Unit 8: Charlemagne
Reconstructed Viking ships, docked so peacefully in Vyburg, Finland.
Charlemagne was a warrior king, and most of his reign was spent in
battle with adversaries on the frontiers of his empire as he expanded
that empire across Europe. Charlemagne's most implacable foes
included the Vikings from Scandinavia, who used their Viking long boats
to constantly threaten the European mainland throughout the eighth and
ninth centuries, but it was not until after Charlemagne's death in 815
that the Vikings became a real threat to European mainland
society. Charlemagne's successors did not maintain the expensive
fort system that Charlemagne had put in place to prevent the Vikings
from sailing up European rivers and raping, pillaging and burning.
must do in this unit
What you can do in this unit
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
- Re-read chapter 7 in the textbook espeically the sections on western Europe.
- Read my notes on Charlemagne.
- Study the Questions to Consider and the Key Terms for the Unit.
- Post (or respond) your thoughts/ideas about this unit's reading and assignment in the Blackboard online discussion forum. Do not post your assignment there.
Extra Credit Options
- For a maximum of 50 points (maybe more), using such sources as The Vikings, Vikings by the BBC, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga or Vikings (and any other sites you may wish to consult),
write a one-page paper (maybe two pages), in which you argue either that the
Viking excursions were (a) beneficial or (b) harmful to the development of
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, read Einhard's Life of Charlemagne and write a long paragraph (How did Charlemagne use the church to his
advantage during his reign?).
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, read the Capitulary of Charlemagne (802; English translation), and in a long paragraph comment upon Charlemagne's conception of political leadership.
- For a maximum of 10 points extra credit, answer the Song of Roland study sheet questions.
- For extra credit, please suggest a
relevant website for this unit of the course. Send the title of the site, the url and a
brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to
the material being studied this unit.