In the Carolingian dynasty, it was the custom that after a contest between different claimants to the throne, the successful candidate would cut the hair of his rivals in order to disqualify them to assume power.
While early missions to northern Europe, notably those sponsored by pope Gregory the Great (590-604 CE), advocated a pragmatic approach bordering on religious syncretism, the situation had dramatically changed when in the eighth and ninth centuries such efforts came under the aegis of the ascendant Carolingian dynasty.
This reader would have liked to know more about Theodore's correspondence with the papacy, his respect for papal authority, and Michael I Rhangabe's rapprochement with the Carolingian dynasty during the time when Theodore was an imperial advisor.
Born in AD 742 (or perhaps 743), Charlemagne was the son of Pippin the Short, the founder of the Carolingian dynasty, and the grandson of Charles the Hammer, who inaugurated the era of Carolingian conquest but never wore the crown.
According to Einhard, the biographer of the most famous Carolingian, Charlemagne, the later Merovingians were rois faineants, decadent and do-nothing kings, whose power had been effectively supplanted by the Carolingian dynasty in the form of Mayors of the Palace.