What Are You Reading? Part Deux

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Edward John

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2019
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Yes, his career was quite an achievement. But he was never head of the church. The pope was the head. He got the title of emperor and all the glory and honor that went with it, an important political tool, in exchange for spreading the word and defending the church borders.A very nice deal for him but at the time Rome really needed a strong warriors arm. Just like Alexander he was an excellent commander and just like Alexander he didn't have much of a longterm plan for the succession. Just like Alexanders Generals split up his empire in several parts and started to quarrel and fight eachother so did Charlemagnes sons split up his territory and start to fight eachother. If not then we might not have had the division between Germany and France that resulted. The title of emperor could not be divided so it went to the son that ruled what would in the course of time be germany and was soon called the Holy Roman Empire. That many emperors there saw themselfes as head of the church with the right to decide over the pope was a view that no pope ever shared, at least while the seat was in Rome. The Avignon Popes was another matter, they were seated on french soil,were of french origin and followed the hints of the french Kings. Charlemagne was a flash in history, a bright one, but since he didn't plan for the future much of his influence is not as great as it could have been. He made the same mistake other kings has done before him in splitting his kingdom in eqaul parts among his sons in the vain hope that they could coexist without quarrel. He was wrong.
An example of a person that was both head of state and, if not head at least influenced it very much was Constantin the Great, Emperor between 305-337. He united a divided Roman empire, Took christianity from one of many religions to be the religion of an Empire, founded Constantinople and forced the divided Christian bishops to agree on what Christianity was at the Church Council of Niceae 325 which he attended and was chairman of. His utopia of an united Christianity didn't realize neither then or now and is even more divided now but he was probably right in arguing that an empire needed a firm religious ground to build on.
You're right, the reason why I said that Charlemagne was the head of the church is because he was made the de-facto ruler of Italy, a nation which he had conquered but had many problems with over his tenure, through being crowned by Leo III. As a sort of continued line of Roman Emperors, but this was actually very smart on the part of Leo, because by crowning Charlemagne he effectively ensured that the papacy would have the right to crown whoever they choose as Emperor, in actuality giving them an advantage over Charlemagne. This ensured the union between Church and Emperor. But you're right. History tells us that in monarchy you must have a successor, and history is full of great leaders who like you said did not plan for the future. In terms of politics and the change of culture Constantine the Great is definitely up there, something I will do more research on. Charlemagne is more remembered, I believe, for his military achievements. He was not a politician. Great rulers need to be warriors and politicians. History is great though.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,204
61,654
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sweden
You're right, the reason why I said that Charlemagne was the head of the church is because he was made the de-facto ruler of Italy, a nation which he had conquered but had many problems with over his tenure, through being crowned by Leo III. As a sort of continued line of Roman Emperors, but this was actually very smart on the part of Leo, because by crowning Charlemagne he effectively ensured that the papacy would have the right to crown whoever they choose as Emperor, in actuality giving them an advantage over Charlemagne. This ensured the union between Church and Emperor. But you're right. History tells us that in monarchy you must have a successor, and history is full of great leaders who like you said did not plan for the future. In terms of politics and the change of culture Constantine the Great is definitely up there, something I will do more research on. Charlemagne is more remembered, I believe, for his military achievements. He was not a politician. Great rulers need to be warriors and politicians. History is great though.
One of the reasons Leo chose to do so was because of the Byzantine empire. They did not agree that The bishop of Rome, The Pope, was head of Church. According to them the Patriarch of Constantinople had at least equal rank in the church. Also the empire of Constantinople was immensely more powerful than Italy. Leo need some powerful backing too and choose charlemagne since he was the most powerful. When Leo gave Charlemagne the Title of Emperor he at the same time insulted the byzantine Empire since they considered themselfes Romans with good reason (after all it had been capitol of the roman empire until it was split in two definitively in 395) and they found it insulting that the pope made a barbaric germanic king Emperor. (The byzantine empire empire had exactly the same regard for foreigners as the earlier roman empire, only romans were civilized) It was the beginning of the schism that would in 1054 lead to the definite split between roman catholics and eastern orthodox. Until then they had had different opinions but nothing too serious and were of the same church. Leos decision strengthened the Papacy but also splintered the church in two separate parts. I doubt if that was Leos intention.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,204
61,654
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sweden
33775
Have you started to read Tana French yet? If not, you should. Her earlier books In The Woods, The Likeness and The Secret Place are all small masterpieces in the psychological mystery/thriller genre. She also writes beautiful prose which makes her books transcend the genre boundaries and become novels in their own right, Her characters are so wellcrafted, believable and interesting. Her other books, Faithful Place, Broken Harbour and The Trespasser are not in the masterpiece cathegory but very good. One author she sometimes reminds me of is Donna Tartt and her big masterpiece The Secret History. I always look forward to a new Tana French. She is, IMO, the leading crime author in the UK today. (She is actually from Ireland but still. The King himself has said nice things about this one; "Terrific, terrifying, amazing and its prose are incandescent". I'm actually not sure what incandescent means but it sounds good! Gonna start it this evening.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
45,238
186,796
75
Just north of Duma Key
View attachment 33775
Have you started to read Tana French yet? If not, you should. Her earlier books In The Woods, The Likeness and The Secret Place are all small masterpieces in the psychological mystery/thriller genre. She also writes beautiful prose which makes her books transcend the genre boundaries and become novels in their own right, Her characters are so wellcrafted, believable and interesting. Her other books, Faithful Place, Broken Harbour and The Trespasser are not in the masterpiece cathegory but very good. One author she sometimes reminds me of is Donna Tartt and her big masterpiece The Secret History. I always look forward to a new Tana French. She is, IMO, the leading crime author in the UK today. (She is actually from Ireland but still. The King himself has said nice things about this one; "Terrific, terrifying, amazing and its prose are incandescent". I'm actually not sure what incandescent means but it sounds good! Gonna start it this evening.
Always enjoy a Tana French book. Have you read The Goldfinch by Tartt?
 

Hill lover35

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2017
3,580
19,115
38
Alberta canada
Hey just a question with tabby's nod's ridge books, I am thinking of reading Pearl after IT, but am not Shure if it has a definite end or does she leave it open in the book of Ruben? I don't want to read pearl and then be left wondering what comes next as I don't have the book of Rueben, and am not going to order it on-line as I am still holding out hope to find it in the "wild" I am thinking of reading survivor if she leaves "pearl" open. Just wondering. and I have read One-on-One which was amazing and she was way ahead of her time. I think...
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
45,238
186,796
75
Just north of Duma Key
Yes i have. She is really good but publish a book so seldom. As far as i know there is only three, The Secret History, The Little Friend and The Goldfinch. Has she written anything else?
Found this:
Short stories
  • "Tam-O'-Shanter", The New Yorker, April 19, 1993, pp. 90–91[17]
  • "A Christmas Pageant", Harper’s 287.1723, December 1993, pp. 45–51
  • "A Garter Snake", GQ 65.5, May 1995, pp. 89ff
  • "The Ambush", The Guardian, June 25, 2005
Nonfiction
  • "Sleepytown: A Southern Gothic Childhood, with Codeine", Harper’s 285.1706, July 1992, pp. 60–66
  • "Basketball Season" in The Best American Sports Writing, edited and with an introduction by Frank Deford, Houghton Mifflin, 1993
  • "Team Spirit: Memories of Being a Freshman Cheerleader for the Basketball Team", Harper’s 288.1727, April 1994, pp. 37–40
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,717
226,751
Thornfield
Always enjoy a Tana French book. Have you read The Goldfinch by Tartt?
Yes i have. She is really good but publish a book so seldom. As far as i know there is only three, The Secret History, The Little Friend and The Goldfinch. Has she written anything else?
I have the Goldfinch in my TBR pile. So, this is good? I don't even know what it's about. Is this a mystery?
 

swiftdog2.0

Everything is possible but nothing is real
Mar 16, 2010
6,835
34,204
LV426
The Force by Don Winslow.

NYC based cop novel. It was a quick read. Nothing really new story wise. Corrupt cop with good intentions type of deal. Sort of like Bad Lieutenant lite.

Predictable in some parts. Not bad overall. It's the first novel I've had time to read in over a year.
 
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