Home Region:  Western Europe (Europe)

Carolingian Empire I

EQ 2020  fr_carolingian_emp_1 / FrCarlE

Members of the Carolingian Dynasty had served as mayors of the palace under the Merovingian kings from the late 7th century CE onwards, wielding substantial power behind the throne. In 752 CE, however, Childeric III (last of the Merovingian rulers) was deposed and they seized outright control of the Frankish realm. [1] [2] With the new dynasty the capital moved east: Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, became the main royal residence of the Carolingian monarchs until the empire began to disintegrate in the 9th century. [3]
Charlemagne was the most powerful Carolingian king, but after his death in 811 CE, the empire stopped expanding. The year 811 also marked the beginning of a rise in sociopolitical instability that resulted ultimately in a complete split of the kingdom. After the 843 CE Treaty of Verdun, the Carolingian lands were partitioned among Louis the Pious’ sons: Charles took the west, Louis the German the east, and Lothair took the Frankish territory between these two regions. [4] The Treaty of Meerssen (870 CE) resulted in the absorption of the central Frankish realm into West and East Francia, forming a boundary that even now endures as the border between France and Germany. [5] The empire was briefly reunited from 884 to 887 under Charles the Fat, [6] but as a rule the Frankish lands remained politically fragmented from the mid-9th century to 987 CE, when power passed to the Capetian Dynasty. [7]
This polity represents the early period of Carolingian rule, from 752 to 840 CE.
Population and political organization
In the Carolingian era, the lands under Frankish control grew considerably and an administrative system was developed in order to govern this large territory. [8] One official position that first appeared in this period was the missus dominicus (king’s representative), who could be sent out from the court to inspect the counties and pass on the king’s decrees. [9] Decrees were sometimes set down in documents called capitularies. [9] However, capitularies post-dating 843 CE are only found in West Francia, and they stopped being produced there too after the death of Charles the Bald in 877. [9] [10] This might suggest that the office of missus dominicus did not exist beyond that date and did not survive the rise in instability.
The Carolingian kings ruled in an essentially decentralized fashion like the Merovingians before them. Control over the regions was delegated to fief holders, often hereditary vassals of the king. [11] The king ruled by decree [9] and under Charlemagne (r. 800-814 CE) counties were established as the basic unit of governance. [9] Counts were responsible for enforcing local laws, dispensing justice and setting taxes. [9] By 850 CE, almost every county in West Francia also had a viscount, who assisted the count in his duties. [12]
During Charlemagne’s reign, the population of Gaul probably reached 5 million [13] but levels of urbanization were low in these supposed ’dark ages’ of medieval France: no town reached over 10,000 inhabitants between the 8th century and 1000 CE. [14]

[1]: (Wood 1994, 292) Wood, Ian. 1994. The Merovingian Kingdoms 450-751. London: Longman. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/ARUIRN35.

[2]: (Morby and Rozier 2014) Morby, John E., and Charlie Rozier. 2014. Dynasties of the World. 2nd ed., online edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acref/9780191780073.001.0001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/3C5IVS6E.

[3]: (Chazelle 1995, 31) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Aix-La-Chapelle.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 31-32. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/J93C7T3S.

[4]: (Chazelle 1995, 332) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[5]: (Chazelle 1995, 332-33) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[6]: (Chazelle 1995, 333) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[7]: (Bouchard 1995, 312) Bouchard, Constance B. 1995. “Capetian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 312-17. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/2SNRCJVG.

[8]: (Chazelle 1995, 329-30) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[9]: (Chazelle 1995, 330) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[10]: (Chazelle 1995, 318) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Capitulary.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 318-19. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/K3U2V585.

[11]: (Nicolle 1995, 18) Nicolle, David. 2005. Carolingian Cavalryman AD 768-987. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QHXZFXS3.

[12]: (Boulton 1995, 1822) Boulton, D’A. Jonathan D. 1995. “Viscount/Viscounty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 1822-23. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/IZK522AK.

[13]: (Percy, Jr. 1995, 1415) Percy, Jr., William A. 1995. “Population and Demography.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 1415-17. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QI73FMSM.

[14]: (Percy, Jr. 1995, 1739) Percy, Jr., William A. 1995. “Towns.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 1739-40. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/Z3F9HKUJ.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
32 U  
Original Name:
Carolingian Empire I  
Capital:
Aix la Chapelle  
Aachen  
Alternative Name:
Francia  
Kingdom of the Franks  
Regnum Francorum  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
811 CE  
Duration:
[752 CE ➜ 840 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
Latin Christendom  
Succeeding Entity:
Carolingian Empire II  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
17,000,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Proto-Carolingian  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Latin  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Christianity  
Religion Family:
Catholic  
Religion:
Roman Catholic  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[20,000 to 30,000] people  
Polity Territory:
1,100,000 km2  
Polity Population:
20,000,000 people 811 CE
15,000,000 people 811 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3  
Religious Level:
[6 to 7]  
Military Level:
[4 to 5]  
Administrative Level:
4  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
absent  
Court:
inferred absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
inferred absent  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
inferred present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
present  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
inferred absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred absent  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
present  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Carolingian Empire I (fr_carolingian_emp_1) was in:
 (752 CE 839 CE)   Paris Basin
Home NGA: Paris Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Carolingian Empire I

Early phase 752 - 840 CE


Capital:
Aix la Chapelle

Aachen was the capital city for the full period.

Capital:
Aachen

Aachen was the capital city for the full period.



Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
811 CE

811 CE was the year of the death of Charlemagne. After 811 CE the Carolingian Empire stopped expanding. 811 CE was also the start date of a gradual rise in sociopolitical instability which resulted ultimately in a complete split of the kingdom.


Duration:
[752 CE ➜ 840 CE]

The year 752 CE was the start year of the Carolingian dynasty. During the period 687 CE to 752 CE the Carolingians were already the effectual rulers, as mayors of the palace, yet there was still a Merovingian figurehead as king.


Political and Cultural Relations

Succeeding Entity:
Carolingian Empire II

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
17,000,000 km2

km squared. Latin Christendom was roughly equivalent to the maximum extent of the former Roman Empire? The rough limits of Christianity in this period: the area that is now northeastern Germany would be converted by force under Charlemagne, while the area south of Rome, in particular Calabria, Puglia, and Basilicata, was as much part of the Eastern Orthodox world as that of Latin Christendom, although these distinctions did not exist then.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

New dynasty composed of a different branch of elites, but no substantial population change, and no elite migration.




Language

Language:
Latin

Administrative and military affairs were all conducted in Latin. A multitude of other languages were also spoken, including Old French, Old German, dialects of Gaelic, dialects of Old Latin, Breton, Italian dialects, ... .



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[20,000 to 30,000] people

The polity was largely de-urbanized and the two biggest cities (Rome and Paris) had a relatively low population level. " It is estimated that the population of Paris was 20,000-30,000 by the 8th century." [1]

[1]: (Kibler 1995, 1316)


Polity Territory:
1,100,000 km2

kilometers square
Lombardie774 + Duche Spanish March; 778 Bavaria 787 Papal States; 800 Saxony 777to797: 3 separate rebellions, if anything 777 Breton 770s DB will check Septomania (next to spanish marches) 759
The Alps is the border between Lombardia and Bavaria


Polity Population:
20,000,000 people
811 CE

The Gaul part of the kingdom counted around 811 CE 5,000,000 inhabitants.

Polity Population:
15,000,000 people
811 CE

The Gaul part of the kingdom counted around 811 CE 5,000,000 inhabitants.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3

1. Large town
"no town surpassed 10,000 inhabitants between the 8th century and the year 1000." [1]
2. Small town
3. Hamlet90% population lived in rural settlements [2]
All urban settlements had very low population levels.

[1]: (Percy Jr 1995, 1739-1740 CE)

[2]: (Percy Jr 1995)


Religious Level:
[6 to 7]

Note: hierarchy might need fine-tuning to conditions in Carolingian France
1. Pope
Pope is primus inter pares among the five patriarchs. [1]
2. Metropolitans and archbishops"the term ’bishop’ applies to patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, and bishops (both suffragan and assistant bishops or chorepiskopoi) throughout the Byzantine period. After the ’ecumenical’ patriarch of Constantinople, who after the seventh century occupied the only remaining patriarchal seat under Byzantine rule, metropolitans held the second highest rank in the Orthodox Church." [2]
"The title ’archbishop’ emerged in special cases, for example in important cities such as Athens which did not possess a metropolitan." [2]
3. Bishops and ChorepiskopoiBishops and Chorepiskopoi form one rank below the metropolitans and archbishops [1]
3. Priest"In the early Church, priests or presbyters served as advisers, teachers, and ministers who assisted the bishops to whom they were assigned." [2]
4. Deacon"Deacons assisted the priest or bishop at the Divine Liturgy, baptisms, and other sacraments. ... Various administrative and pastoral jobs were delegated to deacons from an early period; they helped bishops to dispense charity to the community, manage the diocese’s finances and property, and to deal with other official business (Laodikeia, canons 21, 23, 25). Deacons were subject to the authority of both bishops and priests, but they came to exercise considerable power, especially in the patriarchate of Constantinople." [3]
4. Deaconess (diakonissa)"The deaconess’s chief liturgical role was to assist at the baptisms of women; she also acted as a mediator between women parishioners and their bishops, kept order among female members of the congregation, and ministered especially to women." [3]
5. Subdeacon"The rank of subdeacon provided a stepping-stone to that of deacon; its duties were similar to those of the deacon." [4]
6. Reader (anagnostesj"A reader is a member of the lower clergy with the responsibility of reading, usually from the ambo, passages from the Epistles and the Old Testament prescribed for offices and the Divine Liturgy." [4]
7. Minor orders"Other members of the minor clerical orders included doorkeepers, exorcists, cantors, and widows. All of these officials helped in either liturgical, administrative, or pastoral functions. Most would have received payment from their dioceses, or, in the case of private foundations, from their donors, but it is likely that most would have been engaged in secular professions in order to supplement their incomes." [4]

[1]: (Preiser-Kapeller 2015, Personal Communication)

[2]: (Cunningham 2008, 529) Jeffreys E, Haldon J and Cormack R eds. 2008. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Cunningham 2008, 531) Jeffreys E, Haldon J and Cormack R eds. 2008. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[4]: (Cunningham 2008, 532) Jeffreys E, Haldon J and Cormack R eds. 2008. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Military Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
Here too the two structures of the kingdom result in a different military hierarchy.
For the area under direct rule, the structure is: King, vassals (dukes, marquises, lords, barons), sub-vassals (notables/nobles, lords, knights), infantrymen/cavalry
For the area under indirect rule, the structure is: King, Counts/sub-kings, vassals, sub-vassals, infantrymen/cavalry


Administrative Level:
4


1. King
_Court institution_
Philip II (1180-1223 CE) had "a small group of close counsellers who held offices with particular, if not always specialized, functions. Philip also employed royal agents in the demesne, and outside, to carry on the routine work of government and to enforce the changes which he introduced./ We speak of departments, and we know of the existence of a chancery and a chamber, but we should be mistaken to see these as entirely separated organizations. Household departments do not emerge until the reign of St Louis, but they were in the process of formation in Philip’s time. The close counsellors and the clerks could still move from one area of the administration to another, and often did.../ Central government was organized under a few major officials: the chancellor, the seneschal, the butler, the chamberlain and the constable. These originated as household officials with specific functions. By the beginning of the twelfth century these offices had been taken over by leading magnates. Under Philip, one or two magnates held such titles ... But the trend was to pass office, and sometimes title, to more humble men and their professional staff, for example marshals assisting the constables." [1]
2.3.4.
_Neustria and Austrasia_
2. Subkingdom / areas were ruled by an Archbishopdirectly appointed by the king and non-hereditary position
Usually this extra level filled in as ’subkingdoms’ and these positions were often held by family members, e.g. Italy, Acquitania, and Bavaria.
2. Missi Dominici/Vasi Dominici3. Notables/lords/mayors/vicars.DB: How do ’comes/count’ fit into this story? Are they relevant?
4. PagiDB: How do ’pagus’ fit into this story? Are they relevant?

[1]: (Bradbury 2013, 249) Jim Bradbury. 2015. Philip Augustus: King of France 1180-1223. Routledge.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

absent but with the exception of bodyguards




Bureaucracy Characteristics
Merit Promotion:
unknown

In the Carolingian era, the lands under Frankish control grew considerably and an administrative system was developed in order to govern this large territory. [1] One official position that first appeared in this period was the missus dominicus (king’s representative), who could be sent out from the court to inspect the counties and pass on the king’s decrees. [2] However, it is not clear how this or other administrative positions were obtained.

[1]: (Chazelle 1995, 329-30) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[2]: (Chazelle 1995, 330) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

In the Carolingian era, the lands under Frankish control grew considerably and an administrative system was developed in order to govern this large territory. [1] One official position that first appeared in this period was the missus dominicus (king’s representative), who could be sent out from the court to inspect the counties and pass on the king’s decrees. [2] However, it is not clear whether this or other administrative positions were full-time.

[1]: (Chazelle 1995, 329-30) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[2]: (Chazelle 1995, 330) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.


Examination System:
unknown

In the Carolingian era, the lands under Frankish control grew considerably and an administrative system was developed in order to govern this large territory. [1] One official position that first appeared in this period was the missus dominicus (king’s representative), who could be sent out from the court to inspect the counties and pass on the king’s decrees. [2] However, it is not clear how this or other administrative positions were obtained.

[1]: (Chazelle 1995, 329-30) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.

[2]: (Chazelle 1995, 330) Chazelle, Celia. 1995. “Carolingian Dynasty.” In Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, edited by William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn, Lawrence Earp, and John Bell Henneman, Jr., 328-34. New York: Garland Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F3ZBDZSD.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

Self representation was common.


Judge:
present

DB: can you provide details here in a short descriptive paragraph? DH: later period has inferred absent here -- | any clear indication of a change between periods?


Formal Legal Code:
absent

King ruled by decree. His laws were often recorded in documents called capitularies but after division of Empire in 843 CE they were only found in West Francia and then not beyond 877 CE. [1]

[1]: (Chazelle 1995, 330, 318)


There were definitely court buildings, but these were probably used for other purposes.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
absent

although there were some private initiatives



Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Water channels used for fresh water in Early Medieval Francia. Squatriti mentions an aqueduct built for Le Mans by Bishop Aldric: "From the fourth century onward, in fact, water evergetism in the peninsular survived by assuming new forms. Much as was the case in ninth-century Le Mans, in late antique Italy bishops replaced secular builders of aqueducts. Indeed, by Aldric’s day, Italy had developed a distinguished tradition of episcopal involvement in urban water supply. [1]

[1]: (Squatriti 2002, 13) Paolo Squatriti. 2002. Water and Society in Early Medieval Italy, AD 400-1000. Cambridge University Press.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

"France possesses no precious metal resources and little copper. Iron ores are abundant, and there are regional deposits of lead, zinc, and coal. All of these were exploited during the Middle Ages. Evidence for ironworking exists from Merovingian France onward." [1]

[1]: (Hall in Kibler et al 1995, 1177)


Information / Writing System





Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

These works were mostly editions of classical authors



Religious Literature:
present

For example, the works of Saint Augustine. DB: is ’Josephus Scottus’ another good example?


Practical Literature:
present

Rule books, manuals.


Philosophy:
present

These works were mostly editions of classical authors



History:
present

These works were mostly editions of classical authors. DB: are Einhard’s ’Life of Charlemagne’ and Paul the Deacon good examples? Can you add additional examples?


Fiction:
present

These works were mostly editions of classical authors, although there were also some new poems and fables. DB: can you provide examples?



Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
present

The majority of the coins were made of silver. There were also some gold coins. "240 silver pence equalled one pound of silver." [1]

[1]: (Preiser-Kapeller, Johannes. Personal Communication to Jill Levine, Dan Hoyer, and Peter Turchin. April 2020. Email.)


Foreign Coin:
present

At least in the Early Carolingian period the most common foreign coins in use were Byzantine and Arab coins.


Article:
present

Payment in kind likely widespread among commoners.


Information / Postal System
Courier:
present

Likely only for the wealthy.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since palisades are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used). David Baker says present. [2]

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.



Stone Walls Mortared:
present

David Baker says present. [1] Carolingian castles "used the standard building techniques employed by all since the Romans ... built in stone with crenellation ... round and square tower construction, and interior battlements, often built of wood." [2]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 38) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

David Baker says present. [1] "Forts and Castles Castles were not terribly common in the Carolingian age. The great age of castle construction was the eleventh and twelfth centuries during the social, economic, and political revolution that strengthened the aristocracy and handed control of the lands to its members. Castles became essential to maintain this inequitable structure, but in the Carolingian age there were some castles and heavily defended towns that required siege methods to overcome." [2]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 38) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Modern Fortification:
absent

David Baker says absent. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


A monastery in a region of recently pacified Saxons had "an encircling moat and a strong wall, which extended to the River Weser. Towers fortified the four corners and gate towers secured the entrance into the monastery precinct. The site was originally the location of a Roman castelllum." [1]

[1]: (Schutz 2004, 354) Herbert Schutz. 2004. The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900. BRILL. Leiden.


Fortified Camp:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Earth Rampart:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since earth ramparts are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used). David Baker says present. [2]

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Ditch:
present

General reference for Western Europe 11th and 12th centuries CE: fortifications typically consisted of earth ramparts and timber palisades which were generally surrounded by dry ditches (rather than water-filled for a moat). In the early 12th century CE stone began to replace earth-and-timber defences for walls and for castles (previously often wooden). [1] Since ditches are a very ancient form of fortification we could code inferred present for the period earlier than the 12th century (when it is known they were still used).

[1]: (Jones 1999, 171-172) Richard L C Jones. Fortifications and Sieges in Western Europe, c.800-1450. Maurice Keen. ed. 1999. Medieval Warfare: A History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Complex Fortification:
absent

David Baker says absent. [1] "Forts and Castles Castles were not terribly common in the Carolingian age. The great age of castle construction was the eleventh and twelfth centuries during the social, economic, and political revolution that strengthened the aristocracy and handed control of the lands to its members. Castles became essential to maintain this inequitable structure, but in the Carolingian age there were some castles and heavily defended towns that required siege methods to overcome." [2] Carolingians built both Roman and Saxon style fortresses. [2]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 38) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.



Military use of Metals

Writing in the 14th century, Ibn Hudhayl "described Frankish swords as mudakkar with ’steel edges on an iron body, unlike those of India.’" [1] "The carbon content of Western blades is much lower, but their hardness can be increased by quenching (an easier process when only thin bands of steel along the edges are involved). Despite the evident superiority of crucible steels, Western blades offered a useful combination of properties, at presumably a much lower price, than Oriental ones, and there are references to their being exported to Muslim lands, for examples, Saracen pirates demanded 150 Carolingian swords as part of the ransom for Archbishop Rotland of Arles in 869." [2]

[1]: (Williams 2012, 35) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.

[2]: (Williams 2012, 36) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.


Bronze, leather and iron were used to make helmets. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Copper:
present

Bronze, leather and iron were used to make helmets. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Bronze:
present

Bronze, leather and iron were used to make helmets. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

David Baker says present. [1] Torsion catapults. [2]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 38-39) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

First use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE at Byzantine siege of Zevgminon. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


David Baker says present. [1] Carolingian period: "Carolingian military organization was based primarily on that of their Merovingian predecessors, who had built on later Roman institutions ... Archers and slingers fighting on foot supported the battle line." [2]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[2]: (Bachrach 2001, x) Barnard S Bachrach. 2001. Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire. University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia.


Self Bow:
present

"The bow was first used by the Franks in the 4th century but did not become a required arm of the Frankish infantry until the time of Charlemagne." [1] Cart-drivers given bow and arrow. [2] Wooden staffs were banned and bows were encouraged instead. [3] "The early Frankish bow was a very long (five- to six-foot) yew bow. By the ninth century, a shorter bow was more typical. Unlike the late Roman double-convex bow, which was very much like modern bows, the Frankish bow was straight and flat..." [4]

[1]: (De Vries in Kibler et al 1995, 114)

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 13) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[4]: (Butt 2002, 43) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Javelin:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.




Crossbow:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Composite Bow:
absent

"The bow was first used by the Franks in the 4th century but did not become a required arm of the Frankish infantry until the time of Charlemagne. These early archers generally were equipped with a short bow of simple wood construction. But in the following centuries bows were improved by the addition of horn, sinew, and glue in a composite construction complete with angled ears to give more pull to the bowstring." [1]

[1]: (De Vries in Kibler et al 1995, 114)


New World weapon.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
absent

Wooden staffs were banned and bows were encouraged instead. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Used by cavalry. [1] Short sword [2] used by infantry.

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 13) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 40) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Used by cavalry, though initially not with a charge. [1] Poor men used as infantry carried shield and spear. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 13) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Polearm:
unknown

Not common as not usually listed as a weapon.


Dagger:
unknown

Not common as not usually listed as a weapon.


Battle Axe:
present

Axes were an infantry weapon. [1] "The seax was a cross between an ax and a short sword. It was single edged, made of iron, and was used for hacking rather than piercing." [2]

[1]: (Butt 2002, 42) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.

[2]: (Butt 2002, 43) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.


Animals used in warfare

Cavalry. Artists included the stirrup in their drawings of Carolingian cavalry from the late ninth century CE. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Elephant:
absent

David Baker says absent. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Donkey:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


David Baker says absent. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Poor men used as infantry carried shield and spear. [1] ET: Presumably this shield would have to have been made out of wood?

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 13) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Shield:
present

Is a large round shield being carried by cavalry in the period art on this page (the authors used it to demonstrate the presence of the stirrup)? [1] Poor men used as infantry carried shield and spear. [2]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 13) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Scaled Armor:
present

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] David Baker says present. [3]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Plate Armor:
absent

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] David Baker says absent. [3] c1250-1330 CE: "development of weapons capable of piercing mail: the gradual introduction of pieces of plate (at first of whalebone, horn, and boiled leather, as well as of the iron and steel that ultimately prevailed) to cover an ever larger part of the mail). By 1330, every part of the body of a knight was normally protected by one or several plates... By 1410, the various pieces of plate, including a breastplate and backplate instead of the earlier coat of plates, were all connected by straps and rivets in an articulated suit, or ’harness,’ of polished steel." [4] David Baker says absent. [3]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.

[4]: (Boulton 1995 67-68) Jonathan D Boulton. Armor And Weapons. William W Kibler. Grover A Zinn. Lawrence Earp. John Bell Henneman Jr. 1995. Routledge Revivals: Medieval France (1995): An Encyclopedia. Routledge. Abingdon.


Limb Protection:
unknown

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] David Baker says present. [3]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Leather Cloth:
present

Bronze, leather and iron. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Laminar Armor:
absent

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] David Baker says absent. [3]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Helmet:
present

Bronze, leather and iron were used to make helmets but only the wealthy had them. [1]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Chainmail:
present

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] Wealthy expected to use mail armour. [3] David Baker says present. [4]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Butt 2002, 40) John J Butt. 2002. Daily Life in the Age of Charlemagne. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.

[4]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Breastplate:
present

The few who could afford it used body armour. [1] The military retinue of kings and magnates (including clergy) "had the most complete equipment and were virtually professional warriors." [2] c1250-1330 CE: "development of weapons capable of piercing mail: the gradual introduction of pieces of plate (at first of whalebone, horn, and boiled leather, as well as of the iron and steel that ultimately prevailed) to cover an ever larger part of the mail). By 1330, every part of the body of a knight was normally protected by one or several plates... By 1410, the various pieces of plate, including a breastplate and backplate instead of the earlier coat of plates, were all connected by straps and rivets in an articulated suit, or ’harness,’ of polished steel." [3] David Baker says present. [4]

[1]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 12) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Hooper and Bennett 1996, 14) Nicholas Hooper. Matthew Bennett. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: The Middle Ages, 768-1487. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Boulton 1995 67-68) Jonathan D Boulton. Armor And Weapons. William W Kibler. Grover A Zinn. Lawrence Earp. John Bell Henneman Jr. 1995. Routledge Revivals: Medieval France (1995): An Encyclopedia. Routledge. Abingdon.

[4]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

For example galleys. The navy was very small. The Mediterranean Sea was dominated by the Arabs and the Byzantines. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

David Baker says present. [1]

[1]: David Baker. Personal communication to Seshat Databank.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.