Charlemagne's Expansion Of Christianity

1075 Words 5 Pages
It is difficult to imagine the Barbarians and Christians had much in common when they rivaled each other so adamantly during the Medieval period, but resentment toward one another surely stimulated fierce conflicts that paralleled their violent tendencies. Those within the Carolingian Empire required biblical justifications for any controversial matter concerning Charlemagne’s desire to pursue the universal expansion of Christianity. Pagans proved to be exceptionally defiant toward converting to Christianity, which led the Franks to believe they rightfully needed to enforce a religious transformation across Europe by any means possible. The Saxons Wars and Vikings raids in Paris stressed the need for Franks to define violence as God’s tool …show more content…
In hope of increasing control over the Saxons, Charlemagne prescribed The Capitulary on the Saxon Territories, which offered a list detailing penalties for crimes committed. For example, anyone who “entered a church by violence” and stole from or burned it would be punished by death. The Even though Saxons could deal with perjury according to their cultural norms, the Franks enforced all other punishments, which consisted of various fines, capital punishment, and execution. Furthermore, the sins of Saxons and Christians could be limitedly comparable when considering the Capitulary’s interpretive tone; labeling someone as “unfaithful to the lord king” could have been problematic because it required one to define disloyalty. Thus, Frankish laws favored their political authority over pagans in order to justify slaughtering and plundering Saxon regions followed by encouraging religious conversion. In contrast, clerics claimed the Viking raids were a result of not living in accordance with God’s commands. However, Franks did not consider Viking’s as God’s tools of oppression until they successfully resisted Viking attacks. Although biblical texts recognized specific sins, the theory of persecution seemed to be directed toward the sinful nature of …show more content…
Einhard described Charlemagne as an extremely determined king, willing to do whatever was necessary to enforce the Saxons to truly convert to Christianity. Because he attacked Saxony under religious conviction, he validated the purpose for the war by claiming God’s support, which justified all affliction he brought upon pagans. But Charlemagne’s active approach contrasted with the conflict in Paris where the Franks became the victims. Here, nobles and clerics involvement in warfare emphasized how and why Christians modeled the ruler’s responsibility to protect the Church. Clergy remained steadfast in their burden to convert pagan Northmen to Christianity, and they were supposedly most effective by praying, fasting, and petitioning for deliverance from the Vikings. In doing this, priests could refrain from becoming involved in secular conflicts and still uphold their obligation to defend the Church. Yet Abbo glorified clerics who retaliated against the Vikings by fighting in addition to offering prayers that led to miraculous moments of displaying God’s mercy. It is apparent that men of God seemed to be going beyond their calling by fighting pagans. However, Christian religious leaders, nobles, and rulers were encouraged to defend the

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