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An Empire of Memory$
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Matthew Gabriele

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199591442

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591442.001.0001

The Franks' Imagined Empire

Chapter:
(p.97) 4 The Franks' Imagined Empire
Source:
An Empire of Memory
Author(s):

Matthew Gabriele (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591442.003.0005

Chapter 4 opens by considering what was meant by ‘empire’ in the early Middle Ages. The ninth‐century Franks fundamentally defined the idea for subsequent generations, positing themselves inclusively as a populus christianus (Christian people). This idea survived, in large part, because it was adopted and spread in the different legends of the Christian Last Emperor—each, in their own way, tremendously popular in the tenth- and eleventh‐century West. The Charlemagne and Last Emperor legends began to merge. Sacred history was now framed by the Franks, the standard-bearers of Christian imperial glory in both past and future.

Keywords:   empire, Carolingians, Last Emperor, Pseudo‐Alcuin, Annales Altahenses, christomimesis, apocalypticism

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