Joseph P. McGowan

title.none: Robinson, ed., Die chroniken Bertholds von Reichenau (Joseph P. McGowan)

identifier.other: baj9928.0703.001 07.03.01

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Joseph P. McGowan, University of San Diego,

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2007

identifier.citation: Robinson, Ian S., ed. Die chroniken Bertholds von Reichenau und Bernolds von Konstanz 1054-1100. Series: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum Nova Series, vol. 14. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2003. Pp. x, 645. $143.49 3-7752-0214-5. ISBN: .

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 07.03.01

Robinson, Ian S., ed. Die chroniken Bertholds von Reichenau und Bernolds von Konstanz 1054-1100. Series: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum Nova Series, vol. 14. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2003. Pp. x, 645. $143.49 3-7752-0214-5. ISBN: .

Reviewed by:

Joseph P. McGowan
University of San Diego

Edited here are the annals from two Bodensee chroniclers, Berthold of Reichenau and Bernold of Konstanz (Bernold von St. Blasien), relevant to the reign of Emperor Henry IV of Germany by the pre-eminent historian writing in English on this monarch and his era. This addition to the Scriptores rerum germanicarum (n.s. XIV) of the venerable and quite simply massive Monumenta Germaniae Historica German historiographical corpus is of interest for many reasons, one of which, though not the most significant, is that the text edition has had accrue to it a history of its own. In Rudolf Schieffer's "Vorwort" (pp. v-vii) to the volume he explains the convoluted stop-and-start development of this edition of the two "Bodenseechronistik" examples that had been edited by Georg Heinrich Pertz in his 1844 collection of annals and chronicles (Annales et chronica aevi Salici). [1] Georgine Tangl, under the direction of Robert Holtzmann in Berlin, had undertaken work on two of the Bodensee chroniclers, Berthold and Bernold, for the Wattenbach-Holtzmann German historical sources series, [2] and proposed further to pursue a new edition of the chronicles. Work on the edition progressed as time permitted, Professor Tangl moving to Munich, MGH's new home, in 1961. Tangl had revised the scope of her work with the chroniclers to a proposed monograph on The Chronicler Berthold of Reichenau and his Work (Der Chronist Berthold von Reichenau und sein Werk), which remained incomplete at her death 22 November 1972, and remains unpublished. Thus the Zentraldirektion of the MGH sought again an editor for the new edition of the two chroniclers and turned to Ian S. Robinson of Trinity College, Dublin (or, as Schieffer expresses in the German reflexive idiom: "Er fand sich in Dr. Ian S. Robinson..."; vi). Robinson had published studies of the papacy of Gregory VII [3]--and was about to publish two significant studies in Deutsches Arhiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters on Bernold and his circle and Hermann of Reichenau (Hermann der Lahme) and his chronicle, a major source of "Bodenseechronistik." [4] And so a first version of the edition of Berthold and Bernold was readied in 1986, and though delays at MGH ensued a re-collation of Bernold's text was carried out by Claudia Märtl by 1998 and then were appended the "Namenregister" and "Wortregister" by Veronika Lukas.

The upshot is that, from conception to execution, some 63 years were involved in producing this text edition of the chronicles of Berthold of Reichenau and Bernold of Konstanz for the years 1054-1100. One immediate and another larger-scale point relevant to contemporary editorial praxis obtain: in narrower focus, two valuable primary sources to Robinson's acclaimed study Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) appear after his interpretation of their evidence. This is explained by Schieffer's foreword as in no way attributable to the editor, though its effect is a sort of hysteron proteron for the normal pattern of source and study. The larger matter to hand is of twofold import: here a historian edits his own sources from the Latin--not unusual, Pertz was doing the same thing in 1844, but of interest in that the new text should appear more than a century and a half after Pertz's compendium of chronicles and annals. And what we have in Robinson's extraordinarily careful and clean edition of the texts is a sliver of what Pertz had edited: his volume (MGH SS 5) included the full text of Bernold's chronicon (Berthold had picked up in 1054, where Hermann of Reichenau had left off). Though the contents of the texts are fully described in Robinson's "Einleitung," one still has to turn to Pertz to get the fuller sense of Bernold the chronicler: he begins with citation of Bede's de sex aetatibus mundi. Of interest is the following section De regnis principalibus, for which Pertz printed marginally the rubric ...secundum chronicam Eusebii et Ieronimi, which draws again from Bede and, closer to home for the "Bodenseechronistik," Jordanes. Bernold's treatment of the sexta aetas (Sexta quae nunc agitur; Pertz, SS 5, 402) is annalistic through the years AD 42-1054; e.g., for AD 355: Apud Ariminum sinodus Arrianorum 400 episcoporum contra fidem facta est. Iulianus successu bellorum elatus, augusti nomen usurpat (Bernold drawing on Orosius and Jerome; Pertz, 408). Conjoined are the twin obsessions of the chroniclers: church matters, largely conciliar and synodal, and the res gestae (often nefandae) of "great" men; in short, bishops and kings. Rarely do the entries tend toward anything prolix (two possible exceptions: AD 609 [608], on the papacy of Boniface IV and his conversion of the Pantheon [templum omnium idolorum], with Byzantine emperor Phocas's permission, into a church of Blessed Mary ad Martires [Pertz, 414]; and AD 781: Pipinus filius Karoli Romae ab Adriano papa baptizatur... [Pertz, 418]). Bernold's work proper (what Pertz termed pars altera genuina) covers, in greater depth, the years 1055-1100 (Pertz, 427-67); and there begins in earnest the partisan material the historian sifts through--e.g., Bernold's entry for 1068:

Heinricus rex, adolescentiae suae errore seductus, legitimae coniugis adeo obliviscitur et tam nefandis criminibus involutus esse diffamatur, ut etiam principes eius eum regno privare molirentur (Robinson 2003: 397).

Robinson's texts of Berthold and Bernold are accompanied by a spare apparatus criticus-- the occasional manuscript variant or significant orthographical variant, as his text in the main departs seldom from that of Pertz--and a very richly detailed historical apparatus; to Bernold's serious and scurrilous charge above of Henry's misconduct the historical apparatus observes: "Heinrich trug sein Scheidungsbegehren im Juni 1069 einer Reichsversammlung in Worms vor" (Robinson 2003: 397 n.50). And in his full treatment Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106, the historian expands upon the many annalistic sources cited:

Perhaps the most important aspect of the divorce proceedings of1069 was their long-term effect on the king's reputation. Thepolemics of his enemies in the 1070s and the 1080s revealed that his fame had been permanently scarred by the rumours that circulated as a consequence of the attempted divorce [from his first wife Bertha of Turin]...These allegations of sexual misconduct were intended to support the argument of the Saxon rebels and, a decade later, of the pro-papal polemicists, that Henry deserved to be deposed because he was a tyrant" (Robinson 1999: 112-13).

As Robinson noted in his life of Henry IV, his opponents drew on Isidore of Seville's extended definition of tyrannus: Fortes enim reges tyranni vocabantur. Nam tiro fortis...Iam postea in usum accidit tyrannos vocari pessimos atque inprobos reges, luxuriosae dominationis cupiditatem et crudelissimam dominationem in populos exercentes (Robinson 1999: 113 n. 33 cites Etymologiae IX.19; the reference in fuller form is IX.iii.19-20). And so one profits here by the light the primary and secondary works cast on one another: the appearance of two of the source texts in Robinson 2003 provides the context of unabridged (excepting the limitation of Bernold to the years 1054-1100) raw material, and the English-language account of Henry IV's career in Robinson 1999 allows one to place the monastic chroniclers (who were not uniformly anti-Henrician) in a synthetic historical context.

The edition Die Chroniken Bertholds von Reichenau und Bernolds von Konstanz 1054-1100 follows the practice of the series, here with perhaps even more emphasis given to the "Einleitung" and historical apparatus to the text. The "Einleitung," pp. 1-160 (inclusive of bibliographical references), divides itself between the two chroniclers: Berthold (3-80) and Bernold (80-118). The greater emphasis to the former is understandable in that the textual history of Berthold's chronicon is the more complex of the two: the years 1054-1066 in Berthold's account are preserved in two versions (Robinson 2003: 164-203). The "erste Fassung" has as its primary witness the account printed in the 1529 En damus chronicon of Basel lawyer Johannes Sichard, whose collection of chronica derived its text of Berthold from a onetime Sankt Gallen codex. The witnesses to the "zweite Fassung" fall into three groupings: the A-group consisting of two Vienna codices: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Codd. 3399 and 7245; the B-group consisting of Swiss codices, marked in part for their many interpolations: Sarnen, Bibliothek des Kollegiums, Cod. membr. 10, and Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek 9, are both of the late twelfth century, while Aarau, Kantonsbibliothek, Zurlaubiana Ms. 90 is, like Vienna cod. 7245, a paper manuscript of the eighteenth century containing an anthology of historical materials; and a further, though not definitive, similarity obtains: "Der Text ist von einer einzigen, klaren Hand geschrieben, die der des Codex Wien 7245 ähnelt, aber nicht mit ihr identisch ist" (Robinson 2003: 20); and the C-group: London, British Library, Egerton 1944 (formerly of Tegernsee and before that the Freisinger Dombibliothek, and dating to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century), and Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 540 (a late thirteenth-century manuscript from the Cistercian house at St. Urban in Lucerne canton). A section on "Four Centuries of Berthold Research" follows (27-38), then the section "Berthold von Reichenau und seine Chronik" (38-73), the rubric to which approximates the title of Tangl's unfinished monograph and the contents of which utilize significant portions of Robinson's two Deutsches Archiv studies. The matter of sources is briefly treated (74-6), understandable as it is amply handled in the historical apparatus to the Latin, and perhaps too brief is the treatment of "Stil" (76-80). This point will be returned to briefly. Similar, densely detailed information is given regarding Bernold's own chronicon: besides the B-group of MSS mentioned above for Berthold, which are also witnesses to Bernold's text, are codices from Munich (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm. 432), Würzburg (Universitätsbibliothek M.p.h.f.1), Vienna (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 3175), Basel (Universitätsbibliothek O.II.36), and Stuttgart (Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. hist. 2_ 411). And so there is a matching "Bernold und seine Chronik" (100-118) for this author, again the emphasis being upon historical concerns.

And so some larger matters come to the fore. Robinson is a historian, and this edition is a historian's text--naturally so as the texts edited are chronicles, but additionally so as the prime uses the text were once and still are put to are historiographic. As mentioned above, the discussion of "style" in the Latin of Berthold and Bernold, call it Alemannic Latin, is brief, if nonetheless substantive in its points (with regard to verbs we are told that Berthold frequently employed intensives [collectitare, relectitare, etc.] and that his text abounds in formations in -izare [79]). The "Wortregister" (579-645, compiled by Veronika Lukas), allows one to gauge the significance of subjects (one notes how often anathema appears in collocations; 581, cols. 1-2), detect thematic elements, or assess the authors' range of reading and allusion--e.g., Berthold's use of zizania, ultimately from biblical Greek, "darnel, ryegrass," in his entry for 1075, specifically his discussion of Gregory VII's synod at Rome 24-28 February and its proceedings and after-effects: cuius spinas tribulos et zizania predecessoribus illius facillimum iam tum fuerat suo tempore cum falce disciplinali sensim demetere, tum sarculo doctrinali radicitus exsarire (222). Here Robinson's historical apparatus doubles, as it occasionally can, as testimonial apparatus: he directs the reader to Mt 13,7 for the spinas. Of course Berthold's intent here is not simply a matter of allusion: indeed he alludes to the Parable of the Sower with spinas to cast the developing Gregory-Henry stand-off in biblical phraseology, and redoubles the import with zizania. The reference now is to the second parable (aliam parabolam proposuit illis; Mt 13,24), that of the Sower who sowed good seed yet: cum autem dormirent homines venit inimicus eius et superseminavit zizania in medio tritici et abiit (Mt 13, 25). It is perhaps not entirely without merit to see literary design to Berthold's rendering of the account (the sarculo...exsarire not wholly inelegant either). Of course, it is not the historian's task to seek out such literary devices, at least not beyond their import for an annalist's veracity. And Robinson had enough to do as it was: the reader is provided with very thorough manuscript descriptions and a remarkably thorough historical apparatus (made all the clearer with recourse to Robinson 1999).

The matter turns then to the audience of this text. Though Latin is edited here, Latinists are clearly not the primary audience (though the example above of Berthold's allegorical and stylistic appropriation of Matthew is intended to show there is material enough in these chroniclers awaiting literary analysis). It is to the historians, of course, that this MGH volume is directed, and it provides plenty of raw material for future study, notwithstanding the highly detailed and authoritative treatment in Robinson's Henry IV of Germany (1999). This allows for a further refinement to the matter of audience: Robinson's two Deutsches Archiv studies, as well as the "Einleitung" and all notes to his 2003 MGH text were translated into German by his wife Helga Robinson-Hammerstein. It becomes quite clear, if one bears in mind the MGH edition, the appearance of major articles in German translation, and the doggedly documentarian style--just the facts so far as they are ascertainable from the welter of chronicles and annals anti- and pro-Henrician and free of the rhetorical butterfat that marks so much North American work--the audience emerges more clearly: continental scholars, more specifically, German historians. And while one understands the need to assess the disciplinary rhetorical and theoretical foundations and assumptions--and there is a vast literature on the subject in the past quarter century--and one is obviously given pause by the credo of the MGH seal (sanctus amor patriae dat animum), or, from Pertz's 1844 edition of the chroniclers, the reference to Germania nostra, the postmodern battle over editorial praxis was not the work to which Robinson set himself.

And so this text of 63 years. In comparison with Pertz 1844, Robinson 2003 offers a text little changed. In part, this is to be attributed to, for Berthold, manuscripts produced within a century of the author's original, and for Bernold, the existence of the autograph (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 432). It is due also to editorial conservatism. Though collation and re-collation of the relevant manuscripts were made over the years, little new and substantive emerged: a tribute to Pertz as editor. Robinson can differ from Pertz in handling manuscript variants, usually not of any great significance: in the "zweite Fassung" of Berthold, which begins with a life of Hermann der Lahme von Reichenau, Pertz read luculenter in the passage satis luculenter composuit et ordinavit in the section Studium Herimanni while Robinson prints luculente (167). While Pertz either expanded (more frequently) or printed the e caudata, Robinson normally simply prints e (orthographical variations between the editors could be easily multiplied; Pertz has a tendency to select manuscript readings of German names that look, quite simply, more Germanic: thus Chounradi for Cunradi). Robinson has a tendency to punctuate more heavily and less classically than Pertz and to normalize more frequently (Pertz retains MS set where Robinson prints sed, and so forth). As mentioned before, Robinson's text presents a very spare apparatus criticus (and here this involves variae lectiones as the texts have received so little critical attention and so few proposed emendations have accrued). What is of concern in comparing the two editions, yet has no bearing on the many merits of Robinson's careful and thoroughly annotated text, is that in some 650 pages Robinson presents two chronicles, with an exhaustive introduction, while within 600 Pertz edited 19 texts (divided among the annales minores, chronica minora, annales maiores, chronica generalia). Hermann der Lahme's chronicon awaits similar reassessment, as do others. There is the worrisome sense that there are not enough hands to the task; edition-making is certainly out of fashion in North American academe. But one is to be grateful to Professor Robinson that such work is still done.


[1] MGH SS V: Bernold of Konstanz at 385-467, Berthold of Reichenau at 264-326.

[2] Wilhelm Wattenbach and Robert Holtzmann, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Deutsche Kaiserzeit Heft, 1-4 (Berlin: E. Ebering, 1938-43). Tangl had earlier published her Die Teilnehmer an den allgemeinen Konzilien des Mittelalters (Weimar: BÖhlau, 1922; rpt. 1969) and Das Register Innocenz III. über die Reichsfrage 1198-1209 (Leipzig: Verlag der Dykschen Buchhandlung, 1923; rpt. New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1965).

[3] "Gregory VII and the soldiers of Christ," History 58 (1973), 169-92, to be followed by Authority and Resistance in the Investiture Contest (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1978) and others.

[4] "Zur Arbeitsweise Bernolds von Konstanz und seines Kreise. Untersuchungen zum Schlettstädter Codex 13," DA 34 (1978), 51-122, and "Die Chronik Hermanns von Reichenau und die Reichenauer Kaiserchronik," DA 36 (1980), 84-136.

[5] See, for instance, Max FÖrster, "Die Weltzeitalter bei den Angelsachsen," in Neusprachliche Studien. Festgabe Karl Luick zu seinem sechzigsten Geburtstage (Marburg a.d. Lahn: N.G. Elwertische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1925), pp. 183-203.