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The King’s New Clothes: Royal and Episcopal Regalia in the Frankish Empire

  • Michael Moore
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

On the eve of Easter in 841, Charles the Bald was having a bath. The king and his army had been in the field for months, in a struggle with Charles’s older brother Lothar for control of the Carolingian empire. Warfare among the sons of Louis the Pious had broken out even before the death of the old emperor the previous year. Lothar had then inherited the imperial crown, and was trying to assert his dominance over the entire Empire. Charles, for his part, wanted to get hold of those portions of the kingdom that his father had promised him. As portrayed by the historian and warrior Nithard, his king was in a weak and vulnerable position. Lost somewhere in the forests along the Seine, in pursuit of Lothar and his army and pursued by them, it was by no means clear that Charles would manage to save himself or gain his kingdom.

Keywords

Late Antiquity Symbolic Object Roman Emperor Public Penance Christian Society 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Nithard’s history was written to support the cause of Charles the Bald: Janet L. Nelson, “Public Histories and Private History in the Work of Nithard,” in her Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe (London: The Hambledon Press, 1986), pp. 195–237.Google Scholar
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© Stewart Gordon 2001

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