Charlemagne and Feudalism; the Vikings LEC 5

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MARS 1F90: Lecture 5
Lecture Outline
Charlemagne and Feudalism; the Vikings
We will start this week’s lecture with the rise of Islam before going on to Charlemagne, feudalism, and
the Vikings.
Make sure you know the unfamiliar names, terms and dates that are highlighted!
1. Charlemagne
a. The stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral [the rose window; depicts scenes from
the history or the life of Charlemagne & Roland ( a noble knight; Charlemagne went
ahead and left Roland by himself with a small force; they ended up being ambushed; he
dies bravely and becomes the legend of Roland ( an icon for knights who die valiantly)
i. Roland and the military force into northwestern Spain
ii. Roland is killed in a Basque ambush
iii. His courageous last stand depicted in the ‘Charlemagne Window and the Song of
iv. Roland gave rise to the 2 great works of art coming out of the early middle ages,
the Charlemagne window, and the song of Roland.
b. Charlemagne’s grandfather, Charles Martel ( Charles the Hammer) not a king, had a
position in the Merovingian court, a figure in the Frankish court. His son Pepin III
brought an end to the Merovingian dynasty. And then started the Carolingian dynasty. (
from Charles Martel's name)
c. Pepin III deposes the last Merovingian king and establishes the Carolingian dynasty
d. Pepin dies (768 C.E.) and is succeeded by Charles the Great, or Charlemagne (his son)
e. Charlemagne is crowned Emperor on Christmas Day, 800 C.E. [Charlemagne was in
Rome; the pope crowns him emperor, Byzantine emperors unhappy; the pope crowns the
most important political figure in Europe, The popes boss(has the right to bestow the
highest political title on someone) which causes a stress with the papacy]
f. His motto is ‘Revival of the Roman Empire’ [tried to restore the culture of ancient Rome;
saw his reign as a continuation of the old Roman Empire]
i. A continuation of the old Roman Empire
ii. But with a Christian flavour
g. The importance of Charlemagne being crowned by the pope
h. Charlemagne’s most enduring legacy [Aachen was his capital; Charlemagne had his
cultural centre there and attracted scholars; had a palace school (attached to the palace)
many other schools developed they were unique being attached to the a monastery or a
cathedral, he wanted the people in his court to be able to read and write well. Wanted the
Clergy to be able to read Latin and be educated; also the aristocracy to be educated as
well since they would be his court officials]
i. His cultural revival (the so-called Carolingian Renaissance)
ii. Men of learning come to Aachen (Fr. Aix-la-Chapelle)
iii. The Palace School
iv. Alcuin of York [medieval scholar and came from England, he was attracted to
the palace. Became known as the Carolingian renaissance a rediscovery of the
thought and writings of the ancient world. (copying religious texts ex: bible and
writing commentaries)
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