Chapter Three examines the Carolingian period, during which Charlemagne and his heirs presented themselves as the keepers of the peace in Francia in order to legitimize their family's deposition of the Merovingian dynasty. By the ninth century, "peace had become Charlemagne's legacy to his descendants, part of the burden of Frankish rulership and part of the Carolingians' myth of themselves" (p.
Her goal therein is to challenge the observations of Suzanne Fonay Wemple (Women in Frankish Society: Marriage and the Cloister, 500 to 900 [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981]) and others that the status of Carolingian women slipped considerably from the milestones achieved by aristocratic women during the reign of the Merovingian dynasty (4).
The ruler of the Franks was an obvious choice as papal protector, especially since sacral kingship in Christian form had been a Frankish motif since 749-50 when Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short (d.768), had deposed the Merovingian dynasty. Charlemagne therefore was not quite as indifferent to monarchical claims of supernatural power as Munz considers him to have been.