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Making and Unmaking the Carolingians

Stuart Airlie

Airlie Stuart, Making and Unmaking the Carolingians, 751-888, Bloomsbury, 2021.
ISBN : 9781788317443.

How does power manifest itself in individuals ? Why do people obey authority ? And how does a family, if they are the source of such dominance, convey their superiority and maintain their command in a pre-modern world lacking speedy communications, standing armies and formalised political jurisdiction ? Here, Stuart Airlie expertly uses this idea of authority as a lens through which to explore one of the most famous dynasties in medieval Europe : the Carolingians.

Ruling the Frankish realm from 751 to 888, the family of Charlemagne had to be ruthless in asserting their status and adept at creating a discourse of Carolingian legitimacy in order to sustain their supremacy. Through its nuanced analysis of authority, politics and family, Making and Unmaking the Carolingians, 751-888 outlines the system which placed the Carolingian dynasty at the centre of the Frankish world. In doing so, Airlie sheds important new light on both the rise and fall of the Carolingian empire and the nature of power in medieval Europe more generally.

Table des matières :

List of Abbreviations
Family Trees

A Ruling Family
Building Carolingian Royalty 751-768
A House and its Head : the reign of Charlemagne 768-814
Child Labour 751-888
Louis the Pious and the Paranoid Style in Politics
Lines of Succession and lines of failure, 843-879
Universal Carolingians : masteries of time and space (751-888)
Women’s Work
The Loss of Uniqueness : 888 And All That