Studies in representations and perceptions of the Carolingians in Italy 774-875
This thesis describes aspects of the representation and perception of the Carolingians in
Italy between 774 and 875. This relates to the impact of Carolingian ideology in Italy. The
thesis is composed of a series of parallel source studies. Most of the material considered
was produced away from the Carolingian court and thus reveals the reaction of those in
the provinces. Even when, as with capitularies, the material discussed originated at the
court, the selection of which pieces to preserve is nevertheless sometimes indicative of the
priorities of those involved. The thesis is composed of six chapters and a short coda.
Chapter one is an introduction which deals with the histonography of the subject, outlines
the aims of this study and delineates the difficulties associated with it. Chapters two and
three deal with narrative sources written, respectively, within the regnum Iialiae and those
written outside it in southern Italy. These two chapters consider the descriptions of the
Carolingians contained in these texts in the light of the literary approaches of these works.
Chapter four analyses other literary productions linked with or referring to the
Carolingians in Italy, mostly poems. Chapter five discusses the numismatic evidence about
Carolingian government in Italy and the coinage's capacity to carry ideological messages.
Chapter six considers the evidence of Carolingian capitularies in Italy, the promulgation of
these texts and their use in the peninsula. Particular attention is devoted to the
methodological problems involved with using each of these types of source. Thus a partial
image is developed of the ideological profile of Carolingian rule in Italy and of the reaction
to it. The coda, chapter seven, describes the place of this work in the historiography and
suggests further approaches.