THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE
The nexus of imperial and papal authority thus achieved ushered in a short period comparable to the pax romana (“Roman peace”) of late antiquity, in which the existence of an invincible and unchallengeable state brought about an era of relative political stability in Europe. Until the partition of Charlemagne’s Empire in 843, the only significant changes in the map of Europe were those that marked the Empire’s expansion, which reached a peak around 830. The period from the 780s, when Charlemagne finally gained the upper hand in a protracted, savage war with the pagan Saxons to the east, into the reign of his son and successor Louis I (known as Louis the Pious, reigned 814–840), was devoted to the consolidation of centralized power within the Carolingian domains. In 812, two years before his death, Charlemagne had the satisfaction of being formally recognized as an equal by the Byzantine Emperor Michael I, whose imperial lineage, unlike Charlemagne’s, reached back into antiquity.
This interval of stability enabled a spectacular rebirth of the arts of peace, particularly at Charlemagne’s courts at Aachen (or Aix-la-Chapelle), now in westernmost Germany, and Metz (or Messins), in northeastern France. This happy period for learning and creativity, purchased by a period of endless battles, forced migrations and conversions, and genocidal massacres, is known as the Carolingian Renaissance.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2016. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001003.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 4 Dec. 2016, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001003.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 4 Dec. 2016, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001003.xml