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early christian art Charlemagne

Charlemagne


       History 101 - Fast Forward
       Fall 1996
       PREPARED BY:
       SUBMITTED:  September 30, 1996

Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, King of the Franks (742-814), was a strong
leader who unified Western Europe through military power and the blessing of the
Church.  His belief in the need for education among the Frankish people was to
bring about religious, political, and educational reforms that would change the
history of Europe.

Charlemagne was born in 742 at Aachen, the son of Pepin(or Pippin) the Short and
grandson of Charles Martel.  His grandfather, Charles, had begun the process of
unifying western Europe, in the belief that all people should be Christian.
Charlemagne's father, Pepin, continued this process throughout his rule and
passed his beliefs on to Charlemagne.  All three, in addition to the political
unification, believed that the church should be reformed and reorganized under
the Pope, which helped their rise to power as the Carolingian Dynasty. (Holmes
74)

Upon Pepin's death in 768, Charlemagne and his brother, Carloman, each inherited
half of the Frankish kingdom.  Pepin, in the Merovingian tradition of the time,
split his kingdom between his two sons.   Three years later Carloman died and
Charlemagne took control of the entire kingdom.  He inherited great wealth and a
powerful army, built by his father and grandfather.  Charlemagne used the army
and his own skillful planning to more than double the size of the Frankish
Kingdom. (Halsall 15)

The world of Charlemagne was a heathen one, with many warring tribes or kingdoms.
Many of these tribes were conquered by Charlemagne, among them the Aquitanians,
the Lombards, the Saxons, the Bretons, the Bavarians, the Huns, and the Danes.
The longest of these battles was against the Saxons, lasting thirty-three years.
Charlemagne actually defeated them many times, but due to their faithlessness
and their propensity to return to their pagan lifestyle, the Saxons lost many
lives in the prolonged battles with the Franks.  With each conquest the Frankish
kingdom grew, and with growth came additional power and responsibility for
Charlemagne.  In each area of Europe that was taken over by Charlemagne, he
removed the leaders if they would not convert to Christianity and appointed new
ones, usually someone with high position in the Church.  Those people who
refused to convert or be baptized in the church were put to death. (Holmes 75)

The Church played a vital role in the kingdom of Charlemagne.  It gave a sense
of stability to Charlemagne's rule, and he in turn provided stability in the
Church.  The people conquered by Charlemagne, after being converted to
Christianity, were taught through the Bible a unified code of right and wrong.
It was necessary for the Church to play a role in this education of the people,
because only the clergy were educated. (Boussard 92)  The Church also guided
Charlemagne's hand as a ruler, for he took on many conquests as a necessity to
spread the Christian religion throughout Europe. (Ganshoff 19)  Indeed, it
appears that Charlemagne's desire to spread his kingdom and government was
intertwined with his desire to spread the Christian religion and have the people
live according to the Word of God. (Ganshoff 25)

At the beginning of the Carolingian dynasty the Church was suffering from many
problems.  Paganistic peoples, a degradation of the Latin language, and the
decline of power of the Pope or Papacy all contributed to the need for a leader
to bring about reformation.  Charles Martel, Pepin, and ultimately Charlemagne
all took as their personal responsibility the reorganization of the Church.
Each one, as king of the Franks, saw it  his duty to better the state of his
churches. (Ganshoff 205)  Charlemagne, through the monasteries and ultimately
the "Palace School", required all priests to learn classic Latin.  His purpose
was to insure that church services were always conducted in the proper form,
with correct pronunciation and grammar.  The education of the priests also
served to provide Charlemagne with a growing number of educated people for his
administration, and gave his kingdom a unified written language that could be
passed on throughout all of Western Europe. (Holmes 97)

The Papacy had been reduced to controlling only a small portion of land around
Rome, and was under constant aggression from the Lombards.  Pope Hadrian I in
773 appealed to Charlemagne to help rebuff the Lombards, and in the winter of
that year in a short and decisive campaign, the Lombards were defeated.
Charlemagne then added "King of the Lombards" to his title, and gave control of
the northern part of Italy to the Pope.  The creation of the "Papal States"
indebted the ... more

early christian art

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The Romantic Poets: And The Role Of Nature

The Romantic Poets: and the role of Nature
Craig Williamson
The poetry of the English Romantic period (1800-1832), often contain many descriptions, and ideas of nature, not found in most writing. The Romantic poets share several charecteristics in common, certainly one of the most significant of these is their respective views on nature.Which seems to range from a more spiritual, if not pantheistic view, as seen in the works of William Wordsworth, to the much more realistic outlook of John Keats. All of these authors discuss, in varrying degreess, the role of nature in acquiring meaningful insight into the human condition. These writers all make appeals to nature as if it were some kind of living entity calls are made for nature to rescue the struggling writer, and carry his ideas to the world. One writer stated in his introduction to a Romantic anthology:
The variety of this catalogue implies completedness;
surely not phase or feature of the outer natural world
is without its appropriate counterpart in the inner world
of human personality. Nature, then, can be all things to
all men. To the revolutionary Shelley, the rough wind
wails, like the poet himself, for the world's wrong; or it
lifts his own thoughts to scatter them like leaves, like
glowing ashes, over the world in an apocalyptic prophecy
of the coming Utopian spring. To Keats, beset by longing
and heart-ache, the happiness of the nightingale's song
intensified an unbearable consciousness of unattainable
pleasures. (6)
Nature took a different role in each of the Romantic poets, and even the PreRomantics, and Victorians writings, but each of these writers has that one major thing in common: They all write extensively on the role of nature in the lives of people.
The English Romantic poets, hailing mostly from the Lakeside district of England, would have grown up in a region that is known for its natural beauty. These writers did not know the ugliness of the city, nor do they have any experience of the crowded streets, and polluted air of London. To these writers, the world is a very beautiful place. There are wonderful virgin forests, pristine lakes and rivers, and beautiful wildlife, making this region a wealthy little virtual paradise. Certainly this would (at least partly) account for the facination with the natural world that can be found in these poets. They mostly grew up seeing nature in its highest form of beauty, and they were definately influenced by their environments.
Throughout the course of this paper, four poems, written by three poets, will be discussed in some detail. Additional poems and poets will also be mentioned briefly as this discussion progresses. They are Wordsworth's Ode on Intimations of Immortality, stanzas: One, two, four, and eleven, as well as parts of five and eight. The second Wordsworth poem is: My Heart Leaps Up. The second poem will be Percy-Byshe Shelley's Ode to the West Wind. And the final poem will be: Bright Star by John Keats. Each of these poems contain strong references to nature, and its role in the developement of human identity, and additionaly, of the sacredness, almost divinity that is to be found in nature. Throughout these poems, the reader will find, as has been mentioned, a varrying (yet still somewhat common) idea of the importance of nature. This should help the reader to catch a little insight into how the English Romantics viewed man and his role within nature, as well as nature's role within human society and specificaly, how nature can effect and individuals development over his lifetime.
Let us now turn to the first poet that we will discuss, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, released a book of poems titled: Lyrical Ballads. With this book came the beggining of the Romantic period. Wordsworth declared that:  Poetry, should be written in the language of the common man and should be about incidents and situations from common life (Francis, 36). Clearly this is a rejection of the Neo- Classical tradition, and an embracing of ordinary things and people. Wordsworth can really be classified by his very romanticized view held toward nature:
A love of nature is one of Wordsworth's predominate
themes. For him, birds, trees, and flowers represent
and invisible spirit that is present everywhere ... more

early christian art

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