To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In the late 820s, a group of disgruntled monks traveled from the monastery of Moyenmoutier to the imperial court of Louis the Pious (r. 814–40) in Aachen. They did so in order to lodge a complaint against their abbot, whom they accused of mismanagement and unsatisfactory leadership for his refusal to allow the monks access to the resources they needed to “live a regular life.” The dispute had already simmered for quite a while. Two imperial missi—Bishop Frotharius of Toul (814–849/50) and Abbot Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel (d. c. 840)—had been sent to make sense of the situation, which itself was the result of an earlier settlement between the community, the emperor, and the abbot. They wrote in their report that the trust between monks and abbot had been broken to such an extent “that without [Louis’] judgment, nothing would be done,” and that the monks “would rather be expelled from the monastery and live like beggars on the road” than be thwarted by false promises again. In order to prevent the situation from escalating any further, the missi gave the monks permission to travel to Aachen to present their grievances directly; in their report they warned Louis about this, giving him time to prepare.
Perhaps nothing is more striking to the historically minded observer at the dawn of the twenty-first century than to note the continuing significant impact of ancient religious writings on modern life. In a world of rapidly increasing and ever more powerful global technologies that were unimaginable just a decade or two ago, in a world whose peoples have never been more highly educated or more closely linked to one another around the planet, in a world of space exploration, nuclear energy, stem cell research and sophisticated new understandings of nature and of the human mind and body, the importance of ancient religious thought to modern individuals and their communities provides a powerful example of vibrant historical continuity. How is it that writings composed by ancient peoples in remote times still speak very powerfully to modern people and modern societies?
By the end of the patristic age, roughly the middle of the fifth century ce, the Hebrew Bible had developed masoretic, Samaritan and Greek forms and with the diaspora of the Jewish people had spread to many places in the Mediterranean world. Still, this was a small community of readers and listeners. The growth of Christian communities in the ante-Nicene and patristic ages provided new audiences for the Hebrew Bible since Christianity appropriated Hebrew scripture as the foundation for its own scriptures and core beliefs. Yet, with the vast transformation of the Roman world accelerating just as Augustine of Hippo died in Vandal-besieged Hippo (430), Christian scriptures spoke in a fragmented, disjointed way to scattered Christian communities around the Mediterranean littoral. The revelations that would eventually take written form as the Qurʾān were still on the distant chronological horizon at the close of the patristic age.