During the Carolingian era (c. 700–c. 900), the Franks and their allies shaped many of medieval Europe’s political and religious institutions, social structures, and intellectual traditions. The eponymous ruler at the heart of the Carolingian tradition, Charlemagne (768-814), is remembered as one of the Middle Ages’ most influential kings—regarded by some as the “Father of Europe.” Throughout subsequent centuries, Europeans frequently looked back to the Carolingian Empire as a model to emulate in their own times.
The 2017 Marco Symposium gathered an interdisciplinary, international group of scholars to rethink the Carolingians with a new emphasis: experimentation. They examined the political, social, and cultural experiences of the Carolingians and discussed new experimental approaches that modern scholars can use to better understand the Carolingians and their contributions to history.