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Charlemagne and the early Middle ages. Week Eight. p etros = rock. Peter. petrify. Petra. g eo/terra = earth/land. t erra cotta. terrier. geology. Charlemagne and the early Middle ages. Week Eight. I. Aachen Chapel.

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p etros rock
petros = rock




g eo terra earth land
geo/terra = earth/land

terra cotta




Charlemagne’s Aachen Cathedral reflects the succession of the ancient Roman emperors and the Christianizing of Europe.

ii charlemagne
II. Charlemagne
  • Einhard’s hagiographical description
  • Reality: a barbarian Christian conqueror
b io viv life
bio/viv= life




d ict speak
dict = speak




iii the making of barbarian kingdoms
III. The Making of Barbarian Kingdoms

A. Italian Ostrogoths

  • Theodoric the Great: Roman civil government and Germanic kingship
  • From chaos to Lombard rule after Theodoric’s death

B. Spanish Visigoths

  • Wealthy and desirable territory
  • Muslims overthrow the Visigoths and establish caliphate in 711


iii the making of barbarian kingdoms1
III. The Making of Barbarian Kingdoms

C. Anglo-Saxons

  • Little kingdoms
  • Conversion to Christianity, as chronicled by Bede
  • Syncretism and Beowulf: story that chronicles the adventures of a hero who saves the Danes from the terrible monster Grendel


iii the making of barbarian kingdoms2
III. The Making of Barbarian Kingdoms

D. Franks

  • Client state of Rome
  • Clovis and conquest (486 CE); conversion to Christianity; launches the Merovingian dynasty

Baptism of Clovis

iv charlemagne and the carolingians
IV. Charlemagne and the Carolingians

A. Charles Martel

  • Rise of aristocracy over kingdom. Why?

1. Military: scorched earth and absolute fidelity

2. Religious: loyalty and religious posts; church-state collusion


iv charlemagne and the carolingians1
IV. Charlemagne and the Carolingians

B. Charlemagne

  • Conquest: Pippin’s son defeats the Lombards, Saxons, Avars, Muslims
  • Government: a crude Roman administration
carolingian renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance

1. Spiritual renewal

  • The protector of all Christians under the Pope’s obedience
  • Rome crowns Charlemagne emperor in 800

2. Intellectual renewal

  • Education: establishes schools; recruits intellectuals
  • Fusion of Germanic and Roman art
v after charlemagne
V. After Charlemagne

A. Overextension: not enough infrastructure

B. Division of the kingdom

C. Threats from outside

D. Return to aristocracies

E. Christianity spreads

  • Charlemagne’s death
      • 814: buried under Palatine Chapel in imperial robes