This chapter interprets Pope Nicholas I and his pontificate on the basis of his interactions with the Franks. The sheer scope of these activities tells us something about Nicholas's pontificate. The chapter also discusses three cases where Nicholas and the Franks were engaged in a concerted fashion over several years in each instance. The first case study considers the attempt by Lothar II to divorce his wife Theutberga in order to marry his long-time consort, Waldrada. The second case concerns Nicholas's role in the seemingly interminable quarrel between Hincmar of Reims and Bishop Rothad of Soissons. The third and final case concerns another quarrel involving Hincmar and Nicholas. The chapter also explores what was the relationship between Nicholas and Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and what was the relationship between Nicholas and the Pseudo-Isidorian forgeries that defended the rights of suffragan bishops against their metropolitans.
This chapter reinforces the challenges that have already been made to the model of a Merovingian Church in almost constant need of reform, which derives above all from Gregory the Great, Jonas of Bobbio and Boniface. In particular, it stresses how unreliable Jonas is as a guide to understanding the ecclesiastical history of the Merovingian period. The chapter shows that the heirs of Columbanus and the circle of Boniface rather overemphasised what was wrong with the previous regime: the rhetoric of reform automatically involves the denigration of what has gone before. The extent to which the Anglo-Saxon missionary and his followers really marked a new departure has been the subject of discussion ever since Eugen Ewig published his groundbreaking 'Milo et eiusmodi similes'.
This chapter demonstrates that the lists of amici, viventes et defuncti reflected how the royal monastery was interacting with ruling elites, at different levels, and how such interactions were an essential part of its identity. Competition develops at all levels of society, but for the elite, competing was a matter of predominance and power. Kings had to maintain peace; they had to press their competitors to cooperate, a process for which the authors can use the sociological concept of 'coopetition'. At least as an ideal, competition and cooperation must go hand in hand, on an equal footing, through negotiations and the avoidance or managing of conflicts. Economists insist on the psychological dimension of coopetition in social games. The decision to collaborate with a player with whom one competes depends on trust, and trust is now considered to be the essential factor in determining social order and stability.
This book, written in honour of Mayke De Jong, offers twenty-five essays focused upon the importance of religion to Frankish politics. It deals with religious discourse and political polemic in studies that take up the themes of identity, and the creative deployment of the language of the Old Testament within Frankish society. The book explores how the use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shaped medieval perceptions of community. It shows that the Carolingian way of dealing with the Adoptionist challenge was to allow a conversation between the Spanish bishops and their Frankish opponents to take place. Charlemagne's role in the Vita Alcuini as a guardian of orthodoxy who sought to settle a controversy by organising and supervising a theological debate was striking. The book also discusses the admonition of an abbot of Frankish origin who came from southern France and made his monastic career in southern Italy. It showcases three letter manuscripts that share certain features but are different in other aspects. The first manuscript is a collection of the Moral Letters from Seneca to his pupil Lucilius , Paris , BnF, lat. 8658A. The book demonstrates that the lists of amici, viventes et defuncti reflected how the royal monastery was interacting with ruling elites, at different levels, and how such interactions were an essential part of its identity. It also examines the context of Monte Cassino's fading into the background, in the conviction that both political and religious concerns were at play.
Paganism, infidelity and biblical punishment in the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae
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.
In this chapter, the passage in 1 Peter that Alcuin paraphrased in the Vita Vedastis is used as a test case for the 'rhetoric of election' and its uses in the early Middle Age. The chapter explores how the often emphatic use of ethnic rhetoric in a Christian context shaped medieval perceptions of community. The exegetical approach towards 1 Peter 2.9 is well exemplified by the work of Bede. The rhetoric of election is used to underline the fundamental contrast between pagan damnation and salvation through baptism. The Franks had not been a chosen people from the start; it was the act of baptism in which the divine 'acquisition' was expressed. This miraculous rite de passage is operated by God's grace through the pious deeds of the two saints who bring remedy to the souls of the king and his Franks.
This chapter considers King Charlemagne's performance as referee in theological debates at the Councils of Aachen and Frankfurt. It also focuses on the Visigothic conciliar tradition, with King Reccared (586-601) as its most significant proponent. King Reccared is most famously remembered for having initiated the conversion of the Visigoths, the heretical 'barbarians' who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the mid-fifth century, to Catholicism. The chapter considers the ways in which Reccared staged his conversion, aiming at gaining support for his deed and wishing to turn the event into a public display of the alliance between regnum and sacerdotium. He was not the first king to convert from Arianism to Catholicism, but he was the first ruler to elaborate and formalise his conversion, and that of his magnates, at a general Church council.
As a visual 'mirror of princes' the Utrecht Psalter says much about David as a role-model of royal behaviour. The Utrecht Psalter also depicts David's counterpart, his predecessor and rival Saul, even if he is not mentioned in the Psalm verses. This is notably the case in the illustrations to Psalms 51 and 151, where Saul is shown as a ruler seated with a sword flat on his lap. This chapter discusses this man with the sword on his lap as he appears in the Utrecht Psalter, and discovers what he stands for by comparing him with the same figure in other manuscripts. It argues that the use of this motif in the Utrecht Psalter supports the interpretation that the manuscript functioned as a visual 'mirror of princes'. Of crucial importance are the illustrations to Psalms 13 and 52, which are much alike.
The historical context of the ninth-century Cologne Codex Carolinus manuscript (Codex Vindobonensis 449)
Dorine van Espelo
A unique source in many respects, the Codex epistolaris Carolinus comprises ninety-nine papal letters that were sent to the Carolingian court between 739 and 790. These are mostly addressed to the Frankish rulers Charles Martel, Pippin III, Carloman and Charlemagne. But there are also three letters grouped together in the collection about Adoptionism sent by Pope Hadrian I to the Spanish bishops. The letters shed light on many aspects of the burgeoning Frankish-papal relations in this period. They are therefore indispensable pieces of information on the history of the Franks, Lombards and Rome in the second half of the eighth century. This chapter offers some considerations with regard to its emergence in the episcopal library of Cologne. This chapter briefly addresses the historical background of the creation of the Codex Carolinus in the later eighth century and discusses the re-emergence of the Codex Carolinus in the later ninth century.
Scholarly practices of religious Franks in the margin unveiled
This chapter analyses some of the annotating practices, in order to highlight the diversity and also the shared customs of reading and writing in the period, both in religious and in secular texts. It showcases three letter manuscripts that share certain features but are different in other aspects. The first manuscript is a collection of the Moral Letters from Seneca to his pupil Lucilius, Paris, BnF, lat. 8658A. The second manuscript is a collection of letters of St Paul, edited and put together by Florus of Lyon, Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 344. The third one, Paris, BnF, lat. 2858, is the unique copy of the letters of Lupus of Ferrieres. From these examples, the chapter moves to observations on marginal practices in other manuscripts, to explore the personal annotation practices of ninth-century scholars.