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Old November 21st, 2017, 12:57 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
Und auf Deutsch, Karl der Große.....

I've always wondered what he was known as or called during his time? How was he addressed by his subjects? Was it dependent on what they language the particular individual spoke?

What did he call himself? Was he equally comfortable speaking many different languages?

Why do we usually refer to him as Charlemagne in the English speaking world?
Menshevik,

Charlemagne (same both in French and in English) I guess from the Latin Carolus Magnus.
As for what language they spoke (I read a long controversial thread on a French forum) In fact we don't know. We have a bilingual treaty from 842: The oaths of Stasbourg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg
That's not too long after Charlemagne
As about the name of Charles (pronounced the French way) or Karl we don't know it even. I have tried together with Isleifson and others to establish what they both spoke at each side from the Germanic/Romance language border, but that is rather difficult for these earliar times. In any case the language border from the North Sea to the former Yougoslavian border seems to be not "that much" changed in two thousand years

I guess perhaps Charel (pronounced the French way) as we call him overhere can be also a possibility as it is like a mix from the French Charles with the Germanic Karl, between the "ch" and the "k" not that great difference...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:26 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
Und auf Deutsch, Karl der Große.....

I've always wondered what he was known as or called during his time? How was he addressed by his subjects? Was it dependent on what they language the particular individual spoke?

What did he call himself? Was he equally comfortable speaking many different languages?

Why do we usually refer to him as Charlemagne in the English speaking world?
The extant copy of the Capitulare de Villis is in Wolfenbüttel and is in latin. It is a set of instructions detailing how Carolus' estates should be managed. Names are somewhat fluid still and he is also known as Karolus. I don't know when Magna was added to create Karolus Magna but he was also known as Karolus Stor.

https://www.le.ac.uk/hi/polyptyques/...lare/site.html

He lived around Aachen and had a hunting lodge on the present germany/belgium border and in all liklihood spoke franconian or old high german as his mother tongue. But, he was well schooled, in particular by Alcuin of York and will have spoken latin as an official language and also knew greek. He may have spoken the early form of french, a gallo romance language which was emerging at that time. You can see the languages in the Oaths of Strasbourg which we written in the 9th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg

He gave the months names: Wintarmanoth, Hornung, Lentzinmanoth, Ostarmanoth, Winnemanoth, Brachmanoth, Heuvimanoth, Aranmanoth, Witumanoth, Windumemanoth, Herbistmanoth, Heilagmanoth and all of his daughters received Old High German names.

Last edited by authun; November 21st, 2017 at 01:33 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:44 PM   #33

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRyckier View Post
Menshevik,

Charlemagne (same both in French and in English) I guess from the Latin Carolus Magnus.
As for what language they spoke (I read a long controversial thread on a French forum) In fact we don't know. We have a bilingual treaty from 842: The oaths of Stasbourg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg
That's not too long after Charlemagne
As about the name of Charles (pronounced the French way) or Karl we don't know it even. I have tried together with Isleifson and others to establish what they both spoke at each side from the Germanic/Romance language border, but that is rather difficult for these earliar times. In any case the language border from the North Sea to the former Yougoslavian border seems to be not "that much" changed in two thousand years

I guess perhaps Charel (pronounced the French way) as we call him overhere can be also a possibility as it is like a mix from the French Charles with the Germanic Karl, between the "ch" and the "k" not that great difference...

Kind regards, Paul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by authun View Post
The extant copy of the Capitulare de Villis is in Wolfenbüttel and is in latin. It is a set of instructions detailing how Carolus' estates should be managed. Names are somewhat fluid still and he is also known as Karolus. I don't know when Magna was added to create Karolus Magna but he was also known as Karolus Stor.

https://www.le.ac.uk/hi/polyptyques/...lare/site.html

He lived around Aachen and had a hunting lodge on the present germany/belgium border and in all liklihood spoke franconian or old high german as his mother tongue. But, he was well schooled, in particular by Alcuin of York and will have spoken latin as an official language and also knew greek. He may have spoken the early form of french, a gallo romance language which was emerging at that time. You can see the languages in the Oaths of Strasbourg which we written in the 9th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg

He gave the months names: Wintarmanoth, Hornung, Lentzinmanoth, Ostarmanoth, Winnemanoth, Brachmanoth, Heuvimanoth, Aranmanoth, Witumanoth, Windumemanoth, Herbistmanoth, Heilagmanoth and all of his daughters received Old High German names.
Interesting. Thanks, guys.

So, even though he was multilingual, he was also illiterate, right?
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Old November 21st, 2017, 05:29 PM   #34

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Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
Interesting. Thanks, guys.

So, even though he was multilingual, he was also illiterate, right?
Not necessarily, or at least not completely. Some historians assume that he possibly could read, at least to the point of identifying the letters and deciphering words. Maybe because it is hard to imagine an analphabet at the head of a huge educational movement.
He surely could not write and, when trying to teach himself as an adult, failed.

I'm not sure how much he differed from other rulers at the time in this aspect. I once read that the Merovingians probably could write, which may have been a difficulty as the Carolingians were a new dynasty and probably still felt that people compared them to the "old kings". I also came across a mention of Bavarian duke Tassilo III who at the end of some document put the phrase "This wrote Tassilo by his own hand" - which might be both a sign that he was proud of such an unusual accomplishment and an attempt to outshine his dear Frankish cousin in Aachen.

Come to think of it, I'm actually a bit astonished that apparently in this whole thread noone has mentioned the Saxons yet - usually that is the main argument brought up to critisize Charlemagne.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 06:08 PM   #35

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Not necessarily, or at least not completely. Some historians assume that he possibly could read, at least to the point of identifying the letters and deciphering words. Maybe because it is hard to imagine an analphabet at the head of a huge educational movement.
He surely could not write and, when trying to teach himself as an adult, failed.

I'm not sure how much he differed from other rulers at the time in this aspect. I once read that the Merovingians probably could write, which may have been a difficulty as the Carolingians were a new dynasty and probably still felt that people compared them to the "old kings". I also came across a mention of Bavarian duke Tassilo III who at the end of some document put the phrase "This wrote Tassilo by his own hand" - which might be both a sign that he was proud of such an unusual accomplishment and an attempt to outshine his dear Frankish cousin in Aachen.

Come to think of it, I'm actually a bit astonished that apparently in this whole thread noone has mentioned the Saxons yet - usually that is the main argument brought up to critisize Charlemagne.

Why were the rulers of this time universally known for illiteracy or related issues?

And what is the reference to the Saxons about?
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Old November 21st, 2017, 06:31 PM   #36

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Why were the rulers of this time universally known for illiteracy or related issues?
That is precisely what I was wondering. I assume most "nobles" were, at least in the eastern parts of Charlemagne's empire. But I do not know for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
And what is the reference to the Saxons about?
Well so far it seems mostly the positive aspects of Charlemagne's rule have been mentioned in this thread. When praising the "Carolingian Renaissance" maybe we should also talk about the cruelties of his reign, just for balance. That would be the Saxon wars and the "Blutgericht von Verden" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Verden) for example, but also the way he came to power in the first place, the way he treated his own brother and nephews or his Langobardian wife, the Thuringian uprising and the blending of Hardrad in 786 or Tassilo's fate two years later.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 12:22 AM   #37
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Charlemagne's war against the Saxons took more than 30 years probably because he had a gallo roman view of the saxons as one tribe under one leader, Widukind. In reality, the Saxons consisted of many tribes, each with its own leader, who elected Widukind, of the Westfali, to lead them. However, whatever agreement was reached, other leaders objected to one matter or another and reacted, hence the war took so long.

The massacre of Verden may not have taken place and it is a matter of debate whether the written account which contained, decollare (to decapitate) was a copyist's error in place of delocare (to relocate). Charlemagne's tutor, Alcuin of York, had argued for some time that pagans should not be converted at the point of a sword and several placenames in Germany and Flanders suggest that relocation, or exile, was an alternative punishment, eg. Gross u. Klein Sachsenheim on the Neckar. (Home of the Saxons)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcuin#Charlemagne
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 01:28 AM   #38

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There are plenty of Saxon placenames around me.

A 19th century scholar was even writing

In fact we are Saxon and the Anglo-Saxon are our brothers
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 06:08 PM   #39

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRyckier View Post
Menshevik,

Charlemagne (same both in French and in English) I guess from the Latin Carolus Magnus.
As for what language they spoke (I read a long controversial thread on a French forum) In fact we don't know. We have a bilingual treaty from 842: The oaths of Stasbourg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg
That's not too long after Charlemagne
As about the name of Charles (pronounced the French way) or Karl we don't know it even. I have tried together with Isleifson and others to establish what they both spoke at each side from the Germanic/Romance language border, but that is rather difficult for these earliar times. In any case the language border from the North Sea to the former Yougoslavian border seems to be not "that much" changed in two thousand years

I guess perhaps Charel (pronounced the French way) as we call him overhere can be also a possibility as it is like a mix from the French Charles with the Germanic Karl, between the "ch" and the "k" not that great difference...

Kind regards, Paul.
When did Frankish finally die out among the ruling classes? My understanding is that it survived for a while among the noblesse even while the people themselves spoke la langue romane and/or tudesque.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 11:02 AM   #40

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Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
When did Frankish finally die out among the ruling classes? My understanding is that it survived for a while among the noblesse even while the people themselves spoke la langue romane and/or tudesque.
More or less correct.
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