Deeds of the Carolingian Kings of France and Their Predecessors


Presented here is a Latin manuscript from the 13th century, Latin 5926 in the collections of the National Library of France, which contains five separate texts relating to the history of France. The first is Gesta Regum Francorum (Deeds of the kings of France), also known as Liber historiae Francorum (The book of the history of the Franks), an anonymous eighth century chronicle covering from the origin of the Trojan people—from whom some chroniclers claimed descent for the Frankish kings—to King Pepin (died 768), father of Charlemagne. The work was later expanded and prefaced by the canons of the synod of Rome, convened by Pope Innocent II in 1138. Next comes an anonymous life of Charlemagne. The third text is the famous Vita Caroli Magni (Life of Charlemagne) by the Frankish historian and court scholar Einhard (circa 770‒840), the most important source of information on Charlemagne (742‒814) and the Carolingian Empire. The fourth text is a life of Louis the Pious (778–840), Holy Roman Emperor and son of Charlemagne, by an unknown author. Lastly is a part of the chronicle of the history of France, written by Adémar de Chabannes (989‒1034), a monk at Saint-Cybard Abbey, Angoulême, and covering the period from Louis the Pious to the year 1029. The manuscripts thus all deal with the Carolingians, the Frankish family that superseded the Merovingians and ruled France and other parts of Western Europe from 750 to 887.

Date Created

Subject Date



Type of Item

Physical Description

141 folios, parchment


  1. Margaret T. Gibson, Janet Loughland Nelson, and David Ganz, editors, Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom. Papers based on a colloquium held in London in April 1979. (Oxford, U.K.: B.A.R., 1981).

Last updated: August 15, 2017