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

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.

Monastic exemption in France, c. 590– c. 1100

This book examines the history of monastic exemption in France. It maps an institutional story of monastic freedom and protection, which is deeply rooted in the religious, political, social, and legal culture of the early Middle Ages. Traversing many geo-political boundaries and fields of historical specialisation, this book evaluates the nature and extent of papal involvement in French monasteries between the sixth and eleventh centuries. Defining the meaning and value of exemption to medieval contemporaries during this era, it demonstrates how the papacy’s commitment, cooperation, and intervention transformed existing ecclesiastical and political structures. Charting the elaboration of monastic exemption privileges from a marginalised to centralised practice, this book asks why so many French monasteries were seeking exemption privileges directly from Rome; what significance they held for monks, bishops, secular rulers, and popes; how and why this practice developed throughout the early Middle Ages; and, ultimately, what impact monastic exemption had on the emerging identity of papal authority, the growth of early monasticism, Frankish politics and governance, church reform, and canon law.

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remains of debates and discussions about the Frankish political world which we can reconstruct only in part, and in reading these texts it is important to listen to their silences and note their emphases. The seemingly disinterested objectivity of the genre, found over long stretches even of the Annals of Fulda (henceforth AF ), whose authors were by no means dispassionate observers of events, can be very deceptive

in The Annals of Fulda
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Hincmar’s world

have wished to mention in his letter of 867 this dubious involvement of a pope in Frankish politics. Another outcome of the second rebellion was to have long-term consequences for Hincmar. Archbishop Ebbo of Rheims was made a scapegoat for the penance that the bishops had imposed on Louis. He was forced to confess to a capital crime at the Council of Thionville in February 835 and resigned from his office of archbishop as ‘unworthy’. 24 The procedural complications and irregularities around his resignation or deposition, however, meant that his claim to the

in Hincmar of Rheims

of Northmen into Frankish politics. Roric, Scandinavian lord of Frisia and Christian convert, was among the viri illustres to whom Hincmar wrote letters urging his intervention in reconciling a dangerous dispute within the royal family: Charles’s daughter Judith, widowed in Wessex, had refused to settle for chaste incarceration, deciding instead on remarriage to Baldwin, a young noble on the make, and if necessary threatening to seek refuge with Roric. Hincmar displayed a strong professional interest in that affair for it went to the heart of politics at court

in Hincmar of Rheims
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structure that we can see the political uses of gold: tribute payments, gifts between kings, royal dowries and, presumably, rewards for military commanders. These all are obviously important, but exceptional, events in Frankish political life. Silver coins, on the other hand, could be used for smaller, more basic and more normal transactions of a local and agricultural nature, as well as for rewarding the

in Late Merovingian France

, Berchar and Raganfred. After Ebroin, the Frankish political centre of gravity would gradually abandon the Seine–Oise valley for fresher lands to the east. The LHF tells us little of the events of the reign of Clothar III, for which we turn largely to the Vita Balthildis . 8 When Clothar died in 673 the Neustrians installed his brother, Theuderic, on the throne. For reasons which the author of the

in Late Merovingian France

experience in the West Frankish political scene. He was not the only courtier who combined political experience with high ecclesiastical office. Hincmar was not archchancellor for Louis; the person who held that post was the abbot Gauzlin, continuing on from his appointment under Charles the Bald. Gauzlin was named in the Capitulary of Quierzy as a member of Louis’s regency council, and was also one of the men whom Hincmar had suggested as advisers for Louis. Physical proximity may also have been an important element for Hincmar in exerting

in Hincmar of Rheims
The case of Trising in context

the awe in which many north of the Alps held Rome and the papacy, even at times when the popes themselves were involved in contentious and less than savoury Roman and West Frankish politics. In spite of their fierce clashes and disagreements, this vision of ideal Christian communities, located in an authoritative past that ought to be recreated in the present, was shared by all the main protagonists of this chapter. It helped to shape Hincmar’s view of what a parish should be, 50 and his notion of what canonical authority amounted to, as well as Pseudo

in Hincmar of Rheims

: Frankish Politics and Carolingian Poetry (Oxford, 1987). 12 I omit discussions here of Old High German and Old Saxon texts from the Carolingian period. The ninth-century poetry is largely religious, with the exception of the Hildebrandslied and Ludwigslied

in Frankland