The last empress. Saint Richgard and the end of the Carolingian dynasty
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CitationKirakosian, Racha. The last empress. Saint Richgard and the end of the Carolingian dynasty. Women's History Review (16 March 2020). doi: 10.1080/09612025.2020.1738038
AbstractThe end of the Carolingian dynasty is often portrayed as the result of the weak reign of Emperor Charles III. His former wife Richgard, with whom he had not produced an heir, became a nun after their divorce. These events did not pass without much controversy: legends tell that the Carolingian empress was forced to prove her virginity by trial by fire after being accused of adultery. Shedding light on early and high medieval sources dealing with Richgard’s alleged trial by fire, such as the twelfth-century Kaiserchronik, this paper shows how in the representation of the divorce Richgard was bestowed with agency. Empire politics, pressure to produce offspring, and the image of a pious female ruler lead us to review the end of the Carolingian dynasty from the perspective of its last empress, who up to the nineteenth century was much venerated in Strasbourg and the area around the cathedral city.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42660045
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