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Introduction: The Symbolic Language Of Carolingian Authority

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book highlights historiographic developments on the subject in the last decades and, more importantly, explains the position of the book vis-à-vis the approaches to early medieval politics that are most influential in English-language historiography. It addresses a basic question about the methodological principles that form the basis for the current debate about the nature of early medieval, and Carolingian in particular, politics. The chapter suggests that changes in the symbolic language of Carolingian authority affected its carriers variously because of the different nature of these media and the diversity of their audiences. The concrete forms in which the three major sets of political assumptions and presuppositions were expressed within Carolingian political culture greatly depended on a particular mode of the symbolic language of authority and the situated use of various symbolic ?texts.?.

Keywords: Carolingian authority; early medieval politics; English-language historiography; symbolic language



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