Last relics of the Merovingians.

In the Carolingic family, as well as in all the Germanic lineages, the maxim of dividing the royal patrimony as a common inheritance. Carlo Martello left, as we said, three sons, one named Carlomanno, Duke of Austrasia, the other named Pippin, prefect of Neustria, and the third Gryphon, heir to some lordships. In which divisions ruled by his father, whoever held himself prejudiced, waged war, for such was the right, the strength by deciding the inheritance. Griffin came out of a daughter of Bavaria, started bloody hostilities wanting a more abundant portion of the paternal heritage, and gathered around himself not a few faithful, attacked Pippin in his beautiful portion of Neustria, but for his worst, which rejected and pursued into the city of Laon, he was taken and locked in a tower, in the

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Except that Grifone escapes from that tower in a pilgrim’s dress, he crosses the Rhine, and goes to seek refuge among the Saxons, and here it is to be known that all the dukes, counts, lords, unhappy with the Frankish lineage, went to seek asylum in Saxony, certain of having it for the many reasons of nimism that you were against Carlo Martello. The life of this Griffin is curious, around which, like one of their heroes, chivalric legends are wrapped up. Having fled from exile in Bavaria, he was made its duke, and those peoples raised him on the shield [112] in place of the son of their ancient leader Odillone; expelled from Bavaria by Pepin and broke the vassalage of the fiefdom of the twelve counties that were given to him by his brother [113], crosses Germany, and asks for help everywhere, but in vain, that the Alemanni do not dare to defend him, so he comes to take refuge in Aquitaine, the open land of joyful living, and there he falls in love with Lionora, wife of Vaifro , duke of the country, and also she takes the fugitive in favor, so the old duke gives so much fury of jealousy, that he drives him out, and has him chased and treacherously killed in the Alps, while he goes to seek another refuge among the Lombards . Thus ended up one of the sons of Carlo Martello, nor Pippin was exempt from the suspicion of having helped Vaifro in this revenge.

During these first years, Charlemagne and Pippin ruled the nation of the Franks as masters, one under the title of Duke of Austrasia, the other of Master, or Prefect of the Palace of Neustria, as Carlo Martello had let the throne vacate. in the Merovingian family, to prove whether the Franks would let themselves be ruled by dukes and prefects without kings. The name which he had acquired had enabled him to preserve such an interregnum, and a duke like him was worth as much as a king by birth; but a similar reason for reverence no longer held for his sons Pippin and Carlomanno, both young men, not yet deserving of any service, and such that in others they had neither veneration nor fear. So the lords said: why not create a prince of the house of Meroveo? Young the one and young the another better to be worth a king of the sacred bloodline. According to the ancient custom, a diet was then summoned to elect the king, and was brought to this supreme degree, under the name of Childeric III, a noble child of the Merovingians, almost an obstacle placed from the Franks to the ambition of the palace prefects. From that moment on, Carlomanno [65]and Pippin took every care to precipitate this simulacrum of a king, and to defame him for his foolishness, for his cowardice, so much so that in the end they called him, and not otherwise, the unnerved and senseless . This happens at the end of the dynasties; more inexorable than ever I am the inverse of them, those who succeed them, and the peoples always want to justify the violation of a right.

By the exaltation of Childeric III, Pepin and Charlemagne were obliged to seek support among the Cheriches, shortly after Carlo Martello had offended the churches and monasteries by his method of stripping them of their lands, and dividing them among his soldiers. But if these were the prefects of the palace, the Cherics were the kings, so precisely because the Carolingians gave so much to the monasteries, the chronicles so disheartened the Merovingians for the benefit of their successors. In the meantime, Charlemagne took the monastic habit, and bored of the century set off for Rome to receive absolution from Pope Zacharias, because, they said, he had to reproach himself for some acts of violence against Vaifro, Duke of Aquitaine, and he bore the sign of it of curse. Having then had the tonsure, by the hand of the pope, he first retired to the mountain of Soratte to live there in the manner of monks, then in the devout convent of Montecassino, where he subjected himself to the most strenuous duties of the community, serving in the kitchen, working the vegetable garden and looking, alone, as was often seen doing on the mountain, herds of the abbey. His greatest delight was in cultivating a vineyard, which he later gave to another penitent, the King of the Lombards, who also came to dwell in the monastery of Montecassino.[114] . Thus for those industrious and armed men the peace of the monastery succeeded the agitated life of the battlefields, and from the sumptuous courts they passed to the modest refectories of the cenobites. Since Carlomanno had left the rank of Duke of Austrasia to wear the monastic habit, Pippin was able to go to the general prefecture of the Franks, and master all those lineages in the shadow of the vain title of Childeric III, while Dragon, son of Charlemagne , shaved and confined, he must have embraced the same kind of life as his father, a monk in Montecassino, since the Franks did not like the prefects still in swaddling clothes, they preferred the stalwart, and Pippin knew how to handle weapons: he was small in stature, yes, but no one could contend with him for strength and vigor.

Around this time, the duke of the Franks sought a wife for having written, as the chronicles of San Dionigi say, and the contemporary annals add that he married Berta, daughter of Caribert, count of [66]Laone, nicknamed by the great footer , to which the knightly traditions give another origin making his life a fictional legend. The Berta’s novel by the large foot [115] , one of the most graceful compositions of the Middle Ages, and one of ‘most ingenious songs of’ troubadours says: “What sull’uscir in April, the sweet and pleasant season, that ‘grasses sprout, the meadows green, and the saplings desire of being in bloom, a monk of San Dionigi had told him, a gentle troubadour, the story of Bertha and Pippin ». Now the troubadour is in gay science to repeat this story. “He was a king in France of great seigniorage, by name Carlo Martello, who, after having made great feats in war and defeated the infidels, died leaving two sons, one named Carlomanno who became a monk in an abbey; the other named Pippin, very small (he was no more than five feet tall), but strong in person, so that being a lion escaped from his cage, and running like an angry beast, he little less than a child, armed with a spit, he went to that, and yes he struck him down in the side. His mother, all happy, basking him, «Beautiful son, he said to him, how you have had the courage to face such a reduced fair; And he replied: “Woman, you must never be reduced.” The young man then married in his first marriage, but his wife, daughter of Gerberto or Gerino di Malvoisin, could not give him heir, so he in council with his barons asked them: “What woman could I take?” And then Engherrando di Moncler, noble baron, got up and said: “Sire, to the body of Saint Homer, I know a daughter of the king of Hungary, than no more beautiful person beyond the sea, and she is called Bertha the Good.” “Go and find,” said Pippin. And here is a beautiful ride that starts with great pomp, and goes and goes as far as Hungary: good luck to you, illustrious knights. And they go to see the king of Hungary and Biancifiore, the queen, showed them her daughter, her white and red color. The tables were laid for a great banquet, and Berta was given horses, [67]teach it to their sons and daughters, as if they were born in San Dionigi. Berta was courteous and simple, and came on the back of a bay palafreno of a beautiful breed, and in this way he reached the borders of France, and crossed the Rhine at St. Herbert, riding through the Ardennes under the protection of the good Duke Namo of Bavaria. The handsome squad saw the Hainant and the Vermandois, and came gaily to Paris, where the bells rang in celebration, the houses were covered with very rich drapes, and the streets curled with herbs, each wanting to honor the bride brought to Pippin; then the grand and solemn wedding was made, the minstrels made their art, with great sounds of hurdy-gurdy, harps, flutes and trumpets, and with dances of ladies and bridesmaids, and so the marrying was accomplished with joy for all ” . Oh, blessed was the time that Berta spun!

Here begins the German tradition, from which the epic of Berta dal gran piè may have originated and increased. This legend was written in Franconia, and Pippin preserves all his Germanic nature there: he places his seat in the castle of Veihen-Stephen on the mountain, with a plan to fight the Saxons, and to tame them under the sweet yoke of Christianity; but savage peoples, as they are, kick back, and do not want to know about Jesus or his saints. Pippin, a widower and alone in that fortress, desires a companion day and night, when a king of the country called Curlingo makes him offer his very kind and graceful daughter; Pippin likes the portrait of her so that he says to his butler: “Go and know the truth of this princess.” Now the unkind butler had a daughter of the same age as her, and he says to himself: Why won’t I make her reina in her stead by marrying her to Pippin? He then leaves and rides to the court of King Curlingo, asks for his daughter and is given to him. She has the name Berta, and she is pretty strong; my mother confides her dressed in great pomp to the butler, and this misleading leads her into a dark wood, where her own daughter was waiting for him: O unfaithful servant, do you not fear the punishment of your crime? But with no respect whatsoever, he takes off her rich garments, the wedding ring, and adorns her daughter with them; then that misleal says to his companions: “Go, friends, drag Berta to the most secret place in the wood, pierce her without mercy, then bring me her tongue.” Here then is the poor princess in the hands of the butler’s companions. “Be serious, she says, if I have to live bad, leave me this greyhound dog, and this casket full of spun gold and silk so that I can embroider ciarpe in my dull days ». Those wicked ones who let themselves be moved by the princess’s tears, tell her the proud command they had. “We will leave you life” but on condition that you will never betray us. But how shall we, noble maid, to show the butler that his cruel command [68]was it performed by us? Then the betrothed damsel draws aside to take off her skirt underneath, and her fine linen shirt, and they dye it with blood like Joseph’s robe, and showing the unhappy woman’s tongue, they cut hers off the handsome greyhound, so that the poor dog will no longer be able to lick the feet of his noble lady. The butler then deceived by these bloody exhibitions, saw the tongue very happy, and touched it, and laughed, while his daughter lay as a legitimate wife with Pippin, who had by her a son who was Pope Leo III [ 117] . ”

“But, alas, and of the poor princess, of the legitimate bride and betrothed who was?” Berta goes around and around the forest, and goes and goes, and meets in a black and filthy charcoal burner; frightened to reassure the human to speak of him, overwhelmed by his beauty, and finds refuge in his hut; from princess she becomes handmaid of a miller, and at night she works, and spins with spun gold, and silk, which she brought into the casket, because Berta knows how to spin and spin very well. Oh the beautiful works that his hands can do! and done, the miller goes to sell them in Augusta, the city of merchants and Jews, and gradually enriches, and the fame of her skill in spinning spreads far away.

“Now do you hear this horn sounding?” it is Pippin who goes hunting, and has already run with his longing dogs all the forests of Swabia; night comes, and he gets lost together with his astrologer or doctor. “We are two merchants who have lost our way,” they say to an all-black man they meet. He is the charcoal burner of the wood, and he leads them to the mill where Berta still spins and spins. The miller has two daughters, and Pippin likes the eldest. «O king, the astrologer tells him, you will lie down tonight with your rightful wife, and a most powerful son will be born. Pippin therefore obtains the miller’s eldest daughter, and the astrologer says: “It is not that,” calls the younger, beautiful too, but she is not yet that one, so Pippin is already angry and raises his hand armed with the iron glove, and threatens, so that the miller then brings the young Bertha, who trembles, weeps and in the end I have adapted to the king’s wishes. “Of this one, in fact, a strong and wiry son must be born, she is your chaste wife.” And Berta tells of the butler’s felony, and what happened to her in the woods. The king leaves, but Bertha remains in the miller’s house, where, at nine months, she gives birth to a son, who receives the name of Carlo, poor [69]unknown child until the age of ten; then he gets on horseback, and goes to the court of King Pippin; and there he shows himself as valid as Alexander and as wise as Solomon, whereby Pippin induces himself to reveal to him the secret of his birth. ” Such was the epic of Berta dal gran Piè and Charlemagne’s puerice; it is a poem that everything, like that of Genevieve of Brabant , has the noble intention of protecting weakness and innocence against the brutal antics of the war people, and gives to divider how great is the name of Charlemagne, and how do you think of his childhood, making him be born robust in the middle of a wood and in the residence of a miller; and the heroic adventures of his early years, show that everything his must accord with that boundless reputation whence

Few original diplomas remain from Pepin, as prefect of the palace in the time of his first mayor, but one of them bearing the date of January 10, 743 confirms the immunities of the church of Metz. On March 2 of the following year he held a diet at Soissons, where, approving the Council of Nicaea, he ordered that it be promulgated in the land of the Franks. With another diploma he grants the abbey of San Dionigi a dominion of some canteens, an ancient possession of the tax authorities, and also certain franchises of jurisdiction in honor of Saint Dionysius of France, the protector and master of kings. Pippin is a very liberal donor of goods to churches, indeed he deepens them with them, because his intention is to acquire in this way the cherics already irritated by his father Carlo Martello, who wanted, as in vain, to be king only through the work of warriors. his. But the royal dignity has something more religious, more sublime, more ancient, and Pippin will have to recognize the foundation of his new dynasty by the popes and the cherics; so it is that he lures them to himself with multiple donations, and keeps a lively correspondence with the popes. Zacharias, who in those days occupied the chair of St. Peter, writes to Pepin prefect of the palace, to the abbots and barons of France about the purpose of various capitulars, decreed in a meeting of counts and bishops, and knowing the antiquity of the abbey of San Dionigi and the veneration of the Franks for this saint, confirms to it all the immunities, as they had from San Landrisio bishop of Paris. The pope also agrees to restore peace between Pippin and Gryphon, while Pippin, still protector of the said abbey, fills it with gifts, and grants it primacy over all the religious communities of the realm of the Franks. San Dionigi and San Germano were the sanctuaries, where the national reliquaries, the memories of the homeland, the ancient chronicles of his were deposited, and to those he devoted mainly Pippin his veneration.

In the act, however, that Pippin struggles to become attached to the pope and i [70]bishops to obtain royal dignity, and he does not stop thinking about war, which he well knows how conquest is the legacy of the Franks’ nationality, and how they continually need lands to part with each other, and rich domains and fiefs of every kind, whence Pepin’s incessant expeditions against the Alemanni, the Bavarians, the Saxons, and principally his conquests in the southern lands. The Aquitans live there under a beautiful sky, and have very rich possessions, fertile lands to be distributed among the Frankish warriors! After the battle of Poitiers, the name of Carlo Martello sounded in all the legends, and Pippin took advantage of it to throw colonies of Franks in those districts, and in the three years preceding his exaltation to the crown, fatigued to reduce to vassalage of the Dukes of Bavaria and Aquitaine,

The chronicles of the second lineage, almost all written under the authority of the new royal family, denigrated the Merovei, but that the tragedy has no praise, and when a podestà fails, everyone oppresses it, thus bringing the sad condition of the human nature. Hence, in that interregnum from which the exaltation of Pepin was preceded, we find only sparse and sterile news about the last Merovingians, and particularly about Childeric III, the sad bud of the blood of the Merovei. The chronicles of San Dionigi call him, as we said above, the dappoco and the fool, and it is clear that these annals of the abbey, as if they were an official journal, almost copy word for word Eginardo, the faithful secretary of Charlemagne. But even this historical fact will be admitted at least, that the religious affection for Clovis’s blood wanted to be very strong, if four generations of very active men passed to begin with Pepin the Elder, before the usurpation of the royal dignity could be accomplished. It took a century and a half for Pippin the Short to carry out the concept design from the prefects of his predecessors to full effect.

Nor should the last Merovingians otherwise have been so foolish and dappochi, if they knew the royal dignity towards such powerful prefects who had strength in hand; and therefore it is only to be believed that they will use their art to reduce those scepters to nothing and to take them every way to operate. Softness is a sweet and easy thing; crowned kings reverently surrounded themselves, and the prefects constituted themselves, as it were, their sword, relieved them of the burden of government, and it is so easy to abandon oneself to the exercise of a dignity that costs neither labor nor care, and to wrap oneself in a soft purple yes! Then that Childeric [71]III was well exhausted, and then that the cherics and the pope were completely appeased to the new lineage, the step was rapid, and Pippin, no longer bothering to think about it, sent Pope Zacharias that solemn request referred to in the Chronicle of San Dionigi . “Who deserved more to be king, if he who had no authority in the kingdom and alone was king in name, or he who ruled the kingdom, and had authority and care in everything.” Burcardo, archbishop of Virzburgo, and Folrado, chaplain of Pipino; they set out for Rome to have the answer from Pope Zacharias on this, nor did she wait long, the fact won her over on the right; the actual podestà over the named podestà, and the pope ordered that Pepin, prefect of the palace, be recognized and declared king of the Franks.

The election was as tumultuous as it was to be at a meeting of the Field of March, and the Franks raised, as customary, Pippin on the shield, as the head of a new lineage. Saint Boniface, the man of Germanic and Frankish civilization, the mystical expression of the union of the two races, gave Pippin the first anointing in the basilica of Soissons, delegated to this pontifical ceremony by Zacharias, but which the new king of the Franks held his dignity from the cherics and from the pope, and now he was not only the military leader, the prefect of the palace of the Franks, but their consecrated king and the anointed of the Lord. Then Childeric was shaved and closed as a simple monk in a cloister. How many princes in those days in the cloisters! Carlomanno in Montecassino; the king of the Lombards in a cell where he worked the vineyard and the garden. In this way, the last royal scion of Clovis’s blood disappeared from the world almost without his being aware of it. It is truly curious that this passing of the scepter from one family to another occurs almost unnoticed: the chronicles themselves hardly remember it; certainly because time is well prepared, and this transfer takes place with keto, and when the most serious events no longer leave a trace of impression.

Pippin, made king, does not, for this reason, cease to be the military leader of the Franks, nor does he want another prefect of the palace who has the material podestà in his hand, confuses the two dignities into one, and Austrasius, as he is of origin, reigns over the Neustri, and governs them. In his double quality, he deserves to wage new battles against the Saxons, an indomitable people, who in the Germanic progress had rejected the evangelical preaching, source of hierarchy and civilization. Pippin went as far as Veser, retaining such an erratic in his expeditions; the Franks preyed on, the riches were shared among them, the herds plundered, then returned to their camps on the Rhine, and all wars had this character of [72]vagabondity. Pippin, now made king of the crown, begins new practices with the civilizations that directed the peoples. When Pope Zacharias died, Stefano was succeeded by him, who, persecuted by Astolfo of Lombardy, came to seek refuge in France, and to seek justice from the head of the Franks, the only one of whose value and weighty hand the Paventino Lombards. The pope passed the Alps accompanied by some bishops, and was welcomed with love in the Carisio farm (Quercy all’Oisa), where princes and barons had gathered to wait for him, to whom he presented himself with his head sprinkled with ashes and the kidneys girded with sackcloth, and all in tears to signify the tribulations of the Church. Pippin was ready to pick him up, to pay him homage, and to lead him, as his lord and father, by the horse’s bridle; while at that same plenary court of Carisio, and while there the incense was still smoking on the altar, Carlomanno, the monk of Cassino, Pepin’s own brother, was seen arriving to defend the cause of Astolfo, king of the Lombards; but that he was given to the princes of this lineage adverse to Rome. Except that the cause of the pope triumphed, and Stephen was covered by the protection of the king of the Franks; wherefore, the pope, grateful for the benefit, anointed Pippin and his two sons in the basilica of San Dionigi, seat of the martyrs of the nation, since that abbey was France itself, and its oriflamme guided those proud people to battle and at the invocation of his relics the spirit of the nation was seen to radiate in front of everyone. Together with the Pope, Roman studies entered France, and at the consecration of Saint Dionysius they heard the canticles and prayers for the first time in the Italian form, and order was given to the rite in churches. By placing the crown on Pippin, Stephen confirmed the royal dignity in the Carolingic lineage, and also using his pontifical mayor, excommunicated anyone who contended with him for his legitimate possession. The pope remained all winter in France, where he had been so well received, forgetting the beautiful sky of Italy and the basilica of San Giovanni Laterano for the monastery of San Dionigi, where he fell ill, and was with those fathers with tender solicitude cured. On his return to Rome, he enjoyed returning to his long stay there and the good hospitality of those abbots, and he touched upon it in his bulls and in his pastoral letters: “In that way, the pontiff says, that no one should boast of his own merits , thus no one ought to pass over in silence, indeed he is obliged to tell publicly, what God has done for him through the intercession of his saints, and not thanks to his good works; and it is one of the advice given to us by the angel Tobias. Hence I will also tell what happened to me in the monastery of the holy martyr Dionysius, near Paris, where I fell mortally ill, in the time that I was able to find the excellent and [73]most Christian King Pepin, faithful servant of St. Peter, in order to escape the persecutions of the inhuman and blasphemer Astolfo, whose name I should be silent here. The doctors were already despairing of my healing, and I was praying in the church of the holy martyr, when the good shepherd St. Peter appeared before the altar, and St. Paul doctor of the Gentiles, whom I recognized in their likeness, and to the right of Saint Peter the blessed Dionysius, leaner and bigger than he, with a beautiful face and white hair, and dressed in a white dalmatic, trimmed with purple ribbons, and with his mantle also of purple and enameled with gold stars. They talked amiably among themselves when St. Peter began to say: – Here is our brother praying for his health. – To which St. Paul replied: – He will soon be healed. – Then, approaching Saint Dionysius, and placing his hand pleasantly on his breast, he looked at Saint Peter’s face, who said to Dionysius himself: – And be healed by your grace. – Then Blessed Dionysius, carrying the palm[118] and the censer in his hands, he came to me together with the priest and the deacon who were at his side, and said to me: – Peace be with you, brother, do not fear that you will not die before you are happily returned to your seat . Come on, get up and be healed, and say a Mass to consecrate this altar in honor of God and his apostles Peter and Paul. – And yes, saying, around him he spread a light that could not be said, and a sweet smell. I was soon healed by the grace of God, and wanting to do what was imposed on me, those who surrounded me said that I was outside myself; and then to them, to King Pippin and to his barons, I told what had happened, and I made the commandment I had ».

In this pious legend, Pope Stephen lets his heart out to see Italy again, and Saint Dionysius promises him to return to that climate, that sun, that sky. Here he is in fact in Rome, hence in a second letter, addressed to the monks of San Dionigi, still mindful of France, he grants them very wide and very remarkable immunities. “Blessed children, indulging your pious desire, and granting yourselves what you ask from our apostolic podestà, we give you faculty and will, yes to you as to all your successors, abbots of the monasteries of the holy martyrs Dionysius, Rustico and Eleuterio, to build monasteries in any country of France you like, in the places that you currently own, and in those that you can buy in the future, either for purchase or for royal concessions, [74]relatives, in short, wherever you are, as long as they reach you with just reason. And since Clovis, son of King Dagobert, already obtained with his prayers from Landerigo, bishop of Paris, helped by the councils of his canons and other bishops, that your monastery and all the cherics, of whatever order and ‘be, that ‘there they serve, if they are exempt from any suggestion towards him and his successors, we also want to grant you a particular privilege, the faculty, that is, to have a bishop elected by your abbots or by your brothers together congregated, and consecrated by the provincial bishops ; which invigilar ought to govern the monasteries that you will be building in our name, and thus preach in your convent, as in all the others that will come under his jurisdiction. We also forbid any bishop or priest to take possession of any of the monasteries you have built out of greed, or to have, out of jealousy or for any other reason, queries with the bishop whom you have elected and parvis; and even more we want all the monasteries built by you, like your own, to depend only on the apostolic chair. We decree all this for the podestà of Christ our Lord, of the blessed Peter prince of the Apostles, and for our own podestà, so that it is always observed in the manner established by us, and no bishop, of whatever church he is, will dare to come to to minister sacred orders to priests or deacons, or to perform any other ecclesiastical office in your convent, without being invited by the abbot. He will also be free to bring your causes and those of your monks to our apostolic audience, and bring that you have them, and send us your legates, no one is more lawful to condemn you or take possession of your goods. Whoever, or king, or bishop, or other of the powerful of the century, who works against these ordinations, is to be held for sacrilege, and instead of participating in the kingdom of Christ, anathema be against him, until the coming of the Lord “.

Now since Pope Stephen had made himself so deserving in France for the consecration of a king, and for his gifts and immunity to the abbey of the martyrs, it was right that Pippin, too, out of gratitude, should help the papacy against the oppressions of the Lombards. He therefore rode, at the beginning of the season, leading a large army, and passing through Dijon, he crossed the mountains, to descend from there on the beautiful plains that face Pavia and Milan. In vain, the Lombards tried to defend the pass of the Alps, as nothing could resist the sons of Austrasia. Here, then, was Pippin scrolling through the plans of Lombardy with so many teams of horses, that it was impossible to count them, while the enemy closed within the walls of Pavia, the [75]city ​​with the iron crown. Astolfo, king of the Lombards, then submitted, and forty statics were given by him as a pledge that he would fulfill the pacts imposed on him towards the city of Rome, and took an oath of vassalage. Carlomanno, brother of Pipino, died in this expedition, sprinkled with ashes and dressed in his monastic habit, without being able to see the holy abbey of Montecassino [119] . Two expeditions of the Franks to Lombardy were thus carried out in two years, those beautiful countries being very dear to the men of the north.

The Lombards, fickle and light as they were, were now submitting, and now they rebelled, until the death of Astolfo, which occurred from having fallen from his horse in a hunt, came to an end for a short time to the conquests of the Franks beyond the Alps.

In the first expeditions, under their valiant kings, the Lombards had taken possession of the Pentapolis, Ravenna and the cities that depended on the exarchate; not as lands of their dominion, but yes as the size of the quick conquest from the hands of the Byzantine emperors; while the popes asked them as dependencies of their noble patrimony, since it was a tradition that Constantine had given the exarchate of Ravenna to the pope. In those times of force and violence, what was ever a possession that could fully justify itself, and where does the certain title come from? The temporal sovereignty of the pope was also a tradition like all the others of those days, and they were all admitted on a par with facts. Therefore Pipino conformed with a special diploma the donation of what was called the domain or patrimony of St. Peter; which diploma was rather the sanction of the fact of an earlier concession than a new donation. All the cities of the exarchate from Rome to Ravenna, and the Pentapolis, became the patrimony of the popes, and in progress of time a kind of oasis in the midst of human passions. When the powerful and the violent of the earth proscribed each other, when the story of the victors and the vanquished was continuing, how could it not have been sweet to find a neutral land, where the wanderers and the wretches could lay their heads? Now, papal Rome was this great asylum; where, having become Lombard, Frankish or Byzantine, she would have suffered all the passions of broken and bloodthirsty men who shared the domination of the world. Rome, under the popes, was a safe country from governments, in which the unfortunate kings and princes came to shelter, and outlawed by opinions; benefit this for all ages.

[76]
Whenever the nationality of the Franks descended in Italy, the restless and shady emperors of Constantinople sent embassies to those valiant leaders, before whom the Alps lowered, who well knew the value of the Austrasiians, the Alemanni and the impetuous courage of those prefects of the palace, who with their masses of steel reduced the crowns to pieces, and saw how the Franks arrived on the Italic lands, and could then penetrate through Naples as far as Greece. At the time that he returned from Lombardy, Pippin held his plenary court, and he had the envoys of the Emperor Constantine Copronymen come to him, who brought magnificent presents, in rich household goods and embedded relics; but what surprised Pippin and his court more than any other gift was an instrument made up of large and shiny reeds, that it sent out marvelous sounds, called organ by the Greek lords, because of the wonderful harmony that was drawn from it; and it was placed in the church of Compiègne, where he later made a beautiful melody. The Greeks, no longer able to conquer with arms, tried to make themselves great with the marvels of a splendid civilization.[120] .

“The people of the Rhine and Swabia love the sun with bright rays, and the lands caressed by such a gentle breeze, that you would call it the warm wave of the Aachen baths.” Such are the words of the monk of St. Gallen. Carlo Martello had shouted at the prowess of northern men in Aquitaine, and since Vaifro Duke showed himself to be a bad vassal and rebellious servant there, Pippin resolved to reduce him to duty. Then the kings, and the dukes and counts spent their lives in this way. Two or three plenary courts were held every year, convened by the king; to gather and parley, the time of the solemn feasts of the Church took place, as if to say Easter and Christmas. These parliaments were held in the places closest to military expeditions, and almost everywhere there were royal houses and domains, which depended on the high lord, where he held his court. Celebrated Easter and Christmas, they left for the expedition to Saxony, Lombardy or Aquitaine. The diplomas note that the vernata was great, “and harsh and strong, as the chronicle of St. Dionysius says, and that on the first ninth of May, at noon, there was a great eclipse of the sun ».

King Pippin held a plenary court in Aix, to make a brief correria in Bavaria; then he celebrated Easter in Orleans, planning to make his expedition to Aquitaine, and sen came before the city of Narbonne, subjugated Toulouse, keeping all the way [77]parliaments of barons and knights, gave the breakdown to the whole Limousin, to the territory of Agen, Perigord and d’Angouleme; then, very angry with Vaifro, he had several of his Aquitani hung on a gallows, after which, as winter approached, he returned to his lands. These wars of Aquitaine gave Pippin to do in the last years of his life, nor was he happy until he offered St. Dionysius, as a trophy, the ornaments and precious stones, which Duke Vaifro himself adorned in solemn feasts [ 121] .

When the Franks approached Italy, the embassies of Constantinople came to them, and when Pippin conquered Aquitaine, Saracins from Córdoba and from Sicily were sent to him. The Frankish National was thus becoming more and more great; the pope has recourse to Pippin, and in return for the crown given to him, obtains his protection, the help of his material power, and the dominion of St. Peter; the Lombards are tamed; the Saxons not so soon venture to some expedition on the Rhine, Pippin and the Franks throw them back as far as Veser; the emperadors of Constantinople instantaneously seek the confederation of the Carolingians, and send presents of gold and other magnificent gifts; Pippin remained lord of Aquitaine, nor as soon as he took over the government, the Saracens, like the Greeks, they ask to confederate with this vigorous and conquering lineage of Austrasia. For half a century things have changed face: the Saracens had first crossed the Pyrenees and brought their quarters as far as Tours; now they have re-marked those mountains, and soon Charlemagne will go looking for them as far as the Ebro. The reign of Pippin was therefore a great prelude to that of his glorious son, and he opened the way to him; all the wars of Charlemagne are marked by the very nature of the expeditions of Pepin the Short; he continues his work, except in larger measures. and soon Charlemagne will go to look for them up to the Ebro. The reign of Pippin was therefore a great prelude to that of his glorious son, and he opened the way to him; all the wars of Charlemagne are marked by the very nature of the expeditions of Pepin the Short; he continues his work, except in larger measures. and soon Charlemagne will go to look for them up to the Ebro. The reign of Pippin was therefore a great prelude to that of his glorious son, and he opened the way to him; all the wars of Charlemagne are marked by the very nature of the expeditions of Pepin the Short; he continues his work, except in larger measures.

Meanwhile, the health of the new king, on his return from the war in Aquitaine, had declined to extremes. Arriving at Perigueux, he was seized there by very painful infirmity, and therefore did not allow himself to be transported to Tours, but that a king of France had to die under the eyes of Saint Martin and Saint Dionysius, protectors of the nation, and there he made his prayers to the arks of those saints, he recovered enough strength to draw himself to Paris. “Now know that in this century he passed away on the eighth calendar of October, in the tenth fifth year of his reign, and of the Incarnation seven hundred sixty eight, and was buried [78]in the church of Messer San Dionigi. He was laid up inside out, with a cross under his face and the nape of his neck towards the East, and some say that he wanted to be buried in this posture, for the sin of his father, who had taken away the tithes from the churches [122] ».

This king Pippin, who wanted to be hunched in this form in the tomb, not only consumed his life in great battles, but also left some capitulars and diplomas, so that the broader legislation of his son Charlemagne was laid down. While in his royal villa in Vernone, Pipino is waiting to compose some articles about the condition of the people and the ecclesiastical legislation, and they are these: – Every city has a bishop under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan, and every bishop has the power to govern everything in the his diocese. There are two synods per year. The constitution of the monasteries will be reformed. No abbess will be able to govern two monasteries. Nobody leaves the cloister, if not dismissed by the king. Monks must equally devote themselves to solitude, and if they break this rule, they are subjected to penance. Baptism will be administered publicly. The priest will be subject to the bishop. Whoever communicates with the excommunicated will be struck by the same excommunication. The monks will not even be able to go to Rome without the permission of their bishop. They must, in the convent, be subject to the rule and to the abbot. The day of the Lord will be wounded, with some exceptions for work in the countryside. Each wedding will be publicly celebrated. Pilgrims will be exempt from the telonio gabelle. The judges will listen and judge, first of all, the causes of widows, orphans and the Church. – Finally, with some other articles, the prince regulates the tax rights and the value of the coins. he will be hit by the same excommunication. The monks will not even be able to go to Rome without the permission of their bishop. They must, in the convent, be subject to the rule and to the abbot. The day of the Lord will be wounded, with some exceptions for work in the countryside. Each wedding will be publicly celebrated. Pilgrims will be exempt from the telonio gabelle. The judges will listen and judge, first of all, the causes of widows, orphans and the Church. – Finally, with some other articles, the prince regulates the tax rights and the value of the coins. he will be hit by the same excommunication. The monks will not even be able to go to Rome without the permission of their bishop. They must, in the convent, be subject to the rule and to the abbot. The day of the Lord will be wounded, with some exceptions for work in the countryside. Each wedding will be publicly celebrated. Pilgrims will be exempt from the telonio gabelle. The judges will listen and judge, first of all, the causes of widows, orphans and the Church. – Finally, with some other articles, the prince regulates the tax rights and the value of the coins. campaign work. Each wedding will be publicly celebrated. Pilgrims will be exempt from the telonio gabelle. The judges will listen and judge, first of all, the causes of widows, orphans and the Church. – Finally, with some other articles, the prince regulates the tax rights and the value of the coins. campaign work. Each wedding will be publicly celebrated. Pilgrims will be exempt from the telonio gabelle. The judges will listen and judge, first of all, the causes of widows, orphans and the Church. – Finally, with some other articles, the prince regulates the tax rights and the value of the coins.

Then, having abandoned the banks of the Rhine, the bleak Ardennes and the Moselle, found himself in the forest of Compiegne, and in a diet of bishops and counts, he again ordered the state of the Franks, and marriage mainly, which in those times so difficult it was cleansing of all impurities. – The spouses who are relatives in the fourth degree are not separated, but the marriage is null among those in the third degree, even if the kinship is only of affinity and knowledge. If a woman takes the veil without her husband’s consent, he has the right to have it back if he chooses. If she is free, and is given to a man against her will, she can leave this, and marry another. The marriage with the slave was forbidden. The vassal can marry another woman, but in this case he passes to another lord. [79]relatives who join with illegitimate knots. This corruption of morals was the great scourge of society; the sanctity and unity of marriage were not universally recognized in those days, and indeed repelled all those fierce and violent natures; from the king to the last vassal all the plurality of wives was made licit, and in vain the councils and capitulars clashed with these errant customs of a whole society.

Among these capitulars there is an entire diploma, with the seal of Pepin, in which he takes the title of king of the French and an illustrious man, addressed to a bishop named Pietro Llull. «We want your holiness to know the piety and mercy that God used in the present year in this land. He had sent us great tribulation because of our sins, but then after the tribulation, he grants us a marvelous consolation in the abundance of the fruits of the earth that we now have. Hence it is our duty, and for this and for our other reasons, to give him thanks for the mercy with which he deigned to console his servants. We therefore want every bishop to celebrate a fast in his parish, in honor of God who has sent us this abundance, and that everyone then gives alms and refreshments of food for the poor. All then, whether they like it or not, by commanding us, pay their tithes. Health in Christ “.

These ancient diplomas, these capitulars all reveal to us the spirit of that time, and bring into being the inclinations of the king and the people, of the Church and of society. In this primitive legislation, there is nothing distinct, the different orders of ideas are confused and cross each other; ecclesiastical laws are not separated from civilians; the king capitulates to impose fasting and to raise tithes, while the councils apply themselves to establishing domestic society and political government. In vain would one want to order what is mixed and confused there: kings, bishops, priests and men of war communicate and lend each other their spirit; there is feudality in the church and there is church in feudality; there were bishops who carried the hawk in their hands for the forest of the Ardennes, and they were men of war who carried the abbot’s miter and crosier as a sign of their jurisdiction. In the midst of that society, the reign of Pippin is nothing but a great reparation for the benefit of the Church; the cherici had kept memory of the despoiling ordered by Carlo Martello, nor did they know such violence; men-at-arms could persecute the Church in the vigor of life, but the cherics awaited their death; those were the days of blackmail for them, and Pippin redeemed the sins of his father. We are left with diplomas and deeds of donation bearing the seal of Pepin, as prefect of the palace; other diplomas of widths and the cherici had kept memory of the despoiling ordered by Carlo Martello, nor did they know such violence; men-at-arms could persecute the Church in the vigor of life, but the cherics awaited their death; those were the days of blackmail for them, and Pippin redeemed the sins of his father. We are left with diplomas and deeds of donation bearing the seal of Pepin, as prefect of the palace; other diplomas of widths and the cherici had kept memory of the despoiling ordered by Carlo Martello, nor did they know such violence; men of arms could persecute the Church in the vigor of life, but the cherics awaited them at death; those were the days of blackmail for them, and Pippin redeemed the sins of his father. We are left with diplomas and deeds of donation bearing the seal of Pepin, as prefect of the palace; other diplomas of widths and [80]more numerous gifts mark the time he was king. San Dionigi is continually receiving tables of lands and levels; the churches of Treveri, of Metz, of Lorraine, are full of gifts. Besides, Pipino takes care to expand the other ecclesiastical assets with constant concern; whereby St. Dionysius sees his fairs confirmed; the monasteries of San Martino di Tours and San Michele have donations, and the churches of Nantua and Figeac obtain privileges for diplomas. He testifies in every place his gratitude to the bishops who made him king, and to the popes who sanctioned his podestà. And Rome, too, has great gratitude for what Pippin did in favor of Zechariah and Stephen, and we have a curious letter from the people and the Roman senate to the king of the Franks, in which they give him thanks for the freedom which he recovered from their hands. Lombards,

Monasteries, churches, pontificate, such are the objects of the protection of the new king of the Franks; the cherics have raised him to the throne, the cherics have sanctified his kingdom, confirmed the possession of the crown and the head of the new lineage esteems them, but that no one will know how to keep himself in lordship, without seconding the strength that there has brought.