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July 23, 2021

Carolingian Poetry

Carolingian Poetry

A dramatic reading of medieval poems.


History is not simply an assemblage of facts, it includes feelings and sentiments. Our ancestors cooked and ate certain dishes, composed and played music, lived and loved. To understand the past we cannot just think, we must also experience. In this episode, I and four of my colleagues and friends got together to read a number of poems written during the Frankish Empire under Charlemagne and his successors in their original Latin and their English translations. The following poems are:

“King Pippin’s Victory over the Avars” by Anonymous, read by Bry Rayburn of Pontifacts

“Visio Wettini: Charlemagne in Hell” by Walahfrid Strabo, read by Dr. Tara Sewell-Lasater

“The Nightingale,” by Alcuin, read by Chris Aichler

“The Battle of Fontenoy” by Angelbert, read by myself


“Elegy on his Life at Aachen” by Alcuin, read by Ben Jacobs of Wittenburg to Westphalia.

Background piano music was provided by Momma French History Podcast. Please enjoy.