Editor's Note: Emotions in the Carolingian Age

© 2021 by Cullen J. Chandler. All intellectual property rights reserved. This edition copyright © 2021 by The Heroic Age.

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§1. The three articles in this tidy cluster represent the fruits, gathered by The Heroic Age, of an enjoyable and enlightening series of sessions at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo in 2017. As is the case with a great many good ideas, this one developed from a robust and humor-laden conversation, specifically at lunch one day during a prior Congress, when the conversation about Carolingian studies turned to the readily apparent anger, or at least crankiness, of several well-known authors of the era. The witty conversation quickly became a brainstorm, and the series of sessions called "12 Angry Carolingians" was born. The organizers fairly easily recruited speakers, and at the 52nd Congress, participants and session attendees delighted in a day full of lively discussion about emotions in the Carolingian Age.

§2. Not all the papers at Kalamazoo employed a strictly "history of emotions" methodology of the sort pioneered by Barbara Rosenwein and others, but the ones that did are featured here in THA. As a collection, the essays share the results of careful reading of ninth-century texts, two of them (by Kelly Gibson and Thomas Greene) indeed honing in, as Rosenwein suggests, on "emotion words." While one (Greene's) emphasizes Carolingian thoughts on the inner, personal experience of anger, the other two (by Gibson and Rutger Kramer) emphasize the role of correctness, in doctrinal, practical, and emotional manifestations. All three authors show how Carolingian sensibilities about emotion were informed by the study of patristic texts, as would very well be expected. But our authors go beyond this and explain how the patristic legacy and the various forms of correctness were essential for Carolingian senses of community. The subjects of study all were firmly situated the monastic and ecclesiastical contexts of their period, so we might still wonder about broader or lay notions of community, but the essays before us in this special cluster provide models for how the emotional communities of the early Middle Ages can be fruitfully studied.

§3. Some of the conference papers given in 2017 were conceived as parts of larger works or projects and were not suitable for independent publication here, so we are proud to present these three papers of standalone quality resulting from their authors' pursuit of interesting questions outside the main lines of their research agendas. We thank the authors, Kelly Gibson, Thomas Greene, and Rutger Kramer, for sharing their work with us.