Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Author Details

Dhuoda Duchess

circa 803 - 850

Dhuoda, a Frankish noble, was born around 803 AD, married Count Bernard of Septimania in 824, and spent most of her life separated from her husband and two sons. Her first son William, born in 826, was sent off to fight for his father while still in his teens, and her second son, Bernard, was sent to his father shortly after his birth, most likely to be protected from his father’s enemies. She was moved around often due to her husband’s military involvements. Dhuoda composed the Liber Manualis for her son William as a handbook and guide for life throughout the various power struggles he was involved in. This work imitates the “mirror for princes” model for writing, as a guide to living in the Middle Ages. The Liber Manualis,, the only known work written by Dhuoda between 841 and 843, offers valuable insight into the expectations and customs of the noble lifestyle during the Carolingian era, and is full of biblical references, family history, and practical life advice from the caring heart of a mother to her beloved son. Dhuoda’s husband was killed in 844, her son William died in battle in 850, and it is uncertain when her younger son or she herself died, but it has been speculated that the year of her death was between 844 and 850. AP.

For more information, see: Dhuoda in

Back to top