HIST 210 - Lecture 21 - Crisis of the Carolingians

Lecture 21 - Crisis of the Carolingians


In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the crisis and decline of Charlemagne’s empire.  Increasingly faced with external threats -- particularly the Viking invasions – the Carolingian Empire ultimately collapsed from internal causes, because its rulers were unable  effectively to manage such a large empire. In the absence of strong social infrastructure and an idea of loyalty to the ruler, government servants strove to make their positions hereditary and nobles sought to set up independent kingdoms. Although it only lasted for a short time, the Carolingian Empire helped shape the face of Europe, especially through the partitions of the Treaty of Verdun which created territories roughly equivalent to France and Germany.


Fichtenau, The Carolingian Empire, pp. 144-188.

Course Media





Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]