Hincmar’s influence during Louis the Stammerer’s reign
in Hincmar of Rheims
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Hincmar was archbishop of Rheims at Louis the Stammerer's accession and was involved in Louis’s affairs, conducting Louis’s coronation and advising him during his reign. This paper will investigate how much influence Hincmar had on Louis during the years 877-879. It first examines the motivations behind Hincmar’s involvement in West Frankish government and asks how to measure his influence using the existing sources. To start the investigation, this paper looks at Hincmar’s pre-coronation letter Ad Ludovicum Balbum Regem: Novi regis instructio ad rectam regni administrationem, and the archbishop’s role in the coronation as the composer of the ritual and a key participant. It then considers Hincmar’s involvement in Louis’ personal life and various events in Louis the Stammerer’s reign, such as the papal Council of Troyes in 878 and negotiations with Louis the Younger at Meersen later that year. The conclusion is that while Hincmar demonstrably remained involved in West Frankish affairs after the death of Charles the Bald, it is difficult to isolate specific examples of Hincmar significantly influencing royal policy.

Hincmar of Rheims

Life and work

Editors: Rachel Stone and Charles West

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