Theo Riches
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The Carolingian capture of Aachen in 978 and its historiographical footprint
in Frankland
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This chapter traces the retelling of the events of 978 in France and Germany until the clear separation of the two kingdoms' identities. It shows most obviously that it is authorial intention which determines the interpretation of the conflict over Aachen, whether narrowly, with the anonymous Cambraicanon with his obsession about unruly aristocrats, or broadly, in the respective weights given to secular and religious drives in chronicle and hagiography. Less predictably, the accounts favoured each side from the start, interpreting them in terms of Staatspolitik and the honour of great men. Charlemagne may have created Aachen as a centre for his empire, but it was made central by his presence and the presence of his magnates. The chapter starts with an irony - that a piece dedicated to Janet Nelson should devote itself to Aachen's violent seizure by Charlemagne's penultimate heir.

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The Franks and the world of the early middle ages

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