Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Nov 19, 2006 23:54:20 GMT -5
Aside: The Frankish MayfieldAside: The Frankish Mayfield
- In the dark days of the Frankish civil wars of the 720s, the allied mayors and high lords of Francia and their armed retinues began meeting with each other just before the summer campaign season (typically May) to discuss military strategy and affairs of state and settle any outstanding conflicts between them. The Carolingian mayor, Charles Martel, realized that this 'Mayfield
' ('Champ de Mai', "Maifeld") conference conveniently provided him with an army, a consultative assembly and a high court of justice, all rolled up into one. Martel eagerly formalized the Mayfield assemblies. His son Pepin expanded them to include the clergy (a side-result of the Pope's attendance of the Mayfield at Quierzy in 754).
Thereafter, Frankish kings would typically hold two large assemblies of lords a year, Spring and Autumn (before and after the summer campiaign). The exact location of the Mayfield varied from year to year, depending on where the campaign was to be conducted. It was at the Mayfield assemblies that kings would typically introduce major legal and administrative initiatives. They also became major sources of royal revenues, as the assembled lords were expected to bring 'tribute' and 'gifts' for their king.
The importance of the Frankish Mayfield can hardly be exaggerated. It would evolve into the 'estates' and 'parliaments' of Europe.
- Pepin's Mayfield at Bourges (769) [Versailles]
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 12:57:53 GMT -5
[/size]757 Ravenna Rebels
- as the old imperial capital of the Exarchate of Italy, Ravenna feels miffed at the arrival of bossy Papal administrators from Rome. Archbishop Sergius of Ravenna expels the papal officials and starts conspiring with Byzantine agents to declare himself Exarch and bring Romagna back under Constantinople's rule. But the rebellion fails, the Archbishop is arrested and brought to Rome, where the Pope can keep a close eye on him.
Aistulf of the Lombards died at the end of 756 while preparing yet another expedition into Romagna. Two candidates advance themselves for King of the Lombards -- Aistulf's hermit brother (& ex-king) Ratchis of Friuli and Duke Desiderius of Tuscany. In return for his support in acquiring the Lombard throne, Desiderius of Tuscany promises to hand over to Pope Stephen II the remaining seven towns
which are still held by Lombard troops (Ferrara, Imola, Bologna, Faenza, Ancona, Osimo, Umana). The Pope agrees and persuades Ratchis to step down and resume his monastic vows, thereby clearing the way for the election of King Desiderius of the Lombards
in March, 757.
- Desiderius, Duke of Lucca, King of the Lombards
April , 757 Death of Pope Stephen II. Ascension of Pope Paul I
, a favorite of the Roman nobility.
Pope Paul I commits his first blunder almost immediately by encouraging the revolt of the Southern Dukes
. The birth of the Papal States in middle Italy seemed to give the southern Lombard dukes the breathing room to escape from the king's central control. Abetted by the Pope Paul I, dukes Alboin of Spoleto and Liutprand of Benevento disavowed their allegiance to King Desiderius and placed themselves under Papal-Frankish suzerainity
- Pope Paul I
Desiderius blows a fuse. Furious at the Pope, he immediately suspends the evacuation of the Lombard garrisons from the 7-cities, and prepares an expedition south to take the duchies back. He makes sure his troops ravage papal lands on their way down the peninsula.
757 In the first recorded instance of a feudal vassalship
, Duke Tassilo of Bavaria pays homage to King Pepin of the Franks at Compiègne. 758
Desiderius of the Lombards defeats Alboin of Spoleto and installs his own loyalist there as Duke Gisulf of Spoleto. Liutprand of Benevento doesn't even bother to wait for the king. He runs off to exile in Byzantine-held Otranto. Desiderius installs another loyalist in his stead, Duke Arechis II of Benevento
On the way back north, Desiderius vengefully sacks the Papal towns of the Pentapoli. After Pope Paul I's entreaties, the smoldering Desiderius agrees to cede the remaining towns, on the condition that the Pope pays an indemnity and that old Lombard hostages in Frankish hands be returned. The Pope takes the deal -- but secretly informs Pepin not to accept it. Getting wind of this, Desiderius declares himself free to ravage the lands of St. Peter in compensation until his demands are met.
The hysterical Pope Paul I begs Pepin to rush down with his Frankish army and bring the Lombards to order. But Pepin -- annoyed at the Pope's intrigues and bogged down in Septimania anyway -- dispatches two mediators instead. Leno Abbey
Desiderius founds the royal abbey of San Salvatore (and nunnery of Santa Giulia) in the region south of Brescia. After having been reformed by Benedictine rules, the new abbey will receive relics of St. Benedict of Nursia as a gift from the Abbot of Monte Cassino. The abbey will be subsequently rebaptized as the Abbey of St. Benedict of Leno
shortly after.Abbey of St. Benedict of Leno
- offical siteReconstruction model of Leno Abbey
- lioness artifact from Leno Abbey.March of Carinthia
Frankish vassal duke Tassilo III of Bavaria establishes a protectorate over the Slavs of Carantania (Carinthia), pushing the eastern borders of the Frankish empire nearly up to the Avar khanate, thereby putting a wedge between Slavs north of the Carpathians (Bohemians, Moravians, Poles) and their kin in the Balkans (Croats, Serbs). 759
After a long siege, Narbonne falls
to the Franks. With Septimania secure, the Franks immediately launch the invasion of Aquitaine
, hoping to bring that wayward duchy back under Frankish rule before the Spanish Umayyads get their act together. It will be a long grueling campaign, during which the Franks will have little or no time to waste on hysterical popes.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 13:32:07 GMT -5
LOMBARD ITALY763 Papal-Lombard Truce
After several long years of low-level warfare, through Pepin's mediators, Pope and Lombards agree to a truce. Desiderius promises not to molest the Pope so long as he stops fomenting rebellions among the southern dukes and shelves his demands for the 7-cities. 764
The pro-Byzantine party in Venice, led by Maurizio Galbaio, seizes power and transfers the capital from republican Malomocco to imperialist Heraclea.765
Pepin the Short establishes a new palace at the spa town of Aachen
(Aquisgrana, Aix-la-Chapelle). It will become the de facto capital of the Frankish empire.
After several years of civil war, the Bulgar khan Sabin finally accepts a humiliating peace with Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. But several Bulgar chieftans refuse to accept it and internal chaos. 766
With Bulgarian khans falling on each other, Byzantine Emperor Constantine V reneges on the previous-year's treaty and goes on the offensive into Bulgar territory.
Duke Stephen II of Naples has himself appointed Archbishop of Naples and introduces a series of measures that will draw the Duchy Naples further away from their nominal Byzantine overlords. 767 Day of the Roman Nobles
. Death of Pope Paul I. Rome falls into chaos as the lay nobility decides to challenge the clerics for the government of the Papal States. Lord Toto of Nepi, at the head of the rural Roman nobility, enters Rome, seizes the Lateran palace and installs his own brother (hitherto a layman) as (anti-)Pope Constantine II.
But two former high officials of Paul I -- Christopher
, primicerius of the notaries, and his son, the Cardinal Sergius
- dispute the private election and are arrested. They manage to escape and head up to Pavia to beg Desiderius to help depose the usurper and ensure a new election for pope. Seeing this as an excellent opportunity to seize control of Rome and the Exarchate, Desiderius assents and assigns the new Duke Theodisius of Spoleto and his own chaplain, Waldipert
, to take charge of the expedition.
767 Bulgarian Peace
In the heat of the Byzantine attack, Bulgar khan Pagan is assassinated, with no other chieftan strong enough to succeed him. Constantine V triumphantly goes around securing piecemeal peace treaties with different Bulgar lords, finally putting a whimpering end to the brutal Byzantine-Bulgar war that had raged since 755.768
768 After seven long years of utterly brutal, scorched-earth warfare, the bulk of Aquitaine is beaten into submission and dragged back into the Frankish empire. Irrendist Aquitaneans slip into the dense woods of Gascony and continue waging a guerilla war.
June, 768 Lombard march on Rome
. The Lombard army arrives at Rome and Christopher's partisans open the gates. A furious battle ensues in the streets between the Lombards and the Roman nobles. The Lombards take control of Rome, Toto is killed, anti-Pope Constantine II is captured. But before the dust even settles, breaking his oath to allow a free election, the chaplain Waldipert clandestinely secures the stealthy election of a minor Lombard monk as (anti-)Pope Philip.
But the Lombard puppet-Pope Philip is not unacceptable to either Christopher's party nor the nobility of Rome. At Christopher's urging, they join forces and, at a parallel meeting, elect a Sicilian Benedictine monk as Pope Stephen III
. The new Pope immediately appoints Christopher and his son Sergius as his chief ministers. On their orders, the anti-Popes Constantine, Philip, the chaplain Waldipert and other members of the Lombard entourage, are beaten, blinded, mutilated and/or banished.
- Pope Stephen III (sometimes mislabeled as Stephen IV)
September, 768 Carolingian Succession
- Death of Pepin the Short, not long after the capitulation of Aquitaine. He is succeeded jointly by his sons, Charles
(in the north) and Carloman
(in the south), under the regency of their mother, Bertrada of Laon
. But the brothers don't get along at all.
- partition of 768 (Charles & Carloman)769
April, 769 Synod of Rome
Primecerius Christopher presides over a Synod of Rome, where all the previous anti-popes are humiliated again and formally deposed. To keep the papacy free from the influence of the Roman nobility, the Synod establishes that henceforth the pope must be chosen from among the cardinals of the Church (i.e. the Roman clergy). Moreover, only the clergy is allowed to vote, the citizens of Rome are only to acclaim their choice. Lay nobility of Rome are excluded entirely from the process and all rural Romans are prohibited from entering the city itself during an election. This marks the ascendancy of the clergy over the laity in the Papal States.
To undermine the rural Roman nobility, the Papal Curia begins the process of consolidating and expanding the papal estates in the Duchy of Rome (the domus cultae
estates, fortified and packed with Roman colonists), thus gradually extending and entrenching the power of the Holy See over the Roman countryside.
- a domus cultae estate in the Roman countryside
Infuriated at the humiliation and mutiliation of his agents, Desiderius sets out to plan his vengeance on the Romans, Christopher in particular. He recruits the Pope's chamberlain, Paul Afiarta
, to serve as a Lombard mole in the papal household and intrigue against Christopher's party. 770
- Bertrada's Diplomacy
- Desiderius of the Lombards scores a great alliance with Frankish dowager-queen Bertrada, cemented by the triple marriage for their children: Frankish heirs Charles and Carloman each marry a daughter of Desiderius, while their sister Liutperga marries Desiderius's heir, Adelchis. Another of Desiderius's many daughters is married to the Bavarian King Tassilo III and still another is married to Duke Arechis II of Benevento.
Primicerius Christopher, alarmed at the sudden Germanic union, which would leave the fledgling papal states isolated and vulnerable, tries to discourage the marriages, but to no avail. Bertrada 'the Big-footed' of Laon, dowager-queen of the Franks
Among the Carolingians, things soon turn sour. In a joint campaign against Aquitanean irrendentists in Gascony that same year, Carloman orders his troops to abandon Charles in the field. Charles feels this is nothing short of an attempt by his brother to murder him.
After a two-year interregnum, ascension of Khan Telerig of the Bulgars
. Sets about repairing the ruined Bulgar state - and promises smarting Bulgar chieftans to "fix" the humiliating peace with the Byzantines.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 13:33:51 GMT -5
ASIDE: THE FRANKISH KNIGHT
[/size]Aside: The Frankish Knight
Traditionally, the Franks had an infantry-centered army, based on the traditional axe-wielding footman (the francisca
axe was the source of the 'franks' name). But the challenge of fighting against horse-borne enemies like the Lombards, Avars, Arabs and Magyars, prompted a gradual change in tactics. Charles appreciated the military value of horses, not only as a weapon in battle but also as a vehicle to move his army swiftly across his vast empire. Horse-breeding farms were set up in the Alpine regions to supply the Frankish army. The Franks also adapted the cantle and the stirrup, two saddle innovations introduced by the Avars which permitted more effective horseback fighting.
Charles also required that each district of the realm supply at least one mounted soldier. But agricultural work was demanding and few had the spare time to train intensively in horse-fighting techniques. To solve this, one man was designated from among the free men of the district as the 'knight' and his neighbors were required to work his land on his behalf. This compulsive labor - what later became known as the 'corvee' - was an important step in the establishment of European feudalism.
As a late starter, the Frankish cavalry was never quite as dominant on the field as, say, among the Arabs or Normans. But later romantic legends constructed around Charlemagne placed the Frankish paladin
('palace knight') and his steed front and center.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 13:34:40 GMT -5
- Desiderius's Revenge
Desiderius suddenly appears with the entire Lombard army before the walls of Rome, claiming he had come on a "pilgrimage to Rome" for the holy month of Lent. The city gates are immediately closed to the strange "pilgrims", who proceed to settle at the Vatican hill (then outside the city). When Pope Stephen III ventures out to parlay with them, Paul Afiarta attempts to take hold of the city, but Christopher & Sergius, who had been aware of the king's march and had previously gathered up some forces with the help of a Frankish count Dodone, pre-emptively take control of the Lateran palace and place their men in control of the walls. The next day, Pope Stephen III goes out to the Lombards again. Desiderius makes him an offer: that if the Pope yield up Christopher and Sergius, he will restore the Exarchate cities to the Pope. The Pope returns and informs the two ministers that he has arranged a safe-conduct for them out of the area. Seeing no way out, Christopher and Sergius agree but as soon as they are outside the city gates, Afiarta's men seize them. Chrisopher is killed and Sergius is mutilated. Desiderius, his vengeance satisfied, returns to Pavia.
Pope Stephen III immediately dispatches a letter to the Frankish monarchs explaining the turn of events in Rome, but putting the blame entirely on Christopher and lauding Desiderius's conduct and promises. But of course, Desiderius does not evacuate the seven cities. And, with Christopher gone, Paul Afiarta now has the run of the Lateran palace.
It dawns on the young King Charles of the Franks that Desiderius is poised to retake the Papal States and that his mother's diplomatic strategy is proving catastrophic. So he acts.
In late December 771, Carloman dies
in suspicious circumstances, leaving Charles the sole king of the Franks. He packs up and dispatches Carloman's widow and their two young children back to her father, Desiderius. A few weeks later, Charles repudiates his own pregnant wife, and sends her back to Desiderius too. A greater insult and provocation to Desiderius could not be devised.
- Charles the Great ('Charlemagne'), King of the Franks, King of the Lombards and Emperor of the West.More portraits of CharlemagneMap of Frankish conquests772
- Infuriated at Charles's mistreatment of his daughters and grandchildren, Desiderius presses Paul Afiarta to arrange for the papal anointment and coronation of Carloman's children as kings of the Franks and the condemnation of Charles. Not only is that a fitting punishment for Charles's insult, but since Desiderius is now the children's guardian, securing the boys'inheritance means that the southern half of the Frankish kingdom (Carloman's half) will pass to Lombard regency!
Afiarta works quickly and the anointment ceremony is on the verge of being realized when Stephen III suddenly dies in February.
Before Desiderius or Afiarta can react, the Romans unanimously elect Pope Adrian I
, a man of late Christopher's faction and a friend of Charles. He immediately puts the anointment ceremony on hold, and demands Desiderius evacuate the seven towns before anything else is discussed. Desiderius insists they are unrelated matters, but the new Pope doesn't budge.
- Pope Adrian I
Tired of talking, Desiderius decides on a show of military force and invades Romagna. Adrian seems unimpressed and demands evacuation.
The infuriated Desiderius then orders Paul Afiarta to do something about this pope - and he does, by ordering the murder of the poor Cardinal Sergius, whom is believed to be behind Adrian's policy. But Adrian uses that as an excuse to order Afiarta's arrest
, who is swiftly tried and executed.
With his prime agent gone, Desiderius goes on a rampage, devastating Romagna and Pentapolis. Adrian again seems unimpressed, but sends urgent missives to Charles. Desiderius decides he has no choice but to send an invasion force against Rome itself, and have the Pope anoint the boys by force, if need be.Saxon Wars
- Saxons raid the Frankish borderlands. Charles arranges for a series of punitive wars of retaliation against them. The Saxon incursion may
have been induced by Desiderius (through his son-in-law, Tassilo of Bavaria, who has good contacts in Saxony) to distract Charles. 773
Desiderius's invasion army enters the Duchy of Rome and reaches Viterbo, where papal emissaries deliver him a message from Pope Adrian I ordering him to turn back under threat of excommunication. He pauses. He then receives notice of the arrival Charles's ambassadors in Pavia, offering to negotiate. Fatefully, Desiderius turns back to Pavia.
Desiderius informs the Frankish ambassadors that his recent conquests in Romagna and Pentapolis were necessary to make up for the losses incurred from donations of his own lands to monasteries, and thus merely the foreclosure of a mortgage. The ambassadors deliver the Lombard king's reply to Charlemagne in Thionville. Charlemagne sends a second embassy, offering to give Desiderius a monetary indemnity for his withdrawal from the cities. But this, too, is refused.
- Desiderius in the Lombard camp, illustration from Mazzoni's AdelchiMap of Italy, 774
(on eve of Frankish invasion)
All this talk allows Charles to get organized. In the Summer of 773, using a lull in the Saxon wars, Charles assembles the Frankish army for an invasion of Lombardia
. To cross the Alps swiftly, the army is split in two: Charlemagne heads one over the St. Cenis pass (which goes through western Piedmont), while his uncle, Duke Bernhard, leads the other through Great St. Bernard's pass (comes down through the Upper Adige).
Hearing of the Frankish manoevers, Desiderius entrenches the Lombard army in the Val di Susa.
In September, 773, with a flanking maneuver, Charlemagne routs the Lombards at the Val de Susa. Desiderius rallies the remainder of his armies to the walled capital city of Pavia, while his son Adelchis takes the remainder of the army to Verona to await Bernhard's army. Charles's army sweeps effortlessly through and lays siege to Pavia
As winter approaches, Charlemagne detaches a Frankish contingent from the Pavian siege and takes it east to join Bernhard's assault on Verona. Verona falls
. Carloman's widow and sons are captured there. Adelchis, however, manages to escape south.
In the meantime, the Bulgarian Wars
start up again as Byzantine Emperor Constantine V decides to launch a pre-emptive strike on the resurgent Bulgars.774
March, 774 Leaving the bulk of his army at the siege of Pavia, Charlemagne heads towards Rome, ostensibly to attend Easter ceremonies in the city.
- Charles meets Adrian I in Rome.
April, 774 Charles arrives in Rome
, the first Frankish ruler to step foot in the Eternal City. Charles is received by the people of Rome with great pomp and ceremony as befits a Roman 'Patricius'. Charles participates in the Easter festivities at St. Peter's, before withdrawing for a conference with Pope Adrian I to discuss the future of Italy. It is here that Charles guarantees Pepin's donation to the Papal States (incl. the 7 cities) and Adrian confirms Charles's title as Roman Patricius.Charles confirming the Donation of Pepin
(fresco at Vatican)
June, 774 Pavia falls
to the Franks. Charlemagne enters the city in triumph. Desiderius and his family (except Adelchis, who is still on the run) are taken captive, shorn and dispatched to a monastery. He declares Desiderius deposed and has himself crowned at the Cathedral of Pavia as King Charles I ('the Great', 'Charlemagne') of the Lombards
with the iron crown of the ancient Lombards and receives the homage of (almost) all the Lombard dukes as their new king.
- Charles crowned at Pavia with the iron crown of the Lombards.Charlemagne enters Pavia
(Rethel's 19th C. fresco in Aachen Rathaus)
August, 774 The renewal of Saxon wars calls his attentions. Charlemagne leaves Lombardia pretty much as it is -- taking with him his royal captives (who will be shorn and live out their days in monasteries), the entire Lombard treasury, and leaving behind a Frankish garrison in Pavia.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 13:49:14 GMT -5
, son and heir of Desiderius, after a daring escape from the siege of Verona makes his way to Constantinople. He tries to interest the Byzantines in an effort to recover Italy, but they are a bit busy with the Bulgar wars.Principality of Benevento
Duke Arechis II of Benevento (son-in-law of Desiderius) refuses to recognize Charlemagne as his suzerain, and declares himself the independent 'Prince of Benevento', giving himself the power to issue his own laws, invest his own dukes, counts and bishops and mint his own money.
- Arechis II, Prince of Benevento
Arab nobles of Spain rise up against the centralizing tendencies of the Umayyad Emir of Spain.775Lombard Conspiracy
- Pope Adrian I dispatches urgent missives to Charlemagne alerting him that a secret plot is being hatched between Arechis II of Benevento and the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V to launch a joint attack to expel the Franks from Italy, install Adelchis (Desiderius's exiled son) on the Lombard throne and recover the lands of the Exarchate for Byzantium.
According to Adrian, instrumental in this plot is the Archbishop Leo of Ravenna (who is alleged to be going around already calling himself 'Excarch' and 'Primate' of Italy) and the Lombard dukes Rodgaut of Friuli, Reginald of Susa and Hildeprand of Spoleto. While there is a germ of truth in this possibility, much of it is alarmist imagination of the pope.Capitulary for Saxony
- Frustrated in his Saxon campaign, Charlemagne begins issuing a series of increasingly oppressive laws on the Saxons, the most sinister for which is the forced baptism of Saxon populations, on pain of death.Capitulary for Saxony Forced baptism of the Saxons
September, 775 Death of Emperor Constantine V on campaign against the Bulgars. His son (from a Khazar princess) ascends as Byzantine Emperor Leo IV ('the Khazar')
.776 Subjugation of Friuli
. Adrian I's alarmist missives have the desired effect and Charlemagne breaks off the Saxon wars to rush back south to deal with the "conspiracy". But the only real trouble is a rebellion led by Duke Rodgaut of Friuli, which implicates a few other upper Italian lords, notably the schismatic Patriarch Siguald of Aquileia and Stabilinius of Treviso. Charlemagne crosses the Alps over the Brenner Pass and descends on Friuli, crushing the rebels and killing Rotgaud at the Battle of Maserada. He proceeds to take the Friulian capital Cividale and then Treviso and the remainder of Friuli. The great Duchy of Friuli is dissolved
and turned into a collection of Frankish counties and more Frankish garrisons installed.
June, 776 After dispatching of Friuli, Charlemagne decides to avoid a meeting with the Pope or dealing with either the Rome-Ravenna jealousy or the Benevento problem. Instead, the Saxon wars call, so he rushes back north.777Mayfield of Paderborn
Charlemagne accepts the surrender of most of the high Saxon chiefs, who proceed to accept Christian baptism along with the the suzerainity of the Franks. But the Saxon chieftan known as 'Widukind
' ('forest child') refuses and takes refuge in the court of King Siegfried of Denmark. He will return next year, bolstered by Danish auxiliaries and raise a guerilla war of independence in the dense forests of Saxony.
- Widukind of the Saxons
Also appearing at Paderborn are several Muslim lords of the northern Spanish borderlands (Zaragoza, Barcelona, Gerona), petitioning Charlemagne for assistance against the Umayyad Emir of Spain. They offer to place themselves under Frankish suzerainity, in return for military support.
777 The pro-Lombard Patriarch Siguald of Aquileia deposed. Charlemagne invests the rector of his own palace school, Paulinus of Cividale, as Patriarch Paulinus II of Aquileia
. He will remain a close advisor to Charlemagne on theological matters.
- Patriarch Paulinus II of Aquileia778
At the request of the Muslim lords of northern Spain, Charlemagne takes a large Frankish army on an expedition to Zaragoza
, Spain. On the way, he sacks Pamplona, the moutain capital of the independent Basques.
But by the time he gets to Zaragoza, the Muslim lords seem to have changed their minds and refuse to deliver the promised cities. Seeing no point hanging around there, Charlemagne returns home. But as he makes his way through the mountain pass at Roncesvalles
(Roncevaux), the Basques (in revenge for Pamplona) fall upon rearguard of the Frankish army and massacre the flower of the Frankish nobility, including the celebrated paladin Roland (Orlando), Marquis of Brittany. Charlemangne's first and only military defeat, it will be tragically parlayed into Medieval art, legends and poetry, like the Song of Roland
Death of Roland at Roncesvalles.779 The Church Tithe
Back in the 6th C., the Church had tried to revive the ancient Biblical practice of 'tithing', where a congregation paid a 'tithe' (or 'tenth') of their harvests and business income to maintain their church. Tithes became mandatory by Church law and penalties for non-payment reached all the way up to excommunication. But without the backing of civil decrees, collection of tithes remained sporadic and difficult to enforce.
At the insistence of Pope Adrian I, King Charles finally issued the Capitulary of Heristal
in 779 making tithing compulsory in his empire and instructing the collection of tithes by civic authorities. But rather than just hand the revenues over to the Church to do as it will, Charles also established a four-fold allocation of the tithe revenues -- one quarter for the bishop, a quarter for the parish priest, a quarter for distribution among the poor and a quarter for the upkeep and maintenance of church buildings.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 17:57:16 GMT -5
Aside: Charlemagne's Children
Charlemagne had five wives and several concubines, which yielded him quite a few children. The following stand out:
From first marriage to a Frankish lady, Hilmitrude:
- (1) Pepin the Hunchback
, his eldest son from his first marriage to a Frankish concubine Himiltrude, was an invalid, born with a spinal deformity and would be subsequently disinherited, rebel and live out his days confined to a monastery,
His third marriage to princess Hildegard of Swabia (771-784) yielded a particularly fruitful crop:
- (2) Charles the Younger
,eldest son from his marriage to Hildegarde, would be groomed as Charlemagne's principal heir, but alas would never actually live to see it;
- (3) Pepin (ex-Carloman)
- born by the name of 'Carloman', he would renamed 'Pepin' in 781 when crowned as King of the Lombards by the Pope. The change in name reflects the disinheritence of Pepin the Hunchback and Charlemagne's eagerness to honor and continue his father's name in a line of Frankish kings.
- (4) Louis the Pious
would be raised as sub-king of Aquitaine, but eventually outlive the others and inherit the whole.
- (5) Rothrud
- a daughter who would be betrothed to Byzantine Emperor Constantine VI in an attempt to seal an alliance between Charlemagne and Irene, but that would eventually not be realized and she married a minor Frankish noble.
Remaining marriages yielded a small crop of relatively inconsequential daughters. But one of his concubines, a certain Regina, yielded two important clerics:
(6) Drogo of Metz
- future major bishop
(7) Hugh of St. Quentin
, major abbot and future archancellor of the Empire. Charlemagne & Pepin the Hunchback
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 18:00:21 GMT -5
The Abbasids, just emerging from their own civil wars, decide to strike back against the Byzantines to recover the Taurus borderlands lost during the chaos of the 750s.
Death of young Byzantine Emperor Leo IV ('the Khazar'). He is succeeded by his young son, the future Emperor Constantine VI
under the regency of his wife, Byzantine dowager-Empress Irene
- Empress Irene
(Hagia Sofia, Istanbul)781
With her regency challenged by powerful Byzantine factions and the Arab armies advancing swiftly across Anatolia, the embattled Byzantine regent Irene seeks out the support of Pope Adrian I and Charlemagne, winning them over by promises to reverse iconoclasm and heal the breach between the churches. Charlemagne rapidly agrees in the hope that she might put an end to Byzantine-sponsored intrigues in Italy. A marriage is arranged between Irene's son Constantine VI and Charlemagne's daughter Rothrud
Charlemagne heads on his third trip to Italy to meet with Pope Adrian I Charlemagne convinces Pope Adrian I to crown his younger sons with the sub-kingdoms
- one as King Louis ("the Pious") of Aquitaine, the other son, originally named Carloman, now renamed and crowned King Pepin I ("Carloman") of the Lombards
. The child Pepin I is installed with a palace court at Pavia. (see "Aside: the Children of Charlemagne")
-Pope crowns Louis of Aquitaine and Pepin of the Lombards. Donation of Charlemagne
- During his visit to Rome, Pope Adrian I brings up two forged documents known as the "Donation of Quierzy" and the "Donation of Constantine" making vast claims for the papacy. But Charlemagne, suspecting they were fraudulent, agreed only to confirm the Donation of Pepin (756) again, donated two domains that were traditionally part of the Duchy of Rome (Sabina
) and conceded a few vague promises about future reconsideration (Papal sources claim he accepted the 754 Quierzy document wholesale).
Purple = Duchy of Rome (pre-750s)
Yellow = Donation of Pepin (756)
Orange = Donation of Desiderius ("7 Cities") (757), enforced by Charlemagne (774)
Green = Donation of Charlemagne (781)
Dotted line = Donation of Quierzy (alleged 754, claimed since 781).
Blue = Additional donations after submission of Benevento (787).
(For details see: "Aside: The Patrimony of St. Peter")
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 20:42:26 GMT -5
ASIDE: THE PATRIMONY OF ST. PETER
- Red & gold ombrellino, temporal symbol of the Patrimony of St. Peter.
The Papal States ("Patrimony of St. Peter") was constructed in several steps.Step One
- Duchy of Rome
(7th C.) - - Already in the time of Gregory the Great, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) had taken effective control of the Byzantine province known as the 'Duchy of Rome' (i.e. Rome, Ostia, Tusculum, Viterbo, Tivoli, etc.). Step Two
- Umbrian Corridor
(720s-750s) - In the course of the Italian revolts and the Lombard offensives of the 720s-750s, the two critical Byzantine towns in the Umbrian corridor - Perugia and Todi
- passed over to the de facto control of the Pope in Rome rather than the Exarch in Ravenna. This was technically an usurpation, since there was no explicit grant by any legal authority. He just took up the leadership of those towns by default and negotiated on their behalf separately from the Exarch. Step Three
: Lombard donations
(729, 743) - The first formal grant to the Pope himself was by the donation of Sutri
(729) by the Lombard King Liutprand. It was written over explicitly to the Pope, not the Exarch. So, formally speaking, this can be considered the "legal seed" of the Papal States proper.
This was followed up in 743 at the Peace of Tenri
, when, again, the Lombard king Liutprand delivered four small Roman-Tuscan border fortresses (Orte, Amelia, Bomarzo e Bieda) to the Pope. These had been Roman-controlled before, but were now granted to the Pope himself. Step Four
: Donation of Pepin (756)
. After defeating the Lombards, Pepin granted the lands of the Exarchate (Romagna and Pentapoli) to the Pope. He got the keys and deeds for 23 towns of the Exarchate which he formally passed over the Pope in an explicit document. The 23 towns named were, by region:
- Romagna ('Exarchate' proper): the coastal towns of Ravenna and Comacchio and, more inland, Forli, Forlimpopoli, Cesena, Castrocaro, Sarsina and Monte di Lucero (a tiny place near Cesena).
- Pentapoli coast: the towns of Rimini, Cattolica, Pesaro, Fano, Seningalia.
- Pentapoli interior: Montefeltro (= San Leo), Urbino, Cagli, Cantiano, Arcevia, Serra de' Conti and Jesi.
- Umbria (Perugia corridor): the towns of Citta de Castello and Gubbio on the eastern end, and Narni on the western.
The Patrimony of St. Peter -
The Donation of Pepin was not a clean affair and there are are a lot of ambiguities on the status of the grant. Pepin returned to Francia before sorting out through this.
(A) Authority. The Exarchate (incl. Rome) belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire, and was not Pepin's to give. But the Pope (without asking the emperor's permission) "granted" Pepin the title of "Patricius" of Rome (an exalted Byzantine title, second only to the Emperor himself), thus placing the King of the Franks within
the Byzantine hierarchy as the immediate overlord of Italy. Legally speaking, the King of the Franks was thus made a "representative" of the Byzantine Emperor (i.e. issues in Italy would be first resolved by the authority of the Patricius, & only thereafter passed up to the Emperor). Thus it was in his capacity as a Byzantine "Patricius" that Pepin had the authority to decide how the Exarchate was to be run.
(B) Adminstration: It is not certain to whom
Pepin granted the Exarchate. To the Pope as head of the Church or to the Pope as head of the Senate and People of Rome? If to the Church, then the Archbishop of Ravenna should have the right to administer Romagna, since he has spiritual authority there; if to SPQR, then the lay Roman nobility has a say in its administration as well. Furthermore, even if he did grant it to the Pope to do as he will, being the Patricius of Italy, the Frankish king could change his mind and grant it to someone else or even decide to administer it himself. So, the "donation" does not mean he is giving up his authority there, but just assigning the Pope (or whomever) as ruler in his name.
(iii) Territory: What was the extent of the Exarchate? Was it merely the "lands of the Exarchate" proper, i.e. the 23 towns explicitly named in 756? Or, by granting Ravenna, does that imply "all the lands that were suzerain to the Exarchate of Ravenna", i.e. Duchies of Rome, Venice, Naples, Apulia, Calabria, etc.? Step Five
- Promise of Desiderius (757)
When Pepin left Italy, there remained seven towns
that had been part of the Exarchate but were still being garrisoned by the Lombards. In 757, King Desiderius of the Lombards promised to deliver them to the Pope. The seven towns were:
Northern Romagna (Ferrara, Bologna, Imola, Faenza)
Southern Pentapolis (Ancona, Osimo, Numana).
As is well known, Desiderius reneged on this promise - with disastrous results.Step Six
- Confirmation by Charlemagne (774)
Upon the conquest of Lombardia in 774. Charlemagne confirmed and handed over these 23 + 7 towns to the Holy See and confirmed Papal possession of the Duchy of Rome and the Umbrian corridor. The Pope, in turn, confirmed Charles's title as Roman Patricius and thus the authority to confirm this.Step Seven
- Donation of Charlemagne (781)
In his visit to Rome in 781, the Pope brought up two documents which complicated the situation - the Donation of Quierzy and the Donation of Constantine. Both were forged by Lateran archivists, but were used to press for more concessions.
II - Donation of Quierzy
- a forged document, allegedly written up by Pepin in 754 at Quierzy (two years before the actual 756 donation) where Pepin is alleged to have promised not merely the lands suzerain to the Exarchate but all of Italy
south of a line along the Po (that includes Lombard duchies of Spoleto, Benevento, etc.) and all
the Italian islands (including Corsica, Sicily, Sardinia, etc.), plus the duchies of Venice and Istria.
III - The Donation of Constantine
is even more complex and ambiguous.(see here: history.hanover.edu/texts/vallapart1.htm)
. It was alleged to have been authored by Emperor Constantine back in 336 and addressed to Pope Sylvester I, but it is pretty certain to also have been forged by Vatican archivists c.750. In essence, the document makes three assertions:
(A) Spiritual authority: Pretty straightforward declaration that the Pope is the supreme head of the Church. The document states that the Bishop of Rome (Pope) is successor of St. Peter & Primate over the patriarchs of Consantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch and sovereign over all the bishops and priests of the world.
(B) Temporal Authority: The document alleges that the Emperor Constantine made the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) his "equal" in temporal authority, conferring on him all the imperial dignities and regalia, and gave the leading Roman clergy (the Cardinals) the status of Roman senators and consuls. The Popes used this to assert:
(i) the Roman clergy (not the Roman nobility) had the "right" to administer the territory, period.
(ii) That it was the imperial authority vested in the Pope that gave him the "right" to grant the title of "Patricius" of Italy to the King of the Franks (or whomever he wanted).
(iii) That it was the Roman clergy (as SPQR, "Senate and People of Rome") who had the right to acclaim anyone they wanted as Roman Emperor.
(C) Territory: How far does the Pope's "imperial authority" stretch? Well, this claim varied. At the very least
, the Pope argued, the donation grants the Pope all of Italy
south of the Po (as in Quierzy). But in the most ambitious interpretation, the Pope's temporal authority stretches to all of Western Europe
. The document makes note that Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople precisely in order not to "compete" with the Pope's "imperial authority" in the west.
It is uncertain what exactly Charlemagne agreed to donate in 781. Imperial sources claim he just confirmed the 756 donation of Pepin and made vague promises about respecting local Roman laws and customs in the other regions, without actually giving up sovereignty. Papal sources claim he accepted the 754 Donation of Quierzy wholesale and seemed to at least recognize that to some extent later (e.g. by granting the Papal States a large chunk of southern Tuscany and some borderlands of Benevento in 787).Step Nine
- Expansion by Charlemagne (787)
With the subjugation of Benevento, Charlemagne agreed to grant the Pope the Beneventine border
towns of Arco, Aquino, Arpino, Sora, Teano and Capua.
However, as he was unable/unwilling to actually enforce the cession, so Charlemange handed over southern Tuscany
(Viterbo, Orvieto, Soana all the way up to Piombino) to the Pope as compensation.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 20:59:58 GMT -5
February, 782 Arab armies under the Abbasid prince Harun reach the shores of the Bosphorus. Empress Irene sues for Byzantine-Arab peace
. The Taurus region is returned to the Arabs and the the old Byzantine-Caliphate border restored.Massacre of Verden
Infuriated by the continued Saxon resistance, Charlemagne decides on a show of terror and orders the execution of 4,500 Saxon prisoners - wiping out practically the entire Saxon higher class - on the charge of apostasy. He then goes on the offensive, driving Widukind over the Elbe into Sorbish lands. The Saxon War has been turned up yet another notch.
- Franks vs. Saxons784
784 Death of Patriarch Paul IV of Constantinople. Empress Irene engineers the election of her iconophile imperial secretary as Patriarch Tarasius
of Constantinople and immediately starts pressing for a new Council to restore image-worship. 785
Pope Adrian I writes the synodica
, in response to the Irene's plans for a council in Constantinople to overturn iconoclasm. He appends a demand for the restoration of the papal-owned property in Sicily and Calabria (seized back in the 730s by Emperor Leo III) and for the return of Illyrian Churches back under the Patriarchate of Rome. The Pope also chides Irene and the Patriarch of Constantinople for labelling the council 'ecumenical', as only the Roman patriarch can call such meetings.Surrender of Widukind
After two more utterly brutal Frankish victories over the Saxons at Detmold and Osnabruck (the 'Hill of Slaughter'), Saxon leader Widukind finally surrenders. Acknowledging that the God of Charles is greater than Odin, Widukind consents to Christian baptism at the Frankish Mayfield in Attigny, with Charlemagne himself standing as godfather. Despite losing their legendary chieftan, Saxon resistance (abetted by Danish auxiliaries) will continue for a while.
- Submission of the SaxonsBaptism of Widukind786 The Great Conspiracy
Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria and Prince Arechis II of Benevento, both of them brothers-in-law of the Lombard pretender Adelchis, stitch together a grand conspiracy against Charlemagne, involving Saxons, the Avar khans and the Byzantines. With the help of Byzantine officials, Adelchis will assemble a Greek invasion force and land in Benevento, where he will join up with Arechis II's Beneventines and invade Italy from the south. Simultaneously, at Tassilo's cue, subjugated Saxon and Thuringian chieftans will launch an uprising against the Franks in northern Germany. Then comes the coup de grace - an Avar invasion thrust sweeping across southern Germany, which Tassilo's Bavarian army will join along the way. With Frankish forces divided on many fronts, Charles would surely be defeated.
- Tassilo III of Bavaria
But like all grand schemes, this was hard to keep secret. Pope Adrian I gets wind of it and passes the details on to Charles, who immediately takes swift pre-emptive action.
The first step is for Charles to demand that a personal oath of fealty
to the Frankish monarch be sworn by all free men of the realm. Next, figuring he can deal with Bavaria and the Avars later, he decides to strike quickly against Benevento first, before Adelchis lands. Using the excuse of a quarrel between Benevento and the little duchy of Naples, Charles takes the bulk of the Frankish army south into Italy - albeit taking care to send a detachment north to keep a lid on the Saxons & Thuringians and use harrassment & torture to root out the conspiratorial chieftans before they get their uprising organized.787Spring, 787
- Submission of Benevento
- Seeing Charles's large army swarming over the Alps and rushing straight at him, Arechis II of Benevento quickly patches up his quarrel with Naples and offers to pay indemnities and fealty. His initial offers are brushed off until Charles reaches the walls of Salerno. Surrounded, Arechis submits under heavy terms: Benevento is to return to vassalage to the Frankish King of Lombardia, pay a punitive annual tribute of 7,000 solidi and Arechis is to surrender his younger son Grimoald as hostage. Expansion of Papal States
- With the Pope waving the Donation of Quierzy in the background, Charlemagne orders that Benevento cede buffer cities
of Arco, Aquino, Arpino, Sora, Teano and Capua to the Pope (it would also put the Papal States in direct communication with the autonomous Abbey of Monte Cassino). Moreover, Benevento is to pass over all ecclesiastical property (churches, church lands, monasteries, tithes, etc.) in the remainder of Benevento principality to the Holy See.
The Pope's delight at this windfall was diminished by the fact that iit was only a paper transfer. Charles was unable or unwilling to enforce the Beneventine transfers. Pope howled for intervention. In order to shut the Pope up, Charles granted the Papal States a chunk of Frankish territory in southern Tuscany
(Viterbo, Orvieto, Soana all the way up to Piombino) in compensation.
Mission accomplished (Spring 797), Charlemagne high-tails it back to Germany as quickly as he can to deal with the other conspirators.Hunrochid Friuli
Charlemagne invests a loyal Frankish count Hunroch of Ternois as Count Hunroch I ("Ternois") of Friuli and charges him with holding the Italian border against a possible Avar attack. This is the stem of the Hunrochid dynasty.
August, 787 - Diet of Worms
- Now it is Bavaria's turn. Charlemagne assembles the Frankish nobility at Worms, wherein he laid out a long list of accusations against Tassilo of Bavaria (technically, a Frankish vassal since 757). Accused of conspiring with enemies states and inciting subject tribes to rebel, Charlemagne orders Tassilo to appear before Worms to defend himself. Tassilo refuses. Charlemagne declares Bavaria forfeit and assembles the Frankish armies to take it.
September, 787 Second Council of Nicea
(Seventh Ecumenical Council) After several stops and starts, an ecclesiastical council (including papal delegates) organized by Empress Irene and her creature, Patriarch Tarasius finally assembles at Nicea. Papal delegates are present. The Council reverses the iconoclasm
decrees. The (limited) use of religious images in worship is permitted throughout the Byzantine Empire again ('image-honoring' rather than 'image worship' is the formula they agree to) It also recognizes the primacy
of the Roman Pope over all Patriarchs.
September, 787 Arechis II of Benevento and his eldest son, Romuald, die - probably assassinated by Frankish agents. Arechis's widow, Adelperga, takes charge of Benevento, dispatching emissaries to Charlemagne to secure the release of her other son, the hostage Grimoald. Pope Adrian I sends his own messenger claiming Adalperga is conspiring with the pretender Adelchis and hostile Byzantine agents and that Charles should come down and seize the duchy himself.
October, 787 Submission of Bavaria
Tassilo III of Bavaria, realizing his error, rushes to present himself before Charlemagne, offering his submission and blaming everything on his Lombard wife's bad counsel. Charlemagne accepts and reconciles with him in return for tribute and hostages. Synod of Chelsea
Anglo-Saxon king Offa of Mercia promises to contribute a yearly sum to the papal coffers. The sum is assessed as a penny on every English household and is earmarked to be spent by the Pope on Rome itself (not on Anglo-Saxon churches). Known as "Peter's Pence
", this contribution will be eventually adopted throughout all the English kingdoms and further afield in Scandinavia, and maintained until the Reformation.Ecclesiastical immunity
- Sub-king Pepin of Lombardia issues the 'Second Mantuan Capitulary'' establishing in Italy that clerics fall under the jurisdiction of the bishop's court and only if the bishop is unable to render justice, can they go to royal courts (even so accompanied by a representative of the bishop).788Spring, 788
Missing in this equation were the Avars and Adelchis, who were having logistical troubles getting started.
May, 788 Charlemagne releases his hostage prince (son of Arechis II), who proceeds to take up his position as Duke Grimoald III of Benevento
, under the close watch of the loyalist Duke Hildeprand of Spoleto.
Spring, 788 At long last, accompanied by the Byzantine Patricius Theodore of Sicily and the logothete John, the Lombard pretender Adelchis lands
with his Greek force in Benevento -- but to no avail. Grimoald III of Benevento, reinforced by Hildeprand of Spoleto, sends his army against the Greeks. Adelchis's invasion force is massacred in Calabria. Adelchis flees back to Constantinople, never to be heard from again.
June Annexation of Bavaria
In the meantime, Tassilo III, despite having just escaped a terrible fate at Worms, feels like it is now or never, and urges the Avars to attack immediately. His communications are intercepted, his treachery made clear, Charlemagne has Tassilo arrested and brought before him at Ingelheim in June. His life spared at the last minute in a moment of clemency, Charlemagne orders Tassilo shorn and confined to a monastery. Bavaria is annexed and attached to the sub-kingdom of Pepin of Lombardia. Bavaria's vassal state of Carinthian Slavs is organized into the Carantianian March
Summer, 788 Finally, the Avars invade
But they come to late to save the Great Conspiracy. After some desultatory raiding and plundering in Bavaria and Friuli, they head back home.
Charlemagne has faced down the Great Conspiracy, what was perhaps the single biggest moment of danger for his reign.
Relations between Franks and Byzantines grow ice-cold. Irene's brief francophile policy hasn't paid off, and Byzantine factions begin conspiring against her. Emperor Constantine VI has just become sixteen (and thus achieved majority), but his mother Irene refuses to relinquish her regency. It should have been at this time too that the young emperor's marriage with Charlemagne's daughter Rotrud should have taken place, but that plan is now in ruins.
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 9, 2007 21:00:14 GMT -5
ASIDE: THE CAROLINGIAN SCHOOLSThe Carolingian Schools (787-89)
- Since the Council of Vaison in 529, the clergy of Francia had been charged to teach the young to 'read the Psalms, and the Holy Scriptures and to instruct them in the Law of God'. Instruction was not limited to those headed for a Church career or the sons of nobles, but was supposed to be open to the wider laity, including the children of nearby villagers. Monasteries led the way, but such efforts remained sporadic until he met the English abbot Alcuin of Tours
(a.k.a. Alcuin of York) at Parma in 781. Charlemagne made Alcuin master of the palace school at Aachen in 782 and he became one his principal advisors.
- Alcuin of Tours/York
In 787-89, at Alcuin's instigation, Charlemagne ordered every bishop to open and maintain a school (the 'cathedral school
') for the instruction of the laity not only in the Holy Scriptures, but also in the seven 'liberal arts' (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music). Alcuin's successor, Theodulf of Orleans
, expanded the Carolingian education movement, urging the opening of schools in all parishes.
- Alcuin at workAlcuin of York (middle) presents Rabanus Maurus (left) to the Archbishop Otgar of Mainz (right)The Seven Liberal Arts
Alcuin was also in good part responsible for the creation of a book-copying
industry, centered mainly at abbeys. This included the development of a clear new script form, known as 'caroline miniscule', and the deepening of the art of illuminated manuscripts.map of Carolingian writing centers in ItalyCaroline miniscule
- Charlemagne and schoolchildren