Flodoard (of Reims) (893/4 – 28 March 966) was a Frankish chronicler and priest of the cathedral church of Reims in the West Frankish kingdom during the decades following the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire. His historical writings are major sources for the history of Western Europe in the early and mid tenth century.


According to local tradition, Flodoard was born at Épernay. He was educated at the cathedral school of Reims which had been established by Archbishop Fulk.[1]

As a canon of Reims, and favourite of the archbishops Heriveus (900-22) and Seulf (922-25), he occupied while still young an important position in the archiepiscopal ministry, and in particular in the cathedral scriptorium. Following Seulf's death in 925, the magnate Herbert II, Count of Vermandois installed his four-year-old son, Hugh, as the new archbishop. Flodoard refused to participate in the young boy's election, and was stripped of his position and benefices.[2] In 931, Reims was taken from Count Herbert by King Raoul and Duke Hugh the Great, who ejected Hugh and oversaw the election of a new archbishop, Artold.

In 936-7, Flodoard visited Rome, perhaps on pilgrimage, where he met Pope Leo VII. Herbert recaptured Reims in 940, deposing Artold and reimposing Hugh on the see. Flodoard objected to the invasion of the bishopric on canonical grounds; consequently, he was detained by Herbert and once again stripped of his prebends.[3] Between 943-6, Flodoard appears to have been away from Reims with the court of King Louis IV. In 946, Louis recaptured Reims with the backing of Otto I. Hugh was again deposed, and Artold was re-ordained. His claim to the see was eventually ratified at the 948 Synod of Ingelheim, which Flodoard attended.[4]

In 951, Flodoard was sent to Otto's court at Aachen, where he represented the church of Reims in a property dispute. He retired from his canonical office in 963, aged 70, and died on 28 March 966.[5]


Flodoard wrote three substantial historical works and at least two other minor works. In 922, he began writing a chronicle known today as the Annals, which he maintained for most of his career. Flodoard primarily reported major political and military events, focusing on those in West Francia but extending his coverage to the Ottonian empire and Italy. He also regularly recorded miracles and other supernatural phenomena. Flodoard seems generally to have written his annals in a year-by-year fashion, and there is no evidence that he revised his text. The Annals constitute one of the tenth century's very few major contemporary chronicles, so Flodoard's work has been much valued by modern historians.[6]

His History of the Church of Reims (Historia Remensis ecclesiae) is one of the most remarkable productions of the tenth century. Flodoard had access to an episcopal archive stretching back to the sixth century, and constructed his history out of original documents which he summarized or gave extracts from. His summaries of some 450 letters of Archbishop Hincmar have been considered especially valuable.

Flodoard's poetical works are of hardly less historical interest. The long poem celebrating the triumph of Christ and His saints was called forth by the favour shown him by Pope Leo VII, during whose pontificate he visited Rome, and he devotes fourteen books to the history of the popes.

Flodoard's works were published in full by JP Migne (Patrologia Latina, vol. 135); a modern edition of the Annales is the one edited by Philippe Lauer (Paris, 1906). For bibliography see Auguste Molinier, Sources de l'histoire de France (No. 932).

Editions and translations

  • Annales
    • Philippe Lauer (ed.), Les Annales de Flodoard. Collection des textes pour servir à l'étude et à l'enseignement de l'histoire 39. Paris: Picard, 1905. Available from Internet Archive and Google Books (in Latin with a French introduction, and French footnotes)
    • Pertz, Georg Heinrich (ed.). Annales, chronica et historiae aevi Saxonici. MGH Scriptores 3. Hanover, 1839. 363-408. Available online from Digital MGH
    • PL 135 (Documenta Catholica Omnia)
    • Steven Fanning and Bernard S. Bachrach (trs.), The Annals of Flodoard of Reims, 919-966. Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures 9. Broadview Press, 2004. ISBN 1-55111-650-2.
    • Guizot, M (tr.). Siège de Paris par les Normands, poème d'Abbon [etc.]. Collection des Mémoires relatifs a l'Histoire de France. Paris, 1824. 69-162. Available from Gallica
  • Historia Remensis ecclesiae[7]
  • Three poems known collectively as De Triumphis Christi: De triumphis Christi sanctorumque Palaestinae, De triumphis Christi Antiochiae gestis, De triumphis Christi apud Italiam


  1. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 171–172.
  2. Roberts. Flodoard of Rheims. p. 6.
  3. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 219, 223–224.
  4. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 220–221.
  5. Lauer. Annales. p. 160.
  6. Roberts, Edward (2019). Flodoard of Rheims and the Writing of History in the Tenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 5–6. ISBN 9781108226851.
  7. See here for list of manuscripts Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine


  • Glenn, Jason. Politics and History in the Tenth Century: The Work and World of Richer of Reims (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). ISBN 9780521038126
  • Jacobsen, Peter Christian. Flodoard von Reims. Sein Leben und seine Dichtung ‘De triumphis Christi’, Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 10 (Leiden: Brill, 1978). ISBN 90-04-05407-3
  • Roberts, Edward. "Flodoard, the Will of St Remigius and the See of Reims in the Tenth Century," Early Medieval Europe 22:2 (2014), 201-230.
  • Roberts, Edward. 2019. Flodoard of Rheims and the Writing of History in the Tenth Century. Cambridge University Press.
  • Sot, Michel. Un historien et son Église au Xe siècle: Flodoard de Reims (Paris: Fayard, 1993). ISBN 978-2213031842
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