The Carolingian Renaissance

The Carolina Renaissance was a period of booming cultural activity in the Carolingian empire. It was the first of a series of three medieval renaissances. The Carolingian Renaissance began in the 8th century and continued into the 9th century. The 4th-century Roman empire inspired him. The awakening was characterized by the increase in liturgical studies, architecture, literature, law, writing and religious. The renaissance took place during the reign of Louis the Pious and Charlemagne. He received the support of scholars including Alcuin of York and several members of the Carolingian court.

Charles’ Court

In the middle of the 8th century, Charlemagne approached the scholars of his court with the aim of reviving artistic creation and literacy similar to that of the Roman Empire. During his father’s reign, some teachers were contacted to teach a small group of young men. He established a school and appointed Alcuin as its leader. Scholars arrived at schools from Germany, Ireland, Spain and Italy. They visited monasteries and dioceses where they founded libraries, organized schools and transcribed old writings. They taught locals how to engage in religious activities, especially by participating in sacred music.

Educational system

Before the Renaissance, the educational system was reserved for a small audience in society. During the Renaissance, education became accessible, but its influence in the community was still limited. The activities of the Carolingine schools adopted the principle of the seven liberal arts and were divided into Trivium and Quadrivium. Trivium emphasized logic, grammar, and rhetoric while the Quadrivium emphasized arithmetic, astronomy, music and geometry. Reading and writing were the bases that a student had to learn.


Charlemagne considered restoration of architecture an important aspect of his empire. The most magnificent building of the empire was the sacred basilica used only for religious purposes. The Palatine Chapel in Aachen was the monument of the Carolingian Renaissance; it was built between the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 9th century. It served as a religious center for the court of Charlemagne, and for the next six decades it was the crowning of the German leaders. Today, the cathedral of Aachen is where the Palatine Chapel stood. The cathedral of Aachen is much larger and its predecessor. Only a small part of the wall has been preserved, although it has been restored to allow it to survive weathering.


Compared to periods prior to Charlemagne, the Renaissance can be considered a period of great cultural ascent. Education was organized although it was still limited. Valuable literature and scientific antiques have been transcribed into Carolingian scriptoria and safely stored. Historians are not sure how to characterize the rule of Charlemagne, either as the last of the traditional government or the first of medieval Europe. Carolingian art spread to other parts of Europe and became an influential period of works of art throughout the continent. Art led to the development of Romanesque art and Gothic art


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