Hugh, Lothar and Berengar: the balance of power in Italy 945–50

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The return of Berengar of Ivrea to Italy in 945 was a point of great change for the political networks of the kingdom of Italy. Berengar is typically presented assuming control, first ruling in practice with the Bosonids Hugh and Lothar as puppets, then openly taking the crown following Lothar’s death in 950. Berengar, we are told, installed those who supported his insurrection in key positions, and marginalised or suborned those who had supported the Bosonids. This account is based almost exclusively on the narrative of the Antapodosis of Liutprand of Cremona. Liutprand’s work had complex personal and political motivations which led him to construct carefully an image of Hugh, Lothar, Berengar and of Italy as a whole. Moreover, Liutprand’s narrative conflicts with contemporary accounts of the period, as well as the charter record. This article demonstrates these inconsistencies and describes more nuanced changes in political structures in 945–50.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-76
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Italy
  • northern Italy
  • narrative sources
  • diplomatics
  • authority
  • power
  • relationship networks

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