Week 9.1 - Charlemagne

Week 9.1 - Charlemagne - Einhard's Life of Charlemagne has...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Einhard's Life of Charlemagne has a good Introduction with good historical background. Like Gregory of Tours, Einhard followed the rhetorical convention of modesty about his writing (p. 17), but in fact, he was a leader in the Carolingian Renaissance and Charlemagne's Palace School (at Aachen). He wrote very smooth, graceful Classical Latin and followed the example of Roman historians like Suetonius. He calls himself a barbarian, referring to the fact that he was Germanic, not Roman in ethnicity, although he makes a conscious effort to master Roman Classics, History, and culture. Remember "Romanization"? Remember "Rome has never said 'No more room' "? Here we see that the idea of the Roman Empire made room for Franks attempting to revive the Western Roman Empire. We see Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Carolingian Renaissance: a revival (rebirth) of Roman culture in art, literature, education, and other aspects of culture. It was a conscious, deliberate effort to recover a universal, not tribal, culture to provide a unifying "global" culture for the new Holy Roman Empire composed of many diverse tribes and tribal kingdoms. The basis for this unification and for Charlemagne's authority was the Roman-Christian synthesis. Roman-Christian culture was universal; Germanic cultures, however, were ethnic (i.e. tribal, not universal). For Einhard's account of the fall of the Merovingian dynasty in 751, make sure to look at pages 82-84 in Tierney and see XP page 32. Here are the official accounts and documents on a Frankish regime change (from Merovingian to Carolingian), a coup d'etat (peaceful revolution to seize the throne) by Pepin the Short, a Merovingian Mayor of the Palace, made legitimate king by a sacred ecclesiastical ritual of anointing and consecration followed by coronation. The Pope, with this ritual coronation, made Pepin's royal authority legitimate and sacred (theocratic). Pepin then reconquered the papal territories in Italy that the Lombards had conquered and gave them back to the Pope. This was in accordance with the Franco-Papal alliance. You'll note that the "Donation of Constantine" was written around this time (~ 750 AD), but Constantine had been quite dead since 337! Uh oh! The "Donation of Constantine" is a forgery (unmasked by the Renaissance humanist Lorenzo Valla in the 15th century). However, the document nevertheless reflected widespread, accepted beliefs. So the document is not authentic, but the content of it is an accurate representation of Early Medieval beliefs about the papacy
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course HIST 111 taught by Professor Rutenburg during the Fall '05 term at Maryland.

Page1 / 3

Week 9.1 - Charlemagne - Einhard's Life of Charlemagne has...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online