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Charlemagne: Father of Europe

Examine the life and times of Charlemagne and consider how history has shaped his story to serve various causes and agendas. Who was this ruler many call the “Father of Europe”?

Charlemagne: Father of Europe is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent programme. Each lecture is engaging, informative, detailed, clear, thorough, and leads you into the next one like a good story should. The lecturer answers your questions in the running without you having to ask them. The overall format of the programme is very satisfying -- starting off with the overview of battles fought and territory gained, as one would expect of a history course, but then going beyond into the "thematic lessons" which give us a picture of what the world looked like under Charlemagne; and then exploring in three lessons at the end why and in what ways this figure has endured and takes up such space in our cultural imagination. I would not have thought a course on a single ruler could take up 12 lessons, but after having watched them I don't see how it could be any less. In any case, the 12 lessons felt more like two as it is easy to binge-watch six at a time. A three-hour lecture feels like no time at all when history is recounted with so much life and colour.
Date published: 2022-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prof D. does it again Based on Prof D's other courses on the Middle Ages I began this course with high expectations, all of which were exceeded. The course showcases Prof D's ability to integrate a command of traditional sources with present-day scholarship and original insights into a comprehensive and balanced perspective, or set of perspectives, on the man, as well as the era and its institutions.
Date published: 2022-01-08
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Overview

In Charlemagne: Father of Europe, you will look back on Charlemagne’s rule and the way his dynasty and its influence would affect the world in the centuries that would follow. Join Professor Philip Daileader of William & Mary for this 12-lecture historical journey into the life, times, and complicated legacy of the ruler known as the pater Europae.

About

Philip Daileader
Philip Daileader

Making courses over the years has been an honor, and I'd like to think that as The Teaching Company has grown and developed, I've developed with it.

Dr. Philip Daileader is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary. He earned his B.A. in History from Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. Before taking his position at William and Mary, he taught at the University of Alabama and the State University of New York at New Paltz. Professor Daileader received William and Mary's 2004 Alumni Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching. As a graduate student, he was a four-time winner of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Dr. Daileader is the author of True Citizens: Violence, Memory, and Identity in the Medieval Community of Perpignan, 1162-1397. His research focuses on the social, cultural, and religious history of Mediterranean Europe.

By This Professor

The Early Middle Ages
854
Charlemagne: Father of Europe
854
Charlemagne: Father of Europe

Trailer

The Making of Emperor Charles the Great

01: The Making of Emperor Charles the Great

Meet Charles the Great, the Carolingian king who would become Charlemagne. Why was Charlemagne’s rule so different than the kings who came before him? How did the political and religious climate of Western Europe shape his kingship and his imperial ambitions? Why is there so much controversy about his reputation? Start your search for answers here.

31 min
Charlemagne as Heir and King, 748–800

02: Charlemagne as Heir and King, 748–800

To get the full picture of Charlemagne as both man and king, Professor Daileader takes you back to the formative years of Charlemagne’s life before he ascended to the imperial throne. As you look back on this period, you will also discover the way historians are constantly discovering and reevaluating information to create a clearer picture of this time in European history.

31 min
Charlemagne as Emperor, 800–814

03: Charlemagne as Emperor, 800–814

Charlemagne’s ascension to emperor at the age of 52 ushered in a new era in Europe. You will see how Charlemagne’s rule altered the European landscape and how this transformation shaped his reputation for generations to come. You will also see how hindsight can shape history in interesting—and not always terribly accurate—ways.

31 min
Charlemagne as Head of Family and Dynasty

04: Charlemagne as Head of Family and Dynasty

Although he was “Father of Europe,” Charlemagne was also the father of at least 19 children. Charlemagne’s family life powerfully affected all aspects of his life, and it influenced how future generations regarded him, both as a leader and as a person. As you will see, the king’s relations with his wives and children had important and long-lasting political repercussions.

30 min
Charlemagne as War Leader

05: Charlemagne as War Leader

As king and then as emperor, Charlemagne united disparate kingdoms in Europe through warfare, and many of his early victories helped to shape his image well into the future. Why was Charlemagne so often at war? What kinds of tactics and strategies did he use to win? And how did medieval social structures affect his choices?

32 min
Charlemagne as Ruler: Justice and Salvation

06: Charlemagne as Ruler: Justice and Salvation

Success in dynastic politics and war brought Charlemagne power. But what did Charlemagne do with this power? How did Charlemagne govern the territories under his control? First, consider the place of Charlemagne’s government in the broader sweep of European history. Then, see how Charlemagne governed in the pursuit of lofty goals, focused especially on secular justice and spiritual salvation.

32 min
Charlemagne’s World: Britain to Baghdad

07: Charlemagne’s World: Britain to Baghdad

Turn to Charlemagne’s relations with the rulers and peoples beyond his empire, stretching from Britain to Baghdad. Charlemagne’s reputation for greatness has often rested on his diplomacy as much as anything else. So, how did Charlemagne’s kingdom fit into the larger world? And how did his diplomatic relationships shape both his reputation and the political landscape of Europe and beyond?

33 min
Charlemagne as Patron of a Renaissance

08: Charlemagne as Patron of a Renaissance

Significant contributors to the notion of Charlemagne as “Father of Europe” are the scholarly and educational activities that he promoted. Charlemagne’s reign falls into the period many consider part of the “dark ages” in Europe—but were they truly as intellectually dark as some suggest? Here, examine Charlemagne’s contributions to what is called the Carolingian Renaissance.

33 min
Charlemagne as Religious Reformer

09: Charlemagne as Religious Reformer

Turn now to Charlemagne’s religious faith, which was fervent in many respects, but relaxed in others. Explore Charlemagne’s relationships with religious authorities—especially the papacy—which had a particularly strong impact on his later reputation. Also, look closely at the religious reforms that Charlemagne sought to institute throughout his reign.

33 min
Charlemagne in Medieval Legend

10: Charlemagne in Medieval Legend

Charlemagne mattered to later generations for many reasons: his complex and colorful family life; his military success; his aspirations in matters of government, education, and the Christian faith; and his international standing. However, to fully understand his significance, you will examine Charlemagne as others remembered him—or imagined him to have been.

32 min
Claims to Charlemagne across History

11: Claims to Charlemagne across History

Memories of Charlemagne have influenced 12 centuries of subsequent history. Here, you will look at the broad spectrum of historical opinion on Charlemagne from both his most ardent fans and his greatest detractors. You’ll note that as times changed, the ways in which people used and understood Charlemagne also evolved.

35 min
The Enduring Fascination with Charlemagne

12: The Enduring Fascination with Charlemagne

Now that you know more about Charlemagne himself and the role that his memory played in subsequent European history, consider more closely the question of whether, and to what extent, Charlemagne merits the title “Father of Europe.” And complete your picture of his life and his reign by reexamining how Charlemagne saw himself.

34 min