Prof. Dr. David Bachrach



seit 2014
University of New Hampshire
Full Professor of Medieval History
2009 – 2014
University of New Hampshire
Associate Professor of Medieval History
2003 – 2009
University of New Hampshire
Assistant Professor of Medieval History
2000 – 2001
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow


Royal Courts and Freedom in Salian Germany

My research on the East Frankish realm of the Carolingians and early German kingdom under the Ottonians from the ninth through the early eleventh century shows that the royal government maintained a system of law courts, under the direction of royally appointed counts, which were intended to provide for the legal needs of the substantial free population subject to the king’s rule. These findings contradict the traditional model that an autogenous nobility in German monopolized access to and participation in legal proceedings, and that the legally free below the level of the nobility largely disappeared from the lands comprising the German kingdom at some point in the ninth century or even earlier. The eleventh century is generally understood by scholars as a period significant change in the political structure of the German kingdom, brought about, above all, by the lengthy period of civil wars during the reign of King Henry IV (1056-1106). My research project is intended to test this model with respect to the system of royal law courts and their availability to the king’s free subjects during the reigns of the Salian rulers Conrad II (1024-1039), Henry III (1039-1056), and Henry IV. I will focus my attention on the large number of royal charters produced during this period, and the extensive collection of so-called private charters produced by monasteries and bishoprics. I will supplement these documentary sources with an examination of the contemporary narrative works. 

Einschlägige Veröffentlichungen

Bachrach, David, Continuity of Carolingian Judicial Institutions in Ottonian Lotharingia, in: ZRG gA 138 (2021) (forthcoming).

Bachrach, David, Royal Justice, Freedom, and Comital Courts in Ottonian Germany, in: ZRG gA 137 (2020), 1-51.

Bachrach, David, Royal Justice and the Comital Office in East Francia, c. 814-c.899, in: Francia 46 (2019), 1-23.

Bachrach, David, The Benefices of Counts and the Fate of the Comital Office in Carolingian East Francia and Ottonian Germany, in: ZRG gA 136 (2019), 1-50.

Bachrach, David, Inquisitio as a Tool of Royal Governance under the Carolingian and Ottonian Kings, in: ZRG gA 133 (2016), 1-80.