Leadership through Self-Governance – The Carolingian Sovereign and the Rules of Bodily Comportment

The Carolingian Mirrors of Princes preach an essentially Christian ideal of rulership. They demand of a sovereign justice, piety and restraint. Only if a sovereign governed himself and his house he could govern his realm. These ideals were in sharp contrast to the traditional warrior-like and hedonistic lifestyle of the nobility whose passion for hunting sparked criticism, as did their multiple concubines and wives in the face of the Church's attempts to circumscribe all sexual activity, even in the fulfillment of one of a ruler's main obligations: to produce a male heir.

This paper will outline the contradictory rules for a sovereign-like bodily comportment in Carolingian times as well as the ideas and ideals behind them.

Raum: Raum B 5.12