Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Saint Charlemagne, King of the Francs, King of the Lombards, Emperor of the Romans

Saint Charlemagne, King of the Francs, King of the Lombards, Emperor of the Romans

Male 748 - 814  (65 years)

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  • Name Charlemagne  
    Title Saint 
    Suffix King of the Francs, King of the Lombards, Emperor of the Romans 
    Nickname Charles the Great 
    Born 2 Apr 742/48  Frankish Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    History Charlemagne (/????rl?me?n/) or Charles the Great[a] (2 April 742/747/748[1] – 28 January 814), numbered Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774 and Emperor of the Romans from 800. He united much of Europe during the early Middle Ages. He was the first recognised emperor in western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded was called the Carolingian Empire.

    Charlemagne was the oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. He became king in 768 following his father's death, initially as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in 771 in unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. He continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianising them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter's Basilica.

    Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe" (Pater Europae),[2] as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire, up to the last Emperor Francis II and the French and German monarchies.

    However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and recognition by the Bishop of Rome as legitimate Roman Emperor, rather than Irene of Athens of the Eastern Roman Empire. These and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054.[3][4]

    Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in what is today Germany. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Political background
    2 Rise to power
    2.1 Early life
    2.2 Ancestry
    2.3 The ambiguous high office
    2.4 Aquitaine rebellion
    2.5 Perforce Union
    3 Italian campaigns
    3.1 Conquest of the Lombard kingdom
    3.2 Southern Italy
    4 Children
    5 Carolingian expansion to the south
    5.1 Vasconia and the Pyrenees
    5.2 Roncesvalles campaign
    5.3 Contact with the Saracens
    5.4 Wars with the Moors
    6 Eastern campaigns
    6.1 Saxon Wars
    6.2 Submission of Bavaria
    6.3 Avar campaigns
    6.4 Northeast Slav expeditions
    6.5 Southeast Slav expeditions
    7 Imperium
    7.1 Coronation
    7.2 Imperial title
    7.3 Imperial diplomacy
    7.4 Danish attacks
    7.5 Death
    8 Administration
    8.1 Military
    8.2 Economic and monetary reforms
    8.3 Jews in Charlemagne's Realm
    8.4 Education reforms
    8.5 Church reforms
    8.6 Writing reforms
    8.7 Political reforms
    9 Personality
    9.1 Manner
    9.2 Language
    9.3 Appearance
    9.4 Dress
    9.5 Homes
    10 Family
    10.1 Marriages and heirs
    10.2 Ancestry
    11 Name
    12 Beatification
    13 Cultural uses
    13.1 Middle ages
    13.2 Modern era
    14 Books and libraries
    15 Notes
    16 References
    16.1 Footnotes
    16.2 Bibliography
    17 External links
    Political background[edit]

    Francia, early 8th century
    By the 6th century, the western Germanic Franks had been Christianised. Francia, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. Following the Battle of Tertry the Merovingians declined into powerlessness, for which they have been dubbed the rois fainéants ("do-nothing kings"). Almost all government powers were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace.[5]

    In 687, Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry. He became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom.[5] Pepin was the grandson of two important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom: Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen. Pepin of Herstal was eventually succeeded by his illegitimate son Charles, later known as Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer).

    After 737, Charles governed the Franks in lieu of a king and declined to call himself king. Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. In 743, the brothers placed Childeric III on the throne to curb separatism in the periphery. He was the last Merovingian king. Carloman resigned office in 746, preferring to enter the church as a monk. Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power. The pope handed down his decision in 749, decreeing that it was better for Pepin to be called king, as he had the powers of high office as Mayor, so as not to confuse the hierarchy. He therefore ordered him to become the true king.[6]

    External video
    Charlemagne at dinner - British Library Royal MS 15 E vi f155r (detail).jpg
    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Charlemagne, 46:14, YaleCourses on YouTube, Yale University
    Charlemagne: An Introduction, Smarthistory, 7:49, Khan Academy
    In 750, Pepin was elected by an assembly of the Franks, anointed by the archbishop, and then raised to the office of king. The Pope branded Childeric III as "the false king" and ordered him into a monastery. The Merovingian dynasty was thereby replaced by the Carolingian dynasty, named after Charles Martel. In 753, Pope Stephen II fled from Italy to Francia, appealing to Pepin for assistance for the rights of St. Peter. He was supported in this appeal by Carloman, Charles' brother. In return, the pope could provide only legitimacy. He did this by again anointing and confirming Pepin, this time adding his young sons Carolus (Charlemagne) and Carloman to the royal patrimony. They thereby became heirs to the realm that already covered most of western Europe. In 754, Pepin accepted the Pope's invitation to visit Italy on behalf of St. Peter's rights, dealing successfully with the Lombards.[6][7]

    Under the Carolingians, the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of Western Europe; the division of the kingdom formed the basis for modern France and Germany. Orman[8] portrays the Treaty of Verdun (843) between the warring grandsons of Charlemagne as the foundation event of an independent France under its first king Charles the Bald; an independent Germany under its first king Louis the German; and an independent intermediate state stretching from the low countries along the borderlands to south of Rome under Lothair I, who retained the title of emperor and the capitals Aachen and Rome without the jurisdiction. The middle kingdom had broken up by 890. The disposition of its territory remained a major source of divisiveness among France, Germany, and Italy down to the 20th century. The ultimate solution was the creation of smaller nations in the buffer zones, mainly Netherlands and Switzerland but also some very small states. The concept and memory of a united Europe remains to the current time. The religious, political, and artistic developments originating from centrally positioned Francia made a defining imprint across Europe.  [1
    Died 28 Man 814  Aachen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Aachen Cathedral Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I587  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 15 Feb 2018 

    Father Pippin the Short, King of the Franks,   b. c. 714,   d. 24 Sep 768  (Age ~ 54 years) 
    Relationship putative 
    Mother Bertrada of Laon, Queen of the Franks,   b. 710-727, Laon, Ainse, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 783, Choisy-au-Bac, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Relationship putative 
    Family ID F319  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Hildegard of the Vinzgau, Queen Holy Roman Empire,   b. c. 754,   d. 30 Apr 783  (Age ~ 29 years) 
    +1. Pippin I (Pepin), King of Italy,   b. 12 Apr 773,   d. 8 Jul 810  (Age 37 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 19 May 2017 
    Family ID F314  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Hildegard of the Vinzgau, Queen Holy Roman Empire,   b. c. 754,   d. 30 Apr 783  (Age ~ 29 years) 
    +1. Louis I 'The Pious', Emperor Holy Roman Empire,   b. 16 Apr, 778,   d. 20 Jun, 840, Island in the Rhine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F659  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Saint Charlemagne stained glass window in the Metz railroad station
    Saint Charlemagne stained glass window in the Metz railroad station
    Charlemagne statue
    Charlemagne statue
    Charlemagne gold bust in Aachen Cathedral
    Charlemagne gold bust in Aachen Cathedral

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne.