At the end of the ninth century, the Cassinese monk Erchempert composed a chronicle (ca. 774–889) blaming the southern Italian Lombard leaders for recent Lombard defeats. Erchempert hoped that future generations might learn from their forebears' folly. This article analyzes the reasons why, in the wake of his monastery's destruction by Muslim raiders, Erchempert did not express a generalized criticism toward all the elites of his homeland. The article also demonstrates that Erchempert's attachment to his people and his pride in being Lombard sometimes led him to stray from his intended narrative of Lombard failures and catastrophes.

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