Tag Archives: Charlemagne

today’s holiday: St. Charlemagne’s Day (2015)


St. Charlemagne’s Day (2015)

Charlemagne wasn’t actually a saint at all; he was an emperor and the first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, crowned in 800 by Pope Leo III. Although he was never able to read and write himself, Charlemagne, whose name means “Charles the Great,” founded the University of Paris. In fact, his reign was marked by a huge cultural revival, including significant advances in scholarship, literature, and philosophy. He died on January 28, 814. More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: CRYPTOGRAPHY


Cryptography

Cryptography concerns the securing of information, often during communication, by translating messages into cipher or code. Ciphering has always been considered vital for diplomatic and military secrecy—the Bible is replete with examples of ciphering, and many figures throughout history have written in ciphers, including Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Mary Queen of Scots, and Louis XIV. What legal issues and controversies surround cryptography methods in the 21st century? More…Discuss

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British Library Series: A splendid Carolingian copy of the Four Gospels


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(Click on the image for an enlarged view.)
On Christmas day 800 the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor by the pope in Rome. Charlemagne was not only a great political and military leader, but also a scholar and patron of the arts who invited the most learned men of the day to his court. Some particularly lavish books were produced in the Carolingian period—this image shows a jewelled ‘treasure’ binding surviving on a manuscript written at Tours probably in the 820s. Very few medieval manuscripts still have their original bindings, although it is clear from accounts in saints’ lives and other literature that illuminated books were often given valuable covers. This example contains the bones of saints set within its wooden binding boards, making it also a reliquary. Part of its decoration was reconstructed in the nineteenth century.