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Preface xi 

Bibliography, xv 

CHAP. I.— The Age of Charles the Great— The Church— The 

State— Christianity and Learning i 

CHAP. II. — Rome and her Legacy to the New Peoples of the 

West 8 

CHAP. III.— The Organization of Christianity and the Origin 

of the Papacy— The Inheritance of the Church 14 

CHAP. IV.— The Conquest of the Empire by the German 
Tribes — The Foundation of the Frankish Monarchy — The 
Inheritance of the German People 25 

CHAP, v.— The Merovingian Monarchy— Elements of P^eudal- 

ism — Mayors of the Palace 34 

CHAP. VI. — Christianity and the Church among the Early 

Franks — Conversion of Clovis- The Bishops 43 

CHAP. VII.— The Spread of Christianity— Monasticism— Mis- 
sionaries, Irish, Scotch, and English 51 

CHAP. VIII. — The New Powers and Great Purposes of the 
Mayors of the Palace — Charles Martel and the Church — 
Foundation of Feudalism 58 

CHAP. IX.— Boniface, the " Apostle of Germany "—The Con- 
version of the Eastern Germans— Organization of the 
Frankish Church— Union with Rome 68 

CHAP. X. — Iconoclasm and the Papacy — The Development of 
the Veneration of Saints, Relics, and Images — The Emperor 
Leo III. and the Iconoclastic Edicts — Pope Gregory II. 
and the Situation in Italy— The Eve of Revolt 80 

CHAP. XI. — Italy and the Papacy— The Ostrogothic Kingdom 

— The Lombards — Liutprand and Gregory II 91 


viii Contents. 


CHAP. XII.— Gregory III.— The Lombards and the Franks- 
Boniface and the Organization of the Frankish Church — 
Early Synods — Relations with Rome loi 

CHAP. XIII.— Karlmann and Pippin, the Sons of Charles 
Martel— King Childeric III. — Retirement to a Monastery of 
Karlmann, Childeric, and Rachis, King of the Lombards — 
Coronation of Pippin as King of the Franks iio 

CHAP. XIV. — Relations of the Papacy with the Lombards and 
with the Emperor, from the Time of Gregory II. to the 
Death of Zacharias 123 

CHAP. XV. — Relations of the Papacy with the Lombards and 
with the Franks — Overthrow of the Exarchate by the Lom- 
bards — The Pope Crosses the Alps — The Donation of 
Pippin — The Papal Consecration of Pippin and his Sons as 
Kings of the Franks and Patricians of the Romans 131 

CHAP. XVI.— The Victory of Pippin over Aistulf— Lombard 
Treachery — The Sack of Rome — The Papal Appeal — St. 
Peter's Letter — Second Victory of the Franks — Pippin's 
Donation — The Republic of Rome — The Temporal Power 
of the Pope— Death of Aistulf — Accession of Desiderius — 
Renewed Difficulties 140 

CHAP. XVIL— The Final Struggle of the Lombards— The 
Forged Donation of Constantine — The Frankish Conquest 
of Aquitania — The Aquitanian Capitulary — Establishment of 
the Frankish Church and the Diocesan and Metropolitan 
System — Pippin's Relations with Constantinople and with 
Bagdad 155 

CHAP. XVIIL— TheWorkof Pippin— His Death— Division of 
the Kingdom between Charles and Karlmann — Revolt of the 
Aquitanians — Frankish Alliance with the Lombards — Death 
of Karlmann — Charles Sole King — The Subjugation and 
Conversion of Saxony — Early Saxon Missionaries 166 

CHAP. XIX. — The Lombard Marriages — Repudiation of his 
Lombard Wife by Charles — Pope Hadrian and the Lom- 
bard War — Conquest of the Lombards — Charles Enters 
Rome — King of the Lombards — The Second Donation to 
the Pope— Additional Powers as Patrician— Pope Leo and 
his Accusers — The Oath before Charles— Coronation of 
Charles 190 

CHAP. XX. — Frankish Accounts of the Coronation— The Act 

Contents. ix 


of the Pope— Three Theories— The Attitude of Charles- 
Relations with Constantinople — Renewal and Transfer — 
Two Emperors and Two Empires — Idea of a World Empire 
in Union with the Church 208 

CHAP. XXI. — Theories Underlying the Coronation— Closer 
Relations with the Papacy — The Old Testament Ideal — 
Augustine's City of God— The General Admonition— Secular 
and Ecclesiastical Administration — The Spanish Campaign- 
Downfall of the Duke of the Bavarians — Submission of the 
Duke of Benevento— The Conquest of the Avars 221 

CHAP. XXII. — Imperial Administration — Central and Local 
Government— The Missi— The Assemblies— The Capitu- 
laries 240 

CHAP. XXIII. — Theological Controversies — Image Worship — 
Adoptianism — Tlie Filioque Clause — " Veni Creator 
Spiritus " 259 

CHAP. XXIV. — Political Importance of Ecclesiastical Officers 
— The Metropolitanate — Ecclesiastical Regulations and Re- 
form — Chrodegang and the Canonical Life — Benedict of 
Aniane and Monasticism— The Supremacy of the Roman 
Church— The Model 273 

CHAP, XXV. —Closing Years — Attempt at Consolidation- 
Foreign Relations — Later Wars — Distribution of Kingdoms 
—Death of the Older Sons, Pippin and Charles— Last Will 
— Election and Coronation of Louis as Co-emperor — Death 
of Charles the Great — Canonization — Special Collect for 
his Day, January 28 — The Great Work which He Accom- 
plished 288 

CHAP. XXVI. -Intellectual Life and Development— The Dark 
Ages — Influence of Monasticism — Learning in England — 
Benedict Biscop — Archbishop Theodore— Hadrian — Bede — 
Alcuin— The Library at York 303 

CHAP. XXVIL— Meeting of Charles and Alcuin— The Palace 
School — Alcuin's Methods of Instruction — Cathedral Schools 
—Alcuin Abbot of Tours 322 

CHAP. XXVIIL— Irish Learning— St. Patrick— Columbanus 
— Irish Missions and Monasteries on the Continent— Irish 
Scholars at the Court of Charles — Opposition of Alcuin — 
Death of Alcuin 343 

CHAP. XXIX.— Larger Development under Louis the Pious— 



The Scholars of Fulda— Rabanus Maurus and Servatus 
Lupus — The Great Reformers — Agobard of Lyons and 
Claudius of Turin — Paschasius Radbertus and the Doctrine 
of Transubstantiation— John Scotus Erigena — Gottschalk 
and the Predestination Controversy 352 

CHAP. XXX. — Accession of Louis the Pious— Weakness of the 
Imperial Unity — Relations with the Papacy— Regulation of 
the Empire — Introduction of Primogeniture — Humiliation 
of Louis 374 

CHAP. XXXI.— Birth of Charles the Bald— Disorder in Italy— 
The Roman Constitution — The Two Parties — Rebellion of 
Lothair — The Field of Lies — Deposition of Louis — Restora- 
tion — Reconciliation of Lothair — Death of Louis — Battle of 
Fontenay— The Strassburg Oaths — Treaty of Verdun — 
Fall of the Empire 391 

CHAP. XXXIL— Christian Missions and Missionaries — Ebbo 
and the Danes — Ansgar and the Swedes — Olaf and the 
Norwegians — Methodius and the Moravians — Secularization 
of the Bishops — Political Influence and Dependence — 
Feudal Relations — Reform Movements 415 

CHAP. XXXIII.— Ecclesiastical Legislation and the Constitu- 
tion of the Church in the Ninth Century— The Forged 
Decretals —Origin— Date— Place— Object— Contents— Use 
— Later History 423 

CHAP. XXXIV.— The Height of the Papacy- Nicholas I.— 
Hadrian II.— John VIIL — End of the Carolingian Line in 
Italy— In Germany— In France— Degradation of the Papacy 452 




HE previous volumes in this series have 
found their scene of action in the East. 
It is never to be forgotten that Christian- 
ity had its origin in the East, among an 
Eastern and Semitic people, and that the 
language of its early teachers and documents, and, 
with two or three exceptions, of its literature, for 
three or four centuries, the formulas of its faith, its 
theological discussions and the decisions of its coun- 
cils, were all in Greek. Even the Church of Rome 
and most of the churches of the West were, at the 
first, as Milman strikingly says, " Greek religious 
colonies." With a consideration of the age of Charles 
the Great the scene changes to the West, and we are 
called upon to witness the handing over of the trea- 
sured possessions of the Roman empire, law, language, 
civilization, and ideals, to new peoples, the German 
tribes under the leadership of the Franks ; the devel- 
opment of a Latin Christianity ; the building up of 
the great Latin Church ; and the laying of the foun- 
dations of the middle ages and of modern times. 

It would be impossible to treat adequately of these 
extensive subjects in so brief a compass as that 
afforded by the pages of this volume. Many of the 

xii Preface. 

topics I have not attempted to touch. I have tried 
to bring into clearer hght some of the more obscure 
though most important features of the period, and to 
show the deeper relations which underlie the chief 
events of the history of the church and of its connec- 
tions with the political history. 

In the introduction to his " Life of Alcuin " Lor- 
enz has said very justly : "The age of Charles the 
Great is more celebrated than known, and the founder 
of the new Romano- Germanic Empire has found more 
panegyrists than historians." In the following pages 
I have tried to be the historian rather than the pane- 
gyrist, and to present facts rather than to indulge in 

While conscious, all the time, of writing for many 
who will have no time to pursue the history further, 
I have endeavored, by going deeply enough into the 
subjects I have considered, to make the book of value 
to those who desire already, or to those in whom, I 
hope, it may inspire a desire, to continue the study 
and to make investigations for themselves. 

I have let the sources speak for themselves as far 
as possible, not only in order to be more accurate, 
but also because thereby a greater vividness and 
reality could be assured. 

I have dealt largely with the political side of the 
subject, as the title requires and as the nature of the 
history demands. 

The growth of the Papacy, especially of its tem- 
poral power and possessions, forms one of the most 
important topics of the period. In this connection 
the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals have been treated at 

Preface. xiii 

great length, on account of the interest and impor- 
tance attaching to the subject, and because a good 
deal of confusion still exists as to their history and 
contents. They form an admirable commentary on 
the church history of the ninth century. 

I desire to acknowledge my special indebtedness 
to the work of Waitz on the whole subject ; to that 
of Hinschius on the Forged Decretals ; and particu- 
larly to that of MulUnger on the intellectual life of 
the period. As the latter book is out of print and 
the others are in foreign languages, the large use 
made of them is perhaps more excusable. Dr. Mom- 
bert, by a personal letter and by his most compre- 
hensive work on Charles the Great, has rendered 
much assistance. 

I am allowed to quote, in closing, the words of 
Dr. Noah K. Davis of the University of Virginia in 
the preface to his book, " The Theory of Thought " : 
" If on the whole it is a good book, it will live and be 
useful; if not it will die, the sooner the better." 

Charles L. Wells. 

Minneapolis, December 4, 1897. 


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HE division of history into epochs and 
periods, while presenting many advan- 
tages for the purpose of detailed study 
and of careful comparison, is, at the same 
time, attended with disadvantages and 
dangers, so that it needs some explanation, if not 
defence, at the outset. The stream of time, whose 
events, together with their record, constitute what 
we call history, is one and continuous. Yet divi- 
sions may be made and differences noted, if they 
are not made too hard and fast, too definite and me- 

Two cautions must be borne in mind. First, that 
not all the movements of a period end in that period ; 
some must have begun, and all must have their 
ground or motive, in a preceding one, and some will 
reach the crisis of their development only in a later 
period. Secondly, a period is not of the same con- 
tinuous character throughout ; it is full of movement, 
an ebb and flow like the tide, a rise and fall like the 
barometer, a waxing and waning like the moon. 

A I 

The Age of Charlemagtie. 

Yet without doubt each period has its one great 
movement, with a beginning, a progress, a crisis, and 
a fall or change into some other; and, taking up a 
single movement, one may mark, more or less defi- 
nitely, its limits in time. 

In the same way some one great personality dom- 
inates or at least guides and moulds the develop- 
ment of a long period in history ; preceding years or 
centuries seem to have prepared for his coming, and 
succeeding ones are filled with his spirit and with the 
influence of the forces which he has set in motion. 
In a supreme degree this is true of Jesus Christ, and 
the modern world has recognized it by dividing his- 
tory into two great periods, one before, one after, his 
birth, and still proclaims that we live awio Domini. 
In a less degree we may speak of the age of some 
great man, meaning the period of his influence, or of 
the movements of events with which his name is 
identified, though it begins before his birth and does 
not end until after his death. 

All this is particularly true of Charles, King of the 
Franks, and later Emperor of the West, of whom 
Joseph de Maistre has so well said, " This man is so 
truly great that greatness has been incorporated in 
his very name " — Charles the Great, or, as the French 
like to call him, Charlemagne.^ It may be under- 
stood, therefore, in what sense we speak of the age 
of Charles the Great, though the empire in which 

1 The surname " Great " was his from the middle of the ninth cen- 
tury. The name " Charlemagne " is a later and misleading French cor- 
ruption of " Carolus Magnus." See Mombert, pp. iii., 502; Waitz, 
vol. iii., p. loi, note i, p. 648. 

The Carolingian Line. 3 

that greatness centred broke up soon after his hold 
upon it was relaxed. This is recognized also in what 
is a most unusual procedure, the calling his line of 
ancestors after his own name, as though they were 
his children instead of his fathers. The line is known 
to all history as the Carolingian,^ though it came 
into prominence in the seventh century in the per- 
son of Arnulf, Bishop of Metz, whose son married 
the daughter of Pippin of Landen, a mayor of the 
palace, by whom he became the father of Pippin of 
Heristal, the conqueror of Testry in 687 and father 
of Charles Martel, who was born a year or two 
afterwards and was the grandfather of Charles the 

The age of Charles the Great lies between the two 
dark centuries, the seventh and the tenth, the results 
of the earlier and of the later barbarian invasions. 
With the eleventh century a new life begins, and the 
period ecclesiastically is rightly named the Hilde- 
brandine era. 

These dates mark not only ecclesiastical, but po- 
litical and intellectual divisions. The period began 
with the first appearance in action of those ideas and 
principles which reached a crisis in the life and work 
of Charles himself, and ended when that movement 
waned and ceased, or passed into other hands and 
under other forms and influences. It is because these 
ideas and principles are so varied and so fundamental, 
and their influences so far-reaching, that the age of 

1 " Carlovingian " is a corrupt form devised in the middle ages as 
analogous to " Merovingian," from Merovius, the reputed founder of 
the preceding dynasty. See Martin, vol. ii., p. 230, note I. 

The Age of Charlemagne. 

Charles the Great is so long and so important, so in- 
teresting and so instructive. 

The church, already having put on monarchical 
forms, moulded and influenced by the close connec- 
tion with the civil power brought about when Con- 
stantine declared Christianity the established religion 
of the empire, had rapidly increased in power and 
extent. This power in growing had become central- 
ized, first in four or five patriarchates, then in two, 
Rome and Constantinople. The struggle between 
these two was already on when Mahometanism arose 
and appeared to suspend it, but it was Mahometanism 
that decided it.^ 

One by one the churches of the East were lost, and 
in no new direction could the Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople reach out after more. The growth and vic- 
tories of the future were with the Pope of Rome. 
New peoples were converted and owned his sway, his 
spiritual influence reached wherever Christianity was 
known, and a temporal sovereignty began in and 
about the city which he had many times defended 
by the inspiration of religious awe and by shrewd 
diplomacy, and had so stamped with his spirit as to 
make it his own. He took the foremost of these new 
peoples, converted them to Christianity, changed the 
line of their kings, and made them the instruments of 
the spirit of a new hierarchical organization far beyond 
the fondest fancy of the East, the very home of ab- 
solutism and of priestcraft. 

Slowly he gained his independence of the Roman 
emperor, brought about the separation of nearly all 

1 Matter, vol, ii., p. 69. 

The Frankish Empire. 5 

of what remained of the imperial possessions in the 
West, created a new empire, and crowned its em- 
perors. On the basis of his own enlarged possessions 
he established the States of the Church and the begin- 
ning of the temporal power of the Papacy, at once 
the fulcrum of its mighty influence and the stum- 
bling-block of its spiritual greatness, the last of its 
powers to be fully attained and the first to be com- 
pletely lost. 

The various tribes and kingdoms were brought 
under the rule of one controlling people, the Franks ; 
a new and stronger race of kings arose from ancestors 
who had fought for unity and won it, who had driven 
back the threatening wave of Mahometan invasion 
from the South and thus saved Europe to Christianity 
and to Aryan civilization, who had subdued the savage 
barbarism of the North and thus made possible the 
spread of Christianity to the boundaries of the north- 
ern sea. As trustees for the modern world, they had 
received the treasures of Roman civilization from the 
trembling hands of the aged and decrepit empire, 
worn out by its labors and excesses, and now too 
impotent to use or even to hold them any longer. A 
new empire was founded, in which the peoples of the 
West might realize their common origin and relation- 
ship and the great responsibilities and hopes awaiting 
them in the future. 

The vision was realized for less than half a century ; 
the central power was one in name rather than in 
fact ; and it was left for feudalism to preserve all that 
was strong and lasting and true, to protect it from the 
disintegrating forces of barbarian invasion and the 

The Age of Charlemagne. 

consequent weakness and confusion, and finally to 
hand it over to the monarchies of the later middle 
ages and the newly forming nationalities of the mod- 
ern world. 

The great missionary enterprises were begun, al- 
though their greatest and most lasting victories were 
not won until a later period. Monasteries were 
founded, not as places of refuge for idle contempla- 
tion and selfish asceticism, but as centres of living, 
active force, true oases in the deserts of the barbarism 
of western and of northern Europe, lights shining in 
a dark place, leaven hid in the meal, spreading their 
influences far and wide, teaching, by practical ex- 
ample, a higher life, nobler purposes, and loftier 
ideals, and directly helping others to their attain- 

Seeds of learning, saved from the schools of Greece 
and Rome by Irish and English scholars, were sown 
in the newly founded royal and ecclesiastical schools ; 
intellectual life and learning were fostered and en- 

Through and above it all, a great, far-seeing mind, 
a brave and wise spirit, a noble and illustrious con- 
queror, the mighty emperor Charles the Great, who 
knew and builded much, and yet builded wiser than 
he knew ; whose work seemed to be lost in the di- 
vision of the inheritance and the weakness of the 
inheritors, but, though his empire was divided, his 
schools closed, his monasteries devastated, and the 
Papacy, which he did so much to strengthen and to 
build up, plunged into the lowest depths of corrup- 
tion, yet the treasure was not diminished, though di- 

Permanent Influence. 

vided and given into other hands ; was not ruined, 
though marred and mutilated ; was not lost, though 
for a time covered and concealed. The work which 
he did, and which his principles wrought out in his 
age, made possible the Renaissance, the Reformation, 
and the nations of modern Europe. 



]HEN Charles, afterwards called the Great, 
succeeded his father Pippin in the leader- 
ship of the German peoples with the title 
of King of the Franks, nearly three cen- 
turies had elapsed since the last Roman 
emperor had ruled in Italy, and about the same time 
since the Franks had come into prominence and no- 
tice under their leader Clovis. During these three 
centuries events of momentous significance had oc- 

Rome had been doing for the West, in her own 
way and to the best of her ability, that which Greece 
had originated and carried on with such genius and 
glory. The elements of learning and of civilization, 
already existing in the East, Greece had taken up, 
stamped with her own genius and grace, developed 
to high conditions of beauty and excellence, and 
moulded into forms of surpassing purity and power. 
Rome had received this art and learning, this won- 
derful civilization, and although in her hands it lost 
some of its grace and beauty, she gave it greater 


The Provincial Government of Rome. 9 

strength and force by her order, disciphne, organiza- 
tion, government, and laws. 

Greece colonized, but Rome conquered and gov- 
erned; Greece civilized, but Rome organized and 
incorporated. The influence of Greece was mediate, 
individual, unseen ; that of Rome, direct, general, 
evident, and effective. 

It was through and by means of Rome's great 
practical genius for law and government that her in- 
fluence worked, and it showed itself particularly in 
her provincial government. By the incorporation of 
conquered peoples into her own national life she made 
them partakers by necessity of her language and her 
laws, and by imitation of her customs and her civili- 
zation. Although her administration became corrupt 
and oppressive during the later years of the republic, 
it was very efficient under the empire, when many 
of the provinces came under the direct supervision of 
the emperor, and municipal institutions with a system 
of representation connected with the festivals of em- 
peror-worship were developed and extended. 1 If 
Rome was despotic, she was protective ; if the prov- 
inces paid high tribute in taxes and men, they gained 
peace and security, better government and laws, and 
a higher civilization. ^ 

But Rome's power was failing. Her conquests 
had extended until she ruled the world, and the world 
was growing too large for one city to rule. Gradually, 
in the earlier times, she had received into her citizen- 

1 Fustel de Coulanges, vol. i., pp. 210-224. 

2 W. T. Arnold, "The Roman System of Provincial Administra- 
tion" (London, 1879), 

lo The Age of Charlemagne. 

ship those whom she had first conquered, then civi- 
lized, then Romanized. Later, however, distant prov- 
inces were annexed and large numbers admitted to 
citizenship without going through this gradual initia- 
tion. The inhabitants of these distant provinces in the 
North and West, the barbarians, as they were called, 
were fast becoming a part of the organism itself — 
introduced first as slaves and captives of war, then 
in bands of large numbers as coloni on the estates of 
wealthy and influential Romans. Whole tribes had 
been received as subjects, and from the time of Caesar 
and the first emperors, bands and troops had been 
used in the armies along with the legions.i 

Unfortunately, however, as this material for, and 
consequently the need of, assimilation increased, 
Rome's power to perform such functions diminished 
with startling rapidity. 

A great deal has been written about the moral 
corruption of later Roman life, and it might seem 
difficult to exaggerate the evil ; but its importance as 
the cause of the fall of Rome undoubtedly has been 
overestimated, as Dr. Adams has so clearly pointed 
out,^ by turning the attention away from other more 
direct and more immediately effective causes, and by 
concealing the real issue. The secret of Rome's fall was 
in her failure to assimilate her continued conquests, 
due to one thing — exhaustion. This exhaustion was 
moral, but that was not all; it was social, political, 
and economical. The social and economic effects of 

1 Fustel de Coulanges, vol. ii., pp. 365-401. 

2 Adams, pp. 76-88. One of the briefest yet most suggestive treat- 
ments of this interesting subject. 

Imp07'tance of Social Differences. 1 1 

slavery were as disastrous as its moral effects. The 
same is true also of the breaking up of family life, the 
free games and free food, the luxury and artificial life 
of the rich. Most serious of all, the result of all these 
various causes, as well as of many others, was the 
disappearance of the middle class. The union of the 
patricians with the plebeians had led to the strength- 
ening of the unity and power of Rome, immediately 
followed by the spread of her conquests and influence. 
It was the rapidly growing gulf between the wealthy 
aristocracy and the dependent proletariat that weak- 
ened her and prepared for her downfall. 

If the dream of the communist were realized, and 
the so-called middle class constituted the entire com- 
munity, without the variation of richer and poorer, 
educated and uneducated, employer and employed, 
life would be a dead, monotonous level, humanity 
would stagnate, arts and inventions would cease, and 
very soon a retrogression would begin, which, slowly 
at first, but surely and finally, would carry man back 
to the earlier conditions of barbarism from which 
civilization started, and out of which, by slow and 
painful steps and by great sacrifices of individuals and 
of communities, it has attained its present height. 
Unless the few who can are allowed to go ahead and 
lift themselves above the surrounding level, even if 
necessary on the backs and shoulders of their fellow- 
men, there can be no hope of progress, no possibility 
of advance for the mass of mankind ; and unless rich 
rewards and great incentives are held out for success, 
few, too few, will attempt the difficult and oftentimes 
dangerous enterprise. 

1 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

On the other hand, some bond of connection, some 
intimate union of sympathy and of mutual helpfulness, 
must be kept up between the highest and the lowest, 
the most and the least advantaged in societ}^, or the 
vital connection will be lost, the organism mutilated, 
humanity will suffer, the social fabric, and, together 
with it, the political constitution, will totter to the 
fall. There will be, there must be, gradations, social, 
economical, intellectual, and political, but they must 
be so closely connected and interwoven that there 
shall be no break between the lower and the next 
higher. If, by any means, any considerable section 
of these gradations is removed, ruin is inevitable. 

This was just the evil in Rome's case, caused by 
the disappearance of the middle class, eaten out by 
slavery, luxury, pauperization, loss of independence, 
and by the absorption of small proprietorships into 
the vast estates of wealthy and powerful landowners. 
Many of these evils had been felt already in the clos- 
ing years of the republic, and had made not only 
possible, but necessary, the revolution wrought by 
Caesar and realized by Augustus in the establishment 
of the empire. This movement, by concentrating the 
power and energy still remaining in the state, and by 
restoring, in a great measure, the direct responsibility 
of the minor officers, postponed the evil day, though 
it did not provide any radical remedy. Such evils 
are more noticeable and more dangerous in a republic 
than in a monarchy, but they are bound to be effec- 
tive as long as they continue. 

Another and still greater revolution, implying a 
still deeper recognition of these evils and dangers, 

The Revolution under Constantine. 13 

took place under Diocletian and Constantine. This 
was the division of the empire into East and West, 
its reorganization into four prefectures, sixteen dio- 
ceses, and one hundred and eighteen provinces, the 
introduction of Oriental forms and customs, the es- 
tablishment of a complete system of bureaucracy, the 
removal of the capital to Constantinople, and the 
adoption of Christianity as the established religion of 
the empire. 

All this, however, while recognizing the dangers, 
failed to avert them ; and before the end of the fifth 
century the Roman emperor no longer had any in- 
dependent rule in the West. Rome had ceased long 
before to be the seat of imperial power, for Diocle- 
tian, in 284, had removed thence to Milan, and before 
the middle of the fifth century the barbarians held 
the larger part of the imperial territory in the West. 

This has been called the fall of the Roman empire, 
but the term is not a very appropriate one. In reality 
it was the handing over to others the power her hands 
were too weak to hold any longer, the seizure by 
others of the treasures she could no longer defend 
or use. These others were the Christian church and 
the German people. 



HE Christian church inherited the organi- 
zation and the centralization of the im- 
perial power of Rome. Centuries elapsed, 
however, before it found its head and 
centre in the imperial city and came into 
full possession of the unity of organization and the 
discipline of law which it received with the imperial 
idea as its legacy. 

The spiritual head and centre of the Christians was 
Christ. He was at once the norm and revelation of 
their faith, the source and standard of their life, the 
object and inspiration of their worship. 

The first three centuries of their existence were 
passed largely in retirement, obscurity, and isolation. 
Political life was absolutely denied them, as also was 
social life outside of their own communities. They 
were the object of suspicion, ridicule, slander, and 
abuse, as well as of slights, annoyances, persecutions, 
and punishments, by their Jewish and pagan neigh- 
bors and by the local civil officials, from which the 


Tendencies towards Centralization, 15 

imperial law afforded them no protection or redress. 
Their close organization was therefore natural as the 
outgrowth of a common political instinct, especially- 
connected with their marvellous increase in numbers, 
and as the formal realization of their ideal unity in 
the one Lord, the one faith, and the one baptism. It 
was also necessary in order to maintain this growth 
and inward unity, as well as for outward defence 
and regulation. 

Their first and most natural local centre was Jeru- 
salem; but the intolerance and bitter attacks of the 
Jews, and the early destruction of the city by the 
Romans, put an end to its effectiveness as a means 
of centralization. Their earliest formal organization 
consisted of single scattered communities, each gov- 
erned by a gradation of officers at whose head was 
the bishop, who represented the community and acted 
in its name. Interchange of thought, of sympathy, 
and of aid was maintained by letters, travellers, and 
more formally appointed messengers. Owing to the 
rise of novelties and variations of faith and of practice, 
synods including several neighboring communities 
began to be held, all tending to an increase of cen- 
tralization. The bishops of the churches in the chief 
cities of the empire soon came to hold important and 
influential positions, especially when they were men 
of great personal energy and ability, or occupied 
positions in churches of apostolic or of quite early 
foundation. The decisions of synods and the declara- 
tions of individual bishops and teachers had only a 
moral sanction and authority, but even then showed 
such growing effectiveness as to bring upon them the 

1 6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

suspicion and finally the active persecution of the 

It was not on account of religious differences, for 
Rome tolerated all religions ; it was not on account 
of their exclusiveness or proselytism, for the Jews 
were exclusive and proselyting ; it was not on account 
of disobedience to the laws nor on account of the 
slanders concerning them that the empire in the third 
century entered upon a determined course of anni- 
hilation against them. Rather was it because of the 
increased efficiency and unmistakable reality of their 
organization, which threatened to form an impermvi 
in imperio, not only rivalling the empire and dividing 
allegiance to the emperor, but tending to undermine 
the state and to overthrow its ruler. But if Rome 
was too exhausted to conquer her own corruption 
and to assimilate her later conquests, she was far too 
weak to cope successfully with the Christian church 
in the freshness of its purity and vigor. Her attacks 
aimed at its highest officials in the middle of the third 
century, and her efforts to destroy not only its mem- 
bers but its holy writings, the source of its life and 
inspiration, at the beginning of the fourth century, 
were powerless and ineffectual for harm. They came 
too late. They might prune away some branches; 
they could not injure the trunk, and only strength- 
ened the roots of the mighty tree. 

Just at this time the greatest change of all came 
to the empire and to the church — the conversion of 
the emperor and the proclamation of Christianity as 
the established religion of the empire, and the church 
as its official form and representative. It is very 

Christianity as the Aitthorized Religion, 1 7 

difficult to realize, much harder to describe, and im- 
possible to overestimate all that this meant to the 
church as well as to the empire. The organization 
was drawn into a still closer resemblance to the im- 
perial constitution, crystallized in that form, and sup- 
ported by the law and authority of the imperial power. 
Instead of being persecuted it was legalized ; instead 
of being forced into obscurity it was made an arm of 
the state ; instead of its officers being most exposed 
to the attacks of a hostile power they became the 
most exalted representatives of that power. Chris- 
tianity was not only licensed, it became the sole 
authorized religion. Its rules and regulations, its rites 
and ceremonies, its creed and organization, became 
matters of imperial significance. 

Startling as this change was in itself, it was nothing 
short of revolutionary in its effects. New standards 
and ideas, new aims and objects, new purposes and 
methods, new views and considerations, at once en- 
tered into the mind and will of the church. Emphasis 
was laid upon the exigencies of the economy of a 
visible church which became the substitute for the 
kingdom of God. There arose the necessity of an 
external system capable of being externally admin- 
istered. There followed from this standpoint the 
localization of God and the necessity of substitutes 
instead of witnesses for his presence. The church 
itself came to be identified with the clergy, who ap- 
peared as its officers rather than as its ministers. The 
religious life was the ecclesiastical, later the monastic, 
life. Salvation was something external instead of 
internal, and an intrinsic value was accorded to works 


1 8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

which might be noted, estimated, and measured. It 
would lead too far from the present purpose to carry 
these considerations further, or to cite any of the 
numerous illustrations in the theology, morals, life, 
discipline, and worship forming from this period. The 
whole process extends through the later history and 
may be summed up as the substitution of the exter- 
nal sign for the thing signified.^ 

This shows why the church in the middle ages 
must be considered as an ecclesiastical institution 
rather than as a religious organization. Its moral 
influence gradually became subordinate to its ec- 
clesiastical government. It was political rather than 
religious ; it sought to save the world by ruling it, to 
serve men by subduing them to itself, and to teach 
them by exercising authority over them. 

Centralization became more important than ever. 
The great patriarchates were established as centres 
of influence and control. They were Antioch, Alex- 
andria, Rome, and, later, Constantinople and Jerusa- 
lem. The importance of Rome was early recognized. 
Even in the middle of the third century Cyprian had 
shown the expediency of an appeal to Rome in mat- 
ters of faith, though evidently without intending 
thereby to ascribe to her any authority not possessed 
by other churches equally ancient and apostolic. 
There were many other circumstances which favored 
the speedy rise of the Roman Church out of the 
obscurity in which she remained during the first three 

1 The further application of this principle may be read in " The Con- 
tinuity of Christian Thought," by A. V. G. Allen, D.D. See espe- 
cially the second and fourth chapters. 

The Advantages of Rome. 19 

centuries, when the city, as the capital of the empire, 
was the centre of pagan life and worship. The Latin 
theology and the ecclesiastical life of the West had 
their rise and reached their height during the first 
four centuries, not in Rome, but in North Africa, in 
Tertullian, Cyprian, and St. Augustine. When the im- 
perial capital was removed to the East and the pagan 
religion was proscribed, the great advantages of the 
Church of Rome began to appear. Even her early 
obscurity, joined with her distance from the disputes 
of the East, had worked to her advantage and made 
possible that silent, steady growth which enabled her, 
a little later, to take a high position in the Christian 

The importance and dignity of the city, with all the 
prestige that came to her as the centre and seat of the 
empire and mistress of the world, were felt also by the 
church which had been founded there in the earliest 
apostolic times, and which claimed two of the chief- 
est of the apostles as her founders and upbuilders. 
Indeed, she was the only apostolic see in the West, 
and when so much depended upon an apostolic foun- 
dation and authority for proving genuineness of tra- 
dition and integrity of faith, this was of the greatest 
worth and importance. Rome kept the advantages 
thus gained. The regular succession and the personal 
prestige of her bishops, their general and, with one 
or two exceptions, undisputed orthodoxy, especially 
during the long struggle of the fourth century, when 
for a time the empire and the church at large were 
avowedly Arian, proved her ability to sustain her 
responsible position. The Roman Church was also 

20 The Age of Charlemagne. 

wealthy and at the same time generous. Her mis- 
sionary zeal carried her emissaries into various parts 
of the West, and many churches were founded, sup- 
ported, and protected by her, and they acknowledged 
and repaid their obligation by service and devotion. 
The conversion of the English, the attitude of Bede 
towards Rome, and the later labors of Boniface and 
other English missionaries in complete devotion to 
the Roman see serve admirably as illustrations of the 
feeling Rome evoked and the position of moral su- 
premacy she came to hold among the churches of the 

Other influences also were at work. The need of 
a centre of unity and defence made itself increasingly 
felt as the church organization grew more definite 
and Christianity spread into new and hitherto inac- 
cessible regions, gaining a foothold among half-savage 
princes and semibarbarous peoples, while anarchy and 
confusion incident to the fall of Rome's political power 
took possession of the Western world. In many 
ways the Church of Rome met these needs and sat- 
isfied them. 

The position of the priesthood generally became 
more and more subordinate to the higher ranks of 
the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Chosen more frequently 
from the serfs of the church, who alone had the 
educational training fitting them for the position, or 
from the freemen among the still uneducated peoples 
where the church was spreading most rapidly, their 
inferiority could not fail to be apparent. The time 
of the great presbyters had passed away ; the bishops 
alone were important. But the bishops, as such, 

The Power of Rome. 2 1 

found their power diminishing. The monasteries, 
one after another, in various ways gained exemp- 
tions and became independent of episcopal control. 
The right of lay patronage and the system of pri- 
vate chaplains took away from the bishops another 
source of their power. The rural deaneries and 
cathedral chapters still further weakened and divided 
it. Even the metropolitanate, essentially a Roman 
institution based upon the political importance of 
certain chief cities in the empire, was gradually dying 
out. Redivisions, consequent upon the settlements 
of new peoples, the disappearance of old centres, and 
the rising into importance of new ones, led to a com- 
plete readjustment of old relations. New sees, by 
reason of the greater wealth, renown, or sanctity 
which they acquired and the larger powers which 
they could exercise through the rapidly developing 
feudal system, which comprehended the church as 
well as the state, soon gained a credit and an influence 
far greater than the old metropolitanate, which in 
most cases was attached to some old, decaying, and 
insignificant Roman town. 

In all this change Rome steadily gained in power 
and prestige. The springing up of new church cen- 
tres taking the place of the old ones had the additional 
eff"ect of breaking up the old traditions of indepen- 
dence and obhterated the recollections of ancient 
equality. The days of the opposition of Irenaeus and 
the bishops of southern Gaul, of Tertullian, Cyprian, 
and the church of North Africa, of Ravenna, Aquileia, 
and Milan, were passing away. The new churches 
offered no resistance, indeed were eager in their 

2 2 The Age of Charle7nagne. 

maintenance and defence of the increasing power and 
influence of the Bishop of Rome.^ 

The bishops of Rome began, about the fifth or 
sixth century, to exercise the right of conferring the 
palhum, a linen robe embroidered with purple, which 
all bishops in the East received at their consecration. 
By the Bishop of Rome, however, it was sent as a 
special mark of honor and privilege only to the most 
distinguished bishops of the West, symboHzing and 
strengthening their connection with the Church of 
Rome. The many appeals to Rome for the establish- 
ment of the faith, for aid and counsel, for the settle- 
ment of disputes, for the exercise of new powers, for 
gaining rights, privileges, and exemptions, not only 
recognized her authority, but increased it, and some- 
times even created it. 

Finally there was a whole series of imperial edicts 
and acts of councils which were used, rightly or 
1 wrongly, to give a legal foundation to Rome's grow- 
ing claim to supremacy. Foremost of all, however, 
was the declaration of Christ to St. Peter as recorded 
in St. Matthew xvi. i8, first applied to the person of 
St. Peter and then to his successors in Rome in the 
fifth century.^ 

A canon of Sardica in 343 gave to Julius, Bishop 
of Rome at that time, the right of receiving appeals 
from bishops condemned for Arianism. Attempts 

1 Chastel, vol. iii., pp. 163-178. 

2 " First in the time of Coelestine an attempt was made to refer it to 
the person of Peter. The legates of Coelestine at the Council of 
Ephesus in 431 had said: ' Who, until now and ever, both lives and 
teaches in his successors.' Thus they claimed universal primacy as of 
immediate divine authority. Leo I. adopted this view with all his 
soul." (Kurtz, vol. i., p. 269.) 

The Papacy. 23 

were made to give to this canon a general instead of 
a specific application, and to use it as a Nicene canon. 
An edict of the Emperor Gratian in 378 conferred 
upon Damasus the right of giving a final decision 
against some schismatic clergy. An edict of Valen- 
tinian in 445 declared the universal primacy of the 
Roman see. The later forgeries, culminating in the 
False Decretals of the ninth century, supplied all that 
was lacking in the way of precedent and documentary 

But all these advantages, opportunities, precedents, 
declarations, canons, and edicts would have accom- 
plished little of enduring worth had it not been for 
the line of good and great men — great in intellect, in 
ability, in tact, and in influence — who filled the chair 
of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, we may fairly say 
that the Papacy,^ as the special position and influence 

1 The Roman bishops were not distinguished at first by any exclu- 
sive titles. The term " patriarch," while technically belonging to them 
alone in the West, was quite commonly applied to all the Western bish- 
ops. Even the names " apostolic Pope," " Vicar of Christ, "_ " chief 
pontiff," and " apostolic see " were not confined to Rome and' its bish- 
ops, inasmuch as, originally, all bishops were regarded as vicars of 
Christ and successors of the apostles, while no distinction had been 
made as yet between St. Peter and the other apostles. The term 
" Pope," from the Latin papa and Greek TrdTTTraf (" a father"), was 
applied at first to the higher clergy generally. Ennodius, Bishop of 
Pavia, used it with special emphasis for the Bishop of Rome at the be- 
ginning of the sixth century, and from the next century it became a 
fixed title. Gregory VII. in 1075 enforced it by law, and forbade its 
application to any other bishop. Thus it is seen that the later titles 
of the bishops of Rome were those in general use at first, but gradually 
monopolized by them. 

The phrase " servant of the servants of God," adopted by Gregory 
the Great in his well-known opposition to the claim of the Patriarch 
of Constantinople to the title " universal patriarch," remained almost 
exclusively the prerogative of the Bishop of Rome. 

After their triumph at the Sixth General Council the Roman bish- 

24 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of the Bishop of Rome is called, owes its real origin 
to the three great popes of the fourth century — In- 
nocent, Coelestine, and Leo — and to the greater one at 
the close of the sixth century — Gregory the Great. 

The life of Gregory i shows how far the Church of 
Rome had inherited the power and influence and real 
position of the old Roman empire. The Latin lan- 
guage had become the language of its Scriptures, its 
liturgy, its theology, and its laws, while with the lan- 
guage it had received much of the spirit and ideals 
of Rome. Thus the empire of Rome had passed on 
a part of its great heritage to the Church of Rome, 
and thus the Church of Rome had become able to re- 
ceive and to administer the inheritance. 

ops began to take the title " universal bishop," which Gregory had 

" Vicar of Peter " was frequently used, gradually growing in signifi- 
cance with the exaltation of Peter to the position of Prince of the 
Apostles, upon whom the church was founded and to whom had been 
given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. 

1 The account given by Milman in his " Latin Christianity," bk. 
iii., chap, viii., is one of the best brief biographies. 



HE Other inheritor of Rome's power and 
civiHzation was the German people. Con- 
stantinople in the East retained the im- 
perial name as New Rome, but the Ger- 
man tribes inherited the possessions in the 
West, divided at first, then gradually united, until the 
Lombards held the territory of the empire in Italy, 
and the Franks the lands beyond the Alps. At last 
Charles the Great, uniting both with new conquests 
in the North and East, created the Carolingian em- 

Of the various kingdoms, or, rather, tribal settle- 
ments we might better call them, which were made 
within the limits of the empire after the Volkerwan- 
derung, few were lasting. The movement itself was 
a slow one and had been going on since the first cen- 
tury, when the tribes along the Baltic Sea and east of 
the Rhine and Danube rivers, urged on by increasing 
population and by the desire of the richer lands in the 


26 The Age of Charlemagne. 

South, and driven by other tribes still farther east, 
began to approach the boundaries of the empire. 
Many of them in small bands had been admitted to 
the empire as servants and laborers and as soldiers 
in the imperial armies, so that Rome began to conquer 
them by her civilization before they conquered her 
by force of arms. 

It was not, however, until the battle of Adrianople, 
in 378, when the Visigoths, driven on by the Huns, 
crossed the Danube and defeated the Emperor Valens 
in one of the great decisive battles of the world, that 
the entrance into the empire by force and in any large 
numbers really began. Not long after the Vandals 
crossed the Rhine, and the other tribes speedily fol- 
lowed. They were forced to go on. One tribe was 
driven by another. Back of them were the Huns, a 
fierce Turanian horde from central Asia. The Goths 
invaded Italy and ravaged Gaul. Rome recalled her 
legions at the beginning of the fifth century and left 
the frontier undefended, and the first decade of that 
century saw the real occupation of the empire by the 
barbarian tribes. 

The Vandals, passing through Gaul, founded a 
kingdom in North Africa in 429, from which they 
attacked and despoiled Rome in 455, one of four at- 
tacks since the beginning of the century ; but they 
were overthrown by Belisarius, Justinian's famous 
general, in 534. Before the end of the seventh cen- 
tury the whole country was overrun by the Saracens, 
who in 711 entered Spain and subdued the kingdom 
which had been established there by the Visigoths just 
after their famous sack of Rome in 410 under Alaric. 

Origin of the Franks. 27 

The kingdom of Odoacer the HeruHan, who in 476 
brought an end to the separate line of Roman em- 
perors in Italy, was succeeded in 493 by the Ostro- 
gothic kingdom of Theodoric, which was overthrown 
in 553 by Narses, another famous general of Justin- 
ian. The Lombards gained a foothold in Italy in 568, 
after the death of Justinian and the recall of Narses, 
and their kingdom lasted until overthrown by Charles 
the Great in 774, and forms an important chapter in 
this history. 

The other kingdoms were conquered by the Franks, 
and annexed to or absorbed into the Frankish king- 
dom during the fifth and sixth centuries. 

The Franks first appear in history as a powerful 
confederation of several German tribes, who in the 
time of Tacitus inhabited the Rhine districts. Unlike 
the other great confederations of German tribes, they 
did not leave their old lands while conquering new 
ones. They formed, however, two distinct groups : 
the Salians, near the mouth of the Rhine, extending 
west and south to and perhaps beyond the river Maas, 
thus nearer and more exposed to the influences of 
Roman civilization ; and the Ripuarians, on the right 
bank of the Rhine. 

During the middle and last half of the third cen- 
tury the Salian Franks had frequent struggles with 
the Romans, but, though often defeated, they were 
able speedily to recover. In the middle of the fourth 
century they extended into Toxandria, between the 
Maas and the Scheldt, and were acknowledged by 
Julian as subjects of the empire. From time to time 
they were granted lands by candidates for the im- 

28 The Age of Charlemagne. 

perial purple anxious to secure their aid. Thus they 
gradually increased in power and in extent of ter- 

In the course of the wanderings of these German 
tribes, leaving their old homes and coming into new 
lands, the old heathen customs and religion lost their 
hold. As they established themselves in the richer 
and more fertile lands of the South, hunting and semi- 
pastoral pursuits gave place to the agricultural, a 
more settled form of life, so that landownership and 
a more advanced political life and organization de- 
veloped. Wars being more regular and prolonged, 
the temporary war chieftainship became a permanent 
kingship. The king, who was chosen by acclamation 
of the warriors from the chief or royal family, main- 
tained order in time of peace and commanded the 
army in time of war, being supported by the volun- 
tary gifts of the tribesmen, who in peace formed the 
great council or assembly, and in war the army. As 
the king's authority and importance grew he came to 
be the only one to have a comitatiis, or personal fol- 
lowing of warriors, a privilege, in the time of Tacitus, 
belonging to every chief of ability. 

In all this development the Salians speedily took 
the lead among the Franks. When, in the first dec- 
ade of the fifth century, Stilicho called the legions 
back from Gaul and the frontier stations for the de- 
fence of Rome, nothing stood in the way of their 
advancement, and they extended their settlement to 
both sides of the Scheldt. They appear also at this 
time to have had a king with his residence at Tour- 
nay, while the Ripuarians continued longer in their 

Clovis. 29 

old organization, being settled in and about Cologne 
as their chief city. They still fought in union with 
the Romans against the Visigoths, thus extending 
their influence towards the south. In the great battle 
of Chalons against the Huns in 451, they served with 
other tribes under the Roman leader ^Etius. 

Their first king was named Clogio or Clodio. A 
generation later came Childerich, who belonged to 
the family called Merovingian, though the origin of 
this name is not known. With his son Clovis, who 
succeeded to the rule in 481, the real historical im- 
portance of the people begins. 

Already the last Emperor of the West had given 
place to the German king Odoacer, and in all the 
provinces German kingdoms had been founded. 

Whatever the deeper insight of Clovis may have 
taught him, whether he beheld, as in a vision, the 
future glory of the Prankish kingdom uniting all the 
German tribes in one wide rule, and extending its 
sway over the whole of western Europe, it is certain 
that he did undertake and successfully carry out a 
policy which not only gave to his rule a wide exten- 
sion, but also paved the way for the union of all the 
German peoples under the Prankish sway. The 
foundation of the new kingdom was laid when, in 
486, Clovis gained the rest of the Roman territory 
from the Somme and the Maas to the Seine and the 
Loire by his victory over Syagrius, whom Gregory 
of Tours calls King of the Romans. In this conquest 
he was able to unite the scattered bands of eastern 
Pranks in a union now for the first time eff"ected. 
Thus the kingdom of Clovis extended southward, new 

30 The Age of Charlemagne. 

territory was annexed, and the people were taken 
under his rule. The old northern lands were not 
given up ; the conquest did not result in a migration 
and the division of the new lands. The Romans 
kept their freedom and their personal rights. Unlike 
Theodoric, Clovis did not try to fuse the Romans and 
the Germans into one people. This shows the great 
significance of his conversion to Christianity. With a 
Christian wife, a Burgundian princess, ruHng a Chris- 
tian people, in the midst of a Christian land, and 
having already maintained friendly relations with the 
Catholic clergy,^ he was not likely to remain long a 
heathen. Whether or not we accept the story of his 
conversion on the field of battle with the Alemanni 
in 496, when, his old gods having apparently forsaken 
him, he agreed in case of victory to accept the Chris- 
tians' Christ, the important fact is that he became 
a Roman Christian, while the other German tribes, 
converted through the work of Ulfilas and the Goths, 
were Arians. This fact gave to the Roman element 
great significance. It is said that three thousand of 
his followers were baptized at the same time, thus 
showing the weakening of their old heathenism. 
Clovis made his residence on Roman territory near 
Paris. Thus from being the king of a small German 
tribe he became the lord of an extended, largely 
Roman kingdom, and by his Christianity entered 
into relations with all the great powers of Europe, 
the emperor at Constantinople and the Bishop of 
Rome, and began that remarkable career from whose 

1 Gregory of Tours, vol. ii., p. 27; Frodoard, vol. i., p. 13; cf. 
Waitz, vol. ii., p. 42, note 3. 

The Victories of Clovis. 31 

results arose the great modern states of western 
Europe. " Connection with the old world was en- 
tered into at the very moment that a new world began 
to be formed — almost was formed — by Clovis him- 
self." 1 

The church by her indorsement made his position 
more secure among the old semi-Roman population, 
while he became the sole military support of the 
church in the West against both Arians and heathen. 
His victories followed one another in quick succession. 
The Alemanni were conquered in 496 ; the Amoricans, 
on the sea-coast between the Seine and the Loire, 
submitted in 497. In 500, near Dijon, he conquered 
the Burgundians and made them tributary ; and 
again, as champion of the orthodox faith against the 
Arians, he overcame the powerful Visigoths at 
Poitiers in 507. In the following year he was made 
Consul and Patrician of the Romans by the Emperor 
Anastasius. Though these were empty titles, as far 
as defined powers and position in the empire were 
concerned, they undoubtedly increased his influence 
among the Roman population in his kingdom, and 
emphasized his relations with Rome and with the 

In extending his possessions to the south and east 
he came in contact with Theodoric, who was at the 
height of his power as ruler of the great Ostrogothic 
kingdom in northern Italy, and here his progress was 

The remaining years before his death, in 511, were 
spent in conspiracies and murders, by which he got 

1 Waitz, vol. ii., p. 48. 

32 The Age of Charlemagne. 

rid of the other Prankish kings who had not yet sub- 
mitted. In this way a vacancy was made on the 
throne of tlie Ripuarians, and he was proclaimed 
their king. "And thus," says Gregory of Tours, 
" God daily subdued his enemies beneath his hand, 
and increased his kingdom, for that he walked before 
him with a true heart and did that which was pleas- 
ing in his eyes." ^ By his victories and murders he 
had extended his rule until it comprised practically 
the whole territory between the Rhine and the Rhone 
on the east and the ocean on the west and the Pyre- 
nees on the south. 

At his death, in accordance with German law and 
custom, whose breach would have caused much 
greater evils than its observance, the kingdom was 
divided among his four sons, who began their reign 
as four separate and independent, though related, 
kings. Out of this partition came the two main di- 
visions of Neustria, the western kingdom, and Aus- 
trasia, the eastern, corresponding roughly to the older 
Salian and Ripuarian settlements. It is to be noted, 
however, that the old German principle of division, 
which threatened to destroy a unity built up with 
such effort, and apparently so necessary to the in- 
tegrity and continuity of the royal power, did not 
have the effect of permanent disintegration ; for, on 
the death of one of the brothers, his kingdom very 
rarely went to his sons, but was shared by the re- 
maining brothers, so that in this way unity would be 
restored and thus would tend to reappear from time 
to time. Besides, this principle was supposed to 
1 Gregory of Tours, vol. ii., p. 40. 

Increase of Territory, 33 

check civil strife and to emphasize an underlying 
family unity. 

Under the sons of Clovis and their successors, 
however, bloodshed, treachery, and strife present a 
dismal picture. Yet the power of the Prankish kings 
increased and their territory was extended. Thurin- 
gia, northeast of the country of the Alemanni, was 
conquered in 530. The complete conquest of Bur- 
gundy, prevented by Theodoric in the lifetime of 
Clovis, was effected in 534, and Provincia, south of 
it along the Mediterranean, was annexed in 536. 
Bavaria, east of Alemannia, was made tributary in 
555, though it did not lose completely its indepen- 
dence until 787. Vasconia was conquered in 567, and 
the Vascones, farther south, were brought into sub- 
jection in 601. 

In the reigns of Clotaire II. and of his son Dago- 
bert the Merovingian power seemed to be at its 



HE kingdom thus formed and consoli- 
dated comprised three principal parts, 
Austrasia, Burgundy, and Neustria; but, 
though rarely united under a single king, 
ii there was a practical underlying unity 
which manifested itself in various ways. 

For a time the nominal power of the kings in- 
creased with the extension of territory, the increase 
of wealth, and the growing influence of Roman ideas 
of government. At the same time the royal power 
had gradually changed from a simple military chief- 
tainship to an absolute dominion — a change due very 
largely to the influence of Roman and ecclesiastical 
ideas. But other powers were growing at a greater 
rate. The race of the Merovingians was fast losing 
its moral and physical strength and courage. Treach- 
ery and fraud, murders and cruelties, not less than 
debauchery and licentiousness, aggravated by the 
removal to a more enervating climate and surround- 
ings, had gradually sapped the strength and un- 
dermined the valor of the kings. While the royal 


The People — The Chiefs — The King. 35 

power was growing by great accessions of wealth and 
territory, that of the chiefs and leaders grew too, 
until, from being great by reason of their individual 
characteristics of superior force and courage, they 
became a territorial and hereditary aristocracy, and 
secured the possession of special jurisdiction and the 
exercise of powerful privileges, which tended to in- 
crease still further their power, and to make them 
less and less dependent upon the kings. 

Thus in the evolution of the government of the 
middle ages, in the development out of the old tribal 
relations, and in the change of conditions from the 
earlier, simple wandering life to the later more settled 
and complex forms, there were three elements or tend- 
encies, the popular, the aristocratic, and the royal. 

First, as to the people in general. It is not neces- 
sary to enter into the vexed question as to the ori- 
ginal existence of the mark, or free village community, 
among the early Germans, though Tacitus affords 
little if any support for such a theory, while the 
numbers and importance of a really free population 
in early times have been very much overestimated. 
Whatever the numbers may have been, the strifes 
and struggles, the confusion and chaos, of the sixth 
and the seventh centuries materially reduced and 
weakened them. Even though they might have had 
a fair share in the division of lands consequent upon 
the conquest of new territory, it would be most dif- 
ficult and dangerous for the smaller proprietors to 
attempt to hold them alone. Hence arose the custom 
of holding the lands as a benefice, or in beneficio, 
from the king or from some other great and power- 


6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

ful lord, whose protection would secure the use of 
the land, even if the title had to be renounced. This 
condition of landholding was brought about in two 
ways: One who had no land, or had lost it, might 
receive from some large landholder, at first, usually, 
in such a case, from the church, land which he might 
use and cultivate, though without holding the title 
to it, but guaranteed and protected in his use of it 
by the real owner. On the other hand, one who 
had land which he did not feel himself able to hold 
any longer might give up the title to some powerful 
lord, under whose protection he might retain the use. 
This is the way in which the feudal holding of land 
grew up. In one other way the position of the free- 
man was weakened and made dependent, thereby 
increasing the power of the king and great chiefs. 
Personal security was uncertain, and a man unable 
to defend himself commended himself to some power- 
ful chief, and became his man or vassal, receiving 
protection and rendering faithful service. This is the 
way in which the feudal personal relation grew up. 
There was much in the earlier history of the Roman, 
Gaul, and German to suggest and prepare for these 
relations of lands and persons; but the actual reali- 
zation of these conditions was due to the lack of 
security, both of land and of persons, and to the 
weakness and unsettled state of a central power, 
consequent upon the strife and confusion which have 
been described. It was some time before these two 
elements, the landholding and the personal relation, 
were united, resulting in the system by which land 
was held on condition of personal service, the essential 

The King and the Aristocracy. ^'j 

characteristic of feudalism. At this time, however, 
land was held in benefice without any thought of 
personal relations, and commendation or vassalage 
existed between a man and his lord without any 
connection with land. 

These movements were going on spontaneously 
and independently all through the sixth and seventh 
centuries, increasing all the time in extent and fre- 
quency, at first more particularly in connection with 
the church and church lands, that the church's estates 
might be cultivated and the protection and immu- 
nities afforded by her secured. 

All this tended to increase the power of the king 
and that of the great lords ; and the struggle which 
ensued had this importance — to show whether a 
strong central power could be established at once in 
the newly forming Prankish kingdom, and a mon- 
archy develop directly out of the earlier tribal con- 
ditions ; or whether some other constitutional form 
would furnish a stage of transition to the later mon- 
archy. As an actual fact the latter condition was 1 
realized, and feudalism formed the transitional phase. 
The contest between the king and the aristocracy 
was already evident at the close of the sixth century, 
and although the rise of the mayors of the palace, to 
which we must now very briefly refer, changed the 
form of that struggle and postponed the result, it did 
not make it less certain. 

With the increasing importance of the kings, all 
who were in any way connected with them also in- 
creased in influence. Their court took on more and 
more the character of the royal courts of older mon- 

The Age of Charlemagne. 

archies, and personal service became of high honor, 
and those who rendered it were correspondingly ex- 
alted. Foremost of these was the chief officer of the 
palace, major dovuis, as he was called. This was at 
first only another name for seneschal, that is, the 
oldest or first of the servants.^ The position was a 
purely personal one, carrying with it merely a gen- 
eral oversight of household affairs, as is shown by the 
fact that the name appears originally in any court 
among the officers of the queen's household or of that 
of a prince or princess. Furthermore, there were 
several, at first, serving the king, and therefore prob- 
ably one in each palace or royal residence. As the 
importance and dignity of the office rose with that of 
the king, its duties came to be held by a single officer 
in the kingdom. A great deal of confusion has arisen 
from a failure to observe the gradual change which 
took place in this office, unlike that of the other royal 
offices, and its humble beginning, which will account 
also for the many and contradictory descriptions 
given of it. 

With the development of the royal court, the 
mayor of the palace became the chief court officer, 
directing all affairs of court, training the youths sent 
up for the king's service, maintaining law and disci- 
pline among the chiefs, and holding the chief place 
among the secular members of the assemblies held 
by the king for counsel or judicial business. Later 
he appeared as the administrator of justice. During 
the minority or incapacity of the king the conduct of 
the realm was in his hands. Necessarily also certain 
1 Waitz, vol. ii., part ii., pp. 71, 86. 

The Mayor of the Palace. 39 

financial duties would begin to devolve upon him : 
the care of the royal property, raising and disbursing 
the royal revenue, at first merely in household affairs 
directly connected with the palace and the court, but 
finally all revenue, since there was no real distinction.^ 
This control of the royal finances, grants of land, and 
general administration of the palace and court in- 
creased his power greatly and gave him a strong 
influence over the chiefs, whom he could reward or 
neglect at will. His influence soon came to be felt 
throughout the kingdom, at first in close dependence 
upon the king, but soon without, and even almost in 
spite of, him, in consequence of the growing degen- 
eracy and many minorities of the later Merovingian 
dynasty. It was here perhaps that the power and 
final victory of the aristocracy were most plainly 
shown. Originally, like all the other officers appointed 
by the king, the chiefs had brought it about that not 
only was he chosen from them, but they were able 
to exercise a potent influence in his election, thus 
making him in some sort their representative and 
leader. His position came to be assured for life, and 
in this way more and more independent of the king. 
The issue was decided in the reigns of Clotaire H. 
and his son Dagobert. Clotaire had been called by 
the chiefs of Austrasia and Burgundy to the rule of 
their kingdom after the fall of the preceding admin- 
istration, which they themselves had accomplished by 

1 Gregory of Tours (bk. ix., p. 43) mentions that Childebert sent 
the mayor of the palace and the count of the palace to Poitiers to take 
a census of the people, rectifying the list according to recent changes, 
in order to assess the tax which had been paid from the time of his 

40 l^he Age of Charle^nagne. 

the overthrow of Brunhilda in 613. As Perry very 
forcibly says : " Thus, after a long series of rebellions, 
the rising aristocracy gained their first great victory 
over the monarchy ; we say the monarchy, for in the 
battle which made him king of the whole Prankish 
empire no one was more truly defeated than the 
nominal victor, Clotaire II., himself. He was, in fact, 
an instrument in the hands of the seigniors for the 
humiliation of the royal power. It was not because 
Neustria was stronger than Austrasia and Burgundy 
that the Neustrian king obtained a triple crown, but 
because the power of the seigniors was greater than 
that of the infant kings and their female guardian." 1 

The edict of 615,^ which issued in a somewhat 
modified form the decisions of the Council of Paris 
in 614, sealed the doom of the Merovingian kings 3 
by dividing and weakening their power. Further 
concessions were made ; the immunities and privi- 
leges of the seigniors were confirmed. By means of 
these immunities — that is, rights of special jurisdic- 
tion and the exercise of privileged powers, which 
were given to both ecclesiastical and lay lords — a 
real grant of public authority was made. This was 
another element which entered into and built up the 
feudal system. 

The leaders of the victorious party, the mayors of 
the palace, were the chief gainers. From this time 
on the power of the mayor of the palace grew until 
it completely overshadowed that of the king. All 
important business passed through his hands ; all of- 

1 Perry, p. 196. 2 Boretius, vol. i., pp. 20-23. 

3 Lehuerou, p. 257. 

Rois Faineants. 41 

ficials were responsible to him ; he distributed all 
honors and favors, took the king's place with the 
subjects, received letters addressed to the king, issued 
royal documents and decrees, and stamped his name 
on the coin of the realm, really occupying the posi- 
tion of regent or under-king.i 

Thus, while the once strong Merovingian kingdom 
was robbed of its power, and in place of faithful sub- 
jects with definite duties and obligations to their king 
a strong aristocracy had arisen, exercising royal pre- 
rogatives and aiming at feudal independence, a check 
at once appeared in the power and position of the 
mayor of the palace. 

The aristocracy found that in freeing themselves 
from the enfeebled power of their kings they had 
come into conflict with a new power increasing in 
strength and importance, and though at first the 
representative, threatening to become the master of 
their own. Arnulf, Bishop of Metz, the residence of 
the Austrasian king, and Pippin of Landen were most 
prominent as mayors of the palace during the early 
part of the seventh century, and really saved the 
kingdom from the anarchy into which it seemed 
about to fall. Though nominally united under Dago- 
bert, the son of Clotaire II., each division was prac- 
tically ruled by a mayor of the palace. 

The Merovingian kings who ruled from this time 
have borne in history the name of rois faineants, the 
do-nothing kings, a succession of children or of adults 
corrupted and weakened in childhood, thus rendered 
incapable and incompetent. In Austrasia the power 

1 Waitz, vol. ii., part ii., pp. 71, 83-100, 397-400, 

42 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of the mayors of the palace continued in the line of 
Pippin, though an attempt to seize the crown by 
Pippin's son Grimoald resulted in his death. But 
another Pippin arose. This was Pippin of Heristal, 
the son of Begga, daughter of Pippin of Landen and 
of Ansegis, the son of Arnulf, Bishop of Metz. The 
separation had been growing wider and the strife 
more bitter between the Neustrian and Austrasian 
parts of the kingdom, and at last there had come open 
war. At the battle of Testry, in 687, one of the great 
decisive battles of the world's history, Pippin had led 
the Austrasian hosts to victory. This victory not 
only signalized the triumph of the Austrasian, the 
eastern or German elements, over the more Roman- 
ized, uniting all under the German sway, but it ended 
the power, though not the royal name, of the Mero- 
vingian kings, and established Pippin and his house 
in supreme control. From his time the title of the 
mayors of the palace was Dux et Princcps Fraiicornvi, 
and the years of his office were reckoned on all public 
documents, and his son Charles Martel was also called 



E must now consider the influence of this 
important history upon the extension and 
development of the Prankish church. 
. The migrations and conquests by the 
German tribes of the North and their set- 
tlements in the territory of the Roman empire had two 
results. In many cases they had partly, in some cases 
wholly, destroyed the missionary work and ecclesias- 
tical establishments of the earlier period, especially 
along the Rhine and the Danube, or corrupted them 
by admixtures of heathenism. But in the case of the 
Germans themselves the result had been quite gener- 
ally the uprooting and unsettling of their old heathen- 
ism, weakening its hold upon them. As they came 
in contact with the newly Christianized empire, many 
conversions were made by soldiers, captives, and 

The great work of Ulfilas among the Goths in the 
latter half of the fourth century was the first organ- 
ized effort among them, however, and his labors, ex- 
tending to his death in 381, resulted in their general 


44 The Age of Charlemagne. 

conversion. The form of Christianity was the Arian- 
ism prevailing in the empire at that time, and still 
further spread by the influence of the Emperor Valens. 
From this beginning Arian Christianity spread among 
the other related tribes, extending with the Visigoths 
through Gaul and Spain and with the Ostrogoths in 
northern Italy. The Vandals in Africa and the Bur- 
gundians on the banks of the Rhone and Saone were 
won over to the same faith, as were also the Suevi in 
Spain, the Rugians and others along the Danube, and 
the still larger tribe of the Langobards, about to form 
the great Lombard kingdom in Italy. " Down to the 
end of the fifth century Arianism was professed by 
the larger portion of the German world ; it had more 
and more assumed the character of a national German 
Christianity, and it almost seemed as if the whole 
German world, and with it the universal history of the 
future, were its secure prey." ^ 

This explains the immense significance and far- 
reaching importance of the conversion of Clovis and 
the growing power of the Franks to Catholic Chris- 
tianity at the close of the fifth century. That conver- 
sion was the turning-point for the downfall of Arian- 
ism and the establishment of the Nicene faith. 

To the oppressed and persecuted Catholics Clovis 
appeared as a savior and avenger, while the hope of 
the future spread and ultimate triumph of orthodoxy 
centred in him. The long succession of cruel, treach- 
erous, and aggressive warfare, waged avowedly for 
the church as well as for the kingdom, was hailed as 
the work of a modern David, a second Constantine, 

1 Kurtz, vol. i., pp. 443, 444. 

Kings Aided by the Bishops. 45 

a true champion of Christianity against heretics and 
heathens. The alliance was natural, and both sides 
fully realized the advantages. Avitus, Bishop of 
Vienne, wrote to Clovis : " As often as you fight, we 
conquer." 1 And Clovis expressed himself in a simi- 
lar manner: " If we acquire the friendship of the ser- 
vants of God and exalt them with honors and show 
our veneration for them by obedience, we trust that 
we shall continually improve the condition of our 
kingdom, and obtain both temporal glory and a coun- 
try in the kingdom of heaven."- 

The church did not stop with mere words of bless- 
ing and encouragement. As the Frankish kings 
carried their victorious arms south into the Gallic 
provinces and east to the Moselle and Rhine districts, 
they found there the old episcopal sees, many still im- 
portant, some rich and influential, whose bishops had 
been able to attain great power in their cities as the 
Roman empire lost its hold. These readily joined 
with the Frankish kings and aided them in establish- 
ing their conquest of the country. They were there- 
fore not merely acknowledged in their positions, but 
were also endowed with new honors and dignities. 
Many of them, like Gregory of Tours, were from old 
senatorial families, and retained the culture and ideals 
of the old empire, often taking the part of intercessors 
and protectors for the Roman inhabitants of the cities 
with their new German rulers. Frequently they pro- 
vided for the defence of their cities during the contests 

1 " Epistola Aviti, Ep. Vienn., ad Chlodov.," Bouquet, vol. iv., 
p. 49. 

2 " Preceptio Chlodov.," Bouquet, vol. iv., p. 615; Perry, p. 449. 

46 The Age of Charlemagne. 

between the Prankish kings. The kings also made 
use of them in securing a firmer recognition of the 
royal power, and this conferred upon them a certain 
poHtical influence.! Thus their power grew in conse- 
quence of their close connection with the state. Their 
spiritual power, enforced by the right of excommu- 
nication and other ecclesiastical penalties, was now 
supported by the strong arm of the growing secular 
power. Large sums of money were bestowed upon 
the church, the administration of which came into 
their hands. Landed estates were made over to them, 
and, as special immunities and privileges were granted 
on all church lands, they assumed a greater indepen- 
dence. Superstition came to the aid of the natural 
feelings of gratitude and devotion, till it became a 
common saying that as water quenched fire so a gift 
to a church put away sin. 2 

There may be noted, therefore, a great increase in 
the power of the bishops over that of the earlier 
period. No longer do we hear of great presbyters, 
but with the growing institutionalism of the church 
its higher officers came into great prominence and 
exercised a social and political, as well as ecclesiasti- 
cal and spiritual, power. Bishops took their place in 
the national assemblies and councils of the kings, and 
were able to exercise an influence in the appointment 
and installation of the counts.^ In this way they en- 
tered into and became a part of the growing feudal 

1 Waitz, vol. ii., part ii., pp. 57-59- 

2 " Sicut aqua extinguit ignem, ita eleemosyna extinguit peccatum." 
(Muratori, vol. v., p. 628; Perry, p. 467, note I.) 

3 Waitz, vol. ii., part ii., pp. 39, 60. 

Power of the Bishops. 47 

regime, wielding a greater power than the lay lords, 
by reason of their additional ecclesiastical and spirit- 
ual position. Chilperic, the Neustrian king in the last 
quarter of the sixth century, whom Gregory of Tours 
calls a modern Nero, is reported to have said : " None 
truly reign but the bishops ; our dignity has departed 
and is transferred to them." ^ 

These great spiritual lords, strong in popular sup- 
port, rich in gold and lands, possessed of what intel- 
lectual power there was, surrounded by vassals, ruling 
their clergy, rivalling, often successfully, the counts 
and great lay lords, the censors of kings, freed by im- 
munities from many burdens and obligations, attained 
a height of power seemingly almost unassailable. Yet 
in their very greatness lay the source of danger and 

The church had transferred to the Prankish mon- 
archy the old scriptural idea of royal authority and 
power, and even acknowledged the king as its lord 
and master. This power he was not slow to accept 
and exercise. The same despotism which he acquired 
towards his subjects he showed towards the church. 
If he fought for the church like a Constantine, he 
ruled it in the same despotic way. He might order 
churches to be restored, Jews to be baptized, and 
heathen customs to be abolished ; he could also, as 
did Chilperic, command that the distinction of persons 
in the Trinity should be no longer recognized, but the 
name " God " only be used, and force this order on all 
the doctors of the church ; 2 add, by his own authority, 

1 Perry, p, 472. 

? Gregory of Tours, bk, v., pp. 288, 289. 

48 The Age of Charlemagne. 

four letters to the alphabet and introduce them into 
books and instruction. ^ 

Especially did the authority of the king show itself 
in the matter of appointment to the chief ecclesiastical 
offices, particularly to the important bishoprics. The 
canonical law, as it had been established before the 
Frankish conquest, gave to the clergy and people of 
the city the right to elect their bishop, requiring at 
the same time the assent of the metropoHtan and of 
the other bishops of the province. Later synods had 
endeavored repeatedly to enforce this rule. But the 
kings, perhaps as early as Clovis, claimed the right of 
appointment, and the church was forced to acknow- 
ledge it, resisting only a most unreasonable choice, as 
of a notorious evil liver or of a mere layman.^ 

Ecclesiastical positions came more and more under 
the direct patronage of the king, and those who lived 
about the 'palace, high in the king's confidence and 
favor, received appointments to such as their reward. 
In this way Germans were substituted for Romans in 
the episcopate, and the church was bound still closer 
to the ruling power. Promises of aid, actual services, 
and even money payments took the place of spiritual 
character as the requirements for a successful candi- 
date, till one saw in many of the bishops little else but 
mighty lords, holders of vast estates ; and even counts 

1 Gregory of Tours, bk. v., p. 290. These four letters seem to have 
been derived from the Greek w, ^ {p^^^ & (^^)> ^"d x (c/i). 

2 Gregory of Tours, bk. viii., p. 451 : " Laban, Bishop of Eauze, 
died this year, and had as his successor Didier, a layman. The king 
had promised with an oath that he would never choose a bishop from 
the laity. But what can avail against that detestable thirst for gold 
which rages in the heart of mortals ! " 

The Temporal Power, 49 

and other chief men forcibly seized the bishoprics 
without consent of people or of king and held their 
estates and revenues.^ The king used the bishops as 
counsellors and ambassadors, and Arnulf was at once 
Bishop of Metz and mayor of the palace. It is esti- 
mated that at the close of the seventh century the 
church owned one third of the land of Gaul,^ and 
most of this was in the hands of the bishops and 

It has been said that much of this wealth and power 
was necessary if the church wished to maintain her 
position and to exercise any influence upon the people 
and princes, who were accessible only by material in- 
fluences, while, without such means of protection, she 
would have been exposed to contempt and defeat. 
Yet it was her temporal power and worldly posses- 
sions that made her the object of envy and attack, 
and the social and political positions occupied by her 
chief officers that made them desirable in the eyes 
of worldly, unscrupulous, and depraved men. It was 
the bishop at the court and not in his church, at the 
table of the rich and not in the home of the poor, 
surrounded by his vassals in the pomp of his pride, 
not in his fasts and vigils, whom men saw and did 
not reverence, whom they attacked and whose posi- 
tion they coveted. 

We are reminded, however, that this is only one 
side of the picture, yet historically the most prom- 
inent. " Qui bene latuit bene vixit ; and of those who 
in a humbler sphere endeavored simply to do their 

^ Waitz, vol. ii., part ii., p. 64. 
2 Perry, p. 469. 

50 The Age of Charlemagne. 

duty in that spiritual office to which it had pleased 
God to call them, little or nothing found its way into 
the annals of their country ; and we have good reason 
to believe that, amid the too general corruption of 
these times, there were always some in whose hearts 
the life-blood of the church was treasured and pre- 
served." 1 

1 Perry, p. 463. 




HIS condition of the church and these ten- 
dencies on the part of its chief officials 
had their effect on the spread of Chris- 
tianity. True, the arms of Clovis and of his 
sons had carried orthodoxy wherever they 
had gone, until at last only two tribes remained out- 
side of the Prankish kingdom and unconverted to the 
Catholic faith. The Visigoths in Spain, beyond the 
reach of the Prankish arms, remained fierce Arians 
until the conversion of their king, Reccared, in 587, 
on which occasion, it will be remembered, the doctrine 
of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son as 
well as from the Pather was added to the Nicene 
Creed, probably in order to assert most emphatically 
and even on this point the absolute coequality of the 
Son with the Pather. The importance of this con- 
version was slight, however, as they were completely 
overthrown by the Saracens in 711. The Ostrogoths 
in northern Italy under Theodoric were Arian, under 
the Byzantine rule they were nominally orthodox, but 
the conquest and settlement by the Lombards in 568 


52 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

reestablished Arianism. The Cathohc influence began 
to be felt, however, in the time of Gregory the Great, 
and after 663 the Lombard kings were orthodox. 

The conversions from heathenism by the Prankish 
power were at first nominal, though even this afforded 
a foothold for the missionaries and an opportunity for 
further training. Fear and bribery were important 
agents ; persecution and punishment of heathenism 
served to make it unpopular. Baptism was regarded 
as in itself accomplishing conversion, and the obser- 
vance of Lent and paying tithes as the characteristic 
marks of Christianity.^ Furthermore, the church had 
taken up a policy of adaptation, which made the first 
steps easy, but threatened serious dangers in its after 
effects. It is one thing to emphasize points of agree- 
ment held in common ; it is quite another to obliterate 
real distinctions and to adopt deliberately that which 
has always been associated, with directly opposing 
views. The latter was the dangerous course upon 
which the church entered. Heathen customs were 
adopted, feasts and festivals introduced, though with 
Christian names. Even the existence of the old 
divinities was in many cases acknowledged, though 
their names were changed to devils and evil spirits. 
Heathen temples were reconsecrated as Christian 
churches. The whole idea of God was perverted and 
a pantheon of saints erected. The ordeal, a purely 
heathen institution, received a Christian form, verses 
of the Bible were used in the church to tell fortunes 
and decide lots, the relics and images of saints were 
endowed with supernatural power and used as charms, 

1 Boretius, pp. 68, 6y; " Karoli Magiii Capitularia," xxvi:, 4« 
16, 17. 


and reverenced, if not worshipped, as such. Thus a 
heathenish materiahstic spirit was allowed to enter 
into and take possession of Christianity merely in 
order that its outward form might be more readily 
accepted and more quickly adopted. 

Christianity made little progress among the hea- 
then at first, however. In the Moselle and Rhine 
districts there were the bishoprics of Cologne, Treves, 
Metz, Toul, and Liege, also churches in Mayence, 
Worms, Spires, and Strasburg, and on the Lower 
Danube.^ Some of these were destroyed in the first 
shock of conquest, but many kept their continuity 
unbroken and made converts among the German 
tribes. There was no special missionary work by 
the Franks among the Germans beyond the Rhine. 
The Prankish clergy were too much occupied with 
other interests nearer home, and when, in the sixth 
and seventh centuries, they did show any activity it 
was almost wholly confined to the old Salian and 
Belgian districts. During the fifth and sixth centuries 
the gloom of chaos and of barbarism fell upon every- 
thing. In the contact with civilization, barbarism at 
first exercised the strongest influence. The disor- 
dered and turbulent life, brutal passions, materialized 
conceptions, could not fail to have a demoralizing 
effect upon the clergy. The results upon the bishops 
we have already considered, and, as Chaucer wrote, 
under similar conditions in England : 

" If gold rust, what shall iron do? " 

In the midst of all this evil and confusion, dark- 
ness and demoralization, the Benedictine order was 

1 Waitz, vol. ii., part i., p. 76, 

54 The Age of Charlemag^ie. 

introduced into Europe from the foundation made 
by Benedict of Nursia at Monte Cassino in 528. To 
the scattered monasteries estabHshed already he gave 
a unity and general rule, and increased their number 
and efficiency. The rule was practical as well as 
religious, demanded physical as well as intellectual 
labor, study as well as prayer, and more of these than 
of fasts and vigils and fleshly asceticism.^ 

Multitudes flocked to them from all classes of so- 
ciety. Kings laid down their crowns and soldiers 
their arms; some entered through cowardice and su- 
perstition ; some through devotion to high hopes and 
noble purposes ; some through despair and wretched- 
ness. But a great work lay before them all, and 
manfully they set out to perform it. They became 
the pioneers of Europe, cultivating both mind and 
soil. Centres of deep religious life, they were at the 
same time the sources of a great and beneficent activ- 
ity. As far as they could they fostered learning, 
preserved books, and kept alive a sense of the reality 
of that higher life which is not discerned by the 
senses, but is real and is eternal. 

The real incentive to this, and to the rest of the 
missionary activity, came, however, from across the 
seas. Ireland had lighted on her shores a lamp of 
learning and of religious life, destined not to go out 
until the whole Western world had been illumined 
by its brightness and had caught the fire from its 
flame. Ireland had been converted by the labors, 
the holy life, and the beautiful character of St. Patrick 
in the fifth century, and Scotland in the sixth cen- 

1 The rule in full is translated in Henderson, pp. 274-314. 

Irish Missionaries. 55 

tury by St. Columba, who had gone over from Ire- 
land. The fruits of their labors showed themselves 
in zeal for learning and a fervent devotion, which 
gave to Ireland the name of Isle of the Saints ; they 
also aroused an intense missionary activity, which, 
not content with the conversion of a large part of 
England, extended to the Continent, where Irish mis- 
sionaries entered the wilds and forests, and in the 
sixth and seventh centuries carried on their work 
among the Visigoths, Alemanni, Burgundians, and 
Lombards. Fridolin seems to have been the first, 
and began his work among the Visigoths near Poi- 
tiers about the j^ear 500, and later, under the protec- 
tion of Clovis, after the conquest in 507, he founded 
several churches and monasteries, afterwards going 
among the Alemanni farther east. Columbanus suc- 
ceeded him and laid the real foundations of the later 
Christian life and learning. He left Ireland in 590 
and crossed the Prankish kingdom until he came to 
a wild and savage district among the Vosges Moun- 
tains, in northeastern Burgundy, where he established 
his monasteries, Anegrey (Anagrates), Luxeuil (Lux- 
ovium), and Fontenay (Fontanae). Of these Luxr 
euil was the chief, and became one of the greatest 
centres of learning and religious life. " In the first 
half of the seventh century German names became 
more frequent among the reforming bishops and 
founders of religious communities, but all received 
their inspiration directly or indirectly from Luxeuil." 1 
Driven from Burgundy by the evil Brunhilda, he 
withdrew to the Neustrian kingdom, where he was 

1 Martin, vol. ii., p. 128. 

56 The Age of Charlemagne. 

welcomed by Clotaire, whose supremacy over the 
whole Prankish kingdom he predicted would be es- 
tablished before three years. Refusing to remain in 
order to receive the rewards of his pleasing prophecy, 
he went to Alemannia, where his disciple Gallus 
founded the famous monastery of St. Gall. He 
went on across the Alps into the Lombard kingdom, 
where he founded still another monastery, Bobbio. 
From time to time he engaged in correspondence 
with the bishops of Rome, and though free from the 
servile spirit of a later age, it breathes throughout 
the deepest respect and reverence for the " chair of 
St. Peter" and the " successors of Peter and Paul," 
whom he greets as the head of the churches of the 
West, occupying the chief seat of the orthodox faith.^ 
To the example and influence of these Scotch- Irish 
missionaries and their disciples was due, very largely, 
the work of the Prankish missionaries. Purthermore, 
after the Council of Whitby, in 664, when their work 
in England came to an end, large numbers of them 
crossed over to the Continent and carried on a vast 
missionary work along the Rhine and among the 
Hessians, Thuringians, Bavarians, and Alemanni. 
Their work, however, while sincere, earnest, and 
true, lacked unity and effective organization, and 
seemed unable to resist the encroachment of heathen 
reaction and the corrupting influences of worldly- 
minded and immoral kings and princes. The same 
defeat that they sustained in England they were 
forced to undergo on the Continent at the hands of 

1 Neander, vol. iii., pp. 29-35 5 Kurtz, vol. i., p. 457; Martin, vol. 
ii., pp. 114-117, 127-131, especially p. 127, note 2. 

English Missionaries. 57 

English missionaries. The latter, with their practical 
talent for organization and their devoted attachment 
to the imposing spiritual power of the Church of 
Rome, completed the foundations of the Prankish 
church and brought about her complete incorpora- 
tion into the great ecclesiastical system of the West, 
which was rapidly forming under the prestige and 
authority of Rome. The chief agent in this great 
work was the English Boniface, the apostle of Ger- 
many, aided by the mayors of the palace, particularly 
by Pippin, afterwards King of the Franks, the father 
of Charles the Great. 



HE Prankish kingdom, which had been 
established by the great conquests of the 
early Merovingian kings, Clovis and his 
successors, formed a wide-embracing 
union of Romans and of Germans of 
many different tribes. It was in this respect far 
more complex and varied than any of the other Ger- 
man kingdoms w^hich arose out of the settlements 
after the Volkerwanderung. But the task of holding 
all together and solidifying the union already begun 
was too great for the kings of the seventh century. 
Their own weakness and inability to continue to hold 
the position they had gained, together with the rising 
power of the great chiefs, whose influence appeared 
not only in the palace, but especially in the outlying 
provinces, threatened a complete overthrow and dis- 
solution of the kingdom. 

New powers were needed to realize the great possi- 
bilities of a new and strong development, which were 


Predo7ninance of the Ger^nan Eienieiit. 59 

promised by this close contact of so many different 
German tribes with Roman civilization and Chris- 
tianity in one united kingdom. These new powers 
were found in the mayors of the palace, or rather in 
that one great family which had the origin of its 
greatness in that position, but which finally realized 
all these possibilities by the creation of an empire. 
It was of the greatest significance that the power 
passing from the enfeebled Merovingians, who re- 
tained only the royal title, should go to the Austra- 
sians, that part of the Prankish race which remained 
most thoroughly German, so that the German ele- 
ment gained a new influence; and that at the same 
time the union with the Roman civilization and with 
the church was not broken, but received new life and 
was still further developed. 

The foundation of this larger work was laid, as we 
have seen, by Pippin of Heristal, the grandson of 
Arnulf of Metz and of Pippin of Landen. After 
uniting Austrasia and the West, he proceeded to 
unite the other German tribes. Among these were 
the Friesians, whose king, Rathbod, seemed to be 
threatening the northern borders of the Prankish 
territory. Pippin conquered him and gave support 
to the English mis.sionary Willibrod, who was trying 
to introduce Christianity there. The account of this 
mission, as Bede gives it, is very interesting. " And 
when they had come thither, being, moreover, twelve 
in number, they turned aside to Pippin, leader of the 
Pranks,^ and were graciously received by him ; and 

1 In the last part of the same chapter he is called " the most glorious 
ruler of the Franks." 

6o The Age of Charlemagne. 

because he had lately conquered Hither Friesland, 
having driven thence King Rathbod, he sent them 
thither to preach ; also assisting them with his imperial 
authority, lest any one should offer any hindrance 
to their preaching, and exalting with many benefits 
those who were willing to receive the faith. . . . But 
after they who had gone thither had taught in Fries- 
land for some years. Pippin sent Willibrod to Rome, 
where Sergius still held the pontificate, with the 
demand that he might be consecrated archbishop for 
the Friesians. This was done in the year 696. . . . 
Moreover, Pippin gave him a place for his episcopal 
see in his famous fortified town which is called Vilta- 
burg, that is, the town of the Vilti." ^ 

Pippin died in the year 714, and desired to leave 
his power to his infant grandson, both his sons hav- 
ing died ; but an illegitimate son, Charles, afterwards 
called Martel, the Hammer, received the support of 
the Austrasians and took up the work of his father. 
By a great victory in 717 he gained Neustria and 
was soon acknowledged by the other parts of the 
kingdom, thus securing to himself the results gained 
by his father at the victory of Testry. By concen- 
trating all the power in his own hands, and not con- 
fining himself to any single part of the realm, he was 
able to bring about a more complete unity, which 
was still further strengthened by the great warfare 
in which he united all the German peoples against 
the Mahometans. 

His relations with the church are of the utmost 

1 Bede, bk. v., chaps, x., xi. 

Rebellious Bishops under Charles M artel. 6i 

importance and interest. The bishops, as we have 
seen, had come to hold positions of great influence, 
especially in the cities of their residence, not only 
over the Roman population, but over others, in con- 
sequence of their new powers as lords of great es- 
tates, with dependent tenants, and possessing almost 
sovereign rights through the immunities granted 
to them. These bishoprics were coming into the 
possession of powerful families, and thus became 
a great menace to the civil power. Some of the 
bishops openly resisted the authority of Charles and 
even denied him entrance to their cities. Charles 
proceeded quite summarily against them. He re- 
moved the refractory bishops from their sees and 
gave their places, as well as some of the rich abbeys, 
to his followers and kinsmen. These neglected the 
spiritual interests and made no pretence to an eccle- 
siastical order, giving themselves wholly up to the 
secular rights and possessions belonging to their 
offices. As Boniface said in a letter to the Pope, 
" For the most part, in the cities, the episcopal sees 
are given over to the possession of avaricious laymen 
or to wicked and worldly clergy to enjoy in a merely 
secular way." 

It was not merely to punish rebellious bishops, how- 
ever, that Charles bestowed rich church estates upon his 
followers. It had been the practice in earlier times for 
the kings and great chiefs to bestow lands as rewards 
upon their followers, and this practice had grown in 
frequency and extent. The great ecclesiastics had 
been induced to follow the same method, except that 

62 The Age of CJiarlemagne. 

they had not bestowed their lands outright, but as 
precaria or per bciieficiiim^ for a definite or indefi- 
nite period, usually for life. Thus, while the church 
lands were inalienable, the crown lands had been 
largely disposed of before the Austrasian princes 
came into power, and they had little with which to 
reward their followers, their own possessions being 
quite inadequate. Charles therefore found himself 
turning to the immense property of the church, with 
its large tracts of inalienable land. These he pro- 
ceeded to bestow /;/ hencjicio upon his followers, not 
therefore making a complete confiscation for state 
purposes as a formal secularization, but by irregular 
and forcible means bestowing the property for occu- 
pation or for usufruct. Hence from this time the 
form of grant in heneficio, already in use by the 
church, was used also by the prince, thus showing a 
similar character in the grants.- 

The reign of Charles Martel has been called a rude 
epoch for the clergy and churches of the Prankish 
kingdom, but by him and by his successors, Pippin 
and Charles the Great, the West was saved to civili- 

1 Precaritiin, a grant of land in ans\ver to a request, hence revocable 
at the will of the grantor; cf. our word " precarious." Beneficiiim, a 
grant of anything, as a benefit or favor ; technically, /;/ bencficio or 
per beneficinni; also, originally, at the pleasure of the grantor, but 
usually for life. These two terms are practically synonymous, and 
when used of lands were applied at first almost exclusively to church 
lands. " Beneficinm, if used at all by the kings, was used to remu- 
nerate their functionaries, taking the place of a money payment, thus 
attached to the office rather than the man. ... It was not always 
given by the rich to the poor. The beneficinm has been the round- 
about way by which the smaller proprietorship has been lost in the 
larger." (Fustel de Coulanges, vol. v., pp. 185, 189.) 

2 Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 3-21 ; Fustel de Coulanges, vol. v., especially 
pp. 128-192; Adams, pp. 194-226; Emerton, vol, i., pp. 236-255. 

Mahometanism. 63 

zation and to Christianity. The church's two great 
victories of faith and of organization were won 
through the victories of the sword of the Franks and 
of the political order established by the three great 

Just on the eve of apparent triumph Arianism had 
been conquered by the conversion of the Franks, but 
it had again threatened Europe in the more terrible 
form of Mahometanism. The devil, cast out, had 
returned with seven other spirits worse than himself 
to take possession of the swept and garnished house. 

The almost endless theological disputes of the 
great councils had left a dry theological dogma in 
place of the living God, and Christian asceticism had 
taken the place of a living humanity. Mahomet 
arose with all the zeal of a religious reformer and 
gained a host of followers inspired with the enthu- 
siasm of fanatical converts. Their watchword was 
not a theological formula, but the living God ; not an 
abstract theory, but a personal Being, who ruled and 
governed all things and all men with an absolute 
sway, and guided all affairs and every event in 
accordance with a fixed, unalterable purpose. Sub- 
mission to that will inspired, strengthened, and en- 
nobled these fiery sons of the desert. Man, they 
knew, was both body and soul, and the full enjoy- 
ment of all his powers and faculties, physical, intel- 
lectual, and spiritual, in this world and in the next, 
was the final goal, the eternal reward of all his efforts. 
All natural pleasures were allowed if nothing was 
done to the injury of another, but no false stimula- 
tion was permitted. " Mahomet," it has been said, 

64 The Age of Charlemagne. 

" is a prophet of glory and power; his kingdom is of 
this world ; the earth and all its good things belong 
to the true believer." With this prophecy his fol- 
lowers went forth, the sword their missionary, and 
death on the battle-field the surest way to paradise. 
Swiftly they spread their faith over land and sea. 
Arabia was won from her old idolatries even before 
the death of Mahomet in 632 ; by the middle of 
the century Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Persia had 
yielded to their resistless onset. The banks of the 
Indus, the limits of the empire of Alexander, were 
reached in 707, while in the West they swept across 
North Africa, and in 711 their leader, Tarikj passed 
the pillars of Hercules, henceforth named after him 
Djebel-Tarik, Gibraltar, " mountain of Tarik." Twice 
they attacked Constantinople, but the new invention 
of the Greek fire kept them at bay, until a decisive 
victory by the Emperor Leo III. in 717 forced them 
to halt at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. Thus 
all the old seats of Christianity in the East and South 
had been swept away, — Carthage, Alexandria, Jeru- 
salem, and Antioch, — and this disappearance of her 
rivals left Rome supreme. 

In the West the already weakened Visigoths of 
Spain fell an easy prey before their onward march. 
In 720 they crossed the Pyrenees, and Europe lay at 
their feet. But a voice had cried, " Hitherto shalt 
thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud 
waves be stayed." In 732 came that great battle 
when the forces of the East and of the West met for 
the final issue on the very spot where, two hundred 
and twenty-five years before, had been fought the 

Contests with the Arabs. 65 

decisive battle between the Franks and the Visigoths, 
the Cathohcs and the Arians, for the possession of 
Gaul. The battle was terrific, but at last the com- 
bined forces under Charles won the victory, though 
with not enough strength, or with too much greed 
for the booty, to pursue the retreating enemy and 
end the struggle. This invasion marked the submis- 
sion of the Aquitanians, and the title of " king " was 
changed by Eudes for that of "duke." ^ In 733 Charles 
reconquered Burgundy, and in the following year, 
with the spoil taken from the Arabs, he built a navy 
and attacked the Friesians by sea. The Saxons also 
began a series of attacks, and, as we have seen, the 
Arabs had only retreated, not submitted, so that 
Charles was forced in the following years to continue 
the struggle against them in Provincia. 

This necessity had a most important bearing on 
the slowly forming feudal system, whose elements 
already have been brought to our notice. Up to 
this time, holding land under some one else, and 
owing service as a vassal or dependent of another, 
had existed separately, nor had there been any neces- 
sary connection of military service with either of 
them. The contests which Charles had to carry on 
against the Arabs in the South seem to have been 
the occasion when these were first formally united, 
and land was granted and held on the condition of 
performing military service, which is one of the es- 
sential features of the feudal system. 

1 Martin, vol. ii., p. 206. It has been maintained that these Aquita- 
nian dukes were related to the Merovingian kings, but Waitz (vol. iii., 
p. 9, note l) points out that this has been disproved beyond a doubt. 

66 The Age of Charlemagne. 

For the Arabs relied largely on their fleet horses 
and strong cavalry force ; hence it was necessary to 
introduce a similar equipment into the Prankish army. 
In the dense forests and wild morasses of the North, 
foot-soldiers had been used almost exclusively, and 
mounted warriors had been of little advantage ex- 
cept for predatory raids. The change, therefore, en- 
tailed great expense, and Charles was obliged to aid 
his followers by granting to them lands which they 
could hold on condition of rendering military service. 
This also explains his seizure of church lands, as he 
could not get enough for the purpose elsewhere.^ 

Indeed, he was in great need. Placed between 
two hydra-headed monsters, the paganism of the still 
unconverted tribes in the North and the Mahome- 
tanism of the fierce Arabs in the South, he was 
obliged to maintain the greatest energy and ceaseless 
w^arfare. The Saxons in the North still held out. 
Christianity made no headway there, and their con- 
tinual uprisings harassed the Pranks. The Mero- 
vingian king died in 737, but no chronicler recorded 
his death, and Charles took no pains to provide a 

Meantime the Arabs had fortified themselves in 
Avignon and were spreading eastward. Charles 
again turned his arms against them, and, aided by 
Liutprand and the Lombards, finally drove them to 
the far South. At last, in 740, all the enemies of 
the Pranks were subdued, and peace reigned supreme. 

But it was a peace which had cost much and was 
maintained by oppression. It rested with especial 

1 Adams, pp. 206-208. 

Charles Martel and the Church. 67 

heaviness upon the Prankish church. She was forced 
to sit by and see her wealth confiscated and distributed 
among the Prankish leaders and their warlike fol- 
lowers, and her lands assigned to them as feudal 
holdings to be used for the support of warriors and 
the furnishing of horses and of arms. 

Although Charles thus made himself a terror and 
a tyrant to the bishops and abbots of the Prankish 
church, he was recognized as the only hope of the 
Christianity of the West, and his name was held in 
the highest honor at Rome. One of the Prankish 
bishops saw, in a vision, Charles Martel delivered 
over to the torments of the damned in the nether- 
most hell for having robbed the churches of God of 
their possessions ;^ while Boniface writes that without 
his aid the church could not have been preserved and 
defended, nor paganism and idolatry destroyed. 

1 Mombert, pp, 28, 29, 



OT only is the conversion of the people 
living along the borders of the Frankish 
kingdom closely connected with the 
name and work of Boniface, but also 
the establishment and unification of the 
whole ecclesiastical organization of the Franks. So 
important and extensive were the results which he 
accomplished in this great work that he has been called 
the " Apostle of Germany." His baptismal name 
was Winfrid, of which Boniface is the Latin form, 
taken when he entered the monastery, or perhaps 
given him by the Pope to signify his connection with 
and commission by the Roman Church. 

He was born about 680, at Crediton, near Exeter, 
in that part of Wessex now known as Devonshire. 
His father intended him to follow secular pursuits and 
to be the heir and administrator of his large property. 
But the boy very early showed signs of a studious 
and religious disposition, and was accordingly placed 


Work among the Friesians. 69 

in a monastery at Exeter, whence he removed to 
Nutsall (Netley?), near Winchester. Here he soon 
gained a reputation for scholarship and teaching abil- 
ity, and gained the friendship of Daniel, Bishop of 
Winchester, to whom many of his most valuable 
letters were written. 

Like so many other English youths, he was fond 
of travel, and was attracted by great opportunities for 
missionary work on the Continent. Soon after his 
ordination to the priesthood, therefore, he left Eng- 
land with a few companions, and directed his way to 
the Friesians, intending to work among them. Here 
he found Willibrod, an EngHsh missionary from York, 
who had arrived in Friesia soon after the battle of 
Testry, when the power of the Franks at the begin- 
ning of Pippin's career was very great. Willibrod's 
name also had been changed, and he had received the 
name of Clement when, in the year 696, Pope Ser- 
gius I. had consecrated him Bishop of Utrecht. But 
Rathbod, the King of the Friesians, having taken 
advantage of the death of Pippin and the consequent 
disorder before the power was settled in the hands of 
Charles Martel, had begun to devastate the churches 
and to stop the work of the Christian missionaries. 

Boniface accordingly returned to England, and in 
718 made a fresh start. This time he went directly 
to Rome, where he received the aid and advice of the 
Pope, Gregory H., and a general commission for mis- 
sionary work in central Europe. There is a great 
significance in this early period of preparation for his 
great life-work. He was born in the time of Theo- 
dore, who had been consecrated and sent to England 

70 The Age of Charlemagne. 

as Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Vitalian, in 
668, four years after the English, at the Council of 
Whitby, had proclaimed their adherence to the 
ecclesiastical rites and customs held by the church 
at Rome. By the work of Theodore this action had 
been confirmed and its results crystallized ; schools 
were established, which did away with the need of 
dependence upon Ireland for intellectual light ; the 
English church was brought into final unity with 
itself and with Rome ; and the elements of the East- 
ern system of diocesan organization, developed under 
imperial influence and laid down in the canons of 
Chalcedon, were introduced into England. The 
Council of Hertford, where this great work of dio- 
cesan systematization was formally adopted and 
established, had been held in 673,1 only a few years 
before the birth of Boniface ; consequently his early 
life and education coincided with the first freshness 
of the new system. It was therefore with the out- 
lines and early practical working of this plan strongly 
fixed in his mind, and with that great respect and 
deep gratitude and devotion to the Roman see which 
was so sincerely felt at that time in the English 
church, expressed in the pages of Bede's history and 
in the works of English missionaries, that Boniface 
presented himself before the Bishop of Rome in 718, 
and received his commission from Gregory II. 

His first endeavors, after leaving Rome, were 
among the Bavarians and Thuringians, restoring dis- 
cipHne and introducing order in the field of the un- 

1 Hatch, p. 30. The author confuses the Council of Hertford with 
that held at Hatfield in 680. 

The Oath to St. Peter. 71 

organized labors of the Irish and early Prankish 
missionaries. But his work here did not meet with 
very much success, and Rathbod of Friesia being 
dead, he made his way to Utrecht, the scene of his 
first attempts. He remained here for three years, 
assisting Willibrod and learning much in the way of 
methods and practical experience. In 722 Wihibrod 
ofifered him a bishopric, but his restless zeal would 
not permit him to settle permanently anywhere. 

He accordingly left the Friesians, and took up 
work among the Hessians and Saxons, with such suc- 
cess that in the following year he was summoned to 
Rome by the Pope. Here he was examined in his 
faith, was ordained bishop without any special see,^ 
and took the famous oath which bound him and his 
work to permanent unity with Rome, producing 
results fraught with such vital and far-reaching im- 
port to the Christianity of the West. The essential 
part of this oath reads as follows : - " In the name 
of God the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ, ... I, 
Boniface, by the grace of God, bishop, do promise 
to thee, O blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and 
to thy vicar, the blessed Gregory, Pope, and to his suc- 
cessors, . . . that I will maintain the whole faith and 
purity of the holy Catholic faith, and by the help of 
God will continue in the unity of that faith, . . . and 
that in no way will I agree with anything contrary 
to the unity of the general and universal church 
under any persuasion whatever ; but, as I have said, 
I will in every way maintain my faith pure, and my 
cooperation constantly for thee, and for the benefit 

1 Episcopiis regionarius. 2 Gieseler, vol. ii., p. 26. note 3. 

72 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of thy church, upon which was bestowed by God the 
power to bind and to loose, and for thy vicar afore- 
said, and for his successors. And whenever I find 
that the conduct of the presiding officers of the 
churches contradicts the ancient decrees of the holy 
fathers, I will have no fellowship or connection with 
them, but, on the contrary, I will prevent them if I 
can, and if not I will report faithfully at once to my 
apostolic lord. . . . Moreover, this declaration of my 
oath, I, Boniface, a humble bishop, have written with 
my own hand, and upon the most holy body of the 
blessed Peter I have taken the oath as above written, 
which also I promise to keep, God being my witness 
and judge." 

The significance of this oath is not merely that it 
bound Boniface and his work to the Roman see, but 
that it was the oath taken by the bishops of the 
suburban and dependent churches of Rome, with such 
changes as the different conditions required, and with 
the substitution of the clause promising to oppose 
anything against the Pope for the similar clause re- 
garding the emperor and the state. i 

That the work of Boniface was not only to Chris- 
tianize, but to establish and to extend the ecclesiasti- 
cal system which Theodore had brought to England 
from Rome and the East, and to unite this whole 
system under the Bishop of Rome, is shown in an old 
report of the object of his mission : "That he should go 
beyond the Alps, and in those parts where heresy was 
rife should substitute therefor his saving teaching." ^ 

1 Neander, vol. iii., pp. 48, 49. 

2 Ibid., vol. iii., p. 49, note i. 

Union of Germany with Rome. "^^ 

The lack of discipline and of effective organization 
in the work of the Scotch and Irish missionaries, how- 
ever sincere and earnest that work might be, had 
allowed the springing up of corrupt and heretical no- 
tions and practices, and had afforded no permanent 
means of defence against barbarous and pagan tribes 
without, and lawless, half-converted men within the 
Christian communities. 

The increasing and ever-widening power of the 
Bishop of Rome, instructing, directing, restraining, and 
consolidating, a power enforced by the aid and sup- 
port of the Frankish rulers, which was made effectual 
by the alliance of the Frankish kingdom with the Ro- 
man Church, met a real necessity, and gave at once 
the protection and discipline needed tobring these wild 
hordes under the influence and training of Christianity. 

The most effective agent in this great work was the 
English missionary Boniface. For accompHshing it 
he was well fitted, being endowed with great prudence 
and foresight, a scholar and a teacher with " a rare 
genius for organization and administration." By 
nature as well as by his oath he was the foe to all in- 
dividualistic and unorganized effort, and saw at once 
its weakness and its error. To him true Christianity 
was impossible except in union with Rome, and his 
one great aim was to make Germany as loyal and de- 
voted to the Pope as was his native England. 

From Rome he proceeded immediately to the court 
of Charles Martel with letters of commendation. 
Under the protection of this powerful prince he 
followed the victorious armies of the Franks among 
the Hessians, though he was not very well pleased 

74 The Age of Charlemagne. 

with the enforced relations with the Prankish and 
Celtic missionaries, who differed widely from him on 
important subjects. His severe denunciation of them 
may be explained by the fact that to him their mar- 
riages were nothing but fornication and adultery, their 
social life and lack of asceticism merely debauchery 
and drunkenness. Without question some of them 
served in war, and their lack of discipline and obedi- 
ence to some strong central power called forth his 
bitterest opposition. His final and permanent success 
must be his justification. " It is doubtful whether, in 
the barbarous condition of those times, and amid the 
commotion of almost constant civil wars, the indepen- 
dent and scattered labors of the anti-Roman mission- 
aries could have survived as well and made as strong 
an impression upon the German nation as a consoli- 
dated Christianity with a common centre of unity and 
authority." ^ The opinion of Ranke in this connec- 
tion is also suggestive : " We ought not to consider 
the Christianization of Germany only from the point 
of view of religious belief and teaching. However 
important these may be, it was of world-historical 
importance that some counteracting influence should 
be prepared against Islamism, which was pressing 
ever deeper into the continent of Europe. Boniface 
knew right well what had happened in Spain ; the 
work of conversion which he was carrying on was the 
chief cause why the same events did not repeat them- 
selves in Gaul and Germany." - 

1 Schaff, vol. iv., p. 99. 

■'' Ranke, " Weltgeschichte," vol. i., pp. 286, 287. Quoted by 
Hodgkin, vol. vi., p. 423, note i. 

Archbishop Boiiiface. 75 

It was the work of consolidation, however, and the 
establishment of the diocesan system on tHe Continent 
which Boniface accomplished in his union with the 
state on one side and with the Church of Rome on 
the other, which would have been impossible other- 
wise, and which laid the necessary foundations for the 
preservation and future spread of Christianity among 
the Franks and their dependents. Monasteries and 
bishoprics, as centres of learning and of authority, 
were estabhshed in suitable places, testifying to his 
practical wisdom and foresight. Monks and nuns 
came over from England as teachers and exemplars 
of right living among the people whom they wished 
to elevate. 

The accession of Gregory III. in 731 made no 
break in the friendly relations with the Papacy, and 
in 732 the Pope sent the pallium to Boniface and 
made him an archbishop, though he was not by this 
act made Primate of all Germany, as some have sup- 
posed. His position was rather that of a metropolitan, 
in whose charge were placed the more northern dis- 
tricts where he had specially labored, particularly the 
bishoprics of Tongres, Cologne, Utrecht, Worms, and 

In the year 738 he made his third and last visit to 
Rome, when he was invested with the powers and 
authority of a papal legate, with a special commission 
to visit the Bavarian church. Here he effected a 
complete organization, and established the four 
bishoprics of Salzburg, Freising, Passau, and Regens- 
burg or Ratisbon. He held a synod of the Bavarian 

1 Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 41, 42. 

"J 6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

church in 740, and soon after established several 
other bishoprics farther north : Eichstadt, Wiirzburg, 
Buraburg, and Erfurt. 

The death of Charles Martel in 741 opened a new 
field of opportunity, made possible still closer rela- 
tions with the state, and led the way to a more 
timate union with Rome. Karlmann and Pippin, who 
succeeded their father as mayors of the palace, were 
more favorably disposed to the church and more 
inclined to enter into closer relations with Rome. 
Charles Martel had not been very discriminating be- 
tween the Roman and the independent clergy, he 
had been quite willing to allow the clergy to take 
part in his battles, and he had not shown much respect 
for church property when it was needed to support 
the army in the wars against the Saracens. 

The work of organization which Boniface had so 
well carried on among the Friesians, Hessians, Thu- 
ringians, and Bavarians of the North and East he was 
now enabled to complete by the establishment of the 
diocesan and synodal system in the great centres of 
the Prankish kingdom. 

The first so-called German synod was held in 742, 
at the request of Karlmann, to establish order in the 
church in his dominion, where ecclesiastical affairs 
had been in great confusion for the past sixty or 
seventy years.^ Boniface, next to Karlmann, in whose 
name the acts of the synod were published, held the 
chief place as archbishop and papal legate.- From 
this time the movement went on: new bishoprics 

1 Jaffe, ol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 42. 

2 " Missus Sancti Petri," Boretius, vol. i., p. 25, art. I. 

Archbishop of MaiiiE. jy 

were created in the chief cities, and the clergy of the 
district made subordinate to their bishop, while the 
bishops of the province were united under the bishop 
of the chief city or metropolis as their head under the 
Pope, and so-called metropolitan or archbishop. Synods 
were to be held each year, by which a general over- 
sight and systematic discipline could be maintained. 
Thus Boniface succeeded in introducing and estab- 
lishing throughout the Prankish kingdom, by the 
middle of the eighth century, the systematic organ- 
ization that Theodore had established among the 
English in the last part of the seventh. 

As yet Boniface had had no fixed residence, and 
was liable to the same charge he had brought against 
the Celtic clergy, that of ordination without a fixed 
diocese — absolute ordination, as it was called ; but in 
745 he settled in Mainz, and that became the seat 
of his archbishopric, the former bishop of the see hav- 
ing been deposed by Boniface himself, for hunting 
and for having avenged the death of his father by 
killing the murderer. 

In 744 Boniface laid the foundations of the monas- 
tery of Fulda, destined to become one of the three 
great centres of learning in Europe. The other two 
were St. Gall, founded by Gallus, the disciple of 
Columbanus, in 646, and Reichenau, founded in 724 
by Pirminius, a Prankish missionary. In 744, also, 
Boniface secured the condemnation of Adelbert, 
Clement, and Virgil, Bishop of Salzburg, whom he 
regarded as wicked and false clergy because not pro- 
fessing allegiance to his system, nor working in har- 
mony with his views. Some of the charges of peculiar 

78 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and dangerous teachings may have been well founded, 
but most of them seem to have been due to prejudice, 
ignorance, and misunderstanding.^ 

Boniface endeavored to develop the metropolitan 
system also, whereby, as he says in a letter to Cuth- 
bert. Archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops should 
hold the same relation to the metropolitans as the 
metropolitans, in their turn, should hold to the Pope.'-^ 
This scheme was not fully carried out, however, as 
but one, or perhaps three, metropolitans were ap- 
pointed for only a part of the Prankish kingdom.^ 

With the next Pope, Zacharias, Boniface does not 
seem to have had such intimate and friendly relations ; 
one or two of his letters give evidence of a firm op- 
position to much that he understood was permitted 
at Rome.^ 

It is now pretty clearly established, and quite gen- 
erally accepted, that Boniface had little or nothing to 
do with the political intrigues of the Pope and the 
attempts of Pippin to gain the Prankish throne. He 
might have known of Pippin's coronation at Soissons 
in 751, but it is quite improbable that he had any 
part in it, as his name is not mentioned in the ac- 
counts by the early chroniclers, and his own letters 
show that the disfavor in which he stood at that time 
at the court of Pippin would preclude his participation.^ 

1 Neander, vol. iii., pp. 56-63; Kurtz, vol. i., pp. 470-472. 

2 Jaff^, vol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 73. 

3 Boretius, vol. i., p. 29, art. 3; Jaff^, vol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 48, 49; 
cf. Neander, vol. iii., pp. 64, 65. 

4 Jaff^, vol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 51, "Ad Zach," 

5 Kurtz, vol. i., pp. 470, 474; Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 63-67; Alzog, 
vol. ii., p. 119, note i. 

Martyrdom. 79 

In 753 Boniface resigned his archbishopric, and 
secured the appointment of Lull, one of his most dis- 
tinguished disciples, as his successor, while he him- 
self, with about fifty companions, again started on a 
missionary expedition among the Friesians. Here, 
on the 5th of June, 754 or 755, he was murdered by 
a band of heathens, and thus secured a martyr's 
crown. " His bones were deposited first at Utrecht, 
then at Mainz, and at last in Fulda. Soon after his 
death an English synod chose him, together with 
Pope Gregory and Augustine, patron of the English 
church. In 1875 Pope Pius IX. directed the Catho- 
lics of Germany and England to invoke especially the 
aid of St. Boniface in the distress of modern times." ^ 

1 Schaff, vol. iv., p. 96. 



SLAM, the religion of Mahomet, had 
spread with rapid strides through coun- 
tries which had been indeed the very 
cradle of Christianity or among the first 
to welcome and receive it, but in which, 
alas! that Christianity had become weakened and 
corrupted by endless theological disputes, and by a 
false asceticism which had dried up the sources of its 
vigor, had left its faith petrified in the mechanical 
technicalities of a lifeless metaphysic, and had ren- 
dered its worship an elaborate but barren ceremonial, 
characterized more by superstition and idolatry than 
by spirit and truth. 

Not only were new objects of worship brought in 
as intermediaries between the soul of the worshipper 
and God, thus tending to fix the mind on lower forms 
of the divine manifestation rather than on the divine 


Veneration of Saints. 8i 

Being himself, but material representations of those 
intermediaries began to be employed, in order, it was 
said, to concentrate and hold the attention. Thus the 
veneration of saints and their relics and images was 
taking the place of the spiritual worship of God. 

The exaggerated worship of the Virgin Mary, con- 
firmed by the title " Mother of God," given to her 
by the Fourth General Council, only led the way in 
this movement. To the cultus of the Virgin Mary 
was added that of saints and martyrs, to whose names 
were attached long biographies filled with legendary 
accounts of miraculous deeds. In order to make a 
deeper impression upon the minds of the people, es- 
pecially of those who were unable to read, images of 
these saints, pictures and statues, were produced, and 
relics, either their bones, or clothing or other articles 
associated or believed to have been associated with 
them in life, were exhibited with great care and 

Soon it was discovered that the miraculous deeds 
which the saint was said to have performed in life, 
such as marvellous cures, rescues, and preservation 
from danger, were accomplished also by these relics, 
and thus they became the objects of acts of rever- 
ence, prostrations, prayers, and rich offerings at the 
shrines built in their honor, and a cult grew up 
around them, differing practically in no way from 
the acts of divine worship, though receiving a 
different name.^ 

As early as the sixth century churches had been 
adorned with pictures and statues of the saints, be- 

1 KpooKvv^ffig^ and not larpeia. 

8 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

fore which special acts of reverence, such as prostra- 
tions, were performed, and by the beginning of the 
eighth century the use of images as helps to and 
objects of devotion had become universal. 

But their use, at first at any rate, seems to have 
been far more general in the East than in the West. 
Serenus, Bishop of Massilia (Marseilles), had thrown 
out and destroyed images in his churches ; and al- 
though Gregory the Great, on a previous occasion, 
sending a picture of Christ and other pictures to a 
hermit who had asked for them, said that they were 
not intended to serve as objects of adoration, but 
merely as memorials, he wrote to Serenus as follows : 
" We have praised the zeal which you have shown 
lest anything made by hands should be adored, but 
we deem it wrong that you should destroy those pic- 
tures, for painting is made use of in the churches in 
order that those who are unable to read may at least 
understand, in looking on the walls, what they cannot 
read in the manuscripts." ^ 

Reference has been made very often to this decla- 
ration made by Gregory I., and it was quoted fre- 
quently in defence of the use of images; but so much 
superstition and practical idolatry had come to be 
associated with them that the Emperor Leo III. 
declared himself resolutely opposed to their very 
existence. In taking this position it is very proba- 
ble that he had been influenced by the sect of the 
Paulicians, which rose during the seventh century in 
the northern part of Syria, near the birthplace of Leo 

1 " Epistles of St. Gregory," bk. ix., Ep. g. 

The Paulicians. 83 

The Paulicians were a Christian sect professing a 
form of dualism, and having perhaps some early re- 
lation with Manichean doctrines. They looked upon 
creation as the work of the evil principle, and re- 
garded as evil all material forms, including the human 
body. Their opposition to the prevalent Christianity 
was directed most strongly against the cult which was 
. growing up around the Virgin Mary and the cross. 
It is well known that Leo's opposition to Mariolatry 
was a prominent feature in his attempt at reform, and 
that he gave to the Paulicians letters of protection. 

It is still more probable, however, that he was 
more strongly influenced by the taunts of Jews and 
Mahometans, who declared openly that the Christians 
were no better than pagans and idolaters in their mul- 
tiplication of the objects of worship, and in their rep- 
resentation of those objects in material forms and 
images. It might seem, also, that image-worship was 
one great hindrance to their conversion, which, at 
least in the case of the Jews, Leo tried so hard to 

The position of the Christian church was, indeed, 
in marked contrast with those sublime words in the 
" Octavius " of Minucius Felix, so that the conditions 
of the third century and those of the eighth seem to 
be exactly reversed. 

Caecilius, the opponent of Christianity in the third 
century, thus taunts the Christians : " For why do 
they endeavor, with such pains, to conceal and to 
cloak what they worship, since honorable things al- 
ways rejoice in publicity, while crimes are kept secret ? 
Why have they no altars, no temples, no consecrated 

84 The Age of Charlemagne. 

images?" Octavius, the apologist of Christianity, 
gives a most eloquent paraphrase of the forty-fourth 
chapter of Isaiah, and thus answers the slurs of 
Csecilius : " But do you think we conceal what we 
worship, if we have not temples and altars ? And yet 
what image of God shall I make, since, if you think 
rightly, man himself is the image of God ? . . . Were 
it not better that he should be dedicated in our mind, 
consecrated in our heart? . . . Therefore, he who 
cultivates innocence supplicates God ; he who culti- 
vates justice makes offerings to God ; he who abstains 
from fraudulent practices propitiates God; he who 
snatches man from danger slaughters the most ac- 
ceptable victim. These are our sacrifices, these are 
our rites of God's worship; thus, among us, he who 
is most just is he who is most religious. But certainly 
the God whom we worship we neither show nor see. 
Verily for this reason we believe him to be God : that 
we can be conscious of him, but cannot see him ; . . • 
for from where is God afar off, when all things hea- 
venly and earthly, and which are beyond the province 
of the universe, are known to God, are full of God ? 
Everywhere he is not only very near us, but he is 
infused into us. . . . Not only do we act in him, but 
also, I had almost said, we live in him." ^ 

Leo seems to have been influenced especially by a 
Phrygian bishop named Constantine, and by a certain 
Beser, a renegade and convert from Mahometanism, 
who stood high in the imperial favor. His position 
had a theological side as well, and thus connected 
itself with the disputes regarding Monophysitism 

1 " Ante-Nicene Fathers," Amer. ed., vol. iv., pp. 178, 187, 193. 

Emperor Leds Rationalism. 85 

and Monothelitism, which had rent the church and 
distracted the empire during the preceding two 
or three centuries. " The MonotheHtism of the 
seventh century was a connecting-Hnk between 
Monophysitism and Iconoclasm, but there were two 
new influences which affected the eighth-century 
movement and gave it a pecuHar character, namely, 
the Pauhcian doctrines and the Mahometan re- 
Hgion." ^ 

Alzog, or his translators, while admitting the abuse 
of images, may tell us that " the true solution of the 
whole difficulty, and the motives which prompted im- 
perial action, are to be sought in the meddlesomeness 
of those emperors who, like their predecessors in re- 
gard to the earlier dogmatic controversies, were always 
interfering in ecclesiastical legislation." '' The justi- 
fication of their action, however, appears when we 
consider how closely united were the two institutions 
of church and state, and how seriously the integrity 
of the empire was threatened by any schism or strife 
or weakness in the church. Furthermore, Leo was 
actuated undoubtedly by a spirit of general opposi- 
tion and reaction against the gross materialism and 
grovelling superstition which he saw all about him, 
and which was brought out in bold relief by the strik- 
ing contrast to Christianity afforded by both Judaism 
and Mahometanism in these respects. The use of 
pictures and statues in the churches was only one form 
against which this rationalistic spirit showed itself. 
The opposition was connected with the question of art 

1 Bury, vol. ii. , p. 429. 

2 Alzog, vol. ii., p. 208, note I. 

86 The Age of Charlemagne. 

only remotely, if at all. The earlier representations 
were crude and ugly — indeed, the ugliest having 
proved in all religions the object of the greatest de- 
votion, as is shown by the image of Diana in the 
temple of Ephesus. The early pictures of the Virgin 
and the Christ represented neither the gracious mo- 
therhood of the one nor the tender humility of the 
other. It was only by the outward symbols of dress, 
conventional forms and signs, the aureola, the halo, 
and the nimbus, that the different personages of 
Christian veneration and worship could be recognized. 
In the early pictures of the holy family any female 
figure would do for the Virgin and any child for the 
Christ, if the conventional symbols of divinity were 
present. It was only when higher conceptions arose 
and real art began that religious painting became 
truly inspiring, and painters like Raphael and Michael 
Angelo sought to depict the divine by the noblest and 
highest human beauty. In the earlier times, how- 
ever, it was in the East, where the old art instinct had 
not completely died out, that pictures and statues 
were most numerous, while the West, where the 
artistic sense remained yet undeveloped, was devoted 
to relics.^ 

The famous edict of Leo III., issued in 726, began 
the controversy which shook the very foundations of 
the church and of the empire, and lasted for over a 
century and a quarter. That edict, sometimes mis- 
takenly supposed to have been merely an order to 

1 To-day the Eastern Church allows only paintings and mosaics, 
excluding statues and sculptures, which are more in use in the Roman 
Church, though she allows both. 

The Edict 0/^26. 87 

raise the pictures out of the reach of the kisses and 
other acts of worship of the people, decreed the com- 
plete removal of all pictures from the churches 
throughout the empire.^ 

Yet this was the same Leo whose glorious victory 
over the Mahometans in 718 had saved eastern Eu- 
rope from the Saracen yoke, rescued Christianity from 
the danger of complete annihilation, and, by stopping 
the waves of Mahometan invasion at the foot of the 
Taurus, had accomplished for the East what Charles 
Martel did for the West a few years afterwards on the 
field of Poitiers, when he stopped the Mahometans 
from advance beyond the Pyrenees. The first act 
under the edict of the emperor was the destruction 
of a most popular and deeply revered image of Christ 
over the gate of the imperial palace. This aroused a 
storm of opposition, and called forth the angry pro- 
tests of the Pope. In 730 Leo deposed Germanus, 
the Patriarch of Constantinople, and put in his place 
the patriarch's secretary, Anastasius, who favored the 
imperial policy, and soon after issued a manifesto 
against images, thus giving ecclesiastical authority to 
the edict of the emperor. 

This attack on the venerated symbols and objects 
of adoration roused Pope Gregory to action, and al- 
though the two letters which have come down to us 

1 "Lib. Pont.," vol. i., p. 404, c. 17; Paulus Diaconus, bk. vi., 
c. 49; Theophanes, " Chronographia," p. 338. Mentioned by Grego- 
rovius, vol. ii., p. 225. See also Bury, vol. ii., p. 432 and note 4; 
p. 436, note I. 

Hefele, vol. v., pp. 260-400. 

" The edicts on image-worship are collected in Goldastus, ' Impe- 
rialia Decreta de Cultu Imaginum,' ed. Francof., 1608." (Hardwick, 
" Middle Age," p. 73, note i.) 

88 The Age of Charlemagne. 

as written by the Pope to Leo must be regarded as 
the fabrication of a later age, he stoutly opposed the 
enforcement of the decrees in Italy.^ 

Already, however, the relations on all sides had be- 
come severely strained. The weakness of the exarchs, 
the imperial officers at Ravenna, their greed and 
tyranny, had tended more and more surely to drive 
the Italian people to the care and protection of the 
Pope, leading them to see in him not only a bulwark 
against heresy and schism in the church, but also a 
defender of their civil liberties and the true preserver 
of their political unity. 

The immediate occasion of their revolt seems to 
have been an imperial order to the exarch, who pro- 
ceeded to levy a new tax on the provinces of Italy 
and to confiscate some church property. This was 
opposed by the Pope, and his opposition was sup- 
ported quite generally throughout Italy. Plots were 
set on foot against the life of the Pope, and bitter 
strife ensued. 

The Lombards, thinking doubtless to foment dis- 
cord and increase the weakness of resistance, took 
advantage of the occasion to invade the Pentapolis. 
Just at this juncture, 727, the iconoclastic edicts of 
the emperor appeared in Italy. Gregory at once de- 
nounced the imperial heresy, and urged all to be on 
their guard and not to destroy the images. This in- 
creased the popular resistance to the imperial power 

1 The genuineness of these letters is doubted by Hodgkin, vol. vi., 
pp. 501-505 ; Dollinger, " Fables," etc., pp. 253-261 ; and Duchesne, 
" Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 418, note 43. Hefele still holds to their 
genuineness (" History of Councils," vol. v., pp. 289-298). 

Threatened Revolt. 89 

and the opposition to the exarch. " Scorning to yield 
obedience to his orders, they elected dukes for 
themselves in every part of Italy, and thus they 
all provided for their own safety and that of the 
pontiff." 1 

The revolt, we are told, went so far that the design 
was formed of electing a new emperor in Italy ; but 
Gregory made every effort to prevent this, and ex- 
horted them to maintain their allegiance to the Roman 
empire of the East.^ 

Dollinger asserts, however, that " after the year 
728 the Pope did make an attempt to form a confed- 
eration of states, which was to maintain itself inde- 
pendently alike of the Greeks and of the Lombards ; 
the head and central point of it was to be the papal 
chair." ^ But the plan came to nothing, though the 
idea remained to bear fruit in the " Donation of Con- 
stantine." The Papacy soon realized that the time 
had not come to throw off the power of the emperor 
or to attempt any new scheme of political autonomy. 
The threatening attitude of the Lombards clearly 
showed that the breakdown of the imperial power in 
Italy, weak as it was, would bring about a universal 
Lombard dominion, in which the Papacy would be 
completely swallowed up. True, the Pope might 
look to the Franks ; but Charles Martel was overbur- 
dened with wars in his own dominions, and the Lom- 
bard king was his strong and faithful ally. Nothing 

1 " Liber Pontificalis," vol. i., p. 404, c. 17. Quoted by Hodgkin, 
vol. vi., pp. 449, 450. 

2 Paulus Diaconus, " De Gestis Langob.," bk. vi., c. 49; " Liber 
Pontificalis," vol. i., pp. 404, 405, c. 18. 

3 Dollinger, " Fables," p. 121. 

90 The Age of Charlemagne. 

remained, therefore, at present for the Pope but to 
use all his influence on the side of the emperor against 
the Lombard, for submission to a distant emperor was 
far better than subjection to a strong and ever-pres- 
ent Lombard king. 



HE division of the empire into east and 
west after the death of Theodosius, in 
395, was the beginning of the end of any 
real imperial power in the West. Prov- 
ince after province fell a prey to the in- 
cursions of the northern tribes, and Italy itself, 
devastated and depopulated by war and famine, was 
overrun by foreign invaders. 

In 476 the farce of a separate emperor, who had 
become a mere figurehead, the creature of some suc- 
cessful barbarian commander, was discontinued, and 
the name of emperor ceased among the people of the 
West, while the Rugian Odoacer ruled at Ravenna 
as patrician, and received, in submission to the one 
emperor at Constantinople, the government of the 

Misunderstandings soon sprang up, however, and, 
either at his own request or by imperial command, 
Theodoric, the leader of the Ostrogoths, who still 
lingered near the Eastern capital, marched with his 


92 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Goths against Italy and overthrew Odoacer. In 493 
the struggle ended, and Theodoric proclaimed him- 
self King of the Romans and Goths, although he still 
acknowledged the supremacy of the emperor. As the 
ruler of Italy, in spite of the violence and treachery 
which stained the beginning and the end of his reign, 
"he restored," says Gibbon, "an age of peace and 
prosperity," ^ and, says Machiavelli, " brought the 
country to such a state of greatness that her sufferings 
were no longer recognizable."'-^ 

Whether this be an overestimate or not of the 
great work of Theodoric, the Ostrogothic kingdom 
was not destined to last long beyond the lifetime of 
its founder. 

Theodoric was an alien, unable to win the sympathy 
and support of the people ; an Arian, exposed to the 
bitter opposition of the church, and without any re- 
ligious organization or centralized system to uphold 
him ; the object, before long, of the fear and jealousy 
of the emperor — three insurmountable' obstacles to 
a permanent success, and presenting a most instruc- 
tive contrast with his contemporary, Clovis, King of 
the Fraaks. 

Theodoric died in 526, and his kingdom was 
drowned in the seas of its own blood. Under the 
great Justinian, the famous generals Belisarius and 
Narses endeavored to win back the territory which 
was slipping from the imperial grasp, and by a series 
of struggles, lasting from 536 until 552, restored Italy 
to the empire. The imperial rule was now established 

1 Gibbon, chap. xxxv. 

8 Machiavelli, " History of Florence," bk. i., chap. ii. 

Growth of the Papal Power. 93 

as an exarchate, with the seat of power at Ravenna. 
But with the overthrow of the Ostrogothic kingdom 
came the ruin and decay of the Rome and Italy of 
antiquity, and to the glories of Theodoric's short 
reign succeeded the devastation and confusion of the 
two centuries of Lombard anarchy. 

In Rome, however, a new power had been grow- 
ing up, which was to impart a greater glory than her 
ancient lustre to the city of the ages, and make her 
once more the mistress of the world, with a wider and 
more absolute sway than she had ever known before. 

The gradual rise of the Church of Rome to the chief 
position among the churches of the Christian world, 
and the consequently greatly increased importance 
of the Bishop of Rome, has been traced already, and 
attention has been called to the process by which that 
supremacy was gradually removed from the founda- 
tions of historic development, ecclesiastical expedi- 
ency, and actual service to what seemed the surer 
foundation of divine order and command. Though 
the Bishop of Rome might owe his power, as has 
been shown, to the movements and developments of 
history, he claimed henceforth to deduce his title to 
supremacy from St. Peter as " Prince of the Apostles," 
and as " first Bishop of Rome," from whom, in a di- 
rect and unbroken line of succession, he traced at once 
his position and authority. 

While this ecclesiastical power continued to grow 
and to spread, the Papacy began also to take on a 
new form and significance, owing partly to its close 
connections with the civil power and to what it had 
learned therefrom, and partly, and perhaps chiefly, 

94 The Age of Charleniag7ie. 

to the exigencies of events. In other words, we have 
to note the beginnings of its temporal power and 
possessions, which brought it into new relations and 
held out before it new possibilities and ambitions. 

The political life of Rome closed with the overthrow 
of the Goths, who for a while upheld the institutions 
and seemed about to restore the ancient glories of the 
state. With the fall of Theodoric and the reconquest 
of Italy by the emperor, the last shadow of indepen- 
dent pohtical life passed away, and the national spirit 
and consciousness seemed to have lost its centre and 
rallying-point. But as the civil and poUtical glory of 
Rome grew dim and faded away, the ecclesiastical 
preeminence of the Papacy emerged strong and vig- 
orous, prepared to hold together the remnant of the 
Western Empire in a moral union capable of surviving 
the shock of political dissolution, and to preserve the 
treasure of the traditions, law, order, language, and 
culture, and, indeed, the very spirit, of ancient Rome. 
The empire was torn to pieces, and Rome herself had 
fallen before the hordes of barbarians which poured 
like tempestuous floods over her tottering walls ; but 
the Church of Rome overawed and conquered the 
conquerors of Rome, Christianized, civiHzed, and dis- 
armed them, transforming them from destroying foes 
into submissive children. More than all this, the 
church, the Papacy, took the place of the ancient 
state and senate of Rome, and became the centre of 
the energy and national spirit of the people. Further 
attacks and threatening dangers only intensified this 
feeling and increased the vigor of the papal activity. 
Amid the incessant change and confusion, the Papacy 

The Lombard Invasion. 95 

alone was permanent and enduring, at once a centre 
of unity and a refuge from anarchy, to the evident 
advantage of its temporal as well as its ecclesiastical 
authority. The manner and method of the election 
of the Pope tended to secure popular support and to 
preserve confidence. The clergy, the army, and the 
people, the three orders in Rome, took part in the 
papal election as three distinct bodies, although the 
necessity of confirmation by the emperor, or by his 
representative, the exarch at Ravenna, gave oppor- 
tunity for the exercise of a strong imperial influence. 
This influence made itself felt also in the fact, first 
appearing in the year 535, that the Pope was required 
to be represented by an apocrisiariiis, or permanent 
ambassador, not only at Ravenna with the exarch, 
but also at Constantinople with the emperor, the sig- 
nificance of which is seen in the fact that the position 
at Constantinople was usually a stepping-stone to the 
Papacy itself. 

It has been well said that the preservation of Rome 
seems a law of history ; and the last great danger of 
all, which we are now to consider, the Lombard in- 
vasion, furnishes only another confirmation of its 
truth. As some great storm descending from the 
north, wrapping all in mist and darkness, out of which 
the crashing of thunder and the fall of rain are heard, 
and the flashing of lightning and the rush of storm- 
clouds are seen, till finally, clearing away, the strong 
and deeply founded houses appear still standing, while 
barns and sheds are overthrown and swept away, so 
did the Lombard hosts reveal the strong and sweep 
away the weak, and when their power passed away 

g6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

it left the Papacy strong, independent, and free from 
the East forever. 

The Langobards, as they were called, had their 
original home on the banks of the Elbe, and were a 
strong and cruel people. Moving southward, they 
established their first kingdom, during the early part 
of the sixth century, on the banks of the Upper 
Danube. So far as they were Christians, they, like 
the other converted German tribes, held the Arian 
faith, which had been spread among them by Ulfilas 
and the other Gothic missionaries. As they drew 
toward the south their name was softened into " Lom- 
bards," but this was not attended with any correspond- 
ing softening of character and disposition. They had 
been kept back from Italy by the strength of the Os- 
trogothic kingdom, but after its overthrow and the 
death of Justinian there was no further check to 
their advance. Invited, it is said, to the invasion 
of Italy by the general Narses, in revenge for what 
seemed to him his disgraceful recall to Constanti- 
nople, they made themselves masters of Italy under 
their leader Alboin. One after another the cities 
fell under the sword of the barbarian, and the old 
civilization was speedily displaced. While the Goths 
had protected Latin civilization, the Lombards de- 
stroyed it. In 572 they fixed the seat of their 
power in Theodoric's old capital of Pavia, and soon 
their dominion spread over all Italy, with the ex- 
ception of the exarchate of Ravenna, the district of 
the Pentapolis, and the duchies of Rome and Naples. 
The valley of the Po, since called Lombardy, formed 
the centre of their power, the whole territory being 

Gregory the Great. 97 

divided into thirty-six duchies, the chief of which 
were FriuH, Beneventum, and Spoleto, Rome, in 
dire dismay, sent a solemn deputation of senators and 
priests, with rich gifts of money, to supphcate the 
emperor for aid. But the Persian attacks on the east, 
the Slavs on the Danube, as well as civil dissensions, 
required all his attention and military force, though 
he did send a small body of troops to Ravenna and 
advised the Romans to use the gold they had brought 
to him to buy off the Lombards. 

The civil rulers at Rome were a duke and a master 
of the knights, but often they were absent or the 
offices vacant. The exarch at Ravenna, far from 
being able to render any aid, was greatly in need of 
help for himself. In this moment of supreme neces- 
sity the kingdom of the Franks, rising, under Clovis, 
on the ruins of the empire in Gaul, shone like a light 
in a dark place, and seemed to show the way to pro- 
tection and safety. Their conversion to the Catho- 
lic instead of the Arian form of Christianity seemed 
a mark of the direct interposition of Providence, and 
led Pelagius II. to declare that he " believed that 
they had been divinely raised up to save Rome." 
But the time had not yet come for their active inter- 
position. Not by arms, but by the majesty of the 
Roman name and the awe inspired by Gregory the 
Great, v/ho became Bishop of Rome in 590, was the 
city to be saved from the Lombards. Once more 
Rome owed her preservation to the courage and 
moral influence of the bishop of her church. Even 
more than this she owed to Gregory, rightly called 
the Great, for great he was alike in Christian virtues 


98 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and in far-seeing statesmanship. To his preeminent 
power and skill were due undoubtedly the freeing 
of Rome from the Lombards and the rapid growth 
of the Roman see to the supremacy of the West. 
His first sermon at Rome reads almost like her fu- 
neral oration, so weighed down were men's minds with 
the ruin of the empire. In him, however, she was 
destined to behold in a great degree her restorer. 

Milman has ably presented him to us, first, as a 
Christian bishop, organizing and completing the rit- 
ual and offices of the church, and as administrator of 
the patrimony of the Roman see and its distributor 
to its various pious uses ; secondly, as the Patriarch 
of the West, exercising authority over the clergy and 
churches in Italy, in Gaul, and in other parts of 
Europe, as the converter of the Lombards from 
Arianism and of the Saxons of Britain from heathen- 
ism, and in his conduct to pagans, Jews, and heretics, 
as maintaining the independence of the Western 
ecclesiastical power against the East ; thirdly, as the 
virtual sovereign of Rome, a position which he was 
almost compelled to assume as guardian of the city 
and protector of the Roman people against the Lom- 
bards, owing to the neglect or powerlessness of their 
natural defenders.^ As such there is little to be 
added to the presentation there given. 

Such popes as Innocent I., Leo I., and Gregory \. 
show the true foundation of the Papacy, and when 
and how the Church of Rome gained her ecclesias- 
tical supremacy. Indeed, Gregory's influence far 
outweighed the power of the imperial officers, for 
1 Milman, bk. iii., chap. vii. 

Extension of the Papal Power. 99 

the Romans reverenced as their master and preserver 
a bishop who united in his person the episcopal dig- 
nity and the renown of illustrious descent. 

Already the property of the Church of Rome had 
reached a wide extent, both within the city and on 
the banks of the Tiber in each direction. The church 
had become the possessor also of the Roman Cam- 
pagna, thus ruling over wide-spread districts in Lati- 
um, Sabinum, and Tuscany, as also in the most distant 
provinces of Italy.^ 

Slowly but surely the development proceeded. 
Pope after pope enriched the city with the choicest 
products of architecture, painting, and sculpture, and 
strengthened the papal influence within and beyond 
the city. The strife between the Lombard king and 
the imperial exarch still continued, but the emperors, 
more and more occupied with the defence of the 
empire in the East, were forced to leave to the popes 
the defence of the Roman possessions. 

Steadily the papal power grew, until it extended 
far down into southern Italy and embraced several 
dukedoms of the peninsula. In the eighth century 
the missionary labors of Boniface carried the influ- 
ence of the Pope into the wilds of Germany and es- 
tablished the papal system and control over the new 
churches of the North, and laid the foundations of 
that great international federation of the West which 
was destined to take the place and continue the work 
of the old Roman empire. 

The attacks of the Mahometans, and the protests 
of the emperors against the use of images, while 
1 Gregorovius, vol. ii., pp. 59-61. 

lOO The Age of Charlemagne. 

threatening complete disruption, resulted only in es- 
tablishing the military prestige and greater unity of 
the Franks, on the one hand, and, on the other, 
showed that the Roman Church had already devel- 
oped as an independent power, in which was concen- 
trated the spirit of the West. 

Just at this time, as we have already seen, Liut- 
prand, the greatest of the Lombard kings, attempted 
to take advantage of the confused state of afTairs in 
order to forward the scheme of Lombard aggrandize- 
ment and to realize his dream of a united Italy under 
Lombard domination. Once more the Bishop of 
Rome prevented such a result. In the midst of his 
victories the king was induced to retreat and to give 
up Sutri to the Pope, the first instance of the be- 
stowal of a city upon the church.^ This was in 728. 
The struggle was now approaching its last stage, and 
one almost breathes a sigh at the voluntarily relin- 
quished hopes and plans of the mighty Liutprand. 

Renewed attacks upon Rome itself were averted 
once again by the reenactment of the religious drama 
of which the popes were so fond, and in which frequent 
rehearsals had given them such great proficiency. 
" The priestly magician," says Gregorovius, " led the 
disarmed enemy to the apostles' grave, and the pious 
monarch laid aside his regal mantle, his sword, his 
very crown, together with his ambitious hopes, at 
the grave of the dead." 

1 Gregorovius, vol. ii., pp. 236, 237 and note. 



REGORY II. died in 731, and the real 
danger from the Lombards became in- 
creasingly apparent under his successor, 
Gregory III. Already, as we have seen, 
Charles Martel, through his connection 
with Boniface, had come into relations with the 
Roman see, and these relations the Pope carefully 
fostered and encouraged, so that now, in his ex- 
tremity, it was natural that he should turn his atten- 
tion to the rising power of the Franks, who had 
always been the defenders of orthodoxy, the propa- 
gators of Christianity, and the allies of the church. 
Furthermore, the great victory on the plains of Poi- 
tiers had spread the glory of the might of Charles 
Martel, and had shown the Pope what a mighty 
weapon of defence lay just within his reach. Charles, 
however, was still busy with the Arabs and with 
putting down the revolts which their invasions had 
excited ; nor did he wish, even if it were possible, to 


I02 The Age of Charlemagne. 

break with Liutprand, who had aided him against 
the Mahometans, had declared himself the adopted 
father of the young Frankish prince, and had re- 
ceived into his court Charles's second son. Pippin, in 
acknowledgment of the alliance. Three times in 
739 and 740 Gregory made the most frantic appeals 
for help: " Do not despise vay prayer, nor shut your 
ears to my pleading, and then the chief of the apos- 
tles will not shut the kingdom of heaven against you. 
I adjure you by the living and true God, and the 
most holy keys of the sepulchre of the blessed Peter, 
which we have sent to you, that you do not prefer 
the friendship of the kings of the Lombards to the 
love of the chief of the apostles, but that quickly and 
without delay we may receive your aid, after God, 
for our defence ; that among all nations your faith 
and good name may be declared, that we also 
may say with the prophet, ' The Lord hear thee in 
the day of trouble; and the name of the God of 
Jacob defend thee'" (Ps. xx. \)} The letter, so 
the chronicler records, was " sent by the decree of the 
Roman princes, for that the Roman people wished 
to leave the rule of the emperor and to commend 
themselves to his aid and unexcelled clemency." ^ 
But there is no trace of this last idea in any of the 
extant letters. 

What the result might have been cannot now be 
known, for that same year (741) died Charles Mar- 
tel. Pope Gregory III., and the Emperor Leo III., 
while Liutprand died in 744. 

1 JafT^, vol. iv., pp. 17, 18, Ep. 2. 

2 " Ann. Met.," an. 741 ; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., p. 326. 

Karlmann and Pippin. 103 

The imperial policy was continued by Leo's son, 
Constantine V., who summoned, in 754, what he 
called the Seventh General Council at Constantino- 
ple, at which severe decrees were passed against 
images and image-worship. 

The Merovingian king, Theodoric IV., died in 737, 
and no successor had been appointed, so that for the 
last four years of his life Charles had governed in his 
own name. By the consent of his chief men, just 
before his death, he divided his dominion between 
his two sons. To Karlmann, his eldest son, he gave 
Austrasia,Thuringia, and Swabia (or Alemannia), and 
to his younger son. Pippin, he gave Neustria, Bur- 
gundy, and Provence. He is said to have given 
parts out of both these divisions to a third son, 
Grifo, a half-brother to Karlmann and Pippin, but 
the two older brothers refused to acknowledge his 
claims and united their forces against any and all 
attacks. This union enabled them to avoid the dan- 
gers which the division of the kingdom by Charles 
Martel had threatened. They were, however, forced 
to revive the fiction of a king, and to place a Mero- 
vingian on the throne, who played the part of a mere 
figurehead, under the name of Childeric III., while 
they kept all the real power in their own hands. 

Boniface and the church exercised a stronger in- 
fluence over the two brothers than had been possible 
in the case of their resolute and warlike father. At 
the very beginning of his accession to power, Karl- 
mann summoned Boniface and requested him to as- 
semble a synod for the reform of the condition of 
the Christian religion and the regulation of ecclesias- 

I04 The Age of Charlemagne. 

tical affairs. The synod met in April, 742, and was 
the first, Boniface wrote to Pope Zacharias, that had 
been held in that part of the Prankish kingdom for 
sixty or seventy years. ^ Indeed, they had been 
growing less frequent in the rest of the Frankish 
church. Fifty-four had been held in Gaul in the 
sixth century, twenty in the seventh, and only seven 
in the first part of the eighth. The place of meeting 
of this synod is unknown, but Waitz speaks of it as 
the first to be held on German soil, and it is de- 
scribed in the collections as the first German synod. 
Karlmann himself summoned it, and apparently di- 
rected its actions.^ Boniface and six other bishops, 
— of WiJrzburg in Franconia, of Buraburg in Hesse, 
of Utrecht in Friesia, of Eichstadt in Bavaria, and of 
Cologne and Strasburg in Austrasia, — with their 
presbyters, were present, together with the secular 
nobles. The acts of the synod are of great interest 
and importance. Bishops were established in the 
cities, under Boniface as archbishop and legate 
{missjis) of St. Peter. Annual synods were ordered 
to be held. Church property was to be restored, and 
discipline administered to presbyters, deacons, and 
all clerics. The clergy were forbidden to fight, to 
bear arms, or to be present in the army except for 
divine service. Each presbyter was to be subject to 

1 JafT^, vol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 42; 

2 " I, Karlmann, leader and chief [^diix et princcps'\ of the Franks, 
. . . with the counsel of the servants of God and of my nobles, have 
summoned the bishops who are in my kingdom, with the presbyters, 
to a council and a synod, in the fear of Christ, that they might give 
me counsel in what way the law of God and the ecclesiastical religion 
may be revived." (Boretius, vol. i., p. 24; " Karlmanni Principis 

The Second German Synod. 105 

the bishop of the diocese, and in Lent of each year 
was to furnish and show to the bishop the proof and 
order (i-ationcm et ordincui) of his ministry. The 
bishop was to take care to banish all pagan practices 
from his diocese. The rule of St. Benedict was to 
be observed in all monasteries and convents. False 
presbyters and clergy of evil life were to be deposed, 
and all church property taken by fraud was to be 
restored. A second council was held the next year, 
in March, at Liptinae, or Lestinnes, now Estinnes, in 
Belgium, at which the decrees of the first synod were 
confirmed and their observance promised by clergy 
and laity of every rank. Evil living among the 
clergy, monks, and nuns was condemned again with 
great severity, and incestuous marriages forbidden 
in accordance with the canons. A fine of fifteen 
shillings was to be levied for any revival of pagan 
customs. But by far the most important action at 
this synod was that taken regarding church property. 
It had been found impossible to enforce the edict of 
the first council calling for the absolute surrender of 
confiscated church property. Karlmann, therefore, 
on account of the continued warfare and the neces- 
sary support of a large army, proposed to retain for 
a while longer the church lands which had been 
granted out in benefice. It was agreed, however, 
that each estate should pay to the church or monas- 
tery thus deprived of its lands, and that when the 
holder of the property died it should revert to the 
church unless it became necessary to make a new 
grant. If, on the other hand, the church should be 
rendered thereby poor and in absolute vv^ant, the 

io6 The Age of Cha7'lemagne. 

entire possession should be restored to it. Pope 
Zacharias, writing to Boniface, thanks God that he 
was able to get as much as this. The church's 
ownership was acknowledged, and a yearly remit- 
tance from each individual holding would be a source 
of income and a continual acknowledgment of eccle- 
siastical right and title. Following this council, 
Boniface, as archbishop and legate of the Pope, con- 
secrated three new bishops, in Rouen, Rheims, and 
Sens. The latter was vacant, but the other two 
were held nominally by men of the very class the 
recent councils and the reform movement of Boniface 
had tried to eradicate ; for the Bishop of Rouen was 
a soldier, and the Bishop of Rheims a usurper, at- 
tempting to hold Rheims together with the bish- 
opric of Treves. The latter made a stubborn 
resistance which lasted for ten years, and was 
brought to a conclusion only in consequence of the 
death of the bishop, who was killed by a wild boar 
while hunting. Ecclesiastical reform found much 
opposition in both state and church. 

Pippin held his council in his own territory at 
Soissons, in March, 744, the year following the synods 
held by his brother. Twenty-three bishops were 
present. The decrees were drawn up as capitularies 
of Prince Pippin " with the consent of the bishops, 
priests, and servants of God, and with counsel of the 
counts and chiefs of the Franks." The creed of the 
Council of Nicasa was afifirmed. Synods were ordered 
to be held each year. Condemnation was pro- 
nounced upon a heretic, Adelbert by name, who had 
been drawing the people away from the established 

Two Archbishoprics. 107 

worship, forbidding pilgrimages to Rome, and receiv- 
ing for himself the honor and veneration due to St. 
Peter and his successors. Boniface regarded him as 
the dangerous founder of a new sect, but Neander 
sees in him an early Protestant.^ 

Having thus established its orthodoxy, affirmatively 
and negatively, the synod proceeded to decree the 
establishment of " legitimate " bishops in the chief 
cities, under two archbishops, one at Sens and the 
other at Rheims. Presbyters were to obey and sup- 
port their bishops, who were to see that the people 
did not lapse into paganism nor indulge in heathen 
practices. Even the morals of the laity were made 
the subject of legislation, evil living and perjury were 
expressly prohibited, and the support of the church 
was commanded. Finally it was ordered that any 
one transgressing the decrees of the synod should be 
tried by the prince, the bishops, and the counts, and 
fined according to his rank. 

These synods were held from time to time, with 
the active cooperation of Boniface, for the whole 
Prankish kingdom, and had a very marked influence 
on the organization of the church and its relations to 
the state. They dealt far more largely with the 
practical matters of order and discipline than with 
theological questions and controversies, were attended 
by both lay and clerical nobles, were summoned and 
presided over by the king or ruler, and legislated on 
matters of general morals as well as on secular affairs. 
Thus they served to maintain a close and real inti- 
macy between church and state, and to make more 

1 Neander, vol. iii., pp. 56-60. 

io8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

effective the influence of religious ideals upon the 
ruler and his court and nobles. 

Soon after the holding of these early synods reviv- 
ing and establishing the order and discipline of the 
church, Boniface established himself at Mainz as 
archbishop, with general supervision over the whole 
of Germany east of the Rhine. Thus gradually was 
built up and established the ecclesiastical hierarchy 
of priests, bishops, archbishops, and metropolitans, 
which, by the labors of Boniface, was brought into 
closer relations of dependence upon Rome. In a 
famous letter to Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury 
from 741 to 759, urging upon him the holding of a 
synod in England as they had just done in Germany, 
Boniface wrote : " Moreover, we have decreed in our 
synod, and have professed our desire, to preserve the 
Catholic faith and unity with and obedience to the 
Roman Church, to be subject to St. Peter and his 
vicar, to assemble a synod every year, to seek the 
pall for our metropolitans from that see, and to fol- 
low strictly all the requirements of St. Peter." ^ 

Naturally the authority which Boniface wielded 
and the influence he exerted as archbishop and 
metropolitan differed somewhat from the ordinary 
archiepiscopal powers, but it is misleading to give 
him the title of Primate of all Germany, or to con- 
clude that he exercised archiepiscopal functions in 
all parts of Germany. Indeed, he had desired, on 
the death of the Bishop of Cologne in 744, that the 
bishopric should be raised to an archbishopric and 
conferred upon himself, in order that he might have 

1 Jaff^, vol. iii., Bonif. Ep. 63. 

Boniface the Papal Legate. 109 

the personal superintendence of his old mission among 
the people of Friesland. Objection was made, how- 
ever, by some of his opponents, and Gewillieb, 
Bishop of Mainz, having been deposed at a synod in 
745 for fighting and killing his father's slayer in bat- 
tle, Mainz, as we have seen, was made an archbish- 
opric and conferred upon Boniface. It was, therefore, 
rather his special commission as legate or vicar of the 
Pope that extended his powers into all parts of the 
kingdom, and enabled him to do his great work of 
spreading Christianity, and of unifying, organizing, 
and establishing the Frankish church, and of laying 
the foundations and starting the building of that 
great superstructure, the church of Germany, 



HE natural tendency of this spreading of 
Christianity and of this development and 
unifying of organization would be the 
unification of the state ; but for the ac- 
complishment of this end a stronger 
power than that of Boniface and a longer period than 
that covered by his life would be required. 

The work of Boniface undoubtedly assisted greatly, 
but it followed rather than preceded the Prankish arms. 
Indeed, events at this very time were showing how 
weak and easily thrown off were the ties which bound 
together the various parts of the Prankish kingdom. 
All had been at- peace in 740; but on the death of 
Charles Martel, in 741, rebellions sprang up among 
the Saxons and the Alemannians, while Hunold, duke 
of the Aquitanians, and Ottilo, duke of the Bavarians, 
declared their independence. It was no longer a war 

Rebellion after the Death of Charles. 1 1 1 

of Christians against pagans, but an attempt to break 
up the unity of the Prankish kingdom and to limit 
the conquests of the Prankish leaders. Christians 
were on one side as well as on the other. Indeed, 
on one occasion a certain priest named Sergius, the 
papal legate in Bavaria, met the Prankish army, and 
in the name of St. Peter and the apostolic lord for- 
bade the war, and called upon the Franks to with- 
draw from Bavaria. Pippin, however, declared that 
neither St. Peter nor the apostolic lord had sent Ser- 
gius on that mission. On the following day, after a 
great victory, the priest, together with one of the 
bishops, was captured and brought to Pippin, who 
reminded him of his false commission from the Pope, 
and declared that now he had proved that it was false, 
because if St. Peter had felt that the cause of the 
Franks was not just, he would not have aided them 
in gaining the victory. " Be assured now, however," 
he concluded, " that by the intercession of the blessed 
Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and by the judgment of 
God, to which we do not hesitate to submit, Bavaria 
and the Bavarians belong to the empire of the 

In the midst of the success in Bavaria came the 
news that Hunold had crossed the Loire, taken 
Chartres, and burned it together with its cathedral 
church. Pippin immediately hastened to the defence 
of Neustria, and Karlmann proceeded against the 
Saxons, who had been foremost in aid to the Bava- 
rians. War raged in all directions during the succeed- 
ing years, marked by treachery and deceit on all 
1 "Ann, Met./' an. 743; " M. G. SS.," yol. i., p. 328. 

1 1 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

sides. In 744 Hunold, having deceived his brother 
by false oaths, tore out his eyes and threw him into 
prison. A few days afterwards he laid aside his 
ducal crown, took the vows of a monk, and entered a 
monastery, but whether from remorse or because in 
the same year he had been forced to yield to the 
Franks and take the oath of fealty to Pippin and 
Karlmann, the chroniclers do not tell us. He left 
the rule to his son Waifar. Karlmann, tired of the 
treachery and continual uprisings of the Alemannians, 
entered their territory and summoned their chiefs to 
a conference at Cannstatt, where they were all seized 
and put to death. This was in 746 ; in the following 
year he also resigned his power into the hands of his 
brother Pippin, and went to Rome. He built a mon- 
astery on Mount Soracte, but afterwards retired to 
Monte Cassino, where he died in 754. There has 
always been a mystery surrounding his retirement, 
and the chroniclers do little to explain it. One says 
that he gave up the temporal kingdom for the sake 
of the heavenly.-^ Einhart says that he had been 
meditating the act for a long time \^ while we are told 
rather suspiciously, in another place, that, urged by 
divine love and desire for the heavenly country, he, 
of his own free will {sponte), resigned his power and 
commended his sons to his brother Pippin.^ " The 
spontaneous character of his abdication may be true 
in his own case, but few thinking people will believe 

1 " Ann. Laur. Min.," an. 747; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., p. 115. 

2 " Ann. Einhardi," an. 745 (error for 746) ; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., 
p. 135. 

3 " Chron. Moiss.," an. 741-752 ; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., p. 292. 

Grifds Rebellion. 1 1 3 

that it was unaccompanied by pressure in the case 
of his sons, who, though he commended them to 
Pippin, lost their inheritance and practically vanished 
out of existence." ^ 

There was no more fighting that year. Pippin 
occupied himself in establishing his power over the 
whole realm, sending his nephews to a monastery to 
follow their father's example. He treated his younger 
brother Grifo with more consideration, released him 
from the prison where he had been confined since the 
death of his father, and gave into his charge several 
counties and a large part of the royal domain. But 
Grifo refused to be reconciled, put himself at the 
head of a party of rebellious chiefs, and raised a re- 
volt among the Saxons. Pippin pursued him, and 
by the aid of the Friesians and the Slavs, enemies of 
the Saxons, put down the revolt, exacted a tribute, 
and forced many of them to be baptized. This was 
a frequent method of spreading Christianity, and, 
unfortunately, in the minds of these northern and 
still pagan peoples the sacrament of baptism seemed 
to them the symbol of their entrance into the king- 
dom of the Franks rather than into the kingdom of 
heaven, the sign of their subjection to the Carolin- 
gian rather than to Christ, so that when renouncing 
their subjection to the Franks in their frequent re- 
volts they too often threw off at the same time their 
Christian obligations, burned their churches, killed or 
put to flight their clergy, and relapsed into paganism. 

Driven from the Saxons, Grifo fled to Bavaria, 
where, aided by Landfrid, duke of the Alemannians, 

1 Mombert, " Charles the Great," p. 32. 

1 14 The Age of Charlemagne. 

he dispossessed his nephew Tassilo, the son and heir 
of the former duke, Ottilo, and got himself pro- 
claimed duke of the Bavarians. Again the army of 
Pippin entered Bavaria and forced submission. Tas- 
silo was reinstated, and Grifo, again restored to 
favor, was given the duchy of Maine, with twelve 
counties in Neustria. He soon left his duchy, how- 
ever, and joined Waifar, the duke of the Aquitanians 
and the avowed enemy of the Franks. There Pippin 
was content to leave him for a time.^ 

More important affairs were to be settled. Hav- 
ing put down all open rebellion, united the kingdom 
under a single rule, and, by the aid of Boniface, es- 
tablished order in the church, settled its relations 
with the secular power, put its property and posses- 
sions on a satisfactory basis, reorganized its govern- 
ment on a system of bishops and metropolitans, and 
confirmed its union with the Church of Rome, he 
sought to reap the reward and to enjoy the honor of 
his labors, and to secure their benefits to his descen- 
dants. For over a century the position of the Mero- 
vingian kings had been that of a merely nominal 
headship. While their power had been growing less 
and less, that of the mayors of the palace had been 
as steadily increasing. Charles Martel, by his vigor- 
ous administration and brilliant victories, had brought 
it to such a height that when, in 737, the king, 
Theodoric IV., died, no attempt was made to place 
another on the throne. Although the sons of Charles 

1 Two years afterwards, trying to make his way to the Lombard 
king, he was attacked by Theodwin, a Prankish count, who had been 
stationed to guard the passes of the Alps, and both were slain. (" Ann. 
Met.," an. 751.) 

The Puppet Khig. 115 

had been forced by the jealousy of some of the 
leading nobles to set up Childeric III., Pippin had 
now raised the power of the mayors of the palace to 
a supreme height, and the position of the king was 
pitiable. " Nothing was left for the king," says 
Einhard in his life of Charles the Great, " except to 
sit on his throne, content with the mere name of 
king, his flowing hair, long, waving beard ; and to 
present the merest show of power, to listen to the 
ambassadors from different countries, and to give 
them at their departure the replies which he had been 
taught or even ordered to say, as if they were the 
expression of his own will ; while, in reality, besides 
the useless name of king, and the precarious support 
which the mayor of the palace furnished as he thought 
fit, he possessed nothing else of his own, except a 
single estate, and that yielding a very small revenue, 
having a house and a small number of servants, who 
obeyed his orders and ministered to his necessities. 
Wherever he went he was carried in a cart drawn 
by a yoke of oxen, driven by a ploughman in country 
fashion ; thus he used to go to the palace, and thus 
to the assembly of his people at its annual meeting 
for promoting the welfare of the kingdom, and thus 
he went home again. The administration of the 
kingdom and the transaction and disposition of all 
business connected with foreign or domestic affairs 
devolved upon the mayor of the palace."^ This 
was no new arrangement. One of the chroniclers, 
in the year 692, describes a similar scene under 
Pippin of Heristal, the father of Charles Martel ; 
1 Einhard, " Vita Karoli," c. i. 

1 1 6 The Age of Charlemagne, 

"Each year, on the calends of March, a general 
council of all the Franks was held according to the 
custom of the ancients. At this council, out of rev- 
erence for the name of King, and on account of his 
own humility and clemency. Pippin ordered the 
king whom he had set up to preside until the offer- 
ings were received from all the nobles of the Franks, 
the speeches made in behalf of the peace and de- 
fence of the churches of God and of the orphans and 
widows, a firm decree made against rape and arson, 
the command given to the army that on whatever day 
they received notice to march they should be ready to 
go wherever he appointed, after which he sent the king 
to a public estate, to be kept with honor and respect." ^ 
At the time of which we speak, however, even this 
had passed away, and the name as well as the person 
of the king seemed well-nigh forgotten. Only oc- 
casionally does the year of his reign serve to fix a 
date ; his presence in the assemblies is not noted, nor 
does his authority appear in the capitularies. In all the 
communications between the popes and the Franks, 
not a 'single letter is addressed to the king, but to 
the viceroy, or siibirgiilus, as the mayor of the pal- 
ace was called. Charles Martel and his sons had 
already spoken of the kingdom as theirs [vicuin reg- 
num, nostnun rcgnuni) in their laws and official 

Such a condition of affairs could not long endure. 
The one who had the power should have the name 
of king. But how could the change be effected? 
The force of custom and a long line of succession in 

1 "Ann. Met.," an. 692; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., p. 320. 

Pippins Question : the Popes Reply. 1 1 7 

the same family since the times of Clovis, a period 
of nearly three hundred years, exercised an influence 
not easily dispelled. But a power had arisen, and 
was already making itself felt in the Prankish king- 
dom, which could counteract that influence, and by 
its authority sanction that which ancient custom and 
inheritance seemed to forbid. That was the Chris- 
tian church, the authority of whose religious sanc- 
tion might furnish just what was needed. 

The act of Pippin in procuring his coronation was 
not a usurpation nor a revolution ; these had already 
taken place. Pippin's act was one of political neces- 
sity, which had been so well and so long prepared 
that it took place almost without being perceived. 
Nor were the proper ceremonies and legal details 
wanting. With the advice and consent of all the 
Franks, Burchard, Bishop of Wiirzburg, a friend and 
pupil of Boniface, and Fulrad, Abbot of St. Denis, 
one of the principal ecclesiastics of Gaul, were sent 
to the Pope, Zacharias. At Rome they met another 
pupil and friend of Boniface, who had been despatched 
with secret and confidential messages for the Pope. 
These explained to him the insignificant position of 
the Merovingian king, who, though of royal lineage, 
had only the name of king, without any of the royal 
powers and prerogatives, except the signing of grants 
and charters. They asked if this were well or not. 
The Pope replied, in virtue of his apostolic authority, 
that it seemed to him to be better and more fitting 
that he should be king and receive the royal title who 
had the power in the kingdom rather than he who 
falsely was called king. Therefore he sent back word 

1 1 8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

to the king and people of the Franks that Pippin, 
who was exercising the royal power, should be called 
king and placed upon the throne. This was the 
authorization which had been desired. Accordingly, 
in the next year, 751, by the election of the people, 
having received the submission of the chiefs in ac- 
cordance with the ancient custom of the Franks, Pip- 
pin was raised to the throne in the city of Soissons, 
and that he might be rendered more worthy of this 
honor, he, with his queen, Bertrada, received the holy 
anointing ; but Childeric, who was falsely called king, 
had his head shaven and was sent to a monastery. 
The long, flowing locks, symbol of royal dignity, 
were cut away, and the tonsure, sign of the renuncia- 
tion of worldly ambitions, took their place.^ 

Thus took place that act of most solemn and mo- 
mentous significance to western Europe and to the 
Christian church, as well as to the Frankish kingdom 
and to the Roman Papacy. There is no need of trying 
to justify the act ; its historical explanation lies in the 
fact that it took place orderly and peaceably, as an 
evident political necessity. Its manifest advantage 
to all persons concerned except the poor last rem- 
nant of the royal line, and, above all, the absolute 
necessity, which the Pope had already felt and recog- 
nized, of having some strong arm near at hand if 
Rome was to be saved to the Papacy and the Papacy 
to the Western Church, are plainly seen. 

It was something more than a change of dynasty 

1 "Ann. Einhardi," an. 749, 750; "Ann. Laur.," an. 749, 750; 
"Ann. Lauriss. Min.," an. 750; " Fredegar. Cont.," c. 117; " Ann. 
Fuld.," an. 751, 752. 

Pippin King by the Grace of God. 1 1 9 

or a political revolution, or even usurpation. It 
effected a complete change in the very conception of 
the kingship, opened a new epoch in the relations 
between the ecclesiastical and the secular power, and 
began a marked epoch in the history of the church 

The Pope had waited for the imperial confirma- 
tion of the ruler of the East before entering upon 
his duties; he now found himself consecrating the 
new ruler of the West, that he might authoritatively 
perform his duties. The Pope had been seeking the 
assistance of this new power which had ari.sen in the 
West; he now found it seeking him. The kings of 
the Franks had ruled before by right of royal birth 
and national custom and support ; they were now 
kings by the grace of God, expressed by the part 
which the bishops of the church took in the election, 
by the anointing in the name of the head of the 
church at Rome. By this act the king was invested 
with a divine significance, he was made a part of the 
ecclesiastical order, and the union of the Prankish 
monarch with the ecclesiastical head of the Western 
Church was complete. 

The Pope had now received the submission and 
resignation of two kings; for Rachis, Liutprand's 
successor as king of the Lombards, having once more 
renewed the contest and besieged Perugia, had met 
the Pope, and had come within the magic circle of 
that influence so majestic and awe-filling that it 
seemed almost divine, and he had not only given up 
the contest and restored the places already taken, but 
had laid his crown at the feet of the successor of the 

1 20 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Prince of the Apostles, and had retired humbly and 
devoutly to the monastery of Monte Cassino. 

And now the Pope had been asked to exercise 
again that mighty spiritual authority which he held 
as head of the Church of Rome and as the chief re- 
ligious authority of his time, whose source no man 
questioned and whose limit no man knew, to sanc- 
tion the overthrow of a royal house which had held 
its sway for nearly three centuries, and to establish 
another line by a new ceremony and with a new 
meaning. " Already here in the eighth century is 
the whole future of the middle ages pictured forth in 
miniature." ^ It is to be noted that it was not by his 
own seeking that there came to the Pope that mighty 
power of deposing and setting up kings. It was 
given, yes, almost forced upon him, and the founda- 
tions laid for that lofty height on which Innocent 
III. stood, v/ith kings and kingdoms and the empire 
at his feet, when it was said to him : 

" Not God thou art, nor man, neither and yet between, 
Whom God himself has made his partner and ally. 
Sharing with thee the universal sway. 
Desiring not alone to govern all, 
But giving earth to thee, reserving heaven to himself. "2 

The anointing was not an absolutely new ceremony 
in the West. It had been used for the first time in 
the later monarchy of the Visigoths, after the con- 
version of Recarred, when the church became quite 

1 Hegel, vol. i., p. 208. 

2 Translated from a poem of the thirteenth century, written by 
Geofifrey Vinsauf. Quoted by Lea, " Studies in Church History," 
p. 387- 

Had Clovis been Anointed? 121 

powerful in Spain. ^ It had been introduced into 
England also, though the exact date is uncertain. 
This was its first appearance, however, among the 
Franks. Clovis had been baptized, it is true, by 
Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, and his people had fol- 
lowed his example ; but there does not appear to 
have been any thought of an ecclesiastical anointing 
of Clovis as king ; that is the addition of later legends. 
Indeed, Clovis, who with difficulty, and only after 
having been a king for over ten years, was brought 
to baptism and the acceptance of the Christian faith, 
and who was already possessed of royal power, trac- 
ing his right to his birth in a royal family descending 
from the gods, would have been the last to assent to 
it ; nor is there any evidence that his Merovingian 
successors were made kings in any other way than 
by the good old German custom of the shouts of the 
people, the clash of arms, and the elevation on the 
shield. As has been pointed out,^ the words on 
which Lehuerou relied to prove a consecration of 
Clovis are unquestionably the forgery of a later time. 3 
Furthermore, Lehuerou himself admits, on the very 
next page, that it is in the official documents of the 
early Carolingians that one meets for the first time 
the grand formula, "king by the grace of God." In 
truth, this act of raising Pippin to the Franklsh throne 
set aside the claims of a pagan right divine, based on 
a lineage derived from the gods, and substituted for 
it a Christian right divine, based on the authority of 

1 Probably also in tlae case of Wamba, the Visigothic king, in 672. 
(Alzog, vol. ii., p. 127, note 3.) 

2 Waitz, vol. iii., p. 64, note 2. 3 Lehuerou, pp. 328, 329. 

1 2 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

the church and on the consecration at her hands. 
Thus the church by her authority released the Franks 
from their oath of allegiance to the royal family of 
their ancient kings, and conferred upon Pippin that 
which was lacking in the hereditary right of birth in 
the royal family. This consideration ought to go far 
towards settling that vexed question on which so 
many volumes have been written, — whether the Pope 
made Pippin king, — and it shows just what was 
effected by papal authority. 

Thus Pippin was crowned king, and the allegiance 
of the Franks, by the authority of the Pope, was 
transferred to him. Their chief was well chosen. 
Pippin was brave, resolute, and almost always victo- 
rious. This is well illustrated by a story that on one 
occasion a furious encounter was taking place between 
a bull and a lion. Pippin sprang into the arena, cut 
off the heads of both with his massive sword, and, 
turning to his courtiers, said, " Am I not worthy of 
being your king? " And yet, as has been truly said, 
between the towering proportions of his father and 
of his son, the one the victor of Tours, and the other 
the first Emperor of the West, the historic stature of 
Pippin himself is dwarfed beneath its due proportions. 
To his power as chief was added the authority of 
king. The time was well chosen. The kingdom, as 
it were, had been founded anew. All opposition of 
the princes had been put down. Neustria and 
Austrasia were firmly united, as is shown by the fact 
that the same ecclesiastical synods were held for both 
districts in common. The weapons of war were at 
rest. Peace ruled at home and abroad. 



T has been shown already that Gregory 
II. had opposed any break with the em- 
peror, knowing full well that such a step 
would leave the Papacy helpless before 
the power and ambitions of the Lombard 
king.i Under Gregory III., however, the opposition 
engendered by the iconoclastic zeal of the emperor 
became more apparent. Soon after his consecration 
in 731, he held a synod of the clergy, nobles, and 
people of Rome, at which a sentence of excommuni- 
cation was decreed against the iconoclasts, thus re- 
newing the controversy " which," as Gregorovius 
says, " had now become little else than the symbol 
of division between the church and the absolutism of 
the state." ^ The presence of the lay element at this 
synod is significant, and it is also to be noted that 
the enumeration of the attendants includes the three 
classes which made up Rome.^ 

1 See above, p. 89. 2 Gregorovius, vol. ii., p. 242. 

3 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 416, c. 3. 

1 24 The Age of Charlemagne. 

It was recognized beyond a doubt that if the im- 
perial power was too weak to protect the Pope 
against the Lombards, it was too weak to keep him 
in a strict dependence, and he became more and more 
independent and better able to take advantage of 
the position which, as head of the Roman Church, 
he had come to hold in all Italy. This power, as we 
have seen, was greatly advanced by Gregory I., and 
was established on the deep and firm foundation of 
the actual position of the Pope as defender of the 
people against temporal injustice and wrong, as well 
as acknowledged head of the Western Church.i But 
it was the invasion of the Lombards and the struggles 
against them, in which the popes were the most effec- 
tive leaders, as well as the weakness of the emperor, 
becoming ever more and more apparent, that, hu- 
manly speaking, established the papal power in the 
eighth century. So that it has been well said : "The 
independence of the popes was struck like a spark 
between the rival temporal powers that divided 
Italy." 2 

The iconoclastic controversy helped on the move- 
ment of separation. In 733 the emperor despatched 
a fleet to punish the Pope for the threatening acts of 
his council ; but the fleet having been shipwrecked in 
the Adriatic, the emperor took his revenge by trans- 
ferring the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Sicily, of 
Calabria, and of Illyricum from the Bishop of Rome 
to the Patriarch of Constantinople. This act had a 
decisive influence on the history of southern Italy 
throughout the middle ages, and made the ecclesias- 
1 See above, pp. 97-99. ^ Bury, vol. ii., p. 156. 

Political Interests of the Popes. 125 

tical division between old Rome and New Rome 
conform to the boundary between the Latin and 
Greek nationalities, thus tending to make more pro- 
nounced the real difference between the Latin and 
Greek churches. Papal authority in the imperial 
possessions was limited to Rome, Ravenna, and 
Venice. This separation of southern Italy was ren- 
dered easier by the fact that Greek colonization had 
already made that part of Italy a Greek land. 

At about this same time, however, Gregory came 
into the possession of Gallese, a fortified place in Ro- 
man Tuscany, the acquisition being the result, it is said, 
of a secret treaty with the Duke of Spoleto. A little 
later, in 739, the dukes of Spoleto and of Benevento 
obtained the support of Gregory in their opposition to 
Liutprand by promising to aid the papal cause. Thus 
the Pope was drawn into entangling alliances with 
these Lombard dukes, and interfered with the internal 
affairs of the Lombard kingdom, though in so doing 
he showed himself the protector and defender of an 
independent Roman state. Furthermore, although 
the forms of the imperial control were allowed to re- 
main, the popes were gradually, but surely, freeing 
Italy from dependence upon Constantinople, at the 
same time resisting the encroachments of the Lom- 
bards, and giving to the Italian spirit of nationality 
a centre of support and a source of enthusiasm. The 
temporal power of the Papacy made it possible for it 
to use its two greatest powers, its great wealth and 
the religious awe which it inspired, for the furtherance 
of the national movement in Italy, although this was 
hardly the purpose for which the Papacy had been 

126 The Age of Charlemagne. 

established, and to which, at first, it had been de- 
voted. More and more, as it took a political position, 
it became subject to political considerations and in- 
fluences, and its higher mission was lost or subordi- 
nated to its new obligations and ambitions. 

The alliance of the Pope with the Southern dukes 
was renewed. Liutprand attacked Spoleto, but its 
duke fled to Rome, and the Lombard king found 
himself face to face with the Roman army under the 
Duke of Rome, the imperial officer of the Roman 
duchy. The Duke of Spoleto was enabled to return 
to his dominions, but Liutprand seized and occupied 
the four cities of Amelia, Orte, Bomarzo, and Blera. 
The Duke of Spoleto, having obtained his object, 
suff"ered his zeal in support of the Papacy to flag, and 
Gregory, recognizing the inadequacy of either Italian 
or imperial alliances in his struggle with the Lom- 
bards, appealed to Charles Martel.^ In a second let- 
ter the Pope sought to justify the aid given to the 
dukes of Spoleto and of Benevento in their revolt 
against Liutprand, but he said nothing about the tak- 
ing of the four cities in 739. Charles made no defi- 
nite answer, as we have seen,^ but confined himself 
to general expressions of respect and interest ; the 
persons he sent into Italy probably told him that the 
Pope had brought upon himself the difficulties of 
which he complained, by interfering unnecessarily in 
the aff'airs of the Lombard king.^ 

Gregory III. died soon after, and within four days 

1 Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 14-18, Ep. I, 2, A.D. 739, 740. 

2 See above, p. 102. 

3 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 425, note 34. 

Pope Zacharias. 127 

of his death Zacharias succeeded to the Papacy, 
fully prepared and well able to carry on the policy 
of resistance to the Lombards. The right of imperial 
confirmation of the Pope had been transferred to the 
exarch in 685, or perhaps as early as 642/ thus 
avoiding long delays, though greatly increasing the 
influence of the exarch. There is no record, however, 
that Zacharias did more than announce his election 
and consecration to the emperor. 

It is a significant fact that he was the last of an 
almost unbroken series of Greeks and Syrians in the 
papal line for nearly a century. During his pontifi- 
cate he gave evidence of great courage and self-reli- 
ance, as well as of marked diplomacy and skill. The 
papal biographer describes him as a very mild and 
genial man, slow to anger and quick to pity, never 
rendering evil for evil, nor taking even deserved 
revenge, but pious and merciful, doing good to 
his evil persecutors, and promoting them to honor.2 
Liutprand and his nobles being present on one oc- 
casion when the Pope was consecrating a bishop, it 
is reported that "many of the Lombards were 
moved to tears by the very manner of his saying 
prayers." ^ 

At the time of his accession the death of Charles 
Martel had left the Prankish government in a con- 
fused condition, without a king,* and with three 
brothers, Karlmann, Pippin, and Grifo, at variance 

1 Hodgkin, vol. vi., p. 530, note 3. 

2 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 426, c. I. 

3 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 428, c. lo. 

* The king had died four years before, and Charles had not thought 
it worth while to set up another. See above, p. 103. 

128 The Age of Charlemagne. 

with one another. Consequently, until affairs were 
settled there, no alliance could be formed. 

The Pope therefore made a treaty with Liutprand, 
in which the Duke of Spoleto was left to his fate, the 
king promising to restore to the Pope the four cities, 
Amelia, Orte, Bomarzo, and Biera, which he had 
seized two years before from the emperor. This was 
the third donation to the Pope from the Lombard 
conquests. He also bestowed upon the Pope the 
Sabine district, and restored several ecclesiastical 
estates. In conclusion he made a treaty of peace 
with the duchy of Rome to last for twenty years. 
Being now at the height of his power, he proceeded 
to attack Ravenna, which he had captured once be- 
fore, but which the Venetians had recovered. The 
exarch now appealed to the Pope, who hastened to 
the court of Liutprand, after all messages and em- 
bassies had proved fruitless. Here, for the third time, 
the eloquence of a pope, and the awe which he was 
able to inspire, accomplished what arms had failed to 
do, and Liutprand withdrew his forces and resigned 
his conquests. Even the third part, which he had 
retained as a pledge, he afterwards handed over to 
the " repubHc"! 

The death of Liutprand, who had shown himself a 
noble, strong, and brave king, except in the presence 
of the Pope, removed an ever-threatening danger, and 
left Zacharias master of the situation. Friendly re- 
lations with the empire were restored, and the im- 
perial power in Italy was acknowledged in the persons 
of the exarch in Ravenna and of the duke in Rome. 
1 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 431, c. 15. 

Rulers become Monks. 129 

At the request of the Pope, the emperor bestowed 
upon the church the cities Mirfa and Norma in La- 
tium, as a sort of compensation for the loss incurred 
in Sicily and Calabria.^ This he might well do, as he 
owed to the Pope the preservation from the Lom- 
bards of all that the empire held in Italy. 

It was before this same pope that two great rulers 
— Karlmann of the Franks in 747, and Rachis, for- 
merly Duke of Friuli, and successor to Liutprand 
as King of the Lombards, in 749 — renounced their 
high positions and embraced the monastic life. The 
resignation of Rachis, though doubtless flattering to 
the church and to papal diplomacy, was not advan- 
tageous to the papal interests, for his brother Aistulf, 
who succeeded him as King of the Lombards, was a 
much fiercer and more valiant warrior, and, despite 
his many promises, was firmly determined to carry 
out the policy of opposing Rome and of establishing 
the Lombard rule over all Italy. Indeed, it has been 
suggested that it was probably the dissatisfaction 
with the weak and yielding policy which Rachis had 
begun to exhibit that influenced, if it did not bring 
about, his decision to retire to a monastery. The 
aggressive policy of Aistulf, however, drove the 
Pope to look with favor upon a renewal of the rela- 
tions with the Franks, which had ceased since the 
death of Charles Martel ; and the embassy which 
Pippin sent on the subject of the Frankish kingship 
returned with a favorable response, and the conse- 
cration of Pippin as king by the bishops of the Frank- 
ish church, with the approbation and authorization 

1 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. {.."p. 433, c. 20. 

130 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of the Pope, was the result. Although some shreds 
of the formalities connecting Rome with the empire 
still remained, and the papal documents until 772 
continued to bear the name and date of the emperor,^ 
this act of consecration, and its consequences, to- 
gether with the conquest of Ravenna by the Lom- 
bards and the downfall of the exarchate, presently 
to be noticed, practically ended all real connection 
between Italy and Constantinople. 

Note.— In an old manuscript of Gregory of Tours has been found 
a note written on one of the pages by a monk of St. Denis, in the year 
767. He records that Pippin and his sons, " by the providence of 
God, were consecrated with the sacred chrism as kings thirteen years 
before (754). For the said most flourishing, pious lord, King Pippin, 
by the authority and command {imperhtm) of the lord Pope Zacharias 
of sacred memory, and by the anointing of the holy chrism by the hands 
of the blessed priests of the Gauls, and by the election of all the Franks 
three years before (751), had been exalted to the throne of the kingdom. 
Afterwards by the hands of the Pontiff Stephen, in the Church of 
the Blessed Martyrs (St. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius), he was 
anointed and blessed as King and Patrician, together with his sons 
Charles and Karlmann. Blessing was also pronounced upon his wife, 
Bertrada, and the Frankish princes, and all were constrained by threats 
of interdict and excommunication never to presume to elect a king 
from another race." (" Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 458, note 31.) 

1 Jaff^, " Regesta Pontif. Rom.," vol. i., pp. 289, 290, No. 2395. 



ACHARIAS died before he could claim 
his reward for the consecration of Pippin, 
perhaps even before the consecration.^ 
Stephen II. having died immediately- 
after his election, the next pope, Stephen 
III., sometimes called Stephen II,, soon found him- 
self in the greatest need. Already, in 751, Aistulf 
had conquered Ravenna and brought the rule of the 
exarchs to an end.- For a moment, however, even he 
yielded to the persuasions of Stephen, and renewed the 
treaty of peace made by Liutprand ; but, repenting of 

1 According to Sickel, Miihlbacher, and others, Pippin was raised 
to the throne in November,'75i (Boehmer, vol. i., p. 30). Some put 
it as late as 752 (Gregorovius, vol. ii., p. 267, note 2). Zacharias 
died March 14, 752 (" Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 435, c. 29). 

2 " Eutychius (727-752) is the last exarch of whom we have any 
mention." (Hodgkin, vol. vi., p. 537.) 


1 3 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

his weakness, he demanded a heavy tribute, and pre- 
pared to put into effective operation his designs upon 
Rome. The papal ambassadors were not even re- 
ceived, and were sent back to their monasteries with 
orders not to see the Pope. The Pope heard with 
dismay of the advance of Aistulf and his breach of 
the treaty. He headed a solemn procession of clergy 
and people, barefooted, and with ashes sprinkled on 
their heads, and visited the shrines and holy places 
in the city, bearing the sacred image of Christ called 
the Acheropsita.^ Attached to the cross carried in 
the procession was the treaty of peace which Aistulf 
so perfidiously had broken. But religious processions 
were of no avail, and even the emperor could protect 
Rome no longer, for he had not been able to retain 
Ravenna. It was then that the step was taken for 
which the whole previous history had been preparing, 
and which was fraught with such far-reaching conse- 
quences. The exarchate had fallen, the emperor was 
powerless, and the Pope turned his back upon both, 
and placed himself and the church under the protec- 
tion of the Franks. The new king was reminded of 
the obligations he had incurred so recently, and was 
called upon to assume the responsibilities of his posi- 
tion. The first letters, unfortunately, are lost, but 
from a later one we learn that Pippin sent to Rome 

1 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 443, c. 11. 

" This is the first mention of this sacred picture. It is painted on 
wood, is dark, and is entirely Byzantine, representing the Saviour with 
a beard. It was used in processions in the middle ages, and on the 
vigil of the Assumption was washed in the Forum, as in former days 
the statue of Cybele in the Almo. The nocturnal procession, having 
degenerated into a bacchanal rout, was abolished by Pius V." (Grego- 
rovius, vol. ii., p. 274, note 2.) 

The Pope Crosses the Alps. 133 

Drochtegang, Abbot of Jumieges, and another mes- 
senger, who assured the Pope of the king's good 
will.^ Shortly afterwards, having learned that the 
Pope desired to enter the Prankish kingdom, Pippin 
and the whole assembly of the Franks despatched 
Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, and Duke Autchar to 
escort him. In the meanwhile an imperial order had 
been received in Rome commanding the Pope to 
demand in person from Aistulf the restoration of the 
exarchate. He accordingly began his journey in the 
middle of October, leaving the Lord's people {do- 
minica plebs) to the care of the Lord and of St. Peter. 
Before this, on similar occasions, they had been left 
to the imperial officer, the Duke of Rome. Proceed- 
ing directly to Pavia, he remained there a month, but 
his attempts at negotiation with Aistulf proved fruit- 
less. Owing to the mediation of his Prankish escorts, 
he was allowed to depart unmolested. Proceeding 
on his way, he was met by two more messengers of 
the king, — Pulrad, Abbot of St. Denis," and Duke 
Rothard, — sent to conduct him to the presence of 
the king. 

It is a significant fact that Stephen was the first 
Roman bishop to cross the Alps. Tradition, indeed, 
tells of an earlier visit by Gregory III. to Charles 
Martel in 741, but it seems extremely improbable.^ 

During the summer the king had been engaged in 
a campaign against the Saxons, who, " according to 

1 Jaff^, vol. iv., p. 32, Ep. 4, A.D. 753. 

2 He had been one of the messengers sent to gain the papal consent 
to Pippin's coronation. 

3 Alzog accepts it on the authority of Johann von Miiller (Alzog, vol. 
ii., p. 143, note i). 

134 The Age of Charlemagne. 

their custom," as the chronicler says, had broken 
out again in rebelHon, and had put to death Hildigar, 
Bishop of Cologne.^ In this campaign he had been 
successful, having forced them to the tribute of three 
hundred horses annually, and to receive again the 
Christian missionaries. On his return he received 
the report of the death of Grifo, his half-brother. 
A little later came the news that Pope Stephen had 
crossed the Alps and was already in the kingdom. 
At this Pippin was greatly pleased, and sent his eldest 
son, then twelve years of age, to meet him and con- 
duct him to the court. Thus the young Charles, later 
to be known as Charles the Great, met the Bishop of 
Rome. With great honor the Pope was escorted to 
Ponthion, where the king was spending the winter. 
The meeting took place on the 6th of January, the 
feast of the Epiphany. It was indeed a most mo- 
mentous occasion, signifying as it did the alliance of 
the church of the old empire with the new kingdom 
of the West. 

Elaborate details of the meeting are given by 
the papal biographer. Pippin rode out a distance 
of three miles, where he dismounted, and, with great 
humility, prostrate on the ground, with his wife 
and sons and nobles, received the Pope, and in 
the office of a groom walked beside him for some 
distance. Then with chants and hymns the whole 
procession made its way to the palace. There, seated 
in the chapel, the Pope, with tears in his eyes, be- 

1 Hildigar was the bishop who in controversy with Boniface had 
claimed the church of Utrecht, in Friesland, as dependent upon him- 
self. See Neander, vol. iii., p. 71. 

Meeting of Pippin and the Pope. 1 3 5 

sought the king that by a treaty of peace he would 
settle the cause of the blessed Peter and of the re- 
public of the Romans.i xhe Prankish chroniclers 
add that, " on the following day, the Pope, with his 
clergy, clad in haircloth and sprinkled with ashes, 
prostrate on the ground, besought the king, by the 
mercy of Almighty God, and by the merits of the 
blessed apostles Peter and Paul, to free him and the 
Roman people from the hand of the Lombards and 
from the service of the haughty King Aistulf. Nor 
would he rise from the ground until the king, with 
his sons and the nobles, stretched forth the hand 
and raised him from the ground in token of their 
future aid and dehverance." ^ 

It was at this time that Pippin promised to restore 
that which the Lombards had seized, and to free the 
church from their power, a promise which was ratified 
and confirmed by the national assembly or diet at 
which all the Franks were assembled according to 
regular custom. 

The regular national assembly at which affairs of 
state were settled seems to have been held in March 
at Braisne, as appears from the Continuator of 
Fredigarius and the " Annals of Metz." The life of 
Stephen and that of Hadrian, given in the Pontifical 
Book, assign these acts to an assembly at Kiersey ; 
but it appears from Labbe's " Councils " (lib. iv., 
p. 1650) that ecclesiastical matters regarding baptism 
and marriage were settled here. 

At one or the other, however, the nobles gave 

1 "Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., pp. 447, 448, c. 25, 26. 

2 " Chron. Moiss.," an. 741-754; " M. G. SS.," vol. i., p. 293. 

136 The Age of Charlemagne. 

their assent to the war with the Lombards, not with- 
out a good deal of persuasion, for there seems to 
have been a strong Lombard party among them. 
Already in 753 Stephen had addressed a special 
letter to them adjuring them to support Pippin in 
all that he might do for the welfare of the blessed 
Peter, Prince of the Apostles.^ It is to this state of 
affairs Einhard refers when he speaks of the expedi- 
tion undertaken by Pippin at the supplication of 
Pope Stephen, " after great difficulties, for some of the 
chief men of the Franks with whom he was wont to 
consult were so opposed to his will that they openly 
declared they would leave the king and return home. "2 

At this assembly, probably, was drawn up the 
famous donation of Pippin, the acknowledged basis 
of the later grant by Charles the Great, and the main 
foundation of the temporal possessions of the Pope.^ 

The transactions are thus alluded to in the papal 
letters : " You [Pippin and his sons] have earnestly 
endeavored to establish the rights of the blessed 
Peter as far as you could, and by a deed of donation* 
your goodness has confirmed the restitution. . . . By 
your own will, by a deed of donation, you confirmed 
the restitution of the cities and places belonging to 
the blessed Peter and to the holy church of God and 
to the republic. . . . And what you have once 
promised to the blessed Peter, and by your donation 
confirmed by your own hand, hasten to render and 

1 Jafif^, vol. iv., p. T,T„ Ep. 5, A.D. 753. 

2 Einhard, "Vita," c. 6. 

3 Boehmer, vol. i., p. 33; Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 87-90; Gregorovius, 
vol. ii., pp. 278-287. 

* Per donationis paginam. 

Pippins Do7tatioii. 137 

to give up; for it is better not to promise than to 
promise and not to perform." ^ " Quickly and with- 
out delay render to the blessed Peter the cities and 
places and all the hostages and captives and all things 
contained in the donation which you have promised 
to the blessed Peter by your donation." ^ " For knov/ 
that the Prince of the Apostles holds firmly that 
donation of yours in your own handwriting.^ And 
it is necessary that you carry out that which you 
yourself have written,^ lest when the just Judge shall 
come in fire to judge the living and the dead and the 
world, that Prince of the Apostles showing that very 
autograph as having no validity, you are forced to 
employ very vacillating excuses with him."^ 

However this might be, the deed, which, we can 
hardly doubt, really existed, is lost, and it would be 
difficult to carry out this threat, even if there were 
no other obstacles in the way. Nor have we any 
definite idea as to its contents ; indeed, it was prob- 
ably as indefinite and general in its terms as the 
foregoing quotations would imply. But already, as 
the Pope afterwards reminds the two sons of Pippin, 
the promise had been made to the blessed Peter, his 
vicar, and his successors, " that you would be friends 
to our friends and enemies to our enemies, as also 
we have determined to remain firm in the same prom- 
ise ; . . . for it is written, ' he that receiveth you re- 
ceiveth me,'^and he that despisethyou despiseth me.' " ^ 

1 Jaff^, vol. iv., pp. 35, 36, Ep. 6, a.d. 755. 

2 Jaff^, vol. iv., p. 41, Ep. 7, A.D. 755. 

3 Cyrographiim vestram donationem. * Ipsnm cyrographum. 
5 Jaff4, vol. iv., p. 41, Ep. 7, A.D. 755. 6 St. MaU. x. 40. 
■? St. Luke X. 16; Jaff^, vol. iv., pp. 160, 161, Ep. 47, a.d. 769. 

138 The Age of Charlemagne. 

It was in consideration of such promises given and 
received that the union was established between the 
Frankish kingdom and the Roman Church, On July 
28, 754, in Paris, in the Church of St. Denis, the Pope, 
as vicar on earth of St. Peter and of Christ,^ conse- 
crated Pippin and his two sons, Charles and Karl- 
mann, as kings of the Franks, joining in his blessing 
Pippin's wife also, the Queen Bertrada, as well as the 
nobles and chiefs of the Franks, binding all, by threats 
of interdict and excommunication, never to presume 
to choose one of another race as king.^ Upon Pippin 
and his sons he conferred the additional title of Pa- 
trician of the Romans. This title was one which the 
earlier emperors had been wont to bestow upon bar- 
barian kings, and had been borne in this way by 
Odoacer, Theodoric, and Clovis. As such it appears 
to have been a merely honorary title, but it is signifi- 
cant that at this time it had been borne by the exarch 
whom Aistulf had just overthrown. 

Though legally it could be conferred only by the 
emperor, yet as conferred by the Pope it might serve 
to identify permanently the King of the Franks with 
the interests of the city and its lord, the Pope, as 
patron or protector. It may be noted that the Pope 
does not connect together patrician and protector, 
but rather connects the defence of Rome with the 
anointing as king.-^ 

It may be maintained, however, that by this title 
of Patrician Stephen sought to express, by a formal 

1 Jaff^, vol. iv., pp. 34, 37. 

2 " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 448, c. 27; Boehmer, vol. i., p. 34. 

3 Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 36, Ep. 6, p. 38, Ep. 7, a.d. 755. 

Patrician of the Romans. 139 

term, the legal obligation to support and to defend 
the Roman Church and possessions in Italy. To this 
obligation he regarded Pippin as morally bound in 
consideration of his consecration of Pippin as king.^ 

The title of Patrician had been held by a long Hne 
of exarchs at Ravenna,^ and now that the exarchate 
had been destroyed it might be deemed wise by the 
Pope to transfer its title and relation to the church 
to some more able upholder. Whether the Pope, 
by conferring this title, intended to confer or did 
confer any power of government or control, as Hegel 
affirms,^^ may be doubted. At any rate, hardly will 
it be claimed that Pippin exercised any such power 
in Rome, though the next Pope, Paul I., before his 
consecration, announced his elevation to Pippin in 
the same terms in which his predecessors had an- 
nounced their elections to the exarchs.^ 

1 Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 85, 86; Bollinger, "Charles the Great," 
pp. 92-98; Gregorovius, vol. ii., pp. 281-284; Ducange, " Glossa- 
rium," s. v. " Patricius." 

2 "Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 403, c. 15, p. 404, c. 16 (Paulus), 
p. 405, c. 19 (Eutychius). On p. 416, c. 4, Sergius is mentioned as 
Patrician of Sicily. Also in the letters of Gregory I. the governors 
of provinces are addressed as Patrician. See " The Epistles of 
St. Gregory the Great," bk. vi., Ep. 57; " Nicene Fathers," second 
series, vol. xii., p. 205. 

3 Hegel, vol. i., pp. 209, 210. 

* " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 466, note i ; Jaff^, vol. iv., pp. 67, 68, 
Ep. 12, A.D. 757, April or May. His consecration took place May 
29, 757, thirty-five days after Stephen's death. 



ISTULF now recognized the fact that 
the struggle for Italy must be fought out 
with the Franks unless he could nullify 
the papal influence. In the midst of the 
events of the famous year 754, and prob- 
ably just before the consecration in July, Karlmann, 
the king's brother, came from his monastery of 
Monte Cassino to urge Pippin not to yield to the 
pope's persuasions. It was said that he came, and 
that his abbot ordered his coming unwillingly, but 
that being in the Duchy of Benevento — that is, on 
Lombard territory, they were forced to yield to 
Aistulf's wishes.' Pippin, however, told his brother 
that he could not do other than what he had prom- 

• " Einhardi Ann.," an. 753 ; M. G. SS., vol. i,, p. 139. 

Pippins Offer Refused. 141 

ised to the Roman chief. He then ordered Karl- 
mann to be seized and taken to the monastery of 
Vienne, where he died that same year.' 

Pippin then turned his attention to the Lombards. 
Crossing the Alps, he sent forward his messengers 
to Aistulf, demanding the immediate cessation of 
hostihties against the holy church, whose defender 
he declared himself to be by divine ordination, re- 
quiring also the restoration of the territory already 
seized. Aistulf insolently refused to do anything 
except to show Pippin the way home. The mes- 
sengers replied : " Pippin will not depart until you 
return to St. Peter the Pentapolis and all the other 
cities and territory unjustly taken from the Roman 
people ; but he offers to pay in consideration twelve 
thousand solidi." Fortunately for the future firm 
establishment of the papal power, Aistulf refused 
this offer and dismissed the messengers with angry 
threats. Pope Stephen by his letters endeavored 
to bring about a peaceable settlement in order to 
avoid bloodshed, but without avail.' The arms of 
Pippin, however, soon accomplished what gentler 
measures had failed to effect, and Aistulf, besieged 
in Pavia, promised all that was demanded, and be- 
sides yielding up the captured territory, promised 
to pay thirty thousand solidi and a yearly tribute 
of five thousand to Pippin. In pledge of this he 
gave as hostages forty of his nobles.' Aistulf, how- 

' " Ann. Mett.,"an. 754; " Einhardi Ann.," an. 753 ; M. G. SS., 
vol. i., pp. 332 and 139 ; " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., pp. 448, 449, c. 30 ; 
Boehmer, vol. i., p. 25. 

' "Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 449, c. 33. 

2 "Ann. Mett.," an. 754 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 332. 

142 The Age of Charlemagne. 

ever, all danger from the Franks being removed, 
broke the agreement which Pippin had extorted 
from him, and refused to restore the cities which 
he had seized. Stephen had evidently foreseen that 
something of this sort would happen, for he had 
strenuously urged Pippin to remain in Italy until 
the Lombards had evacuated Ravenna and the rest 
of the captured territory. It was probably in conse- 
quence of Pippin's refusal or inability to comply 
with this request that the pope secured from him at 
this time a written guarantee that the restitution 
should be made, even if the Prankish army had to 
cross the Alps again to force the perfidious Lom- 
bard to fulfil his promise. That which the pope 
had feared had come to pass. 

In the very next year Aistulf's army thundered 
at the gates of Rome. The pope therefore wrote 
as follows : " Pope Stephen to his sons and most 
excellent lords, Pippin, Charles, and Karlmann, 
kings and patricians of the Romans." He reminded 
them of their earnest desire to secure St. Peter's 
rights, and that they had confirmed the promised 
restitution by a deed of donation. " However, not 
one inch of land," he says, " was allowed to go back 
to the blessed Peter and the holy church of God, the 
Republic of the Romans. Besides, from the very 
day on which we parted from each other he (Aistulf) 
has tried to harass us, and to bring the holy church 
of God into disgrace." He asks them to trust him 
rather than the lying Lombards, and promises them 
victory, and urges them to restore and hand over to 
the church all that by the " donation" they had 

Papal Appeals, 143 

authorized him to present to St. Peter. " Hasten, 
therefore, to perform what you have promised by 
your donation, confirmed by your own hand. ' For 
the blessed Apostle Paul said, Better is it not to vow, 
than after having vowed not to pay.' " * " And 
you will render an account to God and the blessed 
Peter in the dreadful day of judgment, how you 
have labored for the cause of that prince of the apos- 
tles and for restoring his cities and places." " This 
good work has been reserved for you. No one of 
your ancestors deserved such an effulgent reward, 
but God pre-elected and foreknew you before in- 
finite time, as it is written, ' whom he foreknew and 
predestinated them he also called, and whom he 
called them he also justified.'^ You have been 
called, strive to do justice to the prince of the apos- 
tles without delay, because it has been written. 
Faith is justified by works.' ' Farewell, most ex- 
cellent sons." * 

In spite of this appeal Pippin made no expedition 
against the Lombards at this time, and before the 
year was over he received a second letter from the 
pope, similar in style and contents, only more urgent 
and pressing.' Pippin, however, refused. Affairs 
at home were pressing. The usual spring assembly 
was held in March, though it was decided to hold 
the meeting after this year in May instead of in 

' Unfortunately for Stephen's knowledge of Scripture, this 
verse is Ecclesiastes v. 5, the nearest approach to it in the New 
Testament being Acts v. 4. 

' An attempt to quote Romans viii. 29, 30. 

^ Cf. St. James ii. 22, 24. 

* Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 34-37 ; Ep. 6, A.D. 755. 

' See quotations on p. 137, 

144 'r^^^ -^S^ of Charlemagne. 

March,' and the name was changed from Marfield 
to Maifield. This change, by which the time of the 
assembly was made two months later, is significant, 
as the result of the change in the army introduced 
by Charles Martel. The war with the Saracens re- 
quired a more extended use of cavalry than that to 
which the early Germans had been accustomed in 
the forests and morasses of their northern homes, 
and the southern plains, where their contests now 
for the most part took place, allowed the freer use 
of horses. The need of forage, therefore, in the 
expeditions, which followed upon the holding of the 
assembly at which it was decided, required the hold- 
ing of that assembly later, when the feeding would 
be in better condition. 

Meanwhile the pope's distress increased, and three 
letters followed each other in quick succession in 
the early part of 756. The first was sent not only 
to the three kings and patricians, but also " to all 
bishops, abbots, presbyters, and monks, as well as 
to the dukes, counts, and the whole army in the 
name of the pope and all the bishops, presbyters, 
deacons, dukes, the keepers of the records, counts, 
tribunes, and the whole people and army of the 
Romans." " 

The worst had happened. Evils had come thick 
and fast. The city itself was attacked. On every 
side it was surrounded by the Lombards, devastat- 
ing with fire and sword. Churches were pillaged 
and burned, images of the saints and ornaments of 

' "Ann. Petav. Contin.," an. 755 ; Pertz. M. G. SS., i., p. 11. 
" Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 34-4S ; Ep. 8, A.D. 756. 

A Letter from St. Peter. 145 

the altars were destroyed. With a superstition com- 
mon even to robbers and murderers the Catacombs 
were entered, and reHcs of the saints carried away 
as objects of reverence and worship. 

Fifty-five days did Rome endure the siege, and 
the Lombard king had called aloud in his fury : 
" Behold you are surrounded by us, let the Franks 
come now and snatch you out of our hands." " In- 
deed," wrote the pope, " after God the lives of the 
Romans are in the hands of the Franks. If they 
perish the nations will say : ' Where is the trust of 
the Romans which they had, after God, in the kings 
and people of the Franks?' " He then proceeds 
with alternating prayers and threats and promises 
of reward, appealing to every instinct and passion 
which might be present in the Frankish breast. 
This letter he accompanied with one in a similar 
strain to Pippin personally. Finally, a letter was 
sent purporting to be written by St. Peter himself. 
Most of it has been translated by Dr. Mombert with 
appropriate comments.* It is filled with the most 
solemn adjurations and frightful threats. " I, Peter, 
the apostle of God . . . adjure you even as if I were 
bodily in the flesh, alive, and present before you, 
firmly to believe that the words of this exhortation 
are addressed to you, and that though I be bodily 
absent, I am spiritually present. """ " This letter," 
says Fleury,' " like those preceding it, is full of quib- 
bles. The church signifies not the company of be- 

' Mombert, "Charles the Great," pp. 44-48. 
' Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 55-60; Ep. 10, a.d. 756. 
' Fleury, " Eccl. Hist.," 1., xlvii., c. 17. Quoted by Mombert, 
1. c, p. 44, note I. 


146 The Age of Charlemagne. 

lievers, but temporal possessions consecrated to the 
service of God ; the flock of Christ is represented 
by the bodies, not by the souls of men ; the tem- 
poral promises of the ancient law are mixed up with 
the spiritual promises of the gospel, and the most 
sacred motives of religion are pressed into the ser- 
vice of a simple affair of state." 

These letters, however, met with an immediate 
response, and Pippin proceeded to cross the Alps 
again as Patrician of the Romans and Defender of 
the Church. Passing through Burgundy, he besieged 
and took Classe, a city taken by the Lombards at 
the beginning of the iconoclastic outbreak. On the 
march to Pavia he was met by messengers of the 
emperor, who urged him to restore the exarchate 
and the other cities to their lawful owner as soon as 
he regained them from the Lombards. Pippin re- 
fused point blank, asserting that by no consideration 
whatever could he be induced to allow those cities 
to be alienated from the power of the blessed Peter, 
and from the right of the Roman Church or the 
pontiffs of the Apostolic See, affirming also under 
oath that not for the favor of man had he devoted 
himself so often to the contest, but only for love of 
the blessed Peter and for the pardon of his sins, 
asserting this also that no abundance of treasure 
could induce him to take back that which he had 
once bestowed upon the blessed Peter.' 

The siege of Pavia forced Aistulf to surrender 
with a promise to fulfil his former oath of restitu- 
tion, and in addition to deliver to Pippin one third 
■ " Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 452, c. 43-45 ; Boehmer, vol. i., p. 37. 

The Foundation of the Temporal Power. 147 

of the treasure stored in Pavia, together with an an- 
nual tribute, and never more to rebel against him.' 

Roughly speaking, this restitution included, ac- 
cording to the early chronicles, Ravenna with the 
Pentapolis, and the whole of the exarchate. 

Foldrad, abbot of St. Denis, was commissioned 
to execute a treaty as far as it applied to the resti- 
tution of the cities. He accordingly went to each 
of them and received their hostages and signs of 
submission. He also took their keys, which to- 
gether with the donation he placed on the tomb of 
St. Peter, thus giving them " to that apostle of God 
and to his vicar, the most holy pope, and to all his 
successors forever to have in their possession and at 
their disposal." ^ 

This was the formal act on which was laid the 
foundations of the temporal power of the papacy. 
It will be well to stop for a moment to analyze it 
and to consider its justice and significance. 

We have noted the steps by which the popes 
came to exercise a certain temporal power in Italy, 

' In the life of Stephen it is declared that this restitution in- 
cludes Ravenna, Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Cesena, Sinigagiia, Jesi, 
Forlimpopoli, Forli, Urbino, Cagli, Gubbio, Marni, Commachio, 
but the exact territory is still a matter of dispute. Duchesne 
says, note 51, on p. 460 of " Lib. Pontif.": " The cities are probably 
those of the treaty and donation of 754, and represent probably all 
the conquests of Aistulf on imperial territory. At the death of 
Liutprand, the Lombard frontier extended between Imola and 
Ravenna, and all these places are situated east of a line between 
the Apennines and the Po, perpendicular to the route between 
Imola and Ravenna. As far as identified they are given above, 
to which may be added San Leo, Vobio or Bobio (Sarsina), Conca, 
Acerreagium and Serra. See Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 87-91 ; 218-220 ; 
Gregorovius, vol. ii., pp. 295-301 ; Bury, vol. ii., p. 500 ; Alzog., 
vol. ii., pp. 144-147. 

* "Lib. Pontif.," vol. i., p. 454, c. xlvii. 

148 The Age of Charlemagne. 

especially in the central and northern parts. At 
first only over the landed possessions or scattered 
estates of the church, but soon increasing and ex- 
tending to other parts of Italy, first, by reason of 
the strong personality, marked ability, and cour- 
ageous foresight of popes like Gregory I., II., and 
III.; secondly, on account of the demand for some 
strong central power to defend Rome against the 
attacks of the Lombards, to protect the Italians 
from the exorbitant taxation and irreverent zeal of 
the emperors, and from disunion and disintegration ; 
and, thirdly, because of the inability and weakness 
of the exarchate to fulfil this function, and the im- 
possibility of the emperor's doing it owing to his 
distance from the scene, and the battles in defence 
of Europe against the Avars, the Persians, and the 
Mahometans, which engaged all his attention and 
resources in the East. 

Thus gradually, almost unconsciously, without 
charters, decrees, or treaties, the bishop of Rome 
had come to be the recognized leader and director 
of the civilized forces of the West, and almost in- 
sensibly had come to be the self-appointed delegate 
or representative of the imperial power. In this 
last attack of the Lombards the imperial forces had 
utterly failed, the emperor could give no aid, the 
exarchate had been overthrown, and even the pope, 
as the only other representative of the imperial 
power, had been unable to accomplish anything 
directly against the greedy and victorious Aistulf. 
Surely the empire had forfeited all claims to its 
former possessions in the West. But the bishop of 

Pippins Gift of Temporal Power, i^g 

Rome, by the spiritual position and prestige which 
he had already gained, had sanctioned the transfer- 
ence of the kingly name and power from one family 
to another in a far Western kingdom, which had 
won its independence of the Roman Empire cen- 
turies before, and h^ had thereby established a 
strong power and gained an able and effective ally. 
Upon the representative of this new kingship he 
had bestowed the spiritual benediction and anoint- 
ing of the church, giving him as a seal of his mis- 
sion the title of patrician, not of the empire, but of 
the Romans, the people of the Apostolic Church of 
Peter, the chief of the apostles. The first repre- 
sentative of the new line of kings in the West cre- 
ated or estabhshed, not by the empire, but by the 
church, had won by force of arms from the enemies 
of the empire that which the empire had been un- 
able to keep. In fulfilment of his promise, he now 
restored to the church and Roman Republic, whose 
nominal head was the emperor, but whose real head 
was the pope, that temporal sovereignty which she 
had been gathering up as the empire had been let- 
ting it fall, which had actually passed into the hands 
of the Lombards, and now, by actual conquest by 
Pippin and by gift from him, she had received. The 
emperor had lost his power by inability to defend 
it. Pippin had gained it by conquest from the 
Lombards, the pope received it because he had ex- 
ercised it practically before the Lombard seized it, 
and because Pippin had been willing to bestow it 
upon him. 

What, then, was this power, and what was its sig- 

150 The Age of Charlemagne. 

nificance ? Pope Stephen III. speaks of it as the 
Republic of Rome, by which he apparently intended 
to signify the Roman State in general, the leader- 
ship and authority of Rome, which for so long a 
time had been personified in him, and so had come 
to be inseparably united with the power he exer- 
cised as bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter. 

Rome had increased in political importance till 
with the patrimony of St. Peter, consisting of cities 
and towns scattered over Italy and the island of 
Sicily, it became a sort of principality under the 
suzerainty of the Roman emperor. Thus the old 
idea of the Roman State was revived, and came to 
be considered a real republic with its own army {ex- 
ercitus romanus) and its own constitution and inter- 
ests, the papal. 

It was mainly by wealth and religious considera- 
tion that the popes had been brought into such a 
prominent political position, so that at the failure 
of the imperial rule the secular powers are found 
occupying a subordinate place. This is seen also in 
the way in which even the emperors recognized the 
influence which the popes were able to exercise over 
the Lombards. 

The republic, however, seems to denote no actual 
constitution, but is a phrase revived and used by 
Stephen and his successors to indicate a government 
independent of and apart from the empire. Just 
what was the form or extent of this power is not 
definitely stated. 

Pippin had driven off the Lombards who had har- 
assed and threatened the pope, and had interfered 

The Donation and the Temporal Power. 151 

with the power he was already exercishig in nom- 
inal dependence upon the emperor. By the dona- 
tion of this territory Pippin did undoubtedly cede 
to the church the cities of the exarchate and Pentap- 
olis free from imperial oversight and from Lom- 
bard encroachment. " As the Eastern emperor is 
no longer recognized as having any rights, no more 
does Pippin claim any such for himself ; nor was 
there in Rome any mention of an overlordship of 
Pippin. On the other hand, all connection with the 
emperor of the East was not given up in Rome, 
and the regnal years of the emperor continued to 
be used in assigning dates." ' 

But the great temporal power of the Roman See 
was not gained by any single act or stroke of policy, 
nor did it come all at once, nor was it definitely out- 
lined at each step of its progress. All has been told 
that can be known at the present. A further de- 
velopment and a greater definiteness will be noted 
under Charles the Great. 

Pippin returned home after his victories, but the 
new relations of the king and his people to the 
Lombards and to Rome had brought about great 
changes, and gave promise of still greater ones. 
For weal or fof woe, the new kingship was irrevoca- 
bly bound up with the papacy. 

On a hunting expedition at the close of the year 
Aistulf was killed by a fall, and the pope informs 
Pippin of the fact in a letter written in the spring 

' Waitz, iii., p. 89. This author, referring to Papencordt, 
p. 134, note, says that this was used for the last time in 772, but 
Bury, p. 503, gives 781 as the last year. 

152 The Age of Charle^nagne. 

of 757. " Aistulf, that tyrant and devil-follower, 
devourer of the blood of Christians, destroyer of 
the churches of God, has been struck by a divine 
blow and hurled into the abyss of hell." ' Having 
left no heir, the choice of the Lombards, " with 
the consent," we read, " of King Pippin and his 
nobles, " '^ turned to Desiderius, Duke of Tuscany, 
and he became their king. He immediately gained 
the pope's good will by restoring to him the cities 
which Aistulf had failed to surrender, although 
stipulated in the treaty. In April, 757, Stephen 
himself died, and his successor, Paul I., brother of 
Stephen, hastened to announce his election to " the 
new Moses and David." A letter also followed in 
the name of all the Senate and the whole body of 
the Roman people,' assuring him of their gratitude, 
and declaring that they will remain firm and faith- 
ful to the holy church and to Paul, by God's de- 
cree their lord, supreme pontiff, and universal pope." 
Desiderius, however, failed to fulfil all his promises, 
and, the pope having incited the Dukes of Bene- 
vento and Spoleto to revolt and to seek the pro- 
tection of the king of the Franks," he advanced 
against them, marching through Pentapolis, pillag- 
ing and devastating on every side. He even went 
so far as to propose an alliance with the emperor 
for the reconquest of Ravenna. At the same time 
he met the pope in Rome, and after some negotia- 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 64 ; Ep. 11, a.d. 757. 

"^ "Ann. Met.," an. 756 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 333. 

^ Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 67, 68 ; Ep. 12, a.d. 757. 

* Ibid., pp. 69-72 ; Ep. 13, A.D. 757. 

' Ibid., pp. 74, 75 ; Ep. 15, A.D. 758. 

Papal Diplomacy. 153 

tions for the delivery of the cities still held back, 
Paul apparently consented to order a return of the 
hostages whom Aistulf had given to Pippin. The 
pope even sent a letter to Pippin, informing him 
that his most excellent son, King Desiderius, had 
come peaceably and with great humility to the 
threshold of the apostles, promising to restore 
Imola, one of the cities ; he therefore adjured Pip- 
pin to confirm the peace with him and to send back 
the hostages.' He sent a letter secretly at the same 
time, in which he told Pippin of the proposed 
league with the emperor, the devastation of the 
Pentapolis, and the evil inflicted upon the Dukes 
of Benevento and Spoleto, who had declared them- 
selves his allies and had put themselves under the 
protection of the Franks. He affirms his demand 
for all the cities, and begs Pippin to stand firm and 
not to yield to the perfidious trickster, and unblush- 
ingly declares that the other letter was written to 
deceive Desiderius, so that by seeming to comply he 
might be able to send messengers declaring the true 
state of affairs." Already the pope, by his attempt 
to gain and hold his temporal sovereignty, was 
plunged into the wiles and tricks of worldly diplo- 
macy. A treaty was finally effected in 760, whereby 
all the towns but one, Imola, were given up, and 
the pope and Lombard king enabled to live in 
friendly relations. 

As we have seen, the pope continued nominally 
at least to acknowledge the emperor, though he 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 75, 77; Ep. 16, A.D. 758. 
' Ibid., pp. 77-83 ; Ep. 17, A.D. 758. 

154 'I^^'^^ -^S^ ^f Charlemagne. 

ceased to await imperial confirmation for his elec- 
tion, while the emperor no longer received tribute 
from the Roman province, nor did any Byzantine 
exercise official authority in the city. From this 
time on, however, the temporal rule of the popes, 
now for the first time formally and authoritatively 
held, brings about local disputes and strifes. Mu- 
nicipal rights and popular privileges demanded re- 
cognition, while the office and position of the papacy 
itself became an object of ambition and desire to 
those seeking merely earthly power, position, and 



HE year 756 was an epochal year in the 
history of the papacy, for from it dates 
the formal establishment of the temporal 
power of the popes. The famous " Do- 
nation of Constantine" was devised also 
at about this same time, for it is closely connected 
with the events then happening. The Lombards 
were making their last strenuous endeavor to con- 
quer and to unite all Italy in one great kingdom 
under their own sway. Their aim, which, carried 
out, would make them masters of Rome, and their 
nearness to the city, made them more to be dreaded 
than the distant Greeks, however oppressive at 
times. Yet the emperor already was losing his hold 
on Italy, and could no longer defend it, and to the 


156 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Franks the pope had turned with a new hope, 
though not yet seeing his way clear to dispense alto- 
gether with the Byzantine suzerainty. It even ap- 
pears probable that Gregory II. had made an at- 
tempt to form a confederation of States in Italy 
with the pope at the head, but it had come to noth- 
ing.' The idea remained, and the donation was put 
forward to give it an historic basis, and to meet 
what seemed to be the needs of the period. 

The form of donation occurs at the end of a long 
document purporting to be an edict of Constantine, 
included by Pseudo-Isidore in his collection of 
Decretals and printed in full by Hinschius in his 
edition.' The author relates that Constantine more 
than twenty years before his death was baptized at 
Rome by Pope Sylvester, and at the same time 
cured of leprosy.' Constantine declares his accept- 
ance of the faith, which the pope had taught him, 
including a full statement of the doctrine of the 
Trinity, and exhorts all people and nations to hold 
the same. He then proceeds, out of gratitude and 
reverence, to bestow upon the papal see imperial 
power and honor, he gives to it the highest author- 
ity over the other patriarchates, and all the other 
churches in the world, as the supreme judge in all 
matters of worship and of faith. To the pope, re- 
fusing to wear the imperial diadem offered by Con- 
stantine, he grants the tiara, specially designed for 
him, and all the rest of the imperial ornaments and 

' Dollinger, pp. 121, 122. 

^ Hinschius, pp. 249-254, cf. Preface, p. Ixxxiii.; Gieseler, vol. 
ii., p. 118, note 21. Translated in Henderson, pp. 319-329. 
* Dollinger, pp. 89-103. 

A Roman Forgery. 157 

insignia. Upon the Roman clergy are conferred 
the honors and dignities of the highest ofBcers, 
patricians and consuls, with all the privileges of 
senators and their insignia. Constantine also gives 
up the Lateran Palace, the remaining sovereignty 
over Rome, all the provinces, cities, and places of 
Italy, as well as of the western regions, transferring 
the seat of his own imperial power to Byzantium, 
affirming that it was not right that the earthly em- 
peror should have his seat where the heavenly em- 
peror had established the principality of the priest- 
hood and the head of the Christian relieion. 

The whole stupendous forgery, of which one does 
not know what to marvel at most, the audacity of con- 
ception or the credulity of reception, was undoubt- 
edly the work of a Roman ecclesiastic at Rome. 
It is most important as showing that the prevailing 
idea in the mind of a Roman Churchman in the 
eighth century was the desire to make the pope and 
his clergy equal in magnificence and ceremonial to 
the emperor.' 

The first apparent reference to this donation oc- 
curs in a letter written by Hadrian I. to Charles the 
Great in 778," bringing it forward as a basis of ap- 
peal to the king to emulate the deeds of the mighty 

Its application to islands as being public domain 
was first made by Urban II. in his claim to Corsica. 
By it Hadrian IV. made claim to Ireland, and there- 
upon proceeded to make a grant of the island to 

• ' Bryce, pp. 100-102 ; Gregorovius, ii., pp. 361, 362. 
' Jaff6, iv., pp. 197-201, Ep. 61. 

158 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Henry II.' It continued to be used in these ways, 
though with occasional opposition and some limita- 
tion, but with increasing emphasis from the twelfth 
to the fourteenth century. 

Marsilius of Padua, in his Defensor Pads, turned 
it against the popes by drawing from it the conclu- 
sion that even the ecclesiastical supremacy of the 
papacy rested on an imperial grant, and so was 
merely human and invalid. Its spurious character 
was proved most effectively by Reginald Pecock, 
Bishop of Chichester, in the middle of the fifteenth 
century, and also, though less ably, by Cardinal 
Nicholas of Cusa and by Laurentius Valla. Since 
then it has been universally given up. Dante, trac- 
ing to it the origin of the temporal power, says of 
its supposed author : 

" Ah, Constantine ! of how much ill was mother, 
Not thy conversion, but that marriage dower. 
Which the first wealthy Father took from thee."* 

Though there has been much speculation as to 
the nature and extent of this power, and though 
much was left indefinite owing to its unprecedented 
character, some certain conclusions may be fairly 
drawn from the facts. 

First, Pippin did hand over to the pope the tem- 
poral possession and sovereignty over the cities and 
lands in question which had formerly been vested 
in the emperor. This is proved by the fact that 

' Hadrian's Bull is given in Lyttleton's "Henry H.," vol. iii., 
pp. 323, 324, translated in Henderson, pp. 10, 11. Also given in 
Rymer's " Foedera," vol. i., p. 15. 

* Dante, " Inferno," xlx., 115-118. Longfellow's translation. 

Facts Regarding the Temporal Power. 159 

Pippin refused at the request of the emperor's en- 
voys to give them over to the emperor, but said 
that he should give them to the pope. 

Secondly, the pope held and exercised this tem- 
poral sovereignty. This is proved by the fact that 
in a letter from the senate and people of Rome, 
written to Pippin, they acknowledged themselves 
to be the faithful subjects of the pope, and no 
other authority than his and the officers of his ap- 
pointment was recognized in these cities, the keys 
of which had been given up to the Abbot Fulrad 
and deposited in the shrine of* St. Peter. 

Thirdly, the emperor recognized that he had lost 
the power over this territory. This is proved by the 
fact of the proposed alliance between the emperor 
and Desiderius in order to win back the exarchate. 

As to the right of the pope to receive this power, 
it has been well expressed by Gibbon : 

" In the rigid interpretation of the laws every 
one may accept without injury whatever his bene- 
factor may bestow without injustice. The Greek 
emperor had abdicated or forfeited his right to the 
exarchate ; and the sword of Aistolphus was broken 
by the stronger sword of the Carolingian." * 

As to the expediency of holding this power and 
the changes which it wrought in the future character 
and activity of the papacy, history itself gives the 
best answer, and the complete consideration of it 
would require a separate treatise. It has been de- 
fended by some and deprecated by others. It was 
the first step and the chief instrument in freeing the 
' Gibbon, " Roman Empire," ch. xlix. 

i6o The Age of Charlemagne. 

church from subservience to any earthly sovereign, 
and gave it a position of power and influence which 
enabled it to protect and extend the work of the 
church throughout Europe. On the other hand, its 
dangers were great, and its results in many cases 
were evil. 

It brought about a secularization of the life and 
aims of the popes and chief officers which extended 
throughout the church, whereby it was involved in 
the conflicts and the strifes of the other temporal 
kingdoms. It made the papacy itself the coveted 
object of strife and ambition, the centre of feuds 
and jealousies, and the sport and prey of unworthy 
men and parties. This wealth and power led to 
an increase of pride, luxury, and ambition which 
fostered evil and corruption in the papacy and set 
an evil example to others. It was the fruitful 
source of weakness and the real cause of downfall 
and decay. There is a legend that on the occasion 
of Constantine's donation an angel was said to have 
cried from heaven : " Woe ! woe ! this day poison 
hath been infused into the church." A contempo- 
rary of Dante said that Constantinc added to the 
stole of the priests a sword which they did not know 
how to wield, and thus broke the strength of the 

In 768 an antipope was seated on the papal throne 
by his brother Toto, duke in Nepi. Two of the 
chief officers at Rome feigned a desire for the mo- 
nastic life, and fled to Desiderius, bringing back a 
Lombard army to put down the usurper. After 

* DoUinger, pp. 167, 168. 

Conquest of Aquitafiia. i6i 

severe fighting, followed by an attempt to conse- 
crate a Lombard, another Stephen was elected, and 
the usurper and his followers severely punished. 
Stephen IV. turned to Pippin for support and aid, 
but Pippin had died on September 24th, 768. Dur- 
ing the last years of his life he had been constantly 
at war with the Duke of Aquitania. The Saxons 
at first had taken his attention, but he had finally 
subdued them, thrown down their strongholds, 
forced them to pay an annual tribute of three hun- 
dred horses and receive the Christian missionaries. 

In 760 he attacked Waifar, Duke of Aquitania, 
on the ground of his infringement of the rights and 
property of the Prankish churches which were situ- 
ated in Aquitania, as well as for other reasons. 
Few battles were fought ; as soon as Pippin ap- 
peared with his army, Waifar surrendered, only to 
assert his independence as soon as Pippin withdrew 
his forces. In 768, however, he had taken the 
mother, sisters, and nieces of Waifar, and in June 
the duke himself was killed — murdered, it was said, 
by some at the instigation of Pippin. All Aquitania 
submitted to him, and measures were at once taken 
to solidify and unite the newly acquired territory. 
Counts and judges were established, and the so-called 
Aquitanian capitulary proclaimed that deserted 
churches should be restored and their services con- 
tinued by those who held the income of their prop- 
erty, all needed for religious purposes not to be 
alienated, and any taken to be restored. Bishops, 
abbots, and abbesses to live in accordance with their 
holy order. Provision was also made for the hold- 


1 62 The Age of Charlemagne. 

ing and proper care of benefices and regulations 
for the comfort and convenience of those attending 
the army or the Maifield. Right of appeal to the 
king was secured, and the privilege of every man, 
wherever he might be, to be tried by the law of his 
own country. Lastly, none should presume to resist 
whatever was decreed by the king's commissioners 
and the elders of the land for the king's profit or the 
welfare of the church.' 

The internal regulation of ecclesiastical affairs 
had gone on after the death of Boniface on the 
lines laid down by him. In July, 755, a very im- 
portant council was held at Verneuil, at which not 
only nearly all the bishops of Gaul were present, 
but Pippin himself was there, and took an interested 
part in its discussions and decisions. By the pro- 
visions of this council bishops were to be appointed 
in each city who should be under the metropolitans, 
each bishop to have rule over the clergy, both regu- 
lar and secular, in his own diocese. Synods were 
to be held twice a year : the first in March wher- 
ever the king should appoint, and in his presence ; 
the other in October, either at Soissons or wherever 
the bishops agreed upon at the March synod. At 
this synod all bishops under the metropolitans 
should be present, and all others, whether bishops, 
abbots, or presbyters, whom the metropoHtans 
summoned. The monastic rule should be observed 
by monks and nuns under the orders of the bishop 
of the diocese. If opposition arises the metropoli- 
tan is to be notified, and if that fails, recourse may 
' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 42, 43. 

The Frankish Chitrch Organized. 163 

be had to the pubHc synod held in March. In the 
event of further refusal, the offender may be de- 
posed or excommunicated by all the bishops and 
another put in his place at the synod by the word 
and will of the king or by the consent of the bish_ 
ops. There is to be no public baptistry in a dio- 
cese save where the bishop appoints, but in case of 
necessity or illness presbyters whom the bishop has 
appointed may baptize wherever convenient. Pres- 
byters are to be under the rule of the bishops, and 
none is to baptize or to celebrate Mass without the 
order of the bishop of the diocese. All presbyters 
were to assemble at the council of the bishops. A 
bishop may depose or excommunicate his presbyters 
for cause. Being excommunicated, he cannot enter 
a church nor eat nor drink with any Christian, nor 
accept his gifts, nor give the kiss, nor unite in pray- 
er, nor exchange greetings until reconciled with his 
bishop. If any claims to be unjustly excommuni- 
cated, he may go to the metropolitan and have a 
new trial. If still unwiUing to submit, he will be 
forced into exile by the king. Canon XX. of Chal- 
cedon is repeated forbidding to remove to another 
city or to serve under a layman except in case of 
necessity. Wandering bishops, without a fixed dio- 
cese, shall not serve in any diocese nor ordain ex- 
cept by the order of the bishop of the diocese. 
Any offence against this rule is to be punished by 
the synod. Sunday is to be kept, not after the 
Jewish fashion of absolute idleness, but so as not to 
interfere with going to church. But of this the 
clergy and not the laity shall judge. All marriages, 

164 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

both of nobles and low born, shall be performed 
publicly. Clergy shall not administer estates nor 
ensraee in secular affairs except for churches, 
widows, and orphans, by the order of the' bishop. 
In case of the death of a bishop, his bishopric shall 
not be left vacant more than three months except 
by great and urgent necessity. Surely at the next 
synod a bishop shall be ordained. No cleric shall 
be tried by the laity except by the express order of 
his bishop or abbot. All immunities are assured to 
all the churches. Counts and judges at their courts 
shall try first the cases of orphans, widows, and 
churches, and others afterwards. No one shall at- 
tain any office or rank in the church for' money ; 
nor shall any bishop, abbot, or layman take any fee 
for administering justice. 

This important document completed the estab- 
lishment of the diocesan system throughout the 
Prankish kingdom on the lines laid down by Boni- 
face in the early synods held under Pippin and 
Karlmann. It also established the system of met- 
ropolitans. It will be noticed, however, that no 
mention is made of the Bishop of Rome, and that 
the higher authority in appeals and other matters 
above the metropolitans rests with the synod and 
in the last extreme with the king.' 

Pippin's interests and relations, however, were 
not confined to his own kingdom and the neighbor- 
ing Lombards. In spite of the fact that he had re- 
fused to hand over to the emperor the territory con- 
quered for and given to the pope, his relations with 
the emperor continued to be friendly, and in the 
' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 32-37. 

The Nezu Mahomctaji Caliphate. 165 

very next year (757) he received an embassy from 
Constantinople bringing rich gifts, and among them 
an organ, an instrument as yet unknown in Gaul and 
the object of great admiration. In 765 he had sent 
an embassy to Bagdad, and in the April before he 
died his messengers had returned with envoys from 
the court of Almansor, father of the famous Haroun 
al Raschid. For, strange as it may seem, just at this 
very time, when the final separation was beginning 
to take place betv/een the eastern and western parts 
of the great Roman empire, and of the Christian 
Church, when a new kingdom was rising in the 
West about to have a line of emperors of its own, 
and a separate ecclesiastical organization was grow- 
ing up under the Pope of Rome as in the East under 
the Patriarch of Constantinople, so in the great Ma- 
hometan empire south of the Mediterranean a 
mighty revolution had taken place. In 750 the 
Ommiads, who for nearly a hundred years had held 
the caliphate, ruling at Damascus, were overthrown 
by the Abassides, who seized the caliphate, and soon 
after, under Almansor, founded Bagdad and made 
that the seat of power. One of the Ommiads, how- 
ever, had escaped, and crossing through Africa and 
the Straits of Gibraltar, had founded in 755 an inde- 
pendent caliphate at Cordova. It was against the 
adherents of this caliph and his successors that the 
Franks were fighting, and thus it came to pass that 
the king of the Franks found that he had a natural 
ally in the Caliph of Bagdad, while the emperor at 
Constantinople, at war with the Saracens at his own 
doors, would be inclined to look with favor on their 
rivals in the western caliphate. 



HE work of Pippin was finished. The 
church was estabHshed in an organized 
and systematic form under abbots, bish- 
ops, and metropoHtans throughout the 
Prankish kingdom ; heathenism was 
being gradually but surely eliminated within its 
borders, while missions were extended and mis- 
sionaries placed under royal protection among peo- 
ples not yet converted to Christianity ; the papacy 
was established at Rome over a spiritual and tem- 
poral sovereignty under the protectorate of a new 
line of Prankish kings ; the kingdom itself was uni- 
fied and consolidated, and its principal parts, Aus- 
trasia, Neustria, and last of all Aquitania, united 
under one head ; and the people on its borders, the 
Saxons, Bavarians, Lombards, and Saracens, reduced 


Death of Pippin. 167 

to submission or confined within fixed bounds, 
which, on the south, were the Mediterranean Sea 
and the Pyrenees Mountains. But the great king- 
did not live to enjoy this triumph. On his return 
to Saintes, at the close of his successful campaign 
against the Aquitanians, he was taken ill with fever. 
At Tours he stopped to visit the shrine of St. Mar- 
tin and to implore aid. His prayers were of no 
avail, though accompanied with rich gifts to the 
church and the poor. With his wife and sons, 
Charles and Karlmann, he proceeded to Paris to the 
monastery of St. Denis. Here, about the middle of 
September, feeling that his end was near, he assem- 
bled for the last time the nobles of his realm, dukes 
and counts, bishops and clergy, and with their con- 
sent divided his kingdom equally between his two 
sons, who had been anointed with him, fourteen 
years before, by the pope and had received the title 
of Patricians of the Romans. On September 24th, 
768, Pippin died, at the age of fifty-four, and was 
buried at St. Denis. Much confusion exists as to 
the division of his kingdom, and though little is 
known much has been written.' It seems probable, 
however, that the three parts of the kingdom, Neus- 
tria, Aquitania, and Austrasia, with all the eastern 
parts, were divided in such a way that each king 
should have a part of each, that the unity of the 
whole kingdom might be preserved and the separa- 
tion of nationalities avoided. Thus each had both 
Germans and Romans, though the former predomi- 

• Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 95-98 ; Abel-Simson, vol. i., pp. 23-30 ; 
Boehmer, vol. i., p. 49. 

1 68 The Age of Charlemagne. 

nated in the kingdom of Charles, and the latter in 
the kingdom of Karlmann. It is possible that 
Neustria was to be held by them both in common, 
as it is not expressly named in the accounts of the 
divisions, and at the formal coronation of the two 
kings, which took place on the same day (October 
9th), Charles was crowned at Noyon, and Karlmann 
at Soissons, both cities in Neustria, not far apart. 
The principle of division, which seems to us a very 
unfortunate weakening of a unity established at 
great cost and labor, was firmly established among 
all the German peoples, had been invariably fol- 
lowed by the Merovingians and continued by the 
mayors of the palace. It did serve undoubtedly to 
check civil war and dangerous conspiracies. So Avell 
recognized was it that Stephen, in crowning Pip- 
pin, had anointed both his sons at the same time. 

Division here, however, as in the case of Pippin 
before, was of short duration, for Karlmann did not 
long survive his father, and in 771 Charles ruled 

Hardly had the two kings begun to reign when 
news came of the revolt of the Aquitanians. The 
death of their duke, Waifer, seemed to have insured 
their submission ; but the death of Pippin and the 
division of the kingdom held out to them the hope 
of independence. The old duke, Hunold, Waifer's 
father, left the monastery in which he had taken 
refuge after his defeat by Pippin and the murder of 
his brother in 744, and headed the revolt which ex- 
tended from Poitou to the Pyrenees. The wisdom 
of Pippin's method of division was now apparent. 

Reconciliation of Charles and Karlmann. 169 

for both brothers hastened with their armies to put 
down the revolt. Karlmann, however, soon re- 
turned and left his brother to carry on the campaign 
alone, Hunold was driven to seek refuge in Was- 
conia, far in the south, but at the command of 
Charles both he and his wife were delivered up to 
the conqueror by Lupus, the duke of the Was- 
conians. The revolt was at an end, and Charles 
returned with his captives, who appear no more in 
history. The relations between the brothers were 
still more strained by Karlmann 's desertion. The 
latter had not been kindly disposed towards his 
brother, whom he regarded as having no rights in 
the kingdom, having been born before his father 
became king, or perhaps before his father's mar- 
riage, Charles felt his power and position threat- 
ened, and at once made overtures to Tassilo, duke 
of the Bavarians, and to Desiderius, king of the 
Lombards. A reconciliation between the brothers 
was effected by the queen-mother, Bertrada, and 
the result was announced to the pope, who sent his 
congratulations, glad to be relieved of the prospect 
of an alliance between the Lombards and one of 
the Prankish kings.' 

But the danger was not wholly averted. Tassilo 
was the son of the sister of Pippin, and consequent- 
ly the cousin of Charles and of Karlmann. He had 
been for some time practically independent of the 
Prankish kingdom, and though he had taken the 
oath of vassalage in 757, he had afterwards refused 
his aid in the Aquitanian campaign, and Pippin had 
' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 155-158 ; Ep. 46, 769 a.d. 

170 The Age of Charlemagjic. 

been too much engaged to force him to repent and 
renew his oath. In the meantime he had married a 
daughter of Desiderius, and formed a close poHtical 
alHance with the Lombards. It was Bertrada's 
plan to unite them all, and with this end in view 
she restored friendly relations between the cousins 
and proposed marriages between her sons and two 
of the daughters of Desiderius, and between her 
daughter Gisla and the son of Desiderius. When 
the pope heard of this his rage knew no bounds, 
and he gave a most emphatic expression to it in a 
long letter which he wrote to the two brothers.' 
The marriages of the two brothers to the Lombard 
princesses seem to have taken place, but not of their 
sister, and she was induced to give it up and enter 
a convent. 

Karlmann having died December 4th, 771, and 
leaving only minor children without right to the 
succession, Charles took possession of the rest of the 
kingdom. Karlmann's widow and her children re- 
tired to the court of her father, the Lombard king ; 
and Charles, having decided to renounce alliance with 
Desiderius, disowned his Lombard wife and sent 
her back to her father. 

Charles now began to give evidence of the policy 
he intended to follow, and the greatness of his pur- 
poses began to appear. The work of his ancestors 
he took up and completed, and for a short time 
united all of Western Europe in one great empire. 
His reign lasted for more than forty years, and dur- 
ing that time the world was filled with the renown 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 158-164; Ep. 47, 769 a.d. 

Charles the Great. i 71 

of his deeds. He increased on all sides the extent of 
the Prankish kingdom, completed the union of the 
German people, attacked and overthrew the enemies 
of Western Christendom, cemented the relations 
with the church, and more completely brought about 
the union of the German elements with Christianity, 
thereby giving to the Western world a new form and 
preparing for the German people a great future. 

His deeds are alike significant, whether regarded 
from the standpoint of general European history or 
of German history alone. Even the earliest chroni- 
clers give him the title of " Great," though it was 
not at first a formal surname. By the French it has 
been incorporated into his own name, and he is gen- 
erally known as Charlemagne. 

Of his early life we catch only the slightest 
glimpses in a fev/ stray notices in connection with 
his father. He was born April 2d, 742, and re- 
ceived the anointing by the pope in 754, was 
crowned in 768, became sole king in 771, and 
reigned until his death in 814. During this long 
reign he was engaged in fifty-five campaigns, eigh- 
teen of them agaiiist the Saxons. In all he showed 
great powers of command, quickness of foresight 
and of judgment, rapidity and force in execution, 
prudence and tact in management. In order to ac- 
complish this result he reorganized the army, unit- 
ing the military service due from vassals with the 
liability of each freeman. 

His relations with the church are of the greatest 
importance and interest ; he had been the one to 
meet the pope and escort him to his father when 

I 72 The Age of CJiarlemagne. 

Stephen had crossed the Alps, and, with his broth- 
er, he had been anointed with the holy oil, and re- 
ceived the title of Patrician of the Romans. From 
that time on everything which he undertook and 
accomplished stood in the closest connection with 
the authority and influence of the church which had 
its centre in Rome. By his efforts Christianity was 
extended and the church protected ; he also received 
its support in his undertakings, and it acknowledged 
him as its lord protector and intercessor. All eccle- 
siastical affairs, questions of constitution and of 
discipline, as v/ell as of doctrine, he took into con- 
sideration, and through him they found settle- 
ment and decision, sometimes without, or even in 
opposition to, the Roman bishop. He stood as 
head of the church in his own kingdom. Alcuin 
calls him " Pontifex, " the monk of St. Gall, 
" Bishop of the Bishops." The bishops of that 
time saw in him not only the mighty protector of 
the church, but also their reformer and supreme 
governor. Contemporaries regarded him as the 
preserver and father of Christianity. He calls him- 
self the defender of the holy church, and in all 
things the aid of the apostolic see. He still further 
developed and strengthened the union with the 
papacy established by his predecessors. In this 
connection his contests with the Saxons and with 
the Lombards deserve careful consideration. 

His wars with the Saxons were of the greatest 
importance to Christianity and to the church. Liv- 
ing far in the North, as yet uninfluenced by Roman 
armies, art, or religion, the Saxons still dwelt on 

The Saxoits. i "jt, 

the banks of the Elbe, by the shores of the North- 
ern Sea, wild, barbarous, careless of danger, and 
enemies alike to civilization, to Christianity, and to 
the Franks. ' While the other German peoples, the 
Lombards, Goths, and Vandals, left their original 
homes to wander south and east and west in the 
great Volkerwanderung of the fourth century, the 
Saxons had only enlarged their borders and taken 
up the lands thus left. Some of their tribes, invit- 
ed by greed of gain and impelled by increasing 
numbers, had crossed to Britain in the fifth and 
sixth centuries and founded England ; but the rest, 
Westphalians, Angarians, and Eastphalians, abode 
still in the North until they extended from the 
Eider to the union of the Fulda and the Werra, and 
from the Elbe and Saale to the Rhine. There they 
remained like a mighty reservoir of water threaten- 
ing to overflow its bounds and with a sweeping 
flood to engulf the country. 

Little had they changed since Tacitus wrote of 
them from what he learned of their nearer tribes. 
They were not a nation or a people, but merely 
great federations of tribes, each tribe or gau_^ ac- 
knowledging a head or leader of the host, who exer- 
cised religious, military, and judicial authority, sev- 
eral uniting under a chosen leader in time of great 
need, for defence or for attack. 

A general description of the long and cruel war 
which Charles waged cannot be given in any clearer 
way than in the words of Einhard in his " Life of 
Charles the Great." 

" No war ever undertaken by the Franks was car-, 

1 74 The Age of Charlemagne. 

ried on with longer persistence, more bitterness, or 
greater labor, because the Saxons, like most of the 
other tribes of Germany, were fierce by nature, 
given up to the worship of evil spirits, and opposed 
to our religion, not deeming it dishonorable to 
transgress and violate all law, human and divine. 
There were other circumstances, also, Avhich led to a 
breach of the peace every day, for our frontiers and 
theirs were almost everywhere contiguous in an open 
country, and it was only at rare intervals that dense 
forests or mountain ridges defined clearly the 
boundary limits and kept the two peoples apart. 
Consequently along the whole frontier murders, 
thefts, and arsons were being perpetrated constantly 
on both sides. These outrages so irritated the 
Franks that they resolved to be content no longer 
with mere retaliation, but to declare open war 
against them. 

" Once begun, the war went on for thirty-three 
years, although it might have been ended sooner 
had it not been for the faithlessness of the Saxons. 
It would be dif^cult to tell how many times, con- 
quered and submissive, they put themselves at the 
king's mercy and swore obedience to his commands, 
giving without delay the hostages' required, and 
received the officers sent them by the king. Some- 
times they were so weakened and subdued that they 

' Among these were youths whom Charles entrusted to various 
monasteries to be brought up and educated in the Christian 
religion, and whom afterwards he sent back to preach the gospel 
in their own land. It is interesting to note that among such was 
Ebbo, archbishop of Rheims, the " Apostle of Denmark" and 
the reputed author of the forged Decretals. See translatio S. Viti. 
M. G. SS., vol. ii. 

The Saxon War. i 75 

promised to renounce the worship of evil spirits and 
to accept Christianity, but they were just as ready 
to break these agreements as they were to make 
them. Indeed, after the war began, hardly a year 
passed without such evidence of fickleness on their 
part. But the great courage and determined reso- 
lution of the king, unflinching alike in success and 
in defeat, kept him unmoved by their inconstancy, 
and steadfast in the accomplishment of his purposes. 
He never allowed their perfidy to go unpunished, 
but after such breach of faith he himself or one of his 
counts led an army against them to wreak vengeance 
and to inflict upon them a just punishment. At 
last, after a final victory, he took ten thousand with 
their wives and children and scattered them in a 
thousand different places in Gaul and in Germany. 

" Thus they were brought to accept the terms of 
the king, in accordance with which they abandoned 
their demon worship, renounced their national relig- 
ious customs, embraced the Christian faith, received 
the divine sacraments, and were united with the 
Franks, forming one people." ' 

Treachery and revolt, the destruction of churches, 
and killing of priests and of missionaries may be at- 
tributed to the Saxons, but they were fighting for 
home and liberty against a foreign invader ; cruelty 
and savage butchery characterized the warfare of 
the Franks ; but they were fighting for the spread 
of civilization and of Christianity, and though the 
greatness of Charles appears here also, yet from the 
midst of the Saxon warriors looms up the magnifi- 

' Einhard, "Vita Karoli," c. 7 ; Jaffe, vol. iv., pp, 515, 516. 

1 76 The Age of Charlemagne. 

cent form of their great leader, Wittekind, one of 
the noblest of the heathen heroes, while the Saxons 
have left us no chronicles setting forth the glory 
and the justice of their cause. 

A few details are worth our notice. At the very 
beginning of the struggle the destruction by Charles 
of the Irmensaul — a sacred object connected with 
their worship — the burning of a Christian church, 
and the driving away of the missionaries by the Sax- 
ons showed the bitterness underlying the struggle. 
It was darkness resisting the oncoming light ; bar- 
barism attempting to stay the progress of order 
and civilization ; the old heathenism opposing the 
spreading Christianity. Gradually the strongholds 
of the Saxons were vv^renched away, new ones built, 
and Prankish garrisons placed in them. In ^^6, the 
chronicler relates : 

The Saxons, all greatly terrified, coming from 
every side, surrendered and promised to be Chris- 
tians, submitting to the rule of King Charles and of 
the Franks. In the next year," he continues, " a 
multitude of the Saxons were baptized, and, accord- 
ing to their custom, gave up all their free and allo- 
dial lands as a pledge that they would not revolt 
again, according to their evil custom, but would 
ever keep their Christianity and their fidelity to 
the lord King Charles, his sons, and the Prankish 
people." ' 

The Mayfield of this year {777) was held at Padef- 
born, in the heart of the Saxon country. The 
whole military host with both the Prankish and the 
' "Ann. Lauriss," an. 776, 777 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., pp. 156-158. 

Saxons Conquered ajid Baptized. 177 

Saxon leaders was gathered there. The conditions 
laid down for peace and the reception to equal rights 
with the Franks were the accepting of Christianity 
and the obligation of military service by the Saxons. 
Partly by force, partly by persuasion, and partly 
by offers of gifts and rewards, they were induced to 
accept Christianity and to be baptized. On the 
banks of the Lippe, in the presence of the king, the 
Prankish clergy and all the Prankish army, the 
whole Saxon nation was baptized. It was an im- 
pressive and significant sight, but it was of pro- 
phetic rather than of actual significance. The host- 
ages were put in charge of the bishops and counts 
of the realm, and Saxon noblemen were won over 
to the Prankish service. The conquered district 
was divided and assigned to bishops, priests, and 
abbots, who established monasteries, preached and 
baptized. An army was assembled and Saxon 
nobles put in command, and counties were estab- 
lished with Saxon counts. 

At an assembly held in 782 a special set of capitu- 
laries was enacted for the newly added Saxon sub- 
jects, by which Christianity and the Prankish rule 
were together established and confirmed. These 
capitularies are interesting and valuable for the light 
they throw upon the methods of establishing Chris- 
tianity in a new country and among a heathen peo- 
ple. They declare that Christian churches are to 
have as much honor as the old heathen temples ; 
are to be places of refuge and protected from vio- 
lence and robbery ; the Lenten fast to be observed, 
and death to be the punishment for eating meat 


178 The Age of Charlemagne. 

except in case of necessity. The murder of a 
bishop, priest, or deacon is also punishable by death 
without allowing the payment of the wergeld. The 
old heathen practices connected with cremation, the 
burning of men possessed by devils, and also the 
human sacrifices of heathenism are forbidden. Re- 
fusal to be baptizxd is also punishable by death. 
Participation in pagan plots against Christians, un- 
faithfulness to the king, violence done to the daugh- 
ter of a lord, the killing of a lord or lady are pun- 
ishable in the same manner. " But if for these 
mortal crimes, secretly committed, any one shall go 
of his own will to the priest and make a confession 
and do penance, he shall be released on the testi- 
mony of the priest." Provision is made for a house 
and land connected with each church and for the 
number of servants furnished to the priest in pro- 
portion to the population. Church tithes are also 
required, including property and labor, binding on 
noble and on peasant alike. No assembly or public 
courts to be held on Sunday except under great 
necessity or in time of war, " but all shall go to 
church and hear the Word of God and take part in 
prayer and religious deeds." The same law shall 
be observed on the great festival days. Children 
must be baptized within their first year, and for 
neglect nobles shall pay a fine of one hundred and 
twenty solidi ; freemen, sixty ; and serfs, thirty. 
Marriages taking place within prohibited degrees 
are punishable by fine. Worship at fountains or 
trees, or in groves connected with the old heathen 
worship, was to be punished with a heavy fine, and 

Saxon CapihUaries. 1 79 

service is to be rendered to the church until the fine 
is paid. The bodies of Christian Saxons are to be 
placed in church cemeteries and not in pagan tombs. 
Robbers and malefactors fleeing from one county 
to another shall be given up, and any one receiving 
them for more than seven days falls under the royal 
ban. No one is to be prevented from going to the 
king for justice. Gifts and rewards shall not be 
taken against the innocent, and any one giving a 
pledge or security shall be allowed to redeem it. 
Peace must be maintained between the counts, and 
all oaths must be kept. Perjury is to be punished 
according to the law of the Saxons. Public games 
and assemblies of the Saxons arc forbidden unless 
allowed by the royal commissioner under royal com- 
mand. But each count may hold pleas and admin- 
ister justice in his own district and " let the priest 
see that justice is done." ' 

Additional capitularies were set forth in 797 at a 
council at which were assembled bishops, abbots, 
counts, and Saxons from the Westphalians, Anga- 
rians, and Eastphalians, meeting at Aix-la-Chapelle 
in October. Peace was declared for churches, 
widows, orphans, and weak persons. No one was to 
remain away from the army. The former laws 
against offences were repeated save that the penalty 
was changed from death to heavy fines. Refusal to 
go to the assembly was also punishable by fine, and 
injuries done to priests or their dependents were 
to be atoned for by double restitution. A threefold 
payment was to be made for killing a royal commis- 
* Boretius, vol, i., pp. 68-70, No. 26. 

i8o The Age of Charlemagne. 

sioner. Punishments were also decreed against 
various offences, and in conclusion the value of the 
solidus was laid down in cattle and honey.' Thus 
these capitularies mark the establishment of the 
Prankish power and of the Christian church among 
the Saxons. 

The earlier measures which Charles had used to 
subdue the Saxons had been neither harsh nor cruel. 
He wished to effect a recognition of his rule and 
the reception of Christianity, not the complete sub- 
jugation of the people nor the destruction of its in- 
dividuality ; but he had no time to waste in waiting 
for the slow maturing of his plans, and he allowed 
no scruples to stand in the way of the immediate 
fulfilment of his purposes. 

Finding the Saxons still resisting, still treacher- 
ous, in consequence of a new and sudden outbreak 
under their leader, Wittekind, he caused forty-five 
hundred of them to be put to the sword in one day. 
This was the massacre of Verden, in the year 782, 
and it has been called the one great blot on the 
memory of the great king. But even this was not 
enough ; and if his conquest of the Saxons was 
justifiable at all he knew better than any one else 
the means necessary to accomplish the result ; only 
it seems as if it would have been more in accordance 
with his Christian faith and the powers of the gos- 
pel, which he had at his disposal, had he employed 
the soldiers of the cross rather than the spears of his 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 71, 72, No. 27. The solidus was de- 
clared equal to a )'ear-old calf of either sex. In silver, twelve 
pennies made a solidus, or shilling. It is estimated as worth 
about eighteen dollars in our money. Vetault, p. 214. 

Revolt Under Wittekmd. i8i 

army to bring the Saxons to submission to Christ 
and to a union with the Prankish kingdom. 

Under Wittekind, the Saxon leader, who had 
never submitted to Charles, and who led the attack 
in 782 which was avenged by the massacre of Ver- 
den, the Saxons rose in revolt, renounced their 
Christianity and their oaths of allegiance, but in two 
great battles which followed speedily — the only two 
pitched battles of the war — they were thoroughly 
defeated ; although twenty long years of brutal vio- 
lence and oppression passed before the end could 
come. The strife which here was waged has a most 
tragic interest. One cannot deny sympathy to this 
people who, with such devotion to their inherited 
order and independence, fought for the gods of 
their hearths and homes, while the Prankish king by 
his bloody deed chills the ardor which up to this 
point has attended him. But the higher justifica- 
tion of history is, after all, on his side. One must 
deplore the fact that here, as so often in the prog- 
ress of earthly affairs, results can be obtained only 
by means of force. Yet there can be no doubt that 
the opposition of the Saxons had to be overcome ; 
their isolated independence must be broken if the 
German people were to experience a higher unified 
development. The chronicler concludes his account 
of the year 785 thus : 

" The Saxons then surrendered, again received 
Christianity, vv^hich they had renounced just be- 
fore ; peace was declared ; rebellion ceased ; and 
Charles returned to his home. It is said that Witte- 
kind, the author of so much violence and the insti- 

1 82 The Age of Charlemagne. 

gator of the perfidy, came with his followers to the 
palace at Attigny and was there baptized, the king 
receiving him from the font and presenting him 
with magnificent gifts. From the death of Pope 
Gregory, who had begun the work of converting 
the Saxons by his mission to Britain, it had been one 
hundred and eighty years." ' 

The rest of the history of Wittekind is lost in leg- 
end and obscurity Vvath the names of Roland and of 

Though conquered, the Saxons were not subdued ; 
and baptisms, payment of tithes, and services in 
the royal army were enforced only with difficulty, 
the penalty of death being declared against all Avho 
refused to be baptized, did violence to the clergy, 
ate meat in Lent, relapsed into heathen customs, 
or robbed or burned a church. 

Far in the North rebellion broke out anew in 792. 
Once more they renounced the Christianity which 
was still to them the badge of their hated subjec- 
tion to the Franks. They burned their churches 
and drove off or put to death their priests. The 
revolt spread, and in 794 Charles prepared to meet 
it. With his son. Prince Charles, he led his whole 
army to the Saxon frontier, received again the sub- 
mission, the hostages, and the oaths of the terrified 
Saxons. But on the banks of the Elbe the king's 
authority was still resisted. Here he commanded a 
complete devastation, and after putting thousands 
of warriors to the sword, he ordered the removal of 

' "Ann. Lauriss," an. 785 ; M. G. SS., vol. l.,.p. 32. 

Dep07'tation of Saxoiis. 

one third of the remahiing male population — over 
seven thousand it is said.' 

The next year saw the devastation carried still 
further, and yet the resistance was continued in the 
almost inaccessible region between the Weser and 
the Elbe ; but Charles was not to be foiled in his 
purpose. Vessels were sent around by sea and 
others in sections transported over the land. Fire 
and the destruction of everything destructible fol- 
lowed. Now every third man, with his wife and 
children, here and in Friesland, was ordered into 
exile, and loyal Franks were put in their places. 

It was at this time that the capitulary of 797 was 
put forth in which a much milder policy was ob- 
served, and the voice and influence of Alcuin 
seemed to avail. In a letter to the royal chamber- 
lain, after instancing the manner and methods of 
St. Paul, he had written : " Let but the same pains 
be taken to preach the easy yoke and the light bur- 
den of Christ to the obstinate people of the Saxons 
as are taken to collect the tithes from them or to 
punish the least transgression of the laws imposed 
on them, and perhaps they would be found no 
longer to repel baptism with abhorrence." ^ 

Winter was spent in the North, and the influence 
of example and Christian ways was added to the 
laws and precepts. But another revolt by the 
Northalbingians — the Saxons on the banks of the 
Weser — threatened to undo all that had been 
achieved. Again submission was forced at the 

' "Ann. Alam.,"an. 795 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 47. 
' Ep. 37. Quoted by Neander, vol. iii., p. 77. 

184 The Age of Charlemagne. 

point of the sword and a new and larger deportation 
followed. In 804 the last blow was given to the 
dying cause of Saxon heathenism and indepen- 
dence. Charles went North with his family and a 
large army. The army, with the allies who joined 
him there, was divided into sections and sent into 
various districts of the enemy's territory. When 
they returned they left nothing behind them. 
Baptism by the priests or death by the soldiers was 
the only alternative, and the baptism of a few was 
purchased by the death of many. It has rightly 
been called the conversion of Saxony rather than of 
the Saxons. The men, women, and children who 
esaped the sword were driven out and scattered 
over the Prankish dominions. It is said that the 
blood of over two hundred thousand Saxons 
changed the very color of the soil, and the brown 
clay of earlier times gave way to the red earth of 
Westphalia. This ended the conquest and conver- 
sion of Saxony. What that conversion meant and 
what it Avas worth seems hardly an appreciable 
quantity, and perhaps amounted to nearly nothing 
after it was all over ; but succeeding generations 
were to profit by that mighty struggle, for the Sax- 
ony which had come to Charles the Great only after 
such bloodshed and bitter agony, at the beginning 
of the ninth century, sent forth a Luther to defy a 
Charles the Fifth at the beginning of the sixteenth 

The missionary work closely connected with and 
depending upon the labors of the army deserves 
more careful attention. It is for this that Charles 

The Enlightener of the Saxons. 185 

has been called by one of the early writers " The 
Enlightener of the Saxons." Little could be done 
in the time of actual warfare except in a merely 
formal and mechanical way ; but as fast as a district 
was conquered it was assigned for Christian over- 
sight and culture to individual clergy, to an abbot, 
or bishop, or priest to carry on the preliminary 
work of preaching and baptizing. As soon as 
churches were organized they were brought into 
union with Prankish monasteries and bishoprics in 
order to insure their proper care, or else an abbey 
was put in charge of the missionary, that it might 
serve as a point of support or means of sustenance. 
With the progress of the conversion, however, na- 
tive Saxons were consecrated bishops and special 
places selected for their sees. In this way Charles 
laid the foundations for Bremen, Werden, Munster, 
Paderborn, Osnabriick, and Minden, some of them 
being put under the Archbishop of Mainz and some 
under Cologne. A monastery was planned for 
Hamburg ; and under Charles's successors the bishop- 
rics of Hildesheim and Halberstadt were established. 
In the last years of Charles's reign preaching and 
baptism were carried to all parts of the Saxon land, 
and under his successors they obtained complete 
control. With Christianity went a new and higher 
civilization, for men were attracted in large numbers 
and came to settle near these bishoprics and monas- 
teries for safety and protection. Markets were es- 
tablished, roads built from one to another, and 
they soon became important centres of industry, 
trade, and civilization. 

1 86 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

Foremost among the missionaries were Gregory 
of Utrecht, the abbot Sturm, both disciples and fol- 
lowers of Boniface ; Luidger, who succeeded Labu- 
inus, and Willehad. 

One of the earliest and most important missiona- 
ries among the people of the North was Gregory, 
known as the Abbot of Utrecht. The way in which 
he came under the influence of Boniface and en- 
tered upon the work of his life is exceedingly inter- 
esting and instructive. Boniface, on a journey from 
Friesland to Thuringia, stopped at the monastery 
of the abbess Addula, who was of a noble family. 
During the meal-time her grandson, Gregory, a boy 
of fourteen years, just out of school, acted as reader 
and read some passages from the Bible. Boniface 
praised him for reading so well, and asked him to 
translate it into his own language. This he was 
unable to do, and Boniface accordingly translated 
and explained the passages in a way that made a 
great impression upon the young boy. His desire 
to know Boniface better and to learn more from the 
great man led him to devote himself to the great 
work in u^iich Boniface was engaged. The abbess, 
to whom Boniface was unknown at that time, tried 
to dissuade the boy, but Vv-ithout avail. He even 
declared that he would follow Boniface on foot if she 
would not give him a horse. She was forced to 
yield to his urgent entreaties ; and from that time 
on he was a devoted and constant companion to 
Boniface, in whose service and under whose inspira- 
tion he labored in Friesland until the death of his 

Frankish Missionaries. 187 

The Bishop of Utrecht having been martyred with 
Boniface, Gregory took upon himself the whole care 
of the Friesland mission, under the direction of Pope 
Stephen and King Pippin. He refused the bish- 
opric, however, and shortly afterwards became abbot 
of the monastery in Utrecht, to w4iich were sent 
boys of English, Frankish, Bavarian, and Saxon 
birth, whose education Gregory supervised. He 
also founded a missionary school, from which mis- 
sionaries went forth into different parts. To sup- 
ply the want of a bishop, he was joined by Alubert, 
an Englishman, who had been consecrated bishop 
at home. Gregory lived to the age of over seventy, 
and died in 781 in the midst of his teachings and 
missionary labors. 

The abbot Sturm was early consecrated to Chris- 
tian service under the training of Boniface while 
the latter was organizing the church in Bavaria. 
After his ordination as priest he labored three years 
under the immediate direction of Boniface, and then 
went north with two companions to find a new cen- 
tre of missionary labor in the wilderness. The 
foundations of the monastery of Hersfeld were laid, 
but Boniface regarded it as too exposed to the rav- 
ages of the Saxons. He accordingly started forth 
again, and this time founded Fulda, in which Boni- 
face evinced a special interest and for which he pro- 
cured special privileges from the pope, it being de- 
clared independent of episcopal jurisdiction and 
subject directly to the pope. Sturm then went to 
Italy to learn further details of his duty from the 
monasteries there, particularly from the original 

1 88 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Benedictine establishment at Monte Cassino. On 
his return he increased the number of monks to 
four thousand, and labored to reclaim both forests 
and heathens. Though driven away from time to 
time by the Saxons, he never despaired, and labored 
earnestly and successfully until his death at the 
close of the year 779. 

Luidger, born of Christian parents, came under 
the influence and training- of Gregory, Abbot of 
Utrecht, one of the early laborers in Friesland. 
From there he went to the school of Alcuin, al- 
ready famous at York, Returning, he still con- 
tinued to labor among the Friesians until, by the 
revolt of the Saxons under Wittekind, he and his 
clergy were driven away, their churches burned, and 
the idol temples restored. He then took advantage 
of the opportunity to go to Rome and to Monte 
Cassino to observe the methods there, and to gain 
further training and instruction. 

Returning after three years, he found Wittekind 
converted and the country at peace, Charles as- 
signed him to a special district among the Friesland- 
ers, where he founded the monastery of Werden. 
After the conclusion of the Saxon war he was sent 
by Charles to the district of Miinster, where he 
founded another monastery, later the bishopric of 
Miinster. He journeyed constantly among the 
Saxons, preaching, baptizing, founding churches, 
and settling over them priests whom he himself had 
trained. His zeal would have carried him to the still 
wild and barbarous Normans, but Charles forbade it. 
In the midst of his labors, in the year 809, he died. 

Charles and the Missionaries. 189 

Willchad was a missionary who came from North- 
umberland. He also labored among the people of 
Friesland, near where Boniface had been martyred. 
His followers having attempted with inconsiderate 
zeal the immediate destruction of the heathen tem- 
ples, he, with them, was seized and beaten and al- 
most put to death by the sword. Hearing of his 
courage, zeal, and wonderful escapes, Charles as- 
signed him the district of Bremen, which later be- 
came a bishopric among the Frieslanders and newly 
conquered Saxons. But the revolt of Wittekind in 
782 drove him away, and he also took the oppor- 
tunity to visit Rome. After his return and the con- 
version of Wittekind, the great Saxon leader, in 785, 
he carried his labors to success, and the diocese of 
Bremen was established in 787 with Willehad as its 
priest and bishop, but two years afterwards he died. 

Thus these noble Christian missionaries labored, 
thus Christian teaching followed the progress of the 
sword of the Franks, and thus Charles the Great 
directed not only the victories of war, but the exten- 
sion of Christianity and the establishment of the 



T is necessary to know the main outlines 
of the conquest of the Saxons and the 
extension of the Prankish power over 
them in order to understand the spread 
of Christianity and the establishment of 
ihe Christian Church in the northern part of the 
kingdom. It is also necessary to know the outlines 
of the conquest of the Lombards in order to under- 
stand the relations of Charles with the papacy. 

Desiderius, the Lombard king, by the marriages 
of his daughters, had allied himself to all the leading 
princes of his time. Tassllo, the son and successor 
of Odilo, duke of the Bavarians, had married one 
named Liutperga, Arichis, the Duke of Benevento, 


Papal Description of the Lombard A lliarice. 1 9 1 

another, Adelperga, and Charles and his brother 
Karlmann had married the other two, Desiderata 
and Gerberga.' Athalgis, the son of Desiderius, 
had married Gisla, the sister of the Prankish kings. 
On hearing the news of this alliance of the Franks 
and Lombards the pope was filled with indignation 
and alarm. In view of such an alliance what would 
become of the newly established power of the 
papacy, the patrimony of St. Peter ? The already 
threatened subjection of the pope to the Lombard 
king seemed inevitable. Stephen accordingly wrote 
at once to those whom he addresses as his " most 
excellent sons, Charles and Karlmann, kings of the 
Pranks and patricians of the Romans." Their in- 
tention to marry the daughters of Desiderius he 
regards as a suggestion of the devil, and inciden- 
tally alludes to the garden of Eden. " It would be 
a most shameful connection and downright madness 
for the illustrious race of the Pranks, which shines 
forth superior to all people, so splendid, so noble, 
and of regal power, to pollute itself with the perfid- 
ious race of the Lombards, leprous, vile, and not 
recognized among the races of men. No one with 
a sane mind would suspect for a moment that such 
renowned kings would defile themselves with such 
a despicable and abominable contagion." He re- 
minds them of the beautiful wives they already had, 
most noble maidens of the Prankish race.* " Re- 
member this, most excellent sons," he continues, 

' " Chronic. Cassineus," bk. i., c. 17. See Mombert, p. 77, note 2. 
' It is probable that these Frankish marriages had not taken 
place or that the wives had died. 

192 The Age of Charlemagne. 

that our predecessor of sacred memory, Stephen 
the lord pope, implored your father of most excel- 
lent memory never to presume to put away his wife, 
your mother ; and he, as in truth a most Christian 
king, yielded obedience to these most salutary ad- 
monitions. Your excellency should remember that 
you have promised to the blessed Peter and to his 
aforesaid vicar and successors to be friends to our 
friends and enemies to our enemies. Why do you 
strive to act against your own souls in wishing to 
form a union with our enemies, even with that per- 
jured race of the Lombards, ever fighting against 
the church of God and invading this, our province of 
the Romans, and thus proved to be our enemies ? 
Know you not that it is not our unhappiness you 
despise, but the blessed Peter, whose unworthy vicars 
we are permitted to be ? Forit is written, ' He who 
receiveth you receiveth Me, and he who despiseth 
you despiseth Me,' wherefor also the blessed Peter, 
prince of the apostles, to whom the Lord God has 
given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and to 
whom has been granted the power of binding and 
loosing in heaven and on earth, earnestly implores 
your excellency through our unhappiness, and at 
the same time also we, together with all the bishops, 
presbyters, and other priests, and all the ofifiicials 
and clergy of our holy church, and also the abbots 
and all those consecrated to the divine service in 
the religious life, as well as the nobles and judges, 
and all our people of the Romans of this province, 
beseech you with an appeal to the divine justice, by 
the living and true God, who is the judge of living 

Queen Hildegard. 193 

and of dead, by the ineffable power of His divine 
majesty, by the awful day of future judgment when 
we shall behold all the pnnces and powers of the 
whole human race standing with fear, as well as by 
the divine mysteries and by the most holy body of 
the blessed Peter, adjure you that in no way either 
of you presume to receive in marriage the daughter 
of the already mentioned Desiderius, king of the 
Lombards." ' 

Whether these words of the pope influenced him 
or not, within a year Charles divorced the daughter 
of Desiderius, sent her back to her father, and im- 
mediately after married a Suabian princess by the 
name of Hildegard, a woman of rare beauty, bright 
intellect and attractive grace, benevolent, devout, 
and beloved by all, worthy to be the wife of Charles 
and the mother of his children. 

Mombert relates the following story, told by the 
monk of St. Gall. A certain young man, in whom 
the king took an interest, and whose hopes he had 
raised as to securing a vacant bishopric, happened to 
be with him at the hour set for the reception of cour- 
tiers. The king told him that he had many com- 
petitors for the vacancy, and bade him retire behind 
a curtain and learn their number. One by one the 
nobles came to secure the position, either for them- 
selves or for some special favorite. At last Queen 
Hildegard appeared and asked it for her own chap- 
lain. The king objected, protesting that although 
he would not and could not say nay to her in al- 
most anything she might ask, yet in this case he 
' Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 158-164 ; Ep. 47, 769 A.D. 

194 T"^^^ ^S^ of Charlevmgne. 

must refuse, for he had promised the place to the 
young man. The queen, who was not free from the 
weakness of women of setting their influence against 
the judgment of men, suppressed her anger, but 
forthwith opened upon her susceptible spouse a bat- 
tery of gentle speeches and languid looks, saying : 
" Oh, my lord king, Avhy waste that bishopric upon 
such a boy ? Let me entreat my sweet king, my 
glory, my tower of strength, to confer it upon your 
faithful servant, my own chaplain." The young 
man, from behind the curtain, saw and heard what 
was going on, dreaded the worst, and unable to 
contain himself, exclaimed : " Keep firm, O king, 
and let no one deprive you of the power which God 
has given you." The speech pleased Charles so 
much that for the time he disobliged the charmer 
and made the young man bishop.' 

The repudiatioii of Desiderata roused the anger 
and resentment of her father, in which Tassilo, duke 
of the Bavarians, and also Karlmann joined. The 
hostility between the two brothers revived, but in 
that same year (//i) Karlmann died. His wife and 
her children went back to the Lombard court, and 
Charles reigned alone. \\\ a letter from Cuthwulf, 
written to Charles about the year 775, it is declared 
that he is to be congratulated for eight things : 
First, that he is born of royal lineage ; secondly, 
that he is the first born ; thirdly, that he is deliv- 
ered from the plots of his brother ; fourthly, that 
he obtained the kingdom with his brother ; fifthly, 

' "Monach. Sangall.," bk. i., c. iv.; Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 633-635 ; 
Mombert, pp. 81, 82. 

The Lombard War. 195 

and not least, that God removed his brother from 
the throne and exalted him over the whole kingdom 
without bloodshed ; sixthly, the flight of the Lom- 
bard army before his face ; seventhly, the crossing of 
the Alps, the flight of his enemies, and the taking 
of the rich city of Pavia with all its treasures ; and 
eighthly, the entrance into golden and imperial 

In 772 a new pope, Hadrian I., succeeded to the 
pontificate. The way was now prepared for the 
development of more cordial relations and for a 
closer alliance between the king of all the Franks 
and the Bishop of Rome. Desiderius, however, 
tried to win the pope to his own side in an alliance 
against Charles, but did not succeed, though he 
made a strong appeal in behalf of the widow of 
Karlmann, who had fled to him with her children, 
and he even marched to Rome. Hadrian at once 
called for the removal of the leader of the Lombard 
party in Rome and appealed to Charles, informing 
him that the king of the Lombards had asked him 
to anoint the son of Karlmann as king to succeed 
his father, and, upon his refusal, had seized the 
cities of Taenza, Ferrara, and Comacchio. Charles 
responded by sending ambassadors to Desiderius 
demanding the return of these cities to the pope, 
and offering an indemnity for their restoration. 
Upon his refusal Charles declared war as the pro- 
tector of the church, and started for Italy with a 
large army," 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 336-338. 

' "Ann. Einhardi," an. 773 ; M. G. SS., vol, i., p. 151. 

196 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Desiderius shut himself up in Pavia, but his vas- 
sals and followers were sadly demoralized before the 
array of the Prankish army. The siege of Pavia 
lasted all winter, during which time town after town 
and lord after lord yielded to Charles. In the 
spring of the next year, 774, leaving the continu- 
ance of the siege to his followers, Charles accepted 
the invitation of the pope and entered Rome, the 
first of the Prankish kings to enter the imperial 
city, which, however, he visited four times.' 

His reception was magnificent. The Senate and 
nobles went out to meet him, and at the request of 
Hadrian he appeared in the Roman costume, which 
he wore but twice in his life, the second time being 
in the memorable year of 800. His approach was a 
triumphal march. As he neared the gates he dis- 
mounted, and, followed by his officers, entered the 
city on foot, and ascended the steps of St. Peter's, 
kissing each step. At the top Hadrian, with his 
clergy, met him. They kissed each other, and, 
walking together, the king on the right of the pope, 
proceeded to the altar. 

On the next day, Easter, April 3d, he received 
communion from the pope, and on Wednesday in 
Easter week he is reported to have confirmed the 
grant of territory made by his father to Pope Ste- 
phen, " increasing it by further donations in antici- 
pation of the fruits of his victory," wrote the papal 
biographer, Anastasius. 

Pavia surrendered June, 774, and Desiderius re- 

' 774, 781, 787, and 800 A. D.; Einhard, " Vita Karoli," c. 27; 
Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 533. 

King of the Lombards. 197 

tired to the monastery of Corbie. Athalgis fled to 
Constantinople, showing the alliance and common 
cause between the Lombard king and the emperor 
of the East, both of whom had been spoiled of their 
possessions and hopes of power by the pope. 
Charles enlarged his title to " King of the Franks 
and of the Lombards, and Patrician of the Ro- 

For the first time the conquest of the Franks was 
not merged into the Frankish kingdom. Charles, 
yielding, it is said, to the suggestion of the pope, 
merely added the title of " Lombard King" to his 
own, and respected the integrity of the Lombard 
organization appearing as successor to Desiderius. 
The Duke of Spoleto had already, in 773, thrown 
himself into the arms of the pope, and only one 
duke, Arichis of Benevento, the son-in-law of Desid- 
erius, refused to acknowledge the new king of the 
Lombards. The more complete and firmly estab- 
lished organization of the Lombard kingdom made 
it seem undesirable and inexpedient for him to at- 
tempt its absolute incorporation into the Frankish 
kingdom even if that were possible. Furthermore, 
the condition of affairs in his own kingdom prevent- 
ed his staying longer in Italy ; and summoned 
North by a fresh outbreak of the Saxons, he was 
unable to press his claims or to push his conquest 
further South. 

The old Lombard constitution remained in force, 
Charles adding laws of his own as seemed neces- 
sary. The dukes were left, partly at any rate, with 
the powers they already had. Charles was satisfied 

198 The Age of Charle^nagne. 

to be acknowledged by them as their king, and 
dukes and nobles did homage to him. To guard 
his rule he put a Prankish garrison in Pavia with 
Prankish officers, and appointed counts in single 
provinces, who there took the place of the early 
dukes ; hostages were received also to guarantee 
the fidelity of the Lombards. After making gener- 
ous gifts to various monasteries and to a hospital in 
Pavia, he left Italy in the last of July, and returned 
to continue the war against the Saxons. He made 
a special reckoning of the years of his reign in Italy, 
and in one of his capitularies speaks of the Lombard 
kings as " our predecessors, the kings of Italy." ' 

It is a mistake to affirm that Charles was 
crowned with the famous " iron crown of Lom- 
bardy, " supposed to contain the true nails of the 
cross, for that crown does not appear to have been 
worn until the fourteenth century.' 

Charles was in no haste to surrender the territory 
claimed by the papacy which he had just taken 
from the Lombards, and thus, as the pope declared, 
to fulfil the promise of his father. Pippin. The let- 
ter which Hadrian wrote to Charles in 778 is signifi- 
cant. He first expresses his regret that Charles 
and his queen had not presented themselves in 
Rome at Easter for the baptism of their newborn 

We also," he continues, " implore your excel- 
lency, best-beloved son and illustrious king, for the 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 204, No. 98. 

' Mombert, pp. 99, 100. 

* Pippin, the second son, born in the previous year, 777. 

The Modern Constantine. 199 

love of God and of the key-bearer of the kingdom 
of heaven, who has deigned to bestow upon you the 
kingdom of your father, that you order all things to 
be fulfilled in our time according to the promise 
which you made to God's apostle for the salvation 
of your soul and the stability of your realm ; that 
the church of Almighty God and of the blessed 
apostle Peter, to whom were given the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven and the power of binding and 
loosing, may continue to be exalted more and more, 
and that all things may be fulfilled according to 
your promise, and then to you will be ascribed re- 
ward in heavenly places and an excellent reputation 
in the whole world, and as in the time of the blessed 
Sylvester, pontiff of Rome, by the most pious em- 
peror Constantine the Great, of sacred memory, 
through his generosity the holy Catholic and apos- 
tolic Roman Church was restored and exalted and 
endowed with power in these parts of the West, so 
also in these most fortunate times of yours and 
ours may the holy church of God — that is, of the 
blessed apostle Peter — grow and enlarge and be ex- 
alted more and more, so that all people who hear of 
this may say, ' O Lord, save the king and hear us 
when we call upon Thee ! ' ' for lo ! our modern 
Constantine, most Christian emperor of God's ap- 
pointment, in these times has risen up, by whom 
God has deigned to increase the possessions of his 
holy church, the church of the blessed Peter, prince 
of the apostles. Besides, let all other lands which, 
by various emperors, patricians, and others fearing 

' Ps. xviii. 10. 

200 The Age of Charlemagne, 

God for the salvation of their souls and for the par- 
don of their sins, in parts of Tuscany, Spoleto, Bene- 
vento, Corsica, and in the Sabine patrimony, have 
been granted to the blessed apostle Peter and to 
the holy and apostolic Roman Church and by the 
execrable race of the Lombards in the course of 
years have been seized and carried off, now in your 
time be restored. Of which also we have many 
deeds of donation laid up in our sacred archives of 
the Lateran, which we have directed to be shown to 
you." ' 

This is especially noteworthy as being the first 
reference to the Forged Donation, but beyond the 
fact that the church owned large estates in Spoleto, 
Tuscany, Sabina, and Ravenna, to which undoubt- 
edly Charles made important additions, nothing can 
be maintained with any certainty. It is to be no- 
ticed also that the greater number of the papal let- 
ters have little or nothing to do with the spiritual 
and moral advancement of the church and the 
spread of Christianity, for which Charles and his 
bishops and other clergy were doing so much, but 
are filled with expressions of the papal longing for 
temporal possessions and the dread or complaint of 
their loss. The advancement of the church is 
synonymous with the increase of its temporal power 
and territorial aggrandizement, while spiritual wel- 
fare and salvation are made the reward for gifts of 
territory and of dominion. The relations of Charles 
with the pope were purely political, and the place 
w^hich the Bishop of Rome occupied seemed to be 
' Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 199, 200 ; Ep. 61, 778 a.d. 

The Donation by diaries. 201 

that of a temporal prince with supernatural powers. 
It is not to Rome, but to the Prankish bishops and 
clergy that we look for the ecclesiastical and spir- 
itual interests of Charles and of his realm. The 
times of Gregory and Augustine, and even the 
times of Zacharias and Boniface, have passed, and it 
will be long before they come again. The biog- 
rapher of Hadrian describes most minutely and at 
great length the visit of Charles to Rome, which 
he says was at first a great surprise to the pope. 
The care, however, with which he enters into every 
detail, and the elaborate ceremonies carried on on 
that occasion, show with what importance it was 
regarded at Rome. The solemn oath on each side, 
to which afterwards reference was frequently made, 
was of the utmost significance, and from this time 
the claims of the pope for the delivery and surer pos- 
session of the territories already granted by Pippin, 
and now confirmed by Charles to the blessed Peter, 
are the principal object of the correspondence be- 
tween the pope and the king. 

In view of the evidence adduced it can hardly be 
denied that Charles gave the promise of a gift which 
was essentially a repetition of his father's, and that 
he made an offering of this kind at the tomb of St. 
Peter. Of this the pope most diligently reminded 
him in every letter of their correspondence. It is 
also quite certain that Charles about this time re- 
stored to the Roman see a number of cities, lands, 
and castles which the Lombards had seized, but the 
exact details cannot be known ; even the papal 
biographer does not give the exact words, and it is 

202 The Age of Charlemagne. 

probable that the boundary definitions are the in- 
terpolation of later times.' The gain for the papal 
see under these conditions was not very great. 
Charles probably would not have made his promise 
of donation if the pope had not been able to appeal 
to the precedent established by his father. He 
himself showed through his whole later action that 
the restoration of the territory to the Roman see, 
which the pope demanded, did not lie very close to 
his heart, and the fulfilment of such a promise de- 
pended upon conditions which made it easy to defer 
if not to evade it. Had he earnestly determined to 
restore to the pope possession of all those lands, 
undoubtedly he could have accomplished it ; and 
that this did not happen, while not proving that he 
would break his promise, shows that he had little 
interest in it. 

The position of Charles as patrician of Rome 
throws much light on his relations with the papal 
see. Stephen HI. had called Pippin and his son to 
the patriciate of Rome as a sort of military pro- 
tectorship and honorary chieftainship over the 
church and her interests, but naturally without de- 
pendence on the emperor, since the pope and not 
the emperor had named them patricians. 

It was not for the interest of the pope, however, 
to use this title very generally, since it carried with 
it an idea of rule and of governorship. It w^as to 
lay upon the Carolingians obligations rather than 
to confer upon them rights and privileges. Ever 

' Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 180-1S2 ; 21S-220 ; Abel-Simson, vol. i.. 
pp. 156-170. 

King and Patrician. 203 

since the journey of Charles to Italy a change had 
come, not so much on account of his Easter visit to 
Rome, but in consequence of the complete ruin of 
the Lombard kingdom. He had now added to the 
honorary dignity of the patriciate the actual power 
of the Lombard king. He would realize the duties 
and rights of his patriciate ; but now, not in the 
name of the emperor, or even in that of the pope, 
but in his own, and he succeeded practically to the 
place of the emperor both in Roman and in Grecian 
Italy. On these relations depended the greater 
difficulties in the way of carrying out the donations. 
Even in the territories whose possession the pope 
really gained the rights of his sway were not uncon- 
tested. In no part of the possessions of the church 
was he wholly independent ; everywhere the Prank- 
ish king had certain rights, though nothing definite 
had been determined as to the limits of those rights 
on either side. It happened, in consequence of this 
lack of definiteness, that the relations of the pope 
with the royal officers, and often with the king him- 
self, led frequently to sharp discussions, from which 
it sometimes resulted that in all the lands of the 
church the supremacy belonged not to the pope, 
but to the Frankish king.' In this respect there was 
no difference between the exarchate and the other 
possessions of the pope where Charles exercised the 
right of supremacy." Here too he showed quite 

' Waitz, vol. iii., p. i8i, note 2 ; Abel-Simson, vol. i., p. 174 
and note i ; Dollinger, " Charles the Great," pp. 103-108. 

'^ Dollinger, " Charles the Great," p. 104, note 2. Citing the 
affair of Archbishop Martin as a case in point ; Abel-Simson, 
vol. i., pp. 212-214. 

204 The Age of Charlemagne. 

distinctly how slight was his zeal for the spread of 
church territory, for he allowed the exarchate to 
fall quite completely into the possession of the 
Archbishop of Ravenna, and for several years it was 
withheld by him from the pope. Charles was now 
recognized as the supreme ruler in all the territories 
of the church. For him prayer was offered in 
Hadrian's ritual in the Roman Church, as through- 
out the whole Frankish kingdom.' The people in 
papal territory must swear fidelity to him as well as 
to the pope,° and long before his coronation as em- 
peror the Romans in Italy were regarded as his vas- 
sals and Rome itself as a city of his kingdom.^ 
When Hadrian died in 795 and Leo was elected in 
his place, he transmitted, as once already had his 
predecessor, Stephen, to Charles Martel, the keys 
of the tomb of St. Peter and the banner of the city, 
joining with it the request that the king would send 
one of his nobles to bind by oath the Roman peo- 
ple in fidelity and submission to him.^ 

Nor can there be any doubt that Charles claimed 
true royal rights in Rome, and that Leo completely 
recognized them.^ He was the first of the popes 
who dated his public acts with the years of Charles's 

Oppressed by an opposing party in the city, who 
charged him with heinous crimes, seized, maltreat- 

' Jaff6, vol. iv., p. 205 ; Ep. 64, 774-780 A.D, 

* Ibid , p. 187. 

' DoUinger, " Charles the Great," p. 105, referring to Paulus. 

* Jaff6, vol. iv. p. 187 ; Ep. 56, 775 a.d. ; Abel-Simson, vol. i., 

P- 175- 

* Jaff6, vol. iv., p. 354; Ep. Car., 10, 796 a.d. 

The Papal Oath of Purgation, 205 

ed, and wounded, Leo, in 799, fled to Charles, 
whom he found in far-off Saxony. Ofificers of the 
king escorted him back to Rome, held a trial of his 
oppressors, and sent them into exile beyond the 
Alps.' And when, a year later, Charles himself 
came to Rome, the pope cleared himself from the 
charge with an oath in his presence. The following 
account is given by the papal biographer : 

" After a little while the great king himself came 
to the church of St. Peter, and was received with 
great honor. He then called together the arch- 
bishops, bishops, abbots, and all the nobility of the 
Franks and the equally illustrious men of the Ro- 
mans, and the great king and the most blessed pon- 
tiff sitting together, made the archbishops, bishops, 
and abbots sit near them, while the others, the 
priests and nobles, stood, that they might render a 
decision regarding the crimes charged against the 
pope. All declared : ' We do not dare to judge 
the apostolic see, which is the head of all the 
churches of God, for we all are judged by it and by 
its vicar ; but it is judged by no one according to 
the ancient custom. As the chief pontiffs so have 
decreed, we canonically obey. ' But the venerable 
head of the church said, ' I follow the precedents 
of my predecessors, and from such false incrimina- 
tion as they have wickedly charged upon me I am 
ready to purge myself.' " '■' 

The oath is as follows : " Wherefore I, Leo, 

' "Ann. Lauresh.," an. ygg ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 37 ; "Ann. 
Laur. Maj. and Einhardi," an. 799; M. G. SS., vol. i., pp. 184-187. 
■^ "Lib. Pontif.," vol. ii., p. 7, c. 21. 

2o6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

pontiff of the whole Roman Church, judged by no 
one, neither forced by any, but of my own free will, 
do purify and purge myself in your sight, and be- 
fore God and his angels, who know my conscience, 
and the blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, in 
whose church we are, that I have neither perpe- 
trated nor ordered to be done those criminal and 
wicked acts which they charge against me. God is 
my witness, to whose judgment-seat we all must 
come, and in whose sight we all just stand. And 
this I do of my own free will, on account of the 
suspicions raised against me ; not as though it were 
laid down in the canons, nor so as to bind this cus- 
tom or decree upon my successors in the holy 
church, or upon my brethren and fellow-bishops." ' 
The papal biographer continues : " But on the 
next day, in the same church of St. Peter, all the 
archbishops, bishops, abbots, and all the Franks 
who were in the service of the great king, and all 
the Roman people being assembled, in their pres- 
ence the venerable pontiff embraced the four holy 
gospels of Christ, and before them all ascended to 
the pulpit and, under oath, said, with a clear voice : 
' Indeed, of those false crimes with which the Ro- 
mans have accused me, who have unjustly persecut- 
ed me, I have no knowledge, and I deny that I 
have done such things.' All then joined in a litany 
of praise to God, to the Virgin Mary, to St. Peter, 
and to all the saints. After these things, the day 
of the birth of Christ arriving, they were all in the 
same church again, and then the venerable and 
' Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 378 ; Ep. Car., 20, a.d. 800. 

The Coronation. 207 

beneficent pontiff with his own hand crowned him 
with the most precious crown. Then all the faithful 
Romans, seeing what great care and love he had for 
the holy Roman Church and its vicar, unanimously, 
with a loud voice, by the will of God and of the 
blessed Peter, key-bearer of heaven, exclaimed : 
To Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by 
God, great and pacific emperor, life and victory ! ' 
Before the sacred tomb of the blessed apostle Peter, 
invoking many saints, it was thrice said, and he was 
constituted by all emperor of the Romans. There 
also the most holy chief and pontiff anointed with 
holy oil Charles, his most excellent son, as king on 
the same day/ and Mass being ended, the most 
serene lord emperor offered a silver table, and at 
the tomb of St. Peter, with his sons and daughters, 
vases of pure gold and other gifts." ^ 

' Charles had been raised to the kingship in 788, and had re- 
ceived from his father a Inngdom in Neustria in 789. Abel-Simson, 
vol. ii., pp. 6, 7. 

^ "Lib. Pontif.," vol. ii., pp. 7 ff., c. 22-25. 



F the personal action of the pope in the 
coronation of Charles the Great, two dif- 
ferent accounts are given, the Prankish 
and the papal, but these two accounts 
vary in so many important particulars 
that they cannot be combined. One must be right 
and the other wrong, and from internal evidence the 
Prankish seems more entitled to credence. The 
papal account was given at the close of the preced- 
ing chapter. 

The fullest account from Prankish sources is 
given in the Chronicle of Moissac, and is as fol- 
lows : " Now on the most holy day of the Lord's 
birth,* while the king was at mass, upon rising after 
prayer before the tomb of the blessed Apostle Peter, 

' Friday, Dec. 25, 800 A. D. 

'■^Adoration' by the Pope. 209 

Pope Leo, with the consent of all the bishops and 
priests and of the chief men of the Franks and like- 
wise of the Romans, set a golden crown upon his 
head, while the Roman people shouted aloud : 
* To Charles Augustus, crowned by God the great 
and peace-giving emperor of the Romans, Life and 
Victory ! ' After hymns of praise had been sung 
by the people, he received the adoration of the 
pope,' after the apostolic manner of the ancient em- 
perors, since this also was done by the will of God. 
For while the emperor was at Rome, certain men 
were brought to him saying that the name of the 
emperor had ceased among the Greeks, and a woman 
held imperial rule among them, Irene by name, who 
had caused her son, the emperor, to be seized by 
treachery, and had put out his eyes and usurped for 
herself the imperial rule, as it is written of Athaliah 
in the Book of Kings. When they heard of this, 
Leo the pope, with all the assembly of the bishops, 
priests, and abbots, the senate of the Franks, and 
all the elders of the Romans, with the rest of the 
Christian people, held a council, and decided that 
they ought to give to Charles, the king of the 
Franks, the name of emperor, inasmuch as he held 
Rome, the mother of the empire, where the Caesars 
and the emperors always used to sit, and lest the 
heathens should mock the Christians if the name of 
emperor had ceased among them."'' The other 
account declares that Charles held Rome itself and 

' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 8oi ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 189. 
2 "Chronic. Moiss.," an. 801 (for 800) ; M. G. SS., vol. i., pp. 
505, 506. 


2IO The Age of Charlemagne. 

all the other regions which he ruled throughout 
Italy, Gaul, and Germany, and because the Al- 
mighty God had given all these lands into his power, 
so it seemed best to the council that, with the help 
of God and at the prayer of the whole Christian peo- 
ple, he should take the name of emperor. Whose 
petition King Charles was himself unwilling to re- 
fuse, but with all humility submitted himself to 
God, and at the petition of the priests and all the 
Christian people, on the day of the nativity of our 
Lord Jesus Christ took upon himself the name of 
emperor, being consecrated by the lord Pope Leo.' 

The noteworthy differences between these various 
accounts relate to the charges against the pope and 
his justification of himself before Charles, to the 
assemblies, consultations, formal petitions, and final 
decisions preceding the coronation itself, and to the 
fact that the papal account makes no mention of 
the adoration of the emperor by the pope according 
to the ancient custom, an important and undoubt- 
edly a real feature of the coronation and one not 
unsuited to the occasion.'' A pope had already 
prostrated himself before Pippin, and the interven- 
tion of Charles was greatly needed by Pope Leo at 
this time. Bryce is right, however, in calling atten- 
tion to the absence of anything showing a strictly 
legal character. 

" The Prankish king does not of his own might 
seize the crown, but rather receives it as coming 
naturally to him, as the legitimate consequence of 

' "Ann. Lauresh.," an. 8oi ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 38. 
« " Einhardi Ann.," an. 801 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 189. 

Theories of the Corojiatioii. 2 1 1 

the authority he already enjoyed. The pope be- 
stows the crown, not in virtue of any right of his 
own as head of the church ; he is merely the instru- 
ment of God's providence, which has unmistakably 
pointed out Charles as the proper person to defend 
and lead the Christian commonwealth. The Roman 
people do not formally elect and appoint, but by 
their applause accept the chief who is presented to 
them. He came as conceived of, as directly ordered 
by the Divine Providence which has brought about 
a state of things that admits of but one issue — an 
issue which king, priest, and people have only to 
recognize and obey — their personal ambitions, pas- 
sions, intrigues, sinking and vanishing in reverential 
awe at what seems the immediate interposition of 
Heaven. And as the result is desired by all parties 
alike, they do not think of inquiring into one an- 
other's rights, but take their momentary harmony 
to be natural and necessary, never dreaming of the 
difficulties and conflicts which were to arise out of 
what seemed then so simple. And it was just be- 
cause everything was thus left undetermined, not 
resting on express stipulations, but rather on a sort 
of mutual understanding and sympathy of beliefs 
and wishes which augured no evil, that the event 
admitted of being afterwards represented in so many 
different lights." ' 

It was only later in the bitter struggle between 
the Hohenstaufen emperors and the papacy that 
each party sought to find in the coronation of 
Charles a precedent for the rights which he claimed. 

■ Bryce, pp. 56, 57. 

212 The Age of Chai^lemagne. 

/ The circumstances thus show that there must have 
been some preparation for the event. Negotiations 
for the union between the powers of East and West 
had already taken place, and at one time Rothrud, 
the eldest daughter of Charles, had been betrothed 
at the age of eight to Constantine, the youthful em- 
peror ten years of age, but this betrothal came to 
nothing, though there was a rumor that Charles 
himself was to marry the mother of the emperor. 
Irene then determined to seize the imperial power, 
and, as we have seen, blinded her son and usurped 
his throne. Prankish nobles or Romans and the 
pope became impatient, desiring to establish their 
independence of the empire of Constantinople which 
all of them had practically realized. It is quite 
probable that the coronation was discussed by 
Charles and the pope at the latter's visit to Pader- 
born in 799, and also probably with Hadrian, Pope 
Leo's predecessor, yet Einhard positively declares 
that the coronation came as a great surprise to 
Charles, and he asserts that at the first Charles had 
such an aversion to the titles of Emperor and 
Augustus, " that he declared that he would not have 
set foot in the church the day they were conferred, 
although it was a great feast-day, could he have 
foreseen the design of the pope." ' This statement 
cannot be explained away as an affectation or a fic- 
tion. The apparent contradiction can be explained 
by the fact that the surprise and objection felt by 

' Einhard, " Vita Karoli," c. 28 ; " Poeta Saxo," bk. v., verses 
527-534; Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 533, 662. Confirmed by "Ann. 
Max," an. Soi ; Abel-Simson, vol. ii., p. 239. 

opposition of Charles to the Coronatio7i. 213 

Charles were due to the time and manner of the act 
rather than to the act itself. The action of the 
pope was too precipitate. Charles, not wishing to 
antagonize the Greeks, probably had not given full 
consent to the plan, although he may have discussed 
it, nor had he made the final preparations for it. 
Yet ten of the chief dignitaries of the realm, two 
archbishops, five bishops, and three counts, whom 
he had sent as royal envoys to escort the pope back 
to Rome, had been in Rome for over a year, and 
must have been present at the deliberations and the 
council where it was planned. Also it is probable 
that Charles did not altogether like the self-ap- 
pointed position assumed by the pope in adding to 
the religious ceremony of anointing with the holy 
oil, the actual placing of the golden crown upon his 
head, implying, as it did, political rights and supe- 
riority. At any rate, it is significant that when the 
crown was bestowed upon Louis the Pious, in whose 
reign Einhard wrote, Charles directed his son to 
take it from the altar and place it on his own head.' 
It was on this account that he allowed himself to be 
crowned by the pope in 816, when, after the death 
of Charles, he reigned alone." The truth was, the 
pope needed Charles as an emperor even more than 
Charles needed the imperial title. Leo had already 
recognized him as overlord four years before, and 
realized that the coronation would make him even 
more the protector of the church, and would iden- 
tify him more closely with her interests. 

' Thegan, " De Gestis Ludpw. Pii," c. 6. 
^ Cf. Mombert, p. 365. 

2 14 The Age of Charlemagne. 

There is little or no evidence of any serious 
thoughts in regard to the attitude and position 
which the East might take. Its real power ir Italy- 
had long since passed away, and beyond a few pos- 
sessions in the south it had no place. The contests 
and confusions in Italy had made the imperial 
crown of special value and significance to Charles in 
his endeavors to restore order and to establish a 
strong central authority. Furthermore, the weak- 
ness of the East was a disgrace to the church, and 
thus the pope had already ceased to mention the 
regnal years of the emperor in dating his edicts and 
decrees. The Council of Nice, which met in 787, 
and declared against the iconoclasts and in favor of 
image worship, had aroused the objection of Charles, 
and the Caroline books, issued just after the council 
which Charles held at Frankfort in 794, had been 
his reply, and he had even called upon Hadrian to 
denounce the emperor as a heretic. Hadrian had 
answered that he would summon the imperial court 
at Constantinople to surrender to the Roman See 
the patrimony of the jurisdiction of the Illyrian dio- 
cese, and that if this was refused, he would then con- 
demn the emperor as a heretic' This is why in the 
coronation of Charles little consideration was paid to 
the Roman emperor in the East, though probably 
the hesitation of Charles was due to his desire to 
make an amicable arrangement with the court of 
Constantinople before taking the final step. 

Charles was recognized already as lord of Rome, 
and Alcuin said, in 799, " Rome belongs by right 

' Mansi, vol xiii., p. 759 ; Jaffe, vol. vi., p. 24S ; Ale. Ep. 33. 

Relation of the New Empire to the East. 2 1 5 

of possession to the king ; she is the true head of 
the body of his reahn ;" and in a tribute to the good 
fortune and brilHant personal quahties of Charles 
himself, Alcuin declared that Charles excelled both 
pope and emperor in might, in wisdom, and in royal 

Charles had outgrown his position as king of the 
Franks, and was already in reality the emperor, 
though without the title, for, with the exception of 
Britain, Spain, and Northern Africa, all of the im- 
perial possessions of old Rome owned his sway, 
while he had extended the ancient boundaries far to 
the north beyond the Danube and the Rhine, nor 
had he merely enlarged his territory. Rome hu- 
miliated, ill-used, and degraded to the ignoble role 
of a distant provincial town, was quite ready to wel- 
come an emperor of her own, and thus to hold again 
her old position of mistress of the nations and ruler 
of the world. 

The relation of the newly created empire to the 
East was more difficult to determine, and the ques- 
tion as to whether one or two empires resulted still 
vexes historians. The coronation of Charles carried 
with it a revival and renewal of the imperial power 
of Rome, and the restoration of the empire was 
represented on a leaden seal, the reverse bearing 
Charles's portrait and the words, " Our lord Charles 
the pious, happy and ever Augustus," the obverse 
the gate of a city between two towers surmounted 
by a cross, below which was the word " Rome," 
and around it the inscription, " The Revival [Rcno- 
' Jaffe, vol. vi., Alcuini Epist., No. 114. 

2i6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

vatio) of the Roman Empire." It has been said 
that this was effected without creating two Roman 
empires, and in a sense this is true. The imperial 
throne at Constantinople was vacant, only a woman 
occupied the place, and this was presented as one 
of the reasons for Charles's coronation, as stated by 
the chronicles. Undoubtedly Charles would have 
wished to have made some arrangements with the 
imperial power at Constantinople before taking the 
imperial crown, but that had been impossible. On 
the authority of an Eastern chronicler, Theophanes, 
we learn that he did propose marriage to Irene, 
but the plan was opposed by her chief minister, 
yEtius, and a short time afterwards a conspiracy 
placed the imperial treasurer, Nicephorus, on the 

In a sense also there was unquestionably a trans- 
fer of the imperial power from Constantinople to 
Rome, and this transfer did result ultimately in the 
existence of two empires, for beyond this plan of 
Charles, in regard to the marriage to Irene, there 
was no attempt or thought to conquer or absorb the 
East ; and when the new emperor was crowned at 
Constantinople, Charles tried to gain his acknowledg- 
ment.'' It must have been felt that the imperial 
power over Rome, which had been held by the 
Roman emperor at Constantinople ever since the 

' Dollinger, "Charles the Great," p. 133. 

'^ In the annals of the time Charles is called the sixty-eighth 
emperor, Constantine VI. the sixty seventh. Brice, p. 63. When 
Rudolph of Hapsburg confirmed the papal possessions in Italy to 
the pope, one of the reasons given was that the Holy See had 
transferred the empire to the Germans from the Greeks. "Cod, 
Epist. Rudulphi," vol. i., p. 80 ; quoted by Lea, p. 38, note 3. 

Two Emperors and Tzvo Empires. 2 1 7 

sixth century, was restored now to the West, and 
that henceforth in the strictest Western sense the 
rulers at Constantinople were no longer Roman em- 
perors. There was unquestionably also a recog- 
nition on both sides, not only of two emperors, but 
of two empires, Einhard in his annals tells us that, 
in the year 812, the Emperor Nicephorus died in 
battle, and his son-in-law Michael, having succeeded 
him upon the imperial throne, received at Constan- 
tinople deputies sent to Michael by the Emperor 
Charles, and sent them away with an embassy of his 
own to confirm the treaty of peace, for which nego- 
tiations had been begun with Nicephorus. In a 
letter written in 811 by " Charles I., Emperor to 
Nicephorus, Emperor of the Greeks," as the title 
reads, he addresses him as his brother, and seeks to 
gain his recognition.' 

In a letter, in 813, written to Michael, he ad- 
dresses him as follows : "In the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 
Charles by divine grace, emperor and Augustus, and 
likewise king of the Franks and Lombards, to his 
beloved and honorable brother Michael, glorious 
emperor and Augustus, eternal salvation in Our 
Lord Jesus Christ," while in the very beginning of 
this letter he expresses his gratitude that by divine 
favor, " in our own days the thing sought and for- 
ever desired, peace between the Eastern and West- 
ern Empire, has been established." '•* This shows 
very clearly the view which was held by Charles in 

* Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 393-396 ; Ep. Carol. 29. 

* Ibid., pp. 415, 416; Ep. Carol. 40. 

2i8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

regard to the condition of affairs and the relation 
between Rome and Constantinople. In 812 the 
ambassadors of the Eastern Empire addressed 
Charles as " emperor" in the church at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, and years afterwards when, in the twelfth 
century, the rivalry between the two once more 
broke out, Isaac of Constantinople addressed Fred- 
erick as " most generous emperor of Germany," and 
in another letter uses this form, " Isaac, faithful in 
Christ, divinely crowned, sublime, potent, highly 
exalted, heir to the crown of Constantine the Great, 
Romaic {Ronicori) moderator and angel, to the most 
noble emperor of ancient Rome, king of Germany, 
and beloved brother in his imperial rule, greeting." ' 

Charles intended immediately after his coronation 
to make a conquest of Sicily in order to save it from 
the Saracens, but he gave up this plan in order to 
purchase peace with Constantinople, and in 837 Sicily 
passed under the Moslem control. After years of 
opposing differences and long discussions an agree- 
ment came about, which left to the Greeks Venetia 
and Dalmatia and the possessions belonging to them 
in southern Italy, while Charles gained recognition 
as emperor. Thus the Roman Empire dissolved 
partnership with the East, and restricted its rights 
to the West, where it revived its ancient rule.^ 

The pope, regarded as the representative of the 
empire and of Romanism, and surely as the head of 
Latin nationality, and still more as the recognized 
spiritual overseer of the Christian republic, possessed 

' Bryce, p. 192, note i. 

' Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 200, 201. 

The Empire and the ChiLi^ch. 219 

the power of accomplishing that revolution, which 
without the aid of the church would have been im- 
possible, and gave a visible guarantee of that divine 
sanction which was needed to justify the event. 
Perhaps Charles, as well as Leo, did believe in the 
possibility of preserving the indivisibility of the em- 
pire like that of the church, but the continuance of 
the imperial line at Constantinople, after the brief 
vacancy foUov/ing the death of Constantine VI., 
rendered futile any such hopes. With the history, 
the traditions, and the name of Rome there was 
unquestionably revived the idea of a \vorld empire, 
such as had ever been bound up with the Roman 
name, and its realization was sought, at least as far 
as it might be realized, among all the people and in 
all the states in the West — that is, in Europe. 

Thus the union with the church made its influence 
felt, and thus the church imparted to the empire 
something of its character and aims and purposes, 
that just as the church had the task, and must 
ever strive to extend its sphere by the spread of 
Christianity among people as yet unconverted, so 
the rule of the emperor received therefrom the 
prospect of a wider expansion, without regard 
to the earlier limits of the ancient empire, but co- 
extensive with the church. This gave it new rela- 
tions and new tasks, though with distinctly German 
characteristics. The empire was called Roman, 
but it was really a Christian Germanic power. It 
was the final result of that development which began 
with the wandering of the German tribes and their 
extension over the Roman provinces, and which had 

2 20 The Age of Charlemagne. 

carried with it their conversion to Christianity, their 
reception into the Christian church, and had now 
placed their foremost leader on the imperial throne 
of Christian Rome. All the power and dominions 
hitherto obtained by the Prankish kings were now 
added to the empire. 



HE coronation of Charles by the pope 
brought the new emperor into closer and 
more intimate relations with the papacy, 
though conferring upon him no additional 
rights, but now once for all the relation- 
ship with the East was finally broken, and all the 
connections which had existed between the church 
and the emperor from the time of Constantine the 
Great to Constantine VI. were transferred to Charles 
the Great. As to the source from which he derived 
his imperial authority it is not easy to say, though it 
is impossible to go as far as Waitz goes in affirming 
that " neither the coronation by the pope nor the 
salutation by the people could have conferred any 
formal right on the new emperor, and that the right 


22 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of Charles lay in the might of the deeds which had 
brought about this elevation to which the voice of 
the people had given only a recognition and some 
definite expression.' Unquestionably the imperial 
dignity would never have been conferred upon 
Charles had it not been for his wonderful successes 
within the kingdom, and in his conquests beyond 
its boundaries, especially over the Lombards, and 
the consequent need of some strong established civil 
power in Italy for the protection of the papacy and 
its rights, as well as for the maintenance of peace 
and order. 

As for the justification of the act, it is not far 
to seek. The Greeks had degraded the imperial 
dignity and allowed it to fall into the blood- 
stained hands of a woman, and the Romans, failing 
to receive any protection from the East, had re- 
sumed their ancient right of election. Thus the 
imperial authority in the West had been transferred 
to the leader of the Franks, because he was the 
master of the city which was the capital of the 
empire, and exercised a truly imperial rule. It is 
significant that Theophanes, the only Byzantine 
contemporary who mentions the occurrence, has 
omitted any reference to the election and consent 
of the people. " It is hardly necessary to observe," 
says Bury in a very important passage, " that the 
election of the new Roman emperor, if it was not 
legally defensible, was yet as thoroughly justifiable 
by the actual history of the two preceding centuries, 
as it has been justified by the history of the ten suc- 
' Waitz, vol. iii., pp. 195, ig6. 

Justification of the Papal Action. 223 

ceeding centuries. For the popes had practically 
assumed in the West the functions and the position 
of the emperor. It was around them and their 
bishops that the municipalities rallied in a series of 
continual struggles with the Lombards. The pres- 
ence of the emperor's delegates in Italy was becom- 
ing every year less effectual. It was the pope who 
organized missionary enterprises to convert the 
heathen in the West, just as it was the emperor 
who furthered similar enterprises in the East. Greg- 
ory I., in spite of the respectful tone of his letters to 
Maurice and Phocas, was the civil potentate in Italy. 
The mere fact that the pope was the largest landed 
proprietor in Roman Italy concurred to give him 
an almost monarchical position. As the virtual sov- 
ereign then of Italy as far as it was Roman — for 
even in the day of the exarchs he had often been its 
sovereign more truly than the exarch or the emperor 
— and as the bearer of the idea of the Roman Em- 
pire with all its traditions of civilization, the pope 
had a right, by the standard of justice, to transfer 
the representation of the ideas whereof he was the 
keeper to one who was able to realize them." ' He 
had accomplished by peaceful measures that which 
nations are able to effect sometimes only by bloody 

Yet Charles relied upon neither the corona- 
tion by the pope nor the election by the people, 
nor did he make Rome the capital of his em- 
pire nor recognize in the Roman people in the 
future any right to dispose of the imperial dignity, 
' Bury, vol. ii., pp. 508, 509. 

2 24 The Age of Charlemagne. 

nor did he conceive of the imperial authority as if 
in the future it depended on the consecration of the 
pope. He visited Rome only four times during his 
reign, and his stay was always short, for he had no 
residence there, and was only the guest of the pope 
in the Lateran. Louis, his son and successor, never 
went there, and Lothair v/as the next to receive the 
imperial crown in Rome. On the death of Louis H. 
without issue a contest for the imperial dignity 
arose, and was settled only by an appeal to the 
pope. Pope John VI IL, taking advantage of the 
circumstances, offered the crown to Charles the 
Bold, and, his invitation being accepted, the pope 
appeared once more as the supreme authority in 
naming and crowning the emperor. Thus the sec- 
ond Charles was crowned by the pope in Rome on 
Christmas Day, 875. He was obliged, however, to 
renounce formally all claims over the States of the 
Church, as the papal possessions in Italy were called. 
After this the pontifical coronation was considered 
necessary and decisive in case of contesting claims, 
and after the creation of the Holy Roman Empire 
by Otto I., in 962, it was inseparably connected 
with the title of emperor. 

At this first coronation of Charles the Great, how- 
ever, the pope had merely to confirm and to give relig- 
ious recognition to that power which, so far as it was 
exercised, existed independently of him — indeed to 
which he himself, together with Rome and all his pos- 
sessions, was subject. Charles had been the first to 
make use of the title of "patrician," although it had 
been bestowed in the first place upon his father, but 

Imperial Supremacy. 225 

the name of " patrician" now disappeared or was 
swallowed up in the larger and more comprehensive 
title of " emperor," giving a more settled character 
and a firmer basis to the rights which he had already- 
exercised not only as patrician, but as conqueror of 
Italy and king of the Lombards. Rome belonged to 
the empire. The pope was a bishop belonging to it 
as others did, though of higher rank and authority, 
and in many respects in a peculiar position, but still 
bound to the emperor, to whom Leo speaks of his 
service due, which he and the people of the city 
recognized by the usual oath of fidelity. This is 
shown by the very necessity which seems to have 
been the immediate cause of the coronation of itself, 
the persecution inflicted upon Leo by his enemies, 
which drove him from Rome and led him to seek 
for protection and support at the feet of Charles, to 
whom both he and the nobles of the city referred 
the case for judgment, constituted Charles as a 
tribunal to try the case, and formed a basis for that 
recognition of the supremacy of the civil power 
which seemed so essential to the maintenance of the 
papacy.' Now more than ever Charles stood forth 
as the protector and supporter of the church, the 
secular head, just as the pope was the spiritual head, 
and the acts of Charles were an increasing realiza- 
tion of this great fact, although they had been mani- 
fested in the preceding years of his reign, particu- 
larly after the conquest of the Lombards and the 
peculiarly intimate relations with the pope which 
that event brought about. 

' "Ann. Lauresh.," an. 800 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 38, 

226 The Age of Charlemagne. 

On many occasions, not only in his capitularies 
and in the great missionary work which he encour- 
aged and sustained, in his recognition of the church 
in political as well as in religious life, but also in his 
conversation, he showed a deep and reverent appre- 
ciation of the high religious position to which he 
was called as head of the united kingdoms of the 
West and the patron and protector of the church 
and of Christianity. He might well be called by 
the pope a second Constantine the Great, not on 
account of his donations of land and of temporal 
wealth, but rather on account of the devotion of his 
heart and the consecration of all the forces of his 
being to that great work which he accomplished for 
the church in the West at a most critical period of 
its existence. Nor was this attitude of mind and 
soul without its cause. 

Among the Christian Fathers known and studied 
at his time, especially by Alcuin and in the palace 
school, were the writings of St. Augustine, of which 
Charles was especially fond, never tiring of hearing 
them read. " While at table," Einhard tells us, " he 
listened to reading or music. The subjects of the 
readings were the stories and deeds of olden time ; he 
was fond, too, of St. Augustine's books, and es- 
pecially of the one entitled the ' City of God.' " " 

The magnificent ideal presented in this, one of 
the grandest and noblest treatises in all theology 
and politics, seems to have had the strongest influ- 
ence upon his own ideas, and held before that new, 
fresh genius of the West, just rising out of barbar- 

' Einhard, " Vita," c. 24. 

Charles and St. Augustine. 227 

ism, the highest standard which the ancient world 
of Rome and the noblest truths of Christianity could 
create. " Would to God," he is reported to have 
said, " I had twelve such men as St. Augustine !" 
to which Alcuin significantly replied, " The Creator 
of heaven and earth was content with one." * Per- 
haps one of the finest evidences of this spirit and 
ideal are presented in the General Admonition, as it 
is called, set forth in the form of a capitulary in the 
assembly of 798, many of the passages of which will 
well repay quotation. 

" In the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
ruleth forever, I, Charles, by the grace of God and 
by the favor of his mercy, king and ruler of the 
kingdom of the Franks, and the devoted defender 
and humble helper of the holy church, to all ranks 
of ecclesiastical piety and dignities of secular power 
the salutation of perpetual peace and blessedness in 
Christ our Lord, the God eternal. Regarding with 
the peaceful consideration of a pious mind, together 
with our priests and counsellors, the abundant clem- 
ency of Christ our King towards us and towards our 
people, and how needful it is not only with the 
whole heart and mouth to return thanks continually 
for his compassion, but also by a constant exercise 
of good works to show forth his praise, so that he 
who has conferred such great honor upon our realm 
may deign by his protection to preserve us and our 
kingdom forever. Wherefore it has pleased us to 
ask your ability, O pastors of the Church of Christ 
and leaders of his flock, most shining lights of the 
^ Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 639 ; " Mon. Sangall.," bk. i , c. x. 

2 28 The Age of Charlemagne. 

world, that by your watchful care and zealous ad- 
monition you strive earnestly to lead God's people 
to the pastures of eternal life, and to bring back the 
erring sheep to safety within the strong walls of the 
church, in the arms of your good examples and ex- 
hortations, lest the treacherous wolf finding any 
outside devour one who transgresses the canonical 
sanctions or goes beyond the paternal traditions of 
the universal councils. So by the great zeal of your 
devotion admonishing and exhorting them, they 
must be compelled at once to remain within the 
paternal sanctions with a firm faith and steadfast 
perseverance ; in which labor and zeal let your 
holiness most surely know that our diligence will 
co-operate with yours. Wherefore we have sent to 
you our commissioners {missi), who by the authority 
of our name will with you correct all that needs cor- 
rection. Moreover, we subjoin also some capitu- 
laries from the canonical institutions' which seem to 
us to be most necessary. Let no one, I ask, judge 
this pious admonition to be presumptuous whereby 
we desire to correct what is in error, to do away 
with what is superfluous and to strengthen that 
which is right, but let him receive it with a favor- 
able and charitable disposition ; for we read in the 
Books of the Kings how the holy Josiah, going 
about the kingdom given to him by God, correct- 
ing and admonishing, strove to recall the people to 
the v/orship of the true God ; not that I can make 
myself his equal in holiness, but that we must ever 

' The Dionysian Collection sent to Charles by Pope Hadrian 
in 774. 

T/ic General Admonitio7i. 229 

follow the example of the holy men everywhere, 
and, as far as we can, join in the endeavor after a 
good life to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus 

After this noble introduction, unquestionably 
written by Charles himself, the capitularies proceed 
to enforce certain of the decrees of the Council of 
Nice and of Chalcedon as well as of Antioch, Sar- 
dica, and other minor councils. Appeal is made 
also to the decrees of Popes Leo, Innocent, and 

Further capitularies of a general significance are 
then added, and are here numbered as in the orig- 
inal : 

"61. First of all, that the Catholic faith may be 
diligently taught and preached to all the people by 
the bishops and presbyters, because this is the first 
commandment of the Lord God Almighty in the 
law, ' Hear, O Israel : The Lord our God is one 
Lord : and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with 
all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all 
thy mind, and with all thy strength.' ' 

62. That there may be peace and harmony and 
concord with all Christian people among bishops, 
abbots, counts, judges, and all people everywhere, 
the least as well as the greatest, because nothing is 
pleasing to God without peace, not even the gift of 
the holy oblation at the altar." 

Then follow many appropriate quotations from 
the gospels and epistles relating to love and justice 
and the other" precepts of the gospel." 

' Deut. vi.4, 5 ; as quoted in St. Mark xii. 2g, 30. 

230 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

" 70. That the bishops should diligently examine 
the presbyters in their diocese as to their faith and 
celebrations of baptisms and masses, that they hold 
the right faith and administer baptisms according to 
the Catholic usage, and well understand the prayers 
of the mass, and that the Psalms be properly sung 
according to the divisions of the verses, that they 
understand the Lord's Prayer, and preach so as to 
be understood by all, that each may know what he 
asks of God ; and that the Gloria Patri be sung by 
all Vv^ith due honor, and the priest himself with the 
holy angels and the people of God together sing the 
Saiictiis, Sanctits, Sanctits. And by all means the 
presbyters and deacons must be told that they may 
not bear arms, but trust in the protection of God 
rather than in arms. 

"71. Likewise it has pleased us to admonish your 
reverence that each one of you should see that 
throughout his diocese the Church of God has its 
due honor, and that the altars are venerated accord- 
ing to their dignity, that the house of God and the 
sacred altars may not be accessible to dogs, and 
that the vessels consecrated to God may be gathered 
up with great care and treated with respect by those 
who are worthy. Also that secular business and 
vain conversation be not carried on in the churches, 
because the house of God should be a house of 
prayer and not a den of thieves ; and that the peo- 
ple have minds intent upon God when they come to 
the solemn service of the mass, and let them not 
depart before the ending of the priestly benedic- 

Ecclesiastical and Secular Affairs. 231 

Just as plain and explicit directions are given re- 
garding scriptural preaching according to the Nicene 
Creed, denouncing crimes, admonishing to virtues. 
This document, worthy of a modern bishop's pas- 
toral, concludes with these words : 

" So, most beloved, let us with all our heart pre- 
pare ourselves in the knowledge of the truth, that 
we may be able to resist those who deny the truth, 
and that the Word of God, by the favor of divine 
grace, may increase and extend and be multiplied 
to the benefit of God's Holy Church, and to the sal- 
vation of our souls and to the praise and glory of 
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace to the 
preachers, grace to the obedient, and glory to our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." ' 

It should be noted that this capitulary not only 
sets forth precepts of a very high order belonging 
to a truly spiritual Christianity, but also gives evi- 
dence of high attainments in the Prankish Church, 
which alone could justify or offer a sufficient basis 
for such a general admonition with any prospect of 
its being received and obeyed. 

Thus the rule of Charles included ecclesiastical 
and secular affairs, and to the details of each he 
gave his most careful attention. The canons of the 
church had the same weight as the laws of the state, 
and the assemblies of the state were also synods of 
the church. The heresies of Bishop Felix and the 
decisions of the Council of Constantinople in regard 
to image worship were condemned in the same as- 
semblies that issued laws against political offences 
' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 52-62 ; " Admonitio Generalis, " 789 a.d. 

232 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and regulations for the order and administration of 
the state. Indeed, the capitularies largely included 
regulations for the clergy, the churches, and the 
cloisters, while the decretals of Rome, the canons 
of the councils, and the fundamental principles of 
the church were made valid in the Prankish king- 
dom through these assemblies. Charles was occu- 
pied especially with the life and conduct, the educa- 
tion and the learning of the clergy, for he realized 
the great importance of their position and functions 
not only to the church, but to the state as well.' 
Reappointed bishops' just as he did secular officials, 
and employed them as commissioners and ministers 
of his will, holding them responsible in the same 
way and to the same extent that he did the dukes 
and counts and other lay officials.' He adminis- 
tered ecclesiastical property as he did state property, 
and was the supreme lord of the church in his do- 
main.^ In the writings of the scholars whom Charles 
had gathered around him the idea was developed 
and established of one large comprehensive Chris- 
tian kingdom, in which ecclesiastical and political 
interests are bound up together under the care and 
guidance of one and the same ruler, inspired by the 
teachings of Christianity and acting for the spiritual, 
moral, and temporal welfare of his people. We 
have seen the growth of this theocratic idea, bor- 
rowed from the books of the Old Testament, em- 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 79, 80, 241. 
^ Waitz, vol. iii., p. 424, note 2. 

^ Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 634, 635 ; " Mon. Sangall.," bk. i., c. iv., v. 
^ " Bishop of the Bishops," Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 655 ; " Mon. San- 
gall.," bk. i., c. XXV. 

The Spanish Caiupaign. 233 

phasized by the early Christian writers, and applied 
with increasing significance to the Frankish kings, 
who from the time of Clovis appeared as the pro- 
moters of Christianity, and claimed to fight their 
battles for the cause of God, until with the corona- 
tion of Pippin, first by the Frankish bishops and 
three years later by the pope, the idea receives a 
firm and substantial basis. The words of Pippin 
expressing this view are not uncommon. " Because 
it is certain that the divine providence has raised us 
to the throne," or " Because we through divine 
compassion rule the kingdoms of the earth," or 

By the aid of God who has established us on the 
throne of our power." ' While these expressions 
become quite usual in the mouth of Charles, who 
speaks not only of the people and the kingdom 
granted by God, but also of the bishoprics and 
monasteries committed or entrusted to his govern- 
ance," the ecclesiastical chroniclers, however, more 
often speak of the kingdom or the empire as an 
office, although an office conferred by God, and 
they do not cease to emphasize duties and obliga- 
tions therewith conferred. 

In concluding this chapter we must refer to two 
campaigns by Charles which deserve our notice on 
account of the special interest attaching to each of 
them. The first was the romantic but fruitless 
campaign connected with his expedition into Spain. 
At the Diet of Paderborn, in jj'j, a number of 
Mahometan ambassadors appeared before Charles 

' Waitz, vol. iii., p. 231, note 3. 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 79, " De lltteris colendis." 

234 The Age of Charlemagne. 

on behalf, they said, of the large number of Arabs 
in Spain already dissatisfied with the rule of their 
Emir at Cordova. 

They had heard of Charles. The glory of his 
martial deeds had reached them in their home be- 
yond the Pyrenees. They accordingly sent Ibn-al- 
Arabi, governor of Saragossa, with others, who put 
themselves under the king's protection, and to gain 
his aid in throwing off the rule of the Emir. Charles 
accepted their offer, and preparations were made 
during the winter for the great exploit from which 
so much was expected — even no less than the win- 
ning back of Spain to Europe and to Christianity. 
In the spring two armies, made up from all the peo- 
ple in alliance with the Franks, started for the south, 
one army headed by Duke Bernard, the uncle of 
Charles and his foremost general, to go by way of 
the Mediterranean, the other, commanded by Charles 
himself, over the Pyrenees and through the valley 
of Roncesvalles.* Both armies were to meet at 
Saragossa, which Ibn-al-Arabi was to surrender at 
their call. All went well until their meeting before 
the walls of the city, which they found closed against 
them. The inhabitants and defenders of the city 
failed to concur with the plans of their governor, or, 
more probably, the fulfilment of his threats by the 
presence of Charles with his army had enabled him 
to secure the concessions he had demanded. What 
took place at Saragossa we do not know, for the 
chroniclers on each side exaggerate their own ex- 
ploits and contradict those of the other side. Cer- 
' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 778 ; "Vita," c. 9. 

The ^^ Song of Roland.''' 235 

tain it is that the Spanish expedition of Charles was 
a failure, and his army was snatched from defeat 
and destruction only by his shrewd and cautious 
generalship in leading his armies in their retreat 
through the dangerous and hostile country. One 
disaster occurred. In an attack made on the rear- 
guard, while passing through the valley of Ronces- 
valles, the Franks in that division were killed to a 
man. It was this disaster which has been made the 
subject of legend and of song, for here fell Roland, 
the prefect of the marches of Brittany, whose last 
bugle call Charles is said to have heard faintly, far 
off in the distance, without realizing the danger of 
his friend and hero. 

The famous " Song of Roland" of the romance 
writers is founded upon this incident, which has 
been set forth in the well-known lines of Scott : 

" O for the voice of that wild horn 
On Fontarabian echoes borne, 
The dying hero's call, 
That told imperial Charlemagne 
How Paynim sons of swarthy Spain 
Had wrought his champion's fall." ' 

Soon after this, in 779, Charles prepared for a sec- 
ond" journey to Italy, and in the winter of 780 took 
up his residence in the palace of Pavia. From here 
he put forth two capitularies, ° that he might estab- 
lish order and discipline and much-needed reform in 
the country. Among other evils. Christian and 
pagan serfs were sold into slavery. On his way to 

* " Rob Roy," chap. ii. 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 206, 207, No. 99 ; pp. 190, 191, No. 90. 

236 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Rome Charles stopped at Parma, and there for the 
first time met Alcuin on his way to England carry- 
ing the pall granted by the pope to the archbishop 
of York. Easter was spent at Rome, and Karl- 
mann, the second son of Charles, was baptized with 
the name of Pippin, the pope himself standing as 
his godfather ; he was then crowned king of Italy, 
though only four years of age, and his younger 
brother, Louis, was crowned king of Aquitaine at the 
age of three. The entrance of Louis into his king- 
dom of Aquitaine deserves description. A company 
of good nurses under strong military escort took 
charge of his youthful majesty of Aquitaine, and 
conducted him in a cradle from the banks of the 
Meuse to the banks of the Loire at Orleans, where 
they took him out of the cradle and prepared him 
for a more dignified and martial presentation to the 
people. They encased him in a coat of mail ex- 
pressly constructed for his tender frame, gave him 
suitable weapons, and set him on a charger, and as 
he was too small to guide it or to sit alone they 
held him in place, and thus introduced him into his 

It was about ten years after the fruitless campaign 
into Spain that Charles determined upon the con- 
quest of the Avars, M'hich resulted finally in another 
conversion of the remnant of a great people to 
Christianity. Only just before he had succeeded in 
bringing to submission two refractory dukes. Urged 
by Pope Hadrian, in 787, he had forced the duke of 
Benevento to acknowledge his supremacy and to 

' " Vita Hludovvici ;" M. G. SS., vol. ii. 

Benevento and Bavaria. 237 

take the oath of allegiance to him,' a peace which 
enabled Charles to add much to the papal posses- 
sions — Capua, Populonia, Rosellje, and possibly 
Sovona, Toscanella, Viterbo, Bagnaria, and some 
other cities of Benevento." Charles immediately 
afterwards proceeded against Tassilo, the duke of the 
Bavarians. In 788, at the Diet of Ingelheim, both 
the duke and his wife were seized and their children 
arrested. Tassilo was doomed to death, but Charles 
commuted the sentence to the monastic life, a favor- 
ite mode of punishing kings and great lords, by get- 
ting rid of them quite effectually without putting 
them to death. The other members of the ducal 
family were scattered in the monasteries and nun- 
neries of the realm. After the overthrow of the 
duke Charles proceeded to subdue the duchy. He 
established a military occupation of its boundaries, 
annexed the whole territory to his kingdom, and 
turned it into a Prankish province governed by the 
counts of his appointment in the various districts, 
with Duke Gerold, his brother-in-law, as legal gov- 
ernor, and required the Bavarian nobles to swear 
fealty to him, and to guarantee their allegiance by 
giving hostages. 

He then turned his attention to the i\vars. They 
were a savage and barbarous people living on the 
Bavarian frontiers. Lawless and fierce, they pil- 
laged and devastated the country, burning and de- 
stroying the churches. They were, as their prede- 

' " Ann. Lauriss.," an. 787 ; M. G. SS , vol. i. , p. i68 ; Einhard, 
" Vita," c. 10. 
' Abel-Simson, vol. i., pp. 571, 572. 

238 The Age of Charlemagne. 

cessors under Attila in the fifth century had been, 
the Scourge of God. They were the terror of all 
Europe. War against them would be exceedingly 
popular, and Charles undertook it, the chronicler 
says, with more spirit than any of his other wars, 
and made far greater preparations for it.' Three 
army corps were formed — the Italians under the 
dukes of Friuli and Istria, with King Pippin as nom- 
inal head, the forces of Gaul and Germany under 
Charles himself, while the Bavarian forces brought 
a fleet and sailed down the Danube. At the bor- 
ders of the realm a fast and service of litanies last- 
ing for three days formed the religious inauguration 
of the war.* A sudden and brilliant victory by the 
army of Pippin, and the consequent demoralization 
and flight of a host of Avars, marked an auspicious 
opening to the campaign.' A wholesale baptism of 
the conquered people followed, but the same faith- 
lessness and spirit of revolt were seen in them as 
characterized the Saxons. The first campaign closed 
in 791, but it was not until 803 that the final regula- 
tion of the Avar affairs was made. In many of the 
expeditions great booty was secured, the Avars hav- 
ing large stores of gold and silver. The last appear- 
ance of the Avars was in 805, when the weakened 
and diminished people, exposed to the incessant 
depredations of the Slavonians, from which they 
were no longer able to defend themselves, went 
humbly into the presence of their chief to beg the 

' Einhard, "Vita," c. 13. 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 349, 350; Ep. Carol. 6; a letter from 
Charles to his Queen Fastrada. 

' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 791 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 177. 

The Conquest of the Avails. 239 

aid of the Emperor Charles, and to ask his permis- 
sion to settle on the little tract of land on the bank 
of the river Danube within the Prankish dominions.' 
The piteous appeal of their heart-broken Christian 
Avar chieftain, standing on the verge of the grave, 
told most eloquently and most pathetically what 
the Franks had done. 

' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 805 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 192. 



jT is an oft-debated question whether 
Charles was greater as a general in war 
or as a ruler in administration. A mod- 
ern historian' says that he was greater as 
a conqueror than as a law-giver, while 
Gibbon estimates his military powers lightly, and 
says, " Charles might behold with envy the Saracen 
trophies of his grandfather." " But," he con- 
tinues, " I touch with reverence the laws of Charle- 
magne." ^ 

We have noticed already some of the examples of 
his early legislation. As emperor he carried out 
more fully and organized more systematically the 
administration already established. The greatness 
of Charles is not in question, the object is to decide 
in what that greatness consisted. Paulus Diaconus 
says of him : " One knows not which to admire 
most in this great man, his bravery in war or his 
wisdom in peace, the glory of his military achieve- 

' Andrews, pp. 138, 139 and note i. '^ Gibbon, c. 49. 


The Greatness of Charles. 241 

ments or the splendor of his triumphs in the Hberal 
arts.'". Although the second king of his house, 
he gave his name to the whole dynasty, and the 
entire period before and after him is known as the 
" Age of Charles the Great." The preceding events 
prepared and led up to his crowning work, while 
the events of the century succeeding were permeated 
by his influence and felt the inspiration of what he 
had accomplished. The revolution which placed 
his family upon the throne had been effected by his 
father, and the kingly rule already established was 
handed on to him, but the glory of his defence 
and administration of the kingdom thus received 
eclipsed that of his predecessors, although without 
them his work would not have been possible. Yet 
all that he accomplished seemed destined to be 
overthrown and to leave no permanent results, and 
this, which is merely a superficial view, though held 
by many historians, Guizot tells us, would compare 
him to a meteor dashing out from the shades of bar- 
barism, only to disappear and be lost in the dark- 
ness of feudalism.^ 

The work of Charles was of a threefold nature : to 
guard what had already been established, to strength- 
en by extension where necessary, and to consolidate 
and centralize the power necessary for accomplish- 
ing this work. After the death of Charles con- 
quests ceased, unity disappeared, and the empire fell 
apart, but the different parts were not as they had 
been before their union. Great and glorious as it was, 
the empire formed under Charles the Great was not, 

' Quoted by Alzog, vol. ii., p. i88. ' Guizot, Lecture xx. 


242 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and, in the nature of things, could not be permanent, 
but the work of Charles, even though it did not remain 
in the form in which he left it, was nevertheless the 
necessary preparation for the founding of great na- 
tions with definite boundaries, fixed centres, and 
established aims and purposes, capable of self-de- 
fence and of self-development. The imperial organ- 
ization itself, which Charles realized for a moment, 
was a dream and not a reality, the form of which 
disappeared when the spirit had fled and the source 
of its power and unity was withdrawn. It was in 
that which he was able to accomplish for the differ- 
ent elements of his great empire that the true suc- 
cess of his endeavor lies. 

His administration divided itself naturally into 
the local and the central government. The oldest 
parts of his kingdom and those nearer the centre 
were divided into districts of varying size, over 
which he appointed counts, usually from noble fam- 
ilies residing in the district. The larger and more 
distant and later added territories were ruled by 
dukes, in most cases the descendants or successors 
of the early kings of the country before it was 
merged into the Frankish Empire. On the borders 
of the realm still larger single districts were formed, 
not so directly under the rule of Charles, and each 
was placed under a mark-count or margrave, later 
marquis, from the German mark-graf. These border 
provinces served as a protection to the kingdom 
within and as a defence and guard against barbarian 
tribes without. 

Associated with these dukes and counts were 

'■'■Missi Doiuinici.'' 243 

archbishops, bishops, and abbots, who had ecclesi- 
astical supervision in connection with their office, 
and exercised a certain jurisdiction on account of 
their position, while under these higher officers 
were lower ranks of resident officials— judges, cen- 
turions, and others. These all held lands from the 
king, and exercised their powers partly in his name 
and partly in their own. 

In addition to these resident officials were the 
royal commissioners, itiissi doniinici, authorized 
agents of his power, to oversee, to perform, to ad- 
minister, and to report to him the complaints which 
they received and the duties which they performed. 
By their aid Charles endeavored to enforce his own 
authority, to make his influence felt in the remotest 
borders of his kingdom, and to correct abuses aris- 
ing from the greed and incompetence or indifference 
of his counts and their subordinates. The report 
which they brought back often led to new acts of 
legislation set forth in the capitularies. The organ- 
ization and establishment of these commissioners 
formed a characteristic feature of Charles's admin- 
istration, though they were not originated by him. 
However, they were not employed probably by any 
of his kings or mayors of the palace previous to 
Charles Martel. After the conquest of Aquitaine 
we find them mentioned in the Aquitanian capitu- 
laries put forth by Pippin in the following law : 
" Whatever our commissioners and elders of the 
king have determined for our own benefit and that 
of the whole church let us not presume to oppose." * 
' Boretjus, vol. i., p. 43 ; Cap. Aq., c. 12, 768 a.d, 

244 ^'^^ ^£'^' of Charlemagne. 

In 782 they appear in a military capacity, Charles 
having sent three to conduct the army against a few 
Slavs who had risen in revolt,' while there are many 
instances in which they take command of the troops 
in the field. 

Pippin in administering the kingdom of Italy sub- 
ject to his father sent two ecclesiastical commission- 
ers to inspect the monasteries and to report their 
condition both moral and material.' They held also 
a most important place and exercised a very great 
influence among the Saxons. As wc have seen 
already, no general assemblies were to be held 
among the Saxons unless the order was sent through 
the commissioners, and the importance of these 
officers is seen from the fact that they are granted 
the triple wergeld of the highest dignitaries. 
Among the first acts of the newly crowned emperor 
on returning to his own country, in 802, was the 
complete organization of his vast dominions, and in 
this work appears the tremendous energy and won- 
derful ability which he possessed, and which were 
so necessary to hold together realms so diverse in 
language, in customs, and in race. For the per- 
formance of this great task he developed and put 
into general operation this system of commissioners. 

The best and earliest evidence as to the nature of 
the government of Charles as emperor may be found 
in the great capitulary of 802 regarding these com- 
missioners, from which a few quotations should be 

' "Ann. Lauriss.," an. 782 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 162. 
' Boretius, vol. i., p. 199; Cap. Pap., c. 11, 787 a.d. 

The Imperial Government. 245 

" The most serene and Christian lord emperor, 
Charles, has chosen from his nobles and sent into 
all parts of his kingdom the wisest and most pru- 
dent men, both archbishops, bishops, venerable 
abbots, and pious laymen, and through them has 
granted to all persons to live according to just law. 
Moreover, wherever otherwise than justly and 
rightly anything has been established by law, this 
he has commanded them with most diligent zeal to 
seek out and to lay before him, and this he himself 
by divine favor desires to improve. And let no one 
by his own cleverness and astuteness, according to 
the custom of many, dare to interfere with the writ- 
ten law, or to disturb the course of justice, or to set 
himself up against the churches of God, or poor 
persons, or widows, or children, or any Christian 
man, but let all men live according to the command 
of God, justly and in accordance with the righteous 
judgment, and let every one in his own place and 
profession continue to live in unity with others. 
Let the canons in canonical life scrupulously abstain 
from business and base gain. Let nuns with dili- 
gent care guard their life. Let the laity and those 
living in the world obey every law without fraud or 
deceit, and in every particular live in perfect charity 
and peace. Let the commissioners themselves dili- 
gently make inquiry whenever any one complains 
that wrong has been done him by another, as they 
desire to keep the favor of God for themselves and 
to preserve with fidelity what has been entrusted to 
them, so that in all places everywhere in regard to 
the holy churches of God, and in the case of poor 

246 The Age of Charlemagne. 

people, children, and widows, they may administer 
the law fully and with justice for all people accord- 
ing to the will and in the fear of God. And if there 
is anything which by themselves, with the aid of 
the provincial counts, they are unable to improve 
and to bring to justice, let them refer this with their 
report without ambiguity to the emperor's decision. 
Nor for the flattery of any man, nor for the reward 
of any, nor by reason of any kinship, nor by the 
fear of those who are in power, let any man impede 
the course of justice." 

They are further instructed to receive from every 
man, lay or ecclesiastic, upward of twelve years of 
age, throughout the whole realm, an oath of fidelity 
to Charles as emperor, and also from those who as 
yet had taken no oath. Furthermore, they are to 
explain the oath in public, so that each one may 
understand how great is the oath, and how many 
things are comprehended in it. We learn from 
other capitularies that the commissioners were sent 
in pairs, one ecclesiastic of high rank, usually a 
bishop or archbishop, and the other a noble, usually 
a count.' 

Thus the intimate union and interdependence of 
church and state were shown still further in the in- 
stitution of the inissi. Though usually, yet not 
always, were they sent in pairs ; rarely one was sent 
alone or to act with the bishop, but sometimes 
three or four were sent. They acted also as special 
ambassadors or legates. They were chosen not 
exclusively, although generally, from the dukes or 
* Boretius, vol. i., p. 100; Capit. Spec, 802 a.d. 

Dttties of the Missi. 247 

counts, and archbishops, bishops, or abbots, but 
they were taken also from all ranks, from the palace 
ofificers down to ordinary vassals and monks or 

Their judicial duties were assigned as follows : 
" We wish that for the purpose of the administra- 
tion of justice, which has hitherto remained the 
duty of the counts, that our missi should make a 
circuit at least four times in every year — for the 
winter, in January ; for the spring, in April ; for 
the summer, in July ; and for the autumn, in Octo- 
ber. In the other months, however, each of the 
counts may hold his court and administer justice ; 
but our missi should four times in the month, in 
four different places, hold these courts with the 
counts themselves who may be able to assemble at 
that place."' The courts held by these commis- 
sioners used the simple and direct methods of ad- 
ministering justice prevalent in the emperor's court, 
of which, in fact, they were an extension. Local 
justices (scabini) were appointed by the commis- 
sioners or by the counts. 

In the reform of the administration the commis- 
sioners had power to remove incompetent or un- 
worthy officials beneath the rank of count. They 
might report charges against a count at their dis- 
cretion, or might settle themselves upon him and 
live in his house, keeping him under their continual 
supervision, until he reformed in order to get rid of 
them, and by the capitularies of 802, already m.en- 
tioned, the counts were especially required to make 
' Boretius, vol. i., p. 177 ; Cap. de Just., c. 8, 811-813 A.d. 

248 The Age of Charlemagne. 

due provision for the comfort and welfare of the 

Definite districts were established first in 802, 
though it is not known into how many districts the 
empire was divided, and the extent of only three 
provinces is known to us.' It is probable that the 
districts were more or less permanent, but the 
officers served at the pleasure of Charles, and they 
were sometimes sent to districts in which they did 
not reside. In the three provinces already men- 
tioned, however, the commissioners were residents 
of their jurisdictions. Under Louis the Pious, when 
the strong hand of Charles was withdrawn, the dis- 
tricts tended to become identical with the archbish- 
oprics, and the decentralizing tendency of the age 
operated to make the commissioners local lords, in- 
dependent of the emperor, as the counts had become 
before them. 

Their reports were made at irregular intervals to 
the emperor, but also annually at the general as- 
sembly held in May, by which the local government 
was brought into touch with the central. Thus 
they were the immediate personal representatives of 
the emperor. An armed opposition to them was 
punishable with death as treason. The oversight 
of the administration of justice, the holding of 
courts, the administration of military affairs, the 
defence of the frontier, the oversight of ecclesiasti- 
cal affairs, the enforcement of the laws, and zeal for 
the interests of the emperor were all duties entrusted 
to the commissioners, not as before on particular 
' Boretius, vol. i., p. 100 ; Cap. Spec. 802 A.D. 

The Genei^al Assemblies and Synods. 249 

occasions for special purposes, but as regular dele- 
gates and representatives of the imperial power for 
all purposes residing and having auth'ority in well- 
defined districts. 

The central government of Charles the Great was 
carried on largely through the national assemblies, 
and although for some time the ecclesiastical coun- 
cils had also served to carry on state affairs, yet later 
they joined their deliberations with those of the 
spring assembly, an institution which had come 
down from early German times. As we have already 
seen, under Karlmann and Pippin yearly synods 
were ordered to be held,' and later they were to be 
summoned twice a year, March 1st and October 
ist.'^ Thus as one synod coincided with the March- 
field, so the other appears to have been the occasion 
given for holding a political assembly in the autumn. 

In 755, for the first time, the assembly, which had 
previously been held in March, was changed to May 
for military reasons, and hence was called the May- 
field. Charles kept the name, though frequently 
the assembly was held later in the year, in June, or 
in July, or even in August, the time as well as place 
being determined by military considerations, al- 
though it was held even when no campaigns oc- 
curred that year.' Later military affairs were put 
in the background, civil and ecclesiastical concerns 
being foremost. Sometimes both the ecclesiastical 
and the state assembly were separated, but held at 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 25, 29, 742, 744 A.n. 

^ Ibid., p. 34, 755 A.D. 

2 " Ann. Petav.," an. 781 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 16. 

250 The Age of Charlemagne. 

the same time and place ; ' sometimes they were 
divided into three groups or houses, the archbishops 
and bishops in one, the abbots and monks in another, 
and the nobles and military officers in the third ; * 
sometimes five different places are named for differ- 
ent assemblies at the same time.' The fullest de- 
scription of these assemblies has come down to us 
from Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims. He tells us 
that Adalhard, an old and wise man, who was inti- 
mately associated with the Emperor Charles the 
Great, being one of his chief counsellors and abbot 
of the monastery of Corbie, had written a little 
book, De Ordinc Palatii, now lost. This book he 
had seen in his youth, had read and copied, and in 
this copy he presents to us a good description of 
the constitutional arrangements of the central gov- 
ernment of Charles. " The whole administration 
of the realm," he says, " was carried on in two dif- 
ferent divisions. The first, the careful ruling and 
ordering of the palace, and the second, the care for 
the whole kingdom as it was provided for in the 
general assemblies." These general assemblies it 
was customary to hold not oftener than twice a year ; 
the first, at which the affairs of the kingdom were 
arranged for the next year, not to be changed ex- 
cept in cases of dire necessity. At this assembly 
appeared the whole body of the chiefs and nobles, 
both ecclesiastic and lay. The more distinguished 
in order to give weight and authority to their con- 

' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 794 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 181. 
"^ " Ann. Lauresh.," an. 802 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 39. 
^ " Einhardi Ann.," an. 813 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 200. 

The Spring Assembly or May field. 251 

elusions, the lesser in order to carry them out. Yet 
all labored together and arrived at their conclusions 
according to their own opinions and judgment. 
Here, too, they were engaged in arranging for the 
yearly gifts. The second assembly, on the con- 
trary, was held only with the counsellors of higher 
rank and authority, and matters relating to affairs 
of the realm for the following year were considered. 
In case something came up for which it appeared 
necessary to lay down rules or to make decisions 
beforehand, or if anything enacted the preceding 
year failed of its purpose, or for which the necessity 
arose for immediate action ; for example, in case of 
rights conferred on the margraves in any part of the 
realm, whether these rights, having lapsed, should be 
renewed or terminated ; also other matters relating 
to war or peace imminent in different quarters, so 
that the seniors might consider long enough before- 
hand, by their counsel, what action ought to be 

These plans and deliberations were kept secret 
until the next general assembly, that they might 
not be frustrated, but that they might be put in 
such a way as to commend themselves to the other 
seniors and to satisfy the popular will. As far as 
possible men were chosen as counsellors, both cleri- 
cal and lay, who feared God and were so faithful that, 
eternal life excepted, they would put nothing before 
the emperor and the empire. 

Furthermore, in order that the business of these 
nobles and chief senators of the realm might begin 
at once, lest they should seem to have been con- 

252 The Age of Charlemagne. 

yoked without good reason, the matters which had 
come into his own mind by the inspiration of God, 
or had been brought to his attention since the pre- 
vious assembly, were immediately laid before them 
in capitularies already drawn up and arranged. 
These were then taken up for consideration, the 
space of one, two, or three days or more, as the im- 
portance of the subject demanded, being granted 
them. Palace messengers passed back and forth, 
asking the emperor's opinions and receiving his re- 
plies. No one from outside was allowed to come in 
until each matter was settled to the advantage of 
the most glorious prince, then everything was set 
forth in " his venerable sight and hearing, and all are 
guided by whatever his God-given wisdom chooses." 
In the meanwhile the emperor elsewhere was busy, 
receiving gifts, giving audiences, and attending to 
other like affairs of state, yet as often as they de- 
sired he went to them and remained with them as 
long as they wished, and in the most familiar way 
they reported to him how each matter stood, and 
freely set forth what changes or modifications they 
had discussed. 

If the weather was favorable these meetings were 
held out of doors, but if not, inside, in different 
places, where they gathered in large numbers in 
separate groups, so arranged that in one all the 
bishops, abbots, and other most honorable clergy 
were assembled, without any laymen being present ; 
likewise all the counts and chief men and others of 
like honor, separated from the rest of the multitude 
early in the morning, until all were assembled, 

The Fall Assembly. 253 

whether the emperor was present or absent, and 
then the aforesaid seniors in their accustomed man- 
ner withdrew, the clergy to their appointed assem- 
bly, and the laity to theirs, seats being prepared for 
them with due honor. 

A second method of the emperor was to inquire 
what each had brought with him from his own part 
of the realm worth relating or considering, for they 
were not only permitted, but positively commanded 
to inquire most diligently into matters within and 
outside the empire, not only from natives or from 
foreigners, but even from friends or from foes — if 
any people in any part Avere in revolt, and the cause 
of the revolt ; if there was any murmuring or any 
complaint of injustice, or anything else which the 
general council ought to consider ; and if beyond 
the boundaries of the empire any people who had 
been subdued were rebelling, or any who had re- 
belled were being subdued, or if any secret plots 
were being formed against the empire. In all these 
things he carefully asked what dangers threatened 
and what was the cause of them.' 

The second assembly, held in the fall of the year, 
was rarely, but still sometimes of direct importance,' 
and became more important under Louis the Pious, 
These fall assemblies, like those of the spring, were 
not held at any regular time — some in August, some 

' Migne, Series Secunda, vol. cxxv., pp. 998 ff. ; Hincmar, " De 
Ordine Palatii," c. 12, 29, 34, 35 and 36. 

" it. ^., October, 797, Boretius, vol. i., p. 71, Second Saxon 
Capitulary ; October, 802, Boretius, vol. i., pp. 105-111, impor- 
tant ecclesiastical rules ; December, 805, Boretius, vol. !., pp, 
120-126, a double capitulary. 

2 54 ^'^^^' ^£'^ ^f Charlemagne. 

in October or November. In the winter of 818-819 
one was held after Christmas, the next assembly- 
being held in July, 819, while another in January, 
820, and the next in February, May, and October 
of 821 ; that held in October being the greatest and 
general assembly for that year. Nor was there any- 
thing definite regarding the place of these assem- 
blies. As long as military considerations governed, 
the place as well as the time was determined accord- 
ing to the object of the campaign ; also the character 
of the business or the special interests involved 
often determined the place at which it should be 
held ; otherwise Charles seemed to prefer the cities 
on the Rhine, especially Worms and Aachen. Un- 
der Louis the Pious they were held frequently at 
Aachen. They were usually held at one of the im- 
perial palaces or in large cities, rarely at a monas- 
tery, and then it is expressly stated as being con- 
trary to the custom.' Attendance at these assem- 
blies was a duty and an obligation rather than a 
right or privilege. Although the spring assembly, 
the Mayfield, was regarded as a popular assembly, 
and had come down from the earlier times, when the 
whole nation assembled all together, it is probable 
that the people came to have a less and less impor- 
tant part, and were satisfied by the announcement 
of what was there concluded. Guizot, perhaps, is 
too one-sided in saying that " it was not the Prank- 
ish nation that came to these assemblies to watch 
over and to direct the administration, but it was 
Charles the Great who gathered around him certain 
> " Ann. Bert.," an. 846 ; M. G. SS., vol, i., p. 33. 

The Capitularies. 255 

individuals to watch over and to direct the nation." ' 
Lehuerou also goes too far when he says that " the 
Carolingian royalty, even under Charles the Great, 
is less a monarchy than an aristocratic government, 
though as long as Charles lived he took the initia- 
tive, proposing subjects and matter for deliberation 
and action. Louis, however, said that he would do 
nothing without the agreement of the nobles. 

In good weather these meetings were held in the 
open air, and when the weather would not permit 
of this some large public building was used. Mat- 
ters coming up for consideration at these meetings 
covered every variety of subjects, as is shown in 
the capitularies which they issued. One of the 
most varied, perhaps, being that of the year 794, 
the famous assembly of Frankfort, which began 
with the condemnation of the Adoptionists and of 
the Constantinopolitan decrees on image worship, 
went on to consider the jurisdiction of bishops over 
their clergy, the election of abbots, the tariff on 
grains and bread, the care of orphans, the adoration 
of saints, the giving of alms to the poor, and the 
qualifications of cellarists in monasteries. 

The capitularies are of great interest and impor- 
tance, not only in giving an idea of the method of 
administration, but also in showing the condition of 
the empire, ecclesiastically and morally as well as 
socially and politically. Guizot has given us the 
most interesting and fullest description of their con- 
tents, and although it is impossible to make the 

' Guizot, " Essais," p. 336. 
* Lehuerou, p. 294. 

256 The Age of Charlemagne. 

sharp distinctions which he makes between the vari- 
ous articles, yet the general conclusions which he 
presents are instructive. After numbering those 
issued by Charles the Great, of which he has col- 
lected and analyzed about sixty-five,' he finds that 
about three fifths of the articles are occupied with 
civil affairs, and about two fifths with religious or 
ecclesiastical concerns. These capitularies are not 
merely collections of laws, although they do empha- 
size and restate the traditional customs of the older 
time, adding such new regulations as may meet the 
later conditions, but in addition to this they include 
moral precepts and police regulations, sometimes in 
the minutest details, relating to the church, army, 
the poor, and the palace, penal regulations relating 
to punishment and crime, the regulation of the re- 
ligious and ecclesiastical life of the clergy, entering 
sometimes into the minutest details in regard to the 
veneration of martyrs and of saints, and concerning 
public preaching. They also contained instructions 
to the commissioners, extracts from the ecclesiasti- 
cal councils, replies given by Charles to the ques- 
tions addressed by counts, bishops, and others in 
relation to difficulties in administration, also some 
questions which Charles proposes to ask in the gen- 
eral assembly. These questions are curious in the 
extreme, and give striking evidence of the keenness 
of his observation and of his skill in administration 
and in dealing with men. 

" Why is it that either on the march or in the 

' Boretius has published one hundred and thirteen ; M. G. LL., 
section ii., vol. i. 

Questions Charles Proposed to Ask. 257 

camp, when anything is necessary to be done for 
the defence of the country, one does not wish to 
lend aid to another ? Whence comes this continual 
struggle by which each one wishes to have that 
which he sees possessed by another ? To ask in 
what matters and in what places ecclesiastics put 
obstacles in the way of laymen, and laymen in the 
way of ecclesiastics, in the exercise of their func- 
tions. To seek out and to discuss how far a bishop 
or an abbot should interfere in secular affairs, and a 
count or other layman in ecclesiastical affairs. To 
ask them in an emphatic manner regarding the 
meaning of the words of the apostle, ' No man that 
warreth in the service of God entangleth himself 
with the affairs of this life.' To whom were these 
words addressed ? To ask the bishops and abbots 
to declare to us truly what these words mean which 
they use so often, ' to renounce the world,' and 
by what sign one can distinguish those who re- 
nounce the world from those who are still occupied 
with it. 

" Whether it is only by the fact that they do not 
bear arms and are not publicly married ? Also to 
ask if he is renouncing the world who labors each 
day, no matter how, to increase his wealth, some- 
times promising the happiness of the kingdom of 
heaven, and sometimes threatening with the eternal 
punishments of hell ; or even in the name of God, 
or of some saint, despoiling of his goods some man, 
rich or poor, guileless and ill-advised, so that his 
rightful heirs are left in want, and most of them, on 
account of the misery in which they fall, driven to 

258 The Age of Charlemagne. 

all sorts of evil and crime and committing almost 
necessarily misdemeanors and offences," ' 

Other articles of these capitularies are merely 
notes or memoranda which Charles wrote for his 
own convenience. Others contain judicial decisions 
to be taken as examples or standards of punishment. 
Affairs of financial or domestic legislation are also 
considered as well as purely political acts, nomina- 
tions, recommendations, and matters relating to in- 
dividual cases. Thus is shown not only the wide 
range of the administration of Charles, but the ac- 
tive personal interest which he took in every single 
detail. No wonder that with his fall fell also the 
central administration, the general assemblies, and 
the royal commissioners. 

Nothing resembled feudalism less than the sover- 
eign unity to which Charles aspired, and which in a 
great degree he was able to attain, yet in his reign 
were laid the strongest foundations of feudalism. 
By checking invasions and repressing internal dis- 
orders he gave to the local positions, tendencies, 
and influences time to take real possession of the 
land, and its inhabitants and the individual ofificers, 
the dukes, the counts and margraves, whom he so 
firmly established, and who were the chief ministers 
of his authority, and performed their functions in 
dependence upon him and under his control, be- 
came the well-nigh independent feudal lords in suc- 
ceeding centuries. 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 161-165, 811 A.D. 



|T was not only in the ecclesiastical organi- 
zation, nor in his relations with the pope, 
however, that the religious activity and 
the control over the church by Charles 
was shown. In three important contro- 
versies which rose during his reign he exercised a 
powerful and manifest influence. 

The Iconoclastic controversy had continued in the 
East until the death of the last Leo, in 780, placed 
Irene in power as regent in behalf of her son. She 
had already shown evidences of a zeal for image 
worship, and had made attempts to bring about its 
restoration, and now, anxiously and carefully, she 
began preparations for a determined action. In 786 
a new council was held at Constantinople, in which, 
it is true, a majority of the bishops still maintained 
their hostility to images, and the council was dis- 
solved, but in the next year a general council was 
summoned at Nicaea. At this council, under the 
influence of the empress, those who had been won 


26o The Age of Charlemagne. 

over to her cause, with the rest of the number of 
upholders of image worship, were enabled to bring 
about a final decision in favor of the restoration of 
images. Those bishops who signed a formal recan- 
tation of their former opposition were allowed to 
retain their episcopal positions, and every effort was 
made to render easy the desertion from the still 
powerful number of the iconoclasts. At this coun- 
cil it was decided that not only the sign of the cross, 
but also images drawn with colors, composed with 
mosaic work, or formed with other suitable mate- 
rial, might be placed in the churches, in houses, and 
in the streets, including images of Christ, of the 
Virgin Mary, of angels, and of all holy and devout 
men. It was also declared that bowing to an image, 
which is simply the token of love and of reverence 
{7cpo6Kvvr]6ii), ought not to be confounded with 
the adoration (Xarpeia) which is due to God alone. 
The decrees of this council were confirmed at an 
adjourned assembly in Constantinople in the pres- 
ence of the empress and her son, and the worship 
of images was once more established. 

The relation of the pope to this controversy we 
have already noticed at its very beginning in the 
early part of the eighth century. What had been 
the prevailing sentiment in the Prankish Church we 
have no means of knowing, but there could be no 
doubt regarding the position taken by Charles on 
this question. He at once announced himself as 
zealously opposed to the decree of this second 
Nicene Council regarding image worship, an oppo- 
sition which was increased and expressed itself more 

The Caroline Books. 261 

bitterly in consequence of the breaking off, in that 
same year, all negotiations regarding the betrothal 
of Constantine to the Prankish princess, Rothrud. 
Soon after the famous work entitled " The Four 
Caroline Books" appeared in 790, under the em- 
peror's name, refuting the position laid down at the 
second Nicene Council, and declaring the position 
to be taken by the Prankish Church on this ques- 
tion. The authorship of this work is still in dis- 
pute, although Charles unquestionably was responsi- 
ble for the opinions therein set forth, and gave to 
them all the weight of his authority, and perhaps 
had much to do with the very form of expression 
which these ideas assume. Alcuin and the other 
theologians of the court must, however, have held 
a very important place in the actual composition. 
The work is moderate in tone, sensible in expres- 
sion, and at the same time shows the coloring of the 
peculiar views and superstitions of the age. The 
use is distinguished from the abuse of images in the 
church, at the same time that the fanaticism of the 
iconoclasts is condemned. Images might be used 
for the decoration of the churches and for the memo- 
rials of past events. They should not be regarded 
as idols, as their opponents affirmed, though their 
use was not necessary, nor ought it to be made of 
such great importance as their supporters main- 
tained. The harsh expressions against the icono- 
clasts were condemned, as well as the principles and 
arguments by which they were defended. This 
enthusiasm for art and for images he regards as ab- 
surd and foolish, and even underestimates the value 

262 TJic Age of Charlemagne. 

of pictures in depicting and representing the char- 
acteristics of the mind and soul. The chief objec- 
tion, however, is that they are in contradiction to 
the spiritual nature of Christianity, and those who 
rely upon them show a weakness and inability to 
rise above the things of sense to the realm of spirit 
without the help of material things. " God who 
fills all things is not to be adored or sought for in 
material images, but should be ever present to the 
pure heart." ' To the sign of the cross, however, 
is given an exceptional and much higher impor- 
tance, and here it must be said the outward symbol 
and the idea represented by it are not kept distinctly 
separate. The relics also of the saints are to be 
preferred to images as having been in special con- 
tact with these holy persons, thus acquiring asacred- 
ness which should receive a higher reverence than 
that paid to pictured forms, the work of an artist 
more or less skilled. To show reverence for the 
bodies of saints was a great means of promoting 
piety, for they reign with Christ in heaven, and 
their bodies should rise again, but even the act of 
prostration {npo6Kvviiaii) before images was con- 
demned as the transfer to a created object of the 
adoration belonging to God alone and as a species 
of idolatry, and any reverence for lifeless images 
was irrational. " You may keep lights burning be- 
fore your pictures," the king declares ; "we will 
be diligent in studying the holy Scriptures." ^ 

In accordance with the close relations existing 

' " Lib. Carol.," bk. iii., c. 29. 
* Ibid., bk. ii., c. 30. 

Adoptianism. 263 

between Charles and the pope, and his frequently- 
expressed regard and reverence for the ecclesiastical 
authority of the Church of Rome, he presented, by 
the hands of Abbot Angilbert, his refutation of the 
second Nicene Council to Pope Hadrian, from whom 
a formal reply was received opposing the position 
taken in the royal treatise, but apparently without 
inducing Charles to yield anything. Finally, at the 
assembly held at Frankfort, in 794, these contested 
points were discussed in the presence of papal 
legates, and the adoration of images {adoratio et scr- 
vitus imaginum) was condemned. 

The second controversy in which Charles showed 
his influence was that in regard to Adoptianism. 
This theory, by which Christ was declared to be, as 
far as his human nature was concerned, the adopted 
Son of God, was not a mere revival of Nestorian 
views, but a distinct development from the position 
laid down by the church in the sixth general coun- 
cil. It was presented most strongly and convinc- 
ingly by Bishop Felix of Urgel, a diocese in the 
Spanish mark, and less ably by Elipantus, the arch- 
bishop of Toledo, who was supported by a large 
number of the Spanish bishops. The Spanish 
Church was of great strength and of no mean im- 
portance. It had presented a remarkable theologi- 
cal life in the long list of the councils of Toledo, and 
though it maintained not a close, but a continuous 
connection with Rome, it had presented, neverthe- 
less, a kind of established national spirit under the 
archbishop of Toledo. It had passed through a 
long and momentous history of struggle, of suffer- 

264 The Age of Charlemagne. 

ing, and of triumph. The Visigoths, originally 
Arian, after the conversion of their king, Reccared, 
became thoroughly orthodox, and gave evidence of 
their faith in the famous filioque clause inserted in 
the Nicene Creed by the third Council of Toledo in 
589. At the beginning of the eighth century the 
whole country had been overrun and finally con- 
quered by the Mahometans, and in the middle of 
the century a Western Saracenic empire had been 
established under the Emir of Cordova, and although 
the Christian worship was allowed by payment of a 
tribute, yet the strong, overshadowing influence of 
Mahometanism was keenly felt. A strong opposi- 
tion to the very assertion of the divine nature in 
Christ, as well as to the exclusion or undervaluing 
of the human expressed in the condemned doctrines 
of monophysitism and monothelitism made itself 
manifest, and Elipantus himself was prominent in 
the refutation of Sabellianism in 780. " When, 
therefore," says Dorner, " the problem, in the form 
in which it presented itself to the mind of the church 
after the Dyotheletic Synod of the year 680, was 
brought into contact with the factors embraced by 
the Spanish Church, the result was Adoptianism." ' 
Adoptianism, however, was no mere revival of Nes- 
torianism. It had passed beyond that stage of the 
controversy. Nestorius and his followers had 
directed their analysis to the distinction between 
the two natures in Christ, while Adoptianism con- 
cerned itself with the relations of personality and 
gave evidence of a distinct advance in this concep- 

' Dorner, division ii., vol. i., p. 251. 

Tendency Towm^ds Transubstantiation. 265 

tion. Personality now denoted the Ego, the self, 
and not a" constitutional principle of existence." 
In other words, they really continued the position 
maintained by the church in the Council of Chalce- 
don, in 451, and in that of Constantinople, in 680, 
and asserted the existence of two natures and two 
wills in the sphere of personality. From this con- 
troversy Dorner dates a retrogressive movement in 
Christology, and a distinct weakening of the ideas ex- 
pressed in the doctrine of the double nature and the 
double will. There was a tendency backward tov/ards 
the reassertion of the impersonality of the human 
nature, and a revival of the view of Cyril and the 
Eutychians regarding the incarnation as a miracle 
by which the divine was substituted for the human 
substance, leaving to the latter only its accidents. 
This theory did not appear permanently, however, 
in connection with any direct change in the doctrine 
of the nature and person of the historical Christ ; 
but it did exercise an influence and find a place in 
the doctrine of the Eucharist, and helped to develop 
that tendency, already apparent, by which, in ac- 
cordance with the principle of the substitution of 
the symbol for the thing symbolized, the elements 
of bread and wine in the holy communion were com- 
ing to take the place of the spiritual presence of 
Christ. Thus was being laid the foundation for 
that later doctrine, that in the miracle of the altar 
the divine body and blood of Christ were substituted 
for or took the place of the substance of bread and 
wine whose accidents alone remain. Indeed, the 
doctrine was set forth distinctly by Paschasius Rad- 

266 The Age of CJuirlemagne. 

bertus, a monk of Corbie, in the middle of the ninth 
century, and was at the same time just as distinctly 
refuted by Rabanus Maurus and by Ratramnus, the 
latter in a treatise which has become a classic on the 

The Adoptianists taught that Christ is the only 
begotten Son of God, solely according to his divine 
nature ; according to his human nature, he is only, 
by the decision of the divine will, adopted as the 
Son of God, and therefore the first-begotten Son of 
God. The Adoptianists agreed that the Son of 
God, of the substance of the Father, was born and 
assumed humanity in Christ. Nor did Felix object 
to giving the man, Jesus, the name " Son of God," 
on account of his union with the Son of God in the 
person of Christ ; but he held that the Son of Man 
was of a different nature from the Son of God — that 
is, a created being of another substance than the 
Deity ; hence, as the son of David, he cannot be 
styled the Son of God by nature. This seemed to 
be another attempt to assert the reality of the human 
nature in Christ, and to maintain at the same time 
the supreme and absolute unity of the Deity, on 
both of which points the Mahometans severely criti- 
cised the doctrine of the church. Their opponents 
said this view would end logically in the duality of 
persons. They insisted on the reality of the incar- 
nation, and though they were strong in pointing out 
errors and dangers in the doctrine of Felix, they 
were not able to state their doctrine in a strong, 
positive manner. 

At the request of Charles the Great, Alcuin issued 

Felix ^ Bishop of Urgel. 267 

a treatise on the subject, which Charles himself is 
said to have revised and modified. He insisted that 
something, which is of a different substance from 
another thing, may undeniably possess as its prop- 
erty this other thing in such a manner that, for the 
sake of this real and substantial relationship between 
the two, the latter may become a predicate or mark 
of the former. This principle he applied to the re- 
lation of the divine and human in Christ, maintain- 
ing that the human nature was made a predicate of 
the Son of God. The great importance of the posi- 
tion and influence of Adoptianism is not attributable 
to any positive results it worked out and set forth, 
but to the circumstance that the opposition raised 
against it constituted a great crisis in the history of 

From Spain these discussions spread naturally in 
the adjacent Prankish provinces, for Felix, a man 
of distinguished piety and Christian zeal, as well as 
of superior acuteness and intellect, was bishop of 
Urgel, situated in the Spanish mark. It was this 
spread of the controversy into the Frankish territory 
that led Charles to bring the matter before the 
assembly in Regensberg in 792, '' at w^iich Felix was 
summoned to appear. His doctrines were con- 
demned, and he consented to recant. Charles sent 
him to Rome, where he was arrested and imprisoned 
and wrote a new recantation, but returning to Spain 
he repented of his misrepresentations of his doc- 

' Dorner, division ii., vol. i., p. 268. 

' " Ann. Lauriss." and " Ann. Einhardi," an. 792 ; M. G. SS., 

vol. i., pp, 178, 179. 

268 The Age of Charlemag7ie. 

trines, and took up his residence under the rule and 
protection of the Saracens. The Spanish bishops 
wrote to Charles demanding a new examination and 
a reinstatement of Felix in his see. These letters 
were forwarded to Hadrian, and the matter brought 
before the Frankfort Council of 794/ when Felix 
was again condemned and all records sent to Ellpan- 
tus. At this time Alcuin had returned to the court 
of Charles, and he used every kindly means to in- 
duce Felix to give up his new and erroneous doc- 
trine, supplementing his letters Avith the formal 
treatise on the subject, as already mentioned. 

To this Felix, still unconvinced, replied in a calm, 
impassioned and exceedingly able manner, but Eli- 
pantus answered it with bitterness and passion. 
Alcuin held up to them the teaching of the univer- 
sal church, and based his strongest argument on the 
authority of tradition, but Felix and Elipantus said 
that Christ and not Peter was the rock on which the 
church was founded, and that the church and the 
true faith might consist of only a few. Alcuin now 
referred the discussion to Paulinus, the patriarch of 
Aquileia, Theodolf of Orleans, and Richbon, bishop 
of Treves, as well as to the pope, thus not giving to 
the pope the absolute power of decision. Charles 
agreed to this, and sent a clerical commission con- 
sisting of Benedict of Aniane, Leidrad, archbishop 
of Lyons, and Nefrid, bishop of Narbonne, to inves- 
tigate and refute the doctrine in the southern prov- 
inces bordering on Spain. They conferred with 
Felix, and promised him a fair and free discussion 
' Boretius, vol. i.,pp. 73-78. 

The FilioqiLe Clause. 269 

if he would attend the council at Aix-la-Chapelle 
in 799. Here he met Alcuin in debate before the 
king, and declared himself convinced, but it was 
probably rather more by the gentle and devout 
character of Alcuin than by his argument. Felix, 
however, was not allowed to return to his bishopric, 
but placed under the oversight of the archbishop of 
Lyons, where he remained until his death, in 818. 
But although he gave up the use of his peculiar 
phraseology, Agobard, Leidrad's successor, found 
among his papers undoubted evidence that he still 
retained the principles for which he had so earnestly 
contended. For a time, however, the controversy 
was stilled. 

A third controversy, of a much more extended 
significance, was that relating to the doctrine of the 
Holy Spirit. It has been noticed already that a 
Spanish council, held at Toledo in 589, on the occa- 
sion of the conversion from Arianism of the Visi- 
gothic king, Reccared, inserted in the Nicene Creed 
the words " And from the Son" {Jilioqiic), after the 
words expressing belief in the Holy Ghost, " who 
proceedeth from the Father." This addition, to- 
gether with the question of image worship, was dis- 
cussed in a synod, at which both Greek and Roman 
delegates were present, held at Gentilly in jGy, dur- 
ing the reign of Pippin, probably in order to effect 
a closer union between the Eastern and Western 
churches, but apparently without arriving at any 
decision on the points at issue.' 

1 "Ann. Einhardi," an. 767 ; M. G. SS.,vol. i., p. 145 ; Jaffe, 
vol. iv., pp. 124-134 ; Ep. 36, 37. 

270 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

Charles accordingly took up the matter, and at 
his direction Alcuin wrote a treatise in which he 
favored the addition. On this account a monk of 
Jerusalem made a vehement attack at the Prankish 
congregation on the Mount of Olives, and declared 
that all the Franks were heretics. They immedi- 
ately reported the whole affair to Pope Leo in a 
very striking and interesting letter,' and he for- 
warded the letter with one of his own to Charles, 
significantly remarking that he replied to the monks 
by sending them an authentic copy of the true 
creed, which of course did not contain the addi- 

Charles then issued another treatise written by 
Theodulf of Orleans, and introduced the question 
for discussion at the Synod of Aix-la-Chapelle in 
809. The question not being settled at this time, 
Bernharius, bishop of Worms, and Adalhard, abbot 
of Corbie, were sent to Rome to lay the matter be- 
fore the pope.' Leo admitted the truth of the doc- 
trine, but did not wish to change the form in which 
the creed was chanted in the services of the church, 
and recommended that the word be dropped as not 
necessary for them and very obnoxious to the 
Greeks. In order to give additional force to his 
suggestions, he caused the Nicene Creed in both 
Greek and Latin to be engraved on two silver tab- 
lets, and set up in the churches of St. Peter and 
St. Paul in Rome, with the words, " I, Leo, have 

' Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 382-385 ; Ep. Carol., 22. 

' Ibid., pp. 386 ; Ep. Carol., 23. 

^ " Ann. Einhardi," ann. 809 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 196. 

Veni Creator Spirittts. 271 

set this up in token of my love and protection of 
the orthodox faith," Yet the addition favored by 
Charles was used throughout the western part of the 
empire, and at last was adopted throughout the 
Latin Church as it is to-day. 

It is in recognition of this great truth that the 
hymn Vcni Creator Spiritns, one of the grandest of 
the old Latin hymns of the Middle Ages, was com- 
posed, and holds such an honored place in the ser- 
vices of the church. The Church of England and 
the Episcopal Church in this country have retained 
it in the service for the ordination of priests and in 
that for the consecration of bishops. The last 
stanza is most significant : 

" Teach us to know the Father, Son, 
And Thee of both to be but One." 

or more literally translated : 

" By Thee, may we the Father know. 
By Thee, confess the Son, 
In Thee, the Holy Ghost from both 
Believe, all time to come." 

A popular tradition, founded, however, on critical 
investigation, for a long time ascribed the compo- 
sition of this beautiful hymn to Charles himself, 
and this view is still defended by many, but later 
discoveries have led to the conclusion that it was 
really composed by Rabanus Maurus, who, as we 
have seen, was commissioned by Charles to write a 
treatise on the subject. This hymn is found in a 
very old and authoritative manuscript of his works, 

272 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and is a complete poetic outline of his treatise, 
while a peculiar expression alluding to the Holy 
Spirit as " the finger of God's right hand" is found 
in both.' 

' Duffield, pp. 116-122. 



HIS close relationship of church and state 
made the ecclesiastical officers of great 
political importance, as we have already 
seen in connection with the conquest of 
Saxony, as well as in the institution of 
the royal commissioners. When Charles succeeded 
his father a beginning had been made of the regular 
system. The work of Boniface had already laid a 
strong foundation,' but the newly created bishoprics 
and ecclesiastical centres necessitated a still further 
arrangement and order. This was effected largely 
through the metropolitan system. In one of the 
first laws it was laid down that suffragan bishops 
should be subject to the metropolitan according to 
the canons, and that they should change and im- 
prove what might need improving. It was further 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 25 ; " Karlmanni Capit.," c. 4, 742 a.u. 


2 74 ^-^^ ^£^^ ^f Charlemagne. 

decreed that where a vacancy occurred, or where no 
bishop had been consecrated, a bishop should be 
estabHshed without delay, and while true monks, 
called regulars, should live according to their rule, 
the bishop must live according to the canons, hav- 
ing power over the priests, deacons, and others of 
the clerical order belonging to his diocese.' Thus 
the characteristic features of the ecclesiastical hier- 
archy were laid down, not that anything new was 
introduced, but only what the church for a long time 
needed, and what had already been carried into exe- 
cution in the South and East, although in the Prank- 
ish Kingdom this organization received additional 
strength through the power and authority of the 
king. The detailed order, as presented in the gen- 
eral admonition of the year 789, on the basis of the 
Dionysian collection of canons, covered all the vari- 
ous relations of the church and completed this new 
arrangement for the Franks." 

In the German part of the kingdom Mainz became 
the chief centre, and Lull, the successor of Boniface, 
received the pall in 780, while his successor exer- 
cised a general supervision over the greater number 
of the German bishops. Indeed, in the middle of 
the ninth century Mainz is called the metropolitan- 
ate of Germany.' In Cologne, Hildibald, the chap- 
lain of Charles, held archiepiscopal dignity, Utrecht 
and Liittich being under him, and later a large part 
of the Saxon Church, while Paderborn, Verden, and 

' Boretius, vol. 1., p. 47 ; " Capit. Harist.," c. r-4, 779 a.d. 

■ See above, pp. 227-231. 

^ "Ann. Fuld," an. 852; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 367. 

Metropolitans. 275 

the Eastphalian churches were under Mainz. Ham- 
burg was not established until later, and then exer- 
cised supervison over the Scandinavian churches. 
In Bavaria, Salzburg exercised metropolitan powers. 
The re-establishment of ecclesiastical councils, sup- 
ported by the authority of the king, tended to 
greater unity and to a stronger organization. The 
leading enactment on this subject is found in the 
capitulary of Frankfort, of 794 : " It is enacted by 
our lord the king and the holy synod that bishops 
shall exercise jurisdiction in their dioceses. If any 
abbot, presbyter, deacon, archdeacon, monk, or 
other cleric, or indeed any one else in the diocese 
does not obey his bishop, let them come to their 
metropolitan, and he shall judge the case together 
with his suffragans. Our counts shall also come to 
the court of the bishops, and if there be anything 
which the metropolitan cannot set right, then let 
the accusers and the accused both come to us with 
letters from the metropolitan, that we may know 
the truth of the matter." ' It was also ordered that 
the parish clergy should report once or twice a year 
to the bishops, and the bishops to the metropolitan, 
and among the duties of the royal commissioners 
was the investigation of the administration of the 
bishops, their aids and assistants in the several 
parishes, and their ability in zeal and in learning.'' 

Thus the metropolitans represented the unity of 
the national church and formed a strong support for 
political unity, while the coalition of the two, the 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 74, 75 ; "Synod. Franc," § 6. 
' Ibid., p. 45 ; " Capit. Prim.," § 8, p. 53. 

2/6 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

temporal prince and the ecclesiastical metropolitan, 
enabled each to support the other. Among the 
Western Franks, Rheims attained the greatest power 
and the widest influence, especially under Hincmar, 
who stood forth as the defender of the church 
against the insubordination of bishops and the en- 
croachments of the pope. In Germany, though 
there were several positions of archiepiscopal im- 
portance, Mainz represented the unity of the Ger- 
man Church and claimed the primacy, holding a 
most important position in strengthening the civil 
power and keeping up the unity and independence 
through the great influence of the archbishop on 
the administration of the empire. 

In the old Austrasia, the lands of the Moselle, it 
was only gradually that a formal and definite system 
was introduced. For a long time the bishop of 
Metz held the title of archbishop, although Treves 
early appeared as the chief city of the territory, and 
took a prominent place in ecclesiastical affairs. Its 
position was finally recognized, and the bishop of 
Treves became the metropolitan for Metz, Toul, 
and Verdun. 

The reception of the pallium or pall from the 
pope as the special mark of the archiepiscopal dig- 
nity early appears, but with the consent, indeed by 
the will, of the Frankish king, and there are in- 
stances in which it was awarded to others than the 

The original metropolitan system was an institu- 
tion especially connected with the Roman imperial 

' Hinschius, K. R., vol. ii., p. 7. See Waitz, vol. iii., p. 420. 

Bishops. 277 

organization where the civil metropoHs was also the 
ecclesiastical centre, but the barbarian invasions de- 
stroyed all these relations, and many of the ancient 
cities of great importance were either ruined or lost 
their old pre-eminence. Attempts were made by 
Karlmann and Pippin in 742' and in 755,' and by 
Charles in 789' and 794* to re-establish metropolitan 
centres, and to restore to metropolitans their ancient 
privileges, but, as we have seen before, these at- 
tempts based the supremacy of certain sees on more 
or less artificial grounds and were not destined to 
be permanently successful — in fact, the disorganiza- 
tion of the metropolitan system dates from the close 
of the ninth century. 

The nomination of a bishop was practically in the 
hands of Charles and his successors. In some few 
instances the right of free election v/as recognized, 
but even here the king still retained much of his in- 
fluence, and in important cases, as, for example, in 
the election of the archbishop of Ravenna, he sent 
a deputy to take care of his interests.' Louis the 
Pious promised free elections,* but continued to ex- 
ercise a very strong influence, and the right of con- 
firmation was more strongly maintained than ever. 
Furthermore, a bishop could be deposed by the co- 
operation at least of the civil power,' although a 
church council was legally required to pass judg- 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 25 ; " Cap. Karlm.," c. i. 

' Ibid., p. 33 ; " Con. Vern.," c. 2. 

^ Ibid., p. 54 ; " Admon. Gen.," c. 8. 

* Ibid., pp. 74, 75 ; "Syn. Franc," c. 6. 

^ Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 266 ; Ep. 88, A.D. 788. 

' Borelius, vol. i., p. 276 ; " Cap. Eccles.," c. 2, A.D, 818. 

' Ibid., p. 95 ; " Cap. Miss.," c. 19, a.d. 802. 

278 The Age of Charlemagjie. 

ment. One was removed by Charles without assign- 
ing any definite cause/ and one who was formally 
condemned by a synod to lose his office Charles 

The general influence of bishops in cities and dis- 
tricts was not as significant as in early times, though 
their power continually grew by increase of prop- 
erty and by the acquisition of important rights. 
Nor was it diminished by their participation in state 
affairs, or by the way in which secular concerns 
came to be considered in reference to their appoint- 
ments. In other respects, however, their power 
was diminishing. A large number of religious com- 
munities, especially the most important ones, ob- 
tained special privileges from the pope, and even 
from the bishops themselves, by which they were 
gradually withdrawn from episcopal supervision. 
Different classes of secular priests also were released 
for one reason or another from the control of the 
bishops, some by right of patronage, others as royal 
or domestic chaplains, others as rural deans or arch- 
presbyters, and others as canons of a cathedral 
chapter. A large part of the ecclesiastical property, 
however, still remained in the possession of the 
nobles, who in the earlier periods of strife and con- 
fusion had been able to seize it, or had received it 
by way of a loan which was more in the interest of 
the king than of the church. In some cases also 
they almost acquired a right of disposal over the 
bishopric itself. Charles laid special weight on the 

' " Mon. Sangall.," bk. i., c. 6 ; Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 637. 
* Boretius, vol. i., p. 75 ; " Syn. Franc," c. 9, A.D. 794. 

CJwrcpiscopi. 2 79 

political activity of the bishops in the administration 
of the kingdom, and in some cases they held almost 
an oversight over the carrying out of important 
political regulations ; ' but the increase of their po- 
litical and civil power led to the necessity of making 
a sharper distinction in position and functions be- 
tween them and the counts with whom strifes arose 
through envy/ Louis went so far as to order the 
bishop to make a report regarding the count, and 
the count regarding the bishop, in order that he 
might find out how each fulfilled his office,' The 
church, however, opposed this too intimate union 
of spiritual and secular business. The clergy, there- 
fore, had to guard as much as possible against the 
encroachments of the secular power and secure its 
aid as much as possible, but the secular nobles used 
their power more for the injury than for the support 
and furtherance of monasteries and churches. 

From very early times subordinate bishops had 
been appointed in the East, and the custom had 
been introduced into the Prankish kingdom. These 
bishops were partly those going about without any 
fixed diocese, partly such as were assistants to indi- 
vidual bishops and took the name of the earlier 
bishops appointed for remote country districts with 
whom they seemed to have had nothing in common 
except the name. These were called chorepiscopi 
(country bishops). But the church had already 
made earnest efforts to do away with the institution, 

■ Boretius, vol. i., p. 70 ; " Cap. de part. Sax.," c. 34, a.d. 782. 
* Ibid., p. 161 ; '• Cap. tract.," c. I, 2, 5 and 6, A.D. 811. 
' Ibid., p. 305 ; "Admon. ad omncs," c. 14, AD. 823. 

28o The Age of Charlemagne. 

and with the attempt to estabHsh better order in 
the Frankish church under the influence of Boni- 
face, orders were given to Hrnit them in their activ- 
ity.' Under Charles the old church laws against 
them were repeated," and although some were kept 
as substitutes for the bishops,' they engaged in 
political much more than in ecclesiastical affairs, but 
they continued to exercise their influence down to 
the middle of the century, although strong objec- 
tions were raised against them, first in the West 
Frankish kingdom, and they finally disappeared." 

Ecclesiastical reform not only appears as one of 
the most important subjects of legislation in the 
capitularies of Charles, but was sought also through 
two direct agencies. The first was the " canonical 
life," introduced by Chrodegang, bishop of Metz, 
742-766, among his cathedral clergy, which was con- 
firmed, taken up and extended by Charles." This 
rule or canon was the application of the monastic 
rule of St. Benedict to the clergy associated with 
the bishop in his cathedral, with the omission of the 
vow of poverty,^ Chrodegang built a large and 
commodious dwelling, in which all the clergy of his 
cathedral church were obliged to live, pray, work, 
eat, and sleep under his constant supervision. A 
fixed rule assigned to each his portion of food and 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 25, 29, 35 and 41 ; "Cap. Karlm.," c. 4, 
A.D. 742; "Cap. Suess.," c. 5, a.d. 744; "Con. Vern.," c, 13, 
A.D. 755 ; " Decret, Verm.," c. 14, A.D. 758. 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 45 ; "Cap. Karoli. M.," c. 4, a.d. 769. 

' Ibid., pp. 54, 55 ; " Admon. Gen.," c. 9, 19, a.d. 789. 

* Waitz, vol. iii., p. 431. 

* Boretius, vol. i., p. 60 ; " Admon, Gen.," c. 73, a.d. 789. 

* Hatch, pp. 157-172. 

The Canonical Life. 281 

drink, and at appointed hours (the canonical hours) 
they came together for prayer and singing, and at 
regular times they gathered in the hall where the 
bishop, or some one appointed by him, read a chap- 
ter from the Bible, with explanations, exhortations, 
and reproofs. The hall was therefore called the 
chapter house, and the name " chapter" was given 
to the whole body together there. The colleges 
were a subsequent development of a chapter in non- 
episcopal city churches. Under Louis the Pious 
this rule was formally adopted and enforced for the 
whole kingdom,' but soon after the canons, as the 
members of a cathedral chapter were called, endeav- 
ored to emancipate themselves from the control of 
the bishops, and were able in many cases to main- 
tain a more or less independent position.'' 

The other reform v/as the revival of the monastic 
rule of Benedict, brought about through the efforts 
of Benedict of Aniane, the son of a Visigothic 
count, and who had served as a soldier under Charles 
the Great. In 779 he founded in Languedoc the 
monastery of Aniane, and became a very powerful 
and intimate counsellor of Louis the Pious. The 
main principles of his rule were set forth under his 
direction in a capitulary issued by Louis in 816.' 

Charles showed a deep and strong interest, often 
expressing itself in definite and determined action, 
not only in the larger and external interests of the 
church, but in the minutest details of its internal 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 276; "Cap. Eccles.," c. 3; "Ann. Lau- 
riss. Min.," an. 816 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 122. 
' Chastel, vol. iii., pp. 172, 173. 
8 "Ann. Lauriss. Min.," an. 816 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 122. 

282 The Age of Charlemagne. 

life and discipline. He regarded the Church of 
Rome with the highest veneration, not only on ac- 
count of his personal relations with the pope, and 
the fact that the Church of Rome was the only apos- 
tolic see in the West, but also on account of the 
strength and completeness of its order and tradition. 
The supremacy of the Roman See was formally 
asserted, and apparently accepted in a letter written 
by Hadrian to Charles in the latter part of the cen- 
tury. The following striking passages appear : " Be 
it far from us to doubt your royal power which has 
striven not for the diminishing, but for the exalta- 
tion of your spiritual mother, the holy Roman 
Church, and which extended among all nations will 
remain consecrated and exalted until the end." 
" For we do not raise the question as to any one 
being ignorant of how great authority has been 
granted to the blessed Peter, prince of the apostles 
and to his most holy see, inasmuch as this church 
has the divine right of judging in all things, nor is 
it permitted to any to pass judgment on its judg- 
ment, for the right of absolving those bound by the 
decisions of any belongs to the pontiffs of the see 
of the blessed Apostle Peter, through whom the 
care of the whole church devolves upon the one see 
of Peter, and nothing ever can be separated from 
its head. For as your divinely preordained and 
supreme excellency has shown such love for the 
head of the whole world, the holy Roman Church 
and its ruler and chief, so the blessed Peter, prince 
of the apostles, has granted you, together with your 
most excellent queen, our daughter, and your most 

Rome the Model. 283 

noble children, to enjoy the rule of a long reign and 
in the future the unbroken serenity of victory." ' 
Already in 764 Paul I. had declared the Roman 
Church to be " the holy spiritual mother, the head 
of all the churches of God." ' Charles accordingly 
recognized the Church of Rome as his model for 
the internal arrangements connected with the rules 
of discipline and of worship. He received from 
Hadrian in 774 a copy of the Dionysian canons in 
force at Rome/ also a copy of the Sacramentary of 
Gregory," and two singers to introduce the Roman 
method of chanting into the Prankish Church." The 
laws of marriage throughout the realm were also 
made to conform with those in force at Rome, and 
the benediction of a priest was made necessary to 
its legality. 

The position of the church and the rights and 
privileges of the clergy were maintained, and later 
steadily increased by royal authority. Payment of 
tithes to the church was enforced even in newly 
acquired territory," a parish received an endowment 
of house and land free of rent and taxes, and pro- 
vided with servants in proportion to the population.' 
The church continued to increase its landed pos- 
sessions, and large estates passed under the control 
of bishops and abbots, who now became an integral 

* Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 285-292 ; Ep. 98, 784-791 A.D. 
" Ibid., p. 132 ; Ep. 37, 764 A. D. 

* Abel-Simson, vol. i., pp. 179, 180. 

* Jaff6, vol. iv., p. 273 ; Ep. 92, 784-791 a.d. 

8 "Ann. Lauriss.,"an. 787 ; M. G. SS., vol.i., p. 170 ; Boretius, 
vol. i., p. 61 ; " Admon. Gen.," c. 80, a.d. 789. 

* Boretius, vol. i., p. 69 ; " Capit. de part. Sax.," c. 17, 
' Ibid., p. 69, " Capit. de part. Sax.," c. 15. 

284 The Age of Charlemagne. 

part of the feudal system, and to whom many im- 
munities and even regaHa were granted.' 

To such an extent had these temporal possessions 
and feudal holdings increased that all prelates were 
obliged to keep advocates to transact the secular 
affairs incompatible with their spiritual calling.* 
They often served in the wars in spite of the general 
laws against bearing arms, and it was necessary to 
issue very severe laws expressly prohibiting the 
clergy from serving in war or being present on the 
field of battle, except in the numbers required for 
religious services.^ Though the clergy were ex- 
empted more and more from the jurisdiction of the 
secular courts, Charles continued to be the supreme 
judge of all clergymen, even bishops." 

All the kings after Pippin more than once at- 
tempted in their laws to preserve to the church its 
immunities, and if later the church had to complain 
of any violation, it was due not so much to the 
kings as to the ofificers and secular princes who paid 
little regard to the liberties and privileges granted 
to the church, and often claimed, if not the church 
property itself, at least the use of it. Sometimes, 
however, these immunities were granted by princes 
and dukes themselves and defended by them. It is 
almost impossible to determine the historical origin 
of many of the immunities granted to monasteries 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 165 ; "Cap. de rebus exerc.,'' c. 3. 

' Ibid., p. 172 ; " Cap. Aquisgr.," c. 14. 

^ Ibid., pp. 103, 107, 243; "Cap. Miss. Sp.," c. 37; "Cap. a 
Sac," c. 18 ; " Ghaerb. Cap.," c. 3. 

■* Boretius, vol. i., p. 56 ; " Admon. Gen.," c. 38, p. 77 ; " Synod 
Francon,"c. 30, 59, p. 103 ; " Cap. Miss.," c. 17, p. 176 ; " Cap. 
de just.," c. 2, p. 196 ; " Cap, Mant.," c. i, p. 190. 

Ecclesiastical Immunities. 285 

and bishoprics on account of the number of forged 
or falsified documents. Under Pippin and Charles 
and their immediate successors the usual provisions 
of the grant were about the same as in the later 
Merovingian times — viz., that no public ofificer 
should enter upon the estate or property of an eccle- 
siastical foundation either to make a judicial inquiry, 
or to levy any tax, or to quarter or provide for 
soldiers, or to take bail, or to hold the people re- 
sponsible to justice in any way. 

Sometimes, however, the privileges are declared 
with reference only to unjust exactions, as if all 
levies were not excluded, and some instances occur 
in which the king's officers were obliged to act. In 
single instances exception is made where the king's 
officers have the right to levy a tax in case of special 
need ; usually, however, in such cases the church is 
allowed to collect the tax by its own officers.' The 
bishops also investigated crimes and administered 
justice in their own dioceses assisted by the counts,' 
but here also, as in political affairs, a gradual separa- 
tion began to take place between the clergy and 
laity in the courts and in the general administration 
of justice. The ecclesiastical courts as they existed 
earlier stood for purely ecclesiastical cases, but had 
gradually extended their activity, thus limiting the 
secular courts. Even the clergy themselves became 
more and more subject to these courts, and the de- 
crees which earlier church councils had made in 

' Waitz, vol. iv., pp. 297-302. 

"^ Eoretius, vol. i., p. 170; " Capit. Aquis.," c. i, a.d. 813; 
p. 190, " Cap. Mant.," c. 6, a.d. 781 ; cf. p. 25, " Cap. Karlm.," 
c. 5, A.D, 742. 

286 The Age of Charlemagne. 

their favor now received civil recognition and en- 
forcement. Monks especially were forbidden to go 
to secular courts or to hold trials outside of their 
monastery' or to engage in secular affairs.' Even 
civil actions between the clergy must be settled be- 
fore the bishop," and cases between a cleric and a 
layman before a bishop and a count." 

This extension of episcopal jurisdiction over eccle- 
siastics deprived the secular officers of much of their 
power over the church and all that belonged to it, 
and transferred the judicial authority to the heads 
of the ecclesiastical establishments, and consequently 
in this important sphere of the administration of 
justice the power of the church was greatly increased 
and the way prepared for still further extensions of 
its power. 

Under Louis the continuance of civil disturbances 
and the higher authority, often oppressive and over- 
bearing, exercised by the metropolitans, led the 
bishops to make a stronger assertion of the suprem- 
acy of the church in order to free it from the tem- 
poral control, which had ministered to their support 
under Charles, but now left them weakened and 
defenceless. Already there was evident a strong 
determination to acknowledge the Roman See as 
the centre and head of the church, and its natural 
support and defence against the encroachments and 
aggravating interference of the civil power, which 

* Boretius, vol. i., p. 60 ; " Admon. Gen.," c. 73, a.d. 789 ; p. 
75, "Syn. Franc," c. il, a.d. 797. 

*" Boretius, vol. i., p. 64 ; " Dupl. leg.," c. 30, A.D. 789. 

* Ibid., p. 56 ; " Adm. Gen.," c. 28, a.d. 789. 

* Ibid., p. 77 ; " Syn. Franc," c. 30, A.D. 794. 

Increase of Papal Power. 287 

seemed no longer able to accomplish the much- 
needed reforms. The Sardican canons* were recalled, 
and the bishop was allowed the right of appeal in 
any and all cases, directly over the metropolitan and 
the provincial synods, to the bishop of Rome. 
Benedict of Levite, in his enlarged edition of the 
capitularies, inserted the Sardican decrees, and made 
the still wider application, which reached its fullest 
expression in the Forged Decretals of Pseudo-Isidore. 
This tendency was still further strengthened by the 
action of the civil government in calling the papal 
authority to its aid, even ascribing to it additional 
powers for the settlement of ecclesiastical disputes 
and even of political difficulties. 

Thus the papal power was greatly increased on 
every side, and these advantages the pope was in 
the most favorable position to grasp. We may 
therefore see in the early part of the ninth century 
the gradual establishment of that new ecclesiastical 
polity to which the Forged Decretals succeeded in 
imparting the one thing needful — an historical basis 
manufactured for the purpose. 

' Hefele, vol. ii., pp. Ii2-I2g, canons 3-6, allowing a bishop to 
appeal to Pope Julius in case of condemnation by the other bish- 
ops in his province who might be suspected of Arian or Eusebian 



jURING the closing years of his life 
Charles was largely occupied in the con- 
solidation of the empire and the admin- 
istration of its affairs. After his corona- 
tion he made a general revision of the 
different customs and codes of law of the several 
people united under his rule." The personality of 
law still prevailed according to which each person, 
wherever he might be, must be judged and dealt 
with according to the law of his own people. The 
Franks, Salian and Ripuarian, each had their own 
law, also the Saxons, Frisians, Goths, Burgundians, 
Alemannians, Bavarians, Lombards, and the Ro- 

' "Ann. Lauresh," an. 802 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 39. 


Obstacles to Unity. 289 

mans. The confusion and difficulties engendered 
when all these were joined together in one great 
empire can be imagined better than described. 
" So great a diversity of laws prevailed that it was 
in not only single districts and cities, but even in 
many houses, for it sometimes happened that five 
men might be walking or sitting together, and not 
one of them have a law common to one of the 
others." ' The difficulties confronting a ruler under 
such conditions were enormous. Under Louis the 
Pious there was a thought of uniting all under one 
law. Of course not as easy politically as ecclesiasti- 
cally, but since all were united in one faith under 
the one law of Christ, members of one church, they 
might also be included under one and the same secu- 
lar law, but the thought found no further realization. 
Charles, indeed, tried to establish order and to unify 
the principles of his administration, and the im- 
mense number of his capitularies attest his zeal and 
earnestness, but his attempt could not succeed. 
" In spite of the unity and activity of his thought 
and power, disorder was all about him, immense, 
invincible. He repressed it a moment at one point, 
but the evil ruled wherever his terrible will did not 
reach, and then in the very place through which he 
had passed it began again as soon as he had de- 
parted." ^ 

His foreign relations have a more romantic inter- 
est. Since he considered himself the champion of 
the Christians who were under foreign rule, he v/as 

' Agobard, " Adv. leg. Gund.," c. 4. 
' Guizot, lecture xx. 

290 The Age of Charleuiagne. 

brought into closest relations with the great Ma- 
hometan power, and without coming into hostile 
relations with the rulers, especially the caliphs of 
the East, or even without showing any difference in 
diplomatic intercourse between them and other for- 
eign princes. He established, however, his place as 
head and representative of Christianity, and knew 
how to make it recognized in peaceable ways. It 
was probably on this account that in his foreign rela- 
tions the bishop of Rome, the spiritual head of the 
West, came into intimate relations with him. The 
pope lent his aid in the overthrow of Tassilo, and 
also in the contest with the duke of Benevento. He 
also aided Charles in restoring Eardulf, the North- 
umbrian king.' He confirmed the treaty made with 
the Greek emperor in 812,^ and even in domestic 
affairs he subscribed the important document con- 
cerning the division of the kingdom among the sons 
of Charles in 806, and the conditions under which 
this should take place,' and when later under Louis 
the Pious it came to an open breach and contest 
between the emperor and his sons regarding the 
regulation of the succession and other questions 
therewith connected, the pope was brought over the 
Alps in order to give preponderance and victory to 
the party of the sons. In all that belonged to the 
kingdom he took a high place, and much depended 
upon his co-operation in other than purely ecclesi- 
astical concerns. However, he never attained any 

• " Ann. Einbardi," an. 808 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 195. 
^ Ibid., an. 8i2 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. igg. 
» Ibid., an. 806 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 193. 

Harouji A I Raschid. 291 

definite right in giving regular counsel or even in 
the final determination in religious affairs." Among 
the most interesting of the foreign relations were 
those with Haroun Al Raschid, the caliph of Bag- 
dad, better known to us as the hero of the " Ara- 
bian Nights." These two great monarchs, the 
caliph of the great Mahometan power of the East 
and the emperor of the great Christian nations of 
the West, were on the most intimate terms of friend- 
ship, and frequent messengers and ambassadors 
passed between them, Einhard tells us " that this 
prince preferred the favor of Charles to that of all 
the kings and potentates of the earth, and consid- 
ered that to him alone marks of honor and munifi- 
cence were due. Accordingly when the ambassa- 
dors sent by Charles to visit the most holy sepulchre 
and place of resurrection of our Lord and Saviour 
presented themselves before him with gifts, and 
made known their master's wishes, he not only 
granted what was asked, but gave possession of that 
holy and blessed spot. When they returned he dis- 
patched his ambassadors with them and sent mag- 
nificent gifts, besides stuffs, perfumes, and other rich 
products of the Eastern land. A few years before 
this Charles had asked for an elephant, and the 
caliph sent the only one that he had." "" The chroni- 
clers make a special record of the coming of this 
elephant, and even gave his name, Abul-Abbas, 

' As, for example, in connection with the Image controversy, 
the Frankfort Synod, the Caroline Books, and the Filioque 

' Einhard, "Vita,"c. l6. 

292 The Age of Charlemagne. 

meaning " Father of Destruction." ' He died in 

Charles liked foreigners, and was at great pains to 
take them under his protection, and there were at 
all times large numbers of them in his kingdom and 
about his court. His relations with the English 
Bretwalda Offa of Mercia were very friendly, and he 
guaranteed protection to the English pilgrims and 
merchants passing through the realm.' At one time 
negotiations were carried on by his son Charles for 
the hand of Offa's daughter, but these were finally 
broken off." 

About a year before his coronation he had sent 
one of the court clergy as bearer of his bounty to 
the holy places of the East. His messenger re- 
turned to Rome at about the time of the coronation 
accompanied by two Eastern monks, sent by the 
patriarch of Jerusalem, As evidence of his high 
regard for the king he sent by them his benediction 
and the keys of the holy sepulchre of Mount Cal- 
vary, of the city of Jerusalem and of Mount Zion, 
together with a standard' conferring upon him an 
honorary supremacy over the holy city and placing 
it under his protection. ° 

Most of the wars of this later period were carried 

' "Ann. Einhardi," an. 802; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 190; 
"Ann. Lauresh.," an. 802; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 39; " Chron. 
Moiss," an. 802, M. G. SS , vol. i., p. 307. 

^ Ihid., an. 810, p. 197. 

^ Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 357, 358 ; Ep. Carol. 11, a.d. 796 ; " Letter 
to Offa, King of the Mercians." Translated by Mombert, pp. 

335. 336. 

* Abel-Simson, vol. ii., pp. 7, 8, 475. 

^ " Ann. Lauriss.," an. Hoo, M. G. SS., p. 188. 

* Waitz, vol. iii., p. 186. 

Later Wars. 293 

on under or in the name of the emperor's sons. 
Pippin at the age of four had been crowned king of 
Italy, and at the same time his brother Louis, one 
year younger, was crowned king of Aquitania, 
though both reigned under a guardian, baiulus, but 
Charles continued to be the real ruler, receiving re- 
ports and giving instructions even in regard to the 
minutest details, and sending his commissioners 
from time to time, just as in the rest of the empire. 
At the age of nine Pippin accompanied his father in 
the campaign against Benevento, and in the follow- 
ing year, 787, is said to have led one of the armies 
against Tassilo, the refractory duke of the Bavarians, 
In 791 he headed the Italian forces in the campaign 
against the Avars, on which occasion Louis, vv'ho 
had reached his thirteenth year, was publicly ac- 
knowledged as a warrior and formally invested with 
a sword. Soon after Pippin sent back word of a 
great victory over the Avars, and continued the 
Vv^arfare against them, while Louis was with his 
father in the North subduing the Saxons, though 
both joined Pippin in the latter part of the war. 
After the conquest of the Avars, Charles, the oldest 
son, whose mother was Himiltrud, entered upon a 
campaign against the Bohemians, who threatened 
the frontier along the boundary of the newly con- 
quered Avars. He then, in 806, proceeded against 
the Sarabians far in the North, between the Saale 
and Elbe, and by the death of their leader forced 
them to submit.' In the meanwhile the Arabs took 
advantage of these exploits in the North and East 
' " Ann. Einhardi," an. 806 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 193. 

294 ^/^^ ^^^ ^f Charlemagne. 

and invaded Septimania. Several contests with 
them followed, and Louis was engaged from time 
to time in warding off their piratical attacks, though 
they killed many Christians and secured much 

There is a tradition, we are told, that the Emir 
determined to devote the spoils taken in war against 
the Christians to the erection of a splendid mosque 
at Cordova. Not content with the glory of building 
it with Christian money, he determined that it 
should stand on Christian soil, and for that purpose 
caused sacks filled with earth from the battlefield 
of Villedaigne to be carried on the shoulders of his 
Christian prisoners of war to Cordova, and the 
foundations of the Mahometan temple were laid in 
that earth. " If the statement is true," says Mom- 
bert, " the fate of that mosque points the lesson of 
the instability of the things below, for the mosque 
is now the Cathedral of Cordova." " 

The domestic affairs of the kingdoms of these 
young kings were not always administered with 
ability and integrity, and Charles found himself 
obliged to interfere on account of the corrupt ad- 
ministration of the kingdom of Louis, whose ofificers 
had diverted the crown property and land to their 
own uses, and had reduced the young and inexperi- 
enced king to a state of poverty. Charles immedi- 
ately appointed special commissioners to recover 
the royal domains and apply the revenue to the use 
of the crown, introducing also certain reforms which 

' "Ann. Moiss.," an. 793 ; M. G. SS., p. 300. 
' Mombert, pp. 291, 292. 

Distribution of 806. 295 

might strengthen the position of Louis, but great 
caution was followed in order not to alienate the 
nobles from their king. Louis usually spent the 
summer months with his father, but the city of 
Toulouse, where his general assemblies were held, 
Avas nominally his permanent residence. 

In 806 Charles made a formal distribution of the 
kingdoms of the empire, the object being to 
strengthen the power by distributing the control, 
allowing a harmonious and uniform development of 
the several parts, and avoiding the distractions which 
might follow civil strife if either of the sons were 
left without territory. The brothers were to unite 
in the maintenance of each other's police regula- 
tions, in the common defence against enemies at 
home or abroad, and in the care and protection of 
the Roman Church. Without going into details, we 
may note that to Louis was assigned Aquitania, 
Vasconia, the southern part of Burgundy, Provence, 
Septimania, and Gothia ; to Pippin, Lombardy, 
Bavaria, and the territory on the southern bank of 
the Danube from its source to the Rhine. To 
Charles was given all the rest — Austrasia, Neustria, 
Thuringia, Saxony, Frisia, part of Burgundy, part 
of Alemannia, and part of Bavaria. It is to be 
noted that only three sons are mentioned whose 
right of inheritance is acknowledged, and most sur- 
prising of all, that no mention is made of the City 
of Rome or of the imperial title and authority. In 
other respects, however, the document is not of 
much importance, for its provisions were never car- 
ried out. After the division Pippin and Louis re- 

296 TJlc Age of Charlemagne. 

turned to their dominions ; Louis to continue the 
struggle against the Saracens in the South, and Pip- 
pin the defence of his possessions against the Moors, 
who were attacking Corsica and Sardinia. The rela- 
tions of Pippin and Leo were not very friendly,' 
perhaps on account of their too great nearness, but 
the danger to the papacy, whatever it might have 
been, was averted by the death of Pippin in 810. 
Pippin left one son, Bernhard, who was sent by 
Charles to be educated by Rabanus Maurus, in the 
monastery of Fulda, and in 812 he was sent into 
Italy as king in his father's place/ In the year of 
Pippin's death occurred a great invasion by the 
Northmen, the Danes, but they were driven back, 
Charles himself taking the field against them with a 
large army, and it was not until the middle of the 
century, after the death of Charles and of his son 
Louis, that they finally entered within the bounda- 
ries of the empire, and not until the beginning of 
the next century did they effect a settlement and 
found the Duchy of Normandy, although Eng- 
land during all this time suffered from their inva- 

Charles, the oldest son mentioned in the division 
of 806, died in 811. He had been most intimately 
associated with his father in all his affairs, and to 
him had been given the Duchy of Maine in 789, 
probably with the title of king/ It was the same 
territory which once King Pippin had given to his 

' Jaff6, vol. iv., p. 310 ; Leonis, iii., Ep. i, A.D. 808. 
' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 812, 813, 814; M. G. SS., vol. i., pp. 
199, 200, 201. 
2 "Ann. Mett.," an. 789 ; M. G. SS., vol. i , p. 176. 

Old Age. 297 

brother Grifo,' and which later, 838, Louis the Pious 
gave to his son Charles the Bald/ Charles was also 
the son who was crowned and anointed with his 
father by Pope Leo IIL at the imperial coronation 
in 800. It is probable that this signified his father's 
intention to bestow upon him the imperial crown, 
but there seems to be no further evidence of this, 
and, as we have seen, in the proposed division of the 
kingdom, Italy was given to Pippin without any 
mention of the imperial dignity. 

Meanwhile the emperor had grown old, though 
still vigorous and active intellectually and physi- 
cally. The capitularies of his later days, both in 
number and in character, show no decline in admin- 
istrative ability, and his campaigns against the 
Danes, although not requiring any fighting, gave 
evidence of his martial spirit, while hunting in the 
forest of Ardennes was still his favorite occupation. 
At last he felt the end was near. He had divided 
his kingdom in 806, and in 811 he had made his 
will ;' but now only one son, Louis, the king of 
Aquitania, was left, and him he summoned to his 
imperial palace at Aix-la-Chapelle. Here Louis 
spent the summer of 813, receiving instructions and 
advice regarding the empire and its administration.* 

In September the general assembly was held, and 
an important capitulary was issued. Charles com- 
mended Louis to the nobles and ecclesiastics and all 

' " Ann. Mett.," an. 749 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 331. 

* " Prud. Tree. Ann.," an. 838 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 432. 

' Einhard, "Vita Karoli.," c. 33. Translated by Mombert. 
pp. 453-457. 

* " Einhardi Ann.," an. 873 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 200. 

298 The Age of Charlemagne. 

the people present, and charged them to be faithful 
to him as emperor if they would bestow the title 
upon him. They answered his appeal with a unani- 
mous shout, and pronounced him worthy to be their 
emperor. On Sunday, September nth, in the 
church of St. Mary the Virgin, clad in his imperial 
robes and wearing his magnificent crown, Charles 
advanced to the altar and placed thereon the new 
crown for his son ; both knelt in prayer ; after which 
Charles delivered a solemn charge to the young em- 
peror. He bade him, above all things, fear and 
love God and keep his commandments, and govern 
well the church and protect her from her enemies. 
He exhorted him to show a tender regard for his 
kinsmen, for the priests and for the people, and to 
watch over the poor. He advised him to receive 
into his confidence only faithful ministers. God-fear- 
ing and opposed to corruption. He bade him to do 
justice and love mercy, and in all things to be an 
example to his people. Louis replied that he would 
obey these precepts of his father with the help of 
God. Then Charles bade him take with his own 
hands the crown from the altar and place it upon 
his head, and he handed to him the imperial 

Charles then commanded him to be proclaimed 
emperor and Augustus, and the multitude exclaimed. 

Long life to Emperor Louis !" Charles then de- 
clared Louis joint emperor with himself, and con- 
cluded with the ascription of praise : " Blessed art 
thou, O Lord, for that thou hast granted me grace 
^ Thegan, " De Gestis Ludow. Pii," c. 6. 

Death of Charles the Great. 299 

this day to see with my own eyes my son seated on 
my throne." ' Shortly after this Louis returned to 
Aquitania, and his father passed the autumn in 
hunting, returning about November 1st. The winter 
was very severe, and in the month of January 
Charles had a violent attack of fever, which increased 
in violence, and was accompanied by pleurisy, warn- 
ing him of his speedy end. He immediately sent 
for his archchaplain and intimate friend, Hildibald, 
archbishop of Cologne, who administered to him 
the sacrament and prepared him for death. On the 
following morning, Saturday, summoning all his 
strength, he stretched out his right hand, signed 
himself with the sign of the cross, first on his fore- 
head and then over his whole body, and at last, 
joining his hands across his breast, he closed his 
eyes, and with the words, " Into thy hands, O Lord, 
I commend my spirit," he breathed his last at nine 
o'clock on the morning of January 28th, 814. He 
was buried with all magnificence in the church of 
Aix-la-Chapelle. Through the earnest endeavors of 
the Emperor Frederick L and King Henry H. of 
England, Charles was canonized by the consent and 
authority of the anti-pope. Paschal, an act which 
was sanctioned, however, by the rightful pope, Alex- 
ander HL "The Roman Church observes his day 
on January 28th, and the special collect used at 
Minden and elsewhere reads as follows : ' O God, 
who in the superabounding plenitude of thy good- 
ness hast exalted the blessed Charles the Great, 

' Einhard, "Vita,"c. 30; " Chron. Moiss,," an. 813 ; M.G. SS., 
vol. i., pp. 310, 311. 

joo The Age of Charlemagne. 

Emperor and thy Confessor, after having laid aside 
the veil of the flesh, to the glory of a blissful immor- 
tality, mercifully grant that as thou didst raise him 
for the praise and glory of thy Name to imperial 
honor upon earth, so of thy grace we may be found 
worthy ever to enjoy his pious and propitious inter- 
cession in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord.' " ' 
The great work of Charles was ended. Not to 
make great conquests, whose possession should re- 
main in the care and keeping of his descendants for 
long generations ; not to found an enduring empire 
over which his successors might rule in unbroken 
peace and serenity ; not even to establish a system 
of laws which should remain the possession of 
Europe, nor to found institutions which should en- 
dure long after he had passed away ; but to bring the 
entire German people into one great whole for a 
period long enough for their development in civiliza- 
tion and Christianity — to form, as it were, a great 
imperial university for such a training of the German 
nation in learning, in civilization, in the principles 
of the Christian faith, and in the morals of the Chris- 
tian religion. More than this, for weal or for woe 
he had made possible the establishment of feudal- 
ism, out of which were to grow the free cities and 
the great monarchies of Europe ; and, above all 
else, he had placed the Roman Church in a position 
of independence, of strength, of security, and of in- 
fluence in which she might become the guide, the 
teacher, and the example of the West. Thus, after 

' Mombert, pp. 4S7, 488; Boland, "Acta Sanct. ad Jan. 28," 
p. S74. 

True Greatness of Charles. 301 

all, the greatness of Charles consists not in his 
famous exploits, neither in his wars nor in his laws, 
neither in his imperial organization and title, nor in 
his military generalship and victories, but in the 
results for civilization, for morality, and for religion 
which he made possible for Europe. The mighty 
agent through which he worked, the organization 
which he placed in control of these great forces, and 
upon which he conferred the possibility of_ using 
them, was the Christian Church, which had its head, 
its centre, and its chief bishop at Rome. In more 
than one sense his work was not complete. " An 
inclusion of the Anglo-Saxon and Irish territories in 
the union with the empire, an extension of the king- 
dom and of the Christian faith over the Northern 
Germans, an expulsion of the Mahometans from 
Spain and the restoration of the Christian rule in 
the whole extent of the peninsula — these, leaving 
out the problems which Africa and the East might 
present, were objects which a successor of Charles 
who wished to carry on his work could have placed 
before him." ' 

The constitution which he had established rested 
essentially upon the kingdom as it had formed itself 
among the German people in the time of the wan- 
derings and conquests. The development of the 
feudal relations had a very great power and signifi- 
cance, but instead of giving a new support or a firmer 
coherence to the great kingdom, as Charles had 
hoped, it proved the greatest source of its weakness 
and one of the chief causes of its overthrow. It 

' Waitz, vol. iv., p. 635. 

302 The Age of Charlemagne. 

endangered the unity instead of strengthening it, 
and all that Charles could do, with the summoning 
of all his power, was to unite it and bring it into 
some sort of connection with existing arrangements. 
Nothing resembles feudalism less than the sovereign 
unity to which Charles aspired, yet he was the real 
founder of feudalism, for by checking invasions and 
by repressing internal disorder, he gave to the local 
positions, interests, and influences time to take real 
possession of the land and of its inhabitants. 

It was in union with the church, and in the soli- 
darity of its members, that Charles found a principle 
and model for the unity of his realm. The unity of 
faith and of divine worship in which the people 
united outweighed the difference of nationality, of 
laws and of interests. The state took up the ten- 
dencies which the church had perfected in itself, and 
lent to its development the power which it possessed, 
and its comprehension served as a basis for some- 
thing great. 



E come now to one of the most important 
subjects, perhaps the most important of 
the whole period. It has been said that 
the permanent contributions made by 
Charles to the history of the world were 
the conquest of the Saxons and the establishment 
of schools ; and it is difficult to overestimate the 
importance of either. His activity, however, in 
both of these directions left much to be worked out 
and carried to completion by those who came after 
him, but the common opinion in regard to his intel- 
lectual work needs further explanation. 

In a recent most valuable work on the Universi- 
ties of Europe in the Middle Ages, we are told most 
emphatically that the schools of Charles the Great 
were not the origin of the University of Paris. 
These schools were probably migratory, and fol- 
lowed the person of the sovereign, like the ancient 


304 The Age of Charlemagne. 

courts of law, in his progresses through his domin- 
ions." * It is only by an assumption, therefore, 
that one can speak of the identity of the schools of 
the palace with the later church schools of Paris. 
We may believe, however, that some of the features 
which characterized the Parisian university system 
may be traced very rightly to the work of Charles, 
especially the intensely ecclesiastical character, the 
system of supervision by church authorities, and the 
complete identification of the scholastic with the 
clerical order. Undoubtedly, also, the general edu- 
cational traditions, as well as intellectual inspiration, 
inherited by the schools of Paris, were derived ulti- 
mately from the schools of Alcuin and of Charles, 
but the connection cannot be traced through any 
single school. 

The later intellectual life seems due to the gen- 
eral " revival of episcopal and monastic schools 
throughout the Frankish Empire." ^ 

Through the dark ages which intervened betvv^een 
the age of Charles the Great and the twelfth cen- 
tury there were at least a few monasteries, and per- 
haps one or two cathedrals, where the fame of some 
great teacher drew students from distant lands, and 
where some ray of enthusiasm for the intellectual 
life still survived. The torch of learning, which 
Charles and Alcuin lighted from the fires of the 
Irish and English schools, never went completely 
out, but served in its turn to kindle the flames of 
knowledge after the storms and tempests of the 
barbarian invasions of the ninth and tenth centuries 

' Rashdall, vo). i., p. 273, ' Ibid., vol. i., p. 274. 

Decline of Classical Learning. 305 

had been stilled. But it is not easy to make right 
inferences and to form a just estimate regarding the 
intellectual position of these far-distant centuries. 
Gibbon/ Hallam/ and Robertson' give us indeed a 
gloomy picture of their intellectual life and require- 
ments which Maitland^ has done much to correct, 
while Lorenz, in his biography of Alcuin, affirms 
that there was " a more universal education secured 
to the lower classes at the conclusion of the eighth 
century than France can boast of in the nineteenth." 
The ancient and classical learning of Greece and 
Rome had been suffering for centuries a steady de- 
cline, due, in the first instance, not to the church, 
for it was not yet strong enough to accomplish so 
much, but to the same causes that had brought 
about the decline of the empire.* A similar de- 
terioration may be noticed in the Christian writings, 
comparing those of the three centuries before 
Augustine'' with those of the three centuries suc- 
ceeding him, when the flood of barbarism poured 
down upon the empire, spreading confusion, igno- 
rance, and general demoralization everywhere. Nor 
was this all, for the church had been obliged from 
the first to condemn the social and political life all 
about her, and to isolate herself completely from it 

' Gibbon, ch. Ixvi., ad fin. 
' Hallam, ch. ix., part i. 

^ Robertson, introduction to the " History of the Emperor, 
Charles V." 
■* Maitland, "The Dark Ages." 

* Lorenz, p. 59. This statement may be due in some measure 
to German prejudice against the French. 

* Hallam, ch. ix., part i ; Adams, pp. 76-S8. 

' The fourth century has been called " the golden age of Chris- 
tian literature." Chastel, vol. ii., p. 315. 

3o6 The Age of Charlemagne. 

on account of its being inseparably bound up with 
and interpenetrated by the heathen and immoral 
acts, sentiments, and principles which Christianity 
necessarily opposed with relentless zeal and uncom- 
promising vigor. It had seemed equally necessary 
to ignore if not to condemn' that whole literature, 
however great and beautiful, which was so per- 
meated with heathenism as to form, at any rate at 
first, an obstacle to the progress of Christianity — an 
obstacle which could not be subdued, but could 
only be thrust aside. Indeed, out of this learning 
had arisen, at first direct attacks, and later, rival 
schemes and systems of belief and conduct, and 
though St. Paul, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, 
and St. Augustine showed the possibility and even 
the advantage of the knowledge of the literary 
treasure of Greece and Rome, it was felt that only 
giants could resist such mighty power, and the days 
of giants were passing away. We need only refer 
to the later testimony of Jerome as to the general 
neglect of pagan learning, and the vision which he 
had in his early years, accompanied by the warning 
words, " You are a Ciceronian, not a Christian, 
' for where your treasure is, there will your heart be 
also.' " Furthermore, as has been said, a general 
decline was taking place even in the classical litera- 
ture and learning, that went far to justify the church's 

At the end of the seventh century, when pagan- 
ism might seem to be finally suppressed, the last 

' "Apostolic Constitutions," bk. i., ch. vi.; " Anti-Nicene Fa- 
thers," vol. vii., p. 393. 

Mo7iasticism, 307 

advocates and great centres of the ancient learning 
already had disappeared, and the capability of its 
appreciation already had well-nigh vanished. With 
the barbarian invasions and settlements of the fifth 
century came, at the same time, the establishment 
of monasticism, which had, perhaps, an even greater 
influence upon education and civilization than it 
had, at any rate in the earlier centuries, upon the 
church and religion. 

Monasticism was of Eastern origin, and its orig- 
inal form partook very largely of the nature of East- 
ern life, to which it was closely adapted. More- 
over, in the East it had its origin in connection 
with religions and philosophies more or less aliea to 
the true spirit of Christianity, and was based largely 
on the doctrines of the duahty and irreconcilable 
antagonism of mind and body, of the essential evil 
of matter as it existed in the world and in the body, 
and of the necessity of subduing the physical and 
of elevating the spiritual by absolute isolation from 
the world in a life of bodily mortification and spir- 
itual contemplation in a more or less mechanical 
fashion. In other words, the spiritual element was 
to be developed and maintained by the annihilation 
of the physical. In the West, however, monasti- 
cism was hardly known, especially among the new 
peoples, except as the ally and agent of Christianity 
and as permeated with its spirit, and this, together 
with the natural difference of climate and of people, 
gave to it essentially different characteristics and 
tendencies. The redemption of the world, not the 
destruction of matter, but its service, subordination. 

3oS The Age of Charlemagne. 

if you will, to the higher development of man, is 
the fundamental principle of Western monasticism. 
Not always consciously present, we must admit, 
but generally moulding and influencing Western 
monastic life in its higher moments. 

It is for this reason that the practical element of 
the West, as distinct from the contemplative spirit 
of the East, plays such a large part in its history, 
and while the monks of the East, to whom their 
own spiritual welfare was proposed as the sole aim 
of existence tended to the unsocial, unproductive, 
unbeneficent life, the monks of the West became 
the cultivators of the soil, the teachers of agricul- 
ture, the preservers of letters, and the teachers and 
examples of the people. For just this reason, there- 
fore, we find another theory in regard to the use 
and advantages of the old pagan learning, a truer 
reflection of the earlier spirit of St. Paul, Clement, 
and Origen, which the monks of the West were able 
to take up and to develop in the practical carrying 
out of that famous motto, " Prove all things ; hold 
fast that which is good." So they would not con- 
demn the old learning, but just as it seemed about 
to fall into decay and to perish, they rose to gather 
up and to protect all that remained, that nothing 
might be lost. The school as a place of learning, 
for intellectual and higher spiritual influence, was, 
therefore, an institution connected with monastic 
foundations from the very earliest times, and though 
at first its range of subjects was limited and its 
methods narrow and inadequate, it soon began to 
take the place of the old imperial municipal schools 

Decline of Theological Learning. 309 

which had disappeared rapidly under the attacks of 
the church and of the Germans. 

In the more important bishoprics in connection 
with the preparation of candidates for the clerical 
order, the episcopal or cathedral schools began to 
attain great prominence. Learning, however, was 
promoted for ecclesiastical purposes, so that read- 
ing and the transcription of manuscripts were largely- 
confined to the Scriptures and to church services, 
music to chanting, arithmetic and astronomy to the 
calculation of Easter. Worse than all, there rose 
the so-called fourfold system of interpreting the 
Scriptures, encouraging the' student to depart from 
the plain, literal, or historical meaning of the text, 
and to wander amid the vagaries and caprices of 
the allegorical or typical and figurative, the tropo- 
logical or moral and ethical, the anagogical or mys- 
tical and purely speculative meaning and interpre- 
tation, which a highly developed imagination might 
be able to supply. 

Under such influences, theological, as well as 
other learning, sensibly declined, and the state to 
which it came in the sixth century can be readily 
learned from the words and writings of Gregory of 
Tours. Under the Merovingians, learning almost 
ceased to exist. It had found refuge in the church 
and in the monasteries, but the condition of these 
at the accession of Charles Martel was one of great 
demoralization, although at the time the material 
prosperity was very great, for it is estimated that at 
the close of the seventh century the church owned 
or controlled about one third of the territory of 

3IO The Age of Charlemagne. 

Gaul. But the demoralization of bishops, who en- 
gaged in war, in hunting and in pleasures, and of 
the monks, whose discipline had become very lax, 
on account of their increase in wealth and of im- 
munity from episcopal oversight and control, as well 
as on account of their large accessions from the 
lower classes, had become an open scandal. 

The accession of Charles Martel had brought the 
bishops under secular control, but his so-called work 
of reformation consisted principally of wholesale 
seizure of church property. He regarded the re- 
sources of the church chiefly as sinews of war, or as 
means of enabling hini to reward his ofificers and 
soldiers for military achievements. 

The inroads of the Saracens completed the work 
of devastation in the South, although by the mis- 
sionary labors of Boniface and his followers a great 
Christian work was done under the protection of 
Charles Martel, but more particularly under his sons 
and successors. 

The revival of learning traces its origin to another 
source. The revival of learning, as well as the re- 
organization of the church and the further spread 
of Christianity among the rising kingdoms of the 
West, were due to men of Ireland and of England, 
acting, for the most part, under the influence and 
with the aid and inspiration of Rome. It was in 
the monasteries and schools of Ireland that learn- 
ing was maintained and 'developed unharmed by the 
shock and confusion on the continent, attendant 
upon the fall of Rome and the invasions and settle- 
ments of the barbarians during the fifth and sixth 

Irish and English Christianity. 3 1 1 

centuries. In the islands of the West, secluded and 
far from strife, Christianity and learning developed 
together. Special attention was given to the study 
of the Scriptures in the monasteries of Ireland, and 
ancient books of all kinds were diligently collected 
and copied. From here Christianity and learning 
spread to the Scots and Picts, and so down into 
Northern England. The conversion of Southern 
England by Augustine, and of the northern parts 
by Aidan soon brought the two forces together, and 
the English Church was united under the two great 
centres of York and Canterbury ; but the great in- 
spiration and a larger life came to the church in 
England from Rome. The English Church, from 
the very form and manner of its foundation, was 
brought into a peculiar relation of dependence upon 
the Church of Rome, and this was only increased 
and confirmed by the decision at Whitby in 664. 
This relation was regarded with the greatest pride 
and satisfaction by the early kings and chief eccle- 
siastics, especially by Bede and his school, so that 
it continued to exist and to be still further devel- 
oped. Pilgrimages by monks, nuns, bishops, nobles 
and princes, and even kings,' were made to the 
tomb of St. Peter at Rome, Thus the English 
were brought into closer relations with Rome, and 
this led, among other results, to the acquiring of rich 
additions of literature and art. When, in 668, the 
kings of Northumberland and of Kent had asked 

' Ina, of Wessex, Gibbon, chap, xlix., note 36; Coenred of 
Mercia, Bede, bk. v., ch. xxiv.; Ceadwalla, of Wessex, A. S. 
Chronicle, an. 688, 709. 726, 728 ; Ethehvulf. of Wessex, A. S. 
Chronicle, 855. Alfred was crowned in Rome by the pope. 

3 T 2 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

the pope to select and send some one fitted for the 
vacant See of Canterbury, Hadrian was first named. 
He was an African by birth, of noted scholarship, 
and at that time a monk or abbot of the Niridian 
monastery in Naples, near Monte Cassino. He had 
been in Gaul, but never in Britain, and the thought 
of the great Avork and responsibility appalled him. 
He secured, therefore, a learned Greek of St. Paul's 
city of Tarsus, who was known as Theodore the 
Philosopher. Theodore was induced to accept the 
position, and was consecrated by the pope for the 
vacant archbishopric, having received Hadrian's 
promise to accompany him and aid him in his work. 
In May, 669, Theodore arrived in Canterbury 
accompanied by a young English monk, Benedict 
Biscop, to be followed later by Hadrian, who had 
been detained in Gaul. During the two years that 
elapsed before Hadrian's arrival Biscop presided 
over the new school which Theodore established at 
Canterbury. We are quite right in tracing to Bene- 
dict Biscop the foundation of those schools and the 
instigation of that learning which made England 
famous throughout the eighth and ninth centuries. 
Born in 628 of a noble Northumbrian family, he de- 
voted himself at the age of twenty-five to the mo- 
nastic life, but it was to no dreary, selfish, and sense- 
less asceticism. Monasticism was in his mind but 
an agent of the church, a means to an end, and that 
end not the salvation of a man's own soul, but the 
redemption of the world and the building up of the 
kingdom of God — a work which in his view de- 
manded every advantage, the use of every oppor- 

Benedict Bis cop. 313 

tunity, and the development of all the faculties of 
mind, soul, and body which a man possessed. Art, 
literature, experience gained by travel, and wide 
acquaintance with men and affairs, as well as strict 
adherence to the Benedictine rules of discipline, were 
all made use of in achieving this great end. It is 
this earnest zeal and wide comprehensiveness that 
makes the name of Benedict Biscop the first bright 
ray in the intellectual life of England. There had 
been learning in the island before, and there could 
still be traced the influence of the Scotch and Irish 
schools, with learning introduced from Gaul, but the 
first original impulse in England is undoubtedly 
due to Biscop. In 653 he made his first journey to 
Rome, a second follov/ed in 665, and a third in 671. 
From each of these he returned laden with stores 
of learning, of experience, and of literature, from 
Rome and from Gaul, and especially from Vienne. 
On his return from the third journey he received 
from the Northumbrian king a large grant of land 
at the mouth of the Wear, and founded the monas- 
tery of St. Peter's at Wearmouth in 674, Here he 
deposited his library, to v\^hich large additions were 
made as the result of a fourth journey to Rome in 
678. Workmen from Gaul, furniture, pictures, 
glass, and lattice-work provided an artistic and suit- 
able home for this great treasure, while an archchan- 
tor from Rome instructed the monks in music and 
in ritual. In 681 a sister institution was founded 
near by, at Jarrow, on land given by the pleased 
and grateful king. An additional wealth of pic- 
tures and of books was secured by the indefatigable 

314 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Biscop in his fifth journey to Rome, in 687, from 
which he returned worn, shattered, and partially 
paralyzed, in which condition he lingered until his 
death in 690. As he left the world he urged upon 
his disciples and pupils the importance of maintain- 
ing the monastic rule and discipline which he had 
established after visiting seventeen different monas- 
teries on the continent. He implored them to take 
special care in the preservation of his precious 
library, and particularly emphasized the duty of dis- 
regarding the claims of nobility and of family in the 
choice of spiritual rulers. 

Bede has given us the fullest and most sympa- 
thetic account of his life." 

The debt that England and, through England, the 
Western Church owes to Benedict Biscop is a very 
great one, and has scarcely ever been fairly recog- 
nized, for it may be said that the civilization and 
learning of the eighth century rested on the monas- 
teries which he founded, which produced Bede, and, 
through him, the school of York, Alcuin, and the 
Carolingian schools, on which the culture of the 
Middle Ages was based." The work of Bede, from 
the age of seven, when he first came under the direc- 
tion of Biscop, who was his teacher, patron, and 
friend, until his death at Jarrow, in 735, is too well 
known to require our present consideration. 

His writings were numerous, and covered a vast 
range of subjects, including commentaries and trans- 

' Bede, " Historia Abbatum." Ed. Plummer, vol. i., pp. 364-370. 
* Smith and Wace, "Dictionary of Christian Biography," art. 
Benedict Biscop, by Bishop Stubbs. 

Archbishop Theodore of Canterbujy. 315 

lations of the Old and New Testaments, grammar, 
rhetoric, poetry, arithmetic, chronology, epigrams, 
hymns, sermons, pastoral addresses and penitentials, 
and even some writings on natural science, besides 
his great works of history and biography. His 
learning included the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin 
languages, and quotations from Plato, Aristotle and 
Homer, Seneca, Cicero, Lucretius, Ovid and Virgil 
are found in his works. " I am my own librarian, 
my own secretary, and make my own notes," he 

In the mean time the work of Theodore at Can- 
terbury had been going on. Hadrian, on his arrival, 
proved a most useful assistant to the archbishop. 
Both were able teachers, appreciated learning, and 
soon attracted large numbers of eager disciples 
through their influence. All the larger monasteries 
were converted into schools of learning, in which 
the laity, as well as the clergy, imbibed a respect 
for knowledge, and in some cases a real love for it. 

Even the monasteries belonging to the fair 
sex," said Hook, " were converted into seminaries 
of learning, and the abbess, Hildelidis, with her 
nuns, were, in the next generation, able to under- 
stand the Grecisms of Aldhelm, in his Latin trea- 
tise, ' De Laudibus Virginitatis,' written for their 
special edification." ' In the time of Bede, as he 
himself tells us, there were scholars of Theodore 
and Hadrian who knew the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages as well as their own." In another place Bede 

' Hook, vol. i., pp. 163, 164, ch. iv., § 2. 
" Bede, bk. iv., ch. ii. 


1 6 T/ie Age of Charlemagne. 


says that Albinus, Hadrian's disciple and successor 
in the government of the monastery at Canterbury, 
was so proficient in the study of the classics, that 
he knew Greek indeed in no small measure, and the 
Latin as thoroughly as that of the Angles, which 
was his native tongue.' 

The Saxon Chronicle notices the death of Theo- 
dore in the year 690 with this brief remark : " Be- 
fore this the bishops had been Romans, from this 
time they were English," ^ In other words, this 
great man had converted what had been a mission- 
ary station into an established church, and had set 
on foot an intellectual movement by which native 
Englishmen were trained and fitted for the highest 
positions in the English Church. 

On the model of these schools, under the influ- 
ence of Bede and of the monasteries of Wearmouth 
and Jarrow, the most noted of all, the school of 
York, was founded. From the time of PauHnus, 
625, York had been the great ecclesiastical centre 
of the North, and though, after his flight and the 
introduction of the missionaries from the Ionian 
monastery, who had made Landisfarne their seat, 
its importance had waned, it was restored again by 
the splendor and magnificence which the presence 
of Wilfrid gave to it as his see city. Wilfrid, like 
Biscop, had spent more time amid the greater cul- 
ture of Gaul and Rome. He had seen the churches 
of Rome and other Italian cities, and could not 
endure the rough timber buildings thatched with 

' Bede, bk. v., ch. xx. 

^ A. S. Chronicle, an. 6go. The Parker MS. 

Archbishop Egbert of York. 317 

weeds which the Saxons had built, and with which 
the Ionian missionaries had been content. True, 
the church of PauHnus at York had been built of 
stone, but it was in ruins. Wilfrid repaired it, 
roofed it with lead, and filled the windows with 
glass. At Ripon he built a new church of cut 
stones. It was of great height and supported by 
columns, but the architectural wonder of the age 
was the church at Hexham, surpassing in splendor 
every church on that side of the Alps. 

Through the influence of Bede, York was raised 
to an archbishopric in 735, and from this time its 
future greatness and importance were assured. 
Egbert, the first archbishop, a friend and corre- 
spondent of Bede, was a learned as well as wise and 
successful ruler. His literary works are of great re- 
pute, and to him is due the honor of establishing 
the school of York, and the foundation of the library 
in connection with it. Its relation with Wearmouth 
and Jarrow must have been intimate and helpful. 
From the start scholars flocked hither from all 
parts of Europe, adding new honor to its fame and 
influence and to the increase of its library, thus fur- 
nishing a larger acquaintance with the wider field of 

Alcuin has left us an interesting glimpse of 
Egbert's scholastic life. In the morning, as soon 
as he was at liberty, he used to send for some of the 
young clerks, whom he instructed in succession. 
At noon he celebrated mass in his private chapel. 
Dinner was followed by a general discussion of lit- 
erary subjects. In the evening Compline was said. 

3i8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Stubbs says : " It is not too much to say that the 
gentle influences of the school of York and of its 
teachers kept Northumbria together until the close 
of the century in which Egbert lived. At the last, 
when Northumbria became hopelessly disorganized, 
the disciples of Egbert were enlightening other 
countries than those they were intended to human- 
ize. The pupils of the school of York taught the 
schools and universities of Italy, of Germany, and 
of France." ' 

The most famous scholar of all was Alcuin. He 
was a Northumbrian of noble family, born about 
735, at or near York. He was quite young when 
he entered Egbert's cathedral school, with which 
he remained connected, first as a scholar, then as 
master, until he went to take up his residence at the 
Prankish Court. He followed the usual lines of 
instruction, being taught first to read, write, and 
memorize the Latin psalms, then taking up the 
rudiments of grammar and the other liberal arts, 
and afterwards the study of the Holy Scriptures. 
He soon became the most eminent pupil of the 
school, then assistant master to Aelbert, and on 
the death of Egbert, in 'jdG, when Aelbert suc- 
ceeded to the archbishopric of York, Alcuin became 
head-master of the school, and held the position of 
Scholasticus. In 780, on Aelbert's death, he took 
charge of the cathedral library, then the most 
famous in England, and one of the most famous in 
the Western world. It far surpassed any possessed 

' Smith and Wace, "Dictionary of Christian Biography," vol, 
ii., p. 51, art. Egbert. 

The Library at York. 319 

by either England or France in the twelfth century, 
whether at Canterbury, at Paris, or at Bee. The 
full list of the volumes it contained is given in a 
poem written by Alcuin when it was under his 
charge. The following is a translation : 

" There shalt thou find the volumes that contain 
All of the ancient fathers who remain ; 
There all the Latin writers make their home 
With those that glorious Greece transferred to Rome — 
The Hebrews draw from their celestial stream, 
And Africa is bright with learning's beam. 

" Here shines what Jerome, Ambrose, Hilary thought, 
Or Athanasius and Augustine wrought, 
Orosius, Leo, Gregory the Great, 
Near Basil and Fulgentius coruscate. 
Grave Cassiodorus and John Chrysostom 
Next Master Bede and learned Anhelm come, 
While Victorinus and Boethius stand 
With Pliny and Pompeius close at hand. 

" Wise Aristotle looks on Tully near. 
Sedulius and Juvencus next appear. 
Then come Albinus, Clement, Prosper too, 
Paulinus and Arator. Next we view 
Lactantius, Fortunatus. Ranged in line 
Virgilius Maro, Statius, Lucan, shine. 
Donatus, Priscian, Probus, Phocas, start 
The roll of Masters in grammatic art. 
Eutychius, Servius, Pompey, each extend 
The list. Comminian brings it to an end. 

" There shalt thou find, O reader, many more, 
Famed for their style, the masters of old yore, 
Whose heavy volumes singly to rehearse 
Were far too tedious for our present verse." ' 

' West, pp. 34, 35. 

320 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

Two authors probably are omitted, Martianus 
Capella and Isidore of Seville, on account of the 
exigencies of the verse. Of Aristotle little was 
known except some quotations in Augustine, an 
abridgment of the Categories falsely attributed to 
Augustine, the " De Interpretatione," with the 
translation of Porphyry's " Isagoge," or Introduc- 
tion, by Boethius, and logical treatises by the latter, 
and this furnished all their material for the study 
of logic. Nothing was known of the great ethical, 
metaphysical, and scientific works of Aristotle. Of 
Plato, the Pheedo and Timseus were known, though 
not mentioned by Alcuin. Boethius and Cassiodo- 
rius formed the great mediaeval text-books in phi- 
losophy. The work of Isidore was a great encyclo- 
paedia, the most popular of all school collections. 
Alcuin calls him " Lumen Hispanice," but " it must 
have been very dark in Spain." In astronomy he 
tells us that the sun is larger than the moon or the 
earth. There is little knowledge, and that of a 
very vague sort. 

Capella disputes with Augustine the honor of the 
division of knowledge into the Trivhnn, consisting 
of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and the Quadrivhun, 
embracing arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and 
music. His work is an allegorical presentation, in 
the first two books, of the marriage of science 
and eloquence, the attendant virgins being the 
seven liberal arts, which he then proceeds to de- 

Gregory of Tours frankly admits that whatever 
of the arts or sciences was to be known in his day 

Martiamis Capella. 321 

could be found in Martianus Capella.' His mythol- 
ogy and cosmogony were hardly orthodox enough 
for general use, and he is supposed to have sug- 
gested the great discovery of Copernicus, pointing 
out in his eighth chapter that Mercury and Venus 
revolve not around the earth, but around the sun. 

* Gregory, bk. x., ch. xxxi. 



5N the spring of 781 Charles and Alcuin 
met at Parma, the greatest conqueror of 
the age met the greatest scholar at the 
most critical time, when the need was 
greatest for the union of physical might 
and of intellectual ability, in order to lay strong and 
deep the great foundations, and to erect light and 
firm the mighty walls of the Western Empire. The 
men were well matched, and the most important 
results were sure to follow their union, not only in 
the cause of learning and of education, but also of 
ecclesiastical and political affairs. They had met 
once before, for Alcuin had been sent to Charles by 
his master, Aelbert, archbishop of York, in 768.' 
Charles was well prepared for the work which Alcuin 
was destined to accomplish under his direction, for 
from his earliest years he had been brought up in 
the Christian faith and trained by special teachers." 

' Abel-Simson, vol. i., p. 391 and note 6. 

" Alcuin, " Adversus Elipantum." bk. i., ch. xvi.; Abel-Simson, 
vol. i., p. 21. 


Alcuiu and the Palace School. 323 

It was Aelbert's successor, Eanbald, who sent Al- 
cuin to Rome to get from Pope Hadrian the pall 
as the seal and recognition of his authority. On 
his return he met Charles at Parma, as we have 
seen, and in response to the royal request promised 
to go to the Prankish Court, if he could gain per- 
mission from his king and from Archbishop Ean- 
bald. Permission being granted conditionally on 
his promise to return later to England, the end of 
781 or beginning of 782 found Alcuin at the court 
of Charles. Here he became at once the head and 
centre of the literary circle, which had been joined 
already by Peter of Pisa, the Lombard Paul the 
Deacon, and Paulinus the Grammarian. The lat- 
ter, while in Italy, had been presented by Charles 
with a landed estate, and was made patriarch of 
Aquileia, probably in 787.' It was undoubtedly 
the stay which Charles made in Italy which gave 
the occasion for the meeting and the union of 
these scholars. During his residence there his at- 
tention had been drawn frequently to the intel- 
lectual superiority of the Italians, and the deter- 
mination was strong within him to free his own 
people from the yoke of ignorance. From this 
time on his efforts were unfailing, and he took ad- 
vantage of every means to gain this end. A palace 
school had from time immemorial existed at the 
Prankish Court long before the time of Charles,' 
although, as Charles himself says, " the study of 
letters had been well-nigh extinguished by the 

' Abel-Simson, vol. i., pp. 411, 412. 
' Mombert, p. 243. 

324 The Age of Charlemagne. 

neglect of his ancestors." ' This school Charles de- 
termined to restore. 

Walafrid, in his preface to Einhard's Life of 
Charles, thus speaks of him : " Indeed, of all kings 
he was the most eager to seek out wise men and to 
bring them to great honor, that they might apply 
themselves to the pursuit of wisdom with real pleas- 
ure. So the cloudy and, I might almost say, the 
black extent of the kingdom committed to him by 
God, he gave back luminous with a new and before 
partly unknown ray of learning, God illuminating 
him." ^ All the scholars just mentioned formed the 
nucleus of this great intellectual work. Peter had 
taught grammar with great distinction in the school 
at Pavia, and, on the capture of that city by Charles, 
he had followed the conqueror to the Prankish 
Court, and he remained with Charles until his death, 
at an advanced age, near the close of the century.' 

Paul the Deacon was also an eminent Lombard 
scholar educated at the court of Rachis in Pavia. 
He was born about 725, and entered the Prankish 
Court in 782. His relations with Charles were very 
cordial, though he retired to a monastery in 787, 
where he wrote his famous history of the Lom- 
bards, tracing their history down to 744, where he 
ought to have begun it. But all these scholars 
were far surpassed by Alcuin in vigor of mind and 
in range of learning. Real originality was not to 
be found anywhere, but Alcuin's powers were of the 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 80. 

'^ Jaff6, vol. iv., p. 507. 

^ AbeUSimson, vol. i., pp. 391, 411 ; Mombert, p. 260. 

Alcuin and Charles. 325 

most effective kind, and admirably suited to his time 
and place. He was a great critic, an able compiler, 
and an intelligent, active student, an earnest and 
sympathetic teacher, who knew how to make the 
most of his resources, and in his teaching to bring 
all his material into play. Alcuin, like Charles, was 
earnestly devoted to the maintenance of the Catho- 
lic faith, and he had undoubtedly brought from 
England that strong feeling of devotion and grati- 
tude to Rome, which Bede felt and had done so 
much to foster and to encourage, and which showed 
itself so plainly in the labors and methods of the 
great English missionary, Boniface. Neither he 
nor Charles showed any cringing or timid subservi- 
ency to the Roman bishop, and each supported the 
other in maintaining the absolute freedom of the 
Prankish Kingdom from anything like papal domi- 
nation or absolutism, yet both maintained and 
sought to uphold the dignity, lofty position, and 
wide usefulness of the Roman Church. 

It was not an opportune time when Alcuin arrived 
at the court of Charles, for the king was in the bit- 
terest and closing part of the first series of Saxon 
wars. It is, therefore, only one more evidence of 
the wide range of his interests, and the vigor and 
determination of his spirit, that in the midst of such 
affairs he could find time and energy for the estab- 
lishment of a palace school, and it shows that he 
regarded the maintenance of learning in his king- 
dom as only second in importance to the main- 
tenance of the empire itself. It is also to be noted 
that in the school founded by Charles in his palace, 


26 T/ie Age of Charlemagne. 

attended as it was by the members of the royal 
family, and by the distinguished nobles of the court, 
learning was to be followed for larger interests and 
with wider purposes than could be realized in the 
training of the monks and of the clergy. Not only 
did Charles revere learning for its own sake, but he 
saw the value it would have in the moral and intel- 
lectual improvement of the whole kingdom. 

Here, then, it would be necessary to go beyond 
the ordinary chanting and reading of select passages 
in the Latin Bible, and calculating the return of 
Easter, and the learning of the times would have to 
be adapted to a school made up of adult students. 
Of the king's own attainments Einhard says : 

Gifted with a ready and easy flowing power of 
speech, he expressed clearly whatever he wished to 
say. He was not satisfied with his native tongue 
alone, but applied himself to the study of other 
languages, particularly to Latin, which he could 
speak as well as he could his own, but Greek he 
understood better than he spoke. He was so ready 
and fluent a speaker, that he might have passed for 
a teacher of rhetoric. He most zealously fostered 
the liberal arts, and held in the greatest veneration 
and loaded with honors those who taught them. 

He spent much time and labor in studying 
rhetoric, dialectic, and especially astronomy, in 
which he seemed to take a peculiar interest. He 
learned the art of reckoning, and gave much atten- 
tion to investigating the courses of the stars. He 
tried also to write, and used to keep tablets and 
blanks at the head of his bed, that at leisure hours he 

Reading and WiHting. 327 

might accustom his hand to form the letters, but he 
did not succeed very well in this work on account of 
his age and because he began too late in life." ' On 
this subject of his writing there has been a great 
deal of childish discussion which is much beside the 
mark. Gibbon says, with a contemptuous fling, 

In his mature age the emperor strove to acquire 
the practice of writing, which every peasant now 
learns in his infancy." ^ 

The truth is, reading and writing were not then, 
as now, the simple tests of elementary learning. 
On account of the scarcity of books and the ex- 
pense and difficulty of procuring materials for writ- 
ing, almost all instruction was given orally, even in 
the palace school itself, as may be seen by the ex- 
amples to be given. The study of reading and 
writing formed a special branch of the technical 
training, reserved exclusively for monks and other 
clergy, as having special need for these acquire- 
ments. Consequently the knowledge of how to 
read and write is no more to be taken as the test of 
general education in the early Middle Ages, than a 
knowledge of Hebrew or of Dogmatic Theology 
would be to-day. 

If further confirmation of this fact were sought, 
it could be found in the well-known immunity from 
the secular courts, granted to all clergymen, and 
called " Benefit of Clergy," it being only necessary 
to show one's ability to read and write to prove 

Clergy," and to receive the immunity. 

The clearest idea of the method and amount of 

' Einhard, "Vita," ch. xxv. ^ Gibbon, ch. xlix. 


The Age of Charlemagne. 

instruction given under Alcuin at this palace 
school may be gained from some of the conversa- 
tions and lessons actually in use, and which have 
come down to us. 

Dr. Mombert has given us most interesting ones 
in his very valuable work on Charles the Great, 
from which some quotations may be made. " An 
entertaining specimen of catechetical instruction, 
drawn up by Alcuin for Pippin, and, presumably, 
others of his more youthful hearers, is here pre- 
sented. It is taken from ' The Disputation of Pip- 
pin, the most noble and royal youth, with Albinus 
[another nickname for Alcuin], the pedagogue,' and 
we add, that Pippin was then about sixteen years 

P. What is writing ? 

P. What is speech ? 

P. What produces speech ? 

P. What is the tongue ? 

P. What is air ? 

P. What is life ? 

P. What is death ? 

P What is man ? 

P. What is man like ? 
P. How is man placed? 

P. Where is he placed ? 

A. The custodian of history. 

A. The interpreter of the soul. 

A. The tongue. 

A. The whip of the air. 

A. The guardian of life. 

A. The joy of the good, the sor- 
row of the evil, the expec- 
tation of death. 

A. An inevitable event, an un- 
certain journey, a subject of 
weeping to the living, the 
fulfilment of wills, the thief 
of men. 

A. The slave of death, a tran- 
sient traveller, a host in his 

A. Like a fruit tree. 

A. Like a lantern exposed to the 

A. Between six walls. 

Method of Instruction. 


p. Which are they ? A. Above, below, before, be- 

hind, right, left. 

P. To how many changes is he 

liable? A. To six. 

P. Which are they ? A. Hunger and satiety; rest and 

work ; walking and sleep- 

P. What is sleep ? A. The image of death. 

P. What is the liberty of man? A. Innocence. 

P. What is the head? A. The top of the body. 

P. What is the body ? A. The domicile of the soul. 

" Then follow twenty-six questions on the differ- 
ent parts of the body, of which a few may suffice : 
P. What is the beard ? 

P. What is the mouth ? 
P. What is the stomach ? 
P. What are the feet ? 

A. The distinction of sex, the 

honor of age. 
A. The nourisher of the body. 
A. The cook of food. 
A. A movable foundation. 

" From a number of questions on natural science, 
we select these : 

P. What is light ? 
P. What is day ? 
P. What is the sun ? 

P. What is the moon ? 

P. What are the stars ? 

P. What is rain ? 

P. What is fog ? 

A. The torch of all things. 

A. An incitement to work. 

A. The splendor of the universe, 
the beauty of the sky, the 
glory of day, the distribu- 
tor of the hours. 

A. The eye of night, the dis- 
penser of dew, the prophet 
of storms. 

A. The pictures of the roofs 
of the heavens, the guides 
of sailors, the ornament of 

A. The reservoir of the earth, 
the mother of the fruits. 

A. Night in day ; a labor of the 


The Age of Charlemagne. 

p. What is wind ? 

P. What is the earth ? 

P. What is the sea ? 

P. What is frost ? 

P. What is snow ? 

P. What is winter? 

P. What is spring? 

P. What is summer ? 

P. What is autumn ? 

A. The disturbance of the air, 
commotion of the waters, 
the dryness of the earth. 

A. The mother of all that grows, 
the nourisher of all that 
lives, the barn of life, an 
omnivorous gulf. 

A. The path of the daring, the 
frontier of land, the divid- 
er of continents, the hos- 
telry of rivers, the founda- 
tion of rain, a refuge in 
peril, a treat in pleasure. 

A. A persecutor of plants, a de- 
stroyer of leaves, a fetter 
of earth, a fountain of 

A. Dry water. 

A. The exile of summer. 

A. The painter of the earth. 

A. The reclothing of the earth, 
the maturer of the fruits. 

A. The barn of the year. 

" It is probable that dialogue was the distinctive 
feature of Alcuin's oral teaching. At any rate, it 
characterized his instruction of the king, as appears 
from the subjoined example, in which Charles is 
introduced as pupil and Alcuin as his teacher. 

Charles. Proceed now with 
your philosophic definitions of 
the virtues, and first of all de- 
fine virtue. 

Charles. How many parts 
does it contain ? 

Charles. What is prudence? 

Alcuin. Virtue is a habit of 
the mind, an ornament of na- 
ture, a rule of life, and an en- 
nobler of manners. 

Alcuin. Four : Prudence 
(wisdom), justice, fortitude, 

Alciiin. The knowledge of 
things and nature. 

Charles as a Picpil. 


Charles. How many parts 
does it contain ? 

Charles. Tell me their defini- 
tions also. 

Charles. Explain the nature 
of justice. 

Charles. Unfold also the 
parts of justice. 

Charles. How from the law 
of nature ? 

Charles. Explain this more 
clearly, and one by one. 

Alcuin. Three : memory, 
intelligence, and foresight 

Alcuin. Memory is the pow- 
er of the mind which recalls 
the past ; intelligence is the 
power by which it perceives 
the present ; foresight is the 
power by which it foresees 
something future before it 
comes to pass. 

Alcuin. Justice is the habit of 
the mind which gives to every- 
thing the merit it deserves ; it 
preserves the worship of God, 
the laws of man, and the equi- 
ties of life. 

Alcuin. They spring from 
the law of nature, and the uses 
of custom. 

Alcuin. Because it comprises 
certain powers of nature, such 
as religion, piety, gratitude 
{gratia), vindication, observ- 
ance, and truth. 

Alcuin. Religion is the care- 
ful pondering of things per- 
taining to God, together with 
the ceremonial due to him. 
Piety is the loving discharge 
of what is due to kin and to 
one's native land (/. e., in mod- 
ern phrase, patriotism). Grati- 
tude is the recollection of an- 
other's acts of friendship and 
kindness, and the disposition 
to reward them. Vindication 
is the effectual defence of what 
is right, and the effectual pun- 
ishment or avengement of in- 


The Age of Charlemagne. 

Charles. How 19 justice sub- 
served by the use of custom ? 

Charles. I ask also for more 
information on these points. 

jury and wrong. Observance 
is the respectful and honorable 
recognition of the dignity of 
superiors. Truth is the power 
Avhereby things present, past, 
and future are declared. 

Alctiiu, By pact or agree- 
ment ; by parity, i.e., equity, 
by judgment ; and by law. 

Alciiin. A pact is an agree- 
ment reached by mutual con- 
sent. Parity is observing equi- 
ty or impartiality to all men. 
Judgment is a decision ren- 
dered by some great man, or 
established by the sentence of 
a plurality. Law is right set 
forth for the whole people, 
which all are bound to guard 
and observe. 

" Thus Charles spoke and thought ; and this brief 
dialogue both marks the man in at least one grand 
and unusual element of his greatness, and to some 
extent sheds light on at least one prolific source of 
his power. 

He was ever learning, and fond of learning ; no 
subject came amiss to him ; everything, from the 
most commonplace, every-day occurrence to the 
profoundest philosophical and theological inquiries, 
interested him — the price of commodities ; the stock- 
ing and planting of farms ; the building of houses, 
churches, palaces, bridges, fortresses, ships, and 
canals ; the course of the stars ; the text of the 
Scriptures ; the appointment of schools ; the sallies 
of wit ; the hair-splitting subtleties of metaphysics ; 

Alcuins Grammar. 333 

the unknown depths of theology ; the origins of law ; 
the reason of usage in the manner and life of the na- 
tions ; their traditions in poetry, legend, and song ; 
the mysterious framework of liturgical forms ; musi- 
cal notation ; the Gregorian chant ; the etymology 
of words ; the study of languages ; the flexion of 
verbs, and many more topics." ' 

In the life of Alcuin, by Lorenz, is to be found 
an interesting example in his work on grammar. 
" In grammar the beginning of the section on prepo- 
sitions may serve as an example. To the question, 
* What is a preposition ? ' the answer is, ' An in- 
declinable part of speech.' Here an accidental, 
outward form is made the principal characteristic, 
and is so much the less accurate as there are many 
other words besides prepositions which are inde- 
clinable. Equally defective is the reply to the sec- 
ond question on the use of prepositions. ' They 
must be placed before other parts of speech, either 
by being compounded with or united to them.' A 
peculiarity like this can only be a sign, not a defini- 
tion, and besides this explanation excludes all the 
prepositions that are placed after their cases. Al- 
cuin 's grammar was evidently written more for the 
memory than for the understanding." ' 

The study of Greek at that time seems to have 
held about the same relation to a higher education 
that the study of German held with us a quarter or 
a half a century ago. There was a great deal said 
about Greek. Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, 

' Mombert, pp. 244-251. See also Guizot, lecture 22. 
' Lorenz, pp. 25, 26. 

334 ^^^^ -^S^ ^f Charlemagne. 

had introduced it into England, and it was taught in 
the schools of York, so that Bede is led to say that 
there were in his day scholars still living as well 
versed in the Greek and Latin tongue as in their 
own ; but this seems to have been a very notable 
feature which, by the words " still living," could 
not be expected to be true very long. The knowl- 
edge of the Greek New Testament and of the Sep- 
tuagint was kept alive for a while, but other Greek 
books, even of the early Christian Fathers, were 
very scarce. Nearly, if not all the Greek quota- 
tions in Alcuin's writings are taken not, as might 
appear, from the original, but from the works of 
St. Jerome. When Alcuin stepped beyond this 
limit he showed how little he really knew about 
Greek.' As to his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, 
Haureau says : " There is no evidence that he 
studied Hebrew, since the Hebrew to be found in 
his commentaries on Genesis and on Ecclesiastes 
is taken directly from Jerome. He knew some 
Greek, as one of his letters to Angilbert testifies, 
but if he had understood this language perfectly, 
would he not have reproduced with more exactness 
the Greek names of the Ten Categories ? But why 
should we stop to conjecture, and thus make obscure 
what is very plain ? Alcuin had some glosses of 
Boethius, the abridgments of Cassiodorius, and of 
Isidore of Seville, and a poetic manual of Martianus 
Capella. There is nothing in his treatise on Dialec- 
tic which is not found in these writings, and in the 

' Mullinger, on page 80, has pointed out some very amusing 
but egregious blunders. 

Alcuins Greek. 335 

treatise on the Ten Categories. He has made only 
an abridgment of other abridgments."* His re- 
marks on the nature of the soul in different places 
of his works are always in the same terms, and are 
taken from Augustine's sixty-third sermon on the 
Gospel of St. John, Again, from his treatise, " De 
Ratione Animae," his remarks on the origin of ideas, 
on memory, and on imagination are taken directly 
from the eleventh book of Augustine on the Trin- 
ity, and from his letter to Consentius." On a closer 
examination Mullinger has shown very plainly that 
the boasted letter to Angilbert contained no more 
Greek than is furnished by Jerome. Mullinger's 
remark that " the younger members of the palace 
school seem to have required to be at once in- 
structed and amused, much after the way that would 
now seem well adapted to a night school of Somer- 
setshire rustics, while Alcuin's knowledge of Greek 
can scarcely be supposed to have exceeded that of 
an intelligent schoolboy well on in his First Delec- 
tus," ' seems rather severe, but cannot be far from 
the truth. We must remember, however, that 
Alcuin not only was laboring under the disadvan- 
tage of scarcity of material and of immaturity in his 
pupils, but was further hampered and confined by 
the traditions of the church. The art of grammar 
had been regarded as not only teaching to read and 
to write correctly, but also to understand and to 
prove clearly, and in carrying out this conception 
the classical authors were of great importance ; but 

' Haureau, vol. i., p. 105. '■' Ibid., vol. i., pp. 103, 104. 

' Mullinger, p. 83. 

2,2,^ The Age of Charlemagne. 

from the time of Gregory the Great the study had 
dwindled to the most technical knowledge of the 
Latin language. This led to Gregory's own words 
expressing concern that the archbishop of Vienne, 
who was giving instruction in conformity with the 
larger conception, could give instruction in gram- 
mar, inasmuch as the praises of Christ cannot be 
uttered by the same tongue as those of Jove. In 
regard to dialectic, still greater aversion was felt 
and manifested, largely on account of the use made 
of it in arguments against Christianity. True, as 
we have seen, it began to creep into the church 
from Porphyry and Boethius, and so on through 
Cassiodorius and Isidore, but the form was so shriv- 
elled and distorted as to be almost unrecognizable. 
Both dialectic and rhetoric were comprised under 
the head of logic, and Alcuin reproduced the same 
arbitrary classification. When we come to external 
nature or the study of anything like science, as pre- 
sented in the Quadrivium, the weakness and lack 
are almost pitiable. In arithmetic the treatment is 
largely mystical, fancies and whims of the imagina- 
tion being identified with the various numbers.* 
In astronomy, fancy or arbitrary hypothesis sup- 
plied the place of observation." ° As a theologian, 
however, Alcuin ranked very high, and his attain- 
ments seemed to be more truly deserved. The 
famous Caroline books against image worship have 
been connected with his name, and in the main 

' Lorenz, pp. 32-37, " Even arithmetic first derived its title to 
be considered a science from its adaptation to theology." 
' MuUinger, p. 88. 

Lack of Originality. 337 

were probably his work. The declaration at the 
Synod of Frankfort, in 794, closed with the state- 
ment : " The holy synod itself was reminded that 
it should deem it meet to receive Alcuin to partici- 
pation in its discussions and decisions, because he 
was a man learned in ecclesiastical doctrine, and 
the whole synod consented to the admonition of the 
lord king, and received him into full association with 

But originality was noticed only to be condemned 
in the theology of that age, and Alcuin was the 
most perfect representative of the theology of his 
time — orthodox but timid, repeating what he found 
in accredited books rather than trying to present 
ideas. His statements and positions are admirable 
as a summary, but he is a pedagogue rather than a 
scholar. There is no evidence of advance or devel- 
opment in his conception. His influence in the 
Carolingian schools is especially discernible in the 
manner in which he perpetuated and enhanced the 
authority of the fathers. His commentaries are 
little more than reproductions of Ambrose, Augus- 
tine, Jerome, Chrysostom, Gregory and Bede. 

The larger influence of Alcuin is seen when, after 
the conclusion of the Saxon v/ar by the submission 
of Wittikind, in 785, a seven years' peace ensued, 
broken only by a few minor campaigns— Brittany 
in 786 ; Benevento in 787 ; Bavaria in 788, and 
against the Welatabrians in 789. In 787 Charles 
issued his famous letter, " De Litteris Colendis. " 
Ampere calls this the " charter of modern thought, 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 78. 

338 The Age of Charlemagne. 

from which dates the birth of an intellectual move- 
ment which still survives," * and it surely may be 
considered as perhaps the most important docu- 
ment of the Middle Ages. 

Among the most glaring deficiencies resulting 
from the state of things which the king sought to 
remedy was the number of incorrectly transcribed 
copies of portions of the Scriptures, breviaries and 
homilies scattered throughout the realm. Along 
with the decline of learning, the monastic libraries 
had suffered greatly from neglect, while the loss of 
papyrus, owing to the occupation of Egypt by the 
Saracens, had largely increased the costliness of the 
material. The letter is addressed to Baugulf, who 
was abbot of Fulda from 780 to 782. Charles de- 
clared that he, together with his counsellors, re- 
garded it as advantageous that the cathedrals and 
monasteries should be engaged in the pursuit of 
letters and apt to teach, to accomplish which he 
orders that men be chosen for this work who have 
the will, the capacity, and the desire of teaching 
others.^ Similar orders were given in the " General 
Admonition" of 789.^ 

The next royal instructions on the subject were 
contained in a circular letter on the occasion of send- 
ing around to the churches a homalary, or collection 
of sermons, made by Paulus Diaconus. He de- 
clares : " We have endeavored to make up for the 
inactivity of our fathers by the earnest study of 

' Ampere, vol. iii., pp. 25, 27. 
" Boretius, vol. i., pp. 78, 79. 

** Ibid., p. 60, Admon. Gen., c. 72, " Schools in each cathedral 
and monastery." 

Alcuins Difficulties. 339 

letters, and, so far as we can by our example, to 
encourage the study of the liberal arts. Already 
the books of the Old and New Testaments, cor- 
rupted through the negligence of copyists, we, too, 
have carefully corrected. We have made the same 
efforts and endeavors to correct the errors in the 
lessons for the various services, and we have en- 
joined that the work of Paulus Diaconus should be 
distributed and read, so that the sayings of the 
Catholic fathers may be carefully studied and well 

Although the position of Alcuin was a most hon- 
orable one, and he received from the king every 
favor and support, it was no easy task to be the uni- 
versal instructor of the whole kingdom. It was no 
wonder that he sometimes found it hard to satisfy 
the insatiable curiosity of the king, or that, pressed 
beyond his powers, he was driven sometimes into 
confused or self-contradictory statements. " A 
horse," he says, " which has four legs often stum- 
bles ; how much more must man, who has but one 
tongue, often trip in speech !" ' Furthermore, the 
school was frequently on the move to one or an- 
other of the royal residences, while other more seri- 
ous interruptions came in the shape of wars, politi- 
cal affairs, and the excitements of court life. 

Alcuin revisited England in 790, and attended the 
council at Frankfort in 794 as " a delegate from 
Britain."' The relations between England and 
the Frankish Kingdom were growing more strained, 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 80, 81. * Migne, vol. c; Ep. 84. 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 78, note 59. 

340 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

and the court of Charles too often served as a ref- 
uge for English outlaws. War seemed on the point 
of breaking out between Offa, king of Mercia, and 
Charles, when the return of Alcuin restored har- 
mony, or at any rate averted war. In 796, a short 
time after Alcuin's return, he was presented to the 
abbacy of Tours, and a new career opened before 
him, Theodulf succeeding him in the more general 
oversight of education. The Abbey of Tours 
offered one of the highest positions in the church. 
It was the wealthiest in the kingdom, and, by the 
possession of relics of St. Martin, second only to 
Rome as a centre of devoted pilgrimage and of re- 
ligious enthusiasm. Here he established a school 
for the training of young monks. His first aim 
being to provide them with a good library, he 
begged Charles to allow him to send to England 
some of his young scholars, " that they might bring 
back to Frankland the flowers of Britain, so that 
these might diffuse their fragrance and display their 
colors at Tours as well as at York. " " In the morn- 
ing of my life," he said, " I sowed in Britain, but 
now in the evening of that life, when my blood be- 
gins to chill, I cease not to sow in Frankland, earn- 
estly praying that by God's grace the seeds may 
spring up in both countries." ' 

It is well that he did. Civil strife and discord 
were devastating the North, and the Danes were 
already appearing on the shores of that fair land 
where Biscop, Theodore, Bede, and Alcuin had 
labored so hard to establish learning and education. 
* Migne, vol. c. , p. 20S ; Ep. 43. 

Alciiin as Abbot of Tours. 341 

Soon those centres of v/isdom would be pillaged and 
destroyed by the blasphemous hands of ignorant 
barbarians. Had not the Northumbrian learning 
been brought in the person of Alcuin to the court 
of Charles, it must have perished utterly in the 
Danish invasions of the ninth century. 

Alcuin 's greatest work was done as abbot of 
Tours. Freed from the conventionalities and dis- 
tractions of the court, he could carry out in his 
monastery his ideas and principles of education, and 
devote himself without opposition to his work. 
The narrowness which had already shown itself in 
his close following of Gregory the Great and Bede, 
became now still more apparent. St. Martin's 
school had long been famous as the chief centre for 
the education of the clergy, and Alcuin took up the 
work with zeal and ability. Science and the classics 
found little place here, and severer rules than could 
have been enforced in the palace schools restricted 
the monks, especially the younger ones, to more 
technically sacred studies. An incident from the 
biography of Alcuin at this period will illustrate 
this fact. Sigulf, with two younger monks, Aldricus 
and Adalbert, afterward abbot of Ferrieres, began 
the study of Virgil, although it had been forbidden. 

The sacred poets," said the abbot, " are enough 
for you. You do not need to sully your minds in 
the rank luxuriance of Virgil's verse." For some 
time Alcuin remained in ignorance of v/hat was 
going on, but at last he discovered it and sent for 
Sigulf. " How is this, Virgilian, that without my 
knowledge, contrary to my direct command, thou 

342 The Age of Charlemagne. 

hast begun to study Virgil ?" He then and there 
secured a promise that the objectionable poet 
should be studied no more, and dismissed the monk 
with a severe reprimand. 

However, from all sides students flocked to the 
school at Tours, many from England being espe- 
cially welcomed, and attaining positions of great 
honor. Thus Alcuin's greatest work was done, not 
in the teaching of princes, but in the training of 
teachers. Many of the great names mentioned in 
the cause of learning in the ninth century were of 
those who studied under Alcuin at Tours. 



UT new influences were at work in the 
kingdom of Charles, and new methods 
and principles of learning and of educa- 
tion were being introduced. The great 
missionary work of the English Boniface, 
which had been carried on with such success under 
Charles Martel and Pippin, had served to spread not 
only Christianity, but the influence of the Roman 
spirit and the rule of Benedict, and thus in a great 
measure had prepared the way for Alcuin. His 
great success threatened to hide from view the 
labors of another line of workers gifted with another 
kind of spirit. 

By the efforts of one of the most noted saints and 
missionaries of the Christian Church, St. Patrick, 
monasteries and schools had been spread over Ire- 
land, until it gained the name it has since borne in 
history, " The Island of the Saints." Persecuted 


344 ^^^^ ^'^£'^ ^/ Charlemagne. 

by one of the petty kings, whose morals he had en- 
deavored to correct, Columba, St. Patrick's suc- 
cessor, had, in 565, taken refuge in the island of 
lona, where he built a monastery, which soon be- 
came celebrated, both as a centre of great and suc- 
cessful missionary efforts among the Picts, the in- 
habitants of what is now known as Scotland, and as 
a source of Christian light and learning. Columba 
died in lona in the very year in which Augustine, 
missionary from the pope of P.ome, set foot on the 
island of Thanet, on the southern shores of Britain. 
In these monasteries and schools, far in the North 
and West, there was kindled and burned brightly a 
light of Christian zeal and learning, which had been 
lighted from other flames than those of Rome, and 
which reflected more of the glory of the Greek spirit 
of the East. 

Far removed from the turmoil of the great inva- 
sions on the Continent the light burned steadily on, 
cut off by the conquest of the Saxons in the fifth 
century from intercourse with the rest of the great 
church of the West. Not content, however, to re- 
main thus isolated and inactive, though powerless 
to reach the fierce Saxon hordes, by whom their 
Christian brethren had been ruthlessly put to death 
or driven westward to the mountains, they looked 
beyond, across the sea, for the fields white for the 
harvest. Fridolin was the first Celtic missionary to 
cross the Channel, about the year 500, laboring in 
Aquitania among the Arian Visigoths, continuing 
under the protection of Clovis after the conquest by 
the Franks in 507. He labored also among the 

Celtic Missionaries. 345 

Alemanni, but little definite information regarding 
his work has come down to us. 

Another Irish monk, Columbanus, born in 543, 
trained in the monastery of Bangor, in the Province 
of Ulster, educated in the highest studies in classi- 
cal as well as in sacred learning, crossed over to 
Gaul in the year 590, and, where Christianity had 
suffered most, began to plant monasteries, the seeds 
of Christian life, learning and civilization. As the 
result of his life of labor and of sacrifice he left as 
monuments of his devotion three great monasteries 
— the first, at Anegrey, built in the forest of the 
Vosges on the ruins of an ancient castle ; the sec- 
ond, Luxeuil, on the southeastern frontier of Aus- 
trasia, already famous for its learning in the seventh 
century, when learning among the Franks was well- 
nigh dead ; and the third at Bobbio, near Parma, 
in Italy, by permission of the Lombard king, 
Agilulf. Here he died in 615. His ablest follower 
founded in Alemannia the justly famous monastery 
named for him, St. Gall. These labors not only 
sprang from different sources, but were of a very 
different character from those we have just been 
considering, and these differences are of great im- 
portance in history, and at one time gave promise 
of still greater importance. They require brief con- 

In the early centuries the union between the Brit- 
ish and Irish churches and the Church of Gaul had 
been quite close, and, as is well known, Christianity 
had been brought to Gaul from the East, especially 
from Asia Minor. But all intercourse with the 

346 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Continent had been broken off by the Saxon con- 
quest of Britain, and when once more the Celtic 
Church came face to face with Continental Chris- 
tianity, either in the courts of English kings, con- 
verted by missionaries from Rome, or in the course 
of their own missionary exploits among the German 
tribes, important differences appeared. These clearly 
showed themselves in the reckoning of Easter, the 
form of the tonsure, the consecration of a bishop, 
the baptism of children, the absence of required 
celibacy, and in a peculiar liturgy and a different 
system of monastic rules.* Of still more signifi- 
cance, however, was the fact that since the con- 
demnation of the " Three Chapters" there had arisen 
a great mistrust of Roman orthodoxy. Pelagius I. 
had acknowledged the authority of the Fifth Coun- 
cil, but this led to a tedious schism between several 
Western churches and Rome," inasmuch as for a 
long time in the Western Church the rejection of 
the " Three Chapters" was considered a violation of 
orthodoxy, and on this account the bishops of Italy 
broke off their communion with Rome. The 
bishops of Milan and Ravenna were reconciled, in- 
deed, when, oppressed by the Arian Lombards, 
they were compelled to set a greater value on com- 
munion with the Catholic Church, but the arch- 
bishop of Aquileia, who since the conquest of Italy 
by the Lombards had resided on the island of Grado, 
and the Istrian bishops were more obstinate, and 
did not renew their fellowship with Rome until the 
year 698. These " Three Chapters," as they were 
* Gieseler, vol. 1., p. 530. " Ibid., vol. i., p. 481. 

Columbanus. 347 

called, were the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, 
Theodoret's writings against Cyril, and the letter 
of Ibas to Maris, the two latter having been ex- 
pressly pronounced orthodox by the Council of 
Chalcedon." Indeed, the decisions of the Council 
of Chalcedon were regarded by the Egyptian party 
as completely Nestorian/ All these differences 
had been settled as far as England was concerned 
at the Council of Whitby, in 664, in favor of the 
customs and beliefs upheld by Rome, but the 
work of Columbanus and his companions on the 
Continent revived the question. Columbanus had 
already come into conflict with the Prankish bish- 
ops regarding the time of the celebration at Easter 
while at Luxeuil. " True," he said, " the diver- 
sity of customs and traditions has greatly disturbed 
the peace of the church, but if we only strive in 
humility to follow the example of our Lord, we 
shall next acquire the power of mutually loving each 
other as true disciples of Christ, with all the heart 
and without taking offence at each other's failings, 
and soon men would come to the knowledge of the 
true way if they sought the truth with equal zeal, 
and none were inclined to borrow too much from 
self, and each sought his glory only in the Lord. 
One thing I beg of you, that since I am the cause 
of this difference, and I came for the sake of our 
common Lord and Saviour as a stranger into this 
land, I may be allowed to live silently in these for- 
ests near the bones of our seventeen brethren, as I 
have been permitted to live twelve years among 
' Gieseler, vol. i., p. 479. "^ Ibid., vol. i., p. 359, note 66. 

348 The Age of CJiarleinagnc. 

you already, that so as in duty bound we may pray 
for you as hitherto we have done. May Gaul em- 
brace us all at once as the kingdom of heaven will 
embrace us if we shall be found worthy of it." ' 
From Bobbio he wrote to the pope himself, show- 
ing how he had been impressed by the power and 
majesty of Rome. He pronounced her the mis- 
tress, and speaks in the higliest terms of her author- 
ity, especially on the ground that St. Peter and St. 
Paul had taught there and honored it by their mar- 
tyrdom. But he places the Church of Jerusalem 
for similar reasons in a still higher rank,'' and he ad- 
monished the Roman Church, and declared that her 
power would remain with her only so long as she 
guarded the truth, and that only he was the true 
key-bearer of the kingdom of heaven, who by true 
knowledge opened the door for the worthy and shut 
it upon the unworthy. He warned the Roman 
Church against setting up any arrogant claims, on 
the ground that the keys of the kingdom of heaven 
were given to St. Peter, since they could have no 
force in opposition to the faith of the universal 
church.^ This was plain speaking on the part of an 
Irish monk, and showed a deeper harmony with the 
spirit of the Greek theology than with the Roman 
external economy of a visible organization; while 
in the three great monasteries that marked the 
route of St. Columban's apostolate — Luxeuil, St. 
Gall, and Bobbio — numerous manuscripts of Origen 

' Neander, vol. iii., pp. 32, 33. 

' Roma orbis terrarum caput est ecclesiarutn salva loci doiriini- 
cus resurrectonis singular! piferogativa. 
^ Neander, vol, iii., p. 35. 

Irish Theology and Learning. 349 

and other Greek fathers, written in the elegant Irish 
character, long remained to attest the more inquir- 
ing spirit in which the studies of their communities 
were pursued. Other differences of a more specific 
character excited the jealousy and distrust of the 
Latin clergy. The Irish theologian did not concur 
in their condemnation and neglect of classical litera- 
ture. He was not infrequently acquainted to some 
extent with Greek. He used the Latin version of 
the New Testament that was not the Vulgate, and 
claimed to be anterior to Jerome. His text-book of 
elementary instruction was more often than not the 
dangerously speculative treatise Martianus Capella." 

The scholars of Ireland were probably not un- 
known to Charles. Einhard speaks of the rich gifts 
to Irish kings, which bound them to the king of the 
Franks, so that they called him their lord and them- 
selves his slaves.* When, therefore, some of them, 
Clement of Ireland and his companions, presented 
themselves at the court, they were cordially wel- 
comed and received, and Clement afterwards was 
made head of the palace school. Their presence 
soon made itself felt in the questioning by the king 
of some of the teachings of Alcuin. Letters were 
sent to the former teacher at Tours, to which Alcuin 
replied, bewaihng the fact that the school of the 
Egyptians had gained an entrance into David's 
glorious palace. " When I went away," he wrote, 

I left the Latins there, and I know not who intro- 
duced the Egyptians." Theodulf, v/ho had been 

' MuUinger, pp. ii3, 119. 

' Einhard, "Vita Karoli," ch. xvi. 

350 The Age of CJiarlemagne. 

made bishop of Orleans, also inveighed against the 
Irish school of theology. The Irish theologian he 
calls a lawless thing, a deadly foe, a dull horror, 
a malignant pest, one who, though versed in many 
subjects, knows nothing as certain and true, and 
even any subject of which he is ignorant fancies 
himself omniscient.' Charles was not looking for 
authority, however, but for truth, and the Irish 
school gained and held a place in the palace school 
for the greater part of the ninth century. But the 
work of Alcuin was not all done nor all forgotten. 
Once more he was summoned to a doctrinal contest, 
and by his theological learning and undoubted skill 
he refuted Felix, bishop of Urgel, and won a brill- 
iant triumph over the Adoptianists. He lived to 
congratulate Charles on his accession to the im- 
perial dignity, and becoming ill in the spring of 804, 
in accordance with his strong desire to live until 
Pentecost, he died on the morning of that great 
festival. May 19th, 804. MuUinger thus sums up 
his services : " A sense of the signal service rendered 
by Alcuin to his age, in days when learning strove 
but feebly and ineffectually amid the clang of arms 
and the rude instincts of a semi-barbarous race, 
must not lead us to exaggerate his merits or his 
powers. On a dispassionate and candid scrutiny, 
his views and aims will scarcely appear loftier than 
his time. By the side of the imperial conceptions 
of Charles, so bold, so original, so comprehensive, 
his tame adherence to traditions, his timid mistrust 
of pagan learning, dwarf him almost to littleness. 
' Migne, vol. cv., p. 322. 

Final Estimate of Alcuin. 351 

No noble superiority to the superstitions of his age 
stamps him Hke Agobard a master spirit. No hero- 
ism of self-devotion like that of a Columbanus or of 
a Boniface bears aloft his memory to a region which 
detraction cannot reach. He reared no classic 
monument of historic genius like that of Einhard, 
he penned no stanzas like those of Theodulf, 
' Gloria Laus et Honor Tibi,' to waft from century 
to century the burden of the Christian hope until 
lost in the clamor of the Marseillaise.' 

" Yet let us not withhold the tribute that is his 
due. He loved the temple of the muses, and was 
at once their high priest and their apostle in the 
days when the worshippers at their shrines were 
few. He upheld the faith with vigor and ability 
against its foes, and amid the temptations of a licen- 
tious court bore witness to its elevating power with 
the eloquent, though unuttered testimony of an up- 
right and blameless life. He mediated between the 
two greatest princes of the West, and the blessing 
promised the peacemakers was his. He watched 
with a father's care over a band of illustrious dis- 
ciples, who repaid him by a loving obedience while 
he lived, and by a faithful adherence to his teach- 
ings when he was gone. And when, on the morning 
of Pentecost, his spirit passed away, it was felt that 
a light had been withdrawn from the church, and 
that a wise teacher of Israel was dead." ' 

' This hymn, " Gloria," was sung in France on Palm Sunday 
each year until the Revolution. 
* Mullinger, pp. 126, 127. 



HE schools which Charles had founded 
multiplied and attained a greater glory 
in the reign of his sons and successors. 
Milman speaks of the acts of the Coun- 
cil of 817 as among the boldest and most 
comprehensive ever submitted to a great national 
assembly. The rule of Chrodegang was made to 
apply to the entire church, and the whole discipline 
of monastic life was defined with increasing strict- 
ness. Louis the Pious had ordered the translation 
of the Scriptures into the Lingua Teudisca, and the 
national dialects of Neustria and Austrasia were 
already developing into distinct languages. 

Accordingly the episcopal schools became more 
prominent and distinct from those of the monas- 



A Cathedral School. 353 

teries, which began to be attended exclusively by 
the monks. These schools were attached to the 
cathedrals for boys destined to become priests, and 
were confided to the care of one of the canons called 
Scholasticus. MuUinger thus describes one ; " We 
may picture to ourselves a group of lads seated on 
the floor, which was strewn with clean straw, their 
waxen tablets in their hands, and busily engaged in 
writing down the words read by the ' scholasticus ' 
from his manuscript volume. So rarely did the 
pupil in those days gain access to a book that ' to 
read ' ilegcre) became synonymous with ' to teach.' 
The scholars traced the words upon their tablets, 
and afterwards, when their notes had been corrected 
by the master, transferred them to a little parch- 
ment volume, the treasured depository with many 
of nearly all the learning they managed to acquire 
in life, ' because,' says Rabanus Maurus, * whatever 
the master taught me orally I committed it all to 
written pages, lest an uncertain mind should lose 
it.' '" 

In the ninth century, however, only two centres 
of church education in the Frankish territory stood 
forth as examples of the higher culture^one at 
Orleans, under Theodulf, and the other at Rheims. 
The latter, under Hincmar and his successors, claims 
the proud distinction of having preserved in this 
century that tradition of learning which linked the 
episcopal schools with the University of Paris, but 

' Me quia qusecumque docuerunt ore magistri, ne vaga mens 
perdat cuncta dedi foliis, Migne, vol. cxii., p. 1600 ; Mullinger, 
p. 130. 


354 ^'^^ ^^^ ^f Charlemagne. 

throughout the ninth century, and, indeed, for the 
four centuries preceding the reign of Phihp Augus- 
tus, the work of the episcopal schools was naturally 
quite eclipsed by that of the monasteries — Corbie, 
St. Riquies, St. Martin of Metz, St. Bertin, Fer- 
rieres and others, but Tours already had begun to 
decline on account of its wealth. 

A capitulary of Louis in 822 shows the same in- 
terest in learning that his father had, though sug- 
gesting some neglect in the past. It is decreed 
that every one in course of training for any position 
in the church shall have a fixed place of resort and 
a suitable master. Later each bishop was to exer- 
cise great diligence in instituting schools, and in 
training and educating soldiers for the service of 
Christ's church. Louis, it appears, was on the eve 
of an undertaking proposed by the bishops, to open 
three large public schools in the three most suitable 
locations in the empire, when the rebellion of his 
sons broke out and civil war ensued. 

In the mean time the monastery of Fulda was 
rising to importance through one of the greatest 
scholars of the century, Rabanus Maurus. He 
had been sent as a young man to receive in- 
struction from Alcuin at Tours, and speedily be- 
came a great favorite. On his return, deeply im- 
pressed with the learning and character of his 
teacher, he was appointed head of the monastery 
school, though only twenty-seven years of age. 
In 819 he wrote the celebrated " De Institu- 
tione Clericorum," justly cited as evidence against 
exaggerated representations with respect to the 

Rabanus Manrus. 355 

ignorance of the clergy of those times. He showed 
a greater liberahty of sentiment than Alcuin and 
Gregory on the subject of pagan literature and 
secular learning, especially in regard to Dialectic, 
of which he says: " This is the study of studies. 
It teaches how to teach. It alone knows how to 
know, and not only will, but can make men wise. 
Wherefore it behooves the clergy to be acquainted 
with this noble art." " Indeed, it would seem," 
says Mullinger, " that the decline of the orthodox 
mistrust of Dialectics may be held to date from his 
teachings." ' His words in regard to philosophy 
are of remarkable breadth, and show how he had 
already departed from his teacher's precepts. He 
held that if any of the schools, and especially the 
Platonists, were to be found maintaining doctrines 
that harmonized with the Christian faith, instead of 
regarding their teaching with mistrust, we should 
do well to convert it to our own use. In his com- 
mentary on St. Matthew, completed the year he 
was elected abbot, he seems to have used only the 
Latin fathers and Chrysostom, though he mentions 
Origen and the other Greeks. In his explanation 
of natural phenomena he was not so inclined to 
occult and supernatural origins as was Alcuin. Even 
ghosts, spirits, and similar phenomena are referred 
to the deception of the senses under the influence 
of overwrought mental faculties. In this way he 
explains the appearance of Samuel to Saul, as true 
not in fact, but with respect to the perception and 
the mind of Saul. Though rebuking pagan super- 
' Mullinger, p, 144. 

356 The Age of Charlemagne. 

stitions, many of which still lingered among the 
people, he fully shared the superstition of the age 
in the veneration of the relics. For his ability as a 
teacher he gained a high reputation. Einhard sent 
his own son to be educated at Fulda, telling him to 
take Rabanus as a model in all things, because thus 
instructed he will be wanting in nothing that relates 
to the knowledge of life. " I fear, my son," he 
wrote, " and I very much suspect that, leaving 
home, you may come to forget yourself and to for- 
get me also, for inexperienced youth, unless con- 
trolled by the check of discipline, proceeds with 
difificulty in the ways of righteousness. Endeavor 
then, my dear boy, to imitate the best examples. 
On no account incur the displeasure of him whom 
I have set before you as your model, but, mindful 
of your vow, seek to profit by his teaching with the 
most diligent application that he whom you have 
chosen as your master may approve. Instructed by 
his precepts, and accustoming yourself to put them 
into practice, you will be wanting in nothing that 
pertains to the knowledge of life. As I exhorted 
you by word of mouth, be diligent in study, and 
fail not to attain whatever of noble learning you 
may be able to gain from the most brilliant and 
fertile genius of this great orator, but, above all, 
remember to imitate the virtues which are his great- 
est glory, for grammar, rhetoric, and the other lib- 
eral arts are but vain things, and most injurious to 
the servants of God, if divine grace does not teach 
us that we must ever hold good morals above them 
all. Indeed, learning may inspire the heart, but 

Distinguished Pupils. 357 

charity edifies it. I should rather know that you 
were dead than soiled by pride and vice, for the 
Saviour has not asked us to imitate his miracles, 
but his gentleness and his humility. What more 
shall I say ? These counsels and others like them 
you have often heard from my mouth. May you 
then be so happy as to love that which procures by 
divine grace, purity of soul and of body. Fare- 

Soon Rabanus himself became the centre of in- 
struction for other teachers, adding six monasteries 
more to the sixteen already af^Hated under his rule 
as abbot. Among these six were Corbie, Hersfeld, 
Petersburg, and Hirschau. Among his pupils were 
Servatus Lupus, Walafrid Strabo, Otfried of Weis- 
senberg, and Rudolph, perhaps the most famous of 
them all, who later succeeded Rabanus himself as 
teacher of the monastery school, and continued the 
annals of Fulda from the point where Einhard left 
off, a preacher whose oratory was the special de- 
light of Louis the Pious, a scholar notable for his 
knowledge of Tacitus — probably from some manu- 
scripts that subsequently disappeared — in an age 
when that writer was otherwise unknown. There 
were also many others. Indeed, one of the biog- 
raphers of Rabanus asserts that wherever, whether 
in peace or in war, in church or in state, a promi- 
nent actor appears at this period, we may predict 
almost certainly that he will prove to have been a 
scholar of this great teacher." 

' Jaff6, vol. iv., pp. 477, 478 ; Einhardi, Ep. 56. 
' Spengler ; quoted by Mullinger, p. 153. 

358 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Another scholar of Fulda, associated with Ser- 
vatus Lupus, was Probus, whom the annals of Fulda 
describe as " the religious presbyter whose saintly- 
learning and pure conversation made Fulda yet 
more illustrious." ' Servatus Lupus says of him 
that " he would admit Cicero, Virgil, and other 
noble men among the ancients, to the number of 
the elect, that the blood of Christ might not be 
shed in vain, and that the prophecy might be ful- 
filled. ' I will be thy death, O Death ! and I will 
be thy sting, O Grave!'"" Indeed, they must 
have appreciated the beautiful language, the elo- 
quent style, and the noble thought of these classical 
masters after what they had been through. No 
wonder they welcomed them back with sincere de- 
light and crowned them once more kings of learn- 
ing and saints of literature. 

In the civil strifes and domestic feuds in which 
son rose against father and brother against brother, 
Rabanus still remained loyal to Louis, and after his 
death to Lothair, who received the imperial title. 
After the battle of Fontenay, in 841, he resigned 
his abbacy and retired to Petersburg. He had 
great respect and regard for Lewis the German, 
however, " and his testimony to the high character 
of the king is, perhaps, the least open to suspicion 
of all the tributes to the moral virtues of the best 
of the sons of Louis the Pious, his reputation being 
such as to render him superior to mere political 

' "Ann. Fuld.,"an. 859; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 373. 
* Serv. Lup., Ep. 20; quoted by Neander, vol. iii., p. 602. 
note 2. 

Influence of Bishops and Abbots. 359 

considerations.' In 847, at the age of seventy-one, 
he was elected to the bishopric of Mainz, an ofifice 
which involved the spiritual supervision of all Ger- 
many, except the diocese of Cologne. This office 
he held until his death, in 856. 

The position of the episcopate at this time was one 
of great importance. The civil power was weakened 
and divided, and the maintenance of law and order de- 
pended almost entirely upon the officers of the church. 
The influence and the authority of the bishops in sec- 
ular, as well as in ecclesiastical affairs, was well-nigh 
supreme. In the decay of the royal power, the rise of 
feudalism and the encroachment of the papacy, the 
power of the bishops looms up in a significant and de- 
cisive manner, and the number of great names shows 
the intellectual and administrative ability with 
which the leading positions were filled. Such men 
as Theodulf, Agobard, Rabanus Maurus, and Hinc- 
mar exercised an influence in guiding opinions and 
controlling events far beyond that exercised by any 
layman of the time. An extract from one of the 
chief ministers of Charles the Bald illustrates the 
influence of prominent ecclesiastics in affairs of 
state. " But yet," he says, " they refer the mat- 
ter, as is customary, to the bishops and priests, so 
that in whatever way the divine authority may 
please to settle it according to his will, they may 
assent with a free and ready mind." ' Thus, as we 
have seen, the influence at Fulda was broader and 
more inspiring than that at Tours. Servatus Lupus 
had been sent to Ferrieres, but in 830 went to Fulda, 
' Mullinger, p. 156. ^ Nithardus, iv., 3 ; M. G. SS., vol. ii., p. 669. 

360 The Age of Charlemagne. 

where he remained for a short time, and then re- 
turned to Ferrieres as instructor in grammar and 

Many changes were brought about by the treaty 
of Verdun, in the intellectual as well as in the politi- 
cal world, and further changes were made in conse- 
quence of the pronounced sympathies of these great 
teachers. However, the bond uniting them to- 
gether remained unbroken, for their interests were 
unaffected by the political machinations and diffi- 
culties of the time. Like the bonds of scholarship 
and of commerce to-day, they were above mere 
party lines and sectional interests. Under Charles 
the Bald, the ruler of the Western Kingdom, the 
intellectual life received great encouragement and 
support. In his tastes and methods he was more 
like his grandfather. He was a keen theologian, 
fond of argument and debate, but the times were 
very evil. It is true, the shock of civil discord had 
largely passed away, but the invasions of the North- 
men brought woe and destruction to many of the 
fairest seats of learning. " All the monasteries and 
places along the Seine were either depopulated or 
left terrified after having given up much of their 
wealth." ' Indeed, unlike the previous invasions, 
churches and monasteries seem to have been the 
chief objects of attack. Their defenceless condi- 
tion and the large amount of wealth which they 
had acquired served to invite the greed of the bar- 
barous and savage Northmen. Their ravages began 
about 840, and for more than half a century they 

1 " Prud. Tree. Ann.," an. 841 ; M. G. SS,, vol. i., p. 437. 

Servatus Lupus. 361 

were the terror of Southern Europe. Coasting 
along the shores of the sea, they made frequent 
expeditions up each river as far as navigable, and 
thus were enabled to penetrate with their destroy- 
ing zeal far into the interior. Gaul, Spain, and the 
district lying along the Mediterranean between 
Spain and Italy suffered in this way. At last, how- 
ever, the monasteries themselves became centres of 
organized resistance ; abbots and monks alike were 
forced to bear arms, and monasteries were bound to 
furnish men and money to the State. In the midst 
of these invasions the nobles revived the confiscating 
policy of Charles Martel, and although Charles the 
Bald was a great friend to the church, he was power- 
less to resist the growing power of the nobles. 

In all these dangers and dif^culties Servatus 
Lupus was one of the foremost advisers of the king, 
not only in regard to ecclesiastical affairs, but in 
questions of State policy as well. In 847 he went 
with Charles to Marsua, to settle terms with Lothair 
and Lewis. In 849 he represented Charles at Rome 
and at Bourges in the matter of the heresy of Gott- 
schalk. In 858 he was again prominent in the nego- 
tiations with Lewis. But although so high in influ- 
ence and position, he was unable to obtain simple 
justice for his own monastery, showing the strength 
of the opposition on the part of the feudal nobles. 
His literary correspondence gives a clear picture of 
the scholar's life.' Nearly every classical writer 
known or studied in his time was quoted or referred 
to in his letters- — Livy, Sallust, Caesar, Suetonius, 
' Nicholas, " Etude sur les lettres de Servat-Loup." 

362 The Age of Cha^'lemagne. 

Cicero, Quintilian, Virgil, Horace, Terence, Mar- 
tial, Macrobius, and Priscian, and the usual text- 
books of his time. His letters also reveal much re- 
garding the methods and difficulties of literary 
work. Books and manuscripts were borrowed and 
loaned, sent from one monastery to another for 
copying ; but often where the willingness existed 
the difficulties in the way were great. 

We are informed that a volume of Bede would 
not be loaned to Hincmar, because it was too large 
to hide in the coat or wallet, and the bearer might 
fall in with a band of robbers, who, tempted by the 
beauty of the manuscript, would seize and carry it 
off. Even within the monastery books were not 
always safe. " If you knew the situation of our 
monastery," Servatus writes to the abbot of Tours, 
" you would not have thought of entrusting your 
treasure to our keeping, I will not say for long, but 
even for three days, for though access hither may 
not appear easy for these pirates, yet the monastery 
is so little protected by its situation, and we have 
so few men capable of opposing them, that it is 
itself a temptation to their greed." ' His higher 
intellectual activity, and his intimate knowledge of 
the wider views of the classical writers, gave him a 
strong distaste for unprofitable theological specula- 
tion. Altogether he appears as one of the most 
scholarly men of the ninth century, and is a good 
example of the highest and best influences of classi- 
cal learning upon the intellectual life of the time. 
He was held in great esteem, and died in 862. 
* Serv. Lup., Ep. no ; quoted by Mullinger, p. 169. 

Agobard and Claudius. 363 

Two noted Spaniards also showed great intellec- 
tual ability and freedom of thought in this century. 
Agobard, archbishop of Lyons from 816 until his 
death, in 840, revised the liturgy in the interest of 
pure doctrine and of scriptural expression. He 
wrote against image worship and superstition, and 
even proposed to substitute rational investigation 
for the heathen methods of trial by combat and by 
ordeals, which were still retained under a Christian 
form. Claudius, bishop of Turin from 814 until his 
death, in 839, was an even bolder reformer, and op- 
posed most vigorously the growing materialism 
showing itself in the doctrines of images and of the 
Eucharist. He opposed pilgrimages to Rome and 
the growing power of the papacy. He laid the 
foundations of modern Protestantism in his doctrine 
of grace and of justification. "It is certain that 
from this moment there would be always some- 
where in the church a protest against the tendency 
to materialize Christianity." ' 

One of the most significant controversies of this 
century was brought out by a treatise by Paschasius 
Radbertus, a monk, and from 844 to 851 the abbot 
of Corbie. It was entitled " On the Sacrament of 
the Body and Blood of Christ," was written in 831, 
and soon after 844 sent to Charles the Bald in a 
popular form that he might favor its spread. It is 
important as being the first formal statement of 
Transubstantiation, declaring " that by virtue of the 
consecration, by a miracle of almighty power, the 
substance of the bread and wine became converted 
' Ampere, vol. iii., p. 88. 

364 The Age of CJuirlemagne. 

into the substance of the body and blood of Christ, 
so that beneath the sensible, outward emblems of the 
bread and wine another substance was still present. 

Highly figurative language in reference to the 
presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper had been employed from very early times, 
and there was a strong tendency in a literal age to 
convert the symbolical and metaphorical language 
into a mechanical theory. But the church had been 
kept from a definite formulation of such a miscon- 
ception by the spiritual ideas, clear thought, and 
decisive language of Augustine.^ 

The treatise of Paschasius, therefore, created at 
once a profound sensation. Charles the Bald re- 
ferred it to Ratramnus (Bertram), another monk of 
Corbie, for his consideration and reply. The answer 
was a clear, firm, and at the same time devout and 
scriptural denial of the doctrine. He af^rmed 
Christ's presence in the sacrament, not in substance, 
but in spirit and influence, " spiritnalitcr ct sccuiidaui 
potcntiavi,'" in a work still read in English.'' 

The view of Paschasius was also condemned by 
Rabanus Maurus, John Scotus, and Florus of 
Lyons. " Still the mystical and apparently pious 
doctrine, which was easier of apprehension and 
seemed to correspond better to the sacred words, 
obtained its advocates, too, and it was easy to see 

' Neander, vol. iii., p. 495. 

* Epistle to Boniface, No. 9S, ch. ix. ; " Nicene Fathers," first 
series, vol. i., pp. 409, 410. See also Gieseler, vol. i., p. 435, 
note 15. 

* Bertram, "On the Body and Blood of Christ." See Neander, 
vol. iii., pp. 494-50X. 

Transubstantiatioft. 365 

that it only needed times of darkness, such as soon 
followed, to become general. In the same spirit 
Radbert also taught a miraculous delivery of 
Mary, but here, again, he was opposed by Ratram- 
nus." ' 

But the tendency of the age was too strong to be 
resisted. " The dogma was not forced upon the 
understanding from without, but was demanded by 
it," and was due rather to " the restless eagerness 
of a logical age. ' ' ° 

The great evil was not in the doctrine of transub- 
stantiation ; that did represent, however imper- 
fectly, a reality, the presence of Christ in his church 
and in the faithful Christian ; but the evil lay in the 
doctrine which a later and more corrupt age deduced 
from it — namely, the sacrifice of the mass, on which 
the tremendous power of the priesthood of the 
Middle Ages rested — that a man could create the 
body and blood of Christ, and by his own act offer 
to God the propitiatory sacrifice which Christ in his 
own body on the cross had offered once for all for 
the sins of the whole world. 

In the midst of the intellectual life and learning 
of the ninth century a new light appears — startling, 
brilliant, keen, and irresistible, like a comet amid 
the stars, or lightning in a clear sky. We lose all 
sight of Clement of Ireland, and know little of the 
Irish school after the time of Charles the Great. 
It had received little encouragement from Louis the 
Pious, but a new impulse came under Charles the 
Bald, at whose court appeared the intellectual won- 

' Gieseler, vol. ii., pp. 83, 84. ' Maurice, vol. i., p. 464. 


66 T/ie Age of Charlemagne. 

der of his age, John Scotus Erigena. He forms the 
connecting link between the traditions of the past 
and the later scholastic philosophy, of which he has 
been regarded as the real inaugurator. With far 
greater boldness than Rabanus he employed the art 
of dialectic and carried speculation to its utmost 
limit. He was born in the first or second decade 
of the ninth century, educated probably in Irish 
monasteries, as is shown by his Greek learning and 
his Celtic sympathies, but the only trustworthy in- 
formation regarding him concerns his life at the 
court of Charles the Bald, where he appeared about 
845. His favorite manual was the much mistrusted 
treatise of Martianus Capella, and he was well versed 
in the Greek fathers, especially in Origen, who was 
no less an object of suspicion by the church. In- 
deed, the Greek fathers were his constant study, 
and the Greek methods of thought and points of 
view were his own. He at once established a close 
and sympathetic intimacy with Charles the Bald, 
whose mind naturally tended towards philosophical 
subtleties. Charles the Bald did for philosophy 
what his grandfather, Charles the Great, did for 
theology. His father, Louis the Pious, had been 
fond of the mysteries of scriptural interpretation, 
and mistrusted all that savored of speculation or 
showed a new and untraditional line of thought, but 
Charles was the patron of all schools and of all par- 
ties, and the most liberal benefactor of learning in 
his age. The very name of his palace was " The 
School." In his reign Irish scholars flooded the 
Western Kingdom. Fond of travel, of adventure, 

John Scot lis Erigeua. 367 

and of change, they appreciated the welcome which 
they received at his court. 

The learning of Erigena was fully appreciated by 
the king. He was selected to translate the Pseudo- 
Dionysius, a work on the Celestial Hierarchies, sup- 
posed to have been written by Dionysius the Areop- 
agite, who was confused with Dionysius, the bishop 
of Paris, or St. Denis, the patron saint of France. 
A copy of this work in Greek had been sent by the 
Emperor Michael to Louis the Pious in 827.' The 
translation was well done, and Erigena showed a 
fairly correct and at times elegant Latin style. He 
also compiled a commentary on Martianus Capella, 

from whom," says Prudentius of Troyes, " he 
had imbibed a deadly poison," which seems to have 
been shown in his putting of reason above author- 
ity, and using dialectic rather than tradition in the 
investigation of truth. Perhaps the most marked 
influences upon him were exerted by the Timseus 
of Plato and the Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hier- 
archies attributed to Dionysius. His great work 
was the " De Divisione Naturae," in five books. 
He posited as a fundamental principle that true 
theology and true philosophy are only formally 
different, but essentially identical. The truth is 
expressed in Scripture and in ecclesiastical dogma, 
as in a shell, accommodated to man's understanding 
by figurative and metaphorical phrases. Reason 
strips off this shell and outer covering, and by 
means of dialectic or speculation raises faith to 
knowledge. His system took on a pantheistic col-. 
' Gieseler, vol. ii., p. 103, notes 14 and 15. 

368 The Age of Charlemagne. 

oring, but he maintained that he was endeavoring 
to affirm Christian theism. God himself, the Ab-- 
solute, is supersubstantial above all the categories 
of existence. The reason of man can see, therefore, 
only the manifestations of God, not God himself. 
God is created in things ; he realizes himself in what 
he produces, as our intelligence in our thoughts. 
All things return to him, and find in him their final 
end. Evil is not positive nor eternal, it exists, but 
as a lack, a negation which must pass away v/hen 
all is realized and attains perfection. In him are 
the germs of the whole later contradictions of scho- 
lastic and mystic* 

He was hardly noticed in his own age, although 
Maurice calls him " the metaphysician of the ninth 
century ; one of the acutest metaphysicians of any 
century." As Allen says : " John Scotus only con- 
fused and puzzled his age ; he seemed to be ortho- 
dox, but in a fashion hardly available for practical 
purposes. What could such an age as his do with 
a man who talked about evil as a negation, as hav- 
ing no real existence, or who defined predestination 
as the consciousness of achieving one's destiny? 
At a later time, the justice which he failed to re- 
ceive in his lifetime was meted out to him, and he 
was condemned as a heretic." '^ 

He was selected, however, by Hincmar to under- 
take the refutation of Gottschalk in the famous con- 
troversy about predestination. Gottschalk had 
shown a restlessness and uneasiness in the monas- 

' Maurice, vol. i., pp. 467-501 ; Ampere, vol. iii., pp. .123-146. 
' Allen, pp. 190, 191. 

Gottschalk. 369 

tcry of Fulda, in which he had been placed by his 
Saxon parents while he was yet a child. At last a 
dispensation was granted by the Synod of Mainz, 
Gottschalk having pleaded compulsion, and the 
plea being held valid on the ground that a Saxon 
could thus forfeit his freedom only when the cere- 
mony had been attested by a witness of the same 
nationality. Rabanus Maurus, the abbot of Fulda, 
appealed from this decision, and it was reversed by 
the Emperor Louis, and Gottschalk was allowed 
only a transfer to another monastery. Accordingly 
he left Fulda and entered the monastery of Orbais 
in the diocese of Soissons. Here he began the study 
of Augustine and Fulgentius and the other fathers 
of his school. He became an ardent advocate of 
the doctrine of predestination, and began writing 
letters on the subject to his friends and former com- 
panions. The doctrine of unconditional predestina- 
tion was asserted in the strongest terms, based on 
the immutability of God and his absolute wisdom 
and power. Consequently the destiny of man could 
not depend on his own conduct, nor be in suspense 
until death. Men were not only chosen or predes- 
tined to salvation, but also to everlasting punish- 
ment, for the unchangeableness of the divine decree 
required this double predestination, and with God 
foreknowledge and foreordination must be identi- 
cal. This not only denied the freedom of the will 
from the first act of man to the last, but also gave 
no scope for the agency or ministration of the 
church, whose rights and services could have no 
avail in the salvation of the soul ordained to perdi- 

370 The Age of Charlemagne. 

tion. In reality the church system was semi-Pelagian, 
and must have been in order to give scope for its 
operations. It is a fact familiar to the students of 
church history that fatalism in theology has gener- 
ally been the creed of those who have rebelled most 
stubbornly against ecclesiastic tyranny. But God's 
service is freedom ; fatalism in this regard takes one 
out of man's hands into God's hands, and such a 
theory has always been the inspiration of indepen- 
dent and daring conduct. It is the very foundation- 
stone of Mahometanism, and was the inspiring prin- 
ciple of the Pilgrim Fathers. 

Rabanus Maurus was not friendly to Gottschalk ; 
opposed him in a treatise published in 840, and pur- 
sued him relentlessly. Gottschalk appealed in per- 
son to Mainz, but was condemned, scourged, and 
handed over to Hincmar. Few will be disposed to 
call in question the comment of Diimmler, that it 
was a harsh and unrighteous sentence, and leaves 
a stain on the reputation of Rabanus. Treated as 
badly by Hincmar in the West— condemned, de- 
graded from his order, and scourged — Gottschalk 
was consigned to perpetual imprisonment in the 
monastery of Hautvilliers, Persecutions began to 
take the place of argument in theological discus- 
sions. At this time, however, the sympathy of 
many was aroused, and a movement in his favor set 
in. Ratramnus took his side, Prudentius of Troyes, 
Amola and Remigius of Lyons, with Florus, a 
presbyter of Lyons, and Servatus Lupus. Hinc- 
mar was now at a disadvantage, not having much 
ability in theological speculation. 

opposed by John Scotus. 371 

It was at this point that John Scotus Erigena 
was called in. In this discussion he shows the 
strong" influence of the Timaeus and the Pseudo-Dio- 
nysian writings. No irresistible omnipresent pur- 
pose working from all eternity is to be found in 
the Timaeus, and the purely negative character of evil 
is set forth in the Pseudo-Dionysius. These ideas 
John Scotus also took up, making an extended use 
of dialectic. He first laid down the principle that 
philosophy and religion can never be at variance ; 
secondly, he reproduces, as Mullinger has so inter- 
estingly pointed out, the passage from Rabanus, in 
which he speaks of the value of dialectic to the de- 
fender of the faith, and that it ought not to be left 
to the opponent.' This prominent use of dialectic 
roused opposition, and the unpopularity of Hinc- 
mar, together with the sympathy expressed for 
Gottschalk, but especially the peculiar ideas ad- 
vanced by John Scotus, drew much attention to 
the case. John appealed to the Greek fathers and 
philosophers, and referred particularly to Martianus 
Capella. The hostility to Hincmar from Lyons was 
partly due to the rivalry of the two great ecclesias- 
tical centres, Rheims and Lyons. The position is 
illustrated most clearly in Prudentius. Rarely are 
the dogmatist, as seen in Prudentius, and the ration- 
alist, as seen in John Scotus, to be found in stronger 
contrast. Prudentius said he detected in John the 
Pelagian treachery, the folly of Origen and the mad- 
ness of the Collyrian'' heresy. He says that John 

' Mullinger, p. 185, note i. 

* Probably the Collyridians. A sect in the fourth century who 

372 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Scotus reminds him very forcibly of Pelagius, and 
he speaks of " that Capella of yours" as the source 
of many of his errors. In spite of the great names 
and strong feeHng connected with this controversy, 
one cannot estimate the literature very highly. 
The main points at issue, the fundamental princi- 
ples, were grasped by none of the disputants except, 
perhaps, by John Scotus Erigena, and by him in 
such a way that they would be still more thoroughly 
concealed from every one else. The dispute was 
one of words, or rather one of personal feeling and 
rivalry. The decisions were indefinite, and, as 
Mozley says : " There is nothing in the language 
of Kiersy to which the most rigid predestinarian 
would not subscribe." As it was, the chief decision 
was reversed at Valence in 855, and the views ad- 
vanced by John Scotus were condemned. Ampere 
says of John Scotus in relation to Hincmar : " A 
very convenient ally, but quite a dangerous one, 
whose assistance had only served to compromise." 
" Mere learning and skill," says Mullinger, " could 
not atone for the evident laxity of doctrine of the 
brilliant Irishman." * Of the last of his life little or 
nothing is known. It is conjectured, however, that 
he remained at the Frankish Court, and continued 
to be one of the chief ornaments of the palace 
school, though William of Malmesbury says that he 
went to England, taught at Oxford, and died as 

seem to have transferred the ceremonial of the worship of Ceres 
to that of the Virgin Mary. 
' Mullinger, p. 189. 

Continuation to the Eleventh Century. -XilZ 

abbot of Malmesbury, being put to death by his 
own pupils in 891. 

The invasions of the Northmen were less fatal 
on the Continent than in England. The tradi- 
tions which after the time of Alfred the Great 
are no longer to be discerned in England may 
plainly be traced in France. Indeed, the influence 
of John Scotus is of that vaguer and more general 
kind which is felt rather than seen, but from Raba- 
nus we may perceive the handing down of the un- 
mistakable and unbroken tradition. 

Eric of Auxerre, the pupil of both Rabanus and 
Servatus Lupus, continued the intellectual line, and 
Auxerre became one of the chief centres of learn- 
ing. Among Eric's pupils was Remi of Auxerre, 
who taught at Rheims and Paris. At Rheims were 
also to be found Reminghad, Hildebald, and Blidul- 
fus, the founders of the school in Lotharingia, and 
Sigulfus and Frodoard, who carried on the school 
at Rheims and prepared the way for Gerbert. At 
Paris Eric had for his pupil Odo of Cluny, a monk 
from St. Martin of Tours. In the foundation of 
Cluny, in 910, Odo became a famous teacher, and 
revived the Benedictine rule and cultivation of let- 
ters. He raised Cluny to the very highest position 
in learning and ecclesiastical order, famous for its 
scholars in the tenth century, among whom were 
Aymer, Baldwin, Gottfried, and others, and in the 
eleventh century Gregory VI., Hildebrand, and the 
popes of the restoration. 



HE unity which Charles had built up and 
left to his only son Louis lasted through 
the period of the latter's reign, but the 
forces of disunion \vere present and 
growing all the time. We have noted 
many of them already, and have seen how strong 
they were, for in spite of the underlying race unity 
of the German people, there were between the ■s'ari- 
ous tribes which had come to make up the empire 
vast differences which seemed to offer well-nigh 
irresistible obstacles to any real union. There were 
differences in training and in civilization, some 
tribes being almost completely Romanized, others 
which first learned of Roman institutions through 
their submission to Charles, and many with memories 
of an earlier independence of a tribal, if not national 
political unity. There were differences in laws and 
customs, few, if any, having a written code of for- 
mal laws, but each having a mass of traditions, cus- 


Obstacles to Unity. 375 

toms and usages, more or less peculiar to itself. 
There were differences in climatic and geographical 
conditions with all that these implied. There were 
also the outlying foes threatening the empire at 
every point ; the unconquered, unconverted Danes 
and other Northmen, ready with their wandering 
bands and pirate ships to attack and devastate the 
northern boundaries and the western coasts, the 
barbarian savage Slavs and other Turanian hordes 
threatening continually the whole eastern frontier, 
and there were the fierce and fanatical Saracens in 
Spain and along the African shores of the Mediter- 
ranean as a constant menace on the South. Nor 
were these imaginary dangers, for as an actual fact 
the invasions and ravages from all these directions 
began before the middle of the ninth century ; nay, 
some even in the reign of Louis himself, and con- 
tinued with increasing vigor and destructiveness 
until after the middle of the tenth century,' thus 
making the tenth century the dark 2i^& par excellence, 
the sceculiim obsciiriun of the Middle Ages. Further- 
more, the elements of feudalism forming, as we have 
seen, during the period of the weak or almost non- 
existing central system preceding the Carolingian 
monarchy, although having for an object the afford- 
ing of that protection to property, to rights, and to 
life, which the central authority was not strong 
enough to give, became more and more strength- 

' The first definite attack of the Northmen took place in the 
sack and burning of Rouen in 840, their final settlement taking 
place in Normandy in 911 ; the final victory over the Huns was 
gained by Otto I. in 955 ; while the Saracens began by making 
themselves masters of Sicily in 837. 

376 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

ened, established, and organized, exercised an un- 
dermining influence, and were a constant menace 
and obstacle to any central authority. Charles, it 
has been seen, recognized these elements, and not 
being able to banish them, used them for his pur- 
poses, but he had neither conquered nor thoroughly 
subordinated them. The institution, if such it may 
be called, grew stronger and more completely organ- 
ized, until it became the rival, and for a time the suc- 
cessful rival of the empire and the monarchy, which 
really had to pass through and develop out of it. 

As if all this were not enough, there was in the 
very imperial power itself, as it existed in its Ger- 
manic form, the root principle of its own weakness. 
This was the Teutonic theory of the inheritance of 
kingly power. Again and again the unity of the 
Merovingian monarchy had been broken up by this 
principle of equal division among the sons of the 
king. The Carolingian mayors of the palace had 
been able to re-establish a unity which the Carolin- 
gian kings. Pippin and Charles the Great, had been 
able to maintain by fortunate conditions which they 
did not make. Pippin's oldest brother, Karlmann, 
had retired to a monastery, voluntarily we are led 
to believe, but very fortunately for Pippin, within 
six years after the two brothers had received from 
their father, Charles Martel, the power which he 
divided between them. Three years after a divided 
monarchy had been inherited by Pippin's sons, 
Charles and Karlmann, Karlmann had died most 
opportunely, and Charles, receiving the allegiance 
of his brother's subjects, found himself reigning 

Signs of Disintegration. 377 

alone. On that foundation he had built up a united 
empire, but its strength and unity existed in his 
own person ; his force, his ability, his character, 
and the fear and reverence for his name energized 
the form which he had constructed. 

The only outside influence for the establishment 
and continuance of unity, and it was a very strong 
one, rested in the organization of the church. Karl- 
mann and Pippin, under the guidance of Boniface, 
and Charles himself, under the inspiration of the 
pope and of his own theories and conceptions, had 
done their best to make this influence effective by 
the strong ecclesiastical organization, with its hier- 
archy of presbyters, bishops, metropolitans, and 
provincial and general assemblies, which they had 
established in the kingdom, and which had been still 
further emphasized and unified by the pre-eminence 
and superiority accorded to the papacy as the great 
head and central power of the church. Political in- 
stitutions sometimes gain a strength which they still 
retain even after they have passed into weaker hands, 
but such could not be the case with the empire of 
Charles : the foundation was neither deep enough, 
nor strong enough, nor complete enough ; it had 
been in existence for too short a time, and the 
materials out of which it was created were too hetero- 
geneous. It is a question whether Charles himself 
really hoped or expected his empire to remain. 
Like his predecessors, he thought only of the equal 
division among his sons, and, as we have noted in 
the division he proposed in 806, no reference was 
made to the imperial power which he regarded as 

2,']^ The Age of Charlemagne. 

not to be considered in such a division or as some- 
thing personal to himself. Once, again, circum- 
stances over which he had no control conspired to 
make possible the longer continuance of imperial 
unity. Two of his three legitimate sons having 
died, Louis alone was left to receive the undivided 
inheritance from his father. Bernhard, however, 
the son of Pippin of Italy, who died in 8io, had 
received his father's share in Italy in 812 from the 
hands of Charles himself.' 

Louis, on the other hand, started out with a new 
policy, undoubtedly suggested by the pope, and 
one with which we ourselves cannot fail to sympa- 
thize. The chief difficulty was that he began too 
soon. He determined to preserve the unity of the 
imperial power, and to hand it on unbroken and 
undivided to one of his sons, and to give to the 
other two — for he had three sons, Lothair, Pippin, 
and Louis'' — kingdoms which they might hold in 
mutual dependence on their older brother. He 
thus departed from the old German custom of co- 
equal division, and introduced the rule of primo- 
geniture, the exclusive right of the firstborn. This, 
a peculiar and essential characteristic of feudalism, 
shows the influence that feudal principles already 
had gained. The results of this attempt will appear 
as the history proceeds. 

Louis was in Aquitania, and did not reach Aix-la- 
Chapelle until a month after his father's death. 
With the unanimous consent of all the Franks he 

' Einhard, " Vita Karoli," ch. xix. 

" Louis, the German, sometimes called Ludwig. 

Zeal of Louis. ' ^il^ 

ascended the throne, and at once took up the affairs 
of State. An important assembly was held in 
August of this same year. With commendable zeal 
he at once dispatched viissi to all parts of the em- 
pire to establish his authority, to administer justice 
and to remedy abuses. He summoned to him his 
nephew Bernhard, king of Italy, to receive his fealty, 
and sent him back laden with gifts, and assured of 
imperial favor and support. To his sons, Lothair 
and Pippin, he gave kingdoms as his father had 
given to him and his brothers. Lothair he estab- 
lished in Bavaria and Pippin in Aquitania. His 
third son, Louis, was too young to receive any ap- 
pointment.' Ambassadors and deputations, sent 
from many different peoples, were received and dis- 
missed. A new emperor, Leo V., having succeeded 
to the throne of Constantinople in 813, and having 
despatched ambassadors to the court of the Franks, 
an alliance was made with him. In the North, Louis 
took up the defence of Harold, the exiled king of 
the Danes, and the Saxons and other Northern 
tribes were ordered to make a campaign against the 
Danes in his support. Louis had gone further, and 
had undertaken to reform the morals of the court," 
which had been far from pure during the reign of 
Charles," but in so doing he had removed the chief 
friends and advisers of his father, thus permitting 
the beginning of an opposition party. At the head 
of this party were Adalhard, abbot of Corbie, and 

• " Einhardi Ann.," an. 814; M. G. SS., vol i., p. 201. 

" Borctius, vol. i., pp. 297, 298; "Cap. de Discip. Palat. 

* Einhard, "Vita," c. xviii. 

380 TJic Age of Charlemagne. 

his brother, Count Wala, cousins of Charles and 
grandsons of Charles Martel, their father being Bern- 
hard, Charles' uncle. Three of the illegitimate 
sons of Charles — Drogo, Hugo, and Theoderic — and 
the five sisters of Louis were induced to take up 
the monastic life, the favorite resort for dethroned 
sovereigns, royal rivals still dangerous, or persons 
whose presence might be disagreeable. 

The relations of Louis with the pope did not be- 
gin auspiciously. The Romans, followers, proba- 
bly, of the leaders in the revolt of 799, had taken 
advantage of the death of Charles and the removal 
of imperial protection to rise against Leo, and their 
conspiracy having been discovered, the pope him- 
self seized and publicly put to death all of the prin- 
cipal offenders. When this was reported to Louis 
he was highly indignant.' The pope had acted 
with a passion and severity unworthy of him and of 
his high office, and had also infringed upon the im- 
perial rights. Louis at once settled the affairs of 
Harold and of the Slavs, returned to his palace at 
Frankfort, and sent his nephew, Bernhard of Italy, 
who had been aiding him in his Northern campaign, 
to Rome to make an investigation. Bernhard was 
taken ill soon after his arrival, but sent back word 
to the emperor by Count Ceroid, informing him of 
all he had learned of the affair. Ceroid was followed 
by three papal legates sent to explain and to justify 
the pope's position and acts. In consequence of 
the shock and anxiety, the pope, who was now an 
old man, fell seriously ill. His enemies, now thor- 

1 " Einhardi Ann.," an. 815 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 202. 

The Papal Visit and Coronation. 381 

OLighly enraged, taking advantage of his illness, rose 
against him, pillaged and burned the farms he had 
established in the papal territories, and resolved to 
march to Rome to compel him to restore their con- 
fiscated property. Bernhard immediately de- 
spatched a force under Winnigis, duke of Spoleto, 
against them, and put down the uprising, reporting 
the affair to the emperor. On June 12th of the fol- 
lowing year, 816, Pope Leo died, and on the 22d 
Stephen V. was consecrated as his successor. The 
tumults and factions in Rome probably furnished 
the reason for such haste, and for not waiting for 
the imperial confirmation, a right which seems to 
have been unquestioned at this time. However, 
Stephen exacted from the Romans the oath of 
fealty to the emperor, and two months later he set 
out to visit Louis, having sent two legates to an- 
nounce his consecration, and to inform the emperor 
of his intended visit. 

The attitude of Louis to the bishop was as yet 
unknown. He was in a different position from that 
which Charles had occupied, having received his 
title and authority by inheritance, and having been 
crowned without the intervention of the pope or 
the presence of any papal legate. Louis at once 
set out to receive the pope at Rheims, and sent 
forward to meet him Theodulf, bishop of Orleans, 
John, the archbishop of Aries, and the archchaplain, 
Hildebald, archbishop of Cologne. The pope, ac- 
companied by King Bernhard, arrived al Rheims 
in October. Louis met him a mile from the cathe- 
dral, and threw himself at his feet. The pope an-. 

382 The Age of Charlemagne. 

nounced the reasons for his journey, the explanation 
of his position at Rome, the needs of the church, 
and his desire for the renewal of the compact of 
friendship and of support between emperor and pope. 

Gifts and courtesies were exchanged for three 
days, with frequent conferences regarding the re- 
lations of state and church, and proposed legisla- 
tion on the subject. The fourth day being Sunday, 
after celebrating mass the pope crowned Louis and 
the empress, Irmingard, having brought an imperial 
crown for the purpose from Rome. Louis, how- 
ever, already had spoken of himself as the " Em- 
peror Augustus by the ordinance of divine provi- 
dence," ' and it is doubtful if this coronation was 
regarded by him as anything more than his recog- 
nition by the church, and the sign and seal of the 
bond of union between the two. Yet in a capitulary 
of November, 816, issued just after the papal corona- 
tion, he says : " Crowned by divine will, ruling the 
Rome Empire," '" after which, however, he reverts 
to the earlier form. 

Stephen returned to Rome, where, possibly in 
fulfilment of the requirement made of him at this 
time, he assembled a synod and issued a decretal or- 
daining that in future the popes should be elected 
by the cardinal bishops and the Roman clergy, in 
the presence of the Roman Senate and people, but 
that their consecration should take place in the 
presence of the imperial ambassadors.' At the 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 261, " Constitutio prima," A.D. 815. 
'■' Ibid., vol. i., p. 267, "Cap. legi add." 

^ Lea, p. 42, referring to Gratian Decret., Dist. 63, Can. 28 ; AI' 
zog, vol. ij., p. 255, 

The Donation of Louis. 38 


same time the emperor held a council at his palace 
in Compiegne with his bishops, abbots, and counts, 
in which were drawn up capitularies setting forth 
the duel for the laity and the judgment of the cross 
for ecclesiastics, in order to settle cases when wit- 
nesses were hopelessly contradictory/ 

Stephen having died January 24th, 817, shortly 
after his return from the coronation of Louis, 
Paschal I. was unanimously elected and consecrated 
on the very next day. He at once sent presents to 
the emperor with a letter of excuse, in which he 
represented that the honor of the pontificate had 
been thrust upon him, not only in the face of his 
refusal, but in spite of all his efforts to resist it. 
He also sent an embassy to beg the emperor to 
ratify and confirm the alliance made with his pred- 
ecessors, a request which the emperor granted.'' 
At this time also Louis is said to have confirmed to 
the pope and to his successors the city of Rome 
with its duchy, the cities of Tuscany and Campagna, 
the exarchate of Ravenna, and the Pentapolis, 
which had been originally restored by his grand- 
father. Pippin, and his father, Charles ; the district 
of Sabina, as originally presented by his father, 
Charles ; places in Lombard Tuscany, the islands 
of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily, the patrimony in 
Benevento, Salerno, Calabria, and Naples, grant- 
ing also the free canonical election of the pope. 
Regarding this donation Lea very justly remarks : 

He took care to reserve to himself the sovereignty 

' Boretius, vol. i., p. 268, " Cap. legi add.," ch. i. 

" " Einhardi Ann.," an. 817 ; M.G. SS., vol. i., pp. 203, 204. 

384 The Age of Charlemagne. 

of the territories whose usufruct he bestowed on 
St. Peter, by the clause, ' Saving in all things our 
dominion over the said duchies and their subjection 
to us.' This clause and a succeeding one, by which 
the emperor reserves the right of interference in 
case of tyranny and oppression, dispose me strongly 
to regard the document as genuine. The abnega- 
tion of the right to control the papal elections is 
probably an interpolation of a later period, as also 
the extensive donations of territory in Central and 
Southern Italy, which either was retained by the 
Carolingian emperors or else never belonged to 
them." ' 

The general assembly for the year 817 was held 
in July at Aix-la-Chapelle, and here Louis carried 
out what had probably been his part of the arrange- 
ments arrived at in the conference with Stephen V. 
in the previous year. The entire German principle 
of inheritance was radically changed, that of primo- 
geniture being adopted in its place, and from this 
may be traced the beginning of the civil strife and 
discord which filled the rest of the period, and re- 
sulted in the final division of the empire in the 
treaty of Verdun, in 843, leaving the title of em- 
peror a merely nominal one. For at this assembly 
Lothair, the oldest son, was crowned by Louis, and 
associated with him in the title and dignity of em- 
peror,^ each of the two other sons receiving only the 
title of " king" and a limited territory. The ar- 
rangement established for this inheritance of the 

' Lea, pp. 165, 166 and note i ; Boehmer, vol. i., pp. 241, 242. 
' Jaffe, vol. iv., p. 445 ; Einhardi, Ep.-y. 

''The Regulation of the Empire^ 385 

power and possessions of Louis is set forth in the 
document" The Regulation of the Empire," though 
sometimes erroneously called the " Division of the 
Empire." '" It has not seemed wise," the emperor 
declared, " either to us or to those who know, that 
the unity of the empire, preserved to us by God, 
should be broken through love of our sons or 
through favor to any man, lest perchance in this 
way a cause of offence to holy church might arise, 
and we might incur the disapproval of him in whose 
power the laws of all kingdoms stand ; therefore, 
after three days of fasting, of alm.sgiving, and of 
prayer, in accordance with the divine will, it has 
pleased both us and all our people that our oldest 
son, Lothair, crowned by us with the imperial dia- 
dem, in the appointed manner, be constituted by 
the general vote our colleague and successor in the 
empire, if God so will ; but upon the others, his 
brothers. Pippin and Louis, it has pleased the gen- 
eral council to confer the royal dignity and to ap- 
point them over the places to be mentioned." Pip- 
pin accordingly was established as king over Aqui- 
tania and Gascony, with the Mark of Toulouse and a 
few estates in Burgundy, while Louis received 
Bavaria with some neighboring territory, the district 
which had been bestowed formerly upon Lothair. 

More or less independent rights were to be held 
by these two kings, but once a year they were, 
together or singly, to visit their older brother with 
gifts, which he was to return in larger measure, bear- 
ing them all possible aid whenever necessary They 
were not to undertake any wars against foreign ene- 

386 The Age of Charlemagne. 

mies without his permission, nor could either marry 
without his approval. If either of the brothers died 
leaving heirs, his kingdom was not to be divided 
among them, but was to go to the one whom the 
people might choose ; and if either of the brothers 
died without heirs, his kingdom was to revert to the 
older surviving brother.' 

Several capitularies also were put forth, probably 
at this same assembly, regarding the constitution 
and condition of the church. The Benedictine rule, 
as revived by Benedict of Aniane, was imposed 
anew upon all monasteries, and the canonical life, 
according to the rules of Chrodegang of Metz, was 
authoritatively established for all cathedral clergy. 
It was also declared that church property under 
Louis and his successors should suffer neither divi- 
sion nor diminution. Free episcopal elections were 
guaranteed, the ordination of serfs was regulated, 
episcopal authority sustained, and the safety and 
honor of churches upheld, together with minor regu- 
lations regarding the conduct of the clergy." Thus 
a strong political and ecclesiastical order seemed to 
have t)een secured. 

Hardly had the assembly been dissolved, how- 
ever, when word came to the emperor that his 
nephew, Bernhard, yielding to evil counsels, was 
about to declare himself independent, to overthrow 
Louis, and to usurp the imperial power. The 
causes of this conspiracy were said to have been the 
making of Lothair co-emperor, and the fact that in 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 270-273 ; " Ordinatio Imperii," A.D. 817. 
' Ibid., vol. i., pp. 273-278. 

Bernhard's Rebellion. 387 

the provisions of 817 Bernhard was not considered.* 
But the rebellion really had a deeper significance 
than this. Italy, it is said, was ready to cast off 
the imperial yoke. Two great bishops, Anselm of 
Milan and Wulfhold of Cremona, besides many 
nobles, had given him their allegiance as an inde- 
pendent sovereign, and Pope Paschal himself was 
believed to be favorably disposed." Louis imme- 
diately raised a large army and marched towards 
Italy. The premature exposure of the plot and 
the determination and resolution on the part of the 
emperor filled Bernhard with dismay, and, his sup- 
porters beginning to fall away from him, he himself 
threw down his arms and surrendered with his fol- 
lowers. Even Theodulf of Orleans was implicated. 
By the general assembly the nobles involved in this 
conspiracy were condemned to death, but by the 
clemency of the emperor the sentence was com- 
muted to blinding, from the effects of which Bern- 
hard died in three days, being then only nineteen 
years of age. The bishops who had taken part in 
the plan were degraded, and together with the em- 
peror's natural brothers, Drogo, Hugo, and The- 
odoric, sent into monasteries. 

In October, 818, the Empress Irmingard, whom 
Louis had married in 798, died, and, urged, it was 
said, by his nobles, who feared that he might give 
up the reigns of government and retire to a monas- 
tery, he was induced to marry again. The daugh- 
ters of the nobles were presented to him, and from 

• '' Chron. Moiss.," an. 817 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 312. 
^ Milman, bk. v., ch. ii. 

388 The Age of Charlemagne. 

them he selected as his wife Judith, the beautiful 
daughter of Count Welf, of noble lineage. In 821, 
at the assembly held in May of that year at Nime- 
guen, he republished the " Regulation of the Em- 
pire" made in 817, and had it confirmed by the 
oaths of the nobles. At the assembly held in Thion- 
ville in October, large numbers of the Franks were 
present, and the oath was taken by those \vho had 
not taken it in Nimeguen. Here the marriage of 
Lothair with Irmingard, the daughter of Count 
Hugo of Tours, was celebrated. An amnesty was 
declared for all who had taken part in the uprising 
under Bernhard, among whom was Theodulf of 
Orleans, and their possessions were restored to 
them. Adalhard was also recalled and again estab- 
lished as abbot of Corbie. Important capitularies 
were also put forth regarding the Diissi and their 

In 822, at a council held in Attigny, Louis effected 
a reconciliation with his natural brothers, Drogo, 
Hugo, and Theodoric, whom he had forced to take 
the tonsure. " In the presence of all the people," 
says the chronicler, " he made a full confession and 
submitted to penance for this act, as well as for his 
severities against Bernhard, and against the brothers 
Adalhard and Count Wala. He also, with scrupu- 
lous zeal, made every effort to seek out and to rem- 
edy all the unjust acts of the same sort committed 
either by his father or by himself." ' Whatever 
may be said of the religious nature of such an act, 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 2S8-291. 

"^ " Einhardi Ann.," an. 822 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 209. 

Papal Coronation of Lothair. 389 

it was not an edifying spectacle, and from a politi- 
cal point of view weakened instead of strengthened 
the emperor's position. 

After his self-humiliation, the Government of 
Italy, having become vacant by the death of Bern- 
hard, and severe disorders having arisen, he sent 
Lothair not as king, as some writers assert, but 
merely for the temporary purpose of restoring order, 
as the representative of the imperial power. Lo- 
thair took as his counsellors, Count, then Monk 
Wala, and Gerung, chief usher, to aid him in restor- 
ing peace and order.' Lothair had restored order 
to the Italian affairs, and was preparing to return 
when Paschalis sent for him to turn back and to visit 
Rome. With his father's knowledge and consent 
Lothair accepted the invitation. He was welcomed 
with great honor and rejoicing at Rome, and on 
Easter Day, 823, in St. Peter's Church, received 
the crown of the realm and the title of " Emperor 
and Augustus." The pope also granted to him the 
power over the Roman people which the previous 
emperors had held. He at once informed Louis in 
these words : '' By the chief pontiff and with your 
consent and will, I have received the benediction, 
the honor, the title of the imperial office, the crown, 
and the sword for the defence of the church and the 
empire." '' 

Here, again, Lothair received nothing that he 
did not have before, both in title and in power, and 

' " Einhardi Ann.,"an. 822 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 209 ; Boehmer, 
p. 273- 

"^ "Vita Walse," ii., 17 ; M. G. SS., vol. ii., p. 564 ; Boehmer, 
p. 275- 

390 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

therefore, as in the case of Louis, his father, this, 
too, could signify only a ceremony of ecclesiastical 
recognition and sanction. However, once more an 
emperor was crowned in Rome, and a strong and 
important precedent was being established. The 
motives of the popes are not far to seek, and their 
purpose begins already to appear. Two things 
were necessary to support them in the new and ex- 
alted position which the Carolingian Empire had 
made possible for them. First, to maintain by 
every means their alliance with the new empire 
which had been raised up, it might appear for the 
very purpose of their protection and defence ; and, 
secondly, to preserve the unity of that empire as 
far as possible in dependence, or at least in reliance 
upon them. 



1 K N 


OW, however, were about to appear the 
real difficulties in the way of carrying 
out the plans of Louis, and the fatal 
mistake which he had made in be""inninp; 
too soon his regulation of imperial affairs. 
On June 13th, 823, a son, the famous Charles the 
Bald, was born to Louis and his second wife, the 
young, beautiful, accomplished, and ambitious 
Judith, and the political aspirations of the mother, 
the aims and interests of the church, and the jeal- 
ousy of the other sons of Louis began to clash and 
to come into open conflict. Lothair, who had just 
returned with the report of what he had attempted 
and partially accomplished in Italy, stood as god- 
father at the baptism of the infant prince. The 


392 The Age of Charlemagne. 

next step was to provide a kingdom for him, as 
Louis had already done in the case of the other 
sons, Pippin and Louis the German. Lothair finally- 
agreed to his father's earnest request, and took an 
oath that whatever portion of the realm Louis 
might give Charles, he himself would be his guard- 
ian and protector against all his enemies. 

News now came to the emperor of still further 
disorders in Italy. The presence of Lothair in 
Italy, his energetic conduct, and his decision not to 
support the claims of the papacy over the privileges 
and immunities of the monastery of Farfa' had 
aroused the hostility of the Roman clergy, and at 
the same time drawn to his side the enemies of the 
temporal power, more frequently and firmly exer- 
cised by the pope. Thus two parties, an imperial 
and a papal, were forming in Rome, and new occa- 
sions of strife presented themselves. Two of the 
princes of the papal palace, Theodore and his son- 
in-law, Leo, had been blinded and then beheaded at 
the Lateran by order or counsel of the pope, it 
was said, and apparently without any trial, on ac- 
count of their unswerving loyalty to the young em- 
peror, Lothair.' 

Louis prepared to send his niissi, Adalung, abbot 
of Saint Vedast, and Humfrid, count of Coire, to 
make a thorough investigation, but before their de- 
parture the papal legates — John, bishop of Blanche- 
Selve, and Benedict, archdeacon of Rome — arrived, 
requesting the emperor to banish the suspicion that 

' Gregorovius, vol. iii., pp. 44-46. 

■ " Einhardi Ann.," an. 823 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., pp. 210, 211. 

Disorder in Italy. 393 

the pope had decreed the death of the two men, 
and proposing an investigation.' 

The emperor agreed to this, dismissed them, and 
despatched his commissioners to estabhsh the truth 
of the facts. But having arrived at Rome, they 
could not ascertain anything with certainty in the 
matter, because the pope, unwilhng to submit to 
the investigation, cleared himself by an oath, in 
which a large number of the bishops united. Fur- 
thermore, those who had committed the crime being 
serfs of the Roman Church, the pope took up their 
cause with great vigor, and maintained that the vic- 
tims had been guilty of high treason and had been 
justly put to death. Bishop John, the Librarian 
Sergius, and Leo, Master of the Knights, were then 
sent by him with the imperial commissioner to re- 
port this to the emperor. Of course Louis could 
do nothing, but the event illustrates the increased 
arrogance and independence of the pope, and the 
beginning of strained relations and conflict of 
authority with the emperor. Soon afterwards. May 
nth, 824, Paschalis died, and was buried in his own 
chapel, the Romans having refused him burial in 
St. Peter's Church.'' The parties in Rome at once 
divided in the new election, but the imperial party 
triumphed, through the influence of Wala, the im- 
perial counsellor, who was in Rome at the time, and 
Eugene IL was consecrated June nth ; not, how- 
ever, it is said, before he had taken an oath in rec- 

\ Astronomus, "Vita Hlud.," ch. xxxvii. ; Boehmer, p. 280; 
" Einhardi Ann.," an. 823 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 210. 
' Thegan, ch. xxx. 

394 ^/^^ ^<^^' '^f CJiai'lcnmgne. 

ognition of the imperial rights.' Having announced 
his election to Louis, the emperor sent Lothair as 
his associate in the empire to adjust the relations 
with the new pope and the Roman people by an 
imperial statute.* 

Honorably received by the people, Lothair ex- 
plained his commission. \\\ the events which fol- 
lowed there could be no question of the emperor's 
supremacy in Rome. He expressed his regret at 
the attitude asserted by the papacy towards the em- 
peror and towards Rome, and remonstrated against 
the violence and insults suffered by those who were 
friendly to the emperor and to the Franks. He 
censured the avarice and incapacity of the papal 
government, and the ignorance or indolence of the 
popes. He expressed his determination to reform 
such abuses. It was evident that " the already cor- 
rupt ecclesiastical state, which was nothing more 
than a great ecclesiastical immunity under imperial 
protection, demanded a firmer settlement." ' 

In fulfilment of this purpose Lothair issued as a 
capitulary in November, 825, the famous Roman 
Constitution, " Constitutio Romana. " " We have 
decreed," it declared, " that all under the protec- 
tion of the pope or emperor shall keep their rights 
inviolate, any infringement of them to be punished 
by death. No further depredations, called confisca- 
tions, shall be allowed, whether the pope be living 
or dead, and proper amendment must be made for 

' Pauli cont. Rom.; M. G. SS. Lang, p. 203 ; Boehmer, p. 281. 
' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 824 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 212. 
^ Gregorovius, vol. iii., p. 57. 

The Roman ConstittLtion. 395 

past misdeeds. § 3. It is our will that to the elec- 
tion of the pontiff no one may presume to go, 
neither freeman nor slave, who puts any obstacle in 
the way of the Romans, to whom alone the custom 
of electing the pontiff has been granted in accord- 
ance with the regulations of the holy fathers. If 
any one shall presume to do this against our orders, 
let him be sent into exile. 

" § 4. It is our will that two commissioners be 
appointed, one on our part and one on the part of 
the apostolic lord, who shall annually announce to us 
how each duke or judge administers justice to the 
people, and how they observe our established law. 
These commissioners we decree shall bring, first, to 
the notice of the apostolic lord all complaints which 
shall arise by reason of the negligence of the dukes 
or of the judges. Then either directly by these 
commissioners the necessary corrections shall be 
made, or if not, we must be notified by our com- 
missioners that by our commissioners, under our 
direction, the remedies may be applied. 

" All the Roman people are to be asked under 
what law (Frank, Lombard, Roman, or other) each 
will live, and each shall be judged according to that 
law. In regard to ecclesiastical properties unjustly 
invaded under any pretext, as if by license of the 
pontiff, and in regard to those which have not yet 
been restored, and yet have been unjustly invaded 
by the power of the pontiffs, it is our will that cor- 
rection be made by our commissioners. We forbid 
further depredations and other injustice within our 
territories, and those which have been committed 

396 The Age of Charlemagne. 

must be made good. We order also that all judges 
or others by whom judicial power is exercised, in 
this city of Rome, must come before us, that we 
may know their number and names and give a 
personal admonition to each. Lastly, every man 
who desires God's favor and ours must manifest 
all obedience and respect to the present pon- 

The oath to be taken by the Romans, binding 
them to the support of this constitution, was as fol- 
lows : " I promise by Almighty God, and by these 
four holy Gospels, and by this cross of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and by the body of the blessed Peter, 
prince of the apostles, that from this day I will be 
faithful to our lords, the emperors Louis and Lo- 
thair, all the days of my life, according to my 
strength and understanding, without fraud or evil 
intent, saving the fidelity I have promised to the 
apostolic lord ; and that I will not consent to the 
election of a pontiff in this Roman See otherwise 
than canonically and justly, according to my strength 
and understanding, and he who shall be elected by 
my consent shall not be consecrated pontiff until he 
has taken by oath, in the presence of the commis- 
sioners of the lord emperor and of the people, a 
pledge such as the Lord Pope Eugene has taken in 
writing of his own accord for the preservation of 

It is probable that by Lothair's regulation of 

' Boretius, vol. i., pp. 322-324; " Constitutio Romana," A.D. 

* Boretius, vol. i., p. 324. 

Gregory IV. 397 

affairs greater rights were given to the Roman peo- 
ple, and perhaps a larger share in the choice of their 
magistrates. At any rate, peace reigned during 
the six years' pontificate of Eugene II., and it is a 
significant fact that in the " Pontifical Book" of 
the lives of the popes the life of Eugene occupies 
only one or two lines. His successor, Valentine I., 
had occupied the papacy for only a few days when 
he died, and Gregory IV. succeeded him. Einhard 
significantly remarks that he was not consecrated 
until the imperial legate came to Rome and exam- 
ined the election of the people to find out how it 
had been conducted.' During his long pontificate, 
827-844, took place the great events connected with 
the breaking up of the unity of the Carolingian Em- 
pire. In 829 Charles, the young son of the beauti- 
ful Judith, being six years of age, the emperor de- 
termined to provide for him a kingdom, as he had 
done already for his brothers, and according to the 
agreement made with Lothair at the young child's 
baptism. At an assembly held in Worms in August, 
in the presence of Lothair and Louis of Bavaria, he 
assigned to Charles Alemannia, Rhaetia, and part of 
Burgundy, over which Charles was appointed duke. 
This arrangement was the first step for Charles tow- 
ards carrying out the ambitious plans of his mother 
to create for him a kingdom, and from this time 
until the emperor's death, in 840, no less than five 
divisions of the empire were made to satisfy the 
growing demands of the empress and her son. 
This first division affected only Lothair, who had 
" Einhardi Ann.," an. 827 ; M. G. SS. , vol, i., p. 216. 

398 The Age of Charlemagne. 

already promised, as we have seen, to give to 
Charles whatever district of the empire his father 
might desire. But now, when the young favorite's 
portion threatened to diminish so greatly the part 
assigned to him in 817, goaded on by his father-in- 
law and by other of his intimate followers, he began 
to consider how he could annul what he had done. 
Even although the division and formal settlement 
of 817 were not yet abolished, it seemed in the view 
of the other brothers only a question of time when 
this would occur, and that, sooner or later, if Louis 
remained under the influence which at present ruled 
him, Charles was destined to be his successor in the 
government of the empire.' 

Already two parties were forming in the empire — 
the party of the young emperor, Lothair, and the 
party of the empress and her son. To the former 
belonged by natural af^filiation Lothair' s two broth- 
ers, with their immediate relations and followers, 
and the counsellors and advisers whom Lothair had 
gathered around him in anticipation of the time 
when, according to the expressed will of his father, 
he should be sole emperor. To the other belonged 
the empress and those upon whom her fascinations 
had been exerted, notably a certain Bernhard, count 
of Barcelona, son of Duke William of Toulouse, 
who up to this time had held the command of the 
Spanish Mark. The emperor himself was under the 
control of this party. The older sons, who for so 
long had regarded the empire as settled on them- 
selves, were naturally indignant, and opposition was 

1 "Ann. Mett.," an. 830 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 330. 

Tzvo Counter ATeasicres. 399 

raised against the emperor, in which opposition 
Hugo, Lothair's father-in-law, was quite prominent. 
Discovering the plots against him, the emperor, or 
rather the party under whose influence he acted, 
conceived two counter measures. By the first, 
Lothair, after the conclusion of the assembly, was 
dismissed into Italy, and we note that the years of 
his reign are counted from this time. By this act 
Lothair was confined to Italy and excluded from 
a share in the imperial functions.' With this ex- 
clusion vanishes for the time the essential element 
of the " Regulation" of 817, the supremacy of one 
brother over the others. By the second, Duke 
Bernhard was called to be chamberlain of the palace, 
the young Charles was placed under his protection, 
and he himself was raised to be the second man in 
the kingdom, next to the emperor ; * this latter 
being a measure which did not tend to eradicate the 
seeds of discord, but rather increased them. Yet 
Christmas, we are told by the chronicler, was cele- 
brated with great joy and exultation.' In the spring 
of the next year Bernhard, by his own advice, being 
sent with the whole Prankish army against Brittany,* 
it was urged as a serious charge against the emperor, 
that against the Christian religion, and in spite of 
his vow, without any public utility or real neces- 
sity, but deluded by the counsels of depraved ad- 
visors, he had ordered a general expedition to be 
made in Lent, and had held an assembly on Maundy 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 445, 446 ; " Einhardi," Ep. 7. 

' " Einhardi Ann.," an. 829 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 218. 

3 Ibid. 

* " Ann. Bert.," an. 830 ; M. G. SS., vol. i., p. 423. 

400 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Thursday.' In April rebellion broke out, the im- 
mediate cause being the dominant political influence 
of the empress. Her stepsons and some of the 
nobles with them, being influenced by hate and 
jealousy against her and her own son, as they saw 
the control which she exercised over their father, 
felt that they had strong ground for fear that Charles 
might at last succeed as heir to his father's rule. 

Louis was popular with his subjects, gentle- 
minded, and for the most part a lover of mercy and 
justice, as well as active and brave. He had been 
bold, resolute, firm, and wise. He had issued laws 
for the regulation of the state and for the reform of 
the church ; he had sent his royal commissioners to 
administer justice and to do away with usurped 
rights ; by royal authority he had imposed upon 
all monks the Benedictine rule revived by Benedic- 
tus of Ainane ; upon all cathedral clergy the rules 
of the canonical life instituted by Chrodegang ; he 
had crowned his oldest son as co-emperor, and had 
assigned their rights and titles to the other two ; 
he had suppressed rebellion and overthrown those 
opponents who resisted him. 

Thus with a milder and purer character, Louis 
seemed to keep up the vigor of his father's rule, 
and to have inherited his father's power and for- 
tune. Never had the boundaries of the empire 
been so extended or its authority appeared so com- 
manding. Without his father's faults he had 
reached to more than even his father's greatness. 

' " Ann. Bert. Mett. Exanctoratio," ch. iii. ; M. G. SS., vol. iii., 
p. 368. See Boehmer, p. 310. 

Emhard's Farewell Letter to Lot hair. 401 

But it was the illusion of only sixteen years. It 
was true that he had not his father's faults, but it 
was proved at last that he had not his father's 
strength. The show of prosperity and success dur- 
ing the first half of his reign was in the latter half 
to end in gloomy and hopeless confusion. 

The influence of unworthy advisers became more 
and more predominant, and Louis proves his right 
to the surname of " Pious," with its weaker mean- 
ing of superstitious, credulous, and pliant. 

At about this time Einhard, whose annals we 
have been following, seeing the approaching storm, 
unwilling probably to desert the emperor, and yet 
feeling that the future lay with Lothair, took part 
for the last time, in 829, in the celebration of Christ- 
mas at the court, and having obtained the imperial 
permission retired to Seligenstadt, and his annals 
cease with the ending of his political career. He 
died the same year as his emperor, 840. As he left 
the court he addressed an earnest letter to Lothair, 
which is worthy of record. In it he declares how 
difficult it is to express his zeal and earnestness for 
the young emperor's career, since both he and his 
father have been the object of his love and prayers, 
and he has ever tried to give him careful and earnest 
advice for correction of morals, and for the attain- 
ment of that which was useful and honorable, and 
that now, though his labor might seem less useful 
than it ought, his own faithfulness will not allow 
him to be silent. He must still give advice for his 
young emperor's safety and warn him of his danger. 
" It has come to my notice," he says, " that certain 

402 The Age of Charlemagne. 

men seeking their own advantage rather than yours, 
appealing to your good nature, are trying to pur- 
suade you that, putting away the paternal counsel 
and your obedience and due allegiance, you should 
leave the country committed to your rule and pro- 
tection by your most pious father, and strive for 
that which is against his consent and expressed 
order, and remain near him, although it does not 
please him. What more perverse or dishonorable 
thinpf than this could be conceived ! See what sort 
of persuasion that is, and how evil ! It exhorts 
you to despise that divine precept which bids us 
honor our parents, and promises long life as the re- 
ward of keeping the commandment. They bid you 
lay aside your obedience and substitute rebellion for 
it, and call upon you to array yourself with boastful 
pride against him in submission to whom you ought 
humbly to act. They would force you to stifle your 
filial tenderness with contempt and disobedience. 
Thus charity despised, discord, which never ought 
to be named between you, increases more and more, 
until, between those with whom love ought to be, 
hatred springs forth. May this never come to pass, 
for I know how great an abomination in the sight of 
God is a stubborn and disobedient son, since God, 
by the mouth of Moses, as we may read in the Book 
of Deuteronomy, commands that such a son should 
be stoned by all the people. Wherefore, I deem it 
right to admonish you that, by the prudence given 
you by Almighty God, you may avoid your danger, 
for this divine sentence cannot be despised by any 
one, since it is one out of many which our elders 

The Feudal Clergy. 403 

and doctors have handed down, as well for present 
as for ancient times, to be observed by Christians 
as well as by Jews. God knows I love you, and 
therefore I so faithfully admonish you. Do not 
regard the insignificance of my person, but rather 
consider the wholesomeness of my counsel." ' 

But as Einhard said in his letter, Lothair was ob- 
stinate and headstrong, and the rebellion went on. 
Already the emperor began to appear as but one of 
many sovereigns, with an imperial title, indeed, but 
with less and less of the supreme authority. Now 
also the central power began to be still further 
weakened by the rise of the great feudal aristocracy. 
The archbishops, bishops, and abbots, growing in 
wealth and in influence, formed a great feudal clergy, 
and appear as the great arbiters and awarders of em- 
pire and the deposers of kings. '^ In this we note 
one of the most important as well as characteristic 
features of the time, the increasing prominence of 
the clergy in secular affairs, a prominence which 
becomes especially notable during the closing years 
of the reign of Louis. This was due not only to the 
increased wealth and importance arising from their 
feudal position and power, but also to the increased 
prominence of the church and its ability to use its 
powerful and complete organization for the further- 
ance of its own ends and purposes. 

The great lay counsellors of Charles the Great 
were succeeded by the clerical counsellors and poli- 
ticians of the later empire. 

' Jaffe, vol. iv., pp. 445, 446 ; Einhardi, Ep. 7, A.D. 830. 
' Milman, bk. v., ch. ii. 

404 The Age of Charlemagne. 

The first open act of rebellion was the refusal of 
the feudal army to engage in the war in Brittany, to 
which, in April, 830, it was summoned, it is said, 
by the advice of Bernhard.' Instead of proceeding 
to Brittany, Lothair, of Italy, and Pippin, of Aqui- 
tania, with their followers, assembled at Paris, and 
advanced against their father with the purpose of 
overthrowing him, destroying their stepmother, and 
putting Bernhard to death. Bernhard sought safety 
in flight, but the emperor advanced to meet them 
in Compiegne, where Pippin, with the approval of 
Lothair, seized his father, deprived him of his royal 
power, and forced the empress to take the veil, send- 
ing her to the monastery of Saint Radegund, in 
Poitou. Her brothers, Conrad and Rudulf, they 
compelled to take the tonsure and enter a monastery. 
After the octave of Easter, Lothair arrived from 
Italy and held an assembly at Compiegne, in which 
further vengeance was visited upon the members of 
the imperial party, Heribert, the brother of Bern- 
hard, being blinded. Lothair was joined by Pippin, 
with whom were the chief men of the empire whom 
Louis had discarded for his new friends. At this 
assembly the emperor was declared to have forfeited 
the royal power, and was retired to private life.* In 
the next year peace seems to have been restored. 
The brothers recognized, in the face of the storm 
of general disapprobation with which their treat- 
ment of their father was received, that they had 
gone too far and too fast, and accordingly, at the 
assembly held in February, 831, the emperor was 

* See above, p. 399. ' Boehmer, pp. 31 1-3 14. 

Demands of Charles the Bald. 405 

restored, the empress allowed to clear herself by an 
oath, and no one accusing her of any crime, she 
was released and given back to Louis. A general 
amnesty was declared, and the sons departed to 
their separate kingdoms— Lothair to Italy, Pippin to 
Aquitania, and Louis to Bavaria. It is said that on 
this occasion a new document of division was put 
forth, by which Lothair was to be left in Italy, 
while the rest of the empire was to be divided so 
that Pippin should have almost all Gaul, Louis 
almost all Germany, and Charles a piece between, 
including most of Burgundy and a large wedge of 
territory cutting in between the lands of his broth- 
ers along the middle Rhine and the Moselle. This 
scheme seems to have been nearly a copy of that 
planned by Charles the Great in 806, but was never 
carried out. It shows, however, the increasing de- 
mands of the party of Charles the Bald, and is a 
step in the progress by which he attained his king- 
dom. Soon after, the sons were once more sum- 
moned to their father's court, and Lothair received 
an honorable reception. Pippin, however, delayed 
his coming, and was, in consequence, coldly received. 
This made him angry, and he hastened back to 

News came now that Louis with his Bavarian 
army was about to attack the territory of the young 
Charles, and was on his way to invade the domains 
of his father. The emperor at once ordered all the 
people of Eastern and Western Francia to assemble 
at Mainz, v/here he formed his army and crossed 
the Rhine to Tribur. Louis with his Bavarians, 

4o6 TJie Age of Charlemagne. 

receiving reports of the vigorous resolution and 
large forces of his father, lost courage and returned 
to Bavaria, while many of his followers deserted to 
the emperor. The latter continued his march, be- 
holding the devastation which the Bavarian soldiers 
had wrought in Alemannia, proceeded to August- 
burg, and there, in 832, met Louis, and forgave him. 
Louis promised with an oath not to offend in such a 
way again. The emperor then returned to Mainz. 
Calling Pippin to him later, he reprimanded him for 
his conduct, and ordered him to proceed to Francia, 
there to await his coming, but Pippin disregarded 
his father's commands, and returned to his kingdom 
of Aquitania. In the following year, 833, the 
brothers again broke out in rebellion, and the em- 
peror was obliged to summon his army, which he 
did in June, and advanced against them, desiring, if 
possible, to win them over by peaceable means, but 
determined, if these failed, to resort to arms. The 
rebellious army was drawn up at Redfield, and with 
it were Lothair, of Italy, who brought with him 
Pope Gregory IV., Pippin of Aquitania, and Louis 
of Bavaria. Then occurred that sad event which 
changed the name of the place from Redfield to 
" Liigenfeld," the Field of Lies, for by treachery 
and deceit the soldiers of Louis were won over to 
the side of his rebellious sons, and the emperor was 
left alone. Once again he was sent into exile, and 
Lothair, seizing the royal power, allowed the pope 
to return to Rome, and his brothers, Pippin and 
Louis, to their kingdoms. But Lothair, taking his 
father with him, went to Soissons, and there placed 

Deposition of the E]}ipe7'or. 407 

him under guard in the monastery of St. Medard, 
and then took the young Charles and sent him to 
the monastery of Prum, much to the grief of his 
father. In October Lothair held the assembly at 
Compiegne, and there the bishops, abbots, counts, 
and all the people presented to him the annual gifts, 
according to the imperial custom, and swore fealty 
to him. He also received the ambassadors who had 
been sent to his father with their gifts from Con- 
stantinople. At this assembly many crimes were 
charged against the emperor, and foremost among 
his accusers was Ebbo, archbishop of Rheims, said 
to have been a foster-brother and fellow-disciple of 
the emperor ; ' Louis was forced to lay aside his arms 
and kingly garb, and was cut off from all intercourse 
with any except the deputies of Lothair ; but even 
then Lothair, fearful that he might escape, kept 
him with him, and finally brought him to Aix-la- 
Chapelle, where he spent the winter. His brother 
Louis, at a conference with him, urged a milder 
treatment, but Lothair paid no heed, and Louis 
began to plan for his father's rescue. The emperor 
being treated more and more cruelly, the two broth- 
ers. Pippin and Louis, in 834, summoned their fol- 
lowers to arms against Lothair, who was forced to 
leave his father in Paris and to save himself by 
flight. The bishops who were present there brought 
about a reconciliation with the emperor in the church 
of St. Denis, and once more clothed him in his 
royal robes and restored to him his arms. With 
much rejoicing Louis restored his two sons to his 

' Fiodoard, p. 193. 

4o8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

favor, and having expressed his gratitude to them 
and to all the people, he dismissed Pippin to his king- 
dom, and took Louis with him to Aix-la-Chapelle. 
Here with his counsellors and chief men he discussed 
the position of Lothair. Messengers were sent to 
all parts of the empire announcing his restoration 
and claiming the allegiance of all. Meanwhile 
Lothair had fled to Vienne, and there Louis sent 
promises of forgiveness, calling upon Lothair to re- 
turn. Lothair, however, refused, and it having 
been learned that a plot was on foot to murder the 
empress, she was taken from the monastery and 
brought unharmed to the emperor. Together with 
Louis, joined also by his other son. Pippin, he ad- 
vanced against Lothair, and finally induced hirh to 
submit, offering to him the kingdom of Italy and 
agreeing to preserve the life and property of his 

Thus the first stage of the rebellion was ended, 
but Ebbo, the archbishop of Rheims, who had been 
the prime mover in the revolt, made a public con- 
fession in the church, declaring that the emperor 
had been unjustly deposed, and that the charges 
made against him were false and unfounded. All 
repaired to the palace, where Ebbo in full synod 
confessed himself guilty of a capital crime, pro- 
claimed himself unworthy of his episcopal office, and 
confirmed this in writing. By a unanimous decision 
he was then deposed. Further attempts were made 
to reconcile Lothair in 836, and he was induced to 
send as ambassadors the abbot Wala and Eberhard, 
the son of Count Berengar, to treat for a settlement 

Reviewed Opposition. 409 

of their mutual relations, Lothair promising to 
attend the assembly at Worms in September, from 
which, however, he was kept by sickness. 

In October of the following year the emperor 
made another attempt to enlarge and extend the 
territory of Charles. A new district was assigned 
to him, consisting of the greater part of the old Bel- 
gium territory, including Friesland, the land between 
the Maas and the Seine, and back as far as Bur- 
gundy, including in the eastern part some of the 
territory between the Seine and Loire. Accordingly 
in his presence the bishops, abbots, counts, and 
royal vassals who held fiefs within this territory 
commended themselves to Charles, and took the 
oath of fealty to him. 

In the spring of 838 news came to the emperor 
that his sons Louis and Lothair were in conference 
together. Messengers were immediately despatched 
declaring the displeasure of the emperor and threat- 
ening them with force. Louis immediately returned 
and shrewdly made peace with his too credulous 
father. An attack by the Saracens in the South 
forced the emperor to summon a general assembly 
in the middle of August at Kiersy. Here, with 
the aid and support of Pippin, Charles received the 
knightly belt, and a part of Neustria, consisting of 
the duchy of Maine and all of Western Gaul, be- 
tween the Loire and Seine, was conferred upon him. 
At the close of the year Pippin, the king of Aqui- 
tania, died, leaving two sons, Pippin and Charles. 
In 839 a further arrangement of the territory of the 
empire was made at an assembly at Worms. In 

4IO The Age of Charlemagne. 

May Lothair was received by his father, and fear 
being expressed on account of the approaching old 
age and weakness of the emperor, he was urged to 
make a final provision for the future. The em- 
press, remembering the promise made by Lothair 
at the baptism of her son, proposed to Lothair the 
division of the whole kingdom, with the exception 
of Bavaria, between himself and Charles. Lothair 
agreed to this, and it was confirmed by an oath. 

A reconciliation was effected with the emperor, 
and Lothair fell at his feet and asked to be restored 
to his earlier place. The emperor was induced to 
agree to this arrangement made between Charles 
and Lothair, and the empire was divided into two 
parts, and Lothair given the choice. One half in- 
cluded Italy, part of Burgundy, and the country 
east and north of the Rhone, and from there along 
the Maas to the sea, including Ripuaria, Worms, 
Speier, Alsatia, Alemannia, Thuringia, Saxony, and 
Friesland ; the other half included Burgundy, the 
country west of the Rhone, along the Maas to the 
sea, land between the Maas and the Seine and be- 
tween the Seine and the Loire, with the Mark of 
Brittany, Aquitania, Wasconia, Septemania, and 
Provence. Lothair chose the former, east of the 
Maas, and promised to hand over the other half to 
Charles. The brothers were to come into complete 
possession, however, only after their father's death. 
In July Lothair returned to Italy with rich gifts, his 
father binding him with the strongest oaths. To 
Louis the emperor sent messengers confirming his 
possession of the territory of Bavaria, and command- 

Death of Louts the Pious. 411 

I'ng him not to pass beyond its boundaries witliout 
his consent, and requiring from him an oath to that 
effect. The refusal of Louis to comply with these 
conditions forced the emperor to take arms against 
his son, and in 840, after having celebrated Easter 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, he crossed the Rhine and forced 
Louis into flight. Returning from this campaign, 
he was taken ill at Mainz, and died on June 20th. 

The death of the emperor was the signal for a 
great struggle between the brothers. Lothair, hav- 
ing learned of the death of his father, hastened from 
Italy into Gaul, and boasting of the name of " em- 
peror," armed himself against both of his brothers, 
Louis and Charles, and sought battle with both, but 
not successfully. Louis and Charles, one on one 
side, and one on the other side of the Rhine, partly 
by force, partly by threats, partly by promises of 
honor and by other conditions, reconciled and united 
their followers, and Lothair," having attacked Louis 
at Mainz, crossed the Rhine, and forced him to re- 
tire to Bavaria. He then turned his arms against 
Charles, but without success, Louis rendering aid to 
his brother. 

The young nephew. Pippin, claiming the inher- 
itance of his father in Aquitania, found his claims 
slighted and his possessions seized by his uncle 
Charles. He accordingly joined his forces with 
those of Lothair, who was preparing to meet the 
allied brothers in a final struggle. It was said that 
Charles and Louis were anxious to avoid a battle, 
but Lothair insisted, claiming the empire. The 
battle was fought at Fontenay, near Auxerre, in 

412 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Lower Burgundy, on June 25th, 843, and ended in 
a complete victory for the German forces, under 
Charles and Louis, against the Romanic army of 
Lothair. In view of their success the two brothers 
met at Strassburg, and entered into a mutual agree- 
ment, binding themselves, each to the other, to resist 
the demands of Lothair. " Here, for the first 
time," says Emerton, " we have a distinct recog- 
nition of difference of race and language as a basis 
of political action among the Franks. The kings 
first addressed the * people' — that is, the army, 
each in his own language. 

Then Louis, being the elder, took oath in the 
lingua romana, as follows : 

Pro Deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro 
commun salvament, dist di in avant, in quant Deus 
savir et podir me dunat, si salvaraeio cist meon 
fradre Karlo et in adiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si 
cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il 
mi altresi fazet ; et ab Ludher nul plaid numquam 
prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in 
damno sit.' 

" After this Charles repeated the same oath in the 
lingua teudisca : 

" ' In Godes minna ind in thes christianes folches 
ind unser bedhero gealtnissi, fon thesemo dage 
frammordes, so fram so mir Got gewizci indi madh 
furgibit, so haldih tesan minan bruodher, soso, man 
mit rehtu sinan bruodher seal, in thiu, thaz er mig 
sosoma duo ; indi mit Ludherem in nohheiniu thing 
ne gegango, the minan Avillon imo ce scadhen 

The Strassbu7'-g Oaths. 413 

The translation of the oath is as follows : 
For the love of God, and for the sake as well of 
our peoples as of ourselves, I promise that from this 
day forth, as God shall grant me wisdom and 
strength, I will treat this, my brother, as one's 
brother ought to be treated, provided that he shall 
do the same by me. And with Lothair I will not 
willingly enter into any dealings which may injure 
this, my brother.' 

Then the followers of the kings took oath, each 
in his own language, that if their own king should 
violate his agreement, they would refuse to aid him 
against the brother who should have kept his word. 

These oaths, valuable to us as a proof of j ust how 
things stood between the rival kings in the year 842, 
have an especial value as the earliest specimens of 
the old-romance and the old-germanic languages. 
We see here the former just emerging from the an- 
cient Latin, and reminding us already of the later 
French, Spanish, and Italian. We see the latter, 
without any admixture of the Latin, already so like 
the modern German, English, and Dutch that one 
can read it without much difficulty." ' 

In the next year, 843, Lothair, convinced of the 
futility of any further attempts, met with his broth- 
ers at Verdun, and negotiations were begun, result- 
ing in the treaty of Verdun, which is rightly re- 
garded as marking the end of the Carolingian Em- 
pire, and the beginning of the nations of modern 
Europe. Although in 885 the Carolingian ruler of 
the East, Charles the Fat, who had been crowned 
' Emerton, pp. 26-28. 

414 The Age of Charlemagne. 

emperor by the pope in 881, was acknowledged by 
the nobles of the West to be their king as well, and 
so once more the empire was united under one rule. 
The unity could not last long. A treaty made with 
the Northmen in 886, which opened to the invading 
barbarians a way to the rich lands of Upper Bur- 
gundy, alienated and offended the subjects. In 887 
the empire once more broke up, and six different 
kingdoms appeared — Germany, Italy, Burgundy, 
Prov^ence, and, in the West, Neustria and Aquitania. 
The latter united into one under Hugh Capet in 987. 



|N spite of all this confusion and disturb- 
ance, Christianity was reaching out for 
new victories. When the embassy came 
to Louis, asking him to help the royal 
party of the Danes in their endeavor to 
maintain their king, Harold, on his throne, Louis 
took occasion to send back with them a missionary 
to introduce Christianity, Ebbo, archbishop of 
Rheims, undertook this work at the emperor's re- 
quest in 822. With him was associated Halitgar, 
the bishop of Combray. So successful were they, 
that, in 826, when Harold appeared again at the 
court of Louis, he and his wife were both baptized, 
Louis standing as godfather to Harold and Judith 
as godmother to the queen. The presents and en- 
tertainment which the new converts received went 


41 6 The Age of Chai'lemagnc. 

far towards making the example of the king a popu- 
lar one to follow. When he returned Ansgar, a 
young monk of Corbie, brought up under Paschasius 
Radbertus, and under Wala, the abbot of New 
Corbie, accompanied him and continued the work 
of converting the Danes. But the people, sus- 
picious of the Franks and of their religion, again 
drove out Harold, and Ansgar was obliged to retire. 
A way was opened to him for a larger work. Chris- 
tian captives had brought their religion to the atten- 
tion of the people in Sweden, and when Swedish 
envoys appeared at the court of the emperor they 
asked for teachers of Christianity. The Danish mis- 
sion being put in charge of the monk Gieslemar, 
Ansgar was selected by Louis for this new v/ork. 
Accompanied by Witmar, a monk of Corbie, he em- 
barked for Sweden in 829 ; returning two years 
afterwards, Louis decided that the time had come 
for carrying out the plans of Charles ; accordingly 
he established a metropolitanate at Hamburg as a 
centre for the Northern missions, and Ansgar was 
sent to Rome to receive the papal confirmation and 
the pall. Gregory IV. confirmed his work, raised 
him to the archiepiscopal dignity, and conferred 
upon him, together with Archbishop Ebbo, charge 
of the missions in the North. 

In attempting to renew his work among the Danes, 
he purchased captives, that he might train a native 
clergy for a people too proud to receive their relig- 
ion from foreigners. The death of Louis and the 
division of the empire deprived him of a friendly 
protector, and the conquest and pillage of Hamburg 

A lis gar, the Apostle of the North. 417 

by the Normans, in 845, seemed almost like utter 
ruin. At the same time his mission in Sweden was 
destroyed, and Gauzbert, whom he had consecrated 
as its bishop, was driven out. 

His faith and perseverance would not allow him 
to despair ; indeed, at this very time his affairs 
changed for the better. The bishopric of Bremen 
becoming vacant, King Louis of Germany offered it 
to him. At first he refused it, as, being under the 
archbishopric of Cologne, confusion and trouble 
might arise if he tried to associate it with Hamburg. 
After long negotiations, however, it was finally 
arranged in 849, when Ansgar received it and united 
it with the See of Hamburg, the change being ap- 
proved by the pope. From this time, as safer and 
less exposed to attack and invasion, it became the 
seat of the archbishop. Success now was assured. 
He was able to win over Horik, or Eric, the savage 
king of Jutland, and not only in ecclesiastical, but 
in political affairs, became his chief confidant and 
adviser in his relations with the empire. Horik per- 
mitted Ansgar to introduce Christianity among his 
people, to lay the foundations of a church in Schles- 
wig, and to establish Christianity there. In 851 
Ansgar revived his mission among the Swedes, send- 
ing to them the hermit Ardgar, who remained there 
but a short time, however, and in 853 Ansgar, ac- 
companied by a priest named Erimbert, went back 
to them. 

Olaf, the king, supported by the nobles and peo- 
ple, after appealing to the heathen lots, received him 
favorably, and having settled Erimbert there he re- 


41 8 The Age of Charlemagne. 

turned to his own diocese in 854. Ansgar was able 
to accomplish more, because he and his missionaries 
asked nothing from the people, supporting them- 
selves by their own labor or by voluntary gifts ; in- 
deed, they made presents to the kings and nobles, 
thus gaining protection and support. Not the least 
of Ansgar' s powers lay in his own earnest and reso- 
lute, but humble and Christlike setting forth of the 
Gospel in his own life. Rightly has he been called 
the " Apostle of the North." When it was said of 
him, as of others at that time, that his prayers 
wrought miracles in healing the sick, he replied : 
" Could I deem myself worthy of such a favor from 
the Lord, I would pray him to vouchsafe me but 
one miracle, that out of me, by his grace, he would 
make a good man." ' 

Having labored for nearly thirty-five years among 
these people of the North, he was seized by a severe 
illness, from which he suffered for four months, until 
at last he entered into rest, February 3d, 865, at the 
age of sixty-four years. Erimbert was his faithful 
disciple and successor in the See of Hamburg- 
Bremen, but the continued invasions of the ninth 
and tenth centuries delayed for long the progress of 
the work. It was not until the eleventh century, 
under Cnut, in Denmark, under Olaf Skotkonung, 
in Sweden, and under Olaf, the Holy, in Norway, 
that Christianity was finally established in these 
countries of the far North. 

Eastward Christianity spread by the efforts of 
Arno, archbishop of Salzburg, under Charles the 

' Neander, vol. iii., p. 287. 

Ecclesiastical Politicians. 419 

Great, and of Urolf, archbishop of Lorch, under 
Louis the Pious. Their work was taken up and 
extended among the Moravians by two Greek 
monks, Cyril and Methodius, and in 867 the latter 
was consecrated by Pope Hadrian II. as metropoli- 
tan of Pannonia and Moravia, promising obedience 
to Rome.' 

But not all the bishops were thus engaged or even 
interested. The discipline of Charles the Great, 
though reinforced by Louis in the Benedictine re- 
forms and by the establishment of the canonical 
life, was relaxed. Secular affairs engrossed the 
higher ecclesiastics, and ignorance began to charac- 
terize the lower clergy. The election of bishops, 
in spite of laws and attempted reforms, came more 
and more under the control of the emperor and 
kings. Men like Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, 
might stand firm and resist, but he was an exception in 
many ways. Indeed, Ampere speaks of him as " the 
greatest political personage of the ninth century." ' 
It soon became a common thing for the kings to 
appoint men from among the clergy of their own 
court to the more important bishoprics. The 
bishops themselves recognized that it was to their 
interest to bring their churches into dependence 
upon their rulers. This tendency was carried even 
further, and firmly crystallized in feudalism, where 
the large ecclesiastical estates and properties, to- 
gether with the powers political as well as ecclesias- 
tical exercised by the bishops and abbots, forced 

' Neander, vol. iii., p. 317, note i, 
' Ampdre, vol. iii., p. 92. 

420 The Age of Charlemagne. 

them to become an integral part of the feudal order. 
In connection with the ceremonial attending the act 
of homage to the lord, and the conferring of the 
rights and privileges upon the vassal, various sym- 
bols were used to indicate the different official rela- 
tions of the vassals. A similar custom came into 
use in connection with the consecration of bishops 
and abbots. Already in the fifth century the pope 
had introduced the custom of conferring the pall 
upon distinguished prelates as a mark of the favor 
and authorization of the Roman See and of their 
allegiance to it. With the development and exten- 
sion of the feudal relation, bishops and abbots, at 
their consecration, were invested with the sceptre, 
the crozier, and the ring as symbols of their official 
authority and position. The objectionable feature 
lay in the fact that these symbols, representing 
spiritual no less than temporal authority, were con- 
ferred by the secular power, not only seeming to 
imply that the civil ruler was the source of their 
authority, but also emphasizing and even increasing 
their dependence upon him. Thus a strong secu- 
larizing tendency began to exert an almost irresisti- 
ble influence. Few prelates distinguished between 
their spiritual and their temporal interests and func- 
tions, and with very many of them political and 
secular affairs were the most absorbing. In the 
struggles of the ninth century the great church 
prelates take the place of the secular nobles in politi- 
cal influence and counsel. Ebbo, and later Hinc- 
mar, of Rheims, Agobard, of Lyons, Theodulf, of 
Orleans, are only a few of the more prominent 

Efforts for Peace. 421 

among the influential ecclesiastical politicians of the 
century. The influence of these powerful ecclesias- 
tics, so often on different sides of the strife, served 
also to increase the power of the pope, whom each 
party was eager to secure at any time as an ally. 
The feudal relations and political dependence of the 
bishops and abbots, as shown in the right of investi- 
ture, led to still greater evils by allowing the capri- 
cious bestowal of these positions as benefices on 
court favorites, or by making them objects of trafific 
and sale. Under such circumstances the spiritually 
minded prelates were not very numerous, nor were 
the conditions such as to develop them. 

Among the burdens from which the churches were 
not exempt was the obligation of the bishops and 
abbots for military service or its equivalent. As we 
have seen, the clergy not only were exempt from 
personal military service, but were forbidden to en- 
gage in war or to carry arms. However, the secular 
position and duties of the bishops and abbots, the 
civil wars, and especially the barbarian invasions, 
made the keeping of such laws increasingly dififlcult, 
and even the holiest men were forced to engage in 
preparations for the armed defence of their churches 
and monasteries, and sometimes even to lead their 
soldiers. Yet it was only in case of severe and sud- 
den attack that such extreme activity was required, 
though the warlike spirit and deeds of many drew 
forth severe condemnation from reformers like Peter 
Damiani. Strong efforts were made by the church 
to establish order and quiet, and the peace institu- 
tions — the " VcdiCe," pactum pads y in the tenth cen- 

42 2 The Age of Charlemagne. 

tury, and the " Truce of God," triiga Dei, in the 
eleventh, were due to the influence and active co- 
operation of the clergy. 

Secular obligations and interests brought with 
them also internal evils and corruptions. Simony 
and lay control, ambition after power, greed of rich 
revenue, and pride of birth, all tended to lower the 
standard and to weaken the power of the bishops 
and higher clergy. Morality declined, and manners 
suffered in consequence. Marriage was common 
among the clergy, and ecclesiastical property was 
divided among their families. There was danger of 
building up a regular clerical caste. Vice of every 
kind increased. The archbishop of Cambray, in 
order to draw his clergy from their infatuation for 
dice, or to turn it in a better direction, invented for 
his diocese an ingenious game of dice with stones 
named after the Christian virtues.' 

As with the bearing of arms and the marriage of 
priests, so in other respects the church laws of the 
earlier times were disregarded and violated. Men 
were ordained absolutely — that is, without any fixed 
parish, and so without any responsibility or control, 
and private chapels and the right of patronage still 
further weakened authority and discipline. 

There were movements for reform, like those of 
Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, Atto, bishop 
of Vercelli, and Peter Damiani, bishop of Ostia, but 
the age succeeding Charles the Great waited for a 
Henry III. and a Hildebrand. 

' Neander, vol. iii., p. 410, note 3. 



[HE constitution of the church had been 
slowly forming itself in harmony with 
the events which we have thus far been 
describing. Most of the legislation had 
been the work of the local synods, under 
the leadership and guidance of the archbishops and 
metropolitans, but as the nev»^ powers of the West 
arose to take the place of the old Roman Empire, 
and especially, as the kings and chiefs of these new 
peoples gave their assent to Christianity, and were 
most active in its spread, securing its acceptance 
among their people, and supporting its claims by 
their authority, the connection between church and 
state became ever closer and more intimate, and 
their interests approached a greater harmony and 
unity of purpose. 

The filling of bishoprics and the higher offices 
with native ecclesiastics, the increase of church lands 


424 The Age of Charlemagne. 

and property, and the formation of great eccle- 
siastical estates, whereby these officers were brought 
into and made a part of the rapidly forming feudal 
system, still further tended to this same end. The 
organization itself was changing. The personal 
authority of the bishop of the chief city over the 
presbyters of the district was taking the place of the 
local council, while the bishops were brought under 
the control of provincial synods, and of the metro- 
politan or archbishop, the bishop of the metropolis 
or chief city of the province. These metropolitans 
received also a civil authority, which strengthened, 
although it tended to secularize their position." 

Moreover, the synods ceased to be held, or began 
to lose their separate and independent power, while 
the political assemblies, in which the chief bishops 
and abbots sat as a part of the territorial nobility, 
regulated ecclesiastical as well as secular affairs. 
The history of the church in England previous to 
the Norman Conquest furnishes a clear and forcible 
illustration of this development. It is seen also in 
the history of the Prankish Kingdom, The conver- 
sion of Clovis, who thereafter waged his wars of 
conquest and extension, having among his avowed 
objects the suppression of Arianism and the conver- 
sion of the heathen to Christianity, the authoriza- 
tion by the church of the change from the Merovin- 
gian to the Carolingian line, and the coronation of 
Pippin by the pope, were only moie marked events 
along this same line. Boniface himself had said, 
" Without the patronage of the Prankish ruler, I 
' Hatch, pp. 32-39, 126-129. 

Subjection of the CJnirch. 425 

can neither govern the people nor defend the pres- 
byters, monks, or handmaidens of God ; nor even 
could I forbid the pagan rites and sacrilegious idola- 
tries without his mandate and the fear of his name." 

This union gave to the church a discipline which, 
at times, was sadly needed, while it gave to the 
kingdom a divine sanction and authority, as well as 
an instrument of power v>'ith Vv'ell-organized means 
for its exercise. Consequently, during the reign of 
Charles the Great, both powers grew and flourished, 
and he appeared like a second Constantine, the 
ruler, because the strong and efficient protector of 
the church. 

With the accession of his son and sole successor, 
Louis the Pious, a change began to take place. 
The weakness of the central power, even in secular 
affairs, brought about division and strife, in which 
the church became involved. The great power which 
Charles the Great had used for her support and de- 
fence was now divided, and often used against her, 
till she became the object of oppression, and her 
subjection to an alien power was only too apparent. 

To free the church from this subjection, to make 
her independent of the temporal power, to strength- 
en, unify, and solidify her own organization, and to 
give it a strong foundation in law and precedent, 
was the great problem which, in the ninth century, 
pressed with ever-increasing urgency upon those 
who had the interests of the church at heart. It 
was to solve this problem and to meet this need 
that the Forged Decretals, as they are now gener- 
ally called, were put forth. 

426 The Age of Charlemagtie. 

Laws already existed, and collections of them 
were well known and widely circulated. These col- 
lections included the canons of CEcumenical Coun- 
cils, and of some of the most important and well- 
known local synods, also the more formal and 
authoritative letters of distinguished bishops, espe- 
cially those of the apostolic, or more important and 
well-known sees, and the canonical laws of the em- 
perors, particularly Theodosius and Justinian. 

By far the most important collection was that 
made about 500 A.D. by Dionysius Exiguus, a 
Roman abbot, who thus became the founder of the 
Western system of canon law, and is also known as 
the originator of our practice of numbering years 
from the birth of Christ, the Christian or Dionysian 

In the seventh century another collection appeared 
in Spain, afterwards called the collection of Isidore, 
being ascribed generally, but probably erroneously, 
to Isidore, archbishop of Seville, who died 636 A.D. 

Since then two centuries had passed, centuries of 
great and momentous history, in which many 
changes had been wrought, new influences set at 
work, new conditions realized, and new needs cre- 
ated, which the laws enacted under secular control 
either were powerless to meet or only aggravated. 

Attempts at reform were made by the synods held 
under Louis the Pious and his sons, and also by new 
collections of laws. These laws or capitularies, as 
those put forth by the Prankish kings were called, 
were placed in a genuine collection, in 827, by 
Ansegis, abbot of Fontenelles, which was included 

Pseudo-Isidore. 427 

in a collection made about twenty years later by 
the so-called Benedict Levite, of Mainz, who added 
some and composed many more from both genuine 
and spurious ecclesiastical legislation, the whole 
bearing the title of the Capitularies of Benedict 
Levite. A further attempt was made in the capit- 
ularies, ascribed to Angilram, bishop of Metz, in 
the last part of the eighth century, but really be- 
longing to a later date. 

It remained for him who took the name of the 
renowned bishop of Seville, already identified with 
the famous collection of the seventh century, to 
put forth the most complete, most effective, and 
most fraudulent collection of all, and therefore called 
the Pseudo-Isidore. The full name which the 
author assumed was Isidore Mercator (changed in a 
few manuscripts to Peccator, which is therefore 
probably an erroneous form), but the latter name 
seems to be of unknown origin and meaning, though 
possibly derived from a well-known writer of the 
fifth century.' 

The collection appears in three parts. The first 
contains the preface, two letters, one pretending to 
be from Aurelius of Carthage to Pope Damasus, 
asking the pope to send him the statutes of all the 
pontiffs from Peter to the beginning of his own 
pontificate, a request which Damasus in the other 
letter grants." After the " order for holding a coun- 

' Hinschius, p. ccxxxvi. ; Kurtz, vol. i., p. 512 ; Neander, vol. 
ii., p. 721. 

" Damasus was bishop of Rome from 366 to 384 ad. The 
genuine decretals, as the authoritative papal letters are called, be- 

428 The Age of Charlemagne. 

cil" are inserted the apocryphal so-called Apostolic 
Canons, introduced by a forged letter from Jerome. 
Then follow the decretals, fifty-nine letters from 
thirty popes, beginning Avith Clement and ending 
with Melchiades, bishop of Rome from 311 to 314, 
all, with the exception of parts of the first two, 
which are an earlier forgery, the work of Pseudo- 
Isidore. The second part contains the acts of the 
principal councils, including the first four general 
and some early Eastern ones, as well as the principal 
African and Spanish councils. These were inserted 
from the earlier Spanish collection, in order to give 
his own greater completeness and value, and also to 
impart to it a greater semblance of exactness in 
places where it could be easily tested. All are 
genuine and correctly copied with one exception ; 
the limitation of the authority of country bishops is 
made the declaration of the seventh canon of the 
second Spanish council, by the addition of the words 
" and country bishops," to the words " presbyters," 
adding also " all which things are known to have 
been prohibited by the Apostolic See." This 
change would not be easily detected, and served to 
bring the council into agreement with one of the 
forged letters of Leo. There are two or three other 
pieces, chief among them being the edict or letter 
of Constantine to Pope Sylvester, giving an account 
of his conversion, baptism, and healing by Sylves- 
ter, concluding with the famous donation, a forgery 
of the preceding century. 

gin with Siricius, who was the successor of Damasus. Hence, 
the significance of this feigned request is easily seen. 

Sources of the Decretals. 429 

The third and last part includes the decretals and 
other documents, one hundred and ninety in all, of 
the popes from Sylvester to Gregory II., of which 
thirty-five are forgeries. This part concludes with 
the capitularies of Angilram, which, Hinschius is in- 
clined to think, were written by Pseudo-Isidore 
himself before the rest.' 

The principal sources from which the collection 
was made up are the ecclesiastical histories of Cassi- 
odorus and Rufinus, the " Libri Pontificum," the 
writings of Eunodius, the Vulgate (Psalms in 
Jerome's version), early church fathers, letters to and 
from Boniface, letters of the popes, especially Leo 
the Great and Gregory the Great, genuine decretals 
and acts of councils, Roman law collections. Prankish 
capitularies and decrees, the collection of Benedict 
Levite and of Angilram.'' Of course it is not neces- 
sary to suppose that Pseudo-Isidore had all these 
books together at any one time or in one place, or 
that he read each of them entirely through in order 
to get one sentence or a brief extract ; in many 
cases he undoubtedly used extracts already made in 
books which he had at hand. If, for example, he 
used as his principal source the collection of Bene- 
dict Levite, a conclusion which is highly probable 
and is now quite generally accepted, the number of 
separate works will be diminished by about one 

It is quite unnecessary to enter upon a technical 
discussion of this question of sources, but one point 
is of considerable importance and of no little inter- 
* Hinschius, p. clxxx, "^ Ibid., pp. cx.-cxxxix. 

430 The Age of Charlemagne. 

est — that is, the consideration of the version of the 
Bible used by the writer in the quotations he makes 
from the Scriptures. Unfortunately the question 
is fraught with many difficulties, and scholars are 
by no means agreed. He probably used the Vulgate, 
but he does not seem to quote passages with verbal 
accuracy, except in the Psalms, where it is agreed 
that he used Jerome's translation. We thus find 
popes of the first four centuries quoting from a 
translation made long after they were dead. 

In regard to the vexed, but important question 
as to the relations between Benedict's collection 
and that of Pseudo-Isidore, Hinschius declares it to 
be his opinion that Pseudo-Isidore used Benedict's 
collection as the source of his own, and supports 
his theory by several arguments. First, Benedict 
often changed the sources which he used, and the 
same things which Benedict interpolated into the 
genuine sources, Pseudo-Isidore also introduced, 
but the latter also changed some passages in which 
Benedict agreed with the sources. Secondly, chap- 
ters are found in Benedict's collection compiled from 
different sources already altered by Benedict. These 
same sentences occur in Pseudo-Isidore with the 
changes of Benedict, and with other changes also 
differing from the source still more than they do 
in Benedict. Consequently, Benedict is in closer 
agreement with the source, and so nearer to it than 
is Pseudo-Isidore. Thirdly, in some chapters Bene- 
dict has completely changed the sense of the source, 
and Pseudo-Isidore puts forth the same with other 
changes. Fourthly, there may be found also pas- 

Date of the Decretals. 431 

sages in Pseudo-Isidore which have been made up 
out of several in Benedict, and in which Pseudo- 
Isidore has used not only the text of the chapters, 
but their titles as well. These arguments settle the 
vexed question, and so help to fix the date of the 
False Decretals as after the capitularies of Bene- 
dict, for Benedict expressly says : " Otgar, who 
ivas then archbishop of Mainz, commanding me, I 
compiled the three books." Inasmuch as these 
lines occur in the preface to his work, the words 
" was then" show that it must have been written 
after Otgar ceased to be archbishop — that is, after 
his death, which took place April 21st, 847. The 
False Decretals must have been composed after 
that, if, as seems to have been proved, their author 
used the work of Benedict. 

They must also have appeared before the year 
853, for the first certain reference to them was made 
at the synod held at Soissons in that year. 

To these considerations Hinschius further adds : 
" If, however, you take into account the time neces- 
sary to circulate the collection of Benedict, and to 
write up and circulate the decretals of Pseudo-Isi- 
dore, it will seem very probable that the latter com- 
pleted his work about 851 or 852 A.D." 1 

France was unquestionably, and probably Rheims, 
the place of their origin. They were cited first by 
Frankish writers and in Frankish councils connected 
with the affairs of Rheims, their sources also are 
largely Frankish, while they abound in Gallicisms, 
using both expressions and names peculiar to the 
' Hinschius, p. cci, 

432 The Age of Charlemagne. 

Western Kingdom ; but more than all, the contents 
and aims of the decretals harmonize most perfectly 
with the history and conditions of the Church of 
France, even in some of its minutest details.' The 
changed conditions in the Prankish Church at the 
accession of Louis the Pious have been mentioned 
already earlier in this chapter. Greater evils fol- 
lowed, as we have seen in the preceding chapter. ° 
The attempts at a division of the kingdom among 
his sons, the rebellion against their father, and the 
civil strife among themselves before and after his 
death, filled the land with woes and miseries of 
every kind, for besides the bloodshed and devasta- 
tion always wrought by war, there arose widespread 
depravity and sacrilege, the contempt of all law and 
religion. The desecration and spoliation of churches 
and of ecclesiastical property, the oppression of the 
clergy and their subjection to and dependence upon 
the civil power were the inevitable results. All 
ecclesiastical discipline was failing. The clergy 
ceased to obey the bishops and abbots who could 
not or would not help them. In too many cases 
the abbots and bishops themselves had taken part 
in the civil strifes with all the fierce partisanship of 
the lay nobles, and the laity too often saw in their 
bishops and clergy poHtical opponents rather than 
spiritual guides. They even bore arms and fought 
for the cause they had espoused. Thus in a battle, 
in 844, between Charles the Bald and Pippin II., two 
abbots were taken prisoners and two bishops were 

' Wasserschleben, p. 375 ; Clarke, p. 369. 
" See above, ch. xxxi. 

Failure of Other Attempts. 433 

found dead on the field. Sometimes they took up 
arms to defend their churches and to keep their 
property from becoming the spoil of some lay lord. 
The continual civil strife left the country exposed 
to the ravages of the Northmen, which began about 
this time, and which the divided and weakened 
kingdom was powerless to oppose. The armies 
that marched against them were hardly less devas- 
tating, and here again abbots and bishops had to 
arm themselves in defence. Western Francia was 
forced to endure the worst of it, for there the great 
rebellions took place, the severest battles were 
fought, and the most frequent devastations were 
suffered from the Northmen. Life, property, every- 
thing was insecure. 

Ecclesiastical discipline became almost an impos- 
sibility. The ecclesiastical power lost its sacred 
character, and having no strong arm to protect it, 
and unable to defend itself, fell more and more 
under the rule and sway of the secular power. 

The acts of the synods held at this time at Paris 
in 829, at Aix-la-Chapelle in 836, at Meaux in 845, 
and at Paris in 846, show at once the nature of 
these evils and their failure to remedy them.' The 
only hope of averting such disaster was to be found 
in reforming the church, and in elevating the dig- 
nity and importance of the ecclesiastical order. 
The nobles had opposed the attempts already made, 
the acts of the synods could not be enforced, and 
some other scheme must be devised to accomplish 
the desired result, and at the same time to establish 

■ Hinschius, pp. ccxv.-ccxxi. ; Clarke, pp. 358-360. 

434 ^'^'^ ^^^ ^f Charlemagne. 

an authority which would compel respect and uni- 
versal acceptance. 

This goes far to explain the general system of the 
Forged Decretals, as well as the reason and method 
of their success. By the development and increas- 
ing influence of feudalism, the church not only had 
been brought into closer relations with the secular 
power, and into what we have seen was practically 
a feudal subjection to the state, but also had been 
very much weakened and divided in its own internal 
organization, or, to express it more accurately, its 
lack of a strong, united, and even centralized organi- 
zation had been made increasingly apparent, and 
the need of something of the sort directly in line 
and connected with its previous development was 
increasingly felt. 

The three great objects to be sought, therefore, 
were freedom from the secular power, establishment 
of the ecclesiastical hierarchy with a firm discipline, 
and centralization of organization, upon which all 
could depend. 

This threefold object, so perfectly adapted to the 
needs of the time, is the aim and purpose of the 
Forged Decretals, as appears from a careful study 
of their contents. It is therefore evident that their 
author wished to put forth not only a collection of 
the ecclesiastical sources which should contain the 
ecclesiastical discipline as it was set forth in particu- 
lar councils and in genuine decretals, but also such 
decrees as he deemed necessary for restoring the 
ecclesiastical regime, which had been corrupted and 
almost destroyed by the civil war waged by Louis 

Object of the Decretals. 435 

the Pious and his sons ; therefore, in the false part 
of his collection he wished to accomplish that which 
the synods could not do. Consequently, by the 
greatest authority known to the church — namely, 
that of the Roman bishops, and especially of those 
who lived in the early ages of the church — he cor- 
roborated that which every article of the decrees of 
the Synod of Paris and of the Constitution of 
Worms, and the declaration appended to the Synod 
of Aix-la-Chapelle asserted, which Benedict had put 
forth as drawn from the capitularies. He beheld 
the wounds inflicted upon the GaUican Church in 
the turbulent times of Louis the Pious and of his 
sons, he saw that Louis the Pious had hastened 
with great zeal to aid the ruined church, and that 
the bishops assembled at the Council of Meaux had 
set forth many canons for reforming ecclesiastical 
discipHne, and he knew that the earnestness and 
labor of the emperor, and of the bishops especially, 
had been rendered fruitless by the nobles. Having 
all these things in view, therefore, he forged the 
decrees by which he sought to provide that those 
things which up to that time had troubled the 
church might be done away with forever ; hoping, 
perchance, that if he showed forth to the men of 
his own age, as in a mirror, the decrees which exhib- 
ited the laws observed in the earliest Christian 
churches, they might at length be aroused by such 
a method to reform the ecclesiastical condition.' 

As Alzog, the Roman Catholic historian most 
accessible to Protestant readers, rightly points out, 
• Hinschius, p. ccxvii. 

43^ The Age of Charlemagne. 

" The majority of critics have confined their atten- 
tion almost entirely to questions of ecclesiastical law, 
such as the primacy, the relations of bishops to the 
secular power, to metropolitans, to provincial coun- 
cils, and to others of a kindred nature, as if the 
tJirec parts into which this collection is divided in 
the most ancient manuscript copies contained only 
such, whereas their subject-matter includes dogmatic 
and moi'al theology, liturgy, penitential discipline, 
teachings on the prerogatives and dignity of the 
Roman Church, on^the right of appeal to Rome, on 
the various degrees of the hierarchy, and the like." ' 

In a similar way Schaff calls attention to the vari- 
ety of contents. " All these documents make up a 
manual of orthodox doctrine and clerical discipline. 
They give dogmatic decisions against heresies, espe- 
cially Arianism (which lingered long in Spain), and 
directions on worship, the sacraments, feasts and 
fasts, sacred rites and costumes, the consecration of 
churches, church property, and especially on church 
polity. The work breathes throughout the spirit 
of churchly and priestly piety and reverence." "" 

The author lays down most firmly as fundamental 
the distinction between clergy and laity, amounting 
to an absolute separation. Expressions in the New 
Testament applying to the relations between Chris- 
tians and non-Christians he applies to the relations 
between clergy and laity. 

To the members of the priesthood are applied the 
phrases which usually have been referred to all 
Christian believers. The priests, the clergy, are 

' Alzog, vol. ii., pp. 270, 271. 2 Schaff, vol. iv., p. 269. 

Stiperiority of the Clergy. 437 

the spiritual, the members of God's household. 
They are the leaders of the blind, the salt of the 
earth, the light of the world. He who resists them 
resists God. They cannot be judged of men, for 
God alone is their judge. The greater cannot be 
judged by the less. They are the masters, and the 
servant is not above his master. On the other 
hand, the laity are the carnal, they are the blind, 
the members of this world, and are subject to the 
clergy, for the life of all priests is higher and holier 
than that of seculars and laymen, and is separate 
from them. Even to the emperor or to any guard- 
ian of religion it is not lawful to undertake any- 
thing against the divine commands, nor to do any- 
thing which is forbidden by evangelical, propheti- 
cal, and apostolic rules ; for an unjust trial and an 
unjust decision, rendered by judges influenced by 
the fear or order of the king, is invalid, nor will any- 
thing stand which has been done contrary to the 
constitution of the evangelical or prophetical or 
apostolic doctrine of the fathers who are their suc- 
cessors. All princes of the earth, and all men are 
to obey them [i.e., the bishops), and to submit their 
lives to them and to be their helpers, that they all 
may appear equally faithful and co-workers of the 
law of God, lest it be said of them, " All they who 
are incensed against thee shall be ashamed and con- 
founded : they shall be as nothing, and they that 
strive with thee shall perish" (Isa. xli. 11, 12).' 
The next point is the establishment of the hier- 

' See especially, Ep. i., Clementis, §§32-36, 42 ; Hinschius, pp. 
40, 41, 44, 45. 

438 The Age of Chaidemagjie. 

archy and the relation of the different orders of the 
clergy. " The order of priests is twofold, presby- 
ters and bishops, in accordance with the will of the 
Lord, who appointed the twelve apostles, and then 
ordered the seventy disciples to be chosen to aid 
them. The bishops hold the place of the apostles, 
and the presbyters the place of the seventy disci- 
ples. The bishops are the keys of the church. All 
the presbyters ought to obey in all things without 
delay. Wherefore all the faithful, and especially 
all the presbyters and deacons and the rest of the 
clergy, must give heed to them, that they do noth- 
ing without the permission of their own bishop ; 
for those who obey their bishops seem, indeed, to 
confer a favor on God." ' 

" The bishop ought to be ordained not by one, 
but by many bishops, and to be placed in an hon- 
orable city, not in a small one, lest the name of 
bishop be lowered in dignity. But the rank of 
apostles is one, though those are primates who hold 
the chief cities, who in certain places are called patri- 
archs by some. Those, moreover, who have been 
established by us in a metropolis, by order of the 
blessed Peter, and of our predecessor, Clement, can- 
not all be primates or patriarchs, . . . but the other 
metropohtan cities have archbishops or metropoli- 
tans. But this sacred Roman Apostolic Church has 
obtained the primacy not from the apostles, but 
from our Lord and Saviour himself, as he said to the 
blessed Apostle Peter, ' Thou art Peter, and upon 

> Ep. iii., Anacleti, § 38 ; Ep. i., Clementis, §§ 36, 37 ; Ep. iii., 
Clementis, § 70 ; Hinschius, pp. 85, 41, 57. 

Headship of Rome. 439 

this rock I will build my church ; and the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against it ' (St. Matt. xvi. 18). 
Therefore the first See by the favor of heaven is the 
Roman Church. The second See, at Alexandria, 
was consecrated in the name of the blessed Peter 
by Mark, his disciple. The third See is at Anti- 
och, where the blessed Peter lived before he came 
to Rome, and he appointed Ignatius as bishop 
there. . . . Then the blessed apostles settled it 
among themselves that the bishops of each nation 
might know who among them was chief,' so that 
their greater care might be given to him ; for even 
among the blessed apostles there was a certain dis- 
tinction, and though all were apostles, yet it was 
granted to Peter by our Lord, and they wished the 
very same thing among themselves, that he should 
have the rule over all the rest of the apostles, and 
be Cephas — that is, the head — and should hold the 
headship {principhwi) of the apostleship, who also 
handed down the same system to their successors 
and the rest of the bishops. And this is declared 
not only in the New Testament, but also in the 
Old. As it is written, ' Moses and Aaron among 
his priests' (Ps. xcix. 6) — that is, they were chief 
among them." " 

From all these quotations, which have been given 
thus fully in order that a fair and complete idea 
may be gained regarding the general contents of the 
Forged Decretals, it will be readily seen that the 
author's main object was to free the clergy from 

' See St. Matt. xx. 25, 26 ; xxiii. 8-12 ; St. Mark ix. 33-35. 
* Ep. ii. and iii., Anacleti, §§ 26-33 I Hinschius, pp. 79-84. 

440 The Age of Charlemagne. 

the secular power, and to establish the hierarchy, 
maintaining the coequal authority of all bishops, 
though they might differ in importance, placing the 
Roman See at the head, possessing all power and 
authority derived, not, as the others, from the apos- 
tles, but from Christ himself, through St. Peter, 
whom he had appointed and whom the other apos- 
tles acknowledged as their chief. 

The authority of the bishops had diminished 
greatly, and the metropolitans and primates threat- 
ened to rival the power of Rome herself. Many 
bishops had been accused and deprived of their 
sees by the secular authority. Special attention, 
therefore, was given to the manner of bringing 
charges against the bishops and of proceeding to 
trial. These accusations and trials were made as 
difificult as possible ; impossible, indeed, for the 
secular power, and every opportunity was given for 
an appeal to Rome. The judges were to be very 
carefully chosen, and many requirements were de- 
manded in each case. The chief obstacle lay really 
in the feudal relation of the bishops to the emperor, 
by whom they were promoted to the episcopal rank, 
and from whom they received their temporalities. 
A complete reformation of the ecclesiastical condi- 
tion would have demanded, therefore, the surrender 
of other rights of the emperor besides that of judg- 
ment, especially the right of conferring bishoprics. 
This, however, was not attempted till the Hilde- 
brandine era, for in the period of which we are 
writing no other relation than the feudal was 
thought of or conceived, and it was only in the 

Case of Ebbo. 441 

matter of accusations and of depositions of bishops 
that the integrity of the church seemed in danger, 
and that ruin threatened. It was to this point, 
therefore, that much of the attention of both Bene- 
dict and Pseudo-Isidore was directed. Indeed, a 
case in point had recently occurred v/hich was of 
great importance, and which undoubtedly served to 
give force and definiteness to their statements. 
This was the famous case of Ebbo, archbishop of 

Ebbo was a special favorite with Louis, had been 
brought up with him at the palace, and had received 
from him many grants and immunities for his 
church.' In 822 he had distinguished himself as a 
very successful missionary to the Danes,'' but he 
took more interest in the secular affairs of the court, 
and had been won over to the cause of Lothair. In 
833 he was among the bishops openly arrayed 
against Louis, and was foremost in bringing about 
the emperor's deposition, and in imposing the eccle- 
siastical penalty upon him. Consequently, when 
Louis was re-established on his throne in the follow- 
ing year Ebbo was seized and imprisoned in a mon- 
astery, and ordered to await there the action of a 
synod. One was accordingly held at Thionville, in 
835, and having received from Ebbo a written con- 
fession of his crime, deposed him. The whole pro- 
cedure is clearly set forth in various parts of the 
decretals,' so exactly, indeed, that the passages 

' Frodoard, pp. 193-213. 
* See above, pp. 415, 416 ; also 407, 408. 

^ Ep. i., Alexandri. §§ 3, 4, 7 ; Felicis I., §§ 2, 3, 4, 5 ; " De- 
creta Julii," §§ 12, 13 ; Hinschius, pp. 95, 97, 98, 199, 467, 471. 

442 The Age of Charlemagne. 

must have been written from an intimate knowledge 
of Ebbo's affairs, for if they had been in existence at 
the time he would have used them in his defence. 

Upon Lothair's accession to the throne in 840 
Ebbo was restored to his archbishopric by an im- 
perial decree signed by twenty bishops, a smaller 
number than had signed his deposition. The canons 
declared that a bishop deposed by one synod could 
be restored only by a larger one. It was, therefore, 
declared by the Forged Decretals that Athanasius 
was restored by the counsel and decree of a smaller 
number of bishops than deposed him. In reality, 
Athanasius was restored by the imperial decree 
alone, but this did not correspond closely enough 
with Ebbo's case.' 

When Charles the Bald gained the throne of the 
West, Ebbo again lost his see and fled to Lothair in 
Italy. Then in the year 844 he received the bishop- 
ric of Hildesheim from Louis the German -^ but as 
he had never given up his claim to Rheims, he came 
into new opposition to the canons, which allowed a 
change of sees only when absolutely required for 
the good of the church, and then only by a decree 
in synod. Here, again, Pseudo-Isidore declares it 
" permissible for a bishop to change his see when 
forced by necessity or urged by special advantage, 
but especially it is always permitted when a bishop 
has been driven from his see, and, moreover, the 
decree of a synod is not at all necessary.'" Thus 

* " Decreta Julii," § 13; Hinschius, p. 471, cf. p. ccxii. 

* Where he died, in 851. 

* Ep. Anted, § 2 ; Ep. ii., Pelagii II., § 2 ; Hinschius, pp. 152, 727. 

Defence of the Bishops. 443 

all things done against Ebbo were declared by 
Pseudo-Isidore to be unlawful, but whatever he did 
contrary to ecclesiastical laws was declared to be 

Much of the work of the Forged Decretals cen- 
tred, therefore, about the bishops, who were de- 
fended not only against the secular power, but also 
against their own metropolitans, by making a 
bishop's trial more difficult, as we have seen, and 
by establishing the right of appeal to the primate, 
or to Rome, at any time, as all greater, that is, 
episcopal, cases, were declared to be under the 
direct supervision of the Roman See. Accusations 
are made difficult, if not impossible ; ' neither laity 
nor lower clergy can bring accusations,'' and even 
for the higher clergy the test is very vague and in- 
definite.^ If the accused suspects his judges (that 
is, if he fears conviction) he can appeal to the pri- 
mate or to the pope.* He may chose his twelve 
judges.^ The witnesses against him must have the 
same qualifications as are required in accusers," and 
must be seventy-two in number.' Appeal to Rome 
may be made during the trial * or afterwards, for no 

' Ep. ii., Fabiani, § 13 ; Ep. ii., Stephani I., § 10; Hinschius, 
pp. 162, 185. 

^ Ep. iii., Julii, § 12 ; Ep. ii., Stephani I., § 12 ; Hinschius, pp. 
467, 186. 

^ Ep. ii , Evarasti. § 10 ; Hinschius, p. 92. 

* Ep. iii., Fabiani, § 29; Ep. ii., Cornelii, § 5 ; Ep. i., Felicis, 
§ 3; Ep. ii., Felicis, § 14; Hinschius, pp. 168, 174, 198, 

* Ep. i., Zeppherini, § 5 ; Hinschius, p. 132. 

* Ep. ii., Calixti, § 17 ; Hinschius, pp. 140, 141. 
' Ep. i., Zeppherini, § 2 ; Hinschius, p. 131. 

" Ep. ii., Eutychiani, § 7 ; Hinschius, p. 211. 

444 ^'^^^ ^S^ ^f Charlemagne. 

final sentence can be rendered without the will and 
knowledge of the Apostolic See,' 

The bishops were to be protected also from those 
who were specially rivalling and undermining their 
power, bringing weakness and confusion into the 
ecclesiastical organization. These were the country 
bishops, who had been appointed at first for large 
outlying districts which had no prominent city or 
town. In many cases they became a sort of irre- 
sponsible body, sometimes being used as assistants 
by regular city bishops, whose dioceses they under- 
took to rule, usually with great disadvantage and 
loss, while the regular bishop was away at court or 
elsewhere. Often they were placed in charge, by 
the secular power, during a vacancy in a diocese, 
that its regular income m.ight be seized and misap- 
propriated. The results had been confusion, neg- 
lect, and the seizure of church lands and property by 
both clergy and laity. This was especially marked 
in the province of Rheims, which had been in the 
care of country bishops from the deposition of Ebbo, 
in 835, to the election of Hincmar, in 845, with the 
exception of one short interval.' Under one of 
these substitutes Charles the Bald had seized and 
distributed among his vassals a great part of the 
possessions of the church, which Hincmar recovered 
only in part and with the greatest difficulty.' An- 
other, in charge for a time, was the one who had 
ordained Gottschalk, whose doctrines concerning 
predestination had shaken the whole Galilean Church. 

' VVasserschleban, p. 371. '^ Frodoard, p. 214. 

2 Ibid., pp. 220-225. 

The Primates. 445 

Earlier councils of the century already had at- 
tempted to diminish their rights and privileges, and 
finally it was established that they should have only 
priestly authority.' Synods in Rheims had tried to 
abolish their powers, and Hincmar v/as strongly 
opposed to them/ The Forged Decretals absolutely 
forbade their ordaining, and denied to them any 
other rights than those of presbyters/ 

The bishops were still further protected, and the 
hierarchy developed and strengthened by the estab- 
lishment of primates or patriarchs above the metro- 
politans, and in closer relations with Rome. The 
metropolitans, whose waning power Pippin and 
Charles the Great had endeavored to restore, had 
become more closely connected with the national 
unity, and thus more dependent upon and in the 
control of the secular power of the princes. This 
union of the metropolitans with the civil power 
brought about the subjection of the lower clergy, 
especially the suffragan bishops, whose only refuge 
was in the popes." But it would be impossible for 
the bishops to run away to the pope on every occa- 
sion of dijfificulty. The position of primate is there- 
fore interposed between that of the metropolitan 
and that of the pope. Unlike Benedict, Pseudo- 
Isidore uses indiscriminately the names primate and 
patriarch. To primates, or patriarchs, belong the 

' Gieseler, vol. ii , p. 52. 

' Frodoard, p. 240. 

* Ep. xix., Damasi ; Ep. xcvii., Leonis ; Hinschius, pp. 509- 
516, 628, 629. 

•* Hatch, pp. 121-135 ; Chastel, vol. iii., pp. 173, 174; Kurtz, 
vol. i., p. 497 ; Gieseler, vol. ii., pp. iii, 112. 

446 The Age of Charlemagne. 

provinces as already divided before the coming of 
Christ. No archbishops or metropoHtans are called 
primates except those who hold the principal cities, 
whose bishops and their successors have been regu- 
larly appointed to be patriarchs or primates, unless 
some people is later converted to the faith, for 
whom it is necessary that a primate should be ap- 
pointed on account of the multitude of bishops.' 
When necessity arises the bishops may appeal to 
the primate, saving the authority of the Apostolic 
See, the final sentence being reserved to Rome." 
To the primate the metropolitans are to be obedi- 
ent, although reverence and respect are to be paid 
to the metropolitans by the bishops.* 

As to the other matters introduced and subjects 
discussed — morals, ritual, and belief — they may be 
regarded either as falling in with the general purpose 
of reformation and discipline, or as tending to make 
the work more natural, and to give it greater value 
and more general acceptance. They are neither of so 
much importance nor of such interest. As an ex- 
ample of the false moral teaching coming into vogue, 
he declares that seizing church property is sacrilege, 
and that sacrilege is a greater sin than an offence 

' Ep. i., Clementis, ^§ 28, 29 ; Ep. ii., iii., Anacleti, §§ 26, 29 ; 
Ep. Aniciti, § 3 ; Decreta Julii, § 12 ; Hinschius, pp. 39, 79, 82, 
83, 121, 469. 

» Ep. Victoris, § 6 ; Ep. ii., Stephani I., g§ 9, 10; Ep. Sixti II., 
§g 2, 3; Decrela Felicis II., §§4-12 ; Decreta Damasi, §§ 8, 9 ; 
Hinschius, pp. 128, 129. 185, 190, 479-488, 502, 503. But com- 
pare Ep. i., Pelgii II ; Ep. i., Anaclrti, § 15 ; Hinschius, pp. 724, 
73, and preface, p. ccxiv. 

^ Ep. i., Clementis, ^§ 28. 29; Ep. ii., Stephani I., §9; Ep. 
Luci, § 5 ; Ep. Aniciti, | 2; Hinschius, pp. 39, 185, 176, 121. 

Relation to the Papacy. 447 

against one of the ten commandments/ In dog- 
matic affairs he confines himself to decisions of the 
early councils. There is no allusion, for example, 
to the Gottschalk controversy, due probably to his 
desire to appear orthodox and to avoid theological 
entanglement. Many other questions in dispute at 
that time, and which came up for discussion in the 
councils, were left unnoticed by him, showing be- 
yond a doubt that we have fully considered what 
seemed to him the most important matters for re- 
form, and that his collection, after all, was drawn 
up to accomplish a few, but very important things. 
He preferred to make sure of success in those par- 
ticulars by continued reiteration, rather than to 
attempt so many different things that the energy 
and force of his work would be dissipated. 

It has been said sometimes, and it is supposed 
quite generally, that the main object of the decretals 
was to enhance the supremacy of Rome, but this 
view is now given up by all the best and most re- 
cent scholars. 

In the first place, most of the arguments for it 
have been directly disproved. The Forged Decre- 
tals were not composed by the popes, nor written 
at Rome. They were not first known to the popes, 
nor first used by the popes ; indeed, were used very 
little by the popes until after the tenth century, 
when they had become incorporated into the gen- 
eral ecclesiastical legislation. They give recognition 
to the authority of papal decretals, which had already 
begun to be shown in the Dionysian collection, and 
* Ep. li., Pii I., § 9 ; Hinschius, p. iig ; Neander, vol. iii., p. 348. 

448 The Age of Charlemagne, 

had been greatly increased by Gregory the Great. 
The powers ascribed to the Roman bishop were very 
evidently granted for the freeing of the church from 
secular control, and for protecting and increasing 
the power of the bishops. 

If the author had had in view the advantages and 
privileges of the Roman See in and for itself, he 
must have paid some attention to the patrimony of 
St. Peter, the gifts of lands, rights, and powers of 
which the papal letters of the eighth century were 
full. True, the Donation of Constantine is inserted, 
but that was a forgery already in existence. It 
forms an isolated instance in his collection, and the 
favorable opportunities to uphold and strengthen it 
in the papal letters of the fourth and fifth centuries 
he does not even notice.' Indeed, the position 
given to the primates and the mere mention of papal 
vicars, in only four places," are regarded by Hin- 
schius and others as showing that Pseudo-Isidore 
was more intent on freeing the bishops from the 
metropolitans than on extending the power of the 

The later history of the decretals throws more 
light on these Questions. As we have seen, the first 
distinct reference to them was at the Council of 
Soissons, in 853, when questions came up regarding 
the validity of the ordinations made by the deposed 
Ebbo. In 857 they were quoted at the Council of 
Kiersy, and it is evident that they were first known 

' Wasserschleben, p. 371. 

* Ep. i., Marcelli, § 2 ; Ep. Victoris, § 5 ; Ep. i., Sixti II., § 2 ; 
Decreta Julii, § 12 ; Hinschius, pp. 224, 128, 190, 467. 

* Hinschius, pp. ccxxv., cxcix., cc. 

Use of the Decretals. ' 449 

to Nicholas I., so as to be used by him in 865,' 
though both Hinschius and Wasserschleben refer to 
the fact that Servatus Lupus called the pope's atten- 
tion to them in 857 or 858 ; but Nicholas in his reply 
passed over the reference in silence.^ Later, how- 
ever, in the disputes with Hincmar about Ilincmar 
of Laon and Rothad of Soissons he undoubtedly 
made use of them. The process between the two 
Hincmars furnishes an example of a complete prac- 
tical application of the Forged Decretals on the side 
of the nephew, the decretals here serving, in their 
original sense and character, the special Pseudo- 
Isidorian — that is, episcopahan tendency ; while in 
the case of Rothad, and later on, they were always 
appropriated to the papal interests.' With Hinc- 
mar opposition to them ceased for a long time. 
After Nicholas L they were used by Hadrian H.,* 
also by Stephen IV., Leo IX., Gregory VII., and 
Paschal II.' The Prankish and German episcopate 
clearly recognized the danger which threatened the 
existing ecclesiastical constitution and valid rights 
by means of them, and they were quoted only in 
harmless passages in the synods of the last part of 
the ninth century. In the Synod of Rheims, in 
991, one more strong resistance was made against 
them by the Prankish bishops, but the ecclesiastical 
indifference and demoralization of the bishops, to- 

' Hinschius, pp. cciv.-ccvii. 

* Ibid., p. cciv ; Wasserschleben, pp. 380, 381. 
^ Wasserschleben, pp. 381, 382. 

* Ep. 28, Ad Episcopos Duziac ; Harduin, Concilia, vol. iv., 
p. 722 ; a passage from Anterus. 

'' Wasserschleben, p. 3S3. 

450 The Age of Charlemagne. 

gether with their general absorption in political 
affairs, brought the unresisting church into com- 
plete dependence upon the power of- Rome, and an- 
nulled the early independence and national individ- 
uality. It was therefore those general ecclesiasti- 
cal, political, and moral conditions which brought 
about this result, while the forgeries alone never 
would have made it possible.' 

" The same shield under which Pseudo-Isidore 
fought for the protection of the bishops against 
metropolitans and synods, the primacy of Rome, 
was the same with which the Church of Rome 
crushed them." In this way the Forged Decretals, 
in complete opposition to their original purpose, 
became a lever for raising and supporting the power 
of the papacy.^ 

Just as Pippin and Charles the Great, in connec- 
tion with their coronations, had ascribed to the pope, 
for their own benefit and advancement, a power 
which he was only too ready to use with such en- 
dorsement, and which he never afterwards forgot, 
so did Pseudo-Isidore ascribe to the papal see, for 
the protection of the bishops, powers which it 
speedily went on to realize and to use for its own 
sake. If all this is true, it will be seen that the in- 
fluence of the Forged Decretals, based on a miscon- 
ception of their contents and history, has been very 
much overestimated, but there is no difficulty in 
accepting the statement of Alzog. 

The compilers of the decretals by stating as 
facts what were only the opinions or the tendencies 

' Neander, vol. iii. , p. 350. ^ Wasserschleben, p. 380. 

Proof of their Falsity. 451 

of the age, by giving as ancient and authentic docu- 
ments such as were supposititious and modern, and 
by putting forward as estabhshed rights and legal 
precedents claims entirely destitute of such war- 
rant, did, in matter of fact, hasten the development 
and insure the triumph of the very ideas and princi- 
ples they advocated, signally contributed to the 
growth of that spirit of freedom among the bishops 
which made them independent of the secular power, 
and gave a new impulse to the increasing influence 
of the head of the church {episcopus universalis), 
especially in its relations to metropolitans and pro- 
vincial synods. ' ' ' 

Down to the fifteenth century belief in their gen- 
uineness was quite general, only a few voices being 
raised against them. Peter Comeston, in the twelfth 
century, Stephen of Tournay, in the thirteenth, 
Marsihus of Padua, in the fourteenth, Cardinal 
Nicholas of Cusa, in the fifteenth, and Erasmus, in 
the sixteenth, questioned their genuineness, but it 
remained for the Magdeburg Centuriators, the great 
Protestant historians of the sixteenth century, to 
give full proof of their spuriousness, while shortly 
after, in 1628, David Blondel, in a masterly work 
against the Jesuit Turrian, who had made one more 
attempt to defend them, finally decided the ques- 
tion of their falsity, which to-day no one doubts. 

' Alzog, vol. ii., p. 274. 



S a result of the impetus and support 
given by the early Carolingians, espe- 
I cially by Charles the Great, and the 
spirit which was or had worked in the 
first half of the ninth century, and which 
found its completest expression in the Forged 
Decretals, the height of the papacy was reached 
in the three popes whose pontificates cover a little 
more than the third quarter of the ninth century 
(858-882)— Nicholas I., Hadrian II., and John 
VIII. Nicholas I. was the greatest of the popes 
between Gregory I. and Gregory VII. (Hildebrand), 
a man of resolute determination, of clear insight, 
and of keen intellect. He was supported by a 
strong public opinion, and was able to take advan- 
tage of the political conditions of his age. In three 
great controversies he showed at once his moral 
greatness and the wide influence which his position 
afforded, as well as the strength of the papal organi- 
zation as it had grown up under liis predecessors 


Power of Nicholas I. 453 

through the fostering care of the Carollngian kings 
and emperors. The first struggle was with Lothair 
II., of Lotharingia, the second son of the Emperor 
Lothair. He had discarded his wife, Thietberga, 
accusing her of heinous crimes in order to marry his 
mistress, Waldrada. Though the c^ueen was ac- 
quitted by a civil tribunal in 858, Lothair treated 
her so cruelly that she was induced to confess her- 
self guilty before a synod at Aix-la-Chapelle, in 859, 
held in the presence of the two metropolitans, 
Giinther of Cologne and Thietgaut of Treves. After- 
wards regretting this act, she fled to Charles the 
Bald in Neustria. Lothair, however, induced a 
second synod, held in 860, to annul his marriage 
with her, and he formally married Waldrada. Hinc- 
mar, however, defended the queen, and she ap- 
pealed to the pope. Nicholas sent two Itahan 
bishops as his legates to investigate the affair, but 
being bribed by the king, they pronounced in his 
favor at a synod in Metz in 863. Nicholas himself 
then took the matter in hand, excommunicated his 
legates, and deposed the two metropolitans. In 
order to retaliate, they incited the Emperor Louis 
XL, Lothair's brother, to take up their cause. He 
went so far as to attack Rome, but soon came to an 
understanding with the pope. 

Lothair was brought to terms, and a papal 
legate obliged him to put away Waldrada and to 
take back his queen. Waldrada, however, exer- 
cised her charms, and was once more restored to 
the favor of the king. The queen now asked for a 
divorce, but Nicholas would not grant it. 

454 ^^^^ ^£'^ ^f Charlemagne. 

His successor, Hadrian II., continued the strug- 
gle, and finally Lothair himself went to Rome, and 
took a solemn oath that he had been innocent of 
any wrong after taking back Thietberga. The pope 
accordingly administered the sacrament to him, but 
on his way home he died, in 869. 

The second affair was in relation to Constantino- 
ple and the Eastern Church. Ignatius, the patri- 
arch, had been deposed and banished for excommu- 
nicating Barbas, the uncle of the Emperor Michael 
III. and regent of the empire, who had been living 
in open sin. Photius, formerly commander of the 
imperial forces, was put in his place, and appealed 
to Nicholas to support him. Nicholas sent two 
legates, who in 861 decided against Ignatius. Here 
again Nicholas, who had made independent inquiry, 
deposed his own legates, reversed their action, and 
declared in favor of Ignatius. Photius called a 
synod in 867, and accused the Church of Rome of 
many intolerable heresies. At the request of the 
pope an able reply was written by Ratramnus of 
Corbie. In the same year Michael was murdered, 
and Basil, his murderer, became his successor, and 
supported the cause of Ignatius, appealing to Hadrian 
II. Ignatius was restored by a synod at Constanti- 
nople in 869, regarded by the Romans as the eighth 
general council. Photius bore his defeat with 
patience, became reconciled to Ignatius, and when 
the latter died, in 878, Photius was restored to the 
patriarchate. He was deposed again in 886 by a 
new emperor, Leo VI., and died in monastic exile 
in 891. 

Victory of John VIII. 455 

The third struggle was much more serious and of 
greater importance to the organization of the church 
and to the claims of the papal power, involving as 
it did a struggle with the leading archbishop of the 
West, and the practical overthrow of any indepen- 
dent episcopal authority. Hincmar, archbishop of 
Rheims, had deposed Rothad, bishop of Soissons, 
in 861. Rothad appealed to the pope on the ground 
of the rights conferred by the Sardican canons, and 
after a long and severe struggle Nicholas secured 
his reinstatement in 865. A similar contest took 
place under Hadrian II. Hincmar deposed his own 
nephew, Hincmar of Laon, and Hadrian, in 869, 
took up the side of the nephew, but the metropoli- 
tan gained the victory. 

John VIII., the last of the three popes, and the 
last great pope before the weakness and corruption 
of the next two centuries, seemed to have attained 
a complete victory over the temporal power. He 
succeeded in freeing the papal chair almost com- 
pletely from the imperial authority. After the death 
of the emperor, Louis II., he supported the claims 
of Charles the Bald, who appeared in Rome, and 
was crowned by him on Christmas Day, 875, but, 
as we have seen, this support was purchased by 
Charles at the price of great concessions. Hincmar 
and his clergy made a determined protest, and at 
the synod in 876 a violent controversy arose. Nor 
was either the pope or the emperor satisfied ; in- 
deed, the pope had freed the papacy from the im- 
perial power only to leave it unprotected to the 
sport and passions of nobles and party factions in 

456 The Age of Charlcmag7te. 

and about Rome, and he died, in 882, apparently 
by the hand of an assassin. Hincmar died in the 
same year, and the glory and independence of the 
Prankish archbishops disappeared for a time. 

In the corruption and disorder that ensued, the 
papacy, separated from the empire, became the 
sport and prey of the factions of Italian nobles, and 
sank into weakness and confusion, which lasted until 
the Synod of Sutri, in 1046. 

The empire, divided by the strife and struggles 
of the sons and successors of Louis the Pious, 
though united for one brief moment under the weak 
and ignominious rule of Charles the Fat, finally fell 
apart in 887, never to be reunited. 

The Carolingian line died out in Italy in 899, in 
Germany in 911, and in France in 987. The empire 
which Otto I. created in 962 was the Holy Roman 
Empire of the German people, but of the vast 
domains of Charles the Great it comprised only 
Germany and Italy. Thus for a time the weaken- 
ing of the empire and the division of the imperial 
forces had seemed to aid the papacy to realize the 
position, and to exercise the powers gained by the 
influence of Charles the Great, but it overreached 
itself, and the final collapse of the imperial power 
left it without anything on which to lean for sup- 
port. Like the air to the flying bird was the im- 
perial power to the papacy, and the weakness of the 
empire was followed in this, as in every instance, 
by papal demoralization. 


Abassides, overthrow Ommiads, 

Abogard of Lyons, 430. 

Adalhard, abbot of Corbie, 250, 
270. 379, 388. 

Adalung, abbot of Saint Vedast, 

Addiila, abbess, 188. 

Adelbert, condemned by Boni- 
face, 77, 107 ; at Soissons, lOG, 

Adelperga, 191. 

Adoptionists, condemned, 255, 
263 sq. ; belief, 26G, 350. 

Adrian. See Hadrian. 

Adriauople, battle of, 26. 

.^tius, chief minister of Irene, 

^tius, Roman general, 29. 

Agobard, 269, 351, 359, 363. 

Aistulf, King of Lombards, 129 ; 
relations to Stephen III., 131 
sq. ; struggle with Franks, 140 
sq. ; final subjection, 146 sq. ; 
killed, 151 ; characterized, 152. 

Alaric, 26. 

Albinus, 316. 

Alboin, leader of Lombards, 96. 

Alcuin, 183, 188 ; on Charles, 
172, 214, 215 ; meets Charles, 
236 ; " Four Caroline Books," 
261 ; treatise. 266, 267, 268 ; 
meets Felix, 269 ; on the 
Filioque, 270 ; on Egbert, 317 ; 
sketch of life, 318 ; relations 
to Charles, 322 sq. ; powers, 
334, 325 ; specimens of ques- 
tions, 328 sq. ; of definitions, 

333 ; poor Greek scholar, 333, 
384, 335 ; no evidence as to 
Hebrew. 334 ; great theolo- 
gian, 336 ; timid, 337 ; influ- 
ence, 337 ; trials, 339 ; abbot 
of Tours. 340 sq. ; opposes 
Irish school, 349, 350 ; refutes 
Felix, 350 ; death, 350 ; sum- 
ming up, 350, 351. 

Alemanni, 30, 31 ; Fridolin 
among, 55 ; rebellion, 110. 113. 

Alexander III., canonization of 
Charles, 299, 

Alexandria, patriarchate, 18 ; in 
Pseudo Isidore, 439. 

Almansor, 165. 

Alubert, bishop, 187. 

Alzog, on Images, 85 ; on Forged 
Decretals, 435, 436, 450, 451. 

Amelia, occupied by Liutprand, 
126 ; restored, 128. 

Amola, 370. 

Amoricans, 31. 

Ampere on " De Litteris Co- 
lendis, " 337 ; on growth of 
Protestantism, 363 ; on Scotus, 
372 ; on Hincmar, 419. 

Anagrates, monastery, 55. 

Auastasius, Emperor, titles Clo- 
vis, 31. 

Anastasius, papal biographer, 
on Donation of Charles, 196. 

Anastasius, patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, 87. 

Andrews, on Charles, 240. 

Anegrey, monastery, 55, 345. 

Angilbert, abbot, 263, 334, 335. 




Angilram, bishop of Metz, capit- 
ularies of, 427, 429. 
Aniane, monastery, 281. 
Auointiag, 120, 121. 
Ausegis, abbot of Foutenelles, 

Ausegis, son of Arnulf , 42. 
Anselm, 387. 

Ansgar, missionary, 416 ; mis- 
sion destroyed, 417 ; see of 
Bremen, 417 ; success, 417 ; 
" Apostle of the North," 418_. 
Antioch, patriarchate, 18 ; in 

Pseudo Isidore, 439. 
Apocrisiarhis, 95. 
Apostolic Canons (false), 428. 
Aquitanians, submission, 65 ; re- 
bellion, 110, 161 ; revolt on 
death of Pippin, 168. 
Arabia, Arabs, 64 ; contests Math 
Charles Martel, 64 sq., 101 ; 
conflicts with Christians, 293, 
294. See Mahomet. 
Ardgar, hermit, 417. 
Arians. Arianism, 30, 31, 44, 51, 

52. 63, 436. 
Arichis, duke of Benevento. See 

Aristotle, study of, in Charles's 

time, 320. 
Arithmetic, in'Charles's time, 336. 
Arno, missionary, 418. 
Aruulf, bishop of Metz, 3, 41, 49. 
Astronomy, in Charles's time, 

Athalgis, son of Desiderius, 191, 

Athanasius, relation to Forged 

Decretals, 442. 
Atto, bishop of Vercelli, 432. 
Augustine, English missionary, 

Augustine, studied by Charles, 
19, 326 ; against Transubstan- 
tiation, 364. 
Aurelius of Carthage, 427. 
Austrasia. 32, 34 ; battle of Tes- 
try, 42 ; power, 59 ; peace 
under Pippin, 122. 

Autchar, duke, 133. 
Avars, 236 sq., 293. 
Avitus, to Clovis, 45. 
Aymer, 373. 

Baldwin, 373. 

Barbarians, 10. See under sepa- 
rate titles. 
Barbas, uncle of Michael III., 

Basil, murderer of Michael III., 

Baugulf, abbot of Fulda, 338. 
Bavaria, Bavarians, 33 ; Boni- 
face among, 70, 75 ; rebellion, 
110 sq. 
Bede, 20 ; on mission of Willi- 
brod, 69 ; on Biscop, 314 ; 
work, 314, 315, 317 ; on study 
of Greek, 334. 
Begga, daughter of Pippin, 42. 
Belisarius, defeats Vandals, 26 ; 

conquests, 92. 
Benedict, archdeacon of Rome, 

Benedict Biscop, 312, 313, 314. 
Benedict Levite, 287. 427, 430. 
Benedict of Aniane, 268, 281, 386, 

Benedict of Nursia, 54. 
Benedict, Rule of, 280, 281, 386, 
400 ; enforced at first German 
synod, 105. 
Benedictines, 53, 54. 
Benefices, 35, 63, 105. 
Benevento, duke of, 125, 152, 
153, 190, 197, 236, 237, 290, 
Bernhard, count of Barcelona. 

398, 399, 404. 
Bernhard, grandson of Charles, 
296, 378, 379 ; relations to Leo, 
380, 381 ; conspiracy, 386, 
387 ; surrender, 387 ; death, 
387, 388. 
Bernhard, uncle of Charles, 234, 

Bernharius, bishop of Worms, 



Bertrada, queen of Pippin, 118, 
138, 169, 170. 

Bcser, influence on Leo, 8i. 

Biscop, Benedict, 312. 313, 314. 

Bishops, position of, 20, 21, 46 ; 
metropolitan system, 273 sq. ; 
election, 277 ; influence, 278 
sq., 284 ; subordinate, 279 ; 
temporal power, 284 ; under 
Louis, 286, 359 ; feudalism and 
secularization, 419 sq., 423 sq. ; 
effect of Forged Decretals on, 
427 sq., 448. 

Blera, occupied by Liutpraud, 
126 ; restored, 128. 

Blidulfus, 373. 

Blondel, David, on False Decre- 
tals, 451. 

Bobbio, monastery, 56, 345. 

Boethius, 320. 336. 

Bohemians, 293. 

Bomarzo, occupied by Liut- 
prand, 126 ; restored, 128. 

Boniface, 20, 57 ; on bishops 
under Charles MarLel, 61 ; on 
Charles Martel, 67; "Apostle 
of Germany," 68 ; life, 68 sq. ; 
oath to St. Peter, 71 ; impor- 
tance of work, 73 sq., 99, 108, 
110 ; archbishop, 75 ; papal 
legate, 75, 109 ; among Bava- 
rians, 75 ; diocesan system in 
Prankish centres, 76, 107, 108 ; 
at llrst German synod, 76, 104 ; 
settles at Mainz, 77, 108, 109 ; 
monastery of Fulda, 77 ; se- 
cures condemnations of bish- 
ops, 77 ; no part in Pippin's 
plots, 78 ; letter to Cuthbert, 78, 
108 ; resignation, 79 ; martyr- 
dom, 79 ; power under Karl- 
mann, 103 ; consecrates bish- 
ops of Rouen, Rheims, and 
Sens, 100 ; connection with 
Pippin's synods, 107 ; not pri- 
mate of all Germany, 108 ; 
influence over Gregory of 
Utrecht, 186 ; on Sturm, 187 ; 
patronage of king, 424, 425. 

Bremen, diocese, 189. 

Bretwalda, Offa, 292.. 

Brunhilda, 40, 55. 

Bryce on coronation of Charles. 
210, 211. 

Buraburg, bishopric, 76. 

Burchard, bishop of Wurzburg, 

Burgundians, Burgundy, 31 ; 
conquered, 33 ; part of Mero- 
vingian monarchy, 34 ; conver- 
sion, 44 ; reconquered, 65. 

Bury, on coronation of Charles, 

Cfecilius, taunt of Christians, 83. 

Calabria, 124. 

" Canonical life," 280. 

Canons, Dionysian, 283. 

Canons, Sardican, 287. 

Capella, ]\Iartianus, 320, 371. 

Capet, Plugh, 414. 

Capitularies, Saxon, 177 sq. ; of 
Charles, 229 sq., 244 sq., 255 
sq. ; of Frankfort, 275 ; of 
Louis, 281, 354, 383 ; of An- 
gilram, 429 ; of Isidore and 
others, 426 sq. 

Caroliugiaus, 3, 25 ; end, 413, 
414, 456. See under names of 

Cassiodorus, 320, 336. 

Clialcedon, Council of, 347. 

Chalons, battle of, 29. 

Charlemagne. See Charles the 

Charles Martel, 3, 42, 60 ; rela- 
tions to Church. 60 sq., G7, 76, 
101 ; victory over Mahome- 
tans, 64, 65 ; reconquers Bur- 
gundy, 65 ; attacks Friesians, 
65 ; Saxons, 65 ; continues 
struggle against Arabs, 65 ; 
difliculties, 66 ; drives Arabs 
to far South, 66 ; peace, 66 ; 
appealed to by Gregory IIL 
against Lombards, 101, 102, 
126 ; death, 102 ; division of 



kingdom, 103 ; view of Church 
property, 310. 

Charles the Bald, 297 ; rharac 
teristics, 06O, 361, 366 ; Eucha- 
ristic controversy, 304 ; friend- 
ship for Scotus, 366, 367 ; 
birth, 891 ; kingdom, 397 ; 
new division, 405 ; sent to 
monaster}^ 407 ; fresh attempt 
to enlarge territory, 409 ; re- 
ceives knightly belt and terri- 
tory, 409 ; attacked by Lothair, 
411 ; victory, 412 ; compact 
with Louis, 412 ; treaty of 
Verdun, 413 ; relations to Eb- 
bo, 442 ; to Hincmar, 444, 455. 

Charles the Bold, accepts crown, 

Charles the Fat, 414, 450. 

Charles the Great, title to great- 
ness, 2, 3, 6. 7. 170 sq., 240 
sq., 377; tlie era, 3; creates 
Carolingiau empire, 25 ; over- 
"throws Lombards, 27 ; meets 
Stephen III., 134; consecra- 
tion, 138 ; " Patrician of the 
Romans." 138, 139, 202, 204; 
letter from Hadrian L, 157, 198 
sq., 282 ; crowned at Noyon, 
168 ; relations to Karlmann, 

169 ; overtures to Tas.silo and 
Desiderius, 169 ; disowns wife, 

170 ; takes up liis great work, 
170 sq. ; sketch of life, 171 
sq. ; relations to Cliurch, 171, 
172, 226, 281 sq., 425; wars 
with Saxons, 172 sq. ; subjec- 
tion of Saxons, 176 sq., 182 ; 
massacre of Verdeu, 180 ; fresh 
revolts, 182, 183; final con- 
quest, 184; " Enlightener of 
the Saxons," 185 sq. ; relations 
to missionaries, 185 sq. ; mar- 
riage, 191 sq. ; letter from 
Cuthwulf, 191 ; Lombard war, 
195, 196 ; enters Rome, 196 ; 
" King of the Lombards," 197 ; 
not crowned with iron crown, 
198 ; Donation, 196, 200, 201 ; 

protection of Leo, 205 ; in 
Rome again, 205, 236 ; coro- 
nation, 207 ; theories concern- 
ing, 210 sq. ; relations to East, 
214 sq. ; letter to Michael, 
217 ; Rome not his home, 224 ; 
imperial supremacy, 225 ; fond 
of Augustine, 226, 227 ; Gen- 
eral admonition, 227 sq. ; the- 
ocracy, 231 sq.; Spanish cam- 
paign, 233 sq. ; at Pavia, 235 ; 
capitularies, 235, 244 sq., 255 
sq. ; meets Alcuin, 236 ; con- 
quers Avars, 236 sq. ; alle- 
giance of Beneveuto, 236, 237 ; 
subdues Tassilo, 237 ; three- 
fold nature of his work, 241 
sq. ; administration of govern- 
ment, 242 sq. ; national assem- 
blies and .synods, 249 sq. ; 
iconoclastic controversy, 259 
sq. ; " Four Caroline Books," 
261 ; Adoptionism condemned, 
263 sq. ; Filioque, 269 sq. ; 
" Veni Creator," 271 ; attempt 
to establish metropolitan cen- 
tres, 277 ; nomination and elec- 
tion of bishops, 277, 278 ; 
" Canonical Life," 280 ; Diony- 
sian canons, 283 ; sacramen- 
tary of Gregory, 283 ; marriage 
laws, 283 ; tithes, 283 ; su- 
preme j udge of clergy, 284 ; 
closing years, 288 sq., 297 sq. ; 
revision of laws, 288, 289 ; re- 
lations to Mahometans, 290 ; 
papal support, 290 ; friendly 
to foreigners, 292 ; protects 
Louis against corrupt adminis 
tration, 294 ; distribution of 
kingdoms, 295 ; takes field 
against Danes, 296 ; confers 
crown on Louis, 298 ; last sick- 
ness and death, 299 ; canon- 
ized, 299 ; summary, 300 sq. ; 
schools, 303, 304 ; intellectual 
life and development, 303 sq., 
326, 330 sq. ; relations to Al- 
cuin, 322 sq. ; " De Litteris 



Coleudis," 337 ; relations to 
Irish scholars, 849 sq. ; forces 
of disuuiou, 374 sq. 

Charles, sou of Charles the Great, 
183, 393 ; early career, 293 ; 
kingdom, 295, 296 ; death, 

Charles, sou of Pippin, and 
grandson of Louis the Pious, 

ChildericI, 29. 

Childeric 111., 103, 115. 

Chilperic, 47. 

Chrodegang, bishop of Metz, 133, 
280 ; rule. 353, 886, 400. 

" Chorepiscopoi," 379. 

Chronicles of Moissac, on coro 
nation of Charles, 308 sq. 

Church, first three centuries, 14 
sq. ; inheritance, 14 ; religiou 
established, 16, 17. See Rome, 
Chukcii op. 

Classe, taken by Pippin, 146. 

Claudius, bishop of Turin, 363. 

Clement, condemned by Boni- 
face, 77. 

Clement of Ireland, 349, 365. 

Clement. See VVilliurod. 

Clergy, Forged Decretals on, 437 
sq. See Bishops. 

Clodio, or Clogio, 29. 

Clotaire II., 33, 39, 40, 56. 

Clovis, 8, 29 ; victory over Syag- 
rius, 39 ; conversion, 30 ; 
greatness, 30, 31 ; conquests, 
31 ; king of Ripuarians, 33 ; 
division of kingdom at death, 
33 ; Catholic champion, 44, 
45, 97 ; contrasted with Theo- 
doric, 92 ; not anointed, 121. 

Cluuy, 373. 

Cnut, 419. 

Ccelesiine, primacj' of Peter, 23, 
footnote ; greatness, 24. 

Cologne, archbishopric, £74. 

Coloni, 10. 

Columba, St., 55, 344. 

Columbanus, missionar\% 55, 345, 
347 sq., 851. 

Comeston. Peter, on Forged De- 
cretals, 451. 

Conrad, brother of Judith, 404. 

Constanline V., 103. 

Coustantine VI., betrothed to 
Ruthrud, 212, 261. 

Coustantine, Phrygian bishop, 84. 

Coustantine, Donation of, 89, 
155 sq., 448. 

Coustantinople, struggle with 
Rome, 4 ; patriarchate, 18. See 
Eastern Ciiuiicn and Em- 

Corbie, monastery, 357. 

Council, Seventh General. 103. 

Courts, Ecclesiastical, 285. 

Uuthbert, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, 78, 108. 

Cuthwulf, letter to Charles, 194. 

Cyprian, 19 ; a^jpeal to Rome, 

Cyril, Greek monk, 419, 

Dagobert, 33, 89, 41. 

Daimatia, 218. 

Damasus, Pope, 23, 437. 

Damiani, Peter, 421, 423. 

Danes, invasion, 396, 340, 341, 
360, 361, 375 ; missions among, 
415 sq. 

Daniel, bishop of Winchester, 09. 

Dante, on Donation of Coustan- 
tine, 158. 

Decretals, False, 387, 425, 436, 
437 sq. See Donation op Con- 
st antine. 

De Maistre, on Charles, 3. 

Desiderata, daughter of Deside- 
rius, 191, 193, 194.. 

Desiderius, King of Lombards, 
152, 153, 160, 109; political 
alliances, 190 ; war with 
Charles. 195. 196 ; conquered, 
197, 198. 

Diacoaus, Paulus, on Charles, 
240, 241, 

Dialectic, in time of Charles, 336, 

Diocletian, 13. 



Dionysian canous, 283, 426. 

Dionysins Exiguus, 426. 

Donation of Charles, 196, 200, 

Donation of Constantine, 89, 155 
sq., 448. 

Donation of Pippin, 136 sq. 

Dorner,on Adoptionism, 264, 265. 

Droclitegang, abbot of Jumieges, 

Drogo, 380. 387, 388. 

Dunstan, archbisliop of Canter- 
bury, 422. 

Dyotheletic Synod, 264. 

Eardulf, 290. 

Easter dispute, 346, 347. 

Eastern Cliurcli and Empire, 
struggle with Rome, 4 ; rela- 
tion of Charles to, 214 sq., 
222 ; Filioque controversy, 269 
sq. See Exarchs ; Image 
Worship ; Leo III. 

Eaubald, archbishop of York, 

Ebbo, archbishop of Rheims, 174, 
footnote, 407, 408, 420 ; work 
among the Danes, 415 sq. ; 
bearing of Forged Decretals 
on, 441 sq. 

Eberhard, 408. 

Edict of 615, 40. 

Egbert, archbishop of York, 317, 

Egypt, Mahometan, 64. 

Eichstadt, bishopric, 76. 

Einhard, on Karlmann, 112 ; on 
puppet kings, 115 ; on Prank- 
ish support of papacy, 136 
on war with Saxons, 173 sq. 
on coronation of Charles, 212 
on double emperorship. 217 
on Haroun al Raschid and 
Charles, 291 ; on Charhs's in- 
tellectual attainments, 326 ; on 
Rabanus,356; letter to Lothair 
and death, 401 sq. ; Elipantus, 
archbishop of Toledo, 363, 264, 

Emerton, on distinction of race 

and language among Franks, 

England, Church of, time of 

Charles, 311 sq. ; previous to 

Norman conquest, 424. 
English, conversion of, 20. 
Ennodius, bishop of Pa via, use 

of word " pope," 23, footnote. 
Ephesus, Council of, primacy of 

Peter at, 22, footnote. 
Episcopate. See Bishops. 
Erasmus, on Forged Decretals, 

Erfurt, bishopric, 76. 
Eric of Auxerre, 373. 
Eric of Jutland, 417. 
Erigena. See ScoTus. 
Erimbert, 417, 418. 
Estinues, Council at, 105. 
Ethelbert, archbishop of York, 

318 32'-* 
Eucharist, 265, 363 sq. 
Eudes, 65. 
Eugene II., 393 ; peaceful reign, 

Eutychiaus, 265. 
Exarchs, Exarchate, 88, 93, 95, 

127, 128, 130, 131, 132, 139, 

203, 2U4. 
Exiguus, Dionysius, 426. 

False Decretals, 23, 287, 425, 426, 
427 sq. 

Farfa, monastery, 392. 

Felix of Urgel, heresies con- 
demned by Charles, 231, 263, 
267 sq. ; belief, 266 ; meets 
Alcuiu. 269 ; refuted by Al- 
cuin. 350. 

Feudalism, 5, 21, 35, 36, 40, 46, 
47, 65, 258, 284. 300, 301, 802, 
875, 376, 378, 408, 419 sq., 423 

" Field of Lies," 406. 

Filioque clause, 269 sq. 

Fleury, on letter from St. Peter, 

Florus of Lyons, Eucharistic con- 



troversy, 364 ; predestinatiou 
controversy, ii70. 

Poldrad, abbot of St. Denis, 117, 
133, 147, 159. 

Fontanas, 55. 

Fontenay, 55, 411. 

Frankfort, assembly of, 255, 363, 

Franlcfort, capitularies of, 275. 

Franks, the, 5, 25, 27 ; Catholics, 
44 ; help from Church, 45 ; 
difference between their king- 
dom and otlier German liiug- 
doms, 58 ; prestige established, 
100 ; rebellions after death of 
Charles, 110 sq. ; signiiicance 
of Pippin's coronation, 118, 
119 ; donation of Pippin, 136 
sq. ; bound to papacy. 151 ; 
council of Vermeuil, 102 sq. ; 
distinctions of race and lan- 
guage, 412. bee under names 
of kings. 

Frederick I., canonization of 
Charles, 299. 

Freising, bishopric, 75. 

Fridolin, Irish missionary, 55. 

Friesians, 59, 05, 69. 

Frodoard, 373. 

Fulda, 77, 187, 354, 859. 

Fulrad. See Foldkad. 

Gallese, acquisition of by Greg- 
ory, 125. 

Qallus, founder of St. Gall, 56. 

Gauzbert, missionary, 417. 

General admonition, 227 sq. ; 

Gentilly, Synod at, 269. 

Gerberga, daughter of Deside- 
rius, 191. 

German Church. See Boniface. 

Germans, inheritors of Roman 
power and civilization, 13, 25 
sq. ; results of migrations and 
conquests, 43 sq. See Clovis ; 
Charles the Great ; Mero- 
vingians ; Franks, and names 
of separate tribes, 

German Synods, First, 76, 104 : 
Second, 105. 

Germanus, patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, deposed, 87. 

Gerold, brolher-in-law of Charles, 

Gerold, count, 380. 

Gerung, 389. 

Gewillleb, 109. 

Gibbon, on Theodoric, 92 ; on 
temporal power, 159 ; on 
Charles, 240. 

Gieslemar, monk, 416. 

Gisla, sister of Cluirles, 170, 191. 

Goths, 26, 30 ; conversion, 43. 

Gottfried, 373. 

Gottschalk, on Predestination, 
368 sq. 

Grammar, time of Charles, 335, 

Gratian, confers papal riglits 
upon Damasus, 23. 

Greece, intellectual inheritance 
from, 8, 9. 

Greek Church. See Eastern 

Greek, study of, time of Charles, 

Gregorovius, on conquest of 
Liutprand, 100 ; on Icono- 
clasm, 123. 

Gregory I., greatness, 24, 97, 98, 
124 ; on image worship, 82 ; 
checks Lombards, 97, 98 ; 
Miimau on, 98. 

Gregory II., aids Boniface, 69 ; 
policy towards Leo, 87 sq., 
123 ; checks Liutprand, 100 ; 
death, 101 ; probable attempt 
at confederation, 156. 

Gregory III., rehitions to Boni- 
face, 75 ; to Franlis, 101. 102, 
126 ; death, 102, 127 ; decrees 
against Iconoclasts, 123 ; con- 
flict with Leo, 124 ; in pos- 
session of Gallese, 125 ; rela- 
tions to Lombard dukes, 125 ; 
probable falsitj^ of tradition of 
visit to Charles Martel, 133. 



Gregory IV., 397, 406 ; missions 
iu the North, 416. 

Gregory VI., 378. 

Gregory VII., enforces use of 
word " pope,' 23, footnote ; 
scholar of CUuny, 373 ; Forged 
Decretals, 449. 

G'l'egory of Tours, on Clovis, 
33 ; social position, 45 ; on 
Chilperic, 47, 48, footnote ; on 
learning. 309 ; on Capella, 321. 

Gregory of Utrecht, 1!S6, 187. 

Gregory the Great. See Greg- 
ory I. 

Grifo, 103 ; rebellion, 118, 114 ; 
killed, 114, footnote, 184; ter- 
ritory, 297. 

Grimoald, 43, 

Guizot, on Charles, 241 ; on as- 
semblies, 254 ; on capitularies, 
255, 256. 

Giiather of Cologne, 453. 

Hadrian I., letter to Charles, 
157, 198 sq., 283; policy, 195; 
Donation of Charles, 196, 200, 
201 ; relations to East, 214 ; 
sends copy of Dionysiau canons 
to Charles, 283 ; also copy of 
Sacramentary of Gregory, 288. 

Hadrian II., 449, 454, 455. 

Hadrian IV., claim to Ireland, 

Hadrian, missionary, 312, 315. 

Halitgar, bishop of Cambray, 

Hambury, ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tions. 275. 

lianold, duke of Aquitanians, 
110, 111, 112, 108, 169. 

Harold. King of Danes, 379, 415. 

Haroun al Raschid, 291. 

Haureau, on Alciiin, 334. 

Henry II., England, grant of 
Ireland, 158 ; canonization of 
Charles, 299. 

Herbert, 404. 

Ilersfield, monastery, 187, 857. 

Hertford, Council of, 70. 

Hessians, Boniface among, 71, 

Hildegard, 193. 

Hildelidis, 315. 

Hildibald, 274. 299, 373, 381. 

Hildigar, bishop of Cologne, 134. 

Hincmar, on General Assem- 
blies, 250; power, 276, 853, 
359, 419, 420; relations to 
Goltschalk, 370 ; to Charles 
the Bald, 444 ; to Nicholas I., 
449, 455 ; defends Thietberga, 
453 ; relations to Hadrian 11., 
455 ; death. 456. 

Hincmar of Laon, 449, 455. 

Hinschius, on Pseudo Isidore, 
429 sq., 448, 449. See Dona- 

Hirschau, monastery, 357. 
Holy Roman Empire, 224, 456. 
Horik of Jutland, 417. 
Hugo, father-in-law of Lothair, 

Hugo, son of Charles, 880, 887, 

Humfrid, count of Coire, 892. 
Huns, 26, 29, 875, footnote, 

Ibas, letter to Maris, 347. 

Ibn-al Arabi, governor of Sara- 
gossa, 234. 

Iconoclasm. See Image Wor- 

Ignatius, patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, 454. 

Illyricum, translated to i^atri- 
archate of Constantinople, 124. 

Image Worship, 81 sq., 09 ; 
iconoclasm, 85, 87, 88 ; de- 
crees of Gregory III., 128, 
124 ; council of Nicea in favor 
of. 214. 259 sq. ; Constantino- 
politan decrees condemned at 
Frankfort, 255. 

Immunities, 284, 285, 327. 

Ingelheim, diet of. 237. 

Innocent I., 24 ; greatness, 98. 

Ireland, zeal in, 54 ; develop- 
ment of learning in, 810 sq.. 



34u sq. ; school opposed by 
Alcuin and Theodulf, 349 sq.' 

Irene, 209. 

Irmingard, wife of Lothair, 388. 

Irmingard, wife of Louis, 383, 

Isaac of Constantinople, ad- 
dresses Frederick as emperor, 

Isidore Mercator, 427. 

Isidore of Seville, 320, 336 426 

Islam. See Mahometanism. 

Italy, after division of empire, 
91 sq. ; national movement, 

Jerusalem, first local centre of 
Church, 15 ; patriarchate, 18. 

Jews, image worship, hindrance 
to conversion, 83. 

John, archbishop of Aries, 381. 

John, bishop of Blanche-Selve, 
392, 393. 

John VIII., offers crown to 
Charles the Bold, 324 ; great- 
ness, 455. 

Judith, wife of Louis, 388, 391, 
397, 400, 404, 410 ; godmother 
to Danish cj[ueen, 413. 

JuliuSj bishop of Rome, right to 
receive appeals, 82. 

Justinian, 92. 

Karlmann, son of Charles Martel, 
76, 103 ; relations to Boniface, 
103 ; German synods, 103 sq. ; 
proceeds against Saxons, 111 ; 
murders Alemannians, 112; 
retirement, 112, 129 ; urges 
Pippin not to yield to Stephen, 
140 ; removed to Vienna and 
death, 141. 

Karlmann, brother of Charles, 
consecrated by Stephen III., 
138; "Patrician of the Ro- 
mans," 138, 139; crowned at 
Soissons, 168 ; desertion of 
Charles, 169, 194 ; marriage, 

170, 191 sq. ; death, 168, 170, 

Karlmann, son of Charles, 236. 
Kiersy, Council of, 448. 

Labuinus, missionary, 186. 
Landfrid, duke of the Aleman- 
nians, 113. 
Langobards. See Lombards. 
Learning. See Alcuin ; Charles 
THE Great ; Louis the Pious. 

Lehuerou, on consecration of 
Clovis, 121 ; on General As- 
semblies, 255. 

Leidrad, archbishop of Lyons, 

Leo I., pope, primacy of Peter, 
22, footnote ; greatness, 34, 98 ; 
relation to Pippin, 296. 

Leo III., emperor, victory over 
Mahometans, 64 ; on Images, 
82, 84, 85 ; edict, 86, 87 ; 
death, 103 ; conflict with Greg- 
ory III., 134 ; confers Mirfa 
and Norma on pope, 139. 

Leo III., pope, receives Charles's 
royal claims, 204 ; flees to 
Charles, 205 ; purgation, 205, 
206 ; crowns Charles, 207 ; 
Prankish account of corona- 
tion, 308 ; Filioque, 370 ; se- 
verity, 380 ; troubles and 
death, 380, 381. 

Leo. v., emperor, 379. 

Leo VI., emperor, 454. 

Leo IX., pope. Forged Decretals, 

Leo, master of the Knights, 393. 

Leo, son-in-law of Theodore of 
the papal palace, 393. 

Lestinnes, council at, 105. 

Liptinop, council at, 105. 

Liutprand, ally of Charles Mar- 
tel, 66, 107 ; checked by Greg- 
ory IL, 100 ; death, 103, 128 ; 
attacks Spoleto, 136 ; present 
at the function of Zacharias, 
137 ; treaty with Zacharias, 
128 ; attacks Ravenna, 138. 



Lombards, 25, 27 ; conversion, 
44 ; aid Ciiarles Martel, 66 ; 
time of Leo IIL, 88 sq. ; an- 
archy, 93 ; invasion, 95 sq. ; 
history slietched, 96 ; checked 
by Gregory, 97, 98 ; by Greg- 
ory IL, 100 ; final efforts, 155 ; 
marriage alliances vrith 
Franks, 190 sq. ; war with 
Charles, 195, 196 ; conquest, 
197, 198. See Aistulf ; Liut- 


Lorenz, on education in eighth 
century, 305, 333. 

Lothair I., crowned in Rome, 
224, 358, 378 ; crowned at Aix- 
la-Chapelle, 384, 385 ; mar- 
riage, 388 ; in Italy and Rome, 
389 ; godfather to Charles the 
Bald, 391 ; protector, 392 ; 
strength, 392; sent to adjust 
relations with Eugene II., 394 ; 
supreme in Rome, 394 ; Ro- 
man constitution, 394 sq. ; en- 
croachments of Charles the 
Bald, 398 ; against Louis, 398 ; 
confined to Italy, 399 ; letter 
from Einhard, 401 sq. ; head- 
strong, 403 ; open rebellion, 
404 ; restores father to rights, 
404, 405 ; new division of ter- 
ritory, 405 ; supreme, 406, 
407 ; brothers plot against 
him, 407 ; submission, 408 ; 
division of empire with 
Charles, 410 ; arms against his 
brothers, 411 ; joins with Pip- 
pin, 411 ; defeat at Fontenay, 
412 ; treaty of Verdun, 413 ; 
case of Ebbo, 441, 442. 

Lothair IL, 453, 454. 

Louis the Pious, coronation, 213 ; 
never at Rome, 224 ; King of 
Aquitania, 236, 293 ; adminis- 
tration of districts under, 248, 
254, 255 ; election of bishops, 
277 ; position of bishops under, 
279 ; " Canonical Life," 281 ; 
capitularies, 281, 354, 383 ; 

early career, 293, 294 ; king- 
dom, 295 _; gives duchy of 
Maine to his son, 297 ; closing 
years of his father's life, 297 ; 
joint emperorship with father, 
298 ; translation of Scriptures, 
352 ; no encouragement to 
Irish school, 365 ; not specu- 
lative, 366 ; forces of disunion 
in kingdom, 374 sq., 384 ; 
early career on throne, 378, 
379 ; rylations with Leo, 380 ; 
v.-ith Stephen V., 381 ; crown- 
ed, 382 ; donation to papacy, 
383 ; Lothair crowned, 384 ; 
"Regulation of the Empire," 
885, 388 ; rebellion of Bern- 
hard, 3S6, 387 ; penance for 
severities, 388 ; sends Lothair 
to Italy, 389 ; investigations 
in Italy, 392 sq. ; under influ- 
ence of queen, 397 sq. ; rebel- 
lion in family, 398, 400 ; char- 
acteristics, 400, 401 ; con- 
quered by sons, 404 ; retired, 
404 ; restored, 405 ; rebellion 
of Louis, 405, 40G ; fresh re- 
bellions of sons, 406 sq. ; 
Louis and Pippin to the rescue, 

407 ; submission of Lothair, 

408 ; territory of Charles, 409, 
410 ; arms against Louis and 
death, 411 ; patron of missions, 
416 sq. ; case of Ebbo, 441. 

Louis, son of Louis the Pious, 
dispute as to succession after 
death, 224 ; primogeniture, 
378, 379 ; receives Bavaria, 
385 ; sides with Lothair, 398 ; 

• new division of territory, 405 ; 
rebellion, 405, 406 ; to rescue 
of his father, 407 ; submission 
of Lothair, 408 ; fresh plots, 
409 ; possessions confirmed, 
410 ; attacked by father, 411 ; 
compact with Charles, 412 ; 
treaty of Verdun, 413 ; offers 
see of Bremen to Ansgar, 417 ; 
relations to Ebbo, 442. 



Louis II., brother of Lothair II., 

224, 455. 
Louis tlie German. See Louis, 

Son of Louis the Pious. 
Ludwig the German. See Louis, 

Son of Louis the Pious. 
Liigenfeld, 406. 
Luidger, missionary, 186, 188. 
Luitperga, 190. 
Lull, successor of Boniface, 79, 

Lupus, duke of Wasconia, 169. 
Lupus, Servatus, 357, 359, 361 

sq., 449. 
Luttich, under Hildibald, 274. 
Luxeuil, monastery, 55, 345. 
Luxovium, monastery, 55. 

Macchiavelli on Theodoric, 92. 

Magdeburg Centuriators, 451. 

Mahomet, Mahometanism, influ- 
ence on Church, 4 ; victories 
and progress, 63 sq. ; power, 
63, 64 ; at diet of Paderborn, 
233, 234 ; in Spain, 264 ; rela- 
tions to Charles, 290 ; conflicts 
with Christians, 293, 294 ; pre- 
destination, 370 ; invasions, 

Maifield, Mayfield. 144, 162, 176, 
249 sq., 254, 255. 

Maine, duchy of, 296. 

Mainz, ecclesiastical centre, 274 ; 
jurisdiction, 275, 276. 

Major domus. See Mayoks op 

Mar field. See Maifield. 

Mariolatrj'-, 81. 

Marriage, laws of, 283. 

Marsilius of Padua, on Donation 
of Constantine,' 158 ; on Forged 
Decretals, 451. 

Maurus Rabanus. See Rabanus, 

Mayors of the palace, 38 sq., 59, 
114 sq. 

Martianus Capella, 320, 371. 

Meaux, Council of, 435. 

Merovingians, 3, footnote, 29 

sq. ; deca}' of power, 34 sq., 

40 ; fall, 42. 
Methodius, Greek monk, 419. 
Metropolitan system, 276 sq. ; 

Forged Decretals, 436, 438, 440 

sq., 451. 
Metz, ecclesiastical position, 276. 
Michael I., emperor, relations to 

Charles, 217. 
Michael III., emperor, 454. 
Milmau, on Gregory, 98. 
Mirfa, conferred on Church, 129. 
Misd Dominici, 243 sq. 
Missionary work, 6, 53 sq. ; 

under Charles, 184 sq., 343 

sq. ; among Danes, 415 sq. ; 

in Sweden, 416, 417. SeeANS- 


Boniface ; Fridolin ; Wil- 


Moissac, chronicles of, on corona- 
tion of Charles, 208 sq. 

Mombert, story about Hildegard, 
193 ; on intellectual greatness 
of Charles, 330 sq. 

Monasteries, position of, in this 
era, 6, 21 ; united under Bene- 
dict, 54 ; immunities, 284, 285 ; 
history sketched, 307, 308. 

Monophysitism, 84, 85, 264. 

Monothelitism. 85, 2G4. 

Mullinger, on Alcuin, 335. 850 ; 
on episcopal schools, 353 ; on 
Rabanus, 355 ; on Scotus, 371, 

Narses, overthrows Ostrogoths, 
27 ; conquests, 92 ; relations 
to Lombards, 96. 

Neander, on Adelbert, 107. 

Nefrid, bishop of Narbonne, 268. 

Nestorius, Nestorianism, 264. 

Neustria, 32, 34 ; battle of Tes- 
try, 42 ; under Charles Martel, 
60 ; under Pippin, 122 ; after 
death of Pippin, 168. 

Nicephorus, 217. 
[Nicholas I., Forged Decretals, 
' 449 ; greatness, 453 ; relations 



to Lothair II., 453 ; to Eastern 

Church, 454. 
Nicholas II., Forged Decretals, 

Nicholas of Cusa, on Donation 

of Coustantine, 158 ; on Forged 

Decretals, 451. 
Norma, conferred on Church, 

Northalbingians, 183. 

" Octavius" of Minucius Felix, 
83, 84. 

Odo of Clugny, 873. 

Odoacer the Herulian, 27, 29, 
91 ; overthrown, 92. 

Offa, Brctwalda, 292, 340. 

Olaf, of Sweden, 417. 

Olaf Skotkonung, 418. 

Olaf the Holy, 418. 

Ommiads, overthrown, 165. 

Orleans, school at, 353. 

Orte, occupied by Liutprand, 
126 ; restored, 128. 

Ostrogothic kingdom, 31 ; con- 
version, 44, 51, 52. 

Otfried of Weisseuberg, 357. 

Otgar, archbishop of Mainz, 401. 

Ottilo, duke of Bavarians, 110. 

Otto I., 324, 375, footnote. 456. 

Paderborn, diet of, 233 ; under 

Mainz, 274. 
Palestine, Mahometan, 64. 
Pallium, the, 22, 276, 
Papacy. See Rome, Church of. 
Paris, Council of, 40. 
Paris, University of, 303, 304, 

389 ; investiture of Louis, 392 

Paschal I., 383, 387 ; death, 393. 
Paschal II., 449. 
Paschal, anti-pope, canonization 

of Charles, 299. 
Paschasius Radbertus, 266 ; 

eucharistic controversj', 383 

Passau, bishopric, 75. 
" Patriarch," title, 23, footnote. 

" Patrician of the Romans," 138, 
139, 202. 204. 

Patrick, St., 54, 343, 344, 373, 

Paul I., 139 ; succession, 152 ; 
letters to Pippin, 153 ; on Ro- 
man supremacy, 283. 

Paulicians, 82, 83. 

Paulinus, of York, 316. 

Paulinus, patriafch of Aquileia, 
268, 323. 

Paul the Deacon, 323, 324, 338 ; 
on Charles, 240, 241. 

Paulus Diaconus. See Paul thk 

Pavia, siege of, 146, 196. 

"Peace, The," 421. 

Pecock, on Donation of Cou- 
stantine, 158. 

Pelagius I., 346. 

Pelagius II., on Franks, 97. 

Persia, Mahometan, 64. 

Peter Comeston, on Forged De- 
cretals, 450. 

Peter Damiani, 421. 

Peter of Pisa, 323, 324. 

Petersburg, monastery, 357. 

Photius, relations to Nicholas I., 

Pippin, Donation of, 136 sq. 

Pippin, father of Charles, 57, 76 
102, 103 ; synod at SoissonS: 
106 ; conquers Bavarians, 111 
defence of Neustria, 111, 112 
receives Karlmann's kingdom 
112 ; relations to Gnfo, 113 
puts down Saxon revolt, 113 
coronation, 117 sq. ; character 
istics, 122 ; peace of united 
kingdoms, 122 ; relations to 
Stephen III., 132 sq. ; fresh re- 
volt of Saxons, 133, 134; meet- 
ing with Stephen, 134, 135 ; 
promises aid, 135 ; consecra- 
tion, 138 ; " Patrician of the 
Romans, " 138, 139 ; overtured 
byKarlmann, 140 ; orders him 
to Vienne, 141 ; attacks Ais- 
tulf, 141 ; fresh appeals from 



pope, 143 ; deaf ear, 143 ; let- 
ter from St. Peter, 145 ; crosses 
Alps agaiu, 146 ; foundation 
of temporal power, 147 sq. ; 
return, 151 ; letters from Paul 
I., 153 ; war with Aquitauia, 
161 ; at Verneuil, 163 ; rela- 
tions to emperor, 164, 165 ; to 
Almansor, 165 ; his work, 166, 
167 ; death 161, 167 ; division 
of kingdom, 167 ; attempt to 
establish metropolitan cen- 
tres. 377. 

Pippin of Heristal, 3, 43, 59, 60. 

Pippin of Lansteu, 3, 41, 43. 

Pippin, son of Charles, King of 
Italy, 386, 393 ; early career, 
393 ; kingdom, 395 ; relations 
to Leo, 396 ; death, 396. 

Pippin, son of Louis the Pious, 
378, 379, 385 ; rebellion, 404 ; 
restores father to rights, 404, 
405 ; new division of territorj-, 
405 ; anger, 405 ; fresh rebel- 
lions, 406, 407 ; to the rescue 
of his father, 407 ; submission 
of Lothair, 407 ; death, 409. 

Pippin, son of above, 409 ; joins 
with Lothair, 411. 

Pirminius, 77. 

Pius IX., on Boniface, 79. 

Plato, study of, in time of 
Charles, 330. 

Poitiers, battles of, 31. 87, 101. 

" Pope," history of term, 83. 

Porphyry, 336. 

Precarium, 63. 

Predestination controversy, 368 

Primogeniture, 378, 384. 

Probus, 358. 

Provincia, 33. 

Prudentius of Troyes, on'Scotus, 
367 ; predestination controver- 
sy, 370 ; dogmatist, 371. 

Pseudo Isidore, 33, 387, 435, 436, 
437 sq. 

Rabanus, Maurus, 366, 396, 353 ; 

"Veni Creator," 371; life, 

354 ; characteristics, 355, 356 ; 

monastic work, 357 ; loyal to 

Louis, 358 ; retirement, 358 ; 

regard for Louis the German, 

358 ; bishop of Mainz, 359 ; 

eucharistic confroversy, 364 ; 

relations to Gottschalk, 369, 

370 ; influence, 373. 
Rachis, King of Lombards, 119 ; 

retirement, 139. 
Radbertus, Paschasius, 366 ; 

eucharistic controversy, 363 

sq. ; on miraculous delivery 

of Mary, 365. 
Rashdall, on schools of Charles; 

Rathbod, King of Friesians, 59, 

Ratisbon, bishopric, 75. 
Ratramnus, 366 ; eucharistic 

controversy, 364 ; against 

Radbert, 865 ; defends the 

Church, 454. 
Ravenna, attacked, 138 ; fall, 

130, 131. 
Ravenna, archbishop of, 377. 
Reccared, conversion, 51, 369 ; 

anointed, ISO. 
Redfield, 406. 

Regensberg, a.ssembly in, 367. 
Regensberg, bishopric, 75. 
" Regulation of the empire, " 385, 

Reichenau, monastery, 77. 
Relics, 81, 

Remi of Auxerre, 873. 
Remigius, bishop of Rheims, 131. 
Remigius of Lyons, 370. 
Reminghad, 873. 
" Republic of Rome," 150. 
Rheims, power, 376 ; school at, 

353 ; synod of, 449. 
Richbon of Treves, 368. 
Ripuarians, 37, 38, 32. 
Rois Faineants, 41, 114 sq. 
Roland, death, 285. 
Roman Constitution, 394 sq. 
Rome, Church of, struggle with 



Constantinople, 4 ; increasing- 
power, 4, 5, 19 sq., 93 sq., 
136, 146 sq., 158 sq. ; states of 
the Church and temporal pow- 
er, 5, 93 sq., 147 sq. ; feudal re- 
lations, 36, 37, 419 sq. ; alliance 
with Franks, 45 ; connection 
with state, 46 sq., 93 sq. ; de- 
moralization, 53 sq. ; relations 
to Charles Martel, 60 sq., 67 ; 
strengthened by Mahometan 
conquest of Eastern patri- 
archates, 64, 100 ; oath of 
Boniface, 71, 72 ; from time of 
Theodoric, 93 sq., 99 ; signifi- 
cance of Pippin's coronation, 
118, 119 ; first anointing among 
Franks, 121 ; independence re- 
sult of clashing rival powers, 
124 ; iconoclastic controversy. 
124 ; political interests, 125 ; 
Donation of Pippin, 136 sq. ; 
" Patrician of the Romans," 
138, 139 ; foundation of tem- 
poral power, 147 sq. ; Dona- 
tion of Constantine, 155 sq. ; 
facts regarding temporal pow- 
er, 158 sq. ; results, 159, 100 ; 
relations with Charles, 171, 
172, 290 ; effect of Frankish- 
Lombard marriage alliances, 
190 sq. ; Donation of Charles, 
196, 200, 201 ; bound up in 
new empire, 218, 219 ; metro- 
politan system, 276 sq. ; letter 
of Hadrian on supremacy, 282 
Paul I. on same, 283 ; acknowl 
edged as centre and head, 286 
influence of Cliarles, 300, 302 
power of hierarchy, 377 ; elec- 
tion of popes, 382 ; Donation 
of Louis, 383 ; growth of rival 
imperial and papal parties, 392 
sq. ; Roman Constitution, 394 
sq. ; feudalism, 419 sq. ; 
Forged Decretals, 287, 425, 
426, 427 sq., 447 sq., 450; 
height of papacy, 452 sq. ; 
subsequent weakness, 436. 

See Bishop ; Charles the 
Great ; Charles Martel 
GRECiORY I. ; Gregory II. 
Gregory III. ; Hadrian I. 
Louis the Pious ; Stephen 
III. ; Zacharias. 

Rome, city, attacked by Lom- 
bards, 142, 144, 145. 

Rome, duke of, 128, 133. 

Rome, empire, legacy to new 
peoples of the West, 8 sq. ; rea- 
sons for disorganization, 10 sq. 

Rome, patriarchate, 18. 

Rome, " Republic of," 150. 

Rothard, Duke, 133. 

Rothard of Soissons, 449, 455. 

Rothrud, betrothed to Constan- 
tine, 212, 261. 

Rudolph, brother of Judith, 404. 

Rudolph, successor of Rabanus, 

Rugians, conversion, 44. 

Sabellianism, 264. 

Sacramentary of Gregory, 283. 

St. Gall, monastery, 53, 77, 345. 

Saints, veneration of, 81. 

Saliaus, 27, 28. 

Salzburg, bishopric, 75 ; eccle- 
siastical jurisdiction, 275. 

Sarabians, 293. 

Saracens, 26, 51 ; occupy Sicily, 
218. See Mahometans. 

Saragossa, Charles at, 234. 

Sardican canons, 22, 287. 

Saxons, attack Charles Martel, 
65, 66 ; Boniface among, 71 
rebellions, 110, 113, 134, 161 
wars with Charles, 173 sq. 
subjection, 176 sq. ; capitula 
ries, 177 sq. ; surrender, 181 
fresh revolts and subjections 
182, 183 ; final overthrow, 184 
missions among, 184 sq. 

Schaff, on Forged Decretals, 430. 

Scotland, conversion, 55. 

Scotus, John, eucharistic contro- 
versy, 304 ; wonder of age, 
365, 366 ; books, 367 ; philoso- 



phy, 367, 368 ; predestination 
controversy, 368 sq. ; closing 
days, 072, 373. 

Scriptures, translated under 
Louis, 352. 

Sereuus, bishop of Marseilles, on 
images, 82. 

Sergius I., 69. 

Sergius, librarian, 393. 

Sergius, papal legate. 111. 

" Servant of the Servants of 
God," 23, footnote. 

Servatus Lupus, 357, 359, 361 
sq., 370, 449. 

Sicily, 124, 218. 

Sigulfus, 373. 

Slavs, invasions, 375. 

Soissons, council at, 106, 107, 448. 

Spain, Church of, 263, 264. 

Spain, expedition of Charles into, 
233 sq. 

Spoleto, duke of, relations to 
papacy, 125, 126, 128, 152, 153, 
197 ; attacked by Liutprand, 

States of the Church, 5. 

Stephen IL, 131. 

Stephen IIL, relations to Aistulf, 
131 sq., 140 sq. ; to Pippin, 132 
sq. ; crosses Alps, 133 ; meet- 
ing with Pippin, 134, 135 ; aid 
promised by Pippin, 135 ; con- 
secrations, 138 ; confers title 
of Patrician of the Romans on 
kings, 138, 139, 2u2 ; threat- 
ened by Aistulf, 141, 142; 
fresh appeals to Pippin, 142 
sq. ; letter from St. Peter, 145 ; 
on Aistulf, 152 ; death, 152. 

Stephen IV., wrath at proposed 
marriage of Frankish and 
Lombard families, 170 ; False 
Decretals, 449. 

Stephen V., 381 ; crowns Louis, 
382 ; election of popes, 383 ; 
death, 383. 

Stephen of Tournay, on Forged 
Decretals, 451. 

Stilicho, 28. 

Strabo, Walafrid, 324, 357. 

Stubbs, on Ebgert, 318. 

Sturm, missionary, 186, 188. 

Suevi, conversion, 44. 

Sutri, granted to Gregory, 100. 

Sutri, synod of, 456. 

Sweden, mission work in, 416, 

Syagrius, 29. 

Tarik, 64. 

Tassilo, son of Ottilo, 114, 169, 

190, 194, 237, 290, 293. 
Tertullian, 19. 
Testry, battle of, 42. 
Theoderic, son of Charles, 380, 

387, 388. 
Theodore, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, 69, 70, 333. 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, 347. 
Theodore, prince of papal pal- 
ace, 392. 
Theodore, the philosopher, 312, 

315 ; Saxon chronicle on, 316. 
Theodoret, against Cyril, 347. 
Theodoric, 27. 30, 31, 33, 91 ; 

King of the Romans, 92 ; 

death, 92. 
Theodoric IV., 103, 114. 
Theodulf, bishop of Orleans, 

340, 349, 351, 353, 359, 381, 

387, 388, 420. 
Theophanes, on relations of 

Charles to East, 216, 222, 238, 

Thietberga, wife of Lothair IL, 

Thietgaut, of Treves, 453. 
Thionville, sj^nod, 441. 
Thuriugia, 33, 70. 
Tithes, 283. 
Toto, duke. 160. 
Transubstantiation, 265, 363 sq. 
Treves, ecclesiastical position, 

"Truce of God," 422. 
Turrian, False Decretals, 451. 

0131^30,43' ; '*/^\ \'i \ '^r 



Urban II., claim to Corsica, 157. 
Urolf, archbislaop of Lorch, 419. 
Utrechit, under Hildibald, 274. 

Valens, defeated by barbarians, 
26 ; Arian, 44. 

Valentine I., 397. 

Valentinian, edict of, 123. 

Valla, Lamentius, on Donation 
of Constantine, 158. 

Vandals, 26 ; conversion, 44. 

Vasconia, 55. 

Venetia, Grecian possession, 218. 

" Veni Creator Spiiltus," 271. 

Verden, massacre, 180 ; under 
Mainz, 274. 

Verdun, treaty, 360, 413. 

Verneuil, council, 162. 

" Vicar of Peter," 24, footnote, 

Villedaigne, battle, 294. 

Virgin, worship of, 81. 

Visigoths, 26, 29, 31 ; Arian, 44, 
51 ; Fardolin among, 55 ; Ma- 
hometan conquest of, 64 ; or- 
thodox, 264. 

Vitalian, pope, 70. 

Waifar, son of Himold, 112, 114, 

161, 168. 
Waitz, on coronation of Charles, 

Wala, abbot, 408. 
Wala, count, 380, 388, 389, 393. 
Walafrid, on Charles, 324 ; pupil 

of Rabanus, 357. 

Waldrada, 453. 

Wasserschleben, on Forged De- 
cretals, 449. 

Wearmouth, monastery, 313, 316. 

Werden, Monastery, 188. 

Whitby, council of, 56, 70, 311, 

Wilfrid, 316, 317. 

Willehad, missionary, 186, 189. 

William of Malmesburv, on Sco- 
tus, 372. 

Willibrod, missionary, 59, 60, 
69, 71. 

Winfrid. See Boniface. 

Winnigis, 381. 

Witmar, monk, 416. 

Wittekind, 176, 180, 181 ; bap- 
tized, 182. 

Wulfhold, 387. 

Wiirzburg, bishopric, 76. 

Yarrow, monastery, 313, 316. 
York, school of, 316 sq. ; arch- 
bishopric, 317. 

Zacharias, pope, 78 ; on second 
German synod, 106 ; reply to 
Pippin's question, 117 ; eleva- 
tion and characteristics, 127 ; 
treaty with Liutpraud, 128 ; 
receives Mirfa and Norma, 
129 ; renouncement of Karl- 
mann and Rachis, 129 ; rela- 
tions to Aistulf, 130 ; death, 

' These volumes certainly mus be said to answer their description admirably. 
The reader will find in them studies in the history of the Church in a series of 
short chapters which are always interesting and often very picturesque.' — 

'By a bright, attractive appearance, by a very comfortable typography, by the 
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enjoy a deserued popularity.' — New World. 

'An exceedingly useful series.' — Critical Review. 

'These "Eras " are histories that will be enjoyably read and easily remembered.' — 
Literary World. 

^be Cbvietian Cbuvcb. 




jSIessrs. T. & T. CLARK have pleasure in announcing the 
Serial Publication of ' Eras of the Christian Church.' 

Christians of all denominations have begun to understand 
that many of the existing divisions of Christendom had their 
origin partly in misapprehensions and partly in causes which 
have long since passed away, and that the cause of unity will 
be most surely promoted by a calm and impartial study of the 
history of the Church in its long and varied experience under 
the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

It is impossible, however, for persons of ordinary leisure 
and opportunity to make a profound study of ecclesiastical 
history. It has therefore been suggested that a series of 
popular monographs, gi\'ing, so to speak, a bird's-eye view of 
the most important epochs in the life of the Church, would 
supply a real want, and this Series is intended to furnish such 

The Series will be complc'ed in Ten Volumes, 
Price Six Sliillings eacltm 

* [P.T.O 


Six Yolumes are now ready, price 6s. each. 


Zbc Hoc of 1bil^cbran^ 

By Professor M. E. YINCE^^T, D.D., 


The magnificent scheme of ecclesiastical supremacy projected 
hy Hildebrand ; tlie bold attempt of Boniface viir. to absorb 
the power of the Empire into the papacy, ■\vhich led at last 
to the temporary extinction of papal power, though not of 
paj^al claims, at the Council of Constance ; the rise of the 
Franciscan and Dominican Orders ; the conditions of monastic 
and clerical life ; the beginnings of the modern national S2)irit ; 
the establishment and progress of universities. 

■ The book is well written ; the interest of the reader is arrested at the beginning and 
held throughout, and what appears a fair and well-considered representation of the 
facts is given. . . . Altogether, the volume before us, which has been sent from the 
press in admirable external garb, is an excellent piece of woi'k.'— Critical Beviev). 

'A most interesting and carefully written sketch of this period of Church history, 
and one that may be protitably studied both by the student and the general reader.' — 
Church Family Newspaper. 


Z\)C Hoc of tbc 6ccat Mc6tcni Scbi6in» 

r,Y Rev. CLINTON LOCKE, D.D., Chicago. 

The Great Schism, dividing European Christendom for genera- 
tions into two hostile camps, wliich was terminated hy a supreme 
humiliation of the papacy ; the Popes at Avignon ; the perse- 
cution of the Temiilars ; the rival Popes, and the Councils of 
Pisa, Constance, and Basle. 

' The work is replete with valuable information, and the reader does not weary of 

its perusal.'— A/eWiorfisf Times. 

Z\K Bijc of tbc CniCiabeiu 

By J. M. LUDLOW, D.D., 

'captain of the janizaries,' 'a kino of tyre,' ETC. 

The Crusades, with their heroic personalities, their dramatic, 

tragic, and romantic histories ; the real religiousness out of which 

the crusading movement grew, and its unconscious preparation 

for intellectual and spiritual movements which no man could 

then have imagined. 

'His account of the political, social, and religious conditions which led to the 
Crusades, as well as of the results to Europe which followed them, is admirably 
drsiwn,'— Christian World, 


Volumes now ready — continued. 

Zhc Hoc of tbc IRcnascencc. 


With Introduction by HENRY VAN DYKE, D.D. 

The intellectual and political movements which preceded and 
anticipated the Reformation, including the Italian Renascence, 
witii the extravagances and sanities of the Humanists ; the general 
growth of universities and great cities ; the fuller development of a 
national sjitirit, especially in France and Germany ; the religious 
fervour and the awakened spirituality which ai>peared most con- 
spicuously in such tragedies as that of John Iluss and Jerome of 
Prague, in the Lollard movement in England, and in many abortive 
attempts at reformation elsewhere. 

' We have no hesitation in at once declaring; that the work is in every sense 
admirable. 1 he reader is led on from chaptrr to chapter by a very real charm. He 
feels that he is under the spell of one who knows his subject thoroughly, and writes of 
it with a freedom and an ease that constitute him a delightful guide.'— A'ew Age. 


ZTbe iBcuincnical (lounciUn 

By Professor W. P. Du LOSE, D.D., 


The age of the Ecumenical Councils, with its tragic importance 
and its incidental comedies, with its majestic figures and its incom- 
jiarable saintliness in contrast with contem])tible intrigue ; and, 
above all, the ultimate and authoritative definition of the essentials 
of the Christian faith. 

'Even when dealing with the most difficult discussions, it is luminous, and from 
the first i>age to the last we feel that we are in the hands of a teacher who has pondered 
deeply and worked hard to serve \xs."—Lii(rnr\j Wvrld. 

"J his book is most attractive, and if one finds an interest in anything beyond a 
sensational novel one will surely find it here.'— A'.cposiior!/ Times. 


Zbc Bnolican IRcfovmatiom 

By WILLIAT^r CLARK, LL.D., D.C.L., Etc., 


A graphic survey of the Anglican Reformation which liad so 
mucli in common with the Continental and Scottish movements, and 
yet was differentiated from them l)y peculiarities of principle and 
action which remain to the present time. 

'Cannot but recommend itself to students of Church history, and, indeed, to all 
readers who desire a nianatseable and trustworthy introduction to the study of ita 
subject,'— Sfofsman. 


The following Volumes are in Preparation— 

Zbc Bpo6tolic Bcjc. 



The constitution, the fundamental polity, the doctrine, the 
worship, and the social and the spiritual life of the Apostolic 

Zhc pocit^apocitolic Uqc. 

By the Right Rev. IT. C. POTTER, D.D., LL.D., 


AND Archdeacon C. C. TIFFANY, D.D. 

The development of doctrine in the Second and Third Centuries, 
and the iniluence of Greek thought in suggesting (juestions which 
rose into paramount importance in the Fourth ; the growth of 
liturgical forms, and tlie gradual self-adjustment of the Episcopal 
and Conciliar Constitution of the Cliurch ; the ascetic and monastic 
tendencies in which there was so much good piirpose and the 
beginning of so much evil practice ; and the universal evidence of a 
genuinely new jiower worlcing in humanity. 

JLbc protctitant IRcfonnatiou. 

By Professor WILLISTOX WALKER, Ph.D., D.D., 


The Protestant Reformation in Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, 
Switzerland, and Scotland, in which the life and labours of Luther, 
Calvin, Melancthon, Erasmus, John Knox, and other worthies, will 
be ajipreciatively described. 

Z\K F*oe of Cbarlcmaonc. 

By Professor CHARLES L. WELLS, Ph.D., 


The formative period of the Ninth Century, with its picturesque 
figures and stirring events, and the laying of the foundations of the 
mediaeval system, ecclesiastical and civil. 

Such are the topics of the ' Eras op the Christian Church.' 
Their perennial interest to Christian people is unquestionable, and 
no pains will be sjtared, either by the writers or by the publishers, 
to make the volumes worthy of their several themes. 



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in USA 








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