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Evil LordsTheories and Representations of Tyranny from Antiquity to the Renaissance$
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Nikos Panou and Hester Schadee

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199394852.001.0001

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Evil Lords and the Devil

Evil Lords and the Devil

Tyrants and Tyranny in Carolingian Texts

Chapter:
(p.119) 7 Evil Lords and the Devil
Source:
Evil Lords
Author(s):

Sumi Shimahara

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199394852.003.0008

Perceptions of tyranny are also the subject of this chapter, which discusses the ways in which terms deriving from the root ‘tyran-’ were employed in biblical commentaries and other sources of the Carolingian era. The chapter shows that eighth- and ninth-century authors developed a distinct discourse on tyranny by blending pagan and patristic views with their own ethical-political principles. Carolingian conceptions of tyranny were grounded in considerations pertaining both to legality and to morality, with vice, eschatological concerns, and the association with the devil playing as important a role as issues of illegitimacy, usurpation, or malfeasance. These conceptions were moreover fairly elastic, as related terms not only had a wide connotative range but were also used to describe a variety of abusive behaviors of a royal, secular, or ecclesiastical origin.

Keywords:   Carolingians, biblical commentary, tyranny, devil, Vulgate, Rabanus Maurus

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