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[History] > 9th Century - Tet - Coronation of Charlemagne

Spoke 9

1 Samuel, Obadiah, 2 Thessalonians

And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

Spoke 9, Cycle 1
I Samuel 16.12f

Coronation and Anointing of Charlemagne

Charlemagne began his reign as King of the Franks in 768. On Christmas Day of the year 800 he was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire by Pope Leo III This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window. Some historians see him as the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire while others reserve that designation for Otto the Great who was crowned in the Tenth Century. Here is a description of his coronation This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window from Seton Hall College that draws on various historical sources. The one quoted below is from Liber Pontificalis This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window (The Book of the Popes):

On the day of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ all [who had been present at the council] came together again in the same basilica of blessed Peter the apostle. And then the venerable and holy pontiff, with his own hands, crowned [Charles] with a most precious crown. Then all the faithful Romans, seeing how he loved the holy Roman church and its vicar and how he defended them, cried out with one voice by the will of God and of St. Peter, the key-bearer of the kingdom of heaven, "To Charles, most pious Augustus, crowned by God, great and peace-loving emperor, life and victory." (Salus et victoria) This was said three times before the sacred tomb of blessed Peter the apostle, with the invocation of many saints, and he was instituted by all as emperor of the Romans. Thereupon, on that same day of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most holy bishop and pontiff anointed his most excellent son Charles as king with holy oil.

The classic college textbook Civilization Past and Present This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window (pg. 313, Vol. I, Fourth Ed.) declares that this event is "most important single event in the momentous reign of Charlemagne." It is strongly integrated with the great Spoke 9 theme of the establishment of God's Kingdom which we see in various Inner Cycles as well, such as Psalm 9 and Isaiah 9. More details can be found in Mosaic's This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window excellent series of articles called Charlemagne and the Franks This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window.

Concerning the reign of Chalemagne, here is an account given by Notker the Stammerer This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window, one of his biographers:

He who ordains the fate of kingdoms, and the march of the centuries, the all-powerful Disposer of events, having destroyed one extraordinary image, that of the Romans . . . then raised up, among the Franks, the golden head of a second image, equally remarkable, in the person of the illustrious Charlemagne.

I find it intriguing, in light of the revelation of the relation between History and the structure of Scripture, that there was a recognition of the Work of God in the "march of the centuries" during the course of the same.

There is some ambuiguity as to whether or not Charlemagne's coronation should be classified under the Eighth or Ninth Century, since it occurred in the year 800. This touches the interminable and not very edifying argument about whether or not a century begins in the year "00" or "01." I settled on the Ninth Century for a for a few reasons. First of all, the fact that the coronation happened one week before the year 801 means that no matter how we cut it, the event happened at or very near the dawn of the Ninth Century. Also, from the sense of history being like a wave moving forward, the impact of an event that happened in one century may not be felt until the next. The resulting integration with the annointing of David in I Samuel then settled it for me.

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