Flodoard (of Reims) (893/4 – 28 March 966) was a canon, chronicler, and presumed archivist of the cathedral church of Reims in the West Frankish kingdom during the decades following the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire.


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 (882–900).[1]

As a canon of Reims, and favourite of the archbishops Heriveus (d. 922) and Seulf (d. 925), 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 five-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]


His history of the church of Reims (Historia Remensis Ecclesiae) is one of the most remarkable productions of the 10th century. Flodoard had been given charge of the episcopal archives, and constructed his history out of the original texts, which he generally reproduces in full; the documents for the period of Hincmar being especially valuable.

The Annales which Flodoard wrote year by year from 919 to 966 are doubly important, by reason of the author's honesty and the central position of Reims in European affairs in his time.

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


  1. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 171–172.
  2. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 216–218.
  3. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 219, 223–224.
  4. Glenn. Politics and History. pp. 220–221.
  5. Lauer. Annales. p. 160.
  6. See here for list of manuscripts


External links

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