Carolingian Empire During The Middle Ages - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Frankish Empire and its Effects on the Formation of Modern France As with the formulation of any nation-state, the predecessor empire/state has a large influence on the way that the proceeding state itself develops…
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Carolingian Empire During The Middle Ages
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Download file to see previous pages Accordingly, this brief essay will attempt to consider the overall effects that the Carolingian Empire had o formulating the basic understandings of culture and statehood that eventually developed into our modern interpretation of France as it has existed for the past 1200 years. One of the preeminent problems with pre-Middle Ages Europe was that it was a highly tribalized and lacked any type of cohesion or unity after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The power vacuum that was created caused a litany of tribes to stake out territorial claims throughout the continent and beyond and seek to raise a form of society and individualized culture from out of these constructs.1 It was not until Charlemagne came long that a sense of cohesion was begun to be implemented by right of conquest within the tribes that now constitute modern day France. The dawn of the Carolingian Empire was of paramount importance to the formulation of a modern day understanding of France due to the fact that Charlemagne and his progenitors were able to incorporate the use of a common language and religion among the areas and tribes they conquered. As any student of history knows, these two factors alone are powerful forms of congealing a given area into the idea that nationhood/statehood. In this way, Charlemagne, as one of the first actions of the Carolingian Empire, sought to congeal his grip on the territories in and around modern day France. One of these ways was to ensure that the encroachment of the Muslim Moors was stopped at the Battle of Tours. This event in and of itself was a massive victory for the definition of Christianity and statehood of the Frankish peoples. With respect to the subsequent Carolingian Renaissance, as historians have called it, the name itself is a bit of misnomer due to the fact that the Carolingian Renaissance did not have the far reaching societal effects that later European renaissances would have. Rather, the Carolingian Renaissance was almost entirely predicated on a restoration of the glory of the Roman Empire.2 Although this in itself was not necessarily a bad end to strive towards, the effect of the renaissance on enlightening the populace, changing social mores/norms, and giving way to higher and greater interpretation of art was severely constricted.3 The artistic developments during the period include the literary development of the Vulgate Bible, the development of Romanesque art and the illuminated manuscripts that were indicative of Byzantine iconoclasts (such as “Christ in Majesty” from the Aberdeen Bestiary), and the further development of distinctly Pre-Romanesque architecture in Europe (such as The Palatine Chapel in Aachen).4 What these three things have in common is the fact that each of them is merely a development of something that had previously existed; rather than a new interpretation of an old theme. In this way, the actual nature of the “Carolingian Renaissance” has been called into question as compared with the later fuller renaissances that took place within Europe. Rather than seeking to propagate new styles and new ideas, the Carolingian Renaissance seemed to point backwards to a time of European history that was long gone yet still remembered fondly. Although the Carolingian Empire was a key determinate in establishing the idea of modern statehood within Europe, one could argue that as compared to the artistic expression and sociological ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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