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A letter from Adalbero, archbishop of Reims (988)

Translated letter: 

The anguish that afflicts my lady H[Emma], the torment that oppresses her, her letter to Th[eophanu, empress] testifies. We have sent you a copy of it so that you know what has happened, how nothing is of any use, and so that you might investigate the cause of the deceit, if it is deceit. Certainly, it is manifest that you have so far been an illustrious ruling lady and mother of kings; in our dangers, when they come, we believe you wish to help us, not to mention your once-beloved daughter. Either your power is taken away or it is not; not to help a daughter in her sorrow is (1). We urge you to explore with Charles [of Lower Lorraine] through worthy legates whether he wishes to give her back to you or commit her in care. It seems that he continues to hold her with an obstinate spirit lest he seem to have begun without cause.

Original letter: 

Quibus angustiis domina [mea] H [emma] afficiatur quantoque prematur angore, testis est ipsius epistola ad [dominam] Th. [imperatricem] iamdudum directa. Cuius exemplar vobis misimus, ut et, quid actum sit, sciretis et, quam nichil sibi profuerit, et ut causam doli investigetis, si tamen dolus est. Certe clarissimam dominam ac matrem regnorum vos hactenus fuisse manifestum est, nostrisque periculis, si qua ingruent, credidimus velle succurrere, nedum filie quondam dilecte. Sive potestas erepta est, sive non est: filie non subvenire in mesticia est. Ortamur tamen vos explorare apud Ka. per valentes legatos, utrum velit eam vobis reddere aut creditam commandare. Videtur quippe ideo illam sic obstinato animo retinere, ne videatur sine causa cepisse.

Historical context: 

Adalbero writes to the empress on behalf of her imprisoned daughter, Emma; see Emma's letter to her mother, MGH ep.970.

Scholarly notes: 

(1) There have been suggestions that a word has been omitted, "cruel" perhaps, or that "in mesticia" should be "immanistitia," monstrous (i.e., not to help a daughter is monstrous, MGH fn8).

Printed source: 

MGH BDKz 2, ep.128 p.155-56; also in HGF10 ep.30 p.395 and in PL139 ep.128 c232-33, as a letter from Gerbert (the texts differ only by a quondam in the first sentence and commendare for commandare).

date

988