Carolingian Schools

Carolingian Schools

Carolingian Schools

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Carolingian Schools comprised a small number of educational institutions which had a major share in the Carolingian renaissance, specifically cathedral schools and monastic schools.


Under the Merovingian Kings of the Frankish kingdoms there was established at the court a 'palatial' school -- scola palatina, the chroniclers of the eighth century styled it -- for the training of the young Frankish nobles in the art of war and in the ceremonies of the court. This was not, however, a school in the modern acceptation of the term. Whatever education there was of the literary kind at that time was imparted at the monastic - and cathedral schools.

With the accession of the future emperor Charlemagne (768) a scheme of educational reform was inaugurated, first in the palace school itself, and later in the various schools established or reformed by imperial decrees throughout the vast empire over which Charlemagne reigned. The reform of the palace school, i.e. the change from a school of military tactics and court manners to a place of as the learning, was begun in 780, as soon as the victories over the Lombards, Saxons and Saracens (in Iberia) afforded.

The start at court

It was not, however, until the arrival of Alcuin at his court seat Aachen in 782 that the work of educational reform began to have any measure of success. Alcuin was not made head of the emperor's school in the palace, but was admitted to the council of the emperor in all educational matters and became...
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