Religious Saxons
Paganism, infidelity and biblical punishment in the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae
in Religious Franks
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This chapter evaluates the most important piece of evidence for Charlemagne's 'Gewaltmission' (mission of violence) against the Saxons: his first Saxon capitulary, also known as the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae. It is argued that this document was concerned not with converting pagans to Christianity, but with keeping Christians from betraying their faith, to king as well as to God. As such, this capitulary was more in line with Carolingian ideas about correct behaviour and worship than it is often made out to be. Frankish annalistic writing allows us to reconstruct the chronology of Charlemagne's 'Saxon Wars' in considerable detail. Hostilities commenced with a Frankish raid on the Irminsul, a Saxon place of worship rumoured to house vast amounts of treasure. This raid provoked a Saxon counter-attack, which in turn prompted a second Frankish foray into Saxon territory.

Religious Franks

Religion and power in the Frankish Kingdoms: studies in honour of Mayke de Jong


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