Hincmar et la loi revisited
On Hincmar’s use of capitularies
in Hincmar of Rheims
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The way in which Hincmar used legal texts has long attracted the attention of historians, who have however been more interested in the texts that were cited than in the place where Hincmar cited them. This article intends to investigate the way that Hincmar referred to Carolingian capitularies in his works (a small body of texts in this respect). One can see that the archbishop of Rheims adapted to his audience. He invoked the authority of the capitularies chiefly with respect to the magnates, especially the lay ones – beginning with the kings. Hincmar referred chiefly to Charlemagne and the emperor who dominated his youth, Louis the Pious. When he made reference to more recent law, it was essentially to constrain more effectively his contemporaries, who were implicated in the elaboration of that law – since he himself laid emphasis on the importance of consensus. Hincmar was especially interested in quoting Carolingian capitularies and legal collections which he could consider as a synthesis of secular and ecclesiastical law.

Hincmar of Rheims

Life and work

Editors: Rachel Stone and Charles West


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