Social justice in the Carolingian world. Poverty, hierarchy, and the (non)uses of Pseudo-Cyprian’s De duodecim abusivis saeculi in the ninth century
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This thesis attempts to give a fresh account of the Carolingian reception of Pseudo-Cyprian’s De duodecim abusivis saeculi, a seventh-century Irish text. Unlike earlier discussions of this influential source, the author has focused on the role of poverty and hierarchy in its Carolingian reception – more specifically on the text’s chapters of the ‘rich man without alms’, ‘the proud poor man’, as well as on the relationship between the king and the poor in the chapter of the ‘unjust king’. It is argued that the Carolingian use and non-use of these parts of the text reveals much about ideas of the poor and social mobility in the Carolingian world. Most notably, the Carolingian elite readers of De duodecim abusivis seem to have been much more accepting of social mobility, and more positive about the poor, than Pseudo Cyprian and his own elite peers.