Few medieval authors make it as easy for historians to crawl inside their minds as Ekkehard IV of St. Gall (c. 980–c. 1057). He gets as close as possible to becoming an actual person—which is, all things considered, quite a rarity in medieval historiography. However, tempting as it may be to get swept up in the life and thoughts of this author, it is precisely this “personality” that makes it so important to not simply take his texts for granted, but to study them as closely as possible. The two works under review here, both translations and commentaries of one of Ekkehard’s most famous works, will allow future generations of researchers to continue these studies.
Both publications fill an important niche in the field. Ekkehard’s Casus Sancti Galli is an important and interesting narrative (and great for teaching!). Both the MGH edition by Hans F. Haefele, Ernst Tremp, and Franziska Schnoor and the Dumbarton Oaks translation by Emily Albu and Natalia Lozovsky (itself based on the aforementioned MGH edition) make this text and its author accessible to a new generation of scholars. The edition and facing translations are up to the usual standards we have come to expect from these series. It is the translations that take the spotlight, however, and the way both bring the idiosyncrasies of the narrative to the fore. Each on their own will certainly push research on the monastery of St. Gall in new and exciting directions. When the two are taken together, however, that research will become that much deeper and more engaging.
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