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An Empire of Memory: The Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks, and Jerusalem before the First Crusade

Matthew Gabriele


Beginning shortly after his death in 814, the inhabitants of Charlemagne's historical empire looked back upon his reign and saw in it an exemplar of Christian universality—Christendom. They mapped contemporary Christendom onto the past and so, during the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, the borders of his empire grew with each retelling, almost always including the Christian East. Although the pull of Jerusalem on the West seems to have been strong during the eleventh century, it had a more limited effect on the Charlemagne legend. Instead, the legend grew during this period because of a ... More

Keywords: Charlemagne, legend, First Crusade, memory, empire, Carolingians, monasticism, Christianity, religious violence, Jerusalem

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199591442
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591442.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Gabriele, author
Assistant Professor, Department of Religion and Culture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Author Webpage