During the course of the mid-990s, Richer, a monk at the monastery of St. Rémi in the archiepiscopal city of Rheims, composed one of the most important narrative histories for the modern understanding of the political and military affairs of the West Frankish/French kingdom of the tenth century.
Despite his quite good sources of information, Richer largely has received a negative reception from historians, following the condemnation of his work by Robert Latouche, whose facing page French- Latin translation of Richer in 1930 provided a thorough account the author’s errors, and apparent fabrications, many of which drew upon images taken from Roman historical works, particularly Sallust, but also Caesar and Livy. However, Richer’s work has been rehabilitated recently by Justin Lake, the translator of the volume under review here. Lake’s study [in the Journal of Medieval History] on the rhetoric of plausibility makes clear that authors, such as Richer, who drew heavily on rhetorical works associated with Cicero, worked diligently to present events in a manner that were consistent with the expectations of an audience that was familiar with the subject manner being presented.
The Medieval Review