legacy of charlemagne essay; ..
two lives of charlemagne essay - YouTube
Indeed, Charlemagne took his role as protector of the Christian Church very seriously. He listened to the laments of those like Saint Boniface, who reported encountering a unlettered priest in Bavaria trying to baptize some one “in nomine patria et filia;” that is, in the name of the fatherland and the daughter (instead of “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Understanding that the lack of education in his realm threatened the very performance of the sacraments deemed crucial to salvation, Charlemagne undertook a revival of learning. He gathered scholars at his court, sponsored the foundation of schools, and endowed monasteries to copy and distributed manuscripts. This revival of learning is called the “Carolingian Renaissance.” Its most important advance was the development of a new clear and consistent script – or form of handwriting – for the copying of manuscripts. This new script was called Carolingian Minuscule: it was compact, allowing a lot to be copied on to each precious page of parchment, and it was highly LEGIBLE – even by beginners! Contrast this page of Carolingian Minuscule with this earlier document from the sixth century. Monasteries during the Carolingian Renaissance produced thousands of manuscripts in this new, more legible script. Most were religious texts: copies of the Bible, commentaries on the Bible, theological works. But Carolingian monks also copied Roman texts: Latin grammars, Roman law codes, and works of Classical literature. Indeed, because the ancients wrote on papyrus (a paper-like material that deteriorates easily) instead of the more durable parchment (animal skin) used in medieval Europe, most of the earliest copies of the great masterpieces of classical literature that we have today were made by Carolingian monks. Thus, we have Charlemagne to thank for much of our knowledge of the classical past!
Charlemagne | The West’s Darkest Hour
By the mid-eighth century, we can see clearly a distinctive new “medieval” civilization in Western Europe that was a blend of late Roman culture, Germanic traditions, and Christianity. About this time, a new dynasty – the Carolingians – came to rule the Frankish Kingdom. The dynasty’s most famous king – Charles the Great or more commonly Charlemagne (from Carolus Magnus, the Latin form of Charles the Great) – expanded the bounds of the Frankish Kingdom. He conquered northern Italy, Saxony, Bavaria, Brittany, and into Spain. In gratitude for his protection in Italy, Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in the year 800 crowned Charles “Emperor.” This act set an extremely important precedent: the papacy throughout the Middle Ages claimed the right to crown or legitimate rulers and conversely, rulers viewed themselves as divinely ordained and as protectors of the Christian Church. This close relationship between the Christian Church and European rulers is a key characteristic of political life in the Middle Ages.