Posted: May 09, 2015 2:03 pm
by iskander
Nicko wrote:
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.

As the thread about 'Historical Jesus' shows, knowing what precisely happened in the distant past is very difficult.

Perhaps the coronation was entirely the trivial prank of a bold pope who naughtily dropped a crown on the head of the unsuspecting king . Charlemagne then tolerated the meaningless prank of his friend and protégé in good humour . I agree with whoever says that.

More importantly ,Charlemagne played an important part in the affairs of the of the church. The Filoque dispute is one example of that influence.

Professor Southern writes,

In 381 a definitive statement of belief had been issued by the Council of Constantinople, which came to be known as the Nicaean Creed. This creed was accepted by the whole church, both eastern and western , contained the statement that the Holy Spirit comes ' from the Father'.

To this statement the word Filoque, and 'and the Son' was unofficially added by some unknown person or community in the West, perhaps Spain in the seventh century. This may have might have remained a purely local if some of Charlemagne's advisers had not come from Spain. Under their influence the additional words were added to the text of the Creed as used at Mass in Charlemagne's chapel.

From this moment the addition became a matter of much more than local importance. Charlemagne and his advisers had a passion for uniformity, and they had the power and will to make their views prevail over much of the western church. Whatever formula was adopted in Charlemagne's court was bound to have widespread influence.

The one obstacle was the papacy. Here, as in other matters, the pope still found the Greeks better company than the Franks. Pope Leo III advised Charlemagne to drop the addition, but his advice had no effect, and gradually the addition became universal in the western church except in Rome. ...

The Penguin History of the Church: Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, page 64
Paperback – 31 May 1990 , by R. W. Southern (Author
ISBN-13: 978-0140137552