IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1603: The Reign of Louis the Pious and the Productivity of an Empire, II: The Return of the King

Thursday 4 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Sonderforschungsbereich 700 'Governance in Räumen begrenzter Staatlichkeit', Freie Universität Berlin / Université de Limoges
Organiser:Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Mayke de Jong, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Paper 1603-aTheatres of Memory: Drama, Performativity, and Character in the Carolingian Era
(Language: English)
Courtney Booker, Department of History, University of British Columbia
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Performance Arts - Drama, Rhetoric
Paper 1603-bPostcards from the Edge: The (Frankish) Letters of Gregory IV and the Productivity of a Crisis
(Language: English)
Cornelia Scherer, Lehrstuhl für Mittelalterliche Geschichte und Historische Hilfswissenschaften, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Mentalities, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1603-cThegan on Louis: On the Road to Rulership
(Language: English)
Philippe Depreux, Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Université de Limoges
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Political Thought, Rhetoric

Even after several reconsiderations, the reign of Louis the Pious still presents a broad gamut of interesting challenges to researchers and contemporary commentators alike. And indeed, Charlemagne’s heir, crowned co-emperor in 813, did live in interesting times: the heights aspired to by the Carolingians, as well as the breadth of their interests, made for a period that was nothing if not dynamic, and which forced every member of the court to actively reconsider their positions within the Frankish imperium. In this session, organised to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of Louis the Pious’ coronation, three papers will shed more light on various aspects of this productivity. Courtney Booker will open the session by presenting an overview of the use of the language of theatre and drama by Carolingian commentators, and offer some reflections on the nature and implications of this usage with respect to historiography and hermeneutics. Then follows Cornelia Scherer, who will demonstrate how the Carolingian self-reflection at the time also had consequences for their views on papal authority – going as far as to write letters in his name to bolster Lothar’s position. Finally, Philippe Depreux will reflect on the ways that Thegan, contemporary biographer of Louis, regarded his ruler and the life he had to lead in order to maintain his position at the head of the Carolingian imperium.