Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Pertz, G.H., ed., Abbonis de Bello Parisiaco (Hanover: Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum Separatim Editi (SS rer. Germ) vol. 1)) Read this source online

Text name(s): Abbonis de Bello Parisiaco; On the War in Paris by Abbo

Number of pages of primary source text: 45


Dates: 885 - 896

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • France

County/Region: Paris; St-Germain-des-Pres

Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals
  • Literature - Verse

Subject Headings: 

  • Architecture and Buildings
  • Carolingians
  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Historiography
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Saints - Cults / Relics
  • Towns / Cities
  • Vikings
  • War - Military History


  • Introduction


This poem, written by Abbo, a monk of St. Germain, recounts the struggle of the city of Paris against the Vikings in 885-886, during the reign of Charles the Fat and Odo, count of Paris. During this siege, much of the Left Bank city was destroyed, and the city expanded onto the Right Bank instead. The poem describes the defenses mounted by Odo, the count of Paris, and the miracles attributed to St. Germain which helped deliver the city.

This text is contained in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, a useful compilation of primary sources, mainly from Germany and France, in the original language. The first volumes were published in 1826 under the auspices of the Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, and volumes continue to be published to this day. The MGH is divided into five separate series: Scriptores (Writers); Leges (Laws); Diplomata (Documents); Epistolae (Letters); Antiquitates (Antiquities). Known for its rigorous and conscientious editing of medieval manuscripts, the MGH is an important tool for historians of the Middle Ages. This text appears as volume 1 of the Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi (a collection of texts edited separately and intended for classroom use). A full text version of the MGH is also available online at

Introduction Summary: 

The editor’s brief (3 pp) Latin introduction discusses the dating of the poem, as well as the manuscript in which it survives. The editor also discusses the contents of the poem and its style.

Cataloger: MCB