How Charlemagne Changed the World ___/50

Name: ________________________________ Date: __________________________ Period: ______
How Charlemagne Changed the World
Directions: (1) Use context clues, your background knowledge, the word bank, and the process of
elimination to fill in the blanks below. (2) Answer the questions as they occur. (3) Complete the flow
map to make clear what happened “After the breakup of the Roman Empire.” Use the highlighted
references to time as a guide. (4) Write a one paragraph summary of the reading. Your paragraph
MUST include four sentences, one appositive, and one adjective. If your paragraph includes pronouns,
they MUST be used correctly.
After the breakup of the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe flourished under emperors who ruled from
(1) _______________. Western Europe, in contrast, disintegrated into a fragmented collection of rival
kingdoms. It was a time marked by frequent warfare, few important cultural achievements, and the
virtual cessation of learning. Europe was entering the Dark Ages’ fourth century when Charlemagne was
born in 742. When Charlemagne was twenty-six, he and his
younger (2) _______________ inherited the kingdom of the
Franks, which was then falling back into its barbarian ways.
To the north the pagan Saxons persisted in raids against the
Franks as they had against the Romans. To the south the
Christian Church was struggling to (3) _______________
lands confiscated by the Lombards in Italy.
Provide one of the adjectives used in the paragraph
above that could describe Western Europe after the
breakup of the Roman Empire.
Charlemagne was determined to restore (5) _______________. When his brother died in 771, he
immediately embarked on a mission to unite all of the Germanic peoples of Europe into one Christian
kingdom. In 772 he launched a military campaign that would last for thirty years. Through the course of
more than fifty (6) _______________, most of which he led in person, he conquered almost all of
mainland Europe. By 804 his vast realm encompassed what are now France, Switzerland, Belgium, and
The Netherlands. It included (7) _______________ of present-day Italy and Germany, and parts of
Austria and Spain.
Underline the antecedents for the two double-underlined pronouns in the paragraph above.
In your own words, restate the mission that Charlemagne set for himself when his brother died.
A fierce warrior, in many ways Charlemagne was also the first Renaissance man. Our most intimate
(11) _______________ into his life come from his biographer, Einhard, a courtier who served both
Charlemagne and his son and successor, Louis the Pious. Einhard’s Vita Karoli Magni is considered the
first biography of a European monarch. Einhard described Charlemagne as “heavily built, sturdy, and of
considerable stature… [H]is height was seven times the length of his own (12) _______________. He
had a round head, large and lively eyes, a slightly larger nose than usual … a bright and cheerful
expression, [and] a short and fat neck...” At meals, instead of having jesters perform, Charlemagne
listened to visiting scholars read from learned works. He studied rhetoric, logic, astronomy, and
arithmetic. He learned to read Latin and some (13) _______________, though he never learned to
write. He practiced forming letters on books and wax tablets that he hid under his pillow, but, according
to Einhard, “his effort came too late in life and achieved little success.” Educational reform was high on
Charlemagne’s (14) _______________. In 782 he reformed the Palace School in Aachen, his capital.
Charlemagne recruited the best teachers from throughout his vast empire and expanded the curriculum
to include the liberal arts and, most importantly, the study of the religion. He also greatly increased the
money available for monastic schools and scriptoria, centers for book-copying. (15) _______________
agree that most of the surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by his scholars.
Why does the author include these details about Charlemagne’s failed efforts to learn to write?
Charlemagne was an ardent Christian. At the start of his reign the Franks were the only tribe in Europe
who were mainstream Christians. Many tribes, like the Saxons, were pagans - they worshipped various
(17) _______________ gods in venerated woods and groves. Other tribes, like the Goths and the
Lombards, were Arians; followers of Arias, a third century Christian clergyman from Libya. Arians
disputed the Christian Church’s doctrine of the (18) _______________ - that God consists of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Arians believed that Jesus was distinct and subordinate to the Father. Soon
after Christianity became a tolerate faith within the
Roman Empire, the Church sought to unify and clarify its
theology. Arianism was (19) _______________ a heresy
at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The early Church
considered stamping out dissent and demanding doctrinal
authority central its mission.
Underline an appositive in the paragraph above.
Division within Europe’s Christian leadership further
complicated this complex scene. During these years the
western Christian world was (21) _______________ by a
pope in Rome. Christians in the East were ruled by the
emperor in Constantinople. In time this Eastern Roman
Empire would become known as the Byzantine Empire - but the final break between Roman Catholic
and the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Great Schism, was still two centuries away. In Charlemagne’s
time these churches were rivals, but neither considered the Church formally and (22) _______________
divided. Both sought to unite Christendom - and both sought Charlemagne’s support.
In the East, Empress Irene began her reign in 780 as regent for her nine-year-old son, Constantine. A
cunning and (23) _______________ ruler, she negotiated a marriage between Constantine and one of
Charlemagne’s daughters, though she later rescinded the engagement. Constantine married in 788 and
became emperor in his own right in 790. He divorced his wife in favor of his mistress in 795, in effect
giving legitimacy to what the Church considered an adulterous union.
In April of 797 Constantine was (24) _______________, blinded, and
imprisoned by his mother’s supporters. He died from his wounds
several days later. Thereafter Irene ruled in her own right. In the
West, the papacy of Leo III was similarly precarious. In 799 Romans
who were loyal to his (25) _______________, Adrian I, rebelled against
him. Assailants tried to root out Leo’s tongue and tear out his eyes. He
was left unconscious, rescued, and delivered to Charlemagne, who
then went to Leo’s aid and defeated the rebellion in Rome. Leo
crowned Charlemagne the first Holy Roman Emperor at Saint
(26) _______________ Basilica on December 25th of 800. This
coronation did not give Charlemagne any new powers, but it
established him as the secular leader of Christian Europe. It also strengthened Leo’s hand against Irene.
Leo considered the throne of the Byzantine emperor vacant because it lacked a male occupant.
Crowning (27) _______________ was Leo’s insult to Irene and the Eastern Roman Empire.
Why did Leo crown Charlemagne the first Holy Roman Emperor? Use your own words.
By establishing a central government over Western Europe, Charlemagne restored much of the unity of
the old Roman Empire and paved the way for the (29) _______________ of modern Europe.
Everywhere his rule was established, Charlemagne instituted the same reforms. He established key
representatives in each region and held a general assembly each year at Aachen. He standardized
weights, measures, and customs dues. Trade became easier and the continent prospered when
Charlemagne abandoned the gold standard and put all of Europe on the same (30) _______________
currency. Frustrated with the nobility’s sense of entitlement, Charlemagne required his regional
governors to submit to regular inspections as a bulwark against mistreatment of the poor.
Charlemagne was in good health until the final four years of his life, when he often suffered from fevers
and acquired a limp. However, as (31) _______________ notes, “Even at this time … he followed his
own counsel rather than the advice of the doctors, whom he very nearly hated, because they advised
him to give up roasted meat, which he loved, and to restrict himself to boiled meat instead.” In 813,
Charlemagne called his son, (32) _______________, to his court. There he crowned his son co-emperor
with his own hands. He spent that autumn hunting before returning to Aachen. Charlemagne fell ill
with pleurisy, an inflammation of the lungs, the following winter. He was in a deep depression, as
Einhard tells it, mostly because so many of his plans were not yet realized. He took
(33) _______________ early on the morning of January 21st, 814, then went to bed. He died there and
was buried in the Palatine Chapel in Aachen Cathedral that same day.
Directions: (1) Complete the flow map to make clear what happened “After the breakup of the Roman
Empire…” Use the highlighted references to time as a guide. Be sure to keep your events in
chronological order. (2) Write a one paragraph summary of the reading. Your paragraph MUST include
four sentences, one appositive, and one adjective. If your paragraph includes pronouns, they MUST be
used correctly.
“After the
breakup of the
Roman Empire
Eastern Europe