The Annals of Metz and the Merovingian past

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The late eighth and ninth centuries were a significant period of Carolingian historiography. Many narrative compositions, whose main purpose was to interpret political circumstances or even to legitimate contemporary events, were compiled and disseminated throughout the Frankish kingdom. One of the most fascinating and intriguing compilations produced during that period is the so-called Annales Mettenses Priores. These annals, covering the years 678–830, provide a substantially different account from that offered by other contemporary sources, and their author's distinctive voice and interest give them a personal tone, rarely found in medieval historical narratives. The patriotic interest of the Annales Mettenses Priores in the rise of the Carolingian house and their systematic denunciation of the Merovingian rulers make them, to a greater extent, an unreliable source on Merovingian matters, and subsequently they have often been described as Carolingian propaganda par excellence. It is, therefore, well justified to ask whether such an image of the Annales Mettenses Priores is appropriate, and what interests and concerns of the present shaped the views of the author who compiled such an unusual narrative.

The Annales Mettenses Priores have been the subject of several debates since 1895, when their sole complete manuscript was discovered by Karl Hampe at Durham Cathedral Library. Until now these debates have focused on two main questions: the place of production and the process of composition.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe uses of the past in the early Middle Ages
EditorsYitzhak Hen, Matthew Innes
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9780521639989
StatePublished - 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'The Annals of Metz and the Merovingian past'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this