Week 9.2 - Charlmagne's Government

Week 9.2 - Charlmagne's Government - Here is some...

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Here is some background and help to go with material on Frankish government and Charlemagne. Keep your XP handy. This is material that's easier to manage in writing than in lecture since all of the important details are here. Go over this carefully, and if you have questions, ask them! Charlemagne embodied the ideal ruler of the High Middle Ages. His image was immortalized by Einhard’s The Life of Charlemegne , by popular Medieval literature (including "The Song of Roland"), and by all the artwork, architecture, & monuments he left. Some were also "high" Medieval kings, especially after long nights in the drinking-hall listening to warrior epics like “The Song of Roland.” But as we know from Einhard, Charles himself "abhorred drunkenness." And you've seen what the penances were like for getting drunk to the point of vomiting! To be like Charlemagne (at least the idealized images of him) was to be a successful king. For this reason, Charlemagne's image, ideologies, and examples he set are a good representation of High Medieval Feudal Monarchy. In History 111, we use Charlemagne and his government as a representation of what the medieval synthesis produced for High Medieval kingship (see XP page 35a). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - General recipe for success (The Medieval Synthesis): Roman universal imperial and legal authority and bureaucracy + Christian theocratic kingship and leadership of a new "Savior Empire" like Constantine's Rome, caesaropapism, use of the Church and Christianity to bolster Medieval European hegemony, + Germanic warrior kingship and charisma, feudalism and strong personal bonds formed by oath, allowed Charles to overcome problems and weaknesses of earlier rulers. (See XP page 33c--with problems and solutions in the dev. of Frankish government) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - The Medieval synthesis could solve problems of its three individual traditions and overcome individual weaknesses with combined strengths and new solutions, such as feudalism. But note that the Carolingian Empire collapsed after 843 AD when the Treaty of Verdun divided the Empire into 3 kingdoms for the sons of Louis the Pious. Do you see why the Frankish custom of dividing territory among all sons was a bad idea? I. What were the main Roman and Germanic elements of Charlemagne's government? In some cases a Roman institution had a Germanic counterpart (such as the Roman patron-client system and Germanic war-band feudalism). Some Roman institutions or political structures were taken over and "Germanized" by the Franks and other Germanic tribes who inherited them from the Romans--such as the office of count, originally a Roman military official, but a count later became a Frankish all-purpose royal official in charge of ALL military, legal, financial, and administrative matters in a county. A
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Week 9.2 - Charlmagne's Government - Here is some...

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