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Note E

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and Her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

2nd edition
Oxford University Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Book IX
Chapter 2

Book IX (beginning)

Chapter I

The Pontificate of Hadrian I

Frankish and Byzantine Affairs

Sources: —

For Byzantine affairs here alluded to, our chief authority is Theophanes (described in vol. VI p415), who is now strictly a contemporary, but a vehement partisan.

Guides (for the same subject): —

My chief guides are Schlosser's 'Geschichte der Bilderstürmenden Kaiser,' and Bury's 'History of the Later Roman Empire.'

Pope Hadrian's long pontificate. Feb. 9, 772, to Dec. 26, 795. Pope Hadrian occupied the chair of St. Peter for twenty-three years, ten months, and seventeen days, a longer period than had fallen to the lot of any of his predecessors, except the twenty-five years which tradition assigns to St. Peter himself. That part of his pontificate which still lies before us was, as far as Italy was concerned, a long and level space, not marked by any such striking events as those with which the preceding thirty years had been thickly studded, nor will it require to be considered in so much detail.

Of course in Italy and all the western world the figure that loomed largest in the eyes of men was that of the great Austrasian, Charles, 'King of the  p2 Franks and Lombards and Patrician of the Romans.' His intervention in the affairs of Italy was necessarily fitful and intermittent, for (as has been already said) he had hard tasks to perform north of the Alps, tasks which sometimes wellnigh over-strained even his marvellous energy, and more than once exhausted his long-enduring patience. A very brief outline of these transalpine labours will serve to indicate that which lay in the background of Italian history during this quarter of a century.

Charles's Thirty Years' War with the Saxons. The great, the Herculean labour of Charles during all the central portion of his reign was his Thirty Years' War​1 for the subjugation of the Saxons. Subjugation, as Charles soon perceived, meant Christianisation, and would not be accomplished without it. Christianisation by moral and spiritual agencies was a slow process, too slow for the masterful Austrasian. There were therefore compulsory baptisms, fierce laws against obdurate heathens or relapsed converts, at last a terrible massacre. Then came great transportations of men, in the style of Sargon or Nebuchadnezzar; Saxons carried away into the heart of Frank-land; Frankish settlements planted in ravaged Saxonia. Thus at length, by harshest and least spiritual means, outward conformity to the religion which called itself Christianity was secured, and order reigned in Saxon-land.

Eighteen campaigns were needed to accomplish the work which was not ended at the time of the death of Hadrian. I here only lightly touch on the chief crises of that deadly struggle.

 p3  In 772 (as has been already related) Charles marched against the central tribe of Saxons, the Angarii, and hewed down their great tree-idol, the Irminsul. This act of defiance of the national faith was avenged by an invasion of the Saxons in 774. They entered Hesse, ravaged the country, sacked the abbey of Fritzlar erected by the holy Boniface, but were restrained — miraculously restrained said the monkish chroniclers — from setting fire to the church. The invasion occurred while Charles was busy with his Lombard campaign. On his return across the Alps, during his winter residence at Carisiacum, he resolved that the Saxon truce-breakers should be either Christianised or exterminated. And in the campaign of 775, notwithstanding a serious reverse which befell one of his generals,​2 his arms were on the whole triumphant. The rebellion of Hrodgaud, duke of Friuli, called him across the Alps in the spring of 776, but he returned that same year, and prosecuted his military operations with such success that the great majority of the Saxons owned themselves beaten, surrendered to him their land, promised henceforth to live as his loyal subjects, and were baptized by thousands in the waters of the Lippe.

It was a deceitful calm, a mirage of victory. There was one chief, stronger and fiercer than all the others, the Westphalian Widukind, who had shared neither the baptism nor the homage to the conqueror, and he for eight years (777‑785) waged obstinate war with Charles, leading his Saxons into the very heart of Austrasia while Charles was besieging Spanish towns and educating the disaster of Roncesvalles, then retreating  p4 before the irresistible onset of the Franks, taking refuge with the heathen king of Denmark, returning to the fray, and guiding, evidently with some military skill, the movements of his insurgent countrymen. But in 785 even Widukind's stubborn soul bowed before the persistent energy of Charles. He surrendered, was baptized, and troubled his conqueror no more. A truce for six or seven years (785‑792) followed, but war with the Saxons — now allied with the Frisians, a formidable combination — again broke out at the end of that time, and this war was taxing Charles's utmost energies, when the long pontificate of Hadrian came to a close. Undoubtedly this mighty conflict, not with enervated Lombards but with the grim, exasperated Teutons of the North, was always in the background of the great king's thoughts, even when the affairs of Italy and the Pope's appeals for help most imperiously claimed his attention.

War with the Avars, 791‑796. Another war which, near the end of the period, called Charles with large armies to the banks of the Danube, was that which from 791 to 796 he waged against the nation of the Avars. We have seen this Asiatic horde, successors of the Huns both in ethnological and in geographical position, enter Europe about the middle of the sixth century, ally themselves with Alboin, and afterwards invade and cruelly ravage the duchy of Friuli which was ruled by the descendant of Alboin's comrade.​3 For some time they had ceased to be an overwhelming terror either to Italy or to Byzantium, and now, at the close of the eighth century, by a series of masterly campaigns, Charles succeeded in shattering their power, in storming their capital,  p5 girdled as it was by nine concentric rings of fortification,​4 and carrying off the immense hoard which for two centuries had been accumulated there, the results of the ravage or the ransom of the fair lands to the south of the Danube. Chagan and Tuduns (such were the barbarous titles of the king and princes of the Avars) came humbly to Charles's court to ask for baptism and the favour of the mighty Frank. No greater deliverance did Charles work for Europe than this dispersal of the thunder-cloud which had so long hovered over its eastern horizon.

War with Tassilo of Bavaria, 787‑788. Almost equally important in its bearing on the formation of the future German Reich was the war in which Charles crushed the rising independence of Bavaria; but, as has been already hinted, the fortunes of the Agilolfing princes were so closely linked in prosperity and adversity with those of the Lombards, that the story of the fall of Tassilo, duke of Bavaria, may be fitly told hereafter in connection with the affairs of Italy.

War in Spain. Last to be mentioned here, but among the first of these events in the order of time, was Charles's passage of the Pyrenees in 778, his capture of Pampeluna (previously held not by the Moorish misbeliever but by the Christian king of Asturias), possibly followed by the capture of Saragossa, but more certainly followed by his speedy return across the Pyrenees Disaster at Roncesvalles, 778. and by the disastrous defeat of his rear-guard at Roncesvalles.

Charles's family relations. We must now glance at the family relations of the great king during these central years of his life. Hildegard. We have seen how speedily the place of the divorced Lombard princess Desiderata was filled by the Swabian  p6 lady Hildegard (771‑2). She is said to have been little more than a child, at most thirteen years of age, at the time of her marriage, and her married life lasted but for the same number of years,​5 during which she bore nine children to her lord, four sons and five daughters.​6 She was apparently of all Charles's wives the one who was most beloved both by her husband and by his people. She generally accompanied him on his campaigns, and thus it came to pass that her third son Louis (known to history by his surname the Pious or the Debonnair) was born, shortly before the disaster of Roncesvalles, in that country of Aquitaine of which he was to be during the first forty years of his life the nominal or real ruler.

 p7  Hildegard died in 783, and in the same year Charles lost his mother Bertrada, to whom he was fondly attached, and whose counsels, we are told, he had ever followed, except in the one matter of his repudiation of Desiderata, which was the only root of bitterness that ever sprang up between mother and son.7

Fastrada. Not many months after the death of Hildegard the uxorious king took for his third​8 wife Fastrada, the daughter of an Austrasian, Count Radolf. This was the least fortunate of all Charles's matrimonial ventures. Fastrada was a hard and cruel woman, whose influence, says Einhard, often urged her husband to actions contrary to the natural kindliness of his character.​9 Two conspiracies against the throne (in one of which the hunchback Pippin, Charles's son by Himiltrud, was implicated) are attributed by the same writer to the resentment of the Frankish nobles at the cruelties of Fastrada. She died at Frankfurt on the 10th of August, 794, leaving two daughters, Theoderada of the golden locks and Hiltrud. At the end of the period with which we are now dealing, Liutgard. Charles was still a widower, but partly living in concubinage with her who was to be his fourth​10 and last wife, the beautiful Swabian lady Liutgard.

While the Frankish king was thus travelling past  p8 the meridian of his days, marrying often and seeing a crowd of sons and daughters growing up around him, more than one change was passing over the palace by the Bosphorus, where dwelt the only Christian sovereign whose power could be likened to his own.

Death of Constantine V, 775. In August, 775, a little more than a year after the fall of Pavia, died the Emperor Constantine V, surnamed by his enemies Copronymus. His hereditary and inveterate hostility to the worship of images, his equally inveterate hostility to the monks and his attempts to degrade or to destroy them, the miserable life which the patriarchs of Constantinople (even though iconoclasts) led under his insulting tyranny, and the curious vein of artistic Paganism which blended with his Puritan iconoclasm, are the chief characteristics of a reign with which we need not now further concern ourselves.

Accession of Leo IV, 775‑780. Constantine was succeeded by his son, Leo IV, who was nicknamed the Khazar, in memory of the fact that his mother Irene was daughter of the Khan of the Khazars. His reign lasted but five years (775‑790), and was distinguished by no important event. He was apparently a man of dull, unoriginal character, the sort of son that often grows up under the shadow of so masterful a character as Constantine Copronymus. In his dull way he carried on the iconoclastic policy of his father; he married a daughter of Athens, the energetic and ambitious Irene; he secured the succession for his son by that lady, and having done little else he died on the 8th of September, 780. Accession of Irene and Constantine VI. He was succeeded by his widow and son, Irene and Constantine VI, reigning, not as regent and minor, but as joint sovereigns.

The character of Irene and her position both in  p9 political and religious history are so peculiar and so important as to require some special notice. An orphan, presumably beautiful,​11 and certainly quick-witted, she had in some way fixed upon herself the affections of the young heir, Leo, who obtained his stern father's consent to marry her. Brought from Athens to a villa on the Sea of Marmora, she was escorted thence on the 1st of September, 769, with great pomp to Constantinople. The Bosphorus and the Golden Horn were covered with cutters and pinnaces bright with their silken sails, and all the nobles of Constantinople accompanied the exultant Athenian to the palace, where she was betrothed to Leo the Khazar. Three months later the marriage ceremony was performed, and at the same time she was crowned as Augusta, her husband already possessing the imperial dignity in association with his father.

Character of Irene. The Isaurian dynasty had, however, committed a fatal blunder when it allowed its future chief to link his fortunes with those of the fair Athenian. To 'the City of the Violet Crown' the stern iconoclasm of Constantine Copronymus was supremely unattractive. When the man of Tarsus visited it seven centuries earlier he found it 'wholly given to idolatry,' and it was a true daughter of those aesthetic loungers in the Agora who had now climbed up into the palace at Constantinople, though not the statues of Apollo or Athene, but the stern visage of the Saviour, the crowned Mother of God, and innumerable representations of apostles, martyrs and fathers, were  p10 the objects of her secret devotion. It was doubtless some distrust of her early educational environment which caused her father-in‑law soon after her arrival in Constantinople to administer to her a solemn oath that she would never desert the iconoclastic party. She conformed outwardly through the remainder of his reign and through the reign of her husband, but during a fierce outbreak of Leo the Khazar (March, 780) against the worship of images by which he found that his own palace was invaded, the name of the Augusta herself was introduced as favouring the forbidden rites. Some of the proscribed images were found in her bed. She denied that she had ever worshipped them, but her angry and incredulous husband reproached her with her violation of the oath which she had sworn to his father, and banished her from his presence. Sept. 8, 780 He had apparently not taken her back into his favour when six months afterwards he died — a most opportune death for the lovers of the sacred emblems.

Irene favours the image-worshipping party. Irene having never been deposed from her imperial dignity succeeded now as joint sovereign with her son, Constantine VI, a boy ten years of age. Naturally, for some years, her will alone prevailed and she was sole ruler of the Empire. Her inclination towards the party of the image-worshippers might be inferred from the fact that she gave back a diadem which her husband had abstracted from one of the churches of Constantinople, and replaced in its own church the body of the virgin-martyr Euphemia​12 which Constantine Copronymus, enraged at its alleged miraculous powers, had ordered to be thrown into  p11 the sea. Being, however, sufficiently occupied in quelling a revolt which was raised on behalf of the five princes, her late husband's half-brothers, she proceeded cautiously in the early years of her reign, and while tolerating, did not venture to enforce the worship of images.

Projected marriage of Constantine VI to a Frankish princess. It was at this period, while she still felt herself in need of external support, that she commenced negotiations for a matrimonial alliance between her family and that of the great monarch of the Franks. In the year 781, while Charles was spending Easter at Rome (his second visit to the Eternal City), he received there an embassy from Constantinople, consisting of Constans the Treasurer and Mamalus the Grand Chamberlain,​13 who came charged by Irene to negotiate a marriage between her son and the princess Hrotrud (whom the Greeks called Erythro), the eldest daughter of Charles and Hildegard. As the proposed bridegroom was only eleven and his intended bride only nine years of age, of course the contracting parties contemplated a long betrothal, but, such as it was, the proposal was accepted: the imperial boy and the royal girl were formally affianced to one another, and the Eunuch Elisha, an imperial notary, was sent to the Frankish Court to instruct the future Augusta in the Greek language and literature and in the ceremonial observed in the 'Roman Empire.'14

 p12  This alliance between the Isaurian and the Frankish dynasties is one of the great unrealised possibilities of history. It is probable that, had it been perfected, Charles would never have taken the title of Emperor of Rome. It is conceivable that the estrangement of feeling and eventual hostility between the Latins of the West and the 'orthodox Romans' of the East, which prepared the way for the Turkish capture of Constantinople, might have been avoided, if Elisha's lessons had borne their intended fruit, and the little princess Hrotrud had been eventually escorted as Empress by acclaiming multitudes to the palace of Constantine.

Irene's overtures for a reconciliation with the Roman See. Side by side with Irene's negotiations for the Frankish alliance, she was also labouring cautiously for a reconciliation with the See of Rome. In the year 783, on the abdication of the patriarch Paul, who declared that his conscience was disturbed by his iconoclastic isolation from the other Churches, Tarasius patriarch. Irene procured the election of her secretary Tarasius to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople. Tarasius was a layman, and admitted, nay emphasised the irregularity of his elevation, but stipulated for the convocation of a general council which should at the same time confirm his election and reverse the decrees against image-worship which had been passed at the so‑called 'seventh ecumenical council' under Constantine Copronymus.

Hadrian's dilemma. The messengers who brought to Pope Hadrian the  p13 tidings of this intended ecclesiastical revolution must have caused him some perplexity. Great on the one hand was the rejoicing over the prospect that the iconoclastic controversy which had raged for half a century was to be terminated by the triumph of the image-worshippers and of Rome; but on the other hand, the election of a layman to the patriarchal chair was a direct violation of the principle recently asserted in the synod of the Lateran; and this newly-made patriarch still claimed the title of 'ecumenical' which, two centuries before, had so grievously vexed the soul of Gregory.​15 But on the whole, the advantages of the proposed change seemed to predominate. Hadrian addressed letters to Irene and to Tarasius, in which, while gently chiding that which seemed blameworthy, he praised their orthodoxy on the question of image-worship, and agreed to send representatives to the proposed council. He did not omit however, to claim the restoration of the 'patrimonies of St. Peter' which had been confiscated by Leo III at the time of the first outbreak of the controversy.

Abortive synod of 786. An attempt to hold the desired ecumenical Council at Constantinople in August, 786, was foiled by the iconoclastic party. The war‑worn veterans of Constantine Copronymus, still true to the memory of their victorious leader, rushed into the church where the ecclesiastics were assembled, and in fierce tones threatened to slay the new patriarch, the orthodox bishops, and the abbots. Vain were all attempts to quell the mutiny. The threatened churchmen were only too glad to dissolve the Council and to escape from the church, while the bishops (still numerous) of  p14 the iconoclastic party triumphantly shouted, 'We have conquered!'

Their triumph was of short duration. Irene had the monks, and probably the mob of Constantinople, on her side. The soldiers who had taken the lead in the late disturbances were expelled from the city. More obsequious troops were brought from the 'themes' on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, and on the 24th of September in the following year (787), a Council which ranks in history as 'the seventh ecumenical' and 'second Nicene' Council, was held at the venerated sanctuary of Nicaea.

Second Nicene Council, Sept. 24 – Oct. 23, 787. At this Council Tarasius presided, and any irregularity in his election was therefore fully condoned. Numerous bishops who had joined in the iconoclastic movement recanted and were purged of their offences against triumphant orthodoxy. Most important of all was the 'definition'​16 which received the assent of the Council at its seventh session (October 13, 787):

Image-worship commended. 'As the figure of the Holy Cross, so also holy pictures, whether coloured or made of stone or any other material, are to be portrayed on vessels, on garments, on walls, or on tablets, in houses or by the road-side, especially pictures of Jesus Christ, of our immaculate Lady, of the venerable angels, and of all holy men. As often as these representations are looked at, the beholders are stimulated to think upon and imitate the originals, and therefore they are right in bestowing upon them salutation and honouring worship, but not that peculiar service​17 which is due to the Godhead alone.'

 p15  The Second Nicene Council marks the great triumph of the image-worshipping party. It is true that there was a certain backwater of iconoclasm in the ninth century, but it does not seem to have ever after this had any chance of permanent victory in the Eastern Church.

Rupture of the marriage treaty, 787. Meanwhile, however, to turn from ecclesiastical to political relations, the correspondence about the Franco-Byzantine marriage was not proceeding smoothly. Great obscurity hangs over this abortive negotiation, and, strangely enough, each party to the contract seems to have desired to have the credit, or discredit, of its final rupture,​18 which took place in the year 787. It was of course from the first a purely political arrangement, and as the years passed on, both parties discovered that it was not so suitable to their policy as they had supposed. The Byzantines wished to be free to support the Lombard exile, Adelchis; Charles was possibly already beginning to dream of an imperial crown. Female vanity and ambition concurred to the same result. Irene, who was becoming jealous of her  p16 stepson, feared the increase of power which he might derive from an alliance with the Frankish king.​19 Possibly Fastrada also, who during the long course of the marriage treaty had taken the place of the dead Hildegard by Charles's side, disliked the thought that her young stepdaughter would obtain a higher place in European ceremonial than her own, as the result of so splendid an alliance. Whatever the cause, the negotiations were broken off, bitter resentment took the place of the interrupted friendship, and the little Hrotrud grew up in her father's court, spent her life there, and died in 810 at the age of thirty-eight, a princess of rare charms and endowments, but, unfortunately for her reputation, a mother though not a wife.20

Marriage of Constantine VI. As for Constantine, his mother 'sent for a damsel from Armenia named Maria, and ordered him to marry her.' The youth obeyed, but his resentment at being deprived of his Frankish bride was, we are told, one cause of that estrangement from his mother and of that long duel between them which, though the beginning of it (789) falls within our present period, will be best related in a future chapter in connection with its terrible end.

Charles condemns the worship of images. It may have been partly a cause and partly a consequence of the estrangement between the two courts that Charles and Irene eventually took opposite sides in the iconoclastic controversy. Possibly the hard struggle which Charles and his servants had to wage against the stubborn idolatry of the Saxons made  p17 him impatient of these decrees, which on the strength of fine-drawn distinctions between 'veneration' and 'worship,' or 'worship' and 'service,' seemed to them practically to commit the Christian Church to the worship of idols. But we perceive also an element of personal antipathy to Irene, of Western antagonism to the East, working in the mind of Charles, when we find him remonstrating against the presumption of the Eastern sovereigns in calling themselves 'God's chosen instruments,' and in styling their own edicts divalia; objecting to a woman dictating her decrees to the Church, 'since woman, as the weaker vessel and the one most easily deceived, ought to be in subjection and repressed by the authority of the man'; and lastly, when we hear his invectives against 'certain rulers and priests of the Eastern regions, who, leaving sound doctrine and forgetting the apostolic anathema on any who should bring to his Galatian converts another gospel than that which he had preached to them, by their infamous and most silly synods strive to bring into the Church practices which neither the Saviour nor His Apostles ever taught.'

The Libri Carolini. These passages are taken from the celebrated Libri Carolini, in which Charles (or some learned man, probably Alcuin, writing by his authority) utters a long tirade — not unaccompanied by argument — against the acts of the Second Nicene Council. With some show of impartiality he censures the iconoclasts as well as the image-worshippers. There is no reason, he says, why there should not be pictures in the churches, in order to stimulate devotion, and preserve in the minds of the people the memory of the events recorded in Scripture; but it is a matter of indifference  p18 to the Church whether they are there or not. By no means ought their presence in the churches to be insisted on; still less should Christians under peril of anathema be commanded to venerate them, as they were commanded by the rash, impertinent and silly council lately held in Bithynia.

Council of Frankfurt, 794. The Libri Carolini were composed in 790: and four years later, in 794, at a Council of Frankish bishops held at Frankfurt, a solemn condemnation was pronounced upon 'the Greek synod at Constantinople,'​21 which was accused of directing that the same adoration and service should be rendered to the holy images which was rendered to the Trinity. This last statement was due to an utter misunderstanding, and probably to a mistranslation of the proceedings of the council thus condemned. The fact that this mistranslation was to all appearance the work of some scribe in the Lateran (since Hadrian forwarded to Charles a copy of the proceedings translated into Latin) is an evidence of gross carelessness or ignorance, or both, in the officials of the Papal chancery, and is a fact that has an important bearing on the question of the donation of territory, referred to in the preceding chapter.

Charles calls on Hadrian to condemn the Eastern Council. About the same time as the holding of the Council of Frankfurt, Charles addressed to Hadrian a letter similar to, but not identical with, the Libri Carolini, in which he besought the Pope to join in his condemnation of the detested Council of Nicaea. Of course Hadrian, who saw in the proceedings of that Council the victory of the cause for which he and his predecessors had been striving for half a century,  p19 refused to issue any such condemnation. Hadrian's reply. With great patience, in a very lengthy letter,​22 he answered Charles's objections, point by point, indicating some errors into which he had been betrayed by his ignorance of the past history of the controversy. But in Hadrian's mind all roads led eventually to the question of the patrimonies of St. Peter. As he said to Charles,

'When the controversy about the sacred images first broke out, they took from us our patrimonies [in the south of Italy and Sicily]. Now they have renounced, it is true, the errors of iconoclasm, but we cannot get any answer to our reclamation of these patrimonies which are ours by an undoubted title for the lighting of candles [at the tomb of the Apostles] and for the nourishment of the poor. Wherefore, with your approve, we propose to send the Emperor an answer, thanking him for again erecting the sacred images in their old places, but warning him that if he fails to restore its patrimonies to the Holy Roman Church, we shall decide him to be a heretic for thus obstinately persevering in his old error.'

As to the precise issue of this discussion we are not informed. Possibly Hadrian's death, which occurred soon after, prevented the proposed letter from being ever sent. But the whole of these negotiations are most important in their bearing on the historical question of the separation, political and ecclesiastical, of the East from the West. This separation is often attributed to the iconoclastic controversy as its sole cause. Doubtless the hostile attitude of Leo the Isaurian and Constantine Copronymus on the question  p20 of image-worship had much to do with estranging the Pope from the Emperor, but it must not bear the whole blame for the final separation. For here, during the years from 787 onwards, we have the Church of Constantinople absolutely reconciled to the Church of Rome on the question of image-worship, and the Empress Irene, the foremost personage in the Empire, the enthusiastic defender of that usage of the Church. On the other hand, Charles and his bishops take up a position, nominally of neutrality, but really of bitter opposition to the Second Nicene Council, advancing arguments which the Pope condemns, and defending positions which he considers heretical. Both sides might agree to ignore the question, yet far on into the ninth century the opposition still continued. Yet in the year 800 we shall find a Pope (not Hadrian but his next successor) taking the lead in the great revolution which severed Rome from Constantinople and broke the last links of allegiance that bound the Pope to the Eastern Caesar.

The Author's Notes:

1 So we may call it, dating from its origin (772) to its close (804), but there were breathing spaces in which no actual campaign was undertaken.

2 At Lidbach, near Minden.

3 See vol. V p137; VI p50, &c.

4 Of which an interesting description is given by the Monk of St. Gall, II.1.

5 We derive these numbers from some lines in the epitaph on Hildegard, composed by Paulus Diaconus: —

'Alter ab undecimo jam te susceperat annus

Cum vos mellifluus consociavit amor

Alter ab undecimo rursum te sustulit annus:

Heu! genitrix regum: heu! decus atque dolor.'

It seems to be admitted that 'alter ab undecimo' may mean not 'the twelfth' but 'the thirteenth' year: but even so, the young queen's marriage is assigned to a period of her life much too early for the healthy Teutonic feeling as to the matrimonial age. Yet it does not seem possible to extract any other meaning from the words of Paulus.


Family of Charles and Hildegard

7 'Colebat enim [Karolus] eam [matrem] cum summâ reverentiâ, ita ut nulla unquam invicem sit exorta discordia praeter in divortio filiae Desiderii regis, quam illâ suadente acceperat' (Einh. Vita Karoli, 18).

8 Or fourth if we reckon Himiltrud as a lawfully-wedded wife.

9 In fairness however it should be noticed that the most atrocious deed of which Charles was guilty, the massacre of the 4,500 Saxons, took place before his marriage with Fastrada.

10 Or fifth: see ante.

11 I cannot find any distinct statement as to Irene's beauty: but we may presume it from the fact of her having attracted the heir to the throne.

12 Martyred under Galerius, A.D. 307.

13 'Primicerius [notariorum].'

14 Considering the contrariety of evidence as to the breaking off of the match, the words of Theophanes as to the inception of the marriage treaty are important: Ἀπέστειλεν Εἰρήνη Κωνσταὴν (sic) τὸν σακελλάριον καὶ Μάμαλον πριμικήριον πρὸς Κάρουλον ῥῆγα τῶν Φράγγων ὅπως τὴν αὐτοῦ θυγατέρα, Ἐρυθρὼ λεγομένην, νυμφεύσηται τῷ βασιλεῖ Κωνσταντίνῳ τῷ υἱῷ αὐτῆς. Καὶ γενομένης συμφωνίας καὶ ὅρκων ἀναμεταξὺ ἀλλήλων κατέλιπεν Ἐλισσαῖον τὸν εὐνοῦχον καὶ νοτάριον πρὸς τὸ διδάξαι αὐτὴν τά τε τῶν Γραικῶν γράμματα καὶ τὴν γλῶσσαν καὶ παιδεῦσαι αὐτὴν τὰ ἤθη τῆς Ῥωμαίων βασιλείας (A. M. 6274). We get the fact that the ambassadors met Charles at Rome, from the Chronicon Moissiacense (Pertz, MonumentaI.297).

15 See vol. V p391.

16 Ὅρος.

17 Ἀσπασμὸν καὶ τιμητικὴν προσκύνησιν ἀπονέμειν οὐ μὴν τὴν κατὰ πίστιν ἡμῶν ἀληθινὴν λατρείαν, ἢ πρέπει μόνῃ τῇ θείᾳ φύσει. The distinction between προσκύνησις and λατρεία is one which it may be safely said is unknown to the writers of the New Testament. Προσκυνεῖν occurs some sixty times, amongst others in such passages as Luke iv.8, John iv.24, Rev. vii.11, where it is connected with the Divine name: and in our English version it is always translated 'worship.' Λατρεύω and λατρεία occur twenty-four times, and are often translated by 'serve' and 'service'; four times by 'worship.' Always, it is true, they are used of reverence paid to the Almighty.

18 Einhardi Annales, our chief Frankish source, says, 'Interea Constantinus imperator propter negatam sibi regis filiam iratus Theodorum fines Beneventanorum vastare jussit.' Theophanes (A. M. 6281) says, Λύσασα δὲ ἡ βασίλισσα Εἰρήνη τὴν πρὸς τοὺς Φράγγους συναλλαγὴν . . . ἤγαγεν κόρην ἐκ τῶν Ἀρμενιακῶν ὀνόματι Μαρίαν — καὶ ἔζευξεν αὐτὴν Κωνσταντίνῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ.

19 So we are expressly told by Zonaras, XV.10.

20 Louis, her illegitimate son by Count Norico of Maine, became abbot of S. Denis and other monasteries, and proto­notary to Charles the Bald (Simson, Jahrbücher, II.424).

21 The last session of the Second Nicene Council was held in the palace of Magnaura at Constantinople.

22 Printed in Migne's Patrologia (second volume of the works of Charles the Great, pp1247‑1291).

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