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An Old French TrilogyTexts from the William of Orange Cycle$
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Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066462

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066462.001.0001

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The Coronation of Louis

The Coronation of Louis

(p.22) 1 The Coronation of Louis
An Old French Trilogy
Catherine M. Jones, William W. Kibler, Logan E. Whalen
University Press of Florida

Considerably advanced in years, Charlemagne bestows the crown upon his fifteen-year-old son Louis in order to ensure proper succession. William, son of Aymeri of Narbonne, faithfully protects the weak and vulnerable King Louis from a would-be usurper. Shortly thereafter, William sets off on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he is called upon by the pope to repel a Saracen attack. In a fierce judicial combat, the powerful giant Corsolt slices off a piece of William’s nose, but “short-nosed William” is ultimately victorious. He goes on to protect King Louis from a series of rebellious barons. The poem addresses vital questions of hereditary monarchy and feudal succession. When William eliminates the powerful barons who attempt to disrupt peaceful succession, it becomes evident that political stability is guaranteed by the dynastic institution itself, and not the individual occupying the throne. William embodies the ideal of vassalic service, ensuring the preservation of royal authority and the royal domain even for a severely flawed sovereign.

Keywords:   Charlemagne, Aymeri of Narbonne, Judicial combat, King Louis

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