Hence arose a misunderstanding between the Pope and the city: and the Romans about two or three years after, by assistance of some of the Clergy, raised such tumults against him, as gave occasion to a new state of things in all the West. For two of the Clergy accused him of crimes, and the Romans with an armed force, seized him, stripped him of his sacerdotal habit, and imprisoned him in a monastery. But by assistance of his friends he made his escape, and fled into Germany to Charles the great, to whom he complained of the Romans for acting against him out of a design to throw off all authority of the Church, and to recover their ancient freedom.

In his absence his accusers with their forces ravaged the possessions of the Church, and sent the accusations to Charles; who before the end of the year sent the Pope back to Rome with a large retinue. The Nobles and Bishops of France who accompanied him, examined the chief of his accusers at Rome, and sent them into France in custody. This was the year 799. The next year Charles himself went to Rome, and upon a day appointed presided in a Council of Italian and French Bishops to hear both parties. But when the Pope’s adversaries expected to be heard, the Council declared that he who was the supreme judge of all men, was above being judged by any other than himself; whereupon he made a solemn declaration of his innocence before all the people, and by doing so was looked upon as acquitted.

Soon after, upon Christmas-day, the people of Rome, who had hitherto elected their Bishop, and reckoned that they and their Senate inherited the rights of the ancient Senate and people of Rome, voted Charles their Emperor, and subjected themselves to him in such manner as the old Roman Empire and their Senate were subjected to the old Roman Emperors. The Pope crowned him, and anointed him with holy oil, and worshiped him on his knees after the manner of adoring the old Roman Emperors; as the aforesaid Poet thus relates: Post laudes igitur dictas & summus eundem Praesul adoravit, sicut mos debitus olim Principibus fuit antiquis.