The Civilization of Charlemagne Author:Jacques Boussard Charlemagne's coronation by the Pope in 800 was recognized twelve years later by the eastern emperor in Byzantium and dates his claim to the title "Holy Roman Emperor" - the successor of the Roman emperors of the West. — For nearly thirty years he had extended the Frankish kingdom into Lombard Italy, Saxon Germany as far as the middle Danube, and... more » finally at some cost into Moorish Spain. His reforms were many. Court duties for freemen were made less onerous by new colleges of assessors; permanent trade routes were secured; currency was fixed to a silver standard; royal commissioners were appointed to check local abuses; and the estates of the counts were reduced and brought more under the Emperor's control.
This paradoxical man, deeply religious yet robust and sensual, had little formal Latin education. But he saw the need for it, and founded church schools which spread both literacy and the faith throughout the Empire. Illuminated manuscripts - as well as ivories, buildings, jewelry and mosaics - are the glories of the Carolingian Renaissance and are splendidly illustrated in this book. Charlemagne's attempt at a multi-state order with written legal authority is still apparent in the institutions of modern Europe, while his personal legend figured for six centuries after his death in medieval epic and romance.
Jacques Boussard is Professor in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at the University of Poitiers.
Translated from the French by Frances Partridge.
With 22 color and 51 black and white photographs and 6 color maps.