presented to the
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO
FRIENDS OF II II. LIBRARY
MR. JOHN C. ROSE
H^l^l i - '
'-':.: - :: i :;-^v-,'
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THE HOME LIBRARY.
EEV. EDWAED L. CUTTS, BA.,
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" COXSTAXTINE THE GREAT," " TURKIXG FOISTS OF CEKERAL, AND OF
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THE popular view of history possesses two cha-
racteristics : first, it deals in broad generalizations,
and marks history out into great Periods ; secondly,
it is attracted by great individualities, and seizes
on certain Men as the representatives of the Periods
in which they lived.
Thus Charlemagne stands in the popular view
as the representative man of that obscure but very
important period in which three elements the
ancient civilization of the Empire of the West, the
fresh vigour of the Barbarians who overran it, and
the Church were being fused into the national life
of mediaeval Europe.
When we come to study the period we find that
the process of fusion was very complex, and ex-
tended over a long period ; and that while we may
conveniently accept Charlemagne as the central
and representative figure in this period of history,
AM- must begin far back to trace the gradual
changes which led up to him ; and if we are rightly
to appreciate him and his work we must continue
to study the history of the period long after he^has
passed away from it.
And so in this book it will be found that the
actual life of the Emperor Karl occupies only a por-
tion of it, while it has been thought that the popular
name of " Charlemagne " may appropriately stand
as the title of what is a sketch of his period.
CHBONOLOGICAL TABLE xvi
Description of the Franks Their inroads into the empire
Their first settlement in Batavia, A.D. 355 Spread as
far as the Somme, A.D. 445 Franks in alliance with the
THE SETTLEMENT OF THE BARBARIANS.
Political condition of Gaul on the accession of Clovis The
kingdom of the Franks The Roman province The
settlements of the barbarians The Burgundians The
Visigoths Surrender of Southern Gaul to the Yisigoths 7
Social condition of Gaul on the accession of Clovis Appolli-
naris Sidonius A Gallo-Roman villa A Visigothic
king A Frank chief Burgtindian society Saxon
THE CONQUESTS OF CLOVI8.
The battle of Soissons and conquest of the Roman province
The marriage of Clovis War with the Alemanni
The battle of Tolbiac The conversion of Clovis The
Franks embrace Christianity Conquest of the Burgun-
dians Conquest of Aquitaine Consolidation of the
Frank kingdoms The Franks and the Latins separate
nations Survey of the Frank Empire The cities
Clovis nominated consul and patrician 29
THE MEKOVIXGIAX KINGS.
Division of the dominions of Clovis among his four sous
Reconquest of Burgundy Death of Clodomir and murder
of his sons Conquest of Thuringia Ostrogothic posses-
sions in Gaul relinquished to the Franks Bavaria and
Swabia recognize the Prankish sovereignty Death of
Theodoric and of his son Death of Childebcrt Clothaire
sole king Private life of the Frank kings Death of
Clothaire, and division of the kingdom again among his
four sons Their characters Charibert Guntram
Anecdote of trial by combat Chilperic Sigebert
Marriage of Sigebert and Brunhilda Of Chilperic and
Galeswintha Fredegonda War between Sigebert and
('hilperic Assassination of Sigebert Succeeded by
( 'liildebert II. The remarriage of Brunhilda Fate of
Mi rowiir The pretender Gundovald ir>
THE MEROviMitAX KINGS continued.
between the royal power and the nobles Death of
I hilperic Succeeded by Clothaire II. Death of Pretex-
tatus Death of Guntrnm Succeeded by Childebert of
Austrasia Death of Childebert Succeeded by Thcode-
bert in Austrasia, and Theodoric in Burgundy Death
of Fredegonda Her character Bruuhilda driven to
Burgundy The two brothers unite against Clothaire
They go to war with each other Theodebert slain
Theodoric dies The Austrasian nobles invite Clothaire
Brunhilda and the Austrasian princes slain, and the
whole of the Frank dominions united in Clothaire II.
Character of Brunhilda Death of Clothaire II. Suc-
ceeded by Dagobcrt, who gives Aquitaine to Charibert
Character of Dagobert He gives up Austrasia to his son
THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
Planting of the Church in Gaul Increase in the reign of
Decius Council of Aries Metropolitan organization
Beginnings of the patriarchal authority of the Roman
see Work of St. Martin of Tours Relations of the
British and Gallic Churches Caesarius of Aries The
position of the bishops Of the counts All the clergy
Latins Gradual introduction of Franks The monastic
institution introduced by St. Martin at Liguge By
Cassiau at Marseilles By Honoratus at Lerins Spreads
over Gaul Revived by St. Benedict Description of a
monastery of monks Account of the possessions of St.
Riquier Monasteries of women Relations of the Church
of Gaul with that of Saxon England 85
Church architecture Sidonius's description of the new
church at Lyons A Church function Gregory of
Tours' s description of the new basilica of St. Martin, and
of that at Clermont Paintings in churches Actual re-
mains of churches Fragments of sculpture, etc. Mode
of election of bishops The election of a bishop at
Bourges Sidonius's speech Illustrations of mode of
episcopal appointments under the Merovingian kings
from Gregory of Tours Rogations Solitaries and re-
cluses Religious widows Custom of sanctuary Life
in the sanctuaries of St. Martin of Tours, and St. Hilary
of Poitiers Belief in miracles Reverence for relics
Pilgrimage Impostures Energumens Ill
THE CONVENT OF ST. RADEGUNDA AT POITIKl;.-.
Radegunda taken captive Educated and married by Clo-
thaire Flees from court Is consecrated a deaconess
Takes sanctuary at St. Hilary of Poitiers Pounds a
monastery of women there Description of the building
Of the rules Venantius Fortunatus comes to Poitiers
His relations with the convent of Radegunda The
revolt of Chrodielda and forty nuns They flee to Tours
Return to Poitiers and take sanctuary at St. Hilary's 139
THE CELTIC MISSIONARIES.
Columbanus His birth Mission to Gaul Founds a monas-
tery at Anncgray Another at Luxcuil Controversy with
the Gallic Church Quarrels with King Theodoric and is
banished Founds a monastery at Bregenz Another
at Bobbio Gallus Other Celtic missionaries among the
Franks Emmeran 153
THE MAYORS OF Till: 1'AI.ACE.
Original functions of the major-domus Gradual growth of
his powers Pepin of Landen Mayoralty of Grimoald
Supremacy of the Neustrians under Queen Bathilidis
and the mayor Erchinoald Ebroin elected to the mayor-
altyReplaced by St. Ledger Pepin of Heristal
Struggle between the mayors of Neustria and Austrasia
Victory of Pepin His sole mayoralty Nominates his
grandson mayor under guardianship of his wife Plectru-
dis Charles is elected Duke of Austrasia Struggle with
Rainfroy Obtains the sole mayoralty His wars The
Saracen invasion of France Defeated by Charles Martel
at Poitiers Seizure of Church estates His mayoralty
Carloman and Pepin the Short succeed to the mayoralty
Carloman resigns and becomes a monk Pepin's sole
mayoralty Is elected king 165
Boniface, his birth, etc. His missionary journey to Frisia
Return to England First visit to Rome Missionary
work in Germany Second visit to Rome, and con-
secration as regionary bishop His labours among the
Germans Third visit to Rome Receives the pall
Organizes the Churches of Bavaria Founds sees and
monasteries in Swabia and Thuringia His influence in
the reformation of the Gallic Church Council of Les-
tines Council of Soissons Foundation of Fulda
Martyrdom of Boniface His character ... 183
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE MAYOES OF THE PALACE AND ROME.
The barbarian occupation of Italy The last emperors Count
Ricimer Count Odoa^er Deposes Augustulus Extin-
guishes the Western Empire, and reigns as patrician
Theodoric, King of the Goths His widow, Amalasuntha,
marries Theodatus Justinian's ambition Wars of Beli-
sarius Invasion of the Lombards Foundation of their
kingdom in North Italy History of Rome during this
period Rome appeals to Charles Martel for aid against
the Lombards 197
CHARLES AND CAKLOMAN JOINT-KINGS.
Birth, etc., of Charles Partition of the kingdom between
Charles and Carloman War with Aquitaine Alliance
with the Lombards Letter of Pope Stephen III.
Charles marries Desiderata Divorces her Death of
Carloman ... 217
THE CONQUEST OF THE LOMBARD KINGDOM.
Charles's military resources Mode of warfare Intrigues at
the court of Pavia Charles invades Lombardy Disper-
sion of the Lombard forces Siege of Pavia Romance
description of Charles He spends Easter at Rome
Pavia surrenders Charles is crowned King of the Lom-
bards Greco-Italian conspiracy Campaign against
Beneventum Submission of the duke Invasion of
Bavaria Surrender of the duke Incorporation of Ba-
varia into the Frank kingdom Revolt of Duke of Bene-
ventum Campaign against him Conquest of Liburnia
from the Greeks 225
THE SAXON WAR.
Description of Saxony Campaign of A.D. 772 Destruction
of the Irminsul Revolt of 774, and subsequent cam-
paign Revolt of 776, and campaign The Champ de
Mai held at Puderborn "NVitikind's raid into Francia, 778
Revolt of 782 Defeat of Frank troops Massacre of
the revolters The great rebellion of 783 The Saxons
fight two pitched battles and are defeated Charles com-
pletes their subjugation in a winter campaign Severe
laws Submission and baptism of Wit ikind 242
THE SPANISH CONQUEST.
Saracen envoys seek the assistance of Charles and offer him
their allegiance He marches into Spain Doubtful suc-
cesses Retires to Aquitaine Defeat of his rearguard at
Roncevaux Organization of the kingdoms of Aquitaine
and Italy Alliance with Irene 255
THE CHAPTER OF MISFORTUNES.
The Hans invade the empire, and are defeated Charles
marches against the Huns The results of the campaign
Conspiracy against Charles Count Theodoric and his
troops massacred by the Saxons Revolt of Grimoald
The Saracens invade Aquitaine Defeated by Count
William of Toulouse 261
CONCLUSION OF THE WARS OF CONQUEST.
The second period of the Saxon war Deportation of Saxons
Planting of foreign colonies among them Second
period of the Saracen war The definitive conquest of
the Spanish march Pepin defeats the Huns, captures
the " Ring," and settles the country 268
Death of Pope Adrian Election of Leo III. Charles's letter
to him Revolt against Leo He flees to Charles
Is escorted back to Rome The Norman pirates
Charles visits Rome Holds inquiry into accusations
against the pope The Christmas of 800 in St. Peter's
Coronation of Charles as emperor Three different
accounts of the event Significance of the event ... 272
CHARLES'S PERSONAL CHARACTER AND DOMESTIC LIFE.
His alliances Anecdote of his reception of ambassadors His
buildings His wives and children Education of his
children His affection for them Loved the resort of
foreigners to his court Description of his person and
habits His costume His habits at table His learning
His devotion 290
THE REVIVAL OP LEARNING.
The decay of classical learning The character of the monas-
tic schools Learning valued by the Frank sovereigns
Charles invites Paul the Deacon to his court The
schools of York Its library Charles invites Alcuin to
his court The literary courtiers The Chartulary of 787
The new Homilary The popular schools Alcuin
returns to the abbacy of St. Martin at Tours Is suc-
ceeded in the Palatine school by Clement of Ireland
Charles's encouragement of the Palatine scholars Death
of Alcuin His character Charles's literary character 306
THE ECCLESIASTICAL WORK OF CHARLES.
Charles's ecclesiastical policy His Church patronage Anec-
dotesPolicy towards the Roman See The Iconoclastic
controversy The Caroline Books The theological tone
of the age The Adoptionist controversy The Council
of Frankfort The history of the Filioque 323
Policy of the emperor Growing infirmities of Charles He
associates Louis with himself in the empire Dies A.D.
814 His burial Character 337
CHRONOLOGY OF THE REIGN OF CHARLES ... . 345
otinK Christi.an Knowledge.
Description of the Franks Their inroads into the empire
Their first settlement in Batavia, A.D. 355 Spread as far as
the Somme, A.D. 445 Franks in alliance with the Romans.
IT was in the troubled reign of Gordian that the
Franks made their first inroad into the Roman
Empire : a horde of Teutonic giants, with light
complexions, fair hair, and " green " eyes ; clothed in
the spoils of the bear, the urus, the boar, and the
wolf, they looked at a distance like a herd of wild
beasts. Each man bore in his right hand a long
lance, in the left a buckler, in his girdle a two-
edged axe, which was their peculiar weapon, and
which they either used in hand-to-hand encounters,
or hurled from a distance with unerring precision.
In migrating to new homes they carried their wives
and children, and rude household goods, in rough
waggons with great wheels of solid wood, drawn by
oxen. The waggons, ranged in a circle, formed a
protection to their camp when needful.
In battle, according to the ancient German
custom, they formed themselves into a wedge. At
the point of it they placed chosen warriors ; each
chief was surrounded by the men of his o\vn
family. The formidable phalanx advanced with
impetuosity, yet with a measured movement which
carefully preserved its formation ; presenting to the
foe the vision of a forest of lances, a crowd of half-
naked bodies, half-clad in the skins of wild beasts
A cloud of cavalry similarly clad and armed
covered the wings of the phalanx. In charging
they uttered a terrible war-cry, made more shrill
and dissonant by the application of the edge of the
buckler to the mouth. In marching they sang a
war-song, in which they exulted over " slaughtered
foes, given for food to the wild beasts, and weeping
women ; and welcomed death in battle as the natural
end of life, which brave men meet with a smile." *
Thus they emerged from the German forests,
crossed the Rhine upon huge rafts of timber, and
burst upon the terrified inhabitants of the peaceful
and prosperous province of Gaul ; devastating the
peaceful country, burning villas, driving off flocks
and herds, the country people "fleeing before them.
Sometimes they would pass in sight of the towns,
where the gates were closed and the walls manned
by the citizen militia, and leave them unattackecl ;
* Chateaubriand, " Lcs Martyrs," clmp. vi.
sometimes, in more formidable numbers, they would
storm the towns, and carry off the citizens as slaves
and their wealth as booty.
Again and again, during two centuries, attracted
by the rich prey which the towns and villas of the
wealthy provincials offered, they repeated their
raids, and again and again the Imperial legions
defeated them with great slaughter, and chased the
survivors out of the empire. Aurelian defeated
them at Mayence in A.D. 242, and drove them
into the swamps of Holland. Twelve years after
another inroad was punished by the generals of
Gallienus. In A.D. 276 they had gained possession of
sixty Gallic cities, from which Probus drove them,
and, it is said, killed 400,000 of them and their
allies. Constantius Chlorus, in A.D. 292, drove the
Salian * Franks out of the Batavian Islands of the
Lower Rhine. His great son Constantino defeated
them in the early years of his reign with great
slaughter, earned off two of their kings and
thousands of their warriors in triumph to his
capital of Treves, and there, in the games in honour
of his victory, the famous Ludi 'Francici, gave
them to the lions in the amphitheatre.
The year A.D. 355 is a prominent date in the
* The origin of the najnes Salian and Ripnarian, by which the
two great divisions of the Franks are known in history, is obscure.
Salian, perhaps, means those who dwelt along the river Yssel, or
Sal : the Sicambrian tribe seems to be the leading tribe of this
division. The name Ripuarii, or Eiparii, it may be siiggested
with greater probability, denoted those who lived on the bank of
the Rhine. Perry, " The Franks."
history. In that year there was a great and
general movement of the Franks along the whole
frontier from Strasburg to the sea, and apparently
they endeavoured to establish themselves all along
the left bank of the river. The Salians then again
seized Batavia, and spread into Toxandria, where
they firmly established themselves. This was their
first permanent settlement^ onthe left bank of the
Rhine, and the foundation of the kingdom of Cfgvia..
The Emperor Julian attacked them in A.D. 358,
but allowed them to retain their lands on condition
of acknowledging themselves subjects of the empire.
For the most part they continued faithful allies,
and formed a useful barrier against the barbarians
beyond them. At this period bodies of Frank
auxiliaries were taken into the Imperial service,
in which some of their chiefs rose to high rank and
The Franks gradually spread further and further,
until, at the beginning of the fifth century, we find
them occupying the left bank of the Rhine as far as
Tournai, which then became the chief town of the
Salian Franks. The Ripuarians, meanwhile, had
been also extending themselves downwards from
Andernach, along the middle Rhine, and they gained
Cologne about the same time that their Salian
brothers reached Tournai.
About the year A.D. 430, when the barbarians
were breaking into the empire on every side, we
come to the third stage in the westward progress of
the Salian Franks. The legendary histories assign
the leadership in the conquests of this period to the
fabulous King Pharamond, but there is no evidence
of the existence of such a person. The conquest of
Cambrai by Clodion, in A.D. 445, is a well-established
historical fact, and the conquest of the country as
far as the river Sornme; for though the Franks
suffered a surprise and defeat at the hands of Aetius
and Majorian, yet at the end of the war they re-
tained possession of their conquests. It is probable
that this part of the country was then comparatively
desolate, and that its colonization by the Franks did
not dispossess any considerable native population.
Clodion died in A.D. 448. Attila appeared in
Gaul in A.D. 450. The kingship of the Salian
Franks was disputed by two rival princes. The
legends call one Merovreus. He appealed to Aetius,
the Roman Prefect, for countenance; his rival ap-
pealed to Attila. In the great battle of Chalons,
Merovasus and his warriors were among the bar-
barian allies whom Aetius and the Visigothic Theo-
doric brought into the field ; the rival faction of the
Salian Franks was among the allies of the Huns.
The fate of the great battle, in giving victory to the
Roman, gave to Meroveeus the kingship of the
His son Childeric, who succeeded him, was a licen-
tious youth, who, giving way to unbridled passion,
and dishonouring the daughters of his chiefs,* was
driven into exile. It is a remarkable illustration of
the relations between the Romans and the Franks,
* Gregory of Tours, " Historia Francorum," Lib. ii. 12.
that when the Franks thus drove away their here-
ditary chief, they chose ^Egidius, the Prefect of Gaul,
as their king.
At the end of eight years, Childeric's friends had
prepared the way for his return from exile, and he
was restored to his sovereignty. He had spent his
years of exile at the court of the King of Thuringia.
The grateful Frank seems to have repaid the hos-
pitality of his royal host by gaining the affections
of his queen, Basine ; for, on his return from exile,
Basine fled and followed him. He married her, and
Clovis was their son. The remaining fifteen years
of the reign of Childeric he was in alliance with
^Egidius, in defence of Northern and Central Gaul,
against the growing power of the Visigoths of Spain
THE SETTLEMENT OF THE BARBARIANS.
Political condition of Gaul on the accession of Clovis The king-
dom of the Franks The Eoman province The settlements
of the barbarians The Burgundiaas The Visigoths Sur-
render of Southern Gaul to the Visigoths.
BEFORE we enter upon the eventful reign of Clovis,
it will be convenient to consider the condition of
Gaul before the commencement of his conquests.
It was divided into four, if not five, independent
states. First, the Frank dominions ; they were
divided into the Salian and Ripuarian. kingdoms,
and these aain
custom of dividingjUtLejxJ among,
" all his sons ; but the divisions, being all united in
"one"general annual assembly of the whole people,
and usually acting together in great undertakings
of general interest, may be regarded as one state.
Northern Gaul, from the Sonime westward to the
Atlantic, from the Channel southward to the Loire,
was still nominally a portion of the Roman Empire.
It is a question whether the Arnioricans (Bretagne),
secluded in their hills and forests, and governed
patriarchally by their chiefs, continued to regard
the Prefect of Gaul as the head of their government ;
but, at least, no acts of hostility had clearly defined
them as rebels to the empire. Syagrius, the Prefect
of Gaul, was of one of the great families of the
province; his father ^Egidius, and his grandfather
Aetius, had filled the same high office before him.
Perhaps a more ambitious man might have sought
to make of this remnant of the Gallic province what
it is sometimes called by historians, the kingdom of
The whole of Central Gaul was divided between
the Burgundians and the Visigoths. The Visigoths
were bounded on the side of Roman Gaul by the
river Loire, and on the east by the Rhone. The
Burgundians were bounded on the side of Roman
Gaul by the river Marne, and on the west by the
Rhone. The south of Gaul, where the Greeks had
planted their language and civilization, which still
lingered in Marseilles and Aries, had only lately
been abandoned by Odoacer and seized by Euric.
We should entirely misunderstand the condition of
things if we supposed that the Visigoths in the
south-west and the Burgundians in the south-east
had conquered the people of these districts, seized
upon their possessions, and substituted their own
government, laws, and institutions, for those of
the empire. The actual process by which these
barbarians obtained their seats in Gaul, and the
conditions under which they held them, are very
THE SETTLEMENT OF THE BARBARIANS. 9
curious, very interesting, and must be carefully
considered, if the whole history of the subsequent
period is to be at all intelligible.
The empire had long ago found out its weakness,
in the absence of a warlike population from which*
armies could be drawn numerous enough and brave
enough to defend the frontiers against the in-
creasing pressure of the barbarians, and had begun
to adopt the policy of enlisting the barbarians as
allies against the barbarians. This was done in
two ways. Bodies of barbarians Goths, Vandals,
Franks were enlisted into the armies as auxiliary
troops, remaining under the command of their own
patriarchal princes and chiefs, but receiving more
or less of the Roman arms and discipline. The com-
manders of these bodies of mercenaries held a two-