Posted: May 09, 2015 12:31 pm
by Nicko
iskander wrote:He did submit to the pope in a formal ceremony and it must have been understood then that he was the Holy Roman Emperor because the pope had crowned him.


Actually, the pope whacked the crown on Charlemagne's head when he was kneeling during the course of Christmas mass. Again, it's not like Charlemagne didn't want the crown - he did - it's just that he would never have acquiesced to a submissive relationship with the church. He was supposed to have flat-out said afterwards that, had he known what Leo III intended, he wouldn't have showed up.

Leo III pulled a fast one and embedded the image of the Holy Roman Emperor recieving his crown from the Pope into the collective memory of Europe.

iskander wrote:Charlemagne behaved during his reign as the master of the pope, but that attitude will be contested by a stronger papacy once the anointing of the emperor had become tradition.


The decline of Frankish unity once you get to Charlemagne's grandchildren (the Franks hadn't worked out that splitting lands up among all one's sons was a Bad Move yet) also played a major part. Strong Papacy, weakening Carolingian dynasty, a public perception of the Emperor's power as deriving from Papal power. The stage was set for the rise of the Church.