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Nomen Auctoritatis: Communication Of Authority In Carolingian Titles

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Chapter Summary

Intitulature (intitulatio), the official titles of a ruler, was an important mode of communicating early medieval authority, and, hence, constituted another syntactic part of the symbolic language of authority. Early medieval titles also articulate royal authority distinctly as relationships binding the ruler, the subjects, and God. Expressions like rex Francorum (king of the Franks) or rex Langobardorum (king of the Lombards) pertain not only to a ruler, but also to his subjects. Carolingian charters, letters, and coins naming the Carolingians demonstrate discrepancy between titles used at the royal chancery. Subjects living in diverse regions of the Carolingian realm also used different titles to address their rulers. The intitulatio preceded the inscription (inscriptio), appellation of the addressee, in the letters sent to subjects. The diplomatic formulas of intitulature provided a constant dialogue on the name of Carolingian authority.

Keywords: Carolingian authority; Carolingian intitulature; Carolingian titles; communication; rex Francorum; symbolic language

10.1163/ej.9789004166691.i-394.19
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