Dealing with the Adoptionist controversy at the court of Charlemagne
the concept of sacerdotes
and the many layers of meaning connected to that concept in the Carolingian
age, see M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the Age of
LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 178–83; S. Patzold, Episcopus.
Wissen über Bischöfe im Frankenreich des späten 8. bis frühen 10. Jahrhunderts,
Mittelalter-Forschungen 25 (Ostfildern, 2008), pp. 135–84.
J. Nelson, ‘Kingship and empire’, in J. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of
Medieval Political Thought: c. 350–c. 1450 (Cambridge, 1988), 211–51, pp. 211–12.
. de Jong, C. van Rhijn and F. Theuws (eds), Topographies
of Power in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden/Boston, MA/Cologne, 2001), 291–328;
and, in general, M. de Jong, The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the
Age of LouisthePious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2009).
Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni, c. 20, ed. O. Holder-Egger, MGH SRG 25, p. 25. A further example is that of Notker the Stammerer; see C. Hammer, ‘ “Pipinus rex”;
Pippin’s Plot of 792 and Bavaria’, Traditio 63 (2008), 235–76; and C. Hammer, From
Ducatus to Regnum. Ruling Bavaria under the Merovingians and
uniformity through its preference for the Rule of St Benedict. After Charlemagne’s death in 814, his empire steadily fell apart during the reign of his son, LouisthePious, resulting in the creation of three separate entities by 843: the west Frankish, east Frankish and middle kingdoms. The ninth- and tenth-century invasions by the Muslims, Vikings, Magyars and Slavs had contributed to this fragmentation, though historians now speculate about the extent to which the empire crumbled from internal weaknesses rather than from external pressure and incursion. 4
Over the past decade, views on the date and origins of the False Decretals have changed. Until quite recently, the forgery used to be seen as the product of conflicts between Hincmar and his clergy, to be dated to 847–52; nowadays it is thought to have originated in the monastery of Corbie, in the direct aftermath of the rebellions against LouisthePious in 830 and 833. 27 Although the discussion still continues, the first direct reference to the Decretals remains the one in Hincmar’s Second episcopal statute , issued on 1
in elevating Pippin to the throne as the first Carolingian king. As one might expect, Pippin was remarkably generous over the course of his reign to his patron. Among other things, he appointed Fulrad the maître de la chapelle , an advisory role that ensured the Dionysian abbot’s continued role in politics. The relationship was also important because it prefigured the close association between Dionysian abbots and French kings in the succeeding centuries. Hilduin (abbot from 814 to 840) had particularly close connections to the royal court. LouisthePious made
’s synod. Hincmar and other bishops from the provinces of Rheims and Rouen decided to warn Louis, and sent him a letter to persuade him not to usurp his brother’s throne. 5
The bishops’ 858 letter had three purposes: it announced that they refused to meet Louis at a council where the latter wanted to see his plans ratified by Charles’s primores regni ; 6 it reminded Louis of the necessity of protecting the confraternity regime and the conditions of peace between LouisthePious’s sons and heirs, as ratified by Lothar, Louis and Charles in
forged – and the ongoing claims of both factions. 45
The monks of Saint-Calais first complained of the bishop’s oppression at the councils of Bonneuil (855) and Pîtres (862). 46 As defence, they presented genuine Frankish immunities from Pippin the Short, Charlemagne, LouisthePious, and Charles the Bald. 47 Ignoring the conciliar decisions, however, the bishops of Le Mans did not easily cede their jurisdictional rights over the monastery. 48 In countering the monastery’s claims, in fact, they drew on their own written evidence ( legitima
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies, and Miriam Czock
unclear category). 90 A capitulary issued by LouisthePious mentions them in a list: ‘praepositus, advocatus, centenarius vel qualibet alia dignitate praedita libera persona’, where centenarii and other office holders are presented as free men invested with a certain honour ( dignitas ). 91
A capitulary issued in Aachen in 809 mentions the ‘appointment’ of centenarii and other office holders involved in legal proceedings but only in a passive clause: they ‘should be appointed to fulfil their duties’. From the perspective of the Carolingian court, qualification
profoundly thoughtful study of the reigns of Charlemagne and his successor LouisthePious published in Switzerland in 1949, identified the problems that Charlemagne worked hard to solve, but in the end left un solved: his inability to ‘find men with enough of the public spirit that was implied in the concept of fidelity’, or to obtain ‘change in personnel – the basic condition of all reform’. 41 F. L. Ganshof (1895–1980), a Belgian medievalist influenced by Pirenne, published a collection of essays in 1971, but mostly dating from the post-war years, about government in