It was compiled by the itinerant Frankish officials known as the missi Dominici, and the text undoubtedly goes back to the time of Charlemagne, perhaps to the years 802 and 803, when the activity of the missi was at its height.
In certain chapters it is possible to discern the questions of the missi and the answers of the inhabitants.
Quickly attaining a prominent position among the Frankish nobles, he appears as rector of the abbey of Marmoutier in 852, and as one of Charles the Bald's missi dominici, in 853; but soon afterwards he was among those who rebelled against Charles, and invited the king's halfbrother, Louis the German, to invade West Francia.
In secular affairs Charles abolished the office of duke, placed counts over districts smaller than the former duchies, and supervised their government by means of missi dominici, officials responsible to himself alone.
He acted as one of the missi dominici, and spent some time at the court of Charlemagne, where he was known by the assembled scholars as Aquila, and his name appears as one of the signatories to the emperor's will.
The tribal dukes had all disappeared, and their duchies were split up into districts ruled by counts (q.v),whose tendencies to independence the emperor tried to check by the visits of the missi dominici.
MISSI DOMINICI, the name given to the officials commissioned by the Frankish kings and emperors to supervise the administration of their dominions.
When Pippin became king in 754 he sent out missi in a desultory fashion; but Charlemagne made them a regular part of his administration, and a capitulary issued about 802 gives a detailed account of their duties.
In addition special instructions were given to various missi, and many of these have been preserved.
The districts placed under the missi, which it was their duty to visit four times a year, were called missatici or legationes.
In addition there were extraordinary missi who represented the emperor on special occasions, and at times beyond the limits of his dominions.
The nobles interfered in the appointment of the missi, who, selected from the district in which their duties lay, were soon found watching their own interests rather than those of the central power.
Krause, Geschichte des Institutes der missi dominici in the Mittheilungen des Instituts fir osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, Band XI.
Dobbert, Ober das Wesen and den Geschiiftskreis der missi dominici (Heidelberg, 1861); N.
Mahommedan women pencil the eyes with kohl or surma, use missi for the teeth and colour the palms and nails of the hand with henna.