Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Rex Francorum (King of the Franks) Imperator Romanorum (Emperor of the Romans)

A coin of Charlemagne with the inscription KAROLVS IMP AVG ("Carolus Imperator Augustus") Reign 768–814 Coronation 25 December 800 Predecessor Pepin the Short Successor Louis the Pious

Father Mother Born Died Burial

Pepin the Short Bertrada of Laon possibly 742 Liège 28 January 814 Aachen Aachen Cathedral

Blessed Carolus Magnus

Reliquary Venerated in Beatified

Canonized Major shrine

of Blessed Charles Augustus Roman Catholic Church (Germany and France) 814, Aachen by a court bishop, later confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV [1] 1166 by Antipope Paschal III [2] Aachen Cathedral

580–640) Grimoald (616–656) Childebert the Adopted (d.635–714) Grimoald II (d. 754) Pepin the Short (714–768) Carloman I (751–771) . 662) Arnulfings • • • • • • • Arnulf of Metz (582–640) Chlodulf of Metz (d.Feast Attributes Patronage 28 January (Aachen and Osnabrück) Fleur-de-lis. 696 or 697) Ansegisel (c. 714) Carolingians • • • • Charles Martel (686–741) Carloman (d. men on horseback. the Kings of France and Germany. German Eagle Lovers (both licit and illicit). crusaders Carolingian dynasty Pippinids • • • Pippin the Elder (c.602–before 679) Pippin the Middle (c. 714) Drogo of Champagne (670–708) Theudoald (d. men on the scaffold. schoolchildren.

Holy Roman Emperor (795–855) (Middle Francia) Charles the Bald (823–877) (Western Francia) Louis the German (804–876) (Eastern Francia) • Charlemagne (pronounced /ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn/.• • Charlemagne (d. possibly 742 – 28 January . 814) Louis the Pious (778–840) After the Treaty of Verdun (843) • • Lothair I. Latin: Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus. meaning Charles the Great.

This temporarily made him a rival of the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. He is numbered as Charles I in the regnal lists of Germany (where he is known as Karl der Große). . The latter got on badly with Charlemagne. and France. the Holy Roman Empire. Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms. he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800. he succeeded his father in 768 and co-ruled with his brother Carloman I. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. religion. to which he was invited by the Muslim governor of Barcelona. Charlemagne was promised several Iberian cities in return for giving military aid to the governor. Charlemagne continued the policy of his father towards the papacy and became its protector. During his reign. The son of King Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. a Frankish queen. removing the Lombards from power in Italy. and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. but war was prevented by the sudden death of Carloman in 771. and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church. a revival of art. His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne helped define both Western Europe and the Middle Ages.814) was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 to his death in 814.

1 Date and place of birth o 2. in the Song of Roland). the deal was withdrawn. Subsequently. and the Carolingian renaissance encouraged the formation of a common European identity. By forcibly converting them to Christianity. but also as a Pater Europae (father of Europe)[3]: his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans. at the Battle of Roncesvalles (778) (memorialised.however.2 Language o 2. Today he is regarded not only as the founding father of both French and German monarchies. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east. and after a protracted war subjected them to his rule. he integrated them into his realm and thus paved the way for the later Ottonian dynasty.[4] Contents [hide] • • 1 Background 2 Personal traits o 2. although heavily fictionalised.4 Dress .3 Personal appearance o 2. Charlemagne's retreating army experienced its worst defeat at the hands of the Basques. especially the Saxons.

• • • • • • • 3 Rise to power o 3.1 Organization  9.2 Danish attacks o 8.2 Southern Italy 5 Charles and his children 6 Spanish campaigns o 6.1 Roncesvalles campaign o 6.5 Southeast Slav expeditions 8 Imperium o 8.4 Church reforms o 9.2 Imperial coronation .2 Joint rule 4 Italian campaigns o 4.1 Saxon Wars o 7.1 Military o 9.2 Economic and monetary reforms o 9.5 Writing reforms o 9.2 Submission of Bavaria o 7.3 Education reforms o 9.3 Death 9 Administration o 9.6 Political reforms  9.2 Wars with the Moors 7 Eastern campaigns o 7.1 Early life o 3.1 Imperial diplomacy o 8.6.4 Northeast Slav expeditions o 7.6.3 Avar campaigns o 7.1 Conquest of Lombardy o 4.

6.• • • • 9.2 Bibliography  • 14 External links Background .3 Divisio regnorum 10 Cultural uses 11 Ancestry 12 Family o 12.1 Footnotes o 13.2 Concubinages and illegitimate children 13 References o 13.1 Marriages and heirs o 12.

But following the Battle of Tertry. ruled by the Merovingians. the mayor of the palace or major domus. had become the most powerful of the kingdoms which succeeded the Western Roman Empire. by Albrecht Dürer. By the 6th century the West Germanic Franks were Christianised and Francia. Almost all government powers of any consequence were exercised by their chief officer. . the Merovingians declined into a state of powerlessness. for which they have been dubbed do-nothing kings (rois fainéants).Charlemagne.

Thus was the Merovingian dynasty replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. In 751. To curb separatism in the periphery of the realm. Pepin was elected and anointed King of the Franks and in 754 Pope Stephen II again anointed him and his young sons. Charles Martel. Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pippin of Landen. the father of Charlemagne. Pippin the Middle was eventually succeeded by his illegitimate son Charles. the brothers placed on the throne Childeric III. had Childeric III deposed. After 737. Charles was succeeded by his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short. Pippin himself was the grandson of two most important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom. mayor of the palace of Austrasia. now heirs to the great realm which already covered most of western and central Europe. the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of . ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry and became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. who was to be the last Merovingian king. with Pope Zachary's approval.In 687. Charles governed the Franks without a king on the throne but desisted from calling himself "king". named after Pepin's father. later known as Charles Martel (the Hammer). After Carloman resigned his office. Pepin. the big Pippin of Herstal. Under the new dynasty.

At present. in 748. [edit] Personal traits [edit] Date and place of birth Charlemagne is believed to have been born in 741. the year 742 was calculated from his age given at death. political. or 1 April 748.Western Europe. rather than from attestation in primary sources.[6] In that year. First.[5] and the religious. in Herstal (where his father was born. 2 April was at Easter. after 15 April 747. that of 2 April[not in citation given] 747. a town close to Liège in modern day Belgium). leading some to suspect that the Easter birthday was a pious fiction concocted as a way of honoring the Emperor. but there was no such comment documented in 747. The best guesses include 1 April 747. Another date is given in the Annales Petaviani. several factors have led to a reconsideration of this date. however. Other commentators weighing the primary records have suggested that his birth was one year later. it is impossible to be certain of the date of the birth of Charlemagne. The division of that kingdom formed France and Germany. the region from where both . The birth of an emperor at Eastertime is a coincidence likely to provoke comment. and artistic evolutions originating from a centrally positioned Francia made a defining imprint on the whole of Western Europe.

he was named after his grandfather. He went to live in his father's villa in Jupille when he was around seven. Tenth-century copy of a lost original from about 830. Prüm. Düren. Charles Martel. Other cities have been suggested. Dubbed Charles le Magne "Charles the Great". Gauting and Aachen. including. Charlemagne (left) and Pippin the Hunchback.the Merovingian and Carolingian families originated. which caused Jupille to be listed as a possible place of birth in almost every history book. The name derives from Germanic *karlaz "free .

Another important source are loanwords in Old French.g. is first attested in its Latin form.man. Lithuanian: karalius.[7] which gave German Kerl "man. Serbian: краљ. however. Hungarian: király." In many European languages. Turkish: kral. which were dubbed Ripuarian in modern times. Slovak: král) [edit] Language Charlemagne's native language was undoubtedly a form of Germanic idiom. Old Low Franconian. Latvian: karalis. the very word for "king" derives from Charles' name. Linguists know very little about Old Frankish. Old Frankish is reconstructed from its descendant. Croatian: kralj. His name. Some linguists go so far as to say that he did not speak Old Frankish. the specifics as to which remain a matter of controversy. as it is attested mainly as phrases and words in the law codes of the main Frankish tribes (especially those of the Salian and Ripuarian Franks). Czech: král. "Carolus" or "Karolus.. commoner". Polish: król. which are written in Latin . (e. It was probably a Germanic dialect of the Ripuarian Franks. Russian: король. however. guy" and English churl. which would give rise to the Dutch language and to the modern dialects in the German North Rhineland. but linguists differ on its identity and chronology. Bulgarian: крал.

this was an area of some linguistic diversity. Most historians agree he was born around Liège. and Gallo-Romance (the ancestor of the Walloon dialect of Old French) in the south and southwest. The Palatinate South Hessen and Northern parts of BadenWürttemberg and Bavaria. but some say he was born in or around Aachen. some 50 km (31 mi) away. had been replaced with an Old High German form in the area comprising the contemporary Southern Rhineland. which was a form of Lower German. The present Dutch language area along with the modern Ripuarian areas in the North Rhine region preserved a Lower German form of Franconian dubbed Old Low Franconian or Old Dutch. If we take Liège (around 750) as the centre. the closely related Old Ripuarian Franconian to the east and in Aachen. At that time. north and northwest. The area of Charlemagne's birth does not make determination of his native language easier. .[8] The Franconian language.interspersed with Germanic elements. we find: • • • Old East Low Franconian in the city. like his father.

he also spoke Arabic. 35: When Agiolandus heard the Saracen language from Charles he marvelled at it greatly. author of the biography Vita Karoli Magni. Einhard tells in his twenty-second chapter:[10] . "He understood Greek better than he could pronounce it. as all of his daughters received Old High German names. [edit] Personal appearance Though no description from Charlemagne's lifetime exists. 10."[9] According to a fifteenth century Irish source. In the 'Gabhaltais Shearluis Mhoir' or 'Conquests of Charlemagne' from the Book of Lismore edited by Douglas Hyde. For when Charles was a youth he had been among the Paynims in the city which is called Toletum (Toledo) and he had learnt the language of the Saracens in that city. ch. Apart from his native language he also spoke Latin "as fluently as his own tongue" and understood a bit of Greek: Grecam vero melius intellegere quam pronuntiare poterat. his personal appearance is known from a good description by Einhard. p.The names he gave his children may be indicators of the language he spoke.

9 inches (190 centimeters).84 m. He had a round head. such as coins and his 8-inch bronze statue kept in the Louvre. indeed he detested them. and of considerable stature. a bright and cheerful expression. The width of the bone suggested he was gracile but not robust in body build[12] . Charlemagne's tomb was opened by scientists who reconstructed his skeleton and estimated it to be measured 74. large and lively eyes. Even then. since his height was seven times the length of his own foot. he stubbornly did what he wanted and refused to listen to doctors. The physical portrait provided by Einhard is confirmed by contemporary depictions of the emperor. white but still attractive hair. sturdy. This puts him in the 99th percentile of tall people of his period given that average male height of his time was 1. a slightly larger nose than usual. and he enjoyed good health. although not exceptionally so.He was heavily built. and to be content with boiled meat.69 m. except for the fevers that affected him in the last few years of his life.[11] A modern study based on the dimensions of his tibia estimated his height as 1. as was his wont. because they wanted to persuade him to stop eating roast meat. a short and fat neck. In 1861. Toward the end he dragged one leg.

with a disproportionately thick neck. and he protected his . bear more connections to the icons of Christ in majesty than to modern (or antique) conceptions of portraiture. Charlemagne in later imagery (as in the Dürer portrait) is often portrayed with flowing blond hair. the Frank dress: next to his skin a linen shirt and linen breeches. ought to be portrayed in the corresponding fashion. due to a misunderstanding of Einhard. God's representative on Earth. The Roman tradition of realistic personal portraiture was in complete eclipse in his time. and above these a tunic fringed with silk. any contemporary would have assumed. and shoes his feet. while hose fastened by bands covered his lower limbs. described by Einhard thus: He used to wear the national. who describes Charlemagne as having canitie pulchra. or "beautiful white hair". inconspicuous and distinctly non-aristocratic costume of the Frankish people. tall. as an ideal ruler. The images of enthroned Charlemagne. where individual traits were submerged in iconic typecastings. [edit] Dress Charlemagne wore the traditional. Charlemagne. which has been rendered as blonde or fair in many translations. that is to say.Charles is well known to have been fair-haired. and stately.

[edit] Rise to power [edit] Early life Charlemagne was the eldest child of Pepin the Short (714 – 24 September 768. The typical sword was of a golden or silver hilt. Hadrian's successor. and shoes. he wore embroidery and jewels on his clothing and shoes. reigned from 751) . except twice in Rome. the first time at the request of Pope Hadrian. chlamys.shoulders and chest in winter by a close-fitting coat of otter or marten skins. He wore a blue cloak and always carried a sword with him. and usually dressed like the common people. but he despised such apparel. however handsome. He could rise to the occasion when necessary. the second to gratify Leo. On great feast days. He had a golden buckle for his cloak on such occasions and would appear with his great diadem. according to Einhard. Nevertheless: He despised foreign costumes. and never allowed himself to be robed in them. when he donned the Roman tunic. He wore fancy jewelled swords to banquets or ambassadorial receptions.

Einhard. is sometimes claimed to be his sister (or sister-in-law or niece). Accordingly. or even his boyhood. Gisela. Much of what is known of Charlemagne's life comes from his biographer. to write a word concerning Charles' birth and infancy. and to proceed at once to treat of his character. Records name only Carloman. The semi-mythical Redburga. the Life of Charlemagne. wife of King Egbert of Wessex. who wrote a Vita Caroli Magni (or Vita Karoli Magni).and his wife Bertrada of Laon (720 – 12 July 783). and there is no one alive now who can give information on it. and the legendary material makes him Roland's maternal uncle through a lady Bertha. I think. and lastly of his administration and death. daughter of Caribert of Laon and Bertrada of Cologne. and a short-lived child named Pippin as his younger siblings. Einhard says of the early life of Charles: It would be folly. his deeds. omitting nothing worth knowing or necessary to know. then of his character and pursuits. I determined to pass that by as unknown. and shall first give an account of his deeds at home and abroad. . and such other facts of his life as are worth telling and setting forth. for nothing has ever been written on the subject.

bordering on the sea. fearing . one Hunold (seemingly other than Hunald the duke) led the Aquitainians as far north as Angoulême. in 769. Septimania. namely Neustria. Burgundy. in that territory split between the two kings. leading an army to Bordeaux. Now. and the northern parts of Austrasia. both the kings withdrew from Saint Denis to be proclaimed by their nobles and consecrated by the bishops. western Aquitaine. and Swabia. [edit] Joint rule On 9 October. immediately after the funeral of their father. Pippin had suppressed the revolt of Waifer. Lupus. Charlemagne met Carloman. Charlemagne in Noyon and Carloman in Soissons. where he set up a camp at Fronsac. Duke of Aquitaine. Years before.On the death of Pepin. the kingdom of the Franks was divided—following tradition—between Charlemagne and Carloman. eastern Aquitaine. The first event of the brothers' reign was the uprising of the Aquitainians and Gascons. Provence. Charlemagne went to war. Charles took the outer parts of the kingdom. Hunold was forced to flee to the court of Duke Lupus II of Gascony. but Carloman refused to participate and returned to Burgundy. while Carloman retained the inner parts: southern Austrasia. lands bordering on Italy.

he would soon have little to fear from a FrankishLombard alliance. He was put in a monastery. but in 770 Charlemagne signed a treaty with Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria and married a Lombard Princess (commonly known today as Desiderata). turned Hunold over in exchange for peace. to surround Carloman with his own allies. The brothers maintained lukewarm relations with the assistance of their mother Bertrada. [edit] Italian campaigns [edit] Conquest of Lombardy . Less than a year after his marriage.Charlemagne. Though Pope Stephen III first opposed the marriage with the Lombard princess. the daughter of King Desiderius. Aquitaine was finally fully subdued by the Franks. But before war could break out. Carloman's wife Gerberga fled to Desiderius' court with her sons for protection. Charlemagne repudiated Desiderata. Carloman died on 5 December 771. The repudiated Desiderata returned to her father's court at Pavia. The Lombard's wrath was now aroused and he would gladly have allied with Carloman to defeat Charles. and quickly remarried to a 13-year-old Swabian named Hildegard.

the king rushed to Rome to provide assistance. The embassies both met at Thionville and Charlemagne upheld the pope's side. Charlemagne and his uncle . Charlemagne promptly demanded what the pope had demanded and Desiderius promptly swore never to comply.The Frankish king Charlemagne was a devout Catholic who maintained a close relationship with the papacy throughout his life. he demanded the return of certain cities in the former exarchate of Ravenna as in accordance with a promise of Desiderius' succession. Desiderius sent his own embassies denying the pope's charges. In 772. when Pope Hadrian I was threatened by invaders. Desiderius instead took over certain papal cities and invaded the Pentapolis. Pippin. the pope asks Charlemagne for help at a meeting near Rome At the succession of Pope Hadrian I in 772. Hadrian sent embassies to Charlemagne in autumn requesting he enforce the policies of his father. heading for Rome. Shown here.

Bernard crossed the Alps in 773 and chased the Lombards back to Pavia, which they then besieged. Charlemagne temporarily left the siege to deal with Adelchis, son of Desiderius, who was raising an army at Verona. The young prince was chased to the Adriatic littoral and he fled to Constantinople to plead for assistance from Constantine V, who was waging war with Bulgaria. The siege lasted until the spring of 774, when Charlemagne visited the pope in Rome. There he confirmed his father's grants of land, with some later chronicles claiming—falsely—that he also expanded them, granting Tuscany, Emilia, Venice, and Corsica. The pope granted him the title patrician. He then returned to Pavia, where the Lombards were on the verge of surrendering. In return for their lives, the Lombards surrendered and opened the gates in early summer. Desiderius was sent to the abbey of Corbie and his son Adelchis died in Constantinople a patrician. Charles, unusually, had himself crowned with the Iron Crown and made the magnates of Lombardy do homage to him at Pavia. Only Duke Arechis II of Benevento refused to submit and proclaimed independence. Charlemagne was then master of Italy as king of the Lombards. He left Italy with a garrison in Pavia and a few Frankish counts in place that very year.

There was still instability, however, in Italy. In 776, Dukes Hrodgaud of Friuli and Hildeprand of Spoleto rebelled. Charlemagne rushed back from Saxony and defeated the duke of Friuli in battle. The duke was slain. The duke of Spoleto signed a treaty. Their co-conspirator, Arechis, was not subdued, and Adelchis, their candidate in Byzantium, never left that city. Northern Italy was now faithfully his.

[edit] Southern Italy
In 787 Charlemagne directed his attention toward Benevento, where Arechis was reigning independently. Charlemagne besieged Salerno, and Arechis submitted to vassalage. However, with his death in 792, Benevento again proclaimed independence under his son Grimoald III. Grimoald was attacked by armies of Charles or his sons many times, but Charlemagne himself never returned to the Mezzogiorno, and Grimoald never was forced to surrender to Frankish suzerainty.

[edit] Charles and his children
During the first peace of any substantial length (780–782), Charles began to appoint his sons to positions of authority within the realm, in the tradition of the kings and mayors of the past. In 781 he made his two younger sons kings, having them crowned by the Pope. The elder of these two,

Carloman, was made king of Italy, taking the Iron Crown which his father had first worn in 774, and in the same ceremony was renamed "Pippin." The younger of the two, Louis, became king of Aquitaine. Charlemagne ordered Pippin and Louis to be raised in the customs of their kingdoms, and he gave their regents some control of their subkingdoms, but real power was always in his hands, though he intended his sons to inherit their realms some day. Nor did he tolerate insubordination in his sons: in 792, he banished his eldest, though illegitimate, son, Pippin the Hunchback, to the monastery of Prüm, because the young man had joined a rebellion against him. Charles was determined to have his children educated, including his daughters, as he himself was not. His children were taught all the arts, and his daughters were learned in the way of women. His sons took archery, horsemanship, and other outdoor activities. The sons fought many wars on behalf of their father when they came of age. Charles was mostly preoccupied with the Bretons, whose border he shared and who insurrected on at least two occasions and were easily put down, but he was also sent against the Saxons on multiple occasions. In 805 and 806, he was sent into the Böhmerwald (modern Bohemia) to deal with the Slavs living

At least one of them. He also. to take up residence in the convents they had been bequeathed by their father. as had been the case with Tassilo of Bavaria – yet he tolerated their extramarital relationships. He took Barcelona in a great siege in the year 797 (see below). After his death the surviving daughters were banished from the court by their brother. Louis was in charge of the Spanish March and also went to southern Italy to fight the duke of Benevento on at least one occasion. refused to believe stories of their wild behavior. Bertha. forcing a tribute on them. He kept them at home with him and refused to allow them to contract sacramental marriages – possibly to prevent the creation of cadet branches of the family to challenge the main line.there (Czechs). He subjected them to Frankish authority and devastated the valley of the Elbe. Charlemagne's attitude toward his daughters has been the subject of much discussion. and treasured the illegitimate grandchildren they produced for him. Pippin had to hold the Avar and Beneventan borders but also fought the Slavs to his north. the pious Louis. Finally. apparently. even rewarding their common-law husbands. had a . He was uniquely poised to fight the Byzantine Empire when finally that conflict arose after Charlemagne's imperial coronation and a Venetian rebellion.

the Diet of Paderborn had received the representatives of the Muslim rulers of Zaragoza. Barcelona. a member of Charlemagne's court circle.recognised relationship. Their masters had been cornered in the Iberian peninsula by Abd ar- . with Angilbert. [edit] Spanish campaigns See also: Abbasid-Carolingian alliance [edit] Roncesvalles campaign Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne in an illustration taken from a manuscript of a chanson de geste According to the Muslim historian Ibn al-Athir. and Huesca. if not a marriage. Girona.

the Umayyad emir of Córdoba. the count of the palace Anselm. Indeed. The armies met at Zaragoza and Charlemagne received the homage of the Muslim rulers. utterly destroying it. These Moorish or "Saracen" rulers offered their homage to the great king of the Franks in return for military support. less a battle than a mere skirmish. while the Austrasians. but the city did not fall for him. inspiring the subsequent . Roland. Seeing an opportunity to extend Christendom and his own power and believing the Saxons to be a fully conquered nation. left many famous dead: among which were the seneschal Eggihard. whom he had subdued by conquering Pamplona. Sulayman al-Arabi and Kasmin ibn Yusuf. since he could not trust the Basques. but as he was passing through the Pass of Roncesvalles one of the most famous events of his long reign occurred. he led the Neustrian army across the Western Pyrenees.Rahman I. He turned to leave Iberia. The Basques fell on his rearguard and baggage train. and the warden of the Breton March. Charlemagne agreed to go to Spain. He decided to go home. and Burgundians passed over the Eastern Pyrenees. Lombards. In 778. Charlemagne was facing the toughest battle of his career where the Muslims had the upper hand and forced him to retreat. The Battle of Roncevaux Pass.

the caliph of Baghdad. Harun alRashid. Charlemagne conquered Corsica and Sardinia at an unknown date and in 799 the Balearic Islands. of The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens who. controlled the Mediterranean. The islands were often attacked by Saracen pirates.[13] . was much occupied with Saracens in Italy. Charlemagne even had contact with the caliphal court in Baghdad.creation of the Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland). his son. In 797 (or possibly 801). by Julius Köckert. presented Charlemagne with an Asian elephant named Abul-Abbas and a clock. [edit] Wars with the Moors Harun al-Rashid receiving a delegation Charlemagne in Baghdad. at the time. Pippin. but the counts of Genoa and Tuscany (Boniface) kept them at bay with large fleets until the end of Charlemagne's reign.

They took Tarragona in 809 and Tortosa in 811. the greatest city of the region. The Franks continued to press forward against the emir. Louis of Aquitaine marched the entire army of his kingdom over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years.In Hispania the struggle against the Moors continued unabated throughout the latter half of his reign. fell to the Franks when Zeid. Cardona. In 785. In 797 Barcelona. when it capitulated. prompting the Emir al-Hakam I to recognize their conquests in 812. and they often turned to the Franks for help. The last conquest brought them to the mouth of the Ebro and gave them raiding access to Valencia. it remained nominally Frankish until the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258). The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. The Frankish border was slowly extended until 795. handed it to them. when Gerona. . His son Louis was in charge of the Spanish border. rebelled against Córdoba and. its governor. failing. and Urgel were united into the new Spanish March. within the old duchy of Septimania. However. The Muslim chiefs in the northeast of Islamic Spain were constantly revolting against Córdoban authority. his men captured Gerona permanently and extended Frankish control into the Catalan littoral for the duration of Charlemagne's reign (and much longer. Ausona. wintering there from 800 to 801.

with his legendary sword Joyeuse in hand.[edit] Eastern campaigns [edit] Saxon Wars This article needs additional citations for verification. Charlemagne was engaged in almost constant battle throughout his reign. . After thirty years of war and eighteen battles—the Saxon Wars—he conquered Saxonia and proceeded to convert the conquered to Christianity. (November 2010) Map showing Charlemagne's additions (in light green) to the Frankish Kingdom. often at the head of his elite scara bodyguard squadrons. sometimes using force. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references.

in Eastphalia. was Nordalbingia. at the base of the Jutland peninsula. All of Saxony but Nordalbingia was under his control.The Germanic Saxons were divided into four subgroups in four regions. which had. The Saxons were once again brought to heel. He returned through Westphalia. Charlemagne built a new camp at Karlstadt. but Saxon resistance had not ended. home of his wife. duke Widukind. but their main leader. Charlemagne forced the Engrians in 773 to submit and cut down an Irminsul pillar near Paderborn. In his first campaign. he called a national . where a rebellion had destroyed his fortress at Eresburg. Finally. and its leader Hessi converted to Christianity. Following his campaign in Italy subjugating the dukes of Friuli and Spoleto. been important Saxon bastions. where he defeated the Saxons again. In 777. marching through Westphalia and conquered the Saxon fort of Sigiburg. managed to escape to Denmark. leaving encampments at Sigiburg and Eresburg. Charlemagne returned very rapidly to Saxony in 776. up until then. He returned in 775. In between these two kingdoms was that of Engria and north of these three. The campaign was cut short by his first expedition to Italy. Nearest to Austrasia was Westphalia and furthest away was Eastphalia. he defeated a Saxon force. He then crossed Engria.

for the first time. Many Saxons were baptised as Christians. by Ary Scheffer (1795-1858). at Verden in Lower Saxony. both Saxon and Frank. In the summer of 779. The laws were draconian on religious issues. and the indigenous forms of Germanic polytheism were gravely threatened by Christianisation. who failed to keep Christian festivals. Widukind returned and led a new revolt. Saxony was peaceful from 780 to 782. He returned to Saxony in 782 and instituted a code of law and appointed counts. he again invaded Saxony and reconquered Eastphalia. Charlemagne allegedly ordered the beheading of 4. he divided the land into missionary districts and himself assisted in several mass baptisms (780). and who cremated their dead. which resulted in several assaults on the church. In response. Versailles. there was no immediate Saxon revolt. in autumn. This revived a renewal of the old conflict. That year. Charlemagne (742-814) receiving the submission of Witikind at Paderborn in 785. In 780 Charlemagne decreed the death penalty for all Saxons who failed to be baptised. He then returned to Italy and.diet at Paderborn to integrate Saxony fully into the Frankish kingdom. At a diet near Lippe. and Westphalia.500 Saxons . Engria.

Christian Saxons and Slavs quickly crushed it. but the insurrection did not catch on and was put down by 794. The killings triggered three years of renewed bloody warfare (783-785). The war ended with Widukind accepting baptism. which were renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils. The last insurrection of the independent-minded people occurred in 804. the Saxons maintained the peace for seven years. acceptance of the sacraments of the .who had been caught practising their native paganism after conversion to Christianity. but the presence of Charlemagne. The Eastphalians and Nordalbingians joined them in 793. During this war the Frisians were also finally subdued and a large part of their fleet was burned. This time. Thereafter. An Engrian rebellion followed in 796. more than thirty years after Charlemagne's first campaign against them. the most restive of them. known as the Massacre of Verden ("Verdener Blutgericht"). found themselves effectively disempowered from rebellion. the Nordalbingians. but in 792 the Westphalians again rose against their conquerors. According to Einhard: The war that had lasted so many years was at length ended by their acceding to the terms offered by the King.

[edit] Submission of Bavaria In 788. the Avars. Then. Charlemagne was preoccupied until 790 with other things. on account of his oath-breaking. but in that year. as had been done with Saxony. breaking seven years of peace. The charges were trumped up. he was made to renounce any claim to Bavaria for himself and his family (the Agilolfings) at the synod of Frankfurt. The campaigns would have continued if the Saxons had not revolted again in 792. [edit] Avar campaigns In 788. He claimed Tassilo was an unfit ruler. a Lombard army under Pippin marched into the Drava valley and ravaged Pannonia. and union with the Franks to form one people. Charlemagne turned his attention to Bavaria. he marched down the Danube into their territory and ravaged it to the Raab. invaded Friuli and Bavaria. . a pagan Asian horde which had settled down in what is today Hungary (Einhard called them Huns). Bavaria was subdivided into Frankish counties. but Tassilo was deposed anyway and put in the monastery of Jumièges. In 794.Christian faith and religion.

Pippin and Duke Eric of Friuli continued. Charlemagne then accepted the surrender of the Wiltzes under Dragovit and demanded many hostages and the permission to send. Abraham kept his people in line. in recognition of his new pagan neighbours. Aachen. [edit] Northeast Slav expeditions In 789. was taken twice. In the 10th century. and redistributed to all his followers and even to foreign rulers. The army .For the next two years. The Slavs immediately submitted under their leader Witzin. unmolested. back to Avaria with the ancient title of khagan. including King Offa of Mercia. Charlemagne marched an AustrasianSaxon army across the Elbe into Obotrite territory. but in 800 the Bulgarians under Khan Krum swept the Avar state away. This Charlemagne accepted and sent one native chief. missionaries into the pagan region. to assault the Avars' ring-shaped strongholds. Soon the Avar tuduns had thrown in the towel and travelled to Aachen to subject themselves to Charlemagne as vassals and Christians. the Magyars settled the Pannonian plain and presented a new threat to Charlemagne's descendants. their capital fortress. however. baptised Abraham. The great Ring of the Avars. The booty was sent to Charlemagne at his capital. the Slavs. Charlemagne was occupied with the Slavs against the Saxons.

marched to the Baltic before turning around and marching to the Rhine with much booty and no harassment. [edit] Southeast Slav expeditions When Charlemagne incorporated much of Central Europe. when Charlemagne campaigned against the Avars. While fighting the Avars.[16] Pannonian Croatian duke Vojnomir of Pannonian Croatia aided Charlemagne.[16] . Thrasuco. who greatly honoured him. Slavonia. he brought the Frankish state face to face with the Avars and Slavs in the southeast.[15] During the 790s. he won a major victory in 796. and Pannonia. led his men to conquest over the Nordalbingians and handed their leaders over to Charlemagne. the Franks had called for their support. In 795. the Abotrites and Wiltzes rose in arms with their new master against the Saxons. Witzin died in battle and Charlemagne avenged him by harrying the Eastphalians on the Elbe. his successor. The Abotrites remained loyal until Charles' death and fought later against the Danes. who settled in Pannonian Croatia and Littoral Croatian Duchy.[14] The most southeast Frankish neighbors were Croats. when the Saxons broke the peace. and the Franks made themselves overlords over the Croatians of northern Dalmatia. The tributary Slavs became loyal allies.

who was one of the first known Croatian dukes. the forces of Eric fled their positions and were totally routed by the forces of Višeslav. During that time. were made tributaries. but were never fully incorporated into the Frankish state. These people were subdued by the Lombards and Bavarii.The Frankish commander Eric of Friuli wanted to extend his dominion by conquering Littoral Croatian Duchy. and his death and defeat proved a great blow for the Carolingian Empire.[17] In the Battle of Trsat.[14][17][18] Charlemagne also directed his attention to the Slavs to the west of the Avar khaganate: the Carantanians and Carniolans.[17] Eric himself was among the killed. Littoral Croatia was ruled by duke Višeslav of Croatia. [edit] Imperium [edit] Imperial diplomacy .

. In so doing. In 799. agreed to travel to Rome. on Christmas Day (25 December). the Pope crowned him Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans") in Saint Peter's Basilica. asking him to intervene in Rome and restore him. Charlemagne. Leo escaped and fled to Charlemagne at Paderborn. Pope Leo III had been mistreated by the Romans. advised by Alcuin of York. who tried to put out his eyes and tear out his tongue.Charlemagne's chapel at Aachen Cathedral. doing so in November 800 and holding a council on December 1. On 23 December Leo swore an oath of innocence. the Pope was effectively attempting to transfer the office from Constantinople to Charles. when Charlemagne knelt at the altar to pray. At Mass.

which had apparently fallen into degradation under the Byzantines. the great. he used these circumstances to claim that he was the renewer of the Roman Empire. Charles preferred the style Karolus serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus magnus pacificus imperator Romanum gubernans imperium[20] ("Charles. although it was a great feast-day. In his official charters. peaceful emperor ruling the Roman empire") to a more direct Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans"). In any event. were probably the chief causes of the Pope's desire to . The Iconoclasm of the Isaurian Dynasty and resulting religious conflicts with the Empress Irene. most serene Augustus crowned by God. certainly he cannot have missed the bejeweled crown waiting on the altar when he came to pray. Many modern scholars[19] suggest that Charlemagne was indeed aware of the coronation. if he could have foreseen the design of the Pope. sitting on the throne in Constantinople in 800.Einhard says that Charlemagne was ignorant of the Pope's intent and did not want any such coronation: [H]e at first had such an aversion that he declared that he would not have set foot in the Church the day that they [the imperial titles] were conferred.

Brindisi (in Apulia). and solve the constitutional issues then most troubling to European jurists in an era when Rome was not in the hands of an emperor. Charles' son. Thus. Nicephorus ravaged the coasts with a fleet. when the pro-Byzantine party in Venice gave their city back to the Byzantine Emperor. and Naples (the Ducatus Neapolitanus). in Byzantium. It was. transferred their allegiance to the Iron Crown of Pippin. Reggio (in Calabria).formally acclaim Charles as Roman Emperor. honour his saviour Charlemagne. began. and the only instance of war between the Byzantines and the Franks. It lasted until 810. when the Venetians. The Byzantines. however. Charlemagne's assumption of the imperial title was not an usurpation in the eyes of the Franks or Italians. and the two emperors of Europe made peace: Charlemagne received the Istrian peninsula and in 812 the emperor Michael I Rhangabes . where it was protested by Irene and her successor Nicephorus I—neither of whom had any great effect in enforcing their protests. torn by infighting. however.[citation needed] He also most certainly desired to increase the influence of the papacy. as it was. These regions remained outside of Frankish hands until 804. still held several territories in Italy: Venice (what was left of the Exarchate of Ravenna). The Pax Nicephori ended.

In 808. The Danevirke protected Danish land and gave Godfred the opportunity to harass Frisia and Flanders with pirate raids. the king of the Danes. Godfred invaded Frisia. was at its beginning a 30 km (19 mi) long earthenwork rampart. inhabiting the Jutland peninsula. last employed in the Danish-Prussian War of 1864. This defence. The pagan Danes. either by a Frankish assassin or by one of his own men. Godfred. had heard many stories from Widukind and his allies who had taken refuge with them about the dangers of the Franks and the fury which their Christian king could direct against pagan neighbours. He also subdued the Frank-allied Wiltzes and fought the Abotrites. built the vast Danevirke across the isthmus of Schleswig. but destined to be only too well known to his sons" as Charles Oman described them. joked of visiting Aachen.[21] although not necessarily as "Emperor of the Romans". "a race almost unknown to his ancestors.recognised his status as Emperor.[22] [edit] Danish attacks After the conquest of Nordalbingia. the Frankish frontier was brought into contact with Scandinavia. but was murdered before he could do any more. Godfred was succeeded by his nephew .

Charlemagne called Louis the Pious. There Charlemagne crowned his son with his own hands as co-emperor and sent him back to Aquitaine. [edit] Death Persephone sarcophagus of Charlemagne Portion of the 814 death shroud of Charlemagne. In 813. It represents a quadriga and was manufactured in Constantinople. his only surviving legitimate son.Hemming. king of Aquitaine. He then spent the autumn hunting . who concluded the Treaty of Heiligen with Charlemagne in late 811. to his court.

at nine o'clock in the morning.before returning to Aachen on 1 November. Count of the Palace at Aachen in the time of Otto III. he fell ill with pleurisy. the seventh day from the time that he took to his bed. The earliest surviving planctus. was composed by a monk of Bobbio.[23] In deep depression (mostly because many of his plans were not yet realized). would claim that he and Emperor Otto had discovered . in the seventy-second year of his age and the forty-seventh of his reign. in Aachen Cathedral. which he had patronised. although the cold weather and the nature of his illness made such a hurried burial unnecessary.[24] A later story. told by Otho of Lomello. Frederick II's gold and silver casket for Charlemagne He was buried on the day of his death. he took to his bed on 21 January and as Einhard tells it: He died January twenty-eighth. after partaking of the Holy Communion. In January. the Planctus de obitu Karoli.

Louis. grant a peaceful place to Charles in your kingdom. People are crying and wailing. In 1165. between Louis's own sons after their father's death laid the foundation for the modern states of Germany and France.[26] He was succeeded by his surviving son. .the world laments the death of Charles.. you who govern the heavenly host. all Christians..the Franks.[25] In 1215 Frederick II re-interred him in a casket made of gold and silver.Charlemagne's tomb: the emperor..the young and old. An anonymous monk of Bobbio lamented: From the lands where the sun rises to western shores. particularly those of the literary clique who had surrounded him at Aachen. who had been crowned the previous year. wearing a crown and holding a sceptre. Charlemagne's death greatly affected many of his subjects. they claimed. are stung with mourning and great worry.. all lament the loss of their Caesar. His empire lasted only another generation in its entirety. according to custom. its division... Frederick I re-opened the tomb again and placed the emperor in a sarcophagus beneath the floor of the cathedral. Alas for miserable me. was seated upon a throne. the Romans. his flesh almost entirely incorrupt. glorious nobles...O Christ.

Charlemagne stands out for his many reforms: monetary. This was because horses provided a quick. He is the main protagonist of the "Carolingian Renaissance." [edit] Military It has long been held that the dominance of Charlemagne's military was based on a "cavalry revolution" lead by Charles Martel in 730s. was not introduced to the Frankish kingdom until the late eighth century.[27] [edit] Economic and monetary reforms . However. the stirrup. long-distance method of transporting troops.[edit] Administration As an administrator.[27] Instead. and ecclesiastical. military. Charlemagne's success rested primarily on novel siege technologies and excellent logistics. which made the "shock cavalry" lance charge possible. which was critical to building and maintaining such a large empire. cultural. large numbers of horses were used by the Frankish military during the age of Charlemagne. governmental.[28] However.

There were strong pragmatic reasons for this abandonment of a gold standard. from the subscription of a royal diploma: "Signum (monogr.Monogram of Charlemagne. which was a direct consequence of the conclusion of peace with Byzantium. notably a shortage of gold itself.: KAROLVS) Karoli gloriosissimi regis" Charlemagne had an important role in determining the immediate economic future of Europe. Pursuing his father's reforms. thus simplifying trade and commerce. . This standardisation also had the effect of economically harmonising and unifying the complex array of currencies which had been in use at the commencement of his reign. Charlemagne abolished the monetary system based on the gold sou. which resulted in the ceding of Venice and Sicily and the loss of their trade routes to Africa and to the East. and he and the Anglo-Saxon King Offa of Mercia took up the system set in place by Pippin.

denier.Charlemagne. The lending of money for interest was prohibited and then strengthened in 814. when Charlemagne . During this period. only the denier was a coin of the realm. the livre and the sou were counting units. 793-812. Tours. the modern penny). which was based upon a pound of silver—a unit of both money and weight—which was worth 20 sous (from the Latin solidus [which was primarily an accounting device and never actually minted]. the modern pound). which laid down strict rules for the way in which incomes and expenses were to be recorded. the modern shilling) or 240 deniers (from the Latin denarius. the livre carolinienne (from the Latin libra. Charlemagne instituted principles for accounting practice by means of the Capitulare de villis of 802. He established a new standard.

Anglo-Saxon England. brought into contact with the culture and learning of other countries (especially Visigothic Spain. [edit] Education reforms A part of Charlemagne's success as warrior and administrator can be traced to his admiration for learning. Charlemagne. In addition to this macro-oriented reform of the economy of his empire. a draconian prohibition on Jews engaging in money-lending. Charlemagne applied the system to much of the European continent. such as direct control of prices and levies on certain goods and commodities. and architecture which characterize it. art. and Lombard Italy) due to his vast conquests. and Offa's standard was voluntarily adopted by much of England. After Charlemagne's death.introduced the Capitulary for the Jews. His reign and the era it ushered in are often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship. Charlemagne also performed a significant number of microeconomic reforms. and most of Europe resorted to using the continued high-quality English coin until about 1100. literature. greatly increased the provision of monastic schools and . continental coinage degraded.

promoting the liberal arts at the court. dialectic (logic). Lombard. an Anglo-Saxon from York. Italians. The pan-European nature of Charlemagne's influence is indicated by the origins of many of the men who worked for him: Alcuin. and astronomy (he was particularly interested in the movements of the stars). It is almost certain that a text which survived to the Carolingian age survives still. Theodulf. probably from Septimania. and Angilbert. from whom he learned grammar. Charlemagne took a serious interest in scholarship. Most of the presently surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars. His great scholarly failure. Alcuin. Paul the Deacon. and Waldo of Reichenau. who assisted him in his studies of arithmetic. the earliest manuscripts available for many ancient texts are Carolingian. and Einhard. Franks. ordering that his children and grandchildren be welleducated.scriptoria (centres for book-copying) in Francia. was his inability to write: when in his old age he began attempts to learn—practicing the formation of letters in his bed during his free time . Einhard. Angilram. Peter of Pisa and Paulinus of Aquileia. and even studying himself (in a time when even leaders who promoted education did not take time to learn themselves) under the tutelage of Paul the Deacon. a Visigoth. Indeed. with whom he studied rhetoric. as Einhard relates.

and his ability to read – which Einhard is silent about.on books and wax tablets he hid under his pillow —"his effort came too late in life and achieved little success".[29] In 800. and which no contemporary source supports—has also been called into question. He certainly had not been personally in Jerusalem.[30] [31] [edit] Church reforms See also: Charlemagne and church music [edit] Writing reforms . Charlemagne enlarged the hostel at the Muristan in Jerusalem and added a library to it.

Page from the Lorsch Gospels of Charlemagne's reign During Charles' reign. Alcuin of York. were combined with features from the insular scripts that were being used in Irish and English monasteries. the Roman half uncial script and its cursive version. Carolingian minuscule was created partly under the patronage of Charlemagne. The revolutionary character of the Carolingian reform. which had given rise to various continental minuscule scripts. however. efforts at taming the crabbed Merovingian and Germanic hands had been . who ran the palace school and scriptorium at Aachen. can be over-emphasised. was probably a chief influence in this.

the right to rule and command. [edit] Political reforms Charlemagne engaged in many reforms of Frankish governance. the effort was heavily dependent upon the efficiency. led the army. [edit] Organization Main article: Government of the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian king exercised the bannum. loyalty. He had supreme jurisdiction in judicial matters. and protected both the Church and the poor. such as the division of the kingdom among sons. The new minuscule was disseminated first from Aachen and later from the influential scriptorium at Tours. but he continued also in many traditional practices. [edit] Imperial coronation . and nobility around him. His administration was an attempt to organise the kingdom. church. However. made legislation. and support of his subjects. where Alcuin retired as an abbot.underway before Alcuin arrived at Aachen.

but that debate has often obscured the more significant question of why the Pope granted the title and why Charlemagne chose to accept it once he did.Throne of Charlemagne and the subsequent German Kings in Aachen Cathedral Historians have debated for centuries whether Charlemagne was aware of the Pope's intent to crown him Emperor prior to the coronation (Charlemagne declared that he would not have entered Saint Peter's had he known). Roger Collins points out[32] "That the motivation behind the acceptance of the imperial title was a romantic and antiquarian interest in reviving the .

clothed in gold and precious stones the bodies of the holy martyrs whom the Romans had killed by fire. for its capital was Constantinople (ancient Byzantium) and its people and rulers were Greek. Charlemagne was usurping the prerogatives of the .Roman empire is highly unlikely. the new title—carrying with it the risk that the new emperor would "make drastic changes to the traditional styles and procedures of government" or "concentrate his attentions on Italy or on Mediterranean concerns more generally"—risked alienating the Frankish leadership. with borders not very far south of the city of Rome itself—this is the empire historiography has labelled the Byzantine Empire. The Franks took pride in having "fought against and thrown from their shoulders the heavy yoke of the Romans" and "from the knowledge gained in baptism. Indeed. the Roman Empire remained a significant power in European politics at this time. it was a thoroughly Hellenic state.[33] For both the Pope and Charlemagne. and continued to hold a substantial portion of Italy. by the sword and by wild animals". Furthermore. as Pippin III described it in a law of 763 or 764 (Collins 151)." For one thing. both of whom viewed the Classical heritage of the Roman Empire with distrust. such romance would not have appealed either to Franks or Roman Catholics at the turn of the ninth century.

pg. —John Julius Norwich. Byzantium: The Early Centuries. That the Empress was notorious for having blinded and murdered her own son was. but the imperial throne was at this moment occupied by Irene. was qualified to pass judgement on the Vicar of Christ? In normal circumstances the only conceivable answer to that question would have been the Emperor at Constantinople. in the minds of both Leo and Charles. if any were needed. The female sex was known to be incapable of governing. in other words. almost immaterial: it was enough that she was a woman.Roman Emperor in Constantinople simply by sitting in judgement over the Pope in the first place: By whom. could he [the Pope] be tried? Who. As far as Western Europe was concerned. and by the old Salic tradition was debarred from doing so. of the degradation into which the so-called Roman Empire had fallen. 378 . however. the Throne of the Emperors was vacant: Irene's claim to it was merely an additional proof.

" Nonetheless. 234n) disputes this saying that the coronation "was not in any sense explained by the fact that at this moment a woman was reigning in Constantinople. the destruction of Christian images. there was "no living Emperor at the that time" (Norwich 379). chiefly the continued Byzantine adherence to the doctrine of iconoclasm. pg. depicted in the Sacramentary of Charles the Bald (about 870) For the Pope. then. The papacy had since 727 been in conflict with Irene's predecessors in Constantinople over a number of issues. the Pope took the extraordinary step of creating one. the secular power of the Byzantine Empire in .Coronation of an idealised king. while from 750. though Henri Pirenne (Mohammed and Charlemagne.

military and doctrinal—he would select a westerner: the one man who by his wisdom and statesmanship and the vastness of his dominions . Byzantium: The Apogee. we cannot know." With Charlemagne's coronation. so far as either of them [Charlemagne and Leo] were concerned. ... one and indivisible. with Charles as its Emperor". "the Roman Empire remained. wherein. By bestowing the Imperial crown upon Charlemagne.. therefore. 3) How realistic either Charlemagne or the Pope felt it to be that the people of Constantinople would ever accept the King of the Franks as their Emperor.. the Pope arrogated to himself "the right to appoint . stood out head and shoulders above his contemporaries. the Emperor of the Romans. would be furiously contested in Constantinople. with all that it implied." (Norwich. Alcuin speaks hopefully in his letters of an Imperium Christianum ("Christian Empire"). pg.central Italy had been nullified. though there can have been "little doubt that the coronation.. "just as the inhabitants of the [Roman Empire] had been united by a common Roman . establishing the imperial crown as his own personal gift but simultaneously granting himself implicit superiority over the Emperor whom he had created.." And "because the Byzantines had proved so unsatisfactory from every point of view—political.

regarded as the universal Church" (Pirenne 233). from the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes (Collins 153). certainly this is the view of Pirenne when he says "Charles was the Emperor of the ecclesia as the Pope conceived it. and that Irene reacted somewhat favorably to them. did Charlemagne drop any ambitions toward the Byzantine throne and begin .citizenship". 19th century depiction of the imperial coronation of Charlemagne What we do know. of the Roman Church. presumably this new empire would be united by a common Christian faith (Collins 151). Only when the people of Constantinople reacted to Irene's failure to immediately rebuff the proposal by deposing her and replacing her with one of her ministers. is that Charlemagne's reaction to his coronation was to take the initial steps toward securing the Constantinopolitan throne by sending envoys of marriage to Irene. Nicephorus I.

Otto the Great. and . Burgundy. Charlemagne first made provision for the traditional division of the empire on his death. for it was to become the Holy Roman Empire.minimising his new Imperial title. Finally. brought the title into the hands of the kings of Germany for almost a millennium. to the dormancy of the title for almost forty years (924–962). Louis received Aquitaine. as brothers fought over who had the supremacy in the Frankish state. in a radically different Europe from Charlemagne's. For Charles the Younger he designated Austrasia and Neustria. The papacy itself never forgot the title nor abandoned the right to bestow it. When the family of Charles ceased to produce worthy heirs. in 962. This emperor. To Pippin he gave Italy. the Spanish March.[citation needed] and instead return to describing himself primarily as rex Francorum et Langobardum. [edit] Divisio regnorum In 806. Bavaria. and Swabia. Saxony. The title of emperor remained in his family for years to come. a true imperial successor to Charles. if not Augustus. as could have been expected. a new Roman Emperor was crowned in Rome by a grateful pope. and Thuringia. the pope gladly crowned whichever Italian magnate could best protect him from his local enemies. however. This devolution led.

but it was never to be tested. co-emperor and co-King of the Franks. by assistants of Raphael . This division might have worked. There was no mention of the imperial title however. which has led to the suggestion that. Charlemagne regarded the title as an honorary achievement which held no hereditary significance. circa 1516-1517 [edit] Cultural uses . granting him a halfshare of the empire and the rest upon Charlemagne's own death.Provence. The only part of the Empire which Louis was not promised was Italy. Louis. which Charlemagne specifically bestowed upon Pippin's illegitimate son Bernard. Charlemagne then reconsidered the matter. crowned his youngest son. The Coronation of Charlemagne. at that particular time. Pippin died in 810 and Charles in 811. and in 813.

Italy. the Charlemagne cycle or the Matter of France. centres on the deeds of Charlemagne— the Emperor with the Flowing Beard of Roland fame —and his historical commander of the border with Brittany. Charlemagne. Vatican. and the paladins who are . Roland. being a model knight as one of the Nine Worthies. One of the great medieval literary cycles. Statue of Charlemagne by Agostino Cornacchini (1725). The author of the Visio Karoli Magni written around 865 uses facts gathered apparently from Einhard and his own observations on the decline of Charlemagne's family after the dissensions of civil war (840–43) as the basis for a visionary tale of Charles' meeting with a prophetic spectre in a dream. enjoyed an important afterlife in European culture. Peter's Basilica. St.Charlemagne had an immediate afterlife.

Charlemagne himself was accorded sainthood inside the Holy Roman Empire after the twelfth century. The Franks had inherited a Visigothic tradition of referring to the Holy Spirit as deriving from God the Father and Son (Filioque). However. Later. the Franks challenged the 381 Council of Constantinople proclamation that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father alone.analogous to the knights of the Round Table or King Arthur's court. to gain the favour of Frederick Barbarossa in 1165. the Frankish insistence led to bad relations between Rome and Francia." Charlemagne is sometimes credited with supporting the insertion of the filioque into the Nicene Creed. Peter's Basilica without the offending phrase. the Roman Catholic Church would . and under Charlemagne. Pope Leo III rejected this notion. among the other "warriors of the faith. and had the Nicene Creed carved into the doors of Old St. which annulled all of Paschal's ordinances at the Third Lateran Council in 1179. was never recognised by the Holy See. His canonisation by Antipope Paschal III. Their tales constitute the first chansons de geste. his beatification has been acknowledged as cultus confirmed and is celebrated on January 28. In the Divine Comedy the spirit of Charlemagne appears to Dante in the Heaven of Mars.

but then chose the name 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg instead. the founder of the panEuropean movement. Charlemagne is memorably quoted by Dr Henry Jones Sr. Alcide De Gasperi. It is awarded annually to "personages of merit who have promoted the idea of western unity by their political. (played by Sean Connery) in the film. The city of Aachen has."[35] Winners of the prize include Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi. since 1949. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.[34] French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II were organised in a unit called 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French). awarded an international prize (called the Karlspreis der Stadt Aachen) in honour of Charlemagne. Immediately after using his umbrella to induce a flock of seagulls to smash through the glass cockpit of a pursuing German fighter plane. and Winston Churchill. A German WaffenSS unit used "Karl der Große" for some time in 1943. economic and literary endeavours. Henry Jones .adopt the phrase. leading to dispute between Rome and Constantinople. Some see this as one of many pre-cursors to the East-West Schism centuries later.

who took the position in 2007. the weekly news and international affairs newspaper.remarks "I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne: 'Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky'. on the European Union and its politics. features a one-page article every week entitled "Charlemagne". . focusing generally on European affairs and. There is a play named "Carelman Charitham" in the Indian art-form Chavittu Nadakam which is based on the life of Charlemagne.[36] The Economist. While Economist writers are all technically anonymous. more usually and specifically. the column is known to be written by David Rennie. there is no evidence that Charlemagne actually said this." Despite the quote's popularity since the movie.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful