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Miles Thorne History 50 Capitulary on Saxony and Letter to Pope Leo III This text consists of two sources,

both of which were composed in Charlemagnes name by his counselors and secretaries (356). The two sources illustrate the ideals of Charless court and the realities that faced it (356). The first document, the Capitulary on Saxony, was designed to establish regulations regarding the Saxons and the Christian Church for Saxony which Charlemagne was trying to establish. The second document, Letter to Pope Leo III, is a treaty document sent from Charlemagne to Pope Leo III upon his accession to the papal throne. The civilization from which both documents originate is that of the Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantine. The genre of the Capitulary on Saxony is very clearly law. From 772 to 804 Charless armies waged a series of campaigns of conquest against the Saxons By 804, all resistance had collapsed. Saxony was incorporated into the Carolingian Empire, and the Saxons were at least nominally Christians (356). The Capitulary on Saxony served to directly instruct the Saxons on rules which they must follow as Christians. These rules come across in a blunt, direct fashion, designed to be simple and clear: If any one shall have sacrificed a man to the devil let him be punished by death (357). The author, Charlemagne, is clearly a ruler issuing an edict which anyone, including pagan Germanic people, would understand. Furthermore, the churches of Christ [shall] have greater and more illustrious honor than the shrines of the idols (357). Charlemagne wants to convert the Saxons, and wishes them to follow Christianity so he might establish a sense of order and unity throughout his empire (355). The rules very clearly show details about the culture and the issues present during this time period. For instance, rules governing murder, theft, baptism, pagan worship, and burial are all present and punishable by death. The Capitulary on Saxony also places religious persons in high regard. This source is formally written, and covers almost all areas of Saxon life once converted to Christianity. The second source, Letter to Pope Leo III, is a far different document. Instead of lawful edict, this is a formal letter sent from one powerful man to another. Written by Charlemagne, his purpose is made clear at the beginning of the letter. Just as I entered into an agreement with the most holy father, your predecessor, so also I desire to make with you an inviolable treat of mutual fidelity and love (358). The language of this letter is formal and flattering, contrary to the Capitulary on Saxony. The letters purpose is clear: Charlemagne offers to defend the Roman Church and enforce the acceptance of Catholic faith in exchange for the Popes blessing and support. The Letter to Pope Leo III shows how important Christianity was to Charlemagne, as well as the Popes support. Work Cited: The Capitulary on Saxony and a Letter to Pope Leo III. The Human Record. 5th ed. 2005. Print.