Monday, September 7, 2009

Carolus Redivivus: He's Baaaack...

I have just now been informed (by Jeff Sypeck) that Charlemagne may be coming back. Like, soon. This is a subject of which I'm somewhat familiar, having written a blog post on this subject comparing Charles & Tony Soprano, edited a book about the legend of Charlemagne, and now completing a different book on said subject. So, I feel compelled to comment...

First of all, I do not encourage regular reading of The Philadelphia Trumpet or, at least, I don't suggest getting your history from it.

Right. So, the article in question leaps -- and I mean leaps -- from a comment made by Bernard Connolly that the Euro struggles between German and French bureaucrats, each working "under the banner of Charlemagne." From there, well, I don't really follow it honestly. Something about the money being controlled by Germany and then them taking over the EU and reducing the number of countries involved to 10. I don't know how this will happen. The author doesn't say, but he does use another quotation that has the word "Charlemagne" in it.

Now, the history lesson begins, taking us down to today:
  • "Historians call [Charlemagne's] rule the First Reich—even though Charlemagne was the second ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Adolf Hitler’s rule became known as the Third Reich." (Wait, so which was the "First Reich?" Maybe Constantine? Dunno. Not explained.)
  • Charlemagne's coronation in Rome in 800 CE was important because it resurrected the Roman Empire in the West, thought by many biblical commentators to be the 4th world empire spoken of in the Book of Daniel. (actually, true. Adso of Montier-en-Der re-popularized this interpretation in the 10th c. and it was a powerful apocalyptic trope throughout the medieval [and later] worlds).
  • This last world empire would, "according to biblical prophecy," have 10 resurrections and the last 7 of them would be called "Holy Roman Empires." (not actually in the Bible)
  • Charlemagne was very violent and forced the Saxons to convert. (yes he was and yes he did)
  • Germany today is still working to continue the legacy of Charlemagne. (uhh...)
  • Then, there's some stuff about Hitler. He either ruled the 3rd or 6th Reich. The author can't decide. Hitler did, however, like the example of Charlemagne.
  • Maggie Thatcher knew the truth! So did FDR & Churchill who wanted to stop the legacy of Charlemagne from pervading Germany again! (Except, none of them ever talked about Charlemagne. Oh, well...)
  • This all means that the Bible talked about Charlemagne!
QED. Take that, logic!


Janice said...

Logic, shmogic! I love that Charlemagne can be all things to all people. I'm confused about Charlemagne being called the second ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Are they suggesting Pippin? Or Constantine, as you say? If so, what about all those many intervening reich-masters? And how Reich-ish was Pippin's rule, anyway?

Liam said...

"Germany is about to start World War iii — according to your Bible."

No, Gerald, not according to mine.

Linda C. McCabe said...

Your bullet points are scary enough in regard to the author's barest acquaintance with history and logic. I don't think I have the stamina right now to read the original source material. The cover was amusing though.

Thanks for the summation.