By Stefano Maria Cingolani
Imago temporis: medium Aevum, No.4 (2010)
Abstract: The reconstruction of the family relations of count Wilfred the Hairy still contains points of contention about which not all studies are in agreement. In a deep reconsideration of the traditional hypotheses, the clarification of some of these points goes hand in hand with a more exact understanding of the matrimonial relations established by Wilfred’s family and the marital strategies that they employed. Finally, the different interpretation of these problems is motivated and justified by reflecting on the modalities of establishing power in the Marca Hispanica, the Spanish March, during the ninth and tenth centuries. It is also justified by reflecting on the dynamics of this establishment which should help illuminate and better explain their functions.
Introduction: Reconstructing and understanding the history of the Marca Hispanica during the ninth and tenth centuries is difficult and delicate work. Investigation proceeds with great difficulty due to the shortage of documentary evidence and the almost complete absence of Frankish annals or narratives; the Carolingian rulers paid only rare and occasional attention to such distant marches. There still remain many difficult-to-fill gaps in the historical record. Even so, the extensive work completed above all by Ramon d’Abadal has permitted several important advances. Numerous previous scholars, most notably Josep Maria Salrach, have contributed to the study of this material with different objectives and levels of involvement.