard, Annales. On Flodoard as a historian, see Koziol, “Flothilde’s Visions”; Roberts, Flodoard of Rheims. 54. The classic work on the emergence of territorial princes in tenth-century west Francia is Dhondt, Études sur la naissance. 55. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.42, in Opera, 30–31; Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 889, p. 146. 56. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 903, p. 150; Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 945, p. 96. 57. Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 24, pp. 94–97. This source also reports that the nobles of Capua and Benevento tricked Emperor Louis II by locking the gates of their cities when he went hunting: Vita Basilii imperatoris, c. 57, pp. 204–207. 58. On Odo, see Schneider, “Odo”; Koziol, Politics of Memory, 81–84, 223–236. 59. Schramm and Mütherich, Denkmale, 95; Schneidmüller, Karolingische Tradition, 105–121. 60. Recueil des actes d’Eudes, no. 14, 65–67. 61. Koziol, Politics of Memory, 470. 62. Dunbabin, “West Francia,” 374; Glenn, Politics and History. 63. Richer, Histories, 1.14, vol. 1: Books 1–2, pp. 44–45. For Richer’s depiction of Charles the Simple, see Glenn, Politics and History, 205–214. 64. Schneidmüller, “ ‘Einfältigkeit’ Karls III.”; Schneidmüller, “Karl III.”; Koziol, Politics of Memory, 461–465. 65. Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 943, 945, 950, 959, pp. 88, 96, 127, 146; Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 903, p. 150; Recueil des actes de Louis IV, no. 4, pp. 8–13; Koziol, Politics of Memory, 549. 66. Airlie, “Palace of Memory,” 14–17; Schneidmüller, Karolingische Tradition, 101–105. 67. MacLean, “Palaces,” 297, 300. 68. Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, no. 90, p. 205. 69. Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, nos. 75, 96, pp. 169, 221–223. Louis IV later confirmed his father’s grant of hunting rights along the Oise to St.-Corneille, and he extended them further to the north as far as Margny-lès-Compiègne on the far side of the river: Recueil des actes de Louis IV, no. 4, pp. 11–12. 70. For the reign of Louis IV, see Lauer, Le Règne de Louis IV; Schwager, Graf Heribert II.; Brühl, “Ludwig IV.”; Koziol, Politics of Memory, 85–91, 252–259, 294–306; MacLean, “CrossChannel Marriage.” 71. As reported by the twelfth-century chronicler William of Malmesbury, Gesta regum Anglorum, 2.135, 1:218–221. On the possible accuracy and significance of William’s report, see MacLean, “Cross-Channel Marriage,” 31–32. 72. Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 945, p. 96. 73. Richer, Histories, 2.43, vol. 1: Books 1–2, pp. 260–261. 74. Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 951, p. 130. 75. Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 954, p. 138. Richer, Histories, 2.103, vol. 1: Books 1–2, pp. 374–375, based his report on Flodoard and gave a more dramatic account of Louis’s pursuit of the wolf. 76. For the transformations of royal forests in the later ninth and tenth centuries, see Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 106–114. 77. Louis the German made three or four such forest grants and Louis the Younger made (perhaps) one, while Lothar I, Lothar II, Pippin I of Aquitaine, Charles the Bald, and Louis the Stammerer are not reported to have made any: Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, nos. 1, 40, 67, 103, pp.  1, 52–54, 92–94, 149–150; Urkunden Ludwigs des Jüngeren, no.  15, in Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, 352–354. Louis II of Italy gave a Lombard gahagium to a vassal, and Carloman of Bavaria made two grants of Lombard gualdi: Urkunden Ludwigs II., no. 50, pp. 162–164; Urkunden Karlmanns, nos. 21, 27, in Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, 314–316, 325–327. However, they did occasionally confirm or restore earlier grants of forests, woodlands, and wilderness rights made by their predeces sors: Urkunden Lothars I., nos. 11, 77, pp. 74–76, 193–195; Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 92, 101, 108, 1:247–250, 268–269, 286–288; Urkunden Ludwigs II., nos. 31, 53, pp. 127–132, 170–171; Urkunden Karls III., nos. 34, 45, 134, pp. 57–58, 73–75, 213–215. The sons

Notes to Pages 226–229 and grandsons of Louis the Pious also made occasional grants of woodlands and woodland rights: Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, nos. 103, 115, pp. 149–150, 163–164; Charles the Bald: Recueil des actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 54, 58, 1:151–154, 163–166; Urkunden Lothars I., no. 22, pp. 91–93; Urkunden Karlmanns, nos. 4, 25, in Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, 289–290, 322–323; Urkunden Karls III., nos. 58, 84, 135, pp. 99–100, 135–137, 215–216. 78. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 147–149. 79. MacLean, “Palaces,” 304–312. 80. Dunbabin, “West Francia,” 383. 81. Brühl, “Ludwig IV.,” 50, 58–59. 82. Dunbabin, “West Francia,” 376–377. 83. Wickham, “Eu ropean Forests,” 161. 84. Bates, “West Francia,” 415–416; Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, 194. 85. Urkunden der burgundischen Rudolfinger, no. 10, pp. 108–109. 86. Cartulaire de Brioude, no. 66, p. 87. 87. Gautier, “Game Parks,” 56; Gowers, “996 and All That.” 88. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, History of the Norman Dukes, cc. 47, 70, 91, 94, pp. 69 (quote), 100, 122, 126. 89. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, s.a. 1086 [1087], pp.  220–221 (Peterborough manuscript). See futher Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 143–144; Darby, “Domesday Woodland,” 40–43; Semmler, “Forst,” 138–141; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 165–180; Marvin, Hunting Law, 46–81. 90. Sykes, “Zooarchaeology”; Sykes, “Impact,” esp. 168–169; Sykes, Norman Conquest. 91. Bates, “West Francia,” 403. In some cases west Frankish kings confirmed dubious earlier grants of forests, the charters of which allegedly had been destroyed in fires. For example, see Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V, no. 35, p. 87. 92. Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, nos. 9, 35, 61, 81, pp. 13–14, 74–76, 132–136, 181– 182. See also Recueil des actes de Louis II le Bègue, Louis III et Carloman II, nos. 65, 80, pp. 171, 213–214; Recueil des actes d’Eudes, no. 20, pp. 85–98. 93. Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V, nos. 25, 32, 33, pp. 61, 78–79, 82. 94. Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, nos. 75, 86, pp. 169, 192–196. 95. Recueil des actes de Robert Ier et de Raoul, no. 43, p. 169. 96. Annales Vedastini, s.a. 882, p. 51; Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 881, p. 118. 97. Richer, Histories, 3.71, vol. 2, Books 3–4, pp. 116–117. 98. Richer, Histories, 3.74, vol. 2: Books 3–4, pp. 120–123. 99. Urkunden Heinrichs II., nos. 380, 392, pp. 484–485, 504–505; Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 39 and n. 57. 100. For the east Frankish kingdom under the late Carolingians and Ottonians, see Reuter, Germany, 113–180; Müller-Mertens, “Ottonians”; Althoff, “Saxony.” 101. Annales de Saint-Bertin, s.a. 864, pp. 114–115. 102. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 880, 891, pp. 116, 137–138. 103. Collectio Sangallensis, no. 27, in Formulae Merowingici et Karolini aevi, 412. 104. Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 12, p. 21. By the later tenth century the bishops of Regensburg again were in possession of the game park, but they turned it into a monastery: Hauck, “Tiergärten,” 37 and n. 45. 105. Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 172, p. 261. 106. Urkunden Karlmanns, no. 25, in Urkunden Ludwigs des Deutschen, 322; Urkunden Arnolfs, no. 12, p. 21; Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, 4:454. 107. Concerning the authorship and sympathies of the Annals of Fulda, see Reuter, Annals of Fulda, 1–9; Goldberg, Strug gle for Empire, 14–15; MacLean, Kingship, 24–27. 108. Annales Fuldenses (Mainz continuation), s.a. 757, 870, 884, 886, pp. 7, 70, 101, 104. The Bavarian continuation of the Annales Fuldenses, which offers independent entries for the years 882– 901, does not mention hunting. 109. Annales Fuldenses (Mainz continuation), s.a. 886, p. 104. 110. MacLean, Kingship, 30–37, 39. 111. Airlie, “ ‘Sad Stories”; MacLean, “Insinuation”; MacLean, History, 1–53. 112. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 880, pp. 116–117. 113. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, preface, pp.  1–2; MacLean, History, 7–8; Offergeld, Reges Pueri, 518–641.



Notes to Pages 229–234 114. On this topic, see Goldberg and MacLean, “Royal Marriage.” 115. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 517–537, 755, 870, 884, 889, pp. 26, 45–46, 101, 121–122, 131–133, 146. Regino also copied the reports of Charlemagne’s three hunts from the Royal Frankish Annals, but he notably altered the language by referring to these outings as mere “games” (venationum ioci) and thus suggested that they were not central to the serious business of ruling: Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 802, 804, 805, pp. 63, 65. This is the only time Regino employed the term iocus in his Chronicle, which is in keeping with the work’s dark mood. 116. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 605–611, 612–631, 632–634, pp. 31–33. 117. Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 605–611, p. 31 (borrowed from Paul the Deacon’s Historia Langobardorum). Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, s.a. 517–537, p. 25, borrowed another story from Paul the Deacon about King Guntram that implied that rulers were better off patronizing the saints rather than hunting. 118. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 48, noted that he completed book one on May 30, 884, which means that he began the second book some time after that date. 119. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, 2.9, 2.13, 2.15, 2.17, pp. 60–61, 63–64, 76, 79–80, 86–87; Goldberg, “Louis the Pious,” 28–29. 120. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.8, pp. 60–61. 121. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 22, p. 27. 122. Concerning Notker’s account of Isembard, see Innes, “Memory”; Innes, “Property.” 123. Innes, “Property,” 304. 124. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.9, pp. 63–64. 125. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.15, 2.17, pp. 78–80, 86–87. 126. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.13, p. 76. 127. MacLean, Kingship, 201–204. 128. Althoff, “Saxony,” 288–292. 129. Althoff, “Widukind,” esp. 258–259; Althoff, “Saxony,” 290–291. 130. For Widukind’s emulation of Einhard, see Beumann, Widukind von Korvei, 45, 141–144; Reuter, “Ottonian Ruler Representation,” 136–137. 131. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, 1.39, p. 78. 132. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, 2.36, p.  118. Widukind added that, like Charlemagne, Otto wore the clothing of his people (habitus patrius) and refused foreign attire. 133. For the cultural significance of hair, see Dutton, “Charlemagne’s Mustache.” 134. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, 2.39–40, p. 122. 135. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 1, pp. 2–4. 136. E.g., Adalbert, Continuatio Reginonis, s.a. 964, in Regino of Prüm, Chronicon, 174; Vita  Mathildis reginae antiquior, c. 4, pp.  120–121 (echoing Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 30, pp. 34–35). 137. Squatriti, Complete Works, 3–37, offers an overview of Liudprand’s career and writings. 138. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.40–42, 1.44, in Opera, 29–32, at 31. 139. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 1.41, 1.44, in Opera, 29, 32. 140. Liudprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 3.22–23, 3.25, 6.5, in Opera, 82–85, 154–155. For additional hunting stories, see Liudprand, Antapodosis, 1.40–42, 2.34, 3.14, in Opera, 29–31, 53, 80. 141. Liudprand of Cremona, Legatio, cc. 3, 10, 40, in Opera, 177, 181 (quote), 196. 142. For Byzantine game parks, see Ševčenko, “Wild Animals.” 143. On this topic, see Goldberg, “Emperor’s Ass.” 144. Liudprand of Cremona, Legatio, c. 38, in Opera, 195. 145. Liudprand of Cremona, Legatio, cc. 40–41, in Opera, 196–198. 146. Liudprand of Cremona, Legatio, c. 41, in Opera, 197. 147. Müller-Mertens, “Ottonians,” 243, 248–249, 264–265. 148. MacLean, “Palaces,” 304–314. 149. Schulze, “Raum um den Harz.” We also hear of the Ottonians hunting in neighboring Thuringia, which also was under Ottonian control: Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, 3.40, p. 150. 150. Erdmann, “Beiträge”; Wille, “Zur Örtlichkeit”; Giese, “Continental Royal Seats,” 391–392. 151. Vita Mathildis reginae antiquior, c. 4, pp. 120–121; Lampert of Hersfeld, Annales, s.a. 1056, in Opera, 69. 152. Erdmann, “Beiträge,” 81; Giese, “Continental Royal Seats,” 391. 153. Urkunden Otto I., no. 1, in Urkunden Konrad I., 89–90; Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1:120–122.

Notes to Pages 234–244 154. For example, in 898 Zwentibold of Lotharingia gave the royal residence of Theux in the High Fens to the bishopric of Liège: Urkunden Zwentibolds, no. 24, pp. 61–62; Urkunden Ludwigs des Kindes, no.  57, in Urkunden Zwentibolds, 183–185 (confirmation). See further Fairon, “Les donations”; Müller-Kehlen, Ardennen, 55–61; Hermann and Schneider, Lotharingia; West, Reframing, 109–138. 155. Otto I gave forests to St.-Emmeram, Utrecht, Fulda, Salzburg, Chur, and Osnabrück: Urkunden Otto I., nos. 29, 62, 131, 202, 209, 302, in Urkunden Konrad I., 115–116, 143–144, 211–212, 281–282, 287–289, 417–418. Otto II did likewise for Trier, Magdeburg, and Fulda: Urkunden Ottos II., nos. 39, 90, 221, pp. 49–50, 104–105, 250–251. 156. Urkunden Zwentibolds, no. 13, pp. 39–41. 157. The one recorded example is Charlemagne’s grant to St.-Bertin: Urkunden Pippins, Karlmanns und Karls des Grossen, no. 191, pp. 256–257. 158. Urkunden Otto I., no. 62, in Urkunden Konrad I., 143–144. 159. Similarly, in 973 Otto II confirmed to the archbishopric of Cologne an earlier grant from a certain King Louis of hunting rights in extensive districts: “all wild animals on the properties listed below belonging [to the archbishopric], that is, both the jurisdiction and power of jurisdiction (bannum et potestas banni) over them that pertains to royal power”: Urkunden Ottos II., no. 50, pp. 59–60. 160. Urkunden Ottos III., nos. 9, 43, 73, 93, 154, 164, 233, 235, 243, 252, 358, 384, 418, in Urkunden Ottos II., 405–406, 443–444, 480–481, 504–505, 565–566, 576–577, 648, 651, 660–661, 668–669, 787–788, 812, 852–853. 161. For example, see Otto III’s grant of the silva near Burgbernheim to the bishopric of Würzburg: Urkunden Ottos III., no. 358, in Urkunden Ottos II., 787–788. The scribes of Henry II (1004– 1024) also employed the verb “to enforest,” although they admitted it was a colloquialism (ut rustice dicunt forestare): Urkunden Heinrichs II., no. 279, p. 484. 162. For example, see Urkunden Arnolfs, nos. 7, 42, 50, 61, 149, pp.  14, 61, 72, 89, 227–228; Urkunden Otto I., nos. 32, 126, 203, 213, 224, 245, 257, 260, 276, 293, 304, 305, 339, 367, 368, 369, 380, 397, in Urkunden Konrad I., 118, 208, 282, 295, 308, 352, 367, 371, 392, 410, 419, 420, 463, 504, 505, 507, 521, 540; Urkunden Ottos II., nos. 24, 32, 44, 47, 66, 71, 76, 105, 140, pp. 34, 42, 54, 57, 78, 87, 92, 119, 158. See also Schwineköper, “ ‘Cum aquis aquarumve decursibus,’ ” esp. 28, 32, 37–38, 47, 56. This expansion of rights associated with gifted properties apparently allowed the owner to hunt on the land, thereby in practice transforming it into a forest. It is therefore not surprising that we find the charters of Otto II and Otto III using the terms forestis and silva interchangeably, much as the Merovingians had: Urkunden Ottos II., nos. 50, 66, 283, pp. 59–60, 78–79, 329–331; Urkunden Ottos des III., nos. 43, 58, 73, 358, in Urkunden Ottos II., 443–444, 463–464, 480–481, 787–788. 163. Petit-Dutaillis, “De la signification du mot ‘forêt,’ ” 144–147; Bosl, “Forsthoheit”; Kaspers, Comitatus nemoris, 232–233; Dalby, Lexicon, 306–307 (s.v. “wiltban”); Dasler, Forst. 164. Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 106–107; Innes, State, 222–250; West, Reframing, 139–148. 165. Reuter, Germany, 210–211; Müller-Mertens, “Ottonians,” 252–253. 166. Müller-Mertens, “Ottonians,” 260. 167. Richer, Histories, 4.5, vol. 2: Books 3–4, pp. 206–207 (modified). Conclusion 1. Notker, Gesta Karoli, 2.9, pp. 63–64. 2. Einhard, Vita Karoli magni, c. 22, p. 27. 3. On this topic, see Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 181–197; Almond, Daughters of Artemis. 4. Nelson, “Lord’s Anointed,” 120–124. 5. Begiebing, Jagd; Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 125–164. 6. Barak, “Game and Thrones.” See also Brühl, Fodrum, vol. 1:250–251, 290–291, 308–309. 7. Aimoin of Fleury, Historiae Francorum libri quatour, geographical excursus, 1.21, 2.37, 4.17, cols. 629A–631A, 658B, 692A, 778C. See further Lake, “Rewriting.” 8. Aimoin of Fleury, Historiae Francorum libri quatour, 2.37, 3.43, 3.57, 3.91, 4.17, 4.18, cols. 692A, 723A–B, 730D–731D, 757B, 778D, 779C–D. 9. Suger, Deeds of Louis, 25, 27. Helgaud of Fleury, Vie de Robert, did not mention hunting. On this text, see Hamilton, “Helgaud of Fleury’s Life.” 10. For the slow transformation of the east and west Frankish kingdoms into the kingdoms of Germany and France during the tenth and eleventh centuries, see Brühl, Deutschland-Frankreich.



Notes to Pages 244–245 11. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 125–180, provides a good overview of hunting in the central Middle Ages. 12. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 125–149, at 128. 13. Rösener, Geschichte der Jagd, 12, 125–126. 14. Nelson, “Was Charlemagne’s Court?,” at 42. See further Airlie, “Palace of Memory”; Innes, “ ‘Place of Discipline’ ”; Zotz, “Beobachtungen,” 101.


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Page numbers in italic refer to figures and maps. Aachen, 72, 82, 89, 92–95, 105, 106–107, 108, 109, 115, 139, 226, 234, 263n134, 265n19; Charlemagne’s expanded court at, 78n37, 85–86; and the hunting scene of Charlemagne and Pope Leo, 94–95, 103, 111, 139, 263n153, 265n2; sacking of, 227–228 Adalhard of Corbie, 100 Adomnán, Life of St. Columba, 171–172, 182, 277n31 Aelfric of Eynsham, 135–136, 139, 178, 183, 184 Aemilianus, Saint, 48, 118, 184, 212 Agathias, 55, 254n63 Agde: royal silva near, 178; Synod of Agde (506), 192, 195 Aistulf (749–756), 73, 229 Alcuin, 72, 78, 89, 191, 202, 282n77; riddle for Pippin of Italy, 166–168, 169, 172, 174, 178 Alemannia, 45, 68, 212, 230; Laws of the Alemans (Pactus legis Alamannorum), 67, 69, 149, 151, 273n134 Alfred the Great of Wessex (871–899), 221, 274n142, 285n47; Asser, 285n48 Ambrose, 203 Ammianus Marcellinus, 22, 35–37, 84 Anjou, 186, 226 Annals of Fulda, 123–124, 228–229, 262n123 Annals of St.-Amand, 88–89, 262n106 Annals of St.-Bertin. See St.-Bertin Annals of Xanten, 124, 199 Annegray, 63 Anonymous of Vercelli, 157, 165, 207 Anthony of Egypt, Saint, 48, 212 Arch of Constantine. See Constantine the Great Ardennes, 105, 108, 256n116; Andain (monastery), 204; and Dagobert king of Austrasia, 56; Hubert, Saint (Apostle of the Ardennes), 204; and hunting at Compiègne,

265n19; and hunting by Merovingian kings, 52, 63, 68, 242, 244. See also Wellin Ardo, Life of Saint Benedict of Aniane, 199 Arnulf of Carinthia (887–899), 186, 200–201, 228, 270n11. See also Zwentibold of Lotharingia (son) Arnulf of Metz (d. 640), 56, 57, 118 Arrian, 23, 131, 148 Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria (883–859 BCE), 19f4 Asser, 221, 285n47, 285n49 Astronomer, 109, 111–112, 159–160, 198, 204, 263n153, 265n2 Augustine, 83, 203, 208, 277n38; venatores criticized by, 147, 205, 282n92 aurochs, 39, 133, 140 Bang-Andersen, Sveinung, hunting defined by, 247n4 Barberini Ivory, 35, 36f15 Basil I (867–866): attempt on his life during a hunt, 222; death in a hunting accident (866), 140, 221; hunting reputation of, 125 bears, 19, 22, 26, 26f10, 39, 48, 98f24, 132–133, 140, 142; on the Arch of Constantine in Rome, 15, 16f2, 29–30; dancing bears, 99, 147, 206, 206f58 beavers (Castor fiber) and beaver trappers, 101, 133–134, 149, 183, 243 Bible: Garden of Eden, 115, 212; on hunters and hunting, 112, 203, 223; Jesus and the fishermen-apostles, 174, 209–210; Jesus in the desert, 212; Louis the German’s interests in scriptural exegesis, 209; negative image of dogs in, 148; Physiologus as a tool for decoding animals in, 130; prohibition against eating “strangled” animals, 208. See also Hebrew scriptures; New Testament; Stuttgart Psalter; Utrecht Psalter


Index boars, 19, 26, 39, 48, 63, 98f24, 142, 145f37, 190; on the Arch of Constantine, 15, 16f2, 29–30; as the Frank’s alleged favorite game, 9, 46; and the reported hunting death of prince Gunther of Bavaria, 140, 141f34, 148; on the Little Hunt mosaic from the Villa Romana del Casale, 25f8, 26; in the Nibelungenlied, 142, 247n15 Bodfeld, 234 Boniface, Saint (d. 754), 153–154, 183, 190, 193–194, 280n4, 280n24 Book of Constitutions, 66–67, 257n140 Brachio, Saint and huntsman, 48, 118, 184, 212 Brown, Peter, 22, 72, 158 Buc, Philippe, 10–11 bulls (and oxen), 55, 70, 98f24, 119–120, 142, 254n63 Caesar, Julius, 252n82; on Germanic warriors, 39; on hunting by Germanic peoples, 88; hunting exploits compared to his deeds, 22 Capetian kings: Hugh Capet, 237, 239; hunting not emphasized by, 244 Capitulare Carisiacense, 262n113 capitularies: of Carloman II, 219; definition of, 78n36. See also Capitulary of Quierzy (877); Capitulary on Royal Manors (Capitulare de villis); Carolingian dynasty—capitularies (royal decrees); Charlemagne—capitularies; Charles the Bald (840–877)—capitularies Capitulary of Quierzy (877), 126–128, 218, 226, 262n113, 270n162 Capitulary on Royal Manors (Capitulare de villis), 78–82, 83, 92–93, 153, 172, 259n35, 273–274n142 Carloman I (768–771): hunting and riding lessons in his youth, 73; lion-hunting scene depicted on the lost tomb of, 70, 72f19, 257n3; and the terms forestis and silva, 258n17 Carloman II (879–884): capitularies issued by, 219; hunting death at Bézu-la-Forêt, 218, 220, 221, 229–230, 285n49; hunting embraced as a symbol of royal authority, 219 Carloman mayor of the palace (741–747): decrees issued at the Carolingian reform council of the Frankish Church (742), 193–194; military campaigns against neighboring peoples, 68 Carloman of Bavaria (876–880): alliance with Svatopluk, 161; granting of Lombard gualdi, 286n77 Carolingian dynasty (751–987): and the Ardennes region, 85, 106–107; exotic animals at the court of, 97–99, 98f24; fragmentation of empire, 213, 214; and the

“Frankification” of the Eu ropean nobility, 158; walled parks, 91–99, 263n145. See also Einhard; Notker the Stammerer; and names of individual rulers of —capitularies (royal decrees), 78. See also Capitulary of Quierzy (877); Capitulary on Royal Manors (Capitulare de villis); Charlemagne—capitularies; Charles the Bald (840–877)—capitularies — and the Church, 190–194; churchmen’s views of hunting, 205–208; and clerical hunting, 193, 197–202; and extermination of wolf populations, 201–202 Charibert I (561–567), 53 Charlemagne (768–814): correlation between hunting and assemblies during his reign, 89–90, 106, 265n19; fishing trips during Lent, 88–89, 131, 262n106; hunting as central to his personality, 73, 82, 259n60; and hunting as a symbol of his empire, 87–88, 263n135; imperial scope of his territorial power reflected in his hunts, 87–89; leg injury while hunting, 230; Regino of Prüm’s reference to his three hunts as “games,” 288n115; and the term “falconer” ( falconarius), 101, 153, 273– 274n142. See also Einhard —capitularies: Capitulary on Royal Manors (Capitulare de villis), 78–82, 83, 92–93, 153, 172, 259n35, 273–274n142; Charlemagne’s first capitulary (771), 193–194; General Capitulary for the Royal Legates (802), 79–80 —charters, 74–78, 257–258n16, 258n23, 260n75 Charlemagne and Pope Leo, 94–97, 112, 113–114, 139, 142, 143; Louis’s absence from, 103, 111, 263n153, 265n2 Charles Martel (714–741), 68, 73, 190 Charles the Bald (840–877): birth of, 122; correlation between hunting and assemblies, 89; and Count Albuin, 216–217, 218; daughter Judith, 160; and the alleged hunting injury of Charles the Young of Aquitaine, 216–218; hunting limitations placed on his son Louis the Stammerer, 126–127; precocious enthusiasm for hunting, 114, 122; season hunting destinations, 124–125, 220; and the Treaty of Meersen (870), 127, 270n157. See also Empress Judith (mother) —capitularies: Capitulare Carisiacense and its enforcement by Count Adalhelm of Laon, 127, 270n162; Capitulary of Quierzy (877), 126–128, 218, 226, 262n113, 270n162; decree issued at Bézu (856), 285n40 Charles the Fat (876–888), 70, 213, 220, 222–223, 225–226, 229, 231, 282n65; Arnulf

Index of Carinthia’s deposition of, 231; and Carloman II’s hunting fatality at Bézu, 220; and Carolingian control of wilderness resources, 225–226; fragmentation of the Carolingian empire after his death, 213, 222–223, 226, 229; negative portrayal in the Annals of Fulda, 229; and Notker’s tale about Pippin the Short’s hunting prowess, 70; restitution to the archbishopric of Trier, 282n65 Charles the Great. See Charlemagne Charles the Simple (898–929), 213; charters of, 223–225; Herbert’s imprisonment of, 213, 222, 224; Richer on, 223–224; sobriquet “the Simple,” 223. See also Louis IV (son) Charles the Younger (d. 811), 95, 103–104, 261n97 Charles the Young of Aquitaine (855–866), 216–218, 229 Childebert II (575–595): hunting outside Paris by, 51–52, 199; influence of Constantinople on his capital city of Metz, 53; Treaty of Andelot with Guntram, 51, 256n118 Childeric II (662–675): murder in 675, 60–61 Chilperic I (561–584): circuses in Soissons and Paris, 53; hunting murder of, 49, 59–60, 229, 256n116; and prince Merovech, 49 Chilperic II (715–721): Forest of Rouvray given to St.-Denis, 64, 77 Clothar I (511–561), 49, 256n116 Clothar II (584–629), 44–45, 53–58, 63, 65, 69, 118, 240 Commodus (180–192), beast hunts performed in staged venationes by, 33–36, 55, 240 commoners. See rustici (peasants) Compiègne, 92, 108, 109, 219, 222, 234; assemblies at, 106, 110, 265n19; and Charles the Bald, 125–127, 216, 218, 224, 241; confrontation of Louis by rebels at, 109–110; hunting at, 63, 105, 243, 256n117; lions at, 225; Louis V’s hunting death near, 236–237; plundering of (945), 224, 227; St.-Corneille at, 223, 224 Constantine the Great: civilian bureaucracy separated from the army, 21; gladiatorial combats temporarily banned by, 34; recruitment of barbarian warriors into the Roman army, 38–39 —Arch of Constantine: hunting medallion pairs on, 15, 16f2, 29–30; ideological associations between hunting, power, and manhood, 18–19 Constantinople, 15, 34–35, 34f14, 38, 53, 58, 87, 97, 99, 233–234 Cuise forest, 49, 51, 68, 200, 223, 241, 242

Dagobert I (623–639), 53–55, 56, 63 Dagolf (huntsman), 184 Deeds of Dagobert (Gesta Dagoberti I. regis Francorum), 118–119, 137, 159–160, 229, 241 Desiderius of Italy (756–774), 74, 77, 87 Dhuoda, 130, 207 Diana (goddess of the hunt), 15, 21, 28, 47, 63, 204 Dio Cassius, 33 Diocletian, civilian bureaucracy separated from the army, 21 dogs. See hunting dogs Domitian (81–96), Suetonius’s account of his marksmanship at staged venationes, 33–34, 55, 143 Donatus of Metz, Life of Saint Trudo, 117 Dudo of St.-Quentin, 226 Duke Eberhard of Hamaland, hunting murder of (898), 229 Earlier Annals of Metz, 87–88, 91 Eccard of Mâcon, 160 Eigil of Fulda, on Pippin III’s enthusiasm for hunting, 73 Einhard, 3, 82–83, 119–120, 159–160, 181–182, 184, 232, 239, 260n70, 268nn118–119, 279n86 Ekkehard IV, Ups and Downs of St.-Gall, 180 Elias, Norbert, on the origins of courtliness and court societies, 4–5, 83, 247n7 Empress Judith, 114–115, 132 Ermold the Black (aka Ermoldus Nigellus, Ermold le Noir), 267n99; Autharius described as a count in Louis’s ser vice, 268n125; and the clerical ban on carry ing weapons, 197–198; depiction of Harald and the Danes, 267n86; Ingelheim described by, 94, 105, 106, 113–114, 138, 263n136; Otho described as Louis’s chief cupbearer, 268n125; on the sounds of the hunt, 139; on swords employed against wild beasts, 140, 142; verse letters composed for Pippin I of Aquitaine, 267n71 falconers ( falconarii), 101, 153, 273–274n142; and falcon training, 153–155; Gerald the Falconer, 157; Gerric, 111, 185, 196; modern Arab falconers, 155f45; status of, 184–185 falconry, 5, 10, 94, 131, 198, 274n142, 285n48; and crane hawk hunting, 153–154, 155f45; “the falcon on the fist” motif, 206, 207f59; fowling distinguished from, 172; Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, Art of Hunting with Birds, 154; and the Gallo-Roman aristocracy, 24, 47–48; and non-elites, 177–178; as symbols of nobility, 153, 160; in treatises for Louis the German, 208–209. See also hawks



Index falconry (continued) —treatment of sick raptors, 155; Anonymous of Vercelli, 157, 165; Grimald’s Book of Hawks (Liber accipitrum), 155–157, 165, 274n165 Fenske, Lutz, 93–94 fishing, 65, 88–89, 131, 172, 174, 203, 209–210, 210f60 Flodoard of Reims, 213, 221–225, 228, 286n75 food and diet, 46, 83, 88, 281n61; and balancing bodily humors, 70, 260; crane meat, 153, 161; eating game and status, 161; and meat eating during Lent, 261n103; in medieval England, 227, 277n17; and moderation in food and drink, 83, 260n72; of northern Eu rope and of the Romans compared, 39–42, 148, 252n94; post-hunt feasts, 96–97; red deer eaten by the Franks, 9, 86, 131, 133, 258n20; and ritual purity laws, 208, 283n107 foresters ( forestarii), 188f57; game and piglets provided by, 259n39, 281n61; social status of, 168, 186–187, 189; supervision of royal forests by, 65, 79, 101, 179–180, 256n123; Tortulf, 186 forests, 188f57; and Charlemagne’s gift of silva ex foreste nostra to St.-Hippolyte, 75, 77; and Charles the Bald’s Capitulary of Quierzy, 126–128, 218, 226, 262n113, 270n162; during the Ottonian dynasty, 234–236; evolution royal forests, 9; and Merovingian charters, 64–65, 74, 258n17; Pippin of Italy’s use of, 178–179; and Roman law concerning res nullius, 61–62. See also Charlemagne— charters; Cuise forest; Lombards, gahagia and gualdi; Merovingian dynasty—charters; Yvelines —forestis as a term, 13, 74–79, 242, 249n67; silva used interchangeably with, 64–65, 74, 162n162, 242, 258n17, 258n222 fowling, 172–174, 173f53 foxes, 25f9, 133, 149, 177f56, 183 Frankfurt, 92, 105, 107, 110, 234, 265n19; and the monastery of Hornback, 122; Synod of Frankfurt (794), 191 Fredegar, Chronicon (Chronicle of Fredegar), 44–45, 55–60, 69, 73, 118, 255n99, 256n116, 257n11 Frederick Barbarossa, 181 Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1198–1250), Art of Hunting with Birds (De arte venandi cum avibus), 154 Frothar of Toul (813–847), 174, 201–202 Fulk of Reims, 221, 222, 223, 286n50 game parks. See Aachen; Regensburg; walled game parks Garver, Valerie L., 123

Gautier, Alban, 168 Geary, Patrick J., 284n7 gender, 5–6. See also hunting— and masculine identity; women Gerald of Aurillac, 159 Gerald the Falconer, 157 Gerric (falconer), 111, 185, 196 Gibbon, Edward, 4 Giese, Martina, 5, 248n24 Gogo (minister of Sigibert I), 52, 56, 256n116 Gregory of Tours (573–594), 47–53, 59, 59, 63, 66, 253n22, 254n63, 256n116, 256n118, 279n86; on Brachio’s encounter with Aemilianus, 48–49, 118, 184, 212 Gregory the Great, 192, 283n115 Grimald of St.-Gall, Book of Hawks (Liber accipitrum), 155–157, 165, 274nn165–166 Guizard, Fabrice, 284n7 Gunther (d. 777), son of Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria, 140, 141f34, 148 Guntram (561–592), 50–51, 63, 139, 256n118, 279n86 Hadrian, emperor (117–138), 15, 16f2, 29–30 Halsall, Guy, 9, 50, 249n56, 252n92 Harun al-Rashid, 1, 2f1, 3, 10, 99, 156, 238 Harz Mountains, 234, 244 Hauck, Karl, 93–94 hawks, 24, 66–67, 151–157, 177–178, 192–193, 253n22, 257n140, 273nn134–135, 273n137, 275n175, 283n115. See also falconers ( falconarii); falconry; Grimald of St.-Gall, Book of Hawks (Liber accipitrum) Hebrew scriptures: Genesis 9.1–3 on Noah’s permission to eat animals after the flood, 205; Genesis 10.8–9 on Nimrod, 19, 203, 205; Genesis 14.18–18 on Melchisedech, 197; Genesis 25.25–34 on Esau and Jacob, 197, 223; Genesis commentary by Rabanus, 205; Isaiah 11, vision of the messianic age, 115, 117; Judges 14.16, on David and Samson, 203; Judges 15.4, on David and Samson, 203; 1 Kings 1.1–27, on the rebellion of David’s son Adonijah, 126; 1 Kings 10.22, on Solomon’s exotic animals, 99; 1 Kings 17.4–6, on Elijah, 208; Psalms 91.3, 203; Psalms 103.7, and Hincmar’s commentary on the herodius, 208–209; 1 Samuel 17.34–36, on David and Goliath, 37; 1 Samuel 17.36–37, on David hunting, 203; 2 Samuel 23.20, on David and Goliath, 37; 2 Timothy 2.4, 195. See also Stuttgart Psalter; Utrecht Psalter Henry I (919–936), 138, 174, 231–232, 234, 236 Henry II, 263n134 Heraclius, emperor (610–641), 44–45, 55, 69, 240

Index Hercules, 15, 33 Hercynian Forest, 87–88, 89, 90, 91, 261n95 Higounet, Charles, 62, 255n106 Hincmar of Reims, 100–101, 125, 183, 205–206, 208–209, 216–219, 280n4; on Louis’s foresters, 187 Hoffmann, Richard C., 8 Hubert, Saint (Apostle of the Ardennes), 204 Hugh the Great, 224–226, 227, 232 hunting: the chase and the drive distinguished, 136–139; definition of, 3, 247n4; and murder, 58–61, 86–87, 93, 213–214, 222–224, 244; scholarship on medieval hunting, 4–5, 238–239, 247–248n18. See also aurochs; bears; beavers; boars; bulls; falconers ( falconarii); falconry; foxes; lions; stags; walled game parks; weapons; wolves — dogs: Alfred the Great’s gift of wolfhounds to Fulk of Reims, 221, 286n50; and commoners, 175; discussion in Grattius’s Cynegeticon, 148; domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), 17; and elite forms of hunting, 135–136; excessive love of, 204–205; food for, 149; guard dogs owned by bishops banned by the Synod of Mâcon, 192–193; and hunting methods in Xenophon’s Cynegeticus, 19; on the Hunting Plate from the Sevso Trea sure, 26; on the Little Hunt mosaic from the Villa Romana del Casale, 25f9, 26; and the ritual of the curée, 276n215; role in hunting, 147–149, 150ff42–44; and Roman hare hunting described by Arrian, 23–24, 23f6; sight dogs (vertragi), 23, 67, 149; types of, 67–68, 148–150 —horns, 47, 56, 95, 138, 139, 160, 180 — and masculine identity, 6–7, 19–22, 38–39, 41, 46, 191; and Charlemagne’s imperial ideology, 89; and the merging of Roman and barbarian manhood, 38–39, 41; and schooling, 6, 28, 159, 202 —nets and snares: and Ambrose’s negative view of Nimrod and Esau, 203; ban on, 178–179; depictions in the Stuttgart Psalter, 136f31, 169–170, 171f52; depictions in the Utrecht Psalter, 136f30, 170f51, 172–173, 173f53; and hunting methods in Xenophon’s Cynegeticus, 19, 23 huntsmen (venatores), 46, 79, 86, 187, 189, 214; Aelfric of Eynsham on, 135–136, 139, 183, 184; Alfred the Great of Wessex, 221, 274n142, 285n47; Asser, 285n48; Brachio described by Gregory, 48–49, 118, 184, 212, 253n26; Dagolf, 184; Guntram, 50–51, 139; Iring (count and huntsman), 186, 228; ser vice to the Carolingians, 95–96, 101, 184–185; social status of, 48, 168, 182–187,

197. See also Carloman I; Carloman II; Charlemagne; Charles the Bald; Louis the Pious; Pippin III the Short Ingelheim: hunting before assembly at, 265n19; island hunting park near, 94, 105, 106, 113–114, 138, 263n136; and walled parks as a priority for Charlemagne, 92 Innes, Matthew, 248n30 Iring (count and huntsman), 186, 228 Irsigler, Franz, 252n3, 268n1033 Isembard, 90, 230 Isidore of Seville: four kinds of hunting assistants identified by, 138–139; local renown as key component of his definition of a nobleman, 42, 168, 180; and Rabanus on hawks and falcons, 283n115; and Rabanus on wolves, 174; and Rabanus’s criticism of beast combats, 147; on the schooling of wellborn boys, 28 Jaeger, C. Stephen, 248n30 Jerome, 198, 203, 209 Jonas of Orléans, Bishop, 147, 191, 204–205, 279n84, 282n92 Karlburg, 131, 161, 177 Lantfrid of Säben, 198–199 law codes. See Law of the Bavarians (Lex Baiuwariorum); Laws of the Alemans; Ripuarian Law (Lex Ripuaria); Salic Law (Lex Salica and Pactus legis Salicae); Lombards, Edict of Rothari Laws of the Alemans (Pactus legis Alamannorum), 67, 69, 149, 151, 273n134 Law of the Bavarians (Lex Baiuwariorum), 67–68, 69, 149, 151 Liber historiae Francorum (Book of the History of the Franks): on the murder of Childeric II by Bodilo, 61, 255n99; on the murder of King Chilperic, 60 Life of Saint Ansbert (Vita Ansberti), 117, 119, 119, 268n118 Life of Saint Gangulf (Vita Gangulfi prima), 160, 207 Lindner, Kurt, 4 lions: on the Arch of Constantine, 15, 16f2, 29–30; at Compiègne, 225; depiction on an early Muslim silk, 100f25; and Hippolytus’s cryptic prediction, 233–234; and Otto I, 225, 232; symbolism of, 19, 22, 70, 72, 72f19, 142, 257n3 Liudprand of Cremona (962–972), 137; Antapodosis, 262n113; Embassy to Constantinople, 233–234; interpretation of Hippolytus’s cryptic prediction, 233–234



Index Lombards: Aistulf (749–756), 73, 229; Desiderius of Italy (756–774), 74, 77, 87; Edict of Rothari (Edictus Rothari), 77, 169, 258n24; gahagia and gualdi of, 76–77, 179, 242, 258n23, 286n77; laws against poaching, 137; legal distinction between land ownership and hunting rights, 77; Pippin III’s wars with, 73 Lothar I (840–855), 109–110, 113–114, 122–124, 123f27, 269n136 Lothar III (954–986), Count Baldwin Baldzo’s gift of Methela and Feret to St.-Peter in Ghent confirmed by, 227 —charters: granting of the forest of Waës given to Count Theodoric II, 227; granting of a forest on the Yvonne River to St.-Columbe in Sens, 268n128 Louis II of Italy (855–875), 217, 286n57 Louis III (879–882), 218 Louis IV the Exile (transmarinus, 936–954), 213, 222, 224–227, 286 Louis the Child (900–911), 229 Louis the German (840–876), 122, 124, 127, 208–209, 270n157 Louis the Pious (814–840), 89, 259n54; and Gerric (falconer), 111, 185, 196; illicit forests investigated by, 242; and Ingelheim, 105–106, 113–114, 138, 263n136; rebellions of the early 830s, 109–110; Thegan of Trier on his hunting, 104–105, 131, 143, 204, 265n9; and Theodulf of Orléans’s panegyric, 267n69. See also Astronomer —charters: common woodlands (silvae communes) granted to supporters, 268n128; and his efforts to protect royal wilderness, 121 Louis the Stammerer (877–879), 126–127 Louis V (986–987), death in a hunting accident (987), 3, 236–237 Mâcon: Count Eccard of, 160; Synod of Mâcon (585), 192–193 masculinity. See hunting—and masculine identity Matfrid, Count, 147, 205 Maximus of Turin, 203, 204–205 McKitterick, Rosamond, 86, 110, 260n75 Merovingian dynasty (481–751), 44–69; and clerical hunting, 193, 199–200; jewelry with hunting motifs found in Merovingian-era graves, 46; low profile of early Merovingian royal hunting, 52, 240; murder during, 58–61; pigs fed in royal woodlands, 62–63; Queen Brunhild, 59–60, 212; Queen Fredegund, 49, 59–60; subjugation of neighboring territories, 45. See also Childebert II; Chilperic; Clothar

II; Dagobert I; kings; Theudebert; Theuderic III — charters: hunting rights and forests, 63–65; and the term forestis, 64–65, 74, 258n17 Milo of Trier (722–ca.761), 190 Minor Annals of Lorsch, on Charlemagne’s travels (809), 86 Montanari, Massimo, 83, 260n68 Nelson, Janet L., 185, 259n60, 285n40; consensus model of hunting, 7–8, 89, 89, 93, 95, 240; on the controlled sociability of Charlemagne’s court, 83, 245 New Testament: Acts 15, prohibition against eating “strangled” animals, 208; Mark 1.12–13, on Jesus’s living in the wilderness, 212 Nibelungenlied, 142, 247n15 Nimrod, 19, 205 nobility (early medieval), 6–7, 42, 168, 179–180, 248n32; and Charlemagne’s General Capitulary for the Royal Legates (802), 79–81; forestland held by, 81, 121, 259n54; sinful conduct associated with their hunting, 160, 207. See also hunting— and masculine identity; Poppo, count Noble, Thomas F. X., 191, 248n32 Notker the Stammerer, 70, 89, 99, 142, 149, 202, 230–231, 261n103, 264n160, 272n71, 288n118; on Harun al-Rashid’s admiration of Charlemagne’s ambassadors’ hunting skills, 1, 2f1, 3, 10, 238 Odo (888–898), 175, 200, 222–223, 226 otters, 133, 134, 183, 285n47 Otto I (936–973), 225; charter issued to the bishop of Utrecht, 235; hunting as a focus of Widukind’s description of him, 231–232 Otto III, forest charters granted by, 235 Ottonian dynasty: and the granting of hunting rights without property, 78; grants of forestland to churches, 234–236. See also Henry I; Henry II; Liudprand of Cremona; Otto I; Otto II; Otto III; Widukind of Corvey Patzold, Steffen, 52 Paul the Deacon, 161 peasants. See rustici Persia, 18, 20f5, 21, 22, 35 Petit-Dutaillis, Charles, 65, 257–258n16 Physiologus, 130 pigs and pork, 62–63, 79, 83, 126–127 Pippin I of Aquitaine (817–838), 112–113, 197–198

Index Pippin III the Short (741–768), 68, 70, 73–74, 85, 91, 135, 142, 194–195, 200 Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, 130 Pliny the Younger (d. ca. 113), 21, 30, 33, 207 poaching: Charlemagne’s concern with, 79–81, 180–182, 243; Einhard’s letter to Count Poppo, 181–182, 205; foresters’ prevention of, 65, 79, 179–180; Frankish and Lombard laws, 137; and Guntram’s execution of Chundo, 50–51, 63, 279n86 Pope Nicholas I (858–867), 198, 217 Poppo, count, 81, 121, 181–182, 185, 205 Procopius, 41, 254n63 Prudentius of Troyes, 125, 269n145 Rabanus Maurus (aka Rabanus of Fulda), 115, 121, 132, 147, 174, 205, 209, 282n92, 282n92, 283n115 Ranshofen, 228 red deer. See stags (red deer) Regensburg, 87–88, 92, 201, 228, 263n145, 287n104 Regino of Prüm, Chronicon (Chronicle), 216, 229–230, 288n115, 288n117 Reuter, Timothy, 46, 214 Richer, 223–224, 236 Ripuarian Law (Lex Ripuaria), 62, 65, 66, 169 Robert of Neustria, 226, 227 Roman Empire: aristocratic game parks during, 263n142; cultural practices embraced by barbarians, 41–42; Grattius’s Cynegeticon, 148; hunting associated with elite status during, 41–42; hunting by northern barbarians described by Roman writers, 39; hunting of Ausonius of Bordeaux, 22; and the right of the people to hunt and fish wherever they wished, 29, 63, 65, 242, 243; and sponsoring of staged hunts as a symbol of imperial power, 30, 31–32ff12–13, 33, 35–36; zoological gardens of Tiberius and Nero, 251n64. See also Ammianus Marcellinus; Caesar; Constantine the Great; Constantinople; Diana; Domitian; Hadrian; Heraclius; Pliny the Elder; Pliny the Younger; Sidonius; Suetonius; Tacitus; Tiberius; Trajan —imagery: bear-hunting scene on a bowl from the Mildenhall Trea sure, 26, 26f10; Commodus’s emulation of Hercules, 33; on the Hunting Plate from the Sevso Trea sure, 26; Little Hunt mosaic from Villa Romana del Casale, 24, 25ff7–9, 26; mosaic from Smirat, Tunisia commemorating venationes, 31f12; mosaics of hunters using raptors, 24; sarcophagus with slain deer, 147f41; statue of Zeno appropriated by Theodoric the Great and Charlemagne, 115; Villa del

Casale, 32f13. See also Constantine the Great—Arch of Constantine — and the military: hunting connected to military training, 27–28; hunting and Septimius Odaenathus’s martial skills, 22; militarization of Roman manhood, 21–22; Vettius (general) portrayed by Sidonius, 43; warriors distinguished from paid professional soldiers during, 248n34 Rösener, Werner, 4–5, 244–245, 247n14, 247n15 Rouvray, forest of, 64, 77 Royal Frankish Annals (annales regni Francorum), 86–88, 105, 110, 124, 260n76, 261n94, 261n97, 265n9, 288n115 rustici (peasants), 47, 82, 119, 166–167, 180, 182–187, 189; and access to hunting, 65, 80–82, 168, 178–179, 242, 243; in Adomnán’s Life of St. Columba, 171–172, 182, 277n31; and falconry, 177–178; and fowling, 172–174, 173f53; and hunting dogs, 175; and hunting horns, 139, 180; Tortulf ’s founding of the Angevin dynasty, 186. See also foresters (forestarii) St.-Andrä im Sausal, bear and wild boar hunting, 131, 200 St.-Bertin (monastery), 78, 201, 262n106; Abbot Fridigisus (820–834), 199 —Annals of St.-Bertin, 123–125, 260n76, 266n53, 269n145 St.-Gall, 139, 180, 202; Grimald of St.-Gall, Book of Hawks (Liber accipitrum), 155–157, 165, 274nn165–166. See also Notker the Stammerer St.-Hippolyte, 75, 77 St.-Riquier, 77–78 St.-Wandrille (Fontanelle), 117; Deeds of the Holy Fathers of St.-Wandrille, 199 Salic Law (Lex Salica and Pactus legis Salicae), 62, 66, 68 Sidonius Apollinaris, 24, 27–28, 41, 43, 46, 252n90 Spessart Mountains, 81, 121 stags (red deer), 5, 19, 25, 25f7, 130, 132f28, 137, 180, 183, 200; Basil I’s fatal encounter with (866), 140, 221; and domesticated deer, 144–145, 147f41; as the Franks’ favorite game, 9, 46, 86, 131, 133, 227, 244, 258n20; and hunting methods in Xenophon’s Cynegeticus, 19; on the Hunting Plate from the Sevso Trea sure, 26; late Roman hunting depicted on the Little Hunt mosaic from the Villa Romana del Casale, 25f7, 26; as a symbol of power and virility, 19, 39, 40f16; Walahfrid’s epigram “On the Bone of a Little Doe,” 115, 117



Index Stone, Rachel, 6, 191 Stuttgart Psalter, 11–12, 76ff20–21, 136f31, 143f35, 144f36, 146f39, 150f44, 158–159, 162f47, 169–170, 171f52, 176f54, 176ff54–55, 188f57, 249n64; Psalm 18.33–34 depiction of military training of young Frankish nobles, 158f46, 158–159; Psalm 45.10 depiction of queens, 116f26; Psalm 104.11 depiction of wild animals, 98f24 Suetonius, 33–34, 55, 82, 88, 119, 143, 172, 260n62, 268n119 Suffering of Saint Leudgar, 59, 60–61 Sykes, Naomi, 227, 270n14 Tacitus, 39, 262n123; and Pliny the Younger’s advice on writing while hunting, 21, 207 Tassilo III of Bavaria, Duke (748–788), 87, 140, 141f34, 148 Thegan of Trier, 104–105, 131, 132, 143, 167, 204, 265n9 Theodicius of Spoleto, 77 Theodoric II (453–466), 41 Theodoric the Great (471–526), 41, 115 Theodulf of Orléans, 178, 267n69 Theudebert I (533–548), 55, 140, 254n63 Theudebert II, 58 Theuderic III (673/675–691), 117, 119 Theux, palace, 105, 106, 121, 289n154 Thionville, 85, 89, 106, 107, 108, 109, 265n19 Thompson, E. P., 167 Tiberius (14–37), 33, 251n64 Trajan (98–117), 15, 30, 33 Treaty of Meersen (870), 127, 270n157 Utrecht Psalter, 11–12, 71f18, 84f22, 97f23, 132f28, 134f29, 136f30, 138f32, 140f33, 146f40, 150ff42–43, 170f51, 172–173, 173f53, 177f56, 210f60, 249n64; Psalm 30.11 illustration of wild animals displayed for entertainment, 206f58; Psalm 40.4 illustration critiquing hunting animals as a status symbol, 206–207, 207f59; Psalm 112 illustration of a game trophy, 163, 163f48; Psalm 148 image of creation, 211f61 Van Dam, Raymond, 252n3, 254n63 Van den Abeele, Baudouin, 5, 155, 249n57, 274n165 Venantius Fortunatus, 51–52, 56, 256n116 Villa Romana del Casale (Piazza Armerina, Sicily): Great Hunt mosaic, 32f13; Little Hunt mosaic, 24, 25ff7–9, 26 Vosges Mountains, 68, 105, 108, 110, 234, 242, 244, 256n116, 261n95, 261n97, 263n135, 265n19; forest in Rimsdorf near,

81; and Gregory’s story about Guntram (590), 50–51, 56, 63, 65; and Louis the Pious’s foresters, 186–187 Waitz, Georg, 257n16 Walahfrid Strabo, 115, 117, 162–163, 267n99 walled game parks, 35–37, 52, 98f24, 105, 106, 113–114, 138, 138; Charlemagne’s prioritizing of, 9, 92–99; Lombard gahagia and gualdi, 76–77, 179, 242, 258n23, 286n77; maintenance of, 101–102; and Roman aristocrats, 263n142. See also Aachen; Ingelheim; Regensburg warriors (milites), 160, 172, 191, 276n220; as bodyguards of Merovingian kings, 60; courtierization of, 4, 195; and the Frankish nobility, 4, 45, 47; hunting as a form of military training for, 19, 252n82; and masculine identity, 6; paid professional soldiers of the Roman Empire distinguished from, 248n34; and Romanized barbarians, 38–39, 42 weapons, 39, 140–144, 143f35, 146f39, 174–175, 176f54, 229; clerical ban on carry ing weapons, 193–194, 197–199, 280n24. See also hunting—nets and snares Wellin, 86, 131, 133–134, 183, 258n10 Wickham, Chris, 7 Widukind of Corvey, 231–232 wild boars. See boars William the Conqueror, 227, 244 wolves, 17, 39, 56, 98f24, 115; and Charlemagne’s empire-wide extermination effort, 79, 201–202, 225; naming of sons after, 48, 253n26; and sheep dogs (canis pastoralis), 68, 149; in stories and fables, 58, 130; trapping of, 174, 181 women, 28–29, 39, 95, 119–120, 125–126, 221, 247n7, 264n160; Dhuoda, 130, 207; Diana (Roman goddess of the hunt), 15, 21, 28, 47, 63; Empress Judith, 114–115, 132; lands held by Pippin I’s wife Itta, 254n70 Xenophon: Cynegeticus (On Hunting) composed by, 19–20; on hunting hare on foot with nets, 23 Yvelines (Forêt domaniale de Rambouillet), 73–75, 76ff20–21, 77, 121, 200–201, 258n19 Zachary, Pope, and Boniface’s request for guidance about Frankish bishops, 193 Zotz, Thomas, 252n3, 258n21, 260n74, 262n113, 268n1033; on the centrality of hunting for Frankish nobles, 5; on Merovingians’ use of royal forests, 65 Zwentibold of Lotharingia, 202, 235, 289n154


Many people generously helped me while researching and writing this book. Quite a few of them gave not only excellent scholarly advice but also friendship and encouragement along the way. Stuart Airlie, Patrick Geary, Geoffrey Koziol, Simon MacLean, Thomas Noble, Helmut Reimitz, and Rachel Stone kindly read the entire manuscript at various stages and offered valuable guidance. Moreover, during my year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2015–2016, the following scholars gave helpful feedback on individual chapters: Courtney Booker, Peter Brown, Giles Constable, Albrecht Diem, Michael Kulikowski, Jason Moralee, Eric Ramirez-Weaver, Else Rose, and Daniel Smail. I also want to thank Shane Bobrycki, who was an indefatigable research assistant at Williams College and who has become a marvelous colleague. I would like to thank all of these scholars for their help; all the shortcomings in this book remain my own. While working on this project, I benefited from fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (2010–2011) and the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (George William Cottrell,  Jr., Membership, 2015–2016). Rudolf Schieffer and Knut Görich generously sponsored me and provided assistance when I lived and researched in Munich in 2010–2011. The History Department and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also offered liberal support. I owe debts of gratitude to the librarians and interlibrary loan ser vices at Firestone Library (Princeton University), Hayden Library (MIT), the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Munich), Sawyer Library (Williams College), the Social Science Library (Institute for Advanced Study), and Widener Library (Harvard University). Finally, I dedicate this book to my wonderful family for all their love and support over the years: my parents, my sister, and especially my luminous daughters Abigail and Claire, who make me very, very proud. Und vor allem ist dieses Buch meiner geliebten Frau Birgit mit tiefer Dankbarkeit gewidmet.