Catalogue


The penitential state : authority and atonement in the age of Louis the Pious, 814-840 /
Mayke de Jong.
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
description
xv, 317 p. : bill., maps, geneal. tables ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521881528 (hbk.), 9780521881524 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
isbn
0521881528 (hbk.)
9780521881524 (hbk.)
catalogue key
6817873
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 280-304) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-04-01:
De Jong (Utrecht Univ.) reminds readers that for the ninth century, religious motives cannot be separated from secular ones and that religious claims were not mere covers for the "real" power politics underneath. The author has studied the culture of penance in the reign of Louis the Pious, long regarded as a weak ruler for his submission to ecclesiastical humiliation. De Jong reads narrative sources according to the values of the ninth century rather than some modern age. She offers a nice historiography and an introduction to the sources before moving to a very good overview of Louis's reign, considerations of natural disasters and political setbacks in the 820s, the alleged adultery within the royal court, and the emperor's infamous public penance and temporary deposition of 833-834. The author argues that Louis, his nobles, and his bishops sincerely subscribed to a belief that warning, correction, and penance were necessary to please God and ensure the stability of the state. She forces readers to reconsider not only Louis's supposed weakness but also the putative villainy, weakly disguised as piety, of those who challenged him. De Jong achieves all of this in a book fully suitable for undergraduates. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. C. J. Chandler Lycoming College
Reviews
Review Quotes
'an extremely sensitive analysis of the great wealth of narrative and other sources...This is, in other words, a book at the heart of an unfolding historiographical movement, much of it inspired in part or whole by de Jong's earlier path-breaking work in the field. It is clearly, too, a study which will greatly influence the development of that field... One finishes this accessible and enlightening book wanting more' C.M.A. West, English Historical Review
"a profound explication of Carolingian political ideals and practices as they unfolded primarily between 822 and 840...[de Jong] has blended the delight in evoking historical contingency with her trademark command of Carolingian (religious) culture...Although this incisive book was penned with specialists in mind...it has much broader implications." - Hans Hummer, Speculum
'… fascinating … What de Jong does best is to introduce readers into the world of her authors and their audiences … Throughout, [she] makes her case by means of close, often line-by-line readings of her texts … a stimulating book to read, especially for graduate students.' Kevin Uhalde, The Medieval Review
Highly recommended.--Choice
'meticulously researched...important and thoughtful...De Jong opens with a long chapter that stands as the best account of Louis's reign now available...Her deep understanding of this culture superbly contextualizes the discordant and anguished voices of 833.' John J. Contreni, American Historical Review
'fascinating...What de Jong does best is to introduce readers into the world of her authors and their audiences... Throughout, de Jong makes her case by means of close, often line-by-line readings of her texts...a stimulating book to read, especially for graduate students' Kevin Uhalde, The Medieval Review
'[De Jong] forces readers to reconsider not only Louis's supposed weakness but also the putative villainy, weakly disguised as piety, of those who challenged him. De Jong achieves all of this in a book fully suitable for undergraduates. Summing up: highly recommended.' C. J. Chandler, Choice
'Both in the new avenues which it renders accessible and the clarity of the approach taken towards rhetoric, ritual and practice, de Jong's study deserves to be influential and widely read. A truly considered statement, her book is both the essential guide to Louis's troubles and a model exploration of early medieval ritual and political culture.' David Pratt, Early Medieval Europe
'an important and subtle examination of the reign [of Louis the Pious] ... a deft and original evocation of this world of open criticism...any reassessment [of his reign] will have to be worked out within the new interpretive framework for the sources staked out in De Jong's outstanding book.' Simon MacLean, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2010
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
An evaluation of Emperor Louis the Pious' reign which examines the background and context of Louis' public penance in 833. Through a profound re-reading of contemporary texts that reflected on legitimate authority in times of crisis, Mayke de Jong reveals that self-humiliation served to enhance royal authority.
Main Description
In 833 emperor Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son, submitted to a public penance in the wake of a rebellion by his three elder sons. This penance amounted to a deposition, for Louis was to atone for his sins for the rest of his life. However, only half a year later, he was back on the throne again. In this evaluation of Louis' reign, Mayke de Jong argues that his penance was the outcome of a political discourse and practice in which the accountability of the Frankish ruler to God played an increasingly central role. However heated their debates, this was a moral high ground Louis shared with churchmen and secular magnates. Through a profound re-reading of texts by contemporary authors who reflected on legitimate authority in times of crisis, this book reveals a world in which political crime was defined as sin, and royal authority was enhanced by atonement.
Description for Bookstore
A major re-evaluation of Emperor Louis the Pious' reign which examines the background and context of Louis' public penance in 833. Through a profound re-reading of contemporary texts that reflected on legitimate authority in times of crisis, Mayke de Jong reveals that self-humiliation served to enhance royal authority.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In 833, Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son, submitted to a public penance in the wake of a rebellion by his three elder sons. This penance amounted to a deposition, for Louis was to atone for his sins for the rest of his life. However, only half a year later, he was back on the throne. This text presents a re-evaluation of Louis' reign.
Main Description
In 833 emperor Louis the Pious, Charlemagne's son, submitted to a public penance in the wake of a rebellion by his three elder sons. This penance amounted to a deposition, for Louis was to atone for his sins for the rest of his life. However, only half a year later, he was back on the throne again. In this major re-evaluation of Louis' reign, Mayke de Jong argues that his penance was the outcome of a political discourse and practice in which the accountability of the Frankish ruler to God played an increasingly central role. However heated their debates, this was a moral high ground Louis shared with churchmen and secular magnates. Through a profound re-reading of texts by contemporary authors who reflected on legitimate authority in times of crisis, this book reveals a world in which political crime was defined as sin, and royal authority was enhanced by atonement.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
A note on annotation, citation and translationp. xi
List of abbreviationsp. xii
The Carolingian world in the first half of the ninth centuryp. xvi
Louis's succession arrangement of 817 (the so-called Ordinatio imperii)p. xviii
Pippin and Charlemagnep. xix
The descendants of Louis the Pious Ip. xx
The descendants of Louis the Pious IIp. xxi
Introduction: The Penitential statep. 1
Louis the Pious (778-840)p. 14
A boy who became a kingp. 14
Adolescentiap. 16
The conquest of Aachenp. 19
Dynastyp. 24
Procreationp. 31
Hludowicus Augustusp. 34
Scapegoats and rebelsp. 38
Intermezzop. 44
833 and all thatp. 46
Restorationp. 50
'The last years'p. 52
Ninth-century narrativesp. 59
The court and its narrativesp. 59
The message from inside: annalsp. 63
Imperial imagery: Einhardp. 67
A bishop's view: Theganp. 72
The corridors of power: the Astronomerp. 79
Poetic praise: Ermold the Blackp. 89
With hindsight: Nithard on Louis the Piousp. 96
Looking back in anger: Radbert on Walap. 102
Admonitio, correptio, increpatiop. 112
Criticising rulersp. 112
The watchman for the house of Israelp. 114
The vocabulary of admonition and sinp. 118
Exaltation by admonition: Attigny, 822p. 122
Royal admonitionp. 131
Admonition from beyond the gravep. 135
From admonitio to increpatiop. 142
The wages of sin (828-829)p. 148
Scapegoats: Matfrid and Hughp. 148
Clades: the offended deityp. 153
The winter assembly of 828-829p. 157
Letters from the palacep. 170
A penitential council: Paris, 829p. 176
Purity and danger (830-831)p. 185
The reputation of the palacep. 185
The one and only queenp. 188
Sexual slanderp. 195
Purity and dangerp. 200
Rebellion and restorationp. 205
Scandal and satisfaction (832-834)p. 214
An unexpected visitorp. 214
Debates on the Field of Liesp. 224
Public sin and public penancep. 228
The bishops argue their casep. 234
The case against the bishopsp. 241
Penance and public humiliationp. 245
Turning the tablesp. 249
Epilogue: The penitential state after Louis the Piousp. 260
Appendixp. 271
Bibliography: primary sourcesp. 280
Bibliography: secondary sourcesp. 283
Index of biblical referencesp. 305
General indexp. 306
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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