NITHARD THE HISTORIAN....

(One among many Neidhart/Nithart name bearers)

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Nithard, son of  Angilbert, (Governor of Ponthieu and Abbot of St Riquier  F-80135 in Picardy, near Abbeville), and of Berthe (daughter of Charlemagne),  is known as the writer of the "Histoire des fils de Louis le Pieux" and of the well known "Serment de Strasbourg". His "Historiae" in 4 volumes is the most important source for the history of that period. He was also appointed as secular Abbot of St Riquier (abbas et comes) He was known as an historian, diplomat and warrior....

As a warrior, he participated in the battle of Fontenoy in 841. Some historians believe that he also participated in the battle of Angoumois where he was killed on June 14, 844.Some others that he was killed on May 15, 845 during a battle against the Vikings in the Ponthieu.Year 843 is also a possibility!

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* List of Abbots at St Riquier  around 9th century showing Angilbertus and Nithardus on line 3 - Riboldo (Ribbodon) and Rodulphus line 4 - Guelpho (Guelfon) and Carloman line 5.

The St Riquier Carolingian monastery was rebuilt under the reign of Charles the Great and was based on the Fulda ideal layout for monastic life (drawn around year 820), which was was sent to Reichenau (near Constance), Heito and finally given to Gotzbert abbot of St Gall.

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If, by mid 9th century there are at least two well known bearers of this surname, it is probably because  it was already used by some important people in past periods. The oldest mention found so far is around year 400. An old Germanic legend relating to the Frankish kingdom mentions a "König Nidhart" *  

* Document from Altgermanische Sagenüberlieferung aus dem Fränkischen Raum; 7.-9. Jh. (Vossbergsche Zentrale Forschungsstelle Nithart; Fam.-Archiv F.W. Niedhardt (Mappe 11, Dokument 11.33 und Mappe 13, Dokument 13.1) Archiv Roger Neidhart.

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