Portrait of Charlemagne, whom the Song of Roland names the King with the Grizzly Beard.--Fac-simile of an Engraving of the End of the Sixteenth Century.
Charlemagne was the first who recognised that social union, so admirable an example of which was furnished by Roman organization, and who was able, with the very elements of confusion and disorder to which he succeeded, to unite, direct, and consolidate diverging and opposite forces, to establish and regulate public administrations, to found and build towns, and to form and reconstruct almost a new world. We hear of him assigning to each his place, creating for all a common interest, making of a crowd of small and scattered peoples a great and powerful nation; in a word, rekindling the beacon of ancient civilisation. When he died, after a most active and glorious reign of forty-five years, he left an immense empire in the most perfect state of peace
The engraving represents a Saxon chieftain, attended by his huntsman and a couple of hounds, pursuing the wild swine in a forest, taken from a manuscriptal painting of the ninth century in the Cotton Library.
This engraving represents a Saxon nobleman and his falconer, with their hawks, upon the bank of a river, waiting for the rising of the game. The delineation is from a Saxon manuscript written at the close of the ninth century, or at the commencement of the tenth; in the Cotton Library.
Here, we find a young man dancing singly to the music of two flutes and a lyre; and the action attempted to be expressed by the artist is rather that of ease and elegancy of motion, than of leaping, or contorting of the body in a violent manner.
A German fiddle of the ninth century, called lyra, copied by Gerbert from the manuscript of St. Blasius, has only one string.
In the illustration from the manuscript of the monastery of St. Blasius twelve strings and two sound holes are given to it. A harp similar in form and size, but without the front pillar, was known to the ancient Egyptians.
From Joh. Wolfii Lect. Memorab. (Lavingæ, 1600.)
It will be seen by the curious woodcut from Baptista Mantuanus, that he consigned Pope Joan to the jaws of hell, notwithstanding her choice. The verses accompanying this picture are:—
“Hic pendebat adhuc sexum mentita virile
Fœmina, cui triplici Phrygiam diademate mitram
Extollebat apex: et pontificalis adulter.”
It need hardly be stated that the whole story of Pope Joan is fabulous, and rests on not the slightest historical foundation. It was probably a Greek invention to throw discredit on the papal hierarchy, first circulated more than two hundred years after the date of the supposed Pope. Even Martin Polonus (A. D. 1282), who is the first to give the details, does so merely on popular report.
Europe at the Death of Charlemagne
England, 878 A.D
Costume of a Bishop or Abbot.
Costume of the Prelates from the Eighth to the Tenth Centuries--After Miniatures in the "Missal of St. Gregory," in the National Library of Paris.
Costumes of the Ladies of the Nobility in the Ninth Century, from a Miniature in the Bible of Charles the Bold (National Library of Paris).