Reading the West Frankish Coronation Liturgy, no. 5: The Ratold Ordo

Here begins the seeking or election of the bishops and clerics as well as the people to consecrate or bless a king.
132. The admonition of the bishops or clerics or people to the king, to be said in this way, and read out by one bishop before everyone.
“We seek that you should grant to us that you will conserve for each of us and the churches committed to us canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence, as a king ought rightly to provide in his realm for each bishop and the church committed to him.”
133. The king’s response.
“I promise and grant to you that I will conserve for each of you and the churches committed to you canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence, as far as I am able, with the Lord’s help, as a king ought rightly to provide in his realm for each bishop and the church committed to him.”
134. Then two bishops should call on the people in the church, seeking their will. And if they are in agreement, let them give thanks to God Almighty and sing a Te Deum. And let the two bishops take him in their hands, and bring him before the altar; and he should prostrate himself until the end of the Te Deum.
135. Invocation over the king.
“We call upon thee, O holy lord God Eternal the Father Almighty, that thou shouldst make this thy servant N., whom by the providence of divine dispensation thou hast conceded from the beginnings of creation until the present day should grow rejoicing into the flower of youth, enriched with the gift of thy piety, full of the grace of truth, from day to day, before God and Man, always to improve, that he might rejoicing take up the throne of the highest government by the largess of supernal grace, and, defended by the wall of thy mercy from any enemy adversity, merit to happily rule the people committed to him with the peace of propitiation and the virtue of victory. Through the Lord.”
136. Another prayer.
“O God, Who takes care of the people by thy virtue and rules them with love, give to this man, thy servant, the spirit of wisdom, with the guidance of instruction, so that he, wholeheartedly devoted to thee, might always remaing worthy in guiding the realm; and so that during his reign the security of the church might be steered with thy defence, and Christian devotion might endure in tranquillity, so that, enduring in good works, he might by thy lead come to the eternal Kingdom. Per.”
137. Another.
“May there arise in his days equity and justice for all, help for friends, hindrance for enemies, solace for the humble, correction for the proud, instruction for the rich, piety for the poor, peacemaking for the pilgrims, peace and security for those at home in the fatherland, governing all moderately, in accordance with their measure; may he sedulously know himself, that, watered by thy compunction, he might provide an example to the whole people pleasing to thee; and walking the path of truth with the flock subdued to him, may he abundantly acquire worthy riches, and accept, conceded by thee, everything for the salvation not only of the body, but also of the soul. And thus, may he be seen always to find the thought and inner counsel of thee, settling the government of the whole people with peace and wisdom. And by thy aid may he live long in this life, and come through good times to the height of venerable old age, and having made a good end in this fragile world, liberated from the chains of all his sins by the largess of thy piety, may the perpetual prize of infinite prosperity and eternal commerce with the angels follow. Per.”
138. The king’s consecration.
“O eternal God Almighty, creator and governor of Heaven and Earth, maker and manager of angels and men, king of kings and lord of lords, thou Who caused thy servant Abraham to triumph over his foes, gave many-fold victories unto Moses and Joshua, who were set above thy people; and elevated thy humble child David to the peak of the realm, and freed him from the mouth of the lion and the claw of the beast and Goliath, and from the wicked sword of Saul, and all his enemies, and enriched Solomon with the ineffable gift of wisdom and peace, hear our humble prayers we beseech thee, and upon this man, your servant N., whom we elect as king of all Albion, that is of the Franks, with suppliant devotion, multiply the gifts of thy blessings upon him, and cover him always and everywhere with the hand of thy power, so that he, firm in the faithfulness of the aforesaid Abraham, trusting in the mildness of Moses, defended with the fortitude of Joshua, exalted with the humility of David, ornamented with the wisdom of Solomon, might please thee in everything, and walk ever on the path of justice with uninterrupted steps, and so nourish and teach, defend and instruct the Church of all Albion and the people joined to it, and powerfully and regally administer the government of thy virtue for it against all enemies visible and invisible; and may he powerfully and royally administer the rule of thy virtue, that the royal throne might not forsake the sceptres of the Franks, but may he restore their souls to the concord of true faith and peace by thy grant, that he, supported by the due subjection of the people, might be glorified with worthy love, and, by thy mercy alone merit to stabilise and govern the height of paternal glory for a long life; and, defended by the helmet of thy protection and constantly protected by an unconquerable shield and girded with celestial arms, faithful and happily gain the triumph of a desirable victory, and inflict the terror of his power upon the unfaithful, and joyfully carry back peace for those soldiering for thee. Adorn him with the virtues with which thou adornest thine aforesaid faithful and the blessing of many-fold honour, and place him sublimely in control of the realm, and anoint him with the oil of the Holy Spirit’s grace.”
139. Here he is anointed with oil.
“Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king in Zion, and those present rejoiced, and said ‘May the king live forever!’”
140. “With this hast thou anointed priests, kings, prophets and martyrs, who conquered kingdoms through faith and did works of justice and received promises. Let its most holy unction flow upon his head, and descend within him, and enter into his innermost heart; let him be by thy grace made worthy by the promises which the victorious kings received, and may he happily reign in the present age and reach their company in the Kingdom of Heaven, through our lord Jesus Christ, thy son, who was anointed with the oil of joy before his fellows and vanquished the powers of the air with the virtue of the Cross, who destroyed Hell and overcame the Devil’s kingdom, and rose victorious to Heaven, in whose hand all victory, glory, and power consist, and who lives and reigns with thee, God in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”
141. Another
“O God, the fortitude of the elect and the height of the humble, Who wished at the beginning to chastise the crimes of the world through the outpouring of the Flood, and Who demonstrated through a dove carrying an olive branch the restoration of peace to the Earth, and anointed thy servant Aaron priest through the unction of oil, and later through the infusion of this might made priests, kings and prophets to rule the people of Israel, and predicted that the face of the Church would be exalted in oil through the prophetic voice of thy servant David; thus we beseech thee, Father Almighty, that through the oil of this creation, thou might deign to sanctify by thy benediction this thy servant, and that thou might make him to give the people committed to him the peace of simplicity like unto the dove, and diligently imitate the example of Aaron in the service of God, and always pursue the heights of kingship in the counsels of knowledge and the equity of justice, and by thy help have a face of joy prepared through this unction of oil for the whole people. Per.”
142. Another
“May God, the son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was anointed by the Father with the oil of exaltation before his partakers, through the present infusion of consecration which we anoint, pour out upon they head the blessing of the paraclete Spirit and cause it to penetrate thy innermost heart, so that thou might merit through this visible and tangible gift to take up invisible gifts, and by pursuing just government in this worldly kingdom to reign eternally with Him, Who alone is without sin, king of kings, and lives and is glorified with God the Father, God in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.”
143. Here the ring is given.
“Take this ring, that is, a sign of holy faith, the solidity of the realm, an augmentation of power, through which thou might know to fend off enemies through triumphal power, destroy heresies, unite thy subjects, and be joined to the ongoing catholic faith. Per.”
144. Prayer after giving the ring.
“O God, Whose is all power and dignity, give to thy servant effect for the spirit of his dignity, in which, by thy gift, may he remain, and always fear thee and struggle constantly to please thee. Through our lord Jesus Christ thy son.”
145. Here the archbishop girdles him with the sword.
“Take this sword, given to thee with the blessing of God, with which, through the virtue of the Holy Spirit, thou might resist and drive out all thine enemies and every adversary of the holy Church of God, and defend the realm committed to thee, and protect the camps of God, through the aid of the invincible victor our lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.”
146. Prayer after the sword.
“O God, Who by thy providence governs Heaven and Earth, be thou propitious to our most Christian king, that all fortitude of his enemies might be shattered with the virtue of the spiritual sword, and, for thou fightest for him, completely crushed. Per.”
147. Here he is crowned.
“May the Lord crown thee with a crown of glory and justice, with honour and works of fortitude, that through the office of our blessing, with correct faith and the many-fold fruit of good works, you might reach a crown of the realm everlasting, by the largess of Him Whose realm and empire endures forever and ever.”
148. Prayer after the crown.
“O God of perpetuity, leader of virtues, victor over all enemies, bless this thy servant, bowing his head to thee, and conserve him with good health and prosperous joy, and be ever present when he invokes thy aid, and protect and defend him. Give unto him we beseech thee O Lord the riches of thy grace, fulfil his desire in good things, crown him in mercy and compassion, and may he constantly serve thee as his lord with pious devotion. Through our lord.”
149. Here the sceptre is given.
“Take this sceptre, sign of royal power, to wit, the rightful rod of the realm, the rod of the virtue with which thou mayest rule thee thyself and the holy Church; that is, defend with royal virtue the Christian people committed to thee by God from the unrighteous, correct the corrupt, direct the righteous that they might hold to the right path by thy aid, so that you might go from a worldly kingdom to the Kingdom Eternal, by aid of Him Whose realm and empire endures without end, forever and ever.”
150. Prayer after the sceptre.
“O Lord, fount of all goods, O God, founder of all success, we beseech thee, give it to thy servant N. to bear well the dignity he has taken up, and deign to corroborate him in the honour so furnished; honour him before the other kings of the Earth, enrich him with fruitful blessings, and confirm him in the throne of the realm with firm stability; visit him with offspring, grant him long life. May justice always arise in his days, that he might be glorified with favour and eternal joy in the Kingdom. Through our lord Jesus Christ.”
151. Then the rod is given to him.
“Take the rod of virtue and equity, by which thou might know to delight the pious and terrify the reprobate, to lay out a path for the erring, to reach out a hand to the lapsed; destroy the proud and raise the humble; and may Jesus Christ our Lord open to thee the door, who said of himself, ‘I am the door, if any man enter in, he shall be saved’. And he, who is the key of David and the scepter of the house of Israel, ‘he that openeth and no man shutteth, that shutteth and no man openeth’, may he be to thee a supporter, who ‘brings out the prisoners from the prison, and those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death’, that thou might merit to follow in everything him of whom the prophet David sang, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom’. And by imitating him, ‘You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, wherefore God, your God, has anointed you’, after the example of him who was anointed before the world, ‘with the oil of gladness beyond your companions’, Jesus Christ our lord.”
152. Then this blessing is said.
“May He reach out the hand of His blessing, and pour upon thee the gift of his propitiation, and envelop thee with the happy wall of His watchful protection, by the interceding merits of Saint Mary and the blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, and Saint Gregory, apostle of the angels [sic], and all the saints. Amen. May He forgive thee the evils which thou hast done, and bestow upon thee the grace and mercy for which thou hast humbly besought Him: and may He free thee from all adversity, and from all the plots of enemies visible and invisible. Amen. May He place His good angels always and everywhere to precede, accompany, and follow thee, for thy protection; and may He liberated thee by His power from sin or sword, and from the crisis of all perils. Amen. May He convert thine enemies to the benignity of peace and charity, and make those hateful to thee pleasing and friendly, and may He visit upon those who are obstinate in criticism and hatred of thee a beneficial confusion; may an eternal sanctification flourish upon thee. Amen. May He always make thee victorious and triumphant over enemies visible and invisible, and fill up thy heart with fear and love of His holy name, and make thee to persevere in right faith and good works, and, having granted peace in thy days, lead thee to a kingdom everlasting with the crown of victory. Amen. And may He who has wished to establish thee as king over the people bestow happiness in the present age and a consortship in eternal happiness. Amen.”
153. Another blessing.
“Bless, O Lord, this patron [praesul, more usually ‘bishop’] and prince, thou who rules the realms of all kings in this world. Amen. And glorify him with such a blessing that he might hold with Davidic sublimity the sceptre, and sanctify it with the gift of atonements, and be found wealthy. Amen. Give to him by thy breath to rule thy people, as thou caused Solomon to obtain a peaceful kingdom. Amen.”
154. The designation of royal status.
“Stand firm and hold fast henceforth this place, which thou hast held thus far delegated to thee in hereditary right by paternal succession, through the authority of God Almighty and our present gift, to wit, of all the bishops, and the other servants of God; and as much as thou see the clergy to be closer to the sacred altars, by that much more take care to give them greater honour; so that the mediator between God and Man might confirm thee as a mediator between clergy and people in the throne of the realm, and make thee to reign with him in the kingdom eternal, Jesus Christ our lord, king of kings and lord of lords, who is with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.”
155. Proper behaviour for a king newly ordained and taken up to the throne is to command the Christian people subdued to him these three precepts: first, that the Church of God and the whole Christian people should conserve true peace for all time; second, that he should forbid all ranks from rapacity and all iniquity; third, that he should command equity and mercy for all judges, that clement and merciful God might indulge him and them by His mercy. Who with the Father…
156. Then let him be praised by all the clergy and people, and each should say ‘Long live the king, happily and forever’, and three times ‘long live the king’ as above. And after the Gospel reading, let the king offer an offering and wine to the archbishop. And thus let mass be carried out in his order; thence let him take communion from the archbishop of the body and blood of Christ. And thus let them give thanks to God. Let them then proceed to the table.

Anglo-Saxon kingship! (source)

(Skipping the royal ordo in the Romano-German Pontifical, which I was going to do, but found Henry Parkes’ work in time enough to get my foot out of that quicksand…)

Don’t worry, I hadn’t forgotten. Last weekend was taken up with Christmas markets, so I couldn’t post it, but it was already written. Next on our list of ordines is the so-called Ratold Ordo, named as such because it is found in the liturgical book commissioned by Abbot Ratold of Corbie at some point in the 970s or 980s. It’s interesting because it’s based in part on an Anglo-Saxon manuscript; and indeed the coronation ordo is based heavily on the so-called Second English Ordo, from the latter part of the tenth century. My own hypothesis about the date, given that the ordo contains a couple of references to the king being young and ruling in combination with his father suggests that the inspiration was the coronation of Louis V as king in the late 970s, although it’d be unlikely that this ordo was actually used in that ceremony.

Much of the ordo is English, but there are some characteristically Frankish bits, such as the reintroduction of the promissio. With that said, much of the Anglo-Saxon material, such as section 137 (‘May there arise in his days’) almost looks to me like an influence of the Twelve Abuses of the World by Pseudo-Cyprian. This isn’t alien to Frankish tradition, but it’s not what the ordines have previously picked up on; at the very least, there’s more of an emphasis on temporal success: this is the first ordo to talk about the king living for a long time and to include a ‘long live the king!’ formula…

The other thing this is the first ordo to do is to add the word Francorum (‘of the Franks’) to describe the kingdom ruled. In fact, this is the first of our ordines which has specified that the kingdom ruled is the Frankish one, which is interesting in light of the addition made to section 138 (‘O eternal God Almighty’) praying that ‘the royal throne might not forsake the sceptres of the Franks’). If we do want to date this to around 980, this is an interesting time for someone to write this, for it’s at this time that Lothar is engaging in a war with his cousin Otto II where a lot of divisions between West Franks and easterners are being exposed…

One final thing: there’s a lot of King David here. Not sure what it means, but it’s very noticeable…

After the Christmas holidays (next week, you get a special treat, because I translated some conciliar records), it’s the last thing we’ll cover, not an ordo proper, but a note describing the coronation of Philip I.

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Some Issues in Aquitanian History, pt. 2: The Impact of Louis IV, 936-945

Last time, Raymond Pons of Toulouse had just declared himself to be duke of Aquitaine, and you may well have been wondering, ‘What has this got to do with Bishop Stephen II of Clermont?’ Well, today we find that out.

               You may remember that Raymond’s claim to the ducal title had occurred in the context of the dislocation brought on by the death of King Ralph of Burgundy in 936. The problem is that the next five years or so of Aquitanian political history are very murky indeed. The situation is not helped by the fact that a lot of the documentary evidence we rely on for the Toulouse side of things looks very dodgy. The good news, is that this means the period of just under a decade between 936 and Stephen’s emergence in 945 can be zipped through rather more quickly than the previous ten years.

               The first thing to say is that, once again, evidence of conflict between Toulouse and Poitiers is non-existent, and evidence of the counts of Poitiers playing any role in Auvergnat politics ditto. There are three main actors in the Auvergne of the late 930s and early 940s: the local nobility, the count of Toulouse, and the king.

               Of these, the local nobility are basically the same as the following of Duke Acfred. They stick together as a community, and it is these people who you can see around Raymond in 936. Raymond himself plays the very classic role for a major aristocrat of working with the king when Louis IV starts to display an interest in Aquitaine in around 940. (There’s theoretically a diploma issued for one of Raymond’s abbeys in 939, but the whole of the dating clause is spectacularly forged, and I don’t think we can take it seriously. I’d be more likely to put it in either 941 or 944, absent other evidence.) And the king is evidently a significant figure during the early 940s: he shows up in Vienne in winter 941, where the Aquitanians submit to him and he issues a diploma for the abbey of Chanteuges, the same foundation where Raymond had appeared to claim the title of ‘duke of Aquitaine’ in 936. Aquitanians then proceed to give him military assistance, so this doesn’t look purely formal.

               Louis’ visit in 941/42 appears to have been fairly significant long-term. After going from Vienne to Poitiers, he issued several diplomas with Ebalus, the count of Poitiers’ brother, as intercessor. If we take seriously Adhemar of Chabannes’ claim that Louis played a role in acquiring for Ebalus the bishopric of Limoges, it is probably now that he made any agreement to the effect that Ebalus could legitimately succeed to the bishopric after the death of its current inhabitant. Louis went back to Aquitaine in 944 to negotiate with Raymond and other Aquitanians.

               Unlike in 941/2, this visit was not obviously occasioned by any challenge to the king’s position in the north, which was at this time fairly stable. The most likely reason for Louis’ visit, therefore, is to deal with purely Aquitanian affairs. What were these? Well, one of them probably was ensuring the installation of Ebalus as bishop of Limoges. It is also possible that dealing with the succession to the bishopric of Clermont was on the agenda, for it was around this time that Stephen II became bishop. Finally, 944 is the last sure reference we have to Raymond Pons of Toulouse being alive, and I think it is likely that he died shortly afterwards (although some scholars think he lived until 950 or even 960).* In any case, what I think we have here is another shift in power.

               Certainly, Raymond doesn’t appear to have troubled the Auvergne again. Liutprand of Cremona refers to a ‘Raymond of Aquitaine’ appearing in Italian politics at this time; personally, I think this was Raymond Pons’ son shifting his political sphere of action; but for our purposes, what matters is that Toulousain influence cannot be shown in the Auvergne. This is significant, because (as was hinted last week) Viscount and lay abbot Dalmatius of Brioude looks to have been linked to him; and with Stephen’s emergence, a different set of local nobles, the family of the viscounts of Clermont, appear to have replaced Dalmatius as the key figures within Aquitaine. As I said previously, Stephen was the son of Viscount Robert of Clermont, who figures prominently in his early charters. Robert and Dalmatius don’t appear to have been unfriendly or poorly-disposed to one another – they show up at many of the same gatherings – so I think this is not the product of conflict, but rather a simple transfer of power due to Stephen’s appointment.

               It’s at this moment that the charter discussed when Stephen first appeared on this blog was issued, in 945. We don’t necessarily have to imagine Louis coming down in 944 and settling things with a wave of his royal hand, but I think that his kingship was a key element in whatever happened in the mid-940s. Stephen’s act is an ‘accession act’, firmly staking his claim as the predominant local figure in the Auvergne, displaying the core members of his faction, and doing so based on and legitimated by his connection to King Louis.

*Some, in fact, think he died earlier and the Raymond who shows up in 944 is a different guy. The reason for this is that the 944 guy is just ‘Raymond’ and Raymond Pons always shows up in his charters as ‘Raymond Pons’ or ‘Pons’. Problem is, the evidence from 944 isn’t one of his own charters, it’s Flodoard, who always refers to him as just ‘Raymond’ and there’s no reason to think it’s a different person.

Some Issues in Aquitanian History, pt. 1: A Duchy without A Duke, c. 920-936

Lately I’ve been writing up my paper for the ‘Revisiting the Europe of Bishops’ conference at Liverpool that you should all totally come to (although someone appears to have put my name on the list next to the respectable people), the which paper is all about revisiting the career of Bishop Stephen II of Clermont. In the process, though, I’ve discovered two things. The first is that Aquitanian history is really difficult. For all that with Flodoard of Rheims you occasionally need to read between the lines, he at least usually says something about a given year in the north-east of the kingdom; and at least Dudo of Saint-Quentin is reliably weird. The scraps of detail you have to pin together Aquitaine are another matter entirely. Possibly relatedly, the second thing I’ve discovered is that a lot of what’s been written on it is eyebrow-raising. In particular, you can’t take Christian Lauranson-Rosaz’s narrative on trust…* (Of course, you can’t take the one I’m about to propose now and over the next few weeks on trust either; this is explicitly a work-in-progress blog…) The ultimate question is how yer boy Steve got to be at the head of the Auvergnat network of fideles bound together in a community of prayer; but this context is pretty damn tricky. So, this is my attempt to reconstruct it, starting with the decades immediately before Stephen emerges.

               So, let’s begin around 920. William the Pious, duke of Aquitaine, has recently died. His nephew William the Younger has taken over, and does a reasonable job of holding on to his uncle’s properties. He dies in 927, and his own brother Acfred takes over as duke, but only for about six months or so, as he dies shortly thereafter.

               When exactly this was is the first problem. Our source for William’s death is the Annales of Flodoard, so that’s fairly good evidence; Acfred’s will was issued in October 927. The issue is that Acfred was in rebellion against King Ralph of Burgundy, and dated his will to show it, taking Charles the Simple as the real king and addressing Ralph as a fake. He also appointed Viscount Dalmatius of Brioude as one of his executors. But, Dalmatius had issued a charter in February 927 which was dated after Ralph’s reign. This is a disconnect. My solution: Dalmatius’ charter is misdated to the fourth rather than the fifth year of Ralph’s reign, and Dalmatius only accepted Ralph after Acfred died. So far, so simple.

               After Acfred’s death, a lot of historians will tell you that there was a war in Aquitaine between the counts of Poitiers and Toulouse over who got to be duke of Aquitaine. (I read somewhere a suggestion that it might have been an ethnic conflict, which, what on Earth?!) This is not really supported by the sources. Flodoard refers to the ‘quarrelling Aquitanians’ in 931; but this is years after Acfred’s death and – importantly – the year after King Ralph has come down, crushed the Viking forces operating in Aquitaine, and made the Aquitanians submit to him. So I don’t think they’re arguing over some putative ducal succession, but over something else, perhaps Königsnahe. We don’t really know, to be honest. In any case, we have charters from both sides, and neither of them claims to be dux in their own documents. This wasn’t a problem for old-fashioned French historians, who could happily see this as being because the king hadn’t filed the paperwork yet; but given we now know that titulature was largely socially-determined (and, yes, you can parallel this with the title dux), it looks more likely that no-one was claiming to be Duke of Aquitaine, quite possibly because no-one cared – you only need to be ‘duke’ if there’s some reason to do so, after all; and it’s striking that although Acfred called himself dux (‘duke’), William the Younger didn’t.

               In any case, there isn’t a duke of Aquitaine recorded until 936, which could be a function of the evidence, but I don’t think it is. Diplomas of Ralph after 931 refer to ‘Count’ Ebalus Manzer of Poitiers and Dalmatius of Brioude as a ‘famous knight’, and Flodoard says that ‘Prince of Gothia’ Raymond III Pons of Toulouse submitted to the king; so I think what happens is that we have three regions, Poitou, Auvergne and the south (Gothia), with only a loose connection between the latter two (Dalmatius intervened in a diploma for an abbey in Gothia). In 936, though, Raymond Pons of Toulouse is in Brioude for the foundation of the abbey of Chanteuges, titled as ‘duke of Aquitaine’. Dalmatius and the Auvergnians are there, but the count of Poitou is not.

f08-priorat_chanteuges-0333
Chanteuges today (source).

               Why does Raymond claim the ducal title now? The probable answer has to do with the death of King Ralph. In his thirteen-year reign, a lot of things shifted politically, not least in relation to Aquitaine. William the Pious’ and William the Younger’s duchy, which had major investments in the north and west – Nevers, Bourges, Mâcon – was dismembered by Ralph. The ‘frontier’ between the authority of Raymond Pons (or, more practically, Dalmatius of Brioude) and everyone else is now a lot further south and east than it used to be. Ralph claimed Mâcon and Nevers, and the Robertians seem to have taken over suzerainty in a lot of northern Berry.  Now, moreover, the new king, Louis IV, has the Robertian ruler of Neustria Hugh the Great as his main support – basically his puppet-master, although this state of affairs won’t last for very long – and Hugh has claimed a new title, duke of the Franks, dux Francorum, which he alleges gives him a vice-regal position throughout the entire kingdom.

             Mostly, I think that Raymond’s claim of the title of ‘duke of Aquitaine’ is defensive, a response to Hugh’s claim of being ‘duke of the Franks’ – he might be duke of the Franks, but he ain’t duke of the Aquitanians, he ain’t vice-regal in the kingdom of the Aquitanians, and he ain’t better than Raymond Pons of Toulouse.

               On the other hand, there may be an element of opportunity. Things are in flux. This presents a practical threat to Raymond – it’s possible that figures in Transjurane Burgundy are nibbling around the edges of the Velay at this time – but it also presents an opportunity. The agglomeration of territory ruled by Ralph of Burgundy and before him his father Richard the Justiciar was a recent and wobbly creation, and there are hints than on Ralph’s death it started disintegrating. (But that’s another post!) Here, claiming the ducal title might enable Raymond to push his power outwards into the recently-lost western regions. Whether or not he actually did this… well, I think there are hints he might have done, but this is already over a thousand words, that’s including breaking the Burgundian crisis of c. 936 into another post, and we’re still a decade off of Bishop Steve. So I’ll stop here, and we’ll get back to this next time.

*Pleasingly, the late Professor Lauranson-Rosaz put large amounts of his work, including his big book, online at his Academia.edu page, which you can find through the link; so if you want to find what I’m reacting to, it’s there.

Reading the West Frankish Coronation Liturgy, no. 4: The Ordo of Seven Forms

[From MSS BCE]

1. An Ordo for how a king should be ordained.

2. “O Eternal God Almighty, creator of all, emperor of the angels, king of those who rule and lord of those who lord, Who caused thy servant Abraham to triumph over his foes, gave many-fold victories unto Moses and Joshua, who were set above thy people; and elevated thy humble child David to the peak of the realm, and enriched Solomon with the ineffable gift of wisdom and peace, hear our humble prayers we beseech thee, and upon this man thy servant N., whom we elect as king with lowly devotion, multiply the gifts of thy blessings upon him, and cover him always and everywhere with the hand of thy power, so that he, firm in the faithfulness of the aforesaid Abraham, trusting in the mildness of Moses, defended with the fortitude of Joshua, exalted with the humility of David, ornamented with the wisdom of Solomon, might please thee in everything, and walk ever on the path of justice with uninterrupted steps, and so nourish and teach, defend and instruct thy Church and the people joined to it, and powerfully and regally administer the government of thy virtue for it against all enemies visible and invisible, and restore their souls to the concord of true faith and peace by thy grant, that he, supported by the due subjection of the people, might be glorified with worthy love, and, by thy mercy, merit to decently ascend to the throne of his fathers; and, defended by the helmet of thy protection and constantly protected by an unconquerable shield and girded with celestial arms, faithful and happily gain the triumph of a desirable victory, and inflict the terror of his power upon the unfaithful, and joyfully carry back peace for those soldiering for thee, through our Lord, who destroyed Tartarus with the Cross’ virtue, and, having overcome the Devil’s realm, ascended to Heaven, in whom all power and the victory of kings dwells, who is the glory of the humble and the life and salvation of the people, who lives and reigns with thee, God in the unity of the Holy Spirit.”

3. Unction by sacred chrism.

“May God, the son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was anointed by the Father with the oil of exaltation before his partakers, through the present infusion of the sacred oil of the paraclete Spirit upon thy head, pour out a blessing and cause it to penetrate thy innermost heart, so that thou might merit through this visible and tangible gift to take up invisible gifts, and by pursuing just government in this worldly kingdom to reign eternally with Him, Who alone is without sin, king of kings, and lives and is glorified with God the Father, God in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.”

4. The royal coronation.

“Take the crown of the realm, which is placed upon thy head by the hands, though unworthy, of bishops. Know that it is a clear sign of the glorious and honour of sanctity and the work of fortitude and do not be unaware that through it thou art a participant in our ministry, such that, just as we know ourselves to be pastors and rulers of souls in inner matters, thou also might always appear as a true worshipper of God, and a vigorous defender of the Church of Christ against all adversity, and a useful executor of the realm given to thee by God and through the office of our blessing, committed to thy governance on behalf of the apostles and all the saints, and a beneficial ruler, so that, decorated with the jewels of virtue amongst the glorious athletes and crowned with the prize of eternal happiness, thou might glory with Jesus Christ the saviour and redeemer, whose name and position thou art entrusted to bear, without end. He lives and rules, God with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.”

5. The handing-over of the sceptre.

“Take the rod of virtue and equity, by which thou might know to delight the pious and terrify the reprobate, to lay out a path for the erring, to reach out a hand to the lapsed; destroy the proud and raise the humble; and may Jesus Christ our Lord open to thee the door, who said of himself, ‘I am the door, if any man enter in, he shall be saved’. And he, who is the key of David and the scepter of the house of Israel, ‘he that openeth and no man shutteth, that shutteth and no man openeth’, may he be to thee a supporter, who ‘brings out the prisoners from the prison, and those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death’, that thou might merit to follow in everything him of whom the prophet David sang, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom’. And by imitating him, ‘You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, wherefore God, your God, has anointed you’, after the example of him who was anointed before the world, ‘with the oil of gladness beyond your companions’, Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns.”

6. The handing over of the ring.

“Take the ring of royal dignity, and know a sign of catholic faith in thyself through it, because, as today thou art ordained the head and prince of realm and people, thus too should thou endure an ongoing supporter and stabiliser of Christianity and the Christian faith, that, happy in deeds, wealthy in faith, thou might be glorified with the king of kings forever, ‘to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever’, amen.”

7. The handing-over of the sword.

“Take the sword, royally imposed on thee through the hands, although unworthy, of bishops, yet consecrated on behalf and by the authority of the holy apostles, and divinely ordained in defence of the holy Church of God by the office of our blessing, and be mindful of what the Psalmist prophesied, saying ‘Gird the sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty’, so that in this, through the same, you might exercise the might of equity, powerfully destroy the mass of iniquity, and fight for and protect the holy Church of God and His faithful, and no less execrate and destroy those false in faith, who are enemies of the Christian name, clemently help and defend widows and orphans, restored what is desolate, conserve what is restored, avenge injustice, confirm what is rightly done, so that in enacting this triumph of virtue, glorious, an outstanding cultivator of justice, thou might merit to reign without end with the saviour of the World, whose type thou bearest in name, who lives and reigns with Father and Holy Spirit.”

8. The designation of royal status.

“Stand firm and hold fast henceforth this place, which thou hast held thus far delegated to thee in hereditary right by paternal succession, through the authority of God Almighty and our present gift, to wit, of all the bishops, and the other servants of God; and as much as thou see the clergy to be closer to the sacred altars, by that much more take care to give them greater honour; so that the mediator between God and Man might confirm thee as a mediator between clergy and people in the throne of the realm, and make thee to reign with him in the kingdom eternal, Jesus Christ our lord, king of kings and lord of lords, who is with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.”

[Rites for queen-making snipped.]

800px-bambergapocalypse03coronationofemperor
The coronation of an emperor from the Bamberg Apocalypse. OK, it’s a stretch, but at least there’s an East Frankish link here… (source)

           Another Friday, another anonymous, undated ordo. This one, moreover, is the subject of a bit of terminological confusion. It’s most often known as the Ordo of Seven Forms, but also as the Ordo of Eleven Forms and the Stavelot Ordo. It’s preserved in one thirteenth-century manuscript from Stavelot in the form I’ve translated it, although there are other variant versions in other contexts.

               The date of the Ordo of Seven Forms is generally accepted as being the first half of the tenth century. Jinty Nelson has argued that the queen-making rites, which I’ve not included, were used to crown the West Frankish queen Gerberga in 939, which is interesting, and suggests that the king-making rites may have been used for her husband King Louis IV in 936. Something of this may be suggested to the changes the author has made to the Erdmann Ordo, particularly the references to ‘paternal throne’ and ‘hereditary right’ which are actually new elements and make sense in a context where you’re importing an untried sixteen-year-old who probably doesn’t speak the language very well because of who his dad was, something in itself making a bit of a break with earlier practice.

               In terms of its actual content, Walter Ullmann back in the ‘60s and ‘70s got very excited about the exalted role of the bishop in this ordo, and, y’know, he’s got a point. The emphasis of the bishop’s role in handing over the sword and the crown and indeed in making the king (note heading 8) is tremendous. Note also that whereas in previous ordines we’ve had references to the people helping in the royal ministerium, here the king becomes a participant in episcopal ministerium.

               What this reminds me of more than anything else, especially in light of all the references to the king as a type of Christ (i.e. a Christus, an ‘annointed one’) is the 916 Council of Hohenaltheim, which does basically the same thing. This would repay further thought – I may well get back to you on this…

Next Friday: The Ratold Ordo.

Reading the West Frankish Coronation Liturgy, no. 3: The Erdmann Ordo (c. 900)

1.  Here begins the ordo to ordain a king.

2.  The bishops’ petition to the king.

“We ask you to grant to us, that you will to each of us and the churches committed to us conserve canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence, as a king ought rightly to provide to each bishop in his realm along with the church committed to them.”

3.  The king’s response.

“I promise and grant to you that I will for each of you and the churches committed to you conserve canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence as well I can, with the Lord’s aid, as a king ought rightly to provide to each bishop in his realm along with the church committed to them.”

4.  Then two bishops should call on the people in the church, seeking their will. And if they are in agreement, let them give thanks to God and sing a Te Deum.

5.  Benedictions and prayers over the king.

6.  “O God, Who takes care of the people by thy virtue and rules them with love, give to this man, thy servant N., the spirit of wisdom, with the guidance of instruction, so that he, wholeheartedly devoted to thee, might always remain worthy in guiding the realm; and so that during his reign the security of the church might be steered with thy defence, and Christian devotion might endure in tranquillity, so that, enduring in good works, he might by thy lead come to the eternal Kingdom. Per.”

7.  Alternatively.“O eternal God Almighty, creator and governor of Heaven and Earth, maker and manager of angels and men, king of kings and lord of lords, thou Who caused thy servant Abraham to triumph over his foes, gave many-fold victories unto Moses and Joshua, who were set above thy people; and elevated thy humble child David to the peak of the realm, and freed him from the mouth of the lion and the claw of the beast and Goliath, and from the wicked sword of Saul, and all his enemies, and enriched Solomon with the ineffable gift of wisdom and peace, hear our humble prayers we beseech thee, and adorn this man, your servant N., with the virtues with which thou adornest thine aforesaid faithful and the blessing of many-fold honour, and place him sublimely in control of the realm, and anointed him with the oil of thy Holy Spirit’s grace, with which thou hast anointed priests, kings, prophets and martyrs, who conquered kingdoms through faith and did works of justice and received promises. Let its most holy unction flow upon his head, and descend within him, and enter into his innermost heart; let him be by thy grace made worthy by the promises which the victorious kings received, so that he might happily reign in the present age and reach their company in the Kingdom of Heaven. Through our lord Jesus Christ, thy son, who was anointed with the oil of joy before his fellows and vanquished the powers of the air with the virtue of the Cross, who destroyed Hell and overcame the Devil’s kingdom, and rose victorious to Heaven, in whose hand all victory, glory, and power consist, and who lives and reigns with thee, God in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”

8.  Afterwards, the ring should be placed on his finger, and then this should be said.

“Take this ring, a sign of holy faith, through which thou might know to fend off all heresies, and be joined to the ongoing catholic faith”.

9.  This prayer follows.

“God, Whose is all power and dignity, give to thy servant N. a fortunate outcome for his rank, in which, by thy gift, may he remain, and always fear thee and struggle constantly to please thee. Per.”

10.   At the giving of the sword.

“Take this sword, given to thee with the blessing of God to wreak vengeance on malefactors and praise the good, with which, through the virtue of the Holy Spirit, thou might resist and drive out all thine enemies and every adversary of the holy Church of God, and defend the realm committed to thee, and protect the camps of God, through the aid of the invincible victor our lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, amen.”

11.   The coronation.

“May the Lord crown thee with a crown of glory and justice, with honour and works of fortitude, that through the office of our blessing, with correct faith and the many-fold fruit of good works, you might reach a crown of the realm everlasting, by the largess of Him Whose realm and empire endures forever and ever, amen.”

12.   This prayer follows.

“O Lord, fount of all goods, O God, founder of all success, we beseech thee, give it to thy servant N. to bear well the dignity he has taken up, and deign to corroborate him in the honour so furnished; honour him before the other kings of the Earth, enrich him with fruitful blessings, and confirm him in the throne of the realm with firm stability; visit him with offspring, grant him long life. May justice always arise in his days, that he might be glorified with favour and eternal joy in the Kingdom. Per.”

13.   Here the sceptre is given.

“Take this sceptre, sign of royal power, to wit, the rightful rod of the realm, the rod of the virtue with which thou mayest rule thee thyself and the holy Church; that is, defend with royal virtue the Christian people committed to thee by God from the unrighteous, correct the corrupt, direct the righteous that they might hold to the right path by thy aid, so that you might go from a worldly kingdom to the Kingdom Eternal, by aid of Him Whose realm and empire endures without end, forever and ever. Amen.”

14.   At the giving of the staff.

“Take the staff, a sign of sacred government, that thou might strengthen the weak, strengthen the faltering, correct the corrupt, direct the righteous on the path to eternal salvation, with the common labour of our lord Jesus Christ, whose, with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, is virtue and empire for ever and ever. Amen.”

15.   At the mass.

“We beseech thee, Almighty God, that thy servant, who by thy mercy has taken up the government of the realm, might gain from thee the increase of all virtues, and, decently ornamented thereby, be able to avoid the monstrosities of sin and, as one enjoying favour, reach thee who art the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who livest [and reignest].”

16.   Secret.

“We beseech thee, O Lord, sanctify this offered gift, that the body and blood of thy only-begotten might be produced for us, and in every way help our king to obtain salvation of body and soul, and to, by thy largess, carry out the office enjoined upon him. Through the same.”

17.   Blessing.

“May God Almighty make thee victorious and triumphant over enemies visible and invisible, and fill up thy heart with fear and love of His holy name, and make thee to persevere in right faith and good works, and, having granted peace in thy days, lead thee to a kingdom everlasting with the palm of victory. Amen.”

18. “And may He who has wished to establish thee as king over the people bestow happiness in the present age and a consortship in eternal happiness. Amen.”

19. “May He cause thee to happily govern the clergy and people, whom He has wished by His generosity to place under thy rule, by His dispensation and thy administration through long-lasting time; for which reason, obeying divine commands, being free from all adversity, abounding in good works, serving thy ministry with faithful love, may they be fruitful in the tranquillity of peace in the present age, and merit to become with thee consorts of the heavenly citizens. Amen.”

20. After communion.

“May this salvatory communion, O Lord, protect thy servant from all adversity, so that he might obtain both the tranquillity of the Church’s peace and after the end of his time here reach an eternal inheritance. Per.”

21. Another blessing over the king.

“May God Almighty bless thee, set over the height of the realm, and dispose of the realm committed to thee with the peace that is desired. Amen. May He defend it from all hostile incursion, and scatter the pride of the foe beneath thy conquest. Amen. That the oppressed Church might be relieved from so many calamities, and labour of this sort might be enriched with heavenly gifts. Amen.”

22. A prayer over the king.

“May God Almighty, through Whom kings reign and in Whose hand all the rights of kings dwell, strengthen thy realm more and more in the liberty of the Christian people, and bend the necks of the faithless nations under the heel of thy power. Through the Lord.”

 

Utrechts-Psalter_CANTICUM-16
OK, so this is probably King Saul and thus not someone to be emulated; but hey, it’s a king with a sword. Source: the really excellent digital edition of the Utrecht Psalter, listed as canticum 16.

(Before I get on to today’s topic, can I just say thank you to everyone who commented on the last post? I greatly appreciate your thoughts.)

[We’ve passed over some Tours texts to do with Odo’s coronation and some undated and possibly very early texts preserved in a manuscript from Rheims.]

If I said that Louis the Stammerer’s ordo was influential, that’s largely because of the influence it had on the so-called Erdmann Ordo, which is influential. (Erdmann himself apparently disapproved of the name.) This is the first of the texts I’ve chosen which can’t be directly linked to a specific coronation, and it’s been placed at anywhere between the 870s and the 930s. The editor, Jackson, places it at a judicious ‘c. 900’, which is probably the correct decision; but I would argue that we can speculatively put it in a closer context than that.

These king’s ordines come in the surviving manuscripts with queen’s ordines, a juxtaposition which is probably meaningful, and suggest an occasion where a king and queen were crowned, if not together, at least proximately to one another. My suggestion here is Ralph of Burgundy. Ralph was crowned in 923 at Soissons; a few months later, his wife Emma was crowned queen at Rheims. But, at the same time she was crowned queen, Ralph was made (temporarily) king of Lotharingia. This is at least a possibility for context; but the reason I think it may well be this time has to do with the nature of some of the new formulae.

In particular, several of them could be read as relating both to Ralph’s particular situation and to his initial royal diplomas. The reference in formula 22 to the faithless nations (infideles nationes) fits in with the early years of Ralph’s reign, which were taken up with battles against the (infidel) Vikings and (disloyal) Lotharingians. Equally, the reference to the king saving the oppressed Church ties in with his first surviving royal diploma, which pushes unusually hard the notion that Ralph’s duty is to protect the Church from its enemies. Possibly significant, both documents use the verb protegere, which is not necessarily super-rare, but is nonetheless very, very uncommon both in coronation liturgy and in royal diplomatic.

Leaving aside this Mickey Mousing of the text, which is fun but hardly definitive, the overall message I take from the Erdmann Ordo is that of intensification. There’s an increased emphasis on the royal role of correcting wrongdoers, the new blessing for handing-over the sword gives the ordo a more aggressive aspect than its predecessors. The whole is still couched in the language of ministerium, but the king’s function as an active governor is more strongly emphasised. This fits nicely in with the general intensification of claims for royal authority around 900.

Next Friday: The Ordo of Seven/Eleven Forms, AKA the Stavelot Ordo.

Reading the West Frankish Coronation Liturgy, pt. 2: The Coronation of King Odo (888)

1. Prayer to bless the king.

2. “O Lord God, Father Almighty, bless and protect this thy servant N., a subject of thy majesty, through thy only Son in the virtue of the Holy Spirit, that he might, secure against all adversity, constantly rejoice in thy praise. Through the same Lord.

3. The king’s consecration.

“O God, giver of all honours, O God, holiest granter of all dignities, attend our prayers and invocations and deign to send forth from Heaven upon this thy servant N. thy Holy Spirit, which thou hast this very day poured forth upon thy adopted son. May it illuminate, teach and govern him in ruling thy people and in carrying out thy will in all things. May he receive, we beseech thee O Lord, the unction of thy sanctification, with which, through the hand of thy holy prophet Samuel, by the oil of thy blessing, thou anointest the king and prophet David, from whose seed thereafter thou sendest thy son, our lord and God Jesus Christ, by an utterly wonderful dispensation, into the world, born in flesh from an undefiled virgin. May the same holy mother of God and undefiled virgin Mary attend upon him, we beseech thee, O most merciful Father; and may thy holy apostles and all thy elect protect this thy servant N. with the assiduous intercession of their prayers, and may they cherish him and make him vigorous and worthy to rule thy commons and people, which thou, O Lord, hath redeemed with the most precious blood of thy son Christ, who lives and is glorified and reigns with thee and with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

4. Ad complendum [prayer after communion].

“We beseech thee, O Lord… our actions…” (as above) [there is no above].

5. The bishops’ petition to the king.

“We ask you to grant and promise to us that you will conserve to each of us and the churches committed to us canonical privilege and due law and justice, and that you will provide defence against those who pillage and oppress our churches and the goods pertaining to them in accordance with your ministry, as much as God gives it to you to be able, and that you will thereby conserve for us canonical law, and that you will concede that the goods of our churches, bestowed both by kings and by other faithful men of God, which our churches justly and legally retain at the present time, should endure in wholeness and immunity without any diminution, and that you will endeavour to increase and exalt them in accordance with the due service of each, insofar as God rationally gives you knowledge and power and the times dictate, just as your ancestors, who well and rationally observed this, conserved them for our predecessors; and that you will, with divine clemency aiding you, restore that which was previously corrupted by wicked inclinations to their earlier and better state, with the counsel and aid of us and your other faithful.”

6. King Odo’s promise.

“I promise and grant to each of you and the churches committed to you, that I will conserve canonical privilege and due law and justice, and that I will provide defence against those who pillage and oppress your churches and the goods pertaining to them in accordance with my ministry [ministerium], as much as God gives me strength, and that I will thereby conserve for you canonical law, and that I will concede that the goods of your churches, bestowed both by kings and by other faithful men of God, which your churches justly and legally retain at the present time, should endure in wholeness and immunity without any diminution, and that I will endeavour to increase and exalt them in accordance with the due service of each, insofar as God rationally gives me knowledge and power and the times dictate, just as my ancestors, who well and rationally observed this, conserved them for your predecessors; in order that you might thus be my faithful assistants in counsel and in aid, in accordance with God and in accordance with the world, as your good ancestors were for my better predecessors in accordance with their knowledge and power; and that I will, with divine clemency aiding me, restore that which was previously corrupted by wicked inclinations to their earlier and better state, with the consolation and aid of you and Our other faithful.” The confirmation of King Odo.

coronation_of_king_odo
A much, much later depiction. (source)

(We’ve passed over Louis the Stammerer’s second coronation and a short promissio preserved from the time of his son Carloman II.)

This is a distinctly fruitful ordo, isn’t it? You’ll notice that first of all despite what I said last time about the influence of the 877 ordo on later coronations, that Odo’s ordo doesn’t have much in common with Louis the Stammerer’s coronation memo. The great historian of liturgy Schramm called this one one of the most interesting ordines in the whole West Frankish world, and he’s not wrong. It’s preserved (amongst other places) in a manuscript at Tours, and I wonder if we shouldn’t see a Touraine hand in its production? Odo had been abbot of Saint-Martin in Tours, his core base of support was in Neustria, and the initial blessing is from Alcuin’s Liber Sacramentorum. Usually initiative in coronation ceremonies is given to the archbishops of Rheims or the archbishops of Sens, but we know from elsewhere that Tours had an interest in composing royal texts, and this would seem to be one of them.

What is striking about it is just how traditional it is. Whoever did write this, they were concerned to convey the idea that this was business as usual. (One might note in passing the same kind of late-Carolingian claims for royal authority can be seen in the reference to David as king and prophet as there was in the 877 ordo.) This is most clear in the promissio, which you will note is altered from the form used by Louis the Stammerer (and which was repeated in 884 by Louis’ son Carloman II). In this case, it’s drawing on an oath sworn at Beauvais by Charles the Bald in 845. Schramm thought that this oath had become a ‘foundational document’ of the West Frankish Church; I think that instead the promissio’s author is trying to invoke continuity – note that the reference to ‘your father’ is removed, but instead we have ‘your ancestors’ and ‘our ancestors’, putting Odo’s accession into a long and interrupted line of royal authority. The other thing about the promissio is that it leans very heavily on the language of royal ministerium, both using that word and highlighting the king’s role in correcting the people. Odo’s ordo, in short, is a direct continuation of a late Carolingian tradition.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be writing about something which isn’t coronation liturgy; but this series will be back on Friday with the Erdmann ordo!

Reading the West Frankish Coronation Liturgy, pt. 1: Hincmar’s Ordo for Louis the Stammerer (877)

[n.b.: the numbering follows the edition. Headings 1-9 are the version found in the Annals of Saint-Bertin, which has been translated by Janet Nelson; the text translated here is a separate one found in a manuscript from Liège.]

10. The bishops’ petition
“We ask you to grant to us, that you will conserve for each of us and the churches committed to us (in accordance with the first chapter which your father Emperor Charles very recently announced at Quierzy would be conserved by him and by you, with the assent of his faithful and yours, and the legates of the apostolic see, as read by Gozlin) canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence, as a king ought rightly to provide in his realm to each bishop and the church committed to him.”
11. The king’s promise.
“I promise and grant to you, that I will conserve for each of you and the churches committed to you (in accordance with the first chapter which my father Emperor Charles very recently announced at Quierzy would be conserved by him and by me, with the assent of his faithful and Ours, and the legates of the apostolic see, as read by Gozlin) canonical privilege and due law and justice, and provide defence as far as I can, with the Lord’s help, as a king ought rightly to provide in his realm to each bishop and the church committed to him.”
12. The blessings made over King Louis.
13. “O God, Who takes care of the people by thy virtue and rules them with love, give to this man, thy servant N., the spirit of wisdom, with the guidance of instruction, so that he, wholeheartedly devoted to thee, might always remain worthy in guiding the realm; and so that during his reign the security of the church might be steered with thy defence, and Christian devotion might endure in tranquillity. Through the Lord.”
14. The infusion of sacred oil.
“O eternal God Almighty, creator and governor of Heaven and Earth, maker and manager of angels and men, king of kings and lord of lords, thou Who caused thy servant Abraham to triumph over his foes, gave many-fold victories unto Moses and Joshua, who were set above thy people; and elevated thy humble child David to the peak of the realm, and freed him from the mouth of the lion and the claw of the beast and Goliath, and from the wicked sword of Saul, and all his enemies, and enriched Solomon with the ineffable gift of wisdom and peace, hear our humble prayers we beseech thee, and adorn this man, your servant, with the virtues with which thou adornest thine aforesaid faithful and the blessing of many-fold honour, and place him sublimely in control of the realm, and anointed him with the oil of thy Holy Spirit’s grace, with which thou hast anointed priests, kings, prophets and martyrs, who conquered kingdoms through faith and did works of justice and received promises. Let its most holy unction flow upon his head, and descend within him, and enter into his innermost heart; let him be by thy grace made worthy by the promises which the victorious kings received, so that he might happily reign in the present age and reach their company in the Kingdom of Heaven. Through our lord Jesus Christ, thy son, who was anointed with the oil of joy before his fellows and vanquished the powers of the air with the virtue of the Cross, who destroyed Hell and overcame the Devil’s kingdom, and rose victorious to Heaven, in whose hand all victory, glory, and power consist, and who lives and reigns with thee, God in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”
15. The coronation.
“May the Lord crown thee with a crown of glory and justice, with honour and works of fortitude, that through the office of our blessing, with correct faith and the many-fold fruit of good works, you might reach a crown of the realm everlasting, by the largess of Him Whose realm and empire endures forever and ever, amen.”
16. The handing-over of the sceptre.
“Take this sceptre, sign of royal power, to wit, the rightful rod of the realm, the rod of the virtue with which thou mayest rule thee thyself and the holy Church; that is, defend with royal virtue the Christian people committed to thee by God from the unrighteous, correct the corrupt, direct the righteous that they might hold to the right path by thy aid, so that you might go from a worldly kingdom to the Kingdom Eternal, by aid of Him Whose realm and empire endures without end, forever and ever. Amen.”
17. Blessings.
“May the Lord God Almighty, who said to his servant Moses, ‘Speak unto thy brother Aaron, and say to his sons, “On this wise ye shall bless my people”, and I will bless them’, bless thee and keep thee. Amen.”
18. “May He shine His face upon thee, and have mercy upon thee. Amen.”
19. “May He turn His face to thee, and gave thee peace. Amen”
20. “May He reach out the hand of His blessing, and pour upon thee the gift of his propitiation, and envelop thee with the happy wall of His watchful protection, by the interceding merits of Saint Mary and all the saints. Amen.”
21. “May He forgive thee the evils which thou hast done, and bestow upon thee the grace and mercy for which thou hast humbly besought Him: and may He free thee from all adversity, and from all the plots of enemies visible and invisible. Amen.”
22. “May He multiply the abundance of His blessing upon thee, and confirm in thee the hope of a Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.”
23. “May He correct thy acts, amend thy life, arrange thy customs, and lead thee to an inheritance of heavenly Paradise. Amen.”
24. “May thou be filled with such intention as might please Him in perpetuity. Amen.”
25. “May He place His good angels always and everywhere to proceed, accompany, and follow thee, for thy protection; and may He liberate thee by His power from sin and sword, and from the crisis of all perils. Amen.”
26. “May He convert thine enemies to the benignity of peace and charity, and make those hateful to thee pleasing and friendly, and may He visit confusion upon those who persevere in hatred and criticism of thee; may an eternal sanctification flourish upon thee. Amen.”
27. “May the Lord always make thee victorious and triumphant over enemies visible and invisible, and fill up thy heart with fear and love of His holy name, and make thee to persevere in right faith and good works, and, having granted peace in thy days, lead thee to a kingdom everlasting with the crown of victory. Amen.”
28. “And may He who has wished to establish thee as king over the people bestow happiness in the present age and a consortship in eternal happiness. Amen.”
29. “May He cause thee to happily govern the clergy and people, whom He has wished by His generosity to place under thy rule, by His dispensation and thy administration through long-lasting time; for which reason, obeying divine commands, being free from all adversity, abounding in good works, serving thy ministry with faithful love, may they be fruitful in the tranquillity of peace in the present age, and merit to become with thee consorts of the heavenly citizens. Amen.”

sacre_louis2_france_02
A thirteenth-century depiction of Louis the Stammerer’s coronation (source)

As we’ll see later on, this ordo later became extremely influential. Some of it is based on the ordo Hincmar wrote in 869 for Louis the Stammerer’s father, Charles the Bald’s, inauguration as king of Lotharingia. (Jackson argues that at least some of these formulae came from a ceremony for Charles’ father Louis the Pious in 835, but I’m not sure what I think about that.) That said, one of the most influential parts of this ordo, the bishops’ petitio and the king’s promissio, were innovations in 877, and the reason for their presence is, I think, fairly particular to the time. Look, I like defending certain kings with a bad reputation as much as anyone, but Louis does seem to have spent his time up until 877 managing to convince most of his nobility – and certainly his father – than he was untrustworthy and incompetent. Hence, when Charles went to Italy for the second time just before his death in 877, he issued a capitulary at Quierzy intended to ensure that Louis would exercise as little real power as possible during his absence [edit: and Charles has kindly given a link to his English translation of this in the comments]. The specific clause being referenced in this promissio, which Hincmar actually gives in his annals, is a fairly generic one about the importance of protecting the Church. But that they reference this specific text suggests something more menacing. Louis’ accession had been opposed by a clique of the most powerful magnates in the kingdom, and the reference to Quierzy in the promissio, I think, indicates a veiled threat: ‘we don’t really trust you’. [Alternatively, it’s occurred to me, it could be the opposite. Hincmar wasn’t one of this opposition, and the clause in question is the Carolingian equivalent of Mom and apple pie; so I’d maybe be more likely to say that Hincmar was picking out the bit of Quierzy that everyone could rally around…]

In terms of a broader view of kingship, the formula for handing over the sceptre (no. 16) illustrates a very traditional view of royal ministerium, wherein the king must defend the Christian people and defend the erring. On the other hand, the most important part of the text for future coronations was the anointing formula at no. 14 (God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth…). Its importance will largely come out in comparison with the texts to follow, but here I just want to point out that the reference to the oil of the Holy Spirit anointing ‘priests, kings and prophets’ is taken from prayers to bless the oil. Putting it here, though, changes the meaning so as to put the roles of the three closer together, moving kings more in a priestly direction. This may well be seen as some of those increasingly-spectacular late-Carolingian claims for royal authority that we’ve talked about on this blog before…

Finally, as a note to contemporary relevance, it’s worth noting that no. 13 above (God who takes care of the people etc…) was used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Hincmar’s words live on! Tune in on Friday for the next ordo I’ll be discussing, that used for the coronation (one of the coronations) of King Odo in 888.