- Carolingian Renaissance
The Carolingian Renaissance was a period of intellectual and cultural revival occurring in the late eighth and ninth centuries, with the peak of the activities occurring during the reigns of the
Carolingianrulers Charlemagneand Louis the Pious. During this period there was an increase of literature, writing, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgicaland scriptural studies. The period also saw the development of Medieval Latinand Carolingian minuscule, providing a common language and writing style that allowed for communication across most of Europe.
The use of the term "renaissance" to describe this period is contested due to the majority of changes brought about by this period being confined almost entirely to the
clergy, and due to the period lacking the wide ranging social movements of the later Italian Renaissance.Scott pg 30] Instead of being a rebirth of new cultural movements, the period was typified more as an attempt to recreate the previous culture of the Roman Empire. [Cantor pg 190]
The lack of literate persons in eighth century western Europe caused problems for the Carolingian rulers by severely limiting the number of people capable of serving as court scribes. Of even greater concern to the very pious rulers was the fact that not all parish priests possessed the skill to read the
Vulgate Bible. An additional problem was that the vulgar Latinof the later Western Roman Empirehad begun to diverge into the regional dialects, the precursors to today's Romance languages, that were becoming mutually unintelligible and preventing scholars from one part of Europe being able to communicate with persons from another part of Europe.
To address these problems,
Charlemagneordered the creation of schools. A major part of his program of reform was to attract many of the leading scholars of his day to his court. Among the first called to court were Italians, Peter of Pisawho from 776 to about 790 instructed Charlemagne in Latin and Paulinus of Aquileiafrom 776 to 787 and whom Charlemagne nominated as patriarch of Aquileiain 787. In 782, the Lombard Paul the Deaconwas brought to court and remained until 787when Charles nominated him abbotof Montecassino. Theodulf of Orléanswas a Spanish Goth who served at court from 782 to 797 when nominated as bishop of Orléans. Theodulf had been in friendly competition over the standardization of the Vulgatewith the chief among the Charlemagne's scholars, Alcuin of York. Alcuin was a Northumbrian monkand deaconwho served as head of the Palace School from 782 to 796, except for the years 790 to 793 when he returned to England. After 796, continued his scholarly work as abbot of St. Martin's Monastery in Tours. Among those to follow Alcuin across the Channel to the Frankish court was an Irishman, one Joseph Scottus, who left some original biblical commentary and acrostic experiments. After this first generation of non-Frankish scholars, their Frankishpupils, such as Angilbert, would make their own mark.
The later courts of
Louis the Piousand Charles the Baldhad similar groups of scholars. Among the most important was John Scotus Eriugena.
One of the primary efforts was the creation of a standardized curriculum for use at the recently created schools. Alcuin led this effort and was responsible for the writing of textbooks, creation of word lists, and establishing the trivium and
quadriviumas the basis for education. [Cantor pg 189]
Other contributions from this period was the development of
Carolingian minuscule, a "book-hand" first used at the monasteries of Corbieand Tours that introduced the use of lower case letters. A standardized version of Latin was also developed that allowed for the coining of new words while retaining the grammatical rules of Classical Latin. This Medieval Latinbecame the common language of scholarship and allowed administrators and travelers to make themselves understood across Europe. [Chambers pg 204-205]
Carolingian art spans the roughly 100-year period from about 800–900. Although brief, it was an influential period — northern Europe embraced classical Mediterranean Roman art forms for the first time, setting the stage for the rise of
Romanesque artand eventually Gothic artin the West. Illuminated manuscripts, metalwork, small-scale sculpture, mosaics and frescos survive from the period.
Carolingian architecture is the style of North European architecture promoted by Charlemagne. The period of architecture spans the late eighth and ninth centuries until the reign of Otto I in
936, and was a conscious attempt to create a Roman Renaissance, emulating Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine architecture, with its own innovation, resulting in having a unique character.
In Western culture, there had been an unbroken tradition in musical practice and theory from the earliest written records of the
Sumerians(c. 2500 BC) through the Babyloniansand Persiansdown to ancient Greeceand Rome. However, the Germanic migrationsof the 400s AD brought about a break with this tradition. Most in western Europe for the next few centuries did not understand the Greek language, and thus the works of Boethius, who saw what was happening and translated ancient Greek treatises into Latin, became the foundation of learning during this period. With the advent of scholarly reforms by Charlemagne, who was particularly interested in music, began a period of intense activity in the monasteries of the writing and copying of treatises in music theory— the Musica enchiriadisis one of the earliest and most interesting of these. Charlemagne sought to unify the practice of church music by eliminating regional stylistic differences. There is evidence that the earliest Western musical notation, in the form of neumes "in camp aperto" (without staff-lines), was created at Metzaround 800, as a result of Charlemagne's desire for Frankish church musicians to retain the performance nuances used by the Roman singers. [ [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-0139(200321)56%3A1%3C43%3AADCCMP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23 James Grier "Ademar de Chabannes, Carolingian Musical Practices, and "Nota Romana"] , Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 43-98, retrieved July 2007] Western musical practice and theory of today can be traced in an unbroken line from this time to the present, thus it had its beginnings with Charlemagne.
Economic and legal reforms
Charlemagne was faced with a variety of currencies at the start of his reign. To correct problems these various currencies caused, he standardized a system based on a pound of
silver(" Livre tournois"). "Deniers" were minted with a value of 240 deniers to a pound of silver. A second value, the "solidus", was also created as an accounting device with a value of twelve deniers or one twentieth of a pound of silver. The solidus was not minted but was instead used to record values such as a "solidus of grain" which was equal to the amount of grain that twelve deniers could purchase. [Scott pg 40]
*cite book | author = Norman F. Cantor | year = 1993 | title = The Civilization of the Middle Ages: a completely revised and expanded edition of Medieval history, the life and death of a civilization | publisher =
HarperCollins| id = ISBN 0-06-017033-6
*cite book | author = Mortimer Chambers | coauthors = Raymond Grew, David Herlihy, Theodore K. Rabb, Isser Woloch | year = 1983 | title = The Western Experience: To 1715 | edition = 3rd edition | publisher =
Alfred A. Knopf| location = New York | id = ISBN 0-394-33085-4
*cite book | author = Martin Scott | year = 1964 | title = Medieval Europe | publisher = Dorset Press | location = New York | id = ISBN 0-88029-115-X
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Carolingian Renaissance — An intellectual and cultural revival of the eighth and ninth centuries, the Carolingian Renaissance was a movement initiated by the Carolingian kings, especially Charlemagne, who sought not only to improve learning in the kingdom but to… … Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe
Carolingian Renaissance — … Useful english dictionary
Carolingian art — is the roughly 120 year period from about AD 780 to 900 mdash; during the reign of Charlemagne and his immediate heirs mdash; popularly known as the Carolingian Renaissance. For the first time, Northern European kings patronized classical… … Wikipedia
Carolingian Schools — comprised a small number of educational institutions which had a major share in the Carolingian renaissance, specifically cathedral schools and monastic schools. Contents 1 Antecedents 2 The start at court 3 Further ambition … Wikipedia
Carolingian architecture — is the style of north European architecture belonging to the period of the Carolingian Renaissance of the late 8th and 9th centuries when the Carolingian family dominated west European politics. It was a conscious attempt to emulate Roman… … Wikipedia
Renaissance (disambiguation) — Renaissance usually refers to a period in the history of Europe between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. See also .Cultural movementspecific regions of Europe* English Renaissance * French Renaissance * German Renaissance * Italian Renaissance … Wikipedia
Renaissance carolingienne — Raban Maur (gauche), présenté par Alcuin (centre), dédicace son œuvre à l archevêque Otgar de Mayence (droite). Liber de laudibus Sanctae Crucis, manuscrit de Fulda, vers 831 840. La renaissance carolingienne est une période de renouveau de la… … Wikipédia en Français
Carolingian minuscule — [ right|frame|Example from 10th century manuscript, Vulgate Luke 1:5 8.] Carolingian or Caroline minuscule is a script developed as a writing standard in Europe so that the Roman alphabet could be easily recognized by the small literate class… … Wikipedia
Carolingian Dynasty — Ruling nearly all of Christian Europe from the eighth to the tenth century, the Carolingians, as they were known from their greatest member, Charles the Great, in Latin Carolus Magnus, known as Charlemagne, established a great empire, presided … Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe
Renaissance — The Renaissance (from French Renaissance , meaning rebirth ; Italian: Rinascimento , from re again and nascere be born ) [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=renaissance searchmode=none Renaissance, Online Etymology Dictionary] ] was a… … Wikipedia