Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire
Without the complex military machine that his forbears had built up over the course of the eighth century, it would have been impossible for Charlemagne to revive the Roman empire in the West. Early Carolingian Warfare is the first book-length study of how the Frankish dynasty, beginning with Pippin II, established its power and cultivated its military expertise in order to reestablish the regnum Francorum, a geographical area of the late Roman period that includes much of present-day France and western Germany. Bernard Bachrach has thoroughly examined contemporary sources, including court chronicles, military handbooks, and late Roman histories and manuals, to establish how the early Carolingians used their legacy of political and military techniques and strategies forged in imperial Rome to regain control in the West.
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Bernard Bachrach is an expert in the field of medieval history. He cites over 150 different sources in this text making it a reputable source for academics. The text can seem dense at times and difficult to read, but that is simply because of the amount of information contained within it. It does require the reader to have a decent amount of background knowledge to the history of the time period. The subject matter in itself is rather controversial since historians remain divided on the tactics of the early Carolingians, however Bachrach provides more than enough evidence to prove his case. The only real complaint of the text, and it is a small one, is that there is not as much of a reference given to the reign of Charlemagne. The author seems to abruptly stop right before his reign. This does not take away from the quality of the book however. I would highly recommend it to any graduate students looking for a source.