Empire and Church in the Chronicle of Emperors–An Investigation of Dialect History Writing in the Heyday of the Middle Ages

2020-06-30 | By Historian | Filed in: World.

· Historical Theory and History of Historiography·

Empire and Church in the Chronicle of the Emperor

-An Investigation of Dialect History Writing in the Heyday of the Middle Ages

The development of historical writing and the rise of dialect literature are12An important part of the 20th century Renaissance.The historical writing of this period was deeply influenced by Catholic culture and had a strong tendency of moral education. At the same time, it was mixed withMixed with the writer’s own political tendency, the works often coexist with reality and fiction.12Since the middle of the 20th century, a large number of dialect works have emerged in the Holy Roman Empire represented by Bavaria. As the first vulgar history written in medieval highland German and in rhyme form, Chronicle of Emperors has important historical and literary value.The Chronicle of the Emperor has a length of more than 17,000 lines and records a total of36Roman emperors (14282Row) and19Frank and the German Emperor (3001Line), the recorded history span is as long as12Centuries.Due to the language barrier, the extremely long narrative time span and huge space, as well as the complicated interaction between historical narration and literary romance, the academic circle has been deterred from it.
German Scholars from19In the middle of the 20th century, the manuscript of “The Chronicle of the Emperor” began to be systematically sorted out and deeply studied.Early scholars pointed out that some passages in the book are related to Roland’s Song (La Chanson de Roland) similarity, it is believed that the two works may originate from the same author.1924Carl·By comparing the existing manuscripts, Visler concluded that the fact is that the author of “Song of Roland” drew lessons from the text of “Chronicle of the Emperor”, and the earliest author of “Chronicle of the Emperor” may be a Regensburg priest.However, so far, the academic circle has not found more author information.
In the field of textual research, German linguist Ernst·Frederick·Ollie once20Century40In the s, the sources of the legends of the Roman kings were carefully examined, but the contents after Charlemagne were not involved.In the following half century or so, literary historians mainly studied the Chronicle of the Emperor from the aspects of literary criticism, rhetoric and dialect development, lacking the exploration of its historical value.This phenomenon is also related to the nature of the book in the academic circles at that time, and most of them regard it as a book.Not suitable as historical materials for historians.Adj. Adj. AdjFictional storyCompilation.However, the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor places great emphasis on the authenticity of his records.He criticized the chronicle of the popular rhyme style at that time asMany people invented lies and accompanied them with the language of poetry., claiming that only his works can correct fallacies and pass them on to later generations.And, until16In the 20th century, later generations usually catalogued this work in historical works together with the history books in the Old Testament, the life of Jesus and his apostles, and Otto’s Frederick the Great’s Practice by Fleisin as a serious historical record.
Enter21After the 20th century, the academic circles began to reflect on the limitations of past studies, focusing on exploring the development of Germany in12The position in the Renaissance pedigree in the 20th century.Especially under the influence of post-modern theory, the historical information contained in Emperor Chronicle has been preliminarily displayed.Monica·Bohr analyzed the image of medieval rulers in the Chronicle of Emperors in his doctoral thesis.Alastair·Matthews interpreted some important chapters from the perspective of literary narrative skills, involving the construction of historical images of famous kings such as Charlemagne in the Middle Ages.Henry·Meyers has accumulated 40 years of achievements in2013The first complete English translation of the Chronicle of the Emperor was published in, making this work more than 900 years ago the first time it was presented to the world in the form of modern language.2014Since, mark of cambridge university·Chinka and Christopher·Yang and scholars from many countries jointly launched a rearrangement and collation of the manuscript of the Chronicle of the Emperor.All these mark the revival of the study of “Emperor Chronicle” in the new century.
However, on the whole, the above-mentioned scholars’ research either inherits the traditional philological methods, focusing on text arrangement and textual research, or inherits the path of literary criticism, and uses post-modern literary theories to interpret the text.The hidden historical information and constructive intention presented in the text still need to be deepened.From the perspective of the study of medieval historiography, we can interpret the writer’s ideas and intention of writing history from the description of important events and figures, and then grasp12Popular historical understanding of bavaria in the middle and late 20th century.Just like Gabriel·Spigel said:The chronicles presented in the form of literature and the historical contents recorded by them are helpful for us to obtain the true historical information and implied ideological legitimacy at that time.Maria·Doberds also stressed that the new understanding of the nature of the text helps us to penetrate into the historical consciousness of the author and his contemporaries, that is, to understand their views on history and their own times through the texts of these dialect literature.In view of this, the author intends to make a preliminary discussion on the imperial concept and the relationship between politics and religion as the dominant theme in the Chronicle of the Emperor, taking the three exemplary relationships between politics and religion depicted in the Chronicle of the Emperor as individual cases, to explore the author’s historical writing consciousness, and to clarify the historical construction tendency and the causes of the times in the Chronicle of the Emperor.Due to the large volume and numerous aspects involved in the Chronicle of the Emperor, it is inevitable that what the author has said will leak out. Please ask Fang Gujiao to correct it.

First, The Empire Idea in the Chronicle of the Emperor

German scholar Gisela·WalmanProfe pointed out that the Chronicle of Emperors can be divided into two parts: Roman Empire and Germanic, connecting various fictional legends and historical narratives.YesEmpire Conceptdie Idee des Reiches), this idea is the author, sponsors and presumed readers are most concerned about.Judging from the historical background, the dispute between the German imperial power and the appointment of the chief professor of the Roman church followed1122With the signing of the Volms Agreement in, Frederick·Barbarossa (Frederick Barbarossa) during the reign of the imperial power reached its peak.The Chronicle of the Emperor, which was born in this period, is a tribute to the imperial power and empire and contains a strong legend.The praise of the Roman Empire and its emperors in the Chronicle of Emperors not only emphasizes the greatness of the imperial concept and highlights the legitimacy and authority of the German Holy Roman Empire emperors, but also is a climax of the construction of German imperial power in the past two centuries since Otto I.
First of all, the Chronicle of the Emperor reflects the rare identity of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages.The image of the Roman Empire has always been polarized in the medieval history writing tradition.In the early Godfather era, Usibius, Jerome, Orotheus and others often regarded the Roman Empire as the guarantee for the spread of Christian beliefs, while Augustine placed more emphasis on the rise and fall of earthly regimes.On the one hand, from11Since the second half of the 20th century, the symbolic significance of the Roman Empire has become more and more important to German monarchs with the deterioration of the relationship between politics and religion.On the other hand, the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire in history made later generations regard the conflict between the Empire and the Church as antichrists (Antichrist) an impending omen.Many medieval history books lashed out at the early Roman emperors, highlighting their pagan beliefs and persecution of Christians, showing strong hostility to the empire.On the contrary, “the emperor compiledThe Chronicle, on the other hand, has a very positive attitude towards the Roman Empire, commending it at the beginning.The Romans enjoyed the greatest respect, because no nation could resist the Romans at sea or on land, and no one could escape loyalty to the Romans and become their servants.
This pride in the Roman Empire stems from the deep integration of the authority of the Roman Empire with the Germanic nation and the inheritance of the Holy Roman Empire.The practice of striving for an important position in the historical construction for the native people through virtual narration is common in the historical writing of the Middle Ages, but it combines national consciousness and imperial identity here.The Chronicle of Emperors regards Caesar as the first emperor and connects the Roman Empire with the Germanic nation, the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhine River through Caesar. FromTimeSpaceStructurally, it shapes the continuity of Germanic nation and imperial ideas.In the chapter about Caesar, the author describes in great detail the process of Caesar’s war with the Germanic nation, highlighting the noble origin and heroic fighting of the Germanic people.The book said that although Caesar had 30,000 soldiers, he knew that 30,000 alone could not defeat the valiant Germanic, so he recruited another 30,000 soldiers.After several fierce battles with Caesar, Germanic legend hero Brennus (Brennus) accepted Caesar’s negotiation, admired Caesar, and finally placed his land under Caesar’s sovereignty.Later, the Bavarians and Saxons conquered by Caesar were also of noble birth. The former originated from the berthing place of Noah’s ark, while the latter’s ancestors were descendants of Alexander the Great’s army.Therefore, in this close narration, the author brings together the images of the Bible, ancient historical legends and local legends.More importantly, the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor believes that it was with the help of the Germans that Caesar finally seized power and created the emperor lineage of the Roman Empire.According to the book, Caesar’s military action on the Rhine made the Senate uneasy, accusing him of staying abroad for a long time without permission and losing a lot of troops and materials.When the Senate plotted to punish Caesar, the Germans, together with Caesar’s army, invaded Rome and won the battle with Pompey.The worst war in the worldThe victory of Caesar made him the firstOne who monopolizes all these powers once shared by several people.This kind of depiction dispelled the Germanic people’s behavior to a great extent.BarbariansThe historical image of the German nation and the development of the Germanic nation were directly embedded into the historical narrative created by the Roman Empire, which combined national pride with imperial identity and set the tone for the narrative of the whole Annals of the Emperor.
Secondly, the tendency of imperial ideas in the Chronicle of Emperors is highlighted in the high praise of Roman pagan emperors.With the exception of several emperors who persecuted Christians on a large scale, the Chronicle of Emperors did not belittle their achievements because of the pagan beliefs of other emperors, but paid more attention to their achievements as model imperial rulers.For example, it praised AugustusAlthough I have never known the fear of God,⋯⋯Peace has been established within its jurisdiction, something that has never been seen before.Emperor Tiberius, who was in power at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, alsoHe won great honor for the Romans., even saidThe learned man thinks he has kept his soul.Titus, who destroyed the Jewish temple, is depicted asPassion and courage, justice and nobilityIt will never rule out of accordance with the laws of the Empire.YesWill not waver in any crisisHero.
From the evaluation of these pagan emperors, it can be seen that the highest measure of monarchs in the Annals of Emperors is not the purity of belief, but whether they can justly perform the duties of imperial arbiters, which also reflects12In the middle of the 20th century, different perceptions of the legitimacy of the respective authorities of imperial power and religious power.In the Chronicle of Emperors, the evaluation of Roman emperors is mainly based on whether their rule over the empire can achieve security, unity and abide by the laws of the empire.The emphasis on imperial laws is the core criterion for evaluating all emperors in the Chronicle of Emperors, whether the emperors themselves are pagans or Christians.Even when depicting kings such as Nero and Diocletian who persecuted Christians, he especially stressed that his most despicable acts were trampling on imperial laws and taking personal will as the supreme law.
This admiration for a just pagan emperor is most clearly reflected in the account of Trajan.In the author’s works, Trajan is intelligent and brave, and is deeply loved by the Roman people, especially his abiding by the law and caring for the poor.In himExpedition to the NormansOn the way, a widow whose son died tragically stopped the way to redress her grievances and asked Trajan to do justice.When Trajan wanted to wait until he came back to deal with the matter on the grounds that military affairs were urgent, the widow saidHow can you expect God to reward you if others have ruled for me?After Trajan made a fair ruling in accordance with imperial law, the author praised Trajan through the old woman’s mouth and saidFor the first time, the city of Rome has been promoted like this. No Roman has ever received such a blessing to have a noble judge like you, and they will never have it again until mankind perishes.Because Trajan has established an unparalleled peace.
Even more legendary, the book says that Pope Gregory I died in Trajan more than 200 years ago.After that, moved by his deeds, he finally saved Trajan’s soul from hell after praying earnestly to God and promising to endure seven kinds of diseases for life.Although it can be understood here to emphasize that the Pope hasPower to bind and releasepotestas ligandi solvendique), but from the perspective of orthodox theology, it is impossible to redeem the soul of a pagan who has died for many years.More importantly, the story is8In the description of the 20th century, such a thing is attributed to Gregory I’s love rather than Trajan’s own good deeds. However, in the description of the Chronicle of the Emperor, Trajan’s just rule has become the fundamental reason why he can finally obtain soul salvation.This kind of narration, which is contrary to Catholic orthodoxy, not only reflects the extremely open attitude of the Chronicle of Emperors to pagan emperors, but also highlights the recognition of imperial ideas and imperial power justice.As the author emphasizes here:

Let all the kings of this world follow suit, the noble emperor Trajan, and see how he won a reward from God for him for maintaining just punishment while living in this world. If they (kings) remember my Lord here when they do justice, they will certainly receive the same gift.

Therefore, in the Chronicle of the Emperor,Kingchuonich) andEmperorcheiser) is not sensitive to the use in writing.But a basic trend is that,EmperorThe word is often used for good pagan rulers and those Christian rulers who have been crowned by the pope, while for those who do not obey the law, persecute the church or have not accepted the pope’s coronation, it is mostly calledKing
Finally, the Chronicle of the Emperor places special emphasis on the continuity of the empire.In the Chronicle of the Emperors, the Roman Empire seems to have naturally evolved into the era of the rise of the Carolingian Empire, the Otto Dynasty and the Salian Dynasty. This writing, which downplays the major turning point and emphasizes continuity, highlights the writing.12The historical context of Germany in the 20th century.Timothy·Reuters pointed out that12The pro-Roman and pro-imperial chronicles and other pamphlets written in the German-speaking region in the 20th century actually reflect the Teutonic rule at that time (regnum Teutonicum)Confidence CrisisThe regime needs to boost its authority through the authority and lineage of the Roman Empire.Therefore, in the historical writing spanning more than 1,000 years, the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor downplayed the demise and division of the Roman Empire as much as possible. Not only did he not describe the barbarian invasion in great length, but he hardly said a word about the coexistence of the barbarian kingdoms that lasted for hundreds of years.The author has been focusing on the continuation of the empire and the unification of authority, so as to reflect the inheritance relationship between the distant Roman Empire and the current empire.
Judging from the historical background, Otto I962In, he was both the king of the German Kingdom and the emperor of the Roman Empire, making the imperial legal system and the majesty of the emperor rooted in the German region, and at the same time integrating the legitimacy of the Frankish Kingdom with the German Empire.The Chronicle of the Emperor was written at a time when Frederick·As Barbarossa struggled to regain the glory of the empire,Holy Empiresacrum imperium) was also used at that timeIt has been widely used since the beginning of the period.By connecting the ancient Roman Empire with the present Holy Roman Empire, the praise of the ancient glory has become proof of the legitimacy of the present empire.It is also because of the Ming Dynasty in the Chronicle of the EmperorIt does show the inseparable close connection between the German Empire and the Roman Empire, and this work is regarded asGerman Empire Consciousness and Historical Perception of German EmpireThe earliest expression of.
Although the records in the Chronicle of Emperors are centered on the rulers of Rome, Frank and the German Empire, how to deal with the historical relationship between the Empire and the Church in an era dominated by Christian ideology is a core issue that cannot be ignored.So, how did the Chronicle of the Empire construct and evenForgeWhat about this relationship?This construction, in turn, is counterproductiveDoes it reflect the author how’s writing intention and historical writing tendency?

Second, “Virtual History” and the Model Relationship between Politics and Religion

The relationship between the empire and the church has always been an important issue in the writing of medieval European history. The infighting between the church and the empire has never disappeared, and people’s thinking on the relationship between the two has also continued to ferment. The Chronicle of the Emperor, which has a strong imperial concept, “fictitious” an idealized relationship between politics and religion by depicting the cooperation between the emperor and the pope in its historical construction, trying to take this fictitious model as a real history and become an example for later generations to follow. This practice embodies a strong color of reconciliation. It not only regards the development from the Roman Empire to the Holy Roman Empire as an endless whole, but also regards the church and empire as a natural coexistence whole. This strong reconciliation thought is also consistent with the basic views of successive bishops of Regensburg Diocese and Bavarian aristocrats since the middle of the 12th century.

In order to reconcile the relationship between the empire and the church and even distort historical facts, this writing method is quite different from other chronicles or political works in the heyday of the Middle Ages, especially from Latin “official history”. It is not only quite different from the records of some events, but also interspersed with many legendary brushwork. Behind this paradox is precisely the historical concept of the author of the Emperor’s Chronicle, which highlights the historical value of this document. The author selects three groups of representative relationships between emperors and popes to analyze in order to outline the historical concepts and deep writing intentions to be conveyed in the Chronicle of Emperors.

(1) The Pope as the Guide of the Emperor: Constantine and Sylvester

The description of Constantine in the Chronicle of the Emperor not only reflects the ideal paradigm of the relationship between politics and religion, but also shows the author’s regionalism tendency. One of its anti-Christian traditional historiography narratives described Constantine’s mother Helena as a Trier and skillfully endowed Constantine, the “greatest Christian emperor of the Roman Empire”, with German blood. The account of Constantine’s baptism follows the “Constantine Decree” (Constitutum Constantini), saying that in his dream he was guided by the apostles of St. Peter and St. Paul to seek Pope Sylvester to heal him and predicted that the Pope would become Constantine’s “spiritual father.” Constantine’s illness recovered immediately after baptism, he immediately announced his conversion to Christianity, and from then on “wolf became sheep.”

In the description of this group of relationships, the Chronicle of the Emperor especially highlights the pope’s role as the emperor’s guide. The seven mass seven days after Constantine was baptized echoed the seven-day sacrifice of Roman pagan belief at the beginning of the Chronicle of the Emperor. On the one hand, it reflected the Christianization of the Roman Empire; On the other hand, it also became the beginning of Constantine as monarch and Sylvester as church leader to jointly govern the empire. After the baptism, Constantine ordered all Romans not to worship any evil gods, destroyed pagan temples and statues in Rome, and declared that anyone who worships pagan gods O was an enemy of the monarch and the Romans. After the seventh day of Mass, the emperor and the pope, “the two warriors of the Lord came to the court cabinet, where they completed the laws of the Empire.” In this part of the description, the author brings the historical environment of his writing into the Roman Empire, saying that the king called his vassals and asked them to defend the church and the Christian kingdom, and vowed to bring peace to farmers and businessmen. Finally, on the seventh day after Constantine was baptized, the Pope took on the responsibility of “educating the king” and “put a colorful crown on his head”. It was from this time that Constantine was removed from the “king” (chuonich) renamed “Emperor” (cheiser). Through the description of these seven days, the Chronicle of the Emperor vividly presents the Christianization process of the Roman Empire, and at the same time draws the current relationship between the church and the empire back to the “golden age” of the Roman Empire with “era disorder” and literary rhetoric, which plays a role of borrowing the past and comparing the present.

Judging from the writing intention, it is repeatedly stressed here that the Pope should become the “spiritual father” of the king, which clearly shows the mode of the emperor and the Pope ruling the world together, which is extremely rare in the previous medieval documents. What is most eye-poping is that the author even listed a separate chapter for Pope Sylvester, regarded him as the ruler of the Roman Empire like the emperor, and put forward a brand-new explanation for the “Constantine Decree”. The “Constantine Decree” was used to explain that Constantine had given the Western Empire to the Pope’s jurisdiction during the political and religious disputes, giving the Pope the power to surpass the secular monarch. In fact, this document aroused many doubts before it was falsified by Lorenzo Valla in the 15th century. Otto of Flessing once wrote in a very skeptical tone that if Constantine really entrusted the Western Empire to the Pope, how could he divide the Empire among his sons?

According to the Records of the Emperor, because of the famine in Rome, Constantine decided to lead some people to the place guided by angels to establish a new capital, so he entrusted the Western Empire to the care of the Pope until he returned again. Constantine said:


Dear father and master, people are looking forward to me. Now is the time when I must leave you. I will entrust the whole empire to you until the day I come back. Master, I have complete trust in you. It will be very expensive for you to buy food, but I will attribute the tax revenue of the whole empire to your authority. Because of my reverence for the true God, this will enable you to take good care of my people.


Since Constantine himself did not return to Rome, the entire empire naturally fell under the jurisdiction of the Pope. This part of the narration has very obvious elements of fiction and imagination, but the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor hopes to show the exemplary image of the relationship between politics and religion through this fictional history. Only in this way can the coronation of Charlemagne mentioned later have legitimacy, because although the center of gravity of the empire has shifted to the west, the inheritance of the imperial system has not been interrupted, and since the pope has shared the sovereignty of the empire, he also enjoys the power to transfer the legal system of the empire.

(2) The Emperor as the Protector of the Pope: Charlemagne and Leo III

If the pope became the spiritual father and guide of the emperor in the above group of emperor-pope relations, then the relationship between Charlemagne and Leo III reflects the dependence of religious power on the protection of imperial power, and the king represented by Charlemagne is depicted as a devout believer and defender of the church.

Charlemagne’s proclamation is of great significance to the legitimacy of the Holy Roman Empire and the inheritance of the emperor system. In Latin history, Charlemagne’s coronation was an important symbol of the return of imperial power from Constantinople to the West. Otto of Fleisin wrote:


In the 801st year after my Lord was born, In 1552 years after the city was established, Charles, in the thirty-third year of his rule, He was promoted to the position of defender by the high priest and was called Emperor and Augustus. He was the 69th since Augustus. Therefore, the rule over the Romans, from Constantine until this time, was centered on the imperial city, that is, Constantinople, and now turned to the Franks.


Charlemagne’s coronation was regarded by Otto as an important node in dividing history, and this understanding also reflected Otto’s “Empire Transfer” (translatio imperii) in Otto’s view, the Roman Empire was the last empire in the history of the world. The sovereignty in this empire clearly shifted between Byzantine, Frankish and Germanic. Byzantine, Carolingian and Otto (Holy Rome) empires were different stages in the continuation of the Roman Empire.

However, the historical concept of Emperor Chronicle is different from Otto’s. When talking about the division of the East and West Roman Empires, the book has an important detail, saying that after Constantine VI was assassinated by members of the Senate, “the Roman Empire was separated from the Greek Empire”, and the Greeks could not “claim the sovereignty of the Empire and become arbiters, nor would they enjoy any imperial glory”. In other words, the imperial authority remained in the West after that, which laid the groundwork for Charlemagne to inherit the imperial legal system. Therefore, at the beginning of the Charlemagne chapter of the Chronicle of the Emperor, it is said:


The Empire still did not have a head of state. They placed the crown on St. Peter’s altar. All the Roman nobles gathered together and vowed in front of the people that they would never choose another leader from the previous families because these families had proved that they could not maintain their relationship with these people (nobles) faithfully and honourably.


This passage of writing actually reflects the writing dilemma faced by the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor: if Byzantium continues to enjoy the imperial power of the Roman Empire, how can the legitimacy of Charlemagne’s power be explained? The concept of “imperial transfer” is not clearly reflected in the Chronicle of Emperors, which emphasizes that Byzantine emperors have been harming the interests of the Romans. In the historical construction of the Chronicle of the Emperor, the imperial power symbolized by the crown was sealed in the “Altar of St. Peter”, that is, in the hands of the church, which closely linked the previous account of Constantine’s gift with Charlemagne’s legitimacy as emperor. In order to continue to model this relationship between politics and religion, the Chronicle of the Emperor once again adopted the method of “fictitious history”.

First of all, the author not only once again described Charlemagne’s mother as Bavarian, showing a strong regionalist tendency, but also said that Charlemagne and Leo III were both biological brothers of Piping, who grew up in Aachen and Rome respectively and became kings and popes one after another. Secondly, the common interference of providence in medieval history writing also appeared repeatedly, but the difference was that Charlemagne, as the monarch, rather than the pope, was the recipient of providence. Ernst Ollie points out that these “interventions of transcendental divine will” (Einbruch des transzendentengö‰ttlicHen Willens) is to say that tomorrow the Lord will directly interfere in human affairs and human history through Charlemagne, thus strengthening the sanctity of secular kingship.

In the description of the Chronicle of the Emperor, Charlemagne was instructed by God to help Leo clear the obstacles to his election as Pope. After Leo was betrayed and blinded by Roman nobles, Charlemagne was called to “defend Christianity with his own sword”. Most notably, Charlemagne also threatened St. Peter as a saint in the Roman church, saying that if St. Peter could not cure Leo immediately, he would “destroy your cathedral (referring to St. Peter) and destroy all the buildings and lands dedicated to you, and then I will leave him (referring to Pope Leo) blindly to you”. After Leo’s miraculous recovery that day, Charlemagne “lay down on the ground with his limbs stretched out like a cross” to express gratitude in the gesture of Christ’s suffering. The description of this legend reflects the interference and even persecution of monarchical power to religious power through subtle writing. It not only embodies the idea of taking the king as the representative of Christ in the early Middle Ages, but also forms a sharp contrast with the above model between Constantine and Sylvester, and reflects the attitude of the historical writing in the heyday of the Middle Ages towards the transformation of the relationship between politics and religion in the early Middle Ages.

As a result, this history mixed with legends became a narrative of the king’s protection and purge of the church, which reached its climax when Charlemagne re-legislated for the empire. Charlemagne not only “became the first Roman emperor from Germanic land”, but also because angels “told him the wisdom of the Lord”, he legislated here as a king on behalf of God. Charlemagne first dealt with matters involving bishops and priests, which in his view was the noblest and most important matter, but was “seriously ignored by Constantine’s laws”. The second is the tithe tax and the church reward law to ensure the church’s right to dispose of these sacrificia. However, paradoxically, the following article does not elaborate on these laws and regulations, but abruptly turns to the restriction on farmers’ clothing color. The author’s deliberate blankness here is that he does not want to clearly divide the power scope and specific management methods of the church and the empire, so as to avoid attacks on his works by any party, which is also in line with his reconciliation position throughout the whole text.

Judging from the relationship between the above two groups of emperors and popes, the author of the Chronicle of Emperors tries hard to describe the exemplary cooperation mode between the empire and the church, and shows a progressive nature. Constantine’s chapters more reflect the process of the pope’s enlightenment of the emperor and the Christianization of the Roman Empire, while Charlemagne’s saint image emphasizes the emperor as the defender and even the savior of the church, revealing the subtle transformation of the relationship between the royal power and the religious power in Western Europe since Carolingian era. Although the relationship between the main and supporting roles has been exchanged, on the whole, the above two groups of emperor-pope relations are depicted in the Chronicle of Emperors as historical models of mutual cooperation and peaceful coexistence between the church and the empire.

(3) Hidden and Falsified History: Henry IV and Henry V Period

In addition to the imagination of the past “golden age”, a prominent feature of the Chronicle of the Emperor is that it selectively ignores the conflicts between politics and religion that are relatively close to the times and difficult to give a reasonable explanation, so as to dilute the conflicts between politics and religion. This feature is especially reflected in the reign of Henry IV and Henry V, when the conflict between politics and religion was the most intense in the history of Western Europe.

On the whole, the Chronicle of the Emperor has a rather negative evaluation of Henry IV, but paradoxically, this chapter depicts Godfrey von Bouillon, the military leader of the Crusades, and does not record at all events such as the emperor’s dismissal and Canosa’s audience. Even the names of Pope Gregory VII and opposing King Rudolf von Rheinfelden are not mentioned. The author of the Chronicle of the Emperor should know these important events, but he deliberately concealed this period of history in the book and even tampered with many facts, expressing the crisis of the legitimacy of imperial power brought about by the political and religious disputes in a hidden way, and reflecting his intention to repair it through historical writing.

Especially in the relationship between Henry IV and Henry V, the records in the Chronicle of the Emperor are quite different from those in Latin historical materials at that time. The Chronicle of the Emperor implicitly said that Henry IV was captured by the enemy while hunting in Apulia, and the imperial nobles elected Henry V to inherit the empire in Bonn. After escaping from the enemy, Henry IV went to Rome and was crowned emperor. He was defeated by his son in Regensburg and abdicated. Although Henry V won the support of Bavarian nobles, he was boycotted by bishops, even saying that the pope demanded that all subjects of the empire should not be loyal to the new emperor. Moreover, the Chronicle of the Emperor explicitly condemned an archbishop named Albrecht because he suggested that Henry V lead the army to Rome and force him to coronate Henry V by hijacking the pope. Therefore, this act of “trespassing on the throne” has resulted in “division between clergy and peaceful believers”. It was not until Henry IV died and Henry V completely gave up the right to appoint bishops that the Pope finally agreed to coronate him in Rome. In the end, the bishop was condemned, and many bishops were also saddened by the revolt of their sons against their fathers in the royal family.

This rather interesting narration shows that people had two completely different understandings of Henry IV at that time, and also shows different interpretations of this important event by Latin “official history” and Bavarian dialect and common history. Henry IV was punished five times by three popes and was portrayed as an enemy of the church and even an incarnation of antichrists in pro-pope propaganda. In the 12th century, an anonymous bard in South Germany praised Henry IV with the poem “Which Charlie or Louis has won such honor and which Otto has received such special blessing”, believing that the emperor reformed the church, purged discipline and brought peace to the kingdom with his natural divine power.

From this description, we can see more clearly that the Chronicle of the Emperor maintains a consistent imperial concept and is more inclined to the views of the pro-emperor camp in this period. This is also due to multiple reasons in the specific historical context. First of all, the church reform in the 11th century began with Pope Leo IX appointed by Henry III. The emperor has long been regarded as the driving force for church reform, so Gregory VII’s radical reform actually contradicted the previous policies. In the eyes of many people at that time, Gregory VII’s absolute punishment of Henry IV was only out of his personal disgust for Henry rather than out of justice. Secondly, most bishops in the empire at that time were appointed by Henry III and Henry IV, and a large number of bishops in Bavaria and northern Italy supported Henry IV. Thirdly, Henry IV has always been supported by the merchant class and the residents of the town, because the emperor can provide them with charters of management and autonomy, which has formed a situation in which church authorities and local forces intersect in many areas. Finally, when Henry IV appointed Henry V as heir to the throne at the Mainz Conference in 1098, he specifically asked him to swear that he would not covet his father’s throne like his eldest brother Conrad. However, at the instigation of Pope Pascal II, Henry V believed that his father had been punished and did not need to keep his oath to him. He proclaimed himself emperor in 1104. This behavior is quite inconsistent with the moral concept at that time. Henry V’s seizure of the throne can be regarded as a double betrayal of his father and monarch.

Monica Bohr further pointed out that by depicting Henry V as a bad king in the Chronicle of the Emperor, the responsibility for the political and religious disputes can be attributed to individual rulers, avoiding clearly showing the irreconcilable contradictions between the empire and the church. In addition, the Chronicle of the Emperor never mentions the name of any pope in this part of the account, which is very different from previous and subsequent chapters. Perhaps, it is precisely because the author knows that Henry IV was crowned in Rome in 1084 by opposing Pope Clement III, and people in the middle and late 12th century had different opinions on Gregory VII, Urban II and other popes, and even failed to reach a consensus on the pedigree of legal popes, so he adopted a hidden method here.

Through this record, we can see that in order to cover up the truth of the conflict between politics and religion, the Chronicle of the Emperor deliberately concealed, distorted or even tampered with the historical narration. Through vague narration and the creation of “scapegoats”, it avoided exaggerating the conflict between the empire and the church and maintained the exemplary relationship between politics and religion established in front of it.

Three, The Characteristics of Historical Writing in the Construction of Empire Concept and the Relationship between Politics and


The Chronicle of the Emperor not only pioneered the historical writing of the rhyme style in German dialects,Also in historyIt is reflected in the mixture with legend.12The new features of dialect history writing in the middle of the 20th century.Medieval historiography played the role of rhetoric, memory preservation and moral education. In the logic of historical narration, it not only emphasized the secular application of religious typology, but also highlighted the importance and construction of pedigree.Nancy·Patner believed that the purpose of vulgar history, as a new thing in Western Europe at that time, was to bring people a kind ofSerious entertainmentserious entertainment), in addition to transmitting information, enlightenment, entertainment and the beauty of language, but also to attract people’s attention and stimulate imagination.This also reflects the fact that12The changes of social thoughts in Western Europe in the middle and late 20th century, rigid biographies of saints and awkward theological discussions can no longer meet the needs of the times. The new writing media represented by dialects not only meet the new needs of readers, but also require to embody new writing intentions and historical construction.The Chronicle of the Emperor not only embodies these characteristics, but also highlights the following two important characteristics in the history of medieval historiography from the perspective of its text’s construction of imperial ideas and the relationship between politics and religion.
First, although the Chronicle of the Emperor inherits the traditional Christian view of history, it does not have a complete and clear historical theological framework. On the whole, it places more emphasis on imperial authority and has a strong tendency of secularization.
20In the first half of the century, the study of the Annals of Emperors often emphasized that it containedHistory of salvationHeilsgeschichte) frame, this judgment and the world spirit theory since Hegel, especially Alois·Dempf (Alois Dempf) proposed in the Middle AgesGerman mysticismdie Deutsche Mystik) paradigms are closely related.Ernst·Ollie’s mentor Julius·Schvetling was the first to propose that the Chronicle of the Emperor constructs the narrative mode based on Augustine’s historical theological framework, which is full of Augustine’s historical understanding.Ollie inherited Schvetling’s statement that the essential structure of the Emperor’s Chronicle is the binary opposition between good and evil:

The creation rule of “Chronicle of the Emperor” is the struggle between good and evil in the history of redemption, and it is presented as much as possible in the story of each emperor. Each emperor’s own story is an important battle between the Lord and the devil, good governance and tyranny, the power to preserve the empire and the power to destroy the empire.

Ollie regarded poetry as a kind of chronicle at that time.Subformsui generis), this combination of history and literatureCreative behaviorKompositionsgesetz) makes the struggle between good and evil the keynote of the monarch’s biography.Frederick·Pickering also stressed that Augustine’s concept of opposition between original sin and free will dominated the overall narrative mode of the Chronicle of the Emperor, but he took Martin·Luther’s interpretation was misread into12According to the literature of the 20th century, this salvation must rely on God’s grace rather than personal achievements or good deeds.Walter·Hogg even thinks that the Chronicle of the Emperor is completely displayed from the perspective of eschatology.History of salvationEveryone should be responsible for his own actions.
ThisHistory of salvationThe model has long dominated the German academic circle, but through careful reading of the text, we think that this interpretation has a serious tendency of compulsory interpretation.First of all, the writing pattern of the Chronicle of the Emperor did not conform to the Middle Ages.History of salvationThe standard of.The traditional writing mode of the redemption history in the Middle Ages all started from the creation of the world.The peak of historyIt is the incarnation and suffering of Christ, which finally points to the last judgment.These elements are not found in the Annals of the Emperor.Because it started directly with the construction of Rome, it did not involve the life of Jesus and other religious and historical contents, let alone the last days.Secondly, the Chronicle of the Emperor is based onNarrow German LocalizationFrom the perspective, the focus is on the emperors who control the empire instead ofThe unfolding of salvationThe recognition and evaluation of Roman pagan emperors and the interpretation of the cooperative relationship between the pope and the emperor are quite different from Augustine’s understanding of earthly history.Finally, there is no clear and unified theological theoretical framework in the Chronicle of the Emperor, only the Roman Empire and Daniel’sThe four empiresCombined, and the ranking and interpretation of the four monsters are also quite different from the tradition since Jerome.In the Chronicle of the Emperor, the order of the four monsters is leopard (Alexander’s Greek Empire), bear (the three kingdoms of ancient West Asia Babylon, Medes and Persia that fought with each other), wild boar (Roman Empire) and lioness.The ten horns on the boar’s head were Caesar’s power to defeat the enemy, conquer and govern the world, that is, the Germanic people who later inherited the authority of the empire. The boar also becameThe Roman Empire will be a vivid symbol of eternal freedom.The fourth monster lioness represents the antichrist who will come at the end of the day, but this is also the only time the end is mentioned in this document.Therefore, the Chronicle of the Emperor pays more attention to the inheritance of imperial authority since the Roman Empire, and the color of eschatology is quite indifferent.This is also reflected in the12In the dialect history writing in the middle and late 20th century, the rigorous and rigid historical theological framework can no longer meet the expectations of the preset readers, let alone bring to the readers.Serious entertainmentThis transformation has also become an important symbol of the secularization of medieval historical writing.
Secondly, based on the above secularization characteristics, the Chronicle of the Emperor attempts to instill the imperial ideology into the subjects of the Holy Roman Empire through historical writing, which has extremely strong practical tendency and moral education color.In its historical interpretation framework, the cooperation and mutual support between the empire and the church have become the main theme. Although this distorts the real history to a large extent, it forms a brand-new narrative and idealized historical construction with an internal self-consistent logic.Different from historians such as Orotheo and Otto, the author of the Chronicle of the Emperor has almost never made a long speech on historical lessons. All moral judgments and ideological indoctrination are contained in historical narration.In this historical construction, the emperor’s obligation and responsibility lie in protecting the church from the enemy, safeguarding the safety of clergy, protecting the widowed, the widowed and the unfortunate, upholding justice for them, and promoting the expansion of faith with military force.Therefore, the emperor himself is the most direct tool of divine will, and all secular nobles and church leaders have the obligation to obey him.
Therefore, there is a writing tendency in the Chronicle of Emperors. The more time goes by, the more emphasis will be placed on the importance of empire and kingship.In Constantine’s chapters, the pope was also regarded as the co-ruler of the empire, while in Charlemagne’s time, the emperor becameRegent of the Holy ChurchIn the period of the political and religious dispute, we can only ignore the dispute between the emperor and the pope, try our best to downplay the conflict and find scapegoats for the unexplained historical phenomena.
The understanding of these two characteristics should be considered from the specific space-time background of this work and its preset audience.As a part ofVulgar historyThe preset readers of the work, “Chronicle of the Emperor” are mainly aristocrats, clergy and the general public with basic education. Its purpose is to provide a kind ofSerious entertainmentAnd through historical writing to realize the enlightenment of imperial ideology, so that the public can identify with this more secular, more empire and imperial power-centered historical interpretation.Francis·Gentry pointed out keenly that the emergence of dialect literature reflected the change of church’s role after the political and religious disputes, and aristocracy, secular businessmen and landlords became the core audiences of dialect literature in this period.Alastair·Matthews also believed that the appearance of the Chronicle of the Emperor marked the beginning of German literature getting rid of church control and dealing with a large number of secular themes.Therefore, the Chronicle of the Emperor broke away from the obscure theological color of the general grand chronicle of the Middle Ages and adopted a more popular and popular writing method to make Wang Taoism run through it.
In addition, if the Regensburg region, which produced the Chronicle of the Emperor, is taken into account, the practicality of secularization and enlightenment embodied in this work can be more clearly understood.German scholar Karl·Bossel pointed out that,12Regensburg, as a major commercial route to Italy in the middle of the century, was one of the most densely populated cities in the empire at that time.12The middle of the century was the golden age when knight literature flourished in South Germany. Business travelers and small nobles became the main readers of this secular historical writing.This presupposition of readers is also reflected in the writing of the Chronicle of the Emperor. For example, when Charlemagne avenged Pope Leo, he specifically mentioned the participation of businessmen and farmers.Christian Kingdom ArmyTherefore, the Chronicle of the Emperor actually complied with the needs of the rising citizen class at that time. Through the legendary and secular writing of history, the past of the empire and the church is shown to them in a way that is popular with the public, providing cohesion and legitimacy for the current empire, and even distorting history to depict the exemplary cooperative relationship between the empire and the church.This is exactly what the empire and people at that time needed for history. 

Conclusion

12The century is undoubtedly the peak of the development of medieval history writing.From the perspective of historical compilation, from ancient times to the early Middle Ages, historical writing experienced a process from paying attention to rhetoric to plain narration, while “The Chronicle of the Emperor” revived the narrative style of poetry rhyme style, with a strong epic style.In the narrative, more attention is paid to the rhetoric of speech, and the characters such as emperors and generals are also more three-dimensional, which reflects that12In the middle of the 20th century, a new mode of historical writing has begun to emerge in the hinterland of the Holy Roman Empire, which is more classical and more public-oriented.

Although the Chronicle of the Emperor is not a historical material in today’s standard sense, it provides us with an opportunity to observe the motives behind the writing of dialect history in the heyday of the Middle Ages.Although this work writes1146The year ended abruptly, but on the whole, the overall situation was dominated by the concept of empire.First, it expounds the Germanization of imperial power through historical narration, and expounds the continuation of Roman imperial power in the Middle Ages with the relationship between empire and church as the main line.The Germans have always been proud that they have not been conquered by the Roman Empire, but the Germans, as their descendants, have become the firm successors of the Roman Empire tradition.

One of the fundamental purposes of the Chronicle of the Emperor is to find a solid legal foundation for the Holy Roman Empire, and the ideological writing of the origin of the emperor’s power at that time is the fundamental place to write the history of the country.Therefore, the Chronicle of the Emperor reflects the strong secularization tendency, strong local consciousness and imperial identity in the writing of vulgar history in Bavaria during this period.LatinOfficial historyAnd dialectsVulgar historyThe differences between them are not only reflected in someCore narrationThe development of this difference is also related to the establishment, transformation and disappearance of the12Since the middle of the century, the power structure and ideological construction are closely related.

The author of this articleLi Teng is an associate researcher in the Department of World History, School of Humanities, Shanghai Normal University.
The original text contains World History, No.2, 2020. Due to the limitation of WeChat platform, comments are omitted. For reference or quotation, please read the original text.

Public Number: World History Editorial Department


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