Charlemagne hoped to make his capital at Aachen (AH kun) a “second Rome.” To achieve this goal, he made a determined effort to revive Latin learning.
Charlemagne could read but not write. He is said to have kept a slate by his bed so that he could practice making letters. For him, education also served to strengthen his empire as he saw the need for records and clear reports.
To ensure a supply of educated officials, Charlemagne set up a palace school and brought scholars there from all over. He asked a famous scholar, Alcuin of York, to run his palace school. There, scholars were set to work copying ancient manuscripts including the Bible and Latin works of history and science.
Although Charlemagne's empire crumbled, the great Frankish ruler left a lasting legacy. He extended Christian civilization into northern Europe and furthered the blending of Germanic, Roman, and Christian traditions. He also set up a system for strong, efficient government. Later medieval rulers looked to his example when they tried to strengthen their own kingdoms.
How did Charlemagne unify Europe?
After Charlemagne died in 814, his son Louis I took the throne. Later, Louis's sons battled for power. Finally, in 843, Charlemagne's grandsons drew up the Treaty of Verdun, which split the empire into three regions. The empire was divided just at a time when these lands were faced with new waves of invasions.
Between about 700 to about 1000, Western Europe was battered by invaders from other lands. Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings conquered lands across the region. Even after their defeat at Tours in 732, Muslim forces kept up their pressure on Europe. In the late 800s, they conquered the island of Sicily, which became a thriving center of Muslim culture. Not until the 900s, when power struggles erupted in the Middle East, did Muslim attacks finally subside.
About 900, a new wave of nomadic people, the Magyars, overran Eastern Europe and attacked the Byzantine empire. They moved on to plunder Germany, parts of France, and Italy. Finally, after about 50 years, they were turned back and settled in what is today Hungary.
Use the map to find total distances the invaders traveled and number of routes taken. Rank the invaders from longest to shortest total distances traveled and most to least routes taken.