Skip to main content

Charlemagne and the Four Scholars

There is no doubt that Carolus Magnus (Charles the Great), or Charlemagne as he is best known, embodied the “warrior king” ideal in Frankish culture. His newly-won empire stretched from parts of modern-day France to Germany, and all the way down to Italy and Spain.

But beyond the battlefield and his ever-growing empire, Charlemagne saw the value in important connections and those who could help unite his domain. He turned to the more influential, talented, and educated in his realm and beyond – bringing them all to his court and into his inner circle. Charlemagne’s retinue, who followed him on campaign, included Alcuin of York, Theodulf of Orléans, Paul the Deacon, and Petrus Grammaticus. What followed came a revival in culture, architecture, and learning known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

To advance to the Imperial Age in the Charlemagne (768) scenario in the new Victors and Vanquished DLC, you will be required to find these Four Scholars. Will you be able to find them without our help?

Jump into the fray! Available Now!

Alcuin of York

Originally from Northumbria, Alcuin was a monk at the cathedral school in York. When visiting Rome, he happened to meet Charlemagne, and Alcuin so impressed the king that he was invited to court and to his palace at Aachen. There, Alcuin became one of the leading scholars and teachers of his day, establishing a palace school for the sons of nobility (he was also Charlemagne’s teacher!), as well as a library. He brought with him educational standardization, liturgical reforms, and functioned as an ambassador due to his many connections in England and elsewhere. He was integral in spreading the more readable and standardized script called Carolingian miniscule throughout the empire, which made communication more efficient and served to further unite Charlemagne’s new empire.

Theodulf of Orléans

Hailing from Visigothic Spain, Theodulf was attracted to Charlemagne’s growing court. Eventually recognized for his scholarly talents, Theodulf was appointed as Bishop of Orléans, where he established a cathedral school, and expanded the library and scriptorium. For Charlemagne, Theodulf was as an important agent of cultural and religious change, corresponding with numerous prominent bishops. He was concerned with church reform, wrote poetry, built new churches, patronized the arts, and was even the chief architect for Charlemagne’s chapel at Aachen. By 804, he succeeded Alcuin as Charlemagne’s chief theological advisor, and even wielded influence with Charlemagne’s heir, Louis the Pious.

Paul the Deacon

Paul the Deacon originally served as an advisor under the Lombard king, Desiderius. When Charlemagne conquered and annexed Lombardy, Paul’s brother was involved in a plot and imprisoned. Paul wrote to Charlemagne to release his brother, and in exchange, Charlemagne invited Paul to court. Paul participated with the other scholars involved in the palace school, wrote homilies, and exchanged ideas at the king’s court. Eventually, he returned to Italy and retired to the Abbey of Monte Cassino, where he wrote his very famous History of the Lombards.

Petrus Grammaticus

Also known as Peter of Pisa, he was summoned to Charlemagne’s court along with Paul the Deacon. His primary role? Latin teacher to Charlemagne himself! He was extremely influential in shaping Latin grammar and Latin education in this period. He also wrote poetry praising Charlemagne, and even exchanged riddles with him.

Charlemagne understood the importance of his scholars, the court they built, and the role of the church and education to centralize power, which culminated in his investment by the Pope as the first Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, 800 CE.

Check out the newest Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition DLC, Victors and Vanquished to play the Charlemagne scenario. Can you find all Four Scholars without our help?

Available Now!

Become an Age Insider!

Insiders unlock access to exclusive news, updates, and opportunities to provide feedback about future releases. Here are some of the perks:

  • Access to private forums where you can interact with Age developers
  • The chance to join exclusive beta opportunities through Steam and the Windows Store
  • Channels to provide feedback and inspire quality changes in your favorite Age titles