Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Dass, Nirmal, ed., trans., Viking Attacks on Paris: The Bella parisiacae urbis of Abbo of Saint-Germain-des-Près (Leuven : Peeters [Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations 7])

Text name(s): Bella parisiacae urbis; Wars of the city of Paris; Viking attacks on Paris

Number of pages of primary source text: 85


Dates: 885 - 896

Archival Reference: Paris, Bibl. Nat., MS. lat. 13833

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Translated into English.
  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: Facing page translation.

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • France

County/Region: Paris

Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals

Subject Headings: 

  • War - Military History
  • Towns / Cities
  • Vikings
  • Philosophy / Theology
  • Piety
  • Monasticism


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


This is only the second full English translation of the text. The author, Abbo of Saint-German-des-Près, was a Benedictine monk born in the mid-ninth century and was an eyewitness to the events he describes. The first two books vividly describe the battles between the Viking raiders and the army of Paris, while the third book gives advice to clerics and monk novices. For this reason, the third book is often not included in translations of the text, though it is here.

Introduction Summary: 

Dass begins the introduction (15 pp.) with a brief outline of all that is known about the author Abbo. He then moves on to discuss the manuscript, some of the contention surrounding Book III, the work’s date of composition, and the structure and contents of the poem. He finishes with some notes on his editorial process and provides an annotated bibliography.

Cataloger: AM