A History of Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe: Vol I The Struggle for Universal Empire The Empire Under the Carlovingians byDavid Jayne Hill, LL.D.
What men think of events is often as important to history as the events themselves. Certainly, this was true of the imperial coronation of Charles the Great. From one point of view, the act of Leo seems to have been simply the spontaneous expression of personal gratitude to a benefactor for deliverance from his enemies. Regarded from another, it appears as the inevitable consummation of great historic movements spanning centuries of time. It is, however, only by an attentive study of the circumstances preceding and surrounding the spectacular scene in St. Peterís that we can understand its real causes or appreciate its full significance.