Sacer antestis and rex christicolarum: The Carolingian Papal ‘Real’, ‘Ideal’, and How to Write Between Them in Ermold the Black’s Carmen in Honorem Hludowici Christianissimi Caesaris Augusti.
Ermold the Black's stated aim in writing the Carmen in Honorem Hludowici Christianissimi Caesaris Augusti was to sing of the arms, deeds, and greatness of his Emperor Louis. To this end, Ermold chooses to recall in verse Pope Paschal IV's visit to Louis in 816. Though obfuscated by Ermold's intentions (both stated and unstated), there can be found in this passage evidence of the ways the Carolingian court and Emperor wished to conceive of their relationship with the pope in Rome. This paper seeks to use Ermold's portrayal of the encounter as a lens through which to analyse the (at times contradictory) ideologies of the Carolingians. Further, it explores how those ideologies were propagated in thought and in literary methodologies that both evidenced and reinforced the ideologies' acceptance.
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