Medieval Europe 09: The Early Carolingians (688-760)

January 1, 2014

In a previous lecture, we looked at the Frankish World. We now return to that world by looking at a specific dynasty, or family, the Carolingians. We met briefly the Merovingian dynasty. The Carolingian family was the dynasty that overthrew the Merovingians and it was the family that some have called the architects of Europe, that is, they are largely responsible for the rough national boundaries in modern Europe. This lecture is the first of several on this family. Their importance cannot be overstated. We will see their rise in this lecture, their reforms in the next lecture, and their fall in the lecture after that. Throughout these three lectures, I ask simple but important question: why were the Carolingians so important?


Heavy Interlude by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (