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The Birth of Territory$
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Stuart Elden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226202563

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226041285.001.0001

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The Reassertion of Empire

The Reassertion of Empire

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter Four The Reassertion of Empire
Source:
The Birth of Territory
Author(s):

Stuart Elden

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226041285.003.0005

This chapter looks at the establishment of the Carolingian Empire. It begins with a discussion of the Donation of Constantine: which claimed to be a text from the fourth century, was forged in the late eighth century, and finally exposed as such in the fifteenth century by Nicholas of Cusa and Lorenzo Valla. The chapter then moves to a discussion of the crowning of Charlemagne, and the practices of political ritual and naming that accompanied it. A range of works are analysed to show what precisely was being established: a new Roman Empire, a political form of Christendom, or more simply a Frankish kingdom. The position of Europe, particularly in relation to the rise of Islam, is discussed. The chapter moves to a discussion of cartography from Rome to the Medieval period. Cartography is a key political practice that both represents and produces political space. Jerusalem is often centrally located on maps of this time, providing a context in which to understand the crusades undertaken to recapture it. The chapter ends with a discussion of feudalism, stressing the political-economic importance of property in land and practices that went alongside it.

Keywords:   Donation of Constantine, Lorenzo Valla, Charlemagne, Holy Roman Empire, cartography, feudalism

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