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Conclusion: The Transformation Of The Symbolic Language Of Carolingian Authority

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Chapter Summary

A broad range of sources including liturgical manuscripts, diplomas, letters, miniatures, seals, and coins have demonstrated that the indirect communication of Carolingian authority between 751 and 877 was visibly affected by the ?horizons of expectations? of diverse social and regional audiences. This concluding chapter summarizes the evidence provided by non-narrative sources?with focus on those political traditions and corresponding semiotic codes that are most important for understanding both a Carolingian polity and the gradual transformation of the symbolic language of authority?but also contrasts it with relevant Carolingian written discourse and modern debates on Carolingian politics. The Frankish tradition may be seen in the symbolic language of authority throughout the analyzed period, but its influence was especially strong in the second half of the eighth century. The code ?rex Francorum? that communicated this tradition of royal authority as connected to the Frankish gens can be traced back to the Merovingian period.

Keywords: Carolingian authority; Merovingian period; non-narrative sources; rex Francorum; symbolic language



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