Divorce of Lothar II [Hardback]

K. Heidecker (Author)

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ISBN: 9780801439292 | Published by: Cornell University Press | Year of Publication: 2010 | Language: English 240p,




Divorce of Lothar II

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The Divorce of Lothar II illuminates the origin and development of Western notions of marriage and divorce and the separation of church and state in the context of a notorious royal divorce in late Carolingian Europe. In 857, Lothar II, king of Lotharingia, decided to divorce Theutberga—either because she had allegedly engaged in an incestuous liaison with her brother or simply because Lothar had wished to marry his concubine Waldrada. Karl Heidecker's dramatic and engaging narrative untangles the chaos that resulted: two popes, a host of often quarreling bishops, and Lothar's conniving uncles soon became involved in an epic struggle that did not end even with the death of Lothar. The extraordinary series of events sheds light on the fact that the laws on marriage and divorce were still uncertain. The Church itself was hardly unified in its approach, and its efforts to formulate and impose rules repeatedly foundered against the political machinations characteristic of the Carolingian world. In The Divorce of Lothar II, Heidecker not only discusses the legal aspects of the case but also pays much attention to the often heavy-handed ways in which the players of the story achieved their goals.

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