Making and Unmaking the Carolingians: 751-888

February 23, 2021
Making and Unmaking the Carolingians: 751-888

How does power manifest itself in individuals? Why do peopleobey authority? And how does a family, if they are the source ofsuch dominance, convey their superiority and maintain their commandin a pre-modern world lacking speedy communications, standingarmies and formalised political jurisdiction? Here, Stuart Airlieexpertly uses this idea of authority as a lens through which toexplore one of the most famous dynasties in medieval Europe: theCarolingians.Ruling the Frankish realm from 751 to 888, the family ofCharlemagne had to be ruthless in asserting their status and adeptat creating a discourse of Carolingian legitimacy in order tosustain their supremacy. Through its nuanced analysis of authority,politics and family, Making and Unmaking the Carolingians,751-888 outlines the system which placed the Carolingiandynasty at the centre of the Frankish world. In doing so, Airliesheds important new light on both the rise and fall of theCarolingian empire and the nature of power in medieval Europe moregenerally.