The Poeta Saxo at Paderborn: episcopal authority and Carolingian rule in late ninth-century Saxony


  • I would especially like to thank Professor Rosamond McKitterick, Dr Nora Berend, Dr Simon MacLean, Robert Flierman, Robin Whelan and the anonymous peer reviewer for their many helpful suggestions, and Mr. John Osborn, whose generous funding has made this research possible.


This paper argues that the Poeta Saxo's epic poem about Charlemagne was composed at the bishopric of Paderborn as part of a wider literary programme that included both the Translatio sancti Liborii and the Vita sancti Liborii. Near the close of the ninth century, when Paderborn's renown and resources were at their lowest ebb, these three works articulated an image of episcopal authority, touted the pre-eminence of Paderborn, and made a bid for royal patronage.