Carolingian Empire and Charlemagne History Essay

2231 WordsSep 30, 19999 Pages
Charlemagne History 101 - Fast Forward Fall 1996 PREPARED BY: SUBMITTED: September 30, 1996 Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, King of the Franks (742-814), was a strong leader who unified Western Europe through military power and the blessing of the Church. His belief in the need for education among the Frankish people was to bring about religious, political, and educational reforms that would change the history of Europe. Charlemagne was born in 742 at Aachen, the son of Pepin(or Pippin) the Short and grandson of Charles Martel. His grandfather, Charles, had begun the process of unifying western Europe, in the belief that all people should be Christian. Charlemagne's father, Pepin, continued this…show more content…
(Holmes 97) The Papacy had been reduced to controlling only a small portion of land around Rome, and was under constant aggression from the Lombards. Pope Hadrian I in 773 appealed to Charlemagne to help rebuff the Lombards, and in the winter of that year in a short and decisive campaign, the Lombards were defeated. Charlemagne then added "King of the Lombards" to his title, and gave control of the northern part of Italy to the Pope. The creation of the "Papal States" indebted the Pope to Charlemagne, and Pope Leo III eventually crowned Charlemagne "Emperor of the Romans" on Christmas day in 800AD. (Ganshoff 41) Power in Carolingian society was based on land ownership, also known as Feudalism. Charlemagne knew that he must have the allegiance of the people to himself, the King. To accomplish this, he looked back to the seventh century, and instituted an oath of fidelity - a promise to do nothing that would endanger the king or his sons or the royal power. The feudal monarchy created by Charlemagne had two definite characteristics: absolute power limited only by advice given by nobles and the Church and power based on a contract - the oath of fidelity pledging allegiance by the king's subjects. (Boussard 42) "The oath brought two immediate advantages. It created a direct, personal link between the subject

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