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“Politics and Texts in Late Carolingian Europe, c. 870–1000”
Location: University of St Andrews, Monday 8th – Tuesday 9th July 2013.

The Ottonian kingship has long been considered as a coherent and monolithic ideological vision, a direct expression of the will of Otto I and a reflection of his political hegemony over the Teutonic kingdom and the post-Carolingian world. This idea is present above all in the German historiography – we only need to think of the classic studies by Percy Ernst Schramm, but also more recent works by Franz-Reiner Erkens – in which Otto I is the absolute protagonist of a process of sacralization of the king by means of the staging of his own personal power on ritual and liturgical occasions, the most striking examples being the coronation as king in 936 in Aachen and as emperor in 962 in Rome.

In the last thirty years Hagen Keller and Gerd Althoff have radically renewed our knowledge of the workings of Ottonian Kingdom and the exercise of power by the Ottonian dynasty: they have shown us that the king’s search for approval and the continual renegotiation of personal bonds between the king and the high aristocracy constituted the fundamental characteristics of the king’s authority during the Xth century. More recently, Wolfgang Huschner demolished the eighteenth century construction of the royal chancellery as a centralised and hierarchical structure in which numerous functionaries worked busily in order to translate the king’s will into charters and substituted it with the image of a lightweight chancellery, in which a few high court dignitaries drew up only a few charters while all the others were written by the recipients of the documents and then authenticated by the King’s chancellor.

Read this paper on Academia.net