The Carolingian Empire was the second Frankish Empire, and united most of Western Europe under one ruler in the late 700's. The Carolingians were a family of Frankish kings who came to power in the mid- 1700's. The most important of these Frankish rulers being Charles Martel, his son and successor Pepin the Short and most important of them all, Pepin's son Charlemagne. Charlemagne was definitely a very strong element in the rise and expansion of the Carolingian Empire. After all, the dynasty did earn its name from its most great ruler, Charlemagne. Charlemagne was indeed, the most successful ruler of the Carolingians, although his outstanding predecessors built the foundation for his success. .
Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 768 to 814 A.D. It was during Charlemagne's reign that the Carolingian Empire reached its highest point of achievement. Charlemagne worked to protect the church from its foes and to keep his people united under the Christian church. He organized the clergy and arranged education for them, such that they were made more intellectual, moral and effective. He improved education tremendously in the empire, establishing a school in his chateau at Aachen, uniting teachers from throughout Europe to teach there. These teachers organized schools and libraries, and copied thousands of ancient manuscripts. The palace school in Aachen also educated clergymen, thus strengthening the church. It also trained teachers for schools throughout the empire. These activities lead to the emergence of a new interest in learning called the Carolingian Renaissance. .
The Carolingian Renaissance is defined as a style of art created in the late 700's and the 800's in France and Western Germany named after Charlemagne. During this time, Carolingian artists, sculptors, scribes, and architects developed new and different ways to display art and different types of art.