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An Empire of MemoryThe Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade$
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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

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The Franks' Imagined Empire

The Franks' Imagined Empire

(p.97) 4 The Franks' Imagined Empire
An Empire of Memory

Matthew Gabriele (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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