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Medieval Sourcebook:
Annals of Lorsch:
The pope makes the Carolingians kings


In 749 the pope consolidated the alliance with the Carolingian family by allowing the transfer of the royal title from the powerless Merovingian title holder to the Pepin, the mayor of the palace and actua; holder of power in France. The events are described in the the contemporary Annals of Lorsch.

Anno 749. Burchard, bishop of Wilrzburg, and Fulrad, priest and chaplain, were sent [by Pipin] to pope Zacharias to ask his advice in regard to the kings who were then ruling in France, who had the title of king but no real royal authority. The pope replied by these ambassadors that it would be better that he who actually had the power should be called king.

750 [751]. In this year Pipin was named king of the Franks with the sanction of the pope, and in the city of Soissons he was anointed with the holy oil by the hands of Bonifacc, archbishop and martyr of blessed memory, and was raised to the throne after the custom of the Franks. But Childerich, who had the name of king, was shorn of his locks and sent into a monastery.

753..In this year pope Stephen came to Pipin at Kiersy, to urge him to defend the Roman church from the attacks of the Lombards. 754. And after pope Stephen had received a promise from king Pipin that he would defend the Roman church, he anointed the king and his two sons, Karl and Karlmann, with the holy oil. And the pope remained that winter in France.

 

from Oliver J. Thatcher, and Edgar Holmes McNeal, eds., A Source Book for Medieval History, (New York: Scribners, 1905), p. 37-38

 


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(c)Paul Halsall Mar 1996
halsall@murray.fordham.edu