The Carolingian Renaissance

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18 March 2016

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Since the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe had slowly moved into a sense of intellectual and artistic decline where very few possessed the ability to read and write. During his 46-year reign, Charlemagne was determined to have educated clergy and lay men who were able to tend to the administration of the empire. The advancement of these men during his reign was considered to be the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne was a fierce warrior who gained significant amounts of land for the Frankish people before he was crowned as the Roman Emperor. It was difficult to govern the territories that belonged to the empire because there were not capable individuals to administer policy set forth by its ruler. There were few clerics to spread the word of God and he thought it was his duty to ensure that Christianity was spread throughout the empire. Charlemagne wanted the clergy to understand the Mass as they provided it to the people. Most of the religious writings were in Latin and the Mass was spoken in Latin. The Emperor wanted the church leaders to be able to understand what they were speaking and be able to read it as well and he wanted the religious text and documents copied and retained for posterity.

Educating the men of the church was an important part of the Renaissance because the Emperor felt it was his duty to have the clergy to have a deeper understand of the word of God. Not only was the church in need of educated men, but also Charlemagne needed to have men capable of understanding and carrying out policy so that the entire region was realizing the same laws and standards. Those that he entrusted to watch over the empire were educated along side the emperor and his family. The Carolingian Renaissance was not the most dynamic of the periods of growth and change throughout the history of Europe. Really, nothing exciting happened to make it stand out. But the push to educate the nobles and the church leaders provided a forward movement in a period when Europe had done little to advance intellectually. Charlemagne’s effort to create an empire that showed the desire for advancement in leadership and in the teaching of religion, while showing tolerance for different traditions gave way to continued growth and change throughout the western world. His impact may be thought to be small, but without Charlemagne’s quest for advancement, the world may now be a very different place.

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"The Carolingian Renaissance" StudyScroll, Mar 18, 2016.

"The Carolingian Renaissance" StudyScroll, 18-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The Carolingian Renaissance. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

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