Scientific work on conflict resolution: quarrel in the monastery


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Conflict, intrigue, and perhaps even murder in the monastery? No, not a fictitious story, but a true historically assured event. In 783, an Abbot was deposed by Charles the Great in the southern Italian monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno and quoted before a court because he allegedly the Franks, which at that time extended parts Of Italy. Previously, the predecessor's abbot had died on misterious circumstances.


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The case, however, is much more than a small, regional, inner-monastic conflict. On the one hand, Charles the Great as well as the Pope showed an excessive interest in the case. On the other hand, an ethnic conflict between Langobards and Franks can be assumed. A small insult was thus unusually political.

The motives of all involved

The relatively meager source - the case reports only two letters from the Pope - has given rise to fierce speculation in the literature, especially as the case was seen in connection with the Longobard resistance in the Benevento.

The work sets out the stories of the people involved in the conflict and their motivation. In addition to the monks of the monastery, these include Charlemagne, Duke Hildeprand of Spoleto and the Pope. In this context, the network of not always easy-to-understand political implications after the conquest of the Lombard kingdom in Italy at that time is presented.

The role distribution

A special emphasis is placed on the role of the pope. In the context of conflict and political interdependence, the pope had a special position in several respects: not only that he was the one who ultimately led the conquest of the Lombard kingdom, and that in the following years he repeatedly persuaded the Frankish king, but also his letters to Charlemagne are the sources for a multitude of events, but especially for the conflict around Abbot Potho.

And his behavior during the conflict, his approach as mediator and judge and the normative texts that formed the basis of his approach, are interesting. In addition, the case should also be examined from a legal-historical perspective.


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