Charlemagne by Roger Collins (auth.)

By Roger Collins (auth.)

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It cannot be said that the earlier Frankish sources are much better. The version of the annals is extremely concise, while the only contemporary account, that of the Continuator ofFredegar, is patently distorted, in trying to present Pippin's elevation as an unopposed popular choice and making no reference to the incumbent king who had to be deposed. Another very surprising silence is that of the Liber Pontifical is, the collection of papal biographies that had been compiled in Rome and which was normally kept up on a reign-by-reign basis.

Thus the author of the Continuations of the Chronicle of Fredegar, writing soon after 751 for Pippin's uncle, the Burgundian count Childebrand, merely stated that 'It now happened that with the consent and advice of all the Franks the most excellent Pippin submitted a proposition to the Apostolic See, and having first obtained its sanction, was made king, and Bertrada queen. ' 53 Later sources repeat more or less the 34 Charlemagne same story, together with additional details that should not always be taken at face value.

It served as one of the principal motors of both the political life and of the economy of the Frankish kingdoms. 80 The annual assemblies of the leading men and their followers in the presence of the king seem to have been a feature of Frankish life in a way that is not apparently matched amongst the other peoples who came to dominate the parts of the former western Roman Empire. These assemblies often took place in the month of March, and have sometimes been called the 'Marchfield' (Campus Martius) in consequence.

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