Medieval History

(Prof. Dr. Ludger Körntgen)

Worshipper or Warrior? Representations of the Ruler in Ottonian-Salic Historiography and Iconography

The representation of Emperor Henry II (1002 – 1014) as a ruler in the Regensburg Sacramentary used a Byzantine model where the concrete military components, armour and weapons of the emperor, are spiritualised or completely omitted in the Ottonian implementation. This is all the more conspicuous, as the ruler’s personal direction of military campaigns in the Early Medieval tradition of the West was a matter of course, while in Byzantium generals mostly took over this task until the time of Comnenian dynasty, Late Antique conceptions of the ruler as a personally involved military leader were renewed. The comparative view of Byzantium therefore shows that the extensive absence of military elements in the iconography of Ottonian-Salic rulers requires a deeper explanation. For this purpose, it is necessary to analyse in depth the importance of military and religious moments in the ruler’s representation, the iconography and the historiography of the Ottonian-Salic period and to reconcile it with the military action of the rulers.


The Defeated Men: The Treatment of Defeated Byzantine Warriors and Prisoners of War in Italy from the Late-Lombard Period to the End of the Norman Conquest

Despite intensified research into war in the Middle Ages, the treatment of prisoners has so far only been investigated to a limited extent. This doctoral project asks to what extent the treatment of defeated and/or imprisoned Byzantines by Late-Lombard and Norman opponents in Italy reflected the experiences and perceptions of Byzantium. The basis for research are written sources comprising contemporary Italian or Norman historiography from Liudprand of Cremona to William of Apulia. For comparison, studies on the warfare of Basil II and the Normans in Normandy and England are to be used.