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British Academy Lectures 2013-14$
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Janet Carsten and Simon Frith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265864

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265864.001.0001

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Charlemagne and Europe

Charlemagne and Europe

Chapter:
(p.125) Charlemagne and Europe
Source:
British Academy Lectures 2013-14
Author(s):

Jinty Nelson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265864.003.0006

The paper begins by asking what Europe has meant to medieval historians in recent times, focusing on some answers given in the 1990s and around the year 2000, and reflecting on the different ways Charlemagne is being commemorated in different parts of Europe now, 1,200 years after his death. Charlemagne is then examined through evidence from his own time, as a ruler of a recognisably European empire, and, in the light of recent research and new approaches, His record as a political figure is reconsidered. A brief survey of his posthumous reputation as man and myth in the middle ages, and after, leads into a closer look at the roles assigned to him in post-war rhetoric. Finally the question of whether Charlemagne has, or might have, anything to offer Europeans today is examined.

Keywords:   Charlemagne, Europe, Empire, Commemoration, myth

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