Fredrick I’s Reply
The following is a primary analysis of Fredrick I’s Reply to the Romans. First, is its analysis based on the “time and place rule.” This article does not offer firsthand accounts of the event as described the event observer and participant. Rather, the PDF with the article is a second reproduction of someone else’s work, Brian Tierney, on his coverage of the subject.
The article offers accounts of the event gathered during the occurrence of the event by a firsthand witness and participant, “the gist of his reply to the Romans was recorded by his counselor and chronicler, Bishop Otto of Freising.” The article does not give the accounts of the event gathered at the time following the occurrence of the event by interviewing people who were present. Instead, the source of the information was created in 1964 which very many generations from the time the actual event occurred, in 1155. Thus, there is lack of not only firsthand information provided by firsthand witnesses or participators, but also lack of firsthand information from interviews with people present at the time that the event occurred. Lastly, is the lack of direct description of the time the event. It is unlikely that the event occurred throughout the year. The event had to occur at a specific date, day, and time. There is lack of these. Rather, the author of the article just generalizes the period that it happened, 1155.
Next, is analyzing the article based on the “bias rule.” The article is written with an uncertainity, “Fredrick I’s conception of his rights and powers is well illustrated by the speech that he reportedly gave…” The adverb “reportedly” implies that it is based on reports that cannot guarantee exactness of the source. Also, the author of the article gives an account of what he thought happened. This is reflected by the article, “to use the words of your own writer, “There was, there was once, virtue in this republic,” “once” I say.” This is the author’s viewpoint (Lynn Hunt et al). The author’s use of his viewpoint is also proved by his choice of words, “What shall I say?” The author gives his own opinion when describing names of the people that he writes about, “Then came Frank, truly noble, in deed as in name.” First, the author refers to Frank as being frank, yet, literally, he didn’t witness that sincerity in him.
The source was created by Brian Tierney, a historian and medievalist. The goal of the author in writing the work was to offer an interpretation of other articles that described the age-old efforts between kings and popes of ancient Europe on matters regarding the separation of church and state separating (Malcolm, Barber). The article was created with a consciousness of the events because it was an interpretation of major documents covering such information.
The author did not have primary knowledge of the event, rather, he relied on a report of what was other people witnessed or participated in and then interpreted that information. Also, the manner in which the author writes the essay sums it all up it, “allegedly” and “recorded by his counselor and chronicler, Bishop Otto of Freising.”
The information was not recorded by someone who was a neutral party. For example, Friedrick’s I’s reply was recorded by his counselor and chronicler, Bishop Otto of Freising. The lack of neutrality of the recorder is seen in the fact that it was a two-sided situation, pope and a king going for coronation. Bishop Otto sided with the king (Tierney, Brian). Therefore, since there could have been vested interests, the recordings could have been influenced.
Based on the way that the author uses language, the material was written for the Romans only and him included. The following is evidence from the excerpt to support this. He refers to the audience as “you” and “your” such as where he says, “you set forth the ancient renown of your city”, “your sacred republic”, “your Rome” “this city of ours” “behold our state” “descended to us, together with the empire.”
The author’s use of language implies that his goal was to inform rather than to persuade, “yet more concerning their wisdom”; he informs his audience how the “thirsty Greekling sucked the breasts of your delight”, how Frank was “forcibly possessed himself of whatever freedom was still left to you”, “do you wish to know the ancient glory of your Rome?”; the author informs the audience of the “things to be found with us, descended with us.”
The information was not recorded at the time that the event happened, rather, it was recorded after a period of time had passed. The source shows that the book was published in 1964. However, it tells of events that occurred between 1050 and 1300. The book was published after 664 years had elapsed after the time that the event occurred.
Barber, M. The Two Cities: Medieval Europe, 1050-1320. NY: Routledge, 2004.
Hunt, L., Martin, R.T., Rosenwein, B.H. & Smith, B.G. The Making of the West, Volume 1: Peoples and Cultures, a concise History; To 1740. NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.
Tierney, B. The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300: With selected documents. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice Hall, 1964.