power and authority over vast, Western territories. However, the CarolingianEmpire (like the Merovingian Empire before it) did not long survive its founder. It disintegrated in all but name soon after Charlemagne’s death.
The demise of the CarolingianEmpire was quickened by new waves of destructive migrations. Magyar, Viking and Arab assaults threatened to bring chaos to the Far West in the eighth and ninth centuries – as the Goths had done half a millennium earlier. But the CarolingianEmpire lacked a strong imperial centre. Although Charlemagne had