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CAROLINI 87

biting north wind blows through the pages of these Libri Carolini, Charlemagne demanded that the Pope repudiate a Council which, not having consulted him who by the grace of God was King of the Franks, ruler over Gaul, Germany, Italy and the neighbouring prov- inces, and to whom there had been entrusted the guidance of the Church through the stormy seas of this world, had thus gone utterly astray. There could be no doubt (the Libri said) , that the Franks were in agreement with the true teaching of the Roman Church, whose primacy they had always recognized; but the Greeks had deviated from the truth. The situation was ominously grave. Pope Hadrian, resorting to a moderate position, defended the Council against Charle- magne's attack and warded off his interference in the teaching office of the Church. But he himself weakened the force of his argument by making the quite improper suggestion that if the King so willed, he would nevertheless declare the Emperor a heretic if he refused to restore certain possessions of the Church. Charlemagne thus obtained the last word in this struggle, and he used it as a telling trump card against the Pope. Insisting upon his authority to guide the Church aright, he summoned a General Council of the West to Frankfort in 794. This repudiated what had been done at Nice and opposed to the decisions of the Greeks concerning which, of course, he was grievously in error new decisions by the Prankish Church.

Hadrian died during the following year. The coins which he had struck after Charlemagne's second visit to Rome in 781 as well as the new practice adopted by the Papal chancellery of reckoning years from the beginning of Charlemagne's reign, proved to the East that it had lost the battle of the images, the last test of strength between the Em- peror and the Church, and that the Prankish kingdom was now quite as powerful as the Byzantine realm. Soon the new Pope Leo III found out how wisely his predecessors had acted when they avoided a breach with the Franks. He sent the king a copy of the electoral returns together with a vow of loyalty, added the keys to the grave of Peter and the banner of Rome, and requested in return that Charle- magne send ambassadors to receive proofs of Rome's goodwill. Char- lemagne acceded and sent Leo gifts consisting of parts of the booty taken in the wars against the Avars. The Pope caused a new mosaic to be placed in the rectory of the Lateran Palace, portraying his con-


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