Charlemagne: Great Capitulary


Part administrative decree, part constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, and part sermon, the Capitulary of Charlemagne, issued in 802, was one of numerous such documents promulgated by the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties in the medieval Frankish, or French, Empire. The documents were termed capitularies because they were divided into sections called capitula, a Latin word meaning “headings” or “chapters.” Although several kings wrote and published capitularies, these documents are most closely associated with Pépin III's son Charlemagne (“Charles the Great,” or “Carolus...

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Charlemagne (center) with King Arthur and Godfrey of Bouillon (Yale University Art Gallery)

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