Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals are Latin annals composed in Carolingian Francia, recording year-by-year the state of the monarchy from 741 to 829. Their authorship is unknown, though Wilhelm von Giesebrecht suggested that Arno of Salzburg was the author of an early section of the Annaes Laurissenses majores surviving in the copy at Lorsch Abbey; the Annals are believed to have been composed in successive sections by different authors, compiled. The depth of knowledge regarding court affairs suggests that the annals were written by persons close to the king, their initial reluctance to comment on Frankish defeats betrays an official design for use as Carolingian propaganda. Though the information contained within is influenced by authorial intent in favor of the Franks, the annals remain a crucial source on the political and military history of the reign of Charlemagne. Copies of the annals can be categorized into five classes, based on additions and revisions to the text; the chronicles were continued and incorporated in the West Frankish Annales Bertiniani and in the East Frankish Annales Fuldenses and Annales Xantenses.
The annals give a brief individual description of events for each year, with a focus on the actions of the Carolingian monarchy, beginning with the account of Pepin the Short's ascension through the dethronement of the Merovingian king Childeric III. The annalists pay particular attention to the military campaigns of the Carolingian kings, justifying their actions in terms of a grand narrative of Carolingian peacekeeping and conquest in the name of expanding the Christian faith; the overthrow of the Merovingians is portrayed in such a way as to legitimize the transfer of royal power between dynasties, emphasizing Carolingian adherence to Frankish traditions and the approval of Pope Zacharias in the matter. Of the three kings—Pepin and Louis—Charlemagne's military chronicles are the most detailed, covering his victories against the Saxons and other peoples; the account of Charlemagne's campaign against the Saxons is notable as one of the few extant references to the Irminsul, an important if enigmatic part of the Germanic paganism practiced by the Saxons at the time.
Its destruction is a major point in the annals, written to continue a jingoistic theme of Frankish triumphs against the “un-Frankish” and unchristian barbarian. The unrevised text neglects to mention defeats suffered by Charlemagne, such as the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 and the Battle of Süntel in 782; the Battle of Süntel is portrayed in the annals as a victory, as opposed to a crushing Frankish defeat at the hands of the Saxons. The 792 conspiracy of Pepin the Hunchback against Charlemagne is omitted, along with any reference to potential misconduct on Charlemagne's part; the revised text, incorporates these events while maintaining a positive tone towards the emperor, presented as a peerless leader in battle. Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious, is shown engaging in battle by the annalists, but rather directs others to do so, or negotiates for peace; the contrast between Louis and his father and grandfather is clear. While the past kings were unshakeable figures, depicted as the better of their foes in defeat by the revised edition, the annalists’ Louis is a smaller man who invests the power of the military in others, not unlike the annals’ earlier depiction of the Merovingian kings.
Miracles aid Charlemagne and his men, the grace of God leads him to victory. Such references to striking natural phenomena, strange happenings, miracles become common in the annal entries for the 9th century. In addition to astronomical oddities, such as eclipses, the supernatural begins to enter the account, set against ritualistic yearly notices of the regular passages of Christmas and Easter. Nearly two-dozen villages are reported to have been destroyed by heavenly fire in 823, while at the same time an unnamed girl is said to have begun a three-year fast. Scholz regards this preoccupation as a reflection of a belief in a divine will and control of history. Many of the worse omens parallel growing dissatisfaction with Louis the Pious, which after the end of the annals spilled into civil war between him and his sons. Divine intervention through the relics of saints play an important role as well, with mention of Hilduin's translation of the relics of St. Sebastian to the Abbey of St. Medard, Einhard's transport of the relics of SS.
Marcellinus and Peter into Francia. A more detailed account of Einhard's procurement of the relics exists in his Translation and Miracles of Marcellinus and Peter. Additionally, the annals provide the only attestation to the existence of Charlemagne's personal elephant Abul-Abbas, aside from a mention by Einhard drawn from the annals; the gift of the elephant to Charlemagne, amongst other treasures, by Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid is evidence of the attempts to form an Abbasid-Carolingian alliance at the time, which the annals document loosely. The annals survive in multiple versions distributed across the Frankish empire, though none of these are original copies; each version is marked with distinguishing features, based on these features, Friedrich Kurze formulated five classes for the categorization of these texts. This system still remains in use; the five classes of texts are lettered A through D, with an additional E
Vikings were Norse seafarers speaking the Old Norse language, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, explored westwards to Iceland and Vinland. The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Norse home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age; this period of Nordic military and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East. Following extended phases of exploration and settlement, Viking communities and governments were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, Belarus and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America.
This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions. Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of modern Scandinavia—often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century. Perceived views of the Vikings as alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations of the Vikings are based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy; these representations are not always accurate — for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning "a person from Viken". According to this theory, the word described persons from this area, it is only in the last few centuries that it has taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general. However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called'Viking' in Old Norse manuscripts, but are referred to as víkverir,'Vík dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could explain only the masculine and ignore the feminine, a serious problem because the masculine is derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa; the form occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. The stone of Tóki víking was raised in memory of a local man named Tóki who got the name Tóki víking because of his activities as a viking; the Gårdstånga Stone uses the phrase "ÞeR drængaR waRu wiða unesiR i wikingu", referring to the stone's dedicatees as vikings.
The Västra Strö 1 Runestone has an inscription in memory of a Björn, killed when "i viking". In Sweden there is a locality known since the middle ages as Vikingstad; the Bro Stone was risen in memory of Assur, said to have protected the land from vikings. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Another etymology, one that gained support in the early twenty-first century, derives Viking from the same root as Old Norse vika, f.'sea mile', originally'the distance between two shifts of rowers', from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan,'to recede'. This is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan,'to turn', similar to Old Icelandic víkja'to move, to turn', with well-attested nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better attested, the term most predates the use of the sail by the Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before.
In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. The Old Norse feminine víking may have been a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, which dates from the 9th century. In Old English, in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term referred to Scandi
Louis the German
Louis "the German" known as Louis II, was the first king of East Francia, ruled from 843-876 AD. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne and the third son of emperor of Francia, Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye, he received the appellation Germanicus shortly after his death in recognition of Magna Germania of the Roman Empire, reflecting the Carolingian's assertions that they were the rightful descendants of the Roman Empire After protracted clashes with his father and his brothers, Ludwig received the East Frankish Empire in the 843 Treaty of Verdun, his attempts to conquer the West Frankish Empire of his half-brother Charles the Bald in 858-59 were unsuccessful. The 860s were marked by a severe crisis, with the East Frankish rebellions of the sons, as well as struggles to maintain supremacy over his realm. In the Treaty of Meerssen he acquired Lotharingia for the East Frankish Empire in 870. On the other hand, he failed to claim both the title of Emperor and Italy. In the East, Ludwig was able to reach a longer-term peace agreement in 874 after decades of conflict with the Moravians.
Due to a decline in the written form in administration and government, Ludwig's reign predates Ottonian times. His early years were spent at the court of his grandfather, whose special affection he is said to have won; when the emperor Louis the Pious divided his dominions between his sons in 817, Louis was made the ruler of Duchy of Bavaria, following the practice of emperor Charlemagne of bestowing a local kingdom to a close family member who would serve as his lieutenant and local governor. Louis ruled from the old capital of the Bavarii. In 825 he became involved in wars with the Sorbs on his eastern frontier. In 827 he married Hemma, sister of his stepmother Judith of Bavaria, both daughters of Welf, whose possessions ranged from Alsace to Bavaria, it was not until 826. In 827 he married the Welf Hemma, a sister of the Empress Judith - his stepmother who had married his father in his second marriage. In 828 and 829 he undertook two campaigns against the Bulgarians who wanted to penetrate into Pannonia without great success.
During his time as Unterkönig, he tried to extend his rule to the Rhine-Main area. His involvement in the first civil war against his father's reign was limited, but in the second his elder brothers, Lothair I King of Italy, Pepin I, Duke of Aquitaine, persuaded him to invade Alamannia which their father had given to their young half-brother Charles the Bald. In 832 he was driven back by his father. Louis the Pious to no effect. Upon his swift reinstatement, the emperor Louis made peace with his son Louis and restored Bavaria to him in 836. Louis was the instigator of the third civil war, which began in 839. A strip of his land having been given to the young half-brother Charles, Louis invaded Alamannia again; this time emperor Louis responded and soon the younger Louis was forced into the far southeastern corner of his realm, the March of Pannonia. Peace was made by force of arms. After the civil war which followed the death of emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun in three parts, with Louis becoming the King of East Francia, a region that spanned the Elbe drainage basin from Jutland southeasterly through the Thuringian Forest into modern Bavaria.
When the emperor Louis died in 840, Lothair I claimed the whole Empire, Louis allied with Charles the Bald, defeated Lothair I and their nephew Pepin II of Aquitaine, son of Pepin I of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Fontenoy in June 841. In June 842 the three brothers met on an island in the river Saône to negotiate a peace, each appointed forty representatives to arrange the boundaries of their respective kingdoms; this developed into the Treaty of Verdun, concluded in August 843, by which Louis received the bulk of the lands lying east of the Rhine, together with a district around Speyer and Mainz, on the left bank of the river. His territories included Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony. Louis may be called the founder of the German kingdom, though his attempts to maintain the unity of the Empire proved futile. Having in 842 crushed the Stellinga rising in Saxony, in 844 he compelled the Obotrites to accept his authority and put their prince, Gozzmovil, to death. Thachulf, Duke of Thuringia undertook campaigns against the Bohemians and other tribes, but was not successful in resisting the ravaging Vikings.
After the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, Lothar laid claim to all the imperial rights established in the Ordinatio of 817. As a result, Louis the German and Charles the Bald forged an alliance. Lothar I offered his nephew Pippin II, the son of 838 deceased Pippin I. an alliance. At the Battle of Fontenoy, Ludwig the German and Charles the Bald fought against Lothar I and Pippin II in June 841. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. According to the Annals of Fulda, it was the biggest bloodbath the Franks had experienced since time immemorial. At the same time, it was Louis's last battle in the struggle for the unification of the kingdom. In 852 Louis sent his son Louis the Younger to Aquitaine, where nobles had grown resentful of Charles the Bald's rule; the younger Louis did not set out until 854, returned the following year. Starting from 853 Louis made repeated attempts to gain the t
Einhard was a Frankish scholar and courtier. Einhard was his son Louis the Pious. Einhard was from the eastern German-speaking part of the Frankish Kingdom. Born into a family of landowners of some importance, his parents sent him to be educated by the monks of Fulda - one of the most impressive centers of learning in the Frank lands. Due to his small stature, which restricted his riding and sword-fighting ability, Einhard concentrated his energies on scholarship the mastering of Latin, he was accepted into the hugely wealthy court of Charlemagne around 791 or 792. Charlemagne sought to amass scholarly men around him and established a royal school led by the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin. Einhard evidently was a talented builder and construction manager, because Charlemagne put him in charge of the completion of several palace complexes including Aachen and Ingelheim. Despite the fact that Einhard was on intimate terms with Charlemagne, he never achieved office in his reign. In 814, on Charlemagne's death, his son Louis.
Einhard retired from court during the time of the disputes between Louis and his sons in the spring of 830. He died at Seligenstadt in 840. Einhard was married to Emma. There is a possibility that their marriage bore Vussin, their marriage appears to have been exceptionally liberal for the period, with Emma being as active as Einhard, if not more so, in the handling of their property. It is said that in the years of their marriage Emma and Einhard abstained from sexual relations, choosing instead to focus their attentions on their many religious commitments. Though he was undoubtedly devoted to her, Einhard wrote nothing of his wife until after her death on 13 December 835, when he wrote to a friend that he was reminded of her loss in ‘every day, in every action, in every undertaking, in all the administration of the house and household, in everything needing to be decided upon and sorted out in my religious and earthly responsibilities’. Einhard made numerous references to himself as a "sinner" according to his strong Christian faith.
He erected churches at both of his estates in Mulinheim. In Michelstadt, he saw fit to build a basilica completed in 827 and sent a servant, Ratleic, to Rome with an end to find relics for the new building. Once in Rome, Ratleic robbed a catacomb of the bones of the Martyrs Marcellinus and Peter and had them translated to Michelstadt. Once there, the relics made it known they were unhappy with their new tomb and thus had to be moved again to Mulinheim. Once established there, they proved to be miracle workers. Although unsure as to why these saints should choose such a "sinner" as their patron, Einhard nonetheless set about ensuring they continued to receive a resting place fitting of their honour. Between 831 and 834 he founded a Benedictine Monastery and, after the death of his wife, served as its Abbot until his own death in 840. Local lore from Seligenstadt portrays Einhard as the lover of Emma, one of Charlemagne's daughters, has the couple elope from court. Charlemagne forgave them; this account is used to explain the name "Seligenstadt" by folk etymology.
Einhard and his wife were buried in one sarcophagus in the choir of the church in Seligenstadt, but in 1810 the sarcophagus was presented by the Grand Duke of Hesse to the count of Erbach, who claims descent from Einhard as the husband of Imma, the reputed daughter of Charlemagne. The count put it in the famous chapel of his castle at Erbach in the Odenwald; the most famous of Einhard's works is his biography of Charlemagne, the Vita Karoli Magni, "The Life of Charlemagne", which provides much direct information about Charlemagne's life and character, written sometime between 817 and 830. In composing this he relied upon the Royal Frankish Annals. Einhard's literary model was the classical work of the Roman historian Suetonius, the Lives of the Caesars, though it is important to stress that the work is much Einhard's own, to say he adapts the models and sources for his own purposes, his work was written as a praise of Charlemagne, whom he regarded as a foster-father and to whom he was a debtor "in life and death".
The work thus contains an understandable degree of bias, Einhard taking care to exculpate Charlemagne in some matters, not mention others, to gloss over certain issues which would be of embarrassment to Charlemagne, such as the morality of his daughters. Einhard is responsible for three other extant works: a collection of letters, On the Translations and the Miracles of SS. Marcellinus and Petrus, On the Adoration of the Cross; the latter dates from ca. 830 and was not rediscovered until 1885, when Ernst Dümmler identified a text in a manuscript in Vienna as the missing Libellus de adoranda cruce, which Einhard had dedicated to his pupil Lupus Servatus. Royal Frankish Annals "Der hessische Spessart". HR Online. Retrieved 25 March 2010. Dümmler, Ernst. "Ein Nachtrag zu Einhards Werken". Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde. 11: 231–38. Retrieved 25 March 2010. "Einhard c. 770-840". Enotes. Retrieved 25 March 2010. Hodgkin, T.. Charles the Great. London: Macmillan. Levison, Wilhelm.
Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, Vorzeit und Karolinger: Heft. Die Karolinger vom Anfang
Fulda Abbey, or the Princely Abbey of Fulda, or the Imperial Abbey of Fulda was a Benedictine abbey as well as an ecclesiastical principality centered on Fulda, in the present-day German state of Hesse. It was founded in 744 by a disciple of Saint Boniface. Through the 8th and 9th centuries, Fulda Abbey became a prominent center of learning and culture in Germany, a site of religious significance and pilgrimage following the burial of Boniface; the growth in population around Fulda would result in its elevation to a prince-bishopric in the second half of the 18th century. In the mid-8th century, Saint Boniface commissioned Saint Sturmi to establish a larger church than any other founded by Boniface. In January 744, Saint Sturmi selected an unpopulated plot along the Fulda River, shortly after obtained rights to the land; the foundation of the monastery dates to March 12, 744. Sturmi travelled to notable monasteries of Italy, such as that of Monte Cassino, for inspiration in creating a monastery of such grand size and splendor.
Boniface was proud of Fulda, he would obtain autonomy for the monastery from the bishops of the area by appealing to Pope Zachary for placement directly under the Holy See in 751. Boniface would be entombed at Fulda following his martyrdom in 754 in Frisia, as per his request, creating a destination for pilgrimage in Germany and increasing its holy significance. Saint Sturmi would be named the first abbot of the newly established monastery, would lead Fulda through a period of rapid growth; the monks of Fulda practiced many specialized trades, much production took place in the monastery. Production of manuscripts increased the size of the library of Fulda, while skilled craftsmen produced many goods that would make monastery a financially wealthy establishment; as Fulda grew, members of the monastery would move from the main building and establish villages in the outlying territories to connect with non-monastery members. They would establish themselves based on trade and agriculture, while still remaining connected to the monastery.
Together, the monks of Fulda would create a substantial library, financially stable production, an effective centre for education. In 774, Charlemagne placed Fulda under his direct control to ensure its continued success. Fulda was becoming an important cultural center to the Carolingian Empire, Charlemagne hoped to ensure the continued salvation of his population through the religious activity of Fulda. A notable work that the monks of Fulda produced was the "Annales necrologici", a list of all the deceased members of the abbey following the death of Saint Sturmi in 744; the monks would offer prayer for the dead listed in the Annales to ensure their eternal salvation. While at first this record only contained the names of those at Fulda, as the power and prominence of Fulda grew, so too did the scope of, to be included in the Annales. Patrons and nobles of the area would all come to be recorded in this piece of Fulda and its concept of community; the documenting of dates of passing, beginning with Sturmi, created a sense of continuity and a reference for the passage of time for the monks of Fulda.
The school at the Fulda monastery would become a major focus of the monks under Sturmi's successor, Abbot Baugulf, at the turn of the century. It contained an inner school for Christian studies, an outer school for secular, including pupils who were not members of the monastery. During Boniface's lifetime he had sent the teachers of Fulda to apprentice under notable scholars in Franconia and Thuringia, who would return with knowledge and texts of the sciences and theology. In 787 Charlemagne praised Fulda as a model school for others, leading by example in educating the public in secular and ecclesiastical matters. Around the year 807, an epidemic claimed much of Fulda's population. During this time, the third abbot of Fulda, was carrying out construction on a new church started by Baugulf. According to the "Supplex Libellus", an account of Fulda's history written by the monks, Ratgar was overzealous, exiling monks opposed to the excessive attention being given to the new church, punishing those attempting to flee the epidemic, spreading amongst the population.
This prompted a discussion in Fulda as to how the monastery was to be properly run, the nature of the responsibilities of the monks. Until this point, a focus of the monks had been remembering and recording the lives of the deceased those who were members of the Fulda monastery, in what was known as the “Annales Necrologici”, they would sing psalms for their dead to ensure their eternal salvation. Under Ratgar, the focus of the monastery had shifted to that of construction and arbitrary regulation. Another matter of concern included, permitted into the inner monastery; the concept of private and public property was in contention. With the land of Fulda expanding, the monks desired all property to be public rather than create a contention for private land, while Ratgar opposed this perspective; the “Supplex Libellus” attempted to address the issue of the growing secular responsibilities of the monastery. As the school grew and the communities around Fulda expanded, the monastery was feeling the strain of balancing ecclesiastical obligations with its newfound secular prominence.
The monks were successful in their grievances against Ratgar, Louis the Pious sympathized with them. Agreeing that Ratgar's plans were too ambitions for Fulda, his punishments too extensive, he exiled Ratgar from Fulda in, Eigil became the fou
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious called the Fair, the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, from 813. He was King of Aquitaine from 781; as the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed. During his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the empire's southwestern frontier, he conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona and the Basques south of the Pyrenees in 812. As emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them; the first decade of his reign was characterised by several tragedies and embarrassments, notably the brutal treatment of his nephew Bernard of Italy, for which Louis atoned in a public act of self-debasement. In the 830s his empire was torn by civil war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louis's attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans.
Though his reign ended on a high note, with order restored to his empire, it was followed by three years of civil war. Louis is compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a distinctly different sort. Louis was born while his father Charlemagne was on campaign in Spain, at the Carolingian villa of Cassinogilum, according to Einhard and the anonymous chronicler called Astronomus, he was the third son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard. His grandfather was King Pepin the Younger. Louis was sent there with regents and a court. Charlemagne constituted the sub-kingdom in order to secure the border of his kingdom after the destructive war against the Aquitanians and Basques under Waifer and Hunald II, which culminated in the disastrous Battle of Roncesvalles. Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area. However, in 785, wary of the customs his son may have been taking in Aquitaine, Charlemagne sent for him to Aquitaine and Louis presented himself at the Royal Council of Paderborn dressed up in Basque costumes along with other youths in the same garment, which may have made a good impression in Toulouse, since the Basques of Vasconia were a mainstay of the Aquitanian army.
In 794, Charlemagne settled four former Gallo-Roman villas on Louis, in the thought that he would take in each in turn as winter residence: Doué-la-Fontaine in today's Anjou, Ebreuil in Allier, Angeac-Charente, the disputed Cassinogilum. Charlemagne's intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs, thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age. Each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louis's was the Spanish March. In 797, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, handed it to them; the Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis marched the entire army of his kingdom, including Gascons with their duke Sancho I of Gascony, Provençals under Leibulf, Goths under Bera, over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated.
The sons were not given independence from central authority and Charlemagne ingrained in them the concepts of empire and unity by sending them on military expeditions far from their home bases. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once. Louis was one of Charlemagne's three legitimate sons to survive infancy, he had Lothair who died during infancy. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, Pepin, King of Italy. In the Divisio Regnorum of 806, Charlemagne had slated Charles the Younger as his successor as emperor and chief king, ruling over the Frankish heartland of Neustria and Austrasia, while giving Pepin the Iron Crown of Lombardy, which Charlemagne possessed by conquest. To Louis's kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania and part of Burgundy. However, Charlemagne's other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 – and Louis alone remained to be crowned co-emperor with Charlemagne in 813.
On his father's death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions. While at his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Louis received news of his father's death, he rushed to Aachen and crowned himself emperor to shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus by the attending nobles. Upon arriving at the imperial court in Aachen, one of Louis' first acts was to purge the palace of its "filth", he destroyed the old Germanic pagan tokens and texts, collected by Charlemagne. He further exiled members of the court he deemed morally "dissolute", including some of his own relatives. From the start of his reign, his coinage imitated his father Charlemagne's portrait, which gave it an image of imperial authority and prestige, he sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, to avoid any possible entanglements from overly powerful brothers-in-law. Sparing his illegitimate half-brothers, he forced his father's cousins and Wala to be tonsured, placing them in Noirmoutier and Corbie despite the latter's initial loyalty.
His chief counsellors were
Carolingian minuscule or Caroline minuscule is a script which developed as a calligraphic standard in Europe so that the Latin alphabet of Jerome's Vulgate Bible could be recognized by the literate class from one region to another. It was developed for the first time, in about 780, by a Benedictine monk of Corbie Abbey, Alcuin of York, it was used in the Holy Roman Empire between 800 AD and 1200 AD. Codices and Christian texts, educational material were written in Carolingian minuscule throughout the Carolingian Renaissance; the script developed into blackletter and became obsolete, though its revival in the Italian Renaissance forms the basis of more recent scripts. The script is derived from Roman half uncial and the insular scripts that were being used in Irish and English monasteries; the strong influence of Irish literati on the script can be seen in the distinctively cló-Gaelach forms of the letters a, e, d, g, s and t. Carolingian minuscule was created under the patronage of the Emperor Charlemagne.
Charlemagne had a keen interest in learning, according to his biographer Einhard: Temptabat et scribere tabulasque et codicellos ad hoc in lecto sub cervicalibus circumferre solebat, ut, cum vacuum tempus esset, manum litteris effigiendis adsuesceret, sed parum successit labor praeposterus ac sero inchoatus. He tried to write, used to keep tablets and blanks in bed under his pillow, that at leisure hours he might accustom his hand to form the letters; as a part of Charlemagne's educational and religious reforms, made that every church and monastery should have a copy of Jerome's Vulgate Bible. Charlemagne wanted to make the Vulgate Bible more readable for preachers and easier to copy for scribes. Thus, Marcia Colish explains, he assigned to Alcuin the correction of the Vulgate. In conjunction with this project, in his career when he became abbot of Tours, Alcuin invented a new style of handwriting, the Caroline minuscule; this script was far more legible than earlier medieval hands and an improvement on Roman book hands, since it provided spaces between the words, more extensive punctuation, a hierarchy of hands, with capitals used for titles, a mix of capitals and lower-case letters for subtitles or chapter headings, lower case for the body of the text.
With the newly corrected Bible, pastors would be able to base their teaching and preaching on what it said. Although Charlemagne was never literate, he understood the value of literacy and a uniform script in running his empire. Charlemagne sent for the English scholar Alcuin of York to run his palace school and scriptorium at his capital, Aachen. Efforts to supplant Gallo-Roman and Germanic scripts had been under way before Alcuin arrived at Aachen, where he was master from 782 AD to 796 AD, with a two-year break; the new minuscule was disseminated first from Aachen, of which the Ada Gospels provide classic models, from the influential scriptorium at Marmoutier Abbey, where Alcuin withdrew from court service as an abbot in 796 AD and restructured the scriptorium. Carolingian minuscule was uniform, with rounded shapes in distinguishable glyphs and above all, legible. Clear capital letters and spaces between words became standard in Carolingian minuscule, one result of a campaign to achieve a culturally unifying standardization across the Carolingian Empire.
Traditional charters, continued to be written in a Merovingian "chancery hand" long after manuscripts of Scripture and classical literature were being produced in the minuscule hand. Documents written in a local language, like Gothic or Anglo-Saxon rather than Latin, tended to be expressed in traditional local script. Carolingian script has fewer ligatures than other contemporary scripts, although the et, æ, rt, st and ct ligatures are common; the letter d appears in an uncial form with an ascender slanting to the left, but the letter g is the same as the modern minuscule letter, rather than the common uncial ᵹ. Ascenders are "clubbed" – i.e. they become thicker near the top. The early period of the script, during Charlemagne's reign in the late 8th century and early 9th, still has varying letter forms in different regions; the uncial form of the letter a, similar to a double c, is still used in manuscripts from this period. There is use of punctuation such as the question mark, as in Beneventan script of the same period.
The script flourished during the 9th century, when regional hands developed into an international standard, with less variation of letter forms. Modern glyphs, such as s and v, began to appear, ascenders, after thickening at the top, were finished with a three-cornered wedge; the script began to evolve after the 9th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries, ligatures were rare and ascenders began to slant to the right and were finished with a fork; the letter w began to appear. By the 12th century, Carolingian letters had become more angular and were written closer together, less legibly than in previous centuries; the new script spread through Western Europe most where Carolingian influence was strongest. In luxuriously produced lectionaries that now began to be produced for princely patronage of abbots and bishops, legibility was essential, it reached far afield: the 10th century Freising manuscripts, which contain the oldest Slovene lan