This is a comprehensive study of the life and reign of Louis the Pious who, in the early ninth century, inherited the empire of Charlemagne. Posterity's almost unanimous view of Louis' personality and achievement is presented in damning brevity in the title of the final essay in the volume: "the great father's lesser son". But this picture of decline and disintegration has long needed revision. In this book, an international team of scholars draw upon the latest research to produce considered studies of the man and his reign. Their approach is interdisciplinary and international - the essays are in English, French and German - and they focus particularly on primary sources and their interpretation. The Carolingian period is one of increasing interest to scholars and this volume pesents the fruits of intensive and wide-ranging research. Themes treated include politics and the royal court, military expansion, the church, the law, literature, art and architecture. "Charlemagne's Heir" opens up many new perspectives on the reign of Louis the Pious.
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