Class 9: Light in a Dark Age? Bede and Charlemagne
I. Introduction Last two classes Roman Empire Collapsed -Classical civilization carried by the Church. -Politically a series of German Successor states Ostrogothic Italy and Visigothic Spain -These were both Arian states - although Visigoths converted. -More successful in fact were the barbarians who took over as pagans - Anglo-Saxon England and Frankish Gaul This class: Sums up the German effect on Western Europe, and looks at Europe's political development. In particular the strength of the idea of empire. Especially we look at Charlemagne and Einhard's Life II. The Frankish Kingdom A. Importance of France Northern rather than Mediterranean orientation in Europe B. Separation of Royal quarrels from life of the majority. Very little government. Little connection of monarchs to the land. Church provides stability and much of what we see as government C. Population's Lifestyle -No towns -End of Roman style farms with slaves -Move to freer peasantry - but with labor dues D. The Aristocracy grows powerful Not same customs as in 11th/12th centuries - but not a total break as Marc Bloch thought -Composed of some old Germanic families -Some Romanized Gaul families -Minor branches of royal family Nobles - no primogeniture - no male lines only - no titles - names not based on houses or castles - more a group of kindred advancing each other III. The Mayors of the Palace A. Les Rois fainéants Dagobert 629-39 last king to wield any power B. Mayors of the Palace of Neustrasia, Austrasia and Burgundy. Increasing importance of Austrasia C. The Arnulfings = the Carolingians Arnulf Bishop of Metz IV. Charles Martel 714-41 A. Tours/Poitiers 732 - Gibbon on mosques in Oxford B. Military Needs and Changes -The Spoliation of Church Property -The March Field V. Introduction to Feudalism A. -French Revolution meaning/Marxist meaning -Distinction from the Manorial System -Combination of Vassalage and Benefice. -Combination of Economic and Military needs. B. The Pirenne Thesis 1. Henri Pirenne - Mohammad and Charlemagne value of a historical thesis - even if not proven 2. -Classical World continues until 7th century - circulation of money, and papyrus. -Muslims close off East and North Africa. Make Mediterranean unsafe for trade. Collapse of money economy/reversion to barter 3. Need for Troops of Frankish Kings Combination of Vassalage with Benefice - feudalism -confiscation of Church property. -to get troops -in central part of France at least - not elsewhere. 4. Lynn White and the Stirrup Made Heavy Shock Combat Cavalry possible and needed - Need for expensive troops. 5. Problems Not all trade and archeological evidence supports the theory. But leads to interesting explorations. VI. Pepin III the Short 741-68 -Childeric III -Pepin becomes king 751 -Pope turns to the West -Donation of Pepin Donation of Constantine VII. Charles the Great 768-814 A. Introduction Mythic figure in French Romance - Charlemagne B. Desire for Power - Expansion of the Empire Saxons 772-804/Spain/Slavs/Italy C. Aachen and Rome - Twin Capitals D. Relations with the Church -Desire for Roman Unity -Popes and Byzantium -Charlemagne as a Christian -Carolingian Theocracy? - what does it mean -The importance of bishops to administration Later problems. E. Charlemagne and the Imperial Title -Christmas Day 800 -The Holy Roman Empire F. Carolingian Government -Size of Empire/Lack of Resources -Missi Domenici -Counts - Public Titles and Private Power -Capitularies/Carolingian Law codes Attempt at regularization VIII. Carolingian Culture A. The Carolingian Renaissance Use of the tern `renaissance' B. British Input -Building on Anglo-Saxon culture and Bede -Alcuin and the Palace School -John Scotus Erigena C. Architecture -At Aachen - consciously not Byzantine D. St. Benedict of Aniane Reforming Benedictinism. Expansion of the rule 817 - backed by Imperial law. IX. Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne -Einhard -Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars -Wars -Picture of Charlemagne -Biases X. Louis the Pious 814-840
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© Paul Halsall, 1996.
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