HIS 111
Unit 10:  Charlemagne and the European Middle Ages

Aachen Cathedral

Charlemagne began construction on the Aachen Cathedral (Kaiserdom) in 786--Note that the French called Aachen "Aix-la-Chapelle"--and construction occurred off and on for the next one thousand years.  This is where Charlemagne was buried.  As I remember the cathedral is still in use as a church, making it the oldest cathedral in northern Europe.

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • You may listen to some further information about Charlemagne from my HIS 101 course.
  • Carrie Griffith (fall 2017) created this story map on The Crusades.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
  • See the videos dealing with Charlemagne in the HIS 101 course.
  • For extra credit please suggest to your instructor a relevant video for this unit of the course. Send the title of the video, the URL and a brief explanation of why you find the video interesting and applicable to the material that is being studied in this unit.
Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 50 points of extra credit, read the Song of Roland (There are copies available online.) and write a one-page paper in which you explain the characteristics of the medieval knight.  Please be sure to cite your sources.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit (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 Europe.
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit (maybe more), watch the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Considering that the movie is a satirical comedy, write a one-, or two-page paper: What aspects of life in the Middle Ages were well portrayed in the film?
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, in a one-page paper, summarize the causes and outcomes of the Hundred Years' War.  Please be sure to cite any sources that you use.
  • For up to 10 points of 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 up to 10 points of extra credit, do the short Magna Carta paragraph assignment from HIS 101.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, medieval judicial procedures were quite amazing.  Write a long paragraph and comment upon some of the different kinds of "trial by ordeal" practiced in the Middle Ages.  Please be sure to cite your sources such as Ordeal of Boiling Water and Hot Iron and Cold Water.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read the Capitulary of Charlemagne (802; English translation), and in a long paragraph comment upon Charlemagne's conception of political leadership.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) explain the scope of the Carolingian Renaissance, (2) identify reasons why Charlemagne's empire did not long survive his death and (3) demonstrate knowledge of key events in medieval Europe.

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