Letter to Baugulf

Letter to Baugulf
   The circular letter on learning to the abbot Baugulf of Fulda, or De litteris colendis, was, with the capitulary Admonitio Generalis of 789, the cornerstone of Charlemagne's program of intellectual and cultural reform. Although he addressed it only to the abbot Baugulf, Charlemagne ordered that the letter be circulated among various Carolingian ecclesiastics, and it thus contributed to the development of the Carolingian Renaissance. The letter outlines Charlemagne's desire to provide basic education for the boys of his kingdom and reveals his notion that providing a basic Christian education was essential to his duty as king.
   Despite its importance, the exact date of the letter remains uncertain, and modern knowledge of it is the result of mere chance. The composition of the letter, probably at Charlemagne's own dictation, is traditionally dated to the period 780 to 800. Some scholars have proposed a more specific dating to the years 781 to 791 or even to 794 to 796, but the broadest range remains the most generally accepted of the dates of the document. The letter itself is known only from two manuscripts. One manuscript from the twelfth century was destroyed in a bombing raid during World War II, and the other one, which was discovered only in 1927, is from the eighth century. Although only one copy of the letter is still extant, it was most likely copied and sent some time later with some additions to many monasteries by Baugulf.
   The letter includes Charlemagne's desire that the monks and secular clergy of his realm should devote themselves to follow the "life set out in their rule and their practice of holy religion"(279). But more than that, they "ought also to be zealous in the cultivation of learning and in teaching those who by the gift of God are able to learn"(279). He encourages learning and education so that his subjects can better follow the will of God and praise God without error in speech or practice. He notes in the document that although he has received many letters with expressions of good pious belief, he has noticed many errors of speech in them. Charlemagne, therefore, encourages Baugulf and the clergy to study the Scriptures and literature in general so that they may better know God's message and better do God's will. The king's appeal to the monks and clergy of the realm to devote themselves to study and teaching was an important stimulus to the growth of the Carolingian Renaissance.
   See also
 ♦ Charlemagne. "A Letter of Charles on the Cultivation of Learning, 780-800." In Carolingian Civilization: A Reader, ed. Paul Edward Dutton. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 1993, pp. 79-80.
 ♦ Brown, Giles. "Introduction: The Carolingian Renaissance." In Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation, ed. Rosamond McKitterick. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 1-51.
 ♦ Laistner, Max L. W. Thought and Letters in Western Europe, a.d. 500 to 900. 2d ed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1976.
 ♦ McKitterick, Rosamond. The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987. London: Longman, 1983.

Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe. 2014.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carolingian Renaissance —    An intellectual and cultural revival of the eighth and ninth centuries, the Carolingian Renaissance was a movement initiated by the Carolingian kings, especially Charlemagne, who sought not only to improve learning in the kingdom but to… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Education and Learning —    Traditionally seen as the Dark Ages, the early Middle Ages were not without their cultural and intellectual achievements. Although these achievements were modest in comparison with the great accomplishments of the ancient world as well as the… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Chronology of the Late Antique and Early Medieval World —  ♣ 305 With the retirement of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, the Roman Empire falls again into civil war, which leads to the eventual triumph of Constantine the Great.  ♣ 313 The emperors Constantine and Licinius issue the Edict of Milan,… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Admonitio Generalis —    The capitulary promulgated by Charlemagne in 789 that established the foundation for the Carolingian Renaissance by announcing the educational and religious goals and ideals of the great Frankish ruler. The Admonitio Generalis (General… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • De litteris colendis — The Epistola de litteris colendis is a well known letter addressed by Charlemagne to Abbot Baugulf of Fulda sometime between 794 and 797 regarding language. See also Admonitio Generalis Carolingian dynasty Carolingian Empire Carolingian… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”