A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals

A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals Facsimile Edition

Probably Treves (Germany) — 9th century

From the emperor's favorite monastery: an important primary source from the reign of Emperor Charlemagne covering the years 794 to 803

  1. The Lorsch Monastery was one of the favorite monasteries of Charlemagne (742–814)

  2. Represents the original document from southwestern Germany that later manuscripts were based on

  3. It also contains an important fragment of the *Instructio ad competentes* by Niceta Remesiana

A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals

Eyewitness accounts of the life and reign of Charlemagne are among the most precious artifacts of the Middle Ages. A facsimile edition has been made of such a source from the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna: A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals. It is an important primary source on the reign of the mighty Frankish warlord and patron of the arts with information filled in year by year. Possibly originating from Trêves, it was later appended at the great scriptorium of Reichenau.

A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals

The keeper of this manuscript presents A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals in this small, handsome book as a full facsimile edition of the remarkable little Ms. 515 of the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. Although nowadays it contains no more than 8 leaves measuring no more than 235 mm x 168 mm, it is still of uncommon value because of its early date and of the texts contained in it. Interest in this manuscript has been very great, as is proved by the impressive bibliography on p. 26–29. The most important text in it is the large fragment of the Annales Laureshamenses, beginning with the year 794 and ending in 803: it is the original manuscript of this primary source on the history of Charlemagne; the important facts of the reign are filled in year by year.

A Rare Witness to Charlemagne

Its author was probably Richbod, Bishop of Trêves, who was abbot in Lorsch from 784 till 791/2; he died in 804, which fits in with the annals' ending in 803; however the bad Latin makes it impossible that it was written or dictated directly by him. It was not written in Lorsch, but in a scriptorium of south-west Germany, perhaps Trêves. Later the manuscript went to Reichenau, where the Old High German poem was written on a blank space and where the first epigraph of the annals was made. The last text in the manuscript has recently been recognized as an important fragment of the Instructio ad competentes by Niceta Remesiana, a contemporary of Ambrosius, whose works are nearly completely lost.


Alternative Titles
Fragment der Lorscher Annalen
Size / Format
16 pages / 23.5 × 16.8 cm
9th century
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals – Cod. Vindob. 515 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Facsimile Edition
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1967
Facsimile Editions

#1 Das Fragment der Lorscher Annalen

Binding: Linen
Commentary: 1 volume (50 pages) by Franz Unterkircher
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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