At its height, the Carolingian empire spanned a million square kilometres of western Europe - from the English Channel to central Italy and northern Spain, and from the Atlantic to the fringes of modern Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. As the largest political unit for centuries, the empire dominated the region and left an enduring legacy for European culture. This comprehensive survey traces this great empire's history, from its origins around 700, with the rise to dominance of the Carolingian dynasty, through its expansion by ruthless military conquest and political manoeuvring in the eighth century, to the struggle to hold the empire together in the ninth. It places the complex political narrative in context, giving equal consideration to vital themes such as beliefs, peasant society, aristocratic culture and the economy. Accessibly written and authoritative, this book offers distinctive perspectives on a formative period in European history.
About the Author
Matthew Innes is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London. His previous publications include State and Society in the Early Middle Ages: The Middle Rhine Valley, 400�000 (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Simon MacLean is Senior Lecturer in the School of History at the University of St Andrews. His previous publications include Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. The creation of Carolingian kingship to 800; 3. Belief and culture; 4. Inventing the Carolingian empire: politics and government, 800–840; 5. Villages and villagers, land and landowners; 6. Elite society; 7. Exchange and trade: the Carolingian economy; 8. Sustaining the Carolingian empire: politics and government, 840–888; 9. Epilogue.