[Wikipedia-l] Regnal Chronicles on the hostking site

Julie Hofmann Kemp juleskemp at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 29 17:12:06 UTC 2002

Hi all -- I can't speak to the more modern stuff, but I am very leery of
using this for Late Antiquity (what the author calls the Dark Ages) and
the Middle Ages.  It's not so much that he's wrong, but what he's done
is often a bit misleading and *not right*.  I think the basic problem is
that he's tried to do what a lot of folks do -- force a more modern idea
of a boundaried kingdom on a geographical area, and then try to make a
list of rulers that fit a preconceived notion of what a kingdom (or
duchy) was like.  Then, you try to create some kind of coherent dynasty,
generally based on rights of primogeniture that did not exist among
Germanic people at the time.  

I'm probably saying more than is necessary, but this is stuff I'm pretty
comfortable with.  I'd better be!  This rigidity often gets in the way
of good scholarship.

By the way -- as an interesting aside, for those of you who have been
keeping up with the Oda von Haldesleben front, a couple of things I have
no way of proving (no documentary sources in the manner of land
transactions, necrologies, etc to hand -- probably not in this country)
have popped into my head.  Otto is what is known as a "leading name" in
the (most likely) Frankish family we call the Liudolfinger
(Liudolfings).  We know that they held lands in what became Saxony (then
around the Saxon and Northern marches.  Oda's father was Theoderic,
Count of the Northern March (not strictly an inherited position at this
time, but often held by successive members of a family).  Some (mostly
genealogical) sources call him Count of Saxony -- making little sense,
because if anybody's claiming connected, heritable lands and titles in
"Saxony", it's the Liudolfinger.  But -- Oda is the feminine form of
Otto -- a Liudolfinger leading name.  My guess, based on very little
evidence, is that Oda was a peripheral member of the Liudolfinger -- a
distant cousin of Otto the Great (I say distant, because I don't think
Theoderic is a name found much among the L's, but he could have married
a female liudolfing, and it would have been normal to give a leading
name to strengthen the impression of connection to this really important
family).   So, via marriage, Mieszko I may have been trying to
ameliorate relations with the Ottonians (by the late tenth c. the name
more commonly used for the Liudolfinger).   Or, I could be totally off
base.  Still, I think it explains why Miesko would kidnap a nun.

Thanks for putting up with my mad rantings --



Julie Hofmann Kemp 

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