The ninth century saw not only the rise, but the gradual decline and fall, of the empire founded by Charlemagne, as well as a significant change in the relation between thrones and sees, between secular and ecclesiastical powers. It saw a new concept of papal authority in the mind of Nicholas the Great. It held within itself a passion for scholarship that was not sterile, but constructive.
Duckett recreates the struggles and passions of the age in the daily lives of its great men. The subjects of her seven Carolingian sketches are representative figures: Charlemagne; his son, the solitary and monastic-minded Louis the Pious; Einhard of Seligenstadt, biographer of Charlemagne; and four clerics: the heretical Amalar of Metz, Walafrid Strabo of Reichenau, the scholarly monk and poet Abott Lupus of Ferrieres, and the willful Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims.
Intimate glimpses into the struggles of the ninth-century world make Carolingian Portraits such an exciting text and essential reading for students of the medieval world.