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Introduction: A Roman Institution In A Post-Roman World

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the book, which examines the history of Frankish councils from the reign of King Clovis I to the ascension of Charlemagne to the throne in AD 768, a period marked by fundamental institutional continuity. The political transformations of Late Antiquity undeniably affected Frankish conciliar life. However, the heavy emphasis placed by the episcopate upon tradition, combined with the desire of the Frankish monarchs to imitate their imperial predecessors, encouraged the endurance of traditional practices. Institutional and legislative innovations did take place between the reigns of Clovis and Charlemagne, but to focus only on them would obscure the larger picture: most of the major transformations in synodal life in Frankish Gaul were not abrupt developments, but rather lengthy processes that grew directly out of a common Roman heritage.

Keywords: Charlemagne; Clovis; Frankish councils; post-Roman world; Roman Institution



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