Medieval Europe 814-1450: Theater - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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The Renaissance of Charlemagne

A New Roman Empire.

Charles the Great, king of the Franks and emperor of the Romans (742–814), presided over a cultural revolution known as the Carolingian Renaissance. ("Carolingian" is the adjective derived from the Latin form of Charles, Carolus.) He would do more for the preservation of Roman plays and the promotion of medieval theater than any other person, before or since. Ruler of a territory that included much of present-day France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, Charlemagne (as the French would call him) knew that governing his vast empire would be easier if the many different people who inhabited these lands had a common culture. In addition, therefore, to promoting peace within the empire's borders, he promulgated new laws and codified old ones, established procedures for the administration of justice, and encouraged the conversion of the...

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