The emperor and his court attempted to gain control over the situation shortly after the onset of the extreme weather conditions. Louis acted accordingly and gave penance at the 822 Synod in Attigny. Officially, the act was to reconcile with his brothers who he had exiled, but unofficially he was acting as a role model to his people by proving his duty to God. The timing was important: the kingdom had just suffered under extreme weather conditions in the years prior. Because the emperor was at the top of the kingdom’s hierarchy, there was a belief that his atonement should make a considerable impression on God. Apparently, however, God was not yet pleased because the following years brought heavy rains.
In 825, Louis issued his Admonitio ad omnes regni ordines: a call to order for all the states in the kingdom. In the declaration, he laid down in minute detail his argument that everyone in the kingdom was jointly responsible for its well-being. In 829, the bishops issued a similar call to order in the Frankish Empire with their Relatio episcoporum, and in turn examined the possible causes for invoking the wrath of God.
In addition to these decrees, other attempts were made to create order. From an economic point of view, it seemed important to establish order in business enterprises such as the monasteries in order to be better able to deal with poor harvests and hunger. This resulted in Abbot Adalard of Corbie, for instance, implementing a new social order in the monasteries administration in 822. Registries were introduced that served as written records of monastic property and goods; one example is the polyptych of St. Germain-des-Prés in which the abbey recorded the exact size of each peasant settlement, including who lived there and the sum of dues the peasants owed the abbey.
In the years that followed, the call to order remained quite important. Although the threat of weather catastrophes had subsided (with the exception of a few individual events), the empire did not find peace. Louis’ sons rebelled against him twice, and the fratricidal war that only ended with Louis death in 840 repeatedly called the kingdom’s social order into question.
On the left: Extract from Polyptych of St. Germain-des-Prés, a. 823/29