Date:  Thu Aug 21, 2003  2:42 pm
Subject:  Links: Charlemagne

Greetings everyone. Thanks for yourpatience while I dealt with Pennsic and the death of my Grandmother. Thank you also for your expressions of sympathy, they were deeply appreciated.

This week's Links list is about Charlemagne. Besides his general history, there are links for costume, embroidery, arms and tactics, architecture, etc....

I hope you enjoy these links and will pass thema long to those who will be interested in

Sincerely yours,


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon

Charlemagne the King: An biography from Will Durant's
(Site Excerpt) The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742, at a place unknown. He was of German blood and speech, and shared some characteristics of his people- strength of body, courage of spirit, pride of race, and a crude simplicity many centuries apart from the urbane polish of the modern French. He had little book learning; read only a few books- but good ones; tried in his old age to learn writing, but never quite succeeded; yet he could speak old Teutonic and literary Latin, and understood Greek.

The Historical Charlemagne (742?-814)
(Site Excerpt) "By the sword and the cross," Charlemagne (Charles the Great) became master of Western Europe. It was falling into decay when Charlemagne became joint king of the Franks in 768. Except in the monasteries, people had all but forgotten education and the arts. Boldly Charlemagne conquered barbarians and kings alike. By restoring the roots of learning and order, he preserved many political rights and revived culture. Charlemagne's grandfather was Charles Martel, the warrior who crushed the Saracens (see Charles Martel). Charlemagne was the elder son of Bertrade ("Bertha Greatfoot") and Pepin the Short, first "mayor of the palace" to become king of the Franks. Although schools had almost disappeared in the 8th century, historians believe that Bertrade gave young Charles some education and that he learned to read. His devotion to the church became the great driving force of his remarkable life.

Descendants of Charlemagne
This is a database of thireteen generations of descendancy from Charlemagne.
The author's goal is to list 20 generations.

(Site Excerpt) THE OBJECTS OF THIS ORDER ARE: 1. Historical and genealogical purpose and to prepetuate the memory and to honor the name of Emperor Charlemagne; to bring into one group the descendants of his successors and heirs; to maintain and promote the traditions of chivalry and knighthood; to recognize acts of merit; to recognize achievenments in the Arts, Sciences and Letters; to inspire patriotism and loyalty to our country; and for such other lawful and proper purposes as the Executive Council of the order may from time to time decide upon. 2. To collect and preserve books on genealogy, family history, heraldry and general history.3. To collect and preserve documents, manuscripts, relics, records and traditions relating to Emperor Charlemagne and his successors; to create a popular interest in ancient history and genealogy.

Charlemagne-King of the Franks
(Site Excerpt)Perhaps the oldest biography on Charlemagne was written by Einhard, a scholar in Charlemagne's court. Einhard was a man of considerable talents and a product of Charlemagne's education system, which will be discussed later. As a symbol of gratitiude, Einhard wrote "Vita Caroli" or "The Life of Charlemagne." His depictions of war and diplomatic matters always place Charlemagne in a favorable light and they are not always historically accurate.

Images from World History: The Carolingian Era (8th to early 11th c. A.D.)
A variety of images are available from many cultures. Ignore the lack of icons---click on the titles to see thumbnails, which can be enlarged. Carolingian Art 732 - 900
(Site Excerpt) One of the more important types of art created during this period was the illuminated manuscript. These manuscripts were picture books - literally. They told stories of the Bible through easy to understand pictures of humans who were shown in a somewhat realistic manner - some of the time. Just as an example, St Matthew - depicted by two different artists in two different ways can be found in the Coronation and Ebbo Gospels. The St. Matthew in the Coronation Gospels is an objective, clear and somewhat realistic work. The St. Matthew in the Ebbo Gospels however is a very subjective, expressionistic piece of work. Go figure.

French History Timeline
Note: Graphic Intensive
(Excerpt from the Middle Ages section) Charlemagne (742-814) continued the expansion of the Frankish kingdom.Charlemagne not only was an able military leader, but he was also a great supporter of education and the arts. In fact, there was a Carolingian renaissance during Charlemagne's rule. Shortly after his death, however, the kingdom was divided. All of Charlemagne's sons died except for Louis the Pious, who reigned for 30 years and managed to keep the kingdom together. However, when Louis died, different alliances formed around Louis' three sons, Lothar, Louis the German and Charles the Bald

Carolingian Civilization: A Reader
Edited by Paul Dutton
(Site Excerpt of book review) "This new collection offers a richly kaleidoscopic view of Carolingian society. Here the first-time reader of Carolingian history will learn much about politics, the economy, social life, spirituality, and the high-born and low-born of the Carolingian world.

Merovingian and Carolingian Manasticism
This sit eis a list of links that further explore the subject.

Books on the Carolingian Empire of the Franks
25 books listed on Charlemagne and Carolingian history

Charlemagne & His Empire
Queen Goosefoot's Son
(Site Excerpt) Charlemagne was born around 742 in Aachen, a city in the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia, located in what is now Germany. His real name was Charles; he wasn't called Charlemagne (from the Latin "Carolus Magnus," or Charles the Great) until long after his death. His father, Pepin or Pippin III, was elected king of the Frankish Empire when Charlemagne was a child. The king was nicknamed Pepin the Short, while his wife, Charlemagne's mother Bertrada, was nicknamed Bertha of the Big Foot, or Queen Goosefoot. The inspiration for the name "Mother Goose" may have come from Bertha, although she had nothing to do with the English nursery rhymes now published under that name.

Carolingian Arms and Armor in the Ninth Century
By Simon Coupland
From Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies v.21 (1990)
(Site Excerpt) This study seeks to ascertain the nature of the armament carried by the Carolingian army in the ninth century by examining the written, iconographic, and archeological sources. The value of such an approach was demonstrated by Gessler's study of Carolingian weaponry published in 1908,1 but this work is now largely outdated, and more recent discussions of the subject have seldom contained a balanced evaluation of all three types of evidence. Thus Ferdinand Lot simply stated, "Il y a peu de chose a dire de l'armement," and subsequently included the briefest of discussions.2 Ganshof regarded the Psalterium aureum3 as the only reliable pictorial source and obtained almost all the rest of his information from capitularies.4 Verbruggen basically repeated Ganshof's findings, citing the tenth-century Leiden Maccabees 5 as additional iconographic evidence.6 Only Last has given detailed consideration to all three types of material, but he produced what was intended to be no more than a summary of current knowledge.

Arms, Armor and Tactics in the Middle Ages: The Rise of the Carolingian
Empire (8th Century)
(Site Excerpt) Of these peoples spread throughout the West, the Franks were the strongest in relation to the other nations. They were not yet strong enough, though, to assert their presence as they would soon. Throughout the West, including the Franks, the Germanic traditions kept kings from being able to effectively hold power over large portions of land. Rule was mostly effective locally, but to rule at a distance meant delegation of authority, which meant, in essence, no authority on part of the king. Such was the unpromising background for the rise of the Carolingian dynasty, named after its most prominent member, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne. Charles Martel, who was to be Charlemagne's grandfather, set the stage for the Carolingian dynasty by holding a powerful mayorship of the Frankish king, originally an office of mere stewardship that gradually became an office of some power, though, in theory, less than that of the king. By Charles Martel's time, though, the mayorship had effective control of the kingdom. Even when the king died in 737, there was no need to establish a new one, so no one bothered until Charles's own death in 741 (Collins 1991: 248). Charles used some of his power to encourage missions to the pagans, setting a precedent for his progeny (Strayer 1974: 46, 47).

A New Carolingian Modelbook (review)
(Site Excerpt) A softcover, 205 page fully illustrated emboidery book, the New Carolingian Modelbook shows almost 200 counted embroidery patterns taken directly from their original pre-1600 sources. Each full-page patterned illustration is easy to follow and includes a description of where the pattern was found and how the embroidery was used. Also included is 50 pages of historical appendices to help in recreating the patterns, including the types of colors and threads originally used and suggestions for modern substitutes. Also helpful is a stitching guide which illustrates how to sew these patterns for the beginner.

Charlemagne and the Carolingian Minuscule
(Site Excerpt) With the rise of Charlemagne, a tremendous shift in culture in Western Europe began in earnest. Central to that shift was a uniform script known as the Carolingian Minuscule. While Charlemagne's forty-six year reign brought with it the largest uniform empire since Rome, this new script heralded the beginning of a uniformity in the art and writing of the period. With the enforced use of the Caroline Minuscule, the dissemination of cultural writings moved faster and with fewer errors. The use of the script also walked hand in hand with the revival of culture on a level heretofore unknown in the Christian era. History, philosophy, theology, poetry, mathematics, science, and classical texts of all types were all being revived. The new script brought with it a truly powerful tool in reintegrating these texts into the society. Though at first contemplation, a shift of handwriting seems a small change in the overall progress of culture for a society, this new Caroline script truly redefined and renewed the nearly extinct arts of learning throughout Western Europe. Carolinian Europe to the First Millennium 700-1000ce
Graphically intense site provides many original images to view.

SCA Dance Cheat Sheets
Carolingian Pavane Source: apparently a mutated practice pavan originating with Ingrid Brainard; the music is ``Belle qui tiens ma vie'' (Arbeau, 1589).
(Site Excerpt) Setting: A processional line of couples.
Version: 1.1
One ``pavane set'' of steps is a single, single, double.
A: 1- 8 One pavane set forward.
9-16 One pavane set forward.
17-24 One pavane set backwards.
25-32 One pavane set forwards.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.
Carolingian architecture and art
(Site Excerpt) Carolingian Architecture
The new architecture, inspired by the forms of antiquity, abandoned the small boxlike shapes of the Merovingian period and used instead spacious basilicas often intersected by vast transepts. In some churches, such as Fulda and Cologne, the central nave ended in semicircular apses. An innovation of Carolingian builders, which was to be of incalculable importance for the later Middle Ages, was the emphasis given to the western extremity of the church. The facade, flanked symmetrically by towers, or simply the exterior of a massive complex (westwork), became the focal point of the structure.

(Site Excerpt) Charlemagne's interest in promoting learning and culture throughout his realm is evident in this letter to Baugulf, abbot of Fulda:
Charles, by the grace of God, King of the Franks and Lombards and Patrician of the Romans, to Baugulf and to all the congregation, also to the faithful committed to you, we have directed a loving greeting by our ambassadors in the name of omnipotent God. Be it known, therefore, to your devotion pleasing to God, that we, together with our faithful, have considered it to be useful that the bishoprics and monasteries entrusted by the favor of Christ to our control, in addition to the order of monastic life and the intercourse of holy religion, in the culture of letters also ought to be zealous in teaching those who by the gift of God are able to learn, according to the capacity of each individual, so that just as the observance of the rule imparts order and grace to honesty of morals, so also zeal in teaching and learning may do the same for sentences, so that those who desire to please God by living rightly should not neglect to please him also by speaking correctly. For it is written: "Either from thy words thou shalt be justified or from thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew. xii, 37)." For although correct conduct may be better than knowledge, nevertheless knowledge precedes conduct. Therefore, each one out to study what he desires to accomplish, so that so much the more fully the mind may know what ought to be done, as the tongue hastens in the praises of omnipotent God without hindrances of errors...."