Jove's Oak was a sacred tree of the Germanic pagans located in an unclear location around what is now the region of Hesse, Germany. According to the 8th century Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Saint Boniface and his retinue cut down the tree earlier the same century. Wood from the oak was reportedly used to build a church at the site dedicated to Saint Peter. Sacred trees and sacred groves were venerated by the Germanic peoples. According to Willibald's 8th century Life of Saint Boniface, the felling of the tree occurred during Boniface's life earlier the same century at a location at the time known as Gaesmere. Although no date is provided, the felling may have occurred around 723 or 724. Willibald's account is as follows: Sacred groves and sacred trees were venerated throughout the history of the Germanic peoples and were targeted for destruction by Christian missionaries during the Christianization of the Germanic peoples. Ken Dowden notes that behind this great oak dedicated to Donar, the Irminsul, the Sacred tree at Uppsala, stands a mythic prototype of an immense world tree, described in Norse mythology as Yggdrasil.
In the nineteenth century Gaesmere was identified as Geismar in the Schwalm-Eder district, for instance by August Neander. There are a few dissenting voices: in his 1916 translation of Willibald's Vita Bonifacii, George W. Robinson says "The location is uncertain. There are in Hesse several places named Geismar." Historian Thomas F. X. Noble describes the location of the tree felling as "still unidentified". In the late 19th century and philologist Francis Barton Gummere identifies the Gaesemere of the attestation as Geismar, a district of Frankenberg located in Hesse. However, most scholars agree. In 1897 historian C. Neuber placed the Donar Oak "im Kreise Fritzlar". While Gregor Richter, in 1906, noted that one scholar considered Hofgeismar as a possible location, he himself comments that most people consider Geismar near Fritzlar as the right place. Unequivocal identification of Geismar near Fritzlar as the location of the Donar Oak is found in the Catholic Encyclopedia, in teaching materials for religious studies classes in Germany, in the work of Alexander Demandt, in histories of the Carolingians, in the work of Lutz von Padberg.
The Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde notes that for Willibald it was not necessary to specify the location any further because he presumed it known. This Geismar was close to Büraburg a hill castle and a Frankish stronghold. One of the focal points of Boniface's life, the scene is repeated and reimagined. Roberto Muller, for instance, in a retelling of Boniface's biography for young adults, has the four parts of the tree fall down to the ground and form a cross. In Hubertus Lutterbach's fictional expansion of the Boniface correspondence, Boniface relates the entire event in a long letter to Pope Gregory II, commenting that it took hours to cut the tree down, that any account that says the tree fell down miraculously is a falsification of history. Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law code imposed by Charlemagne in 785 that prescribes death for Saxon pagans refusing to convert to Christianity Massacre of Verden, a massacre of 4,500 captive pagan Saxons ordered by Charlemagne in 782 Caill Tomair, a grove dedicated by Thor destroyed by the forces of Brian Born in early 1000 Dam, Harmjan.
Kirchengeschichte im Religionsunterricht: Basiswissen und Bausteine für die Klassen 5–10. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 9783525776414. Zerstörung der Donar-Eiche in Geismar bei Fritzlar Demandt, Alexander. Geschichte der Spätantike: das Römische Reich von Diocletian bis Justinian 284-565 n. Chr. Munich: C. H. Beck. ISBN 9783406572418. Bonifatius erbaute aus dem Holz der Donar-Eiche die erste Petruskirche der späteren Stadt Fritzlar Dowden, Ken. European Paganism: The Reality of Cult from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Routledge. ISBN 0415120349 Emerton, Ephraim; the Letters of Saint Boniface. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231120923 Gummere, Francis B.. Germanic Origins: A Study in Primitive Culture. Charles Scribner's Sons. Levison, Wilhelm. Vitae Sancti Bonifatii archiepiscopi moguntini. Monumenta Germaniæ historica: Scriptores rerum germanicorum in usum scholarum separatim editi. Hannover and Leipzig: Hahn. OCLC 2116528 Lutterbach, Hubertus. Bonifatius - mit Axt und Evangelium: eine Biographie in Briefen. Herder.
ISBN 9783451285097. Mershman, Francis. "St. Boniface". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Muller, Roberto. Bring Me an Ax!. Notre Dame: Dujarie. Neander, August. General history of the Christian religion and church. Crocker & Brewster. Neuber, C.. "Die altere Geschichte von Fritzlar". Hessenland: Zeitschrift für die Kulturpflege des Bezirksverbandes Hessen: 253–55. Retrieved 26 September 2016. Padberg, Lutz von. Wynfreth-Bonifatius. Wuppertal: Brockhaus. ISBN 3417211042. Padberg, Lutz von. Bonifatius: Missionar und Reformer. Munich: C. H. Beck. ISBN 9783406480195....in unmittelbare Nähe den Fränkischen Stützpunkt Büraburg-Fritzlar Riche, Pierre. The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. U of Pennsylvania P. ISBN 9780812213423. Protected by Frankish forces, Boniface established a first monastery at Amoneburg and after
In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, storms, oak trees, the protection of mankind and hallowing and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, extensions of the god occur in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar. All forms of the deity stem from a Common Germanic *Þunraz. Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity. Due to the nature of the Germanic corpus, narratives featuring Thor are only attested in Old Norse, where Thor appears throughout Norse mythology. Norse mythology recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, provides numerous tales featuring the god.
In these sources, Thor bears at least fifteen names, is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif, is the lover of the jötunn Járnsaxa, is described as fierce eyed, red haired and red bearded. With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess Þrúðr. By way of Odin, Thor has numerous brothers, including Baldr. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats and Tanngnjóstr, is ascribed three dwellings. Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjölnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, owns the staff Gríðarvölr. Thor's exploits, including his relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the monstrous serpent Jörmungandr—and their foretold mutual deaths during the events of Ragnarök—are recorded throughout sources for Norse mythology. Into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic-speaking Europe. Thor is referred to in place names, the day of the week Thursday bears his name, names stemming from the pagan period containing his own continue to be used today in Scandinavia.
Thor has inspired numerous works of art and references to Thor appear in modern popular culture. Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Thor is revived in the modern period in Heathenry. Old Norse Þórr, Old English ðunor, Old High German Donar, Old Saxon thunar, Old Frisian thuner are cognates within the Germanic language branch, descending from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *þunraz'thunder'; the name of the god is the origin of the weekday name Thursday. By employing a practice known as interpretatio germanica during the Roman Empire period, the Germanic peoples adopted the Roman weekly calendar, replaced the names of Roman gods with their own. Latin dies Iovis was converted into Proto-Germanic *Þonares dagaz, from which stems modern English "Thursday" and all other Germanic weekday cognates. Beginning in the Viking Age, personal names containing the theonym Thórr are recorded with great frequency. Prior to the Viking Age, no examples are recorded. Thórr-based names may have flourished during the Viking Age as a defiant response to attempts at Christianization, similar to the wide scale Viking Age practice of wearing Thor's hammer pendants.
The earliest records of the Germanic peoples were recorded by the Romans, in these works Thor is referred to—via a process known as interpretatio romana —as either the Roman god Jupiter or the Greco-Roman god Hercules. The first clear example of this occurs in the Roman historian Tacitus's late first-century work Germania, writing about the religion of the Suebi, he comments that "among the gods Mercury is the one they principally worship, they regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days, human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind" and adds that a portion of the Suebi venerate "Isis". In this instance, Tacitus refers to the god Odin as "Mercury", Thor as "Hercules", the god Týr as "Mars", the identity of the Isis of the Suebi has been debated. In Thor's case, the identification with the god Hercules is at least in part due to similarities between Thor's hammer and Hercules' club. In his Annals, Tacitus again refers to the veneration of "Hercules" by the Germanic peoples.
In Germanic areas occupied by the Roman Empire and votive objects dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD have been found with Latin inscriptions referring to "Hercules", so in reality, with varying levels of likelihood, refer to Thor by way of interpretatio romana. The first recorded instance of the name of the god appears in the Migration Period, where a piece of jewelry, the Nordendorf fibula, dating from the 7th century AD and found in Bavaria, bears an Elder Futhark inscription that contains the name Þonar, i.e. Donar, the southern Germanic form of the god's name. According to a near-contemporary account, the Christian missionary Saint Boniface felled an oak tree dedicated to "Jove" in the 8th century, the Donar's Oak in the region of Hes
The Kaiserchronik is a 12th-century chronicle written in 17,283 lines of Middle High German verse. It runs from Julius Caesar to Conrad III, seeks to give a complete account of the history of Roman and German emperors and kings, based on a historiographical view of the continuity of the Roman and German successions; the overall pattern is of a progression from pagan to Christian worlds, theological disputations stand at the turning-points of the Christianization of the Empire. However, much of the material is legendary and fantastic, suggesting that large sections are compiled from earlier works shorter biographies and saints' lives; the chronicle was written in Regensburg some time after 1146. The poet was a cleric in secular service, a partisan of the Guelphs; however the view that it was written by Konrad der Pfaffe, author of the Rolandslied, has been discredited. Known sources include the Chronicon Wirzeburgense, the Chronicle of Ekkehard of Aura, the Annolied. Judging from the large number of surviving manuscripts, it must have been popular, it was twice continued in the 13th century: the first addition, the "Bavarian continuation", comprised 800 verses, while the second, the "Swabian continuation", which brought the poem to the Interregnum, consisted of 483 lines.
The Kaiserchronik in turn was used as an important source for other verse chronicles in the thirteenth century, most notably that of Jans der Enikel. The text of the Kaiserchronik is preserved in a total of some 50 manuscripts, of which 20 have the full text. Of these, five predate the 14th century, including one of the late 12th century; the main witnesses are: Stiftsbibl. Cod. 276, c. 1175-1200 Heidelberg, Universitätsbibl. Cpg 361, mid-13th c. Prag, Nationalbibl. Cod. XXIII. G.43, c. 1225-1250 Wien, Österr. Nationalbibl. Cod. 413, mid-13th c. Wien, Österr. Nationalbibl. Cod. 2693, c. 1275-1300 München, Staatsbibl. Cgm 37, c. 1325-1350 Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibl. Cod. 15.2 Aug. 2°, early 14th c. The chronicle was first edited in full in 1849-54 by Hans Ferdinand Massmann, Massmann was in a bitter academic dispute with August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, an "almost proprietal struggle" over the priority of the respective manuscripts they had access to. Müller categorizes Massmann's work as an editionsphilologischer Amoklauf, as Massmann goes out of his way to ignore the Vorau ms. to the point of using the 1639 edition of Annolied by Martin Opitz as a "Kaiserchronik fragment" in higher standing than the Vorau ms.
The only critical edition besides Massmann's is that of Edward Schröder. There is a classroom edition of excerpts with parallel translations in English. Dale, Johanna. "Imperial Self-Representation and the Manipulation of History in Twelfth-Century Germany: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 373", German History, 29:4, 557–83. Myers, Henry A; the Book of Emperors: A Translation of the Middle High German Kaiserchronik. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2013. Rubel, Alexander. "Caesar und Karl der Große in der Kaiserchronik. Typologische Struktur und die translatio imperii ad Francos", Antike und Abendland, 47, 146–63. Etext
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2, fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining. Lower Saxony borders on the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland; the state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Göttingen. The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists.
In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony known as the North German Plains, is invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both mountainous areas. Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Osnabrück, Salzgitter, Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre; the region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath, the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s.
To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land. Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples. Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover, it was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946. Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north in the North Sea and the lower and middle reaches of the River Elbe, although parts of the city of Hamburg lie south of the Elbe; the state and city of Bremen is an enclave surrounded by Lower Saxony. The Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region is a cooperative body for the enclave area. To the southeast, the state border runs through the Harz, low mountains that are part of the German Central Uplands; the northeast and west of the state, which form three-quarters of its land area, belong to the North German Plain, while the south is in the Lower Saxon Hills, including the Weser Uplands, Leine Uplands, Schaumburg Land, Brunswick Land, Untereichsfeld and Lappwald.
In northeast, Lower Saxony is Lüneburg Heath. The heath is dominated by the poor, sandy soils of the geest, whilst in the central east and southeast in the loess börde zone, productive soils with high natural fertility occur. Under these conditions—with loam and sand-containing soils—the land is well-developed agriculturally. In the west lie the County of Bentheim, Osnabrück Land, Oldenburg Land, Oldenburg Münsterland, on the coast East Frisia; the state is dominated by several large rivers running northwards through the state: the Ems, Weser and Elbe. The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg in the Harz. For other significant elevations see: List of hills in Lower Saxony. Most of the mountains and hills are found in the southeastern part of the state; the lowest point in the state, at about 2.5 m below sea level, is a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia. The state's economy and infrastructure are centred on the cities and towns of Hanover, Celle, Wolfsburg and Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region.
Lower Saxony has clear regional divisions that manifest themselves geographically, as well as and culturally. In the regions that used to be independent the heartlands of the former states of Brunswick, Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe, a marked local regional awareness exists. By contrast, the areas surrounding the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg are much more oriented towards those centres. Sometimes and transition areas happen between the various regions of Lower Saxony. Several of the regions listed here are part of other, larger regions, that are included in the list. Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks, i.e.: Dümmer, Elbhöhen-Wendland, Elm-Lappwald, Harz, Lüneburger Heide, Münden, Terra.vita, Solling-Vogler, Lake Steinhude, Südheide, Weser Uplands, Wildeshausen Geest, Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen. L
The Irminones referred to as Herminones or Hermiones, were a large group of early Germanic tribes settling in the Elbe watershed and by the 1st century AD expanding into Bavaria and Bohemia. Notably this included the large sub-group of the Suevi, that itself contained many different tribal groups, but the Irminones for example included the Chatti. Irminonic or Elbe Germanic is therefore a term for one of the unattested dialect groups ancestral to the West Germanic language family the High German languages, which include modern Standard German; the name Irminones or Hermiones comes from Tacitus's Germania, where he categorized them as one of the tribes of descended from Mannus, noted that they lived in the interior of Germany. Other Germanic groups of tribes were the Ingvaeones, living on the coast, Istvaeones, who accounted for the rest. Tacitus mentioned the Suebi as a large grouping who included the Semnones, the Quadi and the Marcomanni, but he did not say to which of the three nations they belonged.
Pomponius Mela wrote in his Description of the World in reference to the Kattegat and the waters surrounding the Danish isles: "On the bay are the Cimbri and the Teutoni. Mela begins to speak of the Scythians. Pliny's Natural History claimed that the Irminones included the Suebi, Hermunduri and Cherusci. In Nennius, the name Mannus and his three sons appear in corrupted form, the ancestor of the Irminones appearing as Armenon, his sons here are Gothus, Valagothus/Balagothus, Cibidus and Longobardus, whence come the Goths, Valagoths/Balagoths, Cibidi and Langobards. They may have differentiated into the tribes Alamanni, Marcomanni, Suebi by the first century AD. By that time the Suebi and Quadi had moved southwest into the area of modern-day Bavaria and Swabia. In 8 BC, the Marcomanni and Quadi drove the Boii out of Bohemia; the term Suebi is applied to all the groups that moved into this area, though in history the term Alamanni became more applied to the group. Jǫrmun, the Viking Age Norse form of the name Irmin, can be found in a number of places in the Poetic Edda as a by-name for Odin.
Some aspects of the Irminones' culture and beliefs may be inferred from their relationships with the Roman Empire, from Widukind's confusion over whether Irmin was comparable to Mars or Hermes, from Snorri Sturluson's allusions, at the beginning of the Prose Edda, to Odin's cult having appeared first in Germany, having spread up into the Ingvaeonic North. Grimm, Jacob. Deutsche Mythologie. File retrieved 09-26-2007. Tacitus, Germania. Friedrich Maurer Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur germanischen und frühdeutschen Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde, Strasbourg: Hünenburg
Germanic mythology consists of the body of myths native to the Germanic peoples. Featuring narratives focused on Germanic deities and a large variety of other entities, Germanic mythology dates from the Proto-Germanic period and reaches beyond the Christianization of the Germanic peoples and into modern Germanic folklore. Germanic mythology includes Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, Continental Germanic mythology; as the Germanic languages developed from Proto-Indo-European language, Germanic mythology is a development of Proto-Indo-European religion. The study of Germanic mythology has remained an important element of Germanic philology since the development of the field and the topic is an integral component of Heathenry, the modern revival of Germanic paganism; the largest and most complete mythological narratives discussing the afterlife are contained in the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda. The Prose Edda was written by Snorri Sturluson, a politically involved Icelandic nobleman who lived two centuries after the conversion of Iceland to Christianity.
Snorri presents a logical and clear description of many Norse beliefs, but this well-ordered narrative most reflects the influence of Christian systematic theology. His sources the group of poems called the Poetic Edda, present a much more fractured and inconsistent view of the afterlife. Germanic paganism allowed multiple and contradictory understandings of death. List of Germanic deities Common Germanic deities
Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals are Latin annals composed in Carolingian Francia, recording year-by-year the state of the monarchy from 741 to 829. Their authorship is unknown, though Wilhelm von Giesebrecht suggested that Arno of Salzburg was the author of an early section of the Annaes Laurissenses majores surviving in the copy at Lorsch Abbey; the Annals are believed to have been composed in successive sections by different authors, compiled. The depth of knowledge regarding court affairs suggests that the annals were written by persons close to the king, their initial reluctance to comment on Frankish defeats betrays an official design for use as Carolingian propaganda. Though the information contained within is influenced by authorial intent in favor of the Franks, the annals remain a crucial source on the political and military history of the reign of Charlemagne. Copies of the annals can be categorized into five classes, based on additions and revisions to the text; the chronicles were continued and incorporated in the West Frankish Annales Bertiniani and in the East Frankish Annales Fuldenses and Annales Xantenses.
The annals give a brief individual description of events for each year, with a focus on the actions of the Carolingian monarchy, beginning with the account of Pepin the Short's ascension through the dethronement of the Merovingian king Childeric III. The annalists pay particular attention to the military campaigns of the Carolingian kings, justifying their actions in terms of a grand narrative of Carolingian peacekeeping and conquest in the name of expanding the Christian faith; the overthrow of the Merovingians is portrayed in such a way as to legitimize the transfer of royal power between dynasties, emphasizing Carolingian adherence to Frankish traditions and the approval of Pope Zacharias in the matter. Of the three kings—Pepin and Louis—Charlemagne's military chronicles are the most detailed, covering his victories against the Saxons and other peoples; the account of Charlemagne's campaign against the Saxons is notable as one of the few extant references to the Irminsul, an important if enigmatic part of the Germanic paganism practiced by the Saxons at the time.
Its destruction is a major point in the annals, written to continue a jingoistic theme of Frankish triumphs against the “un-Frankish” and unchristian barbarian. The unrevised text neglects to mention defeats suffered by Charlemagne, such as the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 and the Battle of Süntel in 782; the Battle of Süntel is portrayed in the annals as a victory, as opposed to a crushing Frankish defeat at the hands of the Saxons. The 792 conspiracy of Pepin the Hunchback against Charlemagne is omitted, along with any reference to potential misconduct on Charlemagne's part; the revised text, incorporates these events while maintaining a positive tone towards the emperor, presented as a peerless leader in battle. Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious, is shown engaging in battle by the annalists, but rather directs others to do so, or negotiates for peace; the contrast between Louis and his father and grandfather is clear. While the past kings were unshakeable figures, depicted as the better of their foes in defeat by the revised edition, the annalists’ Louis is a smaller man who invests the power of the military in others, not unlike the annals’ earlier depiction of the Merovingian kings.
Miracles aid Charlemagne and his men, the grace of God leads him to victory. Such references to striking natural phenomena, strange happenings, miracles become common in the annal entries for the 9th century. In addition to astronomical oddities, such as eclipses, the supernatural begins to enter the account, set against ritualistic yearly notices of the regular passages of Christmas and Easter. Nearly two-dozen villages are reported to have been destroyed by heavenly fire in 823, while at the same time an unnamed girl is said to have begun a three-year fast. Scholz regards this preoccupation as a reflection of a belief in a divine will and control of history. Many of the worse omens parallel growing dissatisfaction with Louis the Pious, which after the end of the annals spilled into civil war between him and his sons. Divine intervention through the relics of saints play an important role as well, with mention of Hilduin's translation of the relics of St. Sebastian to the Abbey of St. Medard, Einhard's transport of the relics of SS.
Marcellinus and Peter into Francia. A more detailed account of Einhard's procurement of the relics exists in his Translation and Miracles of Marcellinus and Peter. Additionally, the annals provide the only attestation to the existence of Charlemagne's personal elephant Abul-Abbas, aside from a mention by Einhard drawn from the annals; the gift of the elephant to Charlemagne, amongst other treasures, by Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid is evidence of the attempts to form an Abbasid-Carolingian alliance at the time, which the annals document loosely. The annals survive in multiple versions distributed across the Frankish empire, though none of these are original copies; each version is marked with distinguishing features, based on these features, Friedrich Kurze formulated five classes for the categorization of these texts. This system still remains in use; the five classes of texts are lettered A through D, with an additional E