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Monte Cassino

Monte Cassino by John`Warwick' Smith (1749–1831)

Monte Cassino by John`Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831)

The abbey on the mountain overlooking Cassino was founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia circa 529. Little of its earliest history is known. It was destroyed by the Lombards in 577, so Paul the Deacon tells us, following a nightly invasion of Lombards, which resulted in all resident monks fleeing to Rome, where they found refuge with the papacy. According to Paul, writing over two centuries after the event, the fleeing monks had the presence of mind to take the most important benedictine items with them, including a copy of the Rule of Benedict, some other writings, and measures of bread and wine and other utensils. The destruction by the Lombards inaugurated a prolonged period in which the hill was abandoned by all but a little-organised group of ascetics, before Pope Gregory II and ‘a divine love’ moved the Brescian Petronax to re-establish a monastery at castrum casinese. He was elected the leader of these viri simplices already living on the hill, instituted life under the rule of Benedict, and built hoc sanctum coenobium in its present spot. Soon, Paul assures us, the site harboured many monks of noble birth as well as of more humble station.

Monte Cassino in Italian politics[1]

Monte Cassino’s role in eighth-century Italian politics starts with its re-foundation in 717, some 140 years after the destruction of the abbey by the Lombards in 577 (the first of four recorded destructions).[2] This disaster, as foretold by Benedict himself, followed a nightly invasion of Lombards and resulted in all resident monks fleeing to Rome, where they found refuge with the papacy. According to Paul the Deacon, writing over two centuries after the event, the fleeing monks had the presence of mind to take the most important Benedictine items with them, including a copy of the Rule of Benedict, some other writings, and measures of bread and wine and other utensils.[3] The destruction by the Lombards inaugurated a prolonged period in which the hill was abandoned by all but a little-organised group of ascetics, before Pope Gregory II (r. 715-731) and ‘a divine love’ moved the Brescian Petronax to re-establish a monastery at castrum casinense.[4] Petronax was elected the leader of these viri simplices already living on the hill, instituted life under the rule of Benedict, and built hoc sanctum coenobium in its present spot. Soon, Paul assures us, the site harboured many monks of noble birth as well as of more humble station.[5]

Despite this influx of inmates, the earliest growth of Monte Cassino’s landed wealth appears to have been slow.[6] In this respect, it was similar to its neighbour San Vincenzo al Volturno, established c. 700 by the Beneventan noblemen Paldo, Tato, and Taso. The history of both foundations would be intertwined for the next centuries.[7] The increase of Monte Cassino’s prestige and landed wealth seems to have sped up in the 740’s, in a tumultuous period that saw alliances forged and broken between Spoleto, Benevento, and the papacy.[8] It was Pope Zachary (r. 741-752), who returned to the abbey the treasures which their fleeing predecessors had taken to Rome, including the aforesaid copy of the rule.[9] Around the same time, high-ranking rulers chose the abbey as their place of monastic exile: Frankish house mayor Carloman in 747 and the Lombard King Ratchis in 749. In 747 Fulda’s first abbot Sturmi and two monks spent a year at Monte Cassino in a bid to learn about the Benedictine way of life.[10] Parallel to its growing esteem, the abbey’s landed wealth increased from the 740’s onwards. The possessions of the abbey, known as the Terra Sancti Benedicti, were established through a significant grant by Gisulf II, duke of Benevento (r. 743 – 749 x 753) in the heady days of 744, which saw the death of King Liutprand as well as the deposition of his successor Hildeprand and the rise of Duke Ratchis to the royal throne.[11] For Gisulf II the departure of the centralising Lombard King Liutprand probably constituted a convenient occasion to assert Benevento’s autonomy: at the same time his gift would have met with approval from the papacy, which maintained strong ties with Monte Cassino, as well as the new, philoroman King Ratchis.[12] Duke Gisulf II possibly also donated the churches of S. Maria in Cingla and S. Maria in Piumarola.[13]

In the subsequent decades, the monastery attracted more ducal interest with donations that must be viewed in the context of the altered political context in Italy after 774. The stage was set with King Charles’s conquering of the Lombard kingdom following the taking of Pavia. Although outside the regnum Langobardorum, the monks of Monte Cassino, with its possessions in the duchy of Spoleto, must have followed the political developments closely: one of the earliest casinese manuscripts, containing paschal tables whose entries up to 774 almost exclusively pertain to Byzantine emperors, for that year has the ominous gloss ‘the Franks came to Italy’.[14]

Although the South was not directly threatened, the power change in the North did inspire power shifts in the south. Duke Theudicius of Spoleto found his death in the battle against the Franks, which cemented the outcome of the recent coup in the duchy by Hildeprand (r. 774-789), who was initially an ally of the papacy but about a year later swore an oath of loyalty towards Charlemagne.[15] The Carolingian influence in the duchy was sustained until well into the ninth century when Winigis (ob. 822), a former Carolingian missus and probably not a local, assumed the ducal throne in 789.

The changed political circumstances seem to form the context of some of the most impressive donations to Monte Cassino in this period. In the autumn following the capture of Pavia, Duke Arichis II of Benevento (r. 758-787) gave his prestigious foundation of S. Sofia in Benevento to the monks of Monte Cassino, as well as lands around Capua.[16] Duke Hildeprand of Spoleto gave large amounts of land in the Abruzzo in 782.[17] Both duchies thus tried to draw Monte Cassino closer within their orbit. Their competition must be understood in the context of Carolingian presence in Italy. Spoleto’s Duke Hildeprand was allied to Charlemagne, whereas the Lombard conquest of 773-4 inspired Duke Arichis II of Benevento to adopt a more independent attitude, styling himself as ‘prince’ rather than ‘duke’.[18] Indirectly, Spoletan gifts pulled the abbey within the Carolingian sphere of influence, something that is reflected in the ostentatious reference to Charlemagne as king of the Lombards in Hildeprand’s charter.[19]

Besides inspiring local rulers to donate large gifts, the Frankish presence north and the expectations of further Carolingian advancements south appear to have impacted on monastery politics in both Monte Cassino and San Vincenzo. Similar to Nonantola and Farfa in the north, Monte Cassino and San Vincenzo may have acted as channels of ‘subtle intrusion of Frankish influence’.[20] At the monastery of San Vincenzo the concerns for the looming Frankish expansion came to the fore in the matter of the Lombard abbot, Poto, who in the years 783 and 784 fell victim to pro-Carolingian forces within his own monastery and was deposed on the accusation of refusing to pray for the king and his family.[21] At Monte Cassino the long shadow of the Carolingians may have contributed to the election of a Frank as abbot in 777 or 778. Theodemar, the new abbot, had clear pro-Carolingian sentiments.[22]

Pro-Carolingian sentiments thus seemed to have the winning hand in the decade and a half since the fall of Pavia. In addition, its most antagonistic attitude, Benevento’s progressively independent course, was severely challenged during Charlemagne’s only incursion in the south of Italy, against Benevento, in 787. It was during this campaign that Charlemagne visited the abbey of Monte Cassino: on his journey towards Capua in that 787, Charlemagne climbed the hill overlooking Cassino causa orationis, ‘in order to pray to the blessed father Benedict’. Here he committed himself, according to the Chronica Monasterii Casinensis, to the ‘brothers serving God’.[23] After arriving in Capua, he gave out charters for the cathedral of Benevento,[24] the abbey of San Vincenzo,[25] and back in Rome some days later he issued a charter for Monte Cassino,[26] which may be seen as a confirmation of the bond established during his visit some weeks earlier. These Italian charters are important witnesses to the Charlemagne’s Italian politics. They do not simply reflect a business arrangement, but are the remains of a performative social action which established a reciprocal relationship between the Carolingian king and the recipient religious centres. The understood, but not often advertised, reciprocal gift could be one of political support and loyalty or spiritual benefit or any combination of both.[27]

Charlemagne did not give land in his diplomas to Italian ecclesiastical institutions. Instead, he granted Monte Cassino, the cathedral of Benevento and San Vincenzo confirmation of past grants and immunity, and both monasteries also the right to free elections of abbots. Especially the latter privilege was a rare and significant benefaction.[28] These diplomas were powerful political acts: instead of reflecting a reality in which the king was in a position to fulfil these promises and protect the granted rights, these charters were probably meant to forge or influence reality. At the time of issuing, it was not at all certain that Charlemagne would be in a position to enforce these new privileges, or to uphold his confirmations of others. Prince Arichis of Benevento was still holding out in Salerno, making these charters politically provocative gestures, especially since Charles confirmed some of Arichis’s grants including his most prestigious, the gifting of S. Sofia di Benevento to Monte Cassino.[29]

The agency in these arranged relationships, however, was not limited to Charlemagne: the monasteries were also sentient parties in these connections. This is reflected in the not too common formula chosen for the Monte Cassino and San Vincenzo charters. In the formula, Charles declares to believe ‘that the greatest bulwark of the realm is strengthened’ when the petitions of priests and servants of God are heard with a willing heart and acted upon.[30] This suggests that Charles acted on supplications by the communities of the two monasteries, although this is not explicitly stated by the text. This formula may be aimed at exactly that: suggesting a request by the clergy and suggesting that the clergy recognised Carolingian dominance and put their trust in Charles. Since the two monasteries at this stage were, to some degree, in a position in which they could choose their patrons, the ‘choice’ of the monasteries was all the more meaningful. It makes these charters, also for Monte Cassino, powerful physical traces that embodied and memorialised an act of patronage or alliance.[31]

The charters for the three south Italian institutions have been described as ‘near carbon-copies’ by Chris Wickham,[32] although there are some small differences between the diploma for the house on the Volturno and the one for Monte Cassino: the latter’s connection with Saint Benedict is made explicit in the mention that his ‘most holy body’ was buried there.[33] Furthermore, a link between the Carolingian family and the monastery is suggested by the somewhat puzzling sentence, not present in the San Vincenzo charter, closing the list of previous grants. In the casinese charter it reads ‘and furthermore […] all other possessions that are donated through the beneficence of our father Pippin and our father’s [father] Charles en other kings or queens, dukes, princes or good men’.[34] It suggests earlier grants from Charlemagne’s forefathers to the abbey. This is not impossible in light of Carloman’s sojourn: it is possible that the charter refers to donations of treasure or immunities granted by Charlemagne’s forebears. As Mayke de Jong explained, monasteries represented a ‘sacred space’, as well as a ‘hands-off zone’ where secular rulers and courtiers might retire if their position became untenable or dangerous.[35] It was important for these places to have their sacrality confirmed in exemptions and immunities. With Carloman’s retreat in Monte Cassino, the sacrality of this house must have been established for the Carolingians and it is possible that this was substantiated through earlier Carolingian privileges. At the very least, the sentence in Monte Cassino’s charter emphasises an established direct connection between Charles’s family and the abbey.

Another variance from the San Vincenzo diploma may constitute a reference to the Rule of Benedict: At the conclusion of the text, the monks and abbots are enjoined to live ‘in peace according to the holy order’ (secundum ordinem sanctum), whereas the community of San Vincenzo is simply expected to live ‘regularly’ (regulariter).[36] This possibly implies that a special responsibility for Monte Cassino was perceived in the maintenance of the Benedictine Regula and perhaps the subject had come up during Charlemagne’s visit.

Charlemagne’s campaign in southern Italy came to a somewhat unexpected close when Prince Arichis died in 787 and his heir-apparent to the princely throne, Grimoald, happened to be in the king’s custody as a hostage. Despite major objections from Pope Zachary, Charlemagne decided to free Grimoald after he had pledged to recognise Carolingian dominance and display this in coinage, the shaving of Beneventan men and charter formulas.[37] Together with these symbolical affirmations of Carolingian domination, it seems that even in practice Charlemagne was able to exert some influence over Benevento in these years. This paid off with the defeat of the Byzantine fleet by a Carolingian coalition including Grimoald (r. 788-806), Hildeprand of Spoleto and Winigis, the future Carolingian appointee for the Duchy of Spoleto. In 791, however, the principality reclaimed its autonomy and rejected the outward formal symbols of homage, which signified a loss of Carolingian influence in the region and resulted in an inconsequential frontier war with Charlemagne’s sons Pippin and Louis. Slightly later, in 796 Carolingian foothold on Monte Cassino took a blow with the election of Gisulf, a Lombard related to the Beneventan princely family.[38]

With the election of Gisulf in 797, Benevento had succeeded in installing its own candidate and effectively forging anew a strong interdependent relationship between Benevento and one of the most important monasteries in the region. The new orientation of the monastery was reflected in two grants given by Grimoald in 797.[39] In the subsequent decades, the passing of the danger of Carolingian dominance over the Monte Cassino elicited a wave of Beneventan gifts that resulted in impressive ninth-century building programmes, as well as the preservation of the abbey within the Beneventan political orbit.[40] Conversely, Charlemagne’s 787 grants were looking worthless from a casinese viewpoint, but especially from a Carolingian perspective. Subsequently, no more royal or imperial charters with the abbey as beneficiary are known to be issued since Charlemagne’s charter in 787 until Lothar I’s in 835.[41] As G.V.B. West commented: ‘Monte Cassino seems to have had nothing to do with the Carolingians for a generation after 797’.[42] By contrast, San Vincenzo held a much more ambiguous stance towards the patronage of the Carolingians and the Beneventans in the half century between 787 and 835, receiving three Carolingian charters in the same period.[43]

The ascendency of Gisulf to the abbacy appears to have made a profound impression on the Carolingians. From 796 we find increased political and military activity in the duchy of Spoleto, with forces moving southwards in 797, 800-1 and 803.[44] Gisulf’s abbacy of Benedictus’s own monastery perhaps demonstrated to the Carolingian rulers what the consequences could be of a self-assuredly independent region to the south of the empire’s border.


[1] This section has been copied from my chapter ‘Monte Cassino and Carolingian politics around 800’, in: Rob Meens et al. (eds), Religious Franks. Religion and power in the Frankish kingdoms: Studies in honour of Mayke de Jong (Manchester, 2016), 279-95, there 280-88.

[2] The others are the destruction by the Saracens in 883, by an earthquake in 1349, and by allied bombing just over 70 years ago.

[3] ‘Circa haec tempora coenobium beati Benedicti patris, quod in castro Casino situm est, a Langobardis noctu invaditur. Qui universa diripientes, nec unum ex monachis tenere potuerunt […] Fugientes quoque ex eodem loco monachi Romam petierunt, secum codicem sanctae regulae, quam praefatus pater conposuerat, et quaedam alia scripta necnon pondus panis et mensuram vini et quidquid ex supellectili subripere poterant deferentes’: Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum (hereafter HL), IV.17, MGH SS rer. Lang, pp. 12-192, at p. 122.

[4] ‘Circa haec tempora Petronax, civis Brexianae urbis, divino amore conpunctus, Romam venit hortatuque tunc Gregorii apostolicae sedis papae huc Cassinum castrum petiit, atque ad sacrum corpus beati Benedicti patris perveniens, ibi cum aliquibus simplicibus viris iam ante residentibus habitare coepit’: HL, VI.40 (p. 178). On the interpretation of the phrase ‘viri simplices’, see Réginald Grégoire, ‘Montecassino ospitava alcuni eremiti nel 717’, Benedictina 25 (1978), pp. 413-16.

[5] ‘Hic non post multum tempus, cooperante divina misericordia et suffragantibus meritis beati Benedicti patris, iamque evolutis fere centum et decem annis, ex quo locus ille habitatione t hominum destitutus erat, multorum ibi monachorum, nobilium et mediocrium, ad se concurrentium pater effectus, sub sanctae regulae iugum u et beati Benedicti institutione, reparatis habitaculis, vivere coepit atque hoc sanctum coenobium in statum a quo nunc cernitur erexit’, HL VI.40.

[6] Chris Wickham, ‘Monastic lands and monastic patrons’, in: Richard Hodges (ed.), San Vincenzo al Volturno 2: The 1980-86 Excavations, part II, Archaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome, 9 (Rome, 1995), pp. 138-52, at p. 142.

[7] Paul the Deacon certainly seems to view the two foundations as associated, judging from his description of their establishment in the same chapter of the HL VI.40. Ninth-century Beneventan donors have been known to give gifts simultaneously to both houses, see Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, p. 145.

[8]Chris Wickham, Early medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society 400-1000 (London/Basingstoke, 1981), pp. 44-5.

[9] ‘…Deo dilectus pontifex Zacharias plura adiutoria contulit , libros scilicet sanctae scripturae et alia quaeque quae ad utili tatem monasterii pertinent d ; insuper et regulam , quam beatus pater Benedictus suis sanctis manibus conscripsit , paterna pietate concessit’: HL VI.40. See Chronica monasterii Casinensis (hereafter CC), I.4, ed. Hartmut Hoffmann, Die Chronik von Montecassino (Chronica monasterii Casinensis), MGH SS 34; See Paul Meyvaert, ‘Problems concerning the “autograph” manuscript of Saint Benedict’s Rule’, Revue bénédictine, 69 (1959), pp. 3-21.

[10] Eigil, Vita Sturmi abbatis Fuldensis, c. 14, ed. P. Engelbert, Die Vita Sturmi des Eigils von Fulda: Literarkritische-historische Untersuchung und Edition (Marburg, 1968); Rudolf of Fulda, Vita Sanctae Liobae, c. 10, MGH SS 15.1, pp. 127-31.

[11] CC I.5, 6.

[12] On Roman-Lombard relationships in the 740’s, see Thomas F.X. Noble, The Republic of St. Peter: The Birth of the Papal State, 680-825 (Philadelphia, 1984), pp. 42-57.

[13] Luigi Fabiani, La Terra di S. Benedetto: Studio storico-giuridico sull’Abbazia di Montecassino dall’VIII al XIII secolo, Miscellanea Cassinese, 33-4 (Montecassino, 1968), 25; Three of Gisulf’s charters are printed in Erasmo Gattola, Historia abbatiae cassinensis (Venice, 1733), 26–8.

[14] Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense, MS 641 (fols. 1-81, s. ixin); The paschal tables are found on fols. 49r-75v, following works by Alcuin and astronomical texts. On the manuscript, see Anna Saitta Revignas (ed.), Catologo dei manoscritti della biblioteca casanatense (nuova serie) vol. 6 (Roma, 1978), pp. 151-7. The only other non-Byzantine entry concerns Petronax’s re-foundation of Monte Cassino. The focus on Monte Cassino as evinced by the entry on Petronax and the centennial of his arrival suggest that the glossator was working from the abbey before the manuscript moved to Benevento sometime around 875.

[15] See Ottorino Bertolini, ‘Carlomagno e Benevento’, in: W. Braunfels et al. (eds.), Karl der Grosse: Leben und Nachleben (Düsseldorf, 1965), vol. 1, pp. 609-71, at pp. 611-16; G.V.B West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement in central and southern Italy: Power and the limits of authority’, Early Medieval Europe, 8 (1999), 341–67, at 343.

[16] Erchempert, Historia Langobardorum Beneventanorum, c. 4, 14, MGH SS rer. Lang., pp. 231-64, at 236, 240; cf. CC I.9

[17] CC I.14, 39. On the substantive grant, see Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, p. 142.

[18] See Hans H Kaminsky, ‘Zum Sinngehalt des Princeps-Titels Arichis’ II. von Benevent’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 8 (1974), pp. 81–92.

[19] Printed in Erasmo Gattola, Historiam abbatiae cassinensis accessiones (Venice, 1734), p. 18.

[20] The phrase is Noble’s, Republic, p. 159; On Farfa, see Marios Costambeys, Power and Patronage in Early Medieval Italy: Local Society, Italian Politics and the Abbey of Farfa, c. 700-900 (Cambridge, 2007); Susan Boynton, Shaping a Monastic Identity: Liturgy and History at the imperial abbey of Farfa, 1000-1125 (Ithaca, 2006); and Franz J. Felten, ‘Zur Geschichte der Klöster Farfa und S. Vincenzo al Volturno im achten Jahrhundert’, Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, 62 (1982), 1–58; On Nonantola under Frankish influence and dominion, see Richard Matthew Pollard, ‘“Libri di scuola spirituale”: Manuscripts and marginalia at the monastery of Nonantola’, in: Lucio Del Corso and Oronzo Pecere (eds.), Libri di scuola e pratiche didattiche dall’ Antichità al Rinascimento: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di studi Cassino, 7-10 maggio 2008, (Cassino, 2010), pp. 331–401.

[21] Codex Carolinus, nos. 66-7, MGH Epp. 3, pp. 469-657, at pp. 593-7; See Hubert Houben, ‘Karl der Grosse und die Absetzung des Abtes Potho von San Vincenzo am Volturno’, Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, 65 (1985), pp. 405–17; Bertolini, ‘Carlomagno e Benevento’, pp. 625–31.

[22] G. Falco, ‘Lineamenti di storia cassinese nei secoli VIII e IX’, Cassinensia, 2 (1929), pp. 457-548, at pp. 478-81; For the dates of his abbacy, see Hartmut Hoffmann, ‘Die älteren Abtslisten von Montecassino’, Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, 47 (1967), pp. 224–354, at p. 249.

[23] CC I.12.

[24] MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 156, pp. 211-12 (Capua, 22 March 787).

[25] MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 157, pp. 212-13 (Capua, 24 March 787).

[26] MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 158, pp. 213-16 (Rome, 28 March 787); On the genuineness of the core of this charter, see Erich Caspar, ‘Echte und gefälschte Karolingerurkunden für Monte Cassino’, Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für Ältere Deutsche Geschichtskunde zur Beförderung einer Gesamtausgabe der Quellenschriften deutscher Geschichten des Mittelalters, 33 (1908), pp. 53–74.

[27] See Mayke de Jong, In Samuel’s image: Child oblation in the early medieval West (Leiden, Cologne and New York, 1996), pp. 275-9; For Italy, see Mayke de Jong and Peter Erhart, ‘Monachesimo tra i Longobardi e i Carolingi’, in: Carlo Bertelli and Gian Pietro Brogiolo (eds.), Il futuro dei Longobardi: L’Italia e la costruzione dell’Europa di Carlo Magno. Saggi (Milan, 2000), pp. 105–27; Mayke de Jong, ‘Carolingian monasticism: The power of prayer’, in: Rosamond McKitterick (ed.), New Cambridge medieval history, (Cambridge, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 622–53.

[28] West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, p. 354.

[29] Ibidem; Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, pp. 142–6.

[30] ‘Maximum regni nostri in hoc augere credimus munimentum, si petitionibus sacerdotum atque servorum dei, in quo nostris auribus fuerint prolate, libenti animo obtemperamus atque ad effectum perducimus regiam consuetudinem exercemus et hoc nobis ad mercedis augmentum vel stabilitatem regni nostri in dei nomine pertinere confidimus’, MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 157 (p. 212), no. 158 (p. 214). The formula in this form is used for the first time in 775 (in a grant of immunity to the monastery of Farfa – see MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 99 (pp. 142-3)), ostensibly for grants on request. For background to the significance of formulas, see Herwig Wolfram, ‘Political theory and narrative in charters’, Viator, 26 (1995), pp. 39–51.

[31] See Geoffrey Koziol, The politics of memory and identity in Carolingian royal diplomas: The West Frankish Kingdom (840-987), Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy, 19 (Turnhout, 2012), esp. chapter 1.

[32] Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, p. 146.

[33] On the presence of Benedict’s body, see Hoffmann, ‘Die älteren Abtslisten’, 342–6; On the tradition of Benedicts translation to Fleury, see Patrick Geary, Furta sacra: Theft of Relics in the Central Middle Ages (Princeton, 1978; rev. edn. 1990), pp. 120–2.

[34] ‘insuper et cetera monasteriola vel cellulas ut villas seu reliquas possessiones, que ex largitate genitoris nostri Pipini ac patrui nostri Caroli aliorumque regum vel reginarum, ducum sive principum vel bonorum hominum ibi sunt date vel delegate’, MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 158, p. 215: Cf. MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 157, p. 212.

[35] Mayke de Jong, ‘Monastic prisoners, or opting out? Political coercion and honour in the Frankish kingdoms’, in: Mayke de Jong, F. Theuws, and A.C. van Rhijn (eds.), Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden/Boston/Cologne, 2001), pp. 291-329, at pp. 293-4.

[36] MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 158, p. 215; MGH DD Kar. 1, no. 157, p. 213.

[37] Barbara Kreutz, Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries (Philadelphia, 1993), p. 7; On the pope’s objections, see Codex Carolinus, no. 80, pp. 612-3; On the superficial signs of deference, see Erchempert, Historia, c. 4, p. 236.

[38] CC, I.17, p. 57; On the dates of his abbacy, see Hoffmann, ‘Die älteren Abtslisten’, 249–53.

[39] West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, 359; The charters are printed by Gattola, Accessiones, 18–19.

[40] Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, 147.

[41] MGH DD Lo I / Lo II, no. 24, pp. 96-8 (Pavia, 21 feb. 835), see Herbert Bloch, Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages (Rome, 1986), p. 831 (no. 324). See also Falco, ‘Lineamenti’, pp. 509-10; On the context of Lothar I’s 835 charter, see Elina Screen, ‘Lothar I in Italy, 834-40: Charters and authority’, in: Jonathan Jarrett and Allan Scott McKinley (ed.), Problems and possibilities of early medieval charters, (Turnhout, 2013), 231–52; and see West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, p. 359, n. 106.

[42] West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, p. 367; Wickham, ‘Monastic lands’, pp. 146–7;

[43] Although not in the period between 800 and 819; See West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, p. 360.

[44] Annales Regni Francorum, s.a. 800, 801, MGH SS rer. Germ. 6; Bertolini, ‘Carlomagno e Benevento’, pp. 656–7; See West, ‘Charlemagne’s involvement’, p. 363.