By Isak M. C. Sexson
Distinguished Senior Thesis, Pacific University, 2009
Introduction: The Carolingians laid the foundation for their successful coup in 751 very carefully, using not only political and religious alliances, but also the written word to ensure a usurpation of Merovingian power. Up until, and even decades after Pippin III’s coup, the Carolingians used a written form of propaganda to solidify their claims to the throne and reinforce their already existent power base. One of the most successful, powerful and prominent features of the Carolingians’ propaganda campaign was their use of God and divine support. By divine support, I mean the Carolingians stressed their rightful place as rulers of Christiandom and were portrayed as both being aided in their actions by God and being virtuous and pious rulers. This strategy of claiming to fulfill Augustine’s vision of a “city of God” politically would eventually force the Carolingians into a tight corner during the troubled times of Louis the Pious.