Francesco Stella is a specialist in Medieval Latin literature, translation studies, digital philology and comparative literature. His recent publications include: «Metodi e prospettive dell’edizione digitale di testi mediolatini», Filologia Mediolatina, vol. XIV(2007), p. 149- 180;
the translation and critical edition of Einhard’s Translatio sanctorum Marcellini et Petri, Ospedaletto: Pacini Editore, 2009; «Riscritture ritmiche di agiografie merovinge in età carolingia», in: L’hagiographie mérovingienne à travers ses réécritures, JanThorbecke Verlag, 2010; «Riscritture e riletture bibliche: funzione della poesia esegetica e tipologie dei testi», in: Vaious authors, Scrivere e leggere nell’alto medioevo. Spoleto, 28 aprile – 4 maggio 2011,vol. 59, Cisam, 2012.
The carolingian answer to the iconoclastic war and the birth of the Western Art
After a long quarrel scattered with persecutions, uprisings, dismissals and replacements of religious authorities, deaths, military expeditions, confiscations and attempts of assassinations in Greece, Italy and other European areas, the Council of Nicaea in 787 imposed the victory of the iconodules in the Byzantine Empire.
The West, and especially the Kingdom of the Franks and the Lombards ruled by Charles, later called the Great, tried to take an official position in the synod of Frankfurt in 794 and in an odd and complex treatise in four books entitled Opus Caroli, or Libri Carolini, recently
attributed by Ann Freeman to Theodulf of Orléans, one of the greatest intellectuals of that time.
In this work, which we could call the first western treatise on images, the icon is freed from its ritual and cult value, and returned to its artistic use, thus determining, according to some scholars, the larger freedom of figurative representation that characterizes western religious art compared to the Orthodox one. This stance is followed by a lively debate, involving many authors, the materials of which have not yet been translated and put into full circulation in historical-artistic research.
Key words: Council of Nicaea, Opus Caroli, ritual, cult value