Mutated meme

My entire pretensions to be internet-savvy took a bash when I got a comment that I had been meme-tagged and I had to investigate what that meant. Even more fuddy-duddy is that I can’t help vaguely feeling that this is somehow a variant of either chain letters or pyramid selling. But anyhow, now I understand what’s going on, I will start trying to cheat, or rather, mutate the meme.

The rules as I was given them were:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.

My variant is that rather than say 7 random/weird things about yourself, say them about a historical figure of your choice. (Let’s be generous, semi-historical, for all those interested in more or less mythical figures).

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here we go on Charlemagne (of course):

1) Scholars can’t agree on the year of his birth (although April 2nd is often accepted as the day). The conventional view until the 1970s was 742, but in 1973 Karl Werner argued it was 747, and in 1992, Matthias Becher argued for 748. (As an aside, the first essay I ever wrote about Charlemagne discussed the arguments about the date).

2) Charlemagne really hated drunkenness. As well as capitularies of his condemning it, Einhard specifically mentions that: ‘he hated to see drunkenness in any man, and even more so in himself and his friends.’ Is this purely conventional praise? It’s unlikely to be so, given that neither of Louis the Pious’ biographers say the same thing about him.

3) We probably have written down some of Charlemagne’s own comments about one book he had read to him: the Libri Carolini. Ann Freeman’s introduction to her edition (under Leges, Concilia, 2 supplement 1) p. 48-50 discusses the notes on one manuscript.

4) When Charlemagne’s tomb was opened by Otto III in 1000, the Chronicon Novaliciense claimed that his nails had grown through the gloves he was buried in.

5) Charlemagne made such a lasting impact on the Slavs that several Slavic languages use Kral/Krol as their word for king (derived from Karolus).

6) Charlemagne was canonised (the first step to sainthood) in 1165, at the order of Frederick Barbarossa. If he had ever been fully beatified, he would not have been the first Carolingian saint with illegitimate children: there was already Angilbert.

7) Charlemagne became so famous later in the Middle Ages that there is an Icelandic Saga about him: Karlamagnus Saga.

I tag (with either variant of the meme or a completely mutated one):

Jonathan Jarrett, Modern Medieval team, Another Damned Medievalist, ArtemisToxia.


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