The Carolingian Empire

  1. Origins of the Empire

   Out of the Barbarian invaders, the Franks were the ones that settled in present day France..

   The Carolingian Empire was the first attempt to restore the Roman Empire, which was defeated by the invasions and was led by the great figure of Charlemagne the Emperor..

   Charles Martel was victorious at Poitiers against the Muslims. He stopped the Arab avalanche in its attempt to occupy Western Europe. His son Pepin the Short, supported by Pope Stephen II, was proclaimed king during the beginning of the Carolingian dynasty..

   Charlemagne was the son of Pepin the Short and is an outstanding historical figure. He was of high class, has a practical spirit, natural intelligence and a very strong will power..

   2. Indicate whether these statements are true or false:

The Franks settled in Germany

Charles Martel defeated the Muslims

Stephen II was proclaimed king

They were victorious at the Battle of Poitiers

The Carolingian dynasty began

Charlemagne was the son of Charles Martel

    3. The Foundation of the Empire

   The Kingdom of Charlemagne lasted 45 years, and carried out 55 military expeditions in Germany, Spain and Italy.

   - In GERMANY he fought against the Saxons, the Bavarians and the greedy..

   - In SPAIN he wanted to enter Zaragoza but they closed the doors on him and as he left he was taken by surprise and was defeated at the Battle of Roncesvalles.

   - In ITALY, the Lombards attacked the Pontiff, and Pope Leo III sought help from Charlemagne who defeated the Lombards. The Pope was satisfied, so he crowned Charlemagne the Emperor during the Christmas Mass of the year 800, while the people shouted: "To Charles Augustus, crowned by god the great and the peaceful emperor of the Romans, life and victory!"

   4. Indicate whether theses statements refer to the events in Germany, Spain or Italy:

Leo III was crowned Emperor

He fought against the Saxons

He defeated the Lombards

He wanted to enter Zaragoza

He fought against the Bavarians

During the Christmas Mass

He was defeated in Roncesvalles

He was crowned on the year 800

   5. The Division of the Empire

   Charlemagne's successor, his son Louis the Pious, was a strong and educated man but had no will and often changed his own criteria. This had led to clashes and wars between his three sons and the Treaty of Verdun was signed, which divided the Carolingian Empire among his three sons: Lothair was given Italy, Louis was given Germany, and Charles was given France. This treaty is very important because it created the first boundary among these three European nations: Italy, Germany and France.

    6. Indicate whether each statement is true or false:

Louis was the father of Charlemagne

Louis was strong and educated

He had a strong will power

The Treaty of Verdun was signed

Louis was given Italy

Charles stayed with France

The European Nations were created

The Carolingian Empire was strengthened

     7. The Carolingian Culture

   The cultural work of Charlemagne was very important in the following aspects:

   - EDUCATION. He founded schools in the monasteries, where grammar, arithmetic, calligraphy and singing were taught.

    He ordered that in every village the priests open schools in order to provide free education.

   - LANGUAGE ARTS. There were writers, poets and historians.

    Alcuin was considered the wisest man of his time.

   - ART. The arts had a strong influence from the Byzantine Empire, as reflected in its mosaics and architecture.

    The Chapel of Charlemagne’s Palace is preserved in Aachen. (See the image).


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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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