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Empire And Education

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the antecedents of that trial to a radical re-orientation of jurisprudence that occurred during Charlemagne?s reign, when court and episcopate allied to promote education in a new framework for penitential analysis and prescribed it in law as a device for interrogation of the laity. Temporarily substituting religious discipline for an effective system of secular law, court and clergy harnessed and directed popular piety toward practices that could help to secure peace, order, obedience to imperial and clerical authority, and trust in the moral quality of both the governors and the governed. The chapter focuses on the application of that penitential framework, expressed in the scheme of the virtues and vices, and on the rationales for the exercise of penitential authority newly articulated in imperial circles.

Keywords: Charlemagne?s reign; clerical authority; penitential framework; religious discipline



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