HIST 210 - Lecture 20 - Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne

Lecture 20 - Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne


In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the Carolingian Renaissance, the revival of learning sponsored by Charlemagne and his successors. The period before the Carolingians saw a decline in learning, evidenced in part by the loss of lay literacy. As literacy became the purview of clerics, monasteries set up scriptoria in order to copy manuscripts on a larger scale. In this context, the Carolingians sponsored a revival of learning both for the sake of bringing educated people into the government and in order to encourage the piety of the people.  Professor Freedman ends the lecture by discussing Einhard’s writings on Sts Marcellinus and Peter.  Their story illustrates how, in this period, the piety of the well-educated was not all that different from that of the common people.


Charlemagne’s Courtier, pp. 111-130.

Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, pp. 404-426.

Course Media





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