Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe

Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe

Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe

Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe is a groundbreaking book by Stuart Airlie that delves into the complexities and challenges of power during the Carolingian era. This comprehensive study offers a fresh perspective on the political, social, and cultural dynamics of the time.


The Carolingian period, spanning from the 8th to the 10th century, was a crucial time in European history. It witnessed the rise and fall of the Carolingian dynasty, the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire, and significant political and religious developments. Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe sheds light on the intricacies of power during this transformative era.

Main Themes

1. Power Struggles

Airlie explores the power struggles that plagued Carolingian Europe. From internal conflicts within the ruling elite to external threats from rival kingdoms, the book uncovers the intricate web of alliances, betrayals, and negotiations that shaped the political landscape.

2. Church and State

The relationship between the Church and the state was a central aspect of Carolingian politics. Airlie examines the tensions and collaborations between religious and secular authorities, highlighting the influence of the Church on political decision-making and the challenges it posed to the consolidation of power.

3. Social Dynamics

Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe also delves into the social dynamics of the time. Airlie explores the roles of different social groups, such as the nobility, clergy, and peasantry, and their interactions within the power structure. The book provides valuable insights into the social hierarchies and the challenges faced by different strata of society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this book suitable for beginners?

A: While the book offers a comprehensive analysis, some prior knowledge of Carolingian history would be beneficial. However, Airlie’s engaging writing style makes the content accessible to both experts and newcomers to the subject.

Q: Does the book cover the economic aspects of Carolingian Europe?

A: While the primary focus is on political and social aspects, Airlie touches upon economic factors that influenced power dynamics. However, for an in-depth study of Carolingian economy, additional sources may be required.


Power and Its Problems in Carolingian Europe is an essential read for anyone interested in the complexities of power during the Carolingian era. Stuart Airlie’s meticulous research and insightful analysis provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by rulers, religious leaders, and society as a whole. This book is a valuable contribution to the field of Carolingian studies.