‘We are between the hammer and the anvil’
Hincmar in the crisis of 875
in Hincmar of Rheims
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This chapter analyses Hincmar's letter De fide, sent to the bishops of the province of Rheims in November 875. Following Louis the German’s invasion of his brother Charles the Bald’s kingdom, Hincmar was faced with a difficult choice: should he recommend submission to Louis, or opposition? This chapter reveals the ambiguity of the archbishop’s position. In fact, Hincmar’s deliberative treatise was intended not to lead the bishops of the province to a normative answer, but to help them make a practical decision. The chapter concludes by highlighting the text’s broad vision of Christian society, based on the episcopal order.

Hincmar of Rheims

Life and work

Editors: Rachel Stone and Charles West

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