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traditional temple 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

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Egyptian Death Rituals

The death of Pharaoh
On a balmy November day in 1922 one of the greatest archeological finds ever would be made. It all started with the discovery of a single rough cut stone step, the first in a staircase that would lead to the most celebrated tomb of modern times. Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen would capture popular attention like no other discover before or after it. With each item brought from the tomb the public wanted to know more and more about the boy-king of Egypt. Probably the most intriguing and perplexing question surrounding the tomb is the mystery surrounding the death of the young Pharaoh.
It has been over three thousand and three hundred years since the interment of Tutankhamen. Even with the discovery of the relatively intact tomb, or knowledge of teh king is sketchy, based upon a fragment here and a fragment there. Howard Carter remarked after the discovery of the tob that, We are getting to know to the last detail what he had, but of what he was and what he did we are still sadly to seek(Carter 11). Even so, the evidence left to us down through three centuries paints a picture of intrigue and strife leading to a murder committed by a trusted courtier.
To understand the circumstances surrounding this murder, we must start our investigation with the reign of Amenophis III, the ninth king of the Eighteenth Dynasty and most probably the father of Tutankhamen (see note 1). The one seed event of our tragic tale is Amenophis III's encouragement of the worship of the Aten, or the sun disk. As a sign of his reverence for the Aten, he built a temple to the Aten and named his own private pleasure barge Splendour of Aten (Desroches-Noblecourt 114-115). Egyptian pharaohs had ther idiosyncrasies like all people, and were tolerated in the religious structure of Egypt as long as the structure itself remained. The culture of Egypt centered upon its polytheistic religion. Everything in the empire had its patron god, and all were ruled over by Amen-Re. Every moment of their lives and on into their graves, the Egyptian lived knowing that their godes were responsible for everything in the world around them. Amenophis III would pass on his reverence of the Aten to his son Amenophis IV, and in so doing would mark the beginning of the end of the Eighteenth dynasty.
When he ascended the throne, Amenophis IV was already firmly planted in the worship of the Aten. Within two years he had banned the worship of all other gods, plunging the country into panic and disarray when the people were denied the worship of their tr aditional gods. At the heart of Egyptian culture was its religion. The polytheistic religion of the Egyptians permeated every aspect of life and death along the fertile Nile river. No other Pharaoh had ever dared upset the gods with such actions. When Akhenaten, as Amenophis IV was now calling himself, made the worship of the Aten the only official religion, he set forth a cultural shock wave that would profoundly affect his realm.
To simplify a theology inaccessible to the masses; to reconcile people and god by showing the latter as the orb shining impartially upon all; to proclaim what the priests had known ever since the time of the gods: that men were born equal and that only their wickedness differentiated them; to unite mankind by bringing it close to all other life, and reminding it of the intimate relationship between all mineral, vegetable, animal and human elements; and to suppress the practice of magic which could only paralyze moral progress-- such were th eleading ideas of Amenophis IV's great design (Desroches-Noblecourt 126-127).
Akhenaten's reforms were met with strong oppositions by the priesthoods. With Akhenaten's banning of their gods, they had lost much of their power. The new priests of the Aten took the tributes form the other temples and chased all the clergy who would not embrace the Aten into hiding. Akhenaten sent workers throughout the empire, removing the names of the other gods from monuments and temples. He moved the center of his empire from the traditional ... more

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