School of Historical Studies

Carolingian Polyptyques

Bobbio I

Introduction: The first of the two polyptyques from the abbey of Bobbio, located in the Piacenza province in the Emilio-Romagna region of Italy. The abbey is dedicated to St. Columbanus, the Irish Saint, who founded the abbey in 614 on a site given to him by the Lombard king Agilulf (590-616). In 628 Saint Bertulf made a pilgrimage to Rome and Pope Honorius I exempted Bobbio from episcopal jurisdiction, making it immediately subject to the Papal See. Bobbio remained as such until 1014, when Peter Aldus, abbot of Bobbio since 999, became its first bishop. This polyptyque is dated to 862.

The two polyptyques from Bobbio are rare examples of this kind of document, because they enable the historian to regard the evolution of the organisation of the estates and the obligations of tenants within specific holdings, and the change, as well as the expansion, that occurred over the three decades that separate the polyptyques. As such they are a vital resource for information on estate expansion, organisation and evolution.

Manuscript: The manuscript currently survives in the Abbazia di Bobbio, Archivio di Stato di Torino (Turin State Archive) busta I.

Edition: M. L. Hartmann, ed. 'Adbreviatio de rebus monasterii Bobiensis', Bolletino Storico Bibliografico Subalpino, VIII (1903) pp. 393-404.

Translation: Dr. James Palmer

Map: a map of the holdings of Bobbio


UPDATED:January 2008
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.