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The Deeds of Wiprecht

Erfurt Annals

Count Ludwig [of Thuringia] was released from chains.
On the third Nones of January [3 January], before sunset, there was a great earthquake. The moon, changed into blood, seemed to vanish. In Swabia a certain terrible thing happened: the earth, bubbling up as high as houses, suddenly fell away into an abyss. The air seemed to be mixed equally with fire and blood.
In the Year 1118. Pope Paschal II died. In Paschal’s place, Gelasius (who was formerly John) was appointed. Soon expelled by heretics, he reached Gaul [i.e., France] by fleeing with his men. A great council was assembled at Cologne under Cardinal Cuno [Conrad], bishop of the city of Palestrina. And there was another council under the same man in Fritzlar. The Saxons, with the citizens of the town of Mainz, violently attacked the town of Oppenheim and destroyed it; with flames consuming it from all sides, they killed almost 2,000 of each sex. The castle Kyffhausen was also ruined, destroyed completely by the great strength and fortitude of the Saxons, though not without the death of very many and wounds to countless. Emperor Henry V returned from Italy.
In the Year 1119. Pope Gelasius II died, and in his place Calixtus, [arch]bishop of Vienne, was appointed pope by seven cardinals and by the remaining clergy, as well as by those Romans expelled with Pope Gelasius [II] who were living in exile among the Gauls, and also by all the bishops of Gaul. There was an assembly of the king and the princes of the whole kingdom at the village of Eckstein upon the banks of the river Main. A synod was celebrated by 450 bishops and abbots under Pope Calixtus in the town of Reims.
In the Year 1120. All the princes of the German kingdom proclaimed that a conference was to be held at Fulda concerning the kingdom’s dissension. Having sent messengers there, the king, at Worms with the flatterers in his party, put off dealing with the matter through every trick possible, by imploring and promising. Because a few of the Saxons returned to the king and all the rest of the princes returned to their own lands, he frustrated their plan for a meeting. Duke Welf died. Frederick, count-palatine of Saxony, died.
In the Year 1121. Bishop Erlung of Würzburg died. But soon, dissension arose among both the clergy and the commoners. The king’s party favoured a certain Gebhard, but the other, no less supported by the help of Duke Frederick of Swabia and also of his brother Duke Conrad, appointed Ruotger. A short time later he abandoned the bishopric, having been expelled by the bishops of Mainz, Worms and Speyer. The sun, obscured by air full of smoke and stinking, and as if turned into blood, seemed to lack the light of its usual brightness from the ninth hour of the day until the third day. In the Year 1122. At Worms two cardinals, sent by Pope Calixtus, absolved of excommunication the king and all the supporters of his party. First, however, the king himself denied under oath every heretical depravity for which he had been excommunicated and promised faith and obedience to the Catholic Church. In the Year 1123. Bishop Reinhard of Halberstadt died, and in his place Otto was appointed. Bishop Dietrich of Zeitz was killed unexpectedly, and in his place Richwin was appointed. Count Ludwig died, having been made a monk . Margrave Henry the younger died; in his place Emperor Henry appointed two margraves, a certain very rich Wiprecht and Count Herman of Winzenburg. But Adalbert and Conrad, counts from Saxony, supported by the help of Duke Lothar and of other Saxons, expelled those men [Wiprecht and Herman]and then assailed their lands and likewise their dignities. At almost the same time, [Arch]bishop Adalbert of Mainz demanded tithes of produce from the provincials who inhabit the march of Duderstadt, and they strongly resisted. It happened that some of them were killed by milites of the bishop, others were maimed, and several were even led away as captives. For that reason, the Thuringians, agitated and fearing something similar for themselves, came together from all parts of their territory on Tretenburg hill. Soon, they prepared to break into the city of Erfurt—where the bishop was by chance then staying—with twenty milites. And they would have accomplished what they had started by their labour, if the same bishop, since he was a man well-endowed with natural genius, had not turned them back by prudent counsel.