Sep 10, 2020 · Charlemagne, also called Charles I, byname Charles the Great, (born April 2, 747?—died January 28, 814, Aachen, Austrasia [now in Germany]), king of the Franks (768–814), king of the Lombards (774–814), and first emperor (800–814) of the Romans and of what was later called the Holy Roman Empire.
Coronation of Charlemagne as emperor By comparison with Adrian, Pope Leo III (795–816) was a man of inferior calibre. Where Adrian had tried to maintain independence by balancing the Byzantine emperor against the Frankish king, Leo from the first showed subservience to the latter. Both in Constantinople and in Rome the situation was unstable.
- Who Was Charlemagne?
- Crowned as Holy Roman Emperor
- Events Leading to Emperor Charlemagne
- Unifying The Roman Empire
- Questions of Authority
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774 and Holy Roman Emperor from 800. He united much of western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. He was the first recognized emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by the pope.
When the people of western Europe awoke on this day, December 26, 800, they had an emperor again. On Christmas Day, as King Charles of France knelt in prayer before the altar of the church of St. Peter's in Rome, Pope Leo III suddenly placed a golden crown on his head. The Roman people shouted three times, \\"To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, the great and pacific emperor of the Romans, life, and victory!\\" Charles was reverenced by the pope and called Emperor and Augustus, after the manner o...
What led up to this dramatic event? Three hundred years and more had passed since the collapse of the Roman Empire in western Europe. Many elements were at work. For one thing, the popes owed the Franks a great debt for their preservation in recent years. Charles Martel had turned back the Muslim invasion of Europe and Peppin had subdued the Lombards. Another reason for the pope to crown Charles was to show Rome's independence from the Greek Empire in Constantinople. Since the days of Constan...
To be sure, Charles was an empire-builder. He had become master of the French kingdom in 768 and used his military might to forcibly bring the German tribes under his authority, forcing them to accept baptism and become Christians. His cruelty has been blamed for the Viking invasions which troubled Europe for over a century. His dominion stretched from the Baltic Sea to the British Channel to Rome itself. Charles worked diligently to provide a good, unified organization for his vast empire. W...
The coronation of Charles sparked much debate during the middle ages. At issue was what relationship of the church to state. Did the act of crowning the emperor show the pope's superior authority as the giver of the empire to King Charles? Charles didn't think so. He continued to rule as the divinely appointed protector of the church, appointing bishops as well as counts to office. He was not only the first but possibly the greatest of the emperors from the eighth through the nineteenth centu...
- Early Life & Rise to Power
- Military Campaigns & Expansion
- Saxon Wars
- Holy Roman Emperor
- Ecclesiastical & Educational Reforms
Charlemagne was born, probably at Aachen (in modern-day Germany) during the final years of the Merovingian Dynasty, which had ruled the region since c. 450 CE. The Merovingian monarch had been steadily losing power and influence for years while the supposedly subordinate royal position of Mayor of the Palace (equivalent to a Prime Minister) had grown more powerful. By the time of King Childeric III (r. 743-751 CE), the monarch had virtually no power and all administrative policies were being...
As sole ruler of the Franks, Charlemagne ruled from the start by force of his personality which embodied the warrior-king ethos combined with Christian vision. Hollister describes the king:After building up his army, he launched his first campaign into Saxony in 772 CE, beginning a long and bloody conflict known as the Saxon Wars (772-804 CE) in an effort to root out Norse paganism in the region and establish his authority there. Leaving troops in Saxony, he turned to Italy where the Lombards...
Each time Charlemagne thought he had subdued the Saxons and put their struggle to rest, they rebelled again. Prior to the Saxon Wars, the region of Saxony had been on good terms with Francia and regularly interacted with them, serving as a trade conduit to Scandinavian countries. In 772 CE, a Saxon party was said to have raided and burned a church in Deventer (in modern-day Netherlands, then part of Charlemagne’s kingdom) and this gave Charlemagne his excuse to invade the region. Why the Saxo...
Throughout the Saxon Wars and his other campaigns, Charlemagne was acting entirely on his own initiative and paying very little attention to the papacy. None of the popes were complaining, however, because Charlemagne’s various enterprises coincided with their own interests or benefited them directly. It was clear by 800 CE, however, that Charlemagne’s power exceeded that of the papacy and there was nothing anyone could do about it.This became clear when Pope Leo III (served 795-816 CE) was a...
There seems little doubt that the coronation was an attempt by the papacy at establishing some measure of control over Charlemagne. Hollister notes how “the popes believed that the emperors ought to be papal stewards – wielding their secular political authority in the interests of the Roman Church” (112). Even so, there was no practical need to do this as Charlemagne had been consistently combining his own interests with those of the Church since he came to power.Aside from his regular milita...
Charlemagne ruled his empire for 14 years until his death from natural causes in 814 CE. Loyn notes how his “force and dynamic personality were needed to create the empire and, without him, disintegrating elements quickly gained the ascendancy” (79). He had already crowned Louis the Pious as successor in 813 CE but he could do nothing to ensure his legacy would endure after he died. Cantor comments:The initial troubles for the empire, however, were due not to any backsliding or disintegrating...
- Joshua J. Mark
The Holy Roman Emperor's standard designation was "August Emperor of the Romans" (Romanorum Imperator Augustus). When Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title.
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- HIS FATHER WASN'T BORN A KING. Charlemagne's father, Pepin III—often called Pepin the Short—was mayor of the palace (administrator of the royal court) before he was named the first King of the Franks.
- HIS BROTHER DIED SOON AFTER BECOMING CO-KING. After Pepin III died, Charlemagne shared power with his younger brother Carloman, with the two acting as joint kings.
- HE IS CONSIDERED THE FATHER OF EUROPE. As the King of the Franks, Charlemagne set out on an ambitious and bloody campaign to expand his territory. By the time of his death in 814, this kingdom included the majority of what is now considered Western, and some of Central, Europe.
- BEING CROWNED EMPEROR MAY HAVE BEEN A SURPRISE. Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor at Christmas mass in 800. Charlemagne had arrived in Rome a few weeks earlier at the request of the pope, but by many accounts, including that of his court scholar Einhard, he was not expecting his new role, and only realized what was happening when the pope put the imperial crown upon his head.
Jul 14, 2020 · Google translate: Charles August, the most serene – crowned by God of Peace, is a great commander, who governs the Roman empire, & who also, by the mercy of God, is the king of the Franks and the Lombards
- Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. The fall of Western Roman Empire in late 5th century led to its vast territory being divided in numerous kingdoms without any central authority.
- Charlemagne was the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In 799, Pope Leo III was physically attacked by a faction of Romans. He flew to Charlemagne and asked for his aid.
- Charlemagne played a vital role in the spread of Christianity across Europe. Charlemagne was devoted to Christianity and took several steps to spread the religion across his vast empire.
- He was the driving force behind the Carolingian Renaissance. At his royal court in Aachen, Charlemagne gathered the cream of available intellect, most notably the English scholar Alcuin of York.
May 24, 2015 · I can reveal however that I am a direct descendent of someone of similar greatness: Charlemagne, Carolingian King of the Franks, Holy Roman Emperor, the great European conciliator. Quelle surprise!