ODWS icon

The Open Door Web Site
HOMEPAGE CHEMISTRY PHYSICS ELECTRONICS BIOLOGY HISTORY OF SCI & TECH MATH STUDIES LEARNING FRENCH STUDY GUIDE  PHOTO GALLERY
HISTORY HOMEPAGE TOPIC CHAPTERS BIOGRAPHIES EVENTS LESSON NOTES TIPS ON STUDYING HISTORY GLOSSARY OF TERMS

WS

 

Charlemagne Index

Guided Tour of the Basilica of Saint Denis
Visit to the Basilica of Saint Denis
English Workshop
Classwork : Task B
Homework : Task A

Living History Project

Living History Project Index

 

Classwork

Task A

Charles was called Charlemagne or Charles the Great in Latin. The aim of this lesson is for you to explore a variety of information to try and answer the following question

Does Charlemagne deserve the title "Charles the Great"?

 

Stage One

Before you look at the evidence, try to think about what makes a "great" king. Work with a partner and discuss the qualities that a great king should have. Once you have agreed write down your five qualities below:

Stage 1: Chart

(Remember the time period we are talking about and be ready to explain your choice to the rest of the class.)

Useful website

Go to www.google.com/images and search Charlemagne. There are many sites on him but the language is often quite difficult. The pictures are worth looking at.

 

Stage Two

Look at the list below showing some of Charlemagne's achievements (successes). Organise them into the following catagories

MILITARY (M)

CULTURAL (C)

RELIGIOUS (R)

 

1

He enlarged his kingdom by defeating many different tribes.

M

2

He was crowned emperor b the Pope in December 800.

 

3

He protected Christian lands from attack by Muslim and Slav invaders.

 

4

He developed an administrative system where the country was divided into 300 earldoms. Each was ruled by an earl who implemented his decisions.

 

5

He spread Christianity to new areas.

 

6

New churches were built facing east or Jerusalem.

 

7

A magnificent palace was built for Charlemagne at Aix-la-Chapelle.

 

8

He set up schools and encouraged the clergy to study holy texts and ancient writers.

 

9

He set up a famous school at Aachen and encouraged the spread of writing.

 

10

He sent officials (two by two), called missi dominici, throughout the kingdom to listen to legal cases, spread his law and set a schools.

 

11

He hired great scholars such as Alcuin to work at Aachen.

 

12

He won many battles.

 

13

Alcuin and priests copied many old books and saved these classics from being lost.

 

14

He defeated the Avars in 791

 

 

THE LIVING HISTORY PROJECT

Custom Search

Charlemagne

Charlemagne

Charlemagne (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)

 

Introduction

In 476 the Western Roman Empire collapsed. Gaul was gradually conquered by Clovis, leader of the Franks (481 - 511). He gradually converted most of Gaul to Christianity.

At his death in 511 the kingdom was divided between his sons (a Frankish custom). These kings form the Merovingien dynasty (name of Clovis's grandfather). Clovis's descendants ruled until 751 when the dynasty was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty.

 

Clovis's descendants

 

Charlemagne (768 - 814) was the most powerful of the Carolingians. In 800 he was crowned emperor by the pope. We will find out more about him later. However, after Charlemagne's death his empire was quickly destroyed. In 843 the kingdom was divided into three at the Treaty of Verdun. Charles the Bald kept Western France, Lothaire kept the title of emperor and the middle part of the kingdom, and Louis the German kept what is now known today as Germany.

After this period there were new invasions: in the north from the Vikings (from Denmark and Norway), in the south from the Muslims and in the east from the Hungarians. By 900 western Europe was impoverished.

 

Charlemagne's Empire

 

Classwork

Does Charlemagne deserve the title "Charles the Great"?

Stage Three

So far we have looked at Charlemagne's successes. Look at the statements below:

 

1.

Charlemagne was not always successful in battle.

2.

Some of his changes were only partially successful.

3.

Charlemagne acted cruelly at times.

4.

Charlemagne did not manage to solve all the country's problems.

5.

Some of his achievements (successes) did not last long.

 

These statements challenge the idea that Charlemagne was great. However, we need to find some evidence to support them. Look at the sentences below and match them to the statements above.

 

   

supports statement

A.

The Basques destroyed a large part of his army at Roncevaux in 778.

1

B.

The conquest of Saxony took over thirty years.

 

C.

At the end of the 8th century many areas of the country were still empty and covered in forest.

 

D.

In Saxony those who refused to convert to Christianity were killed.

 

E.

He fought the Moors of Spain for 20 years but only managed to capture a small area of land beyond the Pyrenees.

 

F.

He had wanted all boys to have an education but at the end of his reign only monks and priests had received schooling.

 

G

Trade was still very localised at the end of his reign.

 

H.

At the Treaty of Verdun (843) his empire was divided into three and weakened

 

I.

By 900 Western Europe was very poor.

 

J.

He killed the Saxon chiefs.

3

 

Stage Four

Homework

Charlemagne

Charlemagne

You now have lots of information about Charlemagne. Let's look again at the original question

Does Charlemagne deserve the title `Charles the Great'?

You are going to answer this question for homework using all the information you have discovered in the lesson AND elsewhere.

Make sure you use your own words. Do not copy. If you make a statement then you need to support it with evidence.

Here is an essay plan to help you

Para One:

Introduction : explain here what makes a great king at this time. You are going to judge Charlemagne against this definition. (stage one will help you)

Para Two

Yes, he was a great king !Use evidence to explain why : military, cultural and religious successes (see stage two).

Para Three:

No, he wasn't a great king ; use evidence to show some of his failures and weaknesses (see stage three.

Para Four

Conclusion: now write 2 - 3 sentences giving your final answer to the question. Make sure you explain why.

 

The Open Door Web Site is non-profit making. Your donations help towards the cost of maintaining this free service on-line.

Donate to the Open Door Web Site using PayPal

SITE MAP
WHAT'S NEW?
ABOUT

PRIVACY

COPYRIGHT

SPONSORSHIP

DONATIONS

ADVERTISING

The Open Door Team 2017
Any questions or problems regarding this site should be addressed to the webmaster

© Shirley Burchill, Chris Green, Mathew Hill, Nigel Hughes and Antony McDermott 2017

Footnote : As far as the Open Door team can ascertain the images shown on this page are in the Public Domain.

Hosted By
Web Hosting by HostCentric


SiteLock