Charles appointed and deposed bishops, directed a revision of the text of the Bible, instituted changes to the liturgy, set rules for life in the monasteries, and sent investigators to dismiss priests with insufficient learning or piety.
The Franks, Charlemagne, and the Forging of Europe
He had his deacon, Paul, publish a collection of homilies for use throughout the kingdom, instructing him to "peruse the writings of the Catholic fathers and, as in a flowery meadow, pick the choicest blooms and weave a single garland of all that can be put to use. Charles also took an active interest in the two main religious controversies of his era, adoptionism which held that Jesus was not "God from God" but was adopted as God's son during his lifetime and iconoclasm which condemns icons as idolatry.
In his reforms, Charles showed that, like Constantine, he believed he was overlord of the church. Education was also carefully tended. The partially illiterate Charles believed that success in his political and religious reforms depended on learning: "although doing right is better than knowledge, knowledge comes before doing. The only copy of many classical texts we have today came from the pens of monks he set to work.
He required each cathedral and monastery to set up a school and compelled the children of nobles to attend who might otherwise have considered this beneath them. Charles's government helped set the feudal system deeply in place. His armies were made of nobles, bound to him by oaths and granted tracts of land to support themselves and their soldiers.
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He published his laws in "capitularies," and sent them throughout the realm by missi dominici , pairs of inspectors who made sure his orders were obeyed in castles and churches. This energetic political, cultural, and religious reform, is today known as the Carolingian Renaissance and is one reason Charles was given the appellation, "Great," in Latin, Charlemagne. Sections Home.
Charlemagne at the end of the 18th century – the man and the legend
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Charlemagne - Ancient History Encyclopedia
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