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Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire, 768-814
In the course, Professor Rosamond McKitterick (University of Cambridge) explores the rule of Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire. The course begins by considering the sources available for historians of the period—including Charlemagne’s letters and charters, but also contemporary accounts of his life. After that, we turn to the expansion of the Empire, including Charlemagne’s campaigns against the Saxons and Lombards, before thinking about his relationship with the Pope, his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, 800 AD, and his plans for the succession. In the fourth module, we think about how Charlemagne governed his vast territories so successfully, before turning to Carolingian culture and learning in the final module.
In this module, we explore the sources available that can tell us about Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire. Among the literary sources, there are the collections of Carolingian laws and decrees known as capitularies, Charlemagne’s letters and charters, as well contemporary literary accounts of his life—most notably Einhard’s Vita Karoli, or Life of Charlemagne—as well as contemporary poetry. In addition to this, there are also archaeological sources—including remains of Charlemagne’s various palaces—as well as the evidence of contemporary coinage.
Cite this Lecture
McKitterick, R. (2018, August 15). Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire, 768-814 - The Sources [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/charlemagne-and-the-carolingian-empire-768-814/the-sources
McKitterick, R. "Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire, 768-814 – The Sources." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/charlemagne-and-the-carolingian-empire-768-814/the-sources
University of Cambridge