Exhibitions: EXHIBITIONS Renaissance

As if an eclipse had blotted out civilization between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the term Dark Ages lingers to describe the beginnings of Europe. Things were not all that black, modern scholars have discovered, and the great Renaissance was presaged by several baby ones. One such regeneration began with the reign of Charlemagne.

On Christmas day in the year 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne a Roman Emperor. Philosopher Oswald Spengler dismissed Charlemagne's rule as "a surface episode without issue." H. G. Wells labeled it a poor copy of the Caesars. Although Charlemagne did not impress...

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