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Flodoard

French historian and chronicler, b. at Epernay in 894; d. in 966

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Flodoard (or FRODOARD), French historian and chronicler, b. at Epernay in 894; d. in 966. He was educated at Reims, where he became canon of the cathedral and keeper of the episcopal archives. He visited Rome during the pontificate of Leo VII (936-939) and was shown much favor by the pope. In gratitude he wrote a long poem in Latin hexameters, celebrating the deeds of Christ and of the first saints in Palestine and Antioch, adding a versified narration of the history of the popes. The whole work, which is legendary rather than historical, was dedicated to Archbishop Rotbert of Trier. When his patron and protector, Archbishop Artold of Reims, was deposed through the intrigues of the powerful Heribert, Count of Vermandois, Flodoard remained loyal to him, and after Artold’s reestablishment became his trusted counsellor. In 952 he retired to a monastery, probably that of St. Basol, and became abbot. This dignity he laid down when seventy years of age.

At the instance of Archbishop Rotbert Flodoard undertook to write a history of the Church of Reims, “Historia Remensis ecclesiae”, for which he used the episcopal archives as well as the writings of Bishop Hincmar. This work is of the greatest value on account of the completeness of the material as well as the truthfulness of the narration. Flodoard’s other great work is the “Annales”, which covers the period from 919 to 966. With the most painstaking exactness he narrates in plain, simple language all the events that happened during these years, and thus the work is of the utmost importance for a knowledge of the history of France, Lorraine, and the East Franconian realm. With this chronicle he was occupied almost to the day of his death. An addition was made subsequently to cover the period from 976-978. The”Historia Remensis ecclesiw” was first edited by Sirmond (Paris, 1611); the best edition is that of Heller and Waitz in the “Monumenta Germanise historica: Scriptores”, XIII, 405-599 (Hanover, 1881). The “Annales” were edited by Pertz in the same work, III, 363-408 (Hanover, 1839). The poem was published in Mabillon’s “Acta Sanctorum”, vol. III (Paris, 1668-1701). Flodoard’s complete works were published with a French translation by the Academy of Reims (Reims, 1854-55, 3 vols.) and in Migne’s Latin Patrology, CXXXV, 1-886.

ARTHUR F. J. REMY


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