Spreading The Word

Dig Into History Magazine for Kids and TeensJanuary 2018

Spreading The Word

Charlemagne was determined to carry out his ambitious educational and cultural agenda to reform and renew both the church and society. To achieve this goal, he issued a decree to bishops and abbots to create schools in every monastery and bishop’s residence for the sons of both serfs and freemen. He then instructed these schools to teach the boys psalms, music, math, and grammar and to provide the students with “correct Catholic books.” If new copies of the books were needed, Charlemagne decreed, “Let men of full age do the writing, with all diligence.”

Diana Childress

A Beehive of Activity

Overseeing book production became a major occupation for many of the scholars Charlemagne brought to his court. They gathered manuscripts of ancient Roman writers and church fathers, edited them, and had copies made in scriptoria, where trained monks and professional scribes with quill pens and black ink carefully copied the corrected texts. Thus, many older works that had been written originally on papyrus and were in poor condition now received a new, longer-lasting life on parchment.

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January 2018