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Winterhaze13 View Drop Down
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Charlemagne
    Posted: 12-Mar-2005 at 13:43

In this thread I would like to discuss Carolingian King Charlemagne who was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800.

Do you think he deserves his legacy as being the defender of European Christian civilization?

Without his resistence against the Muslims would Europe succumb to the invasions?

If so, would Europe still become a prosperous and power continent if it became an extention of the Muslim world?

Is Charlemagne a hero or a bloodthirsty barbarian?



Edited by Winterhaze13
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  Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2005 at 13:58

Some information on Charlemagne:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_the_Great

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2005 at 12:39
So many questions, so little time!

The question if Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse as we call him, can be credited with single-handedly saving Europe from Muslim invasion and rule cannot really be answered. The Kingdom of the Franks under his rule only defended the Western borders of Europe, and that after the initial and possibly most dangerous attack of the Omayads had been repelled by his grandfather Karl Martell.
If the Spanish Arabs would have had in any case the political and military staying power to subdue large parts of a Christian Central Europe for such a long period that the subsequent history of Europe would have been completely different, namely Muslim, must be doubted. They didnt achieve that in Spain itself and wouldnt have in the European heartlands.
Charlemagne lasting achievement was to create a unified Central European state or two if you want: France and Germany, which became too strong for any further serious attempts of invasion from that direction.
I think the Byzantines effort in defending the Eastern borders against repeated and far more sustained attacks for more than 700 years was far more remarkable.

Hero or bloodthirsty barbarian?

Neither, really. Charlemagne was political realist and as any other ruler of his, or any other, period wasnt too choosy about the methods with which to accomplish his aims. The Christianization of Germany, for example, wasnt achieved without the occasional massacre of obstinate tribes, but was absolutely necessary for the unification of the country.
On the whole, he probably deserved his title the Great, not because he defended Europe from the Arabs, but because he laid the foundations for the subsequent history of Central Europe, especially for that of Germany which he changed from a country of warring, loosely connected tribes into a relatively unified state, united in religion, language, culture and political administration.
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  Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2005 at 00:37

So many questions, so little time!

The question if Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse as we call him, can be credited with single-handedly saving Europe from Muslim invasion and rule cannot really be answered. The Kingdom of the Franks under his rule only defended the Western borders of Europe, and that after the initial and possibly most dangerous attack of the Omayads had been repelled by his grandfather Karl Martell.
If the Spanish Arabs would have had in any case the political and military staying power to subdue large parts of a Christian Central Europe for such a long period that the subsequent history of Europe would have been completely different, namely Muslim, must be doubted. They didnt achieve that in Spain itself and wouldnt have in the European heartlands.
Charlemagne lasting achievement was to create a unified Central European state or two if you want: France and Germany, which became too strong for any further serious attempts of invasion from that direction.
I think the Byzantines effort in defending the Eastern borders against repeated and far more sustained attacks for more than 700 years was far more remarkable.

Hero or bloodthirsty barbarian?

Neither, really. Charlemagne was political realist and as any other ruler of his, or any other, period wasnt too choosy about the methods with which to accomplish his aims. The Christianization of Germany, for example, wasnt achieved without the occasional massacre of obstinate tribes, but was absolutely necessary for the unification of the country.
On the whole, he probably deserved his title the Great, not because he defended Europe from the Arabs, but because he laid the foundations for the subsequent history of Central Europe, especially for that of Germany which he changed from a country of warring, loosely connected tribes into a relatively unified state, united in religion, language, culture and political administration.

 Good points.

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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2005 at 02:48
indeed I think he summed it all up quite nicely.
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I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2005 at 15:03
Maybe he was a bloodthursty hero???
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  Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2005 at 01:26
Originally posted by Winterhaze13

In this thread I would like to discuss Carolingian King Charlemagne who was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800.

Do you think he deserves his legacy as being the defender of European Christian civilization?

i think yes he does deserve that title

 

 

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2005 at 14:46

Originally posted by Komnenos


Neither, really. Charlemagne was political realist and as any other ruler of his, or any other, period wasnt too choosy about the methods with which to accomplish his aims. The Christianization of Germany, for example, wasnt achieved without the occasional massacre of obstinate tribes, but was absolutely necessary for the unification of the country.
On the whole, he probably deserved his title the Great, not because he defended Europe from the Arabs, but because he laid the foundations for the subsequent history of Central Europe, especially for that of Germany which he changed from a country of warring, loosely connected tribes into a relatively unified state, united in religion, language, culture and political administration.

 

bah, what a Bismarckian bullsh*t, Hitler wanted to unify europe and get rid of small quarreling states, was he a hero or what? and what's good about keepign an enlightened religion like islam out do europe and massacre pagan tribesmen en masse just to get them converted to an opressive religion?

for the question of ehro or bloodthirsty, probably both, he was not in any way different from Chinggis Qaan 400 years later, but Chinggis was both more enlightened and more bloodthirsty as him.

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2005 at 16:10
Originally posted by Temujin


bah, what a Bismarckian bullsh*t, Hitler wanted to unify europe and get rid of small quarreling states, was he a hero or what? and what's good about keepign an enlightened religion like islam out do europe and massacre pagan tribesmen en masse just to get them converted to an opressive religion?


for the question of ehro or bloodthirsty, probably both, he was not in any way different from Chinggis Qaan 400 years later, but Chinggis was bothmore enlightened and more bloodthirsty as him.



Firstly, if you had read my post carefully, I did not comment if it was "good" what Charlemagne did, I just stated some widely acknowlegded facts. He did what he did and with the benefit of hindsight we can now say what consequences his actions had.
Secondly, the comparisons you drew between Charlemagne and Dschingis Khan and Hitler are too banal and vacuous as to deserve any discussion. If you argue like that you can compare anybody to anybody, the ruler of a global empire to a village chief on a remote Pacific island. You might gain some insights into the conditions of human nature but no understanding of complex historical processes.
Thirdly, religions are not in itself enlightened or opressive, but the actions of those who practise religion can be. Again, I didn't state if I thought that the repulsion of Islam from Europe through Charlemagne or his grandfather was a good thing or not, but I venture to say, that both religions, Islam and Christianity had both, rare moments of enlightenment under enlightened practitioners of their faiths and long periods of opression under opressive ones.
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2005 at 16:50

Originally posted by Komnenos

Secondly, the comparisons you drew between Charlemagne and Dschingis Khan and Hitler are too banal and vacuous as to deserve any discussion.

why? i did not compare Charlemagne to Hitler, i just draw a conenction because your final sentence "unified culture, dialect etc" and "gettign rid of small quarrelign states" did soudn like a Nazi propaganda poster...apparently there's no need to have countries like Belgium and poland around?

second, you can easily compare Chinggis Qaan to Charlemagne, it's just that most people have a wrong picture of both characters.

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2005 at 16:23
Basicly, he was a barbarian.

Overall, his actions were good for europe in the long term. He could have been less brutals though.
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2005 at 17:37
Originally posted by Exarchus


Basicly, he was a barbarian.


As in Conan the Barbarian?
You just cannot make generalising statements like that.
"Barbarian" was always a term that compared the un-civilised with the civilised?
With what or whom can you compare Charlemagne? Surely compared to the rulers of the various Islamic or the Byzantine Empire he was an un-sophisticated and un-educated oaf. But he didn't live in the Mediterranean or in the Middle East.
He lived in Central Europe that had gone through four or five centuries of constant upheaval and cultural regress and here Charlemagne's reign had an enourmous and civilising effect.
In German historical writing, his reign is defined as the "Carolingian renaissance", when literature, education and art recovered from periods of neglect.
His introduction of political and religious administration stabilised the Frankish kingdom and he undertook a great number of building projects.
One might accuse him of occasionaly employing "barbarian" methods, but a "Barbarian" he certainly wasn't.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2007 at 13:35
Originally posted by Komnenos

Originally posted by Exarchus


Basicly, he was a barbarian.


As in Conan the Barbarian?
You just cannot make generalising statements like that.
"Barbarian" was always a term that compared the un-civilised with the civilised?
With what or whom can you compare Charlemagne? Surely compared to the rulers of the various Islamic or the Byzantine Empire he was an un-sophisticated and un-educated oaf. But he didn't live in the Mediterranean or in the Middle East.
He lived in Central Europe that had gone through four or five centuries of constant upheaval and cultural regress and here Charlemagne's reign had an enourmous and civilising effect.
In German historical writing, his reign is defined as the "Carolingian renaissance", when literature, education and art recovered from periods of neglect.
His introduction of political and religious administration stabilised the Frankish kingdom and he undertook a great number of building projects.
One might accuse him of occasionaly employing "barbarian" methods, but a "Barbarian" he certainly wasn't.
 
Studying Medieval history, I would parallel him to Islamic and Byzantine statesmen, surely he was not by background highly educated, and could seem an "uneducated oaf" when compared in matters of education, and maybe in some respects culture as well. However, he was capable, intelligent, and had enough foresight. He attained the title of Emperor, no small deed considering staggering Byzantine opposition as they are the only Emperors, heirs of Constantine, and Augustus. He established a viable kingdom, one even divided lasted beyond him, his educational reforms, and political reforms gave him a wider base of support, and tools needed to run the government properly. He understood that his realm lacked education, something crucial for any society.
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  Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2007 at 22:43
Well, if anything, i truelly hope that we can all at least agree on the simple fact that his reign sits atop most European "epochs", and is one of the most important "epochs" in human history.
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  Quote Balain d Ibelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2007 at 22:53
Ans for Q1:
      Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse, or also named Carolus Magnus, may deserved the legacy of being the defender of the "Christendom", because of:
      1. He fought the Pagan German Saxons and Lombards and the Nomadic Pagan Avar which were some of the enemies of Christendom
      2. He invade Andalusian Spain to halt Muslim Invasion to the Christendom, but failed to gain Region.
      3.He had a good special relationship with the Papacy and the Popes.
  
   However, he can't be described as a good Defender of the Christendom because of just 1 reason:
         - He allowed JEWS to do Trading, and even made some of them his Ministers and he also had a very good friendship and relationship and made good allowances for them. This reason couldn't make Charlemagne the real defender of Christendom as most christendom Kingdoms at the Middle ages persecuted and debated the Jews.
 
I won't answer Q2 and Q3, as it is hard.
 
But for Q4, he's a real Hero.


Edited by Balian d'Ibelin - 15-Jun-2007 at 22:56
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